Variety of being

Anil Mitra, © March 2010, © Latest Revision August 19, 2010



Preliminary. 1

Outer. 1

The variety of being. 1

Universe. 2

Identity. 2

Inner. 3

This world! 3

Inner worlds. 4

Inner-outer 5

The dimensions of the journey. 5



Has overlap with the sacred and the spiritual.doc; place the overlapping material in one document and link from the other


The variety of being

Details of the variety of being include the following

There is an infinite number of cosmological systems. An infinity of systems is identical to ours and in the same time and place (this violates the principle of identity of indiscernibles but that principle is not logically necessary.) An infinity is identical to ours except time or place. There are infinitely many systems that are similar to ours. On some systems the stories of the Bible are true (except contradiction,) on others the stories of Koran are true; this gives no particular support to their truth on Earth. Repetition addresses Nietzsche’s idea of eternal return while also saying something regarding the idea of karma

There is an infinity of systems that exhibit an unlimited variety of forms and ‘physical laws;’ there are annihilator systems that annihilate a cosmos in an instant; this annihilation function can be performed by the Void; there are even now ‘ghost’ systems passing through ours with barely a whisper

The identical systems may be ghosts but the interesting case arises when they are not and there may be consequences for coherence and (at least apparent) self-interaction. Every cosmos is an atom, every atom a cosmos

These varieties probably pale before the actual variety: the transition between the Void and manifest forms is simultaneously one of absolute indeterminism as well as absolute determinism (defined in the non-traditional sense that every possibility is realized; and the transition has incremental variation and selection as well as single large step variations to mostly unstable but occasionally near stable, near symmetric states—a perfectly symmetric, absolutely stable state would constitute eternal being and be a violation of the existence of the Void that can and will annihilate every state of being—except the Void itself whose ‘annihilation’ is itself)

Every particle of being has an interaction with every other particle (which may be so small as to have no normal effect)


In the development of the metaphysics the Universe will be conceived as all being (over all duration and extension; and thus there is one Universe.) There is some initial arbitrariness to how the Universe should be conceived. Should the Universe be thought of as the empirically known world or perhaps the physical universe or the universe at a slice of time? In such cases it is not clear that there is one Universe. Or should be go with Johannes Scotus Eriugena and conceive the Universe as everything that exists and everything that does not exist—over all time and space? Eriugena’s conception is intriguing but it raises the possibility that the Universe does not exist (since the only concepts for which there are no Objects are those that are logically impossible, the phrase ‘everything that does not exist’ in Eriugena’s definition is superfluous and his definition is equivalent to the present one.) It will turn out the Universe as conceived here is the one that enables the development of the metaphysics (and is therefore conceptually and instrumentally sound)

This is a familiar theme—that conceptual or descriptive simplicity determines ‘facts.’ We now know that the Sun is at the center of the solar system (the correct claim is that the center of the solar system is its center of mass but because the Sun is so massive that the two centers are close.) However, we know from the concept of relative motion that if one object has a motion relative to another then the second can equally be described as having motion relative to the first. If motion of Earth may be described as around the Sun, the motion of the Sun may be described as around Earth. What is the resolution of the dilemma? It is simply that the simplest description of the dynamical behavior of the solar system emerges when the Sun is taken to be its center (and this is why the Ptolemaic description with Earth at the center is so complex)

That every particle interacts with every other gives dynamic meaning to the phrase ‘one Universe’


Finally, and of especial significance to the journey, there is what I have called the principle of Identity and is also an element of Vedanta: the individual is equivalent to and will realize all being (in the external world and already in the depth of the internal)

The fundamental principle implies that every individual will realize ultimate being (though perhaps not in ‘this’ form.) I have called the latter assertion the principle of identity

While this principle is directly implied by the fundamental principle, it is also implied by the fact that every particle of being interacts with every other particle


This world!

I wonder—is my interest in the ultimate a detriment to myself or to this world? Do I owe the world my time spent on more immediate concerns?

There is a moral answer. Perhaps it is the case that every individual should make some immediate contribution; and it is also perhaps the case that everyone deserves some enjoyment. The social world requires sustenance but one of the points to life, at least in my view, is enjoyment. I have worked as a teacher in various universities for over ten years and have provided care for nineteen years in a psychiatric hospital (perhaps I am lucky that I enjoyed that work.) For enjoyment, then, I have a passion for ideas, for nature, and for people (and these passions are interacting—some inspiration for ideas comes from nature and people)

There is a second moral answer. I believe that ideas contribute to the world as much as more immediately practical work. It is more than that ideas have practical consequences. Ideas contribute to appreciation, enjoyment, and the quality of life. And enjoyment is practical because it improves the quality of ‘practical’ work. Not everyone finds ideas to contribute to their enjoyment. Human beings are varied in their propensities. I think it enough that some people get enjoyment from ideas

Finally there is a somewhat metaphysical answer that questions the meaning of the phrase ‘this world.’ 15,000 years ago the typical human niche was the immediate hunter-gatherer environment. Today we are a global community; some of us have aspirations to space travel and colonization (it seems impractical today but considering the transition from 15,000 years ago it I do not see why it should remain impractical)

It is perhaps a metaphysical thought that the immediate and the ultimate are intimately connected. I had intuitions and glimpses of the Universal metaphysics many years ago. It was only in 2002 that I had the insight that permitted transition to reason. The landscapes initially revealed were experienced as strange and wonderful. The Universal metaphysics reveals, perhaps even more powerfully than modern science, the intimate and awesome connection between big and small, the infinite and the infinitesimal, the eternal and the moment. Today, the intellectual aspect of the ultimate has become more commonplace for me. However, under the right circumstance wonder returns—sometimes without expectation, sometimes stimulated by beautiful music, sometimes sparked by a white cloud in a blue sky over green hills, and sometimes occasioned by a glass of wine. I am perhaps fortunate that wonder at the infinite has not dimmed wonder at the immediate world of small things—a blade of grass in spring, a feminine shape, an evening sky

In a subsequent section I reflect upon the reflection in psyche of connections between the Universe and this world

Inner worlds

The phrase inner world means, roughly, the world of the psyche. We think of ideas and emotions as having a different mode of being than things (in material terms, even if they have a material signature in brain processes they are not or do not seem to be material.) Later, we will see this mode of thinking to be in error. We will later see that experience and other Objects of the psyche do not have a different mode of being. Of course, there are differences and it will be necessary to identify the difference, to show that it makes for the nature of experience, to explain how it makes for the seeming divide between experience and what is experienced, and to show how the difference / apparent divide does not constitute a different mode of being (e.g. material versus mental)

In this section the interest is exploration of the inner world

A first reason for the interest is that that exploration may provide clues to the nature and variety of the Universe as a whole. We read in Vedanta of the identity between Atman and Brahman, between self and Universe, between experience and the real. If we feel discomfort with this identification taken literally, that is a good thing: if we accept a faulty formulation of relations between world and experience, then conclusions based on that formulation may be incorrect. However, it is true that the world of phenomena lies at the intersection between knower and known. That statement is obviously rough and perhaps metaphorical because there is not a clear dividing line. Perhaps I have a picture of a human being with a boundary and what is inside the boundary is inner. But inner / outer does not have to do with body / world but with experience / experienced. And my picture of the human picture is again of my mind and it is the reality of such pictures that is being called into question. It is therefore invalid to make any general claim of faithfulness or lack of faithfulness regarding knowledge from the incomplete character of ‘pictures’ of the world or of the divide between knower and known

In later developments we will see that there are cases of partial and implicit faithfulness—cases in which even the meaning of faithfulness is not clear. It will also be seen that the Universal metaphysics is founded upon the universal and necessarily faithful Objects. One source of this conclusion will be an analysis of aspects of the ‘inner world’

Another reason for interest in an inner world lies in the ideas of ‘dreams and demons.’ Here ‘dream’ is roughly synonymous with imagination whether sensual or symbolic and includes actual dreaming. Demons include fearful images but also refer to any block to knowledge or realization of what is potential (including a rewarding life)

In terms of the Universal metaphysics, dreams and imagination have an obvious literal significance

However, as an individual with limits I also have an interest in dreams and other aspects of vision as transformational (in inner and outer worlds, in psyche and body.) Similarly, I have an interest in demons as blocking transformation

There are many traditional and modern approaches to dealing with such issues (and there are doubters who think it all a waste of effort.) As a non-expert I have interest and doubt. My doubt, however, is not that it is a waste (or not a waste.) It is the doubt of ‘What is the return of such interest. What is a good instrumental approach—is there any. I do not make any recommendations for myself and therefore cannot at present make any recommendations for others. I have a sense, however, that the best approach may be to experiment in light of traditional systems, catalysts to transformation (meditation and a host of other activities,) and modern ideas. I have attended a number of presentations on transformational approaches and my typical reaction is ‘uh’ or ‘makes sense but I do not know.’ Look at the table in the next section to get a brief sense of what I have found useful so far. I will continue to experiment. I feel that I am a beginner despite deep experience with what may be labeled mystic vision. I must explore further because I do not yet know any final path to realization. However, I know from the Universal metaphysics that there is a way and I am reasonably well convinced that (a) There are effective psychic approaches to insight and transformation beyond the merely cognitive and (b) It is essential to engage with my entire being (and to recognize that the being / psyche divide is not clear)


Tibetan Buddhism: the inner and outer landscape etch upon one another

Vedanta: Atman is Brahman

Jung: Archetypes as symbols

Me: Humor as the place below symbols

The dimensions of the journey

A higher world?

The notion of the journey is one that arises from within ‘this world;’ if it accesses higher aspects of the Universe, it does not reject the world. This is the Tantric notion of chöd

However, it is not essential that there should be one emphasis for all people. Individuals are different in their propensities and the world is enhanced by the presence of a mix of kinds

The dimensions of the journey

Here are some dimensions of the journey. Items marked (*) are in-process; those marked (**) have substantial completion. Detailed explanation is in Chapter Journey










Material world


Mind / psyche (spirit) / nature


Of psyche


Cognitive, feeling, mystic


Ideas / discovery (experiment and selection in ideas)

Natural science**


Development of local disciplines*


Sciences of symbolic systems—Logic* and mathematics*

Social science*


Participation / analysis* / charisma

Psychology* / depth


Awareness, feeling. Mystic**, meditative*, catalytic vision quest; integration with world, nature**


Personal transformation (psychic, physical) and healing*


Traditional sources: myth, religion, shamanism, art, literature, music…



Includes Objects**, Cosmology**, Local worlds* (development of local disciplines*)

Of being and value


Becoming / transformation (experiment and selection in being)

Experiments with artificial being


Hard / wetware. Experiment / evolution. Idea / computation

Shared journey
and inspiration




Values / action

Possibilities revealed and undertaken


Catalysts and Quest for transformation. Traditional sources

Goals—process, the present, adventure in unending variety, universal identity


Civilization / nature

Table. Dimensions of the Journey versus Mode of transformation. Explanation will be given in Chapter Journey. Items marked (*) are in-process; those marked (**) have substantial completion. Some items are repeated

Method / approach

Ideas. See the section Universal metaphysics, sub-section Method

Being. There is a dynamics of being that is analogous to the methods for the ideas. The process, possibilities / necessities of realization are framed by the Universal metaphysics. The approach is that of experiments in transformation that are framed by informed by the local disciplines (and everyday knowledge.) Risk is unavoidable but the local disciplines / everyday knowledge minimize unnecessary risk. The dynamics begins as trial and error; it is then possible to cultivate the dynamics itself. Sources of information include traditional approaches such as vision-quest and mystic vision and emphasize catalysts to vision and transformation

Value. Value falls under being and ideas

Examples of the use of the dynamics of being. The development of the ideas (concept and systems formation including inspiration from mystic vision, abstraction) are an example of the dynamics. Further examples fall under the areas: (a) Identity, Personality and charisma (b) Dynamics of mental functions and—self—awareness (c) Body, healing and medicine and (d) Discovery and development of the dynamics

The longer document Journey in being has a more complete and detailed development