We can easily recognize that waves are not really separate from the ocean, or from other waves, because it's all the same ocean. Yet do we have that same intelligence when we think of ourselves? Or do we conceive of ourselves as separate human beings? Am I not separate from you? Are you not separate from me? We appear to be separate from one another, it is very normal to think and believe that we are. The accepted paradigm is that we are all separate beings.
We believe in a separate self, a separate I. We think that we are separate spiritual beings, we think of ourselves as souls, taking the apparent separation of physical human beings to a spiritual level. But separation is not a true principle, there are no separate human beings. Yes there are waves, but no, there is just one ocean.
I, soul, and self are all expressions of the idea that we are fundamentally separate from each other. Having accepted the concept of separation as a truth, we now try to divide consciousness into separate 'consciousnesses' too. We believe separation to be a true principle: ultimately I am a separate entity, soul, or self. It is not necessarily true that we are all separate entities just because we have an individual perspective from which we experience life. Unicity is the true principle; there are no separate beings or separate souls. Self or soul, it is ultimate separation. It is taking the concept of separation to the extreme, and applying it to ourselves. We imprison ourselves by believing in the idea of separation.
Thinking that we are separate, we think that we have relations with other beings. Expanding on that vision, we think that we are in a relationship with life as a whole. However, coming to the truth of it, we come to unicity, the fundamental inseparability of existence. One wave of the ocean is apparently separate from other waves of the ocean, and the wave itself may even think that it has relations with other waves. A highly spiritual wave may feel that it is in a relationship with the ocean as a whole. However, the enlightened wave has fathomed that it's not disconnected from the ocean in any way, and that in truth, it is the ocean and all the waves and the deep waters. What is this ocean? This, here, where you are now, this is the ocean.
Completely relating to someone is possible only if you have recognized that you are the other too. The truth is that I am you, you are me, even if we don't know each other. We are not separate. The truth is the ocean of life, without separation, nothing to separate us. The truth is fundamental oneness, unicity, not separation and aloneness. But we can't escape aloneness and loneliness if we believe in separation as a truth.
There is - what Stephen Covey calls - a 'maturity continuum' that represents the different stages of maturity. Dependence is the first stage, it means that you are psychologically and emotionally dependent on other people or circumstance.
Independence means that you feel secure and self-confident, you feel and believe that you can basically do it alone.
Interdependence means that you are now psychologically comfortable enough to be in relation with the world around you, and enter into relationships where both parties realize that together they can do miracles, and achieve things that would never be possible alone.
The final and usually overlooked stage of maturity is unicity, the realization that separation is nothing but a mirage.
Dependence, independence, and even interdependence presuppose a separation: first I am dependent on you, and then I don't need you because I've become independent. Building on our independence, we become interdependent: we learn to work together, but still consider ourselves separate from each other. In unicity I know that there is no separation: I am the baby that I am holding in my arms, I am that lonely man or woman, I am the rainforest that is cut down, I am the man that cuts it down.
Today science and technology are pushing us forward into maturity; maturity is becoming an absolute must. Science is too advanced to be left in the hands of a separation-minded man. Humanity has no choice but to grow up fast as our science has such an enormous potential for destruction. However, we don't need to see science as a threat, we should use it as leverage to mature.
Unicity is the only paradigm to do away with all the schisms, schizophrenia, hurt and loneliness that this planet is now famous for. Loneliness is a feeling you experience because you have accepted the paradigm of fundamental separation. From the idea of separation, feelings of loneliness and all kinds of aggression have become possible. We can experience loneliness, the feeling of separation, when we are alone or among people. In cities where there are thousands or millions of people living together, loneliness is as common as anywhere.
We seek relationships to escape loneliness. But that is a patch-up job, it doesn't go to the core of the dis-ease of loneliness. The whole reason that we think so much in terms of relationships, is that we are afraid that we are fundamentally alone. Thinking in terms of connections and relationships, a subtle, underlying separation continues. The assumption is two fundamentally separate people seeking to bridge their separation.
We need to shift the paradigm from fundamental separation to fundamental unicity. In truth no one is ever alone or separate. When you experience unicity, because you have opened your eyes to it, you will not experience loneliness, whether in the company of people, or alone. We are not alone or interconnected, we are one and the same.
At best, separation is a very useful concept, but it becomes a curse when taken literally. To divide things up can be practical, like the chapters of a book make it accessible. All science has progressed by dividing things, identifying different species, different properties, different elements, and I believe science to be a blessing. However, when we start thinking in terms of Muslims and Christians and Jews, and believe that we are fundamentally separate, things turn sour and ugly. Like a soccer game can be great, but take separation literally, and it is not a sport anymore.
About the author
About the book
Principles and Paradigms
» 2. Unicity
Separation: The ultimate myth
- Nothing to separate us
Denial, avoidance, resistance
Not opposites but polarities
5. Alive Silence