Metaphysics as We Know Today

Traditionally, the word “Metaphysics” was originated from Ancient Greece; it was a combination of two words – “meta” meaning beyond, over,  or after,  and “physics” meaning material or physical.  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.  The Webster’s Dictionary defines metaphysics as a branch of philosophy concerned with the origin and structure of the universe.  By this definition, metaphysics is to investigate principles of reality transcending those of any particular science, traditionally including cosmology, ontology, and speculative philosophy.  Ontology is the branch of metaphysics dealing with the philosophical theory of reality, including consideration of the universal and necessary characteristics of all existence, also, a particular theory of reality.  Cosmology is the general philosophy of the universe considered as a totality of parts and phenomena subject to laws. In most academic universities today, Metaphysics is taught as a branch of Philosophy under the label of “Speculative Philosophy.”

However, there is a significant difference between the traditional, classical, academic-oriented Metaphysics and the contemporary Metaphysics or Metaphysical Science.  In modern world, the word “Metaphysics” covers wider aspects with many fields of interest beyond academic theories.  When one expresses an interest in Metaphysics, that interest may be in any one or a combination of the following subjects:
  • Applied Philosophy
  • Spirituality
  • Mysticism
  • General Psychology, Parapsychology, Jungian Psychology
  • Eastern Practices (Yoga, Qigong, etc.)
  • Various form of meditation
  • Various healing methods
  • ESP and Pyschics
  • Dreams and Consciousness
  • Astrology and Numerology
  • Self-Help and Selp-Development
  • Positive Thinking and Affirmation
  • Life After Death and Reincarnation
  • New Religion
A metaphysical school or metaphysical study may emphasize one or some of these subjects.  What is in common is that all of the subjects deal with an exploration of Reality and aim to discover absolute truth beyond physical boundary.  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?”  Therefore modern Metaphysics is often regarded  as a Spiritual Philosophy of life.

In review of metaphysical schools and teachers, we  find people engaging in quite different things, all under the label of Metaphysics. This could be a wide range, such as yogis, mystics, astrologers, positive thinking teachers, meditation teacher, grapho-analysts, spiritual healers, self-help teachers, 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, thus their schools are reviewed and documented in our directory.

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