The Heart of Oneness is a small book consisting of only ten chapters, which offers reflection upon what could be considered as the very many differences which seem to be growing daily as the world charges madly onwards, becoming a shattered and tragic place full of senseless hatred and violence.
In this treatise, Kavanagh peels back the layers to look at poverty, injustice, love, hate and kindness, counterbalancing her findings with the natural beauty and unconditional love that is still to be founding in the most unlikely of places.
Families find it difficult to live together, homelessness is on the rise; these are the aspect of life that have always been there, perhaps more noticeable in today’s world of apparent wealth and comfort. But what of the oneness that is said to be the quintessential component of spirituality, religion, humanity; is it still there, or is it another casualty of war, greed and selfishness that pervades today’s world.
Perhaps it is, as she discovered when she volunteered to do the sandwich and tea run for the homeless more than 15 years ago, discovering that there is indeed ‘no such things as “the other”’, as each person she met that night was unique; unique in their needs, their caring and their personalities, which led her to contemplating just what is it that makes people assume that because you are one race or another, one level of society or another, you are not intrinsically ‘the same’. That night she found unexpected beauty in kindness amongst the seriously marginalised members of Western Society.
As she looks at what it is that is considered as ‘oneness’, beginning each chapter with a quote or piece of poetry introducing the subject matter for the next pages, she also draws on her background as a Quaker, the words of many spiritual leaders, the science of DNA and science in general, to present a deeply profound perspective on the diverse world in which we live, by looking at the very heart of our existence as humans, how we act and react and the values that we hold dear.
What would be the result should the world turn to become a more gentle, understanding and accepting place, is also one of the threads offered for contemplation. The immortal words of poet John Donne (1572-1631) written so many centuries ago, are perhaps words to be remembered, pondered, used as a benchmark towards a better understanding and acceptance, perhaps adding a little traction towards helping the world turn just a little bit more.
No man is an island,
Entire of Itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.