Naming the Nameless

Obstacles are more often a stepping stone - Prescott

When I was a little girl I was very quiet, and shy. I am not shy as an adult; but, while outspoken I am reserved and still quiet. I never needed or liked to be the center of attention. You get away with a lot more when you are not! My mind has always been beyond curious, and frankly I am very comfortable in my thoughts. I make me laugh all the time, and, if you were in my head you would be cracking up, too. Me, myself & I have the best relationship and most incredible conversations. But being a quiet person who is a 'thinker and feeler' is isolating. Two people who 'get me' are my sons. We just have an understanding, no matter what we go through together. On the rarest occasions, when I can relate with someone on just every level, and talk about things and be in sync, this has been, and remains, one of the greatest pleasures (and treasures) in life.

Religion was a major motif throughout my entire life. So much so that I thankfully evolved into a secular person. To be honest, I believe I always have been. My father used to call me a 'heathen'. I do not like religion or [politics, since 10.09.16]. Frankly, I think both have been the bane of society. These social forces started out 'innocently' enough, but the functionalist structure of dogmatism and inherent hypocrisy of both religion and politics diminishes the power of agency that people can execute in this world. Think, automatons. Knowledge and information, aside from life, time and money, are the most powerful resources available in this world. Understandably then, it is incredible that knowledge and information are suppressed social attributes throughout history. 

            I was baptized a Roman Catholic in infancy, and became a Conservative Jew as an adult. As I was on my spiritual quest, on balance, Conservative Judaism presented a modern approach that appealed to my aversion for extremes. I am like Goldilocks, I like everything just right, and just so. Call me particular--I am. I never really 'got religion'. I always thought it silly, hokey, dishonest, and absurd. For example, once when I was a little girl, my father and stepmom took us to some revival type event they had been invited to. And this woman was rolling around on the floor in religious ecstasy, because she was 'moved by the holy spirit'. Maybe she was drunk?

I was overcome with giggles that I was desperately trying to stifle. My stepmom, who kind of laughed with me, nudged me to be serious as my father did not approve of any kind of revelry from his children. Especially me. I had to be on point always. Which is precisely why I think I am a rebel and born to challenge authority and the status quo. I have never been afraid to speak up or ask questions. And while this may be true, I do respect decorum, discipline, sound ethics, and hard work, hence my attraction to the military. I love my country. But I hate bureaucracy—big government. I think the word (bureaucracy) is synonymous with sloth, ineptness, inefficiency and waste.   

            Everything in life is about context and is situational. To engage life fully requires that one be awake, and present in the moment. And the moment is enduring. Thinking is hard work, and what I have come to discover is that 'most people' would rather have others do the thinking for them.  So, a quick story. Yesterday, I came across a post in my Facebook news feed that made me roll-my-eyes-and-do-the-seriously-OMG-dance all at once.  Someone, he or she will remain nameless, shared how a very hungry and destitute person stole a chicken and a coke from their place of work, and was caught red-handed! Imagine that! The horror! 'They' the catcher, graciously let the person go, how kind, but not before writing up the terrible crime against society. Like, wow! Do know I am laughing with mock disbelief. Now, this is front-row seat comedy, folks. Replete with hashtag #truestory and all.

She (would be me) could not help myself and while normally I offer no comment to such posts, said: "I am not sure why you had to write anything down. Think outside the box!!! But, awesome otherwise! [The person kicked down the destitute person with some cash]. Chicken and a coke. Seriously. Now, if I hear you are voting for Hillary, I am going to puke. People like you, who are automatons, are so freaking annoying! SMH." So, my point is, we live in an incredible world. And there are many shades of gray. So much food is thrown away daily. There is no reason why anyone in this world must be hungry, or homeless. Mis-allocation of resources underlies socioeconomic dysfunction across the board, at the macro-cosmic level and the problem is systemic, and thus inevitably endemic. 

While I am not religious, I, unlike liberals who accept everything except anyone who disagrees with their premise, am accepting of the fact that most of the world operates within a religious paradigm. What I learned about myself this year is that what has not changed through all my changes is my unequivocal belief in the power of being, of life, of the numinous, of All That Is. Because I do not know much, but what I do know is that I am not in control of the events that happen in my life. The events that occurred this year leading up to my having a pacemaker implanted this past August reminded me of this. How fortunate I am for this ‘gentle reminder’.  

            You may call 'it' God, The Force, Buddha, Tao, Jesus, Allah, Hashem (which by the way means, 'The Name'), Shiva, Spirit, Reason, Science, Magic, VooDoo (they all have their riotous diet of inherent dogma [and hypocrisy]) or any other infinite array of names, but what remains true for me is that I never could come up with a word for ‘Naming the Nameless’. Nor do I want to. I am happy delighting in the infinite and impenetrable mystery. To life! Live with all you got! Right here, right now!

Until next time,

Ruthie xo

 #frommyhearttoyours #livelifewell
Naming the Nameless Naming the Nameless Reviewed by Ruth Hochman on Saturday, October 22, 2016 Rating: 5


  1. Thank you for sharing some of the details of your journey, Ruth. You may not consider yourself religious, but you are clearly spiritual. I, too, was raised as a Roman Catholic in a rather strict home. Went through the inevitably period of rejection and then ended up returning somewhat after coming back to my faith from The Eastern traditions. I consider myself a person of faith, but believe that faith is deeply personal, so I don't proselytize or discuss it much with others. I taught meditation for many years and still practice. I distinguish between divine revelation (finding the divine in all things) and religion (humanity's very imperfect and often divisive response to the divine). My spiritual guru, if I have one, is the Anthony de Mello, who sought the best in all traditions and found truth in story-telling. Maybe that's why I like to write. Anyway, thank you for your blog. Beautifully written and from your heart. Have a great week, Ruth! Bob K.

    1. Dear Bob, meeting you has been and continues to be a delight. It is affirming for me that good people of like mind, of the same ilk, or ire, as it were do exist. I often shirt from the term spiritual because I associate the term with a bunch of trendy, and thus shallow new age crap that is the greatest pretense to whatever might be deemed authentic living. I have always strived my entire life to learn, to grow and to develop character. And of course, such yearning has taken me along quite an interesting road. I love being of this world and in this world. But wholly, authentically. So, if this brand of secular is spiritual, then sure. I can relate to your guru, Mr. Mello, 100%. I think that different cultures and people are merely telling their spin on the same tale.

      I find myself so attached to and in love with this life, even though sometimes the reward for being here does not always balance itself out. Present-mindedness is good. I strive for this, but, being human is hard. Thank you for being a friend. For mirroring such depth and quality and resonance. Religion. Politics. People. It's a mad world.

      From your at present in this moment deeply annoyed, aggravated, disillusioned friend.


    2. In the previous post, shirt or skirt should read shrink. What the heck. Oh, well. 😊

    3. Bravo for seeing through the New Age crap! Authenticity and the true spirit is rooted in experience and place, IMO. I hate it when people go "shopping" for something to believe in this week, you know? Like "let's go to the Sweat Lodge on our way to the tennis courts," etc. Cultural appropriation is not just theft, it's rather pitiful. I guess I'm old fashioned in many ways. I have a code. I try to live by it. I reflect on my experience. I let others do their own thing. I'm actually wrestling with addressing questions of authenticity, loyalty, love, and betrayal in my current book. I hope my publisher lets me take the chances I want to take, even at the risk of challenging my readers past their comfort zones.
      I appreciate your friendship too, Ruth. I agree that being human is hard. I try to accept the idea that it is the journey, rather than the destination, that counts. We do our best, right? Have a great week ahead. Annoyance, aggravation, disillusionment. They will pass. Enjoy the goodness all around you. Bob

    4. Bob,

      I love the powerful themes with which you are wrestling in your latest book. I do hope your publisher is able to take risks, too. Art, whether writing, or painting, or music, or movies... is the only medium that breaks through the illusion, allowing us to dance with truth face-to-face. It is through artistic expression we can confront society and the world in which we live in away that renders life meaningful. Beckoning what could be as defiant missives to what is. I have resigned myself to the life of a writer.

      Have a beautiful day!


  2. Ruth, I guess I have resigned myself to the life of a writer as well. I wish I had done it sooner. As Hemingway once said, "Writing is easy. All you have to do is sit at your typewriter and bleed." Have a great day!

    1. Love that! Exactly. Writing is the hardest work I have ever done. If people only knew, right.