I hear myself, as I do others, speaking of the need for “oneness” and “one love” in life. In doing so I think that what we are saying is that we like to believe that we are fundamentally equal. In my own quest for ‘equal-ness’ I often find myself drawn towards romantic partners of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I am attracted to the prospect of learning from their culture, as well as hopefully teaching them about my own. In terms of ‘my own’ culture, having lived outside of the U.K. for a significant amount of time, I do now wonder what exactly it is? It is not only British and it is not truly Spanish; it is a mongrel mix of the more befitting aspects of both I hope. As well as a hiding, or a disassociating from, the less positive aspects.
One aspect of the country that I was born into is an ever growing understanding of nationalities, cultures and ways of life dissimilar to our own. More so than many other countries seemingly have. In my own city of Manchester we became internationally news worthy on Tuesday the 23rd of May 2017, when the night before a young man of the Muslim faith decided to take his life and the lives of 22 others. The victims were also of different racial backgrounds, ages and creeds. The man did so on the understanding that his religion mattered more than their lives did. In light of it’s fatal brush with terrorism ‘Mancunians’ came out in upmost solidarity and peaceful support of the city and its victims. However, seeing this drama unfold left me wondering if, as a country, we openly accept more than we might privately agree with.
What I struggle to fully accept, as a human who is not particularity religious, is that people die because others were born to kill them. The same goes for animals: they die because you were born to eat them. Alas, I digress, but truthfully whilst it remains the norm to kill in the name of profit, dominance and in a religious sense: for a belief system based on mathematical-like equations (do this + this + this and it will = eternal peace and happiness). Actual peace on earth seems to remain unlikely. It is, as it ever was, a lovely hope for the future though.
I was meditating recently in my garden when I heard myself utter the words “all I want is peace”. Interestingly in this moment my body started to move and sway in a circular motion, much like a comforting rhythmic dance of the soul. I might not believe in one true God, but I do believe in my ability to appear divine. To be able, in a moment at least, to suspend judgement and thought and to just “be”. I believed then as I do now that love is our commonest denominator and that all else: religion, faith, belief and a hope for a brighter tomorrow; are perhaps slightly-misshaped, but necessary buttons sewn somewhat haphazardly onto the coat of life.
I feel, in an abstract sense, that “oneness” is what we fundamentally possess an ancient, almost vestigial awareness of. Perhaps this is the Holy Grail at the end of our quest? In saying this though, that same “oneness”, taken from a close-up angle can often reveal human beings inherent biases, prejudices, opinions, private thoughts, public observations and truly complicated ways.
“One love” might have been, in a perverse sense, what that fanatically religious young man was trying to achieve when he decided to allow himself to be influenced by the madder edges of his faith. In my opinion “one love” is a concept that represents more than what religious, or spiritual guides on life can teach. They aren’t, however, bad places to start.
Any person who desires to love past the point of themselves and projects that love onto a messy world – a world in which they inherited just like you and I did – knows that the secret to life is found in compassion and inter-connectedness to someone, or something other than themselves. Perhaps when all is said and done, most importantly, these kinds of individuals know that whatever happens; nothing will ever remain the same. We are all here to be the change that we wish to see. Whether we know it or not.
Perhaps I have to become many more things and continue to have many more experiences, false-starts, set backs and up’s and down’s before I can fully accept that nothing is greater than the ability to love someone, or something, in the NOW.
Whilst remaining true to whatever belief system I choose to ascribe to.
To whatever “one love” I aspire to be.