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On Names

Names do not replace knowing the one behind it, the being within the surface tagged.

Many know me as Eco, but many hear Echo. My parents named me Devin Kyle, poet of the narrows.

Names evoke, address, summon. They are each named one’s mantra, most often heard word.

Ellis Island invented many names, including my last name: Irby, Eire Beire, for Irish cow farmers.

Names deceive when they replace our truth, challenge us to arrive at the depiction they present.

Once arriving at maturity, we in fact are a different person, as we become increasingly self-directed.

Names given to me through recognition, refuge & initiation speak to various aspects of my being.

‘Eco’ stems from “Oikos” (ancient Greek: ‘inhabited’ or ‘home’) as to note where my life lives, in me.

‘Karma Cherap Tarchin’ is Tibetan for discernment (which has gone to the end and back again).

‘Anihota Turtle Hawk’ addresses me as a burning winged heart, to abide still, until swooping swiftly.

‘Fayaz’ was given to me by living transmission from Pir Zia, translated means “emanating splendor.”

When people ask me “What is your real name?” I feel the violence of colonial presumption. Often I remember to question “What is this person’s motive?” before giving them the answer they think they want, as though what I told them to call me was any more or less real. If it is to get to know me, I try to rephrase their wording in my head, before answering, else retaliating with some dis-placating answer…

Would you like a box to keep me in, for your head? Does my Social Security number suffice? Do birth certificates make your birth real? Did your parents catch your spirit and embody it, even remembering to wrap you in the proper packaging? What do you wish to imply by calling the way I gave for you to call me unreal?

Reality is what we make it. And some choose to make it a constant reduction to singular answers, and such petty patterns will urk me to no end, lest I best them with a simple complex, an orangutan wrench or some other modifier of a drive to force everything and everyone into “Given” and “Christian” names, as though my next reality were less significant than all that came before it, as though nothing was lost in tacking “English” names on top of the rich complex reality each urchin under the Sun actually has going on, in the mad trend to blend and make sure that all others are doing so as well.
When people ask me “Where do you live?” I again feel violence, of As one who has often wandered, and found home to be a delightful variable, a delicious intimacy of potential shared enclaves, caves opening upon wonders, right behind the main drag of any given public zone, opening on to all the privates… and I

When people ask me “What do you do?” this pang continues. This “what business is it of yours?” This “couldn’t you find a more creative way to ask about me?” What do you really wish to know? Ask that.

I feel a passion for the nameless, the unspeakable, in each named and unnamed entity. Our knowing only improves and deepens the Mystery inherent in each Being, it does not kill or replace it, lest we fall into the trap of self-deception a Name so easily offers…. “Here, IT is THIS (end of story).

The cat is not less mysterious because you have a name for it. What is it’s world? How does it see, feel, know, operate? What gifts will arise with the right kind of ‘soft focus’— where we do pay close attention, we know what can be known and leave space for what cannot, for where else do miracles live? The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao. Our communications deepen when we are respectful of the complexities abiding behind our names, words and other spells.

Arc 38, Autonomous Resilient Community, was named on my birthday, 2012 so that a new form could be made by those who choose to carry this vision forward, to live in harmony with nature in support of the Movement, adjacent to the last train stop from Grand Central, at the Heart and Hub of the New Fertile Crescent. These amazing acres would no longer be referenced only in relation to me, or to Bill Henry, or by the vague placeholders of The Farm, but by what it would best become as many choose to arrive and contribute with their own capacity for dreaming awake Utopia, or the best approximation they are ready to make real, and together we hope to fulfill these unique founders’ aspirations, for an exceptional, principled community to form and do great things.

The Tao te Ching (and the Celestine Prophecy and many others) were practically required reading for participants at that time, and so when a friend had a shirt with 38 written on it, the one with a copy read the 38th Verse from Lao Tsu. Prompted by a vision of tracing an arc of progress, sharing the basics of life as a basic principle of sacred hospitality in a living lineage that extends far ahead and behind us as pass through this existence, as holders of names and bodies, of patterns and places kept so as to galvanize the purpose of the people drawn to project themselves through this collective threshold of manifesting ourselves aloft on this boat of progress, of post-oppositionalism, of being careful namers and droppers of names, but not to take them, or ourselves, too seriously in the process.