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achesspieceAll during this week in a great variety of circumstances I have been engaged in conversations about unitive consciousness: the effort needed to grow in the realization that ultimately “we are all one.” I began this week by writing about it. I sat with people in individual spiritual direction considering practices that help us to move toward it. I participated in a study group on the Gospel of Thomas (logion 22) that considered the dual roles of effort and the energy of inspiration in pursuit of it. And yesterday in the midst of my scheduled day I spent an hour outside breathing in the peace and loveliness of a perfect spring day to remember the possibility of it.

None of these events took away the consciousness that there are deep divisions in our society and in nations around the world as well as in the personal lives of everyone I know – including myself. If, however, I maintain the hope that ultimate unity is the achievable goal, I am able at some fleeting moments to sense it within the distress and sometimes even the chaos of separation. I call on No Ordinary Time for some words of Jan Phillips and those “lights” on whom she depends to give credence to my own thoughts this morning. Listen:

If we can stay with the tension of opposites long enough – sustain it, be true to it – we can sometimes become vessels within which the divine opposites come together and give birth to a new reality. (Marie Louise von Franz (1915-1998)

Can you evolve your own thinking process beyond duality, beyond “right and wrong,” beyond “good and evil?” Can you accept that we are all right, only partly so? That we need to mix our thoughts up with others to come up with the greatest variety of solutions, the highest synthesis of consciousness? (Jan Phillips)

We grow up in a world that keeps things separate/Science is a thousand miles from faith/The right wing and the left are far divided/Though the angel cannot fly without them both. (Jan Phillips)

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)