The Way of Being | A JourneyOutline with planning

Anil Mitra, Copyright © September 7, 2019—December 6, 2019

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The outline

Notation and plan

External sources

On sources

Temporary notation

Permanent notation



The preface is about the essay-as-text and its place in the world of text but does not emphasize the substance of the essay.

Site sources

About the essay

External sources

Prologue: A search for meaning



External sources

Site sources

The precursors and some main sources

On text

Reading the essay

Word and concept meanings

System meaning

Shared meaning; a difficulty

1      Introduction

An introduction to the content of the essay—metaphysics and the world

Site sources

A search for the ultimate


The common paradigms, their value and limits

Site sources

Primal, secular, and transsecular paradigms

Limits of the secular and transsecular

The boundary of experience

What is the boundary of experience?

Abstraction and the ultimate boundary

The contribution of reason

Can we study the transempirical region?

What is the trans-mythic region and can we study it?

What is the trans-conventional region and can we study it?

Foundation in Being

Preview of the essence of the journey or way

Narrative content and flow

2      Foundation

2.1      The foundation

External sources

On foundations


2.2      Metaphysics

Metaphysics as knowledge of the real

The fundamental principle of metaphysics and Being

A perfect metaphysics of knowledge, practice and action

2.3      Brahman and paths to the ultimate

(…and Atman)


Paths to the ultimate

The absolute


What lies ahead

3      Development of the metaphysics

On the developments

3.1      Metaphysics of experience

External sources

Implications of the metaphysics

The real

3.2      Metaphysics and its possibility

External sources

What is metaphysics?

The possibility of metaphysics

Doubts about the perfect metaphysics—criticism and response

Metaphysics, epistemology, and their inseparability

Some major metaphysical-epistemological systems and how the metaphysics affects their significance

3.3      The principle of sufficient reason

The principle

Necessity as cause of the universe

3.4      The Fundamental question of metaphysics

The traditional question—Why is there Being at all?

A new fundamental question—What has Being?

3.5      Kinds of Being*

External sources

Kinds of Being

3.6      The abstract and the concrete

The concepts of the abstract and the concrete

On abstract objects

All consistent (abstract) systems are realized

Theory of abstract and concrete objects

3.7      Identity, space, and time

3.8      Problems of metaphysics


Early modern


4      A system of the world

4.1      About system

4.2      The system

Site sources

The system

4.3      Humanities, tradition, and religion

Humanities and humanism

Knowledge—its nature and history





4.4      General and abstract sciences and method


The real (and the artifactual)


Abstract sciences and symbolic systems

4.5      The concrete sciences

Psychology, mind and the dimensions of Being

Cosmology and physics

Biology and life

Society and civilization

4.6      Ethics ad purpose

External sources

Site sources

Ethics and purpose

Problem and opportunity

5      Reason

External sources

Site sources

5.1      Introduction

5.2      The range of the idea of reason

5.3      The concept of reason

5.4      Foundation of reason

Sources of reason

On patterns

Foundation of reason

5.5      Practice and action

5.6      Identity of reason and the perfect metaphysics

5.7      The means—method—of realization

6      The way

A way of realization—with traditional ways

Site sources

6.1      Aims

6.2      Means and method



6.3      Ways and catalysts

Traditional ways


Integration of ways, catalysts, and reason

6.4      Templates

External sources

Site sources

On the templates

An everyday template

Everyday template—supplement

A universal template

The future—with epilogue


External sources


For transformation and realization

Bibliographies and useful links on the site

A Journey in Being

Sources for the Journey

Journey as resource

Index and glossary

Appendix: the outline and its use

About the outline

A comprehensive resource for Journey in Being essays and the website

But still minimal so as to be revisable in structure and resources

Resources in the outline


Sources for planning the website

General sources for content of the essays

Main sources for structure and content of the essays

Writing the outline

Integration with the site plan (site plan.html*)

Immediate plan for this outline

To do

The plan

Writing the essays

Styles for structuring the essays


The styles



The outline

Standard parts of an essay—preface, introduction, table of contents, resources, reference (sources, index, glossary) (possible)—see preface and introduction.html* (some standard parts), prologue.html*, epilogue.html*, concepts.html*, main influences.html*, and writers.html*

Notation and plan

External sources (Notation – Wikipedia)

On sources

Comment.         The sources are ‘External sources’ and ‘Site sources’, which may be used in writing the essays but (i) the sections will (probably) not be in the essays (ii) in the essays relevant sources will go to resources.

Temporary notation

An asterisk (*) marks a repeated entry; for a source, the asterisk indicates that the source is relevant at more than one place and all entries are marked with an asterisk; for a concept or section name a single asterisk indicates the place where the item would be naturally developed and a double asterisk (**) indicates the actual place of development; where multiple identical entries are marked with a single asterisk and none is marked with two, either the two entries are parallel developments or a decision on primary vs secondary sections has not yet been made.

Permanent notation

In a mark(n), the superscript indicates a secondary paragraph (or paragraphs) just below.

A single dagger (†) marks material not in the main development.

Level 1, 2, 3, and 4 headings are respectively Bold capitals, Bold, Underlined, and Italicized.

In the main text definitions are bold.

A term in Courier New Font is a defined term used in another sense,  e.g. colloquial, informal, or common.

Asterisks (*) mark repeated items. Double asterisks (**) mark the sole place the item is developed. If a repeated item has no double asterisk, the different instances are developed in parallel. Repeated items and asterisks will be eliminated from the final version of the essay—a journey in being-complete.html.


1.     Work through the document in chapter and section order.

Work on Headings > Concepts > Site sources > External sources > Topic Essays

2.     More information.

General information—this document: Appendix

General site and external sources for headings, concepts, and topic essays—default for all sections:
Sources and Resources, and

Internet resources from useful links.html


Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,

the following are entered at appropriate places Wikipedia > Philosophy | Science > Physics, Cosmology, Biology, Evolution, Psychology, Social science, Political science, Political philosophy, and Economics | Mathematics, Computer science, Information theory, and Linguistics

My Reading—not available on the Internet


The preface is about the essay-as-text and its place in the world of text but does not emphasize the substance of the essay.

The preface is about the essay—and the world of text; the introduction is about and introduction to the content or substance of the essay

Comment.         It is natural for preface and introduction to have overlap; effective reference will avoid duplication.

a journey in being.html* (for newness and continuous text)

essay (the work), prologue, text, continuous text

Site sources

preface and introduction.html*

About the essay

External sources

See The foundation and Metaphysics of experience for external sources

Prologue: A search for meaning

Comment.         I’m aware that Frankl’s work and account of his life have been criticized for authenticity and validity. Viktor Frankl (Wikipedia); Man’s Search for Meaning (Wikipedia)

a journey in being-briefest.html*, prologue.html* (also: epilogue.html*), a journey in being.html*, Journey in Being.html (original version with prologue)

transition (from life to text)

Comment.         Material on limits is also developed in The common paradigms, their value and limits > Limits of the secular and transsecular.

Origins—prologue—personal and universal drive to meaning and destiny; the secular and the transsecular: their individual and dual limits; search for meaning and journey of realization of ‘the greatest Being’.

The secular—understanding of the world on principles solely from the world and, particularly, not from myth or the mythic side of religion. It includes science. It is sometimes thought of as limited to common experience and empirical science. However, as we can know Being and universe precisely in themselves—i.e. without reference to empirical detail—the secular can go beyond our sciences without stepping into dogma or myth. An example is the rational metaphysics of this narrative.

The transsecular—includes religion but not as mythically or dogmatically understood. Where we lack certainty but feel an imperative to act, we may use the ideas of religion as symbolically suggestive toward rational thought and action—an example is in the details of the rational metaphysics of this narrative. Art and metaphysics can be seen as part of the transsecular if the secular is understood as restricted to detailed empirical experience.

motivating aim*


The essay records search for the universal in and from this world. The aim and culmination is realization—The way. What comes before, starting with the Foundation is preparatory (the Introduction is orientation)—based in a system of primitive concepts and (entailed) necessary truths; these stand in relation so as to constitute a ‘system’ of interrelated ideas that enable and whose outcome in a coherent and necessary metaphysics or worldview (inclusive of pragmatic material toward ultimate realization in and beyond the immediate).

Comment.         Part of the remaining material in this section is repeated in Reading the essay.

To understand the system—its meaning and necessity; its ultimate character that in principle supersedes and subsumes valid prior metaphysics—it is essential to follow the terms as defined here and to set aside other meanings (and worldviews), at least temporarily, and to endeavor to see the terms them as elements in a structured whole.

I have read and absorbed much (see Precursors, below); but much that I have read and imbibed from culture has been absorbed to the frame of my thought without explicit recollection of sources; and I have not read from or experienced all cultures; therefore, while I believe my work has originality, I make no claim to original contribution. Perhaps though, my contribution may be to show some things in different light.

Newness relative to (a) what has been written, (b) my writing; no claim to originality.


This section lists main precursors to this work in the history of ideas. It is impossible for me to list all influences on my thought.

External sources** Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Site sources

For the principle of plenitude see fresh.html, my journey.html*; for other precursors see my main influences.html*

For a short list of my sources see sources.html*

The precursors and some main sources

Comment.         Combine with Sources for the Journey?

history of ideas, human knowledge, culture Edward Burnett Tylor (Wikipedia) for culture* History of Ideas (Wikipedia) Category:History of Ideas (Wikipedia)

The purpose of the section is to note and show some sources (also see Resources).

principle of plenitude (*, Epicurus, Kant, A.O. Lovejoy, and many others; all without full meaning or proof)

meaning and reference (C. K. Ogden, I. A. Richards—The Meaning of Meaning, 1923); also see Language meaning); abstraction and categories (Aristotle, Kant, Schopenhauer); pragmatic knowledge and its internal criteria

atomism (Democritus)

metaphysics and Being (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Quine)

logic and metaphysics (Wittgenstein, Quine)

necessity and contingency (Hume, Leibniz)

form (Plato), forms of mind and forms of the world (Kant)

principle of sufficient reason (Leibniz)

empirical and rational sources of knowledge, reason, ontological reasoning or ontological arguments (Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Heidegger, and too many others to list)

fundamental question of metaphysics (Heidegger), old and new versions of the question (Leibniz, Heidegger)

consciousness and existence (Descartes), consciousness (Searle)

evolution (Darwin)

cosmology and theoretical physics (Newton, Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, Dirac, Feynman and many others), origin of the empirical cosmos (Lee Smolin), block universe (see The block universe)

determinism (William James)

AtmanBrahmanidentityfield of Being (Adi Samkara, Bhagavad Gita)

On text

Comment.         May be part of the epilogue

document and database design.html* (§Standard parts of the essay)

continuous text, world and text

Reading the essay

Comment.         Word “essay”

Comment.         Alternative “To readers”* (History of Ideas - Wikipedia)

contribution (by intent; not a compilation), ultimate view, doubt, consistency (self, and with received knowledge), demonstration, new meanings, system (in that meanings stand together), reeducation (of intuition and formal knowledge)

To the reader—the first things you should know about this essay are

1.     It is intended as a contribution to knowledge. Though it integrates and draws from other work, it is essentially new—it is not a compendium.

2.     It develops, I claim, a metaphysics that is ultimate in (i) its capture of the real and (ii) in showing that the real is ultimate. The claim is based on demonstration (proof). I entertain and respond to doubt and also provide heuristic understanding of the claims.

3.     It may seem to be in contradiction of what is valid in human knowledge and world views (primal, secular, metaphysical, and transsecular or religious). However, it analyses those views and finds consistency. It finds that apparent contradiction would be based on invalid projection of the world views beyond their base in experience.

4.     The main conclusions are demonstrated. The reader may of course disagree with the arguments and conclusions; and criticism is invited. However, I anticipate that typical readers, academic and general, may not understand the work and the picture it presents without appreciating its nature.

5.     The relevant nature of the work is not its primarily technical but due to its newness and its ultimate character. But there are some issues related to meaning. In the sections that follow, I make further observations on potential difficulties and suggestions for overcoming the them.

Word and concept meanings

A word as a mere mark, does not signify. It signifies in virtue of its association with a concept. Especially when concerned with ‘improved’ understanding, the concepts must be revised. Therefore while the terms may be familiar, the ideas may be unfamiliar.

Meanings are related but not identical to received meanings; in seeking to understand the world as a whole, it is necessary to put received meanings aside and follow the definitions given.

System meaning

Further, in creating a new view or conceptual system, words and their meanings stand in relation to one another. To understand the system of ideas, it is necessary understand the individual terms. But that is not sufficient; in order to see the system as a whole it is necessary to follow the development without prejudice and to allow the system to build up, not only formally, but also in intuition. This may require patience as building proceeds.

For an outline of the main concepts see concepts.html*

Shared meaning; a difficulty

It is commonplace today—e.g. since Hegel and Wittgenstein—to think of meaning as shared. This is seen later. We are immersed in a world of symbols-concepts-objects. Consequently objectivity in the sense of perfectly-knowing-an-object-as-a-distinct-thing-in-itself is generally not possible or meaningful.

However, also as seen later, some objectivity, at least effectively, is possible by abstraction.

The metaphysics to be constructed may and at first likely will seem to stand in contrast to our view from immersion in a shared world. There will be objections from science (and experience), logic, and shared world views. The objection from science is easily overcome for it is based in an assumption that the empirical cosmos is or at least defines the universe—which, however, it is beyond the pare of experience. The objection from logic will likely be from seeing the metaphysics and our common world views as exclusive. However, it will be shown that what is valid in the common views is consistently (‘seamlessly’) nested within the metaphysics and that the universe of the metaphysics is woven into our world.

However, it will likely not be easy to simultaneously hold the two apparently contradictory world views. There will be the tug of the old paradigms. There will be the near ever present situation that even if a reader has seen the mutual consistency and interwovenness of the two ‘worlds’, they will not get reinforcement from their social circle—rather, what they will get is opposition or perhaps a blank response (and perhaps the famous hard cold stare).

I have experienced this myself. It is a struggle to mesh the two worlds. The to mesh the worlds in my psyche, I have found so far, is to (i) affirm my intent to be steadfast in my view (but receptive to others), (ii) continue to refine and apply the metaphysics which is also affirmative (and of course, I think, a productive activity in itself), and (iii) live or out the action consequences of the metaphysics.

1          Introduction

An introduction to the content of the essay—metaphysics and the world

Introduction to the content—and the world; with reason and reasons

Site sources

preface and introduction.html*

the essential way.html*

A search for the ultimate

For the individual and in the history of the world.

Is the ultimate remote?


What are the main explicit or implicit aims and motives of human beings and civilization? I do not pretend to know the answer. However, one aim and ambition is discovery and realization of the greatest of which we are capable. This has been a personal aim.

motivating aim** (discovery of the world, to find and realize the greatest being)

The main aim of The Way is discovery and realization of the ultimate and  the immediate as one.

To search beyond is not to ignore the immediate. The search must begin in and emphasize the immediate.

The common paradigms, their value and limits

Site sources

preface and introduction.html*, a journey in being.html*, a journey in being-briefest.html*

Primal, secular, and transsecular paradigms

The common approaches are transsecular—via religion; and secular search for meaning with appeal to ‘humanism’ via science, technology, exploration, philosophy, art; and especially metaphysics.

secular paradigm (science as defining, human being as source of values; convention what is possible but lies beyond direct observation is null), transsecular paradigm (a world beyond, archaic imagination, symbolic value, metaphorical value); primal (material world, spirit as experiential explanation of nature, an undivided world before separation into secular and transsecular)

Limits of the secular and transsecular

It is critical that symbolic knowledge alone is incomplete: for completeness, discovery must be complemented by realization.

preface and introduction.html*, a journey in being.html*, a journey in being-briefest.html*

limits of tradition (i.e. what is valid in all cultures to the present)

Limits of tradition and foundation in Being* (note—tradition is defined as the valid in all cultures from beginnings till today)

The secular

the unseen (as nonexistent)

the convention above regarding the seen—matter as mere matter—and the unseen

The transsecular

archaic imagination, dogma, symbolic meaning (limited)

limits of archaic imagination, dogma and reasons for dogma, limited symbolic (allegorical) and emotional metaphorical meaning


uncritical shut down (of search beyond convention), reification (of the secular), dogma (of limited trans-conventional alternatives)

what is excluded by secular and transsecular, uncritical shutting down of modern imagination—search beyond current science is shut down by the reification of its models and the dogma of the transsecular alternatives); and even metaphysics is shut down by paradigm and dogma

The boundary of experience

What is the boundary of experience?

conventional experience

A conventional range and reliability of experience in revealing the real.

Abstraction and the ultimate boundary

trans-conventional experience (knowability, knowledge of)

Via abstraction the range and reliability can be extended.

The extent and reliability will be found limitless in sense that will emerge.

Thus while we cannot know any transempirical region, we do know what lies beyond the conventional empirical boundary (at least in abstraction; which will be developed and extended to the pragmatic).

The contribution of reason

analysis (of concepts), ontological argument, ontological proof

It was just seen via reason—i.e. via abstraction—that we can know what lies beyond the empirical cosmos.

Can it be studied in further detail? What might it take?

It will be found that an analysis of existence—identifying and analyzing some necessary aspects—will be sufficient to far reaching consequences, conventionally regarded as beyond the limits of knowability.

In essence, it will be found that that there are valid ontological arguments.

An ontological proof is one that appeals to the nature of Being or existence (a restricted definition limits the definition to proofs of God’s existence). From the inadequacy of Anselm’s purportedly ontological argument for the existence of God (whether he intended a proof has been questioned), it seems to be sometimes concluded that there are no valid ontological arguments. From the present developments this will be clearly seen not true. The point to the doubt from ontology is that the ontology of the present argument ought to be rigorously analyzed for this can only make clearer the true status of the fundamental principle—e.g., whether it ought to be regarded as a given or as a material or existential principle.

Can we study the transempirical region?

the empirical region (is limitlessly greater than the conventional empirical region)

No, but the empirical region—the region ultimately accessible—is at least great as the conventional empirical region of science, i.e. the currently accessed region. Even on the convention, properly interpreted, the empirical region may be far greater than the conventional region; and it will be found to be so. The true will be found limitlessly greater than the conventional.

What is the trans-mythic region and can we study it?

a journey in being.html*, a journey in being-briefest.html*

the transmythic region (i.e. the trans symbolic meaning of myth; is real and can be explored for symbolic meaning)

The transmythic (‘trans-transsecular’) is used in two senses. One is about the symbolic and emotive meaning of the transsecular, e.g. of the content of religions. Obviously, such meaning may be limited and so there is both a valid transsecular region and a transmythic region in this sense.

What is the trans-conventional region and can we study it?

The trans-conventional

ontology, recognition (of what we already know)

The trans-conventional region is the region, if any, beyond the conventional.

It is consistent with our valid knowledge that there is such a region and that there may be approaches to studying it—future observation and, as we will see, the study of Being that (ontology), also as we will see, involves recognition of what we already know of (e.g. the universe as a whole) and abstraction such that that knowledge is perfect.


the greatest knowledge and being (that may be attained)

The question of the trans-conventional region, and the possibility that the conventional is infinitesimal, is one of the motivations for the developments to follow.

The main motive has been the question—What is the greatest knowledge and being that may be attained? An implicit question is that of the means of attainment.

Foundation in Being

Limits of tradition and foundation in Being* (note—tradition is defined as the valid in all cultures from beginnings till today)

Being (in this essay)

Preview of the essence of the journey or way

a journey in being.html*—the synopsis

Narrative content and flow

Comment.         Flows from the preview

The ‘logic’ of the content and its arrangement.

The description will refer to the outline and this will (a) explain its arrangement and (ii) permit this section to be short.

The description begins with the essentials of the journey—

1.     A statement of the fundamental principle and that it is proven and consistent with experience… and consequences for the nature of the universe, identity, and realization—the centerpiece of Foundation.

2.     A way of realization—in The way (Alternate title: Realization).

It then explains

1.     The structure of the foundation—why and how Being, universe, void, and logic; the abstract and the pragmatic come together in the perfect metaphysics; comments on doubt, skepticism, proof, postulate, and attitude; the rest is development.

2.     The structure of the way.

2          Foundation

2.1       The foundation

Comment.         Redistribute the entries here and those in Metaphysics of experience between the two sections.

External sources

Comment.         These sources may be distributed between this section and Metaphysics of experience. Modal Metaphysics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Nothingness (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Being and Becoming in Modern Physics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Medieval Theories of Transcendentals (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Martin Heidegger (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Existence (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) from (The Metaphysicist) (Naming and Necessity - Wikipedia) (Saul Kripke - Wikipedia)

On foundations

About foundations

External sources Foundationalist Theories of Epistemic Justification (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Foundationalism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Site sources

fundamental problem of metaphysics.html—has material on relative vs non-relative foundations

About foundations

foundation, non relative foundation (infinite regress), relative foundation (terminating, substance)

foundationalism; and not taken up here but see the IEP article below—coherentism, infinitism

Theses—(a) some terminating and non relative foundations are possible (and how—without substance but with Being, with the superficial) (b) here we will develop such a foundation for a worldview – metaphysics – philosophy that is ultimate in scope (though pragmatic in fine detail)

Skepticism and knowledge

A more complete title is doubt, skepticism, knowledge, and understanding.

Comment.         Previously, I would likely have titled this section Doubt and certainty. However, while certainty is possible for some knowledge and outcomes, it is not possible or desirable for all—in fact living with doubt is an existential virtue (but it is not a virtue to pretend doubt or to mistakenly introduce it from some paradigm where there need be no doubt).

Comment.         This section may perhaps be better placed at the end of the chapter Development of the metaphysics.

External sources Descartes, Rene | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Contemporary Skepticism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Skepticism and knowledge

doubt and reason.html*, canonical dilemmas.html*

methodological skepticism

doubt, skepticism, strange world or interpretation, imagination, criticism; proof, intuition

Comment.         Skepticism will thread through the narrative.


Comment.         The section could be titled “Beginnings of a theory of Being”, “Beginnings of metaphysics”, “Beginnings of a metaphysical system”, or “Preliminary to the metaphysics of the essay (or narrative)”.

Some concepts

Comment.         The groups below correspond to the sections under ‘Being’. Since the concepts are given in the sections, they are not repeated here.

On definition, The concept of experience, Existence, Being, Power, The world and experience, The universe, The void, Possibility and necessity, The fundamental principle of metaphysics and Being

On definition

Concepts—definition, concept (informal), abstraction, pragmatic knowledge, perfect knowledge

A definition has a definiens (that which does the defining) and a definiendum (that which is defined). The definiendum could be a concept or an object. The definiens is a concept. But a concept presumes experience. From that perspective it would be natural to discuss definitions after experience. However it is effective to define ‘definition’ at outset. Here, then, the concept of ‘definition’ presumes experience but not its analysis.

Comment.         Combine with the later section:

A definition is a specification of a concept.

The word ‘is’ is used in a number of senses. When it follows a defined term, as above, it will mean “is defined as” or “is equivalent by definition to” which is sometimes abbreviated “ºdef”. In other use ‘is’ may mean “is the same as”, “is identical to”, or “is equivalent to”.

The concept of a ‘concept’ is defined later; here it is informally an idea that may have reference.

How is it possible for a concept to have reference? There are two ways, discussed further below, (1) knowledge by abstraction and (2) pragmatic knowledge.

Abstraction is filtering detail that results in distortion.

The abstract concept is perfect. In the present sense, the abstract is (at least effectively) direct knowledge by ‘contact’—it does not have the connotation of the remote.

Pragmatic knowledge is knowledge that is good enough for purposes at hand.

As capture of referents, (mere) pragmatic knowledge is imperfect; but it may be seen as perfect for some purposes.

Abstraction may be seen as a perfect special case of the pragmatic. The pragmatic also involves abstraction—sufficient to the purpose but perhaps insufficient to perfect knowledge.

The join of abstract and pragmatic knowledge is more powerful and reliable than each individually. If the abstract reveals a perfect value, then, in terms of that value, the join of the abstract and the pragmatic may be perfect knowledge in terms of that value (but the abstract part remains perfect as knowledge of its referents). The perfect metaphysics to be developed is perfect in this sense; it is also ultimate in revealing that the universe is the greatest possible.

Where a definition has no mention of reference, it is typically implied that there is one.

On the other hand it is sometimes essential to show there is reference. Two such cases follow. (1) The precise nature of the referent is in doubt. This is critically important for when precision and not just pragmatic knowledge is sought and any error at all would render use of the concept worthless. Examples are Being, experience, the universe, possibility, fact, and logic. (2) There is doubt that there is a referent at all (this can be seen as a particular case of the first case). Examples are (a) a real world (beside experience) and (b) the void.

Experience I—the concept of experience

The essay experience-short-collapsible.html* (World and Experience) is interesting!

Concepts—experience (subjectivity, awareness, consciousness)

Experience is subjective and aware consciousness.

Here the use of ‘experience’ is distinct from some of its common uses. Particularly, it is not (i) only the impression an individual experiencer has of an ‘external world’ (or the effect of that world on the experiencer) (ii) the result of such effects (when such uses occur they will be marked as informal, thus: experience).

The use (i) above is artificial in that the individual as a person is held to be the unit of experiencing or knowing but that is not obviously the case. Rather the ‘individual experiencer’ has parts and some of those parts may experience one another. In its present use there is of course experience in awareness of the world but also in processes internal to a ‘unit’ subject such as feeling, thinking, and recalling.

This notion of experience will be deepened and broadened later (it will be seen that experience is in some ways the essence of the world and of Being).

In fact to be rigorous we ought also to doubt the distinction between a particular experiencer and the world—or that there is anything other than experience. Roughly, the idea is to begin with Cartesian doubt. At outset the distinctions just mentioned that may seem obvious will not be and from this perspective we assume no more than that there is experience.

But is there experience? Might not the seeming fact that there is experience be an illusion?

There is experience for even if the world is illusion, illusion is experience.

Experience is simultaneously subjective awareness and existent (experience experiences experience).

That is—there is a world even if that world is nothing but experience.

This would be a natural place to provide a preliminary analysis of the world that seems to be experienced. However, the analysis is deferred subsequent sections.


Concepts—verb to be, ‘is’, existent, existence

The intransitive verb to be, is, when bold, is used in a sense is maximally neutral. Particularly ‘is’ does not presume spacetime, any particular kind or kinds of spacetime, or any particular collection of place-moments in spacetime.

An existent is that which is; existence is that which characterizes existents.

How existence be validly claimed? Experience must refer to it. Issues of this possibility are taken up later. But it is clear that experience is implicated in any valid use of ‘existence’. It will be seen that experience is essential, not in creating or founding existence, but in that the two concepts are bound essentially as one.


Concepts—Being, beings, kind or substance (neither asserted nor denied) at outset, nonexistent

Being is existence; beings are existents.

The capitalized form, Being, refers to existence; lower case, beings (or a being), to existents.

 (a being is an existent).

For reasons already stated there is doubt as to what has Being beyond experience. In an abstract sense, however, Being (a property) has Being. The universe and the void will be seen to have Being (be beings). Wholes and parts of beings are beings. Cosmoses and individuals are at least pragmatic beings (i.e. may be taken to be beings for some purposes—i.e. that they are beings is true for limited purposes).

There is Being for even if the world is illusion, illusion is the world.

Being is given—i.e. there is Being.

But what has Being is in need of discovery (at this point in the essay).

Being will serve as perfect foundation for understanding and knowledge of the universe. It is able to do because it is real, neutral, and inclusive.

Other concepts, especially the universe (all Being), the void (null Being), possibility, and necessity play a role. These concepts may be seen as ‘categories’ of Being.

That is, (i) Being is given, not hypothetical; (ii) it is not a special kind such as substance (mind and matter are examples but substance may be neutral relative to these), entity, process, or interaction—it is not a kind at all; and (iii) all that there is falls under Being.

That it is not a kind is often regarded as trivializing—that Being is not a concept at all. However, what ought to be said is that Being is not a real kind. To know anything, a concept is essential (even where there are rigid designators, we cannot know the existent by designation alone). The concept of Being does distinguish between the existing and the non existing. For example—do the concepts (i) Sherlock Holmes (a hypothetical man who lived at 210 Baker Street, London etc.) (ii) a square circle have existents (‘objects’). The answer is ‘no’ in both cases, respectively contingently and necessarily and we therefore say that they are non existent (this, by the way, is a resolution of the problem of negative existentials—it simply points out that to claim non existence it is not necessary to presuppose existence and it does not require regarding existence as a higher order concept). Thus Being is a concept and what we find is that it is pivotal to metaphysics (at least here). Some non trivial aspects are (1) that it does not refer Being to something else and is thus, unlike substance, not a posit (2) since it is ostensive relative to the fact of experience it is foundational—requires no infinite regress (i.e. it is trivial and superficial but these are sources of foundational depth) (3) as trivial it is non-prejudicial and does not commit to the Being or nature of categories or classes of Being but leaves these open—which avoids beginning with error, but as superficial it enables discovery of the kinds (4) it has an algebraic quality in (a) referring to all and any being including the null being on the same conceptual level and (b) allowing treatment of beings whose Being is sought as unknowns while being named and thus avoiding verbal and conceptual circumlocution.

In talking of a being, a concept is always at least implicit.

For example the word ‘tiger’ is nothing but a sound signifying nothing unless it is associated with a concept of a tiger, e.g. an image or picture.

That is, an existent is specified by a concept.

An existent is that which may be validly said to be (in the sense of the verb to be stated above).

It is critical that existence is specified as what is known (‘may be said to be’) and not in terms of something else (‘substance’) which is always a temptation under a substance (especially materialist) paradigm because it seems to promise rock bottom objectivity but which is ultimately a posit (hypothetical) and a source of infinite regress of definition.

A nonexistent (‘nonexistent being’) a way of talking about a concept whose reference is empty or null.

For example ‘Sherlock Holmes is a nonexistent’ or ‘Sherlock Holmes does not exist’ are ways of saying ‘Arthur Conan Doyle’s descriptions of a detective named Sherlock Holmes do not refer to a real person’.

In a sense all nonexistent beings are null beings.


Concepts—power, cause, material cause, logical cause

If a number of beings never interact, each is effectively nonexistent relative to the others.

Later it will be seen that all beings partake of the eternal, that there are no non interacting eternal beings, and so—

The being that affects no being does not exist.

But for now we might say that—The being that has no affect on our world is effectively nonexistent relative to our world.

Power is interaction—or causation, the ability to affect and be affected.

To have power is to affect a being.

The hypothetical being that has no power does not exist.

Power is a necessary and sufficient measure of Being.

That is, Being is the measure of Being.

As Being is unconditionally inclusive to say it is the measure is not to exclude special measures.

Is not reason a measure of Being? Yes, but reason is a part of Being.

Material cause, the interaction between beings, is power.

Another kind of cause—logical cause—is defined and validated later. It has two cases (a) possibility—that which may or can obtain—or ‘accident’ as cause (impossibility is absence of possibility—i.e. that which may not obtain) and (b) necessity as cause (necessity obtains if to not obtain is impossible; necessity is ‘maximal possibility).

Is logical cause truly distinct from material cause? We will see that the null being (the void) may be seen as causative and this causation is identical—or at least equivalent—to logical cause. And, further, causation by the void may be seen as including all causation. Does this imply a breakdown of the distinction between logical causation and material causation—between logic and science? Indeed it does, but with sufficient abstraction for distinctions remain.

Experience II—the world and experience

The essay experience-short-collapsible.html* (World and Experience) is interesting!

Concepts—significance, world, real world

The being that affects no experience is effectively nonexistent.

Without experience we would be effectively nonexistent (and robotic).

Experience is the place of our Being; it is the place of all significance.

Later, ‘effectively’ will be dropped. The meaning of ‘experience’ will be deepened and broadened, giving it a basic, elementary, and inclusive meaning.

The world or real world is the being that is the existent corresponding to—referred to by—the range of experience.

Except experience, which has been seen to be given, the (rest of the) real world may be nonexistent—there may be the experience but not the existent, i.e. the (rest of the) real world may be illusion. The issue of this illusory character is treated later in Metaphysics of experience.

There is a sense in which we never get outside experience—‘the ubiquity of experience’—e.g., we see a mountain and say there is a mountain, but the ‘there is’ is measured by further experience such as seeing from different angles and distances, touching or walking on the mountain, or experience of reports of others’ experience (but the construction of the ‘individual’ sense-of-objects, so far as it is shared, is not just via reports but also via mutual and reciprocal action in a shared social and natural environment, ‘reading’ of mental states in others, and mutual learning). There are, however, degrees of objectivity (object constancy) arrived at by comparison and abstraction (which may count in practice as pragmatic). And with sufficient abstraction there is ‘absolute objectivity’, e.g. ‘Being’, ‘the universe’…

The variety of experience is as if of the world, i.e. of experience and an at least as-if external world. The real world is the range of experience and the at least as-if external world.

The real world is experience and the at least as if scenario of self, mind, other, other minds, societies, material world, empirical cosmos, and universe (analysis of what is real in the at least as if scenario is deferred to Metaphysics of experience).

Without experience, there is effectively no world.

But it is not being said that experience creates the world. Rather experience is (effectively) essential to the world.

The universe

Concepts—universe, extension, oneness, creation (original cause; by another being is impossible), self-creation (only as possibility or necessity but not as interaction), origin from nothing not a violation of logic or true violation of science; the actual

The universe is all Being.

Extension is the greatest true generalization of the concept of spacetime.

Form requires distinct points—if there is one point there is no form; recognition of form requires (at least as-if) properties; reasons or causes for form require time—and therefore so does explanation and intelligibility of form.

It is intended in the definition of the universe above that ‘all Being’ shall mean ‘all Being over all extension’.

All extension is all spacetime in its most general sense, any other kinds of extension (with the variation of properties with extension), and their absence.

The universe is Being over all extension.

There is precisely one universe.

For the universe, there is no other being and so the is not and cannot be either caused or created by another being.

The void

The concept of the void

Concepts—the void (necessarily eternal and omnipresent), null being

The void is the null being.

That is, the void contains no beings. It may be thought of as the absence of Being.

The void is neither the classical vacuum of space but no matter nor the quantum vacuum.

The void exists.

Existence of the void violates no principle of logic and is consistent with science and common experience.

Proofs of existence of the void


Proof 1.     Existence and nonexistence of the void are equivalent. Therefore the void may be taken to exist.

Proof 2.     Any being less the being itself is the void. Therefore the void is present with every being—that is, the void exists.

There is at least one void.

Are there as many voids as there are beings (an indeterminate number) or more. Perhaps they are all the same and there is only one.

It will be seen later that the number is irrelevant.

Experience III—completion of preliminary analysis of experience

The essay experience-short-collapsible.html* (World and Experience) is interesting!

This section continues the preliminary analysis of experience that does not draw from the perfect metaphysics.

Experience—concept, givenness, interpretations

From its givenness, to strange vs robust interpretations of experience and the standard world view, to knowledge and meaning (is this a repeat), through free will and psychology

Concepts—the following concepts elaborate on those in the previous sections on experience: experience, content (and interpretation), world (of experience)

Concepts for interpretation—interpretation (of content—substance and non-substance, strict materialist and inclusive idealist, individualist vs individualist-universalist), strange interpretation* (alternate: bizarre), robust interpretation

Concepts regarding the nature of the world (tentative)—materialism, strict materialism, standard secular view (interpretation)—also ‘standard substance view’, field of experience (interpretation), extended standard secular view

the essential way-supplement.html*, the essential way-outline.html*, and the essential way.html*

Robust vs strange interpretations or worlds

strange interpretations are possible; therefore to rule them requires a metaphysical constraint; therefore they do occur on a metaphysics that allows all logical possibilities (the metaphysics to be developed); therefore they occur only under special metaphysical conditions

the robust vs the strange is not a distinction of possible vs impossible (the only impossible interpretations are the strictly illogical ones); but of significantly stable vs marginally stable or unstable, of probable vs improbable, and of significant vs (normally) insignificant

strange (alternate: bizarre) vs robust interpretations* or worlds*

strange interpretations (see the essential way-supplement.html*)

the essential way-supplement.html*

Modes of experience

pure, attitudinal, and agentive (i.e., of action) experience, free will

Meaning and knowledge

meaning, knowledge


concept (individual vs individual-shared), object (i.e. range of possible objects or potential objects, object vs extended concept; extended concept; intention—individual, shared, normative, and thus ‘relative’; relative in immersion—degrees of vs absolute in abstraction—degrees of), intention, symbol (sign, association with concept, individual vs individual-shared, rigid vs rigid-flexible, use in efficient but abstracted representation and use in communication), compound sign (meaning in—by realism, sharing, and convention; role of convention and mutual learning in emphasizing aspects of meaning), language


meaning realized

Free will and concept creation and realism

free will, choice, decision, alternatives (creation of, conception of, perception of), action, outcome

The elements of experience—psychology

psychology, its elements; dimensions experience (psyche)

Dimensions of the world

dimensions of the world—of Being (and time)

dimensions of the world: dimensions of Being (and time); and dimensions of psyche and experience (see the essential way-supplement.html*, the essential way-outline.html*, and the essential way.html*)

2.2       Metaphysics

Metaphysics has already begun; this section recognizes, consolidates, and advances the development.

Metaphysics as knowledge of the real


metaphysics (knowledge of the real)—in which it is implicit that metaphysics is demonstrable knowledge of the real, only of the real, and to the extent possible of all the real


Justification in two parts

1.     There is primitive knowledge of the real as demonstrated above—for example in the concepts of experience, Being, universe, and the void

2.     A metaphysics of ultimate breadth and depth will be developed in what follows.

Justification relative to other conceptions is given later.

The fundamental principle of metaphysics and Being

In this section the fundamental principle is developed, demonstrated, and interpreted. Interpretation continues in subsequent sections.

General and particular consequences of the fundamental principle being begin with Brahman and paths to the ultimate and are taken up in depth and detail in subsequent chapters.

Possibility and necessity

a journey in being.html (§1.3 Law, possibility, necessity, and the greatest possibility) has a relatively complete treatment

a journey in being-briefest.html: two chapters beginning “The universe is the greatest possible”

Concepts—possibility (a well defined and consistent general concept), impossibility, necessity; meaning of ‘can occur’; kinds of possibility and necessity; real possibility, universal possibility; pattern, natural law (abbreviated ‘law’), natural possibility (‘common possibility’); other common kinds—worldly, cosmological; sentient possibility; greatest possibility—meaning of ‘greatest’, greatest possible universe; logical possibility (in contrast to real possibility); real causation, logical causation (possibility, necessity); best world (best meaning of)

The nature of natural law

Comment.         Some repetition.

pattern, natural law (law), immanence (of law), description

Laws are (descriptions or prescriptions of) patterns.

Laws are not something other than the system with the patterns.

Laws are immanent in Being (local to where the laws obtain).

Laws have Being.

There are no laws in a void.

Demonstration of the principle

From the existence and properties of the void it follows that in the greatest sense of possibility—i.e. logical possibility, given a possible state or being, it is equivalent to and must emerge from the void.

The fundamental principle now follows:

Therefore the universe is the realization of the greatest possibility, i.e. of logical possibility.

It further follows that every being—including the universe and the void—is equivalent to every (other) being.

There is effectively one void.

Though there are manifestly many beings, there is effectively one.

Heuristic and interpretation


a journey in being.html (§1.4 The fundamental principle of metaphysics) has a useful discussion of the heuristics, internal and external consistency, and the form of the ‘greatest logic’

Heuristic proofs of the principle (i) from assumption of reason for and so intelligibility of the universe—i.e. that it has an cause and an explanation  (note that mere possibility and probability < 1 are not good reasons or explanations in that they allow non-existence of the universe), (ii) if the universe were in a void state, all possible beings would have to emerge; thus the existence of the universe is necessary; but what of the universe as greatest possible—that follows too for there is a void state adjoined to every being, and (iii) as the limit of all science.

Significance of heuristic

Also see Paths to the ultimate

Comment.         Combine the comments on intuition and proof this section with Paths to the ultimate

It is explanatory

It is not ‘just intuitive’ but intuition is an essential complement to proof; and in the future of reason (see Chapter on Reason) it may be a critical element of proof (intuition being, perhaps, a higher order of representation than symbol—due, in part, to symbolic systems being finite or countable and also in part lacking organic structure)

It suggests interpretation


Material foundation of the of all Being or the universe in another Being denied, foundation in necessity.

Doubt (taken up later).

a journey in being-briefest.html: two chapters beginning “The universe is the greatest possible”

Concepts—fundamental principle of metaphysics and Being, doubt* (from: local limits, limited experience, rule of science, rule of logic, ontological nature of the proof), ‘completeness’ of the fundamental principle—logic vs logics; self-causation, self-creation (impossibility in terms of natural possibility; issue of real possibility; true in terms of logical necessity); phases of the universe; determinism—partial determinism and total determinism (impossibility of total for the universe for the fundamental principle implies that patterns of determinate behavior must sometimes be contingent), absolute determinism, absolute indeterminism, temporality (impossibility of non temporality and total temporality for the universe)

An ultimate but ideal metaphysics

The fundamental principle implies and provides (i) foundation (depth) (ii) for the universe as the greatest possible (breadth).

However, this metaphysics is ideal. Questions remain of (i) how to locate our world in the universe it reveals and how to deploy it (the next subsection) (ii) toward realization of the ultimate (§ Brahman and paths to the ultimate).

A perfect metaphysics of knowledge, practice and action

Comment.         Replace ‘the perfect metaphysics’ by ‘the metaphysics’ everywhere except in this section and the definition of the perfect metaphysics

Abstract-faithful and concrete-pragmatic knowledge, action, tradition*, their join in the perfect and ultimate metaphysics—the perfect metaphysics (PFM) or, just, the metaphysics.

2.3       Brahman and paths to the ultimate

(…and Atman)

Comment.         Though their treatment could be deferred to the chapter on cosmology, it is unifying and efficient to treat them here.

There is useful discussion in a journey in being.html (§1.7 Ultimate identity and Being of the universe and individuals).


External sources Concepts of God (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)* Identity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Identity Over Time (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Ontological Arguments (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


identity* and process

variety and extension of the universe and its identity—including variety and generation of cosmoses; individual identity inherits the power of the universe; paths to the ultimate, givenness of realization, imperative to effective realization and enjoyment, pleasure, pain, impediment, and attitude (to healing-improving while realizing and realizing as healing-improving and virtue-nirvana)

the universe, all beings, the individual, the void, and (as will be seen) necessity, are limitless; they are equivalent

givenness of realization, imperative to effectiveness and enjoyment, ecstasy and pain, imperfection of the universe in some received meanings of ‘perfection’, meaning of perfection

Though it has been argued that ‘God’ should be defined as in the tradition (e.g., Christianity in the West), this is immensely limited and limiting. God should be defined as the best possible real meaning derivable—of course—from the sum of thought on idea of God. It follows that ‘God’ must exist for otherwise the definition would not be the best possible. It does not follow—of course—that this God has all characteristics as stated in myth and dogma. It does follow that while this God must in some sense be the greatest possible, it is not perfect in the traditional senses of ‘perfection’. From the fundamental principle of metaphysics it follows that all beings are part of the process that is God and that while the remote ‘God’ is possible and does occur, it is of limited significance.

Paths to the ultimate

imperative, effectiveness, enjoyment, ecstasy, pain, healing, means, traditional ways, Doubt, existential meaning of certainty and intuition, proof, discrete, real time, truth, fundamental postulate, existential action principle

Though realization is given, there is an imperative to act in a way that is an improvement in effectiveness and enjoyment relative to a merely casual attitude.

This imperative does not determine local ethics—secular ethics, ethics for this world—but adds to and provides perspective for it.

There are ecstasy and pain on the way—the universe is not perfect in the common senses of perfection as the best or idyllic or absence of all suffering. Ecstasy and pain are neither to be sought nor avoided (excessively). Even where pain seems unnecessary and unavoidable—as in cancer or the pain of an infant—the good approach seeks calm anticipation of the ultimate. There will be impediments, physical and psychological, and they should be attended to but except where overwhelming, healing should occur along with and as part of realization.

Reason is the essential means of realization. Path templates are developed later.

Readers may choose to follow traditional ways of understanding and paths to the ideal; which they may use in interaction with the reason, ways, and means presented here.

Doubt (see Doubts about the perfect metaphysics—criticism and response) about the reasons and ways presented here and in tradition is critical.

The existential meaning of certainty and intuition are that they should stand together with doubt or skepticism (that is, ideas of certainty and validity in knowledge should serve to negotiate the real rather than as mere vanities of the ego).

This is an openness to living in an area between certainty and uncertainty—and demonstration and intuition.

It is of course not an openness to irrationality; nor is it a rejection of certainty and proof. Intuition and proof ought to be practiced together—to complement one another.

But what is intuition? In one meaning, it is feeling one’s way—in contrast though not in opposition to explicitly designing the way (the two complement each other). In a more formal meaning, e.g. that of Immanuel Kant, it is the structure of experience (mind) as attuned or adapted to the forms of the world. Thus being open to intuition is being open to one’s Being.

Note that proof is in language and language is discrete or ‘digital’ (or binary) and so what can be said in a specific language may be unable to capture the entire real whose measure may be some uncountable infinity—which may be open to intuition if we are more than a system with discrete states. But there is also a practical aspect to this. Perhaps digitized knowledge can cover uncountable infinities because for any aspect of the real there may be a special purpose language for it. Still however, the digital may be unable to capture the quality of the real at all or the special aspect of the real in ‘real time’.

This is a potential issue for artificial intelligence.

Openness to doubt and criticism on the one hand and to non traditional proof on the other (without exaggerating claims for it) is a desirable condition of our Being and true condition of our real nature.

The metaphysics may be taken as truth—or, in the face of openness to doubt as (i) a fundamental postulate open to trial in action and (ii) an existential principle of action that enhances being while it may also optimize outcome.

The absolute

Brahman as absolute and given (as if static) Being and Knower.

the logos

This is the block universe dual of the process view above. It may appear to contradict the process view but—at least tentatively—it does not.

Brahman is not a ‘god of the gaps’.

‘God†’ Concepts of God (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)*

Comment.         Topic essay?

To talk reasonably of God in a metaphysical development, adequate conception of number of terms is essential—i.e., a range of conceptions of God, cosmos, universe, and cause of ‘God’ sufficient to metaphysical or real completeness and religious completeness adequate to actual and possible philosophical and theological conceptions of God.

It is not the aim to do complete justice to or justify religion—religion has its functions—for the aim in this section is truth, particularly truth of metaphysics as knowledge of the real. Rather, religion is seen as suggestive toward metaphysics. If a religious concept of God harbors contradiction or absurdity, the metaphysical counterpart will aim at the best that can be extracted from the religions without contradiction or absurdity (which might be achieved by eliminating the contradiction or absurdity or by showing that it is only apparent).

Comment.         If this is a standalone topic essay, for definitions see a journey in being-outline.html or a journey in being-complete.html.

Concepts of God

god, maximal greatness, ultimate concern, object of devotion, singular (vs many), person (vs power), material (vs non-material—e.g., pure principle), creator (vs part of the universe), being (vs process vs relation) vs principle, remote (vs immanent)

Not all the distinctions are exclusive—e.g. the limited and the many may join in the maximal and singular; the power may in process manifest occasionally as person

1.     Maximal greatness vs limited

2.     Ultimate concern vs lesser concern, e.g. casual

3.     Object of devotion (valor; and if so how—is there to be reverence and servitude or identity and therefore self-care rather than reverence of an other) vs object of truth (realization of maximal greatness); is both in Christianity and Hindu Theism; is the latter in Theravada Buddhism and Taoism

4.     Singular vs many

5.     Person vs power (is God nothing but the creative power of the universe—what is that power and are we part of  it?)

6.     As ‘material’, i.e. having a body vs not having a body (even a spiritual body)—i.e., material vs pure principle such as necessity (but not contingent law). Note that numerous questions such as this one have trivial answers from the metaphysics—as necessity, ‘God’ has no body; but necessity is equivalent to the (power of) the void which is equivalent to every body—i.e. the question of whether God or anything is or is not material or has or has not a body is locally but not ultimately significant.

7.     Creator of the universe vs independent existence of the universe—necessary vs accidental—which may be interpreted as self-creation or self-cause (in case of independent existence of the universe, God may be a real or null part).

8.     A being vs process (being-interaction-process)

9.     Remote (limited beings as distinct from God) vs immanent (God as infusing beings or beings as part of God and God’s process including and up to beings joining in and becoming God—either at times or eternal but only manifest at times, e.g. pantheism and panentheistic force, Brahman, god-as-universe)


As defined earlier, the universe is all Being; therefore there is no other being.

It is common in theology to use ‘universe’ to refer to the material universe. This is neither more nor less ‘correct’ than the present definition; rather correctness is intrinsic to a definition and its use—a definition should be (i) consistent, (ii) be real (e.g. it is not real to insist that the universe must have a material cause—i.e. an effect on the universe by another being, for there is no other being), and (ii) be used consistently if conclusions are to be accepted.


cause, interaction, logical causation (necessity, self-causation)

The common sense of cause in modern thought is interaction. In this sense a cause is an interaction between two beings. This is material causation (and would apply even if one or both of the beings were spiritual in any real sense).

The universe is not affected causally by another being; the universe is not created by another being.

Can it be self caused or self created? Not in the above sense of cause or causal creation.

What then is the reason for the existence of the universe?

It cannot be mere possibility for ‘it could or could not exist’ is not a reason for existence.

On the other hand, necessity, if it obtained, would be a good reason for or cause of existence (it would not be a material cause).

But from the metaphysics, necessity does obtain.

Which is not material cause but necessity as cause and which may be seen as logical cause or self cause.


Therefore, whatever concept of God may be used, it is not creator of the universe and is not necessary to explain the universe or what we find in it—unless ‘God’ refers to the concept of necessity.

On the other hand the metaphysics requires the Being of God in some senses of the term—e.g., (i) Brahman (a pantheism but more in that the ‘pan’ is sometimes diffuse but other times focal, singular, and acute), (ii) the Abrahamic as well as the myriad Hindu Gods, provided shorn of contradiction); however, where degrees of absurdity are retained the conception of such Gods may refer to beings that are relatively insignificant in power and duration, (iii) all beings partake in Brahman and may partake locally in local Gods (we are in the process of becoming Higher Being and higher beings).

What lies ahead

For the essentials of realization, one would proceed to the Chapter on The way.

The intervening Chapters are significant developments of the metaphysics; however for realization they are resources.

3          Development of the metaphysics


On the developments

We now turn to developments of the metaphysics—new material and applications to well known topics of metaphysics. The selection of topics—of course influenced by my interests and viewpoints—is according to (i) importance to the journey (the metaphysics and realization) (ii) general significance.

The material is two chapters—this one and the next on a system of the world, especially cosmology (for cosmology and its detail is the system). Though metaphysics and cosmology are continuous with one another, the distinction is natural. The metaphysical emphasizes the general and the refinement of the foundation while the cosmological emphasizes the particular and application of the foundation.

Comment.         Some topics may have content that is logically prior to the metaphysics. The word ‘may’ indicates that the choice of organization is not final. The main such topics are experience and identity.

Many of these topics, especially when illuminating, will be written in two stages (i) what can be said without the metaphysics and (ii) consequences of the metaphysics. It might have had pedagogical benefit to have some first stages placed before the metaphysics but the present arrangement is efficient and conceptually tidier—conceptual floundering due to non specificity of metaphysics is avoided.

3.1       Metaphysics of experience

Comment.         It is effective to place this section before the section “What is metaphysics?”

Metaphysics of experience is a possible topic essay.

External sources

Experience and its nature Mysticism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Robin George Collingwood (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Alfred North Whitehead (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Process Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Immanuel Kant (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) John Dewey (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Free will Free Will (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Causal Determinism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Language meaning Theories of Meaning (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Meaning Holism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Meaning (philosophy of language) – (Wikipedia) Rigid Designators (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Implications of the metaphysics

In three previous sections on experience in Being, no appeal was made to the perfect metaphysics. In this section implications of the perfect metaphysics are developed. The topics will be drawn from the three earlier sections.

The robust interpretations

extended standard secular view (approximates the standard secular view; allows substance as local and pragmatic), world as field of experience (the most inclusive view, Atman is Brahman, includes all other views as sub cases—e.g. the materialist view is a case of zero but not null experience outside of sentient organisms, required by the metaphysics)

Strange interpretations

standard secular view, solipsism

Implications for meaning

Comment.         Title?

rigid designator (issue of)

The real

Experience and the real

3.2       Metaphysics and its possibility

External sources Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


What is metaphysics?

Metaphysics was defined above as knowledge of the real.

This section (i) clarifies, extends, and justifies the idea of knowledge of the real (ii) relates the present concept of metaphysics to the main pre-modern and modern conceptions and shows where other conceptions are subsumed under or perhaps excluded from the present conception.

The possibility of metaphysics

Comment.         The considerations of this section also cover Cosmology and The way (Alternate title: Realization).

Metaphysics has been shown possible by demonstrating a metaphysics. This section (i) reviews the classical critiques for both general and ‘special’ metaphysics (ii) fleshes out the umbrella the range of metaphysics, actual and the range of future possible under the metaphysics.

That is—the possibility of metaphysics is not either ‘possible’ or ‘impossible’ but depends on (a) the concept of metaphysics employed and (b) the subject matter, e.g. special vs general metaphysics.

Doubts about the perfect metaphysics—criticism and response

Comment.         Leave mentions of doubts where they are appropriate but collect most doubts about the metaphysics and place their discussion here.

Does the metaphysics refer to gaps in human knowledge

Does the argument the realization of all possibility depend on gaps in our substantially complete knowledge of the universe?

Not at all—the argument makes no such presumption; rather it reveals that the realm beyond the observed is limitless while the observed is infinitesimal in extension (‘spatiotemporal’) and variety.

Metaphysics, epistemology, and their inseparability

Some major metaphysical-epistemological systems and how the metaphysics affects their significance

Comment.         This may be a level 2 section.

External sources—Western metaphysical systems Parmenides Presocratic Philosophy Plato’s Timaeus Aristotle’s Metaphysics George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Hegel’s Dialectics Immanuel Kant Kant’s Moral Philosophy Kant’s Transcendental Idealism Kant’s Transcendental Arguments Kant’s Critique of Metaphysics Francis Herbert Bradley (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)  Bradley’s Regress (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Alfred North Whitehead (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Charles Hartshorne (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) John B. Cobb (Wikipedia) David Ray Griffin (Wikipedia) Ludwig Wittgenstein (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Wittgenstein’s Logical Atomism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mathematics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Martin Heidegger (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

External sources—Eastern metaphysical systems Concepts of God (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)* for information on Advaita Vedanta Indian Philosophy – Wikipedia

Site sources for major metaphysical systems

main influences.html*

Some major metaphysical systems and how the metaphysics affects their significance

Purposes of the section—to present some major systems and a classification (i) to ensure that the metaphysics is inclusive enough to cover their bases, (ii) to analyze their part vs wholeness (the part may be zero) relative to the universe, (iii) to see to what extent and how the systems may be grounded in the metaphysics, (iv) to see to what extent the systems may be integrated, (v) to see to what extent they—and the integrations—may be interpreted and to what extent their net significance is affected in terms of the metaphysics, and (vi) to contribute to development and enrichment of the metaphysics.

Preliminary classification—non relative (substance vs substance-neutral vs substance-free—i.e., the position that there is neither fundamental category including the void itself nor need for foundational category; that all categories are derivative; that existence is its own foundation) vs relative (open)

Kinds of substance—kind of entity vs process vs interaction

Metaphysics based in the immediate—metaphysics based in existence of the void (the metaphysics), Heidegger’s metaphysics in Being and Time

Entity like  substance—materialism, idealism, dualism, neutral monism; issue of meaning and distinguishability; problem of change; problem of mind and matter

Process metaphysics—problems of construction of the world, kinds and richness of  being

Some systems for consideration—Parmenides; Plato’s Timaeus; Aristotle’s metaphysics; Hegel’s idealism; Immanuel Kant’s transcendental idealism; Whitehead’s philosophy of organism; Wittgenstein’s early metaphysics of logic as immanent in the world of fact; Heidegger’s analysis of Dasein as the being that can ask and begin to analyze the question of being—i.e., of the nature of existence; the Advaita Vedanta and its picture of the universe as the breath of Brahman that includes all beings

3.3       The principle of sufficient reason

The principle

There is discussion in very short essay-pragmatic version.html, the way-template.html, the way-pocket manual.html, the way-outline.html*

Principle of Sufficient Reason (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Principle of sufficient reason - Wikipedia

Necessity as cause of the universe

a journey in being.html* (§1.6 Necessity as the cause of the universe) has discussion

The logic of necessity—the metaphysics implies that the universe must have manifest phases.

Comment.         The intuition of necessity—if the existence of the universe has a good explanation or reason it can be shown that (i) it must be necessity and (ii) that not just the empirical cosmos but all possible Being must be necessary.

3.4       The Fundamental question of metaphysics

The traditional question—Why is there Being at all?

A new fundamental question—What has Being?

3.5       Kinds of Being*

Comment.         See Categories of Being under Problems of metaphysics

External sources Category of being - Wikipedia

More Kinds of Being: A Further Study of Individuation, Identity, and the Logic of Sortal Terms // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame (More Kinds of Being is the second edition of EJ Lowe’s Kinds of Being) Natural Kinds (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Kinds of Being

categories, kinds

3.6       The abstract and the concrete – Abstract Objects (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Comment.         A continuation of Kinds of Being

The concepts of the abstract and the concrete

No true distinction

On abstract objects

All consistent (abstract) systems are realized

Comment.         Platonism will also be addressed.

External sources Platonism - Wikipedia Platonism in Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Site sources

The way of being-essential.html* (material on inhabiting abstract objects)

All consistent systems are realized

I.e., from the fundamental principle

Theory of abstract and concrete objects

3.7       Identity, space, and time

Comment.         Consider whether this is the best place for the topic.

identity*, (sense of) sameness and difference, personal identity (sense of sameness of self), existent identity (sense of sameness of existent or object), space and time

3.8       Problems of metaphysics


The nature of Being

Categories of Being and universals

The problem of substance

Early modern

Comment.         Is this appropriate?

Materialism and empiricism




Identity, space, and time

Causation, determinism, and freedom

Consciousness, mind, and matter


4          A system of the world

Comment.         Could be a separate chapter. Could combine with or change places with the section on ethics and purpose.

Comment.         Over and above “A system of the world” topics > description: the universe > speculative possibilities > the cosmos > galaxy > solar system(s) > earth > the spheres (atmos, geo, hydro) > life and theories (received: natural selection, abiogenesis, early chemistry of the earth | supplementary: epigenesis | parallel: wavefront vs ray | properties of matter-energy as productive of life)

system of human knowledge, foundation, organizing principle, system of organization (of knowledge), ultimate value, local value, hierarchical organization, multiple organization, database technology

In this chapter the aim is to formulate a system of human knowledge using (i) the perfect metaphysics as foundation* and organizing principle for a systematic exposition of human knowledge and (ii) extant systems of organization of knowledge of the world as point with which to begin.

While the extant systems ii above are ‘imperfect’, the metaphysics i is used to improve the rational basis of system while it simultaneously implies, as shown earlier, that perfection at a detailed local level of knowledge is pragmatically impossible and but unnecessary relative to ultimate values* and at least some significant local values*.

But still, questions remain about the principles of hierarchy and organization. In response note (i) that there is neither claim nor absolute need for a definite and final hierarchical organization, (ii) multiple organizations are possible and implementation may be enormously enhanced by writing the system as a database and employing database technology.

Criticisms of systematic philosophy include (i) foundations are relative, (ii) systems are incomplete relative to not just description of the world (‘answers’) but even relative to what is worthy of study (‘questions’), (iii) system shuts down openness.

These questions are addressed immediately below, especially as regards the system developed here.

4.1       About system

systematic philosophy, ad hoc element of philosophy, method, absolute foundation, relative foundation (hypothetical, speculative, hypothetico-deductive), incompleteness, openness (doubt, uncertainty), critical imagination, critical intuition, exclusivity of approach, emergent system, imposed system, pre-justification, post- justification, dual foundation

Systematic philosophy attempts to form a framework in terms of which all questions can be formulated and answered (‘all’ is usually over-ambitious and often the result of capture of some logic, enthusiasm, and therefore inattention to entirety of the world experience and the real). Philosophy necessarily begins, as do all disciplines, with some ad hoc elements. But as it develops, generalities emerge—tentative if not final—what the world is in fundamental terms (substance), what its constituents are (not just material in any so far known material system, philosophical or physical), and how this understanding is developed (method).

Motives for system included (i) complete understanding, at least in broad terms, (ii) that without it the important questions can hardly even be formed (in precise terms)—let alone be given definitive answers.

But systems have limits. What is their foundation—is it absolute foundation or relative foundation (almost all systems are hypothetical… or speculative but speculative only in a sense that is critical with regard to logical structure and hypothetico-deductive with regard to capture of the world—i.e. with regard to the empirical). Most systems are developed to satisfy certain criteria regarding the world and critical method, but there is no guarantee that all aspects of the entire world are covered.

Therein lies an objection to systematic philosophy. Another objection is that perhaps incompleteness, openness, doubt, uncertainty are the way of understanding—and perhaps that the universe itself is in some ways incomplete… and therefore the way of critical imagination and critical intuition ought to be employed, at least as complement to system. Why should or need there be system?

An answer to that final question is (i) system and critical intuition are not exclusive and (ii) both can be pursued in parallel. Exclusivity of approach (‘either-or’) is to be eschewed.

Ludwig Wittgenstein is an interesting case study. His early philosophy—the metaphysics of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is a system. He shows or argues the world to be a system of atomic facts and all the compound facts that can be built from them; and encodes this as a system of logic. The later Wittgenstein, mainly of Philosophical Investigations, abandons the earlier system. It is not entirely clear what his motives may have been—but even if the early system is true, it does not follow that we have complete access to it and so we find ourselves not knowing what our fundamental questions are or how to address them. Of course, as his early philosophy was a systematic philosophy of language, so his later philosophy emphasized language but also issues of how and to what extent language encodes thought and how it is embedded in the individual and society.

But the perfect metaphysics is an emergent system rather than an imposed system—it emerges from fundamental concepts of experience as experience, Being as Being, the universe, the void, and possibility* as that (those concepts) which may be realized as Being or beings. Why or how are these fundamental concepts? They are (i) ‘pre-justified’ as immediately presenting concepts once one begins with a critical attitude to what one can know and what there is (ii) and ‘post-justified’ in that they are ground for an emergent yet critical philosophy of final depth and open breadth.

And having a system is not a prescription against (i) investigation of fundamental questions as they arise including the question of what is fundamental and (ii) modifying and improving system.

The present system bears with it the reasons for its necessity; it is both open (with regard to breadth and to newness and freshness of experience) and final (with regard to depth for it posits no remote depth but finds whatever depth there may be on the surface with Being). The ‘system’ is such that one can reject all system and still be within System—for it is emergent rather than imposed, absolute at depth by not employing any predefined depth (‘substance’), ever open with regard to breadth (which does not imply avoidance of definitiveness where it is possible—necessary or contingent).

Its foundation neither absolute nor relative but dual foundation—absolute where the absolute is possible and pragmatic where the absolute is impossible or not known to be possible. But since the absolute nests the pragmatic and shows it sufficient to ultimate realization is imperfect relative to imposed criteria of perfection, e.g. perfect correspondence, but perfect relative to emergent criteria, i.e. (at least) good enough relative to an ultimate value of realization ‘in this life and beyond’.

4.2       The system

Site sources

Use and review system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html* (repeats some topics above) and system of human knowledge, reason, and action-supplement.html*

the way - template outline.html* (2017)

The system

The system

Comment.         Topics such as earth sciences are specialist relative to the essay and will not be placed in separate sections below

Purpose—present a system of knowledge grounded in the metaphysics; to round out the metaphysics and cosmology.


Tradition** is all that is rationally valid and symbolically valuable in all cultures and secular and transsecular worldviews through history up to the present moment. It includes ways of knowledge and life and catalysts of change.

Tradition—ways and catalysts

Comment.         Where should this material be placed?

The ways** include science and technology as well as the ways, so far as reasonable and pragmatic, of religions. The literal content of religions is included so far as true or symbolically valuable. The ways of the religions may also be valuable—e.g. the ‘eightfold way’ of Buddhism and the way of Christian Mysticism.

Catalysts** are recognized—vision quest, retreat, fast, meditation, yoga, Beyul (Tibetan nature quest with parallel quest to see truth beyond the secular), and so on; and individual—risk, crisis, physical exhaustion, exposure, and more.

Tradition—ways and catalysts—sources

Comment.         Where should this material be placed?

system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html*

system of human knowledge, reason, and action-supplement.html*

dynamics, catalysts and catalytic states.html*

4.3       Humanities, tradition, and religion

Comment.         There is repetition, above and below

Humanities and humanism Humanities - Wikipedia Humanism - Wikipedia

Knowledge—its nature and history

Philosophy Philosophy - Wikipedia




The aim of this section is to inquire into the nature and function of religions from empirical, ideal, and theoretical (conceptual) perspectives. It should cover realistic meaning (precise and pragmatic) as well as symbolic-allegorical and emotive meaning. The function of story, text, ritual and art shall be covered. It should include natural (including cosmological), social, institutional, political, economic, educational, transmissive (communication), aspects. The roles of follower, inspired and inspirational leader, and of ‘priest class’ will be considered. I will also look at institutional vs natural vs ideal vs personal religion.

The section is stand alone, ties in to other aspects of the system of the world, and is resource and background to other sections that consider particular aspects of religion, especially The common paradigms, their value and limits.

4.4       General and abstract sciences and method


The real (and the artifactual)


Abstract sciences and symbolic systems

Linguistics Linguistics - Wikipedia

Logic Logic - Wikipedia

Mathematics and computer science Mathematics - Wikipedia Computer science - Wikipedia Information theory - Wikipedia


4.5       The concrete sciences Science - Wikipedia

Psychology, mind and the dimensions of Being

Comment.         Consider combining with metaphysics of experience

Continuous with the section(s) on metaphysics of experience; ‘dimensions’ may be in either one of the locations Psychology - Wikipedia

The dimensions of mind

Note that ‘dimensions’ is used informally as a rough equivalent to ‘categories’.

In greater detail, experience—subjective awareness or consciousness—is the core of our Being; without it we are as if robots; and for any given state of Being, there is a greater experiential (sentient) state. That is, experience is the place of significant meaning—the ‘meaning of life’.

The concept of experience is important to the longer version of the essay where it will be developed in detail.

Experience is attitudinal-receptive and of the action-agent; ‘pure’ experience is an inner case of the foregoing.

my journey.html*, the way-outline.html*, Journey in Being-detail.html* (2014), Journey in Being-full.html* (2013) for the above point

The world is experience and experienced; the latter is sometimes called the external world but it includes experience as object (existent). These are the pure dimensions of Being—experience and experienced or psyche and world. Part of that experience is identity—sense of sameness; and sameness and difference with the special case of space, time or process, and relation or interaction. The ‘external’ world can be seen as natural (physical, living, and of psyche), social, and the universal (transcending the immediate and detailed empirical). The pragmatic dimensions of the world are psyche (perception, icon and sign, thought, feeling, will, recall, and more), nature (physical, living, and psychical or of mind), the social (culture, political economy, science, and technology), and the universal that transcends this world.

The dimensions of Being

See Metaphysics of experience for sources on the dimensions

a journey in being.html*

the essential way.html*

the essential way-supplement.html*

Dimensions of Being are—will be—a way of describing the world for understanding and instrumental use. In summary, the dimensions are psyche, nature, society, and the universal.

Cosmology and physics

What is cosmology?

What are general cosmology, cosmology of form and formation, physical cosmology, and the system of the world?

What is the block universe and its significance?

External sources Physics - Wikipedia Cosmology (philosophy) - Wikipedia

General cosmology

The method and its principle; development of general cosmology

The principle is the fundamental principle—the universe is the greatest possible. The method is (i) one of imagination with regard to what may be possible and then (ii) of logic with regard to what is possible.

This method and the particular methods for the following sections lie under reason.

Cosmology of form and formation

External sources Philosophy of Cosmology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Cosmology and Theology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Site sources

EarlyUniverse.html—numerical graphical experiments on origins from the void (not the big bang)

Cosmology of form and formation

emergence**, indeterminism, mechanism**, degree of determinism

Method, principle, and development

The method and principle begins with that of general cosmology, to which are joined the method and principle of tradition—and reflexive thought and action. Especially important under tradition are theories of (i) self adaptation via non deterministic increment and selection of near stable systems (saltation is possible but improbable) and (ii) mechanism (e.g. the fundamental theories of physics).

Numerical-graphical experiments and how to specify them*

The block universe

External sources

Growing block universe (Growing block universe - Wikipedia)

Standard block universe of eternalism (Eternalism (philosophy of time) - Wikipedia)

The block universe

Define the block universe and note that it is neither the growing block universe nor the standard block universe of eternalism

Significance of the block universe

Relation to determinism and indeterminism

Conclusions regarding the permanence, diffusion, and identity of identities—Brahman (word)

Conclusions regarding physical cosmology, relativity, and quantum theory

Comment.         The following may be introduced in an earlier section, e.g. The foundation or Metaphysics of experience

Local knower, pan knower—or universal knower, fact, and inference

Physical cosmology and theoretical physics

External sources

Comment.         Improve the following Quantum Mechanics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Quantum Field Theory (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Quantum Field Theory (Wikipedia) General Relativity (Wikipedia) Early Philosophical Interpretations of General Relativity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Physical Cosmology (Wikipedia) Universe (Wikipedia) Observable Universe (Wikipedia) Multiverse (Wikipedia) Cosmological Thermodynamics (Leonard Susskind)

Comment.         Numerical simulation work is extensive; the following is a start. The Encyclopedia of Cosmology | World Scientific Series in Astrophysics (Volume 1: Galaxy Formation and Evolution, Volume 2: Numerical Simulations in Cosmology, Volume 3: Dark Energy, Volume 4: Dark Matter) (Lee Smolin - Wikipedia on Cosmological natural selection)

Physical cosmology and theoretical physics

The cosmos and its origins; method

microstructure and macrostructure, law, pattern, and stability; indeterminism, determinism, and residual indeterminism

The method and principle begins with the methods and principles of the previous sections. This is the general method.

The method for the cosmos begins with modern physics. Theories of origins and foundation derive the general method and anthropic considerations for which the laws of the empirical cosmos may be taken as constraints. It is important to review the empirical character of modern physics—whether it is empirical and if so in what manner. It is not empirical in the way of logical positivism or Newton’s claims that it follows from the phenomena. Rather the empirical character is two-fold: the phenomena and data suggest the laws which are then corrected via application and adjustment to eliminate discrepancy (this includes the postulational approach of thermodynamics and of Einstein in formulating the theories of relativity; it also includes the use of reason and principle in formulating and evaluating the laws). The connection to the empirical is firm but not rigid—there is flight from the empirical in formulation of laws and return in correction. The change that may be forced in the future is a result of the remoteness of the empirical as its boundary is pushed out—(i) the length and height of the flight may be required to increase and, in compensation, (ii) recognition and use of rational thought (reason) may be required to become more explicit and refined.

Numerical-graphical experiments and how to specify them*

Biology and life

Biology Biology - Wikipedia

microstructure and macrostructure; structure (molecular, cellular, organ, system, organism), mechanism, development; ecology and distribution of life; origins and evolution

Origins and evolution Evolution - Wikipedia

evolution, variation, selection, mechanism*, emergence*, ray vs wavefront-envelope descriptions

Society and civilization

Society and culture Social science - Wikipedia

Language in representation and communication Language - Wikipedia

Knowledge—growth and transmission Knowledge - Wikipedia Meaning (philosophy of language) - Wikipedia

Politics and economics Political philosophy - Wikipedia Political science - Wikipedia Economics - Wikipedia

Science and technology Science - Wikipedia Technology - Wikipedia

Art Art - Wikipedia

History History - Wikipedia

Religion Religion - Wikipedia

4.6       Ethics ad purpose

External sources The Meaning of Life (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Site sources

the way - template outline.html*

the way - main version.html* (2017 version of site)

Ethics and purpose

Comment.         Inclusion of purpose with ethics is tentative as of 12/6/2019.

Problem and opportunity

Comment.         Alternate title—Crisis and opportunity

Site sources

the way - world problems and opportunities.html

Problem and opportunity

problems and opportunities (in politics and economics; with sources in identity and its ultimate… and in ethics and purpose)

5          Reason

This section is about reason or the logos as derived from Greek philosophy. Here it refers to the identities among reason by beings and Reason (immanent) in Being.

reason and the way of being.html, reason

External sources Reason - Wikipedia Instrumental Rationality (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Reason (Encyclopedia Britannica) Argument (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)—has information on argument, the distinction between deductive and inductive argument and a possible third kind: the conductive argument

Site sources

a journey in being.html*

the essential way-print-no bold.doc

the way - template outline.html*

canonical dilemmas.html*—possibly

doubt and reason.html*


system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html*

system of human knowledge, reason, and action-supplement.html*


5.1       Introduction

Though reason is of general interest, it is the essential means of realization in The Way of Being.

Reason may seem too specialized to such a means. However, here reason is given a very general meaning. Some common connotations of reason limit it to the factual, formal, the cognitive, the symbolic, and the inferential—e.g. of demonstration and thought. The meaning here will include these senses but (i) the factual (observational and theoretical in the scientific sense) will be broadened to include not just the factual but also the valuational—i.e. the moral, ethical, and the aesthetic, (ii) the formal will be broadened to also include the intuitive (iii) the cognitive to (include) emotion (both rooted in primitive feeling), (iv) the symbolic to the iconic, (v) the inferential as critical and stepwise to the imaginative (in interaction so that there is no final breach of formal reason), (vi) formal demonstration to proof in living, and (vii) thought to action (and be-ing).

The development will consider received meanings of reason and related ‘functions’ and draw them together under a single umbrella that we name ‘reason’.

Reason is applied to itself—i.e., reason is ‘reflexive’. This is (i) efficient, (ii) necessary as there is no other recourse, (iii) not circular as what constitutes reason remains in process, ever expanding in scope (so far as possible). But reflexivity is not just a broad stroke application of reason to itself; rather in is the interaction among all combinations of the elements of reason (productive combinations being found in a process that, if it begins with small iterations, is not of necessity limited to the small)—both lateral (the elements of reason applied to the world) and vertical (the elements of reason applied to reason and the world).

The idea will be developed and shown how it is the means of realization. In doing so various elements of tradition or culture will be brought under and integrated into the umbrella (‘tradition’ will be understood as what is valid in what we know of all cultures over history).

Thus reason integrates not just principles of thought but also of practice and action. Reason is therefore a sufficient prerequisite to develop two adaptable templates for realization activity—an everyday and a universal template (the templates began as personal, have been honed by thought – action – improvement over time, and abstracted as well as filled out for general use).

Consequently this concept of reason is an appropriate prerequisite to those templates.

5.2       The range of the idea of reason

There are many notions on how to think, come to know, and act well—even optimally from the perspective of ‘entire Being’, which includes the rational, the ethical and valuational, and the emotional.

Some terms that come to mind—equivalents to and components of this process—are

reason, argument, rationality, thought, feeling, emotion, judgment, and valuation—ethical and aesthetic; imagination, intuition, and criticism; fact, observation, measurement, and corroboration; inference, deduction, logic, demonstration, proof, induction, science (data, law, theory, hypothesis—experiment-practice-action—valuation and revaluation of hypotheses; abduction, conductive argument (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Argument); metaphysics, foundation, analysis, system, and action

There is a plethora of terms with overlap—many analyzed and integrated in the literature but not with entire consistency and coherence and often perhaps to excess with micro-analysis. This is to be expected in an organic literature, perhaps overdone in the academic literature; but there is also a parallel motive to ‘trim the fat’ and to introduce system.

The name for the umbrella concept for these notions will be ‘reason’.

Reason begins not with a foundation or the end product of process but the present place and moment—and may then work toward foundation and superstructure.

While it may begin as incremental and corrective (learning), large and even single step achievement and final principles are not ruled out.

It posits and moves simultaneously toward foundations, ends, and ways or methods (as they are suggested in process); it corrects and improves; shared process adds to but replaces no individual (language is important for representation and communication—but not in itself fully adequate to either); it insists not on the a priori or its elimination—on possibility or impossibility of perfection—on ever being in process—or finality; but it allows all those possibilities.

The process involves entire Being—body-process-relation and its presentation as feeling, memory, perception, emotion, thought, action (with interpretation in terms of ‘physical’ vs ‘mental’ aspects)

The process is reflexive—i.e. it is naturally so over and above any intended or formal reflexivity—that is the elements are interactive; but, as understanding emerges, selectively so, and subject to meta-analysis.

5.3       The concept of reason

Reason is the best developed and developing way to know and act in the world and universe.

Foundation of reason is part of reason.

5.4       Foundation of reason

The section begins with two preliminaries—sources of reason and on patterns.

Sources of reason

reflexivity*, iterative, investigational (experimental), whole being

To follow and develop reason will begin with immersion—and perhaps instruction—in tradition but in the end it is a living process without external foundation.

Reason and its in process foundation are immanent in the world, particularly in individuals and cultures. Reason is reflexive and involves the entire being of beings. Its purview includes action.

Reason and its foundation are not in prescriptions and formulas which are aids to memory and may be occasionally efficient substitutes for ever beginning again at the beginning.

However, it is critical and refreshing to occasionally begin at the beginning of ontological thought. And this ought perhaps to be undertaken at least once—given resources that include aptitude and inclination—by every individual and every culture.

On patterns

pattern, information, inference, prediction

Patterns are what make reasoning possible. Given a pattern and some facts, other facts can be inferred. Indeed the facticity of a fact is a pattern.

If we know that the sun rises everyday for all the days that there are—the pattern—then, given that there will be a tomorrow as a fact, we know that the sun will rise tomorrow—the prediction or inference. This is a good if trivial example. A more elaborate example is given below

But what is a pattern?

A system has a pattern if the information required to specify the system with the pattern is less than without the pattern.

An example—given that the sun has risen everyday in memory, will the sun rise tomorrow? We don’t know for sure but we might say yes, probably. The justification or hypothesis would be a probable pattern of the sun rising everyday. On the other hand if we somehow knew that it was more than probable, i.e. if it were certain, we would say yes, certainly. This exemplifies patterns—though trivially.

Another example comes from Newtonian Mechanics. A typical situation is a system with initial conditions of positions and velocities (the given facts) and the laws (the pattern), the motion (the other facts) can be inferred (predicted). Without the patterns (laws) the motion could be specified only by giving entire trajectories; with the laws only the initial conditions are needed. Note that here the patterned facticity of facts is that systems are made of particles defined by mass, position, velocity, and gravity (and perhaps other forces).

Patterns enable prediction or inference.

In a universe without patterns, prediction and inference are impossible.

Foundation of reason

fact, observation, error, gross error, fine error, validation, meaning, interpretation, theory, simple pattern, corroboration, pragmatic fact, precision, necessary fact, metaphysical context, inference, pragmatic inference, induction (abduction, conductive argument), necessary inference, deductive logic, logics, syntax, semantics, interpretation, truth (meaning), model

What enables reason? Its foundation begins with inference. Let us inquire into the foundation of inference. We will find that inference is possible only on account of the existence of patterns.

There is more than the formal inference below but what follows is the essential foundation.


1.     A first interest in reason is establishment of fact. This includes more than just direct observation of simple facts. A scientific theory is also a fact provided the domain of application is limited to the empirical domain.

Of course, the empirical domain is not just spatiotemporally limited but includes such limits as energy, speed, and size of objects.

And of course, relative to the universe at large, scientific theories are generally hypotheses. But still, a scientific theory is a fact in that the full theory would say true in its full (not just established) empirical domain and untrue elsewhere.

2.     Let’s begin with ‘direct’ establishment of simple facts. It is by observation (perception) or measurement. But since gross error (hallucination, illusion, delusion…) as well as fine error (inaccuracy) arise validation of fact is necessary.

There is more to establishment of facts than validation. Consider for example that the meaning of the simple phrase ‘the sun rises’ is different in a ‘mythic culture’ than it is today. But while this is true, we can regard ‘the sun has just risen’ as a fact that is invariant to underlying meaning, myth, interpretation, or theory.

Before continuing, let us ask what it takes for there to be facts. It is not that the sun is a Fire God rising in the East or that it is a ball of nuclear fire relative to which Earth rotates on its axis—those are explanations of the fact. What it takes for there to be the fact is that the rising sun stands out against the welter or the world. It is a simple pattern—real or experienced or both.

General approaches to validation are

(i)          Pragmatic likelihood and certainty—repeated measurement by the same and different individuals or teams using the same and different techniques (corroboration, which does not determine absolute but only pragmatic certainty). It is also pragmatic when ‘facts’ enable negotiation of the world (which too might be illusion but the notion of pragmatic include that so far, at least, this is the best we have). Note that when a measurement is verified to high accuracy, it is still pragmatic relative to perfect precision but may be regarded as perfect if specified in terms of intervals. Depending on the quality of observation, degree of validation may be pragmatic certainty or just reasonably good.

(ii)        Necessary—e.g. critique of the notion that because some error arises therefore all observation is subject to error. Here the Cartesian analysis of existence of the self—cogito ergo sum—is a model; it is generally regarded not to establish the self but the following. It establishes just that there is subjective awareness or consciousness (and thus that something exists). But note that it is thereby established that there is a world—it is at least the world whose constituent is experience.

Note again that the existence of the fact—the fact of the fact—is entailed by a pattern or, in more elaborate terms, the abstraction of oneness from the welter of detail, real or experienced or both.

From that point we can describe the world of experience and then analyze the reality of its contents (e.g. the real or external world—which contains experience itself, self with ‘mind’, other, the ‘natural world’ and so on).

How can we establish that? Here we consider only the establishment of the external world (with detail taken up elsewhere). There are various approaches but since the existence of an external world and the existence only of experience (philosophical solipsism) are logically indistinguishable, establishment is possible only on knowing something further about the world. For example we might accept the scientific world view. And a basis for that view might be—well that is all the empirical information we have and anything more is metaphysical; but to conclude from ‘that is all we have’ to ‘that is all there is’ is rank metaphysics. Or we might argue that the fact that we talk of experience means or implies that experience is both object and subject. But perhaps the experience of experience is part of the ‘object’ and there is no subject.

What then is that something further we must know about the world? And how can it not slant our conclusions? To fit that constraint—i.e. to not be slanting, it must be the most general possible knowledge of the real. In other words, with metaphysics as knowledge of the real, it must be the most general metaphysics—the most general metaphysical context—possible.

This task is taken up in the development of the metaphysics.

3.     A second approach to establishing facts is in ‘inference’—the idea that when some facts are true, other facts are also true. Let us look at how this works

(i)          Pragmatic certainty—An example of one way begins with the assertion that the sun rises every day. To keep analysis to the essentials of what we are looking for let as grant the notions of ‘sun’, ‘rising’, and ‘days’ (as suggested earlier) for while they are not givens their givenness is not what is under question in this example. What is under question is how we infer from ‘I have observed that the sun has risen everyday of my life—even when there are clouds daylight indicates that the sun is behind the clouds’ and ‘there is a record in human culture of its rising every day observed’ to ‘the sun rises every day’.

In fact the conclusion is not warranted. That is, if I assert from ‘the sun rises everyday’ to ‘the sun will rise for the rest of my days’, the conclusion is pragmatically but not absolutely certain (if I further generalize to ‘forever’ it is at least pragmatically certainly untrue). That is because ‘the sun rises every day’ is a conclusion from observation to a universal pattern; the pattern has a domain of purchase which is not necessarily universal (even if we know barely any astronomy).

In this method of inference we have generalized from observation (sun rising when observed) to a pattern (the sun rises everyday) and from the pattern to another fact (the sun will rise tomorrow). That final conclusion is pragmatically but not absolutely certain.

This approach to inference is the approach of science—which is more complex in more complex cases but the same in principle. Within the rough domain of validity, conclusions are pragmatically certain; but they are not known to be pragmatically certain outside that domain; and based on our experience with the history of science it is likely that there is some remote region where the patterns of science break down (it is a common but tacit fallacy to assume that there is no such region).

The inferences here have to do with patterns—(a) the inductive inference from the many risings of the sun to pragmatic ‘the sun rises everyday’ and (b) from the latter to the pragmatic ‘the sun will rise tomorrow’.

(ii)        Necessity—A second example is as follows. Suppose that we are given that the sun rises every day and that there will be a tomorrow. It is then an obvious conclusion that the sun will rise tomorrow.

Why? This is really a syllogism of the kind All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore Socrates is mortal. But why is the syllogism true?

To see why generalize so as to make the form of the syllogism plain. It goes All X are Y (this could be stated in terms of properties); b is an X; therefore b is Y. The truth follows from the meanings of ‘all’ and ‘is an’: if b is an X but b is not Y then the premise All X are Y would not be true.

That is (a) the inference lies in the meanings of the terms employed (b) from the meanings, if the premise (or premises) is true, the conclusion is necessarily true, (c) that is the inference is absolutely and not just pragmatically certain, and (d) this is the type of inference that falls under deductive logic.

Here the establishment of structure is the result of patterns implicit in (a) the elementary formulas of logic, e.g. the syllogism, and (b) the axioms of a mathematical system.

4.     We have seen that while some inferences (those based on generalization) are probable (and called inductive inference), others are necessary and based on meaning.

Some questions arise.

(i)          Are there inductive inferences that are necessarily true? Consider the reason that we doubt the necessity of induction. It is that the range of observation is not the complete range of phenomena. Therefore if the range of observation is the range of phenomena, induction may be necessarily true. A toy example is a finite universe. Of course, this is not a true induction from a smaller to a larger set of data. But it is an example of a necessary inference that is about a real world and not a symbolic world of logic or mathematics.

But we can also define contexts, real and symbolic, in which though there may be a limitless number of phenomena, the number is effectively finite; here the real could be just the world and the symbolic obtained by abstraction in which what remains is sufficiently finite to know perfectly. Thus while the range of experience is enormous, that there is experience is just one fact and it therefore follows that there is a world (which is, at least, the world of experience).

The other kind of context is the symbolic—e.g. mathematics where an axiomatic formulation results in an effectively limited universe such that the conclusions are necessarily true.

(ii)        We have seen, then, that some inferences are necessary and others probable or pragmatic; and that some facts are necessarily true while others are pragmatically true. What is shown in The Way of Being* is that the necessary can frame the pragmatic in such a way that (a) the necessary form an absolute and universal framework (b) the limits of a pragmatic context are a natural consequence of their constitution (c) but since each pragmatic context is limited in extension relative to all of existence the limits of knowledge regarding a pragmatic context are not of universal significance (d) our cosmos is such a pragmatic context (e) all of existence (the universe) consists in a limitless number of such pragmatic contexts and (f) it is the limitless that is the place of our being that is truly eternal but manifests as limited (the reasoning here is deferred to The Way of Being*—whose shortest version is  a journey in being-briefest.html*).

5.     Can we still regard reason as establishment of fact. For simple facts and compound facts as in science, yes—as seen earlier. What of metaphysics? As noted above, the establishment of the metaphysics of the Way of Being will involve necessary fact and conclusion. What of logic and mathematics? These are still factual in that they involve establishment of existence of symbolic forms or structures. Once the metaphysics of the Way is established further facts will be established—the existence of objects of the symbolic forms.

6.     We’ve taken a semantic approach to simple logic. Other systems can be developed similarly. But once a system is developed, just as in mathematics, it may be seen as a formal system whose rules of construction and inference are syntactic—i.e. purely formal or rule governed. Consistency and completeness are important issues as is interpretation in terms of models. A difficult issue concerns the fact that interpretations too are syntactic.

These concerns are not currently developed here; I may develop them later.

5.5       Practice and action

Practice and action are to be distinguished yet integrated—i.e. partially distinct.

5.6       Identity of reason and the perfect metaphysics

Reason is the perfect metaphysics (in interaction with entire Being—which is implicit in the perfect metaphysics).

Consequently, it is not necessary to further develop reason here (but see the sources external and previous versions).

5.7       The means—method—of realization

Reason is the means of realization.

reason and yoga (¿and logos and the perfect metaphysics?); their identity*

6          The way

A way of realization—with traditional ways

The Way

Site sources

conceptual outline-essential.html* (Part—The Way of Being: Becoming)

the realizations-resource version.html* (Chapter—Realization)

system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html* (Section—Transformation of Being)

6.1       Aims

motivating aim*, first aim of the way (imperative from the metaphysics—to realize what it reveals—this is its ethic), main aim of the way (realization of the ultimate and the immediate as one)

6.2       Means and method

means, method

What is the way of realization?

Reason is the way, means, or method of realization.*

Comment.         The section begins with preliminaries—useful adjuncts to reason.


We begin with preliminaries—dimensions of Being and tradition.

Comment.         May go to topic file on reason:

Dimensions of Being*



Comment.         See the chapter on Reason, particularly the section on The means—method—of realization

Reason is the way, means, or method of realization.*

Other terms for reason are logos, yoga, and the perfect metaphysics.

reason and yoga (¿and logos and the perfect metaphysics?); their identity*

6.3       Ways and catalysts

ways of knowledge, life and practice; and catalysts

Comment.         See A system of the world for ways and catalysts.

religion, yoga, reason, logos

Traditional ways

See templates below




Integration of ways, catalysts, and reason

6.4       Templates

A general resource for the templates is system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html*. It is especially useful for (a) the ways and catalysts of earlier sections of the chapter on The Way and (b) the dimensions of the individual, world, and universe to be addressed in the universal template.

templates for realization.html

External sources

nine spiritual pathways ( Buddhist paths to liberation (Wikipedia) Four Noble Truths (Wikipedia) Four paths to liberation (Breakthrough psychology practice) Three Yogas (Wikipedia)—talks of four ways

Site sources

a journey in being.doc (a journey in being.html*)

the essential way.doc (the essential way.html*)

very short essay.doc—for principles of development, very short essay-pragmatic version.doc

the way of being - essential version.doc; conceptual outline-essential.doc (conceptual outline-essential.html*)—exhaustive

the way of being-Aug2015-pocket manual.doc (the way of being-Aug2015-pocket manual.html)

On the templates

Comment.         Modified from a journey in being.html* with additions from the sources above (may modify a journey in being.html*).


template, adaptable template

The following are two templates for realization—developed from reason, tradition, and the dimensions of Being. (The templates are generic and inclusive of the dimensions of Being. They are intended to be adapted to specific circumstances by choosing emphases and filling in detail. An individual will find that different adaptations are appropriate to different phases of their life. In the long version of this narrative, the templates will provide specifics and suggestions.)

The templates are adapted from personal use. So as to be adaptable, the form is skeletal and generalized. They are intended to be adapted; any specifics should be modified as needed.

The following everyday and universal templates are suggested guides to realization.

Principles of development

Principles of development and use are (i) the templates should cover the dimensions of Being, (ii) they are grounded in the immediate and pointed at the ultimate, (iii) they are flexible, adaptable to a range of individual and cultural types, and circumstances, (iv) the everyday will be a flexible, alterable routine, (v) the universal will be a program over periods up to a life and beyond.

An everyday template

This template is adaptable to days of ‘normal’ and other kinds of activity.

everyday template


Rise, review, realize, yoga, exercise, exploration, evening renewal and community, and sleep.

This template is adaptable to a range of life stages and orientations, everyday life conditions, and special activities and explorations.

The everyday template in the complete version (a journey in being-complete.html*) of A Journey in Being provides greater detail than below.

Detail of the everyday template

Items in brackets are suggestions

1.     Rise early (before the sun), dedication to the way and its aim, see dedication-affirmation.html; affirmation of the universal nature of Being; morning reflection (in nature).

2.     Meditative-contemplative review of priorities and plans—the day, life, the path or way.

Reflect on realization, priorities, and means; employ simple reflection, meditative emptiness (Shamatha) for re-orientation of purpose and energy, contemplative or analytical meditation (Vipasana) to see what is essential now and in other time frames. See ‘experimental yoga’ below.

3.     Realization—work and relationships, ideas and action, yoga-meditation in practice and in action, tasks and meals. Other activities or ‘engagement in the world’ (—e.g., languages, art).

4.     Tasks

Daily-long term; meals. Attitude—an element of realization; light; yoga in action.

5.     Exercise… and exploration of the world for experience and inspiration.

In nature and culture, photography, explore. Beyul—a tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is travel and being in nature, sometimes to remote places, in search of extended experience of self and the ultimate, with openness to inspiration.

6.     Evening rest, renewal, review, realization, network, community, tasks, preparation and dedication for the next day and the future, sleep early.

Everyday template—supplement


Rise before the sun.

Explanation. Rising at 4am or earlier gives me a sense of the special-ness of the world and my enterprise. Then there is a whole day of light after essential project work is done.

Dedication. I dedicate my life to The Way of Being—to shared discovery (ideas) and realization (action and choice); to shedding the bonds of limited self and culture and so to see The Way so clearly that even in difficulty life is flow over force (opening to the real in individuals and the world); to realizing the ultimate in this world and beyond (inner-intrinsic and instrumental ways in the dimensions and elements of the real).

Explanation. In a static world view the idea, e.g. in meditation, is sufficient to the best identity with Being and is best in interaction with shared action. In the dynamic view of The Way ideas and action are essential to realization. Meditation to overcoming the limits of self, especially closedness to others and the real, may be catalytic. To shedding the bonds of limited self (overcoming ‘demons’, ‘neuroses’) in balance with realizing the ultimate—the balance is good—all one without the other is far from optimal.

Shared affirmation. That pure unlimited consciousness that is all Being alone is supreme reality. That is the universe—its life and breath—that am I. So I am and embody the self-transcending universe that is all Being and has no other.

Explanation. Ritual reminder of truth. I experiment with alternatives and supplements.

The Dedication is a modification of the third step of twelve step programs. The affirmation is a modification of a quotation of Abhinava GUPTA from Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition, 2 ed. (2013), by Christopher Wallis.

Review and meditate on realization and immediate priorities and means.

Explanation. The meditation need not be ‘formal’. The extent of the review depends on need. An accumulated burden of personal expectation and planning is occasion for extensive review. A change of ‘scene’—a visit to my favorite town or a week spent in my favorite mountains—is really conducive to review of my life and my projects.

Realization. Work and care. Ideas, writing, networking with the young and the established; shared action, transmission, experiment: everyday process and universal process. Days for renewal. Other activities, e.g. languages, art.

Tasks. Daily (morning); meals; select andor regular days for long term tasks.

Experimental yoga, general—relation to the real, postural.

Explanation. ‘Experimental’ includes building upon established practice and uses of practice. Experimental meditation, focus on spaciousness, freeing from ego-fixation, ultimate in-itself-and-the-present, continuity of meditation-action-Being. See the supplementary conceptual outline-essential.html* for a range of meditations from centering to being-in-the-universe.

Exercise. Aerobic: in nature; and photography.

Explanation. Having gotten up early, even in winter there is time for as much as four hours of this activity. I like to get some good aerobic exercise—but it is best for me when I combine this with other activity. I often ride my bicycle in local farm and backcountry roads. The marshes, slews, farmlands, skies, and an immense range of birds where I live are amazing.

Note. These personal details are intended as illustrative examples.

Evening. Rest, renewal, meditation, realization, and community. Evening tasks, preparation and dedication of the next day and the future. Sleep early.

Explanation. If I have energy and time, I work on projects—especially The Way. I like to meet people at a local coffee house—especially for conversation. I like to do preparation for the next day that saves precious high energy morning time. If I feel it right I like to do a twenty minute meditation. I may watch a DVD. I am winding down.

Experimental yoga and reason

experimental yoga, experimental reason, reflexivity*

The phrase ‘experimental yoga’ implies that we are not taking yoga in any received sense. Rather discovery of true yoga and reason, not just received practice, is part of the practice.

We have seen that in their expansive senses, yoga and reason are identical (if ‘reason’ is extended to mean critical imaginative interaction of feeling and cognition in action, then there is identity between yoga and reason.). There is a tendency to regard yoga and reason as complete to regard them authoritatively. There are of course and definitive aspects in that some elements are established and that instruction ought to begin clearly and simply. However, at root yoga and reason remain incomplete, indefinite with regard to detailed goals and methods. Some aspects are as follows.

Though often presented as such, no system of yoga-meditation is ultimate in means and goal.

1.        An original meaning of yoga is ‘yoke’ (to the ultimate, the real, i.e. Atman to Brahman). Two phases or kinds can be recognized (a) Shamatha or emptying and focus and (b) Vipasana or analytic meditation.

2.        Yoga-meditation involves the whole being or MindBody (supra categories, east or west, e.g. manas-citta- vijñana or emotion-perception-thought-will-body).

3.        Yoga is reflexive—in which all elements and levels of MindBody cross and self interact, e.g. it is reflective on its own process (includes meta-yoga), is therefore experimental with regard to means and goal. Reflexivity allows and encourages open, experimental, and reflective interaction of all elements of MindBody and process. It is critical-imaginative and feeling-cognitive.

4.        In this extended sense, yoga is the way—and synthesizes east, west, and the elements of The Way of Being.

5.        Its ‘goals’ include the ultimate and the immediate—in Vedanta it is being-on-the-way-to-the-ultimate… in Buddhism it is sometimes the quiet that allows space of mind; the great and the little—‘application’ may be made to enhance the quality of any endeavor or finding the mental space to solve ‘life’ and technical problems; enjoyment of reward and duty—understood as whatever points to the ultimate (and allows that we may be ignorant of the same and so ought to consider cultural imperatives).

6.        Yoga is opening up to the infinite and the infinitesimal.

7.        In incorporating existential thought, yoga may employ reflection on death as transformative. The aim is to recognize the reality of death; that it is real; that it is not absolute; that awareness of it is a source of what is important in this life; that determining one’s death, even if inexactly and only probably, is orientation to the real—the criteria being enjoyment and usefulness; that beyond death, individual eternity collapses to a moment; and that death is gateway to merging of all identities in ultimate Identity.

Some sources

The Vedanta of Indian Philosophy speaks of ultimate identity; yoga, understood broadly and experimentally, is its means; the view of the universe of universal and individual identity and their relationship (and their identity) derives from Vedanta. Buddha speaks of enjoyment of the path, a middle way between pain and ecstasy; pain must be attended to via local means but its ultimate address is in understanding of and being on the way to the ultimate (which in Buddhism is to be achieved in an immediate life, for original Buddhism eschews ultimates beyond human experience). The earlier discussion of enjoyment, ecstasy, and pain derives from Buddhism.

Exploration of other traditions, e.g. the Tao, and the idealist metaphysics of Hegel, Heidegger, and Sri Aurobindo may be worthwhile. There is a sense in which ideas alone are trivial; rendering them in life, Being, and action is essential—what makes the ideas ‘true’. The perfect metaphysics of The Way renders the metaphysical systems of such authors trivial even where true—the perfect metaphysics goes beyond the systems to the ultimate; but it is demonstration that is crucial for it obviates the need and occasion for metaphysical contortion—and it enables paths to the ultimate.

Some further traditions worthy of exploration are the Siberian and North and South American Shamanism.

The Abrahamic Religions have excellent insights and messages; however their cosmology and principles of thought are not close to the logos as understood in The Way. There may be some affinity with the Aeternitas of Thomas Aquinas.

Some yoga-meditations

Also see conceptual outline-essential.html*

Purpose of the yoga-meditations

The many purposes support a single main purpose—the identity of Atman as self-spirit-consciousness and Brahman as Universe-Ultimate-Spirit-Consciousness.

Two aims or foci are (a) Being—in identity—meditating, seeing, vision; and (b) Becoming—within that identity—contemplating, acting.

The many purposes include:

Some yoga-meditations to work on

Gates to Buddhist Practice (see the references in conceptual outline-essential.html*): Parts III. Refuge and Bodhicitta, IV. Foundational nature, faith, death…), and V. Guru yoga, the great perfection, nature of mind.

Also see works on Tantra (see the references in conceptual outline-essential.html*); see tantra-outline.html.

Everyday life as spiritual practice

A typical but flexible set of activities. Dedicate-affirm-relax-focus (see below) tailored to: (i) Rise (ii) Review—the day… and life-death-Brahman-birth (iii) Realization projects (iv) Yoga-meditation (v) Food-chores (vi) Exercise-nature-meditate-photography (v) Evening—realize, network, prepare.

Meditation on Being—i.e. on life – death – life. (1) Death as relative—as gateway to the real in universal life. (2) Death as absolute—as motivation to the real in this life. Contemplate the thought ‘LIFE BEGINS WITH DEATH’.

Contemplating and overcoming the ‘poisons of the mind’

Attachment and desire / anger and aversion / Ignorance

Add, improve, and order*

Contemplating the four thoughts of Chagdud Tulku’s Vajrayana (see the references in conceptual outline-essential.html*)

Contemplating the four thoughts (Vipasana), cutting, and Shamatha (relaxation)—precious human existence / impermanence / karma and rebirth / ocean of suffering

Shamatha, cutting, vipasana

Shamatha—heart rate and pressure, relaxation, space between thoughts (see the references in conceptual outline-essential.html*, meditation-pema chodron.html).

Vipasana—overcoming inner constraint due to judgment—being equal on the inside and the outside—optimize with regard to overcoming vs. achieving.

Work with negativity in thought and emotion

Uncover my prejudices and resentments see patterns of behavior and resenting, meditate on these without judgment—to accept etc: fourth step-for internet.html.

Dedication to The Way

Dedication—I dedicate my life to The Way of Being: to shared discovery of ideas and realization in action; to shedding the bonds of limited (dualist) self so that I may see The Way so clearly that even in difficulty life is flow over force; to realizing the ultimate in this life and beyond.

Affirming identity of Atman and Brahman

Affirmation—That pure unlimited consciousness that is all being is supreme reality. That is the universe—its life and breath—and that alone am I. And so I am and embody the self-transcending universe that is all Being and has no other.

Visualizing and conceiving Atman is Brahman

Self = universe (Atman, spirit = Brahman, eternal and ultimate consciousness)—(a) as Being (b) as process.

Ideas to action to learning to ideas; and planning

Ideas into action into learning into ideas.

A universal template


pure Being and community, Ideas, Becoming (nature with psyche, civilization and society, artifact, universal and unknown), and Universal Being.

This template employs and covers the dimensions of Being and phases of human life. It is adaptable to a range of foci corresponding to different interests. Though they may do so, it is not intended that an individual should or shall undertake action in all dimensions and details.

The universal template in a journey in being-complete.html* of A Journey in Being provides greater detail than below.

Detail of the universal template

1.     Being—Dimensions (a) Pure Being… an aim, Being as if timeless and without restriction to place in the present (b) A spiritual home—sharing, community.

Detail. Everyday process, bridges the immediate-ultimate. Vision retreat.

Explanation. Home is ground. I want people around me who are not steeped in either secular or suprasecular limits of vision or dogma. Being in and search for home and yogic (universal) connection.

2.     Ideas—Dimensions (a) relation, knowing (b) acting.

Detail: Reason; art.

Explanation. Ideas are the first place of Being, significance, and action; and are instrumental in realization.

3.     Becoming—with phases of human life (psyche, nature, society, universal). Dimensions: nature-with-psyche: as place of Being and catalyst to the real.

Detail: Nature as ground for the real and renewal (in system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html*)—focus on nature as gateway—e.g., as in Beyul: quest for the real (in The way of being-essential.html*)as in Tibetan Buddhism. These focus on nature as gateway.

Explanation. Nature is inspiration on multiple counts—an essential place and image of Being, catalyst to meditation and ideas. Wildlife exemplifies Being. What is the be-ing of animals? Nature is a path to the real.

4.     Becoming—with phases of human life. Dimensions: civilization and society (culture and its dimensions; instrumental and immersive politics and economics).

Detail. See system of human knowledge, reason, and action-supplement.html* (find civilization and a shared immersion approach to transformation, community populating the universe). Intrinsic and instrumental thought (social-political-economic philosophy—see politics and cultural economics.html: a model that includes Marxian and Schumpeterian political economy) and action.

Explanation. Civilization is vehicle for and path to the real.

5.     Becoming—with phases of human life. Dimension: artifact (technology, especially as enhancing Being in the universe).

Detail. Artifactual Being as realized Being (find ‘artifactual being’ in system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html*); and as adjunct (science and technology of advanced civilization on the way to the ultimate; use of computation and networking in realization—as adjunct and as independent identity).

Explanation. Artifact has potential as Being, reservoir of our Being, and auxiliary in our search for intrinsic and instrumental Being (e.g. the spread of ideas and civilization).

6.     Becoming—with phases of human life. Dimensions: universal, unknown.

Detail: Transformation aimed at the universal. Catalysts—dynamics, catalysts and catalytic states.html* (on catalytic transformation), ways (in the realizations-resource version.html*: on religion as a source for transformation), in everyday process, and renewal, knowledge, technology, developed-deployed in transforming Being-civilization.

Explanation. The path to Being. Where secular and transsecular paradigms visualize completeness or impossibility of completeness, there is neither completeness nor impossibility. This action is on the way to the ultimate.

7.     Being—Dimension: universal… the aim.

Detail: Being in the universal.

The future—with epilogue

Comment.         Epilogue, next, passing the torch


transition (from text to life)


resources for the way of being

External sources

The universe, empirical universe, transempirical universe, journey; human knowledge, boundary of theory, metaphysics


Comment.         Use the Site sources below, especially useful links.html*

For transformation and realization

Comment.         Find resource essays and improve

Comment.         Continue to compile from the bibliographies.html* and the Internet…

Also see and continue to develop The way > Templates > External sources

Ian Baker, The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise, 2004

Chagdud Tulku, Gates To Buddhist Practice: Essential Teachings of a Tibetan Master, 1993, Rev. 2001

John Hick, The Fifth Dimension: An Exploration of the Spiritual Realm, 1999

Christopher Wallis, Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition, 2nd ed., 2013

Pema Chödrön, How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind, 2013

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore, eds., A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, 1957

Eknath Easwaran, trs., The Bhagavad Gita, 1985

Richard K. Nelson, Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest, 1983

Bibliographies and useful links on the site

the bibliographies.html*

general bibliography.html (Chapter: Myth and the Animal World)

useful links.html*—has links to external resources

A Journey in Being

Sources for the Journey


main influences.html*


Journey as resource

Comment.         In old essays (see Site sources above)

My life, human knowledge and culture, the universe; reflexive living and thinking, inspiration

the realizations-resource version.html*—2015 (Chapter: Resource)

Journey in Being-detail.html*—2014 (Chapter: Reference)

Journey in Being-full.html*—2013 (Chapter: Reference)

system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html*

Index and glossary


Appendix: the outline and its use

Any permanent material may be absorbed in brief form to the preface and the section on the future.

Some links in the Appendix may go to the chapter on Resources

About the outline

A comprehensive resource for Journey in Being essays and the website

1.     The outline is
(i) a comprehensive template for all future essays of A Journey in Being—2020—currently two and only two: a journey in being.html* (tentatively complete) and a journey in being-complete.html* (in process)
(ii) in interaction Journey in Being website (see site plan.html* 2020), a comprehensive plan for the site.

2.     Though comprehensive, it will not be worked to excessive or burdensome detail.

But still minimal so as to be revisable in structure and resources

1.     It needs to be reworked to minimize repetition and ‘too many headings’.

2.     The outline will contain sources detailed below—planning, general sources for content, and specific sources for structure and content.

Resources in the outline

§        The outline itself, with canonical organization.

§        Concepts (Styles [i] “Concepts”—Ctrl + Alt + Shift E—for level i concepts [ii] “Concepts 2” for level ii concepts—Alt + Ctrl + @) with links.

§        Site sources (Style “My Source”—Ctrl + Alt + Shift E) with links.

§        External sources (Style “External Source”—Ctrl + Alt + Shift E) with links.

§        A set of canonical topics with links to topic essays (Style “Topic essays”—Ctrl + Alt + Shift T). Each essay will have my best thought on each topic in one place.


Comment.         May add to the following.

Sources for planning the website

Note there is crossover among the different kinds of sources.

site plan.html* (2020)

General sources for content of the essays

There may be crossover between these sources, Specific sources for the structure of the outline and content, and Resources

The following may be repeated at places in this outline

system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html*

History of western philosophy.html

Main sources for structure and content of the essays

Some documents have further sources:

a journey in being.html* (2020)

original outline.html (2020)

the essential way-outline.html* (2019)

the way - template outline.html* (2017)

the way - main version.html* (2017)

Writing the outline

Integration with the site plan (site plan.html*)

Writing the outline is integrated with (i) writing the essays and (ii) developing the site. See site plan.html* and its improvement—barely begun—index-reserve.html.

Immediate plan for this outline

To do

Place the system of the world and resources in appendices? The criterion for leaving the system where it is, is that it should be a significant pre or co-requisite for realization.

The plan

Overall—do this, per site plan.html*, in parallel with (i) the two essays and a manual (ii) the site itself and (iii) realization.


Writing the outline—the process—in parallel
(i) Improve the templates and the discussion of reason in parallel—in a journey in being.html*, adding detailed templates; write the first topic essay on ‘the templates’

(ii) The approach—to the outline > Anxiety+ > What? > A. Concepts (find, use site sources) > Sources—B. My sources, C. External sources > D. Topic essays (not to be written immediately)

Detail for the outlineTighten headings; use sources below, especially a journey in being.html* introduce concepts—see concepts-details.html*; mark definitions (Alt + K) and note the convention of bold for definitions (or should this be REDUCED FONT CAPITALS?)

Details for my sources—essays and other documents that I will use for material—see the essential way-outline.html*.

Details for external sources—use the bibliographies.html* and the Internet: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and other Internet articles (see useful links.html*)
Details for topic essays and topics—decide what and write, using document and database design.html*—database source files (in document and database design.html*). Continue developing a list of topics with sources.

(iii) The outline itself—ORDER OF WORKING ON THE CHAPTERS: Notation > Preface > Introduction > Foundation > Development of the metaphysics > A system of the world > Reason > The way > Resources || HEADINGS—from sources, review, reflection; topic by topic using a journey in being.html* and a journey in being-briefest.html* (may eliminate a journey in being-briefest.html* after incorporation; may introduce new styles for it), and other sources listed in the essay itself; extract an overview as in a journey in being.html*;

Notes in the outline—The purpose of the notes in the outline is not primarily to write but to set the concepts straight—therefore the notes will be tentative and incomplete. However, they may be imported to the essays;

The logical order—have starred (asterisked) sections for those that would logically come before the fundamental principle and indicate what they would contain from the later sections. The later sections will be double starred; and dagger (†) mark material not in the main development;

(iv) The styles below enable different levels of outline starting with (a journey in being-briefest.html*, above); consider new styles—academic etc.

Writing the essays

Tighten a journey in being.html*.

Write a journey in being-complete.html* “in the world”, with a journey in being.html* as substructure.

Styles for structuring the essays


Introduce separate styles in the complete version to designate material to import to the short version.

The styles

1.     Paragraph styles for statements areMain for the essential core, Normal Heading for surrogate headings; and primary through quaternary—Central, Central 2, Central 3, Central 4. A style to distinguish Academic from general material.

Main—green (Alt + Z)

Normal  Heading—red (Alt + Ctrl + X)

Central—red (Alt + M)

Central 2—pink (Alt + Shift + C)

Central 3—indigo (Alt +  Shift + Z)

Central 4—light blue (Ctrl + Alt + Y)

Academic—blue-gray (Alt + Ctrl + A)

2.     Paragraph styles for definitions are Definition, Definition 2, Definition 3, Definition 4. The character style for definitions is Definition Character (underlying paragraph format + bold: Alt +K).

Definition—same color as Central (Alt + F)

Definition 2—same color as Central 2 (Alt + G)

Definition 3—same color as Central 3 (Alt + H)

Definition 4—same color as Central 4 (Alt + J)

3.     The paragraph style, Aside, is for asides and remarks.

Aside—gray 50% (Alt + A)

4.     Paragraph styles for concepts, sources…

Concepts—color auto (Alt + Ctrl + Shift C) (as an alternate, use Definition)

Concepts 2—color pink (Alt + Ctrl + @) (as an alternate, use Definition 2)

External Sources—color auto (Alt + Ctrl + Shift E)

My Sources—color auto (Alt + Ctrl + Shift M)

Topic Essays—color auto (Alt + Ctrl + Shift T)

5.     Other character styles are Remark (Alt + R) (gray—50%) and Colloquial (Shift + Alt + K) (Courier New—Font size 13) for formal terms that are used informally or colloquially (‘is’ will be an exception; candidates are the main concepts—Being, being, experience, universe, void…).

6.     Colors are temporary aids—while working on the document, styles will be color and / or font and / or indentation coded. In final online and print versions, most of the color / font / indentation coding will be suppressed.