Oneness & Individuation
Updated: Aug 17, 2021
a conjecture, in adventurous good faith
Originally, finally, & throughout, is Oneness. We all started as One, end as One, and are One in between. https://www.lucasbfoley.com/post/newton-einstein-bohr-one
We are also individuals. Individual beings, living individual lives, powered by individual spirits. Each spirit maintains a unique individuality - its essence - across numerous lifetimes & in the spirt realm where it resides between lifetimes.
In the image above, One is the node at each end. A single point, unindividuated. Having no perspective from which to encounter itself, One cannot discover itself. Stuck in node mode, One learns & experiences no-thing.
One individuates into spirits to discover Oneself. The spirits live numerous lives to more fully discover themselves, each other, the experience of being, &, ultimately, One.
We spirits, with our individuation & uniqueness, all stemming from a common source, are how One discovers One. In the image above, spirits are the various spindles arcing & spanning the space between nodes. The spirit-spindles originate in One, terminate in One, & are One throughout. Their individuation provides One with distance from Oneself so it can experience & discover Oneself.
The node-spindle model articulates the relationship between One & individual spirits. The arcs of unique spirits originating & terminating in One.
The triangle-arrows model articulates the relationship between observors. We spirits originate as One. We spirits assume individuated perspectives in time & space - lives - in order to discover & learn. You encounter me, I encounter you, & we thereby learn about ourselves and each other. To accomplish this, we identify with our exclusive perspective: I'm me, here, and you're you, there.
Through non-identification, we rediscover the truth of our Oneness, and we rediscover the essence of One, which is unconditional loving awareness. Having rediscovered these twin truths - our Oneness, & our common essence of love -, when we return to our individuated perspectives in time & space, we are enlightened, and so instead of fixating on our distinctions & maintaining spaces between us, we open to the experience of communion (you're me, I'm you) & to the flow of our common essence - unconditional loving awareness - within & between us. Having rediscovered ultimate truth, we transcend the con-fusion of lesser truths such as identification & distinction.
The experience of an individual spirit across lifetimes can be represented by a spoke-and-wheel image, i.e. a circle divided into triangles:
The hub at circle center is spirit, essence. A line emanating from the center to the edge is the experience of assuming perspective by beginning a life: birth. The arc between that line and the next line - a segment of the wheel - is the lifespan, where the spirit learns & matures. At the end of the arc is death, where the spirit returns to its essence in the spirit realm, before venturing once again into life. The cycle repeats & repeats, allowing the spirt to accrue experience & wisdom across lifetimes.
The individual lives of a spirit are akin to the individuated spirits of One: they afford the node diverse perspectives from which to discover & learn. One individuates into spirits to discover Oneself. A spirit individuates into lifetimes to discover itself. The discovery & learning occurs not only during individual lives - the many arcs that form the wheel - but also in the repeated experience of birth, death, & rebirth - the lines that form the spokes.
The spiral represents the spirit's maturation across lifetimes. The spirit learns & discovers through each individual life it lives. Across many lives, the spirit gradually discovers its own essence, transcends individuation, & returns, with its unique, hard-won expressions of truth, like a satchel full of gorgeous gems, to One.
Intra-life enlightenment is the image above with the smiling face: an individual being, in its individual life, realizes our common origin (One) & common essence (loving awareness).
Inter-life enlightnment is the nearest image above, with the spiral spreading across the triangulated circle: an individual spirit, across its many lives, grows in wisdom & maturity, thereby channelling richer & deeper meaning to One. One discovers Oneself not merely through our lives but through the metameaning we generate across lives.
From the perspective of an individual being, arcing its transit between birth & death, suffering seems meaningless & cruel. If there is a One, and its essence is unconditional loving awareness, why would It subject us to such misery? Why would It deal us such uneven hands? Why would It allow evil, callousness, agony, & spite? From this perspective, suffering seems like hell, or some sick joke.
From the perspective of an individual spirit, spiralling outward as it accrues wisdom across various lifetimes, suffering is a gift, perhaps the greatest gift. Suffering shows us aspects of ourselves, aspects of our spirits, aspects of other selves & other spirits, aspects of being, & ultimately aspects of One, that cannot be discovered through joy, pleasure, contentment, & the pure light of unconditional love.
One individuated to disover Oneself. One's whole self. If One individuated only into luminous, loving spirits living joyous, untroubled lives, One would not discover adversity, tragedy, loss, abandonment, agony, malice, betrayal. One would acknowledge the light while denying the dark. One would develop a partial & misrepresentative sense of Oneself.
One's essence is unconditional loving awareness. To grant unconditional loving awareness only to what's easiest to love, while denying it to the rest, is to deny One's whole self, and to limit One's essence. In our suffering, and in our struggle to love ourselves & others while suffering, we are One struggling to bring the light of One's essence - unconditional loving awareness - to all aspects of Oneself. Suffering consciously, we are One straining to be One's fullest & truest self.
Our joy, suffering, boredom, restlessness, scatteredness - to experience them, with awareness, is a revelation to One, a gift to One, the gift of fuller discovery, of knowing Oneself that much more, of experiencing Oneself as never before.
Amazing grace is the gift in return. In a life, and across them.
Grace is how we, individual beings & spirits, transcend our fearful reactions to suffering. It is how we, who are ultimately One, who are ultimately unconditional loving awareness, remember ourselves in the midst of the most painful con-fusion. "Forgive them, father..."
When we sustain awareness during suffering, we reveal One to Oneself. When we receive the gift of grace, One reveals Oneself to us. Our spontaneous, sometimes graceful movements between peace & suffering, birth & death, individuation & Oneness, is our soul dance. Bees express themselves through dancing. One & we do, too.