O seeker, know that oneness is more than you bargained for, much more. Oneness, like any other form of togetherness, forces you to get cozy with people you might not otherwise care to associate with. You would do well to think twice before erasing all distinction between yourself and the rest of humanity. The person who cuts you off in traffic, then gives you the finger – that’s now you. So is the gym teacher who made fun of you in front of all the other kids. How about the crazy lady who pushes her grocery cart full of trash bags up the street while muttering furiously to herself? Then there’s the guy who’s always trying to sell you something, that’s also you. The nagging spouse, the interfering in-law, the ungrateful child – you again. The overbearing boss, the scheming co-worker, the lazy underling, they’re all you. Not to mention all the liars, cheats, thieves and philanders, all the assholes and sniveling little jerks of the world – your brothers and sisters under the skin. And let’s not forget the rapist, the child molester, the war criminal – you, you and you again!
To behold humanity -- bleeding, belching, puking humanity -- is to see yourself in a funhouse mirror. Can you really bear to look? How easy it is to turn away, to get angry, to pretend they have nothing to do with you. You play by the rules, take care of your family, pay your taxes. Sure, you’ve made mistakes -- nobody’s perfect. But at least you try. You’re not like them -- or so you tell yourself. Then again, maybe the real problem isn’t seeing yourself in the face of another. Perhaps the real problem is seeing yourself as you truly are, including the less savory parts that you can see only when projected onto others. These are the parts that only God can love. If you can accept that God loves the real you, then maybe you can bear to see yourself reflected in others. All that business about loving your neighbor as yourself now starts to make sense. It’s not about you at all. It’s about us.