The main thing I don't really like about ideas of non-duality and oneness, is that it really ignores the CREATIVE qualities of God.
If there is only God, and there is nowhere to go, and nothing to do, and God is just sitting there by himself, as a "oneness", in which there is no "duality" or separations of any kind, how do you get from there to a recognition that God CREATES?
For God to even have thoughts, or to create even one son, flies in the face of this idea that God is one thing. Even if you say, well, God has one son but it's part of Him... you can't even really say that either. There can't even be anything you can refer to as "one son", if there is only God.
Jesus says for example, "I am my father are one". And he goes on to clarify that this does not mean there aren't PARTS to that statement. It does not mean, there is only the father. It does not mean, that whatever we're referring to as the son is actually the father, and therefore we are really talking about "one thing". It ACTUALLY means, there *IS* a distinct Son, who is in SOME way "separate" from the Father, enough to establish that there are really TWO things.
"I" (part 1) and "the father" (part 2). Otherwise we might as well just not ever mention the Son or Christ whatsoever and just say that God is all that exists. Jesus is careful to make this distinction, that Son and Father are having some kind of mutual experience or state of being which he's labelled as "one", but that this oneness does not UNDO OR ignore the fact that there are still two things happening here.
In the truest sense of what non-duality or oneness means, it implies there isn't a two-ness of anything. And if you are being really, really, really strict about that logical reasoning, it SHOULD mean that God has NO SON AT ALL. There's either oneness - one thing, or there isn't.
There's a whole spectrum of beliefs out there which proceed from the strictest of interpretations ie "there is only God" through the slight blurring of boundaries to suggest "there is a son, but there's only one of them", through to "there are other sons but they're really the one son", through to "sons are the ego", and all manner of interpretations in between.
But here is the simple fact of it. If God has a thought which creates a son, or if his "effect" is his son, or his son is actually really "himself" pretending to be a son, then this makes himself also the dreamer of dreams and the maker of death. Does that fly with you?
Are you willing to have God be the one who is responsible for separation? And what about the Holy Spirit, did God - who must be dreaming, create the holy spirit as a perfect non-dreamer, in order to pull himself out of the dream he himself made, due to apparently not being able to wake up himself, while simultaneously having created a holy spirit who is not asleep? Does that make any sense whatsoever?
We're told conflicting messages by various teachers who have not really reasoned this out. If there is a God to return home to, a God who did not believe in the separation idea and did not dream, how is that even possible unless somehow there is something that distinguishes God from the one who is having a dream? Even if it's just ONE son, how is it that this one son is able to do ANYTHING that is COMPLETELY SEPARATE from the Father, ensuring that the Father does not entertain or enter into or be affected by this dreaming son?
If truly they are so joined and are so "one" that they literally are the same thing, or the same self, the son literally cannot dream without dragging the father into it. And that would mean the entirety of EXISTENCE would now fall from grace and we'd all be permanently dead, God included. There has to be SOMETHING about the son of God, or this aspect of God, which somehow renders its choices incapable of affecting God. How is that possible if God is supposedly so joined to and connected to this dreamer, in such a way that there is "influence" between them?
What it HAS to indicate, is that EITHER there is a separation between the Father and the Son, OR some other mechanism or dynamic of relationship which guarantees that God will not ever dream. Because if God is the dreamer, then God has made a world of death and also doughnuts and rainbows and chocolate bars. So what IS it that makes God NOT affected by the dream? What is it that sections off the dreamer from God? Even if it's just a dream, it IS still a made idea, it IS an IDEA in the mind, even if it's an idea of impossibilities. We DID have a mad idea, even if it's a nonsense idea. Why didn't GOD have the idea, and why isn't God trapped in an illusion?
The ego would conclude, it MUST mean that there is separation in heaven. It cannot conclude otherwise. But there is another possibility. FREEDOM. Is it not possible, that God gave such TOTAL FREEDOM to his creations, that by all intents and purposes, his creations actually are ABSOLUTELY free and therefore literally have a will of their own, a mind of their own, a spirit of their own, and can CHOOSE on their own, WITHOUT it having any effect on God whatsoever? If the son or sons is FREE, and God has "given" them FULLY, and has COMPLETELY set them in heaven as permanent free-willed beings, this WOULD completely explain why it's possible for God to not be part of dreaming.
"God, who encompasses all being, nevertheless created separate beings, who have everything individually, and want to share it to increase their joy."
For me, heaven absolutely IS NOT a picture of what we traditionally are told is a state of pure non-duality, or even really a state of this "oneness" where there is "only God" happening. It's NOT one thing. It contains FREE WILLED BEINGS OF LIGHT, who are SO free that they literally are free to choose whether or not to will with God.
So get this picture... that God created beings - who are not only fully created and completely SET FREE by unconditional love, but He even gave them SUCH freedom that they could in fact freely decide for themselves whether to love or not. You'd think that this would be quite insane, or suicidal, for God to create thoughts which seem capable of disagreeing with their own creator. Why would God do such a crazy thing? Because He knows that nothing REAL can be threatened, and even if they DO choose to side with dreams, these dreams don't REALLY threaten reality. And that anyone who does dream WILL awaken at some point, because it is not God's will that He be cut off from his creations.
The picture I have of God is that He is FAR more a creator of individual free-willed souls, to whom He has given TOTAL freedom, to the extent that they have to willingly COOPERATE and CO-CREATE by their own will, that they are not mere "parts of God Himself" but actually are real distinct entities with their own minds and their own being. They CAN and do naturally want to share their mind and being with God also, and with the whole sonship, but not because they are forced to or inherently made to. They freely willingly want to do so, to increase their joy, and because Heaven is filled with celebration of Creation.
God is a creator, not a blob. God has sons, many many many sons. God also created angels. This is all perfectly written about in ACIM by Jesus with hundreds if not thousands of statements supporting it. It is the EGO which has a tough time comprehending how it is possible for God, who is whole, could create "many wholes". Or how many wholes can exist simultaneously. Or how God can ADD something to existence. Or how He could create "distinct beings" who have everything "individually", including the creation of multiple minds, and how these multiple minds can coexist harmoniously without war, and without competition, and without differences.
Oneness means "of one kind". In the LIKENESS of God. It means SHARING, by multiple individuals. It does not mean "God is all that exists".
Yes there are statements which at times seem to speak to certain ASPECTS of God's nature in isolation which perhaps gives impression that Jesus is saying there is nothing but God, or that God is all that is, etc... but... it's not the complete picture. Sometimes Jesus refers to the "one son", sometimes to the sonship, sometimes to individual sons. References to the one son do NOT cancel out references to individuals. The ego has a SPAZZ about how this can make sense and be true. It sees only separations where there are none, and joins together things which are not one thing.
Oneness, as in, "there is only one thing" is actually an EGO IDEA. It is the result that EGO reasoning comes to when it boils everything in its EXCLUSIVE thought system down. And it thinks that this final conclusion is accurate and truthful. It is not. It is divisive and incorrect and a false conclusion. God's creation is not "one thing", God's sonship is not devoid of parts, and God DID create multiple beings. Objections to this are, funnily enough, THE EGO objecting to ITS belief in what Heaven must be like.
We are creations of God, children of God, God has created multiple minds, multiple souls, multiple sons, each of whom is SO FREE that they are able to decide for themselves whether or not to will with God. The only REAL choice is to will with God, but our minds DO have the ability and freedom to CHOOSE to dream of an alternative. And we have used that ability. And it has not affected God.
Many many times Jesus has said to me, "you are free". And I could never really quite accept or understand how this is possible, given the framework of how everyone is teaching the course. What wish teachings of "time is already over" and "there's only one son" and so on, I couldn't see how it's possible that I am free. How does a son of God be free, if that son is just part of God's enforced will or some kind of script? Gradually and very confusedly I've come to accept more that we actually DO have free will, because we DO have total freedom. We are to come to God WILLINGLY.
This is why we NEED to have "a little willingness" and eventually total willingness. Willingness isn't coercion. Love does not enter where it is not welcome. We actually literally MUST CHOOSE HEAVEN "heaven is a choice *I* must make". We have to WANT to WILLFULLY choose to accept it. We're not going be willing OR able to accept it if we think it's being forced on us and we don't want it. We have to have total personal willingness to will WITH GOD, to CO-CREATE, to participate and to exercise WILLINGLY the decision to carry out God's will. We are not slaves.
We are not JUST effects. We have been given the power to CAUSE as well, the power to will, and the power to create FREELY. Free will was given NECESSARILY in order to allow us to create freely like the Father. Without this freedom, we could not WILLINGLY WANT to agree with God's will for us. God, who is cause, caused us to BE causes. It is an EGO IDEA that we are "only an effect". That's a dead end. We are not a dead end. We are extenders and freely-willing CO-CREATORS with God. Because we want to be, because it's natural to want to be, and because God ONLY willed that we will FREELY.