In his book, Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism, Yogi Ramacharaka sometimes says some astounding things. I know he does not come without controversy. This is my 5th reading over a period of maybe 20 years - each time I open it, I see something different - just like all good philosophical books seem to be written on several levels. As I come across what I think is a wonderful thought, I'd love to share it here. Hopefully they can provoke a few words of discussion. This is his first mention of the I Am consciousness:
"The perception of the "I Am" consciousness may be likened to the bud of the flower - the flower itself being the Cosmic Knowing. Many, who have not as yet experienced this "I Am" consciousness, may think that it is simply the intellectual conception of the self, or perhaps the faith or belief in the reality of the soul which they may possess by reason of their religious training. But it is a far different thing. It is more than a mere intellectual conception, or a mere blind belief upon the word or authority of another - more indeed than even the belief in the Divine promise of immortality. It is a consciousness - a knowing - that one is a soul; and awareness that one is a spiritual being - an immortal. Here, dear friends, we are compelled to pause for lack of words adequate to describe the mental state.
And so it is with the I Am consciousness. It comes to a soul which has unfolded sufficiently to admit of the rays of knowledge from the Spiritual Mind, and then that soul simply KNOWS, that's all. It has the actual spiritual knowledge that it is an entity - immortal - but it cannot explain it to others, nor can it, as a rule, even intellectually explain it to itself. It simply knows.