Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How I Became a Metaphysicist


The details of this subject of inquiry can get philosophically complicated and logically complex.

Fortunately, I am a simple man, and therefore like to keep things simple for both myself and my readers.  In the spirit of this simplicity, I will define this topic simply, as follows:

METAPHYSICS: The nature and study of the non-physical world and universe.

Metaphysics is the study of that which you cannot see or otherwise detect with your five senses, but is very real nonetheless.  This subject of inquiry contrasts, of course, with Physics, which is the nature and study of the physical world and universe—that which can be seen or otherwise detected with your five senses or through verifiable scientific experimentation.  If you wish to add a tad more texture to this basic definition, a simple consultation of Webster expands it as follows:

Metaphysics: The branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space. [1]

Metaphysics matters!  If you don't believe me, just think about all of the things you benefit from in this world but cannot see or otherwise detect with your five senses without the aid of high tech scientific instrumentation (e.g. x-rays, gamma rays, cellular waves, radio waves), as well as that which cannot be adequately detected or measured by science at all (e.g. goodness, love, desire, happiness, hope, joy, intention, passion, pain, anxiety, depression, despair, hate, evil, etc.).

In my book, Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom, I introduce the Self-Action Leadership Theory & Model, which I put forth as a self-help—or metaphysical—"Theory of Everything."

Click HERE to read more about this Metaphysical Theory of Everything.

My purpose in making such an admittedly audacious claim, and undertaking such an arduous lifelong project is an attempt to keep pace with (or perhaps even surpass by degree) the field of physics by providing the kind of mental, emotional, and spiritual help and hope from metaphysics that mirrors the scientific help and hope that exists in the elusive, but ongoing pursuit of a physical, scientific "Theory of Everything."

I also wish to provide unbelievers (both the irreligious and the anti-religious) with food for thought that they might find more palatable than the fare of whatever prophets and pastors they have chosen to reject.

Lastly, I wish to provide believers of all kinds with an academic apology (generally speaking) for their religious faith and hope, which, even if every detail of their present vision of an afterlife turns out not to be entirely true when they actually get there, can prove to be a productive force for positive metaphysical development in this world.

I should note up front that I, myself, am an ardent believer.  I would bet my life on my religious and spiritual faith.  Nay, I already have bet my life on it—and continue to do so as I write this—and will continue to do so each day of my life until physical death transfers my spiritual being to another realm for the next stage of my physical and metaphysical journey.

It is out of my own religious education, faith, and spiritual experiences that my passion for metaphysics has arisen.  Moreover, my deep spiritual convictions and continued religious education and practice will, no doubt, continue to influence my investigation and understanding of metaphysics.  While my religion and spirituality are vitally important—even essential—components of my collective metaphysical inquiry, they are, nonetheless, not the only components.  In the following paragraphs, I outline different elements that have contributed to my passion for metaphysics, which have arisen in my life over long periods of time.

It first began with my religious education and experience, which began early in my life.  My first formal religious address was delivered at age three (3), a week shy of my fourth birthday, in a children's organization in my Church.  This was followed by continued education and experiences, including formal seminary instruction, two-years of full-time, unpaid missionary service, and nearly 20,000 hours of combined participation in learning, teaching, serving, worshipping, and leadership oriented activities.

My spiritual experiences likewise began at a very young age.  In intervening years such experiences have continued unabated, whereby I have, in the aggregate, experienced many, varied, and sometimes quite concrete and definite spiritual illuminations—the veracity of which, while I cannot scientifically verify or sentiently validate, would nonetheless bet my life upon because of their existential value and practical utility based on actual results achieved over long periods of time in the laboratory of real living.

This growing metaphysical bent rooted in religious and spiritual experience was further expanded at age eight or nine when I attended my first self-help oriented seminar and began to first learn and apply metaphysical principles of time management (i.e. values identification, clarification, prioritization, and goal setting).  This led to a deep and often careful study of many of the self-help masters of the past century, including: Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, Napoleon Hill; and more recently: Og Mandino, Anthony Robbins, Hyrum W. Smith, Stephen R. Covey,  and Eckhart Tolle.

Despite my passion for metaphysical subjects of inquiry, my academic interest was not limited to the metaphysical realm.  As a youngster, I was quite good at arithmetic, and I yearned for the day when I could someday enroll in chemistry, calculus, physics, and other, scientific related classes—something I saw my older brothers do, which I greatly admired.

During my junior high school years, I became sufficiently interested in physics to borrow a physics textbook (one of Paul G. Hewitt's early editions of his famous text, Conceptual Physics) from my 8th grade physical science teacher, so I could study it over the summer.  Later, in high school, my science fair entry investigated principles of kinetic and potential energy, and included an experiment involving archery—another passion of mine.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, my aptitude in higher mathematics and the physical sciences drastically failed to match up with my innate interest in the subjects, thus influencing me to pursue an increasingly metaphysical line of academic pursuit in high school, college, and graduate school. Translation: Much to my existential chagrin (but practical relief), I never ended up taking calculus or chemistry.

Immanuel Kant
An 18th Century German
Metaphysical Philosopher
Upon entering college, my interest in metaphysics grew even deeper as I was introduced to philosophers both ancient and modern, foreign and American.  From Aristotle and Confucius to Kant, Mill, Franklin, Emerson, and Thoreau, my mind naturally gravitated toward the metaphysical elements of life, inquiry, and conversation.  You might say that I developed a penchant to, and liking for, swimming in the "deep end" of the pool.  [2]  However, recognizing the inherent dangers of doing so in an unbridled fashion, I strived to keep things simple enough to be able to clearly articulate and then readily apply my musings into real life practice.  I was thus able to avoid getting sucked into black holes of academic inquiry, where many an intellectual has been trapped and lost from both practicality and reality—to their damning loss, and the loss of any others they bring down with them.

At the confluence of all this metaphysical interest lay an ever-whirling storm of mind in the form of a mental disorder, specifically obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which has proven to be a two-edged sword wielding positive benefits along with its hellish symptoms. Over time, the whirlwind of my OCD-influenced mind whipped the entirety of my sometimes maddening, but ultimately invigorating and productive thought chains into a productive helix that led continually upward into the development and publication of the Self-Action Leadership Theory and Model—made possible through diligent research and writing completed at the doctoral level of graduate school.

I do not claim that my Theory and Model is perfect, or even complete.  Indeed, I intend to continue working on it until the day I die—and beyond.  But in the meantime, after nearly three decades of diligent study, painstaking effort, and a deep, multifarious collection of rich metaphysical experiences, I am pleased with the results so far, and present it to YOU in hopes that you might find its principles and applications to be as intellectually delicious and existentially practical and beneficial in the laboratory of real living as I have.

Welcome to the world of practical metaphysics!

If you would like to begin (or accelerate) your own journey into the world of metaphysics, I invite you to buy my book, and begin reading it, TODAY.

Click HERE to Buy a Copy of Self-Action Leadership


1. New Oxford American Dictionary (electronic version for Mac)

2. My older brother Joe applied this metaphor to describe my intellectual proclivities, and added a worthy caveat thereto: "It's fun to swim around in the deep end, but if you stay there too long, you might drown."  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Taking Pride in Doing the Right Thing

In the short run, a team, organization, or other entity can lie, cheat, and manipulate its way to a competitive advantage.  But in the LONG...