Metaphysics means beyond physics. The word ‘physics’ comes from the Greek word “phisikoi”, the study of nature. Therefore physics deals with the study of nature and the laws that govern them. However, nature is not all that exists and can be known, it is also not the absolute reality. On the contrary, it is an illusion, but not that it is not at all: it exists like a shadow or a dream. Physicist Eddington says, “The great difference between old and modern physics is that both the old and the new physics were dealing with shadow-symbols, but the new physics was forced to be aware of the fact that it was dealing with shadows and illusion, not reality.” He further states, “In the world of physics, we watch a shadow graph performance of familiar life. The shadow of my elbow rests on the shadow of the table as the shadow of the ink flows over the shadow of the paper.” The above statement of Eddington is a very high mystical realisation, as the mystic says that the whole of existence is like the reflection of an object on a lake. He calls this reflection “Maya”, that is, that which exists but not as an absolute reality depending on itself. The Absolute Reality is the substratum of the shadow or reflection.
The goal of the mystics is to merge in that Absolute Reality which they say is boundless Pure Consciousness – Sat-Chit-Ananda of the Upanishads – transcending time and space. Metaphysics is the science which leads us to the metaphysical existence, that is, beyond the physical existence which is a shadowy existence or as a dream in the Creator’s mind. When the atom was first discovered, it was thought to be the smallest indivisible particle constituting the building blocks of the universe. Then it was discovered that what was said about it was not true, for scientists discovered that the atoms could be further divided into still smaller particles (proton-neutron-electron). The electron which was thought to be a particle came out also as a wave, thus baffling the scientist’s mind. As time is going on, new particles are being discovered such as quarks, mesons, hadrons and many others. From this we may say that things are not only as we perceive and our eyes allow us to behold only one aspect of reality.
Science uses sophisticated apparatus and laboratories to discover an iota of the reality of the phenomenal world which is an illusion. Mystics use their mind as the instrument and the mind itself as laboratory. They begin their search with their mind which is the substratum of day-dreams as well as of night-dreams. They finally discover that beyond the mind is the underlying reality which is the essence, the cause and the stratum of all that is seen.
The world we see is only one facet of the existence of names, forms and colours, it is a three dimensional one. The world of elementary and fundamental particles form another dimension known to the eyes of physicists. There are many other worlds of different dimensions which coexist without interfering with and affecting one another. They are made of still subtler particles which science will perhaps come to discover in the future. Each of these subtle dimensions is populated by beings of different forms and levels of evolution. The Bermuda Triangle could be a door to a dimension subtler than ours. During astral voyages and near-death experiences, people have related very strange phenomena. It is very easy to say that all these are hallucinations. In deep meditation, there cannot be any hallucination, for then one goes beyond the conscious and subconscious mind.
Hallucination happens when the mind is unconscious; it is a mental illness, while meditation is full alertness and beyond the ordinary state of a disordered mind. Dream, being a creation of the mind, is a dimension different from the gross physical one. The story of “Alice in Wonderland” is an example of a subtle dimension of our existence. This story is normally symbolical in a very deep sense, though it is not possible here to reveal the complete truth behind it.
Advanced students of metaphysics know that however many dimensions may exist, they are all relative to one another. The ultimate dimension is dimensionless – contradictory indeed! Yet it is true. Or it can be said that the ultimate reality is beyond all dimensions. The genuine seeker should not be lured by the strangeness and marvels of the different dimensions of existence because they may hinder further evolution. The ultimate discovery should be the “SELF” or God. In the mind of God, there are infinite dimensions which cannot be known by even the greatest human mind. It is not a question of belief or disbelief, but of realisation. One day science will discover some dimensions subtler than the world of elementary and fundamental particles. Already the Kirlian device can see the “aura” of persons and objects, these being in a different and subtler dimension of the physical existence. Man cannot think of anything unless it is in existence.