Oneness vs Separateness – feeding two of our human needs

As I watch the news recently, I am reminded of two of humanity’s key needs which drive our behaviour, our progress and our growth.

Oneness can be characterised as ‘bringing things together’, ‘merging’ or ‘making one’ while Separateness can be characterised as ‘separating’, ‘disconnecting’ or ‘dividing into pieces’. Both states of being are essential to the way we evolve, and the way life grows.

As I watch the world unfold (especially at the moment) there seem to be examples everywhere of Oneness and Separateness. Think of the segments of an orange (Separateness) vs the whole orange (Oneness) as one example in nature. Neither is better or worse, it is simply a different state of being.

In politics, the European Union is a good example of Oneness, while BREXIT clearly implies a move toward Separateness. This is similar and brings back personal memories of Quebec’s vote to separate from Canada. As a patriotic Canadian, I have always felt that the language and cultural diversity of a united Canada, and a strong Quebec within that union, is key to Canadian identity and prosperity.

In life, there are equally compelling examples of Oneness such as marriage, family unity while children remain at home and sexual intimacy with a partner. In contrast, Separateness can emerge through divorce, teenage children leaving home as they grow up, and conflict within a relationship.

In the business world, mergers & acquisitions (Oneness) vs divestitures (Separateness) are shaping the world’s products and services continuously. Often the legal community lies in judgement about the benefits and risks of mega-mergers due to the perceived or real impact of commercial monopolies and the ‘best interests’ of the public/consumer.

Finally, while much is unknown about birth and death, I believe these also represent states of Oneness and Separateness. Birth is a profound separation of child from mother, but there is nothing more uniting than the love and energy for family around the time of a new arrival. Death for many represents the return to Oneness, depending on your beliefs of an after-life, reincarnation, heaven, nirvana. Death may also be viewed as the ultimate separation, as we leave loved ones in the physical realm for the next stage of our journey…


About the author

Christopher Miller

Christopher Miller

I am passionate about helping and inspiring small business owners to create their purpose, live their values and experience success, happiness and fulfilment by owning a business they can be proud of.
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