Friday, May 27, 2016

What Is Spiritual Oneness?

Last week, at an AA meeting, I was asked who I thought I was. I answered with my familiar statement: “I am not a human being in a body which houses (somewhere) an eternal soul. I am an already-loved eternal spirit currently having a human experience.”
How do I know that? How did I come to believe that? How do I know that this is true?
All day last Sunday, following that AA meeting, these questions bugged me. At first I tried to ignore them – thinking it was just another egoic attempt to get me in a state of “paralysis by analysis.” But, something deep inside really clicked.
I want to share that with you today.
Last week I talked about “hitting bottom,” and its necessary occurrence to open me (and you?) up to real contact with the Spirit of God, as you may understand God. That is certainly what I experienced as I “floated” into my earliest AA meetings, still under the influence of Librium. However, the first six months of my recovery were both astounding and miraculous because of the powerful and visceral reaction I had to the unbelievable acceptance I found in those church basements: I was understood; I was accepted; I was loved! It gave me hope.
I kept being told, “Keep coming back,” and I did. I couldn’t explain it, but I was being transformed. It was wonderful.
As I listen to people share in these meetings, I relate to the honesty behind the verbal sentences. Honesty is a foundational key in any 12-Step program. But beyond the honesty is the fact that, as each one shares, I find myself identifying with some tiny piece of them. I can see a little of me in everyone that shares. It matters not whether they are male or female, younger or older, wealthy or struggling, novice or experienced in sobriety. I find a little of myself in each of them.
That is the source of my feelings of acceptance – of Oneness.
They are just like me – or – I am just like them. I see them in me – or – I see me in them. That little bit of me that “sees” this sameness is what A Course In Miracles (ACIM) calls the miracle. With spiritual vision from the Holy Spirit, I am able to perceive another person as a Child of God, just like me – full of fear, perhaps, or hope, or anger (the public face of fear), or understanding, or love. It is a palpable sense of Oneness. And, as far as I have been able to determine, this understanding of Oneness is an underlying reality in virtually all religions – Christianity, of course, but also Islam and its spiritual partner Sufism, Judaism and its spiritual partner Kabbalah, Buddhism, Hinduism, as well as most native indigenous concepts of spirituality.
We are all One. My spirit – the essential Me – is no bigger than, no more important than, no more precious than anyone else’s. Buddhism, Hinduism and the indigenous cultures (especially Shamanism) think I also should include ALL of nature as well. They would admonish me by saying, “Donnie, your spirit is no more important nor different than the spirit of a deer or a rabbit or a raven or a stream. We are all Life and we are all One. I believe that. It brings me peace.
The reason I still go to AA meetings after 29 years of sobriety is that I still need to experience that small bit of Oneness I get in those rooms. Are there some persons in AA I gravitate to or feel more akin to than others? Of course there are. But underneath it all, there is a common bond that constantly reinforces my sense of belongingness; my sense of acceptance; my sense of Self among all their Selves.
It is Oneness – in the immediacy of that room, those people, and their honesty. In its presence all differences become superficial and generally irrelevant. For me, that Oneness is the sense of being in the presence and reality of the Holy.
I still very much need to experience that. I still very much need those recovering alcoholics.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening to me and getting to know me – warts and all. As always, feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
Have a happy, peaceful and safe Memorial Day holiday, if you are here in the United States.
#5 May 2016

Copyright 2016

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