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Exploring the Metaphysical

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Instructional/Reference Librarian

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Evelyn Angry-Smith
MCC Library
Great Path PO Box 1046
MS #15
Manchester CT 06045
Subjects: English



What is Metaphysics and the Metaphysical?

"The task of metaphysics is to determine the fundamental nature of reality. What is the best analysis of causation? How can we make sense of the difference between what is impossible and what is possible (but non-actual)? Do ordinary objects genuinely persist through time? If so, what are the identity conditions of objects? Of persons?" from Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science

"The adjective ‘metaphysical’ is in both religious and non-religious contexts often used loosely and in a broadly undefined way to signal a concern with certain points of reference – e.g., the divine, the supernatural, the noumenal, the incorporeal, the religiously visional, etc. – that are taken to be real even though they are not physically or spatio-temporally sensible. Under its more rigorous academic definition, however, the philosophical discipline of ‘metaphysics’ has a more exact denotation that makes the term less readily amenable to religious or theological application." from Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology

"Metaphysical - Longer definition: 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." from faith & reason glossary index.

"Metaphysical - That is above or goes beyond the laws of nature; belonging to an operation or agency which is more than or other than physical or natural; supernatural." from the Oxford English Dictionary.

What this guide will cover

Dean Radin, PhD is the chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and associated distinguished professor of integral and transpersonal psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. In his latest published book, Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe, he discusses the realization that he's been practicing evidence-based science on studying real magic (magic coming from the Greek word mago which comes from the Persian word magush meaning "to be able or to have power") for the last forty plus years, under the guise of parapsychology and the paranormal. He breaks the concept of real magic down to three categories:

  • Mental Influence of the physical world (force of will) - telekinesis,
  • Perception of events distant in time or space - divination, remote viewing, reincarnation
  • Interactions with non-physical beings (theurgy-methods of evoking/communicating with spirits) - mediums, psychics, channeling

We will focus on topics like out-of-body experiences (OBE), near-death experiences (NDEs), life after death, metaverses, parallel universes, reincarnation, psychics, mediums, telekinesis/psychokinesis, remote viewing, lucid dreaming, etc.