“We are all one. Only egos, beliefs and fears separate us.” ~Nikola Tesla
In the world of spirituality, you will often hear people proclaiming with great conviction that we are all one. But, what does that even mean? There are currently over 8 billion people living on this planet, how could we possibly all be one? Perhaps they mean that, at the core of our beings, beyond our individual identities, we are all fundamentally the same. If so, then what exactly is the common essence that unites us?
Although we appear different on the outside, when you think about it, we are all basically the same on the inside. For example, we all have the same five senses through which we experience the world. We all have minds capable of thoughts, emotions, memories, expectations, beliefs and desires. We all find ourselves right at the center of our reality. While we have different names, we all refer to ourselves as “I.” Most importantly, we all have consciousness- the silent witness within that is simultaneously aware of both our inner and outer worlds.
Consciousness is the common ground we all share. As the Nobel prize winning physicist Erwin Schrodinger put it, “The total number of minds in the universe is one. In fact, consciousness is a singularity phasing within all beings.” To understand this concept, imagine that you have a lamp with an exceptionally bright light bulb. You decide to put a lampshade over the light, but first you take a thumbtack and make a series of holes in it. When you put the lampshade on and flip the switch, hundreds of tiny lights will shine though. Although each individual light will appear to be separate, they all emanate from the same source. Now substitute the light of consciousness at the center of existence for the light bulb at the center of the lamp, and it’s easy to see how we are all, in fact, one.
With this concept in mind, you can understand what Ram Dass means when he says, “There is only one of us. One consciousness manifesting into different forms.” Beyond our egos, personalities and beliefs, we all have the same witness within. The consciousness that is aware of my experience is essentially the same as the consciousness that is aware of yours. By truly embracing this understanding, you can cultivate not only empathy and compassion for others, but also a deep appreciation for the richness and diversity of humanity.
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.