There is a secret.
The greatest secret.
The ultimate secret.
It is a secret not because it’s in any way restricted, or withheld, or kept private. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s more freely available to you than anything else.
It is a secret rather like a modest looking little Italian restaurant tucked away on a side street, which only a few people know about, but which serves food so good that you’d never want to eat anywhere else again.
The One Thing is the endless effervescent source of well-being. It allows you to feel intoxicated with satisfaction, even if your body is sick.
The One Thing heals all hurt. It soothes the wounds of time, and offers you the opportunity to start fresh again, and again, and again.
The One Thing is endlessly forgiving. It sets no price for admission, and will welcome you even if you’ve broken your vows a thousand times.
The One Thing collapses all conflict and disagreement. Even the one you thought was an enemy will be beautiful to you when you also invite the One Thing to the meeting.
The One Thing restores your body to vigor and vitality. It fills your whole body with an orgasmic aliveness that wants nothing but gives everything. When you open yourself up to the One Thing, everything else is added unto you. We have this on the highest authority. (There is a great joke to it too, because when you have the One Thing, you don’t need anything else to be added unto you. You’ve got it all.)
The One Thing cannot be bought and sold, although many have tried. It politely refuses to be packaged by any religion, or politics, or culture, or language.
The One Thing never, ever, ever, ever gets boring. Just like making love, or playing with your kids, or eating Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Ice-cream, you can taste the One Thing today, and tomorrow it’s new again.
The One Thing is the soil from which all greatness sprouts. Great symphonies have flowed from those who taste just a drop of this… epic novels, magnificent architecture, game-changing inventions.
People will tell you that they suffer for all kinds of reasons: there is something wrong with me… I have the wrong mate… no mate… I’m too fat… too thin… not enough money.. or time… or friends… And all these stories are entirely, hypnotically, believable.
But those who know the secret report back that there’s only really one cause of suffering: when you forget about the One Thing, and then search desperately for something you’ve lost, in every place except the one where it resides.
There’s a story from long ago. I don’t even remember which mythology it comes from. It goes back to the time when the Gods were creating the earth for us, and they knew about the One Thing. They knew full well that without the One Thing, suffering will sit on your shoulders like a wet, cold, heavy blanket, and with the One Thing, even misfortune will seem like a fun adventure.
And they said to each other, “Hey, this One Thing. It’s the most valuable thing that the humans have. It’s the most precious thing.Where can we put it to keep it safe?”
And one of the Gods said, “Lets put it up on top of the highest mountain, and bury it deep inside a rock.
And the other Gods said, “No, no. Because you know what these humans are like. They’re very…what do you call it? ADHD. They can’t keep still. Sooner or later, they’re going to climb the mountain and break all the rocks for one of their projects. Don’t put it up there.”
And another God said, “Let’s bury it deep deep deep inside the ocean. That will keep it safe.”
And another God said, “No, because I know them. Sooner or later, they’re going to invent a machine to go to the bottom of the ocean. They’re going to stir everything up, and it won’t be safe there.”
Somebody else suggested burying it deep inside the earth, or in a great fortress.
But finally, one of the Gods had the best idea of all.
“I know,” he said, “Lets hide it in the place they’re least likely to look. Not even under their noses, but behind their noses. Lets hide the One Thing, not in anything they look for outside themselves, but deep in their own nature.”
“Brilliant!” Clapped another God. “I love it! We’ll hide the One Thing deep inside the nature of the one who’s looking for it.”
And so it was agreed, and they celebrated their decision with a round of Newcastle Brown Ale, and then another.
Despite having hidden the great One Thing in such a ridiculously obvious place that no one thinks of looking for it there, people do sometimes stumble on it now and then. It usually happens after they’ve exhausted every other kind of external distraction: sex, and money, and power, and “poor me,” and “look at me,” and “fantastic me,” and all the other available movies. And then that somebody collapses back, and Bang! there it is. Jesus found it, Buddha found it, Thomas Jefferson found it, William Blake found it. And more lately, so has Eckhart Tolle, Oprah Winfrey, and hell, even Russell Brand has found it! The great secret is out.
Now the location of the One Thing is getting blogged, and Tweeted, and Facebooked, and Youtubed, over and over again.
So this holiday season, along with shiny packages purchased at overcrowded stores, along with cards, and bottles, and baking dishes of sweet things, give the gift that really matters.
Give the gift that lasts forever.
Give the gift that gives delight even to those who think they have everything already.
Give the gift of the Great News.
The One Thing is the infinite vast space, empty of all content, but full of a generous amused creativity.
The One Thing is the one who is hearing and seeing and feeling.
The One Thing is who you already are.