We operate from two identities simultaneously during our life, but one of those identities is greater, and is the one that we should strive to know, and be One with.
The one we are most familiar with is our ego identity, the individual separate self we usually think we are, associated with our finite body-mind and our experiences in the world throughout life. This is dualistic in nature, perceiving all things in a subject/object split. Everything is differentiated, segmented, separated, distinct, and independent from everything else. We think we are someone “here,” and everything else is “out there.” Everything is partitioned, divided, and distinguished from everything else, including our “self.”
But there is another identity which goes much deeper than this, beyond the constructed ego-self story in our minds, even beyond our mind and body, although it includes these. It is our identity as an expression or manifestation of the energy of the cosmos itself, an emanation of ultimate reality, of the One, from the singularity, or “God” if you like, the unmanifest, the formless, the unconditional, the Spirit, the origin or Source of all things that are. Our finite body-mind and ego did not spring from nothing, but rather came from out of this deeper identity, and are still embedded within it. This is nondualistic in nature, including all things as One, in eternal union, or pure Love.
I think this is what Jesus was referring to as the “Father” that was in him, and he was in the “Father,” and if you saw him, you saw the “Father” (John 14:9, 11). I suggest that the way that we become “one” with Jesus and the Father (John 17:11, 20-23, 26) is by realizing what Jesus realized. We are all manifestations of this “Father,” this “Dharmakaya,” this Absolute, emanations of the One unmanifest formless Spirit of the cosmos, of the initial gravitational singularity from which all the energy and light of the Big Bang has emerged. We are the incarnations of This, or as they say in the East, “you are That” (Tat Tvam Asi). All things are incarnations of this One nondual Being, all beings, of this One Great Whole from which all creation has sprung, each and every being.
In deep states of meditation and contemplation, and through other means of altering consciousness, we may transcend the ego-self identity of the mind and come to realize directly this deeper identity and consciousness which is as old as the cosmos itself, and which is as eternal in nature as the cosmos itself. Indeed, it is the cosmos or the One becoming aware of itself, in us. When this becomes aware of itself, it is One Consciousness, the “Only Begotten” of the “Father.” This is “eternal life,” to know this “God” identity in us, our deepest divine nature, as the incarnation of God, as One in God, One in Ultimate Reality, even “Christ” which has been “sent” from it, also known as “Buddha-nature,” or “Messiah,” or “Atman,” or “al-Insān al-Kāmil,” or “Tao,” or simply Cosmos (or as Ken Wilber says, “Kosmos,” referring to both the physical outward nature and the inward subjective nature of all things).
We are that One in our deepest eternal identity. Our ego-self is merely our most superficial mortal identity, which will come to an end upon our biological death. When we surrender our ego-self to our deeper identity, that deeper One or Love may work through us for the good of one and all, even as the “Father” worked from deep within Jesus (John 14:10). When that deeper divine identity worked through him, we called it “Christ,” the “Anointed One.” The One! It seems he realized that acting from his mortal ego-self was the least effective or meaningful existence, and often brings suffering, and so he submitted his ego-will to the deeper will of the “Father” at-one within him, and within all people. He said he could do nothing of his own self, so he did the “Father’s” will (John 5:30).
What was the “Father’s” will? I perceive it was to gather together all beings in Love, in Peace, in this oneness, in this nonduality, in this recognition of our ultimate ontological union as One Being, from One Source, One Cosmos, One Consciousness, One Reality, One Love, and to work together with one heart and one mind for the well-being of all people, everywhere, bringing justice and freedom and happiness and liberation and a fullness of Life and Love to one and all, no exceptions. It was bringing into reality all goodness, truth, and beauty.