Naming the Mysteries

Some biblical scholars suggest that Jesus demanded the names of the demons because once the name was surrendered, this gave Jesus the power to cast them out. When I was in Pentecostalism and in the Vineyard movement, the same thing was taught. If you could name the power or the principality, that gave you authority over it. Embedded in this theology is a venerable human conviction that naming something, even the most mysterious, gives us the capacity to manage and even control it. Recently my daughter called me at 3 a.m. because she had a bad dream. (This happens to me frequently. I've done quite a bit of study and have had some experience in dream interpretation.) Once I explain what it means, the words and the interpretation unlock the mysterious symbols and dispel her fears so she can go back to sleep. This is why some people (not you!) get very agitated if they can't label me a "believer" or a "Christian" or an "emergent" or an "agnostic" or an "atheist" or whatever. The mind doesn't know what to do with me. This is also why it is very frightening and traumatic for us to let our labels go when it comes to mysteries we've cherished such as "God". Remember: the word is not the thing. It is only a descriptor of it, and deficient at that. But if we get beyond the word, beyond the language, beyond the labels, is it possible to enter into that which is the truly blessed? Don't forget to enter my contest for a free fine art print!

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