ANIL MITRA © MARCH 6, 2013. REVISED August 05, 2014
Sections marked with an asterisk are relatively technical and not essential to general understanding. However, the content of these is empowering of action toward destiny.
The primary subject of this piece is our destiny and not the concept of destiny. The first goal is to show what our destiny must be in consequence of the universal metaphysics of the Journey in Being website (http://www.horizons-2000.org). The discussion will show that the concept of destiny, given the metaphysics, is quite straightforward and definite but not particularly interesting. In contrast our actual destiny is immensely interesting and showing what it is will contain in it what is essential in the concept.
The subject of our destiny, developed from the metaphysics, will be a vehicle for putting on display the essentials of the ‘journey’ while referring readers to ‘other narratives’ (at the Journey in Being website linked above) for questions of detail. The discussion will address the issue of careful argument but refer to the other narratives for development of arguments.
The basis of the discussion of our destiny will be a worldview or metaphysics named the universal metaphysics.
The content of this piece is also addressed in an outline of an impromptu talk.
It is a metaphysics, worldview, or view of the universe based in the ‘fundamental principle of metaphysics’—the assertion that the universe has no limits.
The fundamental principle is proved formally in other narratives. Here we provide the following intuitive and informal explanation in lieu of demonstration.
The void or absence of being may be taken to exist alongside actual being for it is always ‘there’ regardless of whether there is actual being.
Common experience and science—so far as they are valid—are of what is in the world. They are not of what is outside being—of the void or nothingness or the absence of being.
Therefore the void or nothingness has no laws.
So—Every state of affairs or being emerges from the void for the contrary would be a law of the void.
That is, the void and so the universe have no limits. This assertion is the fundamental principle of metaphysics.
Some consequences are as follows.
The universe has manifestation and identity in acute, diffuse, and absent phases.
The there is no limit to the extension and duration of and variety of being in the universe.
These consequences are inherited by all parts of the universe and individuals for the contrary would be a limit on the universe.
(The limitlessness of the universe is inherited by all individuals except of course for conditions of coexistence that pertain on the way to but not at ultimate realization).
All of this may seem contrary to common experience and science. This is addressed in what follows where the metaphysics developed here is reconciled with science and experience.
What is the meaning of the universal metaphysics?
Its meaning is implicit in its the proof and consequences. Proof is especially important for it shows how develop and interpret consequences. Consequences illustrate the metaphysics, show how it fits the world, help bring it into intuition.
In what way can the meaning be made explicit?
Explicitness will be in terms of a formulation that expresses limitlessness positively.
The meaning of the term ‘limits’ is especially important.
If the universe is limitless every state of affairs or being should be realized. Let us reflect on this thought (and defer criticisms to the next section).
If I consider the picture from modern science that our cosmos (big bang or array of bubble cosmological systems) is all there is, limitlessness denies this: it implies that that cannot be all there is—there must be far more. If you think that the universe is essentially material, inert and devoid of awareness, limitlessness replies that while that may be our normal scientific picture it cannot be true in the ultimate picture.
Thus the metaphysics is one of the most permissive and expansive realism. It says that the universe could not be greater than it is—materially and in terms of identity and awareness. It further says that we inherit this expansive realism.
A problem of the previous section is that while the metaphysics is seen to be powerful we are not instrumentally empowered by it. In this section I consider criticisms of the previous section which will take us into the subject of ‘logic’ and which will also lead to instrumental empowerment. I will gloss over some real difficulties for which you may refer to the other narratives. However, it is not essential to read this section and you may pass over it if you wish.
We begin by enhancing the explicit meaning (formulation) of the metaphysics from the previous section—If the universe is limitless every concept of a state of affairs or being should be realized. The enhancement is the added phrase ‘concept of a’ which, since it expresses the formulation in terms of our knowledge, will enable instrumental empowerment.
However, we can conceive contradictory or paradoxical states (e.g. a swan that is entirely white and at the same time not white).
Therefore limitlessness is restricted to concepts that do not violate principles of logic.
A first problem is that this seems to be a limit. However, it is not—for our creative power includes freedom to form concepts that violate fact and logic. This is a constraint on concepts but not a limit on the universe.
There is second potential problem with the metaphysics—our knowledge of logic is far from complete. Except for a few relatively trivial if powerful cases the logics are not known to be consistent. Further, our systems of logic are far from complete.
Therefore define Logic as the requirement on concepts of referential form that they should actually refer. From the fundamental principle this may be seen to be a satisfactory formulation of the concept of ‘Logic’.
Now the term logic may sound austere. However, in the present situation it is precisely the opposite. I will now explain how the formulation in terms of Logic is the most permissive realism.
If we ask ‘What is there in the universe?’ our response will fall in one of two camps—what is there and what is not there. Focus on the second camp. If I suggest that our cosmos (big bang or array of bubble cosmological systems) is all there is—that there is nothing outside it, limitlessness implies that that cannot be all there is—there must be far more. If you think that the universe is essentially material, inert and devoid of awareness—and nothing more, limitlessness says that while that may be our normal scientific picture it cannot be true in the ultimate picture.
In other words the formulation of the meaning of the metaphysics in terms of logic is the greatest permissive realism—the universe could not be greater.
The considerations of this section do not imply that our experience and science are not valid. It does imply that common and science that they are far from complete and that the ‘exceptions’ are far greater than the rule. In other words the universe is greater and more varied without limit than seen in science and common experience.
This section is like the previous one in that it is empowering and clarifying but also in that it is not essential to the general discussion of destiny.
Already, the last sentence of the previous section is written so as to show that there is no conflict between science and experience on the one hand and the metaphysics on the other.
Science and experience has a domain of validity in which it holds as fact. The metaphysics agrees with science and experience in this domain and shows that there is far more outside the domain—far more without limit.
Is this not fantastic? The response to this concern is that the metaphysics is proved. This is precisely one reason that proof is important. And it is important to repeat that the metaphysics does not contradict science and experience.
The logical situation of the metaphysics in relation to modern science is quite parallel to the logical situation of modern physics to classical physics. In each case the newer and more comprehensive system agrees with the earlier in its valid domain but is an extension beyond that domain.
There is however a difference in the empirical situations of the metaphysics and modern science that must be addressed. A principle of evolution of science is that it should have empirical confirmation and no empirical disconfirmation so far. Empirical confirmation is necessary for it to be significant, i.e. not empty; and as long as there is no significant empirical disconfirmation modern science continues to codify what is known of the empirical universe in conceptual terms.
The metaphysics seems to lack empirical confirmation. This is not entirely true. A simple example is that the metaphysics requires that there be no indivisible particles. The standard theory of elementary particles leptons and quarks are indivisible and without structure. However, today physicists have serious reasons to think that these particles have structure.
It is more important however to see that the empirical situation of the metaphysics is different from that of a science such as physics. Physics attempts detailed theories that aspire to be empirical and universal. However, empirical content is not built into physics at the outset—physics is revealed (developed) as empirical as far as it goes by comparison with experiment; the limitlessness of the universe suggests that a truly universal physical theory is unlikely. The empirical character of the metaphysics is different. It is at a level of abstraction (in the sense of generality but not remoteness) that allows experience (the empirical) to be built in (to it). Analysis of the proof above shows that the fundamental concept is being—the universe is all being and the void is the absence of being. The development of being as a fully empirical concept (in terms of the concept of subjective awareness or experience which terms are not crucial to being but are essential to our connection to all being) may be found in the other narratives. Thus the metaphysics is fully empirical from outset.
In summary, the metaphysics is simultaneously founded and founding with regard to Logic and fact (empiricism). This stands against the standard position of the modern era (of rationalism) that that there can be no absolute metaphysics—that foundations must be relative (every foundation refers to another foundational level) or non-relative (i.e. based in unfounded axiomatic or substance). This crucial concern is addressed in the source.html.
Significance has already begun to be revealed above.
Clearly there is significance for science, especially physics. There is significance for philosophy, especially logic and metaphysics. The other narrative essays develop significance for these and other disciplines in some detail.
Here I want to talk of significance for the human endeavor.
The metaphysics shows the limitless and identity of the universe. It shows that human being realizes this identity.
However, since the universe is limitless it follows that for limited (e.g. human) form, it follows that realization is endless process—an endless journey in extent, duration, variety, summit and dissolution of being.
(For limitless form, realization is an instant.)
Some words on religion are appropriate. Here I will not enter into any pro or con conversation on religion. I will not define religion in all its aspects. It appears to me that one aspect of the religious endeavor is to know ultimate truth in ‘our time’. We may have thought that secularism is our best answer to that endeavor. However, the metaphysics shows that though secularism and science provide partial answers they are immensely limited today and—without evolution in their natures—eternally limited. The metaphysics further reveals that there is such an endeavor (whose validity is intuitive and is argued in the other narratives). We may then say that, despite deficiencies in general and deficiencies in relation to the endeavor, religion is right with respect to this priority—this value.
Doubts remain about the proof (they are detailed in other narratives).
It is crucial that the doubts do not concern absurdity, contradiction or paradox.
What is crucial about doubt here is that the guarantee of the ultimate is in question.
Doubt adds to the quest for realization an existential quality that is already there in the endlessness of realization.
The Bhagavad-Gita compares the splendor of being to a thousand suns. However, the means of realization of the Gita are squarely in practice in the present.
The approach to the ultimate is grounded in the disciplines of civilization. The disciplines may be placed in one of two classes ‘yoga’ and ‘science’. It is understood that the uses of these terms here are different than their common use. The use here is generic. Yoga emphasizes what is intrinsic to being. Science emphasizes the instrumental and also openness to discovery. You are referred to the other narratives for more on science and yoga.
These however are a beginning; they are to be built upon by experiment and thought, especially analysis and synthesis of being.
According to the metaphysics the ultimate is already at least implicit in the here and now, in ‘this’ world.
In the valid excitement of the metaphysical discoveries above we may forget the fundamentals of the previous section.
We may also forget that pain cannot be avoided. The metaphysics shows that there must be pain and disappointment. There is death.
However it is most reasonable to think that engagement and reflection make for enjoyment and effectiveness of the process of realization. The metaphysics shows that there is realization without application. However, a path to realization builds upon achievement so far—it is generally incremental.
And life and death and pain are not absolute but are revealed as gates to the unlimited.
The one universe is limitless—it could not be greater.
Our destiny is that we realize the universe. This is true for all entities. What is different is awareness of destiny.
Limitlessness means that while in limited form the way is endless. Limitlessness means that we realize unlimited form for which being the universe in its phases of acute identity is as if instant.
There seems to be no one way. We may enjoy here and now. We may engage and seek the ultimate. We complement one another; we interchange roles.
We may want to go, we may attempt to refuse but we are ever on the way.
What is different, according to engagement and attitude, is enjoyment—spirituality—and effectiveness of the process.