3/18/12 Rev. David McArthur
Oneness — It’s at the root of our spiritual journey. Emilie Cady wrote that man is at first living in the selfish, animal part of himself and will grow up into Divine or Spiritual Understanding to know his oneness with the Father, like Jesus when he said, “The Father and I are one.” But there’s another thing, how do we do it? Where is the oneness? When the Spiritual Self awakens, we experience a deep desire for connection with what has been expressed as the Divine. Man’s limited understanding has tried to explain it in the terms of our various cultures. Throughout the Ages, great teachers or guides have come to the people to explain this longing for connection with the Divine in the terms of each of our various cultures. They all taught on a level that was not fully apparent to ordinary people and so people have spent millennia trying to figure out what they said, which of course led to differences of opinion about what they meant and that led to most of the wars humanity has fought. In the “Bhagavad Gita” from the Hindu tradition, we see Prince Arjuna just before his army goes to battle. He has family and friends on both sides, and expresses anguish over the coming slaughter. God, in the form of Lord Krishna, his Charioteer, loses no time to use this “teaching moment”. He tells Arjuna to not worry, that he must do his duty in the battle, and that all those who will die that day have chosen death and will return again (reincarnate), as they must. WHAT?? Did he just tell Arjuna to just go ahead and slaughter his family and friends? Gandhi’s great teachings state that the “Bhagavad Gita” was the world’s greatest teaching of non-violence. In his metaphysical interpretation, the conflict between the “armies” is actually within ourselves. How can we harm another when it is really ourselves?
All religions teach the same things: prayer, meditation, spiritual service, love. There is only division if we choose to see division. If we are aware of oneness, we see oneness. There is no separation, no difference. There is only One. As we always recite at the beginning of our services; “There is only One Presence and One Power in the Universe and in my life. The All-Loving Goodness of God.”