The dichotomous split between ourselves and the outer world is the fundamental contradiction between what we internally know is true and what we see every day out in the world beyond ourselves. This is the basis of separation, of differentiation between Self and Other, between You and I, between Us and Them. Beyond that, this is also the difference between the Individual and All Else in Creation.
From the very youngest of ages, our perception acting as egoic investigator is sent out into the world to examine and explore and then to process and integrate difference in order to create a cohesive perspective that reconciles the inner and outer worlds in a fashion intelligible to the sub-lingual Self in its first perceptions of Other. We learn the definitions that accompany the languages we speak and take on a world-view that reflects that of our parents and siblings first, and then our friends, school and society, often in that order. As we learn how to interpret the world, we do not realize that we are also locking the world into place, creating self-enforced blinders of perception that automatically filter out anything that does not correspond to what we have been taught about the world. While we are safe within our comfort-zones, surrounded by family and friends, a school-system in a community that nurtures us and upholds a consistent view of the world, we find ourselves progressing within a cocoon of false safety and stability that seems imperturbable, almost a force of nature herself in its permeation of the entirety of our awareness.
Within, we become split. Our consciousnesses differentiate into all of the forms of psychological sentience, egos and ids, super-egos and sub-consciousnesses, reflecting the disparate levels of connection and disconnection between Self and Others, between self and Self. The internal differentiation mirrors the external differentiation, the collective condition of humanity becomes the unconscious condition of self on a journey back to reconfiguring its relationship to Self and Other. But this journey lies beyond the pale of individual knowing for quite some time. It is not until we become aware of the fact that we are split within and that the schism that separates us as a whole is a false one that we recognize the need to reintegrate ourselves and then, once that is achieved, we must move to reintegrate the human family in whatever way we can.
As we age and become used to witnessing the world from the perspective of our cultures and external paradigms we view differences in people, in the world, as being external to ourselves since Western culture is saturated by a philosophy of individualism that infiltrates all aspects of society from religion to learning to the workforce. The idea of holism, of unity, becomes an abstract conception when faced with the perceived reality of differentiation of thought, opinion, status and physicality. The seemingly ever-present and cacophonous chorus of voices atop the sheer diversity of lifestyles reinforces our early understanding that what is without is, without a doubt, very different from what is within. Coming to an empathic understanding that human beings across almost every spectrum of diverse creation basically feel the same types of feelings, go through the same kinds of events, live lives of basic similarity no matter the ethnic, racial, social and/or economic status is all too often subsumed beneath our own selfish concerns and prejudices, formed by the context of our surroundings and the vagaries of our individuated life events.
Obtaining the emotional and spiritual maturity to recognize that the splits within the Self that lead to psychological problems caused by past traumas and the egoic split necessitated by daily immersion within a schizophrenic culture comes with time but does not necessarily come to all people all the time. Often, the pain of living and experience becomes too great a burden, the inability to reconcile the inner truth with the outer reality a wall too high to climb. But for those who obtain the perspective necessary to critically examine their internal makeup and take steps to alleviate the contradictions implicit within the material acquiescence between Self and the social contract, a path forward can be found. Unfortunately, it is not a straight path, nor is it a wide path. That path is steep and fraught with dangers; it is easy to slip off the sides on this path, to tumble back into the darkness of resignation and dependence that typifies the general traveller through life, lacking self-awareness or even the desire to change her state of Being.
We cannot help others until we help ourselves. Many spiritual traditions highlight this fundamental truth. How can we help a delusional person if we see the same illusion? How can we help a legless person up the stairs if we have no arms ourselves? The work on integrating one’s heart, mind, spirit and soul into one consistent, integrated being is often the work of a lifetime. As we endeavour to become the type of holistic person that is able to help others weather their life’s storms and soul-quakes, we face the challenge of manifesting all that we were born to be, of finding out who we are in totality. This work is not for the weak-willed or the trembling-of-limbs, but for those who seek through empathy and compassion to reconcile the inner with the outer, to feel the connection between souls as a lived reality rather than an intellectual exercise.
Reconciling unity consciousness comes down to achieving knowledge of self through meditative practice, observation and prayer, service to others and committing to actionable movements that take the focus of intention outside of self and into the greater community of life. Seeking material wealth beyond that necessary to sustain life of self and those one is responsible for is a distraction and a sure sign that one has not integrated all of one’s needs into the situational framework necessary to become a holistic and complete being living oneness. As one proves one’s status by obtaining the capacity to care for more and more souls, one’s material situation changes to reflect the lived reality, which is the difference between true wealth of the soul and the material and superfluous wealth of the rich and famous. The world is big, but it is not bigger than the capacity of the human soul to encompass the needs of another. For, in the end, we are not separate from each other but are simultaneous expressions of one multiversal thought; individuated atoms of one ultra-dimensional body; single instruments contributing to interlocking strains of music; intricate melodies soaring within an omniversal orchestra; a sublime and heart-rending chorus of love and hate, light and darkness, spirit and soul, connected through all time and space as One.