When I moved to Albuquerque in 1995 I soon began attending First Church of Religious Science, now all are called Centers for Spiritual Living. While I had attended Unity Church in Columbus prior to moving, and was familiar with concepts of Eastern Religions, including the idea of “oneness”, it was at this time I began to ponder more intently on this fact that “you and I are one”. Why? Because a woman who attended had a license plate that read, “U&IR1”.
And so, it happened that when I arrived or was leaving the parking lot I’d see her license plate and again and again, I experienced being “stopped” as I would read it. I mean really stilled. And then I would just be with those words—right there in the parking lot, driving home and at other times as well. “You and I are one”.
So, what does it mean? It means just what it says. It is a statement of truth, tho one that seems contradictory to how we live, how we think and certainly in how we have been raised in our society to believe we are a separate individual, identified in our body and clearly not of a unified physical form with everyone else. Who could imagine it? Well, of course, the statement is one of spiritual identity…of oneness in spirit with the body being outside of this realm entirely. The body is outside of who we are.
We know that appearances deceive. And that’s a function of the body – to deceive us into an awareness of only the body and the physical world. In this, we remain forever in a state of separation (individualization) and with no remembrance of God and of our shared oneness in God. In this state, we struggle to find and maintain a feeling of love, peace and joy for all things are transitory.
When I ponder still, upon the fact of our oneness, my awareness goes immediately to what would be a joyful experience of freedom. In oneness there is no one else to have to “put up with”, to react to, compete with, to distrust and defend against…and all the other unloving ways we conceptualize ourselves in relation to others. We’d know we are okay, loved and valued--because in oneness there is only acceptance, love and optimal value. This is encouraging.
I believe this is the task that is upon us—to awaken. To come into an awareness of ourselves as spirit, one with God and our brothers. A Course in Miracles proclaims it to be our only function. We’ve been told we cannot achieve this on our own but that when we ask for the experience, it is given. When we set awakening as our goal, we will awaken. In that we become co-workers and instruments for God’s love to be made manifest in man. In that, heaven becomes anchored on earth.
Personally, I’m kind of stuck on this topic. Why? Because I believe it is my only function—the one thing of importance. I also believe it is the answer to every concern, irritation, worry or unsatisfactory situation in my life and in the world.
How are we told to achieve this life purpose? Forgive. To love one another. To be still and know that I am God. It’s a simple, reliable and proven recipe. U&IR1. It’s the promise of peace beyond our understanding.