Peace and blessings for another year of healing and evolution for you and yours, and for our world.
Even in times of division and unease, hope feels irrepressible at the dawn of a new year. Our planet embarks on a brand new voyage around the sun and maybe this time we will learn and transform in ways we've never done before. In fact, I think that is our path. I'm grateful that we're on it, and grateful that we are all on it together. By "we", I mean everyone, and that brings me to the subject of this post.
Whom does "we are one" include, exactly?
As divisiveness deepens in our country, I want to understand all the more, what it means that we are one. Much more than a belief or a doctrine, it is the nature of reality for us humans. As such, it’s not something I can make come true by any action of mine; I can only try to understand it. That is a task that becomes more important every day. It goes beyond whether or not we believe it is true. Instead, it's about learning to inhabit that reality by the way we live every day. So, as I strive to do that, I come up against the same question again and again. Who does "we" mean?
As I look around me - on the news, in the headlines - and see growing animosity by one side towards the other, if I'm really looking, I see it becoming increasingly pronounced in myself as well. "If there's anything I can't tolerate, it's intolerance!" I say to myself, as I read about another church bombing, or another voter purge, or another abortion rights law being struck down. "I'll be fine with us all being one when they can stop being so hateful!"
And so I realize that, if I'm to understand that we are all one, I must start by seeing that "we" means "me".
The first place to look for clues to the mystery is in my own heart.
Suddenly, the question is no longer, "What does it mean that we are all one?" but rather, "How am I contributing to the divisions I claim to deplore?" The penny drops. The more I focus on what makes others different from me, whether it's socially, politically, ideologically - you name it - the farther I am from understanding my oneness with my fellow humans.
Suddenly, I see that there really is no great mystery here at all. If I want a lived experience of oneness, part of what that means is that I am not on a side. Mmmmmmm. That’s a big one. I was raised in a fairly political family. All my life, I’ve know which side I was on. If only the other guys would come around to our way of thinking, then we could all be one. I held fast to my cherished positions because they were cherished!
Now, I think that living in oneness is a much higher calling. To do that, I must hold my cherished positions much more loosely, not because they are cherished, but because they are positions.
If we are all one, then my level of consciousness matters.
Holding fast to my positions, even fighting for them, takes me to a level of consciousness that is not all that different from the level I ascribe to all those “other people”. So my first step towards understanding oneness is letting go of being entrenched on my side. As I do this, my level of consciousness is free to climb higher. Furthermore, if we are all one, then by making this simple, yet challenging choice, perhaps I can do more to help the world than I’ve ever done by fighting for my side.
My wish for the new year is to learn more deeply what it means that we are all one. As we go hurtling through space on our next trip around the sun, will you join me?
Robbie is the facilitator of the Shamanc Studies Program at the Boulder Center for Conscious Community. Click here to see the schedule of workshops.