What is the I AM Presence? What does it mean? Where did it come from?
The introduction of the Name
In Western Judeo Christian culture it is first mentioned in the Bible. Moses comes across the Burning Bush, a manifestation of God. When Moses asks for Its name (Exodus 3:14) It says Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, (in the Hebrew translation) which literally translates to I AM WHO I AM or I AM HE WHO IS. I AM THAT I AM is the common modern translation but various languages have rendered I AM THAT EXISTS and THE BEING WHO IS and I AM THE ONE WHOSE NAME YOU HAVE FOR A 1000 YEARS INVOKED. The name connotes the uncreated Creator that is complete unto Itself beyond all concept.
I see I AM THAT I AM as the ellipse of Eternity, ongoing, infinite, non-temporal, Self-existent, omniscient and omnipresent–rolling back onto itself forever– as the symbol of the ellipse does. For me, it is the closest we can come to a name for God and it is also an alchemist’s crucible of infinite power. More about that in a mo’.
From the Old Testament to the Indian sages
The great Indian sage Ramana Maharshi felt that of all the definitions of God, I AM THAT I AM as found in Exodus was the most perfect but meditation on non-dual reality has given rise to similar pronouncements in other cultures. Tat Tvam Asi, THOU ART THAT, from Vedantic Sanatana Dharma, means that in its original, pure, primordial state the Self is indivisible from the Ultimate Reality, I am that I am.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj felt I AM described the Stateless State of the Supreme Reality, Parabrahman–pure awareness prior to thought or concept, memory or associations. His book I AM THAT is a revered spiritual classic. His own great guru felt there were two roads to Enlightenment: the Ant’s Way, lifetimes of meditation, or the Bird’s Way, dispel all thought with the one thoughtless thought, I AM. Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta both felt the words of inquiry, Who am I? would finally lead to the ground of being beyond all concept, I AM.
God in Action
The relevance for those on neither the Ant or the Bird’s Way is still huge for the words of God in action are I AM. These sacred words are how electromagnetic energy swirls into being the fruits of our imagination for even atoms are light. Too often we abuse these powerful words with cavalier usage–I am broke, I am wiped out, I am getting old, I am too tired, I am not going to make it. The universal force simply obeys the command of the great God words and manifests this for you, especially when fuelled by strong emotion.
When we begin to understand the words I AM are the secret words of ultimate creativity by which we may manifest whatever we apply our passion and power to, our lives will change.
The Magical Words of Power
So, it’s kind of a divine paradox. The mantra I AM can dissolve you into Light and the correctly applied words I AM can manifest whatever you wish to play with in this glorious dream of Light called life. It can call forth the qualities of Love, Wisdom, Power, Peace, Abundance, Creativity, Joy when sincerely used as affirmation or decree.
The study of the I AM is becoming fashionable, a very good thing. However, it is being imparted frequently with all the depth of certain modern self-help books, or lack of. It is incorrect to think the phrase I AM THAT means oneness with that which is temporal, anything, as has come into parlance. As I AM THAT I AM is a description of the undivided, the ONE, I can see how that mistake could be made. But I AM THAT can only refer, in its ultimate purest sense, to that which does not pass with time, that which is non-dual, pure being.
“That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings, who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being–I AM THAT.” Amritbindu Upanishad
Sri Nisargadatta advised: 1) realise you are not the body, 2) meditate on the I AM, the reminder of one’s pure beingness, 3) surrender to the truth, empty yourself, 4) let go of conceptual knowledge entirely, 5) be earnest in your application, 6) give up all questions except, Who am I? “After all the only fact you can be sure of is that you ‘are’. The ‘I am” is certain, the ‘I am this’, is not.” “Be what you are—conscious being—and don’t stray away from yourself.”
“That which permeates all, which nothing transcends and which, like the universal space around us, fills everything completely from within and without, that Supreme non-dual Brahman—THAT THOU ART.” Sankaracharya
On a personal level, as the effects of the Bird’s Way play ever more strongly on my consciousness, enveloping me in quiet bliss or ‘disappearing me’, the conundrum of being in the world in a visible way, carving an identity, arises.
The personal connection
The personal connection to the I AM is called the Beloved Mighty I AM Presence, or the I AM Presence. If the I AM THAT I AM is an ocean, then the I AM is the wave upon that sea. Our own God Self. When we entirely merge with it, we gain the ocean. Our ‘personal ocean’ is the Causal Body surrounding the Presence. Here is laid down all good you have ever enacted and this becomes the substance of your abundance when you achieve perfect Harmony, the only state wherein it can flow to you when called.
I can’t help but think of the huge sea turtle I recently had the honor of swimming in the sacred waters of Maui. He kept coming up over the waves to peer at me with his infinite eyes, then diving back into the silky water, nibbling on the rocks, using his strong fins to flow along with the currents. He was definitely rocking all this. I miss him, hallowed teacher and fun playmate that he was.
The I AM Pronouncements of Christ
Next week I will concentrate on the I AM decrees of Christ. Although I have utilized the understanding of the I AM in practice for 23 years I still pray like a child, sometimes with profound results. How I Pray & What I Gain
How Nama Japa Promotes Infinite Health and Well-Being may also be helpful. Nama Japa is the repetition of holy words or sounds.
For more about the I AM: the magnificent teachings of the Bridge to Freedom The Bridge to Freedom from the Ascended Masters Teaching Foundation:
The original I AM teachings as brought through from St. Germain to Guy Ballard in the 1920’s: http://www.saintgermainpress.com/
This was the ascended master St. Germain’s attempt to bring the concept of the I AM to a wider group in a last ditch attempt to save us from ourselves. The book of decrees is very powerful and many of the series are priceless.
The book I AM THAT by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (a PDF, the book can also be purchased from The Book Depository):