The Way of Being

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Anil Mitra © May 2018—September 2018

Updated September 27, 2018 @ 09:35:33

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Contents

The table of contents is a summary of essentials.

NOTATION AND CONVENTION

Document specific*

The text

Abbreviations

PREFACE

Aim

About the essay

The contents

The future*

Sharing, ideas, and action*

Reading the narrative

Dedication

PROLOGUE*

Context in human endeavor

Origins of the work

Historical sources of the ideas

Canonical dilemmas

PART I. THE UNIVERSE—A WORLD VIEW

Definitions

Being and experience

Meaning*

The universe

Reason

Metaphysics

Enhancement of reason by the metaphysics

On certainty

Cosmology

Kinds of Being

PART II. THE WAY

Our world

The Aim of Being

Variables of the Way

Means

Environment

Path

EPILOGUE—INTO THE WORLD*

ISSUES AND RESOLUTIONS*

Aim of the human endeavor

Knowledge, destiny, and means

Miscellaneous fundamental issues

APPENDIX*

General resources

Stories*

GLOSSARY AND INDEX*

Glossary

Index

PLANS—A TEMPORARY SECTION

 

 

The Way of Being
Template – Portable – Outline Versions

NOTATION AND CONVENTION

Document specific*

Comment.      Primarily for the template. Will not occur in all documents.

Paragraphs and sections marked with asterisks (*) belong only in the template and longer versions of the essay.

Paragraphs and sections marked with a dagger () belong only in the template and portable version—the pocket manual.

Where sections are in the template and the portable version, the content may be quite different.

The text

Styles

Comment.      The following is style ‘Central’.

This is the style of the main assertions and other items in the text.

Comment.      The following is style ‘Central 2’ its font color light blue here and in the template.

Light blue text is used for explanations and secondary points.

Hyperlinks are blue and except in the outline are underlined.

Comment.      The following is style ‘Academic’.

Dark red font is used for technical and academic items.

Definitions

In definitions, defined terms are bold. The term ‘is’ associated with the defined term is to be read ‘is defined as’.

Quotes and emphasis

Single quotes are usually references to a concept or term. Thus ‘Being’ refers to the concept of Being; i.e. ‘Being’ is the name of the concept of Being. Emphasis is used in referring to a phrase in the text. Double quotes are used to quote other texts and authors.

Abbreviations

ASM, the abstract metaphysics.

EH, existential hypothesis.

FP, the fundamental principle of metaphysics.

FQM, the fundamental question or problem of metaphysics.

PFM or TM, the perfect metaphysics (‘the metaphysics’).

PRM, the pragmatic metaphysics.

PSR, a principle of sufficient reason.

The phrase a principle acknowledges that it is not clear that there is a principle of sufficient reason and that whether there is may be clarified by considering candidates for what counts as reason—examples are cause and necessity.

PREFACE

The preface is primarily about the text. The prologue is primarily a way in and introduction to the content. To enhance readability there is some overlap between preface and prologue.

Aim

The Way of Being is living in awareness of and toward the ultimate in unity with the immediate.

The Aim of Being is found to be living well in the immediate and the ultimate as one.

The aims of the text are to share and further develop the way; and to promote the aim.

About the essay

Origins

It is in and draws from my experience and thought and what I found true and inspiring in the history human cultural traditions to the present.

It is not a compilation or synthesis of the traditions. The aim is to weave together tradition and my thought and experience and to go beyond the traditions.

It goes beyond our secular and transsecular worldviews and paradigms—but is shown consistent with what is valid in them.

The paradigm of the narrative is discovered and demonstrated—it is not merely hypothesized.

It is shown in the narrative that the real and realization are all that satisfy two and only two conceptual constraints—(1) constraints of fact and (2) constraints of logical necessity. It is seen later that the two constraints may be considered one and named Logic.

It is crucial to see (i) the second limit is ultimate freedom rather than a material limit, (ii) it is consistent with and allowed by science, (iii) it may be at odds with projections from science to the universe. The latter include any projections of causality, determinism, finitude and empirical boundary of the cosmos, and law-like behavior to the entire universe.

That is the only limit on conceptions of what is realized in the universe and for beings is that the conceptions satisfy the constraint of Logic, above. It is important if the term ‘logical necessity’ suggests barrenness, its real implication is ultimate fecundity.

The fundamental principle of metaphysics

The idea that the possible is realized has been called the principle of plenitude. The principle was considered by thinkers from Epicurus, to Leibniz, to Kant. However, I believe that I have given the first proof of the principle. The proof depends on careful conception of Being, the universe, the void, and what I call Logic—Logic is the satisfaction of the two constraints noted above.

I have called this principle the fundamental principle of metaphysics.

It includes deductive logic and fact. Owing to limited causal connection between the myriad cosmoses demonstrated to exist, facts are relative to local cosmoses. Therefore the constraint of fact is not severe. The constraint of Logic is not a constraint on Being—it is simply a constraint on what concepts are realized.

That Logic is the only constraint on what is realized is demonstrated. Thus the proof not only shows the principle to be true but it reveals it in its most powerful form. It is from this form that the power of the metaphysics of the narrative and its applications flow.

The proof of the principle is in two steps. First, the void is shown to exist. Then, existence of the void is shown to be equivalent to the principle. Because the principle says that and only that Logic ‘rules’ it is necessarily consistent with what is valid in our traditions and experience. Still, however, I have found it essential to doubt the truth of the principle. Consequently I have given alternative proofs and a number of heuristic arguments. These, together, show the principle as reasonable.

Yet I continue to doubt the fundamental principle of metaphysics. What is an appropriate attitude toward the principle in the face of doubt?

I have taken the attitude that the principle can be regarded as a founding principle for metaphysics—for understanding all Being. This attitude is developed in the essay.

Reason

In this work ‘reason’ will be a container term for the idea of how do something. The think could be to define, derive, and achieve a goal. The goal could be an outcome in the world or a piece of knowledge. Reason includes ‘content’ as well as process. It includes what is valid in the cultural traditions. The concept is elaborated and developed in the text.

Reason is an essential part of or complement to the metaphysics of the essay.

The contents

The prologue to the essay*

The work begins with a Prologue—a way into the main content. The prologue begins with context, origins, and sources. The prologue ends with Canonical dilemmas, whose purpose, as far as it may be possible, is to help found focused and true pictures of the real. The dilemmas could have been placed in the main narrative, but I preferred to keep the latter metaphysically focused.

The main parts of the essay

The formal development with definition and demonstration consists in two parts.

Part I. The Universe—A World View develops a metaphysics and conceptual consequences. The metaphysics is presented as ultimate in its capture of the universe as a whole and in showing the universe to be the greatest consistent realization of possibility.

Part II. The Way develops consequences and templates for living and action.

Epilogue*

The epilogue is a dedication to the future.

Resources*

Resources include significant Issues and resolutions developed in the work; by a resource Appendix ; and a Glossary and index.

Planning*

Some versions of the essay have a final section on Planning the way of being.

The future*

Stories

The long version also has a section on Stories which is under development—“stories are narratives that emphasize heart and mind—to bring the way to life and give it appeal  amid everyday life”.*

Database

This text is initial basis for two databases (1) one dedicated to the way and (2) later, a general purpose database for metaphysics.

Sharing, ideas, and action*

For this work to flourish it must be shared. It is not merely to be read but also to be acted upon, to be absorbed into life.

This is an invitation, not just to read and reflect but also to share and participate.

Reading the narrative

Issues of understanding

The paradigm of the essay goes beyond received secular and transsecular paradigms. The following may be sources of confusion.

1.     Expecting to have the standard paradigms confirmed.

2.     Thinking that the new paradigm is merely hypothesized.

3.     The appearance that the new paradigm is in conflict with the old, including reason and science. In fact there is no inconsistency and what is valid in the received is integrated with the new.

4.     Not anticipating that understanding the new will require reeducation on two fronts (a) formal—i.e. that older terms are given new definitions and (b) intuitive—that paradigms are gestalts and that it will take familiarization to become comfortable with the new and its integration with the old.

5.     The development draws from standard philosophical dilemmas or problems, e.g. of ontology and epistemology, e.g. Descartes’ doubt whether certainty is possible about anything at all.

Suggestions to aid understanding

1.     Knowing that the paradigm of the text is new. The paradigm is that the universe is the realization of Logical possibility. The idea of the paradigm is an old one—the principle of plenitude that goes back at least to Epicurus. However, since the paradigm is demonstrated, its meaning, scope, and consequences are immensely enhanced. For example to think that all niches of Being are occupied refers not only to the known cosmos and known Being but to all possible cosmoses and kinds, subject to Logic. Further, the very meaning of Logic necessarily requires and receives illumination over the standard conception.

2.     As noted the paradigm is demonstrated.

3.     The new paradigm is consistent with the old. In fact this follows from the nature of the paradigm as the realization of Logic—i.e., of Logical possibility.

4.     On the formal front, readers should anticipate and follow the definitions in the text as well as the development of the conceptual system. Regarding accommodation of intuition factors that will help are (a) careful reading, (b) patience while the gestalt is reconfigured, (c) addressing and resolving criticisms (it is understood that the reader may have residual criticisms), and (d) referring to standard meanings and systematic developments for context but avoiding conflation of the new with the old (an example is that the universe is acausal on the standard interpretation of ‘cause’ from modern science; however, if Logic is regarded as cause the universe is profoundly causal and this is a trivial consequence in the new metaphysical system.

5.     Understanding will be greatly enhanced by acquaintance with standard philosophical dilemmas—. An in-process document, canonical dilemmas.html may be useful in this regard. The document develops and discusses an entire system of issues designed to build up a robust and coherent picture of the world.

Dedication

This work is dedicated to those who would follow The Way of Being.

It is dedicated to discovery and realization of the universe and its ultimates revealed in the essay.

PROLOGUE*

The prologue is about the way and its roots. It is informal—full definition and proof are deferred.

The discussion that follows includes personal and general motivation for development and content of the way.

Context in human endeavor

The human endeavor

It is in human nature to conceive and build toward future realization while living in the present.

An aim of human being and the way is to find balance in this endeavor.

Limits to knowledge and realization

To understand the endeavor it is critical to enquire into practical and absolute limits to knowledge and realization.

Two limits can be identified: fact—an inner limit that constrains realization, and possibility—an outer limit to what may be known or realized. It is efficient to begin with the most lenient inner and outer limits; these are necessary fact and necessary or deductive logic respectively.

Note—here ‘necessary fact’ is that which we know with certainty to be true. Generally, such knowledge is thought to be empirical (analytic truth is not regarded to be of the world but rather the result of requirements on concepts or propositions such that they can be about the world). However, it is at least conceivable that some synthetic truths must be necessary—e.g. a resolution of the problem of something from nothing would consist in showing that there must be ‘something’ (at least occasionally); and in fact this is done in Metaphysics. Now, GW Leibniz had a further position on necessary facts—he held that all true facts are necessary because once they obtain it could not be that they did not (he may have also ordained that the future was given even if not known).

Note also—any fact must be logically possible while necessary facts are logically necessary as the logical consequent of either an empirical fact or ‘nothing’, i.e. the null fact.

Facts or inner limits

Are there any necessary facts? Here is one. The existence of experience (the word used here for consciousness or subjective awareness) can be doubted as illusion but doubt and illusion are experience. This is a necessary fact in that experience is given even if the experience of experience is an illusion (we can conceive of and will later see other necessary facts that require no datum at all). Therefore there are both experience and Being (existence). Another kind of necessary fact: the value of a measured quantity may be doubted to at a high degree of precision but we would not doubt it at a lower degree of precision.

Logic or outer limits

How is logic limiting? Deductive logic is truth preserving inference. Given a concept or description—a set of facts—of what obtains, logic requires that no inference from any subset of those facts can violate any one of them. In this view logic is seen as structurally necessary rather than inferential (but the two views are equivalent). Thus logic is limiting because a violation of logic cannot obtain in any world. On the other hand it is most permissive—any other kind of possibility is a constraint over and above logical possibility. Logical possibility is even richer than might be thought from traditional logics, e.g. propositional and predicate logic. This is because those logics pertain to certain forms of propositions: propositional logic pertains to propositions without regard to their structure; predicate logic pertains to propositions of the subject-predicate form, allowing the quantifiers ‘none’, ‘some’ and ‘all’. Further richness may arise in that other forms of proposition may arise (this is not a reference to deviant or modal logics which respectively concern other notions of truth or properties of propositions over and above truth alone).

Argument or Logic

This combination of (necessary) fact and logic is often called ‘argument’; here we also call it Logic (capitalized).

Argument or Logic is the only absolute constraint for realism: if a description satisfies Logic it may obtain in some world; if it does not, it may not obtain in any world. Furthermore, it is the weakest constraint for realism: if it is satisfied, but the natural laws of a cosmos are not, the description cannot obtain in that cosmos.

The universe as Logic

A more complete title is The universe as Logic—that is, what is allowed by Logic or as the object of Logic.

In the main text it is shown realizations of the universe and beings are whatever is allowed by Logic. This is named the fundamental principle of metaphysics or fundamental principle (FP). The resultant metaphysics is identical to Logic.

Realism of universe as Logic

A more complete title is The self, intrinsic, or inner consistency and realism of the universe as Logic, and its consistency and mesh with science and common experience.

That is, the limits of traditional paradigms, including science and common experience, are limitlessly exceeded. But, since Logic is built into FP, there is no contradiction of science or experience. That is, our scientific picture has truth within the boundaries of observation—i.e. what is too remote, too large or too small, too strongly or weakly bound, to see with current instruments—and what obtains beyond those boundaries is limitless, e.g. limitless arrays of cosmoses and physical law, communicating strongly and weakly with one another and the void (absence of Being); their interaction with our cosmos would be weak—thus defining our cosmos as a nearly independent epoch—or strong but disguised. But this limitlessness is not only quantitative; it is also qualitative—in terms of kind and variety of Being and identity. Particularly, the universe has identity which is limitless and which connects with our cosmos and identity over eternity. Further, cosmoses, individuals, and identities combine, peak, and dissolve without limit to variety, magnitude of peaking, and repetition. Whatever God may mean, we are part of it if it has meaning at all. But FP implies that there is a meaning of ‘God’ as beings higher than but also inclusive of our being.

A perfect metaphysics

The metaphysics above shows ultimate realization; which is perfectly known. Imagination and the hypothetical side of science build a picture of kind and variety of realization. Science and technology—their local material and psychological forms—are then instruments of realization. So the local sciences of the cosmoses and the metaphysics mesh in what is called a perfect metaphysics. The realization does not require perfection of science; that is the instruments of realization may and ought to be regarded as perfect in their pragmatism (ultimate precision is not to be had but the pragmatic would have its perfection even if there were ultimate precision; and note that this modifies understanding of any need for greater and greater precision but does not altogether remove it). They—the instruments—are perfect relative to an aim of ultimate realization. As a whole the perfect metaphysics has a perfect dual epistemology.

Realization of the ultimate

Ultimate realization of universe and Being are found limitless. Realization is communication-transaction among limited and limitless understanding and worlds.

It is clear that realization requires ideas (reason and knowledge). In our modern world we tend in science and religion to think that ideas with only limited material application are sufficient; this is because we picture ourselves as only human; and we therefore conclude that action is play within that framework. Consequently, ideas and action are both necessary but the common understanding of them suffer from disjointedness. We now see that they are essentially one; they are not entirely distinct for experiencing is a kind of action but is incomplete without action; and without experience there is no action (it would be inert process).

Origins of the work

My endeavor

The origins of this work lie in my endeavor to understand what can, may, and will be realized. More precisely, I began with a fire for knowledge and understanding but came to realize that they are ultimately empty without action and realization (and of course learning in the process).

Inspiration in ideas and nature

I began with science, art, and wonder as paradigm and inspiration. I experimented with evolutionary, materialist, process, relational, idealist (including mind as spirit), empiricist, and rationalist paradigms. I read widely in science, and philosophy and religion—western and eastern—and incorporated what I found significant in my thought. Travel, especially in nature, has been inspiration in ideas and more—in it I have found sources of the real.

Realization must complement ideas

I came to feel that intellect and feeling and even meditation alone were not enough; even if I knew ‘everything’ I would still be a limited being.

Without realization, ideas and intellect would be empty.

However, modern attitudes toward ideas emphasizes secular and instrumental realization.

I felt that realization of individual being is essential. However, the approach of religion is generally dogmatic and limited or unsubstantiated.

I decided to seek possibilities of realization.

From materialism to Being

I concluded intuitively, over 1997-1999, that if the void could be shown equivalent to the universe, that might be key to understanding the real and its ways of realization. I felt that this might show the ultimate in realization suggested by metaphysical speculation, roughly along the ideas of Hegel and Vedanta.

A critical aspect of this development was to move away from the paradigms—evolutionary and so on (above). I saw materialism, for example, not so much as invalid, but as ill defined. For what is matter? If it is the sensible, clearly we do not sense ‘everything’; similarly, our latest science is, even from its own history and method, most likely incomplete. At the end of physics, matter may be found identical to mind. But there is a more general concern. To see the entire universe in terms of a special aspect is likely to be limiting and distorting; and we certainly cannot guarantee that it will not be. Therefore, I realized in increments, that to avoid all the potential and actual distortions, I ought to jettison the distinctions. How can that be done? Instead on focus on aspects of the world, by focusing on no special aspect or kind—i.e. to focus simply and only on what is there—i.e. on what exists. Now ‘Being’ has many uses but this is one of them and this is what I mean by Being. Being suppresses all the distinctions implied above. In some uses, Being is contrasted to becoming; in this work Being encompasses becoming; it is not in time or space but so far as occasions of spacetime exist, they are immanent in Being. I was so used to thinking in terms of the foundation of things, e.g. as matter, that it was difficult to think in these seemingly non-foundational terms. But once I understood and became used to it, it was immensely empowering (there are of course subtleties that I continue to discover). Thus my thought transitioned from paradigm to Being. But a criticism of the concept of existence or Being has been that it is too universal to be of use; that since it is true of everything, that it is not even a property—not even a concept—that as a predicate it says nothing. But the power of the concept that emerged included that Being allowed concrete and abstract distinctions and details to emerge without the prejudice of the ‘isms’ and informed universally only by Logic and locally by science and art. The move to Being (with the perfect metaphysics) requires that causation and mechanism are not universal but that they must be found in local pockets.

A robust notion of meaning

A more complete title is The necessity, adequacy, and importance of a robust notion of referential concept and linguistic meaning.

As I thought about what the various concepts should mean for breadth and consistency, I saw that the meanings of linguistic and conceptual meaning are crucial. There are criticisms of the concept of meaning—whether there is meaning at all, that there are so many notions of meaning as to make inquiry into meaning meaningless, that analysis of meaning cannot reveal knowledge. I wondered about and came to realizations about the meaning of meaning. Words by themselves do not have meaning. If someone whispers ‘sher’ in the jungle, a person who understood only English would not feel fear. Yet if the whisper was ‘tiger’ there would be fear—even though ‘sher’ translates from Hindi to ‘tiger’ in English. The reason is that the word ‘tiger’ is associated with a mental picture or concept in the minds of English speakers. Words as signs do not have meaning; a minimum for meaning to occur is a word-concept (or word as sign-concept). But a mere image of a tiger would not evince fear unless one knew about real tigers. Therefore what constitutes meaning is the word-concept-object (and starting from here one can talk about meaning, use, that meanings of words and other linguistic constructs do not occur in isolation but in mutual dependence—and hence the crucial need of system and ubiquity of at least informal system, families of meaning, indefiniteness of meaning despite apparent definiteness, need for definiteness in systematic treatments so as to avoid absence of meaning, the fact of and need for fluidity of meaning at the edge of experience and knowledge (and that the edge is connected to the core), sentence meaning embedded in sentence structure, the adequacy vs inadequacy of standard grammatical sentence other compound forms, the varieties of grammar—descriptive – prescriptive – logical – metaphysical – psychological – and special purpose, and so on). Particularly, and impressively, the notion of meaning just noted, resolves the problem of negative existentials with consummate ease. It is not things that exist or do not exist. Something exists as the object of a concept (for otherwise there is no ‘thing’ and the illusion of things without concepts arises because the association of word and object typically occurs subliminally). ‘Something’ does not exist when the word-concept has no object. This concept of meaning was crucial in seeing that Being did not require a substance foundation; that all that is necessary to assert Being is to see that to say ‘it is’ is valid (here ‘is’ is used neutrally, especially with regard to time).

Uses of meaning

Care with meaning, on the present concept of meaning, is pivotal to straightforward resolution of many paradoxes; and it generally leads to significant clarification in analytic and synthetic thought.

This notion of meaning resolves issues stated above. Is there meaning or is it just an abstraction without an object? In terms of the present notion, it is not abstract and the object is quite definite. The issue of ‘too many notions of meaning’ is resolved by noting that the present conception is sufficient to its purpose here—i.e. referential meaning, and that other notions where they concern more general meaning may be relevant but for referential meaning are inadequately conceived. Regarding knowledge from analysis of meaning, it is clear that mere analysis cannot reveal new knowledge even if it can be clarifying. But clarification is important. And noting that the present concept is simple-or-compound sign-concept-object, the concern with meaning is not just that of analysis but also of synthesis. That is, while we can separate meaning from knowing it static contexts (the social context is relatively static over, say, the life of an individual), the separation leads to inadequacy of both knowledge and meaning in changing and dynamic contexts. That is, since the object is part of meaning, analysis must be complemented by synthesis of meaning.

Metaphysics and meaning

A full title is Metaphysics and meaning—from the piecemeal to natural system. Note that ‘natural’ is not a reference to nature but to naturally arising rather than forced system.

This ties into a theme that philosophy and metaphysics require more than piecemeal analysis. When an entire range of concepts are co-analyzed the result is far more than the ‘sum’ of the meanings; and it is not a mere collection but may yield a gestalt and paradigm.

With metaphysics as the most general if abstract of all knowledge, meaning and metaphysics can be definite only when conjoined; and the definiteness can, as we have seen, extend to the maximal or perfect metaphysics (keeping in mind that the metaphysics extends down only to some concrete detail).

For metaphysics, there is a time for imagination; and there is a time to build a system so that something definite is being said and can be compared against reality; and so that one can build again if the system compares poorly or is found limited. For this purpose, the word-concept-object concept of meaning is sufficient (supplemented of course by meaning in sentence structure of propositions and higher forms). The role for informal development and imagination is not eliminated and is efficient when employed in the periods between system. In this regard recall that the perfect metaphysics is ultimate in depth (foundation, for it encompasses all and requires no further foundation) and ultimate in breadth (at least as a framework). That is, the perfect metaphysics gives form to the idea of a formless universe (where ‘universe’ means all Being over all extents of all kinds); but within that form allows formlessness, form, and formation; and the endless play of sub-system, science, variety, and peaking. Here, there is further room for critical imagination.

Meaning and logic

Just as meaning is significant to metaphysics, it is also significant to logic. What is truth? And what is the validity of the standard logics in which truth is two-valued (true and false)? And the significance of modal logics in which truth is not the only property of propositions that is of interest? Meaning is important here. The standard logics are those for non modal forms for which truth is bi-valued; and if our standard logics are the propositional and the predicate, should there be more so as to cover the description of the real? That can be seen as an issue of meaning. Can affect somehow be included in argument? Of course it can as a fact, e.g. a proposition about an emotional state, but can it be part of the Logic and not just the value of a logical variable? This too is an issue of meaning.

Logic as maximal metaphysics

A full title is Logic as maximal metaphysics—i.e. as minimal limit on concepts for realism and maximal permissiveness regarding the actuality of the world.

Here is another elementary reflection. Is logic truly limiting? We can now see how logic is not a limit on the world but a limit on concepts for them to be realizable. Thus even omnipotence cannot violate logical constraint—for violation of the concept is easy to imagine (e.g. a square circle) but unrealizable because a violation of logic defines a null object. That is, whereas sciences are limiting (only certain patterns obtain) logic demarcates absolutely unrealistic thought from possibly realizable thought (and the perfect metaphysics implies that the latter must ‘exist’). But now with this insight we can criticize even this meaning of ‘logic’: logic begins with truth preservation from one proposition to another. However, the form of the proposition is an assumed form of the world (e.g. true or false: one or the other and nothing else, and the subject-predicate form). Do such forms necessarily obtain? Or are they merely pragmatic? I do not know the answer but can suggest that they are pragmatic in the concrete but necessary in sufficient abstraction from the world. The discovery of Logic is an ongoing endeavor.

Meaning and empowerment of philosophic system

A more complete title is Analysis and synthesis empower as empowering a philosophical system of the world.

From such developments I saw that philosophy becomes immensely powerful when developed as a system of interacting concepts. One develops an idea; this leads to another; and another; one comes full circle; there are sub circles or cycles; one goes through this again, analyzing better with hindsight, elaborating on the cycles in some conceptual areas, retracting in others, and improving articulation as connection falls into place; in the end the world is immensely better know than in the beginning. Piecemeal philosophy is useful in this process; the micro analysis of concepts is important to the global process. But what the development shows is that it is a critical error to think that philosophy must be only piecemeal.

These thoughts arose in my search

A more complete title is These reflections arose in my search for understanding, realization, and their limits for the individual and the world.

These reflections on meaning, philosophy, and metaphysics are not just general reflections but they arose out of and in turn informed the metaphysical and other aspects of the development recounted here. We have just been discussing examples of this process.

Cartesian doubt

But now think of the Cartesian argument that there is Being. It begins with doubt as to Being and experience. But the doubt is experience; therefore there are Being and experience.

Canonical dilemmas

There is a whole range of canonical dilemmas of which the Cartesian dilemma is perhaps the most fundamental. Here are some others. Is there an object of experience? This is the solipsist’s dilemma; we already have a primitive answer: we are aware of experience because there is experience of experience so here is an object. But, beyond that is there a real (external) world? Are there other minds? Is the system of world and minds just so; or is it a field in which individuals are concentrations; does the field have a material substrate; what is that material substrate—a substance or a neutral part of the form of experience; and are these distinctions exclusive; and if not exclusive is the more general field interpretation the truth while the more particular individual – world interpretation an approximation that is useful for a limited if important range of circumstances? Here are further dilemmas. Is there free will and what is it? Why is there Being, experience, and free will? Something, rather than nothing? Must these obtain? Can there be experience (consciousness) without free will? Does physics (or determinism and causality) speak to free will (and evolution) or the latter to the former? Is there a resolution to dilemmas such as “Russell’s teapot”, the existence of higher consciousness, the possibility that the world was created five minutes ago and might end six seconds from now?

The dilemmas as ultimate empowerment

A more complete title is How the canonical dilemmas contribute to an ultimate systematic empowerment for ideas and realization.

My answer to these questions is that (1) when the dilemmas are considered in isolation some resolution is possible but much doubt remains, (2) when considered together philosophically much of the doubt can be eliminated and while doubt remains what emerges is a far more powerful picture than our doubt oriented secular world views, (3) the abstract metaphysics further amplifies and extends this process, showing a greater—the greatest—universe but not eliminating all doubt, and (4) the perfect metaphysics which is the abstract in mesh with pragmatic knowledge, e.g. the sciences, does not remove all logical alternatives shown by doubt but gives a realistic interpretation of many of them. The Cartesian resolution of the question of Being and experience is beyond doubt. But what of the individual-world vs field interpretations of the range of experience? The metaphysics shows that the field interpretation is real while the other is a useful and real-istic interpretation. What of the possibility that the world began five minutes ago? That the Biblical story, if its internal contradictions are cleaned up, must obtain? When the metaphysics is supplemented by the creative variation and selection or adaptive systems paradigm that we learned from evolutionary biology, the following resolution arises. Yes, the ‘bizarre’ realities must obtain. Yet they must be so fragile and infrequent as to, at least in some sense, not have pragmatic relevance. Of course we may have come into existence five minutes ago; of course we may go out of existence just as we glimpse meaning; of course there may be a cosmos with the Abrahamic God; but these are so infrequent and unstable as to be generally irrelevant and discountable (but note that we allow that the irrelevance is general but not absolute). We cannot do better than to think that our pragmatic reality has significant (but not absolute) purchase and live accordingly. Here ‘accordingly’ of course includes awareness and living toward the (stable) ultimate revealed in the metaphysics.

The unstable realities do not transcend that ultimate.

Final empowerment—demonstration

In 2002, equivalence of the void and the real was shown. This constituted the foundation of a (the) perfect metaphysics of ultimate realization.

This opened a flood of ideas and reason—demonstration gives confidence and shows how to build.

In the period since 2002, I came to understand the meaning of the above equivalence and to develop and act upon conclusions for the real and realization. This development is among the contents of this text, especially Part I.

Historical sources of the ideas

Sources and their significance

Realization, local and ultimate, is a theme of human history.

This development would not have taken place without sources in the literature. Since my debt is more of a general than a particular or scholarly way, it is near impossible to give detailed sources and altogether impossible to do so completely. I have read far too much without taking notes and without particular intent to be able to detail my sources.

However, I can list my main sources.

Sources of sources

Comment.      And tertiary literature—i.e. the literature on primary and secondary sources and sources of sources.

For general information on the historical sources, see the section General resources in the Appendices.

Canonical dilemmas

Introduction

If we criticize standard formal and informal pictures of the real, we find that alternative explanations or interpretations are possible. The dilemmas here are mainly philosophical in nature.

However, since I do not wish to make the restriction, I have not titled the section Canonical philosophical dilemmas. I could, alternatively, insisted on a conception of philosophy that takes into account its continuity with other disciples, a controversial issue today, which would amount to another illuminating dilemma.

The purpose to the dilemmas is, as far as it may be possible, is to found focused and true pictures of the real by critical and imaginative consideration of alternative interpretations.

The dilemmas could be placed in the main narrative but I preferred to have the latter focused on the way.

To the extent that the dilemmas have and do not have resolution, reality is better understood. When resolution is achieved, one or more erroneous views and the reasons for the errors may be identified. When perfect resolution is not achieved, the illumination is that each of the alternative interpretations have regions of viability.

This use of dilemmas is essentially methodological skepticism.

While the dilemmas are individually illuminating, their mutual power is more than additive for (i) we see commonalities of error and resolution and (ii) the entire system of dilemmas reveal true and powerful pictures of the real.

I call the system canonical because they are selected to cover the range of Being in the universe without excessive overlap.

The dilemmas

Comment.      canonical dilemmas.html. Incorporate more material on (i) arriving at the dilemmas and (ii) abstraction and meaning.

PART I. THE UNIVERSE—A WORLD VIEW

In this essay the universe will be defined as all Being over all sameness and difference, e.g. spacetime, and their absence. This is the most inclusive real definition of the universe.

Some writers insist on a less inclusive, substance oriented concept of ‘universe’. However, together with the definition of Being given below, the most inclusive definition above makes for clarity and conclusions that are obscured without it. The conclusions are of the greatest importance to development of the ultimate metaphysics of the text.

The less inclusive definitions are not ‘wrong’ but insisting on them alone, leads to limited and often confused thinking. What is essential is to distinguish the conceptions; the word of course is not so important. In this text the term for all Being shall be the universe.

Definitions

Comment.      Also in the portable version.

A definition is a sign and associated concept that specifies the object to which the sign-concept—or simply, the concept—refers.

The term ‘is’ associated with the defined term is to be read ‘is defined as’.

Comment.      This definition of ‘definition’ will be repeated later in A preliminary to reason, after the idea of a ‘concept’ has been clarified.

The concept may be expressed discursively in terms of other concepts or in terms of an object or objects known in perception (and thus percepts fall under concepts).

Being and experience

Being

To exist is to be validly described by the verb to be.

More formally, to exist is to be validly described—predicated—by some form of the verb to be.

Informally, The sun exists may be written The sun is.

Thus existence is neutral to past, present, and future—to tense; and more generally neutral to all sameness and difference and their absence (e.g. spacetime and its absence); the region of the existent with regard to sameness and difference has no necessary connection—or not—to the concepts of ‘here’ or ‘now’; and the region need not be connected or simple. It is implicit that existence is neutral to the kinds of entity vs process vs relation; and to number, quantity, quality; and sub-kinds and sub-qualities.

A being is that which exists—in the most neutral sense of ‘to exist’.

The plural of a being is beings.

In a generic sense of ‘is’, we may say that a being is.

While the above may seem circular, it is not—for it is in essence an ostensive identification rather than a discursive definition.

In contrast, Being (capitalized) is the quality common to beings.

Being is existence.

Becoming is coming into existence (and associated with change in so far as the character of the existent changes in some essential way). In its present sense, Becoming is a distinction within Being—i.e., Being is neutral to any distinction of being versus becoming. However, in other uses Being is contrasted Becoming. Where confusion would not occur ‘Being’ may be used informally in a sense that is distinct from that of becoming.

And though Being is not a being, with sufficient abstraction the distinction between Being and beings is null. This neutrality contributes to the ontological power of the concept of Being. It is of course essential to consider the distinctions which will be done later, especially in the section Kinds of Being.

From the discussion regarding beings, Being is also neutral to particular kinds of Being or Being with a special status such as that which can enquire into the nature of Being. Such issues are discussed in the section Kinds of Being.

From this neutrality, this concept of Being has been regarded as trivial. It is trivial—yet the triviality is a source of the depth of the concept. Since unadorned with qualities, Being captures all. Yet its neutrality allows distinctions to emerge rather than being prejudiced even before development has begun.

In some meanings of Being, it is identified with special kinds noted above. These other meanings of Being are not used here; rather they fall under the present use. However, where confusion will not arise, ‘Being’ may do double duty in its inclusive sense and in its contrast to the special senses, particularly the contrast to becoming. In this text, these other senses, significant and trivial, fall under Kinds of Being. Some kinds are considered in Metaphysics and Cosmology.

Power is interaction—e.g. cause and effect, or affecting and being affected, and any ability thereof.

Power is the measure of Being.

That is, the measure of Being is not a kind or substance. The measure of Being is not something other than Being.

Thus Being is the measure of Being. The measure of Being is not something else. This avoids both prejudice and foundational regress.

Sources of for this conceptual power are (i) abstraction, e.g. at the level of experience as experience (below) or Being as Being (what is there) and (ii) eschewing exclusively discursive definition, e.g. ostensive definition of experience in its own terms.

At the present level of abstraction, Being and beings have no further distinctions—e.g. with regard to substance or kind.

Being does not make substance distinctions, e.g. of mind versus matter, or dualism versus monism, or non substance foundation (or whether the latter must involve infinite regress).

Being does not make distinctions of kind such as entity vs relation or interaction or power, process or change, place, quality or property and even trope, quantity, and sub-kinds.

From the very general sense of Being, a being (beings) also has a general sense that allows entities, processes, relations, qualities, and even tropes as beings.

The discriminatory ability of Being within its neutrality renders Being an ultimately powerful concept.

The hypothetical or conceived being that has no power does not exist.

A nonexistent being is defined by concept whose object is contingently or necessarily null.

The term nonbeing or potential being may be applied to a being in a phase of nonexistence. Nonbeing and potential being have Being.

A necessarily nonexistent being is one that cannot exist, e.g. due to a contradiction in its conception. An example is a square circle. Such a being could not exist in any world.

A contingently nonexistent being is one that could exist—could have a non null object—but that does not exist, e.g. a fictional being. A fictional being that did not follow our physics could exist in a world with another physics provided it is not necessarily nonexistent.

The concept of Being is a vehicle for action, growth, and transformation.

Experience

Experience is and names the given that is subjective awareness or consciousness.

The sense of experience as used here is not just experience of something else but includes experience of experience as well as recollection. It includes receptive experience, experience without an object, and active experience.

This given is abstract at a level that is sufficient to perfect knowledge of the fact of experience. It also follows that there is Being.

Experience is relation or interaction—a form of power—whose forms include receptive experience, contemplative experience (or pure experience; which is inner relation) and motive experience (which includes active experience).

Is there experience? This may be doubted. However, there is experience for ‘experience’ is the name of our subjective awareness—which must exist since even the illusion of awareness is awareness.

Therefore, that there is Being—at least as experience—is given in and follows from the givenness of experience. Can we say more—e.g., that there is a world? Yes, for there is at least the world of experience. Can we say still more, e.g. that there is the experienced? Again, yes, for experience is experienced? But can we now say that there is a world and so on?

Doubt is essential to secure knowledge. Perhaps we begin with naïve knowledge claims. Doubt leads to criticism that, via imagination, may lead to improved claims. Doubt is not of a claim alone but also of certainty. Thus we may arrive at a map of knowledge in which we recognize a range from certainty to probability to possibility to absence of claims.

Experience is of the world—the experienced, which includes an experiencer or self and experience itself.

World, experiencer (and agency and free will), self, experienced—and other minds—may all be doubted. Their demonstration would be instructive in showing that their existence is not only one of proof but also and essentially one of meaning. Demonstration would also yield insight into the nature of ontological proof; and showing where distinction between materialisms, idealisms, and neutral ontologies are issues of meaning (vs issues of the nature of the world as world).

Metaphysical solipsism yields the following dilemma—(a) the solipsism itself—the claim is not that it is true but that it is indistinguishable from realism, (b) realism—i.e. whether there is a real or external world and if so what its nature is. Is solipsism truly indistinguishable from realism? What really makes solipsism paradoxical is the unstated but tacit thought that the experience it refers to is the individual’s experience. This experience is then supposed to be the foundation of the entire world of experience—which is as if of experience, experiencer or self, experienced world with other minds. Surely the individual’s experience has not the power to generate all that? Is that an issue? Perhaps not for perhaps the thought that there is an ‘all that’ to be generated is an is and illusion. If we make the metaphysical posit that the world includes but is not reducible to the individual’s experience then metaphysical solipsism is not paradoxical. It is at best a renaming, an alternative interpretation of realism (for it changes nothing, not even the sense of robustness of the world and its absence where they obtain).

In this version of the essay, careful demonstration of the foregoing is omitted. It may be found in the Appendix for General resources.

So what are the possibilities for realism?

The general one is that the world is a field of experience; minds are heightened centers of experience; and the world itself is pan-experiential—it is Mind or The Mind. This general interpretation allows but emphatically does not require (a) that the form of the minds are bodies (with or without further non-experiential form or extended bodies); that the minds are part of Mind; and that Mind itself has a history which may be generically and generally described as an alternation between diffuse (and perhaps empty) and manifest states; and that the manifest states achieve high realizations without limit and variety.

This general interpretation could be regarded either as an idealism (a sort of substance ontology) or a neutral ontology with no posit of ‘substance’ beyond experience itself but which allows reinterpretation in terms of Being (as a field of experience).

A particular one is one in which the body of the universe is not experiential as a whole. Rather it is populated by experiential centers (perhaps without but probably usually with extended bodies). These experiential centers are persons. Persons are born, live, and die. Their ‘significant meaning’ is an eternal puzzle that may lead to nihilism or its resolution in existentialism. This interpretation is not distinct from the general one but a particular case of it in which the magnitude of the experiential field outside living beings is zero. But why zero? Because our perceptions of the nature of the world are imprecise and because the sciences of nature are neutral in this regard would it not be more precise to say that the value of the general experiential field appears to be negligible (for immediate-pragmatic purposes)? Note that the ‘zero’ interpretation is a relatively ordinary materialism while the non-zero interpretation opens ontology up to the general one above.

Experience is the place of our Being.

The hypothetical object that has no effect on—does not register in—experience is effectively nonexistent.

Without experience we would be effectively non existent.

Significant meaning is that which answers to existential concerns.

Experience is the place of significant meaning.

Significance of these concepts

Being is precisely as conceived because it is defined with sufficient abstraction. This precision is inherited by a being-as-a-being.

Being is most general and neutral. Instead, as in materialism for example, of committing to substance in advance, it commits to no substance. But the approach from Being allows substance. That is, rather than committing to or against substance Being is neutral in that regard.

Thus Being avoids the prejudice of over commitment and premature commitment; and of under commitment or not committing when commitment is indicated.

As it is used here, ‘Being’ renders ontology algebraic.

Meaning*

Comment.      When a section is not in the portable version, its content may be placed elsewhere, usually in abbreviated form. Thus, in the portable version, meaning is discussed in the first of its two section on reason.

Concept and significant meaning

Meaning is crucial to understanding Being. It has to do with relations between experiencer and experienced mediated by experience.

Meaning has two weakly related aspects—significant and linguistic meaning. Significant meaning is largely holistic and integrates emotion and cognition. Linguistic meaning tends to the atomic; it refers to the holistic via forms built of the atomic; and it integrates emotion by referring to it as an object; it is not initially poetic but may employ poetry over and above the atomic literalism. This section is about referential concept and linguistic meaning.

General and referential concept meaning

General meaning is not explicitly referential.

In this text, it is sufficient in the case of concept meaning to focus on referential meaning—i.e. on concepts that refer to objects.

This is because while general meaning is not unimportant to the world that the metaphysics of the way refers to but referential meaning is sufficient to the metaphysics. And that is because the metaphysics is and may be developed as a system of propositions or assertions.

Referential concept meaning*

The focus on referential meaning

Comment.      Eliminate repetition among this and previous sections.

This section is about referential concept meaning and the special case of referential linguistic meaning (though concept and linguistic meaning are broader, the restriction to referential meaning suffices for the metaphysics developed here; referential meaning may of course be used to talk about the broader case).

Another use of the term ‘meaning’ is significant meaning, e.g. as in ‘the meaning of life’. Discussion begins with a consideration of both kinds of meaning as they are weakly related in that significant meaning has some referential character.

Concept meaning

Concept meaning is constituted of a concept and its referential object(s).

Linguistic meaning

Linguistic meaning is not another kind; it falls under concept meaning.

A symbol is a sign-concept. A linguistic meaning is a symbol-object; linguistic meaning is a system of symbol-objects.

An object is a being. A concept is any mental content; thus a concept is an object.

This is distinguished from another use in which a concept is, roughly, a ‘unit of meaning or understanding’.

Concept meaning is an association of a concept with an object.

As a mental content, a concept itself is an object. Therefore concept meaning is an association of objects—the one being a mental content the other being in the world (which includes mental contents, i.e. concepts). That is, meaning is about relations in the one world and has nothing to do with other worlds of ideas or mental objects.

A sign is an object that denotes a concept-object. If the structure of the sign contributes to the denotation it is a compound sign (which includes the iconic sign); otherwise it is a simple sign. The combined sign-concept is a symbol.

If there is a perfect system of atomic signs, compound signs may perfectly depict compound objects. This development does not subscribe to perfect atomism in meaning because there seems to be no clear rational for the existence of atomic objects underlying all objects. However, some objects are atomic in the abstract. Examples are Being, beings as beings (from which structure and specificity do not survive abstraction to being as being), the universe, and the void.

A linguistic meaning is a symbol-object. Linguistic meaning is a system of linguistic meanings.

Concept and linguistic system or structure

Where meanings are distinct, the concepts are distinct even if the signs are the same.

The meanings of terms in this document are not to be conflated with meanings in other formal or informal use; to do so would lead to misunderstanding and confusion.

It is worth repeating that definitions are bold. An ‘is’ after a defined term means ‘is defined as’.

Fundamental terms for an axiomatic system are undefined. The system of terms and axioms must be consistent. Significant application is necessary except for toy systems used to prove or illustrate a point; and to show completeness is desirable where it obtains. In mathematics, where we want certainty, axiomatic systems are essential as promoting investigating certainty and demonstrating it where possible. In science, the terms and axioms typically correspond to elements and laws, respectively; and the application is typically hypothetical. In metaphysics at a sufficiently abstract level, the terms and axioms typically correspond to fundamental named givens and necessary relations; and the typical case the application is real. Of course, metaphysics and science may merge; then, the real and the hypothetical must be distinguishable and distinguished, else the application is hypothetical. Axiomatic treatment of metaphysics helps enable analysis of certainty. It does not rule out creativity, which works in deriving conclusions, and in coming up with new systems.

Experience as the place of concept meaning

Comment.      Experience includes experience of the world.

Significance of these concepts

Comment.      I.e. of referential concept and linguistic meaning as defined above.

A continuum of abstraction*

Introduction

Why is Being precisely as conceived while we think a theory of physical particles as pragmatic? It is because Being is defined with sufficient abstraction that the concept corresponds perfectly to its object.

Generally, referential concepts lie on a continuum of abstraction. With sufficient abstraction a concept may be perfect in the correspondence sense. The kinds (real, null) and range of reference are (a) real: perfect – conditional precision – pragmatic – rough – inadequate including erroneous, and (b) null: necessary – contingent.

This notion of abstraction is different from the related notion of abstract vs. concrete objects.

The continuum

1.     From concept meaning, what we think of as an object is a concept-object pair.

2.     All concept-objects have abstraction, even the concrete. Per se, greater abstraction is not distortion but defines different objects.

3.     All concept-objects reside in the one world (with sufficient abstraction, time, space, and cause do not pertain).

4.     A sufficiently detailed concept would identify a concrete object: define the concept, and then locate the object. But how would an abstract concept identify an object? One way analogous to the concrete case—define the concept, e.g. as for Being—making sure the definition is sufficiently abstract.

Another way is conceptual or symbolic definition of an object. That is, the concept is the object. Interest here is in the prosaic rather than figurative. Examples come from mathematical systems, e.g. number. Let us consider number. Acquaintance begins empirically. However, we do not know how well the empirical conception behaves, e.g. can we rely on arithmetic operations defined empirically; we do not know how far it extends: does it extend to infinite or just very large numbers?

So we define a natural number system axiomatically. We can think of the axiomatic system itself as the system of numbers; or we could think of symbolic realizations—a system of signs with rules, or another system: a model. In these cases use would be but intellectual and perhaps aesthetic. However, the potential for truth in the real is that the axiomatic has abstracted from correspondence to real collections. Now we may develop the theory; may verify consistency as best we can. Application is not guaranteed to be perfect but that is an empirical question. Meanwhile the axiomatic concept or system corresponds to some abstract from real collections.

Note that from the theory of meaning of this text, a system of signs and rules of operation, if defined conceptually in terms of images—aided by marks on paper andor computer—are in fact real and in the one real world.

5.     There is a relation between the perfect abstract and the pragmatic—it is one of a template fitting a form. This relation when developed for Being and couched in terms and result of the perfect metaphysics developed later in the text—i.e. universe as realization of Logical possibility—is one of ultimate power. In the case of an abstractly defined system, e.g. the natural numbers, the system, provided consistent, must have realization in the world.

6.     This discussion illuminates recent thought on abstract vs. concrete objects. An abstract object—at least in the literal cases—corresponds to what is here called sufficient abstraction for perfect correspondence. We will allow the term ‘abstract’ to do double duty when referring in passing to the relatively recent thought on abstract objects and related notions from earlier thought. The abstract objects are illuminated as having sufficient abstraction such that, e.g., (i) spatiality, temporality, andor causality may fail to pertain—partially or even fully, (ii) rather than referring to a single object the appropriate reference may be to commonalities among classes of symbolic or real object (the commonalities may be thought of as single objects).

Significant meaning*

What is significant meaning?

Significant meaning is that which answers to existential concerns.

Experience as the place of significant meaning

Comment.      Experience includes experience of the world.

Experience is the Place of Being; it is especially the place of our being—of being human.

So experience is the place of significant meaning

The place of meaning*

Experience is the place of meaning—significant and linguistic.

The universe

Whole, part, and null part

A whole is an entire object; a proper part is some but not the whole; a part is either a proper part or not the whole.

A null part is the part without existing content.

There is at most one null part.

It is not a contradiction to regard the null part as existing.

We will later demonstrate that the null part exists (the null part is the void and it is shown that the void exists).

The concept of the universe

The universe is all Being or all beings.

A more complete definition is that the universe is all Being over all sameness, difference, and their absence.

This is similar to the definition given by Eriugena of the universe as everything that does exist over all time and space as well as everything that does not exist.

A being is a part of the universe.

The universe is a being (in the sense that the whole can regarded as a part)

There is precisely one universe.

Ideas, concepts, mathematics and mathematical objects, logic (if it is an object), abstractions, potential—whatever exists is not outside the universe. Language is in the universe—the abstract concept of language and the concrete languages and any of their objects.

Nothing is outside the universe.

However, it is not a contradiction to think that whatever does not exist is outside the universe. The concept of a square circle (in Euclidean Geometry) of course exists but its object does not. However, it would not be a contradiction to think that the object of the concept is a null object or null part and that it exists outside the universe.

The universe exists.

The void

The void is the null part (of the universe or any object); it is the absence of manifest Being.

Equivalently, the void is the absence of Being.

The void may be regarded as part of the universe; and as outside the universe.

There is at most one void.

It is not a contradiction of science or logic to assert that the void exists.

The following heuristics are not offered as demonstration; demonstration is given later.

Existence of the void is equivalent to its nonexistence (a heuristic that the void exists).

The void is the complement of every being relative to itself; the void is there alongside every being (another heuristic regarding existence of the void).

When existence of void is established, the conclusion in conditionals that follow in this section will be established.

If the void exists it is eternal.

If the void exists, there is precisely one void and it is a real part of the universe.

If the void exists, the universe is eternal.

Existence of the void has not yet been shown (in this narrative).

Beings

The following amplifies the earlier definition of a being or beings.

In elaboration of its meaning, A being is a part of the universe—i.e. the universe, a proper part of the universe, and the void are all beings.

Being, beings, experiences, concepts, meanings, the universe and its parts are beings.

Whether nonbeings and the void are beings will be resolved later.

Significance of these concepts

The definition of ‘universe’ does not negate other definitions (there is more than one). However, it is essential that in any treatment all terms be used consistently.

In this text the definition of the universe as all being is empowering. It enables careful consideration of whether the universe can have been created (whereas separation into God and universe confuses the issue).

Consideration of the universe as all Being is especially empowering in thinking of what the universe does and does not contain. This is especially empowering of ontology.

The concepts of the universe and the void taken together are especially empowering. They are used to establish the universe as realization of all logical possibility and thus the conceptual limitlessness of the universe and its therefore necessary identity; our identity with universal identity and process (and means of realization from reason); further empowerment of ontology (kinds of Being); and empowerment of modal ontology (why there must be Being, experience and so on).

Reason

Comment.      This section is not in the template.

The following are essentially part of the discussion of reason:

1.     From later in this part, Part I, the section Enhancement of reason by the metaphysics.

2.     From Part II the discussion of Means of realization.

A preliminary to reason

So far we have used the terms such as ‘concept’, ‘meaning’, ‘definition’ naïvely. This section explains the use of these terms. It may have been placed before Being and experience but it is convenient to place it here.

A concept is a mental content—an experiential content—and in this sense the term includes all mental contents and kinds of content, especially (1) the concept as bearer of meaning, (2) the percept, (3) associated feeling, intentional and other states.

The sentence above is in the standard form of definitions in this essay—the defined term is marked by bold font; ‘is’ after the defined term stands for ‘is defined as’.

Because terms have variant meanings it shall be understood that definitions are for the purpose of the essay.

A definition is a sign and associated concept that specifies the object to which the sign-concept—or simply, the concept—refers. The term ‘is’ associated with the defined term is to be read ‘is defined as’.

The concept may be expressed discursively in terms of other concepts or in terms of an object or objects known in perception (and thus percepts fall under concepts).

The referential meaning of a concept is the concept and object or concept-object.

Linguistic referential meaning is constituted of a sign, concept, and object.

In the formal development only referential meaning is needed and ‘meaning’ will stand for referential meaning or linguistic referential meaning.

Often, the sign stands for the meaning. Sometimes the sign may be regarded as part of the concept. The idea of an object without any reference is indefinite (but an object variable may be part of a schema). Thus the object may be thought of as the concept-object.

What distinguishes the concept from the object? Consider the example of a mountain. One has a visual experience that one labels ‘the mountain’. But what is the object? To begin the visual experience is conflated with object. But we can walk around the mountain and experience it that way, walk on it and experience its solidity – the snow up close – the sight and fragrance of wild flowers and a million other experiences. All these constitute the mountain as object. That is, the simple visual experience stands for the compound ongoing experience or ‘object’ as concept. And the sign ‘the mountain’ may stand, in turn, for the mountain.

Thus there is no true thing-in-itself: in experience there is filtering – abstraction and construction – projection but via abstraction there are as if things-in-themselves; and various aspects of experience and science allow pragmatic treatment of some regions of experience as things-in-themselves.

For compound signs—e.g. sentences and so on, meaning is given by individual term meanings and syntax (and thus syntax is semantic in the sense that its forms are forms or abstracts of forms found in the world).

The ‘object’ is thus the extended concept. The concept—not extended—stands for the object. For human beings the concept is typically visual and/or auditory and especially for purposes of communication associated with a simple or compound sign. It is efficient that in thought and communication, that the concept not involve the tactile sense, especially regarding the distant. Knowledge is the concept understood to stand for the concept-object; thus knowledge and meaning in the extended sense of concept-object are identical; some pertinent criteria for knowledge, e.g. correspondence, coherence, pragmatic, and mixed are taken up later. Knowledge—the concept—may be (i) an accurate though not necessarily perfect depiction for some purposes, e.g. as in a geometrical cube depicting a physical cube and as in science, (ii) perfection that arises via abstraction from the object. Examples are given later, e.g. Being, experience, universe, and the void. In such cases we will have identified the object as thing-in-itself.

A text does not contain knowledge in the above sense. It may serve as a store for knowledge in that its signs and their relations stand for concept-objects and their relations.

The worldview or metaphysical paradigm of this essay modifies and extends standard paradigms. Therefore while the meanings are suggested by standard meaning, it is necessary to modify and extend the standard. This is essential to empowering the metaphysics of the essay.

Introduction: appropriate criteria for knowledge

In the section A preliminary to reason concepts were treated as though they referred to objects (and the object was identified as the extended concept which in some sufficiently abstract but important cases may be taken to be a definite object). However, as far as ‘mind’ is concerned all it has is concepts. In a critical view, the concept may be nothing like ‘what is out there’—perhaps not even categorially. Pragmatically, this is not an essential problem. However, if the goal is perfect knowledge of a real (external in the sense of not of mind) object, it constitutes an epistemic problem—one that may be intractable.

What reason is

Reason is means of analyzing and executing activities well; reason is in the world and so both part and object of (the) metaphysics.

Reason is means of analyzing and executing activities well. It is tacit above. It is in the world, so part of the metaphysics. To avoid static metaphysics, we regard the metaphysics and reason as one. If we seek perfect foundation, the result is despair. We begin where we are and remain in process, seeking foundation and realization at the same time. What should the elements of reason be? Argument is establishment of truth—by establishing fact and drawing inference; both facts and inference have degrees of confidence from certain to strong to weak; doubt and criticism, imagination and confidence are dual. We have seen instances of certain and necessary fact and inference; the necessary are abstract and cradle our deductive logics; the strong cradle concrete sciences which we have seen have pragmatic perfection. Among our ‘faculties’ are these kinds of experience: cognition, emotion for bonding to the world and source of (pragmatic) value, and their integration; action; and learning. Among our resources are our systems of knowledge and practice. As part of the metaphysics, reason has its perfect and pragmatic sides. It is the essential means of realization. Reason includes both material-instrumental as well as experiential-intrinsic means; but the two are not distinct. Reason is reflexive; all its elements (just described) must interact for reason to be its ‘best’; including imagination and criticism of reason itself.

Rather than to imagine it imposed by authority or a priori to thought, whatever perfection there is will emerge from analysis. As an example we know that  via abstraction knowledge of Being as Being is perfect.

There is an often pedantic but sometimes useful elaboration of terms relating to reason—rationality, logic, argument, rhetoric and others. The essence of these terms is here incorporated under reason. The scope of reason is further expanded to include ‘heart’, ‘mind’, ‘action’, ‘the human element’—but all within a shell of rigor.

What is knowledge? An aside

The discussion here will show that the essential question of knowledge is that of criteria.

Perfection versus pragmatism

Now, while we must be critical if we want perfection, e.g. in a correspondence sense, we also ought to be critical of the criticism. If perfection is impossible it is absurd to demand it. Perhaps pragmatic knowledge is enough. Still, this criticism of the criticism is insufficient—the original goal of perfection for all knowledge, even knowledge with universality, is too coarse grained but to suggest pragmatism as appropriate for all knowledge is also too coarse grained.

Perfection with pragmatism

The concepts of existence and Being, of beings, of experience-as-just-experience, of the universe, are abstracted sufficiently that knowledge of them is perfect. If the void exists—and it shall be shown to exist—knowledge of the void is perfect as well. Thus there is already some perfect knowledge. It is trivial in being so abstract as to omit vast amounts of detail at least superficially—and in the obviousness of its perfection as knowledge. However, it is non-trivial (by design) in being knowledge of the universe and its essential ‘attribute’ of Being. We begin to see Being as core—for it is Being that facilitates this perfect knowledge without reference to kind or substance.

We will see that—and how—this perfection may obtain in tandem with pragmatism (with coherence).

Abstraction

Before continuing with the question of knowledge, it will be useful to reflect on abstraction as we are conceiving it. An abstract concept or abstraction is defined as a concept from which detail has been removed (it is important that any external object is left un-manipulated by abstraction). Clearly all static concepts—relative to concepts in process—have a degree of abstraction. That is, concepts (concept-objects) lie a on a continuum of abstraction abstract to full or detailed. With sufficient abstraction, knowledge may be perfect; we saw a number of important examples above. With sufficient detail supplemented by the abstract, knowledge is pragmatic.

The abstract-concrete object distinction and its artificiality

It is tempting to enquire of the relation between abstraction and what are called abstract objects in the literature. All concepts, provided they are not contradictory (do not violate deductive logic) may define objects in some world. However, we have seen that there is only one world—the one universe. As pure concepts all actual concepts exist in that one universe. However as far as is generally held and as far as is shown so far in this text, they do not necessarily have corresponding objects in the universe—later it will be seen otherwise. But this does not distinguish abstract from concrete objects for a conceived concrete object, even if not contradictory, need not be realized. I.e. the distinction between abstract and concrete objects is not fundamental but the assignment of abstract object status is based on what and how much has been abstracted. In what is typically called an abstract object, it is defined either (a) abstractly, e.g. as in axiomatic systems or (b) by abstraction from a concrete object. In the latter case the abstract object is realized or exists and in the former it may be realized or may exist. How, for example, does a number or number system exist? It exists as abstractions from real collections (or as further symbolic systems of the axioms and their symbolic models—but as we are seeing, the symbolic also exist as abstractions in the one world). The distinction between the abstract and concrete objects is artificial. The section Metaphysics implies that all consistent concepts have objects; this is also noted in the section Enhancement of reason by the metaphysics.

Knowledge and its criteria—continued

Let us return to the question of knowledge. Knowledge of Being, beings, experience, the universe, and the void has been seen to be perfect (the discussion for the void is completed below in the section for Metaphysics). This is perfect knowledge of the entire universe and its essence (core attribute). It is like a partial Wittgensteinian logical atomism without being a literal atomism at all. If perfect, might it be trivial and uninteresting? We shall in fact find it immensely empowering of metaphysics. Here, let us observe that since this knowledge is knowledge of the whole universe, perhaps even in abstraction it can be a rough container for all knowledge—including the pragmatic-concrete. In fact, we will find that it can and that this is in part due to the abstraction.

What we will find is (a) from the known so far (Being, universe etc) the universe is the realization of all logical possibility, (b) this knowledge is complete in principle, (c) though complete we cannot therefore describe all the implied concepts or locate the implied objects, but (d) our pragmatic knowledge fills the knowledge void as best as can be done and is desirable (e) the pragmatic is the best available instrument of the ultimate revealed as logical possibility, and (f) identity transforms as beings (particularly human beings) populate the universe of logical possibility and realizes ultimate identity as process.

Reason—the perfect case

How can we reason about this? Let us first enquire into reason! There is a plethora of terms that relate to reason—logic, argument, deduction, induction, abduction, conductive reason, establishment of fact, science, rationality, rational action and so on. In a sense there is too much. Reason shall be defined so as to cover what will be revealed as essential.

Reason is means of analyzing and executing activities well; reason is in the world and so both part and object of any complete metaphysics.

Let signs stand for the objects (concept-objects). We are given some facts or premises, e.g. there is Being, there is experience, there is exactly one universe, nothing lies outside the universe and so on. The there is a world of pragmatic facts. Together with standard vocabulary of propositional calculus such as ‘and’, ‘or’ (the inclusive or), ‘not’, ‘if… then’, and perhaps the apparatus of first order calculus we can perform truth preserving deductions—if premises are true, conclusions are true; these are examples of deductive systems of logic. We trust these systems because of their transparency; and because there are soundness (defined shortly) and completeness theorems for them. A logic or logic is a truth preserving system of inference. Alternatively, deductive logic entails constraints on structures of true statements in relation. And starting from the world of established facts (the abstract facts or facts by observation and corroboration and so on), we arrive at other facts and structures. This is argument. That is, argument is establishment of facts (conclusions) by establishing preliminary facts (premises) and logical inference from the premises to the conclusions. A sound argument is one for which the inference is correct, a valid argument is one for which, further, the premise is correct.

When can we trust argument? In the case of the standard logics, the inference is always correct. There are two problems. First, there may not exist a valid system of inference for the kind of description involved. Second, there may be doubt or error regarding the premises. One source of doubt is that the basic or primitive concepts fail to precisely capture an object. However, for the primitive metaphysics so far and the standard logics, arguments are to be trusted (valid).

An issue related to the universe as all logical possibility is that we likely do not know all forms of logic (perhaps the language of predicates is inadequate to analysis of possibility). The full richness of the metaphysics will be inaccessible if and as long as that is true. However, we will find the standard logics to be very rich if not ‘complete’ with regard to kinds of description (perhaps of course this richness is illusory in that the kinds of description that fall outside the standard logic is immense—this is an interesting topic for study).

Reason—two questions

Two questions remain regarding reason. What may we do when the basic facts are not fully accurate or incomplete with regard to conclusions about the universe? And how may we discover such conclusions?

Reason—the pragmatic and scientific case

The answer to the first question is common experience and reason and its extension and partial formalization as science. Science is a compound process (i) observation—establishing facts by search, measurement, and corroboration (ii) hypothesizing theories suggested by and consistent with the observations and capable of prediction of further facts (and explaining patterns of form and behavior). Hypothesizing is sometimes called induction or inductive logic but does not have the necessity of deductive logic. Scientific theories are generally not regarded as fully established because some pertinent phenomena may be later discovered—which may require enhancement of the theory by augmentation and/or modification. An example of augmentation is epigenetics in biology; and of modification is the transition from Newtonian to relativistic or quantum physics. Being open to augmentation and modification are some markers of scientific theory. In this manner, science is regarded as different from logic and mathematics.

Reason—the dual case; unity of the perfect and the pragmatic

However, the distinction is inappropriate. The discovery of logical and mathematical systems is very much analogous to discovery of scientific theory (the kinds of object are different and thus mathematics is sometimes seen as an abstract science); and proof under logic or mathematical system or scientific theory is deductive (even though criteria of rigor may differ). It is because logic and mathematics are abstract that they can be seen as accurate as a system of signs or as referring to an abstract of the universe. However the completeness of mathematics is very much in question just as for or more so that the concrete sciences (this is not a reference to Gödel’s incompleteness theorems for arithmetic). In fact, in line with the earlier discussion of the  abstract-detail continuum, science and method, logic and mathematics can be seen as unified with science and mathematics having abstract and concrete interpretations. The entire system can be seen as falling under an augmented concept of Logic or Argument.

Scientific law and theory

What is a scientific law or theory? A law or theory is a description pattern or system of patterning, perhaps abstract and/or local. A pattern is a form for which the information required to specify it is less than the raw data. While the law is the description we could identify the pattern with the idea of a Law.

Possibility

Kinds of possibility can now be differentiated. Possibility for a being is what is consistent with the concept or constitution of the being; this is the general notion of possibility. The concept of the being has two aspects—the explicit reference to the being which defines kind of possibility—or kinds of possibility—according to kinds of being. Now concepts intended to refer can fail to do so on two counts (i) impossibility of capture in any world due to logical inconsistency and (ii) given logical consistency, failure to capture the specific being or kind. The former defines logical impossibility. This suggests logical possibility as the realizations of concepts consistent with deductive logic. If we presume that contradictions are not realized, logical possibility is the same as realizations of concepts or conceptual possibility. Limitation of logical possibility by given and necessary facts is Logical possibility or possibility of argument. Universal possibility or real possibility is what is possible in the universe; however, since there is nothing outside the universe, universal possibility is (universal) actuality. Physical possibility is what is consistent with physical law (which could be limitlessly different from cosmos to cosmos). Other kinds of scientific possibility may be defined similarly. Sentient possibility is what is intrinsically achievable by sentient organisms and their designs and technologies. Individual possibility—or possibility of individual identity—is what may be attained by an individual being, e.g. a human being. Feasibility is possibility according to some practical criteria.

A hierarchy of possibility

The extent of Logical possibility is greater than or equal to the extent of universal or real possibility. We may even think the former much greater. However, in the section Metaphysics, we will show that the two are co-extensive.

That is, in the worldview to be developed Logic is given and metaphysics is ‘raised’ to its level. On the other hand, in an interpretation of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Leibniz’ thought on the necessity of the world, metaphysics is given and perhaps limited and Logic is ‘reduced’ to it.

This worldview here will imply that given any realization there is a greater sentient realization and a greater individual realization.

Naturally, in our world such realization will ordinarily seem near impossible. An aim of The Way of Being is to find paths to transform this apparent near impossibility to feasibility.

Metaphysical possibility

It has been seen that (it will be shown that) metaphysical possibility is metaphysical actuality is Logical possibility. However, there is another concept of metaphysical possibility worth considering. Let us introduce it with an example.

Consider the question Must mind have or be associated with a body? It might seem so, for mind has form and if effective also has some kind of causality. Logically, though (a) the form might be that of the process of an infinitesimal effect (like the infinitesimals of Abraham Robinson) and (b) no further ‘material’ body (our encounter with mind is that of extended embodiment in an even more extended body, but except for the infinitesimal embodiment that is not logically necessary). But we may expect for various reasons expect that mind will generally have an extended body that is named material. Reasons might be emergence from a primitive (material) substrate, causal efficacy of mind, and possibility of mind in a stable material environment.

Metaphysical possibility is practical possibility in terms of expectation in a normal environment but not necessarily limited to our particular (physical) environment. The concept is introduced for its potential pragmatic utility. An example of it was seen in the earlier ‘metaphysically realistic’ alternative interpretations to solipsistic idealism.

Ways of discovery—introduction

The first of two questions two questions posed above has been answered. Let us now turn to the question of discovery. It has already been touched in talking of induction in science and similar processes in logic and mathematics. There is a literature on discovery or creativity but the literature on method-justification-proof is far greater. It is because, in the end, we are interested in (degrees of) certainty, and because discovery is less transparent than justification. Discovery is an individual and institutional affair. Yet something may be said about discovery that perhaps goes beyond some of the well known accounts such as that of Jacques Hadamard and Henri Poincaré—and the more recent literature.

Ways of discovery

Let us begin by listing some of the problems of discovery. Hypotheses are to be guessed, intuited, and/or suggested by observations and by failures of existing systems. This of course requires creativity or what Einstein called free concept formation. Intuition is important here—intuition of system but also an intuitive critical faculty that helps avoid unhelpful or absurd hypotheses; an ability to rapidly generate and check hypotheses is important. This may require computation, experiment, and/or action.

Wide experience in reading from a range of disciplines, and wide experience may be useful. Criticism is to be checked by criticism itself. Imagination and criticism are in conflict and should not be—but a conflictual approach may also be helpful—but are interactive, each applied to the other. The interaction may be horizontal—an imaginative hypothesis is subject to critical examination which leads to another hypothesis and so on (until a satisfactory hypothesis is found).

The interaction between criticism and imagination may also be vertical—criticism applied to imagination itself and imagination to developing critical and logical method (inductive and deductive)—both formally and in terms of what those methods are, e.g. their semantic content and presuppositions.

Methods may be direct as in science or transcendent as in the thought of Immanuel Kant who asked what must be the structure of the world such that (valid) experience is possible. Perhaps one does not set out with such thoughts in mind as a programmatic—but one might. If one does it can be seen that the process can be rendered more efficient by occasional reflection; but this is already implicit in the interaction of imagination and criticism.

It is implicit that emotion, poetry, and art are implicated in the process. They stabilize, anchor, guide, and motivate the cognitive side which, in turn, conditions emotion and is part of art and poetry.

Resource management

Then there is an entire issue of conserving and promoting personal resources of energy and intelligence—how to marshal one’s energies for creative thought and labor. There is a literature on just this; the right food and sleep; the right environment; circumstances that enhance imagination vs concentration; the problem of stagnation; stepping away from ‘work’—perhaps a new environment; interpersonal interactions; ‘courage’ and persistence—being willing to work out alternate paradigms, refusal to accept the standard paradigms.. yet intelligence in not rejecting what may be useful in them.

Resource management is institutionalized in two ways (1) while individual effort remains essential it is not enough and institutions and their organization and policies are devoted to group effort and grouping resources and (2) part of institutional organization is to facilitate individual effort, communication of results, e.g. publication, and transmission of the knowledge culture in education.

The reflexive ‘method’

I have labeled this entire process of interacting elements of creation and ‘proof’ and appropriate attempt to optimize it a reflexive method. It is suggestive. It is not ‘my method’ but a distillation of what I perceive myself as doing.

Reason includes tradition which is defined to be what is valid in all cultures to the present time. We will understand tradition in a dynamic rather than static sense. That is tradition is seen as revisable from experience and reflection including the construction, use, and improvement of hypotheses.

This is an unusual definition of tradition.

Reason as means of realization

In the section on metaphysics below, we find the universe and the individual to be ultimate identity and cosmology.

Though means can be spelled out in greater and dynamic detail, the following is an adequate shell.

Reason is means of realization.

Reason: a summary

Some elements of reason are

1.     To seek foundation but not absolute and final foundation; rather to begin in the present with what we have and know; and to then work outward—simultaneously down to ground and up to Being and its conception.

2.     Use of all faculties—cognition, emotion for bonding to the world and source of (pragmatic) value, and their integration; action; and learning.

3.     Using resources that include the perfect metaphysics which implicitly includes systems of knowledge and practice.

4.     Including material-instrumental and experiential-intrinsic means (the two overlap).

5.     Argument—establishing facts and drawing inferences in degrees of confidence from weak to strong to certain to necessary.

Detailed discussion of argument is omitted from some portable editions.

The idea of argument is developed in the next paragraph.

Establishing facts with certainty establishes truth. Certain or valid inference is deductive and truth preserving; its realm is where conclusions are implicit in the premises, especially logic and mathematics; if the inference is correct it is ‘valid’ and, further, if the premises are true, so is the conclusion and the argument is ‘sound’. The aim of argument as described so far is to establish truth. But we can extend the meaning of ‘argument’ provided we are careful to maintain the distinction between the certain and the probable. In strong but not certain inference the conclusion does not follow strictly but is suggested strongly by the premises and a prime instance is derivation of laws and theories of science. However, proving a scientific result from a theory may be deductive, and arriving at useful axiomatic systems may be inductive. Note that in science, we may often say that there is a realm where the pattern induced is certain; what is not entirely certain is whether and how far that realm may be extended. The realm of argument is wherever knowing and choosing are involved and this may be in the abstract and concrete sciences but also in parts of other disciplines including technology, exploration, humanities, art, and religion.

Do dreams have a place in reason? The following preliminary items are pertinent: (1) Dreams may be creations and not mere happenings, (2) As such they may contribute at least to the imaginative side of reason, (3) Even if a symbolic theory of dream meaning is rejected, other symbolic theories may be possible, (4) The ‘meaning’ of dreams is not given but may be developed by reflection and perhaps also in evolution (note that it is the modern west that we have flimsy theories of dreams as we are flimsy about ideas generally but in ‘primal’ cultures dreams are apparently not consigned to second class status relative to the sensible world and have been used with powerful projective meaning, (5) The production in dreams is sometimes as powerful as real life, e.g. in experiencing profound depths of music, having a revelation of a deep and possible future (which may not have occurred in waking), (6) Item 5 may be the result of turning off of certain parts of the brain during sleep, e.g. part of the prefrontal cortex, (6) Item 5 suggests that there may be physical and psychological ways to induce depth in dreams and similar depth while awake, (7) We may be able to cultivate dream and wake states as in item 6 (this overlaps meditation), (8) We may be able not only to interpret dream meaning, but project and cultivate both the meaning of dreams and the meaning of the meaning, (9) These thoughts may be applied to meditation (with interpretation and translation), (10) It is an interesting question whether rationality in dreams may be cultivated, (11) Even if dreams (and meditation and hallucination) are not intrinsic paths to other worlds, we can use them as such (an aspect of this is that we are not mere consumers of culture—and that the consumer attitude to culture and authority is generally questionable as retarding truth even though it has real practical advantages including the advantage of practical truth.

6.     Meaning—recognition of the crucial nature of meaning to knowledge and understanding. Particularly its relevance to logic. It is in meaning that we see the source of standard logics—why and where truth should be two-valued and non-modal; and how such logics should be propositional and predicate; and seeing that there may be extensions to the standard. And then in seeing and analyzing the significance and forms of variant and modal logics.

7.     Reflexivity—use of all elements of reason including imagination, doubt, and criticism; in mutual and self interaction, which emphasizes most effective use relative to aims, particularly the Aim of Being. To repeat—interactive use of imagination-with-free-concept-formation and criticism is essential.

Reason is means of realization.

Metaphysics

The possibility of metaphysics has been questioned, especially since Immanuel Kant.

Of course, whether it is possible depends on what we mean by the term ‘metaphysics’.

We will define the term, show that metaphysics has already begun in considering Being and experience, and then further develop and employ metaphysics.

Metaphysics and its possibility

Metaphysics is knowledge of the real.

This definition is not a rejection of other classical, modern, and recent alternatives—which, because of the problem of possibility, are more specialized. However, it will be found valid and more potent than the others—for which it will provide context and critique.

According to criteria of perfect universal knowledge, the possibility of metaphysics has been questioned.

However, with Being, experience, beings, power, and the universe metaphysics as perfect knowledge has already begun.

How far can we extend metaphysics? It will be extended to perfect knowledge of the universe as an ultimate universe—as realization of all (logical) possibility. The ‘categories’ or ‘elements’ will be experience, sameness, difference, Being, universe, the void, and possibility (and fact and logic).

On account of the abstraction inherent in the concepts, real Beings may have difficulty locating the objects of the metaphysics.

To locate the objects we will refer to the valid in the cultural traditions.

However, this knowledge is pragmatic. Can we then call the mesh ‘metaphysics’?

While the abstract is perfect in the sense that the concept perfectly captures the object, it is uncritical to accept such perfection—which we do naïvely—as criterion.

We will find that a mesh of the abstract and the pragmatic—with abstract as container for the pragmatic—to be perfect according to criteria derived from the ultimate perfect abstract side. The pragmatic, that is, is the best available knowledge for realization of beings in the universe revealed as ultimate.

This will be a perfect metaphysics—abstract and pragmatic—with perfect dual epistemology.

Other conceptions of metaphysics

The present conception is clearly related to and is seamlessly inclusive of the valid in the classical conceptions, e.g. those of Aristotle through Kant. It resolves the different notions of the classical under one systematic umbrella.

It is clearly related to recent notions of metaphysics as study of experience and study of abstract objects. And it impinges on and may subsume such recent topics as modality, space and time, persistence and constitution, causation and freedom and determinism, and the mental and the physical.

It is crucial (a) to understand that where there may seem to be conflict among the present and various modern notions—where valid—is one of different if related concepts and (b) to keep in mind the consistent, ultimate, and synthesizing nature of the present conception.

The idea of concept meaning developed above sheds light on this. As commonly understood metaphysics is not a definite object and does not need to be. Therefore to regard metaphysics as difficult to define is to misunderstand the nature of indefinite objects—e.g., objects the are indefinite because our searching for them is also a process of creating them. While it is not claimed that the metaphysics of this narrative is the endpoint of search for metaphysics it is definitely one ultimate endpoint of such a search and container for many less inclusive activities called ‘metaphysical’ in the academic senses.

Existence of the void

If the universe enters a void state, the state exists.

This same state or being exists together with or alongside every being.

Therefore the void exists.

For a region of the universe a nonbeing is a being that does not obtain but that exists in another.

All ‘voids’ and null parts are identical.

There is precisely one void.

The void is eternal.

The universe is eternal.

The void is container for nonexistent Being. In this sense the neutrality of Being extends even to nonexistence.

The void and nonbeings are beings.

Let us now consider doubt regarding the proof of existence of the void.

Doubt has been pivotal in discussing Being and experience.

Should the existence of the void be doubted despite the demonstration above?

Note first that there is no conflict between existence of the void and science (experience, informed common sense) or logic (reason).

That the proof is ontological—it invokes the nature of Being—a reason for doubt? Not prima facie, for it is direct and does not involve the conceptual sophistry, possibly mere sophistry and lack of positive demonstration, of some ontological proofs. However, for a modern raised in a tradition that emphasizes not only the conceptual side but also the empirical knowledge of science, an ontological proof leaves a sense of unease. Let us analyze this sense. The proof is not non empirical because it is based in the nature of Being which is established via experience which makes it empirical. The sense of unease is that science is not merely empirical in its foundation but remains in ongoing touch with the empirical. The proof of existence of the void lacks this ongoing contact with experience. However, it does not need ongoing empirical contact for the reason that science does is that scientific hypotheses are not certain because they invoke detail and universality which, if there is an unexplored region, never obtains. This addresses answers to the reason behind the sense of unease regarding ontological proof. However, doubt should still remain.

There are however two sources of doubt (1) we should sustain doubts about the proof itself and (2) the consequences—developed below—of existence do not constitute logical sources of doubt but they are so great as to make doubt imperative.

It will be convenient to take up doubt later.

Possibility—general and logical

Comment.      The topic is also covered in Reason.

The idea of possibility is crucial to the development.

The naïve concept of possibility may be ill defined and paradox ridden. The following renders the concept of possibility consistent and potent.

Logical possibility is that which can obtain in some world—i.e., which does not violate necessary or deductive logic.

Logical possibility is the outer reach of all Being or universe—there can be no beings outside logical possibility. Logical possibility is the outer constitution of Being; it is not a limit on Being.

A specific being or kind of being is defined by a constitution; logical possibility must be at least implicit in the constitution.

Possibility for a being or kind of being is defined by the states that do not violate its constitution—which are its possible states.

Such kinds of possibility are limits or patterns over and above the logical. These are the limits of the being or kind.

An actual state is one that obtains. Actual states are possible.

Patterns, laws, and Laws

Comment.      The topic is also covered in Reason.

A law is a reading of a pattern of Being. The Law is the pattern; it is a restriction on the possible over and above the logical. Laws and patterns have Being.

The pattern need not be universal. however, since Logical possibility is realized, the patterns or Laws cannot be universal.

The Laws are local.

The fundamental principle of metaphysics

The void has no Laws. Therefore there are no limits to the realizations of—emergent from—the void.

The void realizes all logical possibility.

In particular there must be endless phases of manifest and Nonmanifest Being (“something from nothing”).

Is logic a limit on the universe? No, for it is a constraint on concepts for realizability: logic is not manifest in Being-as-Being but when a being has concepts purporting to image the world. It is then the constraint that illogical concepts are not realized—just as ill-factual concepts are not realized.

The universe is the realization of all logical possibility. This is the fundamental principle of metaphysics or, simply, the fundamental principle, abbreviated FP.

From any state of Being, every Logical state of Being must emerge.

The universe is absolutely indeterministic in that what emerges at a given phase is not at all determined (in general). It is absolutely determinist in that all Logically possible states ultimately emerge.

In the remainder of the text, conclusions that follow trivially from FP are stated without proof.

In confirmation of an earlier observation, the (hypothetical) object that has no effect on experience (or that has no power) does not exist.

Observe the magnitude of the consequences. The universe must have manifest phases. It must have identity. It must have limitless peaks of manifestation and identity. It must have limitlessly many cosmoses with limitless varieties of physical law. Cause, mechanism, materialism, any limited idealism, and any paradigm of determinism and non teleology are at most local. There must be free will—and a mechanism will be developed later.

Comment.      Identity will be defined in the sections on cosmology. That identity has not yet been defined here and elsewhere before the definition is not problematic (considering the uses to which it is put).

FP is the limit of all Being, experiential and experienced, particularly, so far as they exist, material being and physical law, identity, and spirit.

The consequences of FP—the universe as all logical possibility are clearly immense in absolute terms and relative to standard worldviews.

There must be limitless domains, cosmoses, and physical laws; and limitlessly many in temporary isolation from ours but generally in transaction with one another and the void. Therefore the factual content of Logic is not essentially limiting. It implies that the universe has identity, at least in phases, and individual identities merge and become that identity. That too realizes limitless cosmoses as described above. It implies that for any realization there is a greater realization of and due to the design and technology of sentient agency.

Doubt regarding the fundamental principle and the existence of the void is imperative.

Doubting the fundamental principle

Doubt and resolution were pivotal to development of the nature of Being and experience.

The magnitude of the consequences make it imperative to further consider doubt (note of course that FP contradicts science or logic—this is manifest the statement of FP). The key to the proof of the fundamental principle is the existence of the void. Again, that this contradicts neither science nor logic is clear. However, the magnitude of the consequences is the essential motive to doubt.

Doubt about existence of the void was raised and answered—first via heuristics in The void and then by proof and critique of proof in Existence of the void. Still, the existence of the void is the essential doubt of the document.

The heuristics in The void may be regarded as proof but this completely eliminates doubt no more than the proof of existence of the void.

That is, the remaining doubt is not an issue of reason or proof. It is one of addressing the issue—in light of common intuition and common paradigms how can the fundamental principle be true?

Therefore resolution of doubt will not be one of reason. It will be one of (1) making the fundamental principle seem reasonable—this is addressed in the next section Further heuristics, (2) given consistency and reasonableness and consistency, looking at FP as an existential issue—one on which some risk is rational, and (3) familiarity—which may result from living the way, i.e. contemplative and creative reflection on its ideas and action informed by them.

Alternate proof

An alternative proof for FP is as follows. The derivation above need not have invoked the void; for the Laws pertain only to beings (but since we see only beings, we imagine their qualities to extend beyond them).

There is good reason, apart from its demonstration, to think FP is true. A heuristic is that if the universe is as rich as possible, FP is true.

Another proof already stated is that the existence and non-existence of the void are equivalent. This is also, obviously, a proof for FP.

Further heuristics

The limit of all future science. It is likely that there will be theories to supersede current physics. But what will come after that? And then next? Perhaps the chain of succession will be endless. Is or can there be end to it? Yes, one end is logic. And a beginning is in fact. The outermost limit of all future science is Logic. This is a suggestive (and of course consistent) heuristic for the fundamental principle. Now for a more powerful heuristic.

Assume an explanation for existence. (1) To be satisfactory, it will not refer to an unexplained datum for then it would be no explanation. An explanation as emergence from the void, however, would be satisfactory—for the void is not a datum. Further, to be satisfactory the existence should be necessary. It should not have just been possible. (2) Since the void has no structure, symmetry implies that if our existence is necessary then every the existence of every Logical state is necessary—which is a statement of FP. Note that this is trivially also a demonstration of existence of the void from the premise of an explanation.

Note then, that FP is a form of Leibniz principle of sufficient reason (PSR). Leibniz thought that every state of the universe must have an intelligible cause (in terms of cause as then understood). If we substitute causation as understood from science today, it would be PSR essentially as understood by Leibniz. However, this form of PSR is not Leibniz’ form. This PSR says the universe and every one of its states is necessary—its cause may be regarded as Logic.

What to do about residual doubt

Though the fundamental principle has been demonstrated and shown otherwise reasonable and to entail no contradiction, doubt remains. The reasons for doubt are (i) significance of the principle and magnitude of consequences, (ii) that it appears contrary to widespread paradigm both formally and intuitively, and (iii) doubts about an ontological proof that (apparently) gives so much from so little.

Perhaps the doubts are misplaced. Does the proof truly give so much? Is it a far fetch to think that the universe is the realization of Logical possibility? Does not the fact that paradigmatic limits apply only to (phases) of Being show that there are no such limits to the void—i.e. to absence of Being… to the emptiness that resides beside things?

No matter. Doubt remains. And doubt must be faced.

Of course, as part author of the principle (there are historical precursors in the principle of plenitude and David Lewis’ modal realism), and as full author of the proof, heuristics, and consequences there is a certain internal psychological imperative to doubt. What if I’m wrong? How can I advertise the principle to others if it may be wrong?

There are two answers to the general and personal doubt.

1.     To present the material and leave it to the general and academic public to decide. This of course is the a significant part of why I publish this work.

2.     To consider an existential approach to the principle. This is taken up below.

The fundamental principle as an existential hypothesis

In ordinary life we are not obsessively concerned with truth, proof, and certainty. There is ‘proof’ enough in the conditions of existence. Beyond that however, the ground of Being is in Being and not proof. There is both security and risk. We begin where we are. Yet ‘ordinary’ life is extraordinary life. We may want to realize the ultimate. Now of course, certainty is important in some endeavors. One such endeavor is the public rendering or publication of academic work. The work advertises its worth in terms of the value and reliability of its contents. Certainty is important. However, value is important too. Too much do we tend to be slaves of certainty. Surely, where certainty is cheap it is good. But where it is difficult or perhaps even impossible we must balance certainty against value. We must be prepared to risk. We risk so that we may realize.

Doubt is not a value in and of itself—it is a value in that it is an answer to certainty and value. Where these are not entirely secure to move forward even in acknowledgment of doubt is meaningful in itself and gives also some promise of realization and progress.

Therefore a valid alternative to doubt and doubt based rejection, is to regard the fundamental principle (and existence of the void and consequences) as an existential hypothesis (EH).

The aim to this existential hypothesis is to enhance the quality of becoming.

That is, the aim is to optimize the expected value of beings as follows: (i) It was seen that EH is consistent with all valid knowledge, (ii) There are good reasons over and above the demonstration to think that EH is true. (iii) If seemingly) remote, ultimate realization (described in what follows) has great value. (iv) EH helps balance expected outcome in the immediate-and-the-ultimate.

Attempts to justify FP (and existence of the void) included (a) showing logical and factual—including scientific—consistency, (b) demonstration, (c) heuristics and naturalness, (d) arguing from existential and pragmatic value.

However, given these arguments, and the profound character and conclusions from existence of the void (which implies FP and PFM) there is an alternate approach which now follows.

The existence of the void as universal law

Existence of the void is proposed as a universal law or principle.

The fundamental principle is a consequence.

The sufficiently abstract conclusions from Being to Kinds of Being are consequences.

Together with tradition, the concrete conclusions from Being through Path and assessments of certainty are consequences.

General metaphysics

All Logical possibilities are realized. The assertion constitutes an abstract metaphysics, ASM—i.e. the abstract metaphysics.

The truth of assertion about all Logical possibilities was derived from abstract concepts—Being and so on. Therefore access to truth and realization for our less than abstract (‘concrete’) being.

How may we engage in realization?

Tradition is the instrument. In our cosmos, we employ our tradition—guided by ASM.

Ultimately, in this cosmos or another, we will find a way to the ultimate.

Tradition is the guide from cosmos to cosmos.

ASM shows that we can do no better.

Thus we must critique knowledge criteria—Immanuel Kant regarded knowledge to be necessary and universal. We tend to accept this implicitly. But now we are forced to critique any universal emphasis on accuracy and more—certainty.

However, ASM shows that the dual of itself with tradition is the best and therefore perfect way to realization.

The dual of the abstract metaphysics and the pragmatic of tradition (PRM—pragmatic metaphysics) constitute a perfect dual metaphysics—PFM, the perfect metaphysics. This metaphysics has dual criteria—perfection as certainty for the abstract side and perfection as pragmatic for tradition.

The general metaphysics is the perfect metaphysics (with dual epistemic criteria).

The dual criteria can be seen as just pragmatic, i.e. as one.

It is important that the perfect metaphysics does not negate our cultural knowledge criteria and paradigms—they are still immensely useful guides to our pursuits—but places them in context. We tend to accept such paradigms without foundation because, as our best there is no better to give context or definitive critique. However, PFM provides ultimate critique.

Some consequences—building the worldview

In the void and therefore in all beings and the universe there is no universality to classical causation, mechanism, or spacetime.

These are but local and immanent; but it is necessary that there be phases or epochs with them (they may be as-if absolute in sub phases). The stability of our world and its laws is necessary, locally with regard to space and time. Such behavior may be termed normal.

Our experience illustrates classical causation but does not necessitate it universally, nor does it rule out other kinds of cause, e.g. Aristotle’s four causes—teleological, efficient, formal, and material—which are now given place and some meaning.

All beings must affect some experience. The hypothetical being that has no affect on experience does not exist.

The universe must be a mix of indeterminism and determinism.

It is seen later that the mix is essential to classical or efficient creation of the new. That is, while FP necessitates creativity, efficient creation will be seen to occur at the intersection of indeterminism and that determinism that arises, of necessity, within indeterminism.

The universe alternates between manifest and void states.

This resolves the fundamental problem of metaphysics (Heidegger)—i.e., of why there is something rather than nothing. It shows that both something and nothing are necessary.

The fundamental question of metaphysics is now, to encapsulate earlier discussion, the elaboration and understanding of kinds of Being.

That there should be manifest and experiential or conscious Being with agency is necessary.

The universe has ultimate Identity. Individuals, too, realize this Identity.

The universe and its Identity—and individual identity—cycle endlessly through dissolved (void), formative, and peak phases without limit to variety, magnitude, extent, or duration—realizing relatively isolated domains, i.e. epochs or cosmoses, limitlessly with limitless range of physical law and strong causation but interrelated weakly.

Individuals, realizations, and re-realizations are a unity within peak realizations which is revealed as the Ultimate Aim of Being.

This aim or destiny is given unavoidable. It is in our interest to render the given as efficient.

The manifest and the void interact; and their Identity-information is preserved in non classical causal potential of the void.

Let us now take up doubt.

Principles of sufficient reason

Note the reference to principles rather than the principle of sufficient reason. This is because in addition to Leibniz’ appeal to causality as sufficient reason we also consider Logical reason and could consider further kinds. It is argued below that the Leibnizian version is a controversial heuristic. On the other hand, given FP, Logic must obtain. Logic as the principle of sufficient reason is of course less powerful than causation in some ways but significantly more powerful in others.

That is, FP follows from the principle of sufficient reason (PSR)—i.e., all existing beings must have a reason, cause, or ground. Note (i) the principle is associated with select thinkers, from which the name of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz stands above the others, (ii) the principle would be a powerful but controversial metaphysical principle, (iii) there is no accepted proof for it and it is not at all universal in acceptance, (iv) as stated it places reason and cause on equal ground and this is its force—foundation for the principle and for the principle as a foundation for the real, metaphysics, and thought. I.e. the force is the powerful expectation that the universe is intelligible. Leibniz’ arguments for the principle are powerful and illuminating of reason itself but they are no more than that.

Why should we subscribe to PSR? If the empirical world is not necessary, it could have not existed and in that sense it would be an accident. Can it be an accident? In what terms would it not be an accident? Given some other being, e.g. another cosmos, our cosmos would be caused by it or would be an accident relative to it. Is there a being, then, relative to which the cosmos would not be an accident? We are almost force to consider the void. Imagine that there is no manifest being. Then there is just the void. The void has no power, for if it did it would not be ‘the void’. Imagine, however, that the universe was eternally the void. Then the void would have power. Therefore, in sequence, (1) the universe is not eternally the void, (2) there must be a being (e.g. a cosmos), (3) by symmetry there must all possible beings. I.e. we arrive again at FP. Of course we are repeating earlier arguments over. However, the repetition is in a form that shows a version of PSR—i.e. the principle and its form or meaning. The meaning is that all beings are grounded in that ‘reason’ named Logic. Thus the principle of sufficient reason is not a causal principle in the sense of substantial cause (or description thereof in argumentative terms). Rather, PSR reveals the Logical ground of Being (or vice-versa). It reveals that the universe is intelligible—in the precise sense of intelligibility given in Logic (and what that may entail). It neither affirms nor rules out other senses of intelligibility though it seems clear enough that the universe as a whole may well not be intelligible some other senses—e.g. physical law, classical causality—even though parts of the universe are intelligible in other terms.

A new fundamental question of metaphysics

The question of why there is Being at all has been called the fundamental problem or fundamental question of metaphysics (FQM).

This question was so named in the 1953 edition of Martin Heidegger’s Introduction to Metaphysics.

FP trivially resolves this problem. There must be Being—Being is necessary.

What, then, ought to be called the fundamental question?

A new fundamental question is What kinds of Being are there? This is fundamental because to answer it is to develop a complete metaphysics and to show the destiny of all Being.

This question is addressed in the section Kinds of Being.

Perfect knowledge via abstraction

Comment.      Complement to earlier discussion in A continuum of abstraction.

Despite human limits, our knowledge of the foregoing is perfect via abstraction; it is consistent with and requires the experience of limited individual and cosmic form.

The abstract metaphysics is perfect in terms of precision and ultimacy.

This is perfectly extended into the concrete by tradition.

A relational notion of Being

All objects are effectively experience-experienced or concept-object. There is no object in itself in eternal isolation. This relational notion of Being and knowledge is further confirmed below. It implies that there are no things-in-themselves to be ‘known’; further we never get out of experience because even the object is conceptual; but it is not an infinite regress situation because a small number of iterations suffice: the experience, the experienced, and the experience of their relation. Still, however, there may be objects that are perfectly rendered in the concept (i) by sufficient abstraction, (ii) by perfect cognition of the concrete which is generally seen as impossible in the correspondence sense, or (iii) by relaxing criteria of perfection to ‘good enough’ or ‘pragmatic’, perhaps for some defined purpose.

It has been seen that the notion of Being is relational and experiential.

There is no thing-in-itself; yet the sufficiently abstract relational thing-in-relation is known perfectly.

The relational has perfection.

Which follows from the earlier conclusion that the object that has no power (or effect on experience) does not exist, Being is relational.

There is no knowledge of the thing-in-itself because there is no thing-in-itself.

Though perfect cognition of the sufficiently concrete is impossible in the correspondence sense, there is perfect knowledge by relaxing criteria of perfection to ‘good enough’ or ‘pragmatic’, perhaps for some defined purpose. Shortly, this will be seen to be perfect relative to the aim of Being if not for local purposes.

Here, the main purpose for which perfection obtains is realization of the ultimate revealed by FP. It combines the abstract and relaxed criteria stated just above.

Perfect dual metaphysics and epistemology

Our experience of concrete limits of local being and knowledge is not illusory but part of the greater revealed whole. Though limited and pragmatic in its local setting, the pragmatic is ideal in ultimate realization for the ultimate shows there is and can be no better instrument. We have revealed a metaphysics—the perfect metaphysics or just the metaphysics: abstract knowledge of an ultimate universe and personal identity joined to tradition-as-the-pragmatically-valid in all cultures. It has a perfect epistemology—a dual one with perfect correspondence in the ultimate realm; it is pragmatic in the concrete realm but this is perfect in relation to the ultimate aim. The dual is that of abstract-perfect and concrete-pragmatic. Local limits are not locally overcome but this is shown impossible and so unnecessary.

FP reveals the universe as realization of all logical possibility. The Aim of Being is living in the immediate and ultimate as one. Relative to this aim tradition—the valid in all cultures—and the abstract metaphysics constitute an integrated perfect metaphysics of an ultimate universe according to perfect dual epistemic criteria: perfect correspondence for the abstract universe and pragmatic for the concrete.

Elements or categories (of Being)*

Being is the object of metaphysics.

The categories are objects at or just below Being in inclusivity.

The categories constitute an explanatory system for metaphysics.

The system is predictive as far as possible.

The perfect elements or categories have already been considered. They are Being, experience, beings, power, the void, meaning, and logic or logical possibility.

Further categories, some already considered, are abstraction and concretion; form and formation; identity, interaction, change, dynamics, and extension; and—as markers for mind and matter—experience, Being and attributes.

The perfect categories may be extended to the pragmatic via tradition.

Enhancement of reason by the metaphysics

This section is complements the earlier section Reason.

Reason and careful analysis, e.g., via the Canonical dilemmas yield powerful understanding of the world even before invoking the metaphysics—power is summarized in items 1 – 3, below.

However, the metaphysics extends that power in ultimate senses—(a) the metaphysics is ultimate in the sense discussed the section on metaphysics and (b) the metaphysics reveals the universe as ultimate.

The power inherited by reason from the metaphysics is summarized in item 4 below.

1.     Being. Analysis of Being (part of the dilemmas), reveals the nature of the real. It undercuts need for substance or further foundation showing that the real is its own measure.

2.     Experience. Analysis shows the interwoven character of our experience with the real and Being. Being is not another thing outside experience (it is not being said that experience creates Being—rather, Being-experience is one).

3.     The universe. Conceiving the universe as all Being is dually empowering, (a) in that Being is empowering and (b) in the wholeness of the universe and so eliminating questions of creation, of whether this or that existent is in or not in the universe. Thus while spacetime does not have universal purchase, where it obtains it is immanent rather than absolute – imposed – external.

4.     The void through the  perfect metaphysics—the union of the fundamental principle and the valid in tradition. Whereas the previous items are powerful in elucidating and giving context, the perfect metaphysics is empowering of the real. The universe is ultimate. But more—for example, since the universe is the realization of Logic, all concepts (and so concept-objects)—abstracted or concreted, provided Logical—are in the universe. The section Metaphysics through Part II. The Way is testament to the power of the metaphysics.

On certainty

Certainty in knowledge is generally regarded as impossible, except in the analytic and a priori cases.

However, we have seen existence of Being and experience through the universe—preliminary to the metaphysics—is certain. This required appropriate conception with sufficient abstraction. If we accept existence of the void, then ASM is certain. That opens up certain ultimate knowledge of an ultimate universe.

Of course—either the void exists or it does not. We have argued that it does; we have also stated reasons to accept it as a principle. If that is accepted, existence of the void and PFM are certain. Even if we do not accept existence of the void, a lower grade of PFM may obtain (but this is not taken up in this document).

To locate our selves in that universe, we need tradition. Tradition meshes with ASM to result in PFM. In PFM the abstract side is perfect knowledge but the pragmatic side, PRM, is not. Yet, seemingly, we cannot do better—the pragmatic can be improved but does not become perfect in its image of the world. In fact as seen from the discussion of meaning, unless given some further guarantee for the image, capture and therefore perfection does not have meaning. Yet PFM is the best we can do for ultimate realization and in that sense it is perfect.

This does not negate the local value of certainty in PRM. Still without some further guarantee, certainty is not known to be meaningful and therefore not known to be possible or impossible. However, given PFM, the value of certainty in PRM is at least questionable. That is, the emphasis that we have placed on certainty in the past is questionable. This is in part what Heideggerian philosophers argue in relation to ‘being-in-the-world’; it is not an invalid argument; however the Heideggerian argument is neither the present argument nor its basis.

Cosmology

Comment.      A more descriptive title would be Introduction to cosmology and its significance.

Cosmology is continuous with metaphysics. The divide is somewhat arbitrary. Metaphysics emphasizes generality and principle; cosmology emphasizes the result of application of principle to the range of Being.

Introduction

Cosmology is study of the kinds, varieties, and extension of Being in the universe. Extension is (experience of) sameness and difference and their absence.

From FP, the universe limitlessly exceeds the empirically known detail of our cosmos and its extrapolation with theoretical physics. On the far side, the universe exceeds our cosmos not only in detail but in kind and range of stability and transience.

Cosmology is not limited to physical cosmology whether of the big bang, speculative multiverse, or other. Whether it is limited to some analog of our physics depends on what is meant by ‘physics’.

Cosmology includes study of Identity, space, time, and cause are part of cosmology.

Cosmology includes description; history and cosmography (similar to geography); process, dynamics, evolution; and paradigms of the same (e.g. mechanism vs teleology, classical cause vs necessity and other modes, determinism vs indeterminism and their synthesis).

The significance of cosmology is that it is knowledge of the universe and basis of exploration and realization.

Methods and realms of cosmology

Comment.      This section is a brief treatment of the cosmology needed for the portable versions of the essay. In longer and template versions remaining sections have (a) detailed treatment of this material and (b) further material.

General cosmology is knowledge of the universe that uses only the most general principles—FP and the abstract metaphysics.

The methods of general cosmology are the fundamental principle of metaphysics (with Logic and criticism) and imagination. The less general studies below inherit these methods.

That is, construction in general cosmology appeals to the fundamental principle of metaphysics but not to particular mechanisms of formation and process—the only mechanism is that of necessary emergence. Imagination is the source of construction; imagination it may of course appeal to particular mechanisms. Its formal critical side appeals only to Logic. Less formally we can only be interested in what we can imagine; and, optionally, our interest may further narrow our interest.

General cosmology does not distinguish robust vs unstable or sentient vs ‘inert’ cosmologies. FP, guarantees some significant (stable and sentient) worlds but does not explain formation from the void or estimate likelihood. That is the concern of Cosmology of formation.

There is a strong trend in current philosophy—as of 2018—to identify cosmology with the big bang cosmology of our cosmos. This is the cosmology that has near full acceptance in physics. However, it is at root based in the empirical and therefore there is no basis to project it to the universe.

Cosmology of form and formation concerns the more stable and significant cosmoses—e.g. those with sentience, sapience, and agency—perhaps moving toward the ultimate under its own design. What process are likely to result in significant cosmologies? To answer this we must go beyond FP.

Mechanisms must invoke indeterminism (for novelty) but indeterminism is not enough. The laws of physics capture the behavior of an already formed cosmos—they do not explain origins. Evolutionary theory provides a mechanism in which indeterminist formation is captured by existing structure by selection. The paradigm must of course be extended to the void so that the initial events are self capture. But given the mechanism, the unstable cosmologies may be more frequent but short lived. Are the significant cosmologies therefore numerically well represented? The answer is that it does not matter but there will be infinitely many of them.

Special methods for cosmology of formation are the concepts of incremental evolution, stability, symmetry, and populations of adaptive systems; and probability estimates.

This paradigm of incremental adaptation by variation and capture or selection of stable or near stable and near symmetric states is fundamental in importance. It is a distinct paradigm from causation within a cosmos. While neither the ‘random’ variation nor the selection are creative of novelty, the combination is. It constitutes a paradigm or partial paradigm for origins of  cosmos and law, possibly for abiogenesis, for evolution of life (obviously), for conceptual and other creativity, and for a mechanism for free will. The indeterministic part is always essential since novelty is involved. However, the combination of indeterminism and capture either as self-capture or by selection is efficient. Note that if the environment is regarded as part of the system then selection is self-capture.

Of special interest in cosmology of form and formation are levels, modes, or Kinds of Being (see the section Kinds of Being). The kinds are the psychic: the experiential or experiencer-experience-experienced; the natural (physical and living); the social; and the ultimate (and unknown). Particularly, there interest in identity (object and personal), spacetime, and cause (dynamics) at all levels.

Our cosmos is an example of a physical cosmology with sentience, sapience, and agency. FP implies that it is but one of limitlessly many with limitless variety of physical law. Perhaps our laws are model laws but this is not clear to me. The methods would be those of the previous cosmologies, our physical law, Logic, mathematics, analogy, and imaginative hypotheses—the abstract-concrete sciences. Any claim to completeness would likely be speculative.

An artificial cosmology is a cosmos constructed of or augmented by artificial intelligence and robotics. The previous methods would be augmented by artificial intelligence, robotics, computer science, and space technology. There would be special interest in mutual augmentation of man-machine intelligence and other performance (cybernetics).

Comment.      Search cybernetics on the Internet.

Methods: summary

1.     The abstract metaphysics with Logic.

2.     The pragmatic metaphysics—relevant valid tradition, especially the sciences and their paradigms above. The mesh of the abstract and the pragmatic in the perfect metaphysics.

3.     Note—the perfect metaphysics is a mesh of the abstract and the pragmatic.

4.     Reason and heuristics, including imagination or creative concept formation.

General cosmology

From the perfect metaphysics—the universe is realization of all possibility. All logically possible cosmologies are realized. These are not just material but also systems with identity.

Comment.      The following repeats the section Metaphysics > Some consequences—building the worldview.

In the void and therefore in all beings and the universe there is no universality to classical causation, mechanism, or spacetime.

These are but local and immanent; but it is necessary that there be phases or epochs with them (they may be as-if absolute in sub phases). The stability of our world and its laws is necessary, locally with regard to space and time. Such behavior may be termed normal.

Our experience illustrates classical causation but does not necessitate it universally, nor does it rule out other kinds of cause, e.g. Aristotle’s four causes—teleological, efficient, formal, and material—which are now given place and some meaning.

All beings must affect some experience. The hypothetical being that has no affect on experience does not exist.

The universe must be a mix of indeterminism and determinism.

It is seen later that the mix is essential to classical or efficient creation of the new. That is, while FP necessitates creativity, efficient creation will be seen to occur at the intersection of indeterminism and that determinism that arises, of necessity, within indeterminism.

The universe alternates between manifest and void states.

This resolves the fundamental problem of metaphysics (Heidegger)—i.e., of why there is something rather than nothing. It shows that both something and nothing are necessary.

The fundamental question of metaphysics is now, to encapsulate earlier discussion, the elaboration and understanding of kinds of Being.

That there should be manifest and experiential or conscious Being with agency is necessary.

The universe has ultimate Identity. Individuals, too, realize this Identity.

The universe and its Identity—and individual identity—cycle endlessly through dissolved (void), formative, and peak phases without limit to variety, magnitude, extent, or duration—realizing relatively isolated domains, i.e. epochs or cosmoses, limitlessly with limitless range of physical law and strong causation but interrelated weakly.

Individuals, realizations, and re-realizations are a unity within peak realizations which is revealed as the Ultimate Aim of Being.

This aim or destiny is given unavoidable. It is in our interest to render the given as efficient.

The manifest and the void interact; and their Identity-information is preserved in non classical causal potential of the void.

Thus the Vedantic tat tvam asi or ‘you are that’—i.e., the essence of the individual is the essence of all Being at its highest.

Memory of the individual across death is the result of re-realization of form and participation in Being at its highest.

Reason is means of conceptual and real exploration—experiential and material.

General cosmology does not show efficient means of realization. Such means begin with cosmology of formation.

Cosmology of form and formation

Source.                 paradigms of formation and dynamics.html.

We now enquire into efficient formation. Evolution—variation and selection—provides a pragmatic paradigm.

From the fundamental principle, given the void or any state, all possible states emerge; and such emergence has one or multiple steps. While stable systems are one necessary outcome, this gives us no insight into the mechanism of formation or its likelihood.

Random variation shows no preference for adaptation and is not creative; selection is selection for near stable form and is determinist so also not creative; but the join of the two non-creative processes is creative. From the void, the first selections are self-selection; given existing form, there is also environmental selection.

What are sources of stability? I presume the interest is in near stability for perfect stability would have stasis. Symmetry or near symmetry is a source. Where the external form is just symmetry, the internal form may involve transaction such that transactional changes maintain form.

The source of creativity in adaptation is that of indeterminist variation from the existing—the void or any determinist structure—and then selection for stability and thus structure (just structure if staring from the void, further structure if starting from given structure).

The paradigm from evolutionary biology applies, in broad terms, to cosmological and physical law formation; as well as to human creativity.

The cloud of non-form and its continuum is in transaction with form; and any discreteness and finiteness required for form. This is the paradigm of efficient formation. Note that for essential novelty, indeterminism is necessary because novelty is not contained in what came before. The question of efficiency, therefore, concerns, not the paradigm so far, but whether it must be incremental or saltational (large steps); heuristically, until shown otherwise, it is incremental (however there will be saltations on the scale of the limitless universe even if they are infrequent).

The most stable cosmologies and the most frequent are the ones formed by a variation and selection or adaptive systems path.

Incremental mechanistic traverse through near symmetric, near stable states to greater complexity is more likely than single step origins.

Where there is ‘blind’ formation, it gives rise to sentient, aware, intelligent formation.

Human civilization is the web of human culture across time and continents. Universal civilization, a given, is the matrix of civilizations across the universe; it is one vehicle of realization of the ultimate.

The ideal ultimate Being is result, designer, and builder of the universe. All beings merge with the ideal ultimate; are already merged even if manifestation and awareness are minimal; thus all Being is interwoven, even in absence of concrete mechanism and cause. This ultimate Being or “Beings” may be called ‘God’, ‘Aeternitas’ (of Thomas Aquinas), or Perfect Buddha.

We already participate in the ideal. There are instruments of realization of that participation. Reason is the general instrument. Civilization is both vehicle and instrument. Further instruments are taken up below and in Part II. The Way.

Identity, spacetime, and cause

Comment.      Improve. Decide what should go to the way-pocket manual.html.

The universe is a field of experience—of Being, sentience and agency. Its parts are in universal interaction.

The field of experience reveals an experiencer and experienced; experience and experiencer are among the experienced. The experiencer is the self; experience the place of mind, and the experienced is the world. Self, mind, and world may be regarded as labels.

Identity is sense of sameness of self (personal identity) or object (object identity). Difference with sameness constitutes change marked by time; and difference without sameness spatial extension.

When spatial relation mediates change in identity over time, the relation is interactive or causal. Though space, time, and identity can be made objective—sometimes and to some extent—in the sense of being measurable, space and time are interwoven in identity as spacetime.

The following is a rough description of dynamics in our cosmos. Change in spatial relation among identities is relative motion. A natural motion is one that occurs without cause as defined above. Deviation from natural occurs under and is a function of the magnitude of cause. That is, cause—given by identity and relation—is the source of deviation from natural motion (e.g., rate of deviation from natural motion is a function of cause). Some causes (‘forces’) can be identified with distribution of identity the notion of natural motion expressed in such a way as to eliminate explicit cause.

Comment.      For a qualitative approach to identity dynamics for the next paragraph see the way of being-Aug2015-pocket manual.html

Similar formulations of change in personal identity and trajectories can be written but a useful quantitative theory is not available. Perhaps the nature of identity is too complex. However, a qualitative theory is not beyond all grasp. A pragmatic approach taken in Part II. The Way is in terms of reason as the concept was developed earlier.

Sameness and difference, space and time, where they obtain, are immanent in Being—the universe; the universe is not ‘in’ sameness and difference or space and time.

Given any non sentient ‘realization’ there is a higher sentient realization; it is in sentience that there is conscious choice and degrees of freedom of will; it is in sentience that there may be mastery over destiny—also see the section Kinds of Being.

Given the limitless transactions of the void with all beings; how is it that our cosmos is stable? It is because it is possible and that is one perfect explanation; another, more efficient explanation is given in the section Cosmology of form and formation. That all possibilities are realized universally allows but does not require a given cosmos to be limitless in some regards.

Perfect metaphysics goes far beyond our main secular and transsecular paradigms; it shows that what all beings will achieve is far higher than traditionally thought.

In showing us this necessity, it gives us new aim, new direction, new ideals, and new hope.

Artificial cosmologies

The Abrahamic Cosmologies, cleaned to eliminate contradiction, obtain but their artificial and in-organic conception seems to render them devoid of universal and significant (literal) meaning. The most likely ultimate cosmologies are those in which ‘Being itself’, is the adaptive cosmological process; it finds its way; it is not created or specified in fragile yet dogmatic terms. We are part of that.

Abstract and concrete sciences

A full title would be Aspects of abstract and concrete sciences

The main abstract science is metaphysics. Its vehicle is referential meaning—concept and object, especially linguistic referential meaning—sign (simple and compound)-concept and object. Its instruments include grammars, logics, and mathematics.

The difference between the abstract and the concrete is anthropocentric. From a universal perspective, the abstract emphasizes the concept and the general, the concrete emphases the percept and the particular.

The concrete sciences (physical, life, of mind, and social) with technology are instrumental means of realization; they include means of perpetuation of the individual (which may enhance efficiency and quality but not the fact of realization). Intrinsic means are implicit above and taken up in Part II. The Way.

Physical cosmology

The origin of physical form and therefore of the substance of physical sciences is in the section Cosmology of formation. Thus (a) any indeterminism in physics is residue of original indeterminism, (b) any real physics will have a formative (“creative”) side (e.g. emergent which may be determinist or determinist-indeterminist mesh), (c) the quantum vacuum is not the void but perhaps residue of emergence from the void.

Life

Source.                 life and its origins and evolution.html.

Conditions of life are many. Some essentials are (i) micro form is a prime determinant of macro form, (ii) variations in micro form are prime determinants of change of macro form over generations, (iii) the general mechanism is random change and self selection in an environment, (iv) while neither variation nor selection are individually creative their join is creative, (v) life realizes mind and intelligence and thus these must have been present or infused from what is present elsewhere.

Psychology and agency

Source.                 psychology as science-experience through agency.html.

Kinds of experience are free vs bound, degree of intensity—imperative to neutral, inner vs outer (body and experience of experience vs world), iconic vs symbolic, receptive vs active.

The kinds include

Bound experienceperception-feeling, as if of an object and or the body felt real;

Free experienceconception-emotion (note that conception has two senses in this narrative—here it is free conception but it is also general mental content), creative play of experience that includes recall or memory, imagination, language, and reason and which show abstract-pragmatic reality to the felt-real; and

Active experience with volition—which identifies action and the active individual in contrast to the rest of the world.

Realization and its dynamics

A full title would be Intrinsic realization and its dynamics

This section is continuous with the previous.

One approach would be to develop the elements of psyche above as a dynamical system founded in the ideas of the section Identity, spacetime, and cause. However, for the present purpose Reason is sufficient.

Comment.      See conceptual outline-essential.html for more on ‘dynamics of psyche’.

In outline, the dynamics of realization is reason. The dynamics ‘employs’ the kinds of experience.

Reason is the essential practical dynamics of realization.

AI and realization

A full title would be The instrumental—science and technology, especially  artificial intelligence and robotic cosmology in realization

Artificial intelligence and robotic cosmology

Technology of information, intelligence, and simulation may supplement or substitute for exploration by human and other organic being. A major issue would be symbiosis and transference of consciousness, intelligence, and memory.

Civilization and society

Source.                 civilization and society.html.

This is treated in Cosmology of form and formation.

Kinds of Being

Comment.      The section will also review kinds of possibility.

In that Being is characteristic of all that is real and nothing less, Being is not a kind.

It is otherwise immaterial whether Being is regarded as a kind.

At the highest level of inclusivity, the real is essentially kind-free—there is but Being itself.

This is a fundamental insight about the real—its ultimate nature is not ‘something else’. To seek the nature of the real in terms of something else, e.g. a substance, is alluring but would be illusory.

We have seen that the real—Being—is effectively given in experience. Experience is intertwined with Being at the highest level.

To say that experience is of something—an object—was given meaning.

Some high level Kinds of Being are experience, experiential, and experienced which constitute the real world.

The highest level of classification of objects is the experiential (self, agent, psyche, and sometimes the subject) and the experienced.

The experienced includes experience itself and the experiential (both as objects which together may be labeled an ‘internal world’—the world of psyche) and the ‘external world’ or world of external objects. These divisions are somewhat arbitrary. However, the union of internal and external is the real world which is not arbitrary.

The external is often called ‘material’ or ‘public’. It includes ‘other minds’ and so at this level of discussion ‘external’, ‘material’, and ‘internal’ are just labels. Further while the terms ‘other’ vs ‘self’ connote a real distinction, our experience allows and FP implies that the distinction is partial.

The real world may be seen as two realms—the realm of psyche and the external realm.

The realms are sometimes called ‘worlds’ but that use is metaphorical. The realms are not distinct and their boundary is not sharp. The distinction is useful in some talk of objective knowledge, e.g. in science.

This further divides conceptually as a set of four pragmatic kinds of the real world or kinds of Being. The first is psyche. The remaining are of the external—the natural, the social, and the ultimate (and unknown). These are also appropriate as dimensions of Being and our phases of growth.

Let us repeat the definition of these four pragmatic kinds of Being in greater detail. The first kind is the world of self, agent or psyche. The remaining are constituted of the external—the natural (the elementary natural or physical and its emergent complexity as life as well as associated agency or psyche), the social or interactive groups of persons or selves, and the ultimate and unknown. These are also appropriate as dimensions of Being and our phases of growth.

This suggests the acronym, PNSU—psyche, nature, society, and universal-unknown—for the kinds or dimensions of Being and phases of growth.

Civilization is movement of communities of beings outward from local environments and into the world and the universe. It is used in the sense of being-together, not being-over. Being together does not exclude constructive competition. Human civilization is the web of human communities over time and continents.

Universal civilization is the medium or matrix of civilizations across the universe. To civilize the universe is to make it explicitly aware and agentive, and to make it cohesively social. The achievement of the ideals of course may be occasional—but is then eternally occasional. Significant meaning is eternal if not always manifest in the agent.

In the present sense to be uncivilized is not to be primitive or lacking the economy, culture, and technology of what we think of as large scale civilization. To be uncivilized requires that the individual or group understand the value of being together yet explicitly work against it.

Life has struggle and overcoming. Beauty and pain. Amid the tumult there is serenity, in which we may ask—what is this beauty, this pain, this experience about? Yes, it is about a sentient agent in the world; yes, it is about adaptation. But that does not touch the essence of the experience. What is it; why is it; how is it. I am the being that can ask “What am I?” And the limit of the answer has to be that I, my experience, the universe, and its Being, are necessary. What I am, what we are, what Being is—these are projects.

Kinds of Being are related to kinds of possibility. The next two paragraphs complement the earlier discussion of possibility.

Logical possibility is the limit of all other kinds of possibility. From the metaphysics, universal possibility is logical possibility.

Logical-universal possibility is broader than the natural and the experiential (agent); however, from the metaphysics the natural and experiential achieve the universal: for any non sentient (‘purely material’) realization, there is an experiential-agentive (aware, designing) realization whose formed aspect is greater.

All Gods and religious cosmologies stripped of logical inconsistency are realized; however, from the paradigm of adaptive or efficient formation, they are most probably neither frequent nor stable; in the universe as a whole they are remote. Any ‘real god’ would be just a more potent being but possessed of frailties like the Greek Gods whose frailty might demand they be appeased.

From the paradigm of efficient formation, peaks of Being in which we all individuals participate are the most extensive, meaningful, and stable (from FP, it is necessary).

This ultimate Brahman or Aeternitas (derived from Vedanta and Thomas Aquinas) is our being and neither asks nor needs worship or recognition—for it is in our nature to recognize its Being and truth. Pain and joy on the way to Brahman are not absolutely avoided or sought or else they become distracting objects; but they may dissolve in Brahman (because of ultimate power).

PART II. THE WAY

The document now takes up The Way.

The ideas are preliminary and abstract. The ultimate is the ideal; the way must also emphasize the concrete.

The aim of Being is realization of the ultimate; it begins with living ethically (well, enjoyably) in the immediate which it continues into the ultimate.

The second part of the narrative is about living this aim—realizing the ultimate from the immediate.

There is a related optimality issue. The ultimate has some value—perhaps infinite; but it seems remote. The immediate has some value—perhaps finite; yet it is not remote. What is the optimum way to devote efforts to the immediate vs the ultimate—insofar as the two are distinct? Perhaps there is no urgency to be analytical about the concern. We often regard the immediate world with urgency? Certainly the immediate has importance but perhaps that importance requires that we take a calm view toward it. Further, individuals have different inclinations. There will be those who insist on the immediate and those who insist on the ultimate. What is important is that we pay attention to both for they complement one another.

The plan of approach is to be generic rather than detailed. This is neither the secular nor the religious approach to life. It has in common with the secular that a balance between cognition and emotion ought to be in balance but not that we should think that our common secular worldviews define the universe and our aims in life. It has in common with religion that it takes a larger view than the secular but not that it is limited by dogma and not that it is prescriptive; rather it is principled, analytical and necessarily experimental—experiment with Being is essential because PFM provides at most a skeleton view of a path in the universe. A religion may give the individual a sense of the real by being prescriptive, but prescriptivism is invariably misleading with regard to the real even though it may function as symbol and allegory.

The preliminary sections of this part are a template of ideas that may serve as a guide to principle. It emphasizes the intrinsic-immersive (Being) and extrinsic-instrumental (‘material’: natural and social science and technology); the individual and civilization; the immediate and the ultimate; and the realms of Being ‘PNSU’: psyche, primitive and complex nature, society (and civilization and technology), and the universal-unknown.

There is, in a final section, some detail: two generic templates for path and action that are designed to be adjustable and customizable to particular situations, both individual and for civilization—an everyday template (with elements of personal planning) and a universal template (with elements of universal planning), which are suggested from my experience rather than prescriptive.

The final sections provide customizable templates for a range of approaches.

There is a supplementary part with Resources to enable individual-civilization in generating and selecting customized detailed principles and path.

Our world

Our world—the immediate—is where we begin.

The foundation for the way is the immediate in transaction with the ultimate.

The Aim of Being

We live in the immediate and the ultimate. Living in the ultimate is becoming the ultimate. We therefore adopt this as the aim of Being.

The Aim of Being is being in the immediate and ultimate as one.

Variables of the Way

Comment.      This section derives from the earlier section Kinds of Being which may be omitted from portable versions. However even if that section is omitted, the main content below may be retained in the portable versions.

The main variables of the way are defined by (1) kinds of Being and phases of growth or stages of life: experiential (psyche…) vs material (nature, society…) vs Being-as-Being (universal…) and (2) further primary characterization according to identity, mode of being in itself and the world, process, necessity, and ultimacy

1.     Of psyche or mind and culture—characteristics: identity-inner, mode of being in itself and the world-intrinsic, process-transforming, necessity-essential, and ultimacy-ultimate.

2.     Of nature, society, and civilizationidentity-outer, mode of being in itself and the world—instrumental, process-sustaining, necessity-contingent, and ultimacy-immediate.

3.     Of the universal and unknown—the join of the characterizations and beyond—the realm of the concrete to abstract metaphysics.

Means

Reason

Reason is the general means.

Ways

The ways are the ways of sustaining and transformation of the religions, spiritual practices, and therapeutic techniques.

Our adaptation is (i) non-dogmatic, (ii) experiential, learning, and eclectic according to reason, and (iii) not exclusively transsecular; includes material transformation where efficient.

An example—Buddhism: the four truths and the eightfold path.

Blocks, resources and growth

Impediments are blocks to effective reason.

Examples of impediments or blocks are resentment, attachment and desire, anger and aversion, and ignorance.

Efficient realization must be a balance between resolution of blocks and engagement in realization—for meaning and efficiency.

The resource is reason which includes ways, catalysts, instrumental means, and programming.

Catalysts

The catalysts are similar to the ways but more focused and emphasize the cathartic.

Examples—Meditation: (1) emptying, (2) exploration of inner realms, (3) contemplation of the ultimate and understanding death as catalyst, (4) in action. Also see the templates.

Instrumental means

Physical exploration—aims: Civilizing the universe; universe as identity.

The means include metaphysics and physics of eternity.

Theory and technology of minds in machines or machines as minds—(1) the essential conditions for embodied mind, (2) theory, (3) evolution, (4) self-design.

Environment

The individual

The individual is the ‘locus’ of realization.

Place

Where we live, place and home may be conducive or counter-conducive to realization.

The conducive is important. However, it is also important to spend time in the world at large.

Sangha—community in The Way

Sangha and building sangha—community of shared aspiration, ways, and action.

Teachers and exemplars

Is leadership necessary? It is useful and efficient as focal point, organizer, inspiration, and organization.

The original exemplar is essential. The individual aims at independence in the way.

Place, community, and leadership. Is leadership essential? Yes as inspiration, channel, and focus; but authority is institution for its own sake rather than realization.

The open world

For the open world, see the world at large above, in the section Place.

Path

The path is presented as two templates that constitute a program that is adaptable to individuals and situations—e.g. at home and in the world.

Everyday template

A brief adaptable everyday template for home and world.

Comment.      Planning for the way is included in the template. Emphasize it. Refer to design of the database.html. See everyday process template for details.

1.     Rise before the sun. Dedicate to the way. Affirm the aim.

Dedication (W Wilson). I dedicate my life to The Way of Being—to shared discovery (ideas) and realization (action and choice); to shedding the bonds of limited self and culture and so to see The Way so clearly that even in difficulty life is flow over force (opening to the real in individuals and the world); to realizing the ultimate in this world and beyond (inner and intrinsic ways in the dimensions and elements of the real).

Shared affirmation (A Gupta). That pure unlimited consciousness that is all Being alone is supreme reality. That is the universe—its life and breath—that am I. So I am and embody the self-transcending universe that is all Being and has no other.

2.     Review and meditate on realization, priorities, and means.

3.     Realization. Work; relationships; ideas; develop the way (the way-template.html, the way-outline.html, the way-pocket manual.html, the way-main.html; also see document and database design.html); network; shared action; days for engagement, days for renewal.

4.     Tasks. Daily, long term.

5.     Experimental yoga, in nature; posture. Experimental meditation—part of yoga: analytic / contemplative, for daily action, and the ultimate. Meditation as Being and vision (see dreams in item 7).

6.     Exercise (aerobic: in nature; and photography)–explore.

7.     Evening. Rest, renewal, realization, and community. Tasks, preparation and dedication of the next day and the future. Sleep early. Dreams as Being, vision, and inspiration.

Universal template

A brief adaptable universal template.

Comment.      See universal process template for details.

Template format: ACTIONdimension – detail (hyperlinks are italicized).

Template (in printed versions see the resources section for links):

1.     BEINGpure Being, community – everyday process; developing the way—in the world, as part of the way; vision retreat.

2.     IDEASrelation, knowing – reason; art.

3.     BECOMINGnature, psyche – nature as ground: beyul.

4.     BECOMINGcivilization and societyshared immersion, populating the universe, politics and cultural economics.

5.     BECOMINGartifactartifactual being as realization and adjunct.

6.     BECOMINGuniversal, unknowncatalytic transformation, ways, aimed at the universal; includes elements of items 1 – 5.

EPILOGUE—INTO THE WORLD*

An ultimate vision of the universe and realization has been seen and a path of realization developed.

What remains is to live and improve the vision and the path.

ISSUES AND RESOLUTIONS*

Comment.      Sources for this topic are canonical dilemmas.html, issues addressed by the mew metaphysics and the way.html, and system of human knowledge.html.

Comment.      The document issues addressed by the mew metaphysics and the way.html, develops a system of issues. The issues are developed via two preliminaries—(1) an approach to listing the issues in terms of (2) an overview of the human endeavor. At present this document presents the issues but not the preliminaries.

Comment.      I may take up comprehensive treatment later.

This section presents fundamental issues addressed in this document, with resolutions.

The perfect metaphysics together with development and application of reason enable an approach to resolution of many important issues of philosophy, metaphysics, cosmology, and logic. The issues may be developed and listed in terms of an outline of the human endeavor. This preliminary material is treated in issues addressed by the mew metaphysics and the way.html. This document presents only the issues.

This section is not intended to be comprehensive. It is a sampling.

Aim of the human endeavor

As the universe and beings are found ultimate in realization of form and identity, this becomes an aim of human being.

The means are revealed as the ultimate metaphysics supplemented by tradition (refer to An Overview of The Human Endeavor). Some detail is given in the following sections.

Knowledge, destiny, and means

Metaphysics

The perfect metaphysics reveals the universe as ultimate. Metaphysics as knowledge of the real is therefore obviously ‘possible’.

Reason, philosophy, and epistemology

This is paralleled by advance in the nature of reason. The scope of philosophy, often seen as closed down by science, is again opened up to the infinite. The nature of the world is enhanced by recognition and joint analysis of a system of canonical philosophical dilemmas. A dual perfect epistemology matches this advance in metaphysics. Traditional metaphysics and epistemology are not negated but placed in universal context. While all endeavor is thereby founded in depth, breadth of being and vista is limitlessly opened up.

Logic

The nature of logic is clarified via reason and the perfect metaphysics.

The concrete sciences

The concrete sciences, especially physics are revealed as immensely limited in scope though of course not in terms of immediate relevance.

The abstract sciences

All mathematical systems have objects.

Metaphysics and logic were discussed above.

Miscellaneous fundamental issues

Comment.      This is in process.

The nature of the following are clarified and ultimate status shown

1.     The real.

2.     Experience and Being. Being. Analysis of Being (part of the dilemmas), reveals the nature of the real. It undercuts need for substance or further foundation showing that the real is its own measure. Experience. Analysis shows the interwoven character of our experience with the real and Being. Being is not another thing outside experience (it is not being said that experience creates Being—rather, Being-experience is one).

3.     The concept of the universe and its ultimate nature. The universe. Conceiving the universe as all Being is dually empowering, (a) in that Being is empowering and (b) in the wholeness of the universe and so eliminating questions of creation, of whether this or that existent is in or not in the universe. Thus while spacetime does not have universal purchase, where it obtains it is immanent rather than absolute – imposed – external. Here I have been talking of the ultimate nature of the concept of the universe. The next item notes the ultimate nature of the universe itself.

4.     The void through the  perfect metaphysics—the union of the fundamental principle and the valid in tradition. Whereas the previous items are powerful in elucidating and giving context, the perfect metaphysics is empowering of the real. The universe is ultimate. But more—for example, since the universe is the realization of Logic, all concepts—abstracted or concreted, provided Logical—are in the universe. The development in the two main parts of this essay is testament to the power of the metaphysics.

5.     Human nature—limited vs ultimate

6.     Realization—knowing vs being and becoming.

7.     The nature of the abstract—see the earlier discussion in Method or how the issues are treated.

8.     The nature of reason and its components.

APPENDIX*

General resources

Comment.      This section provides detail that is complementary to the sections Origins of the work and Historical origins and resources of the Prologue.

In this document

The document resources include:

The preface for conventions and suggestions on reading the text.

The prologue for context and origins.

The section on reason.

Documents for the way

the way-template.html (this version)

portable version (this version)

main influences.html

system of human knowledge.html—systems of knowledge and practice

conceptual outline-essential.html—a conceptual outline for the way of being

paradigms of formation and dynamics.html—to be developed from existing documents

life and its origins and evolution.html—to be developed from existing documents

psychology as science-experience through agency.html—to be developed from existing documents

civilization and society.html—to be developed from existing documents

everyday process template

universal process template

beyul

shared immersion

politics and cultural economics

artifactual being

catalytic transformation

ways

canonical dilemmas.html

Literature and literature search

Comment.      See search.html and above.

The Internet

Comment.      search.html.

Stories*

Comment.      For development. When the stories are written in the world, they will be placed in the Part II. The Way.

Stories are narratives that emphasize heart and mind—to bring the way to life and give it direct appeal amid everyday life.

GLOSSARY AND INDEX*

Glossary

Comment.      Add glossary document. For now concepts.html and concepts-details.html suffice; the list of concepts should be reduced to the essential and definition / explanation provided. Also see Journey in Being-full.html (search for ‘glossary’), Journey in Being-detail.html (search for ‘lexicon’), and the realizations-resource version.html (search for ‘glossary’).

Index

Comment.      Print versions will have a traditional index. Final web versions will have a hyperlinked index.

PLANS—A TEMPORARY SECTION

Comment.      See document and database design.html for plans; may later place in Part II. The Way > Path.