[Click for Audio: Oneness, What It Means]
Attempting to describe our relationship with God as one of unity is difficult because we are trying to understand two defined entities—ourselves and God—as being one. We obviously have a consciousness that allows us to say, I am I and you are you. To talk of a relationship between you and I implies duality. Thinking of our relationship with God, however, is different, a challenge that arises from thinking of God as the old man in the sky.
We can see that two light bulbs are two distinct entities. But what of the electricity that generates the light that shines through them? There is no place where the electricity leaves off and the light shining from the bulb begins. The bulb converts electricity into light, but without electricity, the bulb can do nothing. This illustration sheds a different light on Jesus’ saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son [light, light bulb] can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father [electricity] doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise” (Jn 5:19).
God is the power behind our being. Just as all the qualities of electricity are imparted to the light bulb, so all of the qualities of God are imparted to each of us. The light bulb would not say, “I alone express all of the world’s electricity,” so we as individuals would not say, “I alone express all of God.” However, the light bulb could say, “The electricity I express as light is one and the same electricity found the world over.” Likewise, the life, power, intelligence, and love that is our being is God. Our relationship with God, therefore, is oneness.
Words are often limiting and our use of words to attempt to define the unseen can be confusing. The light bulb has a direct experience with the electricity that it converts into light. So we are to open our minds and hearts to the inner, direct experience of God to truly know our oneness. The most a teaching can do is direct us to the switch that will turn on the light. It is up to each one of us to flip on that switch.