by StarStuffswritten 2002
The Avatamsaka Sutra says - we cannot say there was a time "I" was not, even the times before birth and after death. "Existence" means being in the present. "The miracle of existence means to be aware that the universe is contained in each thing, and that the universe could not exist if it did not contain each thing...All is One."
"Have you ever meditated on the subject "Who am I?" Who were you before you were born? At the time when there was not the slightest trace of your physical existence, did you exist not? How can you become something from nothing?"
Look into your hand and see all that have come before you, relatives, ancestors reaching back into time and think of the future and all the hand holds - all is at the present moment, past and future - looking into your hand."
"The Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh", by Thich Nhat Hanh
I Am You Was You Were You Are To Be.........
Eimi - I Am
The Greek pronoun translated "I" is ego, and the Greek verb translated "am" is eimi. Even without the pronoun, eimi is still translated "I am." Eimi means to be or to exist eternally or to have timeless being. In the Fourth Gospel, eimi is often contrasted with the Greek verb ginomai, which can also mean to be, but has more of an emphasis on to become or to be created or to happen, in a time-bound, temporal sense.
More than any other writing in the Greek New Testament, the Fourth Gospel can most appropriately be read with two layers of meaning, the historically literal and the symbolic. Though Jesus spoke both Aramaic and Greek, it is generally assumed that he addressed his disciples primarily in Aramaic. The Fourth Gospel, written in Koine Greek, was written with very obvious awareness of the symbolism and significance of its phrasing in the Koine Greek language. In comparison with the synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke), the Fourth Gospel may thought of as more of a painting of Jesus' life and teachings -- a painting that is subjectively intended to bring out and highlight the texture and underlying meaning of Jesus' life and teachings. The synoptic gospels are more like photographs that somewhat objectively record events but with less opportunity to interpret.
In narrative or historical passages of the Old Testament, nephesh can be translated as 'life' or 'self,' as in Lev. 17:11. It is often translated as the common pronoun 'I' or 'me.' (W.E. Vine, Vine's Dictionary of Bible Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997, page 651) The Bible frequently uses "my soul" or "our soul" as an identification of the first person, I, me, we, or us.....
In each of the verses from the Fourth Gospel quoted below, Jesus is found using the Greek verb eimi. In some of the verses he uses the phrase Ego eimi, which directly corresponds with the wording in Exodus 3:14. There, where the KJV translates the Hebrew into English as, "I AM THAT I AM" and other versions translate "I AM WHO I AM," the Greek Septuagint text of the Old Testament (completed about 132 BC and used as "the Bible" by the First, Second, and Third Century Christians) translates the Hebrew into Greek as, "Ego eimi ho on", which would be translated into English as "I am the Being." Early Jewish Christians were certainly familiar with the Septuagint's epoch making pronouncement, "Ego eimi ho on," and likely would not have missed the symbolism of the Gospel of John's use of "Ego eimi," when spoken by Jesus in the Greek text of John.
Below is a list of the Fourth Gospel's verses that contain Jesus' "I am" sayings, which in the Greek are either "Ego eimi" or simply "eimi." Considering the nuances in Greek, in each case below where "I am" appears, the translation could also be "I have timeless being" or "I have timeless being as..." (or "I eternally exist" or "I eternally exist as...").
The following shows a direct commonality within the Buddhist and Christian relation of "I Am".
26 I am [he], the one who is speaking to you. [The "he" is added to the English text by the translators, but it is not in the Greek text.]
John 6:35, 41, 48,51
35 I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. [NRSV]
41 I am the bread that came down from heaven. [NRSV]
48 I am the bread of life. [NRSV]
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. [NRSV]
John 14: 6,10,11
6 I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. [NRSV]
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. [NRSV]
11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. [NRSV]
"The miracle of existence means to be aware that the universe is contained in each thing, and that the universe could not exist if it did not contain each thing...All is One." I AM THAT I AM" and other versions translate "I AM WHO I AM.........."I have timeless being" or "I have timeless being as..." (or "I eternally exist" or "I eternally exist as...").....we cannot say there was a time "I" was not.
In Buddhism, this "timelessness" is a major tenet in "being".
The beauty of the biblical verses is that when there is the realization that we simply "are" a timeless being..Jesus' teachings become 'more real'. Christianity and Buddhism merge in this way, although by a little different means and ways..I Am is a profound ponderance in both cases.
What I find delightfully amusing is this statement, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". If we can separate this statement from the religious dogma for a moment, and look at it from a universal standpoint, this becomes a profound statement. The only way to recognize, see, hear Spirit, come to enlightenment (Buddhism again), realize our Oneness of all things, to know the Love and Light of the Universe, is to go Within..to go through ME- YOU - I AM...since all the answers are found within, all things are within, the kingdom of heaven is within. (Sufism speaks of this as well.) Thus, this makes the statement "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" - utterly true.
- "my soul" or "our soul" as an identification of the first person, I, me, we, or us.....
- we are all connected, connected to each other
- Avatamsaka Sutra tells: you cannot point to one thing that does not have a relationship with something
- "I am, therefore you are. You are therefore I am. That is the meaning of the word "interbeing" We are inter-one" (T.N. Hanh)
In "Awakening" by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan a Sufi master, he writes:
"..in the realm of the sacred, there is no separation between "I" and "Thou", but a union of two into one. As the Sufi mystic al Hallaj expressed it, 'I am He whom I love: and He whom I love is I. We are two spirits dwelling in one body. If thou seest me, thou seest Him, and if thou seest Him, thou seest us both.' This stage is 'just like touching the presence of God,' which is that part of oneself that is not subject to death."
"My eyes are the eyes through which God sees. They are the eyes through which God sees His own body."
"May you find the path that leads you toward the purpose of your life, illumination."
"I am the Light of the world" John 8:12
"The more one is awake, the more light one radiates.." (P.V.I.Khan-Sufism)
"Every man and woman is a Star"
"I realize more and more the wisdom light, I am light, I cultivate thoughts of love and harmony." (Dhyani Ywahoo - Native American wisdom keeper)
so hm.....Who Are You??
Love and Light and Many Blessings,