Philosophy, love of wisdom, is
a cognitive answer -extraordinary, multi-dimensional and comprehensive- to this call rooted in our physical,
informational and sentient evolution, to know as much as
possible, to invent novel order by actively transcending limitations
and to open up and unchain our minds, thus producing more complex,
refined & subtle states of matter, information and consciousness,
thereby aiding creative advance and negentropy. This answer is
engaged, open, personal, dialogal, rational, critical, creative and seeks the unconditional.
recurrent & multiple transferences between, on the one hand,
reason and intuition or meta-reason, and, on the other hand,
reason and instinct or ante-reason. It is open to the
spontaneous, meaningful, wonderous, luminous and ineffable.
Wim van den
Antwerp, 1992 - 2018.
system* of philosophy, the adaptive, modular,
coded" tools of postmodernism are used, to focus on a
comprehensive understanding of and an intuitive resonance with the
multi- and meta-cultural quest of humanity for the gratification
of its higher needs in the form of philosophical, artistic and
spiritual activities. It invites a postmodernism making way for
It stands in-between the age (equi-aeon) of presence promoting substance-thinking and the age of process,
focusing on the transformation of energy, the product of
differences and the absence of substances. It tries to escape radical
relativism, skepticism and nihilism, but this without returning to
uncritical thinking (realism versus idealism), nor to the neglect of the
the absent, in particular by way of substance. It opposes radical,
The first publication in this
direction was an epistemological study of rationality &
irrationality (1984), written in the
tradition of Kant and
critical philosophy, providing
the formal backbone for
participant observational methodology and a critical hermeneutics.
I had been using the methods of participant observation to study the
language-games played by so-called "peripheral disciplines"
(with their particular semantics, syntax & pragmatics). These are
domains of knowledge operating at or moving even beyond the
periphery of the contemporary scientific paradigm, like
astrology, magic, alchemy &
However, in the course of these exotic studies, another, far more
interesting area of study emerged, namely, comparative mysticism
the possible direct experience of the Absolute.
The study of the mysticism of the world religions (Christianity,
Islam) led to a wide range of objects
to study. However, since 1982, the core interest had remained the same,
namely : Is it possible to experience the "Ding-an-sich", the
Absolute directly through intellectual perception, illumination,
liberation, enlightenment or any other mystical experience ? Was
Kant right by denying reason an intellect reflecting itself ? Could it be he
was wrong ?
Related to this the crucial question : on what are the abysmal
differences based between what the world religions & their many
followers claim about the Absolute, and is there a universal
core, a file rouge connecting all of them ?
concept of the different layers, strands, phases or
cognition, as well as the results of transpersonal psychology
neurotheology were helpful.
Studied were :
Hermetism. In the course of these investigations, major texts
had to be translated : the
(Sanskrit, English & French), the
Seven Ways of
Holy Love (Middle Dutch, Dutch & English), the
Yetzirah (Dutch), the
Theology (Dutch), the
Latin, English), and a wide variety of Ancient Egyptian texts, in
Memphis Theology (Middle Egyptian, English, French). A wide
variety of Egyptian
wisdom texts formed a separate study.
Participant observation asks for moments of withdrawal, necessary
to organize the data in accordance with their structural
characteristics and to articulate hypothesis (if possible) to be
tested "on the spot" later. The larger framework being the
production of knowledge as problem-solving activity. In the
context of the manipulation of knowledge as practiced by the
mystics, this is linked with the dynamics between rationality
and reason's periphery. The bottom limit of reason being rooted in
ante-rationality, and the upper limit touching the creative &
nondual modes of cognition. As the knowledge and the practices of
the mystics and mystical philosophers of all word religions and of
all ages, the latter have a measure of (objective) significance and (subjective)
anthropology & psychology,
philosophy of mysticism
(*) In this synopsis, and this after
Derrida, an asterix* indicates the word in question may be used as
a "false door" (i.e. as an absolute "transcendent signifier") and
should thus be further contextualized in the "margin" of the main
texts. This, in order to avoid it would become monolithical (i.e.
a substantial truth of sorts). In
Metaphysics (2012), two signifiers are introduced : "Clear
Light*" and "God*".
In "system*", the asterix indicates that although explicitly
organized and systematical, this philosophy does not
aim to erect a "grand system" of philosophy comparable with the
"great stories" of philosophers like Aristotle, Thomas
Aquinas, Spinoza or Hegel
(to name the most outstanding examples). In this sense it is not
modernist. Venturing outwards, like the postmodernists, it remains
loyal to a fugal structure. Aware of the need of a rational
process of global participation, it is hypermodernist.
The "modular" and
"fractal" approach of this work should allow everybody to make up his or her
own mind. An open mind free to study is the foundation of all
Nevertheless, Kant wrote :
"Die menschliche Vernunft ist ihrer Natur
nach architektonisch, d.i. sie betrachted alle Erkenntnisse als
gehörig zu einem möglichen System, und verstattet daher auch nur
solche Prinzipien, die eine vorhabende Erkenntnis wenigstens nicht
unfähig machen, in irgend einen System mit anderen zusammen zu
Kant, I. :
Kritik der reinen Vernunft, B501.
Four kind of logics are
important here :
transcendental logic : defines the conditions of thought
itself, for no thought is possible without a subject and
an object, which are both irreducible. This logic is the
necessary condition of the critical theory on knowledge
developed here ;
the ideal speech situation was developed by
Habermas in the context of his theory on communicative actions.
This logic determines the conditions necessary for symmetrical
discourses between communicative actors, the necessary condition
of a communication which is not colonized by the media, power &
opportunistic logic is the phrase used by
Knorr-Cetina to define the way research cells are organized and
seek to produce knowledge (applied epistemology) ;
Barth & Krabbe suggest three levels of formal rules can be
seen at work in the context of a theory on argumentation : (1)
basic rules, (2) rules covering the use of the logical constants
and (3) rules dealing with the argumentation of propositions.
This study has three branches
: transcendental logic, theoretical epistemology & applied
epistemology. Transcendental logic discovers the principles
of the possibility of thought. With norms the theory of
knowledge answers the question how knowledge and its development are
possible, whereas the application of these insights in the
concrete context of the production of knowledge results in the
maxims of applied epistemology, identifying the
production-process underlying cognition.
The epistemological framework of the present philosophical
study has been elaborated in :
Prolegomena or the
Rules of the Game of 'True' Knowledge (1994, Dutch),
Clearings : On Critical Epistemology
Intelligent Wisdom : from Myth to
Nondual Thought (2007, English),
Neurophilosophy of Sensation
(2008, English) and in my
Critique of a Metaphysics of Process
(2010 - 2012).
(1994, Dutch) : epistemological inquiry into the groundless ground
of all thinking in the light of a critical, strictly nominalistic
& moderate postmodern view on science and rationality inspired by
(1996, Dutch) : epistemology (theory & practice of knowledge)
preceded by a study of transcendental logic. A moderate
postmodernism (or hypermodernism) resulting in the methodology of a refined
participative observation. Study of Western metaphysics & criteria
for a valid immanent metaphysical project.
The Rules of the
Game of True Knowing (1999, English) : summary of all
principles, norms & rules covering the logical, theoretical &
practical aspects of epistemology.
(2006, English) : comprehensive study of the proposed critical
Criticosynthesis (2008, English) : reviews the whole corpus
of critical thought in the areas of logic, epistemology, ethics &
The conjectured critical & genetic epistemology leads to a stratified view
on cognition, one defined by three stages and seven modes. Human cognition
has "nominal", "habitual" and "creative" stages of development. These
reflect three distinct interlocked stages, each functionally defining
cognitive genesis & development in their own way. Pre-nominal software
consists of mental operators limited by contexts (acting as facilitating
causes). Habitual software is successful nominal software steering
operations independent of context (but as instances of general formal
categories). Creative software is successful meta-nominal software
optimizing the creative advance & togetherness of all possible operators.
3 STAGES OF COGNITION in
7 MODES OF THOUGHT
barrier between instinct and reason
barrier between reason and intuition
own-self (ontic ego)
Whereas the barrier between instinct & reason is crossed by education, the
gap between critical cognition and creative cognition depends on the
self-realization values cherished by the individual on the basis of his or
her own choice & joyous effort. Hence, they are not automatic, but
need an act of volition to actualize. If this choice is lacking, cognition
is merely rational and never integrates meta-nominal objects of cognition.
of cognition : defines
the genesis of thought, taking into consideration
ante-rationality, rationality and intuition. The former is
divided in three modes : mythical, pre-rational and proto-rational thought.
Conceptual thought is rooted in ante-rational
proto-rationality, and ends with the beginning of nondual thought
structure and function of the central nervous system :
introduction to those aspects of neurology contributing to a
better understanding of human actions, emotions and thoughts ;
revolution of the mindbrain : description of the brain in
terms of a visualized matrix enabling its user to change brain
NATURAL PHILOSOPHY & PHILOSOPHICAL COSMOLOGY
(1996, Dutch) : the myth of chaos in Ancient Egypt, Greece,
Judaism & Christianity. Scholastic & rational chaostheory. Short
history of modern physics (classical, relativity,
quantummechanics). Philosophical inquiry into the meaning of
(postmodern ?) chaostheory in general system theory & the
evolution (process) of living systems.
PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY & PSYCHOLOGY
Cybernetic Anthropology (1993, Dutch) : conventional but
eclectic study of the human, examining -through a functionalistic
approach- the cognitive genesis of the nominal dimensions of
consciousness, taking into account the ideas of Freud,
Kohlberg & Maslow.
Aesthetic of the Excellent Exemplaric & the Sublime Beyond
(1993, Dutch) : esthetical theory inspired by Kantian exemplarism
leading to the sublime integration of harmonization (order) and
A more comprehensive
Eesthetics is available (2007, English).
The application of the principles of esthetics gave rise to
Studies in Music (2013).
The proposed system of ethics
is called "participationism". Starting with individual
participation, it ends in what I call "planetary participationism",
involving the formation of a global social system regulating the
free market in order to safeguard social, political, economical & ecological justice on
this planet. An English
Ethics was published in 2006.
of a Metaphysics of Process (CM, 2012), totality
(immanent metaphysics) and infinity (transcendent metaphysics) are
approached in conventional and ultimate ways. Metaphysics is the
heuristic of science. The latter is arguable and testable,
metaphysics only arguable. Valid metaphysics has strong
In the Book of
Lemmas (2014), the fundamentals of epistemology and ontology
contained in CM are developed.
If direct participant
observation is impossible, the study of textual records is the
only thing left.
teaches how to adequately read and interprete texts.
initiated by a study of
Other texts were translated, read & interpreted using the same
hermeneutical tools : the
(English & French), the
Seven Ways of
Holy Love (Dutch & English), the
Yetzirah (Dutch), the
Q1 (Dutch &
Third Life (English, Dutch), the
Theology (Dutch), the
Memphis Theology (English), the
Great Hymn to the Aten (English), the
(English) & the
Discourse of a Man with his Ba (English) and many more
Ancient Egyptian texts.
Ontology is part of
Metaphysics, the three cosmic operators active in the ontology
(or theory of being) of this philosophy are :
(hardware, pragmatics) : executive material aggregates, composed of nominal
(crude, gross) and/or meta-nominal (subtle) matter - cf. hylic
information (software, syntax) : ordered architectures by virtue of
the laws of symmetry which describe their well-formed code and
non-redundant information ;
consciousness (userware, semantics) : source of meaning, of a
unique perspective or conscious outlook enabling one to
auto-redefine, auto-regulate and auto-reorganize as a function
of the degree of intelligence (or freedom).
The study of mysticism, mysticology or study of the direct
experience of the Absolute, is
impossible without comparative data about the
advocated by the world religions. Compared were :
The study of the direct
experience of the Absolute with the aim to discover the cognitive
manipulations founding the sacred phenomenon.
The initiating study was :
Love-Mysticism (1994, Dutch). It deals with love in the work
of Beatrix of
Nazareth, the mystical knowledge-manipulation and its strictly
negative & symbolic theology. Provided are : a general and
contextual study of Flemish mysticism, a commentary on and
critique of Beatrice's treatise and a study of the totalizing
mental operators supporting contemplation and the yearning for
God, i.e. the contemplation of God through God. A study on
has been added. Many more text studies emerged (cf. supra).
PHILOSOPHY OF MYSTICISM
This branch summarizes the
comparative results and tries to develop a universal theory on