The Essential Way of Being

Anil Mitra, Copyright © March 30, 2020—June 30, 2020

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CONTENTS WITH SUMMARY

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Now

In the world

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Notation

Prologue—a journey in being

The way and its aim

The aim of the way of being is living well on the way to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.

The essence of the way

Experience is the essential constituent of the universe. It is shown to be the place of all meaning and being, and the means and vehicle of realization.

The universe is limitless—ultimate in that no greater is possible.

This assertion is named the fundamental principle of metaphysics (FP). It implies (i) not that the universe is good but that it contains all good, specifically the highest good (ii) that the individual realizes the highest good (iii) seeking is essential in realization.

There are ways to realize the ultimate.

Origin of the way

In history

The way has origins in history understood as the story of the universe with emphasis on sapient beings.

A journey in being

I see my participation in discovery of and living the way as a journey.

The concepts

Since the metaphysics of the text goes beyond established paradigms, the meanings of its concepts necessarily go beyond received meanings—incorporating what may be valid in the received.

There is a glossary of important terms.

Care

Care and the way of being

Care shall be what it takes to make thought and judgment—a work—reliable and useful.

Doubt, criticism, and response

Skepticism is doubting or criticism with the aim of improving knowledge, understanding, values, and action.

Doubt and response to doubt is an essential aspect of care.

The text

The text, sources and originality

Reading the text

Because meanings are new, it is essential to follow the definitions.

Since the metaphysics is new, it may be necessary to set aside one’s paradigms of ‘the way the world is’, to follow the development while absorbing the new gestalt.

Themes

Précis of the text

Prologue

Discovering the way

The flow of ideas

Details of the flow

The real

Experience

Experience and its signifiance

Some details on the significance of experience

Summary of the significance of experience

Experience—abstraction and interpretation

Being

Possibility

Metaphysics

The fundamental principle of metaphysics

The universe and the individual

Objections and responses

The real metaphysics

The real

The way

Templates

Review

Epilogue

Resources

Templates

Sources

2            History

History is an account of the universe from the viewpoint of the beings concerned.

The origin of the way is in history.

2.1        History and motive

2.2        Aim of the way

3            Experience

Experience is subjective or conscious awareness.

Experience is relational.

3.1        Ideas and referents

The reference of an experience is a referent.

In greater detail—the reference of an experience (or an idea or a concept), if it has one, is a referent (or ‘object’ or existent).

References arise directly in perception and inference via projected patterns. While establishment of referents generally has only pragmatic reliability, with sufficient abstraction—i.e., elimination of distorted detail, referents are precisely known.

The notion of an object without reference—direct or indirect, explicit or implicit—is without meaning.

In greater detail—a pure object as an existent without reference to it in experience, is without meaning (this and the issue of whether there is perfect knowledge are distinct). A proper description of the real is that it is a composite of reference and referenced. Formally—

When an experience has a referent, the experience-referent is real, exists, or ‘is’. Otherwise, we say that it is not real—is nonexistent.

In greater detail—when an experience (concept) has a referent, we say that the experience-referent or concept-existent is real—or that it exists or, simply, that it ‘is’ or ‘is there’. Otherwise, we say that it is not real—that it is nonexistent.

3.2        The significance of experience

There is a sense in which the individual does not transcend or ‘get outside’ experience (ideas).

Effectively, experience is never transcended.

In this sense, experience is the medium of our existence.

Significance for concept and linguistic meaning

Significant meaning

Significant meaning is what it is that gives an individual a sense of completeness in life—of finding or being in a process of finding their highest hope (though not only the highest).

Experience and experiences are the place of meaning

Experiences (ideas) are the place of meaningsignificant and linguistic—and the place of our being.

Experience is the place of our being.

An essential conclusion

Experience is the essential constituent of the universe. It is shown to be the place of all meaning and being, and the means and vehicle of realization.

3.3        The world

Descriptions consistent with experience

Analysis

Review

3.4        Being and beings

This section continues to employ concept-referent as existent. However, the concept is implicit. The concepts chosen for treatment are abstracted forms. Thus ‘being’ does not refer to the welter of detail in the world but refers only to what is in the world—i.e. whatever exists. From this abstraction, the content of the section is ontologically precise and inclusive. This is possible on account of the neutrality of being over substance. The neutrality is critical in seeing power as the measure of being.

The concepts of being, existence and nonexistence

A being is an existent; being is existence.

The term ‘a being’ is shorthand for ‘an experience-referent’.

Knowledge of being

The grammar of ‘being’

The significance of being

The measure of being

Power, effective cause, or interaction is giving or receiving effect.

The result of interaction is relation.

Power is the measure of being.

The hypothetical being that has no power, self or other, does not exist.

Beings

3.5        The universe and the void

The universe is all being.

The universe does not and cannot have an effective cause.

The universe does not and cannot have a creator God or effective first cause.

The void is the being that contains no beings.

4            Possibility

4.1        The concept of possibility

A being is possible if its conception does not prohibit a referent.

4.2        Kinds of possibility

4.3        Real and logical possibility

4.4        Science and logic

4.5        Argument

4.6        Necessity and impossibility

4.7        Unconditional being is necessary being

To have unconditional being is to exist of necessity.

4.8        Existence of the universe is necessary

Existence of the universe as the manifest-universe-and-the-void is unconditionally necessary.

4.9        The universe phases between the void and manifestation

5            Metaphysics

Introduction

What is metaphysics?

Aim of metaphysics

5.1        The fundamental principle of metaphysics

Motivation for demonstration

Demonstration

Unconditional necessity makes no presumption and therefore there must be symmetry of outcome. That is, if a being that manifests in one form is necessary, all its forms are necessary (but not all at once).

For the universe to be only manifest or only void would be an asymmetrical outcome. Therefore, the universe must have both void and manifest phases.

To be the void but once and the universe but once would also be an asymmetrical outcome. Therefore, necessity can be satisfied only if the universe phases between the void and manifestation.

This is a resolution of the question of why there is being at all—i.e., of the fundamental question of metaphysics.

Now, for only the empirical cosmos or any limited cosmos to exist would also violate the symmetry of unconditional necessity.

For the universe, asymmetrical outcomes would be (i) to be only manifest or only void, (ii) to be the void only once and manifest only once, and (iii) to be a given empirical cosmos only once.

The only worlds that cannot be realized are logically impossible worlds.

Therefore, all logically possible worlds are realized (otherwise symmetry would be violated).

The fundamental principle

The fundamental principle of metaphysics, the assertion that the universe is the realization of the greatest possibility, has just been demonstrated.

Using the fundamental principle

Significance and consequences of the fundamental principle

The fundamental principle is a focal point for the way of being—we have been building toward it and it is now a foundation of what is to follow: what may be realized by (human) being and the means of realization.

That the universe is the realization of logic, shows it to be limitless. However, our understanding of this limitlessness is limited (it does not follow that it will remain limited). One limit noted above is that our forms of logic are limited in range—great and ultimate though the revelation of the fundamental principle may be in concept, what it reveals in our hands is limited and perhaps extremely so because of (i) the stated limits of the range of our logics and (ii) limits to our computational ability in terms of received logics.

The universe has identity (‘identity’ will be defined later); the universe and its identity are limitless—it is the greatest possible; there is one universe which cycles in loops of limitless duration, extension, variety, peak of being with identity, and dissolution. This power is inherited by all beings, including individuals; not separately from one another but in merging with it, especially in its peaks as that single identity; further, from the perspective of limited individuals, the process of merging, peak, and dissolution is ever fresh.

Thus, ultimate realization is given. However, efficiency and enjoyment are enhanced by intelligent, committed, and passionate engagement—this is the value or imperative engaging in realization. Effective realization is Apollonian and Dionysian (ordered and with abandon). Paths of realization have been worked out in our traditions. However, to be on a path is not to just follow a prescription but to also be involved (intelligently etc) with the development of pathways and negotiation of the particular trajectory. Pain is unavoidable; however, the best address of pain is a dual, so far as possible, of its address in the moment with resources at hand and engagement in a path of realization.

5.2        The real metaphysics

The metaphysics

The fundamental principle and its consequences, which was named pure metaphysics, and local pragmatic knowledge, which may be called pragmatic metaphysics, join as a single system, which will be called the real metaphysics or just the metaphysics, and which is perfect in its intrinsic sense which is relative to ultimate realization.

Method for the metaphysics

Doubt, criticism, and response

5.3        Identity

5.4        Implications for experience

Metaphysics of experience

Conclusions for the real

Experience and process and its root, relation-process, are a better description of the real than object-interaction-process. They are simultaneously an ultimate ontological and ultimate significant-experiential real.

However, another description of the real, ultimate in that it covers all being in abstract, frames the entire real, and is without error, is the real as the greatest possible. Within that framework, the pragmatic or concrete achieves the real by being open rather than rigid. Relation-process as real is a current concrete ultimate—it is pragmatically certain that exceptional worlds are without significance. The block universe is another concrete ultimate; and if it suppresses explicit and universal measures of sameness-difference it is ultimate.

Conclusions for our world

From analysis of experience and the real metaphysics, the universe is a field of being, which may seem bizarre if our world is taken as paradigmatic for the universe. However, our world is not paradigmatic for the universe and the universe is a field of being—provided, of course, that the experiential aspect may be zero to minimal in some phases. In the universal field of being there will be (i) the bizarre and effectively infrequent solipsist and pure strict materialist phases, (ii) phases such as our world which, per common experience and understanding, seem materialist in nature and in that we are essentially finite organisms delimited by body, birth and death, (iii) greater worlds in which we find our individual selves part of greater organisms that transcend individual death and are able to see over multiple lives, (iv) universe as field of being that contains the previous items and for which there is a phase of Brahman that is the aggregate and more of all individuals from all worlds over the entire block universe.

5.5        Pure and pragmatic categories of being

The categories of being are high-level descriptions or kinds that, from their realism, enable and encourage negotiation of the world and, so, of realization of Being. We will also use the word ‘dimensions’ for categories.

Pure

The one pure category is that of experience or psyche-world as one.

The category of experience may be approximated as experiencer (self, Atman), experience as experiential relation (e.g., perceptions, feelings, conceptions…), and experienced (objects, the world) and change. Experience as category is world as field; correspondingly, the division is approximate and corresponds to the approximation of world as beings whose interactions are fields.

Pragmatic

Experience has form; form has extension and is (part of) body; frozen form is possible and occurs (temporarily) but is without significance except as transitional; but significance requires understanding which, even understanding as given, is process which occurs in duration; but from FP, process is necessary (perhaps there is being without extension and duration but at best its significance is infinitesimal); from FP, process requires mechanism; however, where there is mechanism, a paradigm of it is relation or interaction mediating or relating form and change.

Some pragmatic categories

Natural (relatively unconstructed); the natural contains the universal category of experience. Here are the natural kinds. Physical (elementary). Living (complex, built of the physical in that no further elements seem necessary). Experiential (mind, psyche as object, perhaps always in association with life—at least in its known advanced forms; the physical and the elementary experiential are two aspects of the natural). Psyche may be seen as a separate category.

Social (group, relatively constructed), civilization. Here are some aspects of the social. Culture (knowledge, value; neutrality to distinction between knowledge and value) … language and communication, generation, transmission. Structural or organizational (groups)—small and naturally formed (the individual, family, community) and large and institutional grouping (political, economic, technological, military, academic or research and education, artistic and religious).

Universal and incompletely known—the field view self to Being (Atman to Brahman), nests extended secular worlds.

Pragmatic categories may be chosen as of psyche, natural (physical, living, and experiential), social (group, civilization), and universal.

Experience: pragmatic categories of mind

The pragmatic categories and elements of experience are defined along three axes. (1) Attitude-pure-action. Modern philosophy of mind recognizes these as aspects of mind. Here we see that attitude and action are relational aspects of experience. The pure is not truly pure for it involves internal relation and is potential relation. Thus, philosophy of mind recognizes what we have already seen—i.e., that experience is relational. (2) Inner-outer. (3) Free-bound continuum. (4) Intensity continuum.

Primitive—root or primitive feeling that is primitive to the following forms.

Relatively bound (to world as object). Spatial (form)—inner (primitive feeling, primitive motor action without autonomy; and aggregate feeling and action) and outer (sense, action on the world); distinction between the inner and the outer is pragmatic but categorially artificial. Temporal (change)—intuition of time, recall (memory). Quality—marked by mode of relation or interaction, which identifies the kinds of quality; quality is marked by sense of being like something; it lies on a negative-neutral-positive continuum; and an intensity continuum. Primary properties are those qualities that can be associated strictly with the object, at least for pragmatic purposes.

Relatively free (including concept formation). Body—inner—feeling with degrees of freedom. World—outer—iconic and symbolic concepts; and conceptual intuition or capacity for concept formation (emotion is a join of conception and free and primitive feeling). Spatiotemporal—concept of space; concept of time, past – present – future and will and sense of purpose; concepts of science, philosophy, and the transcendent. Aesthetic—syntheses of the ‘elements’ that speak to the ‘being’ of the individual or person. Synthesis—‘mind’ in an expansive sense—perception, thought, concept formation, and feeling (emotion) come together in realism regarding the world.

5.6        Development of metaphysics

What is development of metaphysics?

What is the method of development?

What are the topics?

5.7        Doubt as a method—does experience determine the real?

Experience and the sense of the real do not seem to determine the real. That is, the real seems to be underdetermined by experience and so there are, at least seemingly, multiple descriptions of the real—interpretations of experience—that are self-consistent and consistent with experience. Thus, there is doubt about which, if any, description, or class of descriptions is true. Resolution of such ambiguity is an approach to the real.

Origin of doubt as a philosophical method

An example

Systematic formulation of the method of doubt

Why doubt?

Canonical dilemmas

What shall we do?

Knowledge

Experience and the body

The world and its origin

5.8        Cosmology

Introduction and method

Identity, extension, duration, and mechanism

Form and formation

Introduction. Another demonstration of the fundamental principle

Formation from the void

Adaptive systems

A block universe and indeterminism

The block universe is a valid description in which multiple histories converge to and diverge from a being, e.g. an individual, over a lifetime. Via these histories, beings merge with others into higher forms and the one highest form, Brahman; from which there is dissolution; and again, peaking; regarding which there is endless variety.

Physical cosmology

5.9        Reason

Reason in relation to the real metaphysics

Reason is the process, means, and accomplishments of selection of and action toward ends (and ends include but are not limited to temporal ends; being in process is an end).

How shall we delineate reason? It is delineated as the real metaphysics and its continuing development. It calls upon all elements of established reason and moves forward by critiquing and improving upon all elements. It is reflexive in applying to itself as a whole as well as reflexively in the interaction of its elements. Reflexivity requires intuitive, descriptive, and analytical phases. It includes determining effective use of reason in both delimited and open issues is part of reason.

Efficient reason

Efficient reason necessarily employs multiple frameworks, from the abstract-broad to the concrete-detailed (as in the real metaphysics), from the universal to the local, from the group to the individual. According to phase of reason, the concern of the individual both includes and suppresses their role in the process. It is both neutral and sensitive to the issues of control, error, and persuasion. To specify further is unnecessary except to work reflexively with cases (examples) and what is learned from them. The dimensions of the world are relevant as well as their modern sciences—i.e., logic, mathematics, dimensions of the world (psyche, nature, society, and the universe—i.e., metaphysics), and systems may be employed as adjuncts.

6            The Way

6.1        The aim of being

The aim of being is to living well on the way to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.

The way is and its aim are emergent, neither forced nor posited.

The means

Experience is both intrinsic and instrumental in realization.

The essential means is the intrinsic—the transformation of experience, i.e. of being as experiential.

6.2        Ways—received, reasoned, and revealed

Reason and yoga

Traditional ways and catalysts

Ways, the metaphysics, and reason

Pragmatic

6.3        Yoga

Tradition

A greater meaning of ‘yoga’

Experience as intrinsic and instrumental means of realization

“Experientiality or mind can be seen as target and means of realization. As target because it is the place of being. As means (i) intrinsically in its ability to work on itself as reason and meta-reason, (ii) instrumentally as in technological transformation of mind, body, and civilization.”

Experimental yoga and reason

Yoga is the concept, means, and realization of living well in this world and on the way to the ultimate; in this sense yoga, reason (as including action), and the real metaphysics are identical.

Yoga should inherit from the traditions and does so expansively; it is experimental and overlaps and employs reason; the final choice of yogic discipline and practice arises in evolving experience.

The practices

Practice and action

Everyday life as spiritual practice

Dimensions of practice

Meditation

Some specific meditations and meditative practices

6.4        Templates for realization

Principles of development

Reason and yoga shall be embodied in generic, adaptable, and experimental templates of action; the templates shall cover the categories or dimensions of being; there shall be every-day and universal templates.

Every-day template

Outline

The essentials of the every-day template are—rise early-dedication-affirmation, review, realize (reflect-write on the way and yoga-exercise-share), exploration, evening renewal and community, and sleep early.

The template

Rise early (before the sun), dedicate to the way and its aim, affirm the universal nature of being. Morning reflection in nature. Breakfast.

Meditative-contemplative review of priorities and plans—life, the day, the way. Reflect on realization, priorities, and means; employ simple reflection, (calming—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 the discussion of experimental yoga).

Realization—(a) work, (b) care and relationships—networking, (c) ideas and action, (c) experimental and structured yoga-exercise-meditation-share in practice and in action, (d) other activities or ‘engagement in the world’—e.g., languages, art.

Tasks—daily and long term; midday meal. Attitude—in tasks and toward others and the world—an element of realization; light; yoga in action.

Physical activity—exercise and exploration of the worlds of nature and culture for experience and inspiration.

Evening rest, renewal, review, meditation and realization, network, community, tasks, supper, preparation-dedication for the next day and future. Sleep early.

Universal template

Dimensions of world and being

Pure—absolute—psyche-world as one, which include relation and change (interaction and process); but as if psyche and world; in detail, approximated as experiencer (self, Atman), experience as experiential relation (e.g., perceptions, feelings, conceptions…), and experienced (objects, the world) and change.

Pragmatic—relative to culture—nature (physical, living, and experiential), society (and civilization), and the universal (and incompletely known); with relation or interaction and dynamics and change (human relations and action).

Outline

Essentials of a universal template are—pure being and community, ideas (reflection, writing, publishing), becoming (nature with psyche; civilization, society, and community; artifact; universal and incompletely known), and Universal Being.

The template

Being—Dimensions (a) Pure being (b) Community (c) Retreat for experience of the real. Means—details, below.

Ideas—Dimensions (a) relation, knowing (as relation to the world); reason and art (b) acting (effectively, creating the real). Means—explanation, below.

Becoming—Dimension: nature as catalyst to the real. Means—below.

Becoming—Dimension: society. Civilization as vehicle and path to the real. Transformation via psyche—by immersion in social groups as place of being and catalyst to the real. Building community and civilization. Means—below.

Challenges and opportunities of the world. The approach shall be in the context of the real. It shall identify issues. It shall employ reason, particularly efficient reason.

Becoming—Dimension: artifact. Civilizing the universe (especially technology as enhancing being in the universe)—universe as peak consciousness via spread of sapient being. Means—below.

Becoming—Dimensions: universal, incompletely known. The common way from self to Being (Atman to Brahman), via the block universe and descriptions consistent with experience. Further means—below.

Being—Dimension: universal. Realizing Being (Brahman) in the present. Apparently, rarely achieved in ‘this life’ which is a beginning that is continued beyond death. Outcome of items #2 to #6. Means—above and open.

Epilogue—into the world

Past, present, and future as one

Practice, knowing, knowledge, and action are one

Communication, text, ideas, and being

Introduction

Continuous text

The future of the way

Resources

A journey of discovery and realization

Discovery

Principles

The way of being as a formal resource

Resources on the way of being website

General

For the templates

Influential thinkers

Philosophers

Theologian philosophers

Scientist philosophers

The way in history and the modern world

Philosophy

Primal and anthropology

Eastern practices

Religion

Physical cosmology

Biology: evolution

Biology: natural history

Glossary

Terms in order of development

Glossary

 

THE WAY OF BEING | A JOURNEY

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Comment 1.                       Comments are red.

Study Topic 1.         Study Topics are red.

Comment 2.                       This is a temporary division.

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The document ..\topic essays\experience and the dimensions of the world.doc points here.

Plan

Combine with one plan

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"Heading 1,1,Heading 2,2,Heading 3,3,Heading 4,4,Paragraph Content,5,Comment,5,Study Topic,5,Manual-Definition,6,Manual-Main,6,Definition,7,Main,7"

Now

1.    Brief + manual: essential links and resources.

In the world

2.    Is an axiomatic formulation feasible, useful—partially or fully? What is preferable—a separate division or separate document?

3.    Word use. Seek definitions of standard wordsexperience (distinguish the use here, experience as conscious awareness, from non-conscious awareness and cumulative experience), identity (sameness and difference, extension and duration), terms to reconsider and to have alternates (place vs medium, the way vs a way vs the path, sangha vs community and civilization, Brahman vs Aeternitas vs Being, Atman vs true self, yoga vs reason vs logos vs some new word or combination, cause vs effect vs power vs effective cause vs necessary cause, proven vs proved vs shown vs demonstrated, everyday template vs routine, universal template vs guide vs program) Word choice for western, eastern, and universal editions Alternate terms in the glossary (experience vs idea, yoga vs logos vs reason)

4.    Study topics: See Style ‘Study Topic’.

5.    In a journey in being-outline.docm (html)—see (i) Styles ‘Topic Essays’ and ‘Topic Essays 2’ (ii) sections with headings that include the term ‘External sources’.

6.    Square the outlines of this document and a journey in being-outline (doc).

7.    Format: columns, frames… photographs?

8.    Print version: index.

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Experiment with needs for one informal section, one theoretical section, and one practice section. Possible styles—

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Normal—for numbering and miscellaneous needs

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Paragraph Content (SHIFT + CTRL + ALT + P)

See a journey in being-outline.docm styles for other styles.

Temporary notation

Comment 4.                       Comments are red (ALT + C).

Comment 5.                       Paragraph Content is green (CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + P); use of the style is temporary, to eliminate unnecessary repetition and to mark desirable repetition.
• If Paragraph Content Style occurs just under a heading, the remark applies to the entire section.
• If Paragraph Content Style does not occur just under a heading, the remark applies to the following paragraph.
• Exceptions will be noted.

Notation                                                                           

In definitions, the defined term is bold. Except in headings, other uses of bold font will be noted.

When defined terms are used informally, a remark is made only if it is not clear from the context.

Prologue—a journey in being

The prologue, epilogue, and resources, are informal supplements to the main—numbered—divisions.

The numbered main divisions are formal and repeat some content from the prologue.

The way and its aim

Comment 6.                       The aim of being / the way is in two or more places.

The aim of the way of being is living well on the way to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.

It is shown that to follow the aim is ethical; and that knowing and acting in synchrony is crucial to the way—without knowledge, there is no action; without action, knowledge is incomplete.

Content Realization requires action; action is based in understanding; understanding evolves by criticism of the received, imagination, learning in action, and absorption to intuition.

Discovery and positive action begin with and build upon received ways—i.e., the reservoir of knowledge from all cultures through the present time. The forward looking emerges from the received. Yet, prescriptions are often polarized (i) the received is absolute (ii) the way forward is to embrace only the new. Because the received tends to define views of the world, it often seems absolute. On the other hand, when, for efficiency, the received is defined by norms, it often seems to lack real basis. To move forward we begin with the received; but no aspect of the received is above criticism; and efficient forward is based in imagination, criticism, and experiment.

It is essential to the development (i) to learn from the received but not to be limited by any seeming finality to it (ii) to let no claim, received or hypothetical, be accepted without criticism.

The received in any culture tends to seem final since its definition of the universe is tacitly woven into the culture.

The essence of the way

The way is centered on three demonstrated truths:

Content Three essentials are that experience is the true real, the universe is limitless, there are paths to the ultimate.

 

1.     

Experience is the essential constituent of the universe. It is shown to be the place of all meaning and being, and the means and vehicle of realization.

In this work, experience first is understood as aware consciousness in all its modes. Secondly, it is understood as including—or deriving from—its primitive constituents.

2.     

The universe is limitless—ultimate in that no greater is possible.

This assertion is named the fundamental principle of metaphysics (FP). It implies (i) not that the universe is good but that it contains all good, specifically the highest good (ii) that the individual realizes the highest good (iii) seeking is essential in realization.

The fundamental principle is the basis of—the real metaphysics developed in the text. This metaphysics has application across the range of knowledge and action. This text develops what is needed for realization, particularly that the universe has identity, which is limitless in extension, duration, and variety, and that individuals realize this identity.

3.     

There are ways to realize the ultimate.

Ways are developed in the text.

 

Origin of the way

Study Topic 2.         The way, especially the principle of plenitude, in history.

Comment 7.                       History is defined later.

Here, history is the story of the universe from the viewpoint of and focusing on the beings concerned.

Content The origins of the way are in human and personal history.

In history

The way has origins in history understood as the story of the universe with emphasis on sapient beings.

The way begins in history where direction emerges from and mixes with non-direction. Direction seeks improvement, new ways, and kinds of being, seeks direction itself. The way of being is inspired by this seeking.

Comment 8.                       The longer version of the way will recount my story so far as it may be a resource.

Comment 9.                       The following characterize the way but are not currently in the best possible order. Assertions are bare and not demonstrated. Demonstration and explanation are given in the main text.

A journey in being

I see my participation in discovery of and living the way as a journey.

This version of the way refers to my journey only as helpful to realization.

The dimensions or categories of the journey and the way are experiential—an experiential self, the relation between the experiencer, and the experienced which is the world. Experience is part of the world—experience experiences itself. These

Pragmatic dimensions of the journey are of psyche, nature, society, and culture, and the universal (which includes what is unknown so far).

I have sought to experience psyche, which includes experience itself, in perception, thought, research and creativity, will and influence, and meditation and related practices.

I have sought nature for its own sake, as inspiration, and as a gateway or portal to the real. I have learned and sought to experience nature via the ‘Beyul’ of Tibetan Buddhism—Beyul is travel in nature with an aim to open the mind via nature as a transformative influence.

What I seek in society and culture are different paradigms of the real, conceptual, and lived, as inputs into my thought, my sense of the real and its conceptual refinement, and the transformative experience of human contact.

Comment 10.                   Some editions of the text have photographs. These are illustrative of my journey and integral to it; they have been inspirational to me and may be suggestive to readers seeking experience, reflection, and growth of their being. Photographs may be added to this version.

The concepts

Content The main concepts and reasons for their choice. Informal complement to later formal content.

The text establishes a metaphysics that covers all being (in the abstract) and that is given demonstration and that is seen to go beyond established paradigms of the real. In covering all being, the metaphysics must go beyond the established paradigms.

The concepts are defined in the text. The section on main concepts below lists important categories and concepts. Some terms are new; most are not.

Since the metaphysics of the text goes beyond established paradigms, the meanings of its concepts necessarily go beyond received meanings—incorporating what may be valid in the received.

Despite notions of rigid meaning, often due to uncritical acceptance of normative metaphysics, many terms have no consensus meaning.

The new is forward looking and cross culturally synergistic.

Two kinds of newness in meaning should be noted. Some terms such as being, universe, and possibility necessarily have new meaning on account of the new metaphysics. Others such as reason and yoga, have a plethora of traditional meanings and are here used as a receptacle for their essence as enhanced by the metaphysics and as umbrella for what may be found useful in the traditions.

There is a glossary of important terms.

Care

Content What it takes for reliability of thought and judgment, especially critical doubt and imaginative reconstruction.

Study Topic 3.         Care according to this development.

Study Topic 4.         Foundationalism (also in the section on the real metaphysics).

Care and the way of being

Care shall be what it takes to make thought and judgment—a work—reliable and useful.

In this text, we seek care but not mere appearance of sophistication.

 

1.     

In proof and claims about proofs. The fundamental principle of metaphysics is the central metaphysical principle of the work (metaphysics is knowledge of the real and it is shown possible). The principle is consistent with experience and demonstrated in more than one way, but the demonstration is contingent on metaphysical argument that seems reasonable but of which I am not entirely convinced. It is worth noting that a proof is valuable, not only when it shows an important truth, but for consequences and insight as well; in this case the consequences are conceptual and for action. Still, doubt calls for a response: from the importance of the principle it is reasonable to experiment with it as true—for it is self and empirically or experientially consistent and illuminative of the universe and of value. Still, in the interest of openness and usefulness, I advocate two other attitudes to the principle—(i) treat it as a fundamental postulate (ii) regard it as an existential principle of action. Once the fundamental principle is granted its consequences are not problematic. Where the result of argument is qualitative, quantitative claims are not made.

2.     

In deriving consequences from our system of experience. Here, e.g. in Descriptions consistent with experience and Experience and the real—doubt as a method, multiple descriptions of the real consistent with experience are formulated. These include the common interpretations as well as others that may seem strange when first encountered. Care is needed (i) in formulating such descriptions in such a way they are possibly real (imagination is a part of care; care is not criticism alone) (ii) employing reason and careful examination of experience to see which description(s) are real.

 

In items 1 and 2, care has been about reliable understanding of the universe. The aim of the way is more than just understanding—it is also about action and realization. What is care relative to action and realization? The following presumes that adequate care has been taken in understanding.

 

3.     

It is important to stake out care derived positions and act upon them—i.e. some risk is essential. Essentially, we are reasonably and consistently informed of regarding truth of existential and metaphysical positions of the way. We feel assured but not altogether certain. Shall we therefore not act on the positions? The expected value of action is the greatest when we act—take risk—but with some restraint and of course acknowledgement of immediate priorities as well (thus the fundamental principle as a postulate and as an existential principle of action). But we should be neither dogmatic nor rigid. We should be open to revise principle reservedly and programs of action expeditiously.

4.     

The nature of the way is that it is to be absorbed and transformed, not followed. Rather, if it appeals, it may be absorbed as one’s own, transformed, and deployed. There is a place for general use, for Sangha is important in the way. Sangha, or communal lifeways, reflection, and concerted action is powerful in the immediate world and the ultimate. I encourage this Sangha.

 

Doubt, criticism, and response

Skepticism is doubting or criticism with the aim of improving knowledge, understanding, values, and action.

Doubt and response to doubt is an essential aspect of care.

In the context of care, doubt is critical doubt: doubt that aims, via criticism and imaginative reconstruction, to move from uncertainty to reliability—which may be pragmatic reliability, pragmatic certainty, or perfect certainty according to what is may be achieved and is appropriate to context.

Doubt will be taken up in detail, in the section on the real metaphysics.

 

 

The text

The text, sources and originality

The way of being is grounded in—begins with—received thought. I have absorbed ideas from study of western and eastern thought. The main ideas have precursors. However, I believe that the synthesis, demonstration, development, centered on the fundamental principle are new.

I do not claim originality because the content is universal. Further, some writers have come close to aspects of my system.

The text itself derives significantly from material I have written earlier but has not had wide circulation.

Comment 11.                   One print version c. 2013 and many Internet versions.

Reading the text

Because meanings are new, it is essential to follow the definitions.

Since the metaphysics is new, it may be necessary to set aside one’s paradigms of ‘the way the world is’, to follow the development while absorbing the new gestalt.

This may take re-reading, and then perhaps absorbing what is valid in the old to the new. This may be difficult, but it is critical. It will be helpful to see that the collection of concepts has meaning as a system.

It may also be useful to recognize that we are reinforced in our paradigms in their being culturally embedded. That is, the paradigms have a normative quality. Normativity does not imply untruth or merely relative truth. It means that truth and untruth are bound together and to distinguish them is at least difficult. Acknowledging this may open the reader up to being guided by the developments toward supra normativity.

Themes

The themes of experience-ideas-being and reason-yoga-logos, which thread through the text, are chosen here for explicit acknowledgement due to importance and because (i) they are developed rather than presented axiomatically (ii) their meaning grows in the development (iii) their meaning is derived and generalized from but not identical to their received meanings (iv) their mention should facilitate understanding.

Précis of the text

Comment 12.                   Edit this at precis%20of%20the%20way%20of%20being.docm#ole_link1

Prologue

1.1.1.1.1     The aim of the way of being is living well in the world and shared discovery and realization of the ultimate in itself and in the immediate. The way of being is discovery and realization of the aim of the way of being.

If the ultimate were not present in the immediate world, it would not be ultimate. If, then, there is a true ultimate that we do not see, it is because we do not see well enough.

The imperative to the aim is that living well—enjoyment—and pursuit of the ultimate ground one another.

The origin of the way is in history and the pursuit of meaning. It inherits ideas from primal to latest tradition.

It is presented as a contribution to discovery and realization. Readers may judge its contribution.

At the boundary of knowledge, ideas require reformulation. Inherited terms are imprecise and variant in meaning.

Understanding this work will require absorption of (i) the new and defined meanings of the concepts and (ii) the systematic relation among the concepts.

Discovery is not just a search for things, but a search for ideas, things, actions, and relations among them.

Discovering the way

1.1.1.1.2     Discovery of the way will be in terms of concepts, of which the main are, in order of development—the aim of the way of being, living well, the ultimate, the real, experience, abstraction, existence (associated with the verb to be), being, universe, possibility, metaphysics, reason, the aim of being, and means and paths of realization.

The flow of ideas

The flow of ideas in the work is intended to be (i) natural, from givens to sequelae, and (ii) rational. This section explains the flow and provides informal justification. This is efficient for understanding and to follow later formal argument.

Let us now explain the significace of the ideas.

Begin by asking what the ultimate is. This leads to a series of reflections.

The ultimate may be based in what is real. What we are presented with is conscious experience and its phenomena or appearances.

Experience will be pertinent as the place of significant and linguistic (concept) meaning; the place of relation to and being in the world; and the place and means of realization. Here, we will focus on the relation of experience and the real.

Some experiences some are labeled concepts, which we think of as having real objects. When we would avoid illusion and error, we question the reality of the objects and the precision of the concepts. But we can take another attitude. Regardless whether they are real, knowledge of alleged objects is always further experience. If, then, we regard the world as a field of experience, without committing to it being really or only so, we may use that framework as a neutral canvas on which to analyze the real and the precision of concepts. We begin with a neutral sense of ‘things’ as concept-object pairs, reality as a concept-object pair. Can we then rediscover the world as a system of objects in the naïve sense but without naïvety?

Not entirely. However, we will do better—but it will occasion some revision of the value of knowledge.

Begin by questioning the real. Is anything real? Yes, experience itself is given (even illusion is experience). That is, there is experience—i.e., experience exists.

Consequently something exists (or there would not even or there would not even be illusory experience) and there is a universe (everything that exists). How can we know these assertions to be true? It is abstraction. There is abstraction in saying ‘something’ and ‘everything’ and it is this that enables their truth. There are some objects and there is an object named the universe. There are beings (existents) and there is being (existence).

This abstract real is a framework from which the reality of a world may emerge.

Details of the flow

Let us now fill in the flow of ideas to from experience to metaphysics. Briefly, in experience, there is a sense of what is possible and feasible. The discussion of possibility examines this idea, and from the possible, metaphysics finds what is real and ultimate, reason (including tradition), and design for paths to the ultimate. Metaphysics will emerge as knowledge of the real. We now fill in some detail.

Being is existence—that which is (the verb to be). In abstraction, which is to omit detail that results in distortion, being is just existence. It is therefore well founded but as foundation, the question of what has being is left open. The former is a strength, the latter a seeming weakness. However, the open question is also a strength for it avoids prejudice. It will turn out that that being as nonprejudicial foundation enables discovery of an ultimate and well founded metaphysics.

The universe will be ‘everything’—all being, not just in spacetime but inclusive of spacetime. This inclusivity is critical for then there is nothing outside the universe, not even cause and this is essential to the development in that all causation and being are to be found in the universe.

Possibility has two aspects—the world and its boundary. Knowledge of the world is in science and experience, which are pragmatic. We will find knowledge of the boundary of the world to be logic, which will be found perfect in a sense explained later.

Metaphysics is knowledge of the real. The metaphysics of the work is a demonstrated synthesis of the pragmatic and the perfect; it reveals the universe as realization of all possibility (i.e., ultimate); and that the individual realizes this possibility which entails that realization is an ultimate value; this imperative is, however, not a duty at all cost but an imperative to live well as way to the ultimate—it is the aim of being. The pure and pragmatic form a synthesis. The pure illuminates and guides the pragmatic; the pragmatic illustrates and is guide toward the pure ideal. The pure side shows the universe to be ultimate; the pragmatic is instrumental in realization of the ultimate. In relation to the ideal, the pragmatic is the essential instrument; therefore, while imperfect under some traditional criteria, it is perfect in relation to the ideal. The synthesis, named real metaphysics, is epistemically perfect in relation to the ideal of realization of the ultimate. The metaphysics is metaphysics-in-action, experimental on its pragmatic side, and embodiment of reason. Regarding the question of the possibility of metaphysics, the pure side is metaphysics as knowledge of the real where knowledge is perfect representation. The entire metaphysics is knowledge of the real, with knowledge understood pragmatically on the pragmatic side; but this is also pure from a new conception of the criteria of knowledge that is entailed by the pure side.

Reason is the means of realization. What is valid in tradition is implicit in reason. To be on a path is to live in reason, not just to follow. Tradition is useful on the path but ought to be regarded experimentally rather than dogmatically and finally. Some useful traditions are as follows. From the west—science, humanism, and liberal religion. From the east—meditation as experiential transformation, yoga as support for meditation, and Advaita Vedanta as intuition of the ultimate (grounded in the development below).

What follows is brief—it telescopes an entire history of philosophy and reason. What is implicit from that history, but significant in the development is reviewed later.

The real

1.1.1.1.3     We have an intuitive sense of the real as the foundation of things beyond experience of them. However, since intuition is not known to be reliable, foundation has been sought in substance. But substance itself is generally not founded. Therefore, we return to experience as a possible source of foundation.

There is an intuitive sense of the real as the foundation of things. The appeal of the idea of foundation that it would give our endeavors security and certainty. However, when moving beyond the field of intuition which is not known to extend between experience, we ought to inquire into what ‘the real’ might mean.

Our direct experience and reflections seem unreliable as foundation. A commn approach to foundation is to find it in subtance—the substances of things or the substance of all things. However, the problem of substance is that, no matter how firm it seems, a substance is a posit and every posit requires another, leading to infinite regress.

Perhaps then, we can go back to original experience to find foundation in it rather than under it (i.e. rather than in sub-stance).

Since there is a history of difficulty in locating the real as a definite thing in the world, one meaning of the real is that which is the immediate object of truth.

How can we find truth amid experience? Perhaps, even though it seems unreliable, it is what we definitely have, and it would not refer the real to posits—to something else. But can we find reliability in experience or ought we not to be too keen regarding reliability and certainty? And, to backtrack, what is experience? We now turn to these issues. We will summarize our findings, later, in §§ Metaphysics > The real.

Experience

1.1.1.1.4     Experience is subjective awareness. Not a denial, this affirms the real in intrinsic and instrumental terms. To see the real in terms of experience admits subjectivity but the acknowledgment is a way beyond mere subjectivity. Experience is the place and means of being, relation, meaning, knowledge, reason, and realization.

Experience and its signifiance

experience is subjective or conscious awareness in all its forms.

There is experience—e.g., denying experience is experiential. There is experience of experience, which enables direction of focus, and without which we would not know that there is experience.

An individual is an experiencing self (‘self’, too, is part of the experience; the definition is not a commitment to the existence of individuals—this will follow later).

Effectively, there are—we are—individuals (which is not an implication that that is all we are; it allows but of course does not require that each of us ‘is’ the universe).

There is a sense in which we remain in experience, for to know of experience is experiential, and to validate experience as knowledge, we refer to further experience.

Experience is effectively the place of knowledge, significant meaning (‘the meaning of life’), and our ‘being’.

Some details on the significance of experience

Let us further reflect on the significance of experience.

1.    Experience is the place or medium of aliveness—the place, metaphorically, of our essence—for without experience we would be essentially inert. Whatever we become, it is effectively in experience—experience is the place of our realizations. When something is significant, it is so in experience, that is, experience is the place or medium of significant meaning—the ‘meaning of life’.

2.    Experience is the place of our relation to self and world—there is experience-of-the-world, experience-itself or pure experience, and experience-in-action. Even experience-itself or ‘pure experience’ is internal relation and potential external relation.

3.    That is, experience is relational. This suggests that a fundamental description of the real is as relation and change or field and change (rather than object, relation, and change in a spacetime manifold)

4.    Experience is reflexive—i.e., we have experience of experience. This, with memory, is key to reflection and directing experience to ends. This is key to making living beings more than feeling robots, possessed of free will, especially aware of self and world, capable of internalizing the blind mechanism of evolution and rendering it as conscious design for a world.

5.    Effectively we remain in experience—confirmation of experience is via further experience. Therefore concepts and objects are places in experience—the concept is identified as ‘experience of’ and the object as ‘experienced’. This does not mean there are no true objects or world but that it is one description of things—a neutral description that is a way to what objectivity means and what objectivity there may be. Since we do not get out of our experience, the experiential real may be said to be the concept-object pair, which is relation. If this projects to the universe, the truly real may then be said to be concept-object relation reinterpreted at the root of ‘being’.

6.    Since concept and object are, at least, palces in experience, experience is effectively the place of concept meaning (a concept or experience and its possible referents), language meaning (language: sign systems associated with concept systems), and knowledge (meaning realized). If we see an existent as a concept-referent (object), we can say it exists when there is a referent, and that when there is no referent, it is nonexistent. Experience is an effective place of existence.

7.    As the place of knowledge, experience is more than the place of intrinsic realization, it is the instrumental means.

8.    These reflections show that experience has greater significance than it is often given. In what follows we explore an extended meaning of ‘experience’.

Summary of the significance of experience

Experience is the place and means (intrinsic as being and instrumental in becoming) of being, relation, meaning, knowledge, reason, action, and realization. To ground the way in experience is effective; it is not a denial of the world.

Experience—abstraction and interpretation

So far we have discussed how experience is the effective place of aliveness, meaning, and ‘being’. We have discussed how, if experience is projectable to the universe it is effectively the place of the real? We will show how ‘effective place’ may be replaced by ‘place’ or ‘medium’, how the projection may be true, how experience is ‘being’. We are not quite ready to do so for this will require further development. However we can set up a framework for doing so via abstraction and interpretation.

abstraction is elimination of detail from a concept, such that what remains is true to the object (more precisely, true to an abstract of the original object).

So, with sufficient abstraction, knowledge would be perfect—perfect knowledge would perfectly map the real. We will find significant perfect knowledge. However, we will need more.

pragmatic knowledge is knowledge that is imperfect or not known perfect in depicting its intended objects but which is good enough for at least limited purposes.

An interpretation is a model, picture, description, pattern, theory, of a part of the world that is consistent with experience. If the part is the world, the interpretation is an interpretation of the world.

1.    In naïve examination of the experience of things, we do not know what is real. However, abstraction to just experience-itself reveals experience as real. Then, we can say there is experience or experience exists and there is all of existence. So, to anticipate definitions, there is being and there is the one universe. This perfect or pure knowledge is trivial but will be enhanced in two ways. First, it will be the path to revealing a truly known ultimate character of the universe. Second, from ideals derived from this ultimate character, our pragmatic knowledge will be found perfect for negotiation of the universe (the ideal will necessitate changing the criteria for perfection). The perfect and the pure will be synthesized as a real metaphysics, perfect by the emergent criterion of perfection. The real metaphysics provides an emergent conception of reason that is defined and explained later.

2.    Examination of experience provides interpretations of the world that together with the real metaphysics provide a real picture of the world.

Here are the essential interpretations.

1.    The universe is not the void. The universe is not an ‘empty’ or nonmanifest world, i.e. it is not the void (as defined later), and since there is experience, the universe cannot be the void. However, that the universe should phase among the manifest and the void is an interpretation.

2.    The universe is not a strictly material cosmos. Matter is that which can be sensed or experienced but does not sense; mind is what is experiential. To be material is to be constituted or made of matter, and only of matter. To be strictly material in the case that matter is exclusive of mind. Since the universe contains experience, it cannot be strictly material. It may, however, have material attributes.

3.    The universe is experiential. To say this does not deny matter for it allows referents of experience. In a substance cosmos, the elementary root of experience, if there is any, is among the elements for emergence from non-experiential elements is categorially impossible. Therefore, a substance cosmos with experiential beings must be essentially experiential. This does not mean that the elements entities (e.g. particles or fields) are experiential as we are but that they have properties such that complex organizations such as brains have consciousness. This is of course emergence but within a category and not of one category from another. Further, it does not imply that such a cosmos is non-material; it means that ‘mind and matter’ as bound together in the one substance. If matter is thought of as ‘stuff-in-itself’ then experience is ‘stuff-in-relation’ and root experience (the elementary properties) subsumes root matter. The universe may be considered strictly experiential, with the value of experientiality equal to zero in some of its regions.

4.    Experientiality is the one and final category. First, as just seen it can subsume mind and matter—conscious and non conscious existence (or ‘being’ in anticipation of the treatment of being). Does the series matter, mind… continue beyond consciousness (e.g. as an infinite number of attributes of God as asserted by Spinoza)? Given that the essence of matter is ‘stuff’ while an essence of mind is ‘relation’ the next in the series would be ‘relation in relation’ which is just relation and therefore mind or experientiality. Therefore (contrary to Spinoza) experience is the final category and since it contains the other category (‘stuff’) it is the one category. The richness of the world is in its variety, not in its kinds (or Spinozan attributes).

5.    There are inert or strict material cosmoses (somewhere) but this would not be an interpretation of our cosmos. In an initially experientially inert non-substance cosmos, there may be emergence and infusion of experientiality.

6.    Our cosmos is a substance cosmos for pragmatic purposes. So far as this obtains, it cannot be a strictly material cosmos—as in what may be called the standard secular view. But an extension of the standard secular view that allows at least one of root, emergent, or infused experientiality is a (valid) interpretation. The root interpretation is the most parsimonious but not necessary.

7.    The universe is just the contents of my mind (‘my’ refers to what is thought of as an experiencing self). This position is called metaphysical solipsism. It is absurd in the sense that it grossly contradicts our common view of the reality of the world and in that if the cosmos is as vast and complex as we think it is and my mind is as limited as we think typical minds are, then my mind cannot represent the universe (but it could consistently feel as though that is the case). The use of the view is not that we think it real, but that in challenging what we think sensible, it encourages us to rethink our common sense and philosophical views toward a view that is true in its concept (intension) and object (range, extension).

8.    The universe is a field of experience (with change)—i.e., in anticipation of introduction of the concept of ‘being’, the universe is a field of experiential being. The latter allows an open universe—one in which all possibilities occur, in which all consistent imagination of kinds of thing and world are realized. The field of being view is useful, first, because it is consistent with experience and all the views in the previous items are special cases of it. It is therefore a framework for analysis. It is important, secondly, because when the real metaphysics has been established, we will find (i) that all said kinds of cosmoses discussed above exist, at least for limited periods (ii) the universe is essentially a field of being and experience (iii) though our cosmos is substance like—is pragmatically a substance cosmos, it meshes with the entire universe beyond the current empirical boundary and (iv)

9.    The universe is an open universe—one in which all possibilities occur, and all consistently conceivable kinds of things occur (‘possibility’ is analyzed later). That is, while all the above kinds of cosmos occur, including inert and solipsist cosmosed, the open universe itself is one universe of the greatest possibility (which means that all possibilities occur, which in turn includes but is not the same as ‘best’). Defining an open universe as a universe of the greatest possibility, it would be an experiential field of being, that has peaks without limit in which all beings merge in peak being and experientiality. Further, such universe would not be peak without excaption but would phase among all interpretations. Note, that it is not being said here that the universe is open, but that that would be consistent with experience and therefore an interpretation of experience.

Is the universe open? Or is it much less—perhaps just our cosmos on the pragmatic substance interpretation?

Analysis of experience allows a range interpretations. The metaphysics to be developed will (i) require the open and (ii) instances of all interpretations. The universe would phase among the peak-open and the other interpretations, including the void.

Being

1.1.1.1.5     Being as existence is an intrinsic and instrumental foundation for understanding and realization. The universe is all being, it is not created, it has no effective cause, and has no exterior. It is the place and source of all creation.

a being will be a term for an existent (anything that exists); being will mean existence.

Thus, the use of ‘being’ here is not in the tradition of ‘being’ as higher, spiritual, essential, or special (which may be taken up under ‘kinds of being’). Here, being is very ordinary, even trivial, and this is a source of its power.

That a being is a concept-referent is implicit; in a given environment, e.g. our world, it is effective to suppress the concept and think of a being as a thing-in-itself; but when we want to move beyond common context, it will be essential to remember the concept-referent nature of being. Another context in which the concept may be suppressed or ‘forgotten’ is with sufficient abstraction. The context of existence without reference to kind of existence is just such an abstract context.

Within experience, being is effectively relational. We will find that the most effective description, at the very root elements of the world, beyond the abstraction of being-as-being, is one of being as relational and in process.

power is giving or receiving effect—i.e., power is effective cause.

The hypothetical being that has no power, self or other, does not exist.

The measure of being is power.

The universe is all being.

The universe exists—it has being.

The universe has and can have no effective cause or for a cause or creator is another being—and for the universe there is no other being. It cannot even be ‘self caused’ for that presumes it to exist to create or cause itself.

the void is the absence of (manifest) being.

Existence of the void has not yet been established.

To create would be to create from the void for to create out of something is not to truly create. Therefore, to repeat, the universe does not and cannot self-create—it has no effective cause.

Possibility

1.1.1.1.6     The motive to consider possibility—the universe has no effective cause. What possibility is. Fleshing out possibility—kinds of possibility and the universe of possibility. Realization of the universe of possibility would not violate science or our experience of the world. Possibility is unsuitable as cause of the universe. Necessity. Unconditional being is necessary being.

Since effective cause—everyday and physical or ‘scientific’ cause—is not the cause of the universe, it cannot be foundation for understanding of the universe. Since science and logic are twin elements of reason, let us therefore seek cause and understanding of the universe as a whole in logic—in the possible and the necessary. To seek causation in logic is contrary to our scientific paradigms and intuition of cause as effective cause; however, this ought not to prohibit us from considering a kind of cause as somehow located in logic. This will require to clarify the concepts of possibility, necessity, and logic.

A possible being is one whose concept does not prohibit its existence.

Let us flesh out possibility—the kinds of possibility and what is possible.

If the prohibition lies in the nature of the world(s) under consideration, the kind of possibility is real possibility. Examples of real possibility are physical (e.g., laws and theories), biological, and psychological (which includes sapient possibility). But these are not the greatest possibility, for even if the physics of our world prohibits existence here, the physics of another world may permit it.

logical possibility or conceptual possibility is that which is not prohibited by the concept itself. If the concept violates logic, there can be no existent (referent) in any world. Logical possibility is the greatest or most permissive of possibilities. Because our forms of expression are limited, our logics do not constitute (all) logic. Real possibility presumes and is bounded by logical possibility.

logic is the requirement on systems of concepts as conceptual, i.e. without regard to particular reference, for the structure of the system itself to not rule out. That is, logic is a necessary requirement for existence.

What is the range of logical possibility? The logically possible universe is far greater than the empirical universe. Detail is spelled out in the section on metaphysics; here let us provide just a taste to show its significance. The logically possible universe has identity; it phases between manifest and nonmanifest; the manifest phases have limitless variety, and peaks; individuals merge with peak being and in so doing, inherit the power of the universe. Of course, it is not being claimed here that the logically possible obtains. However, a demonstration that it does indeed obtain is given in the section on metaphysics. Would the universe as logical possibility violate science or common experience? No—for science and its theories are empirical and are not known to obtain beyond the empirical boundary. And clearly, common experience lies within that same boundary.

Is it reasonable to think of possibility as cause and basis of understanding for the universe? If we are seeking to understand why the universe should exist, possibility is unsatisfactory, for to say the universe is merely possible is to allow that the universe might never have existed in manifest form. Since effective cause and possibility have been ruled out what remains is either (i) the universe is necessary or (ii) the universe has no cause, either effective or necessary.  Let us therefore, perhaps against our intuition of cause, look at necessity as cause.

A necessary being is one whose concept requires existence—either explicitly or implicitly.

A being whose nonexistence is impossible is necessary.

An unconditional being is one whose existence has no exception. For example, if the universe were temporal, an unconditional being would necessarily be eternal.

An unconditional being is a necessary being.

Since unconditional existence makes no presumption, an unconditional being must manifest in all its possible forms (but not all forms need to co-manifest for the being to be unconditional).

Metaphysics

1.1.1.1.7     Metaphysics is knowledge of the real. Discussion begins with demonstration of the fundamental principle of metaphysics—i.e., that the universe is the greatest possible. Remaining topics are the relationship of the individual to the universe, objections and responses, the real metaphysics, and the real.

Metaphysics is knowledge of the real. In discussion so far, some metaphysics has already been established and, so, some metaphysics is possible. However, this is not a justification for traditional metaphysical claims. We now turn to establish further metaphysics. The metaphysics of the work will be named the ‘real metaphysics’.

The fundamental principle of metaphysics

The universe as the manifest universe and the nonmanifest or void is unconditional and therefore necessary.

Therefore, the universe must exist in both its possible forms—the manifest and the void.

The universe cannot exist unconditionally (e.g., eternally) as just one of manifest and nonmanifest.

The universe phases between manifest and nonmanifest.

The universe cannot exist only as one of its logically possible manifest forms, e.g. the empirical cosmos.

The universe must exist as all its logically possible forms.

Realization of an ‘illogical’ form is impossible. An immediate consequence is—

1.1.1.1.8     The fundamental principle of metaphysics or just ‘fundamental principle’—the universe is the logically possible, i.e. the universe is the greatest possible being.

There are individual selves.

The universe and the individual

1.1.1.1.9     The universe has identity; the universe and its identity are limitless; the individual merges with peak identity; there are effective and enjoyable paths to merging; it is an imperative to be engaged in living and discovering such paths.

Observe that the logically possible universe is far greater than the empirical universe. Based in the fundamental principle, let us now spell out the detail of the logically possible universe begun earlier, which we now know is the universe—

1.    The void exists. There is neither law nor logic in the void except empty logic.

2.    The universe is the open universe defined earlier. Recalling that an absurd world is one that appears bizarre, e.g. the solipsist world, but is logically possible (another bizarre world would be one, imagined by Bertrand Russell as a challenge to our sense of the real, just like ours right now but created complete with our memories just five minutes). What is the significance of such worlds? It is just that such worlds whose form or formation lack symmetry and formation, would seem to be unstable, and therefore of little effective significance.

3.    The universe includes arrays without limit of cosmoses similar and dissimilar to ours. It includes worlds of myth, subject to removal of inconsistency.

4.    It includes realization of all consistent mathematics and other ‘abstract’ sciences. These include possible physics and biology of other worlds.

5.    It includes that all formed cosmoses may be embedded in and in transient communication with backgrounds of lesser form, including the void. The formation and evolution of a cosmos is also the formation and evolution of its laws and logics. The backgrounds often form portals among “worlds”.

6.    Has identity. The universe and its identity phase between and nonmanifest and manifest; the manifest phases are limitless in variety, extent, duration, and peaks of being and their dissolution; there are individual selves as persons in the world; there is an also true interpretation of the universe as a field of experiential being, with the environment as minimially experiential, individuals as heightened centers of experience, and the universe as phasing into manifestation with peaks of being and out of manifestation; individuals inherit the power of the universe and merge in its peaks. The universe is ever fresh for individuals while they are in limited form.

7.    Since the we realize the ultimate, which is limitless, and since death is real, it follows that death is not absolute. The limitlessness of the universe implies that it is a mix of indeterminism and determinism, of transience and form; we find our selves as forms, but we transcend death and the boundaries between our limited selves in the mix of form and formlessness beyond death. Perhaps, as some traditions say, some individuals transcend limited being in this life.

8.    There are efficient and enjoyable paths to the ultimate. To be on a path is not just to follow but to engage in discovery and realization. There is pain, which is unavoidable, but being on a path, while it does not eliminate pain of self or others, is, together with direct address of pain employing modern treatments, the optimal approach to it. The paths ought not to be just Apollonian or Dionysian, for both elements are necessary and enhance one another. The meaning of being (‘the meaning of life’) is living well on the way to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.

9.    Given universal flux between the manifest and the nonmanifest, the realization of all possibility no matter how transient, and the initial mechanistic character of evolution; and, further, if enjoyment is an imperative, then to engage in an efficient path to the ultimate is also an imperative. That is, the aim of being is the aim of the way of being.

Objections and responses

1.1.1.1.10 doubt toward the fundamental principle and its proof is critical to establishing confidence in truth and significance of the principle. It shows the principle to be consistent with experiencee and science (since it is grounded in logic, it is automatically internally consistent); and it suggests two alternative stances regarding the principle—(i) to treat it as an axiom as foundation for metaphysics and (ii) to regard it as an existential principle of action.

1.    The fundamental principle and its implications contradict science and common experience. Response—science and its theories are empirical, they do not necessarily project beyond the empirical boundary and common experience lies well within that boundary.

2.    The empirical cosmos cannot be embedded in a larger universe. Response—this objection is explicitly rejected above.

3.    Our world does not exhibit all possibilities. Response—it is logical that a world exhibit one possibility at any time and that it has one history; but all worlds taken together, may exhibit all possibilities.

4.    These conclusions are theoretical and have no value. Response—via experience, they are both conceptual, instrumental, and what they reveal has value.

5.    Though demonstrated, there is residual doubt on account of issues of proof and the magnitude of the conclusion (alternate proofs and heuristics can be given but do not remove all doubt). Response—the doubt is valid. However, that the universe is realization of the logically possible is internally and empirically consistent. Further, what it reveals is of intrinsic and instrumental value. There are therefore two positive alternate attitudes or stances to the fundamental principle—(i) given its consistency and power, to treat it as an axiom (ii) given the magnitude of its consequences, to regard it as existential foundation for thought and action.

6.    Metaphysics is impossible. Response—(i) consistency has been shown, demonstration and other justification been given (ii) it is not metaphysics in the sense of mere speculation sense but grounded in experience. It may be noted that much of our useful knowledge is metaphysical in the hypothetical sense for scientific theories have at least an element of projection on experience rather than derivation from it.

7.    Darwinian evolution is mechanistic. This is indeed the empirical truth. However, it does not follow that, once begun, it may not engage in furthering its process in ways not subject to mechanism. Since this is logically possible it necessarily occurs. That it may occur in our world is not unreasonable.

The real metaphysics

1.1.1.1.11 The real metaphysics is a synthesis of pure consequences of the abstract fundamental principle and pragmatic knowledge. It is the ideal and practical instrument in realization of the ultimate it reveals.

We arrive at the following system. Abstraction reveals the universe as the greatest possible, which spelled out as the possible forms is a pure metaphysics. Traditional knowledge, which is limited on traditional criteria, is an instrument of realization, and perfect from two criteria—(i) traditional perfection on a path is unnecessary (ii) it is an effective instrument in realization of the ultimate. This is or may be called a ‘pragmatic metaphysics’. The abstract and ultimate frames and illuminates the pragmatic; the pragmatic illustrates and paves the way to the ultimate. The synthesis, reason-in-action, is named the real metaphysics.

This metaphysics is a real synthesis in that it has implications for science, e.g. (i) the quantum vacuum is not the root of being (ii) spacetime, where it obtains, cannot be a framework for being but must be immanent in (part of) it (iii) the cosmos has ultimate grounding in necessity (iv) the mechanism of variation and selection from Darwinian evolution must have purchase beyond biology, for example in the formation of cosmoses, where it is not a necessary ‘mechanism’ but an efficient path to formation and a possible reason there should be preponderantly more observation of formed cosmoses in the universe than transients. Further, while this evolution is mechanistic in its initial phase, once intelligent, it may and therefore must, at least on many occasions, contribute with foresight to its own realization.

The real

The earlier analysis of experience shows that the universe is effectively experiential. Given an initial position that understanding may be essentially limited, the concept (‘intension’) of the real begins our most effective understanding. However, we have seen that the referent (‘object’, ‘extension’) of the real is constituted of two parts (i) a perfectly faithful (and ultimate) framework for the universe and (ii) local and pragmatic knowledge. In terms of an ultimate value that emerges from this real (the object) the synthesis is perfect—therefore, it is not a corruption of this concept of the real to say, in the context of that value, that the real is that which is. In perfect faithfulness as a criterion for local knowledge we may say either (a) the real is a pragmatic notion or (b) there is no true real.

The way

1.1.1.1.12 The aim of being. The means. Intrinsic and instrumental aspects.

The concept of ‘the aim of being’ is clear in its meaning, but it is not clear that its object can be definite. The real metaphysics makes it possible to see what the aim of being is. To repeat an earlier conclusion, the aim of being is the aim of the way of being.

The means of realization is reason, which is the real metaphysics, and which incorporates the ‘traditions’, which include science as well as traditional systems such as yoga, and their experimental and reflective interpretations and importations.

As noted earlier, experience (consciousness) is the place of realization in intrinsic and instrumental terms. It is intrinsic in that all realization occurs within experience—not ‘my’ experience or ‘yours’ but in experience which includes the merging of you and I in peak identity; it is instrumental in that it is within experience that, for example, scientific and technological transformation occur. From the intrinsic aspect, the means emphasize reflective reason and meditative practice; from the instrumental they emphasize science and technology as steps to physical transformation, exploration, and population of the universe.

Templates

1.1.1.1.13 There are two path templates, intended for adaptation to a variety of interests and individual and group contexts.

The essentials of an every-day template are—rise early-dedication-affirmation, review, realize (reflect-write on the way and yoga-exercise-share), exploration, evening renewal and community, and sleep early.

Essentials of a universal template are—pure being and community, ideas (reflection, writing, publishing), becoming (nature with psyche; civilization, society, and community; artifact; universal and incompletely known), and Universal Being.

See the resources for detailed templates.

Review

1.1.1.1.14 Reviews the work. Illuminates crucial methodology, historical and original, that was tacit in the narration. Highlights and explains the conceptual source of the real metaphysics.

This work began with tacit questions on the nature of the real. There was no commitment to received ideas, but there was, effectively, an initial commitment to the thought that the most effective description of the world would be the most real. There was no commitment to an absolute real.

We found, via experience and abstraction, a system of knowledge of the real that synthesizes the absolute and the effective—pure and pragmatic knowledge that constitute the real metaphysics. The pure is absolutely faithful by abstraction and the pragmatic is ideal in its support of the pure. And, of course, the pragmatic by traditional criteria of faithfulness falls short of perfection. This suggests that though traditional criteria have their place, their relevance to our endeavors is limited—particularly, its assigned importance in modern thought is an overestimate.

As a further outcome, the universe was found much greater than usually held in secular and transsecular thought, that is, particularly in science, philosophy, and myth—even myth and other fiction interpreted symbolically. This outcome, part of the real metaphysics, may be largely credited to the choice of experience and being as fundamental and the implied rejection of foundation in substance—e.g., material, mind, or process. This is a positive outcome but, looking back, it may be seen as a lifting of the negative cloak of substance, which has obscured the real (these insights stem from the thought of Aristotle and Heidegger who, however, weighted down being with chains of their making).

Epilogue

1.1.1.1.15 Looking back—discovery, emergence, and living the way of being has been a journey. The way ahead—moving forward, the way is suitable foundation for realization in this life and beyond.

It is foundation for my life and immersion in the world. I will live my life in the way and in sharing the way.

This work draws from and is and is an explicit and implicit summary of a history of exploration of human destiny. There is a place for every generation to envision and write as text, their vision of their future in light of reflection on the world and, so as to sustain its light and shed its burden, the thought and exploration of the past.

Resources

1.1.1.1.16 Templates, works, knowledge resources, some traditions, reading, and glossary.

Templates

Detailed versions of the adaptable templates are available online—(i) everyday template (pdf) and ms word version (ii) universal template (pdf) and ms word version.

Sources

Knowledge resources, some traditions, and reading

Works—this work is a summary of principles and main ideas. Conceptual and practical details are in the very in-process—the essential way and a journey in being (longer, blueprint for the way of being to be written at a future date).

Knowledge resource—A system of human knowledge.

Some useful traditions—(i) western: science and technology, humanism, and liberal religion and (ii) eastern: meditation as experiential transformation, yoga as support for meditation, and Advaita Vedanta as intuition of the ultimate (which has grounding in the real metaphysics).

Reading, influential thinkers, and web resourcesthe essential way has suggested reading, influences on the way, and the way of being website resources. The home page for the way of being is a resource for further material.

Glossary

2        History

Content The way, its aim, and their origin history.

Study Topic 5.         History as relevant here, what it is, general trends and lack of trends, history of the way. Block, linear, and cyclic views of history.

History is an account of the universe from the viewpoint of the beings concerned.

The beings concerned shall be persons and civilizations, human or other, in this world or others.

One view of the account is history as linear.

In academic use, the study of history begins with written documents. Here, the meaning of ‘history’ is more general. It covers history as well as prehistory in their academic senses.

The origin of the way is in history.

The way is continuous with history.

2.1       History and motive

The world has patterned or formed and mere existence, stasis and change, determinism, and indeterminism. Novel form arises only when indeterministic change results in stable form.

Even where history, the path of the world in time, is blind, it may result in sapient beings, capable of design and future orientation and destiny as a degree of sapient influence on the future.

In the human world static form of tradition is balanced by valuing and seeking new form.

2.2       Aim of the way

Comment 13.                   Since the prologue is informal, the aim is repeated below.

The aim of the way of being is living well on the way to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.

3        Experience

Content (the introductory comments) First conception of experience, fact of experience and experience of experience, experience is relational and coextensive with mind.

Experience is subjective or conscious awareness.

Experience as subjective awareness is a first definition of ‘experience’; the concept of experience will subsequently be extended with regard to intension and extension. It is essential to distinguish experience in this use from the concept of non-conscious awareness and cumulative experience

An experience, a concept, idea is an instance of mental content—of experience.

In the following, ‘experience’ and ‘ideas’ or ‘an experience’ and ‘an idea’ will be used interchangeably.

Comment 14.                   Perhaps one of ‘idea’ and ‘experience’ should be eliminated.

There is experience for there is seeming experience and seeming is experiential. Experience cannot be entirely illusory for an illusion is an experience.

There is experience of experience for that is what seeming experience is; and it is via experience of experience that we can talk of it.

The term ‘an experience’ or ‘an idea’ is not limited to the colloquial use in which to have an idea is to have thought. Percepts, feelings, sensations, emotions, pains, thoughts, willings, and choices are all ideas.

Experiences or ideas are attitudinal (toward the world), seeming pure, and actionable (toward action in the world). However, ‘pure’ experience is internally and potentially relational. That is, experiences or ideas are relational.

Experience is relational.

In analytic philosophy, attitude, experience, and action have been regarded as distinct ‘axes’ of mind; here they all fall under experience, with attitude and action as aspects of experience.

3.1       Ideas and referents

Content concept and linguistic meaning.

Comment 15.                   Or Experiences and referents… or Concepts and referents

Theme experience-ideas-being.

The reference of an experience is a referent.

In greater detail—the reference of an experience (or an idea or a concept), if it has one, is a referent (or ‘object’ or existent).

References arise directly in perception and inference via projected patterns. While establishment of referents generally has only pragmatic reliability, with sufficient abstraction—i.e., elimination of distorted detail, referents are precisely known.

‘Referent’ is preferred because, unlike ‘object’, it is neutral.

Do experiences have references? This naïve position is that they may and often do. The naivety of the position is not in its truth but in the meaning of ‘reference’. When a proper meaning of ‘reference’ is rendered below, the truth of the naïve position will be apparent.

The notion of an object without reference—direct or indirect, explicit or implicit—is without meaning.

Comment 16.                   The questions of the meaningfulness of an object without reference to it is elaborated in the next section on the significance of experience).

In greater detail—a pure object as an existent without reference to it in experience, is without meaning (this and the issue of whether there is perfect knowledge are distinct). A proper description of the real is that it is a composite of reference and referenced. Formally—

When an experience has a referent, the experience-referent is real, exists, or ‘is’. Otherwise, we say that it is not real—is nonexistent.

In greater detail—when an experience (concept) has a referent, we say that the experience-referent or concept-existent is real—or that it exists or, simply, that it ‘is’ or ‘is there’. Otherwise, we say that it is not real—that it is nonexistent.

But when the concept-existent is real, we often say, simply, that the referent or existent is real. This is facilitated in language when we associate a word or name with the concept. Thus if ‘tiger’ is associated with the concept of a tiger, tigers exist means that the concept of a tiger has referents.

This convenient shorthand results in an apparent paradox—what does it mean to say something is unreal? The resolution of the paradox is to see that the phrase ‘the referent is real’ is an abbreviation of ‘the experience-referent is real’. It is better, therefore, when talking of an object analytically, to think of it as the experience-referent, even though it is commonly convenient to think of it as just the referent.

This provides resolution of the question of whether existence is a predicate. In defective shorthand meaning of existence, above, since on that meaning ‘everything exists’, existence is an empty predicate but not a non-predicate. However, on the experience-referent or concept-referent meaning of existence, existence is a predicate with content.

To refer an experience must have iconic content, simple or compound. Concept meaning is an experience or concept and its possible referents. Conceptual knowledge is experience and its actual referents. If a part of the experience or idea is a simple or compound symbol (linguistic) associated with the icon, meaning and knowledge are symbolic (linguistic). The form of a compound symbol is part of the icon. The ground of formal and informal meaning is use—i.e. not external to the community of users; lexica and standard grammar are an aspect of use; the meaning of compound symbols derives from individual meaning, holist meaning, and use.

The icon is essential to concept and linguistic meaning. A symbol without an icon cannot refer. Thus, if traveling in a forest, in India, a guide exclaims ‘Sher’, Hindi speakers will feel fear, while others will be at most puzzled. For while ‘Sher’ translates to ‘tiger’, only the Hindi speakers associate ‘Sher’ with the visual image of a tiger.

3.2       The significance of experience

Content significance for concept and significant meaning.

Theme experience-ideas-being.

There is a sense in which the individual does not transcend or ‘get outside’ experience (ideas).

Effectively, experience is never transcended.

In this sense, experience is the medium of our existence.

That is true for in confirming an experience as bearing knowledge, one relies on further experiences (vision on touch, perception on conception, individual experience on signs and reports of experience of others).

Thus, ultimately, the world or real world seems to be the world of experience, which includes experience itself as referring and referent (the ‘subjective’ and the ‘objective’). This seeming will be seen to be the case—i.e., the world will be seen to be essentially relational. The phrase ‘external world’ connotes the referent side, and may, on the thought that there is an objective world, even exclude experience altogether.

Significance for concept and linguistic meaning

Without the experiential side of knowledge, there is no knowledge, and effectively no object. Immanuel Kant’s ‘Copernican revolution’ that knowledge is generated from experience and the forms of experience but also limited by experience (and inference from experience) may be further enhanced—no experience, no effective object. That is, effectively, for sentient beings, objects are experienced objects, and the universe is the experienced universe. This will be still further enhanced (i) to drop the term ‘effectively’, there are no objects in the abstract, objects are experienced (and inferred) objects and (ii) even further, the essential entities of the world are experiences which are constituted of an experiencer or experiencing ‘side’, an experiential relation, and a content of experience (the ‘experienced object’).

Significant meaning

Significant meaning is what it is that gives an individual a sense of completeness in life—of finding or being in a process of finding their highest hope (though not only the highest).

Significant meaning lies in a good balance between acceptance of and seeking to complete one’s self and world. That balance may lie at a single point on the seeking-acceptance continuum or over a distribution over it.

Experience and experiences are the place of meaning

Experiences (ideas) are the place of meaningsignificant and linguistic—and the place of our being.

Experience is the place of our being.

It is of course not being said that experience is the source of all meaning; that experience creates the world, or that there is no world; or that there is no object or objectivity. But these thoughts on experience question the nature of experience, world, and their relation, and of the meaning of objectivity and its possibility.

An objection to experience as the place of meaning—Are not intuition and the unconscious part of the place of meaning? Yes but intuition concerns the shape of experience and the unconscious is some combination of (i) part of experience yet not part of what Kant called the unity of experience and (ii) potential experience.

An essential conclusion

Experience is the essential constituent of the universe. It is shown to be the place of all meaning and being, and the means and vehicle of realization.

3.3       The world

Content Reviews standard and other descriptions of the world for consistency with experience. Finds (i) strict materialism inconsistent with the fact of experience (ii) an ordinary materialism (which is not really materialism at all for, since strict materialism is inconsistent with the fact of experience, experience must be an aspect of ‘matter’) to be the most parsimonious explanation of our empirical cosmos (iii) world as field of being—i.e., of experiential being—to be the most inclusive view of our world and possible worlds (even though it is bizarre on some common paradigms) (iv) strictly materialist and solipsist worlds to be bizarre and unlikely, yet logically possible. Implication When the world is shown to be the greatest possible, the universe will be found to be a field of being and our world one of ordinary materialism.

Descriptions consistent with experience

Comment 17.                   I prefer ‘hypothetical metaphysics’ to ‘speculative metaphysics’.

Comment 18.                   My name

Theme experience-ideas-being.

A description, interpretation of experience, or hypothetical metaphysics is a view of the world—of the real—that is self-consistent and consistent with experience.

I prefer ‘hypothetical metaphysics’ to ‘speculative metaphysics’ because the latter suggests suspension of criticism.

To be a description or interpretation is a necessary condition to be real—i.e. a necessary condition to be a valid and correct description.

A sufficient condition for reality of a description is perfect faithfulness, which, given limits, is not immediately forthcoming for human being. Therefore, a possible approach to sufficiency, is to rationally show perfect faithfulness for a description that meets necessity, above. Though it may seem unlikely, it seems more likely than to show faithfulness object by object. Indeed, we will find a rational approach to demonstrating the metaphysics of the way of being.

The following descriptions of the world are consistent with the non-transcendence of experience—

 

1.     

The world is just my experience—just my ideas—a form of ‘solipsism’ or, more precisely, ‘metaphysical solipsism’.

That ‘my’ experience should range the universe is unlikely if not bizarre but not logically inconsistent in itself or with experience.

2.     

The world is as in a secular view—a world with individuals who experience selves, others, and the environment. This is consistent with experience.

But now consider (a) materialism—matter is the sole constituent of the world and (b) a ‘strict’ version—mind is not associated with matter. Strict materialism cannot obtain for under it there be no experience, not even emergently. The world cannot be material in the sense of strict materialism. In that case (i) matter is more than inert matter and (ii) matter and mind are interwoven. But if matter is interwoven with mind, it is not matter at all in the substance sense, and materialism cannot be said to obtain. In fact, it is fair to say that materialism cannot be said to have definite meaning until physics is known to be complete.

Though it is not used here, it will be useful to clarify substance. In one strict sense, a substance is a pure and simple kind that is generative of a phase of being. Substances do not interact and therefore, if the world is a substance world, there can be only one substance. That is impossible if the one substance is a limited kind but not logically impossible if it is neutral in kind.

But what is experience in this scenario? Experience is relation and must therefore be relation or interaction among the ‘material’ elements. At the primitive (particle-field or just field) level of our world, it would not be experience as we experience it but of precisely the same kind.

3.     

The world is as in an extended secular view—phenomenally as in the secular but in which the world as such (the ‘material’ substrate that constitutes persons, animals, and environment) is experiential in the above extended sense.

Does it make sense to say that the environment is truly experiential? Yes for (i) otherwise the contradiction of strict materialism arises (ii) the level or intensity of experience for the environment may be extremely low or even zero but it is not null. There is a seeming alternative—perhaps mind seeped into our world from another part of the universe. This is a somewhat bizarre idea in the sense of it being unlikely and likely unstable, but it is not logically or ‘physically’ impossible. However, the ‘alien’ mind substance would have somehow to merge with the inert world and the result would be as in the extended secular view.

Earlier, action and attitude were seen to be aspects of experience. They are now seen to have ‘correlates’ in the world—referents (in the case of attitude) and experiences and bodies in the case of action.

4.     

The world is a field of experiential being or just a field of being or existence. This different from the extended secular view, not in terms of its fundamental nature, but in terms of the variety permitted; and in extending the extended secular view as far as is consistent with experience in the direction of the world as experiential.

It is critical to see that the extended secular view does not deny reality of the body or a material side of reality and that world as field of being includes the extended secular view. Thus, while world as field of being acknowledges and encourages, progress in the material sphere as important, it encourages a view in which progress in the experiential sphere is important. We will see (i) the experiential sphere is crucial to ultimate realization as both instrument and place of transformation and (ii) at root the material and experiential are not distinct.

Note the affinity to Berkelian ideas stripped of their seeming bizarreness; and to metaphysical solipsism—the world is my experience, stripped of the term ‘my’.

It allows worlds such as ours. It allows worlds of strict materialism. It allows solipsist worlds as in ‘the world is just my experience’. It allows pan-experiential worlds, where ‘everything’ is alive with mind. It allows a universe that is a limitless collection of worlds of the foregoing types in which the worlds may be either in interaction or isolation. And all this is logically possible and consistent with experience. Also note that with an extended conception of ‘my’ as ‘that of the world’ this description is not different from the first item above.

Now, if an experiential world is categorially or fundamentally greater than an inert world, is there a categorially greater world than the experiential? It seems not for experience is relation and what there may be (and is—in our world) is relation among relation or higher order relation. That is—there may be materially greater variety and greater experiential awareness but no greater world in the sense of category or kind. Variety is where the richness of the universe is and will be found to be.

The field of being description allows that the universe is the greatest possible being—i.e., whatever is logically possible and consistent with experience. And it allows the individual to realize the ultimate either in experientially transcending ‘this form’ or by absorption into the material background at death and later re-emergence. In such a scenario, experientiality or mind can be seen as target and means of realization. As target because it is the place of being. As means (i) intrinsically in its ability to work on itself as reason and meta-reason, (ii) instrumentally as in technological transformation of mind, body, and civilization.

 

Study Topic 6.         The empiricists Berkeley, Locke, Hume; rationalism; and their merger and as world as experience in the extended sense of ‘experience’ developed here.

Are there spirits and spirit worlds? The analysis above allows and the view from being, below, will confirm that the issue of spirit is not of fact but of meaning. The conclusion is that there but one category of existence and the terms ‘matter’, ‘spirit’, and so on have definite meaning only from limited experience (including inferential experience).

Analysis

That a description is consistent internally and with experience does not imply its truth, the question of truth of the descriptions is taken up in metaphysics of experience. Here we focus on what may be reasonable for our world.

Except, strict materialism all the descriptions are possible; strict materialism in our world with infusion of mind from another world is possible but it is ‘our world materialism’ not ‘universal materialism’. Solipsism and strict-materialism-with-infusion-of-mind-from-another-world are unlikely (such a materialism would be strict in mind not being associated with original matter but permissive in allowing interaction between substances).

The extended secular view seems to be the most parsimonious in relation to our common experience. In that sense it is the most reasonable; it is grounded and does not stretch the imagination with what might seem fantastic. From experience, this view seems the most reasonable.

World as field of being is consistent with experience; and the extended secular view is a special case. However, while the extra-secular scenarios painted are not ruled out by experience, to think them true seems a bizarre stretch from a secular perspective. It would also seem a stretch from religious perspectives except Advaita Vedanta of Indian Philosophy. If it were true, the greater part of the universe would seem to be inaccessible from the perspective of the local or empirical cosmos. To assert truth of world-as-field-of-being in a manner significantly more inclusive than the extended secular view, though it is possibly true, does not seem reasonable.

But what is reasonable depends on what we know. The issue of the nature of the universe will be treated in Metaphysics. There we will find an ultimate metaphysics constituted of a join of (i) a pure part that transcends any putative universal limitation of knowledge and (ii) a pragmatic part that is unquestionably colored by limit and perspective but is yet essential in realization of the ultimate (and which is perfect relative to being on a path to the ultimate and in being in some sense the best that we need).

Review

The pictures in the descriptions consistent with experience are metaphysical. Except strict materialism, they are rational—which, here, means that they are consistent internally and with experience but not that they are required by reason—i.e. experience and inference from experience. Even our common-sense ordinary materialism is metaphysical. It is common sense because it does not posit more than is needed to be explanatory and consistent. What, then, is the point to world as field of being in the full sense described above? As far as ordinary experience and modern cosmology go, the universe may be for more than the empirical universe in extent, duration, and variety. But if we cannot ever know that what is the point to it? How could we have experience at any time beyond cumulative experience of that time? First, future experience may go beyond present experience and world as field of being encourages and prepares for it. Second, and more important, we see in the following sections that ordinary experience is greater than commonly thought. We will establish that we know being (existence) and the entire universe (all being), not in detail but in abstract and this abstraction is enough to establish world as field of being in the fullest sense. Though abstract, this knowledge illuminates our lives, our potential, and the universe. Further, this abstract but non instrumental knowledge, may be complemented by common experience, science, and reason to provide an instrument of exploration and realization of the ultimate. We now turn to that endeavor.

3.4       Being and beings

Content The paragraph below.

Study Topic 7.         The concept of being in history, especially the writers in the resources section.

Comment 19.                   Should ‘reintroduces’ be eliminated just below?

This section continues to employ concept-referent as existent. However, the concept is implicit. The concepts chosen for treatment are abstracted forms. Thus ‘being’ does not refer to the welter of detail in the world but refers only to what is in the world—i.e. whatever exists. From this abstraction, the content of the section is ontologically precise and inclusive. This is possible on account of the neutrality of being over substance. The neutrality is critical in seeing power as the measure of being.

The concepts of being, existence and nonexistence

An existent is that which is (i.e., is there); existence is the property of all existents.

A being is an existent; being is existence.

Since it would specify nothing, the notion of a being without any concept (experience) of it whatsoever, is without meaning. It is the ubiquity of experience that erroneously leads to the notion of a being existing in pure isolation.

Therefore, to have an effect is necessary to being. For a being to be known, the effect must be in experience.

The term ‘a being’ is shorthand for ‘an experience-referent’.

A nonexistent being is one for which there is no referent—i.e., for which the referent is null.

This is a trivial resolution of the problem of negative existentials.

Knowledge of being

To abstract shall be to remove from a concept, some elements that are distorted or capable of distortion.

With sufficient abstraction, a concept may be perfectly faithful to the referent. It may then be said that the concept-referent is perfect or that the referent is perfectly known. It is significant that the abstract in this sense is not unreal or remote but most real and most immediate. Later, it will be seen how concrete and not-so-perfectly-known ‘referents’ may be synthesized with the abstract in a metaphysical system.

From abstraction, being or existence, are perfectly known. Though being is a concept-referent, it functions as if objective. This property of being will be inherited by the concepts of power, universe, the void, and logic.

The grammar of ‘being’

‘A being’ and ‘beings’ have the grammatical form of nouns; being has the form of a descriptor.

It is in the nature of being that such distinctions do not mark distinctions of existence. Rather, the distinction between ‘being’ and ‘beings’ (or ‘a being’) is one of concretion.

The significance of being

The term ‘being’ has been used for special kinds—e.g. ‘essence’, ‘higher being’, and the ‘Dasein’ of Heidegger. Here, it is used in a most inclusive sense. This use has been criticized as trivial and non-predicative. However, it is predicative in distinguishing nonbeing (nonexistence) from being. And the triviality is a source of its conceptual power.

Since, unlike matter or mind, being is not a special kind and since, unlike substance, it is not a posit, it has the potential as foundation of knowledge and the world. And we shall show how this foundation is to be developed.

Comment 20.                   Comment on the algebra of being and eliminate such comments elsewhere if there are any.

The capitalized form, ‘Being’, will refer to a special being or beings depending on context.

The hypothetical being that affects no experience is effectively nonexistent

As an experience-reference, being is not just about the world as distinct from experience of the world (if such objectivity should obtain); it also makes explicit the deep unity of experiential beings and the world.

The measure of being

Power, effective cause, or interaction is giving or receiving effect.

Comment 21.                   The term ‘material cause’ will not be used (i) so as to avoid connotations of ‘matter’ (ii) because Aristotle used the term to refer to material constitution as cause.

The result of interaction is relation.

Power is the measure of being.

Other apparently different measures, e.g. knowing and experiencing, are cases of power.

The hypothetical being that has no power, self or other, does not exist.

Beings

The plural of ‘a being’ is ‘beings’; as a descriptor, ‘being’ does not signify number.

Given a being, all is the being itself; a part is any being contained by the given being; a proper part is a part that is not the being; the null part, or empty part, is the part that contains no beings.

Study Topic 8.         MereologyMereology - Wikipedia (“Mereology - Wikipedia.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mereology); Mereology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) (“Mereology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).” https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mereology/).

3.5       The universe and the void

Content The neat properties of the universe and the void follow from the definitions of ‘being’ and ‘universe’.

The universe is all being.

There is a default, tacit, and widespread secular view or memeplex—the empirical cosmos is the universe. That this is known to be the case or that it follows from science or common sense is false. That it is held true is encouraged (i) by scientific and paradigmatic conservatism, (ii) in that paradigm is emergent normative reality, and (iii) in that the alternatives, especially under the paradigm, are the literal but literally false myths of religion and superstition. That the universe is limitlessly greater than the empirical cosmos is consistent with science and rationality. That it is limitlessly greater will be demonstrated in what follows.

There is one universe.

The universe is a being. For the universe, there is no other being. Therefore—

The universe does not and cannot have an effective cause.

The universe has no creator.

Therefore—

The universe does not and cannot have a creator God or effective first cause.

Perhaps, it might be argued, self-cause is the effective cause of God. But that must be ruled out on the logical count that it presumes a self which is part of which is to be causally explained and the contingent count that it leads to endless regress (in this case the logical and the contingent are not distinct).

The universe contains all beings.

The void is the being that contains no beings.

The definition does not imply that the void exists; we will see that there is precisely one existent void.

Later, when the concept of ‘law’ is defined, it will be seen that there are no laws in the void.

The void is not the quantum vacuum.

If or when the universe—or any being—is not the void, it is manifest. Otherwise it is nonmanifest.

Though it does not follow from the definition that the manifest universe should necessarily exist, the universe is either manifest or the void and as the join of the manifest and the void, it necessarily exists.

4        Possibility

Study Topic 9.         Possibility and necessity.

Comment 22.                   Is possibility the most primitive ‘pattern’? If this can be validly argued, consider beginning this section with it. Consider the title ‘Possibility and necessity’.

4.1       The concept of possibility

A being is possible if its conception does not prohibit a referent.

A being has nonbeing—does not exist—if the conception does not have a referent.

4.2       Kinds of possibility

If what allows or prohibits a referent has to do with the nature of the world, the kind of possibility is real possibility.

The main commonly identified kinds of real possibility are sentient (primitive to sapient), natural (e.g. physical, living, and sentient), social, and ultimate. The ultimate includes the incompletely known.

If the allowing or prohibition has to do with the conception and only the conception, the possibility is logical possibility, i.e. realizability not subject to the constraints of real possibility. Logic is the constraint on concepts for logical possibility.

Whereas a natural impossibility cannot obtain only where the natural patterns in question obtain, a logical impossibility is universal.

Universal possibility, that which obtains in the universe, does not exceed logical possibility (for the universe, that which can and that which does obtain are identical).

4.3       Real and logical possibility

A logic is an instance of logic.

A logic derives from a form of expression—examples are the propositional and predicate logics. Since our standard forms of expression are not known to exhaust the possible forms, our logics are not known to exhaust the ‘universe’ of logic. Richness may lie beyond the standard forms. Further, given that a symbolic calculus has countable formulas, extension to intuition may be needed for greater expressivity. What of emotion and feeling? Perhaps they have no place in formal logic, but this is not altogether clear. Even if not, emotion should influence reason and have some influence over the deployment of logic. The influence would not be part of the form of inference, but it may be among the objects of inference, and it may help determine where inference is pertinent and what to do about the inference.

Real possibility as described above presumes and is bounded by logical possibility.

4.4       Science and logic

A fact is a state of affairs that obtains (existence of a being is a prime example). A pattern obtains when the data to specify a being, e.g. a cosmos, is less than the raw data. Facts can be stated simply or in compound terms. Patterns are compound facts. Facts that are tendered as true are hypotheses. A law or theory is (our reading of) pattern Laws and theories are facts when restricted to the empirical but hypotheses when projected beyond.

In science, facts and patterns are found.

Examples of patterns are laws and theories; strictly, of course, laws and theories are our readings of patterns.

That a theory extends beyond the empirical boundary is hypothetical; within the boundary, it is factual.

The scientific method is what has been established so far as reliable in determining the facts and patterns of science; it is formal, informal, and institutional.

The patterns of nature we see, i.e. in our empirical cosmos, are the patterns of science for our empirical cosmos.

Whereas logics are universal, our sciences are known only to be local and not universal (strictly, while logic may be universal, the particular logics may have limits). It is consistent with our knowledge of science for whatever is logically possible to obtain (so far as consistent with that knowledge).

Perhaps the phrase ‘so far as consistent with that knowledge’ ought to be appended to the previous statement. However, that is not necessary if we recognize violation of known facts as logically impossible (note that this recognition does not imply that what obtains in one situation cannot obtain in another).

Comment 23.                   The following paragraph is repetition.

A scientific theory is hypothetical if projected beyond the empirical; otherwise it is factual in nature—i.e., correct or incorrect.

Regarding logic and science, there may appear to be facts and patterns. But what is a fact may harbor patterns and patterns may be seen as facts. There is a distinction, but it is relative to perspective.

4.5       Argument

An observation such as ‘the sun rose at 6:32:00 am’ may be questioned on account of (i) the meaning of ‘the sun rose at a certain time’ and (ii) the precision of the particular time ‘6:32:00 am’. A pattern ‘every day is 24:00:00 hours long’ may be questioned on account of (i) the pattern ‘every day’ and (ii) precision ‘24:00:00 hours’.

Some observations (facts) and patterns (theories) may be imprecise as well as uncertain.

On the other hand, some facts and theories are certain (e.g., there is a universe and, as will be shown later, the universe is the greatest possible being).

While science is about facts and theories that lack absolute certainty (but which have pragmatic validity), the term argument has been used recently to refer to facts and inferences from facts. Where the inference certain, the argument is called valid and where both fact and inference are certain the argument is sound.

Science can be brought under the umbrella of argument by extending the scope of the term to include pragmatic establishment of fact and pragmatic inference.

A special case of certain argument is necessary argument—where the fact is necessarily true, and the inference is certain.

With regard to the final observation in Science and logic, argument can be seen as just establishment of fact (i.e. facts, simple and compound).

4.6       Necessity and impossibility

A being is impossible if it is not possible (i.e., if the conception cannot have a referent)

A being is necessary if the concept must have a referent.

A being is contingent if it exists but is not necessary—i.e. if it could have not existed.

Kinds of impossibility and necessity correspond to kinds of possibility.

A being is necessary if and only if its nonbeing is impossible.

4.7       Unconditional being is necessary being

The existence of a being is unconditional if it obtains in all circumstances under which existence is possible in virtue of the meaning or defining terms of the being (and if such circumstances necessarily obtain).

If the existence of a being is unconditional, the being is necessary.

Since such necessity makes no presumption, it is and may be called unconditional necessity.

To have unconditional being is to exist of necessity.

4.8       Existence of the universe is necessary

Existence of the universe as the manifest-universe-and-the-void is unconditionally necessary.

Comment 24.                   Should the following (and perhaps a bit of the above) go to the section on the establishment of the fundamental principle.

4.9       The universe phases between the void and manifestation

But unconditional necessity makes no presumption and there must therefore be symmetry of outcome.

For the universe to be only manifest or only void would be an asymmetrical outcome.

Necessity can only be satisfied if the universe phases between the void and manifestation.

A void exists.

We will see that there is one void.

The void is a being.

5        Metaphysics

In terms of the definition of metaphysics below, we will see that we have already been doing metaphysics and therefore, that metaphysics is possible. In this division we will continue the development and render metaphysics potent.

Comment 25.                   The first section on the fundamental principle overlaps the final sections of possibility. Resolve this. Bring the last two sections of ‘possibility’ here?

Introduction

What is metaphysics?

Metaphysics is knowledge and means of acquisition of knowledge of the real.

This definition may be questioned on account of (1) possibility of such knowledge, (2) potency of this conception of metaphysics, and (3) a range of other conceptions of metaphysics, historical and recent. Let us respond to these issues.

 

1.     

In reviewing the development so far, readers will observe that we have already been ‘doing’ metaphysics according to the given definition. Therefore, metaphysics is definitely ‘possible’.

2.     

Metaphysics so far is indeed potent as logical but not so much as substantial. The development now turns to the substantial.

3.     

The range of valid conceptions of metaphysics may be seen to fall under the present one. In fact, in view of discussions, earlier discussion in Argument, as well as in moving forward, especially in The real metaphysics, far more than the valid in ‘historical and recent metaphysics’ falls under metaphysics-in-the-present-conception. Since, as will be seen, there is a pure side which includes metaphysics in its familiar family of meanings and a pragmatic side that includes science, there is temptation to jettison the term ‘metaphysics’ and replace it with ‘knowledge of the real.’

4.     

The range of metaphysics is extended here in an ultimate sense (i) to cover the entire universe in its general contours and (ii) to show that universe to be the greatest possible.

 

Aim of metaphysics

Thus far, little has been said about what beings and kinds of being there are—whether entities, relationships, processes, qualities, tropes and so on are beings; or whether matter, mind, values, vital force, and spirit are kinds of being. In contrast, it has been seen, as an aspect of the power of ‘being’ over ‘substance’ that there is being and that there are beings.

However, for the concept of being to be useful, to be able to say something about being and its kinds is necessary and desirable. This suggests the power of substance over being. But this is a mirage. For substance is weighted with the fact that it is a projection of useful but limited, incompletely established, and almost certainly distorted ideas on the world (and note that the limits are not merely conceptual but also limit use). On the other hand, being allows (concepts of) the real to emerge—and for this purpose the projections are available for refinement and for pragmatic use.

The aim of metaphysics, now that some foundational concepts have been established, is to establish definite conclusions about being, kinds of being, and beings.

Study Topic 10.     Kinds of being.

5.1       The fundamental principle of metaphysics

In this section, the aim is to demonstrate the fundamental principle of metaphysics—the assertion that the universe is the greatest possible being.

Abbreviations, ‘fundamental principle’ and FP will also be used.

Motivation for demonstration

It was seen in discussion of the universe that it cannot have an effective cause.

It is desirable to establish a sense of ‘cause’ in which the universe has a cause because it would (i) resolve the problem of why there is being at all (Martin Heidegger called this the fundamental question of metaphysics) and (ii) (likely) leverage establishment, clarification and resolution of significant problems of being.

At the end of the discussion of possibility, we saw that “If the existence of a being is unconditional, the being is necessary.”.

This suggests looking to possibility, necessity, and logic for another kind of cause. While this may seem alien to our intuitions and common and scientific notions of cause, let us not rule it out without further investigation.

Clearly, the universe is possible. Perhaps possibility may be seen as its cause. However, that is not satisfactory for mere possibility of existence is equivalent existence as accidental.

Demonstration

Recollect that (i) If the existence of a being is unconditional, the being is necessary and (ii) since the universe is the manifest universe and the void, its existence is unconditional and therefore necessary.

But unconditional necessity makes no presumption and there must therefore be symmetry of outcome. That is, if a being that manifests in more than one form is necessary, all its forms are necessary (but not all at once).

Unconditional necessity makes no presumption and therefore there must be symmetry of outcome. That is, if a being that manifests in one form is necessary, all its forms are necessary (but not all at once).

For the universe to be only manifest or only void would be an asymmetrical outcome. Therefore, the universe must have both void and manifest phases.

To be the void but once and the universe but once would also be an asymmetrical outcome. Therefore, necessity can be satisfied only if the universe phases between the void and manifestation.

This is a resolution of the question of why there is being at all—i.e., of the fundamental question of metaphysics.

Now, for only the empirical cosmos or any limited cosmos to exist would also violate the symmetry of unconditional necessity.

In summary—

For the universe, asymmetrical outcomes would be (i) to be only manifest or only void, (ii) to be the void only once and manifest only once, and (iii) to be a given empirical cosmos only once.

The only worlds that cannot be realized are logically impossible worlds.

Therefore, all logically possible worlds are realized (otherwise symmetry would be violated).

But the logically impossible is never realized.

Therefore, the universe is the realization of the greatest possibility, which is logical possibility.

However, since the realization of logical impossibility would be the void, it may be said that the universe is the realization of all possibility, logical and illogical.

It is a point of logic and not just of definition that there is one universe for if there were more, not one of the ‘universes’ would be the greatest.

Note that ‘greatest’ does not mean ‘best’. However, it includes best in any realizable or logically possible sense of the term.

The fundamental principle

The fundamental principle of metaphysics, the assertion that the universe is the realization of the greatest possibility, has just been demonstrated.

The abbreviations, ‘the fundamental principle’ and FP, will also be used.

An alternative statement is—The universe is the greatest possible being.

Is there a greatest being? If not in an actual sense, then there is one in a process sense.

The greatest being is the greatest in either an actual or process sense, which is logically possible.

If the universe is in a void state, it will then realize all possible states including the void. Any one void may be seen as generating the universe and all voids. Effectively, there is one void.

There is one void.

Using the fundamental principle

Given a hypothetical state, the fundamental principle implies it exists if (and only if) the state is consistent in the sense of logic, i.e. it is not logically inconsistent.

Content Method of using the fundamental principle metaphysics.

The general method, then, is generation of hypotheses and testing by logic.

Does this mean we can entirely describe the universe? Here are some possible limits—

 

1.     

Logic is commonly conceived as valid inference from facts (premises) to facts (conclusions). How, then, can logic be used to inform us of (descriptions of) the universe? First, even as inference, logic is about relations among facts (which include systems of facts as well as those particular systems that constitute patterns). Thus, given a hypothetical description, it obtains if it is ‘logical’. Second, there are known facts. As seen above, these can be incorporated to logic (a recent term for the join of logic and fact is ‘argument’) in considering Possibility. Another question arises— “But is not the entire universe over all extension and duration but one fact?” It will be seen in A block universe and indeterminism that the ‘facticity of facts’ is relative to observer or epoch. For a universal observer, the universe would be factual; for a local observer in a cosmos that is temporarily isolated from the rest of the universe, what lies outside their cosmos is not factual.

2.     

The joint expressive power of (human) iconic and symbolic form, which includes language, may be limited. One limit is the countability of forms expressible in a given symbolic language, which, perhaps, may be overcome via appending intuition to the language, and via patchworks of symbolic systems (in A block universe and indeterminism, it is seen that for a limited being the universe is a patchwork; on the other hand, it would not be a patchwork for that ultimate being which is realized in phases of the universe by every being).

3.     

The ability to use those forms, e.g. by imagination or machine generation, may be limited. Again, such limits may be overcome in time.

4.     

A particular limit is that developed logical systems employ modes of expression—e.g. the propositional form and the predicate structure; there are others, but the entire collection may be limited relative to the universe of modes of expression. This, too, may be overcome in time.

5.     

The description of a part of the universe must be such that it entails no inconsistency when meshed with description of the entire universe (the description of the part would be detailed and concrete while the description of the whole would be general and perhaps abstract). This, too, is not known to be absolute.

6.     

Where the description is of a part of the universe beyond the empirical realm, though it is true per the fundamental principle, there would (seem to) be no way to know it directly, relate to it, or realize it. This problem is not as severe as it may seem, for, in the abstract, via the concepts of being and universe, the empirical realm is the entire universe; and even if we do not currently have direct knowledge of it, we may come to have such knowledge.

7.     

We do not know the local laws of other cosmoses. Again, we may come to know such cosmoses. This apparent limit and the one of the previous item will be seen null, below in The real metaphysics, by appending to the fundamental principle and its consequences, what is valid in received human knowledge. It will be seen that this constitutes a perfect system so far as realization is concerned. Of course, limits of received knowledge, e.g. the sciences, relative to precise knowledge of the empirical cosmos, will not be overcome by this operation; however, the significance of those limits are relative only to temporal life in the cosmos and not to being in the eternal universe.

 

Significance and consequences of the fundamental principle

The fundamental principle is a focal point for the way of being—we have been building toward it and it is now a foundation of what is to follow: what may be realized by (human) being and the means of realization.

The consequences of the principle are conceptual—over the range of knowledge, and real—concerning living in the world and exploration of possibility and destiny. Consequences are developed in the remainder of the text. Here, as a ‘taste’ of the nature and power of the principle is a central set of implications—

That the universe is the realization of logic, shows it to be limitless. However, our understanding of this limitlessness is limited (it does not follow that it will remain limited). One limit noted above is that our forms of logic are limited in range—great and ultimate though the revelation of the fundamental principle may be in concept, what it reveals in our hands is limited and perhaps extremely so because of (i) the stated limits of the range of our logics and (ii) limits to our computational ability in terms of received logics.

The universe has identity (‘identity’ will be defined later); the universe and its identity are limitless—it is the greatest possible; there is one universe which cycles in loops of limitless duration, extension, variety, peak of being with identity, and dissolution. This power is inherited by all beings, including individuals; not separately from one another but in merging with it, especially in its peaks as that single identity; further, from the perspective of limited individuals, the process of merging, peak, and dissolution is ever fresh.

Thus, ultimate realization is given. However, efficiency and enjoyment are enhanced by intelligent, committed, and passionate engagement—this is the value or imperative engaging in realization. Effective realization is Apollonian and Dionysian (ordered and with abandon). Paths of realization have been worked out in our traditions. However, to be on a path is not to just follow a prescription but to also be involved (intelligently etc) with the development of pathways and negotiation of the particular trajectory. Pain is unavoidable; however, the best address of pain is a dual, so far as possible, of its address in the moment with resources at hand and engagement in a path of realization.

Study Topic 11.     The Apollonian and the Dionysian.

Note that ‘Dionysian’ does not mean ‘destructive’; and that in terms of both enjoyment and achievement, each individual may find their own optimum balance.

Comment 26.                   Ethics will be developed in the way of being.html.

Study Topic 12.     Ethics.

5.2       The real metaphysics

Study Topic 13.     Foundationalism (also in the section on Care).

The metaphysics

We are developing metaphysics as knowledge and means of acquisition of knowledge of the real.

A distinction may be made as follows. With ontology as the study of being and existence as such, metaphysics is the study of the range of being and includes ontology.

The possibility of metaphysics has been questioned since Immanuel Kant showed that knowledge must begin in experience. However, we have not just shown metaphysics to be possible—we have developed and demonstrated a metaphysics. It might seem that this metaphysics goes beyond experience, but it does not for it is based in abstracts—being, logic and so on—from experience which are still experience. As it is based in sufficient abstraction, it is pure metaphysics in the sense that it is perfectly faithful to its referents but also seemingly removed from the concrete.

In this section we extend the pure to incorporate a pragmatic metaphysics—one of concreteness as the result of insufficient abstraction for perfect faithfulness—and, in doing so, we will analyze and partly reform the notion of knowledge.

We have shown metaphysics to be possible, actual (the fundamental principle and its use), and practical even though not concrete. Via the metaphysics we have shown the universe to be the greatest possible and that we—all beings—inherit and realize this greatest possibility.

Paths have been sketched. Cosmology develops further knowledge of variety and The Way details ways, paths, and means of realization.

Comment 27.                   The essential content of the section follows. The material above should be integrated or eliminated.

Content The real metaphysics with short delineation of the pragmatic metaphysics.

The fundamental principle implies that the universe is the universe of logic. While the entire universe is empirical (in its abstract description in terms of being, universe, and possibility), only the empirical cosmos is concretely empirical (when the abstract is complemented by concrete sciences and so on). How may we, beings in a limited and perhaps temporarily causally isolated cosmos, negotiate the entire universe? First, we do not expect to accomplish this in an instant, even if possible, per FP, negotiation is a process. Second, received human knowledge, which includes development and method, partially perfect, is an instrument of local negotiation. Second, we have seen, in Experience > The world, two possible ways of realization of the ultimate: the intrinsic and the instrumental. But now, per FP, these possible ways become real ways. And we have knowledge of these ways—the intrinsic in this life is exemplified by meditation, contemplation, Christian Mysticism, yoga (and perhaps by modern western psychology); the instrumental is exemplified by modern science, medicine and medical technology (including psychiatry), and perhaps by humanism and modern theology. But, one asks, are these not limited? Indeed, they are limited relative to local concepts of perfection. However—

The concrete is what we have relative to ultimate realization. There is no better (regarding received knowledge and technology as in process). While the fundamental principle and its consequences are perfect in the sense of faithfulness, our local knowledge is pragmatically perfect relative to realization.

The fundamental principle and its consequences, which was named pure metaphysics, and local pragmatic knowledge, which may be called pragmatic metaphysics, join as a single system, which will be called the real metaphysics or just the metaphysics, and which is perfect in its intrinsic sense which is relative to ultimate realization.

What of the problems and issues of living in this world? They are not overcome in the sense that there are and will be conflict, pain and so on. However, the real metaphysics illuminates our world with its conflicts—and its good—and gives it greater meaning. The problem of pain was addressed in Significance and consequences of the fundamental principle. Problems of this world are addressed in The Way > Templates > Every-day template and Universal template. Being on a path to the ultimate is living well in this world.

Subject to stated limits, the real metaphysics is a perfect, dual yet unitary system of knowledge; and it is associated, subject to the same limits, with perfect, dual yet unitary, epistemology and values.

Though experience is not transcended—the universe is experiential—there is objectivity in individuals transcending their limited selves and merging with the universe in its ultimate phases; and there is local objectivity in given individuals and cultures transcending particular states of knowledge and culture. Objectivity, seen locally, is a process. In the ultimate, objectivity is an object (of essence, neither entity nor relation nor process).

Method for the metaphysics

Content Method of application of the fundamental principle metaphysics.

The method of application is twofold. The two aspects below are used interactively.

 

1.     

Pure metaphysics—use of the fundamental principle: (a) generation of hypotheses using intuition and imagination (and development of systematic hypothesis generation), (b) hypothesis testing via logics (and development of logics). Phases a and b are not entirely independent for each may be used in the other.

2.     

Pragmatic metaphysics—use of received knowledge and technology as described in The metaphysics and elaborated in Cosmology.

 

Doubt, criticism, and response

The aim, here, of critical doubt is to move via criticism and imaginative reconstruction, from uncertainty to reliability—which may be pragmatic reliability, pragmatic certainty, or perfect certainty according to what is may be achieved and is appropriate to context.

 

1.     

Doubt about the validity of the fundamental principle. Though proved, the fundamental principle ought to be doubted because (i) concerns about the proof, (ii) it seems to be inconsistent with science, especially modern cosmology, and experience, and (iii) because of the magnitude of the conclusion and its implications.

Response. The essence of the given proof begins thus—(i) the universe is either manifest or nonmanifest, without exception and without premise (ii) but to be never manifest or nonmanifest would require premise, and (iii) therefore the universe must phase between the manifest and the nonmanifest. This is the part of the proof that is open to doubt.

However, (i) the inference is reasonable, (ii) the conclusion and the fundamental principle are inconsistent with cosmology and physics only if the latter are thought to define the entire universe (which is not known to be true), (iii) the magnitude of a conclusion is reason only to emphasize its means of establishment which are addressed in the previous items.

A criticism could be implied by saying that the proof is ontological in nature. The intended implication would be by comparison with Anselm’s famous ontological proof of the existence of a particular God, which employs a subtle but obscure argument. The implication is not valid because the present proof is not a proof of God’s existence and the argument is clear.

2.     

Yet lingering doubt may and ought to remain (i) because of a need for certainty and (ii) to refine proof.

Response. Let us recapitulate that the proof is reasonable, that it is not contradicted by science (the fundamental principle may be seen to support science), and that the conclusion is one of significance. There are also roughly equivalent proofs; as well as heuristic arguments, e.g. that a reality that satisfies all and only logic is the boundary of all science present and future.

This recommends one or both of the following attitudes to the principle—(a) To treat it as a postulate that will serve as base for a framework of understanding for the universe. (b) To treat it as an existential principle of action by which to live and explore the world.

3.     

The principle is abstract and remote.

Response. It is indeed abstract. However, the abstraction confers precision—what is retained after abstraction is known perfectly. For example, ‘there is being’ says only ‘there is something’. Further it is not remote—it is not abstract in the sense of being removed from the real. The concepts on which it is based, e.g. being, are immanent in the world.

4.     

Since everything in the world has being, the concept of being is at best empty.

Response. The development shows being and related concepts to be potent. The seeming tautology ‘everything has been’ will be dissected and shown to not be tautological at all.

5.     

It is not clear how the fundamental principle enables negotiation of the world.

A practical response. The principle enables development of metaphysical knowledge that does not enable immediate negotiation. However, practical instrument results from combination with what is valid in our traditions and sciences. Further, the joint system is shown perfect relative to the realization of the ultimate revealed by the fundamental principle. The joint system will be named the real metaphysics or just the metaphysics.

An existential or principled response. The view of the universe revealed, and its potential should improve the quality of our lives in the immediate world. The view is like systems such as the Advaita Vedanta of Indian Philosophy (what is new here is the demonstration and the consequent elaboration of consequences).

 

5.3       Identity

Content Identities of individuals and Brahman, their relations.

Study Topic 14.     Brahman. Advaita Vedanta.

In our world we experience identity of objects and selves (we continue to defer definition of identity). This is a fact even if what constitutes identity is not clear. Further, from FP, identity needs no explanation to be founded. However, in Cosmology > Identity, extension, duration, and mechanism, identity will be given some foundation.

Here, we recapitulate some conclusions about identity and name some modes of identity.

In Advaita Vedanta, the individual self is named ‘Atman’; the universal self ‘Brahman’ may refer both to the universe as a block (A block universe and indeterminism) or its peak. According to Vedanta, Atman is Brahman. This has been shown as part of the real metaphysics.

From FP, all beings are equivalent in that any one being can transform to any other (which may be difficult to see from the perspective in our cosmos and to achieve with only the resources of the cosmos). There are no ultimate and fundamental ‘elements’ of being.

Paths to Brahman, their imperative, problems of pain and ecstasy, and enjoyment were discussed in Significance and consequences of the fundamental principle. Elaboration will be given in The Way.

5.4       Implications for experience

Theme experience-ideas-being.

Metaphysics of experience

Content Ontology of experience. Existence as experience and range of experience.

Metaphysics of experience is (i) literally, metaphysics (ontology) of experience and (ii) existence as experience and its range.

Experience > The world developed metaphysical pictures of our world and the universe consistent with our experience of it. The development was based in the nature and content of experience. We therefore call that development part of a metaphysics of experience.

From that foundation, the concepts of being, universe, and so on were developed and shown to be real in that they had objects; implications were developed—the fundamental principle and the real metaphysics.

The real metaphysics implies that the universe is descriptively enveloped as described under world as field of being—item #4—in Experience > The world.

It is neither restrictive nor merely hypothetical (or merely speculative) to assert—metaphysics is metaphysics of experience.

Conclusions for the real

In Newton’s dynamics force (interaction, relation) generates motion (change) of particles (things). This suggests an object – relation – change view of the world.

However, from analysis of experience there are no objects in isolation; rather what always presents is the experience and the experienced. That is, experience as relation is effectively both relation and related as one. The field of being paradigm, which is the most general, and therefore, from the real metaphysics, most complete description of the universe (and therefore most real) as changing, is a relation – change description. This is supported though of course not proved by quantum field theory.

Content Ultimate descriptions of the real.

Experience and process and its root, relation-process, are a better description of the real than object-interaction-process. They are simultaneously an ultimate ontological and ultimate significant-experiential real.

However, another description of the real, ultimate in that it covers all being in abstract, frames the entire real, and is without error, is the real as the greatest possible. Within that framework, the pragmatic or concrete achieves the real by being open rather than rigid. Relation-process as real is a current concrete ultimate—it is pragmatically certain that exceptional worlds are without significance. The block universe is another concrete ultimate; and if it suppresses explicit and universal measures of sameness-difference it is ultimate.

Conclusions for our world

Our world is embedded in a universe that is—has valid interpretation as—a field of being. It is the greatest possible field of being.

The field of being is effectively experiential in the limited sense of experience as sentient; it is experiential in the sense in which experience is extended to the root of being.

The hypothetical being that affects no experience does not exist.

Given that strict materialism cannot obtain, the possibilities for our world are (a) The world is just ‘my’ experience (solipsism) (b) the extended secular view.

Now since solipsism is logically possible it does obtain for some worlds. Note, of course, that world as field could be seen as the world of a mega-intellect; but that is not what solipsism says—it says that the world is the world of the experience of a very ordinary intellect. Still, the best we can say for our world from the metaphysics, is that extended secularism is most likely and therefore it is practical to behave as though it obtains (with a slight reservation on the account that it does not obtain). Are there ways to prove solipsism false—and not just improbable—or not just false but incoherent in assuming what it denies? It seems that there are, but they would need to assume some condition about the nature of the world or the self. That is an interesting and philosophically interesting project, see Solipsism and the Problem of Other Minds, but it is not sufficiently pertinent to the way to take up here. We can assert however, that while we have learned about the world from the solipsist challenge, there is, as discussed above, little reason to consider it a serious description of our world.

The second concern regarding our world is whether it is described by a limited extended secular view or whether what obtains is the full world as field view. The answer, justified by the metaphysics, is that it is a matter of time frame and perspective. For secular purposes on ordinary time frames, the limited view may be taken to obtain. However, on an extended time frame the full field view is the true one. But even in a secular world the full field view is essential (i) in knowing our place in the universe (ii) if we want to realize or just begin to realize the ultimate starting in this life in this world, especially if we want to undertake a project of realization.

Content Field of being as ultimate description.

From analysis of experience and the real metaphysics, the universe is a field of being, which may seem bizarre if our world is taken as paradigmatic for the universe. However, our world is not paradigmatic for the universe and the universe is a field of being—provided, of course, that the experiential aspect may be zero to minimal in some phases. In the universal field of being there will be (i) the bizarre and effectively infrequent solipsist and pure strict materialist phases, (ii) phases such as our world which, per common experience and understanding, seem materialist in nature and in that we are essentially finite organisms delimited by body, birth and death, (iii) greater worlds in which we find our individual selves part of greater organisms that transcend individual death and are able to see over multiple lives, (iv) universe as field of being that contains the previous items and for which there is a phase of Brahman that is the aggregate and more of all individuals from all worlds over the entire block universe.

5.5       Pure and pragmatic categories of being

From the real metaphysics and the discussion of experience, we may make conclusions about categories and elements of being.

Comment 28.                   The pure are psyche-world; but the point is they are pure; whereas PNSU are pragmatic and do not need to be pure.

The categories of being are high-level descriptions or kinds that, from their realism, enable and encourage negotiation of the world and, so, of realization of Being. We will also use the word ‘dimensions’ for categories.

Pure

That the universe is experiential has been suggested in Experience > The world where persuasive yet not conclusive arguments were given. That the universe is experiential follows from the real metaphysics as explained above in Implications for experience > Metaphysics of experience and Conclusions for our world. Experience is the single essential dimension or pure category of being. Since the void is equivalent to the manifest, we might say that nothingness is the category or that there are no categories at all. However, since experience is the essential place of being and significance, it is a convenient reminder of the nature of the essence of our being to name experience (Brahman) as the one pure category.

The one pure category is that of experience or psyche-world as one.

The category of experience may be approximated as experiencer (self, Atman), experience as experiential relation (e.g., perceptions, feelings, conceptions…), and experienced (objects, the world) and change. Experience as category is world as field; correspondingly, the division is approximate and corresponds to the approximation of world as beings whose interactions are fields.

In the (our) empirical cosmos, the basic entities of physics may be taken as elements of the physical world. Are there elements of being? From FP, any simple is divisible and equivalent to other simples and to all being and beings. There are no ultimate elements.

Pragmatic

The pragmatic categories will be useful rather than perfect in the sense of faithfulness (but perfect in the sense in The real metaphysics).

Such categories will have a cultural stamp. This is not an impediment to realization and living well as noted earlier and subject to conditions noted.

Experience has form; form has extension and is (part of) body; frozen form is possible and occurs (temporarily) but is without significance except as transitional; but significance requires understanding which, even understanding as given, is process which occurs in duration; but from FP, process is necessary (perhaps there is being without extension and duration but at best its significance is infinitesimal); from FP, process requires mechanism; however, where there is mechanism, a paradigm of it is relation or interaction mediating or relating form and change.

Some pragmatic categories

We state the categories with minimal explanation.

Comment 29.                   The following is from experience and the dimensions of the world (html) and should be edited there.

Natural (relatively unconstructed); the natural contains the universal category of experience. Here are the natural kinds. Physical (elementary). Living (complex, built of the physical in that no further elements seem necessary). Experiential (mind, psyche as object, perhaps always in association with life—at least in its known advanced forms; the physical and the elementary experiential are two aspects of the natural). Psyche may be seen as a separate category.

Social (group, relatively constructed), civilization. Here are some aspects of the social. Culture (knowledge, value; neutrality to distinction between knowledge and value) … language and communication, generation, transmission. Structural or organizational (groups)—small and naturally formed (the individual, family, community) and large and institutional grouping (political, economic, technological, military, academic or research and education, artistic and religious).

Universal and incompletely known—the field view self to Being (Atman to Brahman), nests extended secular worlds.

‘Incompletely known’ is preferable to ‘unknown’ for given a self-consistent predicate, there is a corresponding referent.

In summary—

Pragmatic categories may be chosen as of psyche, natural (physical, living, and experiential), social (group, civilization), and universal.

Since the experiential appears among the natural, the category of psyche functions as concept and object.

Experience: pragmatic categories of mind

Comment 30.                   The following is summarized from experience and the dimensions of the world (html)  and revision should be imported to the source.

Comment 31.                   Should this material be kept in the essential version?

Theme experience-ideas-being.

The pragmatic categories and elements of experience are defined along three axes. (1) Attitude-pure-action. Modern philosophy of mind recognizes these as aspects of mind. Here we see that attitude and action are relational aspects of experience. The pure is not truly pure for it involves internal relation and is potential relation. Thus, philosophy of mind recognizes what we have already seen—i.e., that experience is relational. (2) Inner-outer. (3) Free-bound continuum. (4) Intensity continuum.

The pragmatic categories are—

Comment 32.                   Normalize this.

Primitive—root or primitive feeling that is primitive to the following forms.

Relatively bound (to world as object). Spatial (form)—inner (primitive feeling, primitive motor action without autonomy; and aggregate feeling and action) and outer (sense, action on the world); distinction between the inner and the outer is pragmatic but categorially artificial. Temporal (change)—intuition of time, recall (memory). Quality—marked by mode of relation or interaction, which identifies the kinds of quality; quality is marked by sense of being like something; it lies on a negative-neutral-positive continuum; and an intensity continuum. Primary properties are those qualities that can be associated strictly with the object, at least for pragmatic purposes.

Note—perception is the result of perceptual intuition (i.e. in the sense of Immanuel Kant: capacity for formed experience of the world, informed by concept formation), action is the result of intuition of action (capacity for forming action, informed also by concept formation). Thus thought-emotion (concept formation) partakes of or is in a continuum with sense and action, with the inner and the outer.

Relatively free (including concept formation). Body—inner—feeling with degrees of freedom. World—outer—iconic and symbolic concepts; and conceptual intuition or capacity for concept formation (emotion is a join of conception and free and primitive feeling). Spatiotemporal—concept of space; concept of time, past – present – future and will and sense of purpose; concepts of science, philosophy, and the transcendent. Aesthetic—syntheses of the ‘elements’ that speak to the ‘being’ of the individual or person. Synthesis—‘mind’ in an expansive sense—perception, thought, concept formation, and feeling (emotion) come together in realism regarding the world.

5.6       Development of metaphysics

Content In long versions of the work—(i) what is metaphysics, (ii) the classical through current problems of western metaphysics (iii) some problems of non western metaphysics (iv) development of the topics in this work and as listed in a journey in being-outline.html.

Comment 33.                   ‘Topics in metaphysics’. In the essential version this will only mention the developments.

In the complete version of the way, explicit development of the metaphysics is extensive and placed in a dedicated section.

Here, the development is as useful in realization and occurs where in sections where appropriate.

In addition to the foregoing material, there is development in Cosmology, The Way (especially Ways, the metaphysics, and reason and Experimental yoga and reason).

What is development of metaphysics?

Development of metaphysics is

 

1.     

Identifying the range of experience which begins with experience itself and continues through the categories,

2.     

Clarifying and systematizing the range of experience and developing conceptual accounts of the range and its elements,

3.     

Which includes identifying and correcting for incompleteness among the elements and of the elements relative to the whole.

 

What is the method of development?

The method of development is the method of the metaphysics, formal and informal, developed and developing.

What are the topics?

Sources for the topics are the content of the way so far and as it emerges.

The topics are (i) as developed in this text without a view to system (ii) systematically enumerated and developed in the longer version of the text—the way of being.

Study Topic 15.     Systems of metaphysics and the problems of metaphysics—western, and eastern.

5.7       Doubt as a method—does experience determine the real?

Content Doubt as method. What follows from experience. Given multiple consistent interpretations of experience, what is real? How to determine what is real?

Theme experience-ideas-being.

Comment 34.                   Refer to earlier discussion of Doubt, criticism, and response.

Experience and the sense of the real do not seem to determine the real. That is, the real seems to be underdetermined by experience and so there are, at least seemingly, multiple descriptions of the real—interpretations of experience—that are self-consistent and consistent with experience. Thus, there is doubt about which, if any, description, or class of descriptions is true. Resolution of such ambiguity is an approach to the real.

Some apparently different descriptions are mutually consistent while others are not; and since the real is ultimately a function of experience and its range, mutual consistency includes empirical consistency. Attempting to resolve the situation so that one description or class is revealed as true is a way to investigate the real. It is doubt as a method. Let us develop it, attempting to do so systematically.

Origin of doubt as a philosophical method

Study Topic 16.     Doubt and skepticism as method and source of knowledge and method.

Rene Descartes is the main modern western philosopher associated with doubt as a method (certainly there was philosophy of doubt in ancient Greece). We can formulate doubt as a method as follows—given phenomena, there may be multiple interpretations of the underlying real (including that the phenomena are the real). Typically, there is a common, seemingly reasonable interpretation. The other interpretations may be ‘bizarre’ in being, say, logically possible but at least seemingly unreasonable on other counts, e.g. the common view of the world or conflict with physics.

An example

A first example, related to Descartes’ cogito, is one we have already considered—perhaps the world is just my experience as an interpretation of the phenomenal view of the world as selves in an environment. What we found is that there are a number of seemingly possible interpretations which include the phenomenal view; that of these all but strict materialism were logically possible; that the most likely situation was that our world is the extended secular world (which is an initial resolution of the question of solipsism) situated in a larger world as field. The real metaphysics confirms that that is probable with open questions being the means or mechanism by which and the time scale on which the extended secular opens up into the field. But why is it only probable? It is because it is logically possible that my phenomenal world is just the world of my experience. Such seemingly unlikely worlds must exist in consequence of the real metaphysics. But what is the degree of probability? To answer this fully, we anticipate the cosmological argument that ‘normal’ worlds preponderantly populate the universe while ‘bizarre’ worlds are rare, perhaps to the extent of that the probability of a given world being bizarre is zero (in infinite populations, probability zero does not imply impossibility).

The argument above did not leave us with a single possibility. There are arguments that purport to eliminate the solipsist interpretation—for example, as seen earlier, showing solipsism to be incoherent. Such arguments do not proceed from logical necessity but presume something about the world. For example, Wittgenstein argued that ‘experience cannot be private’, which is entirely reasonable but presumes already the way in which experience is normative and not just emergent by accident (which is improbable but logically possible).

Note however, that ‘the world is my experience’, does not eliminate, the body, for the experience has form and part of that form may be called and is effectively the body. ‘Environment’ and ‘other minds’ may, similarly, be called and are effectively what they are commonly what they are thought to be. What is different, in the bizarre world of solipsism, is the reality but not the effective reality.

What have we learned from the example? We have learned about (i) our world—it is most certainly normal, (ii) it is not strictly material even if it is for many purposes, (iii) it is essentially experiential (with a material side), (iv) it is embedded in a much larger and variegated field of being universe (with identity). Note that of course the reasoning involved more than just the doubt that perhaps the world is just my experience.

Systematic formulation of the method of doubt

We can formulate the method in positive and systematic terms.

 

1.     

Given a situation in the world, multiple interpretations—the real—are possible.

 

This is seen as questioning the phenomenal as real—i.e., the common interpretation.

 

Seeing or generating multiple interpretations requires focus on meaning and use of imagination or concept formation.

2.     

A criterion according to which there is more than one interpretation is given.

 

Of course, a criterion can be a compound of multiple criteria.

 

The main kinds of criteria invoked in allowing multiple interpretations and in eliminating some are first, perhaps, the phenomenal or common, and then other criteria that encapsulate conditions of realism.

 

The main critical criteria are logical, metaphysical—general and particular, and scientific.

 

We’ve seen that the general metaphysical and logical are the same; however we shall find that there are particular metaphysical criteria that are not scientific in that they do not fall under our sciences, yet are more restrictive than the logical; one example is the abstract vs the concrete. Another stems from the question whether there can be experience (mind) without a body. Given that experience has form, form has extension, and that extended form is or can be seen as body, it seems that where there is mind there is body. However, it is logically possible for a point to ‘think’ and therefore ‘experience has form’ is metaphysical (in not appealing to common sense or science). Yet another metaphysical criterion would arise in considering whether two bodies can occupy the same position at the time (it seems physically impossible but only on some physical laws; it seems logically possible; therefore a metaphysical criterion must be employed do determine possibility or impossibility). Finally, the impossibility of private experience argument, is metaphysical (it is reasonable but not necessary from psychology).

 

Some further sub-kinds of the logical are mathematical, computational, and linguistic. The scientific may be physical, biological, psychological, social, and subdivisions such as quantum and relativistic physics, functional and evolutionary biology.

3.     

The problem is to select the true interpretation(s).

 

This may involve the absolute elimination of some interpretations and almost certain elimination of others.

 

Why doubt?

 

1.     

To learn about the world and the real.

2.     

To learn about how to study the world and the real—i.e. method, both formal and informal. The formal is primarily critical while the informal includes intuition and imagination (which may be partially formalizable). Since knowledge is in the world, study of knowledge and its methods are in the world and therefore subsumable under study of the world.

3.     

A representative or canonical set of dilemmas may reveal the real and fundamental forms of our world and the universe.

 

Canonical dilemmas

Content Presents a paradigm of argument regarding ‘bizarre alternatives to the common interpretation’. Given a bizarre alternative we (i) determine whether it is consistent with experience and logic (ii) if it is consistent we determine if it is truly bizarre (iii) if it is not bizarre then further analysis will show or suggest a modification of the common interpretation and (iv) if it is bizarre but logically possible it will obtain but is insignificant.

Study Topic 17.     Dilemmas and paradoxes as a source of the real and its construction. See canonical dilemmas.html.

The dilemmas are defined in terms of the least or most pessimistic option.

What shall we do?

The question is one of Immanuel Kant’s three questions “What can I know? What should I do? What may I hope?” that, according to Kant, all philosophy ultimately aims at answering. But “What shall I do?” necessitates the others, at least pragmatically. Here are three related dilemmas.

Study Topic 18.     The aim of philosophy—and the scope of Kant’s three questions “What can I know? What should I do? What may I hope?”.

Study Topic 19.     Free will.

Study Topic 20.     Abstract objects.

 

1.     

The limits of the possible are the inner limits of the empirical.

 

The inner limits accepted by a sufficient number of people to constitute a normative reality are the lower cultural bound which in the modern west are what is seen as the secular world. The ‘opposite’ option to this dilemma is that the limits of the possible are the outer limits of the empirical—i.e. all that is consistent with experience.

2.     

The universe is the realization of the inner limits.

 

Versus universe as realization of outer limits—the greatest possibility

3.     

There is no human choice and action or free will—or, at most, they lie well within universal limits and are indeed the received and significantly normative limits.

 

Versus human realization as identical to universal realization.

4.     

In view of the previous item, there are no values and that we have values is illusory—or, at most, human values are limited to the context of our world and are significantly normative.

 

Versus the existence of true and universal values (over and above the limited and normative).

 

Knowledge

 

1.     

There is no knowledge at all.

 

Doubting knowledge is academic or Cartesian Skepticism. Denying knowledge is Pyrrhonian Skepticism

Note that if knowledge is absolutely doubted, it suggests that the conception of knowledge employed is deficient. Thus, we have seen that knowledge as faithfulness to an object ought to have significant but not universal purchase, while knowledge as pragmatic complements knowledge as faithful to constitute a powerful instrument toward universal realization. It is further significant that while ‘purism’, e.g. knowledge is but of one kind, seems to be valued, it is not to be desired.

2.     

Metaphysical knowledge is impossible. Scientific knowledge is not knowledge of the real but is instrumental. The major conclusion of modern epistemology is the severe limitation of knowledge and what constitutes justification of knowledge.

 

We have explicitly demonstrated metaphysical knowledge. Note that it is not trans-experiential but begins in abstraction from experience where abstraction is an operation of retaining only non-distorted content. Scientific knowledge is instrumental but is also knowledge as such according to pragmatic criteria. And the metaphysical and the pragmatic combine in the real metaphysics.

Knowledge is indeed limited in the ordinary realm according to the ideal of knowledge as faithful to its objects. However, perfect abstract knowledge of the universe as a whole has been demonstrated. The pragmatic knowledge that is seen as limited by traditional criteria is perfect as instrument in realization of the new understanding of the universe. Thus, the traditional epistemic criteria, while pertinent in a pragmatic context, are perfect relative to ultimate realization as a criterion. The join of the pragmatic and the pure is a perfect metaphysics, in terms of a perfect epistemology, relative to a perfect value.

3.     

Values are neither ultimate nor objective.

 

Though ‘local’ values are tinged with lack of objectivity, there is an overreaching ultimate and objective value—i.e., ultimate realization (which is built upon our world and its local values).

4.     

There are no objects (an object was conceived earlier as an experience-referent or concept-referent pair). Only concrete objects are real. Only material objects are real. Only experience is real. Abstract and mathematical objects do not exist vs they exist in a platonic world vs there is one world in which both abstract and concrete objects exist.

 

To address the issues regarding objects, let us consider notions of concrete and abstract objects.

 

In one conception, perhaps preliminary, a concrete object is one known via sensory perception, and an abstract object is one that is defined in conception but not sensation. Physical objects are concrete, while mathematical objects—systems and models—are abstract. A beautiful thing is concrete, while, if beauty is an object, it is an abstract one.

 

We tend to think of the concrete as paradigms of the notion of ‘object’ while doubting the existence of abstract objects. However, since beauty is moving, we may think or feel it to be real; and mathematical objects defined axiomatically, do seem to possess an independent reality.

 

Further, even abstract objects as abstracts have some concretion, and concrete objects have some abstraction.

 

Now, while perception is thought to capture objects in the concrete world, perhaps conception alone may capture objects in some ideal world (in both cases there may be incomplete capture).

 

If we accept these thoughts, there are still difficulties with the concept of an abstract object. In what sense is an abstract object real? Mathematical and other abstract objects do not seem to be in space and time and, if so, where are they?

 

But surely, no matter how many worlds and distinctions we posit, we can think of the collection of worlds as one world. This is a precise conclusion of earlier reflections on being and experience.

 

The real metaphysics offers a resolution.

 

All logical concepts have objects; the distinction of kinds according to degree of abstraction is a continuum rather than a polarity; abstract objects, the ones we call abstract, are defined conceptually and tend to the pure, while concrete objects, the ones we call concrete, are known perceptually and tend to the pragmatic. Both kinds obtain in the one universe. Where the abstract seems to not be in the physical world of space, time, and cause, it is because those elements are omitted in the abstraction. Abstraction vs concretion is relative to the knower and while all objects are in the one world, we tend to classify them according to the different modes of knowing while often suppressing the truth that all modes are facets of knowing rather than thinking of one facet as paradigmatic and others derivative.

 

Note that the abstract-pure and pure-pragmatic distinctions are not the same. From common ways they are specified, the concrete and the pragmatic have significant overlap as do the abstract and the pure. However, if precision (but not accuracy) is relaxed, the concrete may be pure; and surely the abstract concept of beauty is pragmatic.

 

We have seen that there are objects, but the meaning of the term ‘object’ is changed. Correspondingly, there is objectivity.

 

Only material objects are real—yes, but with only with a definition of ‘material’ that denies its non-experiential connotation and so makes the term ‘material’ either contentless or identical to ‘has being’.

 

Only experience is real—yes, we have seen a sense in which this is true, but it is not the case that there is no world and its contents.

 

Given that all logically consistent concepts have objects, abstract and mathematical objects must exist (assuming consistency). Further given the experiential side of the real, concreteness is relative to the experiencer and it is precise to say that objects lie on a concrete-abstract continuum.

5.     

There are unknowable objects vs there are no unknowable objects.

 

‘Unknowable’ shall be taken to mean ‘not affecting experience at all. With the real metaphysics, there are no unknowable objects. Without the real metaphysics, there are no effectively unknowable objects.

6.     

We cannot know why there is something rather than nothing.

 

Well, we can and do. It is a consequence of the fundamental principle. But why is this knowledge thought impossible? It results from thinking that the scientific and common views of cause define all causation.

 

Comment 35.                   For more on abstract and concrete objects, see the way of being.

Study Topic 21.     Model theory for its relevance to realization of abstract objects. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/model-theory/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_theory

Experience and the body

Theme experience-ideas-being.

Comment 36.                   Or mind.

 

1.     

The cogito. Solipsism. The world is the world of my experience. Experience—consciousness—is an illusion. The impossibility of private experience argument.

 

This collection of problems is addressed earlier.

2.     

Free will is an illusion.

 

Sources of this claim are (i) inadequate definition of free will, e.g. as an unimpeded ability to choose from alternatives, and (ii) maintaining determinism, generally or at least so far as the human organism is concerned. Regarding (i) all that is necessary is to omit the word ‘unimpeded’. It is given that we do see, create, and act on options. Regarding (ii) from real metaphysics, the world cannot be deterministic. Here the conclusions of an incomplete physics are at most suggestive. Regarding the organism, even if broadly deterministic, it cannot be argued to be entirely deterministic. But it is necessary to address David Hume’s critique that under randomness there is but random action but no true choice. What Hume’s argument fails to see is that while determinism and indeterminism independently do or may not allow choice, choice may arise in their interaction. The paradigm is variation and selection, the mechanism of evolutionary biology. This mechanism may occur in any originally indeterministic system and apply not only in evolution but also in origin of manifest worlds, creativity, and choice. But note further, that under the real metaphysics, no mechanism is necessary to formed worlds and their formation, to creativity and choice; the role of mechanism is it improves effectiveness.

3.     

Experiences, ideas, thoughts, feelings, values are not real.

 

They are just as real as ‘matter’. For this, thanks may be given to the clarifying concept of being. Not that being real and being objective are different. Can values be objective? In the sense that proximate values are instrumental toward less proximate ends, yes there can be some objectivity. Are there ultimate values? Yes, realization and being on a path are two. But it does not follow that even the highest principles of ethics are objective. This in turn does not devalue those principles.

4.     

Experience without a body is possible. Two bodies can occupy the same position. These dilemmas are addressed above.

 

The world and its origin

 

1.     

There is an all-powerful and benevolent God, the Abrahamic God—ruler and creator of the universe.

 

All arguments were ruled out by considering the simple definitions of being and universe. Particularly, argument given earlier rules out the first cause argument. The ontological argument of Anselm is persuasive because its persuasion is hidden in confusion. The argument from design is ruled out because, even in ignorance of mechanisms of formation, design is only improbable and not impossible.

 

On the other hand, not all kinds of god are impossible. The Brahman of Vedanta is relatively reasonable without real metaphysics and if modern cosmology is not seen as complete; but the real metaphysics implies the necessity of Brahman. Real metaphysics also implies powerful supra-human beings; but they seem improbable in this epoch of our cosmos. Greek style gods are possible, therefore obtain in some cosmos, but of course seem improbable in ours. The Abrahamic God, even violent and angry, minus creation and perhaps ruling, obtains but is unlikely in the present phase of our cosmos. From the developments in cosmology, the bizarre and non organic gods are relatively infrequent and effectively of minimal significance.

2.     

Two paradoxes of Bertrand Russell—not his famous logical paradox—(i) the world might have begun five minutes ago, complete with geological record and memories as they are and so it seems that the world has its beginnings as in cosmology-geology-biology, (ii) there may be an unseen teapot circling the sun (an argument against the arguments for an unseen God).

 

We have in principle already developed standard arguments against the five-minute world argument. It is logically possible and therefore there are such worlds. But it is almost certainly untrue of our world (being true in only a collection of worlds whose relative measure is zero or near zero). Note how having a collection of paradoxes clarifies and obviates argumentative method. The real metaphysics contributes but it too derives in part from what we learn from paradox and skepticism.

3.     

The universe is the empirical cosmos, the universe of modern science (e.g. the big bang), or of common experience. The universe is far greater than the empirical cosmos—it is the realization of possibility.

 

There is no satisfactory reason to hold that universe is the just empirical cosmos or the world of human experience so far. This is a prejudice whose source is the same as that of anthropomorphism and the thought “if I don’t know or understand it, it is not, it cannot be”. There is a refined argument from the big bang—that there is a consistent big-bang model which begins at some time; that there is no earlier time; and that there is no outside. Which may be true but even so, and even disregarding that it is really an empirical model, it does not follow that there is no before or outside because the big-bang cosmos may be embedded in a larger universe.

 

There is little doubt that the local cosmos in its current era is well described by the big bang. But there is no reason from science or philosophy or metaphysics to project this to the universe; that is absurd (sometimes the given reason to project to the universe is political—“if we allowed more than just the big bang, people would lose confidence in science”).

 

Doubting the universal purchase of modern science, its theories, and its particular models, was an essential feature leading to seeing the fundamental principle and the real metaphysics. Another, by the way, was relentless search for a rational alternate. Tentative alternatives were considered and rejected until the idea occurred to look at the void and its properties (which led to an earlier but equivalent proof of the fundamental principle).

4.     

Our world is a simulation. This is certainly possible. Let us consider kinds of simulation.

 

A movie is a simulation of sorts. But the images on the screen do not have thoughts, awareness, or independent behavior. They only appear as though they do, but sufficiently well that we feel that they do. But a simulation in the present sense is more than that. We do have thoughts, awareness, and independent behavior—or at least, the illusion thereof. And, as we have seen, an illusion of conscious awareness is an example of conscious awareness (i.e., what we are thinking might be an illusion but that we are thinking is not). The simulation has to be at least that powerful. Are our digital simulations that powerful? Clearly, Searle’s Chinese Room is not conscious. That does not show that no functional simulation can be conscious but what it does show is that except in a bizarre world the functionality must be grounded and not merely simulated. This implies, in turn, that except in a bizarre context, for us to be simulation, the simulator must be more intelligent or more advanced than we are.

 

And that is not at all impossible. Further, it suggests that the best simulation of conscious aware beings such that the simulation is also conscious and aware will not be a software simulation on a digital machine. It will be built of the elements of being—i.e., it will be analog (perhaps of course the elements are digital or discrete, but the elements, if discrete, would be low level discrete, unlike the high level discreteness of our digital machines).

 

However, if our world is likely to be a simulation because there are many ways it could be, then the simulators world is also likely to be a simulation. Thus, the likelihood argument, leads to an infinite regress of simulators. That is, while we cannot rule out that we are a simulation, and there are worlds like ours that are simulated, it is very unlikely that any given world like ours is simulated. Effectively, simulated worlds are insignificant.

Notice that this is a paradigm of argument regarding ‘bizarre alternatives to the common interpretation’. Given a bizarre alternative we (i) determine whether it is consistent with experience and logic (ii) if it is consistent we determine if it is truly bizarre (iii) if it is not bizarre then further analysis will show or suggest a modification of the common interpretation and (iv) if it is bizarre but logically possible it will obtain but is insignificant.

Whereas the common view of paradoxical worlds or interpretations in the sense of bizarreness is that they ought to be capable of rejection by analysis of experience and meaning, we now see that we can go no further than saying that they are improbable. But we can also go further is showing our world to be greater than the common interpretation in its unity or connection to the entire universe.

 

Now let us consider some possibilities.

 

The universe is a self-simulation. True but trivial and tautological.

 

The universe is a simulation due to an intelligent being. Not possible; there is no other being.

 

Our cosmos is the not specifically digital creation of an intelligent being. The cosmos is far more likely to have had a mechanism of formation from the void or other cosmoses. This is not improbable, but whether it happened for our world is so far speculative. One step origin is also possible but unlikely. However, this is logically possible.

 

Regarding (digital or analog) simulation there are two cases.

 

The cosmos is a machine simulation by intelligent beings whose physics is the same as ours. In this case it should be possible for us to build a simulation of our cosmos; naïvely, at least, this is improbable and therefore, for the possibility to be significant, the cosmos would be capable of supporting beings more intelligent or more advanced than us. A sequence of simulations, like matryoshka dolls may be imagined—if one level of simulation is possible, so are multiple levels; if one level is probable, so is more than one. And the real metaphysics shows how to climb the ‘ladder of the real’ (also see The Way), into being ‘original’ rather than simulated.

 

The cosmos is a machine simulation by beings with different physics. It does not follow that we ought to be able to simulate our cosmos. But can we simulate conscious and intelligent beings at all? Digital realization of consciousness is problematic. The root of consciousness is relation among the elements (particles); which, however, is not the mechanism of digital computation—the particles are of course there but the 0’s and 1’s of digital processing are not deeply relational. This makes digital realization of consciousness at least difficult in principle with present technology. However, the possibilities for human made artificial intelligence seem significant and open: simulation may be difficult in fact but not in principle. But feeling in the simulated, not just appearance of feeling to the simulator, seems remote (though not impossible). The question of simulation by human being raises questions of the nature of consciousness (but we have already adequately addressed this) and of intelligence, which is open. But the question of whether we are in a digital simulation has not been addressed. Perhaps we do not yet have a reasonable grasp on this issue; except, perhaps, there are ways in which it is likely and ways unlikely. It is important to remember that as with Russell’s five-minute argument, the rational option is to live life as real. And, simulation or not, we are real (in the way that our computer simulations so far are almost certainly not). And, as above, the real metaphysics shows how to climb the ‘ladder of the real’ (also see The Way).

 

Study Topic 22.     Study and reflect on simulation.

5.8       Cosmology

Content What cosmology is, that it is not essentially distinct from metaphysics, and that its method is that of the real metaphysics. Accordingly, cosmology is pure and abstract and absolute, and pragmatic—the study of form and formation and, particularly, of our cosmos.

Comment 37.                   Here are some possible topics. Consider others. The introduction will discuss ‘What is cosmology?’ and may discuss ‘Methodology’

Introduction and method

Comment 38.                   Project: logics; related mathematics.

Cosmology is study of the extension, variety, duration, and history of being and beings in the universe. We consider three divisions of cosmology (i) general cosmology is the object of the fundamental principle—i.e. of general hypotheses subject to logic, (ii) cosmology of form and formation, which appeals to the three paradigms of the pragmatic metaphysics below, and (iii) modern physical cosmology.

Cosmology is essentially metaphysics but the focus in cosmology is application and further development of the principles established under ‘metaphysics’.

The method of cosmology is that of the real metaphysics, rendered explicit for cosmology. Here is an elaboration of the method in Method for the metaphysics:

Comment 39.                   Since the numbered points below are in Method for the metaphysics, introduce editing at one place.

Comment 40.                   May put ‘for development’ and its materials in the resources

Comment 41.                   Where resources are peppered thru the document, make sure they are also in the resources section and that reference to the resources is made.

 

1.     

Pure metaphysics—use of the fundamental principle: (a) generation of hypotheses using intuition and imagination (and development of systematic hypothesis generation), (b) hypothesis testing via logics (and development of logics). Phases a and b are not entirely independent for each may be used in the other.

 

Comment 42.                   For development—see Hypothesis Builder • Corvus CRO (https://corvuscro.com/hypothesisbuilder/); find and inspect more.

Study Topic 23.     For development—study systems of logic. See Classical Logic (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-classical/); find and inspect more.

 

2.     

Pragmatic metaphysics—use of received knowledge and technology as described in The metaphysics and elaborated in Cosmology.

 

 

 

Three paradigms are useful in cosmology.

 

First, the general method of pure metaphysics. This is described above; examples have been given. This results in what we will call general cosmology. There is a modern (2020) consensus in science, analytic philosophy, and liberal thought that the universe is the empirical cosmos of a family of physical cosmologies—of which the main is the big bang cosmology (the others are speculative and see the big bang as, e.g., a bubble in a larger multi-cosmos). Here, we see, via demonstration, that the universe is far greater than, but includes as some of its elements, the physical cosmologies. Since the examples are sufficient to our purpose, further elaboration is not given in the essential edition of this work.

 

Second, paradigms abstracted from received knowledge and method, particularly the sciences. Of these two stand out. One is most important is variation and selection abstracted from evolutionary biology in a form suitable for application to other systems under a generalized name ‘adaptive systems’—e.g. formation of cosmoses from others or from the void; abiogenesis; human creativity in knowledge, technology, social systems, and art; and machine intelligence and creativity. Adaptive systems theory explains formation and why stable formed systems are the most significant to populate the universe and the most counted though not necessarily the most counted. What they result in, the formed systems, have mechanism, which is the second paradigm from the sciences. Mechanism is not essentially deterministic and may have residual indeterminism which is a source of novelty in formed systems. And mechanism is not material; it admits of mind. The resulting cosmology is the content of Cosmology > Form and formation and A block universe and indeterminism.

 

Third are the sciences and practices themselves. So far, while the paradigms feature significantly (as just described), the sciences are not significantly integrated to the physical aspects of cosmology (they are likely to have application to transformation of body and negotiation of the cosmos by civilizations via technology). The section Physical cosmology is a placeholder for later development. There are some considerations of the physical side in The Way; these refer back to Pure and pragmatic categories or dimensions of being.

 

On the other hand techniques of the mind such as meditation, yoga, and reason and the method of science are integrated to The Way of Being; they are not taken as received, either in the west or east, but opened up in light of the real metaphysics and developed as instruments of living and realization, also under the metaphysics. This material is in The Way.

 

Comment 43.                   May summarize some results here.

Identity, extension, duration, and mechanism

Identity is sense of sameness of self or object.

Being is relational and experience is the mode of relation (as seen, interaction at an elementary level is of the same kind as experience at the animal level).

The most elementary experience is sameness-difference. Identity is sense of sameness (of beings including self). Duration marks difference in but not of identity (sameness with difference). Extension is marked by difference of identity.

The distinction between the difference that marks extension and the difference that marks duration is not always definite. Form requires extension; experience requires duration; thus, there are extension and duration; FP requires them. Quality is marked by mode of interaction. Though form can be constant—as if eternal—in some worlds, from FP there can be no form without formation. FP implies that change need no interactive dynamics. Where there is dynamics, relations or interactions among forms are correlated with change in form (which may be interpreted and perhaps assigned as causal); dynamics may arise spontaneously, per FP; however, in Adaptive systems it is seen that it is likely to arise from and inherit parts of its nature from adaptive formation. Dynamics, mechanics, or mechanism is change in form, mediated by relation (while classical dynamics in physics is deterministic, the concept of dynamics here is not restricted to the physical and not essentially deterministic).

FP implies that from a given state, it is not necessarily the case that any particular other state should arise (e.g. as specified in a mechanics). The world is essentially indeterministic. But ‘essential indeterminism’ is not the same as ‘random’. If no structure arose, some states would be ruled out and the world would not be entirely indeterminist. For newness in a formed world there must be some indeterminism which is responsible for transition between stable forms; and between one state of knowledge and a higher state—via hypotheses whose formation have an indeterminist element (this is what creativity is and how it is possible).

Space and time are measures of extension over identity or form and duration over change; space and time, extension and duration, are part of and immanent in large scale identity or being.

Because, as noted above, the distinction between the difference that marks extension and the difference that marks duration is not always definite, extension and duration—i.e., space, time, and being are interwoven. While the void is absolutely indeterministic, form has residual indeterminism. These are, tentatively, sources of mechanism—the relativistic and quantum—in modern physics.

Form and formation

Study Topic 24.     Topics and projects—work of Lee Smolin and similar researchers.

Comment 44.                   Develop models of the emerging cosmos. Also pertinent to Physical cosmology.

Introduction. Another demonstration of the fundamental principle

While the fundamental principle implies limitless variety of formed systems (beings including cosmoses), it does not tell us about mechanism of formation, or populations of kinds of form. The fundamental principle implies that no mechanism is necessary but also that there will be mechanisms of formation. Mechanisms will have implication about kinds, stability, and populations of form.

Let us begin with an alternate demonstration of the fundamental principle—one that will enhance understanding of cosmology (and confidence in and understanding of the principle itself).

To motivate the demonstration let us ask what will happen if the manifest universe enters into a void state. Would there be laws of nature? First ask what laws are. We think of the laws, e.g. Newton’s, as symbolic formulations that describe patterns that are universal over the so far empirical cosmos. In fact, though, the laws are our descriptions, perhaps approximate, of patterns (a pattern, by the way, obtains when the information to specify the state of a system is less than the raw information). The real thing behind the law is the pattern and the pattern is part of the being of the cosmos and so the universe. That is the patterns have being—are beings. Derivatively, the laws have being (in the sense that a law is the concept for which the pattern is the referent). Now the void is the being that has or contains no beings. Therefore, there are no laws in or of the void. Now, if there is a possible being that does not emerge from the void that would be a law of the void (for it is a constraint, and a constraint is a law and pattern). Therefore, all possible beings emerge from the void and the universe would be the greatest possible (if it ever entered a void state). But we do not know that the universe enters a void state. So, let us take another look at what the void state is. It is exemplified by the universe in a nonmanifest state—but what is it?

The nothingness that is the universe, if it were to be nonmanifest, is there beside—and amid and immanent to—the universe when manifest. That is, the void is unconditionally (e.g. eternally and ubiquitously) existent.

Demonstration—and now the property of the void that it has no laws implies that the universe is the greatest possible.

Formation from the void

Every possible cosmos emerges from the void.

But FP applies not only to the forms, it applies also to processes (which in the abstract are forms)—every possible cosmos emerges in every possible way.

Thus, there are one step processes; processes with mechanism; and processes that take ‘tortuous’ paths.

Picture the void in give and take equilibrium with the manifest universe. Cosmoses emerge and collapse. Particles and fields emerge and collapse. But when the emergent is, by chance, stable it exists for a greater duration that the unstable whose being is transient.

FP, implies this picture obtains

But is there a mechanism?

Adaptive systems

Study Topic 25.     Adaptive systems, qualitative and quantitative—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_system" Adaptive system - Wikipedia." Complex adaptive systemsComplex adaptive system - Wikipedia ("Complex adaptive system - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_adaptive_system); An Introduction to Complex Adaptive Systems ("An Introduction to Complex Adaptive Systems." https://fs.blog/2014/04/mental-model-complex-adaptive-systems/.)

An adaptive process is one that is incremental in small steps rather than saltational (in a single step or large steps where a step is ‘large’ if it involves a significant proportion of the form of the formed structure—i.e. the saltation or jump does not trace out a path where each step is a recognizable variation upon the previous).

There is more to an adaptive process than above. When the incremental step does not result in a stable (or near stable) form, it is transient—it decays. What determines near stability? It is near symmetry. Therefore, stable increments are uncommon. But because they are stable, they persist and (i) are pathways of emergence of complex forms and (ii) are or may be more numerous than the transients.

What is the mechanism of emergence? In life it involves genetic and phylogenetic form in relation, reproduction with inheritance and variation of genetic form, and selection of adaptive phylogenetic form. There is no corresponding established account for the mechanism at the level of cosmological systems. But in the literature, there are some tentative mechanisms such as Lee Smolin’s tentative probably currently not testable ideas on emergence of the cosmos.

There is another reason that formed cosmoses should be more populous from a perspective of intelligent life—intelligence is far more likely as embedded in formed systems than in random occurrence.

What are the competitors to adaptive systems? Random origins and creation. Random origins are far less likely, and creation has been ruled out earlier (a) entirely for the universe (b) most likely for cosmoses.

Is adaptive systems theory necessary or probable or just another mechanism? As seen, it is not necessary, and we have seen it more probable than randomness, but could there be other also probable mechanisms? The critical issue is how novel form arises. If form is to be novel change must include indeterministic change, for in deterministic change the new form is already given in the old. But if it is change is merely indeterministic (a) the outcome is not generally formed and (b) there is no tracing of form with each increment clearly derivative of the previous but the final not clearly derivative of the initial. What is the process described in #b? It is the process of form traveling through what are called fitness landscapes. It is analogous to using valleys, contours, and open areas when traveling in an undeveloped area; while merely indeterminist process is analogous to random walk through dense forests, across hills, down deep ravines without regard to how the contours determine a traversable path. Given a requirement of novel formation and that the path of formation should be traversable, adaptive systems emerge as probabilistically necessary.

What has been learned from this qualitative account? (1) An adaptive systems mechanism is the likely origin of most formed systems in the universe (2) That intelligent life be in and see otherwise formed or non-formed is a lower order of probability than in #1 (3) Formation is most efficient when a mix of indeterminism and selection determined by near symmetry and stability.

A block universe and indeterminism

Study Topic 26.     Block universe and indeterminism.

The fundamental principle implies one state of one being, for example an individual—a person or a cosmos—or the universe, does not determine any other state (of any being). That is, all experience of determinism is contingent. In this sense the universe is absolutely indeterministic (it is also absolutely deterministic in that all logically possible states manifest).

In current physics and philosophy, the block universe is the universe and its history up to the present time. Every bit of physical reality—particles, fields—has a state at some time; the block view is the collection of trajectories of those bits in time viewed in whole over time, up to the present; the complication that there may not be a single correlated universal time is ignored. A related view called eternalism is like the block view but is over all time, past, present, and future. What distinguishes those views from ordinary views of the universe traversing time and from one another is that each of these views is thought by its proponents to define the real.

The block universe here will be the eternal universe without claiming or rejecting candidacy for the real.

It is regarded as one possible description and, as far as its definition is concerned, no more than one possible description. My view is that assigning realism at outset is misguided even if meaningful, and that generally, given alternatives consistent with experience, what is posited as real is more about (a) perspectives determined by the nature of the perceiver or (b) ideology or (c) simplicity (assuming that posits or descriptions that contradict experience or are internally inconsistent have been eliminated); and not that the issue of the real is without significance, but that it should be allowed to flow from experience rather than to be imposed on it.

The block universe will have two further differences from eternalism—(i) it is absolutely indeterministic (ii) universal time is not assumed. However, change is ‘real’ and time emerges as a measure of change.

Under absolute determinism some determinism and some causation will occur, but it is not universal (causation may be both classical as well as action at a distance). Further beings are not just the ‘material elements’, which are included, but include sentient and sapient beings and cosmoses which, as such, generally have beginnings and endings—births and deaths. The cosmoses have degrees of temporary isolation from the rest of the universe (on time scales comparable to the life span of the cosmos). Thus, relative to a sentient being in a cosmos, while the state of the cosmos is or may be a fact, there is no fact that is the state of the universe. It is thus that a being in a cosmos has the possibility of true evolution into the universe (and in their own cosmos as the result of its residual indeterminism). On the other hand, for ultimate being, Brahman, the universe is a fact which from its perspective may be experienced as simple but from our perspective is compound).

How does a limited being in a limited cosmos connect experientially to being across the universe; and how does it merge with ultimate being? If the universe were deterministic the histories of different beings in time would generally be distinct—they would not intersect; a given being would have one history. In the indeterministic universe, for a given being at a given time there are multiple histories merging with it and multiple histories emanating from it. These multiple histories of what are experienced as different beings merge with and separate from one another; and it is thus that apparently different beings are not different from the perspective of the block. Limited beings emerge from a background which may be said to have disposition or potential for such emergence; and they, the limited beings, diffused back into that background in death—death of the individual or of the cosmos. That background contains the dispositions or potentials which constitute potential memory across repeated realizations, and which are actual memory in higher beings, e.g. beings that are in effect collections of beings such as human beings. The peak is Brahman which knows and is all beings; and it knows all in part because it is all.

In summary—

The block universe is a valid description in which multiple histories converge to and diverge from a being, e.g. an individual, over a lifetime. Via these histories, beings merge with others into higher forms and the one highest form, Brahman; from which there is dissolution; and again, peaking; regarding which there is endless variety.

Physical cosmology

Study Topic 27.     Modern cosmology

Comment 45.                   For the essential version this may be just a stem and if so a comment about this should be added.

Comment 46.                   But it should also be said that some remarks are possible and pertinent.

Comment 47.                   Project: general relativity, quantum field theory, semi-classical approximation, modern physical cosmology.

It is often argued by modern philosophers and scientists that modern physics and cosmology are near to a final physics and cosmology.

However, both physics and cosmology are empirical. In physics the theories are summary descriptions of almost all known phenomena, but it is not known by physics that the known phenomena are at all close to all the phenomena. Similarly, modern cosmology is a projection from observation in the present back in time according to modern physics of observation and is there is thus no reason to doubt its purchase over the empirical cosmos (except of course that some doubt is always good). But it is not known that the empirical cosmos is at all close to the universe.

It is often argued on two counts that the empirical cosmos is essentially the universe. First, we have explored close to all niches of the universe. But this argument is flawed for we do not know that there are no other niches and the reason that we think there is none is that our tacit default view of the universe is strongly influenced by what we have seen and our theories which are based on what we have seen. A second argument is more particular. It says that the big bang cosmology is a solution of field equations of physics (the quasi-classical combination of general relativity and quantum field theory) and on that solution there is no time before the initial singularity. The mistake in the argument is twofold. (1) The solution is a model and almost certainly does not go back to time ‘zero’. (2) Even if the solution is numerically precise and conceptually captures the reality of the cosmos, it does not follow that it is not embedded in a larger reality for which there is a before and an outside.

So, we should doubt the arguments of the philosophers and science even if the science is all that we know. Our position, then, would be that perhaps may be the big bang is all there is, but it is quite possible, i.e. consistent with what we know, that the universe is far greater.

And we have demonstrated the fundamental principle—the universe is the greatest possible.

5.9       Reason

Study Topic 28.     Reason. The a priori.

Reason in relation to the real metaphysics

Theme reason-yoga-logos.

Comment 48.                   Source documents?

Comment 49.                   A plethora of activities, not just intellectual and cognitive but also feeling and action; reason the single unifying term; alternatives—logos, yoga.

Under the questions of what knowledge is, how it joins to action and feeling, what are its elements (e.g. perception, thought, inference), what are its criteria and justification, there is an entire history, sophistication, a multiplicity and multiplying of terms which include understanding, reason, argument, logic, observation and measurement (establishment of fact), and more.

Two broad conceptions employed by Immanuel Kant were understanding and reason.

For Kant, understanding, was direct knowing, its means, and justification; reason was inference from understanding to further knowledge.

Kant held understanding to be fundamental. With this we do not disagree.

However, we will use one term to refer to the entire field in question, to the multiplicity of valid ideas, to Kant’s two important divisions. We will use the term reason. Seeing process and result as one, reason shall include developed valid knowledge as well as the means of development.

Reason is the process, means, and accomplishments of selection of and action toward ends (and ends include but are not limited to temporal ends; being in process is an end).

How shall we delineate reason? It is delineated as the real metaphysics and its continuing development. It calls upon all elements of established reason and moves forward by critiquing and improving upon all elements. It is reflexive in applying to itself as a whole as well as reflexively in the interaction of its elements. Reflexivity requires intuitive, descriptive, and analytical phases. It includes determining effective use of reason in both delimited and open issues is part of reason.

It is understood, of course, that via experience as relation, the metaphysics already has its umbrella over action, feeling, and emotion. For limited beings, the context of action is incompletely known; this is a limit from a perspective that values ‘precise rational action’; however, it is not a limit from the perspective of the pure-pragmatic real metaphysics.

Efficient reason

How shall we determine contexts of action?

Efficient reason necessarily employs multiple frameworks, from the abstract-broad to the concrete-detailed (as in the real metaphysics), from the universal to the local, from the group to the individual. According to phase of reason, the concern of the individual both includes and suppresses their role in the process. It is both neutral and sensitive to the issues of control, error, and persuasion. To specify further is unnecessary except to work reflexively with cases (examples) and what is learned from them. The dimensions of the world are relevant as well as their modern sciences—i.e., logic, mathematics, dimensions of the world (psyche, nature, society, and the universe—i.e., metaphysics), and systems may be employed as adjuncts.

6        The Way

6.1       The aim of being

Content The aim of being follows from the (i) this life is real and given (ii) (from the real metaphysics) there is accessible ultimate.

Comment 50.                   Imperative?

If we accept quality of life as an ultimate value then (i) living well in this world is of high value, (ii) from the real metaphysics, being on committed path to the ultimate, approached with the whole being—inclusive of cognition and emotion—is of high value, and (iii) therefore, it is of ultimate value to live well on the way to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.

Note that (i) and (ii) above are not tautological in that the questions of what constitutes living well and effective and enjoyed paths are open to discovery.

Therefore—

The aim of being is to living well on the way to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.

The following quotation with some paraphrase of earlier content is relevant—

The imperative of the aim flows from the real metaphysics. Knowledge and action are both crucial to the way, for mere knowledge is not full transformation; transformation requires action. It is a consequence of the real metaphysics that limited beings can realize the ultimate only by transformation.”

I posed a question—What is the greatest thing I can do, the greatest being I can attain? The real metaphysics provided an ultimate answer, an imperative—the aim described just. However, it was not just revelation—the force of the conclusion revealed its necessity, not just in thought but also in feeling and passion.

The way is and its aim are emergent, neither forced nor posited.

How shall we identify constituent aims and the means of accomplishment? We appeal to the Pure and pragmatic categories of being. In the subsection on Pure categories, the one pure category, experience, was seen as experiencer or self, experiential relation, and object or world.

The means

Content Because experience is the place of being, it is the place of Brahman and therefore intrinsic in realization. Because it is all being, it is also instrumental.

Experience is both intrinsic and instrumental in realization.

It is intrinsic means in that it is the place of being and may be shaped or transformed directly to Being (Brahman); the accomplishment is rare in ‘this life’ but progress can be made and the transformative effect continue beyond death. It is instrumental means in ‘technological’ transformation of the body and civilization, again with rare accomplishment of Being in this life and more frequent continuance beyond this life (of individuals and civilizations). As mind and body are one, the intrinsic and instrumental mesh.

The essential means is the intrinsic—the transformation of experience, i.e. of being as experiential.

This is reason or yoga under which meditation is an instrument of direct transformation; another name is ‘logos’ in a sense close to usage in ancient Greek Philosophy. Pragmatic means arise within thought and action for the pragmatic dimensions. These are the natural (physical, living, experiential), social, and universal.

The means are developed in the following.

6.2       Ways—received, reasoned, and revealed

Content Yoga tenders ways to the real; the ideal side of real metaphysics, yoga, and reason are the same; the pragmatic side of all three is identical in principle, when regarded as experimental, we regard the three as identical in a synthesis that employs aspects of all.

Study Topic 29.     Received ways, especially yoga.

Comment 51.                   Means.

In this section, where content has been placed earlier and will be subsequently further tailored to the need, information will be brief.

Reason and yoga

Theme reason-yoga-logos.

From § Reason, reason is spelled out as the real metaphysics. We shall find reason and yoga identical.

Traditional ways and catalysts

The traditional ways employ experience and its dimensions.

Comment 52.                   From a journey in being-outline.docm.

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 Yoga; and the way of Christian Mysticism, and the Christian life of worship and morality.

Comment 53.                   Taken from traditional and modern approaches to living in the world.docm, which has further material for possible import.

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.

Ways, the metaphysics, and reason

Theme reason-yoga-logos.

However, the traditional ways are in no sense final or authoritative even though sometimes taken so. This is shown by reason, i.e. the real metaphysics. But even under the metaphysics, the process of realization is always experimental with regard to conception and implementation. Further, every civilization, culture, and individual rediscovers the way; even where informed by received ways, first because of their noted incompleteness and, second, because it is essential that the way should become embodied (‘emminded’) rather than just followed.

The traditional ways are useful in themselves, but their power is enhanced by reason (the metaphysics, yoga).

Pragmatic

The pragmatic ways are instruments of negotiation of a world. From Pure and pragmatic categories of being > Pragmatic and sequelae, some dimensions of the pragmatic, with a small change in emphasis are of Psyche, Natural, Social (and civilization), and Universal.

6.3       Yoga

Content Develops the content under the heading of the previous section.

Theme reason-yoga-logos.

Comment 54.                   Copied from templates for realization.docm > Supplement to the templates, pasted below—not linked, and edited. The material should be integrated to the topic heads of this document.

Tradition

On approach, Yoga presents as many traditions. Here is the eightfold way of Yoga described by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore in A Sourcebook of Indian Philosophy, 1957—

“The special feature of the Yoga system, as distinguished from Samkhya, is its practical discipline, by which the suppression of mental states is brought about through the practices of spiritual exercises and the conquest of desire. The Yoga gives us the eightfold method of abstention, observance, posture, breath control, withdrawal of the senses, fixed attention, contemplation, and concentration. The first two of these refer to the ethical prerequisites for the practice of yoga. We should practice non-violence, truthfulness, honesty, continence, and non-acceptance of gifts. We should observe purification (internal and external), contentment, austerity, and devotion to God. Posture is a physical aid to concentration. Breath control aids serenity of mind. Abstraction of the senses from their natural function helps still the mind. These five steps are indirect or external means to yoga. In fixed attention we get the mind focused on a subject. Contemplation or mediation leads to concentration. Yoga is identified with concentration (samādhi), where the self regains its eternal and pure free status. This is the meaning of freedom or release or salvation in the Yoga system.”

The eightfold way of yoga is similar to the eightfold way of Buddhism—right views, intention or resolve, speech, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and right concentration or samadhi (‘meditative absorption or union’).

A greater meaning of ‘yoga’

Theme reason-yoga-logos.

‘Yoga’ refers to more than one system. However, it is used here in an expanded sense—an emergent system of realization. Why ‘yoga’? Because (i) in its best normative sense, yoga is a store of ideas and techniques for the realization of the real metaphysics (ii) it is therefore an effective term to use for an emergent system under the real metaphysics. It becomes synonymous with reason, logos, in their deepest sense, which include action and feeling, under the real metaphysics. To not broaden our meanings thus is to be trapped in a straitjacket of tradition and its illusions of authority.

Yoga began as an orthodox Indian philosophical tradition as an orthodox Indian philosophical tradition with physical, mental, and spiritual practices. There are many schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. There is no one answer to the questions—What precisely is yoga, what are its goals, and on what authority or reasons is it founded? The Sanskrit term for yoke is the source for ‘yoga’. One use, the one of interest here, is the join of individual selves with Being (Atman with Brahman).

The real metaphysics reveals the universe to be the greatest possible being which we identify as Being. The merging of beings with Being is given by the metaphysics. However, the means of merging is not. Though the traditions are powerful, yoga must always be regarded as incomplete and experimental.

Experience as intrinsic and instrumental means of realization

Theme experience-ideas-being.

The physical—of the body, mental—meditative and metaphysical, and spiritual practices support one another in seeking to further the aim of the way of being (living well as realization). The spiritual does not refer to another plane but is concerned with means to embody or emmind the greater truth of the one world or universe.

We have seen that experience is the place and essence of our being—and the place where identity merges, in process, with Identity. From The world > Descriptions consistent with experience

“Experientiality or mind can be seen as target and means of realization. As target because it is the place of being. As means (i) intrinsically in its ability to work on itself as reason and meta-reason, (ii) instrumentally as in technological transformation of mind, body, and civilization.”

When the statement above was made, ‘realization’ referred to whatever it is possible to realize; the real metaphysics had not been established. But now the real metaphysics shows that it is Being or Brahman, the greatest possible being that it is realized.

Experimental yoga and reason

Theme reason-yoga-logos.

Comment 55.                   Improve!

 

 

1.     

Traditions such as the eightfold way are instructive as preparation and path for realization of the ultimate.

2.     

Yoga is experimental in its conception and aim (though guided by an original meaning of uniting with the ultimate), philosophy (e.g. the real metaphysics), means, and practices.

3.     

Practice merges with action and life; this is supported by meditation.

4.     

The physical, mental (meditative and metaphysical), and spiritual practices support one another in seeking to further the aim of the way of being (living well as realization). The spiritual is not of another world or ‘plane’; it is of this world—the one world, the pointer to and way of realization of the ultimate, seeking to complete what is incomplete.

5.     

Sangha is central.

6.     

Immersion in nature, ideas, and human relations are practical as well as spiritual.

7.     

Practice and action seek to cover the dimensions of being and experience.

8.     

This all comes together as reason, yoga, logos, and the real metaphysics.

 

 

Yoga is the concept, means, and realization of living well in this world and on the way to the ultimate; in this sense yoga, reason (as including action), and the real metaphysics are identical.

Yoga should inherit from the traditions and does so expansively; it is experimental and overlaps and employs reason; the final choice of yogic discipline and practice arises in evolving experience.

The practices

Comment 56.                   In the way of being.docm, this section will have detail.

Practices are laid out in the templates that follow.

Practice and action

Normal habits may inadequately conduce to the aim of the way—to live well on the way to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate. The aim of practice is to develop habits and frames of mind that do so conduce. Contemplation of the way and the real metaphysics and its use, and an experimental attitude to ideas and the practices themselves are aspects of the frames of mind.

Practice, especially ritual, can become an aim in itself. This is contrary to the purpose of practice. Practice must merge with action. The attitude of merging and a ‘vigilant’ attitude toward it is part of practice. Of course, as mind is body, practice will merge with action; but this should be just unconscious, but also conscious. Translation between the unconscious-embedded-intuitive and the conscious-imaginative-critical-iconic-symbolic ought to be practiced.

Everyday life as spiritual practice

An important aspect of ‘practice into action’, everyday life as spiritual practice is elaborated as a meditative practice and implemented in the Every-day template.

Dimensions of practice

The dimensions of practice are Pure and pragmatic categories of being; a review shows them to be broader than in tradition. The dimensions are woven into the templates.

Meditation

The physical and ritual side of the spiritual are woven into the templates; readers and gurus may prefer other approaches—they may use others, e.g. hatha yoga, and the spiritual practices of Christopher Wallis, Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition, 2nd ed., 2013.

Comment 57.                   Add mantra here or there.

However, meditation is crucial for—

“…experientiality or mind can be seen as target and means of realization. As target because it is the place of being. As means (i) intrinsically in its ability to work on itself as reason and meta-reason, (ii) instrumentally as in technological transformation of mind, body, and civilization.”

Traditions names an array of kinds and goals of meditation. KindsShamatha (e.g., focus on a single object such as breath to obtain stillness of mind or a state of ‘no mind’), Vipasana (insight, analytic), and interactions; Gñana yoga (true knowledge); and many others. Goals—‘no mind’, focus, insight; “meditation has no goal”; transcendence of ‘this life’—(a) in this life (b) entering the process of; review of (a) daily activities, (b) one’s life (as finite vs as eternal); review and improvement of relations with others (from others as distraction or interference to neutralization to members of Sangha where possible); Gñana as true knowledge of beings and Being… of ‘true’ process of realization.

However, to arrive at one (not the), essential meditative way it is necessary to have a model of mind and the real, i.e. of experientiality. We have such a within the real metaphysics, which is a complete model of being, at least in outline. We use the terms Shamatha and Vipasana in outlining a meditative practice—which will consider (i) emotion and cognition (ii) experientiality as being—i.e. the continuity of mind-body-the real.

Before laying out an essential way it is important to note that if perfection is tranquil realization or realization now, then the way does not offer perfection. It is critical that if one is negatively impacted by one’s situation or psychological profile then one should attend to the difficulties but the issues should, except where debilitating (in which case the modern world does offer a variety of ways to help), one should continue with the practice. And perhaps we can view perfection as being on “the best way one knows” (in Sangha, and with help if desired or indicated).

Shamatha begins with one pointed meditation. A good reference is Pema Chödrön, How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind, 2013. It explains the difficulty of one pointedness and how to approach it by allowing natural deviations from it and bringing mind back to it. It provides other means and tools, e.g. working on difficult emotions that distract from focus. Some end results are focus and the meditative state of calmness entering daily life (not easy to achieve but yet a process). Occasionally, states of ‘no mind’ and of ‘transcendent oneness’ may occur but are not important according to Chödrön; however, they may be seen as pointers to the real.

Shamatha is a road to Vipasana and Gñana which are intrinsic to and instrumental in realization (a) rarely in this life (b) on the way to realization beyond death.

In summary—

 

 

1.     

One essential meditative way is Shamatha > Vipasana > realization manifest in daily life > being Brahman or on the way to Brahman beyond.

2.     

The real metaphysics understood as including feeling and action is a fallback for the range of mediations and practices. Especially useful is its inclusion of the modern instrumental sciences and technologies for practice in a world and civilization that has become global—as implemented in the Universal template.

3.     

“Realization manifest in daily life” includes meditative practice infusing activity.

4.     

One should attend to difficulties, reaching out for help where needed, but, except where debilitating, being on the path means being on the path even in difficulty. Then one is on a path and a potential benefit is that it gives meaning to pain (but note that we are not advocating pain for its own sake).

 

 

Some specific meditations and meditative practices

These are over and above the general meditations.

Comment 58.                   Continue to improve and, as indicated, to add more.

In summary—

 

 

1.     

Death (Vipasana). Seeing death as real but not as absolute. Death as real—shows life as precious, as finite resource toward the ultimate, as necessitating action now toward the ultimate and to enjoyment, as an object of choice. Death as non-absolute—as gateway to and entry to the background of being that constitutes Being. Life begins in seeing one’s self as having finitude and infinitude (limitlessness) and walking that narrow path until it becomes the world (the stream to the ocean).

2.     

Visualizing and conceiving Atman as Brahman (Shamatha > Vipasana). In Shamatha, entering into transcendent feeling. Employing the transcendent feeling in Vipasana for analysis of its value (a) as enjoyment of the real or (b) reality of Being as seen in the cognitive side of the real metaphysics.

3.     

Everyday life as spiritual practice (Shamatha > Vipasana). Ideas into action and action to ideas—in meditation seeing and feeling ‘duty’, ‘tasks’, ‘others’, as essential and real; and committing to extending to this to daily life and a way to remind oneself when deviating (the commitment itself is an effective reminder as it enters subconscious background memory); and meditation (reflection) on effectiveness in action and needs for attitude change or affirmation and reinforcement.

4.     

Dedication to and affirmation. Especially of the way of being (see the Everyday template).

5.     

Ritual symbol and sign. Using an object of focus as a ritual symbol of the real and reminder: e.g. of identity of beings and Being, of reminder in daily activity. The point to not sharing a mantra is not that it is secret but that the idea that it is one’s own assists the identity of beings and Being. Its value as a barrier to negative influence may be diffused by sharing. Traditional mantras are said to signify by their sound. Other signs and reminders can be employed. It is not clear to me whether to choose a single permanent ‘mantra’, but it seems that a mantra can become stale and lose its effectiveness. Mantras can be changed.

6.     

Cutting. Cutting is a Vipasana practice of changing or stopping a train of experiencing (thought, emotion) to cut it (a) if negative, (b) to refocus on the real, or (c) to enter a state of no mind. Its value is in meditation and as practice for being in the world.

7.     

Some traditions. I refer readers to Chagdud Tulku, Gates to Buddhist Practice: Essential Teachings of a Tibetan Master, 1993, Rev. 2001. The following meditations are suggested—(i) contemplating and overcoming the ‘poisons of the mind’: attachment and desire, anger and aversion, and ignorance (ii) contemplating the four thoughts: precious human existence, impermanence, karma and rebirth, ocean of suffering (even in disagreement one may learn about the limits of one’s views).

8.     

Uncovering prejudices and resentments (Vipasana) attitudinal and interpersonal. A preliminary step toward working with negativity in thought and emotion, discussed in Pema Chödrön, How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind, 2013.

 

 

6.4       Templates for realization

Content Templates, principles of development and use, outlines, details, explanations, illustrations, and comments regarding adaptability to persons, contexts, and balance between Dionysian and Apollonian modes of living.

Comment 59.                   Name.

Path templates for realization satisfy the principles specified in the principles below.

Principles of development

The templates shall (1) Synthesize of reason and tradition (as in the real metaphysics); (2) Cover practice, action, and the dimensions of being; (3) Be grounded in the immediate, pointed at the ultimate; (4) Be flexible, adaptable to a range of individual and cultural types, and circumstances; (5) Have a generic, flexible, alterable, and adaptable every-day routine (specific activities and times are generic or for example); (6) Have a generic universal program for periods up to a life and beyond (individuals and cultures may select activities according to inclination, values, and needs). The core principles are—

Reason and yoga shall be embodied in generic, adaptable, and experimental templates of action; the templates shall cover the categories or dimensions of being; there shall be every-day and universal templates.

Every-day template

Comment 60.                   Copied from templates for realization.docm > Everyday template, pasted below—not linked, and edited.

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 or altering (1) The elements, (2) The order, (3) The emphasis, (4) The timing, explicit or not, and (5) Balance between structure and abandon to cultivate a fresh outlook and approach.

Outline

The essentials of the every-day template are—rise early-dedication-affirmation, review, realize (reflect-write on the way and yoga-exercise-share), exploration, evening renewal and community, and sleep early.

The template

The template is tailored to a regular at home schedule for individuals and groups; it can be modified to an away or special schedule. For print and editable versions, follow—everyday template.pdf (compact version with endnotes) everyday template.docm (compact version with endnotes).

 

 

#

Time

Activity

1.     

 

Rise early (before the sun), dedicate to the way and its aim, affirm the universal nature of being. Morning reflection in nature. Breakfast.

 

 

Explanation. Rising before the world, enables looking at the world as special, sets a good tone for the day. It is an efficient use of daylight

 

 

Personal. Rising at 4am or earlier gives me a sense of the world and my enterprise as special. There is a whole day of daylight after essential activity.

 

 

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.

 

 

Explanation. The dedication is a brief meditation. Ideas and action are essential to realization. Meditation on overcoming the limits of self, especially closedness to others and the real, may be catalytic. This overcoming and realization are interdependent; one without the other is not potent. An adaptation of the third step of twelve step programs.

 

 

Affirmation and ritual reminder of identity of self and Being— “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.” Abhinav Gupta.

 

 

Source. An adaptation of a quotation of Abhinava Gupta, 10th century philosopher and mystic of Kashmir, from Tantra Illuminated, 2nd ed. 2013, Christopher Wallis. But one possibility.

 

 

Personal. I experiment with alternatives and supplements.

2.     

 

Meditative-contemplative review of priorities and plans—life, the day, the way. Reflect on realization, priorities, and means; employ simple reflection, (calming—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 the discussion of experimental yoga).

 

 

Explanation. This Vipasana meditation may be unstructured. The extent of the review depends on need. An accumulation of expectation and planning may occasion extensive review, perhaps of a few hours to days.

 

 

Personal. A change of ‘scene’—a visit to my favorite town or a week spent in my favorite mountains—is conducive to review of my life and my projects.

3.     

 

Realization—(a) work, (b) care and relationships—networking, (c) ideas and action, (c) experimental and structured yoga-exercise-meditation-share in practice and in action, (d) other activities or ‘engagement in the world’—e.g., languages, art.

 

 

Explanation. A range of activities, some fixed, others optional and selected according to need. See Yoga—the concept; focus on practice of meditation and experiment.

 

 

Personal. In a typical day I engage in three or four activities.

4.     

 

Tasks—daily and long term; midday meal. Attitude—in tasks and toward others and the world—an element of realization; light; yoga in action.

 

 

Explanation. May merge with Realization.

5.     

 

Physical activity—exercise and exploration of the worlds of nature and culture for experience and inspiration.

 

 

For nature. 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. Nature photography.

 

 

For culture. Experience traditions for learning and impact on identity.

 

 

Personal. 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 and stretching—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—beautiful and inspiring.

6.     

 

Evening rest, renewal, review, meditation and realization, network, community, tasks, supper, preparation-dedication for the next day and future. Sleep early.

 

 

Explanation. Review for improvement. Plan and layout the next day for efficiency and to preserve productive time.

 

 

Personal. If there is time, I work on projects—especially The Way. I like to meet people for interchange of ideas. I prepare for the next day, which saves on high energy morning time. I may meditate. I may watch part of a movie (film). Time to wind down. When I have trouble sleeping, usually when I wake up during sleep hours, I may do a brief Shamatha meditation.

 

 

Universal template

Comment 61.                   Copied from templates for realization.docm > Universal template, pasted below—not linked, and edited.

Dimensions of world and being

The universal template addresses the dimensions of being. Summarizing § Pure and pragmatic categories of being, the categories are—

 

 

1.     

Pure—absolute—psyche-world as one, which include relation and change (interaction and process); but as if psyche and world; in detail, approximated as experiencer (self, Atman), experience as experiential relation (e.g., perceptions, feelings, conceptions…), and experienced (objects, the world) and change.

2.     

Pragmatic—relative to culture—nature (physical, living, and experiential), society (and civilization), and the universal (and incompletely known); with relation or interaction and dynamics and change (human relations and action).

 

 

Here are some details of the pragmatic—world as psyche (experience), maps as:

Comment 62.                   The following is essentially imported from § Pure and pragmatic categories of being. Should the material be retained or just linked?

Nature—relatively unconstructed: physical (elementary), living (complex), and experiential (of psyche)

Society and civilization—group, relatively constructed. Cultural—knowledge, value, neutrality to their distinction… language and communication, generation, and transmission. Structural or organizational—small and naturally formed groups (individual, family, community), and large and institutional grouping (political, economic, technological, military, academic or research and education, artistic and religious).

Universal and incompletely known—the field view self to Being (Atman to Brahman), nests extended secular worlds.

Outline

Essentials of a universal template are—pure being and community, ideas (reflection, writing, publishing), becoming (nature with psyche; civilization, society, and community; artifact; universal and incompletely known), and Universal Being.

The template

The template covers the categories or dimensions of being. Most individuals and groups whose emphasis is realization, will follow items 1, 6, and 7; they will make selections from the others; they may make additions of their own choosing. For print and editable versions, follow—universal template.docm, universal template.pdf.

 

 

1.     

BeingDimensions (a) Pure being (b) Community (c) Retreat for experience of the real. Means—details, below.

 

Details. (a) Pure being here and now… being as if timeless and without restriction to place in the present—means: every-day process bridges the immediate-ultimate (b) Sangha or community—a spiritual home and sharing community (home and community are ground to truth which gives back to normative truth in Sangha)—means: building community and civilization (c) Retreat for vision quest and experience of Being.

2.     

IdeasDimensions (a) relation, knowing (as relation to the world); reason and art (b) acting (effectively, creating the real). Means—explanation, below.

 

Explanation. Ideas are the first—and final—place of being, significance, and action; and are instrumental in realization. Means: reason, yoga (meditation), and the real metaphysics.

3.     

BecomingDimension: nature as catalyst to the real. Means—below.

 

Details. 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.

 

 

 

Explanation and details. Nature is inspiration as essential place of and portal to Being, catalyst to meditation and ideas. Life in nature exemplifies being (a useful reflection is—on the Being of land, plants, and animals and to know that Being is illuminative of self and attained not just by meditation but also in immersion). Meditation (yoga) is an intrinsic way to centered and transformative attitude in this world, and shedding limitations (bondage) of self and growing into the universal.

4.     

BecomingDimension: society. Civilization as vehicle and path to the real. Transformation via psyche—by immersion in social groups as place of being and catalyst to the real. Building community and civilization. Means—below.

 

Details. Civilization and society as vehicle and path to the real (culture and its dimensions; instrumental and immersive politics and economics). Transformation of individuals via psyche—by travel and immersion in social groups, informal and institutional or formal, as place of being and catalyst to the real. Informal—self, family, community and community building, and world. Institutional aspects—(i) accessing the range of social and cultural institutions of society (from earlier: political, economic, technological, military, academic or research and education, artistic and religious) (ii) building specific institutions for realization and community.

 

 

 

Detailsimmersion. The individual does not stand outside the world as just objective observer and commentator. The individual as experiential-relational being is key. Engagement may begin at any point in a cycle of self and social awareness > speaking one’s truth and action > group action and Sangha > re-form (self, other, world). Self and world awareness are essential to the cycle and an effective place to begin—

 

Detailsattitude. Awareness of self and limitation—and to openly aim at the highest in this life and beyond (and recognition of poverty of exclusively secular and exclusively dogmatic). Cultivation of attitude in meditation-yoga-practice.

 

Detailsproblems, challenges, and opportunities of the world. A crucial problem is that of the nature of the world. The real metaphysics is true and illuminating. However, a first issue is that, since there are so many views, many held passionately, there will be natural resistance. One default that may be found acceptable is a limited secular view. This, however, presents a paradox—because world views are in conflict, it promotes the least of them. A resolution is to hold to the real metaphysics but speak it where effective; this is perhaps the minimal resolution consistent with truth. Thus, the truth may illuminate the world of problem and opportunity. A second problem is to identify the problems and opportunities. Some common approaches identify only the material problems such as war, hunger and so on). Such approaches are limited (a) in identifying only material problems, but not the entire range of challenges and opportunities, material and other (b) in not identifying the world political-economy as key to resolution of the issues and therefore a problem-opportunity in itself. Approaches to political-economy are (i) the way politics and economics are done (ii) the science and practice of politics and economics (iii) related philosophy, not ideological per se, that identifies the nature or kind of thing (referent) that politics-economics is (iv) immersion via reflection, meditation, and action in politics-economics by the individual. A final concern is efficiency and actualization of the approaches—see reason, particularly efficient reason. Summary—

Challenges and opportunities of the world. The approach shall be in the context of the real. It shall identify issues. It shall employ reason, particularly efficient reason.

Study Topic 30.     Problem and opportunity.

 

 

5.     

BecomingDimension: artifact. Civilizing the universe (especially technology as enhancing being in the universe)—universe as peak consciousness via spread of sapient being. Means—below.

 

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

 

Details. Artifactual being as realized being 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.

 

 

6.     

BecomingDimensions: universal, incompletely known. The common way from self to Being (Atman to Brahman), via the block universe and descriptions consistent with experience. Further means—below.

 

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.

 

Details. Transformation aimed at the universal deploys catalysts and ways and their conceptual and experimental development under the real metaphysics, for the transformation of being-civilization. The use of the catalysts and ways is in everyday process, renewal, knowledge, and technology.

 

 

7.     

BeingDimension: universal. Realizing Being (Brahman) in the present. Apparently, rarely achieved in ‘this life’ which is a beginning that is continued beyond death. Outcome of items #2 to #6. Means—above and open.

 

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”—T.S. Elliot.

 

 

Epilogue—into the world

Content It is time to move into focus on being in the world. It is time to pass the torch—I will now live my life in the way.

Content History was first seen as linear, then cyclic, and then a block that contains the variety without end. Text and world are continuous, and this suggests an idea-based approach to publication emphasized over a person-based approach. One way to implement this would be via an evolving system of canonical subjects and ideas.

Comment 63.                   Continue to review the title of the division.

The way and its text have origins in personal, world, and universal history. I have sought to keep contact with history while developing, writing, and living the way.

It is now time to complete this cycle and to move into focus on being in the world.

This involves sharing, Sangha, and living that way of life that is living well and also being—realizing—Brahman.

Past, present, and future as one

The universe is the greatest possible being. It may be seen as cosmoses—and more—in transient contact with the void; cosmoses that are limitless in identity of object and self, extent, duration, variety, peak, and dissolution; that are one as Brahman; which is the inheritance and being of all beings; and which, while limited, we experience as ever fresh.

From the perspective of the one, it is transhistorical. Limited beings experience linear or cyclic history. While limited but at greater realization, beings cycle without limit to extent, duration, variety, and number of cycles. The one, Being, Brahman, is trans-cyclic; it has a description as a limitless block universe.

A view of history as linear is—may be—embedded in a view of history as the block universe.

Practice, knowing, knowledge, and action are one

Practice, knowing, knowledge, and action have distinctions and are yet one.

Communication, text, ideas, and being

Introduction

Individuals share their ideas, their learning, in speech and text. Moving forward is grounded in the communal pool of ideas.

There is a premium on individuals and specific texts and so the process is historical (except in some established disciplines). The attempt to move forward requires interpretation of the texts and thus the process is sometimes moving forward and sometimes, when history is suppressed or weakly interpreted, moving back.

The historical emphasis on individuals and their texts becomes a burden.

Continuous text

The idea of continuous text begins with the thought that the stream of text is one text. Though authorship is not denied, the focus is on ideas, and an aim is explicit refinement of ideas over or at least in balance with ideas as cumulative.

A process of continuous text is that authors shall or may choose to study previous texts as they develop their own ideas and weave history into their own texts. Some ancient texts will have only indirect influence. This may seem to be a loss when it comes to the greatest texts of the past. However, exceptions may perhaps be made, but the gain is a balance between the value and burden of history in the process of moving forward rather than moving into stasis.

One approach is to define an evolving system of canonical ideas and develop, correspondingly, a system of canonical texts. If multi-authoring coordinated by editors is cumbersome and limiting on true originality, a balance can be maintained between multi and single authoring.

Continuous text is likely to be enhanced by software implemented on electronic information processing, communication, and networking systems. This may overcome limitations of perspective by facilitating translation among multiple perspectives. Perhaps artificial intelligence will have a role in the creative side of the process.

The future of the way

I will live my life in the way and in sharing.

It is time to pass the torch.

Resources

Study Topic 31.     Resources in research, discovery, and exploration.

Comment 64.                   Preliminary on resources

A journey of discovery and realization

Content I review my journey and suggest some principles—live, read, think, feel, and act (i) passionately, imaginatively, painstakingly (ii) broadly, seeing depth and unity, and (iii) reflexively.

Comment 65.                   Emphasize reflexivity.

Here, my journey of discovery of and living the way is a resource.

I share some informal principles learned in discovery of the real metaphysics and the way.

A brief history of discovery precedes the principles.

Discovery

Content Nature, ideas – psyche or mind, culture, society, and the universal.

Study Topic 32.     Review the history of my experience in light of the history of reason.

My earliest passion was nature. It is in nature that I feel most alive and real. I have spent about 700 days walking in the mountains with tent and food in my pack, sleeping under stars and stormy skies. Nature is a portal to the real, and an inspiration for ideas.

A second passion is ideas. When immersed in ideas, in imagination and criticism, I feel real. The passion is to understand the universe, and the ideas and intricacies of philosophy, mathematics, logic, and the sciences. To experience the world through poets’ eyes and words. I read widely.

I found truth in our views of the universe and our place in it. Yet I found our views limited: models from limited experience are taken as the whole. I saw that that is because we let the models define the whole. To attempt to overcome the limits, I experimented with some of our well-known paradigms—materialism and idealism. They see the universe as a limited kind and so I was led to being which is not a kind at all. I looked at empiricism and rationalism, found the distinction empty, each based in one aspect of being posited fundamental. I read in pragmatism and the philosophy of relation and process—e.g., that of A.N. Whitehead, in which nature is not bifurcated into things and interactions (like in quantum field theory) or the mental and the material. I searched through physics, physical cosmology, and evolutionary biology. I thought the nature of the universe could be found in that cosmology but that led to a blind end. It then occurred to me that if the universe were equivalent to the void, it would reveal origins and nature of the universe. So, it occurred to me to analyze the void and its properties for understanding, rather than to look at the manifest universe. This led to the universe as all being and the greatest possible being, the universe as deterministic and indeterministic, and the limited reach of our laws of physics. But physics did suggest the paradigm of mechanism; and biology suggested a paradigm of adaptive systems origins and evolution via indeterminist process or variation and selection for near stability and symmetry. From my interest in philosophical thought I understood that I had constructed an ideal metaphysical framework, the pure metaphysics. That metaphysics showed the ultimate identity of the universe and that individuals realize that identity. Further, our pragmatic knowledge, especially the sciences, are, even as pragmatic, perfect toward realization. It was so that I saw that I had arrived at the real metaphysics, for which logic is a framework, mathematics and the sciences are tools, and the arts and philosophical thought are guides. It is understood that logic, metaphysics, and philosophy are not just taken as received but are also emergent with the process.

A third interest is culture. Ideas are not just intellectual but are the products of culture. I am fortunate to be bi-cultural—or multi-cultural depending on what is counted, and I have also attempted and continue to attempt to experience and learn from other cultures by reading and travel. Travel is a way to experience culture and nature at the same time, e.g. as in solo travels in Barranca del Cobre, Chihuahua, Mexico. Reading is another approach to absorbing culture and one of my great reading experiences is Richard Nelson’s account of the northern Athabaskan culture in his Make Prayers to the Raven, 1983. In another cultural direction, in this work I attempt to integrate some pinnacle concepts of integration in expansive notions of reason and yoga and cultural integration in attempting a synergy of reason and yoga.

Fourth, consequent to my explorations, I became and am dedicated to the way—to realization of the ultimate—to the aim of the way of being, that is to living well on the way to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate. While I have always found ideas inspiring and beautiful in themselves, I began, early on, to want to translate my thought into my living. I posed the question “What is the greatest thing I can do, the greatest being I can attain?” The real metaphysics provided an answer, an ultimate answer, which revealed an imperative—the aim described just above. But it was not just a revelation—the force of the conclusion of the aim revealed its necessity, not just in abstraction but also in feeling. The way is emergent, neither forced nor posited.

Principles

 

1.     

Be passionate, imaginative, and painstaking (care); as evolution is non-directed and determinate (variation and selection), living is and ought to be Dionysian and Apollonian (ordered and with abandon); have misdirection and aim. Be imaginative and critical (imagination is more important for it is the source of ideas and criticism itself).

2.     

Read, reflect, experience, live, act, broadly, seek multitudes; also seek depth and unity.

3.     

Live, think, feel reflexively. Simplistically, this means that, as part of the constructive-critical process, every element of thought and action shall interact with every other. Particularly, imagination shall be subject to criticism; and criticism shall be used imaginatively. A step up from the simplistic meaning of reflexive thought occurs when it is realized to be inefficient and that there are efficient ways to employ interaction. It would be inefficient to be too systematic about this. For example, in a creative phase, no avenues for new ideas remain unexplored and criticism may be temporarily suspended except that there is always some innate and perhaps intuitive criticism in creative concept formation.

If a reasonable paradigm, principle, theory, or fact is not transparently true or has not been shown conclusively, learn to hold each one, even apparent opposites, as having truth (for while the world may be what it is, our depictions of it are not the world).

Doubt everything, especially normative reality—taking pains to identify the normative and the merely normative, but generally only in a detached way; for to doubt one thing and everything is also to doubt the falsity of the one thing; and to doubt everything is also to doubt doubting itself, and therefore, sometimes to regard the incompletely certain as a postulate or existential stance (without dogma).

See, feel, and think. For the rational thinker—also see and feel. For the passionate and feeling driven—also see and think.

Every item of learning and experience may interact with every other. To be reflexive is to allow all these horizontal interactions. But to be reflexive is to also allow vertical interactions.

The principles of logic and science interact with the details of learning about the world…

i.   That is, discovery is not a one-way flow from logic to learning but also a reverse flow from learning to logic—but of course, logic being at a higher, integral level does not change in response to mere detail but to a weight of detail.

ii.  Reflexivity is not a mere welter of interaction but includes channeling of interaction by structure and principle that also change but in response to the weight of detail. Knowledge and reason are arranged in hierarchies, but the hierarchies are not inviolate.

iii. Knowledge, feeling, and action are have distinctions but are not entirely so; knowledge without feeling is too detached, feeling without knowledge is generally blind but there may be occasions for separation; knowledge with translation into action is incomplete yet it is essential to have degrees of separation of knowledge from action; but without knowledge and choice there is no action.

 

The way of being as a formal resource

This edition of the way is an introduction to its topics, particularly (i) historical  and personal search for meaning, (ii) being, experience, and their essential relation (iii) possibility—its meaning and kinds, logic and science, metaphysics, doubt as a method, cosmology, reason, and (iv) realization of the ultimate as seen in the real metaphysics.

The extended version the way of being is a more complete subject resource for the topics above and (i) classical through modern problems of metaphysics, (ii) a system of knowledge centered on the real metaphysics, based in the universe as the greatest possible being.

Resources on the way of being website

General

Comment 66.                   Should the following be to just the general bibliography?

For the templates

Comment 67.                   Sources below should be streamlined and perhaps combined.

Influential thinkers

Content This section and the next show some main sources without details; the aim is acknowledgement and to make suggestions for readers.

Here are some influences on my thought.

Comment 68.                   Also see sources, main influences, and writers.

Study Topic 33.     Influential thinkers in the boundary of thought, especially with regard to the real and destiny.

Philosophers

Thales, Democritus, Plato (Sophist—the definition of being is power), Aristotle, Adi Samkara, Johannes Scotus Eriugena, René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Karl Popper, Kurt Gödel, WVO Quine, and John Searle.

Theologian philosophers

Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Alvin Plantinga, and John Hick.

Scientist philosophers

Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and Ernst Mayr.

The way in history and the modern world

Study Topic 34.     Collection and review of resources to be ongoing. For areas of interest use (i) the topics in this document, (ii) a journey in being-outline.docm > “A system of the world” (iii) http://www.horizons-2000.org/2020/resources/system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html, and (iv) the bibliographies.html and general bibliography.html.

Published and online works.

Philosophy

Primal and anthropology

Eastern practices

Religion

Physical cosmology

Biology: evolution

Biology: natural history

Charles Darwin’s account of the Beagle’s travel around the world is more than natural history: it is geology, anthropology, literature, and adventure travel.

Glossary

Comment 69.                   The glossary will be the initial basis for an index in print and possibly in web editions.

Comment 70.                   Remake later when writing the way of being.html.

Comment 71.                   The main concepts are developed systematically. That some lesser concepts are not, is not an impediment, for (i) the main development is not impacted, (ii) though not developed systematically, their development is consistent and has application.

Terms in order of development

The terms are arranged in classes; a few terms are repeated (e.g., interpretation of experience, object, abstract, block universe). The leading term for each class is italicized.

care, doubt, critical doubt

history, history as linear, sapient being, destiny

idea, concept, experience, relation, referent (object), existence, nonexistent, existent, meaning, knowledge, significant meaning, place of meaning

interpretation of experience, hypothetical metaphysics, real, field of experiential being (world as)

being, a being (beings), all, part, null part, abstraction, power (effective cause), interaction, universe, the void, nonmanifest, manifest

possibility (possible being), nonbeing, real possibility, logical possibility, logic, a logic (logics), fact, pattern, hypothesis, theory, science, scientific method, argument, necessity (necessary being), contingency (contingent being), unconditional necessity, unconditional being

fundamental principle of metaphysics, greatest being (need), the good (the good is addressed in the text but developed in the way of being.html), imperative, path, metaphysics, ontology, pure metaphysics, pragmatic metaphysics, real metaphysics, Atman, Brahman (see Being below)

category (dimension), pure category (i.e., one pure category, experience or, in compound form, experiencer–experiential relation–experienced), pragmatic category (the pragmatic categories are chosen to be natural with psyche, social, universal)

primitive feeling, relatively bound, form, change, relatively free, imagination, concept formation, development of metaphysics

metaphysics of experience, interpretation of experience, Cartesian Skepticism, Pyrrhonian Skepticism

object, abstract object (the connotation of ‘abstract’ here is not quite the same as in ‘abstraction’, above), concrete object, cosmology, identity, sameness-difference, duration, extension, block universe

reason

Being (capitalized, see Atman, Brahman above)

aim of being, intrinsic means (especially meditative), Being, instrumental means (especially yogic preparation for meditation), meditation, way (ways), catalyst, yoga, practice, Shamatha, Vipasana, Gñana Yoga, death, ritual symbol, cutting

path template, Beyul, travel

history as the block universe; past, present, and future as one

continuous text (as a way to focus on the ideas), canonical system of ideas, limitations of perspective (overcoming)

Glossary

The glossary presents the main ideas.

Comment 72.                   Currently, in order of development; will be alphabetic when complete.

 

aim the way
of being

living well on the way to shared discovery and realization of the ultimate

care

what it takes to make thought and judgment—a work—reliable and useful

skepticism

doubting or criticism with the aim of improving knowledge, understanding, values, and action; here, skepticism, does not particularly refer to Cartesian or Pyrrhonic skepticism

doubt

see critical doubt

critical doubt

systematic doubt that aims, via criticism and imaginative reconstruction, to move from uncertainty to sufficient reliability, as possible and desirable, from pragmatic reliability to pragmatic certainty to absolute certainty

normativity

a view is normative when its grounding is at least in part cultural embedding; that a view is normative does not imply that its foundation is at least in part in culture but not that it cannot be otherwise founded—but it may imply that (i) the view cannot be grounded extra-culturally (essential normativity) or (ii) the meaning of the view is culturally embedded and may lack meaning in other cultures

history

an account of the universe from the viewpoint of and focusing on the beings concerned; the interest here is rigor, not of detail, but of general features of being and beings that can be inferred from the account; significant as a source for the way of being and for its undirected as well as directed process

experience
or ideas

ideas are conscious experiences and are the place of being and its significant meaning; concepts (potentially referring ideas) and objects (objects in the world) are places in ideas, the latter being the referents of the former; concepts are particular cases of ideas; it is via abstraction from ideas, which are ideas, that some objects are perfectly known (pure) while others are pragmatically known; and it is within ideas that the pure and pragmatic combine as a real metaphysics

Abstraction

removing distortable elements of a concept what is essential distortion so that the abstracted concept is perfectly faithful, e.g. the universe as all being is abstracted from the universe in all its detail—the former is perfectly known but the latter is not

interpretation

raw ideas or experience may have multiple self-consistent interpretations that are consistent with the experiences; analysis of alternate interpretations places them in categories—(i) logically possible but metaphysically improbable (‘absurd’) or impossible, (ii) logically possible but metaphysically probable as measured by frequency which is rendered by near stability and near symmetry (‘reasonable’) or necessary, and (iii) logically impossible

Being

existence (the property of all existing ‘things’); trivial and superficial in fact, yet conceptually powerful (the power lies in the superficiality); being is not a special kind—the capitalized form ‘Being’ will be reserved for special or higher kinds; a being (plural: beings) is an instance of being

power

effective cause; the measure of being: being and experience are being-in-relation or interaction; and interaction is driver of or correlated with change

universe

all being or all beings collectively; the manifest and the nonmanifest; together with being, this conception of ‘universe’ is critical to the development

the void

the being that contains no beings; the universe in nonmanifest phases; shown to exist

possibility

a possible being is one whose concept does not rule out existence; kinds are real possibility (not ruled out by context or the nature of the world) and logical possibility (not ruled out by the concept and therefore possible in a consistently conceivable world—later in the development the logically possible objects and worlds are shown, via the ‘fundamental principle of metaphysics’ to exist); a necessary being is one whose nonexistence is impossible; a contingent being is one whose nonexistence is possible; the analysis of possibility leads to the fundamental principle, to a proper conception of science, and to the real metaphysics

necessity

a necessary being is one whose concept requires existence or, alternately, rules out nonexistence. A being whose nonexistence is impossible. If necessity makes no presumption, it is unconditional.

argument

recently used to refer to direct establishment of fact as well as inference from fact, especially in case of certain fact and (deductive) inference; this sense of ‘argument’ appears to be quite recent—references in Argument | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (https://www.iep.utm.edu/argument/) go back to 1986. Here, argument is broadened to include pragmatic fact and inference with the pragmatic and certain as special cases. The pragmatic includes induction, scientific method, and abduction. The certain includes certain fact, necessary fact, and logical (deductive) inference. Argument can be seen as establishment of simple and compound fact

metaphysics

knowledge of the real; as knowledge transcending all understanding and reason metaphysics would be impossible; here, however, metaphysics begins as perfect knowledge by abstraction as for concepts of being through the void above and of logical possibility and necessity

fundamental
principle of
metaphysics

the principle that the universe is the greatest possible being; implies a pure metaphysics with consequences include that the universe peaks in ultimate phases (and dissolves), that individuals do realize this ultimate (in this life or beyond), that there are effective paths of realization, that if quality of being is imperative then being on a path is imperative; reveals that pragmatic knowledge is a perfect instrument of realization and thus deserves the designation, ‘pragmatic metaphysics’

real metaphysics

join of the pure and pragmatic metaphysics, and intuition–feeling–action; essentially identical to reason, logos, and yoga (all understood in a maximally expansive sense); the means of realization from this world—any limited world—to the ultimate

dimension

see category

category
(dimension)

a high-level description or kind that, from its realism, enables and encourages negotiation of the world and, so, of realization of Being. ‘Dimension’ is an alternate to ‘category’

Being

the ultimate revealed by the fundamental principle and the real metaphysics, Atman, the apparently limited form, and Brahman, the peak form

identity

sense of sameness of self or object

block universe

the universe described as a single object over all extension and duration; not regarded as more real than other descriptions; the view that, on the indeterminism and determinism implied by the fundamental principle, lends itself to merging of identities

reason

process, means, and accomplishments of selection of and action toward ends

yoga

the systems of Indian practice whose aim is living well as and on the way to the ultimate; viewed expansively under the real metaphysics with regard to concept; viewed experimentally with regard to practice; in final analysis, identical to reason

the way of being

a synthesis of (i) ideas that reveal the universe to be the greatest possible being, and elaborate the breadth and depth of this being, (ii) ways of realization of the peak form of the identity of the universe

aim of being

living well in this world as ground for and on the way to the ultimate, via effective paths of realization

practice

a received means, intrinsic (especially meditative) or instrumental (especially yogic preparation for meditation), preparatory to and merging as action on a path, essentially experimental in light of the real metaphysics (i.e., for effectiveness); some practices are—Shamatha, Vipasana, Gñana Yoga, death, ritual symbol, cutting

ways and catalysts

the ways are ways of life, exemplified by ways specified in religions; not emphasized here, readers may choose to supplement their paths with ideas and practices from the ways; catalysts are practices and activities that are ‘catalytically’ transformative, e.g. meditation, Beyul, cultural immersion

Beyul,
culture travel

Beyul is a tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in which travel to and being in special natural places catalyzes or “awakens within oneself the qualities and energies of the sacred site, which ultimately lie within our own minds” (from the Introduction to Ian Baker, The Heart of the World, 2004). Culture travel seeks a transformative experience of human contact, especially in cultures whose paradigmatic reality is different from one’s own (not because they are the truth but because they are material for developing the traveler’s knowledge of truth)

path templates

flexible, adaptable templates to follow and lay out a path; intended to encourage experiment, reflection, and action on paths and templates