Symbol Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 617 quotes )
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
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.
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.
When I was a schoolboy in England, the old bound volumes of Kipling in the library had gilt swastikas embossed on their covers. The symbol's 'hooks' were left-handed, as opposed to the right-handed ones of the Nazi hakenkreuz, but for a boy growing up after 1945 the shock of encountering the emblem at all was a memorable one. I later learned that in the mid-1930s Kipling had caused this 'signature' to be removed from all his future editions. Having initially sympathized with some of the early European fascist movements, he wanted to express his repudiation of Hitlerism (or 'the Hun,' as he would perhaps have preferred to say), and wanted no part in tainting the ancient Indian rune by association. In its origin it is a Hindu and Jainas symbol for light, and well worth rescuing.
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.
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.
Drawn crudely in the dust of three window-panes were a swastika, a hammer and sickle, and the Stars and Stripes. I had drawn the three symbols weeks before, at the conclusion of an argument about patriotism with Kraft. I had given a hearty cheer for each symbol, demonstrating to Kraft the meaning of patriotism to, respectively, a Nazi, a Communist, and an American. "Hooray, hooray, hooray," I'd said.
In a painful time of my life I went often to a wooded hillside where May apples grew by the hundreds, and I thought the sourness of their fruit had a symbolism for me. Instead, I was to find both love and happiness soon thereafter. So to me [the May apple] is the mandrake, the love symbol, of the old dealers in plant restoratives.
As symbol, or as the structuring of symbols, art can render intelligible -- or at least visible, at least discussible -- those wilderness regions which philosophy has abandoned and those hazardous terrains where science's tools do not fit. I mean the rim of knowledge where language falters; and I mean all those areas of human experience, feeling, and thought about which we care so much and know so little: the meaning of all we see before us, of our love for each other, and the forms of freedom in time, and power, and destiny, and all whereof we imagine: grace, perfection, beauty, and the passage of all materials to thoughts, and of all ideas to forms.
Our mental conditions are simply the symbols in consciousness of the changes which take place automatically in the organism; . . . to take an extreme illustration, the feeling we call volition is not the cause of a voluntary act, but the symbol of that state of the brain which is the immediate cause of that act. We are conscious automata.
Because the egoic mind has led us to feel separate from our immortal Ground of Being over the millennia, we have invented a number of immortality symbols to give us a precarious sense of security and identity in life. Traditionally, these have been religious in character, such as the belief in everlasting life after death, in the West, and the belief in reincarnation, in the East. However, today, it is money that provides the primary immortality symbol. It is our obsession for money that is driving humanity to extinction. For when we do not face our fears with full consciousness and intelligence, these fears will eventually come along to haunt us.
It's disquieting to reflect that one's dreams never symbolize one's real wishes, but always something Much Worse... If I really wanted to be passionately embraced by Peter, I should dream of dentists or gardening. I wonder what unspeakable depths of awfulness can only be expressed by the polite symbol of Peter's embraces?
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.
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.
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.
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.