SILVER RIVER STATE PARK, OUTSIDE OCALA, FL–Before I woke up, one of the things that I thought I understood was the sense of Oneness. To the mind, when you drop all boundaries, you become one with everything. The logic goes something like this:
- Boundaries only exist in the mind.
- Thus all boundaries are artificial.
- Without boundaries, everything is one.
- Thus you are one with everything.
- Thus you are everything.
To the students of non-dualism (buddhism, taoism, zen, yoga, et all), this makes perfect sense. There really is no table–the mind just categorizes some “awareness stuff” as “table” and some other awareness stuff as “not table.”
Oneness therefore makes perfect sense to the student and the thought of separation is considered as just an illusion.
This is all fine and dandy until the student puts his non-existent coffee cup too close to the non-existent table edge and the non-existent scalding coffee burns his non-existent groin off. And of course the searing pain he feels as he jumps up and down is all just non-existent pain too.
Once I woke up though, I started to feel what is meant by Oneness, and the feel is nothing like what they babble on and on about in the non-dual schools and forums.
After waking up, boundaries still exist–objects still have boundaries–but oddly, I seem to have lost all my boundaries. For instance, when I look at my hands, they seem to exist inside of me.
From the level of the Enlightenment of Oneness, your body seems to exist inside of you. In fact, everything feels like it exists inside you. Everything feels like it is you. And, because everything feels like it is you, it’s almost as if you don’t exist at all.
So forget thinking about what Oneness is–here’s how Oneness feels…
Take your finger and touch the table in front of you.
Where your finger touches the table, notice these two things:
- Notice at the point of contact, the table feels like you. The whole table doesn’t feel like you, but the part in direct contact with your finger does. The part of the table where your finger is touching, feels like it is a part of you.
- Notice also that the point of contact feels like it is inside of you. If you close your eyes and “look” closely, it seems like your awareness seems to surround the point of contact. The “oneness” with that part of the table seems to occur inside of your awareness, inside of you. It helps if you close your eyes and touch the table a few times and watch how the feeling comes and goes–almost like you are an empty room and someone keeps poking there head in and out and saying, “Hi.”
Now here’s what happens when you wake up: All your senses have the same intimacy as that sense of touch you just experienced.
When you hear a phone ring, it feels as intimate as a touch. Like (1) above, the sound seems to connect you to it–you feel one with the sound. And like (2) above, you feel it inside of you.
And why not? Hearing, like touch, is just another physical sense.
Sounds. Smells. Tastes. All feel as sensual as a caress. All feel like they connect you. All feel like they are inside you. All feel like they are you. They arise inside you, they caress you, and then they drop away into nothingness.
But here is why everything feels like you: Just like the sense of touch, everything you see, “touches” you because you “touch” everything that you look at. Everything you lay your eyes on becomes you. Everything in your field of vision feels like it is inside you.
It’s almost as if you breathe everything in. Just as the air in your lungs becomes you, so too does everything that your senses experience become you.
Prior to enlightenment, students on the non-dual practices think that everything is them. This is partially true… but mostly wrong, since the experience of Oneness doesn’t have that much to do with boundaries. A non-dual student would say that the planet Jupiter is just as much you as your body is, but that’s just theoretical BS. If I can see Jupiter through a telescope, then it feels like me–but if I’ve got no telescope, then it’s all just a thought in my head.
When you drop the personal self, the experience is that everything that you sense–everything that you feel, taste, smell, hear, and see–becomes one with you. You and it feel as if you are One.
It takes no thought. It just naturally feels this way.
And the way it feels?
I gotta tell you, it feels pretty awesome.
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