Eastern Pantheistic Monism illustrates a particular type of Eastern worldview and philosophy. The eastern pantheistic monism is notable by its monism, and monism is the key phrase there. According to Sterelny, K. and Waters, C.K. (1990), Pantheism, certainly, is the idea that God is in everything: but monism is the idea that the one reality of this universe is impersonal. So when you talk about “God” in Eastern religion, it’s important for you to recognize that you are not talking about the personal deity, about whom we speak as Christian theists; you are talking about an impersonal, single reality. It’s vital for us to understand that.
The first and most important point of Eastern pantheistic monism is Atman is Brahman. In other words, the soul of each and every human being is the soul of the cosmos. Atman, which is the essence of the individual human soul, is Brahman; that is, the essence of the soul of the whole cosmos. Each person, according to Eastern pantheistic monism, is God. Monism is the belief that this God who is everywhere and in everything is impersonal – He is not a He, but an it. And the soul of each and every human being is the soul of the cosmos. You are God. And ultimately all roads lead to this “one” reality. And enlightenment comes when you realize that you are God. In contrast that to what the Apostle Paul says in Romans.1:20-25. They knew that God ought to be worshiped and honored, but they worshiped the creature rather than the Creator, and so God gave them over to…foolishness. Western religion have in the Bible a presentation of One God in Three Persons, a personality, a personal God who desires a relationship with us, in Eastern thought “God” is impersonal. He is not a person, is not personal on any level, and therefore does not desire a relationship. In fact to the Eastern mind the idea of God is completely impersonal – and that is hard to wrap the Western minds around. To the Eastern mind then, God is the single complete component of reality. All that is is God and God is all that is! In this system of belief you are God. Your soul is the essence of this one reality and so you are part of the collective whole that is “God”. When you realize that you are in essence divine, this is to reach enlightenment! We are all one; we are all united in this reality, in this singularity of the Divine. Nothing exists that is not part of this singular impersonal reality. Meditation and other forms of mental and physical exercise help us come to this point of awareness, this oneness. In the West, to think is to distinguish. But in the East, distinctions themselves are illusions, because all is one. To know in Eastern philosophy is to pass beyond distinction.
Eastern religion illustrates the spiritual psychology of evolution, whereas Western religion illustrates the spiritual sociology of evolution. Eastern religion, following the course of Ascent, tries to unite humanity’s consciousness with God; whereas Western religion, following the course of Descent, serves God’s manifest unfolding.
Sterelny, K. and Waters, C.K. 1990. The illusory riches of Sober’s monism. Journal of Philosophy 87: 158—161.