We often look to visual artwork, movies, commercials, poems, songs, etc., as expressions of ideas with the use of symbolism. But lately I'm thinking about this 3 dimensional realm that we live in, and that literally everything that we see and touch around us is a symbol for an idea, a collective belief that we all have. We create/manifest our thoughts into material existence. Some people reject this idea, thinking that this statement implies that when you think something it instantly appears. Following this line of thinking - seeing as that this obviously doesn't seem to happen for most of us (based on our definition of "instant" in our concept of time), the statement doesn't seem plausible. But who decided that manifestation had to be instantaneous? Every object around us has originated with a thought, something non-material. First came the idea/thought/belief, then came the act of using our tools to build something based on that vision. So we literally do manifest our reality, whether it takes billions of years, or some amount of months, or a 30 minute meal. So I am interested in the part of the physical reality that most of us can't see - the slippery, elusive thought matter behind every thing we have created.
con*cep*tion [kuh n-sep-shuh n] -noun 1. the act of conceiving; the state of being conceived. 2. fertilization; inception of pregnancy. 3. a notion; idea; concept: She has some odd conceptions about life. 4. something that is conceived: The machine is the conception of a genius. 5. origination; beginning 6. a design; plan. 7. the act or power of forming notions, ideas, or concepts.
"...We work with being, but nonbeing is what we use." Lao Tzu
While having the stream of thoughts flow through my mind, my eyes focused in on the railing around our porch, which I normally don't even acknowledge or think about. "What does a railing symbolize?" I thought to myself. It signifies our belief that we need a boundary wherever we find a railing, that for whatever reason we believe that we need a reminder that without that boundary we may find or inflict harm or discomfort if we go there (wherever there is). That there is a need to keep something in, or keep something out. The belief that we can separate inner from outer. If we did not have these beliefs, we would not have created railings and fences, for there would be no reason for them, as it would not yet have become our conviction that we needed to attempt to isolate one part from another. In exploring the symbolism of the railing, we can ask:
What would the world be like without boundaries? What was it like before we brought about this symbol of separation? And if we removed such a symbol, would it alter our belief that we need such boundaries?
*update 9/16/10* Today I read this quote which is all too fitting with the subject of this post!
"...everything on the material plane takes on new meaning because it is seen as a symbol for an inner quality or state of being." Liz Greene, from her book Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil
What do we believe? We can see by looking at what objects and symbols we surround ourselves with. And what do we want to believe? What ideas and frameworks still have value, and which ones are outmoded and should be deconstructed to build something new? Hmmmm...
And who knew a porch railing could be so mentally stimulating?
*The previous post "crystallization" also relates.
*For further exploration of the power of your beliefs, I always highly recommend the work of Dr. Bruce Lipton.
*The work of Michael Tsarion and his study of symbols, words and history has also enriched my life and added perspective.
*The work of the individuals over at the The Sync Whole (and the myriad of other blogs that interweave there), make amazing connections and decipher symbolism through the observation of film, pop culture and more. Their stream of connections is enlightening, but is also just plain fun and inspiring!