Unity Within

by Patrick Quanten MD

Yoga is a Sanskrit word generally translated as "union", because unity - the merging with one reality - was the goal. Traditionally there are four yogas, or paths to achieve this union. Each path might suit the temperament of an individual seeker, although in truth you can follow several or all at once.

Bhakti Yoga leads to unity by loving God.
Karma Yoga leads to unity through selfless action.
Gyana Yoga leads to unity through knowledge.
Raj Yoga leads to unity through meditation and renunciation.

Literally translated, the fourth path means "the royal way to union". What makes it royal is the belief that meditation transcends the other three paths. But the fourth path is also inclusive: by following it, you are actually following all four at once.

It is not necessary to think of the four paths as being Eastern. These Yogas were the original seeds, the means that brought unity within reach. These seeds are feeling, thinking, acting and being. So the vision of Yoga is simply that unity is possible for anyone, starting from wherever you happen to be. Indeed, unity is secretly present in every moment of daily life.

Feeling points the way whenever you experience and express love. On this path, your personal emotions expand to become all-encompassing. Love of self and family merges into love of humanity. In its highest expression, your love is so powerful that it calls upon God to show him/herself to you.

Thinking points the way whenever your minds stops being restless and speculative. On this path, you silence your internal dialogue in order to find clarity and stillness. It takes clarity for your mind to see that it doesn't have to be so driven. Thinking can turn into knowing, which is to say wisdom. With greater clarity your intellect looks into any problem and sees the solution. What your mind really wants to know is the mystery of existence. The fulfilment of this path comes when your mind merges with the mind of God.

Action points the way whenever you surrender. On this path your ego's control over action loosened. Your actions stop being motivated by selfish wants and wishes. In time action detaches from the ego. Doing becomes motivated by a force outside yourself. General attachment to your own actions is turned into non-attachment through performing God's actions.

Being points the way whenever you cultivate a self beyond ego. At the outset the sense of "I" is attached to fragments of your real identity. "I" is an accumulation of everything that has happened to you since you were born. This shallow identity gets exposed as an illusion, a mask that hides a much greater "I" existing in everyone. Your real identity is a sense of existence pure and simple. Fulfilment occurs when your being embraces so much that God is also included in your sense of being alive.


You will never cause an inner transformation by taking your old self and beating it up, like we do through criticism, or by heating it up with exciting experiences, or by reshaping your physical looks. All these are purely organic, purely physical changes. The real magic works according to the principles that make up the universal laws. Aligning yourself with the movement of this universal operating system gives you an opening for transformation.

Examples from daily life can be found amongst the following:

  1. The events in my life reflect who I am. Whatever catches your attention is trying to tell you something. Whatever you feel angry about in another person, you dislike about yourself. Whatever conversation you overhear, the words are a personal message to you.
  2. The people in my life reflect aspects of myself. You are a composite of every person who is important to you. The one reflects your highest aspirations; the other reflects your deepest fears.
  3. Whatever I pay attention to will grow. Taking note of where and how you spend most of your time will tell you what aspects of your life are going to grow. Ask yourself whether you want those aspects to be big in your life. If the answer is no, then turn your attention away from them.
  4. Nothing is random. Life is full of signs and symbols. Look for patterns in your life; what people say to you; how they treat you; how you react to certain situations. Look for the signs that show you your hidden beliefs.
  5. At any given moment, the universe is giving me the best results possible. Your system's only concern is to serve you to the best of its ability. It will never do anything to harm you, unless it is the lesser evil of all available options. Trust your system and the universe.
  6. My inner awareness is always evolving. My awareness is not a stream of thoughts, but a potential for becoming who I want to be. Look for the limitations and boundaries with the intention of going beyond them.
  7. The direction of life is from duality to unity. You are not separate from the rest of creation. You have no longer a need to defend yourself against the "outside", as the outside is the inside. All you will need to sustain yourself is yourself. Feel yourself at one with nature.
  8. If you open yourself to the force of evolution, it will carry you where you want to go. Look at the beliefs that seem to hold you back the most. No longer depend on others, but take responsibility for your own evolution. No longer focus on external rewards as a substitute for inner growth.
  9. The fragmented mind cannot get you to unity, but you have to use it along the way. Find the difference between being at one with yourself and being scattered. Find your centre, your peace, your ability to go with the flow. The thoughts and desires that drive you are not the ultimate reality. They are just a way to get yourself back to oneness.
  10. You are living in many dimensions at once; the appearance of being trapped in time and space is an illusion. Experience yourself beyond limitations. Be present with yourself in silence. Set aside time to spread outward in all directions, by using breathing, by letting your mind drift, by emitting light. Spread out as far as your awareness can reach.

With this search for unity we are confronted by the problem of evil. How to define it and how to explain its role in the bigger picture? The fact that we accept everything as one reality and that our own life is a refection of the inner journey, means that evil is part of our own make-up. It is just as part of who we are as the love we so endeavour to emanate. Evil is part of an hierarchy, a ladder of growth in which everything changes depending on the rung you happen to stand on. Nor does the growing process ever stop. It is at work in you at this very moment.

However, evil cannot be your enemy if the world is in you; it can only be an aspect of yourself. And every aspect is necessary to life, and none is excluded or banished into darkness. This view may seem even more naive at first than Gandhi's non-resistance, for it appears that we are being asked to love and understand a murderer the same as a saint. Jesus taught exactly that doctrine. But translating love and compassion into difficult situations has been the crux of spirituality's huge failure. Violence causes love to break down, turning it into fear and hatred. But it isn't evil that is actually doing this. The shaping forces on consciousness do. Here is where good and evil become equal.

Listen to this!

In 1971, students at Stanford University were asked to volunteer for an unusual experiment in role playing. One group of students was to pretend that they were prison guards in charge of another group who pretended to be prisoners. Although it was understood that this was make-belief, a jail setting was provided. and the two groups lived together for the duration of the experiment. According to plan, everyone would play their roles for two weeks, but after only six days the prison experiment had to be terminated. Why? The boys chosen for their mental health and moral values turned into sadistic, out-of-control guards on the one hand and depressed victims of exorbitant stress on the other. The scenes described by the observers of this experiment reflect the infamous acts by American prison guards in Iraq in 2004.

This experiment suggests that evil exists in everyone as a shadow, for the very reason the world is in everyone. Being raised as a good person is, of course, a counter to the shadow of evil. But if you are fortunate enough to have made choices on the good side of the equation, you must still acknowledge that the shadow exists in you somewhere.

This is part of the unity, and being aware of this reality opens your mind and heart to others.

The Whole in Every Moment

At the end of your life, you die. A simple truth that we accept. The question is: Which "me" dies? Is it the baby "me", the teenage "me", the young adult "me" or the old "me". We simply assume that the "me" that dies at the hour of our death is the "me" we perceive to be there at that time. That actually means that the other "me"-s have already died. The person I am today isn't the same person I was when I was ten years old. Certainly my body has completely changed from that of a ten-year-old. None of the molecules in my cells are the same, and neither is my mind the same. I certainly don't think like a child anymore. In essence the ten-year-old is dead.

When you are aware of being yourself without being attached to any particular age, when you observe yourself as pure awareness, then you have become the observer. The witness or observer of experience is the self to whom all experiences are happening. It would be futile to hold on to who you are at this moment in terms of body and mind. Life needs to be fresh. It needs to renew itself.

We already have established that the world around us is reflecting the world inside us. This means that the world in which we seemingly live is actually inside us, with the outside only reflecting reality. We are not in the world, the world is in us. This also means that we are not in our bodies, but that the body is in us. We are not in our mind, but our mind is in us.

Now then, if the body is in you, then at the time of death you can't leave the body, as you would have nowhere to go. There is nowhere else for you to be. It is thus more correct to say that the body leaves you. The body has constantly been changing; it has been coming and going, and now it leaves without coming back. But, if you aren't going anywhere when you die, then that must mean that you are already there. So where is it you are?

When I ask you what you had for dinner last night, you may say "steak and chips", or "a salad". The intriguing question is, "Where was that memory before I asked?" There is no molecule in your brain with "steak and chips" written on it. When you bring a memory into your conscious mind, you are actualising an event. Before you actualise it, a memory is non-local, meaning it has no location. It is part of a field of potential, or energy, or intelligence. This field extends invisibly in all directions. You are that field.

In quantum physics, the tiniest subatomic particle is everywhere in space-time before it gets localised as a particle. (See "Particle or Wave") Its non-local existence is just as real but invisible. We all make the mistake when we identify with the events that come and go in the field. These are isolated moments - single blips as the field momentarily gets actualised. The underlying reality is pure potential, which is also called the soul.

Take the example of a house. If the house burns down, the walls and roof collapse. But the space inside the house isn't affected. This is similar to what happens to us when we die. The house we live in, our body, collapses, but the space, which is "I", remains unaffected. By building a house you are only dividing unbounded space into inside and outside, but this is actually an illusion.

To support the passage from childish through to adult thought, the mind has to die every day. My cherished ideas die and never reappear; my most intense experiences are consumed by their own passions; my answer to the question "Who am I?" totally changes from age two to three, three to four, and so on throughout life. All of nature obeys this one rhythm. The universe is dying at the speed of light, yet it still manages along the way to create this planet and the life forms inhabiting it. Our bodies are dying at many different speeds at once, beginning with the photon, ascending through chemical dissolution, cell death, tissue regeneration, and finally the death of the whole organism.

What counts is not the act of dying, but the plan, the overarching design that brings the balance of positive and negative signals that everything in nature responds to. The plan is beyond time because it dates to the very construction of time. The plan is beyond space because it is everywhere in the body and yet nowhere. Every cell as it dies takes the plan with it, and yet the plan survives.

In the one reality, you don't settle an argument by picking side; both sides of any argument are equally true.

If the physical world is the ultimate reality, then you have no choice but to play out the game. Every tendency has a cause in a prior tendency, and as soon as you wear out one, you will be creating another to replace it. You can't be a finished product. There is always something waiting to be fixed, attended to, adjusted, polished, cleaned up, or ready to fall apart. The physical world is the domain of "action". And the question to ask of action is: Did it have a beginning? Does it ever end? There is no hint that a first action got things started, and no way to tell if a last action might bring everything to a halt. The universe is a given, and despite theories about the Big Bang, the possibilities of other universes, or even infinite universes, means that the chain of first events could extend forever.

My body and the universe come from the same source, obey the same rhythms, flash with the same storms of electromagnetic activity. My body can't afford to argue over who created the universe. Every cell would disappear the second it stopped creating itself. So it must be that the universe is living and breathing through me. I am an expression of everything in existence.

The Universe is Thinking about You

Look around and try to view your whole situation. From the viewpoint of a limited self, you cannot be the centre of the cosmos. But that's because you are looking at "action". Your attention is going to bits and pieces of your situation - a current relationship, events at work, finances, perhaps tossing in a vague concern with some political crisis or the state of the stock market. No matter how many of these ingredients you try to comprehend, you aren't seeing your whole situation. From the perspective of the wholeness, the universe is thinking about you. Its thoughts are invisible, but they eventually manifest as tendencies and sometimes your attention feels the larger design at work because every life has inescapable turning points, opportunities, epiphanies and breakthroughs.

To you, a thought is an image or idea floating through your mind. To the universe, a thought is a step in evolution. It's a creative act. To truly live at the centre of the one reality, evolution must become of primary interest to you. The non-critical events in your life already run themselves.

On one level, natural forces need no assistance from us to keep everything regulated so that life can be sustained. Plants and animals exist in harmony without knowing that they do. One could imagine a world in which nothing expands beyond basic existence. Such a world does not exist, however. Even one-celled amoebas swim in a particular direction, hunt for food, move towards light, and seek temperatures they prefer. Desire is built into the scheme of life.

When your brain carries out a desire, the universe is carrying it out at the same time. There is no difference between "I want to have a child" and "The universe wants to have a child". The embryo that starts to grow in the womb relies on billions of years of intelligence, memory, creativity and evolution. The fact that you experience your desire as individual doesn't negate the universe from acting through you, just as the fact that you consider your children to be yours doesn't negate the fact that they are also the children of a vast gene pool. That gene pool has no other parent than the universe.

At this moment, you are seamlessly flowing with the cosmos. There is no difference between your breathing and the breathing of the rain forest, between your bloodstream and the world's rivers, between your bones and the chalk cliffs of Dover. Every shift in the ecosystem has affected you at the level of your genes. The universe remembers its evolution by leaving a record written in DNA. This means that your genes are the focal point for everything happening in the world. They are your line of communication with nature as a whole, not just with your mother and father.

The universe has thus a stake in which choices you decide to make, for the overwhelming evidence is that it favours evolution over standing still. Human beings extended the evolutionary scheme when life reached a certain limit in physicality. In pure physical terms, the earth depends a lot more on blue-green algae, plankton and insects than on humans. The universe wanted to have a new perspective and for this had to create creation like itself.

The problem with dilemmas like free will and determinism is that they don't leave enough playtime. This is a recreational universe. It provides us with food, air, water, and a great deal of scenery to explore. All of that comes from the automatic side of cosmic intelligence. It continues on its own, but the side that wants to play is plugged into evolution. If you look carefully at the critical turning points in your life, you'll see how closely you were paying attention to the evolutionary game.

April 2006


Patrick Quanten has been a general practitioner since 1983. The combination of medical insight and extensive studies of Complementary Therapies have opened new perspectives on health care, all of which came to fruition when it blended with Yogic and Ayurvedic principles. Patrick gave up his medical licence in November 2001.
Patrick also holds qualifications in Ayurvedic Medicine, Homeopathy, Reiki, Ozon Therapy and Thai Massage. He is an expert on Ear Candling and he is also well-read in the field of other hard sciences. His life's work involves finding similarities between the Ancient Knowledge and modern Western science.

Order your copy