Journey in Being: Brief Introduction Module

Anil Mitra PhD © August 19, 2010. LATEST REVISION © August 19, 2010



What is Journey in Being?. 2

Ideas. 2

Intuition and Metaphysics. 2

Journey. 5   |   Aim of the journey. 6   |   Being. 8

Objects, Cosmology, and Worlds. 8

Journey. 10

Journey. 10   |   Being. 10

Method. 11

The idea of method. 11   |   Justification. 12   |   Reflexive process and dialectic. 14   |   The education of the philosopher 17

Contribution. 19

Aim.. 19

Criteria for significance. 21

Correctness. 21   |   Significance. 21

Major contributions. 21

Significance for the history of ideas. 21

Philosophy and metaphysics. 21   |   Problems of metaphysics. 21   |   Method. 21   |   Human knowledge. 21

Potential contributions. 22

Guide. 22

Contribution. 22

Understanding the narrative. 22

Authors. 23

A system of experience. 24

Glossary. 24

Index. 24


What is Journey in Being?

Journey in Being is a journey in the discovery of Ideas and the Transformation of Being and Identity of Being

The narrative is presented as a contribution to the human endeavor in the areas of Ideas, Journey and Destiny of Being (with inspiration from the traditions but neither review nor compilation)

Journey in Being is also the name of this narrative (and associated website in five parts: Ideas, Journey, Method, Contribution, and Guide

Ideas, Journey, and Method. The realizations and transformations of (human) being are guided by and appreciated in Ideas. What are ideas? If the culture of a given human society is its entire apparatus of knowing—explicit and tacit, individual and institutional—then ideas, in the primary meaning of this narrative, are the mental or psychic part—seeing, knowing, feeling, emoting, from conscious to the less than fully conscious regions—of culture. Ideas are instruments (of negotiation) though not mere instruments: ideas are the means of understanding and appreciation of the world, and realization through transformation of being and identity. Though necessary for realization and appreciation, Ideas are also a form of transformation. But, at least in some normal sense, ideas are an incomplete form of realization; full realization occurs in transformation. The main parts of the narrative are Ideas and Journey. The first part, Ideas, describes and founds the discoveries in Ideas; the second part, Journey, describes and founds the transformations. These parts interact with each other and with the third part on Method. Ideas, Journey, and Method are the core of the narrative

Method. We sometimes think that our methods (logic, reason, scientific method…) stand rather a prior to doing and content. My aim in the journey became the highest in Ideas and Being. I realized that I although I have some intuition of the meaning and nature of the ‘highest,’ my appreciation of it is incomplete. I realized that working with the aim required thought and work in a shadow region between the light of the known and the dark of the unknown. I realized, first, that what I knew of method (how) was inadequate and found that the traditions of method were also inadequate. I became concerned with method (every thinker who reflects deeply on the known or has an acute interest in the ‘shadow’ region has an at least implicit concern with method.) It would be more accurate to say after I had been reflecting on the issues for a while I recognized that I was concerned with method. Method and content arise together; I had thought this for many years; now the thought became clearer: I was required to introduce new and or sharpened tools. Because the discoveries in ideas were tinged with the ultimate, so were the discoveries in method. Method may be thought to have two aspects: arriving at an idea or position and arguing it—discovery / creation and proof / demonstration / showing; or (Hans Reichenbach) discovery and justification. Discovery / creation occurs significantly in the subconscious; accordingly there are and likely can be no clear cut method of discovery; however, I saw in my discoveries what I now label a reflexive approach; it is rather like Plato’s dialectic; but, since I ‘conversed’ mostly with myself, it was a dialectic of ideas: ideas from various sources, internal and outside, conscious and less than conscious. Demonstration must, by its nature, be explicit (coming up with a proof need not be so, but the proof itself must be explicit.) This is because the purpose of proof is to instill confidence for self and for others: I cannot say, to myself or to another, that I know unless I have some kind of demonstration that I can look at and verify. I arrived at methods of demonstration that have roots in the history of ideas but that are new (and tinged with the ultimate.) I saw a need to make the thoughts on method explicit, to formalize them at least to some degree, to articulate, refine, and defend them. Method is a part of Ideas; its separate placement is due to the fact that transformation (Journey) being significant to method

Contribution and Guide. It is useful to me to list and assess what I think are the contributions: this is the subject of Contribution which may also be interesting to readers. Guide contains material that may assist the reader in reading, understanding, and assessing the work. The first item in Guide is Contribution as this may be the location of the latter in the final version of the work. The remaining items are Understanding the narrative (which has suggestions for readers,) Authors (sources,) A system of experience (thoughts on construction of an experience that parallels or continues my experience,) Glossary and Index


Chapters Intuition, Metaphysics, Objects, Cosmology, and Worlds

Intuition and Metaphysics

The main development in the Ideas is a Metaphysics

-         The metaphysics is abstract and has an independent foundation. In Intuition, it is given a foundation or grounding in human experience. Intuition provides a preliminary analysis of knowledge, concepts, meaning, experience, and an analysis of concepts whose character is so primitive that they capture their Objects perfectly; I have labeled these Objects necessary. The remaining Objects are not perfectly known but some are known adequately for certain practical purposes. More precisely the Object is in some sense a dual construct, actively on account of the knower and perhaps passively on account of the world. However, we behave as though our concepts correspond to external Objects and this is ‘good enough;’ I label these Objects practical. (the term ‘external’ is metaphorical for the world contains the knower and therefore meaning of external is other than the pure concept; that we experience our experience, brings out the fact that ‘external’ is not truly external.) This provides a preliminary foundation of the metaphysics and of practical knowledge (which includes science and aspects of philosophy and religion)

-         Requires concept creation but demonstratedNot a speculative metaphysics

-         Called the Universal metaphysics… It is demonstrated that there is precisely one metaphysics that therefore could be called The metaphysics

-         The fundamental principle of metaphysics: There is no limit to the Extension, Duration, and variety of Being in the Universe

-         A very brief demonstration—a ‘taste;’ the full proof is in the body of the narrative. A law is a reading of a pattern that is read in the Universe; a Law (capitalize) is the pattern; the Laws of science extend to the border of the empirical universe; they are not known to be Universal. A Law is a local entity (see the comment below.) The Universe which is all being and therefore contains all Laws exists. A Domain is part of the Universe—an interior part (which includes the ‘zero’ part) or an interior and any part of any ‘edge’ that the Universe may have—or the whole; a Complement of a Domain is the part of the Universe not in the Domain. Every Domain has a Complement—i.e., if a Domain exists, the Complement exists. The Complement of the Universe is the absence of being and contains no Law; this Complement is called the Void which therefore exists. Since any limit to the transformations of the Void would constitute a Law in the Void there can be no limit to the transformations of the Void. Therefore there is no limit to the transformations of the Void regarding extension, duration, and variety of being which is clearly equivalent to the fundamental principle

A comment on A Law is a local entity: More precisely, a Law is not known to be a Universal entity or being; but it is true that, if the Universe extends beyond the known or empirical universe (so far,) its restriction to the known universe is a local entity. Later, it will see that all contingent Laws, except perhaps the Laws of Logic, are local; and, further, in clarification, while there are laws of Logic there are no Laws of Logic

-         It will now be shown that the foundation of the metaphysics just demonstrated is ultimate with regard to depth and breadth (and in showing this, the meaning of ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’ will be made explicit.) In teasing out further consequences of the fundamental principle and in considering objections and doubts, the form of the Universal metaphysics will be built up and an intuitive grasp of it will be enabled; this is done below

-         The metaphysics is explicitly ultimate in depth. Since there is no limit to what comes (we avoid the word ‘creation’ for that suggests causation) from the Void, the Void is equivalent to the Universe. Therefore the foundation is ultimate in depth for it requires no substance or infinite regress but lies in (analysis of) what is necessary in experience. The foundation, or depth, is explicit because the ground may be regarded to be the Void which is defined and conceived explicitly (I use the phrase ‘may be regarded’ because, as is easy to show, any state of any domain is equivalent to every state of every other domain including the states of the Universe. This is not paradoxical but expresses the fact that the Universe is absolutely indeterministic: from any given state, any given state (same or other) may emerge. It may seem as though this would imply ‘absolute chaos.’ This is not the case; there must also be states of structure—seen metaphorically floating in a background ocean of foam)

-         The metaphysics is implicitly ultimate in breadth. The metaphysics is ultimate in breadth in two senses—first in that it shows the limitless nature of the Universe, implicitly contains this limitlessness. This containment is implicit because the fundamental principle does not show how to specify all states. However, although the fundamental principle cannot be used to enable a description of all states, the discussion of variety and Logic that follows (a) establishes a Logical principle that descriptions (concepts) must satisfy in order to have reference and (b) shows how we can describe states whose number is without limit (if a finite intelligence had an infinite time, an infinite number of states could be described) but that we would still not describe all states. This inability might be due to lack of imagination concerning (i) the ability to imagine or generate concepts and descriptions and (ii)conception and understanding of the massive detail implicit in Logic: see the discussion of Logic below—including the thought below that every atom is a cosmos, every cosmos an atom (perhaps, though, an infinite intelligence / being could describe / be all states)

-         Variety: A sampling of variety: there is an infinity of identical, similar, and dissimilar cosmological systems—this roughly 14 billion years old and 80 billion light years across cosmos is a speck. Each cosmos is an atom and each atom a cosmos: there are integrations without limit or end; each integral form dissolves. There are ghost cosmological systems passing through ours with barely a whisper; yet, there is no eternal non-interaction. Later, the discussion adds to this variety. Every concept has reference. Surely that is not true! What of contradictory concepts? Should not concepts satisfy logical principles in order to have reference? This is analyzed next. In anticipation of the analysis it may be asserted that there are no fictions except Logical fictions (e.g. contradictions)

-         Logic. The metaphysics results in a conception of Logic as what is necessary and sufficient that concepts have reference. Before the Universal metaphysics the phrase ‘have reference’ should perhaps have been ‘be capable of having reference.’ What is this Logic, what is its conception, what is its source—and why is the word ‘Logic’ capitalized? Since there is no limit on variety, a first thought is that every idea or concept is realized. Immediately, we realize that a self-contradictory concept cannot have reference—e.g. an apple that is entirely, everywhere, and always green and not green; we then realize that we are in essence saying that concepts must satisfy logic. But what logic? And what of the fact that except some core logics, higher logics are difficult to found; and the fact that every logical principle is questioned? E.g., the principle of non-contradiction that an assertion and its negation cannot both be true is perhaps the most secure of logical principles but there are ‘non-alethic’ logics that do not require non-contradiction. This poses a problem: even if logic is the most secure of our certainties, it is not absolutely secure. Therefore, I reversed the line of thought which says, arguing from the metaphysics, that if a concept (system) satisfies logic it has reference. Instead, I say Logic is the requirement for concept (systems) to have reference. Before proceeding further, an explanation of how this entails implication should be given: implication is implicit in the limits Logic will place on multiple concepts regarding the same context. This is a new concept of Logic—and to mark the distinction I capitalize the word. It is perhaps the first concept of Logic in the sense that it is the concept of Logic from which all secondary concepts and realizations of logic must flow. And as a definition it may be empty but it is not for the traditional and modern logics are approximations to it. I suspect that our greatest imagination, iconic or symbolic, is so far capable of generating but an infinitesimal fraction of the massive detail implicit in Logic

-         Apparent conflict with the tradition—of science, philosophy, everyday but reflective common thought, logic, and religion—is manifest. However in terms of the proper or critical meanings of science and so on, these conflicts are resolved. And the terms are given enhanced meanings that are ultimate in some senses

-         Consequence from variety and Logic for human identity—the human individual will experience Identity as a series of integrations and dissolutions; the height and variety of the integrations has no limit; our being is therefore an unending adventure that it is reasonable to think is enhanced by immersion in the process—i.e., by creative and critical involvement; is of necessity grounded in the immediate and therefore enhanced by drawing critically and creatively from and enhancing the meaning of the human traditions; pain is unavoidable but remains an issue with which to contend; and the same is true of all sentience and as general human sentience barely grasps these ideas, so lower sentience may lack all explicit awareness of them; there are clear similarities and dissimilarities between these ideas and the ideas of the Vedanta. Perhaps, if there is an infinite intelligence as described earlier, finite intelligences will participate in the infinite

-         Doubt and faith. Doubts from apparent conflict with the tradition are resolved. Three kinds of doubt remain. (1) That the derivation is conceptual. The response is that it is not exclusively conceptual for the fundamental concepts of the metaphysics are the constants of experience shown to be perfectly faithful to simple but significant Objects (2) That ‘so much is derived from so little.’ In response, note, first, that what is derived is not so much after all because even though I know a concept is realized, I do not know how or when or where; and realization remains open. Second, regarding the general aspects of the metaphysics, there is an immense amount of preparatory work, definition and redefinition, articulation of ideas, experiments with ideas, selection of ideas, and experiments with derivation and methods of derivation. This doubt is psychological rather than logical; it is therefore motive to criticism rather than unassailable doubt (3) Doubts regarding the demonstration itself. I have attempted to respond to these doubts by alternative proofs and plausible but illuminating explanations but have not succeeded in removing doubt. Perhaps the reason that doubt remains is that in some sense truth is about realization rather than ideas alone. Perhaps it is that Logic is the highest of our certainties rather than absolutely certain. This may be cast in positive form. If there is no absolute certainty then there should be no desire for it. This uncertainty can be seen as a positive ingredient of adventure. Then: Faith is the attitude that is most conducive of being-in-the-present and in realization (not belief in the absurd or belief without foundation.) The incompleteness of the idea suggests, the metaphysics requires (for fullness of experience,) and the doubts encourage engagement of a journey in transformation


It was, in the beginning an individual passion for ideas and the world that led via much learning, experience, intuition, and experiment with concept systems and proof to the Universal metaphysics

I use the term journey because the individual process was one of many trials with ideas and paradigms, experiment with vision and intuition, search for foundation, rejection of many trials but much learning, selection of some possibilities based on emerging insight, and evolving aims and ambitions

The metaphysics demonstrated that the realization is and must be an unending journey

And in combination with an analysis of science and religion, the metaphysics suggests that all human endeavor must finally be a journey: that the ultimate method in science must be one of involvement in being guided by ideas; that religion is the unending experiment with truth (and therefore that the traditional religions have aborted this truth)

The following transitions had already found motivation and were underway. The metaphysics required and enabled a proper meaning and conduct of the transformations

-         From ideas to transformation in being and identity (which include ideas)

-         From local and individual to universal

-         From vague and tentative word and concept meanings to meanings that are grounded and some ways ultimate

Meaning may be definite in a context but, generally, there are no definite contexts: societies, philosophy, science… We may therefore think: so many contexts, so many meanings; and: there is no meaning beyond the context; however, the context changes and we do not know whether there is an ultimate context; absolute relativity of meaning is an extrapolation as much as is any experimental extrapolation of individual meaning

In providing a demonstrated and ultimate Universal ‘context,’ the metaphysics provides ultimate meanings to simple but important terms such as Being, Law, Universe, Domain, Extension, Duration, Void, and Logic. And the metaphysics, as we have seen suggests enhanced and perhaps ultimate meanings for the ideas of science and religion. The meaning of metaphysics is clarified. Rather, since the idea of metaphysics has been in serious question in the modern era (since Descartes and especially since Kant who brings the possibility of metaphysics as the study of being-itself into question) the meaning of metaphysics is created and demonstrated in an ultimate way: metaphysics is the discipline whose primary valid and realized concern is the outer limits of being; primary domain of study is the limit of being. And thereby: philosophy is the set of studies whose limits are the outer limits of being

Aim of the journey

The metaphysics makes possible a transition from aims that were necessarily indefinite in the beginning to the following: The aim of the journey in being is the highest in the discovery of ideas and transformation in being and identity

This aim remains imperfectly defined: The range of being is not known but cannot be known explicitly—this is why discovery and realization must remain an adventure without end. And what is the meaning of ‘highest?’ This cannot (I think) be known at outset; but the reflections over the history of thought provide significant suggestions (I think of the tradition of Ideals starting perhaps with Plato and continuing up to the present time)

The narrative takes up these ideas in a number of ways

-         Further reflection on the relevant values in light of the metaphysics: what is their essence, if any…? It will be seen, in agreement with Plato, that there are Ideals of which the actualities of our immediate world are approximations. In contrast to Plato, it is seen that the idea of ‘this world’ is itself an approximation; that there is precisely one world or Universe; that Ideals and Forms inhabit this Universe as what may be metaphorically describe as envelopes; that the Ideal may be approached but is not achieved; for if achieved they would be frozen in perfect symmetry; that, therefore, there is ‘essential beauty’ in this world of process: that imperfection is opportunity and therefore that ‘imperfection’ loses its prior significance; that without ‘imperfection’ there is no process

-         The relevance and application of these ideas in our world: in the spheres of value or aesthetics and ethics, and in politics, and in a conception of civilization as the immanent arrangements of social worlds that are conducive to the ultimate rather than merely utopian conceptions of an ultimate society

-         In the Journey whose aim is the highest in discovery of Ideas and experience and realization of Being and Identity

Religion. The metaphysics suggests the following regarding religion. Every static view of the Universe already aborts truth. This is a role for the journey: the unending opening up into being. The beginning is rooted in the immediate. There is a place for this process to be shared and cumulative. I recognize no process today whose institution is recent or archaic that has this ideal. However, perhaps the closest has been religion in times of upheaval. But as already suggested traditional religion has significantly already aborted this truth (without need for criticism of absurd belief or focus on doctrine.) Therefore, whatever the ‘new’ institution shall be it shall have to shed the shackles of tradition. I conceive a new concept of religion: the engagement of the entire being in the negotiation of all being. The shared and cumulative adventure may fall under this umbrella. This religion is not dogmatic and is not defined by the practice and envelope of the traditional religions and related practices—dogma and set practice abort this religion. This religion is a conception: the experimental search through ideas and being, for all being, and by being in all its aspects and ways of being and knowing. The concept recognizes that traditional religion has significantly aborted the true (and that, such abortion is perhaps the rule.) It is not only about the ultimate but also the present. How to live now is illuminated by the ultimate. The issue of pain is addressed. The particularities of human nature and psyche are addressed. There is celebration of joy, sorrow, work and overcoming of self, love and relationship; and exploration of depth and variety of psyche, being, and morals

Science and metaphysics as conceived in this narrative (science later) fall under this conception of religion

The address is both abstract and iconic and metaphorical (so as to reach a wider audience.) The address is literal and metaphorical-symbolic (so as to reach all wo/men.) It is calm and angry. It advertises itself. In this meaning, religion may include science; the boundaries of science do not define the boundaries of religion

In order to be practical, religion must include proximate knowledge which includes science but is not limited to it—e.g., morals and ethics are part of religion but these are practical and while these may be our best, it is nearly certain that they are capable of improvement and that the ethics of a much ‘higher’ phase of being might be quite different from ours perhaps even to the point of having elements that are difficult to appreciate

Our proximate science and ethics will be tentative rather than dogmatic; our explorations of Universe and psyche via science and story will be similarly tentative and experimental

If we expand our view of science to the one discussed later in Method, then the scope of science may approach that of the scope of the concept of religion just presented. In this view, what happens to the meanings of science, religion, philosophy and other terms that describe our modes of knowing may be described as enlargement rather than alteration. Within the full domain there are particular activities that arise in practice and as the result of reflexive thought

Religion—discussion. In this discussion I am not going to argue against the ideas just presented. I want to question (a) whether ‘religion’ is a good word for the idea, (b) whether the realization of the idea is satisfied by any of our existing institutions—or a combination of them, (c) whether the best realization may be flow (let it happen) rather than design (trying.) Discussion. (a) An obvious concern with the word lies in its connotations—dogma, a history of various abuses (corruption, war and violence in its name.) What would an alternate word be? Not ‘spirituality!’ It is not a denigration of the idea of spirituality to say that it lacks the power that is sought. Science? Metaphysics? Politics? These ideas are off the mark. It must be either religion, a new word—a coinage, or a word from another language—or, perhaps, a coinage in another language: existing or created. Here are some word associations of the idea of religion as in the previous paragraph: dynamic, open, adventure, unending, search, truth, being, against dogma, experiment (the following has been suggested in Latin: ligare: bind or connect, therefore re-ligare: to reconnect; and this associates with Yoga: to yoke Atman to Brahman or self to all being.) An idea: start with ‘journey in being’ and similar phrases: translate into a language (e.g. German) that compounds words. (b) It is typical that even though we criticize the actual institutions, that we think our system of institutions cover all aspects of modern life. I therefore imagine others responding that no new kind of institution is necessary. I, however, do not see any combination our system of secular institutions meeting the challenge or even groping to understand it. (c) Is the issue of flow / design a case of ‘either or?’ Consider ‘flow.’ Under ‘flow’ individuals and society will do what they have always done. But, individuals are different. For some persons, ‘flow’ is following already developed social pathways; for others it is creating such pathways. ‘Let things be as they are’ includes letting pathfinders find paths (and design and create paths.) Further, our world is heterogeneous: if an individual or group undertakes some mission or enterprise, if they advertise it, there is no compulsion of universal adoption. The developments in ideas—Intuition through Worlds—make possible and encourage a new kind of religion

Objection. It can hardly be true that most people will have interest in the kind of journey required for realization. Response. What even the most capable of us can do is undertake preparation and beginning—guided by the vision of MetaphysicsCosmology and the practical knowledge of Worlds, Journey, and Method…and by personal inspiration. This may be undertaken by a few individuals. The learning, progress, sources of inspiration, may cumulate, be revised, shared among others. The sharing may draw individuals with many kinds of talent and interest, sharing will be mutual. Objection. This idea begins to sound utopian and the history of utopias is one of failure. Response. Perhaps even though there is no full scale utopian vision here. What has failed is attempts at rigid implementation of utopian ideals and plans. Because human beings have choice in value behavior, every society has ideals. The source of the ideals is thought informed by emotion (and practical concerns.) Our ideas of the ideals are ever in debate, therefore never perfect, and never in a state of perfect practice. But the ideals must be thought before they can be shared. That is the present position


The idea of being or what is there is significant in two ways

-         The neutral and trivial character of ‘what is there’ or ‘that which exists.’ How can such a trivial notion be pivotal to thought? The history of metaphysics is characterized by attempts to explain the complexity and transience and change of the manifest world by the simple. A substance is characteristically thought of as something unchanging and uniform that generates the manifest Universe and thus provides basis for explanation. However, to be simple this generation must be deterministic; and it is simply impossible for the unchanging and uniform to manifest as complex (there would have to be at least infinitesimal non-uniformity but then ‘substance’ would not be substance.) The alternative philosophical explanation is that there is no explanation (live with it;) religious ‘explanations’ typically invoke the supernatural which is not an explanation (of the complex in terms of the simple: rather the ‘explanation’ is of the apparently complex in terms of the more complex.) The error in these approaches (pointed out by Aristotle and later by Heidegger and more recently independently discovered by the author) is the perhaps obvious thought these systems of metaphysics commit to substance or this or that substance or no-substance at the beginning of investigation. The power of being is its trivial neutrality: there is no commitment at outset. Perhaps of course, nothing will emerge: this is the risk that many do not want to take or cannot see. However, in the present instance the Universal metaphysics emerges as what is considered in prior thought to be a metaphysical-philosophical paradox: a substance free metaphysics that is non-relative (relative means: no foundation or infinite regress in foundation.) The metaphysics is not entirely substance free but what substance there is, the constants of experience, are discovered and demonstrated: they are not postulated

There are a number of known difficulties with the ‘trivial’ notions of experience, existence, and being; these stem from Ancient (Hellenic,) Scholastic, and Modern thought. These and additional concerns are given consideration and resolutions provided in the developments

-         The journey is not one of ideas alone but concerns the being of the entire individual, group, society or civilization

Objects, Cosmology, and Worlds

A preliminary analysis of the ‘thing’ was provided in Intuition. The essential problem was that since the concept is not the Object, how can we know that the concept is faithful and, further, what is the meaning of faithfulness? A tentative resolution into (1) perfectly known Objects via the abstraction of the metaphysics / the analysis of the constants of experience and (2) adequately known Objects whose faithfulness is approximate and implicit was given in Intuition. The metaphysics completes this analysis in one direction: first by completing the analysis of the perfectly known Objects and second in showing that the practical concepts have realizations

Objects completes the analysis in two further directions. First, it broadens the idea of ‘thing’ or entity or Object. The first notion of entity is that of the concrete entity, e.g. a brick. In Objects, the concrete entity is broadened to include process, interaction, trope or instance of property, concept itself… These are the particular Objects whose analysis is completed in Objects: every particular exists, there are no non-existent particulars (no fictions except the Logical fictions,) the perfect particulars have perfect realization, in the immediate world the practical particulars may have no more than practically sufficient realization in knowledge

The second direction of completion is in analysis of the ‘abstract’ Objects. Particular Objects are contrasted to Universals such as the property red or redness which, putatively, is the Universal Object common to all red particulars. The existence of Universals is an Ancient, Scholastic, Modern, and Recent problem that remains putatively unresolved (an alternative is nominalism: ‘universals’ are nothing more than names.) Here, Universals are shown to exist (every concept has reference.) Universals, however, seem abstract in nature; and there is a modern tradition of thought about abstract Objects. Things such as value, number and other mathematical and symbolic Objects, universals, forms, are thought to be abstract. What characterizes abstract Objects? There is no final putative consensus. It seems though, that abstract Objects are potentially characterized by: being truly abstract in perhaps being less real than the tangible particulars, in lacking causal efficacy, in being non-spatial and perhaps non-temporal. It is shown that there is no absolute distinction between abstract and particular Objects. From the principle of reference (every Logical concept has reference) the existential status of all Objects is the same. All Objects reside in the one Universe (mental Objects are either ill conceived or are well conceived as concepts.) The abstract Objects are not essentially non-spatiotemporal or non-causal but have space, time, and cause partially or fully abstracted out (and therefore their spatial character remains but is inessential.) The practical distinction between the abstract and the particular is the mode of study: the abstract are studied symbolically the practical are empirical; again this is seen to show that the distinction between the symbolic and the empirical is not absolute. The Universals lie with one root in the particular and one in the abstract; i.e., fully grounded in the real. Consider again the particular / abstract distinction there are differences but no fundamental distinction. In this regard entertain the history of mathematics. Early in acquaintance with mathematical Objects was empirical; somewhere along the way, experience, intuition, and genius gave rise to axiomatic and therefore abstract symbolic systems; and today, with computers, our study of certain mathematical topics becomes a hybrid of particular / abstract or empirical / symbolic

Cosmology is the study of variety. The topics are the principles of cosmology, variety itself which includes the detail of variety and kinds of variety as well as the necessary character of extension and duration, process, mind, identity and death, and space-time-being. The fundamental principle of metaphysics requires that the Universe visit ‘every’ state; it therefore requires extension and duration; this proof of the fact of extension is perhaps superfluous because extension is necessary for variety. Some suggestions have already been made regarding identity and death. If matter is regarded as being-as-being and mind as the impression of being-on-being (‘second order’—think Leibnizian Monad’s mediated by direct interaction rather than God) then immense simplification and resolution of classic problems of mind, body, consciousness result; dualism is false; every element of being has feeling and if consciousness is found only in higher being then it must be given specialized definition: e.g. as concentrated feeling or as feeling that is reflexive and thus is aware of and, in a linguistic animal, can speak of feeling… otherwise there is no distinction between consciousness and the proper notion of feeling according to which all being has feeling.) This explains the on-off nature of consciousness: it is only the higher form that is on-off because the even if the individual is always in some feeling state, it is not always aware of being in a feeling state—and this is perhaps due to inattention to the primary feeling state or due to the primary state being one of low intensity or being unrecognized or unrecognizable. All discussion of space-time-being is deferred but some topics may be mentioned: space-time is immanent in being therefore relative and not absolute, but for a domain may be as if absolute because imposed or supported by another e.g. container domain, normal local propagation of signals but non-universality of speeds and multiplicity of time behaviors with local dominant times, extra-normal instantaneous propagation or non-local interaction, preservation of identity across singularities of non-being and approximate infinities of concentration

In Worlds the focus is the immediate world as known in the tradition of thought but studied also in light of the developments in metaphysics. Detail is deferred. Topics include: method—metaphysics sheds light on contextual or local studies including demonstration that there are inherent limits in local knowability that may be approached; analogy—the local is partial analogy for the Universal whose rigorous study must shed the limits but retain the examples of analogy; value—touched upon earlier: what issues are of utmost concern to civilization and what is civilization… and what is significant to the journey of realization; local cosmology—implications as already noted, and potential cross studies of modern natural science and the metaphysics; human being—implications of the metaphysical studies, especially for mind and in intersection with the proper and interpreted thought of tradition; society and civilization—with particular reference to value concerns—aesthetic and politic, and the nature and variety of institution


Chapters Journey and Being

The especial focus is on realization, transformation as discussed so far and in what light the tradition and the ideas (the metaphysics) may shed upon approaches

Journey is more ‘in-process’ in a beginning stage (considering my state and the civilized and immediate states of being.) Therefore, except in the briefest versions, this part may include an individual account. And for the same reason, detail in the introduction will be minimal


Topics include: Nature of the journey, Experimental approaches guided by the metaphysics and tradition of realization, A minimal set of experiments aimed at the ultimate, Realization so far, Assessments, Plans for the future


In thinking of the future, I have the following thoughts. (1) General doubt already noted. (2) What shall my attitude be in view of no clear immediate realization?

My responses are (1) Learning from history which, regardless of the nature of history, may provide meaning; and (2) Pure being—as practice of living in the present without regard to time or future (of course in balance with the alternative)


The idea of method

In early Greek philosophy, supernaturalism is abandoned. Thus Thales who lived around 600 BC thought ‘the world is water.’ This does not appear profound but it has roots of the profound in abandoning supernatural explanation, in seeking explanations rooted in this world, and in seeking explanation in something that is pervasive, transparent, and apparently simple; in the leap of imagination Thales’ thought may be profound; we may see here a primitive root that over millennia is one seed of modern science. Yet Thales’ thought is not particularly self-conscious with regard to its own foundation

In Plato’s thought, philosophy has become self-conscious. Plato is concerned with aesthetics and politics and metaphysics; but he is also concerned with the foundation of his own thought: this is the self-consciousness of Plato’s thought. In Socrates and Plato and earlier, thinkers are asking how am I conducting my thought, what is its basis? And, in examining their own thought, they come up with answers that we may now think of as sometimes primitive, sometimes profound but still not quite right (later civilizations may think similarly of our thought—especially where we think it most profound and where we are at the edge of knowledge.) It is important, however, that in the thought of these individuals, ‘how’ and ‘what’ or method and content are not entirely distinct. Logic and method become more articulate in Aristotle; Aristotle’s logic stood as an immense articulation, he gave analyses of his logics, and his logic, especially the syllogism, stood for about two thousand years. Method gained an appearance of being prior to content

In the modern era, ideas of method arose in connection with science. There was search for an inductive method of science that would establish theories from data as securely as the deduction of logic. We now know that the method of science of detailed and empirical study of this world cannot be this secure (if we are seeking universal truth.) However, in outline, there is a rather established scientific method. Also with the proliferation of logics, there are some basic logics that are fairly secure while others have less firm foundation (the secure logics such as propositional and predicate calculus are not thought to show anything new but to reveal what is already implicit but perhaps difficult to see.) Because of specialization and extremes of technical development and, perhaps from the tradition of logic as a priori, and perhaps also from the universalization of education there remains a sense of method (logic, grammar, reason, empirical nature of science, and even spelling and word meaning) as a priori

In my thought, especially in the attempt to demonstrate a metaphysics, I found myself concerned with method: what is the / how may I found the metaphysics

Above all, I have found that method and content are inseparable; this is perhaps natural because method is content when the topic is thought itself, when content is the how of the disciplines. Still, it was experience rather than this ‘natural’ consideration that forced upon my thought the reflection the reflection regarding method and the subsequent reflection regarding method and content

There are two aspects to my reflections on method: discovery and justification (the terms are due to Hans Reichenbach.) Discovery is the process of coming up with ideas (including explanations and metaphysics and scientific theories and so on.) Justification concerns the issue of confidence: in mathematics there is logic, science has its method and so on. Schools tend to emphasize justification; there is perhaps some justification for this: it is much harder if at all possible to make discovery routine; negatively, however, this sometimes gives the impression that critical thinking is the only component of philosophy, mathematics, science, engineering and other technical disciplines while creation is the domain of art, poetry, and ‘fuzzy’ disciplines

It is not clear that discovery and justification are distinct. Certainly they interact: criticism is implicit in discovery, else discovery would be an enormously impossible random search; and creation is necessary, as has been seen, in the ever sharpening of justification and need, in parallel with emerging content and need for clearer vision, for emerging methods or approaches to justification

In the following we will see that justification may be considered to be a part of discovery

Nonetheless, I have written the main discussion as two sections or chapters: Justification and Discovery. In Discovery, I bring Justification and Discovery under the heading of Reflexivity. In a final section, I reflect from my experience on The Education of the Philosopher


Logic and mathematics. Logic is an aspect of method. In sharpening and expanding the notion of Logic, we sharpen and expand method in the disciplines to which it applies: e.g. mathematics. But mathematics, too, is expanded and sharpened: if mathematics is the symbolic study of already existing form, then we should not expect that mathematics will precisely capture all forms or fully capture any form (until otherwise demonstrated)

Logic of logic. But is there a method to derive logics? Yes, perhaps, but, even granting the certainty of logic, this ‘method of logic’ is not as certain. What is this method? It is experiment with symbolic systems; trial and error; simultaneous experiment, perhaps, with mathematical systems. There are, I think, some ‘logics of logics,’ but these are not universally applicable and where applicable there must remain, in general I think, an infinite regress ‘a logic of logic of logic of…’ Still, this is significant illumination on the fact and process of origin of logics

Philosophy and metaphysics. The language of philosophy and metaphysics is the language of concepts. The disciplines have been criticized, on this account, as being second rate. But, concepts are not essentially linguistic. In so far as the disciplines have justification, however, it may appear that this must concern language. The topic will be further considered below. So far as the disciplines are linguistic, i.e. so far as language is their tool, not everything, as is often suggested, is mere analysis of atomic (isolated) meaning. First, there is non-atomic meaning: the interaction and mutual critical influence of concepts; i.e. the necessity of considering systems that has been found so essential: the point is that even if the coming up of systems is not an aspect of justification, the fact or requirement of system is necessary to the possibility of justification and then justification lies in the mutual criticism and the empirical application. Empirical application? The second and perhaps more important point is that I have found a way, called abstraction-out-of-distortable-detail that renders primitive concepts both empirical via experience and perfectly faithful (and powerful either by luck but preferably, as I see it—or perhaps with some measure of fortune, by immense prior work; again, since all creation is recreation, and since ‘my’ discoveries have been and must have been discovered infinitely often in the Universe, when I factor out my ego, there is no luck at all; it is my ego that is ambitious that also therefore ascribes luck or fortune; instead I am but instrument; and recall that so many thinkers of this world have glimpsed the vision that ‘I’ have found and demonstrated.)

Science. The starting point is the standard scientific method of natural science. In sociology, however, concepts are not clearly applicable and the objects are complex; social science does not attain the precision of natural science. Perhaps it should not so aspire. Regardless, in Ethnobotany there is a method of participant-observer which is necessary because impartial and non-intrusive observation is not possible and which is beneficial to both sides of an ‘alliance’ (preserving of traditional cultures, learning for modern societies.) This is thought to not be applicable in modern society (complexity, loss of traditional learning, specialization are among the reasons.) However, I argue that the complex system of populace, government, education, and learning (research etc.) is precisely this system (reinterpreted as participant-analysis: What is or shall be democracy anyway?) The argument continues with the thought that since the aim is already the case, what is needed is refinement—of course without eliminating work with concepts and theories (the academy) and preliminary reflection suggests, that all parties should be active (no inert populace, recognition that bad business and bad politics are bad for business and politics,) values shall be established and refined and used as guides, and that since every social and political arrangement may be subverted to corrupting ends, utopian thought shall be at most guiding and general in nature and that renewal will be ever necessary as decay and stagnation and corruption begin. Further, the Universal metaphysics has revealed that the expansion of natural science beyond our cosmos cannot involve only impartial ideas in isolation from their objects (even with empirical and other justification.) Future, science, I have suggested and with good reason, will invoke a form of participation (or else, perhaps, nothing)

Other disciplines. It has been seen that the metaphysics provides a framework for many disciplines wherein the discipline may approach the inherent limit of the disciplinary context. Whether and to what extent the extant methods may achieve this limit or whether they may require enhancement, perhaps including influence from the metaphysics, must, at least without further and generic or class-generic demonstration, be taken up on case by case bases. In this narrative it is shown that at least generic and some particular aspects of the study of mind, identity, and space-time-being are taken to their limit; and there are suggestions for other studies

Art. I do not claim method for art, literature, drama, music; I cannot reject such method either. Perhaps the ‘method’ would be appreciation and the application of some concept of aesthetic (parallel to Plato’s Good; and fear not, I am not as instrumental as Plato, even when my thoughts might result in criticism they remain my thoughts—though of course not merely my thoughts—and I am, so far in my life and principle, permissive and accepting of difference.) However, what I do claim is something rather different. Regardless of how much ‘reason’ may be suspended in art and so on (which brings into question the meaning of reason) I hold that all art and so on has reference. Escher’s art which depicts impossible scenes has the following references; reference to the possibility of beauty; reference to the fact that we can think, at least in one domain—e.g. flat, what is impossible in another. In some art the Object is the beauty or other significance of being; in ‘subjective’ art and literature and music the Object is our emotion, or the possibility of our emotion, or the possibility of our reason; and emotion and reason have so many interactions from the essential, without which one may be autistic, to the contingent and without which one may be aloof or unable to form personal attachments to other or self or world—and with too much of which one may be overly bound to these attachments; and what is more, in the development I have shown that emotion has an Object in our being just as perception has an Object in the world (our being is in the world;) and, that there is a level of emotion that can change and accommodate, which is therefore parallel to thought, and which, lacking the notion of ‘reasons or reason of emotion’ may be the place of literature… Forget not the essential integration of reason and emotion (and its neglect due to primitive understanding) which, so far, must be the domain of art and literature and music…

Reflexive process and dialectic

I promised to talk about discovery: Why then Reflexive process and dialectic?

The topic is How do we arrive at our ideas that we may then criticize?

Analogy. It will be useful to review my development. In high school I excelled in mathematics, physics, chemistry, technical drawing; I was good at essays; I fell in love with good poetry; I was in love with nature which love I learnt from poetry, from cinema, from my mother and from my being which is rooted in the world. I did not take biology but my parents had in their library Julian Huxley’s Evolution: the modern synthesis, first published in 1942, I learned the basics, by which I was much excited to find an order of the natural world revealed (this was 1961-62 India where I recall little public discussion of evolution; I recall taking the book to boarding school, reading it through the night on the train from Kharagpur to Ramgarh Station,) and from which I developed a life long passion for evolution. Later, I read much in the field, and learned much from Ernst Mayr’s Toward a Philosophy of Biology of 1988 and his more popular but non-trivial What evolution is 2001 (Huxley and Mayr were among the authors of the new synthesis of evolutionary biology: well known in biology but little mentioned in public discussion: prior to the synthesis there was significant incompleteness and much disagreement regarding the theories of evolution; the new synthesis completed the account and resolved the disagreements and this is why there is near unanimity among academic biologists.) What did I learn from my excursion into evolutionary biology? It was exciting and therefore an example of the integration of living and ideas (rather ignored in modern education which seems, when not entirely useless, to be either dogmatically practical or exclusively and merely aesthetic; this may be a commentary on how fractioned we have become: we are either jocks or nerds; in my education one could excel in athletics and ideas and practical subjects.) I learned careful thinking and an important example of careful thinking (Mayr is careful to distinguish fact and theory, what is understood and what is yet unexplained.) Above all, I learned an analogy: the process of life as a model for and example of process. That process is variation and selection; and it is variation and selection of a special type. One cannot generalize the special type to other types (without proof;) and one cannot generalize variation and selection to all process (for which there can be no proof.) I went through a phase as others have done of explaining the world in terms of evolution. I later realized that this was inadequate: that there are absolutely indeterministic processes, processes that are a mix, and processes that are close to determinist; and I realized that it was unsatisfactory: it was a material and temporal model. Yet even when I found a metaphysics without substance (being) and without time as an essential ingredient (time ‘flows’ from it rather than being built in,) evolutionary theory was suggestive and variation and selection plays a necessary role in some kinds of process. My undergraduate was engineering; I might do something else if I could go back; but the practicality imparted by engineering as well as the thought that the world can be understood and explained have been useful. There are certain excesses of attitude that may be useful for an engineer but worse than useless in general thought; these were corrected, perhaps, by courses in physics, mathematics, history and philosophy: but more than that: incessant reading in science and philosophy (I regret that I remain rather uneducated in art.) My masters in applied mathematics emphasized large amounts of abstract mathematics and theoretical physics; in the doctoral program in engineering I took as ‘extracurricular’ every course in the doctoral program in physics (except statistical mechanics and experimental methods,) and many courses of the mathematics doctoral program. The values of these are by now predictable: careful thinking, facility with difficult thinking, analogy for metaphysics, ingredients but not the whole of metaphysics. I have continued to reflect, read, and think on this host of topics and metaphysics and many others and these to continue the development of what I have been labeling analogy

Levels of concept and argument. I mentioned earlier that there are certain problems concerning existence. Consider Unicorns do not exist. Then consider the problem: If there are no unicorns, to what am I referring when I say ‘Unicorns to not exist?’ The literature has analyses in terms of higher order predicate: existence is predicated of a concept; which analyses are said to fail in the analysis of singulars; which remains in contention; therefore, in the literature of analytic philosophy, ‘existence’ remains in contention. There is a parallel but different approach. A concept is a mental content (there are other uses of ‘concept’ but this is the one I use here.) A concept may refer to an Object. If I have a mental image of a tiger recalled from previous exposure or an actual tiger or a picture or adequate description I may recognize a tiger as a tiger when I see one. The signs of language are abstract: the word ‘tiger’ has no resemblance to an actual tiger. When I use language, I often use a trio of word, concept, and Object. In general I may use any of the combinations: concept and Object—because of resemblance of an image and an Object or resemblance of a generic and a particular image / word and concept——via association that is part of the machinery of language / word, concept and Object; however, since the word is abstract, I do not and cannot use word and Object (it may seem that I do but there must be some if only not pressingly conscious concept: if there is no concept but only a word-sound, and someone says Look at Mount Everest, then, even if in vicinity of the mountain, I will not know what they mean and, assuming I know what ‘look at’ means, I will not know whether they are referring to earth or sky or a certain beautiful and rather large snow covered wind swept rock.) A unicorn is word-concept: the association comes from books with pictures, cinemas with sound (‘look at the unicorn,’) and so on. A lion is a word-concept: association may also come from direct experience of the world. ‘Unicorns do not exist’ means there are no Objects corresponding to the word-concept ‘unicorn;’ ‘Look at the lion’ means, even if the statement is clumsy, ‘look at that thing corresponding to the word-concept ‘lion.’’ (The clumsy construction is one reason for conflation of word-concept-Object.) In the singular case, ‘Gandhi existed’ and ‘Sherlock Homes of Baker Street did not exist’ can be given meaning according to the same ‘formula.’ What is going on here? The argument is being taken to a new level but not in terms of new formal categories such as predicate level but in terms of asking What am I doing when I am using language? I asked that because the primitive analysis of ‘Unicorns do not exist’ led to seeming paradox. The principle: When in difficulty, take things to a new level. (That will not always work because, for one, I might need to take things to a new level in a different way or, for another thought, the ‘new level approach’ does not always work; which is another level.) This is what we have seen in regard to method earlier: When in difficulty with regard to a line of thought, and perhaps when analysis of a particular line of logic or alternative lines and so on are not working or clearly not adequate and perhaps when the kind or magnitude of thought seems new, I asked What am I doing here? And the answer was not simply: Oh, I am looking for a new method or variation of method or approach but, to condense a process into a thought, Aha: I see that I have already begun to informally use a new line of thought, let me try to understand it, develop it, formalize it, and semi-humorously, make a Universe (of thought) out of it.

Creative construction of concepts and systems versus criticism. As I noted earlier there is or was a trend in education that emphasized critical thinking over creation. It was also noted that there are ways in which these are inseparable. Without some tacit critical or pre-critical attitude of thought and intuition, which is partially built from cultivation of formal criticism, creation is no more than random thought (creation requires but must be more than the random.) In thinking in pictures an ability to have realistic pictures is important; in thinking in language, we already use grammar which is a critical form; yet we use these forms creatively; and there is more; language enables us, e.g. via algebra, to escape the straitjacket of the physical picture; and imagination enables us, when necessary, to escape the straitjacket of grammar. There may be another grammar that enables escape from the restrictive metaphysics of the common grammar. Consider the subject predicate form of common Indo-European  languages; not all languages emphasize this form exclusively. Consider, then, a language of mathematical physics—say the field equations of some physical field, e.g. Maxwell’s equations of the time-space evolution of electromagnetic fields: here there is no simple singular subject with a singular predicate: the fields have values at every point in space and time; the fields at every point are in interaction with the neighboring points; the changes of fields at every point are determined by the interaction values; this entire system is expressed in terms of a system of ‘differential equations,’ and now the prediction of the dynamic evolution in space and time becomes the mathematical problem of solving the differential equations. One does not see the solution as one sees the predicate predicating the subject; instead the solution is implicit in the equations; the mathematical problem is that of turning, via clever or creative approaches, the implicit into the explicit. In some ways, at least, the mathematics as a language is far more inclusive and flexible than the common spoken languages. And: without creation, criticism as received is never understood and never progresses beyond what is critically understood of method so far

Reflexive process and dialectic. Consider the perhaps trivial thought There are no absolutes. Is that thought an absolute? Perhaps, and then the first thought should be modified: There are few absolutes or Every absolute applies to a restricted domain and so on. Applying an assertion to itself is ‘reflexive.’ (The word reflexive is used formally and informally in a number of contexts and I cannot remember where I fist came or stumbled across it and whether my first exposure was in intuition or casual or formal.) Generalize the idea of reflexivity from self application to cross application. Higher level to lower level of thought; if that does not satisfice: seek a different higher level or question whether the issue is one of level (some of these thoughts may be not entirely conscious.) Integrate conscious and unconscious (may require retiring, or waiting, or ‘incubation,’ or reverie.) Read the literature for suggestions. Do an Internet search. Think associatively. Use analogy. Use a concept. Think hierarchically. Understand exclusive-polarity vs. inclusive-continuum thinking; when one may be indicated rather than another; and remember that inclusive thinking need not negate the value or validity of the polar case. Refine the critical sense so that it becomes part of intuition. Be imaginative with regard to imagination (try out different lines) and criticism (so and so metaphysician says metaphysics is impossible because not empirical: is that so… is it possible to make what is thought to be metaphysical also empirical… does it have to be empirical… what do I / we mean when we say something is empirical… and do not forget that to be merely empirical is not enough… reason and reasoned concept formation are crucial as well…) What did so and so philosopher (Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Russell, Wittgenstein, Whitehead, Popper, Kuhn, Feyerabend…) say about method: they may have suggestions, their attempt to create where others merely receive may be inspiring or insightful. Reflex reflexivity: do not overdo this (i.e. be critical and therefore selective about ‘everything interacts.) Do not give up but do take time away from thought and writing. Write, rewrite. Take up; reject paradigms. Build up a toolkit of ideas and stock phrases and parables… (But do get tired of at least some of them.) Wake up fresh in the morning but sometimes do think when tired and I do not want to. Have a routine (like Kant) but take breaks (like me.) Think in everyday affairs; but also think on vacation; or when in nature (find what is most inspiring: for me nature is: but do not become entirely habituated to one mode: again, like the putative Kant, if one mode works it may be worthwhile keeping to it: this apparently does not work for me: in addition to the different environments and breaks dissipation is useful even if unplanned.) Integrate emotion, reason and intuition; do this at various levels; understand these categories rather than regard them as given or received (this is done in Intuition through Worlds) and deploy the ideas in the quest for integration; but remember that a fractioned person may be an immensely creative intellect (Gödel) but not necessarily so (Einstein, Kant…) In reviewing this paragraph we find that there is system and anti-system. The reflexive method may be both chaotic-random and systematic; it includes strict method or justification but not at all exclusively; regarded as a conversation among thoughts it dialectic (and if Plato’s thought is one of the source works of Western Thought it may, and I do not know whether Plato recognized this but I suspect he had at least some intuition of it, have encouraged a dialectic of ideas and an emergence from an ego state into pure critical-creation)

The education of the philosopher

The ideas of this section derive from some thoughts I wrote down in my History of Western Philosophy. That work is not primarily and was not intended as original. However there are a few original ideas in it and one of these concerns the education of the philosopher. Here, I will be brief

What I learn from my ‘education’ is that even while philosophy is a particular endeavor, its process is immensely enhanced by broad education and wide ranging experience. The point is easy to derive from the previous sections but before doing so, it is significant that it is not only the process but also the concept of philosophy that stands to gain

The question What is philosophy? is a philosophical question. This is unlike science as conventionally understood: the nature of science is not a scientific concern (even though it is a concern in the practice of science and the structure of scientific institutions)

Thus philosophers have long been concerned with the nature of philosophy. Another philosophical question concerns the meaning of questions of the type What is X? For example while What is a rock? does not have philosophical side in geology, it may be used to illustrate philosophical concerns in a lecture on philosophy; and it may be ideal for the purpose of illustrating the nature of philosophy: philosophical concerns are not always immediately apparent. On the other hand the nature of science, the nature of philosophy, the nature of being are, putatively so far, ever in a process of definition and realization and, in so far as that is true, for X equal to science, philosophy and so on the question What is X? is clearly philosophical

In recent times, especially the twentieth century, there has been a retraction of the boundaries of philosophy. In some cases, this is practical: when a topic in philosophy becomes science, it may cease to be practiced as philosophy. As long as we were not sure of the nature of matter, physics (in the guise of the material side natural philosophy) was part of philosophy. Now, however, physics is science, not philosophy. Still, physics presents particular theories of matter and particular pictures of time and space; therefore, while physics is not philosophy, matter and space and time remain topics in philosophy. In times of scientific revolution, philosophy becomes important even though the particular philosophical issues may be addresses by ‘scientists’ rather than only by professional or academic philosophers. In addition to the practical retractions, there have been conceptual retractions in the English speaking counties and Scandinavia to analytic philosophy and in Europe to ‘continental philosophy.’ I will focus briefly on analytic philosophy whose founders include Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Frege and Russell’s primary contributions were abandonment of older lines of thought and opening up new analytic lines. The new analysis focused on what may be clearly described, carefully analyzed and, in its turning away from speculative thought emphasized the empirical. Wittgenstein went further: he abandoned the empirical (at least the kind of empiricism of science) and gave or attempted to give a definition of the new mode of thought: philosophy is not science, it is concerned with analysis of concepts and meaning and the possibilities of meaning, it rejects as metaphysical what lies outside of meaning as use in some actual context (roughly ignoring the fact that contexts including science and metaphysics and the everyday evolve,) and it then claims: this is philosophy. Let us agree that Wittgenstein identified a valid activity; it does not follow that that is (all of) philosophy. However, to argue against Wittgenstein’s sentiment—a sentiment continues to have enormous influence—it is necessary to show that there are other domains, newer or older, that may validly be called philosophy

Simply, the old includes metaphysics (and of course many other concerns.) But metaphysics is argued to be mere speculation: and indeed the ‘great’ systems (Hegel’s system and other) were immensely and emphatically speculative in that they were neither empirical nor conceptually sound (even when immensely suggestive.) If we insist that philosophy must be sound, then the old speculation is not philosophy; but if we allow that philosophy may explore in dark regions, then speculation satisfies one requirement to be philosophy. I do not think that philosophy must not be speculative. The speculative thought of Plato is immensely suggestive. Without Plato, our understanding of human good would be poorer. More to the present point is the fact that science as well as analytic philosophy would not exist without earlier speculative philosophy. What is speculative at one time may via its richness contribute enormously in the present to the quality of being and in the future to more technical pursuits. This kind of thought continues to be significant: quality is ever important; we do not know where the inspiration of some future science may lie. Specifically, the acknowledgement that some thought is speculative removes the appellation ‘mere speculation’ provided that there is some other value such as being suggestive and that the speculation is not logically absurd. However, let me grant that philosophy and metaphysics should be what is conceptually sound; but soundness should be necessary though not sufficient: there should be other elements such as generality, suggestiveness, concern with the shadow areas of knowledge. I present two examples of philosophy under this umbrella. First is Plato’s work. Although speculative, Plato self-consciously shows immensely imaginative thought in process: this is a kind of soundness; and where he does not know he often leaves open: this is sound; and where suggestive it is also valuable. Second, is the present development: the metaphysics is empirical, conceptually sound, and is carried by a demonstration

Here, then is a first point regarding the education of a philosopher. Because of their narrowness of their education, the typical modern philosopher and scientist is not prepared to see the possibility of a new metaphysics, less prepared to understand and absorb it, and far less ready to have developed such a system. Certainly, I am not more capable than these individuals; rather what has been instrumental is: the diversity of my education and experience; my willingness to hold a thought and a doubt; my refusal to accept to accept tentative critical and mantra like repetitions of claims as final; my willingness to imagine and to use breadth of analogy but my refusal to claim something to be known that is not shown (demonstrated.) The difference is first in education and experience and second in attitude. The development of attitude is rather idiosyncratic but education is not. There is a case, therefore, to a much broader education of philosophers. This education would have two effects: first, it would enlarge the pool of broadly educated and experienced thinkers and therefore the likelihood of a ‘good’ combination of education, experience, and attitude; and, second, such education might be conducive to the ‘right’ attitude

A second point regarding the education of the philosopher is now nearly obvious. The actual education would require dedication and time and be interwoven with thought or attempts at original thought. It is perhaps therefore that Plato thought that the ideal age for philosophical though arrives when a human being is fifty. Plato tended to an extremism of thought in various areas especially in his thoughts on communal and educational arrangement: certainly he thought philosophical thoughts before he was fifty. The argument, therefore, is not that philosophy has to wait till a certain age of man or woman; rather it awaits a process: an education that is broad with regard to subject matter (the entire range,) and activity (absorption as well as immersion in creation which would probably not emerge at age fifty if never earlier practiced,) as well as specialized in some disciplines so as to provide experience with deep study. And of course engagement in public life may be good for then the individual understands the nature of practical concerns and develops a ground for application or applicability and range of ideas. The argument is that becoming a philosopher is a process and it is part of the thinkers education and / or character and balance of drive and restraint that informs him or her when philosophy shall begin to emerge

The foregoing is one line of thought. Our world is far more heterogeneous than Plato’s. I should be unrealistic to expect education, which serves a variety of functions, to change in accordance with this line of thinking. Still it is an important line of thought. According to the American Philosophy Association there were, in 1995: the most recent time for which data were available, 5977 Philosophy PhD’s employed in academic settings in the United States. In philosophy in the United States in 1993-1994 the numbers of degrees awarded were 4691 at the Bachelor’s level; there were 727 MA’s, and 301 PhD’s. Surely there is a place to rethink a small number of university philosophy programs or sub-programs


Topics Aim, Criteria for significance, Major contributions, Significance for the history of ideas, Potential contributions


I wrote earlier that I tender my work as a contribution to the human endeavor. I think it will be useful to say what I think is contributory and to provide some justification

This will be useful to me as self assessment and as assessment of my work; it may be satisfying; it will be useful to further work. If others should see some value in my work it may be similarly useful to them

The provision of what I hold contributory or potentially contributory, with reasons, may help others in their assessment. When I say This is my assessment, I am serious; however, I do laugh at myself; I do wonder whether amid the stream of life and all the arguments of thinkers and critics what the value of the endeavor may be; and I do not expect others to agree with my assessments uncritically. I hope that both agreement and disagreement is truly critical

I agree with Nietzsche’s thought that one who would contribute should attempt, to struggle, to make his or her thought (or self) superior and to attempt or struggle to show to others this achievement. There is a tradition and a convention against this: the tradition of mutual respect and perhaps of humility. But, I think if one suppresses one’s ego in the right way—and I do not claim or not claim to be at that point—it is not a question of self / other but a question of truth. If my thoughts force upon me there value, and I have found this to be the case—at times as though it is not I who has been thinking them: i.e., that at times the thoughts have their own power, and this occurred only after the development of the Universal metaphysics, and if I care about the world and humankind, then it is the contribution and not the contributor who is the key. In that case, it becomes imperative to state an evaluation (I cannot state another’s evaluation) of ‘my’ work

I may add a further thought. I am not a thinker employed in the most common modern academic setting: the University. According to the American Philosophy Association,, in 1995, the last year for which data are available, 5977 Philosophy PhD’s were employed full-time in an educational institution in the United States; of these 5227, worked in a four-year college or university. I do not know how many publications there are annually but assume conservatively that a quarter have one publication a year: this amounts to 1306 philosophy publications in the United States every year. It is probably not an exaggeration to think that the worldwide publications amount, then, to 2,500 a year or 62,500 in a quarter of a century. I choose a quarter of a century as a subjective measure of the time required for significant philosophical advance; this is probably a gross underestimate but perhaps not so if ‘movement’ is substituted for ‘advance.’ In this period of time it is hardly likely that the more than a small fraction of the total number of publications will represent advance (many will of course be texts, interpretations of major works in philosophy, review of recent philosophy and so on.) There will be no need or occasion for every publication in philosophy to advertise itself: there is a peer review system, there is the review literature, and even the advances generally concern a topic in a field. This situation does not reflect all work in philosophy; and it does not reflect my work. I claim that my thought includes demonstration of a major metaphysics and that it is the metaphysics (it is shown that there is but one metaphysics;) and, if this claim is correct, there are major implications in most sub-disciplines of philosophy, in the sciences of matter and life and mind, for religion and its possibility and nature, and for many aspects of the human endeavor. This is, I suppose, justification enough for advertisement—and more. I think outside the academic setting; I do not use this as justification for advertisement; however, I recognize that this placement reduces the likelihood of my being noticed or regarded as serious: Daniel Dennett publishes a book: everyone sits up and notices, an unheard of non-academic makes a claim to serious thought: the natural reaction is Who is he? ‘He’ is staking a claim

The topics of the discussion of contribution follow. Details are not given here because the discussion so far is adequate

Criteria for significance



Major contributions

Significance for the history of ideas

Philosophy and metaphysics

The surprise lies not only in the ultimate character but also in the economy of the development

Problems of metaphysics

Resolutions of mind body issues, the nature of consciousness, the possibility of metaphysics, and the character of space time have been seen. There is a trivial resolution of the problem Heidegger called the fundamental problem of metaphysics—Why there is being at all, i.e. why there is something rather than nothing: from the properties of the Void, if and when there is nothing, something must follow (‘If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”) It is suggested with good reason that the fundamental problem should be What has existence? This may be restated: given the unlimited variety of Objects, what are the Ideal or perfectly known Objects and what are the practically or adequately known Objects


Human knowledge

On account of the Universal metaphysics, and since ‘every significant discipline and aspect of human endeavor is touched’ it is possible to rewrite an outline of human knowledge with perhaps firmer foundation than before. The topics below form the basis of a reconceptualization and rewriting of a well known Encyclopedia, the Britannica, whose tradition, if not its modern version, is one of excellence and which, with regard to the concept of the outline of knowledge exceeds the quality of other modern encyclopedias including those on the Internet (I have found the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to have excellent articles; these articles, as is typical of today’s thought are not written in light of a worldview; and there is no clear conception of philosophy as a whole that is the basis of a binding unity. While the stream of recent thought goes against such unity, and while creators of the Internet argue that hyperlinking mirrors the associative style of human thought, these trends contain partial truth presented as whole truth and against which, though no stand is necessary, stands the system of Ideas of this narrative

Symbols and Knowledge

Language, Logic, and Mathematics; the Humanities including Philosophy, its divisions, and the study of the concept of History

The Universe

Metaphysics, Logic as metaphysics. Science and the studies of matter, life, mind, and society. History of the world


Art and its varieties including literature and music. Technology and engineering. Faith as the attitude most conducive of action; heroic action and its meaning; religion as conceptual, artistic, and experimental adventure in truth (History of religion may be included here or under History of the world)

Potential contributions

The main and secondary contributions have been discussed; everywhere lines of development and potential contribution are immanent. I hope that others will join this venture


This part of the narrative Guide contains material that may assist the reader in reading, understanding, assessing the work… and, if there is the interest, in creating a similar experience

The first item in Guide is Contribution as this may be the location of the latter in the final version of the work

The remaining items are Understanding the narrative (which has suggestions for readers,) Authors (sources,) A system of experience (thoughts on construction of an experience that parallels or continues my experience,) Glossary and Index


I have a thought to place the material of the previous part here

Understanding the narrative

The narrative presents some difficulties of understanding. Since the narrative is not intrinsically difficult, readers and audiences who are aware of the difficulties will be well armed to overcome them

One concern is anticipation regarding the nature of the work. The ideas of others have been essential but the work is neither compilation nor review. It is held to be an original contribution and therefore the reader is unlikely to anticipate its content

Although modesty has some virtue, I may say that the reader may not expect the magnitude of the contribution. The expectation of an incremental contribution may be a mistake. The reader may expect to have to put effort and time into understanding the new worldview. The difficulty here is more likely to be one of mindset; however there may be analytic concerns. I may remind the reader that even though there may appear to be conflict between the modern scientific-secular worldview, this conflict has been shown in the narrative to be at most apparent. Some such concerns will have their source in the large amount of preparatory work and reading and reflection. Others may concern the multifaceted character of the developments and the articulation of the central conceptual system. Here, the reader may note that I have myself had to work and continue to have to work to reeducate myself. If my work has truth, some future scholar may write its core in simpler fashion. Still, I think the individual analyses are not difficult but may require familiarization over time

I have a dual attitude to my work and journey. At times I have immense confidence in it and treat it as real. At other times my mood emphasizes the core doubt regarding the proof of the fundamental principle that is pivotal to the metaphysics. Here, I should remind the reader that the proof is formally valid. The reader should also be reminded that if the proof fails on some matter of substance then it remains true that there is no conflict of substance with science, secularism, or true religion. There faith is the attitude most conducive to realization. And here, we may find that the metaphysical system, even if not certain may contain the highest of our certainties; and what does not obtain cannot be missed; and here is another occasion for celebration for adventure and the principle that the foundation of being is in being and not outside it or in some mantra to be repeated until believed

A final difficulty may occur for the reader who does not recognize that I use common words with new meaning. Therefore, the reader who would understand would pay attention to meaning. Experts are not immune to this concern; because of their education they may face an additional task of de-education; because they have built up various mindsets they may have to de-compose these sets. I have not used an axiomatic approach because I am ever in stages of development. The core could be turned axiomatic but it seems more effective to allow meaning to emerge in manifold ways; this sets up the system for ongoing development—knowing this may also assist the reader. In this approach which may be termed a dialectic of ideas (in a precise way already noted) I have mostly used common terms but have taken care to show emergent and final meanings. There are occasional coinages; and places where meaning is so different than the common that there might as well be a coinage. Some of the new meanings are bookkeeping devices. What shall I mean by ‘Universe:’ I could mean things other than all being over all extension and duration but then I would have to another term to designate this significant meaning; this bookkeeping device, then, is not mere bookkeeping: relative to my system it employs what I have found to be the most efficient meaning (and the same applies to Void, and to Being.) The ideas of Logic and Logos are in another category. In Logic there is a major re-conception of ‘logic’ (it is not unanticipated: Leibniz, Hume and Wittgenstein saw the connection of Logic and metaphysics; but they did not go as far in realization and articulation of the concept of Logic.) It is perhaps the first concept of Logic in that from it all secondary concepts and realizations of logic shall (must) flow; it is a conception that shows a key to the Universe: the Logos the Object of Logic: the Logos is the Universe in all its detail. Here again, in Logos, a deviation from the classical notions. Terms such as science, metaphysics, religion, and philosophy also realize new meaning and significance. There are two further issues concerning meaning. One is that meaning resides in a context and not only in the individual terms: here the context is the metaphysics: and since the metaphysics is demonstrated, keeping this in mind will assist the reader understand the definiteness of some claims. This despite proclamations of openness: but openness is not unstructured and unthinking: openness implies that when definiteness is achieved some notion of humility, some notion of democracy of ideas should not result in avoidance of what has been discovered: for what has been discovered is also an idea and therefore to suppress it would be false humility and false democracy. The second thought also concerns the metaphysics as a system: an articulated system: the reader may therefore realize that while meaning emerges dialectically, this dialect sees some finality when the system emerges; therefore readers may benefit from patience while his or her assimilation of the system as a unity is in progress. Three kinds of reading may be useful: glancing, cross reference, and systematic. And two readings may be helpful to assimilation: one to become aware of difficulties and need for integration; a second to resolve difficulties and to integrate


In this edition there is no detailed system of references. I realize the use; I do not have the resources

I include primarily those thinkers from whom my thought has derived significant and consciously remembered influence. There are many other writers and others from whom I derive lesser influence; many of these are unremembered or remembered vaguely. There is of course the vast arena of prehistory and early culture: the individuals who, perhaps incrementally and semi-consciously created language and myth (which led, perhaps, to religion, to philosophy, and to science) whom I may never know

My purpose in including author names is so that the reader may seek his or her own inspiration and influence; to make some acknowledgement; but not to cite or acknowledge authority; and not to show familiarity

A system of experience

In this possible section I may suggest approaches to reconstruction of my experience (the previous section may be used as suggestions for reading: the eminent thinkers have not too many eminent works)

I will remember the uniqueness of individuals and cultures within our unity. I will remember that for experience to be real it must be created afresh; I will remember that all creation is recreation; that what I may have created has been and shall be created times without limit and, even though I may not conceive it, perhaps in magnitudes without limit: and if the metaphysics be true I should hope that that will be true for who are those others, even if infinitely greater, than myself


A brief glossary of terms significant in development and in the articulated systems