Throughout human history, various religions and spiritual traditions have spoken of the interconnectedness of all things. They tell us that we are not separate beings, but rather parts of a greater whole. And yet, despite this universal truth, we continue to perceive ourselves as individuals, distinct from one another.
The Hindu concept of Advaita, for example, teaches that there is only one ultimate reality, called Brahman, which is the underlying essence of everything in the universe. The separation we perceive between ourselves and others is merely an illusion, created by our limited human perception. Similarly, in Buddhism, the idea of "dependent origination" suggests that everything in the universe is interconnected and interdependent, with no true separateness between things.
In Christianity, the concept of "oneness" is often associated with the idea of the Holy Trinity, where the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three distinct beings, yet one divine essence. With this truth present in so many different cultures around the world, why is it that we continue to perceive ourselves as separate from one another? Why do we allow our egos to create divisions and conflicts, when the reality is that we are all part of the same cosmic fabric?
While living life clinging to our individual selves, we neglect to acknowledge our true identity as the totality of all living things. It is only by awakening to this fact that we can begin to break down the barriers of separation and embrace our true nature as interconnected beings.
When you hurt another being, you are being hurt. When you help another being, you are helping yourself. This concept is meant to awaken the spirit of compassion within the individual and guide them towards the divine.
Alchemist, it may very well be that the secret to long lasting and fulfilling happiness lies with achieving abundance for all living beings around us, and not just for ourselves.
Of course, being a part of the all, the one, must also be happy and self-actualized. Create a joyful existence for yourself, Alchemist, and the world will reflect it in kind.