The way of being

Anil Mitra

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The aim of the way of being is to explore and know the individual and the universe…                                       []

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… in terms of experience, reflection, and action—ranging over all dimensions (e.g., extension and change or spacetime) and their absence—beyond the worlds of humanism, empirical science, speculative metaphysics, and mythic and religious cosmology, and, so far as possible, to know and realize the peak of being.

The exploration shall be via direct experience and its hypothetically conceived, internally consistent patterns. That, we shall call empirical as long as the patterns remain consistent with further experience. We call it rational if the direct experience is perfect and the patterns are its necessary consequences (note that though there is similarity, these conceptions of the empirical and the rational are not intended to coincide with or capture other uses).

May the rational go beyond the empirical? Since direct experience is not known to be of the entire real, the empirical may be limiting, even in the extreme. Can the rational go validly beyond the empirical so far? Yes, if further facts are encountered in direct experience, if there is unrecognized experience, or if there is admissible indirect experience. It is critical to note that though we talk of ‘going beyond the empirical’, what the phrase means is ‘going beyond what is recognized as empirical so far’. There is no going beyond what is empirically possible to some being. It will be seen in a narrative of the way, that there is nothing beyond the empirically possible.

To go beyond the empirical in the sense of the previous paragraph is achieved in a narrative of the way, resulting in a rational system, based in elementary and perfectly known facts, which goes limitlessly beyond standard empirical and rational paradigms—beyond the empiricism of science and humanism, beyond speculative metaphysics, and rationally and cosmologically beyond most religious worldviews. It is ultimate knowledge of the universe as ultimate, in the senses of ‘ultimate’ explained in discussing foundations, below. This system may be seen as a container for the empirical and the result is a real metaphysics, with a rational or ideal and perfect aspect that reveals a limitless universe and an empirical and pragmatic aspect that enables negotiation within the ideal.

Questioning the rational development—Is the real metaphysics well founded? From a foundational point of view, if self-foundation were possible, an ideal system would be self-founding. However, self-foundation would seem and is generally to be thought impossible. But let us investigate. Pragmatically, we begin with the present situation. It includes some degree of foundation. We reflect on the situation, perhaps improving the foundation. But rather than being truly founding in the ideal sense, there is a process—the world as we find it ® reflection on values ® improvement of language, knowledge, and foundation ® action and implementation ® repetition ® the world as we find it, afresh. At this level, it would seem that world, values, linguistic meaning, knowledge, and foundation, remain in interaction, fundamentally interwoven at root, never detached, never ideal.

A foundation in retaining only the perfect in the concrete or pragmatic—there is, however, a filter from the pragmatic to simple perfect facts such as “there is the universe that is all being” and “there is experience in itself and of the universe”, and to simple perfect inference such as “given statement of a simple perfect fact, it either obtains or does not” and thus, the means of knowing, or reason, are not a priori to (do not come before) knowledge. Rather, knowledge and its means emerge together—the rational and empirical are not exclusive, even logic is empirical while also rational. This leads to the rational system above which is perfectly founded and reveals an ideal, relative to which the pragmatic level needs only pragmatic but not perfect foundation. Now, though that foundation is not perfect in terms of standard criteria—e.g., correspondence or coherence criteria—it is perfect relative to the value of ultimate realization revealed by the rational system, for (i) there is no better instrument (it is in fact the only instrument) and (ii) from the rational system, it will realize the ideal (in moving from form to form, from cosmos to cosmos, and so to the ultimate).

On the nature of the abstraction—is the abstract removed from the concrete? Note that the filter from the concrete is abstraction, but what results is not abstract in the sense of remote or removed—instead, it is an essence of the concrete. The abstract—what remains after abstraction—will be sufficiently filtered that it is part of the concrete that is perfectly known. Thus, the real metaphysics is perfect, and the sense of the perfection is a dual of the ideal and the pragmatic.

Implications for the significance of science and philosophy. It does not follow that the history of human endeavor in science, philosophical understanding, or what is valid in spiritual endeavor, are negated, or that in their local context their foundational problems are resolved; rather they are placed in a new and ultimate context; and in that ultimate context—

The issue of depth or foundation is settled, as it is for breadth relative to limitless being, but for beings, while in limited form, the question and realization of the variety or breadth of being remain ever open—an eternal adventure.

On the identity of the universe and the individual and their magnitudeIn the real metaphysics it is found that the universe is the possible in the greatest consistent sense of possibility. Consequently, individuals inherit this power. It is found that, with experience used in a sense more general than above, the universe and individual are essentially experiential and that experience, employed intrinsically and instrumentally, is the path and means of realization. The real metaphysics entails that, except where there would be inconsistency, limits thought absolute are not so, but may be real.

Does the real metaphysics minimize the immediate world? It might be thought that the real metaphysics reflects a thought to minimize ‘ordinary’ or ‘everyday’ life. That is not the case. Rather, it is found that the everyday is part of the way to the ultimate. The ultimate illuminates and guides the everyday, and the everyday illustrates and is instrumental toward the ultimate. Indeed, the immediate and the ultimate, viewed properly, will be seen as one.

Resolution of the problems of pain and death follow—why there is pain, why pain is unavoidable, and how pain and suffering are best addressed; and death, though real, is not absolute, for it is a gateway to the ultimate. However, an ideal, though rarely achieved gate is a path in ‘this’ life—as in yoga as any way, traditional and modern, of living so as to realize the ultimate.

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To live in the way is to live, alive to the transience, pain, and joy of the present moment in itself and as shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.

Resourcesthe narrative of the way, every-day and universal pathways, a field manual, suggested reading, useful sites, priorities, and site plan.

Contactamitra@horizons-2000.org | Anil Mitra, 902 N Street, Eureka, California 95501-2045, USA | 707 407 9501. I invite inquiry, discussion, and contribution to the site and its support.