A World of Symbols

You live – we all live – in a world of symbols. Spirit, the sacred, is communicating with us all the time. Every moment. Whatever you see, hear, smell, taste, touch or sense is a symbol, even at the most biological of levels.

Your nervous systems takes in vibration/signal/symbols and turn it into meaning in the ways you have been taught and agreed to participate in as a culture. an octagonal shape on the side of the road painted red with four white symbols has no inherent meaning. We assign it, we agree to it, we participate in it. But we don’t have to.

Some of the symbols, like the stop sign, are useful in our current daily lives. Others are less benign and still we participate. We buy into it as real. We don’t have to.

You can begin to deconstruct the meanings that you’ve assigned and choose the meaning you want. It’s a powerful moment to realize this – and terrifying to take that first step. Take it.

Some symbols, like the stop sign are simple. Others, like the symbol ‘educational system’ are more complex. We believe they are one monolithic idea passed down from generation to generation. They are not.

Think of symbols as cups – coffee cups, tea cups, sippy cups – and recognize they are inert, neutral until we pour in some meaning. Most of the meanings we sip from on a daily basis were filled by our parents, relatives, teachers, friends, employers, religion, schooling, every which way but us.

It’s time to re-examine what has been poured into our cups. What meanings we take for granted. And to look for the essence. It’s the essence that will lead us to use symbols in a sacred and meaningful way.

Words are symbols. Numbers are symbols. Social Institutions are symbols. These are human symbols with human meanings and humans can wrestle them away from the sacred and into the deeply profane.

The sun, stars, and clouds are symbols. The patterns we see in a honeycomb, a nautilus shell, the ebbing and flowing tide are symbols. These are the original symbols from the Essence of Life and we have been implanted with their sacred meanings. Humans can attempt to wrestle them into the profane but only succeed in destruction.

Look around. Pick any one thing that you see. Look deeply into how it came into being. Look at the individual threads that contribute to its existence in this moment. Understand that its function is not its meaning – its meaning is the relationship that it has with the web of the whole. To take it out of the web of Life, even in your thoughts, is to desecrate it. Deconstruct the meaning you were given, stop sipping from the cup until you have cleaned and re-filled it.


This information was channeled from an entity I call Sofia. She offers this to us today to consider as we move forward in our lives. Some of the concepts presented here are also taught by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. This quote is from his book, Peace is Every Step.

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