Polyamory and Oneness
Linda White Dove

Polyamory is integrity based multiple relationship. Although there are many forms of polyamory and it is called by many names, it has as its basis the desire to learn and grow, to become a more loving person. I see it as releasing the fear-based limitations on love and sexuality so we can truly love, enjoy and heal each other.

Oneness is unity consciousness. It means living with the awareness, the felt experience of all life as one infinite being united by love. It is not the belief that love is something outside of us, like a deity, nor is it that we are united by our desire for love. Rather oneness means that we are love. Love is the “stuff” we are made of. To live in oneness means being a loving presence in the world. It means literally embodying love in all aspects of life. This includes, but is certainly not limited to sexuality and relationships.

Although living oneness and polyamory are not always practiced together, they do make a very wonderful combination, each expanding upon what the other has to offer. In oneness, polyamory is not really about multiple relationship; it is about Relationship. Relationship becomes the partner, the beloved, expressed in all its beautiful, multiple forms.

Everything in the Universe exists in relationship to everything else. This is true also of people. We literally cannot exist without each other. Relationship is the thread, the commonality, which creates everything we experience, appreciate and value. Relationship creates and maintains the towns we live in, the physical structures, the land, the beliefs that hold us together and those that tear us apart. Where we have beliefs that keep us fearful and separate, we create relationships that manifest difficulty. It begins with our relationship with ourselves, and manifests in how we live our self relationship in the world.

Our relationship with our own sexual selves is perhaps the most complex of all our inner processes. Partly it is because the beliefs have become so ingrained that we no longer notice them as we live them out with each other. Partly it is because we are continually conditioned with a barrage of images, shame and pressure to live up to externally set standards. Definitions of what it means to be a man or woman and how to act as a man or woman are part of most interactions. Interactions are just a way of understanding/noticing relationship. As part of the definitions and interactions, we relate based on “rules,” which tend to go unnoticed or unquestioned.

The paradigm underlying relationship difficulties is duality consciousness. Duality is the belief that we are separate from each other. When we experience ourselves as separate from each other, we then need to relate to others in order to meet our needs for survival, love, etc. The duality paradigm is run by fear. Being separate means that our needs might not be met. As a result we develop ways of interacting based on previous conditioning in order to be loved, safe, etc. Sometimes these ways serve us well, often they are out of alignment with who we are and what brings fulfillment and joy. As we relate to others based on past conditioning, we come into contact with the conditioning of others who are also relating based on fear. With each interaction, we continue this pattern, often creating new wounds/fear. Nowhere is this truer than with our sexuality. The intimacy of sexuality and our desire for it makes it a part of our self expression that is very vulnerable.

In the paradigm of oneness, sexual relationship takes on a very special meaning. Oneness is unity consciousness. Because everyone and everything is connected via relationship, and sexuality is part of how we relate to each other and ourselves, sexuality becomes a very powerful form of healing relationship. Sexual energy is the energy which not only gives us life, it is our creative expression. It is not only how we were manifested in this world, it is how we continually manifest our presence. It is our empowerment. In unity consciousness, because everything is experienced as part of one’s self, there is no need for fear. All is love. Our needs are always being met. This has a profound impact on how we experience sexuality.

Making a transition to the paradigm of oneness means that the ways in which we relate to our sexuality and sexual relationship with others come up for review. Oneness does not mean that we do not need each other, indeed since everything in the Universe exists in relationship, we could not exist without each other. What oneness means is that as we recognize love as the basis of all, we choose to experience and create it everywhere. As we do this and begin to embody love, it changes our concept of power to something we create together. Other people and events become partners in creating what we want because as part of onebeing/one relationship what helps one person is good for all. There is no “enemy,” no battle because everyone and everything loves us and is here to help us. We literally change the fabric of relationship by changing perspective.

Moving from the paradigm of duality to the paradigm of oneness requires re-examining our beliefs about sexuality and relationship. In examining beliefs about relationship from a oneness perspective, one of the first things to change is the definition of relationship. Whereas in duality, love is something to find, in oneness love is what you are, regardless of who you are with and what you are doing. This includes everyday activities like walking down the street. It can be confusing at first to experience being love because love has come to be associated with special relationships and these relationships have special ways of relating that we do not have with others. In oneness, being love feels a lot like what it feels like to be in love in those special relationships, except a person feels this most of the time. While this can be exhilarating, it is also a bit scary at first to feel so open and vulnerable. It also brings up questions on how to act around others who often respond (sometimes unconsciously) with fear, anger or by keeping a distance (distrust). Other times people, including total strangers, respond to love with love and this can be overwhelming too, especially if it triggers our own fears. Oneness requires an openness and commitment to self to be aware of inner processes and motivations and to work through them.

In oneness, the need to label/define relationships also changes because we are always in relationship and always love. Also because we are all one, there is no need to find love or to hold onto love. It is always present. Everything we do is an expression of the love that we are, yet we do make choices. Sexuality in oneness takes on a new meaning. As we move to the paradigm of unity consciousness, we begin to notice beliefs about sexuality that were based on fear. We notice how sexuality is our creative expression, it is how we affirm the love that we all are. We start to notice and let go of the shame about loving ourselves and each other in this way. As this happens, we experience our sexual selves all the time because sexuality is our creative, life force energy. It is how we embody our Divinity, our true power, our love. This is usually a gradual process of feeling and releasing shame. It is odd that in a culture which uses sex as a commodity, as a motivation for just about everything, that there is a “sexual ceiling” on how much we are to enjoy pleasure without being shamed.

When moving into the oneness paradigm, it is common to feel sexual energy at times when we have been taught it is “wrong,” or “inappropriate” to be aroused. This is because of the separation of sexuality into an expression of shame rather than one of divine love. This means that in oneness, rather than being something that we express only with special people, sexuality is a continual partner in life and everyone/everything/every experience is a lover. However, within this experience is choice. One of the best things about oneness and sexuality is that the choices can be made from a space of inner freedom, without the shame that limits full expression and enjoyment of self. This means that all choices are “good” choices because every choice is an expression of love.

The combination of polyamory and oneness restores our experience of sexuality to the form of mindfulness, holistic healing and community building that it has always been. Rather than sex being a way in which we feel divided, powerless and confused (which brings up the feelings of fear, anger and hurt), sex can be empowering, ecstatic and connecting. With polyamory, we can then embody this experience, and be a loving presence in the lives of others, who also share the same with us. Living oneness combined with the practice of polyamory means that together we can create lives of fulfillment, connectedness and peace.

© 10/2002 Linda White Dove

Linda White Dove, M. Ed.