Introduction to Metaphysics: Cosmology & Ontology

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Comparative Religion CORE 140

textbooks:
Pythagoreans corpus
Plato's works
neo-Platonic works (at least Enneads)

The Vedas (at least Upanishads)
or
Sefer Yetzira, some/all of Zohar

any other philosophical/sacred text(s)


Definition of Metaphysics[edit]

    Metaphysics ('Classical' Physics,) is the study of existence, truth, knowledge, etc., and metaphysics branches are cosmology ('classical/quantum' Physics) and ontology. Cosmology is the study of the creation & development (genesis,) of the universe, and ontology is the study of the nature of being, but actually 'be-ness.'

    Read Plato's Theaetetus, the rest of The Republic or at least the part about the soul and axis mundi, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Meno, Parmenides, and if you like review Timaeus.

If you are Eastern, read either the a little of the Vedas (at least the Gayatri mantra and some parts about the Rishis) and at least the principal Upanishads or the abhidharma or both; if you are Western read either the Sefer Yetzira and at least a little of the Zohar (at least the glossary) or the Pythagorean texts, and the rest of Plato's as well as neo-Platonic texts (at least Plotinus' Enneads.)

introduction to a cosmological idea for ontology[edit]

    As you should know from Plato's theory of forms, and "The Divided Line," he was a metaphysical monist, dualist, respectively, and similar things, none of which he was restricted to--he was a mathematician. The categories of the divided line may be called the ideal (thoughts but also forms beyond the mind) and the material (thoughts with subtle form but also things below the mind.) When divided again, they may also be called, firstly, the spiritual, which according to neo-Platonic Theosophists, is also soulful and both abstract and abstract-concrete mental, and secondly, the concrete mental to emotional and the ethereal to material.

That is 4 to 7 categories:

high spiritual (3)
human spiritual-soulful
mental-emotional
vital (2)

    This does deal with cosmology of the emanation of planes, but feel free to add more cosmological topics or some other ontological ones.

Essays or student work[edit]

Ontological Questions