“I am that I am”. One of the most well-known lines in the Hebrew Torah and English Bible; supposedly the answer given to Moses by God when asked about his name. The literal Hebrew being “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh” which actually translates to “I will be what I will be”. More recent adaptations claim it translates to “I am who I am”. Personally, I don’t care too much for this version as it sounds a little too dismissive of the question. “I am that I am” sounds much more profound and all encompassing, two required traits for a deity in the first place. Regardless of which translation you prefer or is in fact most accurate; what can one learn from it?
There is an interesting documentary known as “The Moses Code”. In it they suggest the secret to understanding God’s answer to Moses is a comma. That it should be read as
“I am that, I am”
When you do so it not only deepens the understanding of the phrase but expands upon the meaning as well. Now I am neither confirming nor denying the validity of this claim but lets go along with it for now. In the movie; Author Neale Donald Walsch speaks of an exercise where you go for a walk and every single thing that you notice, you identify with it by stating to yourself, out loud “I am that.” Whatever it is, you identify with it, no matter how awful or beautiful the observation is. So I did just that, except to really identify with it I said the actual observation out loud “I am the grass beneath my feet”, “I am the bark on the trees”, “I am the stones embedded in the dirt” and so on. I tried to ‘collect’ as many observations as possible both natural and man-made. “I am the concrete path people walk on”, “I am the asphalt people drive over”, “I am the broken and discarded spoon on the side of the road”. During this exercise I saw a lot of beauty and a lot of ugly that we normally take for granted and never really pay attention to. Half way through my walk I realized I was missing so much that can not be seen so I started to identify with observations from all of my senses: “I am the conversation between two neighbors”, “I am the warmth on the wooden fence”, “I am the crisp taste of water from my bottle”, “I am the smell of exhaust fumes”… eventually I opened it up to abstract observations too… “I am the sense of disconnect you receive when you acknowledge another person walking down the street”, “I am the sense of satisfaction you get from feeding a human being who can not afford to feed them self” (as I think of the people who work at the food pantry that I am walking by), “I am the thought of what other people are doing”, “I am the stigma attached to people who are homeless”, “I am joy”, “I am sorrow”, “I am violence”, I am benevolence”. Can this be the true meaning of the name of God?
I am every that, that there is
God is in everything and everything is in God
If we were created in God’s image, and God is in everything… are we not in everything too? Maybe this is what is meant when spiritual leaders say “We are One“, not JUST one heart, one mind or one soul with each other but with everything in existence.