Thursday, December 22, 2011
The Love of Naming
I just finished reading Terrence Beacon’s excellent book: The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain. It summarized, critiqued, and pushed forward all that I have been studying for 50 years in philosophy and science.
This reflection (I have so many after my reading) is more personal and theological.
Please do not believe in things or person or entities or gods or causes or concepts or words or doctrines. Just know them for who and what they are.
Realize that we give existence to all of them.
I exist through you and you through me. When you sculpt my image and say my name, I exist. We are existence and all that is exists through us—including nations and heroes, religions and gods, arts and beauty, sciences and truth, our worlds and our very selves.
Naming confers existence. When our bodies acquired the ability to name, we achieved existence along with the cosmos. Indeed, in the beginning was the Word.
Not that there was no before-existence; there was matter and energy and light and life. But they did not stand out as beings, entities, persons, and forces until we had the wondrous power to name them and each other.
Such a wholly, holy power is the ability to name. Naming creates and destroys. It creates us when we acknowledge the power humbly with respect. It destroys us when we use the power arrogantly unaware of its limits.
Loving is giving me name as a person, autonomous and interdependent, with the power to name. Your naming agrees to be limited by my naming. We choose to name our world and each other together.
Violence annihilates in me and in others the power to name. Since our power to name is interdependent, destroying in others the power to name results in the destruction of the power to name in our selves.
God is Love. We who live in love live in God and God in us. Love is no supernatural entity out there apart. Love is the transcending act of us being named and naming.
My Love, I am not, nor can I be, a person without your giving me name and so recognizing me standing apart from everything else in the cosmos. You give me my being in the cosmos, in memory, in place, in relation with all others. This is the reason you are my goddess, my creatrix, my grace, the one who shapes my image, the one who calls my name and grants me the power to name you.