I have encountered the philosophical term solipsism in my readings few times and I have ignored it until now. I ignored the term because I did not think it was worth thinking about. Then, it occurred to me that some people might misrepresent Soul Monism as solipsism. In this article I want to make a strong statement against solipsism and clarify that Soul Monism is NOT solipsism.
The Wikipedia article on solipsism is almost unbearable to read. The Wikipedia summary is:
“Solipsism from Latin solus, meaning ‘alone’, and ipse, meaning ‘self’) is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist.”
Solipsism goes against thousands of years of accumulated human knowledge and intuition.
The IEP (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy) article on solipsism is more readable. A quotation from IEP:
“No great philosopher has espoused solipsism. As a theory, if indeed it can be termed such, it is clearly very far removed from common sense. In view of this, it might reasonably be asked why the problem of solipsism should receive any philosophical attention. There are two answers to this question. First, while no great philosopher has explicitly espoused solipsism, this can be attributed to the inconsistency of much philosophical reasoning. Many philosophers have failed to accept the logical consequences of their own most fundamental commitments and preconceptions. The foundations of solipsism lie at the heart of the view that the individual gets his own psychological concepts (thinking, willing, perceiving, and so forth.) from ‘his own cases,’ that is by abstraction from ‘inner experience.’”
The “Soul” in “Soul Monism” refers to the Cosmic Soul. The “Monism” emphasizes that the Cosmic Soul is singular. The singularity (oneness) of the Cosmic Soul can be confused with solipsism especially when we write Soul as Self.
In the spiritual philosophy literature, you will encounter the term “Self-realization.” This “Self” is not the ego or the egoic-mind. The Self (“S” is capitalized) refers to the Cosmic Soul. The Self-realization is the state of consciousness experienced when the human soul realizes its true identity as the Cosmic Soul. Based on this statement and the fact that the Cosmic Soul is singular zealous analytical philosophers might label Soul Monism as a type of solipsism. I will answer this quickly but few reminders are necessary.
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti referred to the Cosmic Soul using the Sanskrit terms Parama Purusha and Purushottama. Plotinus referred to the Cosmic Soul as the One. In modern literature the Cosmic Soul is sometimes known as the Source.
In the Summary and Definitions of Soul Monism I provided the definitions of the terms Absolute Being, Reality, and Cosmic Soul and explained to the best of my ability how they are related based on my long study of the spiritual philosophies of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti and many other sages. I also clearly stated that in spiritual philosophy there is no revealed truth. The synthesis I call Soul Monism should not be taken as revealed truth. A particular synthesis of spiritual philosophy serves only as a source of inspiration.
All concepts of Soul Monism derive from the primary concepts of Absolute Being, Reality, and Cosmic Soul.
Absolute Being is the Godhead. Absolute Being is the Consciousness (“C” is capitalized). Absolute Being is also known as Ananda which is the infinite ocean of love and bliss. Absolute Being is indescribable.
Infinite potential of Absolute Being is transformed into infinite life known as Reality. Cosmos emanated from Reality.
The Cosmic Soul and the infinite number of its reflections are formed at the beginning of the divine transformation. Eternal Life (Reality) starts from the Cosmic Soul which is formed when Absolute Being allows a portion of itself to be confined (qualified) by its immanent operative principle known as Prakrti. Eternal Life flows from the Cosmic Soul.
Each entity from elementary particles, viruses, plants, animals, humans, solar systems, galaxies, to the entire Cosmos has a ‘reference’ to the Cosmic Soul. This ‘reference’ is the soul. The soul of each entity is that ‘reference’ to the Cosmic Soul and the Cosmic Soul is that ‘reference’ to the Absolute Being.
If the secret of the universe is the fact that the individual soul is identical with the Cosmic Soul then a mean-minded analytical philosopher might misrepresent Soul Monism by saying that the individual soul does not really exist. If the individual souls are not real then the individual minds are not real either and after this the analytical philosopher might further argue that Cosmos is not real because only Cosmic Soul is real.
The best answer was given by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti who explained that the Eternal Life (Reality, Saguna Brahma) that flows from the Cosmic Soul (Parama Purusha) is the Relative Truth.
Human mind cannot comprehend the absolute truth. Words are very limiting. We don’t even know what “absolute” means. We use the word “absolute” as a contrast to the word “relative.” We understand “relative” because we live in it and we try to get a glimpse of the “absolute” by transcending the “relative” through meditation, poetry and music. But, it is clear that all entities within Cosmos will perceive each other as real and participate in the Cosmic Drama.
What is the reason for the Cosmic Drama? Why does Absolute Being allow itself to be confined and then escape bondage through Infinite Life. We don’t know! It appears as a play, a drama perhaps, but that’s all we can say on the question of why.
Is Relative Truth real? Yes.
Is Relative Truth impermanent? Yes.
Is Relative Truth illusion? No.
My detailed commentary on this is given in Relative Truth is Objective piece. This is the second day in a row that I am directing my readers to this piece.