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I'm trying to explain the difference to a group, but cannot describe it myself.

Any analogy or anecdote will also help, in addition to the defining differences.

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How's this on ELU? – Kris Nov 11 '12 at 14:38

5 Answers 5

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Metaphysics is philosophical: it’s about explaining the fundamental nature of the world and what it means as humans to inhabit it. Spirituality, on the other hand, is experiential, and has more to do with spiritual practices and the development and discovery of the self.

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Spirituality is best defined as energy such as the wind; you can't see it, but you can feel it and see its actions as it blows through a tree and causes the leaves to move. Spirituality has no beginning or end; it just is. Everyone's concept of spirituality depends on their upbringing or the way they were taught to believe.

Faith and spirituality are very different; faith is something you believe, while spirituality is something that just is. Every religion has its own faith; spirituality has every religion.

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And what has that got to do with the question? – Chenmunka Nov 16 at 13:26
Hello, anonymous. Your answer uses most of its space for a discussion of the meaning of spiritual, and then briefly comments on the contrasting meaning of faith. But the poster's question asks about the difference between spiritual and metaphysical, a term that you don't address at all. Unless you bring metaphysical into the discussion, I don't think that your answer qualifies as sufficiently responsive to the poster's question. – Sven Yargs Nov 17 at 6:13

Iam glad am trying to answer...its a great word "metaphysics" which alone has made so much sound of discussion but reveals a great shift of knowledge for sure. Let us travel back to the future or travel forward to the past.. (yea u read correctly).my above line indicates a path and the goal of Existence,the existence of the fact,only fact, is termed to be metaphysical.Every thing we know spiritually leads to a fact,the fact is termed to be meta physical,even an emotion also is defined metaphysically but not emotionally,ex:food eaten gives energy to the body,is fact,is metaphysical fact,but eaten by chanting the name of god makes it spiritual,but still it makes spiritual is also can be analytically explained in metaphysical.metaphysical needs technology and experiments and sound practical proofs to define anything as a fact.observing a sound coming from mouth with physical ear is non metaphysical whereas observing the graph of the sound is metaphysical. i think the world has created more confusion again with different view points which drags the concept away from truth.Defining Truth as Truth with proof is metaphysical.

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Metaphysics and spirituality both deal with reality: that which is beyond the physical, the source of the universe. Reality, being permanent, is forever, whereas the physical world is time bound and impermanent.

Metaphysics looks at this subject logically without involving emotions or faith. It is more scientific in its approach than spirituality.

Spirituality is devotional and experiential. It accepts testimony of known enlightened people. Spirituality, in comparison to religion, is free flowing, more tolerant, open to relevant and related thoughts from all faiths and beliefs.

To sum up: metaphysics is purely knowledge based, while spirituality combines knowledge with devotion.

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Your answer is mostly sound, but the sentence which brings 'religion' into play is irrelevant in this context and highly debatable in any context. – StoneyB Nov 11 '12 at 13:48
Reality is beyond the physical? That sounds like a chopra-ism. – coleopterist Nov 11 '12 at 19:21
Reality or Truth is immutable therefore permanent. If it were physical then it would be subject to time & space and thus subjected to change and decay. It would not be Reality anymore. – VJ Kohli Nov 11 '12 at 22:24

"Metaphysical" is anything having to do with "metaphysics." "Metaphysics" is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world. In other words, it is trying to explain fundamental notions by which people understand the world including existence, the definition of object, property, space, time, causality, and possibility.

"Spiritual" refers to anything having to do with the "spirit", and refers to things that are intangible, but are spirit and soul. "Spiritual" may refer to abstract ideas like Love, hate, as well as spirit, soul, or faith, etc.

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