While deeply embedded in the core teachings of many great religions and almost all mystical and shamanic traditions, the concept of "Oneness" remains somewhat elusive, perhaps because it can be observed, felt, interpreted and expressed in a myriad of ways. While some recognize the unifying force of an all-powerful God, or the essential Oneness of the human race, others apply the principle of Oneness to all life and the exquisite mechanism through which all living systems function and relate.
Our Global Spirit program: ONENESS - The Big Picture features author and physician of mind-body healing Deepak Chopra alongside author and social scientist Riane Eisler. Coming from distinct backgrounds, life experiences and spiritual traditions, these two guests hold quite different views on the nature of Oneness, of human consciousness and of God. This creates a very different type of Global Spirit viewing experience, well illustrated by the following two quotes from the program:
"If you realize that all activity is in consciousness - where do you experience your thoughts? In consciousness. Where do you experience your own body? In consciousness. Where do you experience other people? In consciousness. Where is this consciousness? Nobody can find it. Why can't they find it? Because it has no location, hence the word "non-local", because it's transcendent. So when you recognize this, and this is for me a holy, sacred experience, that there is only God. There is nothing else. All of us are space/time events. We are a confluence of possibility waves collapsing into space/time events in God's mind, and that's all there is! And when you see the magnificence of that, the sanctity of that, the sacredness of that, it becomes impossible to hurt anyone." -- Deepak Chopra
"For me, the issues of God became very secondary to the issue of what happens here on earth. I mean most of my family was killed in the holocaust. And I look at Rwanda and I look at Darfur and I think... the real issue is what happens here on earth. Are we kind? Are we cruel? And how do we create the conditions? Now, I agree with you that an understanding of unity is very important. But I would have to differ with you, because so many so called spiritual leaders, so many religions have spoken all about unity, about love, and they have not only condoned horrible things - they have done terrible things.... I think that the important thing for us today is to create a new story about what's possible for us as humans, and the actions (we take). And that is not only individual action, but collective, social action." -- Riane Eisler
On the Global Spirit series, we place a high value on a guest's direct experience of each topic we explore. So we asked our two guests to each tell us a story about a personal experience of Oneness that each of them had at some point in their lives.
You can view their responses in the video segments below:
The trauma of the holocaust, experienced so viscerally by Riane Eisler, as a young child in far away Havana, was in her own words, the defining moment in her life. This put her among the company of millions of others who after WWII asked: "If there were a God, how could he/she have allowed this?"
While north India has, for centuries, also known religious warfare and sectarian violence, often targeting one religious group or another, Deepak Chopra's "personal experience of oneness" implies a continuity of location, family, caste, Hindu practices and funerary rituals that have remained essentially intact across scores of generations.
Bringing together two such guests who represent such different approaches to the understanding of Oneness, and of the life process itself, hopefully sheds some light on "the big picture." While Deepak Chopra may state: "Oneness is a fact," Riane Eisler would most certainly answer: "No Oneness without justice."
ONENESS - The Big Picture is now showing on many public TV stations (check local broadcast schedules at www.GlobalSpirit.tv.
GLOBAL SPIRIT is a unique inquiry into humankind's belief systems, wisdom traditions, and states of consciousness. Presented by British actor-comedian John Cleese and hosted by author and spiritual seeker Phil Cousineau, this new series takes viewers on a mind and soul-expanding journey, exploring the relationships between ancient wisdom traditions, diverse belief systems, world religions and modern science. Produced & Directed by Stephen Olsson, GLOBAL SPIRIT is a co-production of CEM Productions and Link TV.
Stephen Olsson is a HuffPost blogger.