Journey In Being

ANIL MITRA © 2011

February 13, 2011. Revised March 17, 2011

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Contents

Stars mark essential content

[ All subsections of an essential chapter or section are essential ]

Preface

A Journey in Being*

The Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics

An Individual Journey in Being

The Universal Nature of the Journey

The Narrative

The Fundamental Principle and Related Developments

Metaphysics*

Definitions*

Experience, Existence, and Being

On Meaning*

Demonstration*

The Universal metaphysics and its ultimate character*

Intuition, Logic, and Categories

On Method

On substance and the problems of metaphysics

Applied Metaphysics*

The importance of demonstration

An second and efficient form of the Fundamental Principle*

A pattern of demonstration and the role of interpretation*

Significant Consequences of the Universal metaphysics

Cosmological consequences*

The concept of the Normal*

Consequences for authorship

Individual and Universe have Identity*

Consequences for Science and Religion*

The order of magnitude of the consequences

Sources of Doubt*

Faith*

Objections and Responses

An objection regarding the idea of All Being

Objections concerning the demonstration of the Fundamental Principle

Objections regarding Experience, Existence and Being

Objections concerning metaphysics and its possibility*

Objections regarding Religion*

Objections from Science

Objections from Logic

An apparent embarrassment of riches

Objections regarding significance and meaning

Concerns regarding the value of the metaphysics*

The Human Endeavor: Religion as the Endeavor of being in relation to All Being*

Introduction

A modern account of the nature of Science

A probable future for Science—the Nature of Science

Traditional Religion: Dogma and Significance

The responses of Atheism and Agnosticism

The response of Secular Humanism

The metaphysics of traditional religions

Science and Religion will merge in Truth

A concept of Ideal Religion

Realization—Religion X

Template for Religion X

Religion X—Implementation

Approach to a Journey in Being

An in-process endeavor

 

Journey in Being

Preface

The journey of the title is one of discovery and realization—a Journey in Being. The central ideas and narrative are introduced in the first chapter, A Journey in Being

Along the way we reconceptualize the elements of human culture and civilization. We may say, perhaps, that these reconceptualizations which include science and religion and culture and civilization are in fact their first conceptualizations. We assert that the conceptualizations assume forms that are ultimate in a sense to be explained. The assertion is demonstrated; it is not mere opinion. The discoveries of these conceptualizations and their entailments are part of an individual journey. This journey has some foundation in and is part of the human journey. It is demonstrated that these processes are part of and, ultimately, Identical to Universal process; and that Universal process is without limit

This version of Journey in Being is a short one whose objective is to present essential content in accessible form

Ideas are essential to the journey. There is a place for systems of thought that stand independently. There is also artificiality to ideas separated from their organic root. A purpose of the form of this narrative is to present a Universal metaphysics in the context of its roots in an individual story and the worlds of nature, civilization, and ideas

A central system of ideas of the narrative is the Universal metaphysics that reveals that the Universe has the greatest variety, Extension, and Duration of Being. There are no limits to its variety, Extension and Duration. It is also revealed—demonstrated—that realization entails an endless process or journey

The ideas reveal that exciting as thought may be there is a limit to the reach of thought in understanding and realization of Being. This makes a Journey essential to full realization. That there are no limits to variety make a Journey that is endless in duration and variety essential to any limited individual or civilization that would Experience and realize ultimates

In the quest for realization, the narrative finds, as noted above, ultimate reconceptualizations of the nature of science and religion (and of metaphysics, logic and other disciplines.) The reconceptualizations are part of a system that is instrumental to the Journey

The main purpose of the Journey is realization of Being. Topics that are essential to this purpose and its processes are marked with a star. For a chapter so marked all its sections are essential

This version omits much that is of interest. Omitted material may be currently found on the Internet at the Journey in Being website. From the home page http://www.horizons-2000.org, the main sources of supplementary material may be accessed via the links under the heading Journey in Being on the right of the page

The main concepts of the narrative are designated by common words. However, meanings are carefully chosen and specified. It is important for understanding to be aware of the meanings as used here; these are provided in the narrative, mainly in the section Definitions. Terms that are used with specific meaning are typically capitalized, e.g. ‘Logic’

Some of the claims of the narrative may appear expansive. Therefore, I have been immensely careful to raise and address doubts and objections and to note where residual doubt remains (we find that acceptance of essential doubt is a sign of being fully alive.) Therefore, also, I have generally used the term we rather than I. However, in essential humility—distinct from humbleness—we neither over nor understate that what is demonstrated or that in which we have confidence where we are careful to state the degree of confidence. This applies equally to conclusions of this essay and to criticism the thought of others—where criticism is essential to the argument

A Journey in Being*

The Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics

An Individual Journey in Being

The Universal Nature of the Journey

The Narrative

The Fundamental Principle of Metaphysics

In 2002 it was demonstrated that Being has no limits

A demonstration is given in the section Demonstration

The statement Being has no limits was named the fundamental principle of metaphysics or, simply, the fundamental principle. The principle is a center piece in the development of a worldview or metaphysics that we call the Universal metaphysics or, simply, the metaphysics. A consequence of the principle that Being has no limits is that the metaphysics is ultimate—this ultimate character will be clarified and demonstrated later

An Individual Journey in Being

This development was fundamental. The path leading up to it went through many systems of ideas and experiences; the process was incremental and branching. I began to think of the way as a Journey… an individual Journey

Many of the systems of ideas were conceptual experiments with some well known paradigm—evolution, mind, matter, idea, the immediate, the absolute, the temporal, the atemporal and the trans-temporal. Finally, we decided to abandon the idea of deciding on the choice of central idea in advance of development of understanding. The central idea would emerge as the result of investigation. We first focused on Being as that which is most fundamental. The term ‘Being’ is significant in western thought and this very general meaning seems to lie behind what many thinkers and mystics have sought in using the term

There are however, two concerns with this assignment of meaning to ‘Being.’ The first is that although it is indeed very general, it is still particular. The word ‘fundamental’ suggests something beyond or behind the immediate and the phenomena or appearances but why should we want to go behind anything? There may be reasons to do so but should this not be the result rather than the prejudice of investigation? A second concern regarding the idea of Being as the most fundamental is that it opens the way to assuming the prejudices of prior thought. Even though this thought may be immensely insightful we would prefer to avoid prejudice. We therefore sought an even more neutral meaning for Being. We would seek perhaps the most neutral of meanings. The insight of prior thought could, where it is valid, be introduced later

We therefore decided to choose ‘Being’ as a container term for what would emerge as instrumental to understanding and living in the world. While the meaning of Being itself would—and will—emerge, it shall be a very neutral term—it will refer to be-ing rather than kind of being and will therefore be appropriate as a container term whose role is similar to that of the unknown variable in elementary algebra. After much experiment we arrived at the meaning of Being stated in the section Definitions, below. This meaning will not exclude the more particular but still general meaning of Being as that which is most fundamental and which will be retained as a secondary and specialized but still significant meaning

This many faceted, incremental development was one in which there was a general goal of understanding but the mechanics and means of its realization remained open until achievement acquired concreteness

This was a source of the idea of a personal or individual Journey in being

The Universal Nature of the Journey

However, the fundamental principle, as will be seen, showed (1) The Individual—the Self—and All Being have Identity (2) The power and variety of Being in the Universe is without limit, and (3) The realization by the individual of this identity is not a static realization but an unending process or adventure in ideas and transformation, enjoyment and pain

The idea of a Journey in Being emerged as Universal

That the metaphysics that illuminates and empowers the Journey will be seen to imply that the Journey is one of ultimate—and immediate—realization

It will, however, be seen that realization is not achieved in a single step. Realization is a process and, further, once some height of realization has occurred, there will be dissolution and the ‘cycle’ will repeat—endlessly and without limit to the variety and heights of realization

The Narrative

The narrative Journey in Being, recounts the personal Journey, the formal elements, e.g. the demonstration of the fundamental principle and many related themes and the Journey as Universal and unending process

The Fundamental Principle and Related Developments

Metaphysics*

Definitions*

Experience, Existence, and Being

On Meaning*

Demonstration*

The Universal metaphysics and its ultimate character*

Intuition, Logic, and Categories

On Method

On substance and the problems of metaphysics

Applied Metaphysics*

The importance of demonstration

An second and efficient form of the Fundamental Principle*

A pattern of demonstration and the role of interpretation*

The demonstration given here is brief and omits numerous corollaries that are given in longer versions (see the Preface for web-links)

Definitions, important for the usual reasons, are essential here especially because common words and their combinations—concepts and systems of concepts—are used with carefully chosen and sometimes unusual meaning and articulation

Metaphysics*

Although not used in the demonstration, it is useful to define metaphysics here. Metaphysics is the study of Being. There are many objections to such a simple definition, first of which is that it may be simplistic. There is today, in the literature, no consensus on what metaphysics is and no sense that we have a final grasp of it—or even that such a grasp is possible. It will turn out however, that it is precisely the simple notion metaphysics that is given here that enables and immensely empowers metaphysics

In fact there is no consensus regarding even the possibility of metaphysics. The essential source of doubt regarding the possibility of metaphysics is as follows. Regarding a concept as mental content, there almost invariably a gap between a concept and any intended Object (I am tempted to say that the fact of the gap is invariable; however, the case of the concept of the concept, may provide an exception.) Therefore, there is nothing inherent in concepts that guarantee faithfulness to Objects or even that faithfulness has meaning. This is the source of the doubt; it is the doubt that knowledge must have origin in Experience. This doubt has been taken to mean that metaphysics as knowledge-of-things-in-themselves is impossible. However, this is not at all implied for it remains open that at least for some Objects, meaning may be given to faithfulness and some demonstration of faithfulness may be found—even in face of the gap between concept and Object. Such meaning and demonstration is implicit in the sections Definition and Demonstration below and is taken up explicitly in the sections Experience, Existence, and Being and Objections and Consequences

Because metaphysics is the study of ‘Being as it is’ there can be at most one metaphysics (which may of course be developed to differing degrees and in patches concerning kinds of Being)

The Depth of a metaphysics will be the degree to which its foundation is secure, the degree to which no further foundation is necessary (that an alternate foundation may be found may remain open; in longer treatments, alternative foundations are given—see the Preface for web-links to more detailed versions of the narrative. If the foundation is secure, if no further foundation is necessary for a metaphysics, it will be called Ultimate with regard to Depth

The Breadth of Being will be the variety (and Extension and Duration of) of Being in the Universe. That Being is without limit shows that its Breadth is without limit, i.e. that there can be no greater universe than the actual Universe. The Universe will be called Ultimate if there can be no greater universe

The Breadth of a metaphysics is the degree to which it captures the Breadth of Being. If a metaphysics captures the Breadth of Being, it will be called Ultimate with regard to Breadth

If a metaphysics is ultimate with regard to breadth and depth, it will be called, simply, Ultimate

The Universal metaphysics will be seen to be Ultimate and to show that the Universe itself is Ultimate

Definitions*

The idea of Existence, i.e. what is there is so basic that it requires no definition in terms of other concepts to establish its soundness but may instead noted and Named (clarification is useful and given later.) An entity is said to Exist in the Trans-temporal sense if, in normal use, it did, does or will Exist; the trans-temporal sense may be used without comment. Being is that which has Existence. The Universe is All Being. A law is a pattern read into the Universe or a part of it; the pattern itself is the Law. A Domain is a part or whole of the Universe; the Complement is the part outside the Domain. The Void (or a Void) is the absence of Being

Experience, Existence, and Being

This section addresses some problems concerning the idea of Existence. It illuminates the concept and, via the idea of Experience, founds it in human and animal being. However, the section may be regarded as peripheral to the main thrust of the narrative

The Fact of Existence is beyond question!

Although it goes against common sense to do so, it may be questioned whether anything Exists. Such questioning may be thought to be the idle reflection of the philosopher who is removed from the world—the thinker who lives in an ivory tower of his mental construction. However, the utility of such reflection is not so much to demonstrate the fact of Existence as to elucidate its true nature—to clear away a fog so as to make way for clear vision. If nothing Exists (somewhere and somewhen) then these words would not be written (it is therefore that Existence requires no reference to other concepts to establish its soundness)

That something Exists is beyond question. However, further concerns may be raised regarding Existence. Raising and addressing these concerns continues to elucidate the nature of Existence and to clarify talk of Existence

The robustness and richness of Existence

However, this ‘demonstration’ lacks in richness of Being as well as in robustness. We may therefore begin with the idea of Experience defined as Experience-as-immediate-Experience as in the fragrance of a rose or the brilliant and pastel hues of sunsets. Such Experience is immediate but is not always of the immediate—as in recollection or the Experience involved in emotion and thinking. It is Experience that, on account of its immediateness, that is given and that, with Descartes, we cannot doubt. Thus via Experience, Existence is revealed as robust

The richness of our Experience which includes knowledge of the richness of cumulative human experience shows the richness of Existence, of Being

Doubts regarding the Existence of Experience

Of course, there are thinkers who doubt the fact of Experience

Perhaps there are human individuals who are deficient in Experience or who are so unreflective that they are deficient in reflexive Experience which is Experience of Experience

A preliminary but only suggestive indicator of the reality of Experience is that it is self-referential—we have Experience of Experience

However, the main modern technical argument against Experience comes from materialism. It is that in the modern world science has revealed that the world is a material world and that matter makes no reference to and therefore has no mental—Experiential—component. The conclusion is either (a) There is significant doubt that there is mind or Experience or (b) There cannot be Experience. However, the argument is in error. That the concept of matter makes no reference to Experience does not imply that matter is devoid of the category of Experience. The Newtonian concept of matter—inert material particles—certainly seemed to exclude mind but even this seeming is merely a seeming and further it should have been acknowledged that the Newtonian particle was but an idealization (within a very successful but not necessarily universal system.) However, the quantum notions reveal matter as perhaps very much mind like in some aspects. It is important to emphasize that the arguments from science are of course but plausibility arguments regardless of whether used to argue for or against the reality of Experience or doubts regarding that reality. The fact remains that even though it may make no reference to mind, there is nothing in category of matter that requires it to exclude mind or Experience

It is clear, then, that if there is a category of matter, it does not necessarily exclude Experience. It can be shown that if there is a category of matter, this category must also include the category of Experience. The problem of Experience and consciousness, then becomes a problem of explaining the qualities of particular Experience and consciousness, e.g. human consciousness and Experience, and not of explaining the category of Experience. This is rather contrary to the standard wisdom of the present time, specifically analytic philosophy and scientific or positivist metaphysics of the twentieth and early twenty first centuries. A full argument is more subtle than presented here and can be extended to the general case of Being. Details and applications may be found in the longer versions of the narrative (see the Preface for the web-links)

The literature has further arguments against Experience. One is that since Experience is not material it cannot be causal; this is the argument that Experience is epiphenomenal and therefore, even if present, it lacks real significance. Another is that there is awareness without Experience and therefore there is an alternate definition or notion of Experience that is something like Action-Experience or action-consciousness or available-consciousness (i.e. not Experiential or phenomenal consciousness but a non aware consciousness that is available for action) and is therefore not subjective or phenomenal Experience and which is Real Experience. These arguments are addressed in longer versions of the narrative where it is shown that ‘non-phenomenal consciousness’ is merely phenomenal consciousness in which the phenomenal aspect is of a lower intensity and is diffuse or suffuse to a degree that it does not occasion awareness of the awareness. In those arguments it is shown that Being-as-Being corresponds to matter while Being-in-interaction corresponds to mind. Here, it may be pointed out that the idea of a non aware form of consciousness constitutes a misuse of language, perhaps a confusion though perhaps an intentional philosophical ‘mistake’ or smokescreen

Thus doubts regarding the Existence of Experience are based in pathology of Experience andor misunderstanding of the nature of physical science and matter

A further doubt about the robustness of existence

In founding Existence in Experience, Existence is also given robustness. However, it may now be questioned whether the Universe is nothing but Experience or whether Experience has an Object. The question may be stated: Is there an external world? (The term external world is somewhat metaphorical for the term refers not only to something other than Experience but also to Experience.) This is the well known doubt from solipsism. Thus robustness has been provided but stands, if solipsist doubt is correct, to be taken away

Objection. Philosophical solipsism is the view or doubt that though I have Experience, I cannot distinguish in Experience whether (a) Experience is all that there is or (b) my Experience has an Object

Response. I know that what I label the sum total of Experience is greater than what I label my personal Experience. There are now two alternatives. (1) The sum total is greater than the personal. In this case the solipsist position is in error. (2) The sum total and the personal are identical. In this case the personal is merely a relabeling of a world with many actors—each with their Experience—at play in and as part of a world that is the external world

Robustness is returned multiplied. Not only is there Experience and richness of the world but the world has reality of the common kind: there is an external world or richly variegated Object of Experience (which does not imply that every phenomenal Object is in fact an Object; this concern is addressed in the discussions of perfect Objects and in the section Applied Metaphysics)

The problem of the non-Existent Object

Consider the idea of a unicorn. Suppose that there are no unicorns in the Universe. Then a problem arises regarding the assertion Unicorns do not Exist. The problem is that If there are no Unicorns then what is it that does not Exist? This has been regarded as a problem concerning the concept of Existence

One preliminary response is that since the concept of Existence applies to (is predicated of) everything, it is a trivial concept, perhaps not a concept at all, and therefore warrants no consideration whatsoever. This response would perhaps have the word ‘Existence’ removed from the lexicon. The obvious counter to this response is that that a concept is trivial does not imply that it is not profound—or a source of the profound (it is an ideal of understanding to reduce the deep to the superficial, the profound to the trivial, the esoteric to the common, and what is not plain or obvious to what is plain and obvious.) The developments of the narrative show that Existence is indeed a pivotal concept in understanding the world

A second response has been to regard ordinary concepts such as ‘green’ as first order predicates but ‘Existence’ as second order: this response would see Existence as a predicate of a predicate. This response is not adopted here; it is unnecessary and unnecessarily complex; however it may be seen as a seed of the approach to be taken

The present approach begins with the observation that the alleged problem of non-Existent Objects also occurs for Existing Objects. If I have absolutely no concept of (mental content regarding) Mt. Everest and someone says ‘There is Mt. Everest’ or ‘Mt. Everest Exists’ I will have no idea what they mean. I will respond ‘What is it that Exists?’ which corresponds precisely to the objection regarding non-existent Objects ‘What is it that does not Exist?’

For ‘Mt. Everest Exists’ to mean something to me I must have an concept—or an abstract sign that is associated with such a concept—of the mountain (either from having seen the mountain or pictures of it or, at least, from a general notion of mountains whether from actual encounters with mountains or from pictures or descriptions.) Similarly I have a concept that I label ‘Unicorn’ and that I call ‘the concept of a Unicorn’ which I have from stories and descriptions and drawings or paintings—or pictures of horses touched up to show a pointed horn. When I say ‘Unicorns do not Exist’ I mean that there is no Object that corresponds to my concept of a Unicorn; this is similar to the meaning of ‘Mt. Everest Exists’ it means that there is an Object that corresponds to my concept of Mt. Everest

The confusion or conflation of word (concept) and Object is an aspect of our natural and normal linguistic psychology; to insist that the distinction should always be made would be pedantic, to invariably avoid the conflation would be extremely cumbersome; however there are many contexts, of which the analysis of Existence is an important case, in which the distinction is crucial to understanding and avoidance of error. Generally, Analysis of Meaning, which is an important part of Method in thought including philosophy and metaphysics, is immensely enhanced and perhaps even impossible without distinction of word and Object

Existence versus Being

A final problem regarding Existence is that it has been distinguished from Being. Being has been sometimes regarding as Being-that-is-independent-of-other-entities while Existence has been regarded as Being-in-itself. The fundamental principle shows that all Being is Being-in-relation and therefore the alleged distinction is empty

On Meaning*

The preceding section provides an introduction to a crucially important topic—that of meaning

Meaning itself has a number of meanings. One occurs in the phrase ‘the meaning of life’ which is commonly interpreted as the significance of our being in the world. We will use this sense of meaning later; however it is not the sense of meaning in this section

Here, meaning refers to the family of senses that correspond roughly to linguistic meaning. In the remainder of this section meaning is linguistic meaning; this is the most important meaning of ‘meaning’ in this narrative

This clues into a first problem regarding meaning—the fact that the same sign, e.g. ‘meaning’ may have more than one referent (e.g., in the case of ‘meaning,’ significance, linguistic meaning, and others such as in the phrase she meant to be here where ‘meant’ refers to intent) or use. In trying to pin down the meaning of a term this problem may be perhaps minimized by providing a rough specification of the use intended at outset. However, such specification may not eliminate the problem because we may be unsure of the meaning that we would pin down, because classes of meaning and use shade into one another, and because in defining a term we are often contributing to meaning

The latter concern—that in defining we may contribute to meaning—arises perhaps for any term but especially for cultural artifacts such as ‘religion’ and ‘meaning’ and Objects regarding whose nature including Existence we are uncertain. (In contrast we think that in defining, e.g. a natural Object such as an electron, we are merely pointing or at most discovering. However, we shall see that, although the possibility appears immensely remote, we may, on account of the Universal metaphysics, contribute to the meaning and even Object-hood of the electron—even though this would of course be vigorously contested by philosophers, physicists, and members of the plain common sense club)

Thus in The Ghost Dance: The Origins of Religion, 1970, Weston LaBarre spends twenty seven pages discussing religion, theology, and, particularly, the idea of God. LaBarre devotes much space to conflicting ideas of God and conflicts inherent in the ideas of God. His source material for the idea of religion and theology is the practice of religions and the literature of theology. Here we find much conflict

However, at least in part, God is an idea and religion is a cultural artifact. Why should—would—we expect to find consistency regarding the idea of God? Why should we expect to find a definitive perspective on religion? Why should we expect to find coherence among theologies?

If we recognize that the meanings of the terms are in-process—either because we are unsure of their nature andor because they are artifactual we should not expect finality of meaning to emerge from psychological or anthropological study

The problem of concern just expressed may perhaps be addressed by not being over-specific or over-committed at outset and in thereby allowing meaning to emerge

Perhaps, though, even if we remain vague in our specification and liberal in our interpretations, the idea of ‘God’ will be found to be vacuous and the practice of religion questionable. Surely our modern science and reason, especially when adjoined to the absurdities that may be found in the religions and the conflicts among different religions and theologies, suggest that much of religious content is indeed absurd and that the idea of God is vacuous (even on the liberal interpretation of a remote and as yet not Experientially  known being where the remoteness may be in space, time, or weakness of interaction)

Perhaps the significance of these ideas, then, is to be found in human psychology. This is the approach that Huston Smith adopts. And of course, the psychological approach is a valid one and sure to be revealing. Further, it is here that much significance will be found in religion

But to say that the psychological approach is or will be revealing means that some meaning, e.g. of religious scriptures and rituals and services, lies especially in the non-literal sphere. And to say that the psychological is the only revealing approach is to imply that there is no realized or perhaps even realizable literal meaning to the Objects of religion

However, simply  that meaning lies in a non-literal sphere does not imply that there is no literal meaning (as we have seen such literal meaning would be unclear on account of the terms being in-process due to their incomplete andor artifactual nature.) It is modern science and reason that suggest and that according to some thinkers imply an absence of a literal sphere

Therefore, it might seem that at least in the case of religion and God, initial vagueness and liberal interpretation are inappropriate regarding literal meanings

In turn, however, that depends on the ideas (1) That science and reason provide an accurate view of the entire Universe and (2) That there is essentially nothing outside science and reason that corresponds to the content of the religions

Is there anything outside science? We are about to see in subsequent sections that the region outside science is infinite and without limit. We will see that this is the case even on an interpretation of the nature of scientific theory that is more robust than the modern view of scientific theories as hypothetical in nature but otherwise empirically verified (we will simultaneously see that while empiricism reigns for some kinds of knowledge, there are vast domains of knowable and known being outside the empirical for other kinds of knowledge.) We will see that the ‘outside’ of the previous sentence is not restricted to the remote in terms of distance and time but includes the ‘remote’ in terms of strength of interaction but is spatiotemporally immediate

But what is there outside science? We will develop an entire and demonstrated metaphysics that shows that even if the traditional religions are immensely non-robust in the literal sense that there are rational variants that are immensely robust (even if we have not directly discovered the relevant Objects)

We see, therefore, that it is easy to be smug and precipitous about meaning even on the account of our best science and reason regarded as very good

What principles do we conclude regarding meaning? First, as in the preceding section, meaning inheres in sign-concept and Object (word, sentence, book are examples of sign-concept.) Second, in preliminary work a region of meaning should be demarked; this may of course be revisable; and while it may apply to all investigation, it applies especially to in-process and artifactual cases. Third cultural, psychological, anthropological study provide only suggestion (no matter how profound our analysis of the cultural phenomenon of religion we cannot assume we have arrived at center.) Fourth, when concerned with the entire domain of being we cannot expect anything like completeness without a completed metaphysics (we will provide a metaphysics that is completed in certain directions and it is only in those directions that we can have completed meaning.) Finally, in the directions that our metaphysics is incomplete, and we will find this region to be without limit and its discovery and realization to be unending, meaning will be infinitely open

The presentation of definite definitions above may appear to contradict the principle of tentativeness regarding meaning. However, (1) Inasmuch as they are definite, the meanings provided are the result of ongoing experiment with meaning and Experience; the ongoing experiment has been continual but has seen a minimum of twenty cycles—ten or so before the introduction of the core of the Universal metaphysics and a similar number after; and (2) Even though their form is definite, this explicit definiteness allows, as indicated above, unlimited implicit variation ‘within’ that is room for discovery and realization

A final question: Is meaning—literal or other—the only function of language? What is language? We can think of art, music, ritual… as having language like meaning—but, for this meaning to be literal, it seems that some convention is necessary (for non-literal meaning or supra-literal meaning there may already be rooting in the organism and so convention would not be needed.) But, to repeat the question, is meaning the only function of language-like activity including religion? Here are two responses to the question. In the first place since the activity is shared and inherited, it may serve social functions such as group coherence (which may derive from the extra-literal, e.g. the shared, and the literal.) Second, consider the use of language. A state of affairs is described—‘dinner is ready’ and there is consequent activity: we appear at the dinner table and eat. In its origins, language—signing—need not have been separate from action. Thus ‘use’ is a more general function of language; do all language phenomenal fall under use? This depends on what we mean by ‘use;’ in the case of sign-action-sign-action… the signs may play a role other than use in a restricted sense; on the other hand the meaning of ‘use’ may be extended to include that of ‘role’ or place in the process of living

Demonstration*

Since the Universe is All Being, there is nothing outside it (the Universe does not have an outside;) so all Laws have Being and are part of the Universe. If a Domain Exists, its Complement Exists. Regard the Universe as a Domain; it follows that the Void Exists and since it is the absence of Being it has no Laws. If from the Void some state of Being does not emerge, that would constitute a Law of the Void. Therefore, every state of Being emerges from the Void. If Being had a limit this would imply that there are states that do not emerge from the Void. Therefore Being has no limits

The Universal metaphysics and its ultimate character*

The fundamental principle entails a metaphysics that is developed below

The metaphysics has foundation in the Void which Exists. No further foundation is necessary. Therefore the metaphysics is ultimate with regard to depth

It is an article of demonstration that Being has no limit. Every Object is at least implicit within the metaphysics. Therefore every category and every entity that has Being fall under the reign of the metaphysics—therefore we call the metaphysics The Universal metaphysics

That is, the metaphysics shows that the range of Being is ultimate

But how can the variety of Being be specified? If Being has no limit then every conception that we have must be realized! This however is not quite right because we can conceive ‘Objects’ that violate logic. This concern is taken up below. Subject to the concern regarding logic, however, every concept has realization. This shows an approach to generation of knowledge of the variety of Being. However, the process of specification of an infinite and limitless variety must be without end. Therefore the metaphysics is implicitly Ultimate with regard to breadth

In other words, the Universal metaphysics is an Ultimate metaphysics. Because there can be at most one metaphysics it is the metaphysics

Intuition, Logic, and Categories

In the wake of the success of Euclidian Geometry and Newtonian Mechanics, there arose in the eighteenth century (Newton’s mechanics was published 1687) a conviction that the mechanics of Newton was necessary

In fact, Newton’s Mechanics is a theory (a general hypothetical structure) that fit observations but was not a direct and necessary consequence of observation—even though it was suggested by observations as interpreted according to certain concepts. However, the success of the theory and the reigning philosophies of science led to the conclusion of necessity

The philosopher David Hume dealt the ‘necessity view’ what was regarded as a mortal wound. His observation amounted to the simple but deep observation that for any generalization there is an alternate generalization—and therefore there is no necessity to any single generalization. This demolition applied not only to the particularities of Newton’s theories but also to such general ideas as the necessity of spatiotemporal and causal explanation

The philosopher Immanuel Kant attempted to reply to Hume’s critique with a response based in Intuition. Kant’s concept of Intuition is, for example, the natural psychology of space, time, and cause (and other items) that we have and live under and which we Experience even though we cannot explain the occurrence of the Intuitions (today we know that a neurological explanation of perception in terms of space and time would be extremely complex and difficult.) However, Kant argued that the reason that we have this Intuition is because space, time and cause are among the natural categories of nature. Thus, even though science (mechanics) is empirical, Kant argued that its axioms (including postulates) are necessary. Kant further argued that, since further conclusions are derived in science starting from the axioms of science and then verifying derivation by logical principles, the entire body of science is necessary knowledge. Today we know that the theories of science are not necessary and even logic has an empirical character (over descriptions of the world rather than the world itself.) Therefore Kant’s arguments stand overturned. However, Kant’s intuition regarding Intuition remains a deep insight

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer reasoned that Kant’s system of twelve modes of understanding (that Kant called categories) was somewhat arbitrary and unnecessarily complex and replaced that system by the threefold system of space, time and cause

We have seen that we have perfect knowledge of Experience, Existence, and Being. Further, we also know the Universe perfectly though not in all its detail but in the fact of its Being. Perfect knowledge of the Void follows similarly. Similarly, knowledge of change leads to perfect knowledge of the fact of Extension (though not of space,) and knowledge of duration leads to perfect knowledge of Duration (though not of time.) Whereas, knowledge of other kinds may be imperfect and the very Being of those kinds may therefore be in question, in the cases mentioned there is perfect knowledge of definite or what may be called perfect Objects. A Category is a perfect Object of which we have perfect knowledge

What shall we do with the notion of causation? The fundamental principle shows that the origin of manifest Being from the Void is necessary but may occur without mechanism. It requires that every state is equivalent to every other state. That is given an Object in some state at an initial time, there may be Normal knowledge of its state at a later time but there is no necessary state that it will occupy at a later time. We must therefore replace ‘cause’ by absolute indeterminism

What of logic? We have seen that subject to logic all of our conceptions must have reference to some Object. However, we have also seen that logic has an empirical side and therefore although particular logics may have necessity there is and can be no universal necessity to logics. The following strategy arises. We define Logic as the conditions that must obtain for concepts to have reference. Though introduced by definition, Logic is not empty for the traditional logics are at least approximations to it. Because Being has no limits there is no Universal Law. However, the Universal law (lower case) is Logic. The Object of Logic is the Universe in all its variety which may be called Logos

As a result we arrive at the following set of categories: Experience, Being (Existence,) Perfect Object (perfect knowledge of perfect Object is implicit,) Universe, Extension, Duration, Absolute indeterminism, Domain, Complement, Void, and Logic or Logos

By going ‘under’ Kant we have used what amounts to his insight to go beyond his system to a necessary and Universal set of categories of a Universal metaphysics

On Method

Any reconceptualization of Logic is significant for the idea of Method. Therefore the previous section points to developments in Method

The present developments have significant consequences for Method in a number of contexts

In general, and especially in philosophy and metaphysics, Method is enhanced by Neutrality of approach in which significant concepts and givens are allowed to Emerge rather than be posited. The concept of Being is a supreme example of the use of Neutrality. Neutrality is reflexive, i.e. we are Neutral with regard to Neutrality. This means that while the approach is Neutral we are not committed to remaining uncommitted. When truth emerges we state it as forcefully as is warranted. When we find a position to be important we state it assertively but are also careful to state both reservation and any positive light in which the reservation may be seen. In these developments we have found Analysis of Meaning and Abstraction to be important elements of Method. Here, Abstraction is the conceptual suppression of those details in which may lead to distortion; therefore Abstraction results in ‘perfectly known perfect Objects.’ Also important is the careful selection and articulation of systems of concepts; this becomes apparent in the sections on Definition and Demonstration. Such selection is of course iterative and step-wise (in general) and is enhanced by initial Neutrality

Analysis of Meaning is not restricted to single concepts or to ‘passive analysis.’ ‘Active’ analysis includes experiment with new meaning as contexts—including the common but diffuse context of the everyday—change and expand. It is also important to repeat an earlier observation that analysis of meaning applies also to the careful selection and definition or elucidation—which therefore includes reflection on Use—of systems of concepts that capture the forms of contexts including the ultimate form of All Being that is captured in a Universal metaphysics

It is sometimes thought that a discipline that emphasizes analysis of meaning is not empirical. That, however, is not the case, first because Experience is already incorporated into use and received meaning and, second, in that active analysis involves further incorporation of the empirical by trial and error (which may be hypothetical in its procedure but which may be rendered definitive in retrospect—as, e.g., in the metaphysical case of this narrative)

It becomes apparent in the developments and in following the narrative that Method and Content arise together even though our experience in education and from the sources may be that Method has a transcendent quality. Of course, Method is a kind of Content. If Content has the world as its subject, then Method is that Content whose subject is—includes—knowledge of the world. Knowledge of the world is content because knowledge itself is in the world even though we sometimes experience knowledge as rather ideal, other-worldly, or non-worldly

In the narrative you will encounter a perhaps revolutionary enhancement of the Method of science. This Method is found to be instrumental as Method in an immensely enhanced and perhaps revolutionary notion of Religion

As an element in Method, any reconceptualization of logic is significant. Here, the reconceptualization of logic as Logic is ultimate. In longer versions of the narrative on the Internet—see the Preface for the web-links—we find that Logic and Science are not separate compartments and that on the perhaps seamless boundary between Logic and Science, the analytic and the synthetic, there is potential for immense development. In the longer versions we find, for example, that the possibilities of the structure of space-time may have Logical limits. Given two concepts or states of affairs, the freedoms mutual freedom of these states may be limited by Logic. The extension of this Logical limit to the mutual freedoms of all states may lead to deep consequences

While Logic is an element of Method, is there a Method in the development of Logic or the logics? If Method is interpreted as ‘algorithm’ then the answer is No! However, Method is regarded as empirical and at least initially hypothetical with regard to logics regarded as rules that guarantee that sentences or concepts have reference then the answer may be Yes! (This formulation is not distinct from the notion of logic as deduction for, given two assertions, the rules may imply a deductive relation between them.) Generally, while the inference of logics may involve trial and error as part of its Method, there may be special contexts in which some rules of the logics may be subject to algorithmic development

Longer versions of the narrative discuss Method in greater detail (these versions are available on the Internet; see the Preface for the web-links)

On substance and the problems of metaphysics

In the foregoing we have provided a foundation for metaphysics without the philosophical notion of substance. While longer versions of the narrative have an extended discussion of substance including the question of its nature, discussion here will be brief

A classic notion of substance is an ultimately simple substrate that explains the variety and process of the world—a substrate from which the variety of the world springs. For ultimate simplicity, a substance would be uniform, unchanging, and (omitted from classical accounts) deterministic. From determinism however, there can be no substance foundation or explanation: substance is untenable

From the fundamental principle, all states may be seen as emerging from any state including the Void state and therefore all states including the Void may be considered to be the substance of the Universe. However, that all states can be considered to be the substance of the Universe makes the question of substance moot. Further, in its Absolute Indeterminism, the Void and any other state do not quite fit the definition of substance as ultimately simple. Conceptually, however, the Void has ultimate simplicity since it is defined as absence of Being and no further conditions, e.g. uniformity or determinism, are imposed

Foundations of metaphysics are generally considered to be either non-relative or relative. In a relative foundation each ‘foundational stage’ is referred to another and this infinite regress is no foundation after all. A non-relative foundation is referred to some posited axiom system or substance and this too is no foundation because of the posited or speculative nature of the substance or axioms

The present metaphysics goes against this traditional understanding in finding in providing a foundation at finite depth without need for substance. The foundation is of course in Existence or Experience which however have been seen to be given and therefore are not posited

The depth and breadth of the Universal metaphysics suggests that it may resolve the entire gamut of classical and modern problems of metaphysics. This resolution is found in longer versions of the narrative

One such resolution may be mentioned. It concerns the nature of metaphysics and philosophy. What we have found is that metaphysics may be conceived as the study of the limits of Being which suggests conceiving the study whose limits are the limits of Being. These thoughts are counter to modern trends in which philosophy seen as merely about thought or language, merely edifying, not about the world-as-such, and not able to say anything instructive to science (it may be the case that scientists are more capable of such philosophical instruction to science than are modern philosophers)

Applied Metaphysics*

What of the practical but imperfectly known Objects of our world (regarding which the meaning of faithfulness and therefore even Object-hood is open to question)?

We know from adaptation (ability to negotiate the environment) that we have some net knowledge in the practical case. We may say that here we have sufficiently faithful knowledge. It could be argued from our ‘failures’ that such knowledge is not even sufficiently faithful but such an evaluation is not an evaluation of the actual situation but of expectations that we impose upon it

It may be shown that the perfect frames the practical and that there is a sense in which every knowledge context may approach its inherent limit of faithfulness. We cannot ask for more and we may choose to rejoice in this truth or to retire in an attitude of failure. This attitude of failure is the result of our expectation rather than what is inherent in the situation. The perfect frames the practical and, in consideration of the derivation of the perfect, the practical is inspiration for the perfect. These developments may be found in greater detail in longer publications currently available on the Internet (see the Preface for the web-links)

Such a metaphysics—the perfect and the practical—may be regarded as a metaphysic of Experience. It may be labeled Applied Metaphysics and though it may be regarded as a metaphysic of Experience, it is, from point of view of metaphysics as perfectly faithful knowledge, not a metaphysics at all except in its restriction to perfect Objects

There is, however, another point of view. From the remarks regarding context above, there is no better knowledge to be had. What can be but is not obtained may be occasion for improvement. However, what cannot be obtained should not be lamented. From a value point of view, the Applied metaphysics is or may be seen as perfect

The importance of demonstration

1.      Demonstration of the fundamental principle appears to be new. The resulting confidence encourages development, elaboration and application of the metaphysics

2.      Later, we will see that proof is occasion for development of the idea of and significant aspects of Method

3.      These have deep consequences—an ultimate metaphysics with a wide array of consequences. Demonstration turns a hypothesis into a foundation for ideas, action, and choice

4.      Demonstration enables development of alternative forms of the fundamental principle that contribute to revelation of its power and deep meaning

5.      Doubts and concerns about the fundamental principle arise and are addressed case by case. Still, demonstration is perhaps the best address of general and principled doubt

An second and efficient form of the Fundamental Principle*

The fundamental principle stated earlier is Being has no limits

From earlier discussions of Logic it follows that Subject to Logic every concept has an Object—is realized

There are two reservations regarding this statement. First, not all concepts are in the form that makes them candidates for realization. Consider the concept ‘happiness.’ ‘A man is happy’ is a candidate for realization but can ‘happiness’ be such a candidate? In this short version of the narrative we do not develop the Theory of Objects which may be found in longer versions (see the Preface for the web-links) where it is shown that happiness and many other ‘abstract Objects’ are candidates for realization (it is shown that contra modern thought, the ontological distinction between abstract and particular Objects is empty despite a psychological and perhaps epistemic distinction and that abstract Objects are not essentially atemporal or a-causal but, instead, are Objects whose temporality and causality have been abstracted out.) Return to ‘A man is happy.’ It is conceivable that there are times on Earth when no man is happy (e.g. before humankind.) However, the fundamental principle is to be interpreted as implying that there is some planet Earth in the Universe on which there is a happy man (and that there are infinitely many such planets with happy men and women and perhaps even beings of as yet unsaid gender)

The second reservation is that given two concepts, their simultaneous realization may entail contradiction. In some cases there may be a ‘loophole’ of the kind that arose in considering ‘some planet Earth.’ However, not all cases allow loopholes. In such cases, the two concepts may be regarded as a compound concept which is realized provided that it passes the test of Logic

A pattern of demonstration and the role of interpretation*

The discussion of the previous section shows that ‘deriving’ many consequences of the fundamental principle is trivial

Therefore many later consequences are stated without the trivial proof; it is not necessary to show the proof which, in light of the fundamental principle, would be trivial

However, what is important and perhaps not invariably easy is interpretation of the consequences

Regarding consequences that appear to violate Normal patterns, the earlier discussion of the idea of the Normal is pertinent to interpretation. E.g., deviations from what is physically Normal (the known laws of physics) are Normally impossible but in fact locally improbable and may be necessary against the backdrop of All Being

We saw that compound concepts may have Logical limits not inherent in the individual concepts. This applies—of course—not only systems of two concepts but to the ‘entire system of concepts.’ This is likely to be a source of deep consequence. We saw earlier that Logic may have deep restrictions on the nature of space and time; this and other considerations of the same Logical kind are topics for further research and study. A further topic for research is clarification of the meaning and perhaps even specification or approach to specification of ‘the entire system of concepts’

These considerations show that there may be so far, on this Earth, unimagined depths of Logic

Significant Consequences of the Universal metaphysics

Metaphysics*

Definitions*

Experience, Existence, and Being

On Meaning*

Demonstration*

The Universal metaphysics and its ultimate character*

Intuition, Logic, and Categories

On Method

On substance and the problems of metaphysics

Applied Metaphysics*

The importance of demonstration

An second and efficient form of the Fundamental Principle*

A pattern of demonstration and the role of interpretation*

The variety and degree of consequences of the fundamental principle are immense. The briefly stated consequences of this chapter are restricted to those that are of primary significance to a Journey in Being

Cosmological consequences*

There is no necessity to the physical laws of our cosmological system (the one of big bang fame.) Suspension and partial suspension of law, though locally improbable, necessarily occurs. Annihilation and recreation are always ‘around the corner’ for any given cosmos and occurring in infinitely many places with the birth and death of cosmological systems the magnitude and variety of our and infinitely greater than ours. There is an infinite number of systems of physical law of which the laws of our cosmos are a single example. Each system of laws is realized in every way that is consistent with it and each realization is repeated infinitely. Every cosmos is an atom, every atom a cosmos. There are ghost cosmoses penetrating ours with barely a whisper

Since the Universe is All Being, there is nothing outside the Universe. If a creator is external to what is created, the Universe has and can have no creator. However, the concept of ‘Universe’ does not exclude the idea of self-organization. The fundamental principle requires that some cosmological systems will be self-organizing. This self-organization may be seen as an aspect of the Universe

Although the Universe has no creator and is not created, one Domain may be implicated in the creation of another. Such creative power may be labeled ‘god.’ The creative power of a cosmos may be labeled ‘god’ and the creative power in the Universe may be labeled ‘God.’ On account of special uses of the terms ‘God’ and ‘god’ such labeling may be misleading

The concept of the Normal*

These and subsequent consequences follow trivially from the fundamental principle. However, they appear to violate our sense of the normal—our reflective common sense. They also appear to violate science. Taking common experience and science as a unit, these show us some aspects of what is in the Universe but they are not known to show us all things that are in the Universe and that while they suggest the extension and duration of our cosmos they do not define the extension and duration of the Universe. In saying that there are things in the Universe that are of infinitely greater variety, extent, and duration that is revealed in our senses, our common experience, and science we appear to violate our sense of science and common experience but there is no actual violation

Why not? We saw earlier that the theories of science are generalizations over facts—over what is known. They are not necessary consequences of what is known. It is therefore that theories need revision and that there are ‘revolutions’ in science. In a revolution, e.g. the replacement of Newton’s mechanics by relativity and quantum theory, the boundary of what is known is pushed further out (for the quantum it is pushed further in—in the direction of the very small and toward high particle energies.) As far as is known from science, there is always—as far as we know so far—a boundary beyond which science is not known to apply. The apparent violations of the Universal metaphysics are not of what is valid in science and its domain of application but occurs in an apparent violation of an unwarranted extension of science beyond its valid domain. Therefore there is no conflict between the metaphysics and science

How, then, may we account for the typical and very restricted behavior of our cosmos? The answer is now obvious. In the realm of validity of science, the Universal metaphysics is in agreement with science. Since every concept has an Object (subject to Logic) science has an Object and that Object is our cosmos. We observe common behavior and the patterns of science but while they are factual there is no necessity to them in themselves (except so far as they concern logic.) However, while common experience and science do not contain their own necessity, the principle that Being has no limits implies that the typical behaviors of our cosmos must occur somewhere and somewhen in our Universe

Such behaviors and patterns may be termed Normal. The Normal is a term for what is patterned but so far as the pattern itself is concerned it is contingent. Within the realm of the Normal what appears to be necessary (as long as the patterns obtain and excepting issues of logic) is from the Universal perspective at most locally probable (though perhaps locally probable to an immensely high degree; however that high degree of probability no longer holds if the restriction to the local is lifted.) And what appears to be impossible is, similarly, immensely improbable (and subject to similar caveats)

There is thus no conflict between the Normal behavior of our cosmos—the patterns of common experience and science—and the variety revealed by the fundamental principle. The expanded view of the metaphysics has similarity to scientific revolutions in which newer views or theories agree with the older in their domains of validity but agree with the data outside those domains

This ‘accounting’ for the behavior of the Normal from the Universal metaphysics is of course trivial. The metaphysics requires realization of every concept subject to Logic. Since our cosmos is actual, it must meet the requirement of Logic. I.e., the accounting or explanation is trivial. It is important, however, that as has been seen and as will be seen in what follows, there are profound consequences of the metaphysics

The Normal is relative in the following sense. Science has revealed facets of nature that would have earlier been regarded as at best fantastic and in some cases unimagined. The idea of transmutation of the elements revealed in nuclear physics—it could also be called nuclear chemistry—was in earlier centuries the fantastic alchemist’s dream. The interwoven character of space-time-matter (or extension-duration-Being) revealed in Einstein’s thought was perhaps unimagined before its development. Thus our vision of the Normal depends on our state of knowledge

Consequences for authorship

If Being has no limits this work has been written before, will be writ again—is being written in infinitely many places this moment. If this narrative is original in a conventional sense, there is Universal sense in which it is not at all original, that is all creation is re-creation. I.e., creativity and originality are not identical. Who is the author of this work? This question is a particular case of the issue of the real agent of action when I think I am the agent. This is addressed next

Individual and Universe have Identity*

This Identity follows from the limitless nature of Being. If an individual had a limit, Being would have a limit. Therefore the individual has no limits and, in particular, the individual and the Universe (All Being) are identical

This idea is not new. It is conceived, for example, in the Indian system of Vedanta. Demonstration, however, gives certainty to the Identity. Further, the demonstration improves understanding of the nature of the Identity. Since Being has no limits its variety is endless. Therefore, the experience of Identity is a process without end; it must involve peaks of realization to be followed by dissolutions (an eternal realization would constitute a Law of the Void.) These peaks or summits are themselves endless in ‘height’ and variety

Thus realization may be seen as an endless and Universal Journey

That these consequences of the fundamental principle may appear to be fantastic violations of common experience and of science is addressed in the earlier section The Concept of the Normal

Consequences for Science and Religion*

Consequences for science and religion are especially important to this narrative and are taken up in the later chapter The Human Endeavor: Religion as the Endeavor of being in relation to All Being. These consequences will include fundamentally revised notions of science and religion. In terms of the revised notions we will not find science and religion to be complementary, we will not find a revised notion of traditional religion which is or shall be in dialog with science. Rather, in view of the fundamental principle, we will find conceptions of science and especially religion to be fundamentally revised and both to be immensely expanded; and in these revised notions, especially since both science and religion are about truth, we will find that in their ultimate sense they shall not only be seamless but shall merge into identity

All other imagined histories of science and religion and dialogs thereof are the product of limited, even if highly creative and imaginative, understanding of Being and its process

The order of magnitude of the consequences

It is clear that the fundamental principle has implications of the highest order for Being and particularly for Human Being and its place and destiny in the Universe

Sources of Doubt*

It is also clear that the principle stretches the imagination and perhaps the sense of reason. It is therefore important to consider and respond to objections. We should perhaps ask What is the relationship between the consequences above and immediate life?

These and further sources of doubt are taken up in the chapter Objections and Consequences

Faith*

In Objections and Responses we will go a long way to removing doubt. However, not all doubt will be removed

This may be seen as positive. The Universal metaphysics strongly argues for the Universal Journey but there appears to be no ultimate guarantee. This may be seen as contributing to the sense of Journey, of adventure. Where there is no guarantee, we should not seek any. Where there is no guarantee we need and ought not to lament. What is the essential case can be occasion only for celebration

Therefore our action may be undertaken under an element of knowledge as well as Faith which may be conceived, not as belief in what is merely posited or what is absurd or at least apparently absurd, but as that attitude that is conducive to the greatest outcome (which may be the ultimate conception andor living in the present in which we are concerned with but not attached to the outcome of action)

Objections and Responses

An objection regarding the idea of All Being

Objections concerning the demonstration of the Fundamental Principle

Objections regarding Experience, Existence and Being

Objections concerning metaphysics and its possibility*

Objections regarding Religion*

Objections from Science

Objections from Logic

An apparent embarrassment of riches

Objections regarding significance and meaning

Concerns regarding the value of the metaphysics*

Numerous objections will occur to readers. Some of these may be obvious. Those who have some familiarity with metaphysics will question the very possibility of metaphysics; they will likely be familiar with problems regarding the ideas of Experience, Existence, Being, and All Being. The narrative considers and addresses many well known objections and others that have arisen in thinking about the topics of the narrative

Clearly the Universal metaphysics stretches the imagination. This chapter mentions some of its apparent paradoxes and points to the places in the narrative that they are resolved. The search for criticism, objection, and response has a crucial contribution to the development, elaboration, and application of the metaphysics and our confidence in it

Some objections have already been treated. For these the present chapter may point to andor elaborate upon earlier discussions

An objection regarding the idea of All Being

How many Objects are there in the Universe? Since there is no unique way to partition the Universe, the question does not have a definite answer

However, given the definition of Universe via Abstraction the problem of the number of Objects does not arise

Objections concerning the demonstration of the Fundamental Principle

Objections and alternate proofs are omitted here because alternate proofs have not entirely removed doubt. However, the issue of doubt is addressed in the earlier sections Sources of Doubt and Faith

Alternate demonstrations and plausibility arguments are given in longer versions of the narrative on the Internet; see the Preface for the web-links

Objections regarding Experience, Existence and Being

These have been enumerated and addressed in the earlier section Experience, Existence, and Being

Objections concerning metaphysics and its possibility*

A first objection is that knowledge must be founded in Experience which is phenomenal, i.e. a joint product of knower and known and is not the thing-in-itself. However, metaphysics was conceived as knowledge of Being (as Being) and is therefore not of Experience and therefore impossible

This objection has been anticipated and addressed in the sections Intuition, Logic, and Categories and Applied Metaphysics

A Post-Modern objection stems from the failures of actual metaphysical systems. The grand Absolute Idealism of GWF Hegel is a rich and imaginative construction but is generally regarded today as not having the necessity of logical or scientific foundation or even foundation in simple reason; the criticism is that the nineteenth century metaphysical systems of which Hegel’s Idealism was perhaps both peak and representative example are founded in—or have, at least, a component of—mere speculation. Another source of objection is deep disappointment that resulted from the failure of Marxism regarding its original objectives combined with the foundation of Marxism in Hegelian Dialectic

The response to this objection is simple. The Universal metaphysics is demonstrated (and is neither speculative nor idealist: in fact it posits no substance whatsoever.) It may be added that the failure of ‘grand narratives’ of the past cannot be logically extrapolated to the failure of all Universal Narratives

Objections regarding Religion*

The standard objections are undercut by introduction of a concept of religion as the deployment by being (individual or group or civilization) of all dimensions of their being in realization of Being. Objections are enumerated and addressed in the later chapter The Human Endeavor: Religion as the Endeavor of being in relation to All Being

Objections from Science

The objection that the Universal metaphysics appears to violate common experience and science has been addressed earlier

Objections from Logic

Potential objections from logic have been anticipated and incorporated into the formulation of the second form of the fundamental principle that Being has no limits

An early version of the fundamental principle, c.2002, was that Every concept shall be realized. Obviously this form must be modified by prefacing it with the phrase Subject to considerations of logic

As we have seen earlier, this consideration leads to and is addressed by a deep and revised conception—the conception of Logic as defined earlier

An apparent embarrassment of riches

The fundamental principle seems to imply that anything is possible.

However the real meaning of the principle is other than and greater than this: Logic is realized. However in any Normal context extra-Normal realization is immensely unlikely. Therefore the ‘riches’ are no more than apparent. In Normal contexts, where common Experience requires that they should not obtain, they do not obtain; in the Universal context, where they the fundamental principle requires that they should obtain they do obtain

Objections regarding significance and meaning

That Being has no limits suggests the identity of individual and Universe but this may appear paradoxical. This concern is addressed earlier in discussing the concept of the Normal

Concerns regarding the value of the metaphysics*

The metaphysics may be criticized for being remote from the immediate. Here are some ‘values’ of the metaphysics

Ideally—the Ultimate illuminates the immediate (and the immediate is analogy and inspiration for the Ultimate)

Actually—Ideas and Journey are a bridge between immediate and Ultimate (thus giving this world significance as far more than the empty, accidental, and alien ‘Universes’ of nihilism and scientific positivism)

Practically—the fundamental principle and implications have immense implications for the practical knowledge of science and other aspects of human endeavor

Factually—the immediate and the Ultimate are not distinct

Metaphysically—the immediate and the Ultimate are Identical

Doubts have been noted in the section Sources of doubt and addressed in Faith

Longer versions of the narrative provide alternate proofs and plausibility arguments for the fundamental principle—see the Preface for a web-link. Since the alternate proofs do not remove doubt entirely, they are not reproduced here. However, such proofs may provide insight into the nature and application of the principle

It was observed earlier that essential doubt is good. It is a sign of engagement, of being alive

The Human Endeavor: Religion as the Endeavor of being in relation to All Being*

Introduction

A modern account of the nature of Science

A probable future for Science—the Nature of Science

Traditional Religion: Dogma and Significance

The responses of Atheism and Agnosticism

The response of Secular Humanism

The metaphysics of traditional religions

Science and Religion will merge in Truth

A concept of Ideal Religion

Realization—Religion X

Template for Religion X

Religion X—Implementation

Approach to a Journey in Being

An in-process endeavor

If we are interested in living fully one approach might be to live simply in the present without too much reflection or concern for tomorrow. Another approach would be to seek all the information that might be useful in making deliberate decisions. It is reasonable to think that living fully will involve a mix of living in the moment and deliberation

What kind of information or knowledge might be useful to deliberate living? Knowledge of the nature of the world would inform us as to the outer limit of possibility. Knowledge of our own nature—human nature and its variables—would inform us as to what is possible for us and what kinds of involvements and choices might be rewarding. We might also want to live a life that is useful to and concerned with the good of all—i.e., we may be also interested in moral or ethical concerns

Where shall we find such information? One source is individual Experience and reflection. A complementary source is the Experience and reflection of others—religious, scientific, literary and other; such sources constitute our cultural environment

We find below that the information provided by religion—the great religions—is severely limited. There are specific limits—especially to the religious cosmologies. However, the kinds of cosmologies of the great religions fit a mold that is immensely limited in its extent as well as its logic. This mold colors the imagination of those who adhere to the great religions as well as those who reject them. The adherents suffer unwittingly under absurdity and others suffer under a system of vacuous possibility where in fact—as revealed in the Universal metaphysics—there is an infinite and non-remote actuality

What substitute is there among those who have rejected religion? In the first place it may not be assumed that in the time after ‘primitive religion’ but before the era of science that every individual subscribed to some religion. Further, it is not clear what ‘subscription’ means—for one may subscribe to literal andor to non-literal content (these alternatives and others are elaborated below.) However, having never subscribed to religion or having done so but having then rejected it, some seek an alternative to religion. Some turn to cold science and in cold science some find comfort (e.g. God is creative evolution) while others find alienation

However, cold science is incomplete. It shows something of what is there but it is silent regarding what is beyond its borders or whether there is a beyond. Some, including the positivists, take this silence as a tacit statement that there is nothing beyond the borders of current science. However, we do not know from science or common Experience whether there is anything beyond their borders. Perhaps everything of significance must be capable of being Experienced but that does not mean that every such thing has been Experienced by human beings

Yet others turn to Secular Humanism which may be taken as scientific at root but which understands that human meaning has not been reduced to scientific terms. Secular humanism is further described later but may be taken to be a cultural superstructure of meaning (in the sense of significance) built upon or over science. From the Universal metaphysics ‘cold science’ as well as Secular Humanism may be seen to be immensely limited

Thus the common modern and traditional systems of understanding what is involved in living fully are extremely limited

This chapter investigates what understanding and practice such living might take. It is not clear what term should apply to such a system but we will call it religion. We do so with some trepidation and the understanding that the term ‘religion’ will need significant revision in its meaning

In this narrative the Universal metaphysics is always in the background. In these preliminary comments to this chapter that metaphysics has receded far back. We have seen that lacking such foundation we will always fall infinitely short of full understanding. The idea of religion to be developed draws from the Universal metaphysics and therefore far overcomes the limitations of static religion and static science. Yet, since the metaphysics is infinitely open in the direction of variety, the concept of religion that shall emerge is one which may be instrumental in realization of fullness of being in fact in those directions where that is possible; and in other directions it operates under the knowledge of infinite openness and the fact that the only realization of fullness in those directions must be ever in-process

Introduction

Aim—To Characterize the Human Endeavor

Outer  Limit. The aim of this chapter is to characterize the human endeavor in light of the Universal metaphysics. The metaphysics shows that an essential ideal is the realization of All Being—the outer limit of any endeavor of being. On account of the infinite variety of Being, this realization is via a journey in identity

Immediate Realm and Identity (and difference) with Outer Limit. It is natural that there should also be interest in more immediate realms. An essential reason for this interest is that the distinction between the immediate and the ultimate is one of appearance. We may talk of two realms and of paths from one to another but if we see things rightly, we will see identity; and if we act rightly we are already on a journey in being

Use of the idea of Religion as Fundamental to the Endeavor

We will use the word Religion in connection with the fundamental endeavor. This choice is not appropriate on all interpretations of the idea of religion. We will introduce a concept of Religion that makes it appropriate to the endeavor—that makes Religion the fundamental endeavor

What is Religion?

Our common Experience, dictionaries, cultural-anthropological and other studies give us clues to the nature of religion. From the section On Meaning (of the earlier chapter A Journey in Being,) it follows that these are at most clues. In these discussions we saw that in-process ideas, e.g. the terms used in the religions such as ‘God,’ and the idea of religion itself must be incompletely specified from Experience etc.; we also saw that, given a metaphysics that is completed in certain directions and open in others, we can find completed and open meanings in the respective directions

From the preceding section, we take religion as related to the fundamental human endeavor. Here, we make no further specification; that is left to the remainder of the narrative

Cultural Elements of Religion—science. Truth is one. From science to Universal Science

Therefore any proper endeavor that would understand and realize truth is an element of Religion. This includes science, art, literature, and humanities when appropriately understood—Truth is One. Reflection on science and its history suggest a reconceptualization of science that is presented in what follows. The Universal metaphysics confirms that our science will and must undergo this transformation to become a Universal Science. This Science will not be distinct from Religion in the way that we see science and religion as distinct

Of Civilization and Culture. Of Individual and Group Endeavor as a journey

The chapter will naturally speak of Civilization and Culture. It will speak of their future but not in a narrow predictive way. Rather it will draw some contours that may not be realized in a particular history but are necessarily realized in infinitely many histories. Through identity these are continuous with the history of Human Civilizations

We will investigate individual and group endeavor (in light of the Universal metaphysics) as a journey

A modern account of the nature of Science

Science as Universal fact, as hypothetical, and as local truth

In early development—around for about a century after the time of Newton—the theories of science were considered to be factual. A consequence of the latter nineteenth and especially the twentieth century ‘revolutions’ in science is that there resulted a revised view of the nature of science or scientific method and foundation. Theories became regarded as hypothetical and replaceable if warranted by facts that contradicted the theories (this is a simple description of a rather more complex process.) An intermediate and perhaps more realistic view is that the theories of science are factual when regarded as local, that it is typical that this domain of factuality may be extended though not without limit, but that the theories are hypothetical and replaceable if regarded as Universal (the limitless variety cannot be captured by a static or merely theoretical science)

A probable future for Science—the Nature of Science

An extension of modern science by ongoing participation and immersion

Therefore, any science of the future must, if there is one, be a science that has its present form—local empirical-conceptual intellectual fact—as one of its components but that requires participation and immersion in Being. Such a science will be an active complement to that meditation in which the individual becomes aware of Identity with Being—in which there is Identity of Awareness or Consciousness

The sciences of domains that include artifact already have a participatory mode. The Universal metaphysics requires that all science shall be participatory. I.e. it is only in Normal behavior that nature and artifact are distinct

Such developments—science as participation—have already been seen in social science and cultural anthropology; this may be expected especially since human beings have involvement in the creation of cultural artifacts. However, it is an obvious objection that we are not involved in the creation of fundamental physical entities, e.g. the fundamental particles and forces. Already, however, we are involved in some transformations that were unimagined a century ago, i.e. c. 1900. Still, even when a particle is created in an accelerator our participation is that of providing conditions for a kind of transformation that is not of our making; we are not in fact creating the particles or forces or their interactions; we may think, if we wish, that ‘we are the particles and forces participating in their behavior, their way of being.’ Yet the fundamental principle of metaphysics implies this possibility even though it does not show the way to it

In our particular history this account is contingent. When we admit thought of domains beyond the Normal, we see that participation immersion is already given

That the foregoing provides a probable account is conditional upon the science being the science of an enduring civilization possessed of sufficient and enduring reason. Even if ours is not that civilization, there are infinitely many such civilizations. Our being and our civilization merge with those in the merging of identity with Identity

Traditional Religion: Dogma and Significance

What is the support of traditional religions?

A first goal is to examine the support of traditional religions. Here, I define ‘support’ reasons that a religion and its institutions endure over time. Support and justification of belief—in action or reason—are not the same; they overlap but their correlation is tenuous. Support includes justification but it includes symbolic significance as well. Additionally, support has cultural, social, economic, and political dimensions

Dogma or scripture as fiction

The dogmas of traditional religions result in a schism at the conscious level—dogma as fact versus dogma fiction. This schism may be meliorated when dogma is replaced by reasonable belief

Symbolic significance of fictional dogma or story

Even when literally untrue, a dogma may have symbolic but not necessarily conscious meaning. This meaning may concern psyche or nature; it may concern psyche, nature, and perhaps relations between these two aspects of meaning

Scripture and reinterpretation

Those who regard dogma may attempt to accommodate science by reinterpretation. An example is to think of a ‘Biblical day’ as an eon; this interpretation is typically an attempt to accommodate dogma to cosmology and geology

The un-robust factual truth of absurd dogma or scripture

The Universal metaphysics shows that subject to Logic, every scripture is true. However, the cosmological systems in which the seemingly absurd religious metaphysics are realized are likely to be far from organic or stable. Further the truth of a scripture somewhere and somewhen does not ensure its truth in on our Earth or in our cosmos

The responses of Atheism and Agnosticism

Atheism

This is one source of atheism (as rejection of belief in deities or perhaps more generally rejection of extra-scientific metaphysics.) An issue with this response is that it is likely to be conditioned by the seeming singularity or absurdity of the scriptures which are however taken as paradigmatic. And since the Universal metaphysics is hardly known outside a very small circle of individuals, it is improbable that its vision is illuminated by the metaphysics. Instead it is likely to be informed by a deep but common misinterpretation of the nature of science and common Experience (as shown in the later section The metaphysics of religions)

Agnosticism

A source of agnosticism is similar to this source of atheism. Here we take agnosticism as belief that we do not and perhaps cannot know the truth regarding the being of Gods (and perhaps more generally the truth regarding extra-scientific metaphysics.) However, whereas an atheist is likely to regard science and common Experience as categorially closing the fundamental kinds of Being (i.e. as closing ontological categories,) the agnostic sees science and common Experience as leaving the categorial question open. We have seen earlier that although there are psychological reasons to see science (and common Experience) as closing the categorial question, it is inherent in the nature of science that it leaves the question open. I.e., if science is experienced as categorially closed it is in fact categorially open

The response of Secular Humanism

Secular Humanism as a response to the absence of a spirit world in modern science

One replacement for the function of traditional religion is secular humanism which is sometimes referred to as scientific humanism. Among some of those who have been persuaded by the truth of modern science, secular humanism has arisen as an alternative to traditional religions. The metaphysics of secular humanism is essentially a scientific metaphysics. In this humanism, there is no actual spirit world but there may be certain psychological functions that are labeled spiritual and for these the traditional myths and other stories may be taken as metaphorical and interpretation may be found in modern psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, and philosophy of religion

The tension for Secular Humanism from the Universal metaphysics

The goal of life in secular humanism is to live a good life on this earth, a life in which one contributes to the common wealth and receives from the common good. The common wealth and the common good include a material level and a higher level of psyche but not a literal level of spirit. From the point of view of its metaphysics, the aim of secular humanism—in general terms—is perhaps the best possible. However, scientific metaphysics, even or especially according to scientific method, not necessary—it is far from necessary. And, from the Universal metaphysics, its vision of Being and therefore of our being is immensely limited. It is the result of insufficient imagination and reason in the face of common Experience and the power of science. However, as we have argued, science itself does not require the flat metaphysics of a secular humanism. Although many modern men and women—men and women of science but others as well—think that the theories of science are essentially defining of reality, that is not the case. Science reveals a universe as having reality but its logic does not and cannot insist that that reality is close to that of the Real, that it is of the Universe. Of course, science does not show what is beyond its boundaries or that there is such a beyond. It is metaphysics—the Universal metaphysics—that reveals a beyond, that this beyond is infinite in extent and variety and that experience of it requires a Journey of immersion

Roots of Secular Humanism in a pervasive but invisible system of material belief

Secular Humanism, Scientific Positivism, and Fundamentalism have in common that they are forms of invisible cultural indoctrination. It is the invisible indoctrination that is most powerful because there is no force to resist, no other system to which to turn; it is like the air that we breath without thinking of it—because of its omnipresence we may unreflectively think of ourselves as complete without it

The metaphysics of traditional religions

Introduction

A first purpose—to see beyond the apparent absurdities of traditional religion. In this section we examine the metaphysics of traditional religions. An immediate purpose is to see beyond what appear to some to be absurdities to literal and symbolic significance and relations between the literal and the symbolic. The arguments are from science, reason, and common Experience

What is allowed by science—a Universe of infinite Extension, Duration, and variety that is limited only by Logic. One emphasis will be focus on what is required versus what is allowed by science and common Experience. What is required is the facts; this may appear simplistic but we have seen subject to interpretation it is correct: it is not merely the data but it is also a certain projection—concept and theory—over a certain domain. What the story does not tell is the extent of the domain, and what lies beyond—the complement domain—its Extension, Duration and variety. It is crucial that, since we see what we see, we may think that science requires that the complement is perhaps nil or perhaps only more of the same. This is not the case. Science allows that the complement may be nil but it also allows that it is infinite in Extension, Duration, and variety. Is that all we can say from science? Logically, yes. However, in view of the history of scientific revolution and the consequent dramatic changes in world view, science and it history suggest that what it has revealed so far—in physics and perhaps even in biology—may be infinitesimal. This expectation does not at all contradict science; and it should be remembered that the complement to the domain of present science is not many billion light years away or a similar number of years in the past or future but may be passing through barely felt. To assert that such is the case from science would of course be speculation

What is allowed by science is required by the Universal metaphysics. However, what is thus scientific speculation is required by the Universal metaphysics, i.e. by Logic

Traditional Religion—an interpretation of their symbolic significance. An overarching goal of the section is to see whether we have been precipitous in declaring God to be dead and to see what may be ‘rescued’ from dogma. When the specific forms of dogma are abandoned, we find that science and Experience allow much to be rescued or salvaged—if not for the traditional forms then at least for some of the intents to those forms. Even though we emphasize that what may be salvaged is allowed rather than required by science and Experienced, this assertion will be and has been contested by many modern thinkers. We argue that such thinkers—e.g. the New Atheists of the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries—have made essential mistakes in understanding the nature of science and its method and what is Experience and what it allows

It is perhaps not for us to assert what is the symbolic significance of the traditional religions. However, we may of course speak upon some aspects of what may be extracted from the traditional religions

However, we may say—of course without thinking that what we are saying is new or revelatory… or necessary—that these religions deny a merely secular view; that they speak to the nature of Human Being, the nature and extent of the Universe, between the relation the two and the significance for action in the secular or Normal world

It is important to emphasize, again, that what may be retained from the dogmas, symbolic and literal, is allowed but not required by science and Experience

The Universal metaphysics confirms, details, and goes beyond this significance. To see what is required of Being we turn to the Universal metaphysics: whatever is allowed by Logic must obtain; we have seen various consequences of this principle

This goes beyond the foregoing symbolic interpretation of traditional in providing details of the nature of the Normal and the extra-Normal, and in the paths between that are an infinite and endless journey in Extension, Duration, magnitude (of Identity,) and variety

An overarching purpose—Ideal Religion. This will enable achievement of the second overarching goal of this section—to provide groundwork for the concept and realization of the greatest endeavor of being in relation to Being (i.e. to All Being.) The concept may be tentatively named ‘Ideal Religion’

An important case: the nature of God

It is illuminating to consider the question of the nature of ‘God’

The creative power of human individuals. Begin by considering the creative power of the individual. He or she has some creative powers: we can create literature; we can produce tracts of deep and imaginative mathematics; and, we can conceive, design and create great institutions and artifacts of technology. (Of course it is we humans who describe our own acts of creation as power, as deep, as imaginative, as great. A species with greater powers of creation might see our powers as primitive)

Normal limits to human creative power. However we did not produce the ability to do so or the brains that are the seat of those abilities (our efforts do of course result in ability to a significant degree but the foundation of our abilities lies elsewhere, e.g. in evolution)

(These limits are of course very Normal)

That these limits are Normal implies, first, that they require practical respect and, second, that they are far from absolute

The creative power of the Universe is infinitely greater than Normal human powers. The Universe itself has creative potential. We may think of our creativity as distinct from the creative power of the Universe but that would be a mistake of the ego for our being is part of All Being

The creative power of the Universe may be labeled ‘God.’ If we label the creative power of All Being as ‘God’ and the creative power of cosmological domains as ‘gods’ then we surely have relationships with God and gods

Conflation with the God of the scriptures would be fallacious. At a similar point in many abstract theological accounts it has been typical to conflate the abstract God with the God or gods of the scriptures; this would be a fallacy, perhaps an intentional one whose goal is to convince readers of a God of the scriptures

Inadequacies and misdirection in theological accounts of God. The present metaphysics is not subject to these inadequacies; it shuns the misdirection as false and limiting. There are differences between such a procedure and the present approach. One is that the present demonstration is grounded in fact and logic; the traditional theological arguments are either probable or merely analytic. A second difference is that there is no intention here to perform the transition from an abstract to a predetermined concept of God; in fact such a transition would be counter to the aim and spirit of the narrative

The Universal metaphysics shows that there are infinitely many realizations of the idea of the gods and that the relations between individuals and gods include those of the relations between identity and Identity

Symbolic meaning of ‘God.’ Literal meaning is not the only significance of ‘God.’ Many persons, believers and unbelievers, reflexively cry out for God’s help in difficult times. There is of course no single interpretation of this. For some adults the idea of God may be a symbol for a caring parental figure. The idea may give comfort. But the literal and the symbolic may be—and it is likely that in some cases they are—intertwined. ‘But,’ you may say, ‘there is no literal God’ or ‘we do not know that there is a literal God or what its shape is.’ An obvious rejoinder is the reflexive one of agnosticism applied to itself. If I am a first order agnostic I may say ‘I do not know.’ A second order agnostic will say ‘I do not know whether I know.’ In other words it is possible that we have diffuse knowledge but neither this knowledge nor knowledge of this knowledge is explicit. Add to that the confusion due to the distortions of our inherited faiths (whose metaphysical pictures and their apparent singularities and absurdities likely have immense influence on the thinking of many believers and unbelievers in requiring, for example, contortions of faith and resulting in conflation of a rejection of apparent absurdity with absence of All Power) and it we may see how we who are sinking in quicksand think we are on firm ground

For an individual God may symbolize the greater creative power of which he or she is a part. ‘God’ may symbolize a caring, supporting person. Such interpretations may be mixed. ‘God’ may be the rallying idea of a community (a function that is not a meaning function.) Although the word ‘God’ may be misleading, the idea may, on account of its connotations—clear as well as distorting, the intertwined literal and figurative significance of the idea is not closed

The Universal metaphysics reveals creative power that may be labeled ‘God’ but the figurative or psychic and literal or real realizations of the idea remain infinitely open

Non-literal significance of widespread faith. It is almost self-evident that widespread faith implies at least psychological or symbolic significance. It does not follow that this significance is that enunciated by the faithful or by the canons

One interpretation is that faith is a response to crisis. While this is not necessarily the entire or universal case it seems probable that it is at least an element in some faith and in some cases of the origins of religions or rituals

Non-literal significance in view of the Universal metaphysics. Given subscription to a secular view, a general symbolic interpretation of religion-in-its-origins includes a rejection of the completeness of such views (and in the case of corruption of the secular or the older faith a rejection of the views themselves.) This symbolic interpretation suggests that there is a pale beyond the secular or the Normal and that this pale is vast in Extent, Duration, and variety. Although the existence of such a pale is confirmed by the Universal metaphysics, demonstration is probably not the most important human concern. In fact the demonstration may be a diversion from fullness of being—i.e. of living in dual worlds of the Normal divide and in living on the edge rather than at the center of certainty

Widespread belief does not imply literal meaning. It is often thought that subscription to God by so many persons of so many faiths implies or at least suggests that there is a literal God. It is likely that many persons subscribe to a literal God because they were raised in faith or because of the comfort or inspiration derived from non-literal meaning. Therefore, widespread faith does not imply any factuality or significance to a literal interpretation

It is also often thought by persons of scientific persuasion that science reveals that there is no God or, at least, entails that a literal God is most unlikely. In a recent book The God Delusion, 2006, Richard Dawkins argues that ‘God almost certainly does not exist.’ He argues from science, mainly biology with emphasis on evolutionary biology. Earlier arguments from the metaphysics show in a general and abstract way how and where the argument from science and common knowledge is incorrect and why there must be God and Gods (where ‘God’ has creative powers but otherwise has many manifestations and forms.) However, a more specific discussion of the argument from science and common knowledge is informative. What is the argument from science?

The metaphysics of the religions of tradition

The standard secular argument from science. The arguments from science and common Experience are as follows. Science and common knowledge build up a picture of the world—a worldview, a metaphysics that is perhaps tacit rather than explicit. This picture is, first, the world of common knowledge: the everyday world, a roughly spherical earth with oceans, continents, nations, technological and other societies, affairs of human beings. This picture is situated in a ‘universe’ constructed from and around science: the universe of the big-bang and perhaps bubble universes, the theories of physics—of space, time, elementary particles, fundamental forces, and the quantum; and the science of life—its functional and evolutionary aspects

Tacit and explicit extrapolation from the secular. It is essential to the argument that the picture of the world so built up is taken to be the picture of the Universe. However, this is view frequently tacit rather than explicit. The argument then continues: science and common knowledge have penetrated to and explained almost every facet of the ‘world.’ However, the tacit if not acknowledged meaning of ‘world’ is the picture from science. I.e., the argument is circular: science and common knowledge have explained everything that they show to be the case

There may be explicit extrapolation as in positivism. Positivism is similarly circular. As we have seen, however, science and common experience have envelopes beyond which it is not given that they reach. Such and edge to common experience is revealed by science. From science, we know that there are edges: the far reaches of Extension and Duration; the empirical limits of the small, the quantum, and the very high energy; and the rarely acknowledged super-scientific (phenomena beyond the pale of science.) Science and its methodology allows these edges and beyond and the history of science suggests that there are such ‘beyonds.’ It is critical that it is not being argued that it follows from science that there are such beyonds. Instead it is being argued that science and common knowledge considered critically allow such beyonds; further they have no purchase on the magnitude of the beyonds. It is therefore absolutely invalid to argue from science and common Experience that there is ‘almost certainly no God’ or that there is ‘almost certainly no extra-scientific or extra-common metaphysics’

The strident misunderstanding of science by the New Atheists. The arguments of Richard Dawkins and similar writers such as Sam Harris and Sam Hitchens, are based on a strident misunderstanding of science

The misunderstanding is perhaps surprising on account of the fact that Richard Dawkins is a scientist. However, it is not surprising in that even scientists have religious persuasions and the belief that science and common Experience define more than they have seen is similar to religion

The New Atheist critique is hardly necessary to see what is absurd in traditional religion. What are the implications regarding the specific God or Gods and the specific metaphysics of myth and the scriptures? Considering, for example, the God of the Abrahamic Religions—the religions of the Desert: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—and, for example, the cosmologies of Genesis and Revelation, it is hardly necessary to appeal to science to see these as immensely improbable on Earth and without empirical basis (that subject to Logic they are realized somewhere and somewhen gives no justification of their realization on Earth)

The arguments of Dawkins—and other writers of the ‘New Atheist’ movement—are unnecessary

Vedanta, in its general contours, is not subject to the absurdities of the Abrahamic religions—even though it lacks direct empirical base. However, the vision of Vedanta, the Identity of Self and All Being, of Atman and Brahman, is, even though without direct empirical base, at least more likely than the far more specific and in many ways parochial cosmologies of the Desert Religions

The Universal metaphysics goes beyond Vedanta with regard to demonstration, infinity of Extent and variety, and the eternal Experience of newness-freshness-and-variety without end. It could be said that the incompleteness of Vedanta is an appeal to action that is counterpoint to the intellectual content of Universal metaphysics. To say this, however, is to ignore the fact that the Universal metaphysics may be seen as a framework for understanding and action and is to focus on and magnify differences

Having cleared the slate of the objections from science and common knowledge, we may now reassert the consequences of the Universal metaphysics as revealed in previous sections which show, for example, the vision of Vedanta to be true but immensely limited in its visionary magnitude

Science and Religion will merge in Truth

The divide between historical science and historical religion is clear and it has not been bridged despite many attempts to do so. This is in part due to the lack so far of a widespread of a metaphysics of the magnitude of the Universal metaphysics (all such metaphysics, we have seen, must be the metaphysics)

The Universal metaphysics, however, shows that there can be only one truth and that in that truth, any science and any religion of the future must merge (metaphor may remain as shorthand for literal truth which, for finite beings, is never given but ever remains in process)

The science and religion of the future shall, if true, converge and their means shall include a Journey in Being, Immersion, and Participation

This Journey will be the one of endless summits and dissolutions of realization in which process there is no final summit and no limit to the variety and ‘elevations’ of summits

That the foregoing provides a necessary account is conditional upon the science being the science of an enduring civilization possessed of sufficient and enduring reason. Even if ours is not that civilization, there are infinitely many such civilizations. Our being and our civilization merge with those in the merging of identity with Identity

A concept of Ideal Religion

Introduction. A preliminary problem of meaning

The purpose to the ideal concept to be introduced is that (1) It will seek to overcome the tradition limits and problems associated with religion (2) It will recognize the holism of truth and therefore dissolve distinction of the secular versus the traditional concept of religion—practical aspects of the distinction may remain and (3) What it finds will be immensely greater than the conventional, modern, or traditional understandings of the secular and the religious

The issue of the meaning of religion (what can or should it mean? what is meaning?) is taken up below

Some problems of meaning arise—in over specification in common thought or in a particular author’s slant; as a result of the decay of institutions; and as a result of decay of meaning as use becomes ‘vulgar’

These problems of meaning may affect our views even though they do not detract from the ideal value of an enterprise

Perhaps, then, the term ‘religion’ ought not be used. However, such problems will arise over time regardless of institutions being more ideal at one time and meanings beginning as fresh. Therefore too much weight may be attached to the foregoing issues of meaning

Essential incompleteness of science and common Experience

If we agree with the earlier demonstration that the science of the day and common Experience are necessarily incomplete on account of their local and empirical character then there may be an entire realm of truth that they omit. The Universal metaphysics demonstrates and develops understanding of the Universe… and in the exercise it shows it to be eternal, infinite, and limitless in variety and power

A goal oriented generic conception of Religion

We may employ the name Religion to refer to a shared endeavor of discovery and experience in and of the entire Universe. The reader may enquire of other components of religions. A response is that, first, in conceiving Religion, it is not necessary that it should have all components for it may be precisely some of the components that contribute to negative aspects of actual religions (it is important to remember that some aspects of religions that may seem non-ideal—e.g. the economic and the charismatic—may constitute institutional necessities.) A second part of a response is that the naming of ‘Religion’ above is tentative and generic and therefore a more precise concept and specific components may fall out of investigation, process, and action

The institutional character of the religions informs us that institutional deficiencies are not marks against the idea of Religion but against particular religious institutions (and perhaps even the negative side of human being.) The question is whether there is a place for Religion. In the previous paragraphs of this section—and in earlier sections—it has been seen that our modern secular institutions are incomplete, that modern institutions of religion and substitute secular institutions do not come near addressing this vast incompleteness, and that there is therefore an role for a new conception of Religion

A consequent functional conception for Religion

We argue (1) That whereas science and secular humanism are inadequate to a full understanding of Being, the Universal metaphysics does provide such understanding, (2) The Universal metaphysics is necessary and sufficient to the metaphysics of religion. The metaphysics of an ideal religion would be antipodal to the traditional religious metaphysics. In particular, religion need no longer be founded upon articles of faith—even if not absurd. The following conception is ultimate and has basis in the imagination, the foregoing notion of God as creative power, and the Universal metaphysics

Religion is deployment of all dimensions of being in realization of All Being

This idea is almost identical to the essence of Yoga as defined by MK Gandhi’s secretary and friend Mahadev Desai: Yoga is ‘…the yoking of all the powers of the body and the mind and soul to God; it means the discipline of the intellect, the mind, the emotions, the will, which such a yoking presupposes; it means a poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all its aspects and evenly’

This concept of Religion does not distinguish a material or practical plane and a spiritual or higher plane

A simple rendering of the functional this functional concept

A simple rendering of this concept is

Religion is a way of fullness in being and living

Definitions to be empirical and conceptual. The conceptual to be analytic and holistic

The empirical and the ideal in ‘defining’ an institution. In providing the foregoing concept we have accounted for but not mentioned the following issue regarding the specification of concepts regarding the range cultural institutions (a parallel issue arises in specifying the range of disciplines in an academic setting such as a University.) We have observed that it is essential that the institution be defined by a concept and not merely by, say, anthropological, historical, psychological and cross cultural study. An important reason for this is the fact that institutions are processes and have idealizations and we would like our concepts to capture the ideal as well as the empirical; and in looking to the past and to facts the empirical may be more important but in looking to the future it is probably the human and the ideal that are more important (and, in any case, there are at least yet no future facts.) It is important therefore to be more than merely empirical or merely slanted to one analytic persuasion (e.g. Weston LaBarre’s psychoanalytic interpretation of religion as response to communal crisis.) It is important to note that since institutions are artifacts, what has come before is not defining; and therefore definition is also experimental and creative (or contributory thereof) of what shall follow (and it is therefore not essential that every aspect of what has gone before should be captured by the concept)

The concern of holism in defining. These are critical concerns; and there is another such concern: when we have tallied our list of institutions, will the entire range of cultural / institutional functions have been covered? A full sociology is dependent on the range being covered. One approach to this is to develop a full range of functions (by study and by theory—e.g. a theory of the dimensions of Being that follows.) Then when we specify the institutions, e.g. religion, education, investigation, exploration, government, economic and so on, we can adjust definitions so that the entire range of functions is included

On promise and simplification in motivation

It may be added that Religion is more than metaphysics and also includes morals, inspiration, allegorical representations of the conflicts and possibilities of psyche; the traditional accounts may provide inspiration for these contents of religion (it is not at all obvious that modern academic psychology is superior to myth in this regard.) Desai’s description of Yoga refers to such functions. And while such functions are important, we hold that they can be over-specified and promises can be overstated. Therefore, at least in this version of the narrative, we shall not enter into such over-specification. But it must also be admitted that promises can motivate faith in life and inspired action

Realization—Religion X

Preliminary

Religion—it is perhaps an agglomeration of institutions and it is somewhat artificial as the idea of introducing a new religion. Perhaps, however, the idea is less artificial if what is introduced has continuities with received and older forms. Various social functions were absorbed into a single institution, e.g. a church. Thus the idea of religion, one that we may take to be organic, is highly artifactual

There is something artificial about the idea of—introducing a—religion, especially in the environment of the self-conscious literal interpretations of today… of the uses of the word ‘God’ and even of Buddha’s reference to ten useless questions. I imagine a time when there were beliefs that were held naturally even though perhaps not ‘natural.’ These were likely part of an oral tradition; institutions emerged organically though not completely without force or fiat. Later the traditions got written down and assumed ‘canonical’ form. These were or may have been required to be believed

Approaches to definition of Religion. There is an approach to definition, including the definition of religion that may be called the list or component ‘theory.’ In this approach we look at the various uses and aspects of names, e.g. ‘religion.’ We list these aspects. We may have some formal or intuitive notion of the term being defined. This conditions the list. The list is then presented. However, there is no guarantee that the list is valid

Another approach is to focus on central questions—the nature of the term. We identify a central dynamic. We find the dynamic ‘universally’ present. If our dynamic is informed by insight, it is likely to be present in most religions somewhere in their varied response to human need and opportunity. However, this does not guarantee validity. In the post-religious era, the one in which science had ascendance, our ‘insights’ tend to be single-dimensional, conditioned by our material assumptions, our negative experience with religion, and, perhaps above all, with our focus on the repeatable which means ignorance of the nature of the singular occasion. To become science, focus must be on the non-singular (the singular may spark a development but in becoming science the singular must somehow be reduced to the non-singular)

As we have seen only a Universal metaphysics can provide the order necessary to eliminate the difficulties of these ad-hoc approaches to definition. In fact, without the metaphysics such definition must remain ad hoc. On the other hand, the tradition should be combed for insight that may be immensely significant to development

The conflict with science and reason. And then, perhaps, with science and reason, the believing phase of religion was rejected by some while others continued to believe—perhaps even more strongly than before

As a result of the conflict with science Belief became self-consciously unworldly. Belief, already self-conscious, became self-consciously unworldly

Once formed, however, institutions become models or templates that provide social functions. An actual institution may cease to provide function because of corruption or decay or because it ceases to address its function in a manner relevant to changed circumstances. However, the institutional function may remain relevant and the idea and some of the embodiments for the old institutions may provide a template for new ones. An artifact is not essentially or necessarily artificial

A first requirement for Religion X. Perhaps the first requirement for Religion X will be that belief will be neither required nor forced

Introduction

A place for an ideal Religion now and in the future. As a result of the incompleteness of science and Secular Humanism, the moral-cognitive failure of traditional religions, and the skeletal nature of religion as suggested by the Universal metaphysics, there is clearly a place for the development along practical and ideal lines of a Religion of the present and the future

Some contours of this Religion. It is clear that this Religion will be some synthesis of the ideal senses of Science, Religion, and Process (journey) defined above; this synthesis will of course be enormously informed by the Universal metaphysics. It will shed the static elements of science, and the static and dogmatic elements of religion. It may draw inspiration from traditional religions—e.g. the Mystical Core of Bhagavad-Gita, Christian Mysticism, and the Mythic Knowledge and Practice of Native Peoples—and other elements of human culture. It is not clear that the term ‘religion’ is appropriate to the development

The place of the traditional functions. The various functions of traditional religion—comfort in times of need, social bonding, dogma, static spirituality that is not of the world, non-literal representation of incompleteness and distortion of received and putative truth, and others—need not be essential to this Religion; they may of course be present

The core of this Religion. This Religion will, at its core, be about Universal realization and Journey; about the Ideas and Approaches to this core process; perhaps about accumulated and accumulating knowledge and insight regarding approach; and about the image of realization in immediate life

Who is suited to the development of this new form of religion?. I am probably not suited by temperament or desire to the work of this development. However, I may see fit to engage in the development at some later date but it will require that I feel the appropriate energy, insight, and poetry

Is ‘Religion’ an appropriate word?. It remains to be seen what word, ‘Religion’ or other, will be appropriate to the endeavor

Design

It is effective that the dimensions of the Religion be functions of dimensions of Being. From the view of Religion as deployment of all dimensions of being in realization of All Being, it is effective to approach specification of the aspects of religion via specification of the dimensions of Being

Problems with specification of dimensions of Being. A specification of such dimensions is likely to have problems of arbitrariness and incompleteness. These problems arise because it is typical to employ the common categories of a culture to specify dimensions of Being. The concern regarding arbitrariness may be partially addressed by comparing and improving categories across cultures; such address may still contain arbitrariness on account of the ad hoc nature of cultural categories and the fact that all cultures are expressions of human beings. The problem of completeness may be partially addressed by focusing on the process of understanding on the way to attempts at holism

Open minded empiricism and reason guarantee no resolution. These approaches, even when supplemented by open minded empiricism and reason, provide no guarantee. It is perhaps the case (however) that Being has no given dimensions and that there can be no complete specification of dimensions. The issues therefore appear to remain open and it is not clear that they can be closed or, on the other hand, that closure is significant

A resolution suggested by the Universal metaphysics. There is a resolution to the issues raised in the previous paragraphs. It is to append the best estimate of the dimensions of Being according to the approaches suggested with the Universal metaphysics. Then, the dimensions become complete if partially implicit; arbitrariness is tolerable because dimensions need not be concrete. However, now a problem of consistency arises. If ‘nature’ and ‘society’ are specified as distinct dimensions, can it be guaranteed that there is no incompatibility in the specification? The answer is that provided the detail of specification is not too great compatibility will not be a problem; and here, we need only dimensional contours rather than detail

Template for Religion X

Introduction. Real knowledge is singular. Therefore, a template for religion will be skeletal, multi-dimensional, non-compulsory, and non dogmatic. (Since Religion X is in-process, some detail is retained in this template)

An Ideal Religion shall address (1) Concepts of an Ideal Religion, (2) Dimensions (below which follow from discussion of dimensions above and the Universal metaphysics) and their concerns. Emphasis may be complementary to the secular, (3) Institutional aspects of religion

Note that the means of expression and communication of content has been included in the categories via sign, symbol, and concept

Concepts of Ideal Religion

Religion is deployment of all dimensions of being in realization of All Being

Religion is a way of fullness in being and living

Dimensions and processes of Being

The following formulation recognizes the distinction between the Normal and the Ultimate. It includes in principle paths of Normal and Normal-Universal development and realization

Nature—matter and life. 1. Human body; needs; adaptation 2. Includes culture and psyche; however a practical distinction is efficient. Process—Normal, e.g. physical and evolutionary. The Normal merges with Absolute indeterminism

Deep knowledge. Life itself, nature, the sky… perception over thought

Society—individual and group. Institutions of group, political-economy and law, culture (including knowledge and religion)

Charisma. Appeal to body, mind (emotion-cognition)

Psychebody and symbol (for expression and communication.) Human nature understood as synthesis of secular psychology and psychiatry with a drive to Universal realization

Symbol—sign, word-concept, Object, meaning, use. Symbol systems—e.g., language, logic, mathematics, computation (algorithm and other.) Symbolically expressed human knowledge—encyclopedic: (A) The Universe—metaphysics, cosmology, Logic, value; science and the sciences—natural, social, psychic and universal; history; here, epistemology is implicit (B) Artifact—art and the arts; engineering, medicine, and technology; the institution and the institutions including general culture, education, law, government. Processes—logic, reason, and creation

Body—essential knowledge—pre-symbolic, of the body (heart) includes integrated cognition-feeling-emotion, e.g. mystic, and of Yoga; merges with and incompletely distinct from the symbolic. Development—primitive states (fear…) shielded by later rather than ‘overcome.’ Process—Normal development includes arrival at the deep body-knowledge of adaptation to the worlds and possibilities of nature, society, and psyche… merges with Universal process

Universal and the Infinite, the as yet Unknown

Limitless—eternal, infinite, unending and unlimited variety. There are apparent limits. Limits of meaning—e.g. a displacement of the Universe has no meaning. Limits of Logic and syntax—e.g., (a) The Universe has no limits to its power and can therefore make itself powerless (resolution: temporal phases of powerlessness and trans-temporal lack of real limits are not inconsistent) and (b) Since the Universe has no limits to its power, it may confer this limitless power to every one of its elements. Thus the Normally limited individual has no ultimate limits (realization which is Normally impossible is in fact immensely difficult or improbable.) There is however an apparent paradox. If two individuals are unlimited in power they can limit one another’s power. The conference of Universal power to each individual is subject to Logic

Process—Absolute indeterminism. Absolute indeterminism includes phases of Normal process including as-if determinism; this is therefore at the root of realization of Identity from Normal identity

Institutional aspects

Institution—scripture, place, ritual and path. Charisma and ministry. Institutional organization and function—religious roles; other roles: economic, hierarchic, and organizational roles

Scripture—narratives, symbols and sacred histories that give meaning to life and our relation to the Universe and its origin (such as that may be.) The sacred refers to Science and Religion as understood earlier

Sources

Major religions. 1. Trans-cultural—Abrahamic, Indian origin, Iranian origin; 2. Indigenous. 3. New religious movements

Sects. 1. Gnostic. 2, Mystic

Culture. Instruments of knowledge and relation

What follows is implementation. An enhancement will include local realizations

Religion X—Implementation

The Universe

Being is without limit—This simple fact shows immense power. Its truth is demonstrated; yet there is doubt. The response to doubt is faith as the attitude that may be conducive of the greatest result (if we live in the Normal we may remain there)

The Universe has powers without limit for creation, sustenance, and destruction; it is infinite, eternal, limitless, unending in its variety. E.g., the present cosmos is repeated in identical and in variant form without limit. The physical laws of the Universe are without limit and each is realized infinitely. There is no fiction—subject to Logic and possession of at least implicit semantic form, every piece of literature, art, music is realized

Individual identity realizes Ultimate Identity; Ultimate Identity is immanent—‘Lift a stone and you will see me’

The demonstration that Being is without limit provides tools for realization. An elaboration of these tools occurs in the Universal and Applied metaphysics and may be extended as Dynamics of Realization (which requires pure experiment)

Ideal Religion. Ideal Religion emphasizes the endless journey of realization. It is experimental, without dogma of mere belief. It is of this world and the ultimate; each is mirrored in the other; this mirroring is enhancing; realization is in-process interaction between this world and the ultimate

For finite Being, realization of the Infinite and the Eternal—the Unbounded and the Unlimited—is an Ultimate Value. The form of this realization must be that of an endless journey of summits and dissolutions. There is no limit to the variety of Being; no limit to the variety and ‘elevations’ of the summits. Ideal Religion is not static, has no dogma

This world

Nature. Deep knowledge of nature, knowledge in the body, is a point of living and of entry into the Universal. Natural science and practical knowledge (technology) supplement deep knowledge

Society. Culture, moral aesthetic dimension. Institution of religion—1. Physical-symbolic: text, ritual, place; art and artifact; political-economic 2. Organization and culture 3. Functions of persons—general or lay, ministry, realization; support

Psyche. Human nature and path. Preliminary to metaphysics and dynamics of Being—recognizing the self-affirming and self-limiting character of most world views; enlightenment requires willingness to relinquish preconceived world-views. Understanding the Universal / Applied metaphysics and the Dynamics; understanding the practical but relative nature of Normal limits. Entering an experimental phase. Attainment and levels—symbolic, Tantric neutrality toward the draw and repulsion of the Normal, psyche-heart-body; and in-process, attached-detached to the Normal—Humor, experimental. See Practice and instruments, below

Universal and Unknown. See The Universe, above, Practice and instruments, next

Practice and instruments

Sacred practice. 1. Art, literature, music 2. Ritual for the Normal and for realization and 3. Architecture, and place

The sacred practice is followed by instruments

Conceptual systems. Universal metaphysics. In the West, philosophy—especially the open ended Greek philosophy, aspects of scholasticism and philosophical and experiential theology, and philosophies such as existentialism in the hands of Kierkegaard-Nietzsche-Heidegger-Buber; and psychoanalysis and other psychologies of depth, rooting in the body and development. In India: Veda, Upanishad, Samkhya

Source and inspiration. Examples: Christian Mysticism—practices, Bhagavad-Gita—Yogas, Shamans and shamanic practice and action…

Methods. Dynamics of Being (an approach to ‘fluid transformation’—developing, enhancing, and deploying understanding of personal process in realization. Calls upon Universal metaphysics, its methods, traditional systems such as Yoga, and Catalytic practices.) Include western science, technology, medicine, and information-computation theory and technology

Shared practice. Functions include encouragement in sharing, cumulation of insight and accomplishment, insight of individuals with special psychic and physical energies. Lifestyle and path

Catalytic practices that open the individual to the real. These include physical isolations and deprivations, meditation and mantra, the Yogas, mystic practice, altered or wild and more or less extreme environment—especially useful to ‘civilized’ individuals. Note—because pathways of realization are multiple and here remain open, this information is very brief. The web-links (Preface) lead to detailed information on Enhanced states of awareness and modes of transformation (follow the web-links to Archive, then Journey in being-detail.html)

Approach to a Journey in Being

Ultimate journey defined via the Universal metaphysics. The contours of a Journey are defined by the Universal metaphysics—these are the endless variety and unlimited magnitude of summits and dissolutions of realization

Universal truth as seen in the traditions. Perennial philosophy. These are complemented on this Earth by means of realization of what may be called universal truth as for example in Bhagavad-Gita, the writings of the Christian Mystics, and the practices of Shamanism

This universal truth has been called eternal philosophy by Gottfried Leibniz and perennial philosophy by Aldous Huxley. The source of the name is the observation that certain truths regarding our place in the Universe have appeared in every age and civilization

Aldous Huxley summarized the perennial philosophy in three statements (1) There is an infinite, changeless reality beneath the world of change; (2) This same reality lies at the core of every human person; (3) The purpose of life is to discover this reality experientially

Parochial nature of the perennial philosophy. All such accounts emphasize realization of Brahman or equivalent psychically on this Earth

Universal metaphysics reveals the truth of the traditions as the beginning of a journey

A Universal journey. However, Universal metaphysics reveals this as the beginning of the Journey. It reveals the greater and unending adventure in variety, in summits and dissolutions of being whose elevation and variety is without limit

The Universal journey is one ultimate purpose. We set aside any presumption regarding the ultimate and universal nature of such purpose (in some cases simple contentment would seem sufficient.) However, it is reasonable to suggest that it is one ultimate purpose. From the Universal metaphysics it may be seen that the ‘perennial wisdom’ is perhaps one half of ‘purpose’ and that one half is approximation (here again we find over-specification and we find that it is also under-specification)

Differences between Universal journey and perennial philosophy. How does the truth of the journey shown by the Universal metaphysics deviate from the perennial philosophy? There are two essential differences. First, the Universal metaphysics finds that we shall remain ever in process (which process shall include but not be limited to summits of perennial wisdom.) Second, the purpose revealed by Universal metaphysics is not restricted to experiential discovery in (this) life. It includes the expansion of this life not only in inner self but also in outer Being; and this is eternal process. As counterpoint to the just stated position, the perennialist may say with some validity that there is an image of the eternal Journey in the self that is simultaneously finite and eternal

Approach to the Universal journey. The approach to the Journey begins here and is twofold. The first aspect is concentration on ends or goals—the summits. The second aspect is process or ‘mechanism’ and these include the approaches to revelation and realization of the previous section Realization—Religion X

An in-process endeavor

Journey in Being is in-process. Journey in Being is in-process. You are referred to the Journey in Being website, for details (see the Preface for the web-links)

Design. Especially important is the ‘design for transformation’ which includes reference to (1) Traditional and modern systems such as Yoga, Mysticism, and modern psychology and psychiatry; (2) Enhancing, inducing, or catalytic practices whose purpose is to dislocate psyche from its moorings and so open it up to its inner and outer depth; (3) Approach or method based in the Universal metaphysics and named Fluid Transformation or Dynamics of Being; the practices and the approaches include design for reaching down and descent from intellect to body, heart and feeling; (4) Examples of the process; and (5) A minimal system of experiments designed to cover sufficient dimensions of Being and aimed at the ultimate

A place of departure. However one essence of the process is being-in-it and this point is therefore an effective place of departure