by RB Dozier.
My mind was elsewhere but the song on the radio kept repeating, “One is the loneliest number.” As many times as I’d heard the song I’d never paid much attention, but this time I thought, “This is weird, because I have been believing and teaching that one is the coziest number.” Then my mind started going weird on me…”Yes, one IS the loneliest number. No, it isn’t. Yes, it IS!”
When we are isolated, our “onliness” becomes painful loneliness. Daniel Defoe captured, in Robinson Crusoe, the aching void of self, seeing only itself in the mirror of consciousness. Contemplating self can be a luxury when we’re in a throng, and yet solitary confinement is prison’s most severe punishment. We want both solitude and company, but can be content with neither. Even weirder, since physics denies two physical entities occupying the same space, oneness must require a mental/spiritual component.
Into the song again, I ask, “Was God lonely in His onliness?” On one hand the Bible sings, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, is one.” (Deut. 6:4) But then, when we read the Creation Story, don’t we detect, in the deity, a wistfulness for companionship that leads to His thought of–or image of–Himself outpicturing as humankind?
Then there are souls, so caught up in otherness that they seem unable to contemplate the self within and to discover the solitary wonder that they are. Weird and shifting are the shapes of oneness, and perhaps we can’t fully appreciate the divinity of oneness until we sense our isolation in our Spirit-derived humanity.