Talk as much philosophy as you please, worship as many gods as you like, observe all ceremonies, sing devoted praises to any number of divine beings—liberation never comes, even at the end of hundreds of eons, without the realization of the Oneness of Self.
Perhaps the most insightful of Eastern philosophers, Shankara doesn’t equivocate about the perennial challenge facing our species. Until we can shift our worldview from P-B to P-A nothing that we call progress or evolution will begin to happen. Most of us have seen a dog chase its tail and humankind would do well to stop going in circles. Are we at long last weary of getting nowhere?
In this article we learn that many wise men and women throughout human history have understood the importance of the narrative of Oneness as a context for rescuing humanity from self-destruction. These unconventional thinkers have been found in institutions as diverse as religion, philosophy, science, psychology, and are our most insightful mystics and poets.
Take courage, for the human race is divine.
— Pythagoras 2500 years ago[i]
There is ample evidence that we have known about Oneness and the perfection of Creation since ancient times in both the West and the East and we find that evidence in religion as well as in the insights of philosophers like Pythagoras. Is it fear that prevents us from acknowledging the self-evident truths? If so, what is the source of this fear? The answer is simple enough, it is a dualistic worldview. When we believe the Creator is distinct from his Creation we seem to feel threatened and alienated from the source of our being which is “unlike” us and therefore the other.
Buddhists have known about P-A (Nirvana) and the illusion of the world of form for 2,500 years. “The moment the individual ceases to think in terms of a dualism and realizes that the phenomenal world and Nirvana are identical and that undifferentiated emptiness is the absolute truth he is enlightened and realizes the Buddha nature within himself.”[ii]
We can continue to deny or avoid the truth but we pay a heavy price for refusing to acknowledge Oneness as the basis for our personal and collective narratives. However, we can’t choose to remain asleep indefinitely. The philosopher Seneca warns us, “Ducunt fata volentem, nolentem trahunt. The fates guide him who will, him who won’t they drag.”[iii]
We can find comfort in the wisdom of the following minds and souls precisely because they were human sources fundamentally no different than us and had to make choices daily as we do in the struggle between their false self and their True self. They differ only in that they turned within for support. We begin with ancient Hindu scripture. The Upanishads which were elaborations on the earlier Vedas addressed fear directly.
From the Isa Upanishad: “Who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own Self in all beings, loses all fear.”[iv]
“In the Rig Veda, the most ancient of Hindu scriptures, we find this statement: ‘Truth is one; sages call it by various names.’”[v]
What do we have to fear when we internalize the truth of Oneness that we are not impermanent bodies but are, in fact, indestructible energy?
“‘I am imperishable,’ becomes this universal: and not even the gods can prevent him from becoming so, for he becomes thereby their very self. Hence, whoever worships another divinity thinking ‘He is one, and I am another’—he knows not.” Upanishads[vi]
“SAT, CIT, and ANANDA, Being and Consciousness, and Joy are ONE.”[vii]
From two different religious traditions and in the language of religion we have descriptions of Oneness.
First from the Hindu Katha Upanishad: “The Lord is One without a second. Within man He dwells and within all other beings. He projects the universe, maintains it, and withdraws it into Himself.”[viii]
And from the New Testament: “There is one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in you all.” Eph. 4:6[ix]
I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
— Genesis 17:1
Turning now to the religions and sages of the West: “Xenophanes was a contemporary of the Buddha (563-483 BCE), and, according to Aristotle, ‘the first to believe in the unity of all things.’”[x] One of the implications of Oneness is perfection. Lacking this awareness indicates that humanity is unconscious. If everything is OK and we have nothing to fear, why don’t we know this? We must be asleep which is exactly the explanation of the “Fall” in the Old Testament. When Adam and Eve “fell” they fell asleep. Or as Joseph Campbell says, “But is that not exactly what the Buddha taught and promised, some twenty-five centuries ago? Extinguish egoism [false self], with its desires and fears, and Nirvana [perfection] is immediately ours! We are already there, if we but knew.”[xi]
Joseph Campbell reveals that it is in the emergence of Western religions that human awareness of Oneness was lost. “The reasons for the Occidental rejection—or one might perhaps better say, fear of comprehension—of this doctrine [Oneness] is that our notion of religion, as based on the recognition of a Creator distinct from his Creation, is fundamentally threatened by any recognition of divinity, not simply as present in the world but as inherent in its substance.”[xii] We in the West and increasingly in the remainder of the global village have chosen to reject our True self.
Oneness as the fundamental reality is intuitively known by all human beings and always has been. In religious language, a Jewish scholar and contemporary of Jesus, Phil of Alexandria expressed it this way: “When the righteous man searches for the nature of all things, he makes his own admirable discovery: that all is God’s grace. Everything in the world, and the very world itself, manifests the blessings and generosity of God.”[xiii]
I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
— John 14:20
We cannot discover the True self as our identity by looking within the context of the world’s religions as they are practiced today nor by looking anywhere outside our own essence in the phenomenal world. “I looked about me to find him. He was not on the Cross. I went to the idol temple, to the ancient pagoda; no trace of Him was visible there. I bent the reins of search to the Kaaba; He was not in that resort of old and young. I questioned Ibn Sina (Avicenna) of His state; He was not in Ibn Sina’s range. I gazed into my own heart. There I saw Him. He was nowhere else.”[xiv]
“The entire Bible is the unfolding of its initial statement that Man is made in the image of God. The teachings of Jesus, whether by word or deed, may, therefore, be summed up as follows. He says in effect to each of us: What you really are in essence is a concentration of the ONE Universal Life-Spirit into conscious Individuality—if you live from the recognition of this Truth as your starting-point, it makes you Free.”[xv] Jesus himself speaking in our own times in A Course in Miracles says, “If God’s Son were fairly judged, there would be no need for salvation. The thought of separation would have been forever inconceivable.”[xvi]
There could hardly be a stronger statement of the reality of the divine connection with all of humanity than from this Christian mystic. From the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas we have, “He who drinks from my mouth will become as I am, and I shall be he.”[xvii]
And finally from the newest of the religions of the book [the Bible] about Hallaj, a Muslim mystic. In 922 A.D., the Sufi mystic Hallaj was crucified for declaring his oneness with God. “He had compared his love for God with that of the moth for the flame. The moth plays about the lighted lamp till dawn, and returning with battered wings to its friends, tells of the beautiful thing it found; then, desiring to be joined to it entirely, flying into the flame the next night, becomes one with it.”[xviii]
Closing this section of the article on Oneness we honor the contemporary voice of the American religious leader, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. “We aren’t going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of the universe.”[xix] Yes, interrelated, interconnected and interdependent, we are One with all that is.
Marcus Aurelius was able to transcend both the identity of personal power and the politics of ruling a vast empire to comprehend a deeper truth. “A Stoic like Marcus Aurelius is willing to give unqualified allegiance to the political community only when it is the ideal city of man, embracing the whole human brotherhood. ‘My city and my country, so far as I am Antoninus,’ he says, ‘is Rome, but so far as I am a man’—whose ‘nature is rational and social’—is the world.’”[xx]
The founder of the Science of Mind philosophy (1927), Ernest Holmes, affirmed that, “[The] first principle of life is oneness, [and] that we are all tied into an indivisible unity.”[xxi] Another 20th century philosopher Alfred North Whitehead represented what would come to be called “modernist thought” and along with Einstein began to challenge many basic assumptions at the dawn of the 20th century. “‘The misconception which has haunted philosophic literature throughout the centuries,’ Whitehead wrote, ‘is the notion of independent existence. There is not such mode of existence. Every entity is only to be understood in terms of the way in which it is interwoven with the rest of the universe.’”[xxii]
The recent advent of the philosophy known as existentialism exemplifies the human search for Oneness which is the inevitable answer to the question Where am I? “Existentialism is the endeavor to understand man by cutting below the cleavage between subject and object which has bedeviled Western thought and science since shortly after the Renaissance. The existential way of understanding human beings has some illustrious progenitors in Western history, such as Socrates in his dialogues, Augustine in his depth-psychological analyses of the self, Pascal in his struggle to find a place for the ‘heart’s reasons which the reason knows not of.’ But it arose specifically just over a hundred years ago in Kierkegaard’s violent protest against the reigning rationalism of his day.”[xxiii]
“In Goethe’s vision, nature permeates everything, including the human mind and imagination. Hence nature’s truth does not exist as something independent and objective, but is revealed in the very act of human cognition. The human spirit does not simply impose its order on nature, as Kant thought. Rather, nature’s spirit brings forth its own order through man, who is the organ of nature’s self-revelation. For nature is not distinct from spirit but is itself spirit, inseparable not only from man but from God.”[xxiv] “Hegel set forth a conception of reality that sought to relate and unify man and nature, spirit and matter, human and divine, time and eternity.”[xxv]
“Deep ecology is a philosophical school found by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess in the early 1970’s. Shallow ecology is anthropocentric, or human-centered. It values humans as above or outside of nature, as the source of all value, and ascribes only instrumental, or ‘use,’ value to nature. Deep ecology does not separate humans—or anything else—from the natural environment. Ultimately, deep ecological awareness is spiritual or religious awareness. When the concept of the human spirit is understood as the mode of consciousness in which the individual feels a sense of belonging, of connectedness, to the cosmos as a whole, it becomes clear that ecological awareness is spiritual in its deepest essence.”[xxvi]
That the Truth is One is sometimes called the Perennial Philosophy. After the paradigm shift from P-B to P-A, what formerly had been obscure becomes obvious. “As we feel united with everything that is, the appreciation for natural beauty and simple, uncomplicated life takes precedence over most other concerns. The wisdom of teachers and systems of thought emphasizing these values—the philosophies of Jean Jacques Rousseau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau, or the teachings of Taoism and Zen Buddhism—seem self-evident and indisputable.”[xxvii]
Duality has no absolute existence but is an experience based on the human sensory apparatus, interpretations of that data, and the need to “make sense” of where we find ourselves. Joseph Campbell put it this way: “And the experience of the separateness is simply a function of the way we experience [it] in the field of time and space.”[xxviii] In other words duality is the realm of the intellect, the world of form, for which it is perfectly suited but if we want to be able to distinguish reality from illusion we will have to come to rely on our inner wisdom.
Carl Sagan writing in an article in the 15th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica emphasizes that diversity does not mean division. Our intellects must learn to live with both paradox and appearances that cannot be explained by conventional “reasoning.” “The existence of diverse definitions of life surely means that life is something complicated. A fundamental understanding of biological systems has existed since the second half of the 19th century. But the number and diversity of definitions suggest something else as well. As detailed below, all the organisms on the earth are extremely closely related, despite superficial differences. The fundamental ground pattern, both in form and in matter, of all life on earth is essentially the same. As will emerge below, this identity probably implies that all organisms on earth are evolved from a single instance of the origin of life.”[xxix] The Big Bang?
“The basic oneness of the universe is not only the central characteristic of the mystical experience, but is also one of the most important revelations of modern physics.”[xxx] Physicist Fritjof Capra makes the crucial link between the paradigms of intuition (P-A) and the intellect (P-B). Biophysicist L. L. Whyte warns of the limitation of the intellect in grasping reality when the human sensory apparatus can see only a shattered world of seemingly unrelated fragments. “Man cannot think where he is, for he has created two worlds from one.”[xxxi]
“And Erwin Schroedinger, founder of quantum mechanics, put it bluntly: Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist.”[xxxii]
“All of the information to grow a tree is encoded in each of its seeds. Similarly the information to grow our entire body is encoded in each of our body’s cells. Why not then, would it not be logical for the entire universe to be encoded at each point within itself. This is exactly what physicist David Bohm hypothesized. He imagined that the universe was like a hologram, an image which, when it is cut up, still appears as a whole in every one of its pieces.”
“Indeed, from one perspective, the long arc of evolution can be seen as a progression of expanding circles of cooperation. Early simple cells teamed up with one another to create more complex cells. Then early protozoans combined forces with photosynthetic plant cells to create the first multicelled organisms; multicelled organisms then began to band together in various configurations. The history of human cultural evolution has continued the trajectory, progressing from family to clan to tribe to village to city-state to nation. From this view, today’s movement toward a global village can be seen as the latest turn of the revolutionary spiral in its upward thrust toward greater cooperation and unity.”[xxxiii]
Willard Gaylin sounds a warning related to the nature of the choice humankind is faced with including the imperative that we must find a way to live together as one global village. “For the human being, community, the presence of others, is not some ideal, some entertainment, but a biological necessity. There is no such thing as individual survival. The human being is human because of the nurture of other human beings and will not survive without them. Or, if love and caring are supplied only minimally, he may survive biologically but without the qualities of humanity that elevate him above the common animal host.”[xxxiv]
Seth teaches that it is not only humans that are mutually dependent but that every aspect of creation is linked to every other. “The great creativity of consciousness is your heritage. Each living being possesses it, and the living world consists of a spontaneous cooperation that exists between the smallest and the highest, the greatest and the lowly, between the atoms and the molecules and the conscious, reasoning mind.”[xxxv]
Dean Radin emphasizes the scope of Oneness. “Photons and atoms become entangled because their wave properties interpenetrate and create ‘mixed states.’ In principle, this means that virtually everything on Earth (and beyond) has interacted to some degree, and is therefore entangled.”[xxxvi]
The principle of Oneness, being what it is, can be seen operating at the cellular level and this phenomenon showed up in the research of geneticist Dr. Maxine Singer. “A piece of DNA from human cells, when added to the DNA of the yeast cell—the same yeast that we use to make our bread and make our wine—can actually be therapeutic for a yeast cell that’s sick because of a bad gene. What we’re doing is gene therapy on yeast. We have a sick yeast cell because it has a genetic disease. And we can cure the yeast cell’s genetic disease with a human gene. That tells us that we have a lot in common with the yeast cell. The same is true for all kinds of organisms. Yeast is the most dramatic example, because it’s a simple one-celled organism.”[xxxvii] We not only have a lot in common with the yeast cell, we are the yeast cell—we are that identical energy—which is the only energy there is.
Physicist Fritjof Capra has done research in high-energy physics and brilliantly synthesizes physics with the mysticism found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. “A careful analysis of the process of observation in atomic physics has shown that the subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement. Quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe.”[xxxviii]
“All particles can be transmuted into other particles; they can be created from energy and can vanish into energy. In this world, classical concepts like ‘elementary particle,’ ‘material substance,’ or ‘isolated object’ have lost their meaning; the whole universe appears as a dynamic web of inseparable energy patterns.”[xxxix]
Science itself affirms Oneness over any kind of duality. “Quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe. It shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not allow us any isolated ‘basic building blocks,’ but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole. These relations always include the observer in an essential way. The human observer constitutes the final link in the chain of observational processes, and the properties of any atomic object can be understood only in terms of the object’s interaction with the observer.”[xl]
Yes, it’s time to enter the solitude of a quiet space, focus on our breath and begin creating the experience of the observer identity. As we break free of our identification with our mind, body and emotions, we also dissolve the illusion of duality and enter the present moment experience of Oneness.
We make this segment of the article on Oneness short and sweet because we must constantly remind ourselves that Simple Reality is “simple.” Gestalt is a physical, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from its parts. Gestalt psychology holds that psychological phenomena are irreducible gestalts. What the “gestalt realization” intuits is that all creation is interrelated and interdependent. For example, any attempt to address addiction in America will fail until it is understood that America itself is an addictive system.
Furthermore, individual behavior regarding addiction is a natural part of our false-self survival strategy constructed from infancy. Lack of awareness regarding these “gestalts” makes any attempt at finding solutions to the problems of addiction futile. And, of course, addiction is only one of the dozens of major unsustainable human behaviors contained in various gestalts which are all contained in the one overall gestalt—namely Oneness.
In the world of psychotherapy, existential analysts understand the importance of Oneness to achieving a healthy psychological integration into Simple Reality. Rollo May sums up the importance of living in the present moment as being mentally healthy. “They hold that the person and his world are a unitary, structural whole; the phrase ‘being in the world’ expresses precisely that.”[xli] We would add a word and have the phrase read: “being present in the world.”
C. G. Jung reminds us that it is ultimately a question of becoming conscious. “The conflict between nature and spirit, so obvious in the world today is seen to be a reflection of the paradoxical nature of the psyche. It is concluded that psychic reality still exists in its original oneness and awaits man’s advance to that level of consciousness, where he will no longer believe exclusively in one side of its dual nature and repress the other.”[xlii]
“In nonduality, in no one instant can any such thing as a ‘problem,’ ‘conflict,’ or ‘suffering’ occur. These all arise in anticipation of the next instant or recall of the past. The ego appears to be the product of fear, and its purpose is to control the next instant of experience and ensure its survival. It seems to vacillate between fear of the future and regret over the past, and the desire and sense of time which repels action stems from the illusion of lack. With a sense of completion, desire ceases. That which believes it is finite fears for its survival for it is subject to time and the illusions of causality.”[xliii] David Hawkins certainly accommodated our goal of short and sweet.
Mystics and Unconventional Sources
For many the insight of a Oneness worldview is intuitively obvious, but for others, like Thomas Troward, it is also logical. “Now the great fact to be recognized about a unity is that, because it is a single unit, wherever it is at all the whole of it must be … Spirit is thus omnipresent in its entirety.”[xliv]
The intellect if grounded in profound principles can help us grasp Simple Reality even if it cannot provide us with the insight to effect the shift into the present moment. One of the most powerful intellects in the West was that of Thomas Troward. He makes the argument for P-A over P-B using the elegant logic that is the hallmark of his writing. “A rivalry of controlling principles would be the destruction of the organic wholeness; for either the elements would separate and group themselves round one or other of the centres, according to their respective affinities, and thus for two distinctive individualities, or else they would reduce to a condition of merely chaotic confusion [P-B]; in either case the original organism would cease to exist. Seen in this light, therefore, it is a self-evident truth that, if we are to continue to exist—it can be only by retaining our hold upon the central controlling principle in ourselves [P-A]; and if this be the charter of our being, it follows that all our future development depends on our recognizing and accepting this central controlling principle.”[xlv] Amen to that!
Kevin Todeschi, the Executive Director and CEO of Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, refers to the inherent inner wisdom of each human being. “Not only is spiritual transformation our goal, but it is our birthright as well. The readings suggest that every individual possesses a ‘pattern’ of spiritual perfection deep within ourselves waiting to be awakened by application and the human will.”[xlvi] That pattern is Simple Reality resting on the foundation of Oneness and our will can be exercised by choosing to employ The Point of Power Practice.
The Edgar Cayce readings drive home the importance of repetition in reconditioning our beliefs, attitudes and values helping us internalize the narrative of Oneness. “The first lesson should be ONE—One—One—One; Oneness of God, oneness of man’s relation, oneness of force, oneness of time, oneness of purpose, oneness in every effort—oneness—oneness! (Reading 990-429)”[xlvii] As a skilled interpreter of the Cayce readings, Kevin Todeschi extols their value, “Cayce presents a hopeful and inspiring approach to spirituality and religion that inextricably weaves all of humanity together.”[xlviii] Cayce didn’t equivocate and neither should we.
While the worldview of Oneness presents humanity with an opportunity to choose a sustainable paradigm it also has its challenges. In the profound context of Simple Reality with all of Creation interconnected and interrelated, all of humanity must come together and learn to speak the same language, with the same vision or ideal. The Cayce readings among that group of profound esoteric sources (A Course in Miracles and the “Seth” books of Jane Roberts) speaks of this need for a common goal. “The world as a world has lost its ideal. Man may not have the same idea. Man—all men—may have the same ideal! [That] can only come with all having the one ideal; not the one idea, but ‘Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, thy neighbor as thyself!’”[xlix]
The problem here is one of language. Champions of Simple Reality must transcend the language of religion to be inclusive. The Christian language above could be translated to a more universal language: “We commit to belief in the worldview of an interconnected and interrelated perfect Creation flowing from the infinite possibilities of the Implicate Order. We accept the identity as a perfect expression of that source and realize that all of humanity is alike in that respect. The outcome of these realizations is compassionate, responsive behavior on my part as I replace false-self behaviors with an expression of my essence, my True self.”
The result of humanity coming together in a common conversation with a shared ideal is expressed by Kevin Todeschi. “[It] will eventually transform—even revolutionize—the ways in which we think about ourselves and treat each other.”[l] And that, of course, is the pragmatic goal of Simple Reality—transformed, sustainable human behavior.
Even though the intellect cannot “sense” or describe the experience of “feeling,” Oneness and an open mind can provide a gateway to the heart. Jean Houston paints a vivid expansive “universe-scape” of what Oneness might feel like to a human being. “Our bodies are of the stuff of stars and the minerals of the Earth. Our blood runs briny with the seas, and we ourselves are living planets for billions of little beings, microorganisms and who knows what else. Our genes are universes in themselves, coded with enough information to recreate the world.
“Our cells contain the memories of all things past—the birth of stars, the coming of life, the experience of being fish and amphibian, reptile and early mammal, monkey and human, and the lure now calling us from beyond the horizon to enter the next stage of our becoming.”[li] That next stage of our becoming is Simple Reality.
The Art of Oneness
I laugh when I hear the fish in the water is thirsty.
“Beyond the great variety of its forms, love can be seen as the realization of oneness. At an emotional level this realization eradicates self-preoccupation and engenders extraordinary intense feelings of care, affection, and warmth for all beings.”[lii]
But yield who will to their separation, my object in living is to unite my avocation and my vocation as my two eyes make one in sight.
— Robert Frost
You cannot tell the dancer from the dance.
— William Butler Yeats
It would be nonsense to reject a member of our Oneness orchestra because he was a string player (for example a Muslim) and I was a reed player (a Christian). We are all essential members of one music-making family. The beautiful symphony written in our hearts cannot be realized if we cannot play together in harmony. Our common destiny as creators of one divine magnum opus transcend our religious differences which instead of being a reason for conflict contribute to the richness of our collective creation, each person adding a perfect and necessary phrase or note. “The universe is more reminiscent of a jazz ensemble, creative and improvisatory, with all ‘musicians’ responsive to one another.”[liii]
By reviving Spanish mysticism I, Dali, shall use my work to demonstrate the unity of the universe, by showing the spirituality of all substance.[liv]
Oneness as the basis for the P-A worldview is challenging for most of us to grasp given that most of us have lived our lives in a narrative characterized by duality, by multiple “splits,” by delusional fragmentation. We have allowed ourselves to be deceived and most of us are deeply conditioned to accept P-B as reality, backed up by the experience of our senses, a connection to phenomena which have no substantial existence. How do we go about achieving the paradigm shift? What is the process? Because it is, after all, our choice. We have to change. Creation is already perfect. The problem most of us are experiencing is caused by our resistance to that perfection.
The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.
— Henry Miller
In the practice of Vipassana meditation witnessing or observing the experience of identifying with the body, mind and emotions, we notice that these experiences come and go, they are ephemeral, they are impermanent. After a time of diligent practice, we begin to dis-identify with these sensations, we experience that we are not our body, mind and emotions, we are the observer. “In other words, the real world is not given you twice—one out there, one in here. That ‘twiceness’ is exactly the meaning of ‘dualism.’ Rather, the real world is given to you once, immediately—it is one feeling, it has one taste, it is not severed into seer and seen, subject and object, fragment and fragment.”[lv] Ken Wilber has exposed the illusion of dualism.
The deeper we investigate Simple Reality, the more profound our experience becomes—notice we said experience—not knowledge. We have been undergraduates in the university of metaphysics. It’s time to earn our PHD. Our doctoral “advisor” will be Ken Wilber, head of the Department of Mysticism, and pre-eminently qualified to keep us focused on Simple Reality. We have learned that the paradigm shift we are seeking (from P-B to P-A) will most often involve a process that is paradoxically simple but complex, easy but difficult, and immediate and yet takes time. In P-A, all paradoxes are resolved so we needn’t concern ourselves with contradiction at this point.
Let us review what we already know or have already accomplished. The structure that forms the matrix of Simple Reality is that our worldview determines our identity which in turn drives our behavior. It is our behavior that we seek to change from behavior that is unsustainable to behavior that is conscious and compassionate. We no longer wish to engage in self-destruction.
Secondly, we know that if we experience reality as it really is we will be having an experience of Oneness in the present moment. We will experience all of Creation as interconnected, interrelated and interdependent. This is the answer to the First Great Question, Where Am I? Our beliefs, attitudes and values are undergoing a transformation. Building on this foundation we add the next level which is to support the emergence of our new identity or to answer the Second Great Question, Who Am I?
We will have begun the practice of meditation, supported to the degree practicable by an increased simplicity, solitude and silence in our lifestyle. The goal of this meditation is to begin to experience the Witness or the Observer as we begin to let go of identification with our mind, body and emotions. Having a meditation teacher or community is appropriate at this stage, but only temporarily since our ultimate goal is self-reliance.
Finally, the Third Great Question, Why Am I Here? seeks answers about the specific, concrete and pragmatic behaviors that deliver us from the suffering associated with our craving and aversions, from the behaviors of our conditioned false self. The Point of Power Practice empowers our everyday and every-moment ability to choose response over reaction, freedom over slavery. Our life then becomes a meditation on Simple Reality.
What more do we need? We are going to return to the beginning in our climb from translation to transformation to transcendence and strengthen the rungs of the ladder which we are continuously running up and down in the never-ending process of overcoming our P-B conditioning. We are free and we are not free—let’s see why.
We have attained the last “state” of consciousness but not the final transcendence. What have we been liberated from? “Most people can connect fairly quickly with the Witness. Living from that Freedom is something else.”[lvi] Remember that the goal of meditation included detaching from the world of form, both physical and mental form, both bodily aches and pains and ideas. All of that form is a source of human suffering including the false-self seeking of security, sensation and power. Freedom from all form has been called Emptiness. Wilber reminds us that the Witness is pure Emptiness, pure consciousness, pure awareness, and pure freedom from attachment to the world of form.
Our new identity then is profoundly different from the P-B identity. “And therefore it is radically and infinitely free of the limitation and constrictions of space, and time and objects—and radically free of the torture inherent in those fragments.”[lvii]
In this state we can think of the Witness as pure Consciousness. It is “not a thing, not a process, not a quality, not an entity—it is ultimately unqualifiable—it is ultimately pure Emptiness.”[lviii] What we still experience, however, is the Implicate Order and the energy of our ability to engage in the creative process. If profoundly understood this is a natural expression of our drive to return to our source. “That pattern embodies a creative drive to greater depth, greater consciousness, greater unfolding, and that unfolding ultimately unfolds into its own infinite ground in pure Emptiness. [Its] depth goes to infinity, its time goes to eternity, its interior space is all space, its agency is the very Divine itself: the ground, path and fruition of Emptiness.”[lix]
In conclusion, we have completed a kind of circle back around to the realization that Emptiness, consciousness and Oneness are all the same thing. We had the Emptiness which was a dis-identification with all form and now we have the more profound Emptiness which is beyond all human experience. As Wilber has said elsewhere, the ultimate goal was not, in Hindu terms, to cease the process of re-incarnation, or to attain higher states of consciousness, or to transcend suffering with the attainment of Nirvana. “The most profound meaning of Emptiness—it is not a discrete state, but the reality of all states, the Suchness of all states. You have moved from the causal to the Nondual.”[lx] You have moved to the experience of Oneness, of P-A, of Simple Reality.
[i] Trevelyan, George, A Tent in Which to Pass a Summer Night. Stillpoint Publishing. Walpole, New Hampshire, 1985, p. 87.
[ii] Crim, Keith. The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions. New York: Harper, 1981, pp. 129-130.
[iii] Campbell, Joseph. Occidental Mythology. New York: Viking, 1964, p. 251.
[iv] Mascaro, Juan. The Bhagavad Gita. New York: Penguin, 1962, p. 17.
[v] Johnson, Clive [ed.]. Vedanta: An Anthology of Hindu Scripture, Commentary, and Poetry. New York: Bantam, 1971, p. 10.
[vi] Campbell, Occidental Mythology, op. cit., p. 107.
[vii] Mascaro, op. cit., p. 15.
[viii] Peterson, Roland. Everyone is Right. Marina del Ray, California: DeVorss and Company, 1986, p. 132.
[x] Campbell, Occidental Mythology, op. cit., p. 243.
[xi] Campbell, Joseph. Myths To Live By. New York: Bantam, 1973, p. 147.
[xii] Campbell, Occidental Mythology, op. cit., p. 107.
[xiii] Sheehan, Thomas. The First Coming. New York: Random House, 1986, p. 225.
[xiv] Durant, Will. The Age of Faith. New York. Simon and Schuster, 1950, p. 325.
[xv] Troward, Thomas. Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning. New York: Dodd, 1913, p. 250.
[xvi] A Course in Miracles © Volume Three: Manual For Teachers (Farmingdale, New York: Coleman Graphics), published in 1975, by the Foundation for Inner Peace, P.O. Box 598, Mill Valley, CA 94942-0598, www.acim.org and firstname.lastname@example.org. p. 47.
[xvii] Campbell, Joseph. The Power of Myth. New York: Bantam, 1988, p. 57.
[xviii] Campbell, Myths To Live By, op. cit., p. 153.
[xix] Johnson, Charles. “The King We Need.” Shambhala Sun. Boulder, Colorado, January 2005, p. 49.
[xx] Hutchins, Robert Maynard [ed.]. Great Books of the Western World, The Great Ideas: A Syntopicon Vol 1. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1952, p. 224.
[xxi] Holmes, Ernest. “The Holmes Reader.” Science of Mind. Los Angeles: July 1995, p. 14.
[xxii] Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981, p. 32.
[xxiii] May, Rollo. The Discovery of Being. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1983, p. 49.
[xxiv] Tarnas, Richard. The Passion of the Western Mind. New York: Ballantine, 1991, p. 378.
[xxvi] Capra, Fritjof. The Tao of Physics. New York: Bantam, 1975, p. 7.
[xxvii] Grof, Stanislov. The Holotropic Mind. New York: Harper, 1993, p. 76.
[xxviii] Campbell, Joseph. The Hero’s Journey. New York: Harper, 1990, p. 41.
[xxix] Britannica, Encyclopaedia, 15th Edition, 1984, pp. 593-594.
[xxx] Capra, op. cit., p. 117.
[xxxi] Wilber, Ken, The Spectrum of Consciousness. Wheaton, Illinois: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1977, p. 28.
[xxxii] Ibid., p. 26.
[xxxiii] “The 2008 Shift Report.” Shift: At the Frontier of Consciousness. Petaluma, California: Institute of Noetic Sciences, March-May 2008, p. 20.
[xxxiv] Gaylin, Willard. Adam and Eve and Pinocchio: On Being and Becoming Human. New York: Penguin, 1990, p. 84.
[xxxv] Roberts, Jane. The Nature of Personal Reality. New York: Bantam, 1974, p. 3.
[xxxvi] Radin, Dean. “Dean Radin replies.” Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness. Petaluma, California: Institute of Noetic Sciences, June-August 2005, p. 6.
[xxxvii] Moyers, Bill. Bill Moyers A World of Ideas. New York: Doubleday, 1989, p. 395.
[xxxviii] Capra, op. cit., p. 57.
[xxxix] Ibid., p. 69.
[xl] Ibid., p. 57.
[xli] May, op. cit., p. 122.
[xlii] Jung, C. G. Abstracts of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung. Rockville, Maryland: NIMH, 1978, p. 42.
[xliii] Hawkins, David. The Eye of the I. Sedona, Arizona: Veritas Publishing, 2001, p. 18.
[xliv] Troward, Thomas. The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science. New York: Dodd, 1909, pp. 18-19.
[xlv] Troward, Thomas. Collected Essays of Thomas Troward. Marina Del Rey, CA: DeVorss and Company, 1921, pp. 32-33.
[xlvi] Todeschi, Kevin J. “Oneness: The First Lesson.” Venture Inward, May/June 1995, p. 26.
[xlvii] Todeschi, Kevin J. “Oneness and the Edgar Cayce Material.” Venture Inward Newsletter. Virginia Beach, VA, Spring, 2010, no page.
[xlviii] Todeschi, Oneness: First Lesson, op. cit.
[xlix] Ibid., p. 29.
[li] Houston, Jean. A Passion for the Possible. San Francisco: Harper, 1997, p. 20.
[lii] Ferrucci, Piero. Inevitable Grace. Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1990, p. 146.
[liii] Streett, Bill. “Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos: The Rise of the Integral Vision of Reality.” Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness. Petaluma, California: Institute of Noetic Sciences, June-August 2006, p. 42.
[liv] Dali, Salvador. Salvador Dali. London: Taschen, 2006, p. 407.
[lv] Wilber, Ken. A Brief History of Everything. Boston: Shambhala, 1996, p. 228.
[lvi] Ibid., p. 224.
[lvii] Ibid., p. 225.
[lix] Ibid., p. 226.
[lx] Ibid., p. 227.