The Ultimate Metaphysics of Awareness


·      ‘Ontology’ is a Western philosophical term that is usually understood as having to do with the realm of ‘being’ or ‘is-ness’ as such (‘Being’) in contrast to the realm of specific ‘beings’ of any sort.   

·       Being as such has three primary ontological dimensions, distinct but inseparable. These include not only what is called ‘Being’, but also what is called ‘Non-Being’ and what can be called ‘Coming to Be’ – ‘Be-coming’ or ‘Be-ING’.

·       The Awareness Principle  understands the three primary ‘ontological’ realms, i.e. Non-Being, Being, and Coming to Be (‘Be-ing’ or ‘Be-coming’) as primordial realms of Awareness as such:


    Awareness, not of Nothingness but of all that is still latent or potential in Awareness. As such it is made up of potentialities of awareness. These potentialities of awareness have in turn the nature of ‘potential’ beings, i.e. individualised consciousnesses  


     This is the realm of all actual beings, worlds and events, all of which are co-present in the Universal Awareness Field – understood as a singular time-space of awareness which embraces not only past, present and future actualities but alternate and parallel ones.  


   This is the innate power of actualisation of all potential beings, events and realities and events – past, present, future and ‘parallel’ - which are not only co-present but constantly co-presencing or ‘coming to be’ in the Universal Awareness Field and its all-embracing time-space of awareness.  

    Being as Be-ing

The unity of all three realms lies not only in the fact that they are fundamentally realms of awareness but their essence lies in the third realm in particular. For though I have termed this the realm of ‘Becoming’, philosophy has traditionally opposed the concept of ‘Being’ - understood as static, unchanging presence - with that of ‘Becoming’, understood as constant flux or change. 
Yet what if the essence of both Being and Becoming is neither the simple, unchanging presence of things in awareness, nor their constant change, but rather their continuous presencing - their ‘Be-ing’?
 What if, indeed, there ‘is’ no-thing ‘out there’ or ‘in here’ that is simply present, waiting to be perceived? 
What if, instead of there simply ‘being’ things of any sort that we then happen to be aware of , there is ultimately nothing but awareness as such - constantly and continuously thinging itself? 
No trees, branches, leaves, flowers or fruit but a constant treeing, branching, leafing, flowering and fruiting. No everyday objects like tables and chairs but the constant and sustained tabling and chairing of each table or chair. 
What if there is no matter but a constant mattering or ‘materialising’ of awareness – not my awareness or yours but the One, universal or Ultimate Awareness? 
What if not only things but their sensory qualities are not simply present, but constantly and continuously presencing
What if we were able to experience a colour such as orange, for example, as a constant orange-ing, a shape such as roundness as a constant round-ing, and a material texture such as wood as a constant wood-ing?

The understanding of ‘Becoming’ not simply as change or transformation but as ‘coming-to-be’ or ‘be-coming’ – as ‘Be-ing’, is central. For true wonder at the fact that anything is at all is impossible unless we are able to directly experience their ‘Being’ or ‘is-ness’ in a wholly new way - not as some sort of one-off creation out of Nothingness - ex nihilo - that leaves them simply ‘there’, present to our awareness and either changing or not-changing, but rather as their constant emergence or presencing from and within awareness – their Be-ing. 
The Being of things understood as simple co-presence in awareness is the essence of space. Understood as their Be-ing on the other hand – their continuous presencing - it is the essence of time. The world around us and everything in it is indeed in this sense, not simply ‘there’ at all. 
There is indeed ‘no-thing’ that simply ‘is’ in the sense of being present. Yet the terror of Non-Being or ‘Nothingness’ in this sense – of ‘no-thing-ness’ – can at once be removed by sheer wonder and gratefulness for the constant thinging of things, their Be-ing. 
 ‘Being’ is usually thought of as a state. Rethinking it as ‘Be-ing’ however, Being is not a state but a process. It is ‘no-thing’ and yet neither is it Nothing.
 Instead it is a continuous process of creative actualisation or Action. What unites all three realms of awareness therefore is not only Awareness as such and its innate potentials, but also the actualisation or presencing of these potentials. 
Awareness of Potentiality and its perpetual presencing or actualisation, are inseparable aspects of the Divine. Thus we do not need to ‘actualise’ our being or ‘self’. For it is constantly being actualised, constantly presencing in awareness. This is the meaning of Being as ‘Be-ing’.

    The Realms of Possibility and Parallelity


Just as the same inspiration, source or mood could give rise, in a human being, to a painting or piece of music, and just as a stem cell can give rise to a host of specific cell types, so can creative Potentialities always find more than one possible form of actualisation. Furthermore however, the realm of Potentiality is itself constantly being enriched by new Possibilities. For just as one thought or thing automatically implies or gives rise to another, so does all creative Action automatically imply and give rise to multiple further Possibilities of Action - of actualisation or manifestation. Thus there is also an endless cyclical or rather spiral relation uniting the 3rd realm (that of creative Action or Actualisation) with the 1st realm (that of creative Potentiality) through the 2nd realm (that of all that is constantly being Actualised). In addition to the triad of the three primary realms (Potentiality or Non-Being, Actuality or Being, and Actualisation as ‘Be-ing’) we must recognise a fourth – the realm of Possibility. All Action and Actualities then, emerge not simply from the 1st realm of pure Potentiality therefore, but from a Realm of Possible actions and actualities - one that is both latent in the realm of Potentiality and at the same time constantly being expanded through the very process of Actualisation. Yet the question then arises – what ‘becomes’ of the ‘Alternate’ Possibilities generated by the process of Actualisation in any given domain or world of Actuality but not themselves actualised within it? The answer is that these not only feed back into the 1st realm, that of pure Potentiality - but also find expression in a realm of Alternate or Parallel Actualities. This is what I term the realm of Alternity or Parallelity - recognised in quantum physics through the Parallel Worlds theory of Hugh Everett.

The result of these considerations is that in addition to the triad of three primary domains of reality so far considered – those of Potentiality, Actuality and the process of Actualisation – the action of realisation as such - we must add three further realms: a realm of constantly multiplying Possibilities of Action without which no free action or choice would be possible and within which all actions and choices first occur, a realm of Parallel actualities in which alternate Possibilities are chosen and actualised. These are in turn united by a realm of Reciprocal Action - whereby Possibilities actualised in one world or actuality both spring from and generate un-Actualised possibilities in another Alternate or Parallel world. For whilst in any one ‘Actual’ reality the Parallel realities in which Alternate Possibilities of action are Actualised appear as mere imaginary possibilities - in those Alternate or Parallel realities themselves, these Possibilities are experienced as fully real – as Actualities. Our every experience and action then, is not just the Actualisation of a Potentiality within the Actuality of our own world (the one we take as sole reality) but also the Actualisation - from within a vast realm of Possible actions - of alternate actions and experiences within Alternate Actualities or ‘Parallel Worlds’.

This principle applies to the ‘self’ or ‘I’ also. For that self or ‘I’ which does or experiences one thing in one world or sphere of Actuality is ‘itself’ not the same self or ‘I’ as that which experiences or enacts another Possibility in a parallel but Alternate Actuality. Together then, with ‘Parallel’ or ‘Alternate’ Actions and Actualities, worlds and universes, go Parallel and Alternate selves. These multiple selves, actions, possibilities and actualities are united only by a higher Awareness - one which embraces not only the three primary realms of Potentiality, Actuality and Action or Actualisation, but also the three, no less significant realms of Possibility, Alternate or Parallel Actualities - and their Reciprocity. Pure Awareness alone is the primordial ‘zero-realm’ that embraces all the other six realms or domains of reality.

1.      The Realm of Potentiality that is the source of all.

2.      The Realm of Actuality that we normally identify with 'reality' per se.

3.      The Realm of Actualisation or Action as such - of reality as realisation.

4.      The Realm of Possibility – of multiple possible actions and actualities.

5.      The Realm of Alternity or Parallelity – of Parallel but Alternate Actualities.

6.      The Realm of Reciprocity – the reciprocal relation of Actual and Alternate realities.

The Seventh Realm – Plurality

The realm of Parallelity embraces not just countless alternate or parallel physical realities, but also an infinite Plurality of pre-physical and trans-physical realms, domains, or ‘planes’ of awareness. In each of these planes (Sanskrit Loka) experiencing takes on a wholly different nature and wholly different forms to those we are used to in the physical plane – as it does in the plane of dreaming awareness for example. In all of these trans-physical realms, the experienced relation between the six fundamental realms of awareness is different in one way or another. In the domain of dreaming awareness for example, as in the first trans-physical plane we enter in the life-between-lives, Actualities are less fixed and we experience with far more immediacy that constant process of Actualisation or ‘Be-ing’ whereby different elements of our experience, inner and outer, are both constantly coming-to-be or arising and also passing away - as in a dream. The realms of dreaming and of the after-life are experienced directly as realms of ‘Becoming’ in the traditional sense – of arising and passing away. In yet other realms of the life-between lives we have the opportunity to experience Parallel realities simultaneously, and to explore, in pseudo-physical form, all the Alternate lives we might have led on earth. The 1st primary realm of awareness – the realm of Potentiality – is an intensional ‘time-space’ of awareness circumscribing space-time itself, and embracing all Potential, Possible and all Parallel Actualities – including what we perceive physically as ‘past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’ existences and Actualities. This ‘time-space’ is not one-dimensional – an experience of one thing following another in a single line of ‘space-time’. Instead it is an awareness that spans and embraces multiple moments in time and multiple lifetimes simultaneously. From its perspective, all lifetimes are simultaneous or co-present, and there is no moment of any of our lives that is not constantly and eternally being lived. Moments do not simply constitute a ‘present’ which then disappear into the Past to be superseded by ‘Future’ moments. Instead all that is experienced as ‘present’ is constantly presencing – constantly emerging from the realm of Possibility and constantly giving rise to Alternate ‘past’ and ‘future’ Actualities.

So-called ‘reincarnational’ existences on the physical plane are but one linear, temporal dimension of the realm of Alternity or Parallelity. This realm also embraces countless non-physical as well as physical planes of reality, all of which together constitute the realm of Plurality - a multi-dimensional universe or multi-verse of awareness, made up of countless planes of awareness. These are all ‘Parallel’ planes in the sense that each is defined by one of an infinite number of Alternate Possible modes of experiencing. Thus what may be perceived as variations of material ‘mass’, ‘density’ or form on the physical plane may be experienced as variations of light, of colour or of quasi-musical ‘tone’ of feeling in different non-physical planes – and vice versa. What is experienced as ‘inner’ on one plane may be experienced as ‘outer’ in another – or as neither inner nor outer. In general, what is experienced within the ‘higher’ non-physical planes takes the form of psychical ‘qualia’ – sensed and sensual qualities of awareness as such. Instead of perceiving ‘space’ as a physical expanse before our eyes for example, it will be experienced as a spacious field or expansion of awareness as such. Whereas on the physical plane a feeling of warmth or coolness towards another person might express itself as physical closeness or distance to them, on non-physical planes, what we ordinarily experience as spatial closeness and distance (or as physical warmth or coolness) is experienced purely as warmth or coolness of feeling. Phenomena such as light, warmth, colour and sound are experienced on non-physical planes not as sensory qualities of objects, but rather as sensual qualities of awareness – light being experienced as luminous radiance of awareness itself, and colours and tones as felt colourations or tones of awareness – comparable to what we sense as tones or colourations of mood.

From Metaphysics to Physics

Physics used to be identified with a mechanistic view of the universe in which everything consisted of matter in motion. Quantum physics has effectively made the notion of solid matter meaningless. For on an ultra-microscopic or quantum level, such ‘things’ as mass, momentum, energy, space and time, cease to be separately quantifiable or even definable realities - even ‘particles’ such as electrons turning out to have the same non-localised wave character as light. In dispelling ‘the myth of matter’ quantum physics has also made redundant our common but mythical idea of motion. When we view objects and people moving on a TV screen we know at the back of our minds that we are not actually observing ‘matter in motion’ but simply multiple points of light with different colours or ‘wavelengths’ turning on and off at different fixed points on the screen – and in doing so forming regular patterns on that screen which appear like familiar material objects and seem to be in motion.  From a quantum-physical perspective however, all perceived motion, even motion in what we perceive as three-dimensional space, has the same character as motion on a flat two-dimensional screen. Nothing – ‘no-thing’ actually moves ‘in’ space. There is simply a potential for seeing things at varying points in space. When a ball has been thrown it is no more than a visual image of motion in space of the sort created by points of light on a flat screen. Yet as Samuel Avery convincingly argues, behind our visual image of the ball in motion lurks a potential tactile sensation – that of catching and feeling the ball in our hands. It is this potential for tactile sensation that makes us sense the ball not just as a visual ‘image’ we can see but as ‘solid’ matter. Similarly, it is because we are aware that the food we actually see on our TV dinner plate can also potentially be touched and tasted that we regard it as having more ‘materiality’ than a mere photograph or TV image of food on a plate. The TV image itself only seems to be ‘real’ – matter like - in so far as it reminds us of these potential qualities – we can also recall or imagine the tactile sensation of feeling a ball or the taste sensation of eating a meal that we see on TV. In Avery’s words: “It is the potential for tactile sensation that makes a visual image ‘physical’.” And more generally “The concept of material substance … is derived from potential perceptions in each sensory realm.” [my stress].

In other words, what we think of as ‘matter’ is nothing simply actual but rather a relation between actual experiences in one sensory dimension of experience (for example the visual) and potential experiences in another (for example the tactile dimension). For not only do all actual experiences begin as potential experiences –  as potential patterns or qualities of awareness. They also seem all the more ‘actual’ to the extent that, like the experience of seeing a ball coming towards us, they are accompanied by an awareness of potential experiences such as moving to catch the ball and feeling it in our hands. Yet even the apparent motion of our own bodies in catching a ball is not an example of ‘matter’ in motion. There is no motion of our body ‘in’ space – merely the awareness of subjective sensations of motion, and of different actions such as catching a ball. The essence of all bodily ‘action’ then, is not ‘actually’ any sort of objective motion of our bodies in space but rather the actualisation of potential patterns of sensation. Both ‘matter’ and its ‘motion’ then, are nothing essentially objective but rather an awareness of potential dimensions and patterns of sensory experiencing within actual ones. Matter is therefore ‘real’ only in the root sense of the word as ‘mother’ [mater] of all things - being the maternal womb or matrix of potentiality – more specifically a realm of potential patterns and qualities of awareness. These then find experience as actual patterns and qualities of sensory experiencing.

The ‘metaphysical’ realm of Potentiality then, can be said to consist of countless potential field-patterns and field-qualities of awareness – comparable to the countless potential images that a flat two-dimensional screen could display. The realm of ‘physical’ Actuality on the other hand, consists of actually patterned fields and qualities of awareness – comparable to all the images we actually perceive, not just on two-dimensional screens, but as the overall four-dimensional field of sensory awareness that we experience as the physical world.  The realm of Plurality is comparable to the countless actual channels or web images available to us for viewing on a TV or computer screen. The Realm of Alternity or Parellelity can be compared to all the alternate TV channels, web-pages and video streams that are constantly and concurrently running in parallel within the realm of Plurality – ‘unreal’ for those who may not be aware of them at all, but real for those who are aware of them and for whom they become actual by viewing them.  The realm of Reciprocity can be compared to the way in which alternate possible TV channels, programmes and websites not only define themselves by the reciprocal relation but have a way of multiplying by simultaneously differentiating themselves from and mimicking one another. Indeed they may even mutually and reciprocally incorporate one another – as when one webpage or website offers links to another, one TV channel advertises or shows broadcasts bought from another - or even displays a broadcast running on another channel in an internal frame.  Experiential phenomena are recognisably formed patterns or ‘matrices’ of sensory qualities, like patterned points of light on a screen. Yet the patterns and sensory qualities that give form to experienced phenomena as such do not themselves posses any actual and tangible sensory form. By this I mean that though we may experience a phenomena such as a ‘heavy red ball’ - seeing it, touching it, feeling it and picking it up - we cannot pick up our sense of its heaviness, or our perception of its roundness or redness. For redness and roundness as such exist only as ideas – in reality there being no pure or perfectly round objects and no way of perceiving ‘redness’ independently of a particular hue of red. Indeed the phenomenal form we perceive and think of as ‘a ball’ is not itself anything material or actual, for the very idea of ‘ballness’ is rooted in potential ways of actively relating to the phenomenon – of handling, throwing or kicking it for example.

Whereas the sensory experience of a phenomenal form is something physically tangible, the very patterns and qualities that constitute phenomenal forms, though we take them as objective are, are essentially ‘all in the mind’. Forms are mental ‘ideas’ – which is why the Greek word eidos meant both ‘idea’ and ‘form’. In the history of European thought it was Plato who first argued for the pure ideality of material forms, seeing experienced or  ‘phenomenal’ forms as their shadow reflection. Plato understood pure Ideas or Forms as belonging to an immaterial and transcendent realm. Aristotle understood matter (Greek hyle) as potentiality, and form (morphe) as actuality. Actuality results from a capacity (dynamis) for formative activity (energeia) – a process of actualisation which leads towards the realisation of an ideal form or pattern (entelecheia) that is not transcendent but immanent in all things as their inner aim, purpose or direction of development (telos). Similarly, Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle, understood ‘primary matter’ (Prima Materia) as nothing actual or substantial but rather as pure potentiality  - a type of formless and ‘passive potentiality’ inseparable from God as ‘active potentiality’, the potentiality for the emergence of actual form and for change of form or transformation. These Aristotelian understandings of ‘matter’ are reflected today in Rupert Sheldrake’s notion of biological forms and transformations as a result of ‘morphogenesis’ - the progressive actualisation of non-physical patterns or ‘morphic fields’.

The accusation levelled against the ‘God-concept’ of religion – namely that God cannot be actually seen, has no sensory qualities or definable location apply equally to the Matter-concept of science. Both the God-concept and the Matter-concept can be seen as substitutes or ‘placeholders’ for the recognition of that womb-like realm of Potentiality – that is no less real than anything we actually experience. Physical ‘matter’ is real only in the root sense of the word - being the divine ‘mother’ [mater] and ‘mind’ of all things -  a womb of potentiality bearing within the mental patterns, idea-shapes or matrices of all possible actualities. This is not a new thought but one long recognised by philosophers, physicists and theologians alike.

‘Matter’ can be seen as the very ‘mind’ of God - understood as an awareness of every potential pattern or ‘idea-shape’ of things. This being the case, who should mind and why should it matter if we call the primordial awareness mind or matter, ‘The Mind of God’, ‘The Great Mother’, ‘The Matrix’ or the ‘Prima Materia’? If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Yet if ‘It’, this universal or divine ‘mother’, ‘mind’ or ‘matrix’ of all things, didn’t quite literally ‘matter’ – materialising and actualising  itself from a realm of pure potentiality - there would literally be no thing that we could either experience or conceive of scientifically as physical ‘matter’. What we experience as physical matter emerges or manifests from the realm of the Potential – this very process of ‘emergence’ (Greek physis) being the root meaning of the terms ‘physics’ and ‘physical’ themselves. Any ‘meta-level’ consideration of the nature of ‘physics’ is of course, by nature ‘meta-physical’ – transcending the bounds of physics as a science. Yet the latter, as we have seen, leads us right back to the multiple metaphysical realms of reality - understood as dimensions of a Universal Awareness Field. 

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