True unity lies at the crossroads of wisdom and pragmatism. The underlying web of life to which we all belong is undeniable. Yet, this is an intellectual concept. Language can only produce concepts; that is its fundamental limitation. It cannot describe Truth. It cannot describe Beauty. In cannot describe Love. Language is rather impotent when it comes to describing the ineffable nature of experience. So, in order to make this intellectual concept of unity mean something real in our daily lives, we must rely also on pragmatism.
One of the most direct manifestations of this is the invocation of the concept of unity to defuse or avoid conflict. Conflict is rife in society today at every level and shows no sign of going away. A true unity of mankind would preclude conflict. How does one have conflict with oneself? Conflicts which arise from different points of view or different ideologies must be seen as part of the larger unity of consciousness. There must be darkness for there to be light; there must be hatred for there to be kindness; there must be fear for there to be liberation. In this way we respect the darkness as a necessary part of the light.
This does not mean we get to ignore our responsibility to speak out against injustice or alleviate suffering. Not at all! It simply provides a larger context in which to continue our work. By recognizing the darkness as part of the light, we see that the very nature of the darkness itself is suffering. Those mired in hatred, bigotry, greed, and selfishness are suffering in that same darkness. Their apparent, individual consciousness may not realize or accept this, but it’s true. They are striving against their natural state, which is Love. Being separated from Love is the very definition of suffering.
So, we must first acknowledge that those who peddle hate and fear are a symptom of our diseased society, not the disease itself, and that they are not their words or their ideas. How do we approach this pragmatically? We don’t add suffering to suffering. We speak against ideas and ideologies, not against individuals. We don’t label. We offer love to the unloving as well as the unloved. Is this easy to do? Absolutely not! But it is necessary. The cycle of conflict cannot be broken through constant escalation. It can only end when light is shone into the darkness and Love is offered unconditionally to all.
For, truly, we are One.