I was reading "the myths and gods of India" and the author is pretty ardent in his dislike for monotheism, championing Hindu polytheism - moral
relativism - as the only logical explanation for the way the world appears.
I have one problem, which ultimately steers me away from accepting his premise. He argues that nonduality is nothing, and that concept of one,
paradoxically, is the farthest idea from non-duality, because it is just another number....Ok.. I understand what he means by this. But to base your
entire thought system on this one issue, as if there were no greater way to look at it, to me, is inadequate.
Monotheism as concieved by the theologians - primarely Christian theologians, is not the same Monotheism as understood in Jewish thought. I would
prefer to emphasize Jewish thought in this post rather than Christianity or Islam.
The author pokes especially at the concept of "one", undoubedly referring to the religious belief of the Hebrews. "Hear Israel, the Lord is our God,
the lord is one". He says any concept of one precludes a relationship, because all relationship is a sypmtom of plurality. Ok.
What about the divine creator? Hinduism has an answer for that too. The divine creator manifests equally through everything we experience in this
world. Thus, the creator is relative, and he has no message, or desire to connect with mankind. Rather, hed prefer us to worship his 'forms' or the
gods of hindu and ancient pagan pantheons.
Heres my issue. First. I think it is asinine to rely on Hindu speculation about 'former' ages, as if there were any evidence - even archeologically -
to prove that. I am aware that Hinduism means "the ancient path", but unfortunately for doctors of Hinduism, we have not a shred of archeological
evidence showing the Indus Valley civilization as older then Sumer. In reality, Sumer is the source of civilization, as well as the source of
Hinduisms wisdom, the Vedas.
So, forgetting and ignoring the baseless speculations treated as fact by too many, when you come down to it, it becomes a matter of perspective. What
is oneness? How is one to define ones relationship with God, in the sense understood by the Torah of Judaism?
In Hinduism, the self is treated as the supreme issue; the gods serve the self, as a means towards self realization.
In Jewish thought, the self serves God. This world, or the 'gods' ie; our experiences, are used to 'sanctify' this world. Rhe Hebrew word Kadosh -
holy - means to 'be separate', by dedicating each of our actions to the one source, we separate the profane - and evil, from the good and pure..
Paradoxically, this union of self, and dual reality, with God, the non-dual principle, unites both aspects into one, and reveals the unity between
both worlds. It clarifies the lack of clarity we have towards the world when we indulge in its powers.
The Kabbalah explains the particular significance of this connection. Keter - Will - is not manifest throughout creation. This pretty much explains
all the different religions, based on different peoples perceptions of reality.
A command, like the commands issued by God in the Torah, comes from the very root of existence; it precedes the emotions of the heart, aswell as the
unconscious. A command from God is a means to connect this world to the source, and artificer of the cosmos. Unlike in Hinduism, in which this world
is without any purpose or meaning, and cant have such purpose, since the creator is too relativized to be of any reality, in Jewish thought, even the
ego, its individuality , and all its powers"the gods" are presented back towards its source. The source calls out, and the self responds, sacrificing
its obstinant egotism and applying all its powers to making this world an OBJECTIVELY better place.
So, what really captures my eye about Judaism, is its unification of reality; not merely the infinite - the source of command, with the finite - the
world of multiplicity, but aswell as the personal self, its trials and tribulations, ups and downs, and ultimately its purpose in this world; to serve
him, to make this world into a place in which his essence can abide, because we, creatures with free will, can make it so.
This in my opinion is a higher religious awareness than the polytheism of Hinduism. Of course its my opinion, and i accept that others may think
differently. However, i think theres a certain gamble in whatever path we choose, because its always based on some measure of faith. Neither can be
shown to be 'objectively' true, barring some supernatural interference.
However, the Torah seems most precise in its analysis of this historic situation. Israel - Gods first born (which to the Jews implies proximity in
awareness, ie; knowing what the creator wants) - and the nations - polytheistic pagan cultures stand on two sides. It just strikes me as interesting,
that the question is ultimately between these two paths. Both completely different from each other, philosophically, and also morally in its
implications. And a very ancient book, that has coincidentally become the most known book the world over, states this, over and over again.
edit on 5-9-2011 by dontreally because: (no reason given)