One with all things?

When I first read this poem over 20 years ago, I immediately understood it. I “got” it both spiritually and anthropologically. I once shared it with a couple I encountered, but when I got to the part about Hitler, the woman snapped, “I don’t agree with that at all” and stormed away, followed sheepishly by her partner. I was flummoxed by her reaction, because I saw the poem as a statement of the human condition as a whole, whereby we human beings do possess the capacity for both good and evil.

Most of us, thankfully, possess more benevolence than malice, but that development is really the end product of empathy, which does indeed reveal our essential oneness. The lack of empathy also defines human psychopathy, unfortunately. Our quest, then, should be to become increasingly more empathetic towards each other and other sentient beings. In this quest, we must critique and reform ideologies that cause division, including and especially organized, monotheistic and intolerant religions.

Interestingly, this poet indicates that such an experience of oneness is in fact “religious,” which represents another insight: To wit, organizing religion produces an un-spiritual and anti-spiritual experience that could ironically be deemed un-religious as well.

What do you think?

Love.

I am one with all things-
in beauty,
in ugliness,
for whatsoever is-
there I am.

Not only in virtue
but in sin too I am a partner,
and not only heaven
but hell too is mine.
Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu-
it is easy to be their heir,
but Ghengis, Taimur, and Hitler?
They are also within me!

No, not half-
I am the whole of mankind!
Whatsoever is man’s is mine-
flowers and thorns,
darkness as well as light,
and if nectar is mine,
whose is poison?
Nectar and poison-
both are mine.

Whoever experiences this I call religious,
for only the anguish of such experience can revolutionize life on earth

~Osho, A Cup of Tea #54

Updated: December 23, 2018 — 9:49 pm

16 Comments

  1. poetry
    The poem describes humans admirably. But I doubt it has to do with a spiritual connection. More likely it’s our heritage as primates that has endowed us with the capacity to both feel love and empathy for some while for others we experience hate and the compulsion to kill. We can act on a spectrum of passions. We are social animals; perhaps more intelligent and conscious than other forms of life, but animals nonetheless bred to love and nurture but also to defend territory and murderously attack. Good and evil are human judgments, they do not exist independently. As far as the spiritual, I hope your right but proof is hard to come by.

  2. That’s beautiful what a notion, but will many catch on with it? Well at any rate good thoughts are beneficial, but darkness does not shriek in the “presents” of love or good intention it twists it to suit it’s image UN-fortunately! Though do keep hope and wellness in heart and mind all the same. 😉 B)

  3. Benevolent acts and malevolent acts, to a greater or lesser degree, are performed by the most empathetic people.

    Benevolent acts and malevolent acts, to a greater or lesser degree, are performed by the least empathetic people.

    Not that everyone’s a potential dictator, but the woman who “snapped”…” and stormed away” when she heard “the part about Hitler” is either unwilling to accept her own potentialities, or, she’s so empathetic and benevolent that she cannot perceive of herself committing a malevolent act. Her then being “followed sheepishly by her partner” may mean that her partner knew that her storming away was more of a confession of, rather than a rejection of, malevolent behavior. In other words, the “part about Hitler” hit a raw nerve. Maybe she throws occasional fits of anger at her partner. When she “stormed away,” her partner may have thought, “Yeah, you bet! Put on a good act for the lady.” Her “storming away,” in itself, was an insult to the reader of the poem, and was, therefore, a mildly malevolent act.

    Highly empathetic people and barely empathetic people commit benevolent, as well as, malevolent, acts. The people who planned the murders of John and Robert Kennedy were probably sipping beverages and chuckling with their wives the evening after those murders occurred.

    Benevolence to all benevolent people and to all a good night!

  4. We Are One
    I agree with this poem in the sense that we are one. And that is how everyone should live. How would you live your life if you believed that you and everyone else was one consciousness? I believe that if we all believed this, we would take care of each other and turn this planet into paradise. But so many people do not see our oneness because the illusion of separation is great. Near-Death Experiencers sometimes discover that we are all one entity or consciousness. And when they come back, they are more loving towards others. So when humanity starts to believe that we are truly one, the world will be a better place.

  5. Very interesting poem, and interesting comments. I believe what the author was trying to relay is the polarity of our existence, you cannot have good without evil, they are two side of the same coin. There can be no evolution unless we are evolving FROM something TO something. We are all in a state of becoming, not a state of being. That, I think, is where your comment, Acharya, stands true, in that organized religion, especially the Abrahamic religions, deem us to be creatures of being, and their god just a greater creature of being, instead of becoming.

  6. There is much to explain to thoes who do not understand. But to thoes who do, there is no explanation. We who have gone through the learning of our own natures, have had to learn the connectedness of our beings to reality. This is a trust in the nature of reality. We begin to understand how to define and place meaning into our lives by trusting our nature. As we grow more into trusting our own perceptions we also grow a spirit of the phenomenon of being. I now create meaning by meaning the words I speak. I do not have to trust the meanings of the historical ways. I did not like that hitler existed and yet it taught me that people would follow such a being. This is profound in that it caused me to be awakened to the reality I had not known of human history. TRUTH PUTS US FOREVER ON THE ALERT

  7. re: poetry
    We all have divines as well as evil within us

  8. MalevolentBenevolence&BenevolentMalevolence
    Benevolent acts and malevolent acts, to a greater or lesser degree, are performed by the most empathetic people.

    Benevolent acts and malevolent acts, to a greater or lesser degree, are performed by the least empathetic people.

    Not that everyone’s a potential dictator, but the woman who “snapped”…” and stormed away” when she heard “the part about Hitler” is either unwilling to accept her own potentialities, or, she’s so empathetic and benevolent that she cannot perceive of herself committing a malevolent act. Her then being “followed sheepishly by her partner” may mean that her partner knew that her storming away was more of a confession of, rather than a rejection of, malevolent behavior. In other words, the “part about Hitler” hit a raw nerve. Maybe she throws occasional fits of anger at her partner. When she “stormed away,” her partner may have thought, “Yeah, you bet! Put on a good act for the lady.” Her “storming away,” in itself, was an insult to the reader of the poem, and was, therefore, a mildly malevolent act.

    Highly empathetic people and barely empathetic people commit benevolent, as well as, malevolent, acts. The people who planned the murders of John and Robert Kennedy were probably sipping beverages and chuckling with their wives the evening(s) after those murders occurred.

    Benevolence to all benevolent people and to all a good night

  9. Good and Evil???
    Before re-reading the poem (with which I agree) stop and acknowledge to yourself that ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ exist only in the minds of men.
    They are no more than arbitrary constructs designed for those who advance agendas of questionable origins.
    They are temporal (changing constantly) and they are local (nowhere the same) so how can they possibly have their long-claimed eternal consequences?
    To check my claim, examine nature. Nowhere is there a shred of ‘Good’ or of ‘Evil’. Nature just is and whatever happens does so without values attached by, or to, the participants. No law is broken when a lion kills an antelope, when a crocodile eats a fish, when a cow eats a blade of grass or, for that matter, when a virus kills a human. It simply is part of the larger processes of existence and must be understood as such if one is to understand and appreciate the true nature of our existence.

    1. universal morality?
      That’s the whole point; a lion doesn’t murder an antelope, it kills it. That’s why humans are different, we have guidelines, call them “morality” if you will, we all know perfectly well “Thy shall not kill”, every person knows this; on the contrary of popular belief there are cultural universals condemning murder, violence, rape… all cultures distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad. All cultures have some sort of a morality or moral sentiments, all cultures admire generosity. We could even say there is an absolute morality, an objective, universal morality, common among all humans

  10. Well Said
    When I read this poem I absolutely identified with it, in every way. I have seen in myself Gandhi and Hitler, Jesus and Nero. I know that I, and all others, have the potential for the greatest benevolence on the one hand, and the depths of depravity on the other.
    Thank you for your posts and for all of the work you do to make sure your voice is heard.

  11. Nature
    Creation and destruction, doesn’t the likes of evil lead to the destruction of man? Isn’t it human nature to defend that of our loved ones from the breed of the other half. Its human nature to be more creative really, to expand awareness to evolve mankind. We are the greatest form of intelligence on this planet, considering our dominance. Therefore we know of the consequences of behavior, specifically that of allowing the globalist government to continue its reign of power, which will inevitably lead to chaos. It seems like the cycle of history replaying over and over, like this reality is stuck in the same situation since the beginning of time. But there is one key factor, our evolution. The ability to learn an age old lesson about the oppressive forces that so easily control the masses of the world in this so called democratic society. Its smoke and mirrors, deceit. The key to unlocking the potential of mankind is our creation of technology giving us the the ability to unite with others. We can finally expand awareness in human species as a whole as the decline of controlled society reaches its tipping point. We know suffering to not take for granted prosperity, which becomes an engine for creativity.

  12. “…ideologies that cause division, including and especially organized, monotheistic and intolerant religions.”
    Well it has been empirically proven that one’s religion has no impact on one’s general tolerance (not only racial, but religious as well). On the contrary of the hypothesis, people who proclaimed themselves religious actually showed (by a small %) more (racial) tolerance, than those, who ticked the atheist box.
    (I would like to send you the link to the study, but you can not open it, because, you would need a password ->but anyway, I’m experiencing problems opening it (it worked fine just a week ago), so I apologize for not offering any numerical data)

    As far as it’s “division” is concerned; ironically Marxist philosophers (such as Slavoj Zizek) and sociologists claim, that religion is in fact not causing division; on the contrary, for Marxists religion is “the opiate for the masses”; it’s trying to prevent division (between the workers and the capitalists) and therefore trying to prevent the workers revolution
    …and I’m an atheist

    anyway lets get to the poem: It really is beautiful 🙂

  13. Yin Yang
    Beautiful poem. It can be read as simple as it sounds with little thought or one can dig deeper into it’s hidden subliminal’s of truth and meaning. If one’s mind is in the right place and devoid of the many thought control device’s and completely open like a book, being skeptcial of all things while neither agreeing nor disagreeing perhaps the message here will resonate. And I agree religion has no spirituality to it. It allows one to hide from their responsiblity for embracing their duality of the negative and the positive and finding the balance in between. It put’s one at odds with themselves by defining sin’s and evils as an outside influence and claims the heart can be a deciever. It separates humankind from the source and their inner spark. One would think the blood on it’s hands would be enough for people to question and search within for the answers. We are what we have been waiting for, yet most have failed to realize it.

  14. What a beautiful poem from the “Rolls-Royce guru.” When I first found Osho I could not put his books down. Everything he said resonated so deep within me. Then I researched the man and his movement. Now I put Osho in the same category as Scientology. I think he really just wanted your money. He is still fun to read though, like the Bible still is from time to time, but a part of me wishes I could unlearn all the negatives that surround the man so I could enjoy him like I used to.

  15. I believe this is about being human being flawed and being okay with it and if more people experienced this type of connection with ones self it would change the world i truly believe you must love yourself and to experience both you become one

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