Shuzan, a Buddhist monk of the tenth century, once held up a bamboo stick before his disciples. “Call this a stick,” he bellowed, “and you assert; call this not a stick, and you negate. Now, do not assert or negate, what would you call this stick? Speak! Speak!” From out the ranks, a young monk ventured forth, grabbed the bamboo, and, breaking it in two, exclaimed to Shuzan, “What is this?”
Its not a secret that I’ve never really connected with my name, I used to not like it but over time its more faded until I don’t really care for it that much but it doesn’t bother me.
It doesn’t in my opinion define me, or connect me to anything (my connections to people and places are beyond that of a name) instead it limits me making me referrable to from a variety of sources (which is I admit useful), but an impersonal database reference could do this as easily.
I’ve always been interested in the other names I could have been given, by the nicknames that I accrue, but the titles I can be addressed by, by what friends choose to call me when a referral is required, but in the end it is the not the names that I’m interested in but what they point to.
This is what’s drawn me to both zen and magick, the quest for the understanding of the self and its interactions with (or its being part of the larger system of) the world, without concealing, asserting or negating.