FRAGMENTATION OF BEING and the Path Beyond the Void by Kent D. Palmer

copyright 2004 All Rights Reserved. Not for Distribution.


Our study of the mythic foundations of deep temporality has led us to understand time in a very different way from that by which mere surface temporality is usually understood. By exploring the primal scene of the Germanic Indo-Europeans as projected on the mythic body, it has been possible to see how deep time affects surface time to produce a dynamic whole. Whenever we scratch the surface of our modern and superficial philosophies of time, that deeper seemingly irrational, yet strangely compelling, temporality manifests to take hold of us. This is particularly relevant to the process of emergence within the uni-verse in which we experience the precessing of the proto-gestalt. However, in order to explore this phenomenon further, we must reset our focus to modern times and consider the other fundamental concept which goes hand in hand with the concept of time. That concept is the most general concept of all: "BEING". When you think of time, whether surface or deep, you are focusing on changes. But the next question is changes to what? And the answer in the Western tradition is changes to "beings". Beings are the most general concept of entities, organisms in Whitehead's sense, or individuals which are subject to time. Thus, all the creatures within the branches of Yggdrasil are "Beings." This is to say existents which may be characterized as eventities. But their most general characteristics is that they all possess Being. Unless we step back and understand beings through the concept of "Being," we cannot ultimately take our exploration of deep temporality any further. This is because where time is the function that transforms all beings through all pervasive change, Being is the repository that holds and makes knowable those changes. The model of deep temporality that is presented by the primal scene is set up to operate on beings, and Being is as it were the orthogonal dimension to that model. So without exploring Being, we have really only dealt with half of the model.

Metaphysics, that which takes us beyond a particular discipline like physics, has two branches. One branch is epistemology, which asks how we know what we think we know. The other branch is ontology, which asks if what we think we know is "REAL." Physics describes a particular example of a kind of knowledge within a socio-technical discipline. When we move up a meta-level into the meta-science, called philosophy of science, then the questions become how do we know anything at all (not how do we know a specific fact), and how do we know these facts correspond to reality. "REALITY" is normally taken to mean things that exist independent of whether human beings exist or know them. Ontology is a discipline directed at this question of reality characterized in terms of the concept of Being. Whereas almost all philosophy of science dwells on epistemological questions attempting to isolate (Popper) or refute (Feyerabend) some logic of scientific investigation, there are some who think ontological questions concerning the reality of the scientific object is also of importance. This line of questioning is particularly crucial with respect to the phenomenon of emergence. Through emergence new entities or relations between given entities come into existence. It is natural to ask what the status of these new entities were before, during and after their emergence. Were they real before they emerged? Are entities which are no longer seen as having scientific value, like phlogiston or absolute space and time, no longer real all of a sudden? In fact, when one starts talking about emergent entities, it is clear that all epistemological questions are founded on ontological grounds. How we know emergent entities, and how we know the difference between those and given or already emerged entities, must take a back seat to our attempts to understand how an entity could emerge at all. How can any entity emerge at all? Does reality change? Is our worldview disconnected from reality so that it changes freely in ways that allow new realities to appear occasionally? Do these new entities correspond to realities that were always there unseen? Do discarded entities which lose our investment of scientific trust suddenly become imaginary?

Our first move in the direction of attempting to render some of these questions explicable is to replace "REAL" with "designated as real." Within a given scientific paradigm certain entities and relations are "designated as real" by the socio-technical system in the process of constructing reality. For the time being we will leave aside the question of the ultimate reality of these entities and relations. It is of interest in this connection that Jacques Lacan distinguishes the IMAGINARY, SYMBOLIC and REAL as three levels of psychological investment or reality. These three levels might also be seen to apply to any ontology of emergence. The IMAGINARY concerns projected distinctions such as between self and other. In psychology it occurs as the distinction between self and mother. This crystallizes at the "mirror stage" when the child recognizes itself in a mirror. The SYMBOLIC concerns the mediation of binary distinctions as when the child understands the father's relation to the mother takes precedence, and incest taboos are realized. The symbolic represents what G.H. Mead calls symbolic interaction via significant messages. The IMAGINARY of Lacan corresponds to the development of the self through putting one's self in the place of the other. The generalized other of Mead is an imaginary representation that mediates all self/other relations. Thus, Lacan and Mead have similar theoretical structure which Lacan has developed in a specific way which makes them useful in analyzing reality projection in the social construction of reality within the socio-technical system.

Any given paradigm cuts up the world by making a myriad of distinctions between entities found to exist. These myriad of distinctions between others -- "other/other" relations are by Lacan's terminology imaginary. Here we understand imaginary as a projection on reality. Every figure that can be brought to the foreground is distinguished by this net of imaginary relations. Psychologically, this pattern gels when the child can recognize himself among the myriad of possible figures that may be brought to the foreground. Within the gestalt of the current world regime these imaginary distinctions define the internal relations among all possible figures. The most important and psychologically charged of these figures is self and mother. But recognizing self and mother implies a comprehension of the total gestalt patterning. The "symbolic," on the other hand, concerns communication about the gestalt patterning in language. These communications appear as theories within the arena of scientific discourse. Theories represent the figures and their relations in a way that can be repatterned and manipulated symbolically. The theorist takes the place of the father as the great mediator in Lacan's theory or Mead's generalized other. The theorist symbolically embodies the objective observer whose disembodied discourse becomes the goal of science. The objective observer mediates all relations within the gestalt and presents the theory that supposedly explains everything. In truth the objective observer is only a fiction approximated by the socio-technical system and projected as its generalized other. This projection is the umbrella under which all scientific exchange occurs. Through this scientific exchange, many theories are constructed, attempting to fill the spot of the ideal theory of the perfect observer. In the process mutual criticism by the scientific community, the difference between what is known and speculation is hammered out as a basis for normal scientific endeavors. Normal science is based on the designation as real of certain portions of the family of mutually held theories. This limited investment of reality allows stepwise refinement through limited experimentation to proceed. Designation of real aspects of the world must take place under the canopy of the symbolic and use the imaginary distinctions projected within the gestalt. Designation as real marks certain aspects of the gestalt patterning as not needing reconsideration, making a firm foundation for further research. Designation as real invests the stamp of approval of the symbolic objective observer in the fact or object so marked. Intersubjective investment by the entire socio-technical system makes individual praxis reasonable. This investment only occurs, however, after the imaginary distinctions have been projected on the gestalt, and the arena of symbolic exchange as a universe of discourse has been set up by projecting the generalized other of the community of experts that make up a scientific socio-technical system.

What occurs with emergence is interesting from this perspective. In effect, the individuals who form the socio-technical system are in concert projecting the symbolic generalized "objective observer" other who, in turn, is projecting the imaginary net of distinctions on the gestalt and investing portions of it with reality. This is similar to the gods projected by ancient city states who embodied the whole community and acted as supernatural protector. The symbolic observer is the canopy under which all significant distinctions are authorized and the one who marks certain aspects highlighted by the distinctions as real. When the emergent event occurs, there is a major disruption to this process which founds a coherent universe of discourse. New imaginary distinctions become important, while others that were important become irrelevant. In fact, the imaginary distinctions which allow the emergent event to be defined become crucial. These cannot be readily apprehended by everyone participating in the universe of discourse. Individuals struggle to apprehend or project the new imaginary distinctions. Anomalies function as examples by which new distinctions are forged. When the emergent event first occurs, these new distinctions are not available, so the emergent event cannot be seen. It is first only "felt" as a disturbance of the gestalt field. It exists, first, as a kind of blind spot within the overall gestalt. By forging and trying out new imaginary distinctions slowly, the blind spot is delineated. When the blind spot becomes identifiable anomalies, then the new imaginary distinctions are forged. These are projected by a subset of the socio-technical system. Suddenly the symbolic arena begins to disintegrate because not everyone is supporting the old generalized other. The generalized other breaks up into competing unifying views. These vie with each other for predominance. But the crucial thing which occurs is that the designated reality of the single generalized other loses its grip. What is "real" suddenly goes into flux. The anxiety level for everyone with an investment in this reality goes through the roof. New symbolic links are forged between the new imaginary distinctions and some old ones. This allows the new distinctions to be understood by a wider audience. Finally, if the new emergent pattern is strong enough to withstand criticism which has intensified to a fever pitch, then it slowly gathers strength and begins to project a new coherent generalized other to which most of the socio-technical system's members can subscribe. The projection of this new generalized other means that emergent event is now incorporated into the worldview of the socio-technical system as a whole. A new series of markings for designated reality is then produced. In this way the four stages of emergence can be seen as moments in the process of reality projection by the socio-technical system.

There are strong resemblances between this picture and the picture of the symbel discovered through the exploration of the primal scene of deep temporality. Each specialist has his or her place within the scientific socio-technical system. In the case of the king, he is now the symbolic imaginary observer whose realm is the universe of discourse of a scientific specialty. The warrior experts make theoretical boasts which they attempt to make real through acts of valor in experimental settings. The emergent event is the monster who enters the hall like Grendal in Beowulf. The heroic act is to define, by new circumscribing distinctions, this inexplicable monster. The fact that the distinctions only really capture a part of the monstrous emergent events characteristics (in Grendal's case only an arm is cut off) is not as important as having developed distinctions which work. These distinctions are crucial for the king to regain control over his hall, even if they lead to deeper changes like the appearance of Grendal's mother as a new enemy. Beowulf's journey under water to Grendel's mother's den could be interpreted as the state of experimentation which finally leads to the emergence of the broken sword blade which is put into the hand of the king. At that point the emergent event has been fully incorporated into the reality of the people of the symbel.

TABLE 1 Stages of emergence in Beowulf. {FIGURE 313}

The Anomaly



Isolated >>>>





Before Grendal

King Seated

Grendal appears

King unseated

Beowulf Boasts


Beowulf fignts Grendal

Gets arm (partial)

Grendal's mother attacks

Beowulf fights Grendal's mother in cavern and wins

King gets old sword hilt (partial)

Story told









Normal Situation

Something out there

New theory explicated

New distinctions isolate anommaly

New distinctions isolate new phenomena


Fully integrated emergent object.

History is rewritten

New History

Return to normalcy

Beowulf's boast, or beot, is an important step in this development. It allows new distinctions to be imagined which isolate the anomalies and which, in turn, allow new phenomena to be seen. Likewise, in seeing all emergent phenomena, the arising of new distinctions is a crucial step. These are called non-nihilistic distinctions because they isolate the new genuinely emergent event form the excrescences of artificial emergence. The excrescences are nihilistic in that all differences between are superficial whereas the differences of emergent events to the field of excrescences is meaningful; not merely diacritically significant. The new distinctions are, in G.Bateson's terms, key differences that make a difference. The boast or beot is an imagining of new distinctions among the myriad of beings that make up the world. The boast is that these imagined distinctions can be proved valid by the praxis of experimentation. If so proved, the new distinctions will become part of the apparatus by which reality is conferred within the uni-verse of discourse. If these distinctions are truly revolutionary, then the symbolic generalized other itself will be transformed. This will mean a new net of imaginary distinctions will be projected on the gestalt. This, in effect, means the gestalt will turn over as the proto-gestalt precesses.

The difference between imaginary distinctions and the symbolic other is captured also in ontological parlance by what is called "ontological difference." "Being" is different from beings. Being as, a general concept, is a whole greater and qualitatively different from its parts in the myriad of beings. Likewise, the myriad of distinctions of the imaginary are brought together into a single world vision by the symbolic generalized other that confers reality. In fact, the concept of Being functions very much like a symbolic other to the imaginary field of all distinctions that differentiate beings. As a concept it concentrates the ineffable characteristic of designated reality into a single locus of power from which that designation emanates. It also comprehends that this projection of distinctions which articulate all beings somehow is the fundamental transcendental impulse that projects the whole world. Thus, the structure of imaginary, symbolic, and real is repeated in our ontological concept of Being which abstracts the world projecting act of transcendence from the act of constructing a scientific reality.


Imaginary, Symbolic, & Real components of Being.

FIGURE 31 Elements of Being. {FIGURE 316}

TABLE 2 Concepts in Being.



x is y



There is x such that ...



.... is true

Primordial Being is a linguistic given in Indo-European languages. In ancient Greece this linguistic artifact was turned into a worldview that today still permeates our ways of looking at everything. The fundamental move made by the Greeks was to identify Primordial Being with the act of transcendence by which the world itself is projected. Thus, Being became not just a passive way of describing the world, but the means by which the world was thrown into existence. Primordial Being is a multifaceted linguistic constellation which combined with the linguistic constellation of "Logos," provides the basis for this picture of Being as the act of transcendence. The word logos combines the meanings 1) discourse, speech; 2) reason, account; 3) definition, mathematical proportion. In modern English it appears as the word "Logic." Symbolic logic is a system of reasoning using symbols about the truth values of propositions. Logic is the primary analytic tool by which symbolic systems are constructed, and by which their consistency is maintained. Logic is the bulwark for all formal systems because it is the meanings by which proofs are constructed and verified. Thus, logic plays a key role as an underpinning of all formal structural systems.

TABLE 3 The meaning of the permutated elements of Being.




























A = A





























However, logic as we know it today has its roots in the Primordial Logos of the Greeks which linked speaking to the inner structure of the unfolding of the world. Logos signified the primal patterning which underlay both the world and speech. Speech consists of descriptions of states of affairs of beings in the world. These descriptions had an inner patterning which made "necessity" visible through syllogistic reasoning. That "necessity," apprehended within the discourse, was the manifestation of the necessity inherent in the world itself. This logos also meant the mathematical proportion which appeared in the structuring of the world. Statements of logic used different facets of Being to embody necessity within descriptions. The three main aspects of Being used in logic is the copula for predication "X is Y;" the existential operation "there is an X such that ...;" and the veridical or truth operator ".. is so (or is the case)" [p 401]. These three distinct uses of the verb are the means for laying out the necessity inherent in things through the patterning of discourse in a way we today call logical. The copula is used to make predication (statements) which equate or connect creating relationships. The existential posits that the subjects or predicates exist, and thus partake in reality. The veridical claims that the statements are true. This means there is a correspondence set up between what exists, and statements made about what exists, which are verifiable. Thus, the three aspects of Being combine to connect the logos of discourse to the upwelling logos of existence itself, and also keeps the descriptions in sync with what is described. The combination of the multifaceted concepts of Being and Logos gives us a powerful correspondence theory between language and what is real. In many ways these two primordial conceptual patterns ground our whole approach to existence. Because discourse as reasoning is an action which used the three central concepts of Being to construct descriptions of the world, one could see these projections of Being through logos as the means of projecting the world. The necessity is drawn out of the world and made manifest using the structures of verification, predication, and existential declaration. But even more to the point, the reality of necessity is posited in this process. This separates beings into two groups: real and unreal, and separates statements into two camps: true and untrue. The real beings are connected to the true statements, and by this single act the transcendental realm is projected beyond mere phenomena. Being which projects this transcendental realm becomes its foundation. Being becomes another world beyond our sensory access which we see as through a glass darkly. Plato describes this realm as a kind of hyper-reality which we only glimpse imperfectly through the tinted warped lenses of the senses. In the ream of Being the inner necessity of things in the world stands out on their surfaces instead of being hidden. Discourse is not needed to manifest that necessity, but it is directly apprehended. It is a realm in which ideas are directly perceived.

HOLONOMIC "Wholeness"

real identity = Gestalt

true identity = Sameness

true reality = RTA?

IDOLATRY "Surface truth depth falsehood"

unreal identity = Generalized Other

false identity = A = A

true unreality = DRUJ?

PRECESSING of PROTO-GESTALT "Progress by jumps"

real difference = Genuine emergence

true difference = Difference that makes a difference

false reality = Illusion? (no longer true but real)


unreal difference = Excrescence

false difference = Diacriticality

false unreality = Fantasy? (both false and unreal)

There is a direct connection between Logos/Being and the process of ideation. Ideation creates imaginary continuities between beings which exist as glosses or "concepts" or "simple ideas". In effect, ideation is a means of simulating the transcendental realm of Being in this world. The discourse uses repetition to create special highlighted "words" that function as special theoretical tools for pointing to interesting or thought-provoking aspects of beings in existence. These "concepts" allow the speaker and his audience to "grasp" the point and intensify understanding into a theoretical discipline. Ideation takes the natural glossing of perception and uses that same process to gloss discourse, turning it into theory. By producing simulated illusory continuity between different uses of the same highlighted word as "concept," ideation acts to emulate the transcendental realm projected by Being.


The "idea" or "concept" mirrors the transcendental pattern, called a "source form" within the phenomenal realm. By connecting ideas, the necessity of the interrelations of the transcendental patterns is laid out. The "idea" or "concept" functions at the symbolic level as a token of exchange signifying the transcendental patterns of necessity. This symbolic realm within the phenomenon is invested with a derivative reality that corresponds to its isomorphic relation to hyper-reality. It rides on top of the imaginary relations between phenomenal forms that are sacrificed for a symbolic relation to source patterns in projected hyper-reality. When beings within the net of imaginary relations between beings are designated as real, it is due to the isomorphism between aspects of those beings and the hyper-reality. Designation as real borrows "reality" from the hyper-reality and uses it to tie down facets of phenomenal reality. This can only happen because the symbolic correspondences to source forms have been set up via the process of ideation. All of this is based upon the ideational gloss of Being itself. The construction of a symbolic "concept" of Being allows the transcendental hyper-reality to be projected, which then allows other symbolic ideational glosses to be designated as real through their correspondence to assumed entities that inhabit the hyper-reality. In this way the process of ideation can be seen to be the means by which the transcendental realm is projected. Being does not escape the process by which all conceptual glosses are created. Being is the most general "concept" of all. Its production is the ultimate action of ideation because with this production, reality itself is grasped or projected, depending on ones ontological perspective. However, the concept of Being rests on a linguistic infrastructure of Primordial Being which is rooted firmly at the heart of all Indo-European languages. This Ideational production is founded on a grammatical production which establishes the house of language itself. Primordial Being is the central verb in all Indo-European languages, which in Greek has a threefold meaning: "be" - "come to be" - "make to be."

The verb TO BE is the jack or all trades of the Indo-european languages . . .1

It combines with the marker "come" to "become" and is augmented with the verb for "do" to form a threefold system expressing state, change of state and cause of state. This structure seems to be common to all Indo-European languages. This, as Primordial Being, fans out into the rest of language by connection to other verbs like "come" and "do;" it represents the fundamental idea of transformation and causality. However, the expression of "stasis" is the fundamental matter being posited which is augmented by the idea of changing state and causality. Causality echoes the necessity that exists in the logical relation between relations. This logical necessity within the threefold central verb unfolds into causal relations by augmentation by other verbs. In this way the Primordial linguistic patterns upon which our world is founded exist pre-ontologically. These pre-ontological interpretations of the world found in language are taken up to become philosophically elaborated as ontological structures. In this we recognize the power our language has over the way we look at the world, pre-forming our experience around linguistic patterns.


From the point of view of the Whorfian hypothesis concerning the way language shapes reality, we can see that this connection between causality, logic and Being creates a powerful filter for the experience of all Indo-European peoples. The ramifications of the elaboration of this filter are all around us which we call the history of Western civilization, and the centerpiece of that development is the socio-technical system.


stasis / change of state / cause


speech / reason / inner proportion


copula / verification / existential

Logic and Logos find their echoes in Old English in the orLOG (orleg or orlaeg). OR means primordial or original. LAEG goes to LICGAN which means "to lie, be situated, or to lie down." Bauschatz identifies this with the strata laid down within the well as Karmic remnants of the past. These things laid down become the "law" (dharma) which shapes everything unfolding from the past.


-- law, order, command, ordinance, rule, regulation, right, legal privilege

lagu, lago

-- sea, lake, water, L-rune, flood, ocean


-- law


-- to falsify, lie, be lie, utter falsely, deceive, betray, be in error

laeg -> licgan

-- to lie, be situated, lie down, lie dead, fall, extend

liig, liieg, leeg

-- flame, fire


-- to deny


-- to lodge, place, put in order, arrange, collect, settle, discourse, divide, portion out


-- place, stead


-- lie, falsehood


-- falsehood, lie

In this cluster of roots there is no clear center of coherence. However, we note that lagu means both decree and a sea or lake. The strata does not seem to be related to the clay combined with water from the well by the Norns, but with the water itself. The concept of strata is embodied in the word laeg -> licgan. Closer related to the heart of logos is the word logian which means to place or put in order or arrange. The sense seems to be that the law is an ordering which arranges everything in its place. We know that this decree is closely associated with water from the wells which is turbulent to varying degrees. We do not think of water as an ordering principle; yet in the flows of water, as with erosion, there is a very powerful patterning principle. Since lagu is not just wells, but seas, lakes, and floods, we can see this erosion process which shapes the land over geological time as very important. What is laid down is the pattern which is caused by the flowing water as it marks the stones, giving them smoothness and cutting the rippling patterns of the water in the stone. Over long periods of time this erosion orders and arranges. The law might be seen as the contours or flow left by the decree of the single source as it manifests. What goes against this patterning is a leeogan or lie. This makes lagu very much like the Chinese concept of "LI" which is an active patterning principle seen as active in this world which leaves its marks in the flowing patterns of rivers and in the grain in wood. The patterning principle is only known to exist by the marks left after the flowing has ceased. The emphasis is changed here from the strata to the process by which the strata are created. The water might be identified with the flowing energy of the Chi which leaves the pattern, while the patterning principle itself is the Li or Lagu which manifests through the flowing. If we replace the water by the flow of discourse, then that is a speech which orders everything; putting everything in its own place. This is an organic and flowing order which is the inverse of the flow of Chi itself through which the order becomes manifest. It is not a rigidly structured order which we associate with logic and reason. Instead, we might associate it with the true logic of scientific discovery in that it is an historical order that is the result of many decrees over time. The concept is that the decree is an irresistible force like a flood which will order existence as it pleases. To be in harmony with that immense force is to be in one's proper place by its ordering. Otherwise, one is in denial (lignan) which makes whatever one does or says a lie.

For the Old English concept the emphasis is not on speech, but instead on the ordering of things by the decree as it manifests irresistibly. The discovered order which is seen by the erosive effects has been etched into beings laid down in their discovered interrelations. These effects in speech, as reason and descriptive accounts which point to this necessity, is secondary. Within the Greek logos nature's physis is seen as an imitation of the patterning of speech. Whereas in the Old English, the patterning of destiny prior to speech is primary. It offers an insight into the process of deep temporality unfolding, rather than a method for explication of the inner necessity of Beings.

Logos makes use of Being as a means of explicating the inner necessity. Primordial Being already includes the threefold relation between predicate, verification, and existential aspects that exist within the Indo-European verb *es and which appear fully flowered in Greek under the rubric of a single verb. In Old English there are three different roots which combine together to perform similar functions. This will be seen as very significant at a later point in the development of this series of essays. So, rather than compare the Old English equivalents of the Greek *es, at this point we will attempt to delve deeper into this threefold structure of *es as it appears fully formed in Greek. Just as we sought to look beyond surface temporality to glimpse a deeper temporal layer, we can look beyond the "concept" of Being into the nature of Primordial Being as it manifests in language. This will give our ontological hopes pre-ontological underpinning which will hopefully make Being a full, rather than the empty, concept it usually becomes in the hands of the philosophers.

Being is normally thought of as an "empty" concept because it applies to everything. An attribute which is attached to everything must be so generic as to be empty of all quality. When we realize that this attribute is precisely what allows our world to exist at all, it becomes more interesting, but still remains empty of determinations. Thus, conceptual Being, the "symbolic other" for all existence, appears as a pure plenum-like absolute space or absolute time in which all beings find their place to be. However, when we look at Primordial Being instead, we find that as it expresses itself in the Greek language, there is a structure there within the cluster of meanings covered by the verb *es. The three meanings have already been adumbrated as the predicative, veridical, and existential. These expressions have concrete uses, and it is through their use that conceptual Being is established. Primordial Being is pre-ontological. It was there before the pre-Socratics attempted to bring the functions of the verb *es to consciousness, turning it into a concept. Before that, Primordial Being functioned within the speech of men and the songs of the poets. Thus, Primordial Being is the concrete ground of Conceptual Being.

Through conceptualization via the ideational process, the inner structure of Primordial Being has been lost. This is exactly why symbolic others are called "glosses." In order to achieve an artificial unity concerning the meaning of *es, all the differences within its actual usage were ironed out. This left a pristine unified concept which, unfortunately, lacked all content. In order to discover the roots of this etheric unity, we must explore the imaginary differences within Primordial Being. Primordial Being is a constellation which is not completely unified. As with the other Old English word "constellations" with which we have dealt, there is meaning in the structure of imaginary differences between the members of the constellation. In fact, this rough hewn meaning is always deeper than the totally unified concept. The conceptual gloss achieves perfect abstraction at the sacrifice of fine differences of internal structure. Sometimes the fine structure within the constellation is of greater import than the fully abstracted end product of ideation.

Primordial Being has three parts identified already with the predicative, veridical, and existential. When one looks at these three parts of Primordial Being, it becomes clear that they each indicate one particular imaginary dichotomy.


The proposition "X is Y" creates difference by distinguishing subjects from predicates and connecting predicates to the subject. Identity is manifested by tautological statements such as "X is X" and "Y is Y." Thus, the copula may be used to express both identity and difference, as well as built-up nets of relations between subjects and predicates. A class (set) structure is created by statements of the form "A is a class (set);" "I is an instance (member);" "J is an instance (member);" and "I and J belong to A." This set theory has its foundation in the copula to which it adds a minimal structure of concepts such as SET and MEMBER, etc. Set theory is a formal way to define ideal differences and identities. For Symbolic Logic to be defined, the truth function must be added. The truth function is a meta-level classification of statements into two sets: ether true or false. By the principle of excluded middle (a Greek artifice) there is no intersection. This has led to the poverty of the Western logical development. Nagarguna, following the practice of Indian logic, did not ascribe to the excluded middle. He considered the cases "both true and false," as well as "neither true nor false." The former combination has been recently formalized by Zedha as fuzzy logic and fuzzy set theory. However, given the limitation of excluded middle, the dichotomy true and false may be applied to all statements. Statements that no longer reflect circumstances are branded false. This allows a clear delineation of the relation of statements to existent beings. It gives a handle by which statements can connect to states of affairs in the world. This allows discourse to have impact on the world, rather than merely floating free. The distinction between the real and unreal by the existential statement has a similar function with respect to beings. Beings are classified as existing or not existing. This allows one to focus attention on the existent beings which can have effect on the world. Only existent beings may enter into causal relations or partake in transformations. Non-existent beings are phantoms of the imagination or the senses which are the chaff of experience to be winnowed in order to see the real world beyond the phenomenal. Each of these imaginary differences, identity/difference; true/false; and real/unreal are crucial in the development of Western philosophy. The fact that they are bound together in the internal structure of Primordial Being is important. It has set the course of all Western philosophy, which is obsessed with the issues surrounding these imaginary distinctions.

Of great significance is the realization that these imaginary differences within Primordial Being repeat the structure of the Primal Scene of deep temporality. We have already noted the relation between "Tree" and "True" in Old English. Trees that were straight were called true. This straightness indicated a conformity to reality. This indicates that everything supported by the proto-gestalt must conform to reality. Thus, all the worlds in the pluriverse must ultimately conform to the real. The worlds supported by Yggdrasil are all manifestations of reality which remain true to that reality. The tree is rooted in the reality and is the conduit by which that reality emanates the lebensraum for all the creatures. What is false is whatever does not correspond to the reality. Whenever it exists, it is like flotsam or jetsam which will be washed away. Only what is founded on a reality can last.

On the other hand, the sources of the water of life represented by the wells, manifest by the way of metaphor the distinction between identity and difference. This is why it is crucial that there are multiple wells and only one tree. The multiple wells represent the inherent differences which manifest in things. These differences are like the distinctions between species. Each specie has its own source that contains the difference from all other species. All the species ultimately point back to a single source for life itself. But life must manifest via myriad differences between species. Then within a species there are, of course, individual differences. However, individuals from a specie are marked by similarity, not difference. Species emphasize difference, while individuals within any one species emphasize identity. Within the difference between species there is the identity of the specie with itself. Within the identity of the individuals of a specie, there is the difference of individual characteristics. Identity and difference are complementary, intertwined opposites. It is through the sources that the relation of identity and difference is manifest. Sources collect differences by their identities, and distinguish identities through their differences. Sources are different from other sources. They are like archetypes that establish the overall governing pattern. The governing patterns of different sources are clearly distinguished. However, once the source pattern is established, then that is used as a template for manifesting myriad individuals which are basically the same but in myriad ways different from each other. The differences between individuals within a specie may be clearly seen because the pattern is already known and established by which the kind of individual is recognized.

Sources relate to kinds. Each kind has its own source. By kind we are referring mostly to natural complexes of different types, each with its own configuration of attributes. Artificial complexes imitate natural complexes in their differentiation, but the connection to sources is not as clear. Artificial complexes are blurred by the production of excrescent artificial emergences which are based upon inessential changes which attempt to create differences of kind when none actually exists. Only non-nihilisticlly distinguished artificial complexes have the same kind of clarity that natural complexes have in relation to manifesting kind, and thus indicating sources. Each kind functions as a pointer that indicates a source. The sources are hierarchically arranged, so that all the sources ultimately go back to a single source from which the water of life bubbles up to be distributed, through the sources to each of the individual creatures. The tree of species development produced by evolutionists is really the tree of the collection of species going back to an imaginary origin for all life.

However, all the sources of individual species that harken back to the source of life can be considered from three aspects. The first aspect is reproductive, corresponding to the well in Hel. Each distinct species can only reproduce with others of the same species. This reproductive aspect of sources means that the life of every individual comes from other individuals of the same species. The specie must return to itself in order to produce itself. The specie is the gate by which reproductive energies of the selfish gene is propagated. But beyond this, each individual has its own energy transformation process and temporality. Some species burn energy very fast and have short life spans; others live long from an objective viewpoint. But all species have a similar number of allotted breaths and heartbeats, despite their different experiences of time. The experience of temporality of each specie is a deep memory which flows from the well Mirmir. As the specie lives its life, all innate behaviors are drawn from this deep memory. In humans we have archetypal experiences like father/son and mother/daughter relations which also derive from this deep memory. This deep memory serves as the reservoir of energy channeling transformation available to everyone of a given specie. The phases of life and the different inherent possibilities for action are encoded deep in every individual of a specie. There is a connection between these patterns of inherent energy transformation and the source of energy itself. Each individual has its own allotment of Chi which is given in his or her life. By using this Chi within the pattern of essential transformations that are available, the individual creates the circumstances of his life given physical, social and psychological constraints.

If true/false is related to the metaphor of the tree and identity/difference is related to the metaphor of the wells; then real/unreal must be related to the chiasm from which both these metaphorical images arise -- the single source related to both the well and the tree. It is the origin of the one well beyond the myriad wells, and it is the origin of the tap root of the tree. The single source is the out-of-time reality which is distinguished from the unreality of both eternity and the in-time. The source of all causation which manifests as the decree is Real, whereas everything else is unreal. What derives from that source bears the stamp of reality, whereas everything else is stamped with falsehood or unreal distinctions. This reality, directly from the single source, is not other worldly. It manifests everything by the decree. It is seen in completion after becoming, and before necessity is apprehended. Whatever is completed has the stamp of the decree. The fact that the tree has a tap root, and the wells contain water from a unknown source underground, shows us that this conception of the single source was intended in the primal scene. It is clear that the taproot and the miraculous water of life should arise chiasmically from the same source. In one case the water emanates from that single source, while the tap root attempts to approach it. That single source of both the tree and the wells must be what is real. The eternal metaphor of the well and the tree is not real. What is in-time is not real. Reality is the source of the decree -- what comes true. It is the source of all real differences. Whatever is Real in existence borrows its reality from the out-of-time single source. To claim existence for something using the phrase "X exists such that ..." or "X is such that ..." attaches that thing to what is real -- it claims that the distinctions by which the thing is made known and differentiated are genuine and authentic. It claims certitude and veracity for that thing over and against all other things. It claims actuality, tangibility and concreteness for the object which makes presence and irresistible facticity.

However, REAL is a word derived from the Latin "Res" and has no place in Old English. In fact, all the words underlined above derive from other languages. One of the Old English counterparts for the real is SOTH. Soth means truth, the truth, righteousness, justice, rectitude, reality, and certainty. Its related words are as follows:


-- hole, pin, well, cistern, spring, fountain, lake, stream

-- see seothan


-- to boil, cook, cause to well up, (seethe), board over, be troubled in mind, afflict, disturb


-- to affirm, testify, declare, true, prove, testify to the truth of ...


-- asserter, affirmer

sith, syth

-- journey, course, way, arrival, enterprise, errand, exploit, experience, fate, occasion, time, departure, death, expedition, undertaking, road


-- scythe


-- south (*) DIRECTION

Notice that this constellation of words connects both to truth and to the well. A seeaath is a well, cistern, stream which seethes or boils up with turbulence. Also related is the concept of journey course and way in the word sith. A clear connection might be made between what is experienced on the journey and what wells up from the fountain. What wells up is an affirmation, or decree, or assertion of soth or fate. The soth is an original truth which wells up and asserts the decree of man's fate.

Another word which indicates reality in Old English is wist. Wist means existence, abundance, subsistence, well being, food, feast, provision, abundance, plenty, nourishment. Among the related words are the following:


-- blanket or sheet


-- west


-- desert


-- growth, fruit, product, result, benefit, form, offspring, produce, abundance, increase


-- west (*) DIRECTION


-- waste, desolate, barren, deserted, uninhabited, empty, useless

Wist points out another aspect to the upwelling from the single source. It is a source of abundance. This word group contains the opposites of abundance and waste which circle about the very heart of the matter. If the single source is giving, then that giving is a cornucopia of wealth and nourishment. However, if the single source is not giving, then everything is laid to waste. This is the heart of the concept of the decree. The decree distinguishes those that receive abundance from those that are wasted. The decree is symbolized by the scythe that determines the time of the harvest in which the growth is cut off.

Following the indication of the directions, we may also mention eest which means favor, grace, bounty, kindness, pleasure, harmony, consent, permission, origin. Other related roots are

aaeest -> aaeerest

-- first, before all


-- book mark


-- to live luxuriously


-- gracious, liberal, kindly


-- protuberance, knot, limb


-- storm, tempest, hurricane


-- east (*) DIRECTION

In the related words of this constellation, we read the aest is first before all which is certainly an attribute of the single source. There is no corresponding word cluster around the word for NORTH. But we can imagine the majesty that the north represented for the northern peoples. The place of the midnight sun and the endless night. The place where day and night become nihilisitic opposites each lasting six months at a time.


The majesty of the north caused it to be separated from the other three directions, and it was the distinction between night and day that allowed that distinction to be made:

Cuillandre's study has the advantage of presenting a coherent system of Homer's spatial orientation derived from the very obvious phenomena of the sun. It is worth noting, in corroboration of Cuillandre's thesis, that the sun can supply three cardinal points from its circuit: its appearance, its noontime meridian, and its disappearnace give an east, a south, and a west. North is the one cardinal point for which the sun offers no assistance. The northern region is defined by a wholly negative relationship to the sun and is characterized by the absence of sun, exactly as Homer describes the land of the Kimmerians: the land beyond the reach of the sun, whether in its rising or in its setting. Before the invention of compasses the only points for the fourth cardinal point were the stars, "the Bear which revolves around the same point and does not share in the baths of Ocean" (Ody. 5.274-5). Cardinal north is a night-time discovery. In one of those pleasing coincidences of nature, north, the one point not described by daytime pointers, except in a negative way, is also the one point most exactly described by night-time pointers. Homeric practice shows this to be no idle formulation. Homeric man orients himself by day according to the two solar directions, ..., but when the sun disappears at night, his eyes turn northward to orient him by the stellar constellations circling around the celestial pole.2

Thus, all four directions are are clearly defined, but with the difference that North is defined by the pole star and Bear constellation at night, while the the other directions are defined by the sun. Amid these compass points there is the midpoint which has its own special nature.


-- meadow


-- maiden


-- mad


-- mead, drink


-- reward, pay


-- middle center


-- mood, mind, heart


-- bushel

However, in the center of the directions is an interesting cluster of words. Important here is medu which is the sacred drink of the northern peoples, and related to it the word MOOD which signifies heart/mind. This word has been belittled by the modern word "mood" meaning temper. The meadow is the place where the sheep graze, and the maiden is the source of reproductive generation and fertility for her people. But also we see the word MAD and MED which mean reward or payment. The suggestion here is that the good things in life appear in the middle between the four directions from which things come to you as decreed. Since the single source cannot be pinned down to any time or space, it is represented as the four directions themselves as SOTH, WIST, and EST which control the middle realm where the decree is experienced. The north is the realm of nihilistic opposites -- abnormally extened days and nights. In this middle realm the alcoholic honey drink is the stands for the magical water which is drunk in the symbel. What we see is that reality has not broken off to be a separate realm from the lifeworld. No Copenhagen interpretation is necessary here. The sensory world is the whole world. Mood signifies both mind and heart, as well as feelings before they are split. Within the symbel each warrior gets his meed or reward and pays his allegiance to his lord. The sheep are in the meadow, and the maids are for wifing. Male (wer) and female (wifu) are both MANN. This wholeness of the middle realm has its own undeniable reality rooted in abundance, growth and sustenance in a way we can hardly imagine today. So reality had a different meaning for the speakers of Old English than it has for us. Reality for us is abstract and distinct realm from which we are divorced. For them reality was immediately experienced as the cycle of birth and death. Thus, reality becomes identified with the reward allotted by the decree as it manifests in events of birth, death, famine, abundance, peace, war, marriage, etc. Thus, the middle realm is like a bushel basket, or its own caldron, in which the forces coming from the four directions effect profoundly as manifestations of the causality of the single source. The world is a precarious place in which external forces play a large part in determining the fate of the community. In the community everyone shares each other's fates as everyone shares the mead. The women are mead givers, and the men live off that sustenance given openly in the symbel. There is a balance between this nourishment and the deeds of war by which the community is protected. Thus, what is manifest within the community is the shared fate which is continually manifesting the eternal law of the single source.

The eternal law "ae" derives directly from the single source. From it the nine worlds manifest. There are seven vowels and three diphthongs which give ten vowels to Old English. The vowel "ae" represents eternal law. The other nine vowels manifest the other nine worlds which appear as different words from the same root. The "ae" vowel provides the pivot around which this differentiation occurs within the clearing in Being. The middle kingdom is the focus for the manifestation of shared fate which makes visible the eternal laws. The eternal law "ae" is the manifestation of the single source of causality within the world. Without shared fate within a community, this eternal law is not seen. The community exists as a special arena in which this manifestation can occur. Like our exploration of constellations of words, the vowels form as differentiated space of meaning. We are not interested in making these clusters into homogeneous defined sets of meanings. It is the very rough hewn nature of the meaning constellations which is our point of focus. Here deep channels of meaning still appear. It is differences that appear in the meaning clusters which we need. They give us access back into the roots of our own now global language; our language that has lost its roots; transplanted other roots from Latin and Greek which are used as substitutes for the real roots of our language; our language which accepts words form all other tongues but does not retain the words form its own origins. Those words that are retained are twisted to take up the interstices of meaning left over from Latin and Greek loan words. Mood becomes a vague feeling when it once stood for heart and mind united before they ever became differentiated.


The eternal law unites what is derived from the three wells within the clearing of the community, thus revealing the single source's yang causation within the yin realm of the visible world. This unification may be realized by the meditation on the Pole Star which unites the night time north which is the manifestation of the world tree with the sources in the east, west and south.

Oaks abide. And abiding they are revered, for they reveal that which abides within us. What frequenter of oak groves at dusk has not felt the abysmal power of their stillness and borne it secretly away into the night? Oaks abide, and oaks are prayers -- their dark hearts leafing outward into the light as surely as human hearts flower inward, following the grain of an even further illumination.

Like oaks, words that embody the abiding endure through vast reaches of space and time. In fact, our words "truth," "trust," and "tree" can all be traced back four thousand years to an ancient Proto-Indo-European word for the tree that to them was the Truth. That tree was the oak. They called the oak *dorw, which also meant "firm," "strong," "enduring." The oak is, after all, a stout tree, as anyone who has cut through oakwood can testify.

The word "Druid" is also from the *dorw family. The Druids were a priestly class of bardic seers endowed with visionary powers. The name itself means "seer of oaks," and one wonders what they saw that would give them such a title, for a seer is one who perceives forms not available to the perception of the common eye.

One thing is certain. The oak had a special meaning not only for the Druids, but for the Indo-Europeans as a whole. During the warm period around 2000 B.C., before the dispersal of the Proto-Indo-European tribes, grand oaken forests covered most of Europe, extending hundreds of miles north of their present thermally mandated boundary. Giant oaks, much larger than any present-day specimens, were source of food (in the form of acorns) and religious inspiration. These trees so impressed the Proto-Indo-European consciousness that the oak became established as the formal religious symbol of the era. Because it revealed the abiding, it was a symbol of great durability and power. In fact, if one traces the descendence of the Proto-Indo-European oak word in the various Indo-European languages, from Ireland to India one finds they are represented prominently in religious usage. This tree was, as we have noted, the Truth.

All the Indo-European High Gods were bearers of the thunderbolt, and were called Thunderers. It is natural that the oak was sacred to each to them, because it is struck by lightning more often than any other tree. It channels the power of the Thunderer to Earth.

Thus the Balts burned fires in sacred oak groves to their God of Thunder. The Teutons ignited holy oakwood fires in honor of Donares eih, their Thunder God. The Greeks felt that sounds coming from the oak were oracular, the voice of Zeus, the Thunder Bearer. The tribes of ancient Italy maintained perpetual oakwood fires, watched over by vestal virgins, and Jupiter was worshipped in the form of an oak. The Celtic Druids ate acorns, worshipped in sacred oak groves, lighted oakwood fires, and praised the Celtic High God in the form of an oak. What was it, we ask again, that these seers of oaks saw?

Turning now to India, the Sanskrit relatives of the ancient Proto-Indo-European's term for oak (*dorw) provide the answer. The most obvious relative is daru, "tree." In ancient cultures trees had not yet come to be valued as board feet of lumber. The tree represented the immeasurable Truth, the Cosmic Pillar, the Axis of the World, extending into Heaven. Around it the entire universe was thought to revolve, just as the constellations circle Polaris, the North or Pole Star. In fact, like the star-crowned Christmas tree, the Cosmic Tree is often depicted in ancient myths and art as crowned with the Pole Star.

When the Aryan tribes spilled over the mountain passes of the Hindu Kush into the fertile river valleys of northern India, they entered and alien climate, leaving behind the great oaken forests of their homeland, far to the north. But they carried with them their language, and with it another relative of *dorw that retained in its sound and meaning something of the forgotten sacred oaks of their ancestry. The Sanskrit word is dhruva, and it means "the abiding, the firm, or fixed one." It is also the name of the star that abides like the oak, the Pole Star, Polaris. And it was dhruva, the Pole Star, that became a subject for Patanjali, one of India's greatest seers and teachers. He lived around 500 B.C. and left us sort of a lab manual, the Yoga Sutras, a work of concise and precise formulas (surtras) and the systematic unfolding of consciousness (yoga).

The third chapter of this treatise is concerned with subtle, supernatural powers (siddhis). Formula 28 of this chapter states that "by performing samyama on the Pole Star (dhruva), one gains knowledge of the motion of the stars."

Now this seems obvious enough. After all, shepherds, sailors, astronomers, and lovers -- in fact, anyone having normal vision and residing in the Northern Hemisphere -- has the ability to ovserve the nocturnal heavens rotating around the North Star. The only perplexity is that Patnjali, a writer of great precision and economy of expression, should list this as a subtle, supernatural power. Perhaps this meditation on the abiding star has something to do with why the Druids were called seers of the abiding tree.

The key to this riddle is the world samyana, which has no equivalent in English. According to Patanjali, however, the term designates a technique of meditation in which three qualities of consciousness merge. These three qualities are (1) the abiding, (2) the flowing, (3) the uniting.

1. The abiding is fixity or duration of attention on an object. This does not simply mean staring, for even if we stare fixedly at something we experience delicate lapses of attention. This abiding quality is involved in every act of attention, but it seems that objects like stones, the Pole Star, and oaks -- or even the ideas of them -- are naturally unmoving and have the ability to draw us into the depths of the abiding. In fact, the Sanskrit term for this abiding quality of consciousness is another word derived from the ancient Proto-Indo-European oak word *dorw. The Sanskrit term is dharana. As Martin Heidegger said: "To think truly is to confine oneself to a single thought which one day stands still like a star in the world's sky." This standing still of thought is dharana.

2. Attention cannot be forcefully fixed upon an object for any great duration. The mind spontaneously flows from one act of attention to the next. However, if the mind is quiet, peaceful, and thus spontaneously concentrated, it can flow uninterruptedly toward any object. It flows abidingly. Flowing and nonflowing coexist. The Sanskrit term for this flowing quality is dhyana, and it, too, is involved in every act of attention.

3. Finally, when the attention flows so strongly and fixedly toward an object that it abides totally in the object and merges with it, a state of identity or unity with the object is experienced. This is called samadhi. In the purest form of samadhi, awareness has no object of attention. Consciousness is simply absorbed within its own unbound, blissful nature. In this state of peace, should the attention be directed toward any object, it would flow toward it and remain fixed in it without effort. This unifying aspect of consciousness is also present, to some extent, in every act of attention.

Samyama, again, is the meditation in which these three qualities of abiding, flowing, and uniting merge in a powerful act of attention. They merge to some degree of effectiveness in every act of attention. The goal, then, is not to replace the normal act of thinking with some extraordinary act, but, thought mediation, to reveal the full intensity and power of which every act of attention is capable at its deepest level. Though Patnjali does not tell us how the technique of samyana is actually accomplished, something of it can be suggested by a visual analogy.

The starlike diagram on the next page is used in India as an object of meditation. Fixing awareness on it produces a flowing quality. Like an oak, this seemingly static design is capable of revealing profound depths.

Patanajali's formula contains two phrases. There is an instruction: "By performing samyama on the Pole Star . . ." And there is a predicted result: "... one gains knowledge of the motion of the stars." Until recently, we had no way of knowing what Patanjali meant by "knowledge of the motion of the stars." In January 1981, however, a paper appeared that promises to have far reaching influence. It presented the results of an experiment performed on the formula in question. The technique samyama was taught to hundreds of subjects from around the world who were already skilled in meditation. Their experiences were recorded. Dr. Jonathan Shear, who conducted the research, states that taking Patanjali at face value one would expect to perceive the motion of the stars in the context of the heavens as we are accustomed to perceive and think about them. And, in fact, such perceptions do represent early phases of the experience produced by the technique in question. But in many cases the experience quickly develops into something quite different. The pole-star is seen at the end of a long, rotating shaft of light. Rays of light come out from the shaft like the ribs of an umbrella. The umbrella-like structure on which the stars are embedded is seen rotating. Along the axis of light are other umbrella-like structures, one nested within the other, each rotating at its own rate, each with its own color, and each making a pure, and lovely sound. The whole experience is described as quite spectacular, blissful, colorful, and melodious.

What is important to not is the precision of Patanjali's expression. The experience described, like the result of any scientific experiment, is repeatable, and is specific to the meditation on the Pole Star formula. Moreover, none of the subjects had any prior knowledge of the structure. They were all taken quite by surprise, for they never imagined that anything of the sort existed until the moment they experienced it. "The experience," says Shear, is the innocent by-product of the proper practice of the technique. The logical conclusion is that the specific content of the experience represents the mind's own contribution arising in response to the practice of the technique. This is, the technique enlivens specific, non-learned or innate responses, and allows us to experience what can, I think, properly be called an innate archetype or structure of the human mind.

This is an important point, for it demonstrates that no particular result was sought after. The experience was an innocent and spontaneous response of the mind to a given stimulus.3

I have quoted extensively from James Powell's description because it brings together many of the elements we have been considering. The umbrella structure which is like the spindle from Plato's Timaeus (which also reminds us of the Myth of Er) is the perfect model for the world tree which stands above the earth seen at night. The world tree emanates from the one star that is the center of the mandalla of the heavens and pointed at by the one constellation that does not dip into Ocean. That single star around which all the stars revolve is like the non-nihilistic distinceion within the ralm of the north that is dominated by nihilistic too light and too dark days and nights. It points to the Majestic North, the only direction not indicated by the Sun in its movements. Those directions indicated by the Sun are sources reality, abundance, and sustenance. The vision of the night and the day merge into a single unified vision of the world unique to the Indo-Europeans which we will explore to deeper and deeper levels in the course of this book.


1page 390

2ARCHERY IN THE DARK OF THE MOON; Norman Austin; p 93-4

3THE TAO OF SYMBOLS James N. Powell; pages 67-73


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