10. “Secondlessness”

Śaṃkara, as is well known, is the expositor and interpreter of “Advaita” – the philosophy of metaphysical monism, “secondlessness,” “non-duality.” The teaching affirms that Unity, the Eternal Brahman, alone exists and that the objective world of multiplicity evident to the senses and to the outgoing mind…

– Philosophy East & West, University Press of Hawaii, Volume XV, 1965


33. “hold to unity”

The chief difficulty is this: awareness of the One comes to us neither by knowing nor by the pure thought that discovers the other intelligible things but by a presence transcending knowledge. When the soul knows something, it loses its unity, it cannot remain simply one because knowledge implies discursive reason and discursive reason implies multiplicity. The soul then misses The One and falls into number and multiplicity. Therefore we must go beyond knowledge and hold to unity. We must renounce knowing and knowable, every object of thought, even Beauty, because Beauty, too, is posterior to The One and is derived from it as, from the sun, the daylight. That is why Plato says of The One, “It can neither be spoken nor written about.”

– Plotinus: ‘The Good or The One’ VI, 9 [9]