A New Laboratory for Symbolic Thinking
The world is starving for beauty, for patterns and for meaning. In gaining its power for the calculation and reproduction of phenomena, in developing technical proficiency and material comfort, the modern world has often sacrificed meaning and engagement with the deep underlying patterns of our experience. Many are surprised to find themselves struggling with despair and nihilism in the safest, most materially affluent society in human history. It is almost as if Christ was telling the truth when he warned, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” 1 In this same search for meaning and connection which has animated so many today, my brother Matthieu and I encountered the glimmers of an ancient wisdom almost 20 years ago. We both had the intuition that there is much more to the world, and that there is more to the patterns by which we encounter it. Through a cascade of research, intuition, and engagement, we discovered the threads of deep meaning still left over from ancient times in Scripture, in Tradition and ultimately hiding all around us. We understood that re-acquiring that ancient world view which brings multiplicity into unity is not a question of merely learning new things. Rather, symbolic intuition is the very frame by which we can make sense and participate in raw information around us. Symbolism is not an arbitrary attribution of meaning and metaphor, but all is about pattern. It is the glue that holds things together in a world which is far too big for us; and which naturally fractures into a million details as we try to account for all its facets. The Symbolic Worldview can only be reached by a kind of “metanoia”, a changing of the mind leading to a direct grasping of patterns through a deep experience of how they cohere together. Acquiring a Symbolic Worldview is not a denial of what is around us. Neither does it lead us to a kind of subjectivism in a denial of factuality or of the modern sciences. It is rather akin to a pair of glasses one can acquire. Looking through this Worldview, the clarity and coherence of what surrounds us shines like never before. The manner in which all things participate in the pattern of the cosmos appears musical and magical. Suddenly the stories and legends that were once discounted as silly superstition by modern man, now appear as maps for reality and guidebooks to encountering what is true. With the publication my brother’s book The Language of Creation, and with the efforts I have put into communicating this worldview on my Youtube channel and at speaking events all around North America, we have come to a new position. We find ourselves surrounded by like minded people who have not only intuited the symbolic structures, but have started to communicate them to those who would listen. I have been amazed to see a group of people emerge in a love and proficiency for the patterns which trace our experience. I am excited to present some of these people to all of you. It is therefore in this spirit of gratitude and excitement that I would like to welcome you to the Symbolic World blog. This blog will be a platform and laboratory for symbolic interpretation and discovery. Through its many collaborators, we will be exploring everything from Scripture, icons and liturgy, as well mediums and tropes in popular culture. I will be writing some articles of course, but I am mostly excited to introduce a new crop of symbolic thinkers supported by a great team of editors and proofreaders who have volunteered to come along on this journey. I am looking forward to a blossoming of intuition as we attempt to regain our images and our stories at a new level of symbolic understanding, and I am hoping you will all join us on the adventure.
- Mat. 12:26[↩]
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