A Name is Connected to Nothing

Michael Richardson-Borne: What meaning did the video have for you?

Question: Keep Your Name is a song about break-up. Now that the couple is separated and there is no potential for marriage, the man or woman he was formerly with gets to keep their name. The song has a pretty literal meaning.

MR-B: Literal means logical. Logical means of the mind. Of the mind means separate.

Worshiping the literal remains consistent with the foundational assumption of separation that humanity has collectively decided is the case. On top of this assumption, everything that we know as humans has been built, including the concept of what relationships and break-ups are. Without the mental concept of separation or the belief in a separate self living at the root of everything we do, the world that we experience and that is created through us would be remarkably different.

In the world of names and opposites, being un-literal is often considered being stupid or ungrounded. This is because, in the culture of separation, the mind reigns supreme. But with the realization of non-separation, the mind takes its proper position as a servant rather than a master. One sees that there is a pure presence that lives as an undergirding of the mental concepts that effortlessly move into awareness.

Q: If one doesn’t interpret the world literally, you’re bound to be fooled. To be a fool.

MR-B: If you believe our surroundings are composed of separate autonomous doers, sure. If there are individuals to be fooled and individuals that can be labeled fools, then maybe your story rings true.

But you can let go of all your fear and worry about being fooled and just dive into life. What you think of as your personal will is not separate and does not have the power to control things like you are imagining.

Think of it this way. Would you rather be perceived as intelligent by your peers or actually continue to be lived into the role of a fool? That’s what’s hanging in the balance right here, right now, if you can see it. This is the difference between separation and non-separation.

The deeper question, which connects back to the title of the song, is who is there to actually keep a name like “fool” or any other descriptor? Who is the I that is named?

Q: This body and this mind that’s right in front of you.

MR-B: Right in front of whom?

See, you imagine an object talking to an object. Two separate individuals having a conversation.

But I’m a puppet of consciousness. I am being talked and have zero investment in any sort of outcome. There is no chance of being right or wrong here, there is nothing at stake that you or I can possibly change. You think there is some kind of soft debate happening when it’s all an arising in consciousness and even beyond consciousness.

Q: What do you mean, “beyond consciousness?”

MR-B: Who you think you are is a story built on top of the experience of I am or pure presence. This presence is lit up by consciousness. Consciousness itself is part of a process, the unknowable, the ultimate. This is what you are, what we all are.

Do you see the layers of confusion? Most people believe themselves to be the stories on top of the pure underlying presence of “I am.” It’s this belief that creates conflict, creates the illusion of separation.

Q: When you say there is no debate going on here, are you saying that things aren’t happening in the way I think they are?

MR-B: Yes, because there is no I to think one way or the other.

Which, again, taking it back to the video, “keeping your name” is an interesting proposition. Who keeps the name? What is actually being named? Ask yourself this.

The mental-literal experience needs naming to affirm the illusion of separation. But a name is connected to nothing.