A Vision of Oneness

Three times over in this past week, the need for vision in a situation became plain as day.

On Tuesday, Dan from our construction firm presented us with ideas for landscaping the area around Exeter Pond in front of the Pavilion. The inspiration for the fountain in the pond came from Martin Cecil, and the fountain was created by two women who lived at Sunrise Ranch.

Right now, the area around the pond looks like a construction site. We just completed a new patio and ADA exits from the Pavilion. Looking around, I felt badly that Martin’s vision for that place looks as it does now. But it was clear that what was needed was a vision for what the place could become. And that is what Dan was sharing with us. No time for feeling badly.

On Wednesday morning, a group of us gathered to consider our interfaith ministry. There is a lot of good activity transpiring. Where are we taking it? What might be possible if we caught the larger vision of it?

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, a group of us met with Ed Goodman, the Executive Director of MindShare Network. Here is what he says about their work:

The MindShare Network is the global network for dreams, hope, and life activation. We help individuals and organizations envision, execute, and experience a brighter future….

Ed led us through a visioning process for the future of Sunrise Ranch. It was exhilarating!

Proverbs says this: Where there is no vision, the people perish. But what really happens if people don’t have vision? They might work hard and try to do good. They might take it one day at a time. Yet if they don’t have a vision of where they are headed, they are not likely to get there.

Our vision is born out of who we are and what our life is about. It is born out of our story as a human being.

One of the most touching things I’ve heard on the subject was from a character in the movie Australia, Nullah. He was a boy whose mother was an indigenous Australian and whose father was of English descent. Nullah knows he has to find his story and says this:

My grandfather, King George, he take’em me walkabout, teach me black fella way. Grandfather teach’em me most important lesson of all. Tell’em story. 

Later in the movie, an indigenous Australian, Magarri, says this:

If you’ve got no love in your heart, you’ve got nothing… No dreaming, not story, nothing. 

If we’ve lost our story, it is hard to have vision. It is hard to know where we are going. And as Magarri says, if we’ve lost the deep love that was planted in our heart, we’ve got nothing—no dream and no story. If it comes to that, it is a good time to go walkabout—to open to what is truly significant in our life.

It is fascinating to me how important our origin story is to our vision for the future. This came up with our work with Ed. He asked about the legacy of Sunrise Ranch and our values. There is no point in attempting to launch into dreams for the future if we have forgotten who we are and how we got here.

The Apostle John wrote of these things in the Book of Revelation. He was speaking to people who were apparently very dedicated and who felt very righteous, but who had lost vision because they had lost their first love. They had lost the plot. I found a translation of what he said that reveals the deeper meaning of his message.

I know what you have done—how hard you have worked and how you have endured. I also know that you cannot tolerate wicked people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not apostles. You have discovered that they are liars. You have endured, suffered trouble because of my name, and have not grown weary. However, I have this against you: The love you had at first is gone. Remember how far you have fallen. Return to me and change the way you think and act, and do what you did at first.

Revelation 2:2-5

Remember who you are. Remember your story. Remember your first love.

It is ironic that the way forward begins with what seems to be a step backward. Only it isn’t. It is a step into the timeless, perhaps named love. Find that, and a vision of the future opens.

So what is your origin story? Where did it all begin for you? Where did it all begin for us?

One of the oldest origin stories for us as humankind is the story of Creation in Genesis. 

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Genesis 2:7,8 

Simply put, this is a story of the Divine Spark of the Creator in us, and us in Creation. It is a picture of oneness—God in us, and us in the world. The breath of life is constantly being breathed into us, and we are breathing it into the world, both literally and physically, and also spiritually.

The Divine is breathing love into us, even now. And it is the most natural thing for us to breathe that love into others and into the world. This is the formula for the experience of oneness.

Oneness is great as an abstract principle, belief, or goal. But to experience it, the formula has to be followed.

The Divine in me. And me, breathing the breath of the Divine into the world. 

When the Divine is in us, it knows us. And we know the Divine.

When the breath of the Divine is in the world through us, we are loving and knowing the world. And it is knowing us.


All too often, spiritual knowledge is binary in the experience. It is either I know or it is I don’t know. Neither experience is satisfying.

If we don’t know, we live in ignorance. We don’t know the love of the Divine for us. We don’t know that love through us for others. We simply don’t know.

Or do you know? When did you attain that knowledge? And where have you been keeping it? Do you ever dust it off? Has it grown stale?

Knowing is not a one-and-done-and-dusted experience. Now I know. It might be better described as coming to know. 

Think of a relationship between you and another person. Has it ever gotten to the point when you felt you knew them, with nothing left to discover? You knew how they would predictably respond to situations? And you thought there was no more left to know? If it came to that, the relationship might have been over.

Relationships are alive when we are still coming to know the other person. We are showing each other more and more of ourselves. We are sharing more and more.

Knowing the Divine is like that. Knowing a Higher Love is like that. You might have been introduced. You might have had a Divine encounter. But do you think there is nothing more to know? If so, your love might have gotten stale. You might be forgetting your first love.

There is a relationship between knowing our first love and knowing our vision. When we are still exploring our first love, it is exploring us. It is entering us more deeply and finding more ways to express through us into the world. And so, that love is exploring other people and the world through us. It is coming to know those people and our world as us.

And so it is for us as humankind. This is our collective story—the Creator breathing the breath of life into us, and us breathing life into the world. This is where we come from—our origin story—and where we are going. Alpha and Omega. And so, this is our vision. It is what we see. Oneness known. Love fulfilled.

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David Barnes
David Barnes
June 8, 2024 10:20 pm

gratitude for the way of oneness

now each day
i hear that thunderous voice
speak clearly
and show the way of oneness

and when I look at you
i see my own reflected brightness
streaming from your eyes
radiant face of me shines back from you

oneness is the given gift
oneness is the blessing received
in thanksgiving to the creator
of every dawning day


Fiona Gawronsky
Fiona Gawronsky
June 8, 2024 11:08 am

Having vision is to see the possibility of things being different, this can profoundly upset the status quo. Nicolaus Copernicus, in the 16th Century, was considered subversive in his observations as an astronomer, that the earth was not the center of the Solar System, but the Sun. In support of Copernicus came Galileo Galilei who reiterated that the Earth was spherical and faced the might of the Church as it went against their doctrines of creation.

Is it possible for each of us to see that we are not the center of the Universe but part of it, part of a grand scheme, a wholeness. This would mitigate against so much narcissistic behavior in the world. It’s part of growing-up, to realize you are not the center of attention, there are other people in the world besides yourself.

Jerry Kvasnicka
Jerry Kvasnicka
June 6, 2024 7:26 pm

How essential it is to move beyond oneness merely as an “abstract principle, belief or goal.” This Pulse, David, clearly describes the formula for allowing a vision of oneness to become an actual experience, a reality, in my life and in the life of the body of humanity for which I am responsible. And it’s as easy as breathing! THANK YOU!

June 6, 2024 9:12 am

May all beings Be Breathed by Love.


Ron Free
Ron Free
June 5, 2024 8:57 pm

Oneness is known only when we come to know the One. The One who breathed–and continues to breathe–the breath of life–the one life–into our nostrils. All origin stories lead inexorably back to that One, our first love. May we never forget that One nor let it grew stale in our consciousness. Let us have the vision to always make all things new…Evergreen!

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