How I Used Truth - Lesson 3 - Annotation 3
What is the meaning of I AM?
"'I AM THAT I AM' is Being in the absolute, 'I AM' is Being in action, and 'I' is Being in the individual. But the significant thing is that 'I' is as surely God-Being as the other two forms. It is the identity of manifest man, who has all the attributes of Being. This last name expresses the oneness of man and God in consciousness. . . . You demonstrate your existence in Spirit by acknowledging God's name as yours also, which you do by affirming 'I AM,' and claiming membership in the family of God. God is your Father, and you are His son. This makes you a joint-heir to all that God is and has, even eternal life" (W. I. Hoschouer: Unity).
God's Spirit indwells every phase of creation as the life principle. This is why we can say God is "immanent" in His entire creation as life, substance, and intelligence. His Spirit develops, sustains, and maintains every atom of creation, for God is the creative power of the universe.
"I AM is God's name in man; it is Jehovah, the indwelling Christ, the true spiritual man whom God made in His image and likeness. . . . The I AM can also be explained as the metaphysical name of the spiritual self . . . Christ is the Scriptural name for spiritual I AM. Jesus called it the Father" (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary 291).
"In plain, everyday language, we would say that Being, the original fount, is an impersonal principle; but in its work of creation it puts forth the idea that contains all ideas: the Logos, the Christ, the Son of God, spiritual man. This idea is the creative power" (Teach Us To Pray 168).
It is God's nature as I AM in us which causes us to exist as living souls, with ability to think, feel, aspire, speak, act and react. The words I AM are in a sense our "identification card." They identify us as related to God as a son, for I AM is also His name; they identify us with whatever we attach them to. While I AM statements spoken audibly are powerful affirmations to train our consciousness to the Truth, it is not necessary that they always be spoken aloud. They need to be "spoken" in the depth of our being. (This was covered in our lessons on "Denial" and "Affirmations" in the course for Lessons in Truth.) If with all fibers of our being we identify ourselves with God ideas or qualities, with any of God's good, we are using His name (I AM) righteously. It is possible to speak a positive statement, yet hold a negative attitude of mind. The words, in-such a case, will not have the power to bring forth the good we desire. We would be identifying ourselves, perhaps unconsciously, with limited or even error beliefs. Instead of presenting our "identification card" to all of the good of God, we would be using the power of I AM to identify ourselves in our thinking and feeling with that which is less than God's good. We would therefore attract like conditions into our experience. For this reason, it is vital that when we make an I AM statement we not only think and say the words, but feel them, so that we do not dissipate the power that is ours to claim our good.
It is brought out in detail in the Annotations for Lesson One of Lessons in Truth that God as the I AM in each of us is the Fountain-head of all divine ideas. These ideas manifest as the good we desire in mind, body, and affairs. In the language of every day, when we use the words "I am" we refer to some state of being that we are at the moment experiencing, such as "I am hot," "I am cold," "I am sick," " I am well," and so forth. When we say "I AM" with understanding we are referring to our true state of being, the same nature as that of our Father-God, and we attach it to that which is true. We know this true nature of each of us by many names. In this course we have referred to the I AM as the Christ in us, the God-self, our real Self, the Lord, Jehovah. The name that we use to designate this indwelling God-presence is not nearly as important as actually being acquainted with it. When we are convinced that the I AM is the Fountainhead, of God's Spirit indwelling us, then it becomes natural for us to turn to it through prayer. Thus we find the light we need for daily living, just as naturally as the flower turns to the sun for light.
-- Frank B. Whitney: Best-Loved Unity Poems.
Preceding Entry: What does God's name designate?
Following Entry: Explain the Third Commandment, "Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain" (Exod. 20:7).