More on labels

I’ve been thinking a bit more about this – partly because of Jen’s comment yesterday (do check out her blog – it’s a good read) and the exercise I then went through listing (some of) my possible labels.  Which did get boring pretty fast – you are so right, Jen!!

I think part of the problem with labels (or my problem with labels, anyway!) and exclusive definitions – a very large part – is the difficulty of narrowly defining something so complex as this organism we refer to as a human being.  All those labels I included in my comment yesterday are true in their own right – but to even get vaguely close to understanding ‘me’ someone needs to be able to understand all those labels, not just one or two, because all those labels apply to me all the time (and I know I didn’t cover everything about me).  I have yet to find a label that encapsulates the ‘sum of my reality’ – we’ll just have to call it ‘Jude’ and be done with it!

And thinking about the complexity of organisms got me thinking about a comment one of the women at my belly dancing club made last night.  We were talking about health and different approaches working for different people and she observed that as there’s trillions of cells in just one human being and there’s only six billion of us alive right now, all of us are rather likely to be quite different from each other!  And that reminded me of something I came across in a book on meditation.*

It suggested that, on a clear night, you go outside and look at the stars.

Then look at your hand.

Then think about “how the atoms in your hand were formed billions of years ago in the nuclear furnaces of distant stars.”**

Then the author asks the simple question: “Can you sense the wonder of it all?”

Star picture -Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
You are made of this!

Then somehow labels just don’t seem so relevant, or necessary, anymore….

– – – – – – –

* Tarchin Hearn (2005) Breathing: the natural way to meditate.Nelson, New Zealand: Wangapeka Books

** p16 of the above

Picture credit: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (found on Falling Sky)


Author: verdant1

belly dancer, mother, student, public servant, shaman, knitter, sister, feminist, gardener and a lot more...

3 thoughts on “More on labels”

  1. I like where you went thinking about labels. No, they aren’t significant, but I always feel like they are misleading, for even if a label is accurate, it isn’t true, because it focuses on a part a of picture – a single star in the sky – even if you gather all the parts together, it still doesn’t make a sky, does it? Does this make any sense?


  2. Buddhatrain, that makes perfect sense actually!

    Thanks for the link Jude!

    And yes you are right Jude, you have to understand all of my labels, otherwise you are not going to get me. So yes, I am Jen! That is my label!



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