Part II

To refresh our minds about Part I, it begins a discourse on oneness.  The mariner chose the word oneness to represent absolute holism.  Holism is the belief that all things are connected in an orderly fashion. It is common to mention holistic medicine, which goes beyond the mechanistic treatments of common medical practice. It is also said of holistic belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Using a term like oneness allows the mind to deduce lesser realities in context.

An example of greater and lesser reality would be the issue of leveling the Brazilian rain forest. The greater reality is that the forest is part of a global ecology; the lesser reality is the economic imperative to cut down the forest.

Oneness, like any philosophy or religion, has rules for interpretation and rules for behavior. For example, oneness interprets reality as the sum of all human knowledge – both proven and perceived. This interpretation is not as broad as it could be because it is limited to human knowledge; there is no limit to knowledge in general.

Oneness measures behavior in the context of harmony. For example, the intentional abuse of fossil fuels is not in harmony with the natural environment required by living creatures all over the planet – a greater reality. Similarly, cutting the Brazilian rain forest is not in harmony with a greater reality.

One easily can be drawn into a maze of judgments about behavior. Oneness does not denounce any object or circumstance in reality. The example of abusing fossil fuel is not judged as wrong; rather, it seems not to be in harmony with a greater reality.

One cannot role back history or foretell the future. However, one can deduce harmony and dissonance between greater and lesser realities. The moral foundation of oneness is pursuit of harmony.

Often, it is difficult to determine which may be the greater or lesser reality. In the United States today there is dissonance. What is the source of the dissonance? What is the greater reality? One cannot pursue harmony without identifying the greater reality.

Often, there is confusion between similar realities. For example, consider the following: computers, motorcycles, milk jugs, credit cards, electricity, Justin Bieber CDs. What is common to these objects is they are made of plastic, which consumes fossil fuel or they burn fossil fuel directly. How does one accept one object but denounce another? The example given earlier that abuse of fossil fuel is not harmonious with a greater reality seems untidy when very small realities seem to be in harmony with human enterprise and possibly may be measured against another greater reality before arriving at the dissonance found in abusing fossil fuel.

This conundrum is similar to the old question about how many angels can stand on the head of a pin. This arbitrariness is behind the creation of different religions, sects, denominations, countries, provinces all the way down to the dissonance between the Hatfields and McCoys.

Oneness avoids these judgments by not judging right or wrong. If one gives some thought to this issue, one realizes that “right” and “wrong” are never absolute. There are dozens of sayings about right and wrong: “There’s always two sides to the story;” “Everyone does the best they can;” “Time heals all wounds,” etc.

The mariner knows Part II is heavy reading. Philosophical reasoning is difficult at best. Part III, however, investigates the list of human behaviors in Part I. It will be an easier read.

Ancient Mariner


1 thought on “Part II

  1. I really like this. I think that it is related to to my constantly complaining about the lack of “reasonableness” in society. Everything seems polarized pulling us one way or the other away from what I believe is your oneness, what I have called reasonableness. I think oneness is a better term. It’s hard for me to believe that all things are not somehow connected, and I find that very comforting. Maybe God is oneness. Thanks for this insightful piece.

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