In a world that sometimes seems to be coming apart when viewed from a purely outside, material viewpoint, one of the most comforting and hopeful signs in the growing sense of oneness that is experienced by millions and probably tens of millions if not more. This is accompanied by the appearance of more and more non dual teachings in line with great non dual teachers of the last century like Ramana Maharshi (in the East) and Joel Goldsmith (in the West). This movement has been immeasurably accelerated by the development of internet and other forms of instant frontierless communication. And even the great religions, some of which in a recent past were still warring with each other, are getting closer and closer as books like “The Mystical Heart” by Wayne Teasdall or movements like the World Parliament of Religions illustrate.
This growing sense of oneness extends far beyond the human family and is reaching out towards the animal kingdom and the environment. Fascinating experiences on communication with animals are teaching us that, contrary to a completely outdated but still widespread belief, certain animals have a real conscience – and this could even extend to certain forms of the natural world although this might imply a redefining of the term “consciousness”.
This growing sense of oneness is especially visible on the human scene. My neighbour is no longer just my geographical neighbour, but any human being on the planet, be it a Bushman from the Kalahari or a death row inmate in Texas. I was fascinated to discover just a few years ago an old aramaic version of the second commandment (Jesus spoke in aramaic) which, instead of the traditional dualist version of the Second Commandment (“love your neighbour as yourself”) states: “Love your neighbour who IS yourself”. This is the most radical dismantling of any sense of separation conceivable – especially if you include the animals and the environment in all its forms in the word “neighbor”, as suggested by Joel Goldsmith. My practice of blessing is being completely challenged and enriched when on the bus I silently state, as I look at someone, “I bless you, e.g. in your closeness to your divine Source, for you are I and I am you.”
The non-dual spirituality of today is necessarily service-oriented. If my neighbour is myself, I cannot just state this in front of my private altar and let it stay there. If this spirituality is worth its salt, it will be concerned with some form of active service to the world. This doesn’t have to mean running around doing things. It can mean being in deep prayer for the world in one’s room, or, as a great healer I know of, taking over a hundred phone calls per day in the silence of his office, most of them ending in healings. But it does mean a heart so overflowing with compassion it takes in the whole world to bless and heal it.
And there I am still a beginner in grade school.
P.S. Many different groups of various traditions and beliefs are focusing on the concept of oneness, and here is one example:
“Love is the activity of oneness and is the basis for everything that exists. It is the glue that holds together all things and is interpreted and experienced according to the state of consciousness of the individual. Unconditional Love is recognition–the recognition of ever present Divinity within all things even when the object does not care a whit about it.
“Unconditional love means every person or situation you become aware of must be seen with new eyes, which in turn trains the mind to interpret in new and higher ways. Begin to visualize a diamond in the heart of every person you become aware of as you go about your day. Make this diamond a symbol representing the person’s innate Divinity even if you do not like or respect what they represent. The news, the world, the things you hear about or see on TV are all opportunities to practice blessing the world through recognition.”
These words are excerpted from the May 24, 2015 message of the Arcturian Group