I Am or Not
Moses once asked God “Who are you?” God said “I Am Who I Am” or translated better yet “I Am Who Am”.
The Human Being created in I Am Who Am’s image at first knew pure subjectivity and could say with God “I Too Am Who Am.”
The writer of Genesis imagined such unitive consciousness as dwelling in a beatific garden.
At some point a split emerged in human consciousness between the self and others; be that God, creation, or other people. Among the consequences, they came to believe that Who They Were was not granted them in grace by I Am Who Am but had to be established over and against Who They Were Not.
As a result, they became I Am Separate.
The writer of Genesis imagined it as a terrible banishment from the beatific garden, replete with a fiery sword-wielding angel barring the way back.
The spiritual journey of a lifetime then involves the passage back from I Am Separate to I Am Who Am.
Compassion and care for others as oneself, human and non-human alike, is one path that can get us back there: another’s hurt is my hurt, another’s people my people.
Community building and commitment is another: my separate I Am becomes a much broader I Am.
Silence and stillness, yet another: I relinquish all thoughts and identifiers and desires – even if just for 20 minutes a day – and I Simply Am Who Am.
A combination of the three is a spiritual exercise routine necessary to challenge the fiery sword-wielding angel that keeps us from the beatific garden where ultimately we belong.