Recently I had the opportunity to speak with some other spiritual and metaphysical authors. The majority spoke of Metaphysics from a New Age, New Thought and Unitarian perspective. At some point I said “Well Metaphysics is pagan, and not based on Abrahamic doctrine” which to some degree all of these spiritual paths hold a connection to. ..uh oh.. did I start something!!
Thankfully most of the people, ok, there were about 14 people in this conversation and only 2 seemed offended by my comment. Others looked confused and question my claim. Others were curious and asked what I meant. So I began to explain.
While we associate the writings of Metaphysics with Aristotle, he didn’t create the concept nor was he the only one writing about it. You can read more about this in my book Pagan Metaphysics 101. But the early cultures around the globe were all pagan. Which seems to have come as a surprise to some people. They actually believed the society that gave us the Great Greek Philosophers were following early Christian teachings.
It was hard letting them down and putting a few facts into their assumptions, but it had to be done. Pythagoras established the Pythagoras Brotherhood (a philosophical society that discussed life, the universe, morals and much more.) in 530B.C. That would be 30years before the completed Hebrew Manuscripts. And Pythagoras is said to have created this Brotherhood late in his life, about the time he was 50 years old. So presumably the concepts within metaphysics were part of his life and understanding long before he established the brotherhood. “Metaphysics” was coined in late 300’s B.C. by Aristotle. It wasn’t until 200 B.C. when the completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts were completed. These manuscripts contain The 39 Old Testament Books AND 14 Apocrypha Books of the earliest version of the Torah. This happened nearly 100 years after Aristotle penned his writings. Say what?!
According to the English Bible History Article & Timeline study by author & editor: John L. Jeffcoat III, you can get a sense of what we’re talking about in a historical perspective. Click here and you can find the complete Timeline of the history of the Bible by Mr. Jeffcoat.
- 500 BC: Completion of All Original Hebrew Manuscripts which make up The 39 Books of the Old Testament.
- 200 BC: Completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts which contain The 39 Old Testament Books AND 14 Apocrypha Books.
- 1st Century AD: Completion of All Original Greek Manuscripts which make up The 27 Books of the New Testament.
- 315 AD: Athenasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, identifies the 27 books of the New Testament which are today recognized as the canon of scripture.
- The First Council of Nicaea (read more on Wikipedia) was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325.
- 382 AD: Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Manuscripts Produced which contain All 80 Books (39 Old Test. + 14 Apocrypha + 27 New Test).
- 500 AD: Scriptures have been Translated into Over 500 Languages.
- 600 AD: LATIN was the Only Language Allowed for Scripture.
- 995 AD: Anglo-Saxon (Early Roots of English Language) Translations of The New Testament Produced.
- 1384 AD: Wycliffe is the First Person to Produce a (Hand-Written) manuscript Copy of the Complete Bible; All 80 Books.
What seemed to astonish some of these folks even further was when I said, pagans are discussed in the bible from the very beginning in Genesis. What? Yeah. Let me explain.
“Cain left the presence of Yahweh and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Now Eden, according to (Gen. 2:14-15), was situated at the source of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, apparently right where Lake Van is now, in Turkey. “East of Eden,” therefore, would probably be along the shores of the Caspian Sea, right in the Indo-European heartland. Cain settled there, among the people of Nod, and married one of the women of that country. Here, for the first time, is specifically mentioned the “other people” who are not of the lineage of Adam and Eve, i.e: the Pagans.”
~ Oberon Zell’s “We are the other people“.
I’m not sure why some people think it’s bad thing for Metaphysics to be based in Pagan philosophy. But at least we should honor its roots and the great philosophers around the world that created it, formed it, fashioned it and helped to evolve its perspectives and concepts throughout time.
Some believe Metaphysics is based on Buddhism, and there maybe influences there as well. But keep in mind that by definition, Buddhism is also pagan. Other believe that it’s based on Hindu teachings and again, there are probably influences there as well. But guess what, yep..they’re classified as pagan too. Others believe the concepts are based on Norse Shamanism, or Celtic Shamanism, or any number of shamanistic paths around the world. After all there are a great many of these. And again, they’re all pagan.
By definition Pagan is any religion that does not follow Abrahamic doctrine. Basically the stories of the Old Testament. That’s a huge category of religions that include all brands of Shamanism, Buddhism and Hinduism and a whole lot more. They are not “Christ Consciousness” based, because they have no stores of Christ. They are not based in Christos energy, again because there is not Christ base connection. They are plain and simple, pagan.
Across the globe all pagan beliefs share a great many of the same concepts, though they each have a different word for various disciplines. Each one has a principle of Karma, Reincarnation, Energy, Connection to each other and to the Divine. Each one sees the Divine in a similar way. Not something that is solely outside of ourselves, but part of our very nature and being. We are connected and interconnected together, whither or not we believe that we are. And each one has been willing to evolve their understandings of Us, the Universe and Everything as we as species have learned and expanded our views.
The evolution perspective is one of the things I love most about my brand of pagan roots of Metaphysics. It is a continuation of Physics. It’s not at odds with science or discovery, but rather it’s an extension, an expanded view of the world that physics cannot answer at this time. But as physics evolves and as we learn more about the Universe we live in, we have discovered that science can prove the reality of some of our basic understandings from a metaphysical perspective.
In the past few decades, Physics has proven that energy doesn’t die. Conservation of energy is a fundamental axiom of science. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can’t be created or destroyed. It can only change forms. (Wikipedia: Conservation of energy).
Metaphysics has long suggested we live in a multidimensional universe. The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of infinite or finite possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them. (Wikipedia: Multiverse).
Metaphysics has long stated that we are part of the greater Divine Universe because we are born from the Universe. Today Science tires to make this concept sound exciting to entice people to learn more by saying “We are made of stardust”. No one has explained this understanding of physics better than Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Here’s a video that has inspired me to understand how beautiful this idea really is.
The Most Astounding Fact – Neil deGrasse Tyson – on YouTube.
We can debate, we can discuss, we can share ideas and concepts on all levels of life, spirituality and physics. But in having these discussions, we must also hold the origins of these perspectives with respect. Metaphysics is based in pagan understandings because Metaphysics IS pagan!
- Five Reasons You Won’t Die – An article with some great links to explain energy.
- 5 Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse.
© 2014 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.