Where is the “I” in the great I AM?

Matter and energy. A rock or the wind. Which one does more?  Matter is inanimate. Energy is a moving, changing, “thing.”  Without energy there is no life.  Without spirit, our bodies cannot exist. Without bodies, our spirit does exist. It “IS.”  That is what God meant when he created us in His Image?  He is “I AM,” by His own definition. We are the “I” – the ego. Where is the “am”? If you say to someone “I” Where is the message? It’ doesn’t make sense!

I’m going to jump off a ledge here and say that this scientifically proven “energy,” the moving life force, is our theologically revealed soul. If I’m right, I’ll land on a soft pillow, none the worse for the statement. If I’m wrong, I’ll die and disappear forever. Because “I” does nothing. It “isn’t.” But wait! – nothing disappears in nature: It only changes. 

To believe that there is a Creator God, who made us for a purpose, need not be a stretch of imagination – especially if one knows the story of creation, man’s downfall, and subsequent salvation by the Christ, the final example of a loving God’s ultimate purpose for us.

So, when I die, does the real “I” (that loving, feeling person) go on forever? Or does it change into….?  If it doesn’t disappear, what does it become?  If it just joins the physical give-and-take of matter and energy in the Universe, at random, to what purpose?  If, indeed, there is a purpose for the soul, the energy that never dies, what harm can it possibly do to consider that there is a Heaven where forms determined by God alone will be the matter-energy marriage par excellence. Anyone who observes life knows that there is order in nature. Cause and effect reigns.  It would be foolish to conclude that there is no purpose to anything, when we see purpose all around us – and science continues daily to reveal to us the purpose of the microscopic and macroscopic universe in which we live.

OK, so you want proof.  If God is “a god,” we cannot prove Him!  By the very nature of a “god,” He is above and beyond us – but not beyond our comprehension.  Why must we incessantly prove everything! Can you scientifically prove a person’s love for you?  You know it. You feel it. You see the expression of it, but how can anything so sublime as a loving friendship be “proven” by science!  It is, in effect, an expression of spirit.  We do not embrace someone through instinct.  We embrace because love, that intangible presence, moves our thoughts to move our bodies to the embrace.  And we do not separate from the embrace like automatons. Rather we ‘feel’ the love and are the better for it.

What is this word “feel?”   Certainly we feel with our hands and that can be an exquisite experience. But to feel with the heart, is far more exquisite.  Once we have felt a lovely silk scarf and enjoyed the sensation, then laid the scarf down, it’s over. Gone!  But to feel love… that lasts forever – even when the person who embraced us no longer loves us. Then we “feel” the loss deeply.  Our bodies do not feel the loss: our heart does.  Not a sharp pain as in a heart-attack, but an indescribable pain of the (dare I say it!) soul.

What’s the point of all of this?  I have, in my life, known my share of joy and sorrow, and they have deepened my soul to the point of love overflowing.  I can’t keep this to myself! It’s an overflowing of “energy” that I wish to share.  And where I share it most is in my writing and art.  I do not write or paint to become rich and famous. I do so to express the things life has given me that I wish to share with others.  My art may not be the greatest in existence, but if it does not contain the greatest love possible, it is of no avail. It may not portray genius brushstrokes and magnificent composition, but it will contain the love of life, the love of art. You’re not an artist?  But you have a family to raise, you like to cook, you have a humble job that you do well, or you are in charge of an entire company, you are suffering a physical or emotional challenge, you are a loyal friend….the list goes on forever. Whatever you do, it will be great if done with love. Nothing truly good in life is accomplished without love!  The spirit in which we are formed, The Great I AM is the only place where the “I” can become complete. When we join it, we are then complete guess here is where I say…amen!

What if …

A fascinating thought came to me yesterday, on my way home from Church: what if the Antichrist of prophesy is not a person at all, but the Internet, and the AI technology that has taken over the world: “…and all the World followed the Beast in wonder!”

From the time I became aware of the prophesies,  as the world has tumbled further and further into error and we are seeing the latter times played out before our eyes, I have wondered what  manner of “person” the Antichrist could be when  he becomes clear.  How could any man that we now know to be alive, in the enemy camp of world leaders, civil and religious, actually perform “miracles” that would be believed by everyone, save a few blessed by God with eyes that see clearly. We are indeed, so close to all aspects of the prophesies being fulfilled that it seems fair to ask if he is already present. Anyone who knows the prophesies knows that Christ’s second coming will be known by every living creature on Earth: “as lightening comes out from East to West, in an instant” will be His coming…and moreover,  innumerable  prophesies clearly state an order of events – a chastisement by God, in the form of great natural catastrophes, widespread civil strife, plague and epidemics, a great war, then the  banishment of the devil forever to hell  in the midst of an unprecedented upheaval that will change the face of Earth, followed by a time of peace all before Christ comes for the final judgement.  So any “one” in the guise of Christ in our times, who is not everywhere at once, must surely stand out as false. So who or what is this beast that all the world will follow in wonder?

The only entity that I see the whole world following in wonder is the Internet.  As a civilization, we are dependent upon the Internet for everything we do, type letters or write a book, self-publish, submit art to an exhibition, communicate with our family, friends, work, students, or colleagues, take photos of ourselves, watch TV or a movie, listen to music, go to a “live” concert, research any subject imaginable, shop and purchase anything online, pay our bills, do our banking, order services, consult a doctor,  nurse , interior decorator, mechanic or technician,  read a book, peruse art galleries, join associations, apply for a job, advertise what we sell, do business, pay taxes, teach or  take classes, purchase stamps, repair, enhance, store and share  photos … and find a  never ending number of things we need, or need to learn about, including spiritual advice, or searching out sinful “pleasures.”  We can find out about the weather, get current news. Real and false, from every country on Earth, convert measurements and world currencies, translate documents,  find recipes for anything we want from any culture anywhere, look up someone’s address and phone number (and find more information on them than we should have), see an aerial or street view of their house …. and store files and files of all of this on our computer instead of in a file cabinet, to access and use at will.   We are addicted, yes, but worse  still, we cannot function without the Internet even if we want to.  If we use the computer at all, Everything is there, and accessible sometimes exclusively there.

Even if I wanted to, I could not carry out my daily activities without the internet.   I cannot get a job unless I apply online and submit State certification. Your diploma is from another country?  The Internet is the only door to a job interview and your application is not even read until you provide a state diploma – first.

Family and friends do not telephone or write. Everyone messages you on Facebook, and now extremely rarely, will email. If I write a letter…no replies.  I receive dozens on dozens of emails daily, none of them from people dear to me, all information and school-related, plus a slurry of ads on subjects that “Big Brother Social Media” has discovered about me, selling me what I don’t want, and taking precious time from my life as I send them, one by one, to “junk mail.”  Facebook is “it” if you want to say hello or share photos, etc. with loved ones.  I do every single thing in the list above of necessity (except for the illicit/sinful entry).

I wish to wean myself from the Internet. Not doable!  And when I decide to spend a day with the computer turned off, I don’t know what to do with myself anymore!  Painting and writing, two of my life-long pursuits are on the back burner. I need people – real, not virtual, people, a major source of inspiration, and support for my art and writing.  I don’t function in a vacuum: the people I love most are too far away, or too engrossed in life’s exigencies to be available just to sit and chat an evening.  So I go to the store, make bouquets for my apartment, water my balcony plants, watch a bit of TV in the evening while eating dinner, read more and say my prayers.  I eat, sleep, and do not be merry.   That is my life.  I spend just a few minutes  of time on Facebook each day to see if there’s news of interest from a friend or two.  That’s my only contact with the people who are important to me.  All efforts to leave Facebook, result in leaving dear friends who are literally in servitude to Facebook.  That’s not what I want.  Is there no life beyond Facebook?  Life  was so full during the major part of my life, and now it becomes empty because the Internet has become our virtual reality.

Sunday is my life-saver, literally!  For a few hours each week at church I am completely happy, as the Traditional Mass that I attend  is not a social event, but true worship, even though I feel the presence of my Church family around me, the moment is God’s, then  hugs punctuate our good-byes.  Arranging the altar flowers, singing in choir, spending that hour with Our Lord, is sheer bliss!   Then, home by 11:00, and the world engulfs me again. It is palpable. I cannot avoid its presence even though I have just come from sublime places. I don’t know even what to do the rest of Sunday.  I sit alone, read a bit, bake if I’m in the mood, walk around the apartment trying to figure out a way to return to the daily activities that filled my life in years past.  Time spent with family is rare and my students fill the week with the  teaching that I love, but the hours are few … so the Internet fills the spaces!  A quick visit to social media to say hello, some research for my classes, some music streaming and a program or two from local TV,   provided by …the internet.

Of course this is only conjecture. Perhaps there will be a “person” called Antichrist. We don’t know. We do know (anyone with eyes can see) that the disciple of Antichrist exists in Francis the no-pope.  Perhaps the two will work together. He is certainly not universally known as the miracle worker.  Of the four books of prophesies I’ve read, they all say the same things, but differ somewhat in the order of events.  What is certain is that we are seeing the prophesies played out before our very eyes and it warrants attention.  What is next …  ?    Whatever it is, I see only one safe place – It’s not with the Internet, that all-invasive false reality.  It is with God!