The world is one, in fact and in potentia.
There is already a realised unity; that unity runs as the fundamental chord in and through differing and discordant notes. These different and discordant and even denying notes have to be re-conditioned, blended, harmonised; that is, the effective and patent unity that lies in potentia and has to be brought forth in front. The world is one at bottom; it is to be made one up to the brim.
The material world is a factual unity. For it is one matter that exists everywhere; the same fundamental elements constitute, although in different degrees, the earth, the sun, the stars, the distant galaxies and the extragalactic rays. It is in the last analysis charges of electricity—infinitesimal and infinite charges of electric force, points of energy that form the entire creation—pullulating particles that fill the universe; but they are not isolated, disconnected, disunited, they are a continuum. This continuum was called ‘ether’ at one time, it is now called ‘field’. This material unity consists in the one extension that turns and swirls into creases and eddies giving the impression of separativeness and disunity. The task of the scientist is to know how to recondition the swirling dispersing expanse so as to assimilarise, polarise the disparate elements. That is the meaning of what the scientists are now handling as the ‘laser’ or ‘maser’ beams.
Likewise, the vital world is also ‘one’. It is one life that pulsates in and through all living formations—one sea as it were, swaying and heaving and breaking into innumerable waves and ripples. In spite of infinite variations there is one overall pattern that persists through the living creation. Anatomy and more clearly physiology links in a strange way even the plant and the animal and man. And in humanity if there is a great vital upsurge somewhere, it spreads its vibration far and wide like a seismic motion. And it is because of this vital unity that there arises the phenomenon known as contagion or pest and pestilence – that is to say, mass-movements are occasioned by one indivisible life urge. A common suffering or a common elation is normal to human life.
The fundamental unity, here too, works through discord and disunion, battle and conflict, denial and negation. Here too the drive or purpose of progress and of evolution is towards the same polarisation, that is to say, reorientation, evocation of vibrations that are a pure or harmonious expression of the unity.
Coming next to Mind, the unity here too, is quite marked, clearly discernible. There is only one Mind that rules the myriad mentalities of this world. Thoughts and ideas are not in reality personal creations, they are various formulations of the one universal Mind; they enter into and possess individual minds as receptacles, and no doubt in the process undergo particular modifications in their general character. It is a very common experience to see the same or very similar ideas and thoughts expressed by individuals (or groups) living far from each other, having practically no mutual contact. We have known of “independent discoveries” of the same truth or fact and innumerable instances of this kind has history provided for us. It is not a freak of nature that we find Socrates and Buddha and Confucius as contemporaries. Contemporaries also were India’s Akbar, England’s Elizabeth and Italy’s Leo X. Also the year 1905 has been known as Annus Mirabilis, a year of seminal importance—the sowing of the seed of a new earth-life—significant for the whole human race, for the East and for the West, particularly for India, for Japan, for Russia and even for England. And today’s world has indeed become a world of compact unity in human achievement and also alas, in human distress!
Now if one goes to the very source, the very root of the matter, the cardinal fact of unity is that of the supreme Consciousness, the original oneness of the one Divine Existence. It is the Ultimate One, inviolate, inviolable – ekam sat. That unity is transferred or translated or imaged on all the levels and strands of creation. That is the basic reality that holds together all tiered multiplicities. True, there has been side by side a movement of aberration, denial, disjunction in the multiple formulations and translations of the One. A re-union remains to be achieved conveying and embodying the basic unity.
The disturbing factor in the universal sway of unity is the sense of individualisation, the sense of ego. That is the dark ray that cuts across the radiant harmony and produces the apparent discordance and disunion with all its attendant and consequent evil and bale.
The sense of separated and isolated existence, the feeling of a closed system that one assumes in opposition to others is the Maya of which the Vedanta speaks. It is real so long as it is taken to be real. But it possesses no inherent or absolute reality. A re-orientation or a remodelling of the individual self is the way towards re-establishing in the forefront, the background unity. Egoism, as it happens to be now, is the broken up and scattered unity. Polarisation means precisely re-ordering and re-orienting the dispersal movement of ignorance and bringing into a new purposeful existence the unity that already exists.
Nolini Kanta Gupta