Topics and concepts for the way
This document is outline and source of foundation for
Anil Mitra, Copyright June 20, 2020—November 13, 2020
This document is not an account of the way but a base for such accounts.
This document is a source for topics, outline, and concepts; it is a minimal foundation for sharing, writing, discovery, and realization.
Where there is exposition, it is because the ideas are new.
The long version will be scalable to
2. Teaching, axiomatic, poetic, and manual versions—see §An axiomatic formulation, in this document.
Edit, minimize, write versions toward transformation of the world, eliminate.
Definition—main definitions in the conceptual development (ALT + F)
Definition 2—secondary definitions (ALT + G)
Definition 3 (ALT + H)
Definition 4 (ALT + J)
Definition 5 (ALT + F)
Concepts—main concepts in the conceptual development (ALT + CTRL + SHIFT + C)
Concepts 2—secondary concepts (ALT + CTRL + @)
Method (ALT + CTRL + 9)
PoeticStatement (ALT + CTRL + 8)
Normal—informal and undecided statements
Main—main statements for essentials or manual of the way (ALT + Z)
Main Definition—main definition for essentials or manual of the way (ALT + CTRL + 7)
Central—main statements in the conceptual development (ALT + M)
Central 2—secondary statements (ALT + SHIFT + C)
Central 3 (ALT + SHIFT + Z)
Central 4 (ALT + SHIFT + Y)
The term ‘or’ has two uses—(i) exclusive as in ‘one or the other but not both’ and (ii) inclusive as in ‘one or the other or both’. Though the exclusive use is more common, the inclusive use is often more efficient in reasoning.
In any case, the distinction ought to be made. Where the use may be unclear, italicized form, or, shall denote the inclusive use.
! An exclamation mark indicates a section of academic interest.
* A star marks a temporary section (all subsections of a temporary section, except as noted below just below, are temporary; any permanent material will be absorbed elsewhere).
** If a section is temporary, a subsection marked with two stars is permanent (and will need to be placed appropriately)
Headings are black and formatted other than regular font.
Ordinary statements are black regular font.
Main concepts, definitions, and assertions in the conceptual development)
Topics and concepts for the way
This section is an introduction, emphasizing the net aim and arc of the way.
1. Kinds of audience—those who are interested (at least) in seeing and exploring the universe beyond what is revealed in common experience and science and who are not satisfied, fully or at all, with responses from humanities, philosophy, metaphysics, or religion.
3. It must be seen as a whole and written as conducive to this.
4. It does not contradict common sense, science, reason, or (true religion). There needs to be a fair amount of explanation of the truth of this claim (how to deal with religion has further issues of how to address faith, and I may therefore omit consideration of religion—or find a way to talk to people of faith).
5. Informal demonstration.
6. Visceral – intuitive appeal; with ways to reinforce intuitive meaning.
7. Formality in footnotes.
The aim of the way of being is living well and shared discovery and realization of the ultimate as a single endeavor.
‘Reasons’ include motivation to the way
mystery of reason for our being, desire to live well, seeking to know and explore the universe
World and personal history suggest values, aims, motives, and means for living
A tradition of discovery and realization—primal, secular (science and humanities), transsecular (religion and religious metaphysics)
tradition is (what is valid in) knowing, acting, and valuing from primal cultures through this very day.
Science is empirical, therefore is not known to be complete, even though illuminating and of pragmatic value
Religion attempts to go beyond but is dogmatic (even Buddhism), even where symbolically empowering toward the ultimate
The way beyond is openness, which will draw from tradition, but is primarily open, experiential, and engaged in discovery and realization
The seeking individual, persistence, a process of perceiving and judging
truth, the real, human being, and the universe—limited or limitless, ‘this precious life’
Tradition gives us knowledge, ways of knowing and becoming (discovery, realization, transformation)
Knowing and acting are inseparable
The way begins with personal reasons and tradition, and builds from there—it is open, in process, seeking, active, imaginative, critical, and learning.
It is not essentially ‘linear’ but reflexive in the interaction of all elements and particularly in reflection upon its own process; which includes that linear process is sometimes effective.
Method is ‘how to’ and is often thought of as discovery (observation, imagination) and justification (experiment, action, criticism). Criticism, logic, are frequently thought of as more important. However, the situation appears to be that (a) discovery is relatively informal and often private and (b) justification is relatively public, formalizable, and formal, but (c) both are essential and interactive. Thus, without imagination there is nothing to criticize; but since method, as seen below, is part of content, without imagination there is no criticism.
Method for the way concerns how to effectively approach the aim. But method is also a concern in the tradition—one that is regarded of utmost concern and treated widely since the enlightenment was followed by the critical thought, especially of David Hume and Immanuel Kant. It is impossible to do justice to this tradition.
However, it is not necessary.
However, it is critical that content (knowledge and so on) and method (understanding, reason…) emerge together, for otherwise, especially if method is ‘prior’ to content, the question of the foundation of method—the foundation of the foundation—arises.
But is that possible? For example, while knowledge is based in experience, is not logic a priori to experience? We shall find that it is possible to approach method and content simultaneously.
Indeed, this ought to be natural, for knowledge is in the world and therefore, method is content. Further, from the viewpoint that apprehension of the world never exceeds knowledge of the world, world and content and method ought to be able to be seen as one.
And we will find it to be so, for a vast and ultimate range of the world (knowledge of the immediate in precise terms remain elusive, but unnecessary relative to the ultimate).
From the aim, the way—imagination, action, criticism—ought to maintain contact with the immediate and the ultimate and all the places in between, and, so, with all the real
How to maintain contact with the everyday world and everyone’s world, without being limited by that contact, ought to be a topic in the theory of knowledge
It shall begin with simple language, knowledge, and reason. Though useful, this is vague and imprecise, but, at least for elementary purposes, clarity and precision can be extracted by abstraction
abstraction is consideration of a partial aspect of some part of the world—it may be used for excision, leaving only faithful knowledge (if the concrete is thought of as the whole, the abstract-concrete distinction is relative to the mode of being of observers)
But can this knowledge also be potent? Yes, and we will develop universal and powerful knowledge
Part of the approach is to begin with experience—subjective awareness—and simple reasoning about it and, then, to abstract away, some perfectly known elements of the world and of reason.
Some abstract concepts are experience itself (as experience), the phenomenal world (as such), being, effective cause, universe, the void, possibility, necessity, and unconditional being
The elements of reason include necessary inference (laws of thought, logics) and likely inference (scientific)
Let us conceive of the given as it is in Dagobert Runes’ Dictionary of Philosophy—whatever is immediately present to the mind before it has been elaborated by inference, interpretation, or construction. Wilfrid Sellars has powerfully denied the given.
However, like many critical thinkers, the criticism is too pervasive. Just as, if skepticism is the view that knowledge is impossible, then the concept of knowledge requires alteration, so, if there is no given, we must tinker with the concept of the given.
For if experience, the mind, is not given to itself, then, as Descartes’ powerfully argued, there is nothing.
The given that is our presence to and medium of knowing—the medium of our being, as it were—which is subjective awareness, is named experience.
The foundation begins with experience. This is one of two essential reasons for fundamental importance of the concept of experience. This reason is ontological and epistemic. In this connection, experience is the place of concepts (symbolic and iconic), existents (‘objects’), meaning, and knowledge.
The other reason is that experience is the place of our ‘being’, of all significance. This reason is existential.
There are no things as such but all things (‘beings’), at least effectively, are experience of (concept in a general sense as actually or potentially referential mental content) and experienced (existent, ‘object’). Further the experienced are also located in experience.
Science relates experience (concept in a common sense as non-perceptual or ‘thought-like content’) to the world; and is thus empirical.
But logic determines whether a compound concept is realizable—also a relation to the world, where it is the form of compound concepts that is empirical.
Thus, logic and science are elements of the criteria for knowledge that derive from the same source—realism of compound experience.
The logics are further empirical in that (a) for applicability they presume a sub-world and (b) their form follows from the structure of that sub-world.
For example, the law of non-contradiction and identity apply only in worlds where definite states or things (‘beings’) can be recognized by recognizers, the excluded middle is possible only where there is definiteness of truth and falsity, and the propositional calculus is possible only where there is facticity (knowable states of affairs)
Neither logic nor science are a-priori or a-posteriori, but both are coeval with experience—the phenomenal and the real world. Logic and science are both nets within experience.
The abstract is an envelope or framework for the concrete and therefore illuminates and guides it; the concrete illustrates and is instrumental within the envelope. This observation is but a perspective on our limited knowledge and power.
But the limits will be substantially overcome.
The system of abstract elements reveals the one universe as the greatest possible, which entails that individuals, too, realize this greatest. That knowledge is perfectly faithful. Concrete knowledge is the instrument and, with its enhancement from the abstract, there is no other. Therefore, there is no meaning to a need for another. Thus, while the concrete remains limited within its own domain according to criteria of perfect faithfulness, the dual system is perfect relative to the ultimate according to the value, potential, and givenness of realization it reveals.
The process of development was incremental, in which content, method, arose via imagination and criticism.
It then became possible to look back and pinpoint the critical points of development.
It is possible now to give a concentrated précis of the development.
The essential concepts are, tentatively, the ones in § The elements, above.
‘Understanding’ or direct knowing, which emphasizes perceiving and feeling, and ‘reason’ as inference or indirect knowing, which emphasizes conceiving and valuing, have been identified as the elements of knowing. Immanuel Kant found understanding more important. Epistemically, this may be so. However, both, and more are essential. There is a plethora of terms that amuse and confuse. I prefer one term and because I like it, I prefer the term ‘reason’. I define
reason is knowing and the process of coming to know; and it includes acting and learning from action; there is no meta-reason or, put another way, meta-reason is reason; and more generally, the elements of reason interact reflexively—vertically and horizontally, in securing, founding, and optimizing reason.
Reason and the real metaphysics of the narrative will be found identical.
Methods will emerge for particular aspects (topics) of the way and are developed at appropriate places in the work.
Improve and expand this list.
Some particular topics are
1. In describing the features of the universe within but especially beyond perception of parts of the universe, imagination and criticism are ‘instrumental’.
2. For the general cosmology, the method is the real metaphysics (content and method including tradition), emphasizing imagination and criticism, with suggestions from established and speculative physical cosmology, and metaphysical and mythic sources.
3. For the cosmology of form and formation, the above, enhanced by the paradigms of (a) mechanism from physics and (b) incremental adaptive systems from biology and general systems theories.
4. For physical cosmology, modern physical cosmology—theoretical, computational, and observational; and computer and theoretical models of deterministic and stochastic systems games (simple to sophisticated and complex.
5. Ethical and population modeling.
Minimize and integrate the following
Meanings are specific, the various types and tokens, which are so often taken so seriously are at most suggestive and interpretive.
The system of meaning is essential.
It is essential to see that the meanings are not received meanings (of course there are relations); it is therefore essential to follow the definitions and commentary that explains reasons for the choice of concepts and definitions—individually and as a system
Intuition of the meanings and system is essential and takes time to emerge.
1. Insistence of meanings of terms as given and awaiting discovery; whereas, the actual situation is that the process is discovery and creation in a dual space of concepts and referents.
2. Not seeing that meaning is icon-sign-referent or concept-object (i.e. a concept and its possible objects) and knowledge is meaning realized.
3. Not following the meanings of the text.
4. Not seeing that meaning of the system is systematic in that the system stands as one (this is not a holism in which the terms have no individual meaning), that this is horizontal and vertical and that all terms must be understood in their ‘new’ sense, for to analyze each term of focus in a new sense using other concept in received senses, is to never escape the chains of the received.
5. Not seeing the extent of the metaphysics developed—it goes far beyond the common paradigms… to the ultimate; not seeing what lies within this extent (possible worlds of imagination subject only to logic); not seeing that this is proven; not seeing alternate attitudes to the proof
6. Not seeing that this life is not just one but only opportunity to see and fulfil the amazing ultimate (it is the only opportunity in the sense that realization always begins in the present, regardless of ‘which life’ one is in); allowing diversion due to problems and mere entertainment; allowing the appealing delusions within both secular and transsecular views; projecting culturally sanctioned views of experience of the world to the universe
Readers will find that, to absorb the new world view, they must mesh it with their secular and other experience, that there is a tendency to see the new as intellectual and the old as intuitive and visceral and that this tendency must be overcome and what is desired is a seamless view of the old which is visceral and intellectual. An approach to this integration is
1. The approach from reason.
3. Ritual, dedication, affirmation.
4. Persuasion involving prepared speech and risk regarding unprepared or informally prepared speech (next)
List the prerequisites systematically
Use them as motivation
Use them as topics in talks
A first prerequisite is to understand understanding.
Real understanding is more than just intellectual—it is emotive, intuitive, organic, seeking, and behavioral.
It senses that common accounts of the real are limited and seeks a true real amid and beyond the common.
It recognizes the hold of the common accounts, that going beyond them will be difficult, but that the reward may be transcendent.
Real understanding entails a spirit of exploration of the real.
A second prerequisite is to see some common blocks to understanding, so that they may be overcome, and will not be hindrances to real understanding.
Thinking and feeling that the common every day, experiential, scientific, philosophical, and religious paradigms have shown the whole truth.
The foregoing derives from not seeing limits to our use of (i) experience (the empirical), (ii) imagination and criticism (the rational), or (iii) the empirical and the rational, jointly.
Now the limits of our use do not result from essential limits to #iii, just above, but to limited understanding of what the empirical and rational are, of how to use them, and of further elements that may be pertinent to understanding. Often, our critical and imaginative theories of the use of experience and reflection are based on partial critique that is projected as the truth.
It may seem difficult to know anything of the true and ultimate real. But we will find that we can say something about its boundary. And while concepts of what lies at the boundary may not themselves be of the real, they will say—beyond this place there can be no real. Which will be an immensely useful preliminary to any search because, unlike so much search, the boundary will illuminate the search.
So, then, what may we say about the boundary of the real? One definition of logic is that its satisfaction is the minimal requirement for realization, if not in our cosmos, then in some possible world.
Thus, logic is a boundary of the real. In fact, logic defines the greatest—most inclusive—possible universe. How so? One conception of logic is that a concept is realizable in some possible world if and only if the concept does not violate logic. So, now, (i) if a logical concept is not realized in a cosmos, the cosmos is not the greatest possible, but (ii) if it is not logical, it is in the nature of the concept that it is not realizable. Therefore, the greatest possible universe is the logically possible universe.
What is the relation between the universe and the greatest possible universe? Rather than talk about the relation, let us give a simple derivation of it. So as to show its essence, the derivation will omit concepts that secure its certainty and usability. Here is a derivation—
The universe is all that there is.
The void is the part of the universe that contains no parts except itself.
The void may be said to exist for its existence and nonexistence are equivalent.
A law of nature is a pattern, immanent to a part of the universe.
Though our expressions of the patterns are descriptions, there is a real, if local, pattern behind the descriptions.
Therefore, the immanent law or pattern may be said to exist.
The void has no laws.
If, from the void, some possibility did not emerge, the void would have a law.
All possibilities emerge from the void.
The universe is the greatest possible.
This violates neither science nor logic.
As the greatest possible, the universe has peak realizations and dissolutions without limit.
The individual inherits this power, for otherwise the universe would not be the greatest. This is not a contradiction, for individuals merge in the realization.
Experience in the sense of consciousness or subjective awareness in all their forms is, essentially, our world (which is not to say that experience creates the world or that there is no real world).
Experience is therefore the key to realization (i) intrinsically, as the place of realization (via, e.g., mindfulness), and (ii) instrumentally, as the place of knowledge of the world—i.e. as the effective place of science and technology.
One line aim
One line demonstration
Heuristics, main implications—perfect metaphysics, and illustrations (identity, the universe, and the individual—Brahman and Atman, path, imperative), doubt and response
On the perfect metaphysics—in the end the system is perfect in terms of the ultimate picture of the universe and value revealed but imperfect from a local perspective in terms of local values (and neither the perfect nor the imperfect eliminate or negate the other). Particularly, neither should hijack the other; and to make this real, following the metaphysics conceptually is not enough—it has to become visceral, part of intuition (via reinforcements, catalysts, sangha or community, art including poetry, and ritual)
There is experience and reflexivity—i.e., experience of experience
Experience of experience is a significant part of what makes intentionality possible.
Why experience? Here is a preliminary answer—
There is a sense in which we do not get outside experience—for, beginning with the phenomenal, the real or objective is further experience.
Are experience +
Experience is relation, even pure experience
All experience is pure experience +
bound – free… or referential – null (null includes the case of potential reference)
internal – external
iconic – symbolic
objective – qualitative
imperative – neutral
1. Perception is bound, external, iconic, close to neutral
2. Feeling is bound, qualitative, on the imperative – neutral spectrum, internal (but the distinction between perception and feeling is not always made)
3. Thought is free, symbolic with possible iconic content, relatively neutral (imperative arises in association with feeling)
4. Emotion is less bound than feeling, qualitative, and complex (interacts with and may subsume elements of the previous items)
The place of individual being, becoming, relation, and significant meaning
The place of will, choice, foresight, designs and plans, action, and change
sameness, difference, identity (existent, person or individual), extension, duration
the world, the individual (self, other), the environment, real world as object of and including experience
referential concept (experience of, symbolic-iconic—linguistic meaning is a part of concept meaning, for all icons are abstractions and a sign is a degenerate icon), referent (experienced)
in use, an ‘object’ is just the referent, supposed to have existence in isolation from the concept; in fact, this mistakes the nature of referents, which is better conceived of as the concept-referent, for which, the concept part is often dropped, unproblematically
intention arises from this notion of referent as concept-referent and the reflexivity of concepts
meaning (concept and possible referents), knowledge (meaning realized)
experience (itself), real world (‘external’), experience (itself), individual (person, sapient being, human being, Dasein, thrownness), self, other, environment
Consider the tentative interpretations (i) there is a real world which includes experience, persons—selves and others, and environment (ii) the world is the experience of an individual (iii) the world is a field of experience and being (and what we think of as nonexperiential interactions are experiential but of zero to low intensity and therefore, for which, quality and complexity, even if there, do not register)
None of these interpretations are logical contradictions of the phenomenal world, which includes one, and perhaps only one, real—i.e., experience itself
That is, they are logically indistinguishable
To reject (ii), then requires some assumption about the world, which need not be science, but may be something as simple as (a) in the world of experience of the individual, the phenomenon that the total experience assigned to phenomenal others is greater than that assigned to the phenomenal self (b) the phenomenal ‘I’ and the phenomenal ‘others’ are related in the phenomena, just as the phenomenal relationship according to which the I and others are communal constructs, or (c) the world is the greatest possible world.
1. Either (a) or (b) deny (ii), require (i), and allow (iii)
2. The case (c) denies that (i) or (ii) are the whole universe and requires (iii).
3. In the case (iii) there are sub-worlds defined by (i) and (ii)
4. A sub-world (i) cannot be a strictly materialist world if the individuals have experience
5. Case (iii) allows and has sub worlds (i) that are strictly materialist.
The foregoing contains a resolution of the problem of solipsism.
Here being and existence are not distinguished
verb to be, a being (concept-referent or existent), being (property of beings, existence), nonexistent (the referent is null)
whole, part, null
cause (the concept), create (to cause to exist), power (effective cause, interaction, measure of being)
The hypothetical being that has no power, self or other, does not exist.
universe (all being or beings), void (the being that has no parts—except itself)
All creation and effective causation are internal to the universe, which has no creator or creation, other or self (the former because there is no other being, the latter is because the created has no existence prior to its existence)
possibility (the concept; unity and disunity among science and logic, real possibility (science, physical, living, sentient), logical possibility, logic
Unconditional being and necessary being are identical
Metaphysics has already begun. In that it is derived from direct experience it is trivial. What follows is nontrivial in that it goes beyond what is conventionally thought of experience (but only in that the common is not carefully critiqued or thought out).
Method of seeing possibilities for beings—merging, levels – from elements to Brahman and their vision and interaction
imperative, value, enjoyment
necessary value—natural categorical imperative (Kant), or unconditional moral obligation; here the adjective ‘natural’ implies not that it is a law of nature but that it arises from the concept of enjoyment and the nature of the universe
interpretations and resolution of the system of interpretations
reason, method, doubt, skepticism, understanding, widest relevant context (is the logical universe)
These topics are applications or developments of the real metaphysics not covered above. They include (i) topics emergent from the metaphysics (ii) implications of the metaphysics for problems of eastern and western metaphysics.
criticism, doubt, imagination, interpretation
Being as Such, First Causes, Unchanging Things
Consciousness, mind, and matter
Cosmology is (a part) of metaphysics.
The method is the real metaphysics, imagination, and criticism
The method of the cosmology of formation is (i) on the ideal side the method of general cosmology (ii) on the pragmatic side the adaptive systems paradigm as generalized from the Darwinian paradigm of evolution.
In metaphysical terms the outcome of the Darwinian paradigm, is that formed systems shall be near stable and near symmetric and, where observed, possessed of that symmetry that encourages high level experiential beings
The paradigms are mechanism, effective causation, and determinism with residual indeterminism
Scales and the meshing of scales
The aim of this part is to find foundation and a way to an axiomatic system for the way of being. This entails finding a founded metaphysics.
small capitals mark a term being defined. A star* marks a defined term in an alternate, usually informal, use.
Dark red font identifies definitions, conclusions, and other main statements.
† Marks a consequence of the fundamental principle.
†† Marks a consequence of the real metaphysics.
• A single bullet marks what could be taken as primitive values, concepts, postulates, axioms, and essential arguments and conclusions for an axiomatic system.
•• Two bullets mark a subset of the single bulleted content. They mark the lowest level of a scalable version of the way. They may also be the basis for a poetic version.
! The sign of exclamation marks an informal or teaching comment, paragraph, or section title. The signs †, ††, •, and •• also mark informal or teaching material.
This shade of green font red font identifies those definitions etc intended for a pocket field manual.
Indigo font indicates a statement of methodological principle or element of proof that illustrates methodological principle. The intent is to have a sufficiently illustrative collection of such statements. Some statements of method are not indigo.
This shade of blue font is intended for poetic statements.
The aim is systems of understanding and reason—in the sense of Kant—for the real or phases of the real. The formulation will be such that the systems may be also be written in abstract axiomatic form.
Given experience as defined in the preliminary ideas, below, a linguistic concept is a sign associated with an icon1. meaning is a concept and its possible referents (or objects); knowledge is meaning realized—i.e., concepts and their referents. A language is a system of concept formulation that expresses meaning and knowledge2. An axiom3 is a primitive principle of reason suggested by experience with inference and is either necessary or pragmatic4,5. A primitive term6 marks a concept defined by pointing at something in the world. A postulate7 is a primitive and basic assertion concerning the world that has meaning and is established as true; a hypothesis8 is an assertion that is established as likely and consistent with experience but not absolutely established. conclusions or results are derived via axioms, starting with postulates or hypotheses (or both) as premises.
If properly based in experience, truth of the system follows, which entails knowledge—i.e. that the system captures the real, only the real, and consistency, but not that all the real has been completely captured9. Then, a conclusion is certainly true if and only if based in necessary axioms and postulates and is known only to be likely true if based in either pragmatic axioms or hypotheses (but may of course in fact be certainly true even though this is not known).
Notes. 1 The sign and icon may be compound, and the icon may be a perceptually or internally generated visual or other image. 2 In abstract systems there might be kinds of terms and rules of formation, devoid of meaning but intended to be able to capture meaning and knowledge. 3 The terms axiom and postulate are used somewhat interchangeably but there is a distinction that is effective and the one here is Euclid’s. 4 In abstract systems axioms are posited and are usually principles of necessary inference. 5 Language and axioms are relatively context independent. Primitive terms, postulates, and hypotheses are relatively context dependent—i.e., they concern a phase of the world. Context dependence vs dependence is, however, not an absolute polarity. Further, the distinction between understanding and inference is not absolute for both concern the world and inference is an aspect of understanding. 6 In an abstract axiomatic system, a primitive term would be an undefined but of course intended as part of a system to be capable of expressing real content. 7 In an abstract system a postulate is primitive assertion with no particular meaning but capable of having meaning, e.g. in terms of models or phases of the world. 8 In an abstract system, the term conjecture might be used. 9 For abstract systems, modeling, consistency, and completeness, are meta-logical and meta-systemic issues; and it is not generally the case that only intended models are captured—e.g., if a countable first order theory has an infinite model, it has infinite models of all non-finite cardinalities (the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem). However, in the real case, to guarantee uniqueness of models requires care, since experience may have more than one consistent interpretation.
! We presume simple language as some ground for the real, with elementary principles of reason (axioms), and simple postulates chosen to perfectly capture2 the entire real (understanding, knowledge), and hypotheses chosen for reasonability and to capture, at least pragmatically3, a phase or phases of the real.
Notes. 1 We find that language, reason, and understanding—method and content—emerge together (see method). 2 An abstract or aspect of. 3 However, this does not imply that no final foundation can be found—we will find that there is final foundation in some directions (and limitless openness in other directions). We will find a metaphysics in which perfect and pragmatic capture of the real are woven together. The perfect side will reveal an ultimate value, in terms of which the woven result—the metaphysics—is itself perfect in the sense that ultimate is achieved and the pragmatic is the only and therefore ‘best’ immediate instrument. Another way in which the mix of the perfect and pragmatic is useful, is in bringing science and logic on the same footing. The inference to a logic is parallel to the inference to a theory of science, and inference under the logic and the theory are parallel. The difference is that on the logic side the inferences are seen as perfect. On the other hand, the science side may be seen as perfect if the domain of application and the precision are limited; the domain to which science may then be perfectly extended is not known. But lack of certainty is not peculiar to science. Some domains of logic do seem to be certain, but it is not clear that the ultimate extension of the idea of logic does or should be a domain of certainty.
The way of being presumes simple language and its use.
Primitive terms—experience (with sameness, difference, and identity), being (existence, the verb to be), power (effective cause, relation), universe, the void, possibility, form, formation, paradigm (interpretation)
Related terms—for experience: concept (experience of), referent (the experienced—or ‘object’), phenomenal world, real world; for being: nonexistence, beings; for form and formation: displacement (extension), change (duration); for possibility: necessity, relatively context neutral or logical possibility, logic, logics, contextual or real possibility, science, and sciences
probability, feasibility, real possibility, science, logical possibility, logic, logics, necessity
Inference—axioms—laws of thought, logics, pragmatic inference…
Postulates—the givens—there is experience, being, the universe, the void, possibility…
Hypotheses—the main hypotheses are projections of paradigms learnt in our empirical world (cosmos), projected to the universe (with arguments for their reasonability); and existence of the void (which is also entered above among the givens, for which reasons are given later)—or, equivalently, the fundamental principle of metaphysics.
The lowest level may also be poetic.
The system, especially for the axioms, requires refinement and completion.
•• The aim of the way is living well in the present as inspired and shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.
The statement of the aim defuses tension between being* and becoming which are and should be sought to be in balance.
The way develops a non-standard and ultimate view of the universe as the greatest possible. To understand and use it, suspension of standard paradigms, immersion in the new, and then integration with the old, are essential. Except alternate, typically informal use, which is marked by stars (*),it is essential to adhere to the meanings below.
A base for living, discovery, and realization begins with knowledge in interaction with action. The aim is to be in discovery of paths to the ultimate (paths are without end, except from the vantage point of the ultimate). We will first set up a framework for discovery in foundation and grounding through the universe is the greatest possible, which is followed by filling in the framework.
A foundation for knowledge or action, in terms of a value, is a way of guaranteeing reliability relative to the value. A grounding is where the foundation is located.
Foundation has often been sought in substance. What is substance and what is the origin of the idea? The world is complex and changing. The idea of substance is something simple and unchanging, perhaps eternal, that generates the world and thus understanding and foundation. Perhaps the origin of the idea lies also in the observation that amid the complexity and change, some things seem to be simple and unchanging. Thus, Thales of Miletus held that water was the substance of the world. Later, the idea of substance became more abstract.
The elementary is that which has no constituent but itself. A mechanism is a way of change or transformation that is in principle transparent, understandable, and predictable. A substance (i) is elementary and unchanging (and therefore eternal) and (ii) generates the world mechanistically.
The idea of substance has the appeal that it promises rock-like foundation. However, substance foundation is illusory for its promise is an end to explanation but substances themselves lack final explanation. Of course, a substance could be regarded as a hypothesis or posit but that would negate the foundational quality of substance. Perhaps we ought to admit that there may be no true foundation of the world.
It is for this reason that the quest for foundation turns to being and experience. It turns to being because the concept of being is, simply, what is there. The seeming impotence from being is that since ‘what is there’ is there but is not obviously known, it would seem incapable of providing foundation. However, since ‘being is there’, if it can provide foundation, then the foundation would indeed need no further explanation. We find that a foundation can be built up, starting with being and thus it is an absolute, not relative, foundation. However, it would be an abstract foundation. We find that though being is foundational, it may further be founded in experience as defined below, which grounds the foundation in experiential being, e.g. human being. Though the entire story has further detail, we find that with foundation in experience, which we might have sought to avoid because experience is subjective, we are in fact able to embrace the real.
The way is an orientation to a view of the universe. To use it, immersion is needed. Excepting informal use, it is essential to adhere to the following meanings.
•• experience is consciousness and conscious awareness in all its forms; it is the effective place of our being and kind.
The most elementary experience is sense of sameness and difference.
Without experience, individuals would be robots. An observer would see as-if existential significance, but existential significance would not register for a non-experiential ‘individual’.
• Identifying and naming a perceived real.
Though a perception can be an illusion, here apparent perception of experience is validated in that even apparent perception is (a case of) experience.
While definition does not generally entail a defined real, in this case it does. Such a definition may be called a real definition.
• There is experience.
Tautological restatement of a real definition.
The phrase ‘there is’ names a simple real.
There is experience of experience.
• Proof by contradiction—if there were no experience of experience, knowledge that there is experience could not be shown.
•• a being is that which is—i.e., which is or exists within, enmeshed with, or beyond the arena of space and time; being is existence; a use of being is to reject substance foundation.
•• There is being and there are beings.
• power is interaction or effective cause—having or receiving effect (from self or other).
The concept of being as being is primal to kind of being, and at the primal level there is no mechanism of effective cause without projection of paradigm.
The hypothetical being that has no power or interaction does not exist.
The measure of being is power.
That is, being is relational.
Naming the notion of ‘there is’.
A concept and object (existent) are an experience of and the experienced, respectively.
Without the concept, there is no object and so, as it is seen later, it generally essential to talk of concept-objects rather than objects (but it may be seen that sometimes, the name-object or sign-object suffices).
How are being and experience interwoven? The following observation of this paragraph is crucial to the nature of being. It was noted that being is relational. At the level of experiential beings, it is concept and object or experience of and the experienced; for such beings, being or a being is, effectively, knowledge of the same.
This may seem to make the concept of being essentially ‘subjective’ but, (i) the subjective is in fact the most immediate element of the real, (ii) later, in the real metaphysics, it is shown how perfection and fullness of knowledge emerge from experience, and (iii) at the level of being as being, being is essentially interactional—i.e., power is its measure.
A summary of the previous three paragraphs is—
Being is experiential-relational.
An abstract is a partial aspect of an object; abstraction is formation of an abstract.
Though the seeming object of experience, the world, can be doubted from illusion; that there is experience can be seen as abstraction experiential world—while the world can be doubted, experience is beyond doubt.
•• The universe is all being.
In greater detail, the universe is all being over all sameness and difference, particularly over all extension and duration.
The universe exists.
There is one and only one universe.
•• There is no other being to effectively cause the universe.
And effective self cause would presume the universe to be manifest while nonmanifest, therefore—
•• The universe has no effective creator or cause.
By abstraction from the welter of detail.
•• The void is the absence of being—the being that contains no beings.
•• The void exists. This is because its existence and nonexistence are equivalent. Given that it is consistent with experience and reason, its existence may be regarded as a rational and existential postulate.
The void is the absence of being—the being that contains no beings except itself.
Existence of the void follows from equivalence of its existence and non-existence. Given that it is consistent with experience* and reason, its existence may be regarded as a rational and existential postulate.
• First proof—existence and nonexistence of the void are equivalent. Appeal to a principle of indistinguishables.
Second proof—the void is there, beside every element of being.
Third ‘proof’—admit doubt; regard existence of the void as a postulate or principle of action (as explained later).
• A being is possible if the concept of the being does not rule out its existence.
• logical possibility is that which pertains only to the concept.
Logic is the corresponding constraint system on concepts; real possibility pertains, over and above the logical, to the nature of the worlds and individuals under consideration; and the greatest possibility is possibility in its most inclusive sense (‘greatest’ includes but does not mean ‘best’).
The greatest possibility cannot exceed logical possibility (but, of course, our logics do not exhaust logic).
probability is likelihood in a defined and limited range of the universe.
feasibility and worth concern the viability and ethics or value of an achievement for an individual, group, or civilization in a defined and limited range of the world and their being (existence).
• A being is necessary if the concept rules out nonexistence.
• A being is unconditional if, for all situations in which nonexistence is possible, it exists.
• Unconditional and necessary existence are identical.
Relative to the entire universe, unconditionality is the only measure of necessity.
• Identity is sense of sameness of self or other existent.
Duration marks difference in but not of identity (sameness with difference); difference in identity is change. Extension is marked by difference of identity.
form is what marks identities as similar or different; it has extension and is marked by quality. formation is emergence of identity or form and includes change; experience is experiencing—it is essentially formational; without formation, the world would be inert and not even robotic.
Form is subsumed under relation; relation and formation are essential to being.
• Being is essentially and interactively relational and formational.
• An individual or person is a being, with identity of form and awareness, for whom the awareness is perceptual, feeling, conceptual, and capable of choice, will, and action.
•• laws of nature are patterns; patterns are immanent in the world and therefore have being.
Abstraction, the concept of being.
•• In the void there are no laws.
• Simple use of predicate calculus—there are no beings in the void, laws are beings, therefore there are no laws in the void.
Note. It is a use of syllogism. However, predicate calculus subsumes syllogism.
• The void is not ruled by laws, gods, or other beings.
If all that is possible, in the sense of logical possibility, did not emerge from the void, that would constitute a law of the void.
All that is logically possible emerges from the void.
The logically and greatest possible are identical.
A simple form of the above argument omits consideration of logical possibility:
•• If all that is possible did not emerge from the void, that would constitute a law of the void. Therefore—
•• The universe is the greatest possible.
•• This assertion is named the fundamental principle of metaphysics.
Note that while it is certain that all possibilities occur, this is not true for limited parts of the universe—e.g. the cosmos observed by human beings and, it is likely, delimited by the big bang. Within such limits, likelihood is also a concern and may be addressed by the real metaphysics, below, over and above logical possibility.
The universe has no beginning, end, or exterior.
If the universe has a cause, it is not effective cause. The cause of the universe is not that of a beginning, but of its entire existence.
Necessity may be taken to be the cause of the universe. In the sense of logical cause—
•• Necessity is the cause of the existence of the universe and realization of the greatest possibility.
•• There is but one universe. The universe phases between manifest and void form; it has identity.
• The conclusions above are simple consequences of the definition of ‘universe’ and the fundamental principle. That there is one universe is also a dynamic consequence of the universe as the greatest possible. For, let a possibly limited being be the greatest being. Then, if the given being did not contain some other being, the given would not be the greatest. Therefore, the greatest being is all being.
• An example of a ‘method of using the fundamental principle’ now emerges. Imagine or conceive any being (or aspect of a being, which, in any case, is also a being); then provided the concept is logical, the being exists (this ‘method’ will be extended in § using the real metaphysics).
• Results that follow from this method or principle are marked with a dagger—†. Such results may follow directly from the fundamental principle or depend also on earlier results.
••† The universe and its identity are limitless in every possible way—particularly, in form, variety, extension, duration, and peak of being.
† The cosmos in which we live is one of limitlessly many, which are relatively stable and symmetric in form, and, which, together are limitless in magnitude and quality—and which are in transient transaction with the void. This description is—most likely—inadequate to convey the variety of being.
That our cosmos is the way it is and not another is consistent with the realization of the greatest possibility, for no thing can be what it is not, and the realizations of other cosmoses are events that are distinct from the realization of ours. It is clear, then, from its derivation, that the picture built above, is logically consistent. It is also consistent with our sciences and experience, especially physics and physical cosmology, for science is empirical and is not known to have purchase beyond the empirical boundary. The thought that our cosmology does extend beyond the empirical boundary is circular for it depends on tacitly thinking that the entire universe has been captured in science; to put this thought another way, if we have an explicit but limited or slanted view of the universe, it is because that view is already tacit or normative.
Cartesian doubt and response are built into the development in a number of places, especially the choice of being over substance, the interpretation of experience, and the resolution of the ambiguities of the interpretations.
Now that the fundamental principle has been shown logically and empirically consistent, the essential remaining doubt concerns its demonstration.
The essential doubts are as follows, (1) does the void exist, (2) do laws have being, and (3) the principle itself ought to be doubted even if the proof should hold, just from the enormity of the conclusion (certain technical doubts are addressed elsewhere in this work).
Now the fact that quantum theory does not permit a true void, is not a good reason for doubt for science is empirical. The real reason for doubt is simply that we do not (seem) to have experience of the void. But we can argue that the existence and nonexistence of the void are equivalent and therefore, the void may validly be taken to exist.
An argument that laws have being is that while our expressions of the laws may be mere descriptions, what they describe are immanent in being and therefore have being.
We could argue for the fundamental principle in other ways. An alternate proof is that the void plus universe have unconditional and therefore necessary existence; but by symmetry, the universe cannot be just one of what is possible and must therefore be all possibility. A heuristic is that logic is the limiting boundary of all science.
However, doubt ought to remain for (1) the absence of detailed empirical proof, (2) residual doubts even given multiple proofs, and (3) the magnitude of the conclusion.
So, given the consistency and reasonability of the principle, an alternative to regarding it as proven, is to view it as (1) a fundamental or hypothetical postulate upon which to base development the greatest possible true metaphysics or (2) an existential action principle.
The skeptical secular thinker may assert, even if they accept the real metaphysics, that whatever is of value and whatever is real is found in more or less immediate experience. They may add that though this secular world is imperfect it is where our hearts, minds, and energies should focus. They would view these assertions as not only principled in terms of their secular, perhaps humanist values, but only plain common sense.
A response to the secular thinker is that the world of which they talk is what we have called the immediate world; that there is a far greater world; that there is an imperative even in terms of secular values to seek the greater world; that even if they do not accept that conclusion, knowledge of the greater world illuminates the secular; and that focus on the ultimate need not detract from the immediate but, with sufficient balance, may enhance it.
The dogmatic religious thinker will deny whatever here may contradict their faith. I have no response to such persons except perhaps to ask that they approach this work with an open mind.
The open minded transsecular thinker might criticize the real metaphysics as stretching credulity. The response to them is similar to the response to the secular thinker.
There is little doubt that the generic method outlined above and later may be inadequate in discovering and realizing enjoyable possibility.
The response is that I seek balance my own search with discovery and invite others to do the same.
••† Individuals inherit the power of the universe for, otherwise, the universe would not be limitless.
† The individual is the universe.
Roughly, this says ‘all possibilities are open to the individual’. However, this does not mean that all possibilities are available to the individual in a delimited situation, e.g. this life as interpreted in terms of its limits of birth, death, and form. Here, further issues arise. Feasibility is touched on below, especially in tradition and the real metaphysics and using the real metaphysics. What is worthwhile—of value—is touched on below, in the aim of being, but only briefly.
••† Individuals and civilizations merge with the universe in its peaks.
† This realization is given.
Whatever ought to be labeled ‘God’ is an ultimate of which we are part. In so saying we would call the ultimate God, which inverts the typical approach of describing a godlike being of our cultural choosing and then asserting its ultimate nature.
† In that it is itself, the universe knows itself. The highest possible being is and knows the universe, at least in abstract. This abstract is concrete in peak phases of the universe. In these senses, the universe is deterministic (for the highest possible being).
† Since the universe is the realization of all possibility, all relations among beings or states are contingent. In this sense there is absolute indeterminism, which requires, that there are phases of determinism—and phases of indeterminism superposed on determinism. This conclusion from the fundamental principle is instrumental—over and above explicit use of the principle—in the remaining conclusions of this section.
† For a limited being in a cosmos with presently limited causal connection to the rest of the universe, what obtains outside the being’s empirical limits, do not constitute facts. For the limited being, there is a domain of determined fact; outside this, the universe is not determined for the being.
† Whether the universe is deterministic is observer relative.
† While a ‘limited being’ has limits noted below, those are local limits; relative to the extent and duration of the universe, all beings are limitless; all beings have freedom without limit except the limits of all being.
† The universe may be viewed as a block which contains the trajectories of all beings. A given being is the intersection of multiple trajectories; the merging of individuals in peaks, followed dissolutions, occurs in the intersection and divergence of the trajectories.
There are apparent impediments to realization—the limits of pain, birth, death, and physical form.
•† Birth, death, pain, and physical form are real but not absolute limits. Knowledge and fear of death may be employed as cathartic in living well in the present as one with endeavor toward the ultimate.
If they seem absolute it is because the elements of perception and thought are part of the form of individuals.
† That the ultimate is realized by all individuals is given. But effective realization of the ultimate is found in commitment to this life and the ultimate. Intimate acquaintance with death and fear is transformative.
† For some individuals, seeing and realizing the ultimate is a continuous and visible thread, beginning in this life. It is so for all beings, except when the quality of vision is limited and, therefore, the truth may be hidden. Where we do not have full vision from the present, it is acquired in merging with others, beyond this life.
••† There are effective, intelligent, enjoyed paths to the ultimate.
The paths are incompletely known—to be on a path is also to engage in its discovery in perception, feeling, thought, experiment, and action.
•• sangha—community and sharing pathways—is effective in discovery and realization.
•• If enjoyment is a value, to be on a shared path is a human and moral imperative.
• This is a source of ethical principle.
• The aim of being is the aim of the way of being—living well in the present as the way to inspired and shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.
•• The best address of pain and other impediments is dual—therapeutic and being* on a path.
What is the place and means of realization?
Experience is consciousness and conscious awareness in all its forms (as defined earlier)—
From perception and thought, to feeling and emotion, to will and choice in action.
There is experience.
Being is existence (as defined earlier).
Experience is the place of our being.
The phenomenal world or world of appearance is the range of experience. The real world is the true object of experience.
There is experience of experience. Thus, experience itself is part of the real world. Experience of experience is essential to directing experience to efficient use—i.e., to intentionality and intelligence.
Since memory is imperfect, even the phenomenal world as it seems to present itself may be doubted. However, that doubting is part of the phenomenal world.
An interpretation of a range of experience is a description of the real that is self-consistent and consistent with experience. If the range of experience is the entire range, the interpretation is an interpretation of the world.
† The broadest interpretation of the world is the world as a field of being and experience, in which individuals—selves and others—are bright centers of intelligent experientiality, and the variety and limitlessness are as in the earlier description of this greatest universe. Here, experience as relation is employed in the conclusion, over and above explicit use of the fundamental principle. That there is no higher kind than experience, follows from experience as relation, for a higher kind would be relation of relation, which is relation (which, incidentally, negates Spinoza’s assertion that there are an infinite number of attributes beyond form and thought; but of course form and thought may have degrees and qualities without limit).
Consider the following kinds of world—(i) a world that is just the experience of what we call an individual (ii) a world in which behavior is the same as in our world but is strictly of form without experience (‘strictly material’) and consequently there is no experience (this may be called a ‘zombie world’) (iii) a world as in #ii except that it is not strictly material and in which there are true selves and others in an environment where the experientiality from zero to low in level, but not null, and (iv) the greatest universe as described in the previous and earlier paragraphs.
All those worlds are logically possible.
† The universe is (identical to) #iv and contains such worlds as #’s i, ii, and iii without limit.
#i, however, is not consistent with a world in which either (a) the information content assigned to the phenomenal is greater than the content assigned to the individual or (b) the term ‘I’ is indexical. In its common interpretation as a world of selves and others in an environment, our world is just like #iii, but cannot be #i or #ii.
Further resolution requires pragmatic considerations, which are taken up in § using the real metaphysics.
• The categories, dimensions, or classes of being are classes at or just below being in inclusiveness, chosen for effectiveness in understanding and reason.
• We begin with a pair of ideal classes of being, that are intrinsically and instrumentally, being itself, for experiential and non experiential being. These classes are experience of and the experienced—i.e., mind and world (world includes mind). The entire world falls under this umbrella, provided that indirect experience is included.
This choice was given justification in The place and means of realization.
Experience of corresponds to the notion of concept and the experienced to existent or object. An object without a concept has no meaning, let alone being. We regard a concept and its possible existents as meaning and meaning realized, i.e. a concept and its actual existents, as knowledge. Since the object or existent without a concept is without meaning, being or existence is essentially relational.
The ideal system of thought emerging from the universe as greatest, implies that experience is the intrinsic place of becoming. The truth of this system is perfect (in contrast to pragmatic truth, which is ‘truth’ for limited contexts).
As the place of art, science, and technology it is also the pragmatic instrument. Art shall include the humanities, especially philosophy. Logic and mathematics may be assigned either to science or the humanities.
• To render the ideal system practical, we may use the system of the culture in which we live. Such systems are invariably imperfect relative to ‘ideal knowledge’. However, if imperfection is invariable, the imperfect is the only instrument in realization of the ultimate and, given the inevitability of the ultimate, the imperfect is perfect relative to that goal. We may begin in terms of the ideal classes—of the mind, or psyche, and of the world. In a western worldview, the world divides into nature (which contrasts to the artificial or constructed and includes the elementary or physical at a range of scales from micro to cosmological and more, the complex or living, and the experiential or mind), society (which is at least partially constructed and includes civilization and artifact or technology), and the peak, part known, and unknown elements of the universe.
The worldly classes may be further divided—e.g., the physical into physics, cosmology, astronomy, chemistry, earth sciences; the biological into evolution and function; the psychological into the philosophical and the scientific; and the social into sociology, culture (language, knowledge and its development—and communication and transmission). A system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action develops a comprehensive system based in the real metaphysics, below. See reading, for details.
The ideal classes are chosen for truth, realism, and to cover all being. The pragmatic classes are chosen for instrumentality. They are not unique and are the expression of a western world view. Other classes could be employed and those who would prefer that may use this work to frame the details of their ideas; multiple systems of pragmatic classes could be used. One aim here, however, is to avoid proliferation of the categories.
• tradition will mean—what is valid in cumulative cultural history (inclusive of art, science, and technology), of in process and enhanced by reflection, experiment and action, and learning.
These disciplines of tradition are understood as mind engaged in transformation of the world (via understanding and reason), and in transformation of mind itself (yoga and meditation, adequately understood).
† There are two systems of understanding—the ideal and tradition or the pragmatic. The ideal shows an ultimate real and value and so illuminates and guides the pragmatic; the pragmatic illustrates and is instrumental toward the ideal. The pragmatic is ‘limited truth’ according to traditional criteria of perfect faithfulness. However, the pragmatic is the only and therefore ‘best’ instrument so far in realization. Thus, in terms of the ethic of realization, the pragmatic has an ideal or perfect character (and the ideal may be seen as a limit of the pragmatic). Thus, the ideal and the pragmatic constitute a single perfect system for living in the world and realization of the ultimate. This system is named the real metaphysics. In summary and conclusion—
• A synthesis of (i) the universe as the greatest possible, (ii) pragmatic knowledge, (iii) experience*, (v) reflection, and (v)action, results in a real metaphysics that is a perfect instrument of realization.
•• To employ the system, we have appeal (i) to tradition and its approaches or methods, of which the foregoing captures a framework (ii) for the ideal part, to imagination subject to critical thought (iii) for likelihood of occurrences, to various paradigms such as mechanism and evolution as known in our cosmos. Consequences of the real metaphysics are marked ††. Examples follow.
†† To see how individuals merge into one, consider that the ‘individual’ is a unity of individuals, and, by analogy, the one is a unity of the many. Though introduced by analogy, this is logically possible and therefore necessarily realized.
†† To see why the majority of cosmoses would be formed, analogy from the theory of evolution, suggests an incremental emergence in which forms with near symmetry are more stable, and it is longevity, which results from stability, that accounts for the majority. Cosmoses with intelligent experiential beings would obviously the ones that are recognized.
•• A program of realization may use two templates—everyday (immediate) and universal (toward the ultimate). An outline of templates follows (links for detailed templates are in reading, below). The templates, derived from experience*, are rendered adaptable to a range of circumstances and personal orientations. To make the range comprehensive, they draw from the ideal and pragmatic classes of being.
The ideal classes are experience of and the experienced—or concept and referent (object) – or intrinsic and instrumental (because experience is experienced, the distinction between intrinsic and instrumental is a continuum; and note that ‘pure experience’ is the case that the external object is null). The intrinsic is experiential—how, for example, may an individual experience (truly) being* a peak form of the universe? Intrinsic means, e.g. meditation, is supported by the instrumental—e.g. hatha yoga and technology (for most individuals it is likely that realization only begins in ‘this life’ and even then, has an implicit character). The ideal classes are reflected in both templates.
The pragmatic classes of being are psyche, nature, civilization (society), and the peak, part known, and unknown. These classes are reflected in the templates, especially the universal template.
! Outline of the everyday template—rise early (dedication and affirmation), meditative review (life – the way – the day), realize (yoga – work – share; reflection and work on projects), physical exploration (nature, art, society), evening renewal and community, and sleep early. Notes—yoga, which includes meditation, is not just a practice, but is intended to extend into action throughout the day (the reading has sources on yoga).
! Outline of the universal template—pure being*, ideas (reflection – writing – sharing, publishing), becoming (nature with psyche; civilization, society, and artifact (technology), and community; the universal—peak, part known, and unknown—universal being*. Notes—the areas of activity are driven by the ideal and pragmatic classes of being.
While the outline forms above are too short to constitute an explicit program, details are provided in the universal template below.
Supporting material and versions of templates with greater detail and explanation are linked in reading.
This work outlines a way shared discovery and realization of the ultimate. It does not define a complete program. Indeed, it ought not to, for a real program, it was found, is not just to follow but also to forge paths. Some reading suggestions for development of a program are
(ii) From the same website, the main influences (http://www.horizons-2000.org/2020/resources/main influences for the way.html).
(iii) Everyday and universal templates for action—with further resources (the template addresses are, respectively, http://www.horizons-2000.org/2020/narratives/everyday template.pdf, and http://www.horizons-2000.org/2020/narratives/universal template.pdf).
(iv) For its suggestiveness for the background metaphysics, the framework of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (https://people.umass.edu/klement/tlp/tlp.pdf) by Ludwig Wittgenstein (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Wittgenstein).
(v) For a system of knowledge based in the real metaphysics, A system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action (http://www.horizons-2000.org/2020/resources/system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html)
(vi) For a program of action in our world, A journey in being (http://www.horizons-2000.org/1.%20World%20and%20Being/realization/being-elements/2010/2011-2012%20jib%20in-process/second%20production/1/Journey%20in%20Being-detail.html#Challenges_and_opportunities).
(vii) For background on Yoga (http://www.horizons-2000.org/2020/topic essays/traditional and modern approaches to living in the world.html) as a system of realization and on the ultimate nature of the self, A Sourcebook In Indian philosophy (https://www.booklibrarian.com/pdfepub/a-sourcebook-in-indian-philosophy-pdf/) by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore.
Some references with notes—
(i) Ian Baker, The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise, 2004. An exploration of travel to the heart of nature as means of self-transformation.
(ii) Chagdud Tulku, Gates to Buddhist Practice: Essential Teachings of a Tibetan Master, 1993, Rev. 2001. A readable account of Tibetan Buddhism, its world view, and practice.
(iii) John Hick, The Fifth Dimension: An Exploration of the Spiritual Realm, 1999. An excellent account of ‘higher realms’ from within the modern world view of science.
(iv) Christopher Wallis, Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition, 2nd ed., 2013. An immense source of ritual for those who may be interested. Somewhat aligned with Tibetan Buddhism.
(v) Pema Chödrön, How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind, 2013. On the practice of meditation. The book is open with regard to aims of meditation.
(vi) Eknath Easwaran, trs., The Bhagavad Gita, 1985. A practical guide to a world view similar to that in this work, as well as an account of the realms of Yoga.
(vii) Richard K. Nelson, Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest, 1983. Nice account of a primal world view and way of life.
Some issues in achievement are (i) clear knowledge of the goal (ii) knowledge of the context and means (iii) commitment—i.e. over and above just knowledge: visceral knowledge, belief in the truth and value of the goal and means (iv) steadfastness of commitment and action in the face of doubt and other internal blocks and lack of energy and material resources, lack of support and affirmation and opposition from others and the community.
In the way (i) there is knowledge of the goal but it needs elaboration (ii) there is knowledge of the context and means but these need continuing development as part of the process (iii) the individual may face blocks as in #iii above and, further, as the way is relatively new and contrary to the standard secular and many transsecular paradigms, there is little community support and much inertia. Commitment to other limited and false paradigms may manifest as opposition.
The individual—(i) strengthening self: meditation (on internal blocks, resentments, and resolutions) and therapy, (ii) healthy living with moderate diversion (iii) having source literature with proof, example, and inspiration, e.g. the way of being (iv) ritual, dedication, and affirmation (v) a community of similarly minded persons and travelers (vi) nature as source.
These are addressed in the templates.
Begin with the same section in a journey in being-outline.html.
Review (1) main source essays (2) resource works.
As of November 13, 2020 the main sources are—
The introductory essay, precis.html.
In process work at the site plan.html.
Priorities for integration of my life and the way at First Priority.html.
Resources for The Way of Being
The way of being constitutes a formal resource, i.e. emphasizing formal method, for the history of significant meaning, common paradigms and their limits, metaphysics as knowledge of the real, the real metaphysics as ultimate metaphysics, knowledge and reason, developments in metaphysics, a system of the world based in the real metaphysics, and ways of realization of the ultimate.
The way and its discovery as an informal resource are about discovery rather than justification, process rather than outcome, and creativity or construction over criticism.
The topics emphasized are the thread of the way in history, my search in nature and culture, and reflexivity in reason.
Some sources are—the realizations-resource version.html—2015 (Chapter: Resource), Journey in Being-detail.html*—2014 (Chapter: Reference), Journey in Being-full.html—2013 (Chapter: Reference), system of human knowledge, reason, practice, and action.html (since it covers discovery as well).
The terms here are important to the way. However, the meanings, while they are not and cannot be the received meanings, ought to have some relation to the receive.
The aim of this dictionary is
1. Resource for received meanings—it is not the aim to be definitive but only to provide a sampling of the received,
2. To emphasize that the meanings in the way are related to but different from the received, and
3. To remind readers that whereas received meanings constitute families of meaning, the meanings employed in the way are definite, and yet significant.
The main source for the received meanings is Dagobert D. Runes, Dictionary of Philosophy, revised edition, 1983.
Every generation ought to its way as grounded in and summarizing the received ways.
This may inherit the virtue but not the burden of the past.
It is all tied together in a foundational framework.
The way, is the path.