The “Ness” Of Oneness
Today I arrived at my 60th milestone on this earth, my birthday. The day dawned gently. Wrapped in dawn’s pink light she waxed serenely in the ionic energy of the Atlantic sea. The hum of traffic on a nearby busy local highway emulates the haunting curvature of the waves as they rise and fall into the mother ocean. That mother that is the One – Isvara – or God that is firmly seated within the heart. What I seek on this day is not richness, or gift-ness, or happiness, or love-ness, or companion-ness. For I know I am the One, and therefore I am Love, I am Happy, I am Rich, I am the Gift, I am the Companion. I am not pushed by the “ness” of life – that suffix which suggests a mere quality, or the three hundred trillion characteristics of whom we are. I am able to understand my mind, thoughts, and emotions as being part of the “ness” of living. We must know that when we allow ourselves to get attached to the “ness-ness” of living, we become entangled in what I call the “ness-net” and end up with a “ness-mess”.
What is a “ness-ness”, “ness-net” and “ness-mess”? In my own lexicon, “ness-ness” is that which belongs to the parcel of karma, the ongoing continuum that is the character of personal existence; the seemingly endless dirge of cause and effect that has been revolutionizing, spinning memories from the vast past into the complex weave we grandly call life. Altogether, we sum this up as the “ness-ness” of life. There is nothing perverse about “ness-ness”, it is an organic reality of our manifested state. However, when we allow ourselves to get caught in what I call the “ness-net” of life, we get automatically disconnected from the cosmic source of awareness; we become attached to the “ness-ness” of it all, stuck in the karmic imprints and their habituations which are tightly fastened to the operation of mind. At this juncture, we quickly morph into the “ness-mess” and get stuck. We can get stuck there for a long, long time.
Wisdom is about avoiding the “ness-net” and not investing in the “ness-mess” of life.
Unless we so do, love perishes. What pushes us away from awareness into the ness-net? Simply put, the use of mind. We must know the mind and see that “I am not the mind”, nor are we the “ness” of thoughts, emotions or activities. Albeit, the mind is a ingenious human organism that flawlessly gathers the memory effects of the past and weaves them into karma- the karma of attachment and loss, expectation and disappointment, joy and sadness, good and evil. The mind serves a phenomenal purpose and without it we cannot express or expend karma. In my own play of karma, I recognize I am the One without the “ness”; The One that is Awareness. I see that I am not at One-ness with you and all things, but that I am One with all.
Over a quarter century, I have attended countless conferences and gatherings that address spirituality, faith, health, wellness, and prosperity- in essence, the subject and object of Being-ness. From my viewpoint, each presenter tries to do the right thing; they “accommodate” each other and show “tolerance” for precepts and ideas they may disagree with. However, amid these efforts for peace and equanimity, there exists the strains of stretched boundaries, palpable tension, frowned hearts, beleaguered minds, and demure arguments-postures which reveal the struggle between cultural or society ideology and our humanity. With good intention, and great effort we try to accomplish “oneness”. We believe that in striving for “oneness” and “sameness” we can attain and secure peace. But this is not so. Our worldview of “sameness” and our concept of “oneness” holds a great falseness which creates a greater struggle. Harmony is accomplished only when we are prepared to fully embrace each other, regardless of and because of our differences. This understanding comes only from the knowledge, “We are One, (and not Oneness); We are blessed (not maligned) by diversity. And we will never be “sameness”. We are One and, at the same time, individualized! In the understanding of “I am the One”; “You are the One” there is effortless peace, a flowing sentiency. We are the One divinized only by Love- the infinite space wherein it does not matter what our tenets and beliefs are. We are not separate from each other, nor are we a minuscule part of the One, or a speck of the Whole. The Whole is not a goal. We are the Whole, I am the Whole, you are the Whole, and as we recognize this sublime reality, our perception of “I-ness” and ‘You-ness” dissolves. Physical bodies are separate; minds are individualized, but our heart and soul evolve only in Love, and exist only in the One. The shortest distance in the world is between the Self and Heart, and yet it is the longest journey in the universe. According to the Rishis, it takes each one of us approximately eighty four million births to attain moksha, self realization, (the knowledge that “I am One with Full Consciousness”.)
As the cool wind swirls in the empty space that is my mind, I am aware of a young boy entering the local toy store with uncertain rapidity, his face lit with glee. He does not live in the “ness-net” of life. He knows he is happy. He does not need to believe he is happy. There was nothing “ness-mess” about his invocation to glee. At the same time, I see an elderly couple leaving the store with slow precision, gift bags in hand, the years of living etched onto their forehead, now almost untethered from the ness-net of mind, thoughts, emotions and activities. Their eyes spoke, “done with most of it!” They do not need to believe in awareness. They know awareness. They have lived it. They do not need beliefs. They are awareness. They have lived love.