The problem of over-simplifying oneness

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2020 1788 words 7 mins 56 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2020 Paul West

"And reason now can lead you to the logical conclusion of your union. It must extend, as you extended when you joined."

Some of us like to describe reality as oneness, or perhaps that "its all God", or "non-duality". A state with no separations or differences. But there is a problem with this.

If you take something and you "boil it down" to something else, you end up with this idea of something very simple. Something seemingly singular. Perhaps even a single word which represents it. So maybe we'll say that there is just oneness and that's an entire description of reality.

But the problem is this. If you can't take that boiled-down simplified concept, and arrive at the original state, condition, nature, contents, of reality by building upon it, extending it, then something has become lost in the process. If you START WITH e.g. "God is all there is", you can't logically get to "God has a son".

There is an analogy in the world of data compressionm like when you "zip" some files on your computer. When you try to compress a file, you can do so losslessly or with some acceptable loss. If you want to get every single byte of the file back in its original condition when you decompress it, you have to use a lossless algorithm or process.

Whatever it "boils down to" or compresses to, it has to be detailed enough that when you reassemble the original file, every single detail is still there. If you omit even a tiny bit of "information", you can't get the original file back. How much it can boil down is determined by how much information there is, and relates to the "entropy" of the data. This is why your big image file cannot be compressed below a certain level. It has to maintain enough information to get the original back.

What happens is, if your method of boiling down leaves out some details, omits some information, doesn't fully and accurately represent the original data, then when you go to re-expand the file you don't get back the same data you started with. It becomes "inaccurate." Something has been lost in translation. That means, whatever you boiled it down too was too generalized, too simplified, too basic, and not descriptive enough. Trying to get back the original data is then impossible because too much information is lost. So the simplified file no longer accurately REPRESENTS the "actual reality" of the file.

The same thing happens when we try to describe reality and use concepts or terms which are TOO simple, too basic, and omit too much information. They seem like nice handy symbols but logically they are lacking too much information. You should be able to take a simplified description of reality and derive the full contents of reality from it, by "decompressing it" or reversing the boiling-down process.

You should get back what you started with. So if your description is the "starting point" you MUST be able to fully ACCOUNT FOR every possible detail or characteristic of that reality. And your description of reality in its "most condensed" or most simplified form MUST have enough descriptive information, otherwise you simply cannot end up with what you started with. And when you try to do so, you will produce massive errors.

Particular culprits of this kind of loss of information are conceptual terms such as oneness, "its all God", "God is", "non-duality", "no differences", "no separation" "no self" "unity" etc. These all sound plausibly realistic or representative of the full details about reality, but they're not. They in fact are too generalizing, too basic, and not accurate enough. They leave out some details. And so when you then try to base the description of heaven, for example, on this "premise", on this basic generalization, you CANNOT get back the details of heaven. And in fact you will get back conclusions you did not bargain on.

So if you say ok, it's all oneness, or one thing. Well, now you cannot get a son of God out of that. At all, in any way. Or if you say "its all God", you cannot get out of that an accurate description of why the son of God dreamed and God DID NOT because God has been too mixed in or included in the tiny mad idea. Or if you say it's non-duality and there are no separations, you can't get back the fact God has a Son, yet alone that there is a holy trinity and a bunch of creations.

So there is a big risk, actually an error, in using these really super basic ego-logic-derived terms and concepts to try to describe the reality or God. There is such a thing as something being TOO lacking in detail to accurately describe it. Yes God HIMSELF is one, and reality itself is singular, and there is no opposite to reality, but this unfortunately is not the WHOLE STORY. And so major aspects of the picture become lost in the process of over-simplifying. To the extent that they BLOT OUT key characteristics of reality's true contents.

When you look at what ACIM says about the contents of reality, it is a very different picture to just "its all one" or "there's only God there" or "there are no separations". Yes, there are aspects of reality which ARE only one, or that it IS all just God, but that is only PART OF the story. There are more facts, there is more information needed, and more has HAPPENED in reality because God is a creator. Just the fact God creates results in these ideas being not sufficient to ACCURATELY AND FULLY describe reality.

So if God is to for example have even one son, we cannot JUST say that it's all one because that's now illogical. Yet it IS all one, and that is always true, but it MUST also be true that there is SOME WAY for there to be a son. Otherwise God is not a father or a creator and he is alone and cannot love and there is no extension of life and so on.

In fact the PUREST possible non-duality concept logically ends up with the conclusion that God is dead because He has nothing to give or extend or share or create. It makes him lifeless. You get all kinds of utterly nonsense conclusions deriving FROM that "basis" of what reality IS, when you leave out some facts. So if you start out your reasoning based on things like "its all God" you WILL end up with some horrendously wrong conclusions.

So if you take for example what ACIM says, which is that God has one son, which is also many sons, who have their own sons ad infinitum, and also there is the holy spirit and the angels, apparently in many legions and with a hierarchy, and who knows what else you've created, to describe that ACCURATELY, you can't JUST say "its one thing". A blob is one thing. A state is one thing. A singular entity like God is one thing. But there is MUCH MORE going on in reality than that according to what Jesus tells us. And we should be trusting his word.

So describing it as oneness, or generalizing too far and blotting out the details, or boiling it down so much that the nice soup mixture of various key ingredients becomes just a singular meaningless slush, is actually an error in logical reasoning. It does NOT accurately describe reality or what is happening in reality. It does not accurately describe God's nature either.

It in fact in some ways it can be far better to be MORE DETAILED in describing the nature of God and His Kingdom than it is to be LESS detailed. Just saying "God is" is a premise SO BASIC that it is massively open to huge false conclusions when you try to derive the Kingdom out of it. If God is were the WHOLE story, God would not have a creation at all.

The ego only leans towards less detail because it reasons, if I remove all sense of separations and divisions and multiplicity, I will end up with ONE THING, and this one thing SEEMS like it might most accurately describe the idea of what is all encompassing and infinite. Except that it doesn't. Its a total fail.

It does not take into account that God has a mind, has thoughts, creates beings, or that there are relationships, or that the beings he creates have their own children, minds, and will, or that there are millions of angels for example, or that God doesn't will to be alone. That all goes out the window because the EGO'S conclusion about God IRONS OUT all the details to the point of nothing - the loss of information. It's a great way to become BLIND to what reality is really like.

In the ego's thought system, its sense of logic is that something is either this or that, but not both. This results in differences, and it sees the existence of the separation between those differences as "separation". It even labels that separation as "ego". And then it seeks to get rid of those separations, to attack itself, to remove all separations, in order to end up with "no separation", thinking that this is what it will be like when you have "undone the separation", and must therefore describe God.

And so it reasons, reality is one thing, a oneness, a pool of singularity in which nothing happens and there is no creation. This is only PARTLY correct because it loses too much information. And so the ego cannot accurately describe reality with THIS thought process. You have to become open to thinking outside the box and using God's reasoning in order to describe what God and His creations are like. And since God does have at least one son, it certainly is not a state of logically pure non-duality, nor is it "only oneness", and certainly it's not "just God" because he has ADDED you to Himself.

"YOUR creations add to Him, as YOU do. But nothing is added that is different, because everything has always BEEN."

If you end up with "it is oneness" or "its all God", and then you decompress that idea to address for example the issue of the making of death, you have to conclude God is death, or God is a body, or God separated from God, or God is a pile of shit, or God went insane, or even God is an illusion that doesn't really exist. Without enough information you cannot "get back" the full picture of what God is, what has happened, what we dreamed, and what has not really occurred, without making some CRAZY false conclusions.

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