Neale Donald Walsch said that and he’s right. Science is showing us that what we think of as “you” and “me” are really just parts of a whole - momentary flashes in a unified energy field blinking in and out like fireflies on a summer evening. This newly discovered oneness with the universe may seem somewhat impersonal and not all that comforting for someone who is fully vested in the illusion of their personality, but our personalities are not reality. In fact they separate us from reality. Thankfully we can (and do) discard them whenever we’re ready. But how did we get so caught up in the illusion of separation in the first place?
Long ago in the history of life on earth there was no awareness of “I am”. The first kinds of life were not able to distinguish in a clear way the “out there” experience from the “in here” experience. Somewhere on some dim, distant morning in time the first creature looked up at the sky and it occurred to him that he wasn’t that. He looked at the ground and the grass and he wasn’t that either. He was the thing that was looking at those things. He was different from them. He was different from everything he could see. He was himself. This was a momentous occasion in the evolution of life on our planet. Freud called it the development of the Ego. The bible calls it the Fall of Man. Both are right about one thing. It is a false reality. It hides our true nature and separates us from one another - and from God.
As a young boy I wondered what would happen if somehow the cells in my arm decided they wanted to be independent and do their own thing. I figured my body wouldn’t function properly and my arm would turn blue. I would probably get sick. I figured that’s what happens when cancer cells develop - when the body no longer operates the way it was intended to. Thankfully, although we can get sick, the cells of our bodies usually don’t develop a consciousness that aspires to individuality. And so our bodies function according to their intended purpose. But it’s easy to look around and see what our belief in separation has done to the world. It has inspired and encouraged deceitful competition in all walks of life that no longer knows any moral restraint. It has bred division along racial, religious, and geopolitical lines which has caused jealousy, hatred, and war, and brought us to the edge of extinction. Jesus knew it was in the heart of man. But he also knew the oneness of our true nature - like him, part of that which created us. That’s why he told us to love our brother as ourselves. But it's up to us as a people to come to that awareness. No one is going to come down from heaven and rescue us. Our desire to maintain and defend our separateness from each other must be understood for what it is and what it has done to us.
We may have distanced ourselves from reality and gone astray as in a far country, but I see signs everywhere of people coming to their senses. Just like the prodigal son we are becoming dissatisfied with what the world offers and are looking for the way home. The good news is the father is waiting. He doesn’t care how long it’s been, where we were, why we left or what we’ve done. Because no matter who we think we are, the real reality is we’ve never been apart from him. We can’t be. There is only one of us.