A to Z Challenge 2020 (M = Metaphysics)

I got through most of my life without knowing the meaning of metaphysics. I didn’t care. I saw it online and had to ask. Then I had to look it up. I still didn’t care very much, but I had a name for what other people seemed to hold in high regard, like a religion.

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy consisting of ontology (dealing with the nature of being), and cosmology (the science of the origin and development of the universe). It can be deep stuff and fun bar talk after a few rounds. But there is woo-woo. There is always woo-woo.

New Age and nonempirical ideas such as energy (like chi and prana), ideas like being balanced, harmonized, tuned, aligned, unblocked, and mellow. Okay, maybe not mellow. While I don’t believe in that stuff, I don’t sit with my back to the door either.

In one sense, metaphysics is often used with ideas of what is real, the nature of beings, and the theory of mind and mental phenomena such as ideas, perceptions, memory, consciousness, and so forth. That all seems reasonable to me.

But metaphysics also gets rolled into broad theories of reality. These would be like materialism and dualism, the nature of reality, why something and not nothing. I’m not even sure I can mentally grasp the concept of nothingness. Is there free will? Is there always cause? Has the Universe always existed? Are there spiritual beings and life after death?

This stuff is not scientific. I had my time battling it out in conversation with friends who saw things in a different way. I’m sure I enjoyed it at the time. I just didn’t know or care what it was called.

Some of it is nonsense. But some of a lot of interesting things is nonsense. Like the existence of god, most metaphysical stuff cannot be proven nor successfully refuted. But maybe that’s where the fun lives.



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