“Fooled by Your Name”

Fooled by Your Name

The title of this article is borrowed from a line in The Book by Alan Watts, who was a noted British writer and speaker on Buddhism, Taoism, and theology. The subtitle of his book is entitled On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. What, though, does this mean? Be forewarned: The answer will not be remotely interesting for those who are content with living a lie.

The point that Alan Watts so eloquently expressed is this: Deep beneath the ordinary world of name and form (the world in which we refer to things by words) there lies the most mysterious of mysteries. It is beyond the mind; therefore, beyond comparison because it is singular. How, logically, can One be compared to anything? Of course, it can’t be. The key that unlocks the door to this dimension can be summed up in one word: Stillness. When we turn away from sense objects and become still (through the practice of meditation), we “re-cognze” (to see again) the very nature of our Being. We discover that we are not our thoughts; nor are we our sensations, feelings, or perceptions. All of these, however, are known by the real You–Awareness.

Even a little investigation can yield tremendous insights. Think: For objects to be known, they must be known by something. How else could they be known? In our case, our true Self is not a thing in the common sense of the word; nevertheless, it is present. Wherever we are, Consciousness is. We cannot think “I do not exist” for the very thought is ludicrous because it requires Consciousness to think it. Our true Self is That which registers impressions from an apparently external world. It is also Consciousness which registers the name and form which we erronesouly believed to be our personal identity.

Why, though, should we care? Especially when life seems to be ticking along just fine. For that very reason: The clock of our body’s life span is ticking; but we need not wait for the “alarm” called death of the body to discover our true nature. A multitude of benefits may be realized now, not the least of which is that we are immortal Beings; therefore, beyond death. Our true Self is also beyond human drama;  therefore, immune to suffering and fear. Nothing–no event, circumstance, or situation–can harm it. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare summarized this truth succinctly through the following words: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” The true You is That Sweetnessnot the name and form through which It is expressed.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,


Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

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