By Kenneth Harper Finton ©2015
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being in the world. The word comes from the Greek metá, meaning beyond and physiká, meaning physics. Metaphysics is concerned with that which is beyond physics. As such, it is not easily defined or put into words.
A metaphysician tries to clarify the fundamental ways that people can understand the world and the universe about them. They are concerned with existence, objects that are brought forth by existence, space and time, cause and effect and the possibilities that understanding these concepts can raise.
Metaphysics attempts to clarify two basic questions that have bothered thinkers since man became self-aware: 1) what is existence, what is really there, and 2) what is this ultimate existence like.
The central branch of metaphysics is called ontology. Ontology tries to determine the nature of being itself. It asks questions such as, “What does exist? What are things? What are events? What is the meaning of being? And how may being itself be classified?”
Metaphysics predates both physics and science. Originally the term science meant knowledge, but came to be seen as empirical knowledge, a learning that can be deduced from outside sources such as experiments and whose results can be duplicated. Empirical knowledge is different from rational knowledge where reason alone is considered evidence. Empirical knowledge takes an idea, a hypothesis, and performs experiments to prove the idea, reviews those experiments with others (peer review that includes adversarial opinions), then published these findings so that others may duplicate the results.
One would think that the scientific and empirical method of seeking answers is the most correct method, but some questions and ideas cannot be subject to experience and data. These are called a prori, meaning “from the earlier.” Findings based on experimentation and the scientific methods are called a posteriori, meaning “from the later.”
AWARENESS AND THE SENSES
The senses are the source or our information about objects and ourselves. This sensory input is calculated and organized to form the basis of conception. Conception itself precedes or is conceived simultaneously by consciousness, or there would be nothing of which to be cognizant.
Let us define consciousness. It is the state or quality of being aware of an external object––something other than the self. Consciousness is the ability to experience and be affected by an outer force other than the self.
The above is an apriori statement. It is not dependent upon scientific experiments or methods, but on reason and logic alone. One cannot prove consciousness. It is inferred by itself and made obvious by its own presence.
This idea has mighty implications. It places awareness before or simultaneous to the material aspect of ‘things’, acknowledges that awareness existed before or at the same time that things appeared, and places the senses as the method for interpreting the being of the object. At that moment, being is conceptualized, and thereby exists.
We may, I believe, assume that this happens at the very birth of existence itself. We can deduce that the world is physically composed of repetItive geometric patterns that have mathematical properties. These patterns of birthing repeat continually through nature and the universe. It occurs in the most primitive levels of elemental attraction to the most significant birthing of organisms. This birthing from nothing into a physical being has happened to each of us as we gradually became aware of the world outside ourselves. We know a priori within ourselves this world that comes rushing in at our birth.
Gnosis is the Greek noun for knowledge, from which we developed the English word ‘know’. It is the word ancient Greeks used for the personal knowledge that we can deduce and come to know within ourselves, rather than intellectual knowledge that comes from learning from the exterior, that outside our being. We can deduce this because it has occurred within each of us. We are aware and conscious; of this we are certain. That this gnosis (this knowledge of the self) exists in every existent thing can be assumed. In fact, we have no choice but to deduce and assume this, as we are the only existent things that we can prove to be actual. We know that gnosis is within us on a personal level. We should then deduce that this awareness it must also occur everywhere because we cannot logically prove there is anything but our own awareness and consciousness. This is where logic takes us.
The idea makes us expand the idea of the self. The awareness that created our idea of self exists in every existent thing because it is one dimensional, an element in the basic building of existence that is everywhere at all times. One dimensional existence is but a single point that is everywhere at all times by definition.
Logic and pure mathematics are a priori. They do not depend upon empirical facts to exist. Mathematics and logic exist outside of the perceived and provable methods of scientific experimentation.This does not mean that logic and mathematics are inferior to scientifically objective findings. Both are used to point to findings that scientific methods cannot probe. The two methods operate in their own distinct realms, as different from one another as the sense of sight from the sense of touch. The eye can see an object, but it cannot feel it.
Matter must be observed to have a placement in actuality. This should be the lesson learned in quantum mechanics. Objects are observed through the senses, especially the sense of feel, and are pulled together by gravitational and electro-magnetic fields.
From this we can deduce that the first elementary particles that took shape in time and space were made existent by awareness. The experience of awareness and is also an a priori statement that needs not be and cannot be deduced through scientific findings to be correct and true.
FOR FURTHER READING:
It does not take a brain to conceptualize an object and actualize its being, nor does awareness need a brain. See: https://heliosliterature.com/2014/10/11/what-is-in-the-mind-of-god/
6 thoughts on “METAPHYSICS”
Dmitry Selemir wrote:
Ken, an interesting article. I’m not sure I agree with your definition of consciousness though. It essentially suggests that everything that has a physical presence and therefore able to interact with other physical objects has consciousness. I think, while I can see where you are coming from — this waters down the definition too much. Perhaps I’m confusing consciousness with intelligence, but I always connected the two — equating self awareness with consciousness. In that sense you can not class elementary particles as conscious even if you look at them from the standpoint of quantum mechanics — where their behaviour can not be described deterministically. This is not the consequence of some kind of free will these particles possess, but merely a reflection of inapplicability of the solid object concept we are used to applying to everything around us.
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The point is that consciousness is not matter nor energy, but precedes matter and energy–if ‘precede’ is a word that can be used for something without a place in time and space.
Consciousness has no mass nor energy. The ability to be aware of and be affected by an external object–something other than the self–is the prerequisite of being and the non-material aspect of this primal soup is consciousness.
It is not that the particles that are consciousness, but it is the non-material consciousness that makes the particles existent. That is how we get something out of nothing. This consciousness always exists and does not exist at the same moment and has always existed and not existed even without space and time.
This consciousness is like a dimension, yet it is no dimension. A two dimensional circle on a piece of paper or in space must have another dimension to exist. It must be seen from above to be recognized as a circle.
In simple terms, all we need for existence to take place is consciousness. It transcends existence and all experience takes place within it.
Bear with me, as I try to bring the unexplainable into words and concept. I am bound to make errors in terminology and all this will have to be rewritten after I get the terminology conceptualized and expressed.
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