The discussion in the prologue draws on material from the essay and the foundation


Journey in Being and its Goal    |    Nature of The Journey    |    Form of the Journey In Being    |    An Individual Journey    |    What is Being    |    A Journey into Being Itself    |    Two Pillars    |    Knowledge    |    A Revolution    |    Nothingness: the Void    |    The Ultimate or the Absolute    |    To the Reader    |    Relations Between Our World and the Absolute    |    Local / Universal    |    Knowledge and Significance    |    Experiments in the Transformation of Being    |    My Inspiration    |    Mileposts… and Horizons    |    Characterizing Being    |    The Stumbling    |    The Journey Continues…    |    Recent Developments    |    Contents: The Paths of the Journey    |    Journey in Being Website

Journey in Being and its Goal

Journey in Being refers to a journey and to its story

The Journey begins with an individual life and through confluence it seeks to become the universal journey of ultimate being. It is a Journey of Being for explicit transformation of being is sought in addition to knowledge and learning

The broad purposes are two: realization of ultimate being –of ultimates– and being in the present

…and of relations –interaction, distinctions, and identities– between the ultimate and the present

Nature of The Journey

The ideas of Being and Journey are both important. Being refers to the true nature and ultimate possibility of individual beings or entities and of all being and of the universe or cosmos. It also signifies that the being of the individual is important: thought and knowledge are not sufficient to the Journey. Realization of true nature and ultimate possibility do not occur in a moment or as a phase of a life but are, and require, the Journey of a life. Journey in Being is not merely a process of discovery of what is given: it is a construction, through experiment, action and reflection, of what is potential or possible

The journey is one into –as far as possible– all being and knowledge, all objects and ideas that do and could exist: ultimate being and knowledge

The nature of being: the actuality of being or being as it is and as we know or experience it; and the possibilities of being

The history of being: being in time – origins, life and death of the forms of being and of the entire universe

Journey in Being is the becoming, being and dissolution of Being within All Being and of All Being i.e. within and of the entire UNIVERSE. The essence of Being is that of the Journey…

In the previous paragraph, ‘being’ is used primarily to refer to a thing but also to a process as in ‘the becoming, being and…’ it is only in a concrete cosmology that these distinctions are ultimate

Dissolution or un-becoming is also becoming. Becoming, being and dissolution are similar to creation, preservation and destruction. A distinction is that while the latter terms are suggestive of the power of an external agent the former terms are used here to emphasize that that the becoming, the being and the dissolution are intrinsic to Being. Since there is nothing ‘outside’ All Being, the intrinsic character of ‘creation’ and so on is essential

Journey in Being, is the Universe in its journeys of being and becoming, its knowing and coming to know. These, together, are the Journey in Being which includes all knowing, understanding, discovery, creation, all narratives and stories

…for, properly understood, Mind [Knowing] is coeval and coextensive with being; Mind is being-in-its-relations or, MIND IS BEING

Journey in Being is, also, the confluence of individual journeys –especially the author’s and those surrounding and interacting with the author’s; and the author’s efforts to engage with others, with this world, with All Being, with the One Universe– in the universal journey that is the being of the entire uni-verse. ‘Journey in Being’ is this journey but refers, also, to this WEBSITE which includes the narratives for the journey

There is an opportunity, through networking, for the narrative, the history of philosophy, to become, not only cumulative though otherwise static, but dynamic in that single narratives may evolve through multiple and ongoing authorship

Form of the Journey In Being

The Form of the Journey is a binding among knowing, acting and being… including the unbound or symbolic forms; JOURNEY IN BEING refers also to my journey, its narrative, and WEBSITE

The form of ‘Journey in Being’ is a binding –interaction– between understanding and becoming. Becoming includes action and essential transformation of being. That understanding has degrees of separation from becoming as in a traditional concept of knowledge is given; however, at root, there is no final separation and the assumption that there is a final separation leads to error –including delusions of unbounded rationality– and incomplete fulfillment. The ultimate commitment of this Journey is realization and essential transformation and, except for the dictates of LOGIC, employs but does not wait for the progress of knowledge in any limited concept

Journey in Being is not a new form –of becoming and knowing– but a reversion to an original form that includes and employs but is not restricted to newer forms made possible by the symbolic capabilities and their various enhancements as in e.g. poetry, art, philosophy, analysis and science

An Individual Journey

Journey in Being, it was noted, is also my journey, the story of my coming into the ideas and paths that make up The Journey. My life is a part of the journey – but this document is not a vehicle to tell an intimate story of my life. What is significant is how I came to undertake and continue the journey, especially to the extent that the origins are essential in understanding and founding the journey

These purposes are consistent with the nature of the Journey

My motivation in undertaking the journey and its narrative include, of course, expression, realization and enjoyment. Contribution and sharing are also motives. There is also a mixture of confidence and doubt, of intuition and reason. Many of the central propositions of the present essay have origin in intuition and hope – suggested by my own reflections and the thoughts of others. Without confidence in the intuition, I would not sustain the propositions as beliefs. Without doubt, the beliefs would not have made the transition to the status of propositional thought. Without some confidence in the originality of the ideas, I would not write; without doubt, I could not create

What is Being

…and what is the purpose of the focus on being?

Here, being is used in two apparently distinct senses. In the first, being is that which exists. This leads to a problem ‘How is it known that any alleged being actually exists?’ In turn, analysis of ‘existence’ is required which leads to classic difficulties and therefore to the postulation of categories of being. Thus we may say, a rock exists as matter, an individual mind as mind, a relationship as relationship, a number as number and so on but what does it mean that something has unqualified existence? ‘Existence,’ ‘matter,’ ‘mind,’ ‘relationship,’ ‘number’ and other mathematical objects and related concepts are analyzed in the essay and the foundation where common ground is established for the varieties or categories of being – eliminating the need for the categories. There, the characters of mind, matter, laws, and concepts such as number… are clarified and their root identities are shown in the common ground of e.g. power i.e. the capacity for effect. In consequence, it is possible to assert, simply, that having being is existing. It is now possible to ask, with hope of an ontologically sound answer, ‘What is the character of some compound entity?’ Having placed mind, matter, relationship, idea on a common plane it is possible to say, simply, that its character is its set of constituents [or elements – where specification of what are allowed as elements is intentionally left open.] This leads into the second sense of being: the being of an entity is what it truly is; the admission of this sense of ‘being’ is equivalent to the questions ‘What is the nature of being?’ ‘What is the science or study of being as being?’ i.e. not as any particular kind of being…

As used here, the being of an individual –of an entity– is what it truly is and that includes its possibilities and potentials or likely possibilities

It includes what is tangible or sensible and what is real – and what is potentially real. The sensible includes the body. The real includes the sensible, and the possible; and mind, and all concepts that correspond to what is real: examples that could be considered are spirit, soul and substance. However, while consideration of a wide range of possible forms and kinds of being from the history of thought is useful in developing an understanding of the fullness of being – of its nature and possibilities, it is unnecessary to  attempt a review of all forms and kinds

The nature of being, the real, has been approached in many ways: conceptually, through knowledge and understanding as in the sciences and the tradition of philosophy; through exploration whose counterpart in science is experiment; through exploration and construction in of the possibilities of the form of being, for example the human body and human experience and in art and technology; through exploration in the world; and, not the least, by interactions among these modes. Interaction is necessary for the understanding might start with a concept of being, then an exploration in science or in the world or in ideas… and then the original concept may be modified and so on in the approach to improved understanding; and while an individual or a culture builds on what has come before, the question of being must be lived in order to have fullness of meaning

While there can be no entity that has no effect i.e. since all being may enter in some way or manner into awareness there is also a sense in which all being comes before any particular awareness or study of being. Fullness of being is lived and not merely thought. This is fundamental

That the being of an entity is ‘what it truly is’ begins as an implicit characterization. The value of an implicit characterization is its generality and openness; however, an explicit characterization –taken up later in the prologue– is also valuable even if we do not know that it will apply to all being. [It is part of the power of the metaphysics of being developed in the essay and the foundation that what would often be thought of as an implicit characterization is also, as noted above, an explicit characterization]

Being and knowledge of being have both definite [actual] and indefinite [possible] or unrealized aspects. It would be absurd to claim that human being has realized or knows all possible kinds or aspects of being or to claim that there is no knowledge or realization at all

The meaning of the being of an individual or entity –what it truly is– defines the first purpose of the focus on being. A related, purpose to the focus on being is that the concept of being includes the indefinite: what is unknown and unrealized but what is possible; the question of the nature of being is an invitation to adventure – an ultimate adventure… the ultimate adventure

Because of the indefiniteness, coming into knowledge and realization is and must be a Journey into Being

A Journey into Being Itself

… a journey in understanding of the possibilities or potentials of being; of knowledge and traditions of knowledge – for all being and understanding

… and in transformations in being – experiments in realization of possibilities; of traditions of experiment with being

Knowledge or understanding and experiment are the main paths of the journey. There are two further areas of study and experiment:  the variety of being, intelligent and conscious artifacts or machines; and action and influence including social action, that round out the Journey. These four phases or areas of activity are described in and constitute four main sections of the essay. Each phase is a part of the journey; additionally the phases complement one another through the following functions. The approach through knowledge shows what is possible and moral and, as far as is possible, seeks to provide foundation for all phases and areas of the journey. The experiments constitute the core of the journey; additionally knowledge and experiment are mutually interactive in discovery and in providing confirmation and justification. The studies in the variety of being round out both knowledge and experiment through investigation of different kinds of being – there is a specific emphasis on the being of machines as agents and as additional “data” points in the study of being. The phase of social action and influence may be seen as sharing of the journey with others and, through, mutual action a further dimension to understanding and experiment in being

Reflection will show that the complete journey will encompass more than a personal story, more than the history of thought, action and transformation; more than the history of civilization and of life or even of the present phase and epoch of the physical universe. Journey in Being encompasses all being, that entire universe whose a priori nature belongs to no physical or other category and of which there is no before or after, no inside or outside or in between, no foundation in another element or substance more permanent or more basic. Journey in Being will be a journey into ultimate or absolute being – and so, it must be the journey into ultimate being

Two Pillars

The two pillars, already mentioned, are knowledge of and experiment with being


I first sought knowledge and understanding of knowledge. Knowledge would show what is possible, what is desirable – and moral, and how to achieve what is possible; this statement appears to imply a separation of knowledge and action and the possibility of an independent foundation of knowledge. However, knowledge is not ultimately distinct from action and, so, while knowledge and action remain in interaction i.e. there is no a priori guarantee of a final external foundation of being, I sought what foundation there may be… this is taken up in the main essay. An understanding of the nature of knowledge would provide foundations by showing conditions for the reliability of knowledge and thought. The problems are stated simply but the task is complex and difficult. Knowledge as metaphysics, the sciences and the practical arts and foundations or epistemology are part of the tradition of civilization and have attracted many minds in an ongoing dialog. My journey traced the same path, art and beyond

I came to seek to found my understanding of being, of the universe, upon nothingness. At that depth, deeper than the vacuum of quantum physics, before –or conceptually prior to– substance, before law and causation, before space and time and matter, before the existence of actual objects, before manifest mind and experience, the distinction between entities and qualities disappears and so one may equivalently say nothing, nothingness or void. I sought, for example, a foundation in modern physics where the universe could come into existence from nothing without violation of the principle of conservation of energy: the positive energy of matter would be balanced by the negative energy of gravitation. But possibility is not actuality or necessity. Further, the foundation in physics would yield little about the range and modes of being even as we know them; and would tell us little about mind or about our presence in the universe. And to complete the story from physics and even biology would require speculation

A Revolution

A revolution in my thought came when I turned away from a restriction to only this world –and knowledge of this world– or even possible worlds as the source of understanding and made an expansion to include the idea of nothingness itself

Nothingness: the Void

In a state of nothingness there will be no law, no causation, and no limits –except limits of logic– for if there were causation or law or limits there would not be nothingness: nothingness is not merely the absence of things but also of laws or patterns [a pattern may be seen as a complex thing.] Within nothingness even the limits of logic may be questioned since a contradiction when applied to nothingness involves no material paradox; and, while this point is minor, the extent and nature of logical limits –including limits on limits– will be taken up later. Therefore, at once, there are no limits on nothingness. I.e. nothingness is equivalent to every possible state of being and therefore every state of being is equivalent to all states of being. Within our universe or, more accurately, within the domain that may be labeled our phase-epoch of the one universe and subject to its quantum mechanical laws, the transition from one state of being to another state of being will, unless the two states are connected by the patterns or laws of the phase-epoch, be associated with colossally small probabilities

However, if laws, patterns and objects alien to our phase-epoch are allowed then the probabilities are no longer small. Instead, the transitions are certain. This follows since the void or nothingness is a possible intermediate phase in the transition if there is no restriction to our phase-epoch. Further, as noted below in the discussion on experiments in transformation and since it is constitutive of being to want to enter into local transformations, approaches are sought to find what transformations normally thought to be infeasible while remaining in the present phase-epoch can be made feasible. Modern science provides many examples of such transformation such as mechanized flight and nuclear power and transformations

These conclusions are extremely robust and depend very little on the foundations in knowledge that I initially sought – the concept of nothingness is further elaborated in the text where nothingness is found to exist, to be omni-present and eternal. There are also a number of issues and problems, some not even alluded to, that I have not addressed in this brief beginning. One problem concerns the idea of nothingness which –although I can have an idea and speak of it– might be a fertile ground for paradox since nothing is, in a sense, the complement of everything and since, as is known from philosophical logic, an unrestricted use of predicates –descriptive phrases– allows construction of paradoxes. Since nothingness may be thought of as the absence of all things, an approach to avoiding paradox may be based in asking what shall be allowed to count as a “thing.” There is also the problem of the smallness of the probabilities which is briefly addressed in this prologue, below. These and other problems and questions are further addressed in the main text

The general conclusions regarding nothingness and the transformations of being are also true for any phase-epoch with sufficient form and structure

The Ultimate or the Absolute

Foundation of being and understanding in nothingness is an end to the search for substance whose concept is that unchanging, undifferentiated object from which the universe is made i.e. that constitutes the universe… and an end to the search for spirit as the substance of the individual

The foundation is, in a sense, an absolute foundation – requiring and needing no further foundation or infinite regress

To the Reader

The journey described in this essay, a story of being and of my travels in being, covers a vast territory. I now see that only some parts of the journey were logically necessary to where I have arrived. However, in the beginning and during the process I did not know what was necessary and I could not have fully articulated the nature of the result. Therefore, in a sense the entire journey was necessary. Throughout, I was sustained by a sense of wonder and of trust in the being of the universe

I always seek responses from readers. I am encouraged by and appreciate kind words and praise but I have learned most by responding to challenges that have ranged from careful criticism to total and sometimes hurtful if careless negation of my thought and being. You may learn something by tracing the path described here. However, the spirit of my journey includes the following. In addition to wonder, I have also been sustained –especially when the sacrifices seemed to be a burden– by the thought that I may make a contribution to our journey. I have always thought that while the particulars of an individual journey may be erratic or quixotic, the universal journey is necessary and is built upon individual effort. In that sense, at least, the distinction between failure and success is thin; to fail is to have not sought and followed your vision, to have not undertaken your highest mission – which is already latent within you and which is your greatest joy and pain

Relations Between Our World and the Absolute

It may seem to some individuals that this is an invitation to reject our immediate world. That is not true. It is sometimes necessary –effective– to turn away from the details to achieve understanding. However, that understanding is an understanding of the details and how they stand together. The understanding binds together our common world and the absolute or infinite and illuminates both i.e. understanding of what is seen is [vastly] enhanced by the admission of existence of the unseen

From the essay: There are two great sources of meaning: first, experience and enjoyment of and action in the immediate world – the life and relationships of the individual and, second, in the process, in arching from individual being to universal Being

It may sometimes seem that I am asking readers to give up their most firm and sound beliefs – the system of common belief that is the foundation of our unspoken concept of the world. That, too, is not true. What I ask is for an extension of the common system of belief. The normal concept of the world undoubtedly has validity within a certain domain and we do not appear to be in a position to extrapolate beyond that domain. How then can I say anything about all being or the one universe? My response is in the foregoing discussion. Sustained by wonder and intuition, my search started in the world-as-I-experience-it and continued there through many avenues and over many years. Yet, despite many attempts including analysis of belief and knowledge, I could not give to my intuition the label of knowledge. Finally, I turned away from extrapolation and examined the concept of nothingness where I found, as stated above and as detailed in the body of this essay, that nothingness contains, in a sense, all being the entire one universe. The journey is a travel through human knowledge and through our world to this ultimate point that is a foundation to and meshes smoothly with all being and the system of common belief

In some systems of thought, the world as we experience it is all illusion. Here, we find that the world of experience, the forms of intuition and the system of common belief are practical guides to our world, essential to living in that world, that do not constitute an illusion when not held as absolute. The world of intuition where we experience time, space and the distinctness of individuals is embedded in the most inclusive perspective in which nothingness is the womb of being. Thus it is valid to experience space, time, individuation, pleasure and pain and the other forms of intuition such as causation; and it is also valid to know a world that e.g. contains but is not in time and in which the individual –you or I– is identical to all being that stands with the ability to be distant from the individual and his or her singular attributes and experience

Local / Universal

The universal is the absolute or the basis in the void. The local is the basis in the understanding of an actual phase. Thus reference to the quantum theory is local and, for any actual phase, may be replaced by reference to the best understanding of that phase. However, the universal understanding and basis do not change

Knowledge and Significance

If nothingness is equivalent to every state of being, then nothingness is equivalent to the entire universe. Starting with this point as a primary point of information, a foundation for cosmology is derived in the main text

This foundation has consequences for the nature of concepts, matter, mind, knowledge, logic. Of especial significance is the consequence for the nature of the idea of substance and, consequently, an –approach to– resolution of the great divides between the understandings of mind and of matter

That every state of being is equivalent to all states of being implies that, in contrast to appearances: individuals are not distinct, that there is a sense in which the history of the one universe repeats itself, that individuals –in that sense– transcend death and approach the absolute; and that individuals participate in being whose awareness transcends individual boundaries. The existence of such being and related arguments in the text resolve the problem that there appears to be no continuity of identity between identical but separate individuals or between distinct instances of the same individual e.g. in another life

What can be said of the practical issue that, in our being in the present phase and epoch of the universe, the transition between states of being has, generally, an extremely small likelihood?

In the first place, knowledge of our true nature affects the quality of our existence in this life. It shows to be mistaken the conclusion made from science by some writers that we are a lonely accident at the edge of the universe. Significantly, while the conclusions are mistaken, science itself, as it applies within the present phase and epoch of the universe is not discredited: the foundation developed here connects law and what causation there is in the present phase to the void, it requires stable existence to be founded in law and pattern. In any case, nihilist conclusions from science derive their human impact from considerations that are not the province of science but are, for example, expressions of the emotional tenor or personality of the individual or of perception of conflict between science and personal belief. Thus, for example, the idea that we are a lonely accident is not a factual conclusion since “lonely” as used here is an emotional quality; further any objective component to the conclusion is a projection of the science of this world to the ultimate

Secondly, I seek to connect our immediate presence to the absolute in two detailed ways. One way, already described, is through knowledge and understanding. Another way that complements and interacts with the way of understanding is through experiment. Being is founded in being rather than thought alone

Experiments in the Transformation of Being

The processes of knowledge, science and technology are experiments in transformation. However, focus is especially on the transformation of being itself. Examples from the traditions include western mysticism, Yoga, psychotherapy, meditation, the Shamanic vision-quest, the classic Heroic Journey-Quest. As described in the body of this essay I have considered these traditions critically, constructively and experimentally and have often adapted the traditions to my purposes

While I have taken up and continue to experiment with a number of classical approaches in transformation of awareness and being, the foundations of my experiments are in what I call the dynamics of being. A detailed discussion of the dynamics of being and its use is taken up later

The central and fundamental idea of the dynamics is that an individual can experiment with, learn about and often overcome what are seen as limits to his or her own being. The process may be seen as a variation or generalization of the scientific method or of the Socratic approach to criticism and ideas. What are the final limits to an individual being? The argument from nothingness shows that there are no limits except logical limits e.g. one cannot have property X and not X or be object A and not A at the same time. However, even this restriction does not have the force that it is often thought to have. For different objects A and B, it is usually thought that being A implies being not B. However, there may exist compound objects C whose state of being is a compounding [in quantum theory the term is superposition] of A and B. In general, all objects partake of a compound character similar to that of C. This follows from the fact that every state of being is equivalent to all states of being and is not at all dependent on quantum ideas

[Further, the universe of logical paradoxes is seen as smaller than originally thought when it is recognized that not every meaningful statement must be either true or false]

The question of low probabilities is approached by seeking an analog to catalysis in chemical transformations – the agent of catalysis in the case of being is mind or intelligence. Two approaches are possible [a] local or short-term – by discovering the laws and patterns of our phase and [b] global – by discovering how to go outside our phase-epoch… or, simply, by waiting which guarantees success.  Moral considerations are significant in justifying a search for perceiving and realizing states with limited likelihood

My Inspiration

My development has many influences and inspirations. Most of all perhaps are the influence of my mother who listened to my thoughts – even those most incomprehensible and absurd; and my journeys in nature where I receive inspiration in ideas and passion and resolve, and experience contact with The Source

Mileposts… and Horizons

The Journey continues but has come a long way and some Mileposts are:

Human Knowledge is without necessary limits. Already, we have seen an example in the use of the idea of nothingness

Knowledge can be seen as having biological and symbolic bases. As an example, spatial perception is based in neurophysiology; thus the perceived properties of space are a joint function of the world and the perceptual system i.e. space is one of Kant’s forms of intuition. However, space can be described symbolically e.g. through co-ordinate systems and, in that case, discovery of space and its properties is a scientific enterprise in which the form of intuition may suggest the symbolic form but the result is subject to criticism and experimental comparison with the reality of the world. As we now know, space is not an independent object; rather, a better description is obtained when space, time and matter are regarded as the object being described. The symbolic approach allows for description of curved space-times which means that the simplest description of the world is obtained when space-time is curved. This is not accessible in human intuition which appears to be limited to visualizing two-dimensional curved surfaces in three-dimensional space – this is not an absolute e.g. partial intuition of higher dimensional spaces may result from consideration of their projection onto two- or three-dimensional spaces. Additionally, space may turn out to have more than three dimensions [in some recent theories, space has ten dimensions of which all but three are so tightly curled up as to be smaller in extent than is accessible to the finest of direct measurements.] The geometry or physics of an eleven dimensional space-time is accessible to symbolic description but not to the forms of intuition

Thus it is possible to know and understand being-as-it-is [Kant’s thing-in-itself] through the use of symbolic representation as just described. This may be supplemented by taking individual and object to be a single entity

Whereas limits to intuition were just considered, according to previous discussion there should be no limits to the forms of intuition. Since there are no limits to the forms of being accessible to a given being, that conclusion is true but there is a practical limit – that of finding a catalyst to overcome extremely small probabilities in the this phase-epoch of the universe. However, transcendence of the intuition by the symbolic approach is available and actual here and now

Although a variety of general conclusions from the identity of the world and the void are robust, detailed and precise description of phenomena within our phase-epoch is exacting and the questions of its science and its foundations are real. The quantum theory is one step –or rung in a ladder– toward a connection between our world and the void. The symbolic way provides one approach to foundations where, in a spirit of openness, infinite regress of substance or ideas is replaced by revisability of the intermediate theories. However, although we learn from the history science and reflection upon its “method” that the central theories may be subject to revision it does not follow that the fundamental theory of our phase-epoch is infinitely revisable. There are excellent though not absolute reasons to think that modern theoretical physics has already provided the scaffolding of such a final theory. Some important limitations of such a theory should be noted. It will not, as discussed in the essay, imply that mind does not exist or is reducible to matter; rather, as is seen, the mental and the physical are alternate modes of description… and that the mental is as deep as the physical or other, hypothetical, modes. The numerous human or animal modes of experience and description –economics, culture and so on– will not be rendered trivial, empty or unnecessary. And, finally it does not follow, automatically, that the trajectory of the physical universe will be computable

A Characterization of Being: given below

A Resolution of the Issue of Substance Ontology

As noted earlier foundation in nothingness is an end to the search for substance, there is no need for further foundation or infinite regress: the ontology based in the void is not an ontology of substance i.e. it is neither a monism nor a dualism. Alternatively it may be seen as a substance ontology with the number of substances equal to zero. Locally, with respect to a given phase-epoch of the universe, and with respect to a system of understanding, there are practical issues of adequacy of understanding and description that may be formulated as substance issues. These, however, are not fundamental

A study of mind with new understanding of the concept and nature of mind; consequently, resolution of mind-matter questions and a foundation of a mapping [elements and functions] of mind and treatment of classic problems such as those of binding problem and of object constancy

The possibility of metaphysics; relation between metaphysics and the possibility of knowledge and logic

Cosmology as a topic in logic; and origin of causation, time and physical law… and an explanation of the paradox of the idea of an origin to time

Foundation of physics and physical cosmology; and of evolution and indeterministic process as applied to the physical universe and to life

Determinism and causation: our phase-epoch of the universe is neither deterministic nor causal but there are realms of deterministic and causal behavior e.g. as described in [large but not all] parts of classical physics. In the main text it is shown that [and how] law or pattern, structure, deterministic-like and quasi-causal behavior may arise out of nothingness and, also, in theory such as quantum mechanics that is indeterministic at its core and does not support full causation

Time: the text has a discussion of the origin of multiple times from the void and how, in a phase-epoch of the one universe, the multiple times may coalesce into a single dominant and dynamic but local time i.e. every particle in the phase-epoch may be thought of as having its own time but the times are more or less in coordination within the phase-epoch. The animal primitive intuition [experience] of time is that of a limited domain within our phase-epoch of the one universe and may be modified in various ways. Theoretically, there are modifications to the idea of universal time that arise within e.g. relativistic physics. Conceptually, starting from the void it is possible to understand the origin and end [without end] of times and of local time. The human experience or psychology of time is fluid in that the passing of time may appear real in the moment-to-moment, in the days [except in the far North or South] and in the seasons [except at the equator.] However, individuals may have the experience of eternity i.e. the suspension of time that may coexist with the experience of moments. The precise experience of time and timelessness is an individual phenomenon that is also influenced by context and culture; the experience [and mythology] of living in a timeless world is common within “hunter-gatherer” communities

Detailed discussion is in the main text. There it will be seen that although I have drawn inspiration from ideas from modern science, the reasoning is not dependent on or founded in science

Transcendental logic, which is the use of logic to make real conclusions. This sounds paradoxical. However, a brief explanation has already been given and is elaborated in the main text

The concept of logic receives re-vision; this is spelt out in recent developments which provide background and detail for the following generalizations of the traditional idea of logic: first, logic is the understanding of what is possible; here, logic continues to be understood as mental or symbolic operation; however, in further generalization, second, logic is the realization of the possible. In the second generalization logic is no longer a knowledge or mental operation [as narrowly understood]

Fundamental principles include

The Principle of Identity that the void is equivalent to all being which follows from logic as follows. The concept of the void is introduced as that of contingent nothingness; it could not be necessary or eternal nothingness for that would imply the presence of law which would not be nothing or nothingness. Similarly, void cannot be barred from transformation into any or all being. It is necessary to understand that the void and its equivalents include ‘our’ coherent phase-epoch of the universe as a ‘speck’ and the equivalences in question do not hold if transformations are required to remain within our phase-epoch. However, absolute restriction to the phase-epoch is not possible even though once there, there is a practical sense in which ‘escape’ is unlikely [in the absolute sense it is certain]

The Principle of Being that all being is open to every being – practically, the likelihood from within our phase-epoch is colossally small though transformation to every / all being is absolutely certain in the absolute sense

There is Exactly One Universe. This follows from the fact that All Entities May Interact with Every Other Entity which in turn follows from the fact that the void may interact with every entity

What is Actual is Possible [important even though trivial] and what is possible must, on account of recurrence as discussed in foundation, be actual

What is Conceivable –thinkable, describable and so on– is Possible if its existence does not involve contradiction

What is Possible is Necessary in the sense that it must occur in some phase of the universe. For the possible to be ruled out would be a law. This is The Law of Contradiction that in the entire one-universe only the impossible i.e. what involves contradiction will not occur. From these considerations:

What is possible –thinkable, non-contradictory etc– obtains over and over without limit –beginning or end or boundary– in space-time. This is eternal recurrence in time and infinite repetition in extension

There are entities whose beings span the distinct repetitions of a localized individual; this gives meaning or significance to the recurrence. The individual is equivalent to all being – the Vedantic Principle; from a practical perspective from with of a phase-epoch realization of this equivalence is colossally unlikely but from the actual perspective it is necessary

What has been called The Fundamental Problem of Metaphysics: ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ is extended to the formulation ‘Why is there presence or sentience rather than nothing?’ and rendered trivial

Original identity of being, knowledge and ethics or, more accurately, the ethical nature of being

…and analysis of ethics in relation to origin from nothingness and the elements of being

Dynamics of being and its foundations in the metaphysics

Foundation of transformations of being

A set of complete but minimal experiments in the transformations of being

Philosophy and the academic disciplines: in a culture in which there is an academic establishment with a number of academic divisions or disciplines [and sub-disciplines] there are likely to be problematic relations including self-relations among the disciplines regardless whether the divisions are convenient or essential. In modern and recent philosophy c. 2000 there has been ongoing discussion of the nature of philosophy and its relations to the other disciplines. Does philosophy say anything about the world and can it instruct the other disciplines – or is its role more humble, indeed can it say anything at all? These questions have been asked and discussed by philosophers and others including individuals from science. The discussions range from the illuminating to the merely contentious. I have written on this subject in greater detail in another essay, the History of Western Philosophy. Here, I will limit my discussion to two comments. [1] What is illuminating in the ‘conversation’ often appears to be limiting but such the rationally basis is necessarily in an underlying world view or metaphysics – even when strong claims about absence of or impossibility of metaphysics are made: ‘impossibility of metaphysics’ contains a concealed metaphysics; and the spread of such philosophy is usually the result of success of some categorically limited but extremely powerful venture such as ‘science’ or the persuasive power of a ‘master.’ The origins of crisis and contention include cultural factors: the nihilism of an era, the insularity of the disciplines which is a negative aspect of specialization, the professionalization of ‘knowledge’ with its attendant and fragile premature if implicit claims to completeness – and claims to ignorance which may be distinguished from doubt as an approach to understanding, should be viewed with as much suspicion as claims to knowledge. While education in philosophy does not typically involve exposure to science, the scientists are often limited in their awareness of the depth of philosophical concerns. However, it is clear that regardless of the lines of demarcation, philosophical thought is often enhanced by a broad understanding that includes academics, science and its foundations; and scientists do, when occasioned, engage in philosophical thought. [2] The concept of the void is a topic in transcendental logic rather than in science –as narrowly understood– and it is clear that an analysis of the void and of becoming are informative and in some ways foundational to modern physics which, in turn, informs more complete thought on the nature of the void and of becoming. This provides a stark and deep example of the potential for modern and current interaction between philosophy and science

Experiments in the Transformation of Being: the discussion here covers the general experiments of Experiments in the Transformation of Being and the more particular experiments of The Variety of Being and of Action, Charisma, and History

In Foundation, the dynamics and logic are integrated as part of Logic. This unifies the foundation of the ‘experiments’ and of ‘metaphysics.’ The general foundation of ‘A Complete, Minimal Set’ of experiments is completed. The experiment in ‘Universal Knowledge’ is essentially complete; and the remaining experiments are in varying stages of progress which is substantial for all experiments except ‘social influence’ and the full ‘transformation of being’

In the Journey-Quest, Ideas and Experiments are Integrated

Other developments are described in what follows

Characterizing Being

It is now possible to give a brief explicit characterization of being. For a more complete justification of the following account, the reader is referred to the main essay

That the being of an entity is “what it truly is” is an implicit characterization. The value of an implicit characterization is its generality and openness; however, an explicit characterization is also valuable even if we do not know that it will apply to all being

In the main essay, I take up the idea of concepts and discuss the notion of a slack concept. A slack concept is one that is not completely definite –its properties are not specified with complete precision– and for which, given an object, it is not always possible to tell whether the object falls under the concept. However, that a concept is slack does not necessarily imply ignorance in the case that the object of application itself is not [and need not be] definite. Thus the recognition of conceptual slack is, in some cases, the recognition of a virtue. An example: if an autonomic nervous process is intermediate between two clearly mental states or processes, is the autonomic process itself mental? An adequate response is that, generally, it is not necessary to label the autonomic process as mental or not mental for nothing is gained either way… The relevance here is that the following brief characterization may turn out to be parochial rather than universal

Journey: The coming into realization is a [cumulative] journey. Of course, not every event or phase adds to the cumulation; and some that are thought to add are later dropped

Mind: Being is characterized by mind which is the instrument of being and becoming. Mind has been said to be too high level a concept to be characteristic of being. The basic facts of mind as far as “higher” being is concerned are experience and presence. Bound and free aspects of mind, discussed in the main essay, are essential in the process of becoming. For entities that are sufficiently “low,” the free aspects are not internalized. There is a “high level” mind that animal being recognizes as such but, as discussed in Journey in Being, mind also occurs at lowest of levels. It is necessary to refer the reader to the relevant parts of Journey in Being to understand precisely what is being said and its foundation and explanation

Action: Action is conceived as an aspect of mind

The Principle of Being: As developed in this prologue and elaborated in the main essay, all being is open to every being or all states of being are equivalent to every state of being [it is necessary to allow states outside any given phase-epoch of the universe for this to be a logical principle]

Dynamics of Being: The use of mind, experiment and action in recognizing and overcoming limits – explained more thoroughly below and in the main division of the essay on Experiments in the Transformation of Being. The rational base of the dynamics is the principle of being; a practical basis in the laws of a phase-epoch of the universe is discussed below

The Principle of Meaning: There are two great sources of meaning: first, experience and enjoyment of and action in the immediate world – the life and relationships of the individual and, second, in the process of arching from individual being to universal Being. It seems to me that this is trivially obvious

Cosmology: Cosmology is not limited to physical cosmology. Cosmology is the study of entire existence, the one universe as a whole. The italicized phrase would be a better title for this point but I use cosmology because it is the title of a section in Journey in Being. Cosmology includes the following: the equivalence of the one universe and nothingness and the principle of identity; the necessity and sufficiency of indeterminism to explain the origin of the actual universe and its structure from nothing; and physics and physical cosmology. Matter has been held to be a high level concept but the concept of matter is understood, here, in a more basic way than the physical stuff of the present phase-epoch of the universe and not as something distinct from mind – rather mind and matter are different modes of description

Ethics: Being is ethical in nature. This does not mean that every individual “does the right thing” at all times. Ethics is possible only when there is choice and the existence of choice implies that the right thing will not always be done and hence a need for ethics. Ethics, like mind and matter, occurs at various levels. And there is an ethics of the human context and an ethics of being-in-the-one-universe which do not necessarily mesh smoothly; there is no need or sense to a perfectly smooth mesh

Recent developments: the following aspects of characteristics of being are developed. Selection and Proof for the Characteristics. Kinds of Characteristics – primary, derivative, existential, possible, and fundamental. Characteristics of being: existence, absence, accessibility and identity, extension-duration, indeterminacy, community and interactivity, meaning, mind, experience, presence, matter or material nature and other properties, actuality, soul, an infinite number of attributes – rejection of the ‘attribute theory’, recurrence, fecundity, good and evil

Common Ground for All Being: while a variety of kinds and aspects to being has been listed above in the fashion of categories the variety has not been presented as a system of categories which is unnecessary due to the common ground in What is Being

The Stumbling

In the system that follows, those ideas that are original build upon the ideas of others. Sometimes, as in the developments in cosmology, my ideas have been suggested by existing theories even when the dependence on those theories is not logical or formal

Especially when the ideas are original, and even though I have devoted much study and thought and sought much inspiration, I sometimes feel that I have accidentally stumbled upon the ideas rather than developed them or found them as a result of a careful or systematic search. As an example, I have been thinking about the role of concepts of nothingness for a number of years. However, the final insight on how to view the relationship between nothingness and the world occurred without intimation one morning when I stopped for coffee at a bakery at the foot of the Trinity Mountains, Trinity County, Northern California

The first intent in this final part of the prologue is to make statements about the nature of the processes of my discoveries and perhaps about all discovery. Dependence on the ideas of others is simply a fact. When my ideas have external influence, the dependence is often unconscious since I am immersed in a culture of ideas. The feeling of stumbling is this: where I sought concepts, insight and understanding, I did not expect the actual ideas or their final form and, and the certainty, magnitude, depth, breadth of application, and beauty of the ideas significantly exceeded my expectations in their breadth and in the logic of the foundation. Even what I hoped for was exceeded: for what is not conceived there cannot be explicit hope. Thus, the form of the foundation in nothingness –the elucidation of nothingness, the certainty of the conclusions, and the release from infinite regress and substance ontology– were, despite earlier hopes and glimmers of the result, surprising and, of course, exhilarating as a result of the breadth and crystal clarity. However, even if my discoveries are accidental or serendipitous in any objective way, that being should make the essence of the discoveries is necessary

The idea of ‘endless vistas of discovery and knowledge’ has been an ideal, in Western Civilization, since the end of Medieval Scholarship. Here, in the equivalence of nothingness –the void– and all being a closure to ‘endless vistas’ has been realized. Simultaneously, nothingness is the ‘womb of all being’ and in that infinitude contains our –local– universe as a mere speck not only in size but in variety and possibilities: closure has not eliminated gazing out upon distant horizons

The Journey Continues…

The next phase is a return to the focus on the experiments described in the second section of the main essay

As far as knowledge and ideas are concerned, I must again turn away from what clarity of vision I have experienced and toward intuition and diffuse light to sense and seek what further truth there may be

Recent Developments

Since completion of this essay in July 2003, greater clarity has been obtained in foundation and concepts

In foundation, the underlying logic –the nature of the void or nothingness, its use in understanding the nature of possibility and logic, its use in understanding being and the relationship between the our cosmological system and the entire uni-verse– is brought into sharp relief. The new formulation of the concept of logic, which includes the traditional concept, is an extraction of the essential logic of the void and is the single law of the entire uni-verse. In consequence, greater unity, depth and breadth are obtained in the resulting metaphysics and the topics in Journey in Being. A summary of the improved and the new results follows

General metaphysics and cosmology; includes physical cosmology and MIND. The theory of the VOID and the LOGIC result in a metaphysics without substance, a foundation without regress i.e. that ‘terminates in the void.’ The system of metaphysical problems is resolved into real and artifactual problems – those that have origin e.g. in a limited world view. The underlying LOGIC enhances the distinction, the resolution of the real and illumination of all problems and concepts

Symbol; language, knowledge, logic, mathematics… the free symbolic capability makes possible, as distinct from the root, human knowledge, logic, choice, value… Some thinkers hold that the range from the root and up but prior to the fully free symbol does not constitute e.g. knowledge. There is an analogy to the question whether the earth rotates around the sun or vice versa; either position can be validly held but it, in classical mechanics, it is the latter that makes for the simplest description [in fact rotation about the center of mass of the solar system provides the ‘simplest’ description.] Similarly, what is important for knowledge is the distinction marked by the free symbol. Given the distinction, allowing the pre-free symbolic adaptation to count as a kind of knowledge is to acknowledge the fact of continuity of the human with the universal. Epistemology is defined by the following limits. As the part is less than the whole, epistemology is secondary to logic and metaphysics; this follows from the LOGIC of the VOID. It is inherent in the nature of the free symbol that there is no a priori justification of symbolic knowledge; at the same time, allowing for a transitional field of concepts opens up the possibility of an end to transition

Value: the free symbol makes for the possibility of creation and recognition of possibilities for action; the concept of value addresses the resulting freedom and guides action under freedom… and this implies the underlying unity of all value. Complete rationality in value is contradictory to the concept of freedom and, while there are guides and rationality, there is also an essential freedom of choice that cannot be eliminated

In CONCEPTS, I have recorded new ideas, modifications, elaborations and plans

WHAT IS ‘JOURNEY IN BEING’ is a brief review of the foundation for understanding of being and the nature of the journey that further improves the results from the document, foundation. The individual concepts of LOGIC, VOID, UNIVERSE, MIND, BEING, INDETERMINISM, COSMOLOGY, knowledge, process, relationship, universal, form, fundamental divide, symbol, logics, physical cosmology, determinism, causation, STRUCTURE OF MIND, nature and history of PHILOSOPHY and METAPHYSICS, PROBLEMS OF METAPHYSICS, THEORY OF VALUE AND CHOICE or ETHICS, and the RELATIONSHIPS among them are clarified. A greater economy, breadth and depth of thought and approach to action is obtained. These enhancements together with the synthesis of disciplines of JOURNEY IN BEING and METAPHYSICS, result in a further enhancement of the system of thought

The working out of the details is planned and it is anticipated that the result will be a significant improvement in DEPTH, BREADTH and ECONOMY of presentation… and, I hope, a contribution to the IDEA and the HISTORY OF THOUGHT

Contents: The Paths of the Journey

The essay is in five divisions. The first division is the Introduction which goes beyond this prologue in providing details on origins and motives for the Journey

The interest of this personal part for the universal and for the nature of discovery includes the following. The significance of belief and intuition in discovery. The nature of belief. The importance of breadth and of continued contemplation and refinement over years as complement to –though not a replacement for– specialization, rigor, immediate publication and judgment in the process of discovery and understanding. The importance of, having achieved a peak in understanding, seeking a fresh viewpoint, of starting again at the ground. The value of assuming a variety of paths or ‘careers.’ The values of non-academic work as a complement to work in a research establishment, or a university: exposure to what is real in the being of the individual, loss of occasion to indulge in niceties of detail and sophistication at the expense of real vision and action, freedom from academic politics – the pressure to near slave-like adherence to the standard view of the world but simultaneous freedom to use and be immersed in that view

The objectives of the journey are understanding [theory] and transformation – action and experiment. The Metaphysics focuses on foundation and understanding. Transformation takes up essential transformations in being focusing on the questions, ‘What transformations are possible?’ and ‘What transformations are ideal i.e. desirable and feasible?’ The remaining paths are concerned with specific areas of transformation or experiment: Variety addresses the variety of being in general and then on symbolic and machine realization of being, mind and life; Action takes up social change and political action focusing on three concerns: the implications of the theory of being developed in the metaphysics and in transformation, ideals in political institutions and action, and practical issues of social change and political action. Together, these four ‘paths’ constitute the content of the Journey

For the core essays, secondary, supporting and other documents that include design and planning see the Site-Map

Journey in Being Website

The electronic version is updated at all revisions and is, therefore, more current than print versions

Anil Mitra

June 22, 2004