Zarathustra Seminars

Miss Wolff: I think he explains also in the second sentence that giving a name and displaying an interest is to be on too intimate terms with it, and that can have the same effect upon himself.

For if he is familiar, then it is a possession which he can put in his pocket, no longer a thing greater than himself. He becomes it.

Prof. Jung: That would be practically what Mrs. Adler said: it would be assimilating it to the ego.

If one can call it by a name and put it in one’s pocket, the ego would be on top-! have a virtue.

Giving a name to a thing generally has the peculiar effect of familiarizing it.

It is as if it were depotentiated; as by giving a name to a demon, one has power over the demon.

Therefore, one reads in the Book of the Dead that the Egyptians always put a book in the coffin of a dead king, containing the names of the gates and doors of the underworld, for they were only opened if he could call them by the right name.

So in Grimm’s fairy tale, that demon Rumpelstiltskin 1 comes and works mischief until he is called by his name, and then he gets so angry that he immediately explodes and is finished because his real name is known.

Therefore, primitive kings or sorcerers have secret names: the name by which they are known generally is only a cover which conceals the real one.

If anybody should know their real name it might have an effect upon their life and welfare, so they hide it.

We have much the same custom.

As a rule we have two, and often three, names: first our family name and to be called by that is not injurious, but when you are called by your private or Christian name, you can be injured because that person has an immediate hand in your psyche.

For instance, if somebody suddenly calls out your Christian name in a crowd of apparent strangers, you will immediately be hit as if by an arrow.

Therefore, one has a family name and if possible a title, which is most protective; a family name is already a bit specific but you can hide any amount of God knows-what vanities behind a title and are not injured.

For ordinary people a family name is quite good enough, but with the Christian name, the devil begins, particularly when the other sex calls you by it.

This is not true in America where I was amazed to find that anybody called anybody by the Christian name, and it is even made into a belittling diminutive.

That simply proves that the individual has been too highly familiarized there.

A lot of trouble arises on account of it; one is secretly undermined by it. ~Zarathustra Seminar, Page 426-427