When thinking about what is real and what is not, you inevitably think about matter. After all, isn’t matter the substance of which our reality is made? And isn’t matter made up of atoms? Yes, and atoms are made up of energy. Therefore, it follows that matter is made up of energy.
These days we are pretty comfortable with the explanation that everything in the universe, including ourselves, is made up of energy. (I’m using the term ‘energy’ in its broadest and all-inclusive sense. Let’s put aside for now the fact that there are different forms of energy). This is an idea that has been around for a while and it sounds scientific enough that we are comfortable with it. But I don’t think we have embraced the full implication of what this means. In science, the law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. There is also the law of conservation of matter, which states the same thing. Einstein did us the favor of connecting matter and energy in his theory of relativity. So, if we believe that we are energy, then we must accept the notion that we cannot be destroyed. If the material world, matter, is a holographic manifestation of this energy, then our bodies are not real and will therefore die, but the energy – our true nature – will continue on. And if we are all made up of the same energy, then we are all connected. Not just to each other but also to the One Reality from which we were created.
We can make some more connections here by seeing how religious traditions and philosophies translate the usage of the word “energy” in this instance to the word “spirit” or “Real Self,” while “One Reality” translates to “God” or the “Sacred,” or the “Divine” and “interconnectedness” becomes “non-duality”. The thread of non-duality connects all the religious traditions and spiritual philosophies around the world. Any apparent differences stem from doctrine, dogma (and their subjective interpretations) and external rituals.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in I Am That says, “The real does not die, the unreal never lived….The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death…”
The Course in Miracles states the same premise. “ Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”
If the material world is illusion and non-duality or ‘oneness’ is real, then why not try to shift our attention away from the material and contemplate what is real – our oneness with each other and the Sacred? Think of the implications. There would be no more violence, physical or otherwise, because there would no more hate. Who would you hate? If we are all part of One Reality – then we are all the same. No differences, no separation. So what you do to someone else you do to yourself. Remember the Golden Rule?
Albert Einstein said, “A human being is a part of a whole…. (but) he experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”