I have lately been finding myself exploring some thoughts which have been continually recurring in my mind with regards to both theists and atheists, and the essence of their views on reality. I have come to realize that on the whole, both atheists and theists are essentially the same. The reason I say they are essentially the same is because both tend to be egotists. That is to say, both tend to buy in to the illusion that the self, the “me” and with it, the concepts of time and space, are fundamental realities, when they are not fundamental realities. While some rare atheists, such as Sam Harris, agree that the self is an illusion, and atheists do not believe in the permanent self, the “soul,” the ego – unlike the theist, they still tend to believe in ego’s impermanent yet fundamental reality. This is the same as believing in the fundamental reality of time and space, which is the belief that dualism is ultimately true, which is impossible since it is contradictory, as we have discovered before.
Because both the theist and the atheist tend to fail to see time and space for the illusions they are – believing them to be actual separate “dimensions” of existence when in reality they are nothing more than a single illusion resulting from the beginningless and endless interplay of the two fundamental principles of Oneness – stasis and change, as we have also discovered before, then they are both equally incorrect in their worldview because the foundation of both their worldviews is the same incorrect assumption of the self as a fundamental reality as separate and independent from “other” – the belief in dualism, which is responsible for the illusion of time and space. At this point one could question what the difference is between the dualistic belief in two separate and independent “realities” like “self” and “other,” “time” and “space,” “good” and “evil,” etc., and the two principles of Oneness. The difference essentially comes down to the concept of independence. With Oneness, the two fundamental principles of stasis and change are not “separate” and “independent” realities, but are instead simply two sides of the same one “coin,” while in dualism, the two “sides” or “forces” are seen as “separate” and “independent” realities when they are actually one Reality. That is all the difference. The reason opposites must be different aspects of the same One Reality, is because if they were “separate” and “independent” of each other, then one would cancel out the other, resulting in only nothingness, which is obviously false. What we are actually experiencing in our perception of “self” – the perception of “I” who is somehow “always here” and will “live forever,” is our perception of the principle of stasis, but the “self,” the ego, the “me” – like all other forms, is only an impermanent manifestation of the principle of stasis, because it is also being endlessly changed by the very principle of change at the same time. That is precisely why all forms are impermanent. Almost everyone – both theist and atheist alike, mistake the manifestation of form for the principles underlying a particular form’s manifestation. They are not one and the same. The principles are not a “thing” or a “being,” but rather fundamental principles which therefore never began and will never end, and are in that sense “permanent” if you will. The manifested forms of these principles – such as our egos, are not permanent. That is the bottom line.
The atheist tends to believe in relativism, or the belief that truth is “relative,” based on one’s own point of view. They therefore tend to believe there are “no absolutes.” The problem with this belief is it is contradictory. To believe there are no absolutes is itself the belief in an absolute – that there are no absolutes. Theists have often correctly pointed out the problem with this relativistic point of view because of its contradictions. So does this mean the theist is therefore correct their God is this “absolute truth?” Not quite. They are half right. There is absolute truth. There has to be otherwise there would be no basis from which to speak of anything whatsoever, even the very idea there is no such thing as absolute truth. Ironically, one can never deny the fact of absolute truth without affirming its reality. However, the reason absolute truth cannot be a “god” is because truth is not a “thing,” “entity,” or “being,” but is rather what actually is. This is not the same as the idea of “objective morality,” or “absolute morality,” which is a point I address at length in the post, “Morality?” The phenomenon of “cognitive dissonance,” or the psychological discomfort we feel when our beliefs are confronted by invalidating evidence for our beliefs, further illustrates the fact of absolute truth independent of our opinions or beliefs. For if “truth” is nothing more than a subjective opinion, then we would never experience cognitive dissonance since there would then be no absolute truth against which to know what is not true, and therefore no way to perceive any conflict between our beliefs and reality. The theist and atheist are therefore both incorrect – the theist because they believe “their God” is this “absolute,” and the atheist because they believe there are “no absolutes,” stating their own “personal perspective” is what they measure “truth” against. This is nonsense because Truth cannot be relative, and therefore cannot be one’s personal “opinion” or belief since relativism requires “no absolutes,” which is a self-contradictory and therefore false concept as we have already discovered. That is why belief has nothing whatsoever to do with Truth, regardless of whether it is our personal beliefs or our religious beliefs.
In reality, the concept of God and our religious beliefs are just another product of our egos – no different from personal “relativistic” beliefs of the atheist and secular humanist many theists so ardently criticize. In other words, whether we follow our “own beliefs” or the beliefs of an adopted religion, they are the same – precisely because they are beliefs, and not awareness of that which is actually true. So what is this “absolute truth” if not our own personal opinions, beliefs, and concepts of God? It is ultimately Oneness and its two fundamental principles of stasis and change, as we discovered earlier. Oneness and its two principles are not relative, because as we discovered before, Oneness and its two principles is not a separate and independent thing, being, ego, or concept like God. Because Oneness is not an ego, and therefore not relative, it is Truth itself, since it is only Oneness in which there is no relativity or contradiction, because in Oneness there are no “two independent sides” to be “relative” to one another or to contradict each other, unlike all dualistic worldviews such as theism and atheism in which the two “sides” are considered “separate” and “independent” of each other, as we also discovered before. Dualism is relativism because dualism is relativity itself – the belief in the fundamental “independence” and “separation” of things. Since we have already proven that relativism is false, then dualism must also be false. This presents a major problem for all theists because in order to believe in their “separate God” apart from creation, human beings, etc., they have to believe in dualism because without dualism there can be no fundamental separation between “God,” you, me, self, or other. Because both theists and atheists are dualists – believing in the fundamental separation between “self” and “other” as we discovered before, both theists and atheists are therefore relativists and egotists. That is ultimately why both atheists and theists are the same, and why both worldviews are incorrect.
The bottom line is, only a true mystic – a true “a-egotist” if you will – one who sees ego for the illusion it is, can see the truth of the Oneness of All – that both the theistic and the atheistic point of view are simply two sides of the same one coin. That “coin” is ego itself, with one side “theism,” and the other “atheism.” Oneness has nothing to do with any of this dualistic egotism. Concepts which contradict themselves like dualism cannot be Truth, because contradictions are self-negating and are therefore not Reality. Since it is only Oneness in which there is no contradiction, then Oneness is therefore the only Truth… the only Reality…
Listen to the audio version of “No Absolutes?”