Journey In Being

ROBIN SINGH WITH ANIL MITRA © 2011

November 6, 2010, 12:30 PM to 5:26 PM. Revised January 18, 2011, 10:57 AM

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OUTLINE

Contents

Preview   —   Introduction

I.  Journey   —   II.  Demonstration   —   III.  Ground   —   IV.  Resources

Notes

Contents

Preview

Introduction

I.  Journey

Preparation

Origins of the idea of a journey

The metaphysics

Criticism and response

Identity and realization

A Journey in Being

Implications for science and religion

II.  Demonstration

On demonstration

The demonstration

On careful definition and selection of concepts

Doubt and Faith

III.  Ground

General grounds

Special grounds

Consequences in Science, Metaphysics, Method, Religion, and Journey

Notes

IV.  Resources

Contribution

Glossary

How to train your dragon

Notes

Preview

The fundamental principle

In 2002 AD, Robin Singh demonstrated that Being1 has no limits

This assertion 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 Robin called the Universal metaphysics or, simply, the metaphysics. A consequence of the principle Being has no limits is that the metaphysics is ultimate (in ways that will be seen later)

This development was fundamental. The path leading up to it went through many systems of ideas and experiences; the process was incremental and branching. Robin had begun to think of the way as a journeyhis 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 and the atemporal. Finally, Robin decided to abandon the idea of deciding on the choice of central idea in advance. The central idea would emerge as the result of investigation. He chose ‘Being’ as a container term for what would emerge as central. While the meaning of Being itself would—and will—emerge, it is a very neutral term—it refers to be-ing rather than kind of being and is therefore appropriate as a container term whose role is similar to that of the unknown variable in elementary algebra

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 the source of the idea of a personal Journey in being

However, the fundamental principle, as will be seen, showed (1) The identity of the individual and All Being (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 is ultimate 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 Journey in Being, recounts the personal journey, the formal elements, e.g. the demonstration of the fundamental principle and many related themes

In 2000, Robin asked me assist in the writing of the narrative. Since then I have been his chronicler and more. We have shared thoughts and travels. I sometimes experience identity fusion with Robin. In the narrative ‘I’ may refer to Robin or to myself but when it concerns significant developments it almost always refers to Robin

Demonstration

Demonstration is given in the second division of the main narrative. Here, brief proof is provided for orientation (the corollaries of the later demonstration are omitted here.) Definitions, important for the usual reasons, are essential here especially because common words are used with carefully chosen and sometimes unusual meaning

Preliminary. Individuals have immediate awareness of the world—and of their awareness, and memories of awareness. This direct awareness is labeled Experience. It is our most immediate grasp or being-in-the-world. Therefore it has the potential to provide foundation for understanding of the world. However, since there are a number of difficulties in doing so, such foundation is provided later. Here, so as to avoid a detour through the analysis of Experience we start with the idea of Existence. Still, Experience will and perhaps must be implicitly present

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. It will turn out however, that it is precisely the metaphysics that is given here that enables and empowers this simple conception of metaphysics and shows it to be immensely powerful

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; this 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

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 importance of demonstration. A detailed account is provided in the division of the narrative on 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 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 the best address of general and principled doubt

Significant consequences

The variety and degree of consequences of the fundamental principle are immense. This variety and its degree are brought out later. The briefly stated consequences of this section are 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.’ 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. There are ghost cosmoses penetrating ours with barely a whisper

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. 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 idea is not new. It is conceived, for example, in the Indian system of Vedanta. Demonstration, however, gives certainty to the Identity

Consequences for Science, Religion, and Secular Humanism. Science. In early development, the theories of science were considered to be factual. A consequence of the nineteenth and especially the twentieth century ‘revolutions’ in science resulted in a revised view. Theories became regarded as hypothetical and replaceable if warranted by facts that contradicted the theories. 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 will be extended, but that the theories are hypothetical and replaceable if regarded as Universal (the limitless variety cannot be captured by a static science.) Therefore, any science of the future must, if there is one, be a science that has intellect 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

Religion. Traditional religions emphasize a metaphysical picture of the Universe within which Human Being has play, may realize something of infinity in this life and may, perhaps, if certain prescriptions are followed, realize the infinite beyond this life. The presentation is often dogmatic in form. Because of the dogmatic or myth-like presentation of religion and because religion talks of another plane, religion and science are seen as distinct. It is therefore often thought that the function of religion does not address external truth but that if it addresses truth at all then its truth must be inner and perhaps metaphorical. However, the metaphysics 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 a 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 be a Journey in Being, Immersion, and Participation

Secular 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, sometimes called scientific 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 and anthropology. The goal of life in secular humanism is to live a good life on this earth, a life in which one contributes to and receives from the common good. The spirit of this humanism is good but its vision and therefore its vision and reality of Life and Being is immensely limited. It is the result of an insufficient imagination and logic in the face of the power of science. However, science itself does not require 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, 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

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

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?

Objections and responses

Numerous objections will occur to readers. Those who have some familiarity with metaphysics will question the very possibility of metaphysics, problems with 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 section 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 of the following may be obvious objections

If an entity had limits, Being would have limits. Therefore entities have no limits. This leads to a variety of kinds of objection in terms of apparent limits

1.      Limits suggested by level headed thought and science. This is addressed in Relation to science—defusing apparent contradiction

2.      Limits suggested by logic. For this and the next objection see The Universal metaphysics and its forms. The consideration of logical limits leads to a revised conception of logic that will be written in the capitalized form Logic whose Object, Logos, is the Universe in all its detail. This conception, Logic, is of immense significance; the classical and modern logics are at least approximations to Logic; the theories of science may be regarded as specialized ‘Logics’ thus blurring the boundary between Logic and Science and thus suggesting that Logic is more than mere tautology; and, finally, there are suggestions that Logic may harbor certain limits to Being that are not apparent in the consideration of the logics. Examples of such limits include considerations of the nature of space and time

3.      An apparent embarrassment of riches. The fundamental principle seems to trivially imply that ‘anything is possible.’ However this is not its meaning—the meaning is greater than this: it is that all possibilities are realized. However in any Normal context, the likelihood—within the context—of realization of extra-normal an extra-normal possibility is very small. Therefore, the ‘riches’ are no more than apparent

4.      Limits from significance and meaning. Being has no limits suggests the identity of individual and Universe but this may appear paradoxical. The concern is addressed in Identity and realization

5.      Finally, What does all this have to do with day-to-day life? See Criticisms concerning the value of metaphysics

Introduction

Journey

In retrospect, the conception and demonstration of the fundamental principle is simple. The approach to it, however, was not direct and passed through many phases of understanding. In fact the events and processes of Robin’s life also played an essential role in the discovery. Even before 2002, Robin had begun to think that he was on a journey. Because he had intuited the fundamental principle before its proof, and because he thought it essential to realize his ideas in life, he had already begun to think of his life as a Journey in being

However, the demonstration opened up a new world. Indian thought suggests ways for the individual to experience Identity with All Being. It suggests that Identity is already there and the ways are ways of living consciously in it. The consequences of the fundamental principle, shown as via its methods, include that full realization will occur and is and must be a Journey without end. This is a direct result of the fundamental principle—if Being has no limits then the variety of Being is without end. Realization is ever fresh. Reflection suggests that intelligent pursuit is immensely more effective and more enjoyed than deferring realization to the necessity of fate

That variety is without end implies that full realization requires transformation of (the Being of) the individual. Realization of ideas is not merely practical or moral. It is a Logical necessity

So—the idea of Journey takes on a Universal nature. That it had individual or personal origins and continues to have base in the individual shows grounding of the Universal aspect in the immediate. The individual narrative takes on an essential importance in the journey. However, this is not to say that the merely personal should be emphasized or that there is no place for the trans-personal text or narrative. The two kinds of narrative assume dual importance and in this narrative each is given its due

Being

There were two aspects to Robin’s being in the world. He loved the immediate worlds of nature, ideas, and people. Also, from an early stage he had a vision of a larger and incompletely known world—the container for the immediate world. He envisioned discovery of the larger world

I mentioned that the approach to discovery was not direct. In the early phases, Robin employed specified ways of understanding—materialism, idealism and others. Later, he realized that such advance specification is an attempt to understand the unknown in terms of the already known and is therefore open to error (equating part and whole) and understanding of low potency (the thought that what we already know is a stamp for the unknown and the consequent elimination of dynamic between knowing and known which is also called dialectic.) He then conceived that his search should focus on That which is most fundamental. This, he called Being. Later, the demonstration of the fundamental principle revealed that Being should, for development of a metaphysics of the greatest power, be conceived, simply, as That which exists. At a basic level, the fundamental and the existent are identical—especially in that the idea of existence is not a limitation to what is already explicitly known. These thoughts still allow that Human Being may search within Being for what they may find most fundamental in terms of their nature and ends or purposes

These thoughts constitute preliminary comment; a more complete understanding of being will emerge in the narrative. Perhaps, Robin had wondered, full understanding is rarely or even never achieved. However, the system of ideas that emerges with the fundamental principle enables demonstration of an ultimate understanding of Being. As Robin would argue, the critical attitude present in doubt should be self-applied and therefore, at the outset of any enquiry, we should be dually open to doubt and failure as well as confidence and discovery of immense magnitude. Doubt and confidence are dual

In the history of thought, especially in philosophy, there is a tradition of the study of Being which naturally emphasizes the question of the nature of Being. A common label in these disciplines for the study of Being is metaphysics2. The narrative develops a metaphysics named The Universal metaphysics that centers on the fundamental principle. Robin has asked me to caution readers that there are other common uses of the term ‘metaphysics.’ One is that of metaphysics as the study of the hidden or the occult. If Being is that which Exists it includes what is directly known. Robin’s metaphysics, the Universal metaphysics, is one that brings into metaphysics what we may think we do not know but what, if we are perceptive, we may see that we do in fact know; and it implicitly includes what is presently beyond even the pale of intuitive appreciation. It will turn out that the name is appropriate—that this metaphysics is knowledge of the Universe (understood at a level of sufficient abstraction or generality and as developed in the narrative.) It will also be seen that there can essentially be only one metaphysics at this level of inclusivity and that it must, in consequence, be the Universal metaphysics which will therefore also be called the metaphysics. Here, then, the meaning of ‘metaphysics’ stands in stark contrast to the idea metaphysics as study the occult

Readers may have questions regarding the discussion so far. Does not the idea of Being without limits stand against our level headed view of the world? Is it not in contradiction with science? Perhaps the reader knows that there are powerful arguments against the possibility of metaphysics. The narrative will show that instead of contradiction, the Universal metaphysics supports and may be merged with what is valid in the practical knowledge of science and level headed thought. Regarding the possibility of metaphysics, since there can be only one true metaphysics the question is reduced to the demonstration of the Universal metaphysics. The narrative showcases Robin’s demonstrations

It will now be clear why Robin would have named this work Journey in Being. The significance of the title will continue to grow with the account

Themes

Two themes of the narrative have emerged so far—(1) Being whose nature is developed in the metaphysics and related studies and (2) Journey which constitutes subject and envelope of the narrative

The third theme is Human Endeavor or Tradition. Robin’s idea of Tradition does not refer only to what is fixed or what is received from the past. It is not limited to the tradition of any particular culture. It includes the received and modern ways and ideas, established as well as emerging—science, philosophy, secular humanism and a host of other topics and endeavors studied, for example, in the modern University and by independent thinkers. The ideas and ways from past to present include myth, art, literature, music, and religion. Tradition includes culture, ideas and their embodiment in institutions—ancient and modern. Although disciplines studied in the University include metaphysics, Robin refers to them as the ‘local disciplines.’ This is because the picture of the Universe from modern physics (big-bang or singularity origins of our cosmological system or cosmos, multi-verses) significantly conditions our dominant worldviews, even in modern metaphysical study which are seen to be immensely limited. In contrast, the metaphysics reveals our cosmos to be infinitesimal in relation to the Universe; it is one of infinitely many cosmoses; and it suggests that the Universe may be far more than a collection of cosmological systems

Today, in this narrative, the metaphysics or picture of the Universe is the most completely developed of the themes. In its fundamentals the Universal metaphysics is essentially complete

For the Tradition Robin depends immensely on the human tradition of learning and other institutions. What may be novel here is some important careful developments of some disciplines, for example studies of mind and of space and time, and the joint studies of the metaphysics and the local disciplines in which metaphysics has implications in the local and the local have served as analogy (though not proof) in the development of the metaphysics (and the related topics of Objects and Cosmology)

The Journey is of course ongoing and weaves together and through the other two themes. This narrative contains reports of the stage and designs for Robin’s individual journey in ideas and transformation (realization) and in civilization and the construction of artifactual Being. The ‘themes’ are elements in a dynamic whole

Assessment and attitude

It may be useful to provide self-assessment of the main areas of contribution of the work. There is further self-assessment of the work in Contribution. There is of course no suggestion that the following thoughts should be accepted by the reader and no hint that they should displace her or his critical evaluation

Regarding ideas, the main contribution is the Universal metaphysics. What is new here? The idea itself has occurred to others though in various similar but not identical forms and in other forms that are not clearly related to it. What appear to be new are the demonstration of the metaphysics and the development of the methods used in the demonstration. These methods are shown to have a variety of uses; what is more they illuminate the nature of metaphysics, philosophy, and science. The demonstration and methods bring out the full meaning of the metaphysics, especially that of the fundamental principle, and they enable the development, elaboration (cosmology, theory of Objects,) and application (mutual implications of the metaphysics, science and the sciences, religion—the practice and the concept) of the metaphysics

Since a variety of ideas in the narrative have been seen by other thinkers I should perhaps not refer to what is new here but, instead, what is tentatively tinged by the new. Regarding the term ‘tentative’ I may observe that the demonstration and sequelae described above do appear, from extensive research, to be new. Regarding the term ‘tinged’ I may observe that bright color replaces grey and the infinite variety of Objects colored is not explicitly imagined elsewhere

Clearly there are implications for science—perhaps every major discipline in the sciences, humanities and arts is touched—and for religion as well as for spirituality. Spirituality is not a term that I like to use but I refer to it because for many persons who have rejected or moved away from religion, spirituality is the term that they use to refer to the kind of enlightenment or awareness that they may have sought but not found in traditional religion. I continue to use the term religion for the following reasons. First, especially in the ethical and psychic realms there is much of value in the traditional religions. Second, the traditional religions are examples of the idea of Religion which, here, takes on a larger meaning in view of the metaphysics. The cosmologies of the traditional religions, even if adequate to an earlier time, are now seen as immensely limited and limiting. Third, an issue that I have with spirituality and religion as commonly used is the suggestion of separate spheres: the sacred and the worldly. This separation is artificial and even though it may have served a function, that function is no longer necessary (church and state constitute a distinct concern.) Finally, the idea of Religion presented here is that of endless search that corresponds to the idea of a Universe whose variety is unending (even if we find repose in some model of psychic repose on Earth.) True religion and true science as conceived in light of the metaphysics are not merely complementary—they converge in the Universal journey. Perhaps on account of the new meanings I should abandon the terms science and religion? What terms would I use? Perhaps metaphysics and something like metaphysical journey / transformation. This deserves some contemplation

The idea and understanding of realization in the Journey seem to be new; they are enabled by the metaphysics

What characteristics of Robin enabled these developments? One that stands out is the ability to see—to eke out—unusual meaning and depth and breadth of meaning in terms… especially common terms. Robin occasionally muses that it is not an ability but sheer persistence borne of absence of brilliant intuition. However, Robin admits that at some point early in life he was able to see meaning that others did not—one that, originally, often provided surprise and amusement more than depth. He remarked once that the ability to see was partly borne of not being tied down by being lulled into the false security of faith or the security that results from the false definiteness of secular non-faith. He admitted to feeling the normal pressures to group thinking but also to an ability, innate andor cultivated, to resist such pressures. He said once that he thought he had an unusual ability to tolerate and enjoy doubt while he knew that he did not know. He was thus agnostic when appropriate but not committed to agnosticism (here the term ‘agnostic’ knowledge in general with no specific reference to a theological context.) Robin adds that he feels he has an excellent imagination adjoined to broad experience in life and the world of ideas (which serve to enhance the imagination) but that patience and a critical attitude does not permit acceptance of such imagination without demonstration. Thus the important faculties here are not the intuition of the mathematician or theoretical physicist or the mystic even though Robin admits to a small degree of talent in these disciplines. In the appeal to common ideas, Robin sees an affinity to some analytic philosophers. Where he departs from such analytic practice is that the analytic philosopher tends to insist on remaining on ordinary ground—typically below the ankles with feet firmly planted on soil. Robin sees the value in that approach but by not limiting himself to it has been able to extend the common to the Universal even while remaining within the realm of Experience

Arrangement

The work is arranged into divisions, sections and sub-sections. Sub-sections may be referred to as sections

There are three main divisions Journey, Demonstration, and Ground, and a supplement titled Resources

This arrangement makes it possible to efficiently address different audiences. If you have decided to read, it will help in selective reading according to your interest

Robin suggested that it would be useful to begin the outline with discussion of Demonstration and Consequences which should be brief

In the second division Demonstration, the proof of the fundamental principle of metaphysics is isolated from the other divisions. This separation (1) Emphasizes the importance of the demonstration (2) Enables study of its structure and emergent tools of analysis (3) Concentrates demonstration, doubt, criticism and response in one place (4) Permits the reader who is does not want to read the proof to easily avoid it. Robin emphasizes the importance of demonstration to full understanding. He also observed that this understanding is essential to ‘journeyers’ who emphasize Ideas

The third division, Ground, has the following sections (1) General grounds that provides a more robust and grounded foundation than the earlier abstract foundation of the metaphysics. (2) Special grounds that elaborate earlier material. Some of the topics discuss ways of realization. (3) Implications of the metaphysics in Consequences in Science, Metaphysics, Method, Religion, and Journey. (4) A final section of Notes on special topics. The material of Ground is (a) Of general significance but not directly useful to Robin’s designs for realization or (b) Directly useful but too detailed to include earlier

Journey is addressed to all interested audiences. It is the least formal of the divisions and it covers what is essential to the story told here. The first two sections, Preparation and Origins of the idea of a journey, describe the process leading up to the demonstration of the fundamental principle. These sections have a personal but not merely personal emphasis; the rest of the narrative deemphasizes the personal element. These sections tell a story but have a broader purpose. One of the implications of the metaphysics is that of transformation without end. A related consequence is that while a science of the future will not reject science as done today, it may require immersion of the individual in Being. Ultimate knowledge and / or realization, it is shown, will require immersion. Here, individual narrative and process will be important. It is efficient to regard the impersonal report as a component of good scientific literature. The impersonal report eliminates what is extraneous and directs focus to science itself. It makes communication efficient. However, we also value the personal and biographical narratives of especially the great scientists. The interest is more than personal. Perhaps, we think, we may gain insight into what makes for good science. This narrative contains both elements (and I hardly need add that I am not suggesting that the writer is a great thinker.) Later, in consequence of the metaphysics we will see that the science of the future may require immersion in Being in addition to construction of conceptual-empirical systems. The account of the origin of the metaphysics suggests the importance of broad experience in metaphysical thought—Preparation has an emphasis on the importance of experience; and the personal history of the concept of Being may contribute to readers’ understanding of Being—Origins of the idea of a journey describes this history. In these sections we have used the first person ‘I’ to refer to Robin even though the writer is but the chronicler of events; the practice continues in the remainder of the narrative: as a result of my intense association with Robin over much of our lives the ‘I’ of the narrative is a dual ‘I’

The third section of Division JourneyThe metaphysics—develops the metaphysics starting from the fundamental principle. The next two sections develop consequences and anticipate and respond to criticism. Identity and realization on Identity and related topics is fundamental in metaphysics and essential to the journey. The section A Journey in Being describes Robin’s developments and designs for the Universal aspect of the journey. The final section, Implications for science and religion, describes his understanding of religion and modern science and possible futures for these endeavors; the discussion is significantly informed by the metaphysics (I am not what is called a ‘futurist;’ however I think that envisioning what may happen in the future, especially from the point of view of a critical and imaginative worldview, may be useful.) For ultimate realization, the metaphysics requires an expansion of the scope of science and religion and shows that science and true Religion must converge in this wider vision: the secular is neither identical to nor distinct from the Universal

The final and supplementary division, Resources, is designed to be useful in reading, understanding, evaluating, and using this work. The first section, Contribution, lists what I think may be some contributions of the work to human thought and endeavor. It is important for us to do so because of our sense of the importance of the ideas and their implications, to inform the reader and the larger culture of this sense, and as self-evaluation; the principle is to avoid denial and aggrandizement but, instead, to cultivate impartial evaluation (without suggesting that self-evaluation can displace external criticism or stem the fate of history.) We do not expect that the culture will accept the meta / self-evaluation of the work. Instead the intent is to emphasize our sense of accomplishment and to suggest to the culture some places where it may direct its critical and appreciative function. Glossary defines terms essential to the journey—the index includes terms from secondary material; some entries include summary and supplemental thought. Section, How to train your dragon3, provides information helpful to (re) creating and continuing the experience of the narrative. The  should be useful in reference and cross-reference

Sources

I have known Robin for a long time. If I were into metaphor and poetry I would say that I have known him since Being was young. He has read and absorbed an immense amount of work. He says that he cannot remember all the influences. He characteristically reminds me that while we may use perception, thought, science, language, and reason we did not create or invent these institutions and that it is therefore impossible to explicitly acknowledge all sources. His reading is so extensive that a listing of all relevant sources would be distracting and prohibitively long. We have therefore decided to place sources of greatest significance in footnotes (also seef15)

This edition

The work has been written many times since 2002. The rewriting has been required by improvement in understanding and expansion of the scope of application of the metaphysics. In 2010, the narrative became so long that the idea of editing it became intimidating

It became imperative to write a shorter version. This would enhance precision of the narrative as well as communication and readability

This is the short version4

To you

Most terms or concepts of the narrative are not new. However many terms have a range of common and specialized uses. A metaphysics defines a context; here the context is the Universe. The new metaphysics enables new meaning and is both result and source of relations among the meanings, i.e. articulation of meaning. It is therefore essential to understanding to pay attention, first, to terms as defined and used here and, second, to relations among the terms

The view of the world developed here is rather new. That Being has no limits implies that the view is ultimate. It shows that the Universe cannot have greater variety of Being than its actual variety and that this variety is captured, at least implicitly, by the metaphysics. Robin has been very careful to show that this view contains and does not contradict what is valid in science and level headed thought. The view is not an alternative to science but an expansion upon what is valid in it. This is precisely what typically happens in scientific revolutions: a new theory expands the scope of the old while including what is valid in the old (Robin emphasized that the present metaphysics has overlap with but has differences from the modern idea of science.) Still, the freedom of the present view may at first seem strange and may be initially difficult to absorb as an intuitive whole. The difficulty may be compounded by the new conceptions of terms and the diversity of implication. Robin repeats a suggestion of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauerf63 that understanding may most efficiently acquired by reading a narrative of this kind more than one time. The first reading would be a rather rapid absorption of the whole picture. In the first reading, questions, objections, difficulties would be set aside, perhaps in notes, and taken up on a second reading. The arrangement of the narrative enhances this approach

The arrangement addresses another possible difficulty. When we approach a work that fits a standard genre we have some idea of what we face and how the reading of the work shall proceed. The present work, however, does not fit an established genre. At center there is a new view of Being and Universe, and of being in and relating to that ‘place.’ As a whole it is not intended a technical work, a treatise on metaphysics, a development of Religion and Science, a travelogue in physical and ideational terrain, or any other of the genres that the work may suggest. However, it has elements of many such genres (which, in the nature of the work, have appropriateness.) The different genres are concentrated in different divisions: Journey has most of the narrative and less formal development; Demonstration is devoted to proving and the simultaneously emerging aspects of nature of proof… and to structuring proof to illuminate the metaphysics; Consequences is monograph-like in some of its sections. This form of narrative may aid the reader in the multi-genre and in approaching the narrative

We hope you will find inspiration to embark on you own process that may perhaps be a continuation and improvement of ours

W are interested in your responses—especially critical response: any response based in understanding is critical regardless whether there is agreement or disagreement or, selectively, agreement and disagreement. Robin emphasizes that although we have discussed potential difficulties of understanding, we do not suggest that the difficulty is yours but that it may depend on our powers of expression and perhaps on the nature of the material. If you are interested in participation in the processes described in the narrative, please do write with your ideas and proposals

I want to say, before you embark on your travels, that I hope we may talk one day—perhaps over a glass of wine—to our mutual enjoyment and benefit—Anil Mitra, Arcata, California, January 18, 2011

I.  Journey

Preparation

The personal origins of Journey in Being are in my passions5 and Inspiration—Ideas, nature, and people. These were contained within a larger Inspiration originally unnamed and in intuition6 later named and recognized as Being. The specific inspirations are ways to Being

As long as I recall I have loved being in nature. When other aspects of my life have been negative, being in nature has been lovely and sustaining. When life has been good, being in ‘wild’ places, waking up to a mountain cirque dusted by snow, has been inspiration. That inspiration is not just one of physical beauty; it is Being in something greater than my-self

I have had a sense of independence from ‘what everyone believes,’ and authority regarding ideas, conduct, and morals but not from real ideas and morals. It is a questioning attitude and core independence—not an antagonism. It is not immunity from the judgments of others—but a resolution to follow what is right as it emerges (which is open to influence.) A consequence is that while I am keenly interested in the ideas of others—and the history of human culture—I do not feel bound to paradigms of thought and belief, especially those of today… especially those widespread paradigms that are generally accepted, even well argued, but not demonstrated even if widely thought to have conclusive demonstration. I believe that this attitude is one that has been necessary to this work

Another consequence of the independence is that I was indifferent to teachers who did not spark my interest. If a teacher aroused my interest, my performance would excel—seventh grade World History remains vivid. Otherwise I did not listen to lectures—I found that I could not. Generally, instructors in the lower grades7 were without inspiration. I enjoyed reading—fiction and science; I would read during lectures, spare time, and study periods—homework would be dashed off just before class. My sustenance was in friends, sports, quietude, and nature. I loved walks in rain, bicycle rides in the country, looking at trees, hills, skies, stars—this remains an everyday practice. Beginning in ninth grade teachers in mathematics, physics, literature, and language were excellent. Performance in these areas excelled. In subjects where the teacher was not interesting I did my own reading8, and I excelled in these areas as well. I also began a habit of daily visits to the small high school library and of browsing for material of interest; the habit remains to this day except that browsing is weekly; an assumption is that while of course one does not know everything, there is always a new line of thought that one has not yet noticed or is emerging. The tenth grade Ethics instructor, a Jesuit Priest, The Rev. Father John Moore, S.J. used class time to lecture on a panorama of the history of ideas; he conveyed the importance of and passion for ideas

There is perhaps one other passion—a passion for passion itself—this is the passion of engagement in Being mentioned earlier rather than passion in some particular aspect of things. In University an outlet for passion was ideas—mathematics, physics, and philosophy (and the subdivisions of philosophy of which the main are metaphysics or study of the Universe as it is, epistemology or theory of knowledge, logic, ethics and aesthetics.) It is a characteristic of my life that I have cultivated my interests and passions over set curricula and patterns of activity

My passion has been sustained by people—by Humanity. Sustenance has been everyday interaction and friendship (rather than romance.) The love received from my mother has been fundamental. Supportive friends have encouraged my adventures in ideas9. Through their humanity, others—individuals—reinforce my connection to the human world, to my own humanity and to my psychic resources. Criticism—understanding and agreement or disagreement—has not merely been a source of improvement: it has suggested new lines of thought and action. Even antagonism has stoked and sharpened my thought

My formal education did not include evolutionary biology—my recollection is that evolution was not taught in the Indian schools of my youth. My parents encouraged reading. In 1962 I borrowed Julian Huxley's popular account of evolution10 from my parents' bookshelves. I read it in dim light on the night train to boarding school11. The phrase could not put the book down applied. A world of understanding was opened up. Some readers will disagree with the evolutionary theses; I was persuaded by the argument. In the last forty years, evolution has been one of my passions and I have read and talked to others and nothing has (yet) persuaded me that the essential process of life on Earth is other than that described in modern evolutionary thought. (Of course there are aspects of life still unexplained and of course evolutionary explanation has sometimes overreached its limits, especially with regard to society and culture. However, I know of no successful positive argument against evolutionary theory12 and no successful scientific or theological alternative or challenge. The metaphysics of this narrative is a complement to evolution / scientific explanation rather than alternative)

Nature and Ideas have been mutually sustaining. I have had excellent inspiration in ideas and Being during extended periods in wild areas (especially Barranca del Cobre or Copper Canyon, Chihuahua, Mexico and the Trinity Mountain Wilderness of northwestern California.) It was especially in Barranca del Cobre over about ten trips, half of them solo, from 1979 to 1982 that confirmed nature as a source of psychic depth and insight13 (and, I anticipated, also of transformation of entire Being14.) This experience was confirmation and reconfirmation of earlier experience in the Adirondack State Park of New York State, in Big Bend National Park in West Texas above its South Rim (peaks seen as islands in seas of mist,) the Guadalupe Mountains also in West Texas, the Santa Elena Canyon of the Rio Grande on the border with Mexico, the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico, and the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. Central insights of this work occurred in the Trinity Mountain Wilderness

After high school, I studied engineering and mathematics at the Indian Institute of Technology: I obtained a Bachelors degree in engineering and a Masters equivalent in mathematics. There was an intense amount of technical and geometrical drawing that seems to no longer be part of the engineering curriculum in the West (it is studied more in industrial technology programs where computer aided design have significantly complemented drafting skill.) For me one of the uses of geometrical drawing was the training of my spatial intuition: much of the creative side of my thought is in terms of spatiotemporal intuition

In University, I had other interests: friends and fun, athletics—I was on the college track and field team, and I continued to seek experience in the natural world, especially in wild areas which seemed to offer contact to what is real

I felt a thirst for broad experience in the ideas of our culture—and more: the tradition was an approach to understanding the universe. The programs included fundamental physics which I supplemented by reading in modern theoretical physics and later, at the University of Delaware, by taking—out of interest—all the courses required in a doctoral program in physics as well as a number of the courses required in doctoral level mathematics. This was the early 1970’s; the physics which included analytical mechanics, electromagnetism, special and general relativity, and quantum mechanics emphasized mathematical techniques but not concepts or their general significance. Still I learned much and enjoyed and probably gained from immersion in academic science and mathematics. The experience contributed to analytic skill, intuitive appreciation of the world, and material for analogy. The metaphysics developed in this narrative and modern science have mutual implications and the exposure that helps me to see those implications and may help develop them later

For significance and general matters, I supplemented the courses in science and mathematics by reading in the philosophy of science and mathematics, in studies in logic and abstract mathematics, and in accounts written for general audiences (popular accounts)

At Delaware I obtained a doctoral degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering (in those days it was called ‘applied science.’) The course materials in engineering mechanics and thermodynamics (energy) have been useful in having a practical understanding of technology and energy issues. Although I may wish that I had greater exposure to the humanities, I maintained interests in poetry, music, philosophy, and literature

I took three years off from pursuit of the PhD. I spent one year of no course work, little research effort, and simple enjoyment. Then I taught engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, beautiful upstate New York, 1975-1977) before coming back to Delaware to complete the PhD. After graduating, I taught and did research and the University of Texas (Austin, Texas) and California State University (Humboldt.) This covered the years 1978-1985. The wide range of interests continued. In Austin I was part of a group started by Diana Latham who was very involved in what was then called the human potential movement. Dianna was by her dynamic character a local leader in this movement. The group had a formal structure: we met 7-9:15 pm every Sunday; there would be a talk, a brief time for informal and social interaction with wine at fifty cents a glass, and a speaker led discussion, demonstration, or practical session. The topics ranged from various kinds of established and emerging therapy, to massage techniques, to philosophical significance of quantum theory, to therapy or spiritual work with prison inmates… what I took from the group was an opening up of my attitude to viewpoints outside mainstream. I have a critical side which is reflexive and therefore I am also critical regarding the nature and role of criticism; i.e. I do not doubt that there is a role to criticism but I want to evaluate clearly what it is (which is a process rather than an end.) As result I simply absorbed the alternative views without mere acceptance or mere rejection. They might be useful later. What turned out to be most useful was the variety of ideas and travel through a stage of development of a reflexive constructive

I enjoyed the careful study of detail and of analytic critical thought. Analysis was balanced by poetry and synthesis. I seem to have enjoyed two aspects of ideas—to have the widest vision that I could and to develop my own picture

Origins of the idea of a journey

Around 1983-1885, while an associate professor in engineering at California State University, Humboldt, I had been using evolutionary thought to understand and explain the world around me—i.e. I was developing an informal worldview based in evolutionary explanation. I was using the paradigm of evolution to build up a worldview—a metaphysics: a picture of the Universe. Although not motivated by engineering concerns, building a worldview was not unrelated to engineering. One of the courses I was teaching concerned alternative energy sources. In reflecting on the value (economic and moral) aspects of concerns it is inevitable that one’s view of the world affects the outcome of thought. Often this is based on an intuitive view of the world without explicit recognition that it is a worldview. I felt that incorporating an explicit view but without necessarily rejecting the intuitive could only improve on engineering and policy reflection and decisions

In 1985, I left teaching and technical research. I enjoyed teaching and had achieved recognition in research. I had deep regrets but these were matched by a feeling of adventure. Later, I realized that it was a transforming change. Always open, the option of return remained but as time passed the desire and related anxiety waned. I had savings that permitted me to live independently for four years. I thought I might come back to teaching and research but I wanted to explore options in engineering. A project I set myself was to explore the role of engineering in the world as well as the role of human values in engineering; my non-engineering interests, I thought, would provide useful perspective. The project did not materialize because it soon turned to much wider interests. I embarked on program of study and reading in everything that might be helpful in understanding the world and in criticizing such understanding. Adventure bloomed. This was an exciting period of reading in mythology, evolution, philosophy, knowledge and its nature, design and other topics15

I wrote my thought in a 1987 essay Evolution and Design16. (The essay remains very tentative and incomplete and, since I later abandoned evolutionary explanation as a paradigm of metaphysics, it is unlikely that I will ever write the essay in improved form. Most of my early writing is destined to the same fate. I think that that early non-engineering writing has numerous interesting ideas but is not very carefully worked out. I was much more impressed with it at the time than I am now.) However, thinking and writing Evolution and Design was one of great the romantic periods of my life. Just as I had found evolution to be intoxicating, I found evolutionary thought17 to be exciting. In September 1986, I spent two weeks of thinking, hiking and breathing in the mountains East of Home. I pitched my tent at a mountain lake where I thought out Evolution and Design and its logic. My routine was that on one day I would hike to a select destination, perhaps to endurance’s end, and on the other I would reflect and write. I came out of the mountains with an idea and an outline and sixteen pounds lighter. I was then living in McKinleyville, California; my home was a room rented from friends in their home on Dow’s Prairie Road. It was a beautiful location and provided a nice environment to write Evolution and Design

Although my thought included basis in science I was not and had never been convinced that the end of science is the end of the world. I allowed that there are or may be things not seen in science so far. I would not yet claim that there are things that are seeable though not seeable in science—there is a dual question What are the limits of science as we understand it? and What kind of endeavor will future science be (we think we know what science is)?

I explored common and scientific knowledge and ways—the how of science—as well as the idea that these modes of knowledge do not define the extent and variety of Being in thought and nature. I thought that I should manifest these explorations in my life. However, the rational side of my nature did not allow me to get particularly far in the endeavor to manifest ideas in life at that stage of development. I am open to contemplating anything but to admit something into my accepted world of ideas it is necessary that they satisfy appropriate standards of reason. More precisely, my system of ideas is not made up of two discrete groups such as right / wrong, scientific / non-scientific, moral / non-moral and so on. Instead of dichotomy there is continuum and what is generally rejected has a place—if perhaps at a low end, and what is generally accepted does not necessarily have full acceptance though it may occupy a high place. There is a place in intuition where contemplating anything includes that some thoughts or suggestions will receive no more than passing consideration by an intuitive-feeling compass; others will receive greater attention; the compass itself will receive occasional attention and will itself grow in the process of its use and reflection upon it. Passion and reason are not mutually exclusive; if passionate about ideas we want them to be valid and hence the importance of reason. Passion stokes ideas; and without reason, passion is mere heat. At a subtle level, integration of cognition and feeling keeps from dissolution into free wheeling thought and feeling without significance. Perhaps reason can be overemphasized because some persons have made contributions by adhering to tentative ideas. This however does not negate the utility or importance of proof and reason

I wanted to and came to think that I should manifest my thought in my person; this is one source of my use of the idea of ‘Being.’ The Universal metaphysics developed later shows that thought-as-conventionally-understood is an incomplete and form of Being: what is transformed via ideas is fraction of the Being or Identity of the thinker (see further discussion in Section Identity and realization.) Therefore the highest in realization must transcend or be more than thought or ideas (in the limited sense that is typical of materialism.) It must (logically) be in the Being of the individual which includes Body and Identity

From 1987 to 1992 I did a number of philosophical studies. An essay on the History of Western Philosophy18 was one result

In 1990 I began work as a psychiatric worker at Sempervirens, the Humboldt County inpatient facility in Eureka, California. The work was demanding, but rewarding in many ways. I learned much psychiatry, I learned about people and the art of interaction, and it was without doubt the most real work environment that I have had. The clients were often immensely challenging but there was much reward and much simple and pure enjoyment. I was good at that work—I did not lose caring or warmth, remained understanding and accepting, I was able to potentially dangerous situations with good but not perfect success, I was supportive of other staff. The learning is relevant to my outlook. I discovered multiple levels of giving (and that giving is getting.) I did not take work home. The employment was very generous with vacation time and retirement. All of this provided material, occasion, and opportunity for involvement in the journey whose parameters emerge in the narrative

I became dissatisfied with the evolutionary paradigm. The transition was gradual. It was in four to six weeks in the Trinity Mountain Wilderness each year of 1991-1993 that concrete ideas for alternatives began to emerge. As explanation it lacked rock bottom. Even if the idea of a rock to Ground all explanation is illusion, I wanted it at the time (and there are degrees of firmness of Ground.) Growing philosophical awareness suggested better paradigms. (I seem to find that there is no end to awareness, later the metaphysics that is developed will confirm the infiniteness of realization in some directions but finiteness in others.) An ideal of a system of understanding is that it be ‘absolute.’ That means that while the things it explains shall be dependent on the core ideas (which correspond to core elements of the Universe) the core itself should not depend on other ideas (and the core elements should not depend on other things.) It is also an ideal that the absolute be uniform, unitary, and unchanging for that appears to provide the simplest of explanations. At outset, we do not know whether the ideal can be achieved. Some are driven to the search; some assert that it is impossible. I have already mentioned that the Universal metaphysics achieves this absolute in some directions but shows it to be unachievable in others (except as process or adventure)

Therefore I experimented with a number of ‘paradigms’ of what (I thought and has been thought) is absolute or most fundamental—with what is tentatively the substance (sub-stance) of the Universe: matter, mind or ideas, process, relationship, consciousness, and various others19. This stands in the philosophical tradition of metaphysics: a sub-stance is posited and in a ‘good’ metaphysics the choice is not arbitrary: it is made because it avoids andor resolves certain problems of explaining the world and because it provides positive conclusions and should provide no negative conclusions or disagreements with what is clearly true ( I may add that the naming of a paradigm occupies very little space, e.g. materialism, but the working out of such thought takes serious effort over a period of time.) However, these ‘paradigms’ all suffer from the defect that what is posited to be the sub-stance of the world has not been so demonstrated—that appears to be inherent in the idea of a paradigm or sub-stance: what is but exemplary is taken as paradigmatically generic. Lofty metaphysics remains speculative in some aspects. It does not follow that such metaphysics is without use—some systems may be seen as stages of a process, some systems have ideas that become immensely useful in other contexts; however, the labeling of a speculative metaphysics as logically necessary is in error even if the metaphysics is not obviously wrong and even though such labeling may be the result of the thrill of discovery calling it determined rather than hypothetical carries all the risks of ideology: fanatical support followed by failure and gives the ideas a bad but misplaced reputation. I became dissatisfied with my systems—I suppose I was occasionally lulled by adventure and ego into mistaking the tentative for the definite but in the absence of definiteness I was never drawn into too much investment in any particular system for too long; this hesitance, I may say, paid off in the end even if payoff was not the goal—and you may now see why I came to think of myself as in a Journey: it was a journey in Ideas and you will later see why that thought came to be the thought of a Journey in Being. There is a further defect with the paradigms. Not only did they posit or assume, what they provided in terms of positive explanation was not particularly powerful and they were not entirely successful in removing doubts and problems of understanding and explanation

I do not want to leave the impression that I think that no philosophical thought should contain elements of speculation. Some philosophers have emphasized positivism: the idea that thought should be firmly based in positive knowledge and only in positive knowledge. For many this positivism is empiricism. However, consider that the sum of human knowledge is far from complete. Knowledge is not merely of empirical details but also of patterns expressed in terms of concepts. A first step when on the boundary of the known and the unknown is to formulate a hypothesis which can then be subject to various kinds of test on the way to becoming reliable knowledge. Hypothesis is a polite word for speculation. This is one of the functions of philosophy which those who think that the only knowledge we can contemplate is certain knowledge either disregard or do not know. When knowledge that was once considered to be philosophy and therefore tinged with the unknown and the speculative becomes more empirically rooted and mainstream and reliable it becomes science

Consequent upon my dissatisfaction, I decided that instead of positing some definite kind as Fundamental Ground I should search for that which is most fundamental. That is, metaphysics would not be forced—it would emerge from investigation (or, alternatively, I might fail in the search for the Grail: and as remarked more than once earlier the search ended in success in one direction—foundation or depth—and failure in another—variety or breadth—but it was a most wonderful failure, one that starting from the success in foundation shows the life of Being to be the greatest adventure.) There is a tradition in Western Philosophy in the study of the idea of Being as, roughly, that which is most fundamental. My idea was to use ‘Being’ as a container term that would allow search for the fundamental, the basic, the core… I came to think of the role of Being in metaphysics as similar to the role of the unknown variable, the famous symbol x, of elementary algebra

Plato20 reflected on Being as that which has power—i.e., the ability to have an effect on something else. Aristotle regarded the study in terms of Being as study which focused on no special aspect such as the physical or the mental. He thought of metaphysics (‘metaphysics’ was not his name for the study) as the study of first causes21 or of things that do not change. Heidegger22 made a powerful point in rejecting substance metaphysics—in seeing substances as kinds of ‘high level concepts’ rather than as Being per se; his study of Being was via Dasein: Dasein as the Being that can ask the question of its own Being. The empiricists study Being via the physical or natural and known universe

It is easy to think that one should move away from substance theory but not easy to do so and despite their proclamations, the seminal thinkers did not make a complete break with substance thought (e.g. Plato’s power, Aristotle’s first cause, Heidegger’s Dasein, the physical universe of the materialistically / empirically / scientifically oriented thinkers, and the ideal or mental world of the rationally oriented thinkers.) There is good reason that in human history thought so far has been not completely eliminated or perhaps even been able to completely eliminate substance even when such elimination was an explicit intent. It will turn out that to make the break it is perhaps essential to have already developed the metaphysics of All Being rather than have at hand metaphysical systems that retain merely hypothetical elements even if paradigmatic or to have no explicit metaphysics at all

It may be observed that thinking in paradigmatic terms is not necessarily paradigmatic thought. Thus materialism is paradigmatic when I think of matter as defined only in terms of my senses or only in scientific terms. But if while looking at a rock I think That apparently inert piece of stone has within it things that I may not even dimly know, I am then opening a door to a non-paradigmatic stance. One useful aspect of the paradigmatic studies has been such learning as a result of which later non-paradigmatic stances become possible not merely as posited but with foundation

My thought and writing was far from limited to ‘paradigm.’ One of my interests was the result of reading in the growing field of consciousness studies. In the wake of the behaviorism of the early twentieth century it became considered unscientific (in science) and speculative (in philosophy) to talk of the subjective world of our consciousness. How, the rhetorical argument went, can we be objective about that which is the private preserve of the individual and to which no one else has access? The grip of behaviorism weakened in the 1950’s and 1960’s and by the 1970’s publications in the field of consciousness began to appear. One of the realizations was that even though consciousness or Experience may be subjective the fact of consciousness is objective (and as we shall see that it may be subjective does not imply that it invariably lacks objectivity; we find a ground that lies between everything-is-objective and nothing-is-objective.) Even if we think that everyone’s consciousness is distinct from the consciousness of everyone else, we agree that we all have consciousness (there are of course a number of nonbelievers in consciousness, others who hold that the Universe is mind or consciousness, and yet others who challenge ‘me’ to prove that there is anything besides my Experience; these points of view are discussed later in the narrative.) I studied and wrote an essay on consciousness23. Later in this narrative we reflect on the fundamental nature of Experience. Just above, I mentioned some alternative paradigms to the evolutionary one; these include materialism and idealism. Implicit in such questions is the nature of mind and matter; whether one or other is fundamental or whether the fundamental is both or neither. What I learned in my studies in consciousness was valuable in my approach to such large questions as well as to many matters of detail (and the careful attention to detail is important to large pictures)

Around 1999 I had been having the insight that an absolute but non-substance understanding would emerge if I could show the equivalence of the Void or absence of Being and the Universe which is All Being. In the background was the thought that if the Void which is the absence of Being is equivalent to the Universe which is All Being, perhaps the common entities of the world have some kind of equivalence to All Being and this begins to sound absolute-like even if fantastic. If the equivalence should hold, the Being of the Universe would be given—the famous question ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’, the question that Heidegger called the fundamental problem of metaphysics, would be answered

A comment on suspension of reason may be appropriate. That a common entity should be equivalent to the Universe strains the imagination as well as reason (this has not prevented Vedanta Philosophy from having essentially the same thought.) If I had ‘given in’ to this stretch of reason, the Universal metaphysics would not have emerged. A principle that emerged, and that is undoubtedly well known to many others, is allow the play of ideas entertained uncritically and perhaps we may be able to fashion an idea from imagination that can later be molded to meet critical standards. What emerged was this and more; it was also the occasion for questioning and refining critical standards. Here is an occasion that the at least temporary suspension of reason at one level is reasonable at another level. An alternative statement regarding reason is that although reason may always have application, part of that application is discovery of reason itself: discovery of content and discovery of method are perhaps not completely separable

The insight to show the equivalence of Void and Universe was based in part on simple conclusions from classical theories of physics24. It was also based on mystical experience had hiking in the mountains—the Stuart Fork Trail toward Emerald, Sapphire, and Mirror Lakes in the Trinity Mountain Wilderness—where I felt, one warm autumn day in 1999, ‘mystic connection’ with the brown earth / warmth of the day / trees with sunlight filtering through / a hawk flitting among trees / open spaces filled by blue sky / the thought of Morris Meadow ahead / my experience of effortlessness where I should be feeling effort and heat and sweat… and while in that state of feeling the thought presented itself: 0 ≡ ¥ (zero is equivalent to infinity25.) Of course neither explanatory utility nor mystic insight nor number mysticism nor analogy from science is proof and so the insight remained but insight (and I regarded 0 ≡ ¥ perhaps as metaphor but not literal truth)

I was trying to find a way to show that the Universe is equivalent to the Void. The direction of proof was from Universe to Void. From 1999 to 2002 I searched for the certainty of demonstration without success

In October 2002, I had the insight to focus on the Void and its properties (an aspect of the insight was that the Void should be a trivial concept.) This insight occurred at dawn in ‘the shadow of mountains’ (near Weaverville, California.) An essential aspect of the insight was that laws, e.g. of physics, are not mere fabrications even though we may experience them as such: laws are ‘things.’ Therefore, while we may think of a vacuum as devoid of matter but not of laws, the Void has no laws26 (the point regarding laws and the Void is subsequently stated and developed in clear terms.) This was the point of transformation and as a result I was able to demonstrate the equivalence of the Void and the Universe. The proof is given later in Demonstration

This fundamental result enabled the development of a metaphysics of immense consequence; the fact that there are no laws in the Void was instrumental in the development; careful definition of all concepts in carefully chosen system of concepts was also instrumental (the careful choosing required trial and error and adjustment; in fact the process from initial to final was an ongoing tinkering, reflecting, that included at least annual major steps from 2002 to 2010.) The development goes against a grain of modern mainstream western thought on metaphysics that holds this kind of metaphysics to be impossible27. Although the development is conceptual in nature one of the attitudes that made it likely is the independence of thought I mentioned earlier. It is not mere independence but it combines with attention to the thought of others and care in thought. Other valuable attitudes include passion with patience, imagination with reason, breadth and depth of experience and learning

One of the consequences of the development is that Being should be thought of as, most simply, whatever exists, or that which has Existence, or the plain what is there (somewhere and somewhen.) Thus, although I had begun the search with the thought of Being as that which is most fundamental, it the plain concept Being as that which is there that, when used incisively, emerges as pivotal to the powerful metaphysics that was developed (to a specific creature the idea of That which is most fundamental remains significant but it is an aspect of or part of or on the way to Being.) The profound is found in the trivial. Metaphysically, then, there is no thing or idea that is most fundamental. Equivalently, All Being is equally fundamental (in metaphysics.) What is profound in Being is not found in Depth but, as will be seen, in Breadth or variety (of kinds of Being.) What I had arrived at was understanding without paradigm28

It was the end of an epoch and the beginning of an epoch in my life and in Being. This is perhaps a good place to thank all who helped in the process. I have benefited from appreciation, and from criticism both rational and irrational. I may add a brief word about the one person who was friend and critic through almost the entire process—from the early evolutionary paradigm to just recently: Joan Elk, my great friend since 1985, died in April of 2010

The metaphysics

The Universal metaphysics and its forms

Questioning the Universal metaphysics

Criticisms concerning the value of metaphysics

Cosmological consequences

It was mentioned earlier that metaphysics based in Experience is possible, that there is one and only one metaphysics, that it would be developed here, and that it will be called the Universal metaphysics or, simply, the metaphysics. The metaphysics employs a number of basic concepts. The concepts are not mere creations but embody Experience and therefore their deployment, as will be seen, has consequences. However, it is the fundamental principle of metaphysics that is at the core of the power of the system and so the Universal metaphysics may be seen as equivalent to the fundamental principle and its consequences. In the following, the phrase ‘Universal metaphysics and its forms’ is therefore roughly equivalent to ‘fundamental principle and its forms’

The system is now described. It is demonstrated later in Demonstration

The Universal metaphysics and its forms

I use the term ‘the fundamental principle of metaphysics’ to describe the equivalence of Void and Universe that was demonstrated in 2002. The following are demonstrated forms of the principle

First form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics. The Void which is the absence of Being contains no Law; the Void exists

Second form. The Void is equivalent to every state of Being. Therefore every state of Being is equivalent to every other state of Being; Particularly, Void and Universe are equivalent

Third and fundamental form. Being has no limits29. For example there is no limit to the variety, Extension (30space) and Duration (time) of Being in the Universe

We cannot do very much with the foregoing forms but contemplate their grandeur. To be able to use them we may think in terms of concepts (here, a concept is interpreted as mental content that may refer to something in the world)

The third form has the following tentative alternative expression: Every concept has reference (if a concept did not have reference, there would be a limit on Being.) However, that cannot be true because while the world-as-world cannot contain true absurdity or contradiction our concepts can31. Therefore, concepts must satisfy ‘logic.’ Education and tradition tend to teach that logic is prior to thought and is the only absolute truth. However, modern thought has shown that logic itself has an empirical side (the testing of and hypotheses regarding symbolic systems) and the question then arises How can we have trust in logic? A response is as follows. Define Logic32 as That which our conceptual systems must satisfy in order to have reference in the Universe. Since introduced via definition, it is valid to ask whether this conception may be empty. Given two related propositions, the requirement that both have the possibility of reference may result in relations between the propositions; this is the source of the traditional idea of logic as deduction and therefore the classical and modern logics are at least approximations to parts of Logic

Supplement—an approach to Logic. Consider two entities A and B. According to the metaphysics they have no limits. Therefore A can effect some state of affairs while B can prevent that state of affairs, e.g. irresistible force meets immovable Object. I.e., either A or B has a limit (apparent limit 1 and a contradiction.) Another example of a contradiction that apparently implies a limit—since A has no limits it can be fully green and fully not green at the same time. However, this is impossible (apparent limit 2.) What is the nature of this impossibility? It is it is constitutive of color that there is no color state of greenness simultaneous with not-greenness (if this were not the case limit 2 would not be a limit.) Therefore limit 2 is not a limit on A but defines the boundary of valid descriptions. Similarly, if it is in the constitution of two entities taken together that there are only so many joint states of Being that they occupy then limit 1 is not a limit of the entities but, again, a boundary on valid descriptions

Analyzing these examples further, consider the ability to form concepts of things not yet experienced. This ability requires freedom to put ideas and words together in novel ways. This comes with a little extra freedom: some concepts violate our sense of common or physical reality; others violate any or all reality e.g. something that is green and not-green. This second kind of violation has to do with logic and its resolution which is crucially important is taken up later and will involve (a) A new conception of Logic—capitalized because it is the conception to be used here (b) Equivalence of the fundamental principle with the assertion that all states whose conceptions do not violate Logic obtain, and (c) Reconciliation of item b with science and level headed thought

Conclusion. The fundamental principle can then be formulated

Fourth and effective form of the fundamental principle. Subject to Logic, every concept has reference. This form empowers deployment. The second and third forms may be deployed similarly but that use will involve at least intuitive and perhaps less than aware reference to the fourth form

These are four forms of the fundamental principle of Universal metaphysics. Other forms are omitted here33

I am especially surprised when others appreciate my ideas. This is partly due to doubt but it is primarily because it seems that the system and the proof that follows is transparent and should have been transparent since the beginnings of ‘logic.’ Perhaps, in fairness I should say that doubt has been useful and that doubt has been matched a combination of pragmatism, idealism and enthusiasm (that I occasionally find surprising.) Perhaps I should not be surprised at the attitudes of others because, generally, those who appreciate will and those who do not will not

Questioning the Universal metaphysics

The consequences of the Universal metaphysics appear to be immense in content and significance. This will be brought out more in what follows. Immensity of consequence is, if not a direct reason for doubt, a reason to cultivate doubt. If an idea is of significance, we would like to have confidence in it and doubt and criticism may reveal flaws which may (or may not) be corrected

One source of questioning or doubt is the assertion Being has no limits. We are accustomed to limits and the idea of limits and this suggests doubt, even paradox. It is therefore important to address this concern. First, however, Cosmological consequences of the metaphysics will be developed in the next section. These serve to, first, further show the power of the metaphysics and, second, to amplify the doubt of this paragraph. This doubt will then be addressed in Section Relation to science—defusing apparent contradiction

The meaning and applicability the term limit’ may be questioned. If I think I can run the 100 meter sprint in 9 seconds I am mistaken. The limit involves an entity (I cannot run a 100 meters in 9 seconds) or, alternatively, an error in a concept (the thought that I can run 100 meters in 9 seconds.) Is a limit a property of a thing or of a concept regarding a thing—of the world or of understanding of the world? In the 100 meters the limit may be seen in both aspects! The limit in question is a practical limit; the fundamental principle requires that I can run 100 meters in less than 9 seconds but it is immensely unlikely in this form and I would be ill advised to gamble on the possibility of running 100 meters in 9 seconds. Such limits may be called Normal limits. Behavior under physical law may also be called Normal behavior. Earlier, however we saw that a Logical limit is not a property of things but of concepts regarding things. Normal limits are local properties of things that can also be seen as properties of concepts. Logical limits are properties of concepts of things

A second source of doubt concerns the proof of the fundamental principle in the next division of the narrative, Demonstration. Discussion of and response to this doubt is deferred to Section Doubt and Faith

Criticisms concerning the value of metaphysics

The metaphysics may be criticized for being remote from the immediate. The values of the metaphysics for day-to-day life may be summarized:

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 alien Universe 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

I think it is important to recognize that thought that does not have immediate practical value may have great value over time. Predicting which system of thought will be of value is difficult and this is perhaps one reason that contemplation of ‘large’ questions is held to be valuable even though the practical may doubt such value (this doubt is at least a little paradoxical because the intensely practical would not even have values that entail the criticism of values)

Still, I have concerns about the value of the metaphysics

What are or may be the values of the metaphysics? (1) It illuminates the Universe and its nature. It provides occasion for wonder—that such understanding should even be available, and that even such understanding does not show the actual variety of Being. I.e., there is wonder in our abilities in revealing ranges of Being; and there is the further twofold wonder that our thought shows some essential limits of our thought and that even though what we can think is infinite, what lies beyond is a greater infinity. It is Breadth rather than Depth that is fundamental. Although the necessity that Being has no limits will be shown, I feel no consequent loss of wonder (in the end that should not be paradoxical.) Even if there is no material benefit, the metaphysics may provide meaning to and therefore enjoyment of life. This meaning will be seen to lie, not in further depth but in the fact of life… in the Being-in-life (2) The metaphysics is empowering in realization, action, and knowledge (e.g. philosophy, metaphysics, science.) The consequences are immense in magnitude and range. They include the ultimate and the local

Later I will suggest and the metaphysics will have implication that one ultimate value is Being-on-the-way-to-realization-of-ultimates. But is this suggestion not trivial? It is not and the reasons include that in any particular situation there is no guarantee of success and it is the fact of Being-on-the-way rather than the recognition of the fact that is fundamental

Some consequences of the metaphysics have been developed in the Preview and many consequences are developed in subsequent sections. This version of the narrative omits many consequences that result from the mesh of the metaphysics and the sciences while it includes those that are most relevant to the main narrative thread—i.e. the mesh of the local and the ultimate

Cosmological consequences

The following are direct consequences of the fundamental principle Being has no limits

Further consequences are taken up in subsequent divisions Demonstration and Consequences

A.     There is an infinity of (systems of) physical laws (in addition to the law of our cosmos) and to every such law there is an infinity of cosmological systems (in building a picture it is natural to have one start with a modern picture such as that from the cosmology of the day.) This work is34 written before and is written again. This work, the writer, his friends, this cosmos are repeated infinitely in Extension and Duration

These and the following consequences may appear to be at odds with modern cosmology, the empirical spirit of science, and critical thought. The subsequent section Criticism and response raises and responds to such objections. How is it then that we do not experience the consequences and their effects? It will be later seen that our cosmos is what may be called a Normal system and that local deviations from its Normal behavior are immensely rare (but necessary on a Universal scale)

The evolution of our cosmos as revealed in modern cosmology may be called Normal (evolution.) ‘As revealed in modern cosmology,’ however, is always changing—it depends on the state of knowledge (standard big bang, initial inflation and in a possible bigger way, multiverses.) What is Normal depends on our state of knowledge. The Normal evolution of the cosmos is causal (to secure that statement we would have to be careful about the meaning of causality.) Is the evolution of the Universe causal? According to the fundamental principle, from a given state any other state may emerge. However, the fundamental principle requires pockets of causality (any state may emerge.) Thus, the general process of the Universe is not causal. Temporal indeterminism holds when future evolution is not defined by the present state. However, indeterminism may be probabilistic—we cannot predict the outcome but we may be able to say that some outcomes are more likely than others (and the outcomes outside a small range may be infinitesimal or even zero.) However, in the Universal case there are not even probabilities. Such evolution may be called Absolutely indeterministic and such indeterminism may be called Absolute indeterminism

B.     Every cosmos is an atom, every atom a cosmos

C.     There are ghost cosmological systems passing through ours

D.     Subject to Logic, every concept, every science, every work of literature, every scripture, and (insofar as works of art have reference) every work of art is realized in the Universe. Subject, again, to Logic each is realized with infinite recurrence in Extension and Duration. Imagine two stories each about a man named Ashok. In one, Ashok dies at forty; in the other he dies at fifty. If they are about the same man there is a contradiction; if not there is no contradiction. Apparently contradictory accounts (stories, myths of creation…) need not be contradictory if they pertain to different contexts (cities or countries, cosmological systems…) That different accounts of creation that are apparent contradictions may be realized in different cosmological systems (the more robust accounts are more likely to be realized—i.e. it is likely that they are realized in a much greater number of cosmological systems.) There are no absolute fictions except Logical fiction (an absolute fiction is a concept etc. that is realized nowhere.) Note that the consequences regarding variety of cosmological systems and ghost systems are examples of the realization of all concepts

E.      We are accustomed to the idea that to conceive the Universe in man’s image is an error called anthropomorphism. The modern secular educated man or woman may tend to model their picture of the Universe after the pictures of modern physical cosmology (singularity or big-bang, inflationary theory, bubble ‘universes’ to explain the otherwise apparently improbable character of our cosmos.) This too is an error that may be called cosmomorphism. The Universe is absolutely non-cosmomorphic (if ‘cosmomorphic’ means modeled after a limited cosmos)

Criticism and response

Relation to science—defusing apparent contradiction

Critical thought regarding metaphysics

Relation to science—defusing apparent contradiction

F.      There may seem to be contradiction with science and common sense35 but there is no actual contradiction. Our paradigmatic views may seem to have necessity because it is in the nature of a paradigmatic view that it is the-world-as-I-see-it. However, the laws of science may be seen as local patterns that obtain so far as they go (and in that they are factual rather than hypothetical) but there is no contradiction in there being other laws and so on beyond their local application. We think, perhaps, of gravity as necessary and an objection to the system developed here may be: if gravity does not hold at every instant, why can we not jump off tall buildings without fear of harm? The response is twofold

(1) What we think of as physical necessity is simply a local pattern that even in its domain of application holds only with immensely high probability and precision—therefore even though gravity is not and cannot be truly universal it is locally inadvisable for non-suicidal persons to jump off tall buildings. An individual coming from a scientific perspective may say ‘Look, science has penetrated more and more into the heart of things. It is very improbable that there are things in the Universe that are essentially different from what we see in science.’ The assertion is incorrect. It assumes that the realm outside science-so-far is small. However, as far as empirical science is concerned we have precisely no knowledge of the size of that realm—science allows that it may be infinite in size, past and future, and in variety of Being. Another argument is that it is practical to believe or act as though science sets limits to knowledge. One response is that it is practical for certain purposes but not, for example, for truth or even advancement of science. A better response is that so far as science contains elements of hypothesis, belief in it is belief that it is tentative truth

(2) Since every Logically sound conceptual system must have application the metaphysics developed here supports valid science and valid, e.g. reflective, common sense (reflective common sense must be valid if assertions are supplemented by something like ‘although there are good reasons to hold this true, there is no reason to assert certainty.’) Note that the local laws of science are not local only with regard to time and space. For example, Newtonian Physics is also local with regard to speed which must be small compared to the speed of light. When a ghost system passes through ours, use of the word ‘local’ may exclude the ghost even while it overlaps ours in Extension and Duration. All science holds over what it explains but may not apply to what is not observed (e.g. ghost cosmological systems.) Note that I am not using the fact that a phenomenon that does not contradict science as proof of the phenomenon. The proof comes from the metaphysical system developed (demonstration is part of that development.) What is shown is that apparent contradiction to common knowledge and science is merely apparent

Do these conclusions violate the empirical spirit of science? In science hypotheses are made as tentative explanations of phenomena, the hypotheses are used to predict new phenomena and if the predictions are borne out they to be accepted. That is the way in which science is empirical. The metaphysics concerns concepts at a more general level than is typical in science. It will be seen that experience is built into these concepts at outset. Therefore, empiricism as practiced in science is different from and not applicable to the metaphysics. Although the metaphysics in its pure aspects does not appeal to empiricism in the style of science it does not need to do so in order to be fully empirical

Critical thought regarding metaphysics

The issues to be addressed are doubts regarding metaphysics in light of two criticisms, (1) Criticisms of speculative metaphysical systems, especially the grand schemes of the past that peak around Hegel’s Absolute Idealism and (2) Criticism concerning the possibility of metaphysics at all

G.     The metaphysics developed is the metaphysics. If metaphysics is knowledge of the Universe as it is, there can be only one metaphysics (which can vary with regard to detail of development and form of expression… and there may of course be patches of metaphysical development just as there are special topics within physics but if independently developed such metaphysical patchwork is unlikely to have the Logical coherence that derives in part from metaphysical study of All Being.) The philosopher Kant36 argued that things not in or derived from Experience cannot be known (it is implicit here that I can sometimes trust and sometimes reject the experiential claims of others and that there are experiential criteria for doing this.) The speculative systems of the Hegelian type have been rejected by analytical thinkers precisely because they are speculative rather than demonstrated, rejected by empirical thinkers because they do not apply without exception and are grounded at most in some experiences (and some reason,) and by historical thinkers because of the failures of Hegelianism and the related Marxism. However, the metaphysics developed here is demonstrated, its Logical form shows that it cannot contradict valid observation or valid inference from such observation, and the historical objection is not refutation of metaphysics per se but merely rejection of certain systems that had been entertained perhaps because of their grand character and perhaps because of significant insight but despite their clearly suspect character when claimed as universal truth

However, it may be asked whether the metaphysics violates the condition that knowledge-as-knowledge requires roots in Experience. It does not violate this condition for the basic entities (which include Being, Universe and so on) are known in Experience or derived from Experience. Logic, as we saw, is derived from Being, Universe, Domain, and Void (in this conception, as seen earlier, Logic is not empty because the classical and modern logics are at least approximations to parts of it.) The Existence of the Void was derived from Universe and Domain. Universe was derived from Being and Domain may be derived from the idea of ‘difference.’ The natural objection is that the Universe is not and (likely) cannot be known in all its detail. The response is that the knowledge claims regarding the Universe do not regard precision or detail (and such claims are not necessary to the development.) That I have Experience labeled ‘whole’ and Experience labeled ‘detail’ are the constituents of knowledge of ‘Universe’ that are necessary to the developments. Likewise, even though I do not penetrate to the core of Being it is in Experience that I have secure knowledge of (the Being of) Being

There is further discussion of the possibility of metaphysics in Metaphysics: its nature and possibility

Identity and realization

Although the metaphysics—Being has no limits—has apparently untold and unlimited consequence, these are ideas that are realized in the Universe. The individual apparently continues to have the limits that we associate with the individual. I can imagine infinity, I can even ‘calculate’ it in descriptive terms. But I seem to remain limited. If that is true, it is true and wisdom dictates acceptance. However, if I have a limit Being has a limit. Therefore, according to the metaphysics, I am the Universe. Here, there seems to be a paradox. The purpose of the section is to resolve the paradox that each individual is the Universe. The resolution will be to show how an apparently finite individual who has had and has no apparent promise of realizing universality will in fact do so. The question of the value of such realization and how to go about it are taken up in detail later

H.     The identity of the individual is, as in the Indian system of Vedanta, the Identity of All Being—of the Universe; this oneness of identity may be called unity of Identity. Death is not absolute but a door to the infinite. These are trivial consequences of the metaphysics. It is not given, however, that this realization will not occur in ‘this life’ but will require transformation in form. The fact of the Identity is given by the fundamental principle which, however, gives us no insight into the nature and the how of the Identity. Again the ring of the absurd arises (for some it will be the ring of re-cognition.) What are we to do with the apparent limits to Human Being? It is to see the limits as opportunity. The transformations of science may be seen as the patient working with limits that may have been thought to be but are not absolute. Thus it came about that in inert matter we found immensely active atoms, and within atoms we found unimagined amounts of energy. Realization may or may not occur for an individual or a Civilization (in present form) but will be enhanced via (a) traditional systems of knowledge including science which will not be taken as absolute, (b) positive learning of traditional spiritual systems (meditation, shamanism,) (c) the individual and Civilization undertaking experiments in light of the foregoing as well as (d) the Universal metaphysics here recounted as showing what is both possible and necessary and as framework for the traditional systems. Although there is no guarantee that there will be realization in ‘this form’ it is given that there will be realization (for us) in some other and related form. There may or may not be an imperative for action in this form (depending on individual inclination) but it seems reasonable to devote some energies to realization (according to inclination) and it also seems reasonable that intelligent search will immensely increase likelihood of ‘success’

I.        What is the nature of this realization? Since Being has no limits, no realization is truly ultimate. There are peaks and dissolutions. And there are greater peaks and greater dissolutions… without end. There no final realization. There is no end to the variety of Being that we shall experience regardless of present interest, intention, attempt, or effort. The picture is one of infinite adventure. There is pure enjoyment but not all is enjoyment; there is pain and it is not avoided

The nature of and some approaches to realization continue in subsequent discussion, especially the next section A Journey in Being, and in Implications for science and religion, Doubt and Faith, Special grounds, the last three sections of Consequences in Science, Metaphysics, Method, Religion, and Journey, and How to train your dragon

A Journey in Being

Phases of realization and Designs

An Open Life

Phases of realization and Designs

J.       The process, then, is an unending Journey in Being. What began as individual search becomes Universal. The Journey in Being has emerged as Universal. When we seek other forms of Being (to become) we seek what we do not yet know; the term Being is therefore appropriate as container for that that we do not know; for whatever is found fundamental or ultimate; and we expect that every ultimate is a peak but temporary experience. ‘Journey’ appeals to me as a process that is individual as well as Universal but whose destination is not given and as one whose revelation is part of the process. The process is conceived as four phases, Ideas, Transformation of Being and Identity, Civilization and Destiny, and Creation of Being. The Ideas and the Transformations are primary, essential to an ultimate journey; the latter are secondary

K.    Ideas. I conceive an individual journey that is part of the Universal. The first phase is that of Ideas: this phase culminated with the Universal metaphysics. In broad terms the metaphysics is essentially complete. In the future I may refine, elaborate, and apply the ideas—though, certainly, I am open to revolutionary and reformatory thinking; there is, as noted earlier, doubt regarding the fundamental principle of metaphysics: these are addressed in Section Doubt and Faith. Specific possibilities for elaboration and refinement of the ideas include application to specific problems and disciplines as laid out in Division Ground and a later Section Contribution of the next division

Although the metaphysics is complete from a wide angle view, there is an intense amount of detail that it may be useful to develop. In so far as they harbor no hidden ill-Logical element, all logics, all mathematics, and all scientific theories lie within the Universal metaphysics. It may be interesting to determine the Logical character of these disciplines. This is already the domain of logicians, mathematicians, philosophers, and scientists; the metaphysics, especially its concept of Logic, should provide additional perspective. Starting with the disciplines, the further development of the metaphysics, especially the Logic, may be a mine for discovery

Practical concerns include intrinsic critical evaluation of the work, critical evaluation relative to other thought including demonstration of superiority, publicity, publication and other communication and networking

Critical evaluation is especially concentrated in Criticism and response, Demonstration (especially Doubt and Faith,) Metaphysics: its nature and possibility. The metaphysics and its development are unique in (a) Showing that there is precisely one metaphysics which is the Universal metaphysics. Before this development, the paradigm of a metaphysical system has been that may be argued but not demonstrated and that it is offered as a candidate among many. Under that paradigm, the study of metaphysics is either critical or a parade of tentative metaphysical systems. Here, that parade comes to an end with the Universal metaphysics (b) Demonstrating the metaphysics and showing its infallible foundation in Experience (c) Demonstration that the metaphysics is ultimate in depth or foundation and breadth. The value of the work lies first in the development of the metaphysics, second its grounding in Ground which also includes, third, further significant implications. Implications of the metaphysics are found throughout and there is hardly a discipline or endeavor that is untouched. However, the main implications are twofold and concern, first, revelation of the nature of Being and Universe, and, second, implication for beings, especially Human Being, and their place (unending journey) in the Universe

L.      Transformation of Being and Identity. I have long felt that there is the following connection between experience, reflection and Being: Ideas are incomplete except when realized in Being. This feeling has some origin in my experience in (what in modern American Culture is called) the wild. It is here more than in a designated ‘spiritual’ environment or practice that I have felt connection with ‘Being.’ (Religion does provide connection but I experience it as incomplete and mediated by ‘words’ with meaning that is sometimes elusive and at other times has interpretation only as metaphor. The secular picture, e.g. Secular Humanism as an overlay on the material and scientific, is, as seen, immensely limited even though cultivates much that is valuable.) The wild—nature—is a place of connection and more. It is an ideal place to practice experiments in Being, some described in what follows. It has been especially inspirational in my life. ‘Forest wisdom’ is a tradition in many cultures, especially in relation to connection to All Being. However, it would be a mistake to suggest that nature is the only place of connection or that connection is primarily about place. One of the practices of Tantra is connection via embrace of the beautiful and the ugly

As part of Being, Human Being is already in transformation and realization. However, the metaphysics shows the ultimate nature of the process (which mystics and others may intuit.) This leads to an explicit manifestation of the endeavor of Transformation of Being and Identity. This second phase of the journey is and must, in the nature of unending transformation, remain in process. In my present awareness I remain Human and, though there is progress, described in discussion of Fluid-Transformation, my journey of realization remains in an early phase

Design for transformation. Realization of the connection between ideas and Being is in a second phase (that overlaps and is continuous with the ideas.) This phase, transformation, seeks the realization in individual identity of Identity. This phase is shown possible and necessary by the Universal metaphysics which also illuminates it. It is a phase of experiment whose approach shall include roots in the human traditions—including elements from traditional ritual and religious practice37, mystic practice, yoga, shamanism, and modern psychologies of depth. Longer versions of this narrative38 there is catalogue a variety of catalytic practices (and systems) that open the individual to the real. These include physical isolations and deprivations, meditation and mantra, the Yogas which include meditation and Samkhya, mystic practice, altered (wild) and more or less extreme environment. The western sciences of humankind (Anthropology, Psychology and Psychiatry, Sociology) and the use of the natural sciences and technology (whatever turns out to instrumental in transformation will be included in a second volume to or edition of the work; details are presently omitted because I do not predict what will be employed on the way.) It is here that the phase of experiment—experiment is essential—and transformation whose distant aim is the ultimate begins; and though rooted in tradition, it is essential to be open to climbing out of tradition—via passion and commitment, reason and imagination, and open experiment. If you believe that tradition-is-all then you are still involved in a climbing out which will be making the tradition your own instead of merely referring to it or depending on it. Transformation of Being and Identity is transformation of entire Being with continuity of identity

The section Doubt and Faith discusses attitudes that may be appropriate to a journey in transformation of identity and realization of Identity

Is there a Method to this phase of transformation whose goal is ‘realization?’ The metaphysics implies that there is no ultimate realization—that for every realization there is dissolution and further realization39. Also implied: Being is already in this process—i.e., we are in the process. We have choice over whether to positively—rather than passively—engage. It is reasonable to think that intelligent engagement enormously enhances directness, efficiency and enjoyment. Intelligence includes and implies (intelligent, feeling, and rational) use of all abilities (‘faculties’) and of what we know: the local disciplines and traditions and the Universal metaphysics. Rationality does not prevail though it may assist. Prevalence of perfect rationality without experiment is unlikely; and although rationality may traditionally imply suppression of feeling, in the case of engagement of Being, emotion and reason are micro and macro interactive. (The micro-interaction is a moment to moment mesh without which reason freewheels as if autistic and feeling is mere feeling while together, reason imagines and criticizes while feeling is a bond to the reality of the individual. In a macro interaction, the mesh is discrete rather than moment to moment: emotion provides motivation while reason is, for example, the agent of search via imagination and criticism at the border between the known and the unknown. The micro and macro are not poles but a meshed continuum)

I have found in preliminary and local experiments (in health, awareness, identity and human relationship, general process—discussed in what follows) that process is iterative and experimental. Additionally, we may learn about the process itself. One observes a phenomenon, say healing. There is little doubt that some individuals have gifts of intuition in the perception of the ‘body’ (quotes indicate that the mind is included;) the following describes the enhancement of given intuition by reason and experiment. On a future occasion, we attempt train our mind to observe enhancing factors which include attitude. Some weak observations are made about two correlations: between thoughts, actions and healing, and between thoughts, actions, and training (the process is multi-level.) On further occasions observation is sharpened and experience and knowledge of the process multi-level process is heightened: one is transformed and transforming (even if in micro-ways.) One learns about a particular transformation and a method of transformation simultaneously (the multi-level process: content and method emerge together.) I labeled this process Fluid-Transformation (called the Dynamics of Being in my earlier writing.) And the process itself has entered awareness and begun to experiment with itself—the process is reflexive; it becomes a habit; there is training of the intuition; it is applicable in other situations; as it is applied we learn about situations (the world, our Being) and the applicability of the process

A minimal system of experiments concerns identity, body, and society and may be conducted via experiments in experience (the Yogas and so on,) Body awareness (in nature, including experiments in attunement, conditioning, and shamanic practice) and social action and persuasion40. The Universal metaphysics shows that such experiment must result in entering into trans-individual trans-human dimensions but does not guarantee outcome in ‘this form’ (in its conventionally understood limited sense.) Another person may report a transformational experience but for significance, the transformation must become our own. It becomes trans-individual in broadening of identity and trans-personal in shared transformation

Method and feasibility. Risk is important and too much worry about feasibility may be limiting. However, the approach above is one that includes consideration of feasibility

M.   Civilization and Destiny. There are two other phases. In the first, Civilization and Destiny, I seek involvement with and influence in society. Involvement is transforming. The idea of Civilization is not that of civilizing the wild or nature but that of a connection or matrix beyond merely local habitation. The cultivation of Civilization is not one that abandons connection with nature and pre-Civilization. I shall invite others (individuals and groups) into a process and be open to what I may learn. I (we) would work in the areas of the immediate—this world, problems and opportunities—and the ultimate: realization through and of Civilization. I shall also seek transformation and understanding via realization of the meaning of science as defined below; it is natural to this process to seek practical intervention as well as the Good. The Universal metaphysics sheds light on the Good (I speak in general terms because the process lies ahead.) We cannot expect that our present notions of the Good shall be ultimate even in the present or that they shall reign over All Being. We will be guided by intuition, feeling, reason and practice regarding ethics and value, including the moral and philosophical tradition, but value may continue to emerge. Perhaps, however, we may state that the highest Good includes realization of ultimates and emerging understanding of value-ultimates41

N.    Creation of Being. The remaining phase is Creation of Being. Here we seek artifact-as-Being. I.e., it will be sought to design and construct artifice; design will include considerations of and allowance for guided and independent evolution. Dual aims include independent Being (artifact) and enhancement of (Human) Being; therefore design and fabrication will be from ground up as well add-on and hybrid are obvious candidates for consideration as are artificial intelligence, artificial life, technology, systematic as well as tinkering approaches, symbolic as well as material implementation, design that is supplemented by incremental variation and selection. Method will not be limited to the modern cognitive approaches. I have had this interest but I cannot conclude from modern work in the relevant fields that I should have great expectations in using the methods of computer intelligence and computer science; recently it seems as though adjuncts (add-on and complements) to human capabilities are more promising than simulation of the capabilities but even here results are conceptually modest

An Open Life

O.    An open life. There is a counterpoint the process of the discussion so far. It is simply the familiar idea of Being-in-the-present42. Process and Being-in-the-present are not exclusive. ‘If by eternity is understood not endless temporal Duration but timelessness, then he lives eternally who lives in the present43.’ There are numerous ways of Being-in-the-present in the traditions which go under a variety of names. Some that appeal to me are discussed in this narrativef44. One may want to live a life of purpose and enjoyment; perhaps the deepest enjoyment comes from purpose and connection rather than entertainment. There are practical philosophies that counsel against attachment to sensual enjoyment and the fruit of action; this counsel, I think, is against excess—and, of course, about living in what is real. The real comes in layers. Some philosophies uncover layers, to the root—they argue. Universal metaphysics suggests that the layers of this onion are infinite. In this life I have been and want to be open to the centers and ends of Mind and Earth and Being as counterpoint to and synergy with process

Implications for science and religion

Science and a possible future for science

Religion

Science and a possible future for science

In the following discussions you will find new views on the possibilities of science and religion. These views are not ad hoc. They are the result of reflection on the subjects in themselves and in the light of the metaphysics. There is no overturning of a cart. What is valid in the established finds a place in the new. What is ‘new’ is new and is occasioned, in part, by the power of the metaphysics. What is new is a reasoned vision of how the institutions of science and religion may survive and weave into a process of infinite variety

P.      We saw that the laws and theories of science are locally factual; the metaphysics blocks even this unless ‘locally’ is defined carefully. In the early history of science, the theories were often regarded as necessary even though inductive consequences of data. A modern body of opinion is that theories are tentative, perhaps essentially hypothetical if regarded as Universal. A reasonable mid-ground is that there is an extended domain of factuality (the extent of the domain would be unknown.) Thus a scientific theory may appear as-if Universal. The Universal metaphysics shows is that there is likely no universal science of the detailed patterns of behavior in the Universe but that there may be an unending sequence of local sciences. Can we conceive science so that it will be universal? The metaphysics suggests: only as process and perhaps as a process in which the individual and Civilization are engaged as Being rather than as dispassionate intellectual. Elaboration and argument for this notion of Science is continued in Science and scientific method

Religion

Q.    Preliminary discussion. We see from the metaphysics that the idea of a religion44 in which we live in this world but look to some other static world (or no other world) is limited in extreme measure; the value systems of the religions have power but their metaphysics are extremely limited (relative to ultimate process) and, in the case of dogma and dogmatic belief, extremely limiting. The notion of religion as subscription or belief—where it occurs—is itself limiting. This has truth even in non-literal interpretations that adjust the individual to this world and even though there are material and psychological imperatives to such interpretations and adjustments; the ideal would be dual adjustment to All Being. An essential limiting character is the painting of a static, dogmatic, too slanted, too contained picture of Being and Universe (religion which in its origin may have been revolutionary becomes reactionary.) But there is potential for religion to become a shared Journey in Being. What has been found becomes ground for further becoming rather than for dogma. I do not know whether mankind shall follow this path in present form. What formulas do I prescribe? Except to follow (understand) and accept or reject my thought and example, I prescribe more or less nothing. I like the teaching of Krishnamurty because he said the truth is available to you, don’t come to me for it; (that teaching is significant but neglects that truth is shared, that some individuals have greater sensitivities and energies for it, and that there are practitioners skilled in sharing and guiding)

Rather than static belief and worship that is relatively fixed in place, Religion may become the search, the Journey in which Being (individual, Civilization…) uses all dimensions of their Being (thought, feeling, body, tradition including science and art…) in the realization of Being in its fullness—all its dimensions and varieties (that, the reader may see, is a possible ideal definition or conception of religion.) There will be occasion for organized religion as sharing of resources, sharing of accumulated experience and learning, and sharing in search and realization. The functions of shared practice—named or unnamed—may include (a) encouragement received in shared activity, (b) cumulation of insight, and (c) the insight of individuals with special resources of psychic (and physical) energy, psychic insight, and time to devote to psychic (spiritual) aspects the world. Such religion may absorb appropriate elements of the tradition. It is likely that if ‘written’ the author(s) of any new religious process will be persons other than me. I may add that my view of the ‘spiritual’ is not that of another or otherworldly dimension but that of an orientation that enables a view of dimensions that otherwise tend to remain obscure. It may include not only seeing more but also seeing less. Seeing more may result from reason (e.g. the metaphysics,) meditation, and other catalytic activities. Seeing less includes freeing from the common paradigmatic world views which may be aided by first seeing that though such paradigms seem to define the world they are but rough local descriptions

What kind of religion or psychic (spirit) process may the developments of this narrative found?

R.     Discussion of what kind of religion and vision may derive from the metaphysics and related ideas

First, the individual is not required to believe in any given picture. Mere belief would be discouraged. There is no dogma. What can be shown is far greater than anything that is merely believed; and what can be ‘shown’ must be discovered in endless process rather than ‘said45

Second, any system would be more about action and transformation of Being than static ideas. Being-in-the-present is of course always significant; however ‘the present’ has no definite boundaries and we may seek to have identity with that Being for which All Being is present. I recognize that I am attributing to Human Being, properties or capabilities that in some religions are attributes of God. This may seem prideful but I do not think it is. If someone claims that a scripture is the word, then they also claim that there was a human mind that had a window on God; if pride versus humility is an important concern then it is worthwhile remarking that false humility may mask pride. There is of course no claim here that I or any other Human Being already manifests the attributes of the Identity of All Being. Truth without pride requires recognition of local limits and Universal potential

I recognize that I have not said much about the problems of this world. These concerns are widely addressed in traditional and modern systems. Individuals may derive support from such systems. The enterprising may weave together the ancient and the modern; I hope that they will have poetry in their voice, truth in their heart. In my thought this world is also anchor to a bridge and the quality of this life, lovely and painful in itself, acquires further meaning as one anchor to the bridge (meaning that endless process and its engagement gives further meaning to this finite form of Being)

Third, there is no esoteric formula; individual and Civilization use their individual and shared resources

Fourth, we do not talk merely of vision or experience in this or other dimension, nor is it merely about bringing back gifts. Individual and Civilization may travel to the depth and come back or move to another place. It is a journey through the worlds, about depth and forward movement rather than Return (alone.) In moving on they will be different in ways unseen because they may be ways yet unimagined and yet Normally unimaginable. I.e. transformation is Transformation of entire being

Finally, the process revealed is transparent—it is therefore also robust; it may lack appeal to those who wish that the Universe shall remain obscure and our understanding essentially esoteric: the place and process is exoteric, not Occult

II.  Demonstration

The goal of this division is to demonstrate the fundamental principle of metaphysics: Being has no limits

After some preliminaries this will be done in Section The demonstration. This will be done in terms of a system of concepts selected so as to incorporate experience (and therefore the metaphysical system is not a construction from mere ideas.) The meanings of the concepts and the selection of the system are both important. The system itself incorporates meaning and experience over and above what is in the concepts taken individually

The concepts will be introduced in a sequence that makes clear the dependence of the conclusions. Generally, a conclusion has dependence some of the concepts presented up to the point of the conclusion. This is an important reason for not deferring conclusions till after presentation of all concepts. The present arrangement, however, permits an alternate in which concepts are presented before demonstration

The Preview provides compact definition and proof. Here demonstration occupies more space because there is more explanation and because some of the conclusions are not required for the proof itself but are provided so as to bring out the meaning, power, and significance of the metaphysics

On demonstration

Significance

On demonstration

Significance

The importance of demonstration. (1) The fundamental principle appears in the history of thought in a variety of forms but does not appear to have so far been proved; the philosopher Immanuel Kant held a form of it to be true but unprovable even in principle. If the principle is important, demonstration has intrinsic significance. The principle and its demonstration are mutually enhancing in their significance. The confidence derived from the proof together with enhanced understanding encourage the development, elaboration and application of the metaphysics (2) Interpretation, use and demonstration of the principle required reinterpretation of old methods of analysis and introduction of new ones—in particular the introduction of simple Objects, Being, Universe and so on that may be known perfectly in Experience. Demonstration is occasion for general reflection on and development of the idea of Method (taken up later) (3) Although trivial in retrospect, the demonstration and its methods have deep consequences. Here, the principle will enable a metaphysics of ultimate depth and breadth and resolution of many metaphysical and related issues. These include a wide array consequences and applications in life and knowledge. Without demonstration the fundamental principle and consequences would be hypothetical; proof provides a foundation for ideas, elaboration and application, action and choice. The proof provides confidence in the fundamental principle and so motivates is use—not only does a secure foundation make the superstructure more secure, it gives us ground upon which to build and confidence and craft in the process of building (4) Demonstration enables development of alternative forms of the fundamental principle that contribute to revelation of the power and deep meaning of the principle and the related metaphysics (5) That Being has no limits was not the original demonstrated form of the principle. However, demonstration enabled conception and proof of the form Being has no limits which is perhaps its most direct and most powerful form (further analysis will be required to make its use most efficient) (6) Doubts and concerns about the fundamental principle arise and will be addressed case by case. Still, demonstration is the best address of general principled doubt

On demonstration

In an axiomatic system there are, typically, undefined terms, axioms, and methods of proof

The demonstration below will depend on the idea of a given and will not require undefined basic terms (ordinary language will be used without further comment.) In the present meaning, a given is so basic that its Being neither has nor requires demonstration (that a given does not have demonstration is relative in that there may be choice in the selection of what is given but non-relative in that a metaphysical system should have a given or givens.) This meaning does not imply that there are givens. It may be possible for a given to be founded in something else; to be a given, such foundation should not be necessary to secure it as given. It is this that shall be shown for any Object that is taken as given. In metaphysics a substance may be marked by an undefined term; a given is marked by a name. The foregoing comments preclude any need in the present context to enter into debate regarding the concept of the given

In an axiomatic system an axiom is not a fact but has the role of a basic fact. Proof suggests deduction from premise to conclusion and a conclusion that follows only from axioms may be called a theorem. Are there any evident facts—facts whose factuality is beyond question? A theorem is open to question in so far as premises and methods of proof are open. However, we will see below that there are evident facts in metaphysics. Therefore when proof proceeds only from evident fact, the term result is preferred to theorem

Some methods of proof are open to question. The transparency of the development below raises the level of proof to that of demonstration. When a result is the outcome via demonstration from evident facts in terms of givens, it is a demonstrated result or demonstrated fact. When a prima facie axiomatic system deploys givens, names, evident facts, and demonstrations it may be called a metaphysical system. In this sense a metaphysical system is knowledge of a phase of Being-as-it-is. In the system that follows the phase of Being of concern is the Universe

The foregoing discussion sets a stage for but is not prerequisite to the demonstrations that follow

The demonstration

Preliminary

Demonstration with corollary material

Categories

Preliminary

A natural order in which concepts may be introduced is Experience, Existence, Being, (Meaning,) Universe, Domain and Complement, law (lower case,) Law, Extension and Duration, and Logos. The sense in which this order is natural is that results at any point in the development depend only on concepts introduced so far. The order of development brings out the significance of the concepts Being, Universe, Domain, Void, and Logic. In the actual development, introduction of Experience is deferred till later, and the actual order is somewhat different from the order just stated

Objections to the concepts and demonstration are considered in earlier sections Objections and responses, Assessment and attitude, Criticism and response, Implications for science and religion; and later sections Doubt and Faith and General grounds. Some objections are robust and need no explanation for their inclusion. Others may appear to be the product of an unnecessary skepticism—it will be nature for some readers to wonder why such concerns should be entertained. In response I will say that I have selected those skeptical concerns that strengthen some aspect of the metaphysics or other development

Demonstration with corollary material

Being is that which exists46—or which has Existence (explaining the concept of Being)

It is sometimes convenient to think of Being as that which exists somewhere and somewhen rather than in the common present tense sense of exists somewhere but now. ‘Being’ may be used in this atemporal  or trans-temporal sense (I think ‘trans-temporal’ may be better in not asserting that time is absent but that it is not relevant to or may be and is suppressed in a particular description; this mode of talk neither refers to nor eliminates time; and it may be complemented by temporal description)

This most simple notion of Being is pivotal in the present development. Here, Being has no especially religious or spiritual or other special connotation; its meaning is not ‘what is most fundamental.’ The present meaning neither includes nor excludes what may be valid in religion (or any other context.) If there should be any mode of Being that we choose to call or deserves to be called ‘most fundamental’ it is naturally (and obviously) included in the extension of ‘Being’ (in this paragraph extension is used in the sense of the range of things to which a language element may refer47; in contrast, the intension of a language element is its sense; some writers think that there is nothing but extension, i.e. that although there may seem to be intension, in the end intension reduces to extension; together, intension and extension constitute meaning.) The present meaning of Being may be criticized as trivial. The charge is correct but it is not a criticism even if intended as such. It turns out that it is precisely this trivial character—that having Being makes no distinction among the things in the Universe—that, as will be seen, makes the idea fundamental

That which is there! To what does that sentence refer? It is pertinent to ask the question because I may think that I perceive a chair or a world but the perception may be illusory. At least, there is illusion or illusion of illusion (and so on.) In talking of ‘what is there’ one is not asserting the existence of any specific thing. Therefore, Being may be taken as a given48. Alternatively, Being may be founded in the given character of Experience (in fact the given character of Being as in the recent paragraphs may be seen to make tacit reference to Experience)

A paradigm of our knowledge of Being is Experience as in immediate experience and demonstration that there is an External world (meaning that the Existence of the world is independent of its being experienced.) Experience is used in the sense that includes immediate experience, e.g. of the color of a sky or the feel of a soft blanket. Some writers, especially recently, deny that there is Experience, and there are people who demand demonstration that there is Experience. There are thinkers who, in the development of a system of thought, demand that everything be demonstrated or else, in their view, the system remains insecure. Further, it is clear that since proof requires premises, not everything can be proved49 and it is therefore perhaps the common view that a philosophy must begin with postulates or with a statement that it depends on infinite regress and therefore there are no well founded systems of thought

However, it is a contrary view that not everything should require proof. It is my view, and I hold that it is basic, that Experience is so fundamental to our Being that it need not be questioned for the sake of a secure system50. An elaboration of such considerations and a demonstration of the fact or Existence of the External world are developed below51. You may wonder What is the point to this proving of the obvious, this proof that contributes little if anything to our lives? I respond with agreement regarding direct contribution to day to day living. However, the uses of the development include: provision of insight into the most elementary constitutional level of sentient Being and therefore our Being; a grounding of the abstract metaphysics; and a sharpening of tools of analysis. These, in turn, contribute to our understanding and development of knowledge regarding the world around us and the world of psyche within; these are indirect contributions to the day-to-day; and the insights may be regarded as direct contributions. The development of the metaphysics (this is what we are doing) could proceed without reference to Experience of things but, in addition to pointing out its fundamental nature, a practical value to introducing the idea of Experience is that it raises the idea of the possibility of error52 and is therefore important in thinking about knowledge, e.g. fact, science, and Logic

There is Being (a given truth or fact rather than a result)

The two statements Being is that which exists and There is Being may seem circular. The circularity is merely apparent. In the first statement is means is defined or explained as. The ‘is’ of the second statement is used to assert a fact

What is the relation between Being and Experience? Can something Exist without being perceived? Certainly there may be things that Exist but are outside Human Experience? Behind the thought ‘Can something Exist without being perceived?’ is the further thought that perhaps it is perception (or being felt or thought about) that results or creates the Existing thing. It would seem that there are things that are at least currently not perceived by any Being. However, to be able to adequately address these issues we must dig deeper into the nature of ‘thing,’ Existence, and Experience. These issues will be addressed subsequently. At the Human or animal level, we will find that the form of some but not all Objects depends on the structure of perception; however, the creation or Being of Objects is not further dependent on perception. At an elementary level there will be found to be a constitutive but not causal relation between Experience and Being

What kinds of Being are there?

This question is taken up in detail in the later discussions of Categories and Objects. It must be emphasized again that here Being is used in the most neutral of meanings. This is a source of power of the present use. Below, are considered some specialized ‘Beings,’ e.g. Universe, Domain, Void, and Logos. Sometimes ‘Being’ is used in the sense of the divine. This is not the present sense. However, if there is a God (if there are Gods) then that God has Being. It is pertinent to reflect on the idea of God. It is important to remember that our views of the possibilities of the idea of ‘God’ are likely to be prejudiced by traditional notions which we may instinctively accept or reject. If we allow greater freedom of meaning we may be more likely to accept the possibility of God. Shortly we will see that the notion of God as external creator of the Universe has no meaning. However, we will also see that other meanings of the term must have realization

What is the core idea of the Power of Being, of God?

It might be prejudicial to take any notion, no matter how general, as defining. It may however be useful to consider the personal power of an individual as a starting point for consideration of the idea of God. In some phases of development the individual experiences his own power as greater that it is. I did not create language or mathematics but if I am good at languages or mathematics I may experience my abilities in these disciplines as though I own linguistic and mathematical thinking. This may of course be a natural mistake of the ego. Later I may reject this ego identification of creativity with full creation but I may ascribe the creative power to the culture within which I am embedded

The individual and the group have creative / sustaining / destructive powers but these powers are a part—likely a very small part—of the full powers of Being. The term ‘God’ may be applied to the power of Being as a whole. I may be interested in the relation between limited power and total power. Clearly the limited power is (from logic alone) less than or equal to total power. Can an individual know or tap into or realize full power? This will is one of the concerns of the narrative

We will see that the Universe has and can have no external creator. However the following meanings of ‘God’ do not entail logical contradiction. Greater clarification on their status will emerge later

The following notions of God  or Power or Creative Power of Being, and their negations are consistent with the concept of Universe: God is everything, God is in everything, I am part of God, God is angry, God is merciful, God is distinct from the immediate world and remote from it, God cares for me, God does not care for me, God is like a person or like a father, God has no gender, God is male, God is female… Some of these may occur in combination without violation of meaning or the notion of Universe or the meaning(s) of the term ‘God’ being used. Generally, a conception and its opposite are not simultaneously meaningful or possible. The various notions and even oppositions may have allegorical, figurative, metaphorical, or symbolic meaning

To take God to be any one of the foregoing meanings at outset is to make a commitment; and this commitment may be in error. Thus, the traditional views of God may be immensely limited and distorted. This does not minimize the significance of the intuition of mystics and others. Regarded as fact, however, such commitments may be commitments to extreme prejudice, distortion, and limitation. The symbolic may have significance even as it also symbolizes prejudice etc.

The Universe is All Being (and only Being; definition; note that given Being, there is be All Being)

It is essential to think of the Universe as All Being over all Extension (space-like) and all Duration (time-like.) Various definitions / conceptions of ‘universe’ abound53; this is the one used here and the one that is pivotal to development of the metaphysics

Can there be two Universes? By the present definition as All Being there cannot be more than one Universe because if there were none of the ‘Universes’ would be All Being

There is nothing inherent in the concept of the Universe as All Being that suggests that it is identical to our cosmos as revealed so far in modern knowledge of the laws of physics and observational astronomy or even to some reasonable extrapolation of that revelation. And, simultaneously, there is nothing in science, except unwarranted extrapolation, to suggest that modern science has fully defined the space-time extent and variety of Being within the Universe. It is entirely consistent with science that the Universe may be perhaps a little larger than the scientific picture so far or infinitely larger in extent and variety. It is not ruled out by modern physics that there are ghost cosmological systems passing through ours with barely an interaction—or no interaction

If a Creator / Destroyer / Sustainer (God) is regarded as external to what is created / destroyed / sustained, the Universe has and can have no creator etc.

The idea of any Object that is external to the Universe is not merely factually impossible, it is inherent in the meaning of ‘Universe’ that there is no such Object

Although the Universe may become manifest it is not created except in the sense of self-organization andor self-creation (‘self-creation’ cannot have meaning only if we allow that a system participates in its own becoming; this may violate notions of causality; however there is nothing in the notion of ‘Universe’ so far that entails that there shall be any causation except perhaps in the most liberal notions of cause)

Since Being exists, the Universe exists (demonstrated result; in the remainder of the demonstration ‘result’ will be used in place of ‘demonstrated result’)

A law, e.g. a pattern, is what is read in (into) the Universe. A Law (capital) is the pattern itself

Here, the type of law of which I think is scientific law. Ethical or moral law may be considered. At present I do not include law in the legal sense but I mention this sense because it may later turn out to be pertinent

Every Law has Being (result; proof: nothing is outside the Universe which is All Being)

The Universe which is All Being, exists and contains all Laws (result; proof: from the foregoing)

There is nothing in the concept of Law, in science, or in the Being of the Universe (as explicitly noted so far) to suggest that the laws read by Human Beings into this cosmos are the only laws or only possible laws in the Universe or that the laws are eternal or that they are not eternal. It is entirely consistent with the concept of the Universe and with science so far that (a) Our laws are the only laws (from the apparent incompleteness of modern physics this seems unlikely) or (b) That there is somewhere between one and an infinite number of cosmological systems, each with its own system of laws. The Universe has no background that conditions or provides an explanatory framework for its Being or total system of laws. However, it is possible that the Universe may act as background to a cosmos; and that one cosmos may act as background to another. It may therefore appear as if some cosmological systems have absolute background or framework. A Law is not conditioned or created by anything outside the Universe (there is no outside.) If a Law is not eternal, its origin is not conditioned by anything other than the Universe—relative to the Universe, all Law is eternal or created within the Universe (not created by something other than the Universe)

On the idea of the possible. Think of possibility as relative to a context: if a state of affairs does not obtain, it will be said to be possible if its obtaining would not alter the constitution or definition of the context (even though it’s obtaining might alter the state of the context.) A state of affairs is logically possible if and only if it does not violate logic; it is physically possible if and only if it does not violate known laws of physics (therefore what we know of physical possibility is conditioned by our knowledge of physics;) and we might think of the state of affairs as practically possible when we are reasonably sure that we could effect the state (perhaps without undue effort or damage.) Since the Universe is All Being—i.e. there is no state of affairs that is not in the Universe—a state that does not exist (and therefore has not existed and will not exist) cannot be effected without changing the constitution of the Universe. I.e. the only possible states are the actual states. But, under any notion of possibility, what is actual must be possible (this completes the definition of possibility.) Therefore, with Universe as context—The possible and the actual are equivalent

A Domain is a part of the Universe (definition)

Domains exist (result; proof: from the definition and Existence of the Universe)

A Complement of a Domain is the part of the Universe that together with the Domain constitute the Universe (definition)

A Complement is a Domain (result; obvious)

If a Domain exists it has a Complement which also exists (result; proof: since the Complement is a domain)

We have seen that there is precisely one Universe and that there cannot be two or more Universes. However, we may ask Can there be two Domains that have no interaction whatsoever? It is not hard to imagine two such Domains. We imagine a large empty space and two Domains that are ever separate. However, the Domains are already part of the same space (and time.) If space and time form an absolute grid (i.e. if they are not dependent on the constituents of Being for their existence and structure) then we must ask Is not the grid part of the Universe? If space and time are a grid that depends on Being then the two Domains are already interacting via the grid even if there is no explicit ‘material’ interaction. The two cases probably do not cover all possibilities and while they suggest that the idea of never interacting Domains is paradoxical, the case is not watertight. Now, ‘Universe’ has been defined as All Being. The idea could be redefined so that ‘Universe’ refers to an isolated Domain. Even in that case, however, the arguments just given suggest that the idea of multiple Universes is paradoxical. At present, therefore, there is no motivation to change the definition of Universe in this narrative

It is not a contradiction of the Being of the Universe and its conception or of Domain and its conception for there to be local Gods or demigods or for one Domain or local God to be implicated in the creation / destruction / sustenance of another Domain or local God or demigod

Regarding our cosmos as a domain, it is not a violation of science or the Being of the Universe that it is or that it is not the only domain or a typical domain

A Law that is local to a particular cosmos may be conditioned—created, sustained, Formed—by the remainder of the Universe or perhaps a particular domain outside the cosmos. A local Law may be part of a Law of the Universe and may therefore be eternal or not eternal without violation of facts implicit in the notion of Domain (conclusion from what is explicit so far)

There is nothing in the concept of the Universe or in science that suggests that the structure of the Universe is limited to the repetition over and over in time and space of cosmological systems

It is consistent with but not required by science and the concept of Universe that our cosmos is the Universe. If our cosmos is the Universe, then there is no background that provides any framework of Being or of explanation of the cosmos. If the cosmos is but a part of the Universe there may be such a framework, especially if the cosmos is dynamically connected to the rest (if it is eternally isolated from the rest, the meaning of ‘the rest of the Universe’ appears to be indefinite.) In either case, the Universe itself has no background

The Void is the absence of Being (definition)

The Void contains no Law

The Void is the Complement of the Universe (result; since the Universe is All Being)

The Void exists (result; proof: since the Complement of an existing Domain exists)

This is the crux of the proof of the fundamental principle of metaphysics

The Void which is the absence of Being exists and contains no Law (result; proof: combining some of the above)

The Void has no limits (result; proof: because a limit on the Void would be a Law in the Void)

Being has no limit54 (result—the fundamental principle of metaphysics; proof: since the Void has no limits it can ‘effect’ any transformation upon Being; a limit to Being would therefore entail a contradiction; end of proof)

I.e. there is no limit to the actual and therefore to the possible (and therefore there is no significance to possibility other than actuality)

It is a consequence of the fundamental principle that there are local Gods and demigods; and that Domains and local Gods or demigods may and will be implicated in the creation / destruction / sustenance of other Domains, ‘worlds’ or cosmological systems

The fundamental principle does not change the earlier conclusion that there is and can be no external God or external Creator / Destroyer / Sustainer of the Universe

However, a local cosmos and its inhabitants may have the experience of being as-if55 Created / Destroyed / Sustained by an as-if Supreme God. With application, however, the inhabitants may recognize the ‘as-ifs’ of this paragraph as illusion. In many cases they will make this realization; this is implied by the fundamental principle

The idea of ‘God’ has no single valid notion. There is a sense however, in which God may be taken to be the creative power within Being—the creative and perhaps destructive and sustaining power within the entire Universe. My power is part of this power. It follows from the fundamental principle, and this will be shown later, that every individual will realize God in this sense: every individual will realize All Being. It will also be seen that this realization will have, as one of its aspects, endless becoming, process, adventure

Many traditional views, even where they have great truth, have great limitation. Any view that falls short of what is implied by the fundamental principle has limitation

It is not necessary to use the term ‘God’ in referring to the power of All Being. Such use may be inspiring but it may also be prejudicial and misleading. Even if I prefer the term ‘God’ I will be served well to start with a neutral term such as ‘the creative power of All Being’ and to introduce more specific notions later

Perhaps God may be conceived as the Universe or its creative power. The word ‘God’ is unnecessary except for its suggestive power which is positive and negative. The concept, however is not given; the Object is not given; and knowledge and realization require conceptual experiment, discovery, and immersion in Being

Realization is process; and transaction or giving and taking, affording and receiving

The future of Religion, as will be seen, will involve shedding the necessity of traditional notions but also in incorporating what is valid in their conceptions

There is a sense in which literal meaning reigns over all other kinds of meaning. However, the symbolic may be regarded as a shorthand for the literal and one that, coming from the spirit of one Being, has direct access to the spirit of another

That Being has no limit requires that the Universe has no limit in extension, duration, or variety of Being. Thus there are infinitely many cosmological systems but an infinity of such systems does not begin to describe the actual variety (some description of the variety has been given earlier and there will be further description below.) Over all time, the Universe constitutes background for the parts or domains; the domains may however, temporarily be as-if without background. The Universe itself has no dynamic or explanatory background

A Universal Law would be a limit to Being; therefore there is no Universal Law but Logic may be regarded as a Universal law—i.e. although Being has no limits, Logic is the necessary and sufficient limit on our concepts for them to have reference. The Object of Logic is the Universe in all its conceivable detail which is the best sentient approximation to and may perhaps equal Logos as the Universe in all its detail

Suppose there are two planets on far flung cosmological systems. Putting together all the systems of laws of physics that are known it may be concluded that they do not interact. However, interaction cannot be eliminated; if a hypothesized interaction violates the laws but does not entail violation of Logic, there must be interaction. That there is precisely one way in which the unity of the Universe is dynamic, a way that is significantly stronger statement the unity that followed from the notions of Universe and of Domain

A domain or cosmos may be conditioned (created, sustained, Formed, destroyed) by another domain (which may be the Universe) and / or by itself. ‘Conditioning’ is meaningful only when the domain that conditions is manifest. There is no eternal cosmos or manifest domain. These considerations apply also to the Laws of the cosmos. A Law may be as-if Universal or as-if independent of creation of the Domain in which it obtains; this as-if is more than an artifact of perception: a stable phase of a domain or cosmos may have no or little variation in its Laws and related characteristics and such phases may be long in relation to birth and death. However, in an ultimate sense no Law is independent of Being—a Law of physics may frame a cosmos but cannot frame the Universe

Knowledge of the simple Objects of the metaphysics, e.g. Experience, Being, Universe, Void, and (later) Logos, Extension, and Duration, is direct. From the fundamental principle we may conclude the Being of Objects (Gods, and others seen later) that are suggested by imagination or by partial Experience; these Objects are known indirectly—by inference. The distinction between perfect direct knowledge and perfect but indirect knowledge corresponds to the distinction, made by some writers, between general metaphysics and special metaphysics56

Relative to the Universe, what is actual is necessary. This follows from the fundamental principle which requires that if something could exist it will exist. In the largest of contexts the possible, the necessary, and the actual are equivalent. In this meaning, necessity appears to be distinct from the notion of logical necessity. However, in the transition from logic to Logic the earlier of necessity undergoes transition to a newer meaning

The results of Cosmological consequences of the metaphysics, Identity and realization, and subsequent sections now stand fully demonstrated. I enjoy the reminder that The writing of this work has eternal recurrence. The magnitude of the metaphysics and the force of demonstration are such as to carry themselves, to make my experience of it, at least occasionally, as if revealed. Various traditions suggest and the metaphysics confirms that a thought is the Universe having a thought and a writer is the Universe writing—not only because the thought is part of the Universe but also because its power is expressed through the thought

The suggestion that the ethical or Good life lies in relations between the present and the Ultimate—and the meaning of the suggestion—is elaborated in what follows

Categories

We are now in possession of the power to discuss a set of fundamental categories… In the following we explain the concept of category and develop a set of categories

The philosopher Immanuel Kant developed a metaphysics that employed twelve categories of understanding which the later thinker Arthur Schopenhauer found unnecessarily cumbersome. Schopenhauer reduced Kant’s categories to three—space, time and cause

However, as usually understood even these three are concepts at too high a level as to be suitable to metaphysics. We eliminate cause as a fundamental category; it is later seen that it is occasional and local rather than Universal. Before making replacing cause by another category or by no category at all, enquire into the meaning of ‘Category’

Here a Category is dually a perfect Object known via a perfect concept. (The meanings of the terms will become clear later. Here, observe that since there is a gap between a concept and an Object, there is no guarantee that there is some precise Object of the concept; in even the meaning of ‘Object’ is in question. However, there are some Objects that are precisely defined by concepts. This is possible, for example, on account of distortable detail not being part of the Object-concept pair. Such pairs may be called perfect Objects and perfect concepts. The narrative will refer to perfect Objects but use the term concept rather than perfect concept)

After the metaphysics has been developed we will see that cause may be replaced by Absolute indeterminism

We perceive distinction or difference and the corresponding category is Extension; ‘space’ as we typically use the term falls under Extension but, generally, Extension does not have all the properties that we think of space as having.) Extension is essential to Be-ing

We experience change and the corresponding category is Duration. Without duration the Universe is static, frozen. Duration is essential to the be-coming of Being. It is sometimes thought that Duration is essential to novelty; this of course has truth but it is better to say that Duration and trans-Duration are (as later seen) mirror modes of description and it is in the mode of duration that novelty has meaning and occurs

As a result we may replace Schopenhauer’s categories by Extension, Duration, and Absolute indeterminism; and Kant’s system may be replaced by Experience, Being (Existence,) Universe, Extension, Duration, Absolute indeterminism, Domain, Complement, Void, and (as will later be seen,) Logic or Logos

On careful definition and selection of concepts

It now becomes apparent that careful definition of concepts and careful selection of an articulated system of concepts are essential to development of the metaphysics. The system of concepts, their definitions, and the present order of development (Being, Universe, Domain, Void…) were arrived at iteratively. The process was slowed but also enhanced by the fact that with each iteration further insight and implications would emerge and require attention (an insight may emerge via thinking about the metaphysics and some special problem interactively; however, arriving at and demonstrating a concrete conclusion requires careful formulation and painstaking development of proof)

Doubt and Faith

The value of doubt has been discussed in general terms earlier. In Criticism and response some criticisms have been raised regarding some consequences of the fundamental principle—these include apparent contradiction with science and critical thought. A concern here is doubt regarding the proof of the fundamental principle

The significance of the fundamental principle is immense. It is therefore important to subject it to criticism. Numerous doubts are catalogued in longer versions of the narrative on the Internet57. These doubts are there addressed. One means of address is to provide alternative proof. One simple alternate line of proof is that since the Void is the absence of Being there should be no difference between its Existence and non-Existence; therefore the Void may be taken to Exist. Following is an interesting plausibility argument that does not constitute proof but may provide insight. ‘Ockham’s principle’ is the idea that hypothesis formation should be as simple as possible while retaining realism. It is usually applied to ‘positive’ hypotheses that concern what is being described. Suppose instead that it is applied to what is not in the Universe. Three simple hypotheses are (a) There is no limit on what is not in the Universe, (b) Some but not all (possible) things are in the Universe and (c) There is nothing in the Universe. The final option is obviously untrue. It seems impossible to empirically distinguish the first two options and we therefore appeal to conceptual simplicity. The conceptually simplest hypothesis perhaps that no thing is not in the Universe—i.e. there is no concept, subject of course to Logic, that is without reference. This is a form of the fundamental principle

These thoughts illuminate some aspects of the meaning of the fundamental principle. As manifest forms of Being it is Normal it is probably in the constitution of our sentience to see and expect agency in manifest Being—our physical world. We do not expect agency in the Void. However there is no empirical reason to think that the Void does not have agency. Practically—of course—we may think that we may as well expect no agency in the Void but this practical observation is not other than that it is in the constitution of our sentience to see and expect agency in and only in manifest Being. There is also no conceptual or in principle reason to expect the Void to lack agency—unless we expect our laws to apply where they are not in the least known to apply: to the Void which is nothingness. The meaning of the fundamental principle, then, includes that the Void has ultimate agency. A remaining question is What kind of agency? We have seen that it is neither a deterministic or causal agency. When an Object—e.g. a cosmos, a transient spark of Being, an annihilator—emerges from the Void, the emergence is not and cannot be either deterministic or causal or explained in terms of mechanism. There is nothing to be understood in such emergence other that ‘it happens’ or ‘it happened’

The main source of doubt regarding the demonstration is the conclusion from the Existence of the Universe that, as complement to the Universe, the Void exists. Is it not necessary for Existence that the ‘thing’ claimed to exist should be non-empty? I see no reason for necessity but that does not imply that non-emptiness is sufficient for Existence. A possible alternate proof given above—that Existence follows because there is no difference between Existence and non-Existence of the Void—does not remove all doubt because, after all, there is a difference (though devoid of Being, the Void allows power)

Doubt remains. It is important to note, however, that the fundamental principle is not absurd and that its assertion is not known to contradict fact or logic. Because it supports what is known to be true we may say that it cannot violate fact or logic. This invites a charge of triviality. However, as we have seen, while triviality suggests emptiness it does not require emptiness; it allows depth. Implications are profound and, instead of contrasting Normal knowledge (e.g. science) and the Universal metaphysics the whole that emerges by seeing science and metaphysics as complementary is of great significance—e.g. science provides a picture for one cosmos, ours, metaphysics builds upon that picture. This thought is manifest in numerous discussions of the narrative and is explicitly taken up in Applied metaphysics

In the face of doubt I have introduced the following concept: faith is the attitude that is conducive of the greatest outcome. A Civilization in which every action is based on application of the ‘high ideas’ would fail from inattention to basic needs even if it were not self-destructive. Another Civilization that attended only to the most practical of detail would suffer death by lack of imaginative response to challenge and opportunity if not by boredom. A Civilization that should know of the metaphysics but forego the opportunities that it implies would also forego intelligent realization of what may be ultimate. The attitude of faith in relation to the metaphysics is therefore to devote some resources to its study and to action in its truth (act as though it is true.) This attitude is not one of compulsion for there is not known to be any absolute imperative to such action; and there is no punishment inherent in the metaphysics for inaction

III.  Ground

The diverse materials of this division each provide some form of grounding to earlier developments. Although continuous with earlier discussion it is effective to present the following material in a separate division. From the Grounds, below, to the final section, Notes, the materials become progressively more specialized

General grounds

Experience and the External world

Two problems of the concept of Existence

Metaphysics: its nature and possibility

On intuition in metaphysics

A metaphysic of experience

The foundation of the metaphysics was presented in abstract form. It is not merely abstract because foundation in Experience (Experience-as-immediate-Experience, e.g. of a sunset or the fragrance of a rose—although this sense of Experience is immediate, it is not necessarily Experience of the immediate as in recollection or as in cognitive process regarding the world) was implicit. The strength of the abstract form is that the truth of certain skeptical arguments are immaterial to it. In General grounds the purpose is to provide a non-abstract foundation. This foundation will provide clear foundation of the metaphysics in our Being as well as address skeptical arguments and critical positions

In the first subsection below the foundation in Experience is made explicit in two parts. First, since there are thinkers who question the fact of Experience. The nature of the fact is clarified. Experience is the name for our immediate ‘experiential’ anchor in the world and it is argued that it is rock bottom which requires no further foundation but may be simply shown or illustrated and named. The second section addresses the line of skeptical thought that argues that we cannot distinguish in Experience whether Experience is all there is or whether it has an Object that we call the ‘External world’

The earlier foundation in Existence referred to certain problems regarding that concept. The subsection Two problems of the concept of Existence addresses some well known concerns. One charge against Existence is that since it is true of ‘everything’ it is trivial and therefore in saying that something Exists we are saying nothing at all. The response to this charge is that it is true but that triviality and depth are not exclusive and that while it says nothing from one perspective it says something fundamental from another perspective. The latter response clarifies the nature of talk of the world. When I say There is Mount Everest, what I say has no meaning unless the phrase ‘Mount Everest’ is associated with some iconic element that bears similarity to the iconic impression that is the direct perception of the mountain. And nothing is communicated in saying There is Mount Everest unless the hearer or reader shares somehow in the possession of an iconic element. In other words, There is Mount Everest has meaning because it is conceptual. Every phrase that refers to the world does so via the dual of concept and Object. This is the argument that raises Existence above mere triviality and that is also instrumental in the discussion of Existence

Metaphysics: its nature and possibility addresses the well known criticism that metaphysics is impossible because it is not based in Experience. The argument here is that certainly there are metaphysical systems that are not based entirely in Experience but that this is not the case, as earlier shown, for the Universal metaphysics. The next section On intuition in metaphysics elaborates this theme. Another argument against metaphysics concerns the grand speculative schemes typical of nineteenth century philosophical thought in Germany. Today this style of thought is largely regarded as a failed experiment. The speculative systems may have suggestive value but that is not the point being argued here where we are concerned with the validity. Reasons they are regarded as failed include the following—separately and interactively. First, they are not fully based in Experience. Second, they have been seen as speculative and anti-scientific (today, however, we may judge that they are not sufficiently close to empirical ground and not sufficiently open to empirical correction.) Third, political thought based in metaphysics and its modifications, e.g. Marxism, are regarded as failed especially by those who had great hopes for such thought and, who, subsequent to the political failures became disillusioned by the ideologies. Not one of these arguments applies to metaphysics as such but only to certain styles and systems of metaphysics. It has been seen that the metaphysics of this narrative, even the Logic, is based fully in Experience and therefore the concern regarding grand speculative systems does not apply to this metaphysics. Since there is no argument here in favor of the speculative systems and since the metaphysics of the narrative is based in Experience, the charges of ‘grand’ and of ‘speculation’ are not pertinent here

The argument that the metaphysics is based in Experience does not extend to science. Some may object to this assertion but they should first be clear on what it means. Every Object of the metaphysics is known in Experience and that is because the metaphysics does not refer to a level of detail at which distortion is possible (the argument used regarding detail is that we know of detail in Experience even though we do not know it precisely.) In science, however, a standard version is that there are hypotheses that explain data. We gain confidence from the consistency of the hypothetical system (if shown) and from ongoing empirical test. However this does not address the criticism that the hypothetical system itself is not given to be precisely in Experience or of the world. The section A metaphysic of experience has three arguments that address the concern without refuting it. The first simply repeats the earlier claim that the Universal metaphysics is a metaphysics of experience. The second is that the metaphysics together with our traditional knowledge (including science) form a system that is more powerful then either taken by itself. And the third argument is that there is a value-sense in which the resulting Applied metaphysics is perfect even though it lacks epistemic perfection

Experience and the External world

Two problems of the concept of Existence

Metaphysics: its nature and possibility

On intuition in metaphysics

A metaphysic of experience

Experience and the External world

One goal of this section is to show that Experience and the External world are real

Reflect on the occasional assertion all is illusion. An illusion, however, is Experience (though, as illusion, we are mistaken in thinking that it is Experience of what it appears to be) and therefore there is Experience. Even if all were an illusion that would not detract from the richness of (the illusion of) the world. However, we would like Experience and the Being of the world to be more robust than just illusion. Therefore there may be occasion to show that there are Experience and an External world, i.e. that Experience and External world are perfect Objects in that they are Objects that are perfectly known—regarding which the Object is definite, there is a concept to which the Object corresponds precisely, and in which case the meaning of correspondence is definite (in general, on account of the gap between concept and Object, definiteness of Object and precision of correspondence are in question.) Perhaps we ought not to worry about such robustness for the world is what it is and we can rejoice even in illusion (and / or not illusion.) However, such demonstration also gives insight into the nature of demonstration and method and of Being, Experience, and the World

René Descartes58 wrote the famous line ‘I think therefore I am.’ This line could be rendered ‘Who or whatever has Experience exists.’ Or ‘Experience is a mark of Being.’ This is one place to begin a discussion of Existence and the idea of an External world

Discussion could also begin with the thought of the Indian philosopher Samkara59 who describes Experience as the essential given

Perhaps the main modern objection to the fact or existence of Experience comes from materialism. It is thought that Experience and matter or mind and matter are different categories and therefore if matter is the only true substance, there cannot be Experience. Modern science appears to give strength to materialism and, coming from science and perhaps also from common sense, many modern thinkers maintain a materialist view. It may therefore appear that mind and Experience cannot have actual Existence. We have seen from the Universal metaphysics that materialism does not and cannot hold but we do not need to refer to this point to deflate the argument from scientific materialism. To deflate that argument it is sufficient to observe that although the categories of physics make no reference to mind, there is nothing in the conception of those categories that excludes mind

There are some modern writers who doubt that there is phenomenal Experience (Experience-as-immediate-Experience.) A common argument of such writers is to give Experience another meaning and say that this other meaning is the effective one and that the original meaning is ineffectual (epiphenomenal) or non-existent. Such thinkers generally come from materialism and or positivism. Their error stems, I think, from a dualism in which ‘Experience’ is regarded as fundamentally distinct from material interaction or positive knowability. They trust their strict materialist ideology, which includes in its strictness the thought that if it is material it cannot be mental, (which they think is fact rather than ideology) more than their Experience (if any)

Behaviorism constitutes another objection to Experience. The behaviorist argues that since Experience is subjective, therefore we ought to restrict attention to public facts. Experience is subjective in a certain sense and that implies that Experience of an alleged fact does constitute objectivity of that fact but not that such alleged facts are not verifiable by other means; much of the discussion of concept and Object in this narrative is devoted to showing that some Experience constitutes the establishment of definite and perfectly known Objects. The subjectivity of Experience cannot be conflated with non-objectivity even though that conflation sometimes obtains. The subjectivity of Experience has sometimes been taken to mean that the existence of Experience is itself in question but since subjectivity does not rule out objectivity the conclusion does not follow from the premise. Although Experience is subjective the Existence of Experience is, as we have seen, objective

Experience is the seat though not the source of meaning: without Experience there would be no joy, no suffering, no hope, no disappointment, no wonder, no significance… for these are all forms of Experience. Thus, for Human Being, Experience is close to the center of Being. Experience is so close to the heart of Being-in-the-world that there is neither proof nor need of proof of its Being (we are perhaps misled if we demand proof of all things) but contemplation of the possibility that Experience is illusion gives us insight into its fundamental character

The skeptical thinker asks whether all is illusion, i.e. whether Experience has any Object. The refutation of that ‘solipsist’ doubt is that the individual has not the capacity to create the richness of the world in his or her mind. More precisely (1) If the ‘individual’ has that capacity, ‘world as Experience or illusion’ is an alternate labeling to or expression of ‘the Object of Experience is an External world in the sense of external-world-as-Object and not as outside something.’ (2) If the individual lacks the capacity in question then, given the richness of the World—even the world of Experience, world-as-nothing-but-my-experience is impossible

There are alternatives to the skeptical argument from solipsism. One is the Evil Daemon of Descartes who is a demon, evil or otherwise, who presents to Descartes a complete illusion of the world including the illusion of having a body. A modern version of the Daemon scenario is that we are brains-in-vats that are fed electrical impulses that result in the Experience of the world. The simplest response to these skeptical scenarios, in view of the response to solipsism, is that if the mind or the brain-in-vat cannot distinguish the truth that would imply that even if we are as we think we are we can never know that we are or are not, and it (our Being-as-brains-in-vats) would therefore have no significance to our Experiential Being. I could say Yes, I am a brain in a vat. Or, Yes I am a brain in a vat that is wired into a computer called the Universe (which includes of course the brain and the ‘vat’)

A purport of the brain-in-vat argument is that since I cannot distinguish ‘normal reality’ from ‘brain-vat-reality’ I am ignorant of the nature of the world and, for example, the computer might shut off giving me a rude shock—or, simply, turning off all the lights in my cgi60 universe. But, I am ignorant of the (full) nature of the world and the Universe might shut off my power / information feed at any time…

Skepticism, whose extreme version is that we have no real knowledge at all, is hardly a practical attitude but has its uses in sharpening understanding. The critical approach is an improvement upon skepticism and doubt is one of its tools. In the critical approach to knowledge the intent is to know what we know, know what we do not know, and what lies in between (the further layer of degrees of certainty.) In the critical approach the thinker is mindful of application—e.g., what is acceptable in daily life may be unacceptable in engineering, what is acceptable in engineering may be unacceptable in science, what is acceptable in science may be unacceptable in metaphysics

Two problems of the concept of Existence

Here are two important problems regarding Existence. First, a distinction has been made between Existence that is dependent versus not dependent on other Objects (‘Being’ has sometimes been reserved for the latter meaning.) The development of the metaphysics of the narrative shows that the distinction is empty

A second problem of the concept of Existence arises in talking of things that ‘do not exist’ for if I say ‘unicorns do not exist’ what is it that does not exist? A tentative solution in the literature is to introduce orders of concept

This is unnecessary. To see this observe that the problem arises even for existing Objects. Suppose I say There is Mount Everest. If you have no iconic concept of either ‘mountain’ or ‘Mount Everest’ then, even if the mountain is clearly in view as the most commanding presence you will not know what I mean. (I may point or talk in hushed tones but these are forms of concept.) Linguistic meaning lies in the triad of abstract linguistic element, concept—at least partially iconic which does not mean non-linguistic, and Object. The word ‘mountain’ is abstract because its ‘shape’ has no resemblance to a mountain (‘There is a mountain’ is mixed because the words are abstract but their combination has shape.) In using language there is a mental association between the abstract and the concept (mental content with shape) as a result of which when I say There is Mount Everest, you know what I mean. An advantage of the abstract side of language is the economy and utility in representation and communication (especially when linear.) Note: not every ‘meaning’ has all three elements mentioned above

An abstract concept is one whose shape is without significance and cannot have meaning (in isolation.) A word may be an example of an abstract concept: in English, the word ‘mountain’ bears no relation to the shape of a mountain. The shape of the written word ‘splash’ has no resemblance to the shape (including sound) of an actual splash; but the spoken word Splash! has a sound-shape that suggests the sound-shape of a splash. The written ‘splash’ reminds us of an actual splash because we are habituated to associating the written word with the spoken. An iconic concept, via mental imagery and memory, is similar to the percept (which we identify as Object.) Thus an iconic concept may refer. Instead, via recall and reconstruction, an iconic concept may be a construct that has no actual or intended reference but (provided Logic is satisfied) has potential reference. A linguistic element as seen may or may not have a (partially) iconic character. Non-iconic concepts, including linguistic elements, cannot by themselves refer. They refer only in association with the iconic. Then their reference is actual or potential. The ‘pure iconic’ (if there are pure icons) have actual or potential reference. The value of the linguistic, as noted earlier, is efficiency in representation and communication

Poetry is too complex to analyze here; in its entirety, poetry is perhaps beyond all analysis. However, it is a simple observation that one aspect of poetry is the putting together of linguistic elements to suggest physical and feeling shapes not inherent in the shapes of words, sentences and other (formal) linguistic elements

Explaining non-existent Objects is now simple. Regarding Unicorns, the word is the combination of letters, the concept is the image pictures you have seen or descriptions you have read (like a horse but with a horn) and ‘Unicorns do not exist’ means there are no creatures that correspond to the word-concept

Metaphysics: its nature and possibility

There are various concerns regarding metaphysics. What is metaphysics? The history of and current metaphysics show a lack of consensus. Many metaphysical systems of the past are speculative. This does not mean that they are mere speculations. Rather, they are systems that are designed to address significant concerns and may be argued but may lack necessity—the concerns may be addressed but the system retains a speculative element—it may be posited, for example, that All Being is matter. So, even though they have imagination, depth, usefulness, such systems cannot be judged as possessing universal or absolute truth. In order to judge that a metaphysics is true, it would seem that its all fundamental elements should be known directly; these elements include the basic ideas, truths, and methods. In science we are satisfied that there should be good reasons that the system captures part of reality and that predictions so far are good. In metaphysics such criteria are insufficient

Perhaps the central concerns have been two degrees of speculation: traditional systems are not fully based in Experience and are hypothetically projected onto rather than necessarily derived from Experience. These concerns are addressed in the development. Particularly, it has been shown that metaphysics is possible, that there is one and only one metaphysics that is the Universal metaphysics which is therefore also referred to as the metaphysics (of course innumerable tentative systems are of course possible.) This metaphysics is demonstrated from Experience. Some writers on metaphysics introduce their works with a discussion of the difficulties in defining metaphysics. It is reasonable to mention the difficulties in introducing the subject but effective to defer discussion till after development of the Universal metaphysics. This is because the process of development and the developed system will include answers to the traditional difficulties and clarify the nature of metaphysics. The strategy of the narrative has been, in part, to remark and resolve some concerns in parallel with the development of the metaphysics and to perhaps remark but defer resolution of remaining concerns till after development. A significant theme of this work is that in understanding the world, the meanings of the relevant concepts should not be specified in the beginning for they are part of what is to be understood (tentative and perhaps rough specification is of course useful and even necessary so that thought may proceed and error may be corrected)

In the developments of this narrative, the concerns are overcome. A key to this development is that certain ‘perfect Objects’ are shown be known precisely in virtue of their simplicity and these Objects constitute foundation. Then, as discussed in the next paragraph, it turns out that, the careful conception of the nature of metaphysics loses crucial importance; it comes not before but after metaphysics; it may be taken to be knowledge of the Universe as it is. How may that be possible? Metaphysics as knowledge of the Universe-as-it-is is possible because, roughly, direct knowledge concerns very simple aspects of the Universe while also allowing detail but without requiring that the detail be known directly. It has been shown that there is precisely one metaphysics and that it is the metaphysics of this narrative (there can of course be infinitely many tentative systems of metaphysics and it is also true that the one metaphysics can be developed in greater or lesser detail, in different forms, and it can be rendered in patches corresponding to different ‘kinds’ of Being)

Why does careful conception of the nature of metaphysics lose crucial importance? Given the careful attention to the conception of metaphysics throughout the history of thought and the absence of definitive conclusion, the assertion regarding loss of importance might seem to lack validity. The essential reason that the elimination of the question is possible is that here a definitive, non-speculative, and truly Universal metaphysics is developed (it is truly Universal in that—as is shown—All Being falls under it)

It is interesting that Wittgensteinf45 argued from the emptiness of metaphysics to the resolution of metaphysical problems in showing that they are meaningless (it is famously regarded as somewhat paradoxical that Wittgenstein permitted himself the luxury of metaphysical remarks.) The contrast with the critical elimination of the problems with the development in the present work is interesting and remarkable. A later argument of Wittgenstein61 was that in metaphysics we go beyond the context of use of words that gives them meaning; the argument in itself is insufficient because context and therefore use are ever changing; an extended argument would then address the question of Experience; this question is positively addressed—i.e. the demonstrated metaphysics of this work has the necessary base in Experience. The metaphysics of this work eliminates a swath of metaphysical problems and conundrums by rendering them trivial as a result of demonstration of the metaphysics and its uniqueness and necessity. Why the earlier speculative systems do not eliminate the problems of metaphysics includes (a) Necessity—the speculative character of the systems and (b) Contingency—that the speculative systems are incomplete even where valid (and the incompleteness is in part due to their speculative and non-demonstrative character)

Here, as noted, metaphysics is roughly knowledge of things as they are—the opposite of the occult. The present use is akin to the use of ‘metaphysics’ in philosophy; however, the development of the metaphysics permits elimination of much of the uncertainty and vagueness that surrounds metaphysics in its philosophical form. The reactions—But we now know that metaphysics is impossible… or Here is merely one more metaphysical system are anticipated and addressed earlier. It was shown that metaphysics is possible, that there is precisely one metaphysics, and that the metaphysics of the narrative is the one and only metaphysics and that it may therefore be referred to as the metaphysics. It is shown to be the metaphysics of the (phase of Being that is the) Universe and is therefore also labeled the Universal metaphysics

On intuition in metaphysics

One generic meaning of ‘intuition’ is knowledge or the capability for knowledge in which the knowers do not know how they know. One special use belonging to this generic meaning is that of intuition as a capacity to know things that are not obvious to the senses—sometimes an unusual or special capacity to know remote events. In another use, Intuition is a very normal capacity to know very immediate things. An example of such Intuition is perception in terms of space and time: we know that the capability is an aspect of adaptation of the neural processing system but knowledge of neural processing in perception is far from complete. When we consider that we are able to perceive in terms of space and time via the complexities of perception and neural processing, the latter meaning is perhaps the more remarkable meaning; it is this meaning that is used in the following paragraphs

Kantf36 attempted a foundation of the Newtonian and Euclidean science of his time in Human Intuition62. At that time those sciences seemed to many to be final and necessary. This was in part a result of their success in absolute terms of internal coherence and range of phenomena explained and, for Newtonian Mechanics, in terms of comparison to the piece meal and limited aspect of previous mechanics. Kant argued that perhaps even though we cannot explain how, space and time and cause which are the fundamental categories of those sciences are also the fundamental categories of Intuition and it is this that makes experiential knowledge of necessary but not merely analytic science possible. That something is a fundamental category of Intuition means, simply, that we see in terms of the ‘category,’ e.g. space, time, and cause. Kant added that the derivation within those sciences proceeds by logic which is also necessary63—and therefore that the entire structure of science was necessary and based in experience and logic. Today we know that science is not at all logically necessary64 and logic itself is perhaps necessary only in certain simple cases. Therefore, even though widely regarded as one of the great philosophical systems of thought, Kant’s program is equally widely recognized as overturned. However, Kant’s insight regarding Intuition remains significant. The theories that replaced Newtonian / Euclidean science are Einstein’s theory of space, time, and gravitation (which employs Non-Euclidean Geometry) and quantum mechanics. The contents of these theories do not appear to be part of Human Intuition (except that the analytic intuition can be trained to understand concepts that are not intuitive in raw form.) However, the perfect Objects remain Intuitive. We earlier defined a Category as a dually perfect Object via a perfect concept and that a system of Categories are Experience, Being (Existence,) Universe, Extension, Duration, Absolute indeterminism, Domain, Complement, Void, and Logic or Logos

The development of metaphysics in this narrative may be seen as its foundation in an Intuition of these Categories. We have perfect Knowledge of these Objects even though there is an obvious categorial divide between knowledge and known—between concept and Object. How can this perfect knowledge be secure? Here are two examples of earlier argument. Being is that which exists; although I may not know what exists—that topic was left for later development—I know that something exists—there is Being. You may accept that argument but now object But the Universe is infinitely complex; how can you claim knowledge of the Universe? The objection has already been addressed: I have perfect knowledge of the Universe as a whole, as All Being, and in that although I may not know all its details, I know that it has detail: I may not know the detail but I know of the detail; and that kind of abstractive argument was all that was necessary to develop the metaphysics. Although we doubt Kant’s intuitive categories, knowledge of these perfect Objects is secure on account of their supreme simplicity

Additionally, Logic was also reigned in under Intuition. Again, you may object But logic is extremely complex! The response give earlier is that Logic is simply the requirement on concepts so that they may be able to refer—and, therefore, as a consequence of the Universal metaphysics to actually refer to something. Although the working out of the logics may be complex, the concept of Logic is supremely simple. Thus Logic, too, may be regarded as being reigned in under Intuition as the subject of perfect Knowing

As result, in the development of the metaphysics it has been seen that by going below Kant’s categories to simpler ones, it has been possible to go beyond Kant’s system of the scientific-intuitive interpretation of human knowledge of his time to a powerful and secure metaphysics

A metaphysic of experience

The pure metaphysics has been seen to have perfect base in the aspect of Experience that is the perfect Object; in the pure case, therefore, there is no difference between metaphysics-as-metaphysics and metaphysic of experience. In applied ‘metaphysics’ knowledge (which includes science, and is in part the result of framing-inspiration-interaction-interpretation interactions between the pure and the local) is not perfect where ‘perfect’ means perfect picturing or modeling of Object by concept (here even the meaning of the term Object is not precise.) Applied metaphysics may be seen as having some basis in Experience though significant parts of it do not lie under what is normally meant by ‘metaphysics of experience.’ If we loosen the meaning of ‘basis in experience’ then not only pure but also Applied metaphysics may be seen as metaphysics of experience: i.e. with this interpretation, metaphysics and metaphysics of experience are not different in the pure and the applied case. The equation of Applied metaphysics and metaphysic of experience is practical: from adaptation, i.e. from our partially successful negotiation of our environments, we know that the system of knowledge is sufficiently faithful. The Universal metaphysics shows that in the larger picture this should not be important: that even the limit of faithfulness in a context is not of ultimate significance even if it should have local importance. With this alternate interpretation which has dual basis in epistemic and value concerns, metaphysics and metaphysics of experience coincide. The meanings, especially connotations, of ‘metaphysics of experience’ used here do not coincide with the typical connotations in modern thought and so, in the main narrative thread, I have decided to not use the term metaphysic of experience. Reflection adds that we may even celebrate this situation as in the nature of Being in the world

Three Themes of the narrative were identified in the Introduction. They may re-identified as the perfect Objects, the practical Objects, and (their continuation in) the transformations of Being

Special grounds

The constitution of Being and of mind

Continuity of identity across non-manifest states

Religion and its practice

This section provides grounding of special topics that were mentioned earlier. The grounding is not always precise but the general intent is for the material to be useful. The notion of ‘precision’ is not relevant to all the topics. However, the first section The constitution of Being and of mind, has a certain conceptual precision that is made clear in the discussion

The constitution of Being and of mind

Begin by entertaining a soft materialism in which in which, for definiteness, matter is as described in modern physics and the Universe is our cosmos; it is soft in that while matter is admitted as fundamental, it is neutral with regard to mind as fundamental. The coherence of this view with the behavioral side of human beings is clear. Its coherence with phenomenal Experience or consciousness is not so clear. Of course the material elements have no Experience of the degree that human beings do. Think of the relation between macroscopic material properties—they are the result of microscopic material elements. What is the source of human and animal Experience? If the materialism is a strict materialism, i.e. if there are no microscopic level experiential elements, the source must be (a) the result of varieties of organic though material tissue in interaction and layering or (b) infusions from another source. Case (b) requires that the other source be analyzed in terms of another material / organic source and therefore case (a) is the only true option. This case provides, at least in principle, an explanation of behavior. Can it explain or ground Experience?

Strict materialism is untenable—insofar as we interpret our Being in terms of mind and matter, to assert that Experiential mind arises from material but non-Experiential elements is to commit an error of categories; there is no problem of principle in explaining behavior but there is a problem of principle in explaining mind. The strict materialism of this account then faces the following options. (1) There is no Experience—not even epiphenomenal Experience or (2) The strict materialism is untenable and the microscopic elements have some property that lies in the category of Experience (being microscopic, this is of course not human Experience or human mind even though it lies in the same category.) The die hard strict materialist ‘bites the bullet’ and opts for ‘no Experience—not even epiphenomenal Experience’ but we have seen the error of this casef51. Case (2) remains—The microscopic elements have some property that lies in the category of Experience. Now, these microscopic elements must be either coincident with the microscopic material elements or something else—i.e., mental. If the elements are something else, the result is a dualism. However, in a true dualism there is and can be no interaction of ‘matter’ and ‘mind’ else the dualism is a dualism of nomenclature but no more (the same argument applies to property dualism.) The starting assumption was materialism which has not been ruled out. Therefore, the microscopic Experiential and material elements coincide (on the original assumption of materialism.) In other words, the materialism is a materialism only in name. What we are left with is a monism but not a neutral monism; the fundamental elements are simultaneously mental and material

Characterizing the material versus the mental interpretations. Now while the Being of the material elements is simply, if roughly, their Being-in-themselves, the Being of Experience is Experience-of-the-other (even Experience of self and ‘pure’ Experience are Experience of other at the microscopic level.) At the micro level, then, category of Experience for a material element is the effect in it of another material element—i.e. the result of interaction which is (typified by) force. Experience is interaction! Two objections arise. First—how can the material have anything in the category of Experience? The response is, first, the case has been demonstrated and, second, it is only our prejudice that entertains the objection (which prejudice was shown invalid above.) There is nothing in the theories of physics that says that the material elements are merely material. Second—the charge of absurd pan-psychism. Regarding the objection to pan-psychism as a fact or assertion, the response is essentially as in the foregoing argument because it simultaneously concerns pan-materialism and pan-psychism in which the loci of material and mental elements coincide. Regarding absurdity, the response is that the absurdity is that of thinking that atoms are or have ‘little minds’ or that the degree of mind is the same in the elements as it is in human and animal Being; however this is not the claim and the elements are no more little minds than they are little animal bodies

These explanations are not essentially atomistic. The foregoing may seem to be an atomism but the ‘elements’ may be fields that are occasionally manifest as though atomistic

Considerations from the Universal metaphysics. We now contemplate the question—How are the foregoing considerations affected by the Universal metaphysics? Since the metaphysics allows and requires so much more, perhaps ‘mind’ and ‘matter’ can be different things. Perhaps however this depends on what should be meant by mind and by matter. Primitive mind as in stimulus-response is relationship—the effect or impression of one entity in another; this is root Experience even though via memory higher Experience can exist in the absence of an immediate other (in pure Experience—Experience without an external Object, e.g. as in visualization—we may say that there are reconstructed / constructed Objects or think that perhaps such Experience is the result of internal interactions in a complex brain.) What would a disembodied or non-embodied mind be? Surely it would not be merely ethereal. In our cosmos there is apparently one mode of Being with two orders: first order Being (Being-itself) that we call matter and one mode of second order Being (Being-in-interaction) that we call mind. Although we may hesitate to call elementary interactions ‘mind’ we have earlier given arguments that support this case while explaining that elementary mind is nothing like animal mind; the two levels simply lie in what we may think of as the same category; the higher does not result from something new that results in complexity and layering but from a concentration, focus and other factors that result in certain complex organizations (neural-perceptual systems)

It is not necessary to think of mind as second order because that posits relationship or interaction as secondary (and there is no metaphysical reason to think of it as so.) In other words the in the labels ‘first order Being’ and ‘second order Being’ there is perhaps no significance to the terms ‘first’ and ‘second’

What would an interaction among second order Being be? It would be interaction among interactions which seems to be a form of interaction. If particle and interaction are dual then interaction among interactions may be matter (like.) It would seem that in this speculative case, we are suggesting that mind-mind interaction produces matter (later material that refers to the speculative conclusions of this paragraph will also be marked as speculative.) Does that make sense? It does not seem to be impossible but is it reasonable? Do we know of examples where the interaction of two minds produces a spark? Not logically impossible but perhaps we are looking in a wrong direction. Instead it may be suggested that mind-mind interaction may result in Ideas (one case) and Action (another and material case)

According to these considerations matter and mind are not substances (matter is an as-if substance for certain purposes and mind is matter in interaction: the effect of one element of matter on another.) Rather the material aspect is that of Being-as-such and the mental aspect is that of the effect of one part of Being on another. Is the material aspect more fundamental? The answer is not clear but seems to depend on whether interaction can be specified as a property of the material aspect or, alternatively, specification of interaction is fundamental to the interacting elements or perhaps of an entire cosmos or even of the Universe. In the holistic aspects of the Universe, it is perhaps mind that is most fundamental (perhaps though the assertion loses significance because the distinctions mind / matter, particle / interaction, first / second order Being are not clear.) Is the Universe holistic? The fundamental principle implies that there are no non-interacting elements of Being even though there may be as-if non-interacting elements. This suggests holism with as-if atomism

Now consider another cosmos in which there are two first order modes of (matter-like) Being. It is unlike our cosmos which has one matter like mode. The two matter like modes of the other cosmos may be called matter-A or MA and matter-B or MB. Interactions within the A mode is second order A mode mind-A or EA (E is used in reference to Experience since M is reserved for matter;) mind-B or EB results similarly from MB. Consider cross interactions among the modes. A 1-1 is an interaction between MA and MB. A 1-2 interaction is MA-EB, 2-1 is EA-MB, and 2-2 is EA-EB. Imagine that the 1-1 interactions are weak (and may be the source of unexplained behavior in the matter modes.) 1-2 and 2-1 interactions give rise to apparent dualisms. The 2-2 mode is spirit like. However, 1-1 interactions are necessary and the two matter modes may ultimately reduce to one. Therefore the existence of two matter modes is as-if (just as in our cosmos our matter is an as-if substance.) Similarly the dualisms and the spirit-like experiences are also as-if. Generally, there may be multiple as-if modes of primary substance (matter) and secondary substance (mind) with as-if dualisms and spirit-like experience. These however reduce to a single primary and a single secondary mode which are both manifestations of the single as-if primary mode which in turn may be seen as a manifestation of the Void

Talk of substance is ‘as-if’ talk. We know from the equivalence of any two states of Being, e.g. the equivalence of the Void and any state of Being including that of the Universe, that there is neither substance nor need for substance in explanatory efficacy

Attributes. Spinoza65 suggested infinitely many attributes of Being (God) of which Extension and thought are the ones we know. The Universal metaphysics requires infinitely many as-if modes of first order Being (matter / that which has Extension) but it also requires that there are not any actual and absolute modes. However, insofar as we conceive mind / Experience as apart from matter, mind may seem to lack Extension. This is contradicted by the fact that mind as second order Being also has Extension and it is our abstractions of mind that give us the feeling that mind is without Extension. Therefore, if we regard matter (Extension) and mind (interaction) as the first two terms in a series there are no further terms (interaction of interaction is interaction.) Thus there appears to be no place for an infinite number of attributes in the sense of Spinoza. It has been shown that there is neither need for nor fact of absolute substance; the situation can however be seen as one in which every element of Being or Object may be seen as the substance of Being. Therefore we see room for all kinds of local variations on a theme of substance. There is the possibility and therefore necessity of infinite realization of as-if substances, as-if modes of mind, and as if spirit modes. However, these do not constitute attributes in Spinoza’s sense

There are consequences for creativity. It was seen earlier that creation of the new—in ideas, a cosmos, in Being—requires indeterminism (the objection that indeterminist process cannot result in order was addressed.) In a second-second interaction, however, one mind may become infused (organically or by communication which is perhaps but a higher level of the organic) with the creations of another. Therefore, creative thought may on such occasions appear to be deterministic even though from a global point of view it is and can not be deterministic

The elements of mind. These considerations suggest an approach to building psychology from microscopic elements of mind. What follows is an initial, very speculative and incomplete outline. The elementary interactions are the elements. The elements may be labeled ‘feeling’ which is of course remote from what we ‘feel even as primitive feeling’ but lies in the same category. Coherence, structure, layering, interaction (with origin in adaptation) result in intensity, attunement to the physical modalities (light, sound…) of the world results in varieties of feeling, and structure results in ‘shape’ or primitive perception. At root, feeling and perception are without fundamental difference: what we call feeling is perception of internal body states, what we call perception is feeling of states of the environment. Afference and efference are probably not originally distinguished in evolution but become specialized. Genetic control of development allows greater complexity than genetic definition of the organism (details of evolutionary path to be filled in.) Learning and memory arise. A specialization of memory as Experience later results in control over ‘free imagery.’ This is the source of thought and later of language. Although obviously very incomplete and very tentative, here we see the partial binding of emotion and cognition, the relative bound character of emotion and perception, and relative free character of thought and perhaps some aspects of emotion

Applications in the field of mind and consciousness. The foregoing system of considerations may resolve a number of problems such as the fact of consciousness in a physical world (the physical and the mental coincide—a resolution not only of the conceptual problem of consciousness that is called the ‘hard’66 problem in the modern literature but also of the mind-body problem,) the phenomena of awareness without Experience that anyone can notice ‘after the event’ but especially marked in experiments with brain damaged individuals (such awareness is not devoid of Experience but lacks focal or intense or self-referential Experience—i.e. the Experience of Experience,) the nature of consciousness (our conscious is constituted of root elementary feeling that is variegated as above, layered, focused, concentrated, and has bound and free aspects as well as afferent and efferent and neutral-self-referential aspects and therefore it is Experience but not Attitude or Action that is fundamentally mental while the latter are special kinds of Experiential state—it is commonly held in the modern literature that Experience, Action, and Attitude are the three axes or dimensions of the mental, and is unified as a result of adaptation which also explains the perception of constancy and identity of Objects and selves even though such constancy and identity is not absolute and is subject to breakdown,) language (roughly as above,) and what is called the on-off nature of consciousness—that consciousness is experienced as on or off that there is no gradual continuum from the unconscious to the definitely conscious (the explanation is that Experience lies on a continuum but awareness of Experience requires that it be sufficiently intense and focal and may be especially enhanced by naming and cultivating consciousness in language)

Form and substance—the occasions for origination and infusion of form and substance are manifold but these are practical modes of explanation. In view of the Universal metaphysics they are not fundamental. There is one fundamental category. All practical categories are an aspect or part of the one fundamental category—Being or The Field of Being

Adaptation and Mind. The universal presence of mind has been justified above. It was necessary to point out that matter and mind are not two ubiquitous substances or that either is a substance (even though matter is an as-if substance for some purposes.) Rather the material aspect is that of Being-as-such and the mental aspect is that of the effect of one part of Being on another. It was also necessary to point out that just as an element of matter, e.g. an electron, bears little similarity of form and structure to an aggregate such as a tree, an element of mind is not similar in form and capability to animal / human mind

What is the source of the form, capability and complexity of human mind? I stated earlier my confidence in the local source of adaptation as evolution as understood in modern evolutionary theory. Evolutionary argument has two related parts. The first part is the argument for the fact of evolution and the second is an explanation or mechanism. In simple terms, the mechanism is that of incremental variation and selection. The argument is consistent with physical science: the variations show no preference for adaptation or structure; however, those structures that are better adaptive have a selective advantage. Details are of course complex. Darwin’s exposition was incomplete and it was only with the new synthesis that an evolutionary theory became acceptable to the scientific community as a whole (with exceptions.) References to detailed arguments were given earlier in f10 and f12. Therefore, evolutionary variation and selection may be thought of as the source of adaptation

This suggests that Experience is not the only source of knowledge for the ability to have knowledge of the local world is not the result of my Experience even though Experience conditions the ability in the development of an organism; and that ability is certainly not my creation (as this form, this Human Being.) So evolutionary adaptation may be included in a generalized meaning of adaptation (relative to the Universal metaphysics adaptation need not be incremental and selective even if such adaptation is much less likely.) It is interesting that one of our human adaptations is adaptability: we adapt to different environments without having to have evolutionary change and we create artifacts of adaptation. Surely, there is something in the nature of our physical constitution that enables Experience (it is not being said that our specific physical elements are the only elements capable of allowing Experience.) Thus the root of Experience, i.e. of mind goes deep (I seem to so far lack explicit awareness of past lives; still there is a less than explicitly factual but more than merely metaphorical sense in which when I see I see with or through the eyes of ancestors from recent to distant past)

The Universal metaphysics shows that there is no limit to this depth. There are those who do not believe that our constitution arose in the processes of ‘this world’ but was created by another intelligent being, e.g. God. However since God has Being God is part of the Universe which is equivalent to the Void and therefore necessarily has origins. Therefore the argument regarding God does not negate the argument from adaptation; however it leaves an unexplained residue. The evolutionary explanation as organic and immanent leaves no residue in principle but naturally there is in fact some residue

One use of adaptation is in explaining a psychology of Objects

Psychology of Objects. A neurological account of how we perceive Objects as Objects would be complex. However, it is a simple explanation that life is adapted to see the common or functional things in the environment as Objects. Further, especially in the case of an animal that is capable of adapting to various environments and contexts, even to ones not yet encountered, the ability to put together Objects in different ways would be an adaptation. I.e., adaptability, e.g. of and due to cognition, is an adaptation. How is it that Objects that are made up of parts are seen as wholes? Adaptation gives us the ability to so perceive Objects; in development we encounter wholes and it is therefore equally valid to ask how we perceive parts and properties. The response is the same: adaptation. The response would be the same for the ability to see the same Object as the same Object regardless of perspective and location (the phenomena of object constancy,) and for the ability to perceive the same Object differently. The response would also be the same regarding introspection, i.e. perception of our own Experience: thus the fact and experience of the unity of consciousness as well as the fragmentation of consciousness and the fracture of mind (the latter has additional layers of explanation that are omitted in the present account.) These considerations show that in cognizing Objects the ideas of part and whole are somewhat relative and that neither is essentially more fundamental. This goes against those philosophies that hold that a foundation for cognition must be in the elements of cognition such as elementary sensations

Continuity of identity across non-manifest states

That every state of Being has interaction with every other state suggests that there are no fully unmanifest states. There is perhaps local dissolution but the global case would be one of minimal manifestation. I have not worked out this idea. One thought for an approach is that ‘the Void contains no Law’ seems to have the character of law; paradox is avoided by modifying the statement to ‘the Void contains no physical Law;’ then, in some sense, the Void is minimal with regard to Law. These considerations are important to continuity of identity across dissolution and creation. I think the working out of the explanation of the continuity may be difficult

It seems that these considerations may be occasion to develop mutual consequences with quantum theory (Universal metaphysics is more basic.) This continuity of identity suggests that interactions are non-local which is of course an obvious conclusion of the metaphysics but violates the until fairly recently time honored principle of locality of physical theories. The principle states roughly that an event or ‘cause’ at one place cannot have an immediate effect at another place—that effects do and must propagate through space at a finite speed. The fist comprehensive and scientific concept of gravitation was that of Newtonian mechanics67. Newtonian gravitation, as is well known, was non-local and, despite the success of Newtonian Mechanics, this was a point of contention because the theory provided no explanation of the action-at-a-distance of the concept of gravitation in familiar causal terms

In 1915, Albert Einstein68 gave an account in which gravitation is propagated locally at the ‘universal’ speed of light. As far as action-at-a-distance is concerned, it is Einstein’s theory rather than Newton’s that is compatible with reflective common sense as well as other theories of physical forces and fields such as electromagnetism as formulated by James Clerk Maxwell69

A 1935 paper of Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen70 showed that according to quantum theory, measurement of the state of a particle at one location instantly influences another particle arbitrarily far away. This became known as the EPR paradox

In 1966 John Bell published a famous result that has come to be known as Bell’s theorem71. The assumptions of Bell’s paper were (1) Reality—microscopic objects have real properties determining the outcomes of quantum mechanical measurements and (2) Locality. In his paper Bell proves a result, an inequality, ‘Bell’s inequality’ that must be satisfied as a consequence of the assumptions. Bell also proves Bell’s theorem: quantum theory requires the violation of the inequality and therefore cannot satisfy local realism

A number of Bell type inequalities have been published and experiments have been done showing that ‘Bell test experiments to date overwhelmingly violate Bell's inequality’ (Bell's theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.) The general interpretation of theorists appears to favor quantum theory and non-local realism; however, theory, experiment, interpretation are far from closed

An aim here has been to show another connection between the Universal metaphysics and quantum theory. However, the main motive has been to suggest that non-local realism may support communication and therefore continuity of identity across the Void state

Another approach to communication across the Void state is to recognize that the picture of the Universe entering and the leaving a Void phase may be an approximation which is the result of seeing the Universe as simply changing from a manifest to non-manifest to manifest state in time. It is not clear that Being has ‘atomic’ elements. However, thinking such terms what are those elements? Are they like the monads of Leibniz? Are they simply a collection of moments? The source of communication across the Void need not be due to quantum / vacuum effects but, simply and at a deeper level, the relational structure of the elements. What does it mean for the Universe to enter and leave the Void state, i.e. to go from a manifest to a non-manifest to a manifest state. From the fundamental principle this seems to be allowed and therefore necessary. However, one ‘picture’ in which this occurs is one in which there is a single Universal time. In a relational view, e.g. in terms of Leibniz like monads, it is not clear that there is such a time. In other words, it is not clear that Logic allows the kind of time in which the Universe enters a non-manifest state. Perhaps the closest to the Void is a state of minimal manifestation

Religion and its practice

Religion is far too many-faceted to do it justice here—and I am a traveler rather than an expert, scholar, or teacher or even teacher-in-training in ‘this’ realm. Traditional religions refer to this realm as well as a realm beyond; some religions emphasize and the metaphysics confirms that the distinction is apparent even when practically important: Earth and Sky are One. Religion is not limited to ‘sacred’ texts and includes sacred rituals, practices (ways,) and places (artifact and nature.) Except in fundamentalism, the meaning of the sacred text is not limited to the literal (however, to having a fundamentalist attitude does not eliminate the metaphorical, the allegorical, and the variant interpretations of overt meaning; and ‘meaning’ is not the only significance of the word.) Some religions and spiritualities emphasize another higher world. However, Religion per se is not emphatically about but may be neutral toward another world. In some religions, e.g. original Buddhism, the higher world is a realm of psyche. If a religion emphasizes another world there is a spoken or unspoken psychic image—a meaning—of that world; examples are the Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Universal metaphysics shows that the consistent psychic image is real: the psychic is also real; this gives no particular support to the realms described in the scriptures. Hinduism, which is probably not a single religion, refers to actual and psychic realms. In most cases, religions speak of values, thought and conduct in this world and their relation in bridging to the other world

Different ways are appropriate to different individuals (and for different stages of life.) The Bhagavad-Gita72 identifies four ways or Yogas. Jnâna Yoga (Gnâna Yoga) is the way of knowing—especially direct knowing or apprehension the absolute and is not (limited to) linguistic expression of knowledge which may be thought of as an aid; the idea of apprehension approximates to the meaning of knowledge in Jnâna yoga. I attempt to maintain contact with the depth behind the words of this narrative and appeal via ‘informal’ practice to intuitive, meditative and dream states

Rāja Yoga. A philosophical interpretation of Rāja Yoga would have complexities that include multiple interpretations, multiple practices, and multiple conceptual frameworks. Focus will therefore be practical and simple (perhaps too simple.) In Rāja Yoga dhyana is meditative connection with an Object (so Rāja Yoga not entirely distinct from Jnâna Yoga) one of whose formal goals is liberation from the cycle of suffering (samsara.) This idea of release is based in a metaphysics of Karma. In a preface to The Bhagavad-Gita, 1985, as translated by Eknath Easwaran, the translator writes, ‘Karma is sometimes considered punitive… But it is… illuminating to consider Karma an educative force that teaches the individual to act in harmony with Dharma—the essential order of things.’ And Karma may thus be lifted from its metaphysical meaning and applied to the ordinary psychology of ‘this’ life. In these terms the result of Rāja Yoga may be seen as living in the truth of or awareness of the way of the world—i.e., this world. However the idea of ‘Yoga’ includes connection to / identity with the Identity of the Universe. The actuality and necessity of the connection is confirmed in Universal metaphysics. Intellectual understanding however is not enough. The Yogas may be seen as initial steps for the whole person in endless realization. Practically, it is not necessary to wonder whether the initial steps are the steps to the ultimate but to enter into the process with regard for tradition but also with openness to experiment

Tibetan Buddhism talks of Beyul—remote lands whose access may involve journey and hardship. The process is not merely physical; attitude is important. Travel and arrival transformation our experience and frame of experience of self and world. ‘In Buddhist tradition, the goal is not so much to reach the destination as to awaken qualities and energies of the site which ultimately lie in our own minds’—the Dalai Lama73, in an Introduction to Ian Baker’s work f37. My personal Beyul is not a specific place but if there is one it is Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon,) Chihuahua, Mexico, 1979-1982 (I learned the Tibetan concept later.) In my experience Beyul abound; ‘small’—the beach, the morning view of hills from my balcony… And larger—Inspiration Lake that lies nestled 1500 feet deep in the bowl of a cirque near Mt. Hilton in the Trinity Mountain Wilderness; treading lightly and mindfulness are significant; there seems to be a matrix of connections among the Beyul

The process of—behind—this part of the narrative is some subtle fusion of the Yogas, the Beyul—nature as sign or inspiration for Self and Being, and Human influence (people,) and experiment with these elements. The relation of my thought to the traditions just mentioned is complex—I have absorbed much, much at a less than conscious level. However, I have not followed any single prescribed practice. I have direction and experience and occasionally find that my process coincides with elements of the prescribed. The likely sources are (a) common human constitution, (b) suggestion, and (c) personal experiment and experience. I am learning

Ideas presented so far in this section may suggest that ‘realization’ is idyllic and may be found in ideal or idyllic circumstances. However, the suggestion is not true. The Yogas may be practiced in any environment. The paths to Beyul are often quite the opposite of the sublime. What follows concerns, first, the embrace of the ordinary (and ugliness where it cannot be avoided) and, second, the experience of equanimity in the presence of the mundane, the ugly, and the horrible

Here is something that has developed over a period of time. When I lived in Austin, Texas I would ask (in irritation over traffic) Where are all these people going? I have not forgotten that questioning and I have asked What was I really asking, and Why, and Would it not be good to get over that irritation and How? Should I live elsewhere or, somehow, get over the irritation? Later, my home in northern California is in a decent apartment. There is a nice view from my balcony. I sit there in a comfortable chair every morning and look at the trees, skies, clouds, distant hills, gulls, crows, hawks, vulture, sparrows, and shades of morning light. But I live near a freeway that leads to the East (and mountains.) The freeway noise is sometimes a distraction. It depends on my mood and on atmospheric conditions (they affect the transmission of sound.) I sometimes think But these are drivers going to work or play, transporting goods—part of the great process of America, of the world. The thought sometimes helps my feeling of general good attunement to the world—I assumed that the word ‘great’ in the previous sentence enhances the feeling and it does

One day, I was going for a walk. I saw a man at the bus stop adjusting his pants. I thought He is not just adjusting his pants; he is living his life; adjusting his pants is a part of his life, part of this world (I did not seem to need to think ‘great world.’) The walk was pleasant, the skies were lovely. But, in the first part of the walk, there is traffic (later the way leads to quieter places.) I thought The traffic and the drivers are part of the world—of Being: the skies became lovelier. Earlier a friend had driven by and enthusiastically sounded his horn in greeting. A passerby was disturbed and scowled. I now thought: That too is part of life! In the mornings the experience from my balcony, always tinged with loveliness, has become lovelier with this attitude It is part of Being

Are there exceptions—times when this attitude would be problematic? What if I am being attacked? I imagine that the appropriate attitude should, perhaps, help (a) defuse the attack and / or (b) better respond (I have had some success in this—and failure which is not ‘losing’ or injury but not activating all one’s resources.) In the Bhagavad-Gita an aspect of the realized person is empathy with others—their joy, their suffering. In conflict the maxim ‘empathize with your enemy’ has the potential to be defusing and energizing. These thoughts are akin to the aspect of Tantra in which fear / revulsion are overcome / transformed by exposure to the Object of negative feeling. A man adjusting his pants is presented as a mundane occasion that may be seen as essential; seeing Being—here used in the sense of more than merely mundane—in the mundane, is an education in seeing Being in what is fearful or reviling. Exposure and living in whatever fear or horror is unavoidable is essential ‘training;’ I learn and imagine that a ‘formula’ is live-in-the-fear, in-acceptance-of-fear, and, when the occasions present, in joy, in humility-that-permits-acceptance-of-fear-and-joy. I imagine that there is subtlety behind all generality but a general sentiment for any necessary or important task is even if conditions are not right, do it nowembrace the conditions

Consequences in Science, Metaphysics, Method, Religion, and Journey

General and Physical Cosmology

Issues of classical and modern metaphysics

Applied metaphysics

Method in metaphysics, philosophy, logic, and mathematics

Science and scientific method

Religion

Journey and method

The development here is a continuation of consequences in Journey. The topics of this section are selected because they may be useful in realization

For full appreciation, some material will benefit from still further development74. As noted in the Introduction, the developments are straightforward consequences of the fundamental principle of metaphysics as well as more specific considerations pertinent to the case

General and Physical Cosmology

Creation, destruction, and interaction. The Void can be regarded as creator and annihilator of manifest states of Being

(The Void is not outside the Universe)

Since the Void is equivalent to every state of Being, any state of Being has the capability of creation / annihilation (destruction.) A particle may initiate annihilation of all manifest Being—or of a cosmological system

The Universe cycles through manifest and non-manifest phases

The Void—as non-manifest—mediates between manifest states. Being has continuities even across non-manifest states. How? The question is addressed later

Every state of Being has interaction with every other state75. Interactions may of course be weak andor (perhaps) temporarily suspended

Mechanism of creation. From an unmanifest state, manifest Being arises inevitably; and such Being must occasionally have structure—and there is no necessary mechanism to all origin of structure. A possible mechanism is as follows. There are infinitely many emergences of which all are indeterministic. Of these a few will be near symmetric, i.e. structured, and therefore relatively stable. And of these a few will have complex structure. These arguments are analogous to the variation and selection of evolutionary biology; structure without mechanism may be immensely less likely than with mechanism; however even without mechanism the likelihood of emergent structure is not zero and it must therefore occur. The sometimes given argument against structure from indeterminism does not apply to the Universal metaphysics (or in quantum physics or evolutionary biology.) In case of the Universal metaphysics, emergence of structure is required by the fundamental principle

Being-Extension-Duration; similarity to physics of space-time-matter. Existence of difference whose measure is Extension; but Extension is not other than difference. Space, especially in its specialized (dimensional and metric) forms cannot be Universal. Space (generally) is a patchwork of un-given dimensionality or even of definite or uniform dimensionality; and space is not other than difference. Regarding the Universe as a whole, any spatiality is immanent in or part of the constitution of the matter or Being of the world and is therefore relative space (alternatively it is said that space is relational,) i.e., does not constitute a grid that is independent or other than the matter or Being of the Universe. In other words there is no grid whose Being or Existence is independent of the matter or substantial Being of the Universe —i.e., there is no absolute space. Locally, however, space may be as-if absolute space and as-if Universal space

Becoming and unbecoming require the Being of change or process whose measure is Duration; but Duration is not other than change. Uniqueness and uniformity of time are not necessary; and time is not other than change. Coherent behavior of local domains may result in coalescence of multiple loosely and / or occasionally connected times into a single dominant time and, likewise, multiple signal speeds into one (e.g. electromagnetic or gravitational wave speed.) These thoughts are clearly suggested by Einstein’s special theory of relativity and also suggest possibilities for interactive development of the special theory and the metaphysics. As concluded for space, we may conclude that time is relative time (or relational time) and that there is no absolute time or Universal time but that time may be locally as-if absolute time and as-if Universal time

Becoming from a non-manifest phase, suggests simultaneous emergence of Being (e.g. matter,) Extension, and Duration. This is suggestive of analogy to Einstein’s theory of matter, gravitation, space, and time also called the general theory of relativity

Time and space—some considerations. We have seen that time and space are relational. In the case of space this means that Extension is a system of relations among the elements of Being. In the case of time this means that time is not imposed by an external grid; where there is some degree of its Universality, the time of one element may be measured by that of another—e.g. a clock. However, what is the meaning of the intrinsic time of an entity? How can an entity have intrinsic time? It seems unimaginable that a structure-less entity could have an intrinsic time. Intrinsic time must have something to do with the internal process of an entity (frequency, rate and so on.) However, internal process requires both change and structure—i.e., changing structure. Therefore Extension and Duration are interwoven

The question of the continuum. If space and time are grids that are external to the Being (matter) of the world then we can imagine them as continua—i.e. as divisible (1 sec, 1/2 sec, 1/4 sec, 1/8 sec and so on) without end. But perhaps matter is not so divisible, and perhaps change occurs in finite increments and perhaps at small times and distances divisions in Extension and Duration do not cohere from one small Domain to another. From the fundamental principle this apparently must occur but also apparently there may be no Universality to its occurrence

From absence of structure to structure via indeterminism in the Universal metaphysics. The role of the Void in the Universal metaphysics is analogous to the quantum vacuum76. That any state of Being may transit to any other state (if not there would be a limit to Being) shows that Universal process is indeterministic—a further analogy to quantum theory. In that from any given state, the state at some later time is absolutely undetermined, the Universe may be said to be absolutely indeterministic77. Newness or novelty is that which is not within the constitution of what came before. Therefore, where there is true newness (creation of an idea or a cosmos) there must be indeterminism (in determinism, outcome is determined by prior constitution)

Indeterminism and structure in quantum theory. A counterargument might be: indeterminism and randomness cannot create structure. The counterargument does not apply to the Universal metaphysics. However it is illuminating to examine the mechanism of emergence-of-structure-via-indeterminism in quantum theory and in biological evolution. The argument is incorrect in physics because the laws of quantum theory show how ‘random’ states may perform mutual capture into stable structured quantum states (and the time independent ‘bound’ states are stable and structured, e.g. atoms, which, interestingly, would, as a result of radiation, not be possible in the classical theory.) The often given argument against structure from indeterminism does not apply to quantum physics. The argument from the Universal metaphysics regarding necessity of transition from absence of structure to structure via indeterministic process has been given above

Indeterminism and structure in biological evolution. In evolution, the emergence of stable structure (adapted organisms) appears improbable if we think that the outcome at any stage was determined in advance and occurred by chance. However that is not the case. Each step is incremental and may have numerous stable outcomes among perhaps many more unstable ones. One or a few of the stable outcomes occur but none of the unstable ones and except in dead ends this is not improbable (in decline the number of stable outcomes declines.) Thus the evolutionary pathway that occurs is not determined in advance; at each stage the process could branch in a number of directions; at most a few of the many branches are followed; and the entire process is one or a small number of many that could have occurred; and the entire process is not improbable. We may still ask How did life originate? How did our cosmos come to be one that was hospitable to life? The answers to these questions are not completely known although there are promising lines of work in both fields. However, we have seen enough to recognize that the appearance of improbability of the world being as it is via natural processes is in part a misunderstanding of the role of indeterminism (chance) and in part due to viewing the outcome from an inappropriate perspective (i.e. thinking that the outcome was determined in advance)

Absolute indeterminism. From a given state, e.g. of a cosmos, what can we say about the state at some definite later time? The fundamental principle—There is no limit to Being, implies that there is no necessity to what that later state will be. As long as Normal behavior continues, we know something about the future state; this knowledge is ‘normal’ or ‘probable’ and so on but not necessary. The future state could be any Logical possibility (looking back over time we recall a state at successive times say 1, 2, 3, years and so on and perhaps we observe that the predictions of mechanics—of Newton, Einstein, or other—are borne out. Thus we come to expect the rule of mechanics. The rule held from 1 to 2 and from 2 to 3. Perhaps instead of three years we go on up to a few hundred. Our confidence increases and the rule becomes part of our psyche. Still, however there is no necessity to the rule obtaining in the future. However, suppose I want to predict where a certain spacecraft in a certain orbit will be 10 years from now. The best information I have even though it is not necessarily true is the rule of mechanics. Practically, therefore, we use this rule. This is what we do and we may therefore, from success of the rule come to think of it as necessary even though it is not so—it is only our best information and its prediction is our best prediction—and our best prediction is, in terms of time-distance scales for our cosmos, perhaps only immensely probable. The Universe, as we know from the metaphysics, is infinitely larger than the cosmos. However, this best prediction is not the necessary outcome. Over times and spaces without limit Absolute Indeterminism is the rule. Even in our cosmos Absolute Indeterminism remains the true rule even as the practical rule appears to be something else (the argument is the same as the argument that the terms of a finite series may suggest but do not require the next term… and it is the same as Hume’s argument but here it is cast in terms of the psychology of expectation)

Absolute indeterminism and space. We normally think of determinism as behavior in time. However, we have seen the essential interwoven-ness of Extension and Duration. It would seem that Extension must therefore be somehow implicated in absolute indeterminism. The idea remains to be worked out

Evolution. In evolutionary biology the combination of random variation and selection by pre-existing structure is far more ‘efficient’ than mere chance or determinism acting alone. Evolutionary process has been extremely suggestive in the early development of the metaphysics as has physical cosmology. In turn, the metaphysics may have implications for evolutionary theory. The metaphysics suggests that that there must be evolutionary process in other cosmological systems; that their mechanism shall at least often be like the mechanisms seen on Earth; but that, though perhaps immensely less probable, non-incremental development may occur in some cosmological systems. A brief discussion of the mechanism in biological evolution on Earth was given earlier

Issues of classical and modern metaphysics

Heidegger called the problem of why there is something rather than nothing the fundamental problem of metaphysics. The problem has trivial resolution. There is either something or nothing. If there is nothing (the Void) manifest Being must emerge; if there is something, manifest Being has emerged

Similarly numerous problems—essentially all—of classical and modern metaphysics have resolution (space and time, above, foundations, mind-body, Objects—as a dual epistemological and metaphysical problem, abstract Objects, universals, identity—Objects and persons, below.) I indulge some further problems

The problem of the (or a) foundation for metaphysics. Generally, a metaphysics is thought to require substance for a secure foundation. However, we have seen that posited substance cannot be a true foundation. The alternative is a relative foundation in which every ‘foundational’ level is referred to a deeper level. Foundation without substance, is generally thought to necessarily be relative, and is again not a true foundation because of the need for Depth without end. The present metaphysics finds a foundation without substance at finite Depth—without infinite regress. It may be therefore called a metaphysics of ultimate but finite Depth; it is a foundation without substance and without the need for Depth-without-end. It is a non-relative foundation without substance; the possibility of such foundation goes against conventional thought which holds that every foundation must be axiomatic or referred to something else

The metaphysics shows that the variety of Being is without limit. However, while it captures the fact of limitless variety, it does not provide a systematic way to show or prescribe this variety. The metaphysics may be therefore called implicitly ultimate with regard to Breadth while the foundation with regard to Depth may be seen as explicit

Substance and the modern problem of mind and matter. The Universal metaphysics shows that there is no metaphysical substance of or to Being—to the Universe: ‘substance’ could not be permanent; but it also shows, e.g. via becoming from the Void or from the equivalence of all states of Being, that substance is unnecessary in metaphysics. The Void is not a metaphysical substance but could be seen as taking on a role similar to that of substance; further the Void is conceptually simpler than substance in that no restrictions are placed on the Void—it is not defined to be simple, or uniform, or unchanging, or deterministic… or otherwise. However, it is not necessary to regard the Void as substance and metaphysics can do without substance and still, as seen, have foundation without regress. Classically, a substance, in its purest form, is that unchanging uniform ‘Being’ that generates this world (all worlds) and change and structure. When matter became regarded as a substance, the question of the nature of mind arose. Is mind a manifestation of matter or another and distinct substance? These are rendered non-problematic by the Universal metaphysics78. However, if we think of ‘matter’ as first order Being or Being-as-such and ‘mind’ as the impression in the Being of another Being, then mind is second order Being. Problems of scientific explanation of mind remain but they are practical rather than fundamental (that they are practical is relative to metaphysics which does not imply that metaphysics has no practical value but rather that practicality is not its immediate motive; that scientific explanation is practical does not of course imply that it is easy, that it will not require great imagination as well as critical thought, or that it is lacking in conceptual depth)

Concrete Objects and their nature—a dual problem of modern metaphysics and epistemology. What is a Concrete Object? The first idea of a concrete Object is our common notion of the thing, e.g. brick. Here are two significant problems regarding the nature of such Objects. First, if knowledge is in the mind, it is not the Object and is implicated in the definition of the Object, so the Being Objects and the very meaning of the term ‘Object’ are in question. In the Universal metaphysics we focused on simple entities: Being, Universe, Domain, Void, and Logic (recall that the Object of Logic is the Universe in all its variety that we may call Logos79.) While we do not know the Universe in all its details with full precision, we do know the Universe without reference to detail and we know of the fact of its details and of its details without limit (except for the requirement of Logic.) Abstraction was introduced earlier to refer to this kind of knowing abstraction and it is via abstraction that we know the Universe as a perfect Object. Similarly, Being, Void and Domain are also perfect Objects; Logic is perfect via definition and derivation; and it is this that allows the perfect Metaphysics80

What about the ‘Objects’ of our daily and scientific acquaintance? We do not know these with precision and we do not know precisely what ‘Object’ means in these cases. However, we do know that we are adapted81 to the environment and in that we are able to negotiate the environment we have a sufficiently adequate meaning and perception or conception of what we label the practical Object. In a sense we know the practical Objects well enough—the knowledge has been good enough to permit survival and various kinds of flourishing so far. ‘Good enough’ refers primarily to our system of practical knowledge rather than specific Objects. However, as seen in the earlier discussion of the psychology of Objects, many common Objects may be regarded as known quite well (for common purposes)

In the perfect as well as the practical case there is precision of meaning sufficient to the case such that we can talk of the idea and meaning of Object without hindrance by the worry of possible distortion that may arise from the fact that concept and Object are distinct (it is necessary to remember, however, that unless perfection has been established there may be approximation and limit to knowledge and claims of knowledge.) There is significance to the search for more precise knowledge but there is no significance to the projection from, say a rather precise science of physics in its local setting, to all Objects (in fact the significance may be negative.) We cannot expect, therefore, to have precision for all Objects and it is counter to the logic of the metaphysics—since we have difficulty in this world we expect much greater difficulty regarding the limitless variety—expect such precision and it is counter to the spirit of the metaphysics to want such precision, especially at all cost—since there is so much more to explore (this is not an objection to search for local precision.) That is our account of ‘concrete’ Objects. It is a dual solution to the epistemic and metaphysical problem of concrete Objects and in closing discussion of the solution it should be emphasized that the claims include perfect knowledge of perfect Objects, knowledge that is adequate in some not well defined sense for practical Objects, and that there is no ultimate need to a search for limitless precision for the practical Objects even though this search may have local value. (There is more in that the perfect frame the practical which in turn inspire but do not demonstrate the perfect whose demonstration is the independent affair given above. See Section Applied metaphysics)

Another issue of the ‘concrete’ concerns how we may regard things like process and interaction. The fundamental principle provides the resolution in that ‘every concept has an Object’ and therefore the distinction between such kinds of Object lying in the continuum from ‘concrete’ to ‘ethereal’ is empty. The label Particular Object82 is used to refer to generalization from the concrete to such ‘things’ as process, interaction and compound Object (e.g. two trees and the birds in the branches or an ecosystem.) It is important to note that the possible generalization from the tangibly concrete to include process, interaction, and compound Object is not essential

Abstract Objects—a problem of recent metaphysics. The concern with the idea of an Abstract Object is relatively recent with one of its early sources in late nineteenth century thought f89. What is an Abstract Object? In modern thought a variety of ‘things’ such as number are regarded as abstract and the question of the nature of the abstract arises. Whereas the concrete exist in time and space the abstract are thought to not there reside. Here again the fundamental principle is critical: it informs us that to our concepts must correspond Objects in the one Universe and therefore that (a) abstract Objects including number and form are not other than concrete but it is the approach to their study or status in our knowledge that is different (for example, symbolic and conceptual for the abstract and perceptual and empirical for the concrete but note that, e.g., the concept of number started as concrete, became ‘abstract’ via abstraction and axiomatic treatment and returns to partial concreteness in the case of proof enhanced by computer search) and (b) abstract Objects are not non-spatial but have had their spatiality abstracted out

Here are some related developments83. First, consider the idea of a mental Object. There has been reflection in the literature that, perhaps abstract Objects are ‘mental Objects.’ Here, however, it is seen that there is no such thing as a mental Object unless that term refers to Experience or concepts but these are very real concrete Objects and are not stand ins for the Objects—concrete or abstract—to which, as concepts, they refer. Thus the idea of a mental Object as the nature of an abstract Object is ruled out by the present development

Now consider the idea of a Form. There are Objects that may be regarded as Platonic Forms but these are immanent in the world and not in another world: there is no other world. The Platonic Form is related to a concept of substance due to Aristotle84. Here, Aristotle analyses substance in terms of form—the kind of thing that an Object is, and matter—of what it is made

According to the Universal metaphysics, form is immanent in the world. What is its source? The metaphysics itself requires no source for form and that is because every concept has an Object. However, in some cases form can be explained as shape (used somewhat metaphorically) in which matter lies in stable relation and which may have been built or originated in a process of coming to be (though explanations are metaphysically unnecessary for form, they may be useful to local / scientific understanding; and the explanation in terms of shape / coming to be is an explanation, e.g. of the form of a horse or cosmological system.) Refer to the Glossary for further comment

The foregoing treatment is a solution to the dual metaphysical and epistemological problems of Particular and Abstract Objects. The treatment has unified the following continua and polarities: Concrete / Intangible, Epistemology / Metaphysics or Concept / Object, Perfect / Practical, Particular / Abstract, Non Spatiotemporal / Spatiotemporal, and This World / Ideal Worlds e.g. of Form / a Mental World

It becomes manifest that at the greatest depth of each, the trans-temporal and temporal perspectives or modes of description mirror one another. However, this does not constitute a return to an evolutionary paradigm because gradual variation and selection is a (likely small though immensely significant) fraction of all process

Some further examples of Abstract Objects follow

Properties. Is a property an Object? The redness of a tomato does not seem to be concrete: I can touch the red tomato but there is at least doubt that its redness can be touched. Still the redness of the tomato is a concept and therefore there is a corresponding particular Object. Is redness an Object? It would seem to be abstract. Redness is what has been called a ‘Universal’ because it obtains of all red things. Is redness an Object or is it merely a name: this is the classic problem of Universals: are they real or are they merely names (the problem of realism versus nominalism.) The theory of reference (every Logical concept has reference) shows that properties are Objects (and though abstract in not referring to a specific Object, redness is particular in referring to the collection of all instances of redness.) Thus redness straddles the abstract / particular and may be seen in both perspectives: in terms of simple Objects, redness is abstract; in terms of compound Objects it is abstract. The redness of a specific red tomato is a particular Object of a kind that has been called a trope

On the reality of properties. We just saw that the reality of a property may derive from the fundamental principle. That, however, is a rather abstract path to the reality of properties. Is there a more direct approach? There is; it is to ask what is happening when we attribute a property. I am looking at a red tomato. The redness is a function of the tomato, the illumination (under light that has no red the tomato would appear dark,) and my perceptual system. In other words redness is a relation or interaction among an Object, a perceiver, and the environment. Properties may be seen as interaction

However, the mass of an Object—of a body with mass, also a property, does not seem to depend on interaction. This leads to the distinction of primary properties (Object dependent,) and secondary properties (dependent on Object, perceiver, and environment.) To carry the discussion to a conclusion would require discussion of the physics of the fundamental concepts of physics such as mass and interaction (force.) We do not enter into a full discussion. We simply remark that if we isolate a portion of the physical universe then mass may seem to be primary. On the other hand it is well known that in seeking a physics of the entire Universe it may be necessary to regard mass as a property of the relations among the parts of the system (Universe)

This suggests that the primary / secondary distinction may be empty but to turn the suggestion into a conclusion might require an exhaustive listing (by enumeration which would be at least difficult or perhaps conceptually) of properties and a Logical analysis of all properties (in principle or perhaps by the at least difficult enumerative approach)

Is there a logical principle that requires that properties are essentially—aspects—relations? The principle of sufficient reason was apparently used by the Greek philosopher Anaximander but is usually attributed to Leibniz who used it extensively. One form of the principle is For every truth there is a sufficient reason for its truth. The principle is not obviously true even: sufficient reason should guarantee truth but that does not imply the principle. We might say that Insofar as truth is the only reason for belief, for everything we hold as true we should know sufficient reason for its truth (The reason for the introductory ‘Insofar as truth is the only reason for belief,’ is that there may be practical reasons to hold as true something that we do not know to be true but perhaps only suspect to be true.) This modified form appears to be true; there is no clear logical defense of the first form stated above. Still, the principle has an appeal. First, if we hold as true only those potential truths that satisfy it we are in some ways better off than if we held as true a potential truth that had good but not necessary reason. Second, the meaning of the principle lies in the application. Its application in modern physics, e.g. in the development of gage theories, is elegant. We might apply it in biology. Consider ‘God created the creatures as they are today.’ Two thousand years ago and even more recently there may have been some reason to believe the assertion (lacking any other explanation.) However, it fails to satisfy the principle primarily because the Being of God has no clear necessity. The thought that the creatures should arise from within the world is not necessary on the face of it but it does not postulate a God the Creator. There are difficulties to organic origins but they have a good explanation in evolutionary biology and a necessary one in the Universal metaphysics (non-organic origins are as-if)

What is the Logical status of the principle of sufficient reason? Universal metaphysics does not give one except that the fundamental principle is itself a sufficient reason. However it does seem reason to claim that even if not logically necessary the principle of sufficient reason should have significant application in a structured world that arose organically and incrementally, never to far nor to close to symmetry and equilibrium

Values. As a tendency of set of tendencies to behavior and choice, a value is an Object

Identity. Although I have spoken of identity above, little has been said about the philosophical concerns of identity of Objects and of personal identity. However, the philosophical or metaphysical problem of the identity of an Object is not other than the problem of what constitutes an Object. Therefore, no further discussion of general metaphysics of identity is needed to complete the subject

Inhabiting abstract Objects85. Via earlier considerations on identity / Identity, abstract Objects are ‘inhabitable;’ this includes having experience of Being an abstract Object. The metaphysics shows the necessity; questions of what it might mean to Be an abstract Object and of the feasibility of such Be-ing are open. In another cosmos two Beings are being introduced Number One meet Number Two; Two, meet One; Two communicates I’m two times as big as you; One responds But I’m unity. A reader thinks The writer is crazy; The writer thinks: I’m not just playing

Applied metaphysics

The Universal metaphysics may be called pure metaphysics in that it develops perfect knowledge of perfect Objects. The directly known perfect Objects are few but the entire Universe is indirectly known; and it is known via Logic to have variety without end. It is inspiring to contemplate this thought. It also shows us Be-ing as an unending adventure

How does this ‘pure’ knowledge mesh with our practical knowledge in this world? We have already seen examples in earlier discussions of mind, and of space and time. When discussion is at a sufficiently general level, the practical is perfect and the framing of the practical by the perfect is perfect. When it comes to detailed knowledge of the world, that knowledge is unlikely to be perfect and the framing is not perfect. Still, the metaphysics provides metaphor and inspiration for the practical and defines limits and freedoms. As seen, the mesh of the perfect and the practical suggests developments in science. It suggests that local science will not become perfect and universal, that knowledge in contexts has intrinsic limits, but that this is not an occasion for regret. This entire interaction of the perfect with the practical may be called Applied metaphysics86. Some aspects of Applied metaphysics fall under the pure. This part is metaphysics. Strictly, not all of it is general because it is suggested by our experience of the world (strictly therefore, there is no general metaphysics.) Since the idea of special metaphysics concerns those Objects known metaphysically but not directly, this part of Applied metaphysics carves out a portion of special metaphysics such that the label ‘special’ need not be attached to it. The remainder, the detailed aspects of the mesh of the pure and the practical, constitute useful but not perfect knowledge. Even though we may label them as belonging to Applied metaphysics they are strictly, not metaphysics at all, except in those senses (including the arena of faith) where concern with strict metaphysics to the exclusion of all else may become an impediment (e.g. to Be-ing.) From the points of view of action and value, there is purity in the merely applied

Method in metaphysics, philosophy, logic, and mathematics

Method. The present developments have implications for Method. The idea of Being is pivotal to Method in the following way. In metaphysical understanding thinkers have sought to mediate understanding by positing something conceived to be ‘most fundamental.’ The history of Western Philosophy begins with substance87 which is one of the standing traditions of Western Thought. It was seen in a historical discussion of Being that other thinkers formally went beyond substance but did not eliminate it entirely. In the lead up to the present development, Being was first posited to be ‘that which is most fundamental’ (an implicit rather than explicit position) but it was then recognized that whether anything is most fundamental should be allowed to emerge: this resulted in the neutral, position-less, conception of Being as that which exists (it is neutral except perhaps that non-existing Objects are admitted to have Being and such an admission need not entail contradiction if the ‘amount of Being of non-existing Objects is zero;’ however, this admission will not alter the metaphysics.) I have employed this kind of approach—Neutrality and Emergence—in numerous situations

One example of such an approach occurs in the discussion of Concrete and Abstract Objects. The problem of that discussion is one of modern philosophy with general origins perhaps in Descartes’88 distinction between the physical and the mental and specific origins that include Frege’s89 insistence that numbers are neither concrete nor mental entities but abstract. Having introduced this nomenclature it is perhaps most natural to think (to posit at least tacitly) that the ‘concrete’ are concrete and the ‘abstract’ abstract—i.e. that the abstract are somehow less material than the concrete. However, we found that this thinking was erroneous; and the error lies in confusion of our relations with things with the status of their Be-ing. The nature of the ‘concrete’ and the ‘abstract’ and their relation was not posited but allowed to emerge. The dual pair, Neutrality and Emergence, emerges as a deep element of approach or method. In the developments of the narrative we find elements of method emerging, some of these developments are described next

Via a conceptual process called abstraction, we found foundation of perfect knowledge of perfect Objects (Being, Universe, Void and others.) This is seen to be foundation in Experience / Intuition (Immanuel Kant.) In other terms, the present conception of ‘abstraction’ is one that is intensely and directly empirical (the term ‘directly’ is inherent in the idea of empirical but is used as emphasis)

We were also able, via abstraction of the idea of logic, to bring it into perfect knowledge: Logic becomes a perfect Object: we know of its perfection but our realizations of it may be imperfect. There is reason to believe (from modern studies in logic) of the perfection of some elementary logics but not of higher logics; this suggests that even the in-principle knowledge that we obtain of Being from Logic must be unfolding (we know already that actual knowledge and Becoming is and must be unfolding)

Another aspect of method that has emerged is careful analysis of meaning; this includes, first, the meanings of individual terms and, second, the iterative formulation of articulated systems of concepts such as in the metaphysics (there is no guarantee that the perfect will emerge but, if the constituent terms are perfect, a perfect system may, as in the present case, be found.) The Universal metaphysics emerged via abstraction, analysis of meaning, and experiment with articulated systems of concepts and was seen via abstraction to be empirical and to lie within Intuition (Immanuel Kant.) It has been thus that there emerges a metaphysics with application to All Being and elimination of speculation

Philosophy, Metaphysics, and Method. Thus a method for metaphysics includes abstraction, analysis, and formulation of articulated systems (conceptual analysis.) This thought is not new but its present realization is an enhancement. We may now conceive Metaphysics as the study of the limits of Being which suggests conceiving Philosophy as the study whose limits are the limits of Being (it is not implied that philosophy can know everything inside those limits with perfection but only some knowledge can be perfect and, further, philosophical thought in combination with practical knowledge can develop some insights and rough conclusions about practical concerns that perhaps better than the conclusions from practical knowledge alone.) Conceptual analysis, especially as analysis of meaning, is therefore important in philosophy—it is a method of philosophy. As seen, it is an error to think that conceptual analysis is only about language (interpreted narrowly as the surface form of language) or that such analysis, even in the narrow case, does not include Experience and analysis of Experience

Some details of an analysis of meaning. (1) The elements or components of conceptual-linguistic meaning. In Two problems of the concept of Existence, the elements of meaning are identified as word, concept and Object (2) Analysis of meaning. It has been seen in setting up the metaphysics, that Experience (the empirical) is at least implicit in meaning. Therefore analysis of meaning is not altogether distinct from knowledge-via-experience; the narrative explores ramifications that need not be repeated here. The development, i.e. the ongoing pathway, of meaning and meanings must be an interplay between use and creative-critical exploration in meaning. Use—negotiation of the world, communication, and reflection on use—and the fixing of neural pathways stabilize meaning. However, the changing and growing set of local and global contexts together with a certain freedom of neural pathways (those that allow and encourage creation) require and make for the creative-critical exploration. Earlier, we found a very general meaning of ‘Object.’ With sufficiently liberal interpretation of the linguistic element and of the Object, stability in use and meaning as sense and reference90 are not exclusive

On articulated systems of concepts. Roughly, the world has ‘shape;’ some aspects of shape are captured in what we may think of as single concepts; other aspects of the shape of the world may be captured in relations among concepts, which may be seen as compound concepts (most concepts experienced as single are compound; those experienced as compound may, after familiarity and intuitive absorption, become experienced as units.) Thus systems of explanation of the world or patches of the world are-not / should-not-be-mere soups of concepts but are / should be articulated; and the individual concepts are or may be already related by some common or complementary aspect

Here are some examples of ‘already relatedness’ (1) There is Experience; an External world is an aspect of the Object of Experience; Being is Existence and includes Experience and External world (2) The Universe is All Being and includes all Law; the Void is absence of Being and includes no Law (3) Extension is an aspect of the constitution of Being—without Extension there is no possibility of a single Experience; Duration is an aspect of the Becoming of Being that is necessary from the nature of the Void

But how can it be known that any system is perfect? There are cases or contexts in which perfection as precision is impossible; and there are contexts in which regardless of possibility, perfection may not be desirable. However, for the Universal metaphysics, and some sub-contexts, perfection is possible via abstraction from Experience / Intuition

How is Experience incorporated into an articulated system? In the first place via the Experience inherent in the individual concepts via abstraction and analysis of meaning. Second, via experiment with concepts we form a coherent system that such that logic does not rule out the possibility of reference (even if individual concepts have reference the system may be put together incoherently or illogically.) But is the fact that reference is not ruled out sufficient for reference? This sufficiency was neither implied nor intended by the earlier sentence!

Reference arises in the way the system is built up from the already referring concepts: Being is that which Exists; the Universe is All Being; the Void is the absence of Being… It may now be asked But is not the idea of All Being laden with paradox? That depends on how the detail of All Being is specified. Here, it is specified as detail of which we know rather than that which we know directly. Therefore the ongoing discovery within All Being is partly the discovery of or living in Logic. Thus, the metaphysics is in Experience and covers the entire Universe / range of experience provided that it is limited to perfect Objects (or in two earlier permissive senses—approximation and value—of practical Object

How is reason incorporated into an articulated system? This is the ever open question concerning the discovery of the details within Logic. In the case of the Universal metaphysics it is built in via the idea of logic in intuition that becomes an implicitly specified Logic but which we know is not empty because (1) Perfect concepts refer to perfect Objects and (2) The extant logics are at least approximations to it. The questions so far concern foundation and grounding. Now ask How is the Universal metaphysics applied in the practical case? Relevant discussion is in Applied metaphysics

Finally The metaphysics is powerful but trivial; how is this possible? Conceptually, it has been seen that ‘trivial’ or ‘simple’ and ‘deep’ are not exclusive. Depth is not always simple but it may be simple and, sometimes, is simple; and when it is simple, the simplicity depends on the choice of concepts / Objects and articulation. Practically, although the system of the metaphysics and its foundation is trivial the background work required to see or bring out the relevant concepts, meanings and articulation has been significant

A reflexive approach. The background to the developments in metaphysics of this narrative includes breadth of experience in the spectrum of disciplines. It also includes criticism at a variety of levels; as well as the questioning of approaches. In longer versions of the narrative91 these thoughts are elaborated into a ‘method’ that I called a reflexive approach. The idea of a reflexive approach is used in a number of disciplines, especially sociology; the present meaning of ‘reflexive’ is distinct from other meanings and similarities should not be an occasion to require that other meanings intrude into present discussion even though the discussion may benefit from suggestive analogy with other uses

In the present context, the idea arose as follows (the actuality was of course complex and the multi-faceted process is told as a simple story.) Consider the assertion There are no absolutes in knowledge. Since it is a negative assertion, it is critical. However, it seems to be absolute itself. It is easily modified—for example, There are no absolutes in knowledge of the physical world. The modified form does not obviously apply to itself (i.e. at least superficially, knowledge is not part of the physical world.) The point to the example is that a critical theory should itself be regarded critically. Often, the uncritical attitude to the critical is naïve; this may be due to insufficient care or a sense of power in sweeping away prior thought with a single stroke. However, there are critical approaches whose lack of ‘self criticism’ is subtle

An example concerns the role of Experience in knowledge. Here, we consider two examples of the role of Experience. One interpretation of that role is that we know nothing that is not in Experience. If we accept modern physics as knowledge, we see that there are definite roots in experience but the ‘great’ theories of physics are not themselves seen in experience. Rather they are hypotheses and / or constructs that have immense explanatory and predictive power and have not yet been contradicted by experience (hypothesis formation is itself not random but suggested by earlier theories, contradictory data, reflection on the significance of such data, e.g. as in Einstein’s reflections on the significance of the independence of the speed of light from the motion of frames of reference.) As the range of explanation and prediction expand, and contradiction has not yet come in, confidence in a scientific system of explanation / prediction grows and the system comes to be regarded, at least by some, as knowledge. As a second example, consider metaphysical knowledge. It could be argued with validity that science is not true knowledge92 and that what is sufficient in science is not sufficient in philosophical metaphysics where, an argument goes, the ideas of things-in-themselves and of Experience are exclusive categories (the argument is not that some future contradiction may occur but that science is already not true knowledge by virtue of hypothesis / projection in the realm of concepts and by virtue of the data not being the Object.) Similarly, the argument might go, our metaphysical claims cannot be true knowledge—i.e. what we might think of the highest purity / perfection in knowledge is not knowledge at all because, even if the idea has meaning, it has no reference: i.e. there is no such knowledge. The case sounds reasonable; however, we saw in the development of the metaphysics that if Experience, Being, Universe, Void, Logic, and Logos are understood appropriately we do have perfect knowledge of them: the sweeping away of such knowledge with a single stroke would be based on careful but not sufficiently careful analysis

Method is often thought of as having a creative phase and a demonstrative phase93 (creation involves creativity and imagination and demonstration involves deduction or some lesser level of demonstration.) The reflexive approach falls, initially, under the creative phase. However, due to interaction and interpenetration of criticism-demonstration-justification with construction-creation, both reason and creation fall under reflexivity

Interaction occurs when criticism and construction are successively applied in developing knowledge of the world; and the confidence in the outcome depends on the kind of criticism employed: in science regarded as an approach to universal knowledge theories remain tinged with the hypothetical; in metaphysics as developed here this kind of hypothetical color has been eliminated (questions of the nature of Logic and of the necessity of the demonstration remain.) Descartes’ use of doubt suggested that there is some point in analysis where sufficient doubt frees us from doubt; the analysis of the present narrative shows that, while that may be true of certain important analyses, in ongoing exploration regarding what has true significance, doubt is perhaps never completely eliminated. However, if that is true, we should not want to eliminate all doubt and as the idea of the ‘journey’ has revealed we may even revel in the unending adventure

Interpenetration of criticism and creation occurs when the subject of ‘interaction’ is method which includes criticism and creation; i.e. creation is essential in the development of criticism (and creative approach) and criticism is essential in creation as subtle-criticism which prevents mere free wheeling of a mind; criticism is also essential in self-evaluation (evaluation of a critical system) and to suggestions regarding creativity (in any specific endeavor, much of this occurs at an intuitive level.) The reflexive approach is, therefore, the careful use of all facets of knowledge and experience with regard to breadth and depth

The idea of reflexivity is relevant to more than formal content. It includes stepping outside or above or below a task on which one is focusing and asking What am I doing? Why? What is its worth? How am I using my resources? Perhaps I am thinking too hard! Perhaps I should cultivate flow over force—or, perhaps, flow and force in delicate and interactive balance! Perhaps I should think less, intuit more! Perhaps I should do something else—visit a friend, hike up to a mountain lake! Perhaps a little dissipation would be good—would clear the mind (I seem to have no problem with this thought!) Perhaps I should not attempt to specify too many options in this paragraph and leave options up to the moment, to a general awareness and occasional drawing in of awareness regarding process, content, extra-content, and reflex. Reflex and stepping back occur every day

This approach is immensely useful in philosophy where thought often regards synthesis of many ‘disciplinary areas’ at the boundary of the known and the unknown. It seems to me that my deployment of this ‘approach’ has been essential to the present developments in metaphysics. The approach does seem to be immensely useful but I do not say that it is necessary to the present development. However, even if not necessary it should be conducive to enrichment and goal development / achievement in broad fields of endeavor where, at outset, the parameters of study are not clear. It is not true, however, that the approach shall be useful only in soft fields; in mathematics, for example, the solution of an unsolved problem in one field may be found via ideas from a not clearly related field. It has been thus that there emerges a metaphysics whose application to all being and whose elimination of speculation has arisen

Method and content. Earlier in this section the following idea were introduced as significant elements of method—neutrality and emergence, abstraction and the empirical, analysis of meaning, articulated systems, conceptual analysis, conceptual-linguistic meaning, how experience and reason are incorporated into an articulated system. In all cases the reflections on method arose in connection with content. I.e. the consideration regarding method did not arise in the abstract but in connection with method regarding specific content. We see further interactions of method and content in discussions below of science and method, logic and method, science and science and scientific method and religion (and the possibly but not truly incongruous idea of method for religion)

These interactions are further examples of reflexivity. They should perhaps be expected on account of seamlessness knowledge. They are especially to be expected account of the fact that method is always method for knowledge of some part of the world. Further, method is a kind of content where the part of the world is knowledge itself

These considerations are true even of Logic whose classical remoteness of origins may give the impression of aloofness from content. The point is elaborated next

Logic and Method. Note that the metaphysics has allowed an essentially new conception of Logic. The theme of such a conception is not new to thought; it occurs roughly in prior thinkers94 but the metaphysics enables the rigorous development and foundation of the conception. What of Method? I will keep discussion brief. Method is the how of something—of an activity, especially activities intended to produce a result. In the common meaning logic is a method or aspect of method in that it chains conclusion to premise: this is the traditional notion of logic as argument (which includes deduction.) How is this the case in terms of the present definition of Logic as the requirements on concepts (or propositions) to have the possibility (and, in view of the metaphysics, fact) of reference? For two related propositions to have reference there may be a condition on their mutual form that constitutes ‘implication’ and therefore the present conception as Logic entails the common notion of logic. Discussion in this paragraph has focused on logic or Logic as method

But what of a method of deriving a logic: is or can there be such a method? In using standard logics, inference is deductive. But can a logic be deduced? Creative power and intuition are necessary to arrive at a system of logic; however, can the system shown to be valid? The propositional calculus can be shown to be sound (only true propositions can be derived) and complete (all true propositions can be derived. Truth is a semantic property, derivability is syntactic.) However, such results cannot be shown for all logics. However, mapping (syntactic-semantic or among alternate systems) is a semi-method. Since Logic is (related to) reference, the study of Logical system becomes overtly empirical but not in the way that science is empirical over the material world. Instead Logic is empirical over the occasion for its Being: relations among our concepts including propositions; therefore, while artifice may be one practical approach to Logic—for example to excluding contradiction, the empirical study over symbolic forms—symbolic experiment—is perhaps more fundamental (language already incorporates some logic via syntax; the roots of such logic may lie, in part, in the time before recorded thought.) This method cannot generally (it seems) be deductive for, as for a new theory in science, a new logic enters into uncharted domains

We saw that Logic is the only Universal law (alternatively there is no Universal Law.) Thus, in apparent contradiction of remarks in the previous paragraph, a scientific theory may be (a very specialized) logic. How so? Remembering that we know the world in terms of concepts, science, too, is study over symbolic forms; however, in the case of science, the symbols stand very close to the apparent Objects of the world

Mathematics. Every Logical concept has reference. Therefore, except when illogical95, mathematical systems have reference in the Universe (e.g. to forms which as seen, lie in the one Universe.) This suggests a Platonic realism but on reflection it is not such a realism. The Forms are immanent in the world and of the world—as seen earlier, the form of an Object is an aspect of the Object, a Form is another Object that may be regarded as the collection of all identical forms. Then the common forms or Forms correspond to the more or les stable Objects and since some symmetry lends stability mathematics includes the study of symmetry (and in some sense is the study of symmetry.) If this and related thoughts are true, it may follow that the traditional notions of certainty in mathematics and logic hold only in certain areas of those disciplines. Regarding ‘method’ a possible conclusion is that in these disciplines experiment may be important (it is not clear how such experiment may be more than the obvious idea of experiment with symbols done formally, intuitively, and computationally.) How is mathematics possible? The following is speculative. The processes of the cosmos include as-if symmetry seeking but the seeking itself has a deep component of indeterminism which is not ordered (I say ‘as-if’ symmetry seeking because when stumbled upon the stability of near symmetry is responsible for selection and perpetuation of such states and it is only when looking at the outcome that it may appear that the structure was sought.) In a sufficiently complex cosmos, sentient organisms with sufficient intelligence arise. Intelligence itself involves structure and symmetry and although it must allow some indeterminism, what it arrives at is limited by its structural capabilities. This suggests limits to mathematics in a cosmos sufficiently complex to allow mathematical intelligence to arise. It suggests even more strongly that mathematical representation of the Universe is unlikely but, of course, the conclusion is not certain for it may be possible that a part of a sufficiently complex isolated domain may simulate itself; and, if that is so, then it is not unreasonable that a part of the Universe may simulate itself

Science and scientific method

I can talk briefly of science and its method. The scientific method as recognized here is roughly Data—Hypothesis—Testing for conceptual and logical consistency and agreement of predictions by experiment and / or observation—Tentative acceptance if there is no disconfirmation but rejection and back to hypothesis and data evaluation if there is apparent disconfirmation

Science is so many things to so many people that repetition is not out of place. Regarding any significant word there is likely to be contention. Someone says Science is X! Others respond No, It is Y or But X is impossible or Science is much more complex than just X or X is a privileged meaning used by the ruling class…! Regarding the final of these objections I may say that of course there is truth to the claim but science is a variety of activities and has range of functionalities and the criticism does not, I think, apply uniformly over the variety and range. Certainly there must be some persons who use their position in or regarding science to political ends; this however is neither universal nor the defining characteristic of science. Regarding the remaining kinds of objection I may say that I simply present one mainstream view—a functional view that, since this is not a work on science or its philosophy I shall not argue the view except to say that reflection, reason, and the history and practice of science lend significant support to the view. I add that I do not simply import the view. What is science—I have argued a view of science earlier: hypothetical if regarded as Universal but factual over a local domain (this is a modification of the standard view presented in this paragraph.) However, even this is not merely imported at this point but is the starting point for further development that now follows

At minimum, science it is about explanations of data and consequently of (domains of phenomena in) the world. The importance of the word ‘explanation’ is that it is a conceptual system that, while it explains data, may be suggested by but does not follow from the data; therefore, as explanation, further data may prove invalidating. There is an extensive literature on scientific explanation but here it is used as a conceptual system of understanding that may be extended to what has not yet been understood (or predicted.) I use the word ‘data’ rather than ‘fact’ because data, too, is subject to error and invalidation. To be science both data and explanations must be subject to and survive ongoing use and test. The data may be retested and the ‘explanations’ are used to make predictions—which may be either application or specific critical predictions designed to evaluate the conceptual system; if the predictions are incorrect we begin to suspect data or explanation or both. This picture of science is one in which a body of science is accepted, not because it is proved to be true but because, instead, it has not so far been proved false. (It is of course implicit that though not shown to be true that to be a significant scientific theory there should be a substantial body of successful prediction; and to be practically useful there should be a significant body of successful application which is a kind of prediction.) In this view, a scientific theory is never proved true

An explanation of this view is that while science may aim at universality it depends on limited and local data and is therefore always subject to the possibility of improvement. What is apparent and has been illustrated earlier is that while many scientific laws and theories are not Universal they are somewhat more than this rock bottom—they hold as fact in their established but local domains and, after surviving extensive experimental and conceptual testing, it is reasonable to think that even if they are not universal their domain may extend somewhat and perhaps significantly beyond their so far known domain of application. In other words a good scientific theory is more than ‘only a theory’ in having a domain of application and application and in the likely but not guaranteed significant extensibility of that domain

We have therefore seen ways, immediately above and earlier, in which science need not be regarded as merely hypothetical (and another way in which it is hypothetical.) The Universal metaphysics suggests, we have seen, that a Universal physics of detail may never be achieved but the approach to greater achievement may be in the integration of the modern view of science with the immersion of individual and Civilization in the Being of larger and larger domains (with retreat as well)

This aspect of approach—immersion or participation—has already been suggested in application of social sciences in small and traditional communities96. Comprehensive treatment97 is more systematic and includes detail on the following thoughts. One reason that the approach is thought to be useful for traditional communities is that due to lack of specialization, many individuals are repositories of traditional knowledge (in the modern world the typical individual has little knowledge of the economic, manufacturing and other processes that lie behind daily life and its artifacts)

The argument that I give, however, is that we are already immersed in such a process via the confluence of government, information distribution, economy, specialists, and populace; the approach is then to recognize, understand, refine and use this process (which is already in place.) Since we are in part the creators of the social world and its artifacts (cultural and technological) it is natural that our entire Being should be involved in such process and its recognition and refinement (we do not expect complete control.) The social system has a significant degree of self-organization. That it has self-organization does not stand in opposition to the existence of government and self-determination. Rather, human elements of intervention, such as they are, constitute aspects of the self-organization. The error regarding human intervention versus self-organization would therefore be to think that we who are—and whose thoughts and decisions and actions are—part of a larger web can extract ourselves from that web and control it as if from the outside and as if the system being controlled were our puppet. The opposite error is to think that we are ineffectual. Often, I think the source of a feeling of ineffectuality is the thought that we are or should be in control and its contrast with the limited results of our efforts

In the standard wisdom of the scientific era we are not creators of the world of life and matter. However the elements of our Being are the elements of creation and we are not as alien to the Universe or it to us as some nihilist thinkers hold. The arguments already given from the Universal metaphysics are that we may (and will) enter into the process of creation even if we do not yet know how we will do this. In the development of science (local knowledge) the Universal frames and illuminates the local while the local inspires but does not prove the Universal which (in the case of the metaphysics) has independent demonstration

The metaphysics shows that though precision in science may have value, we are satisfied with the thought that in local knowledge every context of knower and known may have an intrinsic limit of precision that we neither need nor want to exceed

The twentieth century saw rapid and impressive advance of a conceptual physics that is intensely mathematical in nature (the mathematical roots extend back a few centuries.) Today, in the early twenty first century, this advance has slowed. It is perhaps a block though perhaps not. It seems as though the block may have two sources. First, there may be a limit on how deeply experiment can penetrate the small scale structure of matter: great depth seems to require large scale experimental devices such as ‘supercolliders.’ Second, the mathematics, e.g. of string theory, has become immensely complex in relation to the returns—i.e., predictive capability. I recognize that it is probably too early to judge but it is also true that such thoughts have surfaced within the physics community. I should add that I am not an expert in matters of the state of physics today, that there are undoubtedly better informed persons than I who would disagree with my tentative thesis, and that there are promising lines for development. As counterpoint, however, there is an argument given later that fundamental physical science will at some point in the future reach final block but that this is not occasion for gloom but presents an opportunity that we are now embarked upon exploring

It may be useful to consider that the qualitative approaches seen in the development and deployment of the metaphysics and the approach of immersion discussed immediately above may be a way of advance or to frame advance. The way will include the experiments in the transformation of Being and identity discussed earlier. This way may be independent or interactive with other approaches to knowledge (science and traditional approaches—see A Journey in Being98) and becoming (engineering, technology, psychiatry, medicine, and traditional approaches.) That is, the way envisioned will not displace science and artifact in their modern form but will, at least initially, complement and be complemented by them

If you stop to consider the unending variety revealed by the Universal metaphysics—the variety in which our cosmos and its physics is not even a speck—then you will see that immersion will be essential to realization

Is the Universal metaphysics science? It does not seem as though it is science as we understand it. It does make predictions which, however, are not clearly and immediately testable. So if we insist on immediate test it is not science. Science has conceptual systems that are empirically driven; in the metaphysics Experience is built in at outset. Science must be testable because even when suggested by facts and phenomena, scientific hypotheses contain non-empirical elements: it is testing that shows hypotheses as empirical (or not.) The pure metaphysics is not a system of understanding of detailed phenomena of the immediate world as are the sciences. It is not clear that such criteria for what is scientific and this kind of science will survive into the indefinite future but according to them the metaphysics is not science; I think that ‘this’ kind of science will survive but may be complemented by other kinds of scientific activity—will need such complement to proceed beyond some future point. The metaphysics is of course not anti-scientific in spirit and it is consistent with and has potential for mutually enhancing interaction with science. Therefore I refrain from making a claim regarding the metaphysics as science or not science. I will not regard it as praise of the metaphysics if it is judged as science; it will not be criticism to judge it as not science; it will be in error to think that it is anti-scientific

Religion

‘Religion’ is perhaps not typically associated with Method. However, the religions have ‘paths.’ Perhaps the first question to ask is What is Religion? An associated question is How shall we answer this question? Is it necessary to study the Religions of Man? The answer to the latter question is undoubtedly Yes! A second key question is, now, Is that study sufficient? The response is that it is not sufficient but requires interaction with a conception of Religion (with supplement from such disciplines as anthropology, psychiatry, psychology, and philosophy of religion.) The metaphysics provides a context for such concerns whose discussion is otherwise without Ground—it shows directions in which there is a ground and other directions in which there is openness without end. The development is in the earlier Section Religion; openness without end reveals Becoming, Transformation, and Realization as a journey

Science, religion, and culture. There are many perspectives from which to view science and religion and their relationship; and much has been written and we may read that science and religion are good or not good, that they are or should be complementary, or that they are in opposition, or that science is practiced as religion and that religion has psychological roots, even merely psychological roots

As we have seen the Universal metaphysics (and clear headed reason) provides a fresh and wide open perspective on science and religion. Simultaneously, it provides certain answers even though we cannot begin to say that it closes the issues

We are accustomed to thinking that science and religion concern different domains. In the past religion covered all domains (even though in contention with primitive science and secular politics)

Let us think simply that science and religion are about truth. We have seen that for both science and religion this truth spills over the traditional boundaries and the spillage occupies previously uncharted regions—regions that are infinitely larger than hitherto imagined

Therefore, what we receive as science and what we receive as religion are entirely inadequate taken singly or together (with science as study of the tangible world and religion as pertaining to the world of spirit—whether inner or outer) to understanding and Being in the Universe

In view of science as immersion; in view of religion as perhaps an aspect of a journey in unending becoming and experience of never ending variety we see an expansion and convergence of these two pillars of culture into a form that far exceed their roots

Perhaps the words ‘science’ and ‘religion’ should be done away with for their undesirable connotations—the limited and the distorted connotations

The Universal metaphysics reveals an unending journey of transformations of identity in infinite Universal identity—one that whatever its actual status is never experienced as completed or static

One revelation of the Universal metaphysics is that of Being as Journey

Journey and method

Journey. There is (one may say ‘of course’) no Universal Method other than engagement. There are pieces of method that are useful but that provide no guarantee (perhaps we should not want it to be otherwise—the Universal metaphysics and consequences make the word ‘perhaps’ unnecessary.) Aspects of method are discussed in Section A Journey in Being, specifically in a discussion labeled Method

Notes

On the question of the logical necessity of science

Discovery and justification

Notes on the theory of evolution

A note on analytic and continental philosophy and modern attitudes toward metaphysics

Following are some notes on special topics

On the question of the logical necessity of science

In the present time, c.2010, we are familiar with the idea of scientific revolutions in which old theories are superseded by newer ones and in which scientific theories are hypotheses that may be refuted by new observation. However, after the great successes of Newtonian mechanics there was a period of time in which science was regarded as necessary. It was therefore a shock to the establishment thought when the Scottish philosopher, David Hume99 showed that while the inductions—generalizations from data sets via hypotheses to theories—of science may be the best knowledge available, there is no necessity to them. His argument was simple: for any generalization, even generalizations that seem natural to the point of necessity, there is an alternate generalization. In the developments of this narrative we have seen limits to the two critical positions remarked in this note. First, scientific theories are factual with regard to limited domains. Second, there are necessary conclusions from Experience as seen in the Universal metaphysics. Since these conclusions are not generalizations they do not constitute limitations to Hume’s actual position but they are limits to the implicit conclusion that metaphysics is the supreme generalization and therefore impossible

It is an interesting consequence of the metaphysics that every Logical posited system of hypotheses regarding a hypothetical local cosmos must obtain in an infinite number of cosmological systems

Discovery and justification

The distinction ‘context of discovery’ versus ‘context of justification’ was employed by Hans Reichenbach100, and is often attributed to him even though he rejected the distinction as absolute (‘It is important to follow the concepts by which the theory finds its way step by step and to level criticisms at the theory from the same intellectual path as was used in the creation of the theory.’) Although some divide between creation and proof may be possible in, say, conceptual thought, science, and mathematics, the distinction is not always clearly absolute. Criticism and creation are mutually enhancing101 and criticism, particularly, is perhaps never at an absolute end

Notes on the theory of evolution

The ideas of Wallace102 and Darwin103 published in 1858 and 1859, were revolutionary. They were complete enough to provide powerful arguments for the fact of evolution and a theory of evolution via variation and natural selection but not complete enough to close every gap, to convince every scientist (or other thinker) by way of scientific rigor. Consequently, while evolution was widely accepted as fact by the scientific community, the theories or explanations of evolution of Wallace and Darwin were not. It was the work of a group of scientists around 1930-1940 that resulted in the ‘new synthesis’ that resulted in evolution by variation and selection becoming the accepted paradigm of evolutionary process in the world of academic biology—of course, there were and remain dissenters of various intellectual and political colors. Evolutionary thinking is often criticized by referring to inadequacies in Darwin’s thought; such criticism lacks validity because the new synthesis has cleared up the essential lacks or gaps in Darwin’s writing to a degree that, while not universal, modern Darwinism is by far the dominant view in the world of science. In order to be valid, criticism must be directed at the best version a system of thought. Regarding Darwin and Wallace, it may be said that the existence of gaps in their thought cannot be a criticism. Darwin, at least, recognized many of the gaps; the gaps were significantly due to the fact that biology as a whole had not progressed to the point where closure was possible; and the history of evolution is a case study in the joint revolutionary-incremental advance of science

One cannot, of course, anticipate all counterarguments including those of scientific origin and those of the creationist and intelligent design persuasion. I have read a number of counter-evolutionary arguments and publications as well as rebuttals. There are and have been many critics of evolution who may be called internal or external. The external critics of science are those whose critical thought concern the uses of science and attitudes toward science and may wonder at what level science should be funded and whether it is a valuable activity. Internal critics are concerned with the truth or validity of the claims of science. I think it is not widely known outside science that the greatest critics of the theories of evolution have been internal—generated by biologists who have seen flaws or gaps in the system of explanation; it is such criticism that was responsible for the new synthesis. It is my thought based upon reading that many of the modern objections to evolution are based in ignorance of Darwin’s original arguments and / or the point to which evolutionary understanding has progressed today

One should, perhaps, always allow a window of doubt and the Universal metaphysics developed earlier opens up the following window. It shows that there is an infinity of cosmological systems and there is the possibility of infusion of life and mind from one cosmos to another; that however does not address the question of origins and evolution but places it in another cosmos. The metaphysics also shows, interestingly, that there is an infinity of cosmological systems with Gods and saltations (a saltation is a non-incremental jump in the form of a species or a jump from one species to another) but reflection, in part based in knowledge of evolution on Earth and its theories, suggests that this infinity is of an immensely lower order than the infinity of cosmoses in which natural evolutionary process obtains. I find evolutionary thought immensely useful revealing a natural order on Earth and a paradigm for life elsewhere (and even as a selection process among cosmological systems.) I find anti-evolutionary thought useful as a reminder that there are cosmological systems whose forms of Being will constitute what are probably exceptions to the evolutionary paradigm. I have found that it is helpful to my thought to listen to even those whose ideas may seem absurd. (I seem to have an internal compass that requires no effort to prevent useful listening from becoming preoccupation—and part of that listening is listening to the deep behind the superficial and the humanity behind the ideas.) It occurs to me that (some) evolutionists and anti-evolutionists may take umbrage at these thoughts (developed in greater detail in online sources104)

A note on analytic and continental philosophy and modern attitudes toward metaphysics

A note that may help avoid a confusion: in analytic philosophy105, intuition in the generic sense given earlier is used to evaluate definitions of concepts. Analytic philosophy is perhaps the dominant approach to philosophy practiced in the English speaking countries and Scandinavia. It emphasizes careful critical thought. It has tended to favor study of the nature of thought in language over metaphysics which it tends to eschew or for which it may substitute ‘metaphysic of experience. (I cannot state more than the simplest of generalizations.) There is a tendency to study concepts ‘piece-meal.’ Works often appear abstract because writers appeal to logical symbolism for careful thought and compactness. There are anti-metaphysical influences from the scientific positivism of the early twentieth century and from the general regard of the metaphysical systems of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as having failed. Analytic philosophy stands in contrast to what the analytic thinkers call ‘continental philosophy’ which they hold to be uncritical and soft. Continental philosophy also regards metaphysics as failed. Their reasons include the putative failure of prior metaphysical system and the disappointment of the failure of a Marxism that had some roots in Hegelianism

I cannot help but think that the sense of failure is enhanced by the professionalization of philosophy. The majority of philosophers today are career academics at our modern universities. In such environments the power of group thinking is intense even while the University is supposed to be a place that encourages freedom of thought. The sources of non-freedom include (1) Group pressure as noted (2) Dilution—the large number of academic philosophers in relation to the extent of talent that appears in any generation (3) Pressure to publish early and often

An informal reader of one of my manuscripts once said something along the following lines. ‘There are and have been so many talented individuals working in philosophical thought. Why would you think that your ideas are new?’ He continued on and the implication was that my thought is either new but trivial or not new… and even if not new still not particularly significant. Regarding the significance of my thought readers must of course decide for themselves. I can say that I would not publish this work if I did not think it to contain significant thought and a significant path of action. Regarding the concern that my ideas cannot be new I offer the following

First, I have pointed out that certainly not all core ideas of the narrative are new. However, the core ideas are put together in new ways and one of their centerpieces, the demonstration of the fundamental principle is new. I can imagine that someone has come up with some kind of similar reasoning but I do think that if it were formally recognized and stated with sufficient clarity it would have likely been developed into a powerful system such as the Universal metaphysics. There is also much else that appears to be new and that is detailed earlier and in the next division

Second. In history the development of ideas sees surges as well as incremental development. This is near essential in the case of philosophy one of whose concerns is thought at the edge of the known and which is therefore concerned with the bringing of not clearly understood concepts in to the realm of clear light. In light of the fog that surrounds traditional metaphysics and the modern fog of our understanding of metaphysics (which we have mistaken for light) there is a clear opening for the Universal metaphysics. As we have seen that metaphysics brings one line of development (depth and foundation) to an abrupt end. This should not be entirely unexpected for the fact of so far open ended development does not imply that there can be no finality in any direction at all. And, as seen, the metaphysics closes down the direction of depth (which does not mean that it has no reopening) while it leaves open variety and breadth in metaphysics and in application. Yes, that but more—it does not merely leave breadth open but shows it to be infinite, without limit, and the source of infinite adventure whose necessity is confirmed by the department of depth

IV.  Resources

Contribution

It is a useful personal and demonstrative exercise to evaluate one’s contribution

In science, there are clear standards. In science, clarity derives from its relative concreteness and definiteness. In general thought (e.g. philosophy) there are standards but they are not so clear. What is science? What is the method of science? While agreement on these concerns is neither universal nor perfect, the field of general thought is far more open

One of the contributions of the present narrative is that it clarifies the open situation regarding general thought without artificial limits and without allowing reign of the merely speculative

The general contributions of the narrative include the metaphysics or picture of the Universe, the definiteness of the metaphysics (it does not suffer the merely hypothetical nature of prior metaphysics and this may have one origin in the fact that I did not set out to develop a metaphysics: understanding was more important than producing a system but when understanding emerged from neutrality, the system was a logical consequence that required no force on my part but that instead appeared as if with its own life and force,) the vastly expanded view of things (here I refer you to the narrative for detail,) and the idea of Being as journey without end (and the connection of that journey to ‘this’ life)

Specific contributions include resolution of a vast array of problems of metaphysics, provision of framework for the understanding of the ‘local’ disciplines, conception of the nature of metaphysics, philosophy and science, reflections on method, a new conception of Logic, and a new outline of the system of human knowledge106 whose essential character is that metaphysics replaces science as the center of definite knowledge (science is included and of course there is no thought to refute the valid aspects of science)

There are many potential contributions and there is much potential for interaction with the academic disciplines and varieties of human endeavor. Regarding the disciplines the narrative provides possibilities in modern theoretical physics and biology. Interaction with philosophy is manifold. Regarding the human endeavor the narrative provides a conception of religion and religious process and, indeed, of the human endeavor. The conception of religion does not ‘relate’ it to science but shows in a sense how the two may converge (no final distinction between matter and spirit, science and religion, and artificiality of actual distinction between church and state.) Regarding newness, I remind you that it is not especially names of the ideas that are new but their content and use as symbols of understanding and instruments of knowledge and action

Glossary

The glossary explains terms from the primary topics. These and other terms are in the Index

In the descriptions of the glossary entries, Capitalized Italics refer to other terms in the glossary

In glossary and index, the terms occur in roughly in their order of appearance

Absolute indeterminism    That future states bear no necessary connection to the present. For any outcome, it could be otherwise (even if locally improbable.) In Absolute indeterminism, from any state, every state, including highly structured states, will arise

Absolute    Used in reference to space and time, ‘absolute’ refers to a space-time grid that exists independently of an aspect of Being that inhabits space-time

Abstract Object    A number is not a Particular Object. Is a number an Object at all? It is commonly held to be an abstract Object. Number is one kind of Abstract Object. However, the nature of the abstract Object is not regarded as perfectly understood and there is question about their Being. Universal metaphysics puts these issues to rest and shows a unified theory of particular and abstract Objects: there are distinctions but these are practical rather than distinctions of principle. It is shown that abstract Objects do inhabit time and space but that, e.g., their temporality and / or spatiality has been abstracted out

Abstraction    Because there may be distortion in perception, knowledge of an Object may be imperfect. In fact the meaning of ‘Object’ may be questioned. Abstraction is suppression of detail that is capable of distortion. What is known via abstraction has definite Object-hood and is known perfectly. Thus, for example, Existence is a Perfect Object

Absurd    In this narrative, the issue of the absurd arises because the Universal metaphysics appears to violate science and common sense and may present an air of paradox. It is shown that the metaphysics is and must be in harmony with valid science and valid—sufficiently reflective—common sense. This suggests a general principle that there is a role for entertaining if not subscribing to absurd ideas because the ideas may be only apparently absurd but in fact significant and sound. The metaphysics which may at first seem absurd is in fact polar to the absurd in that it is the source of an in principle concept of Logic

Analysis of meaning    See Meaning. An important aspect of Method, especially in metaphysics and philosophy. Properly understood and properly done, analysis of meaning incorporates experience and the Empirical

Actual, The    See Possibility. What obtains. It is effective to think of the actual in the Trans-temporal sense

Applied metaphysics    See Universal metaphysics and Local disciplines. Applied metaphysics is the interactive union of the metaphysics and the local. In some cases, Applied metaphysics may yield perfect knowledge and is thus specialized metaphysics. In other cases, knowledge may be no more than ‘good enough’ in some implicit sense. In this case the result it is not truly metaphysics. However, despite the epistemic distinction, a value perspective may result in the distinction between metaphysics and not metaphysics as null

Articulated systems of concepts    An important tool in the symbolic disciplines of logic and mathematics and in philosophy and metaphysics. Critical to understanding and development of the metaphysics. Similar to the axiomatic system

As-if substance    See Substance

As-if absolute    See Relative, and Absolute. Locally, Space and Time may be as-if absolute

As-if universal    See Universal, see Patch. In a local cosmos, especially one that has no present external interaction, space-time may seem as-if Universal

Atemporal    Beyond time. The term Trans-temporal is better

Attributes    See Mind

Being as conceived in the Metaphysics    That which Exists. An Inspiration. Thinkers have distinguished Being whose Existence is not dependent on other existents from dependent Existence. Universal metaphysics shows that the distinction is empty. Although trivial, this meaning is immensely empowering. My search for the meaning of ‘Being’ began implicitly with evolutionism, materialism, idealism and other Substance based metaphysical hypotheses. I realized that that approach was untenable and not empowering of metaphysical understanding. I then looked for Being as that which is most fundamental (precisely, the Object of the concept that which is most fundamental.) Finally, it was the development of the Universal metaphysics that showed that the trivial form is the most powerful precisely because it says nothing and therefore allows Emergence of truth. I regard and the Universal metaphysics confirms that this is the most basic and most metaphysically empowering concept of Being

Being as that which is most fundamental    This meaning is important too and it lies within the metaphysical meaning. It was, roughly the meaning with which I started after I had explored and rejected many metaphysical experiments based in substance. Tantra and reflection suggest that the meanings are identical for there is a sense in which no thing is more fundamental than any other. That which is most fundamental is relative to the purpose at hand. In the spirit of the thought that nothing is most fundamental, all purposes lie within one Purpose which is Realization of the Ultimate in its actuality and in the present (which, in the end, are not distinct.) What is most fundamental? That is one of the questions of the journey and the search occurs within Being as container for all that is there. We are not altogether without guide for we have intuition, life experience, and tradition. The latter includes Religion and the religions which include Ideas and practices (ways,) exploration and its spirit, Science and Secular Humanism, art and literature, and much from Metaphysics and Philosophy. There is a riches of suggestive material. I think, however, the exiting thought that we still have aloneness in the midst of connection

Breadth of experience    Important to creative thought, especially in some conceptions of philosophy

Breadth    See Ultimate

Bridge    See Religion, Journey, Yoga. Refers to a bridge between this world and the Ultimate

Catalytic practices    These open the individual up to awareness and Realization. Includes traditional practices. Has two complements: philosophies of Being (e.g. Universal metaphysics which illuminates realization) and of the individual (e.g. physics and psychology of the individual as illuminated by the metaphysics)

Civilization and Destiny    A secondary phase of my journey (and adventure)

Complement    See Domain. The Complement to or of a Domain is the part of the Universe not in the Domain

Concept    See Meaning for discussion. Here, a concept is mental content; this may be seen to include another meaning of concept as ‘unit of meaning’

Concrete Object    See Particular Object

Construction    See Reflexivity. Creative thought and construction of concepts (in the sense of higher concept or unit of meaning)

Cosmological system (Cosmos)    The idea of a Cosmos is that of a system that is at effectively isolated. The only ‘experimentally known’ cosmos is ours, i.e. the one of big bang fame. The metaphysics shows that the Universe is infinitely larger than this cosmos. Some but not all physicists refer to our cosmos as the universe. In this work, the Universe is all that existed, exists, or will exist

Creation of Being    A secondary phase of my Journey (and adventure.) Refers to attempts via human intelligence and technology to create Being

Creation    Conceived in terms of a cause or source that is outside what is created. Since the Universe is All Being, it can have no Creator except immanent creation and organization. The individual is a part of and, from the fundamental principle, will realize All Being and its creative power. At least in one aspect this realization will lie in endless process

Criticism    The idea of criticism is sometimes mistaken with the idea of being harshly negative toward something. However the goal of criticism includes evaluation and harshness or kindness is not a quality of criticism although it may be a quality of the critic. The goal of criticism, self or other, is the evaluation of the project underway. In the case of knowledge it is evaluation of degrees of certainty and the evaluation of appropriateness of different degrees of certainty in relation to use. A critical theory of knowledge sets limits to knowledge. Some critical theories overstate their case as a result of enthusiasm and (sometimes) because they are not fully critical (e.g. an assumption that metaphysics must overstep Experience.) Some critical theories overstate their case because they assume certain models of verification that are not universal

Demigod    See God, see Creation. A demigod has some powers attributed to God (a God.) There are demigods. However, intrinsic causation and origins seems more likely than guidance by a demigod

Demonstrated result    The result of a demonstration

Demonstration    A proof in which the premise is an evident fact and the methods of proof are beyond question

Depth    See Ultimate

Discipline    See Local disciplines

Dissolution    See Peak. Inevitable outcome of a Peak

Domain    Part of the Universe

Doubt    As used by Descartes doubt is important because it may lead to certainty. Critical doubt has been important in the present development. Doubt remains regarding the proof of the Universal metaphysics which, however, is not and cannot be proven inconsistent

Dual    Used to refer to dual epistemic and metaphysical resolution of problems of knowing and Being; not used in reference to substance metaphysics

Duration    is the part of knowledge or intuition of time that can suffer no distortion. Intuition may suggest that duration is essential to the constitution of Being; Universal metaphysics confirms this intuition

Dynamics of being    See 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

Emergence    See Neutrality. Allowing truth to emerge. Emergence and Neutrality constitute an epistemic dual to the role of Being in metaphysics

Empirical    See Abstraction. Abstraction as suppression of distortable detail is intensely empirical. The point is important in showing that the Universal metaphysics is empirical and thus avoids the usual criticism that metaphysics is not of experience

Epistemology    Study of knowledge and the possibility of knowledge. See Existence

Evident fact    A fact that cannot be rationally doubted. Example: Experience is a given

Evolution    The word ‘evolution’ is often thought to refer to the question of the fact of evolution. However, any complete discussion of evolution concerns, first, the question of the fact and, second, the question of the mechanism or mechanisms of the process of evolution. Simple reason suggests that evolution is far more likely than creation because the latter requires the improbability of a Creator—the probability of a Creator results in the question of the origin of a Creator. Since a Creator should evidently be more complex than what is Created, the likelihood of the Being or origin of a Creator is very small. Evolutionary theory shows that organic origins are not unlikely. This could be interpreted: the organic world is creator of life. This implies that the origin of a creator is not unlikely. However, it is the kind of Creator postulated by ‘creationism’ that is unlikely. Evolution by variation and selection shows that incremental evolution and origin of the species is not unlikely. In the Universe, with its colossal infinity of cosmoses, there is occasional local creation and non-incremental origin. This happens infinitely often but reason suggests that it is of a lower order of infinity than that of incremental evolution

Existence    That which is there. ‘Existence’ can be used in the temporal sense ‘exists now’ or trans-temporal sense ‘exists somewhere and somewhen’ (somewhen is usually implicit in the temporal sense.) A given. What remains in question is the dual epistemic-ontological question What concepts define Objects? This form of the question is instrumental in the answering being a resolution of the dual epistemological and ontological or metaphysical question necessary for the founding of metaphysics. Well known difficulties with the concept of Existence are addressed in the narrative

Experience    Used in the sense of the immediate feeling as of the fragrance of a rose or of awareness of having a thought (and so on.) Also a given. Although immediate, Experience is not necessarily experience of immediate Objects, e.g. as in memory. The word ‘experience’ is also used informally as in ‘this candidate for the job has a wealth of experience’ but this is not the fundamental meaning of the word as used in the narrative

Extension    is the part of knowledge or intuition of space that can suffer no distortion. Extension is essential to the constitution of Being

External world    The Object of Experience. ‘External’ is used metaphorically. It is possible to doubt that Experience has an Object—perhaps Experience is all that there is. The doubt is resolved in the narrative

Faith    The attitude most conducive of Good outcomes. The attitude of the Journey in the presence of doubt

Fiction    The metaphysics shows that the only Fictions are those that violate Logic (this is the flimsiest of all restrictions—in fact it is seen that it is not a restriction on Being but on what concepts correspond to Being)

First cause    An uncaused cause, usually used in relation to the Universe. In scholastic thought, God was the uncaused cause. Universal metaphysics shows that there is and can be no first cause, no God the external creator of the Universe, and no need for such conceptions to ground Being or to found our understanding of it

Fluid-Transformation    See Dynamics of Being. I like this term better because Dynamics of Being sounds mechanistic, scientific in an enterprise in which that kind of science is not the main mode of activity

Form    The idea of a Form is that of a Universal die from which particular kinds of Object are cast; that is of course metaphorical. From the Universal metaphysics the Being of the Form is immanent in the Being of the Object. Thus, in this view, there is a Form labeled ‘Horse.’ The metaphysics makes Form irrelevant. Alternatively, every Object is its own form and we could regard the collection of Objects of a given form as constituting a Form. Then, Form has no limits. The common Forms would be the Forms of the more or less stable Objects

Fundamental principle of metaphysics    The principle that Being has no limits. This is the central and demonstrated result that empowers the Universal metaphysics. Abbr. fundamental principle

General metaphysics    See Special metaphysics. The part of metaphysics that is direct knowledge

Ghost    The metaphysics shows that there are Ghost systems now passing through our cosmos

Given    Anything whose existence cannot be rationally doubted. For example, Experience is given because doubt is Experience (the given-ness of Experience is shown in a more robust way in the narrative)

God    See Creation. There is no all powerful God external or prior to the Universe—or even after it. Use of the term ‘God’ may be prejudicial to truth on account of the limited meanings attached to the term. However, what is true of ‘creative power’ may be regarded as true of God; again, see Creation. Limited and even absurd uses of the term ‘God’ may have symbolic significance. The literal, however, is ultimate; symbolic meaning is a shorthand for the literal and the appeal to the spirit of the individual

Good, The    See Ultimate value

Ground    Founding in Being rather than symbolic abstraction. The Universal metaphysics is grounded. This world is our Ground to the Ultimate

Human Being    Individuals, humankind, and civilization. Source of inspiration

Human Endeavor    A Human Endeavor is any aspect of the Human Enterprise—knowledge, religion, exploration, discovery

Ideas    A phase of any Journey. It is in Ideas that we know and experience something of the way. A source of inspiration. Relative to Being, Ideas as Ideas are a limited form of Realization (the phrase ‘Ideas as Ideas’ signifies the thought that if ‘Idea’ is interpreted with sufficient breadth, the result is Being)

Identity (of Objects and personal identity)    Identity is implicit in Object-hood. Therefore the (philosophical) problem of identity of Objects and persons is an aspect of the problem of Objects. The latter problem received a dual epistemic and resolution in the narrative. We talk of individual identity and the Identity of All Being. The metaphysics shows the Existence of the latter and the necessity of the equivalence or merging of identity with Identity. Intelligent seeking of this merging, which is an unending process, is an aspect of the journey of the narrative

Indeterminism    Process in the future is not determined by the present (what will happen will happen is not the same as what will happen is determined by the present)

Inhabiting abstract Objects    The metaphysics implies that any Being can inhabit or become an abstract

Inspiration    Refers, specifically, to sources of inspiration for this work and its process. Also inspiration in my journey and life. The Inspirations: Being, Nature, Human Being, and Ideas

Interpenetration    Here refers to criticism and construction. There is interaction over content. There is interpenetration when the content is Method and the result includes the four way criticism-criticism (i.e. criticism of criticism,) criticism-construction, construction-criticism, construction-construction

Intuition    I perceive the world in terms that I call ‘space’ and ‘time’ even if I have difficulty explaining what these terms mean and how the percepts are processed in my brain and how they appear in my consciousness. As used here, Intuition refers to the remarkable ability to perceive ordinary Objects in ordinary ways

Intuition    In connection with Method, Intuition in the sense of special insight is essential to the growth of logics and mathematics

Is    Verb to be, therefore a root meaning of Being. Used as definition: A is B; or equivalence: A is B (and B is A;) and to indicate Existence: There is A, or there is an A, or A is

Journey    See Ultimate, Ultimate value. The metaphysics shows that the realizations (see Ultimate value) will occur but it does not explain how or specify a time or manifestation. Reason shows the endeavor to be worthwhile and to be much more probable and enjoyable if approached intelligently and with intent. However, it is also seen that the approach cannot be laid out and must be in the nature of a journey. I came to this conception of the process via analogy with my own life—i.e. the journey of my life was an inspiration for the idea of realization as journey. This inspiration is not proof that realization involves reason, imagination, feeling, experiment and meandering pathway with frequent parallel explorations of which some will be discarded, perhaps to be picked up again later: proof comes from the metaphysics

Lateral    See Reflexivity. Refers to interaction between disciplines, e.g. synthesis or analogy. Includes interaction between construction and criticism

law (lower case)    A law is a pattern (or regularity) that we read into the world

Law    The pattern itself. A Law has Being

Local disciplines    Sciences and other disciplines, modern and traditional, regarding knowledge of our world as the world

Logic    See law, Law and Logos. Defined as the constraints that concepts must satisfy to be capable of reference. Because of the fundamental principle, every Logical concept (i.e. the concept does not violate Logic) has reference in some cosmological system or set of systems. See law and Law. In comparing the realms of logic and science, law in science corresponds to Logic. However, we have seen that Logic concerns only concepts and not the world or Universe as such. Therefore, regarding Law as pattern in science, it corresponds to an empty collection of patterns in Logic or Logos. I.e., the rule of Logic regarding Logos / Universe is empty or nil

Logos    The Object of Logic; the Universe in all its detail; we (probably) do not know Logos directly but we know of it—that it Exists

Mathematical Object    See Abstract Object

Matterfirst order being    See As-if substance, Substance, and Mind. Matter is conceived roughly as ‘Being-in-itself,’ i.e. as first order Being

Meaning    Meaning inheres in the reference or potential reference of a concept to an Object. Without an iconic element, a concept cannot refer. In order to refer, an abstract concept (one whose ‘shape’ is immaterial to conception) must be associated at least implicitly with an iconic element. Linguistic elements are abstract or semi-abstract; this is the source of their efficiency in representation and communication and one source of their incompleteness (especially in relation to abstract systems for common language is supplemented by context.) A concept may be pure icon or combination the iconic and the abstract. Thus, in the general case meaning inheres in relations among linguistic structure, icon, and Object or, stated differently, word, concept and Object. Since the concept is not the Object, even when the concept is another concept or the idea of the concept in general, it is valid to inquire into the meaning of the term ‘iconic’ and its possibility. There must be some ‘resemblance’ or else, as observed above, recognition would not occur. Since we do not apprehend the Object directly, the resemblance is between two icons (e.g. that in immediate Experience and that in memory) rather than between an icon and an Object (Exceptional cases: for perfect Objects there is perfect faithfulness; in some theories of concept-Object or knowing, e.g. phenomenon as Object or concept-Object as continuum rather than polarity, the concept is the Object.) A meaning, perhaps the meaning, is found in some similarity between two Experiences—e.g. a mountain is like a pyramid or like a picture of it or like my recollection of it. Except in the case of perfect Objects, the iconic side of concepts have some degree of abstraction and the non-iconic side may acquire an iconic element either by combining signs (e.g. via grammar) or by association. Note that in this item ‘abstract’ is not used in the sense of the entry for Abstraction

Metaphysic of Experience    See Universal metaphysics, Applied metaphysics, Abstraction, and Perfect Objects. A metaphysic of Experience could have two meanings: first, inference from experience to the nature of the world, second building up a picture of the world of Experience. The Universal metaphysics and parts of Applied metaphysics are simultaneously metaphysics and metaphysic of experience in both senses; the foregoing is pure metaphysics. The remainder is not metaphysics except from a value perspective or from a perspective in which we are satisfied with faithfulness that concerns the entire system of knowing according to criteria that are implicit and ‘good enough’

Metaphysical system    Any metaphysical system. However, the term is here used in the special sense of a metaphysical system whose foundation is in givens, evident facts, and transparent methods of proof. There can be at most one metaphysical system for the Universe but it may have different forms and be developed to different levels of detail. This metaphysical system can be developed in specialized Patches

Metaphysics    See Universal metaphysics. One conception: The study of the limits of Being. A more fundamental conception: the study of Being-as-it-is. Often thought, since Hume and Kant to be impossible. Abandoned in much recent Continental Thought as a result of the European Crises of the twentieth century (Two Wars, Holocaust, Nuclear Proliferation, failure of Marxism which draws from Hegelianism.) Here shown to be very possible. The possibility is not in principle but shown by development of the Universal metaphysics (see Metaphysical system.) Since the Universal metaphysics is simultaneously metaphysics-as-such and metaphysics-of-Experience, there is no disagreement with the traditions stemming from Hume and Kant. There is no contradiction with the logic of the recent Continental Tradition, e.g. as expressed in Nihilism and Post-Modernism, but there is perhaps some friction with the recent values of the Continental Tradition

Metaphysics, The    See Universal metaphysics

Mindsecond order being    See As-if substance, Substance, and Matter. Mind is conceived as second order Being, i.e. the impression in one Being of another. It is not clear that matter / mind is more than approximate distinction. Thinking in terms of theory of Objects there may be a first / second order duality (not dualism.) If extension and mind are the first two terms, there is no continuation of the series as suggested by Spinoza regarding attributes. There is however an infinity of as-if substances

Minimal system    Refers to a minimal system of experiments that might cover the range necessary for ‘Universal realization’

Mystic insight    Direct apprehension of truth. Universal metaphysics shows that truth can be known rationally. Properly followed, though, reason without force is a kind of direct apprehension. In Mystic insight, however, there may be Union with truth. Mystic insight is (therefore) a kind of Yoga. Yoga involves body and therefore emotion and feeling. Mystic insight clearly involves emotion and therefore, at least by implication, body as well. Yoga has a rational side and a philosophical ground in Samkhya. I know no reason that reason, Yoga, and mystic insight or apprehension should not be yoked. This indeed follows separately from the essential integration of emotion and cognition at all levels (though in different ways and to differing degrees)

Name    The existence of a given is not demonstrated by proof but by pointing to it (this is sometimes called ostensive definition;) then, the given may be named

Nature    The world of nature, the wild. The world unmodified by humankind. Humankind also a part of nature. There is perhaps no perfect definition of nature but perhaps no need for such a definition. Landform, water, sky, plant and animal. Source of inspiration

Neutrality    See Emergence. An aspect of approach to knowledge that allows truth to emerge rather than be forced. For example, by not positing (forcing) substance, a non-substance metaphysics may emerge that does not require infinite regress. The role is similar to that of doubt but is perhaps reflexive in that it encourages doubt of doubt, criticism of criticism but also of interaction of creation with doubt and criticism

Non-relative metaphysics    One that has foundation at a finite ‘depth.’ Demonstration of the Universal metaphysics disproves a common belief that a metaphysics with foundation, i.e. a non-relative metaphysics, must be founded in posited substance (it seems to me that while this is normally stated in terms of substance, it is implicit that any substance in question is posited)

Normal    The Universal metaphysics requires infinite variety. Since the occurrence of relatively stable local cosmoses from the Void requires the occurrence of states of near symmetry / relative stability which, regardless of mechanism, is likely to be manifest in local entities. Behavior under the conditions of near symmetry is termed Normal. Locally, deviations from Normal is so rare as to be as-if impossible. Relative to the Universe, deviations is the necessary norm (but the term ‘deviation’ hardly applies since the local is infinitesimal on the Universal scale)

Ontology    Study of kinds of things that Exist or can Exist. See Existence

Particular Object    A concrete Object is a ‘real world’ Object such as a brick. A particular Object is an (apparent) generalization that admits process and interaction as Objects. From the metaphysics it follows that distinctions among thing, process, and interaction are not essential

Patch    1. A patch of local space and time. 2. More generally, any coherent aspect of a system of understanding such as a metaphysical system

Peak    of realization. There is no end to ‘peaking’ either vertically (degrees of integration) or laterally (variety)

Perfect Object    See Abstraction

Phases    Of the Journey

Philosophy    See Metaphysics. One conception: The study whose limits are the limits of Being. At least some analytic philosophers and some continental thinkers will take issue with this idea

Practical Object    We do not know the common Objects of the world with perfection. However, via adaptation they are known well enough (for some purposes) and the meaning of Object is adequate (for some purposes) even though it may be implicit

Possibility    See Actual, The. Relative to a context a state of affairs is possible if in obtaining the constitution of the context would not be violated. Thus the occurrence of the possible may change the facts of the context but not its essence or constitution or definition. Clearly, the Actual is possible. The narrative mentions physical, logical, and practical possibility; and possibility relative to the Universe. Relative to the Universe, the Actual and the possible are identical

Process    Changing associated with passing time. See Duration

Property    The redness of a particular thing is a particular Object but redness itself is abstract (in the narrative it is seen that the particularity may be re-interpreted as abstract and vice-versa)

Psychic depth    Deep level of Being in Awareness

Pure metaphysics    See Metaphysic of Experience. The part of metaphysics that involves perfect knowledge of a perfect Object. When metaphysics is regarded as explicit knowledge, only pure metaphysics is metaphysics. Imperfect knowledge may however be regarded as metaphysics from a value or ‘good enough’ perspective. The alternative perspective is definitely valuable and, even though desired outcomes are not guaranteed there may be no better alternative (including refraining from the use of imperfect knowledge) and, sometimes, the outcome may turn out to be even better in various ways than the originally desired outcome. It is of course important to not confuse the pure and the ‘good enough’ epistemic perspectives and to not confuse the epistemic and the value perspectives

Realization    Realization of the Ultimate requires Transformation of Being and Identity

Recurrence    The metaphysics confirms the idea of eternal recurrence but much more; there are identical as well as variant themes; and each atom is a cosmos, every cosmos an atom

Reflexivity    The intelligent selection and interaction of a variety of experience and knowledge as an aspect of Method in which criticism is essential but, for various reasons, never entirely separate from construction (except in special contexts.) An essential reason for this is that criticism itself is never complete and its development requires creation. Also, while recognizing that creation may be stunted by criticism because the way to mature ideas is through tentative ideas, creation is enhanced by judicious use of criticism at explicit and intuitive levels. While reflexivity excludes nothing from the knowledge process, it also implies a critical attitude toward but does not require the elimination of ‘anything goes’

Relative metaphysics    One that has no foundation, perhaps because every tentative foundation refers to another (tentative) foundation—and therefore the chain of reference is either endless or circular

Relative    See Absolute. If space and time are part of the constitution of Being and have no independent Existence they are relative. Universal metaphysics shows space and time must be relative. The word ‘relational’ is sometimes used instead of ‘relative.’ Locally, time and space may be as-if absolute

Religion    See Ultimate, Ultimate value. The metaphysics reveals our conceptions of religion—and science—to be enormously limited and distinctions between science and religion based in such limited conceptions. If Religion and Secular Knowledge are about truth, they cannot be distinct. Religion may be conceived as the exploration of the Universe in all its dimensions by a Being or Group using all dimensions of their Being. In this narrative, over-prescription of ethics has been avoided. It has been suggested that realization of Identity is an Ultimate value. In contrast to some systems, Universal metaphysics reveals that such realization is an eternal process of realization and dissolution. One reason that this is good is that beauty is never at an end, Being remains ever fresh even in a Peak of realization and its wake (this is literal; it may be taken as allegorically referring to ‘this’ life; the allegorical meaning requires a supplement, which may be internal and / or external, to see and experience this freshness.) Experience of the Ultimate in the local is therefore also good because it is being on the way. I have shared some aspects of my way but recall that I am a traveler and not a teacher. The traditions have many ways. I like the Bhagavad-Gita; it has ways for different kinds of person and different situations. However, there is much that appeals to me in other faiths. I have acquaintances who argue the merit or demerit of this or that religion. I do not see the religions—the widespread religions and the local practices and myths of isolated or semi-isolated peoples—as monoliths. In not seeing religion as monolithic the arguments this religion is better or religion is a source of evil lose meaning. A church may pronounce that certain articles are to be held literally. The flowing interpretation of religion yields this rather meaningless (and even in literal interpretation there are and will be other significances to scripture.) Experience of the Ultimate in the local is not good only because it is on the way. It is, in some way, the best we have in the present. The ethical life is dually Being in and on the way to. Whether I have one life or an infinite number (talking in terms in which one / infinite is seen as distinct) I want every life to be good, to be in The Good

Science    A history of the idea of scientific method goes through the following stages of foundation of science: Induction as necessary, Theory as mere hypothesis if regarded as Universal, Theory as local fact, Theory as having probable extension beyond its known domain, and, from the metaphysics, No Universal Science except perhaps via Participation and Immersion

Secular Humanism    Default worldview of modern educated, non-fundamentalist persons—especially in western Europe. Cultivates human value as central in importance but typically sees the world as seen in science though not necessarily reducible to scientific terms of explanation—allows for spirit as allegory or metaphor. Exploring the meaning of and living a ‘good / rewarding life’ is a fundamental value

Space    Extension with degrees of structure and measure

Space-time    Universal metaphysics suggests that in having common origin, space and time are interwoven. An obvious source of this suggestion is Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation (General Relativity.) Can the thought be intuited directly from the metaphysics? Perhaps. The metaphysics requires that the Universe occasionally be in the Void phase from which will emerge another phase of manifest Being. The emergence will be one with Extension (else no Being) and will occur in Duration (else no change from the Void.) Extension and Duration are, therefore, coeval which suggests original interaction or interwoven-ness. There are refinements of this argument in the narrative. Einstein’s argument regarding coordination of time or space over distances required the intervention of Being (matter) whose (signal) constitution is interweaves space and time (propagation.) I leave the argument in this weak state awaiting sharpening (except, refer to the narrative for some sharpening)

Special metaphysics    See General metaphysics. The part of metaphysics that is deduced from direct knowledge; what we know of

Speculation    See Empirical. Mere Speculation is another criticism leveled at some systems presented as metaphysics. The criticism does not mean that imagination should not be used; imagination, e.g. concept creation, is essential for any process of understanding in new terms which is required for that which has not been conceived before. It means that what has been imagined may have been argued, and there may be other good grounds for it but it has not been demonstrated. Speculation as imagination but not as authority leads is reliable when followed by demonstration. The present metaphysics is demonstrated

Substance    See Void, Matter, and Mind. Hypothetical simple, uniform, unchanging stuff that results in the world as it is (see the narrative for a brief history of alternatives to ‘stuff.’) Alternately, the substance of an Object is the Object itself rather than the Object in terms of properties. The Universal metaphysics is not a substance metaphysics: it is shown shows that there is no need for either kind of substance and that there can be no uniform, unchanging stuff of the Universe. There are however infinitely many local as-if substances—a local cosmos may have one or more (if more than one, to constitute a cosmos there would have to be weak interaction which is not possible for pure substance but is possible for as-if substances; however such as-if substances are more like different kinds of matter—or kinds of mind—rather than matter and mind)

The Good    See Ultimate value

The Metaphysics    See Universal metaphysics

Time    Duration with degrees of uniqueness and measure

Traditions    See Local disciplines

Transformation of Being and Identity    See Fluid-Transformation, see Journey, see Ultimate value. The second primary phase of my journey. The greatest phase. The way to Universal realization in a shared journey

Trans-temporal    An Object to whose constitution time or duration is immaterial. A mode of description in which time or duration may be and is abstracted out

Trivial    Here used in the sense of something, e.g. an assertion whose truth is obvious or a concept that is apparently without depth. However, the obviousness may be apparent only after the truth is pointed out and the lack of depth may be merely apparent. That an idea appears to be trivial does not imply that it is unimportant. The idea of Being is simultaneously trivial, deep, and profound

Ultimate in the local    See Ultimate, Ultimate value, Journey, Religion, Yoga

Ultimate value    The narrative suggests that the search for actual Identity of identities is an ultimate value. A local counterpart to this ultimate is realization of knowledge of the ultimate Identity. As suggested by Bhagavad-Gita, there is a variety of approaches and modes of realization. The Gita also asserts that the local is the way to if not also the ultimate. Universal metaphysics confirms this

Ultimate    A metaphysics is ultimate with regard to depth if it has foundation at finite depth but the foundation is secure rather than in posited substance. It is ultimate with regard to breadth if All Being lies within its scope. The Universal metaphysics is explicitly ultimate in depth and implicitly ultimate in breadth. It also shows that the Extension, Duration and variety of Being in the Universe has no limit

Unending    The metaphysics shows that realization has no end; there are peaks and dissolutions without end and without end to their variety; thus realization is an unending adventure; pain, however, is not avoided

Unified theory particular and abstract Objects    See Abstract Object

Unity of consciousness    We typically experience our consciousness as a unit; this may be ‘explained’ via adaptation; we may experience kinds and degrees of fragmentation; some fragmentation may be adaptive (restructuring ideas) other fragmentation may be breakdown; the boundary between the functional and the dysfunctional is likely porous

Unity of identity    The idea that all identities meet in Identity. The metaphysics shows this to be necessary

Unity of particular Objects    See Identity

Universal metaphysics, The    The metaphysics whose main concepts include Being, Universe, Domain, Void, and Logic and whose main result is the fundamental principle. The one and only metaphysics (any other valid ‘metaphysics’ is an alternate or partial expression.) Abbr. The metaphysics

Universal    Space and time are Universal if they are present (as a single continuum or discretum) in the entire Universe

Universe    All that Exists; All Being. Used particularly to mean All that exists, existed, or will exist. Used in this sense, there is one and only one Universe

Value    As a tendency to behavior and choice, a value is an Object

Variety    See Ultimate

Vertical    See Reflexivity. The criticism of criticism may be seen as vertical. Includes ‘thinking outside the box.’ Includes stepping back and questioning a whole approach, or stepping away to allow unconscious play. Includes deploying resources reflectively and therefore perhaps more effectively—personal and institutional

Void    Absence of Being

Yoga    Sanskrit for yoke. Ways to Union with Ultimate Being. The narrative describes some aspects of Jnâna and Rāja Yoga

How to train your dragon

I thought I might write a section on creating your journey. I do not assume that your journey will be a private one. Your way may be individual and / or shared107

You can set out to recreate my journey—I would not be flattered because it would mean that I have not written well: the point to your journey is your Being, your experience. To constitute experience, the journey will be your own. However, I have learned by repeating what others have done or written. The process of making another’s experience and thought one’s own is an education in independent work. And it may be useful if some other persons would continue my strain of thought and journey

Perhaps what may be most useful here is a recounting of what has made my experience possible, what has enhanced it. At present I specify no particular ‘ways’

When I was eleven I was expected to make up my mind on a career. There was no career that had exclusive and commanding appeal. I knew something of what I wanted but it was not a career and I did not have a name for it—today, however, I might call it ‘relationship with Being’ and ‘adventure in Being.’ I have had many pursuits. However, whatever I have done, if not directed toward ‘Being’ has had that idea in the background and whatever I have fully enjoyed and whose retrospect I continue to fully enjoy bears the stamp of the adventure. I now recognize that I have cultivated the project even when I did not know precisely for what it was that I was looking

Perhaps I might have benefited from a personal teacher or what in India is called a ‘guru.’ I have had no guru like figure in relation to Journey in Being. If I had had such a guru, my ‘journey’ may have been a path or a road; it may have been more direct. However, it might lack its broad base in many disciplines and its careful inner foundation. I am not at all against the idea of the teacher. I have encountered wise words and suggestions in many writings. A favorite is the Work out your salvation with diligence attributed to Gautama Buddha. It would be a caricature to think that I wake up every morning afresh and bursting with energy to workout my salvation. However, the feeling of mission, of purpose and of working toward the goal—which includes refinement and evolving understanding of the goals—is ever present. The sense of mission requires that my journey cannot be forced; it must be true; and that takes time and patience and of course effort with care but also with a degree of abandon. Work out my life with care—this also includes asking what this working out is or means. Even if it were the only enjoyment, dogged pursuit would be destructive. There are enjoyments of the moment and some of these enjoyments have no obvious or obviously intended place in a journey. Often, occupations and enjoyments with no clear place in the journey have later been significant, even essential. And it becomes necessary at times to step away from an endeavor and ask what, why, and how?

I have written of the inspiration of nature. I do not argue that this is (the best) inspiration for all. It has been said that the prime place of intellect in the West is the city; in India there is a tradition of the forest sage. I am not making a case that one is better. Western knowledge tends to the practical. India’s thinkers, especially the forest seekers, focused on experience and Human Condition. I have found the ‘forest’ to be inspiration but more. In my experience it is a place of essential meaning and connection to Meaning108

I have cultivated breadth and depth of experience and learning. In the beginning I accepted the ideas and meanings of others (one cannot truly espouse or truly rebel regarding what one does not understand.) Education, self and formal, includes learning the process of discovery and one approach is the absorption of the ideas and experience of others. This is important because (a) one becomes immersed in culture and need not recreate what is already known (b) one is then ready to work on the boundary between the known ideas and world and the unknown. In the shadow region, meanings are not given and one is simultaneously searching in Being and Meaning. One is but need not be hesitant to make one’s own linguistic meanings which may, in the beginning, be a halting affair. The idea that there is an authority on meaning and grammatical form has its main validity in a definite context (grammatical form owes to metaphysics as well as to local choice.) Once outside the context a give and take is required between the fixed and the fluid (of course our common culture is itself a context that has both stability and fluidity)

‘Method’ is discussed throughout the narrative. The main discussions are in the following sections. For (experiments in) Transformation of Being and Identity—Section A Journey in Being, specifically a discussion labeled Method. For ideas—Section Method in metaphysics, philosophy, and logic and Section Science and scientific method


Notes

1 Capitalization, Definitions, Links, and Abbreviations. In this work non-standard Capitalization generally signifies a term used with a specific meaning. Definitions are found in the Preview, Demonstration and the Glossary. Except the table of contents and footnotes, Names or Links that are internal to this web page are italicized while external links are regular blue font. Footnote references are written in superscript form24. In the Internet version of this document it has been found convenient to repeat some footnotes rather than to refer back to a previous footnote. f8 is a reference to footnote 8

2 The concept of metaphysics in this narrative is, roughly, knowledge of things as they are. In this work, interest is in all things—i.e. the Universe. The history of thought from the Greek philosophers to today raises many concerns about the nature and possibility of metaphysics—Metaphysics: its nature and possibility, elaborates and responds to the concerns. The highway of metaphysical thought is littered with dead even if fruitful metaphysical systems—especially the grand speculative systems of nineteenth century European philosophy. It will be seen that the present metaphysics is not just another speculative system

This metaphysics is shown to be ultimate in the following ways. First, it is demonstrated—this eliminates problems of foundation. Second it is demonstrated in terms of Being and since it employs a concept of Being as that which exists, all things must fall under it. Third, it shows that Being has no limits and, particularly, that the variety of Being is without limit

3 Title for this special private circulation

4 Visit the Journey in Being site http://www.horizons-2000.org for detailed information. The essay links are in the right column of the home page for the site. A significantly longer version of this work, Journey in Being - 2010 - recent - detailed, contains details topics here omitted or brief. The Archive has links to recent and old essays and supplements

5 In this use passion includes a range of connotation. There is a tendency to think of passion as strong emotion and emotion as in and of itself. Passion is emotion but it is emotion that connects, is dedicated, and is informed by reflection. The most obvious sense is that of a connection of wonder to the world and knowing the world. What might be experienced as sacrifice is transformed by passion to engaged commitment. It makes the idea of external reward, not irrelevant, but properly relevant: one appreciates appreciation as recognition by another without depending on it. Even under passion a labor may occasionally feel laborious. Commitment then sustains, transforms, and guides work. There are people who feel that there are places where reason and rationality have no application or applicability; and there are those who hold that emotion pollutes Apollonic reason. I hold that healthy reason and healthy emotion are dual and invariably have application. Consider love which is sometimes thought of as the domain of pure emotion. Two persons love one another but it is not working well; perhaps there is an emotional mismatch: reason may suggest a way out but of course it would not be reason with an iron fist; it would be a reason that recognizes that reason itself may or may not work. Some write on love; we think that there is no authority on love but perhaps that an individual with experience and imagination may suggest ways and enhancements regarding love; and we may also reason that life-goes-on and in end we live-it-as-it-is even as we put some degree of reflection into the mix. Now consider the idea of pure reason. I think that there is no such thing. Passion suggests a place to apply reason, the application of reason informs us whether a particular line of reason is working… but without emotion we would be computers that process nothing unless programmed by an external programmer. Then in the individual day to day working of life, emotion and reason are in continual interaction: emotion binds, reason shows a way where emotion alone meets a block. Properly done and properly understood reason and feeling are intimate allies and the absence of either is problematic: without emotional binding one is autistic, without reason one may never go beyond infantile emotion; the combination is necessary for genius and human culture

6 Here, intuition used to refer to what may be sensed but not explicitly seen. Later it is used in a philosophical sense in which Intuition the remarkable ability to perceive common Objects in common ways, e.g. in terms of cause, space and time. That such perception requires complex neural processing at a level below consciousness is part of what makes it remarkable

7 Called ‘standards’ in India

8 The chemistry teacher was adequate but I preferred to read chemistry books of my choosing while he lectured… My high school results in chemistry were the best till that time (1963.) I became an excellent student—on graduation I was awarded the prize for highest performance and in the competitive entrance exam to the Indian Institutes of Technology I placed in the top 0.1%

9 Adventures of Ideas, published in 1933, is the title of a book by Alfred North Whitehead who lived from 1861 to 1947. This book was useful to me in sharpening my conception of law after the concept had been used in the development of the metaphysics

10 Evolution in Action, 1953, Julian Huxley (1887-1975)

11 St. Xavier’s High School, Hazaribagh, Bihar, India

12 In What Evolution Is, 2001, Ernst Mayr, 1904-2005, provides a robust defense of the components of the theory of evolution. The book targets non-specialists. Mayr discusses positive arguments for evolution but does not discuss arguments against evolution because, as he says, there are many authors who do and Mayr provides references. In Toward a New Philosophy of Biology, 1988, Mayr provides philosophical foundations for evolutionary ideas. Mayr was one of the creators of the new synthesis of evolutionary biology and is commonly regarded as one of the great biologists of the twentieth century. For further discussion see Notes on the theory of evolution

13 The word ‘spiritual’ has so many connotations that I hesitate to use it. If all Being is interconnected spirituality, I think, must have something to do with relationship to all Being including hidden and shadow aspects of oneself. The metaphysics that I develop later confirms this. This meaning of the spiritual is close to what I mean by Religion in an ideal sense. There are many ways of spirituality. Which way shall one choose? I am a traveler and therefore do not recommend. Nature is significant to me as are ideas—understanding and poetry—and people. Later, I share some aspects of what I have found catalytic

14 ‘Being’ has many uses and shades of meaning, some religious, some metaphysical, and others mundane. The present meaning of Being will emerge with reflection

16 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

17 Karl Popper, 1902-1994, had the greatest influence. I felt sympathy with his Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1959 (German edition Logic der Forschung, 1934.) I had had evolutionary ideas regarding knowledge and its process and acceptance. The philosophy of an era is influenced by the science of that time (or recent time)

18 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

19 It is natural that a Plato should have sought the absolute in the ideal as contrast to the physical substance theories of the Pre-Socratic thinkers. It is perhaps natural that the age of reason should substitute epistemic or ideal elements and that analytic thought should substitute linguistic elements as paradigms of Being. It is similarly natural that modern cognitivism, one of whose sources is computation, should substitute computational elements and, consequently, to see mind as inhabiting any system that is functionally equivalent to an actual mind (a possible error of such functionalism is that although we may describe a system of beer cans as functionally equivalent to a brain, it does not follow that functional equivalence of beer-cans-in-a-beer-can-brain to neurons-in-an-animal-brain is realizable)

20 Whiteheadf9 attributes to the Greek philosopher Plato, 428/427-348/327 BC, the following quote ‘and I hold that the definition of being is simply power;’ in Sophist, 247, The Collected Dialogues of Plato, Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns editors, 1961, has the following words ‘I am proposing as a mark to distinguish real things that they are nothing but power’

21 Metaphysics, Book A, by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, 384-322 BC

22 Sein und Zeit, 1927, by Martin Heidegger, 1889-1976; translated into English as Being and Time, 1962, by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson; re-translated, 1996, by Joan Stambaugh. Condemned for his involvement in the National Socialism (Nazi) Party and controversial for his philosophy, Heidegger is regarded as one of the most influential twentieth century European (continental) philosophers

24 Gravitational field energy can be negative—i.e. if zero when all particles have infinite separation. It follows that creation of a cosmos from nothing does not necessarily violate the principle of conservation of energy

25 The ‘horizontal figure eight,’ ¥, is a symbol for infinity

26 The source of the insights remains incompletely clear to me—i.e., it was not the result of clearly linear or explicit thought. Perhaps it was ‘random,’ perhaps I intuited that it would provide the desired result, and perhaps it was part random, part intuition. The following speculation is interesting. Consider a region of the world that is occupied by matter and has an effective space, time grid. We think: that region is not a vacuum. But we can also think: it is a vacuum or Void and or plus the matter and space, time grid. The latter, though speculative at this point in the narrative, will be seen to be real in terms of the metaphysics developed later

27 It is held to be impossible because it is held that it cannot be known in Experience. While the insights regarding law, Void, and Universe provide the key ideas in the development, it must and shall also be shown that the root concepts of the metaphysics are known in Experience

28 The elements of every earlier paradigm entertained and left behind became parts of a large and useful toolkit of ideas to be used in imaginative understanding and explanation (to be subject, of course, to critical treatment)

29 What is new here is (1) The demonstration that Being has no limits (2) The method of demonstration whose further development opens up significant considerations regarding Logic and method (3) The confidence from and tools of the demonstration that result in elaboration of the metaphysics and the immense wealth of application that follows. The idea that Being has no limits has occurred in the past and been presented as plausible or to justify some other conclusion. However, lacking proof, the idea lacks intrinsic power as well as power of conviction; even the meaning of the idea is not clear without proof; and it is the proof that makes possible the variant forms

In The Great Chain of Being, 1936, A.O. Lovejoy, traced the ‘principle of plenitude, back to Aristotle. According to this principle Whatever can happen will happen. This idea is clearly related to the idea that Being has no limits but the meaning of ‘can happen’ is not clear and it is only proof, I think, that can give it clarity and definiteness and power. It is proof as presented in this narrative that is transformative of metaphysics from creative opinion to definite and powerful metaphysics to which application of the term knowledge, in Plato’s sense as contrasted to opinion, is justified. Certainly, the power of the principle as manifest in the literature appears to be infinitesimal in relation to the power of the present development. My sources of the fundamental principle of metaphysics have been my own reflection as chronicled above. Common motives to some form of the principle have been theological (St. Anselm’s ontological proof of the existence of God used the implication of the principle that nature will become as complete as it can) and moral (in Théodicée, 1710, Leibniz (see f94) argued that the best of all possible worlds will contain all possibilities.) Although Leibniz lived after the Scholastic Era, in theology his thought is Scholastic in style in which the fact that a principle is premise for a proof of some theological or moral principle is regarded as a good argument for the principle. Today, of course, we do not accept such arguments as arguments but may recognize them as sources of insight. In 2000 AD, I was unaware of the uses of the fundamental principle and had arrived at a motivation for it: I asked myself What is the greatest thing I can be or that any individual can be? I saw that the greatest conceivable answer to this question would be true if the fundamental principle were true. That I did not have courage of conviction (from lack of conviction rather than lack of courage) required that I search for proof and the story of that search is recounted in the early sections of Journey. Lack of conviction of the Scholastic Style, then, was instrumental in proof and the immense empowerment that followed; and in this though not in all things I am a ‘child of an era of reason’

30 Extension and Duration are capitalized because they are used in the sense of spatial and temporal difference but without the detail of description that would permit knowledge of them to have distortion. The word extension, without capitalization, will refer to linguistic extension defined later

31 In terms introduced later, absurdity and error—factual or logical—are associated with (mind-like) second order Being but not with (matter-like) first order Being

32 Capitalized to distinguish it from what is called logic

33 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

34 In this sentence, ‘is’ is used trans-temporally. The idea of eternal recurrence is found in Indian philosophy, ancient Egypt, writing of the Pythagoreans and Stoics and of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900. I have found Nietzsche’s writing to be an excellent combination of insight in to human being and critical thought. It is true that he was given to excess in judgment. I think his reputation as anti-Semitic is due uses of his writing after his death rather than what he actually wrote (he used the idea of over-man or übermensch and not ‘superman’ in reference to self overcoming rather than being superior to others.) Nietzsche was angered by the anti-Semitism of his time. It is true, unfortunately (since I admire much in Nietzsche,) that his writing reveals an anti-female bias (probably with some base in his failure in love—we can forgive but not excuse)

35 ‘Common sense’ is a vague term so to clarify I use the term reflective common sense or common sense that is imaginative and self-critical. The word ‘science’ is sometimes used as a mantra and I should perhaps add that by science I mean reflective science. Simple reflection reveals that reflective ‘anything’ should be empirical and critical where to be critical is to attempt to ensure that all relevant criteria are met. Such criteria may include internal coherence, agreement with past and present experience and prediction of future events

36 Immanuel Kant, 1724-1804. In his Critique of Pure Reason, 1781. See On intuition in metaphysics

37 In The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise, 2004, which I read in 2009 and which today sits on my coffee table and frequently finds itself in the dark of my backpack, Ian Baker writes of an inner-outer connection of psyche and place. Here is one avenue…

38 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

39 Lateral in terms of variety, and ‘Vertical’ in terms of Identity and Integration

40 See http://www.horizons-2000.org for greater detail online that I thought to omit here and report in a second volume or supplement upon significant development; f4 has additional information

41 Here are some central ideas: Understanding, value, involvement, transformation of and via civilization, destiny, social world

42 Developed as the topics Pure Being and History in longer online versions of the narrative—see http://www.horizons-2000.org for details online; f4 has additional information

43 Ludwig Wittgenstein,1889-1951f45

44 I take it that the aim of religion is living in andor realization of truth at a high level—and relations to everyday life. Realization is a process so ‘higher’ and ‘highest’ are implicit in ‘high’ whose meaning is part of religious discovery. Discussion continues in Religion and its practice

45 In ‘shown’ versus ‘said’ I am using the terms of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus-Logico Philosophicus first published in German in 1921 and later translated into English by C. K. Ogden, 1922, and again by David Pears and Brian McGuinness in 1961. Here, I acknowledge Wittgenstein’s words but am not particularly appealing to his ideas (even though there may be overlap between his thoughts and what is being said here.) What I mean by ‘shown rather than said’ is that the endless variety of positive and negative Being must be (and will be lived and may be lived well but cannot be lived without pain) and cannot be written down except in very broad and outline terms

46 Two problems of the concept of Existence takes a new approach to resolution of well known issues

47 If you hold that not all language elements ‘refer’ you may regard extension as the range of use. I think that provided that the idea of the Object is interpreted with sufficient generality, all valid linguistic elements have reference (or, in a limited or sub-metaphysical context, the possibility of reference.) For further discussion, refer to the discussion of Objects in Issues of classical and modern metaphysics

48 In Experience and the External world the ‘reality of the world’ is demonstrated. Although this demonstration may be desirable, it is not necessary to demonstrate the richness of Experience for that is already in Experience even if all is illusion

49 This is why systems of mathematics may begin with undefined terms, unproved axioms, and rules of proof that are not entirely proved. Although a mathematical system may lack proof, it may have interpretation in terms of another system and it may be possible in some cases to demonstrate consistency. However, proof is not the only road to truth. We have seen that the metaphysics of this narrative has foundation in the given

50 There is Experience and Experience is (an aspect of) Being. This parallels Descartes’ thought below

51 René Descartes, 1596-1650, at the end of a process of doubt, asserted ‘I think therefore I am’ (‘Cogito ergo sum’) is one place to begin a discussion of Existence and the idea of an External world. Another place is the thought of the Indian philosopher Adi Samkara, c. 788 to 821 CE/AD, in his commentaries formulating the doctrines of Advaita Vedanta. Discussion is taken up in Experience and the External world

52 Error in the sense of the erroneous assertion of a fact may be possible only for a mind that is capable of having factual knowledge. If we think of the effect in one element of Being due to a second as ‘knowledge’ in the first element of the second, then it is clear that it is not given that such faithfulness is meaningful for knowledge. What is required to supplement such primitive knowledge so that error has meaning? A preliminary thought is that it is the freedom to form a concept, to make a hypothesis. When a predator sees prey, there is the possibility that the perception is in error because even though the forming of images is neither conscious nor volitional there is a degree of freedom in the formation of the images

53 A default though often tacit modern view is to equate Universe to the physical or empirical universe. I find that even writers who assert that ‘the universe is all that exists’ often revert to the tacit view in other parts of their writing. The word ‘the’ in the phrase ‘the empirically known universe’ suggests definiteness where we do not know that there is definiteness. No criticism is intended; however, it is important in metaphysics that we should not revert explicitly or tacitly to any notion of universe other that all Being. Observational astronomy joined to theoretical physics suggest a universe around 13 billion years old and a similar number of light years across though perhaps more on account of expansion of space itself which is not subject to the limit of the speed of light. Some physicists have suggested that there may be many more such universes and the term ‘multiverse’ is sometimes used. As far as I know there is no empirical evidence of multiverses but one motive to the idea is to explain the special properties of our cosmos which, if it is the only cosmos, constitute a remarkable coincidence. There is precisely no necessary reason to believe that our cosmos or even a multiverse of similar cosmoses define the extent of the Universe. The phrases ‘parallel universe,’ ‘multiple universes,’ ‘another universe,’ ‘many universes,’ and even ‘universe of discourse’ have come into common use; they employ a meaning of the word ‘universe’ that is different from the ‘Universe’ of this work. The philosopher Johannes Scotus Eriugena, about 815 to about 877 CE / AD, conceived the Universe as everything that exists and everything that does not exist. He used ‘exists’ in the atemporal sense. It follows from the metaphysics that his definition of ‘Universe’ and the present conception refer to the same Object

54 The foundation of the metaphysics was earlier seen to lie in Experience. This now becomes apparent

55 The term ‘as if’ is used a number of times in the narrative. The general use is as follows. There are a various questions that are generally regarded as having at least some degree of openness. Is there a God? A supremely powerful God, a God the Creator? Are there substances—mind or matter and so on that are the constitution of the world? Are space and time relative or absolute? Even such questions have been regarded as open, the Universal metaphysics determines a definite answer. In a given cosmos, however, (1) The remainder of the Universe may have an effect on the cosmos that is contrary to what obtains in the Universe as a whole and (2) Inhabitants may have not detected a universe outside their cosmos or an effect from the distant universe. It may therefore seem to the inhabitants that there is a universal behavior that is contrary to the true Universal

The German philosopher, Hans Vaihinger, 1852-1933, developed a philosophy of ‘as if’ in Philosophie des Als Ob (Philosophy of As If), 1911 (written more than thirty years earlier.) He argued that we cannot know the reality of the world and so construct thought which we assume matches and may seem to match reality and we think and behave as if our models of thought match the world. The similarity the present reflections on ‘as if’ are clear. An important difference is that in the present case we can know the underlying reality by one approach, the Universal metaphysics, but do not know it (yet) via our sciences and everyday experience

56 There are other uses of these terms

57 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

58 René Descartes, 1596 to 1650, at the end of a process of doubt, asserted ‘I think therefore I am’ (‘Cogito ergo sum.’) The phrase ‘Cogito ergo sum’ appears in Descartes’ Discourse on Method, 1637. In the ‘therefore’ or ‘ergo’ of the quote Descartes did not intend to appeal to inference but meant that thinking is necessarily a mark of Being. In the later Meditations on First Philosophy, 1641, Descartes wrote ‘that the proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind.’ It has been pointed out that Descartes assumed that the thought is possessed by an ‘I.’ While this criticism may be true, Descartes’ formulation it is easily modified to ‘Experience is an essential given or necessary mark of Being’ and we owe some debt to Descartes for this thought and for the use of doubt. Descartes is commonly regarded as a dualist—perhaps as the original mind-body dualist of Western Philosophy. However, in I am, I exist he can be seen as a rock of monism

59 Adi Samkara, about 788 to 821 CE/AD, describes Experience as the essential given in the opening paragraphs of some commentaries formulating the doctrines of Advaita Vedanta (questions of authorship remain incompletely established)

60 Computer generated imagery

61 Philosophical Investigations, published in 1953, after Wittgenstein’s death by translation by G.E.M. Anscombe from the unfinished manuscript

62 A note on analytic and continental philosophy and modern attitudes toward metaphysics may help avoid potential confusion regarding the concept of intuition in philosophy

63 The system categories as space, time, and cause was an extraction from a 12-fold system of Kant due to the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, in Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, published in 1818, and translated to English as The World As Will and Idea,, by R. B. Haldane and J. Kemp, 1883-1886, and, again, as The world as will and representation, E.F.J. Payne, 1958. Schopenhauer’s categorial system is a simplification and improvement upon Kant’s rather artificial system of 12 categories. We may say that, in this particular way, Schopenhauer’s Kant is an improvement upon Kant’s Kant

65 Baruch (later Benedict) Spinoza, 1632-1677, Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata (Ethics Demonstrated in Geometrical Order,) published in 1677 after Spinoza’s death

66 The problem is considered hard because of conceptual difficulties, actual or perceived, in understanding consciousness in relation to materialism or physicalism. The conceptual problem is contrasted to problems of scientific explanation, e.g. of showing how a perceptual image arises, which may be difficult in fact but do not face the problem of explaining the gap (again actual or perceived) between mind and matter

67 Isaac Newton, 1643-1727, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687, translated into English, Andrew Motte, 1729, Mathematical Principles Of Natural Philosophy, and again, preceded by criticisms by I Bernard Cohen of the first translation, as Isaac Newton: The Principia, Mathematical principles of natural philosophy, a new translation, I Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman, 1999

68 Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, Feldgleichungen der Gravitation (The Field Equations of Gravitation—i.e. Einstein’s ‘General Theory of Relativity’) of 1915

69 James Clerk Maxwell, 1831-1879, A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field, 1865. Maxwell’s development showed that electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light thus revealing light as an electromagnetic wave; later microwaves, infrared, light, ultraviolet, x-rays and gamma rays were all seen to be electromagnetic waves (here listed in order of increasing frequency.) The story of Maxwell’s discovery is amazing. He was working at a time when it was known that electric and magnetic fields interact dynamically and a set of equations that describe the interaction had been developed. Maxwell noticed that the equations lacked a certain symmetry and he added a term to one of the equations so as to remove the asymmetry. Now the constants or numbers in the equation had no empirical connection to light phenomena. However, the solution to modified equations included waves whose speed of travel was that of light. In a flash there was understanding of a fundamental phenomenon that had previously not been understood

70 Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen, 1935, Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?

71 John S. Bell, 1928-1990, On the problem of hidden variables in quantum mechanics, 1966

72 The traditional author of Bhagavad-Gita is Vyasa but the author or authors are not known with certainty. The date of writing is also uncertain. John Brockington, The Sanskrit Epics, 1998, argues that it can be placed in the first century CE (earlier dating reckoned the writing to have been pre-Christian.) The storyline of the Gita is that of a war between the Pandavas and their cousins, the Kauravas, on the field of Kurukshetra, which is north of modern Delhi in India. The Prince Arjuna of the Pandavas trembles at the thought of having to fight and kill relatives. This scene is the occasion for poetic but insightful development of metaphysics and ethics. The work has been held in high esteem in India and in Europe and by the American writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. One of the sources of inspiration of Mohandas K. Gandhi was the writing of Thoreau. Historians write that the story corresponds to an intertribal war dated variously between 6000 BCE and 550 BCE. The backdrop of war is often held to be allegory. I think that there is also value to regarding the story as real. That implies no ethical judgment on war. The thought is that we are occasionally faced with situations that are horrible with regard to both internal and external conflict. There is a relationship between how one faces one aspect of the conflict and the other

73 Tenzin Gyatso, the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet

74 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

75 This suggests that there are no fully unmanifest states—and suggests a way to continuity of identity across states of extreme dissolution. For a discussion see Continuity of identity across non-manifest states

76 The idea of minimally manifest states is analogous to the non-emptiness of the quantum vacuum and to the fact that bound quantum systems have a state of minimum energy greater than zero

77 It is also true that from any given state, every state will follow. The Universe may be said to be absolutely deterministic in this non-traditional atemporal sense of ‘determinism’

79 That the perfect Objects are known perfectly and directly while the limitless variety of other Objects are known perfectly but indirectly corresponds to the distinction of general and special metaphysics

80 Similar considerations show the nature and reality of Universals

81 The source of adaptation has not been specified—see Adaptation, Evolution, and Mind

82 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

83 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

84 Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Book Z

85 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

86 In A metaphysic of experience the pure and Applied metaphysics are interpreted as a metaphysic of experience

87 Thales of Miletus, about 624-546 BC, posited that the world started from water. Today, we may regard this idea as simplistic. I imagine that Thales may himself have found the idea simple. However, the idea has depth in that (a) it is a break from prior religious metaphysics founded in elements not known to be in ‘this world,’ (b) precisely in that it is simple, (c) in that modern science and metaphysics may be traced back to it, and (d) one way of advance is precisely that of positing something that is simple and therefore workable and then improving upon it

88 Descartesf58

89 Gottlob Frege, 1848-1925, Foundations of Arithmetic, 1884

90 Relations among the pairs concept-Object, sense-reference, intension-extension, and connotation-denotation are not further explored at present. Note also that linguistic element-concept is a case of concept

91 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

92 This raises the question What is pure or perfect knowledge? Is it to be defined in ‘pure’ or epistemic terms? Or should values be allowed to enter into the conception of such knowledge? For example, the Universal metaphysics suggests that in realization we may be advised to relinquish the highest purity that is locally possible. If we allow this to affect our concept of purity then in a value sense, the practical is pure. But, we now wonder whether the idea of ‘value’ lacks ‘objectivity’ and whether it is perhaps arbitrary projection. Universal metaphysics shows that in the present case it reflects understanding of the way the Universe is! Another issue arises. Is not any insistence on purity and perfection in knowledge itself a value? My response is it may be but that depends on the case. In the case of the Universal metaphysics perfection is given and therefore insistence is not necessary; in some cases perfection is not possible and therefore any insistence would be absurd; in some cases we do not know whether perfection is possible and in such cases a degree of judgment would enter into the question of insistence

94 Gottfried Leibniz, 1646-1716, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and, in the twentieth century, Saul Kripke, Alvin Plantinga, David Lewis and others

95 It may occasionally be useful to work with a system with known contradictions so as to learn how to remove contradiction, to learn about the nature of contradiction, or to see whether such systems may be useful (there would have to be a way to avoid the explosion that results from allowing contradiction: in traditional logic a single contradiction makes all assertions true—and, therefore, all assertions untrue.) Generally, however, mathematical systems are known or hoped to be consistent and an illogical system would be one that we think or hope to be consistent but that has a hidden contradiction

96 Michael J. Balick and Paul Alan Cox, Plants, People, and Culture, 1996

97 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

98 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

99 David Hume, 1711-1776, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, of 1748

100 Hans Reichenbach, 1891-1953, The Philosophical Significance of the Theory of Relativity, 1922. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, particularly the article, Hans Reichenbach—Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, is the source for this information

101 See the discussion on the reflexive approach in Method in metaphysics, philosophy, logic, and mathematics

102 Alfred Russell Wallace, 1823-1913, independently proposed a theory of evolution by natural selection in On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type, 1858. Darwin had worked out a similar theory but had not published his ideas. The publication of Wallace’s work prompted Darwin to publish his ideas (below.) Because Darwin had had his main ideas quite a few years earlier, both Darwin and Wallace are credited with the theory of natural selection. Some secondary writers have made an issue of the affair and have tried to show that Wallace deserves credit over Darwin. The consensus appears to be that this is not true. The story has historical interest but the dispute has little historical or scientific interest (to me)

103 Charles Darwin, 1809-1882, published his main work, On the Origin of the Species, in 1859. He provided compelling evidence for evolution and presented a reasonable theory of how evolution occurs. His arguments were incomplete even though significantly correct and inspired. That there are gaps in his system of explanation has been taken as an argument against both evolution and its theory. However, later generations completed the system of explanation in what is called the new synthesis

104 http://www.horizons-2000.org. See f4 for further detail

105 The founders are often taken to be Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and G. E. Moore (1873-1958)

106 See footnote 4 for online material that elaborates contributions in detail

107 In No Exit, 1944, by Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905-1980, a character utters the famous line ‘L'enfer, c'est les autres,’ usually translated “Hell is other people.” Sartre later explained ‘It simply brings out the capital importance of all other people…’ Upon hearing the quote, a friend Clinton Wadell responded ‘So is heaven’ or, perhaps, life is heaven and hell and that is as good as it gets

108 I.e. meaning as significance to Being. The more common use in this narrative is that of linguistic meaning