One Plus One Equals One
One plus one does not equal one; everybody knows that. We have known that since kindergarten arithmetic class. If we take one rock and add another rock, we have two rocks. If we invite one person to our house and then invite another person, we have two guests.
If those two people fall in love, they might marry and say, “Now we are one.” Marriage sanctifies that relationship. Still, even in a loving marriage, people remain as individuals. Psychology tells us that marriage is always a balance of relatedness and autonomy. That is, individuals relate and come to unity of purpose, but they also retain personal characteristics. Their bodily instincts, their hearts’ emotions and their brains’ thoughts are different. Hopefully, each person grows to love his or her spouse more deeply in spite of personality differences. Ideally, with enough mutual love and understanding, those differences may even become amusing. Still, some autonomy remains for each person.
No such process exists in the relationship between Master and disciple. All arithmetic is out the window. All psychology is also out the window. The relationship is spiritual and thus is separate from the body, including the heart and the brain. Therefore, the bodies of the Master and disciple, with their separate instincts, thoughts and emotions, do not affect their spiritual relationship. For instance, the Master does not care if a disciple is physically distant or nearby. He cares that a disciple attends to his spiritual meditation. A disciple might attain complete unity with the Master without ever seeing him physically.
Every minute we remember our Master, we are struggling to pay attention to that level of consciousness where one plus one equals one. We are struggling to detach our attention from the world of duality where there are inescapable differences, where one plus one equals two. By following the vows and learning how to deepen our meditation, we approach true unity for all time.
The process of divine realization is relentless. Every time we replace a thought with a round of simran, and every time we seek the Master within, we attune ourselves to the Shabd. Through that process, we come to see the beautiful essence of all life, where one plus one always equals one.
The present moment is the most valuable thing there is. Nothing happens tomorrow, nothing happens yesterday, everything always happens now. In fact, the ‘now’ is the only time there is. It is impossible for us to do or to think something outside the present moment. When we remember, it is always in the now. When we think about the future, it is always in the now. When the future catches up, it is always in the present moment.