I've previously written a little in these blogs about how we really are all one. Although we have manifested in this physical realm as individuals – each with our own package of inherent qualities and our own bundle of acquired attributes and characteristics – at the very core of our being, through the inherent essence of our being, we are all unified in oneness. If this is indeed true, how is it that we are unified? What is it that unifies us?
I think it will be beneficial to consider this in a particular way that will help develop a clearer understanding of applying the Golden Rule, feeling empathy and compassion, being kind, and about why we might so often struggle with all of this in ordinary life.
The late American teacher of Sufism, Samuel L. Lewis, said something that is helpful to consider: "Love is the glue that holds everything together. "And when he said "everything," I think he really meant all and everything in the Universe. We commonly use a whole variety of terms to indicate attraction and bonding for a variety of reasons.
Ultimately, though, all of these variations of attraction, bonding, and unity can be viewed as various manifestations of Love, regardless of context.
In the subatomic realm, both the strong and weak nuclear forces are manifestations of Love in action, both drawing together and bonding together these bits that build various particles and atoms. On a slightly larger scale, atomic and molecular bonding are also Love acting to bring these bigger bits together and unite them into something still larger.
On still larger scales, magnetism, electrostatic charge, and gravity are manifestations of Love as it attract objects into closer proximity and connects them. Expanding into huge, gigantic, and nearly unimaginably humungous scales, Love acts to mediate the dynamics of planets, moons, stars, solar systems, galaxies and the whole Universe.
In the realm of plants and animals (including us humans), there are attractions that result in many different sorts of bonding. One manifestation of this is what we commonly call "love" between two individuals who are attracted to each other and who feel some strong connection that results in bonding that can manifest in many ways.
One is a relationship that becomes powerful and intimate enough through love, that a couple will stay together for a long time, perhaps until death parts them, and which may or may not result in reproduction and a family. If offspring are produced, there is typically a strong bond and a feeling of unity arising from feelings of love between a mother and her child, and the father is also likely to experience a very strong feeling of loving unity.
Because of proximity and personally significant things that are shared in common, there can also be strong feelings of love that unite several or many individuals together as a family and extended family.
There are other manifestations of attraction and bonding that are common and important in our lives, such as friendships of various types. Countless types of partnerships develop, sometimes between pairs and other times with many others, typically inspired by and centered around some shared intent and purpose, whether for health and fitness, learning, play and sports, travel, business, hobbies, hunting or fishing, and innumerable other possibilities.
All such units of people are attracted and bonded by some manifestations of Love that are typically focused on something they share in common.
Similar bondings also happen between non-human animals. Pairs unite, either short-term or long-term, typically prompted by an innate urge to reproduce and perpetuate the species, but also through friendship. Pairs and individuals unite to form families, colonies, herds, schools, flocks, pods, murders, etc. All of these units are manifestations of Love drawing individuals together and bonding them into more or less unified groups, whether based on the division of labor or on the benefits of mutually helping ensure survival through various advantages afforded by being part of a large group, including the experience of being among others of one's own kind – being social.
Beyond such examples, we can develop an awareness and understanding of somewhat parallel bondings between individuals in various plant communities, whether in the context of monoculture (as is often found in agriculture) or in the diversity of multi-culture (as is usually found in nature). Consider investigations and discoveries regarding forests and mother trees, or the role of fungi in helping build and sustain plant communities.
There have also been investigations into plant communities (such as tobacco for example) where individuals being attacked by some pest actually send out warning signals to their companion plants so they can mount a pre-emptive defense. Love comes into play in countless ways that help bond individuals into pairs, groups, and communities.
And all of this could further be contemplated regarding relationships between what might constitute "individuals" and "groups" among those many entities that we typically consider to be non-living, such as I mentioned in the previous blog, All Beings.
For our purposes here, though, I won't delve into that because this is a blog, not a book, and we are primarily focused on people, on ourselves, and on each other. But perhaps you might like to explore some of these concepts on your own to see what questions and possible answers might arise for you. Love in various manifestations attracts and bonds sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, substances, and objects, including planets, suns, systems, galaxies, as well as plants, people, and other animals. It could provide endless entertainment to consider even a tiny portion of the possibilities for exploration.
Among all that I've already considered here about humans and other animals, suggested about plants, and hinted at regarding non-living entities, I've also ignored countless details that illustrate bonding and unity brought about through manifestations of Love.
Although I have long liked the statement that "Love is the glue that holds everything together," there is one word there that I don't think does Love justice: glue.
Glue is typically static. We usually put glue between two things, stick them together, and we expect them to stay together, at least temporarily, but usually long-term. This isn't really an accurate description of how Love works. The actions, methods, and results of Love are dynamic. Love needs to flow! The attractions and bonding manifested by Love are, more often than not, constantly being made, weakened, remade, readjusted, lost, and found anew.
One realization that I have come to is that Love flows ubiquitously throughout the Universe. In addition, everything is Love in some form of manifestation. And, when the Beatles sang "All you need is Love," that really is the truth, whether or not they fully understood this while singing it.
Furthermore, somewhat in parallel with light behaving both as waves and particles, as physics has demonstrated, Love is simultaneously a flow of energy and, in its condensed form, it is also substance, matter, the stuff of the Universe.
Yoda (in Starwars) was right when he said, "Beings of light we are, not this crude matter. "Except there's a bit more to the truth here: light is a form of Love, a manifestation of Love, a representation of Love. Therefore, Yoda could have said: "Beings of Love we are, not this crude matter."
This is also true of the Force. To help experience an awareness and feeling of this, I suggest that you might want to experiment with thinking, feeling, saying: "May the Love be with you." Try this out with your friends to see what develops.
But do we know that we are beings of light? Do we know that we are beings of Love?
We surely do not live as though we know this. We don't seem to be aware of this basic, essential truth. If we did know, and if we actually understood what this means, we surely would live much differently. We would live in Love. We would live as radiant manifestations of Love. Why don't we know? Why don't we live continuously as radiant manifestations of Love?
If we did actually know and understand and live the Love that we inherently are, we would have no problem with living the Golden Rule, no difficulties with treating each other with respect. In fact, we wouldn't need any such rule, because all of our thoughts, feelings, and actions would quite naturally arise from within, through our hearts, and be expressed outwardly as radiant manifestations of Love.
We don't know we are beings of Love because we are so strongly attached to the material-based acquired aspects of our being while remaining ignorant of or distracted from and cut off from our spiritual Self, the divine aspects of our being.
Our dominant influences from our role models and our cultures have been teaching, reinforcing, and perpetuating our attachment to the material-based acquired aspects of our being for millennia.
There are very few who have not gotten totally caught up in this delusion that we are only our physical body, our mind, and our feelings. We tend to live as mechanical beings rather than spiritual beings having material experience. To put it another way, as G.I. Gurdjieff taught, we are asleep, living mechanically, and unaware of our true nature.
The true role of all inner work, all spiritual work, is to help us become aware of this dichotomy between the way we live our lives and the reality of who we actually are, and to inspire and guide us on our inner journey to develop a harmoniously functional relationship between the superficial, acquired aspects of self and our inner, essential Self. Organized religion has not been fulfilling its role of helping us reconnect with our spiritual Self, our inner source of values, inspiration, and guidance.
I have previously shared the saying that "we are spiritual beings having a material experience."Unfortunately, we are beings of spirit, beings of Love who have gotten totally enmeshed in and distracted by this realm of matter in which we exist. This is literally what is the matter with us.
Love is what unites us, in essence, but we do not know who and what we inherently are in essence. Instead, we live on a superficial level, attached to the acquired material attributes and characteristics of our being.
This is at the root of why we, through the ages, have developed and needed traditions, guidelines, rules, and laws – they help remind us how to behave with respect, remind us how we would naturally behave if we had a complete, holistic view and understanding of who and what we are as spiritual beings, divine beings.
I invite you to stay tuned for further considerations into how we might best continue forward in our quest to better understand and apply the Golden Rule, respect, compassion, empathy, kindness, and Love through our actions in ordinary life.