I choose to Be; I choose to Be in a context.
It’s these choices about Being, perhaps, that are the most important. Asleep, lazy, passive, I don't make choices on the side of the good, on the side of effort and responsibility. To some extent, I can make such choices; influences I am under certainly determine what is possible for me, and they describe the limits of what is possible according their level.
This raises some interesting questions about the prayer I am— I wish to Be, because my “I”, in a certain sense, is illusory: it’s nothing more than the choice I make between influences that affirm or deny my spiritual—not my natural—Being.
I have to look at what I am under first of all; whether I am under inward or outward influences. Am I under the influences of life and outward things, or inward ones?
After that, what are my inward influences?
I need to see what my influences are; I need to choose to put myself under a specific influence.For example, one of the strong influences we’re under is the organic state of our body—when we’re sick, much less is possible for us.
J. de Salzmann said it another way; she called it a play of forces, That's a very exact terminology. She said that's what everything is; and the forces exert themselves in different ways at different times. I have to see what I can become aligned to; what can help me. Many people are under the illusion that they can Be something; that's part of the illusion that I can do. So I think that I have to actually take I am—I wish to Be as a question, not a statement. That is to say, I have to find out what it means: not just take it as a straightforward affirmation of myself, and what my wish is.
For example, one way I might understand that prayer—even using it in movements, perhaps— would be:
I am. How I am now. I see how I am. (The truth of this moment, and my limitations.)
I wish to be.
What is the truth of where I wish to go with my Being?
If I am and I wish to be, it implies that I have to go further than “I am.”
It indicates a movement from mere existence into Being.
I wish to go into being.
To Be is greater than I am; and that's why it's phrased that way. I am stuck in my ego (“I am”) but I wish to Be—and Being is greater than ego.
So I see how this prayer could mean something entirely different to me if I ponder it more carefully.
Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.