I’ve been doing some research and there are many religious and spiritual connections to ‘I am’. It is such a powerful self declaration. So I figured instead of battling what we are not, let’s start to declare what we are and look at the complexities and simplicity of what we are. This is a participatory piece. In the form of posters and post cards. I’ve been sprinkling them along my recent travels through the southern U.S. and Central America. If you would like to receive some here’s a link.
Bible/Torah Use: I Am that I Am (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, ehyeh ašer ehyeh [ehˈje aˈʃer ehˈje]) is the common English translation of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Mosesasked for his name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. Hayah means “existed” or “was” in Hebrew; “ehyeh” is the first person singular imperfect form and is usually translated in English Bibles as “I will be” (or “I shall be”), for example, at Exodus 3:14. Ehyeh asher ehyeh literally translates as “I Will Be What I Will Be”, with attendant theological and mystical implications in Jewish tradition. However, in most English Bibles, in particular the King James Version, the phrase is rendered as I am that I am.
So Hum Mantra: So Hum is an ancient Sanskrit mantra meaning “I am that,” which represents the connectedness of all beings. It is a powerful mantra used in meditation on the inhalation and exhalation of the breath. So HumYoga was created with the intention for the practitioner to gain mind and body awareness of him or herself.
Civil Rights Use: Historically, in countries such as the U.S. and South Africa, the term “boy” was used as a pejorative racist insult towards men of color and slaves, indicating their subservient social status of being less than men. In response, Am I Not A Man And A Brother? became a catchphrase used by British and American abolitionists. In 1787, Josiah Wedgwood designed a medallion for the British anti-slavery campaign. He copied the original design from the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade as a cameo in black-and-white. It was widely reproduced and became a popular fashion statement promoting justice, humanity and freedom
Rastafarian: I and I (also spelled I&I, InI, or Ihi yahnh Ihi) is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every human. Rastafari scholar E. E. Cashmore: “I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness. ‘I and I’ as being the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we’re one people in fact. I and I means that God is within all men. The bond of Ras Tafari is the bond of God, of man.” The term is often used in place of “you and I” or “we” among Rastafari, implying that both persons are united under the love of Jah. Also in the Twi language (in which patois uses a lot of Twi loan words) of Ghana, Me ne me is also said, which literally translate to “I and I”.