Answer: A name is what we call a certain phenomenon in the most appropriate way. There is the Light and a vessel, two factors that are revealed by each other, and their common appearance leads to the expression called “name.” We don’t know what the Light is; we don’t understand or feel it. We only feel the action of the vessel which is opposite to its nature: The vessel, the desire to receive is suddenly revealed in the form of a desire to bestow, and thus we see bestowal on top of receiving.
These two opposite forces create a certain form by connecting in a certain manner, which is called a name. The form itself is the name, although in our world, in my mind, in my computer, the name is already written in a different form according to my software, according to my codes. The form itself is actually the name of the state that is created by the mutual cooperation between the Light and the vessel.
The name is with regard to those who receive, which means that I have to adapt to a certain phenomenon in a certain way and then according to the form that is adapted to the phenomenon I call the phenomenon by name. I don’t know the name of the general phenomenon, but I can thus call part of it according to my vessel, according to my name. So when I say something about someone, it is not talking about me or him but about the extent of my attainment of it.
We should take this into account. We never learn the actual phenomenon itself but only with regard to the person who attains it. So when I attain something, I don’t say that it is something specific but that I attain the phenomenon because my attainment is always according to my vessels, according to the equivalence of form with some part of the general phenomenon that isn’t familiar to me.
We exist in a universe, but now we begin to attain that there are infinite other universes. We, however, attain only part of it and we call it a universe. So the name is never the actual phenomenon but only the part which I attain.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 3/11/14, Writings of Baal HaSulam