While dining at my friend’s house recently, I expressed how happy I was that a family reunion to celebrate our mother's birthday went so smoothly and lovingly. I mentioned to my friend that I had concerns prior to the reunion because my mother and sister have had a long history of disharmony and suffering. My reluctance to go had heightened when I noticed my sister, who had come to my house two days prior to the reunion, was still harboring some resentment toward our mother. I told my friend that the night before going to our mother’s house, I informed my sister that if she still felt angry toward our mom that I would prefer to let her go alone and that I would celebrate next week with mom. Then upon retiring, I asked the Universe to bring about a cleansing between my mom and sister, (Ho'oponopono). Voila! the next morning, my sister (after having read from Byron Katie's book "Loving What Is") woke up with a realization that she could just drop the story and let it all go. My friend replied, “Jarl, that was you, you did that, not the Universe." I explained to her that I realize the Universe and I are one and the same, yet I prefer to say, “the Universe did it” so my ego does not attach to the “miracle” and trip out. This way I feel gratitude rather than pride. I was not quite sure that we were actually saying the same thing, although we kept saying the same thing, like, “You are the Universe, I am the Universe." So, for my own sake and for the sake of clarity, (a glass of wine or two had us all talking at once.) I would like to explain what I meant.
When I say, "the Universe and I are one and the same", I mean that, prior to and including the conditioning that I have gathered since birth, I am the Universe experiencing itself as a Jarl. This very unique conditioning which has layered itself upon the Truth of who I Am, has been so intriguing that I have become identified with it, as it. This identification as I see it, is a very necessary and unavoidable step in the process of awakening. In order to "Know Thyself", it is necessary to separate or step out of the Self to see the Self. This separation and subsequent reunion seems to me the purpose of life. I view life as the One Life Power individuating into seemingly separate entities, "us”, in order to experience itself. Our individual lives mirror that process in order to experience the Truth of who we are: the One Life Power having an experience of Itself.
We are two, the ego/conditioned self and the True Self, until we awaken to the Truth of our Oneness. The yin/yang symbol gives a visual image of this concept. The outer circle represents the whole, the Truth. The two equal sides represented by black and white with the opposite found within each side, demonstrates the existence of the polarities. In order to describe or label anything, we must have an opposite with which to compare. To have black, there must be white. To have male, there must be female. To have wrong, there must be right, to have goodness, there must be the bad, and on it goes. Within this polarity we live our lives and experience our preferences. I like this I don’t like that, etc. We become identified with these preferences as who we are. This identification, being polarized on one side or the other, is what causes our suffering. The True Self exists as the outer ring of the circle. That is, it encompasses the whole and resides in the balance, the curvy line in between, being aware of the poles and yet not identified with either, just enjoying the interplay. When we think something is bad or good, wrong or right, etc. we are polarized on one side or the other, out of balance, and out of Truth. I’m not saying this is wrong, it’s life as we live it, just not the Truth, not the whole picture.
When I see something as out of harmony, as I did my sister and mother, I’m seeing from my conditioned ego, which has its preferences and judgments. When what I see causes me suffering, I know I am out of alignment with Truth and coming from my ego. If I desire to see it from Truth and get out of the suffering, I ask the Universe, my True Self (Me) to align the ego-identified self (me) with Truth. That’s when the “miracle” happens and I see harmony, joy, love and peace.
I am the one who is asking and I am the one who is asked, and yet to acknowledge the two, the separation, brings me from ego-identification into the awareness of the ONE-ness. It works for me.