October 16th 2020 -
What's In a Name:How we Can be Spiritually Affected
“What’s in a name…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” laments Romeo Montague, who has fallen in love with Juliet Capulet. He knows their romance is doomed, because the families have been feuding for generations. Only at the end of Shakespeare’s play, when the feud has led to the death of the lovers, do the families understand that hating a person because of their name is wrong.
There are still cultures in which culturally unacceptable conduct (like marrying for love, someone who the family has not chosen) besmirches the family name. Honor killings by a brother or father are supposed to restore the lost honor to the name.
In another context a client asked a psychic,” My husband's first and last name have been Americanized. If I give you the current name, will that be adequate?”
She answered, “It is usually helpful to include any previous name. The Akashic records –the records of all souls which are found on the other side of the veil -are found under a person’s name, which includes all the forms it has gone through.”
Even in the manifested world it is hard to find an adopted child, for example, unless you have the original names (or even a childhood friend whose name has changed in marriage to a man you do not know.)
In the Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, a Chinese- American woman finds out that she has two half sisters, identical twins. Their mother had to abandon them as babies when she fled China in a time of great turmoil. She left the babies names on a scrap of paper with them. They were immediately found and adopted by a poor, older peasant woman, who raised them with love, under new names.
The sisters are found and eventually reunited with their sister as adults by an apparent fluke…an acquaintance of the American sister sees two beautiful and obviously identical young women horsing around on an elevator in a mall in China, and blurts out “But are you…“and she gives them the birth names of the lost babies , which they had been told. The friend passes on the contact information to the American sister and the three sisters meet again.
At the beginning of World War II there was a lovely, sweet young woman of 18 who worked as a secretary for a professor of languages. One of his students was a brilliant young man of 20 who wished to learn multiple languages. On their first meeting the young woman was so flustered that she totally forgot to tell him that yes, his professor was in.
Over the next 8 years (as people rarely got married during the war) the young man resolved to make the young woman over into an appropriate wife for himself.
To start with, he asked her to change not only her last name (when they eventually married) but also her first name, to a girl’s name which he liked. So her first name become her second name, never again used. Then after their marriage, he asked her to add the name of his mother’s side of the family, a family name which would have died out, in front of his last name. (It did not enter his head to let his wife take on her own family name in front of his last name, even though her family name also died out when her only brother had no children.)
Names are central to self-image.This young woman could not help but know that she was her husband’s creation. He told her which college to attend, and he did not allow her to have any friends. He took her across the ocean, where no one knew who she had once been. She never became fully adept in English.
The woman became a widow at 46, with four children still at home. Within months she had found a full-time job. A little later she joined clubs (including one for square dancing, and an ethnic one.) She started going to concerts with friends. One might say, she found herself again.
A woman had suffered a miscarriage, and had a pompous fool of a doctor who told her all the reasons miscarriages could happen, including the final devastating comment, “ And some girls(sic) are unable to have a baby at all, they keep having miscarriage after miscarriage.”
The woman went home and opened her Bible, looking for some hope in her sorrow. The Bible fell open to the passage about Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Elizabeth was fifty, and despaired of having children. She was visited by an angel, and told that she would give birth to John the Baptist. The mother who had found hope in the Bible named her first child after the child mentioned in the passage.
Marilyn Monroe was an iconic beauty, a tormented and beautiful woman who was made over as a consumer commodity by Hollywood. No one captured this fact better than Andy Warhol in his famous abstract painting ``Marilyn``. It was a screen-printed photo of Marilyn in garish colors on a huge gold painted background, like a byzantine image of a holy figure.
Andy Warhol was putting a visual form to the transformation of a person into an image…which started when a brunette called Norma Jeanne Mortenson was given, by her show business handlers, a platinum blonde hairdo and a new, catchier name.
Parents search in books of birth names for the best label to give their Spirit Baby who is about to manifest as their coming child. They struggle over which ethnic names are seen as a disadvantage. They wonder, “Is it better to give a common name or a highly unusual one?” (Studies show that common first names are most associated with success.)
Children are mercilessly teased if their names are unusual. My friend changed the pronunciation of her name after immigrating as a child so that it would be more acceptable.
Women are starting to not give up their birth names upon marriage. This of course means they are retaining their father’s name, in most cases, but that is also how they have always known themselves. The custom of calling a married woman Mrs. John Smith, eliminating her previous identity completely, has fallen out of favor. (it is referenced in Margaret Atwood`s dystopian novel of the future The Handmaid`s Tale, in which women are forced to be the property of childless men so that they can bear children. They lose their names, becoming Offred if they are Fred`s property.
Names can be changed upon marriage, upon becoming a doctor, and upon earning a PHD. A saint’s name can be added upon first communion in the Catholic church. Nuns can be rechristened upon entering a convent to denote the new life they are embarking upon.
Forms of names also connote relationships. I had to explain to my two- year- old grandson why he could not call his Daddy by either the nickname his mother uses or the given name which I use.
Names are spiritually important, affecting how people are seen for a lifetime.
Nightingale Natural Healing
72 Newbridge Crescent
Brampton, Ontario L6S 4B3
This book is a chapter from my second book, Spirit Baby Two. Both Spirit Baby and Spirit Baby Two are available from Amazon.