Sacred Laws of Psyche: The Connection Between Duality and Oneness

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“One of the toughest roots of all evil is unconsciousness…” (Carl Jung, CW, Vol. 11, par. 291.)

So far in this series I’ve discussed two sacred laws of the psyche. The Law of Correspondence says the outer universe is a reflection of our inner universe. The Law of Opposites highlights our tendency to see things dualistically — in terms of either/or, right/wrong, good/bad.

Our ignorance of these and other natural laws has caused all the divisiveness, conflict, and suffering the world has ever known. Animals fight and kill each other in obedience to the instinctual needs to survive and procreate. The human animal takes this a step further. We of larger brain and “higher” intellect fight and kill each other in obedience to mental ideals. If we cause divisiveness with our thoughts, the remedy is to see and heal our divisive thinking. In my last post I quoted Carl Jung:

“But when we become aware of the opposites we are driven to seek the way that will resolve them for us…we must go forward to a creation that enables us to attain a third point superior to the pairs of opposites.” (C.G. Jung, Lecture 10 of the Opposites Seminar, 1925)

3.  The Law of Oneness: Beneath all apparent dualities lies a fundamental connectedness with All That Is.  We can tap into this One Mind by integrating pairs of opposites into partnerships which think and behave holistically.

In Christian doctrine, our evolutionary drive toward oneness is symbolized by Father/Spirit and Son/Body united in a third entity — Holy Spirit. Oneness is inherent in our physical/instinctual nature in which male sperm and female egg unite to create new life. And it is fundamental to the way we were made to think. As Jung writes:

“Although good and evil are unshakeable as moral values, they still need to be subjected to a bit of psychological revision. Much…that proves to be abysmally evil in its ultimate effects does not come from man’s wickedness but from his stupidity and unconsciousness. One has only to think of the devastating effects of Prohibition in America or of the hundred thousand autos-da-fe’ in Spain [the burning of heretics by the Spanish Inquisition], which arose from a praiseworthy zeal to save people’s souls. One of the toughest roots of all evil is unconsciousness…” (Carl Jung, CW, Vol. 11, par. 291.)

The end-goal of your psyche is to become more conscious and self-aware. You were made to want oneness, an attainable antidote to the divisiveness that plagues today’s world. Self-awareness — by which I mean the acceptance of the opposites within ourselves — when combined with a sincere desire to unite the divides separating them, is the bridge to consciousness. And consciousness is the bridge to psychological and spiritual oneness. Your purpose in life is to do whatever you can to build these bridges. You’ll never be happy if you don’t at least try.

Your imagination can bring you closer to this goal. Jung imagined the endpoint of human evolution as a mandala, a circle with a centerpoint that represents the core and circumference of the psyche. He called this place of oneness the Self. When you understand the universality of this and other archetypal symbols like the spiral, square, elephant, horse, tree, snake, ocean, and numbers, it is no longer a stretch to accept that they represent actual forces and potential lying dormant in you. You don’t have to be a Christian believer to understand that trinity is one way to describe your religious function, and you don’t have to be a mathematician or sage to find a third way to resolve your conflicts. You were born with a yearning for oneness. You have the capacity to transcend artificial divides.

What exactly is oneness? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as the quality, state, or fact of being one. It suggests synonyms such as singleness, integrity, wholeness, harmony, sameness, identity, unity, union. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines oneness as a state of being joined as one thing that is no longer separate; for example, having a sense of oneness with the moment, or being one single thing, or experiencing the oneness of God. Jungians call this individuation. Some spirit people call it salvation. Others call it enlightenment.

All humanity longs for oneness. The only thing keeping us from it is psychological ignorance. We can correct it by noticing our divisive tendencies, opening to both sides, and raising our sights beyond one religion, one God-image, one gender, or one nation. We can marry psyche and spirit in ourselves. We can think psychologically and live spiritually. Then everything we say and do will be in harmony with the Law of Oneness.

Given the current political climate in the United States and abroad, I’d like to conclude with a summation of this law which was the favorite toast of political orators from Benjamin Franklin to Abraham Lincoln. Popularized in 1768 by John Dickinson’s Liberty Song, it reads, “United we stand, divided we fall.”

The universal hope for peace on Earth rests with oneness. What have you done to acquire more self-knowledge?  When do you experience oneness?

Image credits: Google images, artists unknown.

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Watch for her new book, The Soul’s Twins, to be launched later this year.

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Comments

9 Responses

  1. Wonderful! I was so looking forward to reading your next sacred law of psyche. Thank you so much Jeanie for sharing your wisdom and these wonderful insights. Great questions too!
    To be sure, I was born with a yearning for oneness which kind of disappeared by the age of nine, perhaps a little younger, before I realised that “I” (ego) existed. Damm consciousness! And throughout my teens until the age of thirty that idea pretty much vanished … although once I’d given birth to my second daughter, the idea of oneness started returning, rising in a massive spike around the age of forty five, which hopefully will continue to grow in my life.
    Conversely, meeting Jung and discovering the lone path of individuation triggered a turning away from others towards a deep introversion, which being naturally introverted, was like a home-coming for me! Why? Because I had no idea I could spend time alone … I thought going out, being on the go all the time, (and extrovert!) was the only way to be in the world. So instead, I stayed in, wandered psychic landscapes, read my books and settled down into a blissful introverted existence.
    That is until I felt a powerful desire several years later to start talking about my journey, so I joined a Jungian dream group and five years ago this summer started a poetry and Jungian thought blog as my way to start reconnecting to that oneness … and as luck would have it, a small group of wonderful, like-minded souls came a-visiting and these happenings slowly brought about great change in my introverted life, especially in terms of reconnecting to others.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is that, although I recognise that I started out in life on one path, I soon switched to another, and here in my late fifties I feel like I’m readying myself to switch back to my original path! Hopefully, I’ll come full circle (in my own introverted way) and deeply connect to others. I love how this process of duality and oneness starts with one thing which leads to another, to then make a third state of being.
    Apologies for such a long-winded reply to your interesting questions! I have my spiritual journey very much on my mind this week as I’ve started to write a new poem which I hope to finish by the weekend, before the full, Snow Moon rises. Hmm, staying on the journey (however defined) seems to be key in how I’ve acquired more self-knowledge.
    Wow! What “journeying” we all go through! Thank you so much Jeanie for sharing your own so willingly and with such eloquence and grace. Looking forward to reading your replies! Warm winter blessings, Deborah.

  2. Mmmmm. What a delicious banquet of memories, images, thoughts, ideas, and feelings you’ve spread out for me to enjoy. I’m amazed that we have so very much in common, almost down to the last detail: an early yearning for and sense of connection to oneness; a time of disowning our natural introversion and trying to fit into an extraverted world in the belief it was the right thing to do; a return of the yearning for oneness accompanied by more and more unhappiness because of the lack of it; a long period of introverted hibernation; and an awakening to and manifesting my passions accompanied by a growing sense of connection, this time with full and grateful consciousness.
    This is an archetypal journey, for sure. As you know, Carl Jung went the same route and describes it well in his writings about individuation. I’ve always wondered why some people are far more compelled to take it than others. It’s not an easy journey, and no one wants to suffer, but some of us are so aware of the disconnect and experience so much discomfort because of it that we are compelled to go this route if we want to live with creativity and joy. I wonder if the common denominator between those of us who do this is that we are introverted and intuitive. The only place I ever meet INJF’s are at Jungian conferences, which are full of them!!
    I too, have found during this third trimester of my life that despite my introversion I want to connect more with other people. I really like and enjoy being with people very much. I just need more alone time and space than most to get my energy back. But I’ve learned how to respect that and know how to work with it now. And it comes down to having a very fulfilling creative outlet…like my books and this blog, and beautiful comments like yours to enjoy and respond to.
    Yes, this is an amazing journey. And yes, staying on it mindfully is key to self-knowledge and oneness.
    Thank you for your always rich insights and sharing. Our connection here is important to me. And thank you for your kind comments about my work.
    Warm winter blessings back atcha’!
    Jeanie

  3. Thanks Jeanie, your 3rd post wraps this up so beautifully. Makes me think of ‘At-One- Ment’. May the drive and strive for awareness and consciousness never leave us, nor wonder and curiosity. I’m grateful that I came to Jung early (as a young adult) in my psychology studies. It was like a template really as I struggled through coming to terms with who and what I am, and in relation to significant others. And, to know that the journey continues ever onwards. I am grateful to you too for your elegant way of clarifying psyche and matter and for being you.

    1. Thank you, Susan. I, too, found Jungian psychology to be a template that perfectly framed my psycho-spiritual journey and still does. For every reason you mention. Especially knowing that the journey continues ever onwards. This weekend I met, listened to, and chatted with the amazing inter-spiritual mystic, Mirabai Starr, and discovered another part of my psyche’s template that I can use to categorize and explain a deeply meaningful and painful mid-life experience. It’s always such a joy to meet a sister traveler who can expand my flow through the river of life, and guide me to new depths of the maternal ocean. You are one of those people for me. Jeanie

  4. Contact, even if only momentary, with Oneness or World Mind or Divine Mother, has been my goal since meeting my Jung/philosophy/meditation teacher Anthony in 1967. Anthony’s teacher Paul Brunton called these divine meetings with Wholeness “glimpses.” Vic and I and other students who gathered had no idea what we were in for. I soon learned I might not feel permanent union in this lifetime, but there would be glimpses of Oneness and those glimpses would keep me hungering for more. This perspective holds me together in the hardest times, so thank you for this post because it’s so easy for the ego to focus on absence rather than divine presence.
    I don’t know when my psyche changed the sense of gender of Wholeness or the One which, of course, has no gender. But after a Unitarian childhood and many years of male teachers, the sense of Oneness as masculine was hard to shake. Until I met Marion Woodman whose sense of divine wholeness was Sophia. She changed me without trying. As I walk in the forest or visit the lake or see an incredible sunset now, my inner prayer is “Thank you, Divine Mother.” That’s natural to me now, a change made to balance the masculine dominance within. From a rational place, Oneness has no gender, but from a psychological perspective, I needed a shift.

    1. I spent my weekend basking in the spiritual teachings of Rabbi Rami Shapiro and author and mystic Mirabai Starr. Both conveyed the same message about the One and the divine wholeness of Sophia. Yesterday Rabbi Rami saw a dead squirrel on the Rollins College campus where we were meeting and immediately and instinctively prayed for Mother Mary’s blessing and protection for this squirrel, his little sister. Today Mirabai, who lives in Taos, New Mexico, told me she knows Paul and Amy of Larson, our mutual publisher, very well. Moments like these elicit an instinctual, “Thank you, Divine Mother. We are all related, we are all your children.”
      You so wisely say,” From a rational place, Oneness has no gender, but from a psychological perspective, I needed a shift.” Most of us need that same shift. I believe it is THE necessary shift for connecting with Oneness and healing our world. Thank you for writing.

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