Limitless Being

Anil Mitra, © SEPTEMBER 11, 2010, REVISED September 29, 2010



Being has no limits. 2

A Journey in Being. 2

What is Being?. 3

Reasons for the appeal to being. 3

Journey. 4

The fundamental principle of metaphysics. 4

Semantically equivalent forms of the fundamental principle. 4

Is the fundamental principle absurd?. 4

Proof of the fundamental principle. 5

Operational meaning of the fundamental principle. 5

The concept of Logic. 5

Conflict with common experience, science. Resolution. The concept of the Normal 6

Logic as the one Universal law.. 6

Alternative forms of the fundamental principle. 6

Further semantically equivalent forms. 6

Forms based on substantive content 6

The history of the fundamental principle and related ideas. 7

Proof and empowerment 8

Doubt, faith and empowerment 8

Implications for variety of being. 8

Implication for human being. 8

Conflict with common experience and science. 8

Human being must respect normal limits. 8

Religion and its possibilities. 8

A new conception of religion. 9

The nature of this Religion. 9

Science—a new concept. Identity of future science and religion, i.e. of the fundamental human endeavor 9

Charting a course. 9


Being has no limits

A Journey in Being

A Journey in Being. My early experience included a sense of beauty and wonder in the world and in ideas—a taste that whetted an appetite for more, an appetite that was the origin of an adventure. Early inspiration came from others and their ideas, from nature, and from a sense that simple being in the world is special. I was immensely interested in the world of ideas: science, mathematics, philosophy, the humanities. I experienced human knowledge as work in progress rather than something already determined. Science says something about the world; but the limits of science are not known to be the limits of the world; there is a view that may be called positivism and which regards the limits of science to be the limits of the world but neither science itself nor reasoning about science shows this to be the case: as far as science is concerned what lies beyond its boundaries may be infinite in extent, duration, and kind. There is a kind of thought sometimes labeled ‘philosophy’ that concerns itself with emerging understanding at the edge or beginning at the edge of what we regard as definite knowledge. I experimented with many paradigms of understanding: a paradigm such as materialism or idealism may be criticized as making assumptions but it is perhaps the case that understanding begins with assumptions that may later be confirmed or rejected. I was fortunate to discover / create a metaphysics that I call the Universal metaphysics that shows that the Universe has no limit (specifically, it has no limit of extension, duration, or variety.) This is immediately open to challenge for it follows that human (and animal) being must have no limit for a limit to human being would be a limit to the Universe. However, (1) I was able to demonstrate—prove—that the Universe has no limit and (2) I was also able to show that the apparent contradiction is not a contradiction—i.e., that except the logically impossible, what we regard as impossible is merely so remote from understanding as to seem impossible

The process of discovery involved the following elements: (a) Broad education, reading, reflection, and discussion in science, mathematics, logic, philosophy, and literature; these fields provided material for criticism as well as analogy in the development of understanding. (b) Travel and living in nature. This was crucial in being occasion for exploration of the world and as a source of inspiration—much of my best inspiration for ideas has come in nature. Additionally, nature has always seemed to me to be a window on the Universe. (c) Experiment with systems of understanding—materialism, evolutionism, idealism and many others assumed and abandoned or at least partially abandoned. These experiments were not logically necessary to the final development of the metaphysics described above but they contributed in a number of ways: a toolkit for creation and criticism, the realization that most systems posit some characteristic(s) of the world as fundamental and thus the thought that perhaps a demonstrated system should not posit anything. One reason, however, for positing some element (substance) at the outset of a metaphysics is that the alternative seems to be absence of foundation or infinite regress which is an at most insecure foundation. However, I found that a secure foundation is possible without substance (and that the idea of Being was one of an important set of ideas that enabled this foundation)

It was while searching for a metaphysics that the idea of ‘journey’ emerged. The idea was perhaps suggested by the fact that neither goals nor approach were fixed but both changed multiple times in the process. Once the core ideas for the metaphysics emerged, a process of securing the metaphysics, sharpening it, elaborating and applying it followed and the term ‘journey’ seemed appropriate to these activities in themselves and because inspiration continued to come both in nature and at home in our civilization

At this point, use of the term journey acquired greater significance. If the Universe has no limits, the ‘limits’ of human being are not limits after all: what we regard as impossible is merely (immensely) difficult (although these are not ultimate limits we may call them normal limits.) What opens up is a journey of ultimate realization

It is important, of course, to realize, first, that the meaning of ‘ultimate’ is not immediately given and its discovery is also part of the process and, second, that the process of realization requires that we respect normal limits

Regarding the idea of a journey the following may be added. What began as a personal journey in the immediate world became a journey in realization of the fact and meaning of the ultimate, i.e. the process is a template that any individual or group may investigate and take up. This journey is very much in process and, further, it is shown via the metaphysics that the journey remains ever in process

So far, I have given some reason for the inclusion of ‘Being’ in the title of this work. The narrative now takes up this question in further detail

What is Being?

Being—Being is what-is-there—this concept is related to the concept of existence; these concepts have well known and other problems that are addressed and resolved later

Reasons for the appeal to being

Why the appeal to Being? If I were to say the world is made of matter or that the world is made in the image of mind or ideas I would be making a commitment to the nature of the world. There are specialized uses of ‘Being’ but the root use is the etymological one that stems from the verb ‘to be.’ In saying the world is Being, I make no commitment. The metaphysical advantage is twofold. First, in not making a commitment I do not make the mistake of pre-judgment. It is characteristic of both science and of metaphysics that we tend to commit, to pre-judge. The aim of science must include the practical; therefore such commitment may be necessary. In metaphysics, however, it is not necessary even though there is a history of such commitment; perhaps due to the tradition this commitment is unreflective; perhaps the metaphysician thinks that without some commitment thought would flounder. Why do we commit to such positions? Culture has its slow accumulation of understanding of the world; the individual cannot recreate this picture and must accept much on faith; it is practical to accept the view of the culture; this acceptance takes many forms: a questioning form, and a form beyond questioning; both kinds of acceptance are needed; perhaps the commitment occasionally takes bizarre proportions: we kill for our faith: this attests to the strength of commitment to the merely posited and perhaps there is some function to it but perhaps it is merely like the antlers of the Irish Elk (on the assumption that they are the result of sexual selection while being otherwise counter-adaptive.) Here, however, we are interested in truth over commitment. Perhaps we will remain frustrated; perhaps we will be enlightened. The possibility does indeed exist that the generality associated with Being may make any resulting metaphysics empty: however we probably could not know without trying. It is one of the discoveries of this narrative that the use of Being has led to an immensely powerful metaphysics. Its power lies in its depth (foundation without substance,) breadth (capture of the variety of Being, revealed to be without limit,) and demonstration. The second great advantage of the use of Being is that in not positing a foundation recourse has to be made to search and demonstration: not only is the metaphysics secure, the methods of demonstration are powerful methods available for other use. And, from the confidence and tools that arise in the proof, the metaphysics is capable of immense development (the chapters of the narrative) that is not available to other merely posited and erroneous andor empty systems


Journey. This metaphysics shows that being has no limits. Specifically, while human being experiences and must respect what may be labeled normal limits there are no ultimate limits for human being. The journey is a negotiation of the boundary between the normal and the ultimate or, roughly, the known and the unknown. Since Being has no limits, the human journey (the journey of any entity, especially those entities capable of conceiving that their nature includes a quest for identity and Ultimates) is an unending adventure in variety of being with peaks but no final peak of Identity. As what is there, Being is an appropriate container for this journey

The fundamental principle of metaphysics

The fundamental principle of metaphysics—Being has no limits

Semantically equivalent forms of the fundamental principle

Forms of the fundamental principle that are equivalent on account of their meaning—i.e., semantically equivalent forms. Being has no limits (is limitless.) The Universe has no limits. X has no limits where X = the world, the Universe, that lamppost (on Alliance Road in Arcata, California, USA,) a blade of grass, human being, a human being, an electron, substance, mind, matter… Proof of equivalence. If Being has no limits then it can confer limitlessness on the world, the Universe, a lamppost, a human being… Note that proof that all these forms are equivalent does not constitute proof of any one of the effectively infinite number of them

Is the fundamental principle absurd?

Is the fundamental principle absurd? To claim that a human being has no limits certainly seems absurd—I cannot fly and I cannot defy gravity and this is why I do not jump off tall buildings, I do not know all things, my abilities are limited compared to other human beings and other animals… Subsequently the ways in which the principle may be absurd or unsound will be elaborated systematically and the potential absurdities addressed and defused. However, if something appears to be absurd a proof goes a long way to defuse the absurdity

Proof of the fundamental principle

Proof. A law is what is read as a pattern. The pattern itself is the Law. A Law is a being. The Universe is all being and therefore exists and contains all law. The complement of a domain that exists also exists. The Void is the absence of being: the Void contains no being. The Void is the complement of the Universe and it therefore exists and contains no Law. If some state of being would not emerge from the Void that would be a Law of the Void. Therefore there are no limits on being: all states are actual—roughly somewhere-somewhen in extension-duration

Operational meaning of the fundamental principle

What does it mean that Being has no limits? There is some sense to the assertion—clearly it means that there must be more states than those that we know. However, if we do not know a state we know ‘it’ exists but we do not know what it is. Meaning can be provided as follows in terms of concepts where a concept is defined as mental content. The meaning of ‘there is a state or entity’ or ‘so and so state obtains or so and so entity exists’ is that we have a concept of a state or entity and there is an actual state or entity to which the concept refers. The meaning of the assertion that Being has no limits may now be given as follows: every concept has reference somewhere-somewhen in the Universe—this is the principle of reference. Perhaps there are states that cannot be conceived by any sentient being—but the fundamental principle suggests that there are not. Even in our present form we can have implicit conception of all states. However, by talking in terms of concepts, we know of infinitely more states than we know by other means. There is one concern—are there conceivable states that do not exist? Yes—there cannot be, for example, a brick that is entirely red and not red at the same time. In other words for a concept to have reference it must satisfy the minimal requirement (maximal freedom) of logic. This restriction did not arise when talking of being itself; it is only when one state of being would refer faithfully to another that the possibility of violation of logic (and other error) arises. Thus the direct version of the statement Being has no limits requires no restriction regarding logic

The concept of Logic

The concept of Logic. Every logical principle has come under scrutiny. The principle of non-contradiction has been questioned even though its violation in standard logics implies that every statement is true. There are systems called non alethic logic in which the principle of non-contradiction is not true but the logics are non-explosive—i.e., it does not follow that all statements are true. Prior to the principle that Being has no limits we may have defined logic as follows: logic is the system of requirements that concepts must satisfy so as to have the possibility of reference (alternatively, it is the system that must be satisfied so that there is reference in a possible world.) It is easy to see that the deductive notion of logic follows. However, the following problem arises. If every principle of logic is questionable, the assertion that logic guarantees reference comes under doubt. We resolve this issue by defining Logic as the requirement that concepts must satisfy in order to have reference: every conception and every conceivable state that satisfies Logic exists. Two observations are pertinent (1) Although introduced by definition, Logic is not empty because the logics are approximations to it and (2) The discovery of Logic is empirical or, at least, has an empirical content (described later—it is different from the kind of empirical content of science)

Conflict with common experience, science. Resolution. The concept of the Normal

Conflict with common experience, science. Resolution. The regular behavior in common experience and science are laws and therefore the limits of our typical or normal experience. However they are not absolute limits. The only absolute limits on concepts are the requirements of Logic. In normal experience ‘regular behavior’ is as if absolute but is not. Except Logic, the impossibility of normal experience is in fact improbable; the improbability is so high that exceptions are unlikely typical times… and the necessity of normal experience is not necessary but highly probable. This defines the concept of the Normal

Logic as the one Universal law

Logic as the one Universal law. It follows from the foregoing that Logic is the one Universal Law; all Universal Law falls under Logic. Being has no limit; therefore the extension, duration, and variety of being is without limit—is without end. What clues may we have to this immense variety? The logics and the various systems of mathematics are some. Literature, dreams, visions are further examples (subject to Logic.) The laws of science are another mine of variety—especially theoretical physics and mathematical expressions of evolutionary variety in biology. It becomes apparent that Logic is a container for mathematics and the theoretical sciences. On account of Logic as law we see—perhaps—the distinction between science, Logic, and mathematics begin to break down. The observation draws strength from the empirical side to all these activities; and is paralleled by the break down in Objects of the distinction between the particular or concrete objects and the abstract objects

Alternative forms of the fundamental principle

Alternate forms of the fundamental principle. In the forms the italicized concept is the basis for the form

Further semantically equivalent forms

Further semantically equivalent forms. (1) Subject to Logic, every concept has reference—i.e. an Object. (2) The variety of being in the Universe has no limit (3) The Universe is absolutely non-cosmomorphic—it is not in the image of any actual or conceived cosmos

Forms based on substantive content

Forms based on substantive content. (1) Primitive form—The Universe is all Being, exists, and contains all Objects (specifically, it contains all Laws, all entities whether particular or abstract) (2) Original form and anchor of the metaphysics—The Void which is the absence of Being exists and contains no Objects (specifically, it contains no Law) (3) There is no Universal Law; the one Universal law is Logic; the Logos which is the Universe in all its detail is the Object of Logic (4) The Universe is absolutely indeterministic—from a given state, there is no limit on the subsequent evolution of the Universe (it is also absolutely deterministic in an unusual sense: from any given state, all states will at some time emerge)

The history of the fundamental principle and related ideas

The history of the fundamental principle and related ideas. The idea is not new. St. Augustine subscribed to the idea that being was most full because that would imply the existence of God. Perhaps Augustine did not think or perhaps he ignored that it would imply the existence also of Satan and every other conceivable being. The principle of plenitude is, roughly, ‘anything that can happen will happen.’ The phrase ‘can happen’ is vague; Aristotle asserted that no events that remain eternally possible will go unrealized. Kant believed in the principle but not in its provability (he essentially believed proof to be logically impossible which means that no being, however great its intellect, could prove the principle.) What are the contributions of the present narrative? One difference lies in approach; I had no intent to prove or posit the principle; the principle emerged from investigation. Substantive differences include the following. Here, the principle is proved; and the proof is the source of both foundation and tools of demonstration. As a result, the principle may be stated with clarity and certainty. The correct form is that Being has no limits (and the various equivalents.) Since the fact and form of the principle is sound, the emergent as well as standard methods may be applied to an immense development as in the narrative. The metaphysics of this narrative shows a strong relation among a number of concepts: Being, Universe, Void, Logic, Logos and others (readers should be aware that most of the concept words of this narrative have a history but the meanings here are specific and empowered by the metaphysics.) The idea of the Void occurs in many traditions including Judaism and Hinduism and has been the subject of philosophic thought since the Greeks. I believe that I do not owe a significant debt to the history of thought regarding the principle of plenitude or the Void: I did not arrive at the importance of these ideas via the historical context and the development of the ideas here goes significantly beyond the historical. On the other hand I do owe a debt regarding other ideas. Being is of course one of these ideas and I certainly owe a debt to Aristotle and to Heidegger for pointing out the significance of Being and to Heidegger for the idea to contrast Being to substance metaphysics. Hume has influenced my thought in places by showing that natural categories such as cause and scientific theories are not logical or necessary consequences of observation. Leibniz’ and Wittgenstein’s emphasis on the relation between logic and metaphysics has been useful. The history of philosophy and metaphysics have contributed numerous areas and problems that provide material waiting for application of the Universal metaphysics (and it is not unexpected, given the proof and character of the metaphysics that it should provide significant resolution of the problems; that it should clarify which fundamental questions may be answered and which shall remain objects of contemplation.) Finally, the literature on science and religion have been useful in many ways: in reflections on significance and method, and in providing analogies that are immensely suggestive even though they do not contribute to proof of the developments of the narrative

Proof and empowerment

Proof and empowerment. The power of the fundamental principle—Being has no limits—is becoming apparent. It and will be developed in significantly greater detail and extent. It is important that the proof is empowering (1) Since the principle has powerful uses, there should be doubt about its validity. Proof answers doubt (2) The methods of the proof are powerful instruments. The proof presented above is brief and skeletal; it may be presented in further detail; a similar approach may be deployed in developing a full metaphysics in absolute and conceptual terms; a foundation in intuition may be given; the ideas regarding Logic are significant and may be elaborated. These varieties and further concerns constitute a powerful system of method that is deployed in the Ideas, the Transformations, Method, and Contribution

Doubt, faith and empowerment

Doubt, faith and empowerment. The proof is not beyond doubt. The existence of the Void may be doubted (this existence is frequently taken as given in the modern literature.) I have given alternate proofs of the existence of the Void. However, these too are not beyond doubt. To increase confidence I have given plausibility arguments for the existence of the Void. However, doubt remains. It is important, however, that the fundamental principle violates no principle of Logic. Therefore, because of its power, faith may be placed in the fundamental principle as a basis of thought and action. However, the meaning of faith should be clarified. In the present development faith is that attitude that is most conducive of positive outcomes. Therefore this faith retains an element of doubt because doubt may lead to its removal via proof. Alternately, doubt may remain. It is then good to know that action is undertaken under a degree of certainty. Also, since Logic is empirical, the development of Logic as a tool in predicting the variety of being may be open to question

Implications for variety of being

Implications for variety of being the extension, duration, and variety of being have no limits

Implication for human being

Implication for human being human being has no limits

Conflict with common experience and science

Conflict with common experience and science is as earlier

Human being must respect normal limits

Human being must respect normal limits. The way beyond such limits begins with discovery from within the limits. This is the way to understanding these limits

Religion and its possibilities

Religion and its possibilities. Traditional religions have a number of functions but at the center they generally have a metaphysics that is posited and supernatural; and other functions such as morals and social bonding flow from the metaphysics or the fact of shared faith. This mode of religion is so archetypical that it tends to constitute a de facto concept of religion. This mode and the forms of the beings that occupy the metaphysical space are archetypically posited and archetypically distorting because when we think of such Objects we tend to think, either in acceptance or in rejection, according to the archetype which is immensely limiting in addition to the unnatural distortion. Even metaphysics traditionally functions in this mode: even after metaphysics rids itself of the explicitly supernatural it continues to posit its basis. The Universal metaphysics remains natural and reveals an unending journey that is the realization of Identity. We may conceive an activity: the use of all modes of individual andor group being and process in the negotiation and realization of Being in all its modes

A new conception of religion

We may label this Religion. The term is better than ‘spirituality’ because it is not about another realm; and we may share and record our learning and process and inspiration in an un-dogmatic way

The nature of this Religion

The nature of this Religion—it will be accessible, transparent, and transformational. It is accessible in that understanding requires neither special visionary power of the various religious and spiritual practices nor special theoretical apparatus as in science (such powers and apparati may of course be useful.) The system reveals esoterica by methods open to all, just as science but even more so because it does not depend on mastering mathematical techniques, performance of experiments requiring investment and high technology, and large teams of individuals... and compared to the makers of myth makers it does not depend on faith or authority. It is transparent in that everything is open to plain view; there is no reference to remote events or tasks (but of course what we experience as remote is not ruled out.) It is transformational in that the journey is not merely about bringing back to our ‘mundane’ world special gifts and visions; it is also about transformation and realization of varieties and levels of being

Science—a new concept. Identity of future science and religion, i.e. of the fundamental human endeavor

Science. The natural sciences continue to be studied via the hypothesis and test paradigm—an objective mode. In the social sciences there are some beginnings of science as a participatory activity. The Universal metaphysics reveals that this will be the mode of any ‘universal’ science including the natural. In the future, Science and Religion may be found identical

Charting a course

It has been seen that the discovery of the Universal metaphysics marks a divide. In some directions the discovery marks the end of a journey in ideas. In other directions, however, it opens up a new journey in ideas. It simultaneously, opens up and even requires a journey in being without limit or end. Earlier, I may have thought of a journey in being as a journey in my human form. However, the Universal metaphysics shows that the limits of a being are the limits of all being: that a particular form is an occasion rather than end. Thus the metaphysics opens up a journey in ideas and becoming that is well defined in some directions and infinitely open in the direction of variety

The main principles in charting a course for the journey are to be found in the chapters Metaphysics through Worlds. The journey is closed with regard to depth but infinitely open with regard to breadth. The modes and means of the journey are in ideas and being (identity and its transformations)