I remember, in University, I had a Bible class in which the professor discussed the importance of names in scripture. Oftentimes a particular individual would be given a name in hopes of future calling or their name would end up significant in some part of their lives (or, in several cases, their name was changed to reflect a milestone). So, in light of what has happened, I have decided to change my name to Pauline Epistle The Road Less Travelled Sidhartha Quaker Friend IV. (Or—I might give that some further thought.)
In one of my favourite novels, Dune, names play an important role that the central characters don’t often understand until a particular event comes to pass or the importance of their name is revealed by an awakening of some sort. It is, of course, a literary convention to give characters emblematic names or names which denote the inner nature of the person. (See Dickens especially for this; I always wondered if Master Bates in Oliver Twist was intentional. Did Dickens know this would be the cause of much adolescent snickering in high school education for aeons to come?)
Jason means The one who brings healing. That has, at various times, given me pause; what is one’s responsibility to one’s name? How much power does a name have and what kind of energy comes from it? Recently, I’ve been reading the works of C.G. Jung (well, on and off over the past year since the Human Ecology program and more intently in the last few months). Last month, on my flight from France to the States, I listened to a biography of Jung. There was a particular statement that he made concerning the difficulties he faced in life and how that contributed to his practice, Only the wounded physician heals. This statement predates Jung but is particularly suited to psychology. One, in many cases, must experience something in order to empathise with another person.
I have, by no measure, lived a difficult life. However, I have passed through a number of significant experiences of physical, spiritual and psychological pain. How did these things wound the healer and what ability do I have to heal the wounded? I cannot claim I am entirely an adept listener (ask any woman who has known me for longer than, say, five months); but people generally open up to me. They talk out what has wounded them. I’m beginning to wonder how these events in my life, my naming events, may alter how I respond. Perhaps not even how they alter what I have to say; how will these events alter the way I listen? What healing may come from my wounds?