Individuals in society today exist in a disconnect between self and non-self. Particularly in developed nations, ‘the individual’ sees themselves in dichotomy, as an existent individual that has not resolved their suppressed, inner conflicts. There is also a self concept of being separated from everything around them. This disconnect can lead to (one) experiencing bouts of depression, loneliness, ennui and forlornness. Those states require journeys of healing for those internal and external disunities. Individuals are indeed separate entities unto themselves. Yet, there must be inner connection within one’s self and the outer connections with all of one’s surroundings for completeness to be ‘tangibly’ experienced. There is no need to feel lonely because we are always in contact.
There is the duality that is an ever-present backdrop of modern society. Compartmentalization can flourish because humans, in general, are comfortable in a setting of easily identifiable otherness. People validate themselves by separating mentally / physically from that which cannot be considered as part of themselves, even if part of the self is what is being separated out. This behavior is socialized as normal, acceptable, expected. There are many individuals who have never pondered themselves as being in oneness with the All of themselves.
People function as a fractionated whole and they gravitate towards those portions deemed to be more favorable. The inner state of division often goes unrealized due to the mechanized, repetitive nature of daily existence. Thus, as the ingrained routine becomes established, partial wholeness, which is separateness, becomes, in partiality, a total wholeness. A level of comfort is derived from unconsciously accepting a functional state of divided wholeness. Inner conflicts and turmoil need not be addressed when one is comfortable in the fractionated state. The more at ease the fractionated person is, the more difficult will be the process re-establishing a total wholeness.
The perception of separateness from external surroundings exists within the individual as well. In fact, the framework of duality is highlighted by the incidence of perceived external separateness. Us / Them, Left / Right, Have / Have not, Happy / Sad, accepting / disowning . . . duality is all and ever pervasive. At the same time that one distinguishes the things in the world by placing them into categories, one also establishes a division of the self from these same things. There is a material difference between things but it is only at the surface level. There is ‘minimal’, if any, distinction between things at the sub-atomic level as all atoms consist mainly of empty space . . . . . . Distinctions, then, are based on . . . nothing.
Yet, identification with differences persists and creates a void within the individual. Many people mentally experience various turmoils, stressors, uncertainties and rifts. These mental states arise due to existing with the duality that is accepted as normal. Unsettled mental states facilitate attaching to and identifying with a surface derived duality. We say that it is normal for dichotomies to be present everyday, every moment, every breath. However, there is scant attention given over to breath, given over to the moment. Giving attention over to the breath, to the moment, brings about an internal focusing of energies, A nexus point arises in which differences, although they exist, are not, in reality, existent.
One should then undertake the task of resolving the incidences of separateness that are so rampant in society, within the individual. Seeing beyond separations requires effort. It requires work. Yet it is not impossible to achieve. Some may require outside help: psychologists, psychiatrists, abbots . . . . . some may achieve this by reading books; self help, The Bible, the Q’uran, various Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist texts . . . . . Some may need to expose themselves to experiences in nature or to indigenous religious explorations . . . Some have it within themselves to undergo the practices and austerities that bring them to seeing through the facades of separation and to do the work of bring wholeness to self.
That people exist in bodies cannot be denied. People are all universes unto themselves. However, it cannot be stressed enough that we are all bound to our own crosses. How large or small those crosses become is a result of choices, habits and consequences. Separateness can lead to a cross become bigger. By not establishing a completeness within self, by not realizing the connectedness of all things, one becomes an island of self isolation.
This can be resolved. People can heal themselves. Can come to accept themselves as viable, as competent, as loveable. The ego identity does not disappear in the face a self healing, the me / I persona does not dissipate, the self comes to see the fallacy and insidious nature of the perception of separation. It becomes easier to heal one’s personal fractured aspects and to resolve the perceptions of separateness that are so pervasive in society. One can be whole. The individual can come to terms with and to work through the madness of separateness.
All Alone is All we are . . . . . All One is All we are . . . . . .
Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom: Quotes about Separateness
We Are: The Illusion of Separateness