Remember those starlit nights of youth, lying on the hood of a car, contemplating the limitless galaxy and all of our possibilities? It implied future action, and was an experience of the exhilarating use of consciousness. The very term “question” is derived from the word quest. Those nights should have followed us into adulthood. We get so involved in our routines, that little energy is left to contemplate what we are all doing here. Topics concerning the universe, social movements and the boundless power of our minds can stem into anything, and most people haven’t taken the time to understand the root of it all. The magnificent complexity of our civilization provokes thoughts that can branch off in countless directions. Most believe that every mind creates its own reality, that every branch of life has its own tree, and then it’s too overwhelming a task to investigate them all. But how much simpler would it be if all branches led to the same trunk?
All sound concepts begin grounded in the axioms of existence itself, and consciousness as the faculty of perceiving existence. These concepts are not different for individual people; they are valid and useful for anyone who picks them up. We all use the same dictionaries as they all condense data about the same world. The axiom of existence spans and underlies the complete range of human awareness—of everything that will ever come within our grasp, encompassing the subjects of mankind’s entire tree of knowledge. The parallel drawn between all branches of human intelligence, is the means and structure of their accumulation. As all limbs of a tree are of similar form, so grows our mental structure and the information it contains—all in this pattern of genus and differentia. If you zoom in, you’ll notice that one branch is medicine, while another might be plumbing. Zoom in even closer and you’ll see a detailed account of a limb or of the circulatory system—how it works, what helps or hinders it and how one repairs its internal and external maladies. While higher concepts of one branch save individual lives, concepts of the other make it easier to live those lives by feeding electricity, gas and water to all human establishments. Zoom in on the other, and its branches reveal the technical intricacies on the space shuttle, in complex machinery, in our homes, businesses, cars and hospitals. Other offshoots such as law on the branch of politics protect our freedoms and make life worth living. All branches of knowledge as all branches of a tree, live dependent on their trunk, and any separation means death for the limb. It is the trunk which is rooted in the ground—that gathers nutrition and provides the living energy to expand and reach new heights. In other words, any disconnection from existence invalidates a concept.
Healthy, valid concepts all serve the same ultimate purpose—providing data on which men can act. Each branch is held and furthered by the men who harbor that specific interest. There is no central location for the entirety of mankind’s knowledge. The knowledge exists by grace of the specializations of every human being. We all build a knowledge tree, tailored to our own specific interests. The stability and worth of our tree depends on how deeply our roots delve into the soil of existence.
Building the Tree.Our epistemological structure is the father of all scientific classification. If you remember from biology, the animal kingdom is classified by the following tree: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. The intention of this method of course, is to integrate data into a single whole. The act of gathering, validating and placing knowledge along this chain is integration.From any point on this tree to any other, a chain is formed. At any time, you should be able to see where you came from, where you are and where you are going. This should be true for any tree you amass on any subject. There can be no indetermination at any step. Indetermination is the end of every chain of knowledge—as knowledge is the defined and the determinable. A fuzzy element breaks the chain and cannot be considered knowledge until its full definition is discovered. There is no room for what ‘might be’ in fact; either it is or it isn’t. Fuzz is where epistemological order ceases, waiting for and dependent on, the faculty of reason to deduce the subject’s exact identity. Identifying the missing links in one’s life and taking the steps to acquire them is the progress required of every volitional consciousness. A self-made rational man does not accept approximations into his epistemological chains, only at the non-useful (as of yet) ends. His judgment is based on sound reasoning, considering all of the elements necessary to draw conclusions. He is thorough in life, in order to thoroughly enjoy it. A step by step progression of logic is the convincing factor; the only means to conviction.The development of conviction is the road to intransigence,led by the practice and automatization of leaving no stone unturned in the validation of every premise.