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Distilling the Truth of Oneness



by Stephen Parato -

Nothing is truly separate. 

Nothing exists in isolation. All things, events and people are intimately interconnected. In essence, all is one and one is all. Oneness IS.

This concept of oneness is thrown around a lot, especially in “spiritual” communities. It sounds a bit idealistic, right? One of those “woo-woo” theories with no validity. But after approaching the concept of oneness from different perspectives, I’ve found it to be an all-pervading truth.

This is not about blindly repeating what some so-called “guru” said about oneness. I aim to break it down into digestible pieces for you to metabolize in your own unique way. This article gives you a road map to uncover truth for yourself, because oneness is just an abstract concept until you truly understand and experience it.

I always knew that everything was connected in some way, but in a superficial way, without intrinsically understanding it. Oneness made sense to me as an idea but I never fully grasped the immense truth and profundity of it until recently. 

I merely understood the interconnection of everything in the same way that one views a place on a map. Sure, you can envision what it might look like, but you never really understand it until you see the actual place.
“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”  –Carl Sagan
In one of Alan Watts’ mind-blowing lectures, he discusses that there really is no such thing as cause and effect existing as separate events. Watts suggests that everything is in fact one event and that there are no clear boundaries between events.

Think about it… When did your life start? 

Did it begin when you came out of the womb? No. As a fetus? Nope. When the sperm met the egg? As a sperm cell? As an egg? As your father or mother? As your grandparents? There really is no definitive boundary. And the man-made boundaries we create are merely arbitrary lines drawn to please our ego.

The butterfly effect illustrates the interconnectedness of events as well:

“The butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. 

The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a hurricane (exact time of formation, exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier.” (Wikipedia)

This is why we use the phrase “chain of events.” Everything is intimately linked. There is no link of the chain which stands alone.

It is all connected to the chain of existence. (And, as a side note regarding chains, the concept of time often shackles us.) 

I would think of it more as a web. Everyone and everything is a strand. All connected, radiating out in a harmonious pattern, spun by the most beneficent force, not a spider with 8 legs, but a force embodied by the sideways 8; the essence of infinity.

I recently came across this great story from That Buddha Guy that succinctly summarizes just how interrelated everything is:
Holding up a sheet of paper he asked, “Do you see a cloud in this paper?” No one responded. Again he asked, “Do you see a cloud in this paper?” 
“You must see a cloud in this paper,” he continued, “because without a cloud there is no rain. Without rain there is no tree. Without a tree there is no paper.” He then asked, “Do you see a steel mill?” “You must see a steel mill because without the mill there is no steel. Without steel there is no axe or saw to cut the tree. No tree cut down, no paper.” 
The audience was beginning to understand his point. Chuckling he asked, “Do you see Wheaties?” “Loggers work hard and need a good breakfast. No loggers, no cut trees, no paper.” 
What was the point he made? First, nothing exists independent of outside conditions. Second, no single component is more important than another. These two points, along with the idea of impermanence, are the basis of Buddhism.



Everything is intimately connected. 
Don’t underestimate the power of your actions or the impact of your life. We’re all unique strands within the beautiful tapestry of infinity.

Part 2 of  “Distilling the Truth of Oneness” series

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(Reiterating the intro from Part 1, because it’s that important…)

Nothing is truly separate. Nothing exists in isolation.

All things, events and people are intimately interconnected. In essence, all is one and one is all. Oneness IS.

This concept of oneness is thrown around a lot, especially in “spiritual” communities. It sounds a bit idealistic, right? One of those “woo-woo” theories with no validity. But after approaching the concept of oneness from different perspectives, I’ve found it to be an all-pervading truth.

This is not about blindly repeating what some so-called “guru” said about oneness. I aim to break it down into digestible pieces for you to metabolize in your own unique way. This article gives you a road map to uncover truth for yourself, because oneness is just an abstract concept until you truly understand and experience it.

I always knew that everything was connected in some way, but in a superficial way, without intrinsically understanding it. Oneness made sense to me as an idea, but I never fully grasped the immense truth and profundity of it until recently.

I merely understood the interconnection of everything in the same way that one views a place on a map. Sure, you can envision what it might look like, but you never really understand it until you see the actual place.

If you’re reading this, is there not a connection between “your” consciousness and “my” consciousness?
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. 
This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” –Albert Einstein
General relativity posits that space and time are inseparable, often referred to as “space-time.” So if there are no separate events (I discussed this in detail in Part 1), can there be separate objects?

The universe we live in can be imagined as a soup of space-time. To help conceptualize this, think about noodles in a soup. The noodles are not separate from the soup, but a part of it.

However, in today’s society, we tend to look at the individual objects within the soup, while ignoring the broth, and conclude that all of the objects are separate. When really, everything is part of the soup. And that’s just one way to look at the oneness of everything.

Where does the boundary of “you” end anyway?

The heart’s magnetic field for example can be detected several feet away from the body. Isn’t this part of us?

Is a lion’s roar separate from the lion? And where does the roar end? Where you can’t hear it? Where you can’t measure it with our current instruments? Does it ever end? Or does it just blend into everything else at an infinitely gradual rate?

Once you start going beyond visible light, boundaries start blurring. And that’s only the sense of sight. 

Boundaries become even more unclear with other senses (except maybe touch). Think about what it would be like to perceive reality on the underlying energetic level (before the information gets interpreted by our brains). Everything would be a swirling amalgamation of vibrations.

Now you’re probably saying, “But there are solid boundaries, I can hit someone, right?” Yes and no. Physical matter is just energy slowed to a dense state. And that impact is just two dense forces interacting. Even in video games, where objects obviously are not solid, they appear solid. You can’t walk through walls in video games because that’s what is encoded into the laws of that reality.

In terms of the building blocks of our reality, atoms are more than 99.9999999% empty space. That means that everything almost fully consists of this empty space. And it turns out that “empty space” is actually quite the opposite of empty, and highly dense (back to the soup/broth analogy).
“All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.” –Swami Vivekananda
Sense of Self

Infants are born with no sense of personal identity. Personal identity manifests as a result of experience in the world and societal conditioning. A child might find themselves displaying a certain quality, like being “fast” or “American” or “poor”, and the ego clings to this and makes it a part of the child’s identity.

The fact is that these are just attributes, not the essence of what we really are.
“The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you.” --Eckart Tolle 
Now you might be like, “I’m an individual. I have my own consciousness different from other people.” This is true, in the same way that a wave is “different” from the ocean. It is a unique manifestation at the surface, yet in essence it is part of the whole. 

The same is true for you and I. 

Go into a deep state of meditation and you begin to merge into the stillness of infinite possibility. Boundaries and sense of self disappear. This is our fundamental essence.

If you take a cup of water out of the ocean, isn’t it still the ocean? Our perception, our ego, is the cup, the container which separates us from the whole.

That is not to say that ego or personal identity can’t be useful. It’s absolutely necessary for survival as well as uniqueness. But the problem arises when it becomes your entire sense of self.

Just as fish are part of the ocean, the Universe (“space”) is the ocean we live in. We are not separate from the whole, but unique parts of it.

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Exploring Oneness From Multiple Angles
“We are all different expressions of one reality, different songs of one singer, different dances of one dancer, different paintings–but the painter is one.” –Osho
The Logical Perspective:

“Within the stillness and silence is All Possibility. All Potential, waiting to be made manifest. Hear the silence and you are hearing All Possibility. Then stare talking, taking an action or making a noise and you have pulled one possibility out of All Possibility.

When you stop, your manifested possibility returns to the stillness and silence of All Possibility – Infinite Love, Infinite Harmony, Infinite Balance, Infinite Intelligence, Infinite Everything. This core of existence that I call All Possibility is within all of us – it is us and we are it.” – David Icke

Everything is an expression of infinite possibility.

Think about it logically… A musical note is an expression of infinite possibility. A German Shepherd is an expression of infinite possibility. You are an expression of infinite possibility. I am an expression of infinite possibility. Does everything not share the same essence?

The truth of oneness is deceptively simple from this perspective.

Just as every word is a unique expression of the same alphabet, we are all unique expressions of infinity.

The Physical Perspective:

We’re all made of stardust. Even the most rigid materialists will agree that our bodies are comprised of the same atoms that have been recycled through the expansion of our universe.

There’s no getting around the fact that we share the fundamental building blocks of physical reality with the rest of the Universe.

Another interesting insight is that the nutrients we ingest become the raw materials for our cells. We literally are what we eat, which further blurs the concept of man-made boundaries.

And then there’s the micro-biome. A significant percentage of cells in our body aren’t even human cells, but bacterial cells. You are literally your own ecosystem. Just as bacteria is a part of your ecosystem, you’re part of the larger ecosystem of Planet Earth. And the Earth is part of the solar system. And the solar system is part of the Milky Way Galaxy. 

Would you say that Earth is “separate” from the solar system? Of course not. We’ve just deluded ourselves into thinking we’re somehow separate from everything, and this has led to so much dysfunction.

This separation myth allows the ego to run the show and steadily beats the basic human emotion of empathy out of us.

Quantum Physics and Cutting-Edge Science:

Quantum entanglement is a mind-boggling phenomenon which demonstrates oneness. Basically two particles can be separated, one of them is spun or moved, and it instantaneously influences the other particle (beyond the means of any communication we’re aware of). 

Einstein famously referred to quantum entanglement as “spooky action at a distance.” It shows that there’s some intrinsic connection and communication between particles that we can’t quite explain yet in scientific terms.

Another quantum phenomenon that hints at oneness is the double-slit experiment, which demonstrates that the observed and the observer are not separate. This video eloquently explains the double-slit experiment:

“Quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe. 
It shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated “building blocks,” but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole.   These relations always include the observer in an essential way. 
The human observer constitute the final link in the chain of observational processes and the properties of any atomic object can be understood only in terms of the object’s interaction with the observer.”  –Fritjof Capra
More Into the Mind-blowing World of Quantum Physics:

Are we living in a simulation or a hologram?

The question of whether or not our reality is some sort of simulation has been a hot topic recently. And, relating to oneness, a hologram is the projection of a single source. Marinate on that for a minute.

These articles explore that possibility:

Physicist James Gates has found equations akin to computer code that make up our reality:


Philosophical Musings:

We’re not the name on our birth certificate. That’s just a combination of letters. We’re not a series of experiences either. The most accurate answer to the question of “Who am I?” is simply “I am.”

Alan Watts once said,
“Being central to experience is the nearest thing I can conceive as a meaning for the word I.” 
So I am central to my experience and you are central to your experience. The word “I” is this theme of centrality of experience. So you can say that we’re all unique expressions of the same “I.”

My personal experiences of oneness:
Meditation  
When I get into states of no-thought during meditation, I merge into infinite possibility. Boundaries dissolve. There is no sense of self, just the paradoxical feeling of everything and nothing simultaneously. It’s like being the whole ocean again, instead of just the wave. 
Reiki  
When I practice Reiki, I often feel my hands melting into “external reality.” Recently, I’ve been experimenting a lot with distance Reiki, and it’s surprising efficacy has really shaken up any ideas I had about the rigidity of space and time (as well as any sense of definitive boundaries between everything). 
Music  
We’ve all felt the profound effects of music, whether at a concert or just listening to music from a computer. Music has the tendency to penetrate through every layer of being. You don’t just feel music hitting your skin, you feel it reverberating through the depths of your being. This is why it’s such a powerful tool. 
Merging into landscapes  
I’ve had many experiences in beautiful locations where I felt so deeply and wholly connected to everything. It really was like I had blended with the landscape. One particular moment stands out is when I was hiking in Acadia National Park a few months ago. 
I specifically remembered being so awe-struck by the landscape that the boundaries melted. In that moment I deeply felt that it was all a part of me and I was all a part of it. Right after, I wrote “I just want to reach out and hug the landscape.” 
“If I go into the place in myself that is love and you go into the place in yourself that is love, we are together in love.” –Ram Dass
Then I proceeded to take this selfie…

Separation is illusion. Separation is ignorance, a disconnect from all that is. Ignorance begets fear and fear is the basis of every emotion we consider negative.

We’re all unique expressions of infinite possibility. We’re all waves in the ocean of infinity. It’s hard to hate someone when you see them as an aspect of yourself.

You are part of everything, yet a unique swell of transitory brilliance.

Feel the connection and bask in the exquisiteness of your ever-flowing existence. We’ve come a long way from poor little me.



Part 3 of  “Distilling the Truth of Oneness” series


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Let’s look at what happens when we lose touch with oneness.

What are the symptoms of separation within society?

An underlying paradigm of separation begets competition instead of cooperation. Scarcity pervades all aspects of life, as opposed to abundance.

In this “separation paradigm, “you” fear “others” taking what is “yours.” The belief of separation naturally leads to competition and scarcity. You can see this with oil conglomerates actively suppressing free energy solutions.

The literal sources of abundance are proactively being squashed in favor of scarcity (and the resulting profit and control). Think about that for a minute.

Envision life as an obstacle course. 

With a separation mentality, two people would get into a fist fight at the starting line, holding each other back. With a oneness mentality, they would cooperate to overcome the obstacles. Cooperation would also allow people to scale much higher walls than if they were holding one another back.

If society as a whole were to operate under the belief of oneness, cooperation would prevail. 

People would view others as aspects of themselves, or themselves living another life. This fundamental idea would obviously maximize our collective potential. 

The nature of our lives would be synergistic collaboration to further our evolution and overall well-being. 

More beneficial energy sources would be actively pursued, and this would lead to abundance instead of scarcity. We would be exploring the depths of outer (and inner) space, not stuck fighting each other over beliefs or resources.

You can see symptoms of separation in all of the major systems of society.

 It’s that insidiously divisive “us vs them” mentality that pervades government, politics, religion, business, competitive sports and every other traditional system you can think of.

Regarding politics in America for example, you have Republicans and Democrats. The red team vs the blue team. Many people blindly attach their identities to one of these sides. In truth, Republicans and Democrats largely share the same ideologies, but their differences on a few trivial issues are widely publicized, stirring up feelings of separation within people.

Aubrey Marcus suggests that these tactics “hack into the dark side of tribalism.” Which is to say that it exploits the intrinsic yearning for community by separating humanity into segregated factions.

Then outside threats are manufactured, which are perceived as jeopardizing the tribe’s survival and rousing fear within people. These manipulative tactics allow humanity to be divided into “separate” tribes and more easily controlled as a whole.


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Competitive Sports

Competitive sports are an obvious manifestation of the paradigm of separation.

First of all, they epitomize the “me vs you” (or “us vs them”) mentality. The players on each team wear different color uniforms that act as visual separators. Red vs blue, black vs white, green vs yellow…etc.

Competitive sports also mimic war. They are a socially acceptable, theatrical representation of a battle. It creates a war-like mentality, and normalizes that mentality within the minds of the masses. This culture perverts our primal instincts towards “the dark side of tribalism.”

You know the phrase “healthy competition”? Is it really healthy? It perpetuates the separation-based, us vs them mentality that has allowed humanity to be divided and conquered for so long. But we’re so deep into this mentality that it’s hard to even fathom what sports (or life in general) would look like if we embraced cooperation in favor of competition.

Take a look at the prototypically competitive mindset. 

The exemplar of a competitive athlete is Michael Jordan, who can easily be considered a sociopath. There’s been countless stories floating around regarding his notorious egotism and utter disregard for others.

I’ve found myself less interested in team sports recently because of the very reasons I’ve outlined. I don’t want to perpetuate the us vs them mentality. I don’t want to play “mock war.” However, I do want to push my boundaries, maximize my physicality and support the healthy expression of my primal nature.

So I’m not saying we stop pushing ourselves or neglect our natural, primal tendencies. We just need to use more productive means to fulfill these needs. But how would we do that?

What would sports look like in a cooperation paradigm:

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We’re so deep in the separation mentality that it’s difficult to even fathom what sports would look like under the paradigm of cooperation, not competition.

Or maybe we could include competition, but in a friendlier, more respectful way. This would be based on treating opponents as an aspect of yourself, and pushing each other to the limits, resulting in mutual benefit. But the question is, can people truly push their limits in competition if they’re totally empathetic with their opposition?

The other manifestation of cooperative sports would be athletes versus external forces (if there is such a thing as “external”), or even their past selves.

A team sport based in cooperation would work like a team climbing a mountain. They would all help each other in order to achieve a common goal. There is no putting others down, no us vs them, just unity towards a challenging cause. This can be applied to the whole as well.

Maybe parallels would exist under a oneness paradigm, just with a different twist. Like bodybuilding, for example, would be more like an art exhibition than a contest.

Another thing to think about: Do you need to “win” something in order to stretch your limits? Did Michelangelo paint with the intent of winning?

Completely throwing sports out the door is not the answer. Our bodies are made to move, to sprint, climb, jump…etc. We certainly cannot overlook that.
To drive the continuous evolution of humanity, we must perpetually shatter limitations and keep improving without having to defeat others in the process.



T.E.A.M. = Together Everyone Achieves More
“United we stand, divided we fall.”  
That phrase rings true. Though not “united” in terms of a specific group against other groups that we label as different from us. United as in embracing the fundamental oneness of everything.


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