Saturday, September 09, 2017

Who Am I? What Am I?

Who am I? I have been asking myself that question for as long as I can remember. I have also asked myself, “What am I?” I think I need to answer the second question first. I will start with what I do know. I do know that I am not what I do. I am a human BEING, not a human DOING. When I say that I am an architect, I am saying that I do architecture. I am not architecture. I am not my body. Although I control some of my body, it does a gazillion things without my permission, knowledge or awareness. My brain sends orders to all of my body parts and they respond. Sometimes I get involved and I tell my arm to lift, or my eyes to look at the computer screen, or my lips to pucker for a kiss. But I am not those body parts or my body as a whole. Science has already determined that the brain is not the primary controller. The brain controls the body and it influences the mind. Science knows that something controls the brain. It is still trying to identify what and where that something is.
I have come to understand that my body is my vehicle. Like any vehicle, it needs fuel, maintenance, and cleaning. Sometimes it needs to be repaired. But I am not this vehicle. It is what I use to experience my life here. The question remains, what am I? Some have suggested that I am a soul, a spirit, having a physical experience. I would need to define soul and spirit. Some suggest that my soul is my life essence. It is that part of me that does not die the way a body dies. Is my soul just another type of body? An ethereal one? If it is, then I have to say that I am not my soul either.
In 1984, I returned to Fort Worth, Texas. A good friend, Reverend Linda, invited me to attend her Wednesday evening Church service. She sent a parishioner  to pick me up from my hotel. The service had already started when the parishioner and I walked into the church. Reverend Linda said, “Oh. Good. He’s here.” I thought she was referring to the parishioner who brought me. But she said to the congregation, “I’d like to introduce you to Mushroom Montoya, a very wise and old soul.” She motioned for me to come to the front and stand next to her. When I stood next to her she looked at me, gave me her impish smile, and said, loud enough for the congregation to here, “Mushroom, would you mind telling the congregation what the big IT is. Who are we really? Why are we here?”
My stomach tightened, I felt my eyebrows pop up and pull my eyelids with them. I leaned in close to Reverend Linda. “Are you serious?” Of course, I knew she was serious. She and had discussed this subject many times. I inhaled deeply and turned to the congregation told them the following:
“Somethings are hard to explain because we don’t have words that adequately show the meaning we need to convey. Therefore I will start with what I currently believe that I was once taught. I believe that there is a Creator. Many call the Creator, God. I was taught that there was an ultimate beginning and that in the beginning only God existed. I can almost wrap my mind around that concept. I have chosen to believe that. Therefore, if only God existed, then everything that God created has to have come from the very fabric of what God is. There was nothing else.
Let me push that idea a little. If everything that exists, the universe, the solar systems, the Earth, the oceans, the mountains, the trees, the whales, the bears, the snakes, the humans, the mosquitos, the bacteria, the viruses and so on are all made from the very fabric of what God is. All of those things I mentioned, including humans, are all Godstuff. We are all part of God. Or we all have God within us. We are therefore all divine.
Going back to my starting belief, in the beginning only God existed. If everything is made out of the very fabric of what God is, then I can say, still only God exists.
If only God exists then what am I? Here is that question again. I was taught that God, the Creator of all that there is knows everything. He knows how to create universes, planets, mountains, humans, spiders. I was taught that God also knows the future.
But what if God doesn’t know the future any more than a computer game programmer knows exactly how you or I are going to use his game. He may know all the possible moves, but he doesn’t know exactly what you or I are going to do.
I can explain what is going on, if I consider the possibility that God is playing a game of Hide and Seek along with What Would It Be Like If I Were…
God could have become all of creation. After all, that is what all of God’s creation is. As the individual components of creation, as the humans, the planets, the trees, the snakes, etc, God purposely forgot what it is. God leaves clues for Itself as God plays Hide and Seek. The hide and the seek take place within the What Would It Be Like game. God asks, What would it be like if I were Mushroom Montoya or Reverend Linda? What would it be like if I were the mosquito buzzing around your ear, or the Rocky Mountains, or the Pacific Ocean or a ship, or a car, or a house?
God did leave clues for Itself.  What do the clues tell us? They answer the question, What am I? I am God playing games with myself. When enough of us find the clues and remember what we really are, the game ends and we start a new game.”
Reverend Linda thanked me and then turned to the congregation and said, “See. I told you he was crazy.” Laughter erupted. And then she said, “Pay close attention to what he said. He just gave you a big clue.” She paused.  “Let it sink in. You, each and every one of you are God expressing Itself in your body, with your thoughts, your talents, and your foibles. You are all divine beings, being God expressing Itself in physical form.”
What does this mean for me? It means that since I am God expressing Itself, I should choose the most loving way to do that. Since I believe that God is love, I must be and express love.

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