Ways of Being


Versions. The September 2004 edition of ‘Journey in Being’ is abbreviated as ‘v2004,’ or the ‘2004 version’

Document plans. 1. Consolidate: bring all material on each main topic together: SUMMARIES. 2. Edit: introduction of topics. 3. Edit: from beginning to end. 4. Brief version. 5. Later: research and review each main topic; introduce new material as it develops: from the transformation, construction and social phases

Code: Final Text | Comments, Plans, Details | Tentative | Non-Text Items to be Deleted | Hyperlinks | Determine Significance | for Inclusion in Another Form. Code for the Annotated Outline: Outline | Planned Changes | Changes and Additions to Outline | Deletions | Tentative Entries

Key Text for the Current Section is temporarily contained in a box. This is the current focus or outline that will be the basis for consolidation


Division of Material

1.    Overall non-technical summary: Introduction

2.    Overall Technical Summaries: at the end of Chapters 1 and 2 and, perhaps, some of the ancillary chapters

3.    May repeat material from the Preface to the Introduction to Chapters 1 and 2, and material from the Introduction to Chapters 1 and 2 – but only essence

4.    No overlap between Chapters 1 and 2

Summaries 178

Preface 178

Introduction 178

Foundation 178

Journey in Being 178

The Fundamental Problems 178

Lexicon 178

Sources and Influences 178

Index 178

The Author 178


This is a temporary section of (mostly) temporary main summary sections for some important topics. The main objective to consolidate material. As far as reasonable, material for each topic will be consolidated to the location of the main treatment – the summary. If it is appropriate to retain more than one discussion of a topic it is desirable in the secondary discussions to state only what is needed locally and refer to the main discussion for the basis of the local discussion. Eliminate style ‘summaries’ and this section when done

Central Summary

Prospect for the Journey and its Foundation A SUMMARY

Implications of The Theory of Being


Object. A summary of knowledge and concepts

Principles of Thought

The Nature of Science


Theoretical Physics: Quantum Theory and the Relativistic Theory of Gravitation



Conclusions and Critical Review. Prospects for Journey in Being A SUMMARY

The Nature of Philosophy

The Journey Continues A SUMMARY


The INTRODUCTION describes the ‘Journey in Being,’ its origins and approaches, the essential concepts and conclusions, and builds toward the ideas and style of thought that are found in the main chapters of the essay

The preface is an introduction to the essay. In the preface, I will explain why I decided to publish this work, provide an outline of the essay, state who intended audiences are and who other possible audiences may be, and make suggestions on reading the essay

Introductory Comment. When no longer necessary, eliminate the following boxed outline and the bookmark ‘preface’


On the Publication of the Essay

Outline and Structure

The Audience

Reading the Essay

This essay narrates a Journey in Being. It began as two personal journeys, one of understanding and the other of achievement. In the beginning the goals were diffuse; understanding and achievement were not intrinsically or rationally connected, and the possibilities were dimly sensed. As my understanding grew into a system of ideas, I began to see possibility more clearly. I began to see that I might understand all being. I also began to see that this understanding had implications for the nature of individual human beings and for my life in terms of transformation. I therefore replaced the idea of achievement by transformation whose felt connection to understanding became rational as well. Journey in Being is the outcome of this process which, through understanding and transformation, sought to grow into a Journey of All Being. Thus, the journey has personal and universal aspects. The ideas or understanding show what is possible; this is developed in the FOUNDATION. The ideas show what transformations are possible. The ideas are themselves a form of transformation but not the only form. In the foundation, it is shown that, in principle, any transformation in being that can be described without contradiction is possible but they do not show how feasible the transformations may be; feasibility may be determined by ‘applicable knowledge’ such as science and, since science is limited relative to all being, by experiments in transformation. This also shows that there are no a priori limits to the ability to conceive what is possible. THE THEORY OF BEING and the theory of IDENTITY show that every individual will, during ‘eternity,’ experience all being. However, I also want to see what ideas and designs may be possible to this end; it seems that ‘ultimate’ transformation might require a combination of ‘blind’ and directed or designed process; certainly, ideas are essential in that without awareness or appreciation there would appear to be no significance to either the process or end of transformation. In this ‘transformation’ phase of the journey I have not achieved success that yet measures up to my success in ideas and, although there are some achievements, this phase whose designs and outcomes-so-far are described in TRANSFORMATION OF BEING, still ‘in process.’  It is not clear that the process will have an end but, certainly, a greater degree of satisfaction with my efforts seems to be possible; this is the next goal and phase of the journey

The purpose of the essay is to elaborate upon the ideas and processes described in the previous paragraph and to show how they have relations to immediate matters – to my life, to society, to human traditions and practices, to the universe as conceived in the history of human thought; this is the content of JOURNEY IN BEING. In the previous paragraph, a number of claims were been made about the possibilities of being. In the FOUNDATION, I have provided a demonstration of the validity of the claims, developed a many implications of the primary claims, shown how they relate to classical metaphysics, to science, and to human concerns. The foundation builds toward bringing what is possible into the realm of the feasible and, in JOURNEY IN BEING, I have described my efforts toward putting this endeavor into practice

In seeking to find a basis of the journey, I have found it necessary and useful to develop a wide range of human knowledge beyond its current boundaries to particular and universal ends; primary among this range are the metaphysics or THEORY OF BEING and the ways or DISCIPLINES OF TRANSFORMATION. The origins, aims and nature of the journey are outlined in the INTRODUCTION. My estimate of the outcome –the achievements– are in the following sections: THE AUDIENCE, ACHIEVEMENTS, UNDERSTANDING, and THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS

On the Publication of the Essay

The journey in being has been has been an adventure and inspiration. There have been study, thought, and action. In the process, I have written many essays (HOME) that I may now regard as preliminary and background work to this essay. There is further information on this background in the SOURCES

I publish this essay because I believe that I have something significant and original to say. I have drawn from and synthesized some aspects of a number of traditions, especially western thought and the philosophies of India. However, the essay is not intended to be a summary of the history of knowledge or of action and experiment. My main approaches and tools are thought, life and experiments in change and transformation. My goals are the achievement of the understanding and realization of being. Although there are intimations, in the history of ideas, of the fundamental results in this essay, I believe that the depth, clarity of statement, and completeness of the ideas and the necessity of the arguments are without precedent

Outline and Structure

Main Summary Sections:

Outline and Structure**

The essay has these main sections: the INTRODUCTION, a FOUNDATION and a NARRATIVE of the Journey. The introduction is less formal than the other sections. A number of supplementary sections assist in understanding and reference

The introduction narrates an outline of the Journey – the origins, main goals, motives, the results or achievements, and reasons for the approach taken including the use of the concepts of JOURNEY and BEING. The origins of the Journey include a personal story. Although the personal narrative is of interest to me, I have suppressed the merely personal and focused on what is useful to the objectives of understanding and realization. The significance of the personal includes that it refers to some individual. An objective of this essay, is to show the importance of individual history even to forms of literature that traditionally suppress personal narrative. This text is simultaneously personal, practical and intensely abstract in the traditional sense. The sense of ‘abstract’ is traditional for it is shown in this essay that the proper abstract is real and concrete

The FOUNDATION provides a conceptual framework for and, in its development, has been a part of the Journey. The primary topics of the foundation are metaphysics or the theory of being, theory of knowledge, logic, and cosmology. These primary topics enable the development of a description human being and mind that includes structure, function and growth. The development includes treatment of society and group choice or ethics and politics. While understanding is one of the objectives, the other main goal is transformation. The primary topics provide an approach to transformation and the description of mind enables a design of a ‘complete, minimal system of experiments in transformation.’ As experiment, transformation is necessary to the development of understanding. However, transformation is intrinsically important – meaning not only the transformation of the arrangement of the world but also of the form of being, of the individual. The theory includes an understanding of becoming in general, of the nature of purpose, and of consciously undertaken and purposeful transformation. A journey is necessary not only because process is essential to discovery and transformation but also because enjoyment of the process is at the foundation of purpose. The foundation establishes the contexts of all being and of human and animal being, it justifies its own structure as well as the structure of the journey

The JOURNEY is a NARRATIVE of two interweaving journeys. These threads are the individual but not necessarily personal and that of all being which includes the animal (human.) Here, there is a more complete account of the ideas established in the foundation. The narrative covers KNOWLEDGE, METAPHYSICS as the THEORY OF BEING, EXPERIMENTS IN TRANSFORMATION, EXPERIMENTS WITH METHOD (algorithms, computation, and machines,) and SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY and SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION

The supplementary sections begin with a systematic outline of FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS. The list of problems shows what has been accomplished and assists in reviewing whether certain issues deemed essential to the development have indeed been adequately addressed. The set of problems also includes issues that merit further reading, study and exploration; these include TRANSFORMATION of being. There follows a LEXICON, p.137, whose purpose is to show how the basic concepts form a fluid system in interaction with the idea of being developed here; a discussion of SOURCES AND INFLUENCES, that lists personal sources and a reconstruction of the influences on my thought; and, an INDEX of concepts

The Audience

The Audience

The Audience GENERAL

The Audience**

The Audience

Although I have always had communication in mind, the preliminary versions of this and related documents were not directed toward a specific class of readers. This is in part because my thought has been open ended. While specific goals have a degree of desirability, it is in the nature of an open ended journey in ideas and transformation that the goals themselves are not given at the outset. Discovery includes discovery of the goals. This is because as the nature of the universe, human nature, my personal nature and their relationships become revealed (and defined) new possibilities become revealed and old possibilities revaluated. The purpose in writing was to get the ideas on paper, to organize, to criticize, to refine and elaborate my thought. I now think that my accomplishments in thought may be a contribution that is worth publishing, that their form is sufficiently stable to allow publication. The initial form of the accomplishments was rough and intuitive. I have been able to find a foundation for the intuitions and to refine, elaborate and to develop consequences of the foundation in a broad range of disciplines, activities and institutions. It is therefore now pertinent to review what I have written here, to consider the classes of reader for whom the work might have interest. This essay has gone through numerous revisions; in the recent revisions I have been editing, organizing and revising the manuscripts in light of what may be the interests of potential readers

This work may have interest for a number of audiences. The first audience is the general reader. I believe that the ideas in this essay touch every life; however, this does not imply that all persons will be interested in the essay. Everyone eats but not everyone cares about what they eat or how to cook. The general reader, then, is one who has an interest in the AMBITIONS of the journey. This reader may have a peripheral interest in my explorations in ideas and in being, near and far. I hope, however, that my writing will touch the reader, will excite the imagination – will be the spark that sets the reader on his or her own journey. Perhaps some individuals will be motivated to share their journey with me. That will be my privilege. Although I have a passion for ideas, it has never been my ambition to live merely in the world of ideas. My passions include people, ideas, nature, dance… In addition to the esoteric, I would like to see social application of my thought and have developed it in that direction in HUMAN BEING AND SOCIETY and FAITH. I have attempted to write as simply as possible without sacrificing careful development of the ideas; however, some readers may experience the central chapters, ‘Foundation’ and ‘Journey,’ as difficult. There are some suggestions in READING THE ESSAY that may help the reader through the essay. It is my hope that the reader, including the one who has difficulties with the ideas but persists through and beyond the difficulties, may enter a ‘Journey in Being’ as participant rather than spectator

Readers of preliminary editions have asked why I have included such a wide range of material and so much detail –so many concepts– in such a short space. Those readers have prompted me to provide an explanation of the need for the range and depth of material in this essay. My response is that the contents are necessary to developing a theory of being and to showing explicitly that a wide range of being falls under its umbrella. I have been able to provide a theoretical demonstration that the theory is comprehensive, i.e., that all being lies within its range. However, without the explicit demonstration the conclusion would lack substance, relevance and application. Thus, I have developed application of the core theory (metaphysics) to classical metaphysics, to logic, cosmology, the nature of life, the nature of human being, mind, society, and faith. The consideration of logic is more than simple application for I have developed a significant generalization of idea of logic (there are similar ideas in the literature) that permits an alternative demonstration of the comprehensive nature of the theory. Logic, cosmology and the metaphysics (the core theory) stand together as a unit… Although this unit of ideas is significant in itself, I had conceived and developed it as a foundation for the ‘Journey in Being.’ The application to the transformation of being is taken up in the chapter, JOURNEY IN BEING

Another audience is the reader who is philosophically inclined. The essay traverses the terrain of a number of traditions of philosophy. The casual and the professional philosopher may find much of interest, especially the illumination (attempts at solution, extension) of a number of classical problems and areas of philosophy such as the theory of being or metaphysics, the nature of ethics and of group choice (political philosophy,) the mind-body problem, the nature of mind and matter, the problem of substance, the categories of being and of intuition, the nature of space and time – relational or absolute, what has been called the fundamental problem of metaphysics, i.e., ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ and the related question, ‘Why does the universe contain sentience?’, problems of the theory of knowledge, the nature of the noumenon or thing-in-itself, and questions as to the nature of philosophy and, especially, metaphysics and logic. The variety of reflections is tied together by a unity of perspective that stems, in part, from the theory of being that has been developed. My method includes but is not restricted to analysis; I have considered it important that philosophy should endeavor to illuminate the nature of the real – of being. Although there are intimations, in the history of ideas, of the fundamental results in metaphysics, I believe that the depth and clarity of statement of the ideas and the necessity of the arguments are without precedent. An objective in all these endeavors, as well as in those that follow, has been, first, to contribute to understanding and, second, to occasionally summarize pertinent aspects of the state of knowledge in the field

The result regarding substance is that there are no fundamental substances; instead the foundation of being is found in the void and is shown have and need no further regress; or, equivalently, the foundation is in complete indeterminism which, however, necessitates the origin of form and structure, of local or normal cosmological systems such as ours that may possess kinds of local (quasi) causation and local (quasi) determinism, and be described in terms of space and time. The void is shown to exist and to necessitate becoming and, therefore, being; this provides a resolution of the fundamental problem of metaphysics.

The developments that I will now describe may have interest for more specialized audiences but not to the exclusion of the general or the philosophically inclined reader. One purpose to my development of the specialized topics is to show how the general theory of being and the specialized topics have implications for one another. Taken together, the general and specialized interests –especially those whose focus is concerned with mind, its nature, structure and function– will form a foundation for a design of a complete and minimal system of experiments for the exploration and transformation of being. The degree to which the developments are complete and elaborate is not uniform (some of the developments are detailed in other essays.) The theory of being is central to the developments in philosophy just mentioned. The metaphysics shows the necessity of unending recurrence of the individual in forms without limit on duration, extent and participation in ‘higher’ being; development of the concept of identity, also founded in the theory of being, gives significance to these necessities through continuity of personal identity. The requirement for continuity of identity is not similarity of form but association through memory. Thus, continuity of identity does not clearly show universality of identity over all phases of being; however, the necessary extension of identity over continuous phases is so great as to ensure that normal human experience is a minute fraction of it. Similarity of form is the basis of a more comprehensive identity. In knowledge, identity or continuity of form can be given meaning relative to the entire universe; this is possible in such a way that it makes no significant difference whether the identity is merely in knowledge or real. This knowledge in ultimate form is Atman which, in light of the just mentioned lack of significant difference, is Brahman. This also shows a dual role for knowledge and memory, for knowing and remembering

The Nature of Science; Science and Religion

Readers interested in science will find reflections on the nature of science, the relation between science and logic, and an evaluation of the extent of the actual and potential domain of science relative to all being. One view of science has been that the theories of science should be testable or, in an earlier formulation, ‘falsifiable.’ Simply stated, this means that science is about the world of experience – but this does not mean that ideas and concepts do not enter into science. Another aspect of a fundamental scientific theory should be that, even though it may be ‘overturned,’ it captures an essence of a phase of being is captured. Thus, even when an older theory is overturned it may still capture the essence of a limited phase. A ‘revolution’ in science is one in which the essence of a fundamentally more comprehensive phase of being. It is fundamental that the theory of being of this essay captures, in logic, the entire range of being and that it is connected to the real world: its truth implies that the universe as known in science is an infinitesimal fraction of the entire universe. The theory of being has implications for the concept, nature and being of God. There are implications for the politically though not so much intellectually potent question of evolution vs. creation. It is pure biology and, in my opinion, good science that the theory of evolution provides the only explanation of the story of life on earth: it provides understanding, ‘creationism’ does not; further, although the explanatory system is not complete, the creationist criticisms generally confuse an inability (or refusal) to understand nature with a limitation of nature: the so-called gaps in evolutionary theory are generally gaps in creationist understanding. Creationism, I think, harms true religion; and it is not an explanatory system: it relegates explanation to an unexplained concept of God – it would be far better to acknowledge ignorance as mystery. However, my views may be described as being a ‘shade closer to center’ than strictly evolutionist views. My reasons are both complex and simple. The simple reason is that the theory of being shows the necessity alternatives to ‘strict incremental variation and selection’ in some cosmological systems despite its (apparent) huge improbability: it is the distinction between improbability and impossibility that characterizes the difference between my view and what I see to be the common view, whether evolutionist or alternative. Note that by alternative I do not necessarily mean ‘intelligent design’ (except insofar as intelligence may be attributed to general universal process) but simply something other than the incremental variation and selection. Even though the possibilities of incremental variation and selection may be beyond imagination, e.g. human imagination so far, the strict view continues to contain a form of mechanism imposed on strict indeterminism. The complex view has to do with the nature and function of knowledge and is developed in the essay

Regarding religion, I have written to understand the phenomenon, but not, by intent, to confirm or disconfirm any faith or belief; instead of confirmation, my intent has been evaluation of the literal and non-literal truth of religion and the significance of faith and religion in general and today. I distinguish between religion and the religions: the religions are the actual institutions; religion is the potential – the ideal. My concept of religion is that religion is that which orients the whole individual to the entire universe. The empirical minded anthropologist may retort that religion should be defined by the study of its practice. There are a  number of criticisms of this claim. One criticism is that it is circular: if there is no concept of religion, how is its practice to be identified; in absence of a concept it will be identified by preconception and the result of such study will reflect the prejudices of the investigator. A second criticism is that contains an implicit definition of what it is to study something; in this case it contains an implicit though partial definition of anthropology. Finally, it is a characteristic of a limitation to empirical study, that the result may limit human possibility to what has already been realized or to some account of what has been realized. Thus the domain of religion is not restricted to the divine and includes the domain of science. Some individuals prefer the word ‘spirituality’ to ‘religion.’ I find an additional word to be unnecessary even though ‘religion’ has some undesirable connotations. The word ‘spirituality’ suggests another realm or dimension – one that is removed from this world. However, there is no ‘other realm.’ There is one world and insofar as there are sacred things, the entire world is sacred – even if it contains evil. Individuals who set spirituality and religion apart are often inclined to think of spirituality as a private activity. Religion may be practiced as a private activity but is not essentially private. I see religion as being communal for conceptual and practical reasons. The conceptual reason is that sharing adds in a number of ways to the quality of the enterprise. There is no necessity to the practice and development of religion as communal; privacy of religion is to be tolerated and may be desirable for some individuals; some may profess to be unreligious – however this is hardly possible on account of my concept of religion; what I claim is that, in general, communal development and practice enhances religion in much the same way that communal development and practice enhances science. While some thinkers have emphasized the non-literal meanings of religion and myth, these meanings could not have significance if the literal meanings were completely absurd. I have found some of the conclusions regarding the literal truth, derived on grounds of logic, to be unexpected: the essential conclusion is that unless the truth of an article of faith would violate a principle of logic, it must obtain; however, it is normal that those articles that would violate the principles of science or reasoned common sense are extremely probable in this (our) cosmological system. One practical source of the importance of the communal practice of religion is as follows. The significance of religion is unquestionable even if only because, regardless of inner meaning and truth, it has so much impact on the lives and thinking of men and women and on the secular world. From my considerations of literal truth and from the theory of being, I have found a way to build a bridge between the religions and between religion and secular life. The idea should not be new; what is new is the demonstration that there are infinitely many actual worlds, all part of the one universe, in which such bridging necessarily obtains; in a given world bridging of any duration is possible but its probability is not necessarily high. The nature of faith is such that I am hopeful but not altogether optimistic about this possibility in this (our) world. One start, however, is that individuals with a liberal persuasion and (or) an attitude of tolerance might avoid being dismissive even of a polar opposite to their views and to always keep open the possibility of communication and understanding. What can be said to someone who believes in conflict and the resulting suffering? I have not been able to prove that physical conflict is not ethical on rational grounds alone. However, one can take a stand for one’s values. This may be vexing to intellectuals but it may be better than ‘proof’ for it may be harder to ignore someone who takes a stand than someone who writes a proof in a book. This does not discount theory for theory has potency and may be joined to action… I hesitate to criticize the faiths, which I distinguish from faith; however it is reason and feeling that have overcome sympathy in the foregoing criticism. Criticism of faith has been said to be a sign of disrespect but, when honest in fact and intention, appears to me to be a form of real respect – for the other and for truth. Earlier, I distinguished between religion and the religions and identified religion as the unrealized ideal. The ideal is not given but to be found, perhaps only to be approached; the theory of being provides a framework for this endeavor and shows that the ideal is not absolutely remote, i.e., the gulf between being human (or similar being) and being God is not infinite

Individuals with an interest in theoretical physics will find a tentative though as yet qualitative foundation for some of the basic theories and fundamental concepts of physics - quantum theory; the relativistic theory of space-time-matter and force. For biologists, there are reflections on the nature of life and the necessity of the variation and selection ‘mechanism’ of evolution and a generalization of that mechanism to all creation, to all origins of form and structure. Persons active in the philosophy and sciences of mind and behavior will be interested in the account of the nature and structure of mind. Regarding the possibility of two concepts of mind, the phenomenal and the psychological, that has dominated much thought –especially academic thought– since the middle of the nineteenth century, necessity requires the conclusion that the distinction is false; the apparent distinction is based in a limited understanding of mind and of being. Regarding the structure of mind, my focus has been at two levels – the possibility of mind as a source of adaptation (creativity) and the dimensions of human mentality. I have formulated a set of parameters or dimensions that permits a uniform treatment of mind and person in specific contexts and over a lifetime. (A uniform treatment is one that shows and develops the functions from a common basis.) This includes uniform formulations of the functions (cognition, emotion and drive or instinct) and a formulation of personality that transcends and is relatively neutral toward the culture-centered attempts of the past. The latter is made possible, in part, by connecting the human context, concepts and dimensions of mind, and the theory of being of this essay. It is shown that a complete account of the working of mind must be a basis for a complete account of the being and meaning of the individual: the account of human mind is a basis for the design of the experiments in transformation. It will be of interest to the psychiatrist in that the uniform formulations appear to make possible a universal and dynamic treatment of exceptional performance and disorder (actual development of such a treatment is among the plans for future work) that has basis in the functional dimensions of (human) mind. Workers in the recently activated (roughly, since the final quarter of the twentieth century) and multi-disciplinary field of consciousness studies will find a simple resolution of the ‘problem of consciousness’ that is, essentially, a special case of the resolution of the mind-body problem mentioned earlier. The limit of the treatment is not arrived at when I say that the cognitive scientist will find reflections and conclusions regarding the structure of thought, the possibility of the interpretation of mind as machine – as an algorithm performed upon symbols; and on the significance of learning, adaptation and embodiment

The essay contains reflections on the nature of symbolic systems that include the nature of the symbol and the object, the nature of language and of mathematics. These reflections are based, in part, on the concept of the ‘free symbol’ that is based in the metaphysics

The free symbol is also a part of the basis of an elucidation of aspects of social theory such as the nature and aspects of individual and group choice, i.e., of ethics, of economics, and of politics; the earlier comments on bridging among faiths also apply to secular relations and relations between faith and the secular world

I have attempted to craft the essay as art – have attempted to occasionally suffuse the prose with a poetic sense. This attempt is consistent with the reflection, found in the discussion of the nature of symbols, that poetry (which invokes intuition and emotion) and logic (reason) are not necessarily or essentially distinct and that their forms may be combined in positive ways that compromise neither poetry nor reason

Reading the Essay

Reading the Essay

Reading the Essay GENERAL

I have attempted to write simply. However, there may be some lower limit of simplicity that is consistent with the content. The following suggestions may be useful in reading, understanding and evaluating this essay

Understanding the system of ideas as a connected whole

Since a book is what has been called a ‘presentational form,’ i.e., it stands as a whole even while the presentation is linear, the content this essay may be best grasped by reading it more than once – perhaps at different paces and levels of detail. Many of the concepts are designated by familiar words that may be used in unfamiliar ways or have a variety of meanings from which only one is (some are) selected. I have endeavored to move knowledge and understanding into realms often thought to be inaccessible to conceptual comprehension. In this process the meaning of every concept may change and, even if, as I believe, the resulting system is ultimate in the sense of requiring no further foundation, each concept is yielded more as a meaning-in-transition than a fixed meaning. Further, the system of concepts stands as an integral whole. Therefore, the entire system of concepts and the development of the theory (of being) must be absorbed to permit either appreciation or criticism of a coherent system thought. The table of contents, the introduction, and the index may assist in this process. Additionally, I have provided a lexicon or glossary of important terms, a section on the fundamental problems, and a section on my sources. I have occasionally marked more technical material by offsetting, using a smaller font and by inserting footnotes and endnotes

Comments on word use and meaning

Some comments on word use and meaning may be useful. The following comments are intended to have application to this essay, but may also have application to the use of language in general. At the outset of these comments I will make the obvious remark that the utility of language requires some stability in its forms and meanings. However, the metaphysics of this essay includes an attempt to understand the nature of the universe within which we live. The approach to such an attempt does not start with a “clean slate,” but with an inherited system of understanding whose completeness and precision are partial. The objective is to improve understanding with regard to both completeness and precision. It is in the nature of the enterprise, as discussed in greater detail in the section, ‘Knowledge and Certainty’ (link) and elsewhere in this essay, that such an attempt, if it is to have some success, must have an experimental aspect. Thus, even though the meanings of words (concepts) must normally have some degree of stability, the meanings of words are not and can not be fixed. Thus, every significant word or concept as well as the system of concepts taken as a whole must have a degree of fluidity in use. The meaning of every word may and will change from speaker to speaker, from writer to writer and within the writing of a single author – even when the words are given what may appear to be precise meanings. In the metaphysical system of this essay I have systematically extended the meanings of common words, including their philosophical uses, beyond their common range in the attempt to extend the range of application of the system. I have introduced some new words but this is not always the best approach and may also create problems of understanding and communication

Therefore it is necessary to make a conscious effort to be aware of my use and meanings of words or concepts and their relations. (The sections, ‘Fundamental Problems,’ ‘Sources and Influences,’ the lexicon and the index may assist this effort. Inclusion of these various devices to assist the reader has added to the length of the document.) The system of meanings is a dynamic form. It is dynamic in that it should adjust to ‘reality’ and it is a form in that the meanings stand in relation to one another; in isolation, the meanings are incomplete. This is what I mean when I say that the concepts of a system of understanding constitute a dynamic field of concepts

Regarding the nature of the changes, they may be at the edges or boundaries of use or at the very core. Thus, use does not merely change but it evolves, grows, and morphs – often, but not necessarily, while maintaining continuity with previous use. It is therefore a given that the reader will get the most out of this essay that he or she could unless there is some willingness to, at least temporarily, relinquish cherished and often hard earned understanding

Since meaning codifies experience and since its analysis may bring further experience to bear upon it, it is not paradoxical that analysis of meaning may yield positive, e.g. empirical, results

Examples of power inherent in analysis of meaning

Examples of power inherent in analysis of meaning

The words whose meanings are extended are not only relatively esoteric ones such as ‘metaphysics,’ ‘logos,’ and ‘logic’ but also common ones such as ‘is,’ ‘noun,’ ‘thing,’ and ‘individual.’ The common words are often most profound in the implication of their meaning. Thus, ‘is’ is a form of ‘to be’ which is at the root of the meaning of being. As I have already said, although the meaning of ‘being’ appears to be trivial, its careful analysis leads to deep and often surprising conclusions. It is the pervasiveness of being that results in depth and, simultaneously, the appearance of triviality. In addition to this general consideration, the word ‘is’ in the sense of ‘being’ has a number of connotations. If something ‘is,’ it is typically so, within standard use, at a particular time and at a particular place. In an extension of this standard meaning, that something ‘is’ is allowed to mean that it has being over some duration of time and some extent of space that lie somewhere in the range of all durations and extents. That ‘is’ refers to a range of places and times is already within standard use for when an object has stable existence, the use of ‘is’ in connection with that object is not restricted to the strict present. For example, ‘Mt. Everest is the highest mountain’ would not have its usual sense if the heights of mountains varied randomly by thousands of feet every day. If time and space are regarded as ‘indices’ of being, then the use of ‘is’ may be extended to other indices that there may be. Careful attention to this distinction has been shown in the discussion of being to add significantly to the power of the analysis. This is because not all assertions are tensed but language use is ambivalent about whether grammatical forms are tensed or not. In my experience, the extended and tense-less use of the verb ‘to be’ may present an initial difficulty but finally results in simplicity of analysis

Another common word is ‘universe’ which has a number of connotations. In physics, ‘universe’ often means the known physical universe in which the meaning of ‘known’ is elaborated as ‘known by a combination of observational and theoretical means.’ In the primary meaning of this essay, the Universe is all that there is. Thus the Universe is shown to be far ‘greater’ than the known physical universe. In particular, it is shown that there is no reason to suppose that the laws of physics which enter implicitly into the definition of the physical universe apply to the Universe. Instead, it is shown that the Universe has no laws. (If the constitution of an object is defined by a set of states, a law is a restriction on the actual states attained.) Rather, laws such as the physical laws of this cosmological system arise locally; this cosmological system is, therefore, infinitesimal in comparison to the Universe. A further consideration arises as follows. If the concept of a creator is such that a creator must, at least occasionally, be outside of what is created then the Universe does not and cannot have a creator

A final word that I shall consider here is ‘individual.’ In one common and standard view, the individual is a relatively fixed quantity. Of course the individual has a life, is born, grows, declines and dies. However, these limits define the temporal boundaries of the individual on the standard view in which the skin of the individual is the spatial boundary. There are other boundaries in the standard view such as limits on abilities. In a more inclusive view, the individual is not fixed and is in flux; the boundaries of the individual are not absolute and the individual may be seen as a transient element of more inclusive being even while the individual may not experience its participation in that being. In an expanded perspective, the ‘standard individual’ may experience a more comprehensive and dual vision, seeing “a mountain as a river and a river as a mountain.” The concept of the individual and the identity of the individual are further discussed in the essay, especially in the section, ‘Personality and Identity.’ In that section, it is seen that identity may be maintained even in severe transformations. This shows how transformation of one individual into another or merging of one individual with a larger one, already seen to be possible from the Theory of Being, can have meaning

In these examples there have been two variants of an approach to deriving significance from analysis of meaning. In one, different meanings within a family of meaning are identified and distinguished and one of these selected as the meaning within the system of analysis. An example of this approach is ‘universe.’ In the other the meaning is extended as in the consideration of the individual. The variants are not essentially or logically distinct and may be seen as a single approach in which the aim is to avoid, as far as possible, introduction of metaphysical constraint or inconsistency built into the conceptual system at the outset. This approach will be used to significant advantage in the analysis and application of a number of concepts including ‘mind’ and ‘form’ and in a number of problems such as the mind-body problem that is well known in philosophy. A central idea in such considerations is that the meaning of ‘mind’ is, in the first place, that of mind-as-we-experience-it. In physical science, the concept of matter has been extended far beyond that of matter-as-we-experience it and, similarly, an extension is possible for ‘mind.’ This extension is a part of a resolution of the mind-body problem. The development of the Theory of Being in this essay also depends, among other things, upon similar extensions of meaning

The analysis of the concept of the individual required simultaneous analysis of the concept of identity. The observation is important. In general, the proper analysis of any concept may require the simultaneous analysis of the conceptual system or field of which it is a part. (Discussion of the idea of a field of concepts is taken up elsewhere in this essay.) An obvious reason for this is that the system of meanings is interdependent. A second and more subtle reason is that in any system of meanings, even formal ones, the common metaphysical tradition infuses each concept. Therefore, it is difficult to overcome the weight of the tradition in the analysis of any concept in isolation. Two observations are significant. First, as the examples show, the traditional systems, even the great critical philosophies, frequently embody metaphysical assumptions and even inconsistencies. Second, there is vast scope for valid expansion of metaphysical understanding. Here, ‘valid’ implies showing necessity, possibility and actuality. The Theory of Being developed in this essay is one such expansion

How it is possible for an analysis of meaning to result in valid conclusions regarding the world may appear to be puzzling since, in analyzing meaning, there appears to be no reference to the world? Thus, a major weakness of the science of Hellenism (the Greek Civilization) is thought to be that there was no systematic experimental testing of the system of ideas. A response to the puzzle is that meaning already embodies experience for the system of meaning arises together with language-use. The analysis of meaning is not merely in terms of other words or concepts but also involves analysis of past and continuing experience

References and Links

The issue of references has been addressed in the section, ‘Sources and Influences’

This essay has internal links and reference links to other documents and Internet sites. These links are coded as follows: EXTERNAL and INTERNAL HYPERLINKS. The table of contents is an exception to this coding. The use of small capitals is not restricted to links and is also used to indicate important concepts


In this essay, I have sought a balance between an impersonal or formal and a personal style. Examples of formal language are ‘the reader’ and ‘the author.’ The informal analogs are ‘you’ and ‘I.’ I have emphasized the personal when describing aspects of my journey (primarily in the Introduction) and the impersonal when I speak in general terms but have not strictly followed this ‘rule’

One objective of the impersonal style is to avoid cluttering a general or formal discussion with irrelevant personal details. Although I have included some information about my life, the account is not biographical and I have included such material when it is relevant to the development of the ideas. An example of pertinent personal information is in the origins of my thought; in describing these origins I find the personal style of writing to be most natural

Another objective of the use of an impersonal style has been the suppression of the ego in the service of truth. However, given the convention, the impersonal style can be a façade for the mere expression of the ego. Additionally, an impersonal style may often be unnecessarily remote. Perhaps the best approach to these issues is to balance the use of personal and impersonal styles

I prefer to say, ‘he or she’ or ‘she or he’ rather than ‘she’ or ‘he’ which, despite claims that the use is generic, are likely to be taken literally and are, therefore, inappropriate to approximately one half of all readers; and, if mutual respect is good, the generic use of ‘he’ or ‘she’ should be found undesirable by all readers. I would rather not say, ‘they’ when ‘he or she’ would be more appropriate. Some languages have neutral or common singular pronouns. Thus far, I have found it awkward to try to introduce a neutral or common singular pronoun into English. Any solution to the problems of gender and equality in a language that has institutionalized inequality is likely to be awkward. It does seem, perhaps, that it might be effective to import the appropriate pronoun from another language rather than coin a new word… In this version of the essay I have retained the cumbersome forms such as ‘he or she’

Punctuation and grammar

In this essay, a period –full stop– at the end of a paragraph is not shown. However, other end of sentence marks such as question marks are shown. Even though this deviates from common practice it is economical. As an economy, the practice is trivial. However, the principle of economy is not trivial and is a kind of aesthetic. When I introduced the practice, the absence of the period appeared awkward to me. Now, the absence appears natural and the common practice appears awkward. In itself, this is a comment on the nature of the aesthetic. Additionally, there is relevance for other concerns such as the one raised above on gender and language. It shows that the introduction of neutral pronouns, whether foreign or coined, may seem awkward at first but familiarity may eliminate the sense of strangeness. The acquisition of familiarity may be enhanced by introducing a form that is both economical and aesthetic and poetic

The single quotation mark, e.g. ‘quote’, is used to distinguish a name or concept from the corresponding object. A second use of the single quotation mark is to indicate a variant or questionable use of a word or concept and a third use indicates quotation of something I have written elsewhere. Double quotation marks, “quote,” are used to indicate that the words are those of another writer or to avoid confusion when there is a quote within a quote

The following comments have relevance, not only to authorship but also to the power of language relative to what are normally taken to be its functions. It is not clear that the modern tendency, in the use of the English and other languages, to rigidly fixed rules of meaning and grammar is altogether positive. The occasion for language is function and rules serve the function. Rigidity of rule may serve the function precision within a limited context but be a block to the fluctuating and sometimes expanding context that is our experience of the real. That is, rigidity does not serve the central function of realism and, in fact, may artificially encourage the belief that realism is impossible. A brief study of what has been learnt in formal logic in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries shows that the functions (including communication and representation which are both essential and linked together) of language cannot be completely captured in a system of rules. Further, the history of a language shows that the tendency to fixed rules generally comes after the zenith of its power, often in an age of decline. What appears to be clear is that the modern educational system has produced generations of English speakers who identify with the rules. While rules of grammar and style have function, it is not clear that fixed formulation and adherence is the advance or progress that it is often taken to be. The distinction between function and fashion is neither complete nor clear… Practically, of course, an author must pay attention to rules of grammar, meaning and style; however, these rules cannot serve all occasions and, therefore, rigid adherence is not consistent with function

Closing comments on simplicity

The primary block to simplicity in writing this essay is that the system of ideas remains in flux regarding not only the ideas –the details and the main ideas– but even regarding the paradigms that inform my thought. This flux has a necessary component: I continually seek to improve my understanding and my previous thought. However, since the subject matter of the essay has achieved some stability I feel that it is as ready for publication. I will continue to further the goal of simplicity in subsequent versions of this and other essays


Charismatic appeal

‘What do you love and of what are you afraid?’ he was asked. Fear and love arise naturally in this world and appear to be necessary. Fear or love of the infinite should be a choice; and this conditions their necessity in this world

Introductory Comment. When no longer necessary, eliminate the following boxed outline and the bookmark ‘introduction’



A Short Account of the Journey…  The Nature of the Journey…  Origins and Paths…  The Form of the Essay…  Journey-Quest


Being…  Core Concepts and Conclusions


Significance of Knowledge…  The Concern with Certainty…  Two Views of Knowledge: Transitional and Absolute…  The Absolute Framework…  Attitudes toward Knowledge and Certainty…  Certain and Hypothetical Knowledge…  The Disvalue of Certainty…  Knowledge and Action…  Emotion, Belief and Faith…  On Criticism…  The Conceptual Problem of Knowledge


The Central Conceptual Issues…  The Journey…

Editing and placement. The following should eliminate repetition of titles: 1. Outline: order for the reader’s understanding; use Knowledge and Certainty to prepare for A Personal Account of Knowledge and Faith and to preview the place of knowledge in being. 3. Indicate and point to the roots of the achievements in reason and science, nature, feeling and passion, and myth. 2. Place complex material in the main chapters

The introduction has two parts. The first, an introduction to the journey, ends with the discussion of ‘Knowledge and Certainty.’  The second part is a ‘Prospect for the Journey…’

This chapter is an introduction to the journey at a level that is not as demanding as that of the subsequent narrative. In the section, THE AUDIENCE, of the preface, may suggest what topics may be helpful in understanding the essay. The breadth of topics covered, the fact that the essay does not lie in any one tradition, and the fact that the essay is not merely intended to recount previous thought and explorations in being but is also intended to be a contribution in those areas is bound to make demands of most readers. However, this essay is not intended to be a textbook and so I do not need to be as concerned about ‘prerequisite reading’ as sensitive authors of modern university textbooks may need to be. Although, in this essay, philosophy is more a tool than an end, perhaps the most useful acquaintance for the reader would be with the Western philosophical tradition. Some acquaintance with the traditions of the East would also be useful. The work draws on a wide variety of academic disciplines and non-academic traditions, especially those that are concerned with being as such and not merely with some specific aspect of being. One of my intentions has been to address every significant problem in the history of ideas and every significant human problem. Naturally, I cannot hope to have done this in detail but only in principle. There is a discussion in the second main chapter, JOURNEY IN BEING, that shows where the main academic disciplines fit into the structure of the essay. A number of preparations make this comprehensive understanding possible: wide reading and study over many years, a specific study of encyclopedic compilations of human knowledge that I made in connection with earlier essays, and the generality of the subject of this essay. I should add that the intention just discussed is not the main intention in the Journey in Being but is subservient to the intent to understand all being

In the introduction I describe the nature of the journey and the choice of the words ‘journey’ and ‘being.’ Then, in the only section of the text that is openly personal in intent, I discuss the ORIGINS AND PATHS of the journey. The intent of disclosure is not autobiographical or disclosure itself; it is to enhance understanding and, perhaps, to encourage others in similar adventures. While METAPHYSICS and science are perhaps best developed in an impersonal manner, it seems to me that the choices and actions of an individual (or group) endeavor or life are empty if conducted or expressed as an abstract or general form. It seems to me that one of the weaknesses of modern philosophical ethics is its confused development as a number of distinct (non-interactive) polar forms (right vs. good, duty vs. ends, focus on compulsion vs. fullness of being…) without adequate attention to how these forms play out and interact in practice. Additionally, the fact that I have wanted to use the metaphysics has led me to develop and abandon a number of metaphysical systems until the present one which I feel, at least temporarily, is an ultimate metaphysics in that it is shown to depict a system of all being and requires no reference to a more fundamental level and, specifically, requires no foundation in any substance. If my interest had been only in theoretical understanding and not also in use toward my goals of understanding and transformation, I might, for want of adequate ‘tests’ of the metaphysics, have stopped short of its final (current) form. These thoughts are pertinent to THE FORM OF THE ESSAY which is explained in terms of its purpose to lay out the Journey in Being in its development and latest form… I can view the journey as part of my life or as my life, i.e., I can view the process as an interacting development between a non-directed and very enjoyable meander and a directed and exciting JOURNEY-QUEST

After the foregoing and personal overview I discuss the main concepts, ambitions and achievements. I discuss those concepts that are essential to the development of the foundation for the journey. There is also a brief discussion of the arguments that brings out the meaning and significance of the concepts and a discussion of the main conclusions that shows their importance

In the section on Knowledge and Certainty I introduce an attitude toward the nature of knowledge that weaves its way through the essay; the discussion takes up the role of knowledge and is critical of knowledge as a free standing enterprise. That various disciplines stand with relative independence of practice is not questioned. The criticism is that this independence constitutes the essential nature of all knowledge, especially all kinds knowledge of the deepest aspects of being. The conclusion will be that there are modes of knowledge regarding these deepest issues that do stand independently but that it is necessary to be specific about both mode and subject. The treatment accepts the post-enlightenment emphasis on the possibility and validity of knowledge but finds that this emphasis is dependent on values, i.e., on the intended application. Although the conclusions are general, my intent in taking up this topic (in this essay) was to evaluate the role of knowledge and understanding in the journey and as part of it; the usefulness of the post-enlightenment emphasis to real knowledge and transformation; and limits to the boundaries that are thought to be set by the post-enlightenment emphasis – indeed to any emphasis that sees knowledge as a distinct phase of activity

The final section, Prospect for the Journey and its Foundation, describes the functions of the two main chapters of the essay and how they constitute an elaboration of the themes of the journey that have been set up in the introduction. The purpose of the foundation is to show the range of the possible, to show that that range far exceeds the possible of conventional wisdom, to demonstrate the possibility, to distinguish the probable from the less probable and to show approaches that may bring the less probable into the realm of the probable. The foundation is universal in its nature; the chapter on the JOURNEY is less so since it focuses on actual achievements – my achievements and the achievements of this (our) civilization. In describing the achievements of civilization, I have been concerned with the ‘outer boundaries’ and not with a development of the details


Central Summary

Eliminate the summaries and style ‘summary’ when done

Central Summary: A Very Short Account of the Journey in Being** … Key section

Summary Sections. When done with the summary sections, eliminate style ‘summ_achieve’

The **topics are overall summaries or plans. The *topics are local or chapter summaries. Other sections are contributing

Main Summary Sections:

Outline and Structure**

The Audience**

Central Summary: A Very Short Account of the Journey in Being** … Key section

The Ambitions**

Core Concepts, Arguments and Conclusions**

Secondary Summary Sections:

Prospect for the Journey and its Foundation*

Conclusions and Critical Review. Prospects for Journey in Being*

The Journey Continues*

A Very Short Account of the Journey in Being

Plan. The very short account should be combined with the Outline and Structure from the PREFACE. Together with the other summaries (Level 2 Headings in the overall table of contents) these may constitute a ‘central summary.’ The sections also have overlap with The Nature of the Journey

The Nature and Goals of the Journey

In this essay, I have narrated a journey in perception, understanding, and transformation. Sources are not always obvious but it is roughly true to say that the journey began as my attempt to achieve with my life the highest end – whatever that might be. What stood out above other possibilities was understanding the world in which I live: the journey was both personal and universal in its intention. In seeking understanding I was guided by the great works – the accomplishments of statesmen, religious leaders, philosophers, scientists, poets… My interest was not solely in ideas but in action as well – with my own life and for society.  In its origin, the goals of the journey were simply the path of personal learning and growth as more or less conventionally understood. The actual nature of the possibilities –the highest end– remained implicit for many years that covered a number of phases of my life and much study and thought. Finally, I discovered that the understanding and realization of all being is accessible to the individual. This statement is subject to a number of criticisms. What does it mean? Is it not impossible, i.e., does it not contradict common sense, common wisdom, philosophical thought and science? Is it not grandiose? Is it not escapist in that it appears to seek flight from the immediate world?

A Scientific Theory Captures the Essence of a Phase of Being

Here are some brief responses to the criticisms. To realize all being there would have to be some at least apparent knowledge of that state of being in the individual’s awareness; therefore, the meaning of the realization must be tied in to the nature of personal identity. In this essay I have developed the concept of identity in such a way as to give ‘realization of all being’ meaning. This does not prove that such realization is possible. The possibility is developed as a topic in logic however it is important to state that the concept of logic is significantly more comprehensive than implied by the traditional meaning as the science or art of argument. In this essay, the subject of logic is the form of being; the possibility of understanding and realizing all being stems from this source. It is significant to note that although this statement appears to be dry, the understanding and realization of all being also has a place in intuition and feeling. The criticism of impossibility is addressed as follows. The conventional concept of impossibility is replaced by improbability. Thus, since common sense, science and so on are about a phase of the universe –a phase of all being– there is no logical conclusion from science or common sense to the impossibility of realization of all being. It follows, then, that the only impossibilities are logical impossibilities. One of the goals of this essay is to cast these thoughts in a precise or rigorous form and to seek ways to bring the improbable into the realm of the probable, i.e., to seek connections between the immediate and the ultimate. This approach includes a response to the charges of grandiosity and of escapist flight. The search for the ultimate is not grandiose because it is known to be possible and it is not taken as a given that it will be achieved but only that the search has value. There is also the point of view that the ultimate is already present but what is missing is the awareness or knowledge of this fact. Some individuals would claim that any thoughts of a world beyond the immediate is escapist or a sign of hubris or that a greater humility is required in the face of the ultimate. This is of course a point of view or value and not a fact and there is an opposing value that the humility in question is a false humility based, perhaps, in fear. In seeking the ultimate, there is no actual rejection of the immediate and its enjoyment – there is no essential escape. The essay includes an elaboration of the meaning, truth, logic and passion of these thoughts. A brief elaboration follows

It should be clear that the goals of the journey have become more definite and more clear; this is necessary since, as the understanding of being becomes clearer, possibilities of understanding and transformation open up

‘Journey in Being’ is the story of two interwoven paths. It is simultaneously an individual story and the story of all being. I have not emphasized the personal aspect of the story except to illuminate the universal one and as an example of an individual story that may be useful to others in their lives

What does (or can) it mean that the individual can realize all being? In the first place, before the question of possibility can be discussed, it is necessary to specify what is meant by all being. It is shown that ‘all being’ is infinitely greater than the traditional understanding of the known universe. Thus the claim that the individual can realize all being is a greater claim than the traditional or common or scientific interpretation of the claim; it is shown in this essay that, except for logical contradiction, ‘all being’ is greater than what is known or thought to be known in common thought (or common sense,) in science (the known universe,) in imagination and dreams, in religion, poetry and myth. It is important to recognize that the traditional view has no rational concept of ‘all being’ and that this is the logical source of the idea of limits, of the idea that all being is unrealizable. (There are other sources including the practical needs of the finite individual and society that necessarily invest in the survival needs of the finite; including fear; and including manipulation and control. Thus the sources of the idea of that being is unrealizable are both realistic and unrealistic; the realism is practical and the lack of realism lies in that practical needs are not ultimate, i.e., in that practical ‘reality’ is not ultimately real.) The understanding that the individual may realize all being occurs simultaneously with the understanding of the concept of all being

One of the objectives of this essay is to show and illuminate the foregoing claims regarding the relation between the individual and all being. I.e., the objective in question is concerned with the relative nature of the individual

The focus on the ultimate does not exclude concern with the immediate. The immediate has value in itself and in community: every life contributes or detracts from community. However the immediate and the ultimate are not distinct; they interact; they require, constitute and illuminate one another. However, this is not meant to imply that there is but one way of life; rather, I think that there should be a complementary plurality

There should remain a concern with the contrast or conflict between the immediate and the ultimate. Is not the thought that the individual may achieve the ultimate a contradiction of common sense, of science? One of the objectives of this essay is to show that, whereas the boundary between the immediate and the ultimate has been thought to be absolute, it is in fact relative. Reasons that this relative distinction has been taken as absolute have been discussed above. What is the nature of the distinction? It is, first, that transition from the immediate to the ultimate realm is extremely improbable. However, this statement is an approximation. Improbability itself is based on knowledge and understanding. The theory of being that is developed in this essay itself shows that it is necessary that what is traditionally improbable may, necessarily, be brought into the realm of the immediately probable, the immediately possible. It is a central objective of this essay, of the theory of being, to demonstrate the validity of these claims. This demonstration is not difficult; it is our natural prejudices that make it difficult to see. A second central objective of the essay and a primary objective of the journey is the discovery of ways to bring the infeasible into the realm of the feasible

Thus, the journey was, in the beginning, a personal journey that grew into understanding and transformation of all being – of the universe

That it is possible to understand and realize all possibilities of being requires (1) an adequate concept of what would constitute such understanding and transformation, (2) showing that the goal is achievable, (3) an idea of how it may be achieved, and (4) an attempt to achieve it

The goals of achieving all understanding and all possible transformation may seem to be impossible and the ambition futile and grandiose. It is shown in the essay that the only true impossibilities are logical. All other ‘impossibilities’ are (at most) very improbable or infeasible to a high though not absolute degree. Additionally, consideration of ‘all understanding and transformation’ is important because one of the aims of the essay is an analysis of the concept of possibility

Desirable Goals

Even if ‘all understanding and transformation’ were possible, what could it mean and what would be its value? Would it not involve both immoral and irrelevant ends; and so much detail as to obscure what is worthwhile – and might not a focus on the ultimate obscure the immediate, the here and now? As a result of such considerations, the phrase in quotes may be replaced by ‘all desirable understanding and transformation.’ The idea of desirability (link) includes what is truly worthwhile – of high value, what is moral, and what is feasible

The ideas of desirability, value, morality and feasibility are discussed in the essay where it is found that the meanings of the terms are not given – especially in the realm of all being where it is found that the meanings are interdependent and unfolding. In addition to these general considerations of what is desirable are distinct from the particular events and choices that distinguish a culture or an individual


The approach to foundations for the journey include review the traditions, modern and ancient, of understanding and transformation. Although the essay includes an account of some pertinent aspects of the traditions, I have not intended to provide a comprehensive review; such a review is not necessary to the essential conclusions and, therefore, I have described and summarized only the pertinent aspects of my studies and investigations. However, in my investigations and attempts at transformation I have occasionally been able to carry forward the traditions and in some fundamental directions the result may be described as a logical or final conclusion

The studies, investigations, conclusions, and transformations are described in the essay. The nature of the finality of the results is made clear and the claim of finality is justified

Why ‘Journey’ and why ‘Being?’

I have described the total process as a journey because it has not been at all linear and because it has involved study of many ancient and modern disciplines of knowledge and many dimensions of experience and transformation

When an individual –or a civilization– undertakes realization of all being, a journey is required. There appear to be two journeys that weave together – that of the individual and that of all being. Since the individual is a part of the whole the two may be seen as a single journey

Why have I focused on ‘being?’ The concept of being, that which exists or which has existence, may appear to be trivial because ‘everything’ has being. However, the apparent triviality or, equivalently, the universality of its range of application permits profound consequences to the study of the universe in terms of being. One result is an understanding of the nature and origin of the universe without need for further foundation or regress; a related consequence is that, since the approach from being is not dependent on the (possibly) limited categories of mind, matter, or substance as they are traditionally understood, the foundation requires no substances and, additionally, the traditional mind-matter or mind-body problems and the questions of monism versus dualism do not beset the study in terms of being. The metaphysics or Theory of Being that is developed in the essay, is neither monism nor dualism; it is not a metaphysics of substance at all. This remains true even when ‘substance’ is included liberally to include process, extension and relationship. Thus, the Theory of Being has the potential to provide a basis of a foundation to the concepts of time, space, relationship and causation – to the extent that the universe is temporal, causal and so on. It is useful to note that, in the approach from being, it is not being said at the outset that the universe is or is not material or mental in nature. Instead, if there are ultimate categories such as mind, idea, will, spirit, matter, process, or relationship, that determination should be a conclusion rather than a premise of the analysis. In the Theory of Being to be developed, it is determined that there are no ultimate categories such as mind or matter unless they are so extended as to be identical with one another and with being and, as will be seen, the absence of being also called the void. It is found that the classical categories, though not fundamental, have practical uses especially in limited domains such as our cosmological system that is commonly referred to as the universe but is, as will be seen, an infinitesimal part of it

What is the source of the fundamental nature of being? The following considerations arise. As ‘that which exists,’ being excludes no actual thing or kind. Psychologically, taking being as primitive, there is no a priori commitment to the fundamental or non-fundamental character of mind, matter, process or relationship and so there is no existential alienation of individuals of different orientations – materialists, idealists, process thinkers, those whose focus is the immediate, those whose focus is the ultimate and so on. The approach from being may, perhaps, be criticized as lacking in commitment. However, while it is true that there is no a priori commitment to any particular view of the nature of being, there is a commitment to following the adventure and logic of discovery to their outcome. Additionally, since the approach from being permits an a priori admission of partial ignorance, given that knowledge is used in action, there is no absolute prohibition against ‘acts of faith.’ I.e., it is consistent with the approach from being to be an occasional materialist or an occasional idealist; however, the approach from being does show exclusive or absolute ideological thought to be limiting and therefore undesirable in relation to the aims of understanding. These considerations lead to a conclusion regarding the real power of the approach. The idea of being straddles what is known and the unknown; therefore it allows what is known without requiring commitment to it; it values this world without asserting that it is the entire universe; it avoids the perversions of and entrapments in premature ideas regarding the nature of the real; and, as confirmed in principle and by example through the Theory of Being of this essay, it encourages and permits discovery of the real – and an understanding of what constitutes such a discovery

Reasons for the choice of ‘journey’ and ‘being’ and understanding of the concepts is elaborated in detail in the essay. Additionally, the categories of mind, matter, process, relation and others receive further analysis and clarification

Some essential elements and paths: understanding and the journey

Understanding: concepts, meaning, analysis and explanation

Action: experiment, transformation, construction, becoming… and  the journey; it is important to emphasize that actual realization (the author’s at publication of this essay) has limits whose nature is not completely understood. What does it mean that I do not completely understand my limits? It means that, when I take a limit to be real I may have misunderstood my limits and actuality. It is common to think that ones positive abilities are limited but ones negative abilities are absolute. This is ‘humility’ and is thought to be a virtue. That it is thought to be a virtue is a kind of sickness if truth is an absolute value even if the virtue has ‘survival value,’ even when it is admired as in ‘he is so accomplished yet so humble.’ I do not understand my limits; this is both realism and a consequence of the theory of being of this essay. The next objective of the journey is an immersion in the realms of being that have been revealed as both possible and necessary in the developments of the ideas outlined in this essay

From the discussion so far, it may be seen that ‘being’ has critical and constructive functions. The critical function includes elimination of the limited categories that have resulted in a limited view of the nature of being and have remained problematic even when called into question. The constructive function includes the development of a Theory of Being that, as will be shown, in eliminating all categories that are limited relative to ‘that which exists,’ provides a foundation without need for further foundation. That is, at least in the question of what underlies the universe, the foundation is final and ultimate. However, the study of being alone is inadequate to the development of even an acquaintance of the variety of possibility and being within the universe so as to complete a ‘Journey in Being’

Some additional elements to the study may be identified. Firstly, the concept of being is not taken as given but is subject to analysis in a number of ways. One way is to address the possible distinction between appearance and reality. The nature of this distinction may be formulated, ‘from among all appearances, which ones correspond to actual things?’ This leads to an analysis of the meaning of being which is taken up in the essay where it is shown that the questions, ‘What is being?’ and ‘What is the meaning of being?’ are identical in their meaning. Another way is to ask, ‘At what time(s) does an object have to exist to count as existing?’ One answer is ‘now.’ Another is to allow an extended meaning of ‘exist’ to allow existence at ‘any time’ to count as existence; this is equivalent to an atemporal or super-temporal view. The super-temporal view, however, is not altogether distinct from the temporal view because ‘now’ is rather indefinite and may for some things count as a fraction of a second and for others count as a duration of eons of time. The super-temporal (and super-spatial) view of being will be shown to provide an approach to a foundation of the concepts of space and time or space-time and, an extension of the meaning of the words (verbs) ‘to be’ and ‘is’… Just as the fundamental concept of being may be subject to analysis, so the meaning of all fundamental concepts may be called into question (simultaneously and interactively) and subject to analysis with fruitful outcomes. Generally, the traditional or usual meanings are not abandoned (those meanings must have some value in understanding the world) but are modified and extended

A second element of the study, then, is the analysis of a system of concepts that provide an understanding of the universe, that is, an explanation of the universe and its contents in ‘simple’ terms. The first concept is that of the universe itself which is ‘all being’ and ‘outside of which there is nothing.’ There is a vagueness to this meaning of the term ‘universe’ that arises on account of the fact that what is in the universe now may be not in it later. This vagueness is eliminated by the atemporal view described above. Although the meaning of ‘universe’ just given is innocuous, it leads to deep consequences, for example, while parts of the universe (may) have been created and have origins, the universe itself cannot have a creator or an origin. Another concept is that of the ‘void’ or absence of being. Absence of being means not only absence of things but absence of patterns and laws and, as will be shown, it is this that permits the foundation without substance or further regress. In addition to universe, being, void (which may be thought of as non-being,) the entire system of concepts that forms the basis of understanding includes logic and logos (divested of any necessary theological connotations,) becoming, form, object, symbol, cosmology, normal cosmological system, order and chaos, the individual and identity (whose analysis reveals relations among individuals and the universe,) human being and society, and knowledge and faith

A third element of understanding that goes beyond ‘study’ is based in the temporal view of the individual. In this view, the individual does not have access to his or her potential at a given time. What is that potential? Mention of the relations among individuals and between the individual and the universe, above, suggest the idea that behind temporal limits, there is an identity. Of course, suggestion is not proof; however, this identity (referred to in many traditions) is demonstrated in the essay. How can I relate this identity to other views, also traditional and including traditional science and traditional common sense, of laws and limits? How is it related to my personal experience as a discrete individual? Conceptually, an ultimate or super-temporal identity can coexist with temporal discreteness of experience. What may be traditionally regarded as impossible, is seen on account of the Theory of Being to be improbable – at least on the account of traditional knowledge which includes science and religion and which seems to be, at least in this life, the best knowledge actually available to me. Therefore, the overcoming of the traditional limits is a process that involves understanding and, on account of incompleteness of my understanding regarding the concrete particulars of my being in this world, should also involve action and experiments in the transformation of being. Here, in the concrete particulars of his or her life, the individual faces a divide between what is actual and what has been revealed by the Theory of Being. What may be seen as a limitation or negative may also be seen as positive, as an adventure, as an invitation to becoming. The Chapter, ‘Journey in Being,’ of this essay describes my experiments in transformation and their foundation in the Theory of Being

Thus, in a number of ways, the adventure of becoming is an open Journey in Being. This central aspect of this essay is motivated in the Introduction (link) and is the theme of the chapter, Journey in Being (link). The emphasis in Foundation is to provide grounding and though its approach is direct, the process of discovery for the ideas in it has been a journey in itself

The Journey So Far

How may these considerations change the world or universe and views of the universe? How may they change an understanding of what is possible for an individual or society?

When writing within a tradition, writers do not need to specify the worldview and assumptions of that tradition and, therefore, it is possible to specify the results of an investigation or discovery in a few words and without confusion. I have drawn much from the traditions and I sometimes write from within a traditional point of view, e.g., a scientific point of view or a myth laden one. (It is important to note that, here, I am neither equating nor distinguishing science and myth and that the definition of what constitutes such activities is, generally, a process. This essay includes, especially, reflections on the nature of science and other ‘kinds’ of knowledge such as myth and religion. I find that, although definition is a process, it is incorrect to assume that the processes of definition are without end. Thus, it is not outside human ability to understand human abilities and institutions)

Although I draw from and embrace tradition, the core of my thought lies at the limiting edges of common thought. Here and there, in the history of discovery and exploration ideas at these edges, windows from ‘our world’ into the entire universe may be found. There is no common context that gives meaning to my thought and its conclusions and, so, it is necessary to read this essay to fully appreciate its meaning and implications

The Nature of Science

A brief but necessarily inadequate summary is as follows. In general, traditional views such as the cosmology of modern science or myth are found to be local pictures that are roughly valid in their domains of application which are, however, infinitesimal relative to all being. In the normal view, human (animal) being and culture lie within the local pictures and, as such, are severely limited relative to absolute possibility. In the view developed in this essay, these limits are real but not absolute. ‘Journey in Being’ negotiates these limits and, in the realm of understanding, I have been able to encompass –in principle though not in detail– the ‘end of understanding.’ This understanding is not a refutation of the common human experience of limited awareness and being; rather it places those limits in context and denies their absolute character. In the realm of transformation, I have laid out a path from the local to the universal – from the infinitesimal to the infinite; my endeavors thus far remain in-process. Although (my) thought has fathomed unlimited depth, my being, in so far as I am immediately aware of it, remains finite. This finitude is an aspect of experience since I know that one aspect of infinitude lies in the relative nature of limits and boundaries that are taken to be absolute. This could and occasionally does result in a tension between the actual and the possible. The rewards of the experience of infinitude are clear. However, in the wonder of the world there are rewards to finitude

The Nature of the Journey

Comment. To a significant degree this has been discussed earlier

Import. PROLOGUE to the original Journey in Being

The Use of the Word, ‘Journey’

Alternative title. ‘Journey’

Repetition? Is this not contained in the next and previous headings? In some ways. However, it is also being asked why ‘journey’ is used and not ‘becoming?’ It is not merely that ‘The Becoming of Being’ is awkward. ‘Journey’ signifies: that, at outset, the paths and destinations are unknown – their creation or discovery is part of the journey; that the story follows many threads of which some are dead ends; that the journey is wonderful – enjoyed also for its own sake even in its aspects of boredom and dread; and that the journey continues…

Journey in Being

Comment. Explained earlier two (or three in the chapter, ‘Journey in Being…’ reconcile this) interwoven journeys…

Planning. To the following from v2004, add comments that the individual is the generic individual. (In the introduction, I the account includes what is specifically mine.)

JOURNEY IN BEING’ is the Journey of all Being; and the story of the universe

‘Journey in Being’ began as my Journey; it began in awe and wonder in being and its variety – revealed in the world, told in words. In the beginning there was enjoyment and not questions, not the word ‘being.’ Enjoyment led to its cultivation; cultivation to search for knowledge –understanding– and then for transformation; and, later, I came to prescribe the search by fundamental goals and questions

Place. The special formatting ‘Journey in Being

‘Journey in Being is the name of two essentially interwoven journeys or stories of being – an (the) individual journey and the journey of all being

The first is an individual story (journey) – that of the author’s travels in being where transformation and understanding interact. Understanding shows what is possible and guides experiment in action and transformation. A greater understanding of the universe – of being, brings a greater degree and variety of being into the realm of what is known to be possible. This connects to the second story

The story (journey) of being – of the one universe requires no motivation to be told. Being is known through its possibilities. Being is conceived in its aspect as a Journey. That is, the trajectory is more a meander than a linear path. Understanding and design interact with chance and undirected change

Journey in Being is all being, all journeys, seen as a journey and includes the individual, society, all disciplines… the universe. However, it emphasizes the dynamic and transforming aspect derived from the nature of being. There is transformation without absolute transformation of identity. It is multiple paths –branching, recombining, originating, terminating– seen as one path

The Ambitions

The Ambitions**

Note: use questions 8 and 9 of TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT BEING

I said that the concrete goals of the journey have been in evolution. This is a consequence of my ambition to explore what is most fundamental for, even though I have always had some feeling for what is most foundation, the exploration has opened up unseen possibilities. Alternatively, conceiving a journey as an open ended exploration or travel, it may be said that there are journeys to be had. The Theory of Being developed in this essay shows the fundamental nature of being without need to refer to another more fundamental level. Therefore, I feel I have achieved some equilibrium with regard to ‘concrete’ goals. This is not altogether given since the nature of the goals has become more clear, more elaborate and more definite since my early recognition in the fall of 2003 of the nature of the theory. As examples, the intimate connection among –perhaps even identity of– metaphysics, logic and cosmology that is well recognized in the literature has become much clearer as a result of application of the theory; and the mutual development of the theory and a variety of disciplines has become possible since the establishment or demonstration of the theory

Ambitions include motives or motivation and goals include objectives and purposes

It is not to be assumed that every being or all being have ‘intrinsic purpose’ or that such purposes are identical to the stated or avowed purposes of any particular individual. Intrinsic purposes are to be shown

Although human ethics or morals are bound to human life they are not unquestionable even to human beings. However, ultimate being is integral over all being and there, perhaps, proximate morals have no meaning

The ultimate purpose of the Journey in Being is the realization of all being… which is not (merely) because all being illuminates individual being but because it is the limit of individual being

The Primary Goal

Comment. The original title was ‘Central Goal and Ambition’

Comment. This has been discussed earlier

Note. Keep only essentials in simple but charismatic language here and details to the part, ‘Journey in Being’

The central ambition and goal is the understanding and realization of all possibilities of being

The foundation of the goal will be shown to be in metaphysics (logic.) Questions of significance – of desirability, feasibility and meaning (awareness and identity) are also considered. Finally, although the foundation of the goal may be found in metaphysics, realization requires process and experiment

All possibilities… include the immediate (living-in-the-present) and the ultimate… and the continuum that lies between the limit points. The theme of the immediate and the ultimate and their mutually sustaining relation is developed in the essay. I have given some justification of the following beliefs that some will regard as common sense but with which others will take issue. Practice and thought, the immediate and the ultimate, and the particular and the universal are mutually sustaining and enhancing; and further, this truth is not merely a practical truth but a necessary one. It is necessary in that the pairs, practice-thought and immediacy-ultimacy cannot be separated in a way that allows practice or thought, immediacy or ultimacy, or particularity or universality to exist in isolation

In the early origins of the ideas developed in this essay, it was not an intent –or thought– to address every significant problem and issue of metaphysics and every significant human problem. Later, when the main ideas had become a part of my intuition, it seemed that a complete treatment of metaphysics might be within grasp. Finally, the analysis of being developed in this essay provided a framework for both metaphysics and human concerns. Specifically, a complete treatment of ‘general metaphysics’ became possible. Human concerns are, perhaps, more varied and singular in nature and so a complete treatment does not seem within grasp – even if it were desirable. However, the ideas developed do provide a framework for understanding the scope of human concerns and addressing those concerns. Thus the theory of being has the following implications…

Secondary Objectives

These ambitions and goals are on the way to or serve the central ones

Achievements are discussed below

An enumeration and resolution of the problems of general metaphysics… and an elaboration in terms of implications for the nature and content of the more specialized disciplines

The Theory of Being developed in this essay has implications for the problems of metaphysics and, more generally, for thought and action. These consequences, in turn, clarify the meaning and significance of the theory. An objective is to develop the framework of interactions, to work out details for some topics of especial interest and to systematically list possibilities for further development

A framework that makes possible an intelligent though open understanding of the scope of human concerns and an approach to their address… and an elaboration in terms of implications for specific areas of activity

An individual goal includes the experience of limits and the nature of limits and the enjoyment of possibility (the experience of all modes of being, knowing and transformation are included)

To achieve the goal of realization, the individual must retrace, to the extent possible, in knowledge and action, the journey of all being

Thus, ‘journey in being’ refers to an individual journey –in this introduction I emphasize my journey– and to the journey of all being

Origins of the Ambitions

It is now clear that the ambitions and goals of the journey were not given from the beginning. Instead, they have arisen as part of the process. As my concept of the nature of being and possibility grew so, too, did my ambition. At first there is the glimmer of an idea whose source may be a stray thought or something read somewhere in myth, science, logic, Vedanta… Various ideas come into focus, initially as a loosely bound intuition. As the intuition becomes definite, it becomes possible to subject it to analysis; demonstration of its theses becomes possible. This makes possible further development. Some such ideas are the identity of the individual with all being and the nature of limits, that the only absolute limits are those of logic, that all other limits are limits of feasibility, that what is possible is in some sense necessary, the place of ‘normal reality’ in such an ultimate perspective, the thought that while the ideas can be given a logical form their realization requires application in the life of an individual and community

Normal limits include those of common and normal scientific sense but is certainly not rational and certainly various individuals –the makers of myth and art and literature, the great charismatic figures of religion and human action, scientific revolutionaries– have questioned such limits in various ways.

On the Subject or Agent

Review title and place. The title is about the agent: who or what is doing the realizing and should be more direct, more revealing…

Who or what is to understand and to realize all possibilities? The response is any entity, e.g., (1) An individual, and (2) All being. (The uses of ‘Being’ in this essay are clarified later; here, being may be thought of as similar to ‘entity.’) The realization by ‘all being’ is identical to the universe (taken to be all being, outside of which there is nothing) in its evolution or history. Thus the understanding and realization in question must include the valid parts of all traditions of knowledge and transformation… The idea that an individual may achieve what is accessible to all being appears to be paradoxical. ‘Achievement of all possibilities,’ taken literally, would be futile and without any value; however, modification to ‘achievement of all significant possibilities’ does not remove the sense of paradox; this apparent paradox is addressed in what follows

On ‘Whole Systems’

Duplication. Note that there is a similar comment in the preface under ‘The Audience.’ This duplication is unnecessary and unenlightening; one of the locations may merely reference the idea and the other location…

Placement. This discussion may have parts placed here and (overlapping) parts placed in the section, ‘foundation.’ The parts placed here should be relatively non-technical

Replace: ‘cool,’ the phrases ‘whole systems’ and ‘cool systems’ by something more descriptive; and ‘lazy complacency…’ by something that sounds less angry but is more critical

Why ‘Whole Systems’ and not the modern tendency to ‘Cool Systems,’ to lazy complacency and mere icon smashing which can be done by any raging bull or impotent cow with one or two neurons? In the end, it is the whole that is cool… that provides the greater insight into a greater variety of possibilities, that enables discovery, creation and transformation, that provides the reader with the tools to engage in the journey as participant rather than spectator. One source of ‘Whole Systems’ is recorded thought of the traditions – past and present. These are not complete as may be recognized and as is demonstrated by the Theory of Being developed here. However, the traditions are a source towards completion – as far as it is possible – and this is a reason, in addition to others including the practical ones, to analyze all significant issues of Being including Human Being especially including, as a test, Complete Systems of Problems of Metaphysics. Formally, a Theory of Being, a World View, or a Metaphysics is an attempt at a whole system. Because the elements of the world (universe) interact, so may the concepts interact under the relational (theoretical) structure of the metaphysics – this is why it is essential to consider a metaphysics as a whole rather than piecemeal. However, how can the completeness of a metaphysical system be known? Two ways arise: logical and empirical verification. The Theory of Being of the present document contains both elements. In its most general features, the theory follows from logical considerations and the only empirical elements are given e.g. being i.e. existence (something exists) and, in the understanding of the local phase-epoch of the universe, the existence of experience. In the more detailed development, the present Theory of Being has (necessarily) both logical-conceptual elements regarding the structure of the subject matter and empirical elements concerning the ‘facts’ of the subject

Origins and Paths of the ‘Journey’

Origins and Paths of the Journey

Alternate title: paths ® trajectories

Eliminate specific references such as ‘Glacier National Park, Montana?’

Although an individual may have an origin, there is no origin to all being

Time is essential to the individual in various ways: time of day, season, phase of life… this does not diminish being-in-the-present or timelessness

In the live of the individual: the individual comes to realize that she or he is on a journey… and then comes to cultivate the journey and its dimensions and possibilities

Significance of the Individual Story

Explains the significance of the individual story or journey. Not biographical in nature i.e. does not emphasize what is distinctive about the author’s life but what may be universal to individual effort: contains information that displays the process as a journey, that may inspire and concern others with similar ambitions, that shows the relations between the individual and the universal… and that may be useful, in later sections, in illuminating the process of discovery and creation. When greatness is assigned to individual effort it is often done in a way that depicts the individual as destined for greatness. There is a view, according to the Theory of Being developed in this essay, in which there is intrinsic significance to the efforts of the individual. This significance does not lie in mere effort but in dedicated effort, effort that is both synthetic –therefore sustained and holistic– and reflective or critical and analytic. Thus while some works achieve recognition and ‘greatness’ these measures of accomplishment are not measures of the significance of individual effort. The significance of these thoughts is not that they constitute justification for effort but that they give effort meaning that is independent of the outcome. At the same time, the same Theory of Being, shows effort and hypothesis to be a form of contact with the real. The personal elements of the story are segregated to this section

Topics may be as follows

Add comment: In the beginning I emphasize the INTUITION regarding the journey and its dimensions; justification, logic come later in the section ‘Foundation’ and elaboration in the section ‘Journey in Being’

Intuition first, in this introduction; logic, later in ‘Foundation’


Incorporate the following

The origins of the ‘Journey’ in my life are in my explorations in ideas, life and the world, initially unstructured and naïve. There is an account of my explorations in the NARRATIVE [see the SOURCES] for the journey. As the idea of the journey grew so, too, did my understanding of the nature of the process that I had undertaken. Thus, the essay has two main sections: a foundation in BEING and an outline of the JOURNEY. Another personal source of the idea of a journey came from my enjoyment of hiking in ‘primitive’ places. I have spent four to twelve weeks every year in such places from Barranca del Cobre in Mexico to Glacier National Park, Montana. The physical beauty and aloneness, the physical exertion, and the extended reflection have been a source of inspiration. I have had my best ideas in these periods. Typically, the remainder of a year is spent working out and writing down the ideas in essay form. I came to think of my periods of extended hiking and living under the stars as a ‘Journey-Quest…’ For the last fifteen years, I have been employed in a psychiatric hospital. Working for a living outside the academic environment has given my life and my work a certain truth. While I miss the luxury of extended research in an academic environment, regular work has forced me to focus on essential truth – the truth of my being and the truth of the typical individual and her or his life

What is the essence of the learning from nature? There are the secondary factors: being away from distractions; of the pressure to conform; there is a space for cognition-feeling to have a freedom to expand; there is health factor, beauty and rhythm…However, the main intrinsic and positive factor is that the natural world evokes a dimension of self –as do many other situations– that include the attunement and presence of senses and body; that that dimension includes intimation of the infinite is secondary

What are the origins of my journey? It is essential to the journey that my ambitions, the goals of the journey were not determined in advance. I was encouraged, early in life, to choose a path and follow it – to devote all my energies to the chosen path: this was the way in which my father had lived his life. The intention was that I should choose from among the traditional careers and follow the chosen one. Although I elected to follow a career, it was by default – not because the chosen career was in any way compelling. My relationship to any career has been tenuous. There is a sense, however, in which I did select a ‘path.’ It seems to me that I have always wanted to do ‘the most fundamental thing.’ Early, it seemed that the most fundamental thing might be one of the conventional ways – scientist, writer, poet and so on. Although each way had some appeal, no particular way had enough appeal to compel. This is characteristic of my journey. Whatever is most fundamental is not given in advance and, to the extent that it has been determined, it is a result of the journey. I.e., discovery of the goals of the journey has been a part of it. Even though I am satisfied that the goals of the journey as stated here have some finality, I am not sure that these objectives are to remain my goals until I die – or whether I am going to continue to have such goals. I have given much to my purposes and much has been ‘taken’ from me; it is not my hope to journey outward forever – in addition to a journey in becoming there is also a journey within being… I could describe the openness of the journey as perceptive – in contrast to judgmental. Here, the meanings of the attitudes of perception and judgment are as follows. In making any commitment, the perceptive attitude is one of seeking and being open to further information; the judgmental attitude hastens to make and be final. Clearly, in view of practical limits to human abilities, some combination of the attitudes is good. There is, however, no universal optimal combination of the attitudes. If someone is threatening to shoot me, I need to commit very rapidly to action – so rapidly that the process of perception, evaluation of the situation, commitment to action and action is not fully implicit. On the other hand, if I am asking about the nature of being there is no need for haste in coming to a conclusion. Haste, in fact, may detract from the quality of the conclusion. However, any conclusion about the nature of being is not without practical consequences. Therefore, conclusions may be made and are consistent with the perceptive attitude: even though conclusions are made and applied they continue to be regarded as tentative. The theory of being has shown, however, that some conclusions are final. The perceptive attitude accepts this but retains some doubt: perhaps there has been some error or some incompleteness in coming to the conclusion. This attitude has been useful for it has led to improvement, refinement and application (testing) of the theory. What is the source of my attitude of perception? As far as it has to do with my socialization, the primary source is in my mother’s attitudes. Although my mother was not a pure perceiver, perception may have been one of her ideals and she encouraged openness in her children. As the older child of two siblings, I was perhaps influence more by mother but it is clear that my attitudes bear the imprint of the influence of my father as well. There were other influences. I was lucky to have a small number of remarkable teachers in high school – teachers who encouraged understanding over rote memory though not at the expense of technical mastery. However, I cannot explain the perceptive attitude, the years of openness in search of the ‘most fundamental’ entirely on the basis of ‘nurture.’ My emotional makeup includes joy and therefore wonder at the experience of the world. This was encouraged (by my mother) but encouragement alone would not be sufficient. A modern theory of personality holds personality development to be the result of the mutual interaction of social influence, more or less innate traits and personal history. Thus, an individual without a certain degree of emotional sensitivity will not develop in certain ways. In addition to the positive contribution of my makeup and the incidental contributions of my life to my ‘journey’ there may also be certain ‘negative’ influences. The positive contributions include my emotional makeup and my conceptual ability. The negative may include a good but not excellent memory that may have encouraged the conceptual development and my intolerance for what seems to be pointless activity and sacrifice that makes my personal goals more important than the traditional opportunities provided by society

An individual may identify a beginning to his or her awareness. However, beginnings and ends have an arbitrary character. I did not create myself – I am not immediately aware of having created my ‘original’ being. A time arrives at which the individual realizes that a journey has been undertaken – perhaps by choice. Thereafter, there may be neither beginning nor end. One is on the journey. The landscape – the character of the journey changes on the way. The naïve phase of my journey, a part of The Journey, was filled with experiment and wonder: a travel through knowledge and being. I read, thought, experienced, and traveled. I was able to build what I thought to be a detailed and comprehensive picture of many areas of knowledge. There was labor and enjoyment. The distillations from the details, the pictures I built, aided by the intuition, were metaphors whereby to see all being. Metaphor builds upon metaphor – I use the term to emphasize the building of a picture. On the way, I arrived at a place where I thought, ‘I understand the extent of knowledge and being.’ I characterize that thought as confident but not as arrogant. The force of thought itself may be such as to give confidence. A journey through ideas presents, at times, with such force and clarity, as if it is perception of a landscape rather than creation or discovery. Strangeness and familiarity are bound together. Cognition is as if re-cognition. The force of vision says, ‘Anyone can know, who will see.’ Doubt is never absent but stands in balance with confidence. Doubt and confidence are mutually generative. Confidence makes for the freedom of absolute doubt rather than of merely neurotic doubt. Doubt is a dam, thought is the river that feeds the reservoir until it breaks through… Every plateau of confidence is an occasion for celebration but as familiarity sets in may also be a reason for dissatisfaction. At first, there is a vague discomfort, a message – perhaps from the dim- or the un-conscious. Old metaphors are subject to criticism; their inadequacy becomes obvious – at the same time their realm of adequacy becomes clearly defined… I sought new metaphors, found fresh vision. A closed view of being gave way to an open view… and, in openness, I was able to see once more: the world revealed something of itself – a perspective with an end to questions. On the way, I arrived at a place where I thought, again, ‘I understand the extent of knowledge and being.’ The place was familiar and new. The cycle is recognized but cynicism is held at bay: eternal trial, success and dissolution is not ultimate; freshness remains. Fresh metaphors, fresh pictures, fresh distillations continue to be sought. Understanding of the nature of metaphor is sought: knowledge as a picture or representation has limits. Knowledge arose in the world, was not imposed from outside – there is no outside. From time to time, knowledge appears to gain independence –validity is determined by criteria– but this occurs only in limited fields of endeavor. The feeling of walking on water is an illusion; one is immersed in the water; this is recognized as good. There is a place of repose where one sees that one’s metaphors have a character, not only of being of the world, but also of being in-the-world. Knowledge and action remain intertwined and no final foundation is available or desired to be sought… Doubt, if absolute, applies also to itself. Thus, doubt has a self-limiting character. Absolute doubt is not possible. It is conceivable that being may arrive at a place of completion without foundation… It is with these characteristic thoughts in mind that I permit myself, in the following, to use the phrase, ‘All essential dimensions of being.’ While the phrase may lack absolute justification, its use may be explained. Arguments for completeness of the justification may be contemplated. The journey continues…

Criticism of My Life and Thought

This is a new section. What is the proper title, location? What is its purpose? The purposes are as follows. (1) Reveal implicit deceptions in thought so that they can be eliminated, and for personal benefit, self-deceptions –intellectual and other– in my life. (2) It is my experience that in exposing deceptions, whether personal or those of the cultures within which I live, the result is at first a constraint but then as the entire web of untruth is revealed, way is made for truth itself. This I have experienced in many ways, not the least of which is the theory of being of this essay and its consequences. It is not my intent, here, to be self-indulgent or to provide easy justifications. The following is a beginning

Attempt to expand my vision to the actual universe. This is in contrast opposite of conceiving the universe in one’s image. It is admitted that escaping one’s image is not easy and there may be some inherent limitation even though I have argued that this inherence does not obtain in all ways. Examine this

Adventure. That I conceive being as a journey

Power and will: first, power is the ability to have an effect, to influence… and this is not inherently ‘control’ … ‘power’ is broad and the idea includes control even though control is not the intended connotation in all uses of ‘power.’ however, ‘power’ does include: the sense of power derived from vision, making a contribution, making a mark, influence, control, ‘in your face’ to the cultural and logical police, my development –my father, working out of expectations– others’, my own, creatively and slavishly and compulsively… the central meaning of power at this level: development and application of one’s abilities and influence according to values (refined or raw)

Even though I have confidence in it, it is important to expose the logic – my logic (theory of being.) It is years of living in the perceptive mode (Jung: relegate to the section, ‘Sources and Influences’) that made emergence of and confidence in the logic possible. The stages of the development were (1) the intuition that the universe is equivalent to nothingness based, in part, in the ‘tyranny of necessity,’ (2) the thought from theoretical physics that a coming into being of a physical universe is not a violation of conservation of energy and though it would be an apparent violation of classical physics it does not appear to violate quantum theory, (3) the thought, however, that the argument from physics is suggestive but not a justification, (4) living with the intuition and working out various consequences, (5) meanwhile continuing to develop my ideas about various special topics such as mind and consciousness, the nature of identity and its possibilities, the categories of intuition, the nature of cognition and emotion, mechanisms for the origin from nothingness, (6) similarly, meanwhile continuing an interest and studies in various disciplines such as theoretical physics, evolutionary biology, (7) continuing a practical interest in using relations among the levels of awareness –from bright and central consciousness to dim and peripheral awareness to the unconscious– and the ‘material level’ toward greater awareness and transformation, (8) attempting to prove that the universe is equivalent to nothingness (which now finds form in sections such as SCIENCE AND REALITY the nature of possibility and necessity and an investigation into the extent of possibility or kind of being) (9) the thought to investigate the nature of nothingness itself, elaboration of its nature and consequences including the idea that there are no laws or patterns in nothingness and the consequent proof of its equivalence to all being, (10) subsequent insights into metaphysics, the nature of the universe, logic, mind, value and faith, and (11) a ripple of consequences through all the specialized developments of item 6 of the consequences of the ‘new’ metaphysics with simultaneous enhanced understanding of the nature of being... In summary, the metaphysics significantly informs the component studies while the studies taken together in light of the metaphysics provide a detailed picture of the universe that is in a number of ways a significant advance over the traditional pictures. It is worthwhile emphasizing that I have only pointed out some of the component studies in the foregoing list and that some of the studies such as those on mind, identity and possibility are fundamental, in parallel with the metaphysics, in building the picture. A consequence of this picture is that the possibilities in the of areas of transformation and action are significantly enhanced

… And, if the logic is in error or if there are correctible errors in it, or if it is incomplete (which it surely is at least in the sense of elaboration) then it is exposure and the mode of perception (as an arrow and not a mere inert openness) that will show the necessary error, correct the contingent errors, and provide some valuable elaboration of detail and human element

Two Paths

Alternate title: paths ® trajectories

Journey: Ideas and Transformation

The Second Set of Discussions from ‘Metaphysics and Philosophy in Light of the Theory of Being’

Philosophy and Journey in Being. The Nature of Changing Conceptions of Philosophy: Essential or Whimsical

Comment on the role of ideas and thought – and, in particular, philosophy. It is obvious that ideas and action interact. What is the nature of the interaction? Thought conditions and learns from action (experiment is a form of action.) What is the role of philosophy, i.e., philosophical thought in the ‘journey?’ An answer to these questions will draw from and may contribute to the concept of philosophy and understanding of its role in the world. In order to answer the questions, it is useful to make some distinctions. The first distinction is that of thought as an end in itself vs. thought as an instrument. Obviously, the distinction is not absolute or clear cut and is a distinction of an attitude toward thought rather than thought itself. However, when thought is cultivated as an end there may be a freedom whose result is a productive and useful fertility of imagination – both constructive and critical. At the same time, there is an opposite to fertility where thought is cultivated as sophistication and whose result may be sterility. Remembering that thought has or may have application and occasionally subjecting the direction of thought to the needs of action is useful. (This includes experiment and logic for experiment is, as noted, a form of action and logic may arise in the application of thought to thought. In the origins, thought and action arise mutually and it may seem that action is an application of thought; however this view may warp understanding of the originally connected nature of thought and action.) How thought is subjected to the needs of action requires care or else the needs of action may be exaggerated and may eliminate the freedom that is necessary to fertility of imagination and of criticism. A second distinction that of philosophical reflection vs. the tradition of philosophy. Again, there is no absolute distinction. The traditions of thought are historical in their development; traditional problems of both content and approach do not appear in mature form at the outset but arise in natural, though not altogether inevitable, sequence as a tradition develops. To even become aware of certain problems requires earlier thought that reveals the problems. In the working out of the issues, there are traditions of fruitful thought but there are also dead ends that arise because it cannot always be known in advance whether a line of investigation will be fruitful or whether a set of concepts and analysis are appropriate to a problem. It be known precisely when adherence to a paradigm becomes perverse. However, perversion is not avoidable. Here and there, in the history of philosophy, a line of investigation becomes a fashion, a critical endeavor is taken too seriously – as complete in itself, or philosophers set up walls that effectively isolate it. Fashion in thought arises, in part, the value of an approach cannot always be predicted but also because thought is a community endeavor. ‘Philosophical reflection’ is useful in an understanding of the world; the traditions are important to reflection. Some immersion in a tradition of thought is necessary to understand it, to see why its problems are problems, and to see its significance. The best reflection is informed by the traditions, has freedom of imagination and criticism, and combines these elements with care and criticism. In my thought there have been periods in which I cultivated reflection (including philosophy) for its own sake, i.e., for enjoyment; I now see that this cultivation may have been described as ‘for its own sake’ but was, and continues to be, in fact, for enhanced perception, for a greater vision and understanding of the world (the importance of both tradition and criticism is the contribution to this end.) Thus, reflection, including reflection that is philosophical in nature and is informed by the tradition of philosophy, is and has been an element of my journey

Evolution and materialism, search for the absolute, the theory of being… dynamics of being and transformation


Experience, Projects and Commitments

Details: work; relationships; therapeutic relationships; living in nature; travel; learning and thought; seeking transformation

The significance of ‘projects’ and ‘commitments’ is important in the literature of existential thought

Experience: what is significant is the contribution of experience and its enjoyment to ideas and transformation. Work: teaching, consulting, restaurant, healthcare including mental health. Relationships. Therapeutic relationships: learning aspects of relationships in general; being real in the presence of others – being with feeling in the moment. Living in nature: the positive aspects of being; reflection; being apart from human culture. Travel. Learning and thought: education, research, development, world of ideas; writing, construction and criticism. Seeking transformation: dreams, meditation, dynamics

I am not implying that experiment as a search for experience is ‘necessary’ but that there is in my case a contribution to the development of the ideas

Origins and Development of the Theory of Being

The Theory of Being stands close to the logical center of this essay and has significance for any understanding of being and the possibilities of being. The deep and, in a number of ways, final character of the significance of the theory is developed in FOUNDATION (link). A review of the development illuminates the nature of discovery and of knowledge

In the outline of the development earlier, I emphasized that discovery occurs in a ‘dual space.’ The theory and its constituent concepts are not known in advance even though there may be some intuition of what they might be. Therefore, the development of a theory is not merely one of proof or demonstration. Rather, the search for the correct form of the theory and its concepts and the demonstration of validity occur together; and, once a satisfactory theory has been attained, ongoing elaboration and application of the theory, in broadening its known domain of validity, constitute an ongoing demonstration… The Theory of Being has been shown to have ontological finality. Therefore, the development of the theory involves (1) continuing to criticize the argument for finality, and (2) developing the application of the theory to the range of knowledge and experience, which process has implications for the significance and meaning of the theory and the development and (re-) foundation of the disciplines of knowledge and dimensions of experience

Some key stages in the development were: emergence of the idea and outline of the theory; the intuitive phase of reflection and tentative application; key insights; the logical development of the theory; criticism, elaboration and application of the theory

Knowledge and Faith

Knowledge and Faith

In the growth of my thought on knowledge and being, in reflection on what must be their nature, there was a gradual transformation of my understanding. The outcome was an intuitive outline of the elements of the theory of being. I had the intuition that the theory was essentially true and the insights that it would provide the foundation for the journey as follows: the theory would show or, at least, illuminate the variety and extent of what was possible, that it was possible and how it might be possible. Additionally, the theory would be the core of a revolutionary metaphysics. I did not initially anticipate the extent of the revolution – that the metaphysics would be one that grounded all being without need for a more fundamental level or regress of explanation. However, although I felt that my intuitions were true, I was unable to prove it for roughly five years from the original glimmer of the theory and its potential. I did not have a clear idea of how to provide proof or whether a proof was possible. It is certainly true that I had no clue as to how simple it would be to show the truth of the theory or how universal that truth would be – its universality would not merely be that it applied to all being but also that it would show the extent of all being. I sometimes wrote and thought as if the theory were true. The question arises whether, in the absence of certainty, there was something ‘wrong’ in that manner of behavior. Did I actually have an intuition of the theory and its truth or did I merely hope that it might be true? Certainly, the intuition was not merely based in hope. There was basis, not only in my intuitive experience of being, of my seeking and reading of the searches of others, but also in science. It is a simple fact of theoretical physics that, since the energy of the gravitational field is negative, the net energy of the actual universe may be zero; therefore, the universe may be equivalent to the void. At least, origin of the universe from the void does not necessarily violate the conservation of energy principle. However this was not proof. It is fortunate that it was not proof or, more accurately, it is fortunate that I did not take either my intuition or the insight from physics as proof for the lack of proof required that I continue to search for a way to see the truth of the theory and the outcome was a proof that was simple, universal and independent of my feeling, my intuition and the insight from science. I could not the intuitions and insights as proof for they were not proof. Additionally, the statement of the theory and its interface with the ‘known universe,’ including day-to-day life, seemed to disrupt common sense and, perhaps, science and reason as well even though the energy principle was not violated. In this phase I had times of confidence and times of doubt in the ideas. In times of doubt I would sometimes reflect as follows. There is a perspective in which knowledge is always tentative but its purpose includes action. Therefore, when action is indicated, either because immediate action is necessary or because there is perceived value in action, e.g., potential for positive outcomes despite risks, it must be based in random choice or in choice based in tentative knowledge. This is the root meaning of faith as I am using it in the present section. However, faith has a further connotation that may enhance the quality of action. A ‘lukewarm’ faith may result in hesitation or an action that is lacking in adequate vigor and trust of the intuition. Therefore, confidence is a valid aspect of faith – over and above self-affirmation. The extreme case of absolute faith may have indication in dire crisis or perception of great value to the potential outcome. However, I did not achieve absolute faith in the intuitive phase and this is, undoubtedly, a function of my system of attitudes. I.e., the partial ‘faith’ that I carried also contained doubt. I cannot say that this is ‘the’ best course of action but it served the development of the theory and my ego-orientation well. An outcome of partial faith, doubt, criticism and reflection was the mature Theory of Being. Once the rational development was in place, faith was no longer necessary except that arguments against the theory continued to occur to me and some faith was required to address those arguments and, especially, with the thought that I might not be able to overcome all arguments. I continue to maintain this small degree of faith. Since the rational development, then, faith, to the varying degree that it occurred, has been displaced and this has made possible sharpening of the theory and the broadening of its application. However, the need for faith has arisen again

The next phase of the Journey in Being, already begun years ago, is the phase of transformation, experiment and social action. I expect and have the intuition that what is necessary will be to live as though the theory is true which is not the same as knowing it is true. Since this involves at least two risks, firstly that I might not achieve success and secondly that I will need to give up some part of my secure and comfortable life, faith will be necessary to commitment and intensity of action

Additionally, I hold living-in-faith-and-action (as I have described faith) to be at least equal in value to a life in which action is a consequence of knowledge and faith

These reflections raise and illuminate the following question about the kind of value that may be attached to knowledge in relation to action. Is it a universal value that the highest action should proceed rationally from certain knowledge? The reflections go toward showing that while a basis of action in knowledge is sometimes possible and good, to make this a universal requirement would stultify life – would have stagnation as its consequence. However, the questions raised are not merely those of the values of knowledge, of the ways in which knowledge may be used, of the occasions for use of knowledge and of occasions for (relatively) direct action. Fundamental issue that are also raised are those of the nature of knowledge and its relation to being. The following conclusion, implicit though not demonstrated in these reflections, is taken up and developed in KNOWLEDGE AND CERTAINTY and subsequently in this essay: although there is a place for accumulating knowledge and using it in design and action, ultimately and in their root natures, knowledge and being are interwoven, that there is no ultimate justification of knowledge in isolation from being – and, since such an isolation is constitutively impossible, it cannot be necessary or needed

The Form of the Essay

Alternate title: ‘Form of the Narrative…’ the reason I consider this alternative is so as to avoid confusion with the later section, ‘Introduction to the Essay’

Content of the section. Briefly, (a) the form of the narrative is the form of the journey, (b) there is utility to this form of presentation – as expressing value and in displaying a model, and (c) the inadequacies of what has become the supposed impersonal and objective mode (in the end, it is the individual combined with the universal that is ‘objective…’) Refer to the ambition above and that it is of necessity a journey; further there are two views of being of which one sees it as a journey of becoming. The contents of this section are: (1) That the essay is a narration of the journey and its in-process outcomes. (2) That the journey has two main elements or phases: understanding and transformation. (3) The understanding is laid out in the first main chapter, ‘Foundation,’ and is an interactive one of the universe of being and of those aspects of this world that I think intrinsically significant and pertinent to the journey, i.e., to the understanding as a whole and to transformation. The development of the understanding is a part of the journey but also a partial foundation for transformation. Although I think that essential the core of the understanding is complete I remain open to new learning regarding the core and the details in light of new thought and transformation. Emphasize that the understanding necessarily covers much of the traditions of thought but is not intended to be complete or a review. Instead it focuses on what is important to the objectives; this necessarily covers some central themes from the history of ideas; the themes and concepts are always subject to evaluation; as necessary they are combined with new concepts and arguments into a connected account which is often an advance upon the traditions as they stand until the present time; such advances may be pointed out at their locations. (4) The second main chapter, ‘Journey in Being, reviews the understanding and its significance and lays out the in-process phase of transformation. The developments of ‘Foundation’ make it possible to describe a “complete and minimal system of experiments” in transformation. The relation between this chapter and the tradition of disciplines of transformation is similar to the relation between ‘Foundation’ and the traditions of thought. In the discussion of transformation, I have described my progress in transformation – and designs, plans and hopes for the future. Placement. Abbreviate and place / eliminate excess. Since ‘FORM’ has been imported from the preface, at least some of its contents should be placed in the sections, ‘THE CENTRAL GOAL…’ and ‘WHAT IS THE JOURNEY IN BEING?’

The table of contents points to explanations of the significance of the title, ‘Journey in Being.’ A very short explanation will be useful here

The origin of this essay was in an early interest in my immediate world. I asked, “What is the nature of that world and what is possible within its realm? What can I understand? What can I do? What can I become?” I found, inspired in part by the traditions of ideas, that the immediate and the ultimate (which includes the immediate) are interwoven. The main ambition that has motivated the Journey in Being is understanding and realizing all possibilities, ultimate and immediate, of being

An objective of this essay, noted in the previous paragraph, is to show relations between (understanding of) the immediate world and the Universe (outside of which there is nothing.) In the essay that follows, I have developed an understanding of the universe that, in its foundation, is shown to be deeper than that of science and the traditions of ideas. Although I have supported this assertion with precise arguments, readers must, of course, evaluate this and all other claims for themselves. The core of the understanding is more precise than science and the precision is obtained by maintaining the description at a level that (1) permits the application of reason (logic) and (2) avoids conflict with science in its domain of application. In the introduction, I have emphasized what is universal and foundational and what may be revolutionary

Since the outcome of my efforts is an understanding of (all) being and of transformation (realization) in process, the essay combines two forms: (1) Presentation of ideas, concepts, arguments and conclusions regarding being, and (2) Narrative of the journey in transformation and understanding – and the underlying ideas and motives

Note the repetition of the following in The Significance of the Journey

Presentation of the narrative as a journey is important to understanding the essay and to its usefulness to others who would undertake or continue a journey…

I said that the essay is about all possibilities. A number problems with use of the word, ‘all’ should be mentioned. I will mention some problems here and provide a more complete discussion later

One problem is that in attempting to list all things there is a potential for paradox. Another concern is that, even if paradox is avoided, how is it possible to know that every thing has been included or listed in a descriptive (conceptual) scheme? The nature of the paradoxes, the meaning of ‘all,’ and (attempted) resolutions of the problems are taken up, later, in the essay

It might seem that my interest in all possibilities excludes an interest in the immediate present. To assume so would be in error and extent of the error would exceed the logical point that all possibilities include immediate actualities. My interest began in the immediate world – the world of people, of blue skies and of the day-to-day. In order to maintain an interest in the immediate, I do not have to try – it is sufficient that I am alive. Even in the theoretical developments of the essay, there is concern with immediate and ultimate affairs and in their interaction. The interest in  the ultimate illuminates the immediate – in terms of understanding and significance.

Another concern with the ambition to understand and realize all possibilities is that some may not be good and others may require an enormous commitment of resources. This concern is the occasion to consider the related concepts of feasibility and desirability that are taken up later


Plan. This is a new section that takes up the Two Paths as a Journey-Quest. Emphases: (1) That the Journey-Quest is my life as a quest in integral interaction with my designs and experiments in transformation, (2) Journey-Quest also refers to the designs and experiments in transformation, (3) That the modes of transformation include transformation of being itself including my being and body and the special but essential case of transformation in ideas and knowledge, and, most importantly, (4) The methods (Yogas) of transformation which include:

Contemplation. I could use the phrase Gñana-Yoga except that this might be misleading. Although this usually means ‘concentration on spiritual things as a form of private devotion,’ I use the term to refer to reflection and discovery in ideas as in the Theory of Being and so on and the aids to discovery which include study, incubation and reflection, environment including routine and travel in nature

Transformation. My intention in using this phrase requires careful elaboration; perhaps another word or a qualifier ‘x-transformation’ would be appropriate. I could use the generic phrase ‘Yoga’ as including the four traditional Yogas of the Gita but this might be misleading and limiting. What I mean: I mean to include all modes and methods of transformation of identity (body, mind etc. and including complete change so long as there is a sense of continuity of identity) from ‘individual’ to ‘all being,’ i.e., Atman ® Brahman. Naturally, contemplation is a special case. All the Yogas are included. I include personal identification with Brahman that I have sought in my travels in nature, i.e., away from immediate civilization in which no more than openness is prerequisite and the identification comes while walking or contemplating over extended periods in the woods, up the side of a mountain trough trees, grasses and above the tree line… or at a lakeside… I also include all the specific experimental modes that have been extensively cataloged in the 2003 version of Journey in Being and other documents


Plan. Consider replacing the word ‘achievements’

My central ambition in ‘Journey in Being’ is to understand and realize all possibilities of being. ‘All possibilities’ include the immediate and the ultimate and their relations and interactions. In this essay I will show that the Universe (which is made up of all things) is infinitely greater than the ‘universe’ of various conceptions such as modern science and traditional religions and mythologies

How can this be shown? How is it even possible to conceive of ‘the Universe which is infinitely greater than the universes of modern science and traditional religions and mythologies?’ ‘All possibilities’ may seem to be not only impossible but not even desirable. The phrase may be changed to ‘all meaningful and significant possibilities’ but the question, “What is the meaning of the phrase, ‘meaningful and significant’?” immediately arises. Providing a satisfactory answer to these questions is one of the purposes of this essay

Plan. The following distinctions and comments constitute an emphasis of the material on being that should be in the introduction vs. in Chapter 1 – Foundation

The history of thought may be characterized by a ‘tension’ between reduction and understanding. This may be key to selection of material on being for the introduction is the issue of reduction vs. understanding

Reduction: Judgment, I know, the universe is like the world I know, ego before reality, conservatism, will to power and judgment

Understanding: Perception, I don’t know, the world is like the universe which I don’t know, reality before ego, liberalism, will to understanding and perception

When I look at the characteristics, I see that both ‘reduction’ and ‘understanding’ are significant. I can have empathy with both motives. The history of thought is a balance between the imperatives

Philosophy developed in Youth vs. Maturity

However, it is not altogether clear why thinkers do not synthesize both approaches within their own thought except for the fact that it is rare for people to change their attitude to being and perceiving (repudiating one’s earlier philosophy is not necessarily an example of such a change in attitude.) This is an example of the reasons for Plato’s (eliminate name and place reference in sources and influences) thought that philosophy should not be done before the age of fifty. The lack of synthesis is the philosophy of ‘youth’ ... and of an imperative to publish

Significance for the concept of being is that being is an open concept while (normal) materialism is closed

Significance for the Journey in Being is the give and take between reduction and understanding... and the resulting depth and breadth of the conclusions

Being and the Concept of Being

Being and the Concept of Being

Being and the Concept of Being GENERAL

Note. In the following paragraph, I introduce ‘metaphysics.’ Add a comment that, for the present purposes, a metaphysics is a ‘world-view’ or a picture of the general nature of the entire universe and that metaphysics and its meaning are developed in detail in the foundation chapter which also addresses issues such as the completeness and precision (rigor) of any metaphysics. Also note that the word ‘metaphysics’ occurs above in the present version of the introduction: what should I do about this? Should I send / consolidate some of that material to the foundation? May combine with On Being

BEING is the main concept in this essay. At least, all other concepts fall under its umbrella. What is being and why have I chosen it as central to the Journey? Or, since one approach to foundation for the journey is via metaphysics, why have I chosen being as the central concept of metaphysics? Why have I chosen the word, ‘being?’ In this section, I will sketch a preliminary response to these questions. A detailed picture and questions regarding its precision and completeness are deferred to the FOUNDATION. In this section, ‘later,’ ‘subsequent,’ or ‘deferred’ material refers to this foundation

In the history of attempts to understand the world or universe various entities or kinds of entity have been thought of as fundamental to the makeup of the world. These include mind and matter, and atoms or ultimate particles of matter and monads or atoms of mind. They include substance, thought of as that which lies at the root of the constitution andor form of all things. Process is an alternative to the idea that substance is fundamental. Although the list of fundamental ideas just given is brief, it includes many of the most important and fruitful ones. Although they are important, problems arise when one (or more) of them is taken to be constitutive of the universe. Why is this? A characteristic of many of the fundamental kinds is that they focus on a deep aspect of the world and take it as fundamental. It is the depth –and breadth of application– that is thought to guarantee the fundamental nature. However there is no a priori guarantee that any such kind, regardless of depth and range of application, should constitute the entire universe. Therefore, it is not unexpected that the approach through ‘kinds’ should result in deep problems: Is the world made up of mind, or matter or both – or some other unspecified kind? Are there atoms – ultimate particles of mind or matter? Is there one substance or are there many substances? Is there any fundamental substance at all or is change or process fundamental? Is it possible that both process and substance are fundamental or that neither is fundamental?

It seems better to select as fundamental something that is not a kind. Such a selection does not reject substances or kinds – either as fundamental in nature or as fundamental to the entire universe. If substance is fundamental, then that should be a result rather than a premise of the development. If, for example, all is matter then the approach from a neutral concept can only strengthen the claims of materialism. It will turn out, however, that the neutral approach invalidates the idea of substance as fundamental

Being is one of the ideas that has as arisen in the attempts to understand the world and has a long and varied history; it has a variety of meanings and connotations. It has been opposed to becoming and to non-being. Everything real and every possible object of thought have been said to have being. Being has religious or divine connotations. Being has been said to be that which ‘is’ but which has no further qualifications or properties, i.e., if an entity or object has properties, they do not arise from its being. In many of these meanings, being is subject to the same problems that beset the other kinds

In this essay, I select one meaning and, at the outset, reject all others. The criterion of selection will be one suggested by the observation that a . In selecting a meaning or use and in developing it –in building a metaphysics around it– the use and therefore the meaning of ‘being’ will change or –at least­– shift. The meaning that I select is one in which being is not a ‘kind’ and, therefore problems of attempting to reduce the entire universe to it do not arise. In the meaning that I will select, being is not a kind and therefore there is no reduction. Other meanings and connotations are not absolutely rejected but obtain only if they follow from the chosen meaning – if they are included in the chosen meaning

In this essay, being is that which exists

Philosophy and Intuition

A root meaning of ‘to be’ is ‘to exist.’ However, there is in the philosophical literature from the Classic (Greek and Roman) to the Modern Era, a distinction between being and existing. As an important example of the distinction, existence has been called ‘the mode of being which consists in interaction with other things.’ Being then might be ‘being-in-itself.’ There are problems with this distinction. It is not clear or given a priori that there is being-in-itself. Perhaps all things can, perhaps all things do interact with all other things; perhaps there is no existing without interacting. Perhaps, also, being-in-itself and being-in-interaction are not fundamentally distinct but are different modes of description – or the pictures that result from different perspectives such as one based in contemplation vs. one based in perception (which, perhaps, merge in meditation.) It may turn out that there is a distinction between the in-itself and in-interaction modes of being but it is the purpose, here, to start with the most neutral characterization of the world and let distinctions arise as a result of analysis andor investigation instead of artificially imposing distinctions. Reasons for artificial imposition of essences and distinctions may be based in a desire, explicit or otherwise, to see cherished notions such as thought, human being, spirit, God at the core of or characteristic of the universe; or to see the universe as essentially similar to the familiar world of day-to-day activity, of common sense or of science. Surely the impulse to impose our intuitions is not bad metaphysics – it is not metaphysics at all. Although metaphysics and philosophy have beginnings in the intuition, they do not end there. To say this is not to refute or negate the immediate world or intuition; metaphysics, the system of universal understanding, must account for this (our) being, for this (our) intuition and may use it as a ‘data point’ but will not have its entire basis in the intuition. The imposition of prejudices leads to confusion, paradox and unnecessary limitation on the possibilities of thought and being. These problematic issues can be eliminated by eliminating the a priori imposition of prejudice. Simultaneously, it is possible to allow those distinctions that may be real by permitting them to fall out of the analysis. Therefore, in view of a central objective of this essay, to find a universal understanding, I will not make a distinction between being and existing. This does not disallow the classic distinctions which may arise as kind or mode of being or existence

Therefore, in the meaning that I will use in this essay, being has no a priori characterization other than existence; and existing has no a priori characterization other than being. (This may seem to entail circularity of reference but, relative to the objective of neutrality, it does not.) That is, being may turn out to have a fundamental characterization such as matter –or mind, or substance– or process or even being-in-itself but this is not specified at the outset. The concepts of mind and matter, of substance and change are not implicit in the meaning of being. Being may turn out to have religious connotations (it will be necessary to carefully specify the meaning of religion) but these connotations are not implicit in being unless the meaning of religion is as neutral as that of being, e.g., ‘religion is truth’

Immediately, of course, a number of do questions arise. Should being be used as a noun or an adjective – do entities participate in being or do they have being? Is or should ‘Being’ be a predicate, i.e., does being refer to a special kind of existing thing such as God, human being or sentient being; in such a meaning a mere material particle would not have being? (This raises the question whether there is such a thing as a ‘mere’ material particle, i.e., perhaps all ‘particles’ have ‘feeling’… and if all particles have feeling then every particle necessarily has feeling.) Perhaps being is so fundamental that ‘having being’ or ‘being being’ are identical. Being can also be seen as a verb – if an entity has being it may, depending on the nature of being, be in a process of being, i.e., actually dynamic even though static for some purposes, e.g., gross appearance. What is the meaning of ‘exists?’ ‘Exists’ is related to the verb ‘to be’ whose forms include ‘is’ which has various uses. Of these uses, which one (or ones) has significance for being? Further, does ‘exists’ mean ‘exists in time’ or ‘exists in space’ or do time and space or duration and extension arise or occur within being? All such questions are taken up subsequently

The fundamental character of being is now apparent. Since it is not specific with regard to the variety of distinctions that have characterized the history of thought regarding the fundamental character of the universe it avoids the problems associated with those distinctions. Since there is no commitment to any substance or to substances at all, the problems of substance theory do not arise. Since there is no commitment to universal space and time or to space time as things or a mode of describing things the philosophical problems regarding these distinctions are not inherent in ‘being.’ Thus, as a result of its neutrality, the concept of being is not beset at the outset with the paradoxes and difficulties of the more specific concepts. This power of the idea of being may be recast as follows. In saying that being is that which exists and in saying no more there is an implicit admission of a priori ignorance. It is not being said that there are substances or that there are no substances but that the status of substance theory is not a premise but may be an outcome of a system of understanding based in being. It may be thought that, as a result of the neutral or general character of being that the system of understanding will be empty. However, this is not the case. Subsequently, being is shown to be the basis of a system (metaphysics) in which there are no fundamental substances or extension, no fundamental processes or time and in which there is no need for such

The conclusion regarding substances is negative in content. However, the system is not merely negative and provides an understanding of what does exist. It will be shown, for example, that all concepts or descriptions that do not contain or result in contradictions are realized in the history of the UNIVERSE and therefore, that the actual universe, which I take to be all being, is infinitely larger than this (our) cosmological system or the known universe – the universe as normally described in science. The demonstration will be based in the concept of the VOID or absence of being. That all non-contradictory descriptions are realized seems to violate the ‘laws’ and stability of this cosmological system but this apparent paradox is shown to be illusory. The laws are NORMAL in that they do not obtain for all cosmological systems or the universe as a whole; however they normally obtain within this cosmological system. Additionally, the system is seen to illuminate and, in many ways, significantly extend the understanding of the variety of immediate and esoteric human concerns and academic disciplines. The development of the details and logic for the following statements is deferred: (1) an understanding of the world based in being is an ultimate system there is no need for foundation in some even more basic thing or level; (2) such an understanding is complete in principle in that all things fall under it and are illuminated and, typically, their understanding is extended by it; and (3) such an understanding shows what transformations are possible for an individual being

The possibilities of such developments by simple arguments shows that being is associated with a form or order for which I use the term LOGOS from Greek and scholastic philosophy. Five basic ideas that have arisen above and that constitute a basis for the foundation are being, universe, void, logos and the normal

Relevance for the Journey

As noted, all states whose description does not contain or imply a contradiction are realized. The assertion raises many issues: there is an apparent violation of common sense andor science; however, the resolution of this issue was addressed in the previous paragraph. Further issues are: there is no discussion of the range of possibilities; of why a transformation may be undertaken or how it may be accomplished; whether there is a relevance of general transformations to everyday life. The variety of concerns are raised and addressed in the subsequent chapters. A most important issue is that of the significance of a general transformation. Suppose that an entity A transforms into another entity B. What significance can this have if, normally, A and B have no knowledge of each other? A source of the significance of an individual life is that the individual can look back and see the progress of his or her life. But what, for example, is the significance of a transformation in which I become a distinct individual? The system or metaphysics based in being develops the significance in showing the participation of all individuals in a more encompassing being… It is now clear that the idea of being is (a) fundamental to the journey, and (b) to the understanding of the entire universe

Why have I chosen to use the word ‘being’ to refer to the idea of being that has emerged as fundamental?

‘Journey in Existence’ would be somewhat awkward but I could have used another word such as ‘essence’ or ‘presence.’ However, the ideas behind these words do not have the neutrality and, therefore, potential for power of the idea of being. I could have coined another word. To some extent the choice is arbitrary. I like the sound of ‘being.’ It is more significant that the history of the idea of being enables an empowering connection with the tradition of ideas and even though some of the historical uses of being are excluded in my thought, I can specify what is excluded by being clear about my use. (I am not necessarily avoiding the traditional uses. Instead, I am avoiding their association with the word ‘being.’) As a result of the connection my thought may be empowered and there is a potential to clarify and extend the pertinent aspects of the tradition

Core Concepts, Arguments and Conclusions

Core Concepts, Arguments and Conclusions

Core Concepts, Arguments and Conclusions**

Comment. To a significant degree these has been discussed earlier

Title. Change (or eliminate section) in view of earlier discussion of all elements of the title

Place idea. ‘Ghost universes passing through ours like ships in the night… not felt or seen as such but, perhaps, as a shiver in the darkness, pondered briefly and then forgotten’

Edit. The following discussion regarding possibility, necessity and logical impossibility should be tightened and condensed

Core Concepts

It has been seen that the core concepts of the development are BEING, UNIVERSE, VOID, LOGOS and the concept of the NORMAL. These concepts have been introduced and illuminated above where their mutual significance has been explained. Additional key concepts of the metaphysics include, in order of development in the FOUNDATION, MIND, BECOMING, ORDER and CHAOS, MECHANISM and EXPLANATION, FORM, OBJECT, The INDIVIDUAL, TRUTH, LOGIC, COSMOLOGY, IDENTITY, HUMAN BEING and SOCIETY, DESIRABILITY, and FAITH

All the core concepts are included in the keywords below

Preliminary Concepts (keywords)

Eliminated and placed at the introduction to the metaphysics and in the section on mind

Arguments and Conclusions

Combine With ‘Achievements,’ below and ‘The Idea of Being,’ above

It is shown immediately below (and with greater precision later in the foundation) that all possibilities are accessible to any individual and, so, there is no need to include the phrase, ‘as far as possible’ after ‘understanding and realization’

…and that only what is logically impossible is actually impossible. All other states of being are achievable by any individual and will, necessarily, be attained by some individual being

An example of a logical impossibility is, ‘There is an apple that is completely red and completely blue.’ Since, in the normal meanings of the terms, an apple that is red is not blue, the statement in quotes is equivalent to ‘There is an apple that is not at all blue and is completely blue.’ Thus the logical impossibility is trivially obvious. However, not all logical impossibilities are obvious. The significance of this observation is considered later

Here are some examples of possible transformations (realization) of interest. (1) The natural processes of the world or universe that appear to occur without external intervention. (2) Individual achievement. (3) Traditional life; living in the present. (4) Negotiating or stepping outside (transcending) limits of or implied by individual identity, by regularities expressed in common sense and the sciences, e.g. the physical and economic sciences – except when to negotiate such limits would violate necessary or logical limits

On the Articles of Faith I

The idea that what is not logically impossible is possible appears to contradict science and common sense. Many logical possibilities appear violate the known laws of physics. An example is the idea that ‘something may come from nothing.’ In fact, it is not clear that this is a violation of physical law. It is easy to show that ‘a universe from nothing’ does not violate the principle of conservation of energy – the negative energy of the gravitational field may balance the energy associated with matter; additionally, in the quantum world view, spontaneous creation is not absurd in the way that it is in the pre-quantum, Newtonian world view. However, the theory of being provides a deeper argument whose precise version and details are given later. In outline the argument is as follows. The idea of the void is that of nothingness – of complete absence. The void is not merely the absence of things; it is also the absence of pattern, form and law. The void ‘exists’ for it is what is left when the universe is subtracted from itself. That nothing ever came from the void would be a law; therefore, it is necessary that something will come from the void. More precisely, for any actual or possible state of being, that it never arises out of the void is a law; therefore, all such states of being, including the entire universe or all being, must arise from the void. I.e., the void is equivalent to any being, to all being, to the universe; and to the annihilators of all these entities. Here is a preview of some additional results of the theory of being; the complete account and arguments are given later. (1) If a creator is separate from what is created, then the universe (all being) cannot have a creator. However, parts of the universe may be created. This has implications for the nature of both physical law and God… If what is possible (what is not a logical contradiction) is necessary the following are true. (2) Every ‘particle’ of the universe is capable of ‘self-annihilation’ as is the universe itself (the later arguments show this to be ‘colossally’ improbable.) (3) Every actuality and every possibility must repeat infinitely in extension and duration i.e. in space and time; this recurrence constitutes a form of karma which is given meaning by the next conclusion. (4) There is a being that spans the recurrences of discrete being(s.) (5) The conclusion, seemingly paradoxical in this secular world, ‘Jesus Christ is risen from the dead’ must obtain in countless cosmological systems. I said earlier, that the intent in this essay is not specifically religious. However, it is shown that truth and religion have some intersection. It is important to ask what is the significance to the articles of faith such as the ones regarding karma and resurrection whose occurrence is one of infinite repetition. Since the establishment of the theory of transfinite numbers in the late nineteenth century, it is known that there are orders of infinity. The infinity of all occurrences may, and undoubtedly does, unimaginably exceed the infinities of karmic recurrence and of resurrection. So, the Theory of Being developed in detail later in this essay requires both karma and resurrection and lends credence to possibility but not at all to the actuality or necessity of local karma or of the resurrection on this earth or in the local cosmological system

These considerations do not imply that achieving any given state or all states is feasible or desirable

Here are some examples of infeasibility. In our world or corner of the universe, violation of the laws of physics is not impossible, i.e. not logically impossible, but is, normally, staggeringly infeasible. Even while satisfying these laws, some goals may be economically infeasible

What is the meaning of desirability? It includes what is good, what is ethical but the meaning of desirability and of the ethical must be left open. Finding those meanings is part of the Journey. Feasibility and desirability are not independent. Something that at first seems desirable may turn to be not desired if it is highly infeasible. A goal whose achievement seems unlikely may be a worth investing some effort if the outcome has great value or desirability

If all goals that are not logically impossible are achievable, what is to be made of the value of effort, of respecting traditional wisdom regarding unlikely goals, of what is usually considered to be possible and what are usually considered to be limits on possibility?

These concerns are addressed by introducing the idea or concept of the normal. The traditional limits, possibilities and impossibilities are normal limits… Thus what is usually considered to be impossible is normally infeasible. However, we have seen that what is infeasible may be a worthwhile goal and, additionally, since feasibility is relative to knowledge, new insight may transform formerly infeasible goals into feasible ones

Do these considerations invalidate traditional ways of life and typical goals? Is it being said that enjoyment of life as it is –of the present– is not good? No; the experience of an intrinsic worth of tradition and enjoyment of living is recognized as among what is desirable; the worth of a variety of ways of life is recognized; and enjoyment and achievement are not exclusive but are mutually supporting

The Concept of Importance

Alternate title: consider alternates to ‘Importance’… e.g. ‘Significance’

Discuss: and elaborate upon ‘importance;’ derive the discussion not only from common considerations but also from the Theory of Being

From the nature of the individual (feeling as a bound element) and the conditions of existence, significance is given… it is not being implied that the feeling may not be questioned from time to time or that feeling may or should not be analyzed from other perspectives for understanding or evaluation. However it is clear that significance is an essential part of being

Surely some possibilities are extremely remote and some are undesirable. A proper objective is to realize what is possible within the boundaries of what is feasible and moral

An impossible objective cannot be realistically desirable. However, pursuit of less practical but possible goals may be preferred when their value is sufficiently great

In asking what means and objectives are ethical, the question of the meaning of ethics, morality, value, desirability, and importance are at least implicit



Comment. The essay itself is a more detailed and systematic account of ‘results.’ In order to avoid unnecessary duplication, the discussion here is brief. There is also some discussion of the achievements in the subsequent section, ‘The Audience,’ where the interest to workers in various fields is described in greater detail. The later section, ‘Understanding,’ in the chapter, ‘Journey in Being,’ recounts the developments in metaphysics and other fields. There is further discussion in ‘The Fundamental Problems’ and there are additional developments in the ‘Sources’

Word. Replace ‘achievements’ by ‘results,’ ‘outcomes,’ ‘conclusions’

The primary achievements or results, in the sense of significance, are: an understanding of all possibilities of being; of an understanding of the process or Journey of realization; that understanding is (a form) of realization – this includes perceptions of identities among self and universe; of a concept (design and evaluation) of and being in actual realization of ‘all being’

It is shown (shortly) that we may look at this, (our) time and place, which could as well be anywhere and when, and see, somewhat as we may have judged other times and places, but with necessity and without judgment, its prevalent views and ways of life as infinitely primitive. The systems of vision are mutually supporting; the interest in this essay is in the immediate and the universal

The essay itself is a more detailed and systematic account of ‘results.’ There is also some discussion of the achievements in the subsequent section, ‘The Audience,’ where the interest to workers in various fields is described in more detail than in this section. The later section, ‘Understanding,’ in the chapter, ‘Journey in Being,’ recounts the developments in metaphysics and other fields. There are additional developments in the ‘Sources’

I said above that goals of and approaches to the journey were in understanding (knowledge) and exploration (transformation.) These are the overall and interactive areas of achievement. Understanding guides exploration and exploration adds to understanding by increment and by confirmation or disconfirmation; thus understanding guides exploration (reason.) Understanding is a phase of exploration and may apply to itself in the form of ‘logic…’ The achievements in understanding: The results may be stated and their truth shown in a number of ways; these developments, the special areas and details, and the implications (practical, conceptual and for the significance of being) are part of the substance of this essay. The basic achievement is an understanding of being and its varieties and possibilities. This understanding is provided by the development of a metaphysics or theory of being in interaction with related and more specific areas of knowledge. The main features and logic of this development are complete and there is a sense in which the foundation is final and without the possibility of further regress (refinements and elaboration are possible and necessary.) A central result is about ‘limits’ to being and transformation. There are two kinds of limit – necessary (logical) and all other or practical limits. The practical limits are not absolute but difficult or infeasible; they may have been thought to be impossible on some views of reality which are themselves limited. However, new insight and new understanding may transform what was thought to be infeasible into something eminently possible… A sample of implications and developments includes an understanding of the significance of being (living,) a tentative and qualitative development of quantum theory – with thoughts toward a quantitative treatment, development of an account of (the structure, function and development of) human mind that is consistent with the theory of being and that has application to exceptional achievement and disorder, an understanding the nature of faith and religion and a novel evaluation of the ‘articles of faith,’ a final metaphysics (in the sense noted above) and resolutions of a number of classic problems of metaphysics such as the question of substance ontology, the mind-body problem, the question ‘Why there is something rather than nothing?’ It is shown that there is no ultimate, unchanging substance; that substance ontology serves no useful and realistic purpose; that the ‘foundation’ of being is in nothingness or the void; that there is no necessary need for further foundation; that, therefore, the final metaphysics is neither monism nor dualism; that the demonstration of these assertions is possible by logic (logic requires to have and is given an interpretation that is alternate to and includes the traditional one.) Finally, the understanding provides partial foundation for the explorations. Achievements in exploration and transformation: The understanding is a basis to develop a system of transformations that draws from various traditions and synthesis. Though tentative, the system of transformations and experiments is designed to be minimal and complete. This system is made possible as a result of the account of human mind and theory of being described above. The understanding is itself a form of transformation. The actual transformations (my experiments) in the form and identity of being include two kinds: development through growth, commitments, projects and endeavor; and ‘real’ transformations in form and identity (the boundary between the kinds is not definite.) My projects and commitments include ‘Journey in Being,’ and its phases of ultimate, personal and social experiment. A systematic exposition of the transformational journey that includes its foundation and the experiments (in-process) is found in the body of this essay, primarily in the chapter titled, ‘Journey in Being.’ A basic approach, founded in the theory of being and labeled, ‘The Dynamics of Being’ has been developed. Actual developments are based in the dynamics and experiment. Specific experiments may be classed as immediate or ultimate (the distinction is blurred.) The following examples are a sampling from the essay. Immediate transformations: Self and body awareness in healing, interactions cultivation of the unconscious (and its interaction with the conscious) in the creative process and achievement, use and cultivation of dreams, self-awareness and self-expression in interpersonal interaction and charisma, the physical journey (journey-quest) as a source of inspiration… Intermediate level transformations: use of the immediate transformations in growth and in projects, projects in group action, projects in symbolic representation and machine realization of being… Ultimate transformations: It is convenient to distinguish inner (mind, awareness, identity) and outer transformations (identity – identity is at the boundary of the distinction, body, and world.) My experiments in ultimate transformations are still in their early stages (I will report on developments in later editions of this essay.) The development of the understanding (theory of being…) is an exception to the preliminary character of these transformations. Approaches to transformation identity (self vs. universe or all being) include yoga, other disciplines, and their combination with the theory of being and physical action (journey.) The continuation of the approach to transformation of identity may result in self-transformation and actual transformation of being to other forms including all being – and may be a most efficient approach. It is an open question whether death shall be the only practical approach to such transformation in my life. However, it has been shown from the Theory of Being that there must be an approach other than death; such an approach may be equivalent to a realization of the ‘relative’ nature of death. Here, then, it is clear that the distinction between inner or mental and outer or actual transformation is also blurred, incomplete and relative to a limited awareness; and it is also clear that cognitive understanding alone is incomplete and needs to be supplemented, at least, by an understanding based in all dimensions of mind (which is found to be continuous with the actual or the body)


Knowledge and Certainty

Knowledge and Certainty

On Mind: In v2004, this section was called ‘Symbol and Error,’ and had a sub-section, ‘Mind and Error.’ The discussion now does not depend on the nature of mind which is taken up later. I will occasionally refer to ‘mind’ to illuminate the discussion but there will be no dependence on the concept of mind

May combine with: Object

The Significance of Knowledge

Here are some examples of knowledge or claims to knowledge. Today is Sunday. The Sahara is 3000 miles wide. How to repair a car. The sciences of physics and biology. Systematic accounts of human knowledge such as those contained in encyclopedias such as Encyclopaedia Britannica that focus primarily on universal aspects of knowledge such as the sciences, the arts, technology, religion, history; and the study of the (symbolic) instruments of knowledge – symbol and language… logic and mathematics… the study of the sciences, humanities and history… and philosophy

Obviously, knowledge is useful: how to repair a car is useful in repairing a car, the sciences are useful in designing and in building cars. Our civilization is made possible largely through its accumulated knowledge. The arts, religion, history and philosophy are, to some extent, instrumental in defining our civilization. In this essay, one approach to the journey in understanding and transformation of all being has been through knowledge. Additionally, since it has been necessary to extend knowledge (in some directions to its ultimate limit) through experience and thought which are among the ways that knowledge may be generated

Since knowledge is instrumental in achieving results it is natural to question whether it is reliable. There may be other criteria of what makes something count as knowledge but if it is not reliable it is not useful either as an element of culture or as something that can be used to achieve results

On the Concern with Certainty

One measure of reliability is certainty. If the laws of physics are certainly true, that is if it is logically absurd to doubt their correctness, then we should be able to place complete trust in their predictions. That statement is a simplification of the actual situation since for predictions to be certain there should also be no errors of observation in the facts on which the computations are based and the computations themselves should be exact. Even though there are inaccuracies in observation and most computations except the simplest ones are not exact we may have more confidence in the results when the laws are certainly true

As I argue below, however, it should not be necessary for laws to be certainly true. In so far as the laws are useful, it should be only necessary for results based on them to be more accurate (and therefore more useful) than predications made without the laws. Thus certainty is not necessary for utility even though certainty may be most useful. Additionally, although universality is one guarantee of certainty, it is not necessary for certainty and precision and it is not the mark of all ‘good’ laws: a law is good, in one sense, if it captures the essence of a phase of being. Even though all this is transparently obvious, there is what may be labeled a ‘cult’ of certainty that has become part of modern culture

Why has this happened? It may be in part due to a need for security, a fear of uncertainty. However, despite the vast and impressive accumulation of knowledge in our civilization, reflection shows that there are few certain guarantees of security in civilization or without. Perhaps the idea of certain knowledge appeals to the ‘egos’ of the generators, keepers of knowledge – and to the fears of those who use it. However, it is not entirely conceit or fear that is involved. There is something exciting about the idea that we have penetrated to the core of things with our science, our art and our philosophy. Simultaneously, not every individual experiences this appeal; to some people, the aesthetic of knowledge is repugnant precisely because they may not want to penetrate the core

It may be questioned, not only whether it is certainty (truth) vs. utility that is the more proper measure of knowledge, but also whether there is or should or needs to be an ultimate mark of knowledge – or any mark at all. From a perspective in which knowledge and action flow into one another it appears that there may be no need for (universal) measures or criteria but that criteria are possible and arise only in special circumstances

Here, in asking what is best for knowledge –whether there should be criteria for knowledge and, if so, what they should be– a concern with ethics has been raised. The example shows, simultaneously, that the distinction between fact and value is not altogether sharp

Is certainty possible? It is possible to doubt any empirical claim to certainty by referring to the meaning of knowledge; however, if the meaning of knowledge is in question it is inconsistent to avoid the question of the –possibility of the– meaning of certainty. Thus, although the possibility of certainty may be in doubt its impossibility should also be in doubt. Such claims are general in nature and do not rule out the possibilities of particular claims to knowledge. ‘There is being’ is analyzed later and shown to be true without doubt. It may be thought that the claim is analytic, i.e., true in virtue of its meaning; however, it has empirical content and the empirical content is shown to be implicit in its meaning. This discussion remains limited in that it is in terms of a particular view of knowledge

In what follows I shall discuss two views of knowledge. In the first or transitional view, I shall conclude that criteria do arise but that none can or need be considered to be ultimate. In the second, the absolute view, I shall show that there is an ultimate realm regarding which truth is transparent and, therefore, that no measure of validity is needed. The two views are complementary and may be used simultaneously and in interaction – provided, of course, that they are not confused; in the area of interaction, there is again, no possibility of an absolute measure but there are layers or levels of knowing which, as the highest extreme is approached, the need for measures disappears

Two Views of Knowledge: Transitional and the Absolute

A central concern so far has been being and aspects of being. There may come a point in awareness or knowledge when the individual has the thought, ‘the content of my awareness is not the world itself but an image of it.’ There are various difficulties with this thought. There does not appear to be an actual image; perhaps the term ‘image’ can be no more than metaphorical. However, something similar to this idea occurs in many traditions of thought and may arise in a given tradition at more than one time and in more than one way. Two kinds of problem may occur to the thinker. The first is ‘empirical.’ One sees a tree and estimates it to be, say, forty feet tall but can one know the height of a tree precisely? (Do objects have precise dimensions? It is not the objective here to develop or review a theory of verification of knowledge. Therefore, I do not, for the present purpose, need to answer this question. Since the development is not intended to be a systematic account of verification I will raise issues and discuss them primarily as necessary to the objective which will become clear shortly.) Another empirical concern is that of illusion in which the object is something other than the appearance. I  think I see a tree but it is a mirage. Or, I think I see a tree but it is a drape over a statue. Inaccuracy can be seen as illusion: my best estimate of the height of the tree is forty feet but someone with better instruments or better technique measures it at forty-one feet. A hallucination is an illusion in the sense that there is no object but there is an appearance of one. The literature on ‘appearance and reality’ has discussions of many kinds and examples of empirical error including illusion in knowledge. Although an account of this variety is fascinating it would not serve the purpose of the present discussion to review it… A primary source of empirical error is sense perception but theory can also be a source of empirical error since theories are often used to supplement direct measurement. Another kind of problem is as follows. I think of the tree as having certain boundaries but are these boundaries not arbitrary? Obviously, since the tree functions as a unit the boundaries are not entirely arbitrary. However, consider the life-cycle of a tree from mature plant through pollination to seeding and germination to sapling to mature tree. If one imagines the process speeded up, a tree may seem to have animal-like features. There are fungus-like organisms, the ‘slime-molds,’ whose life-cycle include animal-like, plant-like, and cell-like phases. The point to these examples is not to say that a tree is not a tree but that that the perception of an object is not the passive perception of ‘external reality’ but that the individual’s perceptual system contributes to the percept. I think I see a tree but I think I know that it is made up of molecules – or other structures. Is it a ‘tree’ or is the ‘molecules?’ Clearly, whatever ‘it’ is, how I see it depends on how I look. One concept of the nature knowledge called empiricism according to which all knowledge –concepts and facts– originate in experience, implies the thesis that knowledge can be justified only by experience. Another theory, rationalism, holds that some part of knowledge –especially concepts– must have some origins in the individual’s cognitive system. The discussion to this point shows why one might consider empiricism or its alternative, rationalism. However, it clearly shows that while experience is necessary, it is not sufficient. Individuals of an empiricist persuasion often argue that knowledge cannot be rational for then there would be no objective knowledge. A form of rationalism called transcendental idealism reconceives the object to be the object-as-perceived in which perception is not limited to sense perception but includes other aspects of cognition such as thought, concept formation and, perhaps, innate concepts. This may appear to be a kind of trick but is because, it appears from the discussion above that there is no objective knowledge and, additionally, this rationalism holds that no other kind of knowledge is possible. Further the impossibility is thought to be logical, i.e. not based on an empirical limitation of the cognitive system but based on the forms that the cognitive system may entertain. This might seem to be disappointing, especially to persons who would like to believe in ‘objective reality’ but, from the perspective that there is a logical gulf between percept and external object, there is no gap to be overcome and, therefore, there is no occasion or need for a desire for the overcoming. The human cognitive system is quite impressive (to some human beings.) It might not be immediately apparent but another way of saying this is that even to the limited form of life that human being appears to be, the world is wonderful. (Even wonder is seen to be perspective dependent when I acknowledge that some individuals find the world to be uniformly horrible or repugnant.) What is the significance of the forbidding name, ‘transcendental idealism?’ The philosophy is an idealism because it emphasizes the necessary role of cognition in the form of knowledge and it is transcendental in that knowledge is not of ‘reality itself’ but in terms of the forms that have origins in the cognitive system (you may have noticed that I have avoided use of the word ‘mind’ in the argument of this paragraph because that would introduced unnecessary complications.) Transcendental idealism may be put in a positive light as follows. I said at the beginning of this paragraph that ‘the content of my awareness is not the world itself but an image of it.’ This statement, too, is a content of my awareness via cognition and therefore appears to lack objectivity. That is the foundation of the idea that knowledge is not objective appears itself to lack objective verification and this provides the thought that at least some knowledge may be objective and certain – if only denial of positive claims to knowledge (which would be a positive claim – at a general rather than a particular level.) Consider the idea that ‘the content of my awareness is not the world itself but an image of it’ a little more. I have a perception that has some positive connection to the world even if it is not objective or certain. I try to improve upon it by building concepts, improving measurements and so on. In the end, I have never escaped the confines of my own cognitive system. There is no knowledge in the universe that is not the knowledge of some being. Thus, in its cognitive limitations the lowest of organisms is in exalted company. I am still left with the thought that ‘the content of my awareness is not the world itself but an image of it’ and ‘knowledge has never escaped the confines of the cognitive system of some being’ are themselves not objective. Therefore, at this level of discussion certain and objective knowledge are in doubt with regard to both possibility and impossibility. I will take this discussion up further in (foundation/metaphysics/symbol and object, link) where I first consider the root nature of mind (in contrast to human experience of human mind) and then consider that, as suggested by the thought that ‘there is no knowledge that is not the knowledge of some being,’ there is no root distinction between mind and object

The Nature and Possibility of the Absolute Framework

In this section I want to approach the question of knowledge, objectivity and certainty from an alternative perspective. This alternative depends on an analogy between being and knowledge. As suggested in the previous paragraph and shown later there is no root distinction between being and knowledge (and mind) but the present line of thought does not start from the implied identity. The discussion of knowledge and certainty here is in terms of two frameworks for knowledge that correspond to similar frameworks for being – that of becoming and that of all being… The first framework for knowledge is the transitional framework. In this framework, it may be questioned even whether the ‘function’ of knowledge is ‘knowing’ (this consideration is taken up elsewhere, link, and must depend on an analysis of the concept of function whose outcome may find function to quite different even though continuous with function as understood by other writers.) The possibility of certainty and objectivity is taken up within this framework and at various levels of generality, abstract, and concept. The second is an absolute framework in which the level of concept is such that combined objectivity and precision is not logically impossible. Examples, with proof of objectivity and precision have been shown earlier. In this section, I will elaborate the discussion and instances (examples.) Further demonstration and examples are provided later, in ‘Foundation’ (and other links.) It may seem that, as a result of the level of abstraction, such objective and precise knowledge, even if true, is without significant content. An central objective of this essay is to show that such knowledge is true, profound in its general and deeper implications, and has application in the ‘normal’ world that is both broad and deep

There is a view of the transitional account of knowledge in which the negative judgment is the peak of intellect, in which positive judgment is not possible, in which the meaning of positive judgment is not clear at the outset, in which hypothesis is the correct form of assertion, in which hypotheses are made and subject to negative empirical, conceptual and or logical judgment, i.e., to experiment and criticism. Surviving systems of working hypotheses are perennially provisional and subject to revision. The process is thought to be ongoing and without end. These negative conclusions are the apparent outcome of any line of reasoning that starts with a positivist program for the foundation of knowledge within a transitional framework

However, that a process has been ongoing up to the present does not imply that it is endless. If the supply of ‘facts’ is unending in all directions the ongoing character of the process necessarily follows. However, if the facts are infinite in some directions but finite in others there may be an end to inquiry in the in the ‘finite directions.’ The idea that that there are always new facts in all modes of viewing and being-becoming in the world is a metaphysical assumption of positivist thought. Without this assumption, there would be no occasion for positivism; facts would be given but this would not warrant a philosophy. Although increment and hypothesis constitute what may and has been been considered to be a normal way of knowledge-understanding, it is metaphysical positivism to consider it the only way. However, it is not necessary to develop a universal counter to either the positivist or nihilist view within the transitional framework. As seen both views have validity but neither view is necessary since the transitional is but one framework

However, the idea that hypothesis is the correct form of assertion has value. What is that value if ‘hypothesis as assertion’ is not ultimate? It is that it is valuable as a transitional tool in any search for proximate and ultimate accounts and realizations of being. That is, in the transitional sense, knowledge remains in interaction and bound to action and knowledge-in-and-of-itself is at most an ideal whose realization is always partial and temporary. The Theory of Being to be developed shows that the ultimate may be realized by individual being but every individual has the option of such realization. A given realization is not a realization for all individuals and each individual faces life and being afresh. In facing the possibility of infinity, the tentative view of hypothesis as assertion permits freshness at every point in the journey and renders infinity which might otherwise be experienced as a nihilist burden as luminous and possible. I.e., even though it is necessary that some being will realize the infinite, it remains possible for all beings; and being-in-the-present is an implicit enjoyment of the luminosity of the infinite

Attitudes toward Knowledge and Certainty

Attitudes toward Knowledge and Certainty

Comments to integrate. Here, I consider two views of knowledge that correspond to the distinction, being vs. becoming. In the normal view, becoming is necessary to being. In the corresponding view for knowledge, process is necessary for knowing. In an ultimate view, being is seen as being over all time and space (and other possible indices.) The corresponding view of knowledge is ultimate and final. It is shown in the essay that such knowledge is possible. The primary case of such certain knowledge is of all being and its possibilities but does not refer to the local details of such possibilities except as elements of the universe but without focus on their details. Similarly, the primary view of ‘knowledge in transition,’ the more common view of knowledge, and one that corresponds to ‘becoming,’ is knowledge of the ‘details’ (which, relative, to this world may be very general, inclusive and abstract but relative to all being is extremely particular and concrete.) What is the place of certainty –the possibility of positive judgment– in transitional knowledge? (It is not a positivism that is sought.) I will identify two related motives to certainty. Fear and obsessive attitudes have a role in the urge certainty but I am not focusing on what may be pathological. There is a healthy psychological motive to the certainty that constitutes common faith in the world as it is. To not have such faith is neurotic. In any endeavor to improve upon common knowledge, common faith must be questioned as part of the process. Therefore, paranoia and obsession are among the traits that foster creativity even though paranoia and obsession in themselves are not desirable: one does not foster paranoia to be creative but if one has a degree of paranoia, it might be a spur to the use of intelligence. Thus some of the most creative thinkers have suffered from paranoia but perhaps, at the same time, the greatest of thinkers have been robust. A second ‘healthy’ motive to certainty is the urge to build and, more generally to have a healthy, satisfactory existence or life. Building, whether of artifacts or of knowledge, requires foundation and it is in the foundations that certainty is sought. In the transitional case, such certainty is relative and not absolute for as is known even in the heart of symbolic logic there is no absolute certainty except certain cases that correspond to ‘abstract knowledge of all being and its possibilities.’ However, there may be relative certainty and it is this upon which the building of new thought is relatively secure. The foregoing thoughts are conditional. If you find yourself in quicksand, you will not acquiesce in the force to be sucked in because ‘the foundation is insecure.’ And if you are stuck in it, you need not hesitate to have what enjoyment there may be. Oh! but some pessimist is sure, perhaps in seeking to secure his or her self-image, to say, “you are doomed so you should have no enjoyment…” (thinking, perhaps, at a repressed level, “I have worked so much toward happiness and yet I am unhappy. How is possible for you who are doomed to be happy? If you could be happy in that condition, surely that would make me a miserable creature. I already feel miserable, but if you can be happy, that would make me objectively and inescapably miserable.”) And, given the history of our transitional experience in ‘coming to know,’ it does not follow that this path cannot flower into the absolute, i.e., the fundamental criticism of ‘inductive logic’ must also apply to induction itself even when applied to negative conclusions. This said, on the transitional view, the primary argument against a search for certainty is that the goal of certainty assumes determinism, that the future is contained in the present – for this is what certainty would amount to and, while in the transitional state, this is not possible in a temporally indeterministic cosmological system. ‘Temporally indeterministic cosmological system’ requires explanation. As is explained, (link,) in the essay, there are outcomes that are possible but not necessary in this system but are necessary in the universe. In the transitional view, the capacity to be right presumes the capacity to err; right presumes error; but, in the end, it may be possible to live in the right

On Science

On Science

In the ultimate framework, metaphysics or positive knowledge or judgment is possible. Knowledge of being is possible. Both frameworks are made possible by the free symbol. Science to the present time (c.2006) is an example of knowledge under the transitional framework. It is often assumed that because the ‘series of scientific discovery’ is incomplete, it can not be completed in any way. This may be shown to be false, in the quantum framework, by application to observation, so that observation is subsumed by and not superposed on the formal theory. This may be regarded to be, in outline, an example of completed science. The Theory of Being of this essay, is another example, also in outline, of a completed theory… It is important to note, however, that the present Theory of Being is demonstrated, at its level of generality, to be a complete theory of being

In the transitional view hypothesis or readiness for action is one essence of knowledge. In this framework, knowing or coming to know is a process in which discovery (creation) is possible only when error is possible. One way of saying this is that, in this framework, hypothesis is the essence of knowledge – because, not only is hypothesis on the way to knowledge but because being-in-process is fundamental rather than result or ‘end point’

The ‘free symbolic capability,’ an idea developed in detail later, is ability to form knowledge and to have knowledge that can be deployed toward an identified objective (to have and form images, iconic or otherwise, that are depictions of the world.) At one extreme, that of pure imagination, there is no immediate intent to connect to the world. The individual who possesses the free symbolic capability has a degree of freedom in the creation of images

Without the free symbolic capability, there is no possibility of error. Error is not an intrinsic property of being. Thus, a rock cannot be wrong even though it can be more or less symmetric and more or less stable. Error is an ‘invention’ of the organism with the symbolic capability

Commission of error in concept or knowledge is possible and meaningful only for being that has the free symbolic capability. Simultaneously, this capability is the foundation of the ability to have knowledge, truth, logic, science, to discover and to create. However, possession of these capabilities does guarantee of freedom from error. Therefore, where there would be otherwise be silence, there is an imperative to act, to Journey, to action, and to transformation of being. ‘Silence’ is an approach but not necessary to the real whose depth may be plumbed by the depth and essential transformation of being… regarding which, thought is a fragment

Being closed to error is stagnation – generally, and in particular realms of activity; belief that method e.g. scientific method, ethical theory, professionalism, or administrative principles can avoid all error is a sign of a closed society. Life, freshness and growth require openness to error. This includes acting on belief, on possibility or on an imperative to action, rather than only upon certainty. It is life as a Journey-in rather than as a guided excursion. Being closed to error, whether of thought or action, is a luxury whose indulgence entails exclusion from the real and the ultimate

A previous few paragraphs have been devoted to the transitional view of knowledge. There is a viewpoint or state where, in the very immediacy of being as transitional, in which being-in-process is eternal life and similarly in which error (except unnecessary and gratuitous error) is divested of its negative connotation and living in hypothesis is living in knowledge

Note. Here as elsewhere, the influence of Wittgenstein is evident. My reasons for not making extensive citations has been discussed elsewhere (link) and include that what is radical in this essay is essentially mine even though there are intimations in the thought of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Buddha, Christ, the Mystics, Leibniz, Wittgenstein…

The nature of embedded knowledge includes that knowledge which is not separated, and may not be separable, from the loop of knowing and acting. I have said that it appears that absolute embedded knowledge may be impossible. It would make more sense to say that absolute embedded knowledge does not have meaning

It is essential to note that any distinction such as embedded-action vs. symbolic-knowing, while fundamental in some senses is arbitrary in others. The arbitrariness derives – at least in part – from the lack of complete distinction between the embedded and the symbolic

The range of attitudes may be characterized by two extremes. One extreme is that certainty in knowledge is possible that there are examples of certainty in, e.g., science, logic, mathematics, the categories of intuition (such as the intuitions of time and space,)  certain aspects of metaphysics, theology, the articles of religious faith… The other extreme is that all thoughts of certain knowledge is an illusion or self-deception. There are moderate views that lie in between the extremes. One is the view of science in which an accepted theory is the ‘best’ one thus far in some sense, e.g., it should explain or predict the bulk of relevant data, should have no currently known serious and relevant exceptions. Another defines the objects-in-perception to be real and, according to this concept of knowledge, it is clear that knowledge can be simultaneously certain and in error

The two extreme views described above may be described as ‘conservative’ or critical and ‘liberal’ attitudes toward knowledge

There are various motives for holding extreme views. These include various ‘psychological’ needs. However, there is a central motivation that is based in the idea of knowledge itself. If knowledge is about the world, then it is desirable to know an article of knowledge is correct. Perhaps the origin of this need is in the fact that knowledge can be in error and that knowledge is a basis for action

Another important motive is the desire for universality. This motive is, apparently, not merely psychological in nature for, if an item of knowledge is known to be universal, then it is possible to act upon it in confidence. However, if it can be shown that there is no certain and universal knowledge, then, to hold to such a view of knowledge have a origins in a psychological need such as the need for security or the bonding that results from shared faith. However, when it is noted that confidence in knowledge (regardless of correctness) may lead to confidence in action then, regardless of whether the knowledge is regarded as justified, the attitude of certainty is not merely psychological in origin. This example shows that to it is not always correct to label an attitude as based merely in a psychological need even when the attitude has no obvious justification and when there is reason to have doubt. Another way of saying this is that when an attitude has an origin in a psychological need it may also have some other, perhaps unrecognized, basis

What attitudes toward certainty are proper? The considerations just given show that a valid response is not necessarily clear cut. Clearly, there are occasions when a skeptical attitude toward a claim of knowledge is appropriate. However, there may be times when it is good to set aside skepticism. This suggests that it is not valid to have a uniform attitude toward skepticism and optimism in knowledge. It is perhaps proper to say that the value of the great critical theories of knowledge of the past is not that they point to error but that they motivate revaluation and, consequently, improved understanding

Certain and Hypothetical Knowledge

The view adopted here and justified later is that there are two modes of (confidence in) knowledge. I.e., there are two frameworks for knowledge that correspond to two frameworks for being – that of becoming and that of (all) being…

Note that the phrase ‘hypothetical knowledge’ is not a reference to mere hypothesis but to knowledge that has passed all critical tests (internal coherence, tests of its predictions) so far but may need revision when further information becomes available

The Disvalue of Certainty

These considerations call the value of certainty into question. In the hypothetical mode error is not only possible but necessary. The kind of error in question is not gratuitous or willful error. It is an openness to the possibility of error whose discovery is the basis of correction and improvement. In this mode it is appropriate to base action on the best knowledge available even though it is accepted that the knowledge in question is not certain. “Crisis is opportunity.” Alternately, though the individual may fail, even die, in his or her attempts, success follows only from someone’s attempt. This action in the absence of complete certainty may also lead to correction and improvement. In the hypothetical mode, absolute certainty is a disvalue. In the second mode that might be called ‘absolute’ certainty is given; there is no sense in desiring what is given

At the divides between the two modes it may be unclear what mode an item of knowledge falls under. In this grey area there is significance to a concern with certainty…

On of the concerns in the developments that following will be to identify and clarify the divide between the hypothetical and the absolute modes. The developments justify the following guiding principle

Claims that are universal with respect to the universe of discourse have the possibility of certainty

Consider, for example, a scientific theory. As long as its application remains within its (known) realm of validity it is reasonable to have a degree of certainty. For example, although the mechanics of Newton is no longer the most fundamental dynamical theory, it continues to have a broad range of precise application. Consider, next, the realm of all being. in the Theory of Being that is developed below and has been previewed above, there is shown to be a significant realm of absolute certainty that is made possible when the items of knowledge are of universal application. A number of observations are significant to this general result. (1) Universality alone does not guarantee certainty. E.g., unless care is taken, paradox may result from universal claims. (2) The Theory of (all) Being that is developed has practical significance beyond its use in illuminating the nature of our being. The practical gains arise when the general theory is combined with a special area of interest or discipline. (3) Whereas analytic or logical and synthetic or empirical claims are distinct in a limited sphere, their distinction vanishes in the universal

Knowledge and Action

In this section, I will summarize and consolidate my reflections on the relations among knowledge and action and their significance for the nature of knowledge. The discussion is continued later (link)

The main ideas are as follows. A common concept of knowledge, that, it is a representation of the world may serve as the concept of knowledge for day-to-day purposes and need be criticized only when there is a need to be concerned with the nature of knowledge and its faithfulness to what is thought to be known. It was observed, in essence, that knowledge and what is known are different in kind and, therefore, any ideal of accurate representation is based in an illusion of the nature of knowledge. Knowledge, then, is a construct which has roots in the subject and the external object. From the point of view of function, knowledge has origin and remains in relation with action. I.e., although knowledge may be come removed from immediate action, it ultimately remains in relation with action if only in its potential. In this sense, there is no need for representation. However, surely, when knowledge corresponds, in some manner, to an abstraction from the external object, it makes for efficient action and, therefore, evolutionary selection. E.g., the geometry of perception has some degree of congruence to the geometry of the world; and, the form (contours, shapes, colors) of perception reflects this congruence

The following is an elaboration of some of the ideas of the previous paragraph. Start with the idea that knowledge is a picture of the world, of reality. However, examples of illusion and error and analysis of knowledge show limitations in that view. What, then is knowledge; is there any objectivity at all? Whatever framework that may be used to found objectivity, to analyze the original idea of knowledge as a picture is itself a picture… and, therefore, there is no objectivity. This is one reason why, in some views such as transcendental idealism, the object has been redefined as the ideal object, i.e., as the object as in awareness; this amounts to ‘cutting the Gordian Knot.’ However, the concern still remains, ‘whither objectivity?’ A main reason for the formulation of transcendental idealism is the idea that objectivity is logically impossible. This does not remove the concern with objectivity; nor should it, for while we may learn from the idealism, its analysis has presuppositions and, therefore, its logic is not unassailable

… in the first place, the idea that knowledge is a picture of the world is itself a picture and this is a more primitive level at which the knot may be cut. To question that knowledge is a picture, even a distorted one, is to question whether it the function of knowing is to know. Or, so as to remove the sense of paradox that that question may suggest, it may be formulated as the ‘question whether it is the function of knowing-as-we-experience-it to know-as-in-knowing-the-object.’ At the primitive level, it may be said that ‘knowing’ is simply being-in-relationship

The idea that knowledge is a picture derives from a number of thinkers and is a special case of a concept of what knowledge is. What does not seem to be generally acknowledged is that for different concepts of knowledge, there may be different criteria. If knowledge is justified in action, then, for example, the criterion of knowledge as justified true belief is not necessarily applicable. In general, it is not the case that knowledge shall have criteria; criteria are pertinent only for certain kinds or modes of knowledge. The variety of kinds of and criteria for knowledge and their relationships (embedding) will be taken up in OBJECT

Emotion, Belief and Faith

Emotion, Belief and Faith

Emotion, Belief and Faith

Emotion, Belief and Faith… HUMAN. significant to mind for the discussion of emotion

I have not been criticizing certainty but some ways in which it is valued. In some enterprises, certainty –insofar as it can be achieved– has value. However, an insistence on certainty as a requirement for knowledge that is to be used in action is (1) based in limited understanding of the (indeterministic) nature of being and consequently, (2) a limitation on the possibilities of being. The point is not theoretical: if certainty were prerequisite, America might not have been discovered and there would be no hypotheses and therefore no science. A requirement of certainty for action, the fear of all risk is a kind of sickness

In the subsequent discussion of MIND, et. seq., which elaborates the thoughts that follow, I have identified two modes of symbol: free and bound. The bound symbol is an immediate connection with the world and is exemplified in sense perception and in emotional feeling. The free symbol may have the same form as the bound symbol but is not immediately connected to the world. Its connection to the world is not immediately actual but potential. There is no necessary connection to the world and this is the source of its strength: in its potential for connection lies the possibility of understanding previously unknown phases of the world – of being. (Even if the origin of the free symbol is in the advantage gained from potential connection, it does not follow that all uses of the free symbol must be toward potential connection. However, even when there is no intent to connect, as in dreaming and as in some literature and art, connection may result. Even the bound symbol has no absolute connection to the world but the immediacy of its connection is normally strong. When the bound symbol is unbound it may be labeled ‘hallucination’ which has an interpretation as sickness; however this interpretation is not necessary and hallucinations may also be a source of insight, understanding and new knowledge.) The nature of feeling (in the sense of emotion) is not fixed. Even if in the origins, emotion has a function that is primarily bound it need not remain bound and it may grow to have free aspects as in, e.g., subtle or higher emotion. There is a way in which emotion can be simultaneously bound and free. In an organism with the free symbolic capability, the cultivation of the free symbol may have emotional (aesthetic) worth. Thus, emotion sustains insight, understanding and knowledge in more than one way. In the aesthetic, emotion or passion provide an impulse to wonder, to awe, to joy at understanding and insight. As bound, however, emotion, feeling (and perception) provide connection to the world. Thus, emotion and feeling are not devoid of knowledge or cognitive content even when they are not expressed in the symbolic mode that is normally associate with cognition. Thus, disruption of feeling and emotion leave the individual disconnected with the real and apathetic regarding such connection. Although there are conditions in which emotion is poorly regulated (depression) excessive cultivation of certainty and excessive dependence on codified knowledge may have a similar effect

I have inserted ‘belief’ in the title in order to make an observation about its nature. From the cognitive point of view, belief combined with justification have been thought to constitute knowledge. However, the thoughts regarding knowledge and faith have application also to belief. Belief has shades of meaning according to the commitment accorded the belief. However, even in its most neutral interpretation, ‘belief’ has no significance unless there is some commitment (feeling) associate with it; this feeling can range from strongly positive (faith) to neutral but potential (one meaning of belief) to disbelief in which the feeling is negative

Faith, emotion and cognition: an example. In the development of the theory of being, I would not have entertained its core ideas if I had relied on certainty and cognition alone. Faith, even though it was not absolute, was sustained by emotion in the two ways described above: (1) There was an intuition of the core ideas with partial roots in feeling; and (2) Passion sustained partial faith toward greater ends – toward wonder and understanding of all being. (I should note that even though in this example, faith has been partial, there is a place for absolute faith in crisis situations and where ‘knowledge’ fails.) Further, now that the theory has been developed it is still emotion, feeling and perception that connect me to the world and passion that sustains my studies and travels. It is important to note that emotion and cognition are intertwined at the core and it is not that emotion is merely a sustainer of cognition: without the bound forms of emotion and perception there is no cognition. However, in what may be labeled higher thought, the relations of emotion and cognition are not fixed; even while they are intertwined, there are times when one or other is ascendant and times when the stand more or less in balance. In providing this personal example I have not thought that my development is unique or that my recognition of the relations among bound and free symbols is novel. However, I have not seen explicit recognition in the literature of the concept of the bound and free symbol and the essential character and modes of relation among them. As far as I know, symbol, feeling and emotion have not been recognized as being among the categories of intuition –the characteristic modes of mind as adapted to the world and as constituting the elements of the sense of the real– as has been done in the discussion of MIND

On Criticism

Location. Why should this be placed here? It might be a good place for this topic because a discussion has been begun toward the end of the section, above, ‘Attitudes toward Knowledge and Certainty.’ Sources: note that there are numerous sources of (my) thought on this topic in the various essays. These include the topic, ‘Hume’s Brilliant Error,’ and various discussions and criticisms of Wittgenstein’s writings (Hume, Kant, and Wittgenstein may be regarded as being among the great critical thinkers of Western Philosophy. Of these, although none was merely critical – the value of criticism includes its constructive intent – Kant’s thought and achievements was most balanced by its focus on criticism and construction.) Note that what Whitehead calls ‘speculation’ might be called ‘construction;’ and that, while Whitehead might be lauded for his honesty, the word ‘speculation’ is bound to put off many angry and otherwise immature and careless thinkers

Planning. This section, ‘On Criticism’ was not in FOUNDATION. It fits here and its essential details might also fit into ‘Principles of thought.’ Details are considered in this outline because the idea is new

From a requirement of certainty and on a transitional view there is, in some important directions of inquiry, no possibility of positive judgment. In other directions, positive judgment is possible. In the ultimate framework of knowledge, positive judgment is the necessary mode of knowledge. Here, I want to question the assertion that there is no possibility of positive judgment in certain directions of inquiry. The impossibility in question depends on the requirement of certainty. Alternatively, if hypothesis is regarded to be the correct form of assertion there is no essential problem of positive judgment for the meaning of positive judgment is different under this view. This does not imply the commission of gratuitous error. However, it does mean that when I am at the edge the gain from the pretension that certainty is necessary, I am not at the end of possibility. Rather, I am at a beginning in which my actions may be based, not only on what has not been invalidated but also on what has not been validated, i.e., on hypothesis. In extreme situations this may require action rather than inaction. In normal situations it requires only reasonable action

Some Thoughts on the Nature of Criticism

Before life, there were no ideas –valid or invalid– on earth. (Here, idea does not include perception.) Ideas did not originate from criticism but from having ideas. The ‘original idea’ was a hypothesis or speculation. Without the idea, there is nothing to criticize. Without criticism, there can be no validity to the hypothesis or speculation. There is no progress in conceptual or theoretical knowledge without both speculation and criticism

In formal theories and application of criticism, hypothesis and criticism are often viewed as distinct

In actuality, while forming hypotheses –while speculating or imagining– criticism is always present either explicitly in the ‘back of mind’ or implicitly in the quality of the hypotheses

Criticism is present at all levels

… and must be held in check sufficiently to allow the development of lines of thought

Criticism alone does not produce criticism or indicate when criticism is effective; speculation is necessary in the production of efficient critical thought and approaches

Criticism must be subject to criticism; must be self-referential

Proper combinations of critical and speculative thought lead to much more effective hypothesis and creative thought than speculation alone; and to much more critical thought and critical tools than the critical attitude alone

Aspects of Criticism

Question of an intrinsic function of cognition. The introduction will consider the question, for example of whether the function of cognition is knowing or knowledge or whether there is an underlying dynamic of the instruments of cognition in adaptation of which the cultivation of a system of knowledge –practical, theoretical and interpretive– is a useful but specialized example that has a specialized apparatus and creates its own context which appears as a universe

Contextual surrogates for the universe. Contextual universes whose character is such that they are often taken as the entire universe

The problem of infinite regress in analysis of the faithfulness of representation. In some modes or according to some models of representation, the analysis of the faithfulness –what makes it valid– never comes to an end; on the utilities of such analyses; on their limited applicability; and how, although the analyses have utility, the underlying models are based on a picture of cognition which also has utility but that neither the picture or the utilities are necessary even though they lead to elaborate and powerful results; that even within the picture there are sub-pictures that may avoid the criticisms; and that the way out of the necessity, the grip, of the regress is to recognize its relative or contextual nature: that it contributes to life but that good living does not require it to be absolute… and that there is a universe of being, of living and, even of striving –although striving is also contextual– beyond it

The Conceptual Problem of Knowledge

The conceptual problem is not new but is a repetition of what has been already said. It is the problem of the possibility of knowledge of the object or thing-in-itself. I bring this problem up in a separate section because it is analogous to what may be called the conceptual problem of mind or of consciousness. The conceptual problem of consciousness is the problem of how consciousness may arise from ‘inert’ matter (that matter is inert is a metaphysical assumption.) This problem has been called the ‘hard problem of consciousness.’ The ‘other’ problem of consciousness concerns how the different aspects of consciousness are related to the organization of the brain. In fact, it is the ‘other’ problem that is hard or, perhaps, difficult. The difficulty, however, is scientific perhaps but not conceptual. It may never be completely solved because of the complexities of consciousness and the brain but there is already, c. 2006, significant progress in explaining the aspects of consciousness from neurology. On the other hand, the conceptual problem appears to be impossible on some accounts because ‘consciousness’ and ‘brain,’ on those accounts, are distinct categories. However, as will emerge from the treatment of mind (link) and as suggested earlier (link) mind and matter are not distinct categories. In fact, one way of looking at matter and mind is that they are not categories or substances at all but only appear to be so in limited domains. On this view, the ‘hard’ problem is not a problem after all. Similarly, the problem of knowledge of the external object may be called the ‘hard problem of knowledge’ because it is a conceptual (logical) problem and, as such, its solution will be impossible on some views and (conceptually) trivial on others, especially on the Theory of Being of this essay

Relative to the discussion of knowledge and certainty, the conceptual problem of knowledge is not a distinct problem. However, I have brought it up here because of the analogy to the conceptual problem of consciousness or mind

The problem of the possibility of knowledge of the object –the external object or thing-in-itself– may, in analogy to what has been called the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness i.e. The mind-body problem in the case of consciousness, be called the hard problem of knowledge. These two problems have in common that they are conceptual problems. For such conceptual problems, the conceptual framework that is used may profoundly affect conclusions regarding the problem

Thus, for example, if we accept that (aspects of) relations among the elements of being are in the same category as awareness, there is nothing to explain regarding the conceptual aspect of the mind-body problem. This, of course, is not saying that there is no mind-body problem, no problem of consciousness. Rather, the problem becomes one of discovering and explaining where, in the body –in the organs, cells and bio-chemicals– are the loci of mind-at-the-human-animal-level, of consciousness-as-it-is-like-for-animals

In the case of knowledge, confusion of the concept of the concept and the concept of the noumenon or thing-in-itself leads to the idea that the noumenon, but for practical difficulties, could be seen. The error is that concept and noumenon are, at the level of discourse, different categories. Which implies that there are other levels or slants in which the categorial distinction breaks down as, e.g., in free symbolic creation and as, e.g., in the view of the noumenal aspect of the concept itself

Thus these ‘hard’ problems are result of conceptual confusion or, equivalently, misuse of language. I.e. concepts or, equivalently, words have become unmoored from their context or pattern of use. Note, that it is not being said that there should be no experimentation with novel uses of words or novel words but, simply, that while such experimentation may be a source of growth in understanding, it may also be a source of error


Secondary Summary Sections:

Prospect for the Journey and its Foundation A SUMMARY

Prospect for the Journey and its Foundation*

Original title for this section: Summary and Prospect…

Edit: This section needs rethinking and rewriting – especially in light of the changes since the ‘September 2004 Edition.’ Here is a brief and tentative rethinking

In describing –deriving– the nature of the journey, I have discussed the meaning and significance of the terms ‘journey’ and ‘being’

In FOUNDATION, the use of the concept of being enables (assists) the development of an absolute foundation for the understanding of all being. The foundation is absolute in the following sense: it requires no reference to, no further foundation in a more basic level

I have explained that the journey is both individual and universal. Although it is personal in that it is my journey, this personal aspect has no final significance. The journey is individual in that it is the travel of an individual through all being. Although such a travel might seem grandiose it is not in that, at the outset, it is not assumed that there is any guarantee that all being will be realized in any sense. However, the theory of being developed in FOUNDATION shows that the realization of all being is not only possible but also necessary – even though it is not necessary in every lifetime (however, the theory shows that the meanings of ‘death’ and ‘lifetime’ are relative and when the full nature of the individual is understood, realization is always necessary.) JOURNEY IN BEING describes the journey thus far. It includes an exploration of human knowledge and experience. It is neither possible nor desirable to describe all human knowledge and experience or their development (personal and general) in detail. I have included enough detail to show the possibilities – that the theory of being does indeed provide a foundation for determining the range and validity of knowledge; this includes a critique of the nature and functions of knowledge. I have also described where the journey has gone beyond the limits of human knowledge and experience, to what extent the developments are absolute and what remains. Although there is some overlap between the two main chapters, FOUNDATION and JOURNEY, their functions are different and, therefore, some overlap, as necessary to the functions, is acceptable. What are these functions? The purpose of the FOUNDATION is to develop an understanding of the possibilities of understanding and realization. In JOURNEY, I have described what has been achieved thus far. It may be noted that the foundation has two functions: it serves as foundation and its development is a part of the journey

I discussed the origins, nature and significance of the journey in the understanding and realization of the possibilities of being. I discussed the concept of being and reasons for choice of being as fundamental rather than the more familiar mind, matter, person, and so on

The discussion draws from and lies partially within the traditions of thought. I have listed the main influences on my thought in the sources (link)

Review: need and placement for the following

Developments of the metaphysics will include:

Prospect from the introduction: what the developments of the metaphysics will include

Metaphysics is clarified as the discipline whose only limits are necessary limits and the consequent possibility of metaphysical theory. Metaphysics is extended from its status as of as a discipline of thought to a discipline of thought and action

Science and Philosophy

The outer limits of philosophy and metaphysics are identical. In this role, philosophy and metaphysics are names for ‘understanding as a whole.’ At the inner limits, however, there is a distinction between philosophy and metaphysics. Metaphysics is significantly concerned with the outer limits. Philosophy, on the other hand, includes metaphysics but also includes various special studies. In essence, however, philosophy, metaphysics, and the most general study of being and the world are identical. This stands in contrast to the post-Hellenic establishment of philosophy as a distinct discipline. It also stands in contrast to some of the modern, c. 2006, understandings of philosophy as analysis, as therapeutic, as edifying, and as unable to instruct the other disciplines regarding their proper business. The position here is as follows. One factor in the establishment of the academic divisions is the issue of ‘territory’ as in a ‘democracy’ of the disciplines. Such considerations are not disvalued; however the issue is addressed as follows. A philosopher may hesitate to ‘instruct’ scientists on the conceptual issues of science. However, there is occasional need for general conceptual thought within science – especially at the foundations in times of ‘revolution.’ I prefer to label the umbrella discipline ‘philosophy.’ Further the various special conceptions of philosophy find a place within the general activity. I will be shown that there is a clear and definite general activity – that philosophy as the discipline whose only outer limits are necessary limits is a cogent conception that is continuous with the tradition of philosophy

The theory of being results in elimination of the need for substances and categories and absolute distinctions between particulars and abstract objects such as forms and universals; and in a foundation without infinite regress. Substances, categories and the distinction between particulars and abstract objects are practical rather than essential or necessary

Review: need and placement for the following section

The Central Conceptual Issues

Placement. The ideas of this section should be placed earlier. The ideas should now include: being, possibility, the concept of the normal, normal cosmology and limits, origins, life within normal cosmologies

Possible combination and modification: combine ‘The Central Conceptual Issues” with ‘Summary’ and make ‘Summary and Prospect…’

The central conceptual issues of ‘being’ of primary significance here are the nature and origin of being, the possibilities of being, what possibilities are ‘desirable,’ ways in which the possible may be actualized, and the issue of how to think about these questions i.e. the nature of LOGIC. Whether being has an origin or origins, and what could be its source is a further question, for, if everything has being then it would seem that there is nothing outside being. Paradoxes associated with the word ‘everything’ have been considered and treated in the SOURCES

Thus, the concern is with being as existence and with the nature of existence. The word ‘being’ may be used in the sense of being-in-time or in a sense in which it includes process, i.e. in which it includes becoming, sustaining and dissolution. The latter meaning may be indicated, where necessary, by writing the hyphenated form ‘be-ing.’ It is not given that the conceptual distinction corresponds to an actual one. An entity may be thought of as static in its being but, in fact, it may be sustained in its being by an underlying process or dynamic. The developments here found the latter view. In the actuality of being and becoming, it is found that, state, process and relation are mutually sustaining

The Journey…

Consolidation. The final sections, ‘Realization…,’ ‘The Central…,’ and ‘Summary,’ require review for necessity, title, content and placement. Solution. Since most of this section, ‘Realization,’ is going to a later chapter, ‘Foundation,’ the section can be eliminated – some material may be placed above or in a consolidated section, ‘Summary and Prospect…’

Purposes of this section: (1) Prospects for the journey, and (2) An informal review of where the Journey stands. It is at the ‘cross roads’ between ideas and transformation… is ‘cross roads’ a good metaphor – what would be better


Relatively complete. Being and Aspects of Being




Note. The Preview and Overview may be placed here

Introductory Comment: this chapter, Foundation (for the Journey in Being,) is in its development also part of the Journey. When no longer necessary, eliminate the following boxed outline and the bookmark ‘foundation’




On Being…  Expectations for a Theory of Being…  Outline of The Theory of Being…  Implications of The Theory


Introduction to Metaphysics…  Being…  Universe…  The Void…  Logos…  The Normal…  Mind…  Becoming…  Order and Chaos…  Mechanism and Explanation…  Form…  Object…  Principles of Thought…  The Individual…  Truth…  Further Topics

1.2      LOGIC

Logic as Analysis of Form…  Logic and Argument. Deductive Logics…  The Possibility of Metaphysics…  Certainty…  Logic and the Void…  Criticisms

1.3      COSMOLOGY

General Cosmology…  Divides in the Evolution of Being: Cosmos and Symbol…  Normal Cosmology; Local and Physical Cosmologies…  Order and Chaos in Cosmology…  Identity


Human Being and its Origins…  Human Mind…  Feeling, Awareness, and Consciousness…  Normal Psychology…  Introduction to the Elements of Mind…  Function…  Categories…  Growth, Development and Meaning…  Order and Chaos in the Human Organism…  Language, Logic and Culture…  Mind, Symbol and Value as a Proximate Account of Being…  Order and Chaos in Society…  Desirability…  The Highest Ideal

1.5      FAITH

Introduction…  Faith and Reason…  Outline…  Faith…  Faith and Chaos…  Religion, Myth and Charisma…  Religions of the World…  The Place and Future of Religion


Introduction…  Some Criticisms…  Status of the Logic of the Theory of Being…  Two Approaches to Foundation…  Summary of the Foundation…  Conclusions on the Nature of Being…  Development of the Theory of Being…  The Ultimate

In this chapter, I develop and apply a metaphysics or Theory of Being whose purpose in this essay is as a foundation for the journey. Although its motivation has been application to the journey, the Theory of Being may stand as an independent development. Four core concepts of the metaphysics, whose meaning is clarified in the development that follows, are BEING which incorporates becoming, primal mind and primitive forms of extension or space and duration or time; the UNIVERSE that is all being; the VOID or the absence of being; and LOGOS – necessary or constitutive but perhaps implicit order. Since ‘universe’ and ‘void’ fall under ‘being’ the four concepts could be reduced to two; however, it will be most effective to begin the development of the metaphysics with the four stated concepts. Although the meanings or uses of the terms in this essay have continuity with their general and classical meanings, it is necessary, in the formulation of a comprehensive framework whose intention includes anchoring in what is real, to anticipate transformations in meaning. Therefore, real appreciation and criticism of the system is possible only after the meanings have been established, i.e., meanings-in-transition clarified. As an example, being has a number of meanings and connotations and in one of these, being is distinguished from existing. However, in this essay, the core meaning of being will be that of existing. If other meanings and connotations have relevance or application, those should fall out as particular concepts of the theory

The four concepts constitute the core metaphysical framework. It might be thought that the core framework is so general as to yield no conclusion. However, the ensuing metaphysics includes and is an advance over the classical western and eastern metaphysics. An example the advance, developed below, is that the framework provides a rational understanding of being –and becoming– with basis in the void that requires no substance or regress to a more fundamental level. A related development is that if the conception of a state of being has and entails no contradiction, then that state is realized. It follows, then, that the actual universe is infinitely larger and more varied than the known universe including the universe as described in science. The substance-free ontology and the condition of realization have basis in logic and the given that there is being. This appears to contradict science and common sense in that it allows violation of the known laws and regularities. The development brings out the meaning of these conclusions and addresses their paradoxical nature in a way that embeds our world in this broadest of contexts. This is done in terms a fifth concept – that of the NORMAL: the ‘laws of nature’ are not normally violated in, e.g., this (our) cosmological system. That is, ‘the’ laws of nature are regularities of this cosmos but not of the entire universe. Further, the being-universe-void triad will be seen to have a Logos, e.g., the trivial conclusion that the Universe has and can have no external creator. Thus, in resorting to the most general of frameworks, the metaphysics yields powerful general conclusions of an ultimate nature. While this is positive it may seem to be a limitation in that it seems that more specific kinds of conclusion should not result from the general framework. However, the power of the metaphysics is not limited to the general and the ultimate. Specific contexts may have their own logos whose rational study falls under logic and science. The power of the metaphysical framework is brought out by application to a variety of relatively broad ‘contexts.’ In this essay it is shown that the theory has consequences in terms of providing foundation for broad contexts such as classical metaphysics, logic and the nature of possibility and necessity, cosmology, anthropology and human society, faith and religion, the nature of the individual and his or her relation to and continuity with the universe – all in this chapter and exploration and transformation of being in JOURNEY IN BEING; and specific contexts such as language, object, form, property, disorders of organisms, and foundations of quantum mechanics… I.e., metaphysics or the Theory of Being may be regarded as a foundation for all knowing, action and transformation

Philosophy and language: from the foundation

One important consequence is an illumination and evaluation of the problems of knowledge. The validity and therefore the nature of knowledge are important because claims to knowledge may be mistaken. The problems of knowledge have been implicit since the beginning of reflective thought; subsequently, in a turn that peaked with Kant, the problem of knowledge –and later, that of language– came to occupy the role of foundation in western philosophy. However, as elaborated in this essay, including what is revealed by the theory of knowledge itself, in the later considerations, knowledge as knowledge-of-things must take second place to being. However, METAPHYSICS may be seen as constituted of two aspects of knowledge: the intensional – nature, possibility and status of knowledge and the extensional – knowledge of the world which implicitly includes the intensional

The degree to which these applications have been worked out is not uniform. The purposes to the system of application include the following. (1) To develop and bring out the power of the metaphysics which, in turn, establishes confidence in its use both generally and in the Journey in Being. (2) To provide clarification, foundation – including revision as necessary, and further development of the classical disciplines such as metaphysics, logic, cosmology… (3) To establish and firmly anchor the metaphysics as the foundation of a ‘worldview’

The metaphysics is developed as a hierarchy with knowledge embedded in action or knowledge-in-action as fundamental and symbolically expressed knowledge as its peak. I.e., this essay develops metaphysics as a metaphysics-in-action as ground and the theory of being or symbolically expressed metaphysics as its peak

The metaphysics makes it possible to touch upon and approach a resolution to every essential problem of being with emphasis on human being. In other words, the metaphysics has practical and conceptual application – it has application in being, transformation and living and in understanding the world. This will be shown explicitly (1) By demonstrating the completeness of the metaphysics. The sense of the completeness of the metaphysics is that all essential problems may be illuminated and founded but not that every detail of fact may be generated without reference to information that is more specific than the metaphysics or theory and (2) In the provision of a general account of being that requires no further regress to a more fundamental level and by addressing, illuminating and providing foundation for a range of problems that is sufficiently representative of being. Since the account requires no further regress, it requires no foundation in another idea or theory, i.e., the theory provides its own foundation. It is also shown that although absolute completeness is possible at the abstract level of being-as-being, it is not possible with regard to the motives and possibilities of all individuals. There, however, a kind of completeness of being- or knowing-in-action is possible

These developments shed light on the nature of metaphysics and of ‘theory.’ It is often thought that, since a theory is a generalization of or abstraction from what is known, despite their usefulness, theories cannot be proven. In general, even though theories may be overturned, a good theory captures something of the essence of its subject. That a theory may be overturned means that it is not universal in some sense and not that it does not capture an essence of some phase of being. Thus, theories are, in terms of providing explanation, understanding and prediction, more useful than facts. The word ‘theory’ is sometimes used in a derogatory sense, e.g., in association with a qualification as in ‘… is only a theory.’ In some uses it is true that the meaning of ‘theory’ is close to that of ‘opinion.’ However, a good theory of some phase of being captures an essence of that phase. In that sense, a theory is more an essence than a hypothesis; in that sense a theory is a fact but not a mere fact. This is not inconsistent with the fact that theories may be overturned: the theory captures an essence of some phase of the universe but not necessarily of a larger phase and, so in the progression of knowledge into realms previously unknown, a more encompassing theory may become necessary

This much is true of the Theory of Being developed in this essay. However, as noted above and shown later, this Theory of Being has an absolute foundation which is possible on account of its sole premise: there is being which, on account of some presence such as the experience or illusion of writing or reading these words, is beyond doubt

In an earlier writing a section titled ‘Principles of Thought’ was placed here for usefulness in the development. However, it is now placed below at Principles of Thought due to the diminished theoretical importance of such principles and because the discussion benefits from the Theory of Being. The reasons for the placement are elaborated in the section. The principles may be used at any appropriate place in the development and this is not prevented by their placement below


Five core concepts

being, universe, void, logos, normal

Additional key concepts of the metaphysics

mind, becoming, order, chaos, mechanism, explanation, form, object, individual, truth, logic, cosmology, identity, human being, society, desirability, faith

Key terms for metaphysics and cosmology

absence, achievement, action, actual, actuality, actuality: see possibility and necessity, annihilation, annihilator, article of faith, becoming, being, being: all, cause, chaos, cognition, common sense, concept, constitutive, contingent, contradiction, contradiction: law of, cosmological system, cosmology, cosmology: physical, creation, creator, criticisms, death: finality: transcending, definition, desirability, domain: phase-epoch, duration, dynamic, dynamics, effect, empirical, enjoyment, error, ethics, exists, experience, explanation, extension, faith, faith: article of, fate, feasibility, feeling, finite, form, foundation, god, human being, identity, implication, importance, index, individual, induction, intrinsic worth, journey, karma, knowledge, law, life, living in the present, logic, logos, luminous: metaphorical, magic, magician, meaning, meaning: use, mechanics, mechanism, metaphysics, mind, miracle, motive, necessity, normal, nothing: something from, nothingness, object, order, pattern, phase-epoch, physical, physical law, physics: theoretical, possibility, possibility: see actuality and necessity, power, real, recurrence, recurrence: span of, regularity, relation, religion, science, selection, shaman, society, span, state, symbol, symbolic system, theory, tradition, transcending limits, transformation, truth, universal, universe, use, variation, void, void: the, word, world

Key terms for epistemology

a posteriori, a priori, acquaintance, apprehension, belief, category of being, category of intuition, causation, certainty, cognition, comprehension, concept, conception, correlation, deduction, description, determinism, direct, dispositional, emotion: not excluded, empiricism, epistemology, experience, experiment, explanation, fact, faith, function: mental, hypothesis, immersion, indeterminism, indirect, induction, intuition, justification, knowledge, language, law, logic, logical positivism, mathematics, meaning, memory, noumenon, object, occurrent, opinion, percept, perception, phenomenalism, phenomenon, presentationalism, rationalism, rationality, realism, reason, representation: iconic, representation: symbolic, representationalism, science, scientific positivism, skepticism, substance, symbol, theory, thought, truth, understanding, use, value

Key terms for mind

See the discussion on mind

Explanations of the terms

Complete the following; place in the Lexicon

Theory (of being) – the nature of the foundation

Action – foundation requires more than ‘knowing’ but, in the sense of significance, is no more than knowing-in-action

Power – the ability to have an effect, that which has effect… power as the measure of being, i.e., power is measured by direct or indirect effect on sentient


Theory of Being

Theory of Being

Theory of Being

Alternative title: The Metaphysics, General Metaphysics, or, simply, Metaphysics. Development of the Theory of Being with the Metaphysics, Logic, Cosmology and Theory of Knowledge: use the multiple outlines below

Heading levels: In this Heading 2 section, it is necessary to rationalize the heading levels

The Purposes of this Introduction are

To discuss the nature of being, i.e., to consider, ‘What is Being?’

To simultaneously discuss the nature of ‘definition’ and to some inadequacies in some traditional concepts of definition and in the idea of foundation through definition; and the related issue that definition in advance of discussion provides clarification. To discuss the relation of ‘being’ to ‘existence’ and the verb ‘to be;’ and the concept of existence. To note a number of meanings of the word ‘is’ and to show which meanings (or meaning) are fundamental to ‘being’ and ‘existing.’ To discuss the role of time in the meaning of being. To question whether there is a distinction between ‘being’ and ‘having being,’ i.e., to question the meaning of ‘property’ and whether the distinction between a property and a thing is fundamental – and whether there are properties or whether, instead, there are but constitutions of objects and relations among objects and a property is, at root, a kind of relation

To explain the choice of being as foundational for metaphysics and metaphysics as foundational for the journey

To discuss the relation of being to metaphysics and metaphysics to the Theory of Being

To identify included and excluded meanings of ‘metaphysics

To explain the two related senses of ‘metaphysics’ used in this essay – a specific sense in which metaphysics is ‘ontology’ or the theory of the most general features of being – the theory of being as being; and a broader sense in which metaphysics is the study or theory of being and its general application. In the broader sense, metaphysics could encompass all disciplines, action and exploration but is traditionally restricted to ontology, logic, philosophical cosmology and the general study of mind. To these general studies, I have added the theory of knowledge and called the result The Theory of Being

The use of the adjective ‘philosophical’ does not imply that philosophical cosmology is distinct from cosmology. Instead it implies something about the focus of investigation and the approach used. In philosophical cosmology, the focus is on the nature of the study, i.e., what it is, on foundations and principles and not on detailed development; however sufficient application to illustrate the nature, foundations and principles, and significance of the subject may be appropriately included. Philosophical cosmology does not exclude physical cosmology – the study of the local cosmological system as known to science. However, philosophical cosmology concerns itself with the details of physical cosmology and its scientific study to draw general conclusions and with implications for physical cosmology and science that arise. The approach in philosophical cosmology does not exclude science but the general nature of the study results in a focus on construction and analysis of symbolic description. The empirical basis of philosophical cosmology includes general features of scientific cosmology, the fact of being, the possibility of logic and the contingent nature of the local cosmos… With ‘philosophical’ used in a similar way, the constituents of the Theory of Being are ontology, philosophical logic, philosophical cosmology, philosophical psychology and the philosophy of knowledge

To consider what is expected of a Theory of Being

To explain why I include the philosophy or theory of knowledge in the inclusive sense of metaphysics. To explain why the inclusive sense of metaphysics is coherent. I.e., to explain why ontology, logic, cosmology, the study of mind, and the theory of knowledge stand together as a mutually supporting, coherent system

Finally, to motivate and explain the structure of the subsequent development of the theory of being and an alternative structure suited to the next chapter, Journey in Being

Note. In describing the structure, note (1) The ultimate consolidation into four topics: being, form, explanation, cosmos or –for the journey– identity, cosmos, explanation, being (2) The consolidated structure in which, as one example, logos, form and logic are a unit. (3) The actual structure in which logos, form and logic, are separated for practical reasons as are other sections. Mention that science is placed under logic because of certain affinities and contrasts whereas the theory of knowledge is placed under ‘object;’ and that, however, the separation of science and theory of knowledge is only incidental because the individual sections could be consolidated

On Being

Alternative titles: The Concept and Nature of Being or, simply, Being

Collect all ideas and sections on being. May repeat / absorb / send some material from ‘Introduction to the Journey in Being’

From supplement

There is no foundation of being outside being; therefore, for the journey, foundation is at most illumination

What is –the Meaning of– Being?

Comments on the Word ‘Being’

The Concept of Being

Placement. Becoming is discussed above in the ‘Introduction to the Journey in Being;’ determine the parts of the discussion to be placed there, parts here, and parts to be repeated…

This discussion is relevant to the section, ‘Focus on Being’ and overlapping parts may be placed there

How important to being is becoming? In the end, I think that being is found to be fundamental – not because becoming is not fundamental to being in a normal sense but because (1) fundamentally, in the Theory of Being, becoming, relationship are implicit in being – as are many other apparently fundamental concepts such as ‘form’ and ‘substance,’ and (2) Even in the normal or practical sense, the form of being can be understood either through becoming – evolution – or through adaptation i.e. symmetry of the elements. Note regarding importing material from the compound section that includes ‘necessity of becoming’ from FOUNDATION: the necessity is that in the void – which is present even when there is being – there must be becoming i.e. it follows from the meaning of void or non-being that being will occur; it is not being said that the concept of becoming is necessary for or prior to that of being

Focus on Being

Alternative title: Emphasis on Being

Content: Why focus / emphasis on Being?

Review title. Alternatives, ‘WHY BEING?’ ‘WHY FOCUS ON BEING?’

The focus on ‘being’ and ‘Journey’ has been motivated in the Introduction. Here, I further establish the significance of being for the understanding of the universe. The significance is inherent in the concepts as used here: being – that which exists or which has existence, and the universe – all that exists

In metaphysics, the understanding of the universe, some aspect of being has often been taken as fundamental. Examples are MATTER – that which is tangible or that which is the subject of modern physics; MIND – the aspect of being that makes it capable of sentience; PROCESS and numerous others. Taking any such aspect of being as fundamental is necessarily an ontological commitment precisely because it is an aspect of being. In practice there is often a further ontological commitment in that not the aspect of being that is taken as fundamental but, rather, the aspect-as-we-know-it. However, since being is that which exists there is no a priori ontological commitment. I.e. in taking being as fundamental there is no original ontological sin. As an example even the most committed materialist will agree that there is a conceptual distinction between being-as-fundamental and matter-as-fundamental. The materialist will argue that, in fact, matter is fundamental and although there may be a conceptual gap between being and matter there is no actual gap. The materialist may further argue philosophically that being must be defined as what is perceived and therefore whatever exists is capable of perception and that is matter. However, in so doing, the materialist continues his or her original ontological error and further compounds it with an epistemological error called empiricism. Empiricism is subject to a conceptual error that is similar to the ontological error and it implies an ontological commitment that is avoided in taking being as fundamental. The materialist could continue to argue, however, that being is too general a ‘category’ and repeat his or her argument that being, although different from matter in concept, conflates to or has the same extension as matter

As it turns out, however, the use of being is extremely powerful and the theory of being, within which the various aspects or categories find fundamental interpretation, enables a fundamental understanding of the possibilities of being, cosmology, and mind and its nature and prediction of a fundamental results that are both surprising and profound. As an example, the theory of being at once deflates the classical mind-body or mind-matter problem and, in so doing, founds the insight into the nature and relation of mind and matter that mind may be seen as an aspect of the relations and mutual effects within matter. This point is not emphasized in the ontology because of the risk of falling back into the use of the prejudiced categories. Further, the insight does not imply that there is no mind-body concern but only that that concern is not part of the fundamental ontology. Instead, there is a problem of showing and conceiving the aspects of human mind – and their mutual relations and relations with the human body and its environment; the problem may be thought of as scientific. Suppose, instead of mind-as-we-experience-it i.e. instead of human or animal mind, the focus turns to MIND. It is here that, in addition to other considerations such as evolutionary biology, that the fundamental ontology provides illumination. The insights that are developed in detail in what follows include a reinterpretation of the traditional functions of emotion, cognition, drive, memory and other elements into a necessary framework of understanding and a reinterpretation of MIND that permits its equation with BEING

This reinterpretation is not a form of pan-psychism which is the ontological position that there is a fundamental substance and that substance is mind-as-we-experience-it or as we conceive it in theory without reinterpretation of the fundamental concepts

‘Being’ is not prejudiced – is neutral with regard to ontological commitment: unlike, e.g. mind or matter, the ontological character of being falls out of the development – it is not posited at the outset. Being lies at the intersection of the known and the unknown – this is, in some ways, our eternal situation. Even what is known and what is unknown are not given. In talking of being as the concept is used here no position is taken with regard to substances, categories, levels – fundamental and universal or local and structured or formed. Neutrality with regard to substance is not only a lack of a priori commitment to any given substance as fundamental; it is also neutrality with respect to the possibility of substance ontology. I.e., in the fundamental ontology it is allowed but not required at the outset that there may be a substance or substances and the these may be chosen from the traditional categories

The theory of being that is developed is that posits no substances or traditional categories such as space, time and causation. Instead, the traditional categories and substances find interpretation in the theory. In this interpretation the traditional system is found to have limited rather than universal application over the span and depth of being

It may seem that the extreme neutrality and generality of the concept of being would make it unsuitable, not only as a foundation for – understanding of – the world or universe, but also as a concept about which anything may be said. However, such a position is a prejudice that is extremely limiting. Simultaneously, being is most fundamental –the common character of all entities or things– and, in talking of the being of specific entities, most formed. In the interaction of understanding – in the Journey of becoming, at the intersection of the known and the unknown – the formed and the formless, the stable and the ephemeral lies the potential for discovery and transformation

In addition to the fundamental character of being as conceived here, there is also an established tradition of a theory of being whose concepts and foci are similar to those of the this essay. Thus the present essay has continuities with and inspiration in the tradition

 ‘Why Being?’ has the following responses

Because it is most FUNDAMENTAL

But can we know about it – yes: analogy with [theory of] evolution… TWO OR MULTIPLE POINT THEORY AND KNOWABILITY

And, we discover about our SELVES and ESSENCES in the analysis of ‘TWO POINTS


There is a TRADITION to the use of ‘being’

HEIDEGGER’S MANEUVER and the study of the nature and possibility of BEING. [Note: the eliminate reference to Heidegger here but add comment in ‘Influences’]

Power: the Measure of Being

Planning. Incorporate the following comments

The observation, ‘Given the characteristics of any kind of being or world, the concept of being may be used to develop a powerful and necessary understanding of the origin and nature of that world.’ was made above. What is it that enables a particular being to identify other being and so connect the local and specific to the universal and abstract or general?

It is power, the ability to have an effect –it will be seen that ‘having effect’ is more accurate than ‘the ability to have an effect’– that enables this identification or ‘measure of being.’ Power connects individual being to all being

It might seem that power is a special –and therefore restrictive or prejudicial– concept that is deployed to a more general purpose. However, this is not the case for the use of power to identify or measure being is equivalent to saying that ‘the measure of being is being.’ I.e. power is immediate, not an abstract concept

The Elimination of Substance

This section is new to the outline. There is discussion of the point in this outline, the supplement and foundation. Is this the best location for the discussion?

CUT FROM INTRODUCTION.BEING. Incorporate into the foregoing discussion of being the following discussion that extends to Expectations for a Theory of Being

Distribution of discussions of Being. Discussion of being and topics under being is below, cut from the introduction, and in a number of sections in ‘Foundation:’ three main sections in ‘The Theory of Being,’ and a section in ‘Metaphysics.’ Here, I introduce the concept of ‘Being,’ the significant connotations (existence, power, being-in-itself) and how the valid connotations flow from existence, the significance of being despite apparent triviality. There, I provide more careful explanations (definitions, as far as is useful,) more careful justifications of claims, and further elaborations of what is here. Some repetition is good. There, under Metaphysics/Being, I outline the ‘analysis of being’ which is important

The Nature of Being

Plan. Note that there is repetition in what follows. It is necessary to eliminate the repetition and tighten the argument with respect to identifying and sequencing its phases, and getting the conceptual phases right

In this section I will address the questions, ‘What is Being?’ and ‘What is the meaning of Being?’

These two questions will be shown to be equivalent. Such an equivalence is not true for all concepts or ideas but is dependent on the nature of being. The identity of the questions is a logical identity for the first question invites a discussion of significance and examples (perhaps listed systematically) while the second invites elaborations of meaning

Being and its meaning and significance are discussed in greater detail and precision later in the essay, especially in the ‘Foundation’

Although the meaning of being is given very clearly, the generality and abstraction of the concept and the breadth of its extension (extension and intension and their use is discussed below: link) provides room for interpretation, variety, subsumption of everything in the universe outside of which there is nothing

On the Meaning of Being

Comment on meaning. There are a variety of meanings of ‘meaning.’ In this essay, two meanings are used and are roughly specified by the use in this section, ‘the meaning of a word,’ which is the default when no specification is made, and the alternate as in ‘the meaning (significance) of life.’

Although every meaning may change as a conceptual system (there are formal systems such as theories and explicit metaphysical systems and informal ones such as the system of concepts implicit in a natural language) grows to encompass a wider range, the meaning of ‘Being’ is, perhaps, too fundamental to change. This is true even as understanding and knowledge grow so that the class of entities that is recognized as having being grows. ‘What is Being?’ is answered, in principle but not in detail, by analyzing the meaning of ‘Being.’ What remains to be given or discovered is the elaboration of being – its analysis, significance and kinds or possibilities. Note that ‘meaning’ has more than one meaning of which two significant families are those centered around the uses ‘the meaning or sense and reference of a word or term’ and ‘the meaning or significance of life.’ Which of these two families is being used should be clear from the context

From the supplement

It is a direct consequence of the absolute level of generality or extension of the concept of being, that the questions ‘What is being?’ and ‘What is the meaning of being?’ are identical. I.e., the ostensive and conceptual definitions of ‘being’ are coextensive

In contrast, it is a problem in the understanding of more specific kinds of being that their ostensive and conceptual definitions are not a priori coextensive. Consider, for example, the idea of a tree or plant. For simple practical purposes, it is not necessary to define the concept of ‘plant.’ However, in order to decide marginal cases, a concept is necessary; the problem, then, is that for a given concept of ‘plant’ that clearly identifies the status of some marginal cases, there may be others whose status is unclear. This is precisely a part of the problem of clearly formulating a concept of such kinds of being as ‘tree,’ ‘plant,’ ‘life,’ and ‘matter’

The foregoing problem does not arise in the case of being or the concept of being which, therefore, have an a priori clarity. This clarity will be used in what follows to determine what things have being. It is usually considered obvious that such things as atoms, trees and teacups exist. However, it is not considered to be similarly clear whether numbers exist. One source of lack of clarity in this question is that the mark of existence is, sometimes implicitly or unconsciously, taken to be that of material existence. Once this confusion has been eliminated, it becomes clear that numbers do not exist-as-simple-material-objects but may and, as it will turn out, do have existence

In determining the existence of some ‘thing’ there is always the issue of whether the thing actually exists or whether the appearance of a thing is due to the projection of a mind upon a relatively formless background [or a selection from a multi-form background of a specific form]

The THEORY OF BEING developed here is instrumental in resolving the problems raised in the immediately foregoing paragraphs

There is a FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL or meaning of being – that which exists or has existence

It is possible to doubt whether anything exists. However, this doubt is really a question of the meaning of ‘existence.’ Without existence there is nothing, not even doubt

The world in which we live, in which the question of existence arises, is a world whose existence is given. Even if the reality of the question –the understanding– is an illusion, the illusion is in a world – ‘all is illusion’ is incoherent, i.e. illusion is not possible without a world. Investigation may provide insight into what is illusion and what is not. Even if, for example, this world is the dream of some cosmic dreamer, its existence as dream is given. While the ‘dream theory of our being’ is possible there must, ultimately, be something, perhaps some original dreamer whose being is given. Further, even if the ‘dream theory’ is conceptually possible, its complication must be exponential in comparison to the simple ‘theory that the world exists.’ For the latter theory requires no explanation but the dream theory requires an explanation of how it is that a dreamer may ‘compute’ the complexities of the world

That there is experience is in the meaning of existence of being – even if the experience is illusory or about no thing, even if there is no one that has the experience. There is no need for further analysis of the root meaning of existence. The analytically inclined may be used to the expectation of further meaning behind every meaning. This expectation is especially acute in the case of being on account of its fundamental nature. However, there is no necessity to the infinite regress of meaning. While analysis of deep concepts is expected, the deepest of concepts should be incapable of regress. (It will be seen later that a logical foundation of being and its meaning without further regress is possible. Link: void; also above in previewing the basic ideas.) Still, that there may be nothing further upon which existence or being may be founded may leave a feeling of discomfort. This is, again, a function of the attitude of ever seeking explanations which itself has no final necessity. We seek explanations of things beyond those things but, regarding being, there is no beyond, before or outside

Significance of the Concept of Being

Repetition. This point is also discussed in the Heading 4 section of the same name below

It may be asked, then, whether the concept of being is trivial – even profoundly trivial. If the analysis of being were to remain arrested at the stage of being-as-such it might be interesting (link: void) but without significance (any thought of significance would be the intuitive apprehension of the following.) The power of the concept of being is revealed in application to particular cases – and in application to the spectrum of cases. Examples and developments, anticipated earlier and developed in this essay have the following significance. The examples provide illustration of the concept of being and simultaneously show that stopping consideration at what is known, especially at what is normally considered to be known, is infinitely premature. Simultaneously, the concept of being together with the system of kinds of being provides interpretation of the nature of the kinds of being and prevents assumption that special kinds or modes of being, e.g. matter and mind, are representative of all being

This simultaneous concern with the general and the specific, with being and kind of being, illuminates all further understanding. All further understanding? It is not implied that every thing and every concept will receive illumination. However, the Theory of Being developed in FOUNDATION (link) is, in a sense that is made clear, an ultimate foundation for the understanding of all being. It brings together all categories of being and understanding so that, while there are always questions of detail, there is no further question or possibility of any further question of fundamentals. The theory and its developments clarifies a distinction between significant and contingent issues

The question of existence, i.e., whether there is being, then, is trivial. What, in addition to the foregoing general considerations, is the significance of being? The first issue that arises is ‘What exists?’ The foregoing discussion shows that the question of whether there is existence is trivial but does not shed light on what exists. ‘What exists?’ will be analyzed in terms of experience (something exists,) power (the relation of what exists to other things that exist,) and the theory of being that provides a framework for all being. Further issues include the following

What Exists: Intension; Appearance and Reality

Repetition. This point should be combined with the later discussion – there or here

Note. Use alternate words for intension and extension?

I see a tree; it seems obvious that it exists. However, I may doubt its existence. Firstly, I may be hallucinating; there may be a mirage; I may have an optical illusion; or, perhaps, a swarm of locusts or micro-robots, some green and some brown, have come together to give the appearance of a tree. These doubts are not the primary concern regarding existence, i.e., the primary concern is not whether there is some mistake in perception. Mistakes in perception are always possible: the capacity for (non-gratuitous) error in perception and the capacity to have new perceptions go together. However, in the following discussion regarding existence, I assume that mistakes are not being made. Mistakes may be corrected; the discussion is at a deeper level than that of a mere mistake

Note. The next two FONT.RED paragraphs are temporarily so set to indicate their use for the later sections, FORM and SYMBOL AND OBJECT

A question that I can ask regarding the existence of the tree is why I identify the tree as an object when what I have in my experience is not a tree but an impression of a tree. I am not sure, without further analysis of experience, whether the language of the previous sentence is correct but it is sufficient to raise a valid doubt concerning the existence of a tree that I think I observe. The doubt may appear to be neurotic. There is of course a practical sense in which it is neurotic but the analysis and resolution of the doubt has profound implications for understanding of knowledge and of being. The present question regarding existence may be formulated as a question regarding the relation between appearance and reality. Even if I analyze my experience of the tree, the grounds for my analysis are also based in experience. It therefore appears that I cannot escape experience. Is it possible to go beyond experience and be objective? Can I know the thing-in-itself or noumenon? It may appear that the ‘difficulty’ of knowing the thing-in-itself is not practical but conceptual: thing-in-itself and thing-as-known appear to be categorially distinct. These questions are addressed in FOUNDATION (link: Symbol and Object; link: Theory of Being for objective existence)

Consider next the question of whether a unicorn exists. I know (assume) that there are no actual unicorns. What does it mean to talk of something that does not exist? I.e., when I say the word ‘unicorn,’ to what am I referring? This question has been regarded as a paradox regarding the concept of existence. However, the resolution of the ‘paradox’ is straightforward. I have an idea, a picture or a concept of a unicorn. When I say that unicorns do not exist, I am saying that there is nothing in the universe that corresponds to my concept of a unicorn. Similarly, in saying that a tree exists, I am saying (at least) that there is something that corresponds to my idea, concept or picture of a tree

Do numbers exist? This question can also be written as one about appearance and reality. We have the idea of number, developed for human beings by human beings at an early stage in the history of mathematics. Is there any real or actual thing that corresponds to this idea? The question has philosophical or metaphysical interest. One answer to this question from the history of philosophy is that there is, in addition to the world of real or material things, an ideal world, perhaps a world of forms and that numbers exist in that ideal world. In this essay, I will give a different answer to this question in FORM (link). That discussion is motivated, firstly, by the concept of the UNIVERSE, in this essay, as ALL BEING, i.e., outside of which there is nothing; and secondly, by the concept of POWER (link?). Starting with the observation that experience is the initial mark of being, anything that affects experience, i.e. has power, also has being and this is used as the basis of the later argument to show that forms do not lie in a separate universe but are things in this universe. The word ‘things’ in the previous sentence is intended to be taken literally: it will be shown, in an ARCHETYPAL ARGUMENT (link: form), how the generic categories, e.g. mind, and the apparently abstract categories such as number, universal and form may all be seen to be possessed of the same degree of ‘concreteness’ as the particular entities

Immediately a doubt regarding the existence of numbers and forms in this universe comes from materialism which has been the dominant paradigm of thought a number of times in the history of ideas including the present time since the early twentieth century. Materialism is the idea that everything in the universe is made of matter. If all things are material in nature then, given a material object such as a rock, its existence requires no demonstration. On the other hand, given an idea such as a form or a number, its existence in material terms –the criterion of existence under materialism– requires demonstration

Materialism is a form of monism: the idea that only one kind of thing has being. The difficulty with showing the existence of non-material things on a material basis is one source of dualism, i.e., a metaphysics (ontology) in which two or more kinds of thing are admitted to exist. A system in which both matter and ideas are posited to exist is a form of dualism. It is also possible to have a pluralism, e.g., a metaphysics in which there are numerous categories of existence or being such as matter, mind or idea, form, number, relationship, process… An appeal of monism is its simplicity and apparently fundamental character: all being is founded on a unitary basis. An apparent weakness of monism is the embarrassment regarding non-material ‘things.’ A primary appeal of the dualistic systems is that it is not required to explain the being of different kinds of thing: they all exist in a separate but equal status. In a dualism the categories have a dual function in that they found being and its variety

It is possible to take a pragmatic view in which a number of categories is admitted but no assertion is made that they are fundamental in nature. In such a view it may be said, e.g., that ‘a rock exists as matter,’ ‘concepts, numbers, forms exist as ideas,’ ‘forces exist as relationships,’ ‘time exists as a measure of process’ and so on; and all of these exist in that they have power which is taken to be the common ground of being

What Exists: the Theory of Being (link) and the Void (link)

The foundation of the Theory of Being (linked) developed in this essay is in terms of the concept of the void (nothingness) or, equivalently, in terms of logic (this is parallel to a number of developments in the history of ideas where a fundamental concept is first introduced as an artifice, e.g., the entropy in the theory of energy)

In the Theory of Being, there are no fundamental substances. In the history of thought, it has been sought to found being in doubt; this foundation, such as it is, is relative to thought: there is thought or experience hence there is being. Here, one foundation of being is sought in the absence of being, i.e. in the void; this is found to be an absolute foundation for it is not required to posit or assume the existence of the void: the existence of the void may be demonstrated without assumption. Further, the properties of the void may be derived and have profound consequences that include the necessity of becoming and therefore of being; the universality of power – that any being can interact with any other being, i.e. that though, in local or practical frameworks, there may be ‘ghost universes,’ there is ultimately one universe in the sense that all things have mutual power (i.e., that there is one universe is more than a mere definition of the universe as all being;) that, since there is one universe, there is no ultimate measure of possibility other than actuality somewhere and when; that, since there is one universe, laws, patterns and forms cannot be imposed from without but must be immanent in ‘things’ and, therefore, the void is not merely an absence of things but also an absence of law, of form, of pattern, of ideas, of relationship and process, of God, soul and spirit, of space, of time, and of causation – even the quasi-causation of modern quantum theory; that what does not involve logical contradiction is possible; that what is possible is necessary somewhere and when; that local actualities have infinite recurrence (over space and time) and therefore that ‘Jesus Christ is rising from the dead in countless cosmologies; that there is being whose identity spans all individual identities and therefore gives meaning (significance) to recurrence and, therefore, to the idea of karma; that, while in this life, the doors to BEING may appear to lie in shadow regions of awareness, death is an explicit doorway to identity with all being and therefore to all good and all evil, to all pleasure and all pain, to all unities and all distinctions... The possibilities, listing, demonstration and significance are discussed in detail in (links). These consequences may assault common sense and reason, and may be thought to violate the laws of physics and, perhaps, the principles of biology. One reaction may be ‘I cannot imagine how something may come from nothing.’ However, since the becoming from nothingness has been demonstrated, imagination is not required for acceptance of the claim (imagination is possible provided the common intuition is open to re-education.) A more serious objection is the apparent negation of common sense reality, of the given nature of this world with its practical limits and necessities. However, the common sense or ‘normal’ reality is not negated; in the Theory of Being it is shown that our local cosmology must be a relatively stable cosmology (an explanation of the population of the universe by stable systems may be given and the theory shows that it is necessary for this normal explanation or mechanism to obtain with infinite though not universal recurrence) and that violation of its limits and necessities, including its laws, are normally extremely improbable on local scales even though they are not absolute

Being that spans all being may be identified with ‘God.’ Although it has not been my intention to identify ‘being that spans all being’ with ‘God,’ the identification is possible. However, care is required in the identification for ‘God’ has numerous connotations – abstract connotations such as ‘the most perfect being’ and anthropomorphic connotations such as justness and mercifulness. Such connotations, especially when they are thought to exclude their contraries, are not implicit in the idea of ‘being that spans all being.’ Confusion is encouraged by the use of the same sign, e.g. ‘God,’ to denote different meanings or symbols. ‘Being that spans all being’ is an open symbol in the sense that there is allowance for indefiniteness in acquaintance with the object. The idea that ‘Jesus Christ rose from the dead’ is absurd is also a confusion in the equation of likelihood or practical necessity with logical necessity

Thus the theory of being is not monistic, dualistic or fundamentally pragmatic: its ontology is not a substance ontology; however, it does provide a foundation for being (in the void) that is logical in nature and does not require the axiomatic introduction of any category. Substance ontology posits categories whose logical basis is taken as axiomatic, i.e., an unexplained terminus or end to explanation. In the Theory of Being, the void is demonstrated to provide an end to explanation; further, the void has an implicit character that may also demonstrated on logical grounds. Therefore, in the Theory of Being, there is no foundation or need for foundation in an unfounded category, no explanation in terms of an unexplained terminus, no infinite regress of explanation. Given the concept of some category of being then, provided that there is no contradiction implicit in the concept, the Theory of Being provides a foundation for the being of that category. Further, the theory provides a foundation for the concept of power: every being may interact with every other being (absence of observed or known interaction is explained by saying the probability of interaction is extremely small)

What is the status of matter, mind and so on in the Theory of Being? The various modes or categories may be called pragmatic because, even though they are not ultimate in character, they provide ways to describe the variety within the world; the categories have common pragmatic, scientific and metaphysical uses. However, the categories are not fundamental. So, instead of talking of mind and of matter, it would be more accurate and make clear the possibility of further development if we were to talk of mind-as-humans-and-animals-have-it or matter-as-we-experience-and-have-theories-of-it. It may then be possible, on the basis of the Theory of Being, to extend the concepts of mind and matter to some primal level where, perhaps, they have some root identity. This development will be taken up in FOUNDATION (link) where the extension of mind-as-we-have-it will be shown to be necessary and based, among other things in POWER that, in turn, has foundation in the void. When the concept of matter is similarly extended, mind and matter will be found to be different aspects of being

It has been seen that, even on a pragmatic view, power provides a common ground for being, i.e., the concept of power may be used to show how all the categories have an equal status with regard to being. I may have chosen knowability since it is a kind of power and, to a sentient being, it is more immediate. However, at the earlier level of discussion, power was more basic or fundamental. Just as being is fundamental with regard to existence, power is fundamental with regard to relationship or interaction. However, when the concept of mind is extended to the primal level, there is no distinction between power and knowability

Science and the Theory of Being

Why do I turn to the Theory of Being and not to science? In the first place, it is clear that being is more fundamental than the concepts of science: there is no category more fundamental than being. Additionally, it will be shown that the world described in science (as usually understood) is an infinitesimal part, with regard to kind and range, of the universe of all being

Science and the Characterization of Science

Comment. The following is one of a number of discussions of science in this essay. As a human institution, science is multi-dimensional in its nature and varied in its subject matter. Therefore, it is not possible to characterize science in any brief discussion. Together, the various discussions provide a better though still incomplete characterization of science

Since the rise of science, its fundamental theoretical concepts have often been regarded, especially implicitly, to be fundamental substances. Use of fundamental concepts from science as categories or substances is especially problematic in the assumption that the precise concepts of science have universal application. The precision and definiteness of the concepts of science is a primary source of the problem: they are achieved by a limitation of perspective which is the source of their local power and universal weakness. Science has been thought to characterize the entire universe; however, the theories of science, as is seen in this essay, characterize at most, this (and similar) cosmological systems. It is further seen that the universe has no laws; i.e., in describing the universe there is but one law: that any description that has no actual or hidden contradiction must obtain. There is no question that the beautiful and elegant laws of physics are contingent to an extremely limited cosmological system; that those laws are not without wonder in their application and that, beyond their domain of application, laws are rich sources of analogy

What Exists: Discussion of Intension and Extension

In discussing ‘what exists,’ some clarification of the meaning (intension) of existence or being has been made. A second issue concerns identifying or cataloging things that exist, i.e., determining the extension of the concept of existence or being. Together, the intension, discussed above, and extension, discussed next, provide an answer to the question ‘What exists?’ or ‘What has being?’ If the discussions of intension and extension were complete, the question would be answered completely

What Exists: Extension

In this essay, I have discussed a wide range of being. The Theory of Being (link?) makes it possible to assert the being of things that are not known directly to human beings (they must, of course, be knowable to us and known to some beings.) Direct and conceptual (theoretical) knowledge, together, make it possible to determine, in principle, the entire range of being even if it is not practically possible (or desirable) to do so. Although it is my intention to discuss a wide range of being as illustration of the Theory of Being and for the intrinsic interest (what is the nature of the universe, what things that human beings have thought to exist actually do exist) it is not my intention to attempt an ‘enumeration’ of being

In discussing the meaning of ‘existence,’ a number of things or kinds of thing that exist have been identified, some only by implication: experience (and implicitly the individual,) trees and other living things, material things, ideas, forms, and numbers. Except for experience, the identification is tentative and pending later discussion as noted for objects, ideas, forms and number. The existence of the individual is clarified in the discussion of identity (link). I will subsequently take up the being or existence of mind, soul, spirit, God, energy, and other entities or categories from myth, religion, and science and will find a listing of any ‘chain of being’ to be severely limited unless it is founded on the Theory of Being of this essay or its logical equivalent. I will further show, on grounds of logic, that the Theory of Being is an ultimate theory in senses to be identified and it therefore appears that all being may be anticipated, in principle, from the Theory of Being

Before leaving this discussion of the extension of the concept of being or existence, I will mention the idea of nothingness or the void whose nature and existence has been discussed in detail (link.) The void contains no things, no forms, no patterns, no laws. That it does not contain any existing thing does not mean that it does not exist. One might say that the void contains all logically contradictory states of affairs and other non-existing ‘things’ but that would still be equivalent to saying that it contains no things etc. It might seem to have no consequence whether nothingness exists. However, it will be seen in developing the Theory of Being, that nothingness is equivalent to the entire universe, i.e., to all being. Therefore, nothingness has power

What is the Nature of Existing Things?

A second concern is ‘What is the nature of the things that exist?’ These two broad concerns are related. The nature of an entity in its being-concept can be nothing other than its ‘elements.’ The idea of element is conceived in a general way as ‘kind of being’ and is not limited to ‘part’ but may also include relation, process and other kinds that may arise in the understanding of being. The point of view that this can be done precisely, definitively and, perhaps, uniquely has naturally been called LOGICAL ATOMISM. The history of LOGICAL ATOMISM is one of limited success and one of the limits is that at any point in human thought, the given system of concepts cannot be reasonably expected to be complete with respect to the apparently endless possibilities of fact. A conclusion arrived at in this essay is that there is or appears to be no given atomic structure to being-thought but that there is a terminus to ALL BEING-concept in the void. A second conclusion is as follows. Implicit in the discussion of the present paragraph, and earlier in the INTRODUCTION, is the issue of the nature and relation of object and subject. It will be shown that object and subject are not different modes of being but are equi-present in ALL BEING; that object and subject may be regarded as distinct modes of description but subscription to an absolute rather than pragmatic distinction is in error; that object and subject are fused at all levels of being from the elemental and the void to the ultimate

Further Significance of the Concept of Being

Repetition. This point should be combined with the later discussion – there or here

The interest in being, in the nature of existence, is not in the question of whether there is existence… The interest includes [1] to place ALL BEING on a common ground – this will provide an answer to the question of the nature of being and, simultaneously, reveal the nature of the question; specifically, in placing ALL BEING on a common ground, it will be possible to elucidate the existential character, i.e. the nature of the being, of the objects to which the variety of the categories of the concepts correspond, [2] to center ourselves in being… to understand the nature of our being, and [3] as foundation for all further understanding

In FURTHER UNDERSTANDING being, we may look, initially, to examples of being – to life, to human being

There is a sense in which human being is most fundamental to us and it is not a parochial or anthropomorphic sense but, rather, the sense in which, no matter to what degree ‘we’ transcend our perspectives, to what degree we import other perspectives e.g. by understanding other cultures, other species and categories, and even in symbolic freedom, ‘we’ still remain within the human perspective. This is of course conditionally true upon the human form being immutable and upon ‘us’ remaining within unchanged form. The limitation on human –any– being is normal; therefore HUMAN BEING IS MOST FUNDAMENTAL, though true, ultimately says nothing more than BEING IS BEING

The sense in which human being is most fundamental is a personal sense, it is a beginning, for human being, in a process of outward discovery of all being. As living in this world, a phase of all being, human being is neither at the beginning nor the end of this discovery. Although it may be natural to take human being as most fundamental (for human beings) at the outset of discovery, to continue in this attitude has no foundation for human being, as for all proximate being, is in transition: human being is neither elemental nor final

In looking at the variety of being and, then back at the basic level of being, we can see what ELEMENTS OF BEING are FUNDAMENTAL – have SIGNATURES IN THE FUNDAMENTAL levels and what elements are contingent

It is not being said that THE CONTINGENT is irrelevant; it is the source of much meaning – what is CLOSEST TO THE HEART

In this way it is possible to flesh out a metaphysics

Comments on the Uses of the Word, ‘Being’

A case of one word, two symbols which is distinct from the issue of ‘On Meaning,’ above. The use here is the existential use, ‘Water is H20’ or, simply, ‘Water is’ and not the use as a copula or linking word, ‘Water is wet.’ ‘Water is H20’ may, with qualification, be written, ‘Water = H2O’ but ‘Water is wet’ may not be correctly written ‘Water = wet,’ or, even, ‘Water = wetness’

Combine and condense: the following comments from v2004 with the above; delete ‘comments’ bookmark when done

The word ‘be’ and its forms have various senses and uses in English of which two families are primary. In one family, the forms are used to indicate predication. An example of the use in predication is ‘The fence is white.’ In the second family, the forms of ‘be’ are used to indicate existence or identity. This is the sense of ‘being’ used here. “I think, therefore I am” is, perhaps, the most famous example of the second family of use

The potential for confusion is avoided in some languages where ‘The fence is white’ may be written, ‘The fence has whiteness

The senses are related but not identical. In saying ‘I am’ or ‘The fence exists,’ there may appear to be a predication. However, the significance goes beyond mere predication. In saying ‘The fence is white,’ there is usually no explicit intention to assert the existence of the fence in question or of whiteness: existence is assumed. In saying, ‘The fence exists,’ existence is asserted. Insofar as there is an external object ‘fence,’ the predication of its existence is empty in that existence is predicative of all actual external objects. Therefore, existence will be more informative when predicated of a concept e.g. the concept of ‘fence.’ The further development of the concept of existence will depend crucially upon the nature of the ‘concept,’ of the ‘object,’ and of the ‘external object.’ The question arises, ‘Is the external object ever apprehended?’ If not, what is the nature of the –ideal– object and its existence? Discussion of these issues is taken up in what follows

Further, regarding predication in the famous quotation of the first paragraph of this comment on being, the question arises, ‘What is being predicated of what?’ That is, to what does ‘I’ refer, what is the nature of its being, and, furthermore, regarding the connection between the ‘I’ and the ‘thinking’ or experience, what is the nature of the connection and how is it sustained?

‘Being’ is used in reference to existence, the nature and quality of existence and to specific beings, individuals and entities. Both uses occur in this essay and where confusion might arise in the use of ‘being’ as an entity, I have used ‘entity’ or ‘individual’


The Idea of Being

Plan. Combine ‘The Idea of Being (1)’ with ‘… (2).’ Rename the combined section and combine it with earlier sections as necessary. Place the material that describes the origin and consequences of the idea in other sections, e.g., ‘Achievements’

Why / What they are / Which is significant?

Abbreviate and place: abbreviate the discussion and place material as appropriate

A being is an entity that exists and the quality of being is the quality of existence, i.e., something has being if it exists. To have being is to be – to exist; the basic meaning of being is no more and no less than this. Being is understood (used) in a general sense that includes becoming or process (important in the history of ideas) or coming into existence: the concept of being forms the framework for the Journey. The concept of being may appear to be trivial: since all things have being, to say that something has being is to state what is obvious. Although the concept of being may appear to be trivial, it is, perhaps, the most fundamental of concepts and is pivotal in understanding the nature of all things and their possibilities

From the supplement

In the beginning, the idea of being may appear to be so general as to be empty. However in developing an understanding of the entire SPAN AND VARIETY OF BEING, the generality is necessary

Although a materialist may argue that matter is coextensive with being, such positions cannot be conceptually necessary and would be, at most, factually contingent. I.e., materialism is an empirical position. Therefore, in more specific approaches such as materialism, understanding is necessarily prejudiced at the outset

It may be seen that the idea of being without restriction and in isolation is empty. However against being without restriction as background, the requirement that being be determinate or have FORM results in an extremely powerful and general yet concrete understanding of the SPAN OF BEING. Given the characteristics of any kind of being or world, the concept of being may be used to develop a powerful and necessary understanding of the origin and nature of that world. In particular, the THEORY OF BEING necessarily provides the most powerful foundation available for the understanding of human and animal being and of this world

The Significance of (the Concept of) Being

The apparently trivial character of the concept is a result of the fact that it is so basic: all things have being. However, it is this very basic character that is responsible for the significance of the concept: use of the concept being is a means to avoid the assumption that some special aspect of being –mind, matter, process, relationship and so on– captures the essence of all things. A focus on being helps to avoid (tacit) assumptions about the nature of all things; and, if there is a nature or essence to all things, the focus is instrumental in preventing a premature commitment to that nature. Thus the study of what is real through an understanding of being is not, for example, a commitment to or against materialism. An understanding of ‘matter’ and whether it exists and is all that exists should be a conclusion rather than a premise of the study. Since the nature of matter, mind and other substances is an outcome of study, the investigation will not be burdened with the need to reconcile concepts such as mind and matter that are introduced into thought without clarification of their nature. This is not equivalent to saying that there is no mind-matter problem. Rather, the existence of the problem and, should it exist, its proper statement and resolution will be the result of investigation

Further, it does not follow that to every idea there corresponds something that exists or has being. A consequence, developed in the essay, is that the use of the concept of being enables depths of understanding that might otherwise be unrealized. How is this possible? The concept of being makes what may be labeled ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ contributions

A positive contribution of the use of ‘being’ is that all actual things are admitted into consideration. That is, the idea of ‘all being’ is inherent in the idea of ‘being.’ Additionally, reflection on the concept of being in combination with other concepts or disciplines may result in significant conclusions – and clarifications of the concepts. These other concepts or disciplines, though more specific than being itself, range from ones that are specialized to ones that are quite general, e.g., mind and its nature. The negative contribution, i.e. one that helps prevent error, includes that limited concepts such as matter, mind, process, and relation as definitive of being are neither admitted nor denied at the outset. Therefore any inherent inadequacies in these limited concepts are not tacitly admitted. As a result, supposed problems such as the well known mind-matter problem will be found to be a problem only they are truly problems. (Later in the essay, there is a resolution of this problem.) Another result is that the meaning and significance of the more specialized concepts –their nature and whether they can be a basis from which to understand the entire Universe– falls out of the analysis. A related outcome is that limited conceptions of the Universe itself are not admitted in advance of the analysis

Another contribution follows from an analysis of the idea of being itself. I said, two paragraphs earlier, that ‘all things have being.’ It is valid to ask whether only ‘things’ have being. This amounts to asking whether the concept of being can be extended or, equivalently, what counts as a thing. If this direction of thought is useful at all, what might make it most useful? What idea is least associated with ‘thing-hood?’ This question leads to the possibly perverse thought that nothing or nothingness, which I will also call ‘the void,’ might have being. I have been fascinated by this thought. My thought went through a period when I labored to show that the Universe was equivalent (in some sense) to nothingness even though I was aware that the idea might be perverse. My motive was, in part, a search for simplicity and unification; these motives are common themes in the history of ideas and lie behind, e.g., the idea of substance. My initial, unfruitful, approach was to focus on properties of ‘the universe.’ I used quotes in the last sentence because my concept of the Universe was limited, at the time, to this (our) cosmological system, i.e., to what is often regarded as the known physical universe.. After putting a fair amount of time and energy into the initial approach, I had a simple idea – instead of the Universe, focus on nothingness itself. This thought resulted in a breakthrough and, looking back, I sometimes wonder why the idea had not occurred before. What are the properties of nothingness? A simple, obvious and apparently defining property is that it contains no things. It seems to be a sort of opposite to the Universe which contains all things. Since nothingness contains no things, adding it to something –e.g., itself, an atom, the Universe– makes no change or difference to that thing. I.e., it makes no difference to the Universe whether nothingness is considered to have being (it will be seen shortly that there are significant properties of nothingness that are present regardless of whether it is considered to have being.) I enquired further into the nature of nothingness. Physicists have studied the quantum vacuum – what is left over when all objects are removed from ‘the universe.’ The quotes in the previous indicates, again, a limited concept of the Universe, that of the universe defined by the (known) concepts and laws of physics. The quantum vacuum is not nothingness because it has ‘zero point energy’ among other things. These are required by the nature of the ‘quantum universe.’ However, in nothingness there should not even be the zero point energy; this is required by the concept of nothingness. This appears to contradict physical law; however, the contradiction is only apparent because nothingness should not contain any laws, especially physical laws. At this point in the reflection, I considered the possibility that ‘there is a state of being that does not come from nothingness.’ Naturally, if the idea of that state of being involved a contradiction, i.e., if it were logically impossible its realization would also be impossible and therefore it was necessary to eliminate such states from consideration. I therefore focused on states whose idea or concept involved no contradiction, i.e., on logically possible states. ‘There is a logically possible state that does not come from nothingness’ is equivalent to saying, ‘nothingness contains laws.’  That logically impossible states do not come from nothingness may be interpreted as ‘the universal laws of logic, if any, hold in nothingness’ however it is clear that such ‘laws’ would not be real laws – a real law is one that restricts possibility. At this point it has been concluded that there is no state that does not come from nothingness, i.e., nothingness is equivalent to all actual and possible states (thus actuality and possibility are identical) and, specifically, to the Universe of all being

On the Articles of Faith II

The conclusions of the reasoning in the previous paragraph include the following. Nothingness may be regarded as having being and is equivalent to the Universe (of all being.) Thus, it may be said that nothingness is a ‘thing.’ There are many concepts in the history of ideas, both academic and ‘common,’ regarding whose existence (i.e. whether they define something that exists) there is a long tradition of doubt, discussion and debate. These ideas include form, universals, God, articles of faith such as ‘Jesus Christ is risen from the dead,’ karma, the recurrence of being. It is remarkable that the Theory of Being that is developed in the essay resolves these questions of existence directly and conclusively – and usually positively by demonstrating existence. That Universe contains but its extent is not limited by the extent of this cosmological system or the universe defined by the laws of physics or any laws whatsoever. It is clear then, that The Universe is infinitely greater than the ‘known universe’ in extent, duration and possibility. The Universe is infinite; it contains time and space and some of the instances of time and space are necessarily infinite in extent, dimension, and complexity but it is not clear that it exists in time and space (this point and the nature of space and time or space-time receive clarification later in the essay.) In the one Universe that contains all things something that is (logically) possible must ‘be’ actual and something that is actual is (obviously) possible; therefore possibility and actuality (and necessity too provided that it is appropriately interpreted) are identical (the concepts differ when considering limited universes to be the Universe.) In the previous sentence the quotes indicate that although to be usually implies being in time that there is no particular time associated with the use there. Although nothingness has no thing (or law) it ‘results in’ or is equivalent to all things. Thus, the concept of nothingness is ‘rich’ even though nothingness itself is marked by ‘poverty.’ I said earlier that joint analysis of being and other concepts may lead to significant conclusions; the analysis of all being (the Universe) and nothingness is an example of the power of the approach

The conclusions that we have arrived at have logical necessity but (may) appear to contradict common sense and science. However, the resolution of the conflict is already contained in the argument and is elaborated in detail later in the essay

Detailed and more complete reasons for the use of ‘being’ and further clarification of its use or meaning in this essay and the consequences that follow from the use are given later. Because of its traditional uses, being may appear to be a specialized and esoteric concept. However, it is not specialized – it is, perhaps, the most general of concepts (all things are suffused with being, the theory of being is at the foundation of all disciplines of knowledge) and it is the generality that may make it appear to be remote. Specialized conclusions –conclusions that apply to a restricted phase or class of being– follow from combining the general (theory of being) with specific concerns, e.g., an activity or an academic discipline. As a result of the power of the concept of being, such specialized conclusions may be deeper and more reliable than results that stem from the limited concern alone… Being is sometimes used with religious connotations, e.g., as a substitute for ‘God’ or ‘soul.’ Here, being is not used in such senses. The primary importance of the use of being is that it encourages reflection on and analysis of what it is –and what it means– to exist and, so, to deep conclusions about the nature of the Universe as a whole. Naturally, analysis of being may have implications for the possible nature of God and soul but a primary interest here is that there are implications for the nature of mind, of matter and of the Universe

The ubiquity of being and the generality of the concept require an effort to grasp the idea and its magnitude but, if what I have been saying is true, there is a great reward to the effort. I might have used an alternate word to ‘being.’ I chose to use ‘being’ rather than some other word, not only because I like its sound, but also because there are deep, though sometimes misleading and confusing, traditions to its use in the history of ideas. Choice of ‘being’ has encouraged use of and connection with those traditions

I have learnt much from the traditions –modern and ancient, western and eastern, secular and religious– in the study and realization of being. ‘Being’ is the most basic and general of concepts and, although it has religious and other special connotations, e.g., as in existential thought, my interest is in the very basic character of being

The reader will now recognize that the study of being as undertaken here does not presume or deny the special connotations. Instead, however, the study may have implications for (and learn from) them

From the supplement


The Significance of the Journey

Earlier, in ‘The Form of the Essay,’ I introduced the significance of ‘Journey’ in ‘Journey in Being.’ In this section, I will further consider that concern

The significance of ‘journey’ is multifold. A journey has an intrinsic significance in the enjoyment of process and unanticipated encounter; this is especially true for human being for whom so much action is directed to external ends, to final moments of enjoyment. Ends, too, have intrinsic significance. Processes and goals interact; one gives significance to the other. The goal of understanding and realizing all possibilities of being is achieved, not in a moment, but in a journey. Although the Journey began as an individual one (my journey) it acquired a universal character – the journey of all being, in which individuals and the whole are mutually interacting and creating or generating: ‘Journey in Being’ is a narrative of the individual and the universal journey and their relations. The process has two interacting, interwoven aspects of which each has the character of a journey: understanding and realization or transformation. Understanding and transformation draw from and build upon the traditions of ideas and practices – of knowledge and discipline. Immersion, open and critical, in the traditions is significant, perhaps essential, to the understanding of being and to transformation. Transformation, especially, even realization of the ultimate, has the character of a journey within which individuals remain immersed. Transformation includes exploration and travels. However, an essential part of exploration is not only experience of change but, also, change itself – transformations or mutations of the world and of the individual in form and identity. The explorations may be seen as ‘experiments in the transformation of being’

Presentation of the narrative as a journey is important to understanding the essay and to its usefulness to others who would undertake or continue a journey…

The description of interactions between process and outcome may be interpreted in terms of (constructive) achievement. There may be one or more main or overriding objectives or goals. Each goal will have sub-goals or tasks; this division of goals and labor may continue to an elementary level. (Additionally, there are supporting and co-occurring activities of which some are automatic and others require attention.) Goals may be definite or open ended. The goals are, naturally, interactive but, at times a constituent task will be the temporary overriding concern. Later, such temporary importance may change in character, merge with other concerns, or fade into insignificance. The establishment of even the main objectives is never completely final; and when a main goal is thought to have been achieved, a further horizon may appear. Thus, even from the perspective of achievement, the process or journey is ever present and significant

I said that the essay is about all possibilities. A number problems with use of the word, ‘all’ should be mentioned. One is that in attempting to list all things there is a potential for paradox. Another concern is that, even if paradox is avoided, how is it possible to know that every thing has been included or listed in a descriptive (conceptual) scheme? The nature of the paradoxes, the meaning of ‘all,’ and (attempted) resolutions of the problems are taken up, later, in the essay

It might seem that my interest in all possibilities excludes an interest in the immediate present. To assume so would be in error and extent of the error would exceed the logical point that all possibilities include immediate actualities. My interest began in the immediate world – the world of people, of blue skies and of the day-to-day. In order to maintain an interest in the immediate, I do not have to try – it is sufficient that I am alive. Even in the theoretical developments of the essay, there is concern with immediate and ultimate affairs and in their interaction. The interest in  the ultimate illuminates the immediate – in terms of understanding and significance.

The use of ‘all’ means that the focus is the universe outside which there is no thing. This includes a focus on the immediate present, on this world and on the lives of individuals – and on the relation between the immediate and the remote that gives significance to both

(‘Outside’ is not to be taken in a merely spatial or temporal sense. Note that the phrase, ‘outside which there is nothing’ has two interpretations. One is the concrete meaning that all things are in the universe. Another interpretation is that it is immaterial whether nothingness is regarded to exist, whether it is regarded to be inside or outside the universe – or even whether there is an infinity of nothingnesses, e.g., one attached to every element of being)

A final concern with the ambition to understand and realize all possibilities is that some may not be good and others may require an enormous commitment of resources. In realizing an ambition, it is important to consider what is desirable or good and what is feasible, i.e., requires no more than reasonable commitment. Desirability and feasibility are not independent of one another. An objective that seems to be good might lose some desirability if it is infeasible; and a goal that does not seem particularly feasible might merit some commitment if it is very desirable. New discoveries show some possibilities that had been thought infeasible to be feasible and some thought feasible to be infeasible. New information show some goals that had been thought desirable to be undesirable. An example of the latter is ‘technology or progress without constraints.’ The Theory of Being developed later in this essay shows that much that may have been thought to be impossible is not so but only infeasible. Such possibilities, if desirable or possibly desirable, merit at least some effort especially if the desirability is high. An example of such a possibility is the transformation of identity. The concepts of feasibility and desirability are discussed in greater detail in the essay

Significance of the Personal Story

Placement. Perhaps in chapter, ‘Journey in Being’

Extended perception versus judgment. Openness to new vision, ideas, directions, objectives

Persistence and satisfaction

Doubt and assertion

Intuition and reason

Analysis, realism, holism – and how analytic philosophy and continental philosophy create environments that seem to be the world. This is done in much more limited settings

Experience – breadth (multiple) and depth

Problems of radical criticism

Problems of exclusionary thinking

Significance of ‘Being’

Comment. To a significant degree this has been discussed earlier

Alternate titles: ‘Focus on Being,’ ‘Importance of the Concept of Being,’ ‘Significance of Being…’

In this section, I explain the power of the focus on being

1. Being is the most general of ‘things.’ Therefore, its understanding may (its successful understanding, as in this shown later, will) be the source and precondition of all understanding (in a sense described briefly above and later in FOUNDATION: link)

2. Being is unknown and undetermined in its possibilities and, therefore, as will be seen, powerful in its power for understanding and, consequently for transformation. E.g. analysis of being and non-being –the void– shows why there is being, what are its possibilities, what are the possibilities and limits of individuals, resolves many age-old issues in the nature of being –metaphysics– and has significance for many of the most fundamental issues of being – human issues

Use of ‘being’ rather than ‘person,’ ‘individual,’ ‘cosmos,’ ‘matter,’ ‘mind,’ and so on is especially important for the foundation in the following way. In asking, ‘What am I?’ ‘What is the universe and what it is its nature?’ ‘What are the possibilities and potentials of the individual and of all being?’ ‘How may such possibilities and potentials be evaluated and realized?’ I have some ideas for an answer but which I may characterize as ‘matter,’ ‘mind’ and so on but I do not have full knowledge. To describe all being as matter or mind is to prejudice the discussion at the outset: mind, matter and so on are already associated with pre-defined metaphysics both formal and implicit and powerfully encourage an urge to substance ontology, e.g., materialism and idealism. This would be an unnecessary entrapment in ignorance. It guarantees a perpetual standstill of the academic machine…

Use of ‘being’ is analogous to the introduction, in algebra, for a symbol for an unknown quantity. The power of algebra over pre-algebraic mathematics is as follows. By the introduction of symbols for unknown quantities, it becomes possible to talk directly of what is unknown and relate it to what is known. The paradigm is that of an unknown, x, the known, y, each of which may designate one or more quantities, and a function (relation) f, that given x, specifies y. In the abstract language of modern mathematics, the function f is a mapping from a collection of elements X to a collection Y such that, to every element x in X, there corresponds a unique element y in Y. Algebra develops by discovery of techniques to invert the function, i.e., given y, to find x for broader and broader classes of x, y, and f so that determination of the unknown becomes trivial, i.e., reduced to an algorithm. With appropriate interpretation, i.e. to find all objects that satisfy certain conditions, algebra may be seen to include all of mathematics. There is an analogy between algebra and the introduction of being into reflective thought. Algebra introduces enormous power into mathematics. Similarly, the idea of being is enormously enabling in thought and transformation in general. Its use is psychologically and analytically enabling because it permits individuals thought and travel in unfamiliar territory. Since the character of being is not given in advance, this is possible without the confusion that may arise from its equation with an already defined metaphysical type such as mind or matter. Introduction of such limited types brings discovery to an end before it has begun. In contrast, introduction of a symbol for what is not known, i.e., of naming the unknown, whether in algebra or in general thought and life, is not an end. It is the beginning of a journey

3. An example is that of substance ontology: introduction of ‘substance’ is an attempt to see what is most fundamental – a substance is thought to be unchanging, that out of which all changing things and appearances come; the positions of relationship and process are similar – they are alternatives to substances that avoid some of its problems; however, the theory of being to be developed shows that neither substance nor process nor relationship are fundamental. Instead, nothingness is fundamental and, as will be seen, in nothingness is the foundation of being and, in their domains, of substance etc. and of causation…

4. It will seem that a number of fundamental conclusions are arrived at by logic alone; however, the implicit assumption is that ‘there is being’

5. Detailed conclusions will result when the concept of being is applied to particular situations. Examples are the conclusions regarding logic, science, myth and religion including questions of soul-spirit-God, morals or ethics, the nature and significance of individual presence

6. Being as an instrument in all understanding: as the union of all being it is most fundamental and most basic; as intersections of classes of being it is the most ‘refined’ in its potential as an instrument… I.e. the flat character of the concept of being ‘overcomes itself’

7. The question, ‘What exists?’ immediately leads into discussion of elements of being. I.e. compound entities exist when constituted of simpler entities that exist. The meaning  of element, discussed later, is specified to include but not be restricted to that of ‘part’ and is related to but not identical to ‘atom.’ Introduction of elements is not a commitment to simple reduction or to atomism. Provided that ‘element’ and ‘constitution’ are sufficiently liberal, the idea of elements provide an approach to the essence of an entity or being and is meaning (in the sense of significance)

8. The concept of being, unlike the concepts of mind and matter and so on, is built into language at its root and therefore what power there may be in language, even at an elementary level, is available for use. Without analysis, the use is tacit and therefore any deficiencies in language may weaken or invalidate the gain. (While analysis may be useful, there is no guarantee that all problems that are a function of the language being used will be identified or removed)

9. The concept of being, unlike the concepts of mind and matter and so on, is built into language at its root and therefore what power there may be in language, even at an elementary level, is available for use. Without analysis, the use is tacit and therefore any deficiencies in language may weaken or invalidate the gain. (While analysis may be useful, there is no guarantee that all problems that are a function of the language being used will be identified or removed)

Choice of the Word, ‘Being’

Being’ vs. ‘existing’: If to be is to exist, why do we use one word rather than the other? Why not, for example, ‘Existence and Nothingness,’ ‘Existence and Time,’ or ‘Journey in Existence?’ Here are some reasons: (1) The sound of the word, ‘being…’ its everyday and deep (2) The simplicity and shortness. (3) The basic character, ‘to be’ and its various forms ‘is’ and so on. (4) ‘Being’ has a wider range of uses – ‘A being’ (noun,) ‘has being’ (quality.) There is also the fundamental distinction in scholastic philosophy: being as being-in-itself vs. existing as, e.g., being-in-interaction. (5) A variety of connotations that are useful (but problematic if care is not taken.) These include overlapping common, religious, and existential connotations as far as they are valid. These connotations have intrinsic interest and may be useful to an understanding of being in its basic and universal sense. However, such interest is secondary, perhaps an aspect of the basic concept of being (as existing) that is the concept of primary focus here. (6) A significant connotation of the word being is revealed in the phrase, ‘…affects the core of my being,’ one does not say ‘…affects the core of my existence.’ Thus, being connotes, as noted earlier, ‘soul.’ However, although existence does not connote this meaning, since all parts of an individual exist, existence could, rationally, have the connotation of ‘soul.’ Provided care is taken to avoid special connotations when they are not intended, ‘being’ and ‘existence’ are equivalent. Choice between the words depends on sound and tradition which includes the connotations. Therefore, I am not affected by the special connotations to change my choice of term

Is: (1) As an indexical, ‘is’ may mean at a particular point in time or space. (2) May also be used in the sense of ‘is somewhere or when in time and space;’ and I often use ‘is’ in this important inclusive sense. (3) Devote a section or sub-section?

Being vs. becoming: in some uses, being is opposed to change or becoming. However, in the use here, being is not thought of as fixed or unchanging in its nature and includes becoming. If it is valid to think of being as unchanging or, perhaps, more properly, if it is possible to find a viewpoint in which, fundamentally, being is unchanging or to find a fundamental unchanging substrate of being – that, perhaps, generates all being then that fundamental form or mode of being should fall out of an analysis of being. It should not, in my view, be posited in advance of or a priori to analysis. Such a fundamental mode of being would be, in essence, a substance – an unchanging and perhaps undifferentiated thing from which underlies all change and variety. As it turns out, the analysis of the theory of being requires no deposition of a substance (or process or relation) as fundamental

Incorporate the following

Being may be thought of as being-in-time and as being-over-time. These two views are not exclusive: in classical determinism, they are equivalent. In a less rigid conceptual environment, some translation from one view to the other may be possible. In general, since the complete story is not contained in a ‘slice in time,’ the latter view of being as history or trajectory is a more complete description. There are views that read destiny or determinism into history. There may be local environments where a reading of quasi-destiny or quasi-determinism is valid. However, this case is neither general nor necessary. A historical view is not intrinsically committed to destiny or determinism

Regarding the question of the ubiquity of time, it may be noted that there are perspectives in which both views of being are seen or experienced as eternal or timeless. There may be phases of being, of the universe, that are effectively timeless. However, the argued view in this essay is that a ‘timeless universe’ may not support being. Instead, the support of being is seen to be becoming

Being vs. non-being: sometimes, being has been opposed to non-being. Here, non-being has no fundamental role (although it may be conceived as the void or, alternatively, as another function of the fundamental terms and play a derived role)

On Seeking

The historical view is an origin of the idea of being as a Journey. ‘Journey’ has an additional connotation of seeking and creating a path or paths. At the outset of an attempt at understanding, prejudice is minimized by remaining neutral as to whether seeking is intrinsic to being, whether it is intrinsic to degrees and kinds or modes of being, or whether seeking arises but only occasionally and sporadically. A reading of the foundation encourages the following view

Elemental being does not seek but finds. Ultimate being does not need to seek – its need is ‘dissolution.’ In the range between the elemental and the ultimate there is real seeking that is present together with the processes that characterize the extremes

Expectations for a Theory of Being

Comment. The first part of this section, ‘The Motives,’ is about the circumstances under which one might seek such a theory, the requirements to make such a theory useful and accepted. That is, given that science (with analysis, logic, mathematics and technology) and the humanities (which include literature, religion and art) appear to encompass our universe, why would we consider, develop, and accept a General Theory of Being such as one developed in this essay, in which the individual is said to be capable of all possibilities of all being and which may be thought to be at odds with normal ‘reality?’ The second part, ‘The Lineaments’ is about what General Theory of Being would have in it and what it would do. Title: replace ‘Lineaments?’

From supplement


What is Expected of a Theory of Being?

A Theory of Being is an interwoven system of understanding and transformation that allows knowing and realizing all actual and possible being! The relationship is necessary (conceptual) in that realization requires awareness or knowledge of ends; it is practical in that understanding and becoming proceed interactively and incrementally. The possibility of complete embedded fore-knowledge depends on what is considered to be of value and, in some value-systems, complete embedded fore-knowledge is possible

Three elements, primitives, methods or approaches, and results are recognized as essential to a theory of being. The primitives are the basic ideas of the system of understanding and transformation. The approaches are involved in knowing or coming to know and realizing. The word ‘approach’ is chosen because it emphasizes learning while ‘method’ suggests the possibility of an algorithmic approach. The results are the realization and knowledge of all actual and possible being. The elements are not completely distinct in their nature and with regard to what counts as an element; further, it is in the nature of becoming that the system and the elements are in transition

The system of understanding will include a system of explanation or reason and a system of all actual and possible being. These two systems are not completely independent

The system of explanatory principles will be real. I.e., there will be no pre-reflective hypotheses regarding the nature of being. An example of a pre-reflective hypothesis is the substance ontology (when it is either prescribed or implicit in the reflection and, therefore, is not the result of an open analysis.) Therefore, the ontology will be the result of the theory and have a necessary and minimal character… and, as will be seen, the underlying ontology will be necessary

The system of actual and possible being will include an account of kinds of being – including relationship and becoming. It will include an account of the nature of actuality and possibility; of limits on beings or entities – and the nature and circumstances of such limits. Its elaboration will include a cosmology of kinds and extents of being including a local cosmology of this world – of beings and their properties: bodies, experiences, minds, language, value including all human issues

General Requirements for a Theory of Being: Motives for a Theory

Comment. It may be useful to provide examples of the following ‘Motives…,’ ‘Rational requirements…,’ and ‘Acceptance…’

Motives for a Theory of Being

The single motive is that there are lacks in the normal view of reality. Therefore, action based on the normal view may lead to undesirable outcomes. More importantly, the normal view, as shown here, leaves out huge portions of the universe and its use may result in a severely stunted existence…

There is, of course, no single ‘normal view’ but there are many aspects to it and many versions of it. A common materialist paradigm, if actually adopted in all areas of life, would lead to severe stunting (few individuals actually adopt the strictest of materialist paradigms and all their ramifications in all areas of life.) The normal view of the ‘good life’ in the secular paradigm (in which arts and humanities are cultivated but myth and religion, if cultivated, are viewed as sources of inspiration and, perhaps, of metaphorical truth but not of literal truth) is enjoyed and enjoyable even if it is not universally enjoyed. However, since the normal secular view omits huge domains of the real it also omits the potential for huge amounts of enjoyment. At this, the puritanical attitude of many individuals will, no doubt be aroused to and thoughts of ‘moderation’ and ‘license’ are not unexpected

In noting the value and limits of the normal secular view, I am not suggesting that the normal view of faith based religion is superior to the secular view. However, myth and the articles of FAITH may point to an otherwise unappreciated magnitude of the real (as may a liberal interpretation of the secular)

Rational Requirements for a Theory of Being

Will have appropriate and adequate agreement with the normal. Since, as I have argued, there must be some core of validity to the normal view, this requirement is necessary

Where it agrees with the normal view, both views may be shown to be valid. Where the Theory of Being diverges with the normal, the normal may be shown to be in error and the Theory may be shown to be valid

The Theory of Being should be logically coherent. I would have said ‘must be’ instead of ‘should be’ except for the awareness that on the transitional view of knowledge, there appears to be no final certainty, no absolute coherence… and, therefore, there should be no absolute desire for such

Acceptance of  a Theory of Being

Acceptance means common acceptance, not just for validity but also for utility. Utility could only mean that there are significant conclusions from the Theory of Being that do not arise from the normal view. That is, the value of transition to the Theory of Being, outweighs the resources required. The pertinent conclusions need not be only of a practical nature but may also be of the kind that provide meaning (of life) and illuminate being (the practical is not other than the meaningful.) Numerous consequences, practical, conceptual and meaningful, are noted and developed in this essay

General Requirements for a Theory of Being: the Lineaments of a Theory

Title: replace ‘Lineaments?’

System for Knowing and Realizing All Actual and Possible Being

This is implicit in the logic developed in this essay, especially this section. One test for this is to see whether all significant issues of Being including Human Being especially including Complete Systems of Problems of Metaphysics may be included in the Theory of Being. This topic is currently placed in the section, The Fundamental Problems but is manifest in the contents of the Theory of Being / Metaphysics developed below. If it is not, should the topic be explicitly mentioned in the present section, Foundation?

Elements of a Theory of Being

From supplement

An ontology is a specification of the fundamental elements or kinds of being; a metaphysics is a theory that either founds the ontology or starts with it and elaborates the kinds of being – and, since, relationship is being, metaphysics includes cosmology; a cosmology is the theory of the kinds, population and relationships among individuals – either in the general case or in a local cosmological system

Extension 1. Theory of the universe: the theory of being [already] includes, as will be seen a theory of the one universe, i.e. of all being… and a theory of individual, coherent domains sometimes called ‘universes’

Metaphysics is the discipline whose only limits are necessary limits. Similarly, philosophy is the discipline whose outer limits are necessary. In its outer limits, philosophy coincides with metaphysics

Extension 2. Action theory: knowledge remains in the loop with action; the root function of cognition is not knowledge or cognizing but action

Methods or Approaches
System of Understanding
System of Explanatory Principles
System of Actual and Possible Being

The Theory of Being Reveals its Own Motivation

From supplement

Specify the sense in which the motivation is included. To what extent is the motivation latent? Include an account of the relation of this issue to the meanings of IMPORTANCE, DESIRABILITY, and ETHICS… and their relations to FEASIBILITY

Thus, the motivation of the Introduction is not logically necessary to real motivation of the theory

Some Issues and Problems that any ‘Complete’ Theory of Being Must Address

One issue is that of completeness of the theory (of Metaphysics) which should here be addressed in principle. An explicitly complete system (in outline) is in the next main division, ‘Journey in Being’

Absolute Completeness

From supplement

What does ‘absolute completeness’ mean?

Relative Completeness

From supplement

Relative completeness, i.e., completeness relative to the issues of classical metaphysics and so on… it should be noted that the issues of any system may include (a) cultural artifacts – artifacts of the cultural environment in which the system is fostered, and (b) problems arising out of a confusion of symbols i.e. out of linguistic confusion. It should also be noted that whereas there are systems of thought in which all problems of philosophy are said to have such origins (except, of course, the problems within the said system) that is clearly an overstatement with many external functions e.g. binding to cultural norms

In its elaboration, the Theory of Being is a ‘TWO OR MANY CONTACT POINT THEORY,’ i.e., the mutual implications of the universal (from the general theory) and the local (data or theory) are worked out

LOCAL                            UNIVERSAL

GIVEN                              POSSIBLE

POWER                           VOID


LANGUAGE                      EXPERIENCE

Outline of The Theory of Being: Metaphysics, Logic, Cosmology and Theory of Knowledge

Outline of The Theory of Being

Include: (enhance) discussion of the inseparability metaphysics, logic… in the best development

On the title: As it stands, the title is rather long. In the title, ‘Metaphysics’ is used in the narrow sense. To shorten the title, ‘Theory of Being’ could be replaced by ‘Metaphysics’ (in the broad sense) but that would make the title awkward. An alternative title that would make some sense since the previous section is ‘Expectations of a Theory of Being’ is, ‘Outline: Metaphysics, Logic…’

A full title could be: ‘Outline… : Ontology, Metaphysics, Mind, Logic, Cosmology and Epistemology.’ Metaphysics is, at core, the study necessities of (the concept of) being. Ontology may be thought of as what is the essence of being. Thus ontology deals with questions of substance and change, it asks ‘What lies at the root of being?’ Thus metaphysics includes ontology. (Note that all terms have a history of meaning but, so as to label the divisions of thought I have specified them in terms of the traditional terms in a way that is intended to have a reasonably firm relation to the tradition but which cannot capture the entire tradition due to the ‘meander’ of meaning.) Similarly, the study of mind at a fundamental level is also part of metaphysics. While the focus of metaphysics is necessity, the foci of cosmology are possibility, actuality and mechanism or explanation. Thus, while metaphysics may show the equivalence of the universe and the void and the necessity of cosmological systems and, perhaps the logical necessities of such structures, cosmology studies the varieties of the structures, their origins and explanations of the variety and origins. In particular, cosmology studies this cosmological system… Since Kant, there is a tradition of epistemology as the dominant discipline within philosophy. Here, however, metaphysics is and must be dominant. This will always be true in the history of understanding even if, on the road to understanding, some other focus assumes importance as the key to understanding. I have used the phrase ‘Theory of Knowledge’ rather than Epistemology because the history of the latter suggests a status that is equal to or greater than that of metaphysics. My objective here, however, is to show that the problems of the theory of knowledge are not a general impediment to metaphysics (being.) Generations could exalt and study epistemology without living, without scratching the surface of the nature of even their own being. This said, it is certainly true that epistemology has a significance in this civilization. Even there however, what is important often proceeds without it; perhaps, despite its importance and appeal, the most that epistemology can do in the shadow of what is important is to hint at comfort

Overview of the development without headings or details – may have sections. Why and how the development of the theory is an interactive unity whose elements may be identified as the traditional topics of Metaphysics, Logic, Cosmology and the Theory of Knowledge (Note that ‘metaphysics’ has a restrictive sense as in the element of the unity and an inclusive sense as that unity)

Alternate titles: ‘Metaphysics, Logic, and Cosmology,’ ‘Mind, Metaphysics, Logic and Cosmology.’ I prefer ‘Mind’ or ‘Theory of Knowledge’ over ‘Epistemology’ because the latter suggests a focus on epistemology as a discipline. Here, however, the objective to show that while, in order to have continuity with the tradition, some attention must be paid to the problems of knowledge, there is no interest in developing epistemology as a discipline. It is important to observe that there is a mode of knowing in which there is concern with the problems of knowledge and another mode, central to this account where the problems of knowledge are only important as far as it is necessary to show that they are not relevant

Another title: ‘Being, Mind, and Logos’

From supplement

Theory of Being

Theory of Being… as executed here, there are regions that may be labeled metaphysics, logic, cosmology and theory of knowledge in whose interaction lies the optimal development of the theory of being. Although these regions of analysis may be identified and may be considered independently, without the interaction in which they constitute a whole, the result is feeble and flat in comparison to the optimal development. It is important, for coherence of the system, to develop metaphysics, logic and cosmology together . Although the independent developments have a tradition in which the interactivity and overlap is recognized, it is only in the interaction that the magnitude of the optimal development is realized

Ontology, the theory of form and logic, and cosmology may be regarded as identical. As disciplines, however, their emphases –discussed below– are different

The development of the system is based on the meanings of the terms

Ontology or Pure Metaphysics

Theory of Form, Objects, and the Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge: here, knowledge is recognized as ‘interaction’ and ‘effect’ and the idea of representation is found to be empty. Therefore, symbolic development can be considered as an independent development and it is in this independence that representation has meaning and completeness is at all conceivable


Comments on further developments

Human Being

Implications of The Theory of Being

Implications of The Theory of Being

The following sections have significant discussions of the implications of The Theory of being. Eliminate style ‘implications’ when done

The Audience


Implications of The Theory of Being: Main Summary

The Following Sections and Chapters Contain Detailed Development of the Implications




Human Being and Society


Summary of the Foundation: Primary Implications

Conclusions on the Nature of Being

Metaphysics and Philosophy in Light of the Theory of Being

Journey to the Ultimate: Transformation of Being. Action completes the helical loop of being

Implications of The Theory of Being: Main Summary

The Theory of Being includes development of an ontology or metaphysics with foundation in the void or, equivalently, in logic. It may seem paradoxical that metaphysics or ontology could be based purely in logic, for is not deductive logic the derivation of conclusions from premises? I.e. is it not the case that logic alone –without premises– produces no result? The potential paradox is resolved when it is observed that ‘being’ or ‘existing’ is given by the feeling that we are present in the world – the fact of this discussion is case of being: a tacit but necessary premise that is a given and not an ‘assumption.’ This is perhaps the most basic and simplest of the kinds of argument or method that have been labeled ‘transcendental’

It should also be noted that ideas or concepts are among the agents with which the real may be negotiated. However, the nature of the real is not given in advance of inquiry. Further, just as the real may be an organic unity, the system of ideas used in apprehension of the real may also be an organic unity. Therefore, concepts are not givens but are subject to flux; and, in general, the flux of concepts is actually and may be necessarily simultaneous: the change in the meaning of any concept may have consequences for all other concepts… Logic is among the concepts whose meaning develops as The Theory of Being develops

The void exists; there is no significance to the number of voids. The foundation shows that there are no substances and requires none; the foundation requires no reference to a more basic level, i.e., the foundation is absolute and requires no infinite regress. The resulting substance-free ontology is the basis of a resolution a number of fundamental problems of philosophy including the mind-matter problem, the problem ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ and the problem of why there is sentience. The foundation shows that there is no universal causation, determinism, space-time and that neither matter nor mind is fundamental. Instead, the foundation shows that patches of space-time-being are possible and therefore must emerge from the void. The words, ‘space’ and ‘time’ and ‘being’ appear in the previous sentence. Duration occurs only in relatively stable emergence and extension only in emergence with structure; given stability and structure, there is duration and extension whose measures and intuitions, if possible, may be labeled space and time. ‘Matter’ may have been used instead of ‘being’ but that might have suggested that the substance of all being is similar to the material constitution of this (our) cosmological system. That emergence of patches of space-time-being, e.g. cosmological systems, is necessary does not provide a mechanism for it. The foundation shows, however, that while such emergence may have  a likely mechanism, no mechanism is necessary. I.e. there is no necessity that emergence or becoming should be causal or causal-like. In addition to the fact that emergence is not necessarily causal-like, the behavior of the emerged patches is not causal either but may be quasi-causal in some of its aspects

The logic of the theory shows that if the description of a proposed state does not involve or entail contradiction, the state exists – where ‘exists’ refers to being ‘anywhere,’ for example, in space and time: what is possible is actual (the apparent paradox is addressed in the next paragraph.) It is obvious that what is actual is possible and, so, the possible and the actual are identical even though, in thinking of a limited cosmological system as the universe, there may seem to be a distinction between the possible and the actual. Also: what is possible is actual and therefore necessary. This immediately shows the universe to be far more varied and complex than commonly conceived in science and common sense; and, there is no detail of the universe that is excluded by the theory of being. The void is equivalent to any and to all being; the void may result in the annihilation of any portion of the universe; every state of being has infinite recurrence in space and time provided that no contradiction is entailed; every ‘particle’ of being may interact with every other particle of being: there is one universe, one world and the only ‘possible’ measure of possibility is actuality; and thus, there are no ghosts, no ghost particles or ghost universes but interactions may be so weak or so infrequent that, for practical purposes there may be ghosts and spirits

It also follows that there is an essential indeterminism at the core of being: being is supported by the void or absence of being. It might be objected that absolute indeterminism cannot give rise to form and structure but this is logically incorrect for the ruling out of form and structure would constitute a form of determinism; additionally, the mechanism of variation and selection provides an explanation of the origin of form and structure. There is an apparent violation of science and common sense which is resolved by introducing the concept of the normal. Thus, the apparent paradox or violation of common sense includes logical support for the articles of faith of religion but little practical support for them in this (our) cosmological system. In a normal cosmological system such as this (our) system, the likelihood of violation of ‘normal’ behavior is normally extremely low. In the Theory of Being, what, in the common sense view would be labeled ‘impossible’ is found, excepting logical impossibility, to be ‘unlikely.’ The mechanism of variation and selection may be said to be a normal mechanism for the emergence of relatively stable forms and structures (such as cosmological systems and life) but not a necessary one. However, even though the mechanism is not necessary, it necessarily obtains in some cases; and, for regions of the universe that are similar in their patterns of emergence to this (our) cosmological system, it is likely that the mechanism obtains in almost all cases… The boundary of the normal is not known and our estimation of it depends on our state of knowledge. The theory allows and requires the origin and being of normal cosmological systems in which there may be quasi-determinism and quasi-causation, i.e., determinism and causation hold with high precision for some ranges of phenomena. In the entire universe space, time and law, such as they arise, are immanent; however, they are ‘patchy’ and not universal. Thus it might be more accurate to speak of ‘spaces,’ ‘times,’ and systems of laws

The description of the origin of space, time and being in the void has the potential to provide a foundation for the pillars of modern theoretical physics – quantum theory and the relativistic theory of space-time and force. This foundation is currently descriptive and tentative and requires further analysis to establish its definite possibility and form

There are interesting parallels between the ideas of ‘law’ and of ‘God.’ The main philosophical issue regarding God is shown to be not the existence but the nature of God; any consistent conception of God is realized. Just as for laws, spaces, and times, God or God-like beings are immanent in the entire universe; however, the theory give little practical support for to a belief that any specific conception of god, e.g., as in the monotheistic religions, is realized in this cosmological system: that support, if any, must come from more specific knowledge such as observation, science, perhaps even from intuition and from inference from the same… In the following paragraph, ‘laws’ could be replaced by ‘Gods’

That spaces, times, laws are immanent in the universe does not imply that the normal space, time, and laws of any given or normal cosmological system are immanent: they may be imposed from or by the infinite universal background or, alternatively, some normal cosmological systems may be ‘temporarily’ cut off from the universal background and so its space, time and laws may be effectively immanent in it. In this cosmological system he categories of intuition give support to space and time, partial support to causation and a simultaneous support to indeterminism in the form of ‘humor’ and creativity. Whether space and time in this cosmological system are absolute or relational is, in part, an empirical question; however, should the space or time of this cosmological system turn out to be absolute, that would be empirical evidence of the Theory of Being in that it would show that this system is embedded in a larger framework

The Theory of Being makes possible a uniform treatment of the categories of being such as form, mind, space-time, causation embedded in indeterminism, and even ethics/choice in the entire universe and their realization in a specific cosmological system. It makes possible an analysis of the categories of being, the categories of intuition and the relations among them. In general the categories divide into ‘object’ and ‘relation’ but the distinction is not absolute for objects include relations. The measure of things as concrete and relations as indices does not constitute an absolute distinction. Although the idea of ‘object’ is subject to the criticism of reification, the Theory of Being provides support for the concept of the object, for an interpretation of categories as objects, and for a concrete interpretation of the object. An example in simple terms is that ‘forms are things.’ Another example is that a good theory is real in that it captures the essence of a phase of being. In simple terms, a theory is sometimes thought of as a ‘stab at reality;’ however, a good theory captures the essence of what is real

The core of the Theory of Being is at a level of high abstraction; since its essential terms are logical but it specifies only a concept of logic and no actual logic, the abstraction would seem to be at the highest possible level. This is the source of the demonstration, in terms of the theory, that ‘The universe is far more varied and complex than commonly conceived in science and common sense; and, there is no detail of the universe that is excluded by the theory of being.’ It might seem that the implications of the theory are all at a level of extreme generality. However, this is not the case and many examples of specific conclusions have been given in the previous paragraphs. It is not true that these conclusions are derived from the theory alone. Instead they are derived from the theory in combination with some specific information such as the fact that this (our) cosmological system has a description in terms of space, time and matter; the theory illuminates and clarifies the special context and the illumination reveals the power of the Theory of Being. The following sections of this chapter and parts of the next chapter include systematic elaborations of the theory and within each section there are more specialized developments such analysis of the concept of form and the study of desirability which includes ethics and political philosophy; details may be seen in the Contents and the Preface to the essay. One objective of this essay has been to illuminate and extend the entire range of human knowledge and experience in light of the fundamental theory

The theory also provides a foundation for an understanding of the nature of identity of both objects and individuals. It is found that individual identity is not eternally individuated and ‘resides in’ a universal identity: this conclusion is a logical development of the theory. While the individual experiences the self as individuated, this experience is a normal but not a necessary or absolute condition. The theory of identity that is developed provides an interpretation of the Vedantic formula Atman = Brahman, of the ideas of spirit and of soul. It may seem that this identification implies an escape from the mundane world and the experience of pain; however no escape is possible or desirable: the positive and the negative derive their possibility from the same normal source. Individuation within the infinite realm of the possible shows the real prospect of an unending adventure in being

1.1         METAPHYSICS



The Following Sections and Chapters Contain Detailed Development of the Implications


Introduction to Metaphysics: its Meaning, Necessity, and Ubiquity

Brief introduction to: Ideas, Meanings and Their Relations and Interactions

Adequacy of the topics: Are the following sections necessary, sufficient? What should be added?

Incorporate from Unity in Understanding: Metaphysics and the Journey in Being: The only limits in metaphysics are necessary limits

Metaphysics has two meanings that are not used in this essay, (1) the occult ‘sciences,’ and (2) a possible meaning as the study of the science of physics. In modern, c. 2006, use ‘meta’ is some times used as a prefix to indicate that what is prefixed is being studied. Thus meta-mathematics is the study of mathematics as an object in itself and, since, in one of its aspects, mathematics is the study of form and structure, mathematical methods may be used to study mathematics. However, since the form of physics is nowhere near as definite as the form of mathematics, meta-physics as the study of physics has not become a formal discipline. Instead, one might investigate the philosophy of physics

Meaning of Metaphysics in this Essay

Metaphysics has a narrow sense in which it is the general theory of existence – the outline of the theory of being without inclusion of mode, variety, extent and duration of being (cosmology,) or the modes of understanding (logic, theory of knowledge.) In this sense, in its narrowest form, metaphysics is logic (it is in logic that being and understanding intersect; or, the intersection of being and understanding is logic; and, therefore, perhaps there is an interpretation of logic as including the theory of knowledge.) In the broader sense, in which the details and history (creation to annihilation) of mode and variety, extent and duration of being, metaphysics includes cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the details and history… Cosmology entails mind and theory of knowledge in their local forms (in their general forms they may be considered under metaphysics but before cosmology)

In any case, there is a tradition of metaphysics as the study of being as such – and as variant studies that, though different in their specifics or foci, are related in the same family of meaning. This is the meaning of ‘metaphysics’ used in this essay

The Rise and Fall of Epistemology. The Necessity and Fruitfulness of Metaphysics

Since the eighteenth century, with the rise of epistemology, the term metaphysics in this sense has had pejorative connotations. Recently, however, with appropriate restrictions, metaphysics has become, once more, a respectable discipline within philosophy. I have benefited from the tradition of metaphysical study including recent developments. However, I have found it unnecessary, on logical and semantic grounds, to subject metaphysics to the reign of epistemology or to the recent restrictions of an intensely analytical nature. Issues with the analytical approach include, (1) that concepts tend to be analyzed in isolation and therefore the meanings are rigidly fixed and (2) there is a tendency to preoccupation with meaning to the exclusion of ‘reality.’ The result of these tendencies is a piecemeal analytic structure that, though interesting and marked by careful thought, has little overall coherence and significance – especially in comparison to the Theory of Being and related studies developed in this essay. Further, epistemology itself may be seen as a part of metaphysics and any approach that places a priori restrictions on knowledge must itself be based on metaphysical assumptions. These assumptions often belong to prevailing paradigms of thought and their resulting ‘obvious’ nature may obscure their metaphysical content. There is a tacit tendency, at least since the renaissance period in Europe, to view mind and knowledge as distinct from the world. However, knowledge is not and cannot be outside the world and absolute claims with regard to knowledge and mind, critical or constructive, must be metaphysical in nature. Therefore an openly metaphysical approach that gives due regard to critical thought and epistemology must, finally, be the most secure and most fruitful approach to both knowledge and criticism. It is shown in the present essay that, while the traditional epistemologies are useful and informative, they are not necessary in the sense of being secure even in their own terms or in the sense of lacking alternatives; and alternative approaches will be established. These include (1) a symbolic approach understanding being in which determining the meanings of the terms is part of the investigation, and (2) an investigation of traditional epistemologies in which the significance of the critical components is reviewed to see whether they may be better interpreted as not merely critical but also constructive

General and ‘Proper’ Interpretations of ‘Metaphysics.’ Meaning of Metaphysics in this Section

Even in the sense of the previous paragraph, ‘metaphysics’ has a narrow or proper and a broad or general construal. In the most general sense, all sciences and, with appropriate interpretation, most academic disciplines and even human action may be seen as part of metaphysics. In the traditional interpretation of ‘metaphysics’ there is a general use, consistent with metaphysics as the study of being, in which metaphysics is identical to logic and includes the study of general cosmology and even the general study of human being and faith. In a restrictive sense, ‘metaphysics proper’ is the study of the most general features of being; in this sense the study of cosmology as the variety of being is not included. This is the sense of ‘metaphysics’ that I use in the present section

Significance of the title. In the title, ‘Metaphysics’ is used in its broad sense. Thus, the title is equivalent to the alternative title, ‘The Theory of Being.’ This suggests another alternate, ‘Metaphysics: the Theory of Being’

Comment. The core, where the four main topics (metaphysics, logic, cosmology, and the theory of knowledge) intersect has been given in ‘Outline… .’ It may still be desirable to introduce some elements of theory of knowledge, logic and cosmology here. In the following, identify or enter the alternate logics leading to the equivalence of the void and of all being and related conclusions, and identify, from among these, the fundamental conclusion(s). Note, in at least one of the developments, that the fundamental conclusions are equivalent to ‘essential indeterminism at the core of being.’ Note that some of the topics are redundant to this Heading 3 section (Metaphysics,) some may go to the Heading 3 sections, ‘Logic’ and ‘Cosmology’ and others to the Heading 2 section, ‘Consequences of The Theory of Being.’ This needs to be done for the terms (Being, Mind…) below: get the essential terms, put them in the proper order and section, ‘define’ and develop the terms and their interrelations

From supplement

Metaphysics is the study or Theory of Being. As such, it is the study of the most fundamental characteristic of things – the nature of existence. The criticisms of the utility of the concept of being also apply to metaphysics and the response to the criticisms is identical in nature and need not be repeated here. That response may be reformulated as follows: since entities are either simple or compound, the study of what things exist is foundation for the understanding of the nature of things – what makes things the entities that they are. Therefore, metaphysics has momentous consequences even though it may appear to be trivial. I observed earlier that the metaphysics developed here has an absolute depth in that it provides a foundation for being without substance (it is shown that there is no fundamental substance or actual category such as relationship or process) or infinite regress. Consequently there are deep consequences for being itself and others that ripple through the entire system of human understanding

It is often thought that the numerous special disciplines are other than metaphysics. In thinking of general metaphysics whose only limits are necessary, there is indeed a distinction. But just as acoustics is not identical to physics but is still a part of physics, so the special disciplines are a part of metaphysics. In some cases the special disciplines start with foundations that are at odds with the metaphysics developed here. In that case, there is the potential to revise the foundations of the special discipline and this may result in theoretical and practical consequences of great significance within the discipline. Numerous examples are developed in this essay. In this way, the special disciplines may be seen as elaborations of the metaphysics that arise from the interaction between the general and the specific

Note: there is further discussion of the ‘possibility of metaphysics’ in the section, ‘Metaphysics’ below (link?)

The epistemic turn in philosophy

At the epistemic turn in philosophy that arose at the end of the enlightenment when ‘reason turned against itself’ the slogan ‘metaphysics is impossible’ was raised and has often been repeated. Since the original judgment, the fortunes of metaphysics have waned and waxed, often returning in a limited or conditional form. Practical issues with the assertion are, first, that –even if the assertion were true– it may result in the abortion of studies and explorations that take us to places unimagined. A more serious error regarding the assertion is that it is based on the idea that the function of cognition is –merely– knowing and not action. Thus the assertion ‘metaphysics is impossible’ is self-disbarment from ‘paradise.’ By paradise, I mean, of course, the infinite potential of being and not a mythic kingdom; and, it is necessary to acknowledge that paradise must include ‘hell’ whose meaning, here, is similarly not mythic. Finally, it is to be remembered, that any assertion such as ‘metaphysics is impossible’ is necessarily perspective-driven and it is in the nature of such a perspective it fills out the space of perception as if it constituted a world. In this essay, I have argued in detail that metaphysics is possible from certain perspectives – even the embedded perspective (symbols are not essentially non-iconic, non-embedded) provided that there is sufficient abstraction – it should be remembered that abstract does not necessarily mean not-real but, rather, has meaning as the essence of the real

The essential argument for the possibility of metaphysics is the striking development as executed in this essay where logic and the concept of being are used to produce a real metaphysics that founds all being and that shows the ultimate magnitude and unity (identity) of being

Along these lines, I have demonstrated intrinsic interest in the fundamental study of being or ontology; and a derived interest in this study for all beings, especially human being and society – in the present and in the potential

… and have argued the case for an extended but not exclusive interpretation of ‘knowing’ and ‘metaphysics’ to be interpreted as part of a chain or loop which also contains action and, thus, to an irreducible experimental aspect to this interpretation

It was noted earlier, link, that one of the objectives of this essay is to address every significant problem of metaphysics. In this chapter, the foundation for this endeavor is laid and the process begun; it is completed in the next chapter, ‘Journey in Being’


Comment. The topic has been discussed extensively in the Introduction. It may be good to let the detail remain there… but if not, Import material. Either way, Link the earlier occasion

From supplement

Use questions 1 and 4 of TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT BEING

Being is that which exists

… or which has existence. The concept of being has been clarified earlier

Essential Topics in the Analysis of Being

The topics require further considerations and their full development will wait

Analysis of existence: this is most important and if the analysis is done carefully all other considerations flow from it


The character of being: – Analysis of the status of the idea of ‘being-in-itself’ in contrast to being-as-power: is there a fundamental distinction? What is the essence of being? Is it matter, thing or object, mind or form …? In approaching these questions, it is necessary to refer to the meanings of all the relevant terms as they have come to be understood in this essay and not only to their primitive meanings. In other words it is necessary to remember that the essential concepts of the metaphysics constitute an interactive field of concepts whose do not stand in isolation but in relation to one another

The following topics are part of an analysis of being but are naturally developed in separate sections:


Logic, and

Knowledge and its role in being and becoming – views of knowledge, nature of knowledge in relation to being, whether knowledge is essential in being and becoming (in an instrumental sense – obviously without awareness, there is no significance to being)


From supplement

Metaphysics is the study of being

There is a problem of knowledge – that of its faithfulness to the real; this long standing problem in western and other philosophies is one whose importance is such that it may be called the problem of knowledge. The problem may be seen as having two aspects. The first concerns the validity of claims to knowledge which is a concern because such claims can be in error. Examples of errors are in faulty perception and in scientific generalization. The second aspect of the problem concerns the possibility of knowledge. Since knowledge itself is mental content but knowledge is supposed to be of an actual object it is valid to ask how knowledge can have any faithfulness to the object itself. Consider a tree. The tree is seen as roots, trunk, limbs and leaves. However, what is the reality of the situation. Supposing matter to be made up of atoms, it is clear that there is an arbitrariness to the boundary of the tree and its apparent solidity. Clearly the features of the tree are artifacts of cognition as much as they are aspects of the real. There are various approaches to this problem but perhaps the most profound is the one which argues that knowledge of things is possible but only of those kinds of things for which the forms of experience and existence are identical. Thus, some but not all things are knowable. This makes metaphysics especially problematic since an essential significance to metaphysics, over and above more special domains of knowledge, is that in metaphysics the study is of things as they are. Metaphysics is not just the study or science of being – it is the study of being as being, of the real nature of things. It is therefore valid to ask how metaphysics is at all possible. It is important to note, that the difficulty of metaphysics is not due to the physical remoteness of some objects. Rather it is the conceptual remoteness of the nature of knowledge and the nature of objects – even objects that are physically proximate

Some aspects of these problems of knowledge will be considered in detail later. These issues have been central in western philosophy since what may be called the ‘critical turn in philosophy’ that began with the reaction of the British Empiricists and reached its apex with Kant to the rationalism of the enlightenment

It is useful to examine the preoccupation with the problem of knowledge. A practical and pertinent source of concern is the problem of validity. However, the theoretical concern arises on account of the idea that the role of cognition is knowing. It might seem absurd to suggest that the essential role of cognition is not knowing for the meaning of cognition is ‘the act or process of knowing.’ A better picture, however, lies the analysis that follows. What is called knowledge affects action – in the cognizing of and choice from possibilities of action. Perhaps, therefore, the essential role of ‘knowing’ is not so much to have knowledge as it is to enhance the possibility and quality of action. Since most knowledge is approximate and, further, since the nature of knowledge as knowledge of an object may be questioned, this thought regarding the role of what we think of as knowledge-of-the-object is eminently reasonable. The picture may be described in an equivalent way. In coming to know, certain processes occur, certain abilities are used. Therefore, the processes are labeled ‘cognition,’ the abilities may be labeled the ‘instruments of cognition.’ However, it does not follow that these are primarily instruments of knowledge; rather they may be seen as instruments of action. Of course, ‘knowledge’ has the role of instrument of action; but what is in question here is the absoluteness of what we think of as knowledge-of-the-object as knowledge. The preoccupation with the problem of knowledge follows from the conflation of ideas of knowledge-of and knowledge-as-impression

It is not being said that knowledge-of is useless or an invalid pursuit. It is useful and highly entertaining. What is being said is that this is not the only role of knowledge-as-impression and it is an open question as to what the most fundamental role of knowledge may be. ‘The most fundamental role of knowledge’ – surely, that is a value laden idea. Perhaps in modern society, in terms of cherished notions of destiny, of notions of the significance of living, knowledge-of is the most fundamental role. Perhaps at the same time, that role will lead up a dead-end path. And perhaps, on the other hand, it is knowledge-as-impression-in-transition-and-in-action that will or may more likely lead to the greatest realization of being… and, perhaps, in that realization, at least since becoming without awareness of becoming has no meaning, knowledge-of will have a critical but not absolute role

Let us come back to consideration of the possibility of metaphysics. It was implied above that metaphysics as knowledge of the real may be generally impossible. However, metaphysics was not seen to be altogether impossible. Metaphysics was seen, preliminarily, to avoid categorial error for ‘those kinds of things for which the forms of experience and existence are identical.’ Consider, now, the symbol. The symbol is a form of experience. However, the symbol is capable of reference to the abstract. Thus, perhaps, metaphysics is possible through symbolic reference. The point may be justified in two ways. First, through analysis – as suggested by the idea that metaphysics is possible through symbolic reference; this approach to justification is considered below. The second justification will be by proceeding as though symbolic reference is possible, obtaining results, and then providing independent justification; this is the approach of the argument already begun and that now continues


The term ‘ontology’ has been used earlier without specifying its meaning. I use ontology in two related senses. In the first, ontology is the theory of being and in this sense it is identical to the restricted sense of metaphysics. Thus, the title the title of the immediately preceding section could be ‘Ontology.’ In the second sense, an ontology is a specification of the fundamental ‘elements’ of being. Thus, one may refer to a substance ontology or a process ontology. When a process ontology is elaborated the result is often called a process metaphysics

The ontology of this essay may be called the ontology of nothingness, of the void, or of emptiness

Substance, Process and Relationship

It is clear that ‘process’ may have an explanatory role regardless of its ontic status. Thus, in ‘Cosmology’ (link) it is shown how the nature of local being is determined in origins or becoming. Additionally, becoming is fundamental to  meaning because in the cumulation of experience, there is learning, and the ability to cultivate the ‘interests’ and ‘goals’ of a life. Similarly, substance and relationship have explanatory roles

In science, the triad of substance, relationship, and process have a fundamental explanatory role as matter, force and change

In the THEORY OF BEING, it is becoming of the ephemera and selection of the stable ephemera that constitute the original becoming. Therefore, although the void is fundamental in that the THEORY OF BEING is an ontology and system of understanding that terminate and that has no fundamental substance or element, the fundamental element of inception is the initial element of being in becoming; however, it is relationship that stabilizes becoming and substance that is the measure of it. Therefore, process, substance and relationship are co-fundamental not only because of their mutual origins but also because they are essentially interwoven in the origins. However, this fundamental nature is relative and occurs only in the origin

Therefore, from the theory of being, the fundamental nature of process, substance and relationship is practical but the fundamental nature of nothingness is absolute


From supplement

The universe is all being. I.e., there is one and only one universe; or, there is exactly one universe

This is more than a definition, for it will be shown, among other significant consequences, that any normally non-interacting systems must interact

It could be said that the universe is all that there is but ‘all that there is’ may seem to have the meaning, ‘all that there is the present time.’ Instead, ‘all that there is’ means, approximately, ‘all that there is all times.’ The meaning is approximate because it appears to presuppose a single universal time and because it may be thought of as counting entities that have more than ephemeral existence more than once

In its sense as a form of the  verb to be, ‘is’ usually means ‘at the present time.’ However, here, ‘is’ will also be used in the sense of ‘is over at least some time interval’ where the time interval may be an instant. Similarly ‘be’ will be allowed the sense of ‘be over at least some time interval.’ In the same manner ‘is not’ will, in addition to its usual sense, be used, on occasion, to mean ‘is never’

The meaning of ‘universe’ used here, despite its innocuous appearance, entails profound consequences – beginning with the analysis of possibility that follows

It is therefore necessary to avoid confusion of the present meaning with the meanings implicit in terms such as ‘physical universe,’ ‘the known universe,’ ‘a universe,’ ‘alternate universe,’ or ‘parallel universe.’ In these alternate meanings, the universe is a phase of being or one of a number of universes. In the present meaning, there is one and only one universe


From supplement

Plan. Where, previously I have used the word coherent phase-epoch or relatively stable and partially symmetric cosmological system or cosmos, I may use ‘world’

A WORLD is a part of the universe. ‘World’ will usually be used to refer to a coherent phase or phase-epoch of the universe or a consistently defined or specified context. Allowing the special case in which the whole is considered to be a part, the universe is a world. However there are some conclusions that may be true of worlds and that are true of most of the worlds that are of interest that cannot be true of the universe. The universe has no complement, for example it has no before, no after and no exterior

The Void

Or nothingness: Develop the idea of nothingness as the complement of ‘all being’ i.e. of the universe. As used here, in its concept, The Void is the absence of existing things – the absence of being but not, in its meaning, non-being (unless defined or specified, ‘non-being’ does not have a clear meaning)

Comment. The topic has been discussed extensively in the Introduction. It may be good to let the detail remain there… but if not, Import material. Either way, Link the earlier occasion

From v2004

As  philosophy, radical doubt is self-negating and therefore empty; as attitude it is valuable but valuable: doubt by itself does not generate knowledge or foundation, its function is to eliminate unclear thinking and untrue assumptions. Instead, replacing doubt by emptiness and thought by being results in the concept of the VOID. The VOID, which is empty of ALL BEING, even of pattern and contingent law is subject only to necessary LAW, the LAW OF CONTRADICTION: only what is contradictory is impossible – the single law of ALL BEING. The VOID is the original UNITY of actual DIVERSITY. Bound by no contingent law, the VOID is generative of ALL BEING, and the concept of the VOID, foundational of the understanding of BEING AS BEING


The Normal

The Normal


Mind; the nature of mind; mind is not restricted to mind-as-we-have-it; and here it will be seen that we may say Mind is Being in its Relations or, simply, with the extension of the concept, Mind is Being


Mind GENERAL. The first of two main sections on mind

The following sections have significant discussions of mind. The label GENERAL or HUMAN distinguishes whether the focus is general or specific to human mind. Eliminate style ‘mind’ when done

The Audience GENERAL

Reading the Essay GENERAL

Being and the Concept of Being GENERAL

Emotion, Belief and Faith… HUMAN. significant to mind for the discussion of emotion

Object GENERAL. Mind is implicit in all subsections of ‘Object’

Symbol, Ideal and External Object GENERAL

The Infinitely Many Attributes Theory GENERAL

The Fundamental Problem of Metaphysics GENERAL

Human Mind HUMAN. The second of two main sections on mind

Mind, Symbol and Value as a Proximate Account of Being HUMAN and GENERAL

Mind, Matter and Substance GENERAL

Comment. The idea or concept of mind and its elaborations is developed in a number of sections

The objective here is to show and illuminate (the concept of) mind and to analyze its place in relation to (the substance-free theory of) being. It is shown that, in consequence of this Theory of Being, neither mind nor matter is fundamental, that the mind-body problem is the artifact of a premature and empty theory of being (materialism) and that, with a suitable (and fruitful) extension of the concept, mind and being are co-extensive

Introductory notes for v2005

The outline of the logic of the development of the understanding of mind is as follows:

The hallmark mind is feeling or experience. In its function, the characteristics of mind also involve attitude and action; however, insofar as these are mental they are experienced. One argument against this is that attitudes and actions are not always accompanied by experience. However, when ‘mind’ and ‘experience’ are properly understood, which will include an extension of the concepts to the (apparently) unconscious and primal levels, it will be seen attitude and action are always experienced

What is the origin of mind-as-we-have-it, i.e., human or animal mind in matter? On materialism (matter is inert, i.e., free of life and mind; everything is made up of matter) mind must result, not from root matter itself but from some synergy of matter such as its organization or function. This is shown to necessarily lead to paradox whose source is the assumption the inertness of matter. Therefore, that assumption, i.e. materialism, must be relinquished. (If the assumption of materialism is to be given up, it is efficient to also drop the words ‘matter’ and ‘materialism’ from fundamental discussions although matter may be retained in practical ones. It is efficient with regard to understanding through explanation and concepts to use the idea of being which is ontologically neutral and un-prejudiced. This point is part of the development of the metaphysics even though it is not explicitly necessary to the present discussion.) To avoid paradox, it is necessary to extend mind and feeling to the primal level. There are standard arguments against this which include the charge of pan-psychism which are shown to be invalid. Feeling, is a characteristic of the state of being of all things which, when concentrated by accumulation and organization, is what is normally identified as mind and when especially concentrated occurs as the ‘bright’ consciousness of animal mind

The organization of mind necessarily involves holism and atomism or integration and detail. This is found in with regard to what are the elementary functions of human or animal mind; it is also found for all mind with regard to the primal elements of being taken as elementary. Primal feeling is characteristic of the state of being of a primal element of being. Since in the primal becoming of anything more than the pure ephemera, the individual states of the primal elements must bear some relation (near symmetry) that enables durability (through relative stability) the feeling of the primal element may be described as the ‘effect’ of one element in the other or primal knowledge. With regard to the primal elements, effect is not understood in its usual causal sense. The origin of causality such-as-it-is (partial) occurs at higher but still pre-organic levels. In the animal mind that results from accumulation and organization of the pre-organic, routine function is characterized by causal attitude and action; organization is realized as the functions of mind which still have root in primitive feeling; experience and knowledge are dually described as states of being and as the effect of the world on the mind although the effect is indirect being mediated by the mind or organism’s (brain’s) own power of organization; and ‘bright’ consciousness is the concentration of primitive feeling through several levels that correspond to levels of awareness from the bright through the dim to the only apparently dark

From v2004

If I reflect on my immediate experience, I find no thing or substance that I can label ‘mind.’ From this, some thinkers have decided that it is a mistake to think of mind as a substance and others, perhaps encouraged by the scientific-materialist paradigm, have concluded that the existence of mind is a fiction. However, it is clear that animals have experience of and initiate action in the world while stones do not and these capacities are among the features that are labeled ‘mind’ or ‘mental’ that constitute one kind of distinction between an animal and a stone. Therefore, the correct conclusion regarding the difficulties associated with mind, especially those related to materialist thought, is not that mind does not exist but that there is a fundamental question regarding the nature of mind and the nature of its existence. An attitude of openness rather than of premature judgment to the status of mind (and being) cuts through centuries (millennia) of absurd thought on the nature and problems of mind (and being) and encourages reflection on the real issues. It should be clear that the essential absurdity, as shown in the text, to which I refer is ontological and that I am nor referring to the traditions of thought in entirety. My purpose to pointing out this absurdity is that, as shown in this essay, a result is and has been severe impoverishment of awareness of the significance of being and knowledge of the possibilities of being

In the previous paragraph, I said that animals do have mental attributes but stones do not. Now, I do not know that that is true but only that it seems to be true. However, if I am careful I must admit that my experience does not tell me whether (apparently) inert matter has mind. All that my experience tells me in this regard is that if (apparently) inert matter does have features of mind, they must be primitive when compared to those of animal being. This is a crucial point for the philosophy of mind because the thought that ‘inert matter is devoid of mind’ is one source of the centuries of absurd thought through the question: if matter is devoid of mind, how, given that on materialism everything is made of matter, can anything have mind?’)

Some materialist thinkers have problems with the concept of mind as a result of which a sub-group deny that mind has any significance and an even smaller group deny that there is mind or consciousness. Having a problem with the concept of mind is good because it encourages careful thought. However, rigid attachment to the problem, perhaps due to the blindness that results from some paradigmatic thinking, leads to a dead end. As a result, there are philosophers and others who hold that the problems are insoluble. Those who deny the significance of mind deny their own significance; those who deny the existence of mind deny their own existence and the existence of the discussion of which they are a part. Other materialists do not have a problem with the existence of mind and may say something such as ‘mind arises in or is a feature of matter in certain kinds of organization. However, these materialists are faced with the problem of the existence of subjective experience on the standard materialist account. They may explain how an animal behaves as if it has a mind but they cannot explain how it has a mind or that it has a mind. I am assuming that such materialists are indeed materialists in that they hold that the elements of matter hold no traces of mind

It is quite possible to reflect on the nature of the world (universe) without introducing the idea of mind. However, there is no conclusive reason to not reflect on mind as an aspect of the world. How should this be done? It is rational to conclude from these thoughts that immediate human experience is insufficient (though perhaps necessary to) a foundation of the idea of mind. Since experience alone is insufficient, it is necessary to supplement it with some other (human) ability. Here, it is sufficient to characterize human abilities as experience and conceptual thought. Therefore, the necessary supplement to experience is a concept of mind that may encompass animal being and other forms including what is labeled inert matter. This approach harbors no necessary error because it allows that the nature of mind and the degree and abilities found in the different forms (animal, human-animal, plant, inert matter and other forms that may be hypothetical) shall be a result rather than a premise of the analysis. In particular it is neutral (at the outset) to the question of whether the apparently inert forms have (primitive) features or characteristics of mind. However, although there is an initial neutrality, it is a short step, based in the reflections of the previous paragraph, to the conclusion all elements of being must have at least primitive characteristics of mind. The conceptual system to be developed includes an extended concept of mind that has within it a variety of kinds, degrees or levels of organization. These include animal-mind and primitive-mind. The animal is made up of the primitive and (naturally) the primitive does not have all features or elaborations of the animal. Likely, the primitive has but one feature of mind and that is primitive feeling which is the effect, in an element of being, of some element of being. The theory to be developed encompasses what we know of mind in a coherent framework that is consistent with a general theory of being and allows satisfactory responses to a variety of criticisms including that of pan-psychism

From supplement

The classical concept of MATTER refers to an inert substance which makes no reference to MIND. As a result, there are, in classical MATERIALISM, a number of problems regarding mind which include the questions of its existence and nature and its relation to matter. The latter includes the mind-body or mind-matter problem which is, perhaps, the most well known and most discussed of the problems about mind. The purpose of this section is to make a short analysis of the place of mind in relation to being which will permit a comment on the mind-body problem. A more complete discussion of the problems will come later

The mind-body problem may be stated, ‘Since there is no mind in inert matter which, in materialism, is the substance of all being, how is mind (consciousness) possible, how does it come to be, and how does it interact with matter?’

The resolution contemplated here, whose details are given later, is as follows. The hallmark of mind is in the apprehension of the world – and of its individuals or entities including the being of the apprehender. In apprehension, there is an image of the world in the apprehender or subject. The idea of a detailed and clear picture comes to mind but this is not implied by the use of the word, ‘image;’ all that is implied is some vague capability of discrimination. There is a relation in which the world has an effect or imprint on the subject. In human or animal experience, the imprint acquires the character of a picture. However, at the level of primitive being, there is a primitive imprint or experience. Although primitive experience is vastly simpler than animal experience, the two are of the same kind and the latter is ‘built’ of the former

In this outline resolution, there is no reference to matter and no necessary reference to mind. Thus no substance or substances are implicated. As will be seen later, in the theory of being developed here, there are no fundamental or posited substances. Thus, the theory of being is not an essential pan-psychism. Any substances that enter into consideration are derived, intermediate, contingent, and are part of local and approximate explanatory systems. If desired, the elements of being could be labeled ‘matter.’ In that case there would be a number of provisos whose full clarification will be given later. These are that matter is not ultimate (it is the void that, shortly, is found to be ultimate,) that matter is neither ‘inert’ nor devoid of primitive experience, and that it is extremely improbable that the present physical theories of matter have exhausted the possibilities of such theories

Here, mind is seen as the imprinting aspect of relationship. It will be seen that this interpretation may be projected down to the most primitive elements of being provided that imprint and relationship are interpreted as lacking in –almost– all necessity. Then, with a further extension of the concept of mind, it may be said that mind and being are identical, i.e., MIND IS BEING

This discussion is clarified and extended in SPACE, TIME AND CAUSATION and in further sections

From letter to Michael Greenberg

Why is there sentience? It is a mistake to demand that theory explain the origin of sentience. Instead, one observes the empirical fact that there is sentience. I.e. sentience is a label for experience. Then: what is actual is possible and what is possible is materially necessary. Thus there will be sentience in countless though not necessarily all cosmological systems. There is a different line of argument from the Theory of Being that concludes that sentience –of some kind– is as universal as existence but that argument is not as clear cut as the one here. This is the line of argument that first notes that mind is not limited to higher-mind-at-the-animal-level, is based in an extension of that concept in which we ask about the effect of one element of being in another in original creation from nothingness


Order and Chaos

Mechanism and Explanation


Form: a form is the structure of being – review other definitions; explain form in terms of near symmetry, relative stability and selection and that, therefore, forms are dynamic and may be arranged in a hierarchy according to stability; static, perfect forms are idealizations of dynamic forms. Then introduce LOGIC (below)

The Cognitions (of Space Etc.) Are Forms Even if Space Itself is not a Form. The Omnes Theory of Symbols, However, has Potential as Completeness without Foundation

Note. These two Heading 9 comments and the next on the possibility of metaphysics may go to ‘Object’

Observation: note the argument that cognition of space etc. is a form – this is similar to the idea that a symbol or sentence is a fact; however, the development of the theory of symbols is deferred to the treatment of language. Because of the incompleteness of the theory of symbols and the simultaneous lack of absolute limits, the importance of the theory of symbols to transformation and realization is diminished and we can do without a satisfactory theory of symbols. However, development of a theory of symbols is still useful and may be a foundation for realization. Note that one theory of symbols outside of the Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, namely the hypothetico-deductive theory –the label is mine– of Omnes has potential as completeness without foundation

Form is present in all being, (1) from the definition of form and (2) from the requirement of be-ing (even in infinitesimal being there is infinitesimal form)

A form is a thing, i.e., form has being. The simple form of the assertion, ‘a form is a thing’ is important because it makes the point boldly. The assertion itself is important, (1) as a consequence and example of the power of the theory of being and as a typical way of seeing what has being that is valid for other apparently abstract kinds such as universals.  The examples and their principle show that the abstract kinds are, in fact, abstract only (initially) in their conception but not in their being or in their mature conception. It might be said that the concept that does not correspond to being is not a (valid) concept; and (2) for its consequences

From v2004

Becoming results in more or less stable being. The least stable are transients or ephemera; the more stable are relatively durable. Relative stability is due to mutually sustaining arrangements among the parts or elements; the arrangements may be called symmetry. Thus, except in the absolute ephemera, there is a kind of knowledge: the characteristic of an element that constitutes its participation –or ability to participate– in the arrangement of symmetry. However, the durable arrangements cannot be perfectly symmetric, i.e., absolutely durable for the absolutely durable can have neither decay nor origin; therefore, the actual arrangements fall short of perfect symmetry. There is no suggestion that any stage of being ‘contains’ future stages in a determined way; determinism does not permit an origin of true novelty or true complexity. Instead, there are indeterminate transients that arise at each stage; the relatively durable are those that remain for a longer time. Thus, in the population of being, the relatively durable or symmetric configurations have a higher representation. If a kind or kinds of arrangement are specified, the degree of symmetry with the highest representation may be subject to calculation; in the absence of specification, the argument remains qualitative

It is in the more stable elements that there is (more) determinate being and more determinate knowing. The more determinate are stable in virtue of a near symmetry that is their FORM and the stamp of the universal. According to the argument that a pattern or a law has being so too does the FORM or the universal: the FORM or the universal have been conceived as ‘stamp’ or ‘class’ but instead they are known –and therefore may be conceived– as immanent in being or beings and thus possessed of being. A more complete interpretation is as follows. It is inherent in the ‘thing’ or object that except the absolute ephemera and the absolute atom, [relative] symmetry and therefore FORM is inherent in its being. However, the absolute ephemera are not things. Further, it is inherent in the THEORY OF BEING that the absolute atom does not exist since what is possible is necessary and therefore the thing or object is always subject to disintegration. Thus, FORM is inherent in thing. Thing and FORM are without distinction. Similarly, FORM is inherent in ALL BEING: being and FORM are without distinction. This ARCHETYPAL ARGUMENT, which has a number of characteristic elements, is a significant form of argument that has been used and has the potential for use in the METAPHYSICS, i.e. the THEORY OF BEING

Thus, FORM is used in two meanings. The first meaning is that FORM is possible structure that arises from the requirements of relative-stability and so of near-symmetry. I.e. a form is form-able; form requires near-symmetry and near-symmetry implies the possibility of form and formability. The second meaning is that of the FORM that is inherent in –the structure of actual– being. The foregoing interpretation has shown that the two meanings are equivalent. An aspect of form is that it is constant over objects of the same form. Thus it matters not whether we speak of one form –the classical interpretation– or many identical forms. Similar comments may be made for the universal

A FORM is sometimes thought of as static. Actual entities are always in states of becoming (and dissolution) and thus approximate static FORMS. Therefore, alternately, we can think of FORMS as dynamic. In this view FORMS are possibilities of structure-in-transition that approximate absolute stability and or perfect symmetry. There are no static objects. Taking the view of the object-as-a-whole, it has been seen to always be in a state of becoming –or dissolution– that may occasionally approximate stasis. Underlying a seeming near-static object is an actual dynamic near-equilibrium of transactions

Dynamic forms may be approximated by static forms

The alternative to becoming is dissolution

Briefly, it may be said that the possible relatively stable structures relative to the void are FORMS. The FORM is a particular –a thing– just as LAW AND PATTERN are particulars. Laws and patterns are FORMS. This is elaborated in the sources where it is reinforced that FORMS and UNIVERSALS are, in fact, particulars

Although there is a similarity between the FORM and the UNIVERSAL there is also a distinction. The latter is discussed below, see UNIVERSALS

The FORM has being of the same kind as the particular being; there is but one kind. Although substance or category may be useful in some contexts, there is no absolute or theoretical need for them. The substance is a practical and useful concept; not a theoretical or necessary concept

From supplement

Logic is a form

The logics constitute a set of forms. Logic is a fundamental form. Logic [LOGOS] is constitutive of determinate being

Cognitions are forms

The content of a cognition may be seen as approximate –in a variety of ways– to a form

To suppose an absolute divide –in kind or territory, in intension or extension­– between emotion or feeling and cognition would be to make a false supposition. It is important to become used to this idea early. The remark remark is explained, emphasized, developed and elaborated later

Place the following comment at the end of the §FORM

The discussion on FORM comes before those on MIND, SYMBOL AND OBJECT. This is because symbol and object come together in form. Without form, it may be questioned whether symbol and object have any structure or whether they are shadows of the REAL. There are forms and PERCEPTS or PERCEPTIONS OF FORMS but perceptions of forms are forms. And in all form there is perception or PROTO-PERCEPTION i.e. the effect of the one in the other that is RELATION. The general case is PERCEPTION-IN from which, there speciates or develops PERCEPTION-OF which is experienced as isolated perception. This generalizes to the speciation of COGNITION-IN which includes COGNITION-OF

In the case of LANGUAGE there is a CONTEXT, already set up, within which there are crisp boundaries that encourage the notion of definiteness of language and its REFERENCE. The critics of the notion of DEFINITENESS IN LANGUAGE have attempted to dissuade us of its guile and charm. That charm is not altogether misplaced in context –institution, culture– but an error in the use of language is its indefinite projection beyond its context even to the ultimate. The form resolves the distinction of symbol and object and the misleading definiteness of and language

From supplement

Forms are stable configurations of being

A symmetric configuration is one whose elements are in stable balance. Absolute symmetry is symmetry that would result in absolute stability. However, absolute stability can have no becoming or dissolution. Therefore, actual being does not have perfect symmetry since it cannot have absolute stability. Actual forms are relatively stable and possessed of sufficient symmetry to permit more than ephemeral being

Actual forms are DYNAMIC

Form, Logos and Logic
Form and Symbol


Change to Heading 3? Here or later?

Also include: discussion of PROPERTIES

From v2004

The ‘universal’ is taken up primarily to show how the present developments clarify the ontological status of various concepts that have been thought to possess being. Additionally, the ‘problem of universals’ is significant in the history of metaphysics

The discussion has similarities with the earlier treatment of FORMS

Is a kind of being a being in itself or is it merely a concept? E.g. while a particular tree has being, what is the being of ‘tree’ as a kind or universal?

A particular object, a particular tree, is an instantiation of a form. Therefore, the universal may be equated to the form. In this sense, the universal has the same being as form. In the earlier discussion of form, it was seen that the being of form is no more or less particular than that of particular object. Therefore, universal, despite the connotation, is also a particular. This follows the line of development of this essay where the distinction between concrete or particular object, kind of object, and abstract object are seen to break down

The previous paragraph treats the universal as external object

The individual also has an intuition of a universal and is thus able to recognize, for example, a tree

Here, I am concerned with the ontological status of the intuition and not with a discussion of how the intuition may be given an explicit formulation. The intuition has origin in genesis and development and therefore its function and coordination may be understood, explained and judged; however, it may not be founded

There is a concern with boundary cases that may be used to judge the absolute character of the intuition. The correct response is that while the forms of the world necessarily follow the possibilities of form, the intuition does not necessarily have exact correspondence, in any sense, to the forms of the world. The forms of intuition are, of course, also forms of the world. It is true, as discussed in the earlier section on form, that some distributions of form may constitute a continuum. In these cases, the intuition may or may not lie on a continuum. However, even when the actual forms are discrete, the intuition may have problems with distinction among the discrete forms

What is the ontological status of the concept of the tree? It is the same as that of concepts in general. The concept breaks down into symbol and ideal object. What is their ontological status?

‘There is a bifurcation in the one of the effects of the other into two modes that is the origin of ‘symbol’ and ‘object’ before which symbol and object exist but are not distinct’

Thus, concept may be seen as ‘effect.’ That is, as manifest in being, the concept partakes of being no more and no less than any other being or part of being. While our relation to our experience is to experience it as materially ephemeral, this experience is ‘intuitive’ rather than real. It is natural for the organism, in the mode of distinguishing between ideal object and external object to assign relative ephemerality of being to the ideal object. However, as has just been seen, this assignment, though natural, is ontologically in error

‘Universal’ has two meanings or senses. Both senses are possessed of being without qualification. This is consistent with the present development in which the ontological status of all entities is identical. This follows and flows from power as the ‘measure’ of being and the foundation in the void


Object. A summary of knowledge and concepts


Object GENERAL. Mind is implicit in all subsections of ‘Object’

The following sections have significant discussions of knowledge and concepts. Eliminate style ‘knowledge.concepts’ when done

Reading the Essay

Examples of power inherent in analysis of meaning

Knowledge and Certainty

Emotion, Belief and Faith

Theory of Being



Conceptual Thought: the Concept

Human Being and Society

Mind, Symbol and Value as a Proximate Account of Being



Original titles: ‘Symbol, Ideal and External Object’ and, in this document, ‘Knowledge, Object and Symbol’

Combine with the next section, ‘Mind and Symbol?’ This section was originally placed here because it derives from the discussion of form. This advantage is not lost and unity is gained by combining it with the next section. It will be important to note, though, that the discussion of knowledge or symbol has a subjective side (mind as the effect of the one…) and an objective side (symbol, concept as object.) Note that there is a new section, ‘The Concept’ below

It is important to clearly define (1) the pertinent concept field, and (2) the terms including ‘symbol,’ ‘object,’ ‘internal object,’ and ‘external object.’ The two sections, ‘Mind and Symbol’ and ‘Symbol, Ideal and External Object’ of the existing version have been combined into this one. Is this good?

Plan. Combine this section and the next, ‘Symbol, Ideal and External Object,’ to form a new section, ‘Knowledge, Object and Symbol.’ Primary conclusions include (1) From the discussion of FORM, except in the case that the available symmetries are uniquely determined by the element, elemental knowledge is in no sense a complete representation of other elements even though the subject element ‘feels’ others and that, in this feeling, has some measure of the others. The formation of this knowledge is by random variation and Populational selection of the near symmetric and therefore durable systems. I.e., it is not the knowing element that forms its knowledge; rather, the knowledge is formed in the formation of the near symmetric system that includes the element. Beyond knowledge, in what way can the element of a near symmetric system know the whole (universe?) Two ways appear to be possible. In the first, as far as the local cosmological system is concerned, if it is constituted of large numbers of ‘atoms’ that are identical or similar in structure, the ‘atoms’ and elements already know something of the whole as part of their constitution. Secondly, through indeterministic process, the elements can change but not so much that the new and the old forms are completely distinct, and through the standard process already described, the outcome may be a changed ‘atom’ or population of ‘atoms.’ It may then be said that the original has come to know its ‘new’ partners in symmetry. Regarding this way of knowledge formation some observations may be made. First, there is, again, no deterministic and linear path to real new knowledge. Second, that, at the primal level, knowledge and being are not indistinct. Third, that in coming to know, the being of the knower changes. Finally, that the phrase ‘comes to know’ may be applied only if the changed knower or subject has similarity to the original. The nature of identity has been developed (link) for higher being. Since identity requires recognition of continuity even through drastic change, i.e., even though the form of being is transformed, a trace of the sequence of forms are retained and associated. Perhaps it may make sense to say that if the transformed element is similar to the original, it retains a trace of the original. (2) Similar conclusions are (has been: link) arrived at for knowledge at the level of higher being such as the animal which includes human being. It is useful to distinguish perception and thought (link: §Human Being…; sub§§ cognition, bound-free). As is (has been: link) seen, perception can not be thought of as representation of the other despite its apparent objectivity (perhaps due to the acuity and clarity of some modes of perception.) Instead, the percept is a compound feeling that is as much the state of the ‘subject’ as it is a (normally non-unique) function of the state of the ‘other’ (note that other includes the universe and, therefore, the subject.) Therefore, the ideal object (concept:PERCEPT) is not the noumenon (thing-in-itself,) it is not a complete representation (isomorph) of the noumenon; it is not even in the category of noumenon (if it were in the category of noumenon, it could then be said that the ideal object approximates to the noumenon.) Instead, the ideal object is a function (creation) of the subject, more precisely a creation in the subject, that may be thought of as a projection that is identical or equivalent to a filtered non-congruent mapping of the noumenon. Thought comes in two varieties; or perhaps a continuum or range with two extremes. The first level of thought is iconic in which free images are constructed from the traces (memory) of perceptions. These have the quality of perceptions. The iconic image may be isomorphic to a perceptual image; or, it may be as if a collage made from perceptual traces whose degree of association lies on a continuum from zero to, perhaps, perfect connection. The second aspect of thought is the symbol which is a sign for an ideal object, e.g., an iconic image. However, thought is neither pure iconic nor pure symbolic but compound in that both the ideal object and the symbol are collages; generally, the symbol is less complex than the ideal object and, so, it may be said that a symbol may be a ‘sign and the world that it evokes.’ In any case, there are categorial and representational gulfs between symbol (now used for the root meaning and the root in combination with the iconic) and noumenon. There is also a causal gulf or gulf of determination of the ideal object in the subject in search of the object. This gulf is a result of the fact that, at all levels, there is no direct determination of the symbol by the noumenon; rather, the symbol is posited and subject to a variety of kinds of selection resulting in a population of symbols corresponding to the noumenon. Additionally, there is no support for categorial faithfulness in representation from the primal or elemental level. Thus, even though knowledge seems to the subject to be of the external object (noumenon), even though knowledge is functional in action, and even though there is psychological advantage to the seeming (external) objectivity there is no knowledge of the noumenon – at least according to the line of argument thus far. The illusion of knowledge of the external object is created by the fact that symbols are signs for ideal objects, especially those ideal objects experienced as vivid, e.g. complex and sharp in structure, vivid in color, ‘concrete’ to touch… (3) This does not mean that symbolic or signal representation of the noumenon, the noumenal world is impossible. An approach to the possibility of such representation starts with abandoning the idea or hope of subjective representation – instead of the irrational hope of sharpening what (passes for) it according to the mechanism, described above, of its formation. Instead the approach is through ‘free’ symbols or signs. There is in the Theory of Being with foundation in the void, an example of such representation. The theory is a unitary theory of the universe, of all being, from which both subject and object may be derived. Another example is that of the quantum theory from which it is now (c. 2006) known to be able to construct, via a theory of ‘projection’ operators, a model of the subject within the universe (according to quantum theory.) This is in contrast to earlier interpretations of quantum theory in which observation was alien to the formal apparatus of the theory. Classical and quantum theory have in common that the theories are formal systems of signs; the distinction is in the nature of the symbols. In classical mechanics the ideal objects are highly iconic even if abstract. In quantum theory the objects have lost some of their object-based iconic character and are, though still iconic, looser in their object-base. However, there is still an iconic aspect to quantum theory and, therefore, it falls short of the Theory of Being as a theory of the noumenon. Even in the Theory of Being, at least according to the present line of thought, there is a categorial gap between phenomenon and noumenon; however, the representational gap is closed. The cost is that the theory is perfectly abstract and is, therefore, better described as a representational framework than a representational theory. In quantum theory, the representational gap remains but, in return, the predictions from quantum theory are detailed in nature

Plan. In selecting from and editing the following, edit for language (words and phrases used) and content according to the previous paragraph

In all phases of being from the primal to the present, in interaction between two beings or entities, the ‘effect’ in one being –which will be called the ‘one’– due to another –the ‘other’– is the knowledge –or sign or feeling– in the one of the other. Mind is manifest at the primal level

Interaction and effect are to be carefully understood in a sense to be specified as immediately follows. The sense referred to is not a standard causal sense of ‘effect.’ It is a more inclusive, more elementary, more fundamental and an original sense. In the primal case it is the potential for interaction; thus, in this case, use of the words ‘knowledge’ and ‘mind’ are used in a primitive though real sense. In the post-primal case when quasi-determinate and quasi-causal being has arisen, the interaction and the effect are the result of the selection of quasi-stable, near-symmetric being –with associated coherence– over the ephemera. It is the coherence that is [manifests as] interaction and effect – or cause and effect

[What is the significance of near symmetry? Perfect symmetry is infinitely more unlikely than near symmetry; yet a state of perfect symmetry, although unattainable, if inhabited, would be frozen, unchanging. Near symmetry has the quality of durability though not of absolute durability. Near symmetry is infinitely more attainable than perfect symmetry but more durable than FORMS with minimal symmetry. Thus the actual population of the universe is, generally, of near symmetric FORMS]

Knowing or feeling –the effect of the one in the other– cannot be other than this; this is the advantage of talking of being rather than, e.g., of matter: the nature of the being of an entity is not given a priori while the nature of matter –at least in some of its aspects– is usually assumed to be given

Every part of the universe contains an effect or potential for effect of every other part upon it. Therefore, primal mind is co-extensive with being. However, as being is power, mind is not merely coextensive with being – MIND IS BEING

This form of the concept of knowing, of mind is valid for primal or elementary being and e.g. for human being

Therefore, knowing and mind are power. Mind is coeval and coextensive with being. Mind is being

‘Mind is being’ is the consistent and efficient extension of the immediate concept ‘mind-as-I-have-or-experience-it’ to the primal level

There is a problem with any assertion that a substance is the universal substance. It is essentially that the substance-as-conceived or substance-of-experience may be carried over to the primal case. This is the essential problem of naïve materialism and of naïve pan-psychism. However, it is important to note that, here, the relevant concept is extended – and abstracted. The mental is the effect –the apprehension– of the one in the other. I have argued that a power of the use of ‘being’ is that its nature is taken as waiting to be discovered as part of ‘discourse’ [analysis, the journey…] rather than as given. The significance of the use of mind is that, divested of its local manifestation, it provides a solution that is sufficiently open to permit discovery and, simultaneously, unites the primal and the local

It may be thought that in asserting that mind is being, there is subscription to an idealist ontology. However, that implication does not follow from the foregoing arguments. An apparent ontology can be an idealism –or a materialism– only if there is some explicit or implied restriction to the possibilities of being. Here, since MIND is taken to be the extension of mind to the primal, there is no restriction in possibility. There is a restriction only on the equation of MIND to mind

Symbol, Ideal and External Object

Symbol, Ideal and External Object GENERAL

Plan. The heading has been lowered from level 3 to level 4 prior to incorporation of this section with the previous

There is a bifurcation in the one of the effects [knowledge…] of the other into two modes that is the origin of ‘symbol’ and ‘object’ before which symbol and object exist but are not distinct. This object is the ideal object. In this section, the unqualified term ‘object’ refers to the ideal object. The noumenon or ‘external’ object and its ontological status is discussed below

Initially, symbol and object are tightly bound i.e. the symbol itself is a case of the ideal object. Later, the binding ‘loosens,’ the symbol becomes FREE. As discussed below, the free symbol is a foundation of the capability for symbolic knowledge, truth and logic. In the development, the ideal and external objects may also become unbound. There is no necessity that binds every ideal object to some external object. Additionally, the ideal object may also be implicit or held in the ‘unconscious.’ [The unconscious may be interpreted, as that region of awareness that remains dynamically obscure relative to the ‘bright light of central consciousness.’ This development is detailed in SOURCE documents.] Given the foregoing observations, it is possible to see an identity between the referential and use theories –or conceptions– of MEANING

There is an analogy with life where, at the earliest stages, ‘gene’ and organism have not yet bifurcated

Stories may be told of the path from Primality through the origin of coherence, through bifurcation and up to the present. All such stories may be criticized… and may be supported by reason and by evidence… re-criticized and retold… To tell such a story here would require a much longer document; such stories are told in myth and in the annals of science… and in the SOURCES. What is unquestionable, given the fact of being and the identity of being with Primality – the void, is that there are valid stories, perhaps untold in our world, of becoming

Thus, symbol and object remain in intuition at all levels, from the immediate to the primal. There is no a priori knowledge of the thing-in-itself beyond the intuition. This is in the nature of knowledge, of apprehension. To expect or to want more, to think of knowledge as therefore limited, is to misunderstand the nature of apprehension, of knowledge. As such, knowledge could be considered to be limited if a greater knowledge were validly conceivable but not attainable. Although there are contingent limits, following developments show that there are no absolute and real limits on the possibilities of any individual or kind. Therefore, knowledge greater than the ideal object or thing-in-intuition is not validly conceivable. It is, however, imaginable that there may be an a posteriori identity or near identity in form of knowledge and an abstraction of thing-in-itself. Such formal identity would likely be the result of selection either of the one –the subject– or, later in evolution, of the form of the free-symbol of the subject. Alternatively, the identity would be the result of an improbable, lucky ‘accident.’ Thus, while there is no actual apprehension there may be, for some purposes, be an as-if apprehension that may be labeled ‘comprehension.’ Such comprehension may obtain when there is sufficient adaptation between organism and immediate environment. As more and more is included in the ‘environment,’ from local to universal, more and more abstraction is required for comprehension. The first meaning of comprehension as as-if apprehension is extended by adding the FREE SYMBOLIC CAPABILITY to the apprehension

The object is always in in-tuition i.e. known by looking in. This is the essence of the ideal object

The object is always in in-tuition. However, the BOUND FORMS may be so stark in character that they may present as if objective. Then, the bound form may be thought of as the thing-in-itself. For some and only some –practical– purposes, this thought is valid. Against this background, the questions may arise: is the perception truly of the thing-in-itself and, if it is not, can FREE symbolic thought correct the perception to provide understanding of the thing-in-itself? It is possible to see how these questions arise naturally even though their basis is an error in the conceptualization of knowledge and apprehension

[Note that apprehension corresponds to what has been called knowledge by acquaintance, and comprehension includes what has been called knowledge by description]

The existence of the external object is not denied at all. What may be in question is the form of the external object. That the ideal object corresponds to something in the world is without objection. However, the form of the ideal object is not directly of the world but at the intersection of the object and the subject. The closest apprehension of the external object is in the FORMS of the concept including the ideal object. This lack of absolute apprehension is, as has been seen, is not a ‘loss.’ Rather, it may be seen as positive. Except against logically unrealistic expectation, it is positive. That knowledge is of the object and is not the object itself is the foundation of discovery and creation. That knowledge is ‘not the object itself’ is a metaphorical phrase meaning that knowledge is not a formal identity relation with the object. Clearly, the external object is not external in the sense of outside. Rather, it is not of the intuition – it is what has been called the thing-in-itself, ‘das ding-an-sich,’ or noumenon. It is inherent in the concepts of noumenon and apprehension, that the noumenon is not apprehended by the individual. That the noumenon is not, in its nature, apprehended or apprehensible, has been taken to imply that it is formless, undifferentiated. However, it is only the knowledge of it that may lack differentiation. In its manifestation as the void, the noumenon is contingently without form or differentiation. Further, however, it is not a contradiction for there to be a correspondence in the FORMS of the noumenon and the ideal object. Additionally, aspects of the noumenon may be clearly taken up in valid discourse as in the THEORY OF BEING and the VOID. It is further conceivable that a complete theory, i.e. comprehension, of the noumenon may be given in symbolic discourse; this is taken up in the SOURCE documents

The objects of intuition retain their boundaries as in intuition. Mind-as-we-primarily-experience-it more or less retains what is usually thought to be its normal locus e.g. primarily in the brain but also diffusely throughout the body. However, in the noumenon, the intuitive boundaries are without special significance and mind-as-we-experience-it has no special place. As has been seen above, mind is coeval and coextensive with being. Mind is being

In the foregoing discussion, it may be useful to replace the unqualified term ‘object’ by ‘ideal object’ and to replace ‘external object’ by noumenon or thing-in-itself

In a first stage of a theory of language meaning, reference may be thought to be explicit and to ‘concrete’ objects. However, reference may also be implicit –not apparent– and to non-concrete objects such as intentions. Regarding intentions as objects is entirely consistent with the THEORY OF BEING as developed here. In one stage of language meaning, reference is said to be given and it is sense that determines reference. In another stage, reference is said to evolve –meander is a relatively neutral term– and is better determined by use. However, it is better to say that the meander of reference lies in the interaction between sense –or concept– and use. These comments constitute a stark summary of the possible concepts and theories of language meaning

Here, the term ‘use’ may be replaced by ‘application.’ The idea of selection is implicit in application. The term ‘reference’ may be replaced by the ideas of shades and families of reference

The structure or structuring of the symbol and object constitute the structures of ‘thought,’ which includes the structures of language

In its usual meaning, language is a form of thought i.e. using language is thinking rather than merely expressing thought. In an extended meaning, language and thought are identical. In the extended meaning, not all language is immediately in the form of communication

It may be illuminating to relate the present discussion to the famous metaphor of everyday knowledge as a shadow cast by the real object. In the original metaphor, the real object exists in the real world of Ideas. Although it may be thought of as the noumenon, a better thought is that the real objects are FORMS. While the metaphor of naïve knowledge as shadow is not a complete illustration of the present discussion, it provides an extension to it in the introduction of FORM

From supplement

Plan. Incorporate the following materials, through the section, KNOWLEDGE, below, with the above

The identification of ‘mind or knowledge as the effect of the one in the other’ appears to be limited. Following are some apparent limitations and responses

(1) The identification is concrete with regard to objects. Response: The ‘one’ could be pattern, law, form, concept, the whole. (2) The idea excludes subjectivity. Response: there is no exclusion; ‘effect’ has an objective and a subjective aspect that are not distinct. In the discussion of mind, subjectivity is referred down to the atom – i.e. whatever may be elemental or atomic including, perhaps, an infinite series or continuum of levels. This point and various objections and ramifications have been discussed in detail. (3) The idea excludes the intensional nature of mind, awareness, consciousness and knowledge. Response: while elemental mind, awareness, consciousness, knowledge… are referred to the elemental, atomic or primal level, intensionality does indeed require explanation. While the idea of mind as the effect of the one in the other does not logically entail intensionality, it does not rule it out. The effect of one element, e.g. an electron, on another may be thought of as intensional (the conditions of existence require every element of a stable phase of being to have an aboutness regarding the remainder of the phase but the feeling is, simply, not sufficiently elaborate to generate acute intensionality) but that would be intensionality of a different character than animal level intensionality. However, the explanation of animal level intensionality is the same regardless or whether elemental subjectivity is introduced

The Infinitely Many Attributes Theory

The Infinitely Many Attributes Theory GENERAL

Place this topic with: earlier section, MIND?

From supplement

Planning. This section has the following functions; accordingly enter some of items 1 and 2 into the text. [1] To emphasize that the general cosmology has interpretation as one without categories or substances, [2] That the local ontology may be regarded as a monism which is clearly not a materialism but, even though it finds mind at the elemental level, is neither an idealism nor a pan-psychism since what is found at the elemental is an extension of – the concept of – mind-as-we-have-it

The Infinitely Many Attributes Theory of Spinoza [eliminate reference here but add comment in ‘Influences.’] A comment on MIND. Spinoza argued that whereas the attributes we recognize in nature are two –mind and matter– nature may in fact have an infinite number of attributes. In FOUNDATION, I stated that this is a ‘is a useful reminder on the limitation of our embedded categories of thought.’ Here, I want to revaluate the infinite attribute theory

MIND can be seen as the nature of being as viewed by the PARTICIPANT

MATTER can be seen as the nature of being as viewed by a SPECTATOR – from the outside

Therefore, there cannot be further attributes in this sense except for the sophistry that may be involved in considering multiple relations e.g. the world as viewed in communication among individuals. [Even if we accept this view as establishing further attributes, they are not the attributes of a higher being; this does not demonstrate that there could be no attributes of this kind that are not available to us]

However, if we consider that the MODALITIES OF NATURE that we admit e.g. in science are the SENSORY MODALITIES then we recognize the classical five and other modalities. In that other modalities may be possible, at least in other phase-epochs, it would appear that ‘nature’ does have an infinite number of attributes. I say ‘does have’ rather than ‘may have’ because this follows from the THEORY OF BEING i.e. all possibilities are material necessities

Ideal and External Object

Discussion of knowledge / theory of knowledge here? What are the relations among symbol, ideal and external object? Is there the external object or what is the meaning of ‘external object?’ If symbol and ideal object are not identical, what is their relation? This is obviously Kantian territory and justice must be done to Kant and his successors


A new section. Is this the best place to locate ‘Belief?’

The Concept

A new section. Is this the best place to introduce the concept of the concept?

Introduce various considerations: as-experienced, assigned, definition, extension, field, flat, fluid, fundamental, intrinsic, primal, slack-tentative, use…

An example of fluidity of concepts: whole, part; male-female and masculine-feminine

The analysis of male, female… is important for a number of reasons. It might seem that ‘male / female’ is obvious, male is male, female is female and there is nothing to analyze. However, this is not true and this has significance for our nature and also provides an example of fluidity

In the first place, it is important in showing that the whole is made up of complements. This shows that the identification of either as superior is mistaken in principle i.e. that, at least in this context, ‘superior’ has no final meaning even people place importance in it. That does not mean that cultivation actual or assigned values must always be ‘equal’ or ‘democratic.’ Nor can or should the previous sentence be taken as a justification of unequal treatment or status

The cultural assignments do not mean that ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ cover the range of modalities of being [human] or that only males are, can or should be masculine or only females feminine. Underlying that even the male / female distinction is not as absolute as one might think it to be – even if one looks only at homo sapiens and this can be seen by considering the XO, XX, XY, XYY… and the continuum of possibilities of phenotype. What is it to be female? Is the female the one who bears the ‘egg’ or the one who bears the young? Even if egg and child bearing usually go together, there is no logical reason for that to be the case and it is not always true in nature, i.e., in a minority of species, where the ‘female’ bears the egg, and the ‘male’ bears sperm, the male bears the young (in a many if not a majority of sexual species, neither sex bears young)

This discussion is useful in pointing out the fluidity of concepts and actualities that we think of as fixed and in pointing out the relative lack of meaning to debates on ‘male vs. female.’ however, the most important specific point here has not yet been made and it is this: it is the power of differentiation and recombination in producing variety, flexibility, adaptability, abundance and richness in the realization of form and possibility



Epistemology as Part of Metaphysics

‘Metaphysics is impossible’ is an epistemological statement. However, if epistemology is not inherent in the ‘thing,’ does not that throw epistemology into doubt? Therefore, does not epistemology presume metaphysics? Therefore, if metaphysics is impossible, is not epistemology surely impossible? This is not necessarily the case for the doubt regarding metaphysics is logical it is in the conceptual gulf between knowledge which is an effect of the thing and the thing itself. Epistemology, then is –includes– the clarification of the relation between ‘knowledge’ and thing

In the Theory of Being of this essay, it is shown that knowledge of being-as-being is possible. Distinctions between absolute knowledge and knowledge-in-transition or knowledge as effect are drawn and clarified. From the point of view of the Theory of Being which includes absolute knowledge, epistemology is a part of metaphysics. Epistemology is subsidiary to metaphysics

The ideal object defined as concept or idea is not the external ‘object’ or noumenon or ‘thing-in-itself.’ The quotes in the previous sentence indicate that although we do not doubt an external reality, there is a doubt regarding the existence of external objects that give rise to ideal objects. Rather, the ideal object is a creation at the intersection of the world and an abstraction of it. Every thought, every perception, every human experience, on this view, is abstract

However, knowledge as knowledge-of a thing is not an ‘intrinsic’ function of cognition. It is not the general function of cognition. Therefore the ideal object as referring to an external object does not have meaning. Mapping, depiction, faithfulness are or may be assigned functions. Further, what does not have meaning cannot be desirable. This recognition is a source of freedom – while knowledge is ‘useful,’ criticism and generation of knowledge is not necessarily salvation

(Even the idea of function as used here is assigned. In ‘the function of legs is walking’ there is an assignment. In ‘legs function in walking’ there is no assignment. Thus, ‘function’ has more than one sense and a decision to use one sense is an assignment. Ignoring this fact may lead to error due to implicit confusion with the explicitly excluded sense)

For some important purposes, knowledge of the thing is the assigned or assumed function of cognition. When viewed positively this is the occasion for accumulating knowledge; viewed negatively, it is a source of the critical attitude. This is double-edged since ‘success’ in depiction makes us –individuals, society– dependent on and committed to it

However, in the symbolic sense, the ideal object may have meaning and, with sufficient abstraction, may have embedding, i.e., may be a proper basis of action – of being-in-the-world. Thus the outcome is sanguine, despite the reservation about knowledge of the object

Comments on the Possibility of Metaphysics and of a Complete System of the Problems of Metaphysics

Comments on the possibility of metaphysics; and a complete system of the problems of metaphysics. These comments may be placed here or later, for example, in the critical review… or, e.g., just mentioned in one of these locations and amplified in the other

Theory of Knowledge

Title: add ‘…and belief?’

Note. This section was originally in the Outline of a Theory of Being: Metaphysics, Logic, Cosmology and Theory of Knowledge (which may be removed) and where there remains a stem: Theory of Knowledge. However, placement under ‘Object’ is logically most efficient

Keywords placed in the section on metaphysics

Note that inclusion of Theory of Knowledge is new to this introduction and is practically but not absolutely necessary as indicated at the end of the paragraph that begins. May raise this to level II heading

Preliminary comments on the Theory of Knowledge: Given the Theory of Being developed here, certainty in knowledge cannot be the ultimate ‘function’ of knowledge –even the possibility of certainty may be questioned– although it may be a useful normal function. It may even be questioned whether the function of knowledge is to know – this assignment of function is based the natural and practical inclination of the ego or self and emphasized by the acuity and immediacy of sense perception; rather the underlying ‘function’ of knowing may be seen as connection, immersion or adaptation. (In questioning whether the function of cognition is knowing, the significance of presence –subjective presence, the locus of and a precondition for meaning and, at root, meaning itself– in the universe is not questioned.) What is the source of knowledge? “Although all individual knowledge begins with experience it does not follow that it arises out of experience (alone.)” This points out a limit on empiricism which is further limited because of its focus on knowledge by acquaintance i.e. apprehension of the object. Empiricism does not explain the difficulty that a robot with eyes and ears would have in replicating the human form of knowing unless it also had the equivalent of the human cognitive system that includes the brain. I.e. the categories of intuition which are necessary for the forms of knowledge –of known objects– do not arise out of experience which is clear but may also be seen from the observation that a rock or a robot with sensory organs but not a human or animal like brain do not and cannot have the normal categories of intuition which make possible knowledge by description i.e. the symbolic representation of the object. Thus, pure rationalism is limited because it omits the role of experience. However, even a combination of rationalism and empiricism is logically empty unless a concept of knowledge is adopted and this amounts to specifying a function. While such a combination may provide foundation for the normal function of knowledge as knowing it is inadequate for the universal and normal function of connection, immersion or adaptation. As relationship, it is logically absurd to expect representation of the object – even though there are normal circumstances in which there is the privilege of a remarkable and functional facsimile of representation. Just as being is essentially ‘tentative’ on the account of the Theory of Being, the essence of knowing is hypothesis. Given this, there is no necessary limit to knowing – especially in its symbolic manifestation; the limits, though significant, are normal and practical but not universal or absolute. The Theory of Knowledge or Cognition is important in the ‘normal world’ but is not a necessary prerequisite or co-requisite to a general theory of being

Contents for the Theory of Knowledge: Nature of knowledge, validity or correctness of knowledge: truth. Why the theory of knowledge is preliminary and why, even though it is obviously important, it is not as important as it is often thought to be… It is preliminary because, inasmuch as it is (if it is) crucial it should be so; and if it is not crucial then, in view of the importance of epistemology in modern thought, the ways in which it lacks foundational character should be established at the outset

Concepts: where should the discussion of concepts go? Note the terms slack, flat, fluid, field of concepts, as-we-experience-or-know-it vs. extension-to-the-ground (ground?)

Principles of Thought

Note. The contents of this section are in principles of thought.html until they are edited there and brought back here. This section may remain here or be placed in the section on mind in HUMAN BEING AND SOCIETY

Principles of Thought

Principles of Thought

A Variety of Principles can be extracted from the numbered sections of the Foundation. However, there is no necessity to writing them down as principles since all principles are, in a way, examples

Principles of thought: the entire section is relevant to philosophy

The following sections have significant discussions of principles of thought. Eliminate style ‘principles_of_thought’ when done

Origins and Paths of the Journey

Knowledge and Certainty

Principles of Thought

A Variety of Principles can be extracted from the numbered sections of the Foundation. However, there is no necessity to writing them down as principles since all principles are, in a way, examples

Journey in Being: Action as completing the helical loop of thought


Journey to the Ultimate: Transformation of Being. Action completes the helical loop of being

Sources and Influences


Keep the discussion below, after ‘The Individual?’ If so, this is preliminary

The Individual



Comment on perceptual focus and truth; living in truth. In perception, there is a necessary focus on a restricted region (in place, time, level of detail…) It follows that the truth in perception is partial. Therefore, speaking metaphorically, truth arises from the sea of facts. The comment is not about of accuracy or illusion. It applies also to communication and is distinct from willful deceit. The result is a bias to all individual truth (that may appear to be willfully dishonest, untruthful or inaccurate but is not so.) Responsibility requires attention to be paid to this aspect of truth; correction is possible due to conception; yet it seems to be a necessary practical requirement of being that the entire sea of fact is not available to perception. We therefore live on the boundary of truth and untruth which merges into deceit and ‘honesty’ or living in truth is to hold as an active value, movement in the direction of truth…

These ideas may condition (but are not intended to eliminate) judgment or consequence; they may serve as a basis for an evaluation of ‘living in truth.’ While truth is often thought of as the truth of an assertion, the following view is also possible. We are ‘caught up in a web’ of interactions and truth (and morals) arise in a kind of attempt to transcend that truth-neutral web. Once the idea of truth arises, there is also a potential for implicit deceit. The web is no longer truth-neutral for individuals. Truth includes (a requirement) of an attempt to climb out from the non-neutral web; deceit includes remaining in it. Subscription to an idea that truth is significant requires commitment some, though not all, energies to transcending the web

Ethics in Relation to Truth

Similar comments may be made regarding ethics and ‘living in the good’

From correspondence with Michael Greenberg

On Beauty

The Theory of Being has something to say about the origin and nature of beauty. Given sentience, it follows from the conditions of becoming that there will be positive and negative elements in sentience. Some positive elements are labeled beauty. This idea can be developed further from the theory of free vs. bound and inner vs. outer elements of sentience. This shows a necessity to the origin of beauty and the fact that beauty –the beautiful– will have form but does not address the actual form. This is analogous to an explanation of the origin of structure that does not tell us what the actual structures are

From v2004. Note that the v2004 section also has a discussion on ‘Beauty’ titled ‘The Beautiful’

I begin with the classical dictum ‘To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, or what is not that it is not that it is not, is true’

I speak, initially, of FACTUAL TRUTH and not of other meanings. What kinds of things are true or possess truth, i.e. what are the bearers of truth? Possibilities include beliefs, sentences, propositions, and theories e.g. of science. There is a host of ‘theories’ or conceptions of truth. These include COHERENCE, pragmatist, CORRESPONDENCE, SEMANTIC, and redundancy theories. Regarding each theory, the following questions arise, ‘Is it a complete or partial theory?’ ‘Is it a definition or criterion of truth – or is it definition and criterion?’ or, ‘Is it an elaboration of the idea of truth?’ If a theory is a complete definition or specification of the meaning of truth, then, perhaps, others may be, competing or supply criteria or elaboration. If a theory is a partial definition, then, in addition to the foregoing possibilities, others may be complementary

Correspondence conceptions hold the truth of a proposition to consist in its relation to the world – in its correspondence to the facts. In contrast, coherence theories hold truth to hold in coherence among a set of propositions or beliefs. In some points of view, it is held that a proposition can have truth only in a context e.g. a complete context or metaphysical system. While idealism and contextualism are conducive to coherence theories, correspondence theories are encouraged by external realism. In some views, truth is correspondence while coherence supplies validation or testing. Metaphysical concerns may emphasize correspondence while epistemological concerns emphasize coherence. Both theories are subject to the persistent difficulty of supplying a precise account, in one case, of ‘corresponds,’ and, in the other, of what, exactly, are the appropriate relations that constitute ‘coherence’

Although I will make a few comments on the various theories of truth, it is not my objective, in this essay, to provide a comprehensive account. I will attempt to keep ‘truth’ simple, leaving elaborations to other documents, other writers, and later developments

Recall the discussion of symbol and object, of ideal and external object, of intuition, apprehension and comprehension. If the external object is never, of necessity, apprehended as-it-is, can truth have absolute meaning? An answer is, ‘yes and in two ways.’ First, in that while the apprehension often presents as unitary it is not essentially unitary. Therefore, there may be coherence among the elements of the apprehension. Second, there is the limiting or ultimate possibility of a formal and full correspondence of the comprehension –used in a sense in which it includes intuition and apprehension– to the external object, which the actual comprehension may approximate. It may be noted that, while the distinction between apprehension and comprehension is based in the ‘free symbol’ there also artificiality to the distinction – what is ‘bound’ in the organism is ‘free’ in its original becoming

According to the foregoing, then, truth is correspondence while it is known, at least in part, through coherence. There is some artificiality to this distinction as well since the correspondence between subject and object is, also, a form of coherence, and we might prefer to make a distinction of ‘external’ versus ‘internal’ rather than correspondence versus coherence

It may be remembered that the organism did not produce its own adaptation. Rather, for the organism, the adaptation is given. The truth of the apprehension, though not absolute, is built in. For immediate purposes, truth may be regarded as correspondence or coherence between symbol and the ideal object. For ultimate purposes, truth may be regarded as the correspondence that arises in the comprehension of the external object

When the relations among symbol, ideal object and external object are properly understood, theories of truth are unnecessary. It remains only to illuminate and to illustrate truth

It is now possible to make some extremely brief comments that have implication for the other theories or conceptions of truth

The redundancy theory is illuminated by the following thought. Speaking in the mode of apprehension, The sky is blue and The statement, ‘The sky is blue’ is true are equivalent

However, speaking in the mode of comprehension, the latter statement of the previous paragraph may have the significance of The apprehension, ‘The sky is blue,’ is corroborated in the comprehension. This may be thought of as elaborating the sense of, ‘The sky is blue’ if and only if the sky is blue. This latter specification of the meaning of truth is in a classic form of the semantic definition of truth

As noted above there is a distinction between a concept of truth and a criterion of truth. I hold that the pragmatic theories amount to criteria and that insofar as they imply conceptions of truth, those conceptions are combinations of the coherence and correspondence theories. It follows, then, that pragmatism has no significance for the meaning of truth. However, the ideas of the pragmatists are not without utility and have consequences for an understanding of the way in which scientific theories come to have general acceptance in the scientific community. This thought has been one of the inspirations of a number of twentieth century lines of research into the nature of the scientific enterprise. It may be noted that pragmatist thought has affinities with behaviorism as in, for example, taking belief to be –merely– a disposition to action

At this point, it is possible to step away from discussion of factual truth and comment briefly on ‘higher truth.’ In order to be definitive, it will be necessary to make an abstract statement. The ‘truth of an individual’ lies in achieving harmonic relations. In the ultimate, the relations would be among all being. I will not interpret ‘harmonic’ except to say that its implicit meaning does not imply, only, such qualities as peace and continuity but may include the jagged edges implied by the category of HUMOR. For example, there is a tendency to feel more respect for that truth for which sacrifice has been made. To attempt to be too specific regarding the meaning of ‘harmonic’ would be limiting. Every individual and individuals collectively work out their ‘truth.’ Humor may be seen as including the attitudes of harmony and peace. To go further into a working out of the possibilities of truth would require an incursion into psychology that is unnecessary here but has been taken up in the SOURCES and is left for later development

Since the boundaries of the organism have arbitrariness in an ultimate view, there is also arbitrariness to the distinction between correspondence and coherence. This arbitrariness implies and illuminates affinities between factual and higher truth

The Beautiful

Truth and beauty are often discussed together, sometimes being equated to one another. The basis of the equation may be due to the similarity of the emotion evoked and or the fundamental nature of the concepts. Here, truth and beauty are not equated. However, since the equation has been made it is useful to see what similarity there may be

As for truth, beauty may be seen as a system of affinities or harmonic relations

However, the equation of truth to beauty is an unnecessary con-fusion. Simply and naturally, truth and beauty may be seen as coming under the general system of affinities among symbol, ideal object and external object

The affinities or relations include those of ‘cognition’ and of ‘emotion.’ In factual truth, cognition is emphasized. Beauty emphasizes emotion and feeling. Higher truth concerns the entire individual in its internal and external relations

The elucidation of concepts shows their proper relations and results in elimination of confusion that arises from incomplete or invalid understanding

On Love

There is an obvious relation between love and beauty for it is often easy or compelling to feel love for beautiful things and individuals. However, beauty is not required for love. It is sometimes thought that love for what is not beautiful and is not ones own (what is strange or different) is a higher or truer love

I have place this brief section on love here because of the obvious connection of love to beauty. However, love is more personal than beauty and it is not clear that a philosophical clarification of that most intimate thing would be a clarification. I have read analyses of love that left me with the feeling that, if that is love, then love is quite flat, alien to my experience of it. This does not imply that there is no role for philosophy for, even if philosophy does not clarify the nature of love or enhance it, then that too may be revealed by reflection; and it may not be that a clarifying or enriching philosophy of love is impossible but, simply, that there are inadequacies in what I have read

I do think, however, that there is something about the intimacy of love that may be diminished by analysis and, therefore, any analysis of love should be heedful of this possibility. At the outset of reflection, one might say, ‘These reflections may well fall far short of their subject.’ (That might be said, with benefit, at the outset of, during, and at the conclusion of any reflection. Also, however, applying the principle to itself, there is also a place for confident, bold, and even brazen assertion.) At the same time, reflection on love cannot be altogether negative if it clarifies, helps enhance the quality of, and serves to enhance love. On account of its (often) personal nature, its varieties and intricacies, its duality (in giving love, we also receive,) it might be better to discuss love while discussing human being (link, human psychology.) That discussion would not be merely analytical and dispassionate and would benefit from philosophical reflection (including that of others) on the varieties and paradoxes of love (in giving we receive, in loving we risk pain…)

Further Topics in Metaphysics: Logic; Cosmology and Identity; Human Being, Ethics and Action; Faith

The topics could be placed under metaphysics; however, it is more convenient, here, to use the more specific meaning of metaphysics in which these topics are treated separately

1.2         LOGIC



Place most of the following commentary on the two conceptions in the main discussion

From supplement

Logic and metaphysics may be thought to be distinct. However, in consideration of what ‘laws’ are common to all cosmological systems within the one universe, it is logic that emerges as the essential law or system of laws

Therefore there is a root convergence of logic and cosmology and a divergence according to kind of cosmological system. I.e., the laws of a specific cosmological system may be seen as special laws superposed on ‘universal logic.’ Alternatively, the special laws e.g. the laws of physics may be seen as logic. However, at the root there is a fundamental distinction. The laws of behavior within a cosmological system may be thought of as imposed as the conditions of its origins – more generally of its history. However, the ‘laws of logic’ are not imposed but are inherent in being (or constitutive of a context)

Although logic and (general) cosmology are the same subject, their emphasis is distinct

Whereas human institutions are artifactual relative to biology and human psychology, so a cosmological system and its laws may be seen as artifactual relative to nothingness or to earlier or less formed domains

Logic… Logic – the study of necessary form; logic as the form that is common to all members of a class of forms; the [?] blur between logic and natural law. Logos and logic; sometimes use ‘logic’ for ‘logos.’ Laws of logic. Induction and the scientific method. Science and reality. Law. The necessity of being (becoming) –why is there something rather than nothing– or the fundamental problem of metaphysics; the equivalence of the void and the universe. Possibility, necessity and actuality

Logics and Their Contexts

Logics and their contexts: bivalence, propositional and other calculi, multivalent logic, modal logic, other logics e.g. tensed logic

Query: is ‘context’ the appropriate word and concept?

Note: develop of some aspects of logic and truth, e.g. the necessity of reference for the existence of truth value and, perhaps, for meaning… and, perhaps, other topics from the Alternate compound summary section

Note: Logic and, more generally, the theory of form include the Dynamics of Being

Note: planning font in the middle of a paragraph sometimes means that the topic is to be introduced (often times the topic has been introduced but regular font not restored)

Two conceptions of logic

1.     Study of the necessary or constitutive form of being. In this essay, this is the concept of logic. The object of study can be made definite by specifying a particular context or mini-verse of discourse, i.e., by defining the (necessary) character of all being in that mini-verse (the common phrase is ‘universe of discourse’ but ‘min-verse’ is used to avoid confusion.) Whether there is a universal logic that has application to the universe is an open question; however, in the case of determinate being (e.g. entities may be identified by properties (review this and elaborate)) there is, at least, some elementary constitutive form

There is a vagueness to any distinction between necessary and contingent form. If necessary form is the subject of logic, then physics (science) is an example of contingent form. The distinction between necessary and contingent forms may be made precise by specification of a constitution; however, although the distinction is made precise, it has some arbitrariness and it is not generally clear whether this arbitrariness can be eliminated. In general there are ideas of necessary and contingent forms whose distinction, though clear in nature, appears to lack precision. However, the following assertion may be made. Although there is a distinction between logic and the physics of this world or cosmological system, LOGIC and PHYSICS are identical (LOGIC is the necessary form and theoretical PHYSICS is the common behavior of the UNIVERSE)

In this world, strictly, physics is not logic or a part of logic. However, the variety of forms that are possible within the constitutive form of determinate being include physics. I.e. there is a variety of laws that are similar in form to the actual laws of physics that are consistent with and may be thought to emanate from the constitutive form. In this sense, the laws of physics may be thought to be a topic in logic

If logos is the necessary or constitutive form of being then, in this conception, LOGIC is the study of LOGOS. It is sometimes useful to identify logic with logos. Although these concepts must have implications for all being, there is, here, no appeal to the religious (theological) connotations of logos as, e.g., the divine reason implicit in the universe. Earlier, metaphysics was identified with the study of being as such, i.e., the details of the varieties of being are not part of general metaphysics. It was seen that metaphysics may be defined as the study of being whose only limits are necessary limits. There is, therefore, an overlap between logic and metaphysics: in its core, metaphysics is identical to logic

Although there are many intimations of this first concept of logic in the history of ideas, the next conception is the more common one

2.     Logic as the science or art of argument or inference. The forms of being make inference possible. Inference based in constitutive form may be regarded as ‘pure’ logic. A variety of logics follow from consideration of a variety of contexts. Inference in physics or mathematics may be thought to result from inference based in constitutive and special (contingent) forms. Another way of saying this is that proof in mathematics or theoretical physics results from the application of (pure) logic to physical laws or (descriptions of) mathematical structure

Purposes of this section, implicit in the two conceptions of logic, are… (1) Sufficient elaboration (logic as inference and the variety of logics are not developed in detail) to permit understanding of the two conceptions of logic and their relations including (possible) identity or inclusion; (2) Showing (or helping to show) the core identity of the elements of the theory of being (logic, metaphysics, cosmology and the theory of knowledge) from the perspective of logic; and, from the same perspective, to demonstrate (or helping to demonstrate) the possibility of metaphysics and to show how a metaphysics may be built. (The details of the metaphysics are in the sections on metaphysics, cosmology…) The metaphysics constructed in two equivalent ways. The first is a formal (abstract) approach based in logic; the second is intuitive and based in an application of logic to the concept of the void (nothingness)

Alternate title: Logic / Logics

Combine topics: Obviously, there is an effective combination of the following topics

This may be the place to discuss the following topics from the foundation: paradox, necessity of reference and others. This may also be the place to insert a discussion of Dynamics of Being which need not have a separate section since it is included in logic – review this

Logic as the Analysis of Necessary or Constitutive Form

LOGIC, logic and LOGOS

From supplement

Plan. Note that the following paragraph is a ‘thread’ in an approach of the incompleteness of knowledge, logic and of symbolic systems generally. Tie the various approaches (here and elsewhere) together. Refer to the literature on the question of non-contradiction, including systems that allow paradox and contradiction


The only necessities of thought are those of logic

In this meaning, logic is similar to LOGOS, the order present in all being i.e. logic is the study of logos. Logos has a theological meaning; in the present sense, however, any theological sense to logos is coincidental. I will sometimes use logic in the sense of logos. In this sense, LOGIC is logos or necessary form; in the same sense, LOGIC is immanent in being; logic is its reflection in thought

This LOGIC is that form without which a being would not be itself; thus, all being must have the form of LOGIC. A being may have other forms that are not constitutive of it but define its possibilities – the possible transformations that it may undergo without losing its identity; LOGIC is the NECESSARY or CONSTITUTIVE FORM of BEING; or LOGIC is the FORM of BEING IMPLICIT in MEANING. The form of all being is logic

The contingent forms of being include mechanics e.g. the theoretical mechanics of physics. I have used dynamics in the sense of ‘the art of transformation’ which is distinct from one of its traditional meanings as theoretical mechanics. In their present meanings, logic includes dynamics. This expansion of the meaning of logic is analogous to the expansion, above, from the idea of static form to the idea of dynamic form

The meaning of logic introduced is related to the more conventional meaning in which logic is ‘the art of argument’ or ‘the science of deduction.’ In the latter meanings, logics are the perceptions or readings of LOGIC –in restricted realms of being. The traditional forms of logic are sometimes regarded as conventional. It is clear, from the present considerations, that, while convention may be invoked in arriving at the forms, they are not merely traditional. It may also be seen that at least some aspects of logic are built into language

An attempt to provide a complete symbolic specification of LOGIC is an attempt to completely specify LOGOS in terms of a SYMBOLIC SYSTEM in which the collection of sentences is finite or enumerable infinite. That is, it implies an equation of the non-enumerable infinity of logos to an enumeration of a discrete collection i.e. to what is at most an enumerable infinity. Therefore, a complete symbolic specification of LOGIC is impossible; and any assumption that it is must result in a contradiction. That is, there is no complete and consistent specification of LOGIC or logos. It is a mistake to attempt to over specify logic i.e. to do what is clearly impossible

Logics and their Contexts

Is this topic necessary or useful here… as a heading… or as a topic? Note that it is repeated below where it might be better placed for treatment!

From supplement

A typical problem or question in theoretical physics is, ‘Given some conditions and laws, what are the consequences?’ (In classical physics conditions may be formulated such that there are unique consequences. In quantum physics unique consequences for physical quantities are not possible except in certain circumstances (the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is an attempt to address this non-predictability)

What results if, in the foregoing, ‘theoretical physics’ is replaced by ‘logic?’ In that case ‘some laws’ are the laws of logic and ‘some conditions’ may be some facts. A particular case of ‘some facts’ is ‘no facts.’ In that case the only conditions are the laws of logic. We ask, what are the solutions to the ‘equations’ i.e. what further facts are consistent with logic and the given facts? In the case of ‘no facts,’ the answer is ‘all possibilities;’ and in the case of ‘some facts,’ it is ‘all possibilities that are consistent with the given facts.’ The laws of logic are not typically taken as implying the necessity of all possibilities i.e. of all states that are consistent with those laws. However, if we were to think of the laws of logic as a system of theoretical physics, that is what would be the outcome. Further, that is the outcome that is equivalent to the theory of being from the void. In this way there is a break-down between the distinction between material and contingent or physical law and contextual or necessary or logical law

Conditions for Primal Logic to Obtain

Review the condition of determinateness of being

Laws of Logic

From supplement

Plan. To take up the following topics here or later in the more detailed sections on logic. The general topic is the development of the general principles and systems of logic. Include the following and their relationships and their varying roles in bi- and multi-valued logics:

The principle of bivalence that, for all propositions Q, Q is either true or false

The law of non-contradiction also called the LAW OF CONTRADICTION that, for all propositions Q, (Q & ~Q) is false (relate this law to what I have hitherto called the LAW OF CONTRADICTION

The law of the excluded middle that, for all propositions Q, (Q or ~Q) is true

Plan. Use the following and related links: Logic and Bivalence and related laws, both from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here, I take up the LAW OF CONTRADICTION as illustrative. Further considerations of the laws of logic will be taken up later as the occasion arises – it is not part of the present purpose to develop formal or systematic logic

Analysis of the LAW OF CONTRADICTION. This law asserts that a being cannot be A and NOT-A which appears to have no premise except that there be beings whose properties do not take on all values i.e. that there be determinate beings i.e. there are distinguishable or distinct entities

Plan. Review the following semantic model of entities and implication

Any being or entity may be said to have all properties. When an entity in question does not have a certain property it may be equivalently said to have that property but that the property does not have any value. Of the properties that it has, in the ‘classical’ case each such property has a single value. In the non-classical case, the properties may have more than one value, e.g. as a superposed range of values. However, there is some restriction to the ranges of properties so that there are entities A and B such that B is NOT-A. Then, implication follows as follows: the meaning of A IS B is that the ranges of A’s properties lie within the ranges of B’s properties; then, if A IS B and B IS C then A IS B

Any necessity of implication must be implicit in the ‘implicator,’ I.e., A IMPLIES B only if B is IMPLICIT in A

Analyze the law of contradiction. Note that in v2004, I used ‘law of contradiction’ to refer to the idea that ‘what is not a contradiction’ is possible (and that the realization of what is possible is necessary)

Is that it, above? Or, is it that a being cannot be A and NOT-A which appears to have no premise except that there be beings whose properties do not take on all values i.e. that there be determinate beings. [Any being or entity may be said to have all properties. When an entity in question does not have a certain property it may be equivalently said to have that property but that the property does not have any value. Of the properties that it has, in the ‘classical’ case each such property has a single value. In the non-classical case, the properties may have more than one value, e.g. as a superposition. However, there is some restriction to the ranges of properties so that there are entities A and B such that B is NOT-A. Then, implication follows as follows: the meaning of A IS B is that the ranges of A’S properties lie within the ranges of B’S properties; then, if A IS B and B IS C then A IS B. Show that this defines implies implication]

Induction and the ‘Scientific Method’

On Science: Induction and the ‘Scientific Method’

From supplement

Note. This and the next two §§, ‘Science and Reality’ and ‘Law’ may go to ‘Object.’ One of the two locations should be at most a stem

As the science of deduction, logic or logical conclusion is necessary. This is because logic as logos is the science of necessary form, and, especially, insofar as logic is an aspect of meaning. Induction is generalization and is not necessary because, even though one generalization may fit all particulars and no other generalization may be evident, other generalizations are always possible – and may be required in order to fit undiscovered particulars. There have been a number of formal attempts to formulate a ‘logic of induction’ that include use of ideas of economy of concepts, beauty, and probability. None of the attempts can be regarded as adequately capturing the justification of induction whose results necessarily lack certainty even though they may seem to be certain. Thus there is no science of induction. In science, for example, success is the essential but always tentative test of a theory and many of the fundamental theories of science do reveal economy and beauty. Success is always tentative because the measure of success must include prediction and thus the theories are always subject to revision

The main conclusion is that there is no logic of induction that has the apparent necessity of deduction. The generalizations or theories of science do not have logical necessity. They may however have a practical though limited necessity. The practical necessity is that, often, the theory works so well in relation to what came before – predicts new phenomena, unites in symmetry what was previously apparently isolated domains of behavior, eliminates inconsistencies and aberrations, and may have the appearance of elegance. The limitation to the practical necessity is the revisability of science. Note, however, that the revisions or revolutions of science is due to the fact that the theories have had application to limited domains. It does not follow that, as is often taken to be the case, that the theories of the future will be subject to the same limitation; to conclude that they will is necessary only on assumptions about the nature of the real and the regions under study

Induction may occasionally be rendered as deductive if the form of the generalization is specified as a hypothesis. Thus induction does not have the necessity of deduction; however, induction may be thought of as practically, normally, or hypothetically deductive and may be associated with a necessity that arises from minimalism, from aesthetics, and from powers of prediction and ordering

Even though the imagination of all possibilities within the universe may be impossible and is certainly remote, there is a necessity to the collection of configurations of that world. Similarly, if what is taken as necessary is not so, then deduction is only conditionally necessary. Even if the world or ‘universe’ of logic is Platonic, its discovery is experimental. There is an identity between UNIVERSE and LOGOS. Thus, the distinction between induction and deduction is not as clear as it may seem

Science and Reality

The Nature of Science

The Nature of Science: Main Discussion

The following sections have significant discussions of the nature of science. Eliminate style ‘science’ when done

The Nature of Science; Science and Religion

A Scientific Theory Captures the Essence of a Phase of Being

The Nature of Science

On Science

Science and Philosophy

Science and the Theory of Being

Science and the Characterization of Science

Science: With or without End?

Transcendental Methods in Science

On Science: Induction and the ‘Scientific Method’

The Nature of Science: Main Discussion

On Law

Science and Causation

Transcendental Approaches to Science

Necessity of the Positivistic Conclusions from Science?

Science and Faith

Bridging the ‘Gaps’ Between Faiths and Between Faith and Secular Truth

If the Scientific Picture is Experienced as Alienating, the Alienation is not From Science but the Emotional Response of the Individual

The Scientific Picture is not Inherently Alienating

There are Alienating Ways of Practicing and Teaching Science

Although Science is not Intrinsically Limiting the Picture From Science at any One Time May be so

Fundamentalist Attitudes and Science

Religion and Science in the Modern World

Science and Philosophy

Science as Arbiter of what is Real

Socrates, Hume, Popper and Science

From supplement

What conclusions can be made from science –by induction– about the universe and its nature? There is an immediate and practical necessity to the general theories of science; science shares this practical necessity with common sense. This necessity expresses the following idea, confidence in theory is only possible as long as the realm of prediction is not too far from the realm of experience. That is, although there is no guarantee that the observed regularities of nature are absolute, there is no practical substitute to dependence on those regularities. Two practical limits to this conclusion are (1) as noted above the conclusion does not necessarily project to the universe, and (2) a regularity to both common sense and science is that there are exceptions to –violations of– the regularities. Logical positivism is the view that scientific knowledge is the only kind of factual knowledge. However, there are some thinkers who hold the much more restrictive view that there is no reality outside of scientific reality. It is reasonable to think that the future of science is unpredictable –at least unpredicted– and therefore this more restrictive view is equivalent to the view that there is no reality outside of the current view from science. Although logical positivism is generally regarded as having been discredited there are many scientists and others who continue to hold either the original or the more restrictive version

Cast the question as follows, ‘What conclusions can be made from a set of data?’ One conclusion, of course, is that ‘data is possible.’ However, the question is ‘What generalizations are possible?’ As has been seen, practical necessity may yield some law as the most obvious generalization. However, there is no logically necessary generalization since there is generally an infinity of generalizations that fit a finite set of data. Another way of saying this is that an infinity of possible generalizations is consistent with the data. That is, except that this world is possible, there is no projection from this world to the universe. The range of possible conclusions lies between the projection of this world to the universe and the consistency of the universe and this world. Where does reality lie? This is clearly significant in relation to the possibilities of being that is an essential concern of this essay. A resolution is given in what follows


On Law

Approximately here seems to be the formal and later development of the theory of ‘being from the void,’ i.e. of the foundation of the theory of being

From supplement

A law is the expression or formulation of a form that obtains without exception in a world. Often the restriction to a world is not specified and in the case of the most general laws and theories, this is usually the case because the boundaries of the world are not completely known. This is almost invariably true of the major theories of science. The foregoing is one source of error in actual laws. Other sources are accuracy of measurement and accuracy in fit; these sources of error may be conceptually included in the former

Thus, actual laws are approximations to ideal law

The actual form that is expressed in a law may be labeled law-form or, simply, LAW

If a law applies without exception in the universe it is necessary; if a law is necessary, it applies without exception in the universe. A law is necessary if and only if it is universal. The universal and necessary laws are logical

If a law applies without exception in a world but not in the universe, then it is necessary in that world but contingent relative to the universe. Since contingent laws do not apply in the universe, they must have a place of origin which is the boundary of the world in, e.g., extension and duration. In a sense, contingent laws are imposed from the outside. Necessary laws can have no origin because the universe has no boundary and no ‘outside’

The distinction between logic or necessity for a world and its contingent laws is based in the idea of what is constitutive of that world. There is a certain arbitrariness to the distinction between constitution and other characteristics. An example of constitution is found in the division –which may be an approximation– of the description of the world into static form or ‘properties’ and behavior; in this case the static form is the constitution. When specified, constitution may determine what is logical or necessary and what is contingent behavior and law. This issue has also been discussed elsewhere

If something permitted by a necessary law had no instance that would be an enhancement or addition to necessary law. Therefore, anything that is not a violation of necessary law, i.e. of logic, must have an instance; and, it immediately follows that it must have an infinity of instances. There is a seemingly more concrete and distinct derivation of this consequence in the section, below, on cosmology and the void or absence which where various ramifications of the principle are developed. That development might appear to be an alternate co-development of logic and general cosmology but, as has been noted, the ‘alternates’ are not truly distinct

The Fundamental Problem of Metaphysics

The Fundamental Problem of Metaphysics GENERAL

[Why is there Something Rather than Nothing?]

From supplement

Use questions 2 and 3 of TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT BEING

The question, ‘Why is there something when eternal nothingness is possible?’ has been called the fundamental problem of metaphysics

The resolution of this problem is trivial: eternal nothingness, as discussed immediately above, would violate necessity

Thus, it is more interesting to regard the questions, ‘Why is there sentience or awareness?’ and ‘Why is there agency?’ as fundamental. That ‘mind is being’ discussed above, provides a resolution

These issues and other alternative candidates, and an analysis of what the fundamental problem of metaphysics should be, are resolved later

Possibility, Necessity and Actuality

From supplement

The idea of the possible has a number of shades of meaning. Relative to the universe – the one universe, what could it mean that ‘something’ is possible but not –never– actual? If something is possible it must be actual; and if something is actual it is possible. Therefore, if something is possible an occurrence is necessary; and if the occurrence of something is necessary it is possible. In the one universe, there is no distinction between contingent happening and necessary happening; i.e. possibility and necessity are identical

Relative to the universe, actuality, possibility and necessity are identical

What is possible is materially or factually necessary

In the absence of access to the –entire one– universe, what measure of possibility may there be? If something is actual in the known universe, it is possible; but if something is not actual in the known universe, it does not follow that it is not possible. Something is possible if it is possible according to the true laws of physics of this phase of the universe; but, since those laws are not known to project to the entire universe – it is not known whether any laws except those of logic such projection, violation of the laws does not imply knowledge of impossibility. However, whatever is logically impossible regardless of context is impossible. Whatever is logically possible, is not necessarily possible in this phase of the universe. However, if something is logically possible is it then possible in –some phase or phases– of the –entire– universe? If that is the case, then the logically possible and the possible are identical. Since logic is –the study of– the necessary form of being, it is tempting to conclude that logical possibility implies possibility

Is the reasonable conclusion that possibility is identical to logical possibility true?

From the equivalence of possibility and material necessity, what is possible will and must occur. Note that it is not being said that all possibilities will occur in this world. Thus, LOGIC appears as the ‘physics’ of all being or of being as being

Logic and Argument. Deductive Logics

It is important to emphasize ‘logics’ because either there is one logic or, at least, one core logic – or there is not. In either case, the conclusion is to be demonstrated. ‘Logics’ leaves both possibilities open

From supplement

Logic (logos) as necessary form has immediate bearing on logic as necessary inference

Therefore, (some) logic must be inherent in the form of language (grammar: Wittgenstein – place names in sources)

Logics and their Contexts

What is the different or repeated focus for this repeated topic?

Propositions, truth and falsity; principle of bi-conditionality etc.

Demonstrate: Equivalence of the two conceptions

Classical Logics

The classical logics and their origins or contexts: Aristotelian logic(s) – categorical propositions, immediate inference, the syllogism, related topics

Condensing the discussion: It may be good to consolidate the varieties of logic into a single heading, ‘Logics’ or, perhaps, two or three headings such as ‘Bi-Valued Logics and Variants,’ ‘Necessity,’ ‘Other Contexts,’ and ‘Other Logics’ (the latter might include The Probability Calculus and Quantum Logics)

Propositional Calculus

What is the context for the propositional calculus? Truth preservation (and destruction), i.e., truth-functionality

The Predicate Calculi

What are the contexts? Immediate inference and the syllogism as predicate calculi. First order quantification theory. Higher order predicate calculi

Modal Logic


From supplement

Regarding modal logic and the concepts of possibility, and necessity, it is significant that the distinction between the possible and the actual is based on the idea of an alternate universe, context or world where the alternate world is not necessarily considered to exist but to be possible in some sense, typically logically possible. The meaning of logical possibility in that setting is that while what are taken as the known laws of nature, e.g., the most current laws of physics, may be violated in an alternate world, no universal laws of logic or, alternately, no laws of universal logic may be violated

The developments of the Theory of Being, introduce clarity and definiteness into modal logic

In the first place, there is exactly one universe. The Theory of Being shows that all possible worlds exist where exist means exist some ‘WHERES and WHENS’ (the plurals are intended) if the universe is viewed from a perspective that ranges over all indices of being such as space and time and is not thought of as the known universe at a particular slice of time

Since there is no alternate universe, there is but one measure of possibility and that is actuality somewhere-when. In attempting to conceptualize possibility, the idea of the description of a state of the universe is introduced. Descriptions may be partial or complete. Partial descriptions may pertain to some aspects of being in a limited range of indices of being. One of the conclusions of the Theory of Being is that any non contradictory set of descriptions must obtain. I.e., all non contradictory descriptions are possible and necessary with regard to the (one) universe. Possibility, necessity and actuality conflate in regard to the one universe

This meaning of necessity is distinct from logical necessity which makes no reference to indexed occurrence. Thus the term ‘material necessity’ may be introduced to designate this kind of necessity. However, that what is possible is materially necessary is logically necessary and so the two meanings are related

The domain of the possible and of the actual are identical and the distinction in the concepts is based on an ‘approximation.’ I.e., the idea of the possible can be approximated by thinking of a part of the universe, e.g., this cosmological system which is an infinitesimal part, as the universe and the other parts as possible universes


The kind of reasoning in the previous paragraph has significance for indexicals. In the literature of analytic philosophy since the 1960s attention has been paid to the pragmatics of language involving terms such as ‘I,’ ‘she,’ ‘today,’ ‘yesterday,’ ‘tomorrow…’ whose referent depends on the context. In contrast, proper names such as Queen Elizabeth II of England, mass terms such as ‘silver,’ and ‘ether,’ and terms for species such as ‘elephant,’ ‘tiger lily’ can be used in context free sentences. More accurately, the context is in play before the use, e.g., if India were renamed England, and had two queens that were named or renamed Elizabeth then, in order to fix to whom ‘Queen Elizabeth II of England’ referred, the context could be set pointing to one of the ‘ENGLANDS’ on a map. In contrast, the use of an indexical always occurs in a context that determines the reference

According to the Theory of Being, there are infinitely many ‘Queen Elizabeth II's of England.’ This appears to eliminate at least part of the distinction between an indexical and a proper name. However, there still remains some distinction. By setting a context, ‘Queen Elizabeth II of England’ can have unambiguous reference. However, the reference of ‘I’ or ‘you’ is always determined by the context invoked on the occasion of the use of the term. In a context of one person there would appear to be no use for ‘you’ and the referent of ‘I’ would be unambiguous; however, would there be a need for a word ‘I’ (or ‘me?’) Instead of ‘I try’ would not ‘try’ be enough? (If ‘try’ instead of ‘I try’ seems strange is it not because a context or world of one person would also be strange relative to this communal world?)

Variant logics

Multi-valued logics; motivation

Other Contexts

Tensed logics; logic of commands…

Probability Calculus as a Logic; Quantum Logics

Probability Calculus as a Logic; Quantum Logics

Non-Boolean Lattices and Rings, special role of observation

Note that there is an argument that quantum logics are not necessary –that observation does not have a special role, see founding equations of motion– and that ‘classical’ logic suffices (quantum mechanics may be discussed under ‘Physical Cosmology’ or ‘Consequences of the Theory of Being’)

Other Logics

Review for completeness

Logic and the Possibility of Metaphysics

This topic is clearly related or perhaps logically identical to the topic, The Possibility of Positive Judgment of the section, Introduction to the Journey in Being. Although the topic of the possibility of metaphysics and the relation of the possibility to logic is not new, they are combined in this section that is new to this outline – what is its proper placement?


Alternate titles: ‘On Certainty.’ I prefer the given title to the alternate, ‘Logic and Certainty’ because (1) presence of the section under ‘Logic’ implies a connection with logic, and (2) the concern is with certainty itself – and the degree certainty of logical (deductive) inference is one factor in evaluation of certainty

Two factors enter into evaluation of certainty:

1.     Deficiencies of fit in the application of a form, i.e., the forms of perception have at most ‘partial fit’ with the forms of being. Note that the form of being and the form of perception are different kinds and a special case of ‘deficiency’ is the uncertainty principle of quantum physics. Inaccuracy of observation results when the form of perception may, in the application, be taken to be the form of being but the form is not determined precisely. ‘Deficient fit’ also includes the apparent tentative or hypothetical nature of all inductive inference

2.     Lack of certainty in argument or inference. Is deductive inference certain? It seems that some deductive systems such as the propositional calculus are consistent and complete however, the certainty of inference that results is already contained in the form of that calculus, i.e., the certainty is tautological. In other words, the propositional calculus appears to preserve certainty. However, certainty in application is still subject to limitation in the application of form (1.)  The apparent certainty of the propositional calculus is a result of its simplicity – the inference makes no reference to the structure of the propositions (sentences.) Specifically, the propositional calculus does not account for the concepts of generality (‘all,’ ‘some,’ ‘none…’) and predication (e.g. properties,) i.e., it makes no allowance for the forms of propositions; the predicate calculi are examples of such inferential theories. It is known that general theories of inference upon the forms of propositions (objects) are not possible; this may be seen as a kind of empirical limitation on inference in a space of signs that is abstract but nonetheless real

Since deductive inference is an attempt to ‘mirror’ relations among the structure of objects, ‘lack of certainty in inference’ is may be included in ‘deficiency of fit’

It appears, then, that certainty, in general, is not possible – certainty follows upon assumption of fit. Even logical certainty is severely limited – the only inferential certainties are those that are already contained in the premises. However the inference that ‘certainty of knowledge is not possible’ is not valid because it depends on the foregoing analysis of certainty

There is an example of certainty in the analysis, below, of the nature of the void (nothingness) and of the implications of the conception for the Theory of Being. Interestingly, this example of certainty appears to be related to the idea of ‘all’ and of ‘infinity.’ The void (nothingness) lacks all properties and is, therefore, equivalent by necessity to any and all being. The void is absolutely indeterministic (lacks all properties) and therefore no possibility can be ruled out. The foregoing assertions are necessary; the next is suggestive. In an infinite extension and duration, all possibilities will be infinitely repeated – except if such repetition would contain or imply a contradiction

Logic and the Void

Placement of the discussion: It may be best to place the arguments in the section on ‘Cosmology’ and to place highlights of the argument and a reference to the detailed arguments here

Comment: This seems to be the original development of ‘being from the void’ – the intuitive development, the ‘original’ logic. The following are a preview of some topics that are / were in cosmology and show (again) the intersections of the elements of Theory of Being

The Void

The concept of the void or nothingness

The existence of the void: the void exists

Properties of the void: the following are immaterial: whether the void exists; the number of voids – except that there is at least one; the location of the void(s); whether it is free or attached to an object as a ‘private void’

Logic and the void: consequences of the existence of the void and its properties

Identity of Possibility, Actuality and Necessity

Critique of the Development of the Logic


Placement. Criticisms are currently placed later. Possible content: Of (1) the development of logic, (2) its application to the theory and origin of being… and to the fundamental problem of metaphysics. Note also the more complete section on criticism (Summary and Critical Review of the Core Foundation) below

From v2004: to incorporate in the notes above

Determinateness in being is the necessary condition for primal or primitive logic: i.e. that in having a kind of being the individual or object has not some other kind or kinds of being which gives rise to the possibility of contradiction that is the constitution of logic: only that which has contradiction is impossible. The single law of logic is the LAW OF CONTRADICTION that only what is contradictory is impossible

Determinate manipulation of symbol –having the free symbolic capability– is the condition for having the capacity for and determinate knowing –reference– is the condition for being able to deploy logic

Primal logic and the capacity for primal logic are founded in being that is not absolutely indeterminate; and though such minimal logic and knowledge are far removed from the knowledge and logic of the symbol-as-we-know-it they are the foundation of our knowledge and logic in that it is the elaboration of primal knowledge and logic that constitutes ours. Primal knowledge, logic and symbol are the foundation of all knowledge, logic and symbol. The primal founds ACTUAL BEING. What is the condition for determinateness of being against the background of ALL BEING? It is a restriction of being such that the identity condition for ALL BEING does not hold; theoretically, such restriction is not possible but the identity may be remote, e.g. in a probabilistic sense. An example is a coherent cosmological system. Similarly, a condition for applicability of logic is a restriction of focus to quasi-determinate being. An example is the restriction of focus to an actual coherent cosmological system that is inherent in the nature of individuals within such a system who lack the free symbolic capability, or a choice to limit focus by individuals with the free symbolic capability

This section could be titled, ‘Primal Logic.’ The discussion of logic is continued below in the SUMMARY and ALTERNATIVE FOUNDATION. There it is shown that dynamics as the art of effecting possible transformations is an extension of the meaning of ‘logics.’ This dynamics is not the dynamics or mechanics of physics. With the extension in meaning, the logics include dynamics

The logic of a context is inherent in the context. The logic of a context cannot be violated – for in violating its logic the context becomes some other context or no context. An inconsistent logic may be viewed either as not a logic or as a logic of no context. Such logics may be useful, especially in the case of systems whose consistency status is not known and the utility arises, in part, when the developed system has application while the inconsistency, if any, is effectively quarantined

If there is a LOGIC that is inherent in all contexts, it may be so by being of a form ‘if the context satisfies certain conditions, then a certain logic will apply.’ The mechanics of a context restricts the possible behaviors for the context to be a world; deterministic mechanics specifies the conditions for unique behaviors. The distinction between a logic and a mechanics is that if the mechanics is violated, sense can still be made. A logic expresses the outer limits of a kind of possibility. However, the specification of a mechanics narrows the context to another context and, therefore, a mechanics may be thought of as a specialized logic. There would be no distinction between a logic and a mechanics of all being

It was seen at the end of SYMBOL, IDEAL AND EXTERNAL OBJECT, that ‘The structure or structuring of the symbol and object constitute the structures of ‘thought,’ which includes the structures of language.’ Therefore, thought constitutes the –ideal– objects of experience i.e. of our world. Consequently, logic and logics are implicit in the structure or structuring of thought

Also from v2004

Reference is Necessary for a Sentence to be a Proposition

A proposition is a structured symbol, i.e., while it refers to a state of affairs, there is some relation between the structure of the state and the form of the proposition. In the absence of possible reference, sentences in the form of the proposition do not denote actual propositions. This point may be illustrated by and used to clarify the famous liar and related paradoxes. Consider, first, the sentence, ‘This sentence is true.’ Is the ‘proposition’ true or false? If it is true, it is true; and, if false, false. However, there appears to be no way to determine whether it is true or not. This might be unexpected since the proposition has obvious sense it seems to have reference – it appears to refer to itself. The proposition can be rewritten ‘The truth-value of this sentence is ‘true.’’ Thus, more accurately, the –intended– reference is to its truth-value; however as just seen, there is none. In the absence of reference, a sentence in the form of the proposition cannot have a truth-value. Similarly, the following form of the liar paradox, ‘This statement is false’ or ‘The truth-value of this statement is ‘false’,’ is lacking reference and therefore does not have a truth-value. I.e., the invalid assumption that it has a truth-value, and not self-reference, is at the root of the liar paradox. The following line of reasoning is now suggested by the foregoing. Assume that ‘This statement is true’ has a truth-value. However, the statement does not have a truth value and there is thus a contradiction. Similarly, the assumption that ‘‘This statement is false’ has a truth-value results in a direct contradiction but, in this case, also results in the sentence being self-contradictory

‘Construct’ the following context. A solar system has exactly nine planets, every planet has a color, colors are exclusive, and the third planet is blue. It is clear that if x is greater than nine, propositions about ‘planet x’ may lack reference. However, in order to make a point, a sentences containing arbitrary values of x will be temporarily considered to be propositions, i.e., to have truth-values; and, every sentence will be assumed to be either true or false. Let A be the proposition ‘Planet 3 of the solar system is green.’ Obviously, A is false. Now consider B ‘Planet twenty is green.’ Since the solar system does not have planet twenty, B is not false; therefore B is true (planet twenty is green.) Substituting ‘blue’ for ‘green’ in the previous reasoning does not affect its validity and, results in the contradictory conclusion ‘Planet twenty is blue.’ I.e., reference is necessary for a sentence in the form of a proposition to have a truth-value. Next, consider, ‘Planet twenty is green and planet three is blue.’ This compound proposition has reference and, if it is assumed to have a truth-value, it may be seen, as for B, to be true and false. Thus, in order to have a truth-value, propositions in the form of sentences must have reference but no ‘empty’ reference. Taking up ‘This proposition is true,’ again, it must be conceded that, regardless of whether there is partial reference, there is an empty reference. Therefore, it does not have a truth-value. Therefore, the assumption that it does have a truth-value results in a contradiction –that it does and does not have a truth-value– even though the sentence itself is not self-contradictory

The discussion of relevance now turns to a consideration of limits of thought and language

Relevance for Language

What are the limits of propositional language? One limit is the necessity of reference. Paradox may arise when talking of all things or all things specified by an arbitrary property. According to Cantor’s theory of cardinality, the cardinal number of the set of subsets of a set S is larger than the cardinal number of S; applied to ‘the set of all sets,’ this results in a paradox. A similar paradox arises regarding ‘the largest set.’ However, it seems clear that, in some sense, there is no largest set; and, similarly, that there is no set of all sets. Thus the paradoxes may be thought to be due to empty reference. An example of a set that appears to be specified by a property is ‘the set of all sets that do not contain themselves,’ well known in logic, which contains itself if and only if it does not contain itself; which shows, perhaps, that the set defined by the quotes does not exist and therefore the reference is empty

There are well known ways of explicitly avoiding classes of paradox. Is it possible to avoid all paradox? It appears that this is not possible. Therefore, should we not engage in talk outside of the formal languages constructed to avoid paradox? Theoretical considerations of what may be said or thought, i.e. the possibility of paradox or empty reference and therefore senselessness despite apparent sense, are attempts at understanding and do not imply that silence is required in practice. A theoretical injunction against what cannot be said implies a practical caution but not a practical necessity. The needs of action in the case of crisis or imperatives in opportunity may leave no choice. However, the injunction is often taken to be a practical necessity. There is utility but no necessity to absolute caution of thought in relation to action. Academic appears to have a choice but not all academics choose to avoid paradox at all costs. In mathematics, the benefit reaped by risking paradox is too great for some mathematicians to forego. Similarly, there is no necessity that philosophy should forego the ‘paradise of error’ in all its endeavors. Simultaneously, concern with paradox is important for it serves to improve the quality of thought

Regarded as a process, it is not clear that there are necessary limits on thought and language

These considerations is that they may have relevance for the phrase, ‘ALL BEING.’ Despite this possibility of relevance, the phrase ‘all being’ may lack reference only when some attempt is made to specify all being. Otherwise, it appears to have reference as the universe. Regarding the idea that all possible states exist (on the view of the universe defined over all duration and place,) an implicit safeguard has been built in by requiring that violation of logic must not be entailed

1.3         COSMOLOGY




The following sections have significant discussions of cosmology. Eliminate style ‘cosmology’ when done

Theory of Being




Human Being and Society


Critical Review of the Foundation

From supplement

Alternative title: ‘General Cosmology’

While quantum theory is a probabilistic theory of behavior of the present phase-epoch of the universe, subsequently I will develop the idea of ‘normal’ behavior of a normal cosmological system that is a generalization of the idea of a coherent, relatively stable, near symmetric cosmological system

Logic or language, e.g., the language of ‘states of affairs,’ i.e., of proto-propositions is –with qualification– at the root of general cosmology and, perhaps, also at the root of the quantum or wave mechanics of this phase-epoch and of the ‘quantum vacuum

Cosmology. General and local cosmologies. General cosmology: ontology as a topic [?]; the concept of the void, existence of the void; law and the necessity of being (becoming;) identity of possibility, actuality and necessity; further properties of the void. Further cosmological consequences: phase-epoch; annihilation; recurrence; being that is the span of all being – of other, sub-being; cosmology, myth, faith and religion: literal or material interpretations: god, soul, articles of faith, karma; origins: possibility and probability – variation and selection, or evolution as a mechanism [should the first consideration of evolution go here or earlier under general cosmology just after the identity of possibility, actuality and necessity]

Planning. Include considerations of space, time and space-time, matter, dynamics, mind, and causation exclusively under normal cosmology or also under general cosmology

Two Divides

Two Divides: origins of a –near symmetric, relatively stable– cosmological system i.e. the origin of a normal cosmological system; origin of the free symbolic capability which is the foundation of free symbolic thought –which may be thought of as including iconic thought– and is, therefore, at the foundation of language, imagination or hypothesis and criticism and so of creation and reason and secondarily of technology, religion and the arts, of humanities, logic, mathematics, and the sciences

With introductory comment on and may include general, normal, local (and physical) cosmologies; space-time-matter…

From supplement Cosmology [1]

Use questions 4 and 5 of TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT BEING

COSMOLOGY has already been introduced, earlier, in considering ‘universe’ and ‘world’

Cosmology, i.e. general cosmology, is the study of the universe in its kinds and interactions, in all dimensions including extent and duration. Cosmology includes but is not limited to the physical cosmology of the known universe

It is reasonable to suppose that there is a connection between general cosmology and the ‘laws’ of all phases or contexts of the universe. The only laws that surely apply to all phases are the laws of logic i.e. of necessary form. It is significant to ask and determine an answer to the question ‘Are logical possibility and possibility identical?’

From supplement Cosmology [2]

Plan. List all topics, e.g., recurrence, span of being, religion and its ontological and epistemic categories, truth, journey

Emphasize: the general cosmology is infinitely deeper than and founds modern physical cosmology both with regard to the special dynamics of modern cosmology –a research– and with regard to range of being with regard extension and duration and other indices. Similar comments for the entire range of being revealed in classical metaphysics, religions, mythologies from the entire history of humankind. Note that the greater breadth and depth is not merely factual and contingent but also conceptual and necessary, i.e., no deeper cosmology is possible

Cosmology, ontology, metaphysics

A repetition of the distinction between ontology, metaphysics and cosmology is in order. An ontology is a specification of the fundamental kinds or elements of being. A metaphysics is a working out of a theory of being from the ontology. It includes such fundamental questions –inasmuch as they are not given in the ontology– as the nature of mind and matter, the questions of substances and attributes, the possible kinds of being, the relation between being and logic, the issues of determinism and causation and of mechanism and teleology, the nature of god, law and nature and their substantial and attributive nature; and cosmology. A cosmology is a working out of a theory of the universe: the kinds of being, the population of the universe, its extent and duration, and – if any – origins and endings

General and local cosmologies

General cosmology is the working out of cosmology without restriction, e.g., with regard to kind of being, extent and duration. Unless otherwise specified, cosmology is general cosmology which is the working out of the cosmology of the universe as all being. ‘All’ in ‘all being’ implies reference to all locations, times and other indices of being (note that from the requirement of extension for being and duration for becoming, without which there can be no being, time and space are necessary; and, in terms of the normal mechanisms of becoming, time and space or relationship appear to be sufficient; it is, therefore, not obvious that there is a need for additional indices. The discussions of mind reveal no need for further indices. And, similarly, while the idea of an ‘infinite system of attributes’ is a sign it is not clear that it is a symbol, i.e., it is not clear that there are attributes of being beyond the local attributes of mind and matter. The absence of further indices and attributes still permits ‘properties.’ It should be noted that the use of ‘attributes’ in the previous sentences to designate substance-like modes of being is distinct from a more common modern use in which ‘attribute’ is similar to ‘property.’) The distinctions among metaphysics, general cosmology, and ontology are arbitrary; this arbitrariness is similar to the arbitrariness to the distinctions among axiom, theorem, primitive and derived concepts in mathematics. A specific or local cosmology is the cosmology of a specific part of the universe such as the ‘known’ universe. What is special about the known universe? It is not so much that it is ‘ours’ but that it appears to have a coherent character in that certain laws appear to be universal, in that there are certain fundamental elements of being – matter – out of which everything in it is constituted; it appears to have had a beginning; it appears to be coherent in that, on the large scale, space is a continuum and there is a single dominant time

The concept of normality

The concept of normality may be elucidated within the framework of a local and coherent cosmology. It is seen in the present writings that there are certain normal expectations in our universe. The character of these expectations has been spelt out in a number of ways. Once outside the local setting these normal behaviors may have little application; in they have no application to all or general cosmology – except the specific scenes in which they apply; the specific scenes are ‘infinitesimal.’ Note that outside and inside do not refer only to extension-duration but also to the microscopic and, perhaps – at least in some cases, to aggregate and to complex behavior. Thus, even within a local cosmology it is normal to expect deviations from the normal. Although, deviations seem to be uncommon, on a sufficiently large scale, perhaps still within the local cosmology, they are certain and the local gives way to the universal

Although non normal behavior may enter into a local cosmological system, thus calling into question the definiteness of the idea of the concept of normal behavior, the concept of normality stands alone apart from the idea of a local system to which it may be equated for some practical purposes. Where I have used the words ‘practical’ and ‘effective’, I may consistently replace them by ‘normal’

A similar concept of normality applies, with qualification, in psychology (this concept of the normal has no semantic relation to ‘normal’ as used in the term, ‘abnormal psychology’)

General Cosmology

Further details of a foundation for general cosmology, including a discussion of time and space, may be found in the SOURCES

From supplement

What is the population of cosmologies similar to this one in the universe? Is it sparse or dense? The density of the population is a product of frequency or probability of origination and longevity. Therefore, it cannot be concluded that the density is extremely low or that the origin of such a cosmology is a singular incident

From v2004

Plan. Here or elsewhere, add comment regarding the semantics of the distinction between material (physical) and mental modes of experience; and the subjective mode of being vs. the objective mode of description

The phrase, ‘general cosmology’ is used to describe the being of the universe that is all being; it includes its form and structure, the kinds of forms that it may support, its becomings and dissolutions. When the universe is viewed from the perspective described earlier that ranges over all duration and extension or, more generally, over all indices of being –whether continuous or in patches– there is no single coherent phase that has one becoming and one demise. Instead, there are many becomings from and dissolutions to the void and, within each becoming, there may be local origins and dissolutions of being. The local phases may be called ‘universes’ but that use, though common in reference to our phase, would confuse the meaning of ‘universe’ in this essay. Instead, I call them cosmological systems or coherent phase-epochs. For some durations, a cosmological system may be all actual being. A cosmological system such as this one (the one in which we live) may be seen as being born from a larger system or directly from the void. Thus the character of a cosmological system will, in general, partially immanent and partly imposed

In the theory of being, it has been shown that (1) at core the universe is, of necessity, essentially indeterministic and (2) in essential indeterminism, form which includes knowledge of form and structure are necessarily among the (infinitely repeated) states of being… for, to rule out the possibility is contrary to the notion of ‘essential indeterminism.’ Therefore, it has been shown that such origins, form and structure, dissolutions as described in the previous paragraph are necessary. No systems are eternally causal or deterministic. However, some may be near or quasi-causal and near or quasi-deterministic. An alternate expression of this fact is that will arise for limited extents, durations and kinds of phenomena that are ‘almost’ causal and deterministic. LOGOS is always immanent. Whether logic of any given degree is available to sentient beings in a cosmological system will depend on the degree to which knowledge (which appears to be representation even when it is filtered and lacks congruence) is determinate; and the degree to which logic is applicable will depend on the degree to which being is determinate in the system

Birth and decay of cosmological systems, including those that would be recognized as containing life, is eternal

What is the genesis of such a system? The description above is necessary but has not shown a mechanism. The Theory of Being shows that there is no universal mechanism and that any actual mechanism will obtain in an infinite number of cosmological systems. Pathways to form, knowledge and structure that involve unstructured variation and selection from near stable states, so building upon given form and structure in increments satisfy the conditions that (1) they are relatively stable and formed at all or most stages without need for external intervention, (2) such states occur without limit, (3) since these are the only states of which there is immediate and direct apprehension or knowledge, they may seem to be the entire population of the universe. This cosmological system (ours) may similarly seem to its inhabitants to be the entire universe; however, we know from experience that its empirically known frontiers remain in a state of expansion and contraction according to phase and place of human culture… and, in repetition, the infinite occurrence of such pathways and states is necessary

The genesis and being of such systems has been discussed in the tradition from the point of view of experience and science, from probability and improbability and from creation – which must mean creation by an uncaused cause. From the point of view of necessity, these approaches to being and becoming have no significance – except that of an uncaused cause. In the traditional meanings of causation, there can be no uncaused cause. However, regarded as a paradox or parable, the idea of ‘uncaused cause’ is a statement that the traditional understanding of causation can be at most a partial explanation (mechanism) of genesis and being. However, the idea of a builder or designer as creator lies in, at the center of, the traditional meaning of cause. To what, then, may the uncaused cause point? It is recognized as the void which has been shown to be equivalent to all being; it is recognized as essential indeterminism from which form which includes the form of knowledge must result with infinite and eternal occurrence

However, from the point of view of understanding our being, mechanisms and probability have significance. Before beginning a discussion of mechanism and probability, it is noted that the use of ‘indeterminism’ and ‘probability’ does not open the mechanisms to the charge that they are improbable for they have been seen to be necessary. The use of such mechanisms in explanation is, simply, in one viewpoint, an attempt to see to what extent the normal mechanisms of the world can be extended in understanding the universe. The ‘normal’ mechanism of indeterministic variation and selection of the near symmetric, relatively stable or durable states has already been discussed (link). There is an range of states for which the combination of numbers generated and durability result in their domination of the normal population of the universe. No incremental step is improbable. Further, while any given formed pathway of becoming may be unlikely in that it is only one of an enormous number of such pathways, that some pathway of form should be traced is not improbable

The discussion shows the origin and nature of form – the stability and the feeling of stability are immanent in the universe and not imposed and therefore while particular manifestations of form are of limited duration, form is eternal; it shows the origin of causal-like and deterministic-like or quasi-causal and quasi-deterministic phases of being. It may be said that the Theory of Being shows the cause of causation which is not paradoxical for the second use is the traditional use of ‘cause’ and the first use is non-traditional and may be regarded as necessity regardless of mechanism or as the normal mechanism of variation and selection

The argument for form applies to the form of life

The discussion has implications for rationality: rationality may be seen as an outcome of rather than the driver of evolution. Just as there are may be relatively vast but absolutely limited quasi-causal domains of being in the universe, so there may be limited quasi-rational domains. Even within its own sphere, rationality must be balanced by action that is at most partially supported by reason, i.e., by experiment that from a purely rational perspective may be labeled ‘risk’

Some implications of the THEORY OF BEING and the void are considered immediately below and in a brief mention of SCIENCE

Cosmology and Logic

Note: The order of the topics, ‘Cosmology and Logic,’ ‘Ontology as a Topic,’ and ‘Space, Time and Space-Time’ has changed

Need discussion? The first three topics are also in the section, ‘Logic.’ Are they needed here? Replace one instance by a reference? Repeat with reference?

The Void

The following question is, at present, qualitative or metaphorical. Is the void a mere absence (zero) of being or an unending process (negative infinity) in that ‘removal’ of all being is never ending?

From supplement

A consideration of the void –which may also be referred to as the ABSENCE or NOTHINGNESS– enables disentanglement of the issue of the identity of possibility and logical possibility

The Void Exists

From supplement

This follows from the equation, VOID = THE UNIVERSE THE UNIVERSE

I.e. the void is what results when ‘everything’ is taken away –in concept– from the universe. The void is similar to what has been called the quantum vacuum which is what is supposed to result when all objects are removed from the physical ‘universe.’ However, in order to allow the quantum vacuum some predictable behavior, some physical law must remain. In the void, however, since the entire universe is removed, all laws and patterns of behavior must also be removed. It is necessary to be careful as to what is meant by ‘law.’ Laws are expressed in symbols. However, the symbolic expression refers to a pattern that or regularity that is immanent in being. It is this regularity in its actual and immanent manifestation that is LAW. All such regularities must be immanent in the universe because, if they were not immanent they would be imposed. However, there is no outside of the universe to make an imposition. Therefore, in the void, there is no thing or law or pattern; we may think that a LAW or PATTERN is a complex thing. This is the distinction between the void and the quantum vacuum. In the latter, only ‘simple objects’ are removed – and in not removing the complex objects such as laws, there is a tacit assumption that the laws project to the entire universe; in the void, all objects have been removed. Of course, in the void, logic, or logos, remains to condition any becoming from the void

The distinction between LAW and law is parallel to the distinction between LOGIC and logic. LAW is immanent in being; law is the rendering of LAW in cognition. LOGIC is necessary LAW; both are immanent in being but whereas laws may change, the laws of logic do not change. However, both are subject to revision

Identity of Possibility, Actuality and Necessity

From supplement

Now consider the proposition that something that is logically possible does not become from the void. The not-becoming would be a contingent law immanent in the void and is therefore impossible. Therefore, whatever is logically possible is actual and therefore possible and necessary. That is

Possibility, actuality, necessity and logical possibility are identical

What is logically possible is necessary; what is logically impossible is simply impossible. This is a repetition of what was said above that logic is the physics of the entire one universe. Thus, for example, the LAW OF CONTRADICTION has a ‘physical’ interpretation: that which does not involve contradiction is possible

Determinism and Indeterminism. Universal Indeterminism and Local Determinism-like or Causal-like Behavior are not Inconsistent; the latter Necessarily follows from the former
Further Properties of the Void

From supplement

Given a being, A, a ‘local void’ may be defined as follows: VOIDA = A A. This appears to introduce an infinity of voids or nothingnesses. However, it may be seen that a local void is identical to the void. Therefore, the number of voids that exist is not determinate but does not have significance. The number of voids or nothingnesses may be taken to be one. The existence of a local void makes it clear the every entity is capable of self-annihilation

From supplement: ‘World, universe, law, God’ is a new section. Is this the proper placement. I have put it here rather than earlier because it makes reference to the developments in the section, ‘Cosmology and Logic’

World, Universe, Law, God

World, Universe, Law, God

Although other uses are allowed, the ‘world’ or ‘universe’ signifies all being, i.e., it is [that which is] self-contained in is being and becoming. Thus, I do not understand the universe to have laws of nature [or God] on –imposed from– the outside… or mind or matter imported from the outside – there is no outside. Although this appears to be a mere definition, it is fundamental in that there is some –evaluate this– equivalence to logic

That there is a higher power or God that created and guides the world or that there are laws of nature imposed from the outside is not an explanation at all. Assigning explanation to higher power or to laws is not explanation at all but admission of ignorance and, dually, the occasion for faith or revelation or the positivist assertion of laws as ultimate; and just as any explanation of the world based in higher power including laws from the outside stops at the power, so truth of revelation or laws stops short at the point where the believer asserts, ‘I judge this to be the word of God.’ For (at this point it is common to introduce distracting pseudo-sophistication or manipulative arguments including appeals to the listener’s weaknesses and doubts) if the believer is not God, how can he or she know? Certainly this is not all that can be said regarding a literal interpretation of the articles of faith including law, and it may be noted that the theory of being, here, clarifies the character of their literal truth in essential logic. God and law, if there are any, must be part of the world and cannot constitute ultimate explanations, not only because to announce some being as ultimate is no explanation but also because if laws or God were not part of the world,’ it would not be the world

Although, world as including law may appear to be a mere definition or attitude, it is not for to have the world depend on something else would mean that it is not the world in the sense that the world is then not ultimate. Further, it was shown in the section, Logic (link), that the following obtain: the universe has origin, or is equivalent to having origin, in the void, and to the extent that they obtain, law, God, mind, time, matter, are created in that origin

At once, a host of questions arises. What do I mean –what can be meant; what is meant, here– by law, mind, time? What does – can – it mean that ‘time’ has origins? Self-containment may appear to imply completed-ness of being and understanding and, therefore, the question, ‘What can completeness in understanding mean and what completeness is possible?’ These questions and others (the reader is likely to have yet other questions) are considered and answers provided and evaluated in the foundation in the context of a complete system of metaphysics

There are many situations in which, when the word law is used, the word God –either in specific or generic sense– would be appropriate. This may be kept in mind for my propensity has been to use law rather than God

The foregoing comment, i.e., that there is a certain equivalence between law and God, the equivalence is not absolute, e.g., as in particulars associated with the terms. Psychologically, however, there may be a significant difference and the, as a result, the terms imply significantly different metaphysics. What is the nature of the difference? In terms of specific interpretations of law of nature or God of religion –in contrast to law of nature and God of religion– there are clear, even if detailed, ontological differences. However, there is also an immense difference for feeling. I write that as though ‘feeling’ has no ontological component and this is how metaphysics and ontology are normally signified and carried out – how I have signified and carried out the activities or execution of the disciplines. However I have argued that, at root cognition and emotion have an identity in feeling (cognition emphasizes quantity and structure, emotion emphasizes quality and intensity) and have more recently been arguing that cognition and feeling are bound to one another in ‘cognition-feeling’ and, despite their differences, both lose their significance if a detachment is made. In this sense, law and God signify vastly different cognitive-feeling ontologies

However, when talking of beings that, together and in their relations, constitute higher being it may be appropriate to think of ‘God’ in a generic sense. In this case, ‘law’ is sometimes an appropriate substitution for ‘God

As far as general cosmology is concerned, law –or God– must be intrinsic

As far as special cosmologies, e.g. The present phase-epoch of the one universe, are concerned, law –or God– may be ‘imposed,’ intrinsic or a combination: imposedintrinsic

Fundamental ontology

Note: that the name of the section is changed from ‘Ontology as a topic.’ Is this placement proper? The material should, perhaps, be placed under a discussion of ‘Substance Ontology’… or a section of the same name

From supplement

How many kinds of thing are there? ‘Monism is the theory that there is one kind of thing.’ However, if no hypothesis is made and a consequence of monism is derived from e.g. the fact of being, would that be called a monism? Inherent in the common use of words such as monism, and dualism is that they are positions rather than facts. Therefore, if it is shown rather than posited that there is exactly one substance, the consequence is not monism as a position or proposed theory but as a fact. I.e., it is not a monism in the common use. Similarly, if it is shown that the existence and foundational character of the void follows from, e.g. the facts of being, then the result is not a true voidism [as a position or a proposed theory] but a fact and there is no need to make reference to ‘voidism’

Strictly, the foregoing monism is attributive monism (the position that there is one kind of thing) whereas the position that there is one thing is substantival monism. What is the substantival ontology that follows from the theory of being of this essay? The attributive ontology is one without substance but the substantival ontology depends on how one counts things

It may not necessary to have an ontology as a theory

From supplement: further comments on ontology. Edit

The logic of the ontological system: The existence of the void is not posited but, rather, the concept of the void examined. It is true that there was no rational necessity to examine the void – I did not prove that the void should be examined [; this approach to ‘proof’ is standard: intuition and reason provide the concepts and positions to be examined while logic proves or disproves what was intuited.] The process is, of course, intuitive and alternates between intuition and logic [which might be better labeled rationality.] At the same time the choice was not altogether random but the outcome of extended reflection on the world, on origins and the kinds of naturalistic explanation that might lead to understanding of world and its origin; I should note that the system of explanation that I have used has itself evolved and undergone profound change. However, having chosen the void for analysis the clear logic is as follows: [1] Demonstration of existence of an object, the actual void(s) that correspond to the concept, [2] Logical development, guided by –though not dependent on– imagination, of the ontology –thus, e.g., form, possibility, the actual, and necessity are derived concepts that are interpreted in the theory rather than introduced as ad hoc and unexplained elements of an explanatory ontology– and especially of the equivalence of all being and the void, [3] Contact with experience. It may be thought that the development of the ontology is a logical maneuver and has no empirical origin. However there is contact with the empirical at two points. First, I often take some immediate fact as given e.g. There is existence and this is self-evident from our being [and in the meaning of being.] The character of our being may also be used and this is Heidegger’s maneuver. [Note: eliminate reference to Heidegger here but add comment in ‘influences.’] Second, logic as understood here and as applied in the development of the theory of the void and the theory of being, is the abstracted substrate of all experience. Thus the theory of being may be regarded as having two points of contact with the empirical – with experience: the immediate and particular and the universal. It is a two contact point theory. Here, ‘point’ is used in a general sense and may include a vast amount of experience that is really many points. Along these lines, two point contact is actually many point contact across the range and hierarchies of experience – of levels of inclusiveness of being. The notion of point of contact is an approximation based on a desire to know what is given as in ‘all that we have access to is a point of data.’ such concepts of radical criticism are accepted uncritically as part of the apparatus of knowing as though the point is even an aspect of being. In the theory of being, the two points of contact are the immediate: power and the ultimate: logic or the void, and [4] in the fundamental interpretation where the following is found mind at the core of being, it is not mind-as-we-have-or-experience-it but an extension of the concept [it is important to also not the extension from mind as relation to mind as being.] Note the emphasis that mind is found and not posited to be at the core; this requires re-conceptualization or extension of the concept of mind as discussed elsewhere in this essay; also, as discussed, this is a result and therefore not a pan-psychism which must be –to be anything– a posit-ion in relation to a specific kind or kind of manifestation of mind

All this is in contrast to the following tendencies in classical ontology: over-specification and premature specification of the initial fundamental ontology, and, in new developments, over concretization of the elements of prior theoretical ontologies and of the communal ontology

Is the following link still necessary?

Also see logic of the ontological system


A stem?

Space, Time and Space-Time

Space, Time and Space-Time

Not a stem. This is a possible location for discussion of primitive –pre-normal– patchworks of extension and duration. Could also go under normal and physical cosmologies together with Theoretical Physics

See: thoughts toward foundation of quantum theory for my latest thought on space-time which is to be imposed upon the discussions here and in Journey in Being 2004, Journey in Being 2003, and Journey in Being - New Ideas… 2003 - 2004

Two Divides in the Evolution of Being: Cosmos and Symbol

From v2004

The following divides, though they do not cut us off from PRIMALITY, are fundamental to HUMAN BEING

A divide or turn –turning or critical point– may be thought of as introduction of and loss of symmetry. For example, in becoming from the void the identity of ALL BEING is lost –though not absolutely– while near symmetry of form is gained

It may be useful, in a full history of being, to identify additional divides or TURNING POINTS such as the origin of LIFE [link to future discussion of LIFE]

From supplement

It may be useful, in a full history of being, to identify additional divides or turning points such as the origin of life [link to future discussion of life]

Origins of a Coherent Cosmological System

An alternate to ‘coherent’ is ‘normal.’ The idea of the normal is that of a stable phase-epoch in which entities have definiteness, limits and possibilities. The local physical ‘universe’ is an example of a normal cosmological system

From v2004. Critique the next paragraph

The origin of a coherent cosmological system is the origin of a determinate world within which determinate being, knowing, and logic are possible

Although there is a fundamental character to the origin of life it may, in a discussion of the origin of free-symbolic being be thought of as continuous with the origin of  this cosmological system

On Probabilities

On Probabilities

In developing the Theory of Being, the following kinds of statement have been considered: any being is equivalent to every other being, to the void, and to all being (and therefore, any being may transform into any other being)

From a local perspective in space and time within this cosmos, the probabilities of such occurrences are so low as to normally equate to zero. In a deterministic framework, the probabilities would be regarded to be zero. In the non-deterministic (quantum) framework of modern physics, the probabilities are extremely low. However, from a perspective of the entire universe the probabilities are no longer small. In a temporal framework of description, it is not clear that any numeric probability value may be assigned. In a non-temporal frame, i.e. regarding the history of the one universe as an object, probability is replaced by certainty

Even remaining ‘within’ the present phase-epoch, there is a problem that the boundary of the phase-epoch is not definite. Therefore, that the probabilities are extremely low must be regarded as a normal view

Origin of the Free Symbolic Capability

From v2004

Primal being is associated (link) with a kind of knowledge, choice and logic, these, as aspects of primal being, are not as we experience them which, however, is built upon the primal. There is more than one divide or turning point but the origin of the free symbol (link) is fundamental to the nature of the human being and human culture

The free symbol is the foundation of knowledge, choice, value, and logic as we experience and deploy them within and at the boundaries of culture; the free symbol is a foundation of human language and the power of symbolic creation that is fundamental in freeing human being from binding to its given nature

It is not implied that the free symbol and freedom from nature are positive – or negative; rather, the freeing is largely what makes for the experience of being human; and against that background there is a necessary, sometimes tenuous, balance between cultivation of the free symbolic and other modes of being

Evolution as a Mechanism

A theory of evolution is a description of a mechanism of evolution and not a statement that evolution is a fact. One may accept the fact and argue the theory of mechanism. The mechanism in question is that of variation and selection which I have shown to be a basis for understanding how (more) form may arise out of formlessness

The Theory of Being developed in this essay shows that the mechanism of evolution is not necessary for the origin of form. However, the mechanism is one ‘way’ in which form can (possibly) arise; and, the theory of being implies, then, that form must arise in this way but not only in this way

Since the universe (all being) cannot have a creator (outside of all being;) and since the universe is equivalent to nothingness, unguided formation must be the paradigm of formation

It has often said that (1) formlessness cannot by indeterministic process give rise to form, and (2) that form cannot arise by ‘chance.’ I have shown (1) to be incorrect elsewhere in this essay. (2) Cannot be correct for it has also been shown that all possibilities, even ‘improbable’ ones will occur. Additionally, I have shown, and this is what it means to say that it is a mechanism, that not only is the mechanism of evolution one that makes formation probable, it makes it far more probable than the usually conceived alternatives

Similar considerations have shown that while formation by incremental variation and selection is probable, annihilation of form, while possible, involves a product of two very small probabilities: the probability of formation of the matching annihilator and the probability of interaction between the annihilator-system and a cosmological system

From supplement

Plan. Comments on evolution as a normal but not necessary ‘mechanism’ and applicable to the origin of any cosmological  system and its ‘chain’ (alternate word?) of being. Note that ‘not necessary’ means not necessary in all instances; however, the Theory of Being shows that there will necessarily be some instances in which any normal mechanism will be an actual mechanism

Further Cosmological Consequences

Cosmological Consequences

From supplement


From the properties of the void, it immediately follows that:


Whatever is logically possible i.e. not a logical contradiction or impossibility is actual i.e. ‘must’ occur

Therefore, beings have no limits except logical limits

Cosmological System; or Phase-Epoch or Coherent Domain of the Universe

From supplement

A coherent space-time region of the universe with coherent laws and a single dominant time will be called a (coherent) phase-epoch of the universe

Creation, Recurrence, Karma, Annihilation

Note that this and the remaining topics are repeated below under ‘Religion’ with additional details

Does the following discussion go here? If not, where? If the concept of a creator requires it to be distinct from the creation, the universe cannot have a creator

From supplement


Instantaneous annihilation of the entire actual universe, including this phase-epoch is possible and actual i.e. must occur. Note, though, that possibility and necessity of occurrence do not imply probability. That a large scale annihilation of this phase-epoch of the universe is possible follows; a discussion of its normal (below) but not essential probability or improbability follows later.


If the possible under review refers to discrete being, that possibility must not only occur but it must occur with infinite repetition. In repetition, what is possible is necessary and must be; and, what is possible in a limited phase of being is necessary in infinite repetition – or, every limited phase of being, including limited spans of lesser being, recurs infinitely

Being that is the Span of All Being

From supplement

Being as the span of lesser being

It follows from recurrence that there is a progression of beings that, in their being, span lesser beings including the recurrences of such beings. The issue of karma will be taken up later; however it is already possible to view the concept of karma as a connection within a higher being or entity of the lesser beings that it spans

‘Higher’ and ‘lesser’ are analogous to more and less compound or complex and their meaning here does not connote intrinsic value


Clearly, god has an interpretation as a high level span of lesser being. Another interpretation is as the imposition of conditions from the ‘outside’ on a normal cosmology (below)

From the literal viewpoint the following are in question: the probability of the being and manifestation of a god like being in a given normal cosmology, especially of a god as described in any one of the various scriptures. Since the different traditions vary with regard to detail and projection of local particulars in the concept of the traditional god, the probabilities are vastly different among the traditions


Clearly, various concepts and analogs of ‘soul’ have interpretation in recurrence and in higher being that spans lesser being. However, the essential significance of these concepts is already manifest in the discussion above of recurrence



It is now possible to see that ‘Jesus Christ is raised from the dead’ is not absurd, even if normally improbable and obtains in countless actual cosmological systems i.e. coherent phase-epochs of the –entire one– universe. This follows since the claim, though it appears to violate common sense and perhaps the laws of physics and principles of biology, is not a logical contradiction. I have not introduced the claim for any shock value but because the for potential shock underlines the power of the cosmology also illustrated in the discussion of miracles below. Details the meaning and literal interpretation of religion, the articles of faith, myth are discussed later

Normal Cosmology. Local and Physical Cosmologies

Normal cosmology: the concept of the normal; normality and necessity; normal cosmology; evolution as a normal mechanism; limits; miracles ; magic

Some normal categories and considerations: space, time and matter; causation; dynamics; origin or evolution and integration of the theories of matter in the small and the large i.e. the quantum theory and the theory of large scale interactions or general relativity – to what extent can this be developed and what is its proper location… here or under physical cosmology… perhaps both and here there would be a framework while there would be more detail under ‘our physical cosmology;’ mind and causation

Physical cosmology; including this cosmology; origin and properties of the cosmos including earth and the solar system; evolution of life and of mind-as-we-have-it

Theoretical Physics: Quantum Theory and the Relativistic Theory of Gravitation

Theoretical Physics: Quantum Theory and the Relativistic Theory of Gravitation

Note: see the treatment at the introduction to this section on cosmology; also see numerous other discussions (1) relating the quantum vacuum and the void, (2) referring to demonstrations that measurement can be incorporated in the formalism of quantum theory, and (3) relations between formalisms of theoretical physics and logic

The following sections have significant discussions of theoretical physics – primarily quantum theory. Eliminate style ‘quantum’ when done

On Science

Probability Calculus as a Logic; Quantum Logics

Space, Time and Space-Time

On Probabilities

Theoretical Physics: Quantum Theory and the Relativistic Theory of Gravitation

Local Origins of Quasi-Causation and Quantum Theory

Quantum Dynamics

Foundation for quantum mechanics

The Concept of the Normal

The Concept of the Normal

Some possible characteristics of a normal domain: near symmetry and stability, processes have a quasi-causal and quasi-deterministic character, dominant quasi-unique space and time, existence of a uniform description of the domain… but does not uniquely occupy its place

The Normal; Normality and Necessity; Normal Cosmology; Evolution as a Mechanism

From supplement


Is the foregoing discussion an invitation to reject the regularities and laws of this world, to reject common sense? It is not. Clearly, a violation of the normal regularities of the phase-epoch within its own domain, while possible has a limited probability. This behavior is normal behavior

It is normal, in larger domains to expect violation of the locally normal


It was seen above, that the only necessities of thought are those of logic. All other ‘necessities’ are, as part of the ‘material’ constitution of this world, normal or practical but not absolute necessities. These practical necessities include the material constitution and physical laws of this world and observed regularities such as ‘the sun will rise tomorrow.’ The practical ‘necessities’ are not absolute necessities and are subject to correction as a result of improved observation, improved theories, and due to changes i.e. the observed regularities including physical laws may appear to be unchanging but are not necessarily so


The physical cosmology of this phase-epoch may be thought of as a normal cosmology

The theory of being developed here, relates normal cosmologies to the universe, shows that the normal cosmology of this world: loses in importance and the necessity of its normal behavior, gains in meaning and foundation; and shows that goals within the normal cosmology are more realizable but less important than might otherwise be thought to be the case


Plan. Comments on evolution as a normal but not necessary ‘mechanism’ and applicable to the origin of any cosmological  system and its ‘chain’ (alternate word?) of being. Combine with comments on probability. Note: although evolution is a possible mechanism in the sense that its path is likely and it appears that the majority of systems will proceed to novelty by evolution, it is not a necessary mechanism; however, it is necessary that evolution will occur in some cosmological systems

Limits, Miracles, Magic

What are the possibilities and limits of transformation of any being? A short version of the response in this essay is as follows. Many limits that are considered to be absolute are actually limits of probability or feasibility and may be considered to be normal or practical limits. The only absolute limits are necessary limits – ones whose realization would violate logic i.e. the constitution of being. Thus the transcendence of normal limits is not impossible but normally improbable or infeasible. An objective of the development –conceptual and experimental– is find ways to bring the infeasible into the realm of the normal. That this goal is not purely magical is suggested –though not proved– by the observation that a number of alchemist’s dreams from the past are realized in science

From supplement


It was observed above, that beings have no limits. The observed limits of beings are probable or, more accurately, normal – they are the probabilistic-normal conditions of existence of a coherent phase-epoch of being such as this world

Thus any being can transform into every other being: every individual is equivalent to every being and to all being. Although this appears absurd because, if true, it would seemingly disrupt the normal regularities of this world. However, the absurdity condition does not follow. Since ‘this world’ evolved as a relatively stable, near-symmetric phase-epoch fluctuations from ‘normal’ behavior are improbable – and, as we know from experience, in some sense extremely improbable

These conclusions do raise a problem of identity that is addressed in the later section (link) on identity


An objective, taken up later, is to find approaches to transform the improbable into the probable, the infeasible into the feasible. If a MIRACLE is a violation of the normal order then miracles are actual and necessary


Plan. Question appropriateness of the word, ‘magic’

In modern anthropology, magic or magical thinking has been defined as confusion or conflation of WORD and object. Alternatively, MAGIC could be defined as violation of the normal order. Then, a MAGICIAN is a being or individual with the ability to effect magic as though it were normal. A SHAMAN is an individual who, among other things, is believed to have magical power

The boundaries of the normal are not fixed. What may be thought to be magic at one time may be found to be normal at another; and what is normal at a given time in one context may exceptional in another context

Some Normal Categories and Considerations

Mind and Causation

From supplement

Thus, with reference to the earlier discussion, the causal aspect of mind –higher, human-animal, or primitive– is restricted to causal domains. The exception to normal behavior within normally causal domains will, later, be seen to be a source –necessary for– of essentially new ideas and concepts, i.e., of discovery and concept creation. What is the place of mind in extra-causal regions of the universe? Although a consistent extension of the concept of mind to such regions is possible, it bears little of the significance of mind as animal experience or the primitive mind of causal domains. Yet, the extension down to the void may be the most consistent extension of any single substantial concept. In that sense, the extension may be regarded as necessary. However, any such extension would not be the introduction of a substance since it an extension that may be consistent with the theory of being and not a projection

Action and Choice

From supplement

Consider the problem of transcending the normal. Given some possibility, there may be no algorithm by which it may be achieved. Additionally, much of what is possible is not explicitly known. Therefore, while knowledge is sufficient to some realizations, action –experiments in knowing and transformation– is necessary


From supplement

Plan. A new section for this location (there are other section(s) and discussions for knowledge.) This is currently here because of the implications of action for knowledge. The ideas here have been discussed in some manner elsewhere. Bring all developments regarding knowledge into cohesion

Action has implication for the nature of knowledge. To say that the purpose of knowing is knowledge is equivalent to saying that knowledge is an end in itself. The previous sentence appears to be paradoxical. How could the purpose of knowing not be knowledge? The idea may be stated, it is not given that the instruments of knowledge (the brain and so on) have the purpose of generating knowledge. This is because ‘instruments of knowledge’ is being used as a label. Certainly, the instruments produce knowledge but (1) that is not all that the instruments do, not the only way of viewing them and (2) it is not given that knowledge is an end in itself. Instead, the situation may be viewed as follows. Brain and organism act cohesively. It may be said, roughly, that the brain produces pictures of the world and the organism acts accordingly. Thus, originally, ‘knowledge’ and action occur in interaction – in a loop (the loop is not closed.) With development, the pictures may have permanence – in memory, in signs such as writing. Knowledge acquires independence. However, in isolation, knowledge has no significance. It is about the world – actually or potentially and, in the end, it has its significance in its potential for efficient action

When knowledge is regarded as an end in itself, various problems may be conceived. What is the actual and possible completeness of knowledge with regard to its uses? What justification may there be of the faithfulness of knowledge? These questions are important – practically and in the history of thought

However, the consideration of action shows that faithfulness and completeness are designated but not absolute functions. Knowledge also functions dynamically in interaction with action and becoming. From this more inclusive perspective, the problems of faithfulness and completeness, though not unimportant, lose the absolute importance that has sometimes been assigned to them. The quest for realization need not wait for resolution of the issues of knowledge or epistemology – the quest for knowledge, though an adventure, may also result in paralysis; and if realization is a value there are will be times and occasions where experiments in transformation of being –of the being of the individual– are necessary

Although action is normally necessary for realization, the forms (theories) of knowledge, action and becoming may be considered to be part of (a general theory of) form

Physical Cosmology

Query: It seems possible that the ‘physics’ of another normal cosmological system might be much different, even in form, than that of this one. Thus not only might the system of particles and interactions be different but why should the physics be one of a large number of a few kinds of particles and interactions? Thus, certainly, the term ‘physical’ is properly used in this cosmological system. However, is it appropriate for all possible normal cosmological systems? That identifies one misgiving. Another is that ‘physical’ seems to imply ‘not mental’ which I have shown to be not the case in discussion in this essay. Having stated these misgivings and thus identified what I do not want ‘physical’ to connote in this system and in the general case, I can be reasonably comfortable with the term. Additionally, the model of many particles, few kinds seems to be capable of explaining the uniformity (such as it is) and variety of a cosmos. I am also forced to be comfortable with the term because I have not come up with a satisfactory alternative to use in the general case. I have not been able to find such as actual, effectual, elemental, material, basic to be satisfactory

From supplement

Include mention – here or in the section ‘Journey in Being’ – of space-time-matter, quantum theory, life and mind

Some implications of the general cosmology for the local physical cosmology and theoretical physics including the theories of small and large scale structure and interactions are taken up later

Many laws and constants of physics are known with great precision and this is often found to be remarkable. It has also been found to be remarkable that some phase of nature is analyzable as expressed in the laws. However, what is also remarkable is that the constants and laws of physics obtain over vast domains. That these domains mark the practical or empirical limits of current knowledge does not make this less remarkable. As seen above, however, there is a limit to the universality the domain over which the laws of physics have reign. The universe is infinitely more vast and varied than the domains of studied physical law. The following interesting question arises, ‘How does it happen that the domain of physical law comes into being?’

Local Origins of Quasi-Causation and Quantum Theory

Local Origins of Quasi-Causation and Quantum Theory

From v2004

Comment. 1. Question whether ‘local origins’ is appropriate. 2. Question placement of the topic

For illumination of the local origin of quasi-causation, the discussion beginning in the section on the VOID may be reviewed. Recall that strict causation does not obtain at all. Rather, quasi-causation arises locally in quasi-coherent, near-symmetric, relatively stable cosmological domains. Metaphorically, the void causes the [quasi-] causation. [This is partially analogous to the theory of Monads in which the void is ‘God.’] Also, note that even quasi-causation is not universal. Note also the significance of reference to near rather than perfect symmetry

Note the analogy with the relation between the quantum vacuum and the quantum theory of particles and the analogy with the zero point energy of quantum systems. There is, therefore, in the theory given here, potential for foundation of the quantum considerations and the zero point energy. Note, also, in the origin of quasi-determinate being from indeterminate being the potential for the foundation of the existence of structure in an indeterministic theory such as quantum mechanics. This brief reference may be the basis of a foundation for quantum theory

Space and Time or Space-Time, and Causation

Repetition: I think the repetition of this topic (causation is not repeated) is good

From supplement


Plan. The topic is included for completeness; the development of the topics is later &OR in FOUNDATION. TIME, SPACE, and SPACE-TIME in the universe and in LOCAL COSMOLOGIES. Combine with similar discussions. It has been seen that:


Science and Causation

Comment. I am using ‘cause’ primarily in the modern sense from the physical sciences: an event at one time has a causal effect that spreads out in time but not in the sense of strict deterministic causation which is a very special case of the meaning that I use. There are other senses as in ‘the crystalline structure of carbon in a diamond is the cause of its hardness.’ In the second sense there is a cause, the crystal structure, and an effect, the hardness, but there is no temporal sense to the causation; this meaning of cause is similar to that of constitution. The Theory of Being enables an analysis of the varieties of causation. It may be useful to review the varieties of ‘cause’ especially Aristotle’s four kinds, their significance –fundamental or artifactual– and relations in light of the Theory of Being; review whether the modern meaning is truly fundamental, whether Aristotle’s kinds, especially the teleological, may have fundamental significance restored. Is it possible that Aristotle’s relaxed approach to causation is more fundamental (due to play) than our modern approach based in the physical sciences which are immensely powerful in their domain application which, however, per the Theory of Being, may be regarded to be infinitesimal on the scale of all being. Plan. Further analyze ‘causation’

From supplement

In the becoming from the void, there is a selection of relatively stable, near symmetric forms. The stability resides in the selection of coherently related elements of being. The relations are ‘forces’ that also manifest as ‘cause.’ However, this shows causation to be restricted to coherent worlds or phase-epochs. Thus, causation is not and cannot be universal. Even where it is manifest, causation is at most normal


From supplement

What is the origin of dynamics?

Space-Time-Matter and Gravitation

From supplement

In the becoming from the void, the origin of EXTENSION [space or spaces] and DURATION [time or times] are intertwined with one another and with being or ‘matter.’ A dynamic but local –approximate– description in which matter-time-space interact is possible; this description may be labeled ‘ENTITY-PROCESS-RELATIONSHIP’

In a local cosmology there may be coherent and DOMINANT SPACE, DOMINANT TIME or DOMINANT SPACE-TIME, and DOMINANT MODES OF BEING or matter; it is possible to talk about the origin of these

Whereas, in the entire realm of being – of the one universe – space/time/matter are not coherently related and there would seem to be no absolute space/time/matter

…in a local cosmology, depending on its effective relations with other cosmologies or the whole – or the lack of such relations, both relative and absolute space/time/matter may obtain. However, the coherent case might appear to be likely associated with practically isolated origin and therefore with relative or embedded space-time

Quantum Dynamics

Quantum Dynamics


… and the concept of life

Life itself is not written on things but is assigned by human beings and therefore to expect a static scheme of assignment, whether intuitive or descriptive or theoretical, that remains consistent in boundary cases is unrealistic even though there may be no problem of differentiation at the core (and thus, the concept of life is not arbitrary, is not a mere assignment.) ‘Life’ is an assigned concept, i.e., it is not merely read and the assignment – intuitive or schematic – must be dynamic and adjusting. The concept of ‘life’ is similar to that of ‘mind’ in being fluid but the nature of the fluidity is different

Order and Chaos in Cosmology

Comments on Chaos and Faith

Note. 1. This section is new and could have been placed just after introducing the concept of the ‘normal’ under cosmology. 2. It is placed in a separate section, even though brief, because of its importance. The noumenon can be seen as containing chaos or indeterminism but that indeterminism has no significance to individuals with faith (in the common sense) and hope. It is only in this partially ordered world (quasi-ordering) that chaos assumes significance and for common faith to be true faith it must account for chaos and, as has been seen, humor is the element of mind that navigates chaos. 3. The connotation of chaos here is not intended to include ‘chaos theory of dynamical systems;’ however, that theory may be relevant – a point for future investigation

Placement. Put a comment about dynamical systems theory in the section on ‘The Fundamental Problems’?


This discussion generalizes, elaborates, consolidates and further founds the earlier discussion on ‘The Individual’


Human Being and Society

Human Being and Society

Human Being and Society

Comment. Earlier titles were ‘Symbol and Value for Human Being,’ and, in this document, ‘Human Being: Mind, Symbol and Value’

Comment. The following bordered sections were a continuation of the discussion as part of ‘Metaphysics.’ Now that some topics have been separated, the following topics need placement

The narrative now turns to human being. Although I use the word, ‘human’ I am thinking, in the following section, of human or similar being including animal being. I do not think of human being as non-animal but as a particular kind of animal being with emphasis on what may be distinctive of human being – an issue often and perhaps necessarily tinged with speculation, perspective and value. Here, I regard the capacity to have and freely generate symbols as characteristic – while it is not the only crucial stage in human evolution, it is essential to the enabling of human meaning and enjoyment, and what measure of control over destiny we may possess

Comment. In the following paragraphs I argue that a special interest in human and animal mind, the differences among the species, and the theory of being, together, may be used to derive some characteristics of mind that enable systematic formulation of functions. I choose the especially important distinction of free vs. bound symbols. This is the basis of thought, communication, and (especially) communicable knowledge and morals. I remark, in parentheses, that the differential treatment among the species does not imply any intrinsic superiority or moral privilege but that my human status does entail obligations

From supplement

This section was titled ‘Symbol and Value for Human Being’

Add considerations on all value including ‘Group Value…,’ politics, economics…

The interest in human being requires no assumption of special status – especially moral status. Epistemically, there is special importance to human being as follows. (1) As human beings, it is homo sapiens into whom we might have the most immediate insight. This is a valuable source of information but the special status in this regard is also a likely source of error, if not of deception, and it is important to be aware of such error to assist in preventing and overcoming it. (2) Specifically, there are obvious differences among the species and therefore it is not valid to generalize from human mind to mind in general. However, as animal beings we do not lack all intuition of animal mind; and, we can use concepts to assist in the attempt to assess and correct errors of intuition. The differences in the elements of human mind and between human and other animal mind are useful in an approach to understanding mind and its potentials. One such difference involves the distinction among bound and free symbols. Roughly, a bound symbol is more or less rigidly attached to an object or class of objects. The objects of the perceptual system and of the basic emotions (feeling) are bound. The symbols of thought are free, not only in that they are freely created, but also in that the objects to which they ‘attach’ are not given in advance. The symbols of ‘higher’ emotion have both bound and free elements. The free symbol is the basis from which new (free) symbolic knowledge emerges (e.g. in the form of hypotheses which can be subject to test.) Clearly, homo sapiens is not the only species with the free symbolic capability. However, there appear to be species with no individual free symbolic capability (the idea of a symbol without freedom may seem to be paradoxical; however the symbol that is bound in the individual is ‘free’ in evolution.) What is distinct about homo sapiens (relative to current life on earth) is the use of the free symbol which is the basis of thought (iconic and linguistic) and communication (dramatic and linguistic.) The approaches through intuition and through similarity and difference are deployed in the following to develop a dynamic and integrated system of the elements of mind

(I said above that the interest in human being involves no assumption of special moral status. I meant, for example, that being human implies no special privilege. It is true that we emerge from a distant past with ancient traditions and practices that includes the ‘use’ of other species. Given that fact, it is not necessary to assert that there is a right to such use. Given what is given, some aspects of the relationship with other species might be in the mutual interest – and, obviously, other aspects will be found to be cruel or otherwise lacking in ‘right.’ This said, I should add that I am not among those who revile our species. I should add that I am not among those who think we are infallible in our moral actions in general or, specifically, toward what is not human)

Human beings do appear to have a free symbolic capability that is especially well developed in the direction of (human) language. (Perhaps an encounter with an alien species or with our own subconscious might show otherwise.) This capability, I have argued in this essay, is at the foundation of the possibility and the need for (free) symbolic knowledge and of morals. Thus, in correction of what I said earlier, I must admit that as a human being, I do have a special moral status that lies in the area of obligation to truth, morals, and enjoyment. Further, in view of the uniform treatment of the functions of mind ( e.g. emotion, cognition, bound attitudes and behavior) that follows, ‘truth, morals, and enjoyment’ may be seen as being subsumed under ‘truth’

Human Being: the Organism and its Origins

Alternate title: ‘Human and Animal Being: the Organism, its Structure and Origins’

Transcendental Approaches to Science

I want to present the outline of an argument that is not new – some of its elements date back to early Western Philosophy. The argument is motivated by the question, ‘What can we tell of the gross and microscopic structure of organisms by observation of the organisms in their environment?’ I.e. what can we tell without recourse to the observation of the microstructure that has been made possible by modern science – especially by the atomic theory, chemistry and the microscope. One motive in asking this question is to show that much general information can be deduced without the instrumentalism of science. Of course, no criticism or diminishing of science is intended for the particular deductions are made with the insight afforded by science and while they are reasonable they do not have the definiteness or detail of the conclusions in the light of science. One would hesitate to advance the conclusions as demonstrated without the developments of science. However, the method of ‘demonstration’ is significant because it is a kind of demonstration that may be useful in other inquiries where the experimental and theoretical rigor of science are not available. The arguments are also interesting because they are a form of transcendental argument (link)

Here the scientific positivist would say that any argument is ‘pure metaphysics’ in a derogatory sense. However, I have argued for the necessity of such reasoning in this essay (link) provided that one is open about the reliability of the arguments. An aspect of the argument is that the thought that we should not tread where scientific authority is not available is a (rather strange) value and not part of science itself. There is a similarity between the positivist view and that of a medical professional who is qualified to provide a patient with medical information about alternative courses of action but also feels qualified to the tell the patient which choice to make

Plan. Here is an outline of the argument and its premises… complete the argument and inferences to be drawn for this essay

Human and Animal Being: the Organism: Structure and Origins... the following kind of thinking is well known

Note. The discussion contains no reference to the ‘body’

The living being has a variety of functions; it stands to reason that the structures of the organism are related to function

The variety of living forms x the variety of each form is immense

There is inheritance, i.e., persistence of form, i.e., species. The laws of inheritance are discrete; inheritance is from both parents (in sexual reproduction)

Assumption: that the basis of inheritance is common; and, at root, identical to the constitution of non-living being

Assume chemistry that the elements of being (in this cosmological system) are sub-atomic-molecular (a similar set of conditions is seen to be explain chemistry)

These conditions are satisfied by an elementary genetics based in microscopic and particulate determination of characters, i.e., a chemical basis of life. Now ask:

Instead of life being explainable on such genetic terms, what considerations (other than direct microscopic evidence; note: actual evidence is always conceptual-explanatory + direct) would make the genetic terms necessary

Note that this is a kind of transcendental argument

Human Mind

Keywords for mind in general

Primitives: feeling, sense, awareness, consciousness, conscience, self-consciousness, consciousness of consciousness, emotion: simple, consciousness: element of, pain, joy, mind, feeling, impression, structure of consciousness, self-referentiality, unconscious, peripheral processes, scanning, primitive-feeling, perception, concepts and meaning, memory, solipsism

Function and integration: dimensions of feeling, bound-free, internal-external, memory, afferent-efferent, state-disposition, layered organization, atomism-holism, focus-background, center-periphery, integration-independence, modularity-integration: holism: part-whole, feeling: modalities of: feeling: quality and intensity, feeling: shape and quantity, feeling: direction of: attraction / repulsion: pleasure / pain, feeling: tenor: mood: uni-directional or fluctuating, function: modalities: integration: feeling: drive: internal-bound, sense: perception: external-bound, emotion: primitive: internal – free + bound, thought: pure: external – free + bound, cognition-emotion-drive: external + internal – free + bound: isolation of – denied: feeling-motivation-cognition: an integrated system, problem of binding, problem of object constancy, axes for mental phenomena: experience: attitude: action, examples of attitudes: knowledge: belief: desire, omnivalent interpretation of belief, categories of intuition: the elements of intuition, existential: being: becoming: being-in, humor, physical: space: time: causation: indeterminism: humor, biological: life forms, psychological or psychosocial: image-concept: icon-symbol: emotion: humor: communication: value: identity

Development: integration over time, sign and symbol, language, learning, personality and meaning, individual and society, meaning, commitments and purpose, love, personality and identity, identity in being may give arching significance to lesser being, problem of binding , integration, dissolution, factors for the psychology of the person as a whole: traditional personality factors: Jungian: Freudian: Eriksonian: Ayurvedic, ‘hardwiring’ issues: biological including neurological and endocrine, group or social factors, some specific factors: perceiving vs. judging, intuitive vs. sensing, analytic vs. synthetic – not one of Jung’s original factors, feeling vs. thinking, introvert vs. extravert, inertia vs. mobility, symbol and value as a proximate account of being

Exceptional achievement and disorder: disorder: functional and personality, systemic vs. localized, vs. correlates of extremes, vs. degeneration, vs. environmental origin, psychiatry, subjective criteria, functional criteria, trait, exceptional achievement: relation to disorder is partial: lateral: causal, step-wise dependence of performance on raw ability, integration of the functions: especially intuition and thought, integration of personality: commitments and consistency

Language: an aspect of analytic and social development, language: function: cognition and communication, iconic thought, symbolic thought, art and drama, speech, speech act, propositional attitude, attitude, belief, desire, language and thought, thought and logic, generalized concept of language: acting-drama-literature-art-music, free symbol: foundation of knowledge: logic and culture, concepts: – common: as-intuited: as-initially-experienced: intuitive: open: slack: tight: tentative: transitional: experimental: extended to the root or ultimate: primal: primitive: as-I-experience-it: as-I-initially-experience-it: fluid: flat: empty: shallow: degraded: secularized: meaning: use: extension / reference: intension / sense: field or system of concepts, uses of language: concepts, attitudes, metaphor and other non-literal uses, bewitchment of intelligence, bewitchment of critical thought, it is as if language creates a universe of its own

Human Mind HUMAN. The second of two main sections on mind

MIND has been discussed earlier. Here, the focus is on mind in human being and similar organisms, especially those with a symbolic capability that is roughly similar to that of human being in kind and magnitude. It is my intent to understand human being but not to set us apart from animal being. Parts of the discussion below apply to animals with various degrees of mind

The Nature of Mind: Comments

Comment. The topic has been discussed and here repeat in outline only what is used in founding the elements of mind. Refer to earlier discussion. The discussion, here, is primarily on human mind but could be structured sequentially so that the early aspects define more general kinds and only at the final stage(s) would the restriction be to human or human-like mind

Comment on consciousness and awareness: details implicit below because dealt with elsewhere in the essay. Note, though, that consciousness enters through ‘subjective feeling;’ and that the ‘axis’ of experience contains consciousness. May introduce consciousness below

From supplement

Plan. After incorporation into WHEREOF ONE CANNOT SPEAK incorporate appropriate aspects from JOURNEY IN BEING

The nature of mind has been discussed earlier in METAPHYSICS. In this section, certain aspects may be elaborated. The manifestation of mind after the ‘divides’ is the focus and, so, the following topics are emphasized: human and animal mind; the elements of human and animal mind and behavior, especially the fundamental nature of feeling, the bound vs. free and inner vs. outer distinctions, the categories of intuition, memory, development and learning, personality, and exceptional achievement

From v2004

The free symbol e.g. of the human individual is not at all necessary for mind. However, the free symbol is characteristic of many –it may be argued most– phases of experience of a human being as a cultural individual

The human individual, who travels outside culture, deepens her or his immersion in the larger world but does not usually shed the symbolic nature. An exception may be in those cases where return loses its imperative character. Such cases include those in which return is no longer possible while remaining in the coherent phase of being of which culture is a part

In consequence of the origin of the free symbol in a quasi-coherent cosmological system, the following are also possible: symbolic language, knowledge, logic, choice and value. As forms of intuition, these may be experienced as determinate. They are, however, but quasi-determinate; this is required by the nature of being in its origin in the void. It is required, more immediately, by the nature of the present cosmological system that is, as are all such systems, quasi-determinate in its nature, quasi-determinist and quasi-causal in its evolution and dynamics

It was said above that mind is coeval and coextensive with being – that mind is being. From the perspective of the void and primal power, this is necessary. Thus, it is not a mere fact. Rather, it is an expression of the nature of being

From the perspective of an individual starting at his or her own perspective within culture, ‘mind is being’ is the consistent and efficient extension of the immediate concept ‘mind-as-I-have-or-experience-it’ to the primal level (repetition)

In the SOURCE documents, there is a discussion of the unities and distinctions among the different modes of human symbol e.g. feeling and perception as BOUND and thought as containing FREE elements; and e.g. feeling as being characterized by intensity and perception by detail and form

These distinctions have a neurological basis. Simply, though not fully accurately or completely, emotion has basis in the limbic system and thought in the neo-cortex. However, the neural systems interact. This interaction or communication arises in evolution due to adaptive integration of the psyche. I.e. emotion and cognition interact. This interaction arises in adaptive evolution. The interaction between emotion and cognition is, however, not merely predetermined but is also cultivated. There is no thought that is not tinged with motivation and emotion; and there is no emotion that must remain a pure feeling unto itself. Thus, not only do the functions interact: they are not compartmentalized. On the conceptual side, this may be formulated by enhancing the comment regarding ‘feeling and perception as bound and thought as containing free elements; and e.g. feeling as being characterized by intensity and perception by detail and form’ by saying that in actuality the modes of human symbol do not normally occur in pure or dissociated form

In the SOURCE documents, I have also discussed the fundamental dimension of growth and dissolution in defining the fundamental character of [human] being

A full theory of [human] mind and its development and dissolution is also a full theory of [human] being

Aspects of Mind: Feeling, Awareness, and Consciousness

Comment. Some aspects of this topic are discussed under the earlier, more general, discussion of mind under ‘Metaphysics.’ The discussion could be placed there since some of the conclusions are general. However, there are subtleties to the manifestation of consciousness etc. that make it more efficient to place the discussion here and that help illuminate the general case

Comment. The section, ‘Aspects of Mind: the Categories of Intuition,’ was originally here but is now placed below

From v2004

Here, ‘consciousness’ is used in the following sense. An individual is conscious when he or she has an experience such as that of the scent and color of a rose, a pain and so on; ‘consciousness’ is not used in its more esoteric senses such as ‘conscience,’ ‘self-consciousness,’ ‘consciousness of consciousness,’ and ‘cognition’

Although ‘feeling’ is often used in the sense of ‘simple emotion,’ it is used here in the more general sense of ‘element of consciousness.’ Thus, the experiences of the scent of a rose or of the remembered image of the rose, the color of the rose, a pain, simple joy and so on are feelings. ‘Awareness’ is similar to ‘consciousness’ but it there are cases of awareness that do not appear to be conscious. An example may be when one becomes conscious of something another person has a second or two after it was said. More clear cut examples are those of experiments on brain damaged individuals who, in experiments, respond to stimuli but deny conscious awareness of the stimuli

My interest in consciousness here is to elucidate the nature of mind. To that end, consider the following question, ‘Is an element of being conscious, does it have feeling? I could have asked, ‘Is a particle, e.g., an electron conscious,… ?’ but it is more useful to be non-specific. We think we know the electron but what we know is our experience and theories of the electron and these may be prejudicial to its actual nature, e.g., by omitting some of its features

The response to the question must be that an element of being has feeling – the effect or impression of other elements of being, otherwise we are left with the contradiction that no being can or does have feeling. This does not mean that the character of animal feeling is that same as or even similar to that of an element. Is an element of being conscious? We will see that the answer depends on  a careful analysis of the structure of consciousness

Three features of human-like consciousness are pertinent here: intensity, clarity and feeling, and ‘self-awareness,’ or, more precisely, ‘self-referentiality of consciousness, i.e., consciousness of consciousness. A being without consciousness of consciousness may be conscious but the consciousness cannot itself be a concept for that being. Its consciousness lacks significance even though it is instrumental. Can it direct is consciousness? Yes, if there are unconscious processes such as scanning that may from time to time enter consciousness but the being has no choice in the matter. Its consciousness is of what presents in consciousness from the outside world. It may have a kind of reflection but it is not conscious of reflection. This kind of directed consciousness that is more than mere feeling clearly provides an evolutionary advantage. With self-referentiality, consciousness may be a concept, it is possible to assign it significance, and consciousness can be consciously directed, i.e., it is possible to plan consciously. This kind of consciousness permits reflection on consciousness and is clearly of even greater evolutionary advantage in some ways

The human ‘unconscious’ may be made up of peripheral processes that lack self-referentiality and have, perhaps, diminished intensity or clarity. However, the unconscious may have a greater range and thus provide a scanning function in the background while consciousness provides a focusing function in the foreground

These observations also explain how consciousness may be experienced as on-off even if is a continuum from zero on up. Even if consciousness is a continuum, sufficiently intense consciousness of consciousness may be on-off

Awareness without consciousness may be explained similarly; awareness is consciousness but without consciousness of consciousness or awareness of awareness. Thus, awareness and consciousness may be identical and similarly, feeling and consciousness may be identical

Thus, an element of being may be aware, feeling and conscious. The distinction between the consciousness of an electron and a human being is one of intensity, clarity and detail, and self-referentiality. The consciousness or feeling of an element of being –an electron– is obviously far ‘below’ that of a being that is conscious but has only unconscious direction of consciousness. There is level of being whose consciousness is only of what is present. The element of being is at the low end of this level. When we begin to think about consciousness, we have a certain idea of what it is. We may define that idea to be the concept of consciousness. According to that concept, the element of being – the electron – is not conscious. However, necessity requires us to reconsider the concept of consciousness and in an extension of the concept, the electron is found to be conscious. That conclusion assaults the common sense; and, unless care is taken, it may lead to confusion and contradiction. However, when care is taken it eliminates confusion and contradiction. Perhaps, in acknowledgment of common sense and sensibility, the term ‘consciousness’ ought to be reserved for our early conception and a new term, e.g., ‘primitive-feeling’ be applied to the element of being. However, regardless of these terminological issues, an enormous simplicity of perspective is achieved without cost to accuracy and precision, when a uniform perspective and vocabulary is adopted with regard to the subjective states at all levels of being

Normal Psychology

I use ‘NORMAL psychology’ to refer to an actual individual of this world. I.e., the individual does not normally violate the limits associated with the conditions of becoming and being of this coherent phase-epoch [thus ‘NORMAL’ is not used in contrast to the ‘abnormal’ psychology of the individual with a mental disorder]

However, it is NORMAL for the individual to possess an ability to violate or transcend at least some putative limits

It is an objective of the experimental or transformational phase of ‘Journey in Being’ to experiment with the limits, to see what transcendence I may accomplish, what may be accomplished. I hope to demonstrate experimentally the ‘PRINCIPLE OF BEING’ that every being is ‘equivalent’ to every other being

A complete psychology does not exclude the body in the analysis of mind. The body is not and cannot be excluded since, as has been shown, the mind includes the body

In NORMAL psychology, the body and the implied NORMAL limits are included and among the topics that are emphasized

The Normal

Psychology: Introduction to the Elements of Mind

Some dimensions: dimensions of feeling; bound-free and internal-external; perception, concepts and meaning; Wittgenstein’s contribution including use of the analysis of solipsism; feeling-motivation-cognition: an integrated system; state-disposition; memory; center-periphery; integration-independence; modularity-integration (holism;) layering

Aspects of Mind. The Categories of Intuition: space, time, being(matter), causation… Axes for mental phenomena: Experience, attitude, action. Examples of attitudes: Knowledge, belief, desire… The omnivalent interpretation of belief

Alternate title: The Elements of Psychology

Possible addition to title: Some dimensions

Principles of organization of this section. Some possibilities are:

Elements of adaptation; elements of the adapted; and time – including development

The bound framework including the categories of intuition and the axes of mental phenomena; the free framework including free production and association including the icon and the symbol… and language; integration; and time – including development

From supplement

Planning. Should the title include mind and psychology or just one of the terms? Should the title be Heading 3 or 4? Distribute the following Heading 4 topics between locations in foundation and narrative for the journey. What is the best placement of the various considerations? Should new sections be created? In the final version of the essay, it will not be necessary to retain the heading styles

The purpose of this section in this supplement is twofold. Mind is discussed in a generic sense above and in FOUNDATION with passing reference to particulars; the first purpose is to get the particulars relatively complete, right and coherently so: the various dimensions below, bound-free… , serve this end well. The second purpose is as a counter to Anglo-American academic and folk psychologies; the claim, here, is not so much that those psychologies are ‘wrong’ but, rather, that they are slanted and incomplete

I decided against a thought to name this section, ‘The Elements of Human Psychology’


Objective of the section. A complete parameterization of the functions. Comments. Every element should be motivated. This does not require proof but the idea is that the elements may be then subject to reasoning. I should reduce the following distinctions, emphasizing only the significant ones and showing their necessity and the way in which they ‘parameterize’ the functions. The remaining distinctions may be mentioned for completeness – but not as headings

Layered Organization of Mind

(… of organism-brain)

Uses the paradigms of explanation through

(1) Primal elements of being, and

(2) Atomism-holism

Dimensions or Modalities* of (Subjective) Feeling

Comment. * indicates use of John Searle’s ideas from The Rediscovery of the Mind, 1992 and, perhaps, need for further reading. I am much indebted to Searle in the effect of his writing in my education on the topic of mind

The following shows already that feeling, emotion and cognition are not separate (disjunct) aspects of mind

Quality and intensity

Shape and quantity

Direction of Feeling: Attraction / Repulsion or, in More the Specific Case, Pleasure / Pain
Tenor (Mood): Uni-Directional or Fluctuating



From supplement

The distinction is brought out by an example. It is natural for emotions to fluctuate. In a healthy individual, there will be a fluctuation of emotion that is driven by internal and external factors. In a depressed individual the emotions are ‘forced’ toward the negative and flat end of the spectrum of emotion. In this example, the state is the current emotional state and the disposition is depression

Depression is an example of a mood as is mania. Euthymia is the term for the mood of a ‘healthy’ individual

It is possible, but not common in practice, to view other dimensions of mental state as having dispositions



Related to:


Although wholes are made up of parts there is a familiar aspect under which they present as wholes. Wholes are recognized as such or by association among parts which, when the associations become strong, make perceptual wholes

Related to:


From supplement

This may be more useful than and may (help) explain the conscious-unconscious continuum

Related to:


From supplement

Individual as an integral system of centers of awareness and control – with primary consciousness as, perhaps, an integrated selection of the more central


Modularity-Integration (Holism;)

Bound-Free and Internal-External

Note: The free is the foundation of acquisition of (especially communicable) knowledge and of growth of (communicable) morals (no implication in this statement that only humans acquire knowledge or develop morals)

From supplement

Place the following statement

The objective is to cover modalities of experience, especially of thinking, emotion or feeling, and motivation and drive i.e. of cognition, emotion and conation


Internal: feeling, drive

External: sense, perception

Comment – as noted above, sense and perception involve feeling. ‘Internal feeling’ is a particular kind of feeling in the more general sense


The free element typically has basis in and occurs in combination with bound elements

Internal: free + bound – primitive emotion

External: free + bound – pure thought

External + internal and free + bound: cognition-emotion… It is implied that cognition and emotion do not occur in isolation

Plan. On emotion: this is an occasion to get the Theory of Emotion right; see my various writings on mind as well as A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, ed. Samuel Guttenplan, 1994

Perception, Concepts and Meaning
Wittgenstein’s Contribution Including Use of the Analysis of Solipsism

Place: name in sources

Feeling-Motivation-Cognition: an Integrated System

Plan: refine discussion of emotion… and of all functions and their integration

Categories (structure and process)

Aspects of Mind. The Categories of Intuition; Axes for Mental Phenomena; Growth and Development

The Categories of Intuition

In the present sense, intuition is prior to the explicit knowing of the world. Intuition is a container or framework for feeling-cognition as in apprehension of…

From v2004

There are detailed discussions of the ‘structure’ of mind in the NARRATIVE for the Journey, in the FOUNDATION, and in the SUPPLEMENT. Although the discussions are important, it is not necessary to repeat them here. Included in the discussions are approaches to characterizing mind e.g. through experience and power, the issue of whether there may be beings that are evolved beyond awareness, the mind-matter problem, the categories, that there is, perhaps, for the human, a finite number of modalities of being and knowing. Finally, these source documents include discussions of various other aspects of mind: symbol, language, logic and knowledge; structure and intensity in cognition and emotion – and the nature of the (mental) functions; modularity and integration; layering; attitude and action; memory; and time and development – including learning, personality and commitments

The discussion of the categories of intuition is especially significant. An example of a category of intuition is that of space. In the adult, the intuition of space requires no analytic formulation; it is, as it were, intrinsic. The intuition of spatial relations does not require awareness of space-as-such. The intuition of space is the normally unconscious framework of spatial perception which may be conscious or otherwise. [There is an alternative meaning of ‘intuition’ as a special mode of perception that is cultivated by a few individuals. In both meanings of intuition, the perception is not fully conscious. In continuing to discuss ‘intuition,’ reference is not being made to this alternative meaning.] The existence of the intuition does not mean that the corresponding perception is ‘perfect’ or that the corresponding ‘object’ is as it is in intuition or even exists. The intuition may be referred to but the reference does not imply an explicit understanding of the structure of the intuition. However, a detailed understanding of the structure of the intuition may be undertaken as in geometry as the formulation of the structure of space. While such understanding may surpass the intuition in various ways, and may replace or supplement it e.g. in science, it does not replace the intuition in practice. The intuition may function as if it were a priori but is not completely so. For the intuition has origin in adaptation i.e. in the origin of the –adult– organism. That is, two sources of the origin of the intuition may be identified: the origin of the kind or species, and the development of the individual. The origin of the kind is a priori to the individual. In the development of the individual, exposure to the proper conditions may enhance the intuitive capability

[Thus, the intuition may be cultivated – without conscious intent or thought through exposure and repetition and consciously by examining the intuition itself and the conditions of its application. Perhaps the most effective cultivation of intuition occurs in the interaction of the conscious and the unconscious. Thus, while the categories of intuition are universal or near universal for the species, the acuteness of the intuition may vary enormously. Acuity of spatio-temporal intuition varies enormously: there are individuals who are able to tell near perfect time. Other examples of widely varying intuitive capability are those of music and number. The occurrence of talent in families implies a strong genetic component to some intuitive capabilities. However, recent studies in the savant syndrome suggest that, in individuals who do not develop the intuitive talents, the capability may be blocked or latent rather than absent]

In transcendental idealism, a variety of categories were recognized and distilled as space, time and causation. However, it has been seen that even in the coherent phase-epoch of the UNIVERSE that is the place of animal and human evolution there is a residual indeterminism that is a basis of evolution [variation] and formation of knowledge [free formation of concepts.] Causation is an element of being but not a paradigm of being. Given knowledge and experience is not adequate to face the essentially new situations and possibilities that arise in human life. I have used the label ‘humor’ to refer to the capability to accept and adjust to and to navigate such situations. HUMOR clearly includes the creative process of discovery in the world and in knowledge. The concept of HUMOR may also be projected to the universal where its name is ‘the possibility of structure contained in essential indeterminism.’ Just as in the projection of ‘will and idea,’ the terms must be divested many of their human associations and require an openness to the possibilities of their meanings, so with ‘humor.’ Thus, the normal and common associations of ‘humor’ are a partial but not completely reliable guide to its possible meanings. These meanings are to be found within a metaphysical system –formal or informal– such as the system of the Journey. The present considerations enhance the classical system of categories to include humor. With this enhancement, the fundamental categories of intuition are space, time, causation, and humor

From supplement

The categories of intuition and the categories of being… and

The normal categories

While SPACE, TIME, and CAUSATION may or may not be forms, the COGNITIONS of space, time and causation are forms. While HUMOR may or may not be a form, the EXPERIENCE i.e. the COGNITION-FEELING of humor and its cultivation is a form. Behind the forms of cognition or cognition-feeling, lie what might be called the unspecialized or UNSPECIATED FORMS of ABSOLUTE MATERIAL OBJECT (space,) ABSOLUTE BECOMING (time,) QUASI-CAUSATION or pre-causal ‘effect’ (defined, give page reference,) and ABSOLUTE TERMINATION or DISSOLUTION (humor.) The forms of cognition including human cognition are instances or speciations of the unspecialized forms

Axes for Mental Phenomena

Experience, attitude, action… Analyze the axes (begun in the present essay and other source documents)

The Elements of Intuition

The categories developed as a matrix of elements whose indices are the categories and the axes (above.) This new development is of extreme importance.

Existential: Being, (Becoming, Being-in, …) Humor…

Review this; review all – review for perception and thought

Physical: Space, Time, Causation, Indeterminism (Humor)

Comment: see the query under ‘Physical Cosmology’ above. Although the point is interesting, the term ‘Physical’ is adequate and shall remain until something better is found

Biological: Life Forms

Review this

Psychological or Psychosocial: Image-Concept, Icon-Symbol, Emotion, Humor, Communication, Value, Identity…

Review this for knowledge-belief (inclusion of the symbol –the free-symbol– among the categories subsumes cognition and therefore all mental phenomena, all of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason but, simultaneously, frees philosophy up from intuition…

Growth, Development and Meaning

The following observations are crucial to the full realization of meaning and possibility. (1) The integral nature of the individual. That is, there is no absolute separation of emotion, cognition, action, and body. (2) In the transitional mode of being, individuation is relative; this is consistent with saying that in a transcendent or above-transitional mode, Being incorporates all being, Identity incorporates all identity. (3) In the transitional mode, intellectual completeness or certainty regarding what is significant has no meaning, i.e., the ideal of the intellect ‘capturing reality’ is based in a mistaken concept of the transitional being or transitional identity. Therefore, audacity in intellect and action is supremely important. However, action without judgment is chaos. In the transitional mode, there is no source of judgment other than that of the transitional identity. Yes, knowledge, experience and experiment, value are important. Knowledge of the immediate and the idea of the above-transitional ultimate are important. However, this knowledge, this experience, this value… are all those of the transitional identity contained within the unrealized absolute

From supplement

Plan. Include: Journey – growth, development, trial, learning, transformation and projects. Heidegger: Companion

Growth – Development, Learning, Accomplishment, Personality and Meaning; Meaning, Commitments and Purpose; Love

Integration over time

Personality and personality factors; the whole individual: a rationalized study of personality in the context of the individual as a whole. An approach to the psychology of the person as a whole. Factors for the psychology of the person as a whole

Growth – development, learning, accomplishment, personality and meaning

Development, Learning, Accomplishment

From supplement

PRINCIPLES OF GROWTH that are of interest include: biological principles – epigenesis and on; foundation –to the extent that is actual– of psychology in biology; Piaget and sequence; the principle of meaning; some ideas from theories such as those of Freud, Adler, Jung, and Erik H. Erikson; criticism of determinism in growth

Comments on Erikson’s work – for possible summary / entry – from Encyclopedia Britannica: Freud's emphasis on the developmental unfolding of the sexual, aggressive, and self-preservative motives in personality was modified by the American psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson, who integrated psychological, social, and biological factors. Erikson’s scheme proposed eight stages of the development of drives, which continue past Freud's five stages of childhood (oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital) and through three stages of adulthood. The stages proceed in leaps according to what is called an epigenetic process. The term epigenesis, borrowed from embryology, refers to the predetermined developmental sequence of parts of an organism. Each part has a special time for its emergence and for its progressive integration within the functioning whole. Each phase of emergence depends upon the successful completion of the preceding phase. According to Erikson, environmental forces exercise their greatest effect on development at the earliest stages of growth, because anything that disturbs one stage affects all of the following stages. As if controlled by a biological timetable, each given stage must be superseded by a new one, receding in significance as the new stage assumes dominance. A constant interleaving at critical periods—in which some parts emerge while others are suppressed—must proceed smoothly if personality problems are to be avoided

The Freudian theory of development with Erikson's modifications provides for a succession of drive-control (inner and environmental) interactions. These can be fit into a schema of polar attitudes that develop in progressive stages of a person's life, creating a conflict at each stage which should be resolved to avoid extremes of personality development. Erikson thus evolved his eight stages of development, which he described as: (1) infancy: trust versus mistrust; (2) early childhood: autonomy versus shame and doubt; (3) preschool: initiative versus guilt; (4) school age: industry versus inferiority; (5) puberty: identity versus identity confusion; (6) young adulthood: intimacy versus isolation; (7) middle adulthood: generativity versus stagnation; and (8) late adulthood: integrity versus despair


Develop or leave stem; link to discussion under truth

Exceptional Achievement and Disorder

Preliminary comment on general disorders of the organism. The following requires review and improvement

Note on mind, order and chaos. The distinction order vs. chaos is not aligned with the distinction desirable vs. undesirable. If chaos is seen as ‘breakdown,’ then it may be preliminary to re-construction (in a new mold) or further degeneration. Thus what presents as ‘mental disorder’ may be preliminary to ‘inspiration.’ However, ‘disorder’ may also be preliminary to degeneration. Mania and psychosis may have extra-rational re-constructive (creative) aspects but repeated (fulfilled or unfulfilled) episodes may be cumulatively degenerative. In any context there is a (perhaps flexible) boundary between order and disorder. It is not my intention to deny this but to understand that what may be seen as dangerous or dysfunctional may also have re-constructive and creative aspects. Simultaneously, danger and dysfunction cannot be denied; and, except on some interpretation of ‘madness,’ it is not being said that it is the only route to creativity (which always has the potential for ‘danger,’ for being feared, and for being seen as mad)

In the ultimate or natural senses, there are no disorders. A disorder is a human and social interpretation. This does not diminish the significance of the idea; it is not the foundation of an argument that ‘disorder is delusion’ or that medicine is fundamentally unnecessary…