Criticizing the Oneness of Transcendental Idealism

No self is as misunderstood as oneness. It doesn't cause indifference.

When someone realizes "I AM Everything", oneness, he feels a connectedness to all things. It produces compassion. After he realizes no-self, the understanding of connectedness of all things remains, and so the compassion remains. In fact, the connectedness and compassion, if anything, increases because then there is nothing that is considered self for even the tiniest infinitesimal of selfishness to grow out of.

You have to experience it to understand it.

I took everything out of the monastery. I left prepared for never coming back and I headed for the mountains. And I went here and there in the mountains sitting by myself, sitting as hard as I could. Not even knowing what day it was Not even knowing how much time I was spending there. I just went and sat and sat and sat in various places in the mountains.
And I realized right then the mistake I was making and I went right back to the monastery. I knew what I had to do now And at that moment it was like all of my burdens dropped off, as if someone had hit me on the back and everything was awakened within. I realized there was nothing I needed to do for myself in the first place. If every moment that came along I just took it as it was then there was nothing that could be a problem to me any more.

That small narrow way in which I had been looking at my enlightenment, my thing to have to do. I have to do this for myself. That is what had been bothering me all along from the very beginning. Through that day on the mountain when I realized that there was no self to be bothered with it.
Often enlightenment or kensho or satori is considered to be some kind of unusual experience or something external or some kind of special phenomenon. But it’s not like that. There may be some kind of sudden revelation or some kind of sudden perception, but its not something that is that unusual or that strange or foreign that we come upon or that comes upon us. What it is, is the ability to see without any interruption of the ego, without any filtering of the ego. And since we are all walking around seeing things through our ego filter almost all the time, to suddenly be able to see without that filter is a surprise. But it is nothing that we have ever not had.

They say that the mind of a baby is something that we can compare this to. A baby isn’t seeing things from an egoistic place. It is seeing directly and clear. It is the exact same kind of thing when we are seeing without the ego filter. We see that there is nothing to be analyzed in it. When you are seeing a flower you are not thinking that it is red or seeing a bird you are not thinking what its name is. You are just seeing directly. When we talk about enlightenment we are talking about that mind which is perceive at every moment without the obstruction of an egoistic filter. The experience of that mind and realizing where it is and realizing where it is coming from is what is called enlightenment or kensho or satori. It is not some kind of supernatural state of mind that we are able to enter or that comes upon us. It is not like some kind of altered state of consciousness to think that we are trying to do this practice for some kind of narrow experience for the individual. Thinking that we are going to come upon some big experience some day. This is a very low level understanding of what this enlightenment is.
And I realized right then the mistake I was making and I went right back to the monastery. I knew what I had to do now And at that moment it was like all of my burdens dropped off, as if someone had hit me on the back and everything was awakened within. I realized there was nothing I needed to do for myself in the first place.

When I came back from the mountain I knew from what had happened there exactly what I had to do. I understood that until that time I had been sitting and living with a very small egoistic idea of what it was I was doing all this for. It had been an egoistic urge that had carried me to the mountains in the first place even though what I was trying to do was to reach a deep enlightenment experience. So when I came back to the monastery I didn’t have that sense any more. I knew then that my life wasn’t about my own problems. Those problems didn’t exist. What I had to do with my life was to live it totally with the purpose of bringing this crystal awareness to other people. That’s all I really wanted to do.


This expansive mind, this mind that sees directly knows the all inclusiveness, is aware of the connection between everything. Because when you get rid of that ego that’s all you see is one unified whole. That connection of everything in one’s being is what is apparent when that ego is gone away. But as long as we all hold onto our ego because we are forced to by what society demands of us, unless we free ourselves from that and return to that clear mind, we will never be able to solve that suffering, that deep anguish that comes from our separation from everything including each other. For this reason this possibility of a way to get out of that ego bind to relieve ourselves of that and get back to that true mind which is clear and huge and all embracing is very, very important right now
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....Or is the free-willing, individual self an illusion?

Because it seems if the individual self is illusory, or its actions across a lifetime are already known by someone viewing space-time from the outside, then the criticisms in the OP - which were not raised by me, I just gathered them from another thread - seem to hold?
Yes, free-willing and no, not free-willing. It may be the degree of free-willing is with respect to: what freedom do I have in chosing which constraints are honored or not honored?

I am a person but I am not interchangeable with any other person. That I am this person is an enduring constraint because it is a fact of my existence - it is the boundary I cannot cross and a constraint I am always obliged to honor. I did not create this fact and in that sense I am a bound by it, I am servant to this fact. To that I have to add the realization that without the One Reality being the ground for the possiblity of existence, I do not exist as a person. This means the One Reality is a necessary condition for my existence as a person, my existence is therefore bound up at every instance in that necessary condition. There is perhaps no clearly defined division there but a simple gradient of awareness? If I slide too close in awareness of the One Reality it may overwhelm me and destroy me. If I slide too far in awareness from this source, I may forget the source of my being and waste away. I think there is this middle ground, a plane within which I can chose to stand and decide where to move. It may be that this middle ground expands to the same degree that my understanding expands? And, as my understanding expands maybe I also have more freedom with respect to which constraints to honor within this middle ground.

In which place do I notice where there is the least and the greatest degree of freedom? For myself, I find the least degree of freedom exists in the external world, the exoteric, the unyielding hard rules and laws imposed on my person to which I must conform regardless of my understanding. I find the greatest degree of freedom in the internal world, the esoteric, the yielding rules and laws that conform their contours to my person and always with respect to my understanding.
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Silver Birch had this to say:
"There are also what I call facets of the one diamond. This is the over-soul, the greater individuality, and the facets are aspects of it which incarnate into your world for experiences that will add lustre to the diamond when they return to it.


Also there are people who, although separate persons, are aspects of the one individuality. For instance, my medium, his wife and myself are parts of one individual. So you can have facets of the one guide. You can call these extensions if you like, but it comes to the same thing. Only an infinitesimal part of the whole individuality can be manifested in physical form on earth."

Titus Rivas said this about those kind of theories:
For me, it is clear that reincarnation is the best explanation for paranormal Cases of the Reincarnation Type. I'm not impressed by authoritative claims from channelled entities (or anyone else for that matter) that it is not.

Another quote by Titus Rivas:
I hold that the mind is not some impersonal or collective category, but the life of a constant, substantial self.

Two quotes which are relevant to this discussion by Titus Rivas:
The critics of collectivist spirituality are right to unmask it as a perverted form of justification of power relations and subjugation of individuals.
An individualist spirituality is not about collective entities, but about the interests of individuals and their relations with other individuals. Therefore it concentrates on spiritual concepts that put individuals first. Examples of such concepts are personal immortality, personal growth and personal love.
And after that realization she entered what I would say is the last stage of PNSE where she

lost all ability to care about anything or feel any emotion.
I don't know about PNSE or exactly what Roberts said. But I do know that when meditation produces intense feelings of bliss, love, connectedness over a long time, odd as this might seem, it becomes tiresome and you naturally gravitate to a state of quiet, contentedness, satisfaction, and equanimity. Those emotions also result in a good dose of unselfishness.That doesn't mean you are indifferent to others, you still have love, compassion and sympathy, it just means the brain chemicals are not going through the roof. And when you feel like tripping on endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, you can still do that too. I don't know about Roberts but I suspect this is what PNSE 4 is getting at. PNSE 4 reported the highest level of wellbeing.
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More quotations from the NDErs:

I became ONE with ALL IN EXISTENCE, yet, I had a firm knowing that I was me.

I went into a flow of oneness that I think is God, (I called that the isness); it is a state of bliss where I am all there is. It is formless.

Joan LH:
Individuals did not exist in the same way as we do here. I was still me, but I was also part of The Loving.

These quotations support my theory. NDErs confuse "oneness" with formless existence.

From William Buhlman's Exploration Mindset:
I am pure consciousness. I possess no form or three-dimensional structure. I have the ability to manifest and use different energy forms for my expression and education. I realize I am not humanoid nor any other form based concept.

From an article by Stephen A. McNallen:
Ultimately, though, the interconnectedness of things does not mean what they say it does. “Quantum nonlocality” does not mean sameness, does not mean homogeneity, and does not deny the uniqueness of individual parts in any system. A rock is still not a pillow, and a cow is still not a horse.

We are not a great melting pot, a collective. We are individuals, and always have been and always will be, for infinity.
If one person on the other side of infinity knows the answer, then so do you, but we are not ‘all one.’
Each of us is unique. Without this uniqueness , there would not be any reason whatsoever for there being more than one being. Thus, each and every unique being, from our sentient race, to the slightest bug, is important. There is no regard, there, for what we consider physical reality.
The thing with NDErs is that for them to return to life, they must have preserved their own individuality, their own sense of an individual separate Self.

I wonder whether humans are the only species having an individual soul? What about animals, what about insects or even bacteria? Does each bacteria have an individual soul?
The thing with NDErs is that for them to return to life, they must have preserved their own individuality, their own sense of an individual separate Self.
That is a good point. Edward F. Kelly and Michael Grosso mention this same argument in chapter 8 of Irreducible Mind, page 507:
The ordinary self is not literally obliterated, of course, since after all it normally returns...
A quote from Michael Tymn's book review:
In his 42nd sitting, Cornillier asked Vettellini whether the individual consciousness becomes absorbed in a universal consciousness as spirits evolve or whether they retain their individuality. “Monsieur Corniller, Vettellini affirms that individual consciousness can but grow greater and greater as evolution progresses,” Reine relayed. “All that is gained and conquered by a being, defines and strengthens his individuality. It is his, – and for himself. The blue spirits are more individual than the grey; the white spirits more individual than the blue; and above the white, the still higher Spirits are still more themselves.” (Vettellini had previously explained that lower level spirits are seen as red in color, the more advanced as blue, and those above them as white.)

I have this book in my book collection. I agree with Michael Tymn. It is a very good book.