Accountability vs Oneness

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RCharles
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Accountability vs Oneness

Post by RCharles » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:54 pm

I have occasional experiences of oneness, so I know the truth of this teaching--that all is one in God, or for those who don't like to call it God, all is One. However, there are some inconsistencies between this experience and accountability to moral principles.

Every spiritual system from Christianity to Zen includes some kind of moral code to which individuals are held to account by a higher power, greater good, God, whatever you want to call it. In fact, every society assumes individual accountability for our acts. If we break the law, we receive some form of punishment. If individual accountablity were not a fact, no social order would be possible.

Both experiences--Oneness and individual accountability--are "true" and yet they are contradictory. In my own world view, I can accept this conundrum. I think and experience with the limitations of an individual. I cannot think with the full mind of God--the Consciousness that guides the universe. Therefore, I can accept that the universe runs on principles my individual mind doesn't understand and cannot completely reconcile. (That in itself is a conundrum--if all is oneness, why do I experience the limitiations of physical form and an individual mind instead of being able to be present everywhere and think with the mind of God?)

I am curious how others reconcile these opposites. Perhaps an answer for some is that when we are present Now, we don't care--we are just One. But at some level we have to care because we all still depend on individual accountability for social and spiritual order. So, how do YOU reconcile these opposites?
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Electrophant
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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by Electrophant » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:43 pm

There is no 'you' and 'not you.' How is there accountability if there is no "one" to hold accountable? "Bad" deeds can only be committed by the ego, since consciousness manifests deep love, joy and peace. If someone commits a "bad" deed, they are unconscious. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Social order is easy. There are plenty of beings out there who live in complex societies without accountability. They are ants, dolphins, apes, dogs, rain forests, etc...

Religions/codes/mores/morals/laws/etc.. are just an identification with a thought/belief...an identification which will pass either when the ego is observed or the mind identifying with the belief is deceased.

I don't reconcile these paradoxes. The mind cannot hold two opposing truths. The good news is that You don't NEED to reconcile anything. You cannot understand, reconcile, or think your way to oneness. Let go of your mind's need to "get it." Let go of your mind. It's not you. Awareness is the absence of thought. Direct all your energy to what is happening now, inside your body and in the world around you.

A pride of lions doesn't devote mental energy to understanding how and why the universe works. ;) They just ARE what they ARE. Just as you ARE.

Also,
RCharles wrote:(That in itself is a conundrum--if all is oneness, why do I experience the limitiations of physical form and an individual mind instead of being able to be present everywhere and think with the mind of God?)
If you are identified with this physical form, you are indeed limited. I can honestly say that I have experiences of oneness where there is no separation or limitation of mind.

i'm not sure what you mean by thinking with the mind of God, as there is no thinking going on when fully present.

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RCharles
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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by RCharles » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:13 pm

Hi Electrophant,

Your answer comes from the classical Oneness viewpoint. I understand what it is to be perfectly present, without thought. I know that experience of oneness. But that experience does not negate the fact that I am also a separate body-mind and I must know and think about the law in order to avoid breaking it and suffering the consequences.

If you are not limited to your individual physical and mental capacity because you are living an experience of Oneness, if you are God, in other words, tell me right now what the weather is like on Pluto at 25 degrees latitude, 28 degrees longitude. Tell me what the Roman emperor Diocletian ate for breakfast on March 23, 300 AD. You can't, because you are not God and are not able to be present always and everywhere, your experience of oneness nothwithstanding.

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm just pointing out that there may be logical inconsistencies between an experience of oneness and the interpretation we place on that experience. If we experience oneness and we interpret that to mean, there is no I, or I am god, or I am the universe, then we have to examine the implications of that statement to see if it is true. If there is no I, how can there be individual responsibility to obey laws? If I am God, why don't I know what the weather is doing on Pluto? If I am the universe, why don't I know what exists in the universe's farthest reaches?

Even an experience of oneness may be just a thought, just an experience. It is only true to say, this is how I *feel* when I have the experience of oneness--I feel so close to God or the universe that I cannot perceive any difference, I cannot perceive any duality. I don't experience the presence of an I. Those are much different statements than saying I *am* god or I *am* the universe, or I do not exist. Saying that there is no individual you or me can be proven false by logic and observation. On the other hand, saying that I *feel* as though there is no you or me, may certainly be true.

Again, I"m not trying to argue but simply present an alternative view of the oneness experience that fits more logically with physical reality. Feeling as though you are one with all things is a much different proposition than actually being all things.

RC
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai

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mistral
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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by mistral » Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:10 pm

I know this is not what you were making this thread about, however I have seen this mistaken idea so many times that I am often going to speak up about it; the "I Am God" conclusion that comes along when we say "God is All in all" is an erroneous idea--- No--I am not God--- and neither is any of us---I don't care how enlightened you might be, or how "one with It' you are---"I" am Not God, "You" are not God. Jesus said "I and My Father are One, but My Father is Greater than I" That says it all very clearly, and from the mouth of one among the very wisest and most enlightened. Jesus Never claimed to be God, and no one else should either---it is a mistake to do so. I do not know about The Buddha but I know that Lao Tse never claimed to be God.

Being one with The Holy Spirit, One with Divine Mind, knowing there is only One Awareness and It is Unpossessed Awareness and Its Beingness is God's and God's alone, still this does not make 'me' God.

God's Self-Awareness-Am-I, is not the same as I am God, "I Am God" is an erroneous statement that will certainly get you to beating your head against the brick walls---which is sort of back to your thread, If you think you are God, you are going to be sorely confused and befuddled all the time.

Flowing with God Consciousness, being Here and Now All That Is, is an entirely different thing than trying to be "God" or even understand God, We cannot, It is The Sweet Mystery of All That is and all I Am.

One more thing comes to mind here; belief in the 'me sense' as an objective entity certainly compels people to do unethical and immoral things in the process of getting 'what I want' to make 'me' feel good, better, superiour, stronger, whatever---in order to perpetuate the mistaken identity as something real and separate and apart from Love, Life, Truth, Grace, we often do rotten things.

Free from the belief in separation we find our selves always doing 'rightly' as motive is no longer there. The world is seen in a New Light and Its a different world in so many ways and there is no need to need anything.

Galatians 6:6-8 (New International Version)

"Anyone who receives instruction in the word (Truth, LIght, Wisdom, Holy Grace) must share all good things with his instructor (That which brings the Light=Godhead, Ineffable, Uncreated creator).

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (chasing needs and wants and gettings in the belief that the world is 'out there' apart from The Self, will bring you nothing of the 'Real Everlasting and Eternal')

The one who sows to please his sinful (belief in separate-me-sense) nature, from that nature will reap destruction;

the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."

That's all, Much Love, Mistral

Electrophant
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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by Electrophant » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:31 am

No fair! Those are trick questions! On Pluto, there is no atmosphere right now at that location because it is frozen and accumulated on the surface until sunlight hits it, so the weather is non-existent and, on 2/23/300, he neglected to eat breakfast because he was running late to senate. ;)

RCharles, that all makes sense logically. i understand what you mean. I don't want to argue or perceive you as being argumentative.

However, it seems to me that you place a lot of importance on logic, proof, and facts.

As a former engineer, trust me, I know how hard it can be to let go of these things. I still get into those modes where the mind just questions everything. The thing is that, to truly be observant without ego, we have to step away from the mind. I know you have done this and get it. But also consider, we cannot objectively observe a system from within that system.

What I mean to say is that "observing" the ego means you cannot use any of its properties - logic/opinion/time/analysis/being right/etc... If you are using those things to analyze Oneness which doesn't play by those 'rules,' you will be trapped in a never-ending search.

So what if oneness is a thought? So what if being isn't God? Let us assume that oneness is a brain trick and God isn't you. There, the logical inconsistency is ended. What now? Are you happy with that conclusion? Are you going to ask more questions? What answer will end your search? What point are you trying to prove? What are you trying to understand? Does it give you an identity?

Would you rather be trapped in the insanity of that endless search or just sit back and enjoy what is?

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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by paridiso » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:27 am

RCharles wrote:Both experiences--Oneness and individual accountability--are "true" and yet they are contradictory. In my own world view, I can accept this conundrum. I think and experience with the limitations of an individual. I cannot think with the full mind of God--the Consciousness that guides the universe. Therefore, I can accept that the universe runs on principles my individual mind doesn't understand and cannot completely reconcile. (That in itself is a conundrum--if all is oneness, why do I experience the limitiations of physical form and an individual mind instead of being able to be present everywhere and think with the mind of God?)
Memory and thought are only electromagnetic and chemical signals created by the brain. God/Consciousness/Being is, I'm assuming, nonphysical. This same consciousness is shared by all living creatures and non-living objects. The reason why you, or perhaps I should say your mind, can not know what someone else is thinking is because that would imply the effective "teleportation" of physical matter.

Conciousness looks at the world through your mind and others' minds, but the brain creates limitations which prevent individuals from seeing the big picture.

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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by RCharles » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:39 am

Mistral...exactly! You get it. You also added a nice touch with your comment about oneness leading to greater moral behavior. That is my experience. It's easier for me to behave ethically when I perceive a connection between myself and God/others. But, I am still accountable for my actions as an individual, however you want to view that accountability, as karma, God's judgment, or simply the reactions of the universe to my actions.

Electrophant, I love your answer about Diocletian being late to the Senate. Gave me a good laugh. I also agree that oneness is a good place for the mind to dwell. My point is simply that we need to be careful in saying "there is no I," or "I am god," both statements that I see regularly on this forum. These statements are true when they mean I am not my ego, or I have a sense of oneness with God, a sense that my small mind is connected in some way with Big Mind. But these statements are not literally true. They are, in fact, false--I do exist, and I am not God.

I point this out only because I suspect many here believe those statements are literally true, possibly because they are not thinking through the full implications. Thought does have its uses and purposes, and we ought to use it to be sure the philosophical assumptions upon which we base our lives and our actions are true.

After saying all that, I'm actually more in agreement with you than you may realize. Like you, I would rather dwell in oneness than spend my time discussing dualism. However, it's important to step back occasionally and use the power of analysis and reason to make sure my understanding of the oneness experience is accurate when compared with reality.

Thanks so much for both of your contributions to the dialog. I realize this viewpoint challenges many assumptions I see regularly expressed here, but I think it's a discussion worth having. I look forward to more comments on this topic.

RC
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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by karmarider » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:08 am

RCharles wrote:...Both experiences--Oneness and individual accountability--are "true" and yet they are contradictory...I think and experience with the limitations of an individual. I cannot think with the full mind of God--the Consciousness that guides the universe. Therefore, I can accept that the universe runs on principles my individual mind doesn't understand and cannot completely reconcile. (That in itself is a conundrum--if all is oneness, why do I experience the limitiations of physical form and an individual mind instead of being able to be present everywhere and think with the mind of God?)

I am curious how others reconcile these opposites.... So, how do YOU reconcile these opposites?
It feels that you are making an important point, so I've read your post many times over, and strangely, nothing comes up. Reconcile what opposites? What am I missing? There is awareness. The experience of the individual is contained in and experienced in awareness. These are no opposites.

I am missing the set up of your question. To ask this question, the mind has to fixate on certain assumptions. Assumptions about God, Consciousness, Oneness, individual...If you don't make these assumptions, the question falls apart.

There is awareness and all experience is always in the Now and I exist; is there anything he mind can actually know?
Last edited by karmarider on Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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RCharles
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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by RCharles » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:10 am

Paradiso, thanks for pointing out the difference between thought (physical/chemical) and spirit (non-physical). It makes sense. Can you elaborate? What do you think that means? Are you saying that I may really be God in the realm of spirit but am unable to translate that into the physical realm of thought? I don't want to assume or put words in your mouth, so I'm hoping you have time to share more.

Thanks!

RC
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai

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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by paridiso » Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:00 am

A human being is a part of the whole called by us "the universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical illusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
-Albert Einstein

If someone knows that they are one with everyone else they will be incapable of inflicting harm on someone else. Why would consciousness hurt itself? That is why so many people describe awakening as an state of effortlessness. Once they realize this oneness there is no need to try to be good, it is in your nature.

I'm going to be out of town this week, but I'll try to elaborate more on this when I get back.

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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by RCharles » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:29 am

Hi Karmarider,

I wrote you a long answer and lost it when I submitted the post. I'll try again. Hope I can be briefer this time.

Most religions have a concept of oneness, which you called awareness. Speaking from that point of view, some express this experience by saying "there is no I." The same religions also have concepts of individual responsibility for actions (called karma, judgment, or action-reaction). This implies that there is indeed an I.

How do we reconcile these opposing truths? Is there an I or isn't there?

My opinion: The logical mind perceives that we exist individually with individual responsibility. The oneness or awareness mind perceives no individual I--that's the very definition of the oneness experience. Both are equally valid, though different, ways of looking at the world, and both should be included in a balanced world view.

Does this make sense?

RC
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai

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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by lucy » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:04 am

Hi RC

No one can be god because god is only a concept conjured up by the mind. Do you see what is going on here? The thought of god comes up, and the mind says I cannot be god because by defintion god would know the tempeture on pluto and what everyone else is thinking. That is only a mind made definition and what you are cannot be reduced to a concept or a definition. You need to put more trust in the "feeling of Being, for that is where God lives and you find that place is not separte from You.

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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by randomguy » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:16 pm

Edited: Nothing said is determined to be better than what was originally written here...
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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by mistral » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:40 pm

Perhaps God has a gazillion points of view---maybe even infinite points of view and --- you are one of them.

Perhaps this Awareness is like the Prism through which the Purest of Light, the Unseen Light, the Light beyond tanigble light beams through. And when That Pure Light beams through the Prism of Its own Awareness This Pure Light creates an infinite boundless unlimited rainbow of colors all sparkling in radiant glistening reflections of Its own marvelous Crystal Clear, Absolutly Pure Flawless Light-Self--- through the prism of Awareness comes Its rays--- spectrums of the One Pure Light made visible---That LIght in Its own reflections of colors sees Itself in all Its wonder and beauty----and you are a glisten point of Its Self, a sprakling glimmer of Its wonder and Beauty.


Mistral

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Re: Accountability vs Oneness

Post by karmarider » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:25 pm

RC, thanks for taking the trouble to clarify.
RCharles wrote:Most religions have a concept of oneness, which you called awareness. Speaking from that point of view, some express this experience by saying "there is no I."
There is a lot said about "no-I." My experience of it is much simpler. In awareness, we see that the conceptual-I that we are sure we are is a delusion. Without a conceptual-I, there are no layers between reality and perception. The mind-body, that is the individual, may be an illusion, but it is a consistent illusion in the manifested world. We contend with it.
RCharles wrote: The same religions also have concepts of individual responsibility for actions (called karma, judgment, or action-reaction). This implies that there is indeed an I.
It implies a conceptual-I. The conceptual-I (ego, beliefs) is a phantom. There is no thinker. Thinking creates a thinker. There is just thinking. The thinker thinks concepts like karma, judgment, action-reaction and so on.
RCharles wrote:How do we reconcile these opposing truths? Is there an I or isn't there?
I don't see the opposition. Awareness is not concerned with any relative moral code, only the thinker is. Awareness is Buddha and Christ; the thinker is Buddhist and Christian and therefore thinks it needs to create, promote and adapt moral precepts. Awareness is being, joyful and compassionate. When the ego is seen through, there is no need to lie or steal or harm, and no need for a conceptual moral code.

We do live in a society, and in the society there are certain convention and agreements. It's smoother when we keep our agreements, or when we have to break our agreements, we expand our purpose to do so.
RCharles wrote:My opinion: The logical mind perceives that we exist individually with individual responsibility. The oneness or awareness mind perceives no individual I--that's the very definition of the oneness experience. Both are equally valid, though different, ways of looking at the world, and both should be included in a balanced world view.
Agree that the mind thinks itself to be an individual, and agree that awareness sees through the mind. The mind-view is perfectly valid; however, our deep identification with the mind narrows down our reality to a limited, sad, fearful existence which needs external authorities such as moral precepts and concepts such as God and goodness and evil.

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