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Monotheism vs. Polytheism

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posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 01:02 AM
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)

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 01:22 AM
you reference things about judaism i'm too inebriated and lazy to cross-reference, but, having studied religion a little in college, am concerned about your sweeping summations of what you call "Hinduism." there are literally millions of iterations of that religion, with a surprisingly sweeping and vast set of slightly differing beliefs. i know i have been told that there are a million gods in hinduism or there is just one. not only that, but there is the whole thing about avatars, krishna, and those who believe that they are all parts of the One. i find this perspective especially pretty, and can, if i try hard enough, see evidence of the macro in the micro, if you will, and how dualistic thoughts (that is, that we aren't all part of the same sea of energy) are distraction. to quote the guy from the sopranos, it's only an illusion that the two boxers are separate things.

sorry to go so far out there. tired and a little tipsy. great post!

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 01:32 AM
The quest for oneness/unity in Eastern religions is actually a turning away from God and a setting-up of man as God. This is a Satanic trap; turning away from worship of the Lord and turning instead to the imperfect self and mistakenly believing one finds God that way. One won't.

Satan delights in making us worship anything other than God. With greed and avarace, for example, the object of worship becomes money (Golden calf). With the Eastern religions it becomes "the Inner Self" or some kind of vaguely-defined "Nothingness" or Void.

Only through Christ!

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 02:07 AM
Being an Hindu and having studied Hinduism for a long time, I must say that many many things about it are being twisted by many authors and everything is thus jumbled up.

First off Hinduism is not Polytheism, but rather Monotheism, the Hindu Polytheism is a fallacy by many who do not understand the way things supposedly work in Hinduism. Yes there are many gods, but they are all just forms of God. So more or less its the same God just called by many different names (its more complex than this, but this should suffice).

The creator is believed to be "Ardhnareshwar" which is a combination of the Shiv and Shakti, or rather which splits to form Shiv and Shakti.

Then they create other gods for specific tasks. Its kinda hard to define, one way to look at it is to look at a computer. The OS is the main part and spawns processors(programs) to do different tasks.

All the gods are not separate from the Godhead but merely an extension of it (the Godhead is genderless).

If he pokes at the concept of one then I must say he knows nothing of Hinduism, the concept of one is the basis for Hinduism. From that comes the ability to believe in and pray to any God, because they are all ONE.

Real Hindus have no problems with ANY other religion, because after all you are believing in the same one God, Regardless of the name, features , status or whatever one gives a particular God.

In the problem of Sumer, If you dig deep enough, you will find that according to Hinduism, the survivors after the flood were taken to "Sumeru Parvat" (Sumer) , and there they were given the Vedas by Lord Vishnu. So yeah reality and myth come together there.

In Hinduism, the self is treated as the supreme issue; the gods serve the self, as a means towards self realization.

I don't know what you really mean by that, so I'm not going to comment except to say that it doesn't make sense to me.

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.

That is found in Hindu thought as well. Most (all) major events happen because God wills them to happen.
Also: "If you want good for yourself then think for the good of the world." is a common advice often given out.

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 02:34 AM
reply to post by kaleshchand

so would you describe the gods like facets of a gem? Different faces, but all part of the same thing

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 02:44 AM

Originally posted by chancemusky
reply to post by kaleshchand

so would you describe the gods like facets of a gem? Different faces, but all part of the same thing

Yes I would, I had not thought of it that way, but now that you mention it, this is a good way to describe God (at least according to my believe).

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 03:14 AM
reply to post by Partygirl

That reasoning is flawed. I wish I knew the exact term right now for what type of fallacy it is, but you can't claim that everyone else is wrong because the Bible says so. The Bible is written by man, same as any other book in existence. Men told you to believe in their words because God himself inspired them. How is that logically sound?

Secondly, every time a new idea or different concept is proposed you say it's a ploy of Satan. Very clever way to negate anything and everything. Even if there was irrefutable proof that everything you believe in is false, you'd say it's a trick by Satan. If ETs visited and shared technology and wisdom you'd say they're demons in disguise. You're trying to rationalize your belief by saying that everything of the world, every instinct, every different idea is inspired by some being of pure evil.

Using guilt and fear as means to spread your belief system is devious and unethical. You do realize that through these means you're essentially brainwashing/tricking people, and when indoctrinated from childhood the effects are even more potent? There are alot of Christians who want to explore the different parts of life, the different ideologies and pathways, but don't want to burn in hell for eternity. Tell somebody from birth that they're going to burn for eternity if they don't follow said religion, and you have one loyal follower. Hope you're proud of yourself...
edit on 5-9-2011 by Raelsatu because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 03:32 AM
reply to post by Partygirl

If God is omnipresent, what is the problem if someone thinks of the inner self or soul as God or part of God? For that matter wouldn't Satan himself be just a manifestation of God?

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 06:29 AM
Too many 'isms'!

You wouldn't want to miss the message, while you're quibbling over the delivery system, would you?!


posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 08:35 AM
reply to post by dontreally

The key to understanding which religion holds the true belief is in the name of God. God is one, yet expresses Himself in the image of reality. We are a projection of that image. LINK

Reality is a story. The main point of the story starts with the name of God: YHWH

In Ancient Hebrew Pictographs, the name of God expresses the overall point of the story. The pictographs are Yod Hey Vav Hey. The Hey is the pictograph of arms outstretched to God. This 'Hey' was added to Abram's name to make Abraham. This was done when he offered what was most important to him (Issac / Son / Self) to God. God provided a replacement sacrifice instead when Abraham opened his arms in faith to God. Hey means 'Behold'. It is related by root morphology to the window of the tent. The tent being a temporary residence (our body). For more on this, see this link. LINK

They Vav is the pictograph for the tent peg (Nail).

The Hey is again Behold.

The Yod is hand.

YHWH "Behold the hand, Behold the nail."

Jesus and God, Father and Son. In physics, God is light. The Son is the wave of creation. This is listed in John 1. In the beginning was the Word (Son / Wave / Force / Laws / LOGOS). Put them together and you get the duality of light, both particle and wave. The third person of the trinity is the Holy Spirit (Consciousness).

Genesis 1:1
In the Beginning (Time), God created the heavens (Space) and the earth (Matter). Let there be light (Energy).

1 Colossians 1:
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

edit on 5-9-2011 by SuperiorEd because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 09:45 AM
LOL at it being the "Satan's Trap" sorry that just cracked me up. Moving on..

To me, I believe, the biggest misconception of Hinduism is that it's considered a religion to begin with. I think that Hinduism, more than a religion, is actually a philosophy of life. In many texts Lord Krishna states along the lines of "no matter what you do, in the end, you will end up with me." Hinduism, to my knowledge, doesn't really have any forms of sin, only self realization through experiences which may be comprised of mistakes.

Another take I had on the polytheistic approach of Hinduism is this; Like I stated before, Lord Krishna said "no matter what you do, who you pray to, you will end up with me, the One." I deciphered the polytheistic nature of Hinduism not in literal terms but instead a bigger philosophical picture that cleared it up for me. The availability of many gods of Hinduism may represent people praying to different gods in their own particular religions, whether its Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, but in the end as long as you whole heartedly have a belief system that encompasses your entire being then it's job is getting done, it's somewhat like a guidance system.

Now yes, most religions have been exploited for profit, and Christianity is known to have stunted Science for at least a thousand years compared to where we are now but in the end we're all "praying" towards the same goal; To be one with the One. No religion is better than the other, it's all a trick presented to us by the head religious nut-jobs to keep the $$ consistent.

PS** Did you know that Christianity actually had Re-Incarnation mentioned in it's texts, but the church during/before the Roman times took out the excerpts because they believed if Christians knew/believed such a thing they would search for self salvation and in turn take away the power/$$ from the Church? That to me is effed up! Now Christianity doesn't even believe in re-incarnation so I guess job well done!

Hope that provides some insight!

edit on 5-9-2011 by sirissacnewtone because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 05:24 PM
This thread needs more Stars/Flags... How do we flag a thread? I can't seem to figure it out for the life of me lol

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 06:41 PM
reply to post by kaleshchand

Ok, thanks, that helps clear it up

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