What is Metaphysics?

                Opedius and the Sphinx

                Opedius and the Sphinx

met·a·phys·ics

medəˈfiziks/

latin

''meta'' meaning beyond
"physics" meaning the physical

what is metaphysics?

The word metaphysics can be defined as the study of the nature of our existence. The word metaphysics is derived from the Latin words “meta”, meaning “beyond” and “physics” meaning “physical”. Therefore, metaphysics can also be defined as the philosophical study of that which cannot be perceived with the five senses, that which exists beyond the physical.

its origins

Its first known use dates back to 70 B.C. where it was used as the name of one of Aristotle’s many treatises at that time. Aristotle’s work entitled “Metaphysics” was a collection of works that examined key philosophical areas such as Ontology (the study of being and existence), Natural Theology (study of a God or Gods) and Universal Science (the study of first principles or universal laws).
 

the rational mind vs. the intuitive mind

Today, when one hears the term “metaphysics”, one often thinks of the occult or the paranormal, concepts often debunked in our age of reasoning and scientific testing. Yet the study of metaphysics has existed since the beginning of humankind as we sought to understand the world around us and our purpose here. It was an integral part of how we interacted with our reality and each other. In fact, the questions asked by metaphysicians formed the early branches of philosophy, religion, science and spirituality.

                                                                                                                         Plato and Aristotle, the Father of Metaphysics

                                                                                                                         Plato and Aristotle, the Father of Metaphysics

Yet these concepts seemed to fall out of favour with the dawn of the Scientific Revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries. When rationale, logic based thinking replaced more ontological pursuits of reasoning. Questions of theological philosophy became the sole domain of religions and ordained fellows. And the separation of state and church changed the way we lived in the world and viewed the wonders of the world around us.

who am I? why am I here?

Yet despite all these developments throughout our history, the study of metaphysics has always remained a pursuit of higher or hidden knowledge for those seeking a greater understanding of spirituality and the soul. For those trying to answer the questions of ‘Who Am I?’ and ‘What is My Purpose Here?’ Those who have felt, who intuitively know that there is more beyond the physical.

a path of spiritual study

In this respect metaphysics can also be defined as a pursuit of self study; a pursuit of self realization and spiritual growth guided by those who are simply further along the path. In fact many of those seekers have studied with Mystery Schools throughout the ages, repositories of hidden or esoteric knowledge. These are Schools that have existed in various incarnations and locations throughout societies and time, but have remained constant in one respect; their teachings have been passed down, from teacher to student, in an unbroken lineage for thousands of years.

It is the answers to these age old questions, this yearning for greater understanding that has driven us collectively for centuries in our pursuit to live a happy, healthy and meaningful life. And as we seek to answer these questions and gain greater insight and knowledge we often humbly find that we know nothing. That what served us before no longer serves us now. And we must constantly challenge ourselves to let go of those attachments to ideals, beliefs, perhaps even relationships or situations that no longer serve us.

For the path to self discovery is often one of emptying your cup so that it may be filled again. And in that process we often find ourselves freer, less encumbered than when we began. We invite you to join us on this lifelong path.

As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.
— Socrates