Despite all the many differences between the world’s various spiritual paths, almost all contain some concept of oneness. Among the ancient Greeks, Plato taught his students to seek henosis, oneness with the ultimate truth of the cosmos. Similarly, Christian mystics and Islamic Sufis search for oneness with God and with all of creation. Buddhists seek samadhi, a meditative state in which the individual mind is silenced sufficiently to merge with all that is. These are only a few among many examples. In fact, it could be said that this quest is the essential purpose of spiritual life—to discard our illusions of difference and separateness in order to realize our ultimate oneness, our interconnectedness.
The Tao of Oneness
Tao teaches that everything is interconnected with everything else, and that learning to step outside of individual selfishness is the key to peace and happiness. In fact, Tao itself is oneness, and all creation springs from that oneness. In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu writes, “The Tao is the One./ From the One come yin and yang;/ From these two, creative energy;/ From energy, ten thousand things/ The forms of all creation./ All life embodies yin/ And embraces yang/ Through their union Achieving harmony.”
In other words, while the world presents many different forms, they all come from the same singular source. Realizing this is the key to overcoming the destructive tendencies of the human ego, which falsely strives to achieve dominance and superiority over other people, other creatures, and even over the Earth herself.
Ultimately, everything in the universe is part of a great expansion out from oneness, and everything is destined to return to oneness, too. The impression that anything or anyone is separate or different is really only a temporary illusion.
The ancient Korean scripture, the Chun Bu Kyung or Heavenly Code, illustrates this truth through its depiction of the cosmic reality. It tells a story of creation that begins and ends with the character il, meaning one. Existence starts with one, it divides into two, and then into many things, but it always comes back to oneness. We can see this in our life cycle, as we are born and then die, emerging from and then returning to the same essential state of being. Similarly, astrophysicists tell us that the entire universe has expanded out from a singularity, what they call “the big bang,” and they theorize that it will one day contract, too.
We cannot fight against this, no matter how badly we may wish to live forever or to gain control of time and space. When we try, we bring suffering to ourselves and to others. But if peace is as simple as accepting our oneness, why do people find it so hard?
The Journey Back to Mago Castle
Cultures around the world have many different creation stories, but Korea’s story of Mago Castle sheds light on how humanity’s resistance to oneness came about. According to the story, a long time ago, humanity lived together in harmony with each other and with the Earth. They drank directly from a special milk provided by Mago, the Korean equivalent of Mother Earth. Then one day, the lines to drink the milk became too long, so one human decided to try eating something else. He popped a delicious looking grape into his mouth and was amazed. For the first time, he tasted the sweet and tangy flavor of something other than Mago’s milk. This ignited a craving in him to indulge all his five senses. The other humans joined in, becoming absorbed in the pleasures of the five senses and forgetting about Mago altogether. Soon, they began perceiving differences in each other and began to quarrel and bicker. Since that time, humanity has been longing to return to Mago Castle, but we have been unable to transcend the differences we perceive.This story tells us something important about what blocks us from finding peace. Obsessed with the five senses, we remain caught in an “us vs. them” state of being—in our relationships, in our families, in our politics. From our egoic point-of-view, we think, “I am separate, and I must defend myself from and gain control over others.” Every conflict contains this delusion at its core. You can read a newspaper or watch the TV news to see the suffering this creates, and you can feel it in your own interpersonal relationships, too. But how do we transcend this?
Your Cosmic Umbilical Cord
How about pressing a button to change all this? Of course, it is really not so simple because our habits are deeply ingrained. But I do believe that Belly Button Healing can bring you closer and closer to oneness.
To understand this, remember first what the belly button really is. It is the remnant of the umbilical cord that once literally connected you to your mother. Every single human being on Earth arose through this connection. You received sustenance from your mother through this cord, as she did from your grandmother. You can trace this all the way back to our pre-human ancestors. You could say that the belly button is the point of our creation, the place where we grew from a mere zygote into a living, breathing human being with infinite potential and full self-awareness.
So, when you practice Belly Button Healing, use this time as a reminder of who you are, where you have come from, and what you can become. Energetically, you still have a kind of umbilical cord connecting you to your mother, but now she is your greater mother, the Earth herself. This is true due to the physical sustenance we take from food, the Earth’s gift to us, and also because of the energetic connection between the Earth and all her creatures. This energy is the real “milk” that sustains and energizes us. Just as you used your physical umbilical cord to become a human being, you can use this cosmic umbilical cord to become a heavenly being.
Feeling this connection is one of the most important goals and benefits of Belly Button Healing. We take all different shapes in this life, but the belly button reminds us that we all come from the same place and are ultimately all the same. Through Belly Button Healing, I hope you can truly feel this connection, not just understand it with your mind. There is no way I can guarantee this outcome for you; it is dependent on your own sincere, diligent practice.
We are living at a very critical time in history when oneness is no longer something only to be experienced by monks in a monastery. Oneness is not a luxury for the few; it is a necessity for all of humanity. We must all feel our oneness with humanity, or we will destroy ourselves. We must feel our connection with the Earth, or we will likely destroy her and all the other living creatures, too. In other words, now is the time to return to Mago Castle. Mago is waiting there for us if we are willing.