First Metaphysics, redux

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Metaphysics
  3. » First Metaphysics, redux

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Wed 10 Oct, 2007 11:38 pm
It has been just over two years since I wrote the essay, First Metaphysics: Continuing the Heideggerean Project. In it, I attempted to show the ontological ground of all possible forms of physics. I wholly admit that I tried to make it as dense and scholarly as I possibly could, thereby alienating a huge portion of my potential audience.

I am now at a point, like Kant with his Prolegomena, that I want to present it in a way that is more palatable to the general public. I would also like to use my philosophy as a "touchstone" in terms of critiquing the ideas of others.

The working title of this new version is:

First Metaphysics, or, an Essay Concerning the Ontological Ground of the Physical Universe

Unlike the first version, I am in no rush to get this one finally completed. I want it very much to be an organic process. I would fully appreciate any input from all of you during this process.

So, let us get to it...

The focal point of my entire system of thought concerns the concept that we call: time. It is my opinion that the entire purpose of the discipline of philosophy is to come to an accurate understanding of this concept. For, once we do this, then all problems of "duality" (I hope to show) dissolve into the ether.

The best way to approach the question of time, in my belief, is by using the analogy of geometry. The popular notion of time upholds that it consists of a linear shape. Furthermore, the geometrical definition of a line is simply the points that are at its ends: it says nothing of the "connective tissue" that lies in between. Or, shall I say, all attempts to describe the nature of what lies in between are pure nonsense.

It is my belief that this "betweenness" that divides the endpoints of a time-line is the very ground of that which we call: space. In other words, spatiality-as-such is purely derivative of the notion that is called: time. Furthermore, spatiality-as-such is otherwise known as: dimensionality. The final leap that we must take is that dimensionality, essentially, is the "supporting ground" of that which we call the physical universe.

Let's go back to our time-line for a moment. What if a line is not the "true" shape of time, but is rather only the appearance -- or representation -- of time? If we were to each sit down, shut our eyes, and think of nothing at all, then there are no arbitrary interruptions to divide one point in time from another. This period of time, one could say, is a pure moment of being. This moment, in itself, is an essential fullness whereby past (memory) and future (anticipation) collapse into a singular present.

Perhaps it would be wise to hypothesize that the "true" shape of time is a zero-dimensional geometrical point: there is no "betweenness" to separate this point from itself. Therefore, there is not now anything like "space", dimensionality, or the physical universe within our philosophical framework. Without this infinitely dense fullness that is time-itself, none of these other things could be said to exist. In this way, it could be said that true time is the ontological ground of the physical universe.

But what is it that we are truly referring to when we talk of true time? Is not this non-dimensional singularity simply the thing that we call: I, myself? When we remove all shifting worldly appearances from the notion of time, are we not just getting to the very core of our being? In other words, are not the statements, "I am" and "There is time", identical in every way?

If this is true, then it makes just as much sense to say that I, myself, am the ontological ground of the physical universe. More rigorously, this is saying that there can be no Object (a world) without its Subject (a witness). Of course, many would say that this position is nothing more than solipsism, and therefore, this philosophy is nothing new.

My reply is that philosophy itself is the process whereby a being attempts to discover what it essentially is. This, moreover, is nothing more than saying that philosophy is simply the journey whereby one "comes into" oneself, or simply "becomes" oneself. Even more radically, the goal of the philosopher is simply: to be. All of this is meant to show that philosophy, as that which concerns only the self, is itself a solipsistic enterprise. It is the manner in which we conduct this solipsistic investigation that differentiates one philosophy from another. From what I've seen, nobody else has had, as their philosophical starting point, an investigation into the possible "geometries of time", in order to derive the necessary conditions of all possible physical experience.

(I have used different labels in the past to refer to this notion of true time, including: "the existential mode of I-world unity", "time-identity" and "the temporal universe". I suppose that labels such as these are the philosopher's attempt at "branding" more than anything else. I am no longer in a mood to do this kind of "idea trademarking". I just want the ideas to speak for themselves.)

So, now that we have gotten to the essence of our philosophical starting point (the absolute self or pure time) the question at large is: How does all the rest (the physical universe) derive from it? It is at this point where we must shift from the typical, epistemological paradigm into an existential one. This shift is the difference between an "objective" knowing (a logical construct) and a "subjective" feeling (a personal disposition).

While in the state of concentration that allowed us to come into an understanding of temporality-as-such, our existential "mode of being" was one of a psychological wholeness, or "spiritual transcendence". However, whenever we are fretting about the future, for example, we imagine ourselves in different possibilities, and our state of unity is consequently torn asunder, as it were. Whenever we divide time into arbitrary moments, we are also tearing apart the fabric of our very being. The point at which this division occurs may be called an "annihilation".

But now the question may be asked: What causes this annihilation? The answer is simply, that which we allow to be a cause. In other words, we are always perfectly free to remain that which we essentially are (an infinitely dense moment of being); it is always fully within our power whether to allow annihilation to occur. This is all to say that we each cause annihilation by simply failing to be ourselves.

Annihilated, the singularity of enduring time gives way to the duality that is spatialized time: its being becomes a mere appearance. This "time-line" is the first form of spatiality (the primordial dimension) upon which all other forms (dimensions) are based. Now that its dimensions have been set, the thing that is called the physical universe can be said to exist.

The fundamental axiom of this philosophy is: all possible forms of "physicalism" rely upon the spatial dimensionality that results from the annihilation of time-as-such. In other words, there can be no meaningful discussion of an Object apart from the "dimensional context" that is freely established by its Subject. The cruciality of the concept of dimensionality is what has eluded all other philosophers (of which I am aware) in their attempts to develop a sound metaphysics.

Whenever a philosopher steps out of his solipsistic box, and "posits" an external world, he is no longer, truly speaking, a philosopher: he has become a scientist. A scientist is one who unquestioningly takes as fundamental the dimensional context in which he often finds himself. Most of the Western tradition, in its desire to "know things", should therefore be looked at as a kind of "introduction to the basic concepts of science", as opposed to the profoundly more philosophical leanings of the East, where the idea of enlightenment -- or, spiritual transcendence -- is of prime importance.

Given all of these considerations, we may now come to a philosophically robust definition of the concept that we call "space":

Spatiality-as-such is the period in which one "awaits" for the reunification of the annihilation of the singularity that is true time. In other words, in waiting to "come back into ourselves", we are held in a kind of suspension between a remembered state of psychological wholeness (spiritual transcendence) and an expected one. This notion of awaiting does not imply a lack of bodily physical activity: it only implies that the pure self is not a physical entity to which the idea of physical activity can sensibly apply. In other words, our bodies can be fully engaged in worldly activity while our inner selves are waiting for psychological reunification.

My hope is that this philosophy will serve as a bridge between the epistemology of the West and the spiritualism of the East. These two aspects of humanity have all too often been seen as essentially distinct from one another, occasionally giving way to outright hostility. However, if it can be realized that the self, as a function of temporality, is the very ground of the spatial dimensions that themselves ground all forms of physicalistic thought, then there is much hope for those who want to continue to push the nature of inter-personal discourse into a positive direction.

Dennis Kane
Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 03:29 am
The spiritualism of the East prefers not to say so much.

To bridge that gap, shut up.

Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 09:27 am
Thank you Dennis for posting your thoughts. As for the comment by perplexity, I don't think there's any need or reason to 'shut up' and I'm sure perplexity didn't mean it literally.

So keep up the good work and it will be interesting to see what comments are made in regards to your post.
Reply Thu 11 Oct, 2007 11:34 am

Smile You have the mark of Kane upon you.Very Happy

Your post is very interesting if a little overwhelming, a very admireable task you have taken upon yourself. Perhaps if taken in pieces, the concept of time say. Personally I do not believe in time as a tangiable, it is a perception of local activity, local processes, it is a sense of the duration of the process's occuring around us, but more, consider this perception of what I speak of as a reaction to said processes.

Smile So, said processes would be the cause of the emergent concept of time but these process have their physical effect as well, this too must be reaction,[gravity of nearby sun and planets]. Even the conciousness with which we consider these things is reaction, is this reaction a function of said processes, is consciousness a part, a part in the function of a whole? Just as the tides are created by the gravity of the moon, so to consciousness is created by elemental forces of the processes around us. Perhaps a little confused but perhaps it is a start. What is your concept of time in detail?:confused:
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 09:16 pm

As perplexity would probably agree, it is not until you've been sufficiently overwhelmed that the truth of the philosophical project is finally revealed...

Anyways, its funny that whenever I post these diatribes, people always single out the concept of time and try to define it in terms of the changing of the seasons, as it were. This decidedly worldly aspect of temporality is obvious, to say the least.

The entire point of my philosophizing is that this elusive thing known as "time", more than anything else, cuts to the very core of our inner being. In fact, does it not make sense to define this absolute, non-localizable self simply as temporal-duration-as-such?

What if we were to develop a philosophy around this idea? That is, what if we use this as our first metaphysical principle? Perhaps we can somehow derive "all that is" (the physical universe) from this principle.

Perhaps Kant was wrong in placing stock in the "a priority" of a transcendental logic that includes causality as one of its principle elements. If we were to understand the notion of causality to be grounded in the mere chimera of the first metaphysical principle, then his entire thesis comes crashing down around him.

I find it interesting how Kant, in the Transcendental Aesthetic (CPR), defined space and time simply as the forms of the external and internal intuitions, respectively. He also said that the intuition of space depends on the intuition of time, because time is that which allows us to be conscious of our very selves. This is a good start.

Then, he goes on to describe these forms as kinds of objective "places" in which worldly phenomena happen, apart from the intuition. I would submit that his lazy application, in the Transcendental Logic, of his initial definitions of space and time allowed him to straddle both sides of the subjectivity-objectivity fence, as it were. His "sloppy subjectivism", in terms of the forms of the intuition, is what gave him license to propose his "categories" which reek of the kind of absolute objectivity (i.e. the thing-in-itself) that he declared was impossible to determine.

I have tried to answer his deficiencies by grounding spatiality and temporality squarely in the center of one's being, and defining them primordially as existential modes of being. Temporality-as-duration is the transcendent mode of being and temporality-as-successiveness is the degenerative mode of being. (I define this degeneration simply as the annihilation of the first metaphysical principle: from unity comes duality.) It is only in this degenerative mode that the thing that we call "space" (or, the principle of differentiation) can be conceptualized.

Furthermore, it is only when spatiality-as-such is understood that there can be anything like a "science" that uses models such as the Cartesian coordinate system, which in turn give us such supreme confidence in our notions of causality. By finally giving this thing called "space" a firm ontological grounding, I feel that I've undermined the Kantian edifice in a radical way (with a little help from my friend, Heidegger).

Dennis Kane
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 09:46 pm
The mechanistic version of cause and effect is already outdated by psychology, karma rediscovered by way of paranoia, the predisposition to believe.
Reply Tue 16 Oct, 2007 08:00 am

I am sorry to say it is all a bit overwhelming. I do hope someone comes along that feels comfortable in dealing with it, it really is a rather profound study. I think few people here would not be overwhelmed and might instead of admitting they are overwhelmed react negatively. I simply do not know were to start. Actually they are use to dealing with philosphical questions here but a critque of a complex study such as Kant's? All I can say is good luck! Perhaps if you made particular aspects of consideration the topic, steps in a long journey?
Reply Tue 16 Oct, 2007 04:28 pm
I humbly submit that Kant is not the right person to study if time is the focal point. Perhaps hindustic religion could offer some pointers, or the mayan's. They seem far better apt at this.

I would like to remark that I as well think that duality will desperse with the dipension of time.
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 09:50 pm
dkane75, your writing is filled with the emotion of someone who knows they are on to something profound, but just can not get a firm grip on it. From studying all there is to study myself, I know where your coming from. To be honest, with all the emotion express in your writing, it was hard for me to stay focused on what you where trying to express. Only because I have gone though what you are seeking, was I able to move forward in my reading of your post.

Let me add some thoughts to your seeking. From studying Quantum Mechanics I have come to the realization that there is no, "Now". All we know of is in constant change. This is the arrow of time. I like to call it, "E=mc2 chasing Potential". Now this "arrow of time", is only relevant to the viewer.
What if E=MC2, is Mind/Aware manifesting into form, so to BE? And what if we are this Universe, individualized, so to experience itself?
Reply Thu 18 Oct, 2007 02:28 pm
While I find your new approach intriguing, your angle seems to be wrong on a more intuitive level.

Metaphysics= after the physics roughly translated or = after the being, from the Greek word phussis. Metaphysics therefore is concerned with the study of being. Seeing as how it looks like you've certainly read Heidegger you know the importance of phussis, i.e. being.

It can be reasonably argued that all beings have location (not necessarily physical location). Location implies a spatial-quality. This would explain why the majority of metaphysics is concerned with being and not time.

Time is only something that occurs to being and that cannot be explained by science, thus it falls into the realm of philosophy to discover.

While your approach is creative, I speculate that the reason time has not been used as an angle before, is because time is not the foundational point for the study of being. Being is the foundational point for the study of being.

Dkane I look forward to reading further posts of yours.

Reply Thu 18 Oct, 2007 03:21 pm
bad ass thoughts man
i dont believe time is a 2d array either..
i agree with you
the qualities of time and space are interpreted in our brains
who knows what is really there?
we can agree the mass exists where it does.. but all its qualities are formed in the brain
what really sits before our observations is not a separated object but a object that seems separated
because all mass is energy
and energy is homogeneous
so i think your right when you say what you say about time and space being a representation of something
because there isnt really a way to prove otherwise
the true shape of time cannot really be observed u know? so i guess we can assume its a dot..
being human u can arrive at the conclusion that time is a array, because of the charaterisitics of being human, this is just how we have observed our environments
and as humans we cant help but visualize time this way
but who knows the true shape of time?
time is not a physical object.. it is however finite and can be measured..
so we just make a line its the easiest way to imagine it
time exists where space exists
space exists where mass exists
all 3 exist together at the same time
this sounds like a sacred geometry course of some sort

My reply is that philosophy itself is the process whereby a being attempts to discover what it essentially is. This, moreover, is nothing more than saying that philosophy is simply the journey whereby one "comes into" oneself, or simply "becomes" oneself. Even more radically, the goal of the philosopher is simply: to be. All of this is meant to show that philosophy, as that which concerns only the self, is itself a solipsistic enterprise. It is the manner in which we conduct this solipsistic investigation that differentiates one philosophy from another. From what I've seen, nobody else has had, as their philosophical starting point, an investigation into the possible "geometries of time", in order to derive the necessary conditions of all possible physical experience.

But is this not what life is all about?
this isnt the process that just philosophers practice
what you describe is the process of being human and feeling separated
we are humans.. separated beings.. all examining the unknown environment and its qualities
its safe to say the environment is that part of us we do not yet know.. because it is mass and it too is energy just like a human
and while we are human we absorb its qualities and find out about ourselves and become more aware of ourselves
Reply Thu 18 Oct, 2007 04:27 pm
Time is the experience, within the physical plane of existence, that a given object exists in a state of being.

All that potentially exists, exists in a state of potential-energy.

That which exists, oscillates between a state of potential existence, existence and a state of non-existence.* The frequency of this oscillation determines the mass of the object.

Time is measured relative to the mass of an object.**

*Non-existence and potential existence are inverse terms for an identical state. Meaning non-existence has existed and returns to a state of potential existence. Potential existence is that which exists as potential-energy, but which has not yet manifested into existence.

**Time is relative, not to the location of the existing state, but to the relative density of the existing state. In other words time slows in an extremely dense thing like a black hole and is much faster in a particle, or ray of light which is pure potential energy.

Non-potential existence is the inverse direction of time.

dkane, there are my basic ideas on the subject. It could certainly be more refined or more elegantly stated- but I think it agrees with your concepts.
Reply Thu 18 Oct, 2007 05:25 pm
You know what guys? I think I've had it with those other "philo boards" (ilp, iidb). I mean, this place is like, totally tubular, to the max! Even though I truly want to spread this philosophy, it is the unthinking reactionaries who always seem to set the tone. I guess the best message board community (as well as every other kind of community) is dictated by how annoying the most idiotic people are. You all are extremely not very annoying!

It is really weird, PoPpA, how you brought up E=m(c^2), because I've been obsessing about that recently. If you look at that equation another way, it becomes... m=E/(c^2). Those two different forms are entirely tautologous. That is, logically speaking, it is entirely arbitrary which one you prefer, but the philosophical differences between the two are ginormous!

In the first case, we have a quantity, designated by the symbol, m, which is superadded with a "mystical factor": the square of the speed of light. It is only with a kind of fancy conjuring trick that energy is derived. Another way of saying this is that inert mass is the "true" substance and that c^2 is the external "law" that gives it life.

However, when you look at the second case, you see that vital energy is the "true" substance, and that the thing that is understood as inert mass is contained internally within it. That is, all you have to do is perform an extraction, by way of division, in order to derive it. The intuitive way of understanding this is that energy, when it becomes entangled within itself, seems to be massive. This "bundled" energy, itself, is still just as vital as ever, but to those who are of an enormously greater scale to it, it seems to be "dead weight". Shrunken down to the size of a quark, though, I'm sure that we'd have no clue as to the essence of this "mass" stuff.

If you think about it, the first equation leads to a kind of external mysticism (concerning the nature of the factor that must be "forced upon" mass), while the second equation leads to an internal variant of mysticism -- the quality of massiveness is simply a privation of the living vitality that constitutes our inner essences. So here we can see the essential difference between the Western, law-abiding religions and the Eastern, spiritual religions. It all depends on how you arrange the very same formula!

If the physical picture of reality is described as varying densities of an undifferentiable unity of "primal energy" (which is perfectly consistent with E=mc^2, as has been shown), then philosophical rationalism has not one leg to stand on! Instead, we are left with most radical of empiricisms which can only think of descriptions like "ineffable immanence" when trying to describe the "being" of the world. At no point in time does "detached knowability" come into the picture... only a kind of sublime, animal instinctualism.


As regards my plan of writing another formal essay, I think I would rather focus my energies on a far more ambitious project. It would involve a group collaboration in order to produce a multimedia, living body of work. I have already been working on illustrations in order to more clearly depict my thoughts. I would like free-form dialogues like this to be included in the project, but I am highly more interested in "taking it to the streets". That is, there can be impromptu "bull sessions" that can be filmed and edited. We can wander the streets, approaching all sorts of different people, and find out how far down the "rabbit hole" we can take them. Of course, we would start out nice and easy ("If you believe in God, what do you think he is like?") and continue to increase the pressure (nicely, of course).

We could see how the results differ between small towns and big cities, between kids and full time academics. Then we could broadcast all of it over the web! We could use the exposure to form an authentic community that is founded upon the most profound of philosophical truths! Imagine, if you will, a kind of "Hare Krishnism" for people who don't mind having sex and wearing normal clothes (or whatever it is you feel like doing)!

We could all take turns on being the spiritual leader... there might be a "Dalai Lama of the week", or some such thing!

Well, whaddaya think?

Dennis Kane
Reply Thu 18 Oct, 2007 06:17 pm
dkane75, I could not agree with you more about this "philo board". Every couple of years I seek out a place to philosophise about reality. Then after a couple of weeks I give up for another couple of years. I give up for the reasons you state, "unthinking reactionaries". I've always hoped to find a place for new age thinking. A place where people realize that we have every right to set a new standard in philosophical thinking. We have every right to be spoken about hundreds of years from now, saying how insightful we were. Even though I understand why reactionaries do what they do, it still burns me.
dkane75, I have very little writing experience so I will be slow to posting back to you and others, but I will do my best. I also go on the road for 3 to 8 days a week.

One point I would like to make dkane75, is that for the new modern philosophy to make an impact, it most be written in the most simplistic of words. That's why religions have the power they do, because they are written for the common folks to understand.

For the record: I see all there is as One thing and one thing only. This one thing I see, is what I would call "Aware". I see this Aware manifestating into form through the "Art of Evolution". I find "Aware/Universe/God" to be a living growing Being. Now this is how I see things for the last 15 years, but I would change my views in a heart beat if I could find any evidence to contradict my view.

Reply Thu 18 Oct, 2007 07:12 pm
dkane75, I thank you for adding such a profound quote to my everyday thinking. I just love it. "Inert mass is the true substance and that c^2 is the external law that gives it life." WOW!

dkane75 wrote:
.In the first case, we have a quantity, designated by the symbol, m, which is superadded with a "mystical factor": the square of the speed of light. It is only with a kind of fancy conjuring trick that energy is derived. Another way of saying this is that inert mass is the "true" substance and that c^2 is the external "law" that gives it life.
Reply Thu 18 Oct, 2007 08:50 pm
im glad your here man
look forward to whatever it is you put your energies into
a film would be an awesome idea
have you ever seen waking life? its kind of similar to what you have described for a film
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 07:36 am
Yeah, that was the same guy who did Dazed and Confused, I believe... Richard Linklater.

Anyway, that m=E/c^2 brainstorm has really caused me to radically change my way of life. It's like all I needed was that one insight for my philosophy to finally be complete. I'm now living on the road, in my car, looking for a community to join. There is one that I am really interested in (I'll let you know.)

It is all so simple. The Universe is Energy. Energy condenses in different ways to create galaxies, stars, people. Energy is that which absolutely endures. This is the physical embodiment of my notion of "true time" and "the absolute self" that I've been looking for, for over three years.

Before, the "world" was a negative aspect of my philosophy. But now that the world and my spirit are made up of the same stuff, there is no difference between the two!

And to imagine it was all right there in front of my eyes, thanks to good old Einstein!

Some of my writing is starting to get real "koan-like".

For example:

All that can be imagined is real and existent.
Nothing further can be said about that.
All that can be said is true and factual.
Therefore, the following statements are true:
"Truth is Unity" and "Truth is a banana".
However, neither of these truths, considered seperately or taken together, changes the nature of Truth.
Truth is Unity.

Dennis Kane
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 10:11 am

If all matter is just energy, how does physicality come from something that is not physical?

Even scientists, as far as I know, have been unable to prove if that is really so, accept by rearranging E=mc^2. Which of course, rearranging an equation
a. does not always work.
b. fails to prove anything until the new equation is proven on its own.
Rearranging new equations is fine for algebra, but I really don't think it applies to wide variety of equations (e.g. multi-variable calculus).

I think energy as matter is still very much a theory in modern science; however it is a prominent theory.

The c variable in said equation is a purely numerical value used to describe a phenomenon. E is energy, and only has a numerical value on what we assign it. This means we have to place it in a certain realm of measurement, not to mention type of measurement. Therefore, E really does not have a value, except that which we assign it. I hope that you don't suggest that humans determine being by placing a number where we like it. Lastly, m is also a number we put in (that must fit the equation of course), but again, types of measurement still apply. E=mc^2 as far as I understand it, was merely constructed to describe how much energy is contained in a piece of mass. Like all math, E=mc^2 is a description of reality, not reality itself. In this math is like a universal language. The issue arises though, Does math describe a 'true' situation, or is it 'true' on its own?

Furthermore, you stipulate and say that your spirit and world are the same stuff, but isn't this just an extended version of Monism, if all are one? If so that is okay, I just want to clarify.

Furthermore, if any words said were true, if I rejected your philosophy, wouldn't that be true, and if so your philosophy would be false? If everything is factual, the fact would be; Your philosophy is false, now therefore I have made it false. And yet you say it does not impact "Truth".

If your philosophy was 'factual', than it would very profoundly affect truth.

What do you mean by energy 'condensing'? Do you mean it goes from a higher state of energy, to a lower state energy, in order to form different things? If matter is merely a rearrangement of energy, wouldn't an identical amount of the elements of the sun be of equal energy as the sun? This is of course not true, because the sun has massive amounts of energy in the form of gravity, a potential energy that scattered elements do not possess.

Again, if energy is non, physical it what sense could it be rearranged?

Anyway dkane75, I'm obviously very skeptical, but look forward to hearing your responses (they have been very interesting so far).

Reply Mon 22 Oct, 2007 10:18 am

Concerning the koan.

My whole purpose is to show that these things that we write and say are ultimately, so much tomfoolery. The only possible truth is the transcendental unity of the Self. To merely say this truth is not truth. This truth must be lived. This is the essence of the Eastern Way.

As regards everything else, I am starting a new thread based on my most recent thinking. I think it clears up pretty much everything... check it out!

Dennis Kane

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Metaphysics
  3. » First Metaphysics, redux
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 04/12/2024 at 07:05:53