In my post on The Proof, I commented that interconnectedness was not the same as Oneness. I thought it worth expanding on that point.
Interconnectedness is about the conscious interactive relationship between all things. It arises from the underlying commonality. Oneness on the other hand is that underlying commonality itself made conscious, that everything is one. Not conceptually or emotionally, but literally. Not in relationship, as that requires 2. It is a direct experience.
This is a little easier to grasp if we consider the layers of our experience.
On a Physical level, we experience everything as unique and discrete. Objects are separate individuals with distinct qualities and boundaries. Not only are they separate but they are becoming more so – the expansion of the universe, entropy, erosion turns mountains into sand, one into many.
On an Emotional level, we begin to see field effects. Just as Chemistry studies electrodynamics, emotions are the field of interaction and reaction, of attraction and repulsion, and of connection and bonding.
On a mental level we get more subtle field effects. Superficially, mind is similar to emotions, but deeper down there is greater connection. Intuition and deeper feeling values are more about our interconnectedness than separation. We get ideas like one mind, social and group dynamics.
On what some may describe as a ‘soul’ level, we are as waves on the ocean, aspects of a wholeness.
And in pure consciousness itself, there is only one. All things are contained in it and arise from it. This is the field of Oneness.
Another way to explore this is through states of consciousness. Much of what are referred to as the path and higher states are an evolution in our relationship with the one consciousness.
With first awakening, we realize we are that One conscious being. There is an internal Oneness, but the external still exists as separate. From that platform, we then dive deep into the play of creation, how the world comes to arise from That I am. This takes our sense and experience of interconnectedness to a whole new level.
And finally, that inner sense of one awareness moves forwards and absorbs the mind, heart, gut and lower centers. All is joined into the One in direct experience. Only the One remains.
We can see that the experience of interconnectedness may lead to Oneness. But they are distinct aspects of the path rather than the same thing. They are very different realities. One points to reality. The other is reality.