We are all connected to a “divine Spark” within us that moves us beyond all of our religions and beyond all of our beliefs. Every healthy religion is an authentic path that becomes an avenue to a shared Universal, and that Universal is greater than any particular path. Where we get in trouble is whenever a particular path thinks it owns the avenue to the Universal.
This Universal is beyond all words and all images—even though it contains all words and all images. The nature of Oneness is “All-ness.” There’s nothing outside of that One.
The “I Am” is a way of describing this divine Spark. Most English translations of the Hebrew Bible render the ineffable Hebrew name for God (YHVH), as “Adonai” or “Lord.” This is a terribly misleading translation. YHVH is not a noun: a person, place, or thing, but an action word—a verb: “to be.” As a verb, YHVH supports no hierarchy or power structure.
When Moses asks for the meaning of YHVH in Exodus 3:13–14, the Hebrew Bible defines YHVH as Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, not the static “I Am What I Am” of so many English translations, but the dynamic “I Am Becoming What I Am Becoming.”
YHVH is not a being or even a supreme being, but be-ing itself. As Paul stated, “God is that in whom we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17: 28). “YHVH” is a way of speaking of the absolute transcendent One—The One who is not only everything, but infinitely more—beyond everything. It is the very essence of the nature of reality. Religion is an avenue beyond itself—it is a path to something greater than that which can be expressed into words, images, concepts, or any scripture. This Oneness, on one hand, is transcendent and includes everything, and also that which awakens within every “being.”
“Elohim” is a plural noun that is always conjugated as a singular because it is the One manifesting as the many. Even though our senses tell us we are separate, even though our personalities tell us we are separate—we are actually not separate at all. We impact one another and we communicate with one another far beneath and beyond the words that we share. This does not mean we give up our uniqueness, rather this means “how can I best make use of my consciousness of this divine be-ing that I have within me in our shared awakening.”
The golden rule is not a rule—It is a reality. When it becomes a rule, it becomes an ego thing, i.e. “I’m supposed to be nice to people.” Instead, it is a spiritual awakening to the fact that the One who is looking at me through your eyes, and the One who is looking at you through my eyes— is the same One.
You cannot love your neighbor as yourself without “Seeing” that your neighbor IS yourself. Although our personalities and personas are distinct and unique—we are carrying within us the same Great Life. How can we act in the world in a way that honors, celebrates, and expresses that One? The spark that animates your being and the spark that animates my being is the same Spark. It is a shared Spark. The light of your candle is the same as the light of my candle—there’s no better light. A flame is a flame.
Rabbi Ted Falcon said, “ Enlightenment is very simple: “I know I am exactly where I need to be.” “I am doing exactly what I need to be doing.” “I am with the exact person I am supposed to be with in this moment.” “I am exactly who I am supposed to be right now.” Enlightenment is where there is no denial or suppression of whatever is going on inside. There is Self-acceptance. Acceptance confounds the ego..The ego doesn’t know what to do when it’s totally accepted. When the ego is accepted, the Eternal Self (YHVH) is revealed.
Transcribed and adapted from interview with Rabbi Ted Falcon.
Thank you C.G. Jung, Marion Woodman, Marie Louise Von Franz, Rabbi Ted Falcon, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Meister Eckhart, Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault for teaching me how to “SEE” God, my neighbor and my “Self” as my “Self.” —Jenni McCullum and Paityn Masters of WellCord.org