What’s in a Name?

Posted on November 16, 2007 By

The innate human quest for meaning and the drive to define ourselves on this plane can be a powerful thing. Sometimes meaning in one’s life can appear in the strangest places or at the strangest times. Other times, it is provided by the culture in which one lives or by the belief-systems to which we subscribe, such as the natural passage to puberty, Baptism or Bar Mitzvah in one’s faith, marriage, the birth of a child, the undertaking of a Vision Quest or other cultural rites, ancient or modern.

Listed among some of the more common rites of passage in many cultures is the tradition of choosing or being assigned a name. It has long been believed by many cultures and ages that to know the name of a thing or person gives one power over it/them. In metaphysical terms, there is some truth to this in that, as the Quantum Physicists are rediscovering, sound -audible tones and words- has a power and energy to it, and by controlling sound, we may create or recreate circumstances, events, or physical reality itself.

Following in this tradition of naming, it is of particular interest to decipher those names that one takes willingly. Parentally-given names can be largely irrelevant in a number of ways -they may be little more than a reflection of the decade in which one was born, or the mindset of one’s parents at the time- and they can be outgrown (I wouldn’t advise telling your parents that, though!). Names intentionally chosen or intentionally given however, can provide much more powerful and enlightening insights. It is these names which often key off archetypal images embedded in the collective unconscious and of which we may not even be aware when we choose the name, but which display, to those seeking the insight, another level of our often unrealized connection to the universe.

As such, it seemed appropriate to share some of what I’ve been contemplating recently about my pseudonym(s):

  • One Mystical Monkey: Obviously, the pseudonym chosen for this Blog. For each of its elements….
    • One: The belief and understanding that we are all One; The idea that we are merely different expressions of the same Spiritual Source. One, in that we are interconnected and reliant upon each other for so many things, including our own creation and dissolution – or are we?
    • Mystical: A reference to the pursuit of mystical esoteric knowledge and a further acknowledgment of our connection to Spirit. Mystical, as a reference to those things not commonly understood (yet) by the scientific community, such as auras and energy healing and higher sensibilities (ESP, etc.). It also acknowledges the Mystery Schools of Wisdom which have come and gone through the ages, to the passing of time and the development of our species through the eons.
    • Monkey: According to Chinese Astrology, I fall under the sign of the Monkey. The playful nature of the (idealized) monkey has a certain allure and accuracy, and is a bit of a “pet” name as well. Spending much time in the trees in my younger days helped solidify an association with the term. It is a pseudonym with a rich heritage of stories and fables in many cultures, and which acknowledges our physicality and development of a species from simpler, more ‘honest’ times during our evolution. Monkey in a metaphysical sense also refers to the chattering (monkey) mind which we seek to quiet with the practice of Meditation. It is a connection to the Earth as well as to the sky as the monkey takes to the trees.

  • Earth: Although a monkey according to Chinese Astrology, I am an Earth Monkey – Bound to the Earth as well as to the treetops. A bit more grounded than other monkeys of astrological ilk, ironically I’ve been feeling a greater connection to the Earth -a responsibility and stewardship- that had not existed to this degree before. There is a certain calm centeredness found when one walks upon her surface, if one can but sense it…
  • ‘Blazing’ Fire element: This is a weak connection to a real name and a much stronger connection to Fire and Flame. It is not to the flames existing on the wick of a candle to which I am drawn (although they hold a certain allure as well), but to strong blazing fires which within their apparent destruction of what IS, make possible for new creation and evolution to occur. It has been the creative aspect of fire which has held such intrigue through the years. It is the sheer beauty of the flame and the power which it holds; the ability to BE -to exist- and to burn brightly, illuminating so much of what surrounds it that is so fascinating. By extension, it is the Sun, powerful flame that it is, which provides heat and warmth to the life on this planet. It is the sun from which we draw our strength and energies and which is, in its own right, a symbol of Spirit and of the Stars from whence many cultures believe we came. This flame is the doorway to the Unknown, to the Yet-to-be-Discovered… to Space and Time (timelessness), and Life. It is the realm of possibility – of potential – of creation – of metamorphosis and evolution.
  • Sky / Air / Flight: Balanced between the Sun and the Earth is the Sky… within which one may soar. Recently, feathers have shed their disguise and displayed themselves upon my back. They are inescapable and inevitable… a symbol of mankind’s ultimate evolution to Light. And while perched in the monkey-haven treetops of my youth, I often fantasized about sprouting wings and flying free on the breeze. Perhaps I actually did. But whether that is the case or not, it seems part of my Path now… to reach for the Heavens while still upon the Earth and to traverse between the two realms regularly. The bird spirits, which have been frequenting my location lately, don’t hesitate to provide reminders of this.

And so perhaps some insights have been gained, and the process of self-discovery and meaning within the World advanced. Or perhaps I am merely a lone monkey with dirt on her face, feathers on her back, and fingers singed from a fire as I leap treetop to treetop…

Peace. Namaste.

Monkey business

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