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Transformation from I-ness to 1-Ness!

April 25, 2023

Vahiguru ji ka Khalsa, Vahiguru ji ki Fatih!

In the seventh ballad of Asa Ki Var, the Song of Hope, Guru Nanak Sahib enlightens us about the ego—the ego not as something one-dimensional and inherently negative but as a sense of self, or I-ness. There are multiple dimensions or elements of this I-ness. Instead of portraying it as a fundamentally “bad” thing, the Guru discusses how it manifests, either as an assertion of the self or a denial. This ballad is about I-ness.

In ego, the being came into this world; in ego, the being went away.
In ego, the being took birth; in ego, the being died.
In ego, the being gave; in ego, the being took.
In ego, the being earned; in ego, the being lost.
     Guru Granth Sahib 466

“I did this; this is my car; this is my house” are all the result of an assertion of the self - the small self. A shift away from our sense of self, away from I-ness, leads us to a sense of 1-Ness.

Caught up in our sense of self, all of our binaries exist. We burn up from the inside out, anxiously angered or in pain, consumed with negativity and jealousy. Only when we have resolved our I-ness can we see the gateway to the One and become free. The resolution of I-ness comes with deep knowledge of the small self and its relationship with the larger Self.

When the sense of self shifts and is no longer egocentric, the annihilation of the ego occurs and is graced by the Self. We become like rivers in the ocean. Rivers exist, but once these rivers feed into the ocean, they no longer claim they are rivers. Instead, they know, feel, and realize they are part of the ocean. That realization comes with deep knowledge of 1-Ness.

May we yearn for the transformation from I-ness to 1-Ness!
May the Wisdom-Guru guide us.

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