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The Essence of Life: Exploring the Universal Concept of Union

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I have come to realize that the essence of life is centered around the concept of union. It’s a millennia-old concept present in all cultures and religions. This fundamental idea directs our existence, influencing how we relate to ourselves, others, and the universe. The theme of union appears universally, from the profound teachings of the Bhagavad Gita to the philosophical Western thinkers and the balanced worldview of Chinese Taoism. By exploring and cultivating union in various aspects of our lives, we can achieve a more harmonious and fulfilling existence.

Union in diverse aspect of our life

In personal relationships, this notion of union is manifested through the deep connections we establish with others. Love, friendship, and familial bonds are all expressions of this union.

Our relationship with nature further exemplifies this concept. For the past two centuries, the disunion between humanity and the natural world has led to numerous disasters. Now, on the brink of climate change, we recognize that restoring this union is one of the fundamental aspects of our existence—and perhaps our very survival.

In the context of community, union involves working together for a common purpose, whether through community projects, participation in local governance, or engagement in social activities. This collective effort not only strengthens our sense of belonging but also fosters mutual support and cooperation.

Union in diverse culture

This theme of union is deeply rooted in various cultural traditions. In the Bhagavad Gita, for example, Krishna explains the importance of self-union through meditation and yoga. By attaining this inner harmony, one can experience a profound connection with the divine. The concept of union is extended to the universal family, where Krishna emphasizes the importance of seeing all beings with equal vision and recognizing the divine presence within them.

In Western philosophy, the idea of union can be seen in the works of Plato, who described the ultimate goal of life as achieving unity with the form of the Good, an abstract representation of the highest reality. This concept resonates also with the Christian notion of communion, where individuals seek unity with God and each other through faith and practice.

Chinese culture offers another perspective on union through the concept of “Qi” in Taoism. Qi represents the vital force that flows through all living things, and achieving harmony with this energy is essential for a balanced and fulfilling life. The principle of Yin and Yang further illustrates the importance of balance and union between opposing forces, highlighting the interconnectedness of all aspects of existence.

 These examples from various traditions illustrate the pervasive nature of union in guiding our spiritual and practical lives.

How to cultivate Union in our daily life?

Inner union can be cultivated through practices like meditation and self-reflection, which help us connect with our inner selves, promoting self-awareness and inner peace. Spiritual practices such as yoga, prayer, or contemplation also align us with the deeper aspects of our being, developing a sense of unity with the divine.

To develop union with others, we can focus on empathy and compassion, which allow us to understand and share the feelings of others, strengthening our bonds and develop harmonious relationships.

Active listening in conversations helps create deeper connections and fosters mutual respect and understanding.

Union with nature can be developed by adopting a lifestyle that respects and honors the environment, such as reducing waste, conserving resources, and protecting wildlife. Spending time in natural settings, like parks, forests, or beaches, can rejuvenate our spirits.

In a community, participating in community service and volunteer activities strengthens the social fabric, working together with others on common goals, whether in professional or social settings, develop our collective well-being and promotes a sense of shared achievement.

The Tree of Life Approach

The Tree of Life is a powerful symbol that can help us understand and cultivate this union.

The Tree of Life is a fundamental archetype in many mythological, religious, and philosophical traditions worldwide, closely related to the concept of the sacred tree. Two French psychoanalysts, Aruna and Jean-Pierre Le Gouguec have used this representation to draw a detailed and comprehensive map of the human psyche. The Tree of Life’s various spheres represent different aspects of our being.

By working on the Tree Of Life and developing each connection with each sphere we can develop the union with our Inner Self.

Personal and Transpersonal Development
Personal and Transpersonal Development

Malkuth, Sphere Number 1

Union with Material Reality: Malkuth represents our relationship with the material world, including our body, food, and work. Achieving union in this sphere means recognizing the sacredness of the physical realm. Choosing nourishing food, and engaging in meaningful work, practicing Yoga help us align our material existence to support our spiritual purpose. This union helps us to ground ourselves and appreciate the divinity present in everyday life.

Yesod, Sphere Number 2

Union with Vital and Affective Functions: Yesod is the realm of vital functions, affective faculties, and the cognitive faculties of memory and imagination. Union here involves balancing our emotional and imaginative life with our spiritual goals. By cultivating a harmonious relationship with our emotions and using our imagination constructively, we bridge the gap between our inner world and our external actions. Practices like meditation and creative visualization can develop this union.

Hod, Sphere Number 3

Union with Communication and Self-Expression: Hod governs communication and self-expression, including mental discourse and relational karma. Union in Hod means expressing our true self authentically and responsibly. It involves honest communication and the ability to listen deeply. By aligning our thoughts and words with our higher self, we create a harmonious flow of ideas and develop healthy relationships, contributing to our collective evolution.

Netzah, Sphere Number 4

Union with Desires and Appetites: Netzah represents our appetites and desires, both innate and acquired. Achieving union in this sphere means understanding and channeling our desires towards higher goals. By recognizing the divine origin of our desires and cultivating moderation and discernment, we transform our cravings into positive drives that support our spiritual growth. Practices like mindful eating and setting purposeful goals help integrate this sphere.

Thipheret, Sphere Number 5

Union with Consciousness: Thipheret is the sphere of consciousness, central to the human soul. Union in Thipheret involves aligning our consciousness with the divine will. This means developing self-awareness and understanding the interconnectedness of all life. Through practices like meditation and self-inquiry, we deepen our awareness and connect with the higher aspects of our being, allowing us to see the world through the lens of unity and compassion.

Geburah, Sphere Number 6

Union with Willpower: Geburah represents willpower, the driving force behind our actions. Union here means aligning our will with the divine will. It involves cultivating discipline, courage, and the strength to act according to our higher purpose. By harnessing our willpower for constructive and altruistic endeavors, we create a powerful force for personal and collective transformation.

Hesed, Sphere Number 7

Union with Judgment and Beliefs: Hesed represents the ability to judge and think, encompassing our assertions, beliefs, value judgments, and prejudices. Union in Hesed involves aligning our beliefs with universal truths and divine wisdom. It means developing an open mind and a compassionate heart, free from prejudices. By questioning our assumptions and embracing a more inclusive perspective, we develop a deeper understanding and unity with others.

Binah, Sphere Number 8

Union with Individuality: Binah represents the principle of distinction, the sense of “I am,” unique and different from all others. Achieving union in Binah involves embracing our individuality while recognizing our connection with all life. It means honoring our unique path and contributions while seeing the divine essence in others. This balance between individuality and unity enriches our spiritual journey.

Hochmah, Sphere Number 9

Union with Universality: Hochmah represents what makes us similar to all beings and the principle of perfection. Union in Hochmah involves recognizing our shared humanity and the divine spark within every individual. It means cultivating wisdom and compassion, understanding that we are all part of a greater whole. By developing empathy and striving for personal excellence, we contribute to the collective evolution.

Kether, Sphere Number 10

Union with the Divine Foundation: Kether represents the highest and foundational aspects of the human being. Union in Kether involves realizing our oneness with the divine source. It means transcending the ego and experiencing the unity of all existence. Practices like deep meditation, contemplation, and living in alignment with spiritual principles help us connect with this ultimate reality, bringing profound peace and clarity to our lives.

By understanding and cultivating union in various aspects of our lives, we can achieve a more harmonious and fulfilling existence. The concept of union extends beyond personal relationships and communities to encompass our connection with the broader universe and the divine. Whether drawing insights from the Bhagavad Gita, Western philosophy, or Chinese Taoism, we see that achieving union involves aligning our inner selves with universal truths and the natural world.

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