The way of being
THE WAY OF BEING
Contents and summary
Anil Mitra Copyright © June 14, 2020—October 23, 2020
The aim of the way of being is living well in the world and shared discovery and realization of the ultimate.
An ultimate, if there is one, would be present in the immediate; it would not be alien to the immediate, in the way of traditional ‘ultimates’. If we do not see the ultimate, it is because we do not yet see well enough.
The aim of being will be seen to be the aim of being.
The way of being is a way of realizing the aim.
The origin of way, and a source for discovery and realization, is in the story the world—material, animal, human, and personal.
However, let us also seek discovery beginning in the immediate—in conscious experience.
experience is consciousness or subjective awareness in all its forms.
There is experience, and there is experience of experience.
Experience as consciousness is effectively, the place of knowing, negotiating, and enjoying the real in life and beyond death; it is the effective place of ‘being’, becoming, designing, and realization.
A view of the world as experiential is therefore powerful as the intrinsic place of realization.
If this view could be rendered objective, then, e.g. via science and technology, it would also be instrumental. It would be powerful as intrinsic place and instrumental means of realization.
Can objectivity and reliability be found from the experiential view? Is experience limited in space by our world, and in time by birth and death?
One approach to objectivity might be to ‘extract’ materialism from the experiential view. Instead, we will find objectivity from within the experiential view; the meaning of objectivity will be altered but enhanced. The emergent view will have idealist and materialist sides but be neither.
That there are experience and experience of experience is known by abstraction of what is definite and undistorted from the welter of phenomena.
This is perhaps an effective place to begin to discover the world—the possibility of objectivity or otherwise, and the nature of the limits of bodies and birth and death.
A concept—an instance of
‘experience of’ (in which intention or relation is implicit)
In the case of pure experience, the referent is open or null.
and its possible objects constitute concept
meaning (in linguistic meaning, concepts include bare signs in
association with iconic concepts).
Pragmatically and effectively, an existent is a concept-object. But with sufficient abstraction, though the concept is not eliminated, yet the object is definite and perfectly known because the concept is faithful to it—the concept is a perfect or objective stand-in for the object (and this language in which concept and object are dis-intertwined is perfectly permissible). How far objectivity can be taken is further addressed in the real metaphysics. In summary of this paragraph—
An existent is a concept-object. With sufficient abstraction, there is objectivity.
That there are experience and experience of experience says, also, that there is existence.
is a concept and possible objects but no actual object, there is nonexistence—
Within experience there is a world whose reality or existence is intuitively obvious. However, it is a powerful source of metaphysical knowledge or knowledge of the real, to not assume reality of the experience of the world but to demonstrate it, for demonstration is a way to precise and complete knowledge.
Within experience there is an experiencer or individual self. Whereas the existence of experience is ontologically transparent, existence of individuals, other persons, civilizations, the world is not (even though it seems obvious to intuition). It is a powerful source of realism to attempt to show the existence of individuals and the world. However, this will not be explicitly attempted in this brief work (it is done in other linked versions). Yet, we will be able to conclude objectivity of the world later, in the real metaphysics. This will require significant upward revision of the typical intuitive and ‘obvious’ picture of the world—to an ultimate picture of the universe as the greatest possible.
a being is an existent; being is existence.
There is being and there are beings, at least as instances of experience.
As said earlier, objectivity, which includes that beings are more than instances of experience, will emerge with the narrative.
The universe is all being.
The universe exists; equivalently, it is a being, or has being.
Since there is no other being, the universe has and can have no effective cause—i.e., cause in the sense of interaction. The universe is not created.
Beings are parts of the universe.
the void is the being that has no part.
Existence and nonexistence of the void are equivalent; therefore, the void may be said to exist.
laws of nature, i.e. patterns everywhere present in a world, exist—they have being or, equivalently, they are beings.
There are no laws in the void.
For a possible being to not emerge from the void, would be a law of the void.
All possible states emerge from the void.
The previous sentences, beginning with ‘laws of nature’, may be contracted to one—
Which implies the fundamental principle of metaphysics—
This knowledge is true and objective. It is real in the sense that the real is the object of the truth.
‘Greatest’ does not mean ‘best’. However, the greatest does include the good—and the best in any meaningful sense of the term.
If a logically possible being does not exist, the universe is not the greatest possible; a logically impossible being cannot exist. Therefore, the greatest possible and the logically possible are identical, and the universe is the logically possible universe. In summary of this paragraph—
The truth of the essentially objective knowledge so far is derived via abstraction. It implies that our world necessarily exists as it is (but does not imply it is as we might think it to be). The universe as the greatest, reveals an ideal but does not show as how to realize it or how we relate interactively to it.
Pragmatic knowledge-in-action, of which the abstract ideal is a boundary case, which includes our ancient through modern traditions regarded as ever open to modification and never as dogma, though imperfect by traditional criteria, is the only, and therefore, an ideal instrument of realization and relation. The ideal illuminates and guides the pragmatic; the pragmatic illustrates and is instrumental toward the ideal; the two, while dual, are a synthetic unity; which we name the real metaphysics, and which is the means of realization. It is in relation to the ideal of realization, in the ultimate and in-process in the immediate, that, even where not objective by traditional criteria, the real metaphysics is perfect by values it reveals. It is in this sense that human knowledge has objectivity.
The pragmatic side of the real metaphysics, our local knowledge, is ever in process – in interaction with action. The real metaphysics itself is in process and includes interaction with action.
The epistemology associated with this dual metaphysics is dual: perfection for the ideal, pragmatic for pragmatic. Yet, from the revealed values, it is a perfect synthetic unity. It is unlike traditional through modern epistemologies, which tend to prefer ‘purism’, as if ordinary purity of epistemic criteria might result in perfection of knowledge. The new epistemology devalues but does not eliminate interest in traditional through modern epistemology.
Individuals and civilizations have being.
An immediate consequence of the fundamental principle is that individuals and civilizations inherit the power of the universe as the greatest realization of possibility; otherwise it would not be the greatest.
Let us develop further consequences of the fundamental principle—consequences within the metaphysics. There are consequences for the metaphysics and its nature, and the problems of metaphysics, ancient and modern, and, in consequence, the entire range of human knowledge. Here we develop only some transparent consequences for realization.
The universe has identity or conscious sense of self and world. The universe and its identity are without limit. The only limit on hypothetical beings is the constraint of logic, i.e. the universe is as ‘rich’ as possible. The universe has phases of local and ultimate peak manifestation and dissolution as the void.
Individuals and civilizations inherit the power of the universe. They merge as one in peaks of being—occasionally in ‘this life’ and always beyond death as the apparent end of ‘this life’ (which is real but not absolute and therefore a ‘teacher’ in this life).
The immediate world is embedded in a limitlessly greater universe, which we do not see at present. More precisely, we do not see the immediate and the greater as distinct.
There are intelligent, effective, and enjoyable paths to the peak. To be on a path requires living well in this life as platform to realization. The way cannot avoid the negative but the best approach to the negative joins direct address and being on a path. To be on a path is not just to follow, but to negotiate and share realization and, simultaneously, develop paths.
The means of realization is the real metaphysics.
enjoyment in its broadest sense is a value. This includes deferment of ‘lesser’ enjoyment in the interest of the ‘greater’. Consequently, the aim of being is the aim of the way of being.
The essential conclusions include that—
The universe and the individual are ultimate and ultimately equivalent. There are effective and enjoyable paths to the ultimate. There is an imperative to be on and to develop paths.
As the expression of logic, the real metaphysics is internally consistent. Since a given world ‘is what it is’, that it is not another possibility is consistent with the real metaphysics (and the very concept of possibility). Particularly, the real metaphysics is not inconsistent with science for science is part of ‘what the world is’. Further, scientific theories are models of the empirical and any projection beyond the empirical is not necessary; therefore, there is no contradiction between the theories of science and the real metaphysics.
However, we may doubt the proof of the fundamental principle from its magnitude and the nature of the proof—particularly the derivation of existence of the void. An alternative proof is that the universe and void have unconditional being, i.e. being without exception, and are therefore universe-and-void is necessary, without presumption. From symmetry both manifest universe and void must exist but neither eternally, therefore the universe must phase between manifest nonmanifest. Again, from symmetry, for the universe to be only one cosmos such as ours is a violation of symmetry, and it must therefore be all possible worlds.
Necessity may be regarded as the cause of the universe. Necessary cause is distinct from effective cause.
And, now, here is a heuristic—universe as the logically possible is the boundary of all science.
Thus, even if we doubt it, the fundamental principle is reasonable.
Therefore, from doubt—
Two alternative attitudes to the fundamental principle arise (i) as an axiom of metaphysics and (ii) given the value of its ideal, to regard it as an existential principle of action.
To hold doubt and confidence simultaneously, is powerful. Certainty is empty; ontological nihilism is confused.
The means of realization is the real metaphysics, as it incorporates action and tradition. The means include incremental analysis and action, and catalytic transformation via effects on emotion.
The real metaphysics incorporates tradition—e.g. science and technology, which is instrumental, and yoga in which it is being or beings that are transformed, e.g. by meditation, mindful action, and yogic practice. It is inherent in the real metaphysics that all this is taken non-finally, transitionally, and experimentally.
The traditional ways include the religions and transformative and therapeutic practices.
The ways may act incrementally, as in ‘rationality’ (which includes emotion and value), or catalytically in their effect or in catalytic practices such as meditation and exposure to natural environments.
There are two path templates, ‘everyday’ and ‘universal’, 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. Here are pdf and ms word everyday templates.
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. Here are pdf and ms word universal templates.
The way ahead is shared discovery and realization in the worlds of psyche, nature, civilization, and the universe.
Sharing of the ideas of the way are also envisioned as a stream of continuous text in which every age has texts that attempt summation and re-vision of established and emerging ideas.