An Individual Journey

Anil Mitra © FEBRUARY 10 2010, LATEST REVISION February 10, 2010


The discovery of ideas and approach to transformation have been nonlinear in the extreme. There have been numerous lines of experiment and where there has been success it has taken time for the fact and nature of the success to become clear. A number of ‘paradigms’ of understanding—from 1986 to 2002—based in the idea of substance have been tried—materialism, evolutionary and process metaphysics from '86 till '91, idealism including its atomic and Hegelian forms from ’92 till '95, materialism—again—in the study of mind in '96 and '97, a metaphysics—a neutral monism—that equated matter and idea but without commitment to substance from '99 to 2000, and finally a form of voidism that emphasized an intuitive concern with being starting in 2001, were all attempted—via construction of systems and not mere tinkering—before a final search for an understanding that would yield temporality and local substance and structure but not be based in time or substance or structure including atomism

The ‘final’ search, discussed in further detail below, was made possible as a result of an insight of 2002 and the development of the insight in interaction with the system of studies, researches and ideas till that point have occupied a number of years in the intervening period through today—2010. That this search would be final in any sense was of course not known in advance and it is only the outcome of the system that shows and demonstrates the finality and in what sense it is final—the finality is with regard to depth and not variety thus showing that the greatest adventures in ideas and being are not in depth but in variety and that this variety and therefore the adventure is never ending

What was learnt from the discarded paradigms continues to be useful in power of suggestion and local application. The foregoing directed study has occurred in interactive parallel with other activities—first ongoing varied and partially directed study into the variety that is the history of human thought and then the integration of ideas and life via experiments with psyche, travels into the natural world, experiments in social relations

Some representative essays are Evolution and Design, 1987—an approach from evolution and partial metaphysical materialism… contains an exploration of levels of being and mind; Metaphysics and the Problems of Consciousness, 1996-1998—an early exploration of mind and consciousness; Being, mind and the absolute, 1998-1999—an exploration of forms of atomic and absolute idealism… and an analysis of the depth to which mind reaches down into the body in the form of the ‘unconscious;’ Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness, 1999—later treatment of mind and consciousness with a then up to date literature review; Kinds of knowledge—an early analysis of what I would now call the modes of perception (including affect) and judgment or reasoning from the data of perception. The essays on being that follow shortly include vastly improved treatments of evolution, mind, consciousness and the problem of substance

In parallel with these investigations based in substance—though not quite at their beginning—two ideas arose that were to prove fundamental to understanding. First was the idea of being that arose somewhere in a semiconscious region of my thought as a result of reflection, reading and other exposure. Although my use of being came to be definite it initially stood for something indefinite in its reference—the absence of a rush to define permitted meaning to emerge; the early but still explicit tinkering with ‘being’ began around 1997-98. Being is a theme in Western thought—from Aristotle and earlier to current thought—especially modern Continental thought. Later, being would be understood as simplicity itself—a simplicity that omits but does not suppress the complexities of detail (and this is a source of the power of the concept.) Initially though what recommended the idea of being was that unlike substance it is not specified in advance of study and this is also a—related—source of its power. The question ‘What is being—what is its essence?’ led intuitively to the second idea that perhaps being is equivalent to the Void or absence of being. Of course the idea of being stands against the idea of essence but so does the Void—especially as its concept evolved in my thought

Early essays on being, precursors to the present essay, include Journey in Being, 2003—the first version that contains a version of the fundamental principle and some glimmers of what was to come but limited and uncut; some collections of thoughts, rough but valuable in showing emerging form—Journey in Being - New Ideas, 2003-2005… Journey in Being, 2005; Journey in Being - whereof one cannot speak, 2004 and its preliminary version also of 2004—the present form emerges in clear relief; Journey in Being-New World, 2006—the study of cosmology is formalized, much older studies of mind are incorporated to build up a picture of the elements of human mind, the study of society-culture-ethics takes form; Metaphysics-A Journey in Being, 2007—deepening of the study of the logic of the metaphysics, Logic, Objects, Substance and its non-viability, human being, the nature of the journey and many other topics; Journey in Being, 2008—not a finished version the diamond is no longer uncut; other versions of 2008 that introduce a further foundation of metaphysics and grounding in intuition and that further introduce the estimation of modern and historical paradigms of perception and judgment—Version 1, 2008Version 2, 2008… and Version 3, 2008. The present version continues to enhance insight, bring new studies into the fold, sculpt the form of the essay; especially important is the improved understanding of Intuition… and of the Universal and necessary forms of experience as framing understanding, the journey which are able to see the work of Kant and Heidegger in context, to see their important and suggestive insights… and blind spots—usually the result of being at a certain place in the history of ideas and taking the corresponding insight as definitive—and to see such work as milestones on the path to the ultimate

Starting many years ago, perhaps as early as 1985, based at first I think on the possible equivalence of the Universe to a zero energy state, there occurred a glimmer of possibility—the idea that the Universe is equivalent to the Void—which leads to the Universal metaphysics. The historical sources of the idea and significance of the Void are manifold and include modern science; the thought of Leibniz, Hume, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger—refer to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Nothingness for recent reflection on the Void

Heidegger held the problem of why there is being—the world—rather than nothing to be the ‘fundamental problem of metaphysics (the nothingness of Sartre is psychological rather than actual)

Wittgenstein, Hume and Leibniz implicitly skirt the idea of the void in their suggestions that the only impossibilities are logical. Leibniz says this explicitly; Hume and Wittgenstein say something equivalent—i.e., ‘from the truth of one atomic proposition the truth of another does not follow.’ Hume’s form omitted the word ‘atomic’

There are species of ‘voidism’ in Judaic, Christian (e.g., Aquinas,) Islamic, Buddhist and Indian thought

The metaphysics, which, in my thought as the Universal metaphysics or the one metaphysics, has been brought to an ultimate level, has been also been glimpsed in the history of thought e.g. by Leibniz, Hume and Wittgenstein who saw some aspect of it but provided neither demonstration nor systematic development of a whole system nor development of a system of implications (while there is some systematic development in the recent literature, there is no demonstration of the existence of the Void and there is nothing like the development in this narrative of the coherent and one and only metaphysics, its elaboration and the subsumption of the entire range of knowledge, academic disciplines, and human activity under its framework)

Aspects of the system of metaphysics here demonstrated and elaborated have been imagined in Indian Philosophy, especially in Vedanta. It is noteworthy that the demonstration has encouraged elaboration in a number of ways: (1) The demonstration develops confidence for application and its method provides tools for application (2) Because the system developed here involves the foundation of thought and knowing, application occurs to the foundation. The metaphysics provides foundation for knowledge of the Universe-as-it-is that is empirical, definite (not relative,) and of finite but ultimate depth (3) Naturally not all is known of the Universe. The metaphysics is ultimate in breadth in being implicitly generative of all being and in showing that there is no limit to the extension, duration, and variety of being: therefore, the metaphysics opens up realms of being and application that are without limit (4) Because of its comprehensive character, the metaphysics has broad and deep application in every main sub-discipline of philosophy (logic, epistemology, ethics;) every major scientific discipline; it is at least suggestive with regard to the humanities and arts; and it has implications for the essential human endeavors. It is in a sense a completion and a rigorous yielding of a Platonic program without the postulated dualism of this world and an ideal world

The idea that no possibilities that remain eternally possible will go unrealized has been called the principle of plenitude by the philosopher Arthur O. Lovejoy, 1873-1962. The principle has been referred to and deployed in the thought of Augustine, St Anselm—in ontological arguments for the existence of God, Thomas Aquinas, and Giordano Bruno. Kant believed in the principle but not in possibility of its empirical verification

There are various motivations to the principle. Intuitively, it would seem that anything that is eternally possible should be realized; however that is not clear in itself for what can be proved in mathematical probability theory is that if the probability of a state of affairs obtaining in a finite amount of time is greater than zero then as the time allowed approaches infinity the probability of that the state will obtain approaches one. It might seem that a state of affairs that is possible should have a probability greater than zero but that depends on the meaning of possibility that is employed. Since the nature of possibility has not been clarified and since a kind of possibility has not been specified the principle is without clear meaning and therefore cannot have any proof. It clear however that not every logically possible state of affairs will occur in every context even given an infinite amount of time. In the absence of a framework for clarifying the meaning of ‘possibility’ the principle of plenitude cannot be demonstrated

A second motivation to the principle has been theological—thus St. Anselm argued that if nature ‘becomes’ as full as it can be, then the existence of God follows. The theological motive is a particular case of a cosmological motive, i.e. the motive to understand the Universe. It appears however that in the tradition the intuitive aspect of the principle and the cosmological motive have not been disentangled; this does not disprove the principle of the tradition but it does bring out a confusion that perhaps enabled some thinkers to regard the principle as true without clear proof. A second problem for the principle is that it can have consequences only on the assumption of an eternity

What is the status of the principle in the present narratives, where it is demonstrated as the principle of variety—i.e., that there is no limit to the extension, duration, and variety of being in the Universe?

First, the principle is demonstrated.  Second, its meaning is clear; it does not depend on a vague notion of possibility. Third, it yields a richer Universe than does the principle of plenitude: it says that what is Logical is realized; it demonstrates infinity of duration and extension and does not assume them. Fourth, the nature of possibility is clarified: the possible and the actual are identical… and no reference to probability is required. A framework for probability emerges from the fundamentals. The concepts of possibility are clarified and the concept deployed in the identity of the possible and the actual is clear and definite and turns out to be required to be—as essential to the theory—the weakest and most inclusive notion of possibility, i.e. that of Logical possibility

Finally, the principle of variety is not an isolated ‘piece-meal’ idea but is part of a coherent system that is of immense significance in itself—precision of meaning, scope of application—and its consequences: development of a complete metaphysics that resolves essentially the entire catalog of problems of metaphysics and an extension of the metaphysics into the study of Objects, Cosmology, Method, disciplinary studies—the system of human knowledge, and the transformation and realization of being. Specifically, in relation to the principle of variety, the meaning of ‘possibility’ is elucidated and it is not required to specify an infinite time. However, the clarification of possibility is not an isolated insight: it is part of an entire demonstrated system of meaning that includes clarification of Logic itself. However, the source of the idea of the equivalence of the Universe and the Void and the metaphysics lay, as I recollect, in the intuition of an economy and power to the idea. Not one of the historical sources provides proof of the equivalence although suggestions of plausibility—and of absurdity—abound. A search for proof of this equivalence remained at a heuristic level for a number of years—notes from 1997 contain the statement ‘ontically an evolutionary paradigm is nothing unless it allows for… the void to generate matter and then, within the paradigm, mind and consciousness’—until in 2002 the realization occurred—in the shadow of mountains—to look directly at the concept of the Void—as absence of being—rather than at the Universe as understood in science and prior metaphysics. This in turn led, via necessity and demonstration, first to the essential characteristic of the Void—the Void contains neither thing nor form nor Law and, thence, to the central and fundamental principle of metaphysics of 2004 and a vastly deeper understanding of the nature of the Universe. In turn, over 2004-2008 the ideas of substance, form, existence, experience and many others arose and—in some cases—fell as important concepts within the evolving system; particularly, substance was shown to be untenable as foundation of any adequate metaphysics as knowledge and understanding of the Universe. Form turned out to be viable but it was an immanent form and not a Platonic form or idea residing in another—ideal—world; in the last quarter of 2008 it became firmly realized that these various ‘stand-ins’ yield to a general notion of Object that starts in but becomes distanced from while including the ideas of thing and entity and is seen in a defined notion of Intuition and grounded for the individual in Experience—also used in a definite sense—which is the subject side of intuition. Although I had earlier attempted to develop metaphysics based on the intuition of the equivalence, the formal proof led to confidence and a set of conceptual tools and methods that enabled the development, elaboration and application of the Universal metaphysics

The realization that looking at the Void itself led to a metaphysics of great intuitive and formal power was immediate. The development and elaboration of the metaphysics was incremental as more and more fundamental topics within philosophy, metaphysics, and the fundamental academic disciplines were imaginatively and rigorously brought under the umbrella of the metaphysic. This process has occupied the years 2002 till the present—2009. It turns out that the Void cannot be viewed as substance and therefore the present metaphysics is not called Voidism. The present metaphysics is characterized below but it is pertinent to remark here that though it is antithetical to analytic thought—i.e., certain rather common though deviant practices of the school of analytic philosophy—it has a point of contact with the view within analysis originally suggested by Wittgenstein that explanation and understanding are to be sought in what presents rather than what lies underneath

Metaphysics was extended to the understanding of the Cosmology—2002-08, then, beginning a little later but subsequently in parallel with the study of Cosmology to Objects—2002-08 and then, in combination with local studies, to study of Normal worlds which is the content of chapter Worlds—local cosmology and human and animal being by the intersection of the metaphysics with studies of ‘human being’ that had begun as early as the decade starting 1980. The meanings of the terms evolved and with each stage of evolution the entire system might require reconstruction. Roughly eleven writings, each reconstructive, occurred before the final structure of the Metaphysics through Cosmology and Normal worlds (chapter Worlds) emerged—the idea of the Normal, elaborated in the narrative, is roughly that of a structured world with such features as more or less continuous space, time, causation, and focal sentience and whose being in a Universe of limitless actuality may seem puzzling but is in fact necessitated by the limitless or absolute indeterminism that is forced by the fundamental principle (recall the equivalence of absolute indeterminism with absolute determinism which is seemingly paradoxical but not at all paradoxical in view of the sense in which ‘determinism’ is used)

As the breadth of application of the metaphysics spread to various domains of philosophical and metaphysical study the essential elements of the metaphysics emerged in clearer and clearer relief until today—early 2009—that relief presents even as chiseled. The fundamental significance of the ideas of Universe or all being, the Void or absence of being, Difference and Dimension, and Domain or part of being emerged. The insight to focus on the Void and its properties—it exists and is the absence of being including Law—led to an understanding of what the concept of the Universe must be—it exists and contains all being including Law and other abstract Objects and is itself an Object that is efficiently understood in the Global description—and which is incompletely realized in the prior history of thought: human thought including my thought… and which incompleteness plagues the history of metaphysics and reduces it to the never ending but never realized study of sub-metaphysics in parallel with attention to minutiae whose importance—naturally in view of the absence of any mooring in the real—becomes bloated. These objects, along with certain others, became labeled ‘necessary’ which meant that they are known both precisely and empirically

The reader is here witness to the discovery and building of the metaphysical system…

From the study of the Void it emerged that what is logically possible must obtain; this view has been glimpsed by many thinkers in Western as well as Oriental thought but it has never hitherto been proved. In turn this thought turned, via reflection on its inherent difficulties, into a definition of Logic; the realization that Logic is being defined crystallized in 2008; however, it is shown that the classical and modern logics are aspects—at least approximately—of Logic and therefore the ‘definition’ of Logic is (infinitely) far from being empty. The final form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics ‘Logic is the one law of the Universe’ emerged. The sense and recognition of the infinite power of the principle continues to emerge. The ‘definition’ is far from empty because the classical and modern systems of logic are all cases of it even if not ideal. It was recognized that Logic is itself a necessary object—this is shown in the developments—but its necessary character is asterisked in relation to the other necessary objects because it is not quite merely perceptual: it involves the reasoning side of conception which however—as detailed elsewhere in this essay—may be seen under the umbrella of perception

An example of a detailed study under Normal worlds (chapter Worlds) is that of human being—the present state of this development is the result of extended reflection and tinkering and improvement with the understanding of the human organism and psyche over many years, starting earlier than 1970, and over may fields within the broad area of organism and mind… and finally the integration, beginning 2003, of this detailed study with the Universal metaphysics. Meanwhile another thread of the process was the long held idea that ideas and understanding by themselves were incomplete forms of realization; this idea took on clear form around 2003 but refinement continues. Investigations into the systems of action of a variety of cultures and experiments in realization have been integrated along with the metaphysics and the result-in-process is described in chapter Journey

A second though not yet detailed study is that of the interaction of the concepts of modern physical and biological science with those of the metaphysics. Careful detailed studies began, originally without direction except a general interest in science, in 1964; the interaction with the metaphysics had to wait until the emergence of the metaphysics starting in 2002. The present study reveals certain affinities between science and metaphysics. But there are also disaffinities. The metaphysics explains space, time, and cause but also, therefore, being without space, time, and cause as understood in modern science; the metaphysics explains the emergence of a cosmos with features as described in science; the metaphysics gives significance to the apparently paradoxical notion of an origin of time. There is an affinity between the Void and the quantum vacuum but the Void is conceptually deeper: its necessities are Logical. The Void provides an explanation of evolutionary systems but does not require evolutionary emergence of complexity; according to the metaphysics evolutionary emergence is Normal but not necessary; yet it is necessary that there will be instances of evolutionary emergence as well as instances of non-evolutionary—i.e. non-incremental—emergence even if the evolutionary is vastly more likely

Superposed on the foregoing are a number of developments whose formal emergence is recent but whose roots as thoughts to be taken up later and as items of interest and study go back many years. These developments concern the concepts and sub-concepts—sometimes reconceptualizations—of Intuition, Abstraction, Logic, and Method. The first development regards the notion of intuition. In the thought of Kant its primary occurrence is the perceptual intuition of the categories of the world, e.g. of space, time and cause. From the vast success of Newtonian mechanics and Euclidean geometry it was felt at the time of Kant that these sciences captured the essential nature of the physical world—were even necessary even though possessed of an empirical side; therefore Kant called them the ‘synthetic a priori.’ That is, Kant thought that—perceptual—intuition, even though it might do so approximately, captured the essential structure of the world. On top of this is overlaid a system of logical deduction—thought by Kant and his contemporaries to be perfect in its Aristotelian form—that builds up the superstructure of a necessary system—the vast array of emerged and emerging application of the science of the time in logical form

We now know that space, time and causation in terms of the sciences of the eighteenth century do not capture the final essence of even our local cosmos. Therefore, our claims regarding human intuition must retreat from the lofty status it was accorded by Kant. We may reflect in the light of the metaphysical development of this essay, that the simplest understanding of the Universe is one that requires no agent external to it and of course this is necessary since any such agent must be part of the Universe—all being; similarly the simplest and best and most realistic understanding may emerge in a form that has no a priori. Additionally, if we ask what is the logical status of logic itself we must acknowledge that there is no final proof of logic—i.e., there is no final ‘logic of logic;’ its necessary structure appears to be immanent in it—in the algorithmic character of deduction—but problems with the foundations of logic and subsequent study have revealed an empirical or experimental side to logic even as logic has progressed with regard to breadth of application and foundation

Therefore, in the present development, logic, too, is brought down from its earlier elevated status and placed side by side with perceptual intuition. One root of the idea is in Kinds of knowledge, 2001; since that time it has been able to see perception and reason with increasing degrees of symmetry and recently—since 2007—I have been working toward a formalization of the idea of the symmetry. Starting around spring-summer 2008 use the single term intuition to apply to both perception and reason and we acknowledge that both have limits. Simultaneously the divide between perception and non-perceptual conception begins to crumble; to distinguish seeing from thinking is natural yet thinking may be seen as perception that is delayed via recall. This retraction from the rarefied atmosphere of a priori necessity is a source of immense power for we can now ask, as did Kant but now with the possibility of a deeper outcome, whether there are any elements of this intuition that may constitute precise knowledge. The retreat is not one of a confession of agnosis for such confession, if absolute, is no confession of agnosis but an assertion—cloaked with ambitions of power masquerading as humility—that the thinker Knows; he or she knows that we are ignorant which is after all a paradoxical and, if intended literally, rather absurd claim. Nor is it the retreat to eternal and absolute agnosticism which too entails assertion and paradox. Rather it is a retreat into an initial or in-process agnosticism tinged perhaps with intuition that allows such knowing as may emerge to in fact emerge; in contrast to universal claims of knowledge or agnosis or agnosticism there is no absolute a priori or universal claim—what shall emerge shall be in process—until such time as logic brings process to a final halt whether of success or failure—and granular over the domain of knowing, i.e., there may be things knowable and known in absolute terms, there may be imprecisely but practically known things, and there may be unknown, and even unknowable, things. How would we know that there is a thing that is entirely unknowable? (Therefore, perhaps, rule out knowledge of un-knowability.) As it will emerge, there are certain necessary Objects known with absolute faithfulness…

The approach is an example of distancing from the habit of substance thinking in which structure or necessity are not imposed at outset but allowed to emerge. Substance thinking has its proximate utilities but around 2006—after the rejection of formal substance ontology as untenable—I became more and more aware of the sway of the habit of substance-style thinking in many areas of thought. This awareness has led to many unifying insights in a number of basic fields of philosophical thought

The necessary objects of the metaphysics emerged as natural candidates for absolute faithfulness. Of course the join of metaphysics and intuition did not emerge as an explicit high level thought but slowly through example and glimmer. Finally it became clear that the necessary objects are known through a process that was labeled abstraction.—the idea began to emerge in 2003 but became explicit and formalized in 2008. In this meaning, abstraction is distinct from another use in which the abstract is removed from the object, in which the abstract concept is a token or ‘stick figure’ representation. Here, the abstract is formed, not by remove from the object but by eliminating from consideration such details of the object that only a net remains that is known precisely and empirically

The necessary abstract objects include Void, Domain and difference, Universe, and Logic. Thus the metaphysics, though it does not need this foundation, is founded in intuition: we may say that the metaphysics is grounded in—our—being. The symbolic study, thought to be an external form e.g. as in writing is now seen also as a net within cognition. The process of abstraction is a cornerstone of the development described in the chapter Method that goes beyond the intension and extension of the classical notions of method to a degree that is ultimate in the direction of its necessary aspects but is not entirely necessary in the direction of the practical objects and this lack of entire necessity is, rather than a limitation, a mark of our being in the world. Recognition of this lack of necessity—especially recognition that does not remain at a superficial level and is not a mere slogan but permeates deep into our being and habit—is a liberation into an adventure of connection as well as discovery

Deployment of the necessary Objects began to emerge in 2003. A clear grasp of their conception—e.g. the Universe is all being and contains all Objects including Laws and other abstract Objects, of their nature as simultaneously empirical and necessary but not a priori, and of the fact that they formed a system that formed the elements of a Universal metaphysics began to emerge in 2004 but became crystal clear in 2007-2008

The present side discussion began with the question whether the system of metaphysics is at root transparent and trivial. It may be concluded that the triviality is only apparent—it is the result of a sustained search whose outcome is transparent and therefore takes on via suppression of details of system and development the appearance of mere triviality. The discussion has taken us through a tour of the many faceted, multi-level and interactive development—it reveals the process as a journey

The power of the ‘trivial,’ e.g. an objective of understanding is to see the complex in terms of what is so simple or obvious as to be common knowledge—and therefore the importance of stating and meditating upon the obvious had long been a theme of interest when, in 2002, I began to realize the formal, logical, and metaphysical power of trivial but—or therefore—immensely powerful ideas of course mere triviality does not imply power but the powerful idea often emerges in being able to see the simple among the complex… even this idea appears trivial once stated: and even if it begins to sound contrite it remains powerful (though of course possible to overwork)

The true power of the metaphysics is revealed in its necessary and its practical development. The necessary development is begins in the chapter Intuition—the grounding of the metaphysics and continues in chapters Metaphysics—the development in which Logic and metaphysics are shown to be identical, substance theory shown to be untenable, and the Universe is shown to be absolutely indeterministic; Objects—the development of the depth or foundation; and Cosmology—the development of the variety. The practical side is the development of the understanding of this world—and its special aspects as revealed in the disciplines—in interaction with the necessary. The actual and potential developments are profound and immense. The developments through Cosmology are developments of ideas

Although I had long been familiar with the thought of Kant, it was my interest in experience and consciousness that began with formal studies of consciousness in 1995 that led perhaps circuitously to the realization that Intuition could found the metaphysics and could be the basis of—seeing—the grounding of the individual (in being in contrast to the powerful but perhaps alienating character of symbolic study.) Beginning in 2007 and fully in 2008 I began to see that Kant’s ideas on Intuition and my thought had a convergence; later this trend included the Kantian Judgment. The summer through winter 2008 and into early 2009 has seen the work of fashioning a system of intuition-conception that was more inclusive and went below Kant’s system in depth and was therefore able to go beyond his system in reach… and as we have seen it is an infinite reach

Ideas are instrumental in negotiating the world—the journey and in their appreciation. As realization ideas are limited and therefore the chapter Journey continues with Transformation. The ideas—chapters Intuition through Cosmology and Method—are essential in approaching and appreciating Transformation. The most ambitious project of transformation is search for pathways from the finite to the infinite—from Individual to Universal Identity. There are numerous ‘finite’ practical as well as ideal adventures in transformation that are expected to be part of and have interaction with the ‘grand’ adventure… Note that the developments here include a logical rejection of the post modernist historical rejection of the grand narrative—i.e. while the rejection of such narrative has validity in the cases considered due to the ad hoc elements of such narratives e.g. Hegelianism through Marxism, no such universal rejection is logically possible and, further, it has here been shown how a non ad hoc system may frame the experimental and tentative character of actual life so that a universal perspective is acquired without any associated elimination of the particular or introduction of related hubris and mere but aggrandized speculation

The experiments in transformation have paralleled the ideas; and while there are indeed positive results detailed in the later sections, these results—except insofar as ideation and affect reach out—remain roughly within the finite confines of a Normal individual even if edges have been tested. My transition away from a mainstream career started with cathartic events in 1985; these events may have been partially precipitated by unconscious factors but I did not consciously choose or influence them. I did, however, learn much about my personal power in choosing my responses to those events—balance between resolution and flow… and the nature conscious and significant changes in a ‘life-path’ and of course the influence of unconscious factors and response to unplanned and unpredicted events and evolutions. Now, since 2007, I have been wondering whether some chosen cathartic event or pathway may induce experiments and transformations beyond Normal confines

In this informal account the space allocated to transformation is much less than that for ideas for while the ideas have achieved a form that seems to be ‘mature,’ the transformations are in-process—and in a stage that I hope is preliminary. Additionally, since the transformations are in-process, the sections devoted to them—Ways and ideas of transformation and The transformations—continue to have some informality

The formal use of intuition, as conceived above, is perhaps the most recent development among the ideas. From 2003 to mid 2008, the Universal metaphysics had some foundation in the ideas of experience, being, all being, difference and domain, and the Void… that, initially, received no further analysis. That is, the metaphysics had informal and implicit foundation in experience. In the summer of 2008, the thought occurred to found the basic concepts of the metaphysics—and therefore the metaphysics—in intuition. This was perhaps the result of an ongoing struggle to found the ideas in experience as the subjective side of mental content and phenomena. Somewhere in the reflection on intuition it occurred that the fundamental concepts are formed out of intuition by a process of abstraction that highlighted those of its—of course empirical—elements that were so simple that they are necessarily faithful and the rest is the history (described in the formal development.) The abstraction in question is, unlike token abstraction, necessarily empirical. Also, the idea occurred to bring all formal and informal mental process, not just perception, including logic and reason into the realm of intuition, i.e. out of the a priori. We are used to thinking of logic as a prerequisite of analysis; the thought to bring logic out of the a priori and into the empirical goes against that but opens up the possibility that there are elements of all mental process including perception and reason that, though not a priori, are necessary. I had long been aware of the ideas of Kant—having written a History of Western Philosophy in 1988—and I was now able to see that my notion of intuition was similar to Kant’s notion of intuition except that Kant allowed a priori elements of perception—e.g. space, time, and cause—and, e.g., the Aristotelian logic. We now that the Kantian-a-priori is not a priori—the Kantian synthetic a priori of Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian Mechanics and the analytic a priori of logic have been brought into the realm of the experimental-empirical. Thus in ‘going below’ Kant, I have been able to go beyond Kant’s putative a priori and into the realm of an ultimate metaphysics—ultimate with regard to content or breadth and foundation and demonstration or depth. This most recent development of intuition and abstraction serves, again, to show the nonlinear character of discovery

Finally, another recent formal development—the formal thoughts began in the fall of 2008: I have held the thoughts in incrementally developing form for decades—is the analysis of the major paradigmatic ideas in the history of thought in which I show their necessary limits and show these limits not only as a result of the immensely deeper and broader Universal metaphysics but also as harbored within the paradigms. I.e., although it is in the nature of a putative paradigm that it is generally accepted as describing the entire universe, the putative paradigms contain the elements of their own limitations and reveal the possibility of a much larger Universe. These thoughts are among the content of section Human endeavor and its normal limits of chapter Worlds. Paradigmatic thinking, though of course valuable, often blinds the individual to seeing beyond and often takes the perhaps natural form of thinking that anything beyond must be absurd. From the paradigms themselves—especially the non-dogmatic paradigms—we see, however, that there is no absurdity to any beyond; the purpose of the analysis has been to free up others—as well as myself—from the chains of even non-dogmatic paradigmatic thought; and the Universal metaphysics shows an ‘unimaginably’ immense beyond. These thoughts also entail reflections on the possibilities of religion, science and future ‘ideational forms;’ a habit of reflection and writing on religion and science—in contrast to having final conclusions on their nature and validity—significantly enhances those reflections. These reflections may enable the reader to go beyond the paradigms and appreciate with wonder the special character of our world and the immense Universe beyond as well as their ultimate identity with these ‘worlds’ as now revealed in Intuition through Being. These thoughts show the multi-threaded character of the developments

The thread of development may be elaborated a little. My early school years, roughly grades one through seven emphasized rote memorization of fact and method. I recall that I hated this aspect of school; my interest was in nature—many hours after and often during school were spent in exploration of local hills and trails… and in reading—I would read during the invariably droning often pompous lectures or, if the teacher was too strict, count the seconds while waiting for the bell; I also recall an early inclination to do things ‘my way’ even if that way did not measure up to the content of the rote. I was not anti-authority but resisted what I saw as the intrusion of authority whether at school or at home; I recall an early acting out—relatively harmless though resulting in punishment—that, what with the resistance to the intrusion of unnecessary and overweening authority, preempted any need for adolescent or very early adult acting out; my younger brother sees me differently but I see my brother as conservative and self-saving in his rosier estimate of the parental behavior and I see my behavior at home as a resolute resistance to the unreasonable tyrannies of my father—to whom perhaps I owe thanks for ever repeating sternly and with monotony the praises of discipline while my mother sang of en-joy-ment of life and poetry and music and the world; theirs was an interesting relationship: living in a conservative time and place on a university campus in West Bengal 72 miles Southwest of Calcutta permitted them to live their own separate lives while breathing in the same space and their—as far as I know—unquestioned loyalty serves, I am sure, as my implicit model for how a relationship should be. I remain resistant to the unnecessary intrusion of authority. I was excited about being in the world; I loved the world—its places, its times of day, the seasons, great white billowing clouds in blue skies, the grey-green of early monsoon clouds approaching from the horizon bringing with them cooling wind, the scent of earth and sudden wind driven wild torrential downpours… There had to be a connection between what I felt and nature… between ideas and the world I hesitate to use the word ‘spirit’ because it is limited, because it suggests a refuge from rather than an embrace of the outer world, and because it suggests a false separation of the world into the sacred and the mundane—along with the implication that the mundane goes no further than the doorstep and the daily grind. My first formal development was intellectual but intellect was not divorced from feeling; if a discipline did not reflect the world I would be unable to generate interest even in the face of examinations. I knew my life must be an adventure—an adventure into the unknown, into what there is (I did not call it being.) Intellect and feeling merged with ideas; ideas merged with action as a completion of idea rather than as (merely) the result of ideas; and action merged with transformation of being

What is the significance of the varied experience? I should first say that while much of the experience—used in a different sense than the one that refers to simple subjective feeling—has been serendipitous, I have sought experience and its varieties. I visited Barranca del Cobre—Copper Canyon: its rivers, the Urique and the Batopilas, and towns of the same names—many times in the 70's and 80's. I experienced the Barrancas as a portal to another world of feeling—one that was larger than the mechanistic world of my formal education (below;) the travels in the Barrancas and other wild places served this function—expanding my consciousness and likely the unconscious regions as well and without the use of psychotropic substances. My greatest inspiration in ideas has occurred in places remote from civilization. Ideas would percolate at home and at work and then, in the wild places there would be inspired realization of what I might have been looking for which, in turn, would be worked out in detail the following year back at home. The key ideas for the evolutionary paradigm that was a phase of development occurred in 1986 at a favorite mountain lake; the intuition of the equivalence of all things and the Void occurred one warm afternoon on a dusty trail in the fall of 1999

Last Thursday, September, 21, 1999: Left home in Arcata, Humboldt County—a clear day. Visited friends in Burnt Ranch, Trinity County. Weaverville by 7pm—dinner, wine, then beer at the Saw Mill Saloon till 1am and on to the trail head, slept, up at 9, Weaverville again, Friday, breakfast, coffee and reading—the ideas of Karl Popper, but mainly Kant, Schopenhauer… Kant’s transcendental method, the noumenon, how synthetic a priori knowledge is possible, Schopenhauer’s philosophy including the working of Kant’s program in one direction, and Schopenhauer’s theory of art, music, psychology and the noumenon as the one behind the many. Back to the trail head... slogging up the trail, sweating like a horse, camp. Saturday. Short hike then back to the trail head with a day pack—for more maps and an extra pair of socks. Back to camp and sleep. Sunday. Slog up to new camp on a flat by a creek. Monday. Rest and write. Have had some excellent ideas. Am out of shape from an exhausting year working on projects and little exercise

Tuesday. Today, climbing the trail, in the heart of the great forest, I feel my strength returning. The climbing is not difficult. It is afternoon, the day is warm, but I am not sweating excessively. I stop at creeks and enjoy the cool of deep creek beds, and waterfalls, and green, clear pools. Walking on red and brown earth, amid the pines, breeze now warm now cool. Occasional bird and small ground animal. I am reminded that it is that wonderful time in autumn after the searing heat of summer and before the rain, wind, storm, and snow of winter when the forest is most lovely. This is the time of day and the season that, in other years, I have seen deer, bear, rattlesnake seemingly at ease, about without apparent caution. Small insects hover in front of me as I hike but I do not mind them. At one point from the side I see a hawk amid the trees—it is there, it stays, and is gone. Thoughts fly by as well—the noumenon, the ultimate real… object, space-time, cause—the forms and emergence, separation-union, dream… experience is a form of transformation. I am reflecting on the real… what is behind the perceiver-and-perceived, the forms of our knowledge that make knowledge possible … and all the thoughts that I have thought these past few days when, at once, I know the answer to my question. It is two-fold question of, first, the nature of the world and the absolute known by experience and conception and, then, the source for the nature of the same as known through inner reflection, the heart-of-the-mind… and I know and intuit that the noumenon is one thing is equivalent to nothingness is equivalent to creation; I have thought this before but now I experience it

It would be three years from this wonderful but vague and a-logical intuition to the insight, in Trinity County, in October 2002

‘One morning in the shadow of mountains’ to look at the nature of the Void (rather than the nature of this, our, cosmos) that finally enabled the transformation of the intuition into reason…

In Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise, 2004, Ian Baker writes of the search in the beyul—‘secret or hidden lands, paradisiacal realms in remote parts of Tibet and the Himalayas described by Padmasambhava in revealed scrolls. Beyul have outer, inner, secret, and ultimately secret (yangsang) dimensions corresponding to levels of initiation in the Buddhist Tantras—for yangsang—‘the innermost place of secret immortality.’ In the Tantric tradition the search is inner and outer; Baker writes of his difficulty in negotiating the very meaning of yangsang

My explorations in Barranca del Cobre—Mexico’s Copper Canyon—were not overtly guided by any mystic tradition. I subscribe to no mystic tradition (there is hardly a tradition of any kind, however, that I altogether reject as one from which nothing of value may be learned.) Yet I knew that I was searching for the secrets of the Canyons—

‘What secrets do you keep in your deep and silent soul, Canyon of the Rio Urique? I will visit you again until your silent secrets become mine!’ and ‘I undertake this journey because, in some way, the Barrancas are connected with the source of things’

Did I find secrets? Barranca del Cobre was one of the instruments that connected me to all being. It has been twenty five years since I visited the Barrancas. The connection and inspiration remains to this day and is kept alive in the imprint of the search and travel through the Canyons… and in travels in other wild places to this day. Travel to secret places parallels travel to an inner place in the self…

Earth was invaded by an alien swarm

Who left behind a deadly fallout

Humans went to live below

The surface of earth—

Shutting behind them doors of steel

I sought others—but found none…

I lived by Mountains, Lakes

Winters, Snows and Red Sunsets

I sought for

And was able to arrive at

Some understanding of Truth

Years later when

Survivors emerged,

I was able to communicate

What I had learned

…a dream, 1978, Dreams and vision, the author, 1978-2009

The dream-poem from 1978 crystallized and symbolized for subsequent endeavor a not so distinct and emerging ambition. The dream illuminated my life. The next dream was remarkable for the residue of feeling upon waking

A dream of travel in Africa. We were trekking with Africans, in primitive country. We were with Africans, traveling in primitive land among other Africans. We had just crossed one river and were approaching another—the Undomo river—and preparing to cross it

The Undomo was wide, with clear water reflecting the sky, with eddies, streams and currents and wavelets stirred by the wind forming glittering sparkles in the sun. The native and sympathetic though not westernized Africans broke into song, “Undomo, Undomo.” Deep, sonorous, a song of kinship with the flowing water - the river Undomo. One living being singing to another. Moving. I began to sing with the Africans. At first we matched the deep, sonorous tone and the rhythm in step with the flow and power of the water. And then at a higher pitch I began to sing, still chanting “Undomo. Undomo.” In a intricate, and yet more intricate and beautiful modulation added to, built upon, the underlying rhythm. The underlying rhythm that reminds me of direct, attuned, deep and strong connection. Then, the Africans responded with even higher pitch, greater intricacy, modulation and beauty…

A remarkable aspect of the dream was the immense beauty of it and the feeling upon waking that was as if I had actually experienced the events of the dream—to which comes a response, Why not? … There are theories of the nature and meaning of dreams. Then there is meta-theory—What are we doing, accomplishing or trying to accomplish in building such theories? Here is one ‘meta-theory’—though of course not at all the only one—there is no theory of dreams: the dream is or provides its own meaning. Dreaming originated at some animal or early human stage… and may or may not have had some ‘functions.’ Those functions cannot be said to be the ‘essential functions’ of dreaming even if they conditioned the neurology of dreams. Later, variation and selection may have given dreams further function. This function may have been prior to or parallel with waking thought and feeling—perhaps an adjunct or perhaps equal or even greater. Dreams may then have been a source of creation—the classic example of Kekule’s dream of a serpent eating itself as inspiration for the benzene ring—or inspiration and color to life. There are two diametrically opposite yet not logically exclusive meta-theories of dream interpretation: dreams require interpretation and dreams are or provide their own force (in atheoretical interaction with waking life)

There is perhaps an analogy between the relation between dreams and meaning and the relation between travel to secret places and meaning; and it is perhaps more than an analogy because travel may open up the unconscious to the conscious and develop the unconscious as do dreams. The ways of opening up include the sparking of the unconscious by, e.g., archetypal or concrete images, and the weakening of the censorial divide between the bright and dim regions of mind

There is a parallel, then, between travel to secret places in the geographies of space—earth—and mind… that is pre-theoretical… or perhaps atheoretical

Yet there is another consideration. Think of a search for ‘ultimate’ meaning—suppose that the ultimate is beyond what we have in the present. Suppose that that meaning is found? What then? Shall we continue on to something else because the new present, even if wonderful, is not everything? The search continues perhaps from one realization to the next. Perhaps, therefore, meaning is here and now—not so much in the moment but on the surface of things—everyday, everywhere that we are. That seems to be an achievable and perhaps a worthwhile ideal. But where are we? Are we not a kind of being that enjoys new horizons? Therefore, is not the search part of what we are—part of the here and now. That too, then. We confront, then, that there is perhaps no ultimate state for which to seek. We are perhaps ever in a state of indecision or perhaps never in a state of final decision. After all its just a life… And perhaps it is amid the mundane and its insults to person that we continue on in a search for the awe and the fear within and without

It was around 2002 that I noticed that I had cultivated the ‘art of inspiration’ and that the wild was no longer necessary for inspiration—but it was the wild where I had learned that art. Now, in 2002 and subsequently the various inspirations that enabled the transformation of the single insight into an entire theory of Intuition, and a Metaphysics-theory of Objects-Cosmology-theory of Normal worlds—chapter Worlds—and of this world and a system of journey and transformation

I began this excursion into the inspiration of wild and remote places by asking about the significance of the varied experience—serendipitous and sought. The other ‘inspiration’ is immersion in this culture. While working on advance degrees—below—and then while working at Universities, I felt the desire to be doing something else: I did not want to be sixty six and look back at a life—even a professional life—filled only with engineering and mathematics and science (much as I had enjoyed those endeavors.) Savings from a professorship (University of Texas at Austin) enabled and conflict with other faculty (California State University, Humboldt) provided the occasion for change. I spent four on a number of pursuits—some that I had dreamed of, others as occasions may have arisen. There was travel, there were late nights debating evolution with friends while sipping Myers Dark Rum, there were days and weeks in the mountains, and there was still time for love. Much energy went into reading and writing in philosophy, evolution and other interests—ideas had been accumulating and I had been wanting to do something of this sort but what emerged was far in excess of what I may have imagined or hoped except in vague dreams of adventure and accomplishment. This was the period of time that my knowledge of the ideas of evolution took a quantum leap, the time that my interest in philosophy embarked on its long path to maturity, the time that I cultivated many interests earlier dreamed of. This was a time when I became a human being. At the end of the four years savings ran out and I began to look for work. I had the feeling that my life had been privileged and I therefore played with the idea of looking for employment that would immerse me in the world of ‘everyman.’ I became a nursing assistant at a convalescent hospital; I would go home tired but would often ‘feel this is the best work I have ever done;’ I became a certified nursing assistant and got the highest grade in the class which had another PhD and a couple of holders of Master’s degrees. After about six months of that work, a friend invited me to apply at the local inpatient psychiatric facility. I did so and was not hired… ‘you seem capable but there are six other applicants with much more experience’… but two weeks later the Director of Nurses called to offer me a full time position. I have learned much about people, how to deal with difficult situations—I once used my ‘psychiatric’ communication skills to control two large snarling dogs that approached me while I was running in the local hills—and the work has been some occasion to think about ‘mind’ but I must admit that my general reading has influenced my understanding of mind and psychiatry more than my experience in the field has affected my philosophical thought. There is a real side to the work that is more significant—it is the occasion to be real among people being real. Here, the person may shed the superficialities of day-to-day life. It is an opportunity not realized by many who work there and perhaps it would not be appreciated in any case. And even though I think I appreciate there has been much squandering of opportunity. Still there has been immersion and opportunity continues to remain. Also important is, first, the immersion in the world of work and contribution and, second, the sense of realism that my thought has derived from being forged in proximity with sweat and not from a reclusive ivory tower. I have maintained an awareness of the ‘larger picture’ and perhaps having to work for in a non-academic environment has forced—helped—me to not lose this picture to the intrusion of academic nicety and diversion. Although my thought is of course touched by the esoteric its motive lies squarely in the immediate aspect of the world

I now contemplate a journey in transformation—the subject of the following sections Ways and ideas of transformation and The transformations. For this I think I must return to nature, to the ‘wild.’ However, I must return not with an attitude steeped in my knowledge of Intuition-Metaphysics-Objects-Cosmology-Worlds, i.e. Normal worlds-Method… but with an attitude of not knowing—of ignorance or agnosis relative to the meaning and possibilities—the highest possibility—and ways of transformation… with an attitude again of willing submersion in a state of—Jungian—perceptivity. And it does not have to be so planned; what is new is not contained in what I already have—so there must be essential un-planning; and there may be some abandon and wild nights thrown in and not just for the value of the derailing of any programming but also for its just-being-in-the-world-for-it’s-not-all-about-realization-beyond-the-horizon. But this is not all. Parallel to this will be endeavors that include some immersion in Ideas, Society, and Machine as Being… Of these the most important is perhaps the immersion in Society which has two aspects—an active aspect, the concern with Social Good and Transformation; and immersion in the world without reserve or avoidance that includes, roughly, the Tantric practice of Chöd—Sanskrit: ccheda-sadhana, Tibetan: gChod sgrub thabs. I am not steeped in this practice; and it will be only a part of what I would do—the extent is yet undetermined… it may of course touch everything… and it may be instrumental in the wild as well. I will be open to this and other practices and not just what has come before but also experiment as described in the sections below. Regarding Chöd, however, an aspect that interests me is to not avoid what is ugly and dirty—merely because of aversion or repulsion—to embrace it. Why? Because it may be the basis for immersion in the entire world; for seeing what is real (by not avoiding;) as a base for ascent via descent… without reaching or climbing (not that climbing shall be avoided but rather that there need not be the automatic response to realize by reaching beyond;) because of the potential intrinsic beauty and value behind or in certain though not all uglinesses; to release energies now bound up with holding on and avoiding; to be at one and to realize; to recognize what is intrinsic and to avoid attachment to the mere external; to integrate ‘inner and outer’… Here, too, openness, return to agnosis and experiment; I would not be too attached to a practice that I do not yet know…

Two aspects of Tantra deserve address. Tantra comes in many forms and has various rites—ordinary, secret and sexual; my interest is not against the sexual or sensual but not primarily for it—my personal interest is the avoidance of squeamish avoidance or, positively, undertaking union with the world that may result from whole hearted exposure to it

From Dreams and vision, the author, 1978-2009… In a dream I met a beautiful woman who was emitting a contaminated sexual discharge—

‘The quality of the discharge this: a glistening translucent light pink-red—the discharge was mixed with blood from what I imagined to be a sore; an infected liquid; a corrosive substance; but still a true expression of love and to be truly loved for itself. So I was torn over this fluid and this situation being drawn to it by the true elements of love—I was fearsome of it because of the potential for infection, of chemical burn and what I anticipated would at any moment be a cheesy, pungent acridity and yet at the same time the fluid was beautiful, attractive’

This was, therefore, a conflicted situation which I desired and sought to escape. There was welling but no culmination of desire; there was the wish to leave but no actual departure—only an ongoing wanting and an ongoing vortex of mixed-vague centrifugal feelings without clarity or acuity

Yet at the same time the situation was purely lovely as was my friend. Because: although we all fear contamination we are all contaminated. Therefore a relationship which contains explicit contamination is wonderful. And I thank my friend for her courage in desiring my desire and for bringing to me her lovely form and her acid drip. That drip connected me not only to life but to life-death, i.e., to all existence and non-existence

The second aspect of Tantra concerns the relation between ultimate Identity versus union with the real in this life. Numerous transformational ideas and practices emphasize both immediate and ultimate union and suggest, often without precisely asserting, that the ultimate is perhaps unattainable while the immediate union, the union in this life, is the best realization of the ultimate if not the ultimate. There is an emphasis that non-avoidance—of the necessities and possibilities—of this life rather than avoidance is part of the practice. Regarding non-avoidance I am in agreement. Regarding the unattainability of the ultimate I wish to maintain practical agnosis. The Universal metaphysics-cosmology has already revealed the necessity—even if were to avoid and want and attempt to avoid it—of the ultimate Identity with the Universe, especially the Universe as sentient. The practical agnosis concerns the strength of the divide between ‘this life’ and our ultimate being which will no doubt color any path to the ultimate… And once again I empasize as has my life the importance of this life in itself and as symbol of the ultimate

The events and developments recounted have not been the sum of my life; along the way I have worked toward and received Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in engineering and mathematics; and while I learned much from formal education I learned more from my indulgence in other interests—advanced graduate courses and seminars in topics not part of the formal curriculum, e.g. theoretical physics, mathematics—philosophy and a wide array of disciplines; travel; extracurricular activities—drama, representing my university in track and field; swimming across local rivers; night long bicycle rides to the sea; women are absent from the school ‘curriculum:’ the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur had about 2000 students of whom some 60 were women—and the numerical disadvantage was magnified by conservative aspects of Indian culture of the 1960's. Since earning the doctoral degree I have consulted, taught engineering (basic and advanced thermodynamics, wind/wave/solar photovoltaic/hydro/nuclear fusion and fusion energy, air pollution-emphasizing atmospheric warming in 1975, vibrations, statics, strength of materials and mechanics of solids, intermediate and advanced dynamics, and computer graphics,)mathematics (advanced perturbation methods,) and computer science (algorithms;)  Master’s and Ph.D. and subsequent research was in Hydromagnetic flow, impact forces for solid objects approaching fluid surfaces, classical and approximation (perturbation) and computational techniques in fluid waves and stability, partial differential equations—linear and nonlinear, wave forces on submerged and semi-submerged structures; and traveled—the US, India, Mexico—from Nuevo Laredo to Oaxaca and Chihuahua to Mexico City, where Chiapas is one of the few states that I have yet to visit, and Canada; have run all phases of a restaurant; backpacked in the Adirondacks of New York… in Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, and Glacier National Parks in the US… the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico, the San Juan Wilderness in Colorado, the Trinity Alps of Northern California… and extensively in Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon) in Chihuahua, Mexico where I traveled the length of Rio Urique that horseshoe bends through the deepest Canyon of the Barrancas (over 5000 feet) by floatation and by foot on river and cliff trails, spent time at local villages including an invitation to a three day drunken wedding ceremony in the village Urique; I have worked as an aide at an inpatient psychiatric facility where I excel at observation, anticipation and verbal de-escalation of potentially violent individuals and where I have combined programming and document formatting skills to work toward automated electronic record generation and maintenance; I am the father to a somewhat alienated daughter; the history of my relationships with women is rather sporadic and sex has been less fulfilling—on the whole—than its promise which is a testament, no doubt, to my self-indulgence and my perhaps unrealistic thought that, despite ambitions and goals and lists and planning, life should be pure fun; and I have ‘partied’ more than any one individual should; and interspersed with these activities I have thought and read and written on the topics under ‘Journey in being,’ have read extensively on a wide variety of fronts—the variety of the topics from the website, have established and maintained that site, continued to develop skills in computer science and programming (languages) aimed at employment and application… I think that what fuels this immense activity is my passion to know and, later, to realize the world in its immensity, its oneness and its beautiful-ugly-horrible detail

I have not shunned the world. From the character of some parts of my written thought it might be concluded that I am a cloistered academic or a recluse—it might be concluded that I shun the world. Judgment aside, however, the truth is that while there is a certain appeal to the academic cloister—I contemplate return but have not done so for some twenty five years—but the whole world—beautiful, ugly, horrible—has a certain unnamed truth to it that makes life and thought—my life, my thought—more real

This passion—the appetite—are not ‘mere’ or empty. In section Principles of perception, thought and action of chapter Method, I emphasize the dual importance of imagination and reason. Appetite fuels both as does time—I detest the overvaluation of hard work and think that intelligent work is far more useful and the application of intelligence often requires retreat from effort into stillness—directly (an example of the interwoven nature of reason and emotion) and indirectly by the provision of a reservoir of awareness and experience and knowing that provides information and metaphor for thought. The fund of connected ideas spread through numerous disciplines from the sciences to the humanities is especially important. The travels in nature are significant as connection to the metaphorical (spirit) world within which I would transform—the suggestion of a world of wonder to which and in which connection is immensely appealing; for the connection afforded to ones own body and spirit; as a source of health; and as an occasion for inspiration—the great insight that permitted the transformation of the Universal metaphysics from an intuitive sense to a rational scheme occurred in 2002 in the ‘shadow of mountains’ … and perhaps most of the major paradigmatic schemes and insights of my thought for some twenty five years have occurred in wilderness in Texas, Mexico, New Mexico and Northern California

Since my writing approaches 20,000 pages it may appear—even as I contemplate the metaphorical burning of most of those electronic pages—that there is here an immense energy; at the same time that makes it seem that I have not precisely followed my dictum against blind hard work; no phase of the work however has been entirely blind although there have been times of relentless reading and writing driven by unclear idea joined to a clear hope of discovery; work teaches something more than mere perseverance; however, the application of an intelligence that requires stillness remains a paramount value

I said that I began early with a sense of independence. I believe that I was perceptive and open rather than judgmental—in the Jungian sense—and directed from the beginning. This was perhaps the influence of my mother andor perhaps reaction to my father; andor perhaps ‘hardwired.’ In any case that is how I developed—with perceptiveness and openness; and this has characterized my success and failure. This attitude characterized my studies for many years and therefore much of my earlier writing has an unfinished and rough character. What direction I did have included the ground level sense that I had a mission that was indefinite in content but quite definitely bound up with seeing the world as mystery—mystery in the sense of some wonder either immanent in this time and place or perhaps across the horizon but definitely accessible to seeking—in fact already immanent in my heart and therefore a short distance from bright consciousness. Now, at this time, the Universal metaphysics etcetera have yielded focus; it is a focus that enables concrete commitment to specialized studies; these specialized studies include the variety of enhancements to local disciplines; they include the realizations of the Universal metaphysics, the unity of Objects, the Varieties of cosmology, the intersectional studies of Normal worlds (chapter Worlds) and the universal; they also, however, include studies of method—intuition and abstraction and so on—that break open the understanding and a way of transformation into the ultimate infinity of being. Thus, even though there is definite commitment, it is a commitment that enables an absolute openness. It is ironic that I have found perception and judgment to lie in that same ultimate place. Still, openness lingers in my heart; my commitment to my commitment—this magnificent open-committed-ness—remains tentative; I have experienced freedom in the loss of social freedom for in losing that freedom we may also cast of the bonds that tie us in as players in an economic machine and enter a time as dream time; this I experience this moment while writing and gazing out of some window onto a scene of frosty rooftops, and—beyond bare winter branches—the green of trees, the snow on hills in the distance, and above them the infinite blue

Now that the Universal metaphysics—once not even a dream—has emerged, looking back at what may have been achieved, I have, sometimes, the thought—the feeling—that it is all immensely trivial and simple; that there is no real accomplishment. We have seen earlier the Logical relation of depth and triviality; here, however, I address the feeling, the occasional though strong thought that I have done nothing at all. Simplicity, of course, is not to be shunned for it is sometimes a guide to discovery—not mere simplicity, though, but the greatest simplicity that is consistent with realism. This thought is not at all new and, in one of its forms, is the well known Ockham’s Razor. What is remarkable is that I have not sought simplicity; rather I have sought realism—therefore I could not for years bring myself to commit to the heuristic thought that the world and the void should be identical in some sense despite the suggestion from physics that that might be the case (taking into account the negative energy of gravity, it is entirely consistent with the laws of physics for the net energy of the universe to be zero.) It was only when logic forced the equivalence that I found that logic also forced simplicity… and it may be interesting that while ‘logic forced certain things,’ logic did not force logic; rather the force of logic was a happy discovery ‘it was as if stumbling upon some new and strange and stark sky-scape that stretched in all directions to infinity encompassing also the place from where we came. It was a happy and unexpected discovery after many years of search; perhaps not so trivial after all but seemingly trivial in comparison to its consequences—the occasion though not the only occasion for search for refinement of proof and demonstration, for search for objection and counterargument, for seeking alternative non-symbolic frameworks for use of the ideas in action and journey—i.e. action under possible incompleteness and tentativeness of ideas, for example the necessity of action and allocation of limited resources under uncertainty. Is or might there be any reason to expect that the ‘final’ discovery should be so extremely simple in form—the one law of the concept universe is that of logic, i.e. the Universe has no Law. Perhaps—if we think that there is always nothing—the Void—present ‘beside’ all things and if we remember that while the Void may be contingently empty it is logically full. Also, while the form of the fundamental principle is simple it covers or is the surface for immense complexities and varieties. The principle reflects not a universe that is simpler than the known universe but one that is more complex; if we seek the universe with the greatest variety it must be one with the least restriction—the richest Law is no-law; and the Law of no-law, i.e. the law of Logic—which would be regarded as obscenely permissive were it not demonstrated in stark and statuesque logic which straddles time and process and does not relegate them to ‘unreal’ in rough analogy to the representation of a ‘flat’ physical surface—quite irregular at the atomic level—by a perfect plane. And the thought that went into the formulation and the consequences of the fundamental principle is far from simple or trivial… and on combining metaphysics with local knowledge the most complex scene emerges; the system of ideas is not at all simple even though we can write them so that the complexities and varieties are implicit… Still, the apparent triviality makes us hesitate and the hesitation reminds us that we should still meditate and reflect upon the ideas for cracks have the potential for crumbling if irreparable and strength if reparable and repaired

Earlier, in this informal account, I referred to the spirit world and noted some reasons for preferring to not use that term. Some functions of what may be called the spirit world may include the following. There may be a system of myth that would appear preposterous when in the concrete, rational modern mode of thinking. In the modern world we are rather divorced from the sense of dependence on the land we are of course ultimately dependent on it (especially in the general sense in which ‘land’ means ‘resources.’) In a world—a culture—in which this divorce has not occurred, a system of myth may serve to connect individual and society to the land in which they live; simultaneously there is an awareness that the world is larger than the immediate world; the individual has also an inner sense of the potential of his or her own being; the system of myth may serve to bind all these—the individual, the land, and the larger ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ worlds; the system at once binds to place and survival and to figurative and potential-literal meaning. Does ‘rational modern man’ ever fully transcend the mythic world? I shall speak for myself. I live in a world that has many mythologies—the ancient mythologies, the mythologies of the ‘great religions,’ the mythologies suggested by our modern art and entertainment forms—senses of form and space and light of art and architecture, worlds and moods evoked by music, senses of other worlds suggested by popular drama, e.g. Star Wars. Regardless of my rational attitude toward these suggestive mythologies they affect me and my pictorial imagination of what the world is like. My rational attitude toward these pictures—the cultural and the personal—is roughly in the style suggested by the resistance to the habit of substance thinking. I may have an opinion about the literal truth but I hold final judgment in abeyance. The truth of Star Wars is not merely one of literal truth but rather whether there may be any other myth-like world at all. Remembering the limits of the scientific picture of the universe, that it breaks down at its edges and allows an infinite world beyond, and remembering that the Universal metaphysics fills that infinite ‘Void’ without violating the scientific paradigm within its domain of validity, it is entailed that I must remain open to mythic worlds even while I do not commit to any specific myth. I realize now that I must have always been against absolute substance thinking even before I formally recognized the case; even in my most rational period I have not been absolutely swayed by any scientific or rational paradigm. Rationally, of course, I should need no myth; the Universal metaphysics is a place where the literal and the mythic meet; myth is not mere metaphor (as many modern interpreters of myth suggest) but, in addition to the metaphorical meaning, and even while we do not take myth as literal in this Normal cosmos, myth stands to remind us of the limits of our paradigmatic views and of a world beyond, of the possibility of living in the light and felt presence of a larger world, of a journey in body-spirit that is some mix of physical and mythic. I have no formal mythic system; but in the journey of transformation I wait to see if some powerful system of myth—since the only fictions are Logical fictions, it may lie within rather than merely and metaphorically complement the Universal metaphysics—should emerge to light up an as yet incompletely defined path in an inner and an outer world

An important theme of the narrative is taken up in the chapter Method that follows Journey. Method has algorithmic and inexorable aspects—the necessary—as well as experimental and tentative aspects—the practical. The foundation of method here is the subsumption of all knowledge under Intuition which eliminates all aspects of knowing, especially logic from the a priori, so that it is possible to separate—via abstraction—the necessary from the practical as a consequence rather than a condition of investigation. It is remarkable that the necessary side of method has emerged; this is a consequence, in part, of the elimination of the habit of substance thinking in all its manifestations—in this context the manifestation of substance would be the idea of logic and method as a priori. Method and content are not distinct but arise together. The realization that I was engaged with method occurred over 2004-2006 and the crystallization of method and its inseparability from content—a partial characterization is that method is a form of content whose object is content itself—started around 2006, became quite definite toward the end of 2008; and, now in early 2009, the understanding of method continues to become more definite, compact, and crystal clear. Classical notions and details of method including logic, reason, and scientific aspects are subsumed—or rejected or marginalized—under the present development. Principles of perception, thought and action—those approaches found to be most conducive to discovery and transformation—are also taken up and may be considered to be on the experimental and tentative but immensely useful side of method

It may be significant to repeat that, here, method is not superposed on content but emerged in interaction with it for method is seen as a form of—reference to—content. The present ideas on method have a number of sources—interest in logic and the ‘method’ of science and in the emerging consequences of the fundamental principle. The first glimmer that powerful ideas regarding method were emerging occurred in 2003 when the first form of the fundamental principle was seen to hold implications for logic and its connections to metaphysics

The final chapter of the essay considers implications of the present development for the concept and use of History; the final thoughts regarding history are very recent—early 2009. The nature and use of history has long been an interest though a peripheral one in which I cannot say I have done extensive and serious reading or study. However, the developments of the ideas permit reflection on the nature and use of history; these reflections concern the metaphorical power of history toward the transformation of being rather than any narrow predictive use which of course remains of interest (and regarding which the reflections on practical faithfulness suggest that some granular and local application may be useful despite incomplete knowledge and predictability.) This chapter also takes up the theme of the general impact on the history of thought and a final section catalogs specific contributions. These reflections include a reflexive self-tracking that is useful in evaluating, motivating and inspiring the ongoing endeavor