“If space and time are illusions, then we are still where it all began, then we have never left heaven.”
The world of our origin is a world of oneness; it is the world of light and love: our real home. Yet, in the world we are born into, this earthly world, everything is separated by space and time – the two great dividers. It is the world of duality, the world of separation, of struggle, of survival of the fittest, and of wars between men and between humankind and nature.
In short, it is a world of fear. Most of the ideas of this world are based on fear. And because we grow up with fears and among fears, we consider them to be self-evident and therefore we build our very lives upon them. Fear causes us to build walls between us and what we fear – the result is duality. Every wall we build is also a wall inside us; thus we destroy our inner wholeness.
What are the sources of these fears?
Theism is one of the most influential. Theism is basically the idea that we are separate from God. This universe is divided in two parts: God, the good part, and us. We must obey His rules, believe in His holy book, or He will not like us. Of course, since we cannot obey His rules, we must bad and therefore will go to Hell. The result is fear, guilt, and the belief that we are bad. For every moment when we really live and enjoy life, we feel guilty. This way of thinking is still deep inside many of us.
Another source of fear is atheism and atheism is related to science. Scientists tell us that the universe exists in space-time. They place space-time beyond the universe, which results in another form of division. "I am separated by space-time from everybody else. My life is just a short sparkle of light in an everlasting night. Every being is lonely and has to fight to survive. The so called inner connection between me and other people – love – is just an illusion created by biological mechanisms."
Both these sources of fear have in common that they place something beyond the universe, thus both deny the oneness of reality. The psychological impact on us is that we believe in fear instead of love, in separation instead of oneness, in matter instead of mind, and so we lose our wholeness. We come to believe that it is the world around us that matters and so we learn to neglect our inner world.
We forget that the whole universe is inside us, so we make ourselves infinitely small. And the smaller we make ourselves, the more unhappy, the more fearful and lonely we become. Theism does not help; it teaches that even if there is a God we are separated from Him. We have to obey His rules, forget ourselves, and fear Him.
We try to overcome our fears by trying to be good and adapting to the energies of this world. But we can only do this by dividing ourselves. We start to label certain parts of ourselves as bad and so we suppress those parts; which are, of course, the parts that do not fit in: our most original parts. Thus we internalize the walls and borders we see around us.
What can we do? How do we make ourselves whole again? We first have to understand what oneness really is.
Oneness and Wholeness
Oneness is for many people an abstract concept without reality; a thing in which we all eventually disappear. They believe we come from oneness and eventually we disappear into it like a drop disappears in the ocean.
Often the phrase “everything is one” is interpreted as “everything is the same" – no room for individuality. Many spiritual beliefs are, in fact, a lot like atheism. Both believe that we eventually disappear into the universe, one way or the other. This notion of oneness neglects the fact that if the universe is one, then everything in it is already part of this oneness. Separation is a mental concept based on fear: we are separated because we believe we are separated.
But how is this possible? How can everything be one and yet be totally different? How can I be one with the universe and yet be an individual?
Purely from a rational point of view this concept is hard to understand because our notion of rationality is based on space-time, and within space-time this is not possible. With space-time there can only be one thing at one place at a certain time.
However, our notion of space-time is based on the study of the outer world, and almost everything we learn at school is about the outer world. When we dwell in our inner world, this is considered to be a bad thing. Yet when we feel an inner connection with another person this is something of the inner world. We can feel a deep inner connection with a person or with nature – even feel one – although we are physically separated. Oneness is something of the inner world. But because we neglect this inner world, and we believe – like most people do – that the universe exists within space-time, oneness seems impossible.
I will try to explain the idea of oneness with two examples. It is interesting to see that these examples, which defy our traditional notions of rationality, are in fact very evident.
First, think of the human body. The human body is one, yet every organ in it is different. If all the organs were to be the same, there would be no body, you would just have a set of organs; the wholeness of the body would be gone. But this, of course, begs the question: why do we consider the human body to be a whole?
Imagine you are talking to a friend. You are perhaps aware of his hands, eyes, hair, etc – all different parts. Yet, at the same time, you consider them as one. You feel there is one consciousness behind this body, there is one person. And in every aspect of the body we sense this energy of oneness, the energy of this one person. But this is only possible because all the organs in the body are different. The organs of the body exist in space-time. Yet there is something – a source energy outside space-time – that encompasses and penetrates all the organs and makes the body into a whole. And whenever you are really communicating with another person, you experience this whole. If you ever have seen a dead body, you are aware that something is “gone”.
This source energy is something we sense on a inner level – the level of the heart. It is seeing with the heart that combines all the information we get from our five physical senses into one experience: a friend.
Another example. You are walking in a beautiful landscape. In the distance you see mountains, forests, and a waterfall. Nearby is a river and a meadow filled with many different flowers. There are animals, and in the sky you see some clouds and a flock of birds.
And yet inside you, all these things come together into one beautiful image. The existence of this image inside you is a miracle, it defies the laws of space and time where everything is divided and the “oneness” of a thing, such as in the image, is not possible. Inside a computer, an image is just a series of bits (ones and zeros); it is never a whole thing. A computer is not able to see with the heart, and therefore cannot combine all these information bits – all these ones and zeros – into a single experience.
We cannot explain the miracle of oneness, the miracle of the heart, in rational terms; therefore, we can never program it into a computer. Within a computer, an image is always a series of ones and zeros. It is never one, never one beautiful landscape. Only when these ones and zeros are projected onto the screen of our mind can we transform these ones and zeros into one image.
Rationality is a space-time phenomenon , a computer program is a space-time phenomenon. But our consciousness, where the miracle of the image as a beautiful whole comes into existence, lies outsize space-time; our heart, the source of love, lies outside space-time.
But what makes this image so beautiful? What is beauty? First, because everything is different; for example, every tree is different. If they were the same, the image would lose some of its beauty. And the trees are completely different from the mountains, clouds, and animals – from everything else you see. The fact that everything is different creates the beauty of the whole. Beauty is were the one and the many meet.
Now picture this: you see a bird flying above you, and for a while you become the bird. You feel what it is like to be a bird, to fly in the air. And because of this, you appreciate the bird more and you feel a connection. This experience enhances the beauty of the bird. Then, maybe you become the mountain and you feel its strength, its age, its history. This is a very different experience from the bird. And so, as you continue on after each experience, your understanding of the landscape around you deepens; it becomes more beautiful and more one. You get a deeper understanding of the connection between all things.
This is the second reason: there is an inner connection, an inner harmony, between all the things we see that expresses itself as outer beauty. Where the inner harmony is disturbed, the outer beauty disappears.
There is also another aspect to this. The more you become aware of the inner life of every being in the landscape, the more you grow as a person; each experience enriches your being. You can imagine that, at a certain point, you become the landscape. When you are aware of the inner life of everything in the landscape, the landscape as a whole becomes a living being. One image expresses one inner life, one being. You have made contact with a new inner level. This is not losing yourself, this is expanding yourself. You become aware of yourself as a humanbeing, a being who is enhanced by the beauty of the landscape. But you also are expanded, because you also are the bird, the tree, the mountain and the waterfall. You are, at the deepest level, the consciousness behind the landscape itself.
What can we learn from these two examples?
First of all, that oneness is a mystery, which we cannot explain in rational terms. Yet we can experience it, which we do all the time. The more we are in contact with our own heart, the deeper we feel this mystery. Our heart is the sense that makes us aware of oneness.
Our body is one because all the organs are different; the landscape is beautiful because everything in it expresses its own inner being. And yet there is one energy behind it all. We need our heart to sense that energy. We need our heart to sense that the body before us is a friend and to feel the inner connection with that friend. We need our heart to perceive the beauty of a landscape and to feel one with it.
Just as our body is one, the universe is one. How is this possible? Because the universe does not exist in space-time, although space-time is a part of the universe. What does this mean? It means that the many is a part of the one. This is the secret of wholeness: the many is a part of the one, because space-time is a part of the one.
We are not separated from God because space-time, with everything in it, is a part of God.
This is what wholeness is. The many, all individual things, do not disappear into the oneness, they are a part of it. And the more they express their individuality, the more beautiful the oneness becomes. The blossoming flower makes the whole landscape more beautiful. And the more beautiful the landscape is, the more the oneness is expressed in it.
The more you express you own inner beauty, the more you feel one, the more you are connected.
Let me remind you of these words by William Blake.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand.
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower.
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand.
And Eternity in an hour.
The one and the many are one; the one is present deep inside you. And the expression of your inner life enhances the beauty of the whole – this is what I call wholeness. This is the big mystery of the universe; a mystery we experience when we look at a beautiful landscape; a mystery we experience when we talk to a friend.
Now that we have an idea about what oneness really means, we can ask ourselves: “What can I do to become whole?” The secret of becoming whole is, of course, that we learn to see with our heart. But how do we overcome all those fear based ideas that prevent us from being whole?
Let us take a look at these ideas. They are ideas which create inner divisions and disconnect us from our divine reality. They make us believe that we are an almost infinitely small particle inside this infinitely dark ocean of space-time; ideas that separates us from the one; ideas that block our seeing with the heart.
Take the following statements:
I am Gerrit Gielen, male, my birth date is May 26th 1956, and I am of Dutch nationality. When I say this nobody would call me a liar. In this world, these "facts" are very important; they are in my passport. Modifying the information in my passport would even be considered a criminal act.
Yet from a spiritual point of view, all these statements are untrue. Behind each statement is a powerful thought that disconnects me from my divine reality and puts fear and division into me. Our belief in these thoughts creates the cages we live in. They are a blindfold for the most important sense I have: my heart.
Let us look at these ideas and the impact they have on us, and how we can overcome them.
Imagine for a moment the following scenario: You go to a masked ball dressed up, let us say, as a beggar. But at a certain point you and everyone else forget that you are at a fancy dress party, so you actually begin to believe you are a beggar. Every one around you treats you as if you truly were a beggar, so you forget who you really are.
This is, in fact, what has really happened to you. The name you have in this world is not your real name. It is the name of the costume you wear, your earthly personality, a kind of energy cloak.
I invite you to do the following meditation:
Speak out your name and imagine this is the name of an energy cloak that you are wearing. Feel this cloak around you, and then realize this is just a cloak you are wearing. Now take off this cloak. Look with your mind's eye at the cloak and say this is my earthly personality and say the name that belongs to it. Realize this is not the real you. Feel the real you, a being made of eternal light and love with no limits. And then sense your real name, a name that does not limit you, but sets you free. Your earthly name, and the personality that goes with it, are just a temporary costume you are wearing.
Now imagine you are not happy with the costume you are wearing and you want to wear a different costume: a king instead of a beggar. Look again at the energy cloak you are wearing. Now look with your heart, feel love for your cloak: your earthly personality. See how the love from your heart changes this cloak and gives it a whole new appearance. Imagine how your life would change if you always walked in the light and love of your heart.
Usually, when we are young, we celebrate our birthday each year, and this is very important for us. Slowly, we absorb the concepts of time and aging as they exist in this world: children are young, they grow up, and then they become old. I did not fit in with this scenario. As a child, I often felt old, very old inside, but not in a bad way. The feeling of being very old felt good to me, although it made me different. It gave me a kind of inner authority over my teachers.
In fact, many people have a feeling that their inner age does not at all correspond with their outer, biological age. Someone can be seventy, for example, yet inside feel twenty-five. By stating we have the same age as our body – the belief forced upon us by the world in which we live – we affirm the false believe we are our body. It is like believing the house we live in is the whole universe. It is not.
How can you overcome this idea that you have a certain age? First, by focusing your attention on the now. Then say to yourself: "From all the moments in the universe, my timeless self has decided to experience this one moment through the body I now have." Then meditate on the meaning of this moment right now. What is life telling you right now, what is it trying to teach you?
Then imagine you are standing in a large field. Look around you and place the important moments of your past somewhere in that field – a memory landscape. A memory of a certain event in your childhood might be very nearby; an unimportant event of yesterday far away. Let go of the linear perspective of time.
Then meditate on your timeless self. You are a multidimensional being, able to experience any moment, any place in the universe. Trust that this infinite being has chosen to experience this moment for a reason.
In this world our nationality is very important – mine is Dutch. However, when look at Earth from space we see no countries. Borders exist only in the minds of people; they do not really exist.
What is a nation exactly? A group of people who believe that they own the soil they live on, and that they are in someway different from people beyond the borders of their country. This, of course, creates disharmony: disharmony between humans and Earth, and disharmony between ourselves and others. Without nations there would not be war. And the fact that we consider the Earth were we live on as our property is the reason why we exploit it.
What has this belief created within you?
You were born with the inner knowledge that humankind is one, and that Earth is a living being and not anyone’s possession. The concept of having a nationality violates this inner truth and creates a deep inner disharmony.
Imagine that you were raised in a world without borders, a world were humankind respected the Earth, considered her to be a living conscious being – Gaia – and lived in harmony with her. Feel the difference; feel how much less fear there would be inside you.
Borders gives us the idea that there might be enemies beyond those border. The idea that Earth is a dead thing that we own disconnects us from her love, warmth, and wisdom. The idea of a nation, and that you belong to one, creates a deep inner wound inside you.
Time does not exist, so allow yourself to go back to your childhood, and be there now. Imagine that you are a child again, and you are with your father, who is telling you that there are no borders, that humankind is one, and deep inside we are all the same. He shows you a globe and, indeed, you see no borders.
Then imagine your are with your mother. She tells you about mother Earth – Gaia. She teaches you how you can communicate with Gaia, and that Gaia's love and wisdom are always there for you. That she will always be there to help you find your place on Earth.
Imagine the Earth as seen from space. Look at this image with your heart. Feel how this unveils a reality very different from everything you have learned.
Just as our body has a left and a right side, our soul has a male and a female side. However, in this earthly world we become either a girl or a boy. And when we are born in the body of a girl, we usually learn that it is good to act like a girl and bad to be boyish. And for a boy, that it is bad to be girlish – unnatural. So we learn to suppress a whole part of ourselves. The result is that we always feel lonely and spend a big part of our lives in search of an ideal partner to feel whole again. And, of course, this partner cannot be found in the outside world.
What is the solution? We can imagine that when our soul incarnates the following thing happens. The soul is one, yet when it incarnates it splits and becomes a twin: a little boy and a little girl. They love each other very much and always want to stay together, yet their story is a sad one.
The whole outer world addresses only one member of the twin. It says: "You are the only one inside; you are the only one that matters. if there is anyone else inside, that is bad – reject it." And at some point in your childhood you start to believe those voices. Why should they not be telling you the truth? It is natural for children to believe grown ups. Then the unthinkable happens: the twins get separated, and one member gets lost and forgotten.
So, meditate. Take your awareness to your belly and feel your inner child there. Let us say you are a woman and you see a little girl as your inner child. When you are a man it is, of course, the other way round.
Perhaps you have already done a lot of inner child work, so it is easy for you. Look at this child and then accept this truth: this child is the half of a twin. Take your time to let this truth sink in. Feel this: it is not natural for this child to be alone. Somewhere deep inside you is the other half, perhaps locked away in a black box deep inside you – but it is still there. Then take your inner child by the hand and tell him or her that you are now going to find its twin. Your inner child, on hearing you affirm that it has a twin, will show you the way. When both twins are reunited again, let them spend some time playing together. The more you let them play freely together, the more you will start to feel whole again.
The key to becoming whole is, of course, seeing with the heart. Seeing with the heart enables us the see the oneness behind the many. To see a friend behind all the organs that form the human body; to see the beauty of God in a landscape. When we do this, we immediately feel love and experience beauty.
Yet we have embraced all kinds of fear-based ideas which work like a blindfold on this beautiful inner sense. The result is that we are no longer able to perceive the world and ourselves as one; we see enemies instead of friends.
By looking at the world with only our five physical senses, we get a very partial, unbalanced view of life. We can only restore balance if we remove the blindfold and give our heart its rightful place once again, as the sense that allows us to perceive the oneness behind everything.
I truly know that I myself have a long way to go before I give my heart back its rightful place. Yet I hope that the meditations in this article can help you a little in the process of removing the blindfold from the most beautiful sense we have: our heart. It is the crown of all our senses.
May we all become whole again so we can radiate our inner light.