A name is the hieroglyph of the soul

Taoists monks believe that words obstruct understanding. 

When there is naming, they say, the name is mistaken for what has been named. As it reads in their holy scriptures:

The name that can be named is not the eternal name. 

But here’s the issue. Things persist as long as we have no name for them. It is the name that makes the invisible visible and, therefore, easier to discuss. It is the name that becomes the handle by which we interact with mysterious forces. It is the name that puts the power back in our hands. 

Fox said it best in his recovery devotional from the early thirties:

A name is not merely an arbitrary label, but actually a hieroglyph of the soul. 

And so, whatever problem or issue or compulsion or addiction you’re dealing with, perhaps it’s time to turn on the lights and give that boogeyman a name. No need to grow attached to it. And no need to reorganize your whole identity around it. 

But maybe accept that sometimes, it’s just nice to know that what you’re struggling with has a name. 

Because the other thing about names is, they stimulate new beginnings. empower us to take a compassionate, gentle and loving stance towards ourselves. 


Do your labels devalue you, or help define you?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  



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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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