Symbols and the
Search for Meaning
about this painting
we hold a symbol language in common, we don't always interpret individual
symbols in the same way. Symbols point to deeper truths that we usually
experience as individuals or as members of a particular culture. This
variety of experience is part of the joy of the human adventure. It
can also be confusing when we study art or literature!
So, where do all these symbols lead you?
Perhaps to a better understanding of your inner, emotional life and
the world as you experience it, to specific areas requiring growth
and effort on your part. And, finally, to a better understanding of
what is Universal to all human beings.
In working with his patients, Swiss psychologist
Carl Jung identified universal, primordial symbols he called archetypes,
which he believed were common to all people regardless of their gender,
age, or society. He understood archetypes to represent recurring patterns
of experience. These archetypes or patterns of human experience
include the animus, anima, shadow, trickster, hero, and many others
One of the most important things you can
do in your creative work is to take notice of your own personal
and recurring patterns. What visual images attract you and why? Does
this change over time? What symbols or events appear regularly in
can be strange, intricate, and beautiful, but they can also
be everyday objects that represent for you a concept or a way of thinking,
being, or feeling. These ordinary objects or events can be a kind
of shorthand, a way your soul uses to communicate with you.
Keep a dream journal and pay attention both
to your dreams and to the events in your life. Can you piece together
the thread of meaning that runs through all of them? Are your dreams
telling you anything about your life? Work with your symbol language
in the art form of your choice. And be patient. Gold gleams within
can be found
in nature, in our dreams, in works of art, and in our daily life.
When you begin to understand the language of the imagination, you
will see that it is alive and well around you everyday, calling
you to come out and play.
like music, are a language we hold in common. Transcending
our cultural differences, symbols teach us much about our humanity
and help us see connections. As we look below the surface appearance
of things, we experience life more fully, glimpsing the eternal
meaning of times and events.
Books on Symbols
Sun Gods and Sun Symbols in Mythology and Your Psyche
on the Symbols
Are Slippery Things
does the lyre represent?
Stories Dreams Poetry
Invoking the Muse The
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