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Personal Practices: Spirit
Seeing the One

by JoAnn Kite

Within man is the soul of the whole, the wise silence, the Universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal One. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each of us is meant to see this truth in our daily lives. We were born with an innate capacity to recognize and resonate with this universal beauty, this related Oneness, this Pattern which structures and shapes our lives. Spiritual traditions have always taught these things, but even if we aren’t actively practicing a spiritual tradition, we can still see this way, thereby enhancing our realization of the beauty and Oneness of life, our synthetic participation with All that Is.

I first recognized this resonating Oneness in a forest I knew when I was a little girl. I grew up in the country, with not many friends to play with, so often I’d go to the small woods behind my home to spend my time with the sights and sounds of nature. It wasn’t long before I noticed that the forest seemed to echo my mood. When I was feeling happy and carefree, the birdsong seemed louder than usual; little wild animals would scamper closer to me and seemed to show no fear. I would find just the rock I wanted to sit on, just the right berries to pick and eat, and the whole afternoon would seem like a symphony of relatedness between myself and all that was around me. But when I would go there in a somber mood, depressed or anxious about something, the forest would be much more silent, no rock was a good seat, and the berries were sour.

Time passed and I left my childhood home behind and entered another wood, the dark, terrifying wood that Dante immortalized for us in his poetry. I was trying to heal inner wounds that had festered for a long time, and my mother had just passed away, so I was feeling very depressed and emotionally shaken. One morning as I sat sipping my coffee and choking back the millionth tear, I opened the book I was reading at the time and came across the following sentence: “Everywhere God will come to meet you, everywhere He will appear to you, at places and times at which you look not for it, for there is nothing which is not God.” (Hermetica, Lib X:21B) I felt something stir within me that I hadn’t felt in a long time as the words leapt out to me and struck me forcefully yet gently in the Center of my being. Nerves that had been taut with emotional tension relaxed, and for the first time in a long time, I felt the energy of hope stir in my breast. I stopped crying. I got up and got ready for work with an almost eager sense of expectancy, and when I opened my front door to leave, there in the pearl gray sky, arching over my house like a sign and a promise, was a shining and brilliantly colored rainbow, so numinously perfect in the timing of its appearance that I knew from that instant that I would soon be leaving Dante’s woods forever.

After work that day, my husband Jim and I decided to take a hike up the forest trails of the mountain we live on. The day was bright and warm, and I felt almost happy as I held my new-found hope close to my heart. The birds were singing their cheeriest songs, the little squirrels and rabbits were dancing all around, as the sun dappled its way through the forest leaves. Weary from our long climb, Jim and I decided to sit on a rock to rest and take in all the beauty. I felt something under my foot and, thinking it was just a pebble, went to kick it out of the way. Imagine my awed and unspeakable joy when I lifted my foot to find a small child’s ring almost buried in the forest soil. On it was a picture of a rainbow! The world - the One - had reached out to me and shown me clearly and surely that life is good, life is magical, life is one circle of never-ending fulfillment and joy, even when depression has clouded our vision and wrapped us in its icy isolation. The One will come to meet you everywhere, in every mood, if you allow yourself to remain open to its resonating wonder.

This Self is the world, if only a consciousness could see it. This is why we must know who we are. - Carl Jung, The Integration of Personality

Each one of us is interconnected with all that is in a very real and tangible way, and every day, in subtle yet very real ways, the World reaches out to us with healing and understanding. This Oneness which resonates through all is perhaps most noticeable under extreme circumstances, whether personal, like my depression, or collective like a flood or other natural disaster. These situations give us unmistakable glimpses of the One, perhaps because we are most open to these influences when we are most in need of them. As the community comes together for a common cause, differences are forgotten, divisions are momentarily healed, all separate interests are abandoned in the common cause of bringing healing to the One community. This is Life itself bringing order out of chaos, light out of darkness, healing out of dis-ease. Each of us plays our own separate part, and yet Life works together for the good of all. In fact, all of us are here today because our ancestors in their caves and huts also resonated in this Oneness and brought healing to their communities by It. Without this synthetic cooperative within the One Organism, our families, societies, and civilizations could never have held together and evolved.

But we don’t have to wait for a natural disaster to really see such living resonance. We can also recognize and magnify this Oneness in our everyday daily lives. There are those times which seem uncanny in their supposed ‘coincidence’. You may be worried about some minor problem, and then you get a phone call from a friend you haven’t heard from in years, and she gives you just the advice you need to find the answer. Or you may open a book at just the right words to give you strength to go on in a trying circumstance. A quiet and receptive attitude toward life, a calm and accepting openness toward all that comes your way, eventually shows you that coincidence has really nothing to do with it. You begin to see with a developing intuition that you are resonating in a deep and meaningful way with all that lives around you. You will see with your inner sight that you are a part of all that is, and always very much at home within this magnificent world.

An open, receptive attitude toward life allows you to see the deep, purposeful meaning that weaves its way through even the most seemingly trivial experiences of our daily lives. By being present to the moment’s positive possibilities, everyone and everything becomes your teacher and you, in turn, teach everyone and everything. Always we nurture each other into greater understanding, meaning and purpose as we welcome life with trust and receptivity. Nearly fifty years ago, Jung wrote “It is dawning on us that humanity is One, with One psyche”, and his words today have a prophetic ring as we see so many others around us recognizing the sacred resonance of this newfound yet eternal Oneness. And this resonating Oneness is the Divine Energy we are using to bring peace, healing, and re-birth to ourselves and our beloved Earth.


One Dream One Dance
Surges forth
Foaming with diversity
At time’s farthest shore
Myriad centered cores
Of one Will

One Song One pulse
Streams forth
Pregnant with chords
Of man and beast and earth
Spiraling joyful birth
Of one Hymn

One Beam One Hue
Shines forth
Breaking into rainbows
Where spirit meets space
Holographic face
Of One Life

Cr 2003 JoAnn Kite
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