It’s no longer breaking news that the tension in our country (and arguably, our world) is reaching a boiling point. In fact, many folks believe “the powers that be” are intentionally trying to create a Civil War in the US. Divide and conquer. Just today, I was reading a Facebook post about this possibility, when something jumped out at me in a new way, something I’m surprised I didn’t notice before.

The United States

There is no mystery behind that name. United we stand; divided, we fall. Once upon a time, we joined together in solidarity…behind a common cause and for a common purpose.

But today, I saw the US from a different perspective. Do you see it?

US! As in, WE!

To me, in that moment, it was more of a spiritual lesson than a history lesson. Because in reality, there is only US – we are all ONE. We all exist in an extraordinarily divine web of interconnectedness. Every human being is an individuation of Divinity – an expression of God on Earth! This is why Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31). When we harm others, we harm ourselves.

Separateness is an illusion. It’s a necessary illusion but an illusion nonetheless. Without the illusion of separateness, we would be unable to experience ourselves as the loving beings that we are. Within this duality, relationships are formed – relationships between individuals, as well as the relationship between us and our planet. It is within these relationships that we come to know ourselves.

That being said, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, reminds us:

We are all on this journey together, at this perfect moment in history, to overcome our divisiveness, our conflict, the “us versus them” mentality that is the very essence of our struggle. It has never been US versus THEM, because there is no them! There is only US.

Zen teacher, David Loy, in Awakening from the Illusion of Our Separateness, writes:

 “[We] simply need to “wake up” and see through the illusion of separation: [We are] not inside, peering out at an external world. Rather, [“we” are] what the whole world is doing, right here and now. This realization frees [us] to live as [we] choose, but that will naturally be in a way that contributes to the well-being of the whole, because [we] don’t feel apart from that whole.”

In other words, the human race is a collective – we are all a part of the whole. To damage one piece is to damage the whole. To damage one person is to damage ourselves.

We must understand and then act on the knowledge that WE are the solution. Instead of expecting our “opponent” to straighten up and fly right, we need to look inward. As I have written previously, peace begins with US. Inside each one of us. Because, really, there is only us. And, we are one.

Written by : drallisonbrown

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2 Comments

  1. Angela Noel October 5, 2017 at 10:45 am - Reply

    Father Anthony DeMello speaks and writes about experiencing oneself differently. There’s an image in Eastern philosophy of the dancer and the dance. “It isn’t as if God is the big dancer and you are the little dancer,” he writes. “You’re not a dancer at all. You are BEING danced.” Further, “To lose the self is to suddenly realize you are something other than what you thought you were.”
    First, it sounds like you had a flash of that experience here. Second, I’ve always struggled with the notion of “being” danced. It’s one of the concepts DeMello discusses that I can’t quite get my mind around. I think, in reading your post, I have a tiny inkling on what DeMello meant. We aren’t separate creatures, we aren’t little dancers, we’re all the dance. We are, each of us, an expression of that higher purpose. Our being, if you think of it literally, is constantly replenished with the being of others, even as simply as breathing. When I bring air into my lungs I literally ingest the atoms of others–humans, creatures, plants. There is no difference. We are all being danced.
    I’m not sure I entirely get it–but I like thinking about it.

    • drallisonbrown October 5, 2017 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      Funny that you said that you have difficulty with the concept of “being danced,” because as I read that, I thought the same thing. But, I believe that we are all “pieces of the Divine” – expressions of God on earth. In that respect, I suppose you could say that we are being danced. I like thinking about it, too. And, when I do, I realize that there is no way this magnificent universe can be understood or described with our human brain and through our words alone.

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