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faqs :: Miscellaneous FAQs
5. Philosophy
b. "I Am."
I have a question that might challenge you in both your language and scripture knowledge, or maybe not at all!!
In the consciential sequence: io sono questo / io sono / sono, the english would read litterally: I am this / I am / and what is the third one, am?
Does it sound right to you, or have you come across something else that would solve the language problem and still maintain the essential clarity?
Thanks for the question. English is such a poor language when it comes to expressing ontologically precise thoughts. Although the absolutely literal translation is "I am this," "I am," and "am," it just doesn't sound right, does it? I suggest "I am this," "I Am" and "IS" - using the capitalization to indicate the gradation of the states. (I also find it interesting in terms of my own development, that neither the first nor the third statements are currently true for me - in fact my mind does not recognize any way to link 'am' and 'this' these days, which is weird, to say the least.) At any rate, I like switching to the third person singular 'is' because it is more impersonal than 'am,' and as individuals such as Raphael have indicated, when that state applies, it's hard to continue relating to the personality as "I" - it's much more of a "he."
Your suggestion seems very good. We had thought of "Being" with inverted commas to differentiate it from Being but your suggestion is very possibly better. I think it is good to know that 'I am', it would be impossible to go to the next step otherwise, and dropping that 'I' is it not the hardest? May be 'i' should try and settle for an intermediate 'i is' first!
Have you (sic) read/studied the Naishkarma Siddhi of Suresvacara? A remarkable exercise in examining the three pronouns: I, You, and He (as well as their plurals) - especially in light of the great sayings. For example, he points out that TAT TVAM ASI (literally: That Thou You-are) is directing us to become aware of BRAHMAN as OTHER - as YOU but not I; when most people contemplate this statement, they immediately twist it around to mean "I am Brahman" - which is a different statement (SO'HAM BRAHMAN (literally: I-am I = Brahman) altogether. He goes on to say that until we have been able to become free of the ego in all three pronouns, we're not really free - in other words, "I" am not free until "You" and "They" are also experienced as free.
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