Metaphysics as a way of thinking suffers from confusion with superstition.
As I have noted before, superstition encompasses more than the narrow notion thrown around by the “educated” where a person has irrational beliefs about a relationship between an imagined cause and a perceived effect.
A major issue in terms of the misuse of the metaphysical is that folks-at-large will take whatever paucity of information they have and combine this with whatever bit of speculation that will allow them to comprise make-do convictions.
This is not thinking as metaphysics. Rather,
Partial information + certain conviction = superstitious answer.
The metaphysical by definition goes beyond the empirical. We can think of it as taking what we can demonstrate about nature up to this point and then going down a logical channel of thought from now/here. This can take us to a before or an origin (ARCHE) or to an after or an end (TELOS). In some systems, the origin and the end will be the same. In others, not so.
The safest route for metaphysical thinking might be compared to the old methods for navigating an ocean going vessel: get out on the water, go out far enough to put up sail, make better time in deeper waters, but do not go so far as to be away from sight of land and/or familiar channels. And never stop being vigilant for rocks on which the entire enterprise may shipwreck.
Most contemporary science proceeds thusly through experiment and observation, attempting to keep to the known territory while exploring outward to systematic variants that help make more sense of what we do not know.
This does not mean that science does not leap ahead at times by making unexpected discoveries. Simply that the rigorous systematic procedures keep us from becoming too wildly speculative. Nonetheless, insofar as a researcher goes beyond the known waters into the bays of probability, a brief metaphysical voyage is underway.
Metaphysics when it moves farther outward–from the probable to the possible to the nearly impossible–transforms into the kind of thinking that most folks more properly recognize as metaphysical. A contemplative exploration of imagination, such thinking cannot be the stringing together of incoherent possibilities and speculative explanations. As a way for thinking, metaphysics surveys the kinds of knowledge and information we have, seeking to avoid contradictions and to disclose profitable channels.
Demonstrable knowledge + uncertain information = metaphysical inquiry
Saying all of that, whether we use theoretical mathematics, expressionist poetry, or visual imagery, thinking as metaphysics requires that we practice the uses of our imagination in order to make the inquiry. We need only recognize the temptation to accept our theories and formulas, our metaphors and ciphers, as giving us absolute truths.
Here is an example by MRK…
The Flow looks at the supervening layers of reality that we can observe, from quarks to nucleons to atoms and beyond. The deeper we go into the foundations of reality the more it loses its form, eventually becoming a pure mathematical conception. The Flow visually imagines physical processes that we are unable to directly observe with any imaginable medium, while referring to modern physical theories and scientific visualisation processes. It alludes to ideas of digital physics, complexity and information theories as well as the concepts of universal Darwinism, emergence and supervenience. The Flow is Bohm’s holomovement, the universal flux.
These visualisations are not based on actual scientific data, but are visual representations of scientific theory. The aim is to challenge current scientific iconography by presenting a more complete picture of physical processes, based on current theory. The form and movement of these visualisations is generated by 3D computer simulations of particle systems, fluid/soft body dynamics and spherical harmonics. These simulations create an unpredictable dynamic motion that is recorded by a virtual camera, that refers back to the stochastic processes that drive complexity theory.
Using biomorphism to evoke a sense of life, the microscopic-biological visual language portrays these invisible entities as active organisms, as embryonic processes of reality and life. They are presented as a seamless stream of interacting information, each layer building the next in a continuous everchanging state of flux. We ourselves are made out of these interweaving layers of reality, which makes us informational entity complexes.
The Flow proposes a paradigm shift, from a fragmented understanding of reality to a conceptually unified viewpoint of the inner workings of the universe. Through this new viewpoint one can discover patterns within the stream of reality but also raise the question of whether reality stems from a single unified field, like the implicate order or a holographic projection. This viewpoint also allows us to postulate how this flow unfolds into increasingly complex levels of interaction and how it gives rise not only to genetic information but also to entire cellular systems, consciousness and culture.
via The Flow.