What’s in a name?

moyo

Words have meaning. A simple and unarguable truth. But there is a difference between meaning and definition. Meanings are by and large unknown and definitions change with the times – with popular culture usage and p.c. refinements. But meaning is inherent in the word. Like a genealogical pedigree.

Take the word “MAN”. Defined broadly as the species Homo Sapiens or more commonly as the male gender of the species. But what is the meaning of MAN? Sanskrit is the language of yoga and the oldest known root tongue of the Indo-European language group -our language group. In Sanskrit the word “MANas” means mind. The rational, analyzing, differentiating, mind of man. Our word MAN is indirectly descended from the Sanskrit “MANas” and directly descended from Latin, where the word “MANas” was transmorphed into “MANus”. The Latin word for hand. Is there a more direct physical instrument of the mind and the will than the hand? Now this is what must be taken into consideration when searching for what is the meaning of “MAN”. And what is that? Why to be MAN means that we have the mind to make distinctions and judgments, to learn and apply such lessons so as to MANipulate the world around us. To make MANifest our ideas. To MANeuver dexterously through life’s troubles and to MANage our affairs wisely.

And while dear brother Billy Shakespeare may have been correct in his assertion that a rose is no less sweet for the name given to it, can we say the same for our lives? Perhaps we’d be best off abandoning the attempt to define ourselves and instead take up the quest for meaning. True meaning.

Tom Sharp, RYT

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