Do visual symbols have value to modern society?

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posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 10:19 AM
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It seems to be a relatively common and desirable human trait to condense one's beliefs into a symbol, having to do with our earliest communications and ideas of social unification. A group picks an object to define what they can't describe; that they are clearly different from other groups. The symbol becomes the commonality we unify under. But symbols aren't definitive. We cannot agree on what a symbol means, only what it's made of. So what value do they really have?

The fact is, no matter what symbols we espouse, we don't think the same way as every other person who holds that same symbol valuable. And why should we? I think it's unreasonable to expect anyone to place more than the common value on any object of common origin. But in an increasingly crowded world, where we still seek a sense of individuality within the comfort of a group, we use symbols not just to express our commonalities but individual consensus and values. The problem is, holding up a common symbol as a representation of individuality leads to the idea that if I don't respect your symbol, I don't respect you. Now what sense does that make? Exactly how do you respect an inanimate object?

[edit on 17-9-2008 by TravelerintheDark]

[edit on 17-9-2008 by TravelerintheDark]




posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 11:48 AM
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I hope the previous post or topic isn't taken as too argumentative. Because on the other I understand the value of symbols on a personal level and don't want to imply I'm passing judgment. I wouldn't be sitting here if it weren't for a series of things that I hold to be personally symbolic. The issue above is whether or not I should have the expectation that these things mean anything at all to anyone else.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 12:16 PM
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reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 


Symbols are the language of archetypes.
They appeal to man's subconscious, because man is a creature that, in fact (as opposed to theory), ONLY understands symbolism, albeit unwittingly.

In fact, it could be argued that Nature itself "speaks" to man through FORM.
Hence the persistence of old - and in appearance ridiculous - concepts such as homology of the micro- and macrocosm.

I wish I could tell more... but I am sure others will.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 12:51 PM
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We didn't condense beliefs into symbols, we condensed the knowledge of the world and the universe (the eternal one) into symbols. Humanity's mental retardation over-time and disconnect with objective reality, a result of many things, condensed symbols into beliefs.

Beliefs, faiths, they're only convictions in, of and to ignorance. Because of this objective disconnection we became subjectively faithful and truly lost all connection with the real eternal one. In this time in an attempt to save the knowledge that was revealed, we have fought over what is real and what isn't, yet neither side ever provided any proof or evidence, logical or physical, it was always one prophet and religion vs. another.

The symbols mean everything. The words mean everything. They mentally conceptualize existence and through them it is the only way that we may know the eternal one. Faith isn't needed, nor is belief. Everything can be known. When faith is placed in something it is only a revealing of one's ignorance of knowledge of that something and sometimes even fear to seek out that knowledge.

Without the symbols you would have never been able to create this thread nor would the internet exist. Consider that!

Only through symbols (and the language of the spoken, that which are usually one and the same) are we able to accurately share knowledge and concepts. Without them we can not.

If I hold up a piece of paper that says "leave me alone", and you continually bother me, then you are disrespecting me. Through the symbols you should understand the concept that I am presenting, if you don't, then I'm sure through my emotions and body language you eventually will.

However, can one disrespect a symbol alone? This all varies. What is the form if disrespect?

Can we disrespect inanimate objects? Only if they are seen as a crucial part of an environment.

[edit on 17-9-2008 by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal]



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by Vanitas
reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 


Symbols are the language of archetypes.
They appeal to man's subconscious, because man is a creature that, in fact (as opposed to theory), ONLY understands symbolism, albeit unwittingly.

In fact, it could be argued that Nature itself "speaks" to man through FORM.
Hence the persistence of old - and in appearance ridiculous - concepts such as homology of the micro- and macrocosm.

I wish I could tell more... but I am sure others will.



Yes, this is what I wanted to convey in my second post. In fact, this cycle I feel I'm in right now began with a moment that through coincidence or synchronicity gave me symbols to "translate", which I have since passed through as many models as I can. Though what I find vitally more important is not the physical reality of the occurrence but that my mind was immediately flooded with the idea that there was something I needed to find out.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 02:28 PM
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Symbols carry more weight than any written text or language because they are universal and cross over beyond our language and cultural differences. Companies have always known this, just look at the symbols of Coca Cola and Nike.
With symbols you can afford to drop the text, just look at Chili's and how they are marketing the spicy pepper icon.
Symbols even influence the animal kingdom. How many times do you see company signs inhabited by birds?
The letter "O" makes a nice little cubby hole of a nest.

Don't forget about the golden arches of McDonald's.
As smart as birds are, don't be surprised if they are somehow evolving by now recognizing this symbol as one where food can be found,

Picture if you will, a scene from the future where mankind has been destroyed. From the ashes and rubble of a destroyed civilization protrudes a somewhat familiar symbol from many years gone past.
Of all the rubble, debris and broken stone, what compelled this old and haggard crow to perch on arches of faded gold?


[edit on 17-9-2008 by Alxandro]



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal
We didn't condense beliefs into symbols, we condensed the knowledge of the world and the universe (the eternal one) into symbols.


How do you condense the eternal?


Beliefs, faiths, they're only convictions in, of and to ignorance.


How do you justify belief in your own words then?


Without the symbols you would have never been able to create this thread nor would the internet exist. Consider that!


I did. My second post illustrates my own personal belief in symbols.


Only through symbols (and the language of the spoken, that which are usually one and the same) are we able to accurately share knowledge and concepts. Without them we can not.


True, when we share a common understanding of those symbols.


If I hold up a piece of paper that says "leave me alone", and you continually bother me, then you are disrespecting me. Through the symbols you should understand the concept that I am presenting, if you don't, then I'm sure through my emotions and body language you eventually will.


Yes, I'll understand because of the common understanding we share of the english language. I respect that the symbols you use are illustrating your personal freedom; yourself, after a fashion. But if you were to hold up a religious symbol I might take the same meaning from it, only I'd find it a whole lot funnier.


However, can one disrespect a symbol alone? This all varies. What is the form if disrespect?


How about my previous statement as an example?


Can we disrespect inanimate objects? Only if they are seen as a crucial part of an environment.


This is a good example of how symbols breakdown through interpretation. The word 'crucial' implies importance and importance implies value. And value is subjective so how do we interpret that?

But all symbols breakdown through interpretation, even the ones we rely on the most as essential to communication. Perhaps the real question is how much breakdown must occur before a symbol becomes irrelevant to society? Is there an obligation for society as a whole to recognize our personal symbolism? Political correctness is an example.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by TravelerintheDark
How do you condense the eternal?


Through placing its concept onto a symbol. I am talking about concepts here, not literally condensing the eternal, as it can not be.


How do you justify belief in your own words then?


It's not a belief. I therefore have nothing to justify and you are making assumptions. My words are knowledge, not belief.


I did. My second post illustrates my own personal belief in symbols.


So is that not enough to know, rather than to only believe?


True, when we share a common understanding of those symbols.


True.


Yes, I'll understand because of the common understanding we share of the english language. I respect that the symbols you use are illustrating your personal freedom; yourself, after a fashion. But if you were to hold up a religious symbol I might take the same meaning from it, only I'd find it a whole lot funnier.


I don't have freedom, but that's for another topic.

Ah, religion. Touchy, touchy. Mes don't likes to goes there too much anymore



How about my previous statement as an example?


But you see, the symbol still has a concept attached to it. You're not disrespecting the symbol because it is an inanimate object, you can't possibly hurt it, however you are disrespecting it since it is a crucial part of an environment. If it has meaning to its beholder and you disrespect its meaning, then you are more so disrespecting the beholder, not so much the symbol. It's the same as me holding up a sign saying "don't make fun of my symbol, it is my belief., and un-accordingly you do so anyway.


This is a good example of how symbols breakdown through interpretation. The word 'crucial' implies importance and importance implies value. And value is subjective so how do we interpret that?


Objectively. You see, all subjective faiths must be tested through objective analysis and then be subject to facts and knowledge gathered therefrom.

Subjectivity is nothing more and nothing less than a conviction in ignorance if it has no absolute objective facts to either logically explain it or physically prove it.


But all symbols breakdown through interpretation, even the ones we rely on the most as essential to communication. Perhaps the real question is how much breakdown must occur before a symbol becomes irrelevant to society? Is there an obligation for society as a whole to recognize our personal symbolism? Political correctness is an example.


If a breakdown in language occurs it will only create more off-shoots of language. Slang, old English, etc.

If a complete breakdown of language occurs there are two ways to reconstruct it. Either subjectively or objectively. If it begins subjectively, objectivity will soon find its way into the language. If it begins objectively, subjectivity will soon find its way into the language. In both cases the logic, facts and knowledge that can be proven in and through objective reality supersede subjective conviction and faith.

There is an obligation to recognize what our common interest is. If its survival then we'd best learn to understand one another, and if it is survival then this obligation must become a determination.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 04:56 PM
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The words allow us to share knowledge with one another very efficiently and effectively. We don't necessarily need words because we could conceptualize in our own minds which would make every single one of us extremely more potent and intellectual, the only problem is, if that were the case then we wouldn't be able to share our knowledge, would we? Unless of course we take the hypothetical telepathic approach. But how do you telepathically present to someone that E=MC2 without using symbols?

Do we REALLY need language? Sure it is required to share knowledge right now. I used to be a big proponent of words, but I'm starting to like words less and less.

[edit on 17-9-2008 by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal]



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 06:10 PM
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Originally posted by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal

So is that not enough to know, rather than to only believe?


This is more with the original intent of my post, so I'd like to focus my response here. I was actually hoping to avoid a discussion of language since, to me, its like asking for a hammer to cure a headache.

On December 21st two ravens or crows flew between mine and my neighbors house, cawwing at 3:33 am. That is what I know. They are measurable facts. How I interpret the elements is my belief. Which is the issue I wanted to raise. If I interpret the elements outside of a measurable reality, they will never be factual but only beliefs and therefore only valuable to me personally. I don't expect anyone else to feel the way I do about the events, nor can I ultimately care how they interpret them. Because the truth is, at that moment my mind flooded with the idea that there was something I needed to find out. Nothing anyone could say can change that for me.

So I don't feel I need society to respect my beliefs for me to find value in them. But it isn't up to me to determine that for other people either.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 


Well, value can definitely be gathered from personal beliefs, but personal beliefs will always be subject to objective scrutiny, that is why they will always crumble if they lack any form of fact.

So you're telling me that at 3:33 when two crows flew between your house and your neighbor's house that you felt implored to do something. There's nothing wrong with that. When people take events like this though and begin making more out of it than is there... such as extrapolating to say that a spirit guide is within them or some non-sense... then we have problems and questions... because the "spirit" will be questioned and so will the guide, and then both as one.

If it's just a feeling that you received for whatever reason and you put no reason backing it, then that's fine. There's nothing wrong with finding purpose and motivation in life, or it finding you.

If I was you I would KNOW that I must do something... and stop merely believing. When that feeling arrives... listen to it, but also don't forget reason and logic when you begin your endeavor. Do you know what I'm saying? You don't have to force your belief on anyone, in fact you can't. That's the problem with the world. Beliefs are subjective. Only the physical knowledge and the facts of the universe are objective and thus true in the mind of us all. The flying spaghetti monster can't be forced onto people without repercussion.

[edit on 17-9-2008 by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal]



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 07:38 PM
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Yes, I understand what you're saying.

I know there are things to be done, but I work not to question the specifics. It reminds of something you said in another post about the unquestioning observer. I find when I attempt to ask too many questions I simply delay. But I find that seeing the whole of my life as the answer leaves me with nothing left to ask.

[edit on 17-9-2008 by TravelerintheDark]



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by TravelerintheDark
I know there are things to be done, but I work not to question the specifics. It reminds of something you said in another post about the unquestioning observer. I find when I attempt to ask too many questions I simply delay. But I find that seeing the whole of my life as the answer leaves me with nothing left to ask.


But do you realize that asking those questions, that everything that you are doing, is exactly how it should be, or simply exactly how it is? Nothing can ever change the way that things at a single moment. Even thinking that one is "making change" is still only the way that things are supposed to be. So maybe you can find some comfort in that?

Doubt is one's biggest enemy. Without doubt you are almost "Super Human" contrast to the normally insecure, fearful and doubtful masses that we currently live with.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 


Everything in every moment is exactly the way that it should be, even when you doubt, that doubt is perfect and supposed to be there, even when you are confused, still everything is as it must be, even when you fear it is all as it should be; in this your foundation should be a comfort with all things that come and pass. Through this your doubt and fears should eventually be replaced with a confidence and comfort.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 11:15 AM
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Yes, through all things all things are perfect.

We can always know where we are when we are there. Fear is where we are not. Understanding can lift us to higher vantage points but with fewer place to go.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 11:22 AM
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Sometimes fear is where we are, but either way it was meant to be.

Even when we understand deeply, there is still an infinite amount of places to go. Like right now I have to go pee.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 11:33 AM
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Yes, the perspective we choose is our only limitation. Which is why I wait, and what I have been waiting for. Thank you for your openness. Its an inspiration and fine way to spend the moments between moments.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 12:31 PM
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reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 


You're welcome, and you're right.

So what is the most open and understanding perspective?

One that is limited only to the unlimited. One that is all encompassing, but rooted in truth.

I see that so often and come across good people with good intents are overcome by the emotion of life and forget about the truth. Emotions are fine, but to be overcome by them and lose all reason and responsibility (outside of simply letting the imagination flow), it serves no good if only a lesson to others of what not to do.

Thank you too. It's the way it should be. A calm conversation in real search of objective truth with no attempt to persuade or defend any subjective reality against the objective.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by TravelerintheDark
How I interpret the elements is my belief. Which is the issue I wanted to raise. If I interpret the elements outside of a measurable reality, they will never be factual but only beliefs and therefore only valuable to me personally.


"Fact" and "belief" are both very fuzzy symbols that can have refined meaning if you "meditate" (I hate using that word!) on what they must actually represent. Even "facts" are revised over time and only represent common agreement between certain individuals in places of influence, thus even "facts" aren't really "facts." When you better understand the "fuzziness" of words like these I think it sets the stage for a realization that everything is equally arbitrary and we are all just making everything up as we go along anyway, as is convenient for us.

If you invoke doubt, you are the one to create it and bring it into existence. It's your choice, but it also takes a level of control and understanding that there truly are no rights or wrongs anywhere. If you invoke doubt, then there it is! What you "see" is what you get. But if at the same time you invoke great sense of awe, wonder, ecstasy, etc., then you will get those just the same without the doubt. Both scenarios would be equally real. The "fool" Tarot card comes to mind. That card not only represents a fool, the fool is also associated with enlightenment. He creates his experiences within and despite of the rest of the universe, and there isn't much anyone can do to stop him.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 03:35 PM
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There certainly are rights and there certainly are wrongs.

In fact to state that there certainly are no rights or wrongs is an attempt again to be right.

Only someone speaking from ignorance would make such statements. Your mind surely is not mathematical, scientific or logical.

As for the "fool", we can come to a common understanding there. Happiness and subjective feeling is for us to have to ourselves, however objective reality (the nature of the physical universe) provides us with rights and wrongs when contrast to a purely subjective conjecture.

For instance it is right that the Earth is spherical and wrong that it is flat.

[edit on 18-9-2008 by LastOutfiniteVoiceEternal]





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