“Dios es una palabra de cuatro letras”

Platicaba con una niña que no alcanzaba los diez años, de ascendencia y educacón judía. Segura de sí, me explicaba en un libro de láminas el significado del nombre de las estrellas. Pregunté como es que una estrella puede tener nombre. Me dijo que el nombre lo ponía aquél que la encontraba y la estrella terminaba llamándose como la esposa, el perro, la hija o el propio descubridor. “Pero ¿y Dios? —pregunté—, me explicabas el otro día que Dios no puede tener ningún nombre. ¿Por qué las estrellas sí?”. Divertida, sonrió: “Pues es que a él nadie lo ha encontrado”, dijo con la lógica del que enseña que las cosas caen.

Antigua es la discusión del nombrar y de la naturaleza que lo rige. Ya el viejo y buen Platón discernía entre dos visiones: o el nombre de una cosa —sonoridad y grafía incluídas— es inherente a la cosa misma o es más bien un capricho arbitrario el que dicta que se llame al pan, pan, al vino, vino, y al culo, culo, como decía un viejo conocido de la familia.

La lingüística, tan seria y sistémica toda ella, optó por la segunda vía para volver académico el añejo mito de Babel: el nombre es una construcción y la lengua un entramado de la Historia. Así, como canta la Julieta shakesperiana, “una rosa tendría aroma tan dulce bajo otro nombre cualquiera”, lo mismo cabe pensar de todo lo que existe y de todo lo que huele; del pan, del vino y, con meritorio énfasis, del culo.

El nombre de Dios —o la falta del mismo— es cosa aparte; de entre las cuatro grandes religiones que sabemos, dos —el Islam, la hebraica— rechazan categóricamente el uso de un nombre, en el sentido estricto y práctico, para hablar del mandamás de este chiquero; otras dos —el hinduismo y el cristianismo— optan, en principio, por lo mismo, pero encuentran solución en crearle al supremo una galería imaginativa de avatares, colegas o subordinados que tienen la curiosa función de humanizarlo en el habla… sin nombrarlo: Sivá, Jesús, Visnú, San Pedro.

Sea el nombre de dioses, de un objeto o cualquier cosa, el nombre ha sido siempre un artefacto, un artilugio; ideado y fabricado, actúa como gancho que conecta a la razón con el entorno y vuelve al mundo real. Se ancla en lo que existe, le da sentido, lo apropia, lo hace parte de aquello que nos es dado conocer. Si llamamos Dios a un dios, de forma indefinida (aunque siempre un singular masculino, en cualquier lengua), es para convencer al habla de que tal cosa existe; si se evita adjudicarle cualquier otro nombre es como recordatorio velado de que no existe en el mismo plano que el resto de las cosas, las que pueden ser nombradas.

Si tenemos miedo, como lo tenemos, a lo que no se conoce, acaso no sea tanto por el peligro de ser lastimados o dañados sino por la angustia primigenia de no poderlo nombrar. Piénsese, por ejemplo, en los deudos de un difunto: si se ha muerto el cónyuge, el nombre es viudez; si se han muerto los padres, orfandad. Pero si han muerto los hijos, ahí no hay nombre. Tal cosa no parece natural, ni normal, ni posible. Hemos rehusado nombrar a tal duelo, como un intento inútil de borrarlo de este mundo. Se les manda a la guerra, y eso es todo. Algún día, seguramente, van a regresar.



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