Introduction to spiritual metaphysics
‘Metaphysics’ may sound grand and intimidating, but it is not meant to be. It’s merely a label for very simple explorations of the basic features of your existence. It has nothing to do with the occult, or with religious techniques and practice, or with academic philosophy. Anyone capable of a certain measure of objective thought will be able to appreciate these metaphysical studies, and join in with their explorations. ‘Objective principial metaphysics’ – another intimidating but useful description for what you will find here – simply means a straightforward and impartial, non-religious examination of the basic features of the ‘experiential matrix’ – your experiencing being – within which you already live and move, and which is in fact the essence of your entire life and existence. So metaphysics is about exploring and analysing the basic features of the ‘experiential being’ that you already are, and with which you are already identified. You don’t need any special qualifications to be able to take a look at the features and capacities that go to make you what you are, as you are already familiar with them, to a certain extent. All we are doing is making them explicit, and then reflecting on them, and then analysing some of the implications they present. This is all in the service of gaining a greater understanding of exactly what it is we need to do to achieve our ultimate fulfilment.
These short studies are designed to provoke objective metaphysical investigations and explorations of your own; they are not meant to be statements of doctrine, mapping out a path for you to follow. You are meant to examine the validity and accuracy of every single idea presented here, and to examine them not through some prescribed and preordained conceptual analysis, or belief system, but by comparing them with the actual elements which your experiential being already presents you with. If the descriptions you read here are informative, they will help you gain insight into your condition of being; if they are not, they won’t: it doesn’t get simpler than that. And if you are not sure either way, leave it for a while, reflect on it, and come back to the whole process later. Or better still, take a look at your own experiencing with your own mind’s eye, and identify what you see.
What has any of this to do with Buddhism ? ‘Buddhism’, as a term for the Buddha-inspired quest for spiritual knowledge, properly understood and appreciated, is not a doctrine or a belief system, it is a form of encouragement for you to seek out the truth for yourself. And seeking out the truth for yourself must involve, sooner or later, starting with a clarification of the very simplest of basics, and making sure that you have them right. This will involve, in the first instance, learning to see, as clearly and impartially as you can, what your experiential matrix consists of, and how it informs you of what it informs you. If you can’t see that much, what exactly can you see ?
Now having established that this is a Buddha-inspired quest – and therefore a quest for objective and impartial spiritual truth as best we can discover it – and having agreed that we have all been mightily inspired by the Buddha’s example to embark on this quest, we no longer need refer to the Buddha or Buddhism in any shape or form, as such doctrinal references can only interfere with our direct perception of the things we are looking at. Let us see for ourselves what we can see, free of distorting interference of any and every kind.
Sections will be revised from time to time when it becomes apparent that they would benefit from better descriptions and improved terminology.