Most people would like to see our world filled with friendship, love, and compassion. This is the world we’d all love to live in. But this utopia of caring and sharing always seems just out of reach. Why is it so hard for our modern culture to find room for these virtues? Achieving oneness is essential for the world to move beyond its current state of conflict. Let’s examine how we can get there. We can do this!
The Two Paths To Oneness
Oneness is a term that describes the unity of both inward and outward states. The inward state or experience is peaceful silence. It is the absence of internal chatter. This is an experience of our transcendent nature. The outward expression of this is what we feel concerning other living things. The peace of the transcendent naturally connects us to other people and living things. It is a universal perspective that connects us to all living things.
There are two distinct paths to find oneness. First, there is a state of meditation where one reaches the transcendent. To reach this state, we recommend the use of Japa Meditation, or the retail version, Transcendental Meditation (TM). Second, the analytical approach through the conscious mind.
The direct experience of the transcendent helps to make us more grounded and connected. The analytical approach helps us to confront any negative programming. This is what contains things like unhealthy bias and prejudice.
We highly recommend the use of both approaches. That is because you can reach the transcendent through meditation which bypasses the analytical mind. You can still carry a great deal of negative bias and prejudice and still reach the transcendent. However, your experience will be tainted by your prejudices. The analytical approach will help you see the programming that needs to be fixed.
The First Path ― The Analytical Approach
This is the first of two paths to oneness. This approach takes willpower, courage, and persistence. It requires confronting your prejudices and fears. Some people use both approaches. If you don’t meditate regularly where you reach pure consciousness, then this analytical path is for you. Walking through this analytical approach is also an excellent group exercise. It will identify the roadblocks that are holding you back in your self-development.
There are four levels or degrees in this analytical framework. It is important to realize that there is resistance at each level. This process surprises some people. It shows them where they hold bias and prejudice. So it will bring up some powerful emotions. Because of this, we recommend using emotional checks to minimize your discomfort and speed your progress. Here’s a brief outline below, but you find a link to the detailed process at the end.
Using emotional checks will make your research more accurate. It will save you time in the long term. And it will reduce the stress of investigating challenging ideas. These short breaks are the researcher’s quality check. They help to keep you on track.
Facing ideas that conflict with closely held beliefs is serious inner work. It often brings up powerful feelings that trigger our “fight, flight or freeze” reaction. When our primitive instincts are engaging, 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 brings up the “fight, flight or freeze” reaction of the mind. It’s the fear we might be wrong. However, this is where the opportunity for growth begins. To ease the emotional aspect of this type of exercise, we recommend using emotional checks. This is a process to help you stay as unbiased as possible. It’s simple and practical. You will learn a lot about yourself if you go through the analytical approach.
Your curiosity is what brought you to the truth-seekers paths to oneness. Going through the process will reveal where you have room for growth.
Step One – Coexistence
To coexist with someone from a different belief system, you must tolerate, acknowledge, and respect their spiritual beliefs … even if they are different or conflict with yours. Acceptance of their value as a person is the key. You must look beyond their bias and prejudice to help them. We recommend a somewhat unconventional approach to this type of alignment. Although unconventional, it does work well. Be aware that this first step often takes a significant investment of time and effort.
Learning to coexist is the first step in the growth toward oneness. It’s a huge and important step. It makes us face the boundaries of our judgments. Remember, the goal is achieving 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.
You attempt to see their value. You attempt to see their struggles. And perhaps why they distrust or hate you. Communicating with this level of transparency is scary. It makes you vulnerable. This takes courage. But your vulnerability allows you to change.
Step Two – Inclusion
The second step beyond tolerance is inclusion. This is the 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 is a decision 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. But it is harder to remove this negative programming. You need to convince yourself that these values are inappropriate.
You need to work at seeing the value in others are not like you, or don’t believe the same things. So, you must ask them about themselves. You must learn to listen and empathize. If this seems impossible, then research ways to enhance your listening skills. There is also sensitivity training that can help you unlock your ability to empathize with people.
Step Three – Acceptance
The third step is moving through tolerance and inclusion to acceptance. Acceptance occurs when you feel empathy for the other person regardless of their beliefs. There is an absence of negative connotations, but yet there is still distance because of your different home paradigm beliefs. You still go your separate ways and have your own “cliques.” But, now you can feel comfortable with them in your personal space. You enjoy their different point of view.
At this point don’t 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.
At this point, you will feel comfortable in helping and sharing. Do it. Don’t allow cultural or social barriers to building walls.
Step Four – Convergence
The fourth and final step from tolerance through inclusion and acceptance is convergence. When you “See” another person, and value them greatly for who they are and not as a label or as a representation of a belief system. All boundaries have disappeared. This last step in the analytical approach to oneness. It does not “happen” on its own. Oneness is the result of 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. This is a struggle in any society that perpetuates social and cultural barriers. Many cultures encourage social inequities and this the principal reason this process is so difficult. You’ll need to have the courage to go against the grain of the culture 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 is the use of a method of meditation that takes you directly to an experience of the transcendent. 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 for basic mindfulness mediation. This will provide a foundation for the more advanced technique of Japa Meditation.
We recommend traveling both Truth-seeker’s paths to finding oneness. 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.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia