Anil Mitra, Copyright © September 7, 2019—February 10, 2020
A JOURNEY IN BEING
This document is outline and plan for the essays for The Way of Being | A Journey in Being. It is also a place to write rough detailed versions of the parts of the essays.
This chapter is not intended for the essays; after its main work is done, remaining elements of the plan will be absorbed to one of the other planning documents above.
The headings of this document are revisable but more or less permanent; the content is mostly to be exported or eliminated; some content of the planning section may be absorbed to the main content, e.g. in § Epilogue and § Resources.
Function and plan for this document
text template, précis, in the historical stream of ideas
Plan of plan
2. It will be kept minimal and updated (i) as the plan changes (ii) as the plan is executed.
Naming the documents and the metaphysics
Study / knowledge of the real > Latin / Spanish
The main documents
This document is template and planning for narrative essays of The Way. There are two main narratives:
1. A minimal version with essential concepts and tools—a journey in being-briefest.html* (and printable version—a manual) and
2. An in process complete version with motive, history, explanation, foundation, application, and resources—a journey in being-complete.html*.
A third document—“My Manual”
3. ‘My Manual’—not implemented as of 1.23.2020, a selection from the minimal version designed for my personal use. See § Narrative essentials for a start for ‘My Manual’
The main modules for the way
The modules are for use in
1. Structuring and writing The Way of Being | A Journey.
A set of modules is
Revise, keep only what is essential, minimize.
1. History, sources, motives (prologue).
2. Reading the essay.
3. Foundation. Being and the rejection of substance. Other main concepts—experience, Being, beings, universe, void, and logic.
4. Developing the foundation—experience, metaphysics, paths to the ultimate, and reason (see experience and its dimensions.html).
5. Doubt and its significance—skepticism. Doubts and responses.
6. Applications—topics peripheral to The Way—(i) Development of the real metaphysics (ii) A system of the world.
7. The Way (see § The way) and epilogue (the future).
Proposed file topics
Review and improve—
1. History of the way (and text)
2. About the way (and motive)
3. On language… (here experience is implicit and its functional is co-foundational with ‘Being’ for metaphysics)
4. Being and beings (including universe and material cause)
5. Possibility (and necessity, and real and logical possibility)
6. The fundamental principle, the real metaphysics, and implications for Being and Becoming
7. On experience (here metaphysics is explicit and its function is grounding… and continuation of the foundational function)
8. Topics in metaphysics and cosmology
9. The way
10. The templates
11. Epilogue | implications for free will
Order of work
▪ Canonical outline—headings > concepts > sources – mine, ext > topic essays > content – minimize, chisel
▪ Weave in a journey in being-briefest.html*.
▪ Continue work on site, outline, writing essays in the field of realization.
Elements of an essay
Essential material may be placed in § On text.
initial elements—cover; title, frontispiece, copyright, forward, preface (about the essay), notation
main elements—prologue, table of contents, introduction (about the content with introduction and overview), main content, epilogue
final elements—resources (general resources and reference), information on the author, back cover
resources are general (essential sources for transformation-realization—a short list of references, bibliography, website resources), The Way of Being as resource (The Way as a formal resource, A Journey as an informal resource), and index and glossary
external references are marked with style External Source; website references employ style—My Sources; the latter will be placed under ‘essential sources’ and bibliography only if published
What is an essay? Possible appendix—‘Other kinds of article’
Standard parts of an essay (see concepts above)
Most recent sources for the way—February 2020
Directories are bold; named items are html
template for the essential manual—template for the manual below
system of human knowledge, reason, and action-supplement—may be important; MS Word version
Main older sources—2019 and earlier
Also see Resources.
system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html* (2018, in 2020 site)
a journey in being.html* (2019, 2020 site)
original outline.html (2019 and much earlier, 2020 site)
the essential way-outline.html* (2019 site)
the way - template outline.html* (2019 site)
the way - main version.html* (2017)
concepts.html* (2019 site)—more recent version of concepts
concepts-details.html* (2019 site)—more recent version of concepts-details
concepts.html* (2018, 2020 site)
concepts-details.html* (2018, 2020 site)
Colors are temporary aids and will not retained in final versions.
Paragraph styles for statements
To introduce—‘My Manual’
Main—green (Alt + Z)—the core
Normal Heading—red—Alt + Ctrl + X; for surrogate headings
Central—red—Alt + M; ‘Central’ styles are primary through quaternary
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
Aside, remark, or comment—gray 50%—Alt + A
Paragraph styles to consider adding
Paragraph styles for definitions
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
Paragraph Styles for used—mainly in this document—to mark resources
Definition Character—used to mark defined terms—Alt +K
IsDefinition—used to mark the ‘is’ of definition or =Def—Ctrl + Alt + Shift I
Remark (Alt + R) (gray—50%)
Colloquial—formal terms used informally—Shift + Alt + K
This chapter incorporates the functions of a prologue (and a preface—about the essay-as-text, the world of text, and their relationship). The substance of the essay is introduced in About The Way of Being | A Journey. I do not use the terms ‘prologue’, ‘preface’, or ‘introduction’ because the material is important but prologues and so on are often ignored.
It is natural for a preface and introduction to have some overlap; effective reference will avoid more duplication than is essential.
a journey in being.html* (for newness and continuous text)
essay (the work), prologue, text, ideas, continuous text
A full title is: Prologue—a search for meaning and realization
Frankl’s work and account of his life have been criticized for authenticity and validity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl Viktor Frankl (Wikipedia); https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man%27s_Search_for_Meaning Man’s Search for Meaning (Wikipedia)
motivating aim*, search, meaning, secular, transsecular, means, understanding, realization, greatest possible being, necessary fact, necessary truth, perfect metaphysics (also referred to as the metaphysics and real metaphysics or philosophy of the real)
1. Begins with a search for meaning.
2. It grew to include secular and transsecular drives and their means.
The secular focus is on the directly experienced world and its understanding; science and secular ethics and aesthetics are mainstays.
The transsecular emphasizes a reality beyond the secular. It is traditionally dogmatic. But a non-dogmatic transsecular ethics, aesthetics, and metaphysics encourages its development as symbolic and as a complement to science.
3. It grew to search for understanding and realization of the greatest possible being; which incorporated the ideas—by demonstration—of necessary fact and necessary truth, supplemented by secular knowledge and transsecular symbol.
It developed a perfect metaphysics (real metaphysics) and its consequences for knowledge and realization.
The real metaphysics informs further search and realization.
The Way, record, ultimate, metaphysics, iterative analysis, conceptual experiment, history of thought, emergent
The Way is (record of) a search for the ultimate in and from this world. The aim and culmination is realization—The way. What comes before, starting with the Foundation is preparatory—based in a system of primitive concepts and entailed necessary truths; these constitute a ‘system’ of interrelated ideas that enable and whose outcome in a coherent and necessary metaphysics or worldview.
Though systematic, the metaphysics was arrived at via iterative analysis, conceptual experiment, and suggestions from the history of thought; system is emergent, not imposed on ideas nor forced by my thought.
§ Reading the essay has suggestions on understanding the work.
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 hard claim to significant original contribution. Perhaps a contribution may be to show the immediate and far worlds in a different light.
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.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/platonism-mathematics/** Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
For a short list of my sources see sources.html*
The precursors and some main sources
Combine with Sources for the Journey?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Burnett_Tylor Edward Burnett Tylor (Wikipedia) for culture
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_ideas* History of Ideas (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:History_of_ideas Category:History of Ideas (Wikipedia)
history of ideas, human knowledge, culture; principle of plenitude, meaning, reference, abstraction, pragmatic knowledge, atomism, metaphysics, Being, logic, necessity, contingency, form, mind, world, principle of sufficient reason, knowledge, reason, ontological reasoning, fundamental question of metaphysics, consciousness, existence, evolution, cosmology, theoretical physics, origin, block universe, determinism, Atman, Brahman, identity, field of Being
The purpose of the section is to note and show some sources (also see Resources).
principle of plenitude (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/platonism-mathematics/,*, 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
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)
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)
Atman – Brahman – identity – field of Being (Adi Samkara, Bhagavad Gita)
May be part of the epilogue
document and database design.html* (§Standard parts of the essay)
https://www.pala.ac.uk/uploads/2/5/1/0/25105678/hargreaves2012.pdf (on Text World Theory “Text World Theory is concerned with how language, as well as the context in which it is produced/received, leads the participants in the discourse to build mental representations for the situations being described, despite not necessarily having been present for the original event, or the event itself not having happened”)
text, representation, normative reality (shared reality, emergent reality), communication, world
Reading the essay
Alternative titles—To readers, Advice to readers, Advice on reading the essay.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_ideas* (History of Ideas - Wikipedia)
The nature of the essay
contribution, metaphysics, knowledge of the real, doubt, demonstration, critical analysis, ultimate, ethics
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
About the essay—
1. I see it as a contribution to knowledge.
It has ground in and draws from other the work of others—as well as my world of experience—but is not intended as a compendium.
2. It is a development of metaphysics as knowledge of the real—beyond the limits of empirical science (I argue that this is one valid meaning of metaphysics).
Though there is a history of doubt about such knowledge, a metaphysics is constructed and given demonstration.
I anticipate and respond to doubt from science, critical analysis, and modern paradigmatic world views.
3. The metaphysics is ultimate in its capture of the real (universe) and in showing the universe as the greatest in the sense of realization of the possible.
The above is an epistemic statement and also an ethical one—an ethics that derives from the developed view of the universe.
4. As potentially difficult to understand; but the main difficulty will be its newness relative to received paradigms, its ultimate character, and, consequently, that the concepts—individually and as a system, though seemingly familiar, have essential newness.
word, concept, new meaning, definition
A word as a mere mark, does not signify. It signifies in virtue of its association with a or as part of a concept.
As the meanings of the concepts are new, it is necessary to at least temporarily to set received meanings aside—and to follow the definitions provided.
system meaning, intuition, heuristic
The universe is more than a collection; it has structure in which the parts are in relation. Correspondingly, understanding is a system in which the meaning of the whole and of the parts stand in relation.
The reader may anticipate that to build up the whole picture as a picture will take time and patience. This may take more than one reading, e.g. a first reading in which the concepts are absorbed one by one and subsequent readings in which the picture as a whole is built up formally in linguistic and intuitively in iconic terms.
To help, heuristic arguments supplement the formal.
Shared meaning; a difficulty
shared meaning, normativity, consensus, objectivity (possible by abstraction; but general lack of), cognitive dissonance (acceptance of), cultural dissonance, immersive meaning
It is commonplace—e.g. since Wittgenstein—to think of meaning as shared. Consequently objectivity in the sense of perfectly-knowing-an-object is generally not possible or meaningful. What seems objective is often just the emergence of consensus (but since we take things as objective, the role of consensus may be opaque to us).
However, also as seen later, some objectivity, at least effectively, is possible by abstraction.
For the metaphysics to be developed there will likely be no initial consensus (normative) validation.
The counter to this includes (i) the suggestions above, (ii) awareness of the difficulty and therefore attempts to see the new view as partaking of the real, (iii) recognizing that the older paradigms have regions of validity and attempting to hold the new and the valid in the old together seamlessly (initial acceptance of cognitive dissonance), (iv) importantly, living out and sharing the new metaphysics (and accepting cultural dissonance), (v) reminding oneself to be steadfast resolve regarding the previous items (including affirmation of and meditation on the power and value of the metaphysics; taking on the risk of living out, applying and sharing; immersive meaning).
The aim of the enterprise is realization. However, means of sustaining the enterprise are also important. The final chapters—the way and resources—are on the enterprise of realization and its sustenance.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notation (Notation – Wikipedia)
This section is not intended for the essays.
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.
font, paragraph formatting, symbols, comment, reference
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.
This chapter incorporates the functions of An Introduction to the content of the essay—metaphysics and world, with reason and reasons.
Aim—realization of 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.
living in the immediate, living toward the ultimate
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.
Full title—The common paradigms, their value and limits
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)
primal holism, primal empiricism, post primal ideologism (convention: shared ideology), strict empiricism (vs ‘ordinary’ empiricism’), dogmatic cosmology, dogmatic morality, exclusive rationalism (vs holistic rational-empiricism), ontological commitment (vs metaphysical neutrality, metaphysical possibility, and metaphysical necessity; metaphysics as ordinary knowledge—but not ordinary knowledge as metaphysics)
Limits of the secular and transsecular
It is critical that symbolic knowledge alone is incomplete: for completeness, discovery must be complemented by realization.
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 unseen (as nonexistent)
the convention above regarding the seen—matter as mere matter—and the unseen
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; extreme narrowing of normative reality), 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 conventional boundary of experience?
conventional experience, normative paradigms of the world, current boundary of science
A conventional range and reliability of experience in revealing the real.
What is the boundary of experience?
experience-so-far (distinct from the actual with sufficient detail, but indistinct from the actual with sufficient abstraction)
actual boundary (unknown—at least with regard to detail), possible outer boundary (logic, which is partially unknown), tools of exploration (observation, experiment, reason, abstraction)
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?
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?
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* (problem of—all knowledge claims seem to carry some error… but in questioning what error that judgment may carry we see that of all knowledge claims some are perfectly true by abstraction, some are pragmatically true—i.e. true or as-if true for certain purposes, some rough, and some not true at all… and it will be found that the join of the perfect through rough are perfectly true in an epistemic-valuational sense to be determined), substance* (a tentative approach to actual foundation—an eternal, unchanging ground, simple and perfectly knowable, from which all things spring in a sufficiently formed as to be intelligible way), problem of substance* (is substance metaphysically tenable—we will find that it is not and is a contradiction on metaphysical grounds which will be seen to be purely logical grounds; if substance is given—what is its foundation; if not given—there is infinite regress, i.e. no true foundation or relative foundation); foundation in Being* (Being is simply ‘what is there’—thus to seek a foundation in Being is to remain on the surface and not seek depth; which would seem essentially superficial and shallow; but which if tenable would be a tautological foundation—though still superficial and shallow; but it will be found that such foundation is possible and that in tautology and remaining on the surface lies depth—for the notion of the ‘surface’ of the world is not a metaphysically sound concept and the distinction it implies is not a true distinction)
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)
The Way of Being—Wide angle view
Main essay—The Essential Way of Being
a journey in being.html*—the synopsis
Narrative content and flow
Flows from the preview
narrative flow—logical, emerging-natural-pedagogical, pragmatic-minimal; narrative content—motivation (and historical and personal background), structure (logic of), foundation, understanding-realization (the way), development (other application—the metaphysics, system of the world, reason), resources
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 real metaphysics; comments on doubt, skepticism, proof, postulate, and attitude; the rest is development.
2. The structure of the way.
The following essentials are a start for ‘My Manual’
a. The universe all Being (so there’s only one), its cause can only be necessity (as eternal the universe-with-void is necessary, but by symmetry all possibilities must be realized), therefore it is the greatest possible universe; which leads to a complete metaphysics-cosmology which will not be developed in the brief version; it is Brahman; Atman inherits this (otherwise Brahman would not be the greatest); realization is given but there are paths that are more effective (as quality and number) and enjoyable (here comes in right living in the immediate etc.); as the place of (though not the only influence on) ‘Being’ – ‘knowing’ – ‘action: i.e., self world transformation).
The aim of ‘the way’ is knowing and realizing the highest good.
What is the highest good? What is its place amid immersion in ordinary life? Do our societies recognize it as an aim?
It is recognized in our endeavors of knowledge, technology, and exploration in the realms of the ‘material’ and the ‘spirit’.
The endeavors, as normatively understood, are limited—science is empirical and so its theories are models of the known but not (known to be of) the unknown and, so, beyond the empirical the sciences and the greatest possibility are not inconsistent; religion makes posits, often dogmatic; technology and exploration are physically and economically constrained; and for humankind as a whole, who have emerged from the material and animal world in originally ‘blind’ process, where perfection has no original meaning, the good and the way to the good, are ever emergent and in balance with blind material force and our limited will and intelligence. These limits of the secular and transsecular ways of life (paradigms) are contingent for they are based in strong local but not universal (ontological) commitments; which is perhaps more true for the primal where its commitments remain in contact with the real. Ways to the (highest) good are not clear or linear; nor is it desirable that they should be sought as such. And yet in comparing our world to the ideal we become jaded; which has no base in the real.
We shall approach exploration and realization of the highest good by demonstrating—not positing—the nature of the universe; showing consistent with what is valid in human knowledge; developing consequences for knowing and realizing the highest good.
Let us first talk of the greatest possibility consistent with valid knowledge, especially science. The empirical cosmos may be embedded in a limitlessly greater universe (‘greater’ is not identical to ‘better’). Some dimensions of the embedding are material or real for which our world is the part sensible to us, spatial dimension and extension, and temporal duration (which are immanent in and not other than the real). It is not a violation of valid knowledge that subject to consistency with it, the real (the italicized terms just above) may be limitless. There may be limitless arrays of cosmoses.
Is this mere fantasy and speculation? Let us demonstrate it for demonstration would give it substance and possibility is neither truth nor necessity.
The italicized is will mean ‘is defined as’ (if the defined term is plural, ‘are’ will be used instead of ‘is’). Bold font indicates the defined term—and is also reserved for undefined terms (for example, extension, duration, the verb to be and conscious awareness); some such terms are primitive only to this document. The typical form of a definition will be “X is x” where X is the defined term and x its description. But occasionally a definition will be written “x is X”.
Since knowledge hasn’t been defined yet, find an alternative to its use in the next paragraph.
A phenomenon is what appears, is felt, or thought to be, regardless of the real.
An existent is what (validly) obtains in or behind a phenomenon, i.e. that which ‘is’ or obtains somewhere in extension and duration—that to which some form of the verb to be applies. To be an existent does not require specification of a constitution. The quality of existents as existents is existence.
It is allowed above that the real may be either the phenomena themselves (somehow) or ‘objects’ behind the phenomena. The actual case is to be determined but will be found on the usual interpretation of faithfulness of appearances to be a mix but on an enhanced interpretation to be the phenomena.
A being is an existent (something of some constitution, that ‘is’ or obtains somewhere in extension and duration, i.e. ); the plural of a being is beings.. The quality of beings as beings is Being (or existence).
Abstraction is elimination of detail from (the idea of) a being.
There is Being; and there are beings. This ideal knowledge is known by abstraction.
A hypothetical being that affects no beings (even itself) is effectively nonexistent.
In that without verification all beings are hypothetical, when the ‘hypotheses’ of their existence is shown or known invalid, we (may) say that the being does not exist.
Power or material cause is the ability to affect and be affected.
Power and material cause are interaction among beings.
The universe is all Being (or all beings).
The universe exists. There is but one universe.
It is implicit above that ‘all Being’ is ‘over all extension and duration—and their absence’.
The generic notion of possibility is that which may obtain; material possibility is that which is consistent with empirical material constitution or material or natural law (a natural law or law is a pattern which is—obtains—when the data to specify a system is less than the raw data); logical possibility is (in) consistency of description which is logic.
Natural laws and patterns have Being.
Material possibility presumes (implies) logical possibility.
Where a kind is omitted, ‘possibility’, ‘impossibility’, and ‘necessity’ will mean ‘logical possibility’, ‘logical impossibility’, and ‘logical necessity’, respectively.
Impossibility is absence of possibility; necessity is that for which to not obtain is impossible.
The existence of the necessary has no presumption (except demonstration of necessity). There is no foundation or need for foundation of the necessary in something else—i.e., another being.
From the absence of presumption, no particular state or being—i.e. less than all Being—can be necessary. In this sense necessity has symmetry.
The greatest possibility is the utmost possibility (this is more an explanation than a definition)—i.e., possibility in any sense at all.
The greatest possibility does not exceed the (logically) impossible for the latter is not realized. The logically possible lies within the greatest possibility.
Therefore logical possibility and the greatest possibility are identical.
The reason for the existence of the universe cannot be the power of another being for there is no other. It cannot be material cause. It cannot be mere possibility for mere possibility allows nonexistence; it says no more than ‘the existence of the universe is accidental’.
Therefore the reason for existence of the universe, if there is one, must be necessity. Let us prove the necessity of existence of the universe.
The void is the absence of (manifest) Being.
The void is the ‘zero’ but not ‘null’ being. In the void there are no laws. The void is not the quantum vacuum—for in the void there are no fluctuations.
Whatever obtains without exception is necessary.
Existence of the manifest universe and the void is necessary (that is, the universe must always be in a manifest or void state and whatever obtains without exception is necessary). From the symmetry of necessity, neither the void nor the manifest can be eternal.
The universe must eternally phase between void and manifest.
Therefore manifest phases are necessary. By the symmetry of necessity they cannot be restricted to our empirical cosmos or any number like it. All possibility is realized. The universe is the greatest possible.
If an existent is necessary, its cause is or may be said to be a necessary cause.
The reason for existence of the universe as the greatest possible is necessary cause.
Necessity is recognized as a causal kind over and above material cause. And once universe as the greatest possible is recognized, all beings are necessary. That is, necessary and material cause are not exclusive.
The foregoing proves what will be called the fundamental principle of metaphysics and Being.
The fundamental principle of metaphysics and Being (also ‘fundamental principle of metaphysics’, ‘fundamental principle’, and FP) is the assertion that The universe is the greatest possible.
Here are some more or less obvious consequences and considerations.
1. Any being is equivalent to every being. The void is equivalent to the universe. There is no substance in the strict sense but the void—and any being—may be seen as the substance of the universe in a loose sense, for any being is an effective generator of the universe.
Determinism is the determination of a whole by a part. Thus temporal determinism is the determination of future (and past) by a ‘slice in time’.
2. The universe is absolutely indeterministic in that no part determines it (even though every part may be seen as generating it). It may be seen as absolutely deterministic in that all possibilities obtain.
3. That all possibilities obtain may seem but is not contradictory. It has been asserted to be contradictory for it seems to imply ‘it is possible that some possibilities do not obtain’. However the assertion in quotes is a violation of the meaning of possibility as that which can happen for it is equivalent to ‘that which can happen cannot happen’. That is while ‘some possibilities do not obtain in a particular situation’ if they did not obtain in eternity then they could not happen. For example, not all possibilities obtain in our empirical cosmos. But the universe is limitlessly greater than our cosmos and all possibilities must obtain there, e.g. in another cosmos. As another example that all possibilities do not occur in our cosmos contradicts the obtaining of all possibility but it is not a contradiction for our cosmos and its history is one possibility which, since it is not the universe, need not realize all possibilities (and therefore we do not observe all possibilities).
Knowledge that is (at least) good enough for certain purposes is pragmatic knowledge.
This ideal knowledge reveals an ultimate ethic—an imperative to realize the highest possibility (as the ethic of the highest good, this would not be just our ethic or an ethic of survival but its central value would be realization and other values would merge in and flow from it; and it would join with aesthetics); and the ethic is among the determinatives of the criteria for knowledge and so, at least in the ultimate, value, knowledge, and, so, Being are one (because knowledge is immanent in Being). It illuminates our pragmatic knowledge; shows that the concern of the pragmatic with certainty, while not irrelevant, is not essential to knowledge, action, and realization of the highest and in the greatest realm. Note that what is been questioned is certainty and not the pragmatic itself. The pragmatic, which includes our action, is instrumental (i) locally, (ii) as a models for negotiation of the entire universe—(for example our logics, mechanism in physics, and origins and evolution in biology), and (iii) realization of the highest in the greatest as application of item (ii).
While the pragmatic models may be limited, they too may evolve; which may be joined to evolving empirical and rational understanding and ways (methods).
So the ideal and the pragmatic form a system that is perfect with regard to the universal and to realization; and while the criteria of the ideal is perfect faithfulness, the criterion of the pragmatic, ‘good enough’, is also perfect in relation to the ideal. This perfect system is unitary in that the pragmatic is embedded in the ideal.
The join of the pragmatic and the ideal in understanding and inferring, in action, shall be called reason.
In this sense, reason incorporates inference (the modern, e.g. Kantian meaning) as well as understanding in Kant’s sense of direct knowledge or knowing.
Metaphysics is study and knowledge of the real (of Being—of what there is).
It has been shown by construction that metaphysics in this sense is possible—and it is easy to show that most activities labeled philosophical metaphysics fall under this sense of metaphysics. Therefore this conception of metaphysics is robust, subsumes most metaphysical activity, may be seen as coextensive with science in its best sense and inclusive of our science as important to an effectively infinitesimal region of the universe.
The name of the above system of metaphysics is and shall be (the) real metaphysics (or just the metaphysics).
It can now be seen how the choice of concepts for the metaphysics, especially Being, is foundational without equivocation or regress. The core concepts of the metaphysics so far in order of occurrence are phenomenon, beings (existents), extension, duration, Being (existence, and the verb to be), abstraction, power, material cause, universe, law, logic, greatest possibility, void, necessary cause, fundamental principle, determinism, indeterminism, pragmatic knowledge, ethics, imperative, aesthetics, value, reason, metaphysics, real metaphysics. Of these Being, power, universe, law, logic, necessary cause, metaphysics, and reason are foundational. The power of ‘Being’ is that it does not refer foundation to something else, e.g. substance; it is trivial and superficial in itself—and therefore knowable—but deep in implication as it allows ‘what has Being’ to emerge and so Being has an algebraic character and renders the development of metaphysics as algebraic. Power is foundational as measure of Being. Law and logic are essentials of description. The universe as all Being is critical since universe as substance might allow there to be another being and any number of ‘universes’ which would disallow the entire argument regarding the cause of the universe—i.e. that the cause cannot be material and that it can only be logical or modal. The void as absence of Being is also critical for, if the void were—say—the quantum vacuum, phasing of the universe between void and manifest would not be necessary. Necessary cause is revealed as the cause of the universe and its contents (although the idea has been thought, e.g. by Leibniz, I am not aware of its having been shown before). Also note that the metaphysics resolves the tension between Spinoza’s position—unproven by him—that all possibilities are actual and Leibniz position—unproven by him—that this world is necessary. Metaphysics is revealed as potent study and knowledge of the real. Reason is key to negotiating the world—and the ultimate.
Find alternatives to too frequent use of ‘let us’?
Let us now explore some consequences of the metaphysics for our place in the universe and our destiny.
The universe has identity; the universe and its identity are limitless in extension, duration, variety of Being and its origination – sustenance and peaking – and dissolution; the universe contains cosmoses without limit in number and kind.
This is Brahman of Advaita Vedanta and the Aeternitas of Thomas Aquinas.
Atman is the (true) self of the individual.
Atman realizes Brahman (else the universe would not be limitless).
The immediate and the ultimate are interwoven. There are paths for the individual (and civilizations) to the ultimate—they begin in the universe but from limited knowledge they begin in an immediate world. They begin with valuation and ‘respect’ for the immediate.
As used above, respect for the world is living in accordance with the nature of the world.
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.
Find the best formulation of the following; implement it; eliminate the version later in this document; replace its equivalents everywhere.
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 senseless unnecessary and unavoidable—as in cancer, the pain of an infant, of random accident, of the destructive side of human action—the good approach incorporates, as far as possible, calm anticipation of the ultimate. There will be impediments, physical and psychological, and they should be attended to with the best of our ability and knowledge, e.g. modern medicine, but except where overwhelming, healing should occur with and as part of realization. This combination is an optimal approach to enjoyment and the issue of suffering.
The approach is optimal for there is no better. In this the realism of the present approach contrasts with the illusion of perfection of various ideologies (it contrasts too with the ‘anti-ideology’ of nihilism). Though not perfect in the common sense of perfection, and though it is not the ‘best possible’ universe (in view of the metaphysics, the term ‘best possible’ has no meaning), there is a best or good enough approach to realization. Living in this light may be considered an ideal of perfection.
Let us develop a description based in the metaphysics for the realization of Brahman by Atman.
Identity is sense of sameness (of the notions of sameness and difference, one is primitive and the other definable in terms of the primitive; note also ‘sense of’ is made clear later in relation to experience at elementary and ‘higher’ levels); extension (spatiality) is difference without sameness; duration (temporality) is difference with sameness.
Because sameness and difference are perspectival, so are extension and duration. Because they arise in Being, so do extension and duration which are therefore immanent in Being. Because perception is relative to a being (individual, cosmos) so is determinism. Relative to Brahman and the universe, the universe is determined and deterministic. Relative to Atman in a cosmos, the rest of the universe is indeterministic; and the cosmos may have a degree of residual indeterminism from its formation from formlessness to a degree of form or which is thus possessed of gross determinism with micro-indeterminism. As likely ‘mechanisms’, the free will of individuals, the origination of cosmoses, the origination and evolution of life arise at the intersection and in the interaction of form and formlessness under a degree of determinism (as opposed to full determinism or indeterminism). This mechanism is the mechanism of incremental adaptation which must occur by the metaphysics but is not the only route to form for saltation must also occur.
The block universe is a description of the universe over all extension and duration.
The term ‘block’ is figurative—it means ‘given’. This is not the growing block universe; it is closer to the ‘universe over all time’ of ‘eternalism’ but without ontological commitment to any picture of space, time, and dynamics.
In a deterministic picture a being would have a fixed block trajectory (trajectory in the block). However, the universe is absolutely indeterministic. Therefore, any being at any time belongs to limitless multiple trajectories. Generally, identity is diffuse and indistinct. Occasionally, relatively definite identities—cosmos, individual—emerge. Yet they have residual indeterminism. Identities still belong to multiple trajectories. It is in the intersections of trajectories that beings coalesce and merge as Brahman.
The core concepts of the consequences of the metaphysics for our destiny and place in the world in order of appearance are identity, Brahman, Aeternitas, Atman, path, respect for the world, effectiveness, enjoyment, ecstasy, pain, perfection, perfection, identity, sameness, difference, extension, duration, residual indeterminism, gross determinism, micro-indeterminism, free will, incremental adaptation, saltation, block universe, block trajectory, residual indeterminism.
b. Experience is the key to the way (intrinsic and instrumental)—from the everyday template: experience as conscious awareness in all its forms (receptive or ‘attitudinal’, pure thought-emotion, and ‘actionable’) is fundamental—it is the place of meaning and our Being, one never transcends experience (one does transcend one’s experience in life and in merging with greater Being) but yet there is perfect knowing. Experience is key to yoga in two ways—as a direct path to higher experiential Being (intrinsic) and via knowledge and action as a platform for transformation (instrumental); and so the intrinsic and instrumental are designations but not truly distinct.
The approach to metaphysics presents as if ‘objective’. It is in fact objective in the sense of genuine knowledge. However, it is not objective in the sense of isolation of the known (from the knower) as a means of achieving precise knowledge. An ideal of secular thought is objectivity in the latter sense. Yet objectivity in this sense (i) would have us feel and act as though isolated from the real and (ii) has been seen above to be unnecessary to genuine knowledge. We shall now explore our ‘being in the world’ via ‘subjectivity’ which, however, is not ‘mere subjectivity’; rather it shows explicitly the embedding of genuine knowledge, beings, and Being in the world.
The exploration shall be done in terms of ‘experience’ which will be defined just below. Experience is critical to the development in two ways (i) as being among the founding concepts of the metaphysics and (ii) as of essential significance to Being (as the place of being and becoming). These aspects will now be developed in the order stated.
The following comment may go earlier along with mention of the significance of experience in the informal preliminary.
But a preliminary question is—Why, if experience is foundational, was it not introduced at the beginning of the formal development? The response is (a) it was introduced but implicitly in defining existence in relation to phenomena and hypothetical beings and (b) while an earlier introduction of experience would conduce to an unfolding account, the later introduction is more efficient.
Experience is conscious awareness in all its forms.
There is experience and experience of experience.
Thus even if there is only experience, there is a world (regarding the reality of the world, more is revealed below).
The main divisions as regards relation between individual and world are attitudinal, neutral, and actionable. Note that animal bodies are part of the world.
Intuition is the ability, innate or developed, of experientiality to register the forms of the world. Recognition of the world requires intuition and memory.
Attitude is experience of and directed to the world.
Attitude includes perception of the world and the body in terms of form, quality, and intensity. Perception of form includes extension, duration in the world and the body (for the body the term of use is ‘proprioception’); qualities and intensities are ‘sensual’ (color, pleasure, pain, strong emotion). Perception of form is not explicitly constructed in consciousness but is intuitive.
Neutral experience is experiencing that is not directly connected to the world.
Neutral experience includes thought and emotion (provided not compelling of action); thought in images and symbols requires memory; these contribute to higher understanding of the world. However, there is no true neutral experience for (i) thought and emotion are potentially connected to the world (and body) (ii) are a function of inner (bodily) relations and so neutral only relative to the individual but not to its parts. Neutral experience merges with attitudinal and actionable experience at the ‘edges’.
Actionable experience is experience of the body and experience itself in action.
Will is experience-as-driver of thought and action.
Actionable experience includes will that arises from and in interaction with other experience, neutral and attitudinal. Just as intuition enables perception of form, so it is also implicated in will (in conjunction with conscious reflection).
Space and time are defined implicitly below. This document will not formally develop the concepts of identity, extension, and duration.
So far the substances ‘matter’ and ‘mind’ (or ‘spirit’) have been mentioned but not used. They are usually defined in terms of our experience of them. Let see what they may be starting with the concept of Being. If a being has form it must have extension; this will be the ‘material’ aspect of the being (note experience of form and intelligence must have form and therefore ‘mind’ must have a material aspect—that is: no body, no mind). But as the capacity for experience, what is mind or mentality? Since experience is experience of, the mental is interaction (relationship). That is, Being—a being—has form which is its material aspect and relationship which is the mental aspect. Now experience is experiencing and therefore the mental aspect is associated with duration. Form, interaction, and experiencing (change) constitute a dynamic of change. Does all formed Being have experience? From the fundamental principle some must; and some must not; but where it does not, the interpretation that the experience is zero in intensity rather than null is not inconsistent with Being as existence. Therefore we may assert that all Being is associated with experience (of some intensity value).
The following definitions (in this paragraph) are informal for the concepts defined are not essential to the development; in this paragraph ‘is’ may be replaced by ‘shall be’. The form of a being is its material aspect; relationship or interaction over time is its mental aspect; and change as the unfolding of form due to interaction is the dynamics of the being.
On a strict material paradigm (all is matter, matter is not mental) experience is impossible—even via emergence. Therefore, given experience, Being as material must also be mental; which is not materialism at all. But experientiality (mind) involves form which if not of body is body. Thus Being is neutral to substance—monism or otherwise (that Being is foundational already implies the impossibility of substance as ultimate or foundational). At root, experience and experienced, subject and object are interwoven. The universe may be seen as a field of experience or field of Being, with individuals as heightened centers and environments of low or zero but not null experientiality. In a matter like cosmos such as ours the environment is pragmatically but not essentially non experiential (the cosmos may be seen as pragmatically substance like but only for some purposes). Let us consider the ‘paradox of solipsism’ not for its own sake but as shedding light on ‘universe as FOE’. Solipsism, the view that the universe as if the experience of a single experiencer is consistent with one’s experience, has two interpretations (a) universe as Brahman in which individuals have their place as they approach Brahman (b) universe as the experience of a limited individual which is logically impossible in so far as the individual is strictly limited but has a real but likely rare and unstable realization as a cosmos.
Core concepts for the metaphysical aspects of experience in order of appearance are experience, intuition, attitude, neutral experience, actionable experience, will, material, interaction, mental, dynamics, field of experience, field of Being.
So far we have spoken of the metaphysical aspects of experience. Let us now turn to epistemic aspects.
A concept is experiential (mental) content.
An intentional concept is one is referential in nature—i.e., has the possibility of reference or ‘intends to refer’ to an existent which is the potential object.
In the following ‘concept’ stands for ‘intentional concept’.
A sign is a token of or for a concept.
A symbol is a sign and its associated concept.
Signs are simple (have no possibility of reference) or compound (have possibility of reference or complementing reference from the form of their structure).
A concept may be associated with or contain a simple or compound sign.
Language is a relatively icon free meaning that acquires meaning from (i) the form of compound signs (ii) association of signs with iconic concepts.
That language is highly symbolic (‘pure language’ would be entirely symbolic) makes it efficient for thought and communication even though its symbolic and linear form deprives it of some richness of expression. It results in true deprivation of thought only to the extent that the thinker suppresses iconic thought or imagery; and where it deprives communication, communication may be enriched by effective use of language (e.g. greater precision and poetry) and sensory and dramatic supplements.
The meaning of a concept is its potential reference.
Knowledge is meaning realized.
Core concepts for the epistemic aspects of experience in order of appearance are concept, intentional concept, object, sign, symbol, simple, compound, language, meaning, knowledge
We now turn to intrinsic significance or ‘significant meaning’ as in ‘the meaning of life or existence’.
Brahman never transcends experience but this is not a ‘limit’. The individual never transcends experience for when they do, they do so on the way to Brahman (but in so doing they do transcend their limited experience). The sense in which experience is not transcended is that further experience is always the measure of experience. But, yet, as we have seen, there is perfect knowing and so the non transcendence of experience is not an essential limit.
The hypothetical being that affects no experience is effectively nonexistent. Real metaphysics implies that such hypothetical beings are actually nonexistent.
Experience is key to reason, real metaphysics, and realization in two ways—as a direct path to higher experiential Being (intrinsic) and via knowledge and action as a platform for transformation (instrumental); but the body and the world are not other than experience; and so the intrinsic and instrumental are designations but not truly distinct.
Yoga is an approach to reason (and real metaphysics0 and realization of Brahman that explicitly recognizes the centrality of experience to Being and cultivates realization by transformation of experiential Being.
As experience is pure as well as material (in aspects), yoga involves mind, body, and world. Yoga and reason are one and same.
c. And ‘templates’ can be given (everyday and universal); and note the distinctions-unities (inner-intrinsic vs outer-instrumental; direct vs indirect; immediate-everyday vs universal-ultimate; reason vs tradition—which will be a separate point).
The outline for “My Manual” ends here.
Here we address the questions—What are foundations? How and in what form are they possible? Why foundations? What is the role of foundation in this essay, particularly in metaphysics?
Redistribute the entries here and those in Metaphysics of experience between the two sections.
These sources are for the foundation, especially through discussion of Being.
External sources for Being
These sources may be distributed between this section and Metaphysics of experience.
https://www.iep.utm.edu/mod-meta/ Modal Metaphysics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/ Nothingness (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spacetime-bebecome/ Being and Becoming in Modern Physics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/transcendentals-medieval/ Medieval Theories of Transcendentals (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/ Martin Heidegger (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)*
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existence/ Existence (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
http://metaphysicist.com/articles/Kripke_Naming_Necessity_1970.pdf from http://metaphysicist.com/ (The Metaphysicist)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_and_Necessity (Naming and Necessity - Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Kripke (Saul Kripke - Wikipedia)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spinoza-modal/ Spinoza’s Modal Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/lewis-metaphysics/ David Lewis’s Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-modal/ Descartes’ Modal Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/leibniz-modal/ Leibniz’s Modal Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/justep-foundational/ Foundationalist Theories of Epistemic Justification (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://www.iep.utm.edu/found-ep/ Foundationalism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Site sources for foundation
fundamental problem of metaphysics.html—has material on relative vs non-relative foundations
External sources for skepticism and knowledge
https://www.iep.utm.edu/descarte/ Descartes, Rene | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
https://www.iep.utm.edu/skepcont/ Contemporary Skepticism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
foundationalism* (coherentism, infinitism—not taken up here but see the IEP article above), foundation*, non relative foundation* (infinite regress), relative foundation* (terminating, substance)
foundational metaphor (foundation as founding rather than in process), knowledge metaphor (knowledge as standing outside world and interaction with world), reflexive foundation (foundation as reflexive knowledge—including shared process interaction among knowledge, knowledge of knowledge, and action)
some issues—(i) it is often tacit that the aim of foundation is perfect certainty of all that flows from the foundation even though it may be agreed that in practice and fact such foundations have not been obtained; but this might presume that perfect knowledge is possible and desirable whereas in fact knowledge may be ever ‘pragmatic’, in process, in interaction with the world and perhaps the best and most desirable is, even in light of an ultimate aim, knowledge and criteria of knowledge that are unfolding as do we and the universe (ii) that even if we accept that perfect faithfulness is not the most desirable criterion there should then be a single criterion for knowledge whereas it may be better to have more than one mode of knowledge and more than one criterion (see the next paragraph) (iii) that whereas it is often tacit that criteria and standards stand above or outside knowledge itself and that knowledge stands out side the world, it may well be the case that criteria-knowledge-use-and-world unfold as one.
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.
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).
This section may perhaps be better placed at the end of the chapter Development of the metaphysics.
doubt, skepticism, strange world or interpretation, imagination, criticism; proof, intuition
Skepticism will thread through the narrative.
This section is the foundation.
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)”.
The main classes of concept
The groups below correspond to the sections under ‘Being’. Since the concepts are given in the sections, they are not repeated here.
On definition, Existence, The concept of experience, The world and experience, Being, Power, The universe, The void, Possibility and necessity, The fundamental principle of metaphysics and Being
The italicized ‘is’ and ‘are’ will be the ‘is’ and ‘are’ of definition.
Concepts—icon, sign, simple sign, compound sign, symbol, simple symbol, compound symbol, concept, referential concept, intentional concept, referent, meaning, definition, effective definition (), knowledge, abstraction, abstract knowledge, pragmatic knowledge, perfect knowledge, language, discrete representation, semantics, syntax
Aims of the section
1. To be clear on the nature and significance of definitions to be given—so as to ground the development, its understanding, and implicit axiomatic form.
2. It is essential to ground the development in the concept of ‘experience’. However, it is effective to have explicit definition and development of the concept later. Definition will be a vehicle for implicit introduction of ‘experience’.
An icon is an appearance or semblance that is capable of resemblance, with or without association to an actual resembled.
What is a resemblance (or semblance)? If it is external to ‘mind’ it is incomplete without recognition in mind. If it is in the ‘mind’ but the resembled, real or potential, is in the world—how is the semblance recognized or even possible? This is addressed later in discussing the nature of mind.
A sign is simple or compound.
A simple sign is anything, usually simple, whose significance is only in association with an icon—i.e. a resemblance.
A simple sign cannot be a designator, rigid or otherwise. Signs designate in virtue of the associated icon (in memory, in a dictionary and so on).
As an example of the claim in the previous paragraph, imagine someone shouting “tiger” in a forest in India. Only the English speakers react; the others show no fear. It is because the English associate tigers with the word ‘tiger’ while the others do not. If one thinks ‘tiger’ gets is meaning from word definitions like ‘large cat with black and orange stripes’ it is because one knows the meaning of the terms in the definition. But what, for example, is ‘orange’. Ultimately the words must be associated with icons. That is—
No icon, no reference (or recognition).
A compound sign is an arrangement of simple signs whose significance is in association with an icon (resemblance) or in the arrangement of the sign.
Without the icons, a compound sign designates a resembled class but no particular referent.
A symbol is the association of the icon and the sign.
A simple symbol is one for which sign is simple.
A compound symbol is one for which, for a sign system, a compound sign is necessary.
A concept is a picture—iconic or symbolic.
The icon or the symbol may be graphic, e.g. on a canvas or in stone, or of the mind; it may also be dramatic—e.g., movement, expression, and acting through. The association of icon and symbol is habitual, conventional, or by common use.
A referential concept—alternatively, an intentional concept—is one that intends or is intended to refer; a referent, if there is one, is that to which the concept refers.
In the following ‘concept’ shall denote ‘referential concept’.
A concept may have another concept as its referent. Concepts are as much in the world as anything else. ‘Matter’ and ‘mind’, which we often think of as categorially distinct, are not different categories (but we have not yet said anything significant of what they are).
Meaning is constituted of a concept and its possible referents.
It is a triple of sign, icon, and referent.
I regard this as related to but a better ‘meaning of meaning’ than to think of the concept as having meaning.
A definition (effective definition) is specification of the meaning of a concept.
Effective definitions of ‘Being’ and related concepts are given later.
When a definition is given and it is not clear that there is a referent, the existence will be proved. Otherwise, except where the contrary is stated, it will be assumed or merely stated.
Once two terms A and B are defined, ‘A is B’ is used to say used to say that A and B are the same referent (or, if B is a property, A has the property B).
Knowledge is meaning realized in a definite referent (the referent may be a collection of referents).
Abstraction is filtering out of distorting detail from the concept; and which results in perfectly faithful abstract knowledge. Pragmatic knowledge, which may also have abstraction, is knowledge that is good enough or even perfect for purposes at hand.
The join of abstract and pragmatic may be more powerful and reliable than each individually. If the abstract reveals a perfect value, the join of the abstract and the pragmatic may be perfect knowledge in terms of that value. The real metaphysics to be developed is perfect in this sense.
Language is typically regarded as a sign system with meaning, in which the meaning lies in the arrangement of the signs as determined by convention, reason, habit, and usage. That language is thought of as divested from icons is because the icons are tacit and we think we can talk of language without association of the signs to the icon. But as seen earlier, icons are essential
However, since icons are essential to meaning in an actual situation, it is better to think of language as a symbol system in which the focal point of meaning is simple symbols and compound signs (in reality of course, the symbols, too, are compound and meaning lies not only in the simple signs and icons but also in their arrangement and in the context).
In reality, though, communication is via any part of the triple of sign, icon, and referent that suffices.
Recognized functions of language are its effectiveness in representing, storing, and communicating regarding the real.
The focus on simple symbols and compound signs renders language close to effectively discrete representation or ‘digital’ but still symbolic and semantic (a focus only on signs and their arrangements is syntactic). The power of this is that it is effective in actual representation and communication.
There is no doubt that syntactic formalization is powerful, not just in resolution of foundational questions (especially in the abstract or symbolic sciences, e.g. logic and mathematics, but also in the concrete sciences), but even in formulating the questions.
However, to emphasize only syntax aspect is limiting. To think only in terms of signs may result in poverty of meaning (because not iconic) and excess of meaning (in the sense that meaning in sign arrangements allows multiple instantiation).
But if compound symbols are allowed but not required, the limitations are resolved (and the only limits, then, are human limits). This suggests of intuition as a formally recognized instrument—in balance with the symbolic but not as replacement. This is already done informally (in non-intuitionist systems) but what may change is, the admission of optimal—perhaps lesser—security in search of greater power; the relative weights of the intuitive and the formal symbolic, of the semantic and the syntactic, and of the rational and the empirical; and the admission of new ways of dealing with signs—as in computation.
Though outgrowth of the significance of language, especially formal languages in the abstract sciences such as mathematics and logic, is not foreseen, in view of the current state of those fields, and developments in metaphysics showing the universe to be the greatest possible, the nature and knowledge of language and of its relative use in balance with other ‘faculties’ of understanding and reason is likely to change.
Concepts—verb to be, ‘is’, existent, existence
The verb to be
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.
Preliminary definition of Being
As the implicit treatment of experience in § On concepts, definition, and language is adequate and a complete treatment will benefit from the real metaphysics, full treatment of experience is deferred to § Metaphysics of experience.
Concepts—Being, beings, kind or substance (neither asserted nor denied) at outset, nonexistent.
Definition of Being
An effective definition of ‘Being’ is needed (else we are left with a concept with no certain object). Let us repeat the earlier abstract definition from the section on existence—
Being is existence; a being is an existent (beings are existents).
To introduce an effective definition, first introduce the idea of an intentional concept.
An intentional concept is one that is referential in nature, regardless of whether there is actual reference.
An effective definition of ‘being’ is—
A being* is an intentional concept and the so identified existent; Being* is the quality of beings as beings.
The intentional concept may have an associated sign—simple, e.g. a name, or compound.
What stands for the existent in action, speech, or thought? Any part of the sign-concept-existent that is sufficient to identify the existent—by pointing in action, a sign in speech, or concept-sign in thought.
The definition may be repeated—
A being* is an identifiable concept-sign-existent Being* is the quality of beings as beings.
If there is no existent, we say ‘the being does not exist’ or ‘it is a nonexistent being’.
As seen above, there is general doubt about the existence of putative existents (it is not universal for to doubt experience is have experience and experience of experience). This general doubt is not a negative mark against ‘Being’; rather it is a mark of the power of the idea. Substance foundation (e.g. materialism and idealism) is a hypothetical posit that, to be effective, is incomplete and distorted; and not even a final foundation owing to the posit. Being does not have this limitation. On the other hand Being is subject to the charge of triviality. We now continue to show the power of the concept of Being. That is, we will reveal a world of Being and beings that is ultimate in capturing the entire range of the real and in showing it to be the greatest possible. The entire universe in all its detail will not be revealed; but what is revealed will include what is ultimate in value and a way of its realization.
That Being makes no posit but allows ‘what has Being’ to emerge reveals Being as ‘algebraic’ (marking what is unknown) and the process of emergence as an ‘algebraic metaphysics’.
There is Being for even if the world were but illusion (and it is at least that), illusion would be 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 (beginning vs sustaining as beginning-sustaining-destruction), logical cause (reason for beginning—or occurring / existing; possibility, necessity)
Aristotle’s four kinds or senses of cause (material, efficient, formal, and final; final cause as reason for existence is the most fundamental and perhaps underlies the others; the causes are not exclusive)
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.
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.
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, ontological proof (possibility of)
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.
Metaphysics has already begun; this section and the next recognize, consolidate, and advance the development.
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.
Though ‘real metaphysics’ is the name of the metaphysics to be developed, it is in fact knowledge of the real and will be shown to be so and ultimate in (i) precise capture of the real and its boundary though not in entire detail and (ii) showing the universe to be the greatest possible.
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 (real—pattern, natural law – abbreviated ‘law’; universal, natural, common, worldly, cosmological, sentient, greatest, best), necessity*; logic*; greatest possibility*—meaning of ‘greatest’, greatest possible universe; logical possibility; causation*, real causation* (patterned, lawlike, contingent), necessary causation* (logical, necessary); logical causation* (possibility, necessity); best possible world* or universe
The nature of natural law
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
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 (§ Paths to the ultimate).
A real metaphysics of knowledge, practice and action
Replace ‘the perfect metaphysics’ by ‘the metaphysics’ or ‘real metaphysics’ everywhere
Abstract-faithful and concrete-pragmatic knowledge, action, tradition*, their join in the perfect and ultimate metaphysics—the real metaphysics (RM), or perfect metaphysics (PFM), or, just, the metaphysics.
Though this could be deferred, it is unifying and efficient to do it here.
There is useful discussion in a journey in being.html (§1.7 Ultimate identity and Being of the universe and individuals).
Main essay—Brahman and paths to Brahman.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concepts-god/ Concepts of God (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)*
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity/ Identity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-time/ Identity Over Time (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ontological-arguments/ Ontological Arguments (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
identity*, process, universal Identity (Brahman), individual identity (Atman)
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.
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
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 real 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.
Brahman as absolute and given (as if static) Being and Knower.
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; reason; cause; material cause; possibility; necessity
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concepts-god/ Concepts of God (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)*
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/philosophy-religion/ Philosophy of Religion (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)*
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).
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).
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.
This section could well be placed after or even as a final part of § Metaphysics. However (i) since § Paths to the ultimate is the important consequence of the metaphysics and (ii) since that section shows the essential significance of action over and above ‘pure thought’, it is effective to place this section after § Paths to the ultimate.
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.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason Reason - Wikipedia
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rationality-instrumental/ Instrumental Rationality (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
https://www.britannica.com/topic/reason Reason (Encyclopedia Britannica)
https://www.iep.utm.edu/argument/ Argument (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)—has information on argument, the distinction between deductive and inductive argument and a possible third kind: the conductive argument
Though reason is of general interest, it is the essential means of realization in The Way of Being.
Reason may seem too specialized to be such a means. For example, Immanuel Kant distinguished understanding as direct knowing from reason as inferring (and, so, indirect knowing). There is a distinction between knowing and inferring; however there is a general purpose for which the direct and the indirect may fall under the same concept—knowing and its means.
Here we seek even greater inclusivity and will use the symbol ‘reason’ to denote the desired concept. 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.
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); artistic and engineering design; metaphysics, foundation, epistemology, analysis, system, and action, transcendental method in philosophy
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.
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.
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.
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 pattern is a structure such that the information required to specify a system 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*, pattern* (visual pattern*, abstract pattern*), corroboration*, pragmatic fact*, precision*, necessary fact*, metaphysical context*, inference*, pragmatic inference*, induction* (abduction*, conductive argument*), imagination*, criticism*, valuation*, 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
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’.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
On the a priori
Could become a main section in Ch. Development of the metaphysics.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_priori_and_a_posteriori A priori and a posteriori – Wikipedia
https://www.iep.utm.edu/apriori/ A Priori and A Posteriori | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/apriori/ A Priori Justification and Knowledge (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
a priori, a posteriori, necessary, contingent, analytic, synthetic
In a common conception, a priori knowledge is independent of experience—e.g., as in logic, tautology, deduction from pure reason (e.g. ontological proofs).
But is there any true a priori?
The a priori.
Practice and action
practice (merges with), action (thought as action, action as thought driven motion)
Practice and action are to be distinguished yet integrated—i.e. partially distinct.
Identity of reason and the real metaphysics
Reason is the real metaphysics (in interaction with entire Being—which is implicit in the real metaphysics).
Consequently, it is not necessary to further develop reason here (but see the sources external and previous versions).
The means—method—of realization
Reason is the means of realization.
reason and yoga (¿and logos and the real metaphysics?); their identity*
This chapter and the next have two goals
1. To develop metaphysics—the discipline and the concept—and related ideas in light of the real metaphysics.
2. To develop consequences of the real metaphysics for a range of topics and disciplines. The goal is a relatively broad coverage, at least in outline, of traditional, modern, and emergent topics.
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.
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.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaphysics/ Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
What is metaphysics?
metaphysics was defined above as knowledge of the real
Main essay—What is metaphysics?
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
demonstration (possibility by construction and proof)
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.
A system of doubt
Leave mentions of doubts where they are appropriate but collect most doubts about the metaphysics and place their discussion here.
doubts from science (empirical, external), rationality (logic, internal), absurdity (magnitude of result), the nature of the proof, stability of our world (something else ought to happen), other doubts about possibility (it is possible that the possible is impossible—no it is not for that claim misuses the meaning of possibility, if a state or event is possible it is also possible that it does not obtain—yes, for it may occur in some but not all cosmoses but no, regarding necessary states which are also possible but non occurrence is not), the critique of metaphysics (from Kant to Hume to the modern world view), implications (e.g. that strange cosmologies are realized, the verification of the Vedantic view of the universe, the maximal block universe, that our empirical cosmos is infinitesimal, that our physics is but one—and likely but one near stable physics)
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
knowledge (reality of and therefore epistemology is a topic in metaphysics), anti-anthropomorphism (the idea that our ideas and knowledge are unreal)
Some major metaphysical-epistemological systems and how the metaphysics affects their significance
This may be a level 2 section.
External sources—Western metaphysical systems
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/presocratics/ Presocratic Philosophy
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-timaeus/ Plato’s Timaeus
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-metaphysics/ Aristotle’s Metaphysics
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hegel/ George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hegel-dialectics/ Hegel’s Dialectics
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant/ Immanuel Kant
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/ Kant’s Moral Philosophy
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-transcendental-idealism/ Kant’s Transcendental Idealism
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-transcendental/ Kant’s Transcendental Arguments
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-metaphysics/ Kant’s Critique of Metaphysics
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bradley/ Francis Herbert Bradley (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bradley-regress/ Bradley’s Regress (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/ Alfred North Whitehead (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hartshorne/ Charles Hartshorne (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_B._Cobb John B. Cobb (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ray_Griffin David Ray Griffin (Wikipedia)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein/ Ludwig Wittgenstein (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein-atomism/ Wittgenstein’s Logical Atomism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein-mathematics/ Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mathematics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/ Martin Heidegger (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)*
External sources—Eastern metaphysical systems
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concepts-god/ Concepts of God (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)* for information on Advaita Vedanta
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_philosophy Indian Philosophy – Wikipedia
Site sources for major metaphysical systems
Some major metaphysical systems and how the metaphysics affects their significance
occultism, superstition (as imposed belief or cause-concept; opposed to rational or hypothetico-deductive), substance (kind, process, relation; monism, dualism), non substance (Being, experience, logic, for and against anthropomorphism)
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
It is effective to place this section before the section “What is metaphysics?”
Metaphysics of experience is a possible topic essay.
Experience and its nature
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mysticism/ Mysticism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/collingwood/ Robin George Collingwood (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/ Alfred North Whitehead (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/process-philosophy/ Process Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant/ Immanuel Kant (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dewey/ John Dewey (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freewill/ Free Will (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/ Causal Determinism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/meaning/ Theories of Meaning (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/meaning-holism/ Meaning Holism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meaning_(philosophy_of_language) Meaning (philosophy of language) – (Wikipedia)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rigid-designators/ Rigid Designators (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
The concept of experience
The material on experience in the immediately subsequent subsections on experience should be combined with the summary in Experience so far summarized (and excessive repetition should be avoided). The combined material will be useful for the following main essay.
Main essay—Being and experience without metaphysics
To frame the development it may begin with briefly laid out definitions of beings (existents) and Being (existence) in terms of concepts and referents and later take up the analysis of concepts and referents in terms of experience.
What does to develop Being without metaphysics mean, and is it possible? It means (i) development must begin only with what can be done without assumption (ii) where assumption is useful and made, alternatives must be developed and regarded neutrally—first with the assumption true, and second with it not true (where not true is not considered equivalent to false). Particularly, the development (iii) will be neutral with regard to (metaphysical) distinctions of substance (and its kinds) vs non-substance and (iv) will not depend on the fundamental principle of metaphysics even though it can be demonstrated—for the development from that point in will be the subject of other essays.
experience, ontology, and metaphysics
Concepts—experience**, (subjectivity, awareness, consciousness) ubiquity of experience, experience of experience, (other) content of experience (e.g. seeming individual – other – world), interpretation (of content), as-if worlds, exclusivity vs non exclusivity of interpretations, (possibility of) simultaneous and co-immanent truth (of some interpretations)
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.
Experience and the world
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.
Preliminary analysis of experience completed
This section continues the preliminary analysis of experience that does not draw from the real metaphysics.
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
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*)
Modes of experience
pure, attitudinal, and agentive (i.e., of action) experience, free will*
The treatment in § On concepts, definition, and language is adequate.
The following elaborates the treatment in § On concepts, definition, and language is adequate.
On the concept of knowledge
The § title would be epistemology but
1. Naïve metaphysics and science become self-critical is a source of epistemology; but the bare term ‘epistemology’ may suggest naïve epistemology rather than self-critical epistemology.
2. The critiques of skepticism suggest not only heightened criticism of naïve knowledge but also revaluation of the concept of knowledge. After all, if knowledge is not possible at all and yet we are able to negotiate the world, we need either another concept or a reconceptualization of knowledge itself.
3. A first critique of radical (Pyrrhonic) skepticism is that some perfectly faithful knowledge is clearly possible, e.g., when we assert ‘there is x’ for x equal to experience, Being, beings, universe, and logic. The source of faithfulness here is abstraction.
4. A second critique arises regarding pragmatic knowledge. We know that theoretical physics, for example, provides us with models that (a) model only part of the universe and (b) do with less than absolute precision (item b can be seen as part of a). We call such knowledge ‘pragmatic’ because it is as if perfectly faithful for some purposes. But since it as not absolutely faithful shall we refrain from calling it knowledge.
Dual criteria for knowledge
5. The above critiques suggest, not that ‘faithfulness to the object’ be abandoned but that we recognize dual criteria of faithfulness—perfect for the abstracted objects (i.e. not abstract objects) and pragmatic for some other objects (subject to criteria of adequacy, e.g. the criteria of science).
6. A unitary concept of knowledge
7. But to use dual criteria allows a unitary concept. That is because the perfect and pragmatic are interwoven in their source; and because their separate developments can be woven together as in the (perfect) real metaphysics of this narrative. The implications of the metaphysics are not that an epistemology tailored to a limited secular world is irrelevant but that its contribution ought perhaps be directed toward optimally useable pragmatic knowledge rather than to live in the shadow of an ideal of knowledge that is essentially bound together with the object but wants to free itself from that bondage. The freedom from that bondage is not to break it but to see that it is not bondage after all, but of the very nature of our being in the world.
The source of illusions of perfection and impossibility of knowledge
8. The twin illusion of knowledge as perfectable and not perfectable has one source—that our knowledge, especially private knowledge, is not of the world. The illusion is natural of course because we tend to experience our ideas unreal or at least of a different order of real in comparison to the way in which we experience the material world. But it is still an illusion (for ideas are very much part of the world). And it is the illusion that makes us think of ideas as cut off from the world and so incapable of precise capture of the world; and it is this that makes us engage in a project of making ideas perfectly faithful and capable of being made so.
The join of metaphysics, knowledge, and value as one
9. Now in the real metaphysics, a motive for the join of the perfect and the pragmatic was the question For what is this knowledge being used? Well in the metaphysics, knowledge is part of the world and one of its uses is the realization of the ultimate. This is seen to be an overarching use but not one that is distinct from the immediate (which is embedded in the ultimate). Therefore, a motive to the perfect-pragmatic join is ethical. But is the justification of the join ethical—or is it critically based? What we are seeing (at least roughly) and what we find (precisely) is that the justification is simultaneously ethical and critical. Note, of course, that ethics is not ethics of what is necessary for just survival and security; it must also be an ethics of the higher good which is also aesthetic; and it must be recognized that with the aesthetic, there is no ethics at all (this is not to say that provision of basic necessities for all is not a value). That is, ethics and aesthetics are one and join in value.
10. Knowledge, value, and the world are one.
Free will and concept creation and realism
free will**, choice, decision, alternatives (creation of, conception of, perception of), action, outcome
free will, choice, action, knowledge, ideology, and politics
experience*, element of experience (as an entity), experiencer, experienced
psychology, its elements; function (cognition, emotion, memory, personality, growth, learning)
dimensions of experience (psyche)
inner-outer orientation (inner: psyche, body, recall—memory; outer: world, other; holist; form-quality
bound-free content (bound: percept, feeling, and percept-feeling; free: higher concept, emotion, and integrated concept-feeling), free will*, foresight
focal-background (intense, neutral, imperative)
psychological function (cognition—perception, conception, language; emotion—fear, joy, pain; agency—deployment of ability emphasizing: foresight, dynamics, will, metaphysics, reason,
transformation: intrinsic, instrumental
personality: development, plasticity-fixity, elements, type, orientation to Being
dimensions of the world—of Being (and time)
dimensions of the world: dimensions of Being (and time); and dimensions of psyche and experience (see experience and its dimensions.html, the essential way-supplement.html*, the essential way-outline.html*, and the essential way.html*)
Here is a summary of the what will be needed for § Metaphysics of experience.
1. In its first conception, experience is subjective awareness. It is attitudinal, pure, and active. Experience is the place of all Being, knowing, and significance. We never get out of it, for the measure of as if objectivity is further experience; and the hypothetical being that affects no experience is effectively nonexistent. Yet, even though we do not get out of it, there is effective objectivity—absolute where there is sufficient abstraction and pragmatic elsewhere as established by pragmatic ways (pragmatic means as if objective for some purposes).
2. There is a world of experience in which there are selves whose experience is experienced, other selves with their seeming experientiality, an environment, and a world or universe that is (contains) all that. That is a standard view. However, it is logically possible that ‘my system of experience’ (or yours) is all there is and the rest are just places within it—this is the view of metaphysical solipsism (MSV). The standard and the solipsist views are alternative interpretations of the world of experience and are logically indistinguishable.
3. On strict materialism (the universe is nothing but matter and mind is no part of matter), it is categorially impossible for experience to be given or emergent; if we regard our cosmos as ‘material’, it cannot be strict and ‘mind’ must already inhere in ‘matter’, likely as interaction (relation), which at a primitive level is the system elementary interactions of which higher level mind including conscious experience is constituted; there is no finally pure experience but experience that remains within the organism may be labeled and experienced as pure (one might want to call this weak materialism but it is not a materialism at all).
4. The foregoing suggests following logically indistinguishable interpretations of the world of experience—(i) the world is a field of experience or FOE (that the field is not material is not part of this interpretation) of which, (ii) the standard secular view or SSV, the standard view above, supplemented by strict materialism; this view is logically possible but not possible on strict materialism and this suggests (iii) an enhanced SSV or ESSV, which is just a special case of FOE for which the environment is experiential but the level of experientiality is low or even perhaps zero (but not null), and (iv) MSV.
5. Note that FOE, ESSV, and MSV, are logically indistinguishable but logically distinguished from SSV because the environment for the latter has null experientiality. Thus it is logically possible that the universe bifurcates into FOE worlds (which include ESSV and MSV) and non FOE worlds (e.g. SSV).
1. Experience as the place of all Being, knowing, and significance is a real and (metaphysically) robust view.
2. The sound, fundamental, and extended conception of experience includes our high level animal experience as well as the primitive level of elementary entities (and the possibility that being elementary is relative).
3. Of the FOE worlds, there are robust general FOE worlds; ESSV is robust but only locally across form and duration; if the experiential world of MSV is that of an individual, it is logically possible but not robust; otherwise if the experiential world is just that, it is equivalent to FOE.
4. Non FOE worlds including SSV are as such non robust and at most local but SSV may be seen as a corrupt description of ESSV.
5. The extended view of experience is equivalent to an extended view of mind that is inclusive of ‘matter’ for where there is experience there must be form and form has extension; and form requires formation which is in duration; which are fundamental characteristics we assign to matter. Locally, there may be many modes of experience (‘matter’-‘mind’) but in our empirical cosmos there appears to be but one—which is foundation for unity of beings in our cosmos (but not clearly necessary for such foundation).
6. The main interpretations of the experiential world are FOE—general—and ESSV—to which SSV is a pragmatic approximation; our empirical cosmos. ESSV is nested in FOE and this provides intrinsic (which includes the instrumental) direct paths—via experience-Being—and indirect paths—via death, diffusion, and re-emergence from Atman to Brahman.
The aim for these final suggestions is to show their truth; this is deferred to § Metaphysics of experience.
The foregoing tentative conclusions were made prior to establishing the real metaphysics. The metaphysics suggests the following—
7. The extended view of experience is equivalent to an extended view of mind that is inclusive of ‘matter’ for where there is experience there must be form and form has extension; and form requires formation which is in duration; which are fundamental characteristics we assign to matter. Locally, there may be many modes of experience (‘matter’-‘mind’) but in our empirical cosmos there appears to be but one—which is foundation for unity of beings in our cosmos (but not clearly necessary for such foundation).
We now turn to showing the truth of these suggestions.
It is critical to recognize that FOE (general) and ESSV (our world) are not different in concept; both are FOE’s; and while there is a difference in the particular and general in the details, that difference may vanish over long periods of time (i.e., long relative to the age of the empirical cosmos—which, though it is itself long relative to a human lifetime, is infinitesimal on the limitless ‘scale’ of the universe).
In three previous sections on experience in Being, no appeal was made to the real metaphysics. In this section implications of the real 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)
standard secular view, solipsism
Implications for meaning
rigid designator (issue of)
Implications for realization
The ESSV « FOE picture shows the essential significance of (the ‘material’ and ‘experiential’ sides of) Yoga (and meditation) and Reason (Logos) in realization.
Logos / Reason / Yoga have two sides—the intrinsic and the instrumental which are to be joined in the process of realization.
Metaphysics of language
Although individual experience is limited, experience is not.
Do not limits to individual experience contradict the metaphysics? No, for (i) in transcending my experience, I will, at some point, lose my individual identity in merging with Brahman and (ii) therefore my limits are not contingent or physical but logical.
What are the limits of language that arise out of its symbolic nature? Language has been adequate to a high level description of the real metaphysics. But is it adequate to capturing the essential variety of the universe (even recognizing that there is no need for precision of perfection in capturing local pragmatic variety).
On account of its symbolic nature, language would seem to be limited. For language seems to be necessarily formulated in terms of discrete symbols which is formally limited in its power of expression to capture the limitless and the continuum.
The aim of a metaphysics of language is to (i) provide an account of the possibilities and limits of language, including formal languages and (ii) explore complementary modes including intuition, risk, probable proof, and the possibility and potential of non-discrete language.
experience and the real
sufficient reason (a priori, cause), existence of God (Leibniz’ argument for—‘God’ in Leibniz’ argument is nothing but necessity and neither generalized force nor a person like being as in religious traditions), grounding (a notion from contemporary philosophy: see the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article linked below)
Necessity as cause of the universe
necessity (is not a being, ¿but has Being?), cause (non-classical, non-material)
The logic of necessity—the metaphysics implies that the universe must have manifest phases.
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.
fundamental question of metaphysics (foundation, ground)
The traditional question—Why is there Being at all?
why is there Being at all (regarded as open, even unanswerable, resolution (is trivial)
A new fundamental question—What has Being?
variety, kind, substance (not in the classical sense but in the inescapable concept-object sense and no more), algebra of Being
See Categories of Being under Problems of metaphysics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_of_being 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)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-kinds/ Natural Kinds (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Kinds of Being
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abstract-objects/ – Abstract Objects (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
A continuation of Kinds of Being
The concepts of the abstract and the concrete
selective reification (of perceptual mode of cognition), principle of misplaced concreteness (of A. N. Whitehead)
No true distinction; the pragmatic distinction is according to manner of conception
On abstract objects
All consistent (abstract) systems are realized
Platonism will also be addressed.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonism Platonism - Wikipedia
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/platonism/ Platonism in Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/platonism-mathematics/ Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
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
perceptual experience (knowledge), conceptual knowledge, symbolic knowledge, epistemic identity (of the kinds), habitability (of all objects)
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
Being (cap), category, universal, substance
The nature of Being
Categories of Being and universals
The problem of substance
Is this appropriate?
materialism, empiricism, idealism, rationalism (‘intelligibilism’, sufficient cause)
Materialism and empiricism
Modern and current
Identity, space, and time
Causation, determinism, and freedom
Consciousness, mind, and matter
Pertinent issues from this document and:
Metaphysics of questions
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
Over and above the goals at the beginning of the previous chapter, specific aims for this chapter are as follows—
In this chapter the aim is to formulate a system of human knowledge using (i) the real 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.
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 real 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’.
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)
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, paradigm, way of knowledge (received, method—see § Reason), way of life, catalyst of change, primal*, secular*, transsecular*
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.
There is repetition, above and below
Humanities and humanism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanities Humanities - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism Humanism - Wikipedia
humanities (what we should know to live well; and relate and contribute to the human side of culture); see—
Knowledge—its nature and history
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_knowledge History of knowledge - Wikipedia
knowledge (see § Meaning and knowledge)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy Philosophy - Wikipedia
philosophy (study of the universe in all its aspects, not just the material; employs concepts to capture experience of the world, sees knowledge and the disciplines as being in the universe, focus is on the boundary of the known and partially known, includes the subject matter of sciences in principle but in practice studies the sciences and their methods as objects, is critical and imaginative, the arch meta discipline—study of philosophy is part of philosophy, sometimes thought of as restricted—e.g., to clarification of ideas and not study of the world but this is mistaken in principle for it is a ½ study and a ½ study is not a study let alone philosophy)
reason (see § Reason)
tradition* (what is valid in the knowledge and practices of all cultures over time and space)
religion (employment of entire Being in the realization of all Being)
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.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/philosophy-religion/ Philosophy of Religion (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)*
Where should this material be placed?
Where should this material be placed?
Ways and catalysts
The ways** are traditional and evolving ways, personal and societal, of knowledge and realization of the ultimate (from and in the immediate).
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 efficient active and other experiences that transform beings, identities, and world views (and recognized and other means for the same).
The following are some catalysts—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. Critical imagination applied to human knowledge, culture, and action is catalytic.
There is no ontological need for the concept of spirit over and above that of Being.
Concepts of spirit, soul, and God, are found ontologically superfluous.
spirit, soul, God
foundation*, substance*, problem of substance*, foundation in Being*
foundationalism*, foundation*, non relative foundation*, relative foundation*
metaphysics*, possibility*—a well defined and consistent general concept (real—pattern, natural law – abbreviated ‘law’; universal, natural, common, worldly, cosmological, sentient, greatest, best), necessity*; logic*; greatest possibility*—meaning of ‘greatest’, greatest possible universe; logical possibility; causation*, real causation* (patterned, lawlike, contingent), necessary causation* (logical, necessary); logical causation* (possibility, necessity); best possible world* or universe
see links just above
see links just above
The real (and the artifactual)
real (universe), artifactual (universe of created Being—question of whether there is a distinction between the existent and the created), possible identities of the real and the artifactual
repeated from foundation of reason: fact*, observation*, error*, gross error*, fine error*, validation*, meaning*, interpretation*, theory*, pattern* (visual pattern*, abstract pattern*), corroboration*, pragmatic fact*, precision*, necessary fact*, metaphysical context*, inference*, pragmatic inference*, induction* (abduction*, conductive argument*), imagination*, criticism*, valuation*, necessary inference*, deductive logic*, logics*, syntax*, semantics*, interpretation*, truth* (meaning), model*
Abstract sciences and symbolic systems
Linguistics and language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistics Linguistics - Wikipedia
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/linguistics/ Philosophy of Linguistics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_language Philosophy of language - Wikipedia
concept* (any mental content; in the context of language it is intentional—allowing intentionality* to be ‘zero’ but not null; individual vs shared concept; shared concept, normativity of intention vs absolute intention—e.g., by abstraction, degrees of), sign* (simple, compound), symbol* (a sign and associated concept—which is after all a concept—individual and individual-shared, rigid vs rigid-flexible), object* (existent, existent as extended concept vs existent as object and their non exclusivity, meaning* (symbols, their systems, and possible objects, meaning in icon-sign-symbol form; range of possible objects or potential objects); language* (as system of relatively icon-free meaning—stabilized by icon, realism, sharing, and convention; role of convention and mutual learning and experience in emphasizing cultural vs intrinsic aspects of meaning); use in efficient but abstracted representation and communication; syntax and semantics), knowledge* (meaning realized—i.e. symbols and actual objects; intentionality coming to have a referential* aspect… which may be absolute by abstraction)
linguistics (study of language and languages; systematic study—general properties of language, production of language, functions of language and effectiveness; philosophical study—the concept of language and related concepts… and the analysis of the study and methods of linguistics; scientific—experimental, conceptual, and field, e.g. anthropology)
disciplines of linguistics—phonetics (the study of the production, acoustics and hearing of speech sounds), phonology (the patterning of sounds), morphology (the structure of words), syntax (the structure of sentences), semantics (meaning), pragmatics (language in context)
What is linguistics and why study it? | The Department of Linguistics (University of Arizona)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic Logic - Wikipedia
logic, science, new knowledge, free concept formation, hypothesis, fit, error, abduction, scientific method, concept-world coherence, possible world, syntax, semantics, pure concept-concept coherence
Logic may be defined via comparison and contrast with science. New knowledge is possible via observation and free concept formation—hypotheses—fitted to the observation and existing and tentatively established free concepts at a number of levels (except when absolutely established, all knowledge must be regarded as possibly tentative). Free concept formation in science at a high level is typically engaged when existing conceptual systems are inconsistent—either with one another or with (new) observation (or both).
The freely formed concepts are suggested by the context and may be correct (‘fit’) or not. It is essential to observe that the source of fit and error are the same; therefore the latter must be accepted as part of the process (of fitting new systems and then re-fitting when established systems break down). The errors or incompleteness of fit have two sources (the first, item #1 below, is written in two parts A and B):
1. A. In relation to the world—i.e. observation or existing systems; then the free concepts must be adjusted till fit occurs; this is an essential part of scientific discovery of laws and theories and has been called ‘abduction’; together with experiment and observation (and their corroboration) it constitutes scientific method. Such fit may be called concept-world coherence.
1. B. In relation to the elements of the free concept system—suppose, for example, that third of Newton’s laws were denied, it would then follow that even if the second law held for particles it might not hold for bodies in the form: rate of change of momentum is proportional to net external force. Given the second law, then if we wish to have a coherent system, we are forced to conclude the third law. But it is possible that a system could lack coherence in this sense—it would just not fit our world, i.e. we would label it ‘non-physical’. Considerations of this type, though they are conceptual, fall under item #1, ‘in relation to the world’ and are an aspect of concept-world coherence.
2. Again in relation to the elements of the free concept system—it is possible to formulate a free concept system that is inherently contradictory—i.e. not just contradictory of the form and nature of our world but of any possible world. That is, the contradiction does not lie in the relation of the system to the world but in the internal relations among the constituent concepts (and this may be taken as a conception or definition of the notion of ‘possible worlds’). The syntax or semantics that disallow only such contradiction but do not disallow the contingent contradictions of #2 are logical. There is a kind of fit involved but it is pure concept-concept coherence in that it concerns only concept-concept relations and not concept-world relations.
Mathematics and computer science
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics Mathematics - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_science Computer science - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_theory Information theory - Wikipedia
mathematics—efficient representation of regularity of form, aided by intuition, and by (i) symbolic means (the modern axiomatic approach, grounded in proof via logic), (ii) study of reality (originally empirical, experimental via computer and numerical approaches), which may be exhaustive but is often suggestive of pattern, (iii) study of abstract or Platonic reality (generally regarded as hypothetical; as apprehended in intuition and as apprehended in the abstract world as real—either from intuition or the real metaphysics that establishes the abstract and the concrete both as real and distinguished only by means of study)
issues in the nature of mathematics—proof vs intuition vs proof and intuition; realism vs mere abstraction; mathematics and navigation of the universe (‘the future’)
meta-discipline (study of disciplines by any valid means—historical, experimental, and analytical); metamathematics, Metaphilosophy, philosophy of science (and so on)
A discipline studies some aspect of the world. Generally, a meta-discipline studies the discipline. For example metamathematics is the study of mathematics using the methods of mathematics (mathematics is an aspect of the world even though on materialism it is not part of the material world). On the other the meta discipline for biology (for example) is philosophy of biology (which includes methodology of biology). Philosophy of biology may clarify, e.g., the species concept and so lead to advance in biology itself—e.g. knowledge actual species. But philosophy of biology does not lead directly to advance in biology (one could quibble about that). On the other hand, metamathematics is usually the formal study of mathematical systems and often leads to results in the mathematical systems.
https://www.iep.utm.edu/con-meta/ Metaphilosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Metaphilosophy is study of philosophy. It asks questions such as—“What is philosophy? What is philosophy for? How should philosophy be done?”
Now the world is seamless. Knowledge is part of the world as is knowledge of knowledge. At the highest level we are immersed in it and there are no meta-disciplines.
So is Metaphilosophy part of philosophy? There is no consensus. Definitely, Metaphilosophy raises new questions or old questions in a new light—since philosophy itself is not constant, could not these new matters be considered philosophy?
It depends on what we understand by philosophy. Originally it might have been said that philosophy is the mother of all disciplines—or the discipline that studies the world without regard to its distinctions. Today, philosophy is usually seen in a different light. But is that different light essential or is it a matter of focus and division of labor?
The meta-disciplines are significant not just in study and clarification of the nature of the disciplines but also in direct disciplinary consequences.
Metaphysics occupies an unusual place as a possible meta-discipline. Aristotle used it in a number of meanings including the study of being and the first science. Thus it is not literally the study of physics. The origin of the term is accidental and not due to Aristotle (one received version of the origin is that Aristotle’s books on metaphysics should be studied after his works on physics). Today, looking at the extant studies labeled ‘metaphysics’, metaphysics cannot be considered well defined. However, if we use the meaning in this essay (study of the real), metaphysics includes as very special cases both physics and philosophy of physics, mathematics and metamathematics. But here, we ought to regard it as study of the real adjoined to ways to study—and realize—the real.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science Science - Wikipedia
Psychology, mind and the dimensions of Being
Consider combining with metaphysics of experience
Continuous with the section(s) on metaphysics of experience; ‘dimensions’ may be in either one of the locations
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology Psychology - Wikipedia
The dimensions of mind
Complete this using the following references in this document and others—
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.
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
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/categories/ Categories (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Dimensions of Being are—will be—a way of describing realms of 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?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physics Physics - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmology_(philosophy) Cosmology (philosophy) - Wikipedia
General cosmology and method
general cosmology, method—the fundamental principle, imagination, fiction, logic, emergence**, pure emergence, emergence from the void, emergence from any being, necessity as cause, teleology, no external being as creator, descriptive paradigm, models of the universe—of Being and identity, limitless arrays
first order Being (matter), second order Being (mind), form of mind (has body), modes of mind and matter
Cosmology of form and formation
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmology/ Philosophy of Cosmology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmology-theology/ Cosmology and Theology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
EarlyUniverse.html—numerical graphical experiments on origins from the void (not the big bang)
Cosmology of form and formation
the concepts of general cosmology; method and principle for cosmology of form (paradigms from the sciences of the empirical cosmos: mechanism as indeterminism within determinism from physics; adaptation and self-adaptation via non deterministic increment and selection of near stable systems—saltation is possible but improbable); transient emergence, one-step emergence, multi-step emergence; form (form, identity, change—space, Being, time); cosmology of formation and origins, indeterminism, degree of determinism, mechanism**, adaptation, adaptation paradigm, variation and selection, incremental emergence; stability, relative stability, symmetry, near symmetry, robust form, significance of (for meaning and populations), (vs) strange cosmologies (relative infrequency and sparse population); cosmos, cosmological scales, ‘multiverse’
Numerical-graphical experiments and how to specify them*
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
Local knower, pan knower—or universal knower, fact, and inference
Physical cosmology and theoretical physics
Improve the following
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm/ Quantum Mechanics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/quantum-field-theory/ Quantum Field Theory (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_field_theory Quantum Field Theory (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_relativity General Relativity (Wikipedia)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/genrel-early/ Early Philosophical Interpretations of General Relativity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_cosmology Physical Cosmology (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe Universe (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe Observable Universe (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse Multiverse (Wikipedia)
https://theoreticalminimum.com/courses/cosmology/2013/winter/lecture-4 Cosmological Thermodynamics (Leonard Susskind)
Numerical simulation work is extensive; the following is a start.
https://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/9496 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)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Smolin#Cosmological_natural_selection (Lee Smolin - Wikipedia on Cosmological natural selection)
Physical cosmology and theoretical physics
The cosmos and its origins; method
concepts general cosmology, concepts of form and formation; physical cosmology, standard cosmology, microstructure and macrostructure; models of formation, adaptive systems models, ab initio models, transience of origins; immanent physics, law, pattern and stability; dynamics, conservation laws, second order dynamics; indeterminism, determinism, and superposed residual indeterminism (quantum behavior, quantum vacuum, quantum models of cosmos);
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
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology Biology - Wikipedia
life, history of life; ecosystem, population, distribution, organism; microstructure and macrostructure; structure (molecular, cellular, genetic material; physical, organ, system, organism); function, mechanism, development, reproduction; origins and evolution
Origins and evolution
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution Evolution - Wikipedia
evolution, theories of evolution, variation, selection, adaptation, mechanism*, emergence*, ray vs wavefront-envelope descriptions
Society and culture
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_science Social science - Wikipedia
Language in representation and communication
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language Language - Wikipedia
Knowledge—growth and transmission
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge Knowledge - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meaning_(philosophy_of_language) Meaning (philosophy of language) - Wikipedia
Politics and economics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_philosophy Political philosophy - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_science Political science - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics Economics - Wikipedia
Science and technology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science Science - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology Technology - Wikipedia
Art and the arts
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art Art - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History History - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion Religion - Wikipedia
civilization, local civilization, human civilization, universal civilization, civilizing the universe, instruments (of civilization), reason, information and technological science of universal civilization, art, religion, pragmatic agency
Inclusion of purpose with ethics is tentative as of 2/10/2020.
the way - main version.html* (2017 version of site)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/life-meaning/ The Meaning of Life (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics Ethics - Wikipedia
https://www.iep.utm.edu/ethics/ Ethics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-deontological/ Deontological Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/ Virtue Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consequentialism/ Consequentialism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-ethics/ Feminist Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/african-ethics/ African Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-ethics/ Descartes’ Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-chinese/ Chinese Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/game-ethics/ Game Theory and Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/leibniz-ethics/ Leibniz’s Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/intuitionism-ethics/ Intuitionism in Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/actualism-possibilism-ethics/ Actualism and Possibilism in Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-indian-buddhism/ Ethics in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-law-ethics/ The Natural Law Tradition in Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-ethics/ Plato’s Ethics: An Overview (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Ethics and purpose
Ethics, metaphysics and the world
value (axiology), aesthetics (and sensibility; life as aesthetic andor aesthetic as ‘applied to life’; aesthetics and nature; art, pure art or art as symbol, applied art—art as function andor as applied to the functional), ethics (and morals)
origin of ethics (or origins; history of ethics; paleo-ethics; freedom from instinct as source of the possibility of and reason—need and opportunity—for ethics)
normative ethics, meta-ethics, applied ethics
normative ethics (deontological, consequential, and virtue ethics); note that these ‘kinds’ refer to emphasis rather than exclusivity of approach—which suggests the distinction of purism vs contextualism (the latter is not situation ethics)
meta-ethics (ontological nature of ethics—whether ethics immanent in Being or somehow lies outside the real; question of intrinsic ethical value—e.g. Kant’s view that good will is the only intrinsic ethical value; foundations—deontological andor consequential, axiomatic andor scientific, relative andor absolute, pure andor mixed with pragmatic and situational considerations)
Note that ‘absolute’ above does not connote compulsion; rather it refers to the position that no further foundation need be sought
ethics of realization (from the real metaphysics, realization of the ultimate is seen as a high value—perhaps the highest but not exclusive; the main ethical concern of realization is to balance effort, aspiration, and resources between activity in and toward the immediate and the ultimate), ethical imperative (the concept of essential but not compulsive action and choice; from the real metaphysics some imperatives include (a) preliminary imperative to understand the metaphysics and its implications and to overcome the double bind that arises from dogmatic attitudes to religion and science, (b) the imperative to realization over just understanding and shared over just individual realization, and (c) local imperatives)
local ethics (the ethics of and for our world; mutually determining with the ultimate ethics above—neither determined by nor determining ultimate ethics; ethical principles for and in the ethics of knowledge, politics, economics, medicine, technology)
ethical holism (that ethics is not really a discipline separate from metaphysics; that ethics is not so much applied to situations as that it infuses situations; that the ‘situations’ range from particular to the entire human and human endeavor; that whereas politics and economics are essentially interwoven at a pragmatic level, ethics and political-economics are not ultimately distinct)
It is effective to place this topic here as grounding and complement to ethics; and as fully being human derives from the real metaphysics.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/ Martin Heidegger (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)*
Recall that reason involves the entire being.
Being human is be-ing at the intersection of the limited and the limitless—(apparently) limited being capable via mind, understood expansively, of understanding and negotiating the infinite in abstract and the concrete beginning of limitlessness.
Grounded in nature and civilization by body and mind; and by the same in the universe.
becoming human (growth), emergence of reason (childhood, youth), reflexive reason (understanding reason, reason about reason), culture (role, adjustment, achievement), life role (student, adult, relationship, parent, maturity, ageing and dying), remaining human (time, death, authenticity), function role (play, education, life path—career: maintained, maintainer, seeker, forerunner or outlier, leader)
tat tvam asi (you are that—self as ultimate real)
transcendence (culture-transcendence—defining limits of culture and paradigm; self-transcendence—actualizing, reason and the ultimate)
World and opportunity
Alternate titles—Problem and opportunity, Crisis and opportunity
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-level_Panel_on_Threats,_Challenges_and_Change (UN) High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change - Wikipedia
In its 2004 report, the Panel identified ten threats (1) Poverty (2) Infectious disease (3) Environmental degradation (4) Inter-state war (5) Civil war (6) Genocide (7) Other atrocities (e.g., trade in women and children for sexual slavery, or kidnapping for body parts) (8) Weapons of mass destruction (nuclear proliferation, chemical weapon proliferation, biological weapon proliferation) (9) Terrorism (10) 10Transnational organized crime
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Smalley Richard Smalley - Wikipedia
In the late 1990’s Richard Smalley presented a list (1) Energy (2) Water (3) Food (4)
Environment (5) Poverty (6) Terrorism and war (7) Disease (8) Education (9) Democracy (10) Population
World and opportunity
The world—problem and opportunity: material, political, ethical, cultural, and symbolic.
world, problem, opportunity, problem solving (political, economic, social, transsecular)
What are the problems of the world? A number of lists have been presented. Here are some issues with such lists (i) how to define the most important problems, (ii) problem and opportunity should perhaps be seen side by side, (iii) a bare list does not necessarily provide insight on how to approach the problems—materially, economically, politically, and socially (iv) typical lists and implied approaches tend to be secular or religious but the metaphysics implies that there is a far large real and inspirational context than seen in the conventional secular-transsecular picture.
With that in mind here is a list, with modification, extracted from a more detailed version in the way - world problems and opportunities.html
1. Problems—population, poverty and disease, violence, atrocities, the environment.
2. Resources—environment, material, human, social (and economic and political).
3. Deployment—culture, knowledge of the material world and transformation of Being, education.
4. Geopolitics—the fundamental problem of political action and the ideal of liberal democracy.
Destiny will be regarded as the part of the future that can be known and influenced.
It is tacit to know and influence that part of the future.
It is not possible to predict the future in detail; nor is it meaningful. Indeed, the concern here is not to predict at all but (i) to note that which is given and (ii) to raise some questions.
The realization of the ultimate is given. The questions concern its value and means; these are addressed elsewhere in the essay.
The concern of this section is the role and continuity of our cultures as regards destiny. Two questions are
1. What role might we expect of human knowledge? Are our emphases defining of and adequate to the future? Almost certainly there will be changes but the question is how extensive they might be with regard to the conception and practice of knowledge and its disciplines. For example, what alternatives can we see for the sciences and logic and mathematics? Art? And so on.
2. Similar questions regarding politics, economics, technology, religion, nationhood and more.
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)
The Way, traditional ways
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)
means, method, reason*, logos*, real metaphysics* (previously perfect metaphysics*)
What is the way of realization?
Reason is the way, means, or method of realization.*
The section begins with preliminaries—useful adjuncts to reason.
We begin with preliminaries—dimensions of Being and tradition.
Dimensions of Being*
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 real metaphysics.
reason and yoga (¿and logos and the real metaphysics?); their identity*
see § Religion
ways of knowledge, life and practice; and catalysts
religion, religions, yoga, reason*, logos*
See templates below
Integration of ways, catalysts, and reason
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
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_paths_to_liberation Buddhist paths to liberation (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Noble_Truths Four Noble Truths (Wikipedia)
https://btpsychology.com.au/1322-2/ Four paths to liberation (Breakthrough psychology practice)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Yogas Three Yogas (Wikipedia)—talks of four ways
On the templates
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.
Living in the world—traditional and modern approaches
There is a range of approaches to living in this world—the aim here is to be representative, not comprehensive; here is a short list of which only the bold items are a current interest. The primal ways of life; the religions of the East, especially Hinduism (especially Yoga and Advaita Vedanta) and Buddhism; the Abrahamic religions, i.e. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; and a range of secular / modern approaches, for example Secular humanism, existentialism, a range of psychotherapies and psychoanalysis, and a range of other experimental / more or less ad hoc approaches—for example on ‘how to live life to the fullest’.
Buddhism—A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, C.A. Moore and S. Radhakrishnan, 1957; and my memory.
Secular humanism—Secular humanism (Wikipedia); and my memory.
The elements of an approach may include—
A philosophy, metaphysics, cosmology, and psychology.
This defines the world in which we live according to the approach. It defines
condition and aim of living. It may include afterlife, eternal destiny,
spiritual and divine being or beings.
Phases of life
Community and involvement.
For The Way of Being
For living in the world, the real metaphysics reveals the approaches of Yoga and Buddhism to be robust. For living in the immediate and ultimate as one, Advaita Vedanta is robust—and real metaphysics gives it foundation, realism, elaboration, and a path. Real metaphysics does not reject the Abrahamic religions but finds their cosmologies and paths (i) less robust as real (ii) having symbolic value in emotional and material terms.
Some elements of the traditional and modern ways are embedded in the templates. Readers may supplement the templates according to inclination and temperament—which is encouraged to be subject to reason.
While the traditional and modern ways have value, for The Way they are seen as supplements to be regarded as experimental. Perfection in this world according to the traditional-modern ways or individual internal criteria are valuable but it is always essential, in terms of values stemming from the real metaphysics, to keep such experimental notions of perfection in balance with being on a path to the ultimate.
An everyday template
§ Supplement has greater detail.
life stage, life situation, life orientation, everyday circumstance, special activity, special exploration
Items in brackets are suggestions.
Traditional and modern ways are seen as resources for The Way and its discovery under the real metaphysics. Perfection according to the ways and individual criteria are useful but seen as experimental, subject to values from the real metaphysics, and should remain in balance with being on a path to the ultimate.
The template is adaptable to a range of
1. Life stages and situations,
2. Orientations to the nature of self and universe,
3. Everyday circumstances,
4. Individual vs shared activity, and
5. Special activities and explorations.
The adaptation can be made by selecting
1. The elements,
2. The order,
3. The emphasis,
4. The timing, which may be explicit or written in, and
5. To balance structure and its abandon to favor a fresh outlook and approach.
It is understood that items (‘rise’ and so on) may be added; their selection, order, and emphasis may be changed.
Rise early-dedication-affirmation, review, realize (reflect-write on the way and yoga-exercise-share), exploration, evening renewal and community, and sleep early.
Some details under the numbered items are examples of possibilities.
1. Rise early (before the sun), dedication to the way and its aim; affirmation of the universal nature of Being; morning reflection (in nature).
Comment. Edit at ../resources/dedication-affirmation.doc#OLE_LINK8.
Dedication—I dedicate my life to The Way of Being; to living in this world and the ultimate as one. The Way or Means—To shared discovery and realization of the way under emergent reason in its pure and pragmatic dimensions. The Path—To shedding bonds of limited self so that I can see the way so clearly that even in difficulty life is flow over force—and so moving toward positive light; and to realizing the ultimate in this life and beyond.
(In the dedication and affirmation, ‘I’ may be changed to ‘we’.)
Comment. End ../resources/dedication-affirmation.doc#OLE_LINK8.
Comment. Edit at ../topic essays/dedication-affirmation.doc#OLE_LINK1.
“That pure unlimited consciousness—transcending all principles of form… that is supreme reality. That is the ground for the establishment of all things—and that is the essence of the universe. By That the universe lives and breathes, and That alone am I. Thus I embody and am the universe in its ordinary and most transcendent form.”
Comment. End ../resources/dedication-affirmation.doc#OLE_LINK1.
2. Meditative-contemplative review of priorities and plans—the day, life, the path or way.
Reflect on realization, priorities, and means; employ simple reflection, (calming) 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 for details).
3. Realization—work and relationships, ideas and action, yoga-exercise-meditation-share in practice and in action, tasks and meals. Other activities or ‘engagement in the world’ (—e.g., languages, art).
Experience as conscious awareness in all its forms (receptive or ‘attitudinal’, pure thought-emotion, and ‘actionable’) is fundamental—it is the place of meaning and our Being. One does not transcends experience (one does transcend one’s experience in life and in merging with greater Being) but yet there is perfect knowing. Experience is key to yoga in two ways—as a direct path to higher experiential Being and via knowledge and action as a platform for transformation.
4. Tasks—daily and long term; meals. Attitude—an element of realization; light; yoga in action.
5. Physical activity… exercise and exploration of the worlds of nature and culture for experience and inspiration.
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.
Experience traditions for learning and impact on identity.
6. Evening rest, renewal, review, realization, network, community, tasks, preparation and dedication for the next day and the future, sleep early.
A universal template
The source for the universal template is paste special from templates for realization.html (doc) and editing should be done there and the link updated here. The heading levels of the source are higher than they should be here; therefore the level 2 heads in the paste special link below should be changed to level 5. The paste special link begins immediately—
A source for the dimensions is the document Experience and its dimensions. For further information see system of human knowledge… (doc) and its supplement (doc). In a journey in being-outline.html see § A system of the world and § Templates > § Site sources.
The universal template addresses the dimensions of Being (experience and experienced)—
1. Pure—psyche and world (experience and experienced); relation and change (interaction and process).
2. Pragmatic—world as psyche (experience), nature, society and civilization, and the universal (and unknown); with interaction and dynamics (human relations and action).
The aim of The Way of Being | A Journey includes realization of the ultimate in and from the immediate.
A many faceted problem faces us. Let us describe it together with approach to resolution.
Essential concepts will be seeing the truth, rational-emotive living, yoga*, secular tradition, default secularism
1. How to see the truth. From the seeming finite, it may be hard to see how the ultimate-as-demonstrated is true, let alone achievable. An approach is not just rational seeing but rational-emotive living.
Rational-emotive living. To see the truth of the
ultimate a first step is to review the demonstration and its heuristics. The
demonstration itself may be affirmed simply—“Because there are no constraints
in the non-manifest (void), the manifest (universe) is necessary. Necessity
of just the empirical universe contradicts the symmetry that is the essential
simplicity of the void. Therefore, of necessity, the real universe is
realization of the greatest possibility.”
3. Yoga. Yoga is of mind and body emphasizing mental and physical exercise and exposure to nature and culture—in practice, action, and world-community. The meaning of ‘Yoga’ is at most suggested by tradition. Important as tradition is, we recognize that its self-definition is its essential limit.
Absent a final metaphysics, the intensional notion of Yoga must be open; but given the metaphysics the intensional meaning of Yoga is reason—i.e., the real metaphysics itself. From the real metaphysics—especially the limitlessness and essential ever freshness of the variety, peaking, and dissolution of Being—the extensive meaning of Yoga is and must be ever open.
4. The secular tradition to the present day. Secular knowledge and technology of transformation and exploration—for individual and world-community… as detailed in § A system of the world in a journey in being-outline.html.
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 template is adaptable to a range of personal orientations, contexts of sharing, and life stages and situations.
The adaptation can be made by selecting the elements, the emphases, and degrees of shared versus individual endeavor.
Pure Being and community, ideas (reflection, writing, publishing), Becoming (nature with psyche, civilization – society – community, artifact, universal and unknown), and Universal Being.
1. Being—Dimensions (a) Pure Being… (an aim), Being as if timeless and without restriction to place in the present (b) Community—a spiritual home and sharing community (‘Sangha’).
Detail. Everyday process bridges the immediate-ultimate. Vision retreat. Explanation. Being in and search for home and universal yogic connection is important. Home and community are ground. Home is a place from which to look out on the world with wonder and invitation to the real. Community ought to be supportive of truth and development in truth, encouraging yet critical, not steeped in either secular or transsecular limits of vision or dogma. Normative truth in Sangha or community leads to truth and transformation of persons; and real truth of enlightened and transformed persons gives back to normative truth in Sangha.
2. Ideas—Dimensions (a) relation, knowing (as relation to the world) (b) acting.
Detail: Reason; art. Explanation. Ideas are the first place of Being, significance, and action; and are instrumental in realization.
3. Becoming—Dimensions: nature, psyche, and their interactions; immersion in nature as a place of Being and catalyst to the real. Effect on culture and understanding of the universal.
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; the focus is nature as gateway. Explanation. Nature is inspiration on multiple counts—an essential place and image of Being, catalyst to meditation and ideas. Life in nature exemplifies Being. What is the be-ing of animals? Nature is a path to the real. Meditation (yoga) is an intrinsic way to centered and transformative attitude in this world, and shedding limitations (bondage) of self and growing into universal life.
4. Becoming—Dimensions: civilization and society (culture and its dimensions; instrumental and immersive politics and economics). Contribution of culture to understanding of the universal. Institution is a twofold aspect of this phase—(i) accessing the range of social and cultural institutions of society (ii) building specific institutions for realization and community.
Detail. See Instrumental modes of transformation (in system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html*) for a shared approach to transformation, community, civilization and population of earth and universe). Intrinsic and instrumental thought (social-political-economic philosophy—see politics and cultural economics.html) and action—(i) meditation is guide to action and shedding bondage of self (ii) the system of knowledge is a guide to comprehensive secular and transsecular elements of local through global action. Explanation. Civilization is vehicle for and path to the real.
Detail. A dual approach to transformation of psyche and civilization. What is a good attitude and approach? (i) Awareness of self and limitation—and acceptance and openness toward it; but to openly aim at the highest in this life and beyond (and their interaction and recognition of the poverty of exclusively secular and exclusively—dogmatic—transsecular approaches). (ii) Cultivation of the attitude in meditation-yoga-practice. (iii) Laying out dimensions, levels, and foci of action. Dimensions of the world (psyche, nature, society and civilization—secular and transsecular, the universal): see system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html for systematic detail. Levels: individual to universal. Foci: assessment of problems, opportunities, and targets of action—see § Challenges and opportunities in Journey in Being-detail.html. (iv) Action in the context of and by community or Sangha; there is no limitation of Sangha to just small scale or spiritual communities.
5. Becoming—Dimension: artifact (technology, especially as enhancing Being in the universe). ‘Civilizing the universe’—i.e. universe as peak consciousness via spread of sapient Being.
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). Address of pain via modern medicine and therapy, supplemented by what is good in the traditions, is important to individuals and realization by civilization—either in part or in whole. 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—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.
Supplement to the templates
The entire content of this section is paste special from ..\topic essays\templates for realization.doc (§ Supplement to the templates) and should be edited there and the link updated here.
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.
The meditative aspect of Yoga—from A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, S. Radhakrishnan and C. A. Moore—which in line with the experimental attitude is suggestive. See the quote above beginning “The special feature of the Yoga system…”
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
reason, yoga, and the identity of all fundamental approaches to knowledge, be-ing, and becoming
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.
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 real metaphysics of The Way renders the metaphysical systems of such authors trivial even where true—the real 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.
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.
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
Contemplating the four thoughts (Vipasana), cutting, and Shamatha (relaxation)—precious human existence / impermanence / karma and rebirth / ocean of suffering
Shamatha, cutting, vipasana
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.
Epilogue, next, the future, passing the torch
Resources for The Way of Being
comprehensive resource, the universe, empirical universe, transempirical universe, journey; human knowledge, boundary of theory, metaphysics
Essential sources for transformation-realization
Find resource essays and improve
Continue to compile from the bibliographies.html* and the Internet…
targeted resource, covering resource
The following sources, though incomplete as a comprehensive resource, cover many of the topics important to Chapter: The way
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
The Way of Being website resources
Begin with useful links.html*—has links to external resources
…and information on some of my sources
The Way of Being | A Journey as resource
To see The Way as a resource, follow table of contents.
search for meaning, historical resource, on text, shared meaning, common paradigms and their limits, the limit of default secularism and dogmatic religion, the conventional boundary of experience, the ultimate boundary of experience
metaphysics as knowledge of the real, a perfect ultimate metaphysics founded in experience and Being, the ultimate and its realization (as distinct from mere knowledge and mere awe), reason
developments in metaphysics—metaphysics of experience, possibility of metaphysics, principle of sufficient reason, fundamental question of metaphysics, kinds of Being, abstract and concrete objects, identity – space – time, problems of metaphysics—Greece – scholasticism – early modern – modern and current
a system of the world based in the real metaphysics
the way of realization of the ultimate in and from the immediate, means, ways and catalysts (with tradition), path templates
Lessons for The Way
Lessons for The Way of Being and To The Reader
A Journey as an informal resource
In old essays (see Site sources above)
my life and search—nature, culture, and mutual inspiration; breadth, depth, and search through paradigm; the essence of realization—knowledge as knowledge, realization in this life are essentially incomplete; reaching beyond this life; return to the beginning; reflexivity and reason; reflexive living – thinking – discovery – sharing – realization
the realizations-resource version.html*—2015 (Chapter: Resource)
Journey in Being-detail.html*—2014 (Chapter: Reference)
Journey in Being-full.html*—2013 (Chapter: Reference)
Index and glossary