A mystic walks up to a hot dog vendor and says “Make me one with everything.”

Original source unknown (at least to me)

In one sense, to say that “I am one with the everything” is redundant.  The universe is us, and we are it.  We are no more separate from the universe than the flour is separate from the cake.

Then, since God is the controlling force of the universe, it is not a big leap when a mystic claims to be “one with” God. According to Jesus, we can all be “one with” God.

This term “one with” is kind of weird, though. Does it mean the same thing as in the Nicene Creed, where Jesus/Christ is claimed to be “of one substance” (homoousios) with God/Father? The obvious issue is that God does not have a “substance” and so this statement doesn’t make any sense. It’s an extension of the problem of reification (discussed here).

We must be careful not to get strangled in the web of language. More on this a future post.

TAKE AWAY: Saying “I am one with everything” might be as senseless as saying (to use Alan Watt’s example) that “everything is up.”