Christianity and the Doctrine of Non-Dualism
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 ambience. With a subtle care for detail, the author clarifies the relationship between the hypostatic union embodied in the person of Christ and the Supreme Identity of Atma and Brahma, two distinct notions seemingly opposed in certain respects but curiously compatible in unexpected ways. The radical disparity that seemingly exists between the phrase ‘I am Brahma’ and the sacred formula of the Eucharistic consecration ‘This is my Body’ melts away, allowing these separate worlds to shed new meaning on each other.
Table of Contents
Preface—Foreword—Philosophical Monism and Non-Dualism—'I am Brahma'—'In All Things Like Unto Men'—Without Me You Can Do Nothing—'Who am I?'—'I am not the Christ'—East and West