The twentieth-century artist who uses symbols is alienated because the system of symbols is a private one. After you have dealt with the symbols you are still private, you are still lonely, because you are not sure anyone will understand it except yourself. The ransom of privacy is that you are alone.
One main reason why the separate nature of the science of operations has been little felt, and in general little dwelt on, is the shifting meaning of many of the symbols used in mathematical notation. First, the symbols of operation are frequently also the symbols of the results of operations.
I end with a word on the new symbols which I have employed. Most writers on logic strongly object to all symbols. ... I should advise the reader not to make up his mind on this point until he has well weighed two facts which nobody disputes, both separately and in connexion. First, logic is the only science which has made no progress since the revival of letters; secondly, logic is the only science which has produced no growth of symbols.
Augustus De Morgan
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).
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.
Alan W. Watts
So far as the personality is still potential, it can be called transcendent, and so far as it is unconscious, it is indistinguishable from all those things that carry its projections...that is, symbols of the outside world and the cosmic symbols. These form the psychological basis for the conception of man as a macrocosm through the astrological components of his character.
Secondly, figures, the symbols of numerical magnitude, are frequently also the symbols of operations, as when they are the indices of powers. Wherever terms have a shifting meaning, independent sets of considerations are liable to become complicated together, and reasoning and results are frequently falsified.
There is a thinking in primordial images, in symbols which are older than the historical man, which are inborn in him from the earliest times, eternally living, outlasting all generations, still make up the groundwork of the human psyche. It is only possible to live the fullest life when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a return to them.
What I am trying to do when I use symbols is to awaken in your unconscious some reaction. I am very conscious of what I am using because symbols can be very dangerous. When we use normal language we can defend ourselves because our society is a linguistic society, a semantic society. But when you start to speak, not with words, but only with images, the people cannot defend themselves.
There are indeed 'values' in the Harry Potter series, but they're confused with anti-values. Potterworld is a scrambled moral universe. There are Christian symbols in the series, but the author misappropriates them, mutates them, and integrates them into a supposedly larger and broader system where evil symbols are dominant.
In a story you only had to wish, you only had to write it down and you could have the world...It seemed so obvious now that it was too late: a story was a form of telepathy. By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her reader's. It was a magical process, so commonplace that no one stopped to wonder at it. Reading a sentence and understanding it were the same thing; as with the crooking of a finger, nothing lay between them. There was no gap during which the symbols were unraveled.
The man who has successfully solved the problem of his relations with the two worlds of data and symbols is a man who has no beliefs. With regard to the problems of practical life he entertains a series of working hypotheses, which serve his purposes, but are taken no more seriously than any other kind of tool or instrument. In other words, symbols should never be raised to the rank of dogmas, nor should any system be regarded as more than a provisional convenience.
Guilt cannot, in fact, express itself, except in the indirect language of "captivity" and "infection, " inherited from the two prior stages. Thus both symbols are transposed "inward" to express a freedom that enslaves itself, affects itself, and infects itself by its own choice. Conversely, the symbolic and non-literal character of the captivity of sin and the infection of defilement becomes quite clear when these symbols are used to denote a dimension of freedom itself; then and only then do we know that they are symbols, when they reveal a situation that is centered in the relation of oneself to oneself. Why this recourse to the prior symbolism? Because the paradox of a captive free will - the paradox of a servile will - is insupportable for thought. That freedom must be delivered and that this deliverance is deliverance from self-enslavement cannot be said directly; yet it is the central theme of "salvation
Rhetorical bombast, music and song resound, banners wave, flowers and colors serve as symbols, and the leaders seek to attach their followers to their own person. Liberalism has nothing to do with all this. It has no party flower and no party color, no party song and no party idols, no symbols and no slogans. It has the substance and the arguments. These must lead it to victory.
Ludwig von Mises
I declare and I challenge all mankind to contradict my declaration, that no man can give any account of the order of Freemasonry, of its origin, of its history, of its object, nor any explanation of its mysteries and symbols, which does not leave the mind in total uncertainty on all these points. Every man is entitled therefore, to give any explanation of the symbols and a system of the doctrine that he can render palatable.
Mathematicians may flatter themselves that they possess new ideas which mere human language is as yet unable to express. Let them make the effort to express these ideas in appropriate words without the aid of symbols, and if they succeed they will not only lay us laymen under a lasting obligation, but, we venture to say, they will find themselves very much enlightened during the process, and will even be doubtful whether the ideas as expressed in symbols had ever quite found their way out of the equations into their minds.
James Clerk Maxwell
Given the nature of spiders, webs are inevitable. And given the nature of human beings, so are religions. Spiders can't help making fly-traps, and men can't help making symbols. That's what the human brain is there for - the turn the chaos of given experience into a set of manageable symbols.
Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes -- I mean the universe -- but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.
Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes - I mean the universe - but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.
Symbols are specific acts or figures, while myths develop and elaborate these symbols into a story which contains characters and several episodes. The myth is thus more inclusive. But both symbol and myth have the same function psychologically; they are man's way of expressing the quintessence of his experience - his way of seeing his life, his self-image and his relations to the world of his fellow men and of nature - in a total figure which at the same moment carries the vital meaning of this experience.
Money is only one kind of power. Faith is power, too. Love is power. Slaughter and madness are both roads to power. Certainly, symbols are power - you wear one wherever you go, that purse you carry. And you wear others when you decide to dress yourself, how to look at men and women, how to carry your body and direct your gaze. And all these symbols can raise people to labour or war.
In obedience to the feeling of reality, we shall insist that, in the analysis of propositions, nothing "unreal" is to be admitted. But, after all, if there is nothing unreal, how, it may be asked, could we admit anything unreal? The reply is that, in dealing with propositions, we are dealing in the first instance with symbols, and if we attribute significance to groups of symbols which have no significance, we shall fall into the error of admitting unrealities, in the only sense in which this is possible, namely, as objects described.
It is my conviction that, with the spread of true scientific culture, whatever may be the medium, historical, philological, philosophical, or physical, through which that culture is conveyed, and with its necessary concomitant, a constant elevation of the standard of veracity, the end of the evolution of theology will be like its beginning-it will cease to have any relation to ethics. I suppose that, so long as the human mind exists, it will not escape its deep-seated instinct to personify its intellectual conceptions. The science of the present day is as full of this particular form of intellectual shadow-worship as is the nescience of ignorant ages. The difference is that the philosopher who is worthy of the name knows that his personified hypotheses, such as law, and force, and ether, and the like, are merely useful symbols, while the ignorant and the careless take them for adequate expressions of reality. So, it may be, that the majority of mankind may find the practice of morality made easier by the use of theological symbols. And unless these are converted from symbols into idols, I do not see that science has anything to say to the practice, except to give an occasional warning of its dangers. But, when such symbols are dealt with as real existences, I think the highest duty which is laid upon men of science is to show that these dogmatic idols have no greater value than the fabrications of men's hands, the stocks and the stones, which they have replaced.
Thomas Henry Huxley
An axiomatic system comprises axioms and theorems and requires a certain amount of hand-eye coordination before it works. A formal system comprises an explicit list of symbols, an explicit set of rules governing their cohabitation, an explicit list of axioms, and, above all, an explicit list of rules explicitly governing the steps that the mathematician may take in going from assumptions to conclusions. No appeal to meaning nor to intuition. Symbols lose their referential powers; inferences become mechanical.
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.
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Tree of Liberty: A tree set up by the people, hung with flags and devices, and crowned with a cap of liberty. The Americans of the United States planted poplars and other trees during the war of independence, "as symbols of growing freedom." The Jacobins in Paris planted their first tree of liberty in 1790. The symbols used in France to decorate their trees of liberty were tricoloured ribbons, circles to indicate unity, triangles to signify equality, and a cap of liberty. Trees of liberty were planted by the Italians in the revolution of 1848.
E. Cobham Brewer
And just how did you arrive at that remarkable conclusion, Mr. Mayor?" "In a rather simple way. It merely required the use of that much-neglected commodity - common sense. You see, there is a branch of human knowledge known as symbolic logic, which can be used to prune away all sorts of clogging deadwood that clutters up human language." "What about it?" said Fulham. "I applied it. Among other things, I applied it to this document here. I didn't really need to for myself because I knew what it was all about, but I think I can explain it more easily to five physical scientists by symbols rather than by words." Hardin removed a few sheets of paper from the pad under his arm and spread them out. "I didn't do this myself, by the way," he said. "Muller Holk of the Division of Logic has his name signed to the analyses, as you can see." Pirenne leaned over the table to get a better view and Hardin continued: "The message from Anacreon was a simple problem, naturally, for the men who wrote it were men of action rather than men of words. It boils down easily and straightforwardly to the unqualified statement, when in symbols is what you see, and which in words, roughly translated is, 'You give us what we want in a week, or we take it by force.'" There was silence as the five members of the Board ran down the line of symbols, and then Pirenne sat down and coughed uneasily. Hardin said, "No loophole, is there, Dr. Pirenne?" "Doesn't seem to be.
We know what happened to those who chanced to meet the Great God Pan, and those who are wise know that all symbols are symbols of something, not of nothing. It was, indeed, an exquisite symbol beneath which men long ago veiled their knowledge of the most awful, most secret forces which lie at the heart of all things; forces before which the souls of men must wither and die and blacken, as their bodies blacken under the electric current. Such forces cannot be named, cannot be spoken, cannot be imagined except under a veil and a symbol, a symbol to the most of us appearing a quaint, poetic fancy, to some a foolish tale. But you and I, at all events, have known something of the terror that may dwell in the secret place of life, manifested under human flesh; that which is without form taking to itself a form.