Fear buries Oneness

Image credit: nikolaev / 123RF Stock PhotoThere seems to be many reasons why we bury away our understanding of Oneness.  In the end though, I believe it is fear that buries Oneness.  Whatever reason starts us down the path, I believe it can be traced back to fear.  Fear is the one thing that can make us powerless.  It can drive us to make decisions that separate ourselves from others.  It can turn life into a “me or them” existence.

Fear buries Oneness.  There are potentially many fears for us to deal with, but there are a few that are directly related to our Oneness:

Fear of Ambiguity: We are afraid of not being able to explain ourselves, and so we struggle to find a way to define ourselves.  Ask someone “What are you?” and they are most likely to answer by telling you about their job, their spouse, their interests.  The question, however, isn’t “who” but “what”.  And the answer, to my way of thinking, is simply “I am”.  The fear of ambiguity drives us to define ourselves in ways that confine us.  When we are one with each other, ambiguity falls away.

Fear of Rejection: This fear starts early on.  Looking different from others, acting different from others, or thinking different from others can be extremely stressful early on in life.  We are social by nature, and so rejection carries a high price.  Maslow has suggested that the need for love and belongingness is a fundamental human motivation.  According to Maslow, all humans, even introverts, need to be able to give and receive affection to be psychologically healthy.  In order to avoid rejection, we start to try to fit in.  We fit in at school by liking what the other kids like, or doing things exactly how the teacher says.  Later, we fit in our social circles by “following the herd”.  Hopefully, we’ve learned to differentiate ourselves by mid to late high school because if not, we end up choosing a career or next steps in life that align to others expectations of ourselves.  When we know we are one, rejection becomes moot.  The faster we forget our oneness, the deeper we bury it under the fear of rejection.

Fear of Lack: The fear that we don’t have enough, won’t amount to enough, or simply aren’t enough is a deep seeded fear.  My sense is that, in many cases, the more we have, the more we fear.  When we measure ourselves based on external factors, lack becomes a concern.  Keeping up with the Jones’ is almost a national pastime for some, and it’s a losing game.  When we know our oneness, we know that everything we need is here for us now.  There can be no lack in oneness.

What fears concern you?  How would those fears change if you take on the belief that we are all One?

Oneness

Image credit: styleuneed / 123RF Stock PhotoOneness, as I hope you remember from my previous post, is a higher level knowledge than synchronicity or connectedness.  Oneness is the concept that we are all the same; not just parts of a greater whole – but that we are the whole.  This may get a little hairy, so I’ll try to make it manageable.  As always with these things, I find the best way to start is with a Cloud Cult lyric:

Maybe for the moment, you and I should both be infinite.

– “A Place”, from “Lost Songs from the Lost Years”

It’s not possible to be infinite for a finite amount of time; once you’re infinite that’s pretty much it.  If you can wrap your head around that lyric, you can get the concept of Oneness.

Synchronicity is the idea that seemingly unrelated events may, in some cases, be related through an acausal relationship.  This can not be possible without some level of connection between minds.  This led, indirectly, to the concept of Connectedness – which postulates that all things in the universe are connected or part of a greater whole.  There are lots of examples of this in metaphysics.  I think that the way we will eventually explain connectedness is through Oneness.  The level of connection demonstrated almost requires that the items under consideration are one.  Instantaneous state changes, the ability to stop decay in particles – all are, in my unscientific opinion, only possible when both items are one.  The appearance of separateness, which requires that things appear connected to explain these findings, is only due to our perspective and understanding.

Consider the concept of being a “part” of Spirit, Christ, Yahweh, God, Buddha, Bahaulla, Hashem or any other name you through around.  There is a common belief that Spirit (the word I choose) is omnipresent, all-knowing, all-powerful.  If this is true, then an individual who is part of Spirit would be somewhat less than Spirit – most everywhere, most knowledgeable, and most powerful.  But the definition isn’t big enough.  Spirit isn’t omnipresent – Spirit is omnipresence.  Not all-knowing, but knowledge; not all-powerful, but power.  Spirit is source.  And therefore, being a “part” of Spirit doesn’t make sense – one can’t be part of knowledge without being knowledge.  Remember, you and I can’t be infinite for the moment.

So, since being a part of Spirit doesn’t make sense – you either are or are not Spirit.  If you are not Spirit, then your time on Earth is simply marking time doing what’s best for yourself with no calling or higher purpose.  You may choose to believe this; I do not.  Therefore, I am Spirit.  And I believe you are too.  So finally, you and I are One.

We are One

Image credit: objowl / 123RF Stock PhotoAfter spending some quality me time in a coffee shop this weekend, it noticed a strange thing.  If you sit quietly enough in a public place and listen, you will sense a growing attachment to those around you.  At least I did; a powerful reminder that we are one.  I noticed it mostly in the ebbs and flows of the noise and conversation; they reminded me of water coming in and out of the shoreline.  Noting that we are one is nothing new to many of you, and yet when we forget that it causes us to again bury our good.

Jung coined the term “synchronicity”.  He felt it gave credence to his ideas of the collective unconscious.  His definition of synchronicity was one that concurrent events which appear to be unrelated may in fact have an unseen relationship.  What appears to be coincidence may not be.  I believe synchronicity is an example of our oneness.

Connectedness is another term that gets thrown around.  Connectedness comes in a number of forms.

  • Clifton Strengthsfinder: Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger. Some may call it the collective unconscious. Others may label it spirit or life force.
  • Personal Acquaintance Measure (PAM): There are six ways to measure our connectedness to others.  Duration of relationship, frequency of interaction, knowledge of other persons goals, physical intimacy/closeness,  self-disclosure to the other, and social network familiarity.
  • Bell’s Theorem: Two particles which appear to be unrelated are somehow tied together as evidenced by measurements being taken on the first having a demonstrable impact on the second.

And yet, something is still missing.  Beyond synchronicity and connectedness is oneness.  Oneness is a state of existing where all energies are part of the same whole.  Connectedness implies separation, oneness implies wholeness.  When we forget that we are all one, we bury our good and greatly diminish our strength.  How often do you sense a connection with someone, understand something you’ve never thought about, or have a gut feel that you fail to act on?  Happens to me all the time.  And I’ve noticed that when I ignore this, I tend to have a problem later.  I believe that sense, which I sometimes ignore, is my underlying knowledge of our oneness trying to come out.

My advice?  Listen to that underlying knowledge more.  We are one.  We should act like it.

Need to Fit

Image credit photostocker / 123RF Stock PhotoThe need to fit in and follow the path of least resistance is strong.  It is ingrained in us from a young age, and is an important part of our journey.  However, if we continue to feel a need to fit in and be part of the herd, we lose out.  By continuing to express the need to fit in, we not only rob ourselves of our good but we rob others of the benefits of our good.  What starts out as a helpful tactic turns dark; a “lose-lose” scenario.

The need to fit in starts out as a positive.  Fitting in gives us, from a young age, an understanding of where the societal boundaries are and what is acceptable.  I do not, however, feel that “fitting in” includes teaching children that they should all think the same way or express themselves in the same way.  I do think that explaining, demonstrating, and encouraging the rules is helpful.  Without these rules or boundaries, children have nowhere to start from.  Once the boundaries are set, we have the playing field defined and we’re good to go.  The analogy to sports is a good one – as players we need to know the rules so we can fit in and understand, and yet as we progress and get better each of us develops our own style.

We bury away our good when we stop on the path of developing our own style.  When we become concerned with outer appearances, with what others think of us, and of how we measure up – we lose our good and our way.  We stop being who we are meant to be and focus on being who everyone else thinks we should be.  And this causes everyone to come up short.

So, how do we move past the concerns of others and allow our good to flow?

  • Learn to take our cues from inside rather than outside.  Janet Hagberg, author of “Real Power”, outlines six stages of power.  The first three are drawn from external sources ( Powerlessness, Power by Association and Power by Achievement).  The second three are drawn from internal sources (Power by Reflection, Power by Purpose, Power by Wisdom).  The key to moving into the more advanced internal stages is moving through “the wall”.  This is where we learn to take the cues from ourselves rather than others.
  • Know our passions, talents and vision.  The combination of these three sources of strength point us to where we buried our good.  Like the proverbial “X” on the treasure map, the intersection of these three strengths marks the spot where we need to be living from.  It is at this spot that our good emerges.
  • Embrace setbacks and failures.  “Try and try again” is the key to living a good life; there will be setbacks, disappointments, and outright failures.  These are external circumstances; as we move towards our good and draw strength from our internal sources we realize that these very external circumstances that can stop others in their tracks have no real power.  We have the opportunity to learn from everything when we are working to find, or living from, our good.

How have you found your good?

Path of Least Resistance

Image credit: JohanSwan / 123RFThe “Path of Least Resistance” is a phrase you’ve no doubt heard before.  It is generally accepted to mean doing the thing that is easiest.  I agree with this to a point.  I believe the Path of Least Resistance also means trying to fit in, rather than doing the thing that you really want to do.  And paradoxically, that may be the easy thing in the short-term but in the long-term it’s extremely hard.  It’s hard because of how it wears us down.

The need to fit in can cause us to bury our good.  And the more we follow the herd, the more good we give up.

There are a few cases where this comes to play in our lives.

Think of a time at when you were forced to “cast the deciding vote”.  This can happen just about anywhere.  How did you decide?  Did you evaluate how your decision would sit with others at the table?  How would they react if voted one way or the other?  Did you worry about what they would think?  And if so, did this drive your decision?  Very possibly, yes.  In those cases, regardless of how important or inconsequential, did you vote with your head or your heart?  If you decided to go with your peers rather than making the right decision, you compromised.  You gave up some of your good.  The more you do this, the more you turn into someone you’re not.

I thought peer pressure was a “young persons” problem.  But it’s not.  Have you ever been in a situation where your peer group, (whether it was your coworkers, friends, family) wanted to do something that you just didn’t want to do?  It doesn’t even have to be something that you feel is wrong – just something you didn’t want to do.  This is a slippery slope.  Yes, we often have to compromise to make a relationship work.  But when you find yourself doing it too often, you’ve given up your good.  The decision should be considered relative to the importance of that peer group in your life and the impact of you not following the Path of Least Resistance.  You may decide to follow, but if you’re doing it because you want to “fit in” then you’ve given up some of your good.

Finally, how often do you cave into what might be easier for you personally in the short-term?  Do you make decisions that take you further away from your vision, or somehow impede your progress?  And have you made those decisions because, in the short-term, it was easier?  If so, you’ve buried your good away from yourself.  This, in my opinion, is the worst form of following the Path of Least Resistance.  Avoid it at all costs.  Follow your vision, move forward, and don’t get in your own way.