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A Case of Mistaken Identity

When I began Science of Mind studies many years ago, the concept of
Oneness in diversity and diversity in Oneness intrigued me, as it does today.
This became our class motto at my first seminary. It was especially apropos
because of our unusually diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs,
communities, experiences, etc. It inspired a deeper awareness of Oneness
and engendered a strong bond between us. Now 20 years later, I still have
my class T-shirt on which “Oneness in Diversity—Diversity in Oneness” is
emblazoned. During this time of extraordinary change and uncertainty, I
wear it sometimes. I am reminded on a daily basis of the tremendous
diversity everywhere. I must remember that there is but One
Life—Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent—despite contrary appearances.

In his poem, “Please Call Me By My True Names,” Thich Nhat Hanh
recognizes the “arriving” of Spirit, in every second: to be a bud on a spring
branch; a tiny bird learning to sing; a caterpillar in the heart of a flower; the
mayfly on the surface of the river, and the bird arriving in time to eat the
mayfly; a frog swimming happily in the pond, and the grass-snake feeding on
the frog; a 12-year- old girl victim of a sea pirate, and the pirate perpetrator
whose heart is not yet capable of seeing and loving. Universal Oneness in
diversity and diversity in Oneness.

Our individual lives are microcosms of the macrocosm. Oneness and diversity
also exist within each of us. We each have many aspects—a variety of
thoughts, feelings, beliefs, labels, patterns, talents, experiences, which
coalesce into making us who we think we are today. Attachment to this ever-
changing variety keeps us under the cloud of mistaken identity, believing we
are only what the variety appears to be. The more we identify with Oneness,
the Changeless, the more we release ourselves from the prison of our
mistaken identity so that we may live the freedom of our true identity.