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The Name You Have
“Alice?” … “Here.”
“Chrystal?” … “Here.”
“Anthony?” … “Here.”
And so it went, every morning in school. Roll call. A grossly inefficient way to determine attendance. Yet steeped in tradition, or perhaps persistent patterning.
My one rather subversive teacher would mischievously begin class with, “Anyone who isn’t here, please raise your hand.”
We learn very early on to identify with a name. An external label distinguishing us from not us. This name is me. When answering “Who are you?” we’ll generally start with that name.
The name and me are one and the same.
I recently discovered this penetrating quote from José Saramago’s award-winning novel, All The Names: "You know the name you were given, you do not know the name that you have.”
Which begs the question: if the name we were given is our identity, then what is this other, unknown, name that we have?
The answer is one. The name we have is oneness.
Our true nature, the true self of beingness, is oneness. Everyone and everything has the name oneness.
This seems so counter to reason. Everything can’t possibly be one. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be an every thing. To which profound spiritualities like A Course in Miracles counter:
[Reality] has become so splintered and subdivided and divided again, over and over, that it is now almost impossible to perceive it once was one, and still is what it was. (T-18.I.4)
It once was one … and still is what it was.
The splintering and subdivisions are all the names we give. A purposive attempt to obscure truth behind a seeming multitude of definition and hierarchy.
Yet there’s just one name we have. It still is what it was. One.
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore the subtle nuance of naming, and practices that can lead to an experience of deep peace. I look forward to seeing you then.