ISBN is

9781597310178 / 1597310174

Christianity and the Doctrine of Non-Dualism

by

Publisher:Sophia Perennis

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

The author of this slender but profound book, a Cistercian monk, discovered as a young man the work of his fellow countryman René Guénon, whose writings introduced him to genuine metaphysical doctrine and to possibilities of spiritual realization. This discovery marked him indelibly, and he resolved to follow a monastic path in order to be free for the 'one thing needful'. The word Advaita, which designates Vedantic non-dualism, is Sanskrit for 'non-dual' or 'not two'; but the doctrine itself is by no means exclusively Hindu, being present in Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, and Judaism. In Christianity it has always been more implicit, though explicit with writers such as Dionysius the Areopagite, Eriugena, Eckhart, and even Dante. The great merit of this work by 'a Monk of the West' is that it shows that non-dualism is neither pantheism nor monism, and that there is no incompatibility between orthodox Christian doctrine and the strictest understanding of non-dualism in the Advaita Vedanta. The implication is that non-dualism can again find expression within a Christian ambiance. The cover design helps clarify this. In the background is the Omkara, the sacred monosyllable of Hinduism, considered the most funadamental of affirmations. In the foreground is the Christian symbol of the Chi-Rho, chrismon, or labarum, consisting of the first two letters-chi (X) and rho (P)-of the Greek Christos, XRISTOS. This figure is intrinsically three-dimensional but is usually projected onto a plane surface. The cruciform Greek letter chi (X) is placed horizontally within a circle; it measures the parameters of a given world. The rho intersects the chi at its center and is placed vertically to represent the axis mundi or world tree. The loop at the top of the rho represents the Supernal Sun at the summit of the world tree, from which all possibilities of creation proceed and to which they return. There can be no essential, but only an apparent, incompatibiity between the Universe and any of its constituent parts; all derive from a unique and common Principle. Similarly, there be be no essential conflict between the Chi-Rho representing a given world and the Omkara which represents all worlds, the entire Universe, notwithstanding the differing degrees of universality. Christianity and the Doctrine of Non-Dualism offers one approach to this doctrine and to the greatest possible spiritual / intellectual adventure that is implied.

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