This essay will hopefully give a clear overview of the basic concepts that define the Philosophy of the GOOD, tying together the previous essays on Ontology, Epistemology and Cosmology.
First we will review the basic reality of the individual.
Before all else must come existence 1 . Existence is dependent on a perceiver or a will (or a viewpoint). Only a will can create and experience change and duration. Using these it can form a distinction in the present-perception 2 .
Without change of some kind, perception and therefore even existence cannot be known. Therefore perception and existence are dependent on a will. The characteristics of a will are its ability to freely create and experience change in the perception according to its freely chosen dictates. These characteristics enable it to form distinctions in the present perception.
The present-perception is the representation presented to the will for perceiving. It is itself an intelligible representation (or a reality), which has been created using the modalities of time, space and causation. It is the canvas upon which change is used by the will to create existents (those things that the will has distinguished).
Consciousness is the existence of the perceiver in the present-perception. The existence of the present perception indicates the presence of a will and therefore consciousness (or a conscious will). The conscious will creates distinctions in the present-perception, and therefore separates out of this present-perception various existents. To this point, symbolization has not yet occurred. Symbolization works on the existents of the present-perception to create objects and therefore classes or concepts that represent these objects. For example the term triangle is a symbol for any triangle, a variable or bucket that can at any time hold any kind of triangle 3 . This triangle refers to a specific triangle or a thing or object of the triangle class. This wood triangle is even more specific and refers to a particular existent. Triangles are not existents that exist in nature; they are made. Wood exists as an existent, but not a wood triangle. Triangle is an imagined concept, wholly created and defined in the mind, but it can be made into an existent as shown. 4
Note that in all of this we have used and referred to a sequence or a process operating through time. This is merely a convenience of expression. The reality which is the present-perception actually contains time within it, and at least through implication of existence, the perceiver itself (or the will). We might think of the present-perception as a multidimensional object containing all of this. We might also think of the process not as a sequence of action, but as a self-forming structure that remodels itself through its time dimension, in conjunction with the direction of the will. This definition might also describe what change is – a remodeling of the present-perception through its time dimension.
We shall refer to the Understanding as the process of thinking. This begins through the creation of objects for the various existents in the present-perception, and the creation of concepts or classes to sort out these various objects and represent them in abstraction. From there the creation of propositions, truth sets, and tautologies creates a logical space for the judgments of the present perception for both the representational system and the continuum (this is largely the content of the internal and external sensations). Lastly, further symbolization allows communication through natural languages (the uppermost layer of the system).
On the question of how we are enabled to create concepts that do not exist in the continuum or the representational system
We have shown above that triangle is not an existent in nature. Yet we have created this concept and defined it in the mind using other created concepts, like line and point and straight. We have related these concepts together to create the concept triangle. A relation is what joins these concepts together. Analogy from actual existents starts the process. For instance, we can call a pole, a line. Add to it the concept straight. The ends of the pole are points. Three straight lines joined end to end form a triangle. Joined end to end is the relation.
For example, Justice is a concept that does not exist as an existent in the continuum. Yet we are able to use this concept with meaning in thought. How does this come about?
We have said that the representational system creates reality through the use of time, space and causation. Causation deals with behaviors between existents. Existents can cause change in various predictable and unpredictable ways, therefore creating certain behaviors 5 that are connected to the existents. These are described through the use of cause and effect. Also connections between existents, or relations can be described as either necessary or accidental, structural or non structural, etc 6 . Those that are necessary are predictable while those that are accidental are not. From all of this we see we can create concepts which represent these different and unique connections or relations between existents. Justice is such a concept. It is, in essence, a relation between human existents. It is specific with respect to human behavior, and defined roughly as the relation of fairness in human behaviors; with the three lines of the triangle the relation was end to end joining, a structural relation. The more predictable the relation the more definite becomes the definition; the more in line with a definite cause, the more definite becomes the definition.
Definitions are always approximate and never really exact, if they are formed from existents themselves 7 . Definitions can be exact if they are formed from symbols that are precisely defined; for example mathematics uses precise definition of symbols and can achieve precision. But the value system it uses, say the real number system, is only an approximation. But the nature of the approximation can itself be defined or resolved to a certain precision. So calculations can be precise to a certain, say number of places beyond the decimal point.
The relation of the individual reality to the universe as expressed in our Cosmology
The above description is related to the reality perceived by the individual free will. This is the reality perceived by the individual Ego we have defined in our cosmology. All the individual Egos are a part of the Id-Ego which is, in essence, the rational part 8 of the Universe (or God).
So we see that each individual Ego creates a personal reality within his mind, which is freely controlled by the will of the Ego. The Universe is the totality of all perceivers within the single Will of the Id-Ego. The individual Egos have a time line built into the reality each of them creates for himself. The Id-Ego experiences the absolute time line which contains all the realities of the individual Egos simultaneously. Life (birth) is the focusing of will into an individual Ego. All human life is experienced both individually and simultaneously. Death (and birth) is the switching of the focus from one Ego (will) to another. The mortal world, which is contained within the totality of the Id-Ego, is shared by all individual Egos simultaneously, although it is perceived only by the perceiver (will) with the focus. All perceivers experience the focus simultaneously with reference to the absolute time line, but only one will has the focus with reference to each of the individual time lines.
The Divine Will (God’s Will, the will of the Universe) is an influence (or tendency) felt in each perceiver through the agency of the GOOD 9 within the Ego of each perceiver with the focus. History is the time line of the Divine Will 10 and its tendency is the final unification of all Egos within itself. This is brought about through its influence acting on each individual free will to bring all humanity together in human society. Society is created from the action of the GOOD on the human mind. Reconciliation and reunification of the individual Egos within the Id-Ego can only be achieved through the interaction of the free will with the mortal world in the individual’s life.
The mortal world opposes the tendency of the Divine Will through its actions on the individual free will to destroy the individual’s life. The resultant survival instincts tend to lead the free will to choose its individual survival over all other concerns. But the Divine Will acting through the GOOD creates the tendency to build human society and provide survival through cooperative action of the society. History shows us that a society built in conformance with the unity of the GOOD is still to be achieved. The obstruction to this is the continuance of the survival instinct to lead man to the separation that greed breeds in him through the economic distribution of the resources for his survival.
1 Existence or being is hard to define. It is usually the predicate “is” or “be” in language; in other words something that “is”. But this is deceptive for to have something “be” or “is” requires a perceiving will. This is what we take “existence” or “being” to be: that perceiving will.
[Added: April 11, 2008] I will add the following on “existence” or “being” since it is a rather difficult subject for those first approaching it. Most of the trouble is due to lack of language to reveal the complex dependencies between a perceiver, and that, which is perceived. This will be a short but concise descriptive definition of what “existence” or “being” is. Martin Heidegger wrote a whole book on this subject called “Being and Time”; we will use some of his terminology, but we will simplify the concept by a series of assertions describing its nature: 1. Language symbolizes existence of an entity or an assertion of existence of an entity as designated by the words “is” and “be” or “exists”. 2. Only one perceiving will “is” or “exists” at any “present” time interval (Time is always in the present). 3. Therefore there is only one existing entity in the present Time. 4. That entity is the perceiving will. 5. It perceives the present-perception in its consciousness. 6. Within the present-perception it can distinguish various existents, through making distinctions over time through will-determined change, or through existent-determined change; so change, which ensues through time allows the distinguishing of existents in the perception (over a period of time). 7. So the existents in the perception are all that “exist” at any present time in the present-perception. These existents “exist” within the perceiver’s perception so their “existence” is a dependent “existence”, because it is a part of the perceiver’s “existence” (actually a part of his perception). 8. The perceiver’s “existence “ is the only real “existence” and this is what Heidegger calls “Dasein”. 9. All objects or other perceivers are existing within the Dasein’s perception. But language just uses existence as an assertion of an entity without specifying the perceiver, and uses existence as if it were the same as being a perceiving will. So existence comes to mean, for objects, something real in another world, which is really unknowable. This is how we designated the existence of objects in the mortal world, (in the Essay on Epistemology), but we must realize that existence is really only an attribute of a perceiving will.
2 See the definition of present-perception in the essay of the Formal Statement.
3 See Bishop Berkeley’s Principals of Human Knowledge on the argument made as to the non-existence of abstract ideas.
4 Here we see an example of where the artificiality, or “mental construction” of the concept of “object” can be demonstrated. A wooden triangle can be a piece of wood with the shape of a triangle, or a triangle made of wood. The perceiver determines how to define its existence. Language is very ambiguous in dealing with objects and attributes or characteristics of objects. What really distinguishes a physical object is its manipulation in the perception by the will through change, although this can be deceptive. The attribute of an existent can also change through indirect manipulation of the will; for example the color of an existent can be changed through manipulation of the perceiver’s body in relation to the object; but the attribute of the object always follows the primary object and never appears without it. But the mind can use attributes as objects through abstraction and symbolization. Color can be a mental object or symbol, and each individual color symbolized by a name. Thus “This color is red” has meaning, as if the color “existed” apart from the object it is attached to. Abstraction is the way the mind divides the reality to make it manipulable. Classes don’t exist in the mortal world only unique individuals. Things or objects are members of classes, they also don’t exist except in the mind. What the will determines is the unique existent; it describes it through symbolization and further abstraction (division). Attributes are a further abstraction to describe an existent, and place it in a class. Classes are symbols of all existents that exhibit the same attributes. Objects are individual examples of the class. Classes of attributes are symbols of all the values that an attribute can take, like “color”. A color can be red, blue, green, etc.; here it is a class symbol. Color is also an attribute. Color is also a primary sensation. Sensation is a symbol for pieces of the present-perception, abstracted from it, and directly perceived through the senses (or tied to a particular part of the bodily sensory apparatus; e.g.: retinal cones create color in the present-perception). Further mental classes can be constructed that do not exist in the present-perception (like triangle) with attributes that don’t exist in the present-perception (like point, line, plane and angle), and these can be manipulated by reason as if they were real existents, or made into real existents (like a wooden triangle).
5 Behaviors are patterns of change that are tied to specific existents.
6 The idea is that we can describe many different categories of relations.
7 This is because of the total uniqueness of the mortal world.
8 Why do we say that there is a rational part to the Universe? Intuition is strong in us in this direction; in essence, the blind unintelligible processes of nature which should be leading the world to total destruction, (the increase in entropy mentioned in other essays) are in the highest form of life, Man, leading to an evolution, which even with all its backslides, shows progress. This progress may be slow and faulty, but the History of our species does show progress, not only materially but also spiritually, over all. Later added NOTE: The rationality spoken of here is not a human rationality at all; it is rather a tendency and direction shown in History, and in the human will itself (for further explanation see the Series of Essays on Universal Love).
9 The GOOD works mainly through the intuition and related feelings to influence the Ego.
10 The tendencies of the Divine Will are made known to man through the joint actions of all the individual Egos. A process with the following closed loop of connections: Egos --> Families --> Societies --> Governments --> Nations --> Cultures --> History --> (Back to Egos). The Divine Will is the overall unifying process acting to cause the final unification of all individuality and separation into the total unity of spirituality.
Originally Published:April 8, 2008
Revised:July 4, 2014