The Veiled Speech of the Symbol

My new purchase:

Image

And a few quotes from the Introduction that stirred my imagination:

“A symbol does not signify; it evokes and focuses, assembles and concentrates, in an analogically versatile manner, a multiplicity of meanings that cannot be reduced to one or many single meanings. … a symbol depends on the mythical and ritual context associated with it.

To penetrate the world of symbols is to try to perceive harmonic vibrations and, in a way, to divine a music of the universe.

This requires not only intuition but also an innate sense of analogy, a gift that can be developed through exercise but that cannot be acquired. There is a “symbolic ear” just as there is a “musical ear,” and it is partially independent from an individual’s degree of cultural development. The symbolic ear of the Australian Aborigine, for example, is incomparably more developed that that of the modern “civilized” person.

The sealed book of the universe dos not allow itself to be read aloud. Nature flees from the violation of evidence: She confides her mysteries only in murmurs, in half-light. Her landscapes reveal their depths only at dawn and dusk, through vapors and mist. Knowing is not understanding; it is only savoring what we have glimpsed along the way. Reality does not require us to reduce the symbol to the limits of our thought. Instead, it invites us to immerse ourselves in the absence of its limits. Thus, the veiled speech of the symbol can protect us from the worst error: the discovery of a definitive and ultimate meaning of things and beings – for no one is more in error than he who knows all the answers… except, perhaps, he who knows only one answer.”

Image

The book seems so promising.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in The Symbol and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to The Veiled Speech of the Symbol

  1. Indeed, this sounds like a good choice and substantive read. Enjoy its information and stimulation.

    • Yes, it’s very substantive and scholarly. There aren’t many books like this on the subject but there’s a lot of fluff. I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into it.

  2. Katalina4 says:

    Oh gosh, I might have to order one of those…

  3. Let us know if it kept its promise 🙂

    A great choice for a natal mercury retro under this current cycle! I wonder of our merc retro club is more inclined to have a symbolic ear?

  4. ptero9 says:

    Oh no, another book to add to the list and I am so far behind already! 🙂
    I especially love this: “Reality does not require us to reduce the symbol to the limits of our thought.” And this: “Her landscapes reveal their depths only at dawn and dusk, through vapors and mist.”
    I love the softness of twilight and feel a deep kinship with ambiguity, as it points to the limits of sense and definition, leaving room for more possibilities, more connections; life and all things in motion.
    Looks like a great read Monika!

  5. Stuff Jeff Reads says:

    Nice!! I am sure you’ll enjoy it.

  6. That should make for an interesting read !!!! 🙂

  7. Soul Fields says:

    Such an elegant text. Thank you!

    “Reality does not require us to reduce the symbol to the limits of our thought.” Yes, that´s one thing why I love symbols and metaphors. I for one like to use positive symbols for my goals because they do go beyond the words (and labels, negative programmings…) During my meditation journeys the universe/guidance speaks to me (and to others when I used to give for example distance energy sessions) a lot in symbolic images, “video clips” and even cartoon like images (images are easier to remember afterwards than verbal messages which I also receive). They speak in practical ways as well, yet leave space for imagination more than verbal messages. It doesn´t even matter if I am able to always translate them exactly correctly, for receiving them in itself affirms my (our) connection with the universe. (Nor do I always verbalize them to myself, nor analyze them further, but allow them to work beyond my mind.)

    Rambling around, inspired by you.

  8. Henry Jekyll says:

    I hope that you find the book rewarding Monika. Love the expression, “divine a music of the universe.” Do I detect a subtle Pythagorean influence?
    Btw, wanted to express my gratitude for the Stephen Arroyo recommendation. Astrology, Psych and the Four Elements is a great read. I enjoy his methodological approach to the subject. So, I thank you.

  9. dreamrly says:

    Wow! Like ptero9, I am thinking Oh my goodness, another book to add to my growing list! I l hope you will post a follow up when you finish. I was thinking also that these quotes are Hillman-esque in their emphasis on the hidden-ness of the soulfulness “beneath” reality. The language seems poetic and soulful, though, a style that always captures my imagination. I am actually having some difficulty with Hillman’s style, for this reason. He argues, he pontificates, he analogizes and the strength of his assertions overwhelms me at times. He riles up my defenses. These poetic tidbits are like oil on my head. Thank you for sharing!

    • I think we need the same kind of oil on our heads – a dreamy, poetic language. For me Jung has the best style – nobody has matched him in my eyes. This particular book on symbols is a curious mixture: so far the dry scholarly passages have been interspersed with breathtaking poetic expressions. I will post a follow-up for sure.

  10. When I read the last lines, I was reminded of Francis Bacon’s quote “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.”

    I echo others. It sounds like a great read. 🙂

  11. Exquisitely written commentary on this book. Of course, one has to order the book now! There are many lines that are simply gourmet cuisine. This whole paragraph could be memorized for its beauty and revelations: “The sealed book of the universe dos not allow itself to be read aloud. Nature flees from the violation of evidence: She confides her mysteries only in murmurs, in half-light. Her landscapes …” Thank you for the delicacies, Monika. Certainly fed me for the day!

  12. You have tickled my taste buds with this one Monika, and I can see I shall have to put onto my To read list 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us 🙂

  13. shreejacob says:

    I missed reading this one!

    The introduction does seem absolutely fascinating! I’m glad you gave a review of the whole thing once you read it…I don’t mind scholarly books but those with a gazillion footnotes may not be for me..

  14. bostaj says:

    symbolical is embedded in the nature. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s