Voice and Vision

One Woman's WORDS AND WORKS •grapple •inspire •liberate

108: One

My poem, part of today’s painting and posting, is only one word: One.

Our oneness is not obvious given today’s many divisions in politics, religion, ethnicities, habits, and cultures. Nevertheless, there is a basic oneness to our universe, which even quantum physics supports. Einstein observed this universal connectiveness when he said, “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

The idea that we each are inextricably intertwined with the rest of the world is not new. Many philosophical and religious traditions have claimed this to be so. The concept of oneness connects us with those different from us, with other animals and places, with all of nature, and even with space and beyond. Oneness opens us to realize individual selfhood is but a small part of a much grander scheme–like the way one feels viewing the immense starlit sky from a sleeping bag in the Badlands (as Bill and I did decades ago).

Oneness weaves throughout sacred teachings. Jesus prays: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. . . And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”  (KJV John 17: 21-23).  Notice love is linked to oneness. Hinduism’s basic teaching is the unity of all existence. I have read that the most fundamental Jewish idea is that God is One. And my own religion defines God, Love, as the One and only Mind. The main point is that we are all part of ONE and from this source flows all that is.

How does this help us in day-to-day living? It keeps us humble, grateful, compassionate, and open to discovery. It tells us we are inseparably connected to our neighbor as well as to our creator, making it natural to love both. When aware of our at-one-ment, we respond to daily occurrences with more grace, patience, and understanding. It becomes impossible to hate. From the spiritual altitude of oneness we can agree with Booker T. Washington:  “I will allow no man to drag me down so low as to make me hate him.” Our oneness is not just a good approach to politics but to all of life. ONE gives us an understanding big enough to appreciate living in an infinite multi-universe with all its diversity and beauty. ONE. It’s enough.

One, oil/mixed media, 30" x 30", $1,200 by Gwendolyn Evans

Artwork: One, oil/mixed media, 30″ x 30″, $1,200. This is a very recent piece, part of my series utilizing my poetry in painting. In this case, the entire poem is but one word:  ONE. Painting textures cause raised surface areas and include sand, wax, pastel, along with oil. Light flows from the center swirling all parts into a unified whole. This painting reflects my interest in what the Webb telescope has discovered–the beauty and immensity of the cosmos, of galaxies beyond our own. It reflects, too, my reading An Immense World which delves into animals’ amazing senses and abilities humans’ barely grasp. This painting also expresses creation as forever part of God–the One originating and encompassing all that is, with whom we are at one.

Next Post

Previous Post

© 2024 Voice and Vision

Theme by Anders Norén