When you delve into the world of spirituality, it won’t be long before you come across the term ‘Spiritual Metaphysics’. You might be comfortable with the term spirituality, but what does this term ‘Metaphysics’ mean exactly?
Metaphysics is the study of human experiences that are non-physical. These are spiritual in nature and can not be measured by any physical sense. It is a philosophy that concentrates on ‘All-Reality’. The relationship between mind and matter, appearance and substance, form and essence.
- Meta means ‘above or beyond’ or it is used to refer to things that are self-referential. A film about a film, a game about a game, or a philosophy about philosophy.
- Physics alludes to the fact that all things are governed by universal laws; physical and, in this case, spiritual.
There is an order to everything and metaphysics looks at our system of design and its creation by an infinite intelligence. Some people refer to this as God, or Source, Energy, or a myriad of other names.
Universal laws are an extension of this infinite intelligence’s being.
In other words, metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that examines the composition of the universe and the beings that reside within it.
The Ultimate Substance
Physics derives its name from that Greek word physis, which means “ultimate substance.” This ultimate substance is the route of Metaphysics and many philosophers subscribe to the idea that there is one ultimate substance. This branch of thought is known as Monism. However, just what that ultimate substance may be greatly divides opinion. There are two main contenders.
- Materialism is the belief that the universe is entirely made up of matter, energy, and everything else in the physical sense. This is also known as the physical reality.
- Idealism is the belief that the universe is made of the spiritual or the mental, which is also known as idea or the ideal
You might think that most philosophers subscribe to the fact that the ultimate substance is physical reality, in fact the opposite is true.
Matter is the obvious choice you might think. Scientists have been making great tracks in studies into matter and it’s affect on the universe. But ask yourself, have you ever seen matter? Have you touched it or heard it? The physical reality is not that physical at all. You may see it’s finished form – a stone, a piece of furniture, a toy etc. but you will never see it in its singular form.
An idea or ideal, however, becomes self-evident the moment it has been thought up. And you are the creator. You experience the thought as well as spiritual and emotional journeys as well.
Monism isn’t the only stance philosophers take when it comes to the Ultimate Substance. There is another branch of though referred to as Dualism.
The combination of:
In this manner of thinking, mind, body, and spirit are all real and equally as important as each other.
That’s it! That’s the branch that makes the most sense you might think. However, think of it this way. If there are two ultimate substances, how on earth do they interact with each other? How can the soul cause the body to act? How does a physical activity transform into a mental one?
If you have the thought, “I’m going to jump across this crevice.” you might jump or you might not. If you decide to jump then this sets up a chain of events beginning with neural activity, translated into muscular activity, translated into your jump. The crux of the problem is, how did that thought become neural activity?
This is referred to as the the ‘mind-body problem.’
Is there a difference between metaphysics and spirituality?
Some people might be confused in thinking that spirituality is already a fundamental part of metaphysics. However, they are different in a number of ways and only by combining the two – spiritual metaphysics, do you look at both aspects at the same time.
To understand this, you must keep in mind the following:
Metaphysics is philosophical
It exists to explain the fundamental nature, or reality, of the world and why humans exist within it.
Spirituality is Experiential
It is more practical by nature and exists so people may explore and discover the self.
it’s about explaining the fundamental nature of the world and what it means as humans to inhabit it. Spirituality, on the other hand, is experiential, and has more to do with spiritual practices and the development and discovery of the self.
Even though they are different, the studies of both informally overlap. After all, both topics deal with issues that transcend physical conditions and causes.
What exactly is Spiritual Metaphysics?
Ok, so we can see what metaphysics comes about, but how does spirituality come into it? What exactly is spiritual metaphysics?
Spirituality is a term that is often used when describing those human experiences that are non-physical. Spiritual Metaphysics then is the view that reality is at it’s core, spiritual, not physical. Here we are all experience part of an ultimate truth.
Spiritual Metaphysics doesn’t have a concrete definition, so it is important to understand metaphysics in itself aligning with the premise of spirituality. The non-physical substance of the universe can be thought of as being spiritual.
This belief is seen in many new age and pantheistic world views and it is an area that is expanding continuously. Many spiritually inclined philosophers are studying spiritual metaphysics in the hope that we gain new knowledge into the human experience and essentially, our reason for being here.
Spiritual Metaphysicians believe that the separation of mind, body, and spirit is an illusion. The universe is about unity and all forms that exist within it are as one.
Think of an ocean for example. Water may exist in many forms, a droplet, a wave, spray, or even steam. However, it is all made of the same substance and even with the rise and swell of the water, it all returns to be as one.
Spiritual Metaphysics is similar to this. Rather than water, we are all made up of energy. Everything around us is comprised of tiny particles of energy moving at the speed of light.
By accepting this, it is easier to understand that we are all as one.
If you’re interested in learning more about Spiritual Metaphysics, here’s a really good video: