One of the basic teachings of Unity is Oneness. Webster’s dictionary defines Oneness as “a fact or state of being unified or whole through two or more parts.” The website truthunity.net offers this definition: “Oneness is the unity of the Spirit in each of us, which assures us of our oneness with Absolute Good. There is no separate self apart from Spirit or all.” In Unity, oneness is a fundamental teaching, providing us with hope and binding us as brothers and sisters on our travels toward elevated consciousness in union.
The Heartbeat of Oneness
If we can agree on the premise that Oneness is the heartbeat of all of our teachings, we have a starting point for discussion of unified inner peace, love and joy. Further, if we believe that we have the spark of God within us, which is the “One Power and One Presence in the Universe, God the Good,” then might we extrapolate that we are 100% “good to go” and “ready to roll” just as we are? Yet, in spite of the reality of this profound Oneness, we still find ourselves able to experience and exhibit various darker characteristics of behavior. Divisiveness, anger, fear, and even hatred and loneliness are not unknown to us. Where is the love that is surely present in this Oneness?
We are firm in our belief in Oneness, yes? We know of love and acceptance through Unity teachings, through our readings, and through our own observations. We can surely see love all around us on a daily basis. The beauty of a sunset, the coo of a newborn child, the kindness shown by a dear friend, the love of a special partner are all common experiences. These, and so many more like them, are all gifts of the Divine in expression. But yet, we still find ourselves slipping in and out of the awareness of our fundamental oneness. So we have to claim it again and again. We are One.
The Omnipresence of Oneness
There is nothing more natural than the bond between a newborn and mother. Two hearts and lives in sync during pregnancy, then exploding into reality after birth. Pure connection. This bond is analogous to the untethered, limitless experience of Oneness with the Divine. As the child develops, while retaining that attachment to the mother or parental figure, the child similarly experiences a close connection with a stuffed toy, a doll or an object of comfort such as a soft blanket.
Humans are hard wired to connect, to seek closeness and to be in community. Although our connection to our creator is intangible, it is still very real. We also yearn for human, physical connection and interaction. This is an innate and primitive need. As we mature, the physical need to connect becomes more prevalent and even dominant. The very real Truth that we are ALL connected in our humanity to the Divine, and to each other, seems to slip in and out of our consciousness into apparent obscurity. And yet that connection in oneness and unity is omnipresent, and always available to us, even when we don’t see it or feel it.
The Persistence of Loneliness
So yes, we are in permanent partnership with the Divine and with each other. Yet, the experience of loneliness is both prevalent and persistent in our modern culture. In a recent study by the insurance giant Cigna, 54% of those surveyed identify as “lonely.” On a more local level, Austin is one of the top 20 cities in the nation for loneliness. Over 60 percent of the individuals surveyed in our city identify as “lonely.” Even within faith communities, many of those who ascribe to belief in a higher power identify as “lonely.”
To analyze the data further, the largest demographic group identifying as “lonely” is the millennial group (those between the approximate ages of 24 and 38). Without question, the millennials are the most wired and technologically connected generation in the history of humankind. Yet they too feel lonely. Just because we may have 1,000+ followers on Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, and received 100+ “likes” on this morning’s photo post of our breakfast cereal, does not mean we are connected and “one” with our peers. At least, not in any meaningful way.
Nurturing the REAL Connection
Artificial friendships built on seeking approval from anybody and everybody most likely are not the stuff of deep connection. These are superficial connections and do not lead us to the spiritual Truth that we are One in reality. One news source has suggested some antidotes to this loneliness phenomenon, such as (a) joining a club, (b) putting yourself out there, (c) being a friend to make a friend or (d) advertising yourself more on social media, among other strategies. These ideas simply don’t do the job in helping us to cultivate a sense of the beloved Oneness and connection that we most deeply desire to experience.
These activities, may save us from simply being alone, but they do not and will not cure the inner loneliness that hurts the heart and causes us to feel separate. It is only through cultivating an awareness in consciousness that we are NOT alone, never have been, and never will be, that we can actually cure the sense of loneliness we may feel. This cannot be found in a reliance on technology for connection. It can only be experienced by nurturing a belief in the divine spiritual truth that we are all connected in oneness, by the One Power and in the One Presence that is God the Good. We have a choice. We can keep on making superficial connections in the external world that only perpetuate the sense of loneliness and even powerlessness. Or we can train our inner sights on the very REAL connection to the Divine within our being that connects us in oneness with all of humanity, even all of the Universe.
Now, can I get a “like” on Facebook for sharing that with you?