In the realm of science, all attempts to find any evidence of supernatural beings, of metaphysical concepts, as God, immortality, infinity, etc have thus far failed, and if we are honest, we must confess that in science there exists no God, no immortality, no soul or mind, as distinct from the body.
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
The soul contains few secrets and longings which cannot be sensibly discussed, analyzed, and polled. Solitude, the very condition which sustained the individual against and beyond his society, has become technically impossible. Logical and linguistic analysis demonstrate that the old metaphysical problems are illusory problems; the quest for the "meaning" of things can be reformulated as the quest for the meaning of words, and the established universe of discourse and behavior can provide perfectly adequate criteria for the answer.
The significance of God, cause, number, substance or soul consists, as James asserts, in nothing but the tendency of the given concept to make us act or think. If the world should reach a point at which it ceases to care not only about such metaphysical entities but also about murders perpetrated behind closed frontiers or simply in the dark, one would have to conclude that the concepts of such murders have no meaning, that they represent no 'distinct ideas' or truths, since they do not make any 'sensible difference to anybody.
The more serious poetry of the race has a philosophical structure of thought. It contains beliefs and conceptions in regard to the nature of man and the universe, God and the soul, fate and providence, suffering, evil and destiny. Great poetry always has, like the higher religion, a metaphysical content. It deals with the same august issues, experiences and conceptions as metaphysics or first philosophy.
Joseph Alexander Leighton
They had rejected the soul-body dichotomy, with its two corollaries: the impotence of man's mind and the damnation of this earth; they had rejected the doctrine of suffering as man's metaphysical fate, they proclaimed man's right to the pursuit of happiness and were determined to establish on earth the conditions required for man's proper existence, by the "unaided" power of their intellect.
Confucius was not so much a philsopher as a proto-ideologist: what interested him was not metaphysical Truths but rather a harmonious social order within which individuals could lead happy and ethical lives. He was the first to outline clearly what one is tempted to call the elementary scene of ideology, its zero-level, which consists in asserting the (nameless) authority of some substantial Tradition.
I submit that tennis is the most beautiful sport there is, and also the most demanding....Basketball comes close, but it's a team sport and lacks tennis's primal mano a mano intensity. Boxing might come close- at least at the lighter weight divisions- but the actual physical damage the fighters inflict on each other makes it too concretely brutal to be really beautiful- a level of abstraction and formality (i.e., play) is necessary for a sport to possess true metaphysical beauty (in my opinion).
David Foster Wallace
We create our own reality because of our inner emotional - our subconscious - reality draws us into those situations from which we learn. We experience it as strange things happening to us (and) we meet the people in our lives that we need to learn from. And so we create these circumstances at a very deep metaphysical and subconscious level.
Life is an energy field, a bunch of molecules. And these particular molecules formed to make these four guys, who then formed into this band called the Beatles and did all that work. I have to think that was something metaphysical. Something alchemic. Something that must be thought of as magic.
Almost any tale of our doings is comic. We are bottomlessly comic to each other. Even the most adored and beloved person is comic to his lover. The novel is a comic form. Language is a comic form, and makes jokes in its sleep. God, if He existed, would laugh at His creation. Yet it is also the case that life is horrible, without metaphysical sense, wrecked by chance, pain and the close prospect of death. Out of this is born irony, our dangerous and necessary tool.
Metaphysical ghosts cannot be killed, because they cannot be touched; but they may be dispelled by dispelling the twilight in which shadows and solidities are easily confounded. The Vital Principle is an entity of this ghostly kind; and although the daylight has dissipated it, and positive Biology is no longer vexed with its visitations, it nevertheless reappears in another shape in the shadowy region of mystery which surrounds biological and all other questions.
George Henry Lewes
Consider the Koran, for example; this wretched book was sufficient to start a world-religion, to satisfy the metaphysical need of countless millions for twelve hundred years, to become the basis of their morality and of a remarkable contempt for death, and also to inspire them to bloody wars and the most extensive conquests. In this book we find the saddest and poorest form of theism. Much may be lost in translation, but I have not been able to discover in it one single idea of value.
Of course the sands of Present Time are running out from under our feet. And why not? The Great Conundrum: 'What are we here for?' is all that ever held us here in the first place. Fear. The answer to the Riddle of the Ages has actually been out in the street since the First Step in Space. Who runs may read but few people run fast enough. What are we here for? Does the great metaphysical nut revolve around that? Well, I'll crack it for you, right now. What are we here for? We are here to go!
However inadequate our ideas of causal efficacy may be, we are less wide of the mark when we say that our ideas and feelings have it, than the Automatists are when they say they haven't it. As in the night all cats are gray, so in the darkness of metaphysical criticism all causes are obscure. But one has no right to pull the pall over the psychic half of the subject only . . . whilst in the same breath one dogmatizes about material causation as if Hume, Kant, and Lotze had never been born.
Zarathustra was the first to consider the fight of good and evil the very wheel in the machinery of things: the transposition of morality into the metaphysical realm, as a force, cause, and end in itself, is his work. [...] Zarathustra created this most calamitous error, morality; consequently, he must also be the first to recognize it.
Science is wonderful at destroying metaphysical answers, but incapable of providing substitute ones. Science takes away foundations without providing a replacement. Whether we want to be there or not, science has put us in the position of having to live without foundations. It was shocking when Nietzsche said this, but today it is commonplace; our historical position-and no end to it is in sight-is that of having to philosophise without 'foundations'.
It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
The Earth is beautiful. If you start living its beauty, enjoying its joys with no guilt in your heart, you are in paradise. If you condemn everything, every small joy, then the same Earth turns into a hell. It is a question of your own inner transformation. It is not a change of place, it is a change of inner space. Live joyously, guiltlessly, live totally, live intensely. And then heaven is no more a metaphysical concept, it is your own experience.
The procedure we are pursuing is that of true democracy. Semi-democracy accepts the dictatorship of a majority in establishing its arbitrary, ergo, unnatural, laws. True democracy discovers by patient experiment and unanimous acknowledgement what the laws of nature or universe may be for the physical support and metaphysical satisfaction of the human intellect's function in universe.
R. Buckminster Fuller
Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask - half our great theological and metaphysical problems - are like that.
C. S. Lewis
The process of reading is not a half sleep, but in the highest sense, an exercise, a gymnast's struggle: that the reader is to do something for him or herself, must be on the alert, just construct indeed the poem, argument, history, metaphysical essay--the text furnishing the hints, the clue, the start, the framework.
Nature does not teach. A true philosophy may sometimes validate an experience of nature; an experience of nature cannot validate a philosophy. Nature will not verify any theological or metaphysical proposition (or not in the manner we are now considering); she will help to show what it means.
C. S. Lewis
There are times when I can find myself in a book, too, for two or three hours. But afterward I have such an urge to go out and reach for other people. Very often they're not around. There's also a metaphysical loneliness. We all feel it. The burden of living one's own life is experiencing sensations that no one else can share. You take a step in a house, you start moving around the house, no one else moves with you. You're walking by yourself.
Am I in love? Absolutely. I'm in love with ancient philosophers, foreign painters, classic authors, and musicians who have died long ago. I'm a passionate lover. I fawn over these people. I have given them my heart and my soul. The trouble is, I'm unable to love anyone tangible. I have sacrificed a physical bond, for a metaphysical relationship. I am the ultimate idealistic lover.
It is important to realize that whatever we do or design has iconographic references, it comes from somewhere; any form is always metaphorical, never totally metaphysical; it is never a 'destiny' but always a fact with some kind of historical reference. To put an object on a base means to monumentalize it, to make everyone aware it exists.
Religion is not about accepting twenty impossible propositions before breakfast, but about doing things that change you. It is a moral aesthetic, an ethical alchemy. If you behave in a certain way, you will be transformed. The myths and laws of religion are not true because they they conform to some metaphysical, scientific or historical reality but because they are life enhancing. They tell you how human nature functions, but you will not discover their truth unless you apply these myths and doctrines to your own life and put them into practice.
Today, in this atmosphere, the very word and idea of asceticism is probably incomprehensible to a very large number of Christian people. Anyone talking about fasting and chastity and voluntary restriction of our individual desires is sure to meet with condescension or mockery. This does not, of course, prevent people from having their 'metaphysical convictions' and believing in a 'supreme being' or in the 'sweet Jesus' who had a wonderful ethical teaching. The question is, however, what is the use of 'metaphysical convictions' when they do not go any way towards providing a real answer - as opposed to one that is idealistic and abstract - to the problem of death, the scandal of the dissolution of the body in the earth. This real answer is to be found only in the knowledge granted by asceticism, in the effort to resist death in our own bodies, and by the dynamic triumph over the deadening of man. And not just in any kind of asceticism, but in that which consists in conformity to the example of Christ, who willingly accepted death so as to destroy death - 'trampling down death by death.' Every voluntary mortification of the egocentricity which is 'contrary to nature' is a dynamic destruction of death and a triumph for the life of the person.