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Basic Principles

Principia Naturalis Philosophae

Part I – Basic Principles

1.1) Experience appears to consist of a sequence of sensation fields.

[Fleegello thought it imperative initially to reconsider what he did and did not know about the world, to ascertain what information was actually inherent in his personal experience. He thus adopted an introspective method, wherein the existence of other selves and external realities was not presupposed. He uses the word sensation here in a broad sense that does not imply the existence of sense organs.]

1.2) Some entities in a sensation field are distinguishable from others – e.g., a sphere from a pyramid.
Let content refer to the general attribute that differentiates among distinct entities in a given field.
Two contents are by definition equivalent if they are indistinguishable.

[Fleegello asserted elsewhere that any given content can be represented by an arbitrary symbol, or term. A term is defined when it is identified with a particular pattern of content. All the symbols employed by the self may be defined with respect to a complete set of content, the selection of which is arbitrary to some extent. An element of this set is characterized as fundamental if it cannot be equated to a superposition of the other elements. The symbolic representation of a fundamental content is referred to as a fundamental symbol or term, and a definition with respect to fundamental quantities as a fundamental definition.

A fundamental term cannot be fundamentally defined through a purely symbolic process. The terms used at the beginning of this or any symbolic exposition must stand fundamentally undefined, in and by themselves. Symbolic definition of the fundamental terms adopted by the self for personal use is, however, both unnecessary and irrelevant. That a given symbol is (somehow) unambiguously associated with a particular experience is sufficient for personally meaningful symbolic representation.]

1.3) Experience is not constant or static, but consists of an ever-changing dynamic sequence of sensate patterns. A particular content may be within the sensation field one moment, and absent the next.

A general attribute other than content can thus be associated with entities. Let existence or being refer to the attribute whereby a content is actually present within a sensation field. There is awareness of content that exists within a field. The (apparently) unidirectional dimension along which the sensation field changes will be referred to as a temporal dimension, or time.

[The term dimension may be defined as any abstract measure of extent. Events at different points along a temporal or time-like dimension may be causally connected. Events at different points along a spatial or space-like dimension at a given temporal moment cannot be causally connected. The typical octan sensation field is to a large extent physical in form, i.e. characterized by a temporal sequence of spatial patterns.]

1.4) A symbolic notation may be introduced to represent experience.

Let (t) indicate a state of existence within a sensation field at time t, (t) indicate a lack of existence, and enclosure by brackets < > designate associated content.

Awareness of a content X at time t is then represented by
      (t) <X> ,
while non-awareness of X is represented by
      (t) <X> .
The explicit reference to time may be omitted when appropriate.

[Neither nor are intended to necessarily predicate all content that is either present in or absent from a sensation field at a given time. The symbol may be applied to any component or subset of the field, while may be applied to any discrete missing content.

Additionally, neither <X> nor <X> should be interpreted as logical statements that are true or false. <X> is simply a symbolic representation of a particular experience – the attribute existence overlaid on a content X – while <X> is a representation of the corresponding non-experience.]

The introduction or superposition of content Y into a field <X> may be designated by a mathematical plus sign:
      { <X> + <Y> } .
Similarly, removal or subtraction of content Y from <X> may be designated by a minus sign:
      { <X> − <Y> } .
The term −<Y> is to be distinguished from <−Y>, the concept of the removal of Y and not the removal itself.
Similarly, the field <X>+<Y> is distinguished from <X+Y>, the concept of the simultaneous existence of X and Y, not the simultaneous existence per se.

There are innumerable levels on which an arbitrary content X can be incorporated into a sensation field.
It may have direct existence, in and by itself:
      <X> .
X then has primary, or first-order existence.
If instead it is only the concept of the existence of X that occurs, then X has second-order existence:
      < <X> > .
The memory at time t of a content X that had primary existence at an earlier time t' can be represented as a second-order existence:
      (t)< (t')<X> > .
Ever higher orders of internal existence can be imagined.

1.5) A thing is defined to be meaningful if it incorporates content in a nontrivial manner; it is otherwise meaningless.

A meaningless object may in general be represented by the trivial form < >.
This can be related to an arbitrary content field <X> by
      < > = <X> − <X> .
Any object that cannot be distinguished from the object < > is itself meaningless.
A thing is then meaningless if it cannot be distinguished from its own content-subtracted form.

The lack of awareness (non-experience) of an arbitrary content X is indistinguishable from both the awareness and the lack of awareness of a meaningless content:
      <X> = < > = < > .
Beingless content is thus meaningless, in the same sense that contentless being is meaningless.
An arbitrary form <X> is meaningful only if its existence is tacitly understood.

[Fleegello was here referring to meaningfulness with respect to the self. Recall that <X> should be interpreted as a symbolic representation of a non-experience, not as a logical assertion that X is absent from a sensation field. Misinterpretation of both <X> and <X> as logical assertions caused considerable confusion during Fleegello's era. In particular, <X> as a logical assertion does not imply < >, but is consistent with <Y> for any meaningful YX.]

Although the sensation < > is meaningless, the concept of the meaningless is itself meaningful.
The concept may be experienced by nontrivial sensations of the form
      < <X> − <X> >, < < > >, and < < > >,
where X is arbitrary. These expressions are to be distinguished from
      { <X> − <X> }.
Whereas the former represent the experience of the concept of a content minus itself, the latter represents the experience of a content minus the very same experience, or no experience at all.

The meaningless should not be confused with the self-contradictory – e.g., the content
      < XX >,
or the concept that a thing is not equal to itself. Such content will be referred to as inconsistent or contradictory, in distinction to consistent content.

1.6) Define the self as the immediate, personal sensation field.

[Contrast this with common usage, whereby the self is a thing that experiences the immediate sensation field. Fleegello found this idiom unfounded and misleading (although he often followed it for convenience). A "thing" self is not directly experienced, and therefore only vaguely defined, yet it is supposed to harbor content and somehow bring it into a state of being. The adopted definition instead identifies self as experience per se, the unity of two directly perceived qualities – content and being.

Fleegello also rejected the definition whereby the self is simply the immediate state of awareness. In this case the self is not directly tied to any content field. Unless the self does incorporate nontrivial content, however, it is indistinguishable from nothing at all.]

1.7) By combining the notion of independence with those of content and being, it is possible to construct a more general concept of self. A general self, or individual, is here defined as any sequence of content characterized by a single, independent state of being, which need not encompass one's own self. Consciousness per se is defined as an unspecified state of awareness of arbitrary content.

A self so defined is the awareness of a content field. The field is unified at any instant, in that every element shares the same awareness. It is also unified in time (is temporally continuous), since the sequential sensations are assumed to share one common line of awareness. A self is then any continuous flow of unified consciousness from one content field to another.

So long as a self retains a unique awareness, it can advance along no more than one independent temporal dimension. If there were N>1 temporal dimensions, the sensation field would split into N distinct sequential fields, and the original self into N distinct selves.

1.8) A general existence or state of being, corresponding to the generalized concept of self, is now defined as a state of being relative to any individual, not necessarily one's own self. This definition may be extended to include a state wherein a thing is only potentially capable of independently becoming or producing a sensation in some individual. Existence relative to a particular self S will henceforth be represented by the subscripted symbol S, and general existence by the unsubscripted symbol .

1.9) The term meaningless is now generalized to indicate a (potential and actual) lack of nontrivial content relative to all selves. If a thing is not meaningless, it must be meaningful.

[The terms meaningful and meaningless were previously defined only relative to one's own self. A thing could then be meaningful to one individual, but meaningless to another.]

Beingless content is meaningless in the new generalized orientation, just as it was in the previous self-centered one. Without a general state of being, a content is neither in any individual's sensation field, nor does it potentially affect any field. The content then has no significance, whence
      <X> = < > .
Where there is meaningful content, there must also be state of being. Yet content and being are clearly not equivalent. The same content can be imagined in a state of being relative to distinct individuals. Since these situations are distinguishable –
      a<X> ≠ b<X> if ab
then state of being must represent a nontrivial quality distinct from content.

1.10) Define a foundation world to be the ultimate source of a given person's sensation field. The self's foundation world appears to be largely external, and inhabited by a myriad of beings. This may be an illusion; the self's field could in principle be its own foundation world, yet generate the appearance of an outside world and distinct selves. Even if there are no conscious individuals other than one's own self, the concept of such individuals exists.

1.11) Define communication as a sharing or transfer of experience among two or more distinct individuals. Sensations may be passed either indirectly or directly, with or without the aid of an intermediary. Transfer of ideas via an external physical medium – e.g., light rays from a photograph – represents one type of indirect communication. The transfer may further be symbolic – e.g., the spoken or the written word.

Effective direct communication does not require that participants share common prior experience, since it is experience itself that is transferred. In contrast, symbols can elicit only previously experienced and assigned sensations. Accurate symbolic communication thus presupposes common experience. Individuals who communicate symbolically must inhabit a world in which they can experience similar sensations and evolve a common vocabulary.

1.12) Any simple assertion [logical proposition] can be judged to be true, false, ambiguous, or contra.

[It may still be impossible to prove or to know with certainty the veracity of any statement.]

An assertion is true if it is both internally [self-referentially] and externally [with respect to external references] consistent and unambiguous [within a given context].
Example: Suol is a star.

An assertion is false if it is internally self-consistent, but externally inconsistent.
Example: Suol is a planet.

An assertion is ambiguous if it is internally self-consistent, but cannot be judged true or false because its interpretation with respect to external references is equivocal.
Examples: That object is a star. (What object?)
                Bush worms taste delicious. (In general, or only to certain individuals?)
                Killing is wrong. (In general, or only in particular situations?)

[This designation applies in particular to subjective assertions that do not specify a subject, and to moral assertions that do not sufficiently specify a situational context. Ambiguous statements can generally be made true or false by adding clarifying references; e.g., "Bush worms currently taste delicious to me.” Such references may be implicit and unnecessary, if an assertion is part of a larger dialogue or discussion.

Subjective assertions are generally considered to be expressions of opinion, belief, or personal preference. In Fleegello’s time, a sharp distinction was commonly drawn between subjective and factual statements; only factual statements could be objectively true or false. Fleegello argued that every self-consistent subjective statement was true, false, or ambiguous. Even if it is not possible to determine the objective truth of someone’s claim to a personal experience, that person in fact is either lying or telling the truth. Fleegello also considered unambiguous moral assertions such as “abortion is always wrong at any point following conception” to be objectively true or false, although untangling whether they are compatible with consistency logic can be problematic, and plagued by uncertainty.]

An assertion is contra if it is internally inconsistent, such that it logically appears to be both true and false, neither true nor false, or any other untenable combination of true, false, not true, and not false.

Examples: This statement is false. This statement is not true. This statement is contra.

Just as X = -X implies X = 0 if X is a number, so any contra assertion must be devoid of consistent meaning (though not completely meaningless); only then could it be simultaneously true and false, neither true nor false, etc.

[Fleegello helped to clarify the intimate relationship between truth and consistency, noting in particular the distinction between self-referential (internal consistency) and extra-referential (external consistency) aspects of assertions. Prior to Fleegello, every unambiguous, non-subjective assertion was considered to be either true or false. If such a statement was not true, it was considered necessarily false; and if not false, then necessarily true. This inevitably led to profound paradox.]

1.13) A thing is right if it is consistent with conceptions of what should be, what is good, what is desirable or preferred. Any judgment of rightness is dependent upon a set of presumptions regarding right and wrong – a rightness logic. There is otherwise no basis for decision. Absolute judgment, independent of any rightness logic, is impossible. Rightness can only be relative (to a rightness logic); it cannot be absolute. The content of these very statements presumes certain rightness patterns.

An array of distinct rightness logics can be conceived. Some are very limited in scope .
Example: It is right to chase worm flies.

Others comprise broad, comprehensive principles.
Example: It is right to deny experience.

A fundamental logic that relates to all meaningful things will be referred to as a general (rightness) logic. Any less inclusive logical pattern will be designated a restricted logic.

The domain of a restricted logic is limited by definition. A given judgment may require the use of multiple restricted logics, in contrast to a single general logic. The domains of different restricted logics may overlap. If an individual is to behave in a self-consistent manner, his restricted logics must be mutually compatible, and representative of some general logic.

No rightness logic is a priori superior to any other. The initial acquisition by a pre-existing individual of a rightness logic relevant to a particular class of activities must be an alogical event, relative to that individual. Once a logic has been adopted, however, a person can reflect back upon the rightness of the original choice, and judge the rightness of other logics.

[Fleegello originally chose to define truth in an absolute manner, to stress its relationship with consistency; but rightness in a relative way, to emphasize its inevitable connection with personal choice. Rightness is thus intimately related to will. Of course, individuals who accept distinct rightness logics may develop radically different views of truth. For example, a person who believes it is right to contradict experience may judge true the statement "one equals two," even while defining all terms in a standard way. Today it is customary for the unqualified terms truth and rightness to refer implicitly to consistency logic. The terms are explicitly qualified – e.g., "truth according to Balzorp" – if they refer to any other logic or personal perspective.]

1.14) The general rightness logic embraced in this text is an affirmation of consistency. This rightness pattern may be expressed in a variety of alternative but equivalent ways:
• It is good (right) to be consistent. 
• Whatever is, is. 
X = X, where X is arbitrary. 

It is thus right to act in accordance with what is, to acknowledge and not contradict what is. This ideal logic will be called consistency logic.

[This line of reasoning led to considerable confusion in Fleegello's time. In various Aestern traditions, it was common for philosophers to make assertions such as "A cloud is not a cloud." They were not thereby encouraging their followers to be inconsistent, but rather to recognize the ambiguities in ordinary language, in which one word may simultaneously have several different meanings, or encompass a broad class of distinct objects (as with the word cloud). A more precise, non-contradictory assertion regarding clouds would be "The cloud to the east is not identical to the cloud to the west," or "A stratus cloud is not a cirrus cloud." Fleegello was applying a precise logical language in the statement "X = X," in which "X" represents an arbitrary, but unambiguous, entity.

Other philosophers considered the statement "X = X" to be a mere tautology; that to assert "XX" is equivalent to redefining the symbol "≠" to mean what is usually attached to the symbol "=." Yet Fleegello contended that adhering to definitions in a consistent manner is a moral choice; that it is possible to alternatively embrace the pattern "XX" where "≠" is defined in the traditional way.]

The rightness of consistency logic is not a priori obvious, but is rather presumed. Any "proof" that consistency logic is right must employ reasoning predicated on an assumption that it is right.

[Consistency logic assumes a less austere, more familiar form when applied to specific types of activity. Scientific logic – the set of principles constituting the scientific method and practiced in contemporary science – can be identified as a restricted version of consistency logic specific to the learning process. Scientific logic maintains that things should be seen just as they appear; unpleasant or unexpected realities should not be denied, and meanings assigned to symbols should be consistently followed. Knowledge of reality should be developed and tested by objective observation, experimentation, and reasoning, and not by idle decree or speculation.

Consistency logic can similarly be applied to ethical matters: a person should respond to and interact with things in a congruous, appropriate manner, i.e. in a way that denies neither the (perceived) fundamental natures of the things, nor the given situational context. For example, a person who believes a number of things are intrinsically equivalent, but acts as if some were special relative to the others, violates consistency logic.]

It is possible to conceive the existence of an inconsistent content <XX> without violating consistency logic. The associated self-consistent sensation is
      < <XX> > or < <XX> >, and not
      <XX> ,
which would indicate a rejection of consistency. Only the primary existence of a logical pattern in a sensation field indicates acceptance of that pattern's rightness. Secondary existence indicates merely an acknowledgment of the pattern's possible or external existence.

Even if the content of this text represents consistent truth, wrong may be inherent in its development and presentation. To adopt consistency logic and seek scientific truth may, for example, contradict the basic nature of the octo. Scientific logic demonstrates how to obtain truth only if it is first right to seek it.

1.15) General logics other than consistency can be conceived. The following are exemplary:
a) What is, is not; or XX, where X is arbitrary. 
b) There is no right. 
c) Whatever is – except for this statement, which is – is not. 

The validity of each of these logics can be judged relative to both itself and the other two. The first logic, for example, is inherently contradictory, and incorrect relative to itself: if it is right that what is, is not, then it is right that the same logic is not right. This judgment is itself incorrect with respect to the first logic: if it is right that what is, is not, then the initial judgment was not correct. The second judgment strictly applies only to the status of the first, however, so the logic ultimately judges itself wrong. The second logic is similarly wrong relative to itself, and each of the three logics is wrong relative to the other two.

Any logic that judges itself wrong may be characterized as self-denying, and any that judges itself right as self-supporting. The first and second logics given above are self-denying, while the third is self-supporting. Any thing that does not incorporate a rightness pattern – any nonlogical thing – is neither self-denying nor self-supporting.

A self-supporting logic may contain contradictory elements. Logics can thus be further classified as either consistent or inconsistent (contradictory). The only consistent general logic is (by definition) consistency logic. All self-denying logics contain inconsistent elements. A contradictory logic does not generate a single, coherent picture of truth; rightness and truth are dependent upon the path of reasoning followed in arriving at a conclusion.

1.16) Mechanisms can be imagined by which personal objectivity and consistent reasoning could be thwarted in principle for any given situation. Experience might, for example, be covertly manipulated by a superior external being. An individual could then experience an illusion of self-control, while his logical train of thought and memory of past events were actually being continually disrupted and altered. More generally, it is possible that unknown things or forces exist that either distort and/or control reasoning processes, or by their very nature cannot be comprehended by the self. A person thus should not be absolutely certain of anything – not even the truth of this very statement! Whereas a person apparently must embrace some rightness logic, must act in accordance with some view of reality, and can both seek truth and develop beliefs, he should not objectively be certain that those views and beliefs in fact represent truth.

[It is ironic that Fleegello, a major advocate of the position that knowledge is uncertain and forever tentative, used quite authoritative language in much of his writing. Although this tone can be grating and seem contradictory to contemporary readers, it needs to be understood in its historical context. Fundamentalist religious sects flourished in Fleegello's time, a natural response to the unsettling turmoil of the era. Fleegello's parents and several close relatives apparently were adherents to the dominant sect in their region. Fleegello was likely raised in this authoritarian religious tradition. While he rebelled against religious doctrine and dogma in adulthood, authoritative habits of thought unwittingly crept into his work. Fleegello seemed to retain a subconscious craving for the kind of absolute peace and security that his childhood religion had promised.]

1.17) A theory may be defined as a formulation of apparent relationships or underlying principles of certain observed phenomena that has been verified to some degree. A theory that accurately describes a given set of processes may in turn be encompassed by or a limiting case of a theory of broader scope. A theory may consist of no more than a superficial description of content, or may probe beneath a system's external form to the very nature of its existence. A truly ultimate theory would even explain itself, through itself. Any such theory will be referred to as basic.

The validity of a theory can be judged relative to consistency logic in three respects: agreement with previous observations; success in predicting novel phenomena; and self-consistency. These criteria together reflect a single unifying standard: consistency with whatever is. Yet no theory can be demonstrated or known to be valid with complete certainty.

A fourth criterion is often used to judge the validity of a theory or concept: communicability. Yet there is nothing in consistency logic requiring that every truth be communicable to every individual. That an idea is meaningful may be a necessary condition for its communicability, but it is hardly a sufficient condition. Two persons must share sufficient experience and ability in order for one of them to communicate even a meaningful idea to the other. Communicability can only establish the scientific usefulness of a concept: an idea is useless to any individual who is incapable of acquiring or comprehending it.

1.18) An object C is by definition the cause of an object X if C is responsible for and determines X. A cause in general consists of both a state and a pattern or agent by which this state is transformed into an effect. An arbitrary object X may not have a cause, or may have only a partial cause. X will be characterized as basic if it is the cause of itself, i.e. if X = C.

Consistency logic imposes restrictions upon what can constitute truth: no truth can contradict itself, or the general pattern X = X. Consider then a causal sequence
C1, C2, C3, …, Cn where Ci+1 consists of all causes of Ci.
The element Ci+1 may be only a partial cause of Ci, if there is no complete cause. Ci+1 may include components of Ci, if Ci is in part responsible for itself.

Suppose there were an element Ci+1 that includes a state but no causal agent to convert this state into a nontrivial Ci. The lack of an agent that drives the state in any direction is indistinguishable from, and therefore equivalent to, the presence of an agent that drives the state in no direction. A pattern that is acted upon by nothing – by a null force driving it in no direction, including its own perpetuation – then does move in some direction, and propagate into Ci. It follows that what is, is not; a state with no propagator does propagate, even change. The given supposition is thus incompatible with consistency logic: it must be consistent truth that every cause Ci+1 includes a causal agent.

More generally, suppose an element Ci exists for which there is no complete cause. Some component of Ci would then exist for no reason – when there is only reason for it not to exist – and consistency logic would again be violated. No reason to exist is equivalent to a reason not to exist. Every element Ci, or more generally every meaningful thing, must therefore have a complete cause.

That it is possible to imagine the concept of a noncausal sequential system does not contradict consistency logic. It is only the concept of the system, and not the system itself that thereby has primary existence. The concept must fit into a mental sequence whose development is governed by causal forces. Consistency logic does not require that contradictory content not exist, but only that such patterns not represent truth. Although an individual may exist who believes XX, it is truth that X = X.

The causal sequence Ci may terminate in an element CN, return into itself in a cyclic manner, or be infinite in extent. In the first case CN must (by the preceding argument) be a basic cause. Indeed, if any element of a sequence is basic, the sequence may be considered to terminate at that point. In the second case, there is a ring of distinct objects that are mutually dependent upon each other for their very forms and existence (only rings involving at least two different causes are included here; a trivial loop comprising a single element is considered a simple termination). Causal dependence ultimately returns to each of these objects via the ring. Since no element is basic, both the ring and the associated sequence (considered now as a single entity) have no foundation, and cannot exist. [This argument is easily misapplied. An apparently cyclic system in its entirety can sometimes be considered a single basic object, and thus the cause of itself, even if its elements are not individually basic.] In an infinite chain, every object is caused partly by itself and partly by subsequent objects. If the existence of the overall system is not to contradict consistency logic, it must have a basic foundation. In analogy with the mathematical theory of an infinite sequence of numbers, this foundation can be considered to meaningfully exist only if the sequence Ci approaches a basic cause in the limit of infinitely large values of the index i.

In summary, an arbitrary object must be caused either by itself, or by a branching chain of causally-related objects whose terminal (or limiting) elements are themselves basic. A chain may constitute a spatial system, in which a given object determines other spatially-related entities; or a physical system, in which a given spatial pattern causes temporally subsequent patterns. A chain may be simple and one-dimensional, or complex and multidimensional. Any closed (self-contained) system consists of a number of (multi)dimensional chains that interact (have logical relationships) with each other but no other objects.

Consider a closed, causal, physical system of either finite or infinite dimensional extent. Because the system is closed, there is (by definition) no larger physical framework into which it can be meaningfully integrated, and relative to which it can be viewed. It is therefore inconsistent to ask what determines the location, either in space or in time, of the system as a whole. The only meaningful system relationships are internal, i.e. the spatial and temporal positions of component objects relative to each other. In particular, consider the initial (basic) cause of a closed physical system of finite temporal extent. The associated moment in time is only defined relative to subsequent time in the given system. It is improper to ask why the system did not arise at an earlier moment, or even to assert that the system did not exist at an earlier time; earlier time did not exist.

1.19) A thing is meaningless if it is indistinguishable from the trivial object < >. It has been shown that beingless content is meaningless. Consider now content that has only potential existence at a specified time. [The argument is readily extended to a multidimensional moment in a generalized system with multiple independent time lines.] The content is nowhere to be found at that instant; although it is supposed to be "potentially" available, it is in fact not found. It is distinguishable from nothing only if it can evolve into or produce a sensation in some individual at another moment. There is, however, no way the content can propagate in time. It is perceived by nothing, not even itself. There can then be no causal agent to carry it through time. Such an agent must first locate and be in the presence of the content before it can act upon it. But the content would then [by definition] have immediate existence with respect to the agent.

The concept of potential existence is thus illusory. Existence must be actual and immediate (with respect to some individual, not necessarily one's own self) to be meaningful. Future events are causally determined by what is, in an immediate sense. An experience is meaningful in itself the moment it occurs, but retains subsequent existence only as a memory. The potential type of existence is now rejected, and will no longer be associated with either the general term existence or the symbol .

The concept of existence thus becomes equivalent to that of presence. To assert anything more is meaningless. The experience of existence, of being, of consciousness itself is simply the experience of presence, as opposed to absence.

Awareness was previously identified as an immediate state of existence. If the only meaningful existence is immediate, then awareness and existence are synonymous. The concept of awareness has in the past often been dismissed as incommunicable or even meaningless, and excluded from scientific discussion. The communicability and meaningful character of this concept have nonetheless been clearly demonstrated in previous sections. The objects <X> and <X> are well defined and distinct, the latter being equivalent to nothing at all. Similarly,
      a<X> ≠ b<X> if ab.

[It may still be argued that the concept of awareness is unnecessary; that the world can be adequately described by a mechanistic model in which consciousness has no place. Such a theory describes conscious experience in terms of changing patterns of nervous impulses. While Fleegello agreed that mechanistic models could be very good at describing reality, including brain function, he felt that most so-called materialist philosophers confused description with explanation. Unless a theory clarifies both how a brain generates its own sense of awareness, and why this is so, then it is ultimately not a full explanation. More generally, unless a physical theory elucidates why the laws of nature are what they are, and not something else, then it is not a final explanation.

The mechanistic view nonetheless shares a fundamental feature with the experiential perspective of Fleegello. Both comprise two-component systems: pattern and change in the former case, content and being in the latter. The concept of being was itself born of changes in the self's sensation field. The two views are thus not mutually exclusive, but complementary and in some sense parallel.

Much of the historical antagonism between materialists and other philosophical schools can be attributed to a difference in emphasis: the former on content, the latter on being. In their preoccupation with the origins and nature of existence, nonmaterialists have tended to lack the technical expertise and predictive abilities of mechanists. In their corresponding absorption with the description and categorization of content, mechanists have tended to disregard the ultimate foundations of existence. They have often unduly transferred significance from the particular to the general – from a given individual with a unique personal experience to a hypothetical, detached self. The individual self was frequently confused with this model self, and thereby treated as a timeless automaton, whose special awareness was irrelevant at most. Fleegello commented that, if extreme materialists were correct in their rejection of awareness as a meaningful construct, then he and all other octos should be mindless zombies; yet he knew, from personal experience, that this was not the case.]

Could a most general thing have components that are not equivalent to nothing, relative to some external thing, and yet that stand apart from content and being, and are therefore insignificant and meaningless to all conscious individuals? No self could experience, comprehend, or be affected by such components in any way. The components would otherwise be indirectly experienced, and content/being attributed to them. The set of all entities composed of content and being must comprise a closed system, and be sufficient for an understanding of itself.

1.20) A general thing that derives from content and being can only be composed of some combination of the following: content with being; contentless being; and beingless content. The second and third objects are both meaningless. Every meaningful thing therefore consists of an inseparable union of content and being. To avoid confusion with conventional connotation, the term ideo is now introduced, and defined to be any content in a state of being.

Let universe be defined as the totality of meaningful things. The universe consists of some number of closed systems, each of which must be composed of ideos. Every system is expected to have a basic cause, which is itself composed of ideos. The universe then entirely derives from a set of basic ideos. The associated theory of reality will be referred to as ideobasic theory, or ideobasism.

The term ideo field will be used to signify a complete set of ideos bound by a common, unified state of being. An ideo field is then equivalent to a unique individual, or self. A field in general consists of both logical and nonlogical elements. The former constitute either a general rightness logic or a set of restricted logics.

An ideo field may be independent, and control its own evolution; or dependent, and be controlled (at least in part) by external forces. The rightness logics of an independent field must be compatible. The field would otherwise embody more than one mind, and spontaneously split into multiple selves. Such a restriction does not apply to dependent fields.

[Fleegello later identifies octan and other animal consciousness as dependent, and all basic fields as independent.]

Consider a hypothetical abstract, free-floating ideo whose content is consistency logic. Since this ideo is the conscious affirmation of a particular rightness logic, it is its own natural standard for logical judgment. Consistency logic is self-supporting – the logic is judged right, relative to itself. The ideo must then grant itself both continuing and a priori existence. Since content without being is meaningless, a thing is true only if it is right to believe that it exists. If the ideo were to deny that its own content exists, then it would also deny that its content represents truth – a contradiction in the case of any self-supporting ideo. The given ideo is a purely logical thing. There is nothing to cause it to be affected by forces other than those whose influence it expressly accepts. The ideo is thus independent and simply does exist, even in the face of external forces that seek to destroy it, or alien beings who refuse to acknowledge it. The ideo provides its own reason for being, is self-sufficient, and therefore basic.

The preceding argument equally applies to any abstract ideo whose content is a self-supporting logic. Although such a logic may contain inconsistent components, those elements that relate to the logic's own existence are consistent. It is thus compatible with consistency logic to maintain that such an ideo is basic and naturally exists. Consistency logic accepts the independent and stable existence of self-supporting but otherwise contradictory content. Although it is wrong to believe that the logic of such an ideo is right, it is right to believe that the logic naturally exists – < <Q> > , where Q is a self-supporting but contradictory content.

Consider now an ideo whose content is any self-denying rightness logic. Such a logic judges itself, and thereby its own existence, to be wrong. The ideo thus fails to provide a reason for its own existence, and is not basic. An ideo whose content is nonlogical similarly is not in itself basic. There is nothing inherent in such an ideo relative to which it can judge and thereby justify its own existence.

Every basic, logical ideo is associated with an ideo field. A self-supporting rightness logic may coexist with nonlogical ideos in a field, and be responsible for their existence there. Consider in particular an independent ideo field that embraces consistency logic as truth. No first-order content in this field can (by definition) violate consistency logic. Suppose there were some content whose primary existence is compatible with consistency logic, but which does not exist within the field. Potential existence is meaningless; a willful refusal to acknowledge a thing as true is tantamount to rejecting it as false. The absence of the given content from the field would thus constitute an implicit denial of its compatibility with consistency logic – a contradiction of consistency truth. All possible compatible elements must therefore naturally exist in the field. Since even a contradictory form can be expressed as a second-order content whose existence is compatible with consistency logic, all content and knowledge of every type must have at least indirect existence within the field. This omniscient ideo field is unique, and will be called the Consistency Ideo Field, or CIF.

[Although consistency logic delimits the content that spontaneously arises within the CIF, it does not explicitly determine that content. Philosophers following Fleegello strove to logically deduce the precise content of the CIF from consistency logic alone. This quest was ultimately proven to be futile, in accordance with Fleegello's intuition.]

An independent ideo field that embraces a more limited, self-supporting but partially contradictory rightness logic is likewise naturally associated with content whose existence is inherently right, relative to that logic. The logic serves as the driving force for bringing this content into existence and sustaining it within the field. The content is in general different from and more restricted than that associated with the CIF. In certain cases (e.g., the logic "whatever is – except for this statement, which is – is not") the extra content is even trivial. In general, if a content can have a posteriori existence in a particular independent field, it must have a priori existence there.

Every possible self-supporting, causally well-defined ideo field would naturally and independently exist. These primordial, self-directed fields may themselves generate new, unique fields of consciousness, whose experience is both provided and dictated by the parental fields as long as the two remain logically bound together. [The manner in which such dependent fields might be meaningfully defined and dominated by the independent fields is explored by Fleegello later in these writings.]

The constituent elements of an ideo field may interact and evolve in a spatial and/or temporal manner. A single field can have no more than one primary temporal dimension; its consciousness would otherwise not be unified. A field may know its own future, by giving future primary content immediate second-order existence. The CIF in particular must know the entire history of every ideo field (including itself) that will ever exist. The temporal progression of an independent field is controlled by the field itself. Only those forces – both internal and external – that an independent field consciously accepts are capable of affecting the field.

Suppose that an ideo field were to have a continuous temporal dimension of infinite past extent. The field at every moment would then be at least partially caused by content at a preceding moment. It would be impossible to locate an ultimate basic, self-responsible cause for the field. Any initial moment would be removed to a point in time that is by definition inaccessible. A meaningful initial moment would indeed have never existed. Since content without being is meaningless, the field would have no meaningful basic cause – a contradiction of causality.

Every ideo field must therefore have a finite past, and a well-defined initial moment. Time scales may be either discrete or continuous. Although a finite duration of continuous time consists of an infinity of moments, as long as the infinity is countable, the conscious field of the initial and of any subsequent moment can be located and is experienced. The conscious flow therefore has meaningful existence. A field can similarly contain an infinite amount of information, if the information is bounded and the infinity countable (although the self may currently be utterly incapable of directly grasping such a field).

A self-supporting ideo field may have a constant, non-changing experience. In this case a temporal dimension cannot be meaningfully defined; any internal dimensions must be spatial in character. Such a field does not terminate after a finite time; it simply exists. Its initial cause can be found, and is meaningful.

[Although Fleegello recognized the possibility of such constant fields, he clearly viewed the CIF as a dynamic field existing in time. The logical fallacy of this position was soon demonstrated by others, and the CIF has since been considered a constant field, beyond time. Fleegello also failed to realize that even a constant field (like the CIF) is not limited to spatial dimensions, but can incorporate time-like dimensions of causal connectivity.]

It is contradictory to ask where or when, outside of itself, a primordial field originates. If a field is closed, its dimensions cannot by definition be extended beyond itself. If a field is open, it must fit into a larger, closed, causally-determined system. It is similarly inappropriate to ask why any closed field or set of fields did not exist prior to its (collective) initial moment. There was no time prior to that moment. The initial pattern of content must not, however, require or imply a previous pattern. A field would otherwise logically extend to an earlier time – a contradiction. The initial, basic cause of a primordial field thus comprises a self-supporting logic, together with the complete set of nonlogical ideos that are compatible with that logic within the context of an initial moment.