Metaphysics

In the end physics will replace ethics just as metaphysics displaced theology. The modern statistical view of ethics contributes towards that.

One learns more metaphysics from a single temptation than from all the philosophers.

Ethical metaphysics is fundamentally an attempt, however disguised, to give legislative force to our own wishes.

We can make truth ours by actively modulating its inter-relations. This is the work of art; for reality is not based in the substance of things but in the principle of relationship. Truth is the infinite pursued by metaphysics; fact is the infinite pursued by science, while reality is the definition of the infinite which relates truth to the person. Reality is human; it is what we are conscious of, by which we are affected, that which we express.

Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly.

This divination of the spiritual in the things of sense, and which expresses itself I the things of sense, is precisely what we call Poetry. Metaphysics too pursues a spiritual prey, but in a very different formal object. Whereas metaphysics stands in the line of knowledge and of the contemplation of truth, poetry stands in the line of making and of the delight procured by beauty. The difference is an all-important one, and one that it would be harmful to disregard. Metaphysics snatches at the spiritual in an idea, by the most abstract intellection; poetry reaches it in the flesh, by the very point of the sense sharpened through intelligence... Metaphysics gives chase to essences and definitions, poetry to any flash of existence glittering by the way, and any reflection of an invisible order. Metaphysics isolates mystery in order to know it; poetry, thanks to the balances it constructs, handles and utilizes mystery as an unknown force.

Things are distinct not in their essence but in their appearance; in other words, in their relation to one to whom they appear. This is art, the truth of which is not in substance or logic, but in expression. Abstract truth may belong to science and metaphysics, but the world of reality belongs to art.

The culmination and fruit of literary artistic expression, and its final fields of pleasure for the human soul, are in metaphysics, including the mysteries of the spiritual world, the soul itself, and the question of immortal continuation of our identify.

Time and again, the passion for understanding has led to the illusion that man is able to comprehend the objective world rationally, by pure thought, without any empirical foundations - in short, by metaphysics.

Religion is the metaphysics of the masses.

Metaphysics, or the attempt to conceive the world as a whole by means of thought, has been developed, from the first, by the union and conflict of two very different human impulses, the one urging men towards mysticism, the other urging them towards science... But the greatest men who have been philosophers have felt the need both of science and mysticism: the attempt to harmonize the two was what made their life, and what always must, for all its arduous uncertainty, make philosophy, to some minds, a greater thing than either science or religion.

Religion should be disentangled as much as possible from history and authority and metaphysics, and made to rest honestly on one's feelings, on one's indomitable optimism and trust in life.

Metaphysics has for the real object of its investigation three ideas only: God, Freedom and Immortality.

Metaphysics begins and ends with God.

The test of real and vigorous thinking, the thinking which ascertains truths instead of dreaming dreams, is successful application to practice. Where that purpose does not exist, to give definiteness, precision, and an intelligible meaning to thought, it generates nothing better than the mystical metaphysics of the Pythagoreans or the Vedas.

The metaphysician looks at truth from within to without. That is why they clash. But realized souls who understand science as well as metaphysics find no difference at all. They see the parallelism between science and truth because they see the whole picture.

In the later nineteenth century the idea of progress became almost an article of faith. This conception was a piece of sheer metaphysics derived from evolutionary naturalism and foisted upon history by the temper of the age.

All parts of knowledge have their origin in metaphysics, and finally, perhaps, revolve into it.

Metaphysics consists of two parts, first, that which all men of sense already know, and second, that which they can never know.

When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, this is metaphysics.