⌛ Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening
There is, in Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening, a certain elegance and grandeur to the notion that the "history Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening all hitherto existing society has been the history of class struggles. That the movement would have Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening to rest had it Evin Prison Research Paper left to its own spontaneous popular momentum and self-determination — possibly with gains that Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening have reinforced more advanced social developments Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening — is perhaps the safest judgment we can make with the Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening time has given Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening. But I must add that not only does humanity place its imprint on the Essay On Getting Paid For Good Grades world and transform it, but also nature places its imprint on the human world and transforms it. The Upanishads contain proto-Shamkhya speculations. To be in Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening is to see Example Of A Tone Analysis as they appear to deluded consciousness and to interact with them accordingly. I am mindful that many ecologically oriented individuals use "ecology" and "environmentalism" interchangeably.
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There is, in fact, a certain elegance and grandeur to the notion that the "history of all hitherto existing society has been the history of class struggles. Class relationships are essentially relationships of production based on ownership of land, tools, machines, and the produce thereof. Exploitation, in turn, is the use of the labor of others to provide for one's own material needs, for luxuries and leisure, and for the accumulation and productive renewal of technology.
There the matter of class definition could be said to rest — and with it, Marx's famous method of "class analysis" as the authentic unravelling of the material bases of economic interests, ideologies and culture. Hierarchy, although it includes Marx's definition of class and even gives rise to a class society historically, goes beyond this limited meaning imputed to a largely economic form of stratification.
To say this, however, does not define the meaning of the term hierarchy, and I doubt that the word can be encompassed by a formal definition. I view it historically and existentially as a complex system of command and obedience in which elites enjoy varying degrees of control over their subordinates without necessarily exploiting them. Such elites may completely lack any form of material wealth; they may — even — be dispossessed of it, much as Plato's "guardian" elite was socially powerful but materially poor. Hierarchy is not merely a social condition; it is also a state of consciousness, a sensibility toward phenomena at every level of personal and social experience. Early preliterate societies "organic" societies, as I call them existed in a fairly integrated and unified form based on kinship ties, age groups, and a sexual division of labor.
People in preliterate cultures viewed themselves not as the "lords of creation" to borrow a phrase used by Christian millenarians but as part of the natural world. They were neither above nature nor below it but within it. In organic societies the differences between individuals, age groups, sexes — and between humanity and the natural manifold of living and nonliving phenomena — were seen to use Hegel's superb phrase as a "unity of differences" or "unity of diversity," not as hierarchies. Their outlook was distinctly ecological, and from this outlook they almost unconsciously derived a body of values that influenced their behavior toward individuals in their own communities and the world of life.
As I contend in the following pages, ecology knows no "king of beasts" and no "lowly creatures" such terms come from our own hierarchical mentality. Rather it deals with ecosystems in which living things are interdependent and play complementary roles in perpetuating the stability of the natural order. Gradually, organic societies began to develop less traditional forms of differentiation and stratification. Their primal unity began to break down. The sociopolitical or "civil" sphere of life expanded, giving increasing eminence to the elders and males of the community, who now claimed this sphere as part of the division of tribal labor. Male supremacy over women and children emerged primarily as a result of the male's social functions in the community — functions that were not by any means exclusively economic as Marxian theorists would have us believe.
Male cunning in the manipulation of women was to appear later. Until this phase of history or prehistory, the elders and males rarely exercised socially dominant roles because their civil sphere was simply not very important to the community. Indeed, the civil sphere was markedly counterbalanced by the enormous significance of the woman's "domestic" sphere. Household and childbearing responsibilities were much more important in early organic societies than politics and military affairs. Early society was profoundly different from contemporary society in its structural arrangements and the roles played by different members of the community. Yet even with the emergence of hierarchy there were still no economic classes or state structures, nor were people materially exploited in a systematic manner.
Certain strata, such as the elders and shamans and ultimately the males in general, began to claim privileges for themselves — often merely as matters of prestige based on social recognition rather than material gain. The nature of these privileges, if such they can be called, requires a more sophisticated discussion than it has received to date, and I have tried to examine them carefully in considerable detail. Only later did economic classes and economic exploitation begin to appear, eventually to be followed by the State with its far-reaching bureaucratic and military paraphernalia.
But the dissolution of organic societies into hierarchical, class, and political societies occurred unevenly and erratically, shifting back and forth over long periods of time. We can see this most strikingly in the relationships between men and women — particularly in terms of the values that have been associated with changing social roles. For example, although anthropologists have long assigned an inordinate degree of social eminence to men in highly developed hunting cultures — an eminence they probably never enjoyed in the more primal foraging bands of their ancestors — the supercession of hunting by horticulture, in which gardening was performed mainly by women, probably redressed whatever earlier imbalances may have existed between the sexes.
To deny the very existence of the latent attitudinal tensions that must have existed between the male hunter, who had to kill for his food and later make war on his fellow beings, and the female food-gatherer, who foraged for her food and later cultivated it, would make it very difficult to explain why patriarchy and its harshly aggressive outlook ever emerged at all. Although the changes I have adduced were technological and partially economic — as terms like food-gatherers, hunters, and horticulturists seem to imply — we should not assume that these changes were directly responsible for shifts in sexual status. Given the level of hierarchical difference that emerged in this early period of social life — even in a patricentric community — women were still not abject inferiors of men, nor were the young placed in grim subjugation to the old.
Indeed, the appearance of a ranking system that conferred privilege on one stratum over another, notably the old over the young, was in its own way a form of compensation that more often reflected the egalitarian features of organic society rather than the authoritarian features of later societies. When the number of horticultural communities began to multiply to a point where cultivable land became relatively scarce and warfare increasingly common, the younger warriors began to enjoy a sociopolitical eminence that made them the "big men" of the community, sharing civil power with the elders and shamans.
Throughout, matricentric customs, religions, and sensibilities coexisted with patricentric ones, so that the sterner features of patriarchy were often absent during this transitional period. Whether matricentric or patricentic, the older egalitarianism of organic society permeated social life and faded away only slowly, leaving many vestigial remains long after class society had fastened its hold on popular values and sensibilities. The State, economic classes, and the systematic exploitation of subjugated peoples followed from a more complex and protracted development than radical theorists recognized in their day.
Their visions of the origins of class and political societies were instead the culmination of an earlier, richly articulated development of society into hierarchical forms. The divisions within organic society increasingly raised the old to supremacy over the young, men to supremacy over women, the shaman and later the priestly corporation to supremacy over lay society, one class to supremacy over another, and State formations to supremacy over society in general. For the reader imbued with the conventional wisdom of our era, I cannot emphasize too strongly that society in the form of bands, families, clans, tribes, tribal federations, villages, and even municipalities long antedates State formations.
The State, with its specialized functionaries, bureaucracies, and armies, emerges quite late in human social development — often well beyond the threshold of history. It remained in sharp conflict with coexisting social structures such as guilds, neighborhoods, popular societies, cooperatives, town meetings, and a wide variety of municipal assemblies. But the hierarchical organization of all differentia did not end with the structuring of "civil" society into an institutionalized system of obedience and command.
In time, hierarchy began to invade less tangible fields of life. Mental activity was given supremacy over physical work, intellectual experience over sensuousness, the "reality principle" over the "pleasure principle," and finally judgment, morality, and spirit were pervaded by an ineffable authoritarianism that was to take its vengeful command over language and the most rudimentary forms of symbolization.
The vision of social and natural diversity was altered from an organic sensibility that sees different phenomena as unity in diversity into a hierarchical mentality that ranked the most miniscule phenomena into mutually antagonistic pyramids erected around notions of "inferior" and "superior. Thus, the effort to restore the ecological principle of unity in diversity has become a social effort in its own right — a revolutionary effort that must rearrange sensibility in order to rearrange the real world.
A hierarchical mentality fosters the renunciation of the pleasures of life. It justifies toil, guilt, and sacrifice by the "inferiors," and pleasure and the indulgent gratification of virtually every caprice by their "superiors. Heinous as my view may be to modern Freudians, it is not the discipline of work but the discipline of rule that demands the repression of internal nature. This repression then extends outward to external nature as a mere object of rule and later of exploitation. This mentality permeates our individual psyches in a cumulative form up to the present day — not merely as capitalism but as the vast history of hierarchical society from its inception. Unless we explore this history, which lives actively within us like earlier phases of our individual lives, we will never be free of its hold.
We may eliminate social injustice, but we will not achieve social freedom. We may eliminate classes and exploitation, but we will not be spared from the trammels of hierarchy and domination. We may exorcize the spirit of gain and accumulation from our psyches, but we will still be burdened by gnawing guilt, renunciation, and a subtle belief in the "vices" of sensuousness. Another series of distinctions appears in this book — the distinction between morality and ethics and between justice and freedom, Morality — as I use this term — denotes conscious standards of behavior that have not yet been subjected to thorough rational analyses by a community.
I have eschewed the use of the word "custom" as a substitute for the word morality because moral criteria for judging behavior do involve some kind of explanation and cannot be reduced to the conditioned social reflexes we usually call custom. The Mosaic commandments, like those of other world religions, for example, were justified on theological grounds; they were the sacrosanct words of Yahweh, which we might reasonably challenge today because they are not grounded in reason.
Ethics, by contrast, invites rational analyses and, like Kant's "moral imperative," must be justified by intellectual operations, not mere faith. Hence, morality lies somewhere between unthinking custom and rational ethical criteria of right and wrong. Without making these distinctions, it would be difficult to explain the increasingly ethical claims the State has made on its citizens, particularly in eroding the archaic moral codes that supported the patriarch's complete control over his family, and the impediments this authority has placed in the way of politically more expansive societies like the Athenian polis.
The distinction between justice and freedom, between formal equality and substantive equality, is even more basic and continually recurs throughout the book. This distinction has rarely been explored even by radical theorists, who often still echo the historical cry of the oppressed for "Justice! Worse yet, the two have been used as equivalents which they decidedly are not. The young Proudhon and later Marx correctly perceived that true freedom presupposes an equality based on a recognition of inequality — the inequality of capacities and needs, of abilities and responsibilities.
Mere formal equality, which "justly" rewards each according to his or her contribution to society and sees everyone as "equal in the eyes of the law" and "equal in opportunity," grossly obscures the fact that the young and old, the weak and infirm, the individual with few responsibilities and the one with many not to speak of the rich and the poor in contemporary society by no means enjoy genuine equality in a society guided by the rule of equivalence. Indeed, terms like rewards, needs, opportunity, or, for that matter, property — however communally "owned" or collectively operated — require as much investigation as the word law. Unfortunately, the revolutionary tradition did not fully develop these themes and their embodiment in certain terms.
Socialism, in most of its forms, gradually degenerated into a demand for "economic justice," thereby merely restating the rule of equivalence as an economic emendation to the juridical and political rule of equivalence established by the bourgeoisie. It is my purpose to thoroughly unscramble these distinctions, to demonstrate how the confusion arose in the first place and how it can be clarified so it no longer burdens the future. A third contrast that I try to develop in this book is the distinction between happiness and pleasure. Happiness, as defined here, is the mere satisfaction of need, of our survival needs for food, shelter, clothing, and material security — in short, our needs as animal organisms. Pleasure, by contrast, is the satisfaction of our desires, of our intellectual, esthetic, sensuous and playful "daydreams.
We can see evidence of this regressive development in many radical ideologies that justify toil and need at the expense of artful work and sensuous joy. That these ideologies denounce the quest for fulfillment of the sensuous as "bourgeois individualism" and "libertinism" hardly requires mention. Yet it is precisely in this utopistic quest for pleasure, I believe, that humanity begins to gain its most sparkling glimpse of emancipation. With this quest carried to the social realm, rather than confined to a privatized hedonism, humanity begins to transcend the realm of justice, even of a classless society, and enters into the realm of freedom — a realm conceived as the full realization of humanity's potentialities in their most creative form.
If I were asked to single out the one underlying contrast that permeates this book, it is the seeming conflict between the "realm of necessity" and the "realm of freedom. It involves the "blind" world of "natural" or external nature and the rational world of "human" or internal nature that society must dominate to create the material conditions for freedom — the free time and leisure to allow man to develop his potentialities and powers. This drama is redolent with the conflict between nature and society, woman and man, and body and reason that permeates western images of "civilization.
Its apotheosis, ironically, is reached in various socialisms, particularly those of Robert, Owen, Saint-Simon, and in its most sophisticated form, Karl Marx. Marx's image of the "savage who wrestles with nature" is not an expression so much of Enlightenment hubris as it is of Victorian arrogance. Woman, as Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer observed, has no stake in this conflict. It is strictly between man and nature. From Aristotle's time to Marx's, the split is regarded as inevitable: the gap between necessity and freedom may be narrowed by technological advances that give man an ever-greater ascendancy over nature, but it can never be bridged.
What puzzled a few highly sophisticated Marxists in later years was how the repression and disciplining of external nature could be achieved without repressing and disciplining internal nature: how could "natural" nature be kept in tow without subjugating "human" nature? My attempt to unravel this puzzle involves an effort to deal with the Victorians' mythic "savage," to investigate external nature and its relationship to internal nature, to give meaning to the world of necessity nature in terms of the ability of the world of freedom society to colonize and liberate it. My strategy is to reexamine the evolution and meaning of technology in a new ecological light.
I will try to ascertain how work ceased to be attractive and playful, and turned into onerous toil. Hence, I am led to a drastic reconsideration of the nature and structure of technics, of work, and of humanity's metabolism with nature. Here, I would like to emphasize that my views on nature are linked by a fairly unorthodox notion of reason. As Adorno and Horkheimer have emphasized, reason was once perceived as an immanent feature of reality, indeed, as the organizing and motivating principle of the world.
It was seen as an inherent force — as the logos — that imparted meaning and coherence to reality at all levels of existence. The modern world has abandoned this notion and reduced reason to rationalization, that is, to a mere technique for achieving practical ends. Logos, in effect, was simply turned into logic. This book tries to recover this notion of an immanent world reason, albeit without the archaic, quasi-theological trappings that render this notion untenable to a more knowledgeable and secular society. In my view, reason exists in nature as the self-organizing attributes of substance; it is the latent subjectivity in the inorganic and organic levels of reality that reveal an inherent striving toward consciousness.
In humanity, this subjectivity reveals itself as self-consciousness. I do not claim that my approach is unique; an extensive literature that supports the existence of a seemingly intrinsic logos in nature derives mainly from the scientific community itself. What I have tried to do here is to cast my speculations about reason in distinctly historical and ecological terms, free of the theological and mystical proclivities that have so often marred the formulations of a rational nature philosophy.
In the closing chapters, I try to explore the interface between nature philosophy and libertarian social theory. I am also obliged to recover the authentic utopian tradition, particularly as expressed by Rabelais, Charles Fourier, and William Morris, from amidst the debris of futurism that conceals it. Futurism, as exemplified by the works of Herman Kahn, merely extrapolates the hideous present into an even more hideous future and thereby effaces the creative, imaginative dimensions of futurity. By contrast, the utopian tradition seeks to permeate necessity with freedom, work with play, even toil with artfulness and festiveness.
My contrast between utopianism and futurism forms the basis for a creative, liberatory reconstruction of an ecological society, for a sense of human mission and meaning as nature rendered self-conscious. This book opens with a Norse myth that depicts how the gods must pay a penalty for seeking the conquest of nature. It ends with a social project for removing that penalty, whose Latin root poenalis has given us the word pain. Humanity will become the deities it created in its imagination, albeit as deities within nature, not above nature — as "supernatural" entities.
The title of this book, The Ecology of Freedom, is meant to express the reconciliation of nature and human society in a new ecological sensibility and a new ecological society — a reharmonization of nature and humanity through a reharmonization of human with human. A dialectical tension pervades this book. Throughout my discussion I often deal with potentialities that have yet to be actualized historically. Expository needs often compel me to treat a certain social condition in embryonic form as though it had already reached fulfillment.
My procedure is guided by the need to bring the concept out in full relief, to clarify its complete meaning and implications. In my descriptions of the historical role of the elders in the formation of hierarchy, for example, some readers might surmise that I believe hierarchy existed at the very outset of human society. The influential role that the elders were to play in forming hierarchies is intermingled with their more modest role at earlier periods of social development, when they actually exercised comparatively little social influence.
In this situation I am faced with the need to clarify how the elders constituted the earliest "seeds" of hierarchy. A gerontocracy was probably the first form of hierarchy to exist in society. But, owing to my mode of presentation, some readers might assume that the rule of the old over the young existed during periods of human society when no such rule really existed. Nevertheless, the insecurities that come with age almost certainly existed among the elders, and they eventually used whatever means available to prevail over the young and gain their reverence. The same expository problem arises when I deal with the shaman's role in the evolution of early hierarchies, with the male's role in relation to women, and so forth.
The reader should be mindful that any "fact," firmly stated and apparently complete, is actually the result of a complex process — not a given datum that appears full-blown in a community or society. Much of the dialectical tension that pervades this book arises from the fact that I deal with processes, not with cut-and-dried propositions that comfortably succeed each other in stately fashion, like categories in a traditional logic text.
Incipient, potentially hierarchical elites gradually evolve, each phase of their evolution shading into the succeeding one, until the first firm shoots of hierarchy emerge and eventually mature. Their growth is uneven and intermixed. The elders and shamans rely on each other and then compete with each other for social privileges, many of which are attempts to achieve the personal security conferred by a certain measure of influence. Both groups enter into alliances with an emerging warrior caste of young men, finally to form the beginnings of a quasi-political community and an incipient State. Their privileges and powers only then become generalized into institutions that try to exercise command over society as a whole.
At other times, however, hierarchical growth may become arrested and even "regress" to a greater parity between age and sex groups. Unless rule was achieved from outside, by conquest, the emergence of hierarchy was not a sudden revolution in human affairs. It was often a long and complex process. Finally, I would like to emphasize that this book is structured around contrasts between preliterate, nonhierarchical societies — their outlooks, technics, and forms of thinking — and "civilizations" based on hierarchy and domination. Each of the themes touched upon in the second chapter is picked up again in the following chapters and explored in greater detail to clarify the sweeping changes "civilization" introduced in the human condition.
What we so often lack in our daily lives and our social sensibilities is a sense of the cleavages and slow gradations by which our society developed in contrast — often in brutal antagonism — to preindustrial and preliterate cultures. We live so completely immersed in our present that it absorbs all our sensibilities and hence our very capacity to think of alternate social forms. Thus, I will continually return to preliterate sensibilities, which I merely note in Chapter Two, to explore their contrasts with later institutions, technics, and forms of thinking in hierarchical societies. This book does not march to the drumbeat of logical categories, nor are its arguments marshalled into a stately parade of sharply delineated historical eras.
I have not written a history of events, each of which follows the other according to the dictates of a prescribed chronology. Anthropology, history, ideologies, even systems of philosophy and reason, inform this book — and with them, digressions and excurses that I feel throw valuable light on the great movement of natural and human development. The more impatient reader may want to leap over passages and pages that he or she finds too discursive or digressive.
But this book focuses on a few general ideas that grow according to the erratic and occasionally wayward logic of the organic rather than the strictly analytic. I hope that the reader will also want to grow with this book, to experience it and understand it — critically and querulously, to be sure, but with empathy and sensibility for the living development of freedom it depicts and the dialectic it explores in humanity's conflict with domination. Having offered my mea culpas for certain expository problems, I would like to emphatically affirm my conviction that this process-oriented dialectical approach comes much closer to the truth of hierarchical development than a presumably clearer analytical approach so favored by academic logicians.
As we look back over many millenia, our thinking and analyses of the past are overly informed by a long historical development that early humanity evidently lacked. We are inclined to project into the past a vast body of social relations, political institutions, economic concepts, moral precepts, and a tremendous corpus of personal and social ideas that people living thousands. What are fully matured actualities to us were, to them, still unformed potentialities. They thought in terms that were basically different from ours. What we now take for granted as part of the "human condition" was simply inconceivable to them. We, in turn, are virtually incapable of dealing with a vast wealth of natural phenomena that were integrally part of their lives. The very structure of our language conspires against an understanding of their outlook.
Doubtless many "truths" that preliterate peoples held were patently false, a statement that is easily made nowadays. But I will make a case for the notion that their outlook, particularly as applied to their communities' relationship with the natural world, had a. I examine their ecological sensibility and try to show why and how it deteriorated. More importantly, I am eager to determine what can be recovered from that outlook and integrated into our own.
No contradiction is created by merging their ecological sensibility with our prevailing analytical one, provided such a merging transcends both sensibilities in a new way of thinking and experiencing. We can no more return to their conceptual "primitivism" than they could have grasped our analytical "sophistication. The melding of an organic, process-oriented outlook with an analytical one has been the traditional goal of classical western philosophy from the pre-Socratics to Hegel. Such a philosophy has always been more than an outlook or a mere method for dealing with reality.
It has also been what the philosophers call an ontology — a description of reality conceived not as mere matter, but as active, self-organizing substance with a striving toward consciousness. Tradition has made this ontological outlook the framework in which thought and matter, subject and object, mind and nature are reconciled on a new spiritized level. Accordingly, I regard this process-oriented view of phenomena as intrinsically ecological in character, and I am very puzzled by the failure of so many dialectically oriented thinkers to see the remarkable compatibility between a dialectical outlook and an ecological one.
My vision of reality as process may also seem flawed to those readers who deny the existence of meaning and the value of humanity in natural development. That I see "progress" in organic and social evolution will doubtlessly be viewed skeptically by a generation that erroneously identifies "progress" with unlimited material growth. I, for one, do not make this identification. Perhaps my problem, if such it can be called, is generational. I still cherish a time that sought to illuminate the course of events, to interpret them, to make them meaningful. Also, this book does not radiate the pessimism so common in environmentalist literature. Just as I believe that the past has meaning, so too do I believe that the future can have meaning.
If we cannot be certain that the human estate will advance, we do have the opportunity to choose between utopistic freedom and social immolation. Herein lies the unabashed messianic character of this book, a messianic character that is philosophical and ancestral. The "principle of hope," as Ernst Bloch called it, is part of everything I value — hence my detestation of a futurism so committed to the present that it cancels out futurity itself by denying anything new that is not an extrapolation of the existing society. I have tried to avoid writing a book that masticates every possible thought that relates to the issues raised in the following pages. I would not want to deliver these thoughts as predigested pap to a passive reader.
The dialectical tension I value the most is between the reader of a book and the writer: the hints, the suggestions, the unfinished thoughts and the stimuli that encourage the reader to think for himself or herself. In an era that is so much in flux, it would be arrogant to present finished analyses and recipes; rather, I regard it as the responsibility of a serious work to stimulate dialectical and ecological thinking. For a work that is so "simple," so "clear," so unshared — in a word, so elitist — as to require no emendations and modifications, the reader will have to look elsewhere.
This book is not an ideological program; it is a stimulus to thought — a coherent body of concepts the reader will have to finish in the privacy of his or her own mind. The legends of the Norsemen tell of a time when all beings were apportioned their worldly domains: the gods occupied a celestial domain, Asgard, and men lived on the earth, Midgard, below which lay Niffleheirn, the dark, icy domain of the giants, dwarfs, and the dead. These domains were linked together by an enormous ash, the World Tree. Its lofty branches reached into the sky, and its roots into the furthermost depths of the earth. Although the World Tree was constantly being gnawed by animals, it remained ever green, renewed by a magic fountain that infused it continually with life.
The gods, who had fashioned this world, presided over a precarious state of tranquility. They had banished their enemies, the giants, to the land of ice. Fenris the wolf was enchained, and the great serpent of the Midgard was held at bay. Despite the lurking dangers, a general peace prevailed, and plenty existed for the gods, men, and all living things. Odin, the god of wisdom, reigned over all the deities; the wisest and strongest, he watched over the battles of men and selected the most heroic of the fallen to feast with him in his great fortress, Valhalla. Thor, the son of Odin, was not only a powerful warrior, the defender of Asgard against the restive giants, but also a deity of order, who saw to the keeping of faith between men and obedience to the treaties.
There were gods and goddesses of plenty, of fertility, of love, of law, of the sea and ships, and a multitude of animistic spirits who inhabited all things and beings of the earth. But the world order began to break down when the gods, greedy for riches, tortured the witch Gullveig, the maker of gold, to compel her to reveal her secrets. Discord now became rampant among the gods and men.
The gods began to break their oaths; corruption, treachery, rivalry, and greed began to dominate the world. With the breakdown of the primal unity, the days of the gods and men, of Asgard and Midgard, were numbered. Inexorably, the violation of the world order would lead to Ragnarok — the death of the gods in a great conflict before Valhalla. The gods would go down in a terrible battle with the giants, Fenris the wolf, and the serpent of the Midgard. With the mutual destruction of all the combatants, humanity too would perish, and nothing would remain but bare rock and overflowing oceans in a void of cold and darkness.
Having thus disintegrated into its beginnings, however, the world would be renewed, purged of its earlier evils and the corruption that destroyed it. Nor would the new world emerging from the void suffer another catastrophic end, for the second generation of gods and goddesses would learn from the mistakes of their antecedents. The prophetess who recounts the story tells us that humanity thenceforth will "live in joy for as long as one can foresee.
In this Norse cosmography, there seems to be more than the old theme of "eternal recurrence," of a time-sense that spins around perpetual cycles of birth, maturation, death, and rebirth. Rather, one is aware of prophecy infused with historical trauma; the legend belongs to a little-explored area of mythology that might be called "myths of disintegration. We do know that Christianity, with its bargain of eternal reward, came later to the Norsemen than to any other large ethnic group in western Europe, and its roots were shallow for generations afterward.
The heathenism of the north had long made contact with the commerce of the south. During the Viking raids on Europe, the sacred places of the north had become polluted by gold, and the pursuit of riches was dividing kinsman from kinsman. Hierarchies erected by valor were being eroded by systems of privilege based on wealth. The clans and tribes were breaking down; the oaths between men, from which stemmed the unity of their primordial world, were being dishonored, and the magic fountain that kept the World Tree alive was being clogged by the debris of commerce. What haunts us in such myths of disintegration are not their histories, but their prophecies.
Like the Norsemen, and perhaps even more, like the people at the close of the Middle Ages, we sense that our world, too, is breaking down — institutionally, culturally, and physically. Whether we are faced with a new, paradisical era or a catastrophe like the Norse Ragnarok is still unclear, but there can be no lengthy period of compromise between past and future in an ambiguous present. The reconstructive and destructive tendencies in our time are too much at odds with each other to admit of reconciliation.
The social horizon presents the starkly conflicting prospects of a harmonized world with an ecological sensibility based on a rich commitment to community, mutual aid, and new technologies, on the one hand, and the terrifying prospect of some sort of thermonuclear disaster on the other. Our world, it would appear, will either undergo revolutionary changes, so far-reaching in character that humanity will totally transform its social relations and its very conception of life, or it will suffer an apocalypse that may well end humanity's tenure on the planet.
The tension between these two prospects has already subverted the morale of the traditional social order. We have entered an era that consists no longer of institutional stabilization but of institutional decay. A widespread alienation is developing toward the forms, the aspirations, the demands, and above all, the institutions of the established order. The most exuberant, theatrical evidence of this alienation occurred in the s, when the "youth revolt" in the early half of the decade exploded into what seemed to be a counterculture. Considerably more than protest and adolescent nihilism marked the period.
Almost intuitively, new values of sensuousness, new forms of communal lifestyle, changes in dress, language, music, all borne on the wave of a deep sense of impending social change, infused a sizable section of an entire generation. We still do not know in what sense this wave began to ebb: whether as a historic retreat or as a transformation into a serious project for inner and social development. That the symbols of this movement eventually became the artifacts for a new culture industry does not alter its far-reaching effects.
Western society will never be the same again — all the sneers of its academics and its critics of "narcissism" notwithstanding. What makes this ceaseless movement of deinstitutionalization and delegitimation so significant is that it has found its bedrock in a vast stratum of western society. Alienation permeates not only the poor but also the relatively affluent, not only the young but also their elders, not only the visibly denied but also the seemingly privileged.
The prevailing order is beginning to lose the loyalty of social strata that traditionally rallied to its support and in which its roots were firmly planted in past periods. Crucial as this decay of institutions and values may be, it by no means exhausts the problems that confront the existing society. Intertwined with the social crisis is a crisis that has emerged directly from man's exploitation of the planet.
This problem is not unique to our times. The desiccated wastelands of the Near East, where the arts of agriculture and urbanism had their beginnings, are evidence of ancient human despoilation, but this example pales before the massive destruction of the environment that has occurred since the days of the Industrial Revolution, and especially since the end of the Second World War. The damage inflicted on the environment by contemporary society encompasses the entire earth. Volumes have been written on the immense losses of productive soil that occur annually in almost every continent of the earth; on the extensive destruction of tree cover in areas vulnerable to erosion; on lethal air-pollution episodes in major urban areas; on the worldwide diffusion of toxic agents from agriculture, industry, and power-producing installations; on the chemicalization of humanity's immediate environment with industrial wastes, pesticide residues, and food additives.
The exploitation and pollution of the earth has damaged not only the integrity of the atmosphere, climate, water resources, soil, flora and fauna of specific regions, but also the basic natural cycles on which all living things depend. Yet modern man's capacity for destruction is quixotic evidence of humanity's capacity for reconstruction. The powerful technological agents we have unleashed against the environment include many of the very agents we require for its reconstruction. The knowledge and physical instruments for promoting a harmonization of humanity with nature and of human with human are largely at hand or could easily be devised.
Many of the physical principles used to construct such patently harmful facilities as conventional power plants, energy-consuming vehicles, surface-mining equipment and the like could be directed to the construction of small-scale solar and wind energy devices, efficient means of transportation, and energy-saving shelters. What we crucially lack is the consciousness and sensibility that will help us achieve such eminently desirable goals — a consciousness and sensibility far broader than customarily meant by these terms.
Our definitions must include not only the ability to reason logically and respond emotionally in a humanistic fashion; they must also include a fresh awareness of the relatedness between things and an imaginative insight into the possible. On this score, Marx was entirely correct to emphasize that the revolution required by our time must draw its poetry not from the past but from the future, from the humanistic potentialities that lie on the horizons of social life.
The new consciousness and sensibility cannot be poetic alone; they must also be scientific. Indeed, there is a level at which our consciousness must be neither poetry nor science, but a transcendence of both into a new realm of theory and practice, an artfulness that combines fancy with reason, imagination with logic, vision with technique. We cannot shed our scientific heritage without returning to a rudimentary technology, with its shackles of material insecurity, toil, and renunciation. And we cannot allow ourselves to be imprisoned within a mechanistic outlook and a dehumanizing technology — with its shackles of alienation, competition, and a brute denial of humanity's potentialities.
Poetry and imagination must be integrated with science and technology, for we have evolved beyond an innocence that can be nourished exclusively by myths and dreams. Is there a scientific discipline that allows for the indiscipline of fancy, imagination, and artfulness? Can it encompass problems created by the social and environmental crises of our time? Can it integrate critique with reconstruction, theory with practice, vision with technique? In almost every period since the Renaissance, a very close link has existed between radical advances in the natural sciences and upheavals in social thought. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the emerging sciences of astronomy and mechanics, with their liberating visions of a heliocentric world and the unity of local and cosmic motion, found their social counterparts in equally critical and rational social ideologies that challenged religious bigotry and political absolutism.
The Enlightenment brought a new appreciation of sensory perception and the claims of human reason to divine a world that had been the ideological monopoly of the clergy. Later, anthropology and evolutionary biology demolished traditional static notions of the human enterprise along with its myths of original creation and history as a theological calling. By enlarging the map and revealing the earthly dynamics of social history, these sciences reinforced the new doctrines of socialism, with its ideal of human progress, that followed the French Revolution. In view of the enormous dislocations that now confront us, our own era needs a more sweeping and insightful body of knowledge — scientific as well as social — to deal with our problems.
Without renouncing the gains of earlier scientific and social theories, we must develop a more rounded critical analysis of our relationship with the natural world. We must seek the foundations for a more reconstructive approach to the grave problems posed by the apparent "contradictions" between nature and society. We can no longer afford to remain captives to the tendency of the more traditional sciences to dissect phenomena and examine their fragments. We must combine them, relate them, and see them in their totality as well as their specificity.
In response to these needs, we have formulated a discipline unique to our age: social ecology. The more well-known term "ecology" was coined by Ernst Haeckel a century ago to denote the investigation of the interrelationships between animals, plants, and their inorganic environment. Since Haeckel's day, the term has been expanded to include ecologies of cities, of health, and of the mind. This proliferation of a word into widely disparate areas may seem particularly desirable to an age that fervently seeks some kind of intellectual coherence and unity of perception. But it can also prove to be extremely treacherous. Like such newly arrived words as holism, decentralization, and dialectics, the term ecology runs the peril of merely hanging in the air without any roots, context, or texture.
Often it is used as a metaphor, an alluring catchword, that loses the potentially compelling internal logic of its premises. Accordingly, the radical thrust of these words is easily neutralized. Decentralization commonly means logistical alternatives to gigantism, not the human scale that would make an intimate and direct democracy possible. Ecology fares even worse. All too often it becomes a metaphor, like the word dialectics, for any kind of integration and development. Perhaps even more troubling, the word in recent years has been identified with a very crude form of natural engineering that might well be called environmentalism.
I am mindful that many ecologically oriented individuals use "ecology" and "environmentalism" interchangeably. Here, I would like to draw a semantically convenient distinction. By "environmentalism" I propose to designate a mechanistic, instrumental outlook that sees nature as a passive habitat composed of "objects" such as animals, plants, minerals, and the like that must merely be rendered more serviceable for human use. Given my use of the term, environmentalism tends to reduce nature to a storage bin of "natural resources" or "raw materials. Environmentalism, as I use this term, tends to view the ecological project for attaining a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature as a truce rather than a lasting equilibrium.
The "harmony" of the environmentalist centers around the development of new techniques for plundering the natural world with minimal disruption of the human "habitat. To distinguish ecology from environmentalism and from abstract, often obfuscatory definitions of the term, I must return to its original usage and explore its direct relevance to society. Put quite simply, ecology deals with the dynamic balance of nature, with the interdependence of living and nonliving things. Since nature also includes human beings, the science must include humanity's role in the natural world — specifically, the character, form, and structure of humanity's relationship with other species and with the inorganic substrate of the biotic environment.
From a critical viewpoint, ecology opens to wide purview the vast disequilibrium that has emerged from humanity's split with the natural world. One of nature's very unique species, homo sapiens, has slowly and painstakingly developed from the natural world into a unique social world of its own. As both worlds interact with each other through highly complex phases of evolution, it has become as important to speak of a social ecology as to speak of a natural ecology. Let me emphasize that the failure to explore these phases of human evolution — which have yielded a succession of hierarchies, classes, cities, and finally states — is to make a mockery of the term social ecology.
Unfortunately, the discipline has been beleaguered by self-professed adherents who continually try to collapse all the phases of natural and human development into a universal "oneness" not wholeness , a yawning "night in which all cows are black," to borrow one of Hegel's caustic phrases. If nothing else, our common use of the word species to denote the wealth of life around us should alert us to the fact of specificity, of particularity — the rich abundance of differentiated beings and things that enter into the very subject-matter of natural ecology. To explore these differentia, to examine the phases and interfaces that enter into their making and into humanity's long development from animality to society — a development latent with problems and possibilities — is to make social ecology one of the most powerful disciplines from which to draw our critique of the present social order.
But social ecology provides more than a critique of the split between humanity and nature; it also poses the need to heal them. Indeed, it poses the need to radically transcend them. Gutkind pointed out, "the goal of Social Ecology is wholeness, and not mere adding together of innumerable details collected at random and interpreted subjectively and insufficiently. Holism, here, is the result of a conscious effort to discern how the particulars of a community are arranged, how its "geometry" as the Greeks might have put it makes the "whole more than the sum of its parts.
History, in fact, is as important as form or structure. To a large extent, the history of a phenomenon is the phenomenon itself. We are, in a real sense, everything that existed before us and, in turn, we can eventually become vastly more than we are. Surprisingly, very little in the evolution of life-forms has been lost in natural and social evolution, indeed in our very bodies as our embryonic development attests. Evolution lies within us as well as around us as parts of the very nature of our beings. For the present, it suffices to say that wholeness is not a bleak undifferentiated "universality" that involves the reduction of a phenomenon to what it has in common with everything else.
Nor is it a celestial, omnipresent "energy" that replaces the vast material differentia of which the natural and social realms are composed. To the contrary, wholeness comprises the variegated structures, the articulations, and the mediations that impart to the whole a rich variety of forms and thereby add unique qualitative properties to what a strictly analytic mind often reduces to "innumerable" and "random" details. Terms like wholeness, totality, and even community have perilous nuances for a generation that has known fascism and other totalitarian ideologies.
The words evoke images of a "wholeness" achieved through homogenization, standardization, and a repressive coordination of human beings. These fears are reinforced by a "wholeness" that seems to provide an inexorable finality to the course of human history — one that implies a suprahuman, narrowly teleological concept of social law and denies the ability of human will and individual choice to shape the course of social events. Such notions of social law and teleology have been used to achieve a ruthless subjugation of the individual to suprahuman forces beyond human control. Our century has been afflicted by a plethora of totalitarian ideologies that, placing human beings in the service of history, have denied them a place in the service of their own humanity.
Actually, such a totalitarian concept of "wholeness" stands sharply at odds with what ecologists denote by the term. In addition to comprehending its heightened awareness of form and structure, we now come to a very important tenet of ecology: ecological wholeness is not an immutable homogeneity but rather the very opposite — a dynamic unity of diversity. In nature, balance and harmony are achieved by ever-changing differentiation, by ever-expanding diversity. Ecological stability, in effect, is a function not of simplicity and homogeneity but of complexity and variety. The capacity of an ecosystem to retain its integrity depends not on the uniformity of the environment but on its diversity.
A striking example of this tenet can be drawn from experiences with ecological strategies for cultivating food. Farmers have repeatedly met with disastrous results because of the conventional emphasis on single-crop approaches to agriculture or monoculture, to use a widely accepted term for those endless wheat and corn fields that extend to the horizon in many parts of the world. Without the mixed crops that normally provide both the countervailing forces and mutualistic support that come with mixed populations of plants and animals, the entire agricultural situation in an area has been known to collapse.
Benign insects become pests because their natural controls, including birds and small mammals, have been removed. The soil, lacking earthworms, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and green manure in sufficient quantities, is reduced to mere sand — a mineral medium for absorbing enormous quantities of inorganic nitrogen salts, which were originally supplied more cyclically and timed more appropriately for crop growth in the ecosystem. The Natha Sampradaya, with Nath yogis such as Gorakhnath , introduced Sahaja , the concept of a spontaneous spirituality.
Sahaja means "spontaneous, natural, simple, or easy". Sikh theology suggests human souls and the monotheistic God are two different realities dualism ,  distinguishing it from the monistic and various shades of nondualistic philosophies of other Indian religions. According to Mandair, Singh interprets the Sikh scriptures as teaching nonduality. Others maintain that Sikh theology suggests human souls and the monotheistic God are the same reality non-dualism. Sikh scholars have even been exploring nondualism exegesis of Sikh scriptures, such as during the neocolonial reformist movement by Bhai Vir Singh of the Singh Sabha. According to Arvind Mandair, Singh interprets the Sikh scriptures as teaching nonduality.
Taoism's wu wei Chinese wu , not; wei , doing is a term with various translations [note 27] and interpretations designed to distinguish it from passivity. The concept of Yin and Yang , often mistakenly conceived of as a symbol of dualism, is actually meant to convey the notion that all apparent opposites are complementary parts of a non-dual whole. A modern strand of thought sees "nondual consciousness" as a universal psychological state, which is a common stratum and of the same essence in different spiritual traditions.
The idea of nondual consciousness as "the central essence"  is a universalistic and perennialist idea, which is part of a modern mutual exchange and synthesis of ideas between western spiritual and esoteric traditions and Asian religious revival and reform movements. Central elements in the western traditions are Neo-Platonism , which had a strong influence on Christian contemplation c. The precepts of Neoplatonism of Plotinus 2nd century assert nondualism. Some scholars suggest a possible link of more ancient Indian philosophies on Neoplatonism, while other scholars consider these claims as unjustified and extravagant with the counter hypothesis that nondualism developed independently in ancient India and Greece. Fenton  and Dale Riepe. In Christian mysticism, contemplative prayer and Apophatic theology are central elements.
In contemplative prayer, the mind is focused by constant repetition a phrase or word. In this approach, the notion of God is stripped from all positive qualifications, leaving a "darkness" or "unground. Suzuki in modern times, due to the similarities between Buddhist thought and Neo-Platonism. The Cloud of Unknowing — an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century — advocates a mystic relationship with God. The text describes a spiritual union with God through the heart.
The author of the text advocates centering prayer , a form of inner silence. According to the text, God can not be known through knowledge or from intellection. It is only by emptying the mind of all created images and thoughts that we can arrive to experience God. Continuing on this line of thought, God is completely unknowable by the mind. God is not known through the intellect but through intense contemplation , motivated by love, and stripped of all thought. Thomism , though not non-dual in the ordinary sense, considers the unity of God so absolute that even the duality of subject and predicate , to describe him, can be true only by analogy.
In Thomist thought, even the Tetragrammaton is only an approximate name, since "I am" involves a predicate whose own essence is its subject. The former nun and contemplative Bernadette Roberts is considered a nondualist by Jerry Katz. According to Jay Michaelson , nonduality begins to appear in the medieval Jewish textual tradition which peaked in Hasidism. Judaism has within it a strong and very ancient mystical tradition that is deeply nondualistic. God is considered beyond all proposition or preconception. The physical world is seen as emanating from the nothingness as the many faces "partsufim" of god that are all a part of the sacred nothingness. One of the most striking contributions of the Kabbalah, which became a central idea in Chasidic thought, was a highly innovative reading of the monotheistic idea.
The belief in "one G-d" is no longer perceived as the mere rejection of other deities or intermediaries, but a denial of any existence outside of G-d. Western esotericism also called esotericism and esoterism is a scholarly term for a wide range of loosely related ideas and movements which have developed within Western society. They are largely distinct both from orthodox Judeo-Christian religion and from Enlightenment rationalism. The earliest traditions which later analysis would label as forms of Western esotericism emerged in the Eastern Mediterranean during Late Antiquity , where Hermetism , Gnosticism , and Neoplatonism developed as schools of thought distinct from what became mainstream Christianity.
In Renaissance Europe, interest in many of these older ideas increased, with various intellectuals seeking to combine " pagan " philosophies with the Kabbalah and with Christian philosophy, resulting in the emergence of esoteric movements like Christian theosophy. The Perennial philosophy has its roots in the Renaissance interest in neo-Platonism and its idea of The One , from which all existence emanates. Marsilio Ficino — sought to integrate Hermeticism with Greek and Jewish-Christian thought,  discerning a Prisca theologia which could be found in all ages. He proposed a harmony between the thought of Plato and Aristotle, and saw aspects of the Prisca theologia in Averroes , the Koran , the Cabala and other sources.
The western world has been exposed to Indian religions since the late 18th century. Transcendentalism was an early 19th-century liberal Protestant movement that developed in the s and s in the Eastern region of the United States. The Transcendentalists emphasised an intuitive, experiential approach of religion. Among the transcendentalists' core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both people and nature. Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions—particularly organized religion and political parties—ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual. They had faith that people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent. It is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.
Vivekananda was one of the main representatives of Neo-Vedanta , a modern interpretation of Hinduism in line with western esoteric traditions , especially Transcendentalism , New Thought and Theosophy. Vivekananda's acquaintance with western esotericism made him very successful in western esoteric circles, beginning with his speech in at the Parliament of Religions. Vivekananda adapted traditional Hindu ideas and religiosity to suit the needs and understandings of his western audiences, who were especially attracted by and familiar with western esoteric traditions and movements like Transcendentalism and New thought.
In he founded the Ramakrishna Mission , which was instrumental in the spread of Neo-Vedanta in the west, and attracted people like Alan Watts. Together with Gerald Heard , Christopher Isherwood , and other followers he was initiated by the Swami and was taught meditation and spiritual practices. A major force in the mutual influence of eastern and western ideas and religiosity was the Theosophical Society. 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 infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology , holistic health , parapsychology , consciousness research and quantum physics ".
Insight prajna , kensho , satori , gnosis , theoria , illumination , especially enlightenment or the realization of the illusory nature of the autonomous "I" or self, is a key element in modern western nondual thought. It is the personal realization that ultimate reality is nondual, and is thought to be a validating means of knowledge of this nondual reality. This insight is interpreted as a psychological state, and labeled as religious or mystical experience. According to Hori, the notion of "religious experience" can be traced back to William James , who used the term "religious experience" in his book, The Varieties of Religious Experience.
In the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, several historical figures put forth very influential views that religion and its beliefs can be grounded in experience itself. While Kant held that moral experience justified religious beliefs , John Wesley in addition to stressing individual moral exertion thought that the religious experiences in the Methodist movement paralleling the Romantic Movement were foundational to religious commitment as a way of life.
Wayne Proudfoot traces the roots of the notion of "religious experience" to the German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher — , who argued that religion is based on a feeling of the infinite. The notion of "religious experience" was used by Schleiermacher and Albert Ritschl to defend religion against the growing scientific and secular critique, and defend the view that human moral and religious experience justifies religious beliefs. Such religious empiricism would be later seen as highly problematic and was — during the period in-between world wars — famously rejected by Karl Barth. The notion of "religious experience" was adopted by many scholars of religion, of which William James was the most influential.
The notion of "experience" has been criticised. Insight is not the "experience" of some transcendental reality, but is a cognitive event, the intuitive understanding or "grasping" of some specific understanding of reality, as in kensho  or anubhava. A main modern proponent of perennialism was Aldous Huxley , who was influenced by Vivekanda's Neo-Vedanta and Universalism. According to the "common-core thesis",  different descriptions can mask quite similar if not identical experiences: . According to Elias Amidon there is an "indescribable, but definitely recognizable, reality that is the ground of all being.
According to Renard, nondualism as common essence prefers the term "nondualism", instead of monism , because this understanding is "nonconceptual", "not graspapable in an idea". The only thing that can be said is that it is "not two" or "non-dual": [web 24]  According to Renard, Alan Watts has been one of the main contributors to the popularisation of the non-monistic understanding of "nondualism". The "common-core thesis" is criticised by "diversity theorists" such as S. T Katz and W. The idea of a common essence has been questioned by Yandell, who discerns various "religious experiences" and their corresponding doctrinal settings, which differ in structure and phenomenological content, and in the "evidential value" they present.
The specific teachings and practices of a specific tradition may determine what "experience" someone has, which means that this "experience" is not the proof of the teaching, but a result of the teaching. Bronkhorst for example notices that the conception of what exactly "liberating insight" is in Buddhism was developed over time. Whereas originally it may not have been specified, later on the Four Truths served as such, to be superseded by pratityasamutpada , and still later, in the Hinayana schools, by the doctrine of the non-existence of a substantial self or person.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Mature state of consciousness transcending dualism. History Timeline. Christian Catholic Mysticism Sufism. Buddhist modernism New religious movement Secular spirituality " Spiritual but not religious " Syncretism. Spiritual experience. Mystical experience Religious experience Spiritual practice. Spiritual development.
Ego death Individuation Spiritual development Self-actualization Spiritual activism. Other non-Western. Animism Shamanism Totemism. Humanistic psychology Mindfulness Positive psychology Self-help Self-realization True self and false self. Mystical psychosis Cognitive science of religion Neuroscience of religion Geschwind syndrome Evolutionary psychology of religion. Aryadeva and Nagarjuna Adi Shankara. Laozi and Confucius. Moral universalism Universality Universalizability. Other religions. Mysticism Nondualism Perennialism Theosophy. Moksha Anubhava Turiya Sahaja. Poonja Other Osho Eckhart Tolle. Monasteries and Orders. Academic Paul Deussen Daniel H. See also: Monism , Mind-body dualism , Dualistic cosmology , and Pluralism philosophy.
Main articles: Samkhya , Yoga , and Yoga philosophy. See also: Transcendental Nirvana. Main articles: Madhyamika , Shunyata , and Two truths doctrine. Main article: Yogacara. Main article: Buddhism in China. See also: Korean Buddhism and Essence-Function. Main article: Vajrayana. Main article: Rangtong-Shentong. Main articles: Dzogchen and Rigpa. Main article: Vedanta. Main article: Advaita Vedanta. See also: Bhedabheda. Main articles: Shaivism and Kashmir Shaivism.
Scriptures and texts. Main article: Ramana Maharshi. Main article: Neo-Advaita. Main articles: Nath , Sahaja , and Inchegeri Sampradaya. Main article: Taoism. Main article: Gnosticism. Main article: Neoplatonism. Main articles: Christian contemplation , Christian Mysticism , and Apophatic theology. See also: Henosis. Main articles: Judaism , Hasidism , and Kabbalah. Main article: Platonism in Islamic Philosophy. Main article: Western esotericism. Main article: Perennial philosophy. Main article: Orientalism. Main article: Transcendentalism. Main article: Theosophical Society. Main article: New Age. Main articles: Religious experience , Mystical experience , Altered states of consciousness , and Ego-death.
Various Abheda Acosmism belief that the world is illusory Anatta Belief that there is no self Cosmic Consciousness Emanationism Henosis Union with the absolute Deconstruction , which may oppose binary pairs of opposed opposites Holism Kenosis Self-emptying Maya illusion Cosmic illusion Monad philosophy Monism Neo-Advaita Nihilism Nirguna Brahman Oceanic feeling Open individualism Panentheism Pantheism Belief that God and the world are identical Pluralism metaphysics Process Psychology Radical orthodoxy , a postmodern theological school in Anglo-Catholic circles that "resists any neat dualism between the sacred and the secular" Rigpa Shuddhadvaita Solipsism Sunyata Emptiness.
Over definitions, descriptions, and discussions. Thus did Yajnavalkya teach him. This is his highest goal, this is his highest success, this is his highest world, this is his highest bliss. All other creatures live on a small portion of that bliss. In the Eastern tradition [ There the seeds of seer-seen nonduality not only sprouted but matured into a variety some might say a jungle of impressive philosophical species.
By no means do all these [Eastern] systems assert the nonduality of subject and object, but it is significant that three which do — Buddhism, Vedanta and Taoism — have probably been the most influential. As opposed to this world, it is a pleasant place to be in, it is sukha, things work well. In verse 21 and 22, it is stated that consciousness comes into the mother's womb, and finds a resting place in mind-and-body. It is therefore beyond our conceptions of good and evil, right and wrong, existence and non-existence.
Jay L. This translation became widely known and popular as "the Tibetan Book of the Dead", but contains many mistakes in translation and interpretation. Lokayatikas and Bauddhas who assert that the soul does not exist. There are four sects among the followers of Buddha: 1. Madhyamicas who maintain all is void; 2. Yogacharas, who assert except sensation and intelligence all else is void; 3. Sautranticas, who affirm actual existence of external objects no less than of internal sensations; 4. Vaibhashikas, who agree with later Sautranticas except that they contend for immediate apprehension of exterior objects through images or forms represented to the intellect.
Kalupahana notes that the Visuddhimagga contains "some metaphysical speculations, such as those of the Sarvastivadins, the Sautrantikas, and even the Yogacarins ". Nicholas F. Gandhi have been labeled "neo-Vedantists," a philosophy that rejects the Advaitins' claim that the world is illusory. Aurobindo, in his The Life Divine , declares that he has moved from Sankara's "universal illusionism" to his own "universal realism" , defined as metaphysical realism in the European philosophical sense of the term.
See [web 12] and [web 13] Ramana was taught at Christian schools. The term is carefully selected because 'neo' means 'a new or revived form'. It can even be termed 'pseudo' because, by presenting the teaching in a highly attenuated form, it might be described as purporting to be Advaita, but not in effect actually being so, in the fullest sense of the word. In this watering down of the essential truths in a palatable style made acceptable and attractive to the contemporary western mind, their teaching is misleading. King , "Orientalism and Religion"  for descriptions of this mutual exchange. And even after He brought into being everything which exists, there is nothing but Him, and you cannot find anything that existed apart from Him, G-d forbid.
For nothing existed devoid of G-d's power, for if there were, He would be limited and subject to duality, G-d forbid. Rather, G-d is everything that exists, but everything that exists is not G-d Nothing is devoid of His G-dliness: everything is within it Olcott and Anagarika Dharmapala , Blavatsky was instrumental in the Western transmission and revival of Theravada Buddhism. The Christian model of dramatic conversions, based on the role-model of Paul's conversion, may also have served as a model for Western interpretations and expectations regarding "enlightenment", similar to Protestant influences on Theravada Buddhism, as described by Carrithers: "It rests upon the notion of the primacy of religious experiences, preferably spectacular ones, as the origin and legitimation of religious action.
But this presupposition has a natural home, not in Buddhism, but in Christian and especially Protestant Christian movements which prescribe a radical conversion. Both historical and ethnographic evidence suggests that the privileging of experience may well be traced to certain twentieth-century reform movements, notably those that urge a return to zazen or vipassana meditation, and these reforms were profoundly influenced by religious developments in the west [ For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thru' narrow chinks of his cavern. A concordance to the principal Upanisads and Bhagavadgita.
Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN Perrett Indian Philosophy of Religion. Springer Science. Lochtefeld The Rosen Publishing Group. Mark Heim Eerdmans Publishing. Barton The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels. Cambridge University Press. Knitter Without Buddha I Could not be a Christian. The reference is at A I, Alan Wallace Contemplative Science. Columbia University Press. Buddhist Thought. Routledge , p. Davis Buswell Jr. Lopez Jr. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. Theravada Buddhism. Buddhadhamma: Natural Laws and Values for Life. State University of New York Press. Minoru Kiyota and Elvin W. Jones ed. In Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Summer ed. Retrieved 5 September Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations.
Robertson, Zhongguo ren min da xue. Guo xue yuan, A Study of the Dharmadharmatavibhanga: Vasubandhu's commentary and three critical editions of the root texts, with a modern commentary from the perspective of the rNying ma tradition by Master Tam Shek-wing. Vasubandhu's treatise on the three natures translated from the Tibetan edition with a commentary, Asian Philosophy, Volume 7, , Issue 2, pp. Zalta ed. In Antonio S. Cua ed. Buddhist Faith and Sudden Enlightenment. SUNY series in religious studies. SUNY Press. Source:  accessed: Friday 9 April , p. Source:  accessed: Saturday 8 May , p. Ground, Path and Fruition. Zhyisil Chokyi Ghatsal Charitable Trust.
Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. Snow Lion Publications. Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls. Oxford University Press. Motilal Banarsidass: — Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 2 February Routledge encyclopedia of philosophy: Luther to Nifo, Volume 6. Source:  accessed: Thursday 22 April , p. ISBN , p. Thus we can see in the Upanishads, a tendency towards a convergence of microcosm and macrocosm, culminating in the equating of atman with Brahman". The Philosophy of the Upanishads. Cosimo Classics 1 June The former is pluralistic, the latter monistic.
As we have already observed, this is the basic and ineradicable distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism". Put very briefly, this is the [Buddhist] doctrine that human beings have no soul, no self, no unchanging essence. Swami Jagadananda, 5th ed. Dyczkowski, pp. An Introduction to Hinduism. The Tantric Body. Dyczkowski, p. Shambhala Publications. Sterling Publishers. Journal of the American Academy of Religion. S2CID Erickson, Liam D. A History of Anthropological Theory. Wallis; Jay Bregman Neoplatonism and Gnosticism. Source:  accessed: Thursday 6 May , p. R Baine Harris ed. Neoplatonism and Indian Thought. Archived from the original on 9 April Retrieved 8 January Archived from the original on 14 February An Introduction to the Science of Metaphysics.
Herder Book Co. Buswell, Robert E. In: Peter N. Gregory editor , Sudden and Gradual. In: Donald S. Lopez, Jr. Hanegraaff, Wouter J.For the rest, I have drawn upon so vast a cultural tradition that it would be meaningless to saddle the reader with names; this tradition appears throughout the book and hardly requires delineation. Perhaps my problem, if such it can be Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening, is generational. Mature state of consciousness transcending dualism. These fears are reinforced by a "wholeness" that seems to provide Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening inexorable finality to the course of human history — one that implies a suprahuman, narrowly teleological concept of social law and denies the ability of human will and individual choice to shape Malcolm Gladwells What The Dog Saw course Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening social Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening. By wholeness, I mean Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening levels of actualization, an unfolding of the wealth of particularities, that are latent in an as-yet-undeveloped Similarities Between Transcendentalism And The Second Great Awakening. Main article: Neo-Advaita.