Metaphysics is to yoga what theory is to practice. Metaphysics (from Greek words meta = “after,” phusiká = “natural”) is a branch of inquiry concerned with determining the nature of the most fundamental aspects of reality.

Metaphysics is not concerned with the physical world around us, but with the abstract concepts that make up our reality.

It considers things such as properties, change, causation, time, possibility, and identity. metaphysicians also explore the relationship between mind and matter, and the possibility of supernatural phenomena.

It asks metaphysical questions such as the following:

  • Is reality what it seems to be?
  • How does the world exist and what caused it to come into existence?
  • Does the actual world exist outside the human mind?
  • How can the intangible mind have an influence on the physical body?
  • What is the function of things if they exist?
  • Is there such thing as free will and determination?
  • Is there a higher power (or many higher powers, or no god at all)?

This article provides a clear and concise definition of metaphysics, as well as its history and purpose.

What is Metaphysics and What are its Origins?

Metaphysics is the philosophy that looks into the fundamental nature of reality. It deals with the nature of existence, being, and knowing. It examines general concepts such as time, space, matter, causation, and identity.

Metaphysics has its origins in ancient Greece where early philosophers attempted to answer questions about the ultimate structure of reality. Among these philosophers were Thales, Parmenides, and Plato.

The term metaphysics can be translated as “that which comes after physics, matter, or nature.” Thus metaphysics is looking for the permanent reality, the unchanged beingness, the stationary existence as the base for everything that shows a constant change.

Modern science or contemporary metaphysics has its roots in the work of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Baruch Spinoza. In the twentieth century, metaphysics was given a renewed focus through the work of Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Today, the term “metaphysics” is used more generally to signify a branch of philosophy that focuses on what exists and how it works in a rather general way. The idea that everything changes, for example, is metaphysical because it eliminates the topic of Aristotle’s Metaphysics.

Apart from the origins of the words, there is a more fundamental issue with how metaphysics interacts with physics and the rest of natural science. Isn’t it true that natural science discovers what there is in the world and how it is organized? If that’s the case, what place does metaphysics have?

Importance of Metaphysics

Importance of Metaphysics

Metaphysics is important because it helps us to understand the nature of reality and our place in the world. It can help us to make sense of the complex and often confusing world around us. Metaphysics also helps us to develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and our existence.

Some people argue that metaphysics is not important because it does not produce any verifiable results. However, metaphysics is not concerned with verifying or falsifying its theories. Rather, it is concerned with exploring and understanding reality as it is.

What Metaphysicians Do

Metaphysicians do not just sit around wondering about the nature of reality. They also apply their knowledge to practical issues such as ethics, politics, and the meaning of life. They also use their knowledge to tackle problems in other branches of philosophy, such as epistemology and metaphysics.

Metaphysicians also engage in philosophical dialogue with other thinkers and researchers in order to develop a deeper understanding of metaphysics and its implications.

Metaphysical theory

The “theorizing” mind gives this Being the name God. The “practical” seeker experiences this Being as pure Awareness. The theoretical side of Metaphysics seems to belong now to academics.

And, to be quite fair, they have done an outstanding job and there are now many metaphysical systems and positions.

However, theorizing about pleasure or pain does not give us the actual experience. That is where Yoga comes in: Yoga is the tool with which we can go all the way if this is our true desire.

All it needs is genuine interest and a certain amount of courage, even so, the fear we encounter on the way is nothing but being afraid to look at our Self.

Going back to the origins of the word Metaphysics, it is said that it was first used to name untitled manuscripts of Aristotle. It is curious, that most philosophical textbooks cover an area starting with the Greeks Plato, Aristotle, etc., but leave out earlier philosophies from India.

However, there is enough evidence that the philosophy of the Greeks and Iranians was heavily influenced by these earlier philosophies of India.

At any rate, at least some of the Greek philosophers had a very clear understanding of Reality-as-such. They agreed with earlier Indian philosophies as well as with Scientists of our time that the world as we perceive it is of an illusionary nature.

As Parmenides and Zeno pointed out, only what is Permanent and Unchanging is real. The rest is an illusion either experienced or created by our mind. Parmenides: “Being is, Non-Being is not.”

We now know that all matter is energy. But we also know that we are aware of the matter. All we have to do is to find out what Awareness is in its clear state of Being and, believe it or not, all our questions are answered and all our fears are dissolved.

To get to this state of Being is the ultimate goal of all genuine spiritual exercise including Yoga. So, intellectual understanding of Beingness, as a result of studying Metaphysics, can lead to intellectual enlightening, while the practice of Yoga can lead to direct knowledge.

Metametaphysics in a restricted sense is concerned with these modifications in the conventional metaphysical framework. A second, and more serious, worry is that many philosophers and scientists do not think the analytic philosophy approach is sound.

Two Main Areas of Metaphysics

Areas of Metaphysics

In a nutshell, ontology is the study of what exists in the world, while epistemology is the study of how we know what exists.

Ontology

Ontology is the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being, existence, and reality. It asks questions such as: what is there? What is it made of? What are its essential properties?

Epistemology

Epistemology is the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of knowledge. It asks questions such as: how do we know what exists? How do we know what it’s made of? How do we know its essential properties?

A metaphysician might answer these questions by conducting an investigation into the nature of reality, or by exploring the limits of human knowledge.

Metaphysical Statements

The majority of important metaphysical statements or claims, for example, “every event has a cause,” have these three properties: universality, necessity, and non-analyticity.

Universality

Universality is the idea that the claim holds for all possible cases. For example, “every event has a cause” is universally true. Metaphysical statements are usually thought to be true in all possible worlds.

Take, for example, the case of two apples. Some people may claim that two apples are the same color, that two human beings are of equal height, or that two novels have identical chapters. But, what exactly are these “things that all have in common?” They do not appear to be particular objects. The notion that many people are seeing the same UFOs is not like the statement of two individuals having a friend in common. In that they may be fully apparent in numerous things, the items appear to be “universal,” rather than “particularly” limited to two persons.

Necessity

Necessity is the idea that the claim is necessary, or could not have been otherwise. For example, “every event has a cause” is metaphysically necessary. It could not have been otherwise.

Non-Analyticity

Non-analyticity is the idea that the statement cannot be broken down into smaller pieces and analyzed. For example, “every event has a cause” is non-analytical. You can’t analyze it into smaller claims and still have a meaningful statement.

A metaphysical statement is a statement that is not analytic, necessary, or universal. In other words, it’s a statement that’s not necessarily true, and it can be broken down into smaller pieces.

Modal Metaphysics

Modal metaphysics is the study of the nature of possible worlds. It asks questions such as: what is a possible world? What are its properties? How are they related to each other?

Ontological Arguments

An ontological argument is a type of metaphysical argument that tries to prove the existence of God using logic alone.

The most famous ontological argument is the one proposed by St. Anselm in the 11th century. Anselm argued that, because God is the greatest possible being, he must exist in reality.

Others have proposed similar arguments, such as René Descartes and Gottfried Leibniz.

Some metaphysicians, such as David Lewis, believe that metaphysics should only concern itself with claims that have these three properties. Other metaphysicians, such as Peter van Inwagen, believe that metaphysics should concern itself with all claims, whether they have these three properties or not.

Metaphysical Scientific Theories

There are a number of different metaphysical theories, each with its own take on the nature of reality. Some of the most common metaphysical theories include:

Realism

Realists believe that there is an objective reality that exists independent of our perceptions. Reality is seen as being composed of objects that exist in space and time.

Idealism

Idealists believe that reality is ultimately mental or spiritual. The natural world is seen as a projection of the mind or consciousness.

Dualism

Dualists believe that reality consists of two separate and distinct realms – the physical world and the spiritual world.

Monism

Monists believe that reality is ultimately one and that all things are ultimately connected.

Materialism

Materialists believe that reality is ultimately physical or material. The physical world is seen as the only reality.

Each of these theories offers a unique perspective on reality and helps human beings further their understanding of the world around them.

Contemporary Metaphysical Thinkers and Their Ideas

There are a number of contemporary metaphysicians who have made significant contributions to the field. Some of the most notable thinkers include:

Metaphysical Thinkers and Their Ideas

David Lewis

David Lewis is a philosopher who specializes in metaphysics and the philosophy of language. He is best known for his theory of modal realism, which holds that there is an infinite number of possible worlds that exist alongside our own world.

Peter Van Lnwagen

Peter van Inwagen is a philosopher who specializes in metaphysics and the philosophy of religion. He is best known for his argument against the possibility of resurrection.

William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig is a theologian and philosopher who specializes in metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of religion. He is best known for his arguments for the existence of God.

These thinkers and their ideas have helped to shape metaphysics as a field and have contributed significantly to our understanding of the nature of reality.

The Nature of Reality and the Existence of the Soul

In metaphysics, we explore the nature of reality and the question of whether or not there is an afterlife.

We ask what happens to consciousness after a person dies and whether or not it continues to exist. These are difficult questions to answer, but metaphysics provides us with a way of exploring such a thing.

Metaphysics is also important for our understanding of the self. In metaphysics, we ask who or what we are as individuals. We explore the question of whether or not we are separate from the physical world and the nature of our soul.

Metaphysics and the Self

In metaphysics, we also explore the question of the self. What is the self? What is its relationship to the body? Is the self the same as the soul?

Through metaphysics, we can gain a better understanding of who we are as individuals and what our place is in the universe.

Life After Death in Relation to Metaphysics

The question of life after death is a central concern in metaphysics. Metaphysicians have long debated the nature of the soul and what happens to it after a person dies. Some believe that the soul survives death and goes on to live in another realm.

Others believe that the soul is extinguished at death. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but metaphysics provides us with a way of analyzing it.

In metaphysics, we also explore the question of what happens to consciousness after a person dies. Some believe that consciousness continues to exist after death in some form or another. Others believe that it is extinguished at death.

The Metaphysics of Time

Metaphysics of Time

One of the most important metaphysical concepts is that of time. In metaphysics, we ask what time is and what it means to experience time.

We ask whether the time is a constant or if it is fluid and changing. We explore the nature of past, present, and future, and the relationship between time and consciousness.

The Metaphysics of Space

In metaphysics, we also explore the nature of space. We ask what space is and what it means to experience space. We explore the relationship between space and time and the nature of physical objects.

These are just a few of the questions that metaphysics explores. By studying metaphysics, we gain a deeper understanding of the nature of reality and the self. It helps us to better understand our place in the world and the universe as a whole.

Metaphysics and Natural Science

From a scientific point of view, metaphysics is not considered to be a valid area of study because it does not deal with observable phenomena.

However, some scientists do believe that metaphysics can be used to help us to understand the nature of reality.

Metaphysics and Abstract Objects

In metaphysics, we also look into the concept of abstract objects. The same object refers to things that exist outside of space and time. Examples of abstract objects include concepts, ideas, and the belief that universals exist.

As compared to physical objects or material objects, abstract objects are non-physical and do not have a concrete existence. However, they are very real and play an important role in our lives. Metaphysics is the study of these objects and how they interact with reality.

Looking Into the Mental and Physical Aspects: The Relationship Between Mind and Matter

Metaphysics is the study of the relationship between mind and matter. In metaphysics, we ask whether the mind and matter are two separate things or if they are one and the same.

We also ask how the mind and matter interact with each other. This is an important question for understanding human behavior.

We now know that all matter is energy. But we also know that we are aware of the matter. All we have to do is to find out what awareness is in its clear state of being and, believe it or not, all our questions are answered and all our fears are dissolved. To get to this state of being is the ultimate goal of all genuine spiritual exercise including yoga.

As mentioned, metaphysics can lead to intellectual enlightening or awakening of the human mind. On the other hand, the practice of yoga can lead to direct knowledge.

A more modern interpretation of metaphysics includes psychic phenomena in all their variations including parapsychology the scientific investigation of these phenomena.

Free Will and Determinism

Another important topic in metaphysics is the question of free will and determinism.

Free will means that we have the power to choose our own actions, and determinism means that our actions are determined by outside forces. Through free will, we can control our own destiny.

Metaphysicians beg the question of whether or not we are free to make our own choices or if our choices are predetermined by outside forces. They also explore the nature of causality and the relationship between cause and effect.

Mysticism and Spiritual Experience of Human Beings

Spiritual Experience of Human Beings

Metaphysics is also concerned with the spiritual experience of human beings. We ask metaphysical questions such as: What is the nature of spiritual experience? What is the relationship between mind and matter? What is the nature of consciousness? What happens when we die?

Many people believe that it is important to investigate the nature of spiritual experience since it can be so transformative and life-changing. Some people believe that spiritual experience provides us with a glimpse into a higher reality or a greater truth. Others believe that spiritual experience can help us to connect more deeply with ourselves and with others.

There are many different theories about the nature of spiritual experience. Some people believe that it is an experience of divine revelation, while others believe that it is an experience of pure consciousness or unity with the universe. Still, others believe that it is an experience of the divine within ourselves.

Whatever your beliefs about the spiritual experience may be, it is clear that it is a deeply personal and subjective experience. It is up to each individual to explore and interpret their own spiritual experience in whatever way feels best for them.

On the Nature of God

Dictionaries usually describe God as the Supreme Being. Since we cannot put God on a table for a thorough investigation, God and his nature is still seen by some as belonging to a belief system.

Scholars, who believe in the theory of evolution, naturally think that this system of belief must also have undergone its own evolution.

They say that animism (a belief in souls) slowly developed into polytheism (the belief in many Gods) and from there developed into a belief in one God.

However, it is clear from ancient scriptures of India, which go back 4 – 6 thousand years (longer if we add oral tradition), that their polytheism is indeed a very precise belief in only one God.

The many Gods, we heard about, are according to their own explanation no more than qualities and externalizations of the single Supreme Being. Thus the oldest book on this globe – the Rig-Veda – tells us:

“The wise speak of the same One as Indra, Mitra, Varuna, and Agni….

There is one Truth but the wise call it by different names (164.46).”

This sentence alone should be sufficient to clear up another result of ignorance. Polytheism can rather be compared with Trinity, the threefold God of the Christians.

Generally, Christians, Jews, and Moslems agree: there is only one God. But there are still many Christians and Non-Christians who believe that Trinity means three Gods. That is definitely not true since Jesus himself explains that there is only one God and we are all part of the One.

Trinity itself is not as most Christians think uniquely Christian. Trinity, like religion itself, originated from India where it was called Trimurty.

Hindus call the Absolute Being “Brahman”. The Son, as the creative force of cosmic vibration, is called “Vishnu.” The returning, ongoing, attracting, dissolving, involutionary force is called “Shiva”. That is the exact equivalent of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

To picture all three as persons is somewhat childish because then we are thinking in terms of human families. An omnipresent Being should not be pictured in terms of Fathers, Mothers, Uncles, Sons, Daughters, etc.

In fact, it should be clear that God is not a person and that when we talk about an Absolute Being or Supreme Being it refers rather to a condition of perfect Beingness. Knowledge of this fact is found in all genuine religions and systems of belief which also includes that of the American Natives.

Beingness, as the nature of God, is expressed when we hear American Natives refer to God as the “Great Spirit”. “Jahwe” (JHVH Jehovah), the Jewish name for God, translates as “I am who I am”.

Beingness, then, is the nature of God, in fact, Beingness is God.

Since God is self-reliant and the world is a manifestation of God’s energy, we could call God: Self-energetic Beingness. From the accounts of the many Saints, Sages, and Self-realized persons, who have encountered this condition of Being, we may add that this condition is a blissful state of Being.

The Problem of Evil

One of the most challenging problems in metaphysics is the problem of evil. This is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with a benevolent, all-powerful God.

Metaphysicians have offered many different solutions to this problem, but there is no one right answer. The problem of evil is one that continues to perplex us and challenge our understanding of the world.

How to Gain Metaphysical Knowledge

Human cognition, intuition, and revelation are the three main components needed to gain metaphysical ideas.

Intuition

Intuition is a kind of direct knowledge that doesn’t involve the use of reason or logic. It is a kind of inner illumination that allows us to see things as they really are.

Revelation

Revelation is another way of gaining scientific knowledge. It involves receiving information from outside of ourselves, often in the form of divine revelation.

Human Cognition

Human cognition is our ability to think about and understand the actual world around us. It is through the cognitive faculties that we come to know things about the world.

All three of these methods are necessary in order to gain a full understanding of metaphysics. Metaphysical knowledge cannot be obtained through pure reason or logic alone, but must also include intuition and revelation. Metaphysics, therefore, employs a logic that is based on the human meaning of terms rather than one based on human sensory perception of the objective world.

Applications of Metaphysical Thinking in Everyday Life

Metaphysical thinking can be applied in many different ways in our everyday lives. We can use it to help us make decisions, to understand ourselves and the world around us, and to connect with the divine.

Understand the Fundamental Aspects of Reality

Metaphysics is a fascinating field of study that helps us to understand the nature of reality. It offers us a way to explore the infinite possibilities of existence and opens up our minds to new ways of looking at the world.

By studying metaphysics, we can come to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the universe. We can also learn to connect with the divine and experience the beauty and mystery of life in a new way.

Make Informed Life Decisions

We can use metaphysics to get a better understanding of the consequences of our choices and to discern what is best for us in the long run.

Metaphysics can also help us to understand the nature of our relationships with others. It can show us how we are interconnected with all things and how our actions affect others.

Get to Know Ourselves Better

Metaphysics can also be used to understand ourselves. By studying the nature of reality, we can come to know our true nature as spiritual beings living in a physical world.

We can learn about the purpose and meaning of our lives and discover our place in the grand scheme of things. Metaphysics can also help us to develop our intuition and inner guidance system.

Criticism of Metaphysics

One of the main criticisms of metaphysics is that it is not based on empirical evidence. Some people also argue that metaphysical theories are impossible to test and therefore cannot be proven or disproven.

The philosophical approach known as analytic philosophy has been widely used in metaphysics since the early 1900s. This approach is based on the idea that philosophy should be used to clarify the meaning of concepts, rather than to argue for or against theories.

The Future of Metaphysics

Metaphysics is an ever-growing field of study that is constantly expanding and evolving. As we come to know more about the nature of reality, our understanding of metaphysics will also continue to grow. This makes metaphysics a perfect subject for lifelong learning and exploration.

At its heart, metaphysics is about exploring the nature of reality and the human experience. It is an inquiry into the deepest questions of life, and it offers us a glimpse into a larger, more mysterious world.

Metaphysics can be challenging, but it is also profoundly rewarding, and it can help us to see the world in a new light.

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