Monisms Dear David, I encountered a distinction during my undergraduate degree within western philosophy between metaphysical monism and mystical monism which opened up some new considerations for me, hopefully they’re not so amateur as to be irrelevant here. Mystical monism is the definition I was most familiar with and it is understood by western philosophy to mean something like union with the divine. Metaphysical monism is used to mean a theory which asserts that reality is of one substance and I think that that can sometimes signify an underlying condition and sometimes not, depending on the theorist. My point about the second monism is just that it doesn’t seem to imply a lack of multiplicity, and despite a possible similarity between ‘underlying’ and ‘ultimate’ doesn’t necessarily demand a hierarchy of some sort. At the time one of the thoughts that occurred to me related to the Buddhist view of reality as the non-duality of emptiness and form, which within Buddhism, also exists (as a definition of reality) alongside other seemingly ultimate descriptions such as ‘primordial purity’ or ‘clear light’, which I think are intended as descriptions which characterise everything. So, I wondered whether Buddhism falls under a metaphysical monism, in that it describes everything as primordially pure (i.e. has a single defining characteristic) for example, and also allows for multiplicity. According to the lecturer who had to suffer my questions on the matter (he is a Hegel expert), Hegel falls under this allocation i.e. his concept of Absolute Spirit is a metaphysical monism that has little to do with the glomming together of substance or an ultimate level of real reality that is distinguished from a less ultimate level (in its attainment, if you see what I mean?). One last thing. You mentioned in your reply to another comment that feedback was welcome on the content of the blog generally, well, might I say, in relation to the stuff on the page ‘An improbable re-animation’ for example, too little too soon? Put it this way, I look forward to more, all the very best, Alex.