I AM

“To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep, No more; and by a sleep to say we end.” [1]

That Shakespeare really knew how to bring you to a reality many of us don’t want to ponder on.  In a sense, this is the crux of the matter, right? To be or not to be…what a question! In the state of affairs we currently find ourselves in as a society, it’s hard not to say: NOT TO BE!  We don’t like to deal with all the nuances when it comes to life and the factors that play the role in our state of being.

For myself, I sometimes rather take the “non-existent” route than taking the road less traveled.  With our day and age, you just kind of want to keep away from the “noisy clinging babble” that is spewing out from all spectrums of social outlets.

How do I find my “being” in all of the noise? Do I unplug? Just stay away from the chaos and take care of myself? Or should I how shout back louder than the chatter that is already there? As in, taking a stand by showing the chaotic universe that it doesn’t have the last say in all of this?

Well folks, I think it has to be a little of both if we are going to find our true being in reality.  If we just sit back and turn ourselves off to all of the madness around us, we will find peace…for sure. Meditation is a huge benefit when it comes to this peace. The majority of westerners are foreign to this practice and that’s a bloody shame!

To experience the present seconds are huge to find genuine healing with oneself.  But, out of sight and out of mind can only go so far. The issues will eventually boil over to your environment.  Joy that is everlasting is only truly experienced when it is shared with others.

Now, the other side of the coin is to be fully immersed into the “current events” of the day. By speaking out and voicing your perspective, you do inherently emerge into the static of social ills. Hey, this is needed.

By “speaking truth to power”, one does become a flare of light that could expose “domination” systems that hold sway to a culture’s bondage. This also has its downfall as well. When one becomes so tangled up with his or her ideal, they could end up being part of the problem not the solution (take the Alt left and right, for example).

Where do we find the balance? Well, to view the way of being truly human, I think we need to look to the True Human: Jesus of Nazareth. Not just Jesus (the man) but also who he is now: The Risen Christ (God who saves).  The one who is and was and will always be soaring through the star-dust living through and to and for us.

What I want to do here is show you a passage from the Christian scriptures that present’s an extraordinary instance where Jesus was being both introverted and extroverted to the needs of his own and the society’s well-being.

In the Fourth Gospel 10:25-38, the Pharisees claimed blasphemy due to the fact that Jesus was proclaiming He and the Father were one.  When this accusation was thrown at Jesus, He responds by pointing out to the Pharisees that YOU ARE GODS! As in, why are you getting so damn offended at the fact that I claim I am God when we are all Gods! Wow, hold on here buddy boy (you might say).  Jesus is the ONLY Son of God. He is God made flesh! We are not God and we are not Jesus!  I agree…to a certain degree.

As participants of the way of Christ, we confess: Jesus is Lord. But, that is not the whole picture for Jesus. Jesus said to his disciples: “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 17:21).  Later on Paul goes on to say we are to be “fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom 8:17).  Do you see what is going on here? Jesus was in a situation where he was staying true to himself (having peace with oneself) and at the same time speaking truth to power (active participation in fighting against social control). What an amazing balance and non-dualistic way of being! This really boils down to love one another as I have loved you.

Protestantism’s interpretation of this passage has been an epic fail, in my opinion. The basic interpretation is that “ye are gods” refer to earthly judges who must act with impartiality and true justice, because even judges must stand someday before the Judge. When Jesus uses this passage in John, he is relating to the prestige office of a Judge: How much more is the Son of God! As in “you are little gods” (judges) but I am the head honcho Judge (Big G).

Well, I think Christian Eastern Orthodoxy has a better take on this passage. They claim this passage to be referring to Theosis: the understanding that human beings can have real union with God, and so become like God to such a degree that we participate in the divine nature.  Which is really being a TRUE HUMAN BEING now in this age and time. It’s not this “phantom” ghostly form that we will have in some afterlife.

Now, I am not saying that there isn’t a hopeful presence we can experience when we do leave this life (whatever that looks like).  I am just saying that this type of presence was something we can have in the here and now.  It can be our reality that we can come to experience in this life.

Jesus was adamant that the Kingdom of God “is within you”. He said to have “abundant life”. What Jesus showed with the Pharisees’ accusations is we are all in this together.  We are all gods.  We all have our being in the Divine spark of the universe.  Jesus was interacting because he knew who he was and he wanted to be for his people  (aka “the sheep who hear my voice”) who were being controlled by the civil religious leaders of his day.  Unfortunately, this almost lead to a violent act against Jesus so he had to get the hell out of dodge…

When are we going to learn? When are we going to accept that we ALL have the divine essence running through our veins? This does take some real contemplation to fully accept this reality. I think that is what the early church meant by Catechism. It’s learning the simple things of “God with us” that forms us in the circumference of love. The God of the universe is already sitting in his holy temple: ALL OF CREATION.

What Jesus shows us here is be true to ourselves and speak up for the victims of the social ills in our community. We are in the presence of God through Jesus by the Spirit.  We don’t have to be Christians to be in this presence. We do certainly have to TRUST that we are in this atmosphere. I think both “believers” and “unbelievers” alike have issues with this.

I pray we who claim of being “born from above” can truly submit to the idea of sitting in the heavenlies with Christ.  Let’s participate with the Divine Dance. Let’s Be The I AM. Let’s have a little faith, right? Pretty sure that could usher in some phenomenal shalom…

“Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.”[2.]

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