Saturday, May 29, 2004

Reductive spirituality

Monotheism is just one version of reductive spirituality. It is not the last word; ask the pantheists and pagans and skeptics of all stripes. What is more, any spiritual teaching that propounds an ultimate truth is in danger of becoming reductive. I have noticed that tendency, for instance, in advaita, where nothing equals everything equals nothing. Although promoting non-duality in pure consciousness as underlying everything, it’s a reduction to unity by dividing everything by itself. And that divisiveness makes this version on non-duality a self-contradiction. Belief systems of any sort are reductive. My gnostic impulse tries to throw a shadow wherever Unity asserts itself. But that shadow gives depth and dimension to the Unity experience. This is not merely the mind being contrary. It is the need of the original impulse that created mind and heart and body and world because IT wants to know more. And it will accept no answer as final.

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