We think we are separate from each other and from the One because we identify our “self” with the subjective side of consciousness.
The psyche (Spirit) seems to be split in two, subject and object. But as you can see, even though it is so split, the psyche itself is still One. It’s like a coin with two sides, yet the coin remains one coin.
This is why contemplative practices are so valuable, because they let go of this splitting, of the subject-object duality of thought. When the mind becomes clear, as still as a sea of glass, pure consciousness is gnosed, the psyche (Spirit) realizes its Self as One. Nothing is outside it or beyond it, nothing is “other,” nothing is separate from it. All things arise within it.
This One is not “known” or “seen” in the typical way we are familiar with knowing or seeing, as that would just be another object perceived by a subject. No, this One is gnosed, not as an object in consciousness, but as consciousness itself. It gnoses its Self as still, open, empty, infinite, formless, timeless, spaceless Being, Awareness, Consciousness, God.
As the 13th century Christian mystic Meister Eckhart said,
The knower and the known are One. Simple people imagine that they should see God as if he stood there [object] and they here [subject]. This is not so. God and I, we are One in knowledge [consciousness/psyche/Spirit].
The One gnoses that all things that can be known are finite manifestations of its Self, incarnations of the One, including all subjects and objects, all selves and so-called “others.” It is the Ground from which and in which all things arise, like plants literally rise up from the ground while never leaving the ground. Indeed, if they should ever leave the ground, they die. What if they merely think they leave the ground?
Jesus was channeling the One (which Christians call “Christ”) when he said,
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.-John 15:5-6
The ego thinks that it is something else, apart, separate, disconnected, isolated, alienated, a dualistic independent autonomous being, the subjective side of consciousness. This is like the branch that thinks it is apart from the vine. In that dualistic state the ego withers and dies, being seemingly separate from its own ground, and so is thrown into the fire of its own error and burns there (hell). The ego will “surely die.”
And yet, the separation is just an illusion. Never for a moment is the thinking subjective self apart from the psyche/Spirit. How could it be? It is itself a movement of the psyche/Spirit, but it has become attached to only one side of the coin, and built up an identity based on it.
In contemplation, we settle into our seat, we allow the mind become clear, the turbulence of thoughts gradually subsides, and the water becomes like crystal, a sea of glass. When the waves of dualistic thought are no longer waving, all there is left is the ocean, consciousness, psyche, Spirit, the One. There is no longer duality. The dualistic veil is rent, the separate ego “self” identity dissolves, and the true Self is gnosed, Christ is unveiled, the Buddha-nature is realized, God is awakened. We realize we are this One, and always have been, and there is nothing that could ever actually make us not One (see Romans 8:38-39). It’s just not in the cards.
No matter what shapes or forms are cast as dualistic shadows on the cave wall of consciousness, yet the Light which casts them is still and always One, and ever will be. We are that One.
Jesus prayed that we would realize that we are One, now, forever, and always:
6 I have unveiled Your Name/Identity to these people that You gave to hear me in the world. “They” were always in You, but You caused “them” to read me, and “they” have tried so hard to follow Your Way.
7 And now “they” have realized that everything that You gave me to say was always Yours.
8 The words that You placed in me, when I’ve been inspired, I have simply passed along to “them,” and “they” have received them and embraced them. “They” truly recognize that my “I” has grown forth out of You, and “they” have trusted that You sent this “I” simply as a messenger to them.
9 But I AM praying now for “them,” not for “those” really lost in the world of duality and ego do I pray, but rather for “those” You have given to have ears to hear and eyes to see to read me, for “they” are always in You!
10 Everyone that is gifted to read these words are in You, and in everyone that is in You that You’ve gifted to hear me, I AM honored, blessed, and humbled in them.
11 I AM no longer lost in identification with the duality of this world, but “they” in their “selves” are still somewhat lost in that world. Yet this “I” is always coming back to You, in You! wHoly Source, You have let me awaken in the unity of Your Name/Identity, may You also keep “them” in that Name/Identity, that “they” may also realize “they” are already One, just as we are One?
12 While I have been with “them,” I have been keeping “them” in Your Name/Identity as One, just as You awakened me in that Oneness. I kept careful watch over “them,” and I made sure that none of “them” was lost again in that duality, in that death that comes from eating from the knowledge of duality, just as our scriptures say “thou shalt surely die.”
13 But these “I” are right now coming to You. “I” have to say these things while “I” am still in the dualistic world of language, but I do so in the hope that “they” may have my same fullness of Joy in “them.”
14 I have given “them” Your words of Oneness and Love, and the egoic world of duality naturally hates and detests them, because they are not about that dualistic world, just like I AM not about that dualistic cosmos.
15 I’m not asking that You literally take “them” out of the world, but rather that You may keep “them” from the evil of that duality and separateness.
16 “They” are not truly of that world, just like I AM not of that cosmos of separation, alienation, duality, brokenness, apartness, disconnection, segregation, rupture, breach, disunion, disunity, the division, the estrangement, the divorce, the Fallenness, the partitions, the walls, the otherness, the borders, the conflicts, the wars that are caused by that psychospiritual split of identity.
17 Please God make “them” wHoly again in the Truth, for your Logos alone is that Truth.
18 Just like this “I” has grown out of You into the world, the I AM sends “them” out of You into the world.
19 It is my gift to “them” that I daily purify my “self” of this psychospiritual duality, so that “they” may be likewise purified and made Whole in the Truth.
20 I’m not praying just for these people alone, however, but for all “those” who also persuaded to trust the I AM through “their” words too.
21 This is so that all may realize “they” are One, already, just as You, Source, are in me, and I AM in You, that “they” may be at-One in Us, that every thing and being in the whole cosmos may confidently realize and directly gnose that “mWe” grow out of You!
22 And the wondrous Glory that You gift to me in this gnosis, you also gift to “them,” so that “they” may all be One, just as mWe-One, already!
23 I AM in “them”! You are in mWe! mWy God! may “they” please awaken to this orgasmic consummation in the One that “they” already are! surpassing all dualistic knowledge and understanding, so that the whole cosmos may gnose that mWe all grow out of You, that You Love “them,” in the very same way as you Love “me,” for You Love things by becoming “them”!
24 Source, Absolute, One, Mother, Father, Pater, Abba, Momma, these people that you have given to hear mWe, I AM wills that where I AM, they are also, already, that “they” may be with mWe, that “they” may gnose mWy Glory upon Glories, Beauty without end, Truth without beginning, Goodness without middle, that you give mWe, always, because you Love mWe, and always have, from before the cosmos ever even was.
25 Mamma, Papa, innocent and defileless One that is my own Source, even though the dualistic world does not gnose You, and cannot gnose You, I AM gnoses You, now, and mWe gnose You, even right now, and mWe gnose that mWe sends Us in this eternal NOW.
26 I have just clearly unveiled Your Name/Identity to “them,” even in “them,” and will continue to make it so gnosed, so that the Love with which You Love mWe may already be in “them,” even as I AM already in them. I AM. Do I gnose I? Do you hear the voice that is reading these words right now in your mind? It is I.—John 17:6-26 BHT