One is a philosophy and a movement created by Dr. Rota Sevrin, of Tiburon, in the 23rd Century. This anti-establishment philosophy was highly critical of the planned communities and balanced atmospheres made possible by high technology such as that in the United Federation of Planets. Followers referred to such orderly lifestyles, assisted by computers, as "sterile" and "programmed". Science was viewed with suspicion; more a matter of prejudice than real knowledge. This rejection of society made many followers feel as though they were aliens in their own worlds.
What the philosophy proposed, instead, was an outlook that recognized the Oneness of all things and all beings. Thus, to tease or be cruel to others was against the philosophy. They preached friendship and harmony among all beings. Yet, through this understanding, one could practice a highly individualized and intuitive guidance in one's life. Sevrin taught that people should "give in" and live true to themselves and their unique desires to be happy, rather than take directives from authorities or computers or top-down plans. Dr. Sevrin said, "We recognize no authority save that within ourselves". As such, forms of personal expression such as dress, music, and the arts were highly prized.
Their goal was not so much to be different for its own sake, but simply to learn to see what truly makes them happy and live that way, without being told how to live or what to value by society. Thus, it would be possible for a follower to take up traditional roles and professions (rather than counter-cultural lifestyles) and still be "One", if that sprang genuinely from their inner nature and was what truly made them happy.
In order to reach this ideal collectively, followers of One came to the conclusion that they must "turn their backs on confusion" and "seek the beginning". This may explain the symbol for this philosophy, which was a white egg, with a yellow yoke, and an infinity symbol in the yoke. They were said to "hunger for an Eden where spring comes". This amounted to a desire to return to a simpler, more primitive, existence where they believed individual "human[oid] nature" could flourish more freely. Sevrin said this was the "only right way to live".
This Eden Movement took on a literal dimension, as Dr. Sevrin searched for the location of a mythical planet called "Eden". According to myth, this would be an untamed but beautiful planet - a perfect paradise. It was here that followers would "build a world such as this galaxy has never seen". They referred to this place, in song, as "the good land". Eventually, this search would result in the death of Dr. Sevrin and one of his closest followers.
Many followers of this philosophy would tend to share certain traits in their dress and speech. They would often wear very little clothing, and felt it difficult to "breathe" while clothed fully. Most wore the egg symbol of their philosophy on their chest. They would adorn their bodies with painted representations of flowers and plants, to indicate a return to a more natural state of being.
When greeting one another, they would use a hand signal in which both hands would be raised in front of the face, with the thumbs touching on the bottom and the other fingers touching on the top, in a triangular (or perhaps egg shaped) form. Commonly, this would be accompanied by the phrase, "One" or, "We are One". They also referred to one another as "brother" and "sister".
Their mode of speech was also distinctive, laced with several catch phrases and terms, including the following...
Herbert - An unflattering and insulting term, shouted repeatedly at someone who exhibited rigid and limited patterns of thought. It developed from the name of a minor official who was notorious as such. Women of this nature would be called "Herberta".
I reach - I understand, accept, am in accord with, sympathize with, am of the same view.
That's now / That's real now - Something which is highly respected or thought of in a favorable way.
I bleed - I am emotionally hurt or regretful (possibly sarcastic).
It starts to chime - Things are happening as desired.
Sound (as in "that would sound", "that sounds", etc) - Very enjoyable musical experience.
Jelly in the belly - Scared, fearful.
Looking for the good land, Going astray. Don't cry, don't cry. Oh, I can't have honey, And I can't have cream. Gonna live, not die. Gonna live, not die. Stand in the middle of it all one day. I'll look at it shining all around me and say, I'm here, I’m here, In the good land. In the new land. I'm here.
I’m talkin 'bout you, I’m talkin 'bout me. Long time back when the galaxy was new. Man found out what he had to do. Found he had to eat and he found he had to drink. And a long time later he found he had to think. Uh huh. Yes, think. I'm standing here wondering. [What?] If a man tells another man out of my way. He piles up trouble for himself all day. But all kinds of trouble come to an end. When a man tells another man be my friend, uh huh. My friend. Well, what's it going to be? [There's a mile wide emptiness between you and me.] Can't reach across it, hardly even see. [Someone ought to take a step one way or other.] Let's say goodbye, or let's say brother. Brother. Brother. Hey, out there. Hey, out there. Hey, out there. Hey, out there. I see you. I see you. I see you. I see you. Let's get together and have some fun. I don't know how to do it but it's got to be done.
Headin' out to Eden. Yea, brother. Headin' out to Eden. No more trouble in my body or my mind. Gonna live like a king on whatever I find, Eat all the fruit and throw away the rind. Yea, brother. Yea.
Biological Rebellion Edit
Dr. Sevrin would speak of how we are "infected" by the modern technologies and lifestyles around us. Both inside and outside the movement, many spoke of the emergence of One as almost a kind of auto-immune reaction against the current society. Spock would refer to the movement as an "almost biological rebellion".
It was lesser known how literal this notion would be in Dr. Sevrin's case. He became a carrier of synthococcus novae, a bacteria that had evolved as a result of lifeforms living in unnatural technological settings. Dr. Sevrin had been restricted from traveling outside of controlled environments so the disease could not spread to those who had not been inoculated. The disease and these restrictions lead him to harbor a deep resentment of modern technology. His inability to flee technologically-regulated areas that he grew to hate more and more eventually caused him to slip into total insanity. (TOS episode: "The Way to Eden")