The concept of true name exists in the Inheritance series. It is a very interesting concept and an enlightening one if you apply it to yourself. According to it, every individual has a true name. This true name is in the ancient language. The ancient language is the mother of all languages. Knowing a thing’s true name gives you complete power over that thing (or individual). This is the way how magic is conceptualized in the novel. But coming back to the practical aspect, your true name encompasses everything about you – your good habits,your dark secrets,your guilty pleasures,your nature,your past – everything. According to the book,this knowledge is not easy to find or to stomach. Many people have gone mad because they could not bear the reality of who they are.
Practically, if you were to find out your true name, would you be able to? To look at yourself objectively,without any of the delusions you see yourselves through? We never see ourselves as we actually are. We’re wrapped in a comfortable blanket of delusions – some small,some big,some willing,some subconscious – that allow us to live with ourselves peacefully. To strip away this protection, to look at yourself as you are, to accept each and every mistake or evil deed done by you without excuses and/or explanations (‘Anybody would have done the same in my place, ‘The circumstances warranted it’, ‘She prompted me to; I had no option’, ‘I did not know any better’, ‘But my intentions were honest!’) and still not loathe yourself is a daunting task.
I tried doing this – introspection without excuses. It is something that saps energy from you. As I realized some of my major faults, without circumstantial justification, I was taken aback .It ruined my day. Another time, a friend of mine pointed out something. I sat and honestly thought it out. The result affected me so much that I called up everybody on my contact list and apologized for the concerned thing! But then I’m only highlighting the negative side. One good thing I’ve found out about myself – which I already knew of course, but now it has been reaffirmed as my strongest quality – is that I’m loyal. Extremely,fiercely loyal.
So why did I bring up this ‘true name’ concept? I did so because I realized that to go through life without completely knowing the one person you’ll always be with i.e. you is fatal. Sooner or later, you need to start knowing yourself. Actually understanding your own character. Away from justifications. You spend a lot of time getting to know your girlfriend or your husband. Spend a fraction of that time with yourself and you’ll be that much better off,this I promise. Not knowing yourself is like choosing a car for NFS without knowing anything about it. Until you know your car’s strengths and weaknesses, truly know them, you can’t possibly use them.
So how do you do this? No you don’t have to sit in front of the sun at four a.m. and think about life. Just make yourself more conscious of your actions. When you utter a white lie, for example, examine within yourself the reason for it. Not the worldly justification, but the actual reason that prompted you to do it. Reassure yourself that you are not playing a blame game. Donot categorize yourself as ‘bad’ if you discover your intentions (whether consciously or subconsciously) are not all that good. Open up your actions to introspection. Just think honest. Learn not to lie to yourself – it is the easiest thing to do int the world (lying to self) yet the deadliest. To become a better person you need to know the present person first.
Start today, and maybe one day you’ll find your ‘true name’!
P.S. Hope for the time when you find too many negative points about yourself – your ‘true name’ isn’t permanent. It changes as you change.