The question “who am I” is, in a spiritual sense, meaningless. It is far better to ask “what” am I. For until we know our place in creation, how can we know anything about ourselves?
The “what” of who we are has to do with function. What do we actually do; what is our purpose in God’s creation? The “who” of who we are has only to do with our reflection—who am I to you; who am I to me? How do you see me; how do I see myself? These questions are clearly egotistical. They are concerned with identity, not function.
Let’s establish one solid foothold in this otherwise speculative venture—identity is eternally wedded to function. Unless we know what it is we do, we cannot know who we are.
Why were we made? Whether you believe in God does not matter, not where this question is concerned. We might as well ask for what purpose did we evolve? Why did the universe come up with such a thing as “human being”? If you believe in the interconnectedness of all life, you must eventually ask,”What is my connection?”
Here’s another foothold, though maybe not as solid as the previous one. We are mental beings. We have our connection to each other (and to all of life) through mind. What we think matters, not only to ourselves but to everyone else as well. In order to conceive of this as real, we have to understand that mind is a medium. It is something in which we live, move, and have our being. Our activity in this medium sends out waves of information in all directions—not in a homogenous way, the way light spreads out from a light bulb, but through the connections we have formed with the people and things around us. Connection, proximity, sequence—add energy to this formula and you get intelligence.
Often a correlation is made between the number of connections between the neurons in the human brain and the number of stars in the universe. The numbers are staggering, so large that they are impossible to conceive. The human brain is the most complex structure in the known universe. But, the intelligence of the brain lies in the connections between the neurons, not in the neurons themselves. The neurons are mere switches; it’s the patterns of energy that the switches create, the interchange and frequency 0f the impulses that pass through those switches that creates intelligence, not the little globs of nerve tissue that comprise the brain.
If we are like the neurons in the brain or the stars in the universe, then what we are lies not in our identity but in our connections. The amount of intelligence we have is in direct proportion to the number of those connections, their proximity to each other, and how well the energy of life moves through them. This is the difference between identity and function. Looked at from a physical perspective, all brains are roughly the same, but the connections formed between the neurons have an infinite capacity for variation.
Most of this happens without our conscious involvement. If we want to move energy in the medium of mind, we do it with our breath. Breathing is the interface between mind and body. We can, through conscious, deliberate breathing affect those with whom we are connected. We can do this because we are connected through mind. Mind is the medium of exchange. To think about another person is one thing, but to breathe life into them changes both of you.
If in the process of thinking of another person we encounter resistance, this is important. It shows us where the blocks are. Breathe into those points of resistance. Acknowledge the connection, not the problem. Let Good Will be the vector—always Good Will. Know the result you want, and the means will take care of themselves.
Inhalation and exhalation
Remember, when God breathed the breath of life into Adam, He did it on the exhale. If God had looked upon His new creation and inhaled, it would have sucked the life right out of it. Why is this important? Think of who you might be envying. Think of who, when you look at them or think about them do you want what they have. Do you want their attention? Do you want their life energy? Don’t be a spiritual vampire. When you do this work, breathe life into people, don’t suck it out of them. There’s a reason why envy is called a deadly sin. Be a source of light, not a black hole.
Whenever we place another person on a pedestal, or we place them above us for any reason, such as greater wealth, good looks, or social status, we are essentially drawing our life from them. Remember that life comes through giving, not taking. It’s alright to admire someone for their accomplishments or their personal qualities, but don’t look to them as a source for your life. That’s idolatry. And, whenever we look down on another person with disgust, or if we simply think ourselves better than they are, this is ill will. If we do this, we set ourselves up to be on the receiving end from someone else. Why? Because we’re acting as the source of life for that person, which is something we can never be. If we believe that we can deny life to another person, we believe that someone else is capable of denying life to us.
Life is possible through connection, not from any thing. The life energy is universal and moves freely wherever there is a connection. Be the connection, not the source. By breathing into an object or person held in mind, we provide direction to the life energy that is all around us. The more we do this, the more spiritually free we become. We find out that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive. Everything we need comes to us by virtue of what we give.
Excellent article. I do recall reading from RSteiner that the question that should be within us that we ask of the spiritual world is: What am I called upon to do. (or as you state it: what is my function).
Thank you Michael. This topic has been on my mind and in my heart so much lately.
in my photosynthesis practice, with exhalation I literally blow Light into the air, much like the little girl blowing bubbles in your illustration.