Like most people, I've got an affinity for one. It just seems so much more, well, together than two. Plus, nobody chants "We're #2! We're #2!" Or intones, "May we all realize our twoness."
Back when I was researching and writing a book about Plotinus, a Greek mystic philosopher, I spent a couple of years immersed in thoughts about oneness . After all, the title of the book is "Return to the One."
So some new comments on a well-commented older post caught my eye today. Adam said:
you wrongly write:
"Philosophies like Sant Mat...are dualistic."
Sant Mat states that the reality is that God is oneness...and that duality is the illusion. The master and disciple play their parts in the play of illusion for the disciple to merge into oneness. Right?
tAo and Tucson disagreed. I did the same last year in "Is Sant Mat a non-dual spiritual practice?" It seems to me that anything can be made into one if you ignore enough parts. But is that really intrinsic oneness, especially when we're talking about ultimate reality?
If there's fifty puzzle pieces on a table top, and you ignore forty-nine of them, then you can speak of one. (Not very honestly, though.)
This seems to be Adam's argument, which is fairly common among religious believers who are attracted to unity but are members of a belief system that views God in a dualistic fashion.
They say, "Such and such, plus this and that, isn't really the foundation of our faith. These are just add-ons that obscure the simple truth that God is one."
Well, perhaps. In my previous post, though, I said:
If the overtly ritualistic and religious aspects of Sant Mat are discarded, you're left with a spiritual practice that could indeed be viewed as falling into the non-dual camp. Of course, this could be said of anything: if you take away the fluff, you're left with the essence.
What I wonder is, "Why not dive right into the essence, rather than spending time and energy wading through the fluff?"
The older I get, the more I wonder this. Guess the next step would be to jump completely off the Wonder diving board.
Which, logically (and mystically) would land me right where I am: no movement at all.
Just about every mystic "path" has a story that runs along this line. Somebody is looking for something. He or she is frantic to find it. They run here and there, searching. And it turns out to be…right under their feet.
(For example, the In Baghdad Dreaming of Cairo tale.)
These stories resonate with me. They have a ring of truth. Especially after you've spent many years seeking in various directions.
The one place we usually fail to look for the meaning of life is right where we are. And even when a religion or spiritual path mouths the words, "Here and now," the faith's rites, rituals, and practices belie that message.
Discard all that, and where does that leave you? Probably, the place you want to be.