Remembering Who We Are
(or :The All is in the small as the small is in the All )

Talk given at Unitarian Universalist Gathering of Southern Berkshires
Housatonic, MA
Sunday Aug. 9, 2015
by Rich Hayes


Beauty seen makes the one who sees it more beautiful.
-Br. David Steindl-Rast

Reading for today's meditation:

“All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.”-Buddha


The Buddha said, “Everything is in relation to everything else.”

I’ll take it a step further: everything is an aspect of everything else - part of a greater Whole.

In the woods of Oregon every year there is a bloom of mushrooms-millions of them for miles and miles in every direction. I actually read about this a number of years ago in the science section of the newspaper. Turns out a scientist discovered that these weren’t individual mushrooms but rather one single huge one, from which all these seemingly individual mushrooms grew. This huge fungi was just below the surface, spreading out in all directions.

What appeared to be many was actually only one, but one thing expressed in many different, unique forms (because each mushroom
is different-long stem, flat tops, etc).

The nature of Creation is infinite in variation.
Just open your eyes and look around and you can see this. Look up at the night sky and it’s impossible to miss.

Aristotle said that the energy of the mind is the essence of life.

Ernest Holmes, in his book “The Science of Mind” wrote, “God is the invisible life essence of all that is, the intelligent energy running through all.”

Today we know that everything is energy, our science tell us so -matter is energy in form. Everything in the manifest Universe is energy.
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed and that all the energy that ever was IS still present and that all it does is change form.

Let me tell you a story about the little wave: Out in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean there was a little wave. He was a very happy little wave, just rolling along and enjoying the bright blue above, the seagulls flying along, the bright and warm sun shining down. Day after day he rolled along enjoying it all.

Then one day up ahead in the distance he saw something he’d never seen before and he could make no sense of it. As he rolled closer, it became clearer. It was land and rocks. Closer he rolled, being pushed by the tide. To his horror he saw the other little waves ahead of him one by one crashing into the rocks and the shore. He began to cry. Behind him was a larger wave and it called out to the little wave, “Little wave why are you crying so?” and the little wave replied,
“Look up ahead! Don’t you see? Don’t you see? I am going to roll into those rocks and be killed!!” To which the larger wave spoke in a soothing and calming voice, “Little wave, don’t be silly! You’re not a wave-you’re the Ocean!”

So today I remind you that you are the Ocean.

Religious and spiritual texts both East & West describe God as Eternal-always
taking form and abandoning form,
BUT never being absorbed by Its creation.

We may be using different words here, but we are describing the same essence: God/ energy – energy/ God

Behind the diversity of life forms (AND ALL FORM) stands the One Unifying Principle.
God is all that is-Energy is all there is.

But for some the name “God” has terrible baggage, for others it smacks of superstition, others may find it comforting and have good associations to that word.

Let me quote John Lennon, who said: “I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.” 

I have no wish to get bogged down in a debate or discussion about this word or name. Way too much suffering has happened because of this. So lets put that aside.

My point is simple: The One Unifying Principle is what you are made of - it is your ground of being.

You have heard me say many times in the course of previous talks here that you are so much more than you know (or can realize).

But unfortunately we forget this because we are taken in by appearances.

Our perceptions are limited. We judge the world and reality based on our senses, and they are not always accurate.

A moment ago I quoted Aristotle, “The energy of the mind is the essence of life”.
By the way, when I say mind I am not referring to the brain. They are two different things.

The brain is matter and facilitates consciousness, but it is no more the originator of consciousness and thought than a radio is the originator of Beethoven.
You could think of the brain as a transmitter/receiver or operational software. It facilitates consciousness.

What is the energy of the mind? Consciousness!
Simply put, “consciousness” is the experience of being aware.

But I suggest to you that it is much more. Consciousness IS the energy of creation. Just google “the observer effect”.

Matter does not produce consciousness; consciousness produces matter.
Some have called this (consciousness) God.

And it (Consciousness) is being experienced through you
as you.
Who you are is much, much more. I believe that what we have called “soul” or “spirit” are ways we have been describing this.

Sometimes in my work with people approaching the end of life I ask them if they can remember their earliest sense of “I” as in “I am”. Often they will look at me and a slight sign of recognition will creep in. They start to remember. It was there from our earliest times; in the beginning, before all the other things began to obscure it like names and accomplishments (or failures) and jobs and titles. As we approach the end of life this sense of "I" begins to re-emerge. It is foundational and it is so much more real than the “me” we believe our self to be.
Now I'm not saying that you aren't who you've experienced yourself to be-the memories and experiences, or that these will be expunged or wiped out when you connect to the True Self( or die). You will still be you only with a different perspective. Are you still the same you you were when you were 20? 30? Yes and of course no. What I'm speaking of here is similar to this.

Your ego is the story you have told (or someone else has told) you about yourself. It is not the True Self (Capital “S”). It only thinks it is-and as long as you believe it is you, you will miss the truth.

The other morning I was out walking when I heard a commotion that sounded like a tin can being kicked. I looked toward the sound and saw a bird (I believe a Robin) flying up and down alongside a stovepipe that came out and up the side of a house. The bird was seeing its reflection and thinking it another bird, pecking at the pipe. Seeing this it made me think of us and our own struggle with our greatest adversary: our self (the small “s” self-the ego).

Jesus’ realization (revelation) was "I and my Father are one". He also said, “What you do to the least you do also to me” and "I am in the father as you are in me and I am in you.
(*Speaking to his disciples, Jesus said: "In that day you will know that I am in the Father, and you in me and I in you." (John 14)"

Jesus realized his oneness with God and he attempted to show the way to all of us. And much of the message got lost or misunderstood.

Many of the mystics of the past have been labeled heretics because of this realization. Meister Ekchart was locked away because of his realization that no one needed an intercessory to reach the divine.
St Catherine of Genoa ran through the streets of her city shouting, “My deepest me is God!” after she had her experience of Oneness.
History is full of people who have had this realization.
Some have been killed because of it.

The Buddha and Jesus are among the more famous, but many others have come to this awareness.

Thich Nhat Hanh said:
“There's no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected. Once you are aware of that you are no longer caught in the idea that you are a separate entity.”

And Desmond Tutu said, “The God who existed before any religion counts on you to make the oneness of the human family known and celebrated.”

Alice Walker in speaking of practicing meditation said, “It took me back to the way that I naturally was as a child growing up way in the country, rarely seeing people. I was in that state of oneness with creation and it was as if I didn't exist except as a part of everything.”

There is a story in the early Jewish tradition that says when you were in your mother’s womb you were connected to everything in the Universe. On the day you were born, just before you came into this world the Angel Lyla came and touched you under your nose and with this touch you forgot everything and then you were born into this world. This is why each of us has the mark under our nose-it’s the indentation from Lyla’s finger and it is our call to remember.

The definition for the word remember is
"To be able to bring to one's mind an awareness of someone or something that one has seen, known, or experienced in the past."

And the definition of the word member is:
an individual, thing, or organization belonging to a group;
a constituent piece of a complex structure.

You are each a constituent piece of a much larger, infinitely more complex structure.

God is all that you are.
you are not all that God is!
Take that as comfort.
It is time to remember.

This experience is within everyone's reach - it is everyone's birthright. From this flows a powerful implication: "Love your neighbor as yourself." We might justifiably add: because your neighbor really is yourself.

It is time for you to remember. It is time for all of us to remember.
Because when we remember Who we are it changes our relationship to everything.
No one would ever harm another or let another suffer if they recognized and remembered this.
It is with this remembering that the world changes.
And it is why you are here.
Thank you.


God-Great Spirit-Source, Universal wisdom-You who we call by many names, but IS beyond all names
Fill me with Your love, light, peace and understanding.
Fill me full. Permit my heart to beat with Your heart and my lungs to breath with You. Animate me from head to toe with Your love and light.
There are so many who feel alone and unworthy. Touch these people through me. Express fully through me that they may feel Your Presence. Love through me. Heal through me.
Let no person, animal or life form go untouched. Express through me that the whole world may feel the depth and fullness of Your love.

Many are joining together in service. May we see our true Self: beautiful, pure, whole expressions of You and may we be conduits of Your love, peace and healing. May the Earth receive this blessing and may humanity and life on Earth enter the dawn of a new day; a day filled with health, wellbeing, harmony and happiness.