Let’s get something straight. Nobody is the entire universe. Not Buddha. Not Jesus. Not Yogananda or Nisargadatta. Nobody. Nobody is everybody else. On one level, the physical, I need to feed my body to live. If I feed your body, that’s not going to help me at all. But on another level, personal awareness can slow itself down enough to recognize an interconnectedness with all other awareness around itself – an interconnectedness with all other sentience. No need to get into the science of all that; we all know about the dynamics of energy. At another level, the purified personal awareness can expand so far as to allow for something like a so-called universal compassion, the depths of which might only truly be felt by a bodhisattva. But how does a personal awareness like this grow and develop? How vast is its reach, really? Well, this is where constructs like the Buddhist Jhana and Yogic Samadhi come in.
And yet, this awareness of interconnection or depth of compassion still does not mean that I am the universe or even at one with everything. Even a mental, emotional or so-called spiritual apprehension of the inherent interconnectedness of life does not suddenly make you into everything else. This teaching of oneness, integral to traditions like non-dual Tantra, or Advaita, is at the mercy of the limits of language, and the “I am” qualifier is a simple, expedient expression and indicator of a state of being, that needs a good follow-up parsing and impeccable teaching concerning the context.
We are the Borg. We are ONE.
Join the Hive and Know Absolute Freedom!
When one is assimilated into the Borg world, or in other words, injected with nano-probes and augmented with Borg tech, one joins the hive and becomes one with it, immediately empowered with the total capabilities of the Hive and enabled with a perspective that sees in every direction, in any dimension in which there is a Borg presence. That’s some pretty serious oneness.
The yogic siddhis are a testament to the development, potential and extent of the reach of personal awareness, and still, there is nothing on record in any tradition that puts a mystic on par with the fantastic capacities of the hive mind. And needless to say, Nature is bigger than the Borg. It behooves the student of personal consciousness and self-mastery to come to grips with the utter impossibility of the statement One with Nature or I am the Universe sooner than later.
To you reading in, who may be skeptical, who may have had some kind of awakening that has opened your mind to potential beyond the engendered cultural bias of socio-normalcy, to you who are considering that you may, in fact, be one with everything, ask yourself this and be honest. Are you able to grasp the infinite permutations of an object? Do you see the hydrogen particles in the air merging with the oxygen to become water? Are you aware of the water gathering in the cloud before the rain? Are you in every particle, in every droplet, in every cloud, around the world? Do you feel the temperature differences of the water in space as compared to the water on all the planets in all the galaxies in the universe? Simultaneously? And that’s just one teeny, tiny example!
Are you really one with Nature? Is it possible to be the universe? Or are we talking about something else? Something much, much, much smaller. Like a feeling. Like an intellectual conceptualization of a feeling which the mind then uses to trace the vague outlines of a construct and then entertains itself by looking at that construct and analyzing the conditions via self-inquiry and observation. That’s good! That’s what the mind is supposed to do! The mind is an awesome tool to put to work towards the goal of ultimate apprehension of the greatest truths and deepest mysteries of the universe. But don’t get lost in imagination and fantasy, because that rabbit hole is one of the hardest to climb out of.
Check again if you’re still doubting the veracity of my argument. Are you able to watch the cellular division, organic evolution and decay of all living beings – the entire dance of the infinite? How about just one living being? Can you put your consciousness into a butterfly? How about your own body!? Can you witness what’s going on in there? Mindfulness-based stress management gives us the little meditation called the body scan. Can you scan accurately, locate, identify glitches in your own matrix and then actually do something about it? Are you really ONE with Nature or the Natural objects around you?
Are you, in fact, the Universe? And if so, have you been able to practically apply that realization in all dimensions, including and most importantly, the physical? Because this is where we live – as 3d beings, no matter you might long for something else, to go home, to live in 5d, to ascend, yada-yada. There’s a lot of woo-woo out there, pseudo-psycho-spiritual mumbo-jumbo that invokes terminology like this and it does serious knowledge-seekers a real disservice by leading the aspirant to self-mastery along illusory paths.
There is truth to be known. Awareness is potent and powerful and consciousness is deep and broad and the interconnectivity of sentience allows for an extraordinary state of being and some pretty powerful enablement. Communion with Nature, becoming the prayer when you pray, absorption into the great void – constructs like these can lead you to an experience of expansion and the discovery of potential beyond your current perspective. Try! Practice with great attention and interest. Stay your path and observe what is actually there, employing sound logic and discernment, skills of the mind developed by sages gone before us to help us attain the goal. I promise you won’t be lead astray.
Now regarding the imagination, there’s an approachable, practical use for that, too! In the tradition of Tantra, visualization, or the so-called Tantric Imagination, is one of the keys to Self-mastery and apprehension of the higher mysteries of life. It’s a mighty art and if you can put that imagination to conscious purpose, you will begin to approximate the state of being of that so-called universal oneness.
I Am Yogi. I Am Shiva.
The Atmastakam Shivo’ham Mantra
I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego, nor the reflections of inner self (chitta). I am not the five senses. I am beyond that. I am not the ether, nor the earth, nor the fire, nor the wind. I am indeed, that eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.
Neither can I be termed as energy, nor five types of breath, nor the seven material essences, nor the five coverings of a being. Neither am I the five instruments of elimination, procreation, motion, grasping, or speaking. I am indeed, that eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.
I have no hatred or dislike, nor affiliation or liking, nor greed, nor delusion, nor pride or haughtiness, nor feelings of envy or jealousy. I have no duty, nor any money, nor any desire nor even liberation. I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.
I have neither virtue, nor vice. I do not commit sins or good deeds, nor have happiness or sorrow, pain or pleasure. I do not need mantras, holy places, scriptures, rituals or sacrifices. I am none of the triad of the observer or one who experiences, the process of observing or experiencing, or any object being observed or experienced. I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.
I do not have fear of death, as I do not have death. I have no separation from my true self, no doubt about my existence, nor have I discrimination on the basis of birth. I have no father or mother, nor did I have a birth. I am not the relative, nor the friend, nor the guru, nor the disciple. I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.
I am all pervasive. I am without any attributes, and without any form. I have neither attachment to the world, nor to liberation .I have no wishes for anything because I am everything, everywhere, every time, always in equilibrium. I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.
I identify as that.
I am Yogi.
I am Shiva.
And yet I am not the universe. Go figure.
…is a Saiva Tantrika, Gyana Yogi and founder of Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda. David has an MA in Semiotics, lives in Japan with his family and works as a coach in L & D, devoting his time to developing science-based tools and programs that help people reach the fullest potential of the human condition.