February 9, 2015



A renaissance in classic metaphysics? Philosopher David Birnbaum's Summa Metaphysica. The philosophy...metaphysics proposes a fine-tuned-universe, auto-fine -tuned and self-iterating. See David Birnbaum philosophy.


Ultimate Self-Actualization

Ultimate Self-Actualization

David Birnbaum's Theory of Potential re-conceptualized how we understand Man's place in the universe. Cosmology of the 20th century (Randomness theory) wrote mankind off as some accidental by-product of a meaningless universe. But 21st century Potentialism places mankind back into the center of the Cosmic Order itself.


Whereas 20th century Randomness theory categorized mankind as a random accident of haphazard cosmic evolution, 21st century Potentialism theory places mankind as the forward wave of cosmic advance. Per Birnbaum, mankind is the state-of-the-art, however flawed, apex player in the inexorable evolvement of the universe.


In placing mankind at the zenith, Potentialism theory’s conceptualizer, David Birnbaum of Manhattan, directly impacts many classic questions: What is our place in the universe? What is the meaning of humanity itself”? What is our internal core drive? What is the ‘spark of life’? What is our purpose?




Metaphysicist David Birnbaum hypothesizes that one dynamic – (Infinite) Quest for Potential – drives and energizes the entire Cosmic Order. Birnbaum makes the case via his (quite-readable) 3-volume treatise Summa Metaphysica (1988, 2005, 2014).


The work has been widely-acclaimed; over a dozen colleges have assigned the work as a Course Text;
No flaw has been discerned in the hypothesis since introduced to the world via volume I of the treatise published by Ktav in 1988. A major multi-day international academic conference was hosted by Bard College (Upstate, NY) in 2012 focusing on the work (see To view links to 150+ articles and reviews of the work, see


The shorthand notation used for the core concept (infinite) Quest for Potential is Q4P.


Is Q4P at the core of life-force itself?


Q4P, the (Infinite) Quest for Potential, is at the core of everything in the universe, including life force itself. Q4P, to Potentialists, represents the central drive of existence – the need for everything to strive towards its own greatest complexity/sophistication. Humanity – with all its myriad flaws included – represents the highest degree of complexity/sophistication/wondrousness that the universe has yet given rise to.


At the very heart of life force itself, Q4P drove not only the creation of life, but the creation of a higher order of life; this advanced life form – mankind - which would achieve a distinctively wide range of emotion, intellect, communication, and creative ability; mankind could wrestle with both its own as well as the greater cosmos' meaning and purpose.


Does Q4P give Man purpose/direction/meaning?


Q4P can give man meaning. Make no mistake; no life is meaningless, but acknowledging Q4P and its transcendent power in life can help one understand one’s purpose and help provide focus. Personal growth, advancing the community, connecting with others - as well as potentially finding love and growing a family - are all part of a grander cosmic enterprise.


Can awareness of Q4P energize the individual?


It is hard to overstate how awareness of Q4P can help energize the individual – to know that the deck is “stacked in one’s favor” by pressing towards the limits of one’s potential. Individual growth and advance is an integral part of the grand and overarching cosmic scrip of Quest for Potential∞.


Will the Cosmic Order provide a tailwind to those seeking after their maximal potential?


Most certainly. Man, like the universe itself, is predestined as a whole to seek out greater degrees of complexity and sophistication. Birnbaum labels this as Complexification, i.e. growth and advance on sundry fronts including emotional, intellectual and moral expansion.


Einstein once quipped that God doesn't play dice with the universe. Potentialism says that, not only does God not play dice, but the odds are stacked in the direction of growth and advance. Endeavoring to grow and advance plays-out underlying cosmic thrusts. For in endeavoring to advance, Man is playing-out his destiny and the potential which drives him.


Does Q4P connect Man ever more with the Cosmic Order? Past-present-future?


Man's connection with cosmic potential brings him in ever-greater alignment with the Cosmic Order. Understanding of Q4P will give individual Man an edge in truly understanding this cosmic connection; as a whole, humanity is headed towards this understanding – as the consciousness of Man expands via evolutionary thrusts.


Could Q4P harmonize humanity?


Central to Potentialism Theory is the concept that we are integral parts of the cosmic collective, let alone of humanity. Thus, as humanity advances, we win on an individual level. The concept of a fight “us v. them” is somewhat anachronistic if we are simultaneously part of ‘them’.


The universe is not meaningless, aimless and chaotic as we were led to believe in the past. Rather, everything is part of the cumulative and inexorable cosmic advance; the universe plays out its ever-iterating broad-spectrum cosmic march, and mankind as a group is at the forward cusp of that march.


See also

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