Spiritual goals should only be as difficult as they need to be and no more. The most freeing realization we can have is that perfection is unattainable. Raising the bar incrementally is always a good thing, but raising it so high that you can never reach it is not only counterproductive, it is defeating. So what if you can only reach so high. The important thing is that you’re making progress, no matter how small.
Oneness is one of those experiences that has been turned into an impossible feat. Only saints and gurus, evidently, are capable of achieving it. But this is a story perpetrated by those who have not experienced it and want to make sure that you don’t either. If you love life and you love your life in this world and you want to live your life fully, the experience of oneness is easily and immediately available. You might not leave your body and sail off into the cosmos or have supernovae go off in your head, but you will feel one with life. And that’s what counts.
The exercise is simple. It takes a little imagination, but imagination is our most powerful intuition, and it opens doors. It goes like this: become aware of the people around you, the ones next to you, the ones next door, the ones driving down the street. Picture them in their homes on your block, or downtown in their office buildings. What are they doing? What are they thinking and feeling? Picture their hearts beating in their chests, the blood flowing through their arteries and veins. Think about how they’re breathing. Is it fast, or is it slow? Imagine that you can see their nervous systems, all lit up like a Christmas tree, and that you can feel what they are feeling. And ask yourself what all those nervous systems are keyed into, what stimulus affects them simultaneously, both subtle and dramatic. You have to know that what is affecting you is affecting them, whether you are conscious of it or not. Entrainment doesn’t only happen during big events like 911. It’s always happening. Where is it happening right now?
The dream of individuality keeps us from admitting that we’re really not that different from each other. This is where judgement comes in – if I can make you wrong, then I have just reinforced the dream. The reality is that we all react to things pretty much the same as everyone else. We may show it more or less, but it’s the same reaction. Viewed from a great height (metaphorically speaking) we are hard to differentiate.
This might not be the kind of oneness you were looking for. But it’s a good place to start. No place is more solid than the bottom. Be real, be human. Find what’s the same. Recognize that what seems different is only a matter of perspective, a different angle. The human body is so packed full of nature that “out there” pales in comparison. And every body you see is the same. It is your body, only seen from a different “angle.”
That’s great, Michael! Keep it simple.