The pantheist believes: ‘The (whole) world is G.O.D.’1
The henotheist believes: ‘The (whole) world is not God.’2
Consequently the pantheist’s moksha, as freedom (to), consists in engaging with and creatively enhancing, meaning elaborating the whole world.3
Consequently the henotheist’s moksha, as freedom (from), consists in withdrawing, that is to say, in disengaging from the world in order to revert to and merge with4 the God which is not (i.e. neti, neti) the whole world.5
So the ancient Upanishad pantheist states that the world is ‘eti, eti.’6
And the ancient Upanishad henotheist states that the world is ‘neti, neti.’7
The difference between the pantheist’s belief and that of the henotheist is that whereas the pantheist believes her G.O.D., as universal application system, is this world, ‘warts and all’,8 the henotheist believes his God is a selected, thus ‘other’ world (as application system), namely one purified of ‘warts and all’.9,10
Both mokshas, namely the ‘freedom from’ and the ‘freedom to’ happen as momentary events, hence in the ‘now’ as instant. With practice, i.e. with selective re-application,11 the abstracted after-effects of both can be prolonged indefinitely.12
© 2018 by Victor Langheld
1. In other words, the whole (and each individual) world emerges as a G.O.D. application.
2. Though some of it is! Some henotheists, for instance the Jains and the Samkya-yogins believe that some of the world, possibly the inner world, or its bits, namely the soul, is God. For instance, they insist that ‘matter’, i.e. hardware, being slow, hard, hence experienced as dark, is not God.
3. Therefore the pantheist spirituality consists in actively elaborating = growing the world, warts (sins, errors) and all. She experiences herself as local means to creation, i.e. that it’s her job to elaborate and so re-create and upgrade her (-self-as) niche.
4. In fact, de-merge into = as. The henotheist yogin as self-professed spiritual (on his Samkya terms) adept seeks to revert to the immutable, hence timeless, formless initial state of God/growth/breathlessness prior to action = turbulence that forces God into its ordering action.
5. Therefore the henotheist’s spirituality consists in withdrawing from (cleansing oneself of the) ‘warts and all’, hence selectively shrinking the world to recover, indeed revert to God purified, cleansed of ‘warts and all.’ The henotheist seeks to revert to an earlier, purer, less elaborate = polluted = sinful initial state. Making arbitrary (indeed short term and local) distinctions between the good bits and the bad bits of the world (i.e. between the warts and everything else) allows the priest/Brahmin to engage in ‘divide and rule’ politics, obviously to his advantage.
6. The notion of ‘eti, eti’ (i.e. (is) this, (is) this), derived either from abstraction or, in some cases, from direct experience, is indirectly stated (but not made explicit for political reasons, meaning, pantheism does not allow for ‘divide and rule’ politics) in ‘I am Brahman’ (Brahman meaning ‘growth’, i.e. creation), ‘The whole world is Brahman’ and ‘tattvamasi.’
7. That is to say, the world (specifically referring to the ‘warts and all’, is ‘not this, not this’ (meaning it ‘is not’ Brahman) and which is proclaimed loud and clear in the Upanishad and trotted out to this day by misguided Brahmins (like Shankara, the Maharshi and his copycats) and other Vedanta inspired gurus (like Krishnamurti).
8. In other words, the pantheist’s G.O.D. is the whole self-elaboration package, i.e. the very ordinary gal with all her responses, good and bad, abstracted, universalised as open system and so deified.
9. And the henotheist’s God is a selected (for positive traits) self-elaboration package, i.e. the good gal with only her good responses, universalised as closed system and so deified.
10. In short, the pantheist believes her G.O.D. emerges as the gal-as-such whereas the henotheist believes her God emerges as the good gal, good because compliant with the state of the art personal and group survival rules.
11. Meaning with self-hypnosis that produces a pleasurable to ecstatic dream-sleep coma.
12. So ably demonstrated by Ramana Maharshi and others, Hindu, Buddhist and Chrisitan.