The false name

Currently reading The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa—this from fragment 66 in Richard Zenith's translation:

Civilization consists in giving something a name that doesn’t belong to it and then dreaming over the result. And the false name joined to the true dream does create a new reality. The object does change into something else, because we make it change. We manufacture realities.

This is the opposite of giving things the right name, no?

The right name is for building tangible things, measuring them, verifying their results against our expectations. But the right name is the right name only because we believe it is the right name. It's what it is—without a name, whatever it is essentially—and it is the result of the name that we give it, and it is the story that we build (bind) around it.

This page is nothing but paper or a screen. And the words, individually, are ideas that don't mean much individually. Then I put them together on the page, and give it all a name, and wish it into a new existence.

Every new beginning is an open field, and the turbid past follows at a distance until you slow down enough and it eddies turbulently ahead, burying the grass that was once greener in sediment. Why not pause, and give it a fresh name anyway? A new name doesn't wash anything clean, but it might be that name which allows you to believe in the world under the sediment, a false name that isn't what it is, not apparently at least, and get on to the next day, day after day, perhaps even restoring the place instead of pushing onward without rest.

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