Oneness is a much talked about concept - we often hear saints and enlightened souls speak of their experience of oneness. Some express this experience as bliss, others as seeing light, and still others as merging with an all-pervasive Universal energy.
Oneness is also thought to be experienced in another realm. Not in this physical world - where it appears strange and even confusing to think of you and me as one - especially when both our bodies and minds are so obviously separate!
United we stand
All of us experience oneness as a unity of thought - a group of like-minded people. We also experience oneness within - as concentration - which is nothing but focusing the mind on a single thought.
If you think of it, these experiences indicate that oneness, or a unity of purpose, is followed by strength, or power, in ways a group of like-minded persons, for example, are able to accomplish more than an individual. Likewise, an individual whose mind is focused is likely to reach further than someone whose mind entertains a multitude of thoughts.
Yet another way in which we experience unity is in identifying with others as human beings, instead of being from the same region - say South India - or, from different countries - USA, Germany etc.
Oneness frees, duality binds
Consider this - during the opening ceremony of the First Congress of the Association of Space Explorers, Saudi Arabian astronaut Sultan Salman Al-Saud said, "The first day or so we all pointed to our countries. The third, or fourth day, we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day, we were aware of only One Earth."
Evidently, as the astronauts' consciousness expanded, their perceptions changed, as they quite literally saw, from a distance, how superficial our differences are. Their new perspective was unifying, as it created a common bond between them. Hence, their newfound oneness holds strength.
Oneness is derived from the unity of thought, whether it is internally related to one person, or externally to many. The astronaut's expansion of consciousness, for example, occurred as a result of actually seeing things from a distance.
In contrast to this, what sort of unity do spiritually evolved persons experience? Do they have a similar realisation, yet born within the mind, as a result of meditation? What exactly do they draw strength from?
A sea of energy
It is true that humans are individual, separate entities. However, if you consider each person as having a certain reservoir of energy, you may perceive the sea of humanity as a cluster of individual energy points. Going a step further — not only human life - life in any form is nothing but energy. There is, thus, a similarity of form of every living being - energy - even though the physical manifestation of this energy differs from species to species and within a species too. Spiritually evolved persons or anyone having a profound meditative experience feel this oneness, or unity of energies, which practically translates into interconnectedness - of all living matter.
Our great spiritual masters have often spoken of a singular vast, all-pervasive Cosmos.
The pervasiveness of the Cosmos lies not so much in its "being everywhere," but in the fact that life is a form of energy that resonates throughout the Universe. Enlightenment, in fact, is the experience of this oneness. It is an expansion of consciousness, to be constantly aware that we are but individualised parts of one single matter.
Being parts of the whole also makes us interconnected units of energy. So, how does interconnectedness convert to power? Well, when you connect with and feel one with an ocean of energy - for it is no less than an ocean - you are free to draw from it whenever you need strength. Not only that, when you align your mind with all-this pervasive energy, as a dancer dancing in step with a tune, every step you take - in your consciousness - resonates throughout the Universe and echoes back to you, intensifying your own efforts.
Power of oneness
Think of it as rowing a boat with or against a river current. When you row with the current, its natural force multiplies your physical energy.
In a sense, the current adds to your effort. When you feel at one with the energy prevailing in the Universe, it contrives to make things happen for you.
It's as though a force - far greater than any individual can generate - complements your individual efforts. Perhaps, one of the reasons for this is that once you feel connected with life, your purpose in life and, hence, your actions are not likely to be aimed at individual gain, at the expense of another person's spiritual loss.
What could be more blissful, more peaceful, than to feel as one - not just with your loved one, but also with the Universe?
The important thing to realise is that oneness is not a romantic idea, but a practical tool that you can use to enhance your inner strength. You can experience oneness, even in your mundane existence. Because, cosmic harmony is not something that is only experienced by saints or astronauts! A concerted effort to connect within and without will slowly reveal oneness around you.
Agreed that we find it difficult to experience oneness nowadays. This is primarily due to our highly individualised perspectives - my personality, my body etc.,
If only you aspire to experience the power of oneness, your consciousness will transcend your physical existence. It may take years of practice to do so; it is a slow process of evolution. But, when it happens, it takes only a second to experience and reconnect with the power.
No wonder those who make spirituality their quest are passionate about oneness. It is also no surprise that they experience oneness as bliss.
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