A cosmic truth, realised by many people who have meditated or done enough psychedelics, is that we are all one. Despite the fact that it appears that each of us occupy a separate body, forever dooming us to stand apart from everyone else, mystics and shamans throughout the ages know that we are all intimately connected on a spiritual level. However, as this essay will argue: so what?
The oneness of all that exists, and the fact that separateness is only an illusion, is an inescapable truth about reality that comes to many people seeking enlightenment. It usually comes like a lightningbolt out of the blue, and usually when a person is deep in meditation or high on a powerful psychedelic.
The truth is that there is only one thing that can be said to exist, and that is the consciousness that is God. So as to escape from the infinite loneliness that is being the only thing to exist, God has created this illusion which we call the physical world, and has split up into an infinite number of separate consciousnesses. Each one of these consciousnesses streaks a unique path through the Great Fractal.
All of us are a unique expression of the consciousness of God, the possessor of a divine spark. This means that, on the level that really matters, every other creature on this planet is the same as us. Every other creature is an expression of God, and their lives are being experienced by God, just as ours are. Therefore, everything else that exists is as important as God, the most important thing possible.
But so what?
At the end of the day, every individual being still has to play the role that it was created to play. Each of us are a biological organism that is subject to certain chemical and physical laws. These laws demand that the closed systems that are our bodies absorb energy from the outside world. Since we cannot photosynthesise, we have to eat things, and because we can only eat organic matter, we have to kill in order to live.
The rat and the mouse still have to invade the granary, for if they don’t, they will themselves die. If you are the granary owner, you have to accept that they are going to keep coming whether you like it or not, and therefore you have to kill them first if you want to keep your food supplies safe. There is no shame in this – if your role is to kill, then kill you must.
It doesn’t matter if those you are killing are fundamentally the same unique expressions of God that you are, because the ones you are killing for are also unique expressions of God. The lion still has to chase the zebra, for if she does not, her cubs may starve. Behind many a terrorist is a person who loves their own people.
Some people cling to the notion that it’s possible to find perfect peace in this place, as if it were simply a matter of willing such a thing to be possible. Many of these people have the conceit that this desire for peace is a virtue, something that makes them better than those who don’t have it.
In truth, however, these people are actually less moral than others, because they reject one of the basic principles of the universe, which is that life is eternal struggle. Rejecting a basic principle of reality because one would prefer that it didn’t exist reflects weakness, and a lack of courage, not superior moral insight.
The full truth is even more fundamental than this. The yin is one with the yang, and both are part of the Tao. Neither complains that the other consumes or abuses it. Both play their role perfectly. Therefore, someone who rejects completely the idea of conflict is like someone who has rejected the yin or the yang. They cannot be a complete person, at peace with the world.
So if different human groups come into conflict, and fight, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the people involved have made a mistake somewhere, or that one side must necessarily be immoral or evil. It may just be that the different groups were fated to fight. The fact that we are all one doesn’t mean that fighting must never happen – it just means that we take our turns at being the winner.
Of course, this is not to argue that we should all be fighting all the time. Just because life is eternal struggle doesn’t mean that it’s nothing else. A person’s true role might to be to question and to resist their violent and aggressive impulses, or to sublimate them into something beneficial, not to surrender to them.
But if a person’s role is to go along with their violent impulses, then they ought to do so with full enthusiasm. Realising the fact that all is one doesn’t mean that one is absolved from ever having to fight or to struggle. Even after enlightenment, one still has to live one’s life, and to play one’s role.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.