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Rev. Sandra Schubert

Oneness–Creating a Life
by Sandra Lee Schubert

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler. --Henry David Thoreau

Oneness has a nice ring to it. It evokes an image of us all working, living and loving together. I imagine, and sometimes feel, interconnectedness with the universe. There is the heightened awareness of the ebb and flow of the tides, the pulsing of the stars and the beating heart of a whale deep in the ocean that unites us all. The feeling can seem warm and fuzzy, at least, to those of us swimming in the interconnected pool.

But think of the polygamist compounds where we see women and girls wearing the same type of dresses and hairstyles. Here we have a community practicing a kind of oneness; where shared values drive a need to separate them from the world at large. Why do we cringe at the image of a vast sea of plainly dressed girls, yet we admire throngs of saffron-robed monks meditating in unison?

Both groups give up their individual egos for a connection with something that they feel is bigger then themselves. Does the leader driving the community make a difference? Is it that one community appears cut off while another is embracing?

I imagine rows and rows of beige colored homes overtaking a green hill. The house with the spot of red flowers stands out against this same backdrop. Does oneness equal sameness? In February of 2005, Christo and Jeanne-Claude erected 7,500 gates, 16 feet high with a width varying from 5 feet 6 inches to 18 feet that lined 23 miles of Central Park’s footpaths in New York City. Free-hanging, saffron-colored fabric panels were suspended from the top of each gate, dotting the gray-colored winter landscape with fluttering waves of color. People were divided between loving and hating the gates but the image of gates weaving through Central Park was startling.

There is a sameness that is boring and uninspiring. Then there is sameness that brings out order in its simplicity.

Oneness has symmetry to it. There is an underlying orderliness that is unifying. The Gates were not the same size, but visually they ebbed and flowed over Central Park’s terrain, highlighting and unifying the landscape. Little girls and adult women in similar dress and hairstyles create a unifying picture. There is order.

What about our lives? How do we embrace oneness? The first step clarifying what it means for you. Joining a community where each decision is product of the group may seem like a dream to you. Having to give up the sole responsibility for creating your life could be just the solution you seek. There is a comfort in sharing common values with a larger group. Sharing both the joy and the sorrow with people who understand you is a way to achieve oneness.

But what if you like living alone, making your own way, creating a life uniquely your own. Can a person achieve oneness outside a community? Or does the community exist because of each other’s uniqueness?

I watched a documentary about the playwright Eugene O’Neill. He was going through a rough patch and was drinking a lot. He had taken to the seas. On one of these voyages he had an experience that stayed with him through his life. Time seemed to stop and he felt taken out of his normal experience. In this altered state he felt a deep affinity with the vast sea, the open sky; he had a heightened sense there was something greater then him. The moment was brief yet he came back to again and again in his reflections and his writing. His plays universal themes reach out to us.

This altered state experience of oneness transcends individual relationship or those of the community. It’s as if you are connecting on a quantum level. Living in an altered state is not possible all the time. But, once you taste it you carry it with you on very deep level.

Creating a life of oneness means letting go of feeling you are alone. Prisoners in isolation have a sense of being connected with others. Working alone in the middle of the night you can feel oneness.  Becoming open to the ebb and flow of the universe you connect to each other and the world at large. It also means being connected to the very people you may feel don’t share your values.

Oneness transcends politics, gender, or religious affiliations. In creating your life of oneness you may become one with the very people you despise. The ordinary emotion of love and hate are subsumed by a greater feeling that will connect you to the world in a way that will be beyond reason. Be prepared to shatter your comfortable feeling and get ready to take on the world.

© Copyright 2009 Sandra Lee Schubert.  All Rights Reserved. 

Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert
Sandra Lee Schubert
is an interfaith minister and author of the on-line course, Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own (www.selfhealingexpressions.com). She is co-facilitator of the Wild Angels Poets and Writers Group at the historic Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in NYC. A poet and writer, she helps people create peace through creative endeavors. Visit her at

Listen to Sandra’s new radio show- Wild Woman Network: Radio for Creative Vagabonds, Thinkers and Innovators. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandraleeschubert



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