is in essence a confusion around the question of difference and
sameness (or one-ness), but the clear perception of these
categories is necessary in every phase of life. To be
confused about what is different and what is not, is to be
confused about everything. Thus, it is not an accident
that our fragmentary form of thought is leading to such a widespread
range of crises, social, political, economic, ecological, psychological,
etc., in the individual and in society as a whole.
David Bohm, Wholeness and the
Implicate Order, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1980,
In recent decades, much has been made out of unity, but little has
come of it. The USA is almost hopelessly fractured and polarized
culturally, politically and religiously and nothing much has come from the ecumenical cry for unity
except holding hands and singing songs. That is merely "feel good"
unity, not effective unity. Is there a deeper, more fundamental problem
that prevents unity even when it is ardently desired?
The problem may be characterized this way. Real, effective unity
requires unity of purpose, values, and of our paradigm or our framework
for our understanding
of reality. This is unity on the belief level, and there are many
reasons why we don't seek that:
- We don't think it is possible or think it is too difficult or
hopeless within the existing cacophony of confusion.
- It threatens our wounded egos to think others have better beliefs
than we do.
- We equate a high level of unity with mind control or oppression, and fear the
strongest mind will prevail.
- We sometimes think that unity on the belief level will stifle or
- We think that it will require us to abdicate personal
- We equate our belief system with our self identity, and wouldn't
want to give up our personally cherished beliefs.
- We unconsciously know that effective unity will eliminate the
drama to which we are all addicted.
- We don't really see that much of anything will come of it even if
- Too many times, calls for unity are disguised pitches for
power and control.
- Too many times, calls for unity are disguises for pressure to
agree with the caller, and not unity on a deep level of
understanding and enlightenment.
- Too many times, calls for unity are disguises for the caller's
unwillingness to challenge his own personal beliefs in these
- We can't imagine a majority that wouldn't oppress the minority
in such important issues.
At the end of the day however, effective unity of purpose, values and
paradigm is essential for peace and goodwill to flourish in human
affairs and to engender great societies. And it IS what God is calling
for! Living happily and flourishing forever in eternity is impossible
without this level of unity.
Every human being has a natural, intrinsic and legitimate desire for
spiritual unity of purpose, values, and paradigm with other humans.