“We are all one but we imagine that we are not.” Thomas Merton (1915-1968), my spiritual teacher and guide, said these words just weeks before he died in an accident. I have found oneness to be not only the way all of creation is constructed but also a central teaching of the world’s religions. Dr. King described this truth perfectly in his statement that “we are caught in a network of mutuality so that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and “I cannot be what I was meant to be unless you become what you were meant to become.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu teaches the same principle through the African word, “Ubuntu” or “community” which means “I am because we are.” “Community” as a practice, that we can make into a habit in our life, empowers us to move from the energy field of fear to the energy field or “House” of love. I describe that phenomenon in my book, 8 Habits of Love.
Just as love’s opposite is fear, the opposite of oneness is the myth of the separate self. None of us is alone. Since 2014 I have been captivated by “Pando,” a 106-acre grove of quaking aspens in Utah. Scientists have proven that every part of that forest is of the same DNA, hence it is a one-tree forest. Pando symbolizes our interdependence, our intertwining, our belonging to one another, our oneness.
Thomas Merton, The Asian Journal
A non-profit enacting the values of Pando in a variety of ways creating a new ecological civilization. Pando Populus’s website has links describing Pando and also articles by Dr. John Cobb, who first taught me about Pando.