Action and Charisma; Influence and Patriarchalism;
And Change: Individuals, Societies, Nature and the Course of History




This essay is a part [one of the paths] of the Journey in Being [Website.] For the complete story see the essay Journey in Being or the related Prologue to a Journey in Being

Action, Influence and Change is a phase of the Journey in Being … and emphasizes:


Enhancement from mutual endeavor: distributing projects, specialist-generalist, mutual inspiration

Establishment of a research and applications enterprise: Horizons Enterprises™

Society as being

Journey in Being is a journey into the nature and story – or history – of being and into being itself

The nature of being: the actuality of being or being as it is and as we know or experience it; and the possibilities of being

The history of being: being in time – origins, life and death of the forms of being and of the entire universe

An Individual Journey

Journey in Being is also my journey, the story of my coming into the ideas and paths that make up the journey. The story of my life is a part of the journey – but this document is not intended to be a vehicle to tell an intimate story of my life. What is significant is how I came to undertake the journey, especially to the extent that the origins are significant in understanding and founding the journey

Also significant is sharing, mutual inspiration and society as being… as noted above

Sources of Information for Journey in Being

Journey in Being    |    Prologue to Journey in Being    |    Journey in Being™ Website

Journey Into Being Itself

It is

… a journey in understanding of the possibilities or potentials of being; of knowledge and traditions of knowledge – into all being and understanding

… and in transformations in being – experiments in realization of possibilities; of traditions of experiment

My Inspiration

My development has many influences and inspirations. Most of all perhaps are the influence of my mother who listened to my most absurd and incomprehensible thoughts and my journeys in nature where I received so much inspirations in ideas and experienced so much contact with The Source

Horizons – The Journey continues but has come a long way and some Mileposts are:

Human Knowledge is without necessary limits. Already, we have seen an example in the use of the idea of nothingness

A study of mind with a new understanding of the concept and nature of mind; consequently, resolution of mind / matter questions and a foundation of a mapping of mind and treatment of classic problems such as the binding problem and the problem of object constancy

The possibility of metaphysics; relation between metaphysics and the possibility of knowledge and logic

Use of logic to make real conclusions. This sounds paradoxical. However, a brief explanation has already been given and is elaborated in the main text

Original identity of being, knowledge and ethics

Dynamics of being and its foundations in the metaphysics

Foundation of transformations of being

A set of complete but minimal experiments in the transformation

Integration of ideas and experiments in the Journey-Quest

Details of the foregoing items are in Journey in Being and its Prologue

Design of infrastructure for Horizons Enterprises™… see A Proposal for Horizons Enterprises™ and Structure and Finance Horizons Enterprises™

The Stumbling

In the system of ideas that follow, those ideas that are original build upon the ideas of others. Sometimes, as in the developments in cosmology, my ideas have been suggested by existing theories even when the dependence on those theories is not logical or formal

Even when the ideas are original, and even though I have devoted much study and thought and sought much inspiration, I sometimes feel that I have accidentally stumbled upon the ideas rather than developed them or found them as a result of a careful or systematic search. As an example, I have been thinking about the role of concepts of nothingness for a number of years. However, the final insight on how to view the relationship between nothingness and the world occurred without intimation one morning when I stopped for coffee at a bakery at the foot of the Trinity Mountains, Trinity County, Northern California

The Journey Continues…

The next phases are a return to the focus on the experiments described in the second section of the main essay; and action, influence and change and establishment of Horizons Enterprises™

As far as knowledge and ideas are concerned, I must again turn away from what light I have seen and toward intuition and diffuse light to sense and seek what further truth there may be

To The Reader

I always seek responses from readers. I am encouraged by and appreciate kind words and praise but I have learned most by responding to challenges that have ranged from careful criticism to total and sometimes hurtful negation of my thought and being. You may learn something by tracing the path described here and in Journey in Being. However, the spirit of my journey includes the following. In addition to wonder, I have also been sustained – especially when the sacrifices seemed to be a burden – by the thought that I may make a contribution to our journey. I have always thought that while the particulars of an individual journey may be erratic or quixotic, the universal journey is necessary and is built upon individual effort. In that sense, at least, the distinction between failure and success is thin; the only failure is to have not sought and followed your vision, undertaken your mission

I invite you to be part of this journey. You may contact me at or see my resume for address information

Journey in Being Website

Anil Mitra

March 8, 2018


Outline links go to the topic in the table of contents; descriptive links go to the text

Prologue    |      Introduction    |      Action, Charisma and Influence, and History    |      Practical Concerns    |      Social Theory    |      Concepts in Politics    |      Theatres and Platforms of Influence

Latest Revision and Copyright    |    Sources    |    Footnotes




Significance of History

The function of this essay

Society as Being


1      Action, Charisma and Influence, and History

1.1   The Problem

1.2   Questions

1.3   The Place of Social and Political Theory

1.4   Charisma and Patriarchalism: Two Kinds of Influence

1.5   The Problem of Significance

2      Practical Concerns

2.1   Cultivating and Maintaining Charisma

2.2   What are the Social Theatres or Platforms of Change?

2.3   Sources of Influence – Institutions for Change and Support

2.4   Using Institutions: The Importance of Context

3      Social Theory

3.1   Theories of Social Structure

3.2   Social Change and Dynamics

3.3   The History of Influence

4      Concepts in Politics

4.1   What is Politics?

4.2   Issues

4.3   The Origin Theory and Possibility of its Application

4.3.1        What is Theory?

4.3.2        Meta-theory

4.3.3        Origin and Possibility of Action

4.3.4        Political and Moral Theory

4.4   Justification of Theory

4.4.1        Social Theory, Foundations, Knowledge

4.4.2        Application to Other Fields of Endeavor

4.5   Political Systems

4.5.1        General Purposes of this section

4.5.2        Purposes for Journey in Being

4.5.3        Political Systems

4.5.4        Optimal Systems

5      Theatres and Platforms of Influence

5.1   Concepts and Categories

5.2   Developing Contacts

5.3   Details of Contacts

5.4   Applications

5.4.1        Plans







The emphasis is action and influence in society or societies

The connotation of “action,” here, is somewhat different than earlier in discussing mind, [see A Set of Mental Axes – in Journey in Being.] The use here is rather like “agency” in the sense of sustained action toward a purpose, advocating values and objectives, action and fostering action at the level of a being in a world of beings…

This division is of intrinsic interest, contributes to knowledge and understanding of being, to transformation, value and realization in the Journey in Being. The other divisions contribute indirectly in the sense that the objectives are understanding, transformation and so on; and while all engagement in the world is a contribution, the instrumental aspects of the contribution are by-products. In this division, instrumental contribution is one concern. However, the instrumental contribution also enhances engagement and this points out a degree of artificiality to the distinction between being engaged and being instrumental or between pure and applied activity

Significance of History

The inclusion of historical concerns is in process. These concerns include:

What can be learned from history? This raises the theoretical question ‘What is History?’ which is significant in addressing the former question and is also important in Journey in Being.

The foregoing concerns are significant in attempting change toward objectives: in what ways and degrees is this possible and desirable e.g. what kind of objectives – material, political, ethical and so on; and what manner of change – incremental or otherwise…?

For a history of influence, see Thinkers and Actors, History of Western Philosophy and History

The function of this essay

There is no need, in general, to motivate social action, the participation of the individual in society. Specifically, however, what is the role of society and social action in Journey in Being?

Society as Being

The sum of individuals is greater than any given individual…

Collective conscious…

Society as organism


The function of the individual is enhanced in interaction…

[Sharing is not mere giving and receiving or taking…]

Action, Charisma and Influence, and History

The Problem

…to bring about change, that is the issue

Equilibrium and change


What kind of change? I am thinking mainly of social change and, then, of other kinds of change that affect society – how conditions of living are felt and perceived from within a society. What kind of social change? Political structure and responsivity, social conditions…? Far reaching change or incremental change in the “right” direction? A complete answer to the question about kinds of social change requires a complete description of social structure… and that is the subject of sociological narrative. It is relevant but not my main interest of this essay

Why change? Change for the better or in order to avoid harm, change in order to have influence, change because one is at the helm – or because one is affected by circumstances. There are somewhat less immediate reasons – one might want to “influence history” to “realize the good.”

…these motives are, perhaps, best worked out in the context of the practical ones. Many idealistic experiments have failed while others have lead to tyranny. Such negative outcomes are not universal. Democracy had origins as an idea in Greece. Actual “democracies” may fall short of the ideal; it is not even clear what that ideal may be or what is its best expression – or what is the meaning and significance of such relatively theoretical questions; the “judgment of history” is not over – and it never is until after the era

While answers to these questions are relevant to the means and approach to change, change and the need for it does not wait for the answers

The Place of Social and Political Theory

Detail of elements and institutions of society in Concepts and Categories and other articles

The use of theory faces difficulties due to the social “atoms” [individuals, groups, institutions] being complex and experiments not repeatable in isolation. Difficulty does not mean impossibility. I am interested in social theory and its uses but that is not the motive here. In this essay I seek to balance a tendency to understanding and to define theatres of action. I note here my attitude that all theory has a corresponding theatre of real action where institutions and individuals – rather than ideas – live and die in the process of transformation

…and information… information is extremely useful and important in gaining and using influence effectively. Over and above social theory, social geography and history are of extreme importance… as is the geography of natural resources

Charisma and Patriarchalism: Two Kinds of Influence

I am referring to the following meanings and not to any other. Charisma is influence or authority based in the person – and may include intelligence, individual magnetism, energy, ruthlessness and other characteristics. Patriarchalism and the related bureaucracy are influence or authority based in established institutions and norms

The bases of charisma and of patriarchalism are in needs or perceived needs. Patriarchalism is based in established and therefore routine, continuing needs – especially the economy of stable needs and wants. Extraordinary needs are not satisfied on an established or routine basis – if they were they would not be extraordinary; they are, therefore, met always on an individualized, charismatic basis

Clearly, the two interact in various ways. Charisma is one factor that may affect selection or election to a institutionalized position of influence

There are however other ways of selection such as formal or informal inheritance; buying influence; using a position as a military official in a military government

The Problem of Significance

The problem is feeling of insignificance felt by individuals and groups – and consequent lack or impotence of action – regarding their self-concept including lack of influence in the world, especially society

Many feel insignificant – “I am so small, have so little influence.” In a system where power resides or seems to reside in established seats of power, the individual may well feel insignificant – especially in the face of actual / felt injustice

Realism is an internal approach to this problem:

Realize that placement in a seat of power is significantly based in external factors. Determine to use one’s own charisma and abilities; and remember that an effective measure of significance is measured by individual potential – that include circumstances – rather by than comparison with others. This by itself will not remedy the actual or seen lack of effect in bringing about desired external change. But the objective was to change the attitude to oneself in face of the lack of guarantees. One does not demand individual success; the efforts of many lead to the success of the few. This is an importance of attitude and individual effort in the face of insignificance

These issues are addressed in Metaphysics and Power

The practical concerns, next, address external aspects

Practical Concerns

The following guide and emphasizes charismatic and patriarchal aspects of influence and leadership

[Practical concerns are those factors the proper cultivation of which may lead to potency of influence. I am not, here, interested in extensive lists or elaboration or “proof.” The interest is concerned with where and how to act. The following is a guide]

Cultivating and Maintaining Charisma


Belief [ethics, values, commitment]… action

Repetition; learn from error



The following topics address patriarchal influence

What are the Social Theatres or Platforms of Change?

Theatres and Platforms of Influence

Sources of Influence – Institutions for Change and Support

Personal to global

Information resources; social and natural resources geographies; social history / world today

Cultivate contact selectively

Using Institutions: The Importance of Context

Is the society industrialized, a democracy, what are the local customs that influence receptiveness to change?

The importance of context is that it is a factor, at least, in deciding who or what approach to influence will be effective

Social Theory

Theories of Social Structure

Structural functionalism – the individual social structures are not individually but mutually sustaining; the sustaining relations being the functions

Theories of class and power – the former in which importance is attached to power, wealth… In Marxism, economics is the engine that determines other cultural structures

Structuralism – the word refers to “deep structure” which is explanatory but, casually, invisible

Detail of elements and institutions of society in Concepts and Categories and other articles

Social Change and Dynamics

Social change is ever present, more specifically it refers to change of structure…

Ideologies of change: decline, progress, cyclic

Patterns of change: linear, nonlinear – cyclic or combined cyclic and linear

Kinds of cause: conflict, competition, and cooperation; tension and adaptation; diffusion of innovations; planning and institutionalization of change; for linear change – accumulation, selection, and differentiation; for nonlinear change – saturation and exhaustion

Examples of causes: nature or environment, demographic pressure, established and new technology, economics, ideas, social movements, politics

The History of Influence

Thinkers and Actors

History of Western Philosophy

Concepts in Politics

This section could be titled Political Theory or Political Science

The purpose of the section is to state some issues that need address regarding the application and applicability of concepts in politics

The philosophical development should not shun the most esoteric development, intuition, reason, or the most minute and practical details. Note, first that my work is philosophical and uses philosophy but its primary focus is the Journey in Being and not any particular discipline or set of disciplines. Also, the esoteric and the mundane should be essential to the development and, so far as possible, be part of the glue that binds thought and action to reality[1]

What is Politics?

Within society, consider that there is a common sphere of activity or interest and a private sphere…

Determining the boundary between the two spheres is part of the common

The process of determining the state of and path of action in the common sphere is politics

There may be institutions that are directly concerned with or explicitly dedicated to politics – such institutions are political

Institutions that are not designated as political or not primarily political may have a political component

Institutions designated as political may have other than political components

Politics and other social functions e.g. economics are not categorically exclusive

Regardless of formal and other designation, institutions cannot be forced to be categorically and usually will not be actually mono-functional in social kind; however, an institution may have its actual function as close to its formal or designated function

A group or institution may be considered in itself and we may speak of the politics of that group; such special politics will, in general, have areas of intersection without being fully contained in the general politics

However, the general politics may be considered to contain not only the general communal process of determination but also the sum of the more particular processes regardless of the degree of isolation – which is, in general, not constant


Regarding the description of political systems – what is the purpose?

Intrinsic interest e.g. as in the case of natural science; however can interest said to be intrinsic – what is the origin of interest and curiosity


Meta-description: e.g., the label democracy does not define actuality because of [1] the problem of accuracy and deception including delusion and self-deception, [2] axes of variation and variation within the concept of democracy, [3] co-existence of more than one political structure despite the applied label, and [4] the application of a label is an exercise in mutual influence that includes influence of others, self-influence and synergy. Items [1] and [4] are related. As another example, consider republicanism: the issue of whom and what [corporations etc.] participate in public affairs – and who / what should participate and to what extent. A version of republicanism, one that is considered to be a response to the issue, is that not all agents should be equal in politics. Regardless of values and theory, democratic and republican [special kind] forms co-exist in many societies lacking the explicit designations if not in all societies and social structures

An implication of the foregoing considerations is that despite the depth and appeal of ideas, political actuality has a life of its own. However, ideas and their influence are a part of political actuality – more at some times than at others – and a source of novelty and influence

The difficulties of application include perception, description and computation

Some issues of power are taken up in Metaphysics and Power

What comes first, theory or practice? When is theory possible and actual? What ways are there to justify theory given that a major component of the scientific method is missing?

A [political] state of being might be possible, desirable, good and desired and yet not achievable – a lesson from complexity and chaos theory

Is there significance to power and choice in politics without ethics? What? And, what is the relation between ethics and power and choice in politics?

The Origin Theory and Possibility of its Application

What is Theory?

Theory concerns the description and evaluation of political arrangements, systems and institutions


Meta-theory concerns the nature of theory:

The statement of the previous section is a meta-theoretical statement

The relationships between theory or ideas and practice: ideas and actuality influenced one another before the recognition of ideas or theory as an independent enterprise; therefore, it is a given that there is an interaction. What is the interaction and what should it be?

Under what circumstances should decision makers operating under some system of values modify – drastically or otherwise – existing political systems? In referring to decision makers, I am not thinking exclusively of situations where there are formally designated decision makers; and if there are formally designated decision makers then I am not referring exclusively to them. For example, a the idea of power includes that the decisions of a powerful individual is a significant factor in political process in any society; that individual’s values may be entirely self-centered and he or she may consider what arrangements further their personal goals and ambitions. In general, however, some political arrangements may be held to be intrinsically, morally or practically superior – according, of course, to intrinsic political values or to moral or practical concerns. Even the in the case of the self-centered, powerful individual value concerns are present: they may be implicit and unconscious rather than explicit. Decision makers face two concerns: what arrangements further their values and what arrangements are practical in that they can be actually implemented and will function

Origin and Possibility of Action

Circumstances of origin have been described above

Once theory or ideas have originated, they may always be – and often are – applied

Such application does not necessarily have justification

Societies originate, live and die. Among the causal factors in this process are the interactions of each society with the world and among societies

These factors result in an overall selection that favors growth / decline

This selection acts not only upon actual social arrangements but also upon the ideas – especially those that define and affect social arrangement – extant in societies

Political and Moral Theory

Moral and political theory do not appear to a priori determine one another

A political arrangement does not intrinsically determine all actions of a moral agent

And, a number of political arrangements may be consistent with a moral system

Justification of Theory

Given the deficit of social theory mentioned above, what justification other than selection may be possible?

The question appears to imply that justification is necessary but that is not the case. It is necessary only in ideas or according to some system of value

Justification may occur in the following way

Just as in the more primitive sciences where there is repeatability and therefore repetition among instances, in the social sphere there is a possible extrapolation over levels of social autonomy as described above… and over other variables such as social arrangement measured with respect to e.g. moral and economic factors

Social Theory, Foundations, Knowledge

Clearly there is a role for foundational questions

We have just seen how extrapolation may be possible in the absence of “laboratory repeatability”

There are also issues of practical application

Some issues are discussed elsewhere in this section on political theory; they include the degree of relationship between theory and practice

Further, the question of extrapolation is also practical

Acknowledged success / failure of a political system is a point of information. However, a single instance – or a few instances – is not an argument for / against such a system: since other factors are invariably involved and since the actuality of a system is not identical to its designation; however, learning from even single cases, in general, confers selectational advantage. Generally, theory of institutions and theory of application may supplement instances

Application to Other Fields of Endeavor

The approach to analysis and application outlined above may be applied to other spheres of social action

There are also various ways in which application to the more primitive sciences is possible with profit. The present essay includes examples of which the primary paradigm is the transcendental method

Political Systems

The history of human ideas includes identification of actual systems and description of a number of possible political systems

General Purposes of this section

To consider accurate description of such systems and the relation of description to actuality

To review the purpose to description… Is there an intrinsic value? What is the function? Intrinsic value has an obvious meaning: the object has value to an agent or subject with reference to the agent but without reference to anything else. An object has a function in relation to a third object – an object other than the agent or the primary object

The possibility and nature of application of theory: In the stages of human society – we could call it evolution – there comes a point of development and of awareness when it becomes possible to describe political systems. What is this point? And when that point has arrived, is theory applicable, what is the relation to the actual i.e. what are the relations between theory and politics? And, are there justifications of the application of theory? What are they? How are the justifications justified? And how is theory applied or how do ideas and systems interact… and how may that interaction be enhanced?

The parameters that affect the possibility of description include – as noted – the possibility of awareness and the development of autonomy. The two factors evolve together. Additionally there is a co-evolution with application

One factor of awareness is distinction. Distinction arises when there has come about a variety of social / political arrangements. Dimensions of arrangement are numerous but fundamental are tradition / individual autonomy, generalism / specialism, and small-closed / large-open

Purposes for Journey in Being

The general purposes are a part of the Journey in so far as it is a journey in ideas

Additionally, political ideas may be useful in some of the material / practical ends of Journey in Being: Action and Influence as described in the general section of the same name. Hence inclusion of the following section

Political Systems

Before mentioning political ideologies and systems, I want to restate an assertion. Reading about anarchism, I found talk of how and when to make a transition to an anarchic arrangement of political action. However, it should be recognized that regardless of designation, every political arrangement must contain organized and anarchic elements. The assertion is that actual politics is always pluralistic and is not equal to what is designated. Of course, it is obvious that there are different actualities and that designation does have descriptive power

Systems and change: anarchism, conservatism, constitutionalism, democracy, federalism, feminism, fundamentalism, idealism, incrementalism, liberalism, marxism, monarchism, nationalism, realism, republicanism, revolutionism, socialism, syndicalism, totalitarianism, utopianism, welfare state

I have not included all classical forms e.g. oligarchy which falls under republicanism and aristocracy which is a variant of monarchism

I have not included fine or even gross distinctions or systems of classification: I may take these up later; clearly there is potential for much further development. As noted above, the principle of inclusion here is what is relevant to the broad canvas of the Journey and what is applicable to its special practical concerns. I may return to the canvas later as the inspiration and opportunity occur. Practical issues will be taken up as the occasion arises

Optimal Systems

An example of the idea of optimal systems is that, under appropriate conditions, democratic determination of the good is self-stabilizing and in the common interest. Another analysis is that of Karl Popper[2] of a superiority of democracy in that the distribution of decision making is a source of new ideas and solutions to problems that is absent in other forms of government

Another application of optimal analysis concerns size of societies that act as single political entities. Size allows for specialization and therefore strength that is more than the direct result of size itself. This results in ability to solve arrays problems that were otherwise insoluble, and to ensure unprecedented standards and quality of living – in general and according to some measures. It also results in destruction – environmental degradation – and the ability to destroy – the military and frightful weapons of destruction; further, the process of expansion is in some ways self-perpetuating. Optimal analysis sheds light on the values of size e.g. upon economies of scale and the stability and values of nations; however, computation alone – even if there were no limitations – does not enable or empower change

There is an entire literature on optimal analysis and game theory that it is useful to mention but that is not included in the present version of this work. The following comments are useful

Optimal systems analysis can be carried out at a number of levels of sophistication; see Brief Comments on Herbert Simon’s Models of Thought. The problems of such analysis include those of perception, description and computation. Therefore, it is useful to have simple models – including simplicity in what constitutes optimality

Another area where optimal analysis has application and that also has application to social systems is Sociobiology[3]. The latter exists in more than one variety. In one variant it is held that biology determines society at least in principle. In others, biological systems may be used as an analogy or the information from biology may be used to inform social understanding and decision making

I have included a brief discussion of optimal systems for completeness and not, e.g., as endorsement for application or applicability of optimization or optimal control theory or, specifically, of sociobiology. However, the ideas concerned have potential utility – conceptually and practically; and, I may elaborate on them in other essays or future versions of the present essay

Theatres and Platforms of Influence

Focus is on theatres of influence, platforms of influence and agents of influence and change; these are not fully distinct. Agents of change include stabilizing influences and “forces.” Additional details of the following are developed in use

Concepts and Categories

Theatres of influence are broad arenas of influence such as politics, trade and so on; these correspond, mainly, to the institutions of society

Social institutions and groups – family [or, more generally, kinship[4] groups through alliance and descent,] and other groups; morals, [ethics,] religion; knowledge – symbols, language and ideas, sciences, humanities and art, professions, education, research [knowledge production]. Politics and law, government – legislation, executive and judicial elements and other arrangements; media and journalism; legal institutions and law enforcement; jails and prisons; military – role of force. Economics, enterprise, trade; technology and natural resources – industry and agriculture; service – transportation, medicine. Theatre of the self – the individual carries his or her own charisma and influence; the work of the individual is to enter and understand these theatres, to approach with charisma, to act – and to learn from action

A platform of influence is an existing environment or medium of influence that is permanently or convenes according to set criteria such as periodicity in time or when a sufficient number of persons request it. In a given context such as a nation, one or more natural platform is associated with each theatre. Details are best developed in use; examples follow

Social groups – the family is, itself, a platform of change

Government – political rallies and conventions, the branches and agencies of government

Agents of influence and change are actual mechanisms of change. Functions include design, planning, knowledge; consultants; management… at the following levels: global, national, regional, city, rural, community, individual

Knowledge, e.g. Universities, education – science, mathematics, humanities, professions, trades – classroom and research. Research organizations and laboratories, policy research institutes [think tanks]. Design and implementation of technology including appropriate technology

Professions: engineering, law, medicine and psychiatry

Manufacture, production, services: industry, agriculture, transportation, medical facilities including hospitals, universities

Government: legislation – lawyers and lawmakers; executive branch and agencies [e.g. Department of Treasury provides economic controls;] judiciary and enforcing bodies, armed forces

Developing Contacts

Contacts can be developed and maintained according to the following scheme

Classes – theatres, platforms, agents

Individuals and organizations

Process – information, persistence and contact, repetition

See Resources for Design

Details of Contacts

[Under development]

See Action Links


[So far]

Journey in Being website

Evolution and Design and related documents have a variety of design and planning topics including education and social planning

Engineering Education | Modern Engineering


Education Project

For further details see the Site-Map under Action, Influence, Charisma and Change then Topics


Details of planning is in the following documents

The Present Document

Journey in Being

Home page for Journey in Being

Design for a Journey in Being

A Proposal for Horizons Enterprises™

Structure and Finance Horizons Enterprises™

Action Links


ANIL MITRA PHD, © Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:09:20 PM


As of March 2018, this document stands complete with regard to thought and concept until the next cycle of reflection and revision

Numerous technical, conceptual and stylistic improvements are no doubt possible. Such revisions become evident upon reading the document and therefore no list of revisions is necessary


When I study the works of others, I often make notes which vary in form from comments, to paraphrase to simply copying ideas; the purpose is usually to learn – there is no other immediate purpose and so I may forget my sources. I am immersed in a culture of ideas that I absorb without complete awareness. I did not create the ability to have ideas, or the notion of idea at the foundation of the tradition. I did not create the language in which I write. Similarly there is a general system of thought that we do not cite even though we are dependent on it. Thus I am not always aware of my sources

If anyone would like to have a source cited, please write to me at

One may want to be original yet, given the foundation upon which one builds – the culture of ideas, the ability to have ideas – the originality of an individual is not much. And compared to others, my originality may be modest. And, in my view of the equivalence of being and the void there is no originality at all. Yet I would like to be thought of as original and it would be a form of denial to not be aware of that. However, my claims to originality are small; I feel I have been a discoverer rather than creator


[1] Thus neither the esoteric nor the practical are cultivated for their intrinsic value as esoteric or as minute and practical. I do not want to be exclusively soaring or crawling

[2] Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies, 1945

[3] E. O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 1975 is a classic work in defining the doctrine of sociobiology

Although the focus of this essay is on the universal, I do not seek to avoid the particular. While sociobiology, especially in its doctrinaire forms, may be parochial, I include it out of interest and as a link to future research and written work. I want to repeat that inclusion, here, of a body of thought is not endorsement and to add that I have no a priori position – pro or con – regarding optimal analysis and sociobiology. However, it seems eminently reasonable to seek to connect the study of society with that of biology

[4] Kinship groups have been considered to be groups related by blood or marriage or other alliance; various theories exist regarding the origin and nature of such groups which, for humankind, have a degree of variability that appears to be unusual in the animal world. Groups may be “defined” by what they share and, thus a definition of kinship could be given that is continuous with all other kinds of group. The idea that the notion of kinship is to be preserved at all cost is a kind of reification even though it is clear that there is something to the idea of a kinship bond that is special, if not unique, to human groups. An improved approach would be to use the kind of definition suggested and to see what kinds of group fell out of that definition – it is inherent in the definition that all actual groups would be included since the concept of a group is that of something being shared – and what continuities and conceptual relationships there are among the kinds of group and how they might vary from one society to another