I, I did not know

           Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said,
           “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I—
           I did not know!”

                           —Genesis 28.16

In Hebrew the “I” is repeated:
“And I — I did not know.”
As if maybe there are two “I’s.”
One is the rational mind that doesn’t know,
that is incapable of apprehending God
because God’s isn’t a “thing” it can think about.
Imagine experiencing a passionate kiss.
Your mind can “get” the idea of it,
but it’s not your mind that’s kissed.
It’s not even your lips. It’s something deeper,
maybe that other, deeper “I.”

We spend most of our time in the shallow “I,”
spiritually asleep:
thinking, judging, and, honestly,
not knowing God’s presence.
But the deeper I is still there,
and when we awaken it knows.
It’s only your soul that can know God,
not by thinking or believing,
but simply by being in love.

The good news is, awake or asleep,
even when we are sure God is absent,
God is present.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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