Whether we have ever thought it or not, the symbols are a part of our life. From our dreams at night (as well as the day) the ads we see at the foot of the road to work; from the red stop light, to the garments we dress (ornaments) and the cars we drive, and even the language itself – the influence of the symbols is constant throughout our lives.
There are several different categories of symbols – we will talk about them a little later, but first, what exactly is a symbol? A quick definition, in the general sense, a symbol is an object or an image that represents something else. Think of the red light that says “stop”, or, for example, the flag of a state.
Often we are tied up with a symbol so close to what he represents for us, but we never think how most of our symbols are ours. The same applies to words, and it is perhaps easier to explain this subject now by using the language as an example: if I pick up a pen and say, “This is not a pen”, you may think I’m stupid or stupid But here we can see something that is true of most of the symbols – that their meaning is based on our agreement with them (we all agree, for example, that a red light means “stop “).
And secondly, we have said that “one picture is worth a thousand words,” and all who use images or symbols effectively, advertisers, storytellers, and teachers, all know this truth: we can we show more, more quickly with just a powerful image than with the same words.
A symbol is a concentrated form of communication. By the way our mind is built, we understand the message further, sooner – and we can say it immediately – with an image as opposed to spoken language. The attitude of a person or his physical gestures can communicate with us at a more responsible or sub-conscious level than what he expresses in words.
This brings us to the second point – that images or symbols act and influence at a deeper, pre-verbal level, whether we understand it or not. We are influenced by the images we are surrounded by, or the ones we bring to our minds. For good or for worse, images affect our emotions and how we experience the world. They can also shape our values. For example: in advertising, politics or education, our culture carries images of what we should be, how we should live life, images that are told (consistently) that they represent ‘success’ or happiness.
When we become more aware of the power of symbols, we can choose the values ??we want to focus on, and what ideas we want to fill our minds. Of course, this is not easy because, as we have said before, the images act at a deeper level (sub-consciousness), and in modern society, the symbols are everywhere around us.
If we think about images in religious traditions, father’s picture or friends and family pictures, in the best case, these images can be encouraging, inspiring, transformative, motivating, or reassuring.
Moreover, the rational mind is engaged with symbols. They have the power to touch the emotions and spark the will for action.
Unfortunately, images can also be used to cheat or negatively affect people, and this is when they abuse them. Abuse of symbols may be something of a devastating power. In fact, the power of symbols is underestimated much. Otherwise, why should they be so negligent in their use?
Some images may be too negative – say otherwise “non-harmonious with human nature” – for example: violent images. Exposure to them may cause numbness, indifference, or discomfort to the viewer, especially when the eyesight reverts over time. It is not necessary to gather “scientific studies” to prove this. The observation experiences over the years are a sufficient argument.
Symbols represent ideas, and these ideas can be positive affirmations, or they can create ignorance or desire among people. They may be diverting. We can give some examples:
The reason why advertising and politics are so devilish is because they are not based on real values. For example, the ads say “Buy this product and you will be happy or successful (and display the image of a happy person), – they are really interested in the happiness of the people, but most likely they are interested in your money. they use every method they can to influence you in order to buy their own products.
Politicians, too, would not be long in the scene if they would tell people their true motives – which are usually wealth and oppression. And they use images all the time – images that spur fears, or our worst instincts. If you need a clear example of negative image usage, check out policies and listen to politicians. Look at history in modern times and you will understand what I mean. For example, when people are deceived to go to war, this is done mainly through the power of symbols and not by chance.
As a society, we should seek to take great care with using the images to be used with care and in the proper way. If they fall into the wrong hands, as we see it today, misuse of symbols can cause incalculable damage.
To go a little further: There are several different categories of symbols. On the one hand, these are the new images that are being produced today – I mean the modern portrait photographs of social movements – such as the photos of the fall of the Berlin Wall or photos of various protests.
Then there are what can be called ‘national symbols’ – images that have a great sense for a particular place. National symbols may represent a political movement, or a particular virtue, such as courage, or unity. They can have a great or a long lifespan, and the longer they are, the more powerful they can be. This is a key point to consider if we want to use images efficiently. Like old words, sometimes the old symbols have more power to create an effect.
So there are some images that are as old as mankind, and are known everywhere, and their meaning is recognized in every place and time. (For example, the sun is a universal symbol for life … The Tree of Life has been found in many different cultures, and a smile is recognized everywhere as happiness, … different gestures or face expressions can be seen as universal. ..)
Universal symbols are a “golden standard” in terms of their value. Their meaning and values ??for human beings are constant.
I have tried to give a definite definition of the word arketip – and I have come to the conclusion that:
An archetype is an aspect of the universal spirit that can be represented by an image. (for example: arketips of power, or wisdom …)
The universal spirit is our very nature, with us at a certain level of depth – deeper than our spirituality, or personality and deeper than the culture or time we live in.
Just as one aspect of one’s personality can be expressed through a symbol – a strong body, proud stance; or a thoughtful person or a pertinent listener – can also be represented by an image.
For example, when in a person’s life comes time out of external activity to do some internal exploration (in himself), to find the utmost truths, we can say that the search archive is awake in the life of this person. We can say that he has entered the quest for answers to existential truth and other enigmas.
When we look at our lives, we must be able to see what archetypes, or what, the main universal forces, have emerged or are operating in our lives. Having a few symbols that represent aspects of our universal spirit can help us in this direction. This can be a religion, a story, or a mythology or a thinking system. These can help us to understand what’s happening in our lives.
Another interesting aspect of archetypal symbols is that they can be used consciously. When we focus on an image or idea, we can awaken that quality in our lives. For example, we may meditate on a symbol of love, or patience, with a view to cultivating that quality in our minds and feelings.
Reading or listening to a story can have the same effect and it can be resolved with consciousness. And then the virtues that history represents may develop in us.
We can say that a symbol is a manifestation of a state of consciousness. And that a sequence of images – such as telling a story – can also be a symbol. Meditating on a symbol can create in us the same state of consciousness as the source of the symbol. We can see this in our lives – that everything that we experience affects our emotional life.
Try and see – for example, an image you enjoy, such as the image of strength, endurance, or healing, and put it in front of you for a while. Or maybe you can leave it in a visible place that you can see from time to time throughout the day. Bring the positive image to mind as long as you can. And see what the effect will be.
The idea that meditation on images can awaken a necessary quality to bring about balance or to strengthen a quality in itself is as old as trust. This has always been a part of religion and social education.
We have the power and the means to shape our lives, perhaps not as much as we want, but at least to go the course we want for ourselves and our world.