David Tumbarello is a technical communicator with over 50 years in the growth industry, with 49 of those years communicative and on two feet. When he is not technically communicating, he enjoys hiking, biking, and writing. Feel free to connect with David on LinkedIn.
In our a world that seems to be increasingly fragmented by the day, if not the hour, the notion of oneness may seem anachronistic and out of place. One may even question the relevance, the practical importance of the idea of oneness in today’s world. In addition, one may wonder – how are we to experience oneness with our fellow beings, or even with nature in our busy lives?
Let us try and first address the notion that oneness does not belong to our current time and space. What is oneness and what does it mean to us? If we can answer that question, we can then discern its location in time and space. Is it a senses of unity, of common ground with our fellow beings? Is it a desire to live in harmony with nature? Is it an acceptance of the principle that we all share certain unifying traits despite our widely varying differences? If so, what may some of these traits and principles be?
Let us now look at the relevance, the practical importance of oneness. Oneness is not to be construed as homogeneity of thought, word or action. Oneness that promotes unity of purpose, say on a team of diverse talents, is indeed relevant to the success of a team or community. In times of conflict, the ‘common-goal’ idea of oneness can be useful to quickly defuse egos and refocus our energies. Can you think of instances in your life where oneness served a practical purpose?
The third question is about experiencing oneness in our lives. Once we have had a personal experience of oneness with our fellow beings, with nature, or with divine energy, it is easier to integrate it into our lives. Personal experience turns oneness from an esoteric notion into something tangible. So, how may we have this personal experience? The Indian sage Patanjali offers us three practices that may help.
- To be happy in their happiness
- To be empathetic in their suffering
- To be friendly in response to their friendliness
If we can practice any or all of the above, we open ourselves to personal experiences of oneness. The three practices seem fairly straightforward and easy to practice. However, they may not be easy to integrate into our interactions with our ‘enemies’ or those whom we strongly disagree with. How can we experience oneness with them, or can we? How will our world of possibilities expand if we were to find a thread of oneness with our greatest opponents?
I invite you to consider the three broad themes of oneness and some of the practices suggested above. How different would our lives be if we were to have a daily persoanl experience with oneness? Imagine the possibilities!
Kumud (@AjmaniK on twitter)
P.S. Join us in #SpiritChat on twitter – Sunday October 1st at 9amET/1pmUTC. We will gather to talk about the “possibilites of oneness” and what makes oneness possbile. Namaste.
Growing up in India, the theme of “Unity in Diversity”, was a common refrain in our social studies and civics text books. For a country with twenty-two states (at the time I was a student), many of them with their own languages (and many more dialects), customs and sub-cultures, interpretations of Hinduism and many other religions, it would seem that theme of “Unity in Diversity” would be indispensable to keep the country together. In fact, I remember writing many essays in middle school and doing many projects celebrating this theme.
When I moved to the United States, this country seemed, on the surface, very “homogeneous” as compared to the widespread cultural diversity that I grew up with. The more years I spent here, the more I realized that diversity has many aspects. It manifests differently in different countries and cultures, and, of course, there is tremendous diversity in the USA – one just has to look a little bit beneath the surface. External diversity can conceal internal homogeneity, and vice-versa.
Yes, it is indeed a herculean task to weave a thread of Unity in the face of external, visible diversity, as it exists in India. Perhaps an even bigger task is to inculcate some aspects of Unity in the heart of diverse people, diverse cultures and perhaps even diverse religions. This revelation was brought home (again) to me in a wonderful conversation that I had with my good twitter friend, @EdwardColozzi on Friday afternoon. Edward has been a wonderful friend of the #SpiritChat community, almost since the inception of the weekly chat. He is a Career-Life counselor, and a big believer in Unity and the concept of “One Spirit”. The topic of “The Spirit of Diversity” is inspired by our conversation about the discovery of “One Spirit” among our diversities.
Some of you may be aware that Science has been hard at work to identify this fundamental commonality – sometimes referred to as the search for the “God particle”. While Science remains hard at work, we can approach this from the Spiritual side. One proclamation of this Unity is made in the Advaita philosophy of the Vedanta ~ which states that there is the One, indivisible, and we all are manifestations of the One. An analogy would be that of the One milk, and the many products (cheese, yogurt, sour cream and so on) that are manifestations of milk… I am sure that you can come up with some analogies of your own too 🙂
Well, I believe I have said enough to frame our “Spirit of Diversity” discussion. A few questions that come to mind are – where does this Diversity among us come from? Why is Diversity necessary at all? And what would happen if all this outward Diversity were to disappear? Why is it important to understand the nature, the spirit of Diversity? And where does Love fit into the equation of Diversity and Unity?
I invite all of you who have read this far to join us on Sunday May 5th at our regular time of 9amET in our weekly #SpiritChat discussion on twitter. Let us celebrate our Diversity as we contemplate the ideal of Unity.
Namaste. Be well.