‘Whereof one cannot speak…’





Reading the document…   Sources and Influences…   Document and Research Plans…   Preliminary comment on the word ‘being’


1.1         Being, Mind and Logic: Being, Power, and the Elimination of Substance…   Being and the Void. Necessity of Becoming. Foundation for Cosmology…   FORM…   MIND AND SYMBOL…   SYMBOL, IDEAL AND EXTERNAL OBJECT…   UNIVERSALS…   TRUTH…   LOGIC…   ETHICS / MORALS…   Foundation: Summary…   Alternative Foundation: LOGIC

1.2         Two Divides: Origins of a Cosmological System: a Coherent Phase-Epoch of the Universe…   Origin of the Free Symbolic Capability

1.3         General Cosmology: Origins of a Cosmological System. Essential Indeterminism Must Result in Structure…   Local origins of Quasi-Causation and Quantum Theory

1.4         Symbol and Value for Human Being: Mind…   Aspects of Mind. Consciousness, Feeling and Awareness…   Aspects of Mind. The Categories of Intuition…   Language…   Knowledge, Logic, Culture…   Value

1.5         The Nature of Being

1.6         The Ultimate


2.1         What is the ‘Journey in Being’

2.2         Journey in Being: Background…   Metaphysics: unity in understanding…   Metaphysics, philosophy and the Journey in Being…   Characterizing metaphysics and philosophy…   Transformation…   The Journey Continues…   After the Journey

Bibliographic Information


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

The first is an individual story – 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 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

This essay outlines the foundation and the elements of the Journey in Being

The story begins in the middle with a meandering introduction through some aspects of being and the journey. The first step is a description of the origin and significance of the ‘Journey in Being’ and of the use of the word ‘being.’ This is followed by showing the developmental though not logical need, in discovery, for a Journey with many stations. The next consideration is the origin, nature and fundamental significance of error. The logical need for a journey in any exploration of being with aspirations to completeness is taken up next. The essential need for risk in the journey and in maintaining freshness of being is established. There is an exploration of the idea that the world is or contains an endless supply of facts and it is shown how there is an end, in appropriate perspectives, to chains of fact and explanation. Finally, at the end of the introduction, there is an outline of the CENTRAL CONCEPTUAL ISSUES of concern in this essay

Definitions, arguments, doubts, explanations, and logic and foundation follow in the section, FOUNDATION. In this essay, the foundation for the first version of Journey in Being, SOURCES, has been significantly reworked and improved and currently constitutes a foundation for a complete metaphysics. The foundation is part of the journey and, therefore, a complete embedded foundation is neither possible nor desirable. Elaborations, travels in being and ideas, and plans follow in JOURNEY

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 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

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

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, this document 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 fourteen years, I have been employed in a psychiatric hospital. Working for a living as a non-academic 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 his or her life

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…

The Journey, whose origin was diffuse and naïve and wonderful, will continue in all essential dimensions of being. The dimensions, the explanations, and the arguments are elaborated below and in the sections on MIND, on BEING, on METAPHYSICS and on THE EXPERIMENTS in the SOURCES

In its ultimate purpose, the Journey recognizes only necessary limits. A necessary limit is one that applies to ALL BEING. Thus, the Journey is into ALL BEING. Knowledge and understanding are important in the journey and as part of the journey. Knowledge shows possibilities, values and means. Awareness is essential to significance. However, ESSENTIAL TRANSFORMATION is also necessary. Thus, the journey has two main aspects or parts: knowledge or understanding, outlined in the METAPHYSICS, and TRANSFORMATION, of being. The metaphysics is seen as a partial foundation for transformation. However, experiment in transformation is also necessary when the metaphysics is not informative and as foundation for the metaphysics

What is the meaning of ‘being?’ First, as elaborated in BEING it is existence. However, as seen, below, the question, ‘What exists?’ immediately leads into discussion of the characteristics or elements of being in general and entities in particular. I.e. compound entities exist when constituted of simpler entities that exist. The meaning of ‘ELEMENT’ 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. It may also be questioned, ‘What is essential to the being of an entity or of being in general?’ Answering these questions is an approach to the meaning of being. When the interpretations of ‘element’ and of ‘constitution’ are sufficiently liberal, it is the approach to the meaning of being. The discussions that follow and their elaboration in the SOURCES, take up this answering

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 of the individual?’ ‘What are the potentials of ALL BEING?’ ‘How may such possibilities and potentials be evaluated and realized?’ I have some ideas for an answer but, obviously and trivially, I do not have full knowledge. To describe the character of all existing things as matter or mind is to prejudice the discussion at the outset. This is because mind, matter and so on are already associated with pre-defined metaphysics. That need not be so but, given the history of the ideas, it is in fact the case. Even though it is obvious that full knowledge of being is absent, the powerful and dominant urge to substance ontology –materialism, idealism and so on– is an unnecessary entrapment in ignorance. It guarantees a perpetual standstill of the academic machine… Use of ‘being’ is analogous to the introduction of a symbol ‘x’ for the unknown in algebra. The power of algebra over pre-algebraic mathematics is as follows. By the introduction of ‘x,’ it becomes possible to talk of what is unknown and relate it to what is known. The paradigm is that of the unknown, ‘x,’ the known, ‘f,’ and a relation f(x) = zero. Algebra develops by discovery of techniques to resolve f = zero for broader and broader classes of f. The generic case of numerous unknowns and numerous known factors is also considered and various special cases resolved. Progress in algebra is non-trivial. With appropriate interpretation, i.e. to find all objects that satisfy certain conditions, ‘algebra’ may be seen to include all of mathematics. The analogy between the algebraic approach in mathematics and the THEORY OF BEING has limits. The context of the being of ALL BEING is infinitely varied in infinitely many ways. Yet the principle is similar. Algebra introduces enormous power into mathematics. Similarly, the idea of being is enormously enabling in thought and transformation in general. Use of ‘being’ is enabling –psychologically and analytically– because it permits individuals to talk and to travel ‘whereof one cannot speak,’ and to make and correct error. Further, it will be seen that from the point of view developed in the treatment of LOGIC, that both algebra and the THEORY OF BEING fall under logic. Regarding the famous quotation, it is acknowledged that numerous ideas and contemplations from the history of thought are the result of confusion of ideas [symbols] and or objects and therefore there is nothing real to say beyond analysis and acknowledgement of the confusion and its sources. It is therefore important to attempt to identify and eliminate confusions and to see what remains as in, e.g., the section containing THE SPAN OF ALL BEING. That is part of the Journey. However, the introduction of x in algebra and being in thought and life is not an end. It is the beginning of a journey

The ‘free symbolic capability,’ is the ability to have and form images, iconic or otherwise, of the world. Instead of ‘of the world,’ it is more accurate to say that there is an intended degree of relation –such as faithfulness– to 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

The world is seen as containing the individual. Even though it is trivial, this observation is important because there is a naïve though natural tendency for the individual to perceive and think of the self as outside the world, as able to view the world as object. Possession of the free symbolic capability is not a guarantee that the image is faithful to the object. At the outset of inquiry, it is not clear what ‘object,’ faithfulness of image to object, ‘realism,’ are or might mean. Clarification of this meaning is one of the objectives of the developments of the foundation. It is reasonable to expect that, due to adaptation, there will be some degree and some kind of intrinsic faithfulness. Thus, simultaneously, there is faithfulness and error. Without the free symbolic capability, there is no possibility of error. Error is not an intrinsic property of the universe. Error is an ‘invention’ of the organism with the symbolic capability

Thus, commission of error in concept or knowledge is possible and meaningful only for being that has the free symbolic capability. Simultaneously, this symbolic capability is the foundation of the ability to have knowledge, truth, logic, and science. It is the foundation of the ability to create. At the root of these abilities is the facility to conceive and choose from among alternatives, to compare outcomes with expectations and to choose again, i.e. to make correction. The concept and possibility of correction arises when the individual has ‘chosen again’ at least two times –one time to recognize error and a second time to apply a correction– and is able to compare the results of repeated choice

However, possession of capabilities for truth, logic, and science is no guarantee of freedom from error. Therefore, where there would be silence, there is an imperative to the Journey, to action, and to ESSENTIAL TRANSFORMATION

The problem of ‘reality’ is not resolved by speaking –or silence– or ‘showing’… or by e.g. an artifact such as a hierarchy of languages. The depth of the real may be plumbed by the depth and essential transformation of being… of which thought –which includes thought in language– is a fragment

[In the following, I have attempted to make specific, to elaborate and to justify these thoughts. In the absence of a definite formulation of a theory of the understanding of the world, it may be impossible to achieve the sharp relief that has been intended in the varieties of LOGICAL ATOMISM. It is not clear that being is such that an atomism of any kind obtains. On an assumption of a root atomism, it is possible to reflect on the reduction of the apparent non-atomic character of experience to LOGICAL ATOMISM. The interest in an atomism lies in the fact that the possibility of clarity of understanding appears to lie in a correspondence between a –hypothesized– definite e.g. discrete reality and a discrete system of understanding. Here, however, the foundation sought is as follows. The concept of being –existence– includes that without it there is and can be nothing – not experience, not even illusory experience. That is, for example, that there is a thought of being or talk of being satisfies the meaning of ‘there is being’ or ‘something exists.’ Starting from this point, POWER, the ability to have an effect, is a natural criterion for deciding existence. That is, in considering whether some proposed kind or entity exists, it is sufficient to show that it has an effect on what is known to exist i.e. on experience. POWER is shown to be superior to alternatives such as categories of existence and substances. Then, a foundation for being –THEORY OF BEING– is established in ‘non-being’ i.e. in nothingness or the void. The void is found to be non-trivial and the concept is developed. The foundation in the void is developed. The developments are not especially intricate but care is required. This foundation is one that does not require substance or self-evident axioms or infinite regress. At this point the concept of logic is taken up. There is not found to be a universal system of logic. The most primitive logic requires the existence of definite entities to have application. The logics require special contexts for their application. The ‘logics’ include the tradition ones –propositional and predicate calculi, multi-valued, tensed logics and so on– but other activities such as theoretical physics find interpretation as logic. A loose interpretation finds art and even action to be kinds of logic. The THEORY OF BEING that has been developed by this point is then used to illuminate the system of understanding and action and to provide some clarification and foundation. The foundation has not been found thus far to be a basis to decide for or against atomism]

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

It has been said that the negative judgment is the peak of intellect – that positive judgment is not possible; rather, in this view, hypothesis is the correct form of assertion. There is sense to these claims for, as suggested above, the meaning of positive judgment is not clear at the outset of inquiry. Under the reign of the negative judgment, hypotheses are made and subject to negative empirical, conceptual and or logical judgment, i.e. to experiment and criticism. The ‘surviving’ systems of working hypotheses are always provisional, 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

The ideas that the negative judgment is the essence of judgment and that discovery is without end are related. An objective, here, is to show that there are paths of discovery that terminate and in which positive judgment is possible. The intent of the following discussion is to validate the possibility of significant positive judgment and terminating paths of significant discovery

That a process has been ongoing up to the present does not imply that it is endless. On an assumption that the supply of ‘facts’ is unending or infinite, the ongoing character of the process may follow. It is possible, that regarding knowledge-understanding and being-becoming there is an infinite number of pathways and never-ending streams of facts, concepts and theories awaiting discovery and realization. In these, it would seem that the primal variation and selection –or its symbolic analog of error and correction– is the way of becoming. Excepting improbable ‘accident,’ on the assumption of infinite vistas of discovery and becoming, this is the way

However, the idea 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. Although increment and hypothesis constitute what may be considered the normal way of knowledge-understanding, it is metaphysical positivism to consider it the only way. The history of human ideas reveals a significant cultivation of both creative-positive and critical faculties in abundance. The demands of objectivity as apprehension of the external object in isolation are a wellspring of a wavering between epistemic and ontological nihilism and positivism – whose foundation remains insecure. Being-in-the world – rather than any attempt to apprehend the world as an object, being simultaneously open to faithfulness and to error is robust being. On the Journey, robust being is open to faithfulness and error, even to their absolutes, without commitment to absolute being or knowledge and without aversion to absolute error

Simultaneously, the THEORY OF BEING developed below shows that there is a phase of being, complete in itself that requires no hypothesis and seeks no correction. From the vantage point of finite being, the normal approach to that phase of being is through hypothesis and correction, through variation and selection, through risk and the consequent alternate outcomes of loss –including death– and growth

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

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

Reading the document

Since the developments in this document are interrelated, it may be best understood by reading through it twice. Additionally, it will be helpful to refer to the SOURCES, below, as a source of details, further information and background developments

This document has internal hyperlinks and reference hyperlinks to other documents and Internet sites. These links are coded as follows: EXTERNAL HYPERLINKS and INTERNAL HYPERLINKS. The table of contents is an exception to this coding

Formal and Informal Style

There is a dual use, in this document, of reference to ‘the author,’ and of personal pronouns ‘I’ and so on. This reflects a duality of objectives. I seek a balance between humility as acceptance of finitude and assertion of personal power. Acceptance of finitude does not imply finitude; assertion of personal power implies acceptance of, at least, the possibility of identity with the infinite

I seek a balance between the purposes of formal convention and flow of thought and power. The personal emphasizes the latter. I have also used the less formal form when describing aspects of my journey – the account is not biographical and I have included such material when relevant to the development of the ideas

‘Missing’ Periods at the Ends of Paragraphs

In this document, ends of most paragraphs do not have explicit end of sentence marks. I have adopted a rule that, a period –full stop– at the end of a paragraph will be implicit. However, other marks such as the question mark will be shown

Sources and Influences

The general source for this document is the Journey in Being Website, which links to the Site-Map and supporting documents

The website has a number of essays and notes that are elaborations of the present essay. Some essays have bibliographies and references. Additionally, there are a number of free standing BIBLIOGRAPHIES that constitute an extended list of the author’s reading

More specifically, the present document is a summary and conceptual revision of the NARRATIVE for the Journey in Being and FOUNDATION. [the external link, FOUNDATION, refers to the previous version of the foundation where the logic is not as well developed but which has considerations omitted in the present essay.] The older document KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE may be useful in refining the NARRATIVE in its concerns with the nature and roles of knowledge. Some recent ideas, systematic and miscellaneous, have been recorded in a SUPPLEMENT. Designs and planning for the Journey and its phases are in DESIGN

The Journey in Being Website has numerous essays and documents such as EVOLUTION AND DESIGN whose origin is in the studies undertaken to develop my understanding of the world. There is also a record of the various NOTES and minor essays that I wrote on and during my travels. Details may be accessed from the Site-Map. While these essays may be useful sources of information and may contain what seemed to me to be original insights, their present utility in the journey is in the provision of comprehensive though transitional pictures and metaphors toward an understanding of being

Unless greater specificity is necessary, LINKS  to source documents will be to the present section

Influences. In this document, primarily in the interest of conciseness, I depart from the practice of attempting to be detailed and clear in identifying sources and influences. The reader who is familiar with my sources will recognize their influence. As noted, the above website links references a number of bibliographies that constitute a reading list

The primary logical reason for identifying sources is to show where a piece of work stands in relation to a tradition – or the traditions. Further, the tradition of emphasis on thought as cumulative recognizes the individual thinker and encourages –a certain kind of– scholarship. However, that emphasis –especially when the importance of the publication exceeds that of the idea– detracts from regard for the ideas and for being as such

There is, however, no doubt that my thought has been significantly influenced and enriched by acquaintance with the thought of others. Most recently, for example, I have gained new insight from Wittgenstein’s earlier writing on the nature of logic and his later thoughts on philosophy as grammar

I have been influenced by aspects of the thought of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, DESCARTES, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, HUME, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Santayana, Frege, Russell, Whitehead, Heidegger, WITTGENSTEIN, and Popper and by the Vedanta system of Indian philosophy. Although I have been influenced by the thought of many other individuals, I have listed only those whose influence in ideas I have clearly retained. A partial record of the studies is in the author’s HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY, in the NARRATIVE for the Journey, and in THE PERIODS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY. If an individual’s name is underlined, I have absorbed and used some of their ideas. While my thought has a debt to all these influences, the learning was, in some cases, a result of the analysis required to be able to disagree with the relevant aspects of the thought. The names of individuals from whom I have learned primarily by ‘reaction’ are not underlined. A name in small capitals indicates both kinds of learning. I have found the writing of the individuals listed, even those from whom I have learned by reaction, to remain fresh after many readings

I have found the paradigms and theories of science to be extremely useful and suggestive even though I have argued that those paradigms do not project to the ONE UNIVERSE

It is impossible to do justice to the extent and variety of the influence in a text or bibliography of any length. However, I will briefly mention some important ideas that are significant in my thought and the individuals that I associate with those ideas. It is not always the case that my thought is derived from the association. Occasionally the derivation is indirect, through the writing of another individual or through the cultural milieu. Sometimes, the association has been made and has confirmed or helped to clarify my thinking after the actual process. There are times when words are suggestive – the terms introduced by earlier thinkers is a factor in channeling thought in a certain direction. Numerous associations and influences are surely omitted. The following collection of associations is illustrative and, to some extent a reconstruction of the sources of influence

I associate the name of Socrates with the importance of reflection over conclusions even though, in this essay, I have labored to make definite conclusions. Socrates’ name is also associated with the idea of living the consequences of what one thinks and believes. Combined with the THEORY OF BEING this becomes the idea, developed here, that embedded thought and action are mutually sustaining – the existence of one is a condition of existence for the other. I have been influenced by Plato’s use of the idea of POWER. Plato’s concept of POWER is one of extreme simplicity – it is the ability to have an effect. It is this concept that enables the identification of what is and what is not, i.e. what is or has being. Aristotle and Heidegger emphasized the importance of BEING. Aristotle introduced the idea of SUBSTANCES or CATEGORIES OF BEING. The ideas retain practical significance, but the concept of POWER renders them as conceptually and fundamentally unnecessary. Descartes’ contribution to the analytic method enables efficiency of thought. Spinoza’s thought that, in addition to mind and matter, nature may have an infinite number of attributes is a useful reminder on the limitation of our embedded categories of thought. Leibniz’ thoughts on the experience of a particle of being –the words are mine– are suggestive in showing that a resolution of the mind-body problem is in recognizing that we have, with Descartes, arbitrarily attributed lifelessness and mindlessness to the particles. Hume’s criticisms of a variety of forms of thought have been a spur to understand the nature of CAUSATION and other CATEGORIES OF COGNITION. Much later, in the twentieth century, Popper showed an almost obvious way to see that Hume’s criticisms do not apply to the categories of cognition but to the view of those categories as absolutes. Popper’s view, which has the advantage of a knowledge of two centuries of science since the time of Hume, is that science must be revisable in the light of new information. I have argued here that the fact that science has been subject to revision since its beginnings does not show that all knowledge –even empirical knowledge– must be forever subject to revision. This amounts to a criticism, on the style of Hume, of Hume’s criticisms. Kant introduced the importance of what, in this essay, I have labeled the IDEAL OBJECT. In doing this, Kant did not restore the categories to the status of reality but did show how to explain the categories and justify their use. Here, I have shown that symbolic knowledge of the thing-in-itself is possible but have not shown that for a finite –e.g. animal and human– mind embedded knowledge –knowledge that is immediately ready for use– of the thing-in-itself is possible. However, I have also argued that this impossibility not factual but logical and, therefore, any human desire to have complete and embedded knowledge of the NOUMENON or thing-in-itself is not rational. This, however, does not imply that a human desire to become or experience the infinite is irrational even though a preoccupation with such a desire might be labeled ‘unbalanced.’ Hegel’s concern with the absolute is a reminder to not avoid reflection on ALL BEING even while being concerned with the details. I have found Schopenhauer’s essential version of Kant’s CATEGORIES OF COGNITION, i.e. space, time, and causation to be a useful point to begin reflection on the categories. I have supplemented Schopenhauer’s system with a fourth category, that of HUMOR, to reflect the fact that, we live in a world that is only partially causal at root and in its manifestations. HUMOR is the category of cognition-feeling that is involved in the negotiation of the essentially unpredictable and the unmanageable

Nietzsche revealed the universe to be a place of ever-freshness and emphasized in a new way the limitations of received cosmologies. Although vastly different in temperament and scope, Nietzsche and Whitehead have in common an awareness of vast ranges of previous thought and their interconnections. I have learned much from their general themes of thought as well as their very specific uses of and connections among ideas. Whitehead has a sense of significance that is absent from much of analytic philosophy. The work of Frege in codifying reason and of Russell in identifying sources of paradox in naïve thought has been present in my thoughts on the ABSENCE of all things that has been so significant in developing the THEORY OF BEING of this essay. The possibility of paradox has been one of the motives to careful thought in any endeavor that refers to ALL things. The combination, in this essay, of the idea of POWER and the non-trivial concept of ABSENCE –or VOID– make possible a foundation of an understanding of ALL BEING without INFINITE REGRESS and without SUBSTANCE. A network of POWER may be seen as emanating from an individual or locale; thus, its combination with ABSENCE is a combination with an individual or local perspective with the UNIVERSAL. Wittgenstein further emphasized the need for care in the use of language and, much of his writing is an elaboration of this theme i.e. what constitutes care in a variety of contexts. Wittgenstein is exceptional for a combination of severe criticism, austerity of thought, and a sense of ultimate things. From science, Einstein’s THEORY OF GRAVITATION and the EQUIVALENCE OF MASS AND ENERGY, the QUANTUM THEORY of Schrödinger and Heisenberg, and Darwin’s theory of NATURAL SELECTION have been suggestive in arriving at some core conclusions of the THEORY OF BEING. These include that ‘something may come from nothing,’ that the process of the world is indeterministic and that essential indeterminism must result in structure. However, I have not used science in showing these conclusions to be true. The justification comes from analysis of the nature of BEING and the nature of ABSENCE and drawing conclusions from these analyses. Incidentally, this line of thought has no connection with what has been called ‘chaos theory.’ The process is analytic in the sense of Kant. Instead of drawing conclusions from the world to ideas, conclusions about the world are drawn by considering the question, ‘What is the nature of the absence of the world?’ The conflict between some of the conventional readings of the paradigms of science and the great critics such as Hume and Wittgenstein has been the instructive for or, at least, supportive of some of my thoughts

I have attempted to see whether my thoughts are nothing more than the union of the prior thought to which I have been exposed. Because the history of an individual’s thought and influence is remote and diffuse, this conclusion would be difficult to demonstrate even if it were true. However, I have not yet been able to see or to show it to be true. What I have found or experienced repeatedly, as did Plato, is that what I may have thought to be creation is discovery and what appeared to be discovery is re-discovery. There is a beautiful point where the ego becomes still and thought is sustained through its force as if carrying the thinker along with the thinking. Whether true or otherwise, the discovery of ideas has often presented as if it were the exploration of a previously unseen landscape of unanticipated clarity and beauty

Document and Research Plans

Planning and design

This document is a brief outline of the Journey and, especially, of its foundation. Further details of planning and content are in the sources. The section, ‘Document Plans’ of FOUNDATION is relevant. DESIGN contains planning for the Journey. In a new version of the Website, the content of main documents including the histories and the design will be rendered as two: a brief document e.g. FOUNDATION and a NARRATIVE

A number of topics require further investigation. DESIGN contains a program for the Journey including a program of study. Additionally, in developing the next version of the Website, works of other writers relevant to the various topics may be researched for correction, completion or illumination of my thought

Since the being of the individual is intimately bound to the individual’s understanding of being, the topic of BEING is ever fresh

The concept and structure of the Journey in Being and its foundation

There is a need for continuing review of the following topics. Is a complete foundation possible? It is argued in the essay that a complete and embedded foundation is not possible. Is the foundation complete with regard to the needs of metaphysics and the journey? What is the best ordering and reasoning out or logic of the document –the introduction, the foundation and the journey– and its topics with regard to logic or reason and the needs of exposition? The logic of the document should include consideration of those topics whose consideration is distributed over more than one location in the document. To what extent is the journey essential in being and becoming? Is there an implication that the literature over-emphasizes the roles of thought and the written word over that of action? What is the role of ‘timeless thought?’ The approach to timeless thought through thinking, action and evolution. What is the proper balance between thought and action? What are the proper balances between perception and thought, between being and becoming, and between living and seeking? It has been argued that the agent has over-emphasized her or his role in change. It has sometimes been said that human beings should not endeavor to ‘alter the course and being of nature.’ However, there may be a human nature that includes agency and, perhaps, insisting on quiescence is an attempt to alter nature. What is proper relation between the individual and the universal journey? Review the equation that Atman is Brahman. Review the adequacy of the phases of the Journey in Being as laid out in the sources above. ‘Logic’ as the central discipline [1] of necessary law, [2] a system of context-specific necessary laws or ‘logics,’ and [3] the intersection of the elements of the real e.g. journey / Journey, thought / action, subject / object, symbol / ideal object

Structure of the next edition: The next edition will encompass the entire journey in two volumes

Volume 1: Introduction and Foundation

The introduction will include: biography but no more than is pertinent to the journey; the nature, origins and necessity of the journey

The foundation is part of the journey and will contain the essentials of the journey and its theoretical support i.e. the THEORY OF BEING and its dynamics. The precise distribution of topics among the volumes is open but the foundation will contain essentials of the THEORY OF BEING while details of the metaphysics will be developed in the second volume

Volume 2: The Journey

Metaphysics: the relation and possible identity of metaphysics and logic which suggests and is implied by metaphysics as the discipline whose only limits are necessary limits and by logic as the discipline that expresses the outer limits of possibility. A logic as the outer limits as a kind of possibility and the implications of this consideration for a general or context free logic. The equivalence – or otherwise – of these conceptions of metaphysics and logic to the theory of the void and its consequences. The concept and resolution of a complete system of metaphysics. Classical, analytical and other recent metaphysics – including learning from the metaphysics of Africa, China, India, Latin America and non-industrialized cultures. General and physical cosmology, the place of mind in cosmology, an account of mind at the primal and the animal and human level including consideration of the categories, the functions and their integration, and the neurological support of categories, functions, and integration. Symbol, language and thought. Epistemology. The theory of group action and value

Experiments in transformation: dynamics and the theory of experiments in transformation. The theory of a complete, minimal set of experiments. General experiments, theory and experimentation with machines [computation,] and social action and theory of value [ethics and political theory and philosophy]

Biographical elements that enhance the understanding of place of the individual, the story of all being, and the relevance of individual motivation and doubt in discovery

A note on ‘psychologism:’ although the author does not subscribe to the view that the study of mental processes can provide foundation of logic, metaphysics, the dynamics, or their divisions, there is little doubt that psychology –among other factors– influences the beliefs of the individual. However, psychology –perhaps, together with sociology– might explain how an individual might choose one of two apparently equally valid arguments or why some individuals prefer to believe what appears to be patently untrue to others

There are criticisms of trans-individual or trans-finite vision that amount to asserting that such vision is false because it is sought as a solace. However, depending on the psychological orientation of the individual, the strictly finite vision may also be experienced as solace; further true transfinite vision provides meaning rather than solace. Every world view appeals to some psychological orientation… but its truth should stand or stumble on the test of reason –which does not exclude experience– and not its appeal

Specific topics for further study and investigation

Topics relevant to the foundation, briefly touched in the present document, include:

Experiments in the Transformation of Being: the program of research and experimentation for a complete set of experiments is described in the section TRANSFORMATION. A system of experiments is complete if it covers all dimensions in the possibilities of being as identified in the THEORY OF BEING developed here. To this end, I have attempted to develop a complete system of metaphysics, and a complete theory of mind and being. The developments define and provide justification for the completeness claims. A more detailed treatment of the program, especially with regard to foundation, details of the various approaches, and a design for a complete, minimal, system of experiments are found in the document, EXPERIMENTS IN THE TRANSFORMATION OF BEING

Development of the concepts and terms: Some important concepts in the development are being, power, void, form, mind, symbol, ideal object and external object, meaning, universal, truth, logic, the void, possibility, necessity, dynamics, universe, essential indeterminism, free symbol, relative stability and near symmetry, cosmological system or coherent phase-epoch of the universe, quasi-causation and quasi-determinism, categories of intuition –space, time, cause and humor– and language, culture, and value

The choice of words used to designate the concepts is important. Existing terms may suggest empty, prejudicial, or unintended connotations that may be difficult to avoid even though logically unnecessary. Simultaneously, existing terms carry the force of their history of use and association. In the choice of terms the positive and negative associations may be balanced. Where ideas are fresh, a balance of new and old terms may enhance the understanding and acceptance of the new ideas. The words ‘being’ and ‘nothingness’ are purely logical terms but suggest the ideological framework of existentialism. Therefore, I have replaced ‘nothingness’ by ‘void.’ It may be useful to find an alternative for ‘being’

Structure and relations among: METAPHYSICS and ONTOLOGY, LOGIC and DYNAMICS, EPISTEMOLOGY, and ETHICS. This study is present in the FOUNDATION which shows, in the foundation, the unities among the topics

The nature of the object: Three possibilities for the object are the ideal object, the fact and the thing-in-itself. As discussed in MIND AND SYMBOL and subsequent sections, the ideal object is constituted of apprehension and comprehension. The significance of the ideal object –the fact is a special case of the ideal object– is that it introduces a great simplicity by eliminating the gulf between the ‘thing’ and its representation. The simplicity appears to come at a cost – that the thing-in-itself is not in the category of knowable things. The idea of the thing-in-itself seems, because of its nature, to exclude being known. On this view, there is no real limitation because the ideal of comparison is illusory. There is no essential limitation, even on a view in which the ‘thing’ is intrinsically knowable for a similar difficulty is associated with knowledge as representation. However, in the latter case, the difficulty is contingent rather than necessary. In the author’s view, the idea of knowledge as ideal object –both Kantian and Wittgensteinian– is preferred. It is a particular case of the more general view discussed below where, in comprehension, a correspondence between ideal object and the thing-in-itself cannot be ruled out in all cases. Further, in any case, there is always some degree of approach of the ideal the real i.e. to the ‘thing.’ The latter view may be expressed by saying that there are two kinds of knowledge, apprehension and comprehension or acquaintance and description, and that possibility of approach to exact correspondence resides in the freedom of the comprehension. The terms ‘acquaintance’ and ‘description’ are associated with Russell and others. However, Russell’s view was a thoroughgoing empiricism in which there was no place for the ideal object and, therefore, no hope of knowledge as faithful to the world. There are further views, e.g. certain kinds of idealism and the views of Heidegger, in which ‘appearance is reality.’ A tentative foundation for this kind of view is found in the author’s KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE in which a third kind of knowledge, knowledge by immersion is identified. The various discussions of relationships and inter-translatabilities among the views, and consequent identification of invariant content require, further reflection and elaboration

In summary, the ideal object lies at the intersection of the subject and the world or external object. This metaphorical statement may be written, the object straddles the subject and the world. The metaphor emphasizes the shadowy nature of the subject. More accurately, as has been discussed in the essay, objective and the subjective are modes of being and discourse. The view in which there is a discrete thing or external object or world and a discrete ideal object as the effect of the discrete external object-of-the-world in a discrete subject is a picture. In an alternate picture, in which the underlying physical and physiological processes are described dynamically and in detail, the sharp discreteness disappears. Here, ‘appearance is reality’ does not have the interpretation of ‘reality is but mere appearance’ but ‘the world and appearance are fused.’ In view of the dictum, below, that ‘knowledge is the effect of the one in the other,’ the fusion of appearance and reality is given manifest meaning

Mind: Develop details of evolutionary neurology sufficient to show the distinctness of and distinct bases of cognition and emotion and, simultaneously, their integration and fundamental or root unity in the ‘higher’ organism. See the section MIND. Experiments in the foundation of mind and consciousness and in construction of symbolic and machine being, mind, and life. Comment on mind: I use mind in one and only one sense. However, mind-as-we-have-inner-apprehension-of-it is a limited range of that sense. As shown in this document, that range has an efficient and consistent extension in two directions: the direction of the primal and the direction of higher being. This needs to be kept in mind when I say ‘mind is coextensive and coeval with being.’ I further assert, below, that ‘mind is being.’ The step from coextension to identity requires interpretation and demonstration that is given below

The problem of identity, see THE IDENTITY OF THE THINKER, and the discussion of SOLIPSISM

That there is experience seems to imply that there is a thinker – the one who experiences. What is it that is experienced? Things experienced include objects, the world, and the self. Perhaps there is no self, no ‘I’ but there is, in the meaning of ‘I,’ no doubt that there is an experience –a collection of experiences– that is labeled ‘I.’ In fact, there are multiple sets of experiences labeled ‘I’ but, apparently, one and only one of them is ‘my I’

What is the ‘I’ or the self? Why or how does it seem to have continuity over time even though it changes and others perceive external changes? I.e., what is the continuity of ‘self’ or the experience of self, and why or how does it remain ‘in place’ through change – psychological and physiological

What would constitute an explanation of identity? It is necessary to explain, [1] what it is – the phenomenon, [2] what makes it up and how or why is it continuous over change – the constitution, and [3] how the ‘physical’ organism has identity – the association with the body  [the phrase ‘association with the body’ may be misleading if it is thought to imply that there is something in addition to the body]

[In terms of the explanatory system of this document, the terms ‘actual organism,’ or, simply, ‘organism’ are preferred to ‘physical organism’]

Some thoughts on possible lines of explanation follow. [1] The phenomenon of identity… has possible relation or analog to the binding problem of perception of objects. I.e., the type of explanation used in attempting to resolve the binding problem may be applied to the ‘self’… see THE IDENTITY OF THE THINKER. One consideration of that kind of explanation is that it is only on some ways of seeing that the problem arises. [2] The constitution of identity: the constitution – or integration and continuity – through memory. [3] The association with the body - a physiological explanation of the foregoing. An explanation in terms of origins is not necessary but would be illuminating

Language and thought: while it may be usual to think of language as spoken, written, or thought language e.g. English, what is its status relative to thought in general? E.g. while iconic thought and thought in a language may be distinguished, is that distinction ultimate? Thought in language –in its traditional sense– is available for expression. What is the distinction between this kind of thought and speaking? Is there an essential distinction? May all thought be conceived as language? What is the translatability between thought or general mental ‘content’ and spoken, linear language?

Language: the present document includes a treatment of particulars, kinds, universals, and abstract entities. A treatment of proper names and other elements of language may be useful if only for completeness. The recent developments in metaphysics and the THEORY OF BEING may have additional implications for the philosophy of language. It will be useful to list possibilities for development. The issues of variety of use, linguistic atomism and relation between language or, more generally, symbol and logic may be significant. There are treatments of language in WORDS, KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE, NARRATIVE for the Journey and in THE ORIGINS OF LANGUAGE. The guiding principles for the developments will be [1] Language is not a system unto itself and it is essential to understand it as a system of relations among users and between users and the world. This point of view will be useful in understanding the meaning of concepts. It may also balance recent i.e. 19th – 21st century tendencies to interpret meaning in terms of language in isolation – in terms of grammar, sense, and use, to the relative exclusion of reference. Note that ‘use’ has coherence and correspondence aspects and that, while the correspondence aspect has not been ignored, the greater emphasis has been on coherence. [2] Use and analysis of language as partial foundation for the THEORY OF BEING and its LOGIC. The present document eliminates the need for substance and infinite regress of the foundation

Language structure and logic: the language structure[s] that obtain in reference –talking, writing– to a particular context are the forms of that context . The language structure expresses the kinds of possibility. Given that some possibilities actually obtain, some further possibilities are necessary, others ruled out, and yet others are neither necessary nor ruled out. Thus, the structure of the language implies at least some of the rules of logic that obtain in the context. Language regards forms, logic expresses structures inherent in the forms. Does the structure of language imply all of the rules of logic for the context? Is there a universal ‘context’ underlying all particular contexts? E.g. since the language and context of commands occurs in the world, and if the world can be seen as a ‘context’ of objects or facts, can the language and logic of commands be reduced to the logic of propositions? Is there a single language of propositions?

Logic: Detailed development of reality conditions necessary and or sufficient to found various logical calculi on LOGIC and becoming from the void – a brief consideration of the topic is in the sections LOGIC and ALTERNATIVE FOUNDATION. How logic and knowledge go to the primal core in an elimination of the essence of the ‘object-subject’ distinction

Just as it is inherent in physical being to always satisfy physical law, it is in the nature of being that the laws of LOGIC are not violated. The logical laws pertaining to a context are those laws that are inherent in the nature of the context. The laws of logic of the world are implicit in the constitution of the world. In this sense, physics can be seen as a specialized logic. Whereas the contexts of logics are usually specified by a logical or linguistic context, as logic, the context of physics is specified by a kind of being or behavior – physical behavior. It is implied that our physics is local and approximate

The concept and demarcation of the Unspeakable or Unthinkable: precisely what is the concept, and what is the boundary between what can be said and what can be shown? If the ‘language of thought’ is the picture, as is that of the proposition, then what can be thought can also be ‘said’ e.g. by speaking or by drawing a picture i.e. even though it is said that some impressions cannot be communicated, is this truly so? For example, when communicating emotion by music, is it the sound or the emotion that is being communicated? To what degree is the answer to that question one of convention or agreement? What is the implication for communication of the ‘non-symbolic’ senses e.g. taste and smell? Additionally, distinctions between impression and thought should be taken into account. What are the theoretical –what cannot be done– and practical –what should not be attempted even in the face of necessary action– implications of these thoughts? These thoughts are continued in a discussion of the RELEVANCE OF LOGIC

[There are a number of kinds that cannot be said. The limit of understanding may be spoken of though not spoken and in speaking of that limit, the understanding may be communicated. The depth of feeling and mutual inspiration cannot be said –has not effectively been said– in ‘literal language’ but may be communicated through art. Alternatively, the depth of feeling and form may be communicated in the ‘languages’ of poetry, of music, of painting and sculpture… and in the ‘language’ of action

In a language constructed of signs from sight and sound the objects of taste and smell cannot be ‘said.’ It is natural for human language to be constructed from auditory-visual-tactile signs because those are the kinds of sign that the human being can freely produce. It is not necessary for the human being to ‘say’ the ‘olfactory object;’ pointing is sufficient. Human beings do ‘speak’ an olfactory language but not –usually– consciously or volitionally: a feeling of love may be communicated without conscious awareness in this way – and unconscious communication may contradict conscious, intended communication. Other species may communicate intentionally in modes that are not auditory or visual]

Truth: the nature of FACTUAL TRUTH, truth-bearers, ‘theories’ of truth – review and attempt at extension, consolidation of the standard accounts. The program of research will investigate other families of meaning of TRUTH and relations among the meanings of truth. The section, TRUTH, has a preliminary account that includes an attempt to bring factual truth and an interpretation of ‘HIGHER TRUTH’ under a single umbrella

The problems of ATOMISM

The concept of Value and the Ideal: see the discussions of HUMOR, VALUE, and THE THEORY OF GROUP ACTION AND VALUE. These discussions receive elaboration in and may be further be developed from the materials in the SOURCES AND INFLUENCES above

Quantum theory: foundation from the void for quantum theory, the quantum vacuum, and the zero-point energy. Analogy of THEORY OF BEING – void and quantum theory: every quantum state has a creation and annihilation operator! See the brief discussion in the section ORIGINS OF QUANTUM THEORY

Time and space – some details of the following thoughts are given in the SOURCES above. [1] Although a universal time –the proper time whose introduction does not imply e.g. that identical particles in different circumstances have identical rates of decay– can be introduced in the relativistic theory of gravitation, general cosmology does not support a single universal time. It is possible to give meaning to the phrase, ‘the beginning of time.’ [2] Whether space and time are seen as relational or absolute depends on the perspective adopted. [3] Viewed in terms of origin from the void, space and time are coeval with being and, therefore, it is more accurate to talk of extension and duration. Since, extension and duration are determined in becoming –they are not a framework within which there is becoming– it is not necessary that there will be a unique coordination of space-time-being. General cosmology will include a theory of space-time-being, of which the relativistic theory of gravitation will be a special case

Preliminary comment on the word ‘being’

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 notorious quotation of the first paragraph of this preliminary 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?

The question of the nature of the identity of the thinker has a long history and has received extensive treatment especially in recent analytic philosophy. This interesting and important question is not among the primary concerns of the present document. There is, however, a brief discussion of identity in the discussion of SOLIPSISM. There is an affinity between the issue of identity and the ‘binding problem’ in the theory of perception. The binding problem is the question of how the different elements that constitute the perception of an object present, in the perception, as a single object. The binding problem and the related problem of object constancy have been discussed in the SOURCES above where the issue of identity has also been touched. There, three mutually reinforcing kinds of explanation were considered: physiological, evolutionary or adaptive, and explanation based in the forms of intuition. From the perspective of source documents, and as emphasized here, the kinds of explanation are not essentially distinct. The central principle is that of integration and its balance with dissolution. Identity is not absolute but such as it is. The principle permits for the relatively ephemeral identity of animal being and its integration into ALL BEING. These considerations do not and are not intended to minimize detailed explanation of the identity of the finite individual but suggest that an absolute explanation should explain not only the identity but also the sense of identity

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

The meaning of ‘being’ will be further elaborated in the present document. There is further detail in the SOURCES

Summary of the introduction: I discussed the origins, nature and significance of the Journey in the understanding and realization of the possibilities of being. Discussions of the journey and its origins include personal and universal considerations. 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. I outlined thoughts on the need for and provision of a foundation for the concepts of being, understanding, and knowledge – and what it means to provide such foundation

The discussion draws from and lies partially within the traditions of thought. I have listed the main influences on my thought. In thinking through the arguments of this essay, the basic concepts became revealed in clearer relief. In turn, this made it possible to see further needs for development. These needs were outlined in the form of a ‘program of research.’ In most cases, a beginning to or outline for the research topics has been established in this essay. In the various developments, the writings of the authors listed in the influences were immensely useful and suggestive

The purposes of the FOUNDATION that follows, and its continuation in the JOURNEY, include:

Development of a foundation for the Journey in the understanding of being and becoming – it is inherent in the nature of being that, although a theoretical foundation is possible, an embedded foundation can be at most partial

Thoughts on the research topics: Invariably, the need for the research is shown, directions for thought indicated. Some of the issues receive resolution

Application to the tradition of thought – especially to clarification of the concepts of the tradition of metaphysics: the concepts clarified include being, substance, form, mind, symbol and object, universal, truth, thought and language, structure of language and logic and logics, ethics, and the nature of philosophy and metaphysics. Foundations for general and physical cosmology are also developed. The purposes of this development include: development of the THEORY OF BEING established in the foundation, and clarification of my own thought and of the foundation of metaphysics

Developments of the metaphysics 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. The necessity of this expansion is a consequence of the fact that a complete and embedded symbolic foundation of metaphysics is logically impossible i.e. that, at root, knowledge and action remain essentially entangled. Metaphysics includes concern with the possible whose realization is an objective of the Journey in Being

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. 2007, understandings of the nature 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. A number of factors in the establishment of the academic divisions have been discussed in the present essay and other essays in the SOURCES. One factor is the very fact of the establishment of the disciplines and the issue of ‘territory.’ In an era in which relativism is valued, this is a natural development. The position, here, does not disvalue the ‘democracy’ of the disciplines but addresses the issues as follows. A philosopher may hesitate to ‘instruct’ scientists on the conceptual issues of science. However, there is from time to time, need for conceptual-philosophical thought within science.  In fact, especially at the foundations, there is interaction within scientific activity, between philosophical-conceptual thought and the development of scientific theory. I prefer to label the implied umbrella discipline ‘philosophy.’ Further, the argued position here is that the various special conceptions of philosophy –analysis of language or grammar and so on– find a place within the general activity. I have shown that there is a clear and definite general activity – that philosophy or metaphysics as the discipline whose only limits are necessary limits is a cogent concept and provides a connected account that does not –and can not– eliminate the empirical aspect in its general sense

A metaphysics, i.e. a THEORY OF BEING, that eliminates theoretical needs for substances or categories and absolute distinctions between particulars and abstract objects such as forms and universals. Simultaneously, the foundation, though partial – in the meaning discussed above, is one without infinite regress. The introduction of substances and categories and the distinction between particulars and abstract objects are practical rather than essential or necessary



1.1         Being, Mind and Logic

Being, Power, and the Elimination of Substance

Being exists – this is in the meaning of ‘being’

The question of whether there is existence, whether something exists, is trivial. That there is experience implies that there is existence – even if all experience is vacuous or illusory in its reference. More precisely, it is in the meaning existence that conditions for existence are satisfied when there is experience. Given experience, to question whether there is being is not to question a fact. Rather it is to question the meaning of ‘being’ or of ‘existence.’ What can it even mean to ask whether there is existence i.e. whether something exists? The problem is that existence –being– is so fundamental that there appears to be nothing other than existence to support it or in terms of which to understand a foundation for it. However, it will be seen that there is an actual and conceptual foundation for being in the ‘void.’ Naturally, developing the concepts of the void –it turns out to not be transparent– and the manner of its support or foundation for being and its possibilities and the Logic of the developments are fundamental issues in a THEORY OF BEING

Are there further fundamental issues regarding being? What might they be? [1] The relation between appearance and reality is fundamental: ‘What things exist?’ or, more accurately, ‘Among our concepts, which correspond to actual things?’ An attempt to answer this question may entail the additional questions, ‘What is the nature of the relation or correspondence?’ and, further, ‘Is it possible, in knowing, to go beyond the concept i.e. is it possible to be ‘objective,’ and what is constitutive of objectivity?’ Simply, and in repetition, this first issue is concerned with ‘What things exist?’ [2] 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 the present document 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

The interest in being, in the nature of existence, is not in the question of whether there is existence… of course, there is existence – that there is an experience, whether in reference to some thing –and if so whether real or illusion– that is in the meaning of ‘exist.’ 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

‘Existence’ is so general in its application that saying that something has ‘being’ may seem to be rather unenlightening. However, it is found that the elucidation of the meaning of being requires identification of kinds of being and the nature(s) of being. It is the simultaneous concern with the general and the specific, with being and kind of being, that illuminates ‘all further understanding’

All further understanding? It is a basic purpose in the present document to outline such a system of understanding

It is significant that the understanding of being clarifies a distinction between important and contingent issues

The significances of the nature of being, even for the individual who has no explicit interest –it is a contradiction of the nature of the individual to have no organic or implicit interest– in the questions as such, are clear. First, it is illuminating to know the nature of one’s being… and, as far as possible, of ALL BEING. Second, the understanding of being clarifies –even to the point of crystal clarity– all further understanding; if it achieves its intrinsic aims, 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

Although existence is given, the question ‘What exists?’ has arisen. To ask ‘What exists?’ is to ask, ‘Which of our concepts correspond to actual things?’ Alternatively, and more accurately, it may be asked, ‘How can we bring the system of concepts and the real be brought into correspondence?’ This may seem unnecessarily idealistic. However, in relation to the question, ‘What exists?’ it should be remembered that there is no ‘what’ without the concept. This may be thought to be limiting but it is found below that no actual limit is entailed

The question of the previous paragraph could have been written, ‘How can we bring the system of concepts into correspondence with the real?’ It was written in the form chosen in order to suggest and to leave open the possibility that the concepts and the real have some degree and some kind of binding. The nature and degrees of binding are outlined in what follows. The previous sentence could have been written ‘A theory or concept of the nature and degrees of binding is outlined in what follows.’ However, the elucidation of ‘theory’ below finds this to be an unnecessary effacement, not specifically of the author, but of BEING itself

The discussion now turns to the question of ‘What exists?’

The meanings of ‘existence’ as in, e.g., of ‘a rock exists as matter’ and ‘two exists as a number,’ though not without problems, are relatively clear. In the history of thought, one approach to the foundation of being has been to recognize different modes or aspects of being as substances or categories such as matter, mind, relation, form, number and so on. These categories have a dual function in that they found being and its variety. But, then, what does it mean to say that ‘matter’ exists or that ‘number’ exists… and what does it mean to say that something has unqualified existence? Questions of the existence of particulars such as material and mental things, numbers, relationships, particular forms… reduce to (a) questions of the existence of kinds or categories, substances, forms, universals and so on, and (b) the elucidation of these concepts and of what things fall under them. The question of unqualified existence is the essential problem of existence, of being and its nature

A variety of kinds and special considerations for the kinds, and other details are discussed in FOUNDATION. There may be utility, in terms of understanding the variety in and dynamics of the world, to seeking a more or less complete system of pragmatic categories of being

The world in which individuals live and feel –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. That world is the world relative to which the facts and meaning of existence arise

 [Investigation may provide insight into what is illusion and what is not]

To specify the meaning of the concept of existence requires a criterion. However, what would such a criterion be like? To specify a criterion requires, first, a criterion for the criterion. A suggestion is forthcoming: the criterion should make existence dependent only on that which is known to exist –e.g. experience and the contents of experience as such– and it should provide a common ground for the different practical modes of existence – mind, matter, number, idea, relation, universal, form...

Here, these modes or categories are called ‘practical’ because they are useful but not absolute in character. In the following the lack of absolute distinction is established by placing the modes on a common ground and providing a common foundation for them

A natural choice for a common ground for the modes –e.g. mind, matter, number, idea, relation, universal, form which are aspects of experience and the contents of experience as such– of being or existence is POWER, the ability to have an EFFECT. Clearly, the ability to have an effect on what exists is a criterion of existence. Knowability might be another criterion but to be knowable an object must have an effect – at least indirectly on a knower. However, at least in a naïve sense, POWER is more general than knowability and does not make sentience a condition of existence: while the categories or substances are useful from a practical perspective there is no absolute distinction among them

It will be seen below that natural extension of the concept of mind to the primal level results in an equation of primal power with primal knowledge. I.e., in the provision of a common ground for being, power and knowability are equivalent

POWER indicates what is –what counts as– being in the construction of a web of relations ‘emanating’ from a ‘point.’ That point or place is the system of experience and the contents of experience as such. In the analysis and discussions that follow and, further, in FOUNDATION, it is shown in detail how the categories of entity, mind, number, idea, relation, universal, form are brought on a common ground. It is also shown how the apparently generic categories e.g. mind and the apparently abstract categories e.g. number, universal and form are all possessed of the same degree of ‘concreteness’ as the particular entities. This point is demonstrated in an ARCHETYPAL ARGUMENT

The use of a single common ground, POWER, is preferable to a system of substances or categories –the terms have multiple meanings– including the classical and the modern scientific systems. For, as pointed out, after being has been founded in the categories, it remains to found the categories. Instead, POWER founds being, through a web of relations, in what has unquestioned being. Although power rather than category is used, here, as an initial or practical foundation for existence and its elucidation, the categories have various common, pragmatic, scientific and metaphysical uses

Various substances or systems of substance have been considered in the history of human thought. Since the rise of science, its fundamental theoretical concepts have often been regarded, explicitly and implicitly, to be fundamental substances. Such concepts include space and time or space-time, matter, force, action, energy, organism, species, cognition and emotion as defined in theoretical science. Use of fundamental concepts from science as categories or substances is especially problematic in a number of ways. It will be shown that the fundamental problem lies in the assumption that the precise scientific concepts have universal application. However, there is also a concern with the idea of science as a monolithic object. The word ‘science’ itself is problematic in that a single word is used to refer to a diverse body of knowledge, activity and application. The word has become a power symbol or slogan, to be esteemed, to be reviled and then, perhaps – as a slogan, to be forgotten. The mechanical efficiency of science in transforming society is found positive and fearsome…, and loathsome. As a simple method or approach, science need not have all its symbolic connotations but the reference to method is often used to symbolize a guarantee an absoluteness of scientific precision and concepts. These issues, however, are not the essential concern here. Instead, it is the categories or concepts of science that present the primary problem. The problems lie in regarding the concepts as formulated in theoretical science as absolute characteristics of being. It is not the theoretical character of science that is problematic. The ideas of ‘theory’ or of ‘concept’ are largely misunderstood. The experience of the world, even without science, is significantly conceptual or theoretical; the world is negotiated through the concept as much as it is through the senses: the concept may be seen as the organization of the sense data. The precision and definiteness of the concepts of science is a primary source of the problem: precision and definiteness are achieved by a limitation of perspective. Science is thought to characterize the entire one universe but, as is seen in the present document, there is but one law of the entire universe: the law of contradiction and even that requires determinate being for its application. The beautiful and elegant laws of physics are contingent to an extremely limited phase-epoch or cosmological system. Within that system those laws are not without wonder in their application and, beyond that system, the laws are rich sources of analogy. However, the unquestioned projection of the concepts of science to the universal is without foundation. Instead, [understanding of] the world is regained by focus on being whose character remains, perhaps, an open question – without a known end but also without a guarantee of endlessness

I write, ‘perhaps, an open question’ because I am unable to speak for all individuals and all times. There is a tendency, in this time, to make statements such as ‘we have barely scratched the surface of the nature of mind and brain.’ It may be asked ‘Who or what is ‘we’?’ Introduction of ‘we’ is on one hand an expression of unity of purpose. It is, alternately, a manipulation based in shared purpose as common truth. While there is truth to the statement that ‘we have barely scratched the surface…,’ it suffers from two defects. First, it is dependent on a specific view of the nature of mind and on what ‘understanding mind’ entails. It is a view that sees mind more or less as a mechanical system. The motivations behind the view as necessary include (a) manipulation and control of being and (b) reaction to dogma. I.e. in reaction to a dogma of knowledge as absolute, there is recoil to a dogma of ‘essential ignorance.’ It is unnecessary to pass judgment on this kind of view; it has its uses; I have a subscription to the view. However, there are other views and the principles behind the variety of views are outlined in the NARRATIVE for the Journey. The second defect is that, while there is a common endeavor in the search for understanding, I am not willing to judge what all persons may know or have known or to pretend that the culture of which I am a part is the peak of intellect in all aspects and ways of understanding. I believe that there may well be and have been other cultures whose understanding of mind is superior to ours relative to their modes, and to common modes, –expressed or implicit– of understanding and value. In discussing this point, the question of the rigor, accuracy, depth and breadth of the modern system of knowledge arises. The response is that these qualities are relative to the modes of value. Another issue concerns the military and economic power of our culture. A response is that other cultures are and have been intrinsically more durable; that one can kill or economically enslave someone else has nothing to do with one’s intrinsic worth. It is also instructive to compare the different phases of culture. Although there has, from a recent past till the present point in time c. 2007, a linear progress of power and material wealth, it is not at all clear to many individuals within the culture that there has been a parallel progress in the quality of being. In this paragraph, I have not intended to write a polemic for relativism or against the culture in which I live. I have enjoyed and gained much from its intellect, art, the warmth of the people, and its material wealth. NARRATIVE and FOUNDATION, pointed out a relation between value and knowledge. I subscribe to a position in which, from the vantage point of being in the universe as outlined here and in those documents, all that it is necessary to know is waiting to be revealed to the individual who inhabits a certain state of perception over judgment. This truth has been revealed before, will be revealed again. In the language of the THEORY OF BEING and in the view of being that is the integration of being over time, it stands revealed in repetition without limit or end in the one universe. It remains to live that truth. This viewpoint is not superior to the one in which an outline of knowledge is determined by the need for judgment and control. The two views answer to different needs and may, therefore, coexist

The discussion of being and its ‘kinds’ so far suffers from two apparent limitations, [1] That everything considered remains in the realm of experience, and [2] That what counts as being and kind of being is relative to a limited perspective e.g. the human perspective

In the discussion that follows, it will be seen that the individual does not get ‘outside’ experience. Remaining in experience is inherent in being. It is not because it is contingently difficult that being cannot escape experience. There is nothing to escape. When understanding is correct, there is nothing to want to escape. The thought that there is being whose knowledge transcends experience is a conceptual error – there is nothing out of which to get or, when the understanding is correct, to want to get. Instead, individuals identify different experiences that are tied in to the world with different degrees of BINDING AND FREEDOM and it is in the ‘free’ that the capacity for both error and correction reside – it is here that difficulty may be encountered. It is, of course, an error to think that given experience defines the boundary of experience

That the object-itself is not apprehended i.e. that the awareness remains ‘within’ experience implies no intrinsic limit to the extent and precision of knowledge. Instead, there is an implication about the nature of knowledge that, excepting the possibility of becoming the object, there is a distinction between knowledge and object. Or, using terms that are clarified later, knowledge is the ideal object and ‘object’ as used in the previous sentence is the external object. Simply, the existence of the external object is implied. In other words, epistemic idealism and metaphysical realism coexist. Epistemic idealism is not a contradiction of external realism

This discussion appears to imply a distinction between the object and knowledge or awareness of the object. The status of this apparent distinction will be subsequently analyzed and clarified

Viewed as a series, the history of ideas is not linear: there are branches, dead ends and retreats. Further, it is not a series of ‘progress.’ Even according to limited perspectives of value and progress, there are high points and declines and, often, the thought that there is progress is a delusion. Given these restrictions, the history of ideas and transformation may be seen as a series. A tradition has arisen in which the series, endless horizons of growth, is seen as positive. Joy is found is acknowledging vast areas of ignorance. However, extrapolation from a series that has not ended to a conclusion that it is without end is without basis. Even the consummate positivist should revile that conclusion. The human perspective is not intrinsically limited. This point has nothing to do with the fact that, for example, human vision operates in a limited spectrum – the spectrum of ‘visible light.’ Rather, it has to do with the concepts of APPREHENSION AND COMPREHENSION as discussed later. Additionally, in an absolute perspective, note the equivalence of individual being and all being established in the immediately following section

Discussion now turns to a consideration of the VOID, which will be found to be one absolute terminus in a series of ideas. It is a terminus in that all possibilities are implicit in it

Just as it has been sought to found knowledge in doubt – which is untenable if what is sought is an absolute foundation, so it may be sought to found being in the absence of being, i.e. in the void. It will be found that through the concept of the void there is an absolute foundation for being. The origin of the concept of the void is in experience and its development is guided by experience. However, through abstraction –perhaps ultimate– the concept of the void is not limited by the human perspective

Although the void has been identified as one absolute terminus, it should be noted that the restriction ‘one’ applies in the sense that the infinitude of possibility is not explicit in the void. In the sense of foundation, the void or its equivalents constitute the absolute foundation. As will be seen, the equivalents include the general laws of being i.e. logic and this necessity makes it possible to validly refer to ‘the absolute foundation.’ The void eliminates any need for substance or infinite regress of foundation

Being and the Void. Necessity of Becoming. Foundation for Cosmology

The concept of the void, which, it will be found, may serve as foundation for the understanding of being is now introduced

The foundation in experience and power is a proximate foundation. The foundation in the void is ultimate

In the VOID, which is the absence of ALL BEING, there is not only no thing but also no pattern and no contingent law for law and pattern are immanent in being –there is nothing outside ALL BEING. Law and pattern are not other than thing or being. Prohibition against becoming i.e. constancy of absolute nothingness would be a contingent law. It is therefore inherent –in any rational concept of the void– that becoming from the void is necessary. This line of reasoning implies that the void is equivalent to every being and to ALL BEING; and therefore, that any being is equivalent to the void, to every individual being, and to ALL BEING. All actual ‘voids’ are quasi-void and local; the absolute and universal void is approached only asymptotically. The reasoning further implies that any being can interact with every individual being; that there can be no being without power; that power is a form of being; and that there is and can be one and only one universe

...and, in consequence, the actual and the possible conflate; what is possible is materially necessary; and recurrent; and there is BEING that spans ALL BEING in its awareness or knowledge and being

The brief logic above is elaborated in the SOURCES. The elaboration serves to explain but not prove what is being said. Despite elaboration some individuals have reacted, ‘I cannot imagine something coming from nothing.’ ‘Nothing’ itself may be difficult to imagine, but what is the difficulty in imagining something coming from nothing and how may the difficulty be overcome? It is useful to address this question but before doing so it is important to note that an inability to imagine something is not a proof of impossibility. The necessity of becoming from the void has been shown and therefore requires no imagination. I now turn to a consideration of the difficulty in imagination. In discussing the question with others, it seems that the difficulty in imagining ‘something from nothing’ is that everything in the experience of the individual seems to stand against the possibility. ‘Everything in experience’ may include everyday experience and hopes, common sense, the idea of conservation of matter from science, and even economics and morality. There is validity to these thoughts. ‘Something from nothing’ seems to violate the laws and regularities of our world. However, review the idea of the void. In imagining removing ‘things’ what is left? It is often thought that the laws are left behind. This is because the laws are thought of as our expression of patterns; and these laws, as written or thought, remain in mind when the things are removed. However, the patterns are immanent in ‘things’ and therefore, if in imagination, all things are removed, the removal of the laws is entailed – this point is discussed above and in detail LAW AND PATTERN AS IMMANENT. In the void, then, there is no law, no determinism and thus no prohibition against becoming. In fact, as discussed above, becoming is necessary

In the previous paragraph, I referred to the ‘law of conservation of matter’ which is an old law that has been replaced by conservation of energy where rest mass is associated with energy. Thus becoming from the void is not a necessary violation of the principles of physics. Since a gravitational field is associated with negative energy, the net energy of the gravitational field and the mass may sum to zero. The argument in this essay has not used this interesting point

All ‘concrete’ or particular being has been placed on a common ground as has LAW AND PATTERN; it is seen, below, that the form and the universal can be placed on the same ground i.e. that what seems to be abstract and universal, though actual, is no more or less concrete than the particular. This requires a shift in the concept of the form or universal from status as an idea, e.g. a class or stamp, to an actual thing

Use of the concept of the void developed in the present and other documents [SOURCES…] is equivalent assertion of essential indeterminism at the core of being. If there is essential indeterminism then any being can transform into any other being and so on. If ‘everything’ were to remain forever in complete and utter lack of form that would be a form of determinism, i.e. that certain possibilities are ruled out. Thus, while there cannot be law and pattern essentially at the core of being, origin of contingent law and pattern are necessary. Along these lines, the origin of form and structure and other aspects of the THEORY OF BEING as developed in the other sections of this document and in related SOURCE documents follow similarly to the way in which the core of this theory is developed, above, from the concept of the void

This development is parallel to many conceptual developments in which a fundamental concept is introduced, first, as or through an artifice. There is an example of such development from the history of the science of heat where the theory of entropy was originally developed based on a special concept –due to S. Carnot– but was subsequently developed, in an equivalent way, from universal –general– considerations such as equivalences among the concepts of heat and of dissipation of usable energy

What is the significance for the finite individual of the conclusion that ‘there is being that spans ALL BEING?’ If the finitude is strict finitude and death is absolute, there is and can be no significance. The individual may be disposed to or choose to put faith in the idea of strict finitude. However, there can be no knowledge of it and no living in its truth. It is at most a belief and perhaps a solace or a source of fear. Even when ‘there is being that spans ALL BEING’ is said to be revealed, there could be no knowledge of the power to reveal. Revelation has and can have no significance to the strictly finite individual except in the disposition or choice to have faith. However, the THEORY OF BEING presented here shows that there is no being that is strictly finite. An individual may be finite for many immediate purposes but not for all purposes – not even all immediate purposes. There is an identity between the finite individual and ALL BEING. In view of death, the question of the significance of ‘there is being that spans ALL BEING’ continues to be of concern. Since finitude cannot be absolute, death, too, cannot be absolute. However, death may be practically complete in that there is no –recognized– continuity of identity immediately beyond death. Further, in death, the gap between the finite individual and ALL BEING is practically infinite. This is the most severe interpretation of the significance of death. However, even in this case, death does not have absolute significance. For, if death is complete, the practically infinite gap is without significance

Earlier, it was ‘acknowledged that numerous ideas and contemplations from the history of thought are the result of confusion of ideas [symbols] and or objects and therefore there is nothing real to say beyond analysis and acknowledgement of the confusion and its sources. It is therefore important to attempt to identify and eliminate confusions and to see what remains.’ In its history, the concept of ‘God’ is an idea that has been surrounded by confusion. The classic arguments, ‘first cause,’ and ‘design’ are voided by the present THEORY OF BEING. I do not want to say that the argument from design is voided by the theory of evolution since such a claim is bound to raise contention, even in academic circles. The ontological argument regarding ‘that greater than which nothing can be thought,’ is more subtle but its subtlety is its weakness [Everyone understands that greater than which nothing can be thought. Since anything being the greatest and lacking existence is less than the greatest having also existence, the former is not really the greater. The greatest, therefore, has to exist.] Although the argument has been criticized for its unjustified transition from logical to ontological reasoning, it is seen in the present document that LOGIC is ontological in nature. It is the specialized forms of logic that, in view of their origin as modes of argument have become unmoored from their foundation. Therefore, the ontological argument would have more force if it were direct as is the THEORY OF BEING developed in this document. Despite the criticism of the classic arguments for the existence of God on logical and ontological grounds, a primary criticism of the arguments is their basis in simple confusion. The confusion, perhaps intended, is as follows. From the existence of an abstract concept of God, there is an unjustified transition to a detailed picture of God as described in dogma. A suspicion crystallizes: one function of dogma is the entrapment of the mind in the absurd. The individual who accepts the absurd pronouncement suffers a transformation of belief that makes him or her susceptible to control. Even when the dogmatic picture manifests –as it may if it does not involve contradiction– the result is a weak realization of the power of ALL BEING. ‘Being that SPANS ALL BEING’ is not similarly weak: it is the original power from which realization stems. It is not specific. It is an open concept. This is its STRENGTH. Here, there is no covert invitation to relinquish power, to entrapment in absurdity

In this example, the primary confusion has been between an open symbol and a closed one. An open symbol is, here, defined to be one for which adequate allowance is made for indefiniteness in acquaintance with the object. A closed symbol is one for which the picture of the object is over-specified. The con-fusion is encouraged by the use of the same sign, in this case, ‘God,’ to denote the distinct symbols. The ‘first cause’ and ‘design’ arguments assume that proximate necessities are ultimate i.e. that what is normally the case in our world is always the case in the entire universe. Another way of stating this ‘fallacy’ is that it is the assumption that series have unique continuations. The ontological argument is related to a number of classical semantic paradoxes in which the crux of the paradox is the assumption that an arbitrary sentence in the form of an assertion has reference

As a second, more complex, example of confusion of symbols, consider the ‘articles of faith.’ I choose to consider the article of faith because, in addition to the question of confusion, it may be an occasion to consider some issues of possibility, faith and religion, INTUITION, belief and knowledge. Here, intuition refers to the classical categories of intuition of space, time and so on. An example of an article of faith is ‘Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.’ It is typical of an article of faith in that it assaults the ‘common sense.’ Therefore, typically, belief in the article requires faith. I have chosen ‘Jesus Christ is risen from the dead’ because it possesses these typical characteristics in abundance. There is no intent, here, to persuade anyone that, indeed, on this earth, some two thousand years before this day, July 2, 2007, that there was one Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who, as told in the biblical literature, died and came to life. That a man could die and his body, then, come back to its earlier living form assaults the common sense regarding the regularities of human experience and many would regard the possibility as absurd. Whether the principles of biology and physics are violated is not altogether clear but such might seem to be the case. However, no principle of logic is violated by the dead coming back to life. The regularities that make for the feeling of absurdity are not merely scientifically observed. They seem to be part of the constitution of our world, of life. However, the regularities of science and common sense are based in observation and are not at all necessary. Thus, even from science and common sense, our expectations may be violated but there is no violation of necessity. Further, this world and its regularities, as is seen in the discussion of the void above and below, are, of logical necessity, an infinitesimal part of all being. Against the background of all being where essential indeterminism reigns, the regularities of this world have no rule. Thus, rising from the dead violates no principle of necessity. In other words, even though it seems improbable, to rise from the dead is possible. Further, as is seen BELOW, ‘Jesus is raised from the dead’ obtains in countless actual cosmological systems… What is the confusion in this discussion? It includes confusion of the common and logical meanings of ‘necessity.’ The confusion of the two meanings results in a confusion of the improbable with the impossible and the probable with the necessary. Faith is based in the improbable. Faith in the probable is more absurd than faith in the improbable. In the previous paragraph, it was suggested that a function of dogma is entrapment. Here, it is seen that a function of faith is freedom from the improbable as necessary i.e. opening up to possibility in knowledge, action and becoming

A doubt regarding the net effect of the article of faith may remain. However, there are practical limits to all modes of knowledge, to reason, and to the institutions of knowledge e.g. science. Faith, intuition, belief, knowledge, institution, and action are all elements in the forward motion of being. All these elements have limits and all have an essential place. Not one is –or can or need be– eliminated but there may adjustment and some choice in the relations among these elements. It is possible to strive for an ‘ideal reason’ or ‘ideal faith,’ but such have not been achieved and are not known to be possible or to have necessary or intrinsic meaning

Consider that reason has resulted in ‘benefits’ and ‘problems.’ Clearly, reason –which, here, includes science– often enhances the efficacy of action. However, reason in the form of science, has provided tools whose power makes them potentially creative and destructive. The destructive aspects of faith in the form of dogma are well cataloged in the secular world of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is common to doubt the positive aspects of faith and, if there are any, to hold them in suspicion. However, anthropological studies have shown the benefits and practical necessities of faith. In showing its own limitation, reason shows the necessity of simple faith – as distinct from articles of faith. Simple faith is that trust in the world without which the individual lives in essential fear. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, faith has been the basis of resistance to tyranny and of suppression of freedom. Reason –science– has given powers of construction and destruction but, apparently, not the power to alter these paths. It follows, then, that the following are superstitions

Reason is the only valid mode of knowledge and can solve all problems. Reason has no place in the world

Faith and intuition are the only valid modes of knowledge and especially of ultimate knowledge. Faith has no place in the world

There are rational or empirically determined combinations of reason, faith, and action that are ideal. That this would be a superstition implies that action and belief are free from necessity

Faith and reason are poles apart. In fact, faith and reason are not opposite poles. Reason has an unreduced –if not irreducible– element of faith; and faith does not exclude all reason

The essential confusion in this example is the equation of practical necessity with theoretical or logical necessity. The distinction between practical and logical necessity –between what seems to be probable and what is necessary– is clarified in the discussion of LOGIC

It is impossible to avoid an intersection of an exploration into the real with the domain of religion as traditionally understood. The exploration of the real will necessarily come upon terrain usually considered to lie within the domain of religion. However, the exploration has remained in the world. Except as deception, as myth, as parable, or as a psychological or spiritual ploy, there is no boundary between the religious and the secular – between the sacred and the profane. In the encounter with the real, there is no boundary between this and another world. We may speak of ‘worlds’ but there is one world that is this world. All things sacred and all things mundane are of this world

The discussion of becoming from the void is now continued in the following sections where it is found that mind populates the primal level. It is important to note the caution at the end of the section on MIND AND SYMBOL that follows the next


Becoming results in more or less stable being; the least stable are transients or ephemera and the more stable are relatively durable. Even in the most transient – except the absolute ephemera, there is a kind of knowing. However, it is in the more stable 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 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

The alternative to becoming is decline

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. The substance is not a theoretical or necessary concept


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


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


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 the present document 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 the power as the ‘measure’ of being and the foundation in the void


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 document, 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 ultimate possibility of a formal and full correspondence of the comprehension –which 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


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. If there is a LOGIC that is inherent in all contexts, it is 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


The nature of ethics has been considered in the sections linked  in the following paragraphs

I take up ethics here to see what ethics or morals are at the primal level. The conclusion is the equivalence of the following two statements

At the primal level there is no ethics

At the primal level the ethical and the non-ethical are identical

The justification of the equivalence is given in VALUE. There, it is also shown that the being of morals is not other than that of BEING in general. That is not to say being and morals are identical but only that the distinction is not found in the presence or absence of power

In other words, value systems such as those in GROUP ACTION AND VALUE, and in GROUP ACTION AND VALUE II, are not less real than the factual statement. While the being of the value system is not possessed of an absolute character this is also true of BEING in general


While it would be useful to discuss nature of ethics and morals here, a more complete discussion is possible in ETHICS / MORALS

Summary of the Foundation. The Void. Logic, Possibility and Necessity. Recurrence. The Span of ALL BEING. Mind is Being in its Relations. Metaphysics is possible. A Complete System of the Problems of Metaphysics

The foundation is in the concept and theory of the VOID, and in LOGIC… As a philosophy, radical doubt is self-negating and therefore empty; as a method or attitude, though valuable, incomplete: doubt alone is not generative of foundation. Instead, replacing doubt by emptiness and thought by being results in the VOID. The VOID, that 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

Primary implications

ORIGINAL LOGIC: the LAW OF CONTRADICTION: what is not contradictory is possible – the single law of THE UNIVERSE; identity of the actual and the possible; the possible is materially necessary; recurrence of all actualities and possibilities and the nature the ultimate

Therefore, as an example of necessity, and in illustration of the earlier discussion of CONFUSION OF SYMBOLS, ‘Jesus Christ is raised from the dead’ obtains in countless actual cosmological systems i.e. coherent phase-epochs of the entire one uni-verse

Ultimate identity, behind contingent distinction, of ALL BEING...and, in consequence, the actual and the possible conflate; what is possible is materially necessary; and recurrent; there is BEING that spans ALL BEING in its awareness or knowledge

Interactivity of ALL BEING and therefore there is one and only one universe: the phrase THE ONE UNIVERSEmay be replaced by THE UNIVERSEor UNIVERSE; dynamics of origin of a coherent phase-epoch of the universe such as ours, meaning and description of ‘origin of space-time,’ of quasi-deterministic, quasi-structural and quasi-causal domains

MIND is coeval and co-extensive with being i.e. as elaborated in FOUNDATION, MIND is being… MIND is being-in-its-relations: if ALL BEING is material then mind is matter-in-its-relations; in a coherent cosmological domain, residual indeterminism is the foundation of novelty and the free element of MIND at the foundation of the symbol and so of human choice, value, knowledge, logic as distinct from the root

Necessary and empirical aspects of LOGIC; concept of DYNAMICS of being and its identity with LOGIC; possibility of metaphysics, definition of a complete system of problems of metaphysics starting with the concepts of POWER and the VOID… illumination and resolution of this system as discussed here and, later, in METAPHYSICS

Possibility of the JOURNEY IN BEING as defined in the SOURCES

Summary of ideas important to the development


The concept of being has been given a dual foundation in the ideas of power and the void

The problem of materialism is rendered unimportant. In not holding matter in high esteem, science, philosophy, and thought lose nothing – no explanatory or predictive power is lost. The idea of the nature of matter evolves with science and knowledge is not a completed concept. Materialists, however, may think that the world is lost in not regarding matter as ultimate. It could be argued that matter is what has power – a generalization of the idea of matter as what is sensible. However, matter as the subject of, e.g., theoretical physics is a distinct symbol from that-which-has-power. It could then be argued that it is the ‘final destination’ of the subject of theoretical physics that will equate to power. Although this is a distinct possibility, its demonstration would be in two parts. In the first, there would be what has been called a ‘final theory.’ In the second, it would be shown that the final and fundamental theory is sufficient to explain all being; this, rather than some factor intrinsic to a restricted discipline, will be the criteria of finality… It is important to note that the position here is twofold. [1] As revealed by empirical and conceptual study –e.g. science– the understanding of the nature of matter is in transition. [2] There is no loss in being agnostic about the ultimate understanding of matter. Instead, there is a gain in removing the shackles of restriction of ontology and thought to a premature concept regarding the nature of being

It is in the MEANING of being that experience is –a phase of– existence

In other words it would be a mistake to think that experience implies existence as if the latter follows from the former

Solipsism is the position that nothing exists outside experience – it is an attempt to be minimal with respect to entities that are asserted to exist. The solipsist does not assert that the various entities of the world do not exist as they are or seem to be; rather, he or she maintains that, logically, their being cannot be accepted until proven. In order to examine the position that there is only experience, which may be called the ‘solipsist stance,’ its consequences may be examined. From this position, it follows that there is no world, not even a private world, of the thinker –or thinker– but there are only thoughts – which are a part of experience. It may be responded that ‘experience constitutes the world;’ however, this is merely substitution of a different sign but is not the introduction of a symbol or a definition. There would be the experience of identity and continuity but that experience would not correspond to the identity of the individual – for there is, in the solipsist stance, no individual. Similarly, the words ‘you,’ ‘I,’ ‘her,’ and so on would carry the experiential connotations of different individuals but, in the solipsist stance, these would be mere fictions. That individuals and objects are fictions has, as has been seen in various ways, truth to it. At this point, it could be said that the words, you, I and so on correspond to no more than the solipsist’s ‘fictions-of-experience.’ No theoretical or behavioral distinction between the stances has been established. Therefore, to evaluate the solipsist stance, its implications may be further considered. In the stance, there is the experience of personal identity and the experience of other individuals. The personal identity may, for example, speak Spanish, may know some English, and be reasonably good at mathematics and so on. There is, then, the encounter with others – directly, face-to-face, and, for example, through books and journals. In the solipsist stance, there is now, the following curious situation. In all experience – the fictitious experience of the other is not true experience in the stance – there is a certain ability to do mathematics, a certain facility with Spanish, some facility with English, but no German, no Greek and so on. Yet there is, somewhere in the experience, a place where there is German being spoken and yet not understood. There is the reading of mathematics books in which there is encounter with mathematical thought that far exceeds the ability to do mathematics – since there is only experience there is only ability, not my ability or his or her ability. The solipsist stance now faces the following kind of contradiction or paradox. There is and is not the ability to do mathematics. There is and is not the knowledge of German, of Greek, and of every ‘other language in the world.’  Examples such as these, and many others, show that solipsism is, on consideration, self-contradictory except on the admission of separate centers of intelligence and action. Further, paradox apart, solipsism is not the minimal position that, in its statement, it may appear to be. The solipsist logic points in the direction of the standard theory of the world as populated by distinct individuals, with distinct identities and distinct systems of experience

It would appear that the standard theory is the minimal one. The solipsist system of explanation becomes ‘Ptolemaic’ in its working out. However, except that the standard theory is a description of use, there is, thus far, no proof of it. What would constitute a proof? In some sense, what is wanted is not proof but understanding or description of the state of affairs regarding individuals and identities. However, a ‘proof’ might run somewhat as follows. The proof starts with the description of states of affairs according to the standard ‘theory.’ Alternative explanations are attempted. What would an alternative explanation be? It would deny the existence of identity, of the individual and others. It would then be found that the standard theory appears to be the minimal one. The concept of power could then be used to corroborate the equal status of individuals. The THEORY OF BEING or becoming from the void together with the explanatory models of becoming developed in this essay would then show the origin of individuals. Elements of explanation would include the intersection of primal mind and being at the core; and the origin of stable entities as in general cosmology. There would be an exposition of the standard theory that would show the solipsist’s contention to be a natural mistake. There would be a discussion of other difficult points in the philosophy of identity. In the end, there may result a somewhat satisfying system of explanation and illumination. What would have been proved? There is no ‘proof’ – if proof is taken to be the deduction of consequences from axioms, definitions and so on within a consistent axiomatic system. Proof of this kind requires a contained –closed– system and thus proof in this sense is not possible. However, what is not logically possible is not, when the understanding is correct, to be desired. The desire for proof would be based on the confusion of a closed, e.g. axiomatic, system with an open one – the open system of the world. In that open system, understanding is freshening and the quest for proof debilitates the realization of the possibilities of being which, as argued in this essay, require action and risk or openness. That the world is somewhat as it is taken to be has been shown. That it is not altogether as it is often taken to be has also been shown – as in the main thrust of this essay. The possibilities of being have been exposed. Regarding identity, the true objective may be to understand rather than establish

The use of POWER and foundation in the VOID

The resulting ontology –THEORY OF BEING– is one without substance or infinite regress in the foundation or source of being

This THEORY OF BEING enables a theory of identity that may minimally answer the question of solipsism. This thought is implicit in the foregoing development where an outline of some approaches to a theory of identity has been given and it was seen that understanding is more important than demonstration

These ideas enable the elimination of categories of being and make no distinction in the being of things. Thus, there is no distinction between form and thing. This requires re-conceptualization of ‘form’ and eliminates the need to postulate or argue for a separate world of forms. Form is real

The nature of an entity would be known if its elements were given. This requires appropriate conceptualization of the element. Except for the void, there are no universal elements. All systems of elements have a practical character. The element lacks absolute character

There is one universe. This world is not distinct from ‘another world.’ There is no separate world of the sacred. Anything that is sacred is in this world. Although the articles of faith –religion– may strain the imagination, they may be seen as freeing the individual from a confusion of practical and absolute necessity i.e. of probability and necessity. The articles of faith –excepting the frequent and widespread confusion of religion with what it is not– are not patently false; they have power to illuminate or they do not. What is false is that there are two worlds, the world of the sacred and the world of the mundane. The sacred has immanence in the mundane

To a Skylark, P. B. Shelley, 1792 – 1822, opens, ‘Hail to the blithe spirit! / Bird thou never wert’ and so seems to assert a transcendent character to the skylark that derives from its immersion in another dimension or world. I think that it is because of this separation of worlds and the apparent diminishing of this world that I have not found a resonance of feeling with the poem. Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind, with which I have resonance, opens,  ‘O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being, / Thou, from whose unseen presence, the leaves dead / Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing…’ In these lines, there is no derivation of power from a transcendent world although there is a suggestion of emptiness or death in the simile of the ghost. These thoughts are recorded not as proof, but as suggestion that the world is seen-felt to have most power when it is experienced as whole in itself

The insight that LAW AND PATTERN ARE IMMANENT in the entities that constitute their range of application

In the void, there is no pattern and law. The void, as conceived here, is an advance over the classical conception of the void or vacuum in which, laws are thought to remain

While immanent in the entities that constitute their range of application, law and pattern may be thought of as imposed from the void by contingent and selective elimination of alternatives which is also the source of local pockets of quasi-causation

The idea that KNOWLEDGE IS the EFFECT… of the one in the other

This is the key to elimination of the mind-being distinction. It is important to note that this elimination requires an extension of the range of the concept of mind and is, as a result, not a true pan-psychism. A True pan-psychism is a projection of mind-as-we-locally-manifest to the universal

This idea is a key to the understanding of symbol, ideal and external object. This leads to an understanding of truth in which it is not necessary to have a theory of truth. The classical theories of truth are illuminated and their limits shown

LOGIC is possible when there is one being –or property or state of affairs– that is distinct from another

Logics arise from specialization of context. There is no logic that has application in all contexts including the void. There is no universal logic. This does not contradict the earlier assertion that ‘the single law of logic is that only what is contradictory is impossible’ for that assumes the context of exclusion i.e. of sufficiently determinate being

Alternative Foundation. LOGIC. Paradox. Logics. Dynamics of Being. There is exactly one Universe. The Void and the Universe are Equivalent. Essential Indeterminism

An alternative foundation is retained since I have not determined which might be the most efficient

LOGIC. The one law of LOGIC is the LAW OF CONTRADICTION that only what is contradictory is impossible

There is an art of LOGIC as the art of estimating the possible

The condition for LOGIC [the LAW OF CONTRADICTION] to have application is that there be determinateness of being i.e. there are distinct entities A and B such that A is not B. The condition to deploy LOGIC is that entity be a form of intuition, which includes symbolic reference, but at the primal level is the same as the condition for LOGIC to apply. LOGIC always ‘exists’ but need not always have application

There is one LOGIC but there may be many specialized ‘logics.’ The condition, in the previous paragraph, for logic to apply, immediately makes for the possibility of implication and negation. That an entity is A implies that it is not B. However, further restriction is required for e.g. transitivity of implication, for the combination of states of affairs –& and or– and other features that make it possible to formulate a sufficiently powerful version of the propositional calculus. A logic is the enhancement of LOGIC in a context in which the introduction of ‘laws’ is the result of a narrowing of focus. Therefore, the naïve assumption that a logic has unrestricted focus or reference may be expected to lead to ‘problems.’ The essential problem regarding a general context of the values ‘true’ and ‘false,’ given that no formal proposition is both true and false, is that a naïve assumption of truth may imply falsehood (and vice-versa.) I.e. the essential problem will be that of paradox. Although axiomatic logic is powerful, the appeal of constructive logic is that the context is defined by construction and therefore the potential for paradox is open to inspection. Axiomatic formulations may avoid paradox by the introduction of a principle to avoid them e.g. the theory of types. A middle ground is obtained through the idea of ‘implicit construction’ in which only propositions are allowed, i.e. in the case of formal sentential propositions, only those that have a truth-value are considered

Now consider whether physics is a logic. Naïvely, even an axiomatically specified field of theoretical physics is not a logic. However, if a context is regarded as one in which only certain modes of being and patterns of behavior obtain, then –a field of theoretical– physics may be regarded as a logic

A proposition is a symbol. In the absence of application i.e. reference – actual or potential, sentences in the form of the proposition do not denote actual propositions. Therefore, they may be referred to as merely formal propositional sentences i.e. formal but not actual assertions. This point may be illustrated by and used to clarify the famous liar and related paradoxes. Consider, first, the proposition, ‘This proposition is true.’ Is the proposition true or false? If it is true, it is true; and, if false, false. However, with out an additional assumption, a truth-value cannot be determined, i.e., the proposition does not have an intrinsic truth-value. This might be unexpected since the proposition has obvious sense and reference – it refers to itself. However, it is easy to show that the proposition only seems to refer to itself. It can be rewritten ‘The truth-value of this proposition is ‘true.’’ Thus, more accurately, the –intended– reference is to its truth-value; however, it has just been seen that the proposition does not have an intrinsic truth-value. Thus, there is no actual reference. It is the absence of reference that is the source of a ‘void’ truth-value. In the absence of reference, a sentence in the form of the proposition cannot have a truth-value

‘Construct’ the following context. A solar system has exactly nine planets, every planet has a color, and the third planet is blue. Propositions are labeled A, B, C… and propositional variables are labeled x, y, z and so on; and all propositional sentences about planetary colors have a truth-value. It is clear that if x is greater than nine, propositions about ‘planet x’ may lack reference i.e., if x is allowed arbitrary values, the context is not constructive. However, in order to make a point, sentences containing arbitrary values of x will be temporarily considered propositions. Let A be the proposition ‘Planet x of the solar system is green.’ In general, (A) is either true or false and, if x = three, it 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. I.e. planet twenty is green. Identical reasoning yields a contradiction, ‘Planet twenty is blue.’ I.e. reference is necessary for a proposition to have a truth-value. Alternatively, reference is necessary for a sentence in propositional form to be the sign of a proposition. That is, not all sentences in the form of the proposition are actual propositions. 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 no ‘empty’ reference. I.e., for a proposition to have truth-value it 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

Therefore, the following form of the liar paradox, ‘This statement is false’ or ‘The truth-value of this statement is ‘false’,’ is lacking in complete reference and therefore does not have a truth-value. I.e., the invalid assumption that it has a truth-value is at the root of the liar paradox. The paradox is not due to self-reference. Thus ‘This sentence has five words,’ has a truth-value despite self-reference. In the liar paradox, since the object of reference is the truth-value, it follows that its truth-value is determined by its truth-value. I.e. the liar paradox sentence does not have a truth-value. The following line of reasoning now suggests itself. Assume that ‘This statement is false’ has a truth-value. This implies the contradiction that the statement is both true and false. Therefore, ‘‘This statement is false’ has a truth-value’ is false. Again, the assumption of a truth-value results in a direct contradiction but, in this case, also results in the sentence being self-contradictory

In summary, a sentence in the form of a proposition must have actual or potential reference and no empty reference in order to have a truth-value i.e. in order to be a proposition. Assumption that arbitrary sentences that are formally propositional are symbols for propositions results in invalid systems of logic. One approach to correction of this situation is to allow only real i.e. actual propositions

Relevance of the Developments

The relevance of these considerations outside the field of formal logic may be questioned. The question may be addressed as follows. Firstly, and generally, it has been shown that LOGIC is the core of the understanding of being. On a concrete level, there are everyday but invalid assumptions and beliefs whose foundation may be traced to simple logic errors. Additionally, when society as a unit moves ‘forward’ and when the motion has basis in an esoteric system of formal thought that includes the theoretical sciences, considerations such as the present ones help to avoid unnecessary error. I.e. although I have asserted, earlier, the need for openness to error – without which we become closed to growth, it remains valuable to avoid gratuitous error

The discussion of relevance now turns to a consideration of limits of thought and language

Relevance for ‘What can be shown but not said’

What are the limits of propositional language? One limit is the necessity of reference. Potential propositions i.e. those that are not known to not have reference may lead to paradox if they turn out to not have reference. More significantly, there may be ‘objects’ to which one cannot refer. Thus, I may talk of ALL BEING without actually referring to it. Well known paradoxes arise when one talks carelessly about all being or even when talking of ‘all things specified by an arbitrary property.’ However, 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 are attempts at understanding and do not imply that silence is required in practice. What may be implied is that attempting to speak ‘whereof one cannot’ may result in paradox or senselessness. However, the needs of action may leave no choice. Therefore, the theoretical injunction regarding silence implies a practical caution but not a practical necessity. 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. The 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. I.e., caution is useful but not to the exclusion of all risk. In the world, however, the choice does not exist unless one consciously attempts to avoid the world. Even if the individual attempts to avoid the world, the world may intrude upon the individual. In essential reality there is no choice. What is the principle involved? Risk cannot be avoided; further, it is not always possible to estimate risk. The principle applies also in academics. Certain knowledge does not invariably yield the most certain action – or even the best action. When the academic depends on public resources and public sympathy, there results an imperative in the modern world, c. 2007, to an appearance of certified knowledge, e.g. the Golden Gate Bridge is catastrophe proof, i.e. to risk avoidance. That appearance must be part illusion. In its history, academics can be granted no permanent exception from the law of risk. Therefore, in order to live, it is necessary to ‘speak’ so that action is possible. Life is always experimental. Risk may be reduced but not eliminated. Reducing –perhaps attempting to minimize– risk is but one function of science, of logic, of reason, and of academics

In the previous paragraph, it is not implied that analysis of thought, of language, of sense, of reference, of senselessness, and of paradox is without significance or use. These activities shed light on understanding and help eliminate gratuitous error and non-sense which is intended sense without sense or real reference. One, perhaps implicit, motive to the elimination of all error and paradox, to say only what is true –and therefore only what is obviously true– is to reduce thought and living to a method or algorithm. Arguments in this essay show that this is not possible in an embedded way and that insistence on method results in being closed to possibility

What may be said of the non-propositional functions of language? At present, allocation of the author’s resources requires limitation to the following brief response. The situations in which language is deployed to non-propositional ends are part of the world and may, therefore, depicted in propositional form. Elaboration and development of this line of thought is left for a later project

What may be said of the limits of thought? Response to this question is a brief repetition of the earlier, tentative argument, in RESEARCH PLANS that what can be thought can also be said

Regarded as a process, it is not clear that there are necessary limits on thought and language. This conclusion meshes with the earlier one that there are no necessary limits on being and does not contradict the foregoing limits regarding thought as an embedded system


[As used here, DYNAMICS is not the dynamics of the physical sciences but may be regarded as including the latter as a very special case]

DYNAMICS is the art of effecting the possible

By a simple extension of its scope, LOGIC is identical to DYNAMICS. Used in this sense, LOGIC includes the previous sense and is its natural extension on the view from the root, that being and knowing are identical

Greater detail regarding the treatment of DYNAMICS is given in the SOURCES

DYNAMICS does not play a significant explicit role in the development in the present document. However:


UNIVERSE and the VOID: the concepts. It is shown here that it is inherent in these concepts that THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTE LAWS

The void, which is nothingness and therefore entails the absence of all laws and patterns, is present in all entities, which are therefore equivalent and may interact. The void, all actual entities, and the universe, which is all that exists are entities

If the void is ‘appended’ to an entity, the entity is unchanged i.e. the result is the entity. However, due to the absence of law, there is no restriction on the void, which may therefore transform the entity into any other entity. However, since the result of appending the void to an entity is the entity, it follows that the entity is self-transforming into any other entity. This may seem to be paradoxical. However, it is paradoxical only on the view that the normal intuition is necessary; it is no more paradoxical than that being is indeterministic. It is a result of the essential indeterminacy at the core of being

The theory of the void is equivalent to essential indeterminacy at the core of being

Regarding any two entities as an entity, it follows that they must be capable of interacting

The universe is all that exists. The void and the universe are entities. Therefore, the universe is equivalent to the void

That being is essentially indeterministic does not mean that form and structure cannot or do not arise. A ‘history,’ in which form and structure never arose, would be a deterministic history. ‘Form and structure cannot arise’ is a form of determinism. It has been seen, in the various discussions of near symmetry and relative stability, how form and structure –relatively determinate being with quasi-determinism and quasi-causation– may arise. It is in the nature of essential indeterminism that form and structure must arise and that the occurrence will present as contingent but may be interpreted as necessary. The meaning of ‘present as contingent’ is that whereas the becoming of form is necessary, the becomings of particular forms in a phase-epoch of the universe are contingent

If all determinate being is the same being, what is the significance of distinction? The variety of being is without end; the phase between recurrences is as if without significance; even when we approach the ‘same’ scene repeatedly, it is done so, almost always, with fresh vision just as in this life hope is always fresh

That which is possible is materially necessary


Being is that which has existence

The treatment for LOGIC, the UNIVERSE, the VOID, and for BEING, may now follow as in the present document and in the separate document, FOUNDATION

The essentials of the foundation –THE THEORY OF BEING– are now at a conclusion. Before taking up implication and elaboration, it will be pertinent to consider:


The foundation illuminates being and the journey of becoming and transformation. However, the illumination is not ‘idle’ but is possible because it has ‘application’

The application may be considered as two-fold. At primal, general, or ultimate all possibilities are shown – in a generic way; and are shown to be necessary. At the human level, there is, above and in the following, application to the development of understanding [METAPHYSICS,] the nature and way of becoming [TRANSFORMATION,] and to ethics [VALUE, GROUP ACTION, and THE HIGHEST IDEAL]

1.2         Two Divides

The following divides, though they do not cut us off from Primality, are fundamental to human being

It may be useful, in a full history of being, to identify additional divides or turning points. A divide may be thought of as both 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

Origins of a Cosmological System: a Coherent Phase-Epoch of the Universe

The origin of a cosmological system is the origin of a determinate ‘universe’ within which determinate being, knowing, and logic may be possible

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 an immediate perspective, within the present cosmological system, the probabilities of such occurrences are so low as to practically equate to zero. In a deterministic framework, the probabilities would usually be regarded to be zero. In the non-deterministic –quantum– framework of modern physics, the probabilities, from the immediate perspective, are extremely low. However, from a perspective of the entire universe the probabilities are no longer small. In a temporal frame, it is not clear that any numeric 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

While primal being is associated with mind, with a kind of choice, value, knowledge and logic, these, as aspects of primal being, are not as we experience them

As we experience them, choice, value, knowledge and logic are built upon the primal. There is, of course, more than one layer, turning point or divide but the origin of the free symbol is of fundamental significance to the human individual and in human culture

The free symbol is the foundation of choice, value, knowledge, and logic as we experience and deploy them within and at the boundaries of culture

The free symbol is a foundation of language and of the creative aspect of the human individual and culture that is so significant in freeing us from binding to our ‘given nature’

[This may be said without implying that such freedom is absolutely ‘positive;’ the freeing is largely what makes the human individual-in-his-or-her-own-experience and against that background there is a tenuous balance between the cultivation of the free symbolic and other modes of being]

1.3         General Cosmology

A foundation for general cosmology is given the discussion of the VOID and in what follows. [The phrase, ‘general cosmology’ is not used in the earlier discussion.] Additional details and discussion of the foundation is in the SOURCES. The details include a discussion of the ideas of time and space which, though important, is peripheral to the present development of the foundation

Origins of a Cosmological System. Essential Indeterminism Must Result in Structure

General cosmology merges with the cosmology of a phase-epoch of the one universe e.g. the phase referred to as ‘our’ or the ‘known universe.’ The boundary is seen as indistinct especially if reference is made to the phase as a phase of being and use avoided for the prejudiced and prejudicial terms ‘physical’ and ‘material’

In the earlier discussion of the VOID and in what follows, it was learned that:

Cosmological systems may be seen as being born from the void… in the origin of sufficiently stable systems; the relative stability results from sufficient symmetry

What is the genesis of such a system? That there can be no prohibition against becoming implies that there is ‘eternal transaction or equilibrium’ between the void and being –more accurately among degrees of becoming– that is marked by becoming and dissolution [un-becoming.] Those becomings marked by sufficient stability are more than merely transient; and of these, some permit, in the same way, the growth of more or less stable super structure. Variation and selection is the principle of genesis

What is the character of the transaction or equilibrium referred to in the previous paragraph? As consideration includes states that are more and more devoid of entities, there is an approach to states in which there is less and less law and necessity. There come points where the absence of entities is balanced by the absence of necessity so that, as approach is made beyond those points and toward the void, there is a tendency to re-populate such states toward higher degrees of actual being

The relative or quasi-determinateness of a cosmological system makes for quasi-causality, quasi-determinism

A cosmological system is one place, at least, that may favor the origin of life and mind as we have and experience them

That essential indeterminism must result in structure follows from the principle that what is possible is necessary

A ‘mechanism’ for the emergence of structure has been discussed at various places above. This mechanism is the familiar ‘variation and selection.’ That there is essential indeterminism at the core of being has been criticized in the literature. It is said that that essential indeterminism could not result in the emergence of entities and structure. It has been shown here that non-emergence is a violation of the concept of essential indeterminism. The mechanism of ‘variation and selection’ enhances understanding of emergence but is not logically necessary to a knowledge of the necessity of emergence from any initial conditions including the void

Although not logically necessary for emergence of form or structure, the mechanism of variation and selection has the following features. In view of the fact that there is essential indeterminism at the core of being, linear progression, continuous unfolding, achieving a destiny are not alternatives to variation and selection. Variation and selection may be seen as a multi-step or incremental becoming within the space of the possible. The significance of the term ‘incremental’ is that the indeterministic variations at each step are small in comparison to the stage or form of being [thus, the void is singular in this regard.] Additionally, it is only the near symmetric, relatively stable variations that are selected. Thus, the degree of improbability associated with each step is not high. At this point there arises the familiar objection that, while each stage is not improbable, the final outcome of many stages e.g. an advanced organism is improbable. The objection of low probabilities is a practical but not a necessary objection. Therefore, to take the practical objection as necessary is in error because its force is derived from the assumption that the final stage was ‘destined’ at the outset. This is not the case. It is not implied by the explanation based in variation and selection. Rather, at the outset – at any stage regarded as initial, there is a ‘space’ of not improbable pathways of becoming. The actual pathway and, thus, the outcome are not determined in advance. The actual path, however, is one of many that populate the space of possible pathways. The probability that one of these pathways will be followed is not low. In other words, an assertion that the outcome is improbable is without valid basis

Thus, while a linear unfolding is not among the logically possible alternatives to incremental variation and selection, a single step is a logical alternative. The mechanism of variation and selection makes it possible to see how the incremental path is more likely than the single step ‘path.’ Further, the mechanism of variation and selection makes it possible to see how and why relatively stable being is associated with near symmetry… why there is stable being rather than mere ephemera

Some implications of the THEORY OF BEING and the void are considered immediately below and in a brief mention of SCIENCE

Local origins of Quasi-Causation and Quantum Theory

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

1.4         Symbol and Value for Human Being


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 his or her 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. Consciousness, Feeling and Awareness

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

Aspects of Mind. The Categories of Intuition

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


The free symbol is the foundation of LANGUAGE … also see SYMBOLIC LANGUAGE. The introductory sections as well as the sections linked contain a number of reflections on language. Here, I will repeat only some of the main ideas

The structure of the language used in a context reflects the form of the possibilities for the context. Given that some possibilities actually obtain, some further possibilities turn out to be necessary, others ruled out, and yet others are neither necessary nor ruled out. Thus, the structure of the language implies at least some of the rules of logic that obtain in the context. Language regards forms; logic expresses structures inherent in the forms. Logic is inherent in language form. To what extents are these inherencies complete?

Language form may but need not accurately ‘depict’ actual form… and depiction is not the only function of language. Therefore, ‘depiction’ is used figuratively or, alternatively, as a generic marker

Typically, language ‘elements’ are abstract signs in linear arrangements. Such language lends itself to ‘linguistic expression.’ However, thought or mental ‘content,’ in general, may be conceived as language

The following questions and projects are open. Construct a map or catalog of ‘kinds of language and linguistic expression.’ Evaluate the kinds for ‘faithfulness.’ Study the inter-translatability –when meaningful– among kinds. Study the reduction of systems of language and logic. Is there a universal language and logic? If there is, what is it – the language of propositions? I.e., if the world is a world of objects or facts could the kinds of language be reduced –in principle– to the language of propositions? If there is no universal language or logic, to what extent may universality be realized? Just as depiction is not the only function, so faithfulness is not the only measure of validity. What are some other functions and measures? This question is implied by the study of kinds of language. It is not suggested that validity is always possible, useful or meaningful. This possibility has been mentioned earlier. A possible project is to describe or depict language as a medium of connection and immersion and to describe its connection with action

Knowledge, Logic, Culture

The free symbol is the foundation of knowledge, logic and culture as humans experience them within culture

Logic is the law of contradiction: only what involves contradiction is impossible. What is conceivable without contradiction is possible

…the actual –in the context of ALL BEING– and the possible conflate; what is possible is materially necessary; and recurrent; and BEING spans ALL BEING in its awareness and knowledge

The development of logical systems occurs in contexts of necessity. For example, the context of necessity for the propositional calculus is that of the possibility of TRUTH, of IMPLICATION, and of COMPOUND [and, or] states of affairs

Foundation for these thoughts is given above and in the SOURCE documents


Pre-symbolic behavior is governed by bound states i.e. by perception and feeling

The free symbol creates new possibilities for behavior that include organization of group action; technology; belief, art, religion; reflection, thought, philosophy and science; and a –relative– freedom from the imperative to act from feeling and perception, i.e., from perception

Since feeling and perception continue to be a source of meaning, it is not desirable for the free symbolic capability, e.g. as manifest in cognitive reason, to replace feeling and perception in determining action. Because of its obvious limits, it is not possible for reason to replace perception and feeling

Bound and free states remain interwoven at a number of levels with varying degrees of independence. Complete independence is neither possible nor desirable

The resulting potential for creation and destruction requires and is the occasion for value expressed in symbolic terms. This is the common ground of taste, morals and rules

Expressed as a system of ideas, taste translates to aesthetics; morals to ethics; and rules to political philosophy. Political philosophy is the understanding of group behavior, of institutions, that further human values

The structure of the political system may itself be associated with intrinsic –human– value

Thus, even while there are distinctions, aesthetics, ethics and political philosophy are interactive; they form a coherent system that could be labeled ETHICS or ‘VALUE AND ITS THEORY

This ETHICS is both prohibitive and constructive

The prescriptive side –e.g. rules and morals– of ethics is ‘normative ethics.’ Questions of the proper object [states i.e. ends or actions and activity… note, as has been pointed out, SOURCE documents, state, process and relation are not fully distinct] meaning, origin, nature, justification of normative systems may be labeled metaethics. While normative ethics is prescriptive, metaethics is conceptual

What is the ontological status of ethics? The question is ‘What is the being of morals?’ rather than ‘Are moral statements right or wrong?’ BEING, as developed earlier, has only one kind – the categories are conveniences but are not, in the development, kinds or measures of being. The question, then, is ‘Does the being of a moral statement or system accord with the present concept of being?’ The genesis of morals is occasioned by the free symbolic capability. What is the genesis of a system of morals? I do not wish to present a detailed picture that might be the result of an anthropological study. Briefly, the genesis of morals starts with ‘rational’ and a-rational elements. The a-rational include the bases in feeling and in proclamation. In the rational, there is an attempt to relate actions and outcomes. There is no perfect rationality as such and the basis in proclamation is not irrational. The basis in feeling is necessary because feeling is one of the objects of morals. Communal behavior ‘begins’ to acquire a moral axis. Outcomes are influenced by morals. The more stable outcomes populate the world of culture. In this, the becoming of moral systems is not distinct in character from the becoming of inanimate being or of living being before the free symbol. Morals may be placed in a separate category. However the being of moral systems, as indicated by power, is not distinct from BEING in general. It may be said that there is no ethical judgment, no moral system before the free symbol. It could also be said that, before the free symbol, the moral and the non-moral are identical. The two statements are identical in their meaning


What are the distinctions between ethics and morals? In answering such questions, two considerations arise. First, what answers have been given in the various traditions of thought? This consideration is important if thought is to have meaning and stability – without mooring, thought is adrift. However, two related reservations regarding the significance of tradition are [1] whether the tradition covers a complete range of concepts, and [2] although there are high points and plateaus, the tradition is itself a process of discovery, creation, interpretation and re-interpretation. The reservations show a connection between the significance of the tradition and the second consideration, which concerns the possibilities for the concepts. I.e., although the tradition is significant, it is not considered a final understanding. This is implicit in the history of thought. That perfection has no absolute meaning implies that being is embedded in a historical process. The occasional transcendence of history is not a transcendence in perfection

It was seen above that morals arise, of practical necessity, as a moderating influence to the freedom of action that results from the creation and of new possibilities associated with the free symbolic capability. The distinction between ethics and morals is not absolute. However, the following suggestions may be considered. Although the root is in the free symbol, morals may become detached from their origin. Thus, in morals, there may be an appeal to authority, to tradition, to rules, and to moral language. In contrast, ethics is reflective, entertains reflection upon its own nature and its object, appeals to reason, attempts to transcend local concerns, and may –though need not– be cast in moral language. Note that the appeal to reason does not mean that it replaces all other concerns or that there is a detachment from feeling. Reason is bounded. Feeling is engagement – without feeling, the individual becomes adrift, morals and ethics become mere words. The tradition of ethics within philosophy uses the language of reason. However, morals may be expressed in aesthetic terms e.g. through literature and art. In such expression, the distinctions between morals and ethics, between the revealed and the inspired, between tradition and creation break down in dynamic interplay

1.5         Being II: The Nature of Being

What is the nature of the being of an entity i.e. what is the true nature of an entity or individual? If the world were made of irreducible elements then the being of an entity would simply be its constituent elements

There are various modes of being in which –and perspectives according to which– there are fundamental elements. These include the physical elements of this cosmological system; the various aspects of mind as elaborated in FOUNDATION and the void as the foundation of being

The void as foundation is perhaps the only fundamental system of ‘elements’ or substances or categories; i.e. there is no fundamental system of elements and so on – except the void. From the theory of the void, it is seen that fundamental ontology is foundation without substance –the number of substances is zero– and without infinite regress. A system of elements may be chosen according to the purpose and subject to the condition of reality that when ‘error’ arises, corrections may be made; and when there are principles of correction, these too are a priori subject to the same principle of error and correction. From the void, the trajectory of being is a journey

For present purposes, the discussion of mind in FOUNDATION and elaborated in JOURNEY IN BEING provides an excellent proximate account of being. It includes many ‘dimensional’ considerations and an approach to completeness; it includes the temporal consideration of life or being as a journey; and it includes considerations from the logic of the void and synthetically incorporated cross-cultural ideas

1.6         The Ultimate

From the section KNOWLEDGE, LOGIC, CULTURE, the actual and the possible conflate; what is conceivable without contradiction is possible; what is possible is materially necessary

There an ultimate in possibility which exceeds or is identical to what has been conceived [without contradiction] by any given being

Therefore, as guides to the ultimate, we may look to the history of expression, which includes ideas, art, myth and religion; and the history of action. Together, these constitute the HISTORY OF THOUGHT AND ACTION. Additionally, the individual may look to his or her own expression and its interaction with the history. When all such elements have been rid of essential contradiction, there is a ground upon which to build the idea and creation of the ultimate


This section presents an outline, a brief design, and plans for the Journey in Being. The complete story may be found in the SOURCE documents

2.1         What is the ‘Journey in Being’

JOURNEY IN BEING is the becoming, being [as act or process] and dissolution of BEING within ALL BEING and of ALL BEING i.e. within the UNIVERSE. The essence of BEING is that of the journey

JOURNEY IN BEING includes all knowing, understanding, discovery, creation, all narratives and stories… for, properly understood, MIND [KNOWING] is coeval and coextensive with being; MIND is being-in-its-relations; MIND IS BEING

The FORM of the JOURNEY is a binding among knowing, acting and being… including the unbound or symbolic forms. Additionally, JOURNEY IN BEING refers to a personal journey – the journey of the author, and its NARRATIVE and FOUNDATION

It is not implied that being-in-the-present is not important. From the NARRATIVE for the Journey, the principle of meaning states ‘There are two great sources of meaning: first, experience, enjoyment of, and action in the immediate world – the life and relationships of the individual and, second, in the process of arching from individual to universal Being.’ The universal is the integrated sum of beings-in-the-present. There is no obsession as to the way. There is validity to living in the present, in the universal, at intermediate locations, singly and in combination

2.2         Journey in Being

The Journey has the following aspects: understanding, knowing and inhabiting the variety of the world - BACKGROUND; understanding the nature and variety of being - METAPHYSICS; and transformation with and without understanding – ESSENTIAL TRANSFORMATION

Understanding and knowing are essential to the journey, to fullness of being in the following ways: in design, in motivation and, above all in the experience of becoming and be-ing. A life-less ‘universe,’ i.e. one without awareness or experience, would be without intrinsic significance. Understanding and knowing are forms of transformation but not the only forms. As we experience them, understanding and knowing may leave the body relatively unchanged. In ESSENTIAL TRANSFORMATION, all aspects, properties, or ELEMENTS of the individual may change. ESSENTIAL TRANSFORMATION may or may not be accompanied, illuminated and guided by understanding and knowing – at all stages. ESSENTIAL TRANSFORMATION requires experiment and occasionally experiment may –and sometimes ‘must’– be pure risk. Then, if the individual is fortuitous, understanding may return, provide illumination, explanation and centering

These distinctions –understanding versus transformation– hold in this world as a coherent phase-epoch of the universe as, for immediate purposes, distinct from the entire one universe. However this distinction is not absolute and, similarly, the distinction between transformation of understanding and ESSENTIAL TRANSFORMATION is proximate to the coherent phase-epoch


Background: the diversity of the world. The following are treated as ‘data:’ all available personal and transmitted experience including accumulated knowledge and symbolic means; theory including science; technology; literature, art, humanities, content of myth and religion; journeys of others. For references, see the SOURCE documents, the HISTORY OF THOUGHT AND ACTION, the author’s HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY, and the author’s PRELIMINARY NOTES ON EVOLUTION AND DESIGN

Metaphysics: unity in understanding

Connotations of metaphysics include ‘What is beyond this world,’ and ‘What is but is unknown or unknowable.’ If ‘this world’ is ‘our immediate cosmological environment,’ or ‘this coherent phase-epoch of the one universe,’ then there is much beyond this world. However, the boundary between this world and the rest of the one universe is not an absolute boundary even though there is, for many practical purposes, a boundary. In this absolute sense, then, there is nothing beyond the world. Regarding ALL BEING, there is an infinity of contingently unknown facts. In talking of all being, i.e. in claiming to have knowledge of all being, knowledge of the infinity of contingently unknown facts is not claimed. The claims being made are of a general character such as equivalence to the void, interactivity among all entities, and recurrence. In SYMBOL AND OBJECT, it is shown that the unknowable but actual or real does not exist. Thus, it is possible to say that metaphysics is study, understanding, or knowledge of all being – not merely of a ‘meta-world.’ The subject of any study of the world, e.g. physics, comes under metaphysics. However, since their intents and levels of generality have differences, the approaches used in metaphysics and the special subjects will have differences. Because of the level of generality, the methods in metaphysics will necessarily emphasize analysis of concepts and language. This does not imply that metaphysics has or can have no contact with reality, for, firstly, language and concepts have the quality of being a form of embedding in the world. Further, the metaphysical concepts of the void, of form and so on very clearly apply to the world. The logic of the void shows its equivalence to the world. This metaphysics has also been given a frankly empirical though not logically necessary turn in its –tentative– foundation for physical cosmology and quantum mechanics. In metaphysics, the special disciplines may be deployed in various ways – if not in the logic, then as sources of analogy and criticism. Care is required in such criticism for it may be in error to use a discipline such as theoretical physics as a critical instrument if the logical foundation and completeness of the discipline have not been established… The only limits in METAPHYSICS are necessary limits. The THEORY OF BEING developed earlier brings all being, including what is often considered unknowable, into the realm of the known. The FOUNDATION has shown the nature of the intersection of METAPHYSICS, LOGIC, EPISTEMOLOGY, and ETHICS at the primal core of being; some consequences have been worked out

General metaphysics and cosmology; includes physical cosmology and MIND. The theory of the VOID and the LOGIC result in a metaphysics without substance, a foundation without regress i.e. that ‘terminates in the void.’ The system of metaphysical problems is resolved into real and artifactual problems – those that have origin e.g. in a limited worldview. The underlying LOGIC enhances the distinction, the resolution of the real and illumination of all problems and concepts. The details of the discussion are in the SOURCE documents, where a formulation and solution to a complete system of problems of metaphysics is given. The present document has given brief discussion of a foundation for the understanding of BEING, relationship and POWER, SYMBOL and VALUE, LOGIC and LANGUAGE, DYNAMICS and TRANSFORMATION, the VOID or nothingness, MIND, FORM, UNIVERSAL, COSMOLOGY, DETERMINISM and CAUSATION, and GOD. An approach to the foundation of QUANTUM MECHANICS and the theory of the QUANTUM VACUUM in the theory of the void and the implications for becoming and dissolution was suggested above. Thus, the abstract metaphysics has implications –and potential implications– for the concepts of SCIENCE. An approach to the foundation of the concepts of SPACE-TIME-BEING was suggested in the more detailed documents. Further, MATHEMATICS may be regarded as a science of FORM. That there can be no prohibition against becoming, is a trivial solution to what has been called the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM OF METAPHYSICS i.e. ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ That trivial solution also shows why there is sentience rather than either ‘inert matter’ or nothing. All these issues receive elaboration in the SOURCE documents

To understand ALL BEING is to understand the instrument(s) of understanding. Therefore, the disciplines of metaphysics, logic, and grammar – the structure of language – are not distinct. METAPHYSICS includes GRAMMAR and LOGIC

Symbol: language, knowledge, logic, mathematics… the free symbolic capability makes possible, as distinct from the root, human knowledge, logic, choice, value… Some thinkers hold that the range from the root and up but prior to the fully free symbol does not constitute e.g. knowledge. There is an analogy to the question whether the earth rotates around the sun or vice versa; either position can be validly held but it, in classical mechanics, it is the latter that makes for the simplest description [in fact rotation about the center of mass of the solar system provides the ‘simplest’ description.] Similarly, what is important for knowledge is the distinction marked by the free symbol. Given the distinction, allowing the pre-free symbolic adaptation to count as a kind of knowledge is to acknowledge the fact of continuity of the human with the universal. Epistemology is defined by the following limits. As the part is less than the whole, epistemology is secondary to logic and metaphysics; this follows from the LOGIC of the VOID. Given the ground of intuition, it could be argued that further apprehension or knowledge-by-acquaintance has origin in experience. Given the free symbol, it could be argued that symbolic knowledge and its criterion of truth has origin in experience and in reason. These thoughts, i.e. empiricism and rationalism, have in common the natural delusion that knowledge is coeval with the individual. This delusion arises because it is natural to notice the object but not the framework of the possibility of observing or thinking about the object. It is the natural delusion that the ego is the center of being; that the individual is coeval with the span between conception and death. However, in view of the non-absolute –though practical– character of the boundaries that define the individual, it follows that the individual is not absolutely coeval with the span from conception to death. To think that the origin of all knowledge is empirical and or rational is to misunderstand the nature of knowledge and the individual. In the misunderstanding of knowledge, the explicit content of knowledge is taken as entire knowledge while the –often implicit– FORM of knowledge remains hidden from view. In the misunderstanding of the individual, exclusive focus is placed on transactions at the outer boundaries in space while ignoring the transactions inner boundaries in space and at the boundaries in time. It is inherent in the nature of the free symbol that there is no a priori justification of symbolic knowledge; at the same time, allowing for a transitional field of concepts opens up the possibility of an end to transition

Value: the free symbol makes for the possibility of creation and recognition of possibilities for action; the concept of value addresses the resulting freedom and guides action under freedom… and this implies the underlying unity of all value. Complete rationality in value is contradictory to the concept of freedom and, while there are guides and rationality, there is essential freedom of choice that cannot be eliminated. A paradox of morals is that ‘good’ is not produced by ‘goodness’ but by power which also results in evil. This brief outline is elaborated in the SOURCE documents, where aesthetics, ethics and political philosophy are combined in the THEORY OF GROUP ACTION AND VALUE [also see BELOW]

The Highest Ideal

The ideal is possible for the agent

The ideal and the actual are in dynamic relation

The most sublime reflection on the ideal is tentative, a suggestion

The highest ideal cannot exclude the immediate and the practical but illuminates them. The highest and the immediate are mutually informing

The ideal is not actual. The realization of the ideal is in ebb and flow

The experience of the actual as ideal may be thought of as a ‘gift’

Two levels of the ideal are the ideal of this world and the ideal relative to all being

Reflection on the relations among the levels is mutually illuminating

The ultimate ideal is the Journey or Adventure in Being

In this world, the ideal lies in transaction between the ultimate and the proximate

Even if ‘mere survival’ were an ultimate goal, its realization would be in this transaction

In the individual, in society, in ‘civilization,’ the ideal is in the cultivation of the ultimate, in the Journey in Being, while heeding and respecting the proximate in its actual and immediate needs

In the present document, an attempt has been made to illuminate truth and the journey. In the process, the ideals of beauty, art, care [freedom, group value and respect,] and humor have also been considered. These are not identical to but have affinities with classical systems of ideals

The ideal may be illuminated by reflection on its history in human thought and action [SOURCES]

Metaphysics, philosophy and the Journey in Being

In the exploration of being, I have found it necessary and enjoyable to engage in kinds of thought that may be labeled philosophy or metaphysics. I have found the traditions of these disciplines to be immensely useful and stimulating. However, I do not think of my journey as a philosophical activity. Rather, I think of the journey as a process, one of whose generators is an interaction between understanding and action. I have noted, above, the possibility of complete knowledge –at least in some directions– in the COMPREHENSION. However that line of thought may turn out, a more embedded view is one in which knowledge and understanding remains entangled with action-in-the-world. In this view, being and becoming are grounded in the world. In comparison to knowledge as knowledge-in, the picture of knowledge as knowledge-of is less grounded, possibly less stable and more specialized… there is a relationship between metaphysics or philosophy as a general understanding or knowledge of being and the journey of becoming

In the Journey in Being, thought and action are intertwined. Ultimately, metaphysics or philosophy do not provide a foundation or basis for action but metaphysics and action are mutually conditioning

It will be useful to reflect on the nature of philosophy. Since I have drawn from the tradition, clarifying ‘What is philosophy?’ will be useful in clarifying my own thought. An attempt to characterize and understand the nature of philosophy is taken up in the following section where I take up an enhancement of the idea of philosophy and metaphysics to incorporate action. In the enhancement, the central thought is not merely that philosophy and action may interact but that, ultimately, thought and action remained entangled and there is no final foundation of thought as a guide to action or as external to the world

Characterizing metaphysics and philosophy

It will be useful to consider the question ‘What is philosophy?’ In any endeavor that draws from a tradition, clarification of the understanding of the tradition is self-clarification. It is in the nature of philosophy to entertain consideration of its own nature; there is a tradition of thought regarding the issue. The general significance of the question is that understanding the nature of philosophy and philosophical activity includes identification of the possibilities and limits of philosophy and its place in human life and, more specifically, its place among the academic disciplines. Clarification of the possibilities and limits of philosophy illuminates the exploration of being. The two activities overlap and are enmeshed and each informs the other. In contrast to the question regarding philosophy, ‘What is mathematics?’ is not a part of mathematics – even though the question is entertained by mathematicians and others. Although the object of study in mathematics is, roughly, structure and form, ‘definition’ of the discipline of is significantly implicit in the practice. The understanding of the discipline of mathematics will include a study of practice. Similarly, understanding philosophy will require reflection on and analysis of the idea of philosophy in interaction with study of the tradition. The study of the tradition would enumerate the important philosophical concepts, positions and approaches in a historical perspective; these would include the conceptions of the nature of philosophy. Reflection on philosophy, independently and in light of the study of the tradition, enables understanding of the nature of philosophy. It becomes possible to make informed conclusions and statements as to the nature of philosophy. The conclusions may emphasize a combination of subject matter, purposes and methods or approaches. Claims need not be explicit – a history of philosophy implies a conception of philosophy

In addition to the conceptual, imaginative and historical reflection, the following may also be significant. One consideration is the place of philosophy in a complete field of concepts and theories; this consideration overlaps the question regarding the place of philosophy in human life and among the academic disciplines. The consideration is significant in the following ways. After all the traditional disciplines have been considered, what is to be done about overlaps and omissions? How may the regions of the understanding be rationally structured? Are rational structurings possible? These questions are significant and are philosophical in nature but because, of social forces noted shortly hereafter, there is a tendency in the present era, i.e. c. 2007, to avoid such questions within philosophy

An example may be used to illuminate the idea of a characterization of philosophy. Consider the point of view that ‘Philosophy is analysis of language,’ which may be based in the hypothesis that analysis of language will clarify the important concepts of philosophy and will show them up for what they are. I have chosen this example as useful in the approach to characterizing philosophy. Individuals who think –or have thought– of philosophy as analysis of language may not regard the viewpoint as a hypothesis. Rather, they may think of traditional metaphysics as confused speculation based in misuse of language resulting from its application beyond its domain of use or meaning. Thus, they may think that the errors of traditional metaphysics are not empirical but logical, i.e. that there is not even the possibility of metaphysics being empirical. In the background, of course, there may be the influence of the great advances of logic of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and of science since the sixteenth century. There may be the immense penetration of science and reason into human and social affairs – and the crumbling of the near universality of religious worldviews. There may be a sense of freedom in the flight from the era of hypothetical –speculative– idealism

Other characterizations of philosophy include philosophy as edifying, as grammar, as logic, as metaphysics, as dialectic, as theory of critical discussion. The author’s PRELIMINARY NOTES ON EVOLUTION AND DESIGN has an account of the history of characterizations of philosophy. The discussion that follows takes up the idea that philosophy is the activity whose only outer limits are necessary limits

What are the necessary limits on knowledge? This important and difficult question has been a stimulus for many of the most profound and penetrating advances in the history of thought. Since, the question is itself at the limit of knowledge; there can be no a priori external foundation to the question. It is therefore practically inevitable that the condition of knowledge and the worldview at the time of its asking should influence and condition the answers to the question. At present, i.e. c. 2007, the influences noted in the previous paragraph are dominant. There is a tendency to see modern science and logic as the peak of reason. However, the history of science shows that the nature of the concepts of science and the regions opened up to empirical study by ‘science’ are not predicted or predictable. I.e., the boundary between what is empirical and what is not, and between what is amenable to empirical study and what is not is neither given nor definite. As a result, the practical boundaries of current science and the current conception of science serve as the boundaries of the empirical. Although there is practical sense in paying regard to the practical boundaries, it is an unfounded positivism to regard those boundaries as absolute. In this essay, I have shown that many metaphysical confusions arise, not because of neglect of empirical concerns, but because a tentative or trivialized form of a concept, e.g. of God, of form, of the void, of the measure of being and so on, is taken as the concept. When the concept is rehabilitated –rehabilitation sometimes includes regarding the concept as open– it becomes possible to make valid and correct conclusions regarding the field of objects to which the concept refers. Such thinking, in that it transcends or is outside the frankly and directly empirical, is frankly metaphysical. It has been noted that the boundary of the empirical is not given. This stems from the fact what may enter into experience or, alternatively, what may be sensed is not given. In turn, this follows from the fact the realm of the sense is not given. This is because the ‘standard model’ for what counts as a sense is based on the idea of a discrete sense of some thing rather than a diffuse or immersed sensing – e.g. the categories of intuition. It is now possible to make the following very significant and interesting observation. Thinking of the idea of philosophy as language appears to imply certain limits to what is known. These limits would define the limits to metaphysics. It is necessary, of course, to be careful as to what counts as language or else the idea of philosophy as language becomes itself subject to metaphysical confusion. It may be important to distinguish language from linear spoken –or written– language. In this case, thought should count as language. That we have used the terms in certain ways should not restrict use. Not every use is ‘canonical.’ Some uses are arbitrary. Absolute identification of ‘language’ as its linear spoken version without reason is unfounded metaphysical positivism. What is linear spoken language and what is ‘silent’ iconic or visual thought are not separate continents. In this generalized sense, language may be taken as identifying the boundary of what is known i.e. of what is metaphysics. This is significant since, as noted, this boundary does not coincide with the boundary of the frankly empirical. Where does this boundary lie? The location of the boundary has been seen to depend on numerous factors. In this essay, we have seen, in the THEORY OF BEING where it has been possible to make valid assertion about ALL BEING, that even to the contingent form of being that we find ourselves inhabiting, there no universal, necessary or absolute limit. Regarding metaphysics as what may be said is not an absolute limit. The limit of language is neither given nor absolute – despite the presence of contingent, practical and occasional limits

The thrust of the present essay has been the argued idea that metaphysics is possible – and that an essential part of this argument is the introduction ideas and analysis of concepts. This has been demonstrated in the developments, above, of the THEORY OF BEING. These thoughts impact any characterization of metaphysics and therefore of philosophy

How may philosophy be characterized? As noted above, analysis of the idea in the context of the tradition is necessary. Analysis of the idea includes not only what is given but also what is possible. This, in turn, requires a conception of philosophy. Thus, the development is iterative. In its history, philosophy included the most general study of being. As portions of the study became empirical, acquired separate practices and practitioners, they broke off from philosophy. Some of these disciplines acquired the status of science. In turn, philosophy became a discipline and the characterization of philosophy came to focus on the distinction of philosophy and its methods from the other disciplines and methods. The discipline of philosophy became subject, in addition to necessary limits, to what may be called territorial limits that are social in character. The advances in and social implications of science and logic and the flight from hypothetical idealism and religion encouraged the growth of such contingent limits. The thrust and argument of this essay has been that this movement, while practical and useful in some ways, is not ultimately necessary or fruitful as an exclusive characterization of philosophy

Thus, philosophy may be identified with metaphysics whose only limitations are necessary. Two qualifications help to complete this characterization of philosophy. First, ‘metaphysics’ appears to refer only to subject-matter and not to approach or method. However, method e.g. logic or structure of thought has been shown to be implicit in ‘doing’ metaphysics. Second, under the identification, philosophy and metaphysics are identical. However, it is in its nature that metaphysics will be concerned with the most general aspect of its subject i.e. with being as such. On the other hand, in practice, numerous specialized studies are admitted in philosophy. These include ethics and logic which are already part of metaphysics and its practice… and other specialized topics

The separation of the specialized disciplines has practical, logical, administrative and territorial aspects. The logical aspects include the natural boundaries of disciplines in a scheme of understanding of knowledge as a whole – and may derive from a scheme of metaphysics. The practical aspects include definiteness of subject matter, precision of knowledge, and the use of distinct and characteristic methods. The administrative aspects include the convenient and institutionalization of the random or historical. The territorial include definition by distinction, ‘regardless of what discipline A may be, it is not discipline B.’ The disciplinary compartments and distinctions, while practical, are not necessary. The traditional approach to defining a discipline, ‘Discipline A is…’ may be turned around to ‘… is discipline A.’ The foregoing arguments have been a justification of a need for a discipline whose only limits are outer limits. It is this discipline that I identify with metaphysics and the outer limits of philosophy. This discipline is necessary. The more specialized conceptions of philosophy find a place within the ‘outer limits’ conception of philosophy

A further amplification of the idea of philosophy and metaphysics is possible. The possibility of complete knowledge in the comprehension has been considered

An example of this idea is in the quantum mechanical formulation of the theory of measurement where measurement and theory are not separate. Rather, measurement is understood in quantum mechanical terms. The quantum mechanical case provides an example but since the quantum mechanics does not provide a foundation for all becoming, it is at most a prototype for ‘complete knowledge in the comprehension…’

Such knowledge, as has been seen, may lack embedding – it is detached, it is knowledge as knowledge-of. Even after its achievement, there is a necessary sense of incompleteness, an incompleteness in being. Underlying, knowledge as knowledge-of there is, as has been seen, knowledge as knowledge-in. A form of knowledge-in is knowledge-in-action. Here, it is not in the character of knowledge to be complete knowledge of something; knowledge remains in interaction with action. This is an embedded form of knowledge or knowing. In this conception of knowledge, it is not implied that knowledge should be applied, or that the justification, meaning or significance of knowledge is in application or action. Rather, it is being said that this form of knowledge does not exist without action. Knowledge, in this concept, and action are mutually dependent for their being. This form is the root of knowledge-of which is able to separate itself from the root in specialized regions of application and by means of specialized instruments. Philosophy and metaphysics may be regarded as the forms of being in which knowledge-in realizes its absolute possibility i.e. in which only necessary limits are not transcended. It is the realization that ATMAN is BRAHMAN or the anti-solipsist ‘I am the world’


Transformation and action. Although understanding is transformation, here the focus is essential transformation:


An essential transformation of BEING is one in which the identity and body of the individual change. This may or may not be brought about through understanding and essential risk may be necessary. Essential risk is action without foreknowledge of the result. Awareness or experience is necessary to recognize, appreciate and learn from the result. There are two primary, broad aspects to essential transformations of BEING. The DYNAMICS is the fundamental approach to transformation that combines knowledge with action. When knowledge is not available in advance, ‘pure’ action may be occasioned by inclination or choice, or required by circumstance. In that case, understanding may interpret the process and the outcome and the result may include an addition to knowledge. Insofar as possible, action will be rational. The second aspect is experimental and involves the action of the entire individual. Action is necessary for the following reasons: [1] knowledge and rationality are limited or bounded and [2] it is the entire individual, including the intuition, which is the target of transformation. The kinds of experiment include

Experiments developed by the author e.g. the physical journey or Journey-Quest as described in the NARRATIVE and FOUNDATION for the Journey, the conceptual experimentation as described in the present document, the SOURCES

The author’s use and theory of dreams as in the NARRATIVE for the Journey, and, above all, the author’s development of the DYNAMICS, which has further detail in the SOURCES

The experimental developments of the metaphysics and the theory of BEING of the present document and the SOURCES have been motivated, in part, by the needs of the dynamics

Other experiments include the traditional approaches noted below and their theories. These are treated in detail in the NARRATIVE. The traditional approaches will be modified and what is useful will be integrated into the Journey according to the DYNAMICS and METAPHYSICS

These approaches will be subject to further experiment and the entire system of experiments bound together by the theory of BEING, the DYNAMICS and the theory of MIND

The DYNAMICS of being is the foundation of transformation

The possibilities for transformation are in the ‘dimensions of being’ as elaborated in the SOURCES under the topic of MIND. The dynamics is developed and elaborated in these documents and has two significant aspects. The first is in the combination of experimental and conceptual approaches to transformation. In the METAPHYSICS and the treatment of BEING, possible transformations are considered; the idea of VALUE takes up the question of desirable transformations. However, for essential transformation experiment is required. Experiments may be informed but not necessarily so as in sudden crises, when ideas are silent, or by choice. As values, harmony and risk appear to stand in opposition but are integrated in HUMOR. The experiments test the ‘limits’ of possibility and open up new possibility and new ‘limits.’ One learns from experiment about how to experiment. Although science, metaphysics, and common sense may be used to estimate feasibility, individual experiment is perhaps the best teacher; reliance on experiment has the benefit of discarding mistaken notions of limits. Naturally, risk is involved. This entire system of informed and pure experiment and risk, learning about experiment, discoveries in concepts, testing limits and learning about feasibility is the DYNAMICS of becoming. Although the concept is not new, the ‘conventional wisdom’ regarding limits and possibility is questioned by the DYNAMICS

The second significant aspect to the dynamics is the experimentation with action and identity and may be founded in concepts. Included are the author’s experiments outlined above, and traditional and other approaches to transformation. Such approaches include Yoga, psychoanalysis and the use of dreams – to know the self, the shamanic way, the physical journey, the various extreme experiences of the ‘athlete,’ the contemplation – of the mystic and the scientist, the power of taking a risk. In the tradition, Yoga includes meditation. ‘Yoga’ means yoke and the significance is that of the yoke, union or identity of the individual with the ultimate i.e. of ATMAN with BRAHMAN. Here, the self apprehends the ultimate because, through dissolution of the boundaries that define the object, the self is or becomes identical to the ultimate. Therefore, there is no contradiction of the earlier distinction between APPREHENSION AND COMPREHENSION. Thus, the experiments include realization through ‘awareness;’ however, in Yoga, the transforming effect of physical and moral action is also emphasized. The principles of such systems include integration of systems – physiological and mental, release and engagement of capabilities by quieting, stress, isolation, appropriate discipline, disruption of routine. Further approaches include certain ‘methods’ of healing and health such as awareness and self-regulation – the DYNAMICS applied to healing, the coherence method for heart health, the EMDR –eye movement desensitization and reprocessing– approach to post traumatic stress, recent discoveries c. 2007 concerning ‘savant’ states, and other ‘alternative’ medicine, psychology and psychiatry. It is understood that a number of the approaches are regarded as controversial and non-rigorous. However, the approach from the DYNAMICS is to use and integrate what may be useful in the various systems, to regard them without dogma. What may be useful about the approaches considered here includes [1] engagement of the entire person or being, [2] activity rather than passivity, [3] a pro-active positive attitude toward life and health rather than mere reaction to episodes of ill-being. Any approach, modern or traditional, established or experimental, that has these characteristics has elements that may be integrated into a DYNAMICS rather than merely employed. While the metaphysics is relatively mature, the dynamics remains underway. Some details and results are described in JOURNEY IN BEING where a minimal set of experiments sufficient to the objective of a Journey in all being is described

In parallel with active transformation, it is essential to examine the true nature of the individual. This has been considered in the theory of BEING e.g. the conceptual demonstration that any being is identical to every being… and is also the discipline of aspects of yoga where meditation may lead to perception of the identity of self with ALL BEING

The aim of transformation

Factual truth has been considered earlier in a formal sense as a faithful relation between symbol and object. More generally, truth was seen to be a system of affinities. Here, in a similar meaning, consider the truth of the being of an individual

This TRUTH is realized in the IDEAL use of ALL BEING in transformation, which includes understanding and value. This conception of truth is not one of a state or relation. It is that of process whose aim is open ended

SYMBOLIC representation and machine realization of being… and of LIFE and MIND

For details, see the SOURCES. The two main topics are the variety of being which includes consideration of the principle of plenitude – its meaning and justification; and symbolic and machine realization of life and mind

ACTION, ideals and society

For details, see the SOURCES. There is consideration of THE THEORY OF GROUP ACTION AND VALUE. It includes aesthetics, ethics and political philosophy and has been labeled ETHICS. Directions for action include general political action and establishment of a foundation for direct and concept based action. Two objectives are implementing the ideas of Journey in Being and working out –in concept and action– the possibilities and ideals for political transformation

The Journey Continues…

§         I return to reflection, to the physical journey, and to transformation

§         I invite fellow travelers

§         I take up the remaining developments for the four phases for the Journey as planned and described in DESIGN, FOUNDATION, NARRATIVE, and WEBSITE for Journey in Being

I cannot predict my future. Will there be an ‘After’ the Journey? I might become feeble or just die… I may feel unrest, as did Tennyson’s aging Ulysses, I cannot rest from travel; I will drink Life to the lees … I may feel called as did Ulysses, There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail; There gloom the dark broad seas

Becoming, the Journey in Being, have no beginning or end. However, there may come a time when I am relatively satisfied –at least briefly– with the result of my travels…

After the Journey

I seek being over becoming, perception over thought…

Anil Mitra

Arcata, California

July 2, 2007

Bibliographic Information

There is a discussion of my sources in the Introduction under SOURCES AND INFLUENCES

For bibliographic details, visit the Journey in Being website, and follow the link to the BIBLIOGRAPHIES