Part 4. METAPHYSICS :
The Paradigms of Reality

 

Prerequisite articles : Ontology  and  Duality

Supplementary/ Prerequisite Article :

Metaphysics Down the Ages

"The Spirits Warn You Twice,
The Third Time You Stand Alone"
.......................Native American

"Human beings cannot take much of reality".....T. S. Eliot

This section is an exploration into Reality, or rather the paradigms

of Reality, and the finding of the place and space of an individual,

society and culture in the general overall context of the Universe,

and particularly, in the context of this world.

 

This section is further sub-divided into twelve sub-parts  :

0. Metaphysics, What is it for ? ( This Page )

1. Metaphysics Down the Ages : A History

2. Social and Cultural Structures and Constructs

3. Religions : The Rise and Fall of Monotheism

4.The Paradigms of Culture

5. Language : Words in Expressions

6. Art and Exceptional Art

7. The Keys to Imagination

8. The Mythology of Our Time

9. Metaphysics of a Being

10. The Synthesis and Conclusion

" Sometime in the last ten years the best brains of the Occident
discovered to their amazement that we live in an Environment.
This discovery has been forced on us by the realization that we
are approaching the limits of something".....Gary Snyder

 

 

What is Metaphysics ?

"Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there
 is an idea... and ideas are bulletproof.” ― Alan Moore

Ontology & Metaphysics:

The subject of ontology is the study of the categories of things that exist

 or may exist in some domain.

'Ontos' is the Greek word for 'being', and thus ontology is the study of

or 'science' of being. More generally the question what is ..?

specifically : what is there ? and  Metaphysics : what is real ?

Ontology is the attempt to say what entities exist. It is one's list

of entities or concepts about entities, while one's metaphysics is an

explanatory theory about the nature of those entities, that is, a theory

about the ultimate underlying principle of all reality: both of time-space

existence as well as eternal/absolute reality.
 

"It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make
no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven
symphony as a variation of wave pressure.".....Albert Einstein

 

Metaphysics ( in the general use of this term ) purports to be a study of

 what is Ultimate Reality or what underlies all of Reality.

Metaphysics in this work purports to be initially an individual quest for

discovering and using control forces (like will and spirit that we are not

usually aware of, or are not normally accessible to our physical senses),

for the purpose of enhancing one's awareness of the significance of one's

existence and purpose of being in the world and the peculiarities of the

situation or circumstances that one faces.

The second step in this quest is to develop responsibility or  the 'ability to

respond' in a creative or constructive manner to the challenges that present

themselves as part of the circumstances or situations that one faces. In other

words, to find the right course of action in the face of challenging, even

conflicting situations.

The third aspect of this quest is to be able to articulate and formulate  for

oneself through appropriate expressions the concretized and consolidated

result of the experiences one has encountered as a consequence of the

exercise of responsibility and choices made in life thus far, in other words,

to attain a state of inner integrity or integration of the self.

The fourth aspect is to develop strategies for the future or in other words

to redefine and refine one's goals and purpose as result of enhanced

understanding through the above mentioned articulation or expression.

The fifth aspect is to develop the ability to engage and interact with the

world at large, in society and culture in order to test and enhance one's

articulation, expressions and understanding in a larger context, in other

words, to seek newer and larger challenges externally after the inner

challenges have been resolved into integrity. And in doing so, be able to

learn from other social, cultural worldviews (metaphysics), as also

to make your own contribution in the larger context of the world.

The sixth stage is to integrate the various worldviews (metaphysics) into

a consolidated but coherent overarching worldview (meta-metaphysics)

and articulate it in a manner so as to act as a catalyst for others to

undertake a similar quest.

And finally if none of the above works:  to make an obstinate and persistent

 attempt to find what the hell it is all about or at least find what hell is all about.

"There is a scene in T. S. Eliot's play The Cocktail Party where Celia, the
protagonist who is a typically modern, confused, alienated girl, tells the
psychiatrist: I really hope you can prove to me that I'm insane, because
if I'm not insane, then the universe is insane, and I couldn't live with that.
You see, even if you are a pessimist, like the cynics, even if you think you
are insane as Celia hopes to find that she is, even then, life is meaningful,
the Universe is meaningful. It is our fault, it is not reality's fault ( if we think
that life or the Universe is not meaningful. Thus there is hope of reconciling
with reality.
But if there is no meaning, no point or purpose or good in objective reality,
why then it does not matter who we are and what we do. If there is no golden
castle at the end of the road, then it doesn't matter which road we choose.
If the play is just sound and fury, signifying nothing, then no matter what lines
we speak, we can't make it meaningful. If the play is pointless and valueless,
then it doesn't matter if you are a good actor or bad one, it doesn't matter how
you interact with the other actors. Life is like a play and the three questions
of ethics: individual, social and ultimate ethics correspond to the characters,
the plot and the theme. But if there is no theme, the characters cannot be
either heroes or villains"........TMS P. Kreeft.

The word took on the connotation, in popular usage, of matters transcending
 material reality. In the philosophical sense, however, particularly as opposed
to the use of the word by occultists, metaphysics applies to all reality and
 is distinguished from other forms of inquiry into reality only by its
generality.

Among the medieval scholastic philosophers, metaphysics was known as the
“transphysical science” on the assumption that, by means of it, the scholar
 could make the transition philosophically from the physical world to a world
 beyond sense perception. The 13th-century scholastic philosopher and
 theologian St Thomas Aquinas declared that the cognition of God, through
 a causal study of finite sensible beings, was the aim of metaphysics.
........Microsoft ® Encarta

" Metaphysics is the notion that there is something like true being - not
merely apparent being. True being as behind, above or within the
apparent being or appearances of this world."
...P.Carey on Plato Metaphysics (TTC)“

 

This term is a western philosophical term that apparently signifies a study of

what underlies all of Reality, the term arose from the Socrates-Plato quest

for an answer or articulation to the question : what is virtue ? This and

similar questions like what is justice ? led Plato to the hypothesis that above

and beyond ( primal as well as transcending ) the apparent forms of virtue,

justice, truth, goodness, beauty etc, are the abstract or unchanging essence

 of these qualities - in other words the hypothesis that there was as abstract

 core of reality primal to and transcending the sense observed  world of

appearances. Socrates and Plato posited and attempted to articulate the

first literary, non-religious conception of the absolute and eternal essence

of reality and the fundamental point of their thesis was that this was

not to be found in the physical world of appearances - that there was a

fundamental distinction between the two realms or aspects of reality -

the world of appearances was ever-changing, i.e. temporal and the

the other realm was absolute, essentially unchanging, not located

or limited to a specific time or place - metaphorically above us.

"The difference between being and seeming is crucial to all the dialogs.
In some ways the source of philosophy is to be found in the distinction
 between the way things appear to be ( seeming) and the way things
really are ( being). This distinction is very important to Philosophy, but is
not at all important to the sophist. The sophist says : I don't care if I seem
 to persuade you or I really persuade you, so long as you act as if I have
persuaded you, it's nothing to me.
Notice that in all the dialogs none of the sophists spend any time in defining
 any terms. Sophists thrive on ambiguity. Socrates however is going to move
 from words to definitions, that is, from symbols to meanings because he thrives
 on real, articulate knowledge, knowledge that is held together logically by a logos
 ( account or reason ). Socrates rises to the challenge, a challenge that he has set
 up by luring the sophists into the argument ( about justice). We have to have a
radicalized concept of justice and to prove that justice is good in and of itself,
that justice is good as an end, not as a means." .....TTC M. Sugrue


But presently there is no consensus about what exactly

this term refers to, that is, what field of human endeavor does this come

under or over : philosophy, religion, science, art etc, but is usually taken

to mean one out of four or five branches of philosophy. But here, there is

no attempt to classify it under or over conventional categories.

Metaphysics ( here in this work ) is an attempt to comprehend and define the

nature of Reality in all its aspects of time and space : not only the ultimate,

absolute and eternal, but more importantly what is Reality as a living human

 being in this world (the reality of life and death ), by a coherent description,

explanation or model of what is Reality - what is real ( and to expose what

is fake or unreal or illusory ), its  various elements or components, their

 properties, attributes and relationships, the  limitations of the model/s,

their applicability or pragmatic use etc. Both the rational and the intuitive

processes are to be taken as equally vital in this quest. Experiences beyond

the ordinary are indispensable, but the greater importance is how these

experiences are integrated into one's core understanding by the rational

process so that others may also gain from expressions resulting from

enhanced understanding.

"Patterns of reasoning are something that you can understand only by
reasoning them through yourself. Conceptual clarity is at the core of
any philosophical inquiry, the other core emphasis is on rational argument
with the entire scope of the history of human thought as a resource.
The Philosopher’s search for rational argument is for rationally compelling
reasons for belief, why one theory is closer to reality than another."
.....TTC- Questions of Value - P. Grim

"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.
The last
is to say - thank you"
.....Max de Pree (leadership is an art)

 

 METAPHYSICS AND PHILOSOPHY :

Artists who live and work with spiritual values cannot and should not remain
indifferent to a conflict in which the highest values of humanity and
civilization are at stake. (Pablo Picasso)
 

 Philosophy is the development of an intellectual art of asking/articulating questions
 that address/inquire into fundamental, perennial and eternal human concerns and to
provide powerfully effective and pragmatic answers to these questions that enlighten
and enhance ‘humanity’ in order to enhance personal, social, cultural and political
norms, ethics and morals.
(Humanity definition: the abstract sum of human actions, achievements and creativity
 that represents the quintessence of all that is human, which in concise terms can be
 stated as moral action, justice and ethics.)

The process of Philosophy is initiated by engaging in dialectic or dialog in which key
terms or concepts related to fundamental and perennial concerns about human nature
 and existence are articulated and developed so as to have an effective communication
 technology for discourse, analysis and synthesis. These are the: What is X? How does
 it relate to Y? type of questions. The classic Socratic initiation relies on a provocative
 rhetoric that unsettles the existing way of entrenched thinking by generating a
 passionate commitment for inquiry, without which there can be no philosophy

The final concern of Philosophy is: Why? Broadly, philosophy is the art of reasoning by
 developing and using linguistic conceptual tools for inquiry into fundamental and
perennial questions about human nature, purpose and meaning: why do we exist?
Why should there be something rather than nothing? For what purpose or end (Telos)
is the cosmos? What is the underlying principle or force that orders, interconnects
and interrelates everything as means and resources towards the
overall Telos of the cosmos?

 

"The very mention of their names, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, more than
two thousand years after their deaths, still conjures up for us the image
of that enigmatic figure - the philosopher. The philosopher who as such
disdains as such the silly, the ephemeral, the mundane things, and who
calls upon us to concern ourselves instead to the handful of truly important
for a human being : what is virtue, what is vice?, what is just, what is unjust?
what is good, what is bad? Above all: how are we to live? or what is the best
life for a human being?".......TTC Bartlett

"Philosophy : The rational pursuit of truths which are conceived as
answers to perennial and eternal questions. Metaphysics & Ontology :
The study of  being, the ultimate nature and structure of the universe.
What is out there and how does it relate to everything else."
….TTC Daren Staloff

 

"Philosophy was meant to be that kind of life changing thing ( Plato's
transformation) in the ancient world. Socrates would have laughed at
the idea of a department of Philosophy. He would say 'do you have
love departments, life departments and truth departments too?
Philosophy was not some department for Socrates, but a way of life."
 .....TMS P. Kreeft



"Philosophy : is asking fundamental and perennial questions in a
provocative and challenging manner." ....TTC D. Roochnik


"There are three kind of fundamental things in the world: phusis or natural
things, techne or crafted or artificial things (not found naturally) and nomos
or conventional things like money. From the point of view of philosophy the
existence of the natural things is somehow truer than the other things.
The natural things are real things, they are the beings, properly speaking.
Thus philosophy is the attempt to replace opinion about the most important
things with the knowledge of them. Knowledge about the way the world
is in truth. In other words philosophy is the search for knowledge of the
world as it must be, according to nature, according to the natural order
that we can observe, but we didn't create it.
IN short, philosophy is the attempt to grasp the natural necessity governing
the whole, the cosmos. Philosophy then stands and falls with the ideas of
nature. We naturally assume that there are fixed, unalterable way or order of
things that we human beings didn't make, and which we cannot
fundamentally change. At the dawn of philosophy, nature had to be discovered
the natural things had to be disentangled from the artificial ones on the
one hand and the merely conventional, on the other.
All philosophers are interested in the natural necessities governing this world. The
earliest thinkers in this regard were the pre-Socratics. We see fro their writing that
they were all united in trying to discover fundamental causes underlying the events
we observe in the world. They were trying to explain through a fixed cause all the
happening, even of heavenly bodies, and for a basic element  beneath or behind
the world of appearances - like air or water, or fire.....TTC R. C. Bartlett

"Philosophers want to understand, explore and expand the concepts that are
 expressed in our world, and the fundamental ways in which we conceive
the world. Often one finds clashes between concepts and paradoxes or
inconsistencies between them. These problem cases are also potentially
most revealing – that’s where the conceptual action is – a possibility of
deeper conceptual understanding.
One technique is the use of thought experiments – to test the extremes.
It may not give the final result but a good working idea of what you are
dealing with. Thought experiments are intellectual probes regarding
concepts.
We may use a concept everyday, but to get to a real understanding of
that concept is to see how it works in an extreme case - only when we
test that in some outrageous thought experiment.
Crucial also is the role of argument. Philosophers look for deep questions
about fundamental concepts, and finding reasons to support different,
conflicting claims. These reasons take the form of arguments which
are rationally exportable - that binds the listener as it binds the
presenter of the argument ( by its force)."
....P Grimm ....TTC Questions of Value

"Ethics is thinking about good and bad, right and wrong;  meta-ethics
is thinking about ethics. Meta-ethics asks questions about how moral
statements are linguistically meaningful, how moral reasoning differs
from reasoning about facts, for instance whether the conclusion of
any moral argument can be certain, whether any value judgment can
be infallible, and how we make these moral judgments.
We first make moral choices, then we reflect upon these choices (ethics),
 only then do we make reflections on our ethical reflections. It's like
making a movie on the making of  movies about life.
Everyone's ethics depends upon their metaphysics. Ethics must depend
upon metaphysics because what is good for man depends upon what is
(their world view or metaphysics) and upon anthropology - that is, what
is good for man depends upon what  man is.
Like Socrates, Aristotle takes the middle position that it is universally true,
and objectively true good, but is not easy to find.

The middle path he says is between the rhetorician and mathematician.
It is equally foolish to accept a probable reason from a mathematician, and
demonstrable proof from a rhetorician. He thinks ethics is neither maths
nor rhetoric, but between the two. Ethics is not clear and non-controversial
like maths nor is it man made and artificial like rhetoric."
........................................................................
...TMS P. Kreeft

"Socrates will assert that the ills that plague cities will cease only with the
coming together of absolute political power and wisdom. In other words, the
chaos that is political life, can be set to right only if philosophers come to rule.
What was the main theme of justice in the Republic becomes more and more
about philosophy. The philosopher quietly replaces the just human being as
the peak, the full or complete manifestation of the 'healthy human being'.
This does not mean that the philosopher is unjust, far from it, but he seems to
possess that wholly inward looking health of soul, which as a happy by-product
is compatible with what passes as justice in the ordinary sense. The Philosopher
will pay back his debt, almost always obey the law.
Socrates uses a neat trick by introducing philosophy as an absolutely crucial
means to a political end. Philosophy is not only not useless to the political
community, it is also going to be it's salvation. But what gradually becomes
clear, is that what was the means, will become the end, that is, philosophy
becomes the peak way of life simply, whether or not it can guide political
communities properly.
The ultimate aim of Socrates in the Republic is a defense of philosophy, of
his own way of life, but he has to defend it so that it becomes acceptable
to a group of non-philosophers, which is a group we all belong to, to begin
with. As the overt theme of the Republic suggests, the thing we take most
seriously, before turning to philosophy, is justice. Knowing what it's
demands are, and how we can comply with them.
We take most seriously, our hope that our actual political community, with
all its defects, might be made just, even perfectly just. This is the deepest
reason, I think, why Socrates suggests to the boys, that they build a new
and better community. He encourages them to give voice to their deep moral
hopes, that naturally take the form of political hopes - an absolutely necessary
first step, in coming to think about those hopes seriously, and thus setting
themselves to the path of philosophy.
....TTC Bartlett

There is however an important relationship between two key terms in

 this work,  a relationship between philosophy and metaphysics in the

sense that philosophy is considered here as a process : an attempt to

think clearly and coherently and metaphysics as the result : a working

set of hypothesis or theory that can then be applied to philosophy, i.e.,

to think even more clearly and coherently in order to take on tougher

and tougher challenges of real life situations and to provide meaning

to seemingly meaningless and chaotic modern day personal and

social conditions, and particularly in ethics.

" Philosophy is the hypothetical interpretation of the unknown – as in
metaphysics or the  inexactly known as in ethics and political theory."
....Will Durant

Let me straightaway say here that in this work metaphysics does not

mean making an exotic theory that claims to explain everything in

a convenient manner, but  the thrust here initially is to show how

such a sophisticated sounding word can so easily obscure rather

 than clarify.

 

 

METAPHYSICS WITHOUT SUBSTANCE :

GOD AND THE EQUATIONS

"Let us resolve in this voyage of ours to put in only at the ports of
light – to keep out of the muddy streams of metaphysics and the
many sounding seas of theological dispute."......Will Durant

What must be avoided first of all are oversimplified and convenient

explanations. The most common and convenient explanations

( metaphysics in its general meaning ) are :

1. God is the only Reality or if you please, Ultimate Reality. For

non-theistic monism, substitute God with "X", any mono entity or

thing or whatever you fancy - Dao, Brahman etc. Note : Everything

else is an illusion, so just pick one and stick with it till death, hell or

high water.

2. A set of "Laws", mathematically express-able that describe the motion

or properties of all possible objects in the Universe. ( As you may have

guessed, this is the metaphysics ( theory of reality ) underlying Science

 - but a final theory of everything is still at large, still the Scientists are

 no less confident, and Humanity  eagerly awaits the "final solution"  or

"final equation" that will find an absolute solution for all their miseries.

Meanwhile there are the options of drugs, meditation, religion,

electrode implantation in the pleasure centre, etc.)  

 

METAPHYSICS : BELIEFS WITHOUT EXPERIENCE

If asked from a believer whether his or her belief about something ( ex.

God ) is based upon direct personal experience or based upon what

"authoritative people" have said, most people find it difficult to answer

such a simple question and evade it by saying that such a question has

no meaning because what they believe is self-evident truth which cannot

be questioned, but few truthful individuals do admit to the truth : that

what they believe is only what others have told them, and they simply

 have never dared question that belief - it never even  occurred to them

to doubt what most people insist as true. For some this question itself

comes as a mild to severe shock - that is, if they are confess to the truth

- that they have no direct personal experience to support their belief, it

had to be accepted by them as a matter of something called "faith",

again what that "faith" means is not clear to them, but upon close

examination reveals to be  nothing else but social conformity or

social acceptability, and from their point of view it is unthinkable,

even outright threatening to doubt or question the validity of

their beliefs

"The people who say you are not facing reality actually mean that you
are not facing their idea of reality. Reality is above all else a variable.
With a firm enough commitment, you can sometimes create a reality
which did not exist before".....Margaret Halsey

 

METAPHYSICS AND MYSTICISM

If metaphysics is accepted here as a term referring to description, words,

statements, models of reality, then it should be clear that every adult

human being today "has a metaphysics" in the sense that everyone

makes statements about what is real and what is not, even a mystic

who typically makes a statement that reality cannot be described.

The sophist's ( or mystic's) position : 'Nothing exists, nothing can be known,
nothing can be communicated. I am a great teacher. You have this silly naive
idea that words correspond to things. Nay. There are no things to correspond
to, and there are no words even. Nothing is real. Everything is what you want
 it to be and if you can get what you want, then you can get what you want.
It makes no difference if it makes any sense or not. Those are all illusions.'

So the whole world is reduced to illusion, and so the word illusion itself
breaks up because there is no reality to compare it to. It all breaks up into a
complete incoherent chaos. Gorgias is an apostle of chaos....TTC   M Sugrue

 

Most people, when asked about what they hold to be real/ reality  will

start describing it in the terms and lingo of an established doctrine of

a particular religion or an authoritative "rock hard" latest "theory of

everything" that is being propounded by the scientific establishment.

Even the mystic is making a correct statement from his own point

of view that whatever he experiences about reality or what is real,

he himself is unable to describe because he lacks the ability or the

linguistic talent to do so. But the mistake that the mystic makes is

that he does not acknowledge his own lack of ability, but rather

insists that no one has the ability, or can have this ability, again

simply because all mystics before him have said so.

"The only way out is the way through, just as you cannot escape
 from death except by dying. Being unable to write, you must
examine in writing this being unable, which becomes for the
 present --henceforth? --the subject to which you
are condemned".....Howard Nemerov
 

The mystic does not believe in the value of self-expression and human

communication, human diversity and human capabilities. For the mystic

the only worthy human endeavor is the experience of "ultimate reality",

the dissolution of the "separated self" and it's merger into "ultimate

reality". How and why such a "separated-ness"  has happened in the

first place is of no concern to the mystic - rather he will deny any

such thing - then start calling "separated-ness" as an illusion from

which only he is free, and the rest of the world suffers from, and so

does not "understand' the mystic. The only way to "understand" he

insists is to first of all give up all your thoughts, shut of your mind, and

then bingo ! , no questions arise ! That's mystical enlightenment.

"The difficulty with Heraclites ( idea) is that when we extrapolate it into
Protagoras, we find it impossible to talk to each other, as we are all
talking our own language, and there are as many languages as there
are people, as people change over time and at every instance you have
a new language, a new thought, new perceptions and experiences.
This utterly atomizes  the whole realm of discourses and the whole
realm of thought. In other words it destroys the logos. Allows us only
to talk to ourselves. We make noise but it means only gibberish.
Parmenides understands that problem - says that pluralism only
destroys speech. The problem we are going to find is that Parmenides
ends up destroying speech too. The 'black hole' of physics is ( analog to)
Parmenides' one - a logical entity that has such a strong logical force
sucks everything into it and undoes all distinctions. The whole of
senses is illusory and the whole of the other realm is this 'one thing'.
All that we can say then is : Being Is. But we cannot even distinguish
between 'Being' and 'Is' . Even the 'Being' and 'Is' collapse. We cannot
distinguish between the articulation and the thing. Then we just have
..............(silence). This is (the same as Indian mysticism - one 'aum'
that stands for everything). We can sit around and gaze at our navels
and chant 'aum' - the one universal symbol that says that the world
of the senses is entirely illusory.
TTC.......M. Sugrue

SCIENCE AND METAPHYSICS

"Science is analytical description, philosophy is synthetic interpretation.
 Science wishes to resolve the whole into parts, the organism into organs,
and the obscure into the known. It does not inquire into the values and ideal
possibilities of things, nor into their total and final significance. It is content
to show their present actuality and operation. It narrows its gaze resolutely to
 the nature and process of things as they are. But the philosopher is not content
 to describe the fact – he wishes to ascertain its relation to experience in
general and thereby to get to its meaning and worth.

He combines things in interpretative synthesis. He tries to put together
better than before
that great unity that the inquisitive scientist has
analytically taken apart. Science tells us how to heal and how to kill.
It reduces the death rate in retail and then kills us in wholesale in war.
But only wisdom – desire coordinated in the light of all experience can
tell us when to heal and when to kill. To observe process and construct
 means is science – to criticize and coordinate ends is philosophy. And
because in these days our means and instruments have multiplied beyond
our interpretation and synthesis of ideals and ends, our life is full of
 sound and fury –signifying nothing.
Science without philosophy, facts without perspective and valuation
cannot save us from havoc and despair".....Will Durant

On the other extreme, scientists also make statements about reality, but

do not call that metaphysics, but science itself, and assume that all reality

is describable by fundamental equations that denote fundamental "laws of

nature" that are absolute and unchangeable and from which the universe

has "evolved", starting with a "big bang".

"In painting, as in the other arts, there's not a single process, no matter
 how insignificant, which can be reasonably made into a formula. You
come to nature with your theories, and she knocks them all flat."
........Auguste Renoir

The term metaphysics is now widely used in many different contexts, but the

 main context in  which it is used here is in terms of the study or analysis of

non-physical Reality and its relation to the physical and the significance of both.

The physical aspect, alone by itself as complete, has already been analyzed

fairly comprehensively by Scientists in their domain of the Physical Sciences to

such an extent that it is now generally believed and taught almost religiously

that there is no Reality beyond the Physical. And anything beyond which

cannot be repeatedly physically verified by all eminent scientists

at any place,  time and conditions of their choosing and methodology, is

  classified as imaginary or psychological.

[No conclusive and coherent picture of the past has been presented by the loose
fragments of data available, dating methods are also fallible, and finally all facts
 are subject to interpretation depending upon who is making those interpretations,
which filters are being used, what assumptions have been made, whether these are
 consciously acknowledged, etc. Anthropology is too grounded in science to even make
good theories about the essential nature of human beings, whereas Boas wanted
anthropology to be based upon History and not science. Jung and few others have
pointed out the flaw in trying to understand the human in purely material terms
that science is confined to. Consequently we will continue to go around in circles.

Jung found no support from scientists simply because the manifestation of archetypes
( which are in the non-physical or collective unconscious as Jung put it) are of psychic
 origin and not material origin, thus verification of unpredictable experienced events
 that have no material or physical source is beyond the narrow domain in which science
 is confined to. Jung wanted this domain of scientific investigation to be expanded so as
 to save psychology from being doomed by the materialists, but by then the materialists
 had taken over psychology along with anthropology, history etc].g_ryder..HPost

"Spirituality leaps where science cannot yet follow, because
science must always test and measure, and much of reality
and human experience is immeasurable".......Starhawk
 

The  underlying assumption here therefore is that Reality is not all

physical.  And  if someone is uncomfortable with this assumption,

then I suppose the right place for them is a university or laboratory

where there are meticulous and elaborate methods and procedures

 for studying Reality or at least, Physical Reality.

"As far as the laws of Mathematics refer to reality, they are not
certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
..................Albert Einstein.

 

ENERGY OR FLUX METAPHYSICS

It is worth mentioning here that another kind of metaphysics has

at its core assumption that all of Reality consists of only a sort of

"energy" or "flux" and that "matter" or the physical is only one of

the manifestations of this energy. This kind of metaphysics is not

incompatible  with this work,   since the underlying  basis of this

metaphysics  is  the  same - the  assumption that Reality is not

purely Physical.

The  only metaphysics that is incompatible  with this work is that

in  which  the  underlying  assumption  is  that  the  empirical  world

(physical)  is all of existence,  there being nothing existing beyond

the sense observed physical universe, for with this core assumption

we  are  then in the domain of physical sciences which have so far

failed to demonstrate a coherent model of Reality, only masses of

equations whose human significance even the scientists have been

unable to interpret. Furthermore, scientists do not allow any critical

questioning of their methods and assumptions, thereby sharply

limiting their field of vision.

"A good critic is the sorcerer that makes some hidden spring gush
forth unexpectedly under our feet"......Francois Mauriac
 

METAPHYSICS AND RELIGION

On the other extreme of religion, metaphysics is a closed chapter, the

predominant view being that "revelations" about reality have all been made

to the founders of that particular religion, and since these revelations are

considered to be the last and final word  ( having come straight from the

 horse's mouth, so to speak ), there is nothing else left except to follow the

commandments laid out. Metaphysics is not an open field but restricted

 to a few absolute sounding concepts like "soul" or "ultimate" or "eternal", and

statements about these are not to be subjected to interpretation or analysis,

and especially so by the non-believers of that religion.

 

At the very extreme are mystics who proclaim that reality is beyond

any description, and nothing can be said about reality, and then in the

same breath proceed to describe it as "pure", "mystical", "ultimate",

"God", "truth", "the One", "everything", "nothing", "non-duality",

"undifferentiated", "formless", "love", "beauty", Etc etc. Depending

upon the cultural ( !) background of the mystic, usually one word

becomes the favorite and all other words are "illusions", or

not the "true".

As far as the mystics are concerned, metaphysics is merely speculation

about reality by people of lesser level of mystical evolution, and that

once a mystical union is attained with ultimate reality, all metaphysics

ceases, and in any case metaphysics is not the way towards ultimate

reality, but rather away from it - is their attitude.


[There are two domains of understanding based upon two distinct world views.
One is the material world view of science which is necessarily confined only to the
 physical, material world, and has severe limitations because it is based upon the
 unexamined assumption that the material world is all there is.
 The other world view is that of religion (in this age it is organized, by which I mean it
follows a pattern based upon scriptures which are mostly outdated) which has more severe
 limitations because it is based upon doctrines rather than genuine faith/religious experience.
In between these two world views lies the no man's land of exploration and adventure,
and whosoever ventures there does so on his or her own resources, but finds no common
 ground that can reconcile the two extreme world views. The whole point is that there is no
clear ground upon which communication and dialog or dialectic that can take place between
 these extremes, and that is a colossal human failure.]...post by g_ryder

"Unlike Hegel, the religious is not the dialectical synthesis of the
aesthetic and the ethical. For Hegel the third emerged as a synthesis
of the two - thesis and anti-thesis, but for Kierkegaard the third, the
religious is not the synthesis of the first two. The religious is some
what like the aesthetic, that is in the sense that it is individual, not
social - it is the absolute unmediated relation between the individual
and God ( Reality).
Kierkegaard's main task is to understand this third category - the religious;
and he claims that this has never been understood, and the Hegelian attempt
 to merge the social, the rational and the religious has made this task harder
than ever. Kierkegaard asserts that the religious by its nature cannot explain
itself to us, and the ethical is constitutionally incapable of understanding
the religious. He denies that the commonly held notion that the ethical and
religious work together.
The transition between the two is very difficult to understand : how could
someone move from the aesthetic to the ethical, or even the aesthetic to
the religious. It appears there is no ladder - no dialectical progress, no
pedagogy that could make this transition - here again Kierkegaard is
thoroughly unlike Hegel. The types are in-commensurable; you can't
get there form here, or walk from one to the other, and especially can't
get to the third, and the third does not incorporate the first two. It is
the distinct highest other choice.
Between these, one cannot choose with reason, because the reasons
that can be given for the choice can only come from the form of life
you are currently embodying. If you are embodying the ethical form
of life, then that ethical form of life can't give you reasons to leave
it behind, it can only give you reasons to stay ethical. This is what
is in-commensurability.
 TTC....L. Cahoone

"Kierkegaard opposes the close link that Kant forges between  the
religious and the ethical, which according to Kant are perfectly
integrated, but which according to Kierkegaard the religious can
suspend the ethical ( the teleological suspension of the ethical),
can require us to transgress it. In this sense the religious also
opposes the social, goes contrary to the 'categorical imperative'
of Kant."  TTC  T. Roberts

 

CONVENTIONAL, ORIENTAL PHILOSOPHY

 In the philosophical domain, both eastern and western philosophies

talk in terms of metaphysical entities as absolute, and not as a working

construct derived from their social, cultural upbringing or as a result

of their own experiences. Even after insisting that "ultimate reality"

or the absolute or the essence of reality cannot be talked about and

so cannot be put into words, a whole lot is then expounded about it,

and a large set of teachings are propounded.

Such meaningless contradictions arise only because of their ignorance

of human nature and their own desires to seek agreement for their

ideas about "ultimate reality".

"Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that
the reality is going to deal with you".....Alex Hailey


WESTERN PHILOSOPHY

With the exception of a very few brilliant professors, Western philosophy has become defunct

 because of a lack of interest. The general impression has become widespread that with

 science in full flow, and technology making us more and more comfortable, who needs philosophy?

Philosophy is possible only when questions arise that must be asked and we are able to articulate

 questions for which so far we have no clear answers or the answers given so far are inadequate,

 insufficient, inarticulate or have led us into a 'dead end' or 'black hole'. This has happened

 to Philosophy - it has died. We no longer even know what are the relevant questions that

 NEED to be articulated - the necessary drive, the need has lapsed into our unconscious.

Perhaps if this need is regenerated in schools we may make some progress. Otherwise we

 will continue to learn and teach only data and information about smarter machines while

 we ourselves become dumber, but fooling ourselves that we are 'evolving' and that we can

easily prove this. The first step in Philosophy is to have the necessary curiosity and the

 constant needling feeling that there are fundamental and perennial questions that haven't

 even been sufficiently articulated, much less an attempt made to find answers for.

 

 

The Difficulties in Metaphysics

 "We are beings already in the world. The philosophical project of starting
without biases, prejudices and interpretations would be as stupid as to
have someone start speaking Shakespeare without having a language.
In a way it is the deep and powerful blow that Heidegger lays against
Philosophy as a discipline that can start from scratch and tell us who
we are - to start from a clean slate and build it up. No, the way we
experience our lives is that we wake up and we are already here -
we are 'thrown' in the world. You are born somewhere, some place,
some class, some gender ...all of that already comes along and from
the minute you begin to speak a language you 'learn' a culture and all
that comes along with it, and if you don't, they will beat you to death.
In terms of the past, we are already in a world, in  terms of the present,
care reveals us as trying to be at 'home' - trying to feel that you are
in the right place - that you belong in that place. In terms of the future
we are already ahead of ourselves. Dasein reveals itself in terms of
the past as being thrown into a world, in terms of the present in trying
to articulate our place within it, in terms of the future in projecting
our self  forward. Heidegger realises that we can't just abandon this old
philosophical project, and tell the story and hope to catch its universal
features, without looking into the 'moods' of Dasein . 'Anxiety' is the
 mood that reveals what Dasein really is - the formal existential
character of Dasein. It is not a mood for which a doctor or psychiatrist
can find a palliative because it is an 'anxiety' before the fear of nothing-
-ness, 'anxiety' in the face of death. It is an underlying structure of
what it means to be human.  It's like if you take out the anxiety,
you take out the self. The same view that Kierkegaard holds of
'despair'. It is not merely a mood that comes upon you once in a
while, but an underlying structure of what it means to be human.
These are not symptoms that Phil Donahue or Oprah Winfrey can
fix - to be asked to be cured of your fundamental despair, your
anxiety is to be cured of what little self you may have. It is our
anxiety that makes us look at how we came up from the past -
Heidegger describes it as 'we were abandoned to the they -
the Dasman - the crowd ."
.....Rick Roderick TTC Self Under Siege
 

Since a quest in metaphysics ( an attempt to rationally comprehend

and express this comprehension of  reality ) must necessarily begin

 ( or be sourced ) from within ( not to deny external stimuli ), the prime

 difficulty is in the first step itself : where does one start from ?

The first thing to be cautious about is : not to make the mistake that

most "intelligent modern civilized men" make and which the so

called "archaic man" or "primitive man" didn't make, and that is to

follow the metaphysical doctrines or definitive systems of others

 - especially of those claiming divine authority or even more

paralyzing : the authority of the mathematical equation !

This is therefore a tall order to begin with : to set aside the amassed

authority of the known world. Any one who provides a creative output

to the literature in metaphysics does to some extent or the other

challenge or discard earlier established authority in metaphysics,

so there is some consolation there for the explorer's first steps.

( Famous examples : Socrates, Descartes...)

This however does not imply that one should not study the earlier

literature in metaphysics - only to take it with a pinch of salt, to

hold it at arms length till such time that some of it ( all never does )

does rhyme with one's own experience, as also provides some

base  or reference material for one's own creative output.

 

The Self As Initiator

 "Trying  to live your life by the abstract philosophy of Hegel is like
trying to find your way around Denmark with a map on which the
country appears at the size of a pin head.".....Soren Kierkegaard

The first and foremost requirement for a quest in metaphysics comes

 from the innermost feeling that the traditional explanations or the

explanations "handed down"  by our society and culture are either

outright flawed ( some of them ), or inadequate, or unsatisfactory,

or not good enough or simply outdated.

The most important point is that the motivations for an exploration

must come from within oneself - and that such in-source motivations

  must  necessarily be the starting point.

The existentialist philosophy does to a great extent focus upon the

individual as the source and initiator from which any inquiry or

metaphysics must begin and build up.

Apart from having an inner force ( motivation or desire ) for a quest

towards exploring the unknown, there should occur some incident

that leads to an experience of such a profound nature of the kind

that sort of disrupts the every-day routine and ordinary experience.

The following kinds of experiences are of great significance to

fuel an explorative motivation :

1. Experiences that disrupt or warp the linearity or continuity

 of the space-time axis. ( Ex. suspension of time )

2. Experiences that expose or point to some flaw in the logic

 or rationality that one has acquired as a result of one's

social upbringing, leading one to inquire into the very

roots or structures of beliefs or assumptions behind

that logic or rationality.

3. Experiences with a strong, synthetic visionary content.

4. Experiences of Non-Physical entities. Again these are

non-essentially synthetic. ( Meaning that although non-

physical entities may have an essence or vitality of their

own, they are accessible only by the synthetic process,

not by the linear, rational process).

5. Experiences of sudden insights/ leaps or jumps during

thinking deeply about something.

6. Experiences of certain revelations or truths about one

self or about the circumstances or situations in one's life

that appear to connect or link together or appear as

strange coincidences.

7. Experiences of inexplicable emotions not related to

any physiological condition or associated with a physical

event.

8. Powerful dreams that lead to a long lasting impression or

visualizations, that may or may not be of immediate meaning

or significance.

9. A crisis that challenges one's mental or emotional balance or

that is a challenging moral choice situation or moral dilemma

that involves making decisive choices entirely from within

one's own resources.

10. A crisis or situation that is life threatening - in other

words - leads to some experience of one's death that is not

suppressed by philosophical or psychological mumbo-jumbo.

( 'Everyone's going to die someday, you know, so why fear

death ?' is the most typical )

11. Shocking or nerve wrecking experiences that lead

to an internal churning or a conflict of beliefs that are

strong yet contradictory in a manner that needs to be

resolved in a breakthrough of core understanding.

12. Strong feelings that compel towards an action, but

without apparent logical reasons to do so.

Self Sustenance and Regeneration

To make a crude analogy here : a motorcar has a system of putting it into

motion - the electrical self-start system that has a battery that provides the

initial energy for the motor to set the engine into its cyclic motion as also to

 recharge the battery. If the energy of the battery gets depleted  (due to disuse

 or other reasons ) or wasted, then the only way the car is going to start is by

 being  "pushed" by or from an external source ( which can include changing

or charging the battery etc). Similarly, for a human being there is a finite

initial quantum of "motivational energy" which can regenerate itself only

if it is used by the self to get the being into motion towards its goal of

accomplishment or fulfillment through action or expression. But if that

initial capacity is lost or suppressed or misdirected, then the self gets

derailed, and can only be put into motion again by an external force,

and that too only if the brakes are not on ! The analogy thus differs in

this one crucial aspect : that while it is easier and simpler to get a car

moving whose self has failed ( change the battery etc ), it is very difficult

for a human being to be on an upward spiral of motion once the initial

motivational energy has been dissipated or misdirected. In a social situation

this effect multiplies exponentially : once a leader of a society misleads or

misdirects or simply even fails to keep the process or momentum of

leadership selection or regeneration going,  the entire society loses its

direction,  a course correction becomes a near impossibility after that.

This is what is so tragic about human societies - that this story keeps

repeating over and over.

The silver lining in this dark outlook is that for an individual human

 being it is not as fatalistic and certainly not hopeless, provided the

 individual being is able to sustain his/her hard- earned integrity

 and purpose.

 And so everything depends upon how that initial energy resource

is utilized and directed so that it regenerates.

 

Once a regenerative momentum is attained, the quest

for metaphysics opens up - in its toughest form

 - the defining and refining of reality itself.

But lets take a step back to when and how

 it is initiated in its deepest roots ...

 The Self Starts From An Expanding

Awareness Of MYSTERY and WONDER

Such a quest may also be initiated by non- ordinary experiences like :

 1) one's strangest of experiences whereby one is left with a sense of

mystery about the world or one's existence.

2) An experience of the  suspension of time, of timelessness.

3 ) An experience of tragedy or chaos or absurdity of life that makes

 one wonder about the purpose and meaning of life, and especially

one's own life.

The Domain of Metaphysics

"Thus the notorious teleological suspension of the ethical in Fear and Trembling
can be seen as part of Kierkegaard’s nowadays uncontroversial insistence
that systems of shared social norms are purely historical phenomena set against
his  championing of the view that a true system of values derives directly from an
unconditioned transcendent source, unmediated by contingent and merely finite
facts of preference. His target is the common assumption in his time that facts of
preference are both historical and expressions of an unfolding Absolute. The
claims in the Postscript for the subjectivity of truth can be read as the requirement
that the relation to the unconditional source of value be one of inwardness
and personal devotion both to the source itself and, through it, though
distributively rather than collectively, to mankind."
.....Oxford Companion on Kierkegaard

 In this work, however, metaphysics is given importance because in

this work "ultimate reality" is not the focus, but "current reality" and

its linear, pragmatic application for a human being towards an

efficient, coherent, meaningful and moral existence.

In the context of the individual, any model of reality should

be such that most explorative individuals can relate to in

such a way that it has interpretive value for individual

experiences.

In a social context, a metaphysics must be able to integrate

and communicate across various cultures, rather than

become a tool for domination, that is, any metaphysics

must have a forceful ethical content.

For both these purposes, a metaphysics in its core must

emphasise that it is individuals who have to seek or create

communicable entities, for these cannot be imposed upon,

and so there has to be an artistic emphasis in any meta-

physics apart from a basic understanding. Therefore no

terms, concepts and beliefs should imply definiteness, or

rather; certainty, nor should these be so vague as to be

clouded in hazy mysticism.

"The radical form of modern literature has a epistemological and philosophical
 dimension  The self reflexiveness, the self consciousness of  modern fiction
 aims to remind the reader that no representation of life is life itself ; that all
formulation, categories and strategies for representing the world have their
 limitation. The representations we make of experience not only are limited
 because the instruments of representation have their limits, but also because
 our human subjectivity colors the way we understand or respond to or
describe the world."

  .....TTC -Masterworks of Early 20th Century Literature (Audio)...David Thorburn

 

It is disastrous to provide a "ready made metaphysics" that

proposes to apply to all people of all cultures. Therefore,

any metaphysics must be artistic enough to encourage

exploratory individuals   to seek valid interpretations of

their non-linear or synthetic experiences, on their own.

At the same time, this metaphysics must also have basic

explanatory foundations that promote understanding

between diverse people and cultures in which a basic

understanding of Nature and the processes inherent

in linear reality are comprehensible.

 

A metaphysics must therefore appeal to both the artistic,

aesthetic, as well as the ethical, rational faculties of man.

Only then can it be an aid to an individual's own efforts to

have a meaningful interpretation and significance of the

deepest or strangest   non-linear ( transcending linear

time ) experiences and its realization in the truth of the

individual's linear life that leads to expressions of

contribution, and its completion in death.

Any Metaphysics must have an explanatory power about the

basic purpose of life and specially human existence, the

relationship between past human actions with the present

  and more importantly about the consequences of human

actions upon the unfolding future of the world.

"Men must be decided on what they will not do, and then they
are able to act with vigor in what they ought to do"....Mencius

While the primacy of personal experience is stressed here

as undisputedly essential and real, it is equally important

to interpret experiences meaningfully, since the overall

social reality of the world is shaped by our expressed

and shared interpretations ( metaphysics ) of what is

real, and what is fake or deceptive.

The stress in a discourse on metaphysics should not be on

expression of exotic experiences, but rather upon those

expressions that provide for a meaningful co-relationship

between diverse beings and societies.

"The essence of Deep Ecology is to ask deeper questions...
We ask which society, which education, which form of
religion is beneficial for all life on the planet as a whole."
...
Arne Naess

Obviously, an effective metaphysics cannot be limited

to only a very few exclusive words that satisfies only

the constructor of the metaphysics and a few of his

cronies. Consequently, all monism's must be excluded

from such an exercise as being no metaphysics at all.

If only one entity   ( or a word or concept about that

entity) is to be solely considered as all of reality, then

there is nothing to understand or explain. Everything

is just this "one" and nothing else and so we come

to a full stop. Similarly, even a simple duality of two

elements is useless in itself, unless it can be clearly

shown how these relate to the human situation.

And since the human situation is not such a simple

affair, a few terms unrelated to fundamental human

concerns is no metaphysics either.

That metaphysics has wide applicability and significance

which can make use of a common language, using simple

words, that not only triggers experiences, but also how

to usefully interpret those experiences in a quest for the

real.  Thus a coherent metaphysics should be able to

successfully assault the decadent intellectual construct

of most societies, so that fresh ideas can sprout.

"A single idea, if it is right, saves us the labor of an infinity
of experiences".....Jacques Maritain

" Nothing influences our conduct less than do intellectual ideas.
But when an idea is the expression of psychic experience which
bears fruit in regions as far separated and as free from historical
relations as East and West, then we must look into the matter
closely. For such ideas represent forces that are beyond logical
justification and moral sanction ; they are always stronger than
man and his brain. Man believes indeed that he moulds these
ideas, but in reality they mould him and make him their
unwitting mouthpiece." .....C. G. Jung

"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world:
and that is an idea whose time has come." ....Victor Hugo

Anyhow, the purpose here is to present a model of Reality that is

coherent and pragmatic.  This   model  has been composited or is a

synthesis of various metaphysics from across the globe so that the

reader gets a comprehensive and cross-cultural Reality paradigm.

Naturally,  various  religions   and  their  development  is taken up

along   with  other   fields  of  human  understanding  like  various

philosophies/metaphysics/cultural constructs and specifically what

has  been the focusing points are the key beliefs of various cultures

that had and are having a fundamental and lasting impact

upon their societies.

I'm slowly becoming a convert to the principle that you can't motivate
people to do things, you can only demotivate them. The primary job of
the manager is not to empower but to remove obstacles...Scott Adams

Of  particular  interest  to   an  explorer   should  be  the observation that

all  cultures  are stuck in certain key beliefs that are almost considered

sacred and even the very thought of critically examining these beliefs are

taboo.  The people in these cultural clusters are oblivious and ignorant

of the devastating consequences of this stuckness, despite the fact that 

many  people feel intuitively that their societies are degenerating

and disintegrating.

"The assumption must be that those who can see value only in
tradition, or versions of it, deny man's ability to adapt to changing
circumstances".............
Stephen Bayley

The  solution is painful, and only ruthless analysis and action that cuts into

the core operating beliefs to weed out the junk appears to be the only 

path out of this morass.  But where is the will ?

Apathy will only lead to destruction.

And destruction is the inevitable and last resort of nature to

rid itself of her creatures that have become inanimate, to be

free to start all over again.

"Tolerance it a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of
tolerance are apathy and weakness"....James Goldsmith

"There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success,
nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For
the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the older order, and
only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order,
this lukewarm-ness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have
the laws in their favour; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who
do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual
experience of it."............Niccolo Machiavelli

 

What is it for ?

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." - Warren Bennis

"We Filmmakers are also modern Shaman inheriting a long and respectful
history, the art of interpreting human nature and the mysteries of our existence.
As a consequence, in such a spiritually powerful medium, I believe it is both a privilege
 and a responsibility when we create. Artists are curious and pained with the gift
of inner sight.
The daily grind of making a movie is like a military campaign. Filmmaking is trench
warfare. To ask so much of  one's fellow artists, to spend so much time, money and
 creativity to make a film one must have a vital cause that moves you. A message that
 is compassionate and worthy. And, as technology delivers vast global audiences to
interact with our creations, we are weaving human dramas that potentially speak
 to all the nations of this earth....
We may even be responsible for finally changing homo sapiens to viewing ourselves
 as one global tribe. Humankind... hopefully with the emphasis on "kind."
....... Pen Densham.

Metaphysics, or models of reality are probes sent into the

unknown by the pioneers and explorers of reality in order

to find out what is real and to unmask the fake or unreal :

not only for their own pragmatic goals but also to aid,

connect and communicate effectively with

their fellow beings.

"The sorcerer storyteller who changes the ending of the "factual account",
does it at the direction and auspices of the Spirit. Because he can manipulate
his elusive connection with Intent, he can actually change things. The sorcerer
storyteller signals that he has intended it by taking off his hat, putting it on the
ground, and turning it a full three hundred and sixty degrees counterclockwise.
Under the auspices of the Spirit, that simple act plunges him into the Spirit itself.
He has let his thought somersault into the inconceivable."
"Because his pure understanding is an advance runner probing that immensity out
there, the sorcerer storyteller knows without a shadow of doubt that somewhere,
somehow, in that infinity, at this very moment the spirit has descended. Calixto Muni
is victorious. He has delivered his people. His goal has transcended his person".
.....C. Castaneda ( The Power of Silence )   

A metaphysical model can be not only in the form of a

construct of related concepts, but also in the form of

a story, a poetry, or any art form. A good metaphysics

is an expression of inner intent that has value for the

future, as well as freedom from the misdeeds of the

past.

"One has only to look at the inadequacies of Man's treatment of Man, and see
how far we must go if we are to survive as a progressing species with better
control of our battling animalistic superstitious levels".....Dr John C lilly


Metaphysics is for the study of the history of the human mind,

the lessons to be learnt from the developments and downfalls

of  societies and cultures,  and what an individual can hope to

learn from all this. The application of Metaphysics is therefore

not only for an individual, but also for its application in the

development of a society.  

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has"
.....Margaret Mead

In the past, people sought experiences that would get them in touch with

the entities that helped them or were presumed to be in control of life and

death. From these arose myths and religion. Today that approach will only

lead to further disasters. The only way forward is to take responsibility for

the  past   and  to  assume  that  each  one  of us is the creator or maker of

whatever situation or circumstances that confronts us, and to make

amends to our past faults.  

This requires a successful analysis of the past and its lasting effects upon the 

present, and if not properly accounted for, its consequences for the future.

 Only then can we use imagination to create a better future, else the past

 will continue to consume all our remaining energy and Will.

 If we fail to properly account for the past, the future

is already closed to us.

"Sometimes a person has to go back, really back -- to have a sense, an
understanding of all that's gone to make them -- before they can
go forward.".....Paule Marshall

History  is   nothing  more  than  a  picture  of  crimes  and   misfortunes. The
History  of  many  places is much  like reading a history of highway  robbers.
I  hope  that  a  way  out  might  lie  in  applying   philosophy to history, and
endeavoring to trace,  beneath the flux of political events, the history of the
human mind.
In  all  nations,  history  is  disfigured by fable,  till at last philosophy comes to
enlighten man ; and when it does finally arrive in the midst of this darkness, it 
finds  the  human  mind  so  blinded  by  centuries   of  error,  that it can hardly
undeceive it ;  it finds ceremonies,  ( rituals ) facts and monuments, heaped up
to prove lies.
History  is  after  all nothing but a pack of tricks which we play upon the dead.

........ Voltaire 

"Ignorance is the first requisite of the historian --ignorance, which simplifies
 and clarifies, which selects and omits, with a placid perfection unattainable
 by the highest art"......Lytton Strachey

 

The core of the thesis in the subsequent articles is as follows :

 

Metaphysics,  or a basic understanding of Reality, and not Science

or even  Religion  can  possibly  be a common ground for diverse

cultures  to co-exist, but only such a Metaphysics that has social

and political applicability.

Thus the social role of such a Metaphysics should be :

1. To enlighten mankind about the need for a basic respect and

caring for the environment, the Earth, and Nature's balance as part

of the core education of every individual. Particularly the balance

between humans and the rest of life forms.

"As a whole part of "psychological education" it needs to be remembered
that a neurosis can be valuable; also that "adjustment" to a sick and
insane environment is of itself not "health" but sickness and insanity."
............
James Agee

2. To provide for a drive to root out social, cultural malaises and

justifications for exploitation, inefficiency and waste.

"There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to
make a living and the other how to live"......
James Truslow Adams

3. To promote a drive for individual excellence by having an elementary

respect for individual differences and individual freedom.

4. To develop the qualities of leadership in exceptionally gifted

individuals, who can then provide direction to diverse, autonomous

social units, that compete with each other not in war-craft but in

creative activities like art,  and even technology.

"I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to
produce more leaders, not more followers"......Ralph Nader


 

The  above criterion appears to be utopian and idealistic, but then that

should be the ultimate human challenge. And unless we dream of a

better world, there can be no better world.   A Metaphysics that

only leads to acceptance of things as they are as perfect, will only promote

indifference, uncaring and amoral attitudes -a sure recipe for degeneration

and destruction.  Not learning from our past mistakes,  or to insist that 

there is nothing to learn, is to make human life meaningless.

Finally, any metaphysics is only as good as it generates or regenerates

the vitality of mankind, and forces actions where actions are not only

required, but also necessary.  A metaphysics is dead if it fails to

produce a regenerating and sustained response that calls for action.

The failure of a metaphysics is indicated by its key concepts becoming

empty symbols that  are repeatedly evoked in a ritualistic manner

that increasingly resemble those of a religion or cult. At its worst

these become tools in the hands of oppressors and tyrants.

History is full to the brim with examples of what started as a

metaphysical idea or expression and ending up in religion and

eventually the political philosophy of a society or culture that

was then used mostly to dominate and suppress. 

 

Any metaphysics and a thought or philosophy derived from it must

be able to analyze history in a way that it throws light upon the

historical process of human errors and failings, and not dismiss

these or treat these as inevitable cosmic dances and cycles, for

that way lies disaster.

 

With these as starting  premises,  the following articles go into the

details of the social,   cultural paradigms to try to figure out what

options we are left with : 

 Metaphysics Down the Ages: A History

Social and Cultural Structures and Constructs

Religions: The Rise and Fall of Monotheism

The Paradigms of Culture

The Mythology of Our Time

The Synthesis and Conclusion

Am I a combination of the lives of these ancestors and do I embody these lives again? Have I lived before in the past as a specific personality, and did I progress so far in that life that I am now able to seek a solution? I do not know. Buddha left the question open, and I like to assume that he himself did not know with certainty. In the meantime it is important to ensure that I do not stand at the end with empty hands. ~Carl JungI know only that I was born and exist, and it seems to me that I have been carried along. I exist on the foundation of something I do not know. In spite of all uncertainties, I feel a solidity underlying all existence and a continuity in my mode of being. ~Carl Jung

 

ROOT LINK  http://personalvalidity.webs.com/

 

[email protected]

episte

epistemology, philosophy, metaphysics, religion, belief, system, social, cultural, paradigm, knowledge,
ontology, power, moral, fundamental, force, Will, Spirit, Intent, knowing, Heart, Mind, reason, intuition,
autonomous, unique, being, existence, space, time, meaning, purpose

GrossRyder Gross Ryder grossryder G RYDER GROSS RYDER