How good, how pleasant it is…

by JordanB

Unification is a worthy guide. “How good, how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity.” “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall be become one flesh.” But then it also says, “he shall rule over you.” Now, the doorway to the garden is guarded making impossible a return to naivete. We have no choice but to develop within our lives east of Eden the means of trust and unity.

Unity is not fusion. The desire for fusion, as powerful as it may be, is nostalgia for the garden. Unity does not abrogate or destroy distinctness. It preserves and also transcends distinctness. Neither is unity mere co-existence, or cooperation. We can, unfortunately, live into it only in glimpses and glimmers. But it is good when we allow it to order our lives; to order our inner life, and also to order our common life with others. I think that it happens routinely, as we go about our day; it is haphazard, however, and since it is without intention it slips away just as easily.

Before seeking unity with others, it is enough to begin with a desire for unity within ourselves – an end to enmity between the different parts of ourselves, to reconcile that within us which is at war (though I am aware that devoted time to others can also help with this). This reconciliation will have to exercise the spiritual dimension of our existence, which is the only thing which is large enough to bring about reconciliation. Even if we do not know that it is the spiritual dimension of our existence which is being exercises, still that is what brings unity. The more conscious we are of it, however, the better.