By Robert Atkinson
The mystery of oneness is at the heart of creation. Material and spiritual reality, counter-balancing parts of the same reality, are both energized and held together by the same unifying force, or creative energy, known as Love, the divine Spirit, or Grace, that is expressed in every dimension of reality.
By its very nature, reality is the absolute unity of all existence, the whole within which the great diversity of all its parts find their place. The existence of one reality has forever directed our collective evolution toward unity and wholeness, the underlying principles defining and characterizing reality.
Prophets, mystics, and quantum theorists alike support this truth. The Buddha expressed the spiritual principle of wholeness this way: “As all things originate from one Essence, so they are developing according to one law, and they are destined to one aim.” This holistic perspective of evolution was verified by science a couple millennia later when a 2016 article in Science magazine by Ethan Siegal announced that the most astounding fact about the universe is that it obeys the same fundamental laws of nature.
A consciousness of the wholeness of Creation, which sees all things as interconnected, may even be a necessity for our very survival. The illusion of separateness has caused every problem, conflict, and even war, that humanity has ever known. A crisis of consciousness threatens the way we relate to each other and the natural environment around us.
These big picture principles are as true on the collective level as they are on the individual level. All living things, on all levels, from insects to civilizations, find realization through one power that has dominion over all things.
This understanding of evolution tells us that all things evolve according to the same law, or blueprint. As Teilhard de Chardin said, “a single energy is at play in the world.”
With evolution in all realms tied together, and leading toward one aim, we see that it is directional, following a gradual process of unfoldment that is cyclical, with its ups and downs, but nevertheless purposeful and progressive. One evolutionary impulse governs all things in all realms. And as all things evolve through a process of maturation, decline, and eventual renewal, they are always moving toward their inherent potential.
The implications of this holistic understanding of evolution on the personal level are profound. Born with an inherent potential, our developmental process of maturation is peppered with opportunities at just the moments when most needed to keep us on the trajectory we are meant to be on.
Even if things are going well, they may not get better until something happens that causes them to go in an opposite direction. Yet, this too, is all part of a cyclical, up and down process of transformation needed to guide our evolution toward our own innate potential that wouldn’t happen as fully and intentionally otherwise.
The difficulties that come along to support our spiritual growth and well-being are purposeful, too. There are always the periodic, cyclical difficulties meant to ultimately give us a push toward realizing our fullest potential. But in times like these, the additional challenges we are all experiencing, extended effects of the pandemic, economic stress, social distancing, closures of all kinds, semi-re-openings, loss of all the familiar rituals, more pronounced racial injustice, and increased political divisions, are exacerbating the usual way the blueprint of transformation is playing out now.
The “side effects” of this process may be heightened now, as well, with ongoing fatigue, energy drain, a prolonged lack of resolution, and even an increased sensitivity to the collective challenges we all face dragging on. This moment calls for remembering that at our core we are deeply connected to the wholeness of Creation.
A holistic vision of evolution may be an antidote to help overcome the stresses of the moment, turn them inside out, and recognize this moment for the eustress it is bringing us. As we all join hands across differences, we can heal the great divide within us and between the human family, as well.
Here are 3 action steps for living in wholeness:
Robert Atkinson, PhD, author, educator, and developmental psychologist, is a 2017 Nautilus Book Award winner for The Story of Our Time: From Duality to Interconnectedness to Oneness. He is also the author or co-editor of eight other books, including Our Moment of Choice: Evolutionary Visions and Hope for the Future (2020), Year of Living Deeply: A Memoir of 1969 (2019), Mystic Journey: Getting to the Heart of Your Soul’s Story(2012), and The Gift of Stories(1995). He is professor emeritus at the University of Southern Maine, an internationally recognized authority on life story interviewing, a pioneer in the techniques of personal myth-making, founder of One Planet Peace Forum, and a member of the Evolutionary Leaders.
For more about Robert Atkinson and his work, visit: www.robertatkinson.net.
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