The Nature and Practice of Metaphysics

The Nature and Practice of Metaphysics

written by: Mia Johnson
by: Mia Johnson
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Metaphysics deals with the study of the fundamental nature of reality and existence itself. We are beings of Energy. We are not our bodies, our bodies are vessels that hold the Energy that creates the essence of all that we are, all we have been, and regardless of one's religious perceptions, all that we will become.

Often, in understanding the meaning behind a "label," it is best to break it down phonetically. The prefix "Meta- "means that which lies beyond (even to the point of transcending.) So, meta-physical means that which lies beyond, even underlying what is known or explained as that which is in nature, even transcending what is known of the physical World. So, when used in that context it would concern those things that would fall under the category of Philosophy but yet, Metaphysics can, and is, also used in the Healing professions as well.

Metaphysics is concerned with the study of the principles that make objects, properties, interactions and principles possible in the first place. These are the laws and principles that make the laws and principles that science describes and discovers possible and coherent. Metaphysicians are primarily individuals that question that which lies beyond or behind those capable of being tackled by the physical sciences. For this reason, and NOT because it is unscientific, Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy and not science. In fact, it is a "meta-science", or a scientific description of the laws and principles that make the physical sciences possible and understandable in the first place.

Here are some examples of the areas that Metaphysics deals with.


What is there? What exists? What is it like?


What is knowledge? What is truth? How do we know anything at all? Do we know anything, really? Does the world/reality exist independently of our knowledge of it?

Philosophy of Mind:

What is the exact nature of the interaction between mind (mental phenomena) and body (physical phenomena)? What is consciousness? How can we come to have knowledge of minds other than our own?

The word, philosophy means the lover (philo) of wisdom (sophia). Philosophers are masters who dedicate their souls to understanding and explaining the innermost secrets of our world that are known as esotericism. And the term "physics" (which is inclusive of mathematics, chemistry, biology, etc.) is the study of the physical world, concerned with discovering and describing the properties and interactions of physical objects (which now explicitly includes energy), Finally, the essence of what we truly ARE is recognized by the technical perspective of the World. Energy is the ONLY thing that cannot be destroyed, it can only be transformed. Would that not, then, make sense that although our bodies are mortal, our essence, our Souls are not?Other areas of study and interest include time, free will, meaning and value, causation, substance, appearance vs. reality. In Metaphysics, a universal is something which is comprised of or has the appearance of, certain specified things which share things in common, (namely characteristics or qualities.) In other words, universals are repeatable or recurrent entities that can be instantiated or exemplified by many things. And, simply, that's a synopsis of what the modern world describes in an academic way the practice of Metaphysics.

But there exists a definitively more ancient and more "esoteric" conception of the word as Metaphysics. In Neurolinguistics, understanding the meaning of a word is important to using the word in a descriptive manner. Most of the words we speak today have a dual meaning, (this is what is known as an esoteric meaning). In simple terms, the words we speak and know, often have a secret meaning not always known or understood by the average person.

A broader explanation known to the masses of humanity and taken at face value is called the 'exoteric,' and a deeper hidden spiritual meaning called 'esoteric' which is that which is the truth understood only by a small group initiated into the secret mysteries. Let me put it in far simpler and really, more realistic, authentic terms. When we speak of Physics, we are all familiar with the term "Quantum Physics" if we are at all familiar with works of esteemed individuals such as Einstein, a renowned scientist with an absolutely brilliant mind, he was essentially an authentic and great philosopher. I will share with you one of his quotes.

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science."

This inspiring quote can help us be grateful for the mysteries of the universe. Whether we are religious or not, we can appreciate the wonder of the world we live in. Einstein believed that curiosity is important, too. His ideas can inspire us to think about the majestic world we live in and to understand it, but also allow ourselves to be awestruck by its beauty and complexity. While many "clever people" long to understand everything, Einstein appeared to relish the impossibility of ever understanding our world completely. Can anyone ever understand everything? Isn't "everything" an ever-evolving entity?

Alan Watts, another renown (and often cited) philosopher and author, says,

"What you are in your in-most being escapes your examination in rather the same way that you can't look directly into your own eyes without using a mirror, you can't bite your own teeth, you can't taste your own tongue, and you can't touch the tip of this finger with the tip of this finger."

The moment we try to understand or describe all that we are: what we think, what we know, what we believe, in essence, all of those things begin to change. Another quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer:

"When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at will change."

We are ever evolving, ever changing and there can never be just ONE way to look at anything. Unique beings cannot be categorized in "cookie-cutter" models.

In day to day life, we intuitively understand how the world works. Drop a glass and it will smash to the floor. If you push a something on wheels, it will roll along. Walk into a wall and you can't walk through it. There are very basic laws of physics going on all around us that we instinctively grasp: gravity makes things fall to the ground, pushing something makes it move, two things can't occupy the same place at the same time.

Now, let's "dissect" Esoteric. Even the very word esoteric has a secret truth hidden in its very letters. The English word esoteric is derived from the Latin esotericus, which came from the Greek esōterikos, or esōterō. It is a compound word composed of the two words, eso and teric. Eso is from the Latin eisō, and Greek esō which simply means within, and teric is derived from the word tauric, or taurus. Confused yet? Just wait, I'm just getting started.

So, a Metaphysician is a kind of Healer who effects change in the physical world by affecting, changing, and tampering with what is "meta-" (beyond or underlying the known physical world.) In other words, the Metaphysician works with metaphysical laws and principles-not primarily with the everyday physical ones. It is because the "meta- "or more fundamental level of the physical is itself non-physical (sub- and supra- physical), that Metaphysicians can and do effect healing and change in the physical by working with what is non-physical by working with the principles and powers and 'things' in the realm where matter and what is beyond matter come together. In far simpler words, from the perspective of everyday life.

Finding any value in this kind of work involves a perspective that is different from the first-person everyday experience of our Ego. It involves what is referred to as the "psyche", the mind. It includes the art and science of communication, known as Neurolinguistics, symbolic language, and the clear understanding that the mind-body connection is not irrevocably equal.

The result of Metaphysical work may look to many like "magic," (there have been times that I've been asked incredulously, do you REALLY believe you are psychic?) No, that's not what "Metaphysical" means. What on Earth did I ever say that made you believe or represent myself as psychic? For individuals such as these, I reserve my rhetorical dissertation that in fact, we are ALL psychic, for I already am conscious that they are not pre-disposed to understand or accept this reality. Yet, everyone accepts that he or she have Intuition, and Intuition is a form of psychic ability. It's difficult enough to explain, in many cases, exactly what an Empath is. And yet, when I have written in depth about being an Empath, I am met with a flurry of "me too's".) One of the reasons that I love my work is that people are so complex, and there is SO much left that simply needs to be explained in everyday terms.

And, working with a Metaphysical approach, at the other end of the spectrum, often may be perceived as merely the result of a placebo effect (or, in other words, coincidence) and really, simply, Metaphysics represents everything that falls in between. Clearly, the most important thing is that, when other methods seem to fall short, it seems to work. The thing that is the most significant in taking a Metaphysical approach to working with the mental and emotional aspects of anyone's existence is that it pulls from a variety of modalities. Not every situation fits into a "cookie-cutter" approach. And most successful and authentic Healers will be diversified in their methods.

Metaphysics does not eliminate, but rather compartmentalizes the precepts of religion, for religion is something that is designed by man, lived by man and its only purpose is to separate and define the difference between people that share the same air, the same planet, and whether we recognize it or not, we share the same purpose and that is to survive and strive to thrive.

So, and I am SO often asked, what exactly does a Metaphysician, as a healer, DO? In this reference, a Metaphysician is a primarily an individual, (usually who practices in the healing professions) who makes changes in the physical world through "meta-"physical (i.e. decidedly not 'physical') principles. A Metaphysician works with the principles of the mind (and all that lies beyond) to create powerful and lasting change in peoples' lives.

A Metaphysician is both considered either a philosopher whose area of expertise is the study of the fundamental nature of reality and existence and/or, more esoterically, a practicing healer that changes physical reality by working with the principles and powers and 'things' that underlie it, especially the mind or those things ascribed to the psyche.

Why this explanation? I have always been almost innately curious about everything and anything that pertained to people and the World around us. By Birth, I am an Empath, which means that I "feel" my way, not only through not only my life but also through the lives of each and every person I've come in contact with. And by way of my education, I can call myself any number of things, but it is by choice, I am most truly a described as a Metaphysician. For most of my career, I've worked in Healing professions. I have been a Licensed Psychotherapist-Supervisor, Relationship & Life Coach, Advocate and Mediator, Neurolinguistic, Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master.

By way of personal curiosity and interests, I have studied and incorporated Aromatherapy, Herbology, Chakras, and the study of the properties of gems into my work. I have long had a personal interest in Genealogy, and both in my Undergraduate degrees and a lifelong interest, History. The synopsis being that I do not look at any situation from one perspective, but rather draw from all my experience, education, and gifts. Because all these factors come together in a unique way, giving me an eclectic approach, it is not sufficient any longer to identify by any one singular modality. I am a conglomeration of all that I have been, that which I am now, and still, all that I am destined to be. I can not longer be one "person," because, within this meat covered skeleton, I am both separately, and combined, many people, many voices.

As Alan Watts, another renown philosopher and author once stated:

"The word 'person' comes from the latin word 'persona' which referred to the masks worn by actors in which sound would come through. The 'person' is the mask—the role you're playing. And all of your friends and relations and teachers are busy telling you who you are and what your role in life is."

When I first began to practice privately, I chose the name "Out of the Tangled Web" but time has shown me that that name (although it will always be near and dear to my heart) is a bit too obscure of a literary reference for many. It actually derives from Sir Walter Raliegh's quote: "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive..." So, my "Out of the Tangled Web" is soon to be just a vehicle for my writing. While may continue to exist, it will only represent a forum for my literary wanderings.

One of the greatest pearls of wisdom I learned from the study of Neurolinguistics was that there are no "mistakes" in Life, only Lessons. So, lesson learned.

Over the course of my Journeys, I have found that the primary focus of my professional work is based on breaking free from Human Domestication-which is the process by which our individual Societies attempt to have us "conform" to their norms. For me, the primary objective is not "fitting in," but rather celebrating one's uniqueness, and therefore, "standing out." And doing so in a way that one can, with strength and purpose, be authentically themselves. Throughout my professional Journey, many people have tried to "advise" me how to "be" in order to be successful, profitable, recognized (choose any word you like here.) And my response has always been, I do "mia," that's who and what I am. And if I have to change that, then I'd rather not.

While I consider myself a disciple of many different philosophers and individuals who that have written numerous perspectives on how to look at, and live one's life to the best and highest potential, I am particularly inclined to incorporating don Miguel Ruiz's The Five Agreements" into one's life on an on-going, everyday way. So soon you will be seeing my work at a new location: because that is what I've truly become with the new direction in my work. After all, Life IS about the Journey, NOT the Destination.

Mia Johnson works with individuals, couples, and groups through private sessions, workshops, and Retreats. She is an author and public speaker. Although she has many "titles," Psychotherapist, Coach, Relationship Specialist, Neurolinguistic, Advocate, Mediator, her work focuses on being one's authentic Self in a World and Society that conspires to constantly advocate "fitting in." Her work helps others to find clarity and strength in being whom they are, accepting all that they may have been, and discovering all that they may become. So, yes, quite clearly, a Metaphysician. If you are interested in working with Mia, you may contact her at

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