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Oneness -a dazzling embrace of all diversity!

“If everyone were the same, there would be no need for you and me."

It’s the festive season, and what better aspect to explore than its spirit of Oneness. And what really keeps us from wholly experiencing this ‘Oneness’ is that most confuse oneness with sameness and the obvious gets ignored: that while we are all ‘One’ we need not be the same!

And Divali, with its multitude of oil lamps, array of fire crackers, profusion of sweets and many reasons to be celebrated (from Rama returning home, to Mahavir attaining moksha, to Lakshmi pouring her bounty) is a beautiful occasion to understand that each one of us, each so-called difference, manifests willfully as a unique aspect of that which is called Oneness. And thus true oneness is when you can accept these ‘differences’ as aspects within it and revel indeed in the differences that make it up- instead of trying to change all those who are different from you, into what you consider the right ‘one’! This is why ‘One’ becomes many …to explore it myriad aspects!

Yes you touch this briefly when you are ‘in love’ and when you partake with friends and family…until the ‘differences’ crop up. And instead of acceptance and a widening of your embrace, you allow these various hues to segregate and diminish you instead. More importantly, and this may surprise you, when you go about converting everybody into some ‘golden light’ and ‘God’… it is the easy way out! A convenience so that you do not need to be one with the many nuances that make up life and its people. It is far easier to be one with an undifferentiated sheen shorn of the multiplicity that makes it up, than to be one with the ‘different’ aspects and qualities that make up your world! And true oneness is not in rendering variation, null and void, but in being ‘at-one-ment’ with all that is.

Start with self and view the varied aspects that compose ‘you’. Do you not accept the colors of your hair, your skin, your eyes? Your myriad qualities, relationships, and occurrences…as ‘the one you’? If you glance deeper, even your physical biology rests on the immense cooperative venture of your innumerable cells- each inviolate and yet connected to the universe. And this ‘you’, is a collective consciousness at its most effective- and often you are not even aware. You wrap your hands around yourself and feel “I am ‘me’”! Now extend this embrace wider and encompass your infinitesimal aspects: the multitude of cultures, religion, race and color! Spiritual growth is not merely a vertical line upwards but an horizontal encompassing, an embrace of all so called ‘differences’ -not rendering any as heretic, outcast and things to flout!

Humanity finds group or collective consciousness a difficult concept to truly imbibe other than intellectually and you wonder how ‘all’ can think alike? Who will be spokesman? Whose ideas will dominate? Will they not conflict? But oneness is not thinking or being alike…it is different aspects ‘being a magnified one’! Just like your different body parts - your nose breathes, your lungs pump it through, your stomach digests, your bowels eliminate and there is no clash because they truly know oneness.

Do not mistake experiencing ‘oneness’ with basking in some light of sameness with no differences, no choices, all awash with one glow; for indeed in oneness you will reach a dynamic multiplicity you cannot even conjure! In oneness your journey does not end but indeed begins an eternal and dazzling embrace with all truths and beliefs and diversity! Each facet a display of affection! And variety an open declaration of love for all that is! A love song so beautiful …made up of the various notes within.

So come beloved readers begin this embrace now: not with one special other- God or lover; not with few special others- friends and family; but with all that you are- with all that is reflected in what you call life and world and its people.

Divyaa Kummar

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