My Secret Aversion to the Idea That We Are All One

No one can get very far in their search for spiritual meaning in life before running across the phrase “We are all one.” I accepted this saying as truth quite early on, then mentally filed it away without giving it much thought.  There were other more interesting topics to explore.

Then I obtained a copy of the well-known, self-study spiritual thought program “A Course In Miracles” (pretty much de rigor reading material for anyone interested in metaphysics and spiritual development). It’s designed so that if you do one lesson daily you will be able to finish the course in a year’s time. I jumped in and started slogging through it. (Note: I don’t use the verb “to slog” lightly – although this was something I was glad to be doing, the complicated (at times convoluted) vocabulary and grammar combined to make it dense going.) Being committed, I made good progress – until I got to a part that explained that all separation between myself and others is an illusion, and that we are all one.

Have you ever actually stopped to think – to really think – about what “We are all one” actually means? Whether or not I correctly understood the point that “A Course In Miracles” was making, I had the image of a bunch of people melting into each other, with no ego to differentiate one person from another. We would all be …the same, indistinguishable, replaceable.

Frankly, the idea creeped me out. I didn’t want to be just like everyone else or some mindless clone. Being unique is what makes me valuable – it’s what makes everyone valuable. If we were truly all one, would we be ourselves anymore? Would we still hold a special love for our children, or would we feel for them exactly what we feel for that annoying neighbor down the street? Would my best friend be able to replace me with a random stranger working in the next office?  Would anyone miss me if I wasn’t there?

Frankly, I like differentiation.

I put away “A Course In Miracles” for several weeks, and when I went back to it, I was slower and less eager than previously. It took me over two years to complete.

During the following years I mouthed the “We are all one” mantra, but I avoided thinking about it in any detail. It’s even a theme that kept popping up throughout my channeled material, but I ignored it; the idea made me feel uncomfortable.

Then last month I went to The Monroe Institute (TMI) for a week-long residential program. The mission of TMI is to advance the exploration of human consciousness; one of the goals of the specific program I attended – Exploration 27 – was to connect with nonphysical intelligences. ETs! At last something I understood. (Note: There were other, equally important goals, but this was the one that jumped out at me).

What was not explained beforehand, however, was that while in previous programs the stress was placed on what you – the individual – were able to experience, in this program the emphasis would be on your experience within the group (the group being the other 12 individuals who were going through the program with me). I was rather taken aback. I had just met these people, didn’t know them, and was reluctant to open myself up should the experience prove to be personal (as it so often is during these programs).  During our sessions we were supposed to reach a certain level of consciousness, “look” around for our other group members, and then continue – as a group – to the next stage of the exercise.

I wasn’t looking forward to it but I did as told – and was surprised at my experience. It wasn’t the “melting” into an indistinguishable mass that I had feared from “A Course In Miracles,” but more of a melding into something bigger than me. Like people on a bus traveling together for a purpose, but still ourselves. But now we were bigger, more powerful, and we resonated.

And I loved every single one of them – an emotion that took nothing away from my children, my friends or myself.

I no longer fear the idea that we are all one. To me, “We are all one” no longer implies that my life and personality will be washed away to become some nameless cell of a bigger thing. Instead, it’s an act of creation – the joining of our forces together to better express the wonder and awe of life and consciousness in the universe.

Frankly, I can’t wait.





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  1. I am on lesson 40 in “A Course In Miracles” …again! Had too long a span since the last concerted effort so had to begin all over! Not recommended!
    I understand your trepidation in accepting the fact of “we are all one”.. However I postulate that there is an even deeper, earlier meaning than the realization of developing common consciousness as a present day act of creation. That being that we all originate from the same Souce or Energy or God. Even those of us who are not seeking an expanded awareness. A “Being made in the image” theology.
    Does your new awareness make room for this interpretation?

  2. Funny you should write about this now. I have been thinking a lot about this after getting into some NDE stories. I get on some level the ‘all one’ concept, but what’s bothering me is the thought that we’re all just a part of God or the source or whatever you want to call it. It makes me feel like a bit of play dough that got pinched off for a while, and then later I’ll just be kneaded back into the whole again and will disappear. It also worries me to think I’m just a tiny branch of something bigger that is using me to do its business for it while incarnated. That one really makes me want to rebel.

    • Exactly – the idea of disappearing or of ultimately being indistinguishable from any other person on the planet is what got to me. Because if I’m exactly the same as everyone else, then what’s the point? But we could turn the idea on its head – maybe we’re not a part of something bigger into which we’ll eventually be reabsorbed. Just possibly we are the creators, joining together to make this bigger, more awesome thing. Maybe we shouldn’t think of ourselves as a part of this bigger thing, but think of the bigger thing as being the result of our communal creation, the ultimate expression of life.

      • I kept forgetting to come back here to see if you had replied! Yes, that’s a nice thought. I can go with that. It makes just as much sense.

  3. An alternative way to look at it
    We never are strictly individual. We are in relationships with our family, our community, workplace, etc. you don’t lose your individuality because you are a member of these communities. Being part of the whole makes you stronger. Your individuality will never be compromised.
    I think that ties in nicely with Nancy’s reply that we are co-creators.

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