Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of March 27, 2006

The I Am Test

A simple yet profound test of your inner state and the quality of your presence consists of whether and to what degree you can say I am. Can you say to yourself I am and have it be truly meaningful, have it come from the whole yourself, from the very core of who you are? To be able to say I am means to be your intention, to be at the inner center of the stream of experience, to be the one who lives your life. While presence does have other dimensions, such as the breadth and strength of your bodily sensation and your openness to consciousness, the crucial aspect reveals itself in this I am, in someone being home in our body and in our being.

To be in ourselves is simple and always available. Just by saying I to our self with meaning, we come to in that moment. But that very simplicity and availability mislead us into the illusion of permanence. Our I proves all too fleeting. I quickly disappear, to be replaced by the programmed habits and ingrained patterns of personality. My body and mind normally function in this programmed and reactive mode, without any direction from my I.

But to climb toward my own and the higher reality, I can apply the I am test. It awakens my I. I say to myself I am and mean what I say by being the one who is saying it. That vivid moment serves to open me to the reality of my self, my surroundings, and other people. Then I stay. I persevere in being that one who I am.

The importance of this goes even further than becoming real. It brings a sense of power, a power derived from the true Source of power. “I am” also brings humility and love. If “I am,” then I realize that you are, or can be, also and equally. In that deeper sense, we all share an essential core. At that level of shared sameness and uniqueness, we approach the unifying, sacred Source. The only way that love and the Divine Will can enter this world lies through our I.

For this week, say to yourself I am, mean what you say, and be the one saying it. Notice that immaterial central will in you, the one who directs your attention, the one whom the word I points toward. See the degree to which you can feel yourself to be the one who is here, the one saying I am. Practice this repeatedly during each day.


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