Unity in Daily Life

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.

The Veil

Reality hides behind a sensate veil,
Forever denying our groping, grasping, groaning hearts.
Immaterial as thought, yet solid as stone,
She offers clues to her form, but never direct experience.
Trapped in our prisons of flesh and bone,
We can never penetrate the fullness of her mystery.
So in our fevered desperation,
We cling to our own constructions:
Metaphor and myth, science and shadow.
And in our ignorance, we mourn.

A cruel enchantress is she who hides behind the veil.
She teases and taunts, tempts and toys with us,
Bemused as we strive in vain to comprehend her.
A Siren, she sings to us her haunting melody,
And we are struck dumb by its faintest echo.
She stands aloof as we beg to taste her nakedness,
Longing for her touch, insistent, painful as it is.
Her sweet perfume suffuses, infuses, refuses us,
And the spell she has woven is complete.

At last!
Her seductive whisper finds us in silence,
But now we dare not yield.
Her arms are open, but we hesitate.
The Unknown is wide and we are wary.
Reality has treated us harshly in the past
And we know not where she will lead.
We haven’t the trust, the faith, the will to follow her.
We gaze through a glass darkly and fear what we will find.
For to know Reality’s form is to know the shape of God.

She is a veiled mirror,
And we know her not.