The One

The One is the absolutely simple first principle of all. It is both “self-caused” and the cause of being for everything else in the universe. There are, according to Plotinus, various ways of showing the necessity of positing such a principle. – Lloyd P. Gerson

Most people believe in God. Even among atheists, agnostics, and those who answer “none of the above” on questions about religion, 72 percent believe in a higher power of some kind.

Using the principle of multiple viewpoints, one has to deal with the concept of God. If we combine and compare the views of Humanism, Stoicism, Daoism, and Christianity we arrive at a particular conclusion.

The problem of evil eliminates a personal God from the probable answers. But Christian mystics are having real experiences. The majority of humankind believe in God, why?

I believe Plotinus might have the best answer. For him, The One is not a person, but an ineffable unity. That means that The One cannot be put into words. It is like the Dao in Daoism. This would be like Baruch Spinoza’s “God, or Nature.”

This is Pantheism, yes. But maybe with a twist. Maybe The One becoming the multiplicity is what we call the Big Bang. Maybe the Buddhists are right and the cosmos expands and contracts eternally. in Alfred North Whitehead’s words, “The term ‘many’ presupposes the term ‘one,’ and the term ‘one’ presupposes the term ‘many’.”

I must learn more about Plotinus and his system before I can answer much.

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Jay Forrest

Jay N. Forrest is an IT professional, an ordained Humanist minister, and a Certified and Accredited Meditation Teacher.