Journey in Being
© ANIL MITRA, January 2015
Created May 28, 2013
Journey in Being is a
quest for discovery and realization of the Universe
This document is an outline for dialog.
Further information and sources are linked from the
Journey in Being site
Journey in Being
Journey. I came to experience my search as a journey. The human endeavor has been described as a journey.
Worldview. In 2002 I proved a worldview (metaphysics) with this consequence: individual and universal identity are ultimate but while in limited form they merge in endless process—a journey—of unlimited variety.
Significance and validity. If valid, significance is immense. Validity and significance are established below.
Metaphysics—read ‘worldview’ until defined later; related to cosmology.
Originality. Though ancient imagination conceived merging of identity, there is no prior demonstration. Demonstration is (a) pivotal in establishing an ultimate metaphysics whose cosmology is eternal and boundless and (b) instrumental in showing a way or mechanics of merging identity.
History of ideas. Understanding the Universe is an ancient ideal but has often been approached via projection (materialism…) which is (a) not given and (b) narrow and distorting.
Examples of projection. Universe as matter, life, mind, process, state, interaction, word… World in the image of man, knowledge as representation versus enmeshed…
Being may be used as neutral—the power of the concept is that it avoids such projection.
Why Being? That is, why select this particular word rather than some other. The root of ‘Being’ is the verb ‘to be’ whose present tense forms are ‘is’, ‘am’ and ‘are’. Consider the statements ‘I am’ and ‘I am matter’. The former asserts my existence while the latter seems to assert no more than my constitution. However, I cannot be matter if I do not exist. Therefore ‘I am’ is implicit in ‘I am matter’, ‘I am mind’, ‘I am blue’, ‘I am process’, and so on. This suggests the neutrality of ‘Being’ which of course remains open to question. However, the question cannot be answered without analysis. Therefore if we are at the beginning of wondering what the Universe is we would do well to begin with Being and then come back to the beginning if need be.
Problem. If distorting, projection is often instrumentally empowering.
Thinkers from Plato to Heidegger were drawn to ‘Being’ but reintroduced projection for its power. A source of this problem is the attitude that knowledge is of a single kind to be measured by uniform criteria.
Heidegger singled out the idea of substance as a distortion that pervades western philosophy. However, human thought—formal and informal—is riddled with commitments that may be locally empowering but are universally disempowering and distorting.
Resolution. Here projection is within—not on—Being. Being provides a framework for what lies within.
From neutrality concepts derived from Being are capable of the strictest criteria without losing practical and human significance. What lies within is incapable the strict criteria which are therefore without relevance (examples of interior elements are science, morals and other values). This is not a loss—as given it is freeing, occasion for celebration.
The ‘journey’ began as personal. Its scope expanded to merge with the human endeavor. The Prologue begins with a characterization of this endeavor and then takes up mutual implications of my process and the journey of humankind.
The prologue is intended to provide general context and to show that our conclusions do not violate what is valid in our common worldviews.
Is there a human endeavor? Neutrality suggests seeing the human trajectory as a just so story and as endeavor—the immediate merging with the ultimate.
The endeavor has two standard forms—secular and trans-secular.
At the core of these forms is a concern with the nature of the human endeavor, human values and conduct, and what constitutes a ‘good life’. Such concerns are typically founded in cosmology and the distinction between the secular and the trans-secular may therefore be understood in terms of their cosmologies.
The secular forms focus on the ‘tangible’ world and their cosmology today is often drawn from science.
Secular cosmology has regions of validity but it is distorted when it insists it is complete. Completeness is not necessary for that would assume that the empirical universe is the Universe. Since there may be undiscovered realms or niches of phenomena, completeness is not even probable.
Although we usually think of ‘cosmology’ as description—in detail or principle—of what is in the Universe and its distribution we may extend the idea to include reason. Then we do not need to append ‘logic’ to cosmology to include all received understanding for ‘logic’ is then already part of cosmology. Whether we make this extension or not is a choice but making it is a convenient choice.
The trans-secular forms emphasize a world ‘beyond’ the immediate.
Distortions of the trans-secular. There is no intrinsic distortion in the notion of the trans-secular. However, most religious trans-secular cosmologies are ‘mythic’ and therefore lacking in ‘external realism’ even when they have significance for an ‘inner’ cosmos.
That the trans-secular is not intrinsically distorting does not imply truth of such pictures. Acceptance of such picture requires separate demonstration. The point is that this disallows any positivist argument against anything that goes beyond current scientific cosmology.
Metaphysical systems from western philosophy purport to represent the world as it is and straddle the secular and trans-secular cosmologies. Because their base in experience has been incomplete (and in some cases absent) such metaphysics has been thought impossible. Where metaphysics claims complete knowledge it is of course impossible. The key to metaphysics here will be to find what ‘objects’ are capable of ‘knowledge as they are’—the range turns out to be immense—and to use this to frame ‘knowledge’ of practical-human interest. As a trivial example of metaphysics the claim ‘all metaphysics is impossible’ is a positive metaphysical assertion. The goal here is to find non-trivial metaphysics.
A second criticism of metaphysics concerns system—postmodernism has criticized the ‘grand narrative’ on two counts (a) its possibility and (b) usefulness. Suppose I know the Universe—so what… this world remains important. The critique of possibility has just been addressed—the goal is to find a metaphysics and if it turns out to be ‘systematic’ or ‘grand’ is irrelevant to its possibility. The critique of postmodernism includes that ‘local narratives’ are relevant while ‘grand narratives’ are not. The position here is that both may be relevant. What would it be like if we knew ‘everything’? It is a reasonable conclusion that given perfect knowledge the future would be determined; there would be no choice, no openness, no challenge. Imperfect knowledge would seem to be a good thing. However, there is no arguing what is given. What we find here is that there is or seems to be perfect knowledge in one direction (depth or foundation) and ever-openness in the direction of breadth or variety and, further, that this variety is without limit. I.e. to limited forms of Being the Universe is ever open and this is the opportunity and energy need not be further spent on ‘universal foundation’ (local foundation may remain significant). Incomplete knowledge has interesting consequences for ‘rationality’ which I consider to be the way of choosing a good path of action (and includes the question ‘what is good knowledge’). Note that I say ‘good’ and not ‘best’ but this allows ‘best’ as a special case. Incomplete knowledge means that in general we do not know perfectly what is ‘good’ or what is a good path under a particular notion of good. Thus judgment will invariably be an element of rationality which will be incompletely defined with regard to concept and implementation.
Joint secular and trans-secular distortions tend to result in retreat to entrenched opposition. Reality, however, does not recognize the divide.
What does not disagree with
the valid parts of standard cosmologies is allowed by them.
In this truth it is understood that the standard cosmologies include the standard logics.
This section emphasizes pertinence to the journey over relevance to knowledge and intellect.
I prove a universal metaphysics—the Universe has no limits.
Proof, meaning, significance are given later.
A main consequence—individual and universal being (and identity) merge in unending process of limitless extension (‘space’), variety, summit and elevation, and dissolution.
The meaning of this includes even though the human race (life on earth) may become extinct, identity is eternal. This appears to contradict ‘Normal’ experience. However, it does not for as seen above—what is Normally seen as necessary is merely highly probable in our limited context (cosmos).
This provides an obvious challenge in terms of its meaning, proof, and execution.
Emerging from the Normal—the current view of a given time or era—is given but requires endeavor.
An example—the history of science and technology. Western thought tends to regard human identity as limited and secularism generally sees it as temporally finite. However, the secular view of the origin of identity from ‘mere’ matter harbors conceptual difficulties that are generally minimized but whose basis lies in limited Normal experience.
The secular and trans-secular have a place within universal process.
An essential problem—the main concern of the document—how shall we enter process and realize ultimates? The fact of realization is assured by the metaphysics. However, it is reasonable from probability that sharing and intelligent engagement enhance efficiency and enjoyment.
Truth 2. It is essential to engage and share what I have learned.
Religion—the spiritual search ultimate and validated; distinction between the secular and the trans-secular—the material and the spiritual—dissolved; symbolic meaning has potential significance but real meaning is now also ‘symbolic’ and of greater significance than ‘mere’ symbolic meaning.
Knowledge is an important aspect of the endeavor—instrumentally and qualitatively.
System of knowledge—significance for nature, envelope, divisions is immense—see system of human knowledge.
‘Violence’ is done to standard secular and trans-secular positions and assumptions.
Here are some examples of significance that flow from the universal metaphysics:
Philosophy re-rooted beyond Normal; but the Normal nested in the ultimate;
The ultimate as a frame for all Being and the metaphysics as a perfect representational frame for knowledge, representational and other such as intentional, practical, immersed, and ‘interest’—applied metaphysics;
Metaphysics, cosmology, human being, and ethics—re-rooted in the ultimate; ‘Universe’ as name of ‘All Being’ entails no contradiction or denial of fact and is found to be immensely empowering;
Logic reconceived—the necessary and sufficient requirement for concepts to have objects—container for ultimate knowledge and equal to metaphysics since the universe is ultimate;
Mathematics—all valid mathematical structures realized; all structures an aspect of the ‘mathematics’ of some form of identity;
Objects—abstract objects tend to be conceptual, the concrete tend to be perceptual but this difference is not essential—there is abstraction even in the perceptual but this abstraction is built into animal being and environment and it is this that constitutes concreteness of perceived objects; the difference is not grounded in metaphysics or the nature of the Universe; in the ultimate all concepts within logic are realized; objects are objects in the one Universe;
Science—theory and data are fact in valid domain, science of future for limited forms requires immersion and participation which is allowed by valid secularism and trans-secularism and required by the metaphysics for any approach to ‘final’ science by limited forms of Being.
Being is that which exists (definition).
There is Being. Proof—Being refers to what is there, illusion or otherwise.
Since this document emphasizes the journey, the main discussion omits further details regarding the fact of Being.
Of general interest. For robustness of argument see essays at http://www.horizons-2000.org, particularly the axiomatic version where it is shown that there is a real world that contains and is known in experience. As portal to the world and as being in and present to the world experience is immensely important.
Truth 3. Experience is the essential place and ground of Being and knowing.
Of academic interest. Understanding ‘experience’ is crucial in foundation of the universal metaphysics. In this document which is action oriented I provide just a brief explanation of the role of experience in this foundation. ‘Experience’ is used in differing senses of ‘cumulative experience’ and ‘experience as subjective awareness’ which is very close in meaning to ‘consciousness’. This latter meaning is the basis of foundation. It is not claimed at outset that everything is or flows experience. Rather, without experience we might as well be robots and experience is therefore the place of meaning-as-significance for individual and group. What is important here is that experience is (may be shown to be) the place of connection of individual and Universe—via pure experience which includes feeling and thinking, afferent experience which is an aspect of perceiving and knowing, and efferent experience which is an aspect of action.
What is the role of experience in foundation of metaphysics—particularly of the universal metaphysics? (1) That we have experience is given. There are some who deny the case. Indeed, we do not prove the case from other premises. However, other premises are not needed. ‘Experience’ is—the concept begins as—the name of the fundamental human (animal) given of being present to the world. Perhaps all—even experience itself—is illusion but illusion is experience. (2) There are other thinkers who deny that there is a world apart from experience—the extreme form of this position is philosophical ‘solipsism’ one of whose forms is that there is nothing but experience. Perhaps this solipsism is correct. However, if it is then it is but one relabeling of the world as one vast mind. What is the alternative? It is generally found in (individual) experience that the capacity for experience is unable to sustain the world known in experience. Thus there is a real world that contains and is known in experience. Finally, it may be shown that experience—on an expanded meaning—is pervasive and its occurrence in animal life is a concentration, layering, and focusing.
The power of Being begins to emerge—we cannot similarly say ‘there is matter’ for matter is not even definite.
Truth 4. In distancing itself from commitment the concept of Being is immensely powerful.
Therefore while we could do so we will not consider the ultimate neutrality ‘there is or there is not Being’ (which might be interesting but provides no greater effective neutrality than ‘there is Being’).
‘Is’ is used in a sense that transcends ‘space’ and ‘time’ (and distinction in general which is not treated in this document).
What we know of Being is in experience and coded in what is valid in fact and reason (that is, ‘Realism’)
‘Logic’ will emerge as equivalent to Realism. The incorporation of fact into logic is non-traditional but will be seen to be a trivial addition. It is the reasoning side of Logic that will undergo immense reconceptualization.
Except this, relative to what is valid in the standard endeavor, metaphysical possibility is absolutely wide open.
That is, what does not violate Realism is neither ruled out nor required by Realism.
The power of Being continues to emerge for it allows the greatest realm of possibility (and therefore fact and reason, ‘logic’ which therefore, on this new definition, includes science as fact and logic in its traditional sense)
How wide open? At this point in our reflection it is not pinned down. However we can assert—
Realistically—whatever does not violate fact and reason is allowed but not necessary (what is in fact necessary will emerge later).
As seen below this ‘Realism’ is identical to Logic.
A probabilistic argument. What is known is limited but what is possible is without limit. Therefore, from our ignorance, the realm of what is true is probably unbounded but within the limitless.
Since the limitless is immense probability suggests that what is true is practically limitless. This lends probability to limitlessness of the Universe. Later we show that the Universe is without limit. The probabilistic argument is suggestive and productive of understanding but is not necessary to the conclusion.
Further reflections on ‘wide openness’—
Another plausibility argument for absolute openness—minimalism (Ockham’s Razor) applied to ‘That which does not exist’ or, to avoid paradox, ‘What can be rationally (Realistically as understood above) conceived but is not realized’.
Logically, from ‘there is Being’ it is allowed that aspects of Being may be created, by other aspects such as cosmological systems, intelligent beings…
Probabilistically—from our knowledge of process—the achievement of the limitless for the limited is based in Normal process such as trial variation and after the fact empirical-reasoned selection; in its ground form it allows no meaning of perfect rationality, allows no purely deterministic or causal approach, has no teleology.
The Universe is conceived as all Being.
There is exactly one Universe.
Here the power of Being continues to emerge. That there is one Universe cannot be said of ‘universe as substance’. The following may be said of the Universe as all Being but not of the Universe as substance—
The Universe has and can have no creator. There is no God-the-creator-of-the-Universe.
The idea of Universe as All Being is empowering and this power derives from its components ‘All’ and ‘Being’.
At this time, these lines of thought are not further developed here.
Principle of Realism. The Universe has no limits.
This principle is the foundation of a universal metaphysics. There will of course be concern over the meaning and possibility of metaphysics—this is discussed above.
I have also called this principle ‘the fundamental principle of metaphysics’. It is crucial to understand its meaning which is not apparent from the bare statement. Development of meaning begins with proof and consequences of the principle.
At this time details in this document of proof, consequences, meaning, and significance are minimal but sufficient to its emphasis on journey (over foundation).
Proof sketch of the principle. Limits are not of the non-manifest. Since the non-manifest may be regarded as appended to the Universe, the Universe has no limits.
The argument applies to any manifest element of Being.
Detail. Laws of nature are only of manifest Being. Laws of nature are limits—this pattern is allowed, not that. Laws of nature—limits—are only of manifest Being, not of the non-manifest; that is, the non-manifest has no limits. Since the non-manifest may be regarded as appended to any element of Being, the elements and (particularly) the Universe have no limits.
There is no limit to the
attainment of Being and beings.
Academic interest. A more complete treatment is as follows. A fact is our reading of a state of affairs. The state of affairs is the Fact (the concept of fact is not necessary here but the reason for its introduction here will become clear below). A natural law is a reading of a pattern (in fact of a collection of patterns). The pattern is the Law. Laws have Being—for the pattern exists, i.e. it is ‘there’. The Universe is all Being and therefore contains all Laws. The Void is conceived as the absence of Being (the concept in this case does not guarantee existence of the object) and therefore contains no Laws. As complement to the Universe the Void exists (the argument can be given more sophistication but I have not eliminated its weakness and therefore do not give a more sophisticated version here; perhaps a more sophisticated version cannot be given; reasons why this would a good thing are given below). Therefore the Void exists and contains no Laws. If from the Void some state did not emerge that would be a Law in the Void. Therefore all states emerge from the Void. That is, the Void has no limits (limits are Laws and Laws limits—this pattern is allowed, that pattern is not). The Void appended to any element of Being including the Universe is the same element. Therefore every element of Being including the Universe has no limits. Note that there is a question what ‘a state that does not emerge’ means; this is rather like the idea of a non-existent object and leads to the well known at least seeming paradox of the non-existent object—if, say, unicorns do not exist then what could I mean when I assert that they do not? A non-classical but definitely Fregean (that is suggested by Frege’s sense-reference conception of meaning that has here been written as a concept-object conception) resolution is to think in terms of the concept of a unicorn or state of affairs. ‘Unicorns do not exist’ means that there is no object corresponding to the concept. It is noteworthy that the seeming paradox is present even in the case of existing things for if I do not have some concept of a tiger ‘tigers exist’ is also meaningless.
The main consequence for human endeavor is that while in limited form individual and universal being and identity merge in unending process of limitless extension (‘space’), variety, summit and elevation, and dissolution.
That is, there are acute, diffuse, and non-manifest phases of Being and Identity. A reasonable argument from probability suggests that while this is given, its efficiency and enjoyment are immensely enhanced by intelligent engagement.
Truth 6. Realization of the ultimate is a journey. Enjoyment and efficiency of the journey is enhanced by intelligent and committed engagement and sharing.
Consequences for metaphysics and cosmology. Metaphysical and cosmological actuality are absolutely wide open—this was earlier seen as possible and perhaps at most probable. In other words the state of the Universe is limited only by Realism. The limitlessness of the Universe includes, for example, that there are cosmological systems without limit on number and variety.
‘Meaning’. The statement of limitlessness and its consequences constitute the meaning of the metaphysics. That is, the meaning of the metaphysics is contained in the conception of Realism above—the only limits are valid fact and ways of reason.
Academic interest. The idea of logic is classically conceived as deduction: logical process applied to premises gives necessary conclusions. If a compound concept does not satisfy logic there it represents an impossible state of affairs (there is no ‘world’ in which it is realized). If a compound concept does satisfy logic it represents a possible state of affairs (there is some ‘world’ in which the state is realized). If a state of affairs is possible its concept must satisfy logic (for if it did not it would be impossible). Therefore logic is necessary and sufficient for concepts to be possible (to have possible realizations). However we have just seen that what is possible is realized. Therefore the above principle of realism (elsewhere I have called it the fundamental principle of metaphysics) is the assertion that satisfaction of logic is necessary and sufficient for realization of concepts. There are two problems with this. First, our logics are an incomplete system and except in trivial (if sophisticated) cases not known to be consistent. Therefore redefine logic; better define Logic as the necessary and sufficient requirement for realization (discovery of Logic then becomes empirical over relations among concepts). The second problem is that this allows violations of fact. We can append to Logic that facts are not violated; this is trivial and does no violence to the concept of Logic (in any case, facts are relatively trivial concepts which are ‘relatively atomic’). Now consider the theories and laws of science. A theory of science when regarded as having universal application is tentative (hypothetical). There is an alternative interpretation as fact over some domain of validity—i.e. Law as Fact. (Because the Universe is limitless no limited intelligence can know it entirely and therefore this interpretation emerges as the better one. Further, limitless intelligence will have neither theory nor need for it for it will know the Universe—probably itself—as a Fact in what is to it an instant; this is the Aeternitas of Thomas Aquinas.) Thus science and deduction lie under Logic. This is contrary to what we have come to think. Francis Bacon sought a method for arriving at scientific theories that would mach the certainty of deduction. Subsequently we realized (perhaps beginning with David Hume) that scientific theories (if regarded as universal) are generalizations and therefore not necessary and this is generally where we stand today. Now, however, I am saying that the equivalence between science and deduction is ‘restored’. How do I reconcile this? The comparison of scientific inference to deduction is one of generalization to necessity but it is not the comparison we want. There are two correct comparisons (a) of inference under a scientific theory and inference under logic (which are both deductive) and (b) inference of a scientific theory and inference of a logical system (which are both inductive).
A central conclusion of the previous paragraph may be summarized—the Universe is the object of Logic. This is a metaphysics of the Universe as having no limits but which agrees with known fact and reason. Our logics and sciences are approximations to Logic. Thus while an immense world is revealed in Logic, what is implicit in Logic is an unlimited realm. While the details of the realm (or realms) are implicit, the fact of the realm is explicit.
Truth 7. Limitlessness is basis for an ultimate-universal metaphysics as Logic. This Logic agrees with what is valid in received knowledge; it explicitly reveals an unbounded region of limitless variety beyond; we have and may develop significant explicit knowledge of this region; however the realms that remain implicitly known are forever boundless to limited form.
Significance. As above—and thus its significance is both ‘secular’ and ‘trans-secular’. Further, while it is the limit of the secular, it is the greatest realistic and truthful trans-secular.
For example it (a) It does not guarantee elimination of suffering or meaning associated with suffering—there can be no such guarantee—but it provides the greatest truthful meaning to suffering and shows it to be in balance with enjoyment. (b) It is the equal or greater than all trans-secular vision while showing in endless vision a greater actual variety. Thus its truth is neither the unrealistic truth of some trans-secular vision the pessimist nor the nihilist vision often associated with positivist dogma.
Issues of potential contradiction of fact (experience including science) and reason have been addressed above.
Modern doubts regarding metaphysics are implicit in the foregoing and treated at http://www.horizons-2000.org.
Essential doubt. The main and essential remaining doubt is assumption of existence of the non-manifest—that is, of the Void.
It is important that this entails no absurdity or contradiction and is supported by probabilistic and plausible arguments. Here is another—the existence of the Void is equivalent to its non-existence.
However, this does not eliminate doubt whose sources are (a) rational and (b) on account of the significance of the outcome and consequences.
Since the term ‘rational’ is used here it is appropriate to make some comments on it. Perfect rationality was an enlightenment ideal born of enthusiasm but it soon became clear that its possibility must be subject to rational doubt. That is, the meaning of rationality is a question in rationality and must be a flowering rather than a given. This is entirely consistent with what is revealed under the universal metaphysics which shows that rationality must be a process that includes feeling and both the objects and nature of rationality itself.
Proof and significance (value) of a worldview or result are imperative to action based in the view.
What is the imperative in case of residual doubt? Since the conclusion is free of paradox (contradiction) and quite plausible and since the implications are of immense value the imperative is to act upon it (of course not to the neglect of the immediate).
Detail. The situation is not new. Our most rational but significant endeavors are not free of all doubt. That they are significant is a combination of value and at least relative freedom from paradox in ‘local’ proof (that is, demonstration of at least one logical pathway to the result in question). In the present development there is no paradox; the ‘price’ is that the formulation of the metaphysics is implicit; the gain of the broad but implicit formulation is discovery of the immense openness of Being.
The universal metaphysics reveals ultimates in value and its freedom from paradox is ultimate for this freedom is built into its process.
The greatest imperative in the present case of doubt is therefore giving energy in appropriate measures to the present and to the ultimate (which distinction is, in any case, an artifact of our form and not of Being); determining such measures requires making estimates of value and likelihood of outcomes and therefore requires risk.
For limited form realization is given as a journey that is limitless in variety, extension (space), duration, summit, elevation, and duration.
Death is real but not absolute. It is gateway to the ultimate, and horizon for commitments in this life which provide direction to the ultimate.
Individual—the individual is agent and place of realization. Community—group, society, civilization—pools and amplifies the abilities of individuals.
Civilization. Human civilization is the web of human community and culture across ‘time and continents’. Universal Civilization is the matrix of civilizations across the universe.
Vehicles of realization—individual and civilization are vehicles of realization. Civilization nurtures the individual; individuals foster civilization.
Process of realization—a preliminary assessment: a process of realization combines experiment and reason. In the beginning—at the front—however, ultimate reason is simply ‘take the next step’.
Disciplines. Civilization and culture provide disciplines—knowledge and action—of process and realization; culture itself is a discipline. These are in-process, imperfect but guiding.
What is the logic behind the assertion of imperfection—and what is meant by ‘imperfection’? The Universe is all Being. Now look around you. Perhaps you are imperfect—perhaps culture is imperfect. Scriptures talk of perfection ‘God’. In the end, however, the scripture is the word of man. As far as you can tell you—that is humankind—are, with all your imperfection, your final resource. There is no resource outside Being and as far as you know you are your final resources. Perhaps there are Gods somewhere in the Universe but until they show them selves to you in evidence you (humankind, culture) are the final resource.
Here and there in simple problems the disciplines show perfection—perhaps in areas of mathematics and logic. At the front of Being and becoming, however, there is no sure way. The disciplines—the particular disciplines and their local methods and the discipline of disciplines, the over riding method—are all tentative. There are teachers with cumulative experience and wisdom and so on but there are no perfect disciplines, no masters.
The disciplines are instrumental, e.g., science and intrinsic which concern our being and not (particularly) our artifacts. We may call the instrumental ‘science’. What shall we call the intrinsic? I suggest Yoga in its original meaning (not as a system of exercises) but of connecting (yoking) to All Being. It may seem to the secular mind that our Science is far more impressive than our Yoga. However, if we recognize that science too has an intrinsic aspect that is part of Yoga then we recognize that (a) our being is of immense significance and (b) Yoga is all we have for its transformation.
Vehicles—individual and community or civilization.
Means—as agents, our means are ideas and action.
The means are encompassed by experience—which include pure ideas including thought and emotion, afferent experience including perception and feeling, and efferent experience or action which includes intending and body perception or kinesthetic sense.
Modes—of realization are intrinsic, of Being—‘Yogas’ and other means of connection; and instrumental—sciences and technology.
Mechanics—what is the mechanics of realization?
The universal metaphysics implies the givenness of realization—cosmological systems will occur, individuals will realize the ultimate and this will occur spontaneously. However, the metaphysics also implies incremental approach. The incremental approach of small non-directed non-deterministic change and capture or selection of stable (adapted) states is at least seemingly most probable. the essential mechanics is the most probable above—change by any means and capture in memory, reason, artifact, culture, and ‘everyday’ living and experience (and repetition).
Is there a method? We sometimes think of method as a guaranteed process, for example a series of prescribed steps that guarantee the intended or desired outcome. It is clear that there is no such method of realization. There is however the incremental approach just described. In the case of knowledge we have seen examples. We have selected terms for their meaning, adjusted our selection, and adjusted our meanings. This has been called analysis of meaning and is indeed powerful. However, is analysis all that is involved? In adjusting our selection and meaning—in developing the metaphysics—we brought more and more tacit experience into the system. That is, the process is really break down and buildup—analysis and synthesis of meaning. Science falls under this umbrella when we recognize that new experience, the result of experiment, is an aspect of synthesis.
What of realization? The incremental process may be described as break down and buildup—analysis and synthesis—of Being. As universal process there is nothing beyond this analysis and synthesis which includes empiric and reason as well as the development and understanding of empirical and reasoning process. At another limit the process includes the simple action of taking the next step.
A mechanics. There can be no more general mechanics than breakdown and buildup of Being for ‘any means’ includes passive waiting.
All elements including the mechanics itself are subject to mechanics—for example the disciplines are not regarded as final or even ‘expert’ but are subject to mechanics.
We may regard means, vehicles, universal metaphysics, and received disciplines as part of the mechanics. Then, noting that Being includes ideas—
Truth 8. The mechanics suggest experiments in transformation of Being on the way to universal identity.
Disciplines—the disciplines reflect the mechanics—catalytic change, for example shamanic vision which typifies psychic and physical occurrence by a variety of means such as exposure, under-exposure, stress, intense activity, drugs… and the ways which are systematic approaches to induction of stable change in person. I am emphasizing the intrinsic disciplines here because the instrumental—science—are well known and well emphasized in western culture. However, in the synthesis of ‘disciplines’ the meaning of science must change. Limited form cannot have a science of all Being—except in a process sense and this process must involve (this is inherent in the nature of limited form) participation and immersion; this is true for all science from the physical through the social and psychological.
Catalysts and ways—placeholder for systematic study, import, experiment, and record of learning.
Places—primitive ground or nature; fabric and support or civilization and community—home and world; and inner or psyche.
These are of course cultural representations and mediate powers on the way to the ultimate; that they are cultural does not void them of value…
For transformation, given the vehicles as individual and civilization, the means as ideas and action, and the modes as intrinsic and instrumental, the following is program is generic: … ® Ideas and meditation ® Individual transformation ® Transformation of civilization ® Artifact-technology ® …
Truth 9. … ® Ideas and meditation ® Individual transformation ® Transformation of civilization ® Artifact-technology ® …
The Program below is a general ‘template’; however, as an example I begin with my progress.
It will be useful to describe my progress according to the emphases of the program: Ideas and meditation ® Individual transformation ® Transformation of civilization ® Artifact-technology.
An assessment of my process so far…
Ongoing progress and refinement of my understanding of it will occasion update of this section.
Ideas—the ideas, particularly the universal metaphysics as frame for all knowledge and action.
We have seen that analysis of ideas led to the immensely significant metaphysics. Analysis of meaning is recognized as being of immense importance in clarification of ideas and elimination of paradox and confusion (the case is elaborated with examples at http://www.horizons-2000.org). It is so potent that some thinkers have suggested it as a means of discovery—perhaps of all discovery. Since meaning (relation between a concept and an object) does not incorporate what is outside experience this is of course impossible. How then did we use meaning to discover the universal metaphysics? We used what was already in experience but perhaps hidden from us by too much attention to detail all the time (and the expectation that metaphysics should be impossible). What of analysis of meaning in general? How far can it go? No further than what is at least implicit experience. However, if we consider discovery we find that it involves synthesis of meaning—incorporating new concept-object relations as in science. Analysis and synthesis of meaning includes all discovery. Since this may occur ‘horizontally’—for example for primary concepts or concepts regarding the world—and ‘vertically’—for concepts regarding concepts it is (a) reflexive, that is it concerns itself in particular while in general any element of process may be brought to bear on any other (b) constructive and critical. It includes much but to specify all that includes would be diversionary. Later, I realized that there is no process outside analysis (break down) and synthesis (build up) of Being.
Examples. The primary example is the universal metaphysics its components and history. It is important that ideas and Being are not islands; an idea is a case of Being; the idea and the more general transformation of Being merge and interact (and the idea is instrumental in Being while without Being, ideas are or become sterile; in the ultimate the distinction of idea and Being breaks down but the distinction is very convenient for our limited form)—this is a second primary example. For component ideas see, for example, Charting the journey and the older Journey in being-detail.
‘Method’—analysis and synthesis of meaning (recall that a concept and its objects constitute meaning).
Similarly small and ultimate transformation and realization is analysis and synthesis of Being.
Ideas phase into Being in (a) conceiving Being and its transformation as just seen; (b) being essential to complete Being and therefore only partially separable—inspiration for ideas lies also in action and deepest ideation—e.g. meditation and Yoga of experience—merge into full Being as below.
Place—nature and being-in nature as inspiration for and catalytic to psychic re-cognition and ideas; home as place of working out and later of in-spire-ration; psyche and its training as resource; community—others, criticism, literature, Internet as resource.
The point regarding place and the following point on yoga are purposefully written to phase from individual to nature and individual to community.
Yoga—understood as connection and means of connection—practice in chaos (centering), practice in focus (meditation), ideation as yoga; immersion and transformation in one-one and small groups—my life (limited success), in institutional setting (employment and intervention in a psychiatric hospital).
Examples include—(1) Method (2) The ideas (above) (3) Dynamics of self and identity.
‘Method’—as we have seen the ‘method’ for transformation of Being is analysis and synthesis of Being, i.e. break down and buildup of Being. Again, method is self-referential; there is no perfection to it (except the trivial but not un-profound perfection of imperfection). Again, there is so much to it that all detail would be diversionary.
Detail—method arises dynamically in numerous examples or contexts in interaction with the idea of method. How does it arise in a context? Say I want to hike more efficiently. I try new ways of walking. I might observe locals hiking in the mountains—or pack animals. If you do this you will notice that mountain people and animals raise their feet quite a bit higher than city folk. It seems inefficient, so why? It avoids stumbling over rocks which would be inefficient even if one did not fall or get injured. So I try this. It works. Now I am scrambling up a rocky hillside. It is my second day hiking and I am uncertain of my footing. I am careful going up and even more careful coming back down. I think about footing. I do this again the next day and I find that where I was stumbling I am now gliding. Conscious thought give way to ‘no mind’. The process of becoming dynamic has become dynamic. This applies to method itself. I am a little uncomfortable writing these words. I have written thus before. But as I put the ideas into practice I will become comfortable with ‘process’ again. I learn or recall two points—first the play between conscious intent, trial, and entry into dynamics at multi-levels and, second, that although ‘we never forget how to ride’ there is always at least some process of learning and re-learning.
(2) The examples for ‘ideas’ and the interaction between ‘ideas’ and ‘Being’.
(3) Dynamics of self and identity—
(a) Immersion in nature is itself a portal that I have experienced often and much; it has both impermanence—requiring renewal—and permanence—a residue that points to what is beyond; this story is not at an end; specific examples—illustrating the general approach of method—since the dynamic is similar I will but mention a few categories—see Journey in being-detail for elaboration;
(b) Dynamics of identity, meditation, meditation in action, risk, acting; which phases into personality dynamics;
(c) Elements of an individual life and relations to the universal;
(d) Dynamics of mind and awareness; perceptual dynamics and inversion—Brahman, Aeternitas for which eternity is a moment; unconscious-conscious and universe-self processes; dynamics of reality and perception in Yoga and shamanism (living, hiking in natural environments); dynamics of immersion in natural and cultural environments; dynamics of cognition, intuition, growth, evolution of universal understanding (‘journey in being’); integration of mental functions in intuition (which is given but un-taught in education); dynamics of real choice and action—for example, the moment of anger or negativity; dynamics in relation to threat, physical and interpersonal interaction in extreme circumstances: response to momentum and pace, mind and no–mind, scanning; dynamics of creative acts and activity: concept and idea and understanding, art… other creative endeavors—journey and its aspects, music and art; two theories of the savant phenomenon compensation andor development of potential
(e) Dynamics of body, healing, and medicine; details--developing self-awareness in states of illness and response to experiment with treatment; seeking common treatment—diet, rest, sleep, warmth and others; seeing connections even if correlative rather than causal; repetition to assist in distinguishing the causal from the merely correlative; role of self-and other hypnosis; cultivation of modalities offered by modern medicine and EMDR, heart coherence, light therapy, exercise, QI, emotional / heart communication, effect of love-family-person-community, importance of meaning or significance, variety and unity or identity and Identity;
(f) Reflexive dynamics—classifying the realms according to general principles and recognizing and responding to specific situations.
A conclusion—it is obvious that in a material sense I have not gotten very far toward the ultimate; however, what is essential is to always begin—to be in-process.
In the sense of ‘ideas’ however, my progress is significant. One goal of meditation is to see the universal in the present—in one’s being; this is not the end but a beginning.
What is the ‘correct’ attitude to death and limits? They must be acknowledged and ‘leveraged’ in this life toward ‘closure’ as explained in this narrative; and this leveraging is an implicit connecting to the ultimate.
The conception of civilization is an example. It derives from multiple sources—my ideas, my intention (hope) to be useful; ideas regarding humankind as whole—mine and what I have learned from reading.
My work with groups. My success in transformation as a teacher was limited relative to what I wanted but, in fact, I believe that while my insistence on excellence met with resistance from faculty and students it was also transformational; my work in mental health was more successful even though quite limited and the ‘success’ was not so much that of institutional mental health but of understanding and knowing the whole person in a dynamic and flowing way (I have brought this to bear in other situations); in this area much remains regarding general immersion in culture and much of what remains falls under two headings—self-transformation and learning in immersion itself; here meditation-in-action and ‘general Yoga’ will be tools. My TransCommunity program is significant as well in sharing and as an example of process.
Examples—Dynamics of groups
(a) Dynamics of relationship and charisma—charisma and: self–observation and awareness; transformation of interpersonal situations via intention and relinquishing intention while being in the present; experiences in conflict situations—from my relationships, group endeavor (in nature), and—specifically—those arising in a psychiatric ward. Every situation as occasion for charisma—nature, social, psychic and universal; including interpersonal relations—formal, friends, family, and love. Deep interaction with others—for exploration; shared projects; boundary and permeability;
(b) Interpersonal dynamics and its reflexive evolution;
(c) Dynamics and evolution of shared projects;
(d) Immersion; sharing; priority analysis, consensus, and action.
Artifact and technology—component studies in which I have experience and exposure: social science, history, cosmology, and cognitive science; design, computation, and programming. These may be useful, especially in design of artifactual Being for Civilization. (e.g. artificial intelligence).
® Ideas and meditation ® Individual transformation ® Transformation of civilization ® Artifact-technology ®
Programs are iterative. The beginning with ideas is nominal and cyclic order is typical.
I now emphasize individual transformation since, in my program, the ideas are mature.
Emphases may occur, take a supportive role, and—in some situations—be omitted.
Generally the place of a phase is ‘all’ which is implicit; when a place is noted it is primary and or pivotal.
Ideas—Logic, pure and applied metaphysics, mechanics with catalysts and ways. Place—all—nature as inspiration; home and society for inspiration, working out, writing, and publication.
An editor or agent will be effective in publication and as a measure of participation.
Meditation—focus in practice and action; existential transformation of ‘angst’; death and other limits as real but not absolute—as gateway to the ultimate and horizon for commitment pointing to the ultimate (recognize, anticipate, prepare for this horizon). Place—all—routine and opportune: nature, spiritual places of civilization, home, in action and relation.
Meditation includes planning and preparation even though this inclusion is specialized and untraditional.
The horizon of death, meditation on transience, and adjustment to known approach of death are crucial.
‘Death reckoning’ is thus perhaps a first concern of a ‘way’ and it will be good to return to it as life progresses.
Truth 10. Life and death, joy and pain are gates to the ultimate.
(See discussion of suffering above.)
Transformation of the individual—use of ‘mechanics’, ‘ways’, ‘catalysts’ (‘Yoga’) in transformation… Select and experiment with catalysts and ways… Place—nature as place, inspiration; and as realization-‘Beyul’, return to society.
Transformation of civilization, its arrangements and interrelation—immersion and participation; share the elements (give, receive); setting up and living in TransCommunity. Place—society, institutions including government and university (academic), TransCommunity.
A grant andor other support is a valuable measure of participation.
Artifact and Technology in Symbiotic Transformation—study, research, development, prototype, and production program—science (physics, biology, information, psycho-philosophy), technology, design, build of ‘artificial being’. Place—Academic institutions, Research and Development institutions, TransCommunity.
Note. The symbiotic case includes the adjunct and independent use of artifact. Note that while ‘symbiosis’ usually refers to two or more biological species; here it refers to combinations that include artifact and technology.