A NEW DEFINITION OF THE MEANING OF "METAPHYSICS"
the word "Metaphysics" comes to us from Ancient
Greece, where it was a combination of two words - Meta, meaning
over and beyond, and Physics. Thus, the combination means over
and beyond Physics. In the definition found in most
dictionaries, Metaphysics is referred to as a branch of
Philosophy that deals with First Cause and the Nature of Being.
It is taught as a branch of Philosophy in most academic
universities today under the label of "Speculative
world, however, the word "Metaphysics" has become a
description of many fields of interest. When one expresses an
interest in Metaphysics, that interest may be in any one or a
combination of the following subjects:
Religion, Parapsychology, Mysticism, Yoga, ESP, Dreams, Jungian
Psychology, Astrology, Meditation, Self-Help Studies, Positive
Thinking, Life After Death, Reincarnation, etc.
denominator of these and all similar subjects, of course, deals
with an exploration of Reality, and in the idealistic sense, how
such knowledge may benefit human life on this earth, both
individually and collectively. If, then, this is the aim of such
interests, it is why most professional Metaphysical
Practitioners regard Metaphysics as a Spiritual Philosophy of
life. All but a very few practitioners in Metaphysics today have
a pivotal point of some sort of Spiritual Philosophy in whatever
system or teaching of Metaphysics in which they are engaged. It
is important to understand this, especially when reviewing the
legal technicalities of being a professional Metaphysician.
If we were to
travel from one metaphysical teacher or organization to another,
we would find people engaging in different things, all under the
label of Metaphysics. This could be a wide range, such as yogis,
mystics, psychics, readers, astrologers, channels, mediums,
positive thinking teachers, meditation teachers, grapho-analysts,
spiritual healers, self-help teachers, UF0 enthusiasts, etc. The
range is wide, but, again, the basic denominator is the search
for truth, purpose and meaning in life, which cannot be isolated
from basic spiritual questions. All of these fields, therefore,
are regarded as part of Metaphysics by the University of
Metaphysics, in regard to its Doctoral Degree and to its other
programs and affiliations with its students and graduates.
It is not the
position of the university or its parent body, the Inter
national Metaphysical Ministry, to take one phase of study over
another, as it is the belief of the university that there are
many paths a human may travel on the way to finding Truth. There
is an old proverb which states, "No matter what path a man
may travel, it is My Path; no matter where he walks, it leads to
In a more
absolute sense, we like to think of Metaphysics as dealing with
the basic questions of life, i.e., the relationship of man, mind
and the universe, which leads to answers to the age-old
questions of anyone who has truly paused to reflect on life by
asking the most fundamental questions of all -- "Who am I;
what am I; where have I been; and, where am I going?"
Another explanation below provided by the
College of Metaphysical Theology
What is Metaphysics?
Metaphysics is the science which
investigates first causes of existence and knowledge. It seeks
to explain the nature of being and the origin and structure of
the world, uniting man's physical, mental, and spiritual
character into its true nature of holism.
Through metaphysics, an applied psychology
of religion has developed which has influenced the work of
ministers and teachers in handling the emotional and physical
problems of youth and maturity, and in dealing with the sick and
dying. This facilitates a closer relationship between the work
of the psychologist and that of the spiritual healer. In fact,
the Doctor of Metaphysics, or Metaphysician, binds them into
one, so that he is both psychological counselor and spiritual
comforter and healer. The true Metaphysician is a combination of
teacher, healer, and counselor, and espouses universal
Many of our problems can be attributed to
confused ideas and ignorance of our true interests. The great
objective is to discover the laws of nature, to which we must
adjust. Clarity of thought and moral insight are thus critical
because all processes, including those of thought, rest on the
firm foundation of truth.
By living day to day with metaphysical
principles through the awareness of your thoughts, you discover
that your are not a "victim" of circumstances.
Instead, you acknowledge that life follows a natural pattern
according to conscious and subconscious thoughts. Becoming
consciously aware of that thinking is a fundamental principle of
The Science of Metaphysics
Why do I speak of a "new"
science of metaphysics, when schools of metaphysics have been
around for centuries (the Rosicrucians) or millenia (the
Yogis)? Metaphysics (as the term is used by transpersonal
psychology, not philosophy) is not new, but a science of
metaphysics would be something new. We can not assume that any
or all of the ancient schools of metaphysics give us the
truth. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't, and it is
only with our experience in the here and now that we
distinguish between truth and illusion.
One must give up scientific
method and the Western mind (individual worth, critical mind)
to become a modern Yogi or Shaman or Buddhist. Is it worth it?
Even if the Yogis or the Chinese acupuncturists sometimes know
the truth, it is only by using scientific method today that we
Metaphysics is the study of
consciousness, the one thing we all know. Any worldview which
leaves no place for it is false by reductio ad absurdem.
Everything other than experience is an inference or
hypothesis. I do not attempt to explain or define
"consciousness," and do not think it is possible to do so in
terms of anything else. Instead we define other things in
terms of it. For instance, I define the "Soul" as "a seat of
consciousness." It is not the mind and not the body, so where
do we go to study it? To mysticism and symbolic revelation.
Do we know that the Soul is
distinct from the Mind? The nature mystic, like myself, finds
temporary union in the consciousness of the wind or the
mountain. Yet, the wind and the mountain are not alive, and
have no Minds. So, consciousness and Mind do not necessarily
go together. Even the greater part of our own Minds is
off-limits to ordinary consciousness.
It was William James, the
American Philosopher, who was the first modern Western
intellectual to realize that the very same mystical states pop
up in every culture, under every religion, every period of
time. In other words, they are reproducible. Therefore, we
have the beginnings of a science of the Soul. The Yogis call
mystical states "Samadhi," which just means "union." Union is
exactly what it is, a temporary union with another island of
consciousness. I have experienced three of the ten Samadhis,
and I shall stick to what I know. So this is only an
introduction to the study of the Soul, also known as
Metaphysics, not the last and complete word on the subject.
Samadhi saves us from
solipsism. Solipsism means "knowing only ones own sphere of
consciousness." The fact that the union is complete, though
temporary, leads to the hypothesis of ONE. From One we came,
and to it we shall ultimately return, when the stars come
raining down and the galaxies collapse together at the end of
time into the "big crunch." This is the Unitary Worldview. So
Metaphysics is also the study of divinity.
One of these mystical states
shows us the divine purpose which runs through all things.
This state is sometimes called Cosmic Consciousness (see
Richard Bucke's book by that name), but I prefer to call it
The Illumination of Fire, since one distinguishing feature of
it is the sensation of being filled and surrounded by fiery
colored light, ranging from orange to red to violet.
I experienced it at age 31. A
single pattern runs through all things, the meaning of life,
the divine purpose of spontaneity, creativity, and grace. This
is the divine purpose, not a divine plan. There is no one word
for it in English. It is the glow of innocence. It is the
first crisp evening of fall or the first warm day of spring,
with the Mockingbird singing ecstatically and the first flush
of green on the trees. It runs through all things. It is the
spontaneity of a child playing alone in her sandbox, inventing
the game as she goes. It is the grace of a flower, far more
beautiful than it needs to be. It is the peak moment of an
athlete, surpassing all expectations.
So, the study of the meaning
of life is another part of Metaphysics.
If there is divinity and a
meaning to life, why do bad things happen to good people? This
is the classic
problem of evil.
And how do we know that any
of this can be treated scientifically? Well, we know that
mystical states are reproducible, in much the same sense that
supernovas are reproducible. And C.G. Jung shows that symbolic
revelations are also reproducible.
C. G. Jung, the Swiss
psychoanalyst, was the first modern western scholar to take
the content of symbolic material seriously. Freud was
interested in the symbolism of dreams, but only as symptoms of
neurosis, and not something worth studying in its own right.
Jung was first to recognize the universality and
reproducibility of the language of symbolism. In Man and
His Symbols, Jung shows us the same archetypes in the
untutored dreams of contemporary children, in medieval
alchemy, in Hindu mythology, and in Persian folk tales. Joseph
Campbell and Alan Watts have continued and extended this study
of a vast and strange inner world, little appreciated until
quite recently. How does Jung account for the universality of
symbolic themes? He sees it as evidence for the collective
unconscious, which I have called "the waters of life," or "the
ocean," a realm of consciousness which could be called the
collective Soul of humanity. Where is this collective Soul?
Everywhere. Nowhere. Soul and divinity are not in nature, and
thus have no size or position. Nature is in Soul, rather than
vice versa. This is the
The study of symbolism led
Jung naturally to an interest in divination techniques, which
are methods of retrieving or selecting symbolic material. He
was struck by the apparently meaningful pattern that arose
from random events, because all systems of divination have
this in common. They all begin with random events, such as
shuffling cards or tossing coins. There is a deliberate
attempt to remove any possibility of conscious control or
foreknowledge from the selection.
Yet something apparently
meaningful and significant arises. Jung began to find such
patterns of "coincidence" in his own life and in the lives of
his patients, and coined a new word for it, "synchronicity."
If synchronicity and divination are real and not some kind of
illusion, then we have a mystery, but one easily understood if
nature is a thought in the Soul of divinity. To put it another
way, divination gives us one way to make an objective test of
the Unitary Worldview.
Reproducibility and ruling
out alternatives are the essence of scientific method, and it
can apply here as well as anywhere.
Recall that I define Mind as
"the non-physical part of a person, as seen by someone with
really good HSP (like Karagulla's Diane)." And I have defined
Soul as "that which is conscious." This also turns out to be
the definition of divinity, since all the myriad pools of
consciousness are at root ONE, as the droplets of Ocean are
all Ocean. Then, what is "Spirit?" I define "Spirit" as the
creative combination of that part of the Mind (it may only be
part) which reincarnates, taking the center of consciousness
with it. Thus, Mind+Soul=Spirit. What then is meant by
"Spiritual Evolution?" Both the studies of UFOs and of Yogis
leads to the belief that the normal functioning of the Mind
can be changed. Thus, the Chakras can be modified, as can the
flow of psychic energy through the Nadi (known to the Chinese
as Meridians). The Mind can change the body; the Soul can
change the Mind in fundamental, structural ways. In this way,
a Yogi may be able to gain conscious control over levitation,
apportation, dematerialization, and various other powers.
© Copyright Thales of Miletus 1999
Thales Microuniversity Press
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