Monday, July 31, 2006

Names

One of my early memories is of the first dilemma I felt and grappled with, when I was about 4. Every morning, I stood in front of the bathroom sink to brush my teeth, to get ready for school. That was always an unhappy prospect, making me sad. I would pick up my father’s dhoti lying on the wash-pile and hold it to my face and breathe in a feeling of security and belonging. In this routine, one day I wondered why there was such a profusion of things and names, and why the names of things were what they were. Why was a duck called a “duck”, and so on?

I was perplexed, and I wanted to know the answer. For several days, the time in front of the sink brought to mind the same dilemma, and I would ponder over this in my mind.

Then one day the answer came to me. Yes, it was so clear, I could now understand the whole matter. I was filled with satisfaction and contentment.

Its difficult to put that intuitive understanding into words - that each creature originally lived with and was part of God's family, and bore that name; later, they all came to form individual species bearing that name.

3 comments:

MysticSaint said...

very interesting indeed!

Bonita said...

And, they created binding traditions that were carried forward, with rituals and prayers. They determined boundaries and exclusiveness. They stopped being the children of one family, and formulated distinctions, to create 'us and them'. We need to go back, and find that originating divine impulse that caused us all to be connected, and vitally concerned with everything.

Deb S. said...

Beautiful, introspective post. I liked it so much, I read it twice.