The Oneness

David - Pickerington, Ohio
Entered on March 24, 2006

Age Group: 30 - 50
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I grew up in the 1960s in the wooded hills of northern New Jersey less than a block from a lake. I spent long hours in the woods and creeks near my house watching and stalking the creatures. Being outside always made me happy and relaxed. I raised Monarch butterflies, dug a frog pond, built tree blinds to watch birds and squirrels from, and collected butterflies. There was even a local ground hog that I would feed and watch from behind a pile of rocks I had built.

So when I was asked to join a youth group to go on a canoeing trip to Minnesota, I said yes. We had just moved to a small town in Ohio and I was thinking the trip would be a good way to make new friends and a chance to be outside for several days. I did make new friends on that trip but I also encountered wilderness in a way that was very different from the one I had known while living just twenty minutes from Manhattan.

The next year I eagerly signed on to another canoe trip. About three days into the trip I set off alone in a canoe after dinner to just float and drift with the breeze and gentle currents of the lake. I had no particular goal or destination in mind, I just wanted to be away from the group for a while. As the sun set all the world around me took on an unearthly glow. I was thinking how amazing it was that the light could do such a thing to ordinary rocks and water. The clarity of the air, the depth of color, the crispness and detail of every vein in every leaf, even the crystals in the rocks appeared more real, more present, than I thought possible. As I watched the glowing rocks, plants and water, something changed in the way I saw them. Actually I stopped seeing them with my eyes at all. My sense of self had vanished. There were no boundaries. “I” was no longer. All my surroundings, and I, had merged. The rocks, water, plants, animals, even the light itself were one. Separateness vanished and time was eternal. The individual and the infinite at that moment were one. In that eternal moment, there was at the same time, a profound ecstasy and an equally profound serenity. As this state of Oneness deepened, there came, what I can only describe as a knowing presence of acknowledgment and great joy. I believe it was love. I do not know how long I was was in this state of Oneness, but IT has stayed in me forever.

I believe there is a Oneness to creation connecting us all and that we can consciously choose to grow it till there is no room left for fear and separateness in our world.

Human behaviors driven by fear result in short term and short sighted greed, conflict, and oppression. We must look below the surface of cultural indoctrination, institutional hatred, discrimination, and religious certainty and see our world as it truly is, one home for all life as we know it. There is nothing to win or conquer when you only have one planet to work with. There are only two choices. We can move toward a sustainable zero growth economic model where the goal is to support the planet that sustains us or we can continue with the model of infinite growth economics and competition till there is nothing left to sustain. I live in an almost constant state of grief for the innocent casualties, both human and non human, of these destructive creations. These systems that create inequalities and sustain world competition for resource, power and ideology must be replaced with new systems. Systems that incorporate new ways of thinking about humanity and that acknowledge the limitations of our finite planets ability to absorb our insults. I believe that my experience of Oneness at 17 is one of those new ways of thinking. The Oneness knows nothing but love and we are all of the Oneness. With this thought in mind it becomes impossible to take any destructive, violent, discriminatory, cruel or hateful action without directly suffering the results personally. I believe we are one and must act as one.