Symbols and meanings

Symbols and meanings Posted on August 26th, 2012 by in General, Personal Development with [fetching…]

 “A symbol is indeed the only possible expression of some invisible essence, a transparent lamp about a spiritual flame; while allegory is one of many possible representations of an embodied thing, or familiar principle, and belongs to fancy and not to imagination: the one is a revelation, the other an amusement.” – William Butler Yeats

Why spiritual symbols make life interesting?

Most of us enjoy watching magic tricks on the television, and will pay for tickets to see famous illusionists wow us with their amazing feats of seemingly impossible achievements, using a combination of smoke and mirrors . We find these guys entertaining and love the build-up to the final reveal. Some might also suggest that the symbols used by many religions are a part of even more sophisticated magic tricks in their own way, creating a mystery about belief systems which would actually be a bit flat and boring without them.

Imagine a religious wedding ceremony without the exchange of rings for example, and the symbolism of the wearing of a spouse’s rings. What if the priest wore some basic office suit instead of his official garb, and all the other associated symbols of authority which make him look so important? Civil ceremonies are all very well, but it is so much plainer and less interesting to get hitched in a bare room than in a church, with all the stained glass and high ceilings reaching up to God. Civil ceremonies actually have to steal a lot of the symbolism traditionally associated with religious ceremonies in order to make them more interesting.

Spiritual symbols are very important to religious people and it’s true that without them, a lot of the deeper meanings of the ceremonies and teachings they deliver would be lost. Symbols are a kind of short hand for saying a lot about a spiritual topic when you only have a short time to tell people stuff. For example, if you see someone wearing a crucifix, you can make all kinds of wright or wrong assumptions about them as a person simply on the basis of this little piece of metal. Nowadays spiritual symbols like this are often worn in the name of fashion, but this surely dilutes and trivializes their true message, and should not be worn unless you truly believe.

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