“One-ism, (all-is-one) is an esoteric read on reality. It maintains that everything can be explained by everything else. There are no qualitative distinctions to be found in the universe. The world creates itself and humans are ‘co-creators’ along with everything else. In this system reality is One. Think of one big circle. Everything is contained within it; rocks, trees, planets, human beings — even God, as a kind of energy. Everything is connected to everything else. There is nothing outside the circle.
Two-ism (all is two) is an exoteric read on reality. It maintains that the world is made by a Creator who is uncreated and radically different from His creatures. There are two forms of existence: the created and the one who created it. The two, while deeply related, are qualitatively distinct. Think of two circles, connected but distinct and essentially different.”
Dr. Peter Jones
One or Two; Seeing a World of Difference — pg. 88
1.) What Dr. Jone’s labels as “One-ism,” is the idea where ontologically speaking, all reality participates in the same being. In most of these systems, one’s status in the social order is dependent on how much of that ultimate being they have unique to others who have less of this Oneist being. The Mahat system of ancient Egypt was a Oneist system. The Pharoah was at the top of beingness and everyone descended from Pharoah had a lesser measure of being than Pharoah possessed. Animistic, Pantheistic, Hindu, are all Oneist systems.
The 1996 film “Phenomenon” is a classic expression of this One-ist Worldview as is the whole “Star Wars” series.
2.) Since everything is one and so all share the same being the ability to make qualitative distinct distinctions is impossible. For example, if a man and a woman share in the same universal being who is to say that there exists a qualitative distinction between what, in a non-Oneist worldview, has always been understood to be “male,” and “female?” Since the Oneist worldview finds an impossibility to make qualitative distinctions we get the idea of sexual fluidity and/or fluctuating gender. Indeed, in any consistent One-ist worldview any distinction has to be seen as temporary or arbitrary. Not only do we see the incapability of making hard gender and sexual qualitative distinctions we are increasingly seeing in some quarters of our culture the desire to erase the qualitative distinctions that once distinguished a child from the adult. There is a push in some quarters to sexualize the child arguing that the distinction between child and adult is unhelpful and arbitrary. On all these points we hear that heretofore universally accepted qualitative distinctions are merely “social constructs.” In Jones’ words above, humans are co-creators and as co-creator humans create these putative ‘social constructs’ that provide qualitative distinctions that we now, as a more enlightened One-ist people, understand are no distinctions at all. We hear this same kind of language about nations. Distinct Nations, it is increasingly said, like gender, sexuality, and age are merely social constructs created by human co-creators who are free to uncreate what they had previously arbitrarily created.
Along this line, in One-ist worldview, religions likewise begin to break down and converge. Hard Ecumenicalism and a refusal to embrace the rough edges that segregate one religion from another becomes the watchword. Unity (really uniformity) becomes the be all end all passion. If all is one then uniformity is obviously the highest virtue and anyone who disturbs the pursuit of uniformity is a pebble in the shoe that must be eliminated. Of course, for the Christian unity is something that is never pursued. The Christian understands that unity is the residual byproduct of a common embrace of truth. The more people agree on truth, the more people will discover unity.
The demonstration of this mad pursuit for One-ist uniformity is commonly seen in the Revolutionary. Whether it was the One-ist leveling of the Bogomils, Cathar, Albigensians, and Ana-Baptists, whether it was the Phrygian cap in the French Revolution with the common leveling greeting to one and all, regardless of status or rank of “citoyenne,” whether it is the universal leveling greeting of “comrade” during the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, or whether it was the ubiquitous leveling Mao suit found in the post-Communist Chinese Revolution, the One-ist worldview passionately desires to press upon people uniformity. Uniformity in One-ist slovenly thought, uniformity in slovenly clothing, uniformity in One-ist speech pattern. If all is one then all are interchangeable uniform cogs in the One-ist world.
Actually, in a genuinely One-ist world, as consistently followed, language and communication would be utterly impossible since qualitatively distinct meaning is impossible in a consistently One-ist world. Perhaps this explains God’s confusing of the language at Babel. Babel was perhaps the greatest attempt to build a One-ist social order ever.
George Orwell’s novel, “1984” is a wonderful fiction that describes the pursuit of Revolutionary One-ism.
3.) The One-ist will, of course, appeal to “Science” as a support to their One-ist cause. However, what most people don’t realize is that convictions don’t change because of science but rather science changes because of our convictions. This is a huge subject and so I will merely recommend three books that explain what I am getting at here,
a.) The Structures of Scientific Revolutions — Thomas Kuhn
b.) The Philosophy of Science and Belief in God — Gordon H. Clark
c.) Hermeneutics and Science –Vern S. Poythress
An appeal to Science in order to prove One-ism will always be successful as coming from One-ist “Scientists.” Of course, if all is one, then anything and everything and nothing can be proven because no qualitative distinctions exist. One of the greatest failures of “Science” to give scientific heft to a distinctly non-scientific pursuit was the Soviet Union’s pursuit of Lysenkoism over Genetics. Lysenko insisted that he had overcome the qualitative distinction between Spring Wheat and Winter Wheat. He hadn’t and food shortages followed. “Science,” so-called, “proves” all kinds of things that just aren’t so. One-ism makes it easier for “Science” to do just that.
All of this to say that Science is only as good as the Theology that it is dependent upon and of which it is an expression.
4.) In Two-ism, because you have a distinct Creator and creature you also have other qualitative distinctions that are what they are because of how they have been named so by the Creator in His revealed Word. Genesis 1 is a long story of the Two-ist God making qualitative distinctions, and then God’s Law-Word goes on to make other qualitative distinctions which are definitely not social-constructs, though the One-ists will insist that God’s qualitative distinctions are instead really just so many social-constructs.
According to Bouwsma the idea of God’s creating qualitative distinctions was something well understood by John Calvin,
“The positive corollary of Calvin’s loathing of mixture was his approval of boundaries, which separate one thing from another. He attributed boundaries to God Himself: God had established the boundaries between peoples, which should, therefore, remain within the space assigned to them … ‘Just as there are in a military camp separate lines for each platoon and section,’ Calvin observed, ‘men are placed on the earth so that each nation may be content with its own boundaries.’”
John Calvin: A Sixteenth Century Portrait — p.34-35
I highly recommend reading Dr. Peter Jones’ books. He provides scintillating analysis of how the culture and the Church are slipping faster and faster into One-ist presuppositions that are not Christian in their origin. Postmodernism, for example, is a child of One-ist ideology. Postmodernism teaches that no grand narratives exist and that all personal narratives are social constructs. Reality is malleable. Qualitative distinctions do not exist except as man subjectively creates them.
When One-ism slips into the Church the traditional language is retained but emptied of its original Two-ist meaning and is re-filled with One-ist pagan content. Dr. Jones’, in is “One or Two,” demonstrates how the Apostle Paul in Romans 1 deconstructs One-ism while making the case that our church and culture is increasingly falling into Oneism.