As different disciplines stand on the ground of specific segments of reality, they are not at par with each other.They are not connected with all the levels of reality. Some of them may be concerned more with particular form or level of reality. As such, they would be using only that particular form of methodology. However, their usual way of research-operation is found moving among levels – one to four or four to one in column 6.
One may stop at the first or the second levels. Another may be concerned more with the third. However, in study of politics, all the three levels of intangible methodology are interconnected. They are complementary and mutually dependent on each other. In a way, empirical investigation comes first as well as at the end. Dissatisfied with the first, the researcher goes gradually from the first to the next level. If he is not content with the second and the third, he joins the fourth.
Reality known through intangible or trans-empirical methodology should not be considered as inferior to that knowledge which is acquired by scientific methods. Knowledge obtained through a scientific or trans-empirical means, both in theory and practice, normally covers a large ground and can be accepted quite useful for purposes of research. Both the masses and the elite acknowledge its existence and influence. They are moved and motivated by it.
Though, in the present state of our knowledge, methodology of studying mental and spiritual phenomena, from empirical viewpoint, appears far less ‘scientific’ than the methodology of studying tangible subject-matter.
As the knowledge of mental or intangible categories remains confined to a few individuals only and do not become visible or visualised to others, it is the task of users of ‘advanced’ methodology to get the individual esoteric experiences transformed and translated in empirical terms. Let it be accepted that the influence of faith in the mental and spiritual categories is greater than the so-called scientific knowledge. Hence one can neglect them only at its own peril.
Empirical form of methodology is important and useful for communication and verification among fellow-scholars but it cannot be considered more important than its contents or subject-matter. Truth can be known or arrived at by several other means also. But all that coming down from level four to two or going upward from two to four, should be verified by tools and techniques of empirical sciences to obtain acceptability and consensus at all levels.
Support of empirical evidence in some reliable form will save us from surrendering to subjectivism, elite monopoly and sorcery. Research conducted in such a manner would give it legitimacy, support and cooperation of the people concerned.
We should not compartmentalize and isolate various forms of knowledge by reserving them for a particular category of scholars or groups of people to be denigrated by others. One fruitful impact of using trans-empirical methodology for the understanding of mental and metaphysical phenomena can be, in the form of transforming them into tangible terms. In the same manner, scientific methodology can also be enriched by seeking support of trans-empirical methodology.
It is possible to create or generate knowledge without crippling the knowledge venture into artificially isolated segments. Various aspects of knowledge of reality can supplement each other. A comprehensive view of knowledge should include both forms of methodologies, and make the scholar aware about tangible as well as intangible nature of things. It would have to make use of means, methods and techniques to know and support them on the basis of procedural adequacy and evidence.
Hence, an attempt has to be made here to reconcile the empirical and the normative or the quantitative and the qualitative methodologies, and yet maintain the autonomy of their respective fields. Incorporation of knowledge of mental and metaphysical matter within the fold of the discipline would, make knowledge a total whole.
It would also relieve the common man from the mystiques of the elites who claim to monopolise the secrets of mental and spiritual phenomena and deprive the rest from peeping into their preserves.