James C. Wilhelm, Contributor
In the course of facilitating classes and workshops for thousands of people throughout Asia, Europe and the United States, I have been asked one question more than any other:
How does the oneness of creation – the singular nature of being – directly impact my life?
This is my response to all of us who have ever wondered, “Why is the nature of the universe important to me?” This article will explicate some of the implications of the unified nature of the universe. Understanding these implications and how they affect our everyday lives can make a difference for each of us.
Humans have been aware of the unified nature of all being since our earliest days on earth. The people who settled in the Indus Valley of northwestern India about 6,000 years ago developed this awareness into a system of organized thought. Beginning as oral teachings, their wisdom was ultimately written in the Vedic Sanskrit language. These documents are the Vedas and Upanishads. They are the oldest known Sanskrit literature and represent some of the oldest sacred texts of any culture.
Veda means knowledge. This knowledge is said to have been directly revealed or “heard” and is distinguished from other early Vedic and Hindu scripture which is known as “remembered.” These teachings emphasize the singular, unified nature of the universe, stating that we all are one. Vedic Rishis said his wisdom lives within all of us and can be known instantly and intuitively through the practice of yoga and meditation.
The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe. The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightening and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not. –Upanishads
A mystic is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “A person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.” After experiencing “unity with the absolute” mystics of all cultures and religious backgrounds describe all of creation as a unified whole that exists within each of us.
Through physical world experimentation quantum physicists have also come to know the unified nature of the universe.
Quantum physics thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe. –Erwin Schrödinger
Quantum theory thus…shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated “building blocks,” but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole. –Fritjof Capra
This unified oneness goes beyond the notion of a web of interconnected things or oneness of physical matter; it is indeed experienced and best described as thought.
The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. –Sir James Jeans
This thought essence is a single living awareness that always has been and always will be. Many mystics describe this eternal singular consciousness as love. This single unified essence of being is who we are. There is nothing else.
When we come to understand this innate universal quality of oneness, the next question we are likely to ask is, “So what? How does my realization or understanding of my oneness with everyone and everything that exists impact my life and my actions in the world?”
In reality there are no others, and by helping yourself you help everybody else. –Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
What is in one is in the whole, and therefore, ultimately, each soul is responsible for the whole world. –Gary Zukav
…all things are one thing and that one thing is all things—plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together by the elastic string of time. –John Steinbeck
Here are some ways our everyday experience of life transforms when we know the reality of the oneness of all life:
- Life smooths out. We experience a softening of the bumps and valleys of everyday living.
- We manifest our choices, needs and desires with ease, grace and velocity.
- We experience life with a deeper sense of inner peace and love. We become more open to giving and receiving love.
- We find there is no need to worship our self-created gods unless we find it meaningful and choose it of our own volition.
- We need not look outside ourselves for our code of ethics or morality. Our sense of right and wrong springs forth from within us.
- We see clearly that our thoughts, actions and words ultimately impact only ourselves. We then naturally look for ideas and behaviors that enhance the life experience of all humans, animals and plants.
- The concepts of karma and reincarnation are explained. If karma means that we continually experience the results of our past behaviors, this is so because we are the only possible recipients of our own actions. Karma is not inherited from past lives of our individual ego-based selves.
- Reincarnation occurs but not in the sense of our individual ego selves leaving old bodies and inhabiting new ones. There is no ego or individual self that continues through time past the death of the physical body. The singular, eternal consciousness is unborn and never dies. All human bodies are vitalized by this one consciousness.
- Many of the mysteries of quantum mechanics, including the well-known “skeleton in the closet,” are answered. For example, what Einstein called “spooky action” at a distance is explained by the oneness of all things. There is no information being transmitted between photon or electron pairs. Information, photons, electrons and everything else in creation are all the same stuff (thought) so what one entangled entity “knows,” its twin “knows” in the same instant.
Most importantly, there is no need to wait for a spiritual or mystical experience before adopting these ways of being and acting in the world. We can transform our actions and way of being right now. Now is all there is, and now is the only time that anything ever happens. Indeed, as we incorporate these ideas into our everyday lives, we are living an enlightened life, and it is in the living of it that we know enlightenment.
About the Author
James C. Wilhelm is an international spiritual teacher, self-development mentor, author, lecturer, philosopher, Emmy award-winning television producer, and successful entrepreneur. He has shared his experiences of practical mysticism around the world for more than 40 years. Jim has translated his mystical understanding into practical knowledge that we all can apply in our lives. He has recently published his second book: I Am God and So Are You – Discovering the Power of Your True Self
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