Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

A Girl Has No Name

The Lord gives his blessings where he finds the vessel empty. ~Thomas a Kempis

The fourth chapter of the Tao Te Ching uses several images to describe the mysterious and indescribable Tao, or Way. The first image is based on the character  , which can be translated as emptiness, as in an empty vessel.

The character itself can be broken into two parts. The left side, which looks like three small lines, means water. The right side, consisting of a rectangle bisected by a vertical line, means center. So within this character meaning emptiness, there is a sense of fluidity as a central quality.

The line in which it appears may be translated as “Tao is an empty vessel which is used but never filled.” The emptiness of Tao is not a barren wasteland, but on the contrary is a rich source of infinite possibility.

When we are able to release our hold on everything that we fill ourselves up with–ideas, beliefs, plans, fears, hopes, opinions–we make room for all the blessings that life offers us. We make room for guidance from the Way. We make room for what is real instead of what we imagine reality to be. We make room for miracles.

Readers might have figured out that I am a Game of Thrones fan. I quoted Arya Stark in a recent post, and the title of this post is also a reference to Arya, who, in the current season, is undergoing an initiation that requires the complete obliteration of ego. “A girl has no name” is her repeated response to questions about her individual identity, showing that she is no longer attached to her separate self.

I may not be ready to give up my name, but I do appreciate the concept of releasing my attachment to who I think I am, to how I think things should be. Emptying myself allows me to receive life’s bounty, and to enter the mystery of Tao.

The nameless is the origin of heaven and earth. ~Tao Te Ching

6 thoughts on “A Girl Has No Name”

  1. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. ~Matthew 16:25
    The empty vessel, open and awaiting to be overflowing with blessings. Beautiful post, Galen! Blessings!

  2. I would be okay with that, actually. I've never felt like my name was MY name. It's a perfectly fine name, it just isn't mine. I feel the same way about my body. Fine, not mine. 🙂

  3. Funny thing about names! We have the names given us at birth and then there are nicknames and pen names and so forth that we pick up along the way. Some suit us and others not so much. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Exactly, Martha. Some see that verse you quoted as somehow threatening or scary, but it is only threatening to the ego, which isn't real in the first place! Thanks for your comment.

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