Summary of Chapter 7: JOURNEY TO THE EAST—EASTERN PANTHEISTIC MONISM (Pgs.118-135)


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            Sire begins by pointing out the disparity of thought that obtains between the West and East and the problems which arise as a result.  Many events, including the Vietnam War, caused many Westerners to look to the East for meaning in life.   This shift of thinking in the West was evidenced by the Hippy movement of the 1960’s.

Eastern thought is both pantheistic and monistic where all is god and God is all, thus the One is Atman and Brahman are true reality.  First, it is held that every soul is the Cosmos where distinctions are eradicated.  Thus, God is each person and each person is God so whatever distinctions appear to be the case, are a mere illusion.

Second, some things are more than others which means that pure being is unity with the One.  Third, many if not all roads lead to the One, thus Hicks view of salvation obtains here.  One can meditate a mandala, chant a mantra, or chant the OM where solitude and silence are necessary.  Here it is where non-rational content has meaning and for one to become one with Atman, it is necessary for the waking, dreaming, sleeping and awakening which result in enlightenment.

The word OM is multifaceted in meaning (Pgs.125-126).

Fourth, one must realize their oneness with the Cosmos in order to pass beyond personality which equals the acquisition of pure being, which is nonconsciousness (Pg.127).

Fifth, realizing one’s oneness with the Cosmos means one has gone past knowledge where the law of non-contradiction does not apply.  Here’s where many Westerners get tripped up and rightly so.

Sixth, oneness means going beyond good and evil.  This view makes it impossible for one to have moral outrage much less a moral position (Pgs.128-129).

Seventh, death terminates the individual but really changes nothing and history is cyclical (See how West must engage East with their W.V.).  At the end of the day, the Eastern mentality denies reality as it truly is, thus evil and good are denied (point out this problem mannishly).  Mostly, the law of non-contradiction must be championed in order to address this position.  

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