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compiled by Daryl E. Witmer
MONISM – defined as the view that reality is a unified whole and that all existing things can be ascribed to, or described by, a single concept or system. It is the doctrine that mind and matter are reducible to the same ultimate substance or principle of being.
PANTHEISTIC MONISM – also identifies God with the universe and all that is in it. It is handily summarized by the line: “All is One, One is All, All is God.”
MONISM & PANTHEISTIC MONISM both have historical roots in the religions and worldviews of East Asia.
MONOTHEISM, by contrast, is the doctrine that there is only one God who is personal and separate from His creation. Monotheism has its roots in faiths of Middle Eastern origin.
Have the monistic thought-forms of the East come West undercover? You be the judge.
HINDUISM (Advaita Vedanta) upholds the concept of one infinite, undifferentiated, impersonal, divine essence of bliss and consciousness (satchitananda) called Brahman, which is said to be the only reality. All else is illusion, the dream of Brahman, including the entire material world, e.g. trees, flowers, stars, and even people. Brahman cannot be ration-ally defined (neti neti = not this, not that). Brahman, then, is unthinking, unknowing, and unknowable.
TAOISM is an Eastern system of religious thought. B. Pierce comments on A Synthesis of Taoist Philosophy: “Tao is the essence of the universe and could be viewed as ‘God.'”
LIFESPRING (identified with the human potential movement) is a New Age training seminar taken by over 300,000 individuals, founded by John P. Hanley in 1974, and based on the monistic philosophy that all is one. According to Lifespring, “The Absolute within transcends all dualities, including good and evil.”
SWAMI ADBHUTANANDA makes this observation: “Good and evil have no absolute reality.”
SILVA MIND CONTROL (SMC) is a spiritualistic self-help seminar founded by JosÅ½ Silva in Laredo TX in 1944. Today it is has grown to be a large international corporate structure. Note the following excerpt from the SMC newsletter: “Everything is in some respect the universal mind and the creation of that mind… Each one of us is an idea in the universal mind. Man chooses to think of himself as a separate being…but actually we participate in this mind as an atom of water participates in the substance of the ocean.”
CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD, a best-selling New Age book series authored by Neale Donald Walsch, quotes ‘God’: “You are always a part of God, because you are never apart from God. This is the truth of your being. We are Whole. So now you know the whole truth.” “So go ahead! Mix what you call the profane and the profound – so that you can see that there is no difference, and experience All as One.” “I Am What I Am: All That Is.”
A COURSE IN MIRACLES, a very popular text and New Age spiritual tome contemplated thus far by over 1000 study groups in America, teaches that: “separation is a dream from which we need to awaken…joining with each other and undoing the separation which gave rise to the dream.”
IRWIN KULA, a Conservative Jewish rabbi, quoted on Frontline, a production of WGBH Boston, Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero, aired on public television September 3, 2002: “When you see the seamlessness of it all, that’s what I mean by God.” “I guess if you ask me what did 9/11 really do, it made me understand the truth that everything is one.” “We’ve all had those experiences when we recognize, ‘Whoa! We’re much more connected here.’ That’s what those firemen had. Now, they didn’t have time to think about it, right, because actually, if you think about it, you begin to create separations. They didn’t think about it. All they knew was, we’re absolutely connected. That’s what we mean when we say God.”
DEEPAK CHOPRA is author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, reviewed here by Doug Groothuis: “Chopra’s monism (the idea that all is one) really undermines the idea of giving. If all is one flow, there are no givers or receivers at all. Neither could anything really be wrong if everything is equally part of the divine intelligence. The basis for morality dissolves.”
CHARLES MANSON: “If God is One, what is bad?”
DR. JOHN WELDON: “[Monism’s] cultural acceptance would destroy both individual and societal purpose in life. The Eastern religions …deify man, depersonalize God, make the creation an ‘illusion,’ and justify and promote social apathy, to name just several serious consequences. India…is supposed to be the land of perpetual spiritual enlightenment…[but] one needs only to examine the cultures in which the concept of God as a personal Creator has been rejected to see the unhappy results.”
THE BIBLE Romans 1:25 “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
SOURCES: Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs by Dr. John Weldon & John Ankerberg, © 1996 Harvest House; http://www.equip.org/free/DN069.htm