Philosophy Works (Class Nine)
Class Notes on Unity:
Philosophy is concerned with wholeness, to expand and increase our awareness of the unity that underlies our lives and all of creation. It must be clear to us all that we have, in some measure, begun the journey towards wholeness.
Unity in diversity: The potter throws many kinds of pots, yet each vessel is made of the very same clay. The jeweler fashions beautiful golden rings and bracelets, but each of these shining forms is made of a single substance – gold. Consider the waves in the ocean, each with ties own unique power and form. Who can say where wave begins and ocean ends? We are like the waves. WE make an appearance as separate forms on the infinite ocean of existence; we are born, we thrive and return to the same source from whence we came, the Self of All.
Wherever there is awareness, there is unity. When we begin to wake up, we can look beyond the forms and discover the thread that binds then all together.
The Teaching of non-duality is a universal teaching. It belongs to everyone and to no-one. It is the tap root of all the great teachings and traditions. It dwells within us, waiting to be heard and realized. The work of this school is to remind us of this underlying Unity.
Look for Unity. Wherever you find separation and division, look for the unity, the wholeness beyond the surface agitation.
The commotion of our human life, which lets in everything, all the light and all the music, all the mad pranks of thought and all the variations of pain, the fullness of memory and the fullness of expectation, is closed to one thing only: unity.
Martin Buber, Ecstatic Confessions: The heart of Mysticism
Of a certainty the man who can see all creatures in himself,
Himself in all creatures, knows no sorrow.
How can a wise man, knowing the unity of life,
Seeing all creatures in himself, be deluded or sorrowful?
There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all the same, He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel; what at any time has befallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays
All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man does not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself…All things are connected.
Chief Seattle’s Letter to all the People
“A human being is part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings,
as something separated from the rest – a kind of OPTICAL DELUSION of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion –
to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is, in itself,
a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”