The Chemistry of Metaphysics
by Paul Naras
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of existence, truth and knowledge. It incorporates ontology (the science/nature of true being) and epistemology (the study of the origin, methods and limits of knowledge). The student of metaphysics is interested in first causes, the nature of 'reality' and in what lies beyond the sensory world. Metaphysics will never be accepted as an integrated science by scientists because it does deal with subjective territory, with events that do not fit perfectly within our present prescripts of comprehension and, indeed, it will not become indefectible and conclusive until the evolution of man-woman is consummated.
The ongoing skirmish between science and metaphysics will eventually come to an end and, although there's no mystery as to why the feud started, it is more than a little ironic since many of the giants who laid the foundations and advanced science also had metaphysical temperaments and viewpoints (Pythagoras, Newton and Einstein to mention a few).
There are many notions of God and only one can be correct (or as near to the truth as a finite mind can be when attempting to explicate the Infinite). So the odds are against us. But it seems to me that those individuals who are counting on getting so many brownie points for subscribing to a particular belief system may be in for disappointment. The only credit any of us should ever receive is if we ever put our beliefs into practice - and how often.
There isn't and there probably won't be a definitive New Age concept of God. But many do see Divine Being in a pantheistic sense. The Creator resides in all things and all things are of the Creator. Stars, trees, animals and human beings are all attributes of Divine Essence (though we certainly can't compare ourselves to the entirety of this Essence). God is immediate and, at the same time, preternatural.
At the subatomic level there is no matter - only energy - and this energy permeates everything. When we peel away the layers of onion skin, when we shed all the dimensions of illusion, we are left with only Unity. The energy that is you and the energy that is me has always been and always will be. It is only our perception of this energy that keeps changing.
The poet Walt Whitman wrote "for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you". This illuminated literary giant who died in 1892 was ahead of his time in his celebration of the body and spirit, in his inspired free verse, and in his realization of the unity of all things.
Whitman was mocked and denigrated over a hundred years ago and things have not changed substantially. On a continent built on rugged individualism the concept of pantheism doesn't strike the same spiritual chord as it does in the East. And when further theories are added to the mix by prominent thinkers (Essence is a still evolving Deity; we are all co-creators with the Godhead) then it is understandable that many believers can't identify and are content to stay put and genuflect before a personality rather than a seemingly impersonal Force.
Many New Agers gravitate towards metaphysics/mysticism because of one very specific reason. Religion is not an open examination of existence. Religion is a tidy package of doctrines and articles of faith. The only requirement is that you embrace the ideology. Metaphysics is a continuing search for truth. It demands reason. It countenances the mystical process for each and every seeker - an intimate knowing of the Divine.
There are many thoroughfares to the top of the mountain and it is important to stress that every sentient being is blessed. There is no paramount spiritual path and the journey undertaken by secular humanists and by those in orthodox religion is just as genuine and just as purposive as that of the mystic.