“Being” is a very strange word. I suppose it would be called “an abstract processual noun”. English speakers, in any event, tend to treat “being” as a determinate form or species — something definite and fixed, as having boundaries, and consider “being” even the antithesis of “becoming”. We speak, perhaps, of the many “beings” or even the Supreme Being.
“Being”, used in that sense of “thingness”, as it were, is a hypostatization, or the “fallacy of misplaced concreteness”, or a reification in the negative sense. It is not a thing, but a dynamic, a process in much the same sense as playing, sleeping, driving, eating and so on. And in that sense “being” and “impermanence” are practically synonymous terms. But we have abstracted “being” from its meaning as identical with a mode of existence to something that “has” a mode of existence. But that isn’t what the word means.
Being is an energetic process, a “bodying forth” as we might call it, or a continuous process of self-manifestation or self-articulation or self-formation. It’s a mistake to think of “a” being as some fixed or static form. That’s the hypostatisation of an abstract idea. We have, in consequence, the idea of being, but have lost something of the actual experience of be-ing as this continuous process of what we call “self-actualisation” or “self-realisation”.
In some languages, according to some linguists (and as noted in an earlier post) it is quite impossible to speak of “a tree”, but only of a “treeing” and so on. Everything is in a process of becoming, one life essence prismatically manifesting in a countless number of modes of being. “Treeing” may seem like a strange way of speaking, but in structure it is no different than the word be-ing, and not as something accidental, but intentional. Everything is in the process of self-articulation or self-manifestation — at least, until such time as it reaches the limits of its possibilities of further self-manifestation, or its mode of be-ing. The human is simply one of those modes of being, no less or no more important than the other modes of existing. Being is, in that sense, a pathway. Being and those processes that we call self-realisation or self-manifestation or self-articulation or self-actualisation have pretty much the same meaning.
And so, we come upon a peculiar fact that the Latin word for being — existence or ex-stare (to “stand out” or “stand forth”) is cognate with the Greek ek-stase — ecstasy. So, to speak of “ecstatic existence” is something of an oxymoron, in those terms.
“Being”, as such, is fundamentally therefore an energetic issue, and “Energy is Eternal Delight” as Blake put it. Energy and vitality are practically synonymous terms, so enhancing the flow of energy in and through the human frame is pretty much synonymous with vitality and self-realisation. And that’s also pretty much the whole secret of practices like yoga, tai chi, or even Castaneda’s “tensegrity” or the “magical passes” — to enhance the flow of energy through the human frame.
Animism, vitalism, spiritualism, mentalism (or psychism) are names for different modes of be-ing in that sense — where, in the human form, the energy or vitality is concentrated. It functions effectively for a while, but also becomes an inhibition through overspecialisation in time, manifesting as “neurosis” (as Manly Hall mentions in his remarks on astrotheology). When the flow of energy through the human form becomes inhibited in any part, it turns destructive. “The standing water breeds pestilence”, as Blake put it. When the flow of energy becomes stuck or inhibited (suppressed or repressed) or denied, it typically becomes violent and destructive, either internally or externally.
And that is pretty much the whole teaching of William Blake.