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.
This seems like a dead post, but anyway I feel the need to add what I feel it it's missing, and that's some personal experience point of view from daily life. Yes, I agree that most of the quotes and references are reviling a great deal of "the self" vs "oneness" relationship and its nature, but somehow there's always some confusion left that gets settled for "you have to experience it to know". I think that those who have never crossed that point of no return from being aware in such a sense, are more confused about what would be the actual everyday interactions within a social context for someone who did. In that respect, here is what I have to say.

The first few years after crossing over the edge of conceptual agendas based life (call it what you will) is like an actual rebirth with vivid and intensified self aware experiences, yes, as everyone says. This phase is as well an abstinence phase where most of things that were our everyday life till then are now excessive and sometimes disturbing, since most of what we were actually doing before with all the stuff is abusing it like junkies to gain distraction from true reality so we could remain loyal to the version that we've created for ourselves as ours. If we used to find music working for us, we can see now that we were using it like dope, if it was sport, same, etc. So after this crossing, these activities are something you can not practice for quite some time, probably enough for the system to heal itself from the abuse, and if you find it appealing again after, it won't be nothing like before. This is the easy to understand part.

Hard to get part is, what happens with you after a while, when this transitional period is over, like when you find yourself mostly by yourself with no interest in most of the social activities and every new person you meet freaks out exactly the same way when it finds out that you don't have a specific set of beliefs and values as well as no agendas or a specific pattern or destination point? It is here where it gets tricky, and the main confusion here is based on how do someone really feels about this and how much does it influences and in what way? I read someone mentioned loosing empathy and feelings for others and the surrounding as what, caring too much for everyone entirely that you can not care for someone in specific? Not true. You just care differently. That "myself" thing is really whatever you want it to be, as long as I get some honesty and consideration in return, I'm ok with doing harmful stupid things for the sake of the company. In other words, I am artist, designer, traveler, or whatever role they ask me to play for them, but in a short while, they can't stand the fact that I simply don't care about what they stand for, and they kick me out. To share your self existence with others doesn't mean by itself a projection of a mental concept about yourself onto others and pushing your system of values onto them like a blackmail. We are not individuals, we are all the same. To share your self existence with others is a basic human need, it has nothing to do with what you are passionate about. I don't have to be into metaphysics to be appreciated in this post, but usually that's the case. So how does this effect me? Here's how.

I am not angry or upset about it, but it makes me a bit sad to see almost all people totally not open to the idea that we are all the same like all the monkeys are to us. You must not see me different just by knowing I'm an attorney, and in the same time I am more me when I don't know if I am really an attorney or that's just a temporary thing and simply just not caring about my status. I am all and none of these roles at once, I am whatever you want me to be, just so I can be with you, but you're never actually there, and I don't need you personally, I just need a human race to get in-touch with me from time to time, honest openhearted contact without asking me indirectly am I on your side or against it. Always someone is agreeing or disagreeing, nothing can go smooth and simple anymore :) It's like a war zone. That's how I feel about self vs oneness. On the other hand, how I see people feel about being with me, well, I see people usually get overwhelmed and just disappear without any explanation, or make you leave over some completely irrational disagreement used as an excuse. I see them frustrated by just seeing me completely satisfied while they were on purposely doing something to hurt me and get my attention with over something important for them that they were trying to force upon me. I guess it frightens them to see someone that is impossible to have any control over and at the same time have enormous compassion and love but not necessarily for anyone in particular. It makes them feel anxious knowing they can hardly hide anything from me and feeling bad about not being special and secure enough since my existence by itself makes them question their own false securities and social status. My last intimate relationship after the first 3 months turn into a disaster for no actual reason. I may find someone that's more like me, but I know for sure there's not much out there. Basically, you just get used to having short relationships with exactly the same mystical endings :)

Not many know how to distinguish non-caring from non-dramatic. I usually care more than they can imagine, it is just not that personal. You see, that need for having things personally for you might make you feel a bit special, but it's also what makes you unaware of that human beings frequency that makes us one, not theoretically, but practically, and we just simply suck at it.
I didn't and never leave this forum. When I was inactive for several months or even more than a year, I was really struggling my real life like a piteous pig.

I don't know if I made several different choices in my history, would my life be better now. But I really did several very stupid choices which result in my current silly, busy, and unhappy state of living and working.

From my life experience, I guess it is more like that I'm only an experiment arranged by God. God doesn't care about whether I'm happy or suffering, whether my behaviors lead to good or bad result, or whether the life of mine will lead to something meaningful, or what I could learn from this life, or what good influence I could do to someone else. God only mean to let these all happen and collect some data from my experiences, perhaps only some indirect data would be useful to him (I mean God). When I'm used up, I will be recycled like a trash.

I found, it is more like to be more true that the Rosewell Alien Interview which says that human are imprisoned by universe warlord, or even worse. It sounds more true than when nders mention about God, love.
More quotations from the NDErs:


Joan LH:

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

From William Buhlman's Exploration Mindset:

From an article by Stephen A. McNallen:
This is interesting. Anyone who has taken psychedelics will find that they reach the same conclusion. Researchers looked at how LSD actually works in the brain, and they found that: Brain scans of individuals high on the drug revealed that the chemical allows parts of the cortex to become flooded with signals that are normally filtered out to prevent information overload.

In a sense, it may be that when we are in an altered state of consciousness that we are actually perceiving a truer part of the world that our everyday awareness is unaware of. It may be that our ability to experience this state is dependent on brain structures. For instance, studies that were done on the famous medium George Anderson found that his brain was actually structurally different than others. The same thing is found in people who have a perfect memory. Their cingulate cortex is larger
I don't know if anyone saw my post earlier about research by Gary Nolan showing different structural differences in the brains of people who have mystical experiences. If not, this tends to lead credence to my idea.
This is Michael Tymn's newest (and probably best) blog post:

For those who accept the strong evidence that consciousness survives death, there remains a very big question relative to the nature of that consciousness – namely, does the soul retain its individuality or does it merge into some kind of Oneness with the Creative Force and in so doing lose its individuality? If the soul does lose its individuality, is such a state any more desirable than total extinction at physical death?
Does “Oneness” in the Afterlife Mean Loss of Individuality?
This is Michael Tymn's newest (and probably best) blog post:

Does “Oneness” in the Afterlife Mean Loss of Individuality?
I have read this link.

I think it is only wishful thinking, no evidence.

I personally wish our individuality continues being existent, like the proposition in this article.

I can't understand why someone doesn't wish so, or hold an opposite wish, or is indifferent on this matter, they might be ignorant on what does this mean or they are insane in some way.

Saying the truth, according to what I experienced in my humble and lousy life, and according to what I observed to many others' lives. I sense God is extremely indifferent on our individuality's continuation. Our "self" are very much like a temporary, disposal, utilized phantasm instance of some tools instantiated by some higher, powerful, determinant, creative forces or existence, for collecting experience information.

After we, our life experiences have collected the experience information for them, our memories and all our feelings, emotions, etcetera will be uploaded to somewhere. And "we" - "our self" will be recycled and tossed into a destroyer trash bin and we will disappear forever.

Whatever into the next life - next reincarnation, or consciousness in the spiritual world or sort of "in between plain or realm", that would be another "self" or "individual" created by or acted by those forces, and they will be none of our business.

The truth is always dark and undesirable. Let me cry for awhile and then I will need to be sorrowful for some other bad things in my life. T_T
I have read this link.

I think it is only wishful thinking, no evidence.
I prefer psychical research to beliefs. To me it seems that your pessimism clouds your judgement. Healthy skepticism is of course better than blind belief, but when there is lots of good evidence, and most importantly, convergence of evidence, it is certainly not mere wishful thinking. Some of the cases mentioned in that blog post may not have been investigated as thoroughly as the better cases, but these too are additional evidence for personal survival after death. Other cases of mediumship, reincarnation, OBEs and NDEs also suggest that the individuality is retained. It is a matter of consilience.

Why do you think that your life is lousy?