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I Simply Am
The Confusion of Tongues
(Gustave Doré, Wikimedia Commons)
| Unity Obstacles
Here are some obstacles to achieving Unity.
It is psychologically healthy to have
It is especially important for the vulnerable to develop boundaries.
However, whilst within such a protective armour, we must beware of closing off to life.
Somehow we must keep our heart open and somehow love.
We may need to close off to toxic influences. But do try and find something wholesome to love.
We do need to keep the spring of our heart flowing!
Identity or self-concept is a very powerful psychological force affecting both personal and social life.
Adolescence is a crucial time for identity formation (Erikson in Identity, Youth and Crisis, 1968). This transition to adulthood is challenging and recognised by tribal initiations for youths.
However, in modern life, identity formation can be fragile and young people can over-identify into intolerant cliques or in-groups. They can then attack out-groupers, even over such minor things as dress or gesture.
There are various answers to these obstacles to unity: elders, mentors, presence of father for boys, community involvement.
Identity continues to direct a person throughout life.
One answer to overcoming any intolerance arising from identity is identifying the deep Self, the real 'I'. We realise we are One.
Minimal Group Research
In social psychology, the 'minimal group paradigm' is best known for investigating the least conditions required for discrimination to occur between groups (Wikipedia, accessed 16 August 2017).
Essentially, categorisation or labelling is enough to create a group and the possibility of discrimination against any other group. (Age of the Sage, accessed 16 August 2017)
Another fascinating example is the name-letter effect, where we unconsciously prefer letters that feature in our own names over other letters.
If such trivial differences can potentially create obstacles to equality and unity, then what about gender, class, ethnicity, skin colour, nationality, religion??
We may be born without hate (Nelson Mandela quote and the most-liked tweet as at August 2017), but there are so many influences on us that we can understand how we develop preferences and biases.
We might conclude that it is okay to perceive bias in oneself - rather than condemn ourselves for being like this?
And then rise above these tendencies, surely?
One way is to realise we are one!
This is a mystical and environmental truth.
We are interconnected.
We are One.
In this way, we minimise discrimination and inequality.
We are One.
Most languages reflect a world of separate things. A 'knife' can be measured by a scientist for its weight, dimensions and chemical composition. Or when someone talks of a 'knife', they might question whether it is good or bad, and conclude that it is neither, as it is only consciousness that makes it so, as in whether it is in the hands of a surgeon or a criminal.
But these patterns of thought can fall short for at least two reasons: (1) Everything is interconnected and 'knife' does not convey this. (2) There is an invisible, spiritual world, of which most people are unaware, so that a 'knife' also has a life, an aura, a consciousness, an energetic link to other apparently separate things.
So, there is an illusion of separation created from language and modern patterns of thought, which is portrayed in the Bible as the confusion of tongues (pictured below).
However, in certain indigenous languages, there is no separate word for 'knife'. Anything is always described in relation to the context. This creates some very long words!
Applying this contextual understanding to social media, we could describe social media in the context of a capitalist world and in the context of our evolutionary history. When social media + capitalism are joined, we have powerful companies like Facebook that exploit our data, make money from us, all things that maintain separateness. When social media + evolution join, despite the vast array of social networking possible, there is a disconnect that arises from tools new to humans, and so trolling and bullying become rampant.
Anyway, from childhood, I have always considered language as being a limited tool for conveying the unity and light and love and wonder of everything. Science has similar shortcomings. Music is perhaps the best language at transporting us from this illusory world into mystical non-duality. The Way is beyond words. Rather, be present with humans. Listen to the Sun or Nature. Can you feel the Unity?
"Do not allow division to take hold within you, this state in which two contradictory thoughts or desires pull you in two directions to the point of tearing you apart. To avoid this dislocation, you must create unity within yourself.
‘Unity’ means that all parts of the periphery are harmoniously linked to the centre, so that the balance necessary for the manifestation and the preservation of life is maintained. This unity is the law of life. Atoms, molecules, organs, limbs, individuals, communities, countries, and so on – everything – in its own way, must converge towards a centre, must link with the centre, and must even cling to it to avoid being swept away by adverse currents. Within ourselves, we may call this centre God, but it can also be a very high ideal or a vocation. Those who fail to link themselves to the centre by means of their thoughts, feelings and actions, create within themselves a state of division that, however fleeting, leads to disorder, conflict, and separation." (O.M. Aïvanhov) [Also see 'God', 'High Ideal'.]