Monism

Monism

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Monism is any philosophical view which holds that there is unity in a given field of inquiry
Inquiry
An inquiry is any process that has the aim of augmenting knowledge, resolving doubt, or solving a problem. A theory of inquiry is an account of the various types of inquiry and a treatment of the ways that each type of inquiry achieves its aim.-Deduction:...

. Accordingly, some philosophers may hold that the universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 is one rather than dualistic
Dualism
Dualism denotes a state of two parts. The term 'dualism' was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse but has been diluted in general or common usages. Dualism can refer to moral dualism, Dualism (from...

 or pluralistic
Pluralism (philosophy)
Pluralism is a term used in philosophy, meaning "doctrine of multiplicity", often used in opposition to monism and dualism . The term has different connotations in metaphysics and epistemology...

. Monisms may be theologically syncretic by proposing that there is one God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 who has many manifestations in the diverse religious traditions.

Philosophical monism


Monism in philosophy can be defined according to three kinds:
  1. Idealism
    Idealism
    In philosophy, idealism is the family of views which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing...

    , phenomenalism, or mentalistic monism which holds that only mind
    Mind
    The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

     is real.
  2. Neutral monism
    Neutral monism
    Neutral monism, in philosophy, is the metaphysical view that the mental and the physical are two ways of organizing or describing the same elements, which are themselves "neutral," that is, neither physical nor mental. This view denies that the mental and the physical are two fundamentally...

    , which holds that both the mental and the physical can be reduced to some sort of third substance, or energy.
  3. Physicalism
    Physicalism
    Physicalism is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things...

     or materialism
    Materialism
    In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

    , which holds that only the physical is real, and that the mental or spiritual can be reduced
    Reduction (philosophy)
    In philosophy, reduction is the process by which one object, property, concept, theory, etc., is shown to be explicable in terms of another, lower level, entity...

     to the physical.

Certain other positions are hard to pigeonhole into the above categories, see links below. Moreover, these positions do not provide a definition of what does it mean to be "real".

Ancient Western philosophers


The following pre-Socratic philosophers
Pre-Socratic philosophy
Pre-Socratic philosophy is Greek philosophy before Socrates . In Classical antiquity, the Presocratic philosophers were called physiologoi...

 described reality as being monistic:
  • Thales
    Thales
    Thales of Miletus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Miletus in Asia Minor, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece. Many, most notably Aristotle, regard him as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition...

    : Water.
  • Anaximander
    Anaximander
    Anaximander was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who lived in Miletus, a city of Ionia; Milet in modern Turkey. He belonged to the Milesian school and learned the teachings of his master Thales...

    : Apeiron (meaning 'the undefined infinite'). Reality is some, one thing, but we cannot know what.
  • Anaximenes
    Anaximenes of Miletus
    Anaximenes of Miletus was an Archaic Greek Pre-Socratic philosopher active in the latter half of the 6th century BC. One of the three Milesian philosophers, he is identified as a younger friend or student of Anaximander. Anaximenes, like others in his school of thought, practiced material monism...

    : Air.
  • Heraclitus
    Heraclitus
    Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom...

    : Change, symbolized by fire. (in that everything is in constant flux).
  • Parmenides
    Parmenides
    Parmenides of Elea was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Italy. He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy. The single known work of Parmenides is a poem, On Nature, which has survived only in fragmentary form. In this poem, Parmenides...

    : Being. Reality is an unmoving perfect sphere, unchanging, undivided. We say there are things that exist and things that don't exist; Parmenides wrote that nothing doesn't exist, only existence does.


And post-Socrates:
  • Neopythagorians such as Apollonius of Tyana
    Apollonius of Tyana
    Apollonius of Tyana was a Greek Neopythagorean philosopher from the town of Tyana in the Roman province of Cappadocia in Asia Minor. Little is certainly known about him...

     centered their cosmologies on the Monad
    Monad (Greek philosophy)
    Monad , according to the Pythagoreans, was a term for Divinity or the first being, or the totality of all beings, Monad being the source or the One meaning without division....

     or One.
  • Stoics, like Spinoza later, taught that there is only one substance, identified as God.
  • Middle Platonism under such works as Numenius
    Numenius of Apamea
    Numenius of Apamea was a Greek philosopher, who lived in Apamea in Syria and flourished during the latter half of the 2nd century AD. He was a Neopythagorean and forerunner of the Neoplatonists.- Philosophy :...

     express the Universe emanating from the Monad
    Monad
    -Philosophy:*Monad a term meaning "unit" used variously by ancient philosophers from the Pythagoreans to Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus to signify a variety of entities from a genus to God....

     or One.
  • Neoplatonism
    Neoplatonism
    Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

     is Monistic. Plotinus
    Plotinus
    Plotinus was a major philosopher of the ancient world. In his system of theory there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. His teacher was Ammonius Saccas and he is of the Platonic tradition...

     taught that there was an ineffable transcendent God, 'The One,' of which subsequent realities were emanations. From The One emanates the Divine Mind (Nous
    Nous
    Nous , also called intellect or intelligence, is a philosophical term for the faculty of the human mind which is described in classical philosophy as necessary for understanding what is true or real, very close in meaning to intuition...

    ), the Cosmic Soul (Psyche
    Psyche (psychology)
    The word psyche has a long history of use in psychology and philosophy, dating back to ancient times, and has been one of the fundamental concepts for understanding human nature from a scientific point of view. The English word soul is sometimes used synonymously, especially in older...

    ), and the World (Cosmos
    Cosmos
    In the general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from the Greek term κόσμος , meaning "order" or "ornament" and is antithetical to the concept of chaos. Today, the word is generally used as a synonym of the word Universe . The word cosmos originates from the same root...

    ).

Monism, pantheism, and panentheism


Following a long and still current tradition H.P. Owen
Huw Owen
Huw Parri Owen was a Welsh theologian, writer and academic.-Life:Owen was born on 30 December 1926 in Cardiff and was educated at Cardiff High School and Jesus College, Oxford, where he studied Literae Humaniores and Theology...

 (1971: 65) claimed that
"Pantheists are ‘monists’...they believe that there is only one Being, and that all other forms of reality are either modes (or appearances) of it or identical with it."


Although almost all pantheists are monists, some pantheists may also be not-monists, but undeniably monists were the most famous pantheisms as that of Stoics, Plotinus
Plotinus
Plotinus was a major philosopher of the ancient world. In his system of theory there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. His teacher was Ammonius Saccas and he is of the Platonic tradition...

 and Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza
Baruch de Spinoza and later Benedict de Spinoza was a Dutch Jewish philosopher. Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death...

. Exclusive Monists believe that the universe, the "God" of Naturalistic pantheism
Naturalistic pantheism
Naturalistic pantheism is a naturalistic form of pantheism that encompasses feelings of reverence and belonging towards nature and the wider universe, but is realist and embraces rationalism and the scientific method...

, simply does not exist. In addition, monists can be Deists
Deism
Deism in religious philosophy is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world, without the need for organized religion, can determine that the universe is the product of an all-powerful creator. According to deists, the creator does not intervene in human affairs or suspend the...

, Pandeists
Pandeism
Pandeism or Pan-Deism , is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism Pandeism or Pan-Deism (from and meaning "God" in the sense of deism), is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of...

, Theists
Theism
Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe....

 or Panentheists
Panentheism
Panentheism is a belief system which posits that God exists, interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it...

; believing in a monotheistic
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

 God that is omnipotent and all-pervading, and both transcendent and immanent. There are monist pantheists and panentheists in Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

, Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 (particularly in Advaita and Vishistadvaita), Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 (monistic panentheism is especially found in Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

 and Hasidic philosophy
Hasidic philosophy
Hasidic philosophy or Hasidus , alternatively transliterated as Hassidism, Chassidism, Chassidut etc. is the teachings, interpretations of Judaism, and mysticism articulated by the modern Hasidic movement...

), and in Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 (among the Sufis, especially the Bektashi
Bektashi
Bektashi Order or Bektashism is an Islamic Sufi order founded in the 13th century by the Persian saint Haji Bektash Veli. In addition to the spiritual teachings of Haji Bektash Veli the order was significantly influenced during its formative period by both the Hurufis as well as the...

).

While pantheism means all things are identical to God, panentheism means God is in all things, neither identical to, nor totally separate from all things. Such a concept, some may argue, is more compatible with God as personal while not barring a bridge between God and creation. Paul Tillich
Paul Tillich
Paul Johannes Tillich was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. Tillich was one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century...

 has argued for such a concept within Christian theology, as has liberal
Liberal Christianity
Liberal Christianity, sometimes called liberal theology, is an umbrella term covering diverse, philosophically and biblically informed religious movements and ideas within Christianity from the late 18th century and onward...

 biblical scholar Marcus Borg
Marcus Borg
Marcus J. Borg is an American Biblical scholar and author. He is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, holds a DPhil degree from Oxford University and is Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture, an endowed chair, at Oregon State University, from which he retired in 2007...

 and mystical
Christian mysticism
Christian mysticism refers to the development of mystical practices and theory within Christianity. It has often been connected to mystical theology, especially in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions...

 theologian Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox (priest)
Matthew Fox is an American priest and theologian. Formerly a member of the Dominican order within the Roman Catholic Church, Fox is now a member of the Episcopal Church....

, an Episcopal priest. See Creation Spirituality.

Hinduism


Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 is a primary proponent of Monism. In the Hindu religion, Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

 (Devanāgarī: ब्रह्मन् bráhman) is the eternal, unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything beyond in this Universe. The nature of Brahman is described as transpersonal, personal and impersonal by different philosophical schools and the Brahman religious belief is just seen as different paths to the one God. This concept of Brahman explains the prevalence of Monism in Hinduism, because Brahman is considered to be all that exists and thus everything in the universe including the universe itself is considered a manifestation of Brahman.

Monism is found in the Nasadiya Sukta
Nasadiya Sukta
The Nasadiya Sukta is the 129th hymn of the 10th Mandala of the Rigveda. It is concerned with cosmology and the origin of the universe. It is known for its skepticism...

 of the Rigveda
Rigveda
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

, which speaks of the One
Ekam
Ekam Tamil: - "the supreme oneness") is the term used in Akilathirattu Ammanai, the holy book of Ayyavazhi, to represent The Ultimate Oneness. In Thiruvasakam-2 it was stated that it was from this Ekam that all objects, including the separate Godheads, Devas and asuras, of the universe formed...

 being-non-being that 'breathed without breath'. The first system in Hinduism that unequivocally explicated absolute monism was the non-dualist philosophy of Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

 as expounded by Shankara. In short, Advaita declares - All is Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

. It is part of the six Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 systems of philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, based on the Upanishads, and posits that the ultimate monad is a formless, ineffable divine ground of all being.

Vishishtadvaita
Vishishtadvaita
Vishishtadvaita Vedanta is a sub-school of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy, the other major sub-schools of Vedānta being Advaita, Dvaita, and Achintya-Bheda-Abheda. VishishtAdvaita is a non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy...

, qualified monism, is from the school of Ramanuja
Ramanuja
Ramanuja ; traditionally 1017–1137, also known as Ramanujacharya, Ethirajar , Emperumannar, Lakshmana Muni, was a theologian, philosopher, and scriptural exegete...

. Shuddhadvaita
Shuddhadvaita
Shuddadvaita is the "purely non-dual" philosophy propounded by Vallabhacharya , the founding philosopher and guru of the or , a Hindu Vaishnava tradition focused on the worship of Krishna. Vallabhacharya's pure form philosophy is different from Advaita...

, in-essence monism, is the school of Vallabha. Dvaitadvaita
Dvaitadvaita
Dvaitadvaita was proposed by Nimbarka, a Vaishnava Philosopher who hailed from Andhra Region. Nimbarka’s philosophical position is known as Dvaitadvaita . The categories of existence, according to him, are three, i.e., Chit, acit, and Isvara...

, differential monism, is a school founded by Nimbarka
Nimbarka
Nimbarka , is known for propagating the Vaishnava Theology of Dvaitadvaita, duality in unity. According to scholars headed by Prof. Roma Bose, he lived in the 13th Century, on the assumption that Śrī Nimbārkācārya was the author of the work Madhvamukhamardana...

. Dvaita
Dvaita
Dvaita is a school of Vedanta founded by Shri Madhvacharya....

, dualism
Dualism
Dualism denotes a state of two parts. The term 'dualism' was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse but has been diluted in general or common usages. Dualism can refer to moral dualism, Dualism (from...

, is a school founded by Madhvacharya
Madhvacharya
Madhvācārya was the chief proponent of Tattvavāda "Philosophy of Reality", popularly known as the Dvaita school of Hindu philosophy. It is one of the three most influential Vedānta philosophies. Madhvācārya was one of the important philosophers during the Bhakti movement. He was a pioneer in...

 is probably the only Vedantic System which is opposed to all types of monism. It believes that God is eternally different from souls and matter in both form and essence. All Vaishnava schools are panentheistic and view the universe as part of Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

 or Narayana
Narayana
Narayana or Narayan or Naraina is an important Sanskrit name for Vishnu, and in many contemporary vernaculars a common Indian name. Narayana is also identified as the original man, Purusha. The Puranas present divergent views on Narayana...

, but see a plurality of souls and substances within Brahman
Brahman
In Hinduism, Brahman is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe. Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead which is the Divine Ground of all being...

. Monistic theism, which includes the concept of a personal God as a universal
Universality (philosophy)
In philosophy, universalism is a doctrine or school claiming universal facts can be discovered and is therefore understood as being in opposition to relativism. In certain religions, universality is the quality ascribed to an entity whose existence is consistent throughout the universe...

, omnipotent Supreme Being
Supreme Being
The term Supreme Being is often defined simply as "God", and it is used with this meaning by theologians of many religious faiths, including, but not limited to, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Deism. However, the term can also refer to more complex or philosophical interpretations of the...

 who is both immanent
Immanence
Immanence refers to philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine presence, in which the divine is seen to be manifested in or encompassing of the material world. It is often contrasted with theories of transcendence, in which the divine is seen to be outside the material world...

 and transcendent
Transcendence (religion)
In religion transcendence refers to the aspect of God's nature which is wholly independent of the physical universe. This is contrasted with immanence where God is fully present in the physical world and thus accessible to creatures in various ways...

, is prevalent within many other schools of Hinduism as well.

Buddhism


Buddhist philosophy is generally suspicious of ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

. The Buddha himself, and some of his prominent disciples such as Nagarjuna
Nagarjuna
Nāgārjuna was an important Buddhist teacher and philosopher. Along with his disciple Āryadeva, he is credited with founding the Mādhyamaka school of Mahāyāna Buddhism...

, discouraged ontological theorizing for its own sake.

According to the Pali Canon
Pāli Canon
The Pāli Canon is the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pāli language. It is the only completely surviving early Buddhist canon, and one of the first to be written down...

, both pluralism (naanatta) and monism (ekatta) are speculative views
View (Buddhism)
View or position is a central idea in Buddhism. In Buddhist thought, in contrast with the commonsense understanding, a view is not a simple, abstract collection of propositions, but a charged interpretation of experience which intensely shapes and affects thought, sensation, and action...

. A Theravada
Theravada
Theravada ; literally, "the Teaching of the Elders" or "the Ancient Teaching", is the oldest surviving Buddhist school. It was founded in India...

 commentary notes that the former is similar to or associated with nihilism (ucchedavada), and the latter is similar to or associated with eternalism (sassatavada
Sassatavada
Sassatavada is a kind of thinking rejected by the Buddha in the nikayas . One example of it is the belief that the individual has an unchanging Self. Views of this kind were held at the Buddha's time by a variety of groups....

). See middle way
Middle way
The Middle Way or Middle Path is the descriptive term that Siddhartha Gautama used to describe the character of the path he discovered that led to liberation. It was coined in the very first teaching that he delivered after his enlightenment...

.

Among the Madhyamaka
Madhyamaka
Madhyamaka refers primarily to a Mahāyāna Buddhist school of Buddhist philosophy systematized by Nāgārjuna. Nāgārjuna may have arrived at his positions from a desire to achieve a consistent exegesis of the Buddha's doctrine as recorded in the āgamas...

 school of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, the ultimate nature of the world is described as emptiness, which is inseparable from sensorial objects or anything else. That appears to be a monist position, but the Madhyamaka views - including variations like Prasangika and Yogacara
Yogacara
Yogācāra is an influential school of Buddhist philosophy and psychology emphasizing phenomenology and ontology through the interior lens of meditative and yogic practices. It developed within Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism in about the 4th century CE...

 and the more modern shentong
Shentong
Shentong is a philosophical sub-school found in Tibetan Buddhism. Its adherents generally hold that the nature of mind, the substratum of the mindstream, is "empty" of 'other' , i.e., empty of all qualities other than an inherent, ineffable nature...

 (which is sometimes criticized as stating the existence of an absolute) Tibetan position - will refrain from asserting any ultimately existent entity. They instead deconstruct any detailed or conceptual assertions about ultimate existence as resulting in absurd consequences. The doctrine of emptiness is also found in earlier Theravada Buddhist literature.

In Soto Zen teaching, it is said that "All is One and All is Different." Since non-dualism does not recognize a dualism between Oneness and Difference, or even between dualism and non-dualism, it is difficult to state the meaning of this doctrine. All discussion of this teaching by Soto Zen masters falls under the Buddhist concept of skill in means, which is to say, not literally correct, but suitable for leading others to the Truth. Chinese Soto (Cao-Dong) master Tozan (Tung Shan
Tung Shan
Tung Shan can refer to:*Medieval Chinese Zen teacher Tung-shan Liang-chieh;*Tung Shan , a hill in Hong Kong....

, Dongshan) wrote the Verses of the Five Ranks
Verses of the Five Ranks
The Five Ranks, by Chinese Soto master Tung-shan, are fundamental to Sōtō and Rinzai Zen teaching, expressing the fundamental non-dualism of Buddhist teaching, which rejects the duality of dualism and non-dualism...

 (of the Ideal and the Actual), which is also important as a set of koans in the Rinzai school. Dongshan describes the Fifth Rank in part thus:

Unity Attained:

Who dares to equal him

Who falls into neither being nor non-being!

Shih-t'ou Hsi-ch'ien's poem "The Harmony of Difference and Sameness" Sandokai
Sandokai
The Sandōkai is a poem by the eighth Chinese Zen ancestor Shitou Xiqian and a fundamental text of the Sōtō school of Zen, chanted daily in temples throughout the world.-Title:...

 is an important early expression of Zen Buddhism and is chanted in Sōtō temples to this day. Another poem of Tung-shan Liang-chieh on these and related themes, "The Song of the Jewel Mirror Awareness", is also chanted in Sōtō temples daily.

Other expressions of this teaching include the koan:

A disciple asked, "What is the difference between the enlightened and the unenlightened man?"

The Master replied, "The unenlightened man sees a difference, but the enlightened man does not."

and Dogen
Dogen
Dōgen Zenji was a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher born in Kyōto, and the founder of the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan after travelling to China and training under the Chinese Caodong lineage there...

 Zenji's personal koan, "Why are training and enlightenment differentiated, since the Truth is universal?" (Fukanzazengi, Instructions for Meditation)

Sikhism





Christianity


Much of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 strongly maintains the Creator-creature distinction as fundamental. Many Christians maintain that God created the universe ex nihilo
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

 and not from himself, nor within himself, so that the creator is not to be confused with creation, but rather transcends
Transcendence (religion)
In religion transcendence refers to the aspect of God's nature which is wholly independent of the physical universe. This is contrasted with immanence where God is fully present in the physical world and thus accessible to creatures in various ways...

 it (metaphysical dualism)(cf. Genesis). Even the more immanent concepts and theologies are to be defined together with God's omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience, due to God's desire for intimate contact with his own creation (cf. Acts 17:27) Another use of the term "monism" is in Christian anthropology
Christian anthropology
In the context of Christian theology, theological anthropology refers to the study of the human as it relates to God. It differs from the social science of anthropology, which primarily deals with the comparative study of the physical and social characteristics of humanity across times and...

 to refer to the innate nature of humankind as being holistic, as usually opposed to bipartite
Bipartite (theology)
In Christian theology and anthropology, bipartite refers to the view that a human being is a composite of two distinct components, material and immaterial; for example, body and soul...

 and tripartite
Tripartite (theology)
In Christian theology, the tripartite viewpoint holds that man is a composite of three distinct components: body, soul and spirit. It is less popular than the bipartite view, where "soul" and "spirit" are taken as different terms for the same entity....

 views.

While some might say the Christian metaphysics are dualistic in that they describe the Creator's transcendence of creation, they reject radical dualism
Dualism
Dualism denotes a state of two parts. The term 'dualism' was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse but has been diluted in general or common usages. Dualism can refer to moral dualism, Dualism (from...

 such as the idea that God is eternally struggling with other equal powers such as Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

 (cf Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

 14:30). In On Free Choice of the Will
De libero arbitrio (Augustine)
De libero arbitrio is a book by Augustine of Hippo about the freedom of will. The bishop wrote it in three volumes, one 387-389 in Roma and the other two between 391 and 395 in Africa....

, Augustine
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

 argued, in the context of the problem of evil, that evil is not the opposite of good, but rather merely the absence of good, something that does not have existence in itself. Likewise, C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

 described evil as a "parasite" in Mere Christianity
Mere Christianity
Mere Christianity is a theological book by C. S. Lewis, adapted from a series of BBC radio talks made between 1941 and 1944, while Lewis was at Oxford during World War II...

, as he viewed evil as something that cannot exist without good to provide it with existence. Lewis went on to argue against dualism from the basis of moral absolutism
Moral absolutism
Moral absolutism is an ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them. Thus stealing, for instance, might be considered to be always immoral, even if done to promote some other good , and even if...

, and rejected the dualistic notion that God and Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

 are opposites, arguing instead that God has no equal, hence no opposite. Lewis rather viewed Satan as the opposite of Michael the archangel
Michael (archangel)
Michael , Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; , Mikhaḗl; or Míchaël; , Mīkhā'īl) is an archangel in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael...

. Due to this, Lewis instead argued for a more limited type of dualism. Other theologians, such as Greg Boyd, have argued in more depth that the Biblical authors held a "limited dualism", meaning that God and Satan do engage in real battle, but only due to free will given by God, for the duration God allows.

In Catholic and Orthodox Christianity
Orthodox Christianity
The term Orthodox Christianity may refer to:* the Eastern Orthodox Church and its various geographical subdivisions...

, while human beings are not ontologically identical with the Creator, they are nonetheless capable with uniting with his Divine Nature via theosis
Theosis
In Christian theology, divinization, deification, making divine or theosis is the transforming effect of divine grace. This concept of salvation is historical and fundamental for Christian understanding that is prominent in the Eastern Orthodox Church and also in the Catholic Church, and is a...

. In addition to this supernatural union, St. John of the Cross says, "it must be known that God dwells and is present substantially in every soul, even in that of the greatest sinner in the world, and this union is natural." St. Julian of Norwich, while maintaining the orthodox duality of Creator and creature, nonetheless speaks of God as "the true Father and true Mother" of all natures; thus, he indwells them substantially and thus preserves them from annihilation, as without this sustaining indwelling everything would cease to exist.

Some Christian theologians are avowed monists, such as Paul Tillich
Paul Tillich
Paul Johannes Tillich was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. Tillich was one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century...

 and Spinoza. Since God is He "in whom we live and move and have our being" (Book of Acts 17.28), it follows that everything that has being partakes in God. Dualism with regard to God and creation also barred the possibility of a mystical union with God, as John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 rejected, according to Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

 in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Such a dualism also leads to the problematic position of positing God as a particular being the existence of which can be argued for or against, failing to recognize God as the ground and origin of being itself, as in Acts 17, or in the Hashem, YHWH, meaning "He causes to come into being." Such a view was called by Tillich panentheism: God is in all things, neither identical to, nor totally separate from, all things. This understanding would be further supported by that understanding of the proclamation of the kingdom of God
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is a foundational concept in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The term "Kingdom of God" is found in all four canonical gospels and in the Pauline epistles...

, in which it is proclaimed "on earth as it is in heaven." (Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 6:10) Such an understanding of the kingdom implies a new reality in which old dichotomies between, for example, the sacred and the profane, the temporal and the eternal, body and soul, absolutism and relativism, are overcome. All things are filled with God's Spirit (Epistle to the Romans
Epistle to the Romans
The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, often shortened to Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament. Biblical scholars agree that it was composed by the Apostle Paul to explain that Salvation is offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ...

 8:11), so that in this new creation God is "all in all" (I Corinthians 15.28; Ephesians 1.23).

Eastern and Western differences over Monism


Monism is a form of an epistemological idealism
Epistemological idealism
Epistemological idealism is a subjectivist position in epistemology that holds that what one knows about an object exists only in one's mind. It is opposed to epistemological realism.Epistemological idealism can mean one of two unrelated positions:...

, which from a Hellenic perspective leads to the concept that all is in and of the human mind or consciousness (nous). Therefore in some forms of Hellenic philosophical idealism, God is in the mind, of the mind (intrinsic) and not a real objective being. This is called a form of subjective or modal interpretation of God like the modal formations contained in Aristotle's De Interpretatione. Aristotle opposed monism and idealism with his own concept of reducing everything to a single concept (called metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

). The process of uniting (unity) all to a single 'thing' (hen
Henotheism
Henotheism is the belief and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities...

) as a form of salvation is called henosis
Henosis
Henosis is the word for "oneness," "union," or "unity" in classical Greek, and is spelled identically in modern Greek where "Enosis" is particulary connected with the modern political "Unity" movement to unify Greece and Cyprus....

. Henosis teaches that man is God (in that mankind has the concept of God intrinsic to consciousness and God can be grasp by thought or rational contemplation).

Neoplatonic philosophy teaches Henology
Henology
Henology is the philosophical account or discourse on "The One" that appears most notably in the philosophy of Plotinus. Reiner Schürmann describes it as a "metaphysics of radical transcendence" that extends beyond being and intellection...

 (via Plotinus
Plotinus
Plotinus was a major philosopher of the ancient world. In his system of theory there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. His teacher was Ammonius Saccas and he is of the Platonic tradition...

) that the first hypostasis or the monad by which all things can reduce their essence, substance or being to is called dunamis
Dunamis
In philosophy, Potentiality and Actuality are principles of a dichotomy which Aristotle used throughout his philosophical works to analyze motion, causality, ethics, and physiology in his Physics, Metaphysics, Ethics and De Anima .The concept of potentiality, in this context, generally refers to...

 (potentia in Latin) or force which emanated the second hypostasis an energy (actus) or demiurge
Demiurge
The demiurge is a concept from the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy for an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. The term was subsequently adopted by the Gnostics...

 (mind or nous as the creator) then the creator hypostasis emanated the soul or spirit. This reverses Aristotle's mode from Energy (act or action) first and Dunamis, force or motion second, making his Unmoved Mover
Unmoved mover
The unmoved mover is a philosophical concept described by Aristotle as a primary cause or "mover" of all the motion in the universe. As is implicit in the name, the "unmoved mover" is not moved by any prior action...

 energy or (actus in Latin) static and the second reality potential or motion. Each teaching a sequential modalistic manifestation of the material world via a philosophical "concept" called God (theos). Supernatural in the East is that which is uncreated.

Energies are uncreated and therefore it is critical to make a distinction between God and his Energies unlike in Pagan Philosophy. Since in Pagan Philosophy "energies" are Gods (Love
Aphrodite
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.Her Roman equivalent is the goddess .Historically, her cult in Greece was imported from, or influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia....

, Wisdom
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

, Intuitivism
Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

 and Memory
Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne , source of the word mnemonic, was the personification of memory in Greek mythology. This titaness was the daughter of Gaia and Uranus and the mother of the nine Muses by Zeus:* Calliope * Clio * Erato...

). Gregory Palamas in his defense of Hesychasm accused Barlaam of treating God conceptually this way putting pagan philosophers over the saints and prophets who through revelation and not logical thought came to know God. The knowledge of God by the Eastern Orthodox church is not arrived at by a form of rational theology but rather by illumination (theoria
Theoria
For other uses of the term "contemplation", see Contemplation Theoria is Greek for contemplation. It corresponds to the Latin word contemplatio, "looking at", "gazing at", "being aware of".- Introduction :...

) as a stage of development in the process of theosis. Which again goes against the Roman Catholic theologians validation of theology using the Pagan philosopher Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's Metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 and scholastic
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

 arguments such as actus and potentia to rationalize God. The West does this through what the East calls an incompleteness as a form of theology called kataphatic theology. The East does not use kataphatic statements about God to validate God since to use positive statements about God goes against God's very being (ontology) which is apophatic and therefore incomprehensible and not rational.

Judaism


According to Chasidic Thought
Hasidic philosophy
Hasidic philosophy or Hasidus , alternatively transliterated as Hassidism, Chassidism, Chassidut etc. is the teachings, interpretations of Judaism, and mysticism articulated by the modern Hasidic movement...

 (particularly as propounded by Shneur Zalman of Liadi
Shneur Zalman of Liadi
Shneur Zalman of Liadi , also known as the Baal HaTanya, , was an Orthodox Rabbi, and the founder and first Rebbe of Chabad, a branch of Hasidic Judaism, then based in Liadi, Imperial Russia...

) of Chabad
Chabad
Chabad or Chabad-Lubavitch is a major branch of Hasidic Judaism.Chabad may also refer to:*Chabad-Strashelye, a defunct branch of the Chabad school of Hasidic Judaism*Chabad-Kapust or Kapust, a defunct branch of the Chabad school of Hasidic Judaism...

, God is held to be immanent
Immanence
Immanence refers to philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine presence, in which the divine is seen to be manifested in or encompassing of the material world. It is often contrasted with theories of transcendence, in which the divine is seen to be outside the material world...

 within creation for two interrelated reasons.
  • Firstly, a very strong Jewish belief is that "[t]he Divine life-force which brings [the universe] into existence must constantly be present... were this life-force to forsake [the universe] for even one brief moment, it would revert to a state of utter nothingness, as before the creation..."

  • Secondly, and simultaneously, Judaism holds as axiom
    Axiom
    In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proven or demonstrated but considered either to be self-evident or to define and delimit the realm of analysis. In other words, an axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true...

    atic that God is an absolute unity, and that He is Perfectly Simple - thus if His sustaining power is within nature, then His essence is also within nature.


However, the Vilna Gaon
Vilna Gaon
Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman Kramer, known as the Vilna Gaon or Elijah of Vilna and simply by his Hebrew acronym Gra or Elijah Ben Solomon, , was a Talmudist, halachist, kabbalist, and the foremost leader of non-hasidic Jewry of the past few centuries...

 was very much against this philosophy, for he felt that it would lead to pantheism and heresy
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

. According to some this is the main reason for the Gaon's ban on Chasidism.

Note that, at the same time, Jewish thought considers God as separate from all physical, created things (transcendent
Transcendence (religion)
In religion transcendence refers to the aspect of God's nature which is wholly independent of the physical universe. This is contrasted with immanence where God is fully present in the physical world and thus accessible to creatures in various ways...

) and as existing outside of time (eternal). For a discussion of the resultant paradox
Paradox
Similar to Circular reasoning, A paradox is a seemingly true statement or group of statements that lead to a contradiction or a situation which seems to defy logic or intuition...

; see Tzimtzum
Tzimtzum
Tzimtzum is a term used in the kabbalistic teaching of Isaac Luria, explaining his concept that God began the process of creation by "contracting" his infinite light in order to allow for a "conceptual space" in which a finite and seemingly independent world could exist...

.
See also Negative theology.


According to Maimonides, (see Foundations of the Law, Chapter 1), God is an incorporeal being that caused all other existence. In fact, God is defined as the necessary existent that caused all other existence. According to Maimonides, to admit corporeality to God is tantamount to admitting complexity to God, which is a contradiction to God as the First Cause and constitutes heresy. While Hasidic mystics considered the existence of the physical world a contradiction to God's simpleness, Maimonides saw no contradiction. See the Guide for the Perplexed, especially chapter I:50.

Islam


Many followers of Sufism advocated monism. Most notably the 13th-century Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi (1207–73) in his didactic poem Masnavi
Masnavi
The Masnavi, Masnavi-I Ma'navi or Mesnevi , also written Mathnawi, Ma'navi, or Mathnavi, is an extensive poem written in Persian by Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, the celebrated Persian Sufi saint and poet. It is one of the best known and most influential works of both Sufism and Persian literature...

 espoused monism. Rumi says in the Masnavi
Masnavi
The Masnavi, Masnavi-I Ma'navi or Mesnevi , also written Mathnawi, Ma'navi, or Mathnavi, is an extensive poem written in Persian by Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, the celebrated Persian Sufi saint and poet. It is one of the best known and most influential works of both Sufism and Persian literature...

, "in the shop for Unity (wahdat); anything that you see there except the One is an idol."

According to Vincent J. Cornell, the Qur'an also provides a monist image of God by describing the reality as a unified whole, with God being a single concept that would describe or ascribe all existing things: "He is the First and the Last, the Outward and the Inward; He is the Knower of everything (Sura )".

Another verse in the Quran is "To God belongs the East and the West, Wheresoever you look is the face of God.(Sura )".

There are many other verses such as Quran 15:29, 38:72 etc. which say that God blew spirit into man. It is mistakenly believed that there is an imprint of God in man. There are many verses in the Quran which indicate that He is the only Creator and there is nothing like unto him.

Baha'i


Although the Bahá'í teachings
Bahá'í teachings
The Bahá'í teachings represent a considerable number of theological, social, and spiritual ideas that were established in the Bahá'í Faith by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the religion, and clarified by successive leaders including `Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's son, and Shoghi Effendi, `Abdu'l-Bahá's...

 have a strong emphasis on social and ethical issues, there exist a number of foundational texts that have been described as mystical. The Seven Valleys
Seven Valleys
The Seven Valleys is a book written in Persian by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. The Four Valleys was also written by Bahá'u'lláh, and the two books are usually published together under the title The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys...

is considered Bahá'u'lláh's "greatest mystical composition." It was written to a follower of Sufism
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

, in the style of `Attar, a Muslim poet, and sets forth the stages of the soul's journey towards God. It was first translated into English in 1906, becoming one of the earliest available books of Bahá'u'lláh to the West
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

. The Hidden Words
Hidden Words
Kalimát-i-Maknúnih or The Hidden Words is a book written in Baghdad around 1857 by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith...

is another book written by Bahá'u'lláh during the same period, containing 153 short passages in which Bahá'u'lláh claims to have taken the basic essence of certain spiritual truths and written them in brief form.

Theological growth and breadth


Many forms of Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 (including Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

, some forms of Yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

, and certain schools of Shaivism
Shaivism
Shaivism is one of the four major sects of Hinduism, the others being Vaishnavism, Shaktism and Smartism. Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas," and also "Saivas" or "Saivites," revere Shiva as the Supreme Being. Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer,...

), Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

, Pantheism
Pantheism
Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek meaning "all" and the Greek meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of...

, Rastafari
Rastafari movement
The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia , as God...

 and similar systems of thought explore the mystical and spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 elements of a monistic philosophy. With increasing awareness of these systems of thought, western spiritual and philosophical climate has seen a growing understanding of monism. Moreover, the New Thought
New Thought
New Thought promotes the ideas that "Infinite Intelligence" or "God" is ubiquitous, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and "right thinking" has a healing effect.Although New Thought is neither...

 and New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 movements embraced many monistic concepts during the twentieth century and continue up to the present day.

Monism can be said to oppose religious philosophy altogether by claiming that the idea of spirituality contradicts the monist principle of an indistinguishable mind and body.

Materialistic monism


Materialistic monism (or monistic materialism
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

) is the philosophical concept
Concept
The word concept is used in ordinary language as well as in almost all academic disciplines. Particularly in philosophy, psychology and cognitive sciences the term is much used and much discussed. WordNet defines concept: "conception, construct ". However, the meaning of the term concept is much...

 which sees the unity of matter
Matter
Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

 in its globality
Globality
Globality is the end-state of globalization – a hypothetical condition in which the process of globalization is complete or nearly so, barriers have fallen, and "a new global reality" is emerging....

. For the materialistic monist the cosmos
Cosmos
In the general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from the Greek term κόσμος , meaning "order" or "ornament" and is antithetical to the concept of chaos. Today, the word is generally used as a synonym of the word Universe . The word cosmos originates from the same root...

 is “one” and comprehensive, then a “one-all” made up of parts such as its effects. The matter
Matter
Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

 is then originary and cause of all reality
Reality
In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible...

.

See also


  • Anomalous monism
    Anomalous monism
    Anomalous monism is a philosophical thesis about the mind-body relationship. It was first proposed by Donald Davidson in his 1970 paper Mental events. The theory is twofold and states that mental events are identical with physical events, and that the mental is anomalous, i.e. under their mental...

  • Cosmic pluralism
    Cosmic pluralism
    Cosmic pluralism, the plurality of worlds, or simply pluralism, describes the belief in numerous other worlds which harbour extraterrestrial life. The debate over pluralism began as early as the time of Thales Cosmic pluralism, the plurality of worlds, or simply pluralism, describes the belief in...

  • Dialectical monism
    Dialectical monism
    Dialectical monism, also known as dualistic monism, is an ontological position that holds that reality is ultimately a unified whole, distinguishing itself from monism by asserting that this whole necessarily expresses itself in dualistic terms...

  • Dualism
    Dualism
    Dualism denotes a state of two parts. The term 'dualism' was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse but has been diluted in general or common usages. Dualism can refer to moral dualism, Dualism (from...

  • Eliminativism
  • Functionalism
    Functionalism (philosophy of mind)
    Functionalism is a theory of the mind in contemporary philosophy, developed largely as an alternative to both the identity theory of mind and behaviourism. Its core idea is that mental states are constituted solely by their functional role — that is, they are causal relations to other mental...

  • Holism
    Holism
    Holism is the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone...

  • Indefinite monism
    Indefinite monism
    Indefinite Monism is a philosophical conception of reality that asserts that only Awareness is real and that the wholeness of Reality can be conceptually thought of in terms of immanent and transcendent aspects...

  • Mind-body problem
  • Monad
    Monad (Greek philosophy)
    Monad , according to the Pythagoreans, was a term for Divinity or the first being, or the totality of all beings, Monad being the source or the One meaning without division....

  • Monistic idealism
    Monistic idealism
    Monistic Idealism is a metaphysical theory which states that consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all being. It is a monistic theory because it holds that there is only one type of thing in the universe, and a form of idealism because it holds that one thing to be consciousness.Monistic...

  • Neutral Monism
    Neutral monism
    Neutral monism, in philosophy, is the metaphysical view that the mental and the physical are two ways of organizing or describing the same elements, which are themselves "neutral," that is, neither physical nor mental. This view denies that the mental and the physical are two fundamentally...

  • Non-Dualism
  • Ontological pluralism
  • Reflexive monism
    Reflexive monism
    Monism is the view that the universe, at the deepest level of analysis, is one thing or composed of one fundamental kind of stuff. This is usually contrasted with Substance Dualism, the view found for example in the writings of Plato and Descartes that, fundamentally, the universe is composed of...



External links