A question about "I Am"

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6270
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: A question about "I Am"

Post by Sighclone » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:34 pm

Being is an essence, yes -- it is The Essence.

As an experience, "I AM" is problematical for me, as I've said. If the "I" part of "I AM" is rock-solid and strong, then it is an illusion. In the "End of Your World" Adyashanti talks about includes the end of "I." But it is replaced by a "sense of self" that is at once infinite and yet allows the perception of a "little me" essentially confined to the contents of your bag of skin.

An archetype usually refers to an ideal example (mother figure, noble warrior, reclusive guru, etc.)

There is also a Judeo/Christian interpretation: (from Wikipedia): I Am that I Am (Hebrew: אהיה אשר אהיה‎, pronounced Ehyeh asher ehyeh [ʔehˈje ʔaˈʃer ʔehˈje]) is a common English translation (JPS among others) of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Moses asked for His name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. Hayah means "existed" or "was" in Hebrew; "ehyeh" is the first person singular imperfect form. Ehyeh asher ehyeh is generally interpreted to mean I am that I am, though it more literally translates as "I-shall-be that I-shall-be."

As an expression of universal divinity, I AM has some conceptual value, I guess...it has never been a favorite pointer for me.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6485
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: A question about "I Am"

Post by Webwanderer » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:50 pm

Sighclone wrote:If the "I" part of "I AM" is rock-solid and strong, then it is an illusion. In the "End of Your World" Adyashanti talks about includes the end of "I." But it is replaced by a "sense of self" that is at once infinite and yet allows the perception of a "little me" essentially confined to the contents of your bag of skin.
I like this description a lot Andy. Language being limited as it is, "I" seems to be the best we can do for that 'sense of self' that remains when the nature of ego is recognized, while 'me' refers almost exclusively to that perspective from within one's bag of skin. Constant vigilance is required to make sure we remain clear on the distinction.

WW

Thunder2008
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:23 pm

Re: A question about "I Am"

Post by Thunder2008 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:51 am

This sounds right. "I AM" is not actually essence. It is a concept to grasp.

It is like a doll, a girlfriend, something to believe in.

It is a portal to "being", or the being of all beings, or the essence of all essence. But it is neither being, neither essence.

If I get it right.

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6270
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: A question about "I Am"

Post by Sighclone » Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:54 pm

That is the way I see it Thunder, yes. WW is pointing out that the challenge is ego, not "sense of self." When you wake up in the morning there "you" are. That "I" you can hang labels on (like tacos, don't like NASCAR, tend to dawdle, good with numbers, enjoy reading, could lose a few pounds, etc etc etc) is a personality. The ego is the "false self created by unconscious identification with the mind." (ET). The personality can be "seen" from the Witness stage (and that is a "stage" that both Adya and Greg Goode acknowledge, and others, too.) It is a stage in self-realization, not a "special part of Being." Being includes everything.

The "I AM" is surely larger than that false self, ego. But it has connotations of ego about it to me...maybe a "spiritualized ego" which is that obnoxious "holier than thou" tone/attitude we hear from time to time, from various spiritual teachers. Less so than even ten years ago, I believe, as our nondual teachers are evolving -- particularly Leonard Jacobsen. Eckhart never had this problem, in my opinion. Which takes me back to "amness" which is a stupid, horrible word, perhaps better phrased as "existence." But "existence" is dry and void, and my experiences of Unity / Being / Spirit / Self / Pure Awarness (which vary in intensity) all have something 'dancing' in there -- something both personal and infinite, vital and stable, clear and real, yet immesurable ... way more than just "existence" is going on. So "amness" it is for today.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

Thunder2008
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:23 pm

Re: A question about "I Am"

Post by Thunder2008 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:05 am

Sometimes Nisargadatta refers to the "I AM" as "being" and Eckhart is Nisargadatta follower. This makes me a bit reluctant to accept that Eckart's use of the word "Being" is different from Nisargadatta's.

The Ego is the false identification of the self with the mind. "I AM" is a stage in self realization. "I" is a stage above I AM which does not involve the observer and the observed. But "I" watches both the observer/observed and the void at the same time. And it still involves a "spiritualized ego" just like Echart's "being".

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6270
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: A question about "I Am"

Post by Sighclone » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:17 am

We are splitting hairs very finely, perhaps too much so, given the fundamental limitations of language. If "I" is truly transpersonal, and a "felt" state, then it begins to merge with the verb "AM." Nonduality asserts that subject and object become indistinguishable. But Nisargadatta is infinitely more able to express this stuff than I am.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

User avatar
Mouse
Posts: 377
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:15 pm
Location: Kyogle, Australia

Re: A question about "I Am"

Post by Mouse » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:48 pm

Thunder2008 wrote:. "I AM" is a stage in self realization. "I" is a stage above I AM which does not involve the observer and the observed. But "I" watches both the observer/observed and the void at the same time. And it still involves a "spiritualized ego" just like Echart's "being".
This I you are talking about is the void. In my experience there is the realisation of position as an indication of the personal and temporal 'I', the king pin of the structure of ego or self. And this sense of abstract position is the way to catch oneself in the act. And behind the obvious position there is the master position of knowing something. That abstract position that gets the impression of whats going on. I gets finer and more abstract and it is the sense of position or the whiff of self that gives the game away.
I have been inspired by Barry Long's teaching and I write this so as to acknowledge my source of inspiration. It is a wonderful help, and it is a wonderful gift.

User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6270
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: A question about "I Am"

Post by Sighclone » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:29 pm

I also like Barry Long's style -- Eckhart did as well. The concept of "position" is useful...thanks! There is another book worth reading, it is Greg Goode's "Standing as Awareness" -- another "direct-path" text, but not neo-advaita (there is nothing to learn and no place to go.) There is some irony and paradox in the very phrase "Standing as Awareness." Standing implies position, stature, location...but awareness is just everywhere... :)

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

Post Reply