God is everything. Yet within that everything, God has many aspects of being, from formlessness to form. At the center of the universe (actually before the universe became the universe) is just Source energy, pure potential. In some teachings, this is called the absolute, or “I.” It is the precursor to the Big Bang: out of nothing came something, out of absolute being arose relative being, or “I Am,” wherein God becomes relatable, experiential, as love, as consciousness. When we on the spiritual path feel divine love, when we expand into conscious awareness of something greater in our lives, we are experiencing the “I Am” at the soul level.
The next aspect is “I Am That,” in which we as humans identify completely with our physical forms, personality selves, or egos, and forget our divine connection. Forgetfulness is the common state for humanity at this time. In forgetfulness, we get caught up in all the polarities and dramas of human physical life on Earth. Our minds, emotions, and bodies are our primary experience, and the soul takes a backseat, often completely overlooked. This also is God, but it is God forgetting that it is God—something we all experience before we awaken again into the “I Am,” the love we came from.
In the collective awakening that is happening more and more on this planet, we reconnect with our souls, with the God within. This is the primary experiential focus for many of us who have incarnated at this time—to expand in awareness from “I Am That” to “I Am” and finally to “I.”
My own life has taken me through all three aspects at different times. Most of my early life was spent in “I Am That.” I dropped much of my socially created personality when I left my small-town home at 18 and went away to college to “find myself.” I spent years exploring “who am I?” and “why am I here?” I often felt lost and in despair during this self-exploration because I couldn’t really see beyond the Earth plane. I was on a spiritual quest, but I didn’t know it as such. I found meaning and a new kind of self-identification within the breakthrough experiences of my generation in the late 1960s and 1970s—flower-child consciousness and political activism. Belief in Love defined my life and informed all the experiences I had at that time. It was a period of awakening, but at a beginning level.
Many years later, I began a conscious spiritual journey, which eventually took me to “I Am,” experiencing God, or universal consciousness. This occurred in my own spiritual practices (meditation, yoga, programs with inspiring teachers), in Nature, and eventually I found that divine connection existed within me at all times. These were powerful moments of bliss and joy, when tears streamed down my face at the all-encompassing loving Godness that filled me. I began to live more and more from my soul (and my heart which is the entry point to the soul) instead of my personality or ego. My fears around infinity and death gradually began to be replaced by trust and surrender to something greater than my single human life. Yet, there was more.
I am only now beginning to touch into “I,” or the absolute. I experienced it once years ago at the very start of my work with Panache Desai, when in an individual session, he took me there. More accurately, he accessed that state within himself, which opened the door for me to access it within myself. It was a completely emotionless state of peace beyond peace. This was infinity, on the other side of any fears my mind could invent about it—because there was no mind, no me. There was nothing. I remained in that state for hours, with no desire to do anything but rest in the experience. It made a huge crack in my previous level of consciousness, and deeper awareness began to trickle, and then gradually stream, in. Because of this crack, I was able to experience God in ways I never had previously.
The door is opening wider now to that fathomless, directionless, experience of absolute potential, where God is not even a definable entity. In a recent immersion retreat with Panache, I found myself “lifting off” into that state, like a hummingbird spiraling upward into invisibility. Here there is no language, no recognizable signposts to point to, so when I “return” (actually, there is no return because it is ever-present, the source of everything), I can find no words to describe it. A woman at our retreat called it the place of “no God”—in other words, God before God is seen by us as God. And it’s not frightening because fear doesn’t exist. As I said, indescribable.
These are the states that great masters throughout time have spoken of and, seeing into the future, told us: “All this you will experience, and more.” I have no idea where I am going on this journey; every bit of it is beyond my human “understanding.” It’s a Great Mystery that I am here to experience in its eternal expansion through formlessness and form, emptiness and fullness, potential and presence. In all honesty, the “I Am That” in me at times still fears the nothingness of the “I” and wants only the loving comfort of the “I Am.” Yet my soul knows they are all God, all one unified ocean of energy and light within me and all around me. Separation and fear only exist in my mind.