METAPHYSICS AND ONTOLOGY
The following discussion is merely a compilation of information I found on the Internet. I’ve edited some of it and removed the redundancies. It is kind of what I had in mind when I was struggling to identify a “theme” for our discussions.
The word Metaphysics comes to us from Ancient Greece, where it was a combination of two words – Meta, meaning after or over and beyond – and physics. 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. It is taught as a branch of philosophy in most academic universities under the label of “Speculative Philosophy.”
In today’s world the word metaphysics has become a sort of description of many fields of interest. When one expresses an interest in metaphysics, that interest may be in any one or a combination of the following subjects:
Philosophy, Religion, Parapsychology, Mysticism, Yoga, ESP, Dreams, Jungian Psychology, Transpersonal and Theocentric Psychology, Astrology, Meditation, Self-Help Studies, Positive Thinking, Life After Death, Transcendentalism, Reincarnation
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of BEING and considered a subcategory of Metaphysics. The common denominator of these and all similar subjects, of course, deals with an exploration of reality, and in the idealistic sense, how such knowledge may benefit human life on this earth, both individually and collectively. If, then, this is the aim of such interests, it is why most professional metaphysical practitioners regard metaphysics as a spiritual philosophy or way of life.
All but a very few practitioners in metaphysics today have a pivotal point in some sort of spiritual philosophy in whatever system or teaching of metaphysics they are engaged.
And if we were to go from one metaphysical teacher or organization to another, we would find people engaging in different disciplines such as those listed above – or basically a search for truth, purpose and meaning in life, wherever that search takes us.
In a more absolute sense, I like to think of metaphysics as dealing with the basic questions of life, such as the relationship of man, mind, and the Universe, which leads to discussions of the age-old questions posed by most of us when we reflect on life: “Who am I; what am I; what is my purpose, where have I been, and where am I going?”
What are your thoughts?