Personal space, privacy, individualism, and oneness. Can they co-exist?

spiritedStarred Page By spirited, 11th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

You are undoubtedly only you, you might think to yourself, but are you actually a part of something bigger than you too?

This is oneness.

How do we relate to something so notoriously airy-fairy as this concept of oneness?

I give two examples from my own life to try to clear some of the noise from the silence for you.

Oneness is the silence in you. The noise is who you think that you are.

Two examples from the life of this writer. The first is from a dream I had

I had a dream where I was a business manager, working in a large firm, which I also owned. I was the owner of this company. I had a personal assistant who worked closely with me.

I had my own office, and he sat at a desk just outside of my office.

One day, I was away in another state for a business meeting. A client came in and wanted a copy of some documents that I kept in my private safe in my office. This was apparently an urgent request, and providing these documents to this customer would apparently seal the deal, so to speak.

The personal assistant opened the safe, because he knew where the spare key was kept. (In those days you didn't need a combination number. It was only a key that was used) He foraged through my documents there. I kept a lot of my private papers there too. I had recently been divorced. These papers, plus a whole lot more were there.

My assistant found the large yellow envelope, opened it, copied the contents, and gave them to the customer, feeling pleased with himself for having sealed this deal without my help, me being absent from the office on this day of all days.

When I hear about this, I was angry, livid with this guy, for not contacting me first, and getting my approval to open my personal safe like this. I thought that he had invaded my personal space.

"All violations of essential privacy are brutalizing."

The above quote is from the American writer, Katharine Elizabeth Fullerton Gerould, (1879 to 1944).

This seems to be making a rather extreme statement about someone invading our privacy, but I tend to agree with it, just the same.

My second example is from an incident that occurred early on in my life

In Australia, where I have lived all of my life, they make a big deal about our graduating from our final year at High School.

The final year results are important, because they determine your future. A good score ensures that you can gain entry to one of the better Universities, enrolled in a course of your own choice. If your score is more on the low side, your choices are rather limited then.

My parents, particularly my mother was keen for me to do well. My Dad was also interested too of course. It was planned for me to go on to University. I was to be the first one in our family to have ever done this.

At the end of the school year, my mum took me up to the country, where I spent the long holiday period there with my grandmother. After a year of hard studying, my thoughtful mother thought that a peaceful countryside setting might just be the thing I needed to de-stress me a bit.

And so she left me there and drove back home to the busy city.

In those days, without computers, the results took a long time to come out, and then they were posted out to you by mail. It was early January then, when the letter finally arrived at my mum's house. I was still of course up at my Grandma's place.

I received a phone call from my mother. She sounded very excited on the phone. She told me that the results of my exams had come in the mail. She had opened the letter for me, and would now read me my results.

Even in those days I was a private type of person. I was upset that she had opened my personal letter, addressed personally to me, like that, without my permission.

In no uncertain terms, I told my poor mother that I didn't want to know the results.

"You had no right opening my letter like that. It is a private letter to me. I will see my results when I get home," I told her, and I abruptly, even angrily, hung up the phone, slamming it hard down onto the hook to cut it off, so that it would make a loud noise in her ear, as I did so.

Talk about being brutal, I was very brutal to my poor mother on that day. She must have wondered what that was all really all about.

"Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn."

The above quote is from the Irish writer and poet, C. S. Lewis, (1898 to 1963).

His full name was Clive Staples Lewis, and maybe that is why he did not staple himself to his full name.

Who was being taught here though, my mother, or myself?

The experience was indeed a brutal one, for both of us, because I have regretted having done this to my mother, for the rest of my life since. I have suffered much remorse over this one little incident, which perhaps was not so little after all.

Photo credit for this photo used here in this section:

"MerrigumHouse" by Mattinbgn - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

My own opinion about all of this

The apparent emptiness of the other illusionary self-created side of oneness, which you feel when you place yourself individually separated and isolated away from oneness can only be filled from your allowing of the real oneness to re-enter your personal space.

Now that is a big statement, but what does it really mean?

You must simply be your real self within oneness rather than your being any false self, and then thinking that this false self is the real you.

This often feels like an invasion of privacy at first.

This is because to reconnect to your real self, as well as to others, requires a re-thinking of these personal spaces and boundaries to re-allow oneness to re-establish itself within all, and this includes within yourself, without any such boundaries ever keeping any part of it out anymore.

In other words, you must be your whole self within oneness for oneness to be wholly real to you.

You are unique, but this is essentially meaningless in that re-established position of you within oneness, and so holding onto these ideas about you being a unique, special individual type of a person, these types of ideas only just further alienate you from the real truth.

They can help an individual to first own their own personal space though, and only by doing this, by finding themselves first, can they then find their real selves within oneness then too.

When you lose yourself, by not accepting yourself exactly as you are, you become an isolated version of yourself, cut off from both oneness, and from your real self then too.

"When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning."

The above quote is from Eckhart Tolle, the well-known spiritual teacher and writer.

Such conditioning makes you think that you are solely an individual. Step back into the silence of oneness, and you will find your real self there silently waiting for you. It has been there all of the time.

Photo credit for this picture of Buddha:

"SriLanka BuddhistStatue (" by Christophe Menebœuf - Own workMore photos related to Sri Lanka on my photoblog: Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Photo credits general:

All photos used here have been freely taken from the public domain section of Wikimedia Commons, except for the ones individually credited.

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Aware Of Silence, Essential Privacy, God And Oneness, Individualism, Invading Our Privacy, Oneness, Personal Space, Privacy, Private Type, Silence Of Oneness, You Are Unique

Meet the author

author avatar spirited
I have been interested in the spiritual fields for over thirty five years now. My writing is mostly in this area.

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author avatar Carol Roach
12th Feb 2015 (#)

well said I agree with you

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author avatar spirited
12th Feb 2015 (#)

thanks Carol

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
12th Feb 2015 (#)

Spirited, I truly enjoyed reading this article. When I read your thoughts I always think that I'm a work in progress. I'm always learning from you. Blessings to you today and always.

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author avatar spirited
12th Feb 2015 (#)

Thanks Nancy,

we all are different, and so we can all learn from each other in some way.

Enjoying my article though means I must have written it in a readable way.

Sometimes learning is not so enjoyable.

Thanks for your hearty appreciation.

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author avatar writestuff
12th Feb 2015 (#)

Thanks for this post. It made me recall one of my favorite quotes: "Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken." ~ Oscar Wilde

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author avatar spirited
12th Feb 2015 (#)

thanks writestuff,

Oscar Wilde had a way with words, I like that one too.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
16th Feb 2015 (#)

We are similar in more ways than we think. If I were a leader of a country I may do the same as leaders change but humanity hardly does. To blaze a new trail all by ourselves is not easy, I think it has happened rarely, at least in a positive way. I don't need much privacy when it comes to my possessions, what I own etc. Interesting thoughts, thanks Spirited - siva

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author avatar spirited
16th Feb 2015 (#)

We must be similar if we are tarred from the same broad brush I guess, but we do carry a small brush of our own to make a few strokes with too I think, thanks siva

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author avatar Retired
16th Feb 2015 (#)

Insightful, as usual, S! :)

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author avatar spirited
16th Feb 2015 (#)

thanks rama devi nina.

I hope I never run out of insights...LOL...

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author avatar Utah Jay
16th Feb 2015 (#)

I agree, I visit me often.

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author avatar spirited
16th Feb 2015 (#)

thanks Utah Jay, I visit me too.

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