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expression & experience (chapter 1 of sOl)

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

sOl contains inspirational verses, aphorisms, & quotations not included here. For the full experience, check out the book!

expression & experience
expression & experience


All is Oneness. Oneness is all.

We are One seeming to be many. Behind our apparent separateness is the Oneness we ultimately are. You and I seem like two. We are One experiencing Oneself from temporarily distinct perspectives. We are less like two octopuses encountering each other and more like two tentacles dangling from the One octopus we are.

The essence of Oneness is love - lOve, as I like to stylize it, to evoke its synergy with Oneness. This is the lOve of unconditional awareness. It's the lOve that effortlessly rejoices in the beholding of each & all. A lOve that recognizes ultimate unity while delighting in manifest diversity. A lOve without preference or attachment, without rules or limits. This lOve is less like an emotion that comes and goes, and more like a constant outlook. An outlook that disregards nothing, seeks nothing, avoids nothing. An outlook of receiving all, and of expressing joy, utterly, without bias, care, or will. This lOve is not merely something we sometimes feel. It is what we are, ultimately, actually, & always. The entirety is lOve. Look around you. Feel within you. No matter what you behold, no matter what you experience, you encounter nothing but lOve, and you are nothing but lOve.


The ultimate aspect of Oneness is emptiness. Void. The pure, unrealized potential for all to be. "A verb in hibernation," to borrow from Seamus Heaney.

The void contains the seeds for all existence; everything that exists has its origin in emptiness.

From the perspective of Oneness, emptiness is everything in a state of non-existence.

From the perspective of being, emptiness is everything so thoroughly harmonized with everything else that each & all have distilled into nothing, into no thing.

Emptiness is impossible to imagine. If you're picturing all black - you're picturing something, i.e. blackness. If you're picturing all white - you're picturing whiteness. If you're picturing a blank - blankness. If you're picturing static - staticness. The imagination cannot escape featuredness.

Rather than trying to imagine emptiness, try to appreciate its nature & role: no space, no time, no features, & yet

somehow, it is the unrealized potential for each & all to be.


The transition from emptiness to existence.

The birth of gOd.

The "let there be light." Not light coming out of darkness. Light & darkness created simultaneously from emptiness.

Source is the gateway between void & existence.


I use a lowercase g and an uppercase O because gOd is the child of Oneness. For me, God has an air of Grandeur. Eliteness, aloofness, above and beyond it all. gOd is everything & anything. gOd is you, me, everything we ever encounter, these words on this page. gOd is exactly what is. Without limit, degree, or exception. gOd is, equally & utterly, each & all. By uppercasing the O and lowercasing the g, I honor gOd's nature as Oneness behind the apparent separateness. Playing in Latin, I'd say it's less Deus and more deUS.

I think of time as gOd's mind & space as gOd's body. gOd's essence is surrender. gOd surrenders the frictionless harmony of emptiness to assume mental and physical form. gOd becomes mind & body to experience Oneness in particularity. gOd is you. gOd is your nose, & every booger that's ever been in your nose. gOd is every feeling you've ever felt, every person you've ever met, every throwaway feature of every memory or dream you've ever had. Everytime you've been in a vehicle, gOd has been the vehicle, the fuel, the path of travel, the exhaust, the scene passing by through the window, all your thoughts & reactions along the way. gOd is reading this paragraph as you - and as the paragraph! And as your eyes. And as the many microscopic lifeforms skimming across your eye's surface. And as...

Like Oneness, gOd is impossible to imagine or capture in words. gOd is the attempt to imagine gOd or capture gOd in words. We can't do anything to gOd except as gOd. There is no vantage from which to behold gOd in full because the vantage is gOd, too.

Instead of trying to imagine gOd, appreciate gOd's nature & situation: gOd is everything, including every aspect of what you, right now, call "I" & "this."


The transition from the omni to the semi. This is the point in creation where gOd subdivides into spirits.

I picture a white light passing through a prism and emerging on the other side as a series of colored bands. The white light is gOd & the rainbow bands are spirits. gOdhead is the prism between them.


Each spirit is gOd. And the sum of all spirits is gOd.

What's new is individuation. As spirits, gOd expresses individuality. Distinct qualities. Distinct groupings. Distinct senses of this & that, I & you, we & they, me & not me.

I think of spirits as aspects of time, i.e. as aspects of the mind of gOd. They are emptiness expressed as thought; they are the void expressing a feature in the mind of gOd.

In spirit, subjectivity & objectivity are distinct. Spirits have complete subjectivity but lack gOd's complete objectivity. Spirits do not fully experience gOd's universal/omni perspective.

Every thought you've experienced has been a spirit. Spirits appear as voices in our minds, as visiting entities, as deceased loved ones, as dreams, as daydreams & imaginings, as fragments of images & expressions. All mental content is spiritual.

Spirits are also the precursors to physicality. Everything physical is an expression of spirit; a thing in the world is spirit manifesting into physical form. In that sense, all physical content is spiritual, too. But while mental content is purely or directly spiritual, physical content is spirit projected through sOl; physical reality is spirit that has passed through sOl & thereby become being.


The transition from spirit to being. This is the point where spirits (thoughts) coalesce into beings (bodies).

I picture the rainbow band of spirit passing through a prism and emerging on the other side as a white light. The rainbow bands are spirits, the white light is being, & the prism is sOl.

I like this stylization - sOl - because it invokes both Oneness & the sun. sOl delivers the radiance of spirit into physical form, much like space delivers the sun's radiance to earth as warmth & light.

sOl creates physical reality. sOl is the aperture through which spirits assume physical form. sOl is the final step by which void becomes actual, by which emptiness becomes real, by which Oneness becomes you, me, & this universe we share.


A being is spirit coalescing into physical form through sOl.

I think of a beings as aspects of space, i.e. as aspects of the body of gOd. They are gOd in physical form. Put another way, beings are emptiness expressed as physical form; they are the void expressing a feature in the body of gOd.

Beings have physical form. E.g., a human being. A chunk of quartz. A galaxy. An electron. A speck of dust. The physical form of gOd is the entirety of what is.

flow of expression (exhale)

The flow of expression is the process of creation. From emptiness, through source, as gOd, through gOdhead, as spirits, through sOl, as being, in & as Oneness, we become, & we are.

It's like the exhale of Oneness: Oneness releasing itself into form, Oneness expressing itself outwardly as thought & physicality. It's Oneness manifesting as diversity: one becoming many.

It's like an arriving ocean wave depositing grains of sand onto the beach.

flow of experience (inhale)

The flow of experience if the process of knowing. As beings, we experience ourselves & our world. We observe the physical world through our senses, & we observe the mental world through our insight. In so doing we learn who we are, what we are, & what it's like to be us. We discover the richness & diversity of the Oneness we are.

It's like the inhale of Oneness: Oneness drawing itself back into formlessness, Oneness experiencing itself inwardly. It's Oneness recessing into unity: many becoming one.

It's like a receding ocean wave pulling grains of sand back toward the seabed.

conscious being & enlightened being

A conscious being realizes it is thinking. For instance, as humans, we sometimes notice thoughts passing through our minds. When we do so, our awareness expands: we are aware of our bodies existing in physical space, & we are aware of our thoughts existing in mental space. In other words, we are aware of space & time at once. This makes our awareness more like gOd's, for gOd is time & gOd is space. When we identify only as one or the other, our awareness is less like gOd's; we are confined to a more limited sense of being, i.e. as only physical, or only mental.

Enlightened beings realize they are being thought (credit to Byron Katie for this framing). The conscious being is simultaneously aware of time & space. The enlightened being adds a third dimension: awareness of creation unfolding in, through, & as the being. In other words, the enlightened being recognizes reality - including the being itself - as an expression of spirit. The enlightened being realizes that being & spirit are ultimately One, & that being & spirit are manifest aspects of this universal Oneness.

The conscious being considers itself a static observer of creation unfolding on the physical & mental planes. The conscious being is aware of phenomena emerging in time & space. But the conscious being does not conceive of itself as an emergent phenomena. The conscious being considers itself an observer of creation, not a feature of creation.

The enlightened being is aware of itself as a feature of creation. Indeed, as creation itself. The enlightened being recognizes everything - including bodies in space, thoughts in time, & the notion of "I" - as expressions of the One creative intelligence we ultimately are. It's an awareness than embraces the truth of who & what we are beyond our usual self-conception as somewhat intelligent organisms navigating a semi-predictable environment for a semi-predictable length of time. The enlightened being recognizes itself as gOd's unfolding creative flourish.

Enlightenment comes in degrees & densities. We may catch a glimpse of expanded awareness, but it may take more time before our thoughts & feelings reflect that expanded awareness; we may continue to operate primarily in the old mode while the new mode gradually integrates into our being. Once the integration is complete, the new mode becomes our typical mode. After we've been in the new mode for a while, a newer, even more expanded mode will present itself, and the process of gradual integration repeats. In other words, we're like the caterpillar & the butterfly, except the butterfly, too, eventually metamorphs into a new form, which then eventually gives way to a new form, and so on, until we reach our ultimate destiny. Ours is an ongoing series of form-metamorphosis-form-metamorphosis. Continual change is a feature of our existence.


Our ultimate destiny is to return to the mind & body of gOd without the sense of individuation. We will shed all the preconceptions & conditioning that shape us into individual spirits & beings, until all that's left is our primordial beingness as gOd.

From there, we collectively shed our gOdhood, surrendering beingness itself so that we can return to the timeless & spaceless serenity of emptiness, to the pure harmony of the all-containing void.

Nothing is lost. All memories & experiences from our individuations endure. They become new aspects of emptiness, new seeds in the void. What we've been, & what we've experienced, become integrated into the very fabric of who & what we are.

Having returned to emptiness, our cycle begins anew. From emptiness, through source, gOd expresses the pure potential of void into being. The difference is, this time, everything we learned & experienced previously is integrated into our new expression. Each exhale of creation includes the aspects of experience acquired through prior inhales. And each inhale draws back into the void all the learning & experience from prior exhales. This is how we grow & evolve as a collective. A collective being (gOd), & a collective non-being (void), which together comprise the Oneness we ultimately are. The cycle of expression & experience is Oneness breathing gOd into & out of being through the infinite lungs of void.

We human beings are gOd at the edge of the outbreath. We are capable of recognizing ourselves as organisms, as witnesses to phenomena, and as the created & the creator. gOd surrenders into deep forgetting in order to experience humanness as all there is. As that forgetting gradually unravels through the process we call enlightenment, our awareness grows closer to gOd's. We experience more harmony in life, & we surrender more peacefully into death, knowing all is One, nothing is lost, & gOd is both what we always are & where we're always heading.

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