In this podcast, Amadon DellErba discusses unity without uniformity, a concept from The URANTIA Book. In our world today that is so divided in so many ways, the attainment of unity can feel like an impossible goal; but it isn’t. What inhibits and what fosters unity among people? An encouraging and inspiring podcast about finding our common spiritual denominator – that we are all created beings who come from the same Creator. This episode concludes with a real-life story of finding unity without uniformity among 300 men from all walks of like sharing a jail cell after being arrested for protesting at Occupy Wall Street.
This planet is just riddled with silliness and separation through religious dogma. And you know, the hypocrisy of it is what is so nauseating, and makes people atheists, and turns off people to anything to do with spiritual concepts, and religion, because of the obvious division and what's taking place on this planet, in the name of God... when it has nothing to do with God. These actions and these things that people do have nothing to do with God.
“Nothing You Do Matters Unless What You Do Matters”
I’m Amadon DellErba and this is “Get Real or Die Trying”
How we doing tribe? Welcome to Episode 25 of my podcast. Today I'm talking about “Unity Without Uniformity,” a concept that is very important for these times that we live in. You know, the world right now is so fractured, so divided... I don't have to explain to you guys who are watching or listening to this what that means. I mean, the racial tension, political separation, religious dogma. As a humanity where we seem so divided, more than we ever have, perhaps. You know, when I think of unity, I think about the duality that exists in it. There's duality in all things, but in unity, there is the fact of honoring our differences on one hand, and celebrating our similarities on the other, because we all have differences and similarities and to get to that point it's going to take work.
Let's talk about (before we dive into that work here) the definition of unity from the dictionary, “Unity is the state of being one; oneness. A whole or totality as combining all of its parts into one, the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification. Absence of diversity, unvaried or uniform character. Oneness of mind, feeling, etc. as among a number of persons; concord; harmony; or agreement.” So that's… unity is basically oneness.
Now I was just talking about what's going on in the world at large, racism, nationalism, these things that separate us, and we can talk about the macro all day long, because we see it. It's fed to us in the media, it's all over the place and we're aware of it. But one thing we don't do is take the time to observe the micro and it takes work to observe and to adjust our micro, our inner reality, ourselves. We're always focused so much on the external and what's happening in the world that we may not spend enough time really analyzing ourselves and thinking about, “What is it that I need to do to change the macro? What is it in the micro… the inner self?” We must ask ourselves, what is it that prevents us from really being a peaceful person; from being a person of unity.
And so I want this podcast today to not so much focus on what's happening in the world and preaching to the choir about how much nonunity we have in the country and in the world as human beings, but really how we can focus on how we, as individuals, can be a part of the solution by really changing ourselves and coming into the concept that my spiritual teacher and father Gabriel of Urantia calls “Radical Unity.” So how can we come into radical unity?
And, you know, what is it that gets in the way of unity consciousness? Oftentimes when you're trying to get to a destination there's obstacles. You gotta identify the obstacles and then you gotta overcome them. So what are the obstacles to unity consciousness? To being a more ascended spiritualized being on this planet? Well, some of them are pride, competition, insecurity, small mindedness, fear of the unknown, control issues... Of course, lack of self-awareness and personality development. And of course, again, the macro reality of nationalism, and religious dogma, and racism, and these things that we grow up with in our cultures that we are taught, and that we embody, and that we learn that are incorrect. But all those other things that I just mentioned are individualized traits that we can exhibit in our personalities that get in the way of being a peaceful human being. They get in the way of being a person of unity.
So personal accountability to have more unity in your life and in your soul as an individual is the first step. You know, as a man, I have to take accountability. I have to conquer my aggression, my anger, all of these lower patterns. You know, men tend to naturally have a drive and a desire to dominate. Well, when you dominate a situation, a person, a circumstance, a country, that does not create unity. And so we, as men, have to take accountability to look at the traits that we've picked up just from being in a culture, growing up on this planet, centuries of patriarchal thinking and wrong dominating thinking; dominating does not create unity. And that's on a macro level in societies, countries, structures, but also on a micro level internally. It doesn't create unity with your loved ones, the people around you. And I can talk about this because I failed in it, and I'm seeing that and how these traits affect my personal relationships.
And so, you know, talking about unity and walking in unity are two different things and it's not easy. Walking in unity and peace, and other-orientedness is what is needed. And honestly it all starts with the need for a higher collective consciousness. What does that mean? Collective consciousness? Unity is oneness, my friends, it's totality. And so it takes work to get to that oneness. One of my podcasts, I talked about human duality, that we exist in this human animal nature and our spiritual nature, constant duality, and that peace comes when you enter into the oneness and you unify, and you come in totality. Again, unity is oneness. Oneness with your being and how you perceive things, and collectively.
You know, and being more virtuous takes work. You know, we must replace our lower traits with higher traits; our lower animal urges with higher traits, and desires, and the pursuit to virtues. So I listed all those things to get in the way of unity. And so we must start understanding, targeting, and pursuing the things that can help us attain more unity personally / collectively. Some of those virtues are compassion, understanding, empathy, humility, tolerance, grace, patience… You know, that is God consciousness, the reflectivity of these higher virtues is God-consciousness. When you walk into more tolerance and grace, you are being Godly. Sometimes people like to complicate what it means to be Godly. They want to focus too much on the Deity aspect of the Creator, and it's so unattainable as a human being, but God-consciousness and godliness is the reflectivity of higher virtues, you know?
And so it's not just having a collective consciousness though, that will get us to a state of unity. By collective I mean, when my tribe thinks the same way I do, believes in the same thing that I do, and feels the same way. Because collective consciousness can also be a negative thing. It has to be higher collective consciousness because you can have a group of people with a shared lower consciousness, and they even have unity amongst themselves in their lower consciousness. And so the term collective consciousness is thrown around a lot in the world, but it needs to be qualified by higher collective consciousness, because you can be collective in your thoughts and in your consciousness as a group, and it's a lower state of consciousness.
For example, racism. For example, the consciousness of those who partake in it. The consciousness of a KKK “club” is pretty low, but they do have a collective consciousness. They're all on the same page, but it's the wrong page. So we need a higher consciousness. How do you get there? How do you get to a place of higher spiritualized consciousness? Well, when we connect with another human being’s inner godliness, we really do transcend the physical barriers that may appear to divide us; the barriers of racism, social upbringing, cultural upbringing, nationalism, and that's the whole very, very important point of coming into unity without uniformity, is the consciousness of recognizing that you are a created being and so is your brother.
You know, I was having a conversation with an atheist about this concept and it was very difficult to articulate what I was saying because, obviously, an atheist doesn't believe in a Creator. And so how can there be a shared sense of appreciation as a created being by a loving Creator, if you don't believe in a Creator? And how can I connect with his Godliness in him?
Now, I've always adopted the philosophy that it's good to be a spiritual chameleon. What I mean by that is a chameleon adapts to the environment, and they transform, and look and change colors, and morph to the environment they’re in. Being a spiritual chameleon, I don't mean that by disregarding your values and not being committed to your beliefs, and being wishy washy, and being relative, and not being loyal to your highest understanding. What I mean by that is you have the willingness to adapt to whoever it is you're dealing with. And that takes, actually, humility and it takes spiritual maturity because most people have a tremendous amount of insecurity and they expect the people around them to adapt to them. You know, Americans do it all the time they go into other countries and cultures, and because we're so presumptuous, we assume and we expect these other people to adapt to how we think, how we feel, instead of adapting to them. On a spiritual level, one of a different faith can really connect with someone from another faith if they truly desire to find those similarities and have unity, and not just think of the differences.
This planet is just riddled with silliness and separation through religious dogma. And you know, the hypocrisy of it is what is so nauseating, and makes people atheists, and turns off people to anything to do with spiritual concepts, and religion, because of the obvious division and what's taking place on this planet, in the name of God... when it has nothing to do with God. These actions and these things that people do have nothing to do with God. What God wants is for you to associate and find commonality with your brother and sister, and to share the Godliness with each other. That's all that matters. It doesn't matter what you call God. If I'm created by a loving Creator and you are too, I can connect with you. And even if you don't think you are, I can still connect with you. Because you are… and you don't have to believe that. And so, you know, it's an interesting thing, trying to debate these things with an atheist and talking about unity without any spiritual understanding, for me, is very difficult. I don't even know how you would have unity without a spiritual basis and foundation and a cognizant awareness that you're a created being.
I want to go into some quotes here by my spiritual teachers. I'm going to read some by Niánn Emerson Chase, and by Gabriel of Urantia, and some from The URANTIA Book because they can sum it up in a much more eloquent way than I can.
So Niánn Emerson Chase says, “We all have the Spirit of Truth within us that can be activated if we hear and adhere to the inner pull. All of us humans have this circuitry and it is our destiny as individuals, and as humankind, to eventually manifest spiritual unity within our diversity and uniqueness; we can experience this spiritual unity regardless of the names we call God.” So that basically was what I was just talking about, in her words, the Spirit of Truth, and that we can have that spiritual unity and this connectedness when we don't have the presumptuousness, and the pride, and the dogma, and the small mindedness to expect the person who we're dealing with to believe exactly what we believe.
A quote by Gabriel of Urantia, my father and spiritual teacher... I mentioned radical unity earlier, he says, “Radical unity is necessary to unite all humanity under the fatherhood of God and the brother/sisterhood of humankind. We need to get away from the labels that separate us, the ‘-isms,’ and we need to only identify ourselves as ascending sons and daughters of God.” Now note that he says ascending sons and daughters. Well the highest concept of God, the Creator, is the Father concept. And so, if you're a religious or spiritual person and you've had a good father in this life, and you may be a father yourself… think about a father. A father just wants the best for his children, a good father. He protects them and he wants to serve them. And as a father, myself, when I became a father, I really had a whole enlightened perspective about why the highest concept of God is the “Father” concept of God, the Universal Father. Because a father truly is selfless in his love and desire to fulfill his children's highest good.
So now a little tidbit of wisdom from The URANTIA Book, “Through almost endless cycles of gains and losses, adjustments and readjustments, all living organisms swing back and forth from age to age. Those that attain cosmic unity persist, while those that fall short of this goal cease to exist.” That's The URANTIA Book from Paper 58. Pretty simple. It's basically saying those that don't adjust to the times and don't have cosmic unity, basically go extinct and stop existing. And those that do, go on.
Another quote from The URANTIA Book discussing the unity of personality, “The possession of personality identifies man as a spiritual being, since the unity of selfhood and the self-consciousness of personality are endowments of the supermaterial world.” That's from Paper 112 of The URANTIA Book.
Here's another great quote from The URANTIA Book on the concepts of infinity, diversity, and unity, “It is only man's distance from infinity that causes this concept to be expressed as one word. While infinity is on one hand unity, on the other hand it is diversity, without end or limit. Infinity, as it is observed by finite intelligences, is the maximum paradox of creature philosophy in finite metaphysics.” Wow. That’s good stuff. That's in Paper 115 from The URANTIA Book. You can check it out.
I'd like to read a longer passage from Niánn Emerson Chase's article on “Unity Without Uniformity.” You can check this out on her website.
“The principle of Divine Administration from Paradise throughout the entire Grand Universe is coordination. What does coordination mean? It means unity, harmony, being aware of those others around you, to truly coordinate and be efficient in that coordination, there must be love and selflessness; not self-absorption. Now all of us suffer to some extent from the disease of selfishness on this planet. It's a part of being a human being at this point, and especially in America because much of our dominant culture is encouraging materialism and selfishness. So we're all relearning and rehabilitating here on this planet. Our responsibility as ascending sons and daughters of God is to continue to make choices to ascend. That is part of God's absolute law. Again, the family, we are sons and daughters of God. We are loved. We are looked over. We are watched. But our responsibility as children of God is to create unity wherever we can, wherever there is dis-unity. It's a heavy responsibility because we have to look at ourselves. How do we create dis-unity between us and our God? How do we create it with the people we live with? With the people we work with?”
And that really summarizes a lot of everything I just said - the importance of really looking within ourselves and how do we come into the consciousness of unity? I call it the consciousness of unity because it takes acute consciousness to have unity; in your heart, in your mind, in your soul, with yourself, with your Creator, and with others around you. And unity without uniformity is respecting the diversity, the differences, and the beauty of all people, and finding the common ground; the spiritual unity and our connectedness through that.
And so one last story to wrap up the podcast here for you is a story of fond memories of a time of spiritual unity, to some degree, that I had felt in a place where you would least expect it… a prison cell. This is going to be released on the eight year anniversary of my arrest in New York City while I was there attending, and broadcasting, and exposing what was going on, during the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.
So I was in New York City there. I was there representing the Spiritualution Movement. “Spiritualution: a Spiritual Revolution” by Gabriel of Urantia. I was live streaming. I was interviewing the people in the streets. I was trying to get their words and their message out there because the mainstream media really wasn't covering it in the right way. They were showing it in a light that basically was not communicating why they were truly there in the streets. They were just showing the violence and the negative things that were happening at times. Anyways, I was targeted and I was arrested. I was arrested for disorderly conduct, blah, blah, blah. But I spent a wonderful 11 hours in a holding cell in New York City with about 300 other people. And in that cell were all types of people; all walks of life, different religious backgrounds, from different countries, different ages, different political viewpoints even. And it was really quite cool because we were forced in this tiny, you know, cell (I mean tiny for 300 people. We were, like, shoulder to shoulder) and we were in there for 11 hours. And so it was kind of a micro example and reality of the whole world in a cell. But we had consciousness and we had spiritual unity because we were all in there for the same reason. We all got arrested because we were in the streets with a unified, collective consciousness of why we were in the streets. At that time, it was protesting the injustice of greed, and the big banks, and the oppression that was going on in this country, and the injustice around, basically, class warfare in many ways, and how the rich dominate and control this country. Just to sum it up and to summarize it in a very simple way, the 1% controls so much.
So because we were all in that cell, because I was with a 90 year old priest on one side and a recovering heroin addict young man from the inner city on the other side of my shoulder... these two gentlemen are like on the furthest spectrum of, you know, being similar to each other, but they had unity and they had consciousness because they're in the street for the same reason. What I'm getting at here is that you have to be a part of something bigger than yourself. You have to be about ideals, and virtues, and spiritual values, and concepts to find that unity. And we had a wonderful time actually in that cell for 11 hours; we were singing, we were dancing. I was drumming on the trash cans… they came in and took the trash cans away. They had a water cooler in there and we started drumming on the empty water coolers, they came in and took that away. They couldn't believe… and they didn’t want us to have a great time. And we were in there for hours and we talked and we got to know each other and we shared, and we talked about philosophy, and religion, and politics, and science and everything. And again, 300 people, all different types of people. They could have been killing each other in this little cell, just like we are in the world, killing each other. But we weren't because we had a collective, spiritual, unified consciousness in that moment of why we were all in there. We had a brotherhood and sisterhood. Of course, it was just a brotherhood because they kept us all separated, so it was just men in our cell, but there was probably 300 sisters right next door to us, as well.
Anyways, that was eight years ago today that I was arrested, and it was a great experience actually. At the time it was a little scary; first time I've ever been arrested in my life. Of course, it happens to be in the biggest city in the country, and one of the biggest in the world, New York City. And at that time, there was a lot of tension going on, there was a lot of police brutality happening. There was a lot of talk of indefinite detention with the NDA Act, National Defense Authorization Act, that they can arrest you without trial and all this stuff. So it was a little scary when it happened, but afterwards it was an enriching and wonderful experience, and a simple example of spiritual unity, of radical unity, really, as Gabriel of Urantia says.
So leave this podcast, think about how can you get to a place of unity consciousness within your soul, so that you can have unity without uniformity with your neighbor, with your boss, with your loved ones, with whoever it may be, your people in your city, your co-workers, the guy across the world who reads a different book than you and calls God a different name. How can you find unity with him? Thank you.
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