Saturday, 29 April 2017

The One

Regular blog readers will notice that characters in works of fiction written by Poul Anderson and SM Stirling are adherents of various religions, real or imagined. It follows that the analysis of these authors' texts generates discussions of theology and philosophy. This seems to me to be right and proper although other readers might instead prefer to focus only on the fictional narratives. The following is a summary of my views on these issues. Readers are welcome either to skip this post or to disagree with it.

The One is all things from the micro- to the macroscopic.
Although It is one, It appears to Itself as many, thus generating illusory separation.
The One becomes conscious of Itself through sentient organisms and can realize Its identity in human beings.
Realization is the ending of illusion which is appearance mistaken for reality.
Monotheists personify the One.
In Hindu impersonalist philosophy, the pronoun for the transcendent reality is "THAT."
"Thou art THAT." See here.
It is possible although not verified that there are beings at a higher level of consciousness and intelligence than humanity.
Gods are imaginative personifications of the One and Its aspects.
They are in us and we are in It.
Zazen is practice of awareness, thus of oneness with the One.
Any spiritual path sincerely practised will reveal its limitations, if any, and will thus point towards a more helpful practice.
However, this takes time and I do not believe in rebirth.
In practice, we must live amidst a bewildering multiplicity of beliefs and paths and find our own way.
Multiplicity of beliefs reflects the multiplicity of the appearances of the One.
Materialist philosophers rightly say that being has become conscious and that the contents of consciousness are determined by material conditions.
Thus, the One was not conscious "In the beginning..."
Unity without uniformity and diversity without division are the most appropriate social expressions of the One.
Society might recognize that there is one reality, variously conceived.


  1. "'The One was not conscious 'In the beginning...'" Unless, by "the beginning," we means the first moment of consciousness that was not mere bodily sensation. The One, which pervades all space, necessarily appeared to itself as an external environment with empty spaces between discrete objects and other environment features like a sky above and a ground below: "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth..."

    1. Kaor, Paul!

      Unsurprisingly, I fear, I disagree with your definition of the One. I argue that God is the infinitely transcendent Other Who existed from all eternity. And God is simple (in the theological sense), all sufficient and happy, omniscient and omnipotent. Yet He does care about the universe He has created and the rational beings living in it.