Sunday, June 26, 2011

Names and Naming

"The beginning of wisdom is to
call things by their proper name."


In Genesis, in order to exercise dominion over the animals, God
tells Adam to Name the animals by giving each animal a Name
that is appropriate based upon their individual characteristics.

Why did God charge Adam with Naming the animals?

This responsibility, which God entrusts unto Adam, informs and
reminds us that Names, like Words, have power.

Whenever we Name something we both define and limit whatever
it is that we have Named.

To define something, we must first observe and study its specific
aspects, its individual characteristics. This allows us to fully
understand this something, fit it into a category, and then give
it a Name that is proper and Harmonious with its specific

This process requires reasoning, recognition, and understanding;
and it is the first step in our ability to communicate, not only to
ourself, but, to others what this thing is that we have just Named.
And once we Name, and thereby define, something, we possess
a power over that which we have just Named.

To limit something, which is the second part of Naming, is to
unquestionably specify what something can and cannot be.
A tree cannot be an animal, a dog cannot be a cat, integrity
cannot be deception.

Names are permanent vibrations. When something, or someone,
is Named, that Name stays with that person or thing for the
remainder of its existence.

When we were born, most of our parents spent a great amount of
Time selecting our Names. Likewise, when we had children of our
own, most of us labored over what we were going to Name our
child depending on whether it would be a boy of a girl.

A person's Name carries great magical powers. It contains the
essence of who we are. Either our name empowers us from
birth, or we quietly and eventually grow into the essence, the
vibration, of our Name.

In addition, those of us who pass through Initiation Ceremonies,
Rites of Passage, and Confirmations, are given an additional Name
which is not only sacred, but also, in some instances, secret.
These Names, too, become a permanent part of our Nature for
the remainder of our Incarnation. They not only endow us with
additional powers but also hold us to the responsibilities and
aspects of their vibrations.

In many ancient cultures, and in many indigenous cultures
throughout the world today, a person is given two Names at
birth. Their common Name is the one they use when mingling
with their friends, neighbors, and strangers. Their private name
is known only to their parents and perhaps a rare few others.
This private Name is hardly ever spoken, and when it is spoken it
is done so in very protective privacy and at low breath.

These cultures believe that any evil spirits, or enemies, who
learn someone's true Name possess a power over that person
and can use that person's true Name to bring misfortunes and
ills upon that person.

We give names to many things, both seriously and fondly.
We name our pets, we name our cars and planes, we even
give nicknames to others.

But here is an interesting piece of seafaring mythology.
Probably every ship and boat has a Name. Legend has it that
once a vessel is named it is by that name that Poseidon, the
God of the Waters, recognizes that vessel.

Should the Name of a vessel ever be changed, it is important
that the old Name be entirely removed from the vessel before
the new Name is applied. Furthermore, in a Ceremony of
highest respect, Poseidon must be immediately informed of
the Name change along with the new Name. By doing this,
Poseidon is made aware that the Name change is not being
done with any intent to Deceive Him of the nature, contents,
and voyagers of the vessel which has been re-Named. This
Ceremony also re-invokes His approval for the re-named vessel
along with the safety of all who may sail upon her.

We see the importance that ancient cultures, indigenous
cultures, and mythology place on Names and Naming.

Therefore, just as we need to be cautious of the Words we
speak, so too must we be careful and Aware of the Names
we give to other persons, animals, places, and things.

For when we Name something we are bestowing a verbal
power and essence to that which we are naming. Therefore,
these Names, just as the Words we utter, must be Chosen
with the utmost care and consideration of whatever it is that
we are Naming.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2011
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