Can One Plus One Equal One?
One plus one does not equal one. Everybody knows that! We learned that arithmetic in kindergarten. If we take one rock and then take another rock, we have two rocks. If we invite one person to our house and then invite another person, we will have two guests.
If two people fall in love, they might marry and say, “Now we are one.” Marriage sanctifies that union, yet even in a loving marriage, people remain as individuals. Psychology teaches 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 will grow 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 within the relationship of marriage.
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. Consequently, 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 even attain complete unity with the Master without ever seeing him physically.
Every minute we remember our Master, we are struggling to attain 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 this 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 experience the beautiful essence of all life, the divine union of the soul and the Lord, where one plus one always equals one.