Oneness As The Unity Of God
(Posted on: June 6, 2014 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of “A Search For God” study group and working on the Oneness lesson, a class member shared her understanding of how the theme of Oneness was present in all the previous lessons. She also noticed the shortening of the lesson title from “The Lord Thy God is One” (in the original ASFG text) to simply “Oneness” in SFG, which was important for her as she had been raised in a polytheistic culture. Here is my reply. – David McMillin]
I really appreciate the cross-cultural perspective you have brought to the ASFG eGroups and your keen interest and dedication to the ASFG material, particularly the sequence of the various lessons and how they relate to each other (which you have consistently emphasized over the years of your participation).
I shortened the title of this lesson for the sake of Universality (a principle that I have attempted to apply in each of the lessons), focusing as much as possible on the meaning of the Bible verse (in this instance) in terms that most modern people can relate to and understand. Significantly, the first word in the ASFG book text in the Introduction (after the poem) is UNITY. The affirmation for the lesson is about Unity. After the brief mention of the historical/biblical origin of the bible verse, the rest of the book chapter is about the Unity of God.
I think most people relate to the meaning of this lesson as Unity, just as the members of the first study group did. We feel split and divided within – pulled in different directions. That is why I created the Transcending Dualism exercise, so that people could consciously recognize and choose Unity and Oneness in how they view life and God. For the vast majority of people who study the ASFG books (and Cayce readings in general), the question is not so much whether to worship one God or many (as it was for the ancient Hebrews), rather it is about realizing the Unity and Oneness of the Divine in every aspect of their lives.
Certainly, one can conceptualize modern materialistic polytheism (not as a religion per se, but rather a lifestyle) in which there is the worship of other “gods” (in the form of materialistic idols such as cars, houses, money, power, social status, etc). And that is exactly the point of this lesson – to be able to look upon every aspect of life as an expression of the Unity of God, rather than as something apart from the spiritual side of life.
As you study the ASFG book text for this lesson, you will notice the use of the word “Oneness” many times. With each usage they tried to convey the Unity of God in practical, common language. Some of my favorites from the book chapter include:
“… we come to realize more and more the Oneness of all creation.”
“His ways are not hidden nor far away, but are manifested to those who will hear and see the glory of the Oneness.”
“… each of us should prepare ourselves as channels for forces that may assist in gaining a greater concept of the Oneness of the Father in the material plane.”
“We come into consciousness of the Oneness, not through any act of our own other than that we believe, trust, have faith, and come to realize that all material things are, in essence, spiritual.”
“Jesus demonstrated in a very practical manner the Oneness of God as related to each individual soul.”
“Jesus’ years of ministry were spent in practical demonstration of His consciousness of the Oneness of Creative Force.”
“… each of God’s creatures, is filling his or her niche in the great Oneness.”
“… as we abide daily in the light of His teachings, so that every word, thought, and act are in harmony with the whole, we become more and more conscious of the Oneness.” (A Search For God, Book I)
These quotes actually echo many of the aspects of Oneness that you have cited in your list of previous lessons. There definitely is a Unity to the way these lessons are laid out. The theme of Oneness is a strong unifying factor, as you have documented.
So if one’s cultural background (such as your own) requires a choice between One God or many, then you included. If one’s background is more typically western (as was the first study group), that’s ok too, you are still included in the meaning of this lesson. Inclusiveness is an important aspect of Oneness.
Thanks again for your commitment to this process and generous sharing from your own experience and insights. Blessings, Dave