Name changes occur almost daily in Jersey and around the globe. Locally, the German Underground
Hospital has become
Jersey War Tunnels. And the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust has become
Durrell Wildlife. Individuals change their names too, often through marriage,
sometimes formally by Deed Poll, more usually merely by using a different name.
Interestingly, changes of name are not
sought by any of the animals at Durrell Wildlife........
That's why "Cogito, ergo sum" (I
think therefore I am) - the famous philosophical statement of Rene Descartes
(1596-1650 AD) - was such a profound and important discovery.
Descartes wanted to take 'doubt' to its
ultimate level. To do that he proposed that he was subject to the deceit of a
deceitful god. On that basis even the world around him, the stars, the plants,
the mountains, animals and people might not exist - this god was deceiving him.
Did it then follow that he, himself, did not exist? The answer, he concluded,
was, 'No', because the fact that he was thinking about existence in this way
was proof that he existed. But what about the deceiver god - was this god
deceiving him also about this one fact that he, Descartes, existed? Descartes
said another resounding 'No' because, if that deceiving god was deceiving him,
then he must exist for that god to be doing that.
Most of us Jersey folk would not have to be that analytical to know
that we do exist. We all say "I am". But the Durrell animals don't -
nor do the 'living' daffodils.
Because we exist, we give ourselves names -
the animals and flowers don't do that either. We're rather special, each of us,
because each of us actually exists and each of us existing ones is unique,
despite being made to a general pattern. Hence we attempt to have a unique
name. (There are many more double-barrelled names in the Jones and Smith
families than in the Perchard or Vibert clans.)
What is the name of the God of the Jewish
Scriptures (the Bible's Old Testament)? See above – it’s ‘I AM WHO I AM’. Or,
simply, ‘I AM’.
And Jesus Christ (the subject of both that
Old Testament and also of all the books and letters in the Bible's New
Testament) also used repeatedly the words 'I am'. One of many examples: in Jerusalem in AD 33, when
addressing the descendants of Abraham, Moses' progenitor, he said "Truly,
truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am". [John's biography,
written in the First Century AD Chapter 8:58]
They were incensed and picked up stones
to throw at him.
But the facts remain. First, with regard to
each of us, the words "I am" are correct. You exist; you have being.
Second, with regard to the Bible, God's
name is "I AM". And that's also the name of the man Jesus Christ who
rose from the dead in AD 33. This "I AM" has passed on "I
am" to each and every one of us.
Third, because we “I am”s go-it-alone, "I AM" has sent his Son (the one
who said, 'Before Abraham was, I am') to enable each of us to continue to have
being and not to stop being "I am"s through death or anything else
But we "I am"s now need to
re-connect with the "I AM" through his Son.