What Does It Mean That ACIM Is A Metaphysical Teaching?

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"Metaphysical" is an ancient word dating back to Aristotle and the fourth century before Christ (BC). When Aristotle wrote his treatises he would state a certain point and then after that he wrote what he called the “tá metá tá physicà.” That means “the work after the physics” and these were the ideas that underlied the premises which he just stated. First he’d state his postulate and then he’d give the “metaphysics” of it, ie: what were the causative thoughts underneath it. The word “metaphysics” itself didn’t become popular until later in Aristotle’s career when he actually wrote a treatise named “Metaphysics.” In that dissertation, which is sometimes called “The Doctrine of Causation”, he wrote about why particulars arise from the universal. This became his doctrine on metaphysics in the fourth century BC.

In our modern times, "metaphysics" has come to mean the causative forces that lie underneath the physical reality that we experience. Astrology is usually considered metaphysical because it deals with causative, cosmic forces that lie underneath the physical world. Tarot cards are considered metaphysical because they deal with causative, spiritual archetypes that underlie the physical world. A Course In Miracles would be considered metaphysical because it deals with the thoughts and mental processes that give rise to the manifestation of the physical world. Most metaphysical systems exist because students hope that through a better understanding of the causes that lie underneath, one can have a more effective function while here in physical reality.

Here are a couple of examples of direct metaphysical thoughts in ACIM:

"I see no neutral things. -- What I see witnesses to what I think. If I did not think I would not exist, because life is thought. Let me look on the world I see as the representation of my own state of mind. I know that my state of mind can change. And so I also know the world I see can change as well." (Wk.Or.Ed.54.3)

"The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but will to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result, not a cause." (Tx.Or.Ed.21.1)

Notice how each of the above quotations deals with the cause, our thoughts and perceptions, that lies underneath the physical world we appear to be in. Hence, they are an example of the metaphysical teaching of ACIM. It should be noted that the word "metaphysics" never appears in ACIM. Also, because of "metaphysics" association with things like astrology and Tarot cards, some students do not want to call ACIM metaphysical.

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Read 1101214 times Last modified on Thursday, 17 September 2015 20:36