I Am That I Am

Until now, the prevailing Newtonian mechanistic worldview has dominated Western culture, science and metaphysics for hundreds of years.  The idea that we live in an unintelligently designed universe – the idea that out of nowhere, nothing, for no reason spontaneously became everything, has been accepted as scientific gospel.  This atheistic, nihilistic, purely materialistic paradigm presented by believers of Big Bang evolution, however, cannot explain the multitude of non-physical, non-local findings in quantum mechanics.  They cannot explain how consciousness, intelligence and life supposedly evolved from unconscious, unintelligent, dead matter.  They cannot explain why apple seeds grow apple trees and pear seeds grow pear trees, or how arm cells know to be arms and leg cells know to be legs.  They cannot explain the holographic universe or morphogenic fields, the placebo effect, psychoneuroimmunology, acupuncture, the aura, chi/prana or remote healing; telepathy, psychokinesis, clairvoyance, precognition and the entirety of psi science; they cannot explain out-of body or near-death experiences, ghosts, entheogens, the soul, the spirit world or reincarnation.

Although the true nature of the Universe has been known and taught throughout the ages by many and varied sources throughout the world, all of which are highly consistent and in broad agreement, it is also now being substantiated by the work of modern quantum physics, and increasingly by other branches of the sciences as well.  All areas of the sciences will surely soon have to accept the fact that true Universal reality is not and never can be based entirely in the familiar three-dimensional world of physical matter as has been assumed since the days of Isaac Newton, but is rather an infinite, multi-dimensional reality, a Universe of living Consciousness of which everyone and everything without exception is an integral and equal aspect.  The true nature of the Universe will certainly challenge the perceptions of most people, if for no other reason that throughout the ages there has been a prevalent misperception of a ‘God’ who is completely separate from everyone and everything else in existence, and who ‘rules’ over ‘his’ three dimensional world of matter from high places.”  -Adrian Cooper, “Our Ultimate Reality”

The emerging wisdom of spiritual science has rendered the atheist materialist paradigm extinct.  Consciousness, life, the beautiful diversity, complexity and interconnectedness of nature and the universe are not the result of some random coincidental physical phenomenon.  Remember, the odds against our universe containing the precise physical forces and attributes necessary to sustain life is one octillion to one.  In other words, there is only a 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance that the universe was unintelligently designed.  So if there is an intelligent designer, a creative force beyond all space, time and matter, what are the properties of this entity?  Theologists and metaphysicians throughout history have agreed that this intelligent creative force must by definition be all-knowing (omniscient), all-powerful (omnipotent), and all-present (omnipresent).  Furthermore, by definition if “God,” an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent being exists, then we all must be a part of it!  In my Asbestos Head book I wrote:

“Either God is causal, singular and separate – an outside entity somehow responsible for His own existence, the creation of the universe, and the creation of other beings to recognize Him, or existence is non-causal, plural, parts and whole of all that is with nothing outside Us because We’re all infinite self-reflexive pieces of God interacting, changing, acting out eternity.

Many people are happy to accept the notion that God is some external entity like a bearded white man in the clouds who created us and watches over the universe like a cosmic fishbowl. Others are happy to accept that there is no God and the universe, consciousness, life, matter, space and time are all the result of a random spontaneous big bang accident.  Personally, neither of these ideas have ever resonated with me, and both are relatively modern.  If instead we consult the most ancient culture and the oldest texts in recorded history, the Indian Vedas, a very different story presents itself:

“Here’s a parable, an analogy, which comes from India, from the Upanishads, and is thousands of years old. It presents a parabolic answer to the root question of all religion and philosophy (Who am I and what is this?), and does so in a way which everyone can relate to. In the beginning of the world (and though it probably had no ultimate ‘beginning’ as we think of them, you have to start somewhere), there was only Brahma. Being all there was, and therefore totally known to himself, Brahma soon realized that this totality of awareness would eventually become extremely boring . . . after all, when you know everything there is to know, then there’s no surprise, nothing to keep you interested. It’s like reading the same book for the seventy-eight millionth time. Anyway, since he was omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipresent (all-everywhere), Brahma decided to create a diversion for himself, a way of introducing the elements of surprise, intrigue and drama into his experience. He thought, ‘What would it be like to forget who I really am?’ So, he invented the game of cosmic hide-and-seek. According to the rules of this game, Brahma would pretend to break pieces of himself off from the whole so that to all appearances they would seem separate. That’s the ‘hide’ part. Then, as the apparently separate consciousness at the center of each of those apparently separate pieces, and through their apparently separate and unique perspectives, he would ‘seek’ to rediscover who he really was, which was, of course, everything. Imagine seeing yourself from an infinite number of different perspectives, each one initially ignorant of its relationship to all the rest. Imagine going to sleep and dreaming a different lifetime each night, each lasting for more or less years, each complete with the full range and variety of emotional life and death details. Imagine having the same dream but playing a different role in it each night, seeing it through different eyes each time. Well, guess who those apparently separate pieces are? Since there is only one I Am in the universe, one consciousness, it’s all a game of hide-and-seek, and each one of us is in the same state: I’m IT AND You’re IT!”  -Roger Stephens, “A Dangerous Book” (22-23)

Brahma, God, Tao, Universal Mind, the One, the Void, the Field, Infinite Consciousness, or whatever you want to call it, by definition is everything, exists everywhere, and is completely known to itself. Try to picture, if that was your reality, what would you do with your existence?  What can you do with your existence as an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresence with nothing unknown or outside yourself?  There really is only one possibility.  You play make-believe.  Hide and seek.

Since you are the One objective infinite consciousness, to hide from yourself you must first divide your sense of self into several subjective finite packets of consciousness.  At and as the root of each of these subjective packets of consciousness will be the feeling of “I am” and “I am not” – the feeling of existing as an individual entity separated from the totality. With that, the hiding part is complete.

The next step is creating a sensory rich, holographic, and ultimately illusory material world and physical bodies where these subjective awarenesses can interact, play and experience.  To best accommodate this, since God is a singularity, the material world must be a world of duality, a world of polar opposites, where each soul, each individuated facet of God may experience the heights, depths, and breadth of possibility, so there must exist both good and evil, male and female, positive and negative, pleasure and pain, birth and death, inhale and exhale, black and white, dark and light, day and night, sun and moon, yin and yang, intelligence and ignorance and so on and so forth.

The one golden rule and driving force of God’s universal hide and seek game is called karma, or cause and effect, what goes around comes around, do unto others as you would have done unto yourself, because fundamentally there is no “you” or “others,” there is only God, the one true Self.  Your physical body, your name, your entire human identity and the feeling of being an individual entity separated from the totality is a secondary and ultimately illusory experience of the One true being.  Your feeling of being Tom, Dick or Harry is a purposely induced state of amnesia so that the creator may experience His creation.  Each subjective packet of consciousness, each soul, ultimately is and wishes to reunite with the One, Tao, God, Brahma.  But life as Brahma, to be honest, gets boring and sometimes Brahma would rather play hide and seek.  God wants to experience through you what it is like to be you, a fractal fragment of Himself.  Thus begins lifetimes of cyclical hiding and seeking, karmic creation and destruction, moving away from and back towards God, your true Self.

In the Eastern view, then, the division of nature into separate objects is not fundamental and any such objects have a fluid and ever-changing character. The Eastern world view is therefore intrinsically dynamic and contains time and change as essential features. The cosmos is seen as one inseparable reality – for ever in motion, alive, organic; spiritual and material at the same time.  Since motion and change are essential properties of things, the forces causing the motion are not outside the objects, as in the classical Greek view, but are an intrinsic property of matter. Correspondingly, the Eastern image of the Divine is not that of a ruler who directs the world from above, but of a principle that controls everything from within: He who, dwelling in all things, Yet is other than all things, Whom all things do not know, Whose body all things are, Who controls all things from within – He is your Soul, the Inner Controller, The Immortal.”  -Fritjof Capra, “The Tao of Physics” (24-5)

Think of the difference between a droplet of water and the ocean; the droplet symbolizes the sense of division, of being an individual ‘me’, unconnected to anything else.  This is like identifying with being ‘Bill Bloggs’ or ‘Ethel Jones’. But, put that droplet back in the ocean, and where does the ocean end and the droplet begin? There is no beginning and no end, no Alpha and Omega, because all is One. At that level there is no ‘we’ – only an Infinite ‘I’. Part of that ocean may be calm and peaceful and another may be angry and rough, but it is still the same ocean, the same Oneness. We are always the ocean, always Infinite Awareness, and we cannot literally become disconnected from that. However, when we forget who we are, we can be confused into a sense of division, of being the droplet, and we perceive reality through the tiny lens that this creates in our minds … We are the ocean, Infinite Awareness, but we believe we are just a little powerless, insignificant droplet. We identify with division and ‘parts’, not unity.” –David Icke, “The David Icke Guide to the Global Conspiracy” (3)

Another way to understand this concept is through dreams.  In dreams you create entire worlds, environments, situations, and even other people.  You interact and converse, create conflict and resolutions, get emotional and involved, but suddenly when you wake up from the dream you realize that all those environments, situations, and other people were really all you! They only seemed like separate individuals because of the level of consciousness you were operating on at the time. It is the same in this world, where you think you are a separate person, but in fact when you die, a piece of God wakes up to realize He was only dreaming.

To many, the statement ‘I am God’ rings of blasphemy. God, according to conventional religion, is the supreme deity, the almighty eternal omniscient creator. How can any lowly human being claim that he or she is God? Yet when mystics say ‘I am God,’ or words to that effect, they are not talking of an individual person. Their inner explorations have revealed the true nature of the self, and it is this that they identify with God. They are claiming that the essence of self, the sense of ‘I am’ without any personal attributes, is God. The contemporary scholar and mystic Thomas Merton put it very clearly: If I penetrate to the depths of my own existence and my own present reality, the indefinable am that is myself in its deepest roots, then through this deep center I pass into the infinite I am which is the very Name of the Almighty. ‘I am’ is one of the Hebrew names of God, Yahweh. Derived from the Hebrew YHWH, the unspeakable name of God, it is often translated as ‘I AM THAT I AM.’  Similar claims appear in Eastern traditions. The great Indian sage Sri Ramana Maharshi said: ‘I am’ is the name of God… God is none other than the Self. In the twelfth century, Ibn-Al-Arabi, one of the most revered Sufi mystics, wrote: If thou knowest thine own self, thou knowest God. Shankara, the eighth-century Indian saint, whose insights revitalized Hindu teachings, said of his own enlightenment: I am Brahman… I dwell within all beings as the soul, the pure consciousness, the ground of all phenomena… In the days of my ignorance, I used to think of these as being separate from myself. Now I know that I am All.”  -Peter Russell, “From Science to God”

Since people always misinterpret the phrase “I am God,” I prefer to explain it as “I am, is God.”  The self-awareness and continuity of being expressed by the words “I am,” our inner witness and intuition, is our direct channel to God.  It is undeniable that if God is omnipresent, then He must exist in you, He must be you, and everyone and everything else in existence as well.  We are all playing an equal part as lost ripples in God’s infinite ocean of consciousness.

There is a Hindu myth that human consciousness began as a ripple that decided to leave the ocean of ‘consciousness as such, timeless, spaceless, infinite and eternal.’ Awakening to itself, it forgot that it was a part of this infinite ocean, and felt isolated and separated. Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden may also be a version of this myth, an ancient memory of how human consciousness, somewhere in its unfathomable past, left its home in the implicate and forgot that it was a part of the cosmic wholeness of all things. In this view the earth is a kind of playground in which one is free to experience all the pleasures of the flesh provided one realizes that one is a holographic projection of a higher-order.” -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (300)

In the Judaic Kabbalistic belief this concept is present as the entirety of creation is seen as “an illusory projection of the transcendental aspects of God.”  In Christianity it is said the Father and Son are one, thy Father art in heaven (the non-physical) but the Son lives in the flesh (the physical).  The Father is Brahman, the ultimate objective implicate reality, and the Son is Atman, a fractal fragment of the One sent to experience and enjoy the Father’s creation.  The Mother Mary is nature, or Mahamaya, the sustainer of the material world.  She is the illusion maker, the agent of change, keeping all things from atoms to galaxies in constant motion and flux between polarities.  It is her dynamic endless dance of forms which keeps us from realizing that there is ultimately no such thing as separateness.   The Upanishads state that “one should know that nature is an illusion (maya), and that Brahman is the illusion maker.  This whole world is pervaded with beings that are parts of him.”

The basic recurring theme in Hindu mythology is the creation of the world by the self-sacrifice of God -‘sacrifice’ in the original sense of ‘making sacred’- whereby God becomes the world which, in the end, becomes again God. This creative activity of the Divine is called Ma, the play of God, and the world is seen as the stage of the divine play.  As long as we confuse the myriad forms of the divine with reality, without perceiving the unity of Brahman underlying all these forms, we are under the spell of maya.  Maya, therefore, does not mean that the world is an illusion, as is often wrongly stated. The illusion merely lies in our point of view, if we think that the shapes and structures, things and events, around us are realities of nature, instead of realizing that they are concepts of our measuring and categorizing minds.  Maya is the illusion of taking these concepts for reality, of confusing the map with the territory.  In the Hindu view of nature, then, all forms are relative, fluid and ever-changing maya, conjured up by the great magician of the divine play.”  -Fritjof Capra, “The Tao of Physics” (87-8)

In the Vedanta our individual souls, our separate subjective packets of “I am” consciousness are called “atman” and the One unified objective infinite wellspring of consciousness from which everyone’s atman arises is “Brahman.”  Atman is our divided, dualistic self and Brahman is our whole true Self, but fundamentally it is taught that Atman is Brahman and Brahman is Atman.  Your true Self beyond this earthly identity is not divided and dualistic, your true Self is not separate and subjective, your true Self is not Jack, Jill, Joe, Jen, Jim, John, James or Jason, your true Self is the same as my true Self as everyone’s true Self is God.

This ultimate reality is called ‘Brahman’ and is exactly the same as ‘The One’, ‘The All’, Spirit, ‘everything that is’, and in the West might be regarded as the true definition of ‘God’.  Brahman, Universal Consciousness, considered to be the ultimate reality, is infinite, exists beyond the five physical senses and is incomprehensible.  Most ancient wisdoms of the world teach that human beings are ‘God’ in the microcosm, immortal Spirits ‘made’ in the ‘true image of God’.  Hinduism teaches the same principle in the form of ‘Atman’ which is equivalent to the human Soul.  The Hindu culture teaches Atman and Brahman, the individual reality and the ultimate reality are one.” -Adrian Cooper, “Our Ultimate Reality” (26-7)

The Hindus call the implicate level of reality Brahman. Brahman is formless but is the birthplace of all forms in visible reality, which appear out of it and then enfold back into it in endless flux. Like Bohm, who says that the implicate order can just as easily be called spirit, the Hindus sometimes personify this level of reality and say that it is composed of pure consciousness. Thus, consciousness is not only a subtler form of matter, but it is more fundamental than matter; and in the Hindu cosmogony it is matter that has emerged from consciousness, and not the other way around.” -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (288

Finally, quantum physicists like David Bohm and consciousness researchers like Peter Russell have now proven what the world’s most ancient spiritual teachings have long espoused for thousands of years – the faculty of consciousness is primary to the creation of the material world.  A conscious observer must first exist to collapse the wave function allowing particles to manifest into the explicate reality.  This means that before the creation of the material world there must have existed a self-aware conscious observer (God) and every physical manifestation is actually the result of His conscious creation.

The basic elements of the world view which has been developed in all these traditions are the same. These elements also seem to be the fundamental features of the world view emerging from modern physics.  The most important characteristic of the Eastern world view – one could almost say the essence of it – is the awareness of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things and events, the experience of all phenomena in the world as manifestations of a basic oneness. All things are seen as interdependent and inseparable parts of this cosmic whole; as different manifestations of the same ultimate reality.  The Eastern traditions constantly refer to this ultimate, indivisible reality which manifests itself in all things, and of which all things are parts. It is called Brahman in Hinduism, Dharmakaya in Buddhism, Tao in Taoism. Because it transcends all concepts and categories, Buddhists also call it Tathata, or Suchness: What is meant by the soul as suchness, is the oneness of the totality of all things, the great all-including whole.  In ordinary life, we are not aware of this unity of all things, but divide the world into separate objects and events. This division is, of course, useful and necessary to cope with our everyday environment, but it is not a fundamental feature of reality. It is an abstraction devised by our discriminating and categorizing intellect. To believe that our abstract concepts of separate ‘things’ and ‘events’ are realities of nature is an illusion. Hindus and Buddhists tell us that this illusion is based on avidya, or ignorance, produced by a mind under the spell of maya. The principal aim of the Eastern mystical traditions is therefore to readjust the mind by centering and quietening it through meditation. The Sanskrit term for meditation Samadhi – means literally ‘mental equilibrium’. It refers to the balanced and tranquil state of mind in which the basic unity of the universe is experienced: Entering into the samadhi of purity, one obtains all-penetrating insight that enables one to become conscious of the absolute oneness of the universe.”  -Fritjof Capra, “The Tao of Physics” (130-1)


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