Last week, on Divine Shenanigans, we pulled our topic “from the Sorting Hat” – random name generator – and it picked the topic for us to discuss of “at-one-ment”. Very similar to atonement – but really about Oneness. At-One.
We had a fabulous discussion on this topic, which really got me thinking – what does it really mean to live in At-One-Ment?
Oneness is defined as the quality of being one – sameness, unity of thought, feeling, believe, and aim. It’s about agreement and accord – wholeness, harmony, integrity, and identity. So, to live in At-One-Ment is to be of one accord, to be at one with God and all that is.
At-One-Ment and Oneness stands in stark contrast to society today, where the individual lives alone and in nuclear families, many of which are now broken nuclear families. There is no more extended families, whanau or collective community. There is certainly no living in oneness with all that is, including nature and the earth.
When we consider the characteristics today of the individual, we see:
- differences & intolerance
- separation, rifts & fractures
- special or different
- initiative & free thinking
- mind, intellect & ego
- will & emotions
On the other hand, when we consider the collective or extended families, societies where there is still a focus on the community, we see connection, interconnectedness, which can be perceived and experienced, as well as support systems, and a relationship with the Earth and the ecosystem.
Oneness, of course, goes another step further as almost an abstract conceptualization. It is about a shared biological and spiritual origin, where we are all made from the same stuff (whether plant, animal or human). It might be considered Utopian, with unity and harmony of all.
With the concept of Oneness, we find that nothing is in itself, there is no time or space, no past or future – just here and now. An interconnectedness of all peoples and things, with a sense of the sacred or Divine in everything. Everything is sacred, because everything is connected and supporting life.
If you consider a piece of paper – you need to remember the cloud.
The one that brought the rain, that watered the earth, that made the tree to grow, from which that paper was eventually made.
You also need to remember the tonka truck – you know, the one that the kid was playing with as his mother prepared his father breakfast, before he went off to work, driving the semi-trailer with the container, carrying the wood pulp to the shipping yard, where it was shipped off to the factory to be turned into paper.
That is where the Oneness starts to recognise that absolutely everything is connected – inextricably intertwined – an expansive conception of reality. Yes – I am perfectly unique and independent, and yet I am inextricably intertwined, interrelated and interdependent with everything that is.
In this conception of Oneness, we recognise that we all come from Divine Source – from God. And from one – many. And as we find our way back, we return to Oneness – back to Source. Separate. But not separate. Never alone.
The individual, through prolonged psychological disciplines, gives up completely all attachment to his personal limitations, idiosyncrasies, hopes and fears, no longer resists the self-annihilation that is prerequisite to rebirth in the realization of truth, and so becomes ripe, at last, for the great at-one-ment. His personal ambitions being totally dissolved, he no longer tries to live but willingly relaxes to whatever may come to pass in him; he becomes, that is to say, an anonymity. The Law lives in him with his unreserved consent.Joseph Campbell
In searching to know the mind of Go, to step and into the likeness of God, in perfect communion and communication – I am listening and receiving instructions constantly. Spirit is already inside of me – I am alredy One. All I have to do is keep it. Continually grow in that Oneness.
Practicing the Presence in my life each moment of each day.
Keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
One body and One spirit.Ephesians 4:3-4
And yet, most of the time we are busy working hard at it – doing our best to acquire knowledge, improve our behaviour, pretend we are growing spiritually. But, unless we are experiencing Oneness – simply “be still and know that I AM” – we have lost our way. We have taken this back into the intellectual and the ego – and created separation, rather than unity and harmony.
… may they all be one as You are in Me and I am in You; may they be in Us, for by this unity the world will believe …John 17:21
When I am able to see the Divine in everything and in everyone – how can I possibly harm another? Because harming another, is harming myself — all others are simply a reflection of me.
We are all one: just an extension of each others, experiencing ourselves in different human forms.Dr. Jacinta Mpalyenkana
It is only by grace that I stop searching for God “out there”. I stop trying to find the Divine, thinking it must be difficult, hidden, and impossible. Instead, I recognise that by grace, I can stop trying. I can relax. I don’t need to “pray more” or “study or ready more”.
“Be Still and Know that I AM”
When we finally begin to understand that Divine Love is simply beyond description, that the Creator is in all of creation, that in each and every breath we take, we find Life… we can finally relax.
At-One-Ment. A recognition that it is all done already.
At-One-Ment – the moment that we recognise that God is not “it” or “He” but everything that cannot be described: in me, below me, above me, everywhere, but nowhere, Alpha & Omega. The Divine is Omnipotence, Omniscience and Omnipresence: not as a quality of “it”, but all of those qualities. God is not loving. God is LOVE. God is not peaceful – God is peace.
The search ends here. Practicing presence is simply about relaxing and resting in everything I need I already have access to.