Words have tremendous power for the simple reason that they help us to make sense of the world and then communicate this sense to others. At the most basic level, the words we use are symbols and sounds that refer to and define the reality of our existence.
Words are not reality itself but reflections and descriptions of reality. The word “house” is not really a house but a symbol and sound used to signify the reality of “house”.
A word, name, term, or label does what it is meant to do when it describes the reality it symbolizes. If I were to say “house” to you, and your mind conjured up an image of a house, then the word “house” acted as a proper symbol for the reality of house.
“In name only” is an inversion (and perversion) of this symbolic connection to reality.
Suppose I say “house” while directing your attention to a cloud. You would be bound to look at me quizzically. My use of the symbolic no longer refers to what it should. You would likely shake your head and attempt to correct me, but what if I keep insisting that the cloud is a house?
You would probably take a deep breath and move to correct me again. But suppose everyone else is also calling the cloud a house. You would then face a choice. Stick to your guns and live by the reality of your own inner experience of “house”, or turn your back on that reality and surrender to the external trappings of “cloud as house”?
If you choose the latter, you will follow the path chosen by the vast masses of people – the path of passivity, inertia, and imitation. Most people accept the “reality” of words that have been worked out and defined by others because they are uninterested in living by the reality that words are truly meant to symbolize.
This passivity, inertia, and imitation point to a lack of freedom. Most people are essentially slaves to words, which helps to explain why they are not overly bothered by empty phraseology or words that are unsupported by any experience of reality. The masses are content to live in the “given world” of “in name only.”
However, I don’t think the vast masses of people view living in the given world of in name only as slavery.On the contrary, I sense they regard living in such a way as the height of freedom and creativity.
Thus, accepting “cloud” as “house” is an act of emancipation from reality. Accepting “cloud” as “house” makes “in name only” personally accessible.
If “cloud” can be “house”, then there is no reason why “personal irresponsibility” can’t be called “personal responsibility”. There’s also no reason why evil can’t be called good. The user can “creatively” cast “in name only” like a magic spell and make sins into virtues, thereby experiencing the sin without really experiencing it at all.
Those who live in the given world of “in name only” believe themselves to be the freest and most creative people alive!
And what does it matter that the birdemic was a pandemic in name only? That the peck that was meant to cure the disease was a vaccine in name only? That women and men are women and men in name only? That marriage is marriage in name only? That culture is culture in name only? That beauty is beauty in name only? That love is love in name only? That Christianity is Christianity in name only? Or that life is life in name only? The masses don’t care because they believe the given world of “in name only” is their ticket to freedom and creativity.
At the level of metaphysics, “in name only” is an act of intense dishonesty – the conjuring of a demonic fiction. It is the demarcation line separating “the given world” (unreality) from Creation (Reality). Instead of living freely and creatively, those who in the given world of in name only are slaves to unreality – slaves to passions and slaves to an objectified, deterministic, unreal world.
“In name only” can never qualify as a creative act because people cannot be creative when they deny Reality. They can only be creative when they are aligned with Creation.
The act of describing something that has no basis in Creation works against, not with Creation. In this sense, “in name only” is an “uncreative” act. It severs the connection between the symbolic and Creation and un-creates the reality of Creation within human consciousness.
“In name only” is irresponsibility, not freedom. Words are meant to define and describe aspects of Divine Creation, but they can only do so in an atmosphere of true freedom – when motivations and goals are responsibly aligned with God and Creation.
Only in this atmosphere can words reveal what they are meant reveal. If this atmosphere is lacking, Reality remains, but the words people use no longer reveal Reality. On the contrary, in such circumstances, the words themselves obscure and hide Reality. Reality remains but becomes increasingly inaccessible due to the misuse and degeneration of words.
Living by reality – in Creation – is no easy task. It requires an independent working of the spirit, which is synonymous with independent effort and independent thought.
It requires overcoming the lure of the given world and its faux, demonic “freedom and creativity”. It requires the understanding that the external power of words needs to be transformed into inner power. The understanding that words have the potential to co-create Reality, to co-participate with God in Creation.
As such, words must be defined from within rather than from without.
They must be defined internally before they are used externally – not the other way around. The former exemplifies true freedom and creativity; the latter, slavery and un-creativity.
A big part of internally defining words involves extending beyond the words themselves. This requires intuition and the free and creative act of primary thinking, or direct knowing of Creation – the kind of knowing that is so within and internal that it no longer needs words or symbols of any sort.
When we know directly, we experience Creation directly. Instead of “in name only”, we experience “in Creation only”.