In the Western world, we’re often familiar with monotheism but not monism (let alone nonduality), with pantheism but not panentheism, with atheism but not nontheism, and perhaps especially with egoism but not immanentism. As a USAmerican, my personal (from the Latin word for “mask”) “view”/“belief”/“opinion” about the universe, which is tethered to my sense of my personal destiny, often as individualistically geared as it is subjectively conceived and almost always separate from any calm observations of phenomena (signs) or patterns (wisdom). (Outside of the Pentecostal movement, it is rare for Westerners to believe in post-Apostolic miracles [that aren’t “the devil”], let alone revelations.) I cherry-pick from among life’s facts and nature’s laws the same way I cherry-pick from among Bible verses to doctor up my own ideas until I’m convinced that they would stand up in a debate (an imaginary and very medieval debate which I of course never actually engage in, certainly not with someone of any appreciable fluid intelligence), and if anyone ever challenges my castle in the air with real acumen and tough love, I melt right down and claim I’m being “attacked” for being a believer, persecuted by an infidel—which then only serves to prove to my own satisfaction that I’m walking the straight and narrow, because I’m being slandered for Jesus’s sake (even though all that’s actually happening is I’m having my fancies examined by a non-flatterer). And thus I am accomplished at feigning rationality while harboring notions that when said aloud sound to almost everyone else like I surely must have just fallen off a turnip truck or spent twenty years in a prison cell with one phrase written on a square of toilet paper. The root of all of this, of course, is that I do not philosophize on any of it, because ultimately what I mean with the theological term faith is “never admitting one’s doubts”. I keep so busy—and become so entrenched—in trying to badger others into accepting my mindset that I’m not looking for how my experiences might qualify, much alter, my “beliefs”. While waxing religious, then, I spurn mysticism, exposing the fact that it’s been about politics all along. This must be the main reason most people never grow to the point of questioning the need to hold on to hand-me-down beliefs at all. Western activists have this refrain Question everything, yet most of them would never dream of living by those words, no, what they mean is for those they wish to unsettle to Question your own beliefs so that they may come under the illusion that I alone am correct.
Now let’s go back in time and look at some concrete things. First of all, men who work phenomena, prophecize, etc. (such as Cagliostro, Nostradamus, etc.) show up in many times and places, whether or not they claim divinity or a divine mission (usually the legitimate ones don’t of late, since the whole paradigm of divinity has become so unrecognizably twisted, as I am constantly reminding my fellow-Westerners in theist vs atheist debates, earning me the hatred of both. Men (i.e. men and women) have also copied from other men, particularly from those who went before them. Usually, they have been harmless and even helpful to morale and insight, but occasionally they have been predators. I need not assert, however, that the Bible was intentionally copied from the Hindu and Egyptian scriptures, though it is a dead-certainty that it did, if not consciously then owing to the pre-existing vast knowledge of the court writers of the kings of Israel and those Gnostics who frequented the Library of Alexandria. Because even without this overwhelming probability, we have the monkey island phenomenon whereby—and you’ll think me New Age but that’s not what this is—something learned in one land is simultaneously known by the same species in a disconnected land, using strictly brainwaves, or whatever subtle atmospheric transmission of a biological radio or innate psychic powers you care to posit, again the point is that it’s been observed and documented. Preachers of Biblicism and Occidentalism despise all mention of the Silk Road that has connected India to Macedonia since at least Alexander’s time and frankly even before then, or of the very Egyptian nature of the Law of Moses, or the extensive sea trade routes that linked the whole of Eurasia from Japan to Iceland and probably beyond, from basically prehistory! But perhaps owing to the fact that these intel transmissions (whether material, subtle or both) had nothing to do with government (unless we’re talking deep-state idealists and spies) and because this whole field of study messes with a sort of insular civilization narrative with all the false certainties it affords us, whether theological or merely chauvinistic—because God knows we’re not talking about all White people (which I have come to understand as a common euphemism that really means “reductionistic, bossy, authoritarian, plagiaristic parasites of today’s Babylonian Talmud cultural hegemony”—see also city dwellers, the rich)—academia has conveniently avoided going too in-depth on the vast accomplishments of the Chinese from whom we got if not pasta itself certainly gunpowder and the printing press.
The same mindset that neglects to honor the Chinese for kickstarting modern Western information and weapons technology (and we could go on and on about the Spanish Semitic Moors’ discovery of modern eye surgery) also neglects to understand the non-White nature of Christianity’s precious god, Jesus, preferring to think of Christianity as having really begun in the Vatican if not Canterbury, but not in Jerusalem or Alexandria as the real scholars are getting some big hunches. (Relatedly, the Jews known to medieval Europe have tended to be quite suspiciously lighter-skinned, bolstering the myth of a lily-white Holy Family). Even Augustine of Hippo, the guy who told us all what the Bible “really” meant (namely, original sin), was North African and had been a disciple of Mani, whose religion Manichaeism was founded in India but mostly only survived in the West and only until the end of the Middle Ages. What we think of as Christianity wasn’t just founded by Jesus (himself heavily influenced by the Buddha and other Indian yogi traditions, not to mention Socrates [“Who is my neighbor/enemy?”]), but in short order was touched in the West by the misogynistic Mithraic mysteries and by the dualistic Manichean clubs—all by late antiquity. And let’s not forget Plotinus the (Neo) Platonist! I mean, if people had gone by Jesus’s teaching left to itself, they wouldn’t even be marrying, let alone steadying a teetering empire and “way of life” (which calls for victim identity politics and hating one’s neighbor let alone one’s enemy).
The list of plagiarisms, false attributions and tier-specific doctrines in Christendom and later Freemasonry is literally endless, but I think the takeaway here is that, as the Hindus have been telling us all along, everything is connected: every nation, every subject, every belief system. I mean, you could visualize a painter’s palette where you have various colors on the outside and they all mix in the middle—only, instead of solid paint it’s pure light (consciousness) such that the center shines like a kind of sun of relentless realism. So in the outer darkness on the palette’s brim you might see Western extremisms such as atheism, monotheism, egoism, materialistic pantheism…then as you move inward you get into the more nuanced or refined nontheism, monism, immanentism, panentheism…and in and in, and increasingly esoteric and wise.
If you do nothing else, take just one of your beliefs whose inconsistency has been bugging you for years, and sit and ponder it. I’m not going to tell you what to think, primarily because I already know that you already know. And I mean, honestly, whether it’s Santa, Jesus, God, or Gandalf, my advice is to make friends with the gods (that is, the forces of life and nature), love them, and transcend them. Namaste and jai jinendra.