Coming from the Greek, Metaphysics can be translated as "that which comes after physics, matter, or nature." Metaphysics1 is a branch of Philosophy2 looking for the permanent Reality, the unchanged Beingness, the stationary Existence as the Base for everything that shows constant change.

The "theorizing" mind gives this Being the name God. The "practical" seeker experiences this Being as pure Awareness. The theoretical side of Metaphysics seems to belong now to the academics. And, to be quite fair, they have done an outstanding job developing many metaphysical systems and positions. However, theorizing about pleasure or pain does not give us the actual experience. That is where Yoga comes in: Yoga is the tool with which we can go all the way if this is our true desire.
All that is needed is genuine interest and a certain amount of self-courage - although the fear we encounter on the way is nothing but a fear of looking at our Self.

Going back to the origins of the word Metaphysics, it is said that it was first used to name untitled manuscripts of Aristotle. Most philosophical textbooks begin with the Greeks: Plato, Aristotle, etc. But look back even further, and there is evidence that Greek (and Iranian) philosophy was heavily infuenced from the earlier philosophies of India. Regardless of the historical origin, some of the Greek philosophers had a very clear understanding of Reality-as-such. They agreed with earlier Indian philosophies, as well as with Scientists of our time, that the world as we perceive it is of an illusionary nature. As Parmenides and Zeno pointed out, only what is Permanent and Unchanging is real. The rest is an illusion either experienced or created by our mind. Paramenides: "Being is, Non-Being is not."

We now know that all matter is energy. But we also know the we are aware of matter. All we have to do is to find out what Awareness is in its clear state of Being and, believe it or not, all of our questions are answered and all our of fears are dissolved. To get to this state of Being is the ultimate goal of all genuine spiritual exercise including Yoga.

So, Intellectual understanding of Beingness, as a result from studying Philosophy and Metaphysics, can lead to intellectual enlightening, while the practice of Yoga can lead to direct knowledge.
Any serious seeker who wishes to combine both - Theory and Practice - may benefit from a Jnana Yoga practice. Jnana Yoga, the yoga of knowledge, is practical Philosophy/Metaphysics probing the question "Who am I?".

1. A more modern interpretation of Metaphysics includes psychic phenomena in all its variations including parapsychology the scientific investigation of these phenomena.
2. Philosophy is a rational investigation into the nature of Being.

Related article: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Academic Philosophy

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