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Symbolism and the Mind


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#1    XenoFish

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:59 AM

I've been digging around the net researching how symbolism affects us. Logo's, sigils, and such. I practice sigil magick for the most part. For years I didn't really question how those cryptic monograms I created really worked. As I began to delve into the working of the mind (very basic level) I realized it was a form of image association. The image (sigil) represented an intention, something I wished to have in my life. Time passed and the manifestation seemed less magical, more mundane. I realized that I had either changed my subjective point of view and/or cause self-fulfilling prophecy. I need more insight as to how symbolism effects our subconscious. I'm deeply fascinated with the subject and how magick might just be another means of self-hypnosis. Thanks for your time.

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#2    FLOMBIE

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:32 PM

How can symbols subconsciously ifluence us if we don't know their meanings? A circle is just a cirlce unless we know it stands for somethinge else.


#3    third_eye

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:56 PM

the origin of symbols is not as relevant today with the massive competitions for our minds or consciousness ... just barely fifty years ago things were much different ~

today its mainly in the powers of 'brand names' media providers and social network representation ~

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#4    FLOMBIE

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:58 PM

View Postthird_eye, on 09 January 2014 - 12:56 PM, said:

the origin of symbols is not as relevant today with the massive competitions for our minds or consciousness ... just barely fifty years ago things were much different ~

today its mainly in the powers of 'brand names' media providers and social network representation ~
Indeed. And there are so many logos and symbols out there that look pretty much the same. No one can keep up with that.


#5    thyra

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:06 PM

I think with symbols we are given a shortcut to multi-level understanding of a thing at one sight. This makes them interesting to the mind.

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#6    third_eye

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:11 PM

View PostFLOMBIE, on 09 January 2014 - 12:58 PM, said:

Indeed. And there are so many logos and symbols out there that look pretty much the same. No one can keep up with that.

aye ... imagine the toil and predicament not to mention the conundrum of graphic designers assigned to create a corporate identity company logo ~ sometimes some people go 'its just a couple of lines and letters spelling the company name and they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for that ????'

what they don't realise is options are not really that readily available ~ on top of which the representation has to be easily recognisable and memorable too ~

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Edited by third_eye, 09 January 2014 - 01:12 PM.

He who postpones the hour of living rightly ... is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out ... before he crosses.
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#7    Leonardo

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:22 PM

Symbols are just another language and our understanding/comprehension of that language dictates how we respond to it. In the case of the "magic of symbols", I would propose it is not true hypnotism, but self-suggestion - as can happen with any use of language. It would seem to me the same phenomenon that occurs with 'motivational language'.

I'm not really conversant with the subject, and I suppose there could be archetypical symbols (or symbols representative of archetypes) which have a similar meaning to many, but because symbols are a constructed language I would venture that, in the main, their meaning varies according to the association made when constructing it, so it is not a "universal language of our common subconsciousness."

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#8    Ryu

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:37 PM

It's all in the mind.
It has absolutely no power unless you let yourself be convinced it does.

As was stated, a circle is a circle and even if someone believes it has "power" it is still just a circle, even if you put triangles and other shapes in it.

It is interesting how humans managed to put so much of their implied meaning into things and even if a shape is designed to have some sort of "meaning" not everyone will see the meaning that it was designed for.
I think the real problem arises when we focus too much on an image or word and think that it is the reality in which it was designed to represent.

For example, a sign with a snarling dog usually implies a vicious or guard dog is nearby but if one focuses too much on the signs imagery then one may think that the image IS the real dog and has the power to hurt you.

Interesting topic.


#9    White Crane Feather

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:41 PM

Symbols are our representation of language and meaning. In phonetic language symbols usually represents a sound. But In highly contextual languages like say mandarin, symbolize represent concepts and are evolved from actual pictures.  The sound "MA" can actually be represented by several different characters and different meanings and said with different tones to mean different things. Mother, scold, horse and the equivalent of a verbal question mark.

Wo da ma ma ma. My mother scolded the horse... Or Wo da ma ma ma ma. Did my mother scold the horse?

It takes knowledge and understanding of about 5,000 characters to be fluent in reading traditional Chinese characters each of which carries a complex meaning and history.

When it comes to magick or altered state symbols, we now are delving into deep psychological symbols potentially deeply personal or buried within our collective unconscious. Do not take them lightly. Images and patterns can have profound effects on your state of consciousness. A priest from an African shamanic religion once shared with me his sects power glyph. A complex set of symbols. I gave my word that I would not share it with anyone. This symbol had the power to alter people's consciousness and send them into the spirit world. He agreed to let me see it because he knew i was already familiar with altered states of consciousness  and could take care of myself. I was skeptical at first but am no longer. I followed his instructions which basically was little more than starring at the images, and sure enough I felt the familiar shifts.

I would not right off the self hypnosis idea just yet. Nor would I jump to any conclusions about the mundaneness of images and symbols. We know now the there are certain frequencies of light pulses that can send people into seizure, force them to throw up, or even maybe even knock them unconscious. When one considers to potential complexity of a symbol  be how our consciousness might  interact with it. A whole world of possibility opens up.

Edited by White Crane Feather, 09 January 2014 - 06:44 PM.

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#10    third_eye

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:47 PM

When someone sees the 'Golden Arches' they wants a burger ~ its not magic ~

buts its as magical as an ancient symbol making the ancient man struck with fear when he sees it ~

He who postpones the hour of living rightly ... is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out ... before he crosses.
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#11    LostSouls7

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:41 PM

View Postthird_eye, on 09 January 2014 - 06:47 PM, said:

When someone sees the 'Golden Arches' they wants a burger ~ its not magic ~

buts its as magical as an ancient symbol making the ancient man struck with fear when he sees it ~

funny when I see the Golden Arches... I think of all the times that food made me sick
and gave me a belly ache.

I prefer Fat Burger.. they don't need to use magic to get me to buy them.
They are just better and taste great.
They used the magic of great tasting burgers to win over this Wizard !

View PostWhite Crane Feather, on 09 January 2014 - 06:41 PM, said:

Symbols are our representation of language and meaning. In phonetic language symbols usually represents a sound. But In highly contextual languages like say mandarin, symbolize represent concepts and are evolved from actual pictures.  The sound "MA" can actually be represented by several different characters and different meanings and said with different tones to mean different things. Mother, scold, horse and the equivalent of a verbal question mark.

Wo da ma ma ma. My mother scolded the horse... Or Wo da ma ma ma ma. Did my mother scold the horse?

It takes knowledge and understanding of about 5,000 characters to be fluent in reading traditional Chinese characters each of which carries a complex meaning and history.

When it comes to magick or altered state symbols, we now are delving into deep psychological symbols potentially deeply personal or buried within our collective unconscious. Do not take them lightly. Images and patterns can have profound effects on your state of consciousness. A priest from an African shamanic religion once shared with me his sects power glyph. A complex set of symbols. I gave my word that I would not share it with anyone. This symbol had the power to alter people's consciousness and send them into the spirit world. He agreed to let me see it because he knew i was already familiar with altered states of consciousness  and could take care of myself. I was skeptical at first but am no longer. I followed his instructions which basically was little more than starring at the images, and sure enough I felt the familiar shifts.

I would not right off the self hypnosis idea just yet. Nor would I jump to any conclusions about the mundaneness of images and symbols. We know now the there are certain frequencies of light pulses that can send people into seizure, force them to throw up, or even maybe even knock them unconscious. When one considers to potential complexity of a symbol  be how our consciousness might  interact with it. A whole world of possibility opens up.

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#12    White Crane Feather

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:54 PM

View PostLostSouls7, on 09 January 2014 - 08:41 PM, said:



funny when I see the Golden Arches... I think of all the times that food made me sick
and gave me a belly ache.

I prefer Fat Burger.. they don't need to use magic to get me to buy them.
They are just better and taste great.
They used the magic of great tasting burgers to win over this Wizard !



I would like to fly in the spirit world.


"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#13    XenoFish

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:10 PM

Quote

When someone sees the 'Golden Arches' they wants a burger ~ its not magic ~

buts its as magical as an ancient symbol making the ancient man struck with fear when he sees it ~

funny when I see the Golden Arches... I think of all the times that food made me sick
and gave me a belly ache.

This is what I mean by image-association. A self-created sigil represents an intention. An idea, once this idea get stuck in your mind you will manifest it in some form or fashion. Either changing your awareness or you create self-fulfilling prophecy.

Another way to think of it as a symbolic affirmation.

Quote

When it comes to magick or altered state symbols, we now are delving into deep psychological symbols potentially deeply personal or buried within our collective unconscious. Do not take them lightly. Images and patterns can have profound effects on your state of consciousness. A priest from an African shamanic religion once shared with me his sects power glyph. A complex set of symbols. I gave my word that I would not share it with anyone. This symbol had the power to alter people's consciousness and send them into the spirit world. He agreed to let me see it because he knew i was already familiar with altered states of consciousness  and could take care of myself. I was skeptical at first but am no longer. I followed his instructions which basically was little more than starring at the images, and sure enough I felt the familiar shifts.

If the symbol has no meaning to you then it won't affect you. If you know what it represents then it will affect you in various degrees. Which depends on the individual. Christians can see the cross and feel a sense of reverence. I see the letter t.

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#14    behavioralist

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:36 PM

View PostXenoFish, on 09 January 2014 - 11:59 AM, said:

I've been digging around the net researching how symbolism affects us. Logo's, sigils, and such. I practice sigil magick for the most part. For years I didn't really question how those cryptic monograms I created really worked. As I began to delve into the working of the mind (very basic level) I realized it was a form of image association. The image (sigil) represented an intention, something I wished to have in my life. Time passed and the manifestation seemed less magical, more mundane. I realized that I had either changed my subjective point of view and/or cause self-fulfilling prophecy. I need more insight as to how symbolism effects our subconscious. I'm deeply fascinated with the subject and how magick might just be another means of self-hypnosis. Thanks for your time.

You're looking for instinct. It can still laugh in the adult condition, but it can't draw or paint. So every item you make has to vanish Before it starts revealing to yourself the causes of your development, which is "Business!". I don't make it for me, but for Money.

Self-exploration interferes with business from both ends: you are dabbling in psychology using art, and Everything you do has less order in it because you are not trying to sell it.

When you were Little even your feet moved on instinct, and so you could actually play, so that four feet moved as gracefully together as two. The less you do by instinct the more insight you gain from the Product into how compelled it is, which is slavery. You only have business if you mirror the master, so that slavery becomes your fault as well.

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#15    XenoFish

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:52 PM

I don't quite understand your point? To be truthful you've confused me.

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