Paranormal and Metaphysical - What is the Difference?
Because of the abstract nature of the words -- paranormal and metaphysical -- drawing a distinction between the two is difficult. The reason might be that the differences aren't so obvious. The prefix "para" means beside or beyond. When added to the word "normal," the prefix changes the word, "normal" to something beside or beyond normal. The prefix, "meta" means beyond or change, and when combined with the word, "physical," suggests something beyond the physical or a change in the physical.
Paranormal relates to anything supernatural or visibly beyond our observable human abilities. Paranormal subjects include hauntings and ghosts, extrasensory perception (ESP), automatic writing, psychic phenomena, numerology, the Tarot and numerous mysterious subjects not proven scientifically to exist or to be believable.
Investigation into the unknown includes testing for clairvoyance (the ability to perceive without the use of sight, sound, touch, taste or smell), telekinesis (the ability to move objects without touching them), spirit energy and more. The use of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) and EMF (Electromagnetic Field) detectors helps investigators attempt to prove the existence of all kinds of supernatural phenomena.
The study of metaphysics is more philosophical than is the study of paranormal activity and is concerned with the abstract and fundamental nature of reality. Metaphysics is about the purpose of life, and metaphysical students use dreams, meditation, study, intuition and diverse other methods of obtaining knowledge.
Broken down into various components, metaphysical studies include: Ontology, which studies the nature and existence of life; Cosmology, which deals with the nature of the universe -- the origin, structure, natural order, and harmony of the cosmos; and Epistemology, which studies knowledge and understanding. Unlike paranormal investigation, which can be undertaken by anybody with the proper tools and equipment, metaphysics is studied and practiced.
Metaphysics schools offer students degrees and even doctorates in divinity and spiritual counseling. Holistic healing falls within the parameters of metaphysics as well, and metaphysics students can learn about everything from herbs and their healing properties to dream analysis and anything else that falls within the "new-age" category. Metaphysical schools offer courses in everything from astrology basics to psychic skills, from witchcraft to shamanism, and from breathing to channeling. Subject matters overlap between the paranormal with the metaphysical. And to blur the edges of the paranormal with the metaphysical even more, metaphysics students can study the paranormal, which places paranormal under the umbrella of metaphysical.
So what is the major difference between paranormal and metaphysical? If you want to hunt ghosts, fight demons and videotape your experiences so that you can start your own ghost-hunting program, study the paranormal. If you are interested in developing your spirituality and your place in the world, study metaphysics. You can always learn about the paranormal through metaphysical studies.
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