At the heart of symbolism

About symbolism and symbols

Maya's pyramid

From visible to invisible

The Greek root of the word symbol, “sumbolon”, is derived from the verb “sumballein” meaning to bring together, to gather (what is broken). It referred to the custom of breaking a clay tablet to mark the conclusion of a contract. The broken pieces were distributed among the contracting parties. So, the parties (their heirs or their representatives) only had to assemble them again to carry out the settlement of the contract. The pieces did not make sense outside their assembling which constituted a whole, unifying all of them. It follows that the symbol finds its origin in the Whole and may cover different meanings, from the highest to the most common.

The being comprehends symbols on a multitude of levels, going from the sensitive to the supra-sensitive, the visible to the invisible, the manifested to the non-manifested, the human to the supra-human… Indeed, symbols find their origin beyond the human world, in the properly supra-human, metaphysical world, within the Principle, the Unity at the source of all beings and things.

Symbolism does not express, it suggests a correspondence between two worlds of distinct order: non manifested and manifested, invisible and visible, night and day, darkness and light as the lotus coming out from the depths to the surface of water.

This web site tries to establish such a link within different spiritual traditions and attempts to bring them together to highlight various symbols and approach, as far as possible, their common source. It covers fundamental and ancient symbols as well as themes closer to us such as arts, nature, games, feasts, flags and currencies.

The introduction enlightens the features of symbolism with the help of a very old symbol, the pyramid.

Quotation of the day

Humanity would have been happy a long time ago if all the genius of mankind used to repair his mistakes had been employed not to make them.

(George Bernard Shaw)