‘Nam’ is ‘man’ spelt backwards, man in disguise, man who has to reverse his consciousness as the capsule reverses its direction in order to enter in to the new world in a disguised or altered state of consciousness. ‘Nam’ also suggests ‘root,’ or beginning, because of ‘yam,’ the African ‘yam,’ ‘nyam,’ to eat, and the whole culture contained in it. It is then able to expand itself back from ‘nam’ to ‘name,’ which is another form of ‘name’: the name you once had has lost its ‘e,’ that fragile part of itself, eaten by Prospero, eaten by the conquistadores, but preserving its essentialness, its alpha, its ‘a’ protected by those two intransigent consonants ’n’ and ‘m.’ The vibrations ‘nmnmnm’ are what you get before the beginning of the world. And that ‘nam’ can return to ‘name’ and the god ‘Nyame.’ And so it is possible to conceive of our history not only being capsuled and contracted, but finally expanding once more outwards.
Heard words may have no edges, or varying edges; oral traditions may have no concept of ‘word’ as a fixed and bounded vocable, or may employ a flexible concept. Homer’s word for ‘word’ (epos) includes the meanings ‘speech,’ ‘tale,’ ‘song,’ ‘line of verse’ or ‘epic poetry as a whole.’ All are breathable. The edges are irrelevant.
We habitually describe time in metaphors of passage. Time passes. Time is a stream that flows past, a track that unwinds, a road down which we walk. All our events and actions and utterances are part of the passage of time. Language, especially, is embedded in this moving process and the words we speak are gone when the time is gone—“on wings” as Homer says.
Even the word for person in Japanese, ningen, reflects differences in how interactions and identity are understood. The first part (nin) represents a human being, and the second (gen) stands for space, or in-between. The understanding of a person isn’t distinct and atomistic, but rather is made up of the connections and relationships that people form as they interact with each other.
Perhaps part of our challenge in thinking expansively about our friendships is that we're limited by the word friend. Like community, the word friends has come to be so broad as to have lost meaning. We can have thousands of "friends" on social media, including people we have never met and make no effort to know. Friend can describe a work aquaintance whose personal life you know nothing about otna close intimate with whom you share history and your realist self.
There are beautiful words in languages other than English that get at some of the richness and variety of friendship, like the Gaelic phrase anam cara, which literally translates as "soul friend"; or the Aramaic havruta, which means "friend" and , depending on your brand of Judaism, can mean a person with whom you study the Torah or someone with whom you can engage in education; or the Japanese nakama, which can mean "buddy" or "people who you can trust in all things." And then there is the Black American practice of applying familiar words to friends who are like family, like auntie or brother. Knowing that there are other words supports my ability to see the possibilities that were previously obscured to me even if I never use them.
The word ‘revelation’ comes from the Latin revelare, from re-, meaning ‘back to the original’, ‘again’ or ‘anew’, and velare, meaning ‘to cover or veil’. Thus, a revelation is not a new experience but rather the laying bare or uncovering of an essential truth that was previously obscured or distorted. As such, meditation or prayer is the unveiling of the mind and the subsequent exposure of its essential, irreducible essence.
Spira, Rupert. Being Aware of Being Aware (The Essence of Meditation Series) (p. 75). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.