Nothing exists outside the Whole.
The Whole is the sum total of each existent, in all its spatial and temporal aspects, including all its self-governing laws.
The Whole is not an existent, but the entire field of existence itself, and as such can only be described as an existent provisionally.
One cannot inquire into universal existence as one might inquire into a delimited particular existent.
One may easily identify a particular apple and likewise identify all things particularly not-apple. Each existent is derived from the Whole itself. But the Whole encompasses every particular existent, and so there is no not-of-the-Whole from which one may differentiate or delimit.
In stating the principle, Nothing exists outside the Whole, this ‘nothing’ is not to be understood as a void that the Whole resides within. Rather, it indicates that the Whole does not possess any fixed boundary beyond which a differentiated not-of-the-Whole exists, or could possibly exist.
Unlike an existent, existence does not possess the attributes of ‘inside’ or ‘outside.’ The Whole, therefore, is all-inclusive: There is no existent that is not already ‘within’ and derived from the Whole (whether one is aware of or understands any particular existent or not).
The all-inclusiveness of the Whole renders the presence of a creator god a logical impossibility, since it too would be encompassed by the Whole, thus contradicting any definition of a creator god. For the same reason, any super-natural or meta-physical world cannot be posited as something ‘beyond’ the Whole.
Spatially, the Whole is necessarily self-sufficient, since there is nothing but the Whole—and so it cannot be contingent on anything not-of-the-Whole. Not-of-the-Whole necessarily does not exist and necessarily cannot exist.
Temporally, the Whole as the Whole has neither precedent nor antecedent: The Whole never was, nor will be.
Causes may be identified (from of a complex causal web, not merely a sequential chain), found in fluctuating events occurring within the Whole. But as for the Whole itself, it cannot be derived causally from any presumed not-of-the-Whole. The Whole irreducibly Is.
Because of this ontological irreducibility, discursive language and thought is inadequate to posit the Whole in any absolute sense.
A direct, discursive understanding of the Whole is impossible because a discursive approach requires reification—that is, the ability to differentiate between one existent and another.
Discursive understanding is adept at distinguishing the individual existent as well as the rational relationship between one existent and another. But on a deeper, more fundamental level, such a mode of inquiry is ontologically inappropriate.
However, this does not mean that discursive reason has no place in ontological inquiry, but rather that its role is a negative one. In such an inquiry, language is employed not to assert positive statements regarding the Whole. Rather, it is through the negation of attributes appropriate only to the existent that the transparency of the Whole may be real-ised.
In such an inquiry, one may only provisionally posit the attributes commonly ascribed to the existent, such as ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ (spatially or temporally). It is especially this inappropriate use of prepositions (spatial and temporal metaphors) that lead to confusion regarding the relationship between the existent and existence.
Provisional assertions should be entertained only in order to test and discover for oneself that such characteristics do not and cannot be attributed to the Whole. By doing so, one may recognise that treating existence ultimately the same way as an existent is nonsensical.
It is from this inability to distinguish between existent and existence that certain misleading metaphysical assumptions about the self and the world enter one’s thinking.
In the inquiry of the Whole, such ontological assumptions are to be examined, challenged and deconstructed, with the constructive aim of real-ising of the Whole not merely conceptually, but existentially.