I have been fascinated by these words of wisdom: All in One, One in All. Say it in reverse. All in One, One in All. It is the same no matter how you organize the words. It gives me so much joy to say it. So beautiful!
Aldous Huxley used this phrase. I am sure other authors used it too. I don’t know where it comes from. All my writing has been revolving around this central idea. I am absolutely convinced about the truth of it. Some people, including Aldous Huxley, claimed that they had experienced the truth of it directly. I am not fortunate enough to experience “All in One, One in All” directly. My writing was based on intuition.
I am absolutely convinced of the truth of it not because all spiritual masters describe their experiences in similar terms but because it explains a lot. My intuition, my mind, my intellect, and most importantly my heart agree on this.
I have written so much on this central idea; I do not want to bore you with repetition. If you are interested in my previous writing I recommend the “Secret of the Universe.”
Rumi said “Now is the time to say something new.” Let me start by saying that the phrase “All in One, One in All” may serve as a Zen koan. The fundamental contradiction of the phrase may actually help us stop thinking for a while and experience Satori.
The One is the ultimate witness and substantiator. No entity can exist without the witnessing consciousness of the One. There are many names for the One even though no name can describe the truth of the One: Atman, Cosmic Soul, Purushottama, Parama Purusha, Cosmic Consciousness, Supreme Being.
The One is a “reference” to the infinite ocean of love and bliss. Our minds cannot comprehend that relationship. My mind understands it with the “reference” metaphor and you will have your own metaphors. Perhaps, we should not worry about the relationship between the One and the infinite ocean of consciousness. We are in relationship with the One. We owe our existence to the One therefore we should focus on that relationship. When the time comes, the One will help us with the final steps, liberation (mukti) and salvation (moksha).
Our souls are the reflections of the One. He is the soul of my soul. The One is the ultimate subjectivity.
The point I wanted to make in this article was the difference between the reflection of the One in human and the reflection of the One in a particle. Remember no entity can exist without that reflection, without that reference to the whole, without the witnessing act of the One. If the reflection of the One is at the core of each entity how can it be different in human? The answer is that the “signified” is the same but “signifiers” can be different. The second part of the answer is this: new centers are being formed as the organizational complexity increases. New center means a new mirror. New mirrors are being formed as organisms get more complex.
Our bodies are made out of cells. Cells are made out of molecules and molecules are made from atoms. In the atom there are protons, neutrons and electrons. Inside the protons there are quarks. Each entity has a “unit consciousness” (reference to the One). Protons, electrons, and even quarks have a unit consciousness. When we say “human soul”, which unit consciousness are we talking about? There are billions of unit consciousnesses in the human body yet there is also a special one that we call human soul. What is the difference?
To explain the difference I have to mention the “subject” and “object” again. The object of the human soul is the human mind. The objects of the Cosmic Soul are the particles, molecules, organisms, galaxies, universes, as well as the human bodies, minds and souls. The One is the subject of All. All is the object of the One.
The electrons, protons, and molecules in my body are not the objects of my soul. They can be the objects of my mind but they are not the objects of my soul. The electrons, protons, and molecules in my body are the objects of the Cosmic Mind obviously. The Cosmic Mind in turn is the object of the Cosmic Soul. The Cosmic Soul witnesses and substantiates the Cosmic Mind and therefore substantiates All. The human soul witnesses and substantiates the human mind only.
When photons enter my eyes and hit the retina the optical nerve translates the stream of photons into electrical signals. My brain processes those electrical signals and passes them to the mental plate (citta). The mental plate models the data and turns them into a form. The higher layers of my mind make sense of this mental form and finally my soul witnesses the mental form. The point is this: my soul is witnessing the mental forms not the physical objects. This is why the objective world exists independent of us. We are not creating objects by witnessing them; they are already being witnessed and substantiated by the Cosmic Soul through the Cosmic Mind.
The subject/object relationships manifest in layers. This is sometimes expressed with the word “control” or “controller” which is a poor translation of the Sanskrit word “isha”. Human mind controls the life force in the human structure and in turn the life force controls the body. Human soul witnesses and substantiates the human life through the mind.
So… what we are saying here is that there are different mirrors with varying degrees of reflectivity. The mirror of an electron is not very reflective. It seems that reflectivity increases with complexity. As you get closer to the One your mirror reflects more and more and at the final re-union, the sages tell us, there is perfect reflection.
Now let’s consider the distance to the soul. There are bodily sensations, there are mental conceptions and there are feelings. Bodily sensations can give us pleasure or pain, mental conceptions can be painful or pleasant, feelings range from suffering to love and bliss. The intensity increases as the distance to the soul is reduced. Feelings belong to the higher mind. Feelings are closer to the soul therefore the soul experiences the feelings much more intensely than the mental conceptions or bodily sensations. The intensity of the memory is proportional to the level of the mind. This is why karmic debt or rewards will be mostly based on feelings. The feelings I have for others and the feelings others have for me will weigh heavily. My ideas and my intellectual legacy will weigh less in the grand scheme of things.
Speaking of feelings, I have strong feelings of love for the One, for the soul of my soul. There are laws of nature. He established those laws, but He also breaks them everyday to shower us with grace. I witnessed such a miracle last night. Without His grace we could not live even for a moment. I am infinitely grateful for His grace. I sometimes feel embarrassed because there are moments of weakness in life, I act like a naughty boy sometimes but He always forgives.
“All in One, One in All” is the eternal truth.
The corollary would be what my teacher said:
“If you want to know all, try to know One. If you try to know all, you won’t be able to know anything.” – Shrii Shrii Anandamurti