“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.”
When I was living in England recently, the people there insisted on calling me Michal, even though I introduced myself as Mike. I wanted to be called Mike for the simple reason that it is much simple to pronounce for the English, while Michal was continualy mispronounced, despite honest efforts.
They insisted however that Mike is not my ‘real name’ and continued using something which sounded a little like ‘Mikal’, apparently much more authentic.
But a name cannot be real or unreal. It is an abstract concept, a grouping of letters used to indicate a person. Obviously it is not that person, it is not real, it is a symbol.
And every symbol can exist on more then one level of abstraction. To me, my name is not the word I heard this morning, it is not the letters or sounds in Michal, Mike, Miguel, Michelle or Michail.
All these are physical representations of the name, the word ‘micah’ which is the question: ‘who is like God?’
And that in turn is presents me and all the other Michaels of the world, a group united by a unique vagueness of a question :)
I am who I am, I am not my atributes. I am not my name, I am not my possessions, I am not my achievements, faults, appearences. I am not my body, I am not my strengths or weaknesses. I am not my attributes.
But without attributes, what remains? If I am not what you can percieve, then I am nothing. I do not exist. Can I percieve myself? No. I am not who I am.
I am who I become. I am a process.
It is not important to me who you say you are. It is not important what you have or what you do. What is important to me is what you think about.
The flow of your thoughts is a river on which we can flow together to lands unknown.
What can be more intimate?
And more abstract? More unreal?
“Do you listen to anybody? You do not; you listen only to yourself. When you leave the sense of hearing alone, all that is there is the vibration of the sound — the words repeat themselves inside of you, as in an echo chamber. This sense is functioning in just the same way with you, except that you think the words you are hearing come from outside of you. Get this straight: You can never hear one word from anyone else, no matter how intimately you think you are in relationship with that person; you hear only your own translations, always. They are all your words you are hearing.”
– U. G. Krishnamurti