Tuesday, May 27, 2014
A simple science, part two
Being is an odd thing, because it clearly arises within the physics of material reality. In an absolute sense, we are all like the teapot in the picture for this post. We are vessels. The organic body contains consciousness, which by its nature creates the conceptual relationship we use to interact with each other and the world at large. Consciousness functions this way at every level; and although the conceptual relationship in the cellular or animal world functions differently than ours, the principle of a vessel within which that functional relationship develops is consistent across the broad spectrum of biological organisms.
Keeping the conversation close to home, we are vessels that a sensory experience of the outer world flows into; and a peculiar and intricate alchemy arises at once, that is, the entire mechanism of molecular and chemical reaction is pressed into service to create relationships that interpret the outer world. So it's quite clear; there is an inner, or spiritual world, and there is an outer, or material one. We call the inner world a spiritual world as it is connected to a set of metaphysical principles, that is, emergent principles that transcend the simple physics of chemistry. That transcendence is defined by its conceptual or relational nature. It lies outside of physics; in point of fact, it can know that such a thing as physics exists, whereas, physics does not exist without it and cannot know itself, since it is nothing more than myriad points of unrelated data.
So the physical world creates us; and we create the metaphysical world. One way of looking at it is that the physical world has created an interpretive mechanism whereby it can know itself; but this is just one layer of a very thick cake. The point is that the world of Being transcends the structural physics of the situation; and that's exactly why we call it metaphysics.
All of the inner sciences, all of the efforts to understand being, are arranged horizontally across the plane of existence as thoughts, sensory experiences, and emotions. Collectively, this is the meta in metaphysics; these experiences form a set of tools with which to investigate and interpret reality.
Although the inquiry has traditionally always centered around the idea of God, God is, from a peculiar point of view, unnecessary to the practical action, even though God is the center of gravity around which all of the questions turn. God is, so to speak, the sun that illuminates this solar system of being; yet we don't need to touch the sun in order to know that it shines. We can just leave it alone and accept its presence as a given in order to do our daily work.
In its practical aspects, divorced from the arcane texts and complicated systems, metaphysics is all about this daily work of Being. We take it for granted; and so we don't pay enough attention to it. Yet it's that detailed, compassionate, and loving attention to this action of Being that can better inform our relationships and attitudes within each moment. If the idea of self remembering ever had a locus, it's here, in the details — not in the grand scheme of the stars.