Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Sense of Unity

Last night, I watched part of a beautiful movie about a blind man whose sight was restored after a lifetime of not being able to see and wishing to be able to see light.

I was so struck by imagining what a shock it would be to, all of a sudden, have another sense added to my way of life.  To, all of a sudden, be coordinating vision with touch.  This would add a whole new dimension to the experience of everything in my immediate world, a new way to integrate and unite every object that I come into contact with.

  • Close your eyes and touch the objects around you.  Can you do this without imagining what they look like?
  • Open your eyes and look at the objects around you.  Can you imagine what they would feel like if you were touching them, as you look at them?  Can you caress the objects with your vision?
  • Now imagine an object far, far away.  Even though you cannot see it or touch it, or sense it with any of the physical senses, can you realize that it is still a part of your experience, and therefore a part of you?

I wonder:  what if we actually do have another sense available to us, which would help us to integrate, not only what we come into physical contact with (through sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste, or proprioception), but everything in our world and beyond--everything that we are in contact with in any way, through sheer existence?

Some people call this "the sense of the sacred", an awareness of the essential unity of everything.  We all have it, but we usually don't pay much attention to it, and we fall back into the habit of believing that things are separate, and can only be sensed through the physical senses.

  • Can you be aware of a country on the other side of this earth?
  • Can you be aware of the people there?
  • Can you be aware of the sufferings and delights of all mankind?
  • Can you rise above the 5 or 6 usual senses, and sense the interconnectedness of everything?
  • Can you realize that there is nothing separate from this sense, that all is included in it?
  • Can you realize that the physical senses are also included in this sense, and can be used to help unify things, just like touch and sight can go together to help describe an object?
  • Can you rest into this sense of unity, and let go of any thoughts or suggestions that resist it?
  • Can you give up and let go, in order to rest in this sense?

I, personally, can only find balance and harmony and inner peace when I give up and let go into this unifying "sense of the sacred", which is within me and all around.

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