The Symbolic Life

“Symbolism is the language of the Mysteries. By symbols men have ever sought to communicate to each other those thoughts which transcend the limitations of language.” - Manly P. Hall

At our Circle of Men we sit in a circle and at times use different types of symbols.

In our Circle of Men Guide that we use for our Circles it has a section on Symbolism. It has commentaries on the value and importance of Symbolism.

As a Circle of Men we are freely open to spirituality and it's diversity of expressions, while maintaining and extending respect to all others who are not. We respect all traditions - religious, spiritual, political, scientific, or philosophical. We are not a religious or a political group.

“When a society places great emphasis on rationality and practicality, there is little room left for what C. G. Jung described as “living a symbolic life,” a symbolic life that can express the daily need of the soul. He once remarked that this is something we sorely lack. Although symbol formation is one of the most essential manifestations of the human mind, we pay far too little attention to its capacity to bring insight, healing, and meaning to our everyday life. When, however, we tend to our dreams and fantasies, when we are mindful of life’s synchronicities and strange twists, when we are profoundly touched by a film, a poem, or a piece of art, when we participate in rituals (whether communal or personal), we are already opening the door to such a life. In Jung’s view, living a symbolic life “gives a sense of peace that cannot be taken away from us. It means more than the whole world, because it makes sense.”

“The Symbolic Life is a concept by Carl Jung, the father of Spiritual Psychology. It defines, in essence, that in order to live a truly meaningful life, we must feed the daily needs of our soul. Without doing so, we are not honoring the gift of life. We achieve this together through learning to attain peace, gratefulness, connection to Sacred, and of course by living our best life.”

“The world abounds with symbols. Some are universal and others unique to certain cultures. Symbols are profound expressions of our intellect, emotions, and spirit. A symbol can represent deep intuitive wisdom that eludes direct expression, and symbols can be found in our dreams certainly, but also in our waking state. It is helpful to observe the symbols in your life in your waking day, allowing the universe to speak to you through its symbolic language."

"Throughout the centuries, symbols in their infinite forms have enriched people’s lives. Cultures in all parts of the world have built upon a universal understanding of symbols to better understand well-being of mind, body, and spirit. Often in deep spiritual work, we are asked to identify and focus on symbols that appear in our dreams and in our waking lives. These symbols may, for example, appear in our drawings and over time become highly personalized, take on deeper levels of meaning, and come to help us express aspects of the psyche that may be difficult to put into words.”

“A symbol is not just an image but is like a door into the inner world of the soul, through which we can access the energy and meaning that belongs to this sacred dimension of our self. However, a symbol will only reveal its magical nature if we approach it with the right attitude if we have the correct quality of consciousness."

"Symbolic consciousness is a way of working with symbols that allows their meaning and energy into our consciousness. It is like a key that is needed to unlock the real potential, the energy of a symbol.

Today we are taught to think in an analytic, linear manner, using words to explain our self. But symbolic consciousness is holistic rather than analytic, and rather than thinking in words it thinks in symbols and images. It can be seen at work most often in our dreams, in the way our psyche communicates to us through images. Symbolic consciousness was central to human consciousness for thousands of years, and was prevalent in our Western consciousness as recently as the medieval period, as expressed in the many images and symbols that adorn the Gothic cathedrals, the great maze on the floor at Chartres. Through these images, rather than words, the stories of the Bible and the soul’s journey were told.

Symbols can connect us directly to the interior world of the soul, and symbolic consciousness can enable us to realize the sacred meaning that underlies our physical existence. There is a pressing need to reclaim this forgotten language."

"Through working with symbols we can have access to the energy and meaning that comes from the inner world. They can communicate more directly than words. Often symbols have a numinous quality that conveys their sacred energy, an energy which gives real meaning and nourishment to our surface lives.

If we are receptive to the symbolic world and can develop our symbolic consciousness we are able to be nourished from within, to live our outer lives in harmony and balance with our true inner self. Without such a connection our daily lives often become shallower, which we attempt to fill with material desires or are more easily drawn into addictions.

Life is permeated with symbols.

There are many different types of symbols. Some symbols, such as the images and patterns of nature, have always been around us. Other symbols have developed through religion and culture...”