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Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished:

  • Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct from them; e.g., in Neoplatonism everything is derived from The One.[1] In this view only one thing is ontologically basic or prior to everything else.
  • Existence monism posits that, strictly speaking, there exists only a single thing, the universe, which can only be artificially and arbitrarily divided into many things.[2]
  • Substance monism asserts that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance.[3] Substance monism posits that only one kind of stuff exists, although many things may be made up of this stuff, e.g., matter or mind.
  • Dual-aspect monism is the view that the mental and the physical are two aspects of, or perspectives on, the same substance.

According to nondualism, many forms of religion are based on an experiential or intuitive understanding of "the Real".[102] Nondualism, a modern reinterpretation of these religions, prefers the term "nondualism", instead of monism, because this understanding is "nonconceptual", "not graspable in an idea".[102][note 6][note 7]

To these nondual traditions belong Hinduism (including Vedanta,[104] some forms of Yoga, and certain schools of Shaivism), Taoism,Hinduism (including Vedanta,[104] some forms of Yoga, and certain schools of Shaivism), Taoism,[105][106] Pantheism,[107] Rastafari,[108] and similar systems of thought.