Today's post is inspired by the discussions on whether or not "it" is "all in your head" and stuff. Fr. SEA, Jason Miller, Patrick Dunn, and Eion Keith Boyle have weighed in, making various points from various perspectives. My name came up in Fr. SEA's comments, so I feel obliged to throw in my two cents' worth. The title sums up my position, everything below is just commentary on it.
The way I see it, it's all One big Thing, this existence we experience, and it all comes from One Source, and it's all still connected, and it can only be truly appreciated when you look at it as a whole.
But it all manifests as if it were independent. I am of God, but not God, even though I'm an extension of God. I experience my world as if I were separate from it, an object within a field of objects that all interact and are interdependent, but still with definable borders between "me" and "not me."
The various spiritual experiences and the meanings we discern from these experiences fall somewhere on the spectrum between "It's all One Thing" and "It's all separate things." Both ends of the spectrum are true and useful for various contexts, and where you're at consciously on that spectrum depends a lot on what you're dealing with.
If I'm focusing on Ascension and Theurgy, I tend to get more solipsistic. If I'm focusing on changing my world, I tend to focus more on the individuation of the All Thing. Most of the time, I'm practical about my life, and regardless of whether it's all in some big Universal Mind or not, I have to deal with the expressions of that Mind as if they weren't all the same thing.
But when I don't have to focus on the individuations of the All Thing, I can focus on how it's just a big beautiful process, that just goes on and on in awesomeness.
Spirits are as separate from me as I am from you. They are also as connected. Compassion, my least favorite of spiritual lessons, has taught me that what I do to and for myself impacts others, and that matters in the grand scheme of things. Wisdom has taught me that at the same time, I'm not personally responsible for your decisions or circumstances. I'm obligated to help where I can, and I'm obligated to not help where I cannot.
It's a balance. You move your awareness along the spectrum to deal with the context you're addressing. I don't expect to ever be "at one with the All Thing" any more (or less) than I am now. If that were the point, I wouldn't have ever manifested separately in the first place. As far as I can tell, I get to be separate for as long as separation exists, and no one's shared the scheduled date for the return to Cosmic Singularity with me.
Most of the time, it hasn't mattered much that it's all One Thing. That "truth" just helps me keep some things in perspective, some of the time. Other times, it just gets on my nerves.