Sunday, March 18, 2018
In one civilization after another, the translation of certain realities into representation - symbolic images - of other realities, originates from something deep and inherent in human nature, a sense of awe and wonder, a perception demanding expression. Symbols may differ, as well as our understanding, interpretation, and use of rituals, but the impulse to use them itself is a universal drive
in human life. We are oriented toward meaning, and to the celebration of it, and ultimately our individual taste for the "really real" will be satisfied only when we join our fellow human beings in recognition of our common search for the essential truths of human life.
We may scoff at primitive man's need for symbolism and ritual, dismissing it as nothing more than superstitious mumbo jumbo that our scientific era has made obsolete. But a closer look at our own lives reveals that we, too, are inescapably creatures of symbols. From language to dance, wedding rings to diplomas, military medals to flags, in art and music, in secular culture as well as religious practice, symbols not only represent and express deeper, often more elusive thoughts and feelings, but actually stimulate and refine our experience of these realities.
-The Monks of New Skete, In The Spirit of Happiness