What does oneness mean to you?

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums
Ervin
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:43 am

What does oneness mean to you?

Post by Ervin » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:46 pm

I do believe that everything is connected and that we all come from the same source. However, I am not sure if we are all one, anyway, what does oneness mean to you?

Thanks

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6469
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:21 pm

I don't know if oneness can be known from a general human perspective. Living a human experience is separation by design. The closest one might come to oneness would be in moments where our human context is transcended. Many NDE's, advanced OBE'rs, and skilled meditator's have shared their experience in oneness, but to anyone without conscious experience, it comes across as conceptual. What does an orange taste like to one who has only heard a description? Still, such accounts are immensely valuable as pointers toward our true essence of life and being, and are strong incentive to open ourselves to such fundamental nature.

User avatar
rachMiel
Posts: 2483
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by rachMiel » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:25 pm

Great question, Ervin.

To me, oneness is an attitude. A willingness to look at what connects rather than what divides, the whole rather than the parts. This attitude can come from different sources. Some might have a direct experience of oneness, others might have an intellectual Aha! of oneness from something they read or heard or thought, others might just try oneness on for size to see if it takes, and so on.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

runstrails
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2150
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:33 am

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by runstrails » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:17 pm

Good question and nice discussion so far!

For me oneness is the understanding that there are no two things here. That is, by definition, nothing that exists can be separate from existence (or awareness). So its not that you and I are ‘one’—rather that neither of us is separate from the awareness which allows our existence. I actually prefer to think of it as ‘not two’ or ‘no second thing’ rather than ‘oneness’.

A good analogy would be gold which is shaped into ornaments. The ornaments are all different--but they are all 'one' in the sense that they are all made of gold (which is their true nature).

Or the wave analogy: The waves in the ocean are indeed different (in the sense they each have their own trajectories), but they cannot be different from the water of which they are made. It's not like there is a 'wave' and there is water which is separate from the wave. There is 'no second thing' (or 'advaita').

User avatar
eputkonen
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:53 pm
Location: Mound, MN
Contact:

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by eputkonen » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:28 pm

Ervin wrote:I do believe that everything is connected and that we all come from the same source. However, I am not sure if we are all one, anyway, what does oneness mean to you?

Thanks
I spoke about this very thing in a recent blog post I wrote - http://www.engagednonduality.com/what-d ... ally-mean/

My understanding is that you and I are literally not two. Not two is the direct meaning of nonduality.

I am not denying that there are two patterns in the one manifesting as two body/minds. However, it is only within the mind that we separate into two and this illusion is maintained through ignorance. Because there are discernible patterns within nonduality does not mean that there is separation. Like a magnet, there is a north pole and a south pole…this can be discerned…however there is never a north pole without a south pole. You can’t really divide or separate them. The one implies the other…they go together.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged

User avatar
jukai
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:23 am

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by jukai » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:10 am

I think I would define oneness in terms of what it is not, i.e. its opposite. The opposite of oneness is being torn, conflicted, or ambivalent.

When one is unconscious, one is often ambivalent - torn between two opposing states or courses of action:
- Do I want to live or do I want to die ?
- Am I an idealist or am I a realist ?
- Do I hate myself or love myself ? Do I hate my family or do I love my family ?
- Am I weak or am I strong ?
- Am I a good (doctor/engineer/teacher/...) or a bad one ?
- Should I invest in xyz stock or is it too risky ?

Such polarities can really tear at a person's mind and the resulting emotions can wreak havoc on the body.

But, when one is conscious, all these polarities suddenly disappear, and there is a certain state of unity that has no opposite. There is no ambivalence, no conflict. Just peace. This is what I would call oneness.

So, I guess oneness to me is an inner state that is not torn, conflicted, or ambivalent.
Last edited by jukai on Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Onceler
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by Onceler » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:24 pm

I like a lot of these answers, they are very good. But actually oneness doesn’t mean anything to me personally. I’ve never experienced it and agree with WW that we are meant to have a seperate experience on this earth.
Be present, be pleasant.

User avatar
jukai
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:23 am

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by jukai » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:59 pm

Onceler wrote:I’ve never experienced it
I don't think any of us has, at least not in the fantastical way one imagines. But, I'm sure we have all (including you) experienced fleeting glimpses of it, no ? In the midst of the daily chaos, surely you've retreated into it, no ?

rodriguez_88
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:12 am
Location: Los Angeles, California
Contact:

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by rodriguez_88 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:44 am

Being one without a second.

User avatar
Onceler
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by Onceler » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:53 pm

jukai wrote:
Onceler wrote:I’ve never experienced it
I don't think any of us has, at least not in the fantastical way one imagines. But, I'm sure we have all (including you) experienced fleeting glimpses of it, no ? In the midst of the daily chaos, surely you've retreated into it, no ?
When I was pretending to be spiritual I probably convinced myself that I did (I’m not saying that others don’t experience oneness......I just never did,despite much effort) I can certainly see patterns of oneness and how we are connected, but it’s not a felt sense. I believe it’s simply a biological fact in the same way that trees are connected by a mycillium system, atoms are responsive to each other at the sub atomic level, we feel each other’s emotional states to a certain extent, etc. Oddly, the internet may be as close to oneness and a conscious version of Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’ as we can get. It connects people all around the world, us right now, and is, to me, more amazing in its connectivity than any abstract spiritual ideal.

I think it’s interesting you use the word ‘retreat’ and not ‘expand’.....implying a sense of oneness is a response to threat?
Be present, be pleasant.

User avatar
jukai
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:23 am

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by jukai » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:38 pm

Onceler wrote:
jukai wrote:
Onceler wrote:I’ve never experienced it
I don't think any of us has, at least not in the fantastical way one imagines. But, I'm sure we have all (including you) experienced fleeting glimpses of it, no ? In the midst of the daily chaos, surely you've retreated into it, no ?
When I was pretending to be spiritual I probably convinced myself that I did (I’m not saying that others don’t experience oneness......I just never did,despite much effort) I can certainly see patterns of oneness and how we are connected, but it’s not a felt sense. I believe it’s simply a biological fact in the same way that trees are connected by a mycillium system, atoms are responsive to each other at the sub atomic level, we feel each other’s emotional states to a certain extent, etc. Oddly, the internet may be as close to oneness and a conscious version of Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’ as we can get. It connects people all around the world, us right now, and is, to me, more amazing in its connectivity than any abstract spiritual ideal.

I think it’s interesting you use the word ‘retreat’ and not ‘expand’.....implying a sense of oneness is a response to threat?
I think there is some confusion here, because I associated oneness with an inner state - feeling "whole" (akin to presence, opposite of feeling conflicted), while the rest of you on this thread associated it with its usual meaning - connectedness to others. So, we were talking apples and oranges.

So, for this discussion, I'm going to now assume oneness means connectedness, i.e. I'm going to use your definition, not mine.

Yes, I don't think I've ever experienced oneness, and yes, I agree that it seems like nothing more than a fancy ideal. We are born in this human form, and everything about the human form (or any form, for that matter) screams separateness. And, it is not really a harmful notion, like Eckhart and a lot of spirituality makes it out to be. Separateness is entirely harmless when ones identity is recognized as not being tied entirely to form. There is nothing wrong with having "others" when others are not seen as just enemies or a means to an end. There is nothing bad about it. We don't need to feel oneness to be at peace and in harmony with others, in my opinion.

Going back to my definition, it is absolutely possible to feel whole, and I've felt more than just fleeting glimpses of it, as I'm sure all of us have. So, when I used the word "retreat", I meant that that feeling/state is like a sanctuary that we can find refuge in, when the madness of the world becomes too much.

User avatar
Onceler
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by Onceler » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:59 pm

Cool. I see what you’re saying. Obviously I don’t know what oneness means, I should have said that rather than saying I haven’t experienced it. I do feel whole sometimes, actually quite often.
Be present, be pleasant.

User avatar
Rob X
Posts: 323
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:37 pm

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by Rob X » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:31 pm

Onceler wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:59 pm
Cool. I see what you’re saying. Obviously I don’t know what oneness means, I should have said that rather than saying I haven’t experienced it. I do feel whole sometimes, actually quite often.
We think of ourselves as a noun in a world of nouns and thus have sense of separation and fragmentation. But if you can get a sense of the verb that Life is... Life simply happening - as it is then this sense of contraction doesn't apply. Just close your eyes and as thought slows down you might get a sense of the happening of the moment. Experience the momentum of what’s going on… in and around… and see/sense that it clearly does not stop where the body apparently ends. There is nothing that is on the outside of, or other than, this fluidity of the moment. (I’m not giving you instructions - I know that you’ve probably done loads of this sort of stuff over the years. It’s just a suggestion for anyone who is curious.)

When this sensibility arises there is the same differentiation of forms as before - nothing has changed on (let’s say) the horizontal axis. But at the same time (on the vertical axis) there can be the felt-sense that all is the articulation or be-ing of the same ‘event’ - the one Life behind things. This is what I refer to as oneness (or no-separation.) In a sense it’s very ordinary. Nothing really changes, the universe doesn’t congeal into an undifferentiated blob and awareness certainly doesn’t need to be in a rarefied state devoid of everyday forms and so on.

I think I remember you mentioning once (probably a couple of years ago) that you were out walking in the woods (maybe) when you got the overwhelming sense that everything was flow. To me this sounds like a version of what I’m talking about here - these sort of shifts are often reported where people seem to drop in and out of (the sense of) it randomly or perhaps at times when the mind isn’t so fixated on objects. Often it occurs in periods of danger or alertness. Or in the presence of something overwhelming where the ego-sense temporarily diminishes.

User avatar
Onceler
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by Onceler » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:55 am

Thanks, great description. Funny thing is, I don’t really desire a sense of oneness or other perceptional awareness shifts like I used to, my ordinary awareness is quite satisfactory the way it is. I’m not suffering on a daily basis, that’s good enough for me!
Be present, be pleasant.

User avatar
Rob X
Posts: 323
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:37 pm

Re: What does oneness mean to you?

Post by Rob X » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:30 pm

Onceler wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:55 am
Thanks, great description. Funny thing is, I don’t really desire a sense of oneness or other perceptional awareness shifts like I used to, my ordinary awareness is quite satisfactory the way it is. I’m not suffering on a daily basis, that’s good enough for me!
Yes, I hear what you are saying. It’s not about chasing heightened states of awareness - like anything else, they are temporary. I would say that these shifts and openings along the way help inform us of - and attune us to - a deeper, more truthful reality (perhaps not always explicitly so) which is overlooked in our deeply conditioned state.

If seeking has ended (or become irrelevant) for you then a significant shift has occurred at some level (perhaps it works on a more subconscious level with the John Sherman ‘method’.) But as you say, ordinary life goes on as before.

Post Reply