As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.
It seems like a long time ago that I began to wonder about the possibility of there being true oneness. It also seems like from then until now I have accumulated even more perplexing questions!! But “what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.” I wouldn’t trade this frustrating sojourn for anything.
Oneness, I now think (or, I think for now), is not an ethical obligation. It is our true state of being. I am not to be pat on the back if I declare that I will be one with my fellow human through some great spiritual humility or selflessness I possess. I could just as easily declare that I will breathe in and out to sustain myself and it would be just as ludicrous to expect congratulations.
I declare my oneness because I believe it to be, to have been before I was in fact. I am a part of It, not It a selection of mine. My choice, then, is how to act on that belief. We are brought up (in my culture, to be specific) to imagine ourselves as all separate. From there, we can demonstrate our agreement with an idea of oneness through charitable works, caring about others’ troubles, celebrating our heritages, and other actions that allow us to be individuals-choosing-connection. In this way we can place ourselves a hair’s breadth away from others and say, “See, we are one.”
But I think this is backwards. We do not extend our Selves to others when and how we choose, then reel our Self back onto our island when connection becomes uncomfortable or inconvenient. We are constantly in connection, no choice about it. What we do/say/think/wish/condemn/praise affects the whole. We are not individuals-choosing-connection, we are connection-choosing-individuals.
I am grateful for being part of this interconnection that is beyond my comprehension and senses. There is a great peace of mind I acquire from recognizing that I am not racing after a target of good samaritanship that will determine my approval as a brothers’ keeper. Instead, I am participating in a contract of universal, loving interconnection that was here long before me. I am my brothers’ keeper because I am my brother. Do I understand that fully? Not yet, God knows!! I will contribute negativity to our great interconnection at times, and hopefully more often I will contribute positivity. But what I am never, ever is outside of connection. I am never evicted. I can never elope.
I think also I am bound to be supported by those that I can and cannot see as I set my intention on doing the best I can to make my contribution to this mystery one of positivity, endurance, and integrity. (This of course requires a belief in a will or love or mind greater than us that is active in our lives…to that I leave you to your own thoughts.) I will make mistakes and walk in a very thick fog of ignorance for much of my journey perhaps, but my heart is known. Your heart is known. Whether you invited it to be known or not.
It may be that the need I carry so heavily one day will be met by the action of a 3-year-old girl in Iceland. It may be that the joy I feel in an instant was the ripple effect of the death of a man in Detroit. The word out of my mouth tomorrow may be part of your choice to persevere or surrender. Not to overstate the importance of our decisions, but what a great honor it is to be part of such a great symphony of life!! I am honored to be you, and to have you be me. Whatever that really means may we continue to discover!