Oneness is the state of mind where you can live and extend genuine peace and compassion. There are two paths to oneness. Learn how to travel both.
Most people want our world filled with friendship, love, and compassion. But this utopia of caring and sharing always seems out of reach.
Why is it so hard to find room for these higher virtues? It’s hard because there is a lot of negative social programming designed to separate us and trigger our deepest fears.
Achieving oneness is essential for the world to move beyond its current state of conflict. Let’s examine how to get there. We can do this!
The Two Paths To Oneness
Oneness is a term that describes the unity and balance with creation. Oneness involves our relationship with everything and everyone. The experience of oneness is peaceful silence, which is an expression of our transcendent nature. The outward expression of this is what we feel concerning other living things. The transcendent peace naturally connects us to other people and living things. It is a universal perspective that connects us to all living things.
There are two paths to oneness, an analytical and direct approach. We will outline the analytical in this article. The analytical approach enables us to confront the negative programming of our beliefs. These beliefs often contain negative bias and prejudice. These are our real enemies, not the opinions of the other person.
The second path is a direct experience of the transcendent. You can reach the transcendent state of consciousness using the proper meditation technique. We recommend Japa Meditation, also known as Transcendental Meditation (TM). This process provides the direct experience of oneness.
Of the two paths to oneness, the transcendent state would seem to be the least contentious. However, when you meditate regularly, your awareness will grow. It will make you aware of your prejudices. You cannot hide from this internal illumination. So, you have the choice to ignore them or remove these obstacles and reprogram your mind with positive scripts.
We highly recommend the use of both approaches. Even if you meditate, you can still carry a great deal of negative bias and prejudice because of cultural programming. The self-hypnosis of religion is so powerful it will taint your mind with negative bias and prejudice. The analytical approach will help you see the programming you need to fix.
The First Path ― The Analytical Approach
The analytical approach is the first of the two paths. This path takes willpower, courage, and persistence. It will make you confront beliefs, prejudices, and fears. So this makes it an excellent group exercise. It will identify the roadblocks holding the group back from becoming a team. This process will help areas of individual and group self-development.
There are four levels or degrees in this analytical framework. It is essential to realize that there is resistance at each level. This process surprises some people. It shows them where they hold bias and prejudice.
When we engage in this kind of work, it can bring up some powerful emotions. Because of this, we recommend using emotional checks to minimize your discomfort and speed your progress.
Using emotional checks will make your research more accurate. It will save you time in the long term and reduce stress. These short breaks are a mental quality check. They help to think clearly and keep you on track.
When we face ideas that conflict with ours, it can bring up powerful feelings that trigger our “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction. When the primitive instincts kick in, we lose our higher thinking functions. So when this happens, we must take steps to regain emotional equilibrium.
It is easy to get thrown out of their comfort zone when we move into exercises where we confront closely held beliefs. It triggers the “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction of the mind. It’s the fear that we might be wrong about what we believe.
Step One – Coexistence
To coexist with someone with different beliefs, you must acknowledge and tolerate their spiritual beliefs even if they conflict with yours. Seeing their value as a person is the key. Their value as a person supersedes their opinions. Remember, you can change what you believe, and they can change what they think.
If you are to coexist, you’ll need to go beyond bias and prejudice. It doesn’t mean you should accept another person’s opinions, especially if they are harmful. It doesn’t mean you should tolerate destructive and behaviors. Instead, it’s a conscious decision to withhold animosity.
If they have harmful beliefs, you can take help them to overcome them. We recommend an unconventional approach to help the believer. This approach can change the minds of some people. Be aware that this takes a significant investment of time and effort.
Learning to coexist with others who think differently is the first step toward oneness. It’s a huge step. It makes us face the boundaries of our judgments. It also forces us to confront the judgments of others with tolerance. Remember, the goal is for you to achieve oneness. You can’t become one with something you hate. Otherwise, you hate yourself.
To do this, you need to write the things you hate about the other person. Next, write the justification for your hate. Now, decide that this hate is destructive for everyone. So, you make a conscious decision to set aside your feelings. Putting these thoughts down in writing is a powerful tool. It makes your prejudices easy to see, giving you the power to change them.
The goal is to see their value as a person. You must empathize and attempt to see their struggles. You will understand why they distrust or hate you. Communicating at this level of transparency is scary. It makes you both vulnerable. It takes courage, but your vulnerability allows you to change your perspective. It will also help those with a different mindset see things from your perspective.
Step Two – Inclusion
The second step beyond tolerance is inclusion. It is a conscious decision to find value in the other person’s belief system even though their beliefs are different or even in conflict with your own. This second step is hard, especially when there are few redeeming values in the other persons’ belief system. It can trigger the safety issues of both. Here’s a helpful quote to help you find the good in any system of thought.
“The argument goes like this. No one thinks their beliefs are wrong. Yet, most would agree that their beliefs confine their perspective. They only feel safe when someone believes what they do. It’s the trap of belief. This is why people need to ask what you believe. They need to know so they can judge you based on the boundaries of their beliefs and values.
So, to align with them, I say I believe in the good in all religions. I am a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, and Hindu plus many more. Some people are okay with this answer… But others tell me I must one religion. I ask them why? Isn’t it more prudent to believe the best in all, rather than confining yourself to just one point of view?” — Guru Tua
This decision is made on the conscious level to move past your judgments and assumptions. It isn’t an easy step. It’s one thing to understand another person’s values. It’s a breakthrough for you if you can find value in them.
This step is where many people get stuck. It’s one thing to see your bias and prejudice. It’s even harder to tolerate and now accept it in others. It forces us to seek positive change.
It’s hard to remove negative programming. If negative bias and prejudice exist in your own beliefs, you need to convince yourself that these values are inappropriate. If the other person holds discriminatory and biased opinions, point them out but do so in a way that isn’t a blaming statement.
Here’s an example of blaming and non-blaming statements. First, the wrong way to do it. “So, you F—ing believe it’s okay to kill someone if they have an abortion.” Now the non-blaming way to say the same thing, “am I correct in saying you believe you have the right to take the life of another person if they have an abortion?” The non-blaming statement is in the form of a question. It omits name-calling and words like “you.”
It is critical to see the other person’s value apart from their opinions. Seeing past their beliefs can be difficult. An excellent way is to ask them things about themselves that do not relate to sensitive issues. Learn to listen with your full attention to understand their point of view. Don’t formulate a rebuttal; listen to what they are saying. If this seems impossible, then research ways to enhance your listening skills. There is also sensitivity training, which can help you unlock your ability to empathize with people.
Step Three – Acceptance
The third step is moving from tolerance and inclusion to acceptance. Acceptance occurs when you feel empathy for the other person regardless of their beliefs. True acceptance is significant for the absence of negative emotional feelings toward the other person. There is still distance because of your differing views, but you can accept them because of their intrinsic value.
You still go your separate ways and have your different worlds, but now you can feel comfortable with them in your personal space. You value them enough as a person and can openly discuss their point of view.
At this point, don’t automatically think you have overcome the cultural programming that installed the bias and prejudice. Unless you have done some serious inner work with the Enneagram, you need to beware of slipping back into old thinking patterns.
You may not have changed the other person’s beliefs, but you have set a good example, and you are giving them food for thought. They may not accept your perspective, but they accept you as a person of value.
You should feel comfortable in helping and sharing with the other person. Please do it. Don’t allow cultural or social barriers to building walls. Keep planting seeds filled with facts. Facts overcome fear.
Step Four – Convergence
The fourth and final step from tolerance through inclusion and acceptance is convergence. When you “See” another person and value them for who they are and not as a label or as a representation of a belief system, you finally transcend the conflict.
By this point, all artificial boundaries have disappeared, this last step in the analytical approach to oneness. It does not “happen” on its own—oneness results from actions based on decisions to move beyond your own beliefs, judgments, and assumptions.
You notice that each of these steps requires you to make the changes, not the other person. It is a constant struggle in any society that perpetuates social and cultural barriers. Many cultures encourage social inequities, and this the principal reason this process is so complicated. You must have the courage to go against the grain if you want to live in a society free from discrimination and prejudice.
The Second Path ― A Direct Experience
The second approach is a direct experience of the infinite. Again, this approach uses meditation to reach the transcendent state of awareness. Japa Meditation is the generic form of meditation for this journey. Other forms of meditation can get you there, but not as directly or as often as Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM).
An intermediary step would be to learn the process of mindfulness mediation. This simple process will provide a foundation for the more advanced technique of Japa Meditation.
The two paths to oneness have the same goal but use different methods. We recommend traveling both. Achieving oneness is not an aspirational goal. It results from solid practical and realistic work. It takes courage and persistence. Everyone benefits when we undertake this journey.
Thanks for reading this article. We welcome your opinion, so don’t hesitate to comment or email us. We hope it provides some food for thought. You can find more mind-opening topics on our blog.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia