What does it mean to become “The One”? Am I just making another stupid movie reference to confuse you? Absolutely not. Although The Matrix (my all-time favorite movie) refers to the character Neo as someone who is “The One,” I don’t mean to imply that you will become a bullet-dodging, agent-destroying, superman-flying human that has his brain hooked into a giant web of illusion known as The Matrix, in order to free the human race from servitude to intelligent robots. This isn’t too far from the truth however.
Becoming The One is much more than dodging bullets and flying around a digitized Earth. At the same time it is much less. In a way, it is realizing what Morpheus says to Neo when asked about being able to dodge bullets: “when you are ready, you won’t have to.” Are you ready for me to stop speaking in parables? OK, me too. Let’s get down to it. When I say Becoming The One, I am referring to the oneness that we are all a part of. The Fold, the All, the Void, Existence, the Universe, God, Love… all of these refer to a oneness of Being that is so profound, so indescribably beautiful and fulfilling that it is what we all aspire to regardless of religion, race, sex, creed, or moral standing. Even atheists (with a conscience) will admit that they desire to make the most of this existence, to do the best they can, and to treat everyone with love and respect. This post will explore the various understandings of what oneness really means through the eyes of spirituality as well as science, and provide some tools in helping all humans with a hunger for more to reach beyond themselves and start their journey towards Becoming The One.
There are two main stages to Becoming The One: 1) Full recognition and then release of one’s Self. 2) Compassion for all beings and a full understanding of interconnectedness. These two stages are divided into multiple parts that I will be discussing in detail in order to give a comprehensive toolkit for whatever stage you may be at.
Note: I will be referencing many of my past posts for topics I have already discussed. Each will have a link provided so you can get background information before moving forward.
“Temet Nosce”. The Oracle in The Matrix gives Neo this cryptic message before she tells him that he is waiting for another life to Become The One. Knowing one’s Self is easier said then done, especially when most of us live in a society that endlessly feeds us images of who we should be, or even who are because of what our interests may be. The best tip I have for learning who you truly are is to spend as much time alone with yourself as you can (it may help to read my post on Finding Your Meaning). Just sit, mulling over your life, and eventually you will start to be shown an image of someone who is undeniably you in every single way. You will see what you truly love in life, what you desire to change in this world, how you can enact that change in your own life, what your passions are, what goals you wish to see fulfilled, and what kind of person you are to others.
There is more about your being that I cannot describe for you, but as you start to rack up hours with yourself, the picture will become more clear for the individual. If you practice meditation (or if you just want to learn), I suggest setting an intention before your alone time that you will be shown a vision of yourself without the illusion that society has placed upon you. This intention will bring your mind and your heart back to their roots; the essence of your being. Some may call this the Soul, or the Higher Self. When you are in touch with this, you see the clear image of someone who you undoubtedly know is YOU.
Remember, you are not your possessions, you are not your job or career, you are not your relationships, you are not the titles that others bestow upon you, you are YOU. This may be hard for some of you to grasp, and that is why you must take the time only with yourself to truly be shown what it is I am saying. For myself, it took nearly 2 years of sitting alone for 30 minutes a day to come to a place where I felt that I truly knew myself. Even today, I can surprise myself from time to time, but now I can always trace the origin of my actions to the core of my being. You will be able to do the same.
Recognize & Then Release the Ego
For a complete detailed description of recognizing and then releasing your Ego, please see my previous post on the subject. For our purposes here, I will reiterate the important topics and expand where needed. Your Ego can be a great tool when utilized and controlled properly, but for most people, it can rule you and cause you great suffering. The Ego is what tells you that you are better or worse than someone. The Ego drives us to succeed, or drives us mad through self-deprecation. The Ego comes from the mind, and is what named the mind. The Ego is the conscious part of our brain that is self-serving and self-centered. It is the fight-or-flight reaction brought into form. It tries to tell us who we are, what we want, and what we should do, but only based in a reality where the self is the most important being. Society feeds our Ego, pushes us towards individual achievement, forces us to contrast ourselves with others instead of finding commonalities, and makes us feel alone in a world full of beautiful souls. When we start to recognize the Ego as a creation of our mind to help in our physical survival, we can move our understanding past the reality that the Ego paints and start to see the world, and ourselves with an unfiltered eye.
To release the Ego, you must drop your judgments of yourself and others, you must release fear, hate, and anger, you must stop seeing yourself as separate from others, and you must begin to see the world as it is and accept it with all its beauty. To drop your judgments of yourself and others, I suggest telling yourself daily that everyone is perfectly flawed. No one means to harm or offend you, and we are all just doing our best. Every person you meet is a reflection of yourself, so when you judge them, you are really just judging an aspect of yourself that you don’t like. Releasing fear, hate, and anger goes hand in hand with dropping judgments. A judgment is a snap analysis of a person, place, or thing. Fear, hate, and anger, are snap reactions to situations that occur in our daily lives. When we stop reacting, and start accepting situations that happen around or to us, we can release fear of the unknown, hate for what is different, and anger for what goes against our expectations. Instead, practice wonder and awe for the mysteries of the Universe, love and celebration for all that is different from us, and joy and surprise when our expectations are not met. Once we have dropped judgments and released our negative reactions, we will begin to see others as ourselves. You will realize that every person fights their own battles, has their own desires, and has their own ideas about how the world works. When you see this, you will realize that no one knows who is right! We are all just fragments of one giant consciousness trying to find our way back home. Whatever understanding one person has of the Universe is what that person needs to find the next steps along their path. That will help lead you to the acceptance of all that you encounter is this world, and to celebrate the beauty that is inherent in Nature. You will gain an appreciation for all beings and creations that you see, and you will see yourself in all those around you. As I’ve mentioned before, we are all co-creators in this reality, meaning that we all choose what we experience and how we interpret it; therefore no two stories will ever be the same. With this understanding, we have released the Ego, and hence our feeling of separateness in this world.
Compassion for All Beings
Seeing others as yourself isn’t the final step to experiencing oneness with the Universe. Nay, we must go much deeper. I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “Walk a mile in another’s shoes.” We’re going to take that concept a lot further here. A great quote regarding compassion: “Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.” (Source).
This leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but my understanding is that compassion is the ability to fully place one’s self into the place of another and feel exactly what they must be feeling, from their perspective. Sympathy comes from feeling for another who is suffering from your own perspective, while empathy places you in their shoes, after the miles and miles they’ve walked, bled, and been beaten down by the elements. Your understanding for the strife that someone else has experienced becomes so much greater when you practice compassion for other beings. When I say someone, I am including all living beings, for they all have a role to play in this co-created reality we call life.
When you fully experience compassion for another, and then for all beings, you will be able to practice what is known as selflessness, or moving beyond one’s self in actions and motives. Something I will explore in a later post is the practice of metta, or sending love to all beings. That is the great part about compassion; it widens the capacity of your heart, allowing more love in and for you to give more love to others, as well as yourself.
A word about compassion: when you first experience this for others, you will begin to see great suffering around the world. Your heart will ache. You will want to solve all the ailments of the world. Do not fret! This is something everyone goes through, and is part of what we call Ego-death. You are letting go of your separateness from other beings and experiencing their pains as if they were your own. The key to moving past this stage is to remind yourself that although you have compassion for others, your job is not to solve everyone’s problems. Rather, your role now is to be the change you wish to see in the world and to start taking the steps necessary to live the Ideal life that will support the highest good for all beings.
We Are All Connected
No matter how you look at it, all of us are in this struggle together. Our reality is an interconnected web of cause and effect, give and take, night and day, light and dark, yin and yang, life and death. This is called duality. It is inescapable for those bound to the physical realm of existence, which many of us still are. Some people have had out of body experiences (OBE) either through drug use, meditation, or clairvoyance; these people have seen a world that supersedes our own. A world where matter is created by mind. Even scientists are now becoming able to explain this phenomenon.
I’ve talked before about dark matter, which is what 99% of our physical realm is made up of. What’s the rest? Light energy. All of our atoms consist of particles of light energy that exist as a wave when there is no observer. The observer fades away during an OBE, and we can see the Universe as one living, breathing whole. The observer is what changes our waves to particles. The observer is what creates our physical reality. The observer is what perceives time and space. The observer is another name for our individual personality. Each observer is different and has a completely unique experience while in the physical realm, for they are attached to a finite point in time, space, and reality. The Ego is the most ingrained aspect of our being at this point in time. When we release the Ego, we see our true, or Higher self. When we see our Higher self, we see all of those around us as they are. When we see others as they are, we experience compassion for their journey. When we have compassion, we can act according to the highest good for all beings. When we act for the highest good, we bring ourselves closer to Source.
What is Source? Source is the Divine Unity, it is God, the Creator, the Universe as a whole. It is the nonphysical reality that binds together the illusion, or maya as Indians call it. As we become closer to Source, we reach the understanding that we are all connected. This is a feeling that cannot be accurately described, but that scientists are close to explaining for an intellectual understanding. Time and space in the physical realm assume a linear depiction of the Universe. We came from the Big Bang (ie Creation) approximately 13 billion years ago. This time span becomes irrelevant when we consider that on an atomic level we are made from the same exact molecules that formed the first stars those billions of years ago. When we also consider that our minds (or intention) have the ability to not only affect our present reality, but happenings in the past as well as affecting events in the future, we realize that our existence is all happening at once. Our minds interpret this reality in a linear function for simplicity’s sake, and to allow us to experience the beauty of life from an individual perspective.
This individual perspective at first separates us from all that we ever were. Our understanding of our home is lost to us, so that we may rediscover who we are all over again. When we find ourselves, we are on the way to finding the way back home; to Source. The more you meditate, practice compassion for others, and focus on acting for the highest good of all (also known as dharma), the more you will come into contact with Source. Your being will be enlightened by this wondrous experience, as you will feel yourself becoming the entirety of existence all at once. You will move beyond the presence of Creation to the formless form, ie the Void. You will see and you will be everything, because that is what you are! That is what WE are. We are all One. I am The One. You are The One. Together, WE are The One. Let’s go back home together, loved ones. Namaste.