Journey in being

Anil Mitra, © May 2010

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The purpose of this document is to provide the basis for prepared and impromptu talks; it is derived from the Introduction to Journey in being.doc


Overview.. 2

Introduction. 2…     The concepts. 2…     Outline. 9

I        Ideas. 9

The nature and role of the ideas. 9…     Intuition. 9…     Metaphysics. 12…     Objects. 17…     Cosmology. 18…     Worlds. 22

II      Journey—transformations in being and identity. 24

A journey in being. 24…     Method. 25…     The transformations. 25…     Supplementary investigations in the modes and means of transformation. 29…     The future. 29…     Being. 29

III     Method. 30

The main development 30…     Elements of method. 31…     Elements of creation in ideas. 35…     Summary. 36

IV     Contribution. 36

Introduction—the kinds and extent of the contribution. 36…     Philosophy and metaphysics. 37…     Science. 38…     Religion. 38…     A system of human knowledge. 38

V      Reference. 39



In this presentation, I describe the highlights of a Journey. What follows is a précis of a longer narrative available at and as a manuscript. The first function of the present document is to provide a brief overview of the essential features of the longer narrative—i.e., of the journey

A secondary objective in writing the present version is to have available a brief overview as a base for other developments such as presentations and impromptu talks and discussions. This document is derived from the long Introduction Journey in being.html

The present brief essay is primarily descriptive: in what follows, I omit most proof, explanation and elaboration; these are available at the link above

However, the complete development is more than descriptive; it provides proof, detailed development and elaboration, motivation and grounding, and a range of application. Along the way, I came to develop a mature theory of being and Universe (Metaphysics,) a theory of the nature of the ‘things’ in the Universe (Objects which include process, interaction and abstract Objects,) and a theory of the variety of things (Cosmology,) and some application, in Worlds, to an approach enhancement of understanding from the traditional disciplines, of our local cosmos and of human being. These developments had a dual goal—understanding the Universe and use in the Journey

The endeavor—I experienced it as play and as work—required careful and imaginative development of a number of concepts and upon novel proofs or demonstrations as well as novel developments in method. I believe that the contribution to thought and the general human endeavor are fundamental and significant. The main contributions are noted as they are developed. Contributions that are secondary to the goals of the journey are discussed in chapter Contribution


The journey began as a personal process. My life has been characterized by passion and search that is perhaps uncommon but of course not unique. In the beginning neither the goals nor the means were explicit. There was ambition—for great achievement and adventure. I was in love with the world and with ideas. I wanted to explore, discover and understand. In the beginning my understanding was aided by the traditions including science and philosophy. Later, when I developed a system of understanding (beginning with the chapter Intuition) I gained a new perspective on the ultimate nature of the Universe. Then, clearer goals became possible; and they included the transformation of individual being; understanding of and aiming at ultimates. Although originally personal, the process came, first, to be characterized as individual; and through understanding—Metaphysics through Worlds—it became Universal. And still, the aspect of a journey remained, first, because, of course, I have not understood or realized all aspects of the ultimate and, second, because Metaphysics reveals that realization never ends—there may be a nirvana or a hell that may be of great but not ultimate magnitude or kind

The concepts

A Journey in being

An individual undertakes a journey that, in the beginning, is directed more by adventure than a specific set of goals; as much by what is unknown to the individual as by what is known. The question arises For what is it that I am looking? And perhaps the response comes, the journey itself is a goal but not the only goal I am also looking for great things—things that challenge at the core—to do and to become! And he or she recognizes a search that aims at the ultimate and is defined by the questions What is my ultimate being? What is the relation between the ultimate and my ultimate? What is the ultimate? And of course, there are then the practical questions How may I approach the ultimate? What is the best way? Or perhaps What are some good ways—in terms of feasibility and morals? And What is the role of enjoyment of the present, the process, in the journey?

Before taking up an approach to answering the questions, it will be useful to reflect on the meaning of a question such as What is my ultimate being? Suppose I wanted to go back in history and become Isaac Newton. Even if absurd, it is a concrete ambition (allowing of course that I can proceed into the future by going back to the past.) However, ‘my ultimate being’ is not concrete. As long as I do not have a notion of ‘my ultimate being’ I cannot proceed in any constructive direction. But I can develop a theory of the nature of the Universe (or use an existing theory such as a philosophical or scientific cosmology) which may contain some account of the ultimate and its access by apparently less than ultimate beings. In other words, in assigning something concretely realizable to ‘my ultimate being’ I must turn to ideas—to the idea of ‘my ultimate being.’ I derive two important consequences from the conclusion. First, a journey into realization must involve ideas (What may be realized? How may it be realized? …and so on.) A journey of transformation of being must involve ideas; and even if the goal were some ultimate or higher understanding that would require a notion of ‘ultimate higher understanding.’ The second consequence involves the notion of meaning. In order to talk of something that is not present we must have some concept—idea—of it. Suppose I decide, one day while sitting in my living room in my apartment in California, that ‘I want to climb Mt. Everest.’ Assuming that I know what ‘I want to climb’ means, unless I have some notion of what ‘Mt. Everest’ is, I have no notion of what I want to do—I could be wanting to climb an anthill or to climb the corporate ladder. Even if a group of people are standing in the presence of Mt. Everest and someone says ‘isn’t Mt. Everest beautiful’ no one will know what is being said unless they have some notion of the meaning of Mt. Everest. Perhaps, you say, but Mt. Everest is a commonly recognized name. The response is that there can be no notion of the connection between the—entirely abstract in the sense of there being no resemblance between name and thing—name and the thing unless one has seen the thing before, or seen pictures of it and so on and has come to associate the abstract name with the object (Mt. Everest.) The important conclusion for meaning that is crucial to developments in this essay is that meaning involves a triad of a sign, e.g. a word or sentence, a concept, and a thing or Object. An immense amount of confusion may result when, as is often practical to do, concepts are conflated with Objects or the idea of the concept is conflated with the idea of the Object and the word is thought to refer to an Object without any mediating concept

How can answers such questions such as ‘What is my ultimate being?’ be approached? They may perhaps be approached in terms of our best understanding. In the modern world there is natural science which studies the natural world as matter and life; there are sciences and descriptive studies of mind and groups; there are the religions and spiritual movements; and there is that philosophy which seeks understanding via concepts but is also critical of its ability to do so…

I found these studies illuminating but ultimately limiting in that they see the Universe in the aspect of a certain kind (a kind has significance if there are a few kinds into which all things fall; but at the outset of being, we know no kinds even though we may think them; at outset there may be variety but we cannot insist on it or its division into kinds)

The idea of ‘being’ advertises itself as roughly ‘what is there’ and so subscribes to no kind or, a priori, to the absence of kinds. This might be, it may seem, a source of weakness but it turns out to be a source of some ultimate power in understanding and realization

Via being and the studies and activities that follow, being and Being (all being) merge and there is finally seen to be One Journey; it remains a journey because there are higher—e.g. more inclusive—forms but no highest form and there is variety but no end to variety

In some directions I have found ultimates—I believe demonstrated this (chapter Metaphysics.) In ideas or knowledge Metaphysics explores the dimensions of depth and breadth. The depth or foundation of the metaphysics is shown to be ultimate. Breadth or variety of being is found to be without end—there is no realization of all variety but only adventure in variety without end; this is an ultimate discovery but also shows that in relation to variety there is no actual ultimate. A final direction to the journey is realization. The discovery regarding realization is that whatever ultimate is available to being is available to the individual in some manifestations. In this dimension—the focus of the chapter Journey—I find that, relative to what is possible, I am at the beginning of a journey

The notion of ‘greatness’ has been mentioned. I should make the clarification that this notion of greatness does not involve being greater than other individuals. I would probably be deceiving myself if I thought that that kind of comparison is foreign to my attitudes but it is not what I intend here. I intend an intrinsic greatness—one that may be judged but is not based in the judgment of others or of history. The audience should question this. Does not any final measure of accomplishment depend on the judgment of the culture… of history? One answer is Yes of course. However, I want to take some issue with that answer; however I do not want debate the simple answer but, instead, without dogma, to present an alternate viewpoint. The term ‘Universe’ will be defined later and used in this narrative as ‘all being over all extension and duration.’ The simple notion of greatness referred beyond the individual to the culture. If there is any greatness at all it cannot refer beyond the Universe; there is no beyond—no matter, no mind, no ideas of greatness or any kind. In some way then, the idea of the intrinsic greatest is roughly the idea of identity with the Universe. In other words, intrinsic greatness is ultimate greatness and this idea and the extent to which it has been achieved in the previous paragraph

Ideas and transformation

The modes of the journey are ideas and transformation (of being)

Ideas are a limited kind of transformation (in the common though perhaps limited meaning of ‘idea’)

As knowledge, ideas are instrumental in transformation; this is a practical utility to ideas

As experience, ideas are the place of being and of appreciation of being; thus, even if limited, ideas are essential

However, in their limited meaning, ideas are a limited aspect of transformation. Transformation of the entire being is necessary for complete transformation

Therefore the modes of the journey must be ideas and transformation of being

In the developments that follow it is discovered that the limits of being that are commonly regarded as impossible are, except for Logical limits which are after all not true limits, are merely improbable

The individual ultimate is the Universal ultimate. This realization is without end. It acquires the form of a journey

Metaphysics and meaning

Central to the ideas is a metaphysics that is developed in the chapter Metaphysics

The intent of this section is, first, to defend a classical and simply stated notion of metaphysics. This defense is needed because it is just such a metaphysics that is developed and because there are powerful philosophical arguments against the possibility of such metaphysics that stem from Hume and Kant. The defense itself is rather powerful; the argument against Hume is that while he disproved that induction in science is not necessary proof even though it may have the quality of reasonableness, his argument does not entail that there are no necessary arguments for all—trivial and non-trivial—Objects. The counter to Kant who showed that all metaphysics must be a metaphysics of experience is that it does not follow that there can be no experience of any—trivial or non-trivial—Object and, second, even when we do not perfectly know an Object we can, as in Intuition for example, know something of it (and Kant himself saw this distinction in a way: we can know that there are some general things-in-themselves even if we do not know them directly.) The audience may take from this development that while critical theories are of immense importance, they are often applied universally and therefore uncritically. Attention to this point and to the consequent novel (and, as will be seen, ultimate) character of the metaphysics will assist in understanding and absorption. The preceding comment is an example of a second intent of this section is to provide suggestions to the audience regarding understanding and absorption of the content of this presentation. The section ends with further suggestions that emphasize or reemphasize (1) The depth, breadth and newness of the developments, (2) A reminder regarding the nature of meaning and the fact that even when familiar word signs are used in the development they may have unfamiliar meaning, and (3) A justification of the possibility and fact of some systematic metaphysics that emerges from analysis rather than being imposed and that allows for (even predicts) local patches of behavior that yield, if at all, only to local understanding, and

The classical notion of metaphysics is knowledge of being-as-it-is

However, one of the characteristics of modern thought is that since concepts are not Objects and since there is no logical proof of faithfulness of concepts to Objects, there can be no claims to knowledge of being as it is, i.e. of metaphysics. This is the substance of Hume’s famous disproof of the necessity of the knowledge that was emerging in the sciences and that had begun in the minds of thinkers of the time to acquire an aura of necessity. In this development, therefore, work will have to be done before metaphysics can be developed: we will have to show the possibility of metaphysics. Given Hume’s argument, the task might appear to be impossible. There is, however, a hidden incompleteness in Hume’s argument that, as far as I know, has not been remarked elsewhere. The correct version of Hume’s proof should be that there is no general proof (and I take that proof means necessary proof) of faithfulness. It is important to be careful regarding the qualification of Hume’s argument. He did not prove that there are no concept-Object pairs for which necessity of faithfulness can be shown. What he showed amounts to the absence of a general proof; particularly, he pointed out that the scientific theories of the time were generalizations and not necessary deductions and therefore they were not necessary knowledge; particularly he showed that the argument that purported to show the universal and necessary application of concepts such as causation was not a valid argument

At this point one might think that if there are any concept-Object pairs for which faithfulness is meaningful and realized, surely they must be trivial and could hardly result in any knowledge of significance. The development in Metaphysics shows (1) That there is an entire system of pairs, (2) The entire system is trivial, (3) But ‘trivial’ and ‘insignificant’ are far from identical and that the system turns out to be of immense significance for thought and for life, (4) And an important aspect of the proof of the system is the careful choice, that emerged by trial and error, of an articulated system of concepts of which each is suitably defined with regard to twin criteria of significance and sufficient simplicity via abstraction of detail that enables perfect knowledge of the abstracted Object, (5) Therefore while certainly not all knowledge is metaphysical, metaphysics is possible and actual, (6) As will be seen the metaphysics to be developed is the one metaphysics—it will be seen that there can be only one even though degree of development and expression may vary—which is of ultimate depth and breadth (the sense of ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’ will be clarified,) and (7) The Universe is revealed in the metaphysics, named the Universal metaphysics for reasons that now become clear, as having no limits to the variety, extension, and duration of being in it, and, therefore the Universe as pictured in modern science and secular humanism is a speck in comparison to the actual Universe (which naturally raises various objections of logic and absurdity that are encountered and addressed)

What is the success of the address of the objections? First address the issue of absurdity? What is the absurdity? It is the apparent violation of science and common sense—the development in Metaphysics shows that the Universe is infinitely greater in variety, extension, and duration than revealed in science or common sense. As an example, it is implied that there is an infinite class of ‘physical laws’ and corresponding to each there is an infinity of cosmological systems; on an infinite number of cosmoses, there is X where X is anything that the audience desires (subject only to logic and the consequent caveat that the case gives no credence to there being X on Earth;) and it is implied that some of the infinity of cosmological systems are passing through ours at every very moment with interaction so small as to escape all human detection so far but yet with some interaction

The argument that a metaphysics that would allow such conclusions is absurd would go as follows: science is empirical, and it might continue to say that more and more of the world of phenomena is and continues to be subsumed by science; therefore, surely, a metaphysics that suggests not only that there is more but that there is infinitely more than there is revealed by science is wrong. Hume’s argument devastates this argument; for the argument confuses generalization or projection with logical necessity

That science is empirical or based in experience means that what it says has some foundation; but it does not imply that all being has as yet or ever will come under this—for us—brightly lit empirical zone. And that more and more phenomena come under that umbrella does not imply that there is no larger world, even infinitely large, that falls under the umbra—the dark shadow zone—of science. This disproves any claim that, from science and of logical necessity, there is nothing outside the region illuminated by science or even a claim that the umbra is infinite—and it is these thus disproved claims that would have been the foundation for ‘absurdity’

The preceding argument that empirical science cannot claim completeness is logical. The logic may be illustrated though not further proved by some examples—(1) It is not known to be untrue that at, say, the place in the cosmos most distant from us there is a singularity that opens up into infinitely many cosmological systems of similar and dissimilar physical laws, and (2) It is not known to be untrue that there are ‘ghost’ cosmological systems floating through ours that have interaction with ours but that still escape all human detection

It could of course be counter-argued that the consistency of an infinite variety consistent with science is no indication of such variety, therefore while such variety may be the case it is practical and prudent to believe or behave as though what is revealed in science is the truth. A counter to the counter is that, even if the proof from the metaphysics is ignored and scientific truth were regarded as the only revealed truth, an agnostic attitude would be most practical and prudent as well as truthful for this encourages openness to truth—and wonder—and search whereas revealed science as the only truth would close down search and openness and wonder

However, the disproof of a claim of no umbra, finite or infinite, is not a proof that there is an (infinite) umbra. That requires positive proof and it is such a proof that I have claimed to provide in Metaphysics. Although the proof is formally valid, there is doubt concerning it and although I have addressed the doubt in a number of ways, doubt remains

Therefore, I introduce faith, not as belief in absurd propositions, but as the attitude that may be most productive of positive outcomes and the development then has an alternative interpretation as search for the greatest Universe (a little thought suggests that giving some but not excessive resources to action with potential for great outcome is good even in a resource limited world)

A number of interesting points may be mentioned. First, even if the doubt is removed, the discovery of the Universe still remains a task that shall require faith and so our position is not significantly affected by doubt (except perhaps that doubt makes the adventure even greater.) The situation may be refined on the assumption that a valid proof of the Universal metaphysics has not yet been (and recognizing also that a valid disproof of that metaphysics has not been given.) Since there is neither proof nor disproof, the Universal metaphysics may be regarded as a hypothesis to be explored conceptually and, especially, experimentally (see The fundamental principle of metaphysics and its forms for a variety of useful expressions of the metaphysics)

A question that arises, perhaps the principle question, is whether such exploration may be of value. Some arguments may be, pro: there is value to search into the reaches of being—especially given the magnitude of what may be discovered; and con: the vast problems of the modern time are more important, let us not waste precious resources and, besides, our great scientific and technological endeavor is all that we need in the way of exploration. The pro and con approach is typical of ‘either or’ or ‘black and white’ or, as seen later, ‘substance’ thinking. In the present case it is possible to use an ‘and’ approach: we can continue on with science and we can also undertake the exploration of being

First, however, consider the objection that science is that exploration. The counter-argument is that science is, perhaps, an exploration of being but it restricts itself to the relatively immediate—i.e., the empirical as revealed in direct and instrumental observation (on which is overlaid conceptual-theoretical interpretation with the caveat that though concept and theory are hypothetical, they have survived empirical and rational test.) There are, as revealed later, ways of investigation into the reaches of being. Both endeavors are of value; science—and other practical endeavors including the economic, the political and the humanitarian—into the immediate and the methods of ‘journey’ into the far reaches

Since it is immediate, the ‘practical’ endeavors will of course receive most of our resources—this is of course the nature of the case; since it illuminates our life and has great potential, exploration of the reaches will receive some resources

There is perhaps another argument against the use of resources in the full exploration of being—it is that this exploration is already the function of the institution labeled ‘religion.’ In so far as the argument has meaning its force is diminished by the fact that ‘experimental and conceptual exploration of all being’ and ‘religion’ have overlap and, further, as argued later, the traditional religions (especially in becoming institutionalized and in presenting premature but fixed views) have essentially abandoned exploration(in liberal and humanistic interpretations the pertinent department of religion—history and metaphysics according to religion—functions as symbolic of the human psyche)

What kind of resources shall we apply to the exploration of all being? Shall we apply for grants from governmental agencies or private foundations? Perhaps, but it may be in the nature of the case that the search shall be most effectively undertaken by (a few) individuals—privately, as experimental activities under the umbrella of traditional religions and practices, and occasionally as students of being (researchers) in schools and universities…

As I write, another direction of proof for the Universal metaphysics occurs. It is to examine the nature of existence and to further examine whether it is inherent in existence that the Void exists (rather than to prove the existence of the Void from the existence of the Universe.) If there is a time of no manifest being, the Void exists. If there is a time of manifest being, the Void exists alongside or even within it in extensions and durations that amount to zero. In either case the Void exists. Additionally, and interestingly if not altogether satisfactorily, this provides basis of an alternative proof that there is an infinite number of Voids (even though there is no particular consequence to fact.) Second, the properties of the Void are shown to imply that there is no manifest Universe at some time, i.e. if at that time only the Void exists, then a manifest Universe must have merged into and will emerge from the Void. So there are two possibilities (a) there is never a time when only the Void exists and (b) there is such a time. If there is such a time then a manifest Universe must emerge. In either case, there will be times when there is something and this resolves the problem of why there shall be being that Heidegger called the fundamental problem of metaphysics…

And so we see an important reason to doubt—beyond not making untrue claims and the occasion for adventure and faith: entertaining doubt, as famously noted by Descartes, may lead to discovery of truth

It may be noted, here, that  one of the concerns of a modern view of philosophy—or aspect to philosophy—in a therapeutic role is the idea of the end of philosophy. We see here in the idea of faith—faith as the attitude that is conducive to good action as well—perhaps—as simple animal faith, and in action itself there is a sense of and end to philosophy in its realization

It may be remarked that the discussion points to a weakness of critical theories that claim to show that something lacks a general proof and this is taken to imply, perhaps without explicit statement, but perhaps regarded as justified by significant cases where there is actual disproof, that there can be no significant cases of actual proof

Further comments to the audience regarding understanding and absorption of the development to come—I should preface these comments by noting that I have endeavored to write simply but have found that the simplest expression is ever endeavoring to catch up with the onslaught and pressure of new ideas and understanding. (1) The developments are not a compendium of prior thought but provide fundamental and novel developments along a number of directions that fall under the main topical chapters Intuition (and Knowledge,) Metaphysics, Objects, Cosmology, and Worlds or the study of our Local Cosmos and of Human Being. The entire range of application is of immense and perhaps unanticipated breadth. Therefore the audience may enhance its ability to understand what is to come by a divestment of expectation or the thought that the modern world views on being and Universe are surely adequate at least in outline and principle and therefore anything that also claims to be a world view falls within known territory or must be absurd

(2) The construction of the systems that shall emerge depends on the use of words that, even when they may be common, are used with uncommon and in some ways ultimate meaning. It is therefore crucial to understanding to attend to the meanings that have also been crucial in the development. It will also be useful for the audience to know that the various concepts stand together as an articulate system that was developed through trial and may take exposure and reflection for full absorption

(3) The audience may have been exposed to the abandonment of system in mainstream modern thought especially that represented by analytic philosophy and continental schools such as post-modernism and deconstruction. An error of these movements is to repeat the essence of the error of omission of Hume’s argument—First, arbitrary and speculative system cannot be imposed on all being; Second—there are important cases where immense hopes had been placed in system, e.g. in Hegel’s thought perhaps on account of its magnificence and in the thought of Marx because of its political promise. Hegel’s thought is significantly speculative and though not devoid of reason, his reasons did not justify his speculations (it is often thought that speculation is weak but in fact all thought is speculative or hypothetical; what is undesirable in claims to knowledge is mere speculation.) And the thought of Marx is rife with grand argument that is necessary only in format; so, even apart from the origin of destructive forces in the seeds of any ‘successful’ political-economic arrangement, failures of Marxism should not be surprising

(4) I observed that arbitrary system (probably) cannot be imposed on all being. It does not follow that no metaphysics can emerge regarding significant phases of being in processes of iterated hypothesis and critical exposure to reason and experience. It is a rather amazing fact (rather, it is a fact that amazes the author if no one else) that the system to be developed was not sought but emerged from a combination of originally intuitive thought via inspiration, tinkering, and criticism. Thus, the metaphysics that is developed in Metaphysics emerged as a rather abstract system founded in notions or concepts that include Experience, Extension, Duration, Being, Universe, Domain and Complement, the Void, Logos and Logic. (5) After the metaphysics that I call the Universal metaphysics had been developed on a rather abstract but not unreal foundation, I felt that it might be useful in terms of connecting to it as well as in terms of providing a concrete foundation, to seek a more detailed foundation in experience. It was thus that the grounding / foundation in intuition—used in the sense of common knowledge of the immediate Objects of our world which, upon reflection, may perhaps be seen as more remarkable than another sense in which intuition is extraordinary and uncommon but acute knowledge of remote events—came about to be developed after the metaphysics had been developed even though this grounding is now placed in Intuition and before Metaphysics. The sense of intuition used here is not altogether new for the idea had been used by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant and the specific sense of its present use extends that of Kant


A journey in ideas and identity or transformation

We first discuss the ideas and the transformations


In the development of the novel and ultimate ideas, there are novel and ultimate developments in method

It is convenient to collect and articulate these developments in a separate place


An estimate of the contribution

I         Ideas

The nature and role of the ideas

Ideas are an incomplete form of transformation

Ideas are instrumental in transformation—but there is a place for sheer transformation

Ideas are essential as the place of appreciation of transformation

In providing a map of the Universe, ideas are useful

Because received ideas from the traditions are limited in either reasoning or scope, the exploration of ideas emerged as essential



Since all our mental maps—and with appropriate interpretation that is all we have in the way of apprehension—of the world are a form of knowledge, knowledge is important, first, because it is our instrument of negotiation of the world and, second, it is via analysis of knowledge that we may estimate the faithfulness of our apprehension (knowledge, understanding) of the world

Therefore this section provides a preliminary conception and analysis of the nature and extent of knowledge. The important conclusions are as follows

The nature of knowledge. In knowing, we do not have direct apprehension of the world; rather we have concepts (in a general sense that includes percepts) of the world. Because of the gap between knowing and known, there is nothing inherent in knowing that guarantees perfect faithfulness—or even meaning to perfect faithfulness (If ‘object’ is dually of knower and known, is there an object? This questions the meaning of faithfulness but shall receive response.) This single observation is of immense importance in analyzing the faithfulness of and otherwise clarifying our ‘pictures’ of the world. From the gap between knower and known it may be and often is prematurely concluded that there is no faithful knowledge; this conclusion is without basis as far as the premise is concerned. In the first place the fact that we successfully negotiate the world suggests some degree and kind of faithfulness to some of our knowing. In science, there is often amazing accuracy—provided that we do not extrapolate too far in any of the many possible dimensions of extrapolation. However, the question arises whether there is any knowledge that is perfectly faithful. The answer, to be seen in the next section, Intuition, as that there are certain ‘necessary’ Objects that are known with perfect faithfulness. These Objects enable the construction, in Metaphysics, of a Universal metaphysics

The nature of meaning. Although this presentation has reflections on meaning, it does not suit the present purpose to develop the idea of meaning as completely as in, say,—the first essay under ‘Essay links.’ However, a few comments may be useful. (1) Meaning consists in a triad—word or sign, concept or sense, and Object or reference. Here, concept means mental content and not, e.g. ‘higher’ or ‘Aristotelian’ concept; here, concept includes percept. As is well known, there are problems with the nature of the Object that receive (I think) satisfactory treatment in the above linked essay (the main points of the resolution, noted in this treatment, are that the problematic of meaning is not uniform across all Objects and receives satisfactory treatment by recognizing necessary Objects that are faithfully given by there concepts and practical Objects for which the concept is sufficiently faithful and for which perhaps there is no precise Object that allows perfect faithfulness. It is important to note that ‘Object’ includes concrete things like bricks but also non-concrete things such as process and interaction and, as will emerge in Objects, positively abstract things such as numbers and properties regarded as things in themselves. (2) Word and concept association and their reference are immensely flexible. For even a ‘simple’ word there may be a large system of direct, indirect and perhaps not conscious, and referred (other persons…) that constitutes an ‘extended’ concept. The word and the extended concept may be seen as constituting a ‘complete concept’ which is rather in-process rather than given or fixed. (3) Without some resemblance of Object by concept there can be no recognition. Two comments about ‘resemblance.’ First, the resemblance is not truly of the Object. There are issues in the nature of concept-Object that receive treatment later but for the present purpose we may think that the resemblance is by the complete concept, stored perhaps in memory, and of the direct experience in the presence of the Object (so: resemblance of direct concept by remembered concept; this is not the best expression of the idea involved which will come later but it suffices for now.) Second, as far as the Object is concerned, the resemblance need not be geometrical but the concept need only contain sufficient information that enables ‘location’ of the Object (in Object rather than physical space.) (4) Generally, meanings and associations are immensely flexible and vary according to context which includes time, culture, group, and individual. (4) Sentences and theories may be regarded as examples of system meaning. A sentence is built up from grammar rules and it is thus logically impossible in this case at least for system meaning to be some mere combination of individual meanings. Systems give meaning to the components but not in an obvious or linear fashion. (5) Provided that we are not too literal about ‘resemblance’ theory, resemblance theory must Obtain at least for those ‘Objects’ that can be experienced or otherwise known (so the idea is open ended in that there may be ‘Objects’ that affect us but that we cannot know—but in being affected is there not some effect that constitutes some knowing?)

What is the necessary view of the Universe that emerges from science? Science builds up a view of our cosmos as in the singularity (big-bang) cosmology and perhaps also in its extension to a recurrent (bubble) cosmology view that has been hypothesized so as to explain some of the rather amazing properties of the cosmos that might otherwise appear as very improbable coincidences (we may want an explanation but an explanation is not necessary—facts do not require explanation, and there are alternative-like explanations, e.g. a cosmos that experiences repeated singularities and note, also, that the famous second law of thermodynamics, a probabilistic law, need not hold sway over infinite or even very large duration.) We may label the minimal empirical picture Cosmos. Is this picture necessary? No! The essential argument against its necessity is that of Hume—even though the inductions of science are reasonable and even if we have no better knowledge, Universe as Cosmos is not a necessary picture. There is no single necessary picture; however, there may be a range of pictures into which the actual Universe necessarily falls. If we define Logos to be the maximal picture, drawn out later, that is consistent with science (Cosmos) then all that necessarily follows from science is that the Universe lies between Cosmos and Logos. The audience may think—True, but since we do not know where the Universe lies this knowledge tells us nothing, helps us do nothing; locally the Universe is quite well described by Cosmos and therefore nothing is gained by knowing that it lies between Cosmos and Logos. The response is that much is gained for, if at some later time, it should be shown that the Universe lies beyond Cosmos, even far beyond it, then we are prepared for this conclusion and we will not rush to cry out But that is inconsistent with science and common sense! The audience may respond that this is still rather speculative and therefore I hasten to add that the present discussion is preparation for Metaphysics where it will be shown—and this conclusion is immense in its proportions and of great variety in its consequences—that The Universe is Logos as defined above! And one of the goals of the developments shall be to draw out the immensity of those proportions, the great variety of the consequences

Suppose we modify the original question and ask What view of the Universe emerges from the sum of the human traditions of knowledge? What happens upon asking this question? The sum in question provides no coherent picture but if we use some reason to extract a coherent picture from the tradition, which is understood to include our tradition of science, then the conclusion remains—it is essentially unchanged


Intuition is intimate and direct knowledge—even though it may be difficult to describe in detail how, e.g. in neurophysiological terms, how we have such knowledge

We do not use intuition in the sense of extraordinary knowledge of remote events. The present use of ‘intuition’ is of common though remarkable knowledge of objects for which immediate versus remote distinction is unimportant

The main objective of Intuition is to show that the individual has perfectly faithful knowledge of certain basic Objects of the Universal metaphysics in intuition. These Objects are called necessary Objects. These Objects are known via a kind of abstraction which is direct; and it is precisely faithful by filtering out distortable details

The philosopher Immanuel Kant used the term ‘intuition’ it the present sense to refer to how we know the world in terms of, e.g., space, time and cause even though we do not know precisely how we have this knowledge. At the time of Kant, it seemed that Newtonian Mechanics was indeed the science of physical nature. Kant argued that since the science of his day, Newtonian Mechanics expressed in a framework of Euclidean Geometry, captured the essence of space, time, and cause, it followed that the essential categories of nature were known in intuition. He then argued that since derivation within Mechanics followed Aristotelian logic, the combination of logic and intuition was a perfect understanding of the world. Today we know that the old mechanics, geometry, and logic do not have the perfection—they do not escape the realm of the empirical—that had appeared reasonable to Kant. Therefore, in this treatment, we will develop a metaphysics by finding Objects that are more fundamental than those of mechanics and geometry—i.e., Objects that may be shown rather than presumed to be known with perfect faithfulness; and, so as to avoid the guile of logic, we will bring logic—and all experience—as well into the fold of intuition so as to see what may emerge. The deployment of this idea of intuition is taken up in Metaphysics. In Metaphysics, we will find, first, a perfect and Universal metaphysics and, second, a concept of Logic that while solidly empirical is also perfectly faithful (this will require that we regard most systems of logic as tentative even though having a higher order of truth than the merely empirical)

The necessary Objects

Some important necessary objects are experience, external world, existence, being, universe, law, domain, complement, the void, logic, and logos

These will be the primary concepts deployed in the development of the metaphysics. The concepts of experience, external world, experience and being are relevant to intuition but their development is deferred to the next chapter


The main goal of the chapter is to develop and demonstrate a metaphysics—the Universal metaphysics

The main conclusions

The metaphysics developed shows that there are no limits to the variety of being in the Universe and provides a symbolic approach to generating this variety. However, no list of the variety is able to capture the entire unlimited variety—this variety is drawn out in Cosmology

Thus the metaphysics is implicitly ultimate with regard to variety or breadth

It is this variety that is foundation for the journey as an adventure without end

This is an immense conclusion for which there are prior glimpses but no prior proof. Although implicit, what may be shown to be explicit is also immense and unanticipated

The metaphysics has foundation without merely posited elements and is thus explicitly ultimate with regard to depth—this conclusion is immense in not being anticipated and (therefore) also in not having prior proof

Its essential methods include what may be labeled Imagination and Logic; and analysis of meaning (and, since experience is built in to Logic and meaning, the metaphysics has basis in experience)

There is one metaphysics which may be developed in variant formulations (the existence of the Void, the principle of variety, the principle of reference and so on) and to greater or lesser degree (extension and detail.) Universal metaphysics is ultimate with regard to extension (Universe) but not detail

The Universal metaphysics provides foundation for the remaining ideas—from Objects forward; of the journey; and of method; of course the foundation is not complete: this means that further input from imagination, experience, and reason will be required—but these will be illuminated and guided by the metaphysics

Main concepts and brief proof

Experience, World. In the deliciousness of the fragrance of a rose, in the acridity of burning rubber, in imagining a sunset or a proof, in the sweetness of tender embrace, in an illusion, in the stark character of the pictures I see in a dream—I am having what is here labeled Experience and what is sometimes called subjective experience. Even if all is illusion, there is experience for even illusion is a kind of experience. Thus, experience is given. However, there is more than mere illusion. The view that all is illusion is the same as the view that there is nothing but experience; this view has been called solipsism. If solipsist experience has not the capacity to generate what it does not know but knows of, solipsism is logically impossible. If solipsist experience has that capacity, it is a mere renaming of the (external or objective) World

That experience is not always entirely objective (as is quite clear, some experience as in reverie or pure experience there is not always an Object) and is often very non-objective, is often taken to imply that the existence of experience itself is not objective; the inference is categorially erroneous; and as we have seen, experience is the name for what is most immediate—our window onto the world; and although the World does not depend on being experienced for its existence, without experience there is knowing of the World (or of its existence.) It is in the nature of experience that we experience it (perhaps via memory.) However, experience is no mere Object. The problem of knowing an Object, as has been seen, is that the experience is not the Object and there is therefore a gap between knower and known. There is however, no gap between knower and experience—while experience and Object are generally distinct, knowing is experiencing

We are accustomed to the idea that any system of knowledge has unproven axioms and undefined terms. Whatever is—perhaps whatever is taken as—most basic cannot be defined in terms of something more basic. However, having named what is given an aspect of what has been named is knowledge that is perfectly faithful. There is experience; this may be regarded as unproven in terms of another ‘axiom,’ but it requires no proof

We have experience and experience of experience even though we might not know how these are had. Thus, Naming what is most immediate, most basic, most definitely given is the first way of knowledge of the necessary Object

External world. The term ‘external world’ is used to signify that the world exists independently of its being experienced. Because we experience our experience, the external world and the world are identical. In the phrase ‘external world’ the word ‘external’ is not used literally; the external world is not external to, e.g. mind or experience, rather its existence is independent of mind and experience

Existence, Being. The concept of being is what is there, what exists; in what follows immense power is derived from simply saying that being is what is there and not specifying it as some substance such as mind or matter. From the foregoing there is being—that there is being follows from the fact that experience of the world is at least illusion but more robustly from the fact that some experience has an Object; there is a world. Here, again, the ideas of existence and being are introduced by simple identification and naming: being is what is there, i.e. what exists. What is not clear, however, is that these clearly and simply named ideas shall have power; this, as will be seen, follows only upon identification of system of metaphysics and its development and that requires trial, error or problem, and resolution. Another method of knowing necessary Objects is that of Systematic Development

There are problematics—well known and nascent—with the concepts of being and of existence; the problematics are addressed and resolved in the main essay

Being is what is there; experience (mind) is a relation between ‘what is here’ and what is there. I.e., we might reinterpret ‘matter’ as primitive or first order being, and ‘mind’ as second order being. Thus experience and being are equi-fundamental. In the sense of substance, being and experience are not distinct. Thinking that they are substances, Spinoza thought that they may be the first two terms of an infinite series. But they are not substances; there can be no series—there may of course be an infinite variety of being, and an infinite, perhaps twice infinite, variety of mind. The thought that there is no infinite sequence of substances is the thought that, as far as kind is concerned, there is no essential distinction between second order being and third, fourth and higher order being

Universe, Law. The Universe is defined as all being and therefore exists—since being exists; a Law is a pattern in the Universe (what we read is law—Law is immanent;) Laws have being; therefore the Universe contains all Laws and exists; there is precisely one Universe—the assertion is Logically unnecessary but semantically crucial to clarity and the developments that follow

In other work, a variety of definitions associated with the bare word ‘universe’ may be found. Thus, there are multiple universes, parallel universes, the known universe, the physical universe and so on. The present notion is that of all being; multiple ‘universes’ and so on are part of the Universe. It might not be anticipated that insistence on this simple notion should lead to immense clarification and development of consequence—but it is part of a system that does. With hindsight, there might be a suspicion of such clarification; for the notion implies for once and for all that there is one Universe. The present notion ‘all being’ is crucial to the present development and its success

We can know of the Universe but can we know it? It is not necessary to know it; knowing of is sufficient for the Universal metaphysics. However, if we know the Universe—and the other basic and necessary Objects—then there is some grounding of the metaphysics in our being via intuition. How can we know the Universe? Obviously I do not know and I do not know that I know the Universe in all its detail (I can know of it, though.) However, if I abstract out all the detail then I know the remainder, the Universe without reference to detail, very simply, in intuition

Abstraction from intuition is yet another way of knowing with perfect faithfulness—i.e., of knowing necessary Objects

Domain, Complement. A Domain is part though not necessarily a sub-part of the Universe—thus the Universe may be regarded as a Domain; the Complement of a Domain and the Domain together constitute the Universe; if a Domain exists, its Complement exists

The Void. The Void is the absence of being; the Void contains no Law; the Void is the complement of the Universe; therefore the Void which is the absence of being and contains no Law exists

Knowing domains and the Void in intuition has a treatment that is similar to that for the Universe

Meaning and proof of the assertion that Every state exists. If from the Void there is some state whose being would not violate logic but does not (ever) exist, that would be a Law in the Void. Therefore, subject to logic every state exists. Alternatively, given a concept, there is, subject to logic, there is a corresponding state (because not every concept defines something currently actual or a state, it is more precise to say ‘corresponding Object;’ however, the notion of Object awaits chapter Objects for a fuller clarification)

Fundamental principle of metaphysics. The foregoing is one form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics that is the basis of the metaphysics to be developed. That metaphysics is called the Universal metaphysics. An equivalent statement is that there is no limit to the variety, extension and duration of being in the Universe. Or in terms of concepts, the conception of variety of being in the Universe is the greatest (logically) possible. I.e. logic is the one Universal law; alternatively, there is no Universal Law

Ultimate depth of the Universal metaphysics. Every state may be seen as coming out of the Void, thus the Void is effectively the ‘substance’ of all being. Shortly, however, we will see that the Void is not a substance in the classical sense of the term. Still, the Void is ‘Universally generative.’ Thus—the Universal metaphysics is explicitly ultimate with regard to depth

Logic, Logos. Analysis of logic and logics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries showed that almost all logical systems and principles are open to question; a possible exception is the predicate calculus that Kurt Gödel less famously showed to be complete—however, the predicate calculus may be seen as quite trivial in terms of its power. We may understand the idea behind the assertion that logic is the one Universal law; but if logic is open to question, how can that be? In consideration of this problem, we turn tables and regard the statement that logic is the ‘one’ Universal law to be the definition of logic—which, to distinguish it from prior measures, we label Logic. The concept of Logic is that it is the one law of the Universe; because it subsumes what is valid in the logics it is far from empty; but now Logic becomes supremely empirical while what we know of it may be regarded as entering into intuition; and an alternate statement regarding Logic as the one law is that the Universe has no universal Law. If we define Logos as the Object of Logic, then Logos and Universe are identical

I do not know the Logos—the Universe in all its detail—in intuition (at least I do not know that I so know it.) However, I know of Logos—of the fact of its limitless variety, extension, and duration—via a powerful Systematic Development


The foregoing is subject to doubt, especially regarding (1) the logic of the proof; (2) the magnitude of the conclusions

Apparent violation of science and common sense add to the sense of doubt but this doubt has been treated and is therefore the least of doubts; this doubt has no logical force and must succumb to logic

Doubt is important and has been cultivated and responses given throughout. The reader may notice that in doubt, we go beyond the great doubters especially Descartes; and we give responses (in the main narrative)

The great doubts are the items (1) and (2.) (2) Is not logical but adds to the sense of doubt; but it may be addressed by noting that there is no violation of the sense of our world as a normal world; this, the absence of contingent contradiction, and the absence of logical contradiction, and familiarity ameliorate the force of (2.) If (1) were eliminated, (2) would lose all force

Therefore (1) is the essential doubt. Accordingly, I have addressed (1) in numerous ways. I have worn this doubt—naturally, and so that I could find resolution; thus, I have been able to find imaginative approaches to the doubt. Still, it remains

What is the nature of the doubt? Early, I thought that the analysis might be at fault; it may be. However, with the emergence of Logic as essentially though not merely empirical—it is the highest certainty; it appears that there is an irreducible experimental element to the adventure in being. If that is the way it is, it is not occasion for submission to fate. The adventure remains open; and truth is not occasion for pessimism

What shall I do? I may continue to seek resolution (despite the remark about the irreducible experimental element)

I have introduced the idea of Faith—see the earlier discussion on introducing faith—not as belief in the absurd, but as that attitude that is most conducive to life in the present as well as to the open adventure that is suggested and definitely allowed by necessity (Logic)

The fundamental principle of metaphysics and its forms

1.      The Universe is all being and contains all Laws (‘all Laws’ will be generalized later to ‘all Objects’)

2.      The Void which is the absence of being exists and contains no Object (no Law)

3.      Subject to Logic every concept has reference—i.e., an Object

This defines Logic which, in its approximate forms as the classical and modern logics, is far from empty. The definition of Logic is equivalently the theory of the possible, of the necessary, and of the actual. It is not given that Logic may be formulated explicitly; and it is likely that it may not; but an in-process formulation is already underway from antiquity to the present time

4.      The principle of variety: The conception of variety of being in the Universe is the greatest (Logically) possible. There are no limits to the variety of being in the Universe; in this statement the notion of ‘limit’ is unclear; we may therefore suggest that the variety of being is unending in extension and has been and shall be unending in duration

The variety of the Universe is at least as much as that of any Logically conceived or Logically conceivable universe. Suggestively, the Universe is one of maximum freedom or variety; being fills every niche; a corrupted form of this has been called the principle of plenitude

5.      There is no Universal Law. The one Universal law is that being is limited only by Logic

6.      The Logos is the Object of Logic—it is the Universe in all its variety and detail. All Law is immanent in the Logos

This form of the fundamental principle makes clear that the principle may be a computational tool via the approximation to Logic by the logics

7.      The Universe is absolutely indeterministic

I.e., there is no state that is not accessed; or, (subject to Logic) every state is accessed. Absolute indeterminism necessitates structure


In seeking explanations much prior metaphysics posits substance—unchanging and uniform and therefore ultimately simple from which emerges all structure and change

Aristotle and Heidegger critique substance metaphysics; Plato is no slave to substance

If all form and structure and change emerge from the uniform and unchanging, that emergence must be indeterministic. Then, however, substance is no explanation. On the other hand, if substance is deterministic, it cannot explain. Therefore there is and can be no ultimate and Universal substance. Heidegger’s critique omitted that substance must be deterministic to be explanatory

Heidegger’s critique of substance is reasonable. The present critique is Logical. I owe to Plato, to Aristotle, and to Heidegger the suggestion to focus on being, to focus away from substance. But the focus on being is the focus of a child: there is no explanation in terms of something else (as fundamental.) (The notion of adulthood as ‘having arrived’ is suspect)

In abolishing substance—which is posited—and in turning to Being-Universe-Law-Void-Logos we turn to necessity; nothing is posited

In the main narrative, substance is not restricted to ‘stuff.’ Many other kinds of under-standing are admitted (in keeping with modern thought on substance.) These include epistemic, ethical, and linguistic categories. The elimination of substance is wide-ranging, and enters regions where we are not normally aware that we are engaging in substance-style thought. An example of substance-type thought is fixity of meaning. The numerous critiques along these lines are not merely critical but immensely positive and illuminating in consequence

The Void is not a substance—it is not deterministic; the Void could perhaps be regarded as a quasi-substance but that would accomplish nothing; it would have no consequence; it would accomplish no illumination. As noted, the Void is not posited. It is not arbitrary. It appears to be more complex than substance but, in that no assumptions are made regarding the Void it is conceptually more simple than substance. Substance is the knot that cannot be untied except by the Void

Applied metaphysics

Interpreted in some strict sense, regardless of the diversity and depth of results, ‘pure’ metaphysics is a narrow study. It is the study of being-as-being; its foundation may lie in experience and its analysis and its study ends with the earlier analyses of existence and of being

Any further study is dependent on special experience or knowledge. There is a portion of that study that, even though it derives from special knowledge, is perfectly faithful. Here, such studies begin with the concepts of Universe through Void, the fundamental principle of metaphysics and substance, and continue with the material of Objects and Cosmology

Because these studies are perfectly faithful, they may be classified as metaphysics; even if ‘purity’ is lost, faithfulness is not sacrificed; there is no actual loss except a possible transgression of a boundary

A second portion of the study is not perfectly faithful. This kind of study begins with special knowledge, e.g. that of the modern academic disciplines. If it deserves the label ‘metaphysics’ it is because the Universal metaphysics has two functions in its developments. In the first function, the metaphysics is instrumental in illuminating and enhancing the concepts and theories of the disciplines. In the second, the metaphysics enhances the method of the disciplines. This kind of study and its analysis is most effectively taken up later in the chapter Worlds whose subject is the study of local worlds—especially our cosmos—in various aspects


Theory and foundation

Enabled by the metaphysics the chapter first completes the concept of the Object that was begun in Intuition

It was noted in Intuition that the general Object is a dual construct, primarily due to the knower, at the intersection of knower and known. Since this ‘observation’ makes no substantive claim, its truth is uncontroversial

However, the necessary (and Universal) Objects are purely ‘Objective’ even though also known

For other Objects, however, even the meaning of faithfulness may be in question. In everyday life and science, we are able to negotiate affairs with some success. Therefore—in adaptation—there must be some degree of implicit faithfulness. This defines a class of practical Objects for which there is sufficient faithfulness even when there is no external measure of faithfulness is. In some cases, the Object itself is without precision of definition and the degree of faithfulness may be commensurate with degree of precision

Thus, by not requiring the theory of the faithfulness of the knowledge of Objects to be entirely uniform, a satisfactory theory is obtained

However, regarding the actual degree of faithfulness in relation to the possible faithfulness that is inherent in the case results in greater uniformity

The treatment Objects above is one of two fundamental analyses that contribute to the development of the theory of Objects. The second, deployed below, is the principle of reference which is a form of the fundamental principle of metaphysics

The main results

The following paragraphs provide a brief overview of the results of the treatment of Objects

The kinds of Object—especially the abstract and the particular or concrete—are unified. This is an immense and unanticipated conclusion (there is practical but not absolute distinction)

Under the particular Objects, there is found to be practical but no essential distinction among concrete things such as bricks, perhaps less than concrete things such as processes and interactions, and seemingly non-concrete—abstract—things such as ideas and instances of redness. The principle of reference enables an extremely satisfactory treatment abstract Objects—e.g., of mathematical and logical Objects, values, and universals such as the property of redness

The principle of reference implies that regardless of abstract versus particular nature, all concepts have Objects. Therefore at root, there is no fundamental distinction between the varieties of particular Object and the varieties of abstract Object or between abstract or particular Objects. All Objects are found in the world—they may, of course, not all be Objects in the sense that is commonly understood—i.e., some specific and rather concrete thing to which we can direct attention. Thus the number ‘1’ may refer to a rather distributed ‘entity;’ and whose distribution is such that spatiality or temporality is not absent but irrelevant in being abstracted out. Additionally, a practical distinction is that particular Objects tend to be studied directly while abstract Objects are generally studied symbolically. However, this distinction is not absolute. The distinctions contribute to the sense of difference which is the result of real difference but not an essential one. It is reasonable to think that the origin of number is empirical, that it became symbolic, and, today, with the advent of computer proof and exploration, has acquired an empirical component

What of the (confusing) idea that abstract Objects are ‘mental?’ They are mental, of course, in the sense that we have a concept of an Object. However, that is not the sense in which abstract Objects are thought to be mental. It has been suggested that, since they are not thought to reside in the physical world, abstract Objects must reside—if they reside anywhere at all—in some other world, e.g. the mental or perhaps a Platonic world. Above, we saw that this is unnecessary because abstract Objects reside in this single Universe. There is one Universe that is all being and nothing outside it and therefore there is no mental or Platonic world. As noted, though, abstract Objects can be considered mental in a certain sense but this is not an important sense and it applies just as well to particular Objects. Abstract Objects may also be considered to be Platonic but there is no separate Platonic world—we may think of a Platonic world but it is very much embedded in the one Universe as an abstraction from it (see Intuition for the sense of abstraction being employed)

Since we think of concepts as mental content, these considerations might seem to be a form of psychologism. The criticism of psychologism is that it bases reason and forms of symbolic analysis including Logic and mathematics in the ‘laws of psychology’ and that psychological activity is inherently analogical and therefore its modeling of symbolic analysis is at best rough. The present analysis, however, does not base symbolic analysis in laws of psychology; I make no reference at all to such laws or their existence. The thought that gives symbolic analysis its apparently pristine character is its discrete character and that it seems to refer to some abstract ‘universe’ whose Objects are definite in a way that is unlike the Objects of ‘this’ world. However, we have seen that there is no other world and everything that is a concept or a symbol is a concept or symbol in this world (Universe) and every thing that is an Object is an Object in this world; and that the Objects of this Universe may be divided into the practical—the analogical or indefinite—and the necessary that are known with perfect faithfulness. The Universe as all being is discrete in that it is ‘one’—the ‘same’ Object can be discrete in one aspect or ‘projection’ but not discrete in another, the Void is discrete as zero; a Domain and its Complement are discrete when taken as wholes for the same reason that the Universe as all being is discrete. Objects are, in this sense, not inherently analogical; a computer module may be on-off but it also has analogical aspects that do not usually interfere with its discrete behavior; I do not recall thinking ‘I have between 9.9 and 10.1 fingers…’

The unified conception of Objects just discussed shows and reaffirms that there is one Universe or World

A result of the unification of Objects adds immensely to the variety of essentially real Objects shown in Metaphysics and further developed in Cosmology

As a secondary topic in Cosmology we will look at the idea of an individual inhabiting what are thought of as abstract Objects. The idea is interesting but a clear notion of what it would be like and whether it would be ‘useful’ has not been developed. The development may be conceptual and experimental


The topic of this chapter is general cosmology which is not and cannot be conflated with physical cosmology

The topics are essentially metaphysics—i.e. those that may be suggested by our direct knowledge of the Universe but studied at a level at which there is perfect faithfulness

The main principles are the already established principles of variety and of reference which are forms of the fundamental principle of metaphysics. From Objects we have seen that this includes interaction and process

Direct study of the Universe and imagination are sources of ideas regarding variety

Cosmology is the study of variety. A first significance is the unity and immense variety of things in the Universe—the journey is adventure without end. The local cosmos—big-bang, causally isolated multiverses—is infinitesimal in relation to the Universe

The principle of variety is the result of the demonstrated fact that whatever does not contradict Logic exists—subject to Logic there is no fiction. Imagine the immensity and infinity of the resulting variety and extent and duration of the Universe. Our cosmos—the region known empirically and in some detail—is but one cosmos, one kind; there are infinitely many kinds, infinitely many kinds of law. For each, there is recurrence, there is variety without end—experienced as individual identities merge in universal identity but there is no highest identity… only ‘higher’ identities, scriptural realization though likely in another cosmos—there are no fictions except Logical fictions, cosmoses floating through ours with infinitesimal current interaction

Process is necessary (without extension there can be no being of significance.) Mechanism and indeterminism, Evolution, Causation, and Dynamics are special kinds of process. It is necessary that these should obtain in phases of the Universe but the special processes cannot be universal

Mind. Mind is important as a window on being—it is where the knowing world coalesces as unity. The discussion on mind is taken to a fundamental level at which we are able to arrive at clarification of the nature of mind and resolve a number of the fundamental problems of mind—especially those of nature of mind, awareness, and consciousness, mind-body, mental causation, identity, and free will

The following assertions are demonstrated. A unified study of mind is possible in terms of a single primitive kind (experience) and its elaboration; this enables a satisfactory treatment of the question of the dimensions of mind, of mind and consciousness and of free will; resolutions of well known problems in these areas are given

In a current view that is ascendant—if not dominant—in analytic philosophy, experience, attitude and action are dimensions of mind; here attitude and action are seen as derivative

If being is what is there, mind is seen as relation between ‘what is here’ and ‘what is there’—a variety of being

Thus, though there are infinitely many varieties of being and mind, there is no foundation for an further ‘substances’ or ‘attributes’ as speculated by Spinoza

Neither mind nor matter as we know them is fundamental—both can go to the root of being

Identity and death—the nature of identity and, especially, its endurance is given by the metaphysics; the relation between individual and universal identity; the individual will—participate in—experience universal identities of higher and higher forms without limit; all forms dissolve; birth and death are among the gateways to identity and Identity. Analysis of origin and dissolution of cosmological systems suggests some preservation of identity across singularities and questions the possibility of absolute singularities

Some notes on space, time and being in the context of the Universe. Space and time are founded in the necessary concepts of extension and duration which are interwoven. Space and time are found to be non universal and relative—immanent in being rather than a framework for being

However, space and time may be locally as-if absolute (form a local framework for being)

In our cosmos there appears to be a well defined space-time manifold—which perhaps breaks down at very small lengths

In the Universal case there is much more freedom including multiple times, there is no given universal signal or ‘light’ speed— multiple times correspond to kinds or degrees of interaction, a single light speed and single time is a dominant time and a dominant ‘light’ speed but that is not the universal case

The considerations on extension and duration are applied to discuss ‘island cosmoses’ as islands of strong interaction with weak interactions with other cosmological systems; to the conveyance of information across birth and death of cosmoses; to the emergence of dominant times and signal speeds; to the incomplete loss of information for individuals across ‘death’ of person and cosmos

Consequences for religion and spirituality

In the main narrative, the primary discussion of this topic is in Worlds; this location is appropriate to the present discussion

The concept of institutional purity is a modern illusion—the function of an institution is defined as ‘x;’ therefore it is wrong for the institutional activity to be anything other than ‘x.’ Of course, institutions do have functions that need protection against diffusion and abuse. There are, however, potentially severe problems with this concept and these include (1) The specification ‘x’ may be based in limited andor unrealistic understanding—in particular our notions of separation of institution of function may be based in poor understanding, (2) The range of institutions may not meet or anticipate all social needs—general and contingent—so needs not met by the range of ‘x’ fall to some institution… or they fall amid ruins. Therefore there is balance between purity and adaptation in the actual function of institutions

What are the consequences of the balance between purity and adaptation for the present discussion of religion? (1) Although the spiritual aspect of religion may come close to its function, there may be related functions. (2) There will be freedom in defining religion. These freedoms are enhanced by the artificial nature of the division of the world into the spiritual-sacred and the secular

Some probable functions of religion (I use the word ‘probable’ to avoid the suggestion of substance in understanding, to avoid any premature finality.) Traditional religions may serve or have served a number of functions. These include what may be called the spiritual function, a moral function, and the function of social bonding. Accordingly, a religion may have a metaphysics, an ethics, and a common scripture-place of gathering-and, e.g., common worship and ritual. Religion places and relates and, accordingly, affects behavior in terms of relationship. Metaphysics and morals are dual; they relate world (universe, environment,) identity, and community; the ‘media’ include text, place, and ritual-behavior. Although we do not think of religion as essentially political, a number of religions have stood against social and metaphysical repression (metaphysical repression is the forcing of some standard belief or metaphysical picture.) While we may think of the literal content of some claims as absurd, there may have been a point in history when the fact or existence of the claims may have reasonably pointed to the fact of a higher or spiritual truth… reasonably stood opposed to repression

The spiritual-metaphysical element of religion. A primary intent of the discussion of religion is to address its spiritual and metaphysical aspects. This is often taken to be the ‘pure’ function of religion. The presentation of metaphysics in religion is often that of an entire metaphysics that includes ‘spiritual’ elements. These metaphysics, taken literally, may appear absurd today. Even though they may appear more absurd today in light of modern knowledge it is not clear that the absurdity should not have been originally apparent (at least to educated andor reflective individuals.) However, the original systems of belief (it is not clear that a distinction of belief versus knowledge always held as clearly as it does today) may have been adopted literally because of the extra-spiritual functions of religion and as a symbolic—allegorical, metaphorical, suggestive, archetypal and so on—map of a spiritual universe (recall that the literal interpretation is a spiritual pointer even if it stretches the imagination)

Interpretations of the religious spiritual-worldly metaphysics, i.e. in the aspect of going beyond the immediate, include (1) Literal truth, (2) Symbolic truth in pointing to mystic insight of a more complete—higher—world than is immediately apparent (and it is manifestly clear, even or especially from science, that we have not arrived at the end of knowledge,) and (3) Symbolic truth that provides a map of the range of psyche—i.e. of inner spirit, meaning, and significance. In so far as there is literal truth—and in terms of pointing beyond the immediate there is literal truth even in the apparently absurd, there is a mesh of the second and third items. And the elements that lack clear empirical truth may have significance under the third interpretation

Implications of the Universal metaphysics. What is the significance of the Universal metaphysics and cosmology for the systems of religious metaphysics and for spirit? Subject to Logic, all local metaphysics are true in some cosmological system. This however, does not minimize absurdity where absurdity obtains for it merely replaces impossibility with immense improbability. However, it does show that there is a truth in which the three interpretations of the previous paragraph coalesce. We may not be in possession of the truth but there is this truth and, as we have seen, it is unending in its variety

The Journey in being, the journey without end in the realization of the Universe, is simultaneously a journey of place and of spirit in interaction—spirit and world are not distinct spheres

This simultaneity of place and spirit is most evident in the spirit (i.e. not obviously manifest) systems of hunter-gatherers. Our systems are those of a lost tribe; we therefore augment these systems with science and logic. This is our power; and perhaps our weakness. Their systems, which to us may seem primitive and without (external) foundation, may have immanent binding of human and environment; no external logic is necessary; no exact lock of man and nature is or is necessary; no drawing of attention to the present is needed; they are already in some unison, already present

I hope I am not providing a romantic picture but a complement for us in our age of disillusionment

There is one world, one Universe (we may of course use the terms ‘world’ and ‘Universe’ with other connotations but, in the sense of Universe as all being there is precisely one Universe)

It cannot be the case that there is a world of spirit that is the realm of religion and another world of the tangible that is the realm of secular science. We may cut off these ‘worlds’ for political reasons. We have seen that contrary to that secular view in which modern science defines the Universe, what it truly implies is that the Universe lies in the range from Cosmos to Logos. Therefore, as a result of our institutional definitions or perhaps as a result of certain contingent limitations, we may find different modes of study appropriate to different ‘realms.’ However, the Universal metaphysics reveals that there is a root level of knowing in which there are no finally distinct realms that are divided according to kind even though there are most emphatically infinitely many ‘worlds’ awaiting realization and discovery

The Journey is guided by our knowledge which includes the Universal metaphysics and the local disciplines but it is also actual and experimental

Those religions that insist on a limited view of being, abort the journey. Those that eschew metaphysics are limited by their suggestion that metaphysics is impossible andor irrelevant even to immediate purposes (even though the suggestion that excessive emphasis on speculation distracts us away from what is immediate and immediately important)

What is religion? What is the meaning of the question? Shall we take ‘religion’ to be what we may abstract from the traditional practices? If the traditional practices (defined positively by the religions and negatively by other institutions, e.g. science, that it is commonly presumed may be antitheses of religion) are limited then the resulting conception of religion may also be limited. The foregoing thoughts point to the following conception of religion that is perhaps the only conception so far—other conceptions being empirical generalizations: Religion is the use of all dimensions of being in engaging with Being (‘Religion’ is capitalized to indicate that it is a concept and the capitalized form ‘Being’ simply abbreviates ‘all being.) In this form there is no particular need to explicitly assert the side of religion that addresses spirit even though a practical separation of sacred and mundane may obtain. Stated simply

Religion is the engagement of being with the Universe

Religion is the engagement of being with all being

Religion is the engagement of being with its complete self

There is a sense in which a Journey in being is the adventure in religion; in metaphysics, philosophy, and science; in art, literature, and music; in world and spirit in interaction…

Consequences for science are deferred to the discussion in Contribution



The subject is the study of our local world (cosmos) for its intrinsic interest and as a set of examples of the study of a local world. Worlds provides a platform for the journey

The approach, outlined earlier—in the original and longer narratives, is an intersection of the Universal metaphysics with its method and the local (e.g. academic) disciplines and their methods


The approach is capable of enhancing knowledge to the intrinsic limit of the discipline and is not a true limit in so far as what is approached is the degree of definiteness of the Objects

On the side of the disciplines, the method includes search for elements and kinds that, via conceptual experiment and comparison with experience and actual experiment, approach the intrinsic limit. This is not new except perhaps in the freedom that is recognized in the selection of the elements

On a model of being that includes extension, duration, and relation or interaction, the element kinds may include unit entities, unit processes, unit interactions, relationships among these; search for mode of explanation and description

Naturally, there must be some continuity with the elements of previous thought, first since those elements provide some validity and, second, because they are sources of imagination

On the side of the metaphysics, there is illumination and improved understanding of the concepts of a discipline or coherent area of study that results in a variety of ways that amount to placement in the Universal context; and the freedom of conceptual interpretation (meaning) that the metaphysics has fostered encourages and enables revision of elements that would otherwise be ad hoc so that, via experiment, the ad hoc element is reduced and may sometimes be eliminated


On a special approach to social intervention. Success in the application of social sciences to directed social change and address of problems (e.g. economic issues) does not match the success of the natural sciences. Two issues stand out—complexity which results in inadequate models and participation as a result of which implementation may be ineffective. There is a dual solution to this problem in the case of indigenous peoples. A traditional approach is the scientific method as in sociology. The observer observes but does not intervene; knowledge is obtained; the knowledge may then be used—as understanding, perhaps to import ideas for use in our world, and perhaps to help the indigenous community. Since the observer is human and present, and the target is aware of the presence, objectivity has its difficulty. And because of the remoteness of an impartial observer, intervention is difficult because it requires trust and not remoteness. The alternative approach may reason that since objectivity is difficult anyway why not give up on being remote—participate in the community to closely observe and develop trust and then perhaps intervene in local issues. Objectivity is an issue and requires some address; however, closeness also has advantages, especially if one is interested in traditional knowledge because that is not available via observation and requires disclosure and therefore trust. The method, called participant-observation, has had significant success in learning about and working together successfully on local issues

Application in modern society—nation and world? However, the method is regarded as lacking application in modern society. There is, however, an approach that learns from participant-observation and it is perhaps one that is already in use but may benefit from articulation and naming. This approach may be called participant-analysis. The elements include the use of ‘scientific models’ but recognizes that often in application what has worked is a problem specific informal model rather than formal theory (formal theory need not be excluded.) Another element is historical study in which intervention models that have been successful more often are preferred more. Cataloging future intervention may be regarded as ongoing historical study. We normally think that large scale experiment is impossible. However, actual intervention may be regarded as an experiment in the context of historical study. It is the nature of the case that large scale experiment without deep andor widespread problems will be unlikely to be initiated and followed through with sufficient endurance to completion. Depth of solution will be, in the nature of the case, be in rough proportion to depth the problem—for motivation and for measurability of success. For example, a great depression is a greater occasion for economic and other intervention. We do not create depressions (except in conceptual andor computational models) and this highlights the importance of historical study

Participant-analysis. Government intervention depends on informal or formal analysis and may be called participant-analysis. Is this not what we do anyway? True, but this is one beginning of a formalization. Perhaps ‘participatory-analysis’ or ‘participant-analysis’ is another way of talking of the mutual intervention of our actions in our own lives and the lives of others. But it is more. There has always been truth to the idea of ‘search’ and ‘seeking.’ The explorer may hope for riches by seeking raw materials for commerce—precious and commercially viable minerals, plant chemicals for medicinal use (the history of digitalis, quinine;) the spiritual quest in nature for ‘meaning’ (and revelation even if questionable in particular instances;) the scientist in the realm of concepts and also in laboratories… and the scientist as adviser is analyst but also participant. Thus although ‘participant-analysis’ sounds a little awkward in application in the modern world—its accepted realm of application in the social sciences appears to be in the interaction with indigenous peoples—it may be quite appropriate. There is analysis—e.g., modern economic theory; but the theory, perhaps, cannot merely inform economic action but must interact with it…

Locus of action. There is nothing above that should suggest that there is any one person or institution shall be responsible for address of concerns. The locus of action is not predetermined. We have become accustomed to government action; we talk sometimes of the need for solutions to arise from outside government; and this inevitably happens when problems become sufficiently deep. We may want to seek mechanisms to incorporate the populace in intervention. The locus of action is a triad of analysis or knowledge expertise, decision or politics, and populace

General applicability. This approach may apply to all disciplines within social science and studies; and as seen there is a role for its exploration in the natural sciences and their application

Search and faith. In the modern world we tend to expect that problems can be resolved; we might be better served by appending to that attitude the fact that there are no guarantees. But what of faith? If faith is the attitude that is most productive of a good outcome then faith cannot entirely exclude doubt or anxiety. Search shall include this faith

Notes on relation to Journey in being. I have chosen to write my discoveries and experiments as a narrative rather than a research paper. Part of the motivation has been the nature of the case. However, another part of the motivation is a dissatisfaction with the modern style of non-personal technical writing and its final relevance. This thought fits in with the idea of participant-analysis


This section provides a newer and alternate terminology to ‘participant analysis.’ The latter term is derived from areas of social study. The newer terminology involves the idea of embedding and is more inclusive: all knowing is embedded but the degree of independence from context depends on the case

Individuals, their ideas, especially their concepts and understanding of the social world, are embedded in the culture in which they live. This is true of the natural world and the natural sciences. However, a thought that motivates participant-understanding is that individuals who seeks to understand the social world and to use this understanding, does so most effectively when the interaction between their ideas-actions and the cultural milieu is accepted and (especially) when it is deployed

The embedding of individual and ideas is another way of stating the essential character of the interaction

In the modern world, functions become specialized and it may be assumed that the functions are discrete or complete in themselves. The idea of embedding is that this discreteness is incomplete

It is important to remember that terms such as ‘Participant-analysis,’ ‘embedding,’ ‘incomplete decomposition of knowing and acting,’ and ‘non-decomposition of concept and Object,’ are perhaps different aspects of the holism under discussion and not merely different ways of describing it

While this holism applies in principle to all knowing, it is not an absolute holism and independence of knowledge from context occurs in varying degrees from implicit to practical and to necessary independence


The topics are local (physical) cosmology which is treated briefly; life and organism which is brief; an extensive study of human being which emphasizes human mind and whose interest is intrinsic as well as that of platform for the transformations; society which focuses on the institution and a variety of institutions—economic and so on… and on the foundation of such study; civilization as such and as a repeated networked structure over the Universe which is of course necessary inference rather than manifest fact; and the human endeavor and its normal limits. The latter section is an elaboration and demonstration of the earlier observation that the cumulative tradition does not specify a shape and size and variety for the Universe but instead specifies a range from Cosmos to Logos

II      Journey—transformations in being and identity

The transformations are the heart of the journey—ideas are a necessary but incomplete mode of transformation; completeness requires transformation of the whole being

This essential phase of the journey is a search for ultimate realization founded in the interacting elements—experience, tradition, and ideas, especially the Universal metaphysics and the study of the local world

Although I aim at a high level of realization I do not know what I will achieve (in ‘this form’—e.g., in a finite period of time) Note that there is no highest realization but only higher—and higher—realizations

The topics A journey in being through Investigation… are about realization as a process. The future is a brief section that states some hopes for my future as a finite being. The final topic Being is about realization in the present

A journey in being

A journey in being elaborates the dimensions and clarifies the nature of the journey

Aspects of the journey


Non-linear development of the ideas

Action for its own sake (enjoyment,) exploratory action (indirectly goal oriented,) and goal oriented action

Ends or goals evolve in interaction with process and learning

Ideas in interaction with action and transformation


Variety without end

The individual experiences, merges with other and higher identity but there is no highest identity


Method whose title should perhaps be Approach, focuses on approaches to realization; its bases are my experience and the traditions—e.g. psychoanalysis, meditation, shamanism, and Yoga, which are developed in light of the Universal metaphysics—especially the fundamental principle of metaphysics, imagination and experiment. ‘Method’ includes The Dynamics of being

The transformations

The transformations, describes a minimal set of transformations toward realization of ultimate Identity; the way is incremental and rooted in the immediate world; it encourages adventure and enjoyment of process

This is the essential phase of realization as a process

The transformations are not as mature as the ideas. In comparison to the potential, the transformations are not well developed. However, the development is not insignificant even when ideas as transformation are omitted from consideration. Some areas of interest that in which I have had some success are in Identity, personality, and charisma; Dynamics of the mental functions; and Body, healing and medicine

Phases of the journey

The essential phases are the ideas and the transformations. In early conceptions there were two supporting phases of special interest—social and artifactual. The social phase would involve attempts at transformation, especially via influence, in society; it would also attempt to draw others into the social and more general process. The artifactual phase is one of personal interest and would involve theory, design, simulation, construction of a variety of being—physical, psychological, social, technological

The phase of ideas has occupied a significant portion of my life and has been very broad. Original plans for the remaining phases have been similarly open and broad

When younger, I lived and breathed as though my future was endless. I suppose that attitude is not uncommon. Now, in early 2010, I experience my future (in my present form) as rather finite; I do not have the desire to commit my energies in the old ways

I have begun to favor a more ‘surgical’ approach. The approach will, of course, be open and experimental. But it will also be more directed than my earlier approaches. I feel that I need to follow a more directed way. I will be eclectically selective at every point on the way—according to needs that arise from the process—but I hope that my insight and breadth of experience will add the element of breadth that I desire

The idea that I might select is that of a ‘spiritual journey.’ The phrase ‘spiritual’ may be misleading and I shall call it a dual journey in world and spirit but may abbreviate that as ‘A spiritual journey’ or ‘A journey in being’

A dual journey in world and spirit

Significantly, my travels in nature have been a form of journey in which I learn from special places and which form inspiration for my life and ideas

What do I mean by the term ‘spirit?’ Interpretations of the spiritual include (1) a literal but remote and in some sense higher dimension and (2) an indirect map and guide for the realms of the psyche. From the Universal metaphysics, there is but one realm; experience is connection of individual with the world which includes the individual; the literal—though perhaps not the not the absurd—and the exploration of world and psyche may coalesce in a journey

What I mean by a spiritual journey is an exploration and development, directed toward the ultimates, in psyche, world, and their interaction. What this journey may involve for me, what is its further definition—that is open. And of course, even though I do not plan it, the entire concept may change

For some—especially in some traditions of India, the idea of a ‘spiritual journey’ suggests a phase of life; however it is not a phase of life though it is perhaps a phase of development—it is intended to be the execution of hopes and plans that I have been cultivating over a number of years

In the Indian tradition, the idea of a spiritual journey suggests a retreat from the world; there will of course be temporary retreat from certain activities and emphasis on other ones; but there will be a dual hope for remarkable experience as well as remarkable outcome for my being in the world. To the extent that there is ‘retreat’ it is not ‘retirement’ or ‘escape’ but leaving behind, perhaps temporarily, certain things and activities, so as to cultivate inspiration that may enjoyed in itself and be brought back to the world where the enjoyment may continue, may reverberate, and may be shared

The idea of a ‘spiritual journey’ may suggest thoughts about a ‘spiritual plane;’ however, the phrase ‘spiritual plane’ does not mean much to me; I do not distinguish world and spirit; it will be, I intend, dually and very connectedly in ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ worlds—in psyche and world

There are phases of life where the connection with the practical world is emphasized; and phases where the connection with and search for ultimate things have meaning. For me, however, there has been no time when any particular connection has been absent. All of life is a physical journey, all of life is a spiritual journey; and there are practical distinctions but there is no ultimate distinction

The journey is about process but not only about process. In being in intimate contact with nature, I am in contact with being. Is that not artificial? Why am I not in contact with being even amid the horrors and squalor of the world? That suggests the practice of ‘non-avoidance’ (an aspect of the Tibetan-Tantric practice of chöd) of pain, adversity, and the negative. But I do not emphasize, as some do, the cultivation of pain or the avoidance of what appears pure

If—in this form and life—I am limited to one mode of transformation it will be a dual journey through experience or psyche, world, and meaning (in the sense of significance)

The dual journey may be the apex, summation, and realization of my ambitions regarding transformations

Some elements of a dual journey in world and spirit

Since the transformations are in-process, the net journey in transformation, especially in identity, is presented as a flexible program that is ever open to direction and change

Because the nature of the journey will evolve, I present elements and at most brief comments


The catalysts induce contact with psychic elements (archetypes, the unconscious) and creativity and, consequently, seeing and fortitude to follow pathways to ‘higher’ being; and so bringing the extra-normal into the normal realm

The following catalysts have sources in my experience and tradition

Crisis sense  /  Isolation  /  Altered andor extreme physical, cultural and natural environments  /  Exertion  /  Deprivation—sensory stimuli, sleep, food, shelter, warmth  /  Pain  /  Presence and fear  /  Chöd—eros and death… adversity as friend (role of interpretation)  /  Meditation…  /  Cultivation of dreaming  /  Repetition  /  Rhythm  /  Music  /  Dance of self-sacrifice  /  Sacrifice to a higher end

The tradition

Tantra-chöd  /  Raja yoga; meditation  /  Shamanism and other prehistoric systems  /  Western—Mystic  /  Indian  /  Tibetan  /  Japan—Zen  /  Psycho-militant


Psyche  /  World  /  Travel


Culture  /  Nature  /  Service  /  Shared

Methods—The Dynamics of being

The Dynamics of being appeals to the Universal metaphysics for the fundamental principle that asserts that there are normal limits that may be—immensely—difficult to overcome but no absolute limits (the limit to conception of the actual is that of Logic.) Normal limits are often those that have been considered impossible, but are now shown to be difficult and perhaps infeasible. This enables the identification of two roles for knowledge, a practical role in estimating desirability and feasibility, and an illuminating role in bringing the infeasible into the realm of the feasible (science does this)

The dynamics is a conceptual, experimental, generally but not necessarily incremental approach in which transformation is explored in certain dimensions and in which what is barely noticed or changed becomes a ‘world’ and simultaneously in which the process of cultivation of knowing and change as well as of the dynamics itself emerge and become the subject of dynamics

Examples of the dynamics

The examples are from my experience. Here, it is the example rather than the significance that is important; the presentation is shorthand—there are details in Journey in being. In some cases I cultivated some activity and later recognized it as an illustration of the dynamic and perhaps capable of further refinement in interaction with the dynamics. In other cases, I specifically sought application of the dynamics—perhaps as a result of the suggestive power of the Universal metaphysics

A.     Ideas

1.            The dynamic of ideas, significantly derived from my experience, is discussed as ‘creation’ in chapter Method

B.      Identity, Personality and charisma

2.            Dynamics of identity. This is a program rather than an outcome and it derives from the forms of the fundamental principle and some recent thoughts on the preservation of identity. The Vedanta may have some useful ideas

3.            The phases and issues of a life. Experience, learning and substance at various levels

4.            Interpersonal dynamics and its reflexive evolution. Self–observation and consciousness; transformation of interpersonal situations via intention and relinquishing intention while being in the present (mind / no-mind.) I have had some success with this in conflict situations, especially those arising in a psychiatric ward; and some rather limited success in interpersonal relations—which I hope to remedy (elements may include initiative and appropriate attachment-detachment)

5.            Dynamics of relationships. Love, society, influence…continuation of the previous item

6.            Dynamics and evolution of shared projects

7.            The elements of an individual life and relation to the universal—and their integration. Being: nature, society, mind and the universal; process: action, dynamics, evolution; relationship: caring, meaning, persuasion (charisma,) and force

8.            Personality dynamics. The crux—a fixity and freedom in patterns of feeling and behavior in relation to self, world and others. Perception and attachment-detachment; risk; the catalysts and traditions may be important

9.            Deep in interaction with others—for exploration; shared projects; boundary and permeability

C.     Dynamics of mental functions and—self—awareness

10.        Perceptual dynamics in relation to the real and their development form an example. E.g. for Brahman, eternity is an instant

11.        Dynamics of experience, attitude and action

12.        Integration of reality and perception dynamics in relation to yoga, shamanism, the ideas of Freud and Jung. Faith as an element of dual trust in intuition and being

13.        Dynamics of cognition, action, evolution and growth. Dynamics of time

14.        Reality and perception dynamics as dynamic elements. Dynamics of limits and laws

15.        Immersion in new environments, worlds, cultures, nature

16.        Integration of the mental functions—and dynamics of the individual functions and their perception

As an example consider anger. Anger may be confused with rage; where rage may be dysfunctional, anger may be functional. One may have learned or be prone to rage. Later one may discover, perhaps by introspection, the sources and dynamics of rage—the unperceived moment of its emergence becomes perceived by first noticing it and then stretching psychological time, the reasons for it—and cultivate anger instead. Now, one may choose to be angry, being angry—a sustained but not counterproductive or draining emotion—about things that are significant, that are within one’s powers to address, while conserving energy (one cannot address all problems.) Perhaps ‘anger’ is not the appropriate term for sustained passion; still what has been described is the beginning of a process; there may emerge flexibility from rigidity, an interaction between ‘mind’ and ‘no mind’…

17.        Dynamics of real choice and real action. E.g. dynamics of loss and death. …relation to self–observation

18.        The unconscious–conscious and universe–self processes. Dynamics of the entity; what is the entity the individual calls ‘myself?’ Identity!

19.        The dynamics in relation to threat, physical and interpersonal interaction in extreme circumstances: response to momentum and pace, mind and no–mind, scanning…

20.        Dynamics of creative acts and activity: research, art… other creative endeavors. (1) Journey and its aspects, (2) Music and art. Two theories of the ‘savant’ phenomenon: compensation via enhanced development of potential versus selection of already present ability that is perhaps suppressed by some mechanism (e.g. enculturation)

D.     Body, healing and medicine

21.        Body awareness and healing. Developing self-awareness in states of illness and response to experiment with treatment; seeking common treatment—diet, rest, sleep, warmth and others; seeing connections even if correlative rather than causal; repetition to assist in distinguishing the causal from the merely correlative; role of self-and other hypnosis (bedside manner.) Cultivation of modalities offered by modern medicine and EMDR, heart coherence, light therapy, exercise, Qi, emotional / heart communication, effect of love-family-person-community, importance of meaning or significance, variety and unity or identity and Identity

22.        Development of body kinetics. This development starts at or before birth; it is natural; and may be cultivated dynamically

23.        Nutrition, taste, appearance, and health

E.     Discovery and development of the dynamics

24.        Discovery and development of the dynamics—implicit in the examples and in the notion of the dynamics

Some General Aspects of Dynamics

Cultivating the elements—catalysts through examples—

Boundaries versus continuities—e.g. being versus death, mind-no mind, conscious-unconscious—questioning common assumptions

Cultivating simple cases; a variety of cases, common elements; seeing dynamics in play and cultivating it; reflexivity (see Method)

Nature of limits; question of existence of absolute limits

“Savant” states; are they accessible to all—but suppressed; modes of access—the catalysts

Amplification of micro-states of brain—epilepsy, genius, catalysts, reflexivity. Cultivating perception and flexibility of cognition—unity-multiplicity, flux in stasis and stasis in flux

Integrate the elements as a journey

The journey in being (the dual journey) shall begin with a period of time in ‘nature.’ I will minimize with regard to the material—packs, sleeping bags and so on. I will cultivate the various elements, especially the catalysts—including the raw catalysts as well as elements of the traditions. I will seek insight into the nature of my being—human and animal—and into being-as-such

If and when I become satisfied that something has been learned I may continue the journey according to what I have learned. The continuation will likely thread through the Dimensions and Kinds (above;) on return to nature I may continue with prior or modified or new catalysts

Supplementary investigations in the modes and means of transformation

Investigation…, describes four areas of investigation that are auxiliary to the journey and may also be of general interest

The future

I state hopes for my future as a finite being—


This topic of ‘journey’ describes a phase of realization in the present and thus complements the previous topics concerned with realization as process. This phase is one that will complement my experiments in process

There are two sub-phases, History and Pure being that correspond to two approaches to realization in the present. The first sub-phase, History, employs history and mythology as tools to appreciate the present; the second, Pure being, is a mode of living in the present as realization

III   Method

New and fundamental developments in ideas occasioned and required fundamental developments in method—developments with consequences for method and Logic, generally

In the history of thought, some aspects of method have been regarded as lying in the realm of the a priori. Here, however, I saw that the considerations of method arose in intimate relation to content, i.e. the study of the world was, naturally, the occasion for the method of study. This suggests that method and content, though not identical, arise together. Since the study of content is part of the world, method is a form of content. And, as has been suggested there is perhaps no non-trivial non-empirical knowledge; all knowing, including the knowing that we label ‘necessary’ or ‘a priori’ is touched by the empirical… but there are degrees of necessity. The appearance of necessity derives from the symbolic form of certain kinds of knowing (logic) and necessity in relatively trivial cases that we project on the non-trivial. And the appearance of an a priori character stems from the slower development of method (and logic) and the fact that aspects of method (grammar, logic) are built into language (and therefore do not seem to be in the realm of the empirical which is illusion because grammar does code the world as in noun-verb coding thing-process.) We have noted earlier the identities among Logic and metaphysics, and of the ability of abstract thought to model the Universe; these are formal realizations of the homogenization of method and content

Additional concerns with method arise in the transformations of chapter Journey

Here, I collect the developments in method and articulate them as a coherent whole. Implications for science are developed in the main essay. Here, I emphasize method in relation to ideas generally (and their application)

The main development

Perhaps the central development regarding method concerns (1) developments regarding the conceptions of Logic and metaphysics and (2) the consequent identity of Logic and metaphysics

This identity reveals the immense magnitude of the Universe. It also shows formally what I discovered and experienced practically—the inseparability of content and method. We expect method and content to not be altogether separate topics in that content concerns the world and method concerns study of the world which is also in the world

It is crucial that Logic is no longer conceived as having a priori elements and is thoroughly empirical but this does not bring its certainty down to the level of the merely empirical. Relative to the classical notions of logic and logics, Logic loses nothing of their real degree of certainty; and Logic paves the way to further the developments of the logics. Although revealed as participating in uncertainty, Logic is the highest of our certainties; and it is simultaneously empirical in that, as seen in Objects, it refers to the Universe… and since it is empirical the symbolic method and use of models in Logic and mathematics, even if immensely useful, is not sufficient to all truth in Logic or mathematics

What is lost in terms of misplaced certainty (the loss is only that of an illusion) is gained in open adventure

Comments on the relation between Logic and metaphysics in the literature and the origin of language

Certainly, the relation between logic and metaphysics has been remarked in the literature, especially by Leibniz, Hume, and Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein comes closest to the present development. However, in his Tractatus-Logico Philosophicus, first German edition, 1921, Wittgenstein merely posits atomic facts without demonstrating or possessing anything other than mere local and empirical knowledge of their variety. Further his logic arises out of the structure of the facts (language.) Here, we demonstrate the immensity of being and therefore the immensity of the variety of facts (without limiting the world to the factual;) and we conceive Logic; and in a sense it is the first conception of Logic. Here, Logic is brought down from the mystery of the a priori and into the realm of the empirical (which does not make its study transparent or something to be merely studied in a conceptual laboratory—the origins of Logic include the structure of language which has some of the general structure of being built into it already but which is the result of remote trial and error beginning with the origin of language and early language users and therefore a posteriori but not necessarily transparently so)

Elements of method

Further elements of method include the following

Neutrality with regard to the faithfulness of concepts to Objects. Given that, in general, even the meaning of faithfulness is in question, it does not follow that no concepts are faithful to their putative Objects. That is, the question of criticism is not approached with the thought that faithfulness and its meaning are uniform across all concepts. An occasional fallacy of the criticism is that given (1) A class of knowledge claims for which there is no intrinsic guarantee of faithfulness and (2) Examples of incomplete or lack of faithfulness, to assume, sometimes tacitly and sometimes in the absence of demonstrations of faithfulness, that the absence of faithfulness extends to all members of the class. A priori neutrality toward faithfulness is instrumental in avoiding this error and encourages identification of two classes of faithful concept-Objects: the necessary Objects for which faithfulness is explicit and perfect and the practical Objects for which faithfulness is not completely explicit but is sufficient as a result of adaptation or instrumental approach or combination. Such neutrality may be regarded as avoidance of the habit of substance thinking in epistemology. The neutrality is ‘reflexive;’ i.e. the aim is to be neutral with regard to neutrality: at the outset of a study, one may be neutral with regard to faithfulness but when there is sufficient or necessary reason to believe that a concept is (or is not) faithful to an Object, then the neutrality that was held at outset is no longer necessary or, except that some neutrality may be useful, appropriate, first because reasons may lack necessity, second because doubt is useful in showing that what is thought to be necessary may not be so, and (therefore) finally because it encourages unanticipated but potential development. That neutrality is not dogma and it may be replaced by necessary or sufficient reasons is itself a sign of (reflexive) neutrality; that neutrality may be maintained simultaneously with commitment further emphasizes reflexive neutrality; and when it is recognized that the foregoing notwithstanding, there is a time for commitment, reflexive neutrality is still further emphasized and its nature further revealed

Doubt may be regarded as falling under neutrality—and, again, reflexivity is pertinent. Doubt is an instrument of truth but neurotic or angry doubt, sometimes masked as neutral and functional, may be destructive or diversionary; these kinds of doubt barely need mention except that our culture occasionally succumbs to them (it is not being claimed of course that the problem is unique to our culture.) And, I am able to recognize that even when I object to angry criticism, such criticism may, perhaps because it activates a reaction, may provoke development—generally, or by myself, or even of myself

The occasion for doubt is pertinent. The same concept may be applied confidently in practical situations but placed under doubt or scrutiny when advance or conceptual clarity is needed

One doubt that has arisen is that it seems that in the development of the metaphysics, we are getting ‘something from nothing.’ However, that is not the case and it is the following items, Identifying and Naming, Attention to meaning, Intuition and Abstraction, and Concept selection and Development… that are responsible for this fact, i.e. that the metaphysics rests on a foundation. It is typical in, say mathematics, to rest development upon axioms whose foundation is in question; and it is typical in philosophy (metaphysics) to rest development on substance that may be named but whose character is not specified. Without substance, hope of foundation must rest on infinite regress. Therefore the alternatives are infinite regress or foundation in the unfounded—i.e., the alternatives are never arriving at or not having foundation

However, not everything is without foundation. If I say There is being the response may be That is what it seems but all is illusion. However, if there were no being there would not even be illusion. ‘Being’ begins in the analysis as the name for what is there, even if it is illusion. That is an aspect of the power of the concept of being. In contrast, the truth of the statement ‘there is matter’ does not follow from the existence of mistakes (because it may be questioned whether a mistake or an illusion is material in nature.) This argument for the ‘being of being’ is rather flimsy because it allows that being may be quite insubstantial. Earlier a robust argument was given via a brief analysis of solipsism (a side implication of the argument is that the distinction of being as substantial versus insubstantial is not a metaphysically objective distinction and has more to do with the human way of experience; therefore the robust argument is interesting though perhaps not metaphysically necessary.) Thus, the development is not a case of ‘something from nothing.’ A related doubt, and one that gives some pause, is that the outcome is ‘very much from very little.’ On reflection, however this doubt is not significant even if its content is the case for (1) This is the case for many symbolic developments in which much experience, much thought, and much intuition go into the axioms, and (2) In the metaphysics the foundation is simultaneously trivial and deep, and the variety of being that is demonstrated must exist ‘somewhere-when’ but the metaphysics does not provide direct knowledge of what is shown to exist

This first doubt regarding ‘so much conceptual development’ has been instrumental in (1) Identifying and removing a concern, and (2) Illuminating the nature of the development. It is one of two major doubts that are both necessary and to address from point of view of method and useful to address in illuminating the development and the endeavor of knowledge and transformation generally

A second major doubt is the doubt regarding the demonstration in the formal development. The doubt has been addressed from various directions and these developments are approaches to refinements of proof and illumination of the foundation of the metaphysics. However, this doubt has not been entirely removed (it should be remembered that the doubt concerns the demonstration but not the consistency of the assertion of the existence of the Void.) The thread of the discussion of this doubt is taken up in the discussion of Faith and hypothesis and the Summation, below. It is pertinent that the discussion (1) Illuminates a fundamental approach to the nature and deployment of faith and (2) Develops—and is in the process of developing—limitations on the nature of certainty—i.e. certainty itself rather that human certainty—and finds that the Universal metaphysics and related developments achiever the upper limit of certainty (while other developments approach the inherent limit of certainty that obtains for the discipline.) It is pertinent to repeat that a ‘limit’ such as the present one which is constitutional of—being in—the world and not of knowledge per se, is a fact rather than a true limit; and a fact that is illuminating because it suggests that prior notions of certainty are inherently erroneous but is also occasion for celebration because the fact of absence of a priori certainty is coupled with the fact of infinite adventure

Identifying and Naming what is most basic and given. Being is what is there; the Universe is all being in a global (e.g. supra- or a-temporal mode of description.) Two concerns with Identifying deserve mention. First, is there any given? This has naturally been questioned in the history of thought; it is part of the power of the concept of being that it is given; what analysis there is of developing the concept as robust (the discussion against solipsism.) The question about givenness then becomes What has being? or, more precisely, To what concepts do there correspond Objects? A second concern is How is the chosen concept known to be most basic? Regarding the choice of being in the context of metaphysics it is clearly basic even if not most important: the—concepts of Universe, Domain, Void, Logos are perhaps more fundamental to the development of the metaphysics but the concept of being with its supreme neutrality is more basic than these and this is a matter of experimentation which however receives confirmation in the success of the metaphysics. In the case of other contexts, other notions will likely be more basic. There is a host of classic problems associated with the phrase ‘mind and matter.’ The problems may be avoided by avoiding the words ‘mind’ and ‘matter.’ However, it may be useful to use the terms. Earlier in the narrative it was seen that problematicity depends on what is meant by mind and matter. If matter is another word for ‘element of being’ and mind a word for the signature of one element in another, then there is no philosophical problem of mind and matter. However, it would then be mistake to conflict the subject of modern physics with matter-in-the-sense-just-stated

Attention to meaning is pivotal in the development of the metaphysics. Since the metaphysics develops via experiment with concept, there is an exploration in meaning space. Meanings are not given by prior use but must be developed. Further, meaning lies in the whole context of the metaphysics, i.e. meaning has articulation. Attention to meaning includes the attention to the (linguistic) meaning of (linguistic) meaning; meaning the relation of a concept to an Object and here there are innumerable issues that are otherwise puzzling or paradoxical that are immediately resolved. One example is the analysis of existence (earlier in some versions of the narrative and below.) Another is the paradox of what does ‘Anil Mitra’ refer to when I die? The ‘paradox’ imagines that the concept or name Anil Mitra refers to me at some or all points in my life and then asks to what it refers when I am dead or before I am born. However, the concept of Anil Mitra may be that Object whose entity is temporal and was nothing (on the classic material paradigm) until about 63 years ago and will be nothing in a few seconds to perhaps 30 years from now. Paying attention to meaning may be elaborated as follows

Intuition and abstraction found and ground the abstract metaphysics in the body of being. As we have used the term intuition, it is common knowledge of the categories of the world—e.g., space, time, cause, and necessity. Even though we may not know how we have this knowledge and even though we may be unable to justify formally, we believe that it has some justification since it enables a degree of success in negotiating the world. Thus, intuition is a suitable container for knowledge that we regard as formally neutral with regard to faithfulness but since it is knowledge of categories we expect that it may be an excellent platform for development of a posteriori analysis of faithfulness. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant used intuition in this sense to refer to perception, e.g. that we perceive the world in spatio-temporal and causal terms; and he justified our knowledge of the world by further appeal to Euclidean Geometry, Newtonian Mechanics, and Aristotelian Logic which had come in his time to be regarded as perfect but which we now know to be approximate (geometry, mechanics) or limited (logic—also empirical when extended.) Therefore, the strategy in this development has to bring all knowledge including deduction / logic / necessity under intuition and to seek a more fundamental level of description than that the spatio-temporal and causal and of a priori logic. It is here that abstraction enters for its use enables understanding of Universe, Domain, Complement, Void, Logic and Logos as perfectly faithful (Logos further requires the notion of knowledge-of rather than knowledge-that) and it is primarily these concept-Objects (the conflation is justified by the fact of perfect faithfulness) that are the basis of the Universal metaphysics. This is how the development has proceeded. There is perhaps some justification in using the term element of method in relation to intuition and abstraction since the approach may be deployed in the analysis of other (sub) contexts (e.g. mind and the study of extension and duration)

Concept selection and development and Development of articulated systems of concepts. Understanding of a context may resolve as variety of kinds of Objects—e.g. entities, processes, and interactions—that we understand via concepts. When the Objects have articulation, it is expected that the concepts shall form a system. The question of faithfulness of concept / system to Object / context is pertinent and addressed by the other elements of method. The following are important (1) Selection and careful attention to meaning (‘definition’) for the individual concepts, (2) Articulation of the system, (3) Analysis and comparison with the context, and (4) Repetition / iteration of these steps until the concept system does in fact compare with the context.

These processes which involve trial, error, and attempted resolution have no a priori guarantee of success. Success is such as may occur—i.e., a posteriori… but all success—routine and perhaps dull or innovative and adventuresome—is success

Deployment of the fundamental principle of metaphysics in its various formulations are pivotal in providing foundation for such topics as Objects, Cosmology, and, Worlds (in the case of Worlds, the contents and approaches of the individual disciplines are also important.) In other words, as for any development, development begets further development

Revaluation of fundamentals—especially of the nature of knowledge. In relation to value we ask ‘What is knowledge for? What is its function?’ Of course there may be no single answer, but the questions make us also ask, again, ‘What is knowledge?’ There may be a response, ‘But we already know or at least have attempted to answer the question.’ Still again, however, an Object—knowledge—can be seen in more than one light, according to more than one projection. ‘Knowledge is modeling’ but then also ‘Knowledge is relationship’ or ‘Knowledge is interaction between organism and environment.’ Now those notions knowledge as modeling and knowledge as interaction, are on the ‘what it is’ and ‘what it is for.’ These considerations result in the participatory notion of method regarding knowledge and a participatory definition of knowledge. Originally, perhaps, knowledge was interaction (asymmetric of course) and, later, an aspect of it became the disinterested and objective pursuit. When, however, we find that the disinterested pursuit is just not quite getting appropriate action or end, we may want to return to participation; but we need not wait for inadequate action to return to participation in parallel with disinterested pursuit

Faith and hypothesis. There is hesitation in entering faith as an element of method. However, ask What are some objectives or functions of knowing? One objective is to act. Faith, as conceived earlier, enhances action regardless whether the Universal metaphysics in doubt. Another objective is the enjoyment of knowing. Certainly, however, if perfect knowledge is unattained, then proper faith can hardly diminish the enjoyment and the understanding of faith is a part of knowing. The cautious tend to require perfect knowledge in order to act. However, we have seen that perhaps there is no perfect knowledge of non-trivial affairs but only degrees of perfection. For non-trivial affairs we may desire or even need to act and when perfect knowledge is not given, faith may be instrumental in effective action. But if perfect knowledge is attained we might then become satiated with it and seek action which may require faith for its highest or higher execution

These developments have clear implications for the nature of Logic; some of these have been spelled out. Implications for philosophy, metaphysics, and science are discussed in the next chapter Contribution

Summation. Most of the foregoing discussion could be labeled ‘guideline;’ however, it is highly unlikely that the discoveries (Intuition through Being) would have been made without these parallel developments. These items cross-over into elements of creation. However, some elements are more than just guidelines. The idea of Neutrality is inherent in the idea of Being—I have being is to say, only, I exist; but not to say that I am animal, I am human, of any of the myriad characteristics I may have (except that I am perhaps an I and that I can possibly construct sentences…) But there is a tinge of the absurd in suggesting that things exist—if they are indeed things. It is here that the ideas of meaning—and therefore of concept and Object—become important for the idea that something exists is the idea that there is an Object that corresponds to a concept; and the idea that something does not exist is the idea that there is no Object corresponding to a concept (and without this the thought ‘Unicorns do not exist’ is self-referentially absurd for it may be asked, if there is no concept side, What is it that does not exist? Intuition and Abstraction is the core of the method; there may be other approaches; but in this approach, it is Intuition and Abstraction that guarantees that there is perfect knowledge of the necessary Objects, and so of the metaphysics and its foundation. Thus the approach of Intuition and Abstraction is more than ‘mere’ guideline; in the case of the necessary Objects including the Universal metaphysics it is strict or necessary method. The present use Intuition succeeds where Kant’s fell short because it goes to a deeper level where Abstraction provides necessary Knowledge (Kant’s idea to use intuition remains a deep instrumental insight that is also realistic in showing that science reveals knowledge of the world even if it is neither precise nor universal so far.) Identifying and Naming is related to the use of Intuition and Abstraction. The Identification is that of the given; and for use in development it is sufficient to Name the given. The discussion of Faith and hypothesis also stands out from the background of ‘guideline but perhaps not necessary’ because it addresses the question of action in the absence of knowledge or in the presence of incomplete knowledge and doubt. The importance of the discussion is that there appears to be no certain knowledge but there are grades of certainty with Logic, perhaps on account of generality, standing above direct empirical knowing. I am not altogether certain about this latter conclusion because, though there is some reasoning that stands behind it, I find that I am still feeling my way to its formulation and validity

The method of study of the disciplines is described in the discussion of Worlds above

Elements of creation in ideas

Since the number of individuals doing the most creative work is small and, perhaps, because the rest ‘need’ to rule or be ruled, formal method appears to take precedence over creation. However it is basic both that imagination and criticism are essential. It is therefore perhaps without epistemic significance to ask whether creation is more or less important than criticism

I now turn from the formal side of thought to the creative side. More precisely, because of incomplete separation of the formal and the creative (which allows for occasional separation of which examples have been pointed out,) it is the emphasis that turns from the formal to the creative

The study of the disciplines lies at the intersection of imagination-creation and the formal aspects of thought. What is the source of the developments of content and method? It must include imagination-creation as well as the formal. The present developments provide much occasion for reflection on imagination-creation in interaction with the formal. Which of these is more important—reason, experience, or imagination? In that all elements are essential the question lacks significance. In the developments of the ideas and transformations there was much occasion to reflect, not only on the formal but also on the imaginative. What are the key elements of imagination? There are of course personal and situational elements; these include the systematic as well as the idiosyncratic. It is natural that there has been historical interest in the question. On the creative side, the following factors have been emphasized: preliminary and ongoing study and definition of the problem or issue, incubation and the role of the unconscious, consciously or otherwise allowing play in the unconscious, emphasizing an interplay—at formal and intuitive levels—of the critical and the imaginative, personal and idiosyncratic factors, interaction and cultivation of these factors

I have combined ideas from reading and my personal experience and reflection under the label reflexivity

Reflexivity refers, initially, to the application of a principle to itself. Consider the ‘principle’ There are no absolutes. Is that not an absolute? In this case the reflexive application is resolved by changing the statement of the ‘principle’ to There are few absolutes or There are no absolutes of certain kinds. Even though this example and it resolution are trivial, it illustrates that the reflexive application of the principle is effective and works by interaction (in this case that of an assertion with itself)

A generalized notion of reflexivity is to seek the formal and suggestive or analogical interaction of concepts and principles among all elements of study

The possibilities include: a wide variety of disciplines and practices both ancient and modern; a wide variety of experience; what is established with what is under development; with establishing and developing; method and content; concepts at different hierarchical levels; criticism or doubt and imagination or creation;  systems developed by oneself and those of others (in this connection, I have learned much from others by reading and from personal interaction including, even if I resent it, angry criticism directed at my person—or another—rather than concepts;) ideas or thought and action or transformation; a variety of paradigms—matter, process, evolution, idea… and being or the paradigm of no insistence on paradigm;) study and critique of study—e.g. the simultaneous analysis of knowledge while critiquing its nature and its value; emotion or passion and thought or cognition; the distinction of ‘mental function’ into emotion and cognition and their unity as concept or intuition or emotion-cognition; fixed and fluid meaning; combinations of the foregoing; all this and abandoning it—and, possibly, return…

This general principle or notion of reflexivity has been of immense value in my thought and life, particularly in this narrative The various reflections are collected together in a final section of the longer versions of the narrative, A guide to the creative process

It now becomes apparent that (1) The formal and the creative aspects of method are interwoven in their application  but (2) There are elements of method that guarantee certainty of outcome that, though it is not true of all knowing, applies in some cases of immense and universal importance


The discussion prior to creation emphasizes validation. In summary, then, the elements of method are creation and validation. The elements of creation are imagination, reflexivity, and the idiosyncratic. The elements of validation are experience and reason. It is implicit in the idea of experience that method may be cultivated. This is useful but also a source of excessive claims regarding method or methods. All elements may interact

IV    Contribution

Introduction—the kinds and extent of the contribution

If the claims of the narrative are true, the contributions are immense in breadth and depth

In its common use, ‘ego’ is self-promoting. However, in being self-promoting, it recognizes that explicit and over-stated self-promotion may be damaging, first, socially and, second, to ego itself. Therefore, I attempt to set ego aside in estimation of the achievement of the narrative. If contribution is important then both hubris and false humility are impediments. In saying this, I recognize—of course—that I may not have (fully) succeeded in setting the false elements of ego aside; and while I do make certain estimates of the achievement, I do not expect or ask that the reader substitute these estimates for his or her own. I do ask, however, that the reader who would estimate this work shall understand its content and suggest that she or he enter into a communal setting aside of mere ego as self-promotion

What is this ‘setting aside of ego?’ We want to understand! And, in this desire we trip over ourselves. The ‘brilliant’ mind is perhaps fortunate in that the desire to understand is easily realized; and success is self-reinforcing. The brilliant mind easily forges ahead of others and may not have to confront its own limited understanding. The not so brilliant may lack such success and become discouraged. However, even the brilliant mind has limits and may not ever encounter its own potential in relation to any ultimates. It is the problem of the view that in achieving physical and even social maturity, the adult has arrived. And it is the problem of the view that in achieving institutional maturity, our civilization has arrived. I hope that what I have written shows not only what is trivial—arrival as illusion—but some real ways beyond

In this regard, there is no distinction between the brilliant and the not-so-brilliant. A response is to not give in to the desire to know by allowing premature knowing to stand in for mature knowing. On the other hand, maturity of knowing may occur. We cannot, perhaps, know that it will occur or when it may occur. The response becomes sharpened by being open to both perception and judgment—so that when we do not know we do not imagine we do; and when and if we do arrive at knowing, we are ready to accept knowing even if surprised, and we do not pollute our knowledge with imagining via habit or false humility that we do not know

It may be of interest for readers to know to what extent common as well as academic views are affected—to what extent the views are broadened. Contribution paints a broad picture of what is accomplished and what is potential, shows the reader what is new… and the relation to the tradition; and invites the reader to enter into adventure

Contribution is an attempt to assess and state the contributions of the essay—its topics are (1) Criteria for significance; (2) Major contributions in epistemology, metaphysics, theory of Objects, cosmology, the destiny of humankind, and method; (3) Significance for the history of ideas with focus on philosophy and metaphysics which necessarily includes revaluation of the nature of philosophy and metaphysics in the light of the Universal metaphysics and what that entails for an assessment of the state of modern and current philosophy, the problems of metaphysics, method, and systematic classification of human knowledge; and (4) Significance for the academic disciplines; and Potential contributions

Contribution is not a mere list of topics that I believe may be contributions to thought. It briefly looks at criteria for significance which recognizes limits to evaluation—especially to evaluation of one’s own work. It provides reasons for thinking that the listed topics are contributions and it evaluates the significance of the contributions (assessments of the contribution are also found in the main narrative.) In discussing contributions to philosophy and metaphysics, the narrative assesses the nature of philosophy and metaphysics with reference to the history of the disciplines and the Universal metaphysics. The Universal metaphysics entails modifications to any systematic classification of knowledge and such modifications are incorporated into an explicit outline

In this précis version, contributions that are noted in the main narrative shall not be repeated here; this version will presents only the following supplementary and areas of contribution

Philosophy and metaphysics

This discussion falls under item (3) above. Modern thought is immensely apologetic regarding metaphysical knowledge and the role of philosophy in relation to other disciplines, especially the sciences. The sources of this attitude include (a) failure of prior speculative metaphysics (Hegel’s metaphysics is a prime example) and political philosophy (Marx,) (b) that the notion of Object does not inherently contain the notion of metaphysical or directly known Object, and (c) the immense success of science. This results in the classic loss of nerve and plunge into nihilism (which is also a goldmine of vacant nihilist but self-indulgent epistemic and primarily academic but artificial speculation—‘post-modernism’ and so on without apparent end or relevance outside the academy.) Criticism is, of course, always pertinent but the modernistic criticism is based on a number of hasty and perhaps nervous generalizations and defaults—failure of some prior metaphysics whose speculation exceeds its criticism, that the notion of the Object does not contain the metaphysical Object implies that that this absence cannot be supplied in any cases, and that science has occupied or shall occupy the entire domain of knowledge of world and things (this may be tacit; it may be default, simply the result of science being the only air that fills the vacuum.) If the academics of critical orientation are interested in ‘truth’ an entire army of lieutenants and privates would not be necessary: all that is needed is a small cadre of sentinels; the rest would be looking for ‘truth’ by other means such as ‘sweat.’) The present development cuts through the quagmire (Aegean Stables)

The development has shown the fact and therefore the possibility of metaphysics—a metaphysics that is dually ultimate: in an ultimate showing of the being of the Universe and in showing its variety and extent and duration to be infinite and without limit. Therefore—metaphysics the discipline whose valid and realized concern is the outer limits of being; and philosophy is the discipline whose limits are the outer limits of being

These conclusions are elaborated and further justified in the main narrative essay. They are the foundation of a reconceptualization of the (significantly realized, briefly mentioned earlier, and detailed in the main narrative) possibilities of thought, of philosophy and metaphysics, the reconceptualization of a variety of local studies (academic disciplines) as well as application (so far primarily in the natural sciences) to the disciplines. The metaphysics provides a framework in which there is what may be called a death of problematicity—an entire catalog of classical and recent problems receive some combination of resolution and dissolution, e.g. what Heidegger called the fundamental problem of metaphysics and some of physics and of origins—the why of being; the nature, variety, extent, and duration of being in the Universe; the relative nature of space and time; the nature of identity and its preservation across death of the individual as well as of a cosmos and its relation to Identity; the nature of mind—it is the effect of interaction among elementary being; that the nature of mind is the fundamental problem regarding mind and, therefore: trivialization of mind-body and mental causation issues via understanding the nature of mind; illumination of the nature of a variety of kinds of process including evolutionary process; the necessity of process; the nature of particular and abstract Objects and the formulation of a ‘unified’ theory of Objects that reveals, at root, that there is a single kind; the demonstration of the inadequacy of substance but without making the foundation ever relative; the development of the notion of Logic which is perhaps the first true conception of Logic; and the development of the ideas of method and creation in ideas


A number of the conclusions noted in the previous paragraph touch upon science. Additionally, science itself is illuminated—it cannot have the perfect faithfulness of the Universal metaphysics because it deals with local and practical Objects at a level of detail at which perfectly faithful abstraction of information is not possible; it is this that makes science immediately useful; accordingly, scientific theories may be seen in two distinct but complementary and equally valid perspectives—first, as aiming at universality but remaining hypothetical and, second, as factual but applying only in some limited domain of extension, duration and phenomena. As a specific example of implications for science, there are suggestions of affinity with and implications for quantum theory and the modern theories of space, time and matter; and, evolutionary theory is revealed as an important paradigm of emergence of complexity and structure but not the only paradigm


As has been seen, Religion is revealed as a search for the extent, duration, and variety of being alongside science—which, of course, is dependent on the meanings of science and Religion for science may be reconceived so as to include Religion; simultaneously, the secular function of religion as a dynamic map of human psyche is enhanced

A system of human knowledge

A system of human knowledge. The developments immensely enhance our notions of a categorial system of knowledge. Modern systems tend to conflate Universe with local cosmos; to regard natural science as relatively objective, psychology as empty of mind, social science as inescapably descriptive, and the rest—art, religion, history, literature—as objectively empty but, perhaps, subjectively suggestive. The present development enables revaluation of the system; the details are available in the main narrative essays. In outline, (a) Symbol is brought out of the domain of the subjective and its metaphysical proportions are drawn, (b) Cosmos is a speck in the immense Universe that we know via a combination of symbol, icon, and experience; this knowledge is outlined via the metaphysics and general cosmology; science fills out local description—our cosmos—in greater detail, (c) Natural science is limited but only because it is on the way, and its objective dimensions are revealed, (d) Mind is shown as real and its depths sounded; the essential philosophical problems given some resolution, (e) The beginning of an objective realm of social science is developed—however, evaluation will require attempts at implementation, and (f) Art, religion, history, literature, which modernism has split, are reintegrated and revealed as a supreme lens upon the scape of being

V       Reference

Reference has the following parts (1) A list of writers (thinkers) whose ideas I recognize as having influenced my thought (2) An index of concepts and names, and (3) Experience—a section on creating a net of experience similar to the experience behind the narrative