Anil Mitra, Copyright © December 2014—February 2015
The address for the resource version is http://www.horizons-2000.org/1. World and Being/realization/being-elements/2010/2011-2012 jib in-process/second production/1/the realizations-resource version.html.
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The aim of the realizations is to know the range of being in a process of realizing its highest immediate and ultimate forms.
The term ‘highest’ is intended in terms of what there is (‘metaphysically’) and what is good and / or right (ethically, morally). The immediate and the ultimate will sometimes be written immediate-ultimate to mark their interlacing and inseparability.
At the core of the narrative is a perfect demonstration of the ultimate nature of the universe: the universe is the realization of all possibility; and this power is inherited by all individuals.
That is, the individual realizes and ultimately is the peak and range of being. However, while in limited and separated form, realization is eternal and unbounded process in limitless variety.
This edition is a guide to realization. It is written as a template that may be adapted to a range of situations.
The aim was suggested by experience, imaginative thought, and critical reflection in interaction with primal through current traditions of ideas and practice.
The aim of the realizations and the purpose to the narrative is contribution to and sharing with the present and future of civilization and human being.
The text is arranged in three main parts. The first part, sections being through metaphysics, is a foundation of the ideas. The first part overlaps the second, metaphysics through cosmology of life and identity, which derives and describes significant consequences of the metaphysics. The final main part is on the nature and practice of realizations. The text ends with a resource section.
The audience is defined by three interests, (1) the general picture, (2) the ideas which includes the academic interest, and (3) interest in universal realization.
The narrative blends new ideas and perspectives with tradition. In understanding the work it will be useful to know that old terms often have new meanings; that the work is a synthesis and so the individual meanings are not independent of the overall view; and that re-education of intuitive understanding and forming a whole picture will be as important as the formal and analytic picture.
Being names that which is (in any collection of regions in space and / or time and / or other dimension and / or no dimension at all).
The expedient of naming is as abbreviated definition of a given in terms of symbol, concept, and object.
Experience names awareness in all its manners, kinds, and forms. That experience has being is a given. The form of experience is that of relationship.
It is important that the meaning of ‘experience’ here is not restricted to the cognitive or the empirical. Perception and conception are important in interaction: perception reveals detail, perhaps error laden, conception helps correct and show patterns; thus conception is crucial to expanding and universal perspectives (from perception to conception there is a continuum that may be subsumed under a more general sense of ‘conception’). Neutrality of perspective is important to equanimity and truth; however, willing, feeling, commitment, and action are essential to living and finding new realms for the emergence of truth (‘heart’ and ‘mind’ constitute another integrated and interlaced multi-dimensional continuum).
The following are the same true picture: there is nothing but experience and experience is of a real world that contains experience (the range of reference of ‘experience’ is broader in its first occurrence here).
Experience is the place of expression and core of living being. Significance and knowledge are of the world but occur in experience.
The universe is all being.
The universe has being.
The universe has no creator; it is not created.
A domain is a part of the universe.
The non null domains have being (a null domain is a part that contains no being).
A pattern is a particular (set of) arrangement(s).
Patterns have being.
Difference is the most elementary pattern.
Utter sameness is absence of difference.
Sameness with difference refers to identity of person or object and marks time.
Difference without identity marks space.
Relative to identity, the modes of difference are space and time.
Space and time have being.
The term tradition will here refer to what is valid in the collection of cultures, primal through today, of living beings. It includes ways of being and knowing and their (encoded) principles and processes.
Modes of expression
Two non-exclusive and major modes of expression are the mythic-holist and the literal-atomic.
It is allowed (not inconsistent with but not required) by tradition (and its principles of reason) that universe is the universe of all possibility—i.e., it is the greatest possible with regard to space-time-beyond and variety of being.
In the twentieth century, secular thinkers came predominantly to see our empirical cosmos as the universe. However, there is nothing in reason (especially philosophy or science) that implies that case (or not the case even though the history of science strongly suggests ‘not the case’).
That science may not have revealed all even in its own domain is rational and may be further understood in terms of the searchlight metaphor: the light reveals what falls under its beam. The science of any particular time like that: it sees what it has seen but knows little to nothing, according to how remote it is, of what is unseen.
The natural laws of our sciences are readings of patterns.
Provided we recognize that it is local, the (object of) the law may be conflated with the pattern.
Natural laws have being.
The fundamental principle
Whether there is manifest being or not there is ‘always’ the non manifest. However, all laws are of manifest being; therefore there is no law in the non manifest. Consequently all possible objects emerge from the non manifest for the contrary would be a law of the non manifest. This defines and demonstrates a possibilist view of the universe.
Regard natural law as local empirical fact rather than universal projection. Define realism as the constraints of fact and logic on concepts. Then realism is the appropriate criterion for possibility—if a realistic object does not emerge from the void that would be a law of the non manifest. Therefore what obtains is far greater than revealed in science and logic.
It follows that the universe is the universe of all possibility, the greatest possible universe, or the universe of realism (this is the meaning of ‘universe’ in what follows). This is called the fundamental principle of metaphysics (abbreviated fundamental principle).
What we have called Realism redefines—in fact defines the concepts of—science and logic individually and as one.
Potential for paradox abounds in the notion of possibility. ‘It is possible that the possible will not be realized’. The resolution is similar to that of the liar paradox ‘This sentence is false.’ The problem is that, contrary to expectation prior to the early twentieth century, not every apparently well formed referential sentence (assertion) has an object or truth value. Consequently a precise ‘language’ is necessary. One such language is the Zermelo Fraenkel formulation of set theory. Such languages have potential application in the present situation.
The void is the null domain.
The void contains no pattern or natural law.
The concepts of being, experience, universe, and pattern (as conceptualizing no more than their definition) are perfect; they (define objects that) have being.
From realism, the universe must go through non-manifest or void phases. Thus the void (the non-manifest) has being; knowledge of it is perfect; and this implies perfection to realism regarding the perfect objects of the previous paragraph and the void.
That is, being, experience, universe, pattern, void, and realism define a sound metaphysical framework that, as framework, is ultimate (a) in capturing the universe perfectly and (b) in showing the universe to be ultimate.
The existence of the void is a principle of Realism or Logic-Science (capitals signify reconceptualization but are used no further in this regard).
As an ultimate framework for all being, the metaphysics is an ultimate frame for valid tradition. The frame and tradition are complementary. The metaphysical frame illuminates and guides tradition; tradition-in-process inspires, fills out, and is an instrument for action within the framework.
The extension is perfect in an extended sense that, for the metaphysics is perfect depiction and for the tradition is ‘good enough’ and ‘there can be no better’; and the components of the extension are necessary to and enhance one another (the term the metaphysics will hereafter refer to this extension of the framework). What is valid in tradition and common experience and its process can be validly appended to the list of perfectly known objects (provided the meaning of perfection is as just extended).
The (extended) metaphysics can, therefore, be regarded a single coherent system. The sense or concept of being is not changed by the extension. Error will not accrue if the ideal framework and the practical objects are not conflated (except where conflation is shown warranted).
The unity of metaphysics, logic, and science is exemplified and suggested above. How far does this unity go?
It will be useful to say a few preliminary worlds about knowledge, logic, and science. It seems that an ultimate intelligence might perceive all things (this is perhaps self contradictory but it put as a thought to consider rather than as an assertion—we will not base the development on it—but still it is useful to note that some thinkers hold that under quantum theory a part can know the whole universe). Such an intelligence would know all and would not need to ‘think’. Yes, for its knowledge to be significant, it might need to ‘know’ the data at various levels—the minute atoms of data as well as the various integrations of the atoms as wholes. But perhaps it might be a more accessible adaptation of primality to have some degree of binding—perception and base feeling—mixed with some degree of freedom—higher concept formation and subtle feeling not completely independent of control. The two would act together to be more efficient than the parts even while the whole itself would not be finally perfect—but this would give meaning: being in process… though sometimes but not always peak meaning (but which also lies in process). Then the hypothesis of science is capable of error precisely because it is free which is precisely also while it is capable of true.
Now we sometimes think that the world cannot violate logic (which would be true if our logic was or logics were perfect)—or that logic is a limit on the world. But that is not precisely what logic is about. In our freedom of concept formation we can formulate statements or concepts about the world that are locally incorrect (our world is in the shape of a cube) and other statements that cannot be correct under any circumstance (our world is in the shape of a cube and the shape of a non-cube such as a sphere); for the meaning of ‘the world violates logic’ would be that the impossible is possible. Thus the nature of logic is not that the world cannot or does not violate it but that it is the constraint on concept formation that prevents their violation in any world. I.e. the world does not violate logic because logic is universal; rather to not be in violation of the world our concepts must be logical (which emphasizes the empirical origins of logic).
Here then is a fundamental similarity between logic and science. In the process of science, too, we can make free concepts (hypotheses) that do not ‘agree’ with the world but the process of experiment with concepts enables finding conceptual systems that do have agreement (limited of course in that science is not about the whole world but a part of it in terms of both kind and range of object).
By the twentieth century ‘logic’ came to mean strict deduction and its techniques while ‘science’ became identified as an inductive process. The distinction has truth but is based on a comparison of (deductive) reasoning under logical systems with (concept forming inductive, i.e. reasonable but not necessary hypothetical) reasoning toward scientific theories: the contrast is true but artificial. Non-artificial comparison and contrast, however, is as follows. Arriving at a logical system is typically inductive and often requires trial and error correction—this is as it is in arriving at a scientific theory. On the other hand making conclusions from scientific theories is typically deductive—just as for logical deduction within a logical system. Thus logic and science compare naturally where traditionally they have been artificially contrasted. But there is a contrast for logic and science are, if more alike than typically thought, clearly not the same. Where then is the contrast? WVO Quine has argued that the essential difference is that:
Logic and science are similar in that they are about our knowledge of the world but the distinction is that logical truths are universal while scientific truths are particular (and as we now see, local). That is, a scientific theory is about a particular phase and / or part of the universe, logical systems are, to the best of our knowledge, true everywhere (‘in all worlds’) (we can go so far as to say that if the ‘world’ of a scientific theory is just its data points it is a fact or that if it is just a narrow enough interpolation among the data and some reasonable but not universal extrapolation then it is essentially fact as witnessed by the utility of scientific theories, even those that have been superseded by newer ones). This view also conduces to the thought that logic is revisable; and that logic seems a priori because, being more general than science, its truths would be less frequently revised and its origins are more remote (the view of the revisability of science is far more commonplace than that of the revisability of logic).
Now this does not imply that there is no non finality in logic—there are simple logical systems that do seem quite final; but there are also parts of logic that are not particularly esoteric regarding which there is no final formulation in sight; and realism suggests that there are vast spaces for experiment in logic—or that everything must be transitional in science. Here is a conclusion that we have already drawn, that appears to be necessarily true, and that is both logic and science: the void (necessarily) exists.
Summary so far: logic and science are both about the world; however, logic is universal and emphasizes consistency while a scientific system is about some aspect of the world and while conceptual consistency is important the very fact that about some aspect implies that there must be close empirical contact with relevant region of data.
Where does mathematics fit into this framework? Mathematics, too, has parts that seem final and parts that are most likely going to be revised; and perhaps there are completely unknown fields in mathematics. But what is mathematics? Theories abound. It is a branch of logic (Logicism), it is the manipulation of axiomatic symbol systems chosen with consistency and applicability in mind according to consistency preserving rules (formalism); it is and must be, at root, a branch of intuition that is plain and deep (intuitionism); and Platonism that asserts that the concepts of mathematics have objects but that these objects are not in ‘our world’ but in an ‘ideal’ Platonic world—a world, perhaps, of ideas or forms. However, the metaphysics (realism) tells us that insofar as the conceptual systems of mathematics are consistent—do not violate logic—they must and do have objects in the one universe (see objects for further discussion). The number one, for example, then, is not be something like one stone or one human being but something like what is common to all systems of one thing. Now the point is, just as it was for logic, that regardless of what the object of the number one is (or for any mathematical concept or system), provided that the object / system is a consistent it there is and must be an object.
Then, mathematics becomes the science (or sciences) of the forms of our world; but because it concerns more general (‘abstract’) aspects it is more conveniently studied in abstract (axiomatic, conceptual) terms; but hence, also, the difficulty with completeness and consistency of sufficiently powerful systems of mathematics. Now the sciences of the world—the natural sciences including psychology and perhaps the social sciences—can be seen in a similar light: if the science is consistent, then—even if it is only an approximation to its said object in our world—it must have precise a precise object (which may be compound) and one of these objects is an abstract of our world. How? Three ways: one—focus only on the data points; two—require only sufficient accuracy; three—change the criterion of ‘faithfulness’ to good enough for some purposes. Now, above, we observed that mathematics is the science of the forms rather than the ‘things’ (these are not ultimately different). But, in the beginning, arithmetic and geometry were very empirical: it was later that the axiomatic approach arose as powerful codification of the forms. Here we see the distinction between logic, science, and mathematics break down. They are all systems with objects in the world; they all have at least some perceptual-empirical and some higher conceptual side. What then is the difference? It is this: though the theories may have a major conceptual side, they remain close to the empirical (general relativity was accepted only after sufficient empirical confirmation); and while logic and mathematics have an empirical side, our formal study of them is primarily symbolic and conceptual as described above.
Summary update: mathematics falls under the umbrella of science but it is about form and therefore emphasizes the conceptual side. It may be intuitive in approach but to count as acceptable its formulation and method must be truth preserving and therefore emphasizes logic. Thus mathematics lies in between the particular sciences of the world and logic with regard to formulation (axiomatic vs. conceptual over data) and requirement and possibility of rigor under the system (logical deduction). Hence the strength of mathematics (precision and rigor) and weakness (the symbolic approach has no general guarantee of completeness).
Final summation: we have brought metaphysics—pure and practical, logic, science, and mathematics under one umbrella. If we were to choose a general label we might choose ‘metaphysics’; but perhaps it would be more appropriate to coin a new word.
Here consider an integration of the affective side of being with the previous integrations.
The thoughts in this section are tentative but interesting and potentially powerful and empowering.
Can feeling or mixed feeling-cognitive (emotion, ethics, intending, willing, and metaphor and poetry and music) be brought under the same umbrella as the cognitive endeavors such as the sciences, mathematics, and logic? Emotion is important as motivation in the cognitive but it would be a mistake to conclude from this that emotion and the cognitive disciplines are at some root level the same or similar. However, this is what the principle is: anything can be brought under the one umbrella if or to the extent that it is an experiential state and we know that it has objects. It is not hard to show that there are ways in which the above aspects of the mixed endeavors have objects but it would be harder to show that is all that that is all that there is to them. And if they are only experiential, then what of that? Well there is as we have seen nothing that has no potential object. But what if that is all that they are—potentially experiential (and in our unawareness we do not know whether they are actually or merely potentially referring to some putative object)? In response ask—what is the value of the experience? The value is that we cherish—or despise—the experience. All experience is ‘of the object’—either in the first order or in the second: the object is experience itself.
But how can we say all this is ‘logical’? Here is how: experience is relationship; so if it is not logical there is neither actual nor potential object (‘logic’ / ‘realism’ is not being used vaguely; rather they are being used in the sense defined here which has been immensely broadened by the fundamental principle). Think of a scientific endeavor; we make a hypothesis; it has no object but we do not know this; so even if without ultimate value it has in process value. Similarly with general experience; much of that experience has ultimate value; but even where it does not it may well have in process value. In process value is at least on the way to ultimate value.
One is tempted here to complain: we are making a confusion regarding logic; we are reducing poetry and so on. However, this is not what is happening. On an ‘everyday’ level logic is what we have thought it to be and poetry is what we have thought and felt. On the other hand we have immensely broadened logic and we are now broadening the meaning of art and poetry. Whatever function that have in the lives of peoples and cultures continues undiminished. But now the cognitive and the mixed have new broadened—the word may be preferred to ‘higher’—senses. On the side of the cognitive, it has been broadened its scope has been broadened by showing it equivalent to an ultimate-perfect metaphysics; on the side of poetry (the mixed) we find that even the most sublime metaphor is also metaphysical or logical (in the broadest sense). Any affront that my formal and poetic sensibilities experiences is due to equation of the older traditional meanings of the terms and not the ultimate meanings.
The main question, to which I do see a clear answer (yet) and to which I don’t know that a good and useful answer is possible, is how, apart from the significant points of the insight and the fact that forward process may well enhanced by it, such an answer might come about and what form it would take. That doubt regarding significance, however, is excepting:
That there is this new significant insight on the unity of the experiential endeavor of being and that forward process in understanding the endeavor may well also be practically advanced by the insight. The question arises, for example, what the relative roles of the cognitive and the affective might be in universal realization. It is hard to tell, for as powerful as we find our cognitive endeavors our human minds may well have limits here. On the other hand we can hardly assert that because the affective and the mixed have given us wonderful images of the universe that those are ultimate rather that ultimate-to-us. But reflect on the roles of the perceptual (direct and of the world but including experience), the feeling (the tying bonds with the world including experience and others), and the conceptual (the overlay that integrates and for which subtle feeling is also significant). It would then seem that forward process not just in this life but also across death which is relative but not absolute will be an integration of the divisions of endeavor. But all this is already seen in the metaphysics.
Summary: the metaphysics—metaphysics as presented here—already contains an image of ultimate realization of all and highest being and process in terms of all dimensions of the being of individuals and cultures.
Pain and joy
From the fundamental metaphysics, our lives are necessarily mosaics of pain and joy. This (significant) meaning to pain is extended later.
Doubt and existential attitude
The essential doubt about the metaphysics concerned existence of the void.
The situation is the same as for any realist (no factual or logical inconsistency and eminently reasonable) proposition.
On account of the potential for great return on the investment, we therefore adopt the metaphysics as an existential attitude or principle of reason.
Of course, we have seen that the doubt is groundless; it is prompted by the magnitude of the proposition and unclear thinking; but since experience and being are limitless, the metaphysics is valid as a principle of thought and action that stands against nihilism.
Something from nothing
We saw that the universe does and must go through non manifest and manifest phases. This resolves what has been called the fundamental problem of metaphysics—i.e. why there is (manifest) being at all.
There is a more direct proof that avoids the issue of the existence of the void. It is that if the universe were in a state of absolute nothingness there would be no laws and therefore something would emerge.
The fundamental problem of metaphysics
The fundamental problem of metaphysics is that of determining what has being.
When we see that everything has being—entities, processes, interactions, thoughts, questions, answers, depths, and, insofar as they exist, matter, mind, spirits, persons, gods, lives and histories—the answer to the question ‘what has being’ is the answer to all questions. (‘Everything has being’ is a vague notion but is now permissible from realism as defined earlier for its meaning is that what exists is the entire world of concepts that are realistic.)
The answering of this question, already begun, continues.
There are questions of fundamental interest to humankind—to many individuals—to which the tradition, including science, provide a range of answers from speculative, to symbolic, to literal but all incomplete:
What is the being of our cosmos—and of the universe?
What is my being—and what is my relationship to (any) universal being?
The metaphysics, we see, frames and illuminates ultimate answers. This would be a kind of death if it were not for the fact that variety and extensionality were limitless, ever open, and ever fresh. The formulating and answering of these and related questions—and of Kant’s famous three questions ‘What can I know? What ought to do? What may I hope?’—are part of the fundamental question.
And while the metaphysics provides a ‘depth’ answer, it leaves ‘breadth’ and ‘peak’ open. Therefore, except as metaphor or symbol or allegory or moral, no answering that aspires to definiteness can be complete. Here we begin an answering—a framework that shall, for those individuals and cultures and civilizations of this and other cosmoses and natures that so desire, be filled in according to local experience, thought, passion, and action.
The power of being
The power of the concept of being, now emphatically clear, will continue to emerge in what follows.
Objects are concrete or abstract. Though they seem distinct the metaphysics shows they are ‘equally real’ (within realism, every concept has an object). They seem different, not because the abstract are essentially non-concrete but because abstraction omits certain concrete features. This union of the abstract and the concrete has significance for cosmology and the nature of the real.
Cosmology is the study of the variety, extension and duration of being.
On proof and intuition
Many proofs from the fundamental principle are so trivial (some of course are not) that proof may be omitted. What is important is interpretation, which will be given, and challenge to intuition. The issue of intuition may be addressed by (a) carefully following the formal development, (b) remembering that the metaphysics is proved and consistent with tradition, and (c) allowing time for assimilation.
The, first principle of general cosmology is the fundamental principle. Consequences follow; they are suggested by experience but it is the fundamental principle that is the source of their necessity.
The universe is a manifold of acute, diffuse, and absent manifestation, identity, space, time, causation, and variety; these have no limit but realism; they peak in Aquinas’ Aeternitas and Vedanta’s Brahman (all knowing and being manifest as one). This power is conferred on the individual. While in limited form, however, realization is eternal process; overcoming suffering is significant but we do not wait for it in the path of realization; and the path is made effective and enjoyed by intelligent (cognitive-emotive) commitment (including passion). Pain and enjoyment are a mosaic; this gives meaning to pain. Death is real but not absolute—it reminds us that this life is precious. The briefest answer to the question of memory across death is that in the abstract the individual is already in the ultimate.
We are also interested in stable cosmologies, e.g. that of the local cosmos. This will also help see the significance in general cosmology.
Our cosmos has a degree of formed-ness and stability. The universe is a collection of formed stable cosmoses against a transient-void background. What principles are available to explain form and stability?
Since every origin complies with the metaphysics, this is the most general explanatory principle.
But we are also interested in more specific processes that explain form and the population of form in the universe. These include the standard processes of experience, science, scientific and metaphysical cosmologies as well as metaphysical systems tinged by cosmology and other particularization—and their forms and principles.
It is sufficient to consider origins from the void.
Because there is no form in the void, the origin of form is indeterministic. But form has at least some degree of determinism. A goal of explanation is to illuminate the ‘balance’ between indeterminism and determinism—between absence and occurrence of form. A classic mechanism is stepwise via indeterministic increment between stable states where population is maximized where the product of frequency and longevity is a maximum. Fecund transients are very short lived. Perfect symmetry is frozen. The optimum lies somewhere in between.
There is no compelling reason to think that origins obey our laws of science, particularly its conservation laws such as conservation of energy.
Origins from a non conservative background provide an explanatory template for conservation laws: conservation of energy, for example, lies at the stable interface between deflation of energy dissipating and inflation of energy generating proto-cosmoses.
Approach to the ultimate
Though realization is given to limited form (the individual), intelligent and passionate (committed) engagement enhance effectiveness and enjoyment of the process.
Intelligence, evolution, and significance
We have via intelligence some, if very partial, control over our fate and evolution. It is possible and therefore will occur that we (at least in identity beyond death and together with organism from the corners of the universe) rise to the level of constructing peaks of the universe (there will be depths too). It is in the nature of significance and of the void background (no external god) that such peaks, whatever the mechanism, are the highest significance.
Pain and enjoyment
In a stable organism in a stable cosmos under the paradigm of adaptation, pain and enjoyment are in adaptive balance. This gives further meaning to pain.
‘Meaning of life’
Meaning of life—significant meaning, lies in being in process, i.e. in negotiating the immediate-ultimate.
A universe of meaning
Some religions and philosophies assert that the universe is essentially one in which ‘love is the transcendent principle’—the universe is love. It seems to me that a universe of only pain or ennui would not have existential meaning (some might disagree but I think that the disagreement is based on the possibility of something beyond just pain). However, it does not seem that the universe is one of pure love or that love. Still, as a mosaic, love and joy must occur in the universe.
The universe is essentially meaningful.
It is interesting that the logician Gödel argued that if life is rationally constructed meaningful there must be an ‘afterlife’. From its premise, the argument is at least reasonable and afterlife may be equally interpreted as eternal life. However, for the argument to be deductive it seems that it should be analytic, i.e. the cessation of ‘my consciousness’ would occur only in the absence of meaning.
Arriving at meaning and truth is a process. We might have success before death (relative not absolute); we might have failure and shame; this is temporal. In ‘another existence’—another expression of universal disposition the opportunity arises again and its different occasions constitute a sequence from the limited to the limitless. There is always resolution; shame and success dissolve and arise again. This is not reason for fatalism for we (all being not just being on earth) are the universe in its creative process between blind nothingness to Aeternitas or Brahman and back but always with freshness. As seen earlier, intelligent commitment (thought and perception in step with feeling, passion, intention, and action) is essential to effectiveness and enjoyment. The traditional ways provide realization in ‘this’ life but that is a projection of the ultimate onto our cosmos.
The individual realizes the ultimate. While in limited form this realization is eternal process—a journey in being. This follows from the metaphysics.
It is in overcoming limited form that the ultimate, i.e. the Aeternitas or Brahman, are achieved.
Nature of realization
Enjoyment and effectiveness are enhanced by intelligent, committed and passionate engagement. The process always begins here-now and connects to the ultimate.
Immersion and the disciplines
The intrinsic and instrumental disciplines—the traditions of the east are, though limited just as the west too is limited, developed beyond western psychologies of being. I call these disciplines intrinsic because they apply to our being in contrast to the extrinsic or instrumental disciplines that apply primarily to the environment or instrumentally to the individual.
The dimensions of process are nature or ground, civilization (individual and community in interaction), psyche (the place of being and significance and source of instrument), and the universal.
Human civilization is the web of human community across time and continents. Universal civilization is the matrix of civilizations across the universe. The universal metaphysics implies the being of universal civilization and that it is one vehicle for realization of the ultimate.
Elements of process are means (ideas and action), disciplines and mechanics of transformation (ways, psycho-physiological catalysts (non drug) such as extended hiking, fasting, vision quest, risk, reflection, and consolidation), modes (intrinsic—of being, extrinsic—of environment and technology), and places (nature, civilization, psyche, and universe), and vehicles (individual, civilization, intelligent artifact), and phases (becoming: nature, spirit, civilization-artifact and pure be-ing).
The principle is to use the metaphysics, cosmology, traditional ways, reflection, action, and experience as foundation to synthesize a way to be named universal realism. That is, the path or way and their development are part of the same process.
The traditional systems may also be used as sources with regard to detail of living in the world—only brief detail is presented here as foundation from which to build by example or by criticism.
Some traditions as foundation
The focus is the multi-faceted psychology and salvation from suffering. The response is therefore a multi-faceted, e.g. eight-fold, way.
Metaphysics is important to Advaita Vedanta: every ‘I’ is Brahman. The psychology is the alienation of the ego from the true self (Atman: Brahman) due to the natural ignorance of ego. The way emphasizes seeing and overcoming the mistakes of ego. It may be simple: an inspired vision of truth. Other ways, adapted to various personal situations and degrees of potential (in this life), are programs to overcome ignorance.
The cosmology has an emphasis on a separation of world from a personal god—however, though monotheistic, these systems or not univalent—God is not invariably remote which suggests our process as individual and immanent god. The psychology of salvation is that of overcoming sin (rather than ignorance); but there are alternate strains in which we are (in) the process of a personal god.
Metaphysics: individual and universal identity are the same (as for Advaita); the universe and individual (Brahman and Atman) are both processes—individual identity ever approaching the latter (this is one perspective; there is another in which they are one timeless ultimate).
Psychology: the sources of alienation include those of Buddhism and the Advaita. However, there are further considerations. The metaphysics of eternal process is proved. While we are in that loop, perfection in the ultimate cannot wait for ultimate perfection in this life which is a mosaic of pain and joy. The psychology is that of seeking a path within this mosaic that is ‘optimally’ effective and enjoyable in and on the way in the immediate-ultimate. Perfection in this life is a balance or equilibrium between the perspectives of local perfection and process. The elements of process are described in earlier sections of realization.
Sociology: for vibrant realism, every individual and culture is an occasion for renewal in the way of realization. This is not to abandon the past as inspiration. There is a default secularism that sees society as its own end, its science as essentially complete and therefore closed (as in some naïve kinds of positivism). When we do not think of science as closed it may be an instrument in universal civilization; seeing it as open, it may be more than instrument.
Originality: many faiths have an account of a founder who finds inspiration in the forest or the wilderness. An interpretation of this is that while we derive support from communal knowledge, our ultimate resources in the process from dark to light is within rather than beyond ourselves. That is, the divisions of charismatic versus patriarchal authority, of authority versus process, of leader versus follower, and of guru versus pupil are temporally but not ultimately real.
The way: the mechanics is choice-risk-consolidation (see discussion of mechanics of transformation, earlier). From the universal metaphysics and other previous considerations this is worked out below.
Charting the way
The way: introduction and overview
The intent is to provide a template for origin, understanding, and action on the way.
See the resource edition for details of the program phases below.
The way: template
The essentials of a template from reflection so far are: aim, phase, place, time, sequence, vehicle, means, mechanics, mode, place, and action.
Review as occasion arises, especially when reflecting on the realizations.
The way: ways and design
Ways and psycho-physiological catalysts (non drug), mechanics, elements, and phases.
Path and phase selection and design. The criteria are comprehensiveness and incisiveness in supportive balance.
Program: ways and design
Review as occasion arises, especially when reflecting on the realizations.
Action: right thought and action everyday.
Right thought and action is being in the present and the ultimate as one.
Rise early—Dedicate the day to the way of being, focus on essence.
I dedicate my self to The Way of Being: / To its discovery and realization— / To live and grow in all worlds as one; / To shed the bondage of limited self— / So that I may see The Way so clearly / That living it, even through difficulty / Is flow over force… / And so to share and show the truth, power, and care of the way.
I dedicate my commitment and action to a good world, to being in the present; to all persons and their care and betterment (for which I pray); to a positive and higher attitude; and to identifying but not taking apprehensions and resentments, real or imagined, as affronts to security and sense of self; to take responsibility for my pain and action including assertiveness; and dedication to release…
I will meditate on my truth and not let apprehension prevent me from speaking it when good; or ego force me to speak it when inappropriate; and I will meditate of this and other weaknesses. I will avoid all fundamentalism which is belief in words over experience or experience over words (concepts over percepts or percepts over concepts).
Review and meditate on realization and other priorities and means (priorities).
Realization—action and experiment; ideas and writing.
Meditate: quieting—spaciousness of being; focus and focal issues; pain and resentment; death as spur and transition; meditation-in-action.
Exercise—posture, general (aerobic, flexibility, hiking fitness and strength), and yogic.
Evening—review the next day, plans; meditate; sleep early.
Program: right thought and action
Review right thought and practice (a) when rethinking the realizations and (b) in interaction with practice.
The way: Ideas
Ideas—the metaphysics; ‘research’, i.e. study, concepts, and criticism for the phases of action and of pure being; and designing and planning the entire path.
Parallel to action—i.e., individual, civilization, and artifact. The main topics are the metaphysics and its development, sciences—empirical and symbolic (including mathematics), human knowledge—principles and system (toward a knowledge database), physical cosmology and its foundations, ethics and value and foundations, religious and spiritual thought—nature-principles-systems, design and planning, and narrative mode. It is critical to not think of these as watertight divisions.
The way: becoming or action
There are currently five action concepts; actual action will select from these and others. The phases are (i) nature as ground, (ii) transformation of being, (iii) civilization: engagement in the world, (iv) right living (in a previous section), and (v) artifactual being.
Nature as ground and inspiration: Beyul and quest for vision
Action: nature as ground and inspiration: Beyul and quest for vision. Extended immersion; importance of selection, access, and extended immersion in one ‘natural’ place; and example (‘primal’ cultures).
Nature as ground and inspiration: program
Ideas—see elements: means above: study of the ways of immersion, Beyul, pilgrimage and vision.
Places—select places for criteria, e.g., extended, repeated, and varied immersion (time, one place, variety); spirit; and access.
Examples—Trinity Alps: six months; Copper Canyon: living; Southern California desert: winter.
Activities—meditation and other psycho-physiological catalysts (non drug): extended hiking, fasting, vision quest.
Beyul—immersion—being—mind and place.
Transformation of being: yoga, meditation and related practice
Action: transformation of being: yoga, meditation and related practice—tradition and experiment, psyche and physical organism (especially catalytic transformation by psychic and physical action).
Minimize priorities (inessentials), space (property)-time (‘entertainment’), dissipation (food, alcohol).
Yoga, meditation and related practice: program
Civilization: engagement in the world—ultimate and secular
Action: civilization: engagement in the world—ultimate (universal-holist) and secular (culture, political-economic…).
Develop theory of joint realization.
Shared endeavor: all phases, especially daily practice (and meditation and yoga), ideas, Beyul, and artifactual being.
The links are
TranscommunityDesign—http://www.horizons-2000.org/1. World and Being/realization/being-elements/2010/2011-2012 jib in-process/TranscommunityDesign.html
Transcommunity.xls—http://www.horizons-2000.org/1. World and Being/realization/being-elements/2010/2011-2012 jib in-process/Transcommunity.xls
TransCommunity—http://www.horizons-2000.org/1. World and Being/realization/being-elements/2010/2011-2012 jib in-process/Transcommunity.html
Civilization: detailed program
Action: artifactual being—construction of independent and adjunct technologies via cognitive approaches (science, cognitive science, art…), experiment, evolution for organism-artifact.
Time frame: when ‘civilization’ is under way.
Artifactual being: program
Artifactual being—stand alone, symbiotic, and adjunct—including life and experiential being (including study of life and mind); concepts; computation and networking (and text and media: shared, interactive, and dynamic); modeling; design; experiment; evolution. Technology for Civilization. Theoretical (and experimental) study of transformations with organisms, individuals, selves, and dissolution of self—psycho-biology.
General—the primary mode of transformation is extrinsic or instrumental: science, technology, and artifact—artifactual aids and symbiosis and constructed being—including life, mind, and intelligence.
The approach is defined above in plans for symbolic and experimental being in realization.
See immediately above for shared endeavor: TransCommunity and related links.
Adjunct to civilizing the universe—technology (material—macroscopic and microscopic, biological, psychosocial, and information) as adjunct to civilization in. The metaphysics, trans-secular systems, and modern science—quantum and relativistic—are significant. A very preliminary source is:
Journey in Being: http://www.horizons-2000.org/1. World and Being/realization/being-elements/2010/Journey in being-detail.html.
The way: pure being
Pure being—living in the immediate and ultimate as identical.
Pure being: program
Time frame: all times; emphasis: substantial progress in ideas and action; and, essentially, as closure in view of death.
Daily practice, meditation, yoga. Sharing.
Just being. Simplicity. No goals but presence. Emptiness.
The place of the realizations is immediate and the ultimate.
The process—all endeavor lies in process—in ideas-action-shared endeavor. Ideas reveal the universe; and ways and paths of action. Paths of becoming, join nature immersion as ground and inspiration; ways of becoming, especially risk and consolidation, life ways and practices, psycho-physiological catalysts (non drug), shared endeavor in realism, learning from tradition, and publication of works.
Transience and arrival
Transience and arrival—realization begins in the present, with perhaps with traditional discipline and practice. It requires risk—reflection and experiment—and consolidation individual form (heart, mind, and body), and in culture and artifact. Living in transience—in joy and anxiety—is on the way… is essential in realization, ever a flux of transience and arrival. While limited realization is endless process—ever freshness in variety and depth in a journey of realizations of being.
The future—the path is always at a beginning, in be-ing and becoming. Becoming is always on the way, somewhere in process (above); exploration, sharing, publishing in world and ultimate, entraining and being entrained by society and civilization. Be-ing is immanent—it is being in the present… and its practices such as meditation—and at times when death speaks: enter into a time of be-ing.
It would leave these suggestions incomplete to not suggest some ‘primal’ sources. A general but very cursory source Indigenous Religions (from Encyclopedia.com). An outstanding source is Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest, Richard K. Nelson (1983) (the link to University of Chicago press site was live as of January 21, 2015). The author cautions that conclusions regarding one Native American group cannot be generalized to ‘primality’. The restriction however is not pertinent to the insight of what is possible and meaningful. Perhaps the most pertinent conclusions to the present purpose are (1) that natural and spiritual knowledge encompass an entire human ecological niche and (2) that the system of knowledge is both deep, wonderful, and flexible (and in this way quite different from our modern rigid fundamentalisms but may be seen as an origin of modern science and religion though not the cause of their dichotomous fundamentalism).
Religious (spiritual) teachers and communities are important for good direction and support (even though we are ultimately on the forefront—at the beginning—without external support on the road to the universal precisely because the universe is all that there is: there is nothing outside it).
Every system has its written and living sources of insight; its communities. Readers are encouraged, if they would derive insight and support from tradition, to experiment with and find literature, teachers, and communities appropriate to their inclination. The internet and the printed literature abound with information.
A primary source for details of this document is:
Resource edition—http://www.horizons-2000.org/1. World and Being/realization/being-elements/2010/2011-2012 jib in-process/second production/1/the realizations-resource version.html. Future field notes to this resource document will supplement the present development.
Also see my website http://www.horizons-2000.org which links to internal and external sources, especially the following links on the site home page: The Realizations, Recent narratives, Field Journals, Sources, Western Philosophy, Archive, and Useful Links.