Cosmology, Mysticism, Reality, Religion, Spirituality

I’m in the One and the One’s in Me



You know, it’s all well and good and easy to say “We are One” when I’m thinking about a childhood hero. Or mountains. Or the Buddha. Or a pretty purple-tipped coneflower dappled in dew drops. I like that Oneness. It tastes sweeter than cotton candy and I can wrap myself up in it like the snuggest winter blanket, warm and cozy, safe by the fireside.

But let’s face it. Oneness doesn’t mean just being one with all the pretty things. It also means coming to terms, coming to acceptance, perhaps even coming to love, all those things we’d rather not see, rather not allow into our minds, rather not even consider the possibility of their existence. If not exactly celebrating, at least accepting that these aspects are all part of me: I’m in the _____ and the _____’s in me.

Early one recent morning this realization came home stronger than ever. In the midst of morning coffee and front porch sittin’, I was reminded of a movie scene from the evening before. Correction: I was haunted. I didn’t want to remember those three minutes. Titles can be misleading, and while this film had sounded promising, the opening scenes were so repulsive that at first I couldn’t look away – and then, I turned it off and physically walked away.

That’s not typical. Maybe I have a strong stomach due to a wide variety of life experiences. Or maybe I’ve been desensitized by too many years of modern media. Either way, while there are many things I may not care for, neither do they repel me so drastically that I have to pretend they don’t exist. For one thing, I’ve learned not to turn my back on the shadows. Left in the darkness, they loom larger, but brought into the light of consciousness, they burn away in the heat of the sun, like fog on a cool autumn morning.

But this scene I didn’t want to allow. And yes, it occurs to me as I write, my extreme reaction is a good sign of something deep being triggered, whether personal or societal. Yet when the scene presented itself again in the midst of my morning meditation, my first impulse was to block it out. No. Not me. Not me.

But wait – is that true? Do I really believe in Oneness? Or just the fun parts? Because if I truly believe in Oneness, on some level that means I Am that scene. I am the perpetrators. I am the victims. I am the wounded, the sick, the deeply disturbed that good ol’ MCB in her current form finds so repugnant.

Deep tears rising, struggling to accept and allow and integrate this concept in the core of my being. Today as I write, the butterfly that flutters to a standstill beside me reminds me, “Very good, Grasshopper. You are learning.”

I think I’m beginning to understand this better as I come to terms with the auto-immune diseases that have claimed my body in recent years. As within, so without. Unable to tell friend from foe, the body’s cells turn on each other, and it begins to destroy itself.

We see this dis-ease surfacing all around us these days, faction turned on faction, red on blue, blue on red, my flag-your flag, my love-your love, wherever you like but definitely not in MY backyard. And yet what is the truth? There is no “away” into which to cast these less desirable aspects of ourselves – that in itself being a judgment. Who decides what is desirable? What is relative? What is Truth?

I am reminded of the long-ago words of a great teacher of Oneness.He looked at the individuals around him and he saw all – the love, the hate, the cracks about the seams, the light, the dark, and he spoke words that still echo after all these years: “Love your enemies. Do good to them that hurt you.”

Not just the ones on the outside. The ones on the inside, too. For in so doing we honor our connection with all, as he honored his with his father. As another beautiful teacher worded it – our inter-being. (Thank you, Thay. <3)

More words come, those of another man, wise in his own way, who seemed to understand the deeper implications as he penned these words:

“That I feed the hungry, forgive an insult, and love my enemy – these are great virtues… But what if I should discover that the poorest of the beggars and the most impudent of offenders are all within me, and that I stand the need of all the alms of my kindness; that I myself am the enemy who must be loved – what then?” – C.G. Jung

Let’s face it. We cannot share something with another that we don’t have for ourselves – Next Breathwhether that be finances, time, space, or even love, compassion, or a sense of forgiveness. Today, as I practice, please let me remember the full picture, the all-encompassing. Let me not turn my soul on any other, or even on myself, as I sink more deeply into total integration and full acceptance.

And so it is. The beauty, the brutal, the darkness, the light. May I not forget the reminder that dangles near my side: God is as close as your next breath. Wherever it finds you. Wherever it finds me. For that I am grateful.


(C) 2016 Mary Batson,
All rights reserved, especially the one to breathe easy.


Cosmology, Reality, Religion, Spirituality

God Is

Prefer listening? Morning thoughts on dirt and the divine, if you don’t mind a little thunder and rain and traffic noise…

I don’t think God is anything like we think It is. He is. She is. I don’t think God is as perfect as we’re afraid It is – as we’re afraid we can never be. I don’t think God is as hard to please as we’ve often imagined, as we’ve tried to make Him and Her out to be, like the parents we tried so hard to satisfy, until at least some of us finally gave up and decided to just be, exactly as we were.

I don’t think God is only in the chapels and cathedrals where we try to capture Her. In the robes and relics we use, trying to show how very special this idea is to us. Don’t get me wrong. God is there – for God is everywhere. But as long as we only see Her in the beautiful places, the mountains, the meadows, the morning stars, we’ll only get half the picture.

God is in the darkness, too. God is in the pain. God is in the dirt, the drivel, the dreck, all those aspects we try to drive out and ignore in our search for something we can put on a pedestal. God is in a rusted-out lawnmower in a weed-filled sandlot just as much as She is in a stained glass window or a satin cassock. God is in the grief as well as the glory, the loss as well as the gain. What is it in us that makes us want to cheat ourselves of the full picture?

Why do we rush to open the door for Spirit, only to close it when He’s halfway through? We reject God’s darkness like we reject our own shadow: Not mine. Not mine. Not mine.

How must that ache inside Her heart, I wonder? When all He wants, all She wants, all It wants – is for us to love. To turn around to our Father-Mother-God-Creator and for once in our small-minded existence to see all, to accept all, to love all, and to finally, just once, to say Thank You. And really mean it this time. For everything. Not just bits and pieces.

I think God sometimes comes to our doors like the little ragamuffin child down the street, tears making tracks through dirt-stained cheeks, flowers hastily picked from our own front yard clasped tightly in one grubby little hand: An offering of hope, a cry for mercy for the baseball in our hand and broken window in our mind. Do we see God then? Or do we let our anger, our pain, our shadows, our vasanas, take over and block this glimpse of glory from our view?

What say you, friend? Where will you see God today? I am grateful for those moments of clarity when I can remember that God is in all, God is in everything, God is in you, and God is in the mirror.

Namaste, sweet soul. May we all remember.