Symbols are simply representations or identities. They are often attractive and alluring or disturbing or even frightening, but they are not reality.
The Greeks called symbols ‘tokens’ or ‘watchwords’ from ‘syn’ – together + ‘ballo’ – to put or throw. Often a group of ideas or objects were thrown together in order to compare or contrast them.
In modern life, we are addicted consumers and collectors. We accumulate images and words and symbols, archive and categorize them, pull them out of our memories in albums to pour over them. But these activities can overtake living now-and-here in the field of reality. They take us away from our beating hearts and breathing lungs. They distract us outside, always looking away from our true nature. We use them to help us remember or perhaps to forget but they are only a simple tool which we can easily let slip through our fingers.
Australian aboriginals living in traditional life have only their desert tools: a digging stick, a dilly bag, a bone coffin for their family relics, a carved stone to represent their totem group, a set of feather brushes for rock painting. The desert provides all the materials which they adapt to suit them. If westerners provide them with manufactured objects like clothes, toys, cooking utensils, they discard them instantly. They have no sense of possessing human-made objects or indeed any objects. They borrow from the desert as they borrow breath from the Earth. Ownership is unknown to them.
These words I write you may say are symbols and it’s true. I reach out to you to convey something important inviting you to take them in your mouth as food, to taste and then to swallow them to sustain you and move you on. Food may be delicious but in the end, you have to let it go.
As in ‘Mission Impossible’- the famous thriller film series starring Tom Cruise:
Whether you choose to accept this mission or not, this message will self-destruct in 5 seconds!‘Mission Impossible,’ Tom Cruise