Essay: Monistic &amp Monotheistic Concepts

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Monistic & Monotheistic Concepts

It is interesting to note how similar monism and monotheism are, although they advocate almost totally opposite viewpoints. In truth one could argue that each promotes the idea of unity from opposing viewpoints. This exactly is what makes the two directions as incompatible as they have proven to be over the centuries. Indeed, I would go even further and say that, at the heart of the dispute lies a fundamental fear on the part of the monotheist tradition. The monist view is in fact the earthly manifestation of what the monotheist hopes to achieve only beyond the gates of death. Monism is the already achieved unity with the God ideal, whereas the monotheist never truly achieves this even after death, although death is the closest it is possible to come to true unity with God.

In summary, the comparison between monism and monotheism can be seen in three main points. Firstly, monotheism stresses duality during the human lifetime on earth. There is nothing that the human being on earth can do to be truly at one with God. Monism on the other hand emphasizes the single reality of the God concept from which everything else flows. The point of approach for the former is then the fact that creation moves towards God, whereas in the second, creation flows away from God.

Secondly, the meaning in the life of the monotheist lies in the above-mentioned movement towards God, which makes death almost the reward of life. Death is viewed with anticipation as the final and true union with the God concept. For monism on the other hand, death is much less intense, and simply a part of the central reality from which all other realities flow. The above-mentioned fear lies in the fact that, without duality, there is no struggle and hence no central meaning to life for the monotheist. Therefore, monism entails for the monotheist a kind of fear.

Thirdly, the duality stressed by monotheism continues, perhaps ironically, beyond the point of death. The separate personality assigned to God enables his creation only to be with him, as opposed to being "one with" him. Creation can then never be in complete union with God from the monotheistic point-of-view. This is then perhaps the culmination of the fundamental fear relating to a lack of meaning in the monotheist life. In the monist life there is however always and fundamentally both a deep meaning and a fundamental unity with the God concept, whereas birth itself for the monotheist means separation from God. This is a separation that is never completely remedied, even in death, as a shown above.

At the heart of the monotheist fear then lies the fundamental point of separation not only between God and creation, but also between monism and monotheism. Monism assumes the unity of the God concept with the rest of creation. God is part of creation, and creation is part of the divine. The two, including humanity, are inseparable. For the monotheist on the other hand, the personality assigned to God precludes true unity with him. God is assumed to be a person by the monotheistic religions (Khan). This is true even of Islam, which Khan claims rests upon the true union with God without the benefit of an intermediary. As such, God is separate from his creation, but at the same time part of creation in a counseling capacity. This on the one hand provides a fundamental security, in that personal understanding and communication is possible between God and creature. On the other hand, and perhaps ironically, this is the very personality that precludes true unity. There is no possibility of imposing the human personality and unifying it completely with the God concept, as God already has his own personality. In contrast to this, monism insists upon the already existing unity with God, and uses this for the purpose of the above-mentioned security. The monotheist on the other hand cannot give up the struggle and the promise entailed in the God concept as separate personality. The fear involved in this relates to the possibility of an alternative death scenario than the perfect and blissful reunion with the God personality.

A number of counter-arguments may be… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Monistic &amp Monotheistic Concepts.  (2005, August 15).  Retrieved August 22, 2019, from

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