BY TIM BOTTA
The idea that we are becoming more and more divided and polarized is in the air as the differences between us seem to grow and we are alienated from each other. Some, perhaps alarmists, speculate that worldwide civil conflict is imminent. Is it the destiny of our species to become further divided? Or are these apparent divisions somehow a sign that we as a species are finally becoming conscious of our unity?
The main cause of the division between human beings is identification. In his classic book “The Power of Awareness,” New Thought pioneer Neville Goddard states, “At the center of manifestation there is only one ‘I AM’ manifesting in legions of forms or concepts of itself and ‘I am that I am.’” Neville goes on to point out that “your concept of yourself, such as ‘I am strong,’ ‘I am secure,’ ‘I am loved,’ determines the world in which you live.” Identifying with a self-concept can divide us.
This is emphatically not to deny that there are social forces that promote division, or to state that in a conflict both sides are equally right or wrong, or to believe that “the truth always lies somewhere in the middle.” Awareness of our oneness with humanity is not the same as dismissing conflict, or turning away from the need for justice, or promoting cynical “false equivalencies.” One example is the false equivalence that is sometimes made between scientific conclusions about evolution and belief systems that deny evolution–as though both were equally valid.
But identifying with a self-concept can lead to seeing others from the kind of limited perspective which can make us vulnerable to “Divide and Conquer” strategies on the part of those seeking power for themselves.
In his 2005 book “A New Earth,” visionary Eckhart Tolle writes, speaking of human conflict, “Here it becomes obvious that the human ego in its collective aspect as ‘us’ against ‘them’ is even more insane than the ‘me,’ the individual ego, although the mechanism is the same.” A spiritual teacher once told me that as a person begins to identify less strongly with their self-concept, the ego (which is neither good nor bad) will go into heightened activity to preserve the system it has constructed over the person’s lifetime. Is it possible that as humanity’s consciousness opens up, humanity’s ego is reacting to this expansion of consciousness as a threat to its existence?
Is humanity trying to stop the evolution of its own species?
Those among us who would promote the illusion of division maintain that a movement toward more and more division is a natural and unstoppable force, like a tsunami. To the contrary, it is the expansion of human consciousness that is the unstoppable force. Turning away from what Dr. Ernest Holmes, founder of the Science of Mind philosophy, termed “the awakening” means failing to accept the evolutionary challenge of becoming conscious of our true identity as Spirit. Is it any coincidence that the men and women we think of as great are the ones who teach us that reality is One? Self-actualized and free persons have wider consciousness. When we promote the illusion of division, we appear to be joyless with limited, ungraceful attitudes. These attitudes are becoming obsolete and are no longer useful to our species.
The suffering caused by divisiveness is real. But the apparent division is an illusion. As Dr. Holmes states, “human consciousness is in a dream state.” The illusion of division is a nightmare brought about by a fearful reaction to the imminent awakening of humanity. And nightmares often become more and more intense the moment before a person awakens. In his great work, “The Science of Mind,” Ernest Holmes includes a beautiful meditation titled “No Misunderstandings.” In this meditation, Dr. Holmes writes:
“No false sense of separation can come between people, nor disturb the realization of the Unity of All Life.
I perceive that I am one with all people, and all are One with me.
There is no separation.
There is no separation.”