Spiritual Oneness – Unity in Diversity – The way for harmonious interaction…

Spirituality is generally equated to being religious, being ritualistic. However it is something that is beyond religion, it is about realising the oneness of the universe; and every religion is nothing but a way of life that helps one to realise this oneness of the universe.

Another myth about spirituality is that it is contradictory to science. Contrary to this, modern physicists working at the atomic level are beginning to look upon the world as a network of relations between the various parts of a unified whole. In other words, all phenomena are harmoniously interrelated in this vast network of interrelated events and elements. Quantum theory shows that it is no longer possible to believe in a world outside ourselves, subject to our observation, and subject to strict causality. While science probes the material world to deeper levels to realise the oneness of whole universe, spirituality probes deep within to realise the same.

This oneness of the whole universe does not denote uniformity, but inter-relatedness of complementary features. It demonstrates Unity within the diversity. This Unity is seen across the spectrum… starting from atomic level extending right up to universal level.

Diverse types of cells perform different functions in a body. Different individuals perform distinct functions in a happy family or organisation. Similarly diverse cultures and religions in various parts of the world together form one unity. So, the essence of spirituality and universal oneness lies in realisation of this diversity and their inter-relatedness. It is this diversity that complements the shortcomings of each other and provide a meaning to universal oneness.

A team is considered to be strong when the diverse strengths of individual team members are complementary to each other in fulfilling the overall objectives of the team. Consider a team of only batsmen or only bowlers in cricket… Would that make the team complete and effective? We need great batsmen, great fielders, great fast bowlers and spin bowlers; who realise the importance of their interdependence and complementarity, to form a great team. The same logic applies to any team as small as a family to as large as the universe.

Recollecting the thought advocated by the French philosopher, Emile Durkheim… a complete and ideal team demands organic solidarity than mechanical solidarity. Mechanical solidarity implies that individuals resemble each other and is possible only when the individual personality is absorbed into the collective personality. Organic solidarity presumes the difference between individuals and is possible only if each has a sphere of action which is peculiar to him. Emile Durkheim, further argues that in developing organic solidarity, the collective conscience leaves open a part of the individual conscience in order that special functions may be established there, functions which it cannot regulate. The more this region is extended, the stronger is the cohesion which results from solidarity. In effect, on the one hand, each one depends as much more strictly on society as labour is more divided; and on the other, the activity of each is as much more personal as it is more specialized.

Swami Nityaswarupananda, while advocating education for human unity and world civilisation, emphasises that the world can never be homogenous; individuality is its essence, and individuality becomes perverted if not allowed its true development. Individuals and individual cultures must come to terms with each other, view with understanding the ways in which they differ from each other, and recognise the enriching value of those differences.

Advocating on a much macro level, Swami Vivekananda advocates a marriage between the materialism of the west and spiritual outlook of the east for the benefit of both. He advocates that both should stick and build on their area of specialisation – but should complement and learn from the other for the overall benefit of mankind.

Progress in one part of the world can succeed only when it spells progress for the whole. the birth of this global view-point is the birth of a practical basis for international co-operation for the solution of world problems… Bringing this concept down to the level of individuals… An individual / organisation can succeed only when such success spells progress for others surrounding them… A Success that is Win-Win.

Spirituality in its true and practical sense, thus is about understanding and realisation of this individuality, diversity among individuals, their inter-relatedness, complementary behaviour and the underlying Oneness. Differences in thought are thus to be valued and respected not only as expressions of individuality, but as sources of enrichment for all. This thought of Universal Oneness or Spiritual UNITY is the essence of one’s inner strength facilitating harmonious interactions.

Education should ideally help the child to explore, experience, develop and be closer to this inherent nature of an individual. In this global era – where the world is shrinking continually – it is all the more essential that the child develops this understanding.

One way of achieving this is by thoroughly understanding and living one’s own religion/culture while simultaneously trying to understand other cultures/religions of the world, with an idea to explore areas of give and take thereby enhancing the value of both.

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  1. Essential skills for life goals | Ankur Learning Solutions

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