Thursday, 3 June 2021

The One and the Many

Opposites reflect each other. Two apparently very different creeds are materialism which says that everything derives from matter and spiritual monism which maintains that everything, the world included, is spirit. Although not exclusively confined to these times and places, the first is a modern Western belief and the second an ancient Eastern one. Whilst opposites on the face of it, they actually have quite a lot in common in that both are reductive, boiling everything down to just one thing. At the end of the day neither leave room for the individual, for free will or for love, all of which being intimately connected. And that is why both must be rejected as adequate descriptions of life, what it is and why it is expressed in the way it is through variety, difference, intelligence and selfhood.

A wiser philosophy accepts the reality of both matter or the created world as one might think of it, and spirit. It sees the interaction between the two as bringing to birth something new which is the individual. Individuality and its expression is the reason for creation and the manifested universe. So, to deny or suppress or reject the individual is an anti-spiritual policy, a statement that might shock some of the mystically inclined who see the loss of the sense of a self as a consummation devoutly to be wished. However, the fact is that individuality is good but it can be corrupted and turn in on itself. It is this that is wrong and which defiles creation not the thing itself. Certainly, the individual must learn to go beyond itself and seek a union with God, the Supreme Self, but this is so that its individuality may be fulfilled not negated.

Evolution means increased differentiation. Everything material starts off from being just one thing, pure quantity, but then the evolutionary process starts as spirit is introduced into matter and through the combination of the two quality comes into play. Quality means inequality. That's what it is. The current obsession with equality, though often confused as deriving from a spiritual impulse, actually marks a desire to return to the undifferentiated ground and is, therefore, an involutionary thing, characteristic of a return to the infantile state of oneness with the Mother. We are called to go on to the Father which means becoming more individual not less so but we do this in the context of the reality of God or, as one might just as well say, in the context of reality. For God is reality and reality is God.

Any philosophy that says we are all one and leaves it at that is wrong. Any philosophy that says we are all separate and leaves it at that is also wrong. The truth is we are both. We are full individuals, unique, whole and free, but we are also one in God, and knowing this we become gods ourselves which means creative beings. Materialism would deny us real individuality and spiritual monism also denies us a unique self. Reject both of these philosophies as concoctions of the mind and see the truth as a far subtler thing which embraces everything and bestows on us both freedom and love.

1 comment:

Jorgen b said...

Another commonality between materialist and monism is lack of faith. Monists love to say creation ex nihilo is impossible. That lack of faith in God's power to create the foundation of monism.