To have an understanding of what oneness is, it can be helpful to have an understanding of what oneness isn’t, which is duality. There is one and there is two; oneness and twoness, or duality. Duality is defined by a spectrum where there are polar opposites of experience at each end. In duality, something can be one thing but not the other. And yet in oneness, everything is in union, all the same.
A key for understanding oneness is understanding perfection—to recognize and see perfection. Everything is perfect right now in this present moment and it could be no other way, or else it would be. And yet, to the human mind, perfection is unattainable. Nothing can ever live up to the mind’s ideas of what perfection is because it makes it up as it goes along. To the self-active mind, the idea of perfection becomes ever-expanding concepts and expectations that can never be fulfilled because duality is a never ending scale.
The mind’s idea of perfection reflects personal desires that continue to get greater as soon as one experiences the previous idea of what perfection was thought to be. It can always imagine ‘more perfect.’ Who gets to decide what perfect is? It is only when the mind surrenders to the idea that everything in life is already perfect that a person’s perspective begins to exit out of duality into a discovery of oneness.
One of the areas that we can see the difference between oneness and duality is in space and time. This can be observed in the timeline of past-present-future. In oneness, there is only this present moment, right now. That’s really the only time we can ever actually experience. But the mind can get in there with a duality perspective and tell us that’s not actually the only place we can exist. What about the past and the future? Sure, memory and imagination are great tools but they can only be used by the mind in the present moment.
The self-active mind will try to convince us that there’s something else going on that’s better than what is here now. Maybe a time in the past was better than now or a future moment will be better, and for some reason we’re not perfect and present right now. I’ve personally had this experience myself and seen it in others many times. Looking back into the past or day-dreaming about tomorrow can be pleasant or it can be sorrowful and fearful. Either way, it takes us out of being present and appreciating the perfection of life in front of us.
Then there is the relationship of space between something that’s over here and something that’s over there. However someone cannot actually experience something that is over there because they are here, not there. We do not directly experience life in any other space than right here, or any other time than right now. And yet something in the mind can distract us from the here and now by telling us that we are in some way missing out on a better experience of life over there. It can tell us that here is not as perfect of an experience or as good of a life as it could be if we were over there.
Everything in our experience is perfect because it is customized and catered to each person for exactly where they are in their own consciousness and life path. We are each on our own unique path of learning, growth, development, awakening and remembering. Each person’s experience is perfectly crafted to guide them to the next step in their own process of evolution.
This is true for even the experiences that you don’t personally like. I have these, we all do. I know there are things that are good for me that I don’t really like. There are things that are not good for me that I do like. Life knows best and is always leading me in my best interest, even if I don’t like it as it shows up. I can accept that and trust it. Then I can find appreciation for life as it is, experience oneness with it and discover the learning and growth available in my life experiences.
Moving toward comfort and away from challenge is the game of personal preferences. Perfection plays a different game.
Recognizing perfection does not mean to cease expending effort toward improving ourselves or our situations. It just means not to judge the self or situations as being less than because they are not already improved. They are perfect for us, exactly where we are. When we are present, we can learn from our experiences instead of judging them and then we progress along our individual path. We have new learning to apply for the next experience and hence have a new set of choices available to us. Life always brings new opportunities for the expansion of experience.
It is easy to see perfection in life when you are looking for the learning in your own experiences. Judgment distracts us from both the seeing and the learning.
A major difference in awareness between oneness and duality is found inside of our own mental perceptions showing up as judgments of what is. There is a noisy voice inside the mind acting as a critic that is operating out of the duality perspective. One of the tools that this voice of duality is using is comparison. It’s comparing this to that, now to then, here to there, and everything else. Comparison and judgement are usually found hanging out together in the land of duality. They reduce the ability to be present, to experience the perfection that’s available and exist in a state of oneness.
I believe this is what’s being referred to in the Bible with the Garden of Eden and eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Good, evil; good, bad; right, wrong; better than, less than. As soon as we fall into the trap of seeing the world through the lens of the realm of duality, then we exit out of the ability to see the is-ness or oneness of it all. Everything just is. All things simply are as they are. Life is perfect exactly as it is, even if it doesn’t seem to meet our own personal preferences.
We can let go of trying to shift our world and the people in it into some form that we think they should be. We don’t have to try to change everything all the time so that it fits our own ideas of what is right rather than wrong. We don’t have to try to change what we see as bad things into good things, or judge what might be showing up as less than because it’s not what we think would be better.
This doesn’t mean that we stop creating, improving or innovating. It is good to improve upon what was yesterday in the pursuit of building a better tomorrow. The trick is to do it while respecting the perfection of today without comparing today against yesterday or tomorrow.
I have found that when I do this, I am centered and able to see things clearly. Then I can make clear choices from a place of power and connection. I am able to be in the flow of life and even direct that flow. When I’m not doing this, I feel like a victim to all of the other flows around me. I’m mentally scattered all over the place within the spectrum of duality, experiencing ups and downs, highs and lows. I’m a ship at sea without a rudder that is at the mercy of the winds and the directions they blow. And then my life experiences sway as much as my mind and emotions .
Oneness and perfection are the same thing. Stillness and appreciation are important keys for realizing the experience of it.
Hold the intention for yourself to be more aware, to be more conscious. Watch the mind, watch the emotions, see when you fall into the trap of duality—when you’re speaking from and listening to the voice of the critic within yourself, criticizing everything around you and then spreading that to others through complaining and gossip. Recognize it, because it happens—we’re human. In fact, everybody’s doing it. It’s almost like we pretend that it’s okay because everybody’s doing it.
It takes courage and strength to stand up against the way that you’ve always been or the way everyone else is being. It’s not necessarily about standing up against something outside or inside oneself, fighting the structures of the world or anything that might be seen as ‘wrong’. It’s about standing up for something inside of oneself and taking that step out of comparison and judgement through duality into oneness. It’s about allowing oneself to see the perfection of what already is in the moment, here and now—standing for that by expressing gratitude for life through all circumstances. This is a stance of peace and power.
Appreciate what is in the present and focus on the possibility of what could be. When a person does that, they can harmonize with life in the moment as it’s happening and bring forth a new experience of life out of pure potential. This is usually called manifestation, and is actually just the process of creation naturally unfolding by the decree of our own creative power in conjunction with All That Is.
One can have a conceptual understanding of some of these things, but if they’re not actually living them then they don’t really know it for themselves. It’s not really real for them in their life, even though it’s actually the only thing that is real. It takes conscious awareness and choice. Essentially it is the choice for Love.
Perfection—it’s in me and it’s in you and all of creation, everywhere and all the time. Oneness—it’s the only thing happening and separation is an illusion of perspective.
– Gary Goodhue
Gary Goodhue is a student and teacher of consciousness and creation. He focuses on bringing deep principles of Truth and Love into practical, every day application. The results are increased presence, clarity, peace, focus and power.