Too Many Names

Pablo Neruda

listen_btn

Awakin FeatureMonday is tangled up with Tuesday
and the week with the year:
time can’t be cut with your tired scissors,
and all the names of the day
are rubbed out by the waters of the night.

No one can be named Pedro
no one is Rosa or Maria,
all of us are dust or sand,
all of us are rain in the rain.
They have talked to me of Venezuelas,
of Paraguays and Chiles,
I don’t know what they’re talking about:
I’m aware of the earth’s skin
and I know it doesn’t have a name.

When I lived with the roots
I liked them more than the flowers,
and when I talked with a stone
it rang like a bell.

The spring is so long
that it lasts all winter:
time lost its shoes:
a year contains four centuries.

When I sleep all these nights,
what am I named or not named?
And when I wake up who am I
If I wasn’t I when I slept?

This means that we have barely
disembarked into life,
that we’ve only now just been born,
let’s not fill our mouths
with so many uncertain names,
with so many sad labels,
with so many pompous letters,
with so much yours and mine,
with so much signing of papers.

I intend to confuse things,
to unite them, make them new-born,
intermingle them, undress them,
until the light of the world
has the unity of the ocean,
a generous wholeness,
a fragrance alive and crackling.

Pablo Neruda is a Chilean poet, who started writings poems at the age of 13. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion of letting go of the name? Can you share a personal story of a time you felt a generous wholeness by letting go of distinctions? What helps you stay rooted in a generous wholeness without losing touch with the world and its distinctions?

Add Your Reflection:

7 Previous Reflections:

  • link
    On Dec 10, 2019 Prasad Kaipa wrote:
    When I read this poem, it brought me warm memories of reading it the first time several years ago and having a meaningful discussion about consciousness and nature. When I felt that oneness, a generous wholeness where there are no distinctions, no separation and no names, I felt just happy — not happy about something or because I got something. I was just happy — was filled with unending joy and there was no center or identity to connect with that happiness. I felt as if I have no beginning or ending. No past or future. I was rock, chair, flower, tree, bird and the person whom I used to really dislike. Everything and everybody is me and I am everybody. I stayed in that state for about 6 hours and the fragrance of that experience remained with me for a month. When I am with people like Viral, Jayesh Bhai and Harshada didi, I feel that vastness of experience. This is a photo of Malleswaram (Bangalore) flower market. What I saw was an abundance of joy in the form of flowers, garlands ... [View Full Comment] When I read this poem, it brought me warm memories of reading it the first time several years ago and having a meaningful discussion about consciousness and nature. When I felt that oneness, a generous wholeness where there are no distinctions, no separation and no names, I felt just happy — not happy about something or because I got something. I was just happy — was filled with unending joy and there was no center or identity to connect with that happiness. I felt as if I have no beginning or ending. No past or future. I was rock, chair, flower, tree, bird and the person whom I used to really dislike. Everything and everybody is me and I am everybody. I stayed in that state for about 6 hours and the fragrance of that experience remained with me for a month. When I am with people like Viral, Jayesh Bhai and Harshada didi, I feel that vastness of experience. This is a photo of Malleswaram (Bangalore) flower market. What I saw was an abundance of joy in the form of flowers, garlands and people. So many colors, names, fragrances and forms. Underneath all of them I saw beauty, elegance and joy. The poem and the photo reminded me of a statement from Taitriya Upanishad — Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma. It means the consciousness is truth, perspective and joy as Anantam is also understood as Anandam in Vedanta.



    Click on the image for higher-res photo. [Hide Full Comment]

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Dec 10, 2019 Ruth Goodman wrote:
    All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me🙏🙏🙏♥️

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Dec 10, 2019 Tyler wrote:
    This is so beautiful! I have come to understand that there are many titles and labels that describe me: what I do, who I am in relationship to others and what I believe, etc...However, there is only One thing that defines me. And I believe that everything and being is defined by that One thing as well. Many different descriptions, One definition. 🙏🏻💗

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Dec 10, 2019 Sunil, Bangalore wrote:
    The Kalpa Tree of life has many names & branches but the seed, the source is One- the Nirakar-Nirgun-Nirvikalpa.This single bliss and pure joyful Soul is manifesting in all living beings universally.Living in such a soul world is experiencing the wholeness with Innernet of this world wide web full of peace and just abundance.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Dec 10, 2019 Peter Mutunga wrote:
    Basically the names, titles and everything we acquire on being born like metal fragments clinging to a magnet. They form the outer visible and describable nature. The inner us is hidden and uniform.
    We eventually loose all these entitlements and dissolve to our basic, our core.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Dec 6, 2019 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    We live in the world of forms, the outward forms with names and titles, yours and mine, the above and the below. We relate to the world with distinctions. Underneaththe forms and distinctions there is oneness, wholeness. formlessness. Remainingawake and aware of the underlying oneness or wholeness helps me to relate to the world of distinctions. I work with children and parents who outwardly look different age wise, look wise and in many other ways.When I relate to them from my heart the outward differences get dissolved creating a deep sense of oneness or wholeness. Unconditional love opens the heart doors creating a deep sense of wholeness or oneness. Spiritual awakening and awareness of the underlying oneness in manynesshelps me to stay rooted in a generouswholeness without losing touch with the world and its distinctions. The outer eyes see the distinctions, the inner eyes see the wholeness, beyond space and time. As the poet Pablo Neruda says, " all of us are dust or sand, ... [View Full Comment] We live in the world of forms, the outward forms with names and titles, yours and mine, the above and the below. We relate to the world with distinctions. Underneaththe forms and distinctions there is oneness, wholeness. formlessness. Remainingawake and aware of the underlying oneness or wholeness helps me to relate to the world of distinctions.

    I work with children and parents who outwardly look different age wise, look wise and in many other ways.When I relate to them from my heart the outward differences get dissolved creating a deep sense of oneness or wholeness. Unconditional love opens the heart doors creating a deep sense of wholeness or oneness.

    Spiritual awakening and awareness of the underlying oneness in manynesshelps me to stay rooted in a generouswholeness without losing touch with the world and its distinctions. The outer eyes see the distinctions, the inner eyes see the wholeness, beyond space and time. As the poet Pablo Neruda says, " all of us are dust or sand, all of us are rain in the rain."
    May we remain awake and be awareof the the underlying wholeness and oneness without losing touch with the world and its distinctions.
    Namaste!
    JagdishP Dave




    [Hide Full Comment]

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On Dec 6, 2019 David Doane wrote:
    I actively support the notion of letting go of the name. When I lead a group therapy, I direct people to leave their last names, titles, roles, and social histories (like where you went to high school, where you work, where you live) at the door, and be in group personally to get beyond those social distinctions and meet as persons. In group, it's unknown whether someone is a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker. It's unknown whether a person is wealthy or poor, from this side of the tracks or that side, knows this person or that. Persons are guided to be present as persons. Persons find out what's left when 'names' or distinctions are let go of. I feel more the genuine wholeness of being a person by letting go of distinctions, and it appears others do too. The world of distinctions is a different world than the personal world. I know the world of distinctions is out there, and it's powerful so I'm careful as to how I take it on. I also know time in rela... [View Full Comment] I actively support the notion of letting go of the name. When I lead a group therapy, I direct people to leave their last names, titles, roles, and social histories (like where you went to high school, where you work, where you live) at the door, and be in group personally to get beyond those social distinctions and meet as persons. In group, it's unknown whether someone is a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker. It's unknown whether a person is wealthy or poor, from this side of the tracks or that side, knows this person or that. Persons are guided to be present as persons. Persons find out what's left when 'names' or distinctions are let go of. I feel more the genuine wholeness of being a person by letting go of distinctions, and it appears others do too. The world of distinctions is a different world than the personal world. I know the world of distinctions is out there, and it's powerful so I'm careful as to how I take it on. I also know time in relating to others without distinctions helps me stay rooted in a generous wholeness, helps me be in the world of distinctions and not of it.[Hide Full Comment]

    Post Your Reply

Search Awakin Readings

Or search by year or author.

Subscribe to Weekly Email

Every week, we send out a digest with a reading and inspiring stories to our global community of 92,094 people. Subscribe below.

(unsubscribe)

Contact Us

If you'd like to suggest a thought or want to drop us a suggestion, drop us a note.