Welcome to a new series of articles dedicated to the spiritual side of our existence! It is my hope through these articles which Charlotte has so graciously agreed to that I may share some of my journey with you.
I would ask an open mind of you, our valued and respected reader, as well as communication and dialogue should my meagre writing skills leave understanding lacking. In any picture we are trying to convey to others, whether through words or any other art, we must begin first with the foundation…
When we use words as we are using them now, TRUTH slips through the cracks. The written and spoken words we use trap experience into solid blocks which we try to paste together with logic and reason. Despite our efforts, the blocks fit poorly and the true meaning of a situation escapes us. Becoming confused, we demand more words which only increase our perplexity, obscuring the simple and direct truths of not only our existence, but also of our interactions with others around us. Humans are creatures of emotion, always struggling to express these feelings as interpreted by our conscious minds – rarely aware that language is subjective and open to interpretation.
SYMBOLS, on the other hand, stimulate us on both a conscious and unconscious level; affecting our emotions with greater speed and truth and on a much deeper level than the spoken or written word can provide. Symbols contain information that cannot be read or spoken of directly; instead it is absorbed by our unconscious mind, activating distant race memories embedded within our genetic makeup. Symbols allow us to access ancient wisdom on a pure level, unencumbered by subjective interpretation and conscious thought.
The Greek word SYMBALLEIN is depicted as a boat, a vessel of the sacred that acts as a mediatory vehicle between our so-called physical reality and our inner intuition. Through symbols we are awakened and transported to our roots in the spiritual realm of true reality where everything is as it should be. It is no accident that within a church or cathedral the passageway to the altar is called a boat, navis, or nave.
While words are capable of containing genuine meanings which reflect certain absolute truths in the Universe, most of modern society has lost contact with these truths and uses language to suit their own convenience. Not only do the definitions and meaning of words change, they are especially vulnerable to poor translation from one language to another. The written and spoken word is only an approximation of reality – the form of a symbol is a direct expression of its function, leaving words as a poor second when compared to the vast amount of information a symbol can convey.
The more disconnected our society becomes from the Universal Order, the more dysfunctional we become as individuals. The longer we remain separate from our true spiritual nature, the more we rely on logic and rationalism to explain our reason for being and we stray even further again from our own spirituality. This vicious circle is compounded further by the English language which is a separatist language. There is a subject and an object, a separation between us and the object in question.
We teach our children this separation as our parents taught us and their parents taught them, breeding a society whose words and very thoughts are separatist in nature. We have no linguistic forms with which to quantify a process or activity which has no object unto which it is impressed. In most Eastern languages, subject and object are one. Japanese couples, in example, do not say “I love you,” they say “aishiteru,” or “loving.” Subject and object do not exist alone; they are merged into one whole where separation cannot possibly exist.
That is quite a bit to absorb for the first day, so I think I will end it here for now. Perhaps you will find time this week to notice how we are not as separate from things as we thought and what symbols in your own life inspire an emotion or intuitive reaction…next week we will cover a few of the more common symbols we all react to either consciously or unconsciously, as well as their accepted meanings.
Namaste, my friends
Photo courtesy of las – initially