Spiritual circles (at least upon the Right Hand Path) often speak to the necessity of Love. This Love isn’t a passionate love, but a love that uplifts the mind – expanding one’s thoughts. Where passionate love is pleasure seeking towards the individualized self, spiritual Love is expansive and includes all other beings.
Unity, you see, is a product of this pure spiritual love. Conversely, those on the Left Hand Path of spirituality cut themselves off from the love of others, as Unity is the opposite of their goal of isolate intelligence. We can see two extremes here: One seeking union with the Divine, and the by extension the Divine in all beings (therefore Union with all things.) The other cutting themselves off from unity and thereby hoping to exist without any dissolution of self post death.
To contrast, the complete opposite of Unity is isolate intelligence. This is a concept few are familiar with, but it is main concept of the Left Hand Path of spirituality. The Left Hand Path are those who align with the ideals of individual nature, lacking any unity at all. Such people often identify with the dark-side mythos as their calling. To their end they break free of dogma, separate themselves through rebellion, and refuse to align to ideas of merging into the Divine or any “other.” From this perspective, unity is spiritual suicide, where one’s spiritual essence is absorbed, so they take care to create a soul that never merges with anything.
From these two extremes there is a clear vision of what Unity is. Yes, there are two perspectives here. One fears Unity, seeing it as a spiritual death, and the other views it as a spiritual freedom. I can not attest a universal truth here, I can only say that I’ve traveled both roads described above and I’ve found that Love and Unity are the path that “feels right” to me. Surrendering the ego through acts of Love, expands this inner Self, this Greater Self and through that expansion one identifies with a Great number of things. We can visualize this expansion as a spread of our essence, in Unity, with a greater field of life. It is the reality of seeing myself in another, and thereby building equanimity.
In this way Love and Unity are close cousins. They work together, expanding outward, away from the limited concept of self (ego). Ego, as defined by Paramhansa Yogananda, is the “self identified with the body.” This is as good a definition as any, and quite certainly puts the spiritual path to liberation as going beyond the body. One doesn’t “go beyond” with anger, hate, or desire. Such emotions pull the mind back to the limited self. In order to be free, one must forgive the trespasses of others. In order to be free one must love even the enemy. This is more readily done when they are understood as elements of an illusionary world. To wake up from the illusion we must expand our nature.
Unity identifies with a greater form of life, and this breaks the boundaries of ego, which is the limited identification with the body. Love is the greatest tool to achieve this, as equanimity and compassion for others, is to expand our nature to include them. To love the enemy is to see something within them worth loving and this process shatters the old constraints of ego.