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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:01 PM
Original message
Metaphysical Studies
Metaphysical
Derived from the Greek meta ta physika ("after the things of nature"); referring to an idea, doctrine, or posited reality outside of human sense perception. In modern philosophical terminology, metaphysics refers to the studies of what cannot be reached through objective studies of material reality. Areas of metaphysical studies include ontology, cosmology, and often, epistemology.

Metaphysics is a type of philosophy or study that uses broad concepts to help define reality and our understanding of it. Metaphysical studies generally seek to explain inherent or universal elements of reality which are not easily discovered or experienced in our everyday life. As such, it is concerned with explaining the features of reality that exist beyond the physical world and our immediate senses. Metaphysics, therefore, uses logic based on the meaning of human terms, rather than on a logic tied to human sense perception of the objective world. Metaphysics might include the study of the nature of the human mind, the definition and meaning of existence, or the nature of space, time, and/or causality.

The origin of philosophy, beginning with the Pre-Socratics, was metaphysical in nature. For example, the philosopher Plotinus held that the reason in the world and in the rational human mind is only a reflection of a more universal and perfect reality beyond our limited human reason. He termed this ordering power in the universe "God."

Metaphysical ideas, because they are not based on direct experience with material reality, are often in conflict with the modern sciences. Beginning with the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, experiments with, and observations of, the world became the yardsticks for measuring truth and reality. Therefore, our contemporary valuation of scientific knowledge over other forms of knowledge helps explain the controversy and skepticism concerning metaphysical claims, which are considered unverifiable by modern science.

In matters of religion, the problem of validating metaphysical claims is most readily seen in all of the "proofs" for the existence of God. Like trying to prove the existence of a "soul" or "spirit" in the human, attempts to scientifically prove the existence of God and other nonobjective, nonhuman realities is seemingly impossible. The difficulty arises out of the attempt to scientifically study and objectify something which, by its very nature, cannot become an object of our scientific studies. This reigning belief that everything can be explained scientifically in terms of natural causes - referred to as naturalism - compels many to think that only what is seen or sensed, only what can be hypothesized and tested can be true, and therefore, meaningful to us as humans.

Recently, however, even as metaphysics has come under attack for its apparent lack of access to real knowledge, so has science begun to have its own difficulties in claiming absolute knowledge. Continual developments in our understanding of the human thought process reveals that science cannot solely be relied upon to explain reality, for the human mind cannot be seen as simply a mirror of the natural world. For example, since the act of scientific observation itself tends to produce the reality it hopes to explain, the so-called "truths" of science cannot be considered as final or objective. This fact manifests itself over and over again, as scientific truths and laws continue to break down or yield to new and better explanations of reality. What becomes apparent, therefore, is that the process of human interpretation in the sciences, as elsewhere, is both variable and relative to the observer's viewpoint.

Under the skeptical analyses of the philosophical movements known as postmodernism and deconstructionism, all of these facts have resulted in a modern repudiation of both metaphysics and science. Their criticisms are based on the cultural and historical relativity of all knowledge. These two philosophical "schools" deny any existence at all of an objective or universal knowledge. Thus, metaphysical claims stand today between the absolutist claims of science (scientism) and the complete relativism of postmodernism and deconstructionism.
http://www.counterbalance.net/gengloss/metaph-body.html

THE LYNWOOD FELLOWSHIP
For Spiritual and Metaphysical Studies
http://www.jhardaker.plus.com/lynwood/lynwood.html

The College of Metaphysical Studies
http://www.cms.edu /

UMSonline
http://www.umsonline.edu /

The Institute for Advanced Metaphysical Studies
http://www.psychicstudy.com /
http://www.kathyoddenino.com /

The Institute of Metaphysics
http://www.ica.org.au/institut.html

Jungian Metaphysical Philosophical Studies
http://www.gesher.org/Neurocare/Medical%20Education/Jun...
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. thank you Dover...quite intersting.....
I agree with this part for sure!

All things are interconnected and when "science" tries to claim it has all the answers without considering that perhaps there are things that are not able to be known or tested...that there is more to what we can see, hear and touch in this world.

"Recently, however, even as metaphysics has come under attack for its apparent lack of access to real knowledge, so has science begun to have its own difficulties in claiming absolute knowledge. Continual developments in our understanding of the human thought process reveals that science cannot solely be relied upon to explain reality, for the human mind cannot be seen as simply a mirror of the natural world. For example, since the act of scientific observation itself tends to produce the reality it hopes to explain, the so-called "truths" of science cannot be considered as final or objective. This fact manifests itself over and over again, as scientific truths and laws continue to break down or yield to new and better explanations of reality. What becomes apparent, therefore, is that the process of human interpretation in the sciences, as elsewhere, is both variable and relative to the observer's viewpoint."

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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thinking about this is like an onion.
Every time you peel back one layer, there's another!

I was thinking about this earlier today; actually, I was trying to define the difference between me and skeptics. Because I use the scientific method all the time. I teach critical thinking. I teach students to provide evidence or "proofs" of what they are saying. We reflect on our learning, and explain it, in this way all the time. So how is that different?

We are using the process of inquiry, closely related to the scientific method. We start with a topic of interest; we identify what we know; we ask questions about what we want to discover or explore; we investigate, sum up our discoveries, and reflect on the learning. So what is different? We always have "unanswered questions." We acknowledge that not all questions can be answered with the resources we, or humans, currently have available. And they may not need to be answered. It's ok to have questions that haven't been resolved, and to explore them; "play" with them.

The end of the whole process always, always leads to more questions; more unknowns to play with.

It is the unknown that sparks the fuel of thinking, curiosity, creativity, and discovery. We value it. We don't need everything to be quantified to feel safe. We're open to unproven possibilities.

I'm fascinated; I'm ready to "play" with all of these layers!
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Pallas180 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. I like the simple definition of metaphysics -
"meta" from the Greek, To Change

"physics" again from the Greek, The Material

or

to Change the Reality

Metaphysicians change the reality by the thoughts they put into the ether, by taking control of their mind and thoughts and not allowing their thoughts to run willy-nilly, but to replace "wrong thinking" with correct thinking..inotherwords with the positive thought.

This very much has to do with the mind-body connection.

Or as we say,

"What you think, is what you get"

or in computereze

"Garbage in, garbage out"

Now we might get into a problem with the new rules of DU regarding
alternative medicines. But examples are:

People who are in the habit of saying, constantly:

" I can't stand it"

Then down the road they wonder why their feet always hurt or they have difficulty standing for two hours stragint---

Well, they put it into the ether, into the universe, and the universe has no sense of humor, so hearing the proclamation " I can't stand it"-the universe complies and works on delivering an inability to stand.

That's simplified...but it works similarly in many instances.

To move onto another facet of metaphysicians - they very often practice meditation - for the simple reason that meditation helps one take control of their own mind, and be aware of what thoughts one is
generating.

In any case, this is my interpretation of metaphysics and how I have taught it for a number of years.



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Michael Sharp Donating Member (508 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. this is right on the money
Edited on Mon Nov-15-04 10:10 PM by Michael Sharp
Pallas

As above in consciousness,
So below in matter

Now I know why my butt hurts all the time

:-)
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. ROFL Michael
good to see you with that star, was hoping you'd be here
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Pallas180 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Michael, smiling, yes, we all have had the habit of saying " Pain In The
Ass" - and then we wonder why we have hemmorhoids.

:)

:hi:
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