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Is There One or Many? Yes!

| Nirmala | Miscellaneous

Is There One or Many? Yes!

Published on
19 June 2010

Q: I’m reading your book Living from the Heart for the second time and still don’t understand something about aware space. I understand that who I really am is aware space and not my body, mind, and personality. But when there is another person here, they most likely know me as a body, mind, and personality. When I’m with another person, I’m also relating to their body, mind, and personality because that is in my awareness. This seems contradictory. Can you explain this further?

A: Your question boils down to the question: “Is there one awareness or many?” The answer is yes! There is one awareness acting and appearing as many. The mind doesn’t understand when two apparently opposite things are both true, but it turns out that oneness and multiplicity aren’t really opposites. They are different qualities, or expressions, of one thing. The simplest example is your own hand. It has many fingers, and yet, your hand is also one thing. The many fingers are one expression, or aspect, of your hand, but the oneness of the hand as a whole is another quality of the same thing.

We are able to experience both the obvious uniqueness of our individual perspective, as you described, and the deeper truth of oneness. But like all deeper truths, the experience of oneness is more subtle and therefore more challenging to experience, although it is also more universal and ever-present. Since oneness is here in every moment, we tend to overlook it, just as we don’t generally notice the air we breathe because we are so used to it and take it for granted.

The fact that you can experience your own and other people’s body, mind, and personality, doesn’t need to contradict the sense that you are aware space. The source of awareness is infinite in its potential. It creates everything that exists, and one thing it seems to love to create is the experience of individuality. I invite you to read the fairytale entitled Beyond No Self at the end of my book, That Is That. It is a fanciful story about how oneness manages to appear as many. It offers a perspective that suggests that every apparent individual is also infinite in potential. That is the great thing about infinity: Every part of infinity can also be infinite!

I hope this is helpful.