Last modified on 13 September 2014, at 22:52

Symbols

Science sees signs; Poetry the thing signified. ~ J. C. and A. W. Hare

Symbols are things such as particular forms or marks which represent some sort of information, an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning and they often are derived from or are used in metaphors. Studies of how symbols are used are a major aspect of the discipline of semiotics.

QuotesEdit

I think, here is your emblem
To hang in the future sky... ~ Robinson Jeffers
Reason will not decide at last; the sword will decide.
The sword: an obsolete instrument of bronze or steel,
formerly used to kill men, but here
In the sense of a symbol. ~ Robinson Jeffers
Science and mathematics
Run parallel to reality, they symbolize it, they squint at it,
They never touch it... ~ Robinson Jeffers
Concern for the symbol has completely disappeared from our science. ~ Simone Weil
Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction. ~ Simone Weil
  • Reason will not decide at last; the sword will decide.
    The sword: an obsolete instrument of bronze or steel,
    formerly used to kill men, but here
    In the sense of a symbol.
  • Science and mathematics
    Run parallel to reality, they symbolize it, they squint at it,
    They never touch it
    : consider what an explosion
    Would rock the bones of men into little white fragments and unsky the world
    If any mind for a moment touch truth.
  • In fact a man in love or one consumed with hatred creates symbols for himself, as a superstitious man does, from a passion of conferring uniqueness on things or persons. A man who knows nothing of symbols is one of Dante's sluggards. This is why art mirrors itself in primitive rites or strong passions, seeking for symbols, revolving round the primitive taste for savagery, for what is irrational (blood and sex).
  • All religious expression is symbolism; since we can describe only what we see, and the true objects of religion are The Seen. The earliest instruments of education were symbols; and they and all other religious forms differed and still differ according to external circumstances and imagery, and according to differences of knowledge and mental cultivation. All language is symbolic, so far as it is applied to mental and spiritual phenomena and action. All words have, primarily, a material sense, howsoever they may afterward get, for the ignorant, a spiritual non-sense. To "retract," for example, is to draw back, and when applied to a statement, is symbolic, as much so as a picture of an arm drawn back, to express the same thing, would he. The very word "spirit" means " breath," from the Latin verb spiro, breathe.
    • Albert Pike, in Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (1871), Ch. III : The Master, p. 62.
  • It is not in the books of the Philosophers, but in the religious symbolism of the Ancients, that we must look for the footprints of Science, and re-discover the Mysteries of Knowledge.
    • Albert Pike, in Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (1871), Ch. XXXII : Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.
  • Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction.
    • Simone Weil, in The Pre-War Notebook (1933-1939), published in First and Last Notebooks (1970) edited by Richard Rees.
  • Concern for the symbol has completely disappeared from our science. And yet, if one were to give oneself the trouble, one could easily find, in certain parts at least of contemporary mathematics... symbols as clear, as beautiful, and as full of spiritual meaning as that of the circle and mediation. From modern thought to ancient wisdom the path would be short and direct, if one cared to take it.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 775.
  • With crosses, relics, crucifixes,
    Beads, pictures, rosaries, and pixes;
    The tools of working out salvation
    By mere mechanic operation.
  • Science sees signs; Poetry the thing signified.
    • J. C. and A. W. Hare, Guesses at Truth.
  • It [Catholicism] supplies a multitude of external forms in which the spiritual may be clothed and manifested.
  • If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: a' brushes his hat o' mornings; what should that bode?

External linksEdit

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