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Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished: * Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct from them; e.g., in Neoplatonism everything is derived from The One. In this view only the One is ontologically basic or prior to everything else. * Existence monism posits that, strictly speaking, there exists only a single thing, the universe, which can only be artificially and arbitrarily divided into many things. * Substance monism asserts that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance. Substance monism posits that only one kind of substance exists, although many things may be made up of this substance, e.g., matter or mind. * Dual-aspect monism is the view that the mental and the physical are two aspects of, or perspectives on, the same substance. * Neutral monism believes the fundamental nature of reality to be neither mental nor physical; in other words it is "neutral".


Definitions

There are two sorts of definitions for monism: # The wide definition: a philosophy is monistic if it postulates unity of the origin of all things; all existing things return to a source that is distinct from them. # The restricted definition: this requires not only unity of origin but also unity of substance and
essence Essence ( la, essentia) is a polysemic term, used in philosophy and theology as a designation for the property (philosophy), property or set of properties that make an entity or substance theory, substance what it fundamentally is, and which it ...
. Although the term ''monism'' is derived from Western philosophy to typify positions in the mind–body problem, it has also been used to typify religious traditions. In modern Hinduism, the term "absolute monism" is used for Advaita Vedanta.


History

The term ''monism'' was introduced in the 18th century by Christian von Wolff in his work ''Logic'' (1728), to designate types of philosophical thought in which the attempt was made to eliminate the dichotomy of body and mind and explain all phenomena by one unifying principle, or as manifestations of a single substance."monism"
Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
The mind–body problem in philosophy examines the relationship between mind and matter, and in particular the relationship between consciousness and the brain. The problem was addressed by René Descartes in the 17th century, resulting in Cartesian dualism, and by pre- Aristotelian philosophers, in Avicennian philosophy, and in earlier Asian and more specifically Indian traditions. It was later also applied to the theory of absolute identity set forth by Hegel and Schelling. Thereafter the term was more broadly used, for any theory postulating a unifying principle. The opponent thesis of dualism also was broadened, to include pluralism. According to Urmson, as a result of this extended use, the term is "systematically ambiguous". According to Jonathan Schaffer, monism lost popularity due to the emergence of analytic philosophy in the early twentieth century, which revolted against the neo-Hegelians. Rudolf Carnap and A. J. Ayer, who were strong proponents of positivism, "ridiculed the whole question as incoherent
mysticism Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute, but may refer to any kind of Religious ecstasy, ecstasy or altered state of consciousness which is given a religious or Spirituality, spiritual meaning. It may also refer to ...
". The mind–body problem has reemerged in social psychology and related fields, with the interest in mind–body interaction and the rejection of Cartesian mind–body dualism in the '' identity thesis'', a modern form of monism. Monism is also still relevant to the philosophy of mind, where various positions are defended.


Types

Different types of monism include:Schaffer, Jonathan, Monism: The Priority of the Whole, http://www.jonathanschaffer.org/monism.pdf # Substance monism, "the view that the apparent plurality of substances is due to different states or appearances of a single substance" # Attributive monism, "the view that whatever the number of substances, they are of a single ultimate kind" # Partial monism, "within a given realm of being (however many there may be) there is only one substance" # Existence monism, "the view that there is only one concrete object token (The One, "Τὸ Ἕν" or the Monad)" # Priority monism, "the whole is prior to its parts" or "the world has parts, but the parts are dependent fragments of an integrated whole" # Property monism, "the view that all properties are of a single type (e.g., only physical properties exist)" # Genus monism, "the doctrine that there is a highest category; e.g., being" Views contrasting with monism are: * Metaphysical dualism, which asserts that there are two ultimately irreconcilable substances or realities such as Good and Evil, for example, Manichaeism. * Metaphysical pluralism, which asserts three or more fundamental substances or realities. * Metaphysical nihilism, negates any of the above categories (substances, properties, concrete objects, etc.). Monism in modern philosophy of mind can be divided into three broad categories: Certain positions do not fit easily into the above categories, such as functionalism, anomalous monism, and reflexive monism. Moreover, they do not define the meaning of "real".


Monistic philosophers


Pre-Socratic

While the lack of information makes it difficult in some cases to be sure of the details, the following pre-Socratic philosophers thought in monistic terms: * Thales: Water * Anaximander: '' Apeiron'' (meaning 'the undefined infinite'). Reality is some, one thing, but we cannot know what. * Anaximenes of Miletus: Air *
Heraclitus Heraclitus of Ephesus (; grc-gre, wikt:Ἡράκλειτος, Ἡράκλειτος , "Glory of Hera"; ) was an Ancient Greece, ancient Greek Pre-Socratic philosophy, pre-Socratic philosopher from the city of Ephesus, which was then part of th ...
: Change, symbolized by fire (in that everything is in constant flux). *
Parmenides Parmenides of Elea (; grc-gre, Παρμενίδης ὁ Ἐλεάτης; ) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Elea in Magna Graecia. Parmenides was born in the Greek colony of Elea, from a wealthy and illustrious family. His date ...
: Being or Reality is an unmoving perfect sphere, unchanging, undivided.


Post-Socrates

* Neopythagorians such as
Apollonius of Tyana Apollonius of Tyana ( grc, Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Τυανεύς; c. 3 BC – c. 97 AD) was a Greeks, Greek Neopythagoreanism, Neopythagorean Ancient Greek philosophy, philosopher from the town of Tyana in the Roman Empire, ...
centered their cosmologies on the Monad or One. *
Stoics Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century Common Era, BCE. It is a philosophy of personal virtue ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world, asser ...
taught that there is only one substance, identified as God. * Middle Platonism under such works as those by Numenius taught that the Universe emanates from the Monad or One. * Neoplatonism is monistic.
Plotinus Plotinus (; grc-gre, Πλωτῖνος, ''Plōtînos'';  – 270 CE) was a philosopher in the Hellenistic philosophy, Hellenistic tradition, born and raised in Roman Egypt. Plotinus is regarded by modern scholarship as the founder of Neop ...
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'', or Greek νοῦς (, ), sometimes equated to intellect or intelligence, is a concept from classical philosophy for the Faculty (division), faculty of the human mind necessary for understanding what is truth, true or reality, real. A ...
), the Cosmic Soul ( Psyche), and the World (
Cosmos The cosmos (, ) is another name for the Universe. Using the word ''cosmos'' implies viewing the universe as a complex and orderly system or entity. The cosmos, and understandings of the reasons for its existence and significance, are studied in ...
).


Modern

*
Alexander Bogdanov Alexander Aleksandrovich Bogdanov (russian: Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович Богда́нов; – 7 April 1928), born Alexander Malinovsky, was a Russian and later Soviet Union, Soviet physician, philosopher, science fiction ...
* F. H. Bradley *
Giordano Bruno Giordano Bruno (; ; la, Iordanus Brunus Nolanus; born Filippo Bruno, January or February 1548 – 17 February 1600) was an Italian people, Italian philosopher, mathematician, poet, cosmological theorist, and Hermetica, Hermetic occultist. He i ...
*
Gilles Deleuze Gilles Louis René Deleuze ( , ; 18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher who, from the early 1950s until his death in 1995, wrote on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular works were the two volu ...
*
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
Johann Gottlieb Fichte Johann Gottlieb Fichte (; ; 19 May 1762 – 29 January 1814) was a German philosopher who became a founding figure of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, which developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kan ...
*
Ernst Haeckel Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (; 16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German zoologist, natural history, naturalist, eugenics, eugenicist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist and artist. He discovered, described and ...
*
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German philosopher. He is one of the most important figures in German idealism and one of the founding figures of 19th century philosophy, modern Western philosophy. ...
* Christopher Langan *
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz . ( – 14 November 1716) was a German polymath active as a mathematician, philosopher, scientist and diplomat. He is one of the most prominent figures in both the history of philosophy and the history of mathema ...
*
Giacomo Leopardi Count Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi (, ; 29 June 1798 – 14 June 1837) was an Italian philosopher, poet, essayist, and philologist. He is considered the greatest Italian poet of the nineteenth century and one of ...
*
Ernst Mach Ernst Waldfried Josef Wenzel Mach ( , ; 18 February 1838 – 19 February 1916) was a Moravian-born Austrian Empire, Austrian physicist and philosopher, who contributed to the physics of shock waves. The ratio of one's speed to speed of sound, t ...
*
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist, Critique of political economy, critic of political economy, and socialist revolutionary. His be ...
*
Wilhelm Ostwald Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald (; 4 April 1932) was a Baltic German chemist and German philosophy, philosopher. Ostwald is credited with being one of the founders of the field of physical chemistry, with Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, Walther Nernst, ...
*
Charles Sanders Peirce Charles Sanders Peirce ( ; September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American philosopher, logician, mathematician and scientist who is sometimes known as "the father of pragmatism". Educated as a chemist and employed as a scientist for t ...
*
Georgi Plekhanov Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov (; rus, Гео́ргий Валенти́нович Плеха́нов, p=ɡʲɪˈorɡʲɪj vəlʲɪnˈtʲinəvʲɪtɕ plʲɪˈxanəf, a=Ru-Georgi Plekhanov-JermyRei.ogg; – 30 May 1918) was a Russian revoluti ...
* Michael Della Rocca *
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British mathematician, philosopher, logician, and public intellectual. He had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, ar ...
*
Gilbert Ryle Gilbert Ryle (19 August 1900 – 6 October 1976) was a British philosopher, principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase "ghost in the machine." He was a representative of the generation of British ordi ...
* Jonathan Schaffer *
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (; 27 January 1775 – 20 August 1854), later (after 1812) von Schelling, was a German people, German philosopher. Standard Philosophy#Historical overview, histories of philosophy make him the midpoint in the de ...
*
Arthur Schopenhauer Arthur Schopenhauer ( , ; 22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work ''The World as Will and Representation'' (expanded in 1844), which characterizes the Phenomenon, phenomenal world ...
*
Rupert Sheldrake Alfred Rupert Sheldrake (born 28 June 1942) is an English author and parapsychology researcher who proposed the concept of morphic resonance, a conjecture which lacks mainstream acceptance and has been criticized as pseudoscience. He has worke ...
* B.F. Skinner *
Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, psychologist, biologist, anthropologist, and sociologist famous for his hypothesis of social Darwinism. Spencer originated the expression "survival of the fittest" ...
*
Baruch Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (born Bento de Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent ''Benedictus de Spinoza'', anglicized to ''Benedict de Spinoza''; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch philosopher of Spanish and ...
*
Rudolf Steiner Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (27 or 25 February 1861 – 30 March 1925) was an Austrians, Austrian occultist, social reformer, architecture, architect, Esotericism, esotericist, and claimed clairvoyance, clairvoyant. Steiner gained initial re ...
*
Alan Watts Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was an English writer, speaker and self-styled "philosophical entertainer", known for interpreting and popularising Japanese, Chinese and Indian traditions of Buddhist, Taoist, and Hindui ...
*
Alfred North Whitehead Alfred North Whitehead (15 February 1861 – 30 December 1947) was an English mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in their work, typically to solve mathematical problems. Mathemat ...


Monistic neuroscientists

* György Buzsáki *
Francis Crick Francis Harry Compton Crick (8 June 1916 – 28 July 2004) was an English molecular biology, molecular biologist, biophysics, biophysicist, and neuroscientist. He, James Watson, Rosalind Franklin, and Maurice Wilkins played crucial roles in de ...
*
Karl Friston Karl John Friston FRS FMedSci FRSB (born 12 July 1959) is a British neuroscientist A neuroscientist (or neurobiologist) is a scientist who has specialised knowledge in neuroscience, a branch of biology that deals with the physiology, bioch ...
*
Eric Kandel Eric Richard Kandel (; born Erich Richard Kandel, November 7, 1929) is an Austrian-born American medical doctor who specialized in psychiatry, a neuroscientist and a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the Columbia ko University College o ...
* Mark Solms * Rodolfo Llinas *
Ivan Pavlov Ivan Petrovich Pavlov ( rus, Ива́н Петро́вич Па́влов, , p=ɪˈvan pʲɪˈtrovʲɪtɕ ˈpavləf, a=Ru-Ivan_Petrovich_Pavlov.ogg; 27 February 1936), was a Russian and Soviet experimental neurologist, psychologist and physiolo ...
*
Roger Sperry Roger Wolcott Sperry (August 20, 1913 – April 17, 1994) was an American neuropsychology, neuropsychologist, neurobiology, neurobiologist, Cognitive neuroscience, cognitive neuroscientist, and Nobel laureate who, together with David Hunter Hubel ...


Religion


Pantheism

Pantheism is the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God, or that the universe (or
nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the physics, physical world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomenon, phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large, if not the only, part of science. ...
) is identical with
divinity Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being who is considered divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as a god ...
. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal or
anthropomorphic Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology. Personification is the related attribution of human form and characteristics t ...
god, but believe that interpretations of the term differ. Pantheism was popularized in the modern era as both a theology and philosophy based on the work of the 17th-century philosopher
Baruch Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (born Bento de Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent ''Benedictus de Spinoza'', anglicized to ''Benedict de Spinoza''; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch philosopher of Spanish and ...
, whose ''
Ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of morality, right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' The field of ethics, alo ...
'' was an answer to Descartes' famous dualist theory that the body and spirit are separate. Spinoza held that the two are the same, and this monism is a fundamental quality of his philosophy. He was described as a "God-intoxicated man," and used the word God to describe the unity of all substance. Although the term pantheism was not coined until after his death, Spinoza is regarded as its most celebrated advocate. H. P. Owen claimed that Pantheism is closely related to monism, as pantheists too believe all of reality is one substance, called Universe, God or Nature.
Panentheism Panentheism ("all in God", from the Greek language, Greek grc, πᾶν, pân, all, label=none, grc, ἐν, en, in, label=none and grc, Θεός, Theós, God, label=none) is the belief that the Divinity, divine intersects every part of Univers ...
, a slightly different concept (explained below), however is dualistic. Some of the most famous pantheists are the
Stoics Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century Common Era, BCE. It is a philosophy of personal virtue ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world, asser ...
,
Giordano Bruno Giordano Bruno (; ; la, Iordanus Brunus Nolanus; born Filippo Bruno, January or February 1548 – 17 February 1600) was an Italian people, Italian philosopher, mathematician, poet, cosmological theorist, and Hermetica, Hermetic occultist. He i ...
and
Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (born Bento de Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent ''Benedictus de Spinoza'', anglicized to ''Benedict de Spinoza''; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch philosopher of Spanish and ...
.


Panentheism

Panentheism (from
Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
(pân) "all"; (en) "in"; and (theós) "God"; "all-in-God") is a belief system that posits that the divine (be it a
monotheistic Monotheism is the belief that there is only one deity, an all-supreme being that is universally referred to as God.F. L. Cross, Cross, F.L.; Livingstone, E.A., eds. (1974). "Monotheism". The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2 ed.). Ox ...
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
,
polytheistic Polytheism is the belief in multiple deity, deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon (religion), pantheon of Gender of God, gods and goddesses, along with their own religious sects and rituals. Polytheism is a type of theism. Within ...
gods A deity or god is a supernatural being who is considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as a God (male deity), god or goddess, or anything revered as divine. C. Scott Littleton defines a deity as " ...
, or an eternal cosmic animating force) interpenetrates every part of nature, but is not one with nature. Panentheism differentiates itself from
pantheism Pantheism is the belief that reality, the universe and the cosmos are identical with divinity and a supreme supernatural being or entity, pointing to the universe as being an immanent creator deity A creator deity or creator god (often ...
, which holds that the divine is synonymous with the universe. In panentheism, there are two types of substance, "pan" the universe and God. The universe and the divine are not ontologically equivalent. God is viewed as the eternal animating force within the universe. In some forms of panentheism, the
cosmos The cosmos (, ) is another name for the Universe. Using the word ''cosmos'' implies viewing the universe as a complex and orderly system or entity. The cosmos, and understandings of the reasons for its existence and significance, are studied in ...
exists within God, who in turn " transcends", "pervades" or is "in" the cosmos. While pantheism asserts that 'All is God', panentheism claims that God animates all of the universe, and also transcends the universe. In addition, some forms indicate that the universe is contained within God, like in the Judaic concept of Tzimtzum. Much Hindu thought is highly characterized by panentheism and pantheism.
Paul Tillich Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American Christian existentialism, Christian existentialist philosopher, religious socialism, religious socialist, and Lutheran Protestant theologian who is widely re ...
has argued for such a concept within Christian theology, as has liberal biblical scholar
Marcus Borg Marcus Joel Borg (March 11, 1942 – January 21, 2015) was an American New Testament scholar and theologian. He was among the most widely known and influential voices in Liberal Christianity. Borg was a fellow of the Jesus Seminar and a major fig ...
and
mystical Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute, but may refer to any kind of Religious ecstasy, ecstasy or altered state of consciousness which is given a religious or Spirituality, spiritual meaning. It may also refer to ...
theologian Matthew Fox, an Episcopal priest.


Pandeism

Pandeism or pan-deism (from grc, πᾶν, pan, all and la,
deus ''Deus'' (, ) is the Latin word for "God (word), god" or "deity". Latin ''deus'' and ''dīvus'' ("divine") are in turn descended from Proto-Indo-European language, Proto-Indo-European *''deiwos'', "celestial" or "shining", from the same root ( ...
meaning "
god In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
" in the sense of
deism Deism ( or ; derived from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as ...
), is a term describing beliefs coherently incorporating or mixing
logic Logic is the study of correct reasoning. It includes both Mathematical logic, formal and informal logic. Formal logic is the science of Validity (logic), deductively valid inferences or of logical truths. It is a formal science investigating h ...
ally reconcilable elements of pantheism (that "God", or a metaphysically equivalent
creator deity A creator deity or creator god (often called the Creator) is a deity responsible for the creation of the Earth, World#Theology, world, and universe in human religion and mythology. In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator. A numb ...
, is identical to
Nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the physics, physical world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomenon, phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large, if not the only, part of science. ...
) and classical deism (that the creator-god who designed the universe no longer exists in a status where it can be reached, and can instead be confirmed only by reason). It is therefore most particularly the belief that the creator of the universe actually became the universe, and so ceased to exist as a separate entity. Through this
synergy Synergy is an interaction or cooperation giving rise to a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. The term ''synergy'' comes from the Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greec ...
pandeism claims to answer primary objections to deism (why would God create and then not interact with the universe?) and to pantheism (how did the universe originate and what is its purpose?).


Indian religions


Characteristics

The central problem in Asian (religious) philosophy is not the body-mind problem, but the search for an unchanging Real or Absolute beyond the world of appearances and changing phenomena, and the search for liberation from dukkha and the liberation from the cycle of rebirth. In Hinduism, substance-ontology prevails, seeing
Brahman In Hinduism, ''Brahman'' ( sa, ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality in the universe The universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, ga ...
as the unchanging real beyond the world of appearances. In Buddhism,
process ontology In Process philosophy, philosophy, a process ontology refers to a universal model of the structure of the world as an ordered wholeness. Such ontologies are Fundamental ontology, fundamental ontologies, in contrast to the so-called Applied ontolog ...
is prevalent, seeing reality as empty of an unchanging essence. Characteristic for various Asian religions is the discernment of levels of truth, an emphasis on intuitive-experiential understanding of the Absolute such as jnana,
bodhi The English term enlightenment is the Western translation of various Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the ...
and kensho, and an emphasis on the integration of these levels of truth and its understanding.


Hinduism


=Vedanta

= Vedanta is the inquiry into and systematisation of the Vedas and Upanishads, to harmonise the various and contrasting ideas that can be found in those texts. Within Vedanta, different schools exist: * Advaita Vedanta, absolute monism, of which
Adi Shankara Adi Shankara ("first Shankara," to distinguish him from other Shankaras)(8th cent. CE), also called Adi Shankaracharya ( sa, आदि शङ्कर, आदि शङ्कराचार्य, Ādi Śaṅkarācāryaḥ, lit=First Shanka ...
is the best-known representative; *
Vishishtadvaita Vishishtadvaita (IAST '; sa, विशिष्टाद्वैत) is one of the most popular schools of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. Vedanta literally means the in depth meaning ''of the Vedas.'' ''Vishisht Advaita'' (literall ...
, qualified monism, is from the school of
Ramanuja Ramanuja (Middle Tamil: Rāmāṉujam; Classical Sanskrit: Rāmanuja; 1017 CE – 1137 CE; ; ), also known as Ramanujacharya, was an Indian Hindu philosopher, guru and a social reformer. He is noted to be one of the most important exponents o ...
; * Shuddhadvaita, in-essence monism, is the school of
Vallabha Vallabhacharya Mahaprabhu (1479–1531 CE), also known as Vallabha, Mahaprabhuji and Vishnuswami, or Vallabha Acharya, is a Hindu Hindus (; ) are people who religiously adhere to Hinduism.Jeffery D. Long (2007), A Vision for Hindui ...
; * Dvaitadvaita, differential monism, is a school founded by
Nimbarka Nimbarkacharya ( sa, निम्बार्काचार्य, Nimbārkāchārya) ( 1130 – 1200), also known as Nimbarka, Nimbaditya or Niyamananda, was a Hindu philosopher, theologian and the chief proponent of the theology of Dvait ...
; *
Dvaita Dvaita Vedanta (); (originally known as Tattvavada; IAST:Tattvavāda), is a sub-school in the Vedanta tradition of Hindu philosophy. The term Tattvavada literally means "arguments from a realist viewpoint". The Tattvavada (Dvaita) Vedanta sub ...
, dualism, is a school founded by
Madhvacharya Madhvacharya (; ; CE 1199-1278 or CE 1238–1317), sometimes Anglicisation, anglicised as Madhva Acharya, and also known as Purna Prajna () and Ānanda Tīrtha, was an Indian philosopher, theologian and the chief proponent of the ''Dvaita'' ...
is probably the only Vedantic System that is opposed to all types of monism. It believes that God is eternally different from souls and matter in both form and essence. *
Achintya Bheda Abheda Achintya-Bheda-Abheda (अचिन्त्यभेदाभेद, ' in IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Indic scripts as employed ...
, a school of
Vedanta ''Vedanta'' (; sa, वेदान्त, ), also ''Uttara Mīmāṃsā'', is one of the six (''āstika'') schools of Hindu philosophy Hindu philosophy encompasses the philosophies, world views and teachings of Hinduism that emerged ...
founded by
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (; born Vishvambhar Mishra) was a 15th-century Indian saint who is considered to be the combined avatar of Radha and Krishna by his disciples and various scriptures. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's mode of worshipping Krishna ...
representing the philosophy of ''inconceivable one-ness and difference''. It can be understood as an integration of the strict dualist (dvaita) theology of
Madhvacharya Madhvacharya (; ; CE 1199-1278 or CE 1238–1317), sometimes Anglicisation, anglicised as Madhva Acharya, and also known as Purna Prajna () and Ānanda Tīrtha, was an Indian philosopher, theologian and the chief proponent of the ''Dvaita'' ...
and the qualified monism (vishishtadvaita) of
Ramanuja Ramanuja (Middle Tamil: Rāmāṉujam; Classical Sanskrit: Rāmanuja; 1017 CE – 1137 CE; ; ), also known as Ramanujacharya, was an Indian Hindu philosopher, guru and a social reformer. He is noted to be one of the most important exponents o ...
.


=Advaita Vedanta

= Monism is most clearly identified in Advaita Vedanta, though Renard points out that this may be a western interpretation, bypassing the intuitive understanding of a nondual reality. In Advaita Vedanta,
Brahman In Hinduism, ''Brahman'' ( sa, ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality in the universe The universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, ga ...
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.Brodd, Jeffrey (2003). ''World Religions''. Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press. . Advaita Vedanta gives an elaborate path to attain moksha. It entails more than self-inquiry or bare insight into one's real nature. Practice, especially Jnana Yoga, is needed to "destroy one's tendencies (vāasanā-s)" before real insight can be attained.James Swartz, ''What is Neo-Advaita?''
/ref> Advaita took over from the Madhyamika the idea of levels of reality. Usually two levels are being mentioned, but Shankara uses sublation as the criterion to postulate an ontological hierarchy of three levels:advaita-vision.org, ''Discrimination''
/ref> * (paramartha, absolute), the absolute level, "which is absolutely real and into which both other reality levels can be resolved". This experience can't be sublated by any other experience. * (vyavahara), or samvriti-saya (empirical or pragmatical), "our world of experience, the phenomenal world that we handle every day when we are awake". It is the level in which both ''
jiva ''Jiva'' ( sa, जीव, IAST: ) is a living being or any entity imbued with a life force in Hinduism and Jīva (Jainism), Jainism. The word itself originates from the Sanskrit verb-root ''jīv'', which translates as 'to breathe' or 'to live'. ...
'' (living creatures or individual souls) and '' Iswara'' are true; here, the material world is also true. * (pratibhashika, apparent reality, unreality), "reality based on imagination alone". It is the level in which appearances are actually false, like the illusion of a snake over a rope, or a dream.


=Vaishnava

= All
Vaishnava Vaishnavism ( sa, वैष्णवसम्प्रदायः, Vaiṣṇavasampradāyaḥ) is one of the major Hindu denominations along with Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism. It is also called Vishnuism since it considers Vishnu as the ...
schools are
panentheistic Panentheism ("all in God", from the Greek language, Greek grc, πᾶν, pân, all, label=none, grc, ἐν, en, in, label=none and grc, Θεός, Theós, God, label=none) is the belief that the Divinity, divine intersects every part of Univers ...
and view the universe as part of
Krishna Krishna (; sa, कृष्ण ) is a major deity A deity or god is a supernatural being who is considered divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as a god In monotheistic thought, God is usuall ...
or
Narayana Narayana (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecess ...
, but see a plurality of souls and substances within
Brahman In Hinduism, ''Brahman'' ( sa, ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality in the universe The universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, ga ...
. Monistic theism, which includes the concept of a personal god as a universal,
omnipotent Omnipotence is the quality of having unlimited wikt:power, power. Monotheism, Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence only to the deity of their faith. In the monotheistic religious philosophy of Abrahamic religions, omnipotence i ...
Supreme Being In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typically ...
who is both immanent and transcendent, is prevalent within many other schools of Hinduism as well.


=Tantra

=
Tantra Tantra (; sa, तन्त्र, lit=loom, weave, warp) are the wikt:esoteric#en-3, esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that developed on the Indian subcontinent from the middle of the 1st millennium CE onwards. The term ''tantr ...
sees the Divine as both immanent and transcendent. The Divine can be found in the concrete world. Practices are aimed at transforming the passions, instead of transcending them.


=Modern Hinduism

= The colonisation of India by the British had a major impact on Hindu society. In response, leading Hindu intellectuals started to study western culture and philosophy, integrating several western notions into Hinduism. This modernised Hinduism, at its turn, has gained popularity in the west. A major role was played in the 19th century by
Swami Vivekananda Swami Vivekananda (; ; 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), born Narendranath Datta (), was an Indian Hindu monk, philosopher, author, religious teacher, and the chief disciple of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introd ...
in the revival of Hinduism, and the spread of Advaita Vedanta to the west via the
Ramakrishna Mission Ramakrishna Mission (RKM) is a Hinduism, Hindu religious and spiritual organisation which forms the core of a worldwide spiritual movement known as the ''Ramakrishna Movement'' or the ''Vedanta Movement''. The mission is named after and insp ...
. His interpretation of Advaita Vedanta has been called
Neo-Vedanta Neo-Vedanta, also called Hindu modernism, neo-Hinduism, Global Hinduism and Hindu Universalism, are terms to characterize interpretations of Hinduism that developed in the 19th century. The term "Neo-Vedanta" was coined by German Indologist ...
. In Advaita, Shankara suggests meditation and Nirvikalpa Samadhi are means to gain knowledge of the already existing unity of ''Brahman'' and '' Atman'', not the highest goal itself: Vivekananda, according to
Gavin Flood __NOTOC__ Gavin Dennis Flood (born 1954) is a British scholar of comparative religion Comparative religion is the branch of the study of religions with the systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices, themes and impacts (includi ...
, was "a figure of great importance in the development of a modern Hindu self-understanding and in formulating the West's view of Hinduism." Central to his philosophy is the idea that the divine exists in all beings, that all human beings can achieve union with this "innate divinity", and that seeing this divine as the essence of others will further love and social harmony. According to Vivekananda, there is an essential unity to Hinduism, which underlies the diversity of its many forms. According to Flood, Vivekananda's view of Hinduism is the most common among Hindus today. This monism, according to Flood, is at the foundation of earlier Upanishads, to theosophy in the later Vedanta tradition and in modern Neo-Hinduism.


Buddhism

According to the
Pāli Canon The Pāli Canon is the standard collection of scripture Religious texts, including scripture, are Text (literary theory), texts which various religions consider to be of central importance to their religious tradition. They differ fro ...
, both pluralism (''nānatta'') and monism (''ekatta'') are speculative views. A
Theravada ''Theravāda'' () ( si, ථේරවාදය, my, ထေရဝါဒ, th, เถรวาท, km, ថេរវាទ, lo, ເຖຣະວາດ, pi, , ) is the most commonly accepted name of Buddhism's oldest existing school. The school' ...
commentary notes that the former is similar to or associated with
nihilism Nihilism (; ) is a philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as prob ...
(''ucchēdavāda''), and the latter is similar to or associated with eternalism (''
sassatavada Sassatavada (Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan languages, Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the Buddhist ''Pali Canon, Pāli Canon'' or ''Tripiṭak ...
''). In the
Madhyamaka Mādhyamaka ("middle way" or "centrism"; ; Tibetic languages, Tibetan: དབུ་མ་པ ; ''dbu ma pa''), otherwise known as Śūnyavāda ("the Śūnyatā, emptiness doctrine") and Niḥsvabhāvavāda ("the no Svabhava, ''svabhāva'' doctr ...
school of
Mahayana Buddhism ''Mahāyāna'' (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhism, Buddhist traditions, Buddhist texts#Mahāyāna texts, texts, Buddhist philosophy, philosophies, and practices. Mahāyāna Buddhism developed in India (c. 1st century BC ...
, the ultimate nature of the world is described as '' Śūnyatā'' or "emptiness", which is inseparable from sensorial objects or anything else. That appears to be a monist position, but the Madhyamaka views – including variations like '' rangtong'' and ''
shentong ''Rangtong'' and ''shentong'' are two distinctive views on emptiness ( sunyata) and the two truths doctrine within Tibetan Buddhism. ''Rangtong'' (; "empty of self-nature") is a philosophical term in Tibetan Buddhism that is used to distin ...
'' – 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
Yogacara Yogachara ( sa, योगाचार, IAST: '; literally "yoga practice"; "one whose practice is yoga") is an influential tradition of Buddhist philosophy and psychology emphasizing the study of cognition, perception, and consciousness through t ...
view, a minority school now only found among the Mahayana, also rejects monism.


=Levels of truth

= Within Buddhism, a rich variety of philosophical and pedagogical models can be found. Various schools of Buddhism discern levels of truth: * The Two truths doctrine of the
Madhyamaka Mādhyamaka ("middle way" or "centrism"; ; Tibetic languages, Tibetan: དབུ་མ་པ ; ''dbu ma pa''), otherwise known as Śūnyavāda ("the Śūnyatā, emptiness doctrine") and Niḥsvabhāvavāda ("the no Svabhava, ''svabhāva'' doctr ...
* The Three Natures of the
Yogacara Yogachara ( sa, योगाचार, IAST: '; literally "yoga practice"; "one whose practice is yoga") is an influential tradition of Buddhist philosophy and psychology emphasizing the study of cognition, perception, and consciousness through t ...
* Essence-Function, or Absolute-relative in Chinese and Korean Buddhism * The
Trikaya The Trikāya doctrine ( sa, त्रिकाय, lit. "three bodies"; , ) is a Mahayana, Mahayana Buddhist teaching on both the nature of reality and the nature of Buddhahood. The doctrine says that Buddha has three ''kāyas'' or ''bodies'', th ...
-formule, consisting of ** The '' Dharmakāya'' or ''Truth body'' which embodies the very principle of enlightenment and knows no limits or boundaries; ** The '' Sambhogakāya'' or ''body of mutual enjoyment'' which is a body of bliss or clear light manifestation; ** The ''Nirmāṇakāya'' or ''created body'' which manifests in time and space.Welwood, John (2000)
''The Play of the Mind: Form, Emptiness, and Beyond''
accessed January 13, 2007
The Prajnaparamita-sutras and
Madhyamaka Mādhyamaka ("middle way" or "centrism"; ; Tibetic languages, Tibetan: དབུ་མ་པ ; ''dbu ma pa''), otherwise known as Śūnyavāda ("the Śūnyatā, emptiness doctrine") and Niḥsvabhāvavāda ("the no Svabhava, ''svabhāva'' doctr ...
emphasize the non-duality of form and emptiness: "form is emptiness, emptiness is form", as the heart sutra says. In Chinese Buddhism this was understood to mean that ultimate reality is not a transcendental realm, but equal to the daily world of relative reality. This idea fitted into the Chinese culture, which emphasized the mundane world and society. But this does not tell how the absolute is present in the relative world: This question is answered in such schemata as the Five Ranks of Tozan, the Oxherding Pictures, and Hakuin's Four ways of knowing.


Sikhism

Sikhism complies with the concept of Priority Monism. Sikh philosophy advocates that all that our senses comprehend is an illusion; God is the sole reality. Forms being subject to time shall pass away. God's Reality alone is eternal and abiding. The thought is that Atma (soul) is born from, and a reflection of, ParamAtma (Supreme Soul), and "will again merge into it", in the words of the fifth guru of Sikhs, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, "just as water merges back into the water." God and Soul are fundamentally the same; identical in the same way as Fire and its sparks. "Atam meh Ram, Ram meh Atam" which means "The Ultimate Eternal reality resides in the Soul and the Soul is contained in Him". As from one stream, millions of waves arise and yet the waves, made of water, again become water; in the same way all souls have sprung from the Universal Being and would blend again into it.


Abrahamic faiths


Judaism

Jewish thought considers God as separate from all physical, created things and as existing outside of time. According to
Maimonides Musa ibn Maimon (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides (); la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם), was a Sephardi Jews, Sephardic Jewish Jewish philosophy, philosopher who became one of the mos ...
, God is an incorporeal being 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 Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
. While
Hasidic Hasidism, sometimes spelled Chassidism, and also known as Hasidic Judaism (Ashkenazi Hebrew: חסידות ''Ḥăsīdus'', ; originally, "piety"), is a Judaism, Jewish religious group that arose as a spiritual revival movement in the territory ...
mystics considered the existence of the physical world a contradiction to God's simpleness, Maimonides saw no contradiction. According to Hasidic thought (particularly as propounded by the 18th century, early 19th-century founder of
Chabad Chabad, also known as Lubavitch, Habad and Chabad-Lubavitch (), is an Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Jewish List of Hasidic dynasties, Hasidic dynasty. Chabad is one of the world's best-known Hasidic Judaism, Hasidic movements, particularly for its ...
,
Shneur Zalman of Liadi Shneur Zalman of Liadi ( he, שניאור זלמן מליאדי, September 4, 1745 – December 15, 1812 Adoption of the Gregorian calendar#Adoption in Eastern Europe, O.S. / 18 Elul 5505 – 24 Tevet 5573) was an influential Lithuanian Jews, Li ...
), God is held to be immanent within creation for two interrelated reasons: # A very strong Jewish belief is that " e Divine life-force which brings he universeinto existence must constantly be present ... were this life-force to forsake he universefor even one brief moment, it would revert to a state of utter nothingness, as before the creation ..." # Simultaneously, Judaism holds as
axiom An axiom, postulate, or assumption is a statement (logic), statement that is taken to be truth, true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning and arguments. The word comes from the Ancient Greek word (), meaning 'that whi ...
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. The
Vilna Gaon Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, ( he , ר' אליהו בן שלמה זלמן ''Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman'') known as the Vilna Gaon (Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic languages, W ...
was very much against this philosophy, for he felt that it would lead to pantheism and heresy. According to some this is the main reason for the Gaon's ban on Chasidism.


Christianity


=Creator–creature distinction

= Christians maintain that God created the universe ''
ex nihilo (Latin for "creation out of nothing") is the doctrine that matter is not eternal but had to be created by some divine creative act. It is a theistic answer to the question of how the universe comes to exist. It is in contrast to ''Ex nihilo ni ...
'' and not from his own substance, so that the creator is not to be confused with creation, but rather transcends it. There is a movement of "Christian Panentheism". Even 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 In the context of Christian theology, Christian anthropology is the study of the human (anthropos) as it relates to God. It differs from the social science of anthropology, which primarily deals with the comparative study of the physical and soc ...
to refer to the innate nature of humankind as being
holistic Holism () is the idea that various systems (e.g. physical, biological, social) should be viewed as wholes, not merely as a collection of parts. The term "holism" was coined by Jan Smuts in his 1926 book ''Holism and Evolution''."holism, n." OED Onl ...
, as usually opposed to bipartite and tripartite views.


=Rejection of radical dualism

= In '' On Free Choice of the Will'',
Augustine Augustine of Hippo ( , ; la, Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430), also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian and philosopher of Berbers, Berber origin and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia (Roman pr ...
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 described evil as a "parasite" in '' Mere Christianity'', 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, and rejected the dualistic notion that God and
Satan Satan,, ; grc, ὁ σατανᾶς or , ; ar, شيطانالخَنَّاس , also known as Devil in Christianity, the Devil, and sometimes also called Lucifer in Christianity, is an non-physical entity, entity in the Abrahamic religions ...
are opposites, arguing instead that God has no equal, hence no opposite. Lewis rather viewed Satan as the opposite of
Michael the archangel Michael (; he, מִיכָאֵל, lit=Who is like El od, translit=Mīḵāʾēl; el, Μιχαήλ, translit=Mikhaḗl; la, Michahel; ar, ميخائيل ، مِيكَالَ ، ميكائيل, translit=Mīkāʾīl, Mīkāl, Mīkhāʾīl), a ...
. 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 that God allows. Isaiah 45:5–7 ( KJV) says:


=Theosis

= In
Roman Catholicism The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . It is am ...
and
Eastern Orthodoxy Eastern Orthodoxy, also known as Eastern Orthodox Christianity, is one of the three main Branches of Christianity, branches of Chalcedonian Christianity, alongside Catholic Church, Catholicism and Protestantism. Like the Pentarchy of the first m ...
, while human beings are not ontologically identical with the Creator, they are nonetheless capable with uniting with his Divine Nature via theosis, and especially, through the devout reception of the Holy Eucharist. This is a supernatural union, over and above that natural union, of which 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."
Julian of Norwich Julian of Norwich (1343 – after 1416), also known as Juliana of Norwich, Dame Julian or Mother Julian, was an Kingdom of England, English Mysticism, mystic and anchorite, anchoress of the Middle Ages. Her writings, now known as ''Revel ...
, 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.


=Christian Monism

= Some Christian theologians are avowed monists, such as
Paul Tillich Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American Christian existentialism, Christian existentialist philosopher, religious socialism, religious socialist, and Lutheran Protestant theologian who is widely re ...
. Since God is he "in whom we live and move and have our being" (
Book of Acts The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum) is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian Church and the spread of The gospel, ...
17.28), it follows that everything that has being partakes in God.


=Mormonism

=
Latter Day Saint The Latter Day Saint movement (also called the LDS movement, LDS restorationist movement, or Smith–Rigdon movement) is the collection of independent church groups that trace their origins to a Christian Restorationist movement founded by Jo ...
theology also expresses a form of dual-aspect monism via
materialism Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds matter to be the fundamental substance in nature, and all things, including mental states A mental state, or a mental property, is a state of mind of a person. Mental states compris ...
and eternalism, claiming that creation was ex materia (as opposed to ex nihilo in conventional Christianity), as expressed by Parley Pratt and echoed in view by the movement's founder
Joseph Smith Joseph Smith Jr. (December 23, 1805June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. By the time of his death, 14 years later, he ...
, making no distinction between the spiritual and the material, these being not just similarly eternal, but ultimately two manifestations of the same reality or substance. Parley Pratt implies a
vitalism Vitalism is a belief that starts from the premise that "living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things." Wher ...
paired with evolutionary adaptation noting, “these eternal, self-existing elements possess in themselves certain inherent properties or attributes, in a greater or less degree; or, in other words, they possess intelligence, adapted to their several spheres.” Parley Pratt’s view is also similar to Gottfried Leibniz’s
monadology The ''Monadology'' (french: La Monadologie, 1714) is one of Gottfried Leibniz's best known works of his later philosophy. It is a short text which presents, in some 90 paragraphs, a metaphysics of simple substance theory, substances, or ''monad ...
, which holds that “reality consists of mind atoms that are living centers of force.”
Brigham Young Brigham Young (; June 1, 1801August 29, 1877) was an American religious leader and politician. He was the second President of the Church (LDS Church), president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), from 1847 until his ...
anticipates a proto-mentality of elementary particles with his vitalist view, “there is life in all matter, throughout the vast extent of all the eternities; it is in the rock, the sand, the dust, in water, air, the gases, and in short, in every description and organization of matter; whether it be solid, liquid, or gaseous, particle operating with particle.” The LDS conception of matter is “essentially dynamic rather than static, if indeed it is not a kind of living energy, and that it is subject at least to the rule of intelligence.” John A. Widstoe held a similar, more vitalist view, that “Life is nothing more than matter in motion; that, therefore, all matter possess a kind of life… Matter… sintelligence… hence everything in the universe is alive.” However, Widstoe resisted outright affirming a belief in
panpsychism In the philosophy of mind, panpsychism () is the view that the mind or a mindlike aspect is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of reality. It is also described as a theory that "the mind is a fundamental feature of the world which exists thro ...
.


Islam


=Quran

= Vincent Cornell argues that the
Quran The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...
provides a monist image of God by describing reality as a unified whole, with God being a single concept that would describe or ascribe all existing things. But most argue that Abrahamic religious scriptures, especially the Quran, see creation and God as two separate existences. It explains that everything has been created by God and is under his control, but at the same time distinguishes creation as being dependent on the existence of God.


=Sufism

= Some Sufi mystics advocate monism. One of the most notable being the 13th-century Persian poet
Rumi Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī ( fa, جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), also known as Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (), Mevlânâ/Mawlānā ( fa, مولانا, lit= our master) and Mevlevî/Mawlawī ( fa, مولوی, lit= my ma ...
(1207–73) in his didactic poem ''
Masnavi The ''Masnavi'', or ''Masnavi-ye-Ma'navi'' ( fa, مثنوی معنوی), also written ''Mathnawi'', or ''Mathnavi'', is an extensive poem written in Persian language, Persian by Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi, also known as Rumi. The ''Masnavi'' ...
'' espoused monism.Reynold Nicholson ''Rumi''
Rumi says in the
Masnavi The ''Masnavi'', or ''Masnavi-ye-Ma'navi'' ( fa, مثنوی معنوی), also written ''Mathnawi'', or ''Mathnavi'', is an extensive poem written in Persian language, Persian by Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi, also known as Rumi. The ''Masnavi'' ...
, Other Sufi mystics however, such as
Ahmad Sirhindi Aḥmad al-Fārūqī as-Sirhindī (1564-1624) was a South Asian Islamic scholar from Punjab, Hanafi jurist, and member of the Naqshbandi, Naqshbandī Sufi order. He has been described by some followers as a Mujaddid, meaning a “reviver", for ...
, upheld dualistic Monotheism (the separation of God and the Universe). The most influential of the
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
ic monists was the Sufi philosopher
Ibn Arabi Ibn ʿArabī ( ar, ابن عربي, ; full name: , ; 1165–1240), nicknamed al-Qushayrī (, ) and Sulṭān al-ʿĀrifīn (, , 'Sultan of the Knowers'), was an Arab al-Andalus, Andalusian Muslim scholar, Mysticism, mystic, poet, and philosopher ...
(1165–1240). He developed the concept of 'unity of being' (Arabic: '' waḥdat al-wujūd''), which some argue is a monistic philosophy. Born in
al-Andalus Al-Andalus translit. ; an, al-Andalus; ast, al-Ándalus; eu, al-Andalus; ber, ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ, label=Berber, translit=Andalus; ca, al-Àndalus; gl, al-Andalus; oc, Al Andalús; pt, al-Ândalus; es, al-Ándalus () was the Mus ...
, he made an enormous impact on the Muslim world, where he was crowned "the great Master". In the centuries following his death, his ideas became increasingly controversial.
Ahmad Sirhindi Aḥmad al-Fārūqī as-Sirhindī (1564-1624) was a South Asian Islamic scholar from Punjab, Hanafi jurist, and member of the Naqshbandi, Naqshbandī Sufi order. He has been described by some followers as a Mujaddid, meaning a “reviver", for ...
criticised monistic understanding of 'unity of being', advocating the dualistic-compatible 'unity of witness' (Arabic: '' wahdat ash-shuhud''), maintaining separation of creator and creation. Later,
Shah Waliullah Dehlawi Quṭb-ud-Dīn Aḥmad Walīullāh Ibn ʿAbd-ur-Raḥīm Ibn Wajīh-ud-Dīn Ibn Muʿaẓẓam Ibn Manṣūr Al-ʿUmarī Ad-Dehlawī ( ar, ‎; 1703–1762), commonly known as Shāh Walīullāh Dehlawī (also Shah Wali Allah), was an Islamic ...
reconciled the two ideas maintaining that their differences are semantic differences, arguing that the universal existence (which is different in creation to creator) and the divine essence are different and that the universal existence emanates (in a non-platonic sense) from the divine essence and that the relationship between them is similar to the relationship between the number four and a number being even.


=Shi'ism

= The doctrine of '' waḥdat al-wujūd'' also enjoys considerable following in the rationalist philosophy of
Twelver Shi'ism Twelver Shīʿīsm ( ar, ٱثْنَا عَشَرِيَّة; '), also known as Imāmīyyah ( ar, إِمَامِيَّة), is the largest branch of Shīʿa Islam, comprising about 85 percent of all Shīʿa Muslims. The term ''Twelver'' refers t ...
, with the most famous modern-day adherent being
Ruhollah Khomeini Ruhollah Khomeini, Ayatollah Khomeini, Imam Khomeini ( , ; ; 17 May 1900 – 3 June 1989) was an Iranian political and religious leader who served as the first supreme leader of Iran from 1979 until his death in 1989. He was the founder of ...
.


Baháʼí Faith

Although the teachings of the
Baháʼí Faith The Baháʼí Faith is a religion founded in the 19th century The 19th (nineteenth) century began on 1 January 1801 (Roman numerals, MDCCCI), and ended on 31 December 1900 (Roman numerals, MCM). The 19th century was the ninth century of th ...
have a strong emphasis on social and ethical issues, there exist a number of foundational texts that have been described as mystical. Some of these include statements of a monist nature (e.g., '' The Seven Valleys'' and the '' Hidden Words''). The differences between dualist and monist views are reconciled by the teaching that these opposing viewpoints are caused by differences in the observers themselves, not in that which is observed. This is not a 'higher truth/lower truth' position. God is unknowable. For man it is impossible to acquire any direct knowledge of God or the Absolute, because any knowledge that one has, is relative.


Non-dualism

According to nondualism, many forms of religion are based on an experiential or intuitive understanding of "the Real". Nondualism, a modern reinterpretation of these religions, prefers the term "nondualism", instead of monism, because this understanding is "nonconceptual", "not graspable in an idea". To these nondual traditions belong
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religions, Indian religion or ''dharma'', a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. As a religion, it is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest, with over 1.2–1.35 billion ...
(including
Vedanta ''Vedanta'' (; sa, वेदान्त, ), also ''Uttara Mīmāṃsā'', is one of the six (''āstika'') schools of Hindu philosophy Hindu philosophy encompasses the philosophies, world views and teachings of Hinduism that emerged ...
, some forms of
Yoga Yoga (; sa, योग, lit=yoke' or 'union ) is a group of Asana, physical, mental, and Spirituality#Asian traditions, spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in History of India, ancient India and aim to control (yoke) and Ś ...
, and certain schools of
Shaivism Shaivism (; sa, शैवसम्प्रदायः, Śaivasampradāyaḥ) is one of the major Hindu traditions, which worships Shiva as the Supreme Being In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creato ...
),
Taoism Taoism (, ) or Daoism () refers to either a school of Philosophy, philosophical thought (道家; ''daojia'') or to a religion (道教; ''daojiao''), both of which share ideas and concepts of China, Chinese origin and emphasize living in harmo ...
,
Pantheism Pantheism is the belief that reality, the universe and the cosmos are identical with divinity and a supreme supernatural being or entity, pointing to the universe as being an immanent creator deity A creator deity or creator god (often ...
,
Rastafari Rastafari, sometimes called Rastafarianism, is a religion that developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. It is classified as both a new religious movement and a social movement by Religious studies, scholars of religion. There is no central autho ...
, and similar systems of thought.


See also

*
Cosmic pluralism Cosmic pluralism, the plurality of worlds, or simply pluralism, describes the belief in numerous "world In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. T ...
* Dialectical monism *
Henosis Henosis ( grc, wikt:ἕνωσις, ἕνωσις) is the classical Greek word for mystical "oneness", "union" or "unity". In Platonism, and especially Neoplatonism, henosis is unification with what is fundamental in reality: the One (wikt:ε ...
*
Holism Holism () is the idea that various systems (e.g. physical, biological, social) should be viewed as wholes, not merely as a collection of parts. The term "holism" was coined by Jan Smuts in his 1926 book ''Holism and Evolution''."holism, n." OED Onl ...
* Indefinite monism * Material monism *
Monadology The ''Monadology'' (french: La Monadologie, 1714) is one of Gottfried Leibniz's best known works of his later philosophy. It is a short text which presents, in some 90 paragraphs, a metaphysics of simple substance theory, substances, or ''monad ...
* Monistic idealism * Ontological pluralism * Realistic monism * Univocity of being


Notes


References


Sources

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External links

* * *
Catholic Encyclopedia
- Monism
Hinduism's Online Lexicon
– (search for Monism)
The Monist
{{Authority control Philosophy of religion Metaphysical theories Theory of mind Spinozism