Mysticism and Monism

  • Hywel D. Lewis
Part of the Philosophy of Religion Series book series (PHRES)


The idea that in any destiny we may have, beyond our present existence, there is no need to preserve our personal identity, or the sense of identity that we now have, has always had a strong appeal. It is deeply embedded in many Eastern cultures and religions, and in related metaphysical systems. Strong support for it may also be found from time to time in the West. There are two main forms of this idea to be noted. The first is the view that, although the ultimate distinctness of persons must be surrendered, there is still an important, indeed indispensable, part to be played by the individual as a mode or element of some kind in the one whole of being to which he belongs. This is the view which appears to be most common in Hinduism, although this is an area where it is not easy to generalise. Western thought, when it becomes explicit, usually favours this qualified form of monism more than any other, though the affirmations of some Western mystics appear, if taken neat, to go much further towards the total elimination of the finite self.


Western Thought True Reality Phenomenal World Total Eclipse Finite Centre 
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Copyright information

© Hywel D. Lewis 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hywel D. Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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