This is a pondering on uniqueness in contradistinction to individuality.
Is uniqueness a more accurate consideration when in reference to a person, place, or thing? Because no thing or person is an island unto itself and everything seen and unseen effects everything else without exception is uniqueness what one is witnessing in contradistinction to individuality?
Take the word individual apart and its true meaning appears. In divi dual: In division = dual. With this we hear Naropa’s words of his ‘self-divideness’ causing his perception of ‘an apparent dual world.’ Divided within, and perceiving ourselves as so many parts, we perceive the world the same way. Having divorced ourselves from Nature we are divorced from our own nature and visa versa. This results in the personal, cultural, and collective divisiveness that troubles humanity and by which humanity harries the world.
Uniqueness, however, is not separate, nor by its nature does it separate. Instead, uniqueness is the highlight of a person. It is born of the refined qualities of that person or thing and honed through spiritual evolution or the evolution of the design of the being. Our unique qualities are intended to be the most developed qualities expressing through. While we develop these can pour out as blessing, wisdom, and compassion. However, ego viewed through the lens of individuality makes one think that one’s uniqueness is something to be preened, paraded, and noticed. Instead, uniqueness is the part of the texture of ALL that each of is like everything else in nature.
Consciousness gives way to Awareness-Being in a way similar to the egoistic sense of individuality gives way to uniqueness. Consciousness expands and becomes more inclusive. It gains altitude and perspective with each revelation or realization or insight. Through increased meditative stability one discovers what already IS/Was: uniqueness within the living mandala of Life.
The person that said, “there is nothing new under the sun” understood that all possible expressions of uniqueness are already here: being brought forward when necessary and when it is perfect to do so. As each person expands through the sense of limitation expressed through individuality, one awakens to the experience of uniqueness as Awareness-Being itself.
Uniqueness, then, is the particle-ness within wave-wholeness. I am left with the idea that consciousness and individuality are inextricably linked. We grow in consciousness through developing the qualities and skills that feed our sense of value and happiness. It is these same qualities that refine our sense of self. At the same time, these qualities are expressing our unique presence in the world. In fact, they are the energy qualities of Being that you and I ARE. Therefore, it becomes apparent that as we release ourselves from the focus of individuality the uniqueness that each of us is can more freely flow and give to life.
- The Naropa series: 1-13. First one: Yep, that’s the Path! Naropa 1
- Free audio teachings on Naropa, Mahamudra, and the Stages to Enlightenment
originally posted in April 2013