In this article I want to introduce to you to a very valuable tool, that can help you wherever you are on your journey, doesn’t matter on which level you are at the moment. It’s a question that once asked and really looked into, will always bring you on the next level of realization.
In fact, this question is in many ways a basic tool I used on my own spiritual path over 25+ years.
How „One Question“ (OQ) came into being
Studying the psychological, philosophical and spiritual traditions of this world, I always came to a point where there was an obvious disagreement in meaning or at least in the use of words in them. Normally what we do in such situations is to try to give the words another meaning or somehow try to handle the difference in other ways (ignoring, overlooking, reinterpreting etc.). We are essentially playing with words.
One day I realized that the problem was actually not in what I read or heard, but in the confusion to whom these words were spoken to.
Let me explain this important point so that you get the basics of the OQ tool. It doesn’t matter if we are in a casual human interaction or reading the deepest thoughts and insights that were ever spoken, whoever you think you are at this moment, defines how you will experience what is actually being said.
Let me be perfectly clear on that: Who you think you are at any moment, is way more important in any interaction or communication than anything else and will determine how you understand the actual content of the conversation (or what you are reading, hearing, watching, perceiving etc.). To take it even a bit further, who you think you are is the only thing that will determine your experience of any situation – all else is secondary. When you discover who you really are – a Mind one with God – you have found the place you have never left and you will be in peace. What you perceive then is peace.
The „One Question“ explained
There are thousands of ways how people try to make sense of what appears in their consciousness. We are structuring and re-structuring our belief systems and most self-help systems or psychological/spiritual systems are made to gain insight into human behaviour.
While all these systems and methods have
The „One question“ therefore is „Who am I (right now)?“ and it is to be asked every moment and inquired with total honesty and not only once. This question is not new, but I think – as simple as it is – it hasn’t been understood and certainly not applied correctly most of the times.
The problem is, that when we ask such a question, we expect to get one answer and we think we should be satisfied with that. In reality the value of this question is not in getting an answer at all, but in the way we are looking.
We are reversing our attention from what is perceived to who is the perceiver. This is actually what is meant by form vs. content in A Course in Miracles where it is said, that there is no meaning in form at all and content (=who you are) is everything. Normally we are focused on form and get lost there in unsuccessful attempts to solve a problem where it isn’t.
The best thing with the OQ tool is, that it works on whatever level you are at every moment and the question „Who am I (right now)?“ will make it obvious and at the same time helping you to let go of the momentary „personality“ you are looking out from and reach to your true being.
Just remember: You never see things like they are, but you see them how (or as) you are!
Let’s make it practical
Let’s say you are reading a spiritual masterpiece like A Course in Miracles and you read it out of the belief that you are a human being with a human psyche, you will automatically hear the message in exactly that way: as psychological advices how to be forgiving and be more loving to other human beings. Even more so, you will believe that this course is written for humans and how to live a better life on earth. It doesn’t matter how often it tells us that it’s central lesson is that there is no world and you are not a separated ego, you won’t hear it, because you never have turned your attention around and asked the „One Question“ in sincere honesty.
The same happens when you think you have advanced over the human level and now see yourself as energy or a soul. In this case, you will think, that this course is speaking to you as a soul and teach you how to ascend to another dimension. Again, this is not what the course is saying, but you will hear it that way when you are not using the OQ.
In a more casual situation, like talking to another person, you automatically talk out of the role you have defined for yourself. If you think you are a partner, a friend, a parent, an employee, a boss or any other role, you will talk to other persons as this role and adjust your behavior to it.
Perceiving is always happening out of a role – a persona – and when you don’t ask the OQ this role will stay hidden.
The goal here is not to change the persona, but to just ask the question „Who am I right now?“ (or Who is listening? Who is talking?) to turn around your attention. You are reversing your attention from the level of form to the level of content. This needs practice, so that you can ask the OQ continuous over your whole day, but it gets easier over time.
Taking it to the next level
Once you practice the OQ in your daily life you may want to take your practice deeper. You may want to sit in a silent meditation and start to look for the one who is meditating. Then look for the silence and peace beyond that. This is the moment when you get in touch with the Holy Spirit – your innermost true self that is a reflection of Truth and is in still communion with God. This is the true YOU. It’s spacious, has no borders and is formless.
This is the place beyond personas and here the „watcher“ merges with Oneness. Fall in love with that. Fall in love with God. Be in Truth.
When you fall in love with the peace and stillness of the Holy Spirit, you don’t need to force yourself anymore to do this practice. You will naturally want to spend more time with your new love.
The OQ brings you there – in the end, it’s just another description of how forgiveness works in ACIM or what is spoken of as “the miracle”. You just turn your attention to the only real place, that is changeless and always has been one with God – therefore overlooking the form and seeing it as the passing illusion that it is.
All your ego-personalities are just roles that pass, but you have to get aware of them first, otherwise you will always perceive out of them.
A final warning
When you have read my previous articles or studied A Course in Miracles you will know, that the ego has its own agenda. It wants to prove its individual existence and will do anything possible to achieve that goal.
Since the OQ practice leads directly into the heart of God – pure oneness – the ego will perceive this as a threat of annihilation and throw endless problems at you to distract you from finding out its real nature. Just remember that this is normal and expected to happen.
The good news is, that the ego won’t need to die (as it is said in certain traditions), because you will realize that it never lived.
All the roles and personas you dismantle with the OQ practice, have the same idea at their core: that they are individual beings in their own right – in other words: these are just different masks the ego-idea is wearing. This is no big deal as long as you keep looking and practicing OQ.
In the end, where this practice is leading, is that the less of you (as an ego) is present, the more of YOU (as Truth) will be there. It can happen that this will be experienced as emptiness for a certain period of time. Don’t get hung up there – just keep looking and practicing OQ. Emptiness or void are also only a passing experience.
There are many more facets of the OQ practice I haven’t covered in this article, but I hope you get the main points. In my next
Love and Blessings,