By Robert Zucker
In the human mind, basic and complex information is reduced to symbolic representations.
A symbol is any image or object that represents something else. A mental symbol is a "force-form," that links the conscious wth the unconscious mind.
A symbol that is understood by the public is called exoteric (exo- means outside). When there is a deeper, or hidden meaning, to a symbol, it is esoteric (eso- meaning within). Many ancient symbols are esoteric, but today, we can only understand them exoterically.
That is where confusions begins.
A symbol can have so many related meanings that it's true meaning becomes lost or mangled.
For example, take a look at the Tree of Life (right).
To the Jewish Qabalist, it has one meaning- a spiritual connection with G-d.
To the Christian Cabalist its meanings are tinged with the spirit of the trinity. To the uninitiated, this is just a drawing made of ten circles and intersecting 22 lines.
Connecting with a symbol
A symbol can be used as a projection device.
When a symbol, or image, is repeatedly imagined for an extended period of time, its becomes dramatically effective.
Imagine being rich everyday and you will be motivated to earn riches. Imagine doom and gloom and the world crumbles around you. Focus that mental energy on a specific image and its effects can be realized.
It is not actually the symbol that brings about the desired effect. It is your personal, subconscious connection with that symbol that causes the effect. A symbol has no meaning until it is reflected upon. Symbols cannot stimulate the brain until they are understood, according to leading psychologists.
A symbol is an attempt to represent an archetype, or Universal Meaning, of some idea or concept.
To create the first alphabet, everyone had to agree on the meaning of each of the symbols. Otherwise, the letters had no universal meaning.
Developing esoteric universal symbols
A universal symbol is a basic concept that everyone agrees on its meaning, both exoteric and esoteric.
Throughout history, universal symbols have evolved with each culture, language and religion. Different civilizations have created, adopted or changed universal symbols to their own needs. The original letters of the English alphabet started out as symbols that appear awkward to us today, but well understood thousands of years ago.
An ancient system of symbols is the Judaic Qabalah (also spelled as Kabbalah). According to the Qabalah, all of the forces of the universe are expressed through specific symbols which also are displayed as images, or representations in the mind. The structure of the Qabalah's organization is found in the Tree of Life design. These are the symbols of the universe.
Tarot is another system of symbolic representation of universal contants. Each card has a connection with each symbol of the Tree of Life.
The ancient systems of Qabalah and Tarot disguised the meanings of their symbols in allegory. This is the root of any esoteric system. Allegory hides the deeper meaning of a symbol.
When a group of people develop a hidden meaning to a symbol, it becomes esoteric.
Qabalists developed a whole system of symbols that represent every aspect of ourselves and the world around us.
Because the hidden meanings had to be hidden from the masses, they had to be disguised so that only the initiated could understand the true meaning. This is why the Book of Creation and other magical texts are so confusing. Only those few knew what the symbols meant.
Unfortunately, no one has faithfully passed down the orginal meanings of the magical symbols of Qabalah. Instead, we have dozens of interpretations and no one really know knows for sure anymore.
So, how do you know what is correct?
Study several sources. Compare thir similarities and differences. Then, form your own meanings to the symbols.
Remember, it's not actually the symbol that brings about the desired effects- but the subconscious mind's connection with that image.
© 2010 Robert Zucker. Entertainment Magazine EMOL.org All rights reserved.