That Which is Named

I had texted a friend the other day to remind him to pick me up for the event we were going to. He, like I often do, has a routine and this being outside the routine may be forgotten till it was too late. My actual text was, “Please don’t forget to pick me up.”

To which he responded jokingly, “Who is this?”

My response was somewhat existential, “That which we give a name ceases to exist.”

I came home and did a search to see where I may have gotten it from. Seems the closest I could come up with is the Tao Te Ching’s first verse which my favorite translation states:

Ways can be told,
But not the lasting way.
Names can be named,
But not the lasting name.

Nameless was the beginning
Of heaven and earth.
Names were the birth
Of the ten thousand things.

Those without desire
Will see its inner core;
Those with desire
Will see its outer form.

Both are simply aspects
Of the same mysterious whole
That has worn different names.
Both are curiosities.

When curiosity is greatest
The gateway to eternity opens wide.

Translated by Gerald Schoenewolf in The Way: According to Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, and Seng Tsan

I have been called many things in my life- from my first nickname of “Grasshopper” given to me by my grandmother at my birth, to some more unsavory names told by lesser people of my existence. I myself have chosen a pseudonym for artistic purposes.  These names or labels are there to attempt to define me when in reality, I am indefinable. They are not the lasting name.

It would be very difficult if we tried to communicate with others without names. The simple request for a glass of water assumes that the person you are requesting it from knows what a glass is and what water is. It would not be useful if they had different definitions of “glass” or “water”. The issue, I find, is when you allow the names and labels to define you, to separate you. “Nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.”  When we start naming things, we start to separate them from the whole, the nameless, for which we really are.

The one hundred and eighty-third lesson in The Course of Miracles Workbook states “God’s Name is holy but no holier than yours.” It isn’t stated to lessen the name of God, it is there to remind us of our connection –  our Oneness. In Psalms 82:6 it is written “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” Jesus himself references this again in John 10:24 “Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”‘?

In the end, the names and labels you give yourself are more important than the names others give you. In the third chapter of Exodus, while God is talking to Moses through the burning bush, Moses asks what he should call God. God’s response was “I am that I am.” Dr. Wayne Dyer suggests in his book, Wishes Fulfilled, that when you state “I Am” you are calling on the spark of God within each of us. Therefore, anything negative that you place after the words “I Am” is desecrating the name of God.

In last week’s Mantra-Raise Your Vibration Podcast I stated it like this:

It is only our thoughts that create limitations. It starts with a name. That which is named stops existing as it truly is. From the bird, the tree, the ant, the grass, the dog, the stars in the sky, the earth and the breeze, everything that is or ever will be is all part of one song, Universe. Once we label it, we divide it’s true power.

In the words of the great William Shakespeare:

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

What do you gain when you give up separation?

JPJP Adkins is an active member of the Spiritual Life Center, self-publishing expert and creator of a site that has everything you need to fuel your awesome life! Celebrated artist and graphic designer, he gets pleasure in finding ways to make life more beautiful for himself and those around him. His dream is to travel the country writing inspirational stories and leading meditations wherever he goes. He believes too many times we allow ourselves to quit trying because we tell ourselves we don’t know how, we don’t have the money, and we aren’t good enough. He wants to inspire others to take the inspired action required to design their lives. Ways you can help -Subscribe to his blog and join The Designed Team to help motivate and inspire each other.

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