What’s In a Name?
My family got a cat when I was young. It was an “indoor / outdoor” cat – meaning that it would come inside for food and sleep, but spend most of the day outside playing and, presumably, hunting. And like all pet owners, we gave the cat a name. The cat was no longer an independent entity; it was “our” pet. And because the cat tended to sleep in my bed the most, it went from being “our” pet to “my cat”.
Any time we name something, we are giving it some sort of meaning for us. I love these lines from A Course in Miracles:
You gave names to them, establishing perception as you wished to have perception be. The nameless things were given names, and thus reality was given them as well. For what is named is given meaning and will then be seen as meaningful; a cause of true effect, with consequences inherent in itself.
We have no choice but to use names and carve up reality into discrete entities such as bodies, animals, particles, space, etc. But when we can remember that we give everything all the meaning it has for us, the weightiness of any situation melts away.