The longer I am on this path, the more I realize I know nothing. Recently I realized the more I learn, the less I know. The more I give myself over to the Divine, the less I actually know. About anything. I am not so learned. I have no fancy degrees, no certifications, no one has recognized me for anything. I don’t know even who I am. Oddly, it feels as if this is exactly as it should be. Any label could pin on myself, any identity I could craft for myself would be only a partial picture anyway. Like trying to label the Divine, I am far more spacious than any title I or anyone else can come up with. All my ideas about who I am or might be are more things, more baggage to surrender along the path. And yet, through I am no thing, I am also all things.
I’ve noticed my desire to defend or protect myself stems from identifying with the labels I have allowed myself. “I am this but not that,” differentiating “I/me” from everything else. Then I realized I am that, too. I am at once everything I see, every label I or anyone else could craft. I am the good woman and the whore, the good mother and the bad one, the smart person and the idiot, the fool and the wise woman. I am all of it. And none of it. And all the breaths and spaces in between. Therefore I have nothing to protect or defend. Neither have I anything to prove or hide: if I am all things and nothing all at once, there is nothing and no one to prove anything to or hide anything from. I am the good tenant and the nightmare tenant and the plain pain in the butt tenant, the freeloader, the taker, the hard worker, the lazy person, the dedicated, give-it-my-all person. The dreamer, the doer, the watcher, the compassionate, the callous, the hateful, the meanie. I contain multiverses and some of the things I contain aren’t such nice things. I am all of that in all of my “thatness” and all of this in all of my “thisness”.
Through this, I am coming to understand the meaning of I AM. When you are as vast as you are, what else fits after “I AM”? Anything you say after I AM is pointless because you can immediately and rightfully claim its opposite. I am beginning to understand I have no idea who I AM. I AM this and that, too. Well, what is that? And if there is nothing that I AM not, then I have no idea who I AM or I actually do know, but it would certainly take a long time for me to answer that question. And even in the answering, the answer would be insufficient. There are no words, not enough words to give proper answer to this seemingly simple question. Like the Apostles said of Jesus when asked who he was “Come and see,” not realizing at the time that that was likewise an appropriate answer for themselves and anyone else they might meet.
And yet, how to function in the world as I AM? I feel expanded and small all at the same time. It’s an odd place to find oneself for certain. Who am I talk to? Are there others who feel the same way, who have had these same realizations? Others who have gone ahead of me who can hep me navigate, point out the path through the weeds? This is not an always obvious path to walk (sometimes run, sometimes crawl). It feels weird, or more likely I feel weird wandering around in the world, seeing from this vantage point that appears so different from the places most people I encounter are seeing from. Sometimes I think “What a silly ass you are, compulsively seeking out the Divine. Don’t you know that at best it’ll get you labeled a weirdo and at worst labeled mad and locked up? Only the truly weird bother with that stuff.”
I suppose then I have been “truly weird” my whole life. Even when I was a wee ‘un with no labels for what I sought. And I am told “What you seek is here in (insert name of religious tradition)!” So I went there. And there. And there and there and there…. Everywhere I found traces, scent trails, love notes from the Divine, like those “So and so was here” notes you see painted on walls and such. A flavor of it, a whiff, then the trail goes cold and I keep searching. Divine peek-a-boo. “Tag! You’re it!”
Recently while driving, the Divine sent me a butterfly. I was delighted and I giggled. I then remembered I also love hearts and thought “What a lovely game it would be to trade hearts everywhere!” My immediate answer “The only heart that interests Me is yours.” Ah, these love games of the Divine! How am I to live in the regular world when the farther along I go, the less it seems to mak sense? The concerns of the world are of barely any interest to me on a good day, though not in any sort of withdraw and pretend it doesn’t exist kind of way. I know it is important to many and out of compassion they are important to me. Most days the world seems to have gone wholly mad. Completely off its rocker! Pain and meanieness are the result of fearful, hurting people. But I am not focused on the same things. I understand why many who find themselves on this path tend to withdraw: we just seem
weird to people and they to us. We’re both saying “Well, just look at
what’s right in front of you!” as explanation for our points of view and though we’re both of us looking in the same direction, looking at the same things, we each see something comepletely different.