Ever pondered about the very essence of reality? I sure have. On my path to learn about the fundamentals I stumbled onto some really mind-bending philosophical theories.
As is the case with many similar questions there were many people throughout the history who have wondered and searched for those same answers. Here are presented some of the most amazing and intriguing philosophical theories that many minds developed in the quest for answers of their very own existence. All of us who seek answers can relate to them.
Nondualism or non-duality is an idea that the universe and all of its vast multiplicity are ultimately mere expressions or perceived appearances of the one essential reality. This seemingly unusual concept was used to define and determine different influential religious and spiritual thoughts. It can be found in multiple Asian religious traditions and also in the modern Western spirituality, in alternate forms. The western world understands “Nondualism” as a “non-dual consciousness”, or simply as the experience of natural awareness without having a subject or an object. It is often used interchangeably with Neo-Advaita philosophy. All that refers to the Absolute, is different from the “adyava,” which is a type of non-dualism of both conventional and the ultimate truth.
Neo-Advaita, also known as the “Satsang-movement,” is a new religious movement that emphasizes the recognition of the non-existence of the “I” or “ego,” without the need of any previous preparatory practice. The basic practice of Neo-Advaita is through self-inquiry, such as by asking oneself the question “Who am I?” or even simply accepting the unimportance of the “I” or “ego.” According to Neo-Advaitins, no prolonged study of religious scriptures nor tradition is necessary for its practice as simply one’s insight will alone suffice.
Dualism comes from the term “duo” (a Latin word) which translates as “two.” Dualism essentially represents the state of two parts. For example, moral dualism is the belief of the great dependence or conflict between the good and the evil. It indicates that there are always two moral opposites. The concept of yin and yang, which is a large part of Chinese philosophy and an important feature of Taoism, is a great example of dualism. In the philosophy of mind, dualism is a view about the relationship between mind and matter.
Henosis comes from the ancient Greek word ἕνωσις, which translates to mystical “oneness,” “union,” or “unity” in classical Greek. Henosis is represented in Platonism and in Neoplatonism as a union with what is fundamental in reality: The One (Τὸ Ἕν), the Source. It had been further developed in Christian theology – the Corpus Hermeticum, mysticism and soteriology. It was of great importance during Late Antiquity, in times of the development of monotheism.
Acosmism, with its prefix “a-” which in the Greek language means negation the same as “un-” in the English language, disputes the reality of the universe and is an observation of an ultimate illusion. It claims and accepts only the infinite Absolute as real. Some concepts of Acosmism are also found in eastern and western philosophies. The concept of Maya in non-dual Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism is another form of acosmism. Maya means “illusion or appearances”.
You may have had some thoughts similar to these philosophical theories unknowingly. If you hadn’t, then surely they will make you wonder and contemplate them further. In a constant search for answers, many have spent parts or even their whole lives trying to make sense of life and its secrets.
Perhaps you know some other mind-blowing theories or even have your own theory which represents your truth and differs from the ones contemplated by other thinkers lifetimes before you. Feel free to share your opinion and thoughts with others and discuss it in the comments. Together we may find the answers!
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