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The Definition of Metaphysical

definition of metaphysical

The definition of metaphysical can be very abstract and complex. I've probably seen at least 20 different definitions of the word, and each definition did contain some valid truth, but somehow seemed incomplete.

As I mentioned,the definition of metaphysical can be rather complex and it really doesn't need to be. The best way I try and define metaphysical to others is to keep it simple and easy to understand.

The Word Meta

In Greek, the definition of the prefix Meta can mean, "after", "self", "adjacent", or "beyond". Which word you would use would depend upon which meta prefixed word you are trying to define.

So in it's most simplest form, the definition of metaphysical could be explained as, the philosophy and study of reality beyond the physical.

That would also be the best way I would define it as it relates to this Website.

The Definition Of Metaphysical In a New Age Context

When defining metaphysical, the problem we often run into is that from a general sense, anything that's defined as "new age" often also gets defined as being metaphysical.

Just as an example, I was visiting my local bookstore recently, and as I was walking down the aisle, there was a row of books labeled specifically as, "Metaphysical Books". That row labeled as Metaphysical books, contained books on "UFOs", "Astrology", "Crystals", "Psychics", "ESP" etc.... You name it.

The point I'm trying to make here is that many times the word "Metaphysical" is used interchangeably with the word "New Age". I've mentioned before that I've never liked the term "New Age", because it's too broad in scope and can basically mean anything from research on legitimate scientific studies in ESP, to someone's claim of pink unicorns living in their bedroom.

To summarize, there are many areas of Metaphysics that have been carefully researched and studied, and thus I think that in many cases, the term "metaphysical" should be kept separate from the term, "New Age.

New Age may have it's place though, especially when discussing more philosophical type areas in metaphysics such as channeling, and other areas that more open to cricicism from a philosophical standpoint.

New Age isn't a horrible term by any means, and I use it from time to time on this site. It's just a bit too general for my tastes, and skeptics are quick to use it in a negative light as a definition of anything that cannot be validated by our physical senses.

A More Complex Definition Of Metaphysical

In my opinion, the definition of the metaphysical would read something like this: The metaphysical is the study of all that exists in the nonphysical, including all interactions that exist between the physical non physical. This also includes the study of the different philosophies which seek to explain the nature and interworking of reality.

I don't think we are quite ready to add "science" to that definition yet without being set upon by a horde of skeptics. I do think that that one day science will be added to the definition, but we may have to wait a few more years or longer before that happens.

Concluding View

So as you can see, defining metaphysics isn't really that complicated. People just make it that way. Usually if someone asks me what the definition of metaphysical is, I just tell them that it's the study and philosophy of that which lies beyond the physical senses and the physical world, and I leave it at that.

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