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Names and naming are incredibly important for us. We use names and labels as a way to define the vast world around us. More that the inherent potential of the object we name, the name allows us to define what this object is not. Without a name, a child brought into our world, in a way, cannot exist. When allowing the mind to drop into that feeling, you’ll see that stripping yourself from your own name, leaves you in a weird state of being situated in the unknown. Choosing to feel into your namelessness is a great meditation. The Buddhist say: `Find the name you had before you were born’. That is the exact same concept. Realizing that your name comes from the outside, a label, in a way it isn’t real.
The word water, or aqua, isn’t wet… your name, how you are called isn’t you.
As long as your name represents an external definition, in a way, representing who you are not, it will be a limiting factor. A conceptual confinement.
When you are `Joe` – you are no longer Sally or a watermelon. When you are Jennifer, you are basically not many other things.
With that concept in mind, we can understand the saying ‘In the beginning was the word’. “You don’t get things until you start naming them” says Alan Watts. It’s not that things do not exist, but for our limited mind, bound to duality, to names and forms, in order to have a beginning and an end, we have to utter the word. We have to choose a name.
Through out my life, I’ve been named and titled in many different ways. Some names imply my origin, chosen by my parents, others a profession, or even a spiritual potential or state of being. Even though I hold them in the highest regard and respect; my choice to rename my self was a result of a deeply profound mystical experience of namelessness. I realized that the names of my past, no longer represent the symbol of who I choose to be, those were a representation of the symbol of who I was.
The name Kai, for me, truly holds no symbol. It’s a sound. A vibration. A symbol of `symbolessness`. If I have to define, confine and bring meaning to it. To me, it means choice. It is a self-imposed symbol. One, which represents my continuous journey to define the indefinable. To explain the inexplicable. In a way, it is the Ouroboros. The serpent eating its own tail. The endless cycle of one constantly re-creating itself.
In Ancient Greek, Kai means the conjunction “and”. Which is exactly what a name, for me, should be representing. Not an “or” reality. Where I’m either Tom or Johnny, where I’m either friend or foe. I am “and” to all those. “and” much more.
In Burmese, Kai means “strong” or “unbreakable”. For me, not in the sense of power over something or someone. But unbreakable due to fluidity. Being prone to constant change. In the ‘Tao Te Ching’: “The best fetters are those which bind by nothing, yet cannot be broken”. A name should not be confining, but a canvas for an overflowing spirit.
In Hawaiian and Japanese, Kai means “ocean” or “oceanic”. For me, the ocean is the field of potentiality. The vast sea of consciousness, ever changing, ever flowing. Calling all rivers to unite, and the perfect symbol of the cycle of life. Waves into clouds, rain into the nourishment of the earth, and then as a river back to the source.
Such should be a name, an endless cycle of life and death. Of transformation from the inanimate to the living. From the peaks of consciousness to the depth of forgetfulness.
In Navajo, Kai means willow tree. Among the spiritual properties of the willow tree are creativity, magick, female rights of passage, love divination, protection and healing. I would definitely say, that this truly sums up most of what my life is devoted to. I see the path of the willow tree as a deep part of my souls journey, and definitely the connection to the earth.
In North Germanic languages, Kai means “keeper of the keys to earth”. In recent years, my mystical journey has been taking me deeper and deeper into a profound connection with the earth. I feel more than ever before, that yes, it is up to us to find our roots and reconnect to Gaia, mother earth. We have to realize that we are not strangers walking on top of this giant floating rock… but that we came out of it, and are a part and parcel of its life and soul.
In Swahilli, Kai means “loveable”. If there’s one thing I’ve devoted my life to, is my ability to love. The expansion of heart that calls to connect, to explore the depth of another. To share and work tirelessly for the benefit of others. Finding in the process our innate bond, and how truly we are but one reflection of the same force.
In Urdu, Kai is short for “Kainat”, meaning “universe”. Ultimately we are one and whole. We are a part of one creation, one universal truth.
Uni- one. Versus- combined. The merging of two into one. The forgetfulness of the one into the two. The foundation to everything I stand for. Gratitude. The multi, the piece offering grace to the whole. The one expanding into blissful multiplicity.
In other words, the nameless creating form and with conscious choice choosing a singular name.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column enable_animation=”true” animation=”flip-in” column_padding=”padding-5-percent” width=”1/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”infobox”]
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About the Author
Kai Karrel is writer, a poet, a mystic and a spiritual adventurer. He is a mystical traveler devoted to the exploration of the unknowable. He travels among native traditions and ancient cultures. In a way he considers himself a traditional light warrior, using the lighter side of his teaching to inspire spiritual growth and self-love. After over 20 years of deep study and devotion to walking a spiritual path, living in ashrams and learning from numerous teachers and guides, the emerging pattern that Kai has devoted his life to sharing, is that truth is a pathless land and that a true mystical experience lies in full acceptance and radical self inquiry. His teachings reflect a deep commitment to freedom and truth, the search for one single experience – falling in love with one’s self.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” bg_color=”#000000″ text_color=”light” text_align=”center” top_padding=”60″ bottom_padding=”60″ class=”widequote”][vc_column][vc_column_text]
“Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.”
~ Grace Hansen