One life is in all forms and shapes
The Hindu father explains to his son that the One Life is in all forms and shapes, points out object after object, saying to the boy: "_Tat tuam asi_, Thou art that; That thou art."
And the Mystics have added their testimony to that of others who have experienced this consciousness. Plotinus said: "Knowledge has three degrees: opinion, science, and illumination. The last is absolute knowledge founded upon the identity of the knowing mind with the known object."
And Eckhardt, the German mystic, has told his pupils that: "God is the soul of all things. He is the light that shines in us when the veil is rent."
And Tennyson, in his wonderful verse describing the temporary lifting of the veil for him, has described a phase of Cosmic Consciousness in the following words:
"For knowledge is the swallow on the lake That sees and stirs the surface-shadow there, But never yet hath dippt into the abysm, The Abysm of all Abysms, beneath, within The blue of sky and sea, the green of earth, And in the million-millionth of a grain Which cleft and cleft again for evermore And ever vanishing, never vanishes. . .
And more, my son, for more than once when I Sat all alone, revolving in myself That word which is the symbol of myself, The mortal symbol of the Self was loosed, And past into the Nameless, as a cloud Melts into Heaven. I touched my limbs, the limbs Were strange, not mine--and yet no shadow of doubt, But utter clearness, and through loss of Self The gain of such large life as matched with ours Were Sun to spark, unshadowable in words, Themselves but shadows of a shadow-world."
And not only among the mystics and poets is this universal truth experienced and expressed, but among the great philosophers of all ages may we find this teaching of the Unity of Life originally voiced in the _Upanishads_.
The Grecian thinkers have expressed the thought; the Chinese philosophers have added their testimony; the modern philosophers, Spinoza, Berkeley, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Hartman, Ferrier, Royce, although differing widely in their theories, all have expressed as a fundamental truth the Unity of Life--a One Life underlying.
The basic teachings of the Vedas are receiving confirmation at the hands of Modern Science, which while calling itself Rationalistic and inclining to a Materialistic conception of the Universe, still finds itself compelled to say, "At the last, All is One."
And in nearly every human soul there is a secret chamber in which the text of this knowledge lies hidden, and in the rare moments in which the chamber door is opened in response to poetry, music, art, deep religious feeling, or those unaccountable waves of uplift that come to all, the truth is recognized for the moment and the soul feels at peace and is content in the feeling that it is at harmony with the All. The sense of Beauty, however expressed, when keenly experienced, has a tendency to lift us out of our consciousness of separateness into another plane of mind in which the keynote is Unity. The higher the human feeling, the nearer is the conscious realization of the underlying Unity.