The Science of Metaphysics and The Metaphysics in Science- Part 3

The sciences of today evolved from the philosophy of the earliest science of metaphysics. It was man’s inquisitive nature and the yearning to know more about the world around him from which the various sciences unfolded. While the pursuit to know oneself better is at the very core of all scientific enquiry, science and many scientists distanced themselves from metaphysics.

Craig Callender in his book Philosophy of Science and Metaphysics observes “whereas metaphysics and science were once one and the same, natural philosophy, today there is a worrisome divide between the two.” (33) This ‘worrisome’ factor is due to the delegation, by some, of metaphysics to a field of abstract theory and enquiry. Although there can be and often is enquiry into what appears to be the abstract in metaphysics this also happens in science. Metaphysics is then often relegated to inquiry and practice of all that is considered esoteric, unknown, the unbelievable and the unimaginable. Yet if we had told the people of the 18th century what the future held they would also think this unscientific. Horseless carriages, the ability to fly and to be able to talk to each other over long distances, would have been unimaginable and unbelievable to them. When science purports to claim the possibility of multiple universes, that all is energy and this energy cannot be extinguished most of the populus accepts and believes in the scientific validity of these statements. However, when the metaphysical or spiritual practitioner states that we are spirit and this spirit does not die and that reincarnation exists many are sceptical.  Some are even openly hostile to the possibility of these concepts. Where’s the proof, the scientist exclaims!

               Many metaphysical concepts are now being shown to be true or at least been given the scientific validation that certain possibilities exists. Helen  Petrovna Blavatsky in ISIS Unveiled  asserts, “Thus more than once scientific men have unwittingly confirmed the testimony of the ancients. Any Kabalist well acquainted with the Pythagorean system of numbers and geometry can demonstrate that the metaphysical view of  Plato were based upon the strictest mathematical principles……The cosmological theory of numerals which Pythagoras learned from Egyptian hierophants, is alone able to reconcile the two units,  matter and spirit, and cause each to demonstrate the other mathematically.” (7/47). It is logical to distinguish the various sciences. To exclude metaphysics as a true, valid and important primary branch of our sciences is illogical. Metaphysics and metaphysicians need not separate themselves from scientific and logistical mindset as they are interwoven, yet distinctive. Callender declares “…that metaphysics is deeply infused throughout science, while also counselling that metaphysics investigations ignore science at their peril.” (34) Although he acknowledges the interconnection of science and metaphysics he continues “Today, metaphysics is again the target of deep suspicion…..Many recent books in philosophy of science possesses entire chapters’ strongly condemning contemporary analytical metaphysics….” (34)  However most scientists use theory and analysis in an endeavour to understand the nature of  being, be it an atom, a new plant or mineral or even when deciphering animal or human behaviour. Metaphysical scientists work in the same arena of thought and analysis, studying the nature of being, be it the self or matter and energy in relation to its impact on the self.  The earliest scientists were philosophers. Had they not been men of thought with enquiring meta minds we would perhaps still believe the Sun revolved around the Earth. In the same way, for many people, the perception of metaphysics and the spiritual aspect of metaphysics are still in the ‘Dark Ages.’ The Three Initiates of The Kybalion A Study of The Hermatic Philosophy of ancient Egypt and Greece wrote about ancient occultism and mystical teachings, “…its meaning was veiled in terms of alchemy and astrology so that only those possessing the key could read it aright. This was made necessary in order to avoid the persecutions of the theologians of the Middle Ages, who fought the Secret Doctrine with fire and sword; stake, gibbet and cross.” (12-13) The concept of energy and alternative universes seem to be possibilities and realities to others. Many believe and have ‘faith’ in the scientist yet find the idea of a Creator of All in matter and energy ‘far fetched.’ What the scientist calls matter the metaphysician refers as to the ‘outside’ or ‘seen’ world. What the scientist calls ‘energy’ the metaphysician calls ‘spirit’. Scientists state that our Universe along with possible multi universes was created due to the ‘Big Bang’ theory. Many of them disregard the concept of a being or energy called God. There were and are also today scientists who do believe in the concept of God.                                                                                                        

Needless to say there are those who claim to be scientific in their approach to their enquiry or metaphysical when inquiring. They may or may not do so effectively or efficiently. This is not however the criteria to disprove the science in metaphysics or the metaphysics in science. Metaphysics is neither in opposition nor a barrier to science or scientific enquiry. Rather, it is the foundation of all scientific endeavours. Yet, Edward Arthur Burtt in Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science opinion differs concernedly adding “…..just as it was thoroughly natural for medieval thinkers to view nature as subservient to man’s knowledge, purpose, and destiny; so now it has become natural to view her as existing and operating in her own self-contained independence, and so far as man’s ultimate relation to her is clear at all, to consider his knowledge and purpose somehow produced by her, and his destiny wholly dependant on her.”(10-11)

Dr. Elizabeth ISIS Conway

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