Symbol Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 608 quotes )
Symbols and emblems were everywhere. Buildings and pictures were designed to be read like books. Everything stood for something else; if you had the right dictionary, you could read Nature itself. It was hardly surprising to find philosophers using the symbolism of their time to interpret knowledge that came from a mysterious source.
Symbols are something [the writer] uses simply as a matter of course. You might say that theses are details that, while having their essential place in the literal level of the story, operate in depth as well as on the surface, increasing the story in every direction? the truer the symbol, the deeper it leads you, the more meaning it opens up
Because our Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith. But what shall we use? No sign, no work of art, no representation of form is adequate to express the glory and the wonder of the Living Christ. He told us what that symbol should be when He said, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15). As His followers, we cannot do a mean or shoddy or ungracious thing without tarnishing His image. Nor can we do a good and gracious and generous act without burnishing more brightly the symbol of Him whose name we have taken upon ourselves. And so our lives must become a meaningful expression, the symbol of our declaration of our testimony of the Living Christ, the Eternal Son of the Living God.
There are symbolic dreams-- dreams that symbolize some reality. Then there are symbolic realities -- realities that symbolize a dream. Symbols are what you might call the honorary town councillors of the worm universe. In the worm universe, there is nothing unusual about a dairy cow seeking a pair of pliers. A cow is bound to get her pliers sometime. It has nothing to do with me.
He thought about science, about faith, about man. he thought about how every culture, in every country, in every time, had always shared one thing. We all had the Creator. We used different names, different faces, and different prayers, but God was the universal constant for man. God was the symbol we all shared...the symbol of all the mysteries of life that we could not understand. The ancients had praised God as a symbol of our limitless human potential, but that ancient symbol had been lost over time. Until now.
the mystic must be steadily told,—All that you say is just as true without the tedious use of that symbol as with it. Let us have a little algebra, instead of this trite rhetoric,—universal signs, instead of these village symbols,—and we shall both be gainers. The history of hierarchies seems to show that all religious error consisted in making the symbol too stark and solid, and was at last nothing but an excess of the organ of language.
That’s what the human brain is there for—to turn the chaos of given experience into a set of manageable symbols. Sometimes the symbols correspond fairly closely to some of the aspects of the external reality behind our experience; then you have science and common sense. Sometimes, on the contrary, the symbols have almost no connection with external reality; then you have paranoia and delirium. More often there’s a mixture, part realistic and part fantastic; that’s religion.
The art of meditation is a way of getting into touch with reality, and the reason for it is that most civilized people are out of touch with reality because they confuse the world as it with the world as they think about it and talk about it and describe it. For on the one hand there is the real world and on the other there is a whole system of symbols about that world which we have in our minds. These are very very useful symbols, all civilization depends on them, but like all good things they have their disadvantages, and the principle disadvantage of symbols is that we confuse them with reality, just as we confuse money with actual wealth.
According to your proclivities, you may take a snow-clad Alpine peak, as it rises to the empyrean in radiant majesty, as symbol of man's aspiration to union with the Infinite; or since, if you like to believe that, a mountain range may be thrown up by some violent convulsion in the earth's depths, you may take it as a symbol of the dark and sinister passions of man that lour to destroy him; or, if you want to be in the fashion, you may take it as a phallic symbol.
If Thecla had symbolized love of which I felt myself undeserving, as I know now that she did, then did her symbolic force disappear when I locked the door of her cell behind me? That would be like saying that the writing of this book, over which I have labored for so many watches, will vanish in a blur of vermillion when I close it for the last time and dispatch it to the eternal library maintained by the old Ultan. The great question then, that I pondered as I watched the floating island with longing eyes and chafed at my bonds and cursed the hetman in my heart, is that of determining what these symbols mean in and of themselves. We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
We have learnt that the exploration of the external world by the methods of physical science leads not to a concrete reality but to a shadow world of symbols, beneath which those methods are unadapted for penetrating. Feeling that there must be more behind, we return to our starting point in human consciousness - the one centre where more might become known. There we find other stirrings, other revelations than those conditioned by the world of symbols... Physics most strongly insists that its methods do not penetrate behind the symbolism. Surely then that mental and spiritual nature of ourselves, known in our minds by an intimate contact transcending the methods of physics, supplies just that... which science is admittedly unable to give.
The core symbols we use for God represent what we take to be the highest good.... These symbols or images shape our worldview, our ethical system, and our social practice--how we relate to one another. For instance, [Elizabeth A.] Johnson suggests that if a religion speaks about God as warrior, using militaristic language such as how "he crushes his enemies" and summoning people to become soldiers in God's army, then the people tend to become militaristic and aggressive. Likewise, if the key symbol of God is that of a male king (without any balancing feminine imagery), we become a culture that values and enthrones men and masculinity.
The Europeans hate us because we’ve retired to live inside our advertisements, like hermits going into caves to contemplate. We sleep in symbolic bedrooms, eat symbolic meals, are symbolically entertained- and that terrifies them, that fills them with fury and loathing because they can never understand it.
In many college English courses the words “myth” and “symbol” are given a tremendous charge of significance. You just ain’t no good unless you can see a symbol hiding, like a scared gerbil, under every page. And in many creative writing course the little beasts multiply, the place swarms with them. What does this Mean? What does that Symbolize? What is the Underlying Mythos? Kids come lurching out of such courses with a brain full of gerbils. And they sit down and write a lot of empty pomposity, under the impression that that’s how Melville did it.
Why should we celebrate These dead men more than the dying? It is not to ring the bell backward Nor is it an incantation To summon the spectre of a Rose. We cannot revive old factions We cannot restore old policies Or follow an antique drum. These men, and those who opposed them And those whom they opposed Accept the constitution of silence And are folded in a single party. Whatever we inherit from the fortunate We have taken from the defeated What they had to leave us - a symbol: A symbol perfected in death.