‘I-I’ replaces ‘I-am’


The grammatical first-person I that, as subject, takes a verb, is the I in I-llusion.  As subject, it’s also necessarily an object – conceivable – and therefore just another tool of thought and nothing more.

To say, “I am” and to assume that this little phrase holds some kind of spiritual power exposes yet another version of ego’s search for an identity.  Although it’s held in almost magical regard by many spiritual teachers, I’ve always been edgy around this phrase.  It asserts separation, individuality.  Unless understood at a profoundly deep level “I am” has precisely the kind of power it takes to deepen the illusion and foster fragmentation.

Sooner or later one comes to the understanding that ‘I’ has nothing whatsoever to do with doing (or feeling) and has no need of a verb because IT is a verb.

Ramana Maharshi liked to use the term ‘I-I’.  That’s good enough for me.