The way of being
A brief outline
Copyright © November 16, 2020 – January 29, 2021
Comment 1. Temporary comments.
† In the longer outlines, essential headings and content are marked with a dagger.
* Stars mark headings for special topics and special or detailed content that will be only in the long outline.
The way of being
This division is a guide to the way and the book.
The way is inspired by sources, upon which it builds.
Comment 2. Make a plain English version of the ‘Wide-angle view’.
The way of being is about discovering-defining-and-creating aims of being, and about sharing and realizing those aims. Our personal aims and our views of common aims and their possible objectivity vary widely. Let us therefore attempt to set up a common ground in terms of a demonstrated worldview.
Worldviews can be liberating or constricting. I shall show that some common western worldviews are limiting in outlook and truth and then introduce realism. The development in the main text has a ground in western and eastern views.
Science is based in experience so far and so true science definitely shows part of the truth but is not known to reveal the entire truth. However, that science has revealed the entire truth is a widespread default view. The default is encouraged by (i) thinkers who argue that science has revealed everything (ii) the power and scope of science that make it seem that science covers all niches of the real (iii) the view that there is no going beyond science (iv) the unsatisfactory status of religious and mythic alternatives.
Comment 3. It is also encouraged by secular rationalizations that are a natural consequence of the foregoing as well as made acceptable where secular education and economic well-being are widespread.
Religion answers to possible truth beyond science but does so uncritically and often dogmatically. Therefore, for many persons, even though religion points to possible symbolic truth, dogma and misuse of religion discourage exploration beyond the scientific picture.
There are limits to observation. Thus, even if a limit such as the one due to a finite speed of light did not hold, it seems to be certain that we have so far observed only a finite part of the universe.
What, if anything, lies beyond what human beings have observed so far? Consider the universe to be all that there is over all measures of difference (e.g., extension and duration) and their absence. Then there is precisely one universe, and it follows that, since we know of the one universe, there is a sense in which there is nothing beyond what we know. However, in a more complete sense, what we mean by “what there is” is not just that there are things but what they are.
It is possible that what lies beyond is not just infinite but limitless in every possible way. Suppose we conceive of worlds beyond the observed, is there an absolute limit on such conceptions? If the conception were to be self-contradictory, its realization would be impossible. More generally, logic is an absolute limit. It is possible that it is the only absolute limit. But to say the universe is and not just may be the realization of logical possibility, based on the discussion so far, would be speculation.
Comment 4. The reader may be thinking ‘but logic is so sterile’. In fact, as a requirement on what is real it would be sterile. However, as a limit on the possible, it would be the most permissive—the richest—and it would leave knowledge of the real limited only by the power of imagination. In fact, the nature of logic as a limit on conceptions for possible realization, opens up a window on the nature of logic (though this is not a new idea, and has been developed by thinkers from Leibniz to David Lewis, the developments here and in the main text will empower it beyond what has been thought thus far).
Is it possible to go beyond the scientific picture without mere speculation? Consider the following argument. If the universe is ever in a void state—a state of nothingness, i.e., a state where there is no being at all—then there would be neither laws nor constraints and, so, all possibility would emerge from the void. Does the void exist? Yes, in that the existence and nonexistence of void are equivalent. Therefore, the universe is the realization of all possibility.
Comment 5. That the universe is the realization of all possibility will be named the fundamental principle of metaphysics, which will be abbreviated to ‘the fundamental principle’ and ‘FP’.
What kind of possibility? It must be the greatest kind, subject to consistency. That is the universe is the realization of logical possibility. This is the greatest possibility in the sense that all concepts whose realization entail no violation of logic are realized. It does not mean that the universe is the best possible, but it is entailed that it contains the best.
Comment 6. It has been shown that there must be phases of something rather than nothing—and much more.
The demonstration ought to be doubted. Doubt may arise regarding premises and inferences. The premises are (i) consistency of the concepts—the universe, the void, and logic (ii) existence of the universe (iii) validity of the application of logic. The consistency of the concepts follows from their abstract character—i.e., that the abstraction in question is filtering out what is subject to distortion. This is evident regarding the universe and the void. Regarding logic, what is being done is to define logic—it is not assumed that our logics are true logics (more is said on this point below). The critical step is the demonstration of the existence of the void. The main text gives further proofs (and heuristics), but doubt is not entirely removed. However, existence of the void is consistent with experience and therefore existence of the void may be taken as (i) a postulate (ii) and existential principle of action.
Comment 7. A technical doubt concerns a logic so vast as to contain specification of an unrestricted universe. It is recognized that there are problems with concepts such as ‘all objects’ and ‘unrestricted quantification’. However, the situation is not one of application of a priori logic. Rather, the logic is to emerge simultaneously with discovery of the world and forms of expression. Naturally, our logics will have application. And, in any case, regardless how well developed our logics are, it is clear that what is revealed is a necessarily existent universe that is limitlessly greater than otherwise imagined, not just in reason, or from science, but perhaps also in dreaming and fiction.
Comment 8. This is one way in which it emerges that logic is empirical. It is (thus) that logic is the theory of everything, and, beyond our logics, there are logics—involving newer modes of expression—awaiting discovery. It is further seen to be empirical in that logic is the constraint on a (kind of) conceptual expression for realization at all, and the determination of the same must be empirical. In this manner, logic and science are on one footing—(i) discovery of theories, logical – scientific – mathematical, are empirical-hypothetical while (ii) proof under a theory is deductive. This may be expressed in another way—logic is the condition for concepts to be realized at all, science is the condition for realization in a particular context (and thus, science presumes logic).
Comment 9. The demonstration of the fundamental principle, above, will be revisited and further critiqued in the text. The nature of logical possibility will be developed. Consequences will be derived. The result will be to establish a worldview that goes far beyond what is generally held as established. Here, a few consequences will be examined—
The universe has identity. The universe and its identity are limitless with regard to variety, kind, extension, duration (and any other measures beyond space and time or their absence), peak without limit, and dissolution. In particular there are arrays of cosmoses without limit to number and variety of physical law. If all that is given is present experience, then the universe of individual experience beyond the present, must be limitless like the universe itself. In the whole the universe and the individual are absolutely indeterministic. But part of that is the being of phases with form, cause, and change—individuals, worlds, cosmoses among whose apparent limits, except for the logical, are not absolute even though real. There are and must be effective enjoyable paths, beginning in our world, from the world to the ultimate. Our being is part of and the same as the ultimate and the eternal.
Comment 10. The sense in which the universe is absolutely indeterministic is that given a state, other putatively related states are not determined at all (except for possibility).
Comment 12. What is valid in cumulative human culture, including science, is instrumental in realization. The metaphysical consequences above guide and illuminate culture, and culture illustrates and is instrumental in the ultimate picture. Human culture has what may be called ‘unnatural’ criteria of validity for knowledge—they are unnatural in that they do not arise naturally along with the knowledge itself but, regardless of attempts at rationality, have an ad hoc nature, in part due to the fact that the function of knowledge is not given or perfectly known. But now, the metaphysical provides natural criteria—it reveals an ideal ultimate, and relative to that ultimate, culture is the best and perfect instrument because its iterations from civilization to civilization and cosmos to cosmos will and must succeed. But the metaphysical itself is perfect on any count—so far as perfection is possible and meaningful. Therefore, the dual system—the metaphysical and the cultural—constitute an organic or natural whole that bear with them their own criteria, which are not ad hoc or imported. The name of the system will be the real metaphysics. It is not being said that the cultural criteria are without significance; however, that significance is seen to have a delimited context.
While the present view just developed is far greater than the scientific and religious pictures it is not subject to the limits of either. Thus, while it is understandable why positivist thinkers might think the boundary of science to be the limit of the universe, their reason for thinking that way is now defused. And while the dogmatic speculations of religions make many turn away from religion, the present view is limitlessly greater in magnitude while it also meets the canons of reason and rationality.
As an example, while pain is a puzzle on the accounts of the Abrahamic Religions, on the present view (i) pain is necessarily part of the universe but (ii) an essential component of resolution of the problem of pain is that all those who have the manifest power should seek realization of the ultimate (and to alleviate pain for those without this power).
If the universe is limitless, is pain without limit? Note, first, that even if such should be the case, it would not constitute disproof of or reason to disbelieve limitlessness. However, it will be argued in the main text that the majority of systems in the universe are relatively stable and symmetric, where pain is functional and therefore not without limit.
An aim of being now emerges. It is to be in a process of discovering and being on pathways to the ultimate. Being on a pathway is not about following—rather it is about sharing: a sharing in which some individuals may be ‘spiritual leaders’ but not rule setters or sole vehicles of truth. It is not altogether about the ultimate, for the immediate is the platform for the ultimate (on a more inclusive perspective, the immediate and the ultimate are one but may be interpreted as distinct).
The aim of being is shared discovery and realization in and from the present.
It is in the present in that some individuals see it in the present, some—perhaps a few—realize it from this life as platform, and in that there are some tentative and experimental ways of doing so (which are sometimes exalted as absolute). It is from the present in that there are paths to the ultimate beyond death (i.e., of limited identities, which the real metaphysics reveals as real but not absolute), and which traverse civilizations, worlds, and cosmoses on the way to the ultimate.
Comment 13. The ultimate which in Advaita Vedanta the realization of the individual or Atman—self—and is named Brahman.
Comment 14. In the shared endeavor, all lifeways which enhance this world and or the beyond have validity. There is no suppression of either the immediate or the ultimate in favor of the other.
1.1.1 The aim of the way of being
The aim of the way being is to live in the immediate and ultimate as one—to live well in the world is to live in its transience and its embedding in the ultimate. Realizing the aim entails realizing the ultimate.
1.1.2 Limits vs limitlessness of being
There is a range of apparent limits—individuals have limited physical and mental capacities, the world has limited resources, the empirical cosmos is about 13.8 billion years and 93 billion light years in diameter, and the entire universe itself may be limited in age, size, and permissible kinds of being. However, the certain limit of being is consistency. That is, given a conceived history of the universe, the only certain limit is that the conception should not violate any logical principle. That is a very weak limit. It means that there is no real limit. It entails that individuals inherit the limitlessness of the universe. In particular it means that our apparent limits, if their violation is not a violation of logical principle, are real to us, but not absolute. Particularly, death would be real but not absolute. Of course, it is not given that the limit of consistency is attained. Therefore, the aim of the way includes discovery and realization of true limits and what may be reasonably achieved. It will be found that the true and reasonable limit is the limit of consistency (and that limits of physical and mental capacity and death, are real while in present form, there is transcendence of that form, in which the ultimate is realized. It is further found that this realization is most enjoyed and efficient when it is engaged (rather than passively achieved). Therefore, to the extent that enjoyment is a value, there is an imperative to develop and be on paths to the ultimate.
1.1.3 Means of discovery and realization
The means of the way are experience, reason, and action. Experience includes perception and conception; reason includes understanding and inference—both necessary and inductive; action includes exploration and transformation of being. One of the outcomes of experience and reason is knowledge—which includes the traditions of cultures. Most cultures have tacit or explicit world views, which guide thought and action. The worldviews are not final, but, rather, all these elements emerge and evolve together.
1.1.4 Naturalism and metaphysics
A naturalist view of the world is based in direct experience. Nature is, first, ‘the world as we find it’, which has an elementary level that is thought but not known to be unalterable by human being. In the view of nature here, the social and artifactual world is within and not apart from nature. It is efficient to find patterns—laws and theories, for example, as in logic and the concrete and abstract sciences—in nature, but, unless proven real, the patterns serve mainly to coordinate the phenomena. It is understood that experience and patterns may be in error and are subject to improvement. It recognizes that there may be an unseen world but—unless proven otherwise—is neutral toward its existence and nature. Nature may also be understood in terms of what it excludes—a supernaturalism that assigns reality, without proof, to an imagined but unseen world.
Metaphysical systems begin as a view of the universe that is consistent with but not required by experience. Such metaphysical systems are labeled ‘speculative’ or ‘hypothetical’. Thus, the connotation of ‘speculative’ in ‘speculative metaphysics’ is not pejorative—it does not connote mere, wild, or irrational speculation. Many metaphysical systems in the history of philosophy are speculative in this sense. Such systems may be refined by bringing them into line with further experience. In this sense, the theories of science are metaphysical, but it is essential of science that contact with the empirical remain close. Thus, there is a distinction between the aims of science and of metaphysics—science seeks also be to be predictive and applicable, metaphysics seeks to explore all that is real.
However, that may be, there is an imperative to seek a metaphysical system that (i) is required by and not merely consistent with experience and (ii) covers all the real, at least in its main contours.
It is commonly thought that such a metaphysics is impossible. We will find it to be eminently possible—not merely by showing possibility, but by producing such a metaphysical system (the issue of the possibility of what may be widely held impossible is taken up in on possibility and impossibility; here, it is to be noted that the only true and certain impossibility is logical impossibility, which, rather than being restrictive or sterile, is the richest possible possibility).
The system will be called a real metaphysics and will have a rational framework in that (i) the experience in which it is based, is necessarily of the real and (ii) it is consistent with and required by that experience.
The real metaphysics will be more than the framework just been described. The framework itself guarantees that the universe is without limit and that individuals realize this limitlessness, but it does not show how. The means of realization will include all valid human knowledge (with reason, where ‘reason’ shall denote the means of acquiring knowledge). Such knowledge is imperfect on its own traditional criteria. However, the value revealed by the above framework shows human knowledge to be a perfect instrument of realization (because it is the only instrument and because, in its in-process form, it is guaranteed to succeed). Further, the framework itself is found via an abstraction from pragmatic human knowledge to its real content. Thus, the framework with in-process human knowledge is a unitary and perfect system that we shall call a ‘real metaphysics’.
1.1.5 A real metaphysics
At the center of the way is a real metaphysics that is required by—necessary reason that grows out of—experience. A proven fundamental principle is that the universe is the greatest possible—in the most inclusive but consistent sense of possibility.
From this principle it follows (i) that there is one universe, which has identity and is limitless in extension, duration, variety, and peaks and dissolutions of being, all in contact with a void that has but contains no being (ii) the variety includes limitlessly many cosmoses, themselves of limitless variety and not just ones similar to ours but with different physical constants (iii) individuals inherit the power of the universe and necessarily realize he ultimate. This abstract knowledge is rendered concrete by synthesizing it with experience and the ongoing traditions of world cultures—and the outcome is the real metaphysics.
While realization is given (a) there are efficient and enjoyable paths to the ultimate (b) the fundamental principle itself does not show how to realize the ultimate—and the way is found by joining practical knowledge to the principle and its consequences, which forms the real metaphysics (c) the metaphysics has broad and deep consequences for human knowledge and exploration of the real (d) if enjoyment is a value, there is an imperative to live well in the world on a path (e) pain is unavoidable and its best address is a combination of therapy, acceptance, and being on a path (f) which is negotiated via experience and reason in terms of the real metaphysics.
The work is an elaboration of these themes.
The division on realization presents path templates designed to be adaptable to a range of life situations and personal and group orientations.
The table of contents provides a further overview.
For intelligibility, most terms used refer to concepts that belong to families of ideas in common use, every day or philosophical (see the system of concepts). Thus, the terms may be familiar to readers. However especially absent a final metaphysics or a well-defined context, the meanings of the terms may be vague, multivalued, incomplete, uncritical, without foundation, or limited.
The real metaphysics is definite, and its context is ultimate. In that context, these problems of meaning are overcome. Variety of meaning is allowed over a variety of limited contexts.
For development and understanding, it is essential to follow the defined meanings of the concepts—individually and as constituting a system.
Of course, it is enriching to relate the present meanings to the received—but to project received meanings would result in inconsistency and confusion. While related to traditional contextual meanings, the meanings here are emergent with the development. The validity of the emergent system will be found in the manner and detail of the emergence.
For a listing of concepts, see the system of concepts. The main concepts include being, experience, universe, the void and its existence, metaphysics, possibility, realization, and pathways. Observe that the meaning of ‘experience’ will be significantly enhanced to a meaning broader than its common use in the wide-angle view.
The divisions and their hierarchical structure are arranged for usability.
The picture of the universe in the real metaphysics is the foundation.
The aim of being is to live in the immediate and ultimate as one—to live well in the world is to live in its transience and its embedding in the ultimate.
Comment 15. “Presence to the real”
Comment 16. A dedication and affirmation.
Comment 17. Should this go to the division on realization? Should it be distributed throughout the document? A mix of a brief statement at one location and details distributed?
Comment 18. Statement, review, analysis, significance and use, and references to the text
Comment 19. “How to persuade”
2.1.1 The concept
Experience (and consciousness), the related concepts of phenomenal and non-phenomenal awareness
2.1.2 Experience is real
Though the seeming object of experience—the world—may be illusory, there is experience
To doubt experience is experience
Experience is the name of the immediate
2.1.3 A real world
The meaning of the term ‘real’ shall be that it is the real or non-illusory object of experience.
The meaning of the term ‘real world’ is that it is the total real or non-illusory object of experience. An equivalent term ‘the external world’ is misleading, for there is no ultimate distinction between the internal and the external.
There is experience of experience, for without it there would be no knowledge of experience
That is, experience is self-reflexive.
Thus, there is a real world, even if it is only of experience itself
There is a real world that is more than just experience
Nominally, the real is a name for the appearances or phenomena of ‘objects’.
And nominally, the real world is a name for the totality of such objects.
We will simultaneously develop a necessary meaning for the real and the fact of the existence of real objects and the real world.
Functionally, of course, at least some part of the apparent world may be designated real, but we will be able to go beyond just function.
2.1.4 Experience is relational
Experience relates subject (experience of) to object (the experienced or putative world)
But is there a real world beyond just experience? What is the world ‘made of’ and what does that question mean? This is addressed below, especially in the world and experience and the real.
2.1.5 The range of experience
Introduction—the aims of the section are understanding, use, and preparation for a fuller metaphysics of experience—e.g., Whiteheadian.
High level consciousness vs elemental experience, preliminary to the world and its interpretations.
Modes—pure (its relativity to the subject), relational (attitude, action)
In pure experience there is no actual (‘external’) object, but there is always an internal object, and a potential external object.
Therefore, experience is relation (relational)
Attitude and action are not distinct from experience as experience
Elements—feeling, object bound-free in recall (memory), concentrated-neutral, form-quality, outer-inner, intense-moderate-minimal, compelling-relaxed, focus-background
Comment 20. The following needs careful reworking and amplification. Especially with regard to what the higher elements are (intention to be considered for inclusion), and what their relation to the lower elements (also review) may be.
Foundation of the elements
Foundation of the elements is in the form of an organism and its function in an environment—e.g., existence of form follows from the nature of being; the particular forms of organism-environment follow from adaptation; feeling is the fundamental element of relation (mind, experience) from which all other elements emerge as variety—difference, quality—and combination; perception is bound to the object and is associated with intensity and compulsion from zero or minimal to strong or intensely compelling; inner-outer is self vs environment perception – is relative to the organism of focus – and is a pragmatic rather than fundamental distinction; thought and imagination are free recall that are partially controlled or willed and partly spontaneous—and reflexive, i.e. there is awareness and thus thought and imagination about thought and imagination, which is a component of will and control; emotion is a complex of thought, imagination, and feeling associated with objects; and will is the perception of self in relation to the environment, awareness of need and desire in that connection, relating need to needed action, and resulting in motive power toward needed action
Hallucination—free but intense, compelling, so seemingly bound (hypothesis)
Delusion—incoherence of free-free or free-bound modes (hypothesis), thus cross-over between delusion and hallucination
Functions—feeling, conception (iconic-symbolic), thought, imagination, emotion, intending, acting, reflexing
Mood—quality of emotive state in terms of sense of wellbeing, and energy of intention and action (hypothesis)
2.1.6 The nature of experience*
Comment 21. This section will emphasize the study of consciousness in two phases—prior to and after, say, 1970.
Comment 22. It may be efficient to place this after the first two subsections of the section on the concept of being, so that the discussion may have the benefit of the discussions of being, meaning, knowledge, and significance.
Comment 23. Alt titles—'Existence’, ‘Being as existence’
That which is.
That which may be validly said to be—in the most inclusive sense of the verb to be.
2.2.2 Essence and structure
Concept (‘experience of’), referent (‘the experienced’, object), meaning, knowledge, knowing (understanding and reason) action, verb to be, existence, being, beings, whole, part, nil
Later, understanding is conceived as part of reason, and reason will be seen as part of knowledge and knowing.
On knowing, reason, attitude, and action
At the elemental level, there is but primitive action which is ‘nothing but’ motion. As representation and symbol emerge, knowledge comes to be seen as distinct from action as the intentional and directed ‘motion’ of sentient beings, though in interaction with it. This is the situation with specialized knowledge in the disciplines. At a fundamental level, action and knowledge continue into one another. The ‘person of action’ and the ‘person of knowledge’ are functional under specialization, but in more general contexts, those functions are fractured and distorted.
2.2.3 The reality of being
To say that there is being or that being is real, is, in line with the meaning of the term ‘real’, above, is to assert that there are referents as described in the concept and structure of being.
We might say that the being is the referent.
However, it is and will turn out to be more effective, from the point of view of sound and robust conceptions of meaning and knowledge, to say that a being is a concept-object pair (the object but not the concept may be nil).
The concept of significance
The ‘significance of significance’—so far as significance counts, experience is the place of being, but the object of significance is the universe
The significance of experience includes that it is the essential though not entire place of being
The significance of being
It is a given.
It is ground of the real.
It is—will be found to be—ultimate foundation for metaphysics without substance, axiom or posit, or unending regress.
Though elementary, it is container for all being or existence, including higher being—animal, human, and any beyond.
2.3.1 The idea of cause
Reasons, power or effective cause, possibility, necessity
2.4.1 The idea of the world
2.4.2 The extent of the world
The world and its experiential boundary, interpretations (of experience), standard—material and monist as being-experience, maximal, the real
Comment 24. Should this section be placed after the fundamental principle… after the real metaphysics? Divided into two parts, one here and one later?
A category is a class of beings, usually just under being in inclusiveness. The classes should (i) be functional in understanding and explanation (ii) as far as possible, constitute a complete account of being (iii) not be too specialized (this is to be expected on account of items i and ii). Though it is not usual, being may be and is here regarded as a category. The empty class may also be seen as a category.
A variety is the range of being in a category. Though it may seem too varied to consider it so, the entire range of being is a functional variety in that it is and will be seen to be the range of beings that are metaphysically equivalent to the void.
A dimension of being is a category, especially one that is used in an explanatory worldview.
A kind is a category, dimension, or variety.
Kind, category, and dimension belong to a family of meaning.
In some parts of this section, given development so far, some kinds are known real, others possible (in the sense of ‘interpretation’ or logical possibility and consistency with experience, developed later). The possible but not so far known to be real are in (i) the concrete-abstract continuum and (ii) an experiential hierarchy > higher kinds and the universe and its identity. The listed possible will be shown real later, after development of the fundamental principle.
2.5.2 Dimensions of being
Dimensions are close in meaning to kinds and categories.
Perfect means perfectly known, which is therefore real.
Being itself—experience, experience of, the experienced
These are necessary aspects of being.
Form (no being without form), relation (no form without relation), change (no experience without change, function of relation—i.e., dynamics—on an indeterminist-determinist continuum).
Relation is part of form and therefore does not need explicit mention. I.e., the fundamental entity is, equivalently—
Form and change, or
Field and change
Foundation of the real dimensions
The nature of the pragmatic is that it includes the practical, i.e., it enables some negotiation of the world, even if incomplete with regard to precision and range; projected (e.g., cultural).
A western system of pragmatic dimensions (non-disjunction for convenience), at increasing level of detail from #i to #iv, is
(i) being-as-experiential (it will be seen later that all being is experiential in a fundamental sense of experience) > beings,
(ii) experience of and the experienced (i.e., mind and world—world includes mind, pure experience is the case where the experienced is nil—but pure experience may be experienced),
(iii) the world divides as dimensions—nature (accessible to direct experience, conceptually opposed to any presumed hypothetical inaccessible or supernatural level, presumed unmalleable in fact and to human agency at an elementary level, commonly but fallaciously presumed to lack experientiality and agency, but in fact possessed of the elements of experientiality and agency); individuals (or persons or units of higher experientiality-agency… and units of society) and society (groups of individuals in interaction—a dimension within and not apart from nature, malleable) and civilization or cohesive collections of societies across the universe—across time and worlds; and the universal (of and beyond experience so far)
(iv) the dimensions of the world divide as
nature—the elementary or physical, the complex or living, and mind—the experiential aspect of the physical and the living
psyche, individual—mind-body agents, organisms with self-awareness, meaning, volition, intention, will, and designs
society—the foundation of the dimensions of society is its arrangement as individuals, groups and institutions, as a world and in the world of nature and beyond; its functional elements must be those of knowledge (culture), decision (politic), and organization (economic), which are elaborated as the cultural (meaning, explicit and implicit knowledge and discovery, lateral communication, and vertical transmission including education), the political (decision and consensus), and the economic (all activities and institutions or social structures all activities leading to and involved in value determination and delivery—includes exploration, refinement, production, technology, resources, transactions, and meta-activities such as planning, design, and optimization; modern economics emphasizes a subset of these activities)
universe—what is in and beyond the world of experience of a civilization regarding nature, individuals, and civilization, all the way to the ultimate known via reason and necessary fact (e.g., there is a universe); includes any real but unknown
Foundation of the pragmatic dimensions
Items i and ii, above, repeat the pure dimensions.
Item iii is founded as stated, e.g., nature is accessible to direct experience, presumed unmalleable, and opposed to any hypothetical supernatural level; individuals are units of agency and of society or interactive groups of individuals; the universal is what is beyond our experience of the world so far in kind (nature and so on) and extension in form and change (‘space and time’)
Item iv is founded as explained.
Foundation of the pragmatic dimensions
Universe, definition, existence, one universe, not created, not effectively caused, possible, may be necessary
The void, existence does not follow from the definition
Existence of the void, proof, doubt, consistency with experience, postulation, existential principle
The universe as the manifest and the void
Knowledge of the concrete—directly in perception, indirectly by effect
Knowledge and definition of abstract—by abstraction and by symbolic construction
Concrete and abstract are not essentially distinct
Effective talk of all referents (objects) requires metaphysical system
All, part, nil
Sum and difference
Some aspects of the following anticipate the real metaphysics
elementary experience (feeling, atomic vs relative), stimulus-response
Clear sentience, perception
Memory, conception—iconic and symbolic, thought, emotion
Reflexive experience, intentionality, self-awareness, self-direction
Individuals or persons
capable of apparent understanding and design but—from the real metaphysics—also true understanding and design
capable of—reflexively—understanding and knowing the above
Heidegger’s Dasein and comprehension of the question of the meaning of being (with Sorge or concern, the structure of consciousness par excellence, elevated to the ultimate—per Heidegger)
Human beings and perhaps some other animals are likely on a low rung of intelligent agency
Possible and therefore per the real metaphysics, true higher and remote kinds but, if their power is not organic, the kind is likely improbable and ineffective except in limited locales
Hypothetical higher forms and awareness of multiple lives; gods
Hypothetical self-aware phases of the universe; into which all forms merge
Of which there is a highest kind, Brahman or Aeternitas, as an actual or a progression, into which all lesser kinds (agents, remote gods) merge
Identity of self (person) and the ultimate—constant contact and communication between self and the highest kind even when the self does not have explicit knowledge of it
3.1.1 The concept
Metaphysics is knowledge of the real.
Why it must be knowledge of the real, i.e.—why knowledge-and-the-real are inseparable.
3.1.2 Possibility of metaphysics
Why metaphysics as knowledge of the real is adequate—and perfect
Metaphysics was begun in being
How it is possible—essentially a repetition of “Why metaphysics as knowledge of the real is adequate—and perfect”, above
How it will be extended
3.1.3 Justifying the term ‘metaphysics’
The historical meanings in philosophy
How the present use covers the essential historical meanings (and more)
Preview of the real metaphysics, the abstract and the concrete
Preview of the problems of metaphysics*
3.1.4 Plan of development
3.2.1 The concept
3.2.3 Logic and science
Comment 25. Enter mathematics and its relation to logic and science. To the long outline only?
Their dual empirical-rational character
Empiricism-rationalism—unity, but not identity
3.2.4 The greatest possibility
3.2.5 Metaphysical possibility
Equivalence of the unconditional (being) and the necessary (being)
Unconditional or premise free necessity and its symmetries
3.3.1 Reason as means of knowing
3.3.2 Reason as traditional reason and understanding
Immanuel Kant is the exemplar of the traditional senses—for Kant, understanding is direct knowledge and reason is knowledge by inference. The sense of reason here, covers the entire process of knowing—i.e., understanding and reason (which may, of course, include action in itself and as experience).
When certain kinds of assertions of fact or inference are claimed impossible, possible, contingent, probable, or necessary, it is, except when otherwise clear, based on accepted paradigms of the world and reason. It is critical to identify the paradigms, subject them to critique, to identify their presumptions of reason and value, and to attempt to seek greater paradigms, up to the absolutely limiting paradigm(s) that there may be.
Comment 26. Is this the best level and placement for this section? Note---there are two other sections with ‘doubt’ or ‘criticism’ in their title.
3.3.6 Doubt and certainty
3.3.7 Criticism and imagination
3.3.8 Percept and concept
… or fact and pattern
Necessary vs contingent fact and pattern
…i.e., doubt applied to itself
Must all assertions be doubted? Is certainty epistemically essential?
Proof—its nature and role
Are there other approaches to reliability in knowledge?
From existence of the void.
From considerations of necessity—see necessity.
Purposes of the heuristics include (i) understanding (ii) enhance confidence in the principle (iii) ideas for other proofs.
3.4.5 Alternatives to proof
I.e., the principle (i) in the realm of knowledge as fundamental (ii) in the realm of being and ethics (value) as existential or not having to do with proof or certainty.
Also see reflexive doubt.
3.4.6 Ultimate consequences
3.4.7 Connection to the real
The fundamental principle reveals the universe as ultimate in power and nature—the only limits on what is known true being the limits of logic on knowledge. However, the principle does not show us where we are located in relation to the ultimate or whether the ultimate is worth aiming or how to achieve it and what good paths of achievement may be. These issues are addressed by the real metaphysics.
3.5.1 The real metaphysics
Criticism immanent in the text
Critical assessment, with summary
Incorporate the criticism of ‘magical realism’ as opposed to proximate vs ultimate realism
The real metaphysics is the perfect for knowledge and realization in the universal or ultimate perspective; in this perspective, entire swathes of traditional intellectual sophistication and criticism are rendered irrelevant; knowledge and action are seen continuous and elements in a continuum, rather than essentially distinct or polar
The foregoing sophistication remains relevant in perspectives below the universal, but its significance is altered; the significance is diminished relative to the universal and while its traditional limits render it incomplete and open ended, the incompleteness is relative to detailed and local aims
3.5.4 Method of use
The concept of an interpretation
Definition—an interpretation is a description of the real or a part of the real that is consistent with experience as datum
On the choice of experience—the givenness of the subject
Here the main concern is with interpretation as description of the entire real (at some level of detail) and, unless otherwise stated, that shall be the use of ‘interpretation’ in what follows
An interpretation is a pre-metaphysics
A pre-metaphysics is consistent with experience but not known to follow from experience
If the interpretation can be shown to follow from experience, it is real and of
The world or universe
World as fact, construct, or fiction
Use of the terms ‘world’ or ‘universe’ to describe a symbolic or iconic system—hypothesized, postulated, or imaginary, is distinct from the present use. Such worlds are not—and may or may not describe—worlds in the present sense.
A sub-world in the case that the description is of part of the real
3.6.2 Interpretations without the fundamental principle
The world as and of experience
Standard monist as sub-world, extent unspecified
Conditional on cosmos as substance, the cosmos must be monist, cannot be (only) material
Field of being (and experience)
Field of being and standard monist, extent unspecified, are equivalent, when ‘zero experientiality’ is a case of ‘experientiality’
‘Possible’ means possible real.
Standard material as sub-world
Standard monist as sub-world
Field of being
Universe as experiential being, limitless
Sub world as experiential being, limited
3.6.3 Real interpretations with the principle
All interpretations in the previous section
3.7.1 A field of experiential being
3.7.2 Form, relation, and change
Discussed fundamentally in form and change, where it was seen that form includes relation and so “form, relation, and change” is equivalent to “form and change”—and to “field and change”.
Comment 27. Combine the two sections?
Sameness, difference, identity (of self and object), space, time, causation
3.8.1 Being is experiential and relational
Some beings may effectively have zero experience; all being is potentially experiential
Material and living being are not true categories but have explanatory power
3.8.2 The nature of experiential being
3.8.3 On material and living being
See kinds and varieties of being, especially lower-level sections necessary and pragmatic (dimensions of being), particular beings, the concrete-abstract continuum, beings from beings, and an experiential hierarchy.
3.9.1 The universe and its identity
3.9.2 All beings realize the ultimate
3.9.3 The block universe
The block universe
Determinism and indeterminism
3.9.4 Agency is causal in realization
3.9.5 Paths of realization
3.9.6 Problem of pain
Death as real but not absolute
Ordinary and extraordinary paths
3.9.8 Problem of limits
Death and other apparent limits
Local vs universal limits
The issues—knowledge, blocks, commitment,
Reinforcement—the moment in balance with destiny, healthy living, source literature, sustaining the way—ritual, sangha, practice, action, and nature
4.3.1 Development and use
It is convenient to have two templates—every-day and universal.
The every-day and universal templates mesh—the former emphasizes the personal, immediate, and inner; the latter emphasizes the social, instrumental, and universal… but all aspects are immanent in both templates.
Derivation from metaphysics
Adaptability—the templates are general frameworks
To be on a path is also to develop pathways
4.3.2 The templates
Comment 28. Write essential outlines from the latest document, e.g., the latest general manual.
The everyday template.
The universal template.
Comment 29. In the final version, this may be a level II heading. It is presently level I so as to show its sub-heads in the contents.
5.2.2 Resource articles
5.7.1 A system of concepts
Being and its elements are laid out in being, metaphysics is a framework of explanation in terms of a mechanism with partial causation-determinism, and realization employs the explanation toward be-ing and transformation (becoming).
5.7.2 Structure of the system
Comment 30. This division is a resource, but it might be convenient to place it separately
Being and experience
Experience, awareness, real, world, consciousness, relation
Concept, meaning, knowledge, verb to be, beings, significance
Cause, reasons, effective cause, power, possibility, necessity
The world, interpretations (of experience)
Kinds and varieties of being
Kinds, dimensions, categories
Real, form, relation (relation is part of form), change
Pragmatic, nature (elementary, living, mind); individuals and society (and civilizations); the universal
Concrete, abstract, continuum (vs polarity)
Particular beings, universe, the void, manifest, cosmos, individual
Elementary experience, feeling, stimulus-response, sentience, perception, higher sentience, memory, conception, thought, emotion, reflexive experience, intentionality, self-awareness
Individuals, persons, agents
Higher kinds, gods, Brahman, Aeternitas, ultimate
Beings from beings, all, part, nil, sum, difference
Possibility, logical and real possibility, logic, science, metaphysical possibility, necessity, unconditional (being), method
Doubt as method, certainty, reflexive doubt, proof, postulational approach, existential approach, reflexivity
Fundamental principle, consistency, derivation, proofs, heuristics
Principle as fundamental, fundamental postulate, existential principle
Real metaphysics, method of use
Universe as field of being and experience
Form (relation is part of form) and change
Sameness, difference, identity (of self and object), self, object, space, time, causation
The nature of being
Being is experiential and relational
The nature of experiential being
On material and living being
Identity of the universe, all being realize the ultimate
Paths, pain, death (as real but not absolute), ordinary paths, extraordinary paths
Problem of limits
Realization, aim of being
Means, reason, ways, catalysts, reinforcing, knowledge, blocks, commitment, the moment, destiny, healthy living, literature, ritual, sangha, practice, action