Oneness — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Growing in Christ: Week 2

Friday, March 29, 2019

The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me: my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, and one love. —Meister Eckhart [1]

Today we continue reflecting on what David Benner calls “spirit-centered awakening.” Again, he offers excellent insights:

The cosmic self reminds us that oneness with God is not intended to be a private experience. Because all people live and move and have their being in God (Acts 17:28), it is not just me and God that are one. Even beyond this, because everything that exists is held in the unity that is Christ (Colossians 1:15-17), everything that exists is one in Christ. The old joke about the mystic who walks up to the hotdog vendor and says, “Make me one with everything,” misses the point. I am already one with everything. All that is absent is awareness. This awareness is the gift of the cosmic self.

. . . This is not life in a psychotic fog of enmeshment. It does not involve a regressive return to a developmental state before differentiation of self from others. Instead, it involves transcendence through awareness that the apparent separateness of the one from the many is an illusion. Slowly we begin to see that both the one and the many are held together in the One—the Eternal Godhead. And as we come to know our self within this One, we also come to know our oneness with all that is held by the One. . . .

Awareness allows us to know this reality, and our cooperation with the Spirit allows this awareness to become transformational.

This knowing is often called enlightenment because it involves seeing what is [with the eyes of the heart]. . . . The eyes with which we see are the eyes of the One. . . .

To be one with everything is to have overcome the fundamental optical illusion of our separateness. We establish boundaries to try to reinforce individuality, but what we get is isolation and alienation. We think we have bodies instead of being our bodies, and the result is alienation from our bodies. We distinguish between our self and the natural world, and we end up exploiting the environment from which we feel estranged. We think we are separate from other people, and the result is a breach in our knowing of our underlying shared humanity. Boundaries disrupt the flow of participative energy between elements of creation that can be distinguished but that are intimately interrelated. Raimon Panikkar captures this well: “I am one with the source insofar as I too act as a source by making everything I have received flow again.” [2] To realize that we are already one with everything is to have restored the flow of creation and allowed ourselves unqualified participation in the life of God.

[1] Meister Eckhart, Qui Audit Me, sermon on Sirach 24:30. See The Complete Mystical Works of Meister Eckhart, tr. and ed. Maurice O’C. Walshe (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2009), 298.

[2] Raimon Panikkar, Christophany (Orbis: 2005), 115.

David G. Benner, Spirituality and the Awakening Self: The Sacred Journey of Transformation (Brazos Press: 2012), 144-146.

Image credit: Krishna and Radna Looking into A Mirror (detail), artist unknown, 1800, National Museum, New Delhi, India.

Inspiration for this week’s banner image: The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me: my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, and one love. —Meister Eckhart

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