Text    |    Journey: Nature and Purpose    |    Foundation    |    Concepts and Design    |    Sources

This foundation for the Website for Journey in Being is also temporary foundation for the New Site; all previous developments are superseded

Main propositions are a, b, c … and, if stated before reasons, circular argument is avoided. Tentative or repeated propositions are (hyp) or (rep)


Journey in Being, Nature and Purpose – Ultimate and Present

The Form of ‘Journey in Being’    |    Purpose    |    Transformation and the Ultimate    |    Living in the Present

Foundation for Journey in Being

The Void    |    LOGIC    |    The Elements of Being    |    Two Divides    |    Mind    |    Completeness of the Metaphysics

Journey in Being: Outline of Concepts and Design

Introduction: Journey in Being    |    Document plans    |    Nature of the Journey in Being    |    Reason, Heart and Action    |    Design

Metaphysics: The Logic of Being    |    Preliminary discussion of being    |    Design

DYNAMICS: Transformations of Being    |    The Experiments    |    Design

Variety of Being: Ideas, Artifacts and Experiments    |    Design

Action, Charisma and History    |    Design

After the Journey    |    Design


Main Documents    |    Design    |    Website

1           Journey in Being, Nature and Purpose – Ultimate and Present

a.         JOURNEY IN BEING is the becoming, being and dissolution of BEING within ALL BEING and of ALL BEING i.e. within and of the entire one UNI-VERSE. The essence of BEING is that of the journey…

In the previous paragraph, ‘being’ is used primarily to refer to a thing but also to a process as in ‘the becoming, being and…’ it is only in a concrete cosmology that these distinctions are ultimate

Dissolution or un-becoming is also becoming. Becoming, being and dissolution are similar to creation, preservation and destruction. A distinction is that while the latter terms are suggestive of the power of an external agent the former terms are used here to emphasize that that the becoming, the being and the dissolution are intrinsic to BEING. Since there is nothing ‘outside’ ALL BEING, the intrinsic character of ‘creation’ and so on is essential

Journey in Being or, simply, BEING can be named… but, ‘Can BEING be known?’ The question precipitates extreme responses. Grandeur ‘I can know all things.’ And, delusions of nihiliscience, ‘BEING can be named but not known,’ ‘We are a wretched species who can know truly nothing’

An approach that avoids the extremes, though not a middle path is, instead, to think of answering rather than of fixed answers… of coming to know as a process rather than knowledge as a result. Clearly, there are results –we have some knowledge– if we think we do not it must be the concept of knowledge that is deficient. We may think of ourselves as within a process of coming to know. Where may that process lead? Is it without end? There are tendencies to think –encouraged, for example, by the idea of endless progress– that there is no end but thinking ‘there is no end to this process’ is itself a final point in one line of thought. To conclude from the observation that something has not ended that there is no end is an extrapolation but not a necessary conclusion. It is a conclusion that has meaning only on a certain view of BEING – the view that our being, that of a self-described finite being in an infinite universe, is the way of ALL BEING. At the outset of a Journey, at least, and until we have come to Journey’s end we prefer to remain uncommitted on the existence of Journey’s ends and the nature of the ends

Any actual journey is a mixture of opposites. On the Journey, one is moved by vision and the vision of one’s capabilities may approach omniscience in moments of optimism and nihiliscience when pessimistic. What are my actual beliefs or positions? What I actually believe in the depth of my being, in the organic matter, is not identical to what I think I believe in my conscious thought. In some endeavors – art, religion, literature, poetry, morals, what is held in the depth of being is important. In the domain of knowledge of the world, in science, even though motivated from the deep the formal process does not recognize it: both concepts and experiments are laid bare for view and criticism. But true science will question its own method even in the height of its success. Which is to say that at the outset of a Journey, at least, and until we have come to Journey’s end we prefer to remain uncommitted on the nature of the path

The following is shown and elaborated below and continued in ‘being and knowing’ ff.

In all becoming there is relation –interaction or potential interaction– i.e. knowledge or knowing… and, therefore:

b.         JOURNEY IN BEING, is the UNI-VERSE in its journeys of being and becoming, its knowing and coming to know. These, together, are the Journey in Being which 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 or, MIND IS BEING

This response to the question ‘What is the Journey in Being?’ is not conceived as a fact but as a way of seeing the world…

What is being… and what is knowledge? The meaning of being as used here unfolds in this narrative… but also see the discussion of being. Similarly, the meaning of knowledge or knowing also unfolds but see LOGIC, KNOWLEDGE, MODALITIES, SYMBOL, and VALUE for discussion where what is commonly understood as knowledge is shown to be built up of primitive elements that are here included under the label of ‘knowledge.’ Specifically, mutually adapted elements [e.g. two elementary particles in interaction or that may interact] of being know one another in this primitive sense. It is shown that, although the primitive concept may not be validly conflated with knowledge-as-commonly-understood it is, at root, of the same character and the latter is ‘built up’ from the former. Thus, although, knowing has been explicitly specified as part of the Journey –because it is a part that I emphasize– it is implicitly and fundamentally present i.e. being and knowing are bound together in primitive becoming [these considerations on the continuities of levels of knowledge and identities of being and knowing are continued, also, in being and knowing et. seq.]

c.          JOURNEY IN BEING is, also, the confluence of individual journeys –especially the author’s and those surrounding and interacting with the author’s; and the author’s efforts to engage with others, with this world, with ALL BEING, with the ONE UNI-VERSE– in the universal journey that is the being of the entire uni-verse. ‘Journey in Being’ is this journey but refers, also, to this Website which includes the narratives for the journey, especially in the essay Journey in Being

The Form of ‘Journey in Being’

The form of ‘Journey in Being’ is a binding –interaction– between understanding and becoming. Becoming includes action and essential transformation of being. That understanding has degrees of separation from becoming as in a traditional concept of knowledge is given; however, at root, there is no final separation and the assumption that there is leads to error –including delusions of unbounded rationality– and incomplete fulfillment. The ultimate commitment of this Journey is realization and essential transformation and, except for the dictates of LOGIC, employs but does not wait for the progress of knowledge in any limited concept

d.         The FORM of the JOURNEY is a binding among knowing, acting and being… including the unbound or symbolic forms; JOURNEY IN BEING refers also to my journey, its NARRATIVE, and WEBSITE (partial rep)

JOURNEY IN BEING is not a new form –of becoming and knowing– but a reversion to an original form that includes and employs but is not restricted to newer forms made possible by the symbolic capabilities and their various enhancements as in e.g. poetry, art, philosophy, analysis and science

It has been said of knowledge –especially of science– that it is ideas that die instead of the individual. I.e. before the advent of criticism, knowledge progressed only by risking actual ‘mistakes’ and not by making, testing and correcting hypotheses or tentative ideas. However, crises force us into situations where action is necessary without the ‘luxury’ of reason – even when reason is ideally possible. But the ideal –it is at most a partial ideal– of reason should not lull us into incompletely premeditated action only in crises. As part of realizing the highest potential, we must still be prepared to DIE


e.         The broad purposes of JOURNEY IN BEING are two: realization of ultimates in being –of ultimates– and being fully in the present; which include relations –interaction, distinctions, identities– among the ultimate and the immediate

These purposes are consistent with the nature of the Journey

‘Being fully in the present’ includes enjoyment which includes commitment and is –regarded as– an ultimate value. They may entail labor and goals but these have no value without discernment i.e. their values are not intrinsic. Being fully in the present approaches a form of timelessness; were it possible to merely ‘be here now,’ no judgment would be implied regarding a choice to do so

These purposes are, of course, personal but not only personal. It is taken as given that all persons have, at least, an interest in being fully in the present and that there is interest, to humankind in general and some persons in particular, in the concern with and realization of the ultimate

My motivation in undertaking the journey and its narrative include, of course, expression, realization and enjoyment. Contribution and sharing are also motives. There is also a mixture of confidence and doubt, of intuition and reason. Many of the central propositions of the present essay have origin in intuition and hope – suggested by my own reflections and the thoughts of others. Without confidence in the intuition, I would not sustain the propositions as beliefs. Without doubt, the beliefs would not have made the transition to the status of propositional thought. Without some confidence in the originality of the ideas, I would not write; without doubt, I could not create

1.1         Transformation and the Ultimate

One purpose is transformation: to discover –as far as possible– all possible transformations of being; and to realize, through right means, the feasible and the good

It is seen below, that when there is no restriction to the present cosmological system i.e. our coherent phase-epoch of the entire one uni-verse, then it is possible to transform to any kind of being. It is in restricting transformations to the present cosmological system that the question of feasibility arises. In classical understanding i.e. determinism, not all transformations are possible. However, since the boundary between the present phase-epoch and its laws and the entire one uni-verse is not a definite boundary impossibility yields to infeasibility even while ‘remaining in’ the present phase-epoch. Additionally, the same boundary indefiniteness always calls into question any understanding of infeasibility

[As noted below, there is but one uni-verse and as a reminder I use the form ‘uni-verse’. Occasionally, for emphasis, I will use longer forms such as ‘the entire one uni-verse’]

The Journey in Being is an experiment, a ‘Journey’ in possibility, discovery, transformations, right means and desirable –or good– ends

In making transition from ‘this world’ to the uni-verse, the local feeling-understanding of the right and the good cannot be taken, a priori to reflection and action, as guides to the universal

In the local sphere, requirements of action, rule out rigid adherence to either the right or the good. A philosopher has the luxury of purism, practical ethics requires a weave of the right and the good. In the ultimate, the distinction between right and good breaks down

The first division of Journey in Being, Metaphysics, is a ‘Journey in Knowledge and Understanding,’ provides some foundation for the Journey. The remaining divisions are experiments in being, becoming, possibility and feasibility

Knowledge and knowing are essential in that change without awareness does not count as meaningful transformation; additionally knowledge and knowing are important in recognizing and effecting possible transformations

However, knowing –in so far as it is distinct from full being– is at most a component of transformation and the way of knowledge is but one way that is always complemented and sometimes necessarily dominated by experiment or risk in the full transformation of being. Yet, as suggested above:

f.           There is no original distinction between being and knowing, between becoming and coming to know

In the original becoming of stable forms, the elements are mutually adapted in symmetry that constitutes the stability of being i.e. existence that is more than ephemeral or transient or lacking in form-al coherence. In this adaptation, each element bears a mark of the others. This may be labeled ‘original knowledge.’ The hesitations in applying this label include that it appears to be only an adaptation to but not knowledge of the other and that it appears to be remote in kind from the symbolic forms that we commonly call knowledge as in the phrase ‘knowledge of.’ The response to the hesitations is as follows. Even the symbolic form is knowledge only knowledge in virtue of its adaptation: hypothesis and criticism are the mode of becoming of symbolic knowledge as variation and selection is the mode of becoming of original being. That the knowledge feels as though it is ‘knowledge of’ is due to the forms of intuition being adapted to aspects of the forms of being. This addresses the issue remoteness in kind. That original adaptation appears to be merely adaptation –but not knowledge–  is a remoteness in being. The symbolic forms are relations between a ‘subject’ and an ‘object’ that are constituted of material relations – the original relations of adaptation… and the further structuring and layering of those relations. Thus, the application of the label ‘knowledge’ to both symbolic and original forms – and intermediate forms – is consistent, leads to simplicity in the variety of kinds and in understanding and, provided, the original and the symbolic are not conflated does not lead to error. I.e. the concept of knowledge has been consistently extended – to the root; it has not been conflated with a distinct concept. [The process of extension, repeated over and over in the histories of philosophy and science is: form of intuition -> specialized symbolic form -> consistent symbolic extension beyond the original symbolic form based in part in symmetries -> occasional extension to the root and identification but not conflation with ALL BEING or an aspect of ALL BEING.] To use knowledge and other mental terms in talking of all being is to look at the relational aspects of being. To use a material description of original being and functional physiology in talking of the body [brain] is to look at being as object. However, object as object and relation as relation are truncated modes of description made possible by the forms of intuition; these forms are not only useful but give individuals the sense of individuation. However, the forms of intuition are not ultimate. ‘Object’ and ‘relation’ are –among the elements of– the constitution of being; they cohere in the constitution of being

The apparent distinction is based on a common ‘paper thin’ or flat concept of knowledge that lacks ‘body.’ This distinction foreshadows and mirrors the in-distinction of mind and matter discussed subsequently

g.         A flat form of a concept is one that has had so much of its body removed that the objects to which the concept refers seem unreal, lose all power, appear to be ‘epiphenomenal,’ or are even denied existence

‘Denied existence’ – this may be an apparently contradictory term for if something does not exist, what is it that does not exist? The paradox is resolved by distinguishing concept and object. A mental picture –description– is the concept; then if there is no object or actuality that corresponds to the concept we say that ‘it does not exist’ which is a figurative shorthand for ‘there is no object that corresponds to the concept.’ Actual existence claims are often problematic despite this clarification; and the problematic nature may arise from variation and novelty in the mental picture or description and the latest data e.g. scientific theories: thus, for example, the question of the existence of ‘ether’ depends on what is meant by the term and current theoretical physics. Suppose, we think of the ether as a pervasive element whose inertia or drag gives mass to matter then the –hypothetical c. 2004– Higgs boson is a candidate for the ether

Sources of flatness: intellectual impatience, an explicit or suppressed urge to positivism, assumption of a role of cultural watch-dog or police, academic specialization, secularization, will to power of those who have no power other than force, loss of will of the subject, patriarchal systems and thought. A remedy is not in religion, spirituality or metaphysics per se but in understanding the concepts as they are. Due to the forces that result in flatness of thought, this is difficult – but, once the process is begun, not as difficult as it might otherwise seem to be. Patience is required; concepts form a mutually dependent system –a field of concepts– and it is the system and the individual concepts require simultaneous analysis; the process may be iterative and each concept may require adjustment. See, also, a brief discussion of slack concepts in the restoration of ‘body’ to a concept

Other connotations of ‘flat’ may include: shrunken, emaciated, thin, paper-thin, one-dimensional, empty, barren, disembodied

Once concepts have been rendered flat, the original concept may be labeled ‘metaphysical’ and thereby appear to be in the realm of the absolute inaccessible

The nature of concepts has been treated in the sources. It is not important to elaborate the concept of the ‘concept’ here; however, in this essay, there are some important aspects of ‘concept’ that are repeatedly drawn upon

h.         The simplest notion of ‘concept’ is that of ‘referential mental content.’ It should be remembered that ‘reference’ is metaphorical; and that even within the metaphor, not all reference is actual and, therefore, ‘referential’ may be replaced by ‘referential or potentially referential’

There is at once a problem about the reference of a concept which has to do with the ‘picture’ of a concept as a picture; so, it is important to remember that, at root, reference is interaction and not re-presentation or de-piction of the object in the ‘subject.’ ‘Concept’ is itself a concept. The forms of intuition are concepts; in holding an intuitive form, the subject functions as though the forms are real and this may be thought of by thinking of the subject as living in an ideal world has more or less correspondence with the world. Most of the varied meanings of ‘concept’ are built upon the basic notion: i.e. they are potentially referential mental contents that are efficacious in understanding. The source of ‘efficiency’ is purposely not specified: it may be a grouping or it may be a form of intuition and so on. Concepts are, typically, useful in understanding the world but not every putative concept has adequate reference; this is one sense of the use of ‘potentially’ and the other is that while a concept may be regarded in abstract it may also be held as a mental content. The ideal world picture also applies to the conceptual construct; although the referent may be thought of as existing in an ideal world even this is a metaphor. Therefore, to ask whether the world exists or whether space-time exists is not to ask whether our concepts are accurate; we may assert that the world exists and has extension-duration even while our concepts may be like shadows. A concept may have a number of meanings –and shades of meaning or use– and, to avoid confusion, these can be regarded as distinct symbols; it is therefore, not at all necessary to be obsessive about having ‘gotten it right’ about the variety of meanings to the point that thought is blocked. As far as shades of meaning for the same symbol are concerned, this may regarded as subject or sense side slack. The following factors are important in the analysis and development of a concept: to have sufficient understanding of the history of the concept so that the trivial errors of history are not repeated, and to be clear about one’s sense of the concept. It should be remembered that the most current sense of a concept is not necessarily the deepest or the most useful i.e. the senses of concepts may become flat; and, in regaining body it may be useful to allow temporary slack [e.g. incomplete definiteness of reference; see the sources for further discussion] in the concept which may be tightened later. It is a sign of a mature system of understanding –a metaphysics– that concepts are tight (hyp) and in tight relation with one another in a field of concepts

However, it is not a requirement that all concepts be ‘tight’ i.e. have no slack for that requirement would be a statement about the world. We are used, in our mature theories, to working with concepts that appear to have precise reference but that is because the theories refer to a part or a phase of the world that is capable of being described with precision. It is not impermissible to regard all concepts as transitional

1.1.1        Individual Choice

Even remaining within the realm of transformation that is possible –or thinkable– and feasible and desirable there is an immense range of possibility for the individual, society or civilization; and the choices –considered and contingent– define and are defined by the character of the individual, society or civilization

The following discussion further illuminates the range of choice available: the immediate, a phase-epoch of the one uni-verse, the ultimate and the evaluation of possibility, feasibility and necessity

1.1.2        What Transformations are Possible?

i.           All states of being are possible that are actual… or imaginable, thinkable, describable, conceivable i.e. not containing or implying contradiction

[Demonstration and conditions of validity and feasibility are given in foundation]

‘Contradiction’ requires elaboration. It is sometimes said that what is not self-contradictory is possible. However, there are non-self-contradictory ideas that may contradict actuality i.e. imply that what is actual is impossible and or may contradict the various equivalents of principle of the void. All actuality is ‘contained’ in the principle of the void which requires no assumption. Therefore, in fact, it is sufficient to equate ‘contradiction’ with ‘self-contradiction;’ however, without specification the various forms of contradiction are not at all manifest in self-contradiction and therefore it is practically necessary to refer to contradiction rather than just self-contradiction

That only the contradictory idea is impossible is The Law of Contradiction. It is seen in the sources that even the law of contradiction is not as limiting as it may seem. This is because, given two apparently distinct objects, there is third object that is an integration of their identities; and that due to the Principle of Being, all objects are of the integrated form even while there may be a ‘simple classical’ object that is the primary manifestation

Need for care and some aspects of care needed in using this concept of the possible are described in What Things are Possible?

There is no contradiction contained in or implied in ‘Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.’ There is no contradiction in continuity of identity after death. ‘Death’ is a concept. It appears to be extremely unlikely in this phase-epoch of the uni-verse that Christ did indeed arise from the dead – in any material and literal sense. Perhaps Christ was a magician or perhaps charismatic enough to inspire legend; and perhaps men want to believe. However, in consideration of subsequent reasons, ‘Jesus is raised from the dead’ obtains in countless actual cosmological systems i.e. coherent phase-epochs of the entire one uni-verse

[I use this example precisely because it is shocking to the empirical sense and therefore it makes its point most forcefully. The choice of example is not a statement of personal belief, inclination or commitment and is not intended to be a statement about religion. Were a statement about religion intended, I would not make it in the form of a judgment but, rather, as a statement about the bounded nature of rationality and, in action, the power of belief [faith] – and therefore of the comparative selective force of belief in relation to reason. Additionally, while common knowledge including science serve a valid and useful function in understanding and survival –selection– they are not absolute. The shocking assertions of religion –e.g. ‘shock therapy’ in Zen Buddhism– may serve to dislodge the hold of common knowledge on the individual and point the awareness to a more inclusive truth

… but faith may also result in subservience –relinquishing personal power, in corruption– the abuse of power, and in displacing even valid reason. Thus, selection of a group is not justification of its beliefs

The example is also of a kind that may later be used in discussing knowledge, belief and faith]

j.           All transformations are possible that begin and end in possible states

k.          Thus, in this way, becoming is indeterministic but results, occasionally, in stable states where determinism and causality or quasi-determinism and quasi-causality

The origin of determinism i.e. of quasi-deterministic phases of being is considered below and discussed in some detail in the sources

1.1.3        What Transformations are Desirable?

This is the subject of value [axiology] which includes ethics [aesthetics]

l.           An impossible transformation or state cannot be desirable; and one that contains an internal contradiction cannot be described, imagined or thought

1.1.4        How are the Possible Transformations Effected?

This is part of the project of ‘Journey in Being,’ especially Experiments in Transformation of Being; the key is ‘DYNAMICS of Being’ also see Logic and Dynamics

1.2         Living in the Present

m.       The ultimate and the present require one another

Living in both enhances the quality of all experience

Once the ultimate is realized the purposes remaining are quiet and seeing; and ‘then’ dissolution, fragmentation and forgetting; this is good

n.         In the realization of the ultimate, integration and dissolution of vision and being co-exist

2           Foundation for Journey in Being

‘Doubt’ as the absence of any positive thought has been taken to be a foundation for positive thought.  As philosophy, radical doubt is self-negating, therefore empty. As method or attitude, doubt is valuable in encouraging criticism-examination of foundations, but incomplete: doubt alone is not generative of foundation. An alternative foundation is suggested by analogy: replace doubt by emptiness, thought by being the void which is absence of actuality, of be-ing, may be taken as a foundation for actuality… for being, for the world. This pretty analogy is not intended to be foundational…

… Logic itself will, below, find the nature and the foundational nature of the void and in that, in turn, a foundation without dualism or essential monism, without substance and without infinite regress

Allowing word play, the foundation in the void is foundation without foundation. Allowing analogy, security requires letting go. Or, it is not required to find a foundation but simply to know that the foundation is at the ground

2.1         The Void

2.1.1        What is The Void?

o.         The concept of the void is that of what remains of the world when ‘everything’ is absent

The first meaning of the void is a literal meaning – that of nothingness, of absence

The so-called existential meanings e.g. of existential angst have no literal connection to the meaning used here; the void is not and has no direct connection to ‘existential’ nothingness

There are various difficulties –logical and metaphysical– that may be associated with the concept of the void or nothingness. It has been denied that ‘void’ refers to anything; logical contradictions have been associated with the concept, its formulations and elaboration; and there is a vagueness associated with what has been written of it. I have identified and addressed the main issues in the present essay and the sources

It is natural and necessary that there will be affinities among different developments of the concept

It is fundamental, here, that all concepts are regarded as open and in a process of elucidation and that no initial assumption is made regarding the existence of a termination point to the process. I have attempted to use this approach consistently… in the evolution of ‘Journey in Being,’ in asking ‘What is mind?’ ‘What is matter? and so on and also in asking ‘What is philosophy?’ ‘What is metaphysics?’… This is particularly true of the void regarding which I am able to look back at the history of my development of the concept and see a progression from an initial point of intuitive use to establishment of the concept to increasing depth and clarity. The void may be better thought of as something to be discovered than given; especially in regard to what counts as ‘thing’ in everything. The consequences of this approach include:

The development and elaboration of the concept and its understanding including an understanding that nothingness is continuous with being rather than an ‘antithesis’ of being. The elaboration of the concept includes, in parallel, a treatment of potential paradoxes and contradictions and simultaneous understanding of the depth within the ‘womb of nothingness’

The initial point of understanding of the depth is that nothingness cannot be, simply, a mere absence of things in the simple sense of ‘thing.’ For, absence of things in permanence entails an implicit law: a law of absence. Therefore, in the void, there may be no permanent absence. As an actual entity, the void is occasional. As a concept the absence is not essential but contingent

An elaboration of consequences stemming from the foregoing concept and logic as developed below on the nature of possibility, necessity, annihilation, recurrence, identities among being… and the nature of logic itself

An understanding of the ‘original’ nature of becoming. It is seen, as above, that becoming is necessary – elimination of becoming is not minimal – but what is its nature. If in the void there is not even pattern or law what is the original nature of becoming? It cannot be law-like. It must, therefore, be non-given: non-deterministic. How then is structure possible? It can only be that when among the ‘random’ becomings, some are [relatively] stable in virtue of [relative] symmetry that there is [relative or semi-] permanence of form which amounts to the becoming of structure. The description of this process and consequences from the underlying logic are detailed in this essay and in the sources. However, the following –in which the word ‘relatively’ omitted for convenience and because it is relative stability that is experienced as stability– is fundamental

Becoming and symmetry is a fundamental mode of becoming that results in stable form. The further development and elaboration of stable form rests on the same mode. If there are other modes that are yet unimagined, determinism is not one of them; however, the logical nature of the discussion of becoming suggests that there are not other modes of becoming. Stable forms are populated also by transients that, in the nature of stability, have little effect or interaction with the stable; except occasional annihilation which may be viewed also as and is similar to annihilation by the void or self-annihilation. Within the stable forms there may be effective or partial determinism and causation but determinism and full causation, in the nature of the logic of the void, can have no universal application except perhaps by occasional, contingent and improbable accident. It is in being within stability i.e. within a stable, coherent phase-epoch of the entire uni-verse of being that entities can have stable knowledge without foundation from without; can perceive patterns not only because of the forms of intuition but also because they exist i.e. the forms correspond to ‘objects.’ Stable form through becoming and symmetry is, therefore the mode of becoming of physical, living, sentient and knowing –cognitive– being that may be otherwise referred to as evolution by variation and selection

The dialectical concept history clearly finds placement but not absolute immanence in this framework. The concept of the absolute idea finds interpretation

[The interpretation is worked out in this essay and has some early elaboration in the sources]

p.         All categories, laws, patterns, things, relations are included in ‘everything.’ Laws are things. Laws are not distinct from things. Laws and things have equal immanence in a coherent phase-epoch of the uni-verse

Therefore the void is not at all the quantum vacuum which contains, at least, positive seeds of law

The intuitive idea of a ‘thing’ or an object is the objectification of the intuition. But a ‘thing,’ too is a pattern of being a law –or expression of  a law– that is the pattern of its being, the law that permits or conditions and ‘makes possible’ its being

Necessary absence would require actual –not merely conceptual– necessity; therefore contingent absence is closer to the ‘true’ concept of void than is necessary absence

2.1.2        To What is the Void Equivalent?

q.         It follows once, since void = nothing and void not = any given thing would be laws, that the void is equivalent to any given thing and to all things

This may be called the Principle of the Void

r.          Thus the void includes –the potential of– all things and in this extra-temporal way being is determinate and deterministic

… or, more precisely, being has phases of determinateness and determinism

s.          Similarly, anything may transform into any other thing, into ‘nothing’ or into all being. Individual being is equivalent to any and all being

[This may be called the Principle of Being or the Principle of Becoming from the Void or the Principle of Identity. This principle is equivalent to the Law of Contradiction… and to the Vedantic principle that ‘I am All Being,’ the identity of the self and all being i.e. that Atman is Brahman. I often refer to the Principle of Being where I could refer to the Law of Contradiction because I arrived, first, at the principle of being and because the Principle makes manifest certain consequences that are implicit in the Law]

In other words identity is not at all as constant as it may seem. Accepting the conditions of being in the present coherent phase-epoch of the uni-verse and over human time scales identity is normally relatively constant for many practical purposes

I use ‘I,’ ‘we,’ ‘me,’ ‘our,’ and so on in reference to the present identity. This use appears to imply a constant identity as is commonly and conveniently taken to be the case but which, due to the above principle the identity, is not fixed. For many practical purposes, the feeling of having a constant identity is natural and valid because while we may have an identity –and a nature– relative to the present phase-epoch of the one uni-verse that identity is not ‘universal identity,’ that nature is not the ‘universal nature’

Occasionally, I may omit specification of the meaning of ‘I,’ ‘we’ and so on but it should be clear that if I am referring to a contingent i.e. not a logical restriction then I am referring to the limited form. It should be remembered that even for the limited form e.g. ‘me the me of this life in this phase-epoch of the uni-verse’ limitation is not absolute but one of likelihood, of probability, of feasibility and perhaps of imagination, perhaps of shared delusion of finitude or of insignificance – the contrary of a delusion of grandeur

t.           Or, there is a void attached to every-thing –and to all being– that is ‘waiting’ to transform it into any other thing including the void which is ‘annihilation’ of the thing or of all being

2.1.3        Some consequences

u.         All things may interact

v.          There are no universal laws except ‘logic’ according to which only the ‘impossible’ will not obtain

The laws of ‘physics’ are the laws or our expressions of law or patterning of this coherent phase-epoch of the uni-verse. Those laws are not at all absolute laws. The only absolute law is the law of contradiction. The laws of the present phase-epoch are sometimes treated as though they necessarily apply to all physical objects but this is clearly not the case. The applicability of the laws contingent to the present phase-epoch and apply only while remaining there. Even that limitation is only likely due to the foundation in the void. For many purposes, while remaining within a coherent cosmological system or coherent phase-epoch of the uni-verse the exceptions are colossally unlikely. ‘Remaining within’ includes following the ‘laws’ of the system. However but for all i.e. absolute purposes it is adherence to the laws of this phase-epoch that are colossally unlikely. Thus the identity of objects in the present phase epoch –any coherent phase-epoch– is relative in two ways: due to the relative nature of the being –laws– of the phase-epoch, see e.g. recurrence, below; and due to the quantum –indeterministic– character of objects as described by the laws of the phase-epoch

w.        There is [but] one uni-verse

I would refer only to ‘the universe’ but the near universal use of ‘universe’  in reference to what might be termed ‘local universe,’ ‘known universe,’ ‘coherent phase of the cosmos,’ or ‘bubble universe’ has required that I continue to use the redundant terms ‘the entire universe’ ‘the one universe,’ ‘one universe,’ or ‘one universe.’ I will now use the form uni-verse to emphasize that I mean ‘the entire one universe’ but will occasionally use the longer forms for emphasis

2.1.4        Names for the Void

x.          In view of the foregoing, ‘grey’ may be an excellent word for the void

Other possibilities: nothing, no-thing, nothingness, non-being, emptiness... consider Sanskrit, Latin or Greek equivalents

y.          There is a valid preliminary distinction between no-thing i.e. no thing versus nothing versus nothingness but it is based on a misconception of ‘thing’ (hyp)

The misconception is that ‘thing’ is limited e.g. to hard, material, local, connected object; but as we have seen, laws, patterns… are things

2.1.5        What is the Concept of Possibility?

z.          Since there is one uni-verse, what is or what may be actual is the possible

2.1.6        What Things are Possible?

aa.      All states of being are possible that are actual… or imaginable, thinkable, describable, conceivable i.e. not containing or implying contradiction (rep)

‘I imagine a contradictory state’ is not to imagine a contradictory state. Care is necessary to avoid ‘imagining that a contradictory state has been imagined’

To name or designate an hypothetical state is not to imagine a state. Examples: ‘I imagine an unimaginable state,’ ‘I imagine that three equals four’

The following is a contradiction: the imaginable, thinkable etc. that says or implies that anything that is actual is impossible. As an example consider thinking of ‘A state in which there is never any change in the uni-verse.’ For such a ‘state’ to obtain would make change impossible

bb.      All transformations are possible that begin and end in possible states (rep)

2.1.7        What is the Concept of Necessity?

Logical necessity obtains of a proposition that is true in all contexts

cc.       Material –or actual– necessity obtains of that which must occur i.e. of that which is possible

[Here, material is not used in the sense of matter]

2.1.8        What Things are Necessary?

dd.      What is possible is materially necessary

The reasoning similar to earlier reason; a requirement for the possible to not manifest from the void would be a law. Similarly, since any possibility and any given state are both equivalent to the void a requirement for the possible to not manifest from any given state would also be a law

ee.      What is materially necessary is not thereby likely

ff.         In this coherent phase-epoch of the one uni-verse common knowledge and science are an approach to estimation of likelihood and the realization of the possible

But despite experiencing grandness of vision, in the context of ‘infinity of infinities,’ of ‘eternity of eternities,’ see that precious little is known –by humankind– little experience had of what is beautiful, little feeling had for the ‘desirable’ or the good

gg.      Some states that are ‘difficult’ i.e. of limited likelihood may be desirable goals, values or objects of contemplation

hh.      Since ‘something’ is possible –it is not a contradiction– something must occasionally exist. ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ has been called the Fundamental Problem of Metaphysics which is thus trivially resolved and trivialized. The problems, ‘Why is there presence in the sense of presence of being to the world [awareness, consciousness,]’ ‘Why am I alive?’ are, though apparently more interesting, similarly trivial

2.1.9        Recurrence

ii.          What is possible –thinkable, non-contradictory etc– obtains over and over without limit –beginning or end or boundary– in space-time

As described here, recurrence is a generalization of the idea of recurrence in time and of repetition in space

I could have used ‘is’ or ‘exists’ but have used ‘obtains’ as being neutral with regard to tense. Similarly, I prefer ‘obtain’ to ‘has occurred,’ ‘is occurring,’ ‘occurs,’ or ‘will occur’ as being more accurate when describing the extension-duration or being-duration manifold as a whole

Recurrence follows from foregoing considerations since repetition of what is possible is possible. But, perhaps that is not the case e.g. since some instances of what is actual may require the co-existence of the entire uni-verse i.e. those instances may be possible only in the context of the entire uni-verse in which they occur. However, this requirement may obtain only in a ‘universe’ that is actually a law-like or coherent phase-epoch of the entire one uni-verse

jj.         Pain and dissolution, beauty and joy obtain. Pain and pleasure have significance in an actual phase-epoch of the uni-verse. In any self-adapted or relatively stable phase-epoch, capacity for pain and pleasure and capacity for endurance are in balance and organisms that are capable of choice experience occasions in which they endure their nature

kk.       As a consequence of the development of the nature and fact of recurrence, there is no –ultimate– distinction between the possible and the actual

There is pragmatic distinction between ‘actual’ and ‘possible’ when restriction is made to our local universe or coherent phase-epoch in its classic conception

2.1.10    The Ultimate

ll.          The following states are thinkable and therefore possible, necessary and –from the equivalence of individual and all being­– realizable: a being that ‘transcends’ the gap of emptiness between and so gives meaning to the recurrences; all being complete in itself and self-knowledge

mm.  The transcending of the gap of emptiness between recurrences means: the instances of recurrence are contained in being or knowing

From the considerations in these sections on the ultimate and on recurrence the fact of the immense vastness of the possible becomes clear. This clarity is enhanced when we consider that the vastness is conceived in thought –what is thinkable etc– but at the same time the vastness must contain thought that is vastly more powerful than ours since that too is thinkable. I can conceive without fully picturing it of an infinity of ever expanding pictures of being

I am a speck upon a speck-planet in a speck-universe… and at the same time as representative of being and in my continuity and final identity in all being I, and you, are immanent in the uni-verse. Our measure is not contained in quantity or magnitude

2.1.11    Genesis

The genesis of a coherent and relatively stable phase-epoch can be described as in the sources. Such a description is not at all necessary for the present metaphysics shows the necessity of the actual. However, the given description is an explanation –based in variation and selection against an indeterministic background– that shows the origin of a coherent, relatively stable phase-epoch of the uni-verse i.e. of a cosmological system such as the present one. Transition from ‘chaos’ to ‘order’ must involve process and thus variation is logically necessary; that variation should be a continuous transformation into a stable form or state is law-like i.e. a logical violation of the condition of the void and, therefore, it seems that logic also requires ‘selection.’ Perhaps there are other kinds of genesis of stable cosmological systems involving some ‘principle’ of continuity e.g. God but, at present, I see no escape from regress to an origin by variation and selection from the void. In a coherent and stable phase-epoch there may be robustness of object and or object perception and robustness and continuity of identity; without the origin of stability, instead of robustness and continuity there is transience and Ephemerality. Thus the description is an explanation or theory of genesis – but this is a topic in

2.1.12    Cosmology

Cosmology is taken up later… see the sources for details of development thus far; and see physical cosmology. A distinction is made among general, actual and physical cosmology. Physical cosmology is the cosmology of this phase-epoch of the one –and only– uni-verse; general cosmology is the study of all being – kinds, distribution and interaction of entity with regard to ways of being within and as containing extension-duration and without restriction to category e.g. mind and matter. An actual cosmology is a coherent instance, perhaps ‘local,’ of cosmology of which physical cosmology is an example. If there is a sufficiently general scheme of coherence e.g. foundation in the void then there is no ultimate distinction between general and actual cosmology

In considering the relation between an actual cosmological context e.g. a phase-epoch with the uni-verse a number of interesting considerations arises. For the entire uni-verse all properties are immanent. However for a restricted context properties may be either –or both– immanent and imposed depending on the degree of detachment of the context from the whole. As a result and in consideration of the fact that the only universal law is the law of logic i.e. that the only states that cannot obtain are the impossible or contradictory ones it follows that

nn.      There are concepts of God that are not contradictory and, will therefore, obtain in endless actual cosmological contexts. These will include both immanent and imposing Gods and singular and diffused Gods. It does not follow that there is any relevant actual God in the present phase-epoch of the uni-verse

As part of cosmology I also take up

2.1.13    Theory of Space-time

…as coordination of extension-duration. That there is becoming is the being of duration labeled ‘time’ and explains the apparently paradoxical ‘origin of time;’ that what has become is not unitary is the being of extension; intrinsic time is possible only with extension [structure] and it is in this that time and space are originally bound together

…there is no unique time; multiple times are possible with degrees of coherence i.e. weakly and strongly coherent ‘times’ [Multiplicity of time is not analogous to dimensionality of space but corresponds to independence of the elements. This independence, of necessity, can not be eliminated. The appearance of degrees ‘universal time’ is due to coherence among the elements in a coherent phase-epoch of the uni-verse]

…this explains the apparently paradoxical possibility of the ‘origin of universal time’

[…a tentative distinction may be made between a ‘black void,’ the absence of all things, and a ‘grey void,’ the absence of all difference. However, this distinction is not real for there is no actual being or presence or actual duration in the grey void. The utility of the thought of the ‘grey void’ is in the illumination of the imagination: we can think of the grey void as harboring extension and duration without actual extension duration and so imagining that actual duration and extension crystallize out of the grey] (hyp)

…the foregoing is not at all a theory of space-time but a picture-foundation for the beginning of one

The argument regarding ‘God’ of a previous section can be applied also to space-time which therefore can be immanent or imposed in any actual cosmological context

We know psychological states of being-in-the-present that are ‘beyond time,’ ‘eternal in the present’

…but see, above, there is actual being-beyond-time that may co-exist with being-in-time. The void may be described equally as being-beyond-time, being-in-time and containing time(s)

2.2         LOGIC

Traditionally, logic has thought of as ‘the principles of valid argument.’ An equivalent notion is that of deriving ‘new’ data or knowledge from given knowledge without further information

‘In the void’ there is neither thing nor law nor necessity except unconditional necessity i.e. the only impossibility relative to the void is what is absolutely impossible. Consequently, ‘logic’ may be absolutely generalized as follows

oo.      LOGIC is the art of estimating the possible

Below, the ‘possible’ is analyzed and shown to be identical with the actual provided that ‘actual’ is not restricted to any phase of the uni-verse and in this sense there is no distinction between possibility and necessity of being

pp.      Consequently, LOGIC includes the art of the necessary

This is concept of logic different from, but includes, the traditional notion of ‘logic.’ The traditional logic is logic as usually understood and associated with the names of Aristotle – Frege – Russell –  c. 2004

How is the traditional notion of logic located within this framework? The traditional notion is of the form: if  there is necessity –or possibility– in thought then it is of a certain form. E.g. if there are truth and implication then a logical calculus may be developed around these concepts i.e. a formal logical calculus may be developed around those terms. There are good reasons to trust the logical calculi from experience and, especially as in the case of the propositional calculus for which both consistency and completeness may be demonstrated. The origin of logic is in experience; and its application in the world of experience is always an evaluative and critical process

Traditional logics are applications of LOGIC in contexts of necessity in thought

It has been seen, in the law of contradiction, that the only impossibility is the contradictory i.e. the only impossible state is one whose concept involves contradiction. Therefore,

qq.      The one law of LOGIC is the law of contradiction; i.e. LOGIC is the one and only LAW that applies to the entire uni-verse

2.2.1        Is LOGIC Empirical?


The first requirement for a capability for LOGIC is that the concept be possible; and then LOGIC asserts only that the contradictory concept is impossible. However, concepts are actual and therefore possible; and therefore the existence of LOGIC requires no more pre-condition than that ‘there are concepts’

However, in asserting that the contradictory concept is impossible, it is not being said that there are contradictory concepts; and if there are no contradictory concepts then LOGIC would exist but be empty. However, the contradictory concept requires only discernment –of distinction– without which there can be no concept. Therefore, the existence of non-empty LOGIC requires no more pre-condition that that ‘there are concepts’

LOGIC is possible if contradiction is possible in principle i.e. if potential reference is possible [the concept]

Potential referential content is necessary and sufficient for ‘propositional attitudes’ and the essential precondition for abstract or abstracted symbols

From cosmology it is seen that all elements in a coherent cosmology have mutual adaptation; and, from the logic of the void all elements have potential adaptation. In the existence of potential adaptation there is ‘potential reference’ in a sufficiently loose meaning. In this loose sense, LOGIC is always possible. However, this loose meaning has little significance for human being

The characteristic of human beings that makes potential reference possible is the capacity for free elements of cognition; these make symbol and language [in the propositional mode of expression] and traditional logic possible; and they make for potential reference as-we-have-it

rr.        The class of beings for which LOGIC is possible is defined for the capacity for free elements of cognition

This requirement for contradiction is also the requirement for symbol, choice and decision, and error

Various modes of description are possible. In quantum mechanics, an object may be in a superposition of two states that, in classical mechanics, would be exclusive. Therefore, what constitutes a contradiction may have empirical content but that contradictions are impossible is not empirical. The possibility of contradiction is inherent in the existence of ‘mode of description.’ The impossibility of contradiction may be thought of as the original and trivial tautology… trivial, of course, in statement, but not in its consequences

Traditional Logics

Now ask whether the traditional logics have empirical content. Traditional logics are applications of LOGIC in contexts of necessity of thought. The empirical content of a traditional logic is in the existence i.e. the empirical validity of the context which is a mode of description. If the LOGIC were constructed from actual primitive elements it would seem that consistency would be built in from the start; however, if stated as an axiomatic system, consistency necessarily becomes a concern

2.2.2        The Possibility of LOGIC

The foregoing emphasized the conditions on the ‘subject’ side; here emphasis is on the object side. The following discussion is taken from ‘What is Journey in Being’?

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, 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. We conceived the form or the universal as a stamp or a class but instead we see them as immanent in being or beings and thus possessed of being

Determinate being is the necessary condition for logic: i.e. that in having being the individual has not some other kind 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. It is also determinateness of being that makes the capacity for logic possible since, at root, knowing is being. Logic and the capacity for logic are founded in being that is not absolutely indeterminate 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 their elaboration that constitutes ours. What is the condition for determinateness of being against the background of all being? It is a restriction of focus such that the identity condition for all being does not hold. An example is the restriction of focus to an actual coherent cosmological system that is inherent in the nature of some individuals within such a system or a choice to limit focus by individuals with the free symbolic capability

2.2.3        DYNAMICS; Extension the meaning of LOGIC to DYNAMICS

ss.       I define DYNAMICS as the art of effecting possible transformations; the concept of DYNAMICS is different from the c. 2004 concept of ‘dynamics’ but includes most concepts of dynamics and, as a special case, classical and quantum dynamics [physics]

tt.         And, by a simple extension in scope, LOGIC is DYNAMICS. LOGIC and DYNAMICS are the art of the possible

…the extension of a flat concept of logic

I have not recognized the equivalence of LOGIC and DYNAMICS before; hitherto and most recently I thought of DYNAMICS as resulting from an expansion of the scope of LOGIC

2.2.4        What does LOGIC Include?

uu.      LOGIC includes physics

Whereas physics is the science or study or determination of possible physical states of affairs in this phase-epoch of the uni-verse, LOGIC is –simply– the study of possible states

A typical problem in physics: given some conditions i.e. information about the actual physical states in this phase-epoch of the uni-verse and under its laws, to determine further data about actual physical states

Typical problems in LOGIC: determine all possible states consistent with some facts or conditions regarding the states. When the number of facts in ‘some facts’ is zero, this prototypical problem in logic is LOGIC as used here

Thus it becomes apparent why LOGIC is the art of the possible, what is physics and why is physics is included in LOGIC

Similar analogies with other disciplines are possible e.g. other sciences, the symbolic disciplines of language, traditional logic, and mathematics

Whereas the sciences are concerned with concepts, laws and theories of categorial aspects –physical, psychological, psychological and so on– of cosmological systems i.e. coherent phase-epochs of the uni-verse

vv.       LOGIC is the law of the uni-verse. The only universal law is LOGIC (rep)

ww.   LOGIC as understood here includes the traditional notion of logic  (rep)

xx.       ‘Knowledge,’ though traditionally thought of as distinct, is a ‘chapter’ in logic. Logic includes ‘knowledge’

Thus far we have mentioned the disciplines in which rigor appears to be a focus – and while even demanding rigor is useful in growth and application of science it is not clear that it is good in every way –even the most important ways– in the long term… for what is it to be alive, to be human to have and seek being? But we now ask ‘May logic include the arts, religion, the humanities, technology… indeed may logic include all endeavor?’

yy.       It is not necessary to belabor the idea that logic includes e.g. art. However the assertion is shown in two distinct ways. Art is concerned with the possible as seeing, as creating… and as inspiration toward vision and creation; and even as it falls short it is an aspect of art that it is an attempt to the highest vision, creation and inspiration

These thoughts receive earlier elaboration in the sources

It is important to not lose sight of the rigor and precision of traditional logic. However, it is now possible to understand the place and limit of that precision. It is also possible to see the mesh of precision with ‘quality.’ ‘Quality’ is the most inclusive; precision is an ‘instrument’ but not merely so: for some and for some purposes, precision is an end. Actuality weaves quality and precision as in e.g. the relation between phenotype and genotype

2.2.5        Elaboration of the Traditional Concept of Logic

Symbols, language, logic, knowledge, and, generally, mental states may be thought of as relations of a subject to the world – including the ‘null’ relation of e.g. expression. However, at root all relations are relations among the elements of the world –of being: at root there is no distinction between subject and object– the ‘higher’ subject is a special kind of object

Therefore, the kinds of logic reduce to, at most, the various ‘forms’ and kinds of relation and being – it is not as though there should be an ad hoc list of kinds of logic but, rather, logic ‘splits’ into kinds according to the kinds of relation and form

It has been said that the ‘negative judgment’ i.e. criticism is the peak of mentality. However, it is better said that it is the judgment of judgment –second order judgment– is mentality as humans experience it and the negative judgment is an example of second order judgment: the world cannot be ‘wrong’ but a proposition can be false

Here, ‘judgment’ is a general term for all kinds of object-object relation especially as subject-object relation [intension or symbol: word-world or mind-world]

Logics as rendered by reflexive beings as reflection of their reflexivity are determined by the product of kinds of second order judgment and forms of being quotient redundant factors. In a manner of speaking, there are not many logics: there is one logic; and there are many forms of logic

The feeling of an individual of having intention or the capacity for choice is not delusional: see On intention. Therefore among the kinds, we find intentional logics

[However, the second order relation or reflexivity is not at all the general characteristic of mentality or of consciousness]

There is no special significance –above that of the second order– to higher order judgment except that in the service of accuracy and efficiency there may be some context dependent optimal order (hyp)

2.2.6        Development of Traditional Logic(s)

Traditional logic can be developed by clarification and elaboration of the concept of contradiction and the inadmissibility of contradiction

Topics in traditional logic include:

Logic, possibility, necessity

Categories of form and kinds of relation: and kinds of logic

Basic logic especially propositional and predicate logic

Elaboration of the kinds of logic; reducibility of one logic [to another] is not prima facie proof that it is not fundamental

2.3         The Elements of Being

What is the concept of the ‘elements’ of being? They are what being is made of most fundamentally

zz.       From the theory of the void, there is no ‘most fundamental’ element –other than the void itself– nor need one be specified

aaa.  In a relatively stable, coherent phase-epoch of the uni-verse, ‘discovery’ of –local and contingent– elements of being may be sought. Examples: the elementary particles of modern physics, facts, monads, events, occasions, elemental feelings…

Thus elements may be thought of as substantial to the phase-epoch but relative to the uni-verse. Further, since laws may be thought of as elements, laws may be seen as having both immanent and imposed characters

bbb.  Such elements enhance understanding and theory

ccc.    The elements are not specified in advance but are subject to ‘speculative discovery’ and utility – which is not distinct from test or experiment and requires logical coherence

ddd.  Atomicity or otherwise of the elements is not given; the distinction is one of convenience of description and is not essential for, mathematical discontinuity, the distinction between atomism and continuum disappears. Description in terms of continuum has the advantage that every element has structure and there is obviously no necessary problem of the ‘origin’ of interaction among elements

2.3.1        Reasons for Vagueness and Indefiniteness of the Elements

Metaphysically, as noted, the elements are not given except for the ‘void as an element’ and except for convenience and practical purposes in a coherent phase-epoch of the one uni-verse. Necessary vagueness: in becoming from the void since there are no universal laws except the law of contradiction Contingent vagueness: in the nature of the present phase-epoch of the uni-verse and our being in it i.e. in our present nature

As noted, there is an advantage to retaining indefiniteness of the elements until it is either necessary or desired to be specific

2.3.2        Some Elements of Knowledge and Knowing

The elements are not specified so as to have them be able to ‘fall out of considerations.’ I.e. rather than specifying the nature of elements in advance –and so being unnecessarily committed to the possibility of essential error– the nature of the elements is left open as follows: the discovery of the world and its elements are ‘in process.’ This is an example of the speculative or hypothetico-deductive method which may be abbreviated: hypothesis -> deduction -> comparison -> acceptance of hypotheses as law or theory in case of agreement otherwise modification of hypothesis. This is nothing other than the ‘usual’ method of knowing for a finite being for it is not as though ‘definitive knowledge’ has meaning

In view of the contribution of the knower to the concept, there is no meaning to identity of object and concept – or even faithful representation of object by concept. This is of course obviously true of knowledge that is an expression of intuitive form – forms of concept of the world of which the subject is capable. However, this is true also of the symbolic mode of knowledge used in e.g. science and description in language. This consideration is not at all a restriction on precision but an illumination of the nature of knowledge. However in view of the root nature of knowledge as object-object interaction or the human level nature of knowledge as ever in interaction with action, there should be no final expectation of identity of object and concept. Liberation from that expectation is freeing – an opening up to the real

A conceptual problem of epistemology –the possibility of knowledge as the problem of knowing the object in– has origin in misconception of knowledge. The present metaphysical foundation shows that but for the uni-verse there is no thing in itself (hyp.) Knowing the thing-in-itself has no meaning; at the same time there is [‘should be’] no desire to know that non-existent thing-in-itself. There is no desire for the desire is for something other than the ‘thing-in-itself.’ Liberation from that desire is freeing – an opening up to the real

Understanding the actual possibility of knowledge –even if uninteresting from a practical point of view– is conceptually important in that it leads to clarification of the nature of knowledge at the level of the human –or animal– subject. The actual problems of epistemology remain important. These include the question of the nature of knowledge in any actual coherent phase-epoch, especially in this phase-epoch of the uni-verse; the kinds of relation between subject and world; lack of distinction between subject and object – ‘higher’ order subject as a special kind of object; propositional relations – belief, knowledge and so on; the relation between the non-propositional and the propositional and the possibility or otherwise of analysis of the non-propositional in terms of the propositional e.g. as propositional ‘content’ and ‘illocutionary force;’ the place of knowledge i.e. of definitive propositional relations; the structure of perception and conception; the nature of science, and the nature and truth status laws and theories of science; the relations among science and other disciplines and activities such as art, technology, metaphysics and religion; and other specialized topics. For details, see the sources. In the following paragraph I take up the epistemic distinctions of the a priori and the a posteriori, the semantic distinction of the analytic and the synthetic, and the metaphysical distinction of the necessary and the contingent

The development of theoretical understanding from what is actual or the world-as-we-know-it and the derived rather than merely posited nature of the void touch on the question of a priori knowledge. The concept of the a priori is not simple in that there is not one but a number of varieties of it. The concept of a priori knowledge is that of knowledge that is not founded upon experience even if experience is needed to acquire the concepts used in the knowledge claim and experience is needed to entertain the proposition. Although some concepts of the a priori are that of knowledge that is absolutely independent of experience the previous sentence shows that there must be some tacit foundation in experience. At the level of primitive elements although prior contact is not necessary to have interaction, the being of the elements is necessary. Therefore, I consider the a priori to be that which is not directly founded on sense experience. The possibility of being is then required by the derived nature of the void; additionally certain generic properties of being also follow – all things may interact i.e. there are no ‘windowless’ monads, all states that are thinkable and do not contain or imply contradiction are possible and so materially necessary, recurrence is necessary, individual being is equivalent to any and all being, being that ‘bridges’ the gap between ‘windowless’ recurrences –i.e. each occurrence has no explicit knowledge of the others– is possible, materially necessary and realizable. All this very general knowledge is a priori to our being –experience– in this coherent phase-epoch of the uni-verse. However, detailed knowledge of this phase-epoch or ‘the cosmos’ is a posteriori to that being. These comments also point to the relativity of the distinction between the a priori and the a posteriori. Note, also, that the examples of a priori knowledge in question are prima facie synthetic; some examples –higher beings– are contingent and others necessary –the possibility of interaction– in a given context –coherent phase-epoch of the uni-verse– but all are necessary in the uni-verse

eee.  The elements are not specified in advance so as to not prematurely commit to ‘imprisonment’ in a limited / false conceptual system

fff.       This is the power of admitting ‘ignorance’ as a phase of knowing; and is distinct from any tendency to glorify in ignorance

The tendency to glorify in ignorance: the tendency of a kind of person –a class of personality types– especially cultivated in the recent era culminating today i.e. c. 2004… including the ‘strong minded,’ and its mirror: an appearance of martyrdom – distinct from the martyr as unpretentious, rational sacrifice of the self

2.3.3        Candidates for the Elements

Some candidates for the elements are atoms, things e.g. minds and bodies, laws

ggg.  But more fundamentally, consider facts versus things. ‘Facts’ may be regarded as fundamental because the mind / body and subjective / objective distinctions are avoided. But there is no distinction for things, in concept, are not the common flat concept that they are taken to be

2.3.4        What are Things?

hhh.  As noted, ‘thing’ includes pattern and law

iii.        But from ‘some consequences from the nature of the void’ and in consideration of the question ‘what is it like to be an element or thing’ at the level of the element, it follows that ‘thing’ or ‘element’ include original mind or mentality, knowing and fact

2.3.5        The Interactions of Elements or of Things

jjj.       The interaction between elements or things can be described, or considered or noted or mentioned by a third individual; but real, actual interaction is real and is necessary

kkk.    There is, then, the interaction and for the element it is and must be like something – the ‘window’ of one thing or element to another. And in that ‘likeness’ is the equivalence of being and knowing and the in-distinction of ‘mind and matter’

Mind is being-in-its-relations. And, on a concept of matter that is not flat, mind is matter-in-its-relations. But to think of matter or being only as ‘thing’ and not as ‘relation’ is an error: it is relation as force that gives bulk matter its solidity and its space filling character [on the view that the atoms are matter but the forces between them are not, bulk matter would be mostly empty space.] While mind marks the relation of a subject-thing to an object-thing, its being is in the [subject-] thing: to think of mind only as relation and not as relation is also in error. On a non-flat concept of matter, mind is matter. Or, mind is being

However the aspectual distinction is not intrinsic to the elements but one that results when the world is conceptually ‘carved’ in different ways. However the distinction may be intrinsic to description which does not capture the world in a word [at least in ‘literal’ use]

The idea of ‘what it is like’ for being to have a window on –another– being is not at all new; it occurs in the philosophy labeled ‘monadology’

Only a complex i.e. non-unitary being can experience ‘itself’

2.3.6        The Properties of Being are Present in the Elements

For accuracy, ‘category’ could be substituted for ‘property’ in the title of this section; this would make the meaning remote

Reasoning for the in-distinction between mind and matter at the elemental level is: if being is constituted of elements, what is present in being is already present in the elements. The element of the entire one uni-verse is the void. Therefore, if ‘mind’ in any actual cosmological context is not constituted of its local elements it must be ‘infused’ from the void and is thus originally present. The argument for matter is identical. Inasmuch as any actual cosmological context is detached –at most ‘temporarily’– from the whole and inasmuch as being in that context is constituted of the elements of that context, all categories are originally present in the elements

There is an immense distinction between saying that ‘mind’ is originally present and saying that any particular instance of mind e.g. human mind is originally present

2.4         Two Divides

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

They are, of course, not the only important divides

That the divides are placed before the section on mind does not imply that mind appears only after the divides. Rather, it is an indication that the mental ability after the divides is distant from primal mind

2.4.1        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 are possible

2.4.2        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 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 always a tenuous balance between the cultivation of the symbolic and other modes of being]

2.5         Mind

At root, it was seen, mind and matter are not distinct and that even a ‘higher’ form of subject is at root an object i.e. a higher form of subject is a special kind of object

The emphasis here is not only the root but also and especially mind-as-we-experience-it [of which mind as we know it is a part]

Although ‘mind-as-we-experience-it’ is not contradictory for we do ‘experience experience’ as in memory this may be misleading if regarded as characteristic; it may be therefore more accurate to say ‘experience-as-we-have-it’

Due to classic problems of use of the term ‘mind’ and in view of the fundamental role of experience in mind-as-it-is-for-us, see the sources, it might in some ways be efficient to eliminate the term ‘mind’ and use ‘experience’ and or similar terms and their forms instead

Although efficiency might be gained by eliminating ‘mind’ from the philosophical vocabulary, a familiar and rich world of use would be lost – which loss would be worthwhile if  the concept of mind were a fiction

But it is not true, as some materialists, some behaviorists, and some ‘eliminativists’ hold, that there is no such thing as mind – that mental terms are really shorthand notations for complex material relations or behavioral propensities and so on; details of arguments are in the sources. The essential argument is that if the elements are complete, they must contain the roots of mind

Therefore, here, the ‘rich world of use’ is retained; I attempt to avoid the problematic aspects of the use of ‘mind’ first by identifying them e.g. the objectification of mind, thinking of mind as distinct from matter, taking an example of mind as defining the possibilities of mind, confusing ‘higher’ mind as root mind

[There are similar problems for matter: objectifying or reifying matter, taking complex material structures –especially when they seem to be atomic– as typical of matter…]

As noted earlier: to a significant degree, judgment of judgment –second order judgment– is mentality as humans experience it and e.g. makes for propositional content e.g. the possibility of truth. It might seem that introducing second order judgment is artificial but this is not so on account of the use of ‘judgment’ in a [its] root meaning: here, ‘judgment’ is a general term for all kinds of object-object relation especially as subject-object relation [intension or symbol: word-world or mind-world]

More generally, it is reflexivity that is characteristic of the human experience of mentality: the brightness of primary consciousness, the thrill of passion are ‘amplified’ by reflexivity

On intention: the feeling of an individual of having intention [not intension] or the capacity for choice is not delusional even if these are not actually present in the womb of being –the void– or in the described elements of a coherent phase-epoch of the uni-verse. Just as there are phases of quasi-determinism and quasi-causality which does not thereby make those phases chaotic or a-causal there is also a phase of intentionality and of individual capacity for choice. These phases have root in the void and, perhaps, secondarily in the elements of a phase-epoch. The void and therefore the ultimate contains the roots of intention and choice

However, the second order relation or reflexivity is not at all the general characteristic of all mentality or of consciousness

Symbols, language, logic, and, generally, mental states may be thought of as relations of a subject to the world – including the ‘null’ relation of e.g. expression. However, at root all relations are relations among the elements of the world – of being: at root there is no distinction between subject and object – the ‘higher’ subject is a special kind of object (rep)

2.5.1        Characterizing Mind

The characteristic of mind is power in its two modes according to direction of causation: effecting and being effected. Power is interaction or actual relation – not relation as ascribed, perceived or described by a third party. At an elementary level the afferent / efferent distinction is according ‘point of view’ and not fundamental

As a flat descriptive concept, matter seems lifeless and inanimate and so distinct from mind. At root, however, there is no distinction: matter is not –characterized by– its flat concept

I do not know what the feelings of the elements e.g. electrons are like that is I do not have feelings that I am [yet] persuaded are similar to the feeling of an element. However, I do know that the elementary feelings –grouped in specialized ways, elaborated, integrated, abstracted and layered– constitute my feelings

Privacy. There is a range of affect that normally permits direct knowledge of the mental content of another – from gesture, to facial expression, to linguistic expression. However, this is not fail-safe. You can’t deduce what you feel by looking at your face in a mirror – even if you wanted to do that. The feeling of an element is not the other element’s feeling; we would not expect to know the full measure of the actual contents of another’s mind but I have some intuitive insight into another’s mind. That intuition is a form of intuition i.e. it has an innate character and is not a talent. The element may be like the other element; my mind is like another’s. [Talent, too, may develop]

If I were able to know the contents of another’s mind when I wanted to I would also know them when I did not want to. I do not want to know the contents of another’s mind not just because it might be embarrassing but because I would be overwhelmed by a mass of information that is useless to me. It is impossible to know the full content of another’s mind. What is useful to know, I can normally tell from what that other does, evokes and says

2.5.2        Beyond Awareness?

Often when talking about awareness and consciousness, I have been told ‘but there is so much beyond that.’ Of course I never thought that mind-as-human-animals-experience-it is the only thing or even the only thing of interest. But I am also told ‘not consciousness but something else,’ meaning something like ‘there is, may or will be evolved forms of being that have attributes other than but higher than consciousness and that are beyond your imagination’

Why, then, do I think that there is nothing beyond awareness and consciousness?

First, I do not hold attributes to be fundamental. A fundamental attribute would be a substance and the ontology developed here is one without substance –unless the void is taken to be a substance– and without infinite regress

Fundamentally, it is because there is ‘thing and power [relation]’ and nothing else; simply, since ‘thing’ includes ‘effect’ there is but thing. I.e. there is ‘object–’ and object-object; as noted above subject– is always object-object

‘Object–’ includes ‘self’ and thus includes self and other awareness; and ‘object–’ includes object and thus includes ‘pure experience’

Of course there are elaborations of ‘feeling;’ just as my consciousness is far far from the feeling of an element e.g. of an electron, so there may be forms of consciousness or awareness unimagined and perhaps unimaginable by myself – as present self

lll.        I am able to state without reservation that what there is not something ‘other than experience’ that is beyond experience. Instead, what is beyond given experience is the kind and quality of experience. That does not mean I have no doubt about the statement. I developed a theory of belief in the sources, that regarding belief about the attributes of an object are compounded of possible values of the attribute; and this is analogous to the idea that all objects are compound objects [Atman is Brahman] that may manifest as a simple classical object

What an individual believes-thinks he or she believes is not necessarily what he or she actually believes; what one thinks one believes may depend on the stories one tells one-self. Thus, I may be blinded, by my unwillingness to allow my imagination float in an unstructured conceptual space where being may be thought to have an infinite number of attributes. And those who wish their imagination to float in that space may be motivated by some liberal credo, some reaction to human arrogance, some hope of magnificence or beauty, some reaction to the suffering of this world. This is, after all, a reservation but it is better referred to as a ‘meta-reservation’ i.e. one of humility or fallibility and is not a positive reservation regarding the subject

2.5.3        Mind-Matter

What has been seen is that, at root, mind and matter are not distinct; thus, properly understood, mind and matter are not distinct. The immediate form of my presence in the world is ‘experience’ which is –an aspect of– mind or the mental. What is called matter, whether in elementary or compound form, is removed from my awareness: it is a mix of experience and concept and the concept is highly abstract and significantly informed by theory – in common knowledge and in science matter has no feeling. I do not know this; what I do know is that, in science, matter is not ascribed feeling and the common though not universal conviction in the 20th and 21st centuries that it has no feeling is emphasized by its remove. That conviction translates into the mind-body problem that the putative ‘gulf’ between body and mind requires explanation and the problem of explanation has received several responses that are varieties of materialism of which some common ones are behaviorism, identity theories of the type and token-token varieties, functionalism including computer functionalism, eliminative materialism and naturalizing content. What is common to these responses to the artificial mind-body problem is that the concept of matter is flat and that mind is either reduced to matter, eliminated or explained away. Even the dual aspect theories are based in a confusion of an object and its description. To repeat, mind and matter are not distinct and the putative distinction is a result of the flattening of concepts including the confusion of object and description

Mind-body problem: the problem is often stated in two parts: conceptual and structural or scientific. The conceptual aspect concerns how a material body may have mind or consciousness; and the structural question is one of explaining the varieties of mental phenomena, especially consciousness and the functions of cognition, in primitive terms – either physiological terms or primitive mental i.e. psychological terms

The Conceptual Problem: it has been shown that there is none – either categorial or explanatory. Categorially, at the elemental level which is neither essentially a priori material nor mental, subject is object i.e. both material and mental relations are object-object. Mind must be relation i.e. interaction –actual or potential i.e. idling– and thus the only possibility is object-object: subject is object i.e. the ‘window’ or relationship of object to object. The remaining explanatory doubt is explaining mind-as-we-know-it. There is no fundamental problem for the basic problem is resolved and the explanatory problem is one of showing how the varieties of mental phenomena are expressions of the basic. The mental phenomena do not originate in the elaboration; rather the mental is present in the fundamental –elements– and the structural elaboration of the elements results in the expression of the mental as we know it

The Scientific or Explanatory Problem: it has just been shown that this problem has no fundamental ontological component. There is an ontological aspect of showing the elementary locus or loci of mind-as-we-know-and-experience-it but this is essentially one of ‘scientific’ discovery informed by ontology. ‘Science’ is in quotes to remind that it is a conceptual and not merely instrumental or empirical affair. And, science comes in again –as experimental, instrumental and conceptual discovery– in elaborating the phenomena of mind: awareness and consciousness as they are for us – the acute consciousness of our presence, the faculties and so on; this requires psychology as the elaboration of what is being explained –explanans– and neuro-physiology as the substrate of explanation –explanandum; however, the roles of explanans and explanandum are not expected to be fixed and concepts must be sharpened as the components of neuro-physiology and psychology are identified

mmm.               Is mind made up of the elements? If ‘elements’ refers to the elements relative to the void i.e. what may exist from logic, then the answer is obviously ‘Yes!’ Is mind-as-we-know-and-experience-it made up of the elements of this cosmological system [phase-epoch] e.g. of matter? The answer is not obvious for there is nothing to rule out extra-cosmological ‘infusions.’ But it is not at all absurd to suppose that our minds may be the elaborations of the material elements of the present cosmological system – as we have seen. What of the thought that this diminishes human being? That follows only on the flat concept of matter. If we wish, we may think, instead, that the equivalence elevates the status of matter. It is clear, however, that the elements of the present cosmological system as understood in classical physics would be inadequate to allow mind-as-we-know-it

2.5.4        The Categories

The categories are space, time [or space-time,] causality and humor

The choice of space, time and causality is ‘obvious’

Although space and time merge in space-time, it is not obvious that space-time is a category of mind at the human level. The issue requires analysis involving the theory of being from the void, general cosmology, physical cosmology and varieties of experience

‘Extension’ may be substituted for ‘space,’ ‘duration’ for ‘time,’ and ‘power’ as effect for ‘causality’

The meaning and significance of humor

Humor is the capacity to accept the unexpected, the thwarting of motives, to capture opportunity and the moment of creativity. It is intended in a general sense and not too much should be made of the usual and familiar use of ‘humor’ in its many connotations. The situation is analogous to the distinct use of ‘force’ in physics and ‘force’ or ‘power’ in common use. The analogy is not strict for physics is the physics of this phase-epoch of the uni-verse; in its abstracted and generalized use, the category of humor captures also the relation of the individual to origin from the void. In the exercise of humor we do not take too seriously the exercise of the other categories; we take seriously but not too seriously the idea that things have importance – in such affairs the exercise of humor includes an exercise of balance and proportion

2.5.5        A Finite Number of Modalities of Knowing and Being

The finiteness of the number of modalities of knowing is based on the following distinctions:

Organism and world i.e. the organism is part of the world; apprehension of the world by the organism is in terms of the categories

The categories have an immanent character

Direction of reference; world includes organism therefore directions of reference include organism-organism and senses are not limited to the conventional sense organs and include the diffuse and the internal such as body sensation including feeling and kinesthetic sense; there is also the ‘null’ direction. It is pointed out, above, that even this apparently null direction is an internal directionality for in the unitary case no experience is [possible]

The sensory modalities are a subset of physical modalities: fundamental or aggregate

The bound versus free distinction; thus perception-cognition, drive-feeling-emotion etc

The ‘free’ aspects of mental function are combination and recombination of images, remembered elements, of the bound. Thus every thought is novel; what varies is the degree, complexity and significance of the novelty – and, simultaneously, no thought, no flight of fantasy ever gets altogether out of the world even in its reference

The integration of the different sensa that constitute –the image of– an object is discussed in the sources; the essence of that discussion is that, in cognition, objects have a fundamental character in balance with a degree of cognitive dissociation –in the nature of the case, as required for freedom but to excess in pathology– and that the analysis into sensa as fundamental is the assumption of analysis… [this is a resolution of the binding problem, now seen to be somewhat artificial, of how the different attributes of an object are bound together as one in perception; the discussion also illuminates how an object is seen as now whole and now made up of parts or attributes]

The bound aspects may be regarded as ‘rooting’ or ‘grounding’ in the world; the ‘free’ as the basis of an ability to form ‘worlds’ i.e. worlds of imagination, and through imagination of culture and civilization – in balance with selection; and, from the law of contradiction and related principles it is clear that mind may be involved in the creation of actual cosmological systems even though the contribution of human mind to the structure present cosmological system may be abysmal for normal purposes

It is essential for knowledge, judgment and morals –ethics– that there be a degree of integration between the free and bound aspects of function. Stated alternatively, while functional disengagement or dissociation is good, absolute disconnection impossible for a viable organism. Ramifications are manifold and many commonplace e.g. connection between emotional integrity and functional intelligence, integration of feeling in morals, relation between disorder and creative function. The human world is such that only a fraction of ‘effort’ is required to be spent on necessity i.e. on survival etc. When the individual is functionally integrated –concepts are wholes, balance between bound and free function– there is no flight of thought that is ‘insane’ at least because the potentially insane is grounded as an aspect of the integration

[Note that the bound versus free distinction is similar but not identical to the distinction of narrow versus wide content that is sometimes made. In the sources it is shown that the wide conception of mental content as usually formulated contains errors that, if corrected, may result in the free versus bound distinction]

The afferent versus efferent distinction; action as the implementation of judgment [the afferent-efferent distinction is causal whereas direction of reference is semantic or logical]

Commentary: In viewing the modalities as finite in number, like items –e.g. the different colors– are grouped together as one kind. The finiteness of the number of physical modalities is or may be contingent to our world in a number of ways in addition to grouping of kinds; at root the elements may well form a continuum even if practically, in our world, they are finite and discrete.

2.5.6        Other Significant Aspects of Mind

Objective: together with the foregoing, to provide a basis for the elaboration of understanding and description –inclusive of theory– of mind

Symbols, language, logic, and knowledge

Structure and intensity or cognition and feeling… the objective is to permit a completion and elaboration of the classical functions – cognition, emotion and motivation

The modes of cognition as the modes of the world –local and universal– and body e.g. the ‘five’ senses for the world and the ‘inner’ senses

The bound-free continuum: a bound state is determined by the ‘source’ state and is typical of perception, drives and primitive emotion; free states are typical of imagination, thought, choice, judgment and, to some degree, emotions that are not strongly connected to survival [the degree to which emotions are free is a function of biology e.g. the pathological case of extreme emotional instability, individual development which may amplify or attenuate the physiological propensity, and cultivation]


Aspects of modularity are evident: cognition vs. emotion; these however interact in that cognition is not pure cognition and emotion not pure emotion but each colored by the other and essentially so in so far as there nature, experience and adequate function

The ‘five senses’ are clearly modular. However, it is important to note that: the ‘eyes’ though obviously and conventionally distinct from ‘brain’ are not essentially distinct – the eyes and brain are an integral system in thinking that mind is rooted in the brain. More generally, in this sense, ‘brain’ includes ‘body’ and any logical extensions that it may have


The functions e.g. autonomic function, emotion, cognition in their primitive and pure senses are ‘layered.’ However, in the organism these have necessarily integrated aspects of function even while they remain distinct

Structured organism is grounded i.e. ‘built’ up from the elements: layers upon layers – elements, molecules, primitive structures, cells, interactive communities…

In contrast to machines and primitive artificial intelligence, organism is ‘non-flat,’ built up hierarchically from the elements

And the ‘function’ of actual organisms, in contrast to that of machines and primitive artificial intelligence or artificial life, is intrinsic and not imposed or assigned


Memory is important as a store of information. However, there is a fundamental aspect to memory in the capacity for self-awareness, identity, reflexive experience, the ability have imagery [thought] which is always creative

Direction of subject-object relation: propositional and other attitudes

Time and development – including learning, personality and commitment

2.5.7        Symbol

Although the symbol is discussed above, its significance of the symbol is the occasion for a separate section

Symbolic reference is always a free and creative act: even when such reference to an ‘object’ is valid, the reference could be to another object

In its primal being the universe is not capable of error. It is with the free symbol that the possibility of error originates

Thus, with the free symbol, also comes: the possibility of creation of knowledge over and above original organic knowing; and…

The possibility of contradiction and, so of logic

The possibility of choice, decision and value

The origin of the symbol marks a profound divide; in the free-symbol is the origin of freedom… and, as noted, so many of the human characteristics that are the source of so much enjoyment and so much of what makes the human HUMAN

It is therefore, a temptation to regard the profound divide as absolute as in the following profound error(s)

Human being is distinct from animal being

Mind is the prerogative of certain ‘higher’ being

The origin of the symbol is in primal being. Underlying the divide is continuity. Through the symbol the creative aspect of symbolic knowledge possible: knowledge is subject to correction rather than the organism to selection. This leads to a false conclusion: the a priori possibility of unlimited rationality. Agriculture opened up a practical freedom and the history of post-agricultural civilization reveals an alternation between unbridled confidence in reason and consequent humiliation and self-negation. The freedom of the symbol and the symbolic modes of thought and judgment cannot be an a priori absolute freedom from the primal pre-symbolic state

In this essay, we retain awareness of the distinctions introduced by the symbolic capability. This distinction is at the root of much that is human and that is enjoyed in consequence of being human. At the same time, retaining awareness of the continuities underlying the distinction has the following important features: it is an antidote to unfounded arrogance and alienation; it locates us as being in and of our world; the understanding of the continuities profoundly enhances our conceptions of being, of knowledge, of value, of action, and of possibility

2.5.8        Other Issues

A variety of problems such as the binding problem, the problem of object constancy, what states and processes may be properly labeled mental-at-the-human-or-animal-level, the human-level nature of mind, the categories, unconscious processes, origins of novel ideas – creation, characterizing mind and its functions, are discussed in the sources

A number of these issues are illuminated by the maturing of the metaphysics as developed here

2.5.9        Elaboration of the Understanding and Description of Mind

The bases of the elaboration for mind, symbol, language [and logic] are the foregoing discussions and the details of the sources

…which also contains the topics –aspects of mind– to be elaborated

Principles of completeness: [1] absolute completeness is not expected, [2] attempt to complete the ‘considerations’ above and to be complete with respect to each consideration, and [3] the attempt in item 2 is enhanced by completeness of the metaphysics and of understanding of the present phase-epoch of the uni-verse

It is conventional to think of the vast spaces of our ignorance and the potential for endless discovery. This should be supplemented by the potential for the potential for evolution. However I think it is equally mistaken to think that we are essentially ignorant and that we are essentially omniscient. There are practical advantages to either thought. Perhaps in the experience of all individuals and the traditions of all cultures there is the essence of all that is significant. Perhaps we know but know not or are deluded that we do not know. In other words perhaps we are more ignorant than we imagine and perhaps we know more than we imagine and that these thoughts are identical. We are ‘being amid being’…

2.5.10    Mind and Being

The purpose of this section is, simply, to state that a full characterization of the ‘mind’ of a being is a characterization of that being [note, especially, that the mind of a being cannot be fully characterized without reference to all aspects of experience and to the ‘body’]

The foregoing characterization of mind-as-human-beings-have-it is fairly complete; it is through perception that the body is known; mind is characterized not only through a ‘list’ of functions but the structure and interrelations and interactions among the functions is given; the essential categories are specified; additionally, time, development, commitments and projects i.e. the growth, evolution of the individual and his or her meaning are specified

2.6         Completeness of the Metaphysics

Completeness of a metaphysics may appear impossible and a claim of completeness absurd. But, first, what could completeness mean? Consistent with my use of ‘completeness’ elsewhere, I do not mean completeness of detail or complete knowledge of things-in-themselves. Realization of such ‘knowledge’ is undesirable, it would be an embarrassment of information – no quality of the subject would be enhanced

Completeness has two sides. On the immediate side completeness refers to all known categories of being and thought. Practically, therefore, prior to any aspiration to completeness, thought will have been studied from a variety of sources: academic, the culture of ideas, a variety of cultures, and experience. From this side any ‘completeness’ will be, at most, ‘my latest attempt’ i.e. the latest endeavor. On the foundational side there will be an attempt to ground the basic ontology as follows: substances will not be arbitrarily posited; if possible, infinite regress and circularity will be avoided; the fundamental categories – time/duration, space/extension, [or space-time,] causality [or power, effect,] and humor [indeterminism] will be included; given a choice between alternatives e.g. determinism versus indeterminism, lacking necessary reasons, the choice that makes the least assumptions is made: in the example, the present concept of indeterminism makes no assumptions for it allows reigns of determinism and the argument that indeterminism is nothing but chaos is not at all valid – details have been given in the sources [variation and selection] but the essential argument is that for indeterminism to be and ever remain ‘chaotic’ or ‘random’ would be counter to the meaning of indeterminism: true indeterminism allows phases and epochs of determinism or, at least, quasi-determinism. From the requirement of completeness i.e. the whole picture there will be ‘conversation’ and mutual correction among the immediate and the foundation: completeness will be a priori ‘in process’ and any absoluteness will be a posteriori but that must allow that we will find a priori elements and whose seeming a posteriori nature will have been that our thought was in process

With regard to categories of thought, we have seen that Logic includes systematic thought and art and novelty. We have seen that mind and matter are one and are contained in the elements. We have seen that mind-as-we-experience-it [mind-as-we-experience might be a better term] is an elaboration of fundamental objects or ‘elements.’ The variety and combination of elements allows for nature and society. And the void / elements allow foundation of all actuality and possibility including those just described as the immediate categories of being and thought which are understood to be varieties of elementary object

3           Journey in Being: Outline of Concepts and Design

This section –and sub-sections– constitute an outline and is therefore brief except for discussion new ideas or combinations of ideas. The outline may be filled out and completed by material from the previous sections on purpose and foundation; and with select material from the sources

Although this is primarily an outline –details will be incorporated in the full version– new considerations are briefly detailed e.g. Theory and Approaches to Group Action and Value. For details of previous development  see the sources

Details included in this outline version will be new and have one of the following characteristics:

The material will be general – characteristic of Journey in Being and its principles as a whole or, at least, at a high level of generality. Specific items may be included if a general issue is illustrated. The material may be illustrative of what is meant by ‘generality’ or of generative principles of thought or process

The material will illustrate the application of the foundation – the theory of being. Together with older material main applications –implications– and principles of application of the foundation for the divisions and important sub-divisions should be included

Introduction: Journey in Being

The main divisions, designed to include consideration of all being, are:

1. Metaphysics

2. DYNAMICS: Transformation

3. Variety of Being

4. Action

5. After the Journey

From foundation, there is no real distinction between [1] and [2.] This in-distinction corresponds to the in-distinction of mind-body, knowledge-being. The divisions [3] and [4] are specialized considerations of personal interest that constitute elaboration, example and application. These specialized divisions are intermediate between the immediate and the ultimate in their concern

Document plans

Emphasize foundation in being; then introduce ‘Journey in Being’

Combine the documents: Foundation – the present document, Journey in Being, Journey in Being - New Ideas, What is ‘Journey in Being,’ into one or two documents. If two documents, one will be short and foundational. Possibly include History of thought and action, History of Western Philosophy, and Kinds of Knowledge among the documents to be combined. In combining, first write and re-write an outline emphasizing the conceptual foundation and main topics; this may be the basis of the short, foundational document

Possible combine the sections Foundation for Journey in Being and Journey in Being: Outline of Concepts and Design of the present document into one section. In doing so, note that the topics are covered in disparate places as follows:

Metaphysics: Completeness    |    Metaphysics: Logic of Being    |    DYNAMICS    |    following links

Theory of Being: The Void    |    LOGIC    |    Elements of Being    |    Theory of Being    |    DYNAMICS    |    Chain of Being

Journey in Being: Nature and Purpose    |    Foundation    |    the present section

General Cosmology: Void    |    Recurrence    |    The Ultimate    |    Genesis    |    Cosmology    |    Theory of Space-time    |    LOGIC    |    The Elements    |    General Cosmology

Mind, Symbol and Knowledge: Journey in Being, Nature and Purpose – Ultimate and Present    |    The Elements of Being    |    Mind    |    Mind, Symbol, and Knowledge… and Person

Theory and Approaches to Group Value: Journey in Being: Nature and Purpose    |    Transformation and the Ultimate    |    What Transformations are Desirable?    |    Living in the Present    |    Theory and Approaches to Group Action and Value    |    Action, Charisma and History

Metaphysics and Philosophy. What is Philosophy? covers the practice –history, percept– and concept or ideal; is a philosophical question: philosophy is reflexive; a concern with the general and the ultimate; a concern with understanding i.e. the conceptual or ‘speculative’ side and a concern with validity i.e. the critical side to philosophy – cognition in general and LOGIC and criticism also have their speculative side…

In philosophy [and metaphysics] as knowledge the only essential or outer limits are the necessary limits (rep, below)

Various limits due to commitments, cultural and historical conditions are discussed below in the section What is Philosophy?

The Problems of Metaphysics covers the concept of a complete system of problems and an approach to these problems based in the philosophy of The Void, LOGIC, and The Elements of Being. Topics covered: the origin and nature of metaphysics; completeness is a concept that itself requires clarification; there are real problems of metaphysics however some are artifactual whose ‘solution’ is illuminating of their condition; actual entities: mind, matter, atom, relation, individual, soul, spirit, person, God, Atman, Brahman, society, life, machine, mathematical and other symbolic objects, being – its nature and necessity i.e. the fundamental problem of metaphysics which is generalized –why is there sentience– and rendered trivial; the nature of the being of actual entities: extension-duration, relation and interaction, duration, causation and determinism, absence of contingent law and indeterminism – this list is not ad hoc and is based in the theory of The Void and in LOGIC; problems of the relative status: mind-matter, mind-soul; problems of the ontological status of actual entities i.e. the abstract entities: form, idea, universal, category, and particular

Solution: abstract entities are realized as no more or less concrete than the actual; all entities are placed on a common ground through power and the void. This solution is general and various particular considerations arise e.g. in the case of mind-matter and mathematical objects

Nature of the Journey in Being

The Journey of the uni-verse in and beyond time. As such, the ultimate and the present, and all particular journeys are included: the journey of an individual, a society, a civilization, the evolution of life on earth… and the ‘origin and evolution’ of our cosmological system or coherent phase-epoch as an infinitesimal part of the uni-verse

My Journey – as an individual and as a shared journey. Sharing is in the nature of being and of human being. My journey includes that, of course, and my explicit attempt to share and create with others. My journey includes my attempt to understand and to transform being. The broad purposes are two: realization of the ultimate and being in the present (rep.) From the essay, Journey in Being, “The ideas of Being and Journey are both important. Being refers to the true nature and ultimate possibility of individual beings or entities and of all being and of the uni-verse. It also signifies that the being of the individual is important: thought and knowledge are not sufficient to the Journey. Realization of true nature and ultimate possibility do not occur in a moment or as a phase of a life but are, and require, the Journey of a life. Journey in Being is not merely a process of discovery of what is given: it is a construction, through experiment, action and reflection, of what is potential or possible”

Journey in Being also refers to the account of the journey: the essay Journey in Being and the Website for the journey

Reason, Heart and Action

Clearly, Journey in Being has a philosophical character from which I have gained much insight and had much enjoyment

However I do not think of Journey in Being –or myself– as primarily philosophical. As noted above, transformation of being and living in the present are fundamental to the journey. Knowledge –and philosophy– enter as means. That is not at all to deny the interest or significance of discovery. I do not consider myself to be, primarily, an intellectual. In comparison to many of my intellectual friends I am both more intellectual – in intensity, in quantity and occasionally in quality –and less so in that intellect does not dominate my life– in that I am governed more by ‘heart’ than intellect and that, even in affairs of the intellect, there is integration with ‘heart.’ I would always rather seek what is real over mere or exclusive or obsessive attention to niceties of detail and accuracy

I am not implying that ‘real philosophy’ is philosophy that is lived or transformed into action. There is value to such endeavors but that is not my meaning. At root I believe, and I believe that I have shown, thought and action are identical and at the level of e.g. human being there is, in the end no knowledge without action and no human action without knowledge


For detailed design see Design for a Journey in Being

Prologue and introduction: 1. What is ‘Journey in Being, ’and ‘Why Being… i.e. what is Being?’ 2. Outline of main development, concepts, applications and links

Individual Journey

Inspiration: Journey, Yoga, place – time in nature for ‘What is Journey…,’ person and sources – other ‘Journeys,’ History

Planning and maintenance: 1. System, 2. Needs, 3. Health, minimize: diet, property, ideas, site… 4. Placement is important and a preliminary is re-writing the Prologue for at least one target audience

3.1         Metaphysics: The Logic of Being

3.1.1        Theory of Being

Preliminary discussion of being

It is, in some ways, preferable to allow the use or meaning of ‘being’ to unfold rather than to give a definition. However, it will be useful here to provide a brief preliminary discussion of ‘being’

Here, being is used in two distinct but equivalent senses. In the first, being is that which exists. This leads to a problem ‘How is it known that any being actually exists?’ I.e. given a concept, how is it known that there are things to which the concept refers? In turn, analysis of ‘existence’ is required which, classically, leads to classic difficulties and therefore to the postulation of categories of being. Thus we may say, a rock exists as matter, an individual mind as mind, a relationship as relationship, a number as number and so on but what does it mean that something has unqualified existence? ‘Existence,’ ‘matter,’ ‘mind,’ ‘relationship,’ ‘number’ and other mathematical objects and related concepts are analyzed in the Journey in Being and the present essay where common ground is established for the varieties or categories of being – eliminating the need for the categories as essences or substances. There, the characters of mind, matter, laws, forms, and concepts such as number… are clarified and their root identities are shown in the common ground of e.g. power i.e. the capacity for effect. In consequence, it is possible to assert, simply, that having being is existing. It is now possible to ask, with hope of an ontologically sound answer, ‘What is the character of some compound entity?’ Having placed mind, matter, relationship, idea on a common plane it is possible to say, simply, that its character is its set of constituents [or elements – where specification of what are allowed as elements is intentionally left open but include relationship.] This leads into the second sense of being: the being of an entity is what it truly is –its ‘nature’– and the foregoing analysis has shown that what it truly is its elements which include not only ‘parts’ but, also, relationships or interaction. The admission of this second sense of ‘being’ is equivalent to the questions ‘What is the nature of being?’ ‘What is the science or study of being as being?’ i.e. not as any particular kind of being…

nnn.  Analysis of existence is sufficient to knowledge of the nature of being

The problem of being may be summarized as follows. There is a variety of entities or individuals whose existence as a kind [substance, mode, universal] of being is relatively clear even though not unproblematic. Therefore, the problem may be stated: are the substances and so necessary and if so what is their common ground; and if the substances are not necessary what is the common ground of all being that all entities have unqualified existence? In What is Being [Seminar version] and below it is shown that

All being ‘concrete’ or particular being has been placed on a common ground; we see below that forms and universals can be placed on the same ground i.e. that what seems to be abstract though actual is no more or less concrete than the particular

3.1.2        General Cosmology

Includes actual and physical cosmology and the theory of space-time [extension-duration]

Development of a theory of the relation among the following theories is fundamental: the void –the quantum vacuum– quantum theory of matter, fields and energy – the world

Physical Cosmology

The purpose is not to develop physical cosmology but to show how, and to what extent, physical cosmology can be developed from the general cosmology

The project is presently incomplete; following are my thoughts for development

What is to be explained: possibilities include

Indeterminism: origin of or reasons for indeterminism in quantum mechanics; existence of stable structures despite indeterminism

The variety of particles and forces and their properties or attributes [or, more generally, the variety of ‘elementary objects’]

Constants: mass and charges of particles; ratio of gravitational and electromagnetic forces; speed of light

The size of the universe: finite or infinite [here, ‘universe’ refers to the current phase-epoch]

The fundamental equations are of second order

Kinds of explanation

Explaining the fact indeterminism and the co-existence with structure has been shown –above, sources– to be relatively trivial; what is not trivial is to explain the kind of structure in a coherent phase-epoch of the uni-verse. Further, that there should be a ‘small’ number of manifestly –though not necessarily ultimately– fundamental and stable elements as the ‘foundation’ for a varied but relatively stable phase-epoch is also reasonable. What is it that determines the specific manifest elements of this phase-epoch… is there a small number of determining conditions or parameters… is the structure of the phase-epoch necessary – either absolutely or relative to certain initial or current conditions e.g. the evolution of life? Above, the conditions of the void have been seen to make ‘absolute necessity’ impossible

The variety of elements: these represent the stable elementary structures relative to the background i.e. the void, the vacuum… The comments of the previous paragraph are pertinent

The Constants: several kinds of explanation are possible

Convention: i.e. it is by convention that all electrons have the same mass or that the speed of light is constant… The explanation by convention is easy and convenient and is often invoked; however it is both poor and unsatisfying except to those who prefer to see no necessity in anything. ‘Convention’ is an extremely unlikely explanation of the basic character of the present phase-epoch because of the precision of the constants. Additionally, for the explanation by convention to be possible, there must be some limit to the arbitrariness of structures since the variety of structures and the values of the different constants show a high degree of consistency. At this point the conventionalist argues that the theoretical framework in which the constants are constant is by convention but this, too, is ruled out by consistencies among explanations and explanation and data. Although the constants are constant to high precision it does not follow that they are absolutely constant or that the constancy carries on beyond the boundaries of the phase-epoch and thus we may say that it is by convention that they are taken to be absolutely and universally constant. However, that is an empirical statement that is disconfirmed by the fact that not everyone subscribes to absolute and universal constancy and for many who do, the subscription is held as a desire for harmony rather than belief

Identity: ‘every electron is the same electron.’ This is similar to the next kind of explanation

Seeding, copying: a factor in this kind of explanation would be that since stable forms are discretely or [somewhat] sparsely distributed among the more inclusive transients, the emergence of one stable element is seed for copying. In this sense, and if this kind of explanation holds, every electron has the same essence and may be thought of as the same electron. It seems that, for this kind of explanation to hold, there must be some uniform substrate e.g. the quantum vacuum whose origin then requires explanation if the net explanation is to stand independently

Singularity or structure: of an underlying indeterministic ‘continuum.’ One appeal of a continuum is that there is no lower limit to structure and therefore interaction among manifest structures is never unexplainable in principle. However, a continuum is not necessary and an infinite regress of ‘atoms’ would suffice; it seems, though that a continuum need not be thought of as an infinite regress of structures but ‘one’ structure…

Second order character of the equations: first note that not all equations are manifestly of second order; also, even second order equations may be only effectively so. The simplest explanation may be that not all equations need be of second order but, perhaps, equations of at least order two is required for dynamics and variety but equations of order higher than two would be too variable to permit structure i.e. all orders are possible but some kind of selection is at work

3.1.3        Mind, Symbol, and Knowledge… and Person

Information from Some Elements of Knowledge and Knowing may be placed here

Mentality [knowing] is not subject-object but object-object i.e. element-element or thing-thing

This is one source from which it is seen that etymological conservatism – the ‘dictionary theory of meaning’ is empty. Rigid designation is a form of logical [symbolic] atomism but symbols are elements and the elements are not described as either atomic or non-atomic. The temptation to see a symbol as atomic is due to the apparent atomicity of the sign. The rigidity of [logical] atomism is thus avoided, real freedom of understanding gained, even though there are phases of where atomism rules and thus its material and symbolic utility and limits

On reflection it is seen that there is in interaction between two beings an effect within one being that is the sign of the –interaction with– the other; this is its knowing –or feeling– of the other. The form is valid for e.g. human and for primal or elementary 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

3.1.4        Theory and Approaches to Group Action and Value

Theory is placed here; practical topics including those from the sources will remain in the section Action, Charisma and History

The following form of combination of ethics and politics and the integration of private and public concerns in ethics and politics is new to my work. The integration is important because group value includes individual value but, as noted below, individual value does not completely determine group value… and it is obvious that there are possibilities of group action are more than a simple sum of individual actions e.g. the concept of a nation requires definition of relations among individuals that are not contained in a concept of the individual – and the establishment of a nation, if it is to be more than an imposition of rule, requires cultivation of common group sentiments

Outline of Ideas

Human abilities to create, recognize and make choices makes for possibilities of action that would otherwise not exist. The same abilities originate together with the social fabric that, to a significant degree, is context to choice and action. The new possibilities require ‘rules’ to guide them and the same faculties are involved in formulating rules or morals [of course, the ability to create and make choices and rules does not guarantee their ‘adequacy’ … of that there is no guarantee but the inherited rules are the result of reason in the formulation of the rules and of selective forces.] Any strict concept of ‘ought’ in an actual setting is an ‘objectification’ of morals which are actually in process; this includes meta-objectification of the form ‘ethics is imperative.’ [This could be used as an excuse to not observe ethics but is not so intended; further, logically, an insistence on absence of morals or sense of imperative is also an objectification. Morals, are perhaps, the respect of all forms in progress from force to persuasion and, perhaps, to consensus; which entails reflection on and refinement of desire, empathy, dialogue in ongoing interaction with actual actions and outcomes]

ooo.  Human possibilities for choice action require morals or ethics. Without the human ability to create choice, action would be governed by drives and emotion which remain important in morals. First morals are, perhaps, prohibitive. There is also a function to positive morals in the choice of actions that are not morally prohibited. Although, there is a traditional distinction between moral and aesthetic sentiments that distinction is not fundamental and the integration of the sentiments is seen in the positive function. The human abilities, as has been noted, are based in the elements

ppp.  The foregoing may be formalized and inverted. Consider, first constructive or positive ethics. There is no constructive action with ends; therefore the good is important. However, in aiming toward the good the means should be right. Therefore the following formula arises, ‘Constructive ethics is the use of right means for good ends.’ This is a ‘full’ formula in that it can apply to a situation, a life, a society. In the details, as noted above, it is logically necessary for the right and the good to inform one another. The fear of the deontologist that ends may be used to justify illicit means has basis when theory and feeling i.e. free and bound function are disengaged. Now consider reactive ethics which must, in the first place, be an ethics of the right. However there is no moral situation that is entirely reactive; were it so, choice would not be involved and it could not be moral. Therefore, the second formula is ‘Reactive ethics is an ethics of the right and, simultaneously, a creative attempt to transform reactive occasion into constructive opportunity.’ In this way all moral occasions are constructive

It was noted earlier that integration of mental function, especially of bound and free function, is required for the moral sense. This repeats what has just been said morals are first based in feeling. Thus, without feeling, there can be no evil. That this implies that morals are not objective in character would be based in a flat concept of feeling; what is in question is the nature of the objective character which is discussed below. Killing would not be wrong without feeling and emotion. This is the basis of ‘animal’ restraint. However human cognition creates new possibilities and contexts –and ‘excuses’ or apologies– for action. Therefore there is need for explicit –normative– morals over and above feeling. The same facility of cognition also redefines the character of an act: even though biologically the nature of killing is unchanged the feeling and intellectual aspects, the intuition of what it is to kill change – and this may remain unconscious due to the original feeling. Thus the meta-ethical concept of a moral act arises even if at first unconscious at first. Thus, feeling is essential but, in the human case, insufficient; morals and concepts are also necessary but must remain in integration with feeling

qqq.  Ethics requires integration of bound and free mental function – of feeling and emotion, of norms and theory; and of action: for, in action, there is not always the luxury of being able to decide what the best course of action is even if there were the possibility of an ideal. But, in the nature of the world, action in the absence of complete rationality and in the ambience of empathy is moral but not only moral – it is constructive

rrr.     Morals may relate to individual behavior and to group or public values. However, morals do not determine what kinds of group structure and behavior promote moral values. Hence group value is more than morals applied or generalized to the group. Therefore, political philosophy as the theory of group action is not determined by morals or moral philosophy. An ‘epistemology’ of value may be labeled the theory of value or meta-theory [of value]

sss.    Action and influence combine charisma, persistence, use of: evidence, theory, institutions, theaters and platforms of influence, and networks and contacts

ttt.       Many moral systems prescribe action or, occasionally, exhortation to ‘depend only on yourself.’ Prescription is myriad. Here, find no prescription: I have described my path. The path includes my projects; but it is myself. As far as prescription is concerned I would say simply, that it is supreme enjoyment to share a path. What I have attempted to do is to define the outer limits of the possibility and to paint some contours within. I have ‘painted a picture.’ It gives me great pleasure to learn that another has ‘used my picture as a spark to painting his or her own.’ Perhaps I may allow myself a hope; it is ‘Let us paint together’

Primary considerations include:

Ethics [aesthetics] or value: possibility; the concept of the individual; morals and obligation – private and public [individual, group and social] value

The political: individual and public decision and action – institutional, economic and material feasibility

The individual versus the group: from the social nature of the individual public and private values cannot be fully distinct; yet, in modern times – the second half of the twentieth century, fostered by the establishment of vast systems of institutional practice and the emergence of analysis, there has been in political and moral philosophy a shift toward consideration of public values. Expedience is paramount and talk of private virtue is embarrassing. However, the proper concept of private virtue includes the capacity for care and of enjoyment; without care all value is corrupt and without enjoyment it is empty

Note that ‘value’ is not a merely economic term even if it ever was so – regardless of etymological conservatism

Some Issues:

Contributions of the Metaphysics to ethics and political philosophy: [1] The concept of the human individual – the human soul, freedom and equality, human relations, society and civilization. [2] The concept of the nature of being and of cosmology – and the concept of possibility; means-ends issues: incompleteness of the distinction, means versus ends

Relations between ethical and political philosophy; who [what] determines what is ethical [value] and how; to what extent does –in modern society– or may –in any social context–  ethics determine political means and institutions as means to ethical. Regardless of the strength of these determinations, there are definite connections: politics is concerned –along with questions of efficiency, economics and material feasibility–  with ethical means and ends; some institutions –e.g. democracy– may be considered morally right; and the determination of morals is not a mere intellectual or academic issue but is also a group i.e. political process in which ideas –and feeling– have input. This determination of morals in the public arena that includes political process is essential especially when political process is not limited to process in formal political institutions: despite feelings of certainty regarding morals –which feeling is significantly responsible for the hold of morals– moral values and moral ends interact with other ends and the morally right does not always result in moral value –right or good­– and does not always result in material viability. Thus moral value may lead to social decay. And, due to limited rationality, ideas –and feeling– are not always the answer. The only possible complete answer is for moral values to remain in group process in contact with reality – of course ideas and feeling as vehicles of moral expression necessarily contribute; and, of course, contact with reality implies that there is no guarantee of ‘success’ either moral or social

Topics in the Theory of Value or Axiology: main divisions are aesthetics and ethics which are not distinguished by some thinkers; here I focus on ethics but note that the aesthetic sense necessarily has impact on the moral sense. While normative ethics, also referred to as practical and speculative ethics, is the specification of moral values  right or wrong actions, good or undesirable ends, metaethics considers ‘higher order’ issues including: the meaning of moral terms e.g. right and wrong, good and evil, obligation and the forbidden; the nature and function of morals – real, emotive, prescriptive; nature and kinds of moral reasoning –theories of the right and of the good and their varieties; and the interests of the individual and the group– are all moral values those that are good for individuals? In consideration of the individual as a social being, ignoring the group may have negative consequences for the individual. The foregoing description might be taken to imply that a choice must be made between the theory of the right and of the good. The right is preferable in some ways: the simple importance of right action and that the good does not always imply any action or may be used to justify wrong action. However, we would not like to arrive at bad ends; therefore, what is normatively right may be informed by what is normatively good or materially feasible; this leads to the idea of value –system­– hierarchies. The same foregoing description might also be taken to imply that morals are determined by ideas and feeling; but, as we saw above, ideas and feeling, conversation and practice jointly determine morals

Some systems of normative ethics: a primary distinction is the ethics of the good i.e. consequentialism of which utilitarianism is an example and the ethics of the right [action] i.e. deontological ethics of which an ethics of duties is a kind. Other relatively specialized theories and traditions include: egoism; Kantian ethics; natural law; rights theories; social contract tradition; virtue theory. It is not clear that all the implied distinctions e.g. right action / good ends are absolute or fully coherent. It is not here implied that the ‘theories’ are complete in themselves, that they are exclusive in the sense of strict ‘either-or.’ What is required is an analysis in terms of fundamentals –foundation– that may reveal fresh elements of ethics and show a join / hierarchical application of the standard theories. What may be needed is a theory of moral method – derived, perhaps from practice and foundation. As for metaphysics, ethics is ‘in process’

Reality or objectivity of morals – can they be real without knowing precisely what they are; determining them; can the reality and determination be detached – this is the issue that one cannot get ‘outside the world’ in a search for foundation. The question of the objectivity of morals can be addressed by considering whether morals have real consequences; or by recognizing that moral awareness is, at root, an open window of an element. As indefinite, elements are the result of and potential for becoming; so for morals which are the result of and some foundation for human becoming; the actual moral sense and its expression are subject to selection but as human may incorporate speculative or creative and critical aspects. Although open, ethics is a chapter in metaphysics

Emotion and morals: the objective here is to show the necessary role of emotion or feeling and to explain why even if morals are based in emotion or intuition or are subjective they can still be real. It was seen above that reason and emotion both actually contribute to morals regardless of what might be theoretically correct. In fact I would claim that there is no monistic and rational theoretically correct account of the nature of morals in the sense that such an account could completely and without reference to the ‘public conversation and the contact with reality’ specify the nature of morals; and therefore there is no need for such an account: what is impossible in principle is without meaning. Practically, feeling contributes because empathy informs the moral sense. Theoretically, action must be based in both ‘bound’ and ‘free’ elements and the bound element is primarily feeling. Morals can still be real, objective because even though the source may be in feeling and ideas, they are also determined in public conversation and by reality contact [selection] which is over and above the origin of the capacity for feeling and the capacity of [limited] reason also in reality contact

The nature of ethics: one concept of the nature of ethics is realism. Before listing others, I observe [1] Although there are other views according to which morals are not objective the situation may be viewed differently: the various views may be thought of as ‘perspectives’ as in the case of emotion above where emotion was a source of ethical feeling that was consistent with objectivity of morals as compounded of real elements of being, and [2] the variety of concepts on the nature of ethics is not ad hoc but reflects the categories of being and the varieties of intuition and understanding. It is now possible to list without prejudice to objectivity or integrity what are the main conceptions of the nature of ethics:

Some concepts of the nature of ethics are: realism; emotivism; ethical egoism; intuitionism; naturalism; relativism; subjectivism; universal prescriptivism

Small societies: despite the absence of a vast academic enterprise, the following elements are present: feeling and ideas, public conversation and pressure, and contact with reality

Concept of a moral act – or the moral dimension of an act; and of a life or a culture or a civilization. Definition of an act in the moral sphere and its distinction from the physical act. What is the degree of moral obligation: seeking the right [good] – or merely avoiding what is unethical; is there any act that does not have a moral dimension e.g. consider a life that incorporates entertainment which may be considered morally neutral and work and voluntary activity… when might it be argued that entertainment is wrong because it detracts from the right? Should a life be ethically constructive e.g. thinking out values, living according to what is right, seeking working toward creative ends as a major commitment of the life – or is it morally sufficient to live according to accepted norms from moment to moment

Value and knowledge: or value and fact. Literally, explicitly the part cannot know or represent the whole. This is the crux of the theorem of modern logic that any system that is sufficiently powerful to include arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. But what is impossible is not desirable. Further, value distinguishes kinds of knowledge that are not intrinsically distinguished by epistemology. In saying ‘I know the whole i.e. all being’ I would not be claiming detailed, explicit knowledge. I would be saying that I know all that is desirable in a certain sense, in this case I would be saying that I know what it is essential to my being to know of all being. But this is close to the epistemic distinction that complete literal representation is impossible – what is impossible is not desirable. In the sense used here, the entire one uni-verse, all being, knows itself well enough

The political: individual and public decision and action – institutional, economic and material feasibility

Institutions and practices in politics –patriarchal systems and their theories– and the moral value of institutional systems e.g. the moral value of democracy as right in itself separate from question of efficiency; institutions and systems of practice require establishment and stability; pure concepts and mixed actualities; conversation, action and charisma – situational working out of action is not an essentially situational ethics or politics but rather a result of bounded rationality, bounded calculus, limited control, uniqueness [situation, culture, individuals…] of situations – a conversation between ideas and action

Learning from the disciplines: economics, as noted above, and history, sociology, political science as distinct from political philosophy which is the empirical study of political behavior, the tradition of political philosophy and its modern analytic and continental varieties

Note on charisma and patriarchalism: the patriarchal system is the establishment. Patriarchal influence is the use of established institutions of practice. Charismatic influence is based in the ‘charisma’ of the individual. Both charisma and patriarchalism are necessary but the difference in emphasis depends on the culture and circumstance: in cultures that ‘value’ the individual and in times of change charisma ascends

Personal, ethical and political idealism: here ‘ideal’ refers to the highest value i.e. the highest means [right] and highest ends [good.] The theory of being developed here gives us insight into what these ideals may be. It remains that the ideals from the peak of Hellenic philosophy are among the most sublime; certain ideals of Christianity are also sublime as is idea that ‘I am All Being,’ the identity of the self and all being i.e. that Atman is Brahman from the Vedanta. There is a way in which all ideals reduce to one ideal, all dreams to one dream: the dream of possibility, creation and realization

Moral and political issues: the following are ‘lists’ that include personal interest, recent issues and draw on other sources and standard references. Morals: abortion, bioethics and the environment, business, equality and discrimination, individual value, euthanasia, poverty, punishment, relationships, rights and treatment of animals, sex, war and peace, politics and morals – the ‘dirty hands’ issue; politics: autonomy, community, consent, corporations, democracy, discourse, distributive justice, efficiency, environmentalism, equality, federalism, globalism and international politics, liberty, nationalism and secession, power, property, republicanism, rights, rule of law, state – the concept and state rights, toleration, totalitarianism, trust, virtue and welfare

Practical ethics: use of examples is misleading most significantly due to the abstraction – of reflection from an actual situation, of an actual situation from the world. ‘Abstraction’ is of course necessary to be able to approach a situation. Abstraction and idealism –even starry eyed idealism– are not unrealistic if the individual is prepared to be patient with, learn about the realities of the situation. Abstraction and ideals are problematic only when rigid and their absence altogether is a form of rigidity; and the essential rigidity is that the abstract and the ideal must rule rather than be in interaction with the actual. Insisting upon the ideal, we find that the world is a dirty place; relinquishing ideals altogether we allow the world to be and to become dirty. It is good, together with the ideal, to accept and to know what is actual and find what good may be created and established

On Ideal Government

I do not know whether government is possible, but if it is it must be striving for the highest ideal

What does it mean that government may be ‘impossible’ when there is obviously government everywhere? By government, I do not mean the rule of one group by another but rational and directed group decision. In other words, to what extent is it possible to move toward ‘ends?’ ‘Rational’ does not mean ‘devoid of human value and feeling’ which would be irrational. By ‘rational,’ I mean understanding, reflecting on, having and living by values. Then asking whether government is possible is asking whether it is truly possible to live by values and toward ends; and, because pure analysis is severely limited, being rational includes spontaneity and experiment

The form of government –and the institutions of government– is an ideal in itself

We are neither omniscient nor perfectly rational and therefore we will err; let us therefore err in our striving for the highest ideal

Being rational includes being what we are –having feeling, love, ideals, making mistakes– having the courage to make mistakes and to learn…

When the decision maker –a ruler– does not face the direct consequences of the decision and when those who do face the consequences are not making the decisions, there is not only a risk to responsive decisions but something essential in the quality of being is missing. Therefore we need not only more involvement in government but forms of more involved government everywhere in the world

A mistake in government is the institutionalization of seriousness and efficiency… which results in dependency on efficiency… so that even in a time of ‘peace’ we are in a war economy – in government, work and human relations

Government is self-government – the people are not isolated from their decisions and consequences, their economies, their ideals… it shall not be the philosophers and the psychologists who shall decide the nature of human values such as love

What of organization and leadership? Charisma that arises from the people is human, against excessive seriousness and against the ‘silent war.’ If inevitable, bureaucracy, should be regarded with suspicion – as carrying a burden of evil

3.1.5        Metaphysics and Philosophy. What is Philosophy?

Think of an individual as a body with a thought universe attached to his or her head. For some actual human beings their thought universe is the entire uni-verse. In such a universe the disciplines of man loom large. There, philosophy merits a separate chapter. In the uni-verse of this text, mirroring the actual uni-verse, philosophy may be properly discussed under metaphysics. In Journey in Being, I did not consider the question of the nature of philosophy: that question is not of particular importance to the journey. However, the question is of some significance to the relation of Journey in Being to modern culture. The question is briefly considered in History of Western Philosophy, however that consideration is from within the tradition. Here, I wish to probe deeper asking, also, the meta-question ‘What is the nature of questions such as ‘What is Philosophy?’ ’ Since such questions have an actual and a conceptual side it is an excellent approach to ask the question in actual or empirical and ideal or conceptual senses

 ‘What is philosophy?’ has a number of meanings or shades of meaning; here, I consider two broad kinds of meaning that may be labeled actual and ideal, percept –practice– and concept, or detail and organization… In the growth of understanding, these approaches to meaning are not whole in themselves but are complementary and, together, provide for understanding, reason and the enabling of discovery

The first kind of meaning has its concern in the actual – what are the concerns that come –and have come– under the heading ‘philosophy.’ This would not be a merely empirical study for we would also be interested in history – the actual concerns change in interaction with the concerns of other disciplines and we would also be interested in how the concerns or groups of concerns may be characterized. Some characteristics of philosophy as it has been practiced are: a concern with the general and ultimate – in contrast to the sciences in which concern is with specific and apparently definite matters; a concern with ideas – the conceptual or speculative thought; a concern with validity i.e. the critical side to philosophy – what validity status can be assigned to the concerns of philosophy and other disciplines and thus method is important… this does not mean that any single or absolute can be given but that questions of process are on equal footing with questions of substance; thus philosophy is reflexive and the question ‘What is philosophy?’ is a philosophical question. In contrast ‘What is physics?’ is, obviously, though important to physics, not a topic in physics per se – it is however a question with philosophical dimensions

It may be thought that ‘critical philosophy’ is not speculative. However, the natures of criticism, of logic and of analysis are themselves speculative: logic is not given a priori and even fundamental LOGIC, the possibility of contradiction, requires discovery

What is the speculative side of philosophy and why is it an essential part of philosophy? Before considering this question, note, first, that all cognition has a speculative side. It is the condition of being-in-the-open-uni-verse. Science has a speculative side in the construction of its concepts without the ‘great’ theories of science would not be. Common thought has a speculative side that may be contained in the common assumptions of a culture. A priori, it would seem that any philosophy that attempts to understand being-as-being must be speculative. This is of course why the empirical sense may shun metaphysics. However, a priori, non-speculative philosophy is empty and made possible by thought cast off from its moorings; it is interesting that the loss of mooring may result in the extremes of empiricism and of idealism. What is the function of thought? Is it merely to know? Or is it also bound up with action? And, what action? Secure crawling or flying but risking? Actually an amalgam – flying founded in crawling. Simply, the importance of speculation is that of hypothesis; without it we will not be able to know more than what is already known. Or, without speculation or its material analog the void would be the void. Speculation is essential to understanding within the present cosmological system or phase-epoch of the uni-verse. But in foundation it has been seen that there is in some ways an end to speculation and, although I may have arrived at that place through speculation, speculation is not necessary: logic is the law of the entire one uni-verse

It is possible to take the reflexive concern to excess. Thus, guided by reflexive concerns, there are movements within philosophy that interpret philosophy as solely reflexive and in the shadow of this thought it is considered that it is impossible to make any statements about the world in philosophy and, going even further, that even in common knowledge and science there are also no actual statements about the world but, rather, there are matters of fact and description and nothing else. It is not clear what the guiding principles of this positivist attitude may be but I would like to identify two [others are identified in the sources.] The first is the impetus to reason. The springtime of any era of reason is usually a flowering of a newfound power of reason as with the flowering of science that lead to the enlightenment. The metaphor with the seasons is nice. Spring is followed by summer – the opulence of the paradigm. Fall – the seeds of doubt; and winter – varieties of shock such as the harsh realities of life remain despite earlier promise and, above all, reason applied to itself. Reason cannot stand alone and has always to remain in balance with actuality. It was not reason –at least not the reason of man– that created the world… that created man. The problem of the impetus to reason may be as follows: failure to distinguish between methodological and metaphysical doubt. Methodological doubt is doubt in the service of understanding; it knows that it has a place; it knows that if there is nothing to know then there is no need for doubt; it recognizes that doubt and knowing go together. In contrast, metaphysical doubt is absolute – the only certainty is doubt, the only real is doubt; it is doubt taken to the extreme that denies even the existence of that which makes doubt possible; metaphysical doubt must often be a symptom of a disease – paranoia as pervasive fear of the world, or dependence as an inability to accept the finitude or the in-process character of individual being, narcissism as the cultivation of the ego which is the instrument of the real as the real

A second broad concern in considering ‘What is philosophy’ is with the ideal: What may philosophy be? What is the range of possibilities and which among these possibilities approach the ideal? This is one of the concerns in Journey in Being. In Reason, Heart and Action, I said that I do not consider Journey in Being to be primarily philosophical. But, what would philosophy have to be in order to consider that Journey in Being is essentially philosophical? It would have to encompass the entire Nature of the Journey in Being. This nature is spelled out in the present document e.g. under the topics of Logic, of DYNAMICS and their identity as the art of the possible and the implications of that art as well as its inclusion of the traditional logic but also of the entire Journey and e.g. art itself. Some further implications of this line of thought are identified in the final section ‘Transcendental Logic,’ of History of Western Philosophy. The essential consideration here would be that philosophy would have to be expanded to include Journey in Being and not merely a description, idea or theory of the journey; at the same, time, philosophy would not lose its special and actual concerns but the ideal and the actual would be complementary

These considerations may be translated into objective terms as follows

uuu.  In philosophy [and metaphysics] as knowledge the only essential or outer limits are the necessary limits

It appears to be part of human nature that there is, in any culture, a concern with knowledge up to the outer limits. What varies among cultures is the degree to which such activity is explicit, the degree to which it is reflexive, the degree and nature of the understanding of the limits, the existence of a tradition – named e.g. ‘philosophy’ or otherwise, and a collection of concerns that reflect total world view and various specific features of the culture

In the Western Tradition there has developed a tradition of History of Philosophy and, in parallel, the question ‘What is Philosophy?’ When it is said ‘philosophy is not X’ there may be a specific aim in mind; additionally it may or may not be meant that ‘X is not possible’ or ‘there is no valid discipline, X.’ The ‘definition’ in terms of necessary limits may be used to evaluate such statements regarding the essential nature of philosophy

Although the statement regarding the limits of philosophy appears to be precise there is indefiniteness as follows:

That the limits are necessary means that the only knowledge that is off limits is knowledge that it is impossible to have. Thus if there ‘were’ a parallel universe that could not interact with ‘this universe’ then knowledge of that universe would be impossible; however, as we have seen there are no ‘other’ universes and this is not an empirical statement but a logical condition of the concept of uni-verse. The thing-in-itself is logically off limits to apprehension and this is inherent in the concept of ‘apprehension.’ However, existence the thing-in-itself and some of its properties may be inferred

According to kind of necessity – are the limits those of a particular kind of being e.g. human being; or the limits those which apply to all kinds of being

In knowledge of what is necessary and what is possible. In the possibility that speaking of the absolute –the necessary– perverts it

Clarification and qualification follows…

There is an approach, outside the tradition, discussed in Journey in Being and History of Western Philosophy, and clarified above in Logic, in which the boundaries of knowledge –and therefore of philosophy– are not definite and the clarification is that the distinction between knowledge and action is convenient but not absolute. From the considerations in Logic, the implied extension could be introduced here

In addition to these necessary or outer limits there are various ‘inner’ limits e.g. the cultural –and, therefore, historical– conditions noted above. Some conditions of the Western Tradition –also considered in History of Western Philosophy– are now taken up. In view of the idea that philosophy has concern with the outer limits of understanding it is practical that those limits and their nature will be a significant concern. A condition for the origin of philosophical thought is a degree of reflexivity or awareness of being i.e. of self, of uni-verse and of knowledge. But reflexivity also arises in the question of the outer limits – and in any extension beyond the immediate… what are the conditions of knowledge which concern is the root of epistemology. The questions of epistemology are also of concern in the immediate not primarily because of doubt or occasional error but because of curiosity and especially because the foundation of knowledge in its realm of relative security is an approach to foundation outside that realm. While epistemology arises as a concern over the nature and validity of knowledge, ethics is concerned with the nature and validity of action. The concern of metaphysics is being, of epistemology – knowledge, of ethics – action; thus it is seen that the traditional division of philosophy into metaphysics, epistemology and ethics is not altogether contingent upon historical accident. Of the three divisions, metaphysics is the broadest and ethics and epistemology could be taken as chapters in metaphysics. Since a developed metaphysics may include a cosmology and an account of mind i.e. of sentient being, the label ontology is reserved for the theory of being without restriction to kind or category. In a formal metaphysics, the general axiom system might be taken as the ontology

Other contextual limits include the following. The relation between philosophy and the special disciplines – it is typical that a discipline e.g. physics began as a special concern within philosophy where it remained until its subject matter became definite, applicable and therefore able to stand independently and sufficiently important and extensive to merit specialization. However, the distinction is not entirely clear and breaks down in periods of ‘revolution;’ additionally philosophical concerns remain important as in the philosophy of physics even though not necessary for practice. Thus the special disciplines are not considered part of philosophy but the emergence of a discipline from philosophy has a contingent character

Having developed the Metaphysics, the Journey in Being continues with the following ‘Divisions’ which I now understand to be not distinct from the Metaphysics or theoretical aspect – which distinctions arise on account of the common flatness of concepts

3.1.6        The Problems of Metaphysics


The objective is to completely formulate and treat the problems of metaphysics. It is important to understand ‘completeness’ properly. Certain distinctions are important. First, ‘completeness’ is a concept that itself requires clarification which is a part of the treatment. Second, the objective here is to ‘point’ to a complete treatment e.g. to show how it may be accomplished

We have seen that there is metaphysics; and, in continuation of that line of thought, an objective is to show that there are, indeed, problems of metaphysics. Some problems are actual and others are artifacts of a way of ‘seeing’ e.g. the origin of the mind-matter problem in the uncritical acceptance of ‘materialism’ and consequences of that uncritical attitude. All problems and the concepts required for formulation receive illumination and solution. For the artifactual problems, the ‘solution’ is that the artifactuality is rendered obvious; further, in arriving at that conclusion, the component concepts may be clarified or deepened. The present LOGIC and related topics are fundamental in the development and due to the common foundation and the interactivity of the problems, the solutions are systematic and simultaneous

The sources contain a relatively complete list of both traditional and emerging problems in western metaphysics but not of the logic of such a list i.e. ‘the problems of metaphysics’ is itself regarded as a problem. Here, the intent is to remedy that deficit and provide a brief account of the solutions provided by the ‘metaphysics of the void’

The Origin and Nature of Metaphysics

Although origins do not define but may illuminate a subject

According to some accounts the origin of the term ‘metaphysics’ is, simply, that Aristotle’s books on the subject came after his books on physics. This may suggest, however, that metaphysics is the study of what is beyond physics. Aristotle, however, refers to his metaphysics as ‘first philosophy’ and the study of ‘being as being’ which is in contrast to the study of the natural or sensible world

The study of the natural or sensible world is distinct from the study of being as being. Although what is true for being will be true for all actual objects, the study of the natural world starts, at least, as the study of what is manifest and therefore what is true of being may not be manifestly true of the objects of study in biology and physics. The question even arises, most acutely with Hume, whether being can be known and is answered by Kant ‘only as in the forms of intuition.’ Therefore, there may be being as being but we may be forever ‘cut off’ from it. However, Hume and Kant assume the concept of knowledge to be positive and objective and then find that there is no actuality that corresponds to the concept. But as we have seen, this concept of knowledge is empty: there cannot be knowledge that is a priori both positive and object-ive. It is therefore convenient to distinguish ontology the objective study of being as being from science which is positive but not objective or ultimate. At the same time it is also convenient to recognize a broader study that includes both ontology and science, that may be a posteriori objective and positive, that is the study of all being; this, I label metaphysics

The Problems of Metaphysics

Metaphysics and Epistemology

Metaphysics is the study of being – of that which has being or exists. What things –entities– have being, why, what is the nature of their being – and of their becoming, what are the relationships and interactions among those entities, and why the answers to these questions may be believed? These are the questions that generate the problems of metaphysics and as a group may be referred to as ‘the generating question’ of the problems of metaphysics

Asking why the answers to the questions may be believed is asking the question of the validity of knowledge – a question of epistemology. However this question is a component of the question ‘What is the being of knowledge?’ Conceived in this way, the questions of the nature of knowledge and its relations –validity and the nature of validity– are metaphysical problems; and epistemology is part of metaphysics. Since ‘Why do we believe our answers?’ is part of asking about the being of knowledge its explicit presence in the generating question may be eliminated without loss of its implicit presence

Actual Entities

We think that a material object has being. Why do we think that? Forget, for this discussion, the various but often suppressed subtleties inherent of the idea of matter. The idea of being as that which has power i.e. the ability to have an affect –on other beings or entities– is a fundamental idea, present in Hellenic thought, that gives credence to the being of material objects

What is involved in the nature of the being of entities:  a classical list includes extension, relation and interaction, and duration-process. This classical list is not ad hoc and is implied by the void-metaphysics i.e. by the becoming-from-the-void which is itself necessary and not at all ad hoc

Extension and process or duration are fundamental in that their co-ordination is / involves the introduction of space and time or space-time. Even when it is considered that space-time is absolute –in contrast to the relational conception– it is not space-time per se that is so considered; rather it is extension-duration: which, to forget, is a metaphysical confusion that leads to incessant debate away from fundamentals. Interaction is fundamental as power or cause or its more particular manifestation as force; but to introduce a notion of cause is not to imply its ‘universality’ and to do so would be to allow a metaphysical confusion. Relationship or interaction are also fundamental in standing against atomism; this point is not at all to question the practical being of the atoms or other particles of physics; rather it questions their essential atomic nature and asserts that while they have atomic aspects they also participate in being-as-a-whole which is to contradict atomism as essential which would constitute, also, a metaphysical confusion. Relation as interaction is seen as intensely fundamental when it is asked ‘what is the interaction like?’ In asking this fundamental question, experience or mind though not the mind-of-‘higher’-being is seen to be immanent in objects including those of a material character

The mind-of-higher-being may be introduced as follows. That something may be conceived –even that a question may be asked– immediately suggests ‘What is it that conceives?’ And in the observation that conception, asking or thought are like something the identity in kind of the mind-of-higher-being and mind-as-likeness is immanent. Traditional answers to the question ‘what thinks?’ include mind, individual, soul, spirit and person. At once the questions of the being of mind, individual… arise; and the question of their relationship to the body i.e. the questions of the relationships of mind-matter, mind-soul…

The following particular entities have thus far been considered: material objects, minds, individuals, persons, spirits, and souls. What other kinds of particular being may there be?

The concept of ‘God’ is particularly important in Western Metaphysics where the concept of God has been the name of ‘the most perfect being’ or ‘the most real of all things.’ By thus implicitly conflating a putative actual being with an abstract entity an immense metaphysical confusion has been introduced. It is not merely some confusion: large segments of roughly two hundred and forty human generations have been held in darkness as its result. Below, the discussion considers an actual God rather than a concept that uses ‘good faith’ in the mere control by the immoral of the faithful. Who is immoral? It may be thought to be someone else –a charlatan or a tyrant– but most insidiously it is the other self of the faithful; that self that is self-truncating…

There are circles, c. 2004, in which discussion of ‘God’ is not considered to be proper topic in for metaphysics or philosophy. There are various reasons for this but the one with which I allow myself concern is that God has no place in what may be called scientific realism: there we find neither empirical evidence nor any proper theoretical role for a concept of God. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the status of scientific realism. Clearly, considered against a background of universal Logic, the scientific picture is not ultimate; however, this need not prevent us from holding that what the scientific picture shows to be present in this phase-epoch of the entire one uni-verse is actually present. However, scientific picture does not show us what is not present especially in the entire uni-verse of which the present cosmological system is a mere part; and it shows an extremely small fraction of what things may be present in the entire uni-verse. There is a convention in science, sometimes associated with the philosophy of science called ‘evolutionary epistemology’ that something that is not testable does not exist. The original meaning of ‘not testable’ was ‘not testable in principle.’ However a number of positivist minded thinkers have taken the testable condition to mean ‘not currently or practically testable.’ This form of principle is clearly untrue and the strongest demonstration of its untruth follows from the Logic; it is significant that the ‘practical’ form of the principle would not have served science itself well… I consider ‘God’ to be an important topic for the following reasons: as we have seen, ‘God’ in a number of reasonable interpretations has actual referents; it remains an important idea for many persons; while the ultimate importance of the idea is difficult to estimate analytically ‘God’ may turn out to have even supreme importance

That ‘God’ as ‘higher being’ has referents has been established in general but not so far as immediate in our phase-epoch of the uni-verse which question, in a normal sense, is empirical… perhaps the best normal local sense of ‘God’ may be metaphorical as in e.g. ‘the principle of the good’ or ‘the principle of human incompleteness and wonder.’ However, the normal sense is not ultimate or theoretical and any God in any phase-epoch of the uni-verse may interact with the present phase-epoch; this is inherent in the potential of interaction of all being. Here, ‘God’ is not conceived as the most real of being but only as ‘higher’ in precisely the sense that human being is more complex than its individual cells; the concept of ‘perfection’ has no –special– place in the present metaphysics. There is no implication derived here of the importance of ‘God.’ It has, however, been established that the essence of all being –via the void– is immanent in every being; the identity of the individual and of all being, the Vedantic formula ‘you are that’ i.e. the identity of the self, Atman, with Brahman has also been established beyond doubt. To think otherwise is for those who can walk to choose to crawl

Other particular entities include: society, life, machines and mathematical objects such as number

If relationship is regarded as having being, the explicit introduction of the question ‘what are the relationships among the entities?’ can be eliminated from the generating question since its presence is implicit

Abstract Entities

What is the being of matter over and above the being of individual material objects? The question is important because without an idea of the being of matter it is not possible to talk –to have a concept– of the nature of material objects. The following ideas arise in the history of attempts to answer this kind of question: forms, ideas, categories, universals and particulars

What is the being of form, idea, universal, category, and particular? The question suggests that form, idea… have being over and above being conceived i.e. that the terms have actual referents. Are there such referents and what is their nature? Does there require to be an actual referent to give meaning to the nature of a particular or is this requirement a metaphysical confusion? I show below that requiring a referent is a form of metaphysical confusion. Nonetheless there are referents; however, in showing this it will be necessary to analyze ‘form,’ ‘idea’ and so on and reduce them to their essential terms eliminating what is superficial or introduced to respond to metaphysical confusion. The analysis itself, rather than something ad hoc, will show what are the essential terms. Further, the analysis is not ad hoc either since it results from the necessary Logic or void-metaphysics i.e. the metaphysics-of-becoming-from-the-void

Here, in the history of consideration of the abstract entities, is the origin of much confusion and a primary source of the modern –since the late enlightenment– impetus to ‘abandon metaphysics.’ The kinds of confusion may be assembled under the heading ‘metaphysical confusion’ which includes the use of ideas without adequate concern for their interrelations and uses including piecewise consideration of concepts, reification of tentative ideas, over-dependence on analysis including the dominance of reason by mere word games, continuing reference to accumulated history over reference to the uni-verse hidden by ritual incantations for reason and against authority, treating incomplete and in-process meaning as complete and arrived, narcissistic attachment to the dark places of the individual soul, resolute avoidance of the light i.e. weightless being of the void; and resolution of confusion is as described just above [Logic] and does not at all require abandonment of metaphysics or premature and narcissistic attachment to immediate and allegedly refractory –to understanding– particulars. To become mature, Western Philosophy and Western Metaphysics must abandon the particulars of its history and of ego and rest upon pure perception

It is precisely here that there is the potential for much confusion i.e. in the profusion from the history of philosophy of what may be considered to be being: from the history of metaphysics, to the elements of multitudes of special disciplines and activities e.g. as in politics or political philosophy where some political form is considered to be the essence of the real which includes not only the ‘great’ political movements and their actual and surrogate ideologies but also the private and deviant interests of the most decadent individual. The confusion is not in the significance of the considerations but in their projection to the ultimate i.e. in having an interest and taking it in itself or up to some limit of actuality or imagination but no further

Perhaps some ‘apology’ or explanation for the dogmatic form of the preceding statements would soften their harsh character. Actually, there is no dogmatic form: the propositional content is immanent in the Logic. Perhaps, then, an apology should be directed toward persons. However, there is no insult to person; it is the abandonment of true reason that is the subject of criticism. The situation is entirely analogous to the production side of consumption: the manufacturer of the best product will make less profit than the manufacturer of the best advertised but otherwise sufficiently deficient product; similarly, truncated ideas are self-propagating and complete ideas are self-truncating. Does this imply that there is no place for ‘quality?’ No, for in the initial stages of creation and introduction of a product, focus on ‘quality’ is required to produce a viable result [which suggests a life-cycle: quality -> quantity -> decay.] The derision of metaphysics since the late Enlightenment when reason allegedly denied its own power is based in criticism of truncated ideas but also in self-truncation short of realization of the Logic; what is admirable in the great philosophers of those times is their insight and productivity –in rendering a vast, entertaining and self-propagating production system– even while they have denied themselves the use of their limbs and are able to think even while they render themselves unable to walk

What is the being of being? I.e. what is metaphysics? This question is implied by the nature of metaphysics and equally by the generating questions. Therefore, the explicit ‘Why?’ can be eliminated from the generating question. The question is fundamental but is often forgotten amid the welter of more particular questions. It is fundamental to metaphysical understanding of our being; and to approaching the more detailed or particular questions. Asking ‘what is the being of being’ implies the question ‘what is the nature of the being?’ of any particular being or kind of being and therefore permits elimination of its explicit inclusion in the generating question. Asking ‘What is the being of being?’ is also asking ‘What is the nature of existence or existing?’ This is a source of the question ‘Why is there something rather that nothing?’ that has been called the ‘fundamental problem of metaphysics:’ the resolution of this problem as trivial and its replacement by the more interesting but also trivial question ‘Why is there presence or experience rather than nothing?’ has been established earlier… To ask ‘What is the being of being?’ is also to ask ‘What is the nature of their becoming?’ which is also to ask ‘Why is there becoming?’ which also results in the ‘fundamental problem’

The Source of The Problems of Metaphysics

Thus it has been seen that the fundamental problem that generates all metaphysical problems [all questions] is simply, ‘What is being?’

A Summary of the Problems

What is being i.e. what is existence? What is its nature? Why is there being? What is the nature of and why is there becoming? The latter implies the fundamental problem of metaphysics ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ or its rendering in the present metaphysics ‘Why is there presence rather than nothing or mere material being?’ Asking these questions also leads to consideration of the nature of extension-duration i.e. of space-time, of entity, of cause or of force, of relation or interaction and of process

Asking ‘What has being?’ results in consideration and in asking the remainder of the generating question of proposed actual and ultimate entities. The proposed actual entities are suggested by experience and the proposed ultimate entities are suggested by asking what is behind i.e. what generates the actual entities i.e. what is the source of their becoming i.e. what is the essence of their actual nature i.e. what is the individual experience of intuition in relation to the nature of actual entities and are alternatively suggested by asking the nature of being which implies consideration of ‘ultimate being’

Proposed actual entities include: matter and material objects, machines, life and living objects, society and societies, mind, knowledge, individual, person, spirit, soul, god; asking the nature of the being of these entities is also asking the question of identity; and in asking the relational aspect of the generating question of the actual entities there arise the problems of mind-matter, individual-soul, individual-god, epistemology

Proposed ultimate entities include: substance, God, [Atman, Brahman, Spirit, Soul,] and the void; which leads to relational questions among ultimate entities e.g. of the relation between Atman and Brahman, the being and originality of God, and the relation of all being to the void

Asking the nature of actual entities is asking the question of ‘kind.’ This is addressed, in part, by the ultimate entities. However, the ultimate entities do not say much regarding the issue of kind. In asking about the kind of a particular entity the following abstract entities are introduced: form, idea, universal, category. Related entities are symbol, word, linguistic expression. What is the relation among these concepts – which ones are essential and have validity? Is it necessary for the terms to have actual referents for them to have meaning or applicability? Or is it sufficient for them to be concepts or even ‘empty’ names? Consideration of the ‘becoming from the void’ will shed light on these questions. Finally, although mathematical ‘objects’ were considered above under actual entities it is more convenient, here, to consider them under the abstract entities; however, it will be found, from considerations stemming from the void-metaphysics, that there is no essential distinction between actual and abstract entities but this will require, first, retention of only those entities whose concepts, in fact, have reference or meaning. This leads into the following considerations of completeness and consistency

Conclusion of the Summary; Completeness of the System or List of Problems

Finally the aspects, ‘What has being?’ and ‘What are the relations among entities?’ of the generating question leads to considerations of completeness and of consistency. The question of completeness is, simply, ‘Have all actual and possible kinds of being been listed?’ It will be necessary to consider, as stated above, what is or may be meant by ‘completeness.’ This will permit realization of a useful notion of completeness and, simultaneously, avoid the paradoxes of ‘the part knowing the whole’ associated with the twin requirements of consistency and literal completeness. An adequate treatment of completeness has already been taken up in Completeness of the Metaphysics. Completeness has an empirical side –the history of metaphysics, observation, and experiment with thought and variety of being– and a conceptual or theoretical side in a metaphysical system. The approach to completeness is thus iterative over concepts and ‘data’ or examples; this is the traditional approach that iterates over hypothesis [concept,] deduction, comparison [data, observation…,] and correction; however the traditional assumption that the iterative process has no end is not made here. The void-metaphysics shows that there are ends to chains of understanding even at the very foundation; in arriving at such conclusions it is convenient to replace flat concepts by slack versions – discussed in the sources… which at the termination of the chain of reason may be sharpened. Here; in the sources and in experience described in the source is a detailed consideration of the ‘empirical side.’ The theoretical side is the void-metaphysics which is an ultimate metaphysics in the following senses: it provides foundation for all being without need for regress; no substance or category is required to be posited; the metaphysics is foundation of or alternately equivalent to the most general concept of logic which is at the same time the one universal law of all being; that logic requires becoming and reduces the ‘fundamental problem of metaphysics and its generalizations – Why is there being with property x e.g. sentience or presence?’ to a trivial status; it illuminates the status of the present cosmological phase-epoch –or of any such system– relative to the uni-verse; it clarifies the concepts of possibility and necessity; it allows a prescription, though not an algorithm, of what is possible; it sheds light on the kinds of possible being including ‘higher’ being that transcends the encapsulated lives of animal-being as we know it; it clarifies the possible concepts of ‘God;’ it illuminates and shows the immediate relevance of the Vedantic concepts of Atman and Brahman –the self and the ultimate– and founds the Vedantic identity of the two – and in so doing shows the dual presence of becoming and dissolution in that identity; and it is instrumental in finding both mind and matter in the elements of being, in illuminating their basic nature and in thus forbidding any divide between the two… Consistency has an empirical aspect in the applicability of the entity – or concept; and a relational or logical aspect: does the system of entities fit together as a consistent or coherent whole? Of course, while it is possible for inconsistency to ‘leak’ into any system of thought, the void-metaphysics rules out inconsistency at the very beginning; however, in so ruling out inconsistency the dependence is on being rather than algorithm

Reductions and Solutions

The objective here is to reduce the problems of metaphysics to their essence; and to suggest and discuss ‘solutions.’ I have discussed earlier the meaning and reasoning of the position that does not hold out the primacy of questions without answers. What I substitute for the wonder of questions is simply the wonder of being and the secondary wonder of questions is that they point to being. Holding on to the ‘eternal question’ is to part of a romantic notion of the thinker or philosopher at the expense of simple yet profound wonder and at the expense of action and of being; it is a metaphysical confusion that results by universalizing simple and tentative confusions and the tentative character of some answers. I hold, then, that answers and answering are possible and wonderful; of course, to say this is not at all to say that all answers are imminent. The primary principles will be that of void-metaphysics and the concept of being – which has been seen to entail Logic. The procedure will be to consider primarily those entities that have not received adequate treatment in the body of this essay; to consider those entities briefly but adequately; and to show how, and in what meaning, the system of entities is complete

Things –entity, process, relation– have been adequately treated earlier except to note explicitly the relation among them. In classical determinism, they stand in deterministic relationship of which the prototype is classical mechanics. In general, however, there is no deterministic relation of the classical type; instead, selection, favors relatively stable forms. Consideration of ‘things’ leads to consideration of space and time or space-time whose metaphysics has been taken up above and in the sources with significant illumination but, it might not need be said, only incompletely. The absolute, beyond entity-process-relation is the void

Existence; The Fundamental Problem of Metaphysics

The fundamental problem has been adequately treated and re-interpreted in a stronger form above, in the body of this essay and the sources. Therefore, it is necessary to here consider only existence

In the sources, the following analysis is given: a member of a kind of being exists as such; but to determine unqualified existence a metaphysics is necessary and to determine unqualified existence of all entities requires a complete metaphysics. E.g. since ideas and numbers do not appear to be material in nature and may thus be thought of as fictions, a materialist might be inclined to –and many materialists do– assert that ideas and numbers do not exist or that they have a lesser grade of existence. Although this line of ‘thinking’ has positivist motivations it is intensely metaphysical as is materialism or any substance ontology except the substance ontology that there is no substance i.e. the ontology of the void; and the idea of ‘grades of existence’ is incoherent. It is seen that the void-metaphysics is the ultimate metaphysics simultaneously empty and full that provides for interpretation of ‘existence.’ Note that the meaning of asking the question of the existence of something that is not known to exist has been extensively discussed: it is to ask whether there is a referent of the concept or name

Mind, matter, machines, society, God, becoming, extension-duration or space-time, and mind-matter issues have been adequately discussed in this essay and the sources. The section, Theory of Space-time, is adequate as a foundation for a more complete formulation. As the ‘essence’ of the being of an individual ‘soul’ has interpretation in recurrence and transcendence – the individual as a phase of ‘higher’ and ultimate being [Atman is Brahman.] Spirit, what is not seen, and soul and soul-body relations have received adequate treatment in the void-metaphysics. The question of life and life-matter is taken up later

Now consider the abstract entities. Form has been considered to be the possibility of structure i.e. the form of a ‘thing’ is its pattern. From the void-metaphysics a more complete interpretation of form is a pattern whose approximation is relatively stable. Thus actual entities exist that correspond to forms and ephemeral actual entities exist that do not correspond significantly to forms. Do forms exist? It has been seen that patterns are things and thus so are forms which therefore exist in the patterning of –other, simpler– things; similarly, there is no essential distinction between form and ‘form of form’ and no paradox of infinite regress of forms – on the present account the thought of such regress does not even arise. A similar claim may be made for ideas, and universals; universals may be viewed alternately as classes of particulars and as –referents to– things e.g. a universal may be regarded as the name of a form; this will be elaborated below. Now consider, for example, the relation between a particular horse and the idea or form of horse. In the Hellenic period, to a critic of the form of horse who said that he saw horses but no horse-ness, the response was given “That is because you have eyes but not intelligence.” The response from the theory of intuition is that individuals have, or are capable of developing, the intuition of the horse [among other particulars and the categories of intuition.] Thus the form of horse exists in intuition i.e. the form of horse is a form of intuition. However, this only explains the perception of horses and that that perception does not require intelligence as used in the quote. What is or may be the actual form of horse?

The beginning of an answer is provided in the population thinking of the new synthesis of evolutionary biology where species are typological populations in which there is individual variation; species are not essences. This seems to argue against the idea of form of horse as ideal but suggests, due to the apparent boundaries between and existence of species that there is something form-al about the species. The theory of becoming-from-the-void as briefly discussed in this essay and elaborated in the sources provides completion of the picture. Relative to the void, and possibly relative to the elements of the present phase-epoch, only those things become which are selected; and selection requires stability or form. Form is the necessary aspect of stability but there is also a contingent, historical, aspect in that only those forms are arrived at in a particular cosmological system [coherent phase-epoch of the one uni-verse] that are ‘continuously’ connected to the elements or to the void. Other becomings are possible but are unlikely to be form-al or stable; other formal becomings are ruled out by the requirement of continuity for stability which, however, on the theory of becoming is not a necessary requirement but exceptions though immanent are colossally unlikely. Thus the actual life-forms on earth are forms but it is not clear from the foregoing whether the form-al possibilities from the contingent origin of life are sparsely or densely populated. One argument suggests that the form-al possibilities sparsely populate the transient possibilities and that is the boundary between species but this argument is only heuristic. It remains that the being of forms, specifically of life-forms has been shown but in the actual one uni-verse and without need to refer to an ideal universe; and, on reflection, that the categories of being are unnecessary: the categories may conveniently refer to distinctions but when regarded as necessary or fundamental there results the introduction of unnecessary dualisms – the categories may be thought to lie at the root of Cartesian dualism or the Leibnizian monadism among whose problems is their need for coordination to which no better answer was given than ‘coordination in the mind of God.’ Since the dualism is completely unnecessary in the present account the problem of such ad hoc explanation does not arise

[The introduction of ‘God’ in the time of Descartes or Leibniz was natural on account of the still remaining power of the Church; and therefore the inconsistency of the idea of something ‘outside the one uni-verse which is all being’ may have been tolerable. On the present account ‘God’ may be interpreted as the uni-verse which contains the present cosmological system; then ‘God’ may influence and coordinate affairs in this cosmos. That explanation is coherent and possible; and I have used it when considering absolute possibility but without need to refer to ‘God’ which would result in the introduction of distracting if not misleading connotations. However, thus far, I have not found the explanation necessary in immediate and practical affairs – the meaning of which has been discussed in this essay]

On the completeness of the elements, life is matter. Further, matter and mind are not disjunct but coeval and co-extensive. This point has been extensively discussed where it was necessary to distinguish between the mental aspect of an element and mind-as-we-have-it – I avoid saying mind-as-we-experience-it because that suggests distinction from matter. What, then, is special about life? First, there is the continuous connection through a history of forms [stable or relatively stable structures] with the elements and or the void. Second, continuity [reproduction] is built in as an aspect of stability. Finally, the evolution of adaptedness [stability] into adaptability is the source of the elaborate and bright aspects of mind-as-we-have-it that includes both [bright] consciousness and intelligence

The idea of theoretically generating the forms is interesting. There would have to be two parts to the theoretical generation: generation and recognition; and it would likely be necessary to have the generation to be efficient in order to be practical. To conceive the possibility does not make for practicality; the thought is included for its interest but not as accomplishable. What terms might the theory involve? The following possibilities may be considered: image [word,] symbol [analysis including numerical analysis,] and modeling; and combinations

Now consider number and mathematics. On the above account it is clear that number may be seen as a kind of form. However, it has been seen that on this account, form and so number, is not essentially an abstraction although we may approach it that way; rather number is form and form is ‘thing’ in the one actual uni-verse. The idea of number as essentially abstract, the idea of an ideal universe of forms in which number exists, the idea of number as merely a name or a concept – these ideas are approximations of a finite mind to what is and has been shown to be the case. MATHEMATICS may be considered to be ‘the collection of all forms,’ or ‘the shape of form;’ and then mathematics may be considered to be the study of MATHEMATICS. The close connection if not identity between LOGIC and MATHEMATICS is, then, immediate. We may say that while logic and mathematics are related though different, LOGIC and MATHEMATICS are identical. We may then say, in human terms, becoming approximates to form, in place of the ultimate terms in which BECOMING is FORM-AL

Next, consider knowledge. Knowledge has been considered and in its flat or proximate form validity as positive justification has been replaced by selection. In general, however, the very idea of validity –either positive as justification or negative as selection– has been called into question. Validity has a place and in its place is a source of knowledge-as-a-resource and the power inherent in that kind of knowledge e.g. the predictive and technological power of science. In general, however, knowledge is tied up in being-as-being and universal validation is impediment that keeps being flat and blocks realization e.g. the identity of Atman with Brahman. In that general way the idea of knowing all details is not impossible in fact but impossible in the nature of knowledge; and any desire for all detail is based on misunderstanding of what might result from that knowledge: instead of the power that might be hoped for it would be a burden of infinite and unusable even unrecognizable detail. In the same way acquaintance with things-in-themselves is not possible or desirable as part of the nature of knowledge even though a concept and some understanding of ‘thing-in-itself’ –it should be remembered that appearances or experiences are of a different kind than ‘thing-in-itself’ and conflation or confusion of the two is a categorial error that, if made, may result in further confusion e.g. of desire and error e.g. of physics as possibly describing the ultimate which it cannot do as long as it is conceived of as anything more than the law of logic i.e. of contradiction– is possible and illuminating

A number of modern i.e. c. 2004 problems in metaphysics are  now seen to be illuminated. These problems include: the theory of objects, the study of possibility and necessity – and the study of possible worlds, the interaction between general metaphysics and the special problems such as free will, the interaction between metaphysics [philosophy] and the sciences. An object is a form; at the same time there is in intuition the intuitive-form of the object; similarly all symbols have a formal referent and an intuitive-form; with regard to the use theory of meaning which may be viewed as a –valid– generalization of the reference theory, reinterpretation as reference theory is possible on proper interpretation of the concept of object and in noting that nothing that is in this world gets out of it; in the one uni-verse necessity and actuality can be the same ‘nothing gets out’ is logically part of the concept of one uni-verse and therefore equivalent to ‘nothing can get out.’ Possibility, necessity and possible worlds have been illuminated. All actual worlds are possible; all possible worlds are actual; this immense simplification of ‘possible worlds’ is extensively discussed in this essay. Drawing on the void-metaphysics, free-will has been discussed in the sources; and the relations between that metaphysics and physics, cosmology, biology including the understanding of life and evolution, the study of mind, consciousness and the mental functions is manifest

Returning to the theory of form, a fundamental question arises, ‘What meaning can be given to the classical form of the Good?’ The ‘original’ becoming requires distinction or difference for both actual being and for presence. If the ‘Good’ is equated to the original [and continued] form of becoming then, clearly, it is inextricably –logically– bound together with dissolution. In original becoming, ‘ends’ and ‘process’ are interwoven and so it remains in all becoming where means and ends are proximately distinct; thus an ultimate separation of ethics of good ends from an ethics of right means is coherent because logically impossible. Thus, while the GOOD contains the good i.e. the mundane referents in a finite mind of the GOOD, care must be taken in any attempt to project from the latter to the former. To project avoidance of ‘evil,’ in some ways so characteristic of human morals, results in paradox for the admix of GOOD and EVIL is logically necessary. The practical consequence in ‘this world’ is that an obsessive concern with avoidance of EVIL results in strangulation of LIFE. A world without excrement is impossible. With this in mind, the GOOD may be taken to refer to becoming or, to the ‘principle of becoming.’ Here, there is no distinction between the –form of the– GOOD and the various lesser forms i.e. those forms are contained in the GOOD. But, as becoming is logically necessary, at the original level, the GOOD is not to be thought of as a compulsion. Likewise, in our world, we may think of the GOOD as a guide rather than a compulsion – as already emphasized, compulsion is strangulation. Practically, of course, compulsive aspects arise. We may think, remaining in ‘this world,’ of the GOOD as an ambience for the performance of every act where ‘every’ is interpreted as referring to minute acts and to a ‘life as a project.’ Although, compulsive morals arise, compulsive avoidance of compulsion is still compulsion; and even though the GOOD refers to every act, requiring it to so explicitly refer according to some positive specification is also compulsive and ‘death by decay.’ It is good for every act to be enjoyed i.e. to cultivate enjoyment of every act. These thoughts show ‘knowledge’ to have an ethical dimension i.e. investment in knowing is not ethically neutral as is sometimes portrayed in the academic picture – yet to insist on this is not what is intended: the ethical dimension is in the heart of the discoverer –where there is a place for commitment and belief over mere neutrality– and not in an injunction. Our world is still imbued with a Puritan morality which finds seriousness and enjoyment to be exclusive. Common manifestations of this attitude are in education and at ‘work.’ The attitude here is that while there are serious occasions, the principle of enjoyment is general and enjoyment of the principle is ‘productive’ in the conventional sense but also because enjoyment is life. In this sense enjoyment is not absence of seriousness or pain. Enjoyment, then, includes cultivation of ‘no-mind.’ In that state, what is necessary to the occasion or the act is ‘enjoyed’ without compulsion. The GOOD illuminates the act. The polarities of the instant and the unlimited are immanent. There is a kind of ethic in which every act is ethical. It is approximated by the phrase ‘ethic of enjoyment.’ It is the ethic of action not merely of prohibition. It is an ethic in which rest, being-in-the-present are also good. It recognizes that without feeling there is not only no reason for ethics but that there is no ethics. It is a foundation of but does not prescribe ‘higher ethic’ of choice. Theory may make prescription but that is adjunct to feeling and group action

 Metaphysics and Epistemology

Although the epistemological aspect of the generating question is secondary, the critical function is important. The most significant ideas often result from response to criticism in the form of revaluating the understanding of the world and, simultaneously, of knowledge-as-part-of-the-world. The power of epistemology is mistakenly thought to be in its negative critical power that is so appealing to the impatient intellect. Separated, both epistemology and metaphysics are disempowered. A prime example of the joint critical-creative power is in the join of world and intuition in the categories of understanding; this should not be taken to imply, as is –and has been– sometimes done, that specified categories of intuition are the limits of understanding and knowledge. Thus, epistemology may assist in projecting from our domain or phase-epoch of the uni-verse to the entire uni-verse; however, it should be remembered that the logic in relation to the void and its equivalences with the entire uni-verse is a topic in metaphysics and not in epistemology (epistemology may enter in the intermediate realms.) Alternatively, being and knowing intersect in the symbol of which the categories of intuition are complex examples; and the logic of the void is a much simpler example – the simplicity is the vehicle –though not the source– of the power of that logic-metaphysics

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. 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

[Various characterizations of metaphysics are possible: an inquiry into what exists, or what really exists; the science of reality, as opposed to appearance; the study of the world as a whole; a theory of first principle. It is a mistake to compare, contrast and criticize these thoughts not because any characterization is deficient but because the idea of a pithy specification is inadequate: the ‘characterizations’ are arrows but not definitions. In reflecting on metaphysics and the issues or problems it is found that all the stated characterizations contribute to global understanding as well as others. The first mistake is in isolating a piece of understanding and thinking that it will necessarily be and remain a whole in itself. As a beginning, metaphysics as ‘the study of being as being’ where the negative significance that no part will be arbitrarily discarded from the study is as important as the positive significance that the intent is to consider being as a whole

To consider being as a whole is not to ignore details; the whole may be seen as a system of interacting parts in interaction and so ‘in process.’ In using the word ‘parts’ it is not implied that there are elements that have no parts; and in thinking of interaction and process it is not implied that all understanding is in these terms… or that any one or two of ‘part,’ ‘interaction,’ and ‘process’ are more fundamental than the other(s.) In reflection, it may be seen that any one term may entail the others. And that this is so and that there is a also a view beyond parts or beyond interaction or beyond process is seen to follow from the void-metaphysics]


Above we discussed the ‘completeness’ of the formulation of the problems of metaphysics; the role of the Completeness of the Metaphysics was further elaborated. The objective here is to discuss completeness of the ‘solutions’

Although absolute and literal completeness in the sense of ‘every type of being’ cannot be claimed, the following has been shown. First, in the body of the present essay, the incoherence of the ‘attribute theory’ of being has been shown. Second, significant extension and an approach to extension of the known ‘kinds’ of being; the void-metaphysics has been deployed, as in recurrence, to show that when superposed on observation and the traditional system a much richer system results. Thus, for example, when it is said that even primal being has mind it is not being implied that that primal mind has thought, emotion and so on as we experience these qualities. Rather, what is asserted, is the efficient extension of a concept of the mind of being as the sign of the other, the ‘feeling,’ in the being. Third, illumination and clarification of the being of being i.e. of ‘existence’ has been given. Fourth, illumination of the nature and necessity of the kinds which on, account of the incoherence of the attribute theory, are not substances or essences


Reading; sources

Essential logic and topics – for Metaphysics and Divisions 2, 3, 4

Learning for Metaphysics from Divisions 2, 3, 4

Writing (essay) -> Journey in Being as a whole -> Division 0 i.e. overview and planning

3.2         DYNAMICS: Transformations of Being

Theory and experiment; theory may go to Metaphysics: The Logic of Being under Mind, Symbol, and Knowledge… and Person

The development in sources –up to and including a minimal set of experiments– is adequate as is the foundation in metaphysics which, however, may be enhanced

The Experiments

The key to the organization and completeness of experiments is the structure of being, especially as in the discussion of mind

3.2.1        Experiments in the Transformation of Being

vvv.    Use all aspects of mind; learn experientially and conceptually – the metaphysics developed here together with conventional knowledge constitute an approach; use the systems of experiment and, especially, minimal systems of experiment in the sources, especially in Journey in Being. Above all other concerns (a) use and develop all aspects of mind, (b) push and develop ways [crisis… see sources] to push the aspects of mind their limits

3.2.2        Experiments with The Variety of Being – Especially in Machines as Being: Simulation, Evolution and Learning

[Although this subsection would otherwise be placed under the variety of being, its placement here is extremely suggestive of possibilities for experiment and integration of concepts]

Approaches and concepts [artificial intelligence] are discussed in detail in the sources

www.                 The traditional theory of artificial intelligence is flat. It is supremely important to use all aspects of mind… perhaps, selectively, according to application and for feasibility



Dimensions of being; minimal system of experiments

Possibilities, experiments, schedule for: home, work, placement; Journey -> appropriate kinds of experiment for each place

3.3         The Variety of Being: Ideas, Artifacts and Experiments

For brief discussion of experiments in this document, see experiments with the variety of being

Theory and construction; theory may go to Metaphysics

The development in sources is adequate as is the foundation in metaphysics which, however, may be enhanced

3.3.1        Chain of Being

This classic concept is, as such, of limited interest here. The reason for its inclusion as an indication of the power of the present development of the theory of being according to which the classic Chain of Being may trivially evaluated for what truth it has and such truth trivially demonstrated

The Chain of Being, a Neo-platonic conception of the uni-verse as having three general features: plenitude, continuity and gradation may be understood in terms of the general principles formulated here

The Principle of Plenitude ‘all possibilities i.e. what are not contradictory are to be realized’ follows from: the Law of Contradiction, the material necessity of what is possible, and recurrence. These considerations show ‘plenitude’ to be significantly larger than in the Platonic view. From ‘contradiction’ and subsequent discussion the scope of the possible is expanded in that the scope of the actual is larger than in the classical view entailed in ‘definite object,’ and the apprehension of that scope is expanded in that its specification is implicit, “I can conceive without fully picturing it of an infinity of ever expanding pictures of being” (rep). From recurrence, all possibilities are in eternal and infinite realization

The principle of continuity was that the uni-verse is composed of an infinite series of forms, each of which shares with its neighbor at least one attribute; and principle of linear gradation that the series ranges in hierarchical order from the minimal existence to the ‘perfect being of God.’ The concepts of Journey in Being e.g. Principle of Identity show that these principles have only limited significance in elaborating the nature of the variety of being… compare e.g. to Atman is Brahman and related discussion

3.3.2        Review of Status

xxx.    The principle of plenitude has been interpreted –it applies in the uni-verse– and not, practically, in this coherent cosmological system. A traditional variety from machines [in the sources,] God, Brahman i.e. all being, higher being as in recurrence, mind, cosmological system, void as equivalent to all being has been considered. I.e. in principle all being has been covered. What remains? Considerations from all traditions [begun in various accounts including myth in the sources,] experiments, action… which are phases of the journey in being


Variety of Being; limit points: void and absolute or all being

Void and its logic; becoming -> actuality and power or relation; presence; genesis of this world through human being, society and groups; recurrence, spirit, soul, significance and higher being that spans recurrence; concepts of God; the absolute

Machines; AI / life

3.4         Action, Charisma and History

The main conceptual topic is Group Action and placed in Theory and Approaches to Group Action and Value; these considerations are to be integrated with the corresponding sections in the sources


My purpose: understanding and contributing to morals and the concept of value, possibility and means, individual and society, and to feasibility [and possibility.] The tradition of action and thought in ethics and politics is vast and significant; yet, here, action is primary. I would like to show the real and the relative aspects of the concerns; how they may be well approached; and to experiment with determinations of value and with action. Approaching these issues including the contributions of ethical, economic and political history and thought; analysis; and the metaphysics

Issues: Charisma. Journey. Society and change – general, others, relations, work. Horizons Enterprises™. Website

Applications: Human values: a hierarchy from survival to actualization and transcendence; revision of the concept of the ‘impossible’

Art, science, technology

Applications: World leadership; exploration; adventure – adventure in being

Applications: Problems of leadership – leadership sets the environment; lost opportunity; focus on fear e.g. thirty thousand people die each year in the US of non-drug related vehicle accidents –even according to the vested DOJ–causes but leadership focus on drugs and on terrorism i.e. on fear… which results in a culture of fear and subservience; leadership talks of ‘family values’ but there is no talk of commitment or what family values may be – and the talk is nothing but talk… attention is diverted from real values, to mere power as force and to keeping power. Solution? Simulation of crisis; stopping the war economy in a time of ‘peace;’ Prozac for all; cultivating real leadership; persons over system: not relinquishing power to those who are voracious for nothing but power – [modern] politicians by definition as distinct from the statesman; prisons and crime

Application: personal, ethical and political idealism

After the Journey

Perception over knowledge

Living in the present


Pure being, perception – perception over knowledge, living in the present

‘Travel:’ forty places

Place, house, people

4           Sources

The following link to Journey in Being documents and to the literature

Main Documents

Journey in Being   |   Journey in Being: New Ideas

Journey in Being: Outline – the present document


Design for a Journey in Being

Horizons Enterprises™ Planning    |    Structure and Finance    |    Personal Finance


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