Poetry is that art which selects and arranges the symbols of thought in such a manner as to excite the imagination the most powerfully and delightfully.
People sometimes refer to higher education as the higher learning, but colleges and universities are much more than the knowledge factories; they are testaments to man's perennial struggle to make a better world for himself, his children, and his children's children. This, indeed, is their sovereign purpose. They are great fortifications against ignorance and irrationality; but they are more than places of higher learning - they are centers and symbols of man's higher yearning.
The instinctive and universal taste of mankind selects flowers for the expression of its finest sympathies, their beauty and their fleetingness serving to make them the most fitting symbols of those delicate sentiments for which language itself seems almost too gross a medium.
The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure. They are necessary symbols. They protect what we cherish. But they are witness to human folly.
Things are symbols of themselves.
A highly evolved use of intuition is being able to find meaning in symbols and synchronicities. The more we focus on finding meaning for ourselves in “chance occurrences,” the more we increase our intuitive power. Deepening our connection to our current surrounding increases our ability to follow the guidance of our inner purpose.
In symbols there is a meaning that words cannot define.
The quest for symbols is a trap for those who seek the truth.
People do not define themselves directly through a chronology of life experiences. Rather, they define themselves through the expression of selected life experiences... people crystallize certain experiences into themes… considered building blocks of identity. Identity in old age – the ageless self – is founded on the present significance of past experience, the current rendering of meaningful symbols and events of a life.
Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.
Truth, not in distinct and clear-cut definitions but in the limpid obscurity of a single intuition that unites all dogmas in one simple Light, shining into the soul directly from God’s eternity, without the medium of created concept, without the intervention of symbols or of language or the likeness of material things. Here the Truth is One Whom we not only know and possess but by Whom we are known and possessed. Here theology ceases to be a body of abstractions and becomes a Living Reality Who is God Himself.
A study of comparative religion gives insight into the values of the various faiths, values which transcend different symbols and creeds and in transcending penetrate to the depths of the spiritual consciousness where the symbols and formulas shrink into insignificance.
The life of a mythology derives from the vitality of its symbols as metaphors delivering, not simply the idea, but a sense of actual participation in such a realization of transcendence, infinity, and abundance, as this of which the upanishadic authors tell. Indeed, the first and most essential service of a mythology is this one, of opening the mind and heart to the utter wonder of all being. And the second service, then, is cosmological: of representing the universe and whole spectacle of nature, both as known to the mind and as beheld by the eye, as an epiphany of such kind that when lightning flashes, or a setting sun ignites the sky, or a deer is seen standing alerted, the exclamation "Ah!" may be uttered as a recognition of divinity.
Directly stated, the evolution of the entire universe - stars, elements, life, man - is a process of drawing something out of nothing, out of the utter void of nonbeing. The creative element in the mind of man - the latency which can conceive gods, carve statues, move the heart with the symbols of great poetry, or devise the formulas of modern physics - emerge in as mysterious a fashion as those elementary particles which leap into momentary existence in great cyclotrons, only to vanish again like infinitesimal ghosts.
The guns and bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure.
Why indeed must “God” be a noun?... The anthropomorphic symbols for God may be intended to convey personality, but they fail to convey that God is BE-ing.
Our eating, trading, marrying, and learning are mistaken by us for ends and realities, whilst they are properly symbols only; when we have come, by a divine leading [illness?] into the inner firmament, we are apprised of the unreality or representative character of what we esteem final.
Life would be stunted and narrow if we could feel no significance in the world around us beyond that which can be weighed and measured with the tools of the physicist or described by the metrical symbols of the mathematician.
Words mean nothing in themselves; they re as much symbols as x or y.
The guru cannot awaken you; all that he can do is to point out what is. Truth is not a thing that can be caught by the mind. The guru can give you words; he can give you an explanation, the symbols of the mind, but the symbol is not the real, and if you are caught in the symbol, you will never find the way. Therefore, that which is important is not the teacher, it is not the symbol, it is not the explanation, but it is you who are seeking truth. To seek rightly is to give attention, not to God, not to truth, because you don't know it, but attention to the problem of your relationship with your wife, your children, your neighbor. When you establish right relationship then you love truth, for truth is not a thing that can be bought, truth does not come into being through self-immolation or through the repetition of mantras. Truth comes into being only when there is self-knowledge. Self-knowledge brings understanding, and when there is understanding, there are no problems.