Too much possibility is the attempt by the person to overvalue the powers of the symbolic self. It reflects the attempt to exaggerate one half of the human dualism at the expense of the other. In this sense, what we call schizophrenia is an attempt by the symbolic self to deny the limitations of the finite body; in doing so, the entire person is pulled off balance and destroyed. It is as though the freedom of creativity that stems from within the symbolic self cannot be contained by the body, and the person is torn apart. This is how we understand schizophrenia today, as the split of self and body, a split in which the self is unanchored, unlimited, not bound enough to everyday Things, not contained enough in dependable physical behavior.
However, the natural symbol, without our being sufficiently conscious of the fact, is identical with the reality of the world that appears to us, for every object in the natural world is at the same time a symbolic reality to us. The psyche certainly does not use an "object" of nature as a "symbol, " but rather the experience of an "object" itself is always already symbolic experience. The star or tree in us is no less real and no less symbolic than it is in outward experience. For each possibility of experience either presupposes a spiritually forming, that is to say a symbolic activity, or is identical with this. That is, everything spiritual appears to us first not just in nature but as nature; or we could formulate this just as well the other way around: everything natural, whether outward or inward, appears to us as an image, that is to say as formed spirit. We are surrounded by images, inwardly and outwardly, but at the same time formed and determined in all our experiences by the natural symbol as though by a unitary natural-spiritual reality, for our psychic system only grasps that which appears to us as the real world through the world of natural symbolism.
All art that is not mere storytelling, or mere portraiture, is symbolic, and has the purpose of those symbolic talismans which medieval magicians made with complex colours and forms, and bade their patients ponder over daily, and guard with holy secrecy; for it entangles, in complex colours and forms, a part of the Divine Essence.
William Butler Yeats
The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote of 'real toads in imaginary gardens, ' and the labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space... In such spaces as the labyrinth we cross over [between real and imaginary spaces]; we are really travelling, even if the destination is only symbolic.
The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote of 'real toads in imaginary gardens,' and the labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space...In such spaces as the labyrinth we cross over [between real and imaginary spaces]; we are really travelling, even if the destination is only symbolic.
At first the creative mind submits to its entry into the symbolic register and gets itself structured like everyone else. Then he balks at a fateful moment which becomes a turning point in the history of his mental growth. From the entry into the imaginary order where he acknowledges his ego and then to the symbolic order where he recognizes his place in the society and finally in his de-symbolization or a refusal to obey the Law that is the rules of the world of symbols, a creative genius is born.
Next to the dragon, and connected with it, water is the most frequently used symbol in Taosim. It is the strength in apparent weakness, the fluidity of life, an also symbolic of the state of coolness of judgment, acceptance and passionlessness, as opposed to the heat of argument, the friction of opposition, and the emotion of desire. Water fertilizes, refreshes and purifies and it is symbolic of gentle persuasion in government of the state and the individual. It occupies the lowest position, yet is the most powerful of forces. The highest goodness in like water.
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.
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.
While self-interest arising from the enjoyment of meat eating is obviously one reason for its entrenchment, and inertia another, a process of language usage engulfs discussions about meat by constructing the discourse in such a way that these issues need never be addressed. Language distances us from the reality of meat eating, thus reinforcing the symbolic meaning of meat eating, a symbolic meaning that is intrinsically patriarchal and male-oriented. Meat becomes a symbol for what is not seen but is always there--patriarchal control of animals and of language.
Carol J. Adams
And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others. And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.
There is no remedy against this reversal of the natural order. Man cannot escape from his own achievement. He cannot but adopt the conditions of his own life. No longer in a merely physical universe, man lives in a symbolic universe. Language, myth, art, and religion are parts of this universe. They are the varied threads which weave the symbolic net, the tangled web of human experience. All human progress in thought and experience refines and strengthens this net. No longer can man confront reality immediately; he cannot see it, as it were, face to face. Physical reality seems to recede in proportion as man's symbolic activity advances. Instead of dealing with the things themselves man is in a sense constantly conversing with himself. He has so enveloped himself in linguistic forms, in artistic images, in mythical symbols or religious rites that he cannot see or know anything except by the interposition of this artificial medium. His situation is the same in the theoretical as in the practical sphere. Even here man does not live in a world of hard facts, or according to his immediate needs and desires. He lives rather in the midst of imaginary emotions, in hopes and fears, in illusions and disillusions, in his fantasies and dreams. 'What disturbs and alarms man, ' said Epictetus, 'are not the things, but his opinions and fantasies about the things.