1.1 All including the world seen by you and yourself, the seer of the world, is one only.
The seer of the world is only One – The pure consciousness is the source and substance of all appearances. The world of objects, including the subject through whom the world appears to be seen is One all-inclusive reality. The subject or object-cognizer through whom the cognition is apparently happening is also an object in phenomenality. Therefore, the subject that appears to be the seer is also an object in the manifestation.
1.2 All that you consider as I, you, he, she and it, is one only.
Duality is characterized as the interconnected opposites of the subject-object pairs. Just as cooling is understood in relation to heating, hardness is understood in relation to softness. The relationships are bidirectional. Similarly, the subject “I” appears in connection with an object that is “Not-I” (he, she, they, them, and so on). The “I” is not separate from “Not-I.” They are one and the same.
1.3 What you consider to be sentient beings and what you consider to be insentient, such as earth, air, fire, and water is all one.
The mind is dualistic and perceives things as sentient (living) and insentient (non-living). You say there is a difference between you and the table, which is based on characteristics seen in appearances. The common factor behind all appearances is the existence or the “Isness.” Table is because you are. You arose because the table appeared. There is no separation. You and the table are one. The unicity is in every object comprising of the multiplicity, and multiplicity is unicity projected. Therefore, unicity alone was, is, and will be.
1.4 The good which is derived by your considering all as one cannot be had by considering each as separate from the other. Therefore, all is one.
For the sake of conceptualization, let’s say good is that which unites and not the good that is understood in relation to bad. In unity, “I” becomes one with the “other.” Not in appearances, but in the recognition of the ever-functioning principle that powers “you,” “me,” and everything else in the world. Then “I” enjoy harmony in relationship with the “other,” which is impossible when I consider myself to be separate from others. All are objects illuminated by the one divine light of consciousness. All objects are made of the same substance. The difference is only an appearance appearing in the filtered perception of the pseudo-subject (“me”), which is also an object that owes existence to consciousness.
1.5 The knowledge of the unity of all, is good for you and good for others as well. Therefore, all is one.
The knowledge of unity brings goodness to all. Goodness is the end of separation. This knowledge is the recognition of “being” which is the substratum of everything known and unknown. Therefore, it does not come as a thought, for thought is a limited instrument of investigation. It is divisive – a product of the intellect which bifurcates everything. It comes as a spontaneous and instantaneous recognition. Therefore, it is impersonal, free from all doubts and skepticism.
The awakening to unity changes relationships for it is understood that the unity or the common principal is the one that powers and pervades all life. Therefore, the individuals give up hate, malice, and resentment towards others, freeing themselves from guilt, shame, and regret. When all is one, where is the “other” to hate and condemn? When all is one, who lives in regret of the past? When all is one, who is my friend or enemy? When all is one, why can’t I be as I am? As the unity created “me” to a part of nature, it creates “others,” but neither “me” nor the “others” are separate from nature. I play and engage in the game of life, but I remain free, for I never get involved. I watch the show impersonally knowing I am not the character, but the infinite screen of consciousness on which the world of names and forms is a projection.
1.6 He who sees “I am separate,” “you are separate,” “he is separate” and so on, acts one way to himself and another way to others. He cannot help doing so. The thought “I am separate, others are separate” is the seed from which grows the tree of differing actions in relation to different persons. How can there be any lapse from righteousness for a person who knows the unity of himself with others? As long as the germ of differentiation is there, the tree of differing actions will flourish, even unawares. Therefore, give up differentiation. All is one only.
Life constitutes relationships and actions based on those relationships. Relationships based on thinking of ideology, beliefs, or other aspects in manifestation are limited and breed conflict because they are all based on separation. “I am different from others.” The difference is only in appearances, but the essence of unity is the common factor for all. Therefore, when I act with the belief that I am separate from the rest of humanity, my actions are selfish and born out of greed to enhance my own well-being. That is what a majority of us run after – an idea of self-enhancement. It is only an idea born out of divisive thinking. The fruits of such actions never satiate the individual for the notion of individual existence (“I am so and so)” itself is the cause of all conflicts.
The common factor behind appearances is the ground of all experiential awareness or “I AM.” It does not belong to the individual but is the substratum from where the sense of individuality arises and finds expression in the phenomenal world. You as you think of yourself are a reflection (flux) in this ground of eternal being.
The sense of separate existence is the seed from which differing (unwholesome) actions arise. Separation is the root of divisive thinking. Identifying myself as a separate entity with a name and form, I build illusory structures that give rise to the phantom image “me” – “I am (name). I am (profession). I belong to this country, race, ethnicity, religion, group, organization, and sect. I love this. I hate that. I follow this. I resent that. I take pride in this. I am ashamed of that.” The “me” is a conceptual thought identified with the limited. The “I AM,” however, is eternal and free from all limitations and boundations.
When I identify with the limited, I stand in opposition to the other. Whereas, when I know who I really am, “I” stands alone in complete unity. In the awareness of unity, my actions are righteous (spontaneous, not the worldly meaning of righteousness), for then, I know that they do not originate from “me” but from the unity and only find expression through the “me”-instrument. I recognize that just as unity operates through the “me”-instrument, similarly, it also operates through “other”-instruments. All happening is unity.
1.7 Ask: “If in the world all things appear different, how can I consider all as one? Is there any way of gaining this knowledge?” The reply is: “In the same tree we see leaves, flowers, berries and branches, different from one another, yet they are all one because they are all included in the word ‘tree’. Their root is the same; their sap is the same. Similarly, all things, all bodies, all organisms are from the same source and activated by a single life principle.” Therefore, all is one.
When I see the phenomenal world, I see separation. I see myself struggling in relationships, finances, and with vasanas (the inner tendencies and shadow traits). I see myself wanting to accumulate more with the desire to become bigger, smarter, and greater than what I am right. I see myself running and chasing the external world and deriving security and safety for myself and my loved ones. I see others in opposition to where I am. I see competition, fights, and struggle to make a name for myself. I want continuity even when I am long gone. I want people to remember me for my contribution to this world. How do I see unity?
The problem is that observation happens through the senses in the mind. It is the mind which derives meaning and purpose. The bare existence is not concerned with any meaning or purpose. It is its own purpose. The mind being limited and fragmented derives limited happiness. The objects of the external world are fleeting and impermanent. Once this is recognized, identifications begin to loosen, and therefore, the mind unable to sustain itself merges back into the Source – the pure consciousness. The mind sees problems in isolation, but every problem has something in common – the root conceptual thought “me” which forms all structures of separation.
Therefore, the limited entity cannot know the eternal. To know the unity, the unlimited has to be seen in the limited as its source and substance. Therefore, the life principle that powers all is an impersonal recognition and not of the limited mind. Be the unity to know it. The unity will never become an object of experience in the limited mind. The very act of trying or making the slightest effort is a diversion from “being” or life-principle that is unity. The act of trying produces the pseudo-subject whose involvement (or existence) itself blocks reality. When you focus on the individual parts and believe in their independent existence, the unity remains hidden. Only when you see things in totality, where you no longer keep the notion of being a separate observer, the beauty of unity reveal itself. In unity, the observer, observation, and observed become one.
1.8 Oh good man! Is the statement that “All is one,” good or evil? Think for yourself. Just as the person will always be righteous who regards himself like others and others like himself, how can any evil attach itself to him who knows himself to be others and the others to be himself? Tell me if there is any better way for obtaining good than the knowledge of unity? Certainly other methods cannot be as good as this one. How can anyone love others more than when knowing them to be himself, to know them in unity-love as unity, for they are truly one.
In appearances, we see separation, but the life-principal powering all – the “being” is the common factor. A righteous person sees not the physical appearance but the consciousness that powers all reality. Therefore, righteousness is not to be confused with the worldly meaning of adopting one position against another. For a righteous person, there is no “other.” They see everyone as themselves and everyone as them. Therefore, they have complete acceptance of the dualistic split of good and evil phenomenality. Such people have been referred to as jnanis in the traditional texts. They are also called jivanmukta – the ones who are free from the bondage of life while living). They do not see separation and hence they do not choose for or against. Therefore, they don’t get affected by what’s happening, and even if they do, momentarily, there is a complete acceptance of What-Is. The misery of the moment does not translate into suffering in horizontal time.
The Shiva Linga is an ideal depiction of it. The Linga symbolizes vertical thought “I AM” that is free from horizontal movement, and the horizontal base on which it rests (yoni) – the symbol of goddess Shakti – is represented as involvement or flow of thinking mind in phenomenality. Their intersection is the common life principle or “being,” where Shiva and Shakti become one, and which is the substratum of all experiential awareness. The same analogy can be passed to the cross in the Bible. The recognition of this common essence is the supreme unity. The true knower of his being is free from all evil (shame, blame, guilt, malice, resentment, hate, spite, jealousy, and ill-will) because evil is created in the mind which itself has its ground in the being. When there is no other; who is there to resent? The love that emerges from the knowledge of unity is pure and undifferentiated. It is not based on appearances but on the recognition of the common life principle that operates through, you, me, and others. In this love, you cannot love one more than the other for all are one and the same. Such love is bereft of analysis and meaning for it does not arise from the conceptual thought “me”. It is ever-present as here and now. The appearance of “other” is happening in your consciousness. There is no other independent of you, and there is no you independent of the other. Nothing in phenomenality has an independent existence. Therefore, the greatest good is the eradication of separation by the knowledge of unity.
1.9 Who can share the mental peace and freshness of the knower of unity? He has no cares. The Good of all is his own good. A mother considers her children’s well-being to be her own well-being. Still, her love is not perfect because she thinks she is separate and her children are separate. The love of a Sage, who has realized the unity of all, far excels even the love of a mother. There is no other means of gaining such love than the knowledge of unity. Therefore all is one.
On waking up to the unity or pure consciousness one experiences peace and equanimity for he has dipped into the ocean of unconditional love, and after that, one’s attitude towards life changes significantly. He experiences mental clarity knowing that whatever happens is the play of unity. For him, the sense of separate existence is no more. Being the mere witness of phenomenality, he remains free from duality. The Sage finds peace in the peace of others. He experiences well-being in the well-being of others. He experiences harmony in What-Is. He experiences the bliss of deep sleep in the waking state. No matter how much a mother is attached to her newborn, in deep sleep, she forgets everything resting in the eternal silence of pure consciousness as the sense of personal identification or “me” is not there. The Sage exudes unconditional love merely through his presence without trying to influence anyone. Bhagavan Ramana exuded such peace that people experienced spontaneous awakenings in his presence. Sage Ramana was a man of a few words. There was no need for words as his silence spoke louder.
The knowledge of unity is the true knowledge. To know unity is to “be” it. It cannot be known through the effort of the mind, for the mind is a limited appearance in the limitless consciousness. However, they are not two, just as a wave is not separate from the ocean. Waves are manifestations in the ocean but there is no such thing as a separate wave within the ocean. Similarly, the finite identified consciousness is a manifestation of the infinite consciousness or pure potential. The creator is one with the creation. The creator appears as the creation. When seen in unity, everything becomes harmonious. Look at the scene outside your window. Look deep and tell me where is the separation. The tree, the flowers, the green glass, the blue sky, the pleasant breeze, the beehives, the butterflies, and the insects, are all one. Look at the beautiful symphony of nature. It is all one.
1.10 Know that the world as a whole is your undecaying body and that you are the everlasting life of the whole world. Tell me if there is any harm in doing so? Who fears to go the harmless way? Be courageous. The Vedas teach this very truth. There is nothing but yourself. All good will be yours. Yea, you become the good itself. All that others gain from you will be good only. Who will work evil to his own body and soul? A remedy is applied if there is an abscess in the body. Even if the remedy is painful, it is meant to do good only. Such will be some of your actions; they will also be for the good of the world. For that reason, you will not be involved in differentiation. I put it briefly: The knower of unity will act as one should. In fact, the knowledge of unity makes him act. He cannot err. In the world, he is God made visible. All is one.
When the sense of personal identification with limited name and form dissolves, the Unity awakens. Everything is seen without an individual seer. The seer is the seen. The world is an appearance in consciousness. There is nothing apart from the consciousness that is you. When you realize this, there cannot be indifference towards others. It takes courage to direct attention to what is happening within. Self-inquiry is not for the faint-hearted. It appears tough (almost impossible) to the mind that is externalized, however, slowly and steadily as one leans into the stillness of the Self, the mind begins to relax. It becomes apparent that what appeared to be challenging work is the easiest and effortless. Nothing can harm a still mind. Stillness is our very nature. The goodness of God or the Self is not based on conditions. The God is the unity or goodness itself. Relatively speaking, the closer you are to God, the more goodness you have.
You appear to be moving closer to God in duality. However, when the mind surrenders, you become God or goodness. You are beyond duality – space, time, and causation – the unaffected witness of phenomenality. It does not take eternity to realize God. It can happen now in this very moment. The action that comes from the knowledge of unity is spontaneous, intelligent, and creative. It is not a product of thought. Such an action cannot be classified as good or bad because it is the natural reaction of the biological organism. The organism seems to age and decay but you are the primordial consciousness that powers everything; hence, you cannot decay.
Self-reflection requires courage because it is not easy to face the image one has formed within oneself. It is like being thrown into the stormy ocean. The image (“me”) struggles to survive not knowing that its liberation is in drowning and not struggling to survive. The suffering is all about the ego struggling to survive with the notion of being a separate doer. When the struggle ends, surrender happens. In that, the ego completely gives up fighting the turbulent waves of the ocean. It drowns and reaches the vast depth of the ocean where everything is still and restful. The ego cannot remain there for long so it comes back to the surface, but having seen the calm of the deep ocean, it is not scared of the turbulent waves anymore. The realization of unity is not the death of the ego but that of its sense of doership. With doership gone, the ego fully engages in the world and enjoys a harmonious relationship but never gets involved. The dissolution of the sense of being an individual doer of actions is the end of separation. The end of separation is the end of suffering. All is one.