The Reciprocal System calls for relatively little change in current scientific thinking about the phenomena and relations of everyday life. Almost all of the generally accepted physical relations applying to our immediate environment that have been derived from previous theories and are now in practical use are retained in the new system in essentially the same form in which they are commonly expressed—not because these relations happen to meet with the approval of the originator of the new system, but because the development of the consequences of the postulates of this system leads to these same expressions. There is nothing remarkable about this. The validity of most of these expressions, within their proper limits of applicability, has already been proved in the standard scientific manner, and they constitute portions of the permanent body of scientific knowledge. Any new theory of a more general nature must arrive at the same results in these particular areas; otherwise it could not be correct.
In some of the fields which science has entered in relatively recent years—high velocity phenomena, events at the atomic level, etc.—the new system of theory takes issue with previous scientific thought in certain important respects. The most prominent theories that have recently emerged in these fields, such as relativity, the nuclear theory of the atom, and the quantum theories, are now found to be erroneous, either in whole or in part, primarily because the true nature of time was never clearly understood prior to the development of the Reciprocal System. In the phenomena of everyday life, the error due to this misunderstanding is negligible, and no significant modification of previous results is therefore necessary; but in the realms of the very large, the very small, and the very fast, the new concept of the nature of time leads to a drastic reconstruction of the relevant theory.
In general, it can be said that the new physical picture indicates that previous scientific findings with respect to motion in space, particularly the “classical” laws of physics, are valid with respect to all motion in space, but that changes of position in time also take place in the far-out regions. It is the effect of this hitherto unrecognized motion in time that is responsible for the discrepancies which have led present-day physicists to conclude that the classical laws are only approximations to the true relationships, and are not valid in those regions. The new development shows that when the effects of motion in time are recognized and evaluated in accordance with the principles applying to this type of motion, the weaknesses and “paradoxes” of modern physics are eliminated, and all physical theory assumes the simple, understandable, and wholly rational aspect that is characteristic of classical theory.
One of the features of this new development that has much significance for philosophy as well as for science is that it verifies the existence of an external world independent of our observations. Although this may seem self-evident to the layman, it is a thesis that has been difficult to substantiate on the strength of the information heretofore available, and both scientists and philosophers have been engaged in a running battle over the question in recent years. Einstein expresses the affirmative point of view in these words:
The belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science.58
To this, McVittie replies:
A preferable alternative to the doctrine of the rational External World is to regard science as a method of correlating sense-data…. On this view, the corpus of sense-data may, or may not, form a rational whole, but the human mind by selecting classes of data succeeds in grouping them into rational systems…. Unobservables such as light, atoms, electromagnetic and gravitational fields, etc., are not constituents of an independently existing rational External World; they are but concepts useful in the manufacture of the systems of correlation…. The notions of truth and falsehood, of cause and effect, of discovery and explanation may now either be discarded or looked upon as arbitrary; the only important question is: How can we construct a rational scheme of thought—a theory—which shall include within its grasp as many apparently disconnected sense-data as possible.59
The crucial point here is the status of what McVittie calls “sense-data,” the information which we receive by way of our senses. He and the school of thought with which he is aligned point out (correctly) that we do not perceive physical objects directly; that we have direct knowledge only of the sense data, and that our concepts of the physical objects are mental constructs based on these data. The conclusion they have drawn from this is that only the sense data have actual reality, and that all else is a creation of the human mind.
Other observers have adopted an intermediate position, conceding reality to some features of the universe, primarily macroscopic objects, but denying the reality, in this same sense, of other features: atoms and electrons, for example. Heisenberg cautions us specifically that we must not regard the smallest parts of matter as being objectively real in the same sense as rocks and trees are real.60 “Atoms are neither things nor objects,” he says, “atoms are parts of observational situations.”61 In another attempt to describe this strange half-world in which the “official” school of modern physics places the basic units of matter, he characterizes the atom as “in a way, only a symbol.”62
The Reciprocal System of theory now provides a definitive answer to the question that has inspired this difference of opinion. There is an external universe independent of man and independent of any observations that he may make. The physical universe is a universe of motion; that is, motion is the reality of which the universe is composed. Motions and combinations thereof are therefore “real” in any ordinary sense of the word. The relations between these motions have a somewhat different status, and whether they can be considered real depends on how that term is defined. In any event, some of the “unobservables” of modern physics, the nucleus of the atom, for example, are wholly non-existent. Some, such as electromagnetic or gravitational fields, are merely special ways of looking at physical situations—that is, describing the relations between motions—and belong in the same category in which we place such concepts as the center of gravity of an object, or the poles of the earth. But the smallest subdivisions of matter, the atoms and the subatomic particles, have exactly the same claim to reality as the largest aggregates of matter; the smallest subdivisions of electricity, the electrons, have the same claim to reality as the heaviest electric currents, and so on. Whether or not the entity in question is observable, as matters now stand, is irrelevant.
The senses are facilities for obtaining information about this external world, and sense data are merely messages conveying this information, not basic realities in their own right. Indeed, they are not the only sources of such information. Communications from other individuals, for example, cannot legitimately be classed with ordinary sense data, even though they arrive through the same channels. A description of a physical event is something quite different from the sights, sounds, and other sensations by means of which an event is apprehended directly. As we will find in the subsequent pages, there are still other important sources of information, and the picture of reality which ultimately forms in the human mind is a composite, the result of correlating and analyzing (consciously or unconsciously; thoroughly or superficially) information from all of these sources, and further processing it through the application of reason.
In exploring this external physical universe by developing the theoretical consequences of the postulates of the Reciprocal System, the most surprising, and in some respects, the most significant discovery that was made was that the material universe with which we are in direct contact is not the entire physical universe, as has always been thought heretofore. It is only half of the physical universe as a whole; one of two separate, but interrelated, sectors. There is another half identical in all respects to the material sector except that space and time are interchanged. The opportunities available for direct verification of the conclusions of the Reciprocal System with respect to this second half, the cosmic sector, as we are calling it, by comparison with observed facts are quite limited, but here, again, the general proof of the validity of the system as a whole establishes the validity of the individual conclusions. The instances in which the phenomena of the cosmic sector do impinge upon the material sector in some manner add some significant additional confirmation, as most of these effects have resisted attempts at explanation on the basis of conventional theories, while they are in full agreement with the conclusions reached by the new theoretical system.
The theoretical development reveals that, for every physical entity or phenomenon that exists in our familiar material sector of the universe, there is an analogous entity or phenomenon in the cosmic sector, identical in every respect except for the reversal of the roles of space and time. Corresponding to matter there is cosmic matter, or antimatter, as it is usually called. Corresponding to the gravitation in the material sector that moves aggregates of matter toward each other in space there is an inverse gravitation in the cosmic sector that moves aggregates of cosmic matter toward each other in time, and so on. Each of the almost innumerable items of knowledge that are available about the entities and phenomena of the material sector thus becomes, by extension, an item of knowledge about the cosmic sector. Here, then, is a situation in which we have a very comprehensive and detailed theoretical knowledge of a region which is almost entirely outside our observational range. This is a striking demonstration of the power and versatility of the theoretical approach to the problem of exploring such inaccessible regions when the correct theoretical foundations have been laid. It gives us an indication of the potential value of an application of the same powerful technique to the problem we are attacking in this work: an exploration of the region outside the physical universe.
Heretofore it has been thought that defining the nature and properties of space and time was a task beyond the capabilities of science, but the Reciprocal System has given us such a definition and has established its validity. Heretofore it has been thought that, if anything exists outside our material universe, it is impossible to verify that existence or to deal with it by scientific methods; but the development of the Reciprocal System has revealed the existence of a whole new sector of the physical universe, separate and distinct from the material sector, and has given us a detailed description of its phenomena and relations. The objective of this present investigation would also be nothing but a hopeless undertaking on the basis of previous scientific thought, but it was clear from the beginning that this adverse opinion should not be given any weight, since the accomplishments of the new theoretical system in penetrating so far into the previously inaccessible regions augured well for the possibility of advancing still farther.
As we will see in the subsequent pages, there are many items of evidence indicating that the observed physical universe is not the whole of existence. Some of these are so definite and specific that they would be considered conclusive in any ordinary scientific evaluation. Nevertheless, this evidence has been rejected by the scientific community on the ground that it is known that all existence is in space and in time. On this basis, existence outside (that is, independent of) space and time is impossible, and the physical universe that is the subject of scientific investigation is the sum total of all that exists.
However, all this is predicated on the traditional viewpoint as to the nature of space and time, and it is clear that the new concept of their nature that has been introduced by the Reciprocal System of theory and verified in application to the observed physical phenomena has completely revolutionized this situation. Now that it has been established that space and time are aspects of the motion of which the physical universe is composed—that is, contents of that universe, instead of a setting or location in which the contents exist—the metaphysical question is drastically modified. Instead of asking, Can anything exist outside space and time? what we now want to know is, Can anything exist other than the motion that constitutes the physical universe?
This is not only a very different question; it is a different kind of a question. On the basis of the previous understanding of the nature of space and time, the question, Can anything exist outside space and time? could be answered explicitly by deductive reasoning. But the basic metaphysical question as it now stands in the light of the new knowledge contributed by the Reciprocal System requires the use of the inverse process: inductive reasoning. What we now want to do is to determine what our knowledge with respect to a special type of existence, that in the physical universe, can tell us about existence in general.
The logical status of induction has long been a philosophical issue. As expressed by Whitehead, “The theory of induction is the despair of philosophy—and yet all of our activities are based upon it.”63 In recent years, however, it has increasingly been realized that these philosophical difficulties are the result of an attempt to equate the results of induction to those of deduction, whereas, in fact, their status is quite different. The deductive process is complete in itself, and if sound reasoning is applied to valid premises, this process arrives at conclusions that are physically certain. The product of induction, on the other hand, is a probability. Induction is therefore an incomplete process, and the inductive conclusions must be verified. Thus the equivalent of deduction is not induction alone, but induction plus verification. Like the sound deductive conclusions, the verified inductive conclusions are physically certain.
There are many different kinds of inductive processes, and they arrive at answers which have widely different degrees of a priori probability of being valid. The basic process is simple enumeration, in which it is assumed that, where all known units of entity A have property x, all units of entity A have property x. If only a few units of this entity A have been observed, the probability that the conclusion is valid is low, but if the number of observed units is immense, as is often the case, the probability is so great that it is equivalent to physical certainty without any further verification. A somewhat less reliable form of extrapolation that does require verification reaches this same conclusion that all units of entity A have property x from the observed facts that (1) some units of this entity have property x, and (2) no such units are definitely known to be without this property. A process that arrives at a still lower degree of probability is analogy, in which it is reasoned that since entity A has property x, some entity B that resembles A in certain respects also has property x. A process that is widely utilized in the initial analysis of a mass of observational data is the method of concomitant variations, in which a connection between x and y is inferred from the fact that the analysis shows that factors which cause a change in x also cause a change of a related nature in y. Regardless of whether the inductive conclusions are reached by one of these common methods, or in some other way, these conclusions become physically certain, and acquire the status of scientific knowledge, if, and only if, they are verified.
The answer to a difficult problem may be obtained by a process of “invention,” as described by Einstein and Lindsay in the statements quoted in Chapter 2, but because of the wide range of forms which such inventions can take, and the likelihood that there is some error in those portions of current thought that are incorporated into the invention, the probability that the answer is correct will usually be very low. As the investigations in connection with the formulation of the Reciprocal System of theory have demonstrated, most of the inventions of the modern physical theorists are erroneous. Their successes have come in those instances where there were enough empirical facts available to permit arriving at conclusions by induction. The merit of the inductive process is that it is not, like invention, a shot in the dark; it produces a result which has a distinct probability, often a very high probability, of being correct.
With this understanding of the dual process of induction and verification, it can now be seen that the description of the scientific method in Chapter 2 is simply a detailed outline of this dual process. Step 1, as described, is a study of the available empirical data aimed at finding some items to which one of the available inductive processes can be applied. Step 2 is the application of this process to arrive at a conclusion that is probably valid. Step 3 is the preparation for verification, involving the development of consequences of the inductive conclusions that can be checked against observational data. Step 4 is the actual verification of the conclusions by demonstrating agreement with observation.
Individual inductive conclusions of broad scope are seldom verifiable separately, except in the special case of a simple enumeration that extends over a huge number of separate instances. In the usual situation, it is necessary to add collateral items and construct an inductive system of conclusions. As will be brought out in detail in the discussion of emergent properties in Chapter 5, the properties of a system proliferate rapidly as more units are added to that system. Consequently, even though an isolated inductive conclusion is of such a nature that it cannot be verified, it is usually possible, by the expenditure of sufficient time and effort, to incorporate the original simple proposition into a system which has a large enough number and variety of consequences to make a conclusive check against observational data feasible. The verification of the inductive system as a whole that is accomplished in this manner carries with it a verification of the original proposition.
However, the time and effort required to carry out such a program may, in many cases, be monumental. This is why inductive reasoning has the reputation of being very difficult. Induction itself, in its simpler forms, is not complicated, but the construction of a suitable inductive system can be an arduous and frustrating task. For example, the most strenuous efforts of Descartes, Eddington, and all of the other investigators who attempted to construct a theory of a universe of motion prior to the development of the Reciprocal System were fruitless because these investigators were unable to put together a valid inductive system of the necessary scope.
In almost all cases, including the one noted, the principal obstacle standing in the way of constructing such a system is an error of some kind in current thinking on the subject matter. Until this error can be located and corrected, attempts to formulate a usable inductive system are futile, as any one error in the premises of the system invalidates the entire structure. The key to the construction of an inductive system incorporating the concept of a universe of motion was the discovery of the general reciprocal relation between space and time. Once this relation was recognized, it became possible to put together a system of extrapolations—those that constitute the postulates of the Reciprocal System of theory—that could be verified by thousands of comparisons with empirical data.
The inductive answer to the basic metaphysical question was obtained in exactly the same way. Just as many scientists and philosophers long ago concluded that the physical universe is a universe of motion, but were unable to verify this conclusion until the error in the prevailing concept of the nature of space and time was corrected, so most philosophers and theologians long ago concluded that there is an existence outside space and time, but were unable to verify that conclusion. Here, again, it is necessary to construct an inductive system in order to make verification possible, and here again, identification and correction of a serious error in current thought is a prerequisite for such a construction. This error, we find, is the same one that blocked the physical inquiry for such a long time: the misconception as to the nature of space and time. When these entities are seen in their true light as aspects of the “substance” of the universe, rather than as a setting in which that substance exists, the way is cleared for the construction of an inductive system of conclusions about metaphysical existence: a set of postulates similar to the fundamental postulates that define the physical universe.
One significant point that was established in the detailed development of the consequences of the postulates that define the physical universe is that those principles of a general nature that are valid in one physical area are valid in all physical areas. There are, of course, principles and relations whose applicability is confined to certain areas for structural reasons. The principles governing the behavior of gases, for example, are not applicable to liquids or solids. But we were able to formulate the basic postulates of the Reciprocal System by generalizing the principles that are not limited by such structural factors, and the subsequent verification of the validity of the system of theory thus derived shows that the extrapolation was justified. Now that we are going from existence in the physical universe to existence in general, we will carry the extrapolation a step farther and conclude that these principles of a general nature that have been verified in application to the physical universe will continue to be applicable in the wider field.
The First Postulate of the Reciprocal System of theory is a specific definition of the physical universe, and it cannot be extrapolated to existence outside that universe. However, a consideration of the structure of the postulate leads to an important conclusion that is general in nature. In itself, the basic assumption in this postulate, the assumption that the physical universe is a universe of motion, would permit the existence of any conceivable kind of motion, but the other assumptions included in the two postulates of the system act as limitations. The net result of the basic postulate plus the limitations is to permit the existence of any kind of motion that is not in conflict with any of these limitations. Since an enumeration of the limitations to which the motion is subject carries with it an implied assertion that there are no other limitations, there is nothing to prevent the existence of those motions that are not barred, directly or indirectly, by the postulates. This principle can be expressed by the statement: Whatever can exist does exist. The validity of the principle is generally conceded in scientific and philosophical circles. K. W. Ford makes this comment:
One of the elementary rules of nature is that, in the absence of a law prohibiting an event or phenomenon, it is bound to occur with some degree of probability. To put it simply and crudely: Anything that can happen does happen.64
In this statement, the word “happen” is used instead of “exist,” but in a universe of motion there is no significant difference between what happens and what exists. Both are manifestations of motion.
The applicability of this principle to the physical universe has been specifically confirmed in the development of the Reciprocal System of theory. The salient fact here is that all of the primary entities and phenomena of the theoretical universe that fall within our present limits of observation are duplicated item by item in the observed physical universe. In the case of the more complex entities, two or more of the possible structures are often in competition, and if the probability factors are strongly in favor of one of these, the others are not normally observed, a fact that is quite understandable. In any event, whatever uncertainties of this kind do exist are confined to structures in the later stages of development; the entities and phenomena which can be deduced directly from the postulates or their immediate consequences all have easily recognizable counterparts in the observed physical universe. For example, four general types of motion are theoretically possible, and all of them are found in the observed universe. Six different kinds of rotational combinations (elements and particles) are theoretically possible, and all of them are observed. Within the present observational limits, 105 different material elements are predicted by the theory, and all of these have been identified, with no missing numbers and no extras.
A particularly significant point is that some of these physical phenomena predicted by theory and later identified through observation were totally unknown to science—even unsuspected. Motion in time, for instance, was completely foreign to scientific thought before the development of the Reciprocal System made it clear that this is one of the primary physical phenomena, fully coordinate, in the physical universe as a whole, with the more familiar motion in space. In most cases, those motions which were indicated as theoretically possible were readily correlated with known phenomena, but wherever a known counterpart of the theoretical motion could not be located, as in the case of motion in time, a hitherto unknown phenomenon was always found to exist.
In view of the firm standing of the “Whatever can exist does exist” principle in the physical universe, our next concern will be to lay the foundation for extrapolating it to existence in general. As brought out in Chapter 3, it has been definitely established that the physical universe is composed entirely of discrete units of motion. Further development of the consequences of the postulates that define the theoretical system reveals that the large-scale action of the universe is cyclic, the magnitude of the cycles being determined by the finite life of the structures into which the units of motion aggregate. This means that the total number of units of motion existing in the physical universe is finite. Thus we may expand the previous statement about the content of the universe, and say that we have established that the sole constituent of the physical universe is a certain finite quantity of a particular kind of motion.
The conclusion is not assumption or speculation. The validity of the entire Reciprocal System, including the First Postulate and the foregoing extension, has been established with physical certainty. The fact that the physical universe is composed entirely of a finite quantity of a particular kind of motion is therefore scientific knowledge, as defined in Chapter 2. It then follows that there must be other existences—at least other motions. Ordinary common sense is sufficient to tell us that we cannot justify taking the stand that the only thing that can possibly exist is a specific quantity of a particular kind of motion. The process of inductive reasoning merely reaches the same conclusion in a more systematic way. It identifies the physical universe as a special case of motion in general, and enables us to extrapolate the information of the unrestricted type that is available about this special case to the general situation. On the basis of the principle that what can exist does exist, which we can now extrapolate to motion in general, we arrive at these conclusions:
- There are other finite quantities of the same kind of motion existing as independent universes.
- There are other universes based on motion that is multidimensional, or otherwise different from that which prevails in our physical universe.
- There is a general form of existence free from some or all of the limitations that apply to the individual universes.
The possibility that there may be some other entities, distinct from motion, that are capable of generating systems such as the universes, also suggests itself. But when we examine the motion of which the physical universe is constituted, we find that the nature of this motion is not defined, other than by the way it enters into the basic mathematical relation. This is a relation between a quantity x (which we identify as space) and its reciprocal 1/x (which we identify as time). When the quotient x/(1/x) is 1, we say that it is one unit of motion; but in fact, it is one unit of a not otherwise identified quantity. We cannot substitute some identified quantity (that is, one which has properties other than those expressed in the equation) for motion, as those other properties would destroy the pure reciprocal relation that is the basis of the system that we call the physical universe. On the other hand, if we substitute some quantity that does not have any such additional properties, there is no way by which it could be distinguished from motion. It does not appear, therefore, that the concept of other entities capable of generating systems similar to the universes of motion can be entertained.
In the subsequent discussion, we will continue to utilize the designation “metaphysical” in its etymological sense as referring to all that is beyond physics. On this basis, any existence outside our physical universe is metaphysical existence, the region in which it exists is the metaphysical region, and any universes other than our own that exist in this region are metaphysical universes. When we have occasion to refer to existence in general, including that which is inside, as well as that which is outside, the various discrete universes, we will regard it as located in the general metaphysical region. It should be understood that the term “outside,” as used in this connection, means simply “not a part of,” and has no spatial or temporal implications.
The possibility of the existence of other universes is an idea that has intrigued many thinkers. Even without the significant additional information that has led to the conclusions of this present work, many observers have realized that it is quite possible that the physical universe, as we know it, is not the sum total of all existence, as the term “universe” implies, but merely a portion of a larger system, an entity that, as has been suggested, we might well call a “multiverse.”
With all our wide vision we may be looking at only a small part of a grand creation. Our universe with its billions of galaxies may be only one among many.65 (Vannevar Bush)
The advances in theoretical understanding that have been accomplished in the investigation being reported in this work have made the existence of these other universes probable, but definite verification is not possible because, so far as we know, there is no contact between our universe and any of the others. The reverse side of the picture is that, by reason of this lack of contact, the question as to the existence of other universes is purely academic so far as we are concerned. The metaphysical existences that have a bearing on human life are those of the general type, which, by reason of their freedom from the kind of limitations that apply to the separate universes, are located in the whole, of which the individual universes are separate and limited parts. The first of the postulates that define the metaphysical existence with which human life is concerned may therefore be expressed as follows:
FIRST METAPHYSICAL POSTULATE: There are existences in the metaphysical region of a more general and less restricted type than the units of motion that are the basic constituents of the physical universe.
Another general principle established in the physical universe that can be extrapolated to existence in general is the principle that existence is logical, orderly, and rational. This concept, which from the very beginnings of science has been held by scientists “with the fervor of a religious conviction,”66 as Margenau puts it, is the essence of what we have called the “implied third postulate” of the Reciprocal System. It has been definitely confirmed, so far as the physical universe is concerned, by the verification of that new system of theory, and the strong intuitive conviction of the individual scientists has been vindicated (a point which will have some significance in connection with a subject to be discussed later). By extension, in accordance with the general rule that has been stated, we are now able to say that the metaphysical existences are likewise logical, orderly, and rational. These characteristics may then be embodied in a second postulate.
SECOND METAPHYSICAL POSTULATE: The metaphysical existences are logical, orderly, and rational.
The physical investigation has also established that each sector of the physical universe has its own peculiar phenomena governed by laws that are related to, but different from, those applicable to analogous phenomena in the other sector. Thus the gravitational law of the material sector specifies that every aggregate of matter exerts the equivalent of forces of attraction on all other similar aggregates within a certain limiting distance, so that these aggregates tend to draw closer together in space. The cosmic sector, in which there are aggregates composed of an entity analogous to, but different from, ordinary matter is subject to a different law that operates in an analogous manner but causes the aggregates of cosmic matter to draw closer together in time. Here again, we may extrapolate our findings and conclude that the general relation between any two sectors of existence as a whole is similar to that between the two major sectors of the physical universe; that is, both sectors are subject to the same broad general principles and have the same kind of a general framework, but each sector has certain special characteristics that are merely analogous to, rather than identical with, the corresponding characteristics of the other sector. Hence each sector has its own special set of laws related to, but different from, the corresponding laws of the other sector.
This means that there exists a set of general principles governing existence as a whole, and there also exists a system of mutually consistent special laws and principles, similar to the Reciprocal System, for each individual sector of existence. In subsequent chapters, we will encounter phenomena that, as already noted, we will have reason to identify as metaphysical in character, and it will then be important to recognize that these phenomena are subject to a set of laws and principles that are peculiar to the general metaphysical region and are no more than analogous to any of the laws or principles of the physical universe.
THIRD METAPHYSICAL POSTULATE: Metaphysical existence conforms to a specific set of laws and principles different in some respects from those of the physical universe.
A fourth postulate will be derived in Chapter 7 by extrapolation of information that will be developed in the next three chapters. In order to complete the definition of the inductive system that we have constructed as a base for our exploration of the metaphysical region, this postulate will be stated at this time without comment. Its derivation will be explained in the subsequent discussion.
FOURTH METAPHYSICAL POSTULATE: The metaphysical existences of which we have evidence are intelligent.
These four postulates constitute the inductive conclusions that have been derived by standard scientific methods, mainly extrapolation. In the remainder of this work we will carry out the second half of the inductive process, developing the consequences of the postulates, and verifying their validity by showing that these consequences are in full agreement with observation wherever comparisons can be made. It should be emphasized that this is a scientific undertaking, on the basis of the definitions set forth in Chapter 2. The postulates are factual statements that have been derived by inductive processes from factual premises, and they will be verified by comparison with facts derived from observation. On verification, they constitute scientific knowledge, as previously defined. The entire project follows the standard scientific procedure and does so in a strictly scientific manner, without the use of any kind of demon.
It is true that metaphysical subjects have heretofore been regarded as outside the boundaries of science. As pointed out in Chapter 2, however, the true boundaries of science are not defined by the subject matter, but by the possibility of factual treatment. A purely factual conclusion in the metaphysical field, one based in the first instance on established facts, and derived from those facts by exact logical or mathematical processes, is just as scientific as a similar conclusion in a physical field. In the light of the findings of this present work, it is not appropriate to refer to metaphysical existences, or to any metaphysical phenomena, as “supernatural.” The metaphysical region and its phenomena are subject to laws of nature in exactly the same way as physical phenomena, and one of these types of phenomena is no more or no less “natural” than the other.
The general situation involved in this metaphysical investigation is similar to that which was previously encountered in examining the impact of the phenomena of the cosmic sector of the physical universe, the inverse sector, on observable events and relationships. The existence of the cosmic sector was entirely unknown prior to the time that it was discovered theoretically by development of the consequences of the postulates of the Reciprocal System of theory, and there was no known physical phenomenon that seemed to require anything as drastic as doubling the magnitude of the physical universe as then conceived. But once it was demonstrated theoretically that the cosmic sector must exist, it quickly became apparent that the impact of this cosmic sector on the familiar material sector provided simple and logical explanations for a number of phenomena that had never been satisfactorily incorporated into the conventional theories of the material universe. Similarly, metaphysical existence is not recognized by conventional physical theory. But once the reality of such existence has been demonstrated by standard scientific procedures, it becomes clear that here, too, the new knowledge supplies the explanations for many phenomena that have hitherto resisted all attempts at comprehension; some of them so foreign to current scientific thinking that scientists have been driven to the desperate expedient of ignoring the evidence and denying its existence.
In the next chapter, we will begin a consideration of the individual phenomena of this nature. Before so doing, however, it will be advisable to make a few general comments on the situation. There is no doubt but that the finding as to the reality of metaphysical existence is one of the most important conclusions ever reached in a scientific investigation. Nothing can be more meaningful to the human race than the answer to the question as to whether there is something beyond the limits of the physical universe, for once the answer has been positively established as affirmative, if follows practically as a matter of course that the destiny of man transcends the limitations of the physical universe. The great religions of the world have always affirmed the truth of this proposition, and until comparatively recently, most philosophers have agreed. William James, for instance, is positive and unequivocal:
Our science is a drop, our ignorance a sea. Whatever else be certain, this at least is certain—that the world of our present natural knowledge is enveloped in a larger world of some sort of whose residual properties we at present can frame no positive idea.67
But neither religion nor philosophy has heretofore been able to produce any tangible evidence of such an existence. Throughout the whole history of the human race, the status of the metaphysical assertions has remained unchanged while the scope of positive knowledge has expanded tremendously in other fields, particularly in science. Modern religions have no more evidence to offer in support of their contentions as to the reality of an existence outside the physical universe than the medicine men of the nomadic tribes were able to muster thousands of years ago. We are still told that these assertions must be accepted on “faith,” which simply means that no proof is available. Today's beliefs are more plausible than some of those of earlier days, it is true, but they are equally lacking in factual support. The inevitable result of this inability to back up the religious assertions with anything of a tangible nature has been a weakening of the “faith,” not only among those who have few ties with religion, but also in the very citadels of religion itself. As expressed by J. M. Kitagawa:
It is important to note that a radical change has taken place in this respect in the thinking of modern people, in that they no longer take seriously the existence of another realm of reality…. To the modern man, this phenomenal world is the only real order of existence, and life here and now is the center of the world of meaning.68
The findings of this work are thus particularly timely, in that they meet this modern trend of thought squarely and effectively, providing a conclusive refutation of the inferences that the present-day skeptics have drawn from the previous inability to relate the religious assertions to the world of observed phenomena. We are now able to state definitely and positively that “this phenomenal world” is not “the only real order of existence,” and that “life here and now” is only one phase of existence as a whole. Whether or not it is “the center of the world of meaning” is another question; one that we will be better able to consider later in the discussion, after we have explored some of the consequences of the metaphysical existence and their effect on the human situation.