Greatness is within you. Many of us cannot even begin to fathom the greatness that is “with-in” us. And in my experience, most people are incredibly resistant to this awareness. My theory is that we are not willing to see this greatness within us because if we receive this good news then we will necessarily have to accept that this same greatness is within all. Yes, even that jerk that cut you off in traffic, that politician that you would never have voted for, and those people who don’t worship as you do just to name a few.
I understand that it seems difficult to wrap our minds around the idea that our essential greatness comes from the fact that we are all inextricably One. However, I would venture to say that anyone who has explored any of the ancient spiritual traditions with any depth will agree that this is what each teaches in their own way. To speak from my chosen path, I accept that Jesus’ teaching that we love all as we love ourselves and his prayer that we all be One are not in vain but rather emerge from the above mentioned awareness.
In Acts 17 the Apostle Paul declares to the people of Athens, “’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is God served by human hands, as though the Divine needed anything, since it is God who gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.” And later he says, “For in God we live and move and have our being.” This is to say that we are so inseparable from the Creator of all that we are living, moving, and having our being wholly within the One who dwells wholly with and in us. In this way, all is in One and One is in All.
But do not be deceived. There is no experience of true greatness apart from God and neighbor. The illusion of such requires that the impossibility of our separation be real and essential Oneness be denied. This is not. This is something the clearest sense of identity will affirm. In closing, I will revisit the observations of Peter Weinreich and Wendy Saunderson who from their ISA research have witnessed that “people’s identities are addressed and brought into being by interaction with others”. In other words, no identity is an island. To be fully who we are becoming, we must fully acknowledge the becoming of all.
And this is the journey of identity from the beginning…