I will always remember my now deceased Grandpa Davis (tall, red-turned white hair, shoulders back, double-chins out) recite at family gatherings the story of a woman who was indignantly speaking back to him in his insurance office in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah: “Do you know who *I* Am!?! I AM A “Romney!” Grandpa, with profound familial pride rebutted: “Do you know who *I* Am!?! I AM A “Davis!”
Family names often designate standing and prominence within a community, communicating a quality, occupation, or interest. In European society, to be a “Bach” means to be categorized as a musical genius, even if not a member of the “Bach” family by blood. Thus, of others it has been said, “He’s a Bach!” because of his Bach-like exceptional talent.
Today, infant names are often chosen because of societal trends or what “sounds pleasing” with the last name. However, throughout recorded history, names were thought to be of divine origin and the imparting of a name was a sacred, significant experience.
Although it is commonly thought that all men die, to “have one’s name live on” means that the memory of what one toiled and labored for would carry on, giving meaning and assistance to one’s posterity and others ever after.
In ancient scripture, names were generally given in order to indicate something about the nature, character, experience, or function of the person, place, or nation named. When a person experienced pivotal change in their nature, a name change designated this significant transformation. For instance, Abram in the Bible: reared in a home steeped in apostasy, Abram is himself the first of a family of prophets and righteous followers of God. Abraham’s birth name, Abram, means “exalted father.” After passing through his mortal probation, Abram’s name was changed to reflect his reward. Abraham means “father of a multitude.”
Abraham’s son, Isaac’s name means “God smiles,” highlighting the fact that Isaac is the fulfillment of the covenant that God made with Abraham as well as highlighting the response of both Abraham and Sarah to the news that in their advanced years they would have a baby. Isaac’s son, Jacob, is yet another example. Jacob’s name means “to follow, to be behind” but also “to supplant, circumvent, assail, overreach,” or from the word for “heel.” The name was significant because Isaac’s son Jacob was a twin, the second born, holding onto his older brother’s heel during delivery. Being chosen through intrigue to receive the coveted Father’s Blessing over his older brother, Jacob overcame his mortal trials, reunited with his twin Esau later in life and, it is said, God changed his name to Israel. Israel means “ruling with God” and represents the new and exalted chapter of Jacob’s life. Interestingly, Jacob (and Esau’s) mother’s name, Rebekah, means “ensnarer,” indicating her subtlety at switching her sons for the coveted blessing. Rebekah covered Jacob’s arms with lamb’s wool. Thus, Jacob intercepted Esau’s (meaning “hairy”) rightful blessing. (I will leave the interpretation of this story for another post.)
Names are often laden with deep significance. Often, the significance of one’s name is hidden or subtle. My mother has said that she named me “Kimberly” just because she liked the name. My middle name “Judith” was after her. My surname “Davis” was after my dad’s family. Growing up, I always liked my name Kimberly. In my second grade class there were FOUR of us named Kimberly. To avoid confusion, the teacher gave us opportunity to choose nicknames. There was a Kim 1 and a Kim 2, one was Kimmy, and “lucky” me got to keep the entire “Kimberly.” I remember as a child having someone who didn’t really know me call me “Kim,” and my younger brother hotly piping up: “BERLY! Her name is KIM-BERLY!”
Many years ago, I investigated my name’s meaning. Kimberly: “from the royal fortress meadow.” Hmmm. Interesting. Judith means “princess.” Davis, a derivative of David, means “beloved.” It was not until I read my name’s meaning BACKWARD that the hidden significance revealed itself: “Beloved Princess From the royal fortress meadow.” This was just one of the clues I discovered that life can be best read backwards, in reverse, and that through “hindsight” we see ourselves more clearly. There was more to my name’s choice than just my mom’s preference. Through this clue, I have come to seek deeply in many otherwise obtuse areas, discovering precious understanding that otherwise lay hidden.
When I married, at 21, I adopted my (then) husband’s surname: “Wallis.” During the last few months of our marriage, the name began to bother me somewhat as I was becoming more empowered and chose to have no barriers or walls in my own life. WALL—IS seemed to contradict my desires to unite humanity with NO walls. Although I could have returned to my “maiden” name at that point, I never felt to. Having relinquished family ties to the “Davis” clan, that name didn’t seem to fit. Neither did the name “Wallis” except that it matched my children’s last names, continuing our connection.
When I later gave birth to my tenth child, without a mortal father, I purposely left blank the request for her surname when filling out the form for her social security number. When it came back having wrongfully allotting her the last name of Wallis, I pondered deeply what to do in that situation, finally realizing that it was meant to be that way for now and so I chose to keep it for her. She will make the name what it is meant to be. It was not until NOW, this very moment that I looked up the name again. Previously in my research, I have found the name “Wallis” to mean “one from Wales.” HOWEVER, it now registers as “foreigner, stranger.” Yes! Wallis now has significance for me and I finally understand why I was to retain its use… for me and my daughter. I AM (we are) foreigners, strangers… ALIENS… here to the current earth experience. We think and perceive life differently than others. On purpose.
In the Doctrine and Covenants 130:11, it reveals that those who inherit the “Celestial Kingdom” are said to be in possession of a “white stone” on which is written a “new name… which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.” In this clue, Joseph connected the Biblical “ineffable name” of God, a name that is so “sacred” it can not be spoken aloud to God’s work in our lives: to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
In simplicity, those who, like “Abraham,” overcome the mortal probation by LIVING and exemplifying a life dedicated in service to the long-term good of all, transform their mind (and eventually their physical body as well) into a literal “Urim and Thummim,” a “white stone”… the fully functioning pineal gland itself. It is this instrument that then transforms an otherwise normal mortal brain into an advanced “cell phone,” allowing one to send and receive messages with others upon this frequency level. This ability creates a prophet. This is where technology is headed for all those who faithfully apply the words of Christ as found in Matthew 5-7, particularly verses 1-12.
Names are often much more than they seem. They can serve as motivators, warnings and offer important “keys” to open esoteric locks. Names can be significant and empowering. But, like everything else, to truly understand, one must look beneath the surface level, open up one’s heart and mind, and THINK.
What is YOUR “first given name”? Think of the name that you are known by to those who refer to you. Let’s pick a name for illustration: “Debbie.” Although it’s likely that Your “first given name” is NOT “Debbie,” you can fill in your name in its place to gain meaning.
“God” is Debbie. Yep. The “God of This World” is You! To YOU. 🙂
The “name” of the God of This World is Your “first given name.”
A “name” is that which a person is known to others by; her characteristics, the experiences of her life that people know about or think they do, the way she thinks, her “appetites, desires, and passions.”
Think of the name “Hitler.” What does that name represent to You? How do you feel when you think of that name? What picture comes into your mind?
Now, think of the name “Mother Teresa.” What picture comes into your mind now? What feeling comes into your heart?
Granted, neither “Hitler” nor “Mother Teresa” are either of their “first given names,” but you get the point.
Let me explain: While living as a mortal on this earth, there is a learning curve. Most people throughout recorded history NEVER COMPLETE the curve. Regardless, it’s there.
In yesterday’s post, I used the symbolism of a baseball game where each individual must complete the three bases before finally arriving at home plate, where home plate stands for “Heaven on Earth” and truly Knowing (being “married to”) One’s Self. Our first mortal task, leaving home plate on the way to base #1, involves growing a physical body in utero and receiving via our mortal mother, a view to the mortal world through her eyes and emotions. By arriving at base #1 a person has become indoctrinated into being a singular, distinct, INDIVIDUAL with narcissistic, center-of-the-universe propensities.
Base #2 is successfully accomplished when one learns to use “justice and fairness” in interacting with all others. Picture the baseball diamond. Base #2 is the furthest away from the home plate. One’s movement away from one’s spiritual identity begins to get reigned it at this point as one begins to consider others’ points of view and needs. Measuring one’s choices by “an eye for an eye,” though it leaves everyone blind, is the level of JUSTICE. This is the left-brain utilization of treating others with equality.
Base #3 is cleared when one advances to COMPASSION and treats others by the “Golden Rule” of “do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” or compassion. I have written about this “Golden Rule” and how there are really THREE tiers, three ways of understanding, this “rule.” As one progresses through these three levels, they run toward Home.
Home base is when one arrives back to their original state of living true to who they are, yet, having gained WISDOM, understands how to interact with all others in ways that assist their eternal growth. This is the “gnosis” or “Self Knowing” that is encouraged by all prophets who have, likewise, come to know God… them Self.
With the first breath, an innocent child begins experiencing mortal life, which I have depicted as a quasi-baseball game. Amnesia descends as they forget their former experiences and Who They Are in the eternal realms. Scripturally, it is said that each one of them………….. “falls”….. as a “star”.…. “out of heaven,” or rather, out of the pure and innocent awareness of all the wonder that life could, and was meant to, be. Within a new physical body, a child discovers their senses, begins interacting with others, and comes to establish her self as a distinct and separated individual.
Each child’s original innocence, their state upon conception, is represented by a “New Name.” Each is given the opportunity to make decisions and decide what/ who to make of them self. Yet, as each child goes further into exploring what it means to be “set apart” and distinct from others, utilizing independent egoic (“narcissistic”) tendencies, they give meaning to the “First Given Name” that their parents assigned them. Each experience contorts and implants messages into the plasticity of the human psyche, and, with each new experience, a new program gets “down-loaded;” the original child and their innocent nature becomes changed. Each child begins to be identified and to identify him or herself with THAT name.
The original innocent nature changing refers to the “masks” that each child begins to wear to conform itself to society’s demands. This “first given name” (again, we’ll use the name of “Debbie” as our example) represents “The God of This World.” “Debbie” represents the aspect of one’s self who makes decisions and “runs the show” during the first stages of emotional development in this temporal world with a physical body. This is the you that acts the part of the character you were assigned “in the lone and dreary world,” or rather, when you do not yet KNOW WHO YOU REALLY, ACTUALLY, ETERNALLY ARE, but instead, lives, or tries to, up to the demands placed upon you by all the “others.” This is the person who judges others, who gives advice and measures how another “should” be or act. This is how most people, for most of his-story have interacted; as “fallen” stars, not knowing who They are, and mis-leading everyone else through most interactions. The “God of This World, your individual world, is “Lucifer,” or, rather, You, ”your carnal (ignorant) self. 🙂
Mortal life is intended to lead one to understanding; “home base.” Through one’s own experience, and through deep pondering and reflection on one’s life, one CAN progress and develop from a “fallen” being, identifying as one’s “first given name,” step-by-step back into their original innocence, yet, at that time, the original innocence will now be coupled with wisdom, a deep satisfaction and understanding of who one Actually Is.
Endowed Mormons, think now to entering the “Terrestrial World.” This is figurative of one leaving the “lone and dreary world” (first base while being a lonely individual) and finding a “True Messenger.” Leaving “first base,” one begins to look for a higher way of viewing and interacting with others. Second base is realized when one sufficiently achieves the ability to treat others with fairness and equity as guided by an outside mentor. In other words, second base is secured when one lives by the “Mosaic Law.”
Third base is reached when one moves beyond justice into compassion, utilizing the message of the one known as the “Son of God,” “Jesus” in scripture. Identifying through Jesus, one also realizes and lives as if they are not just an individual (“New Name”/ base #1), not just a member of the mortal family (“First Given Name”/ base #2), but a child of something larger and eternal (“The Son”/ base #3) a “beloved son.”
Identifying as a beloved son of an eternal family, one realizes that (eternal) family life is enhanced through selflessly and wisely serving each other. At this point in one’s emotional growth, one does not seek the limelight nor notoriety, has no interest in being “set apart” or recognized as an individual, but has given up their self-centered propensities in order to assist all others to recognize their own inherent goodness as well as our combined identity as a unified whole. There is no name designation on this level. One sees the individual “self” as merely one aspect of a much greater whole entity and prefers to serve “behind the scenes and without notoriety. As such, one identifies no longer with a name but with divine characteristics, utilizing the term “Anonymous.”
Mark 8:27 Then Jesus and His disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way, He questioned His disciples: “Who do people say I am?” 28They answered, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others say You are one of the prophets.” 29“But who do you say I am?” He asked. Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”…
And now, I ask YOU, dear reader, “Who do YOU identify your self with? Who do you say that YOU Are?” Do you see yourself as your distinct first given name? as your family surname? as a son of a mutual human family? Or, do you identify as one aspect of US, the all-encompassing Self that includes ALL of Us? OR… according to the need, are you able to adjust your inner lens to see yourself as best fits the needs of your current situation? THIS qualifies a “seer.”
[Mormons, think back to your Endowment experience. At this point in the eternal life cycle, one is permitted entrance “through the veil,” that which prevents one from seeing and understanding clearly, into wisdom and “the Father’s presence” in “the Celestial Kingdom.” At this point NO “Name” is given, just characteristics indicating that the person has learned that his own, individual, self-centered “will” and its use of conditional “free agency” is NOT lastingly of value. In order to be brought back into the “Celestial Kingdom” one must exchange one’s individual will for the good of ALL together, long-lastingly correct: “THY Will be done.” All “desires, appetites, and passions” have now been correctly aligned and are utilized to serve humanity humanely. With that wisdom and purity, the body is regenerated and death is overcome as the final test. (“Resurrection.”) The rewards are the CHARACTERISTICS of that body, not a name. (“Health in the navel, marrow in the bones, strength in the loins and in the sinews, power in the priesthood be upon me and upon my posterity, through all generations of time and throughout all eternity.”]
Truly, completing one’s eternal life cycle, sliding into “home base,” “Ye shall know the TRUTH…” or rather, WHO YOU ACTUALLY AND ETERNALLY ARE. “And That Truth… shall set you free.”
Some day, each “individual” one of US will realize Who WE Are, no more identifying as an individual, no more viewing interactions from a place of fairness and justice, nor from compassion, but from an eternal perspective as an integral part of the Whole of Us. Therefore, to have an ineffable/ unspeakable name, a name that no one else may use or even know, represents the fact that NO ONE ELSE CAN LIVE THE LIFE THAT *YOU* WERE MEANT TO LIVE. No one else can be *YOU*!
Elevate your insights. Re-member Who You Are! No one else can live up to Your Name! LIVE True to YOU! We ALL NEED *YOU*!
In my pursuit of Real Truth, I have given up everything. Crawling through the “eye of the needle,” I have learned the *mysteries* and am now giving my life to assist YOU to dis-cover Who *YOU* really are, along with your unique gift to offer humanity. As you learn to seek (in the right place and with purified intent), you WILL find treasures of lasting value, along with every promised reward. Together, we will establish a society of humane beings and live life ALIVE, on PURPOSE, and with a sociality unequaled… because we will each BE and view each other as equally and profoundly DIVINE! Please… catch this Hope and Vision and join with me.