For many people, it is frightening to contemplate the dissolution of their separateness. This fear often stands in the way of achieving emotional intimacy with another person. Many people are afraid that they will lose themselves if they open that much.
If you find that in opening, you lose yourself, you are not experiencing true oneness. In a romantic relationship in which one partner loses himself in the other, what is really going on? Usually the one losing himself does not have a strong sense of identity to begin with. The relationship is begun with a premise such as, “I am nothing and you are something. I am weak and you are strong; you will make me safe.” The other person becomes the identity for the one losing himself. In your culture, it has been more common for women to do this than for men. This is symbolized by the fact that until recently, women who married inevitably lost their last names. We are not saying that women should always keep their own last names when they marry; that is a matter of choice—it might be more convenient to change the name. What is important is how it is viewed.
While oneness is the truth, whether you know it or not, it is not necessarily wise to try to have an experience of total oneness all at once. It is not possible anyway. To experience oneness, you must first have a strong sense of self. You need the knowledge that you are safe, that you are who you are no matter what.
Before you decided to take this great journey on earth, you were in a state of total oneness, a spark of the Tao. To expand the Tao’s awareness and creativity, you cast part of yourself into the dimensional universe and began your present cycle of exploration.
Some experience of separateness and isolation is appropriate and inevitable on the physical plane, because this plane is designed to allow you to explore who you individually are as a unique being. The physical body’s solid boundary reinforces the experience of separateness. When this experience is appropriate, you take it for granted; you do not question or worry about it. When it is excessive or unnecessary, loneliness results. If you are willing to help others and allow them to help you, much loneliness can be eliminated.
When a soul first incarnates on the physical plane, having just come from the Tao, he still has a strong sense of oneness. He is like an infant who still largely feels like part of his mother. As the soul matures, he goes through a phase in which he learns to assert his individuality, like a child establishing his own identity. This is the time of maximum separateness. After that, the soul moves again toward an experience of oneness. However, it is now conscious oneness. The soul develops a larger and larger perspective based on his experience, just as a child does as he grows up. The amount of isolation that felt natural when he was asserting his individuality would now feel excessive and would result in loneliness. The experience of separation becomes starkly visible against the sensing of how lovely it would be to open again to the greater universe of which he is becoming more aware.
Loneliness is an important feeling, because it causes you to seek oneness, seek to open your encasement of isolation. A knight’s armor protected him from mortal wounds in battle. However, afterward, it was apt to feel mighty uncomfortable, perhaps hot, since it did not breathe. At some point he would feel ready to take it off. Loneliness is like the knight’s discomfort in his armor.
People often assume that having other people around will ensure an end to loneliness. If you have not opened, other people will not end your loneliness. Other people may help you open, but if you interact with people who do not nurture you, you may want to close down even more. The answer to loneliness is not primarily in finding the right mate, going to a party, or whatever; it is in opening to oneness.
Those who have been deeply wounded emotionally, either in this lifetime or in recent prior lives, may expect harm and therefore find it more difficult to open. When you are on the physical plane, there is always the possibility of harm, from either yourself or others. A thick encasement cannot truly protect you; neither can you create a situation for yourself on the physical plane that is guaranteed to be completely safe. However, it is not necessary to do so. Every organism can sustain a certain amount of harm, recover, and move on. The excessive fear of harm comes from a belief that you are weak and fragile, and hence cannot tolerate virtually any harm. If you wish to open, the first step is to change that belief and rediscover the strength that you have. This might entail taking some sort of apparently risky action that changes your life situation, proving to yourself that you have the power to do this. An example is speaking up to someone with whom you have had a tendency to hold back.
Some people also find it difficult to open because of a fear of being seen. They believe that they are bad somehow and that others will see this—their guilty secrets, or what is wrong or inadequate about them, will be exposed. However, opening to oneness primarily reveals the glorious eternal being you are.
“Self-made millionaires” often take many risks and fail, but have the courage to keep trying new ideas until they succeed. Those who are successful on the spiritual path are also generally marked by a high level of courage. They are willing to take calculated risks when they do not know how things will turn out. They move forward, sometimes even trembling from head to toe, not knowing if they will be smashed under the boots of the “giant.”
You will have the ultimate experience of oneness when your journey is over and you are fully reunited with the Tao, which has total consciousness of oneness. The Tao, in a sense, is not differentiated or fragmented. It is one whole, even though each part is valid as a part. There is complete integration, in other words, and hence oneness is the natural experience. As you journey back to the Tao, you experience increasing oneness.
There is a right amount of openness for you. You do not have to force anything. If you open as much as you can, you will probably be able to open a little more next time—there is a continual increase. It might be compared to stretching tight shoes. A shoemaker’s stretching machine gently and gradually stretches the leather as it is able to give. If the machine were to push too hard, it would rip the leather. Your essence is characterized by love, and love does not impose; love is infinitely strong, so it can afford to be infinitely gentle. Your essence knows that it is eternal, and that eventually all encasements will dissolve when they are no longer needed or wanted.
Ironically, the more you experience oneness, the more your individuality is enhanced. Not only do you not lose yourself—you find yourself. By letting go to what is beyond you, you are also letting go to who you are, because you are letting go of your encasement. If you have no encasement, you are free to share with others in any way that is appropriate.
We, the Michael entity, are 1,050 souls who blend on a continual basis in a way that is incomprehensible to you on the physical plane. It is not yet total oneness, but we experience a relatively high degree of oneness with one another, and with others as well. We work together like the cells of an organism. If the cells in your body are healthy, they are one with all the other cells, particularly those around them. They exchange substances on a continual basis. Cells have walls, but not encasements. The walls are permeable and there is right relationship with what is around them. The fact that there is oneness does not cause the cells to lose their individuality; a brain cell is different from a skin cell. They all function, though, as part of the same larger whole: the body.
Oneness is not merely the absence of an encasement. It is an active connectedness to the All, the ability of the part to give and receive freely into the whole. For many, the first step on the spiritual path is to learn how to give. They practice being selfless Good Samaritans. This may be helpful in breaking down their encasements. The second step for them might be to learn how to receive. There are those who can give but cannot receive. If a cell gave but did not receive, it would soon be empty and would implode. If it received but did not give, it would eventually absorb more than it could handle and would explode. The healthy cell both gives and receives without obstruction. The highest spiritual state is not to give or to receive dominantly, but to be permeable, to be constantly both giving and receiving. This is a state that could be called being. You are a human being—you are designed to both give and receive simultaneously.
Giving is not the same as imposing: “I’m going to give this to you whether you like it or not, for your own good.” Likewise, receiving is not the same as taking: “I want this for me; you can’t have it.” You only feel the need to impose when you are encased. When you experience oneness, you know that you and everyone else are already part of all things.
See the encasements you use to make yourself safe. Thank them for what they have provided you. Explore whether you still need them. If not, let them dissolve.
Channeled by Shepherd Hoodwin -- from his book Loving From Your Soul