Unity Consciousness mostly means thinking and ultimately acting in ways that unite us to ourselves, others, Nature or to the God of our understanding. In this article we will examine Unity Consciousness as it pertains to our relationship to others. If the Dali Lama was correct in saying "all beliefs begin in the heart," then that may be the place to begin understanding Unity Consciousness. Shedding some light on the distinction between Unity Consciousness and Dual Consciousness may be helpful, especially in terms of the former feeding the heart and the second depriving the heart.
Dual Consciousness focuses upon difference. One of its benefits is that it can identify individual differences and uniqueness. However, without the bedrock of Unity Consciousness, erosions to the landscape of the human condition easily take place.
*Dual Consciousness separates people by obvious or alleged differences under categories such as ideology, race, ability and ethnicity. Strong acts of separation tend not to remain neutral. In order to maintain the separation we begin to evaluate and diminish the person or group we are separating from. This assessment process leads to hierarchal thinking.
*Hierarchal thinking adds to the credibility of the separation and offers a temporary respite from self-loathing as we decide we must be better than those beneath us. However, exploiting those allegedly inferior to us in order to feel better about ourselves disables our ability to generate authentic self-love. It's a bit like eating cotton candy as a way to address our hunger and nutritional needs. It just falls short of meeting our dietary requirements.
*Alienation is a natural outcome of Dual Consciousness. Alienation blurs our vision. We can no longer see the sacredness of others. Working together, co-creating and collaboration are sacrificed in favor of defending and protecting ourselves against those we deem different.
*Ignorance typically results from Dual Consciousness. We don't know one another. We are comfortable creating stories about each other, never really knowing what's true. Ignorance tends to build upon itself. One misapprehension generates more self-deception as we scramble to confirm our original misperception.
*Loss of self is the most insidious forfeiture generated by Dual Consciousness. As our thinking experiences the vice grip of ignorance, our reflection is reduced to "right-wrong," losing a capacity to hold a wider vision. Fear replaces curiosity and courage. Exploration and introspection are sacrificed as we desperately attempt to patch together some veneer of stability and security. It becomes increasingly difficult to get honest about who we really are.
From Communication To Communion
"The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless... beyond speech... beyond concept." (Thomas Merton) Merton, the Christian Mystic, may be correct in suggesting, "communion is wordless... beyond speech... beyond concept." However, there may be some language reflective of Unity Consciousness that begins to point us in the direction of communion.
"I see that you and I both suffer."
"I see that you and I both long to be loved."
"I see that we both possess certain strengths and we are wounded."
"I see that you and I both experience loss."
"I see that you and I sometimes feel empty and broken."
"I see that you and I both lose our way."
"I see that you and I forget to forgive ourselves."
"I see that you and I fear that what we cherish and love might slip away."
"I see that you and I will die."
The above statements reflect Unity Consciousness as they unite us with others. Let's look at how Unity Consciousness might benefit us.
1)Builds rapport. An old definition of the word 'rapport' is 'to carry'. We can say that rapport building is about building a bridge to the other so we can carry more support across the bridge to one another as we face life's challenges.
2)Generates more compassion. More compassion allows us to more fully participate in the suffering of others and therefore more fully participate in the community of the human condition. Such participation lowers the likelihood of exercising harmful behavior indiscriminately.
3)Less time devoted to protect, defend and attack. There is more available energy to explore, create and heal.
4)Promotes greater equanimity as adversarial liaisons diminish.
5)Brings more depth and meaning to our own unique life styles. When uniqueness is viewed from a unity perspective, there is less need to make one of them wrong. There is inevitably more tolerance for diverse world views.
6)Trust for life generally increases. We become less suspicious as we experience ourselves as less alone and alienated.
7)Modeling Unity Consciousness may be one of the greatest legacies to pass on to the next generation because of its capacity to sustain hearts.
We have been comparing Unity Consciousness and Dual Consciousness. Dual Consciousness has the seductive quality of offering the ego an immediate and cursory boost. It offers little or nothing that is sustainable. While the gifts of Unity Consciousness tend to generate acceptance, compassion, peace and trust, qualities that have the power of offering more opportunity for innovation, reconciliation and fulfillment -- food for the heart.