Cooper Union forum; 5; Fall 1970
From the Great Hall of the Cooper Union in New York City. National Educational radio presents a lecture entitled The eclipse of symbolism. This lecture was recorded for broadcast by station WNYC. Now to introduce the speaker. Here is the chairman of the Cooper Union forum series Dr. Johnson 80 Fairchild RS speaker tonight. To think of them from pace car leaves a great deal of research on this particular business and we're talking on the program. I couldn't hear you. Now we're talking on the problem of symbolism. Do you know some people think that symbolism is collapse.
Abolish. No part all right. But at the present time we have a gentleman who is going to talk to us on this problem of the symbolism. Here is that going Eric over you know. Other occasions. A very nice and wonderful guy and if I gave you all of the things it would take too long. Never mind come along. Thought of space. Oh no. Would you put on one of those. Talking about symbolism the other day I was shopping in a
supermarket. And I was walking along I was almost killed by a perambulator. And as I picked myself up I saw the young lady with her child. And to say something I said What a beautiful child. And you said yes but you should see his picture. It's some years ago of unmemorable memory. I wrote book reviews for The New York Post's. The most as well Terry and high faluting book reviews I had. And I never meant the book review editor. I kept carefully away. What your very good policy and again some money was out to me and I decided to put on a clean shirt. And go out to the New York Post and collect my money.
And I had myself announce with my official visiting cards. At a bilingual incidentally printed in Rome. And out Wald's the book review editor. Who is Muslim and I got up. And looked at me and said Oh you missed a fing guest and so what could I say. Yes I nodded and he said I was but you don't look poor follow us. So after that I didn't write any more book reviews for the posts. And then she won't starlets like in. These two ladies ladies and gentlemen where caught in my own. Symbolic syndrome. Yes they didn't see what was. They saw what ought to be and what ought to be of course never. Yes. Yeah most people do live by metaphors and allegories our whole
life. Is cotton wrapped in a fantastic symbolic system. People are bone and cow through more or less pain for later Wells. Depending what side of the fence they're standing. God joins us accompanied by medieval rituals in medieval Castillo's marriage from the landing to the church to the expense of the rights. And death of course ladies and gentleman. The silence is punctuated. By the hypocritical remarks of those that survived. Those are the sacred moments of life. Birth. Graduation marriage and death. In Italy where there are more Communists than in any other country in Europe outside of Washington. I observed that the atheist communist would not
dare to avoid these four stages of life. Their shout in the afternoon in the square and the morning creep to church. Those are the sacred moments of life. The other ones are considered profane. You see part of the confusion of our times is that these symbols have lost their magic. We don't even have a commonly accepted definition for symbol. Only this afternoon I argued with an extremely erudite as well as very young Carlie. Over the problem of symbolism and we achieve no common ground because this definition is different from mine. These symbolic rolled view is a very particular Virg view it is not mine. But is an age known age old I
should say world view. Which IMV which implies as it were a very specific stage of the evolution of humanity. The symbolic worldview is the poor pense ity to disregard causal elation ships and to interpret phenomena outside its of their natural contexts to perceive are called relationships. Magical connections and so-called correspondences between the microcosm and the market cause. The ancient symbols were packed and powered in power of magic and ritual. And thus every phenomenon everything from the most modest to the most elaborate served its turn as symbol in magic and ritual.
So these symbols were believed to be false I have power to heal to spear to protect to bless no less. At the most ancient stage of human evolution. Our lawful life was symbolic from A to Z. Nothing else even existent to a common Yoma. And he lived in an enchanted worlds with nothing else but his symbols to cope with the unknown. And it was here or. The first rational definition of symbolism ladies and gentlemen is clear. And other gifts of the Gleeks to mankind. The term symbol very simply means to throw together. Form
symbolic. Symbol sim and ballet. And be done with United in a very simple social custom. And it has some deeper implications as we shall see in a minute. In the ancient days when a host invited select guests and drank in their way Mary and the party was finished. The host would break a small pot. And take clipart shirts and distribute them among his guests. It's these where the symbol of these signs of recognition. And he only invited again those people whose little pieces put fit with this piece. In other words a symbol really imply and implies. A secret sign of recognition. On one level it implies a joining a fit. It implies
that the concept and the object of the potsherds must be in perfect consulates. This is more than we can say for our symbols today. Symbols signs of recognition with the deeper implication of Secret Science of recognition ladies and gentleman. Symbols are always inferior to the concept they symbol it is an error to assume that symbols are in real commas Condon's to the concept they symbolize as Paul tillage has brilliantly but erroneously show. Some symbols clearly hate the concept they are supposed to
symbolize. Some symbols have no reality behind them. They're like a vacuum. They're nothing. So a symbol ladies and gentleman I confess is very very difficult to define and I will spend the rest of my time to go at various angles as it were of this difficult subjects. But let me define quickly a descending scale of terms used by people a sign. In contradistinction to assemble a sign has no abstract content whatsoever. A street lamp. A house number. And are all. These a sign it's a sign. Only point a symbol may I'm ok agean
evoke an abstract concept. Some theologians claim that there are concepts which cannot be thought out. Excepting in symbolic terms. I like to test that later see whether that's really true. Signs do not fast unite us. Science ladies and gentlemen I convene symbols have at least the power of fascination. An allegory. Inferred locos an allegory is a complication of a symbol because it is a symbol of a symbol. Was an allegory you symbolized the symbol. In other terms you complicate it you make it as a terror and you make it mysterious. You give it an allegorical and extra moral flavor as it where the unfortunate thing with an allegory is
if you do not know beforehand what it means you can read it. The unique cone by way of example. I should give example. The cross is a genuine symbol and arrow. Is a genuine sign. The Unicon is a genuine our logo. The Unicon was the allegory for Kreiss which is the allegorical name for Jesus which is the Greek translation of Joshua. The closed garden. Is a symbol for Mary the mother of Jesus. In her role as virgin. Asked Howard G is an allegorical system. Completely
allegorical. It is based on the assumption that these stars have souls and that these stars can influence thereby by a sort of deflection the power of man's birth and his future talents and audience. An allegory is like a puzzle with missing pieces. If you don't know all the pieces you won't read. You won't understand a symbol on the other hand is like a ladder a stepping stone to an abstract concept. Even if it leads to an abyss. Metaphors are harmless metaphors or literary devices. Writers and poets use it's like Martin Luther's phrase A Mighty Fortress is our God. This is neither a sign because you can point to God and know it is a symbol because there is
no symbol of God the size. Martin Luther Martin Luther's God is the Deyos absconded toasts. You missed yours. Are knowable gods. They are living dead for adults and true symbol. Yes well first of all as I pointed out a symbol must be known beforehand in order to read it. It's like a line with a symbol but not communicate if you don't know it. If I write Chinese radicals if I write the most beautiful poem by Li typo. Now in Chinese articles a few Fortunat will understand. Symbols are forgotten legends will not convert us or move us in motion. You
won't even know it. There will not touch the mine of the hour. Furthermore in the indie catalog of man's symbolic activity from the dawn of history today they are. I wasn't sent thousands of dead symbols. There are more dead symbols than are life symbols. They're my favorite symbols Ventrue symbols through symbols I only know of five or six and of those I only except one. I sell these things for a dime a piece. But think of the infinitude of symbols of the Egyptians Mesopotamians Gnostics Tibetans Chinese Siberians Toltecs at stakes met stakes and then some. Who noticed those who has deciphered the Etruscan language no one. Who read South American symbols no one who reads the prehistoric
Tibetan symbols called Pearl. Now what. You know about this point alone disproves the psychic life of symbols. This small modest point. It's not that I shall make much of it. Oh I made much of it in my book I didn't even mention your name in my book. I shall attack him later judiciously because he is a learned enemy. If you do not understand a symbol and the symbol is unintelligibly in unintelligible to you intellectually and emotionally it has no psychic life. When a symbol is seen. And you do not understand the symbol. Your attention will shift from either
belief or an emotional involvement to an aesthetic play. You will see the symbol as a verb of our thoughts and you will see it objectively. Because when you see a symbol emotionally you see it subjectively and whatever psychic life it has you breathed into it and has none. Of its own. So there are many young people today who run around with the cross on their chests. Now the UN cross the Egyptian cross only called the cross for superficial similarity to the Christian cross. The Coptic Christians of course inherited Egyptian religion as everybody knows and a certain theological minestrone was broods. You notice I'm a purist.
But the I am cross is the stylized you too Rose of the incest your is Mother Goddess. I see this and these harmless kids run around with this dude hanging from their chests they wear it as a lark. They don't know what they are doing. And I don't forgive. I'm not his biggest. Yeah. Many symbols of our own society and our own culture have died. As I recall the attention at the Unicon what use as dead as it can be by asking lists gargoyles. Asked which eggs were suspended in churches as symbols of the virgin birth because of the hatch themselves in odds on
although question ladies and gentleman the allegories of the middle ages without exception have underflow usually die. Yes Besides you cannot catch the absolutes in a Unicon of fish. The death of symbols ladies and gentleman is not due to lack of belief as commonly as to the law. Excuse me the death of symbols is due to an entirely different mental process upon which I have stumbled. It's and I shall for that presently. Now there are furrows but really moments. With due respect to this gentlemanly organisation this charitable band of good men and the Freemasons
but their symbols are out officially constructed. I would truly define it as a term Akin are called and have no validity whatsoever. These are the symbols of a small prayer to leave off a small club who decide that this form means Gods and vice versa. And this is because the Freemasons have no connection to the present career. It's all to the Egyptian mysteries. Who can claim continuity to the dark mysteries of the Egyptian priests. Therefore it seems to me that the symbols of the Freemasons are not symbols but sign us. And that ladies and gentleman also will clarify. Certain confusion about a superficial use of the term symbol which includes words and language. I will attempt later to show you
that my activity here tonight is none symbolic it is not symbolic. What I do ladies and gentleman is one symbolic. Then there is a for symbolic science is the leap you mediated 400 years ago. These science is called Tai Paolo je type power G was the spot of medieval momos who sat in the security privacy in peace. And prematurely tyrant and read the Old Testament in terms of the new. And their prophesied back into the Old Testament Allo Bereans that were fulfilled so to speak in the new. I will give you one example. The classic example of type apology.
The classic example of type hour Jesus of cause is the song of Song of Salamone. A love poem. An erotic level of the stout Salamone towards his little girlfriend. Surely from his description she must have been fairly cute though not my type. So a ceremony wrote all these how homeless today perfectly harmless duple entendres to his power movement. And saying Bama to clear of O in the eleventh century a veritable genius took the song of song and turned it 180 degrees around. And made to chase it in pure and sweet and he interpreted Song of Songs which is classic as you know. Ever since St. Bernard to cleverbot we interpret the Song of Songs of the erotic the valleys of the ageing Salamone talk about the
Lolita of 1000 B.C. in Christian terms so that someone becomes Christ and Shula method becomes the church you see he was very imaginative He was quite artistic to have done that but allegory can change what is black to white it's. And vice verse type ology ladies and gentleman did not survive the Italian Renaissance. The scholars of the renaissance of the were no mean scholars destroyed it today. The vestiges of type ology an embarrassment to both scholars and theologians. I come now finally to what may be considered true since everything I have mentioned I must confess is for us the whole argument is Bill us. And after that will be built again and reinforced to show you that there's this whole
package. Is a subjective pushed out phenomenon and leads into a mental abyss. True and universal symbols ladies and gentleman a specialized class called I can name iconic symbols. In iconic symbols you must have the identity between form and meaning. For instance I would cite a number of iconic symbols and you will notice you do not have to jump from the symbol to the concept. Neither intuition nor imagination nor an intellectual effort is needed. True symbols are a lot for like. The wheel for motion. Welter for
cleanliness. The farmers fork their devotee the sun for light. Iconic symbols are the only universal semblance the exception of the wheel because a South American forgot to invent it but otherwise ladies and gentlemen these university these scholars. Is not a symbol ladies and gentlemen. It is more than a symbol it is the presence of death. And there are many paintings of the crucifixion on the bottom lies a cross. I beg your pardon lies a skull with a crossbow. Yes the other coracle meaning of which is Adam. So.
The sun is the only absolute it's unquestioned symbol of God. The sun may be gods but that's a different discussion. This is exquisite The sun is our life. Give us the sun as the light with all the emotional connotations of life. It's the only group of people who had the capability to evenly fining this world where the neo platonists by saying the sun is not the symbol of gods the sun is the shadow of God. All other symbols on non eye contact. Iconic means identity absolute complete identity between form and meaning.
All other symbols require any men's effort that RV imagination of the intellect cultural definitions. And persecution is to accept them as such. For evermore. No symbol ladies and gentleman can be validated or tested excepting for iconic symbols. It's no symbol can be scientifically validated. It's a no symbol is. How do you say so susceptible to tax cuts. So if a symbol didn't work in the olden times the said well the magician didn't fulfil all the rules correctly. Nobody doubted the efficacy of a symbol if they would have doubted it. They would
have made leave first step toward science Valley donation ladies and gentleman and testing of our vice a versa. Are they stepping stones of science and phenomenology a school of philosophy I'm as follows here. And when a symbol. Therefore there was a famous symbol called the pentagram. A five pointed star with Hebrew letters and Egyptian symbols nobody could read of course. And this this symbol was thrown underground like the magic circle. Some which is strong. Which reminds me the other day ladies and gentleman embarrassingly enough in the New York Times. It was a book review and an ad for a modern study on witches warlocks and so-called coven. There are 265 coven in the United States. No wonder we're not doing so
well. A Pentagon was believed to be a focus of power and many medieval churches in particular the cathedral of in the Western rose window has a Pentagon. What you say. Fantastic. Oh it's claims of a fantastic power. But ladies and gentleman it has healed. No one it has killed no one has only deluded the imaginations and the evil man Texas who play with us sort of thing because symbols can give consolation. That is of course true when Tibet was invaded by the Chinese last year. A few years ago I don't work by the usual time. My time is slightly different.
The Tibetan soldiers printed magical charms against bullets and rice paper roll them up and swallowed them. All those who ate the charms were killed because the other ones went under Gods. It's usually two legs when things happen when things are rough ladies and gentleman. It is too late. So I am defending that. There is an eclipse of symbolism that there is a historical process which can be traced defined and proven and validated and tested. I like to sketch this. Well symbolism today of cause is over for a number of reasons I like to mention one now and that is because the mediating powers of a symbol and the
cosmos have been recognized as being for Leisha us so society looks to other palliatives. The breakdown of the symbolic system ladies and gentleman started so early you will hardly believe it. Symbolism was destroyed. It was beginning to be destroyed. Ten thousand PC doomed the beginning of the Neolithic Age was the following invention. So society was divided into sacred and profane. The invention of the profane ROM is the beginning of the end and the profane long was invented after a period of at least twenty thousand years when all of life was sacred. The Old Stone Age was completely sacred completely
magical. No cause and effect was known. And these people the hunters call Manion Grimaldi and similar lives by symbols enforced semblence and there was no sacred and no profane. It was all say you know not what the definition we given today because when we say sacred It has a very deep poetic and metaphysical connotation. It didn't have that. The discovery that some. Activities of man Paul Fein is one of the greatest discoveries of mankind. It is due to the discovery out of causal relationships seeding and harvesting cross-breeding.
A slight knowledge of us Tommy and the season. This old stone age man had no concept of the seasons. He was called by the last ice age. He was a not even their food cover up. He was only a hunter and he followed the reindeer for ever up. Right into the Arctic snow. The discovery of the profane rattle gave man confidence in his own powers to achieve certain goals. Thus the power and symbolism of the complete say its nature out of the Stone Age bloke down in the New Year listening to a partially symbolic one. You see questioning the symbolic quality of one aspect of nature opens the way to
question all. It's also these sacred calm is always associated with danger. The uncanny the demonic the otherworldly dark temples. Children are scared stiff. In the olden times mysterious groves in the forest where believed to be inhabited by Spirit they became sacred nobody went there. This sacred ladies and gentleman is the demonic. As well. When the sacred ground was pushed to the side. And nearly think man discovered the profane arm a tremendous spurt of clear to every two Yorker men suddenly liberated his creative powers and ladies and gentlemen our civilization started to end in nearly the period when the symbols of the
palace the period where destroyed us. I may draw your attention to the fact that each time a symbolic system is destroyed its term menders pivot he is liberated. And that is from the dawn of man to the 19th century when Darwin published the allergen of this species in 1859. The spirit of clear divinity and which we are still writing we are riding the crest is unbelievable. Modern technology which I do not deify but I accept there is here to stay. But modern technology ladies and gentlemen is less than a hundred years old. And is a direct result on the sociological and on different levels than the inventions which do not interest me but is a direct result of the destruction of these symbolic systems of the past. The DNA sounds destroyed medieval symbolism.
And watch birds of a devotee and the Jews destroyed the pagan symbols and what spirit of metaphysical chaos devotee and Christianity destroyed the symbols of the Jones and Mohammedanism destroyed the symbols of the Christians. And what divinity only spreads I admits. But it liberated this immense power. Yes symbols are channeled thoughts symbols ladies and gentlemen have helped mankind to crawl out of the cave but changed him into Channel thoughts socially approved culturally such. So the division between sacred and profane is the beginning of the end. It's soon nothing will be said. Besides there is nothing that second without the profane you need the
rhythm as it were between day and night breathing inhaling exhaling waking and sleeping to give significance to one. At any rate there are other discoveries I like to bring to your kind attention in the breakdown of symbolism. The Jews for instance discovered something new small but significant and they were the first people who saw symbols as objects. There's the famous. Remark by have a Coke can a piece of wood give oracles and level ations. This is a gestalt phenomenon to see and objects. For it's much your properties the moment you see a symbol. In its aesthetic.
And but serial object or existential legal existence you can't see it as a symbol. The moment you see something whatever it might be as a symbol you do not see it in its extent form of objective properties. It's like figure ground. You either see the ground you don't see the figure you see the figure you can see the ground. That's the only psychological thing I dare to mention because I'm not entitled to know. Psychology is denied to me. I have no knowledge in the field and I stay away from it. Not doing very badly the least so went deeper and the Gleek Gleeks subjected symbolism to philosophical criticism with the following Limone. That's a skeptical remark. Since this is like nothing in this world
it's nobody can know Him for myself or form an image that's about 300 pieces send out Guston the formerly new plated Platonist and then the Men's Christian mystic made the following mark on symbolism and in its relationship to the UPS rooms. This is what he said quote God not us is not even to be called in F for birth because to say even this is to speak of him. Thus there are rises in a curious conflict of words. For if the ineffable is not which cannot be spoken it is not an effort. If it can be spoken of as in have that is subtle.
And this conflict of words is rather to be avoided by silence than to be reconciled by speech. This may not be the point in time and otherwise but it is possible that the ultimate Come on occasion is a silent communication. In out and love silence reigns supreme. So when modern theologians speak about the death of God that entirely collect the term the allegory the symbol the concept has died. But that's all that has died as Pascal might have said that the God of the philosophers has died. It's the God of the mystics cannot. So the medieval church after a very short honeymoon when it inhabited some neoplatonic some deep thoughts by the grace of saying
to gods than luck ton CEOs and other geniuses to lift it back into the old excesses of witchcraft of alchemy as tala ji and other excess and power and symbolism in undated the medieval mind. Since the masters took these symbols and Legend this seriously they substituted for the ality. And it is no wonder medieval The medieval mode of thinking was immaterial to discover science for that very reason. And furthermore those people who see the bird in symbolic terms don't see it at all. You don't see them world you don't see the reality. If you see this you can make a symbol of anything but only at the expense of its objective reality.
So to say that everything is meaningful and profiling and beauty for all is not the same as saying everything is symbolic. If everything were symbolic everything would be something else than what it actually is. And in that way we live in a fall and out official world. Symbolism ladies and gentlemen is a very dangerous path. The occupation was symbolism a child single out one man later and read a remark about him and I will make all this quite clear symbolism ladies and gentleman leads into the abyss of insanity. Schizophrenia acts live in an entirely symbolic world as is well known. Eugene Blois very great swipes a
psychologist compared the medieval mode of thinking with schizophrenia. I don't go as far as all that but I go as far as power phrasing gives Oh I'm a very great disciple of psychologist and of course anthropologist and he said medieval arrests are schizophrenia eggs. A great German student of symbolism the greatest. In our time perhaps made the following very simple remark. Physical Reality seems to Liz see in popo motion as man's symbolic activity advances symbolism ladies and gentlemen does not lead you further into the truth. AIt leads you out way from it.
Symbolism is like an opaque landless. The more you believe in the symbols remain opaque it becomes still in the end all you see is the symbol itself you can't look through it all only when you do not believe in the symbol which includes the verse I'm using now. Only when you know that these are means to an end. Do these symbols become transparent translucent transparent and then vanish and suddenly you are confronted by a reality. Of course poetry out past us at all times. The DS Cimbali zation of the plan is due to three basic cause the First Cause is the growth of the profane Raum at the expense of these sacred love. As such before the Neolithic discovery to put anything that is holy in the temple. The king in his
palace and then walk away and do the everyday activities. And if you holidays we still have. This second cause is the slow death. Our V religious interpretation of the cosmos. What sadly enough is in the main a symbolic interpretation of ladies and gentleman. This is I am going ahead really of my material but the last sentence in my paper. Yes whatever's symbolic is for us. The last third point is the growth of experimental science. Incidentally these causes are in the first of a. Absolutely irreversible. This is the way society is going from a previous mode of perception. As I said each time a symbolic system is destroyed there is this immense spurt of diversity whether the inner sounds of modern science that does not matter.
I like to offer up what I eman Asli consider my second law. The first one I forgot and the third one I discovered last night and I will give the next year. But the second law. Which I hope I understand myself. Is as follows. This is the CRM ladies and gentlemen I believe none psychological answer to the problem and attempt to solve this phenomenon. I sketched by non psychological means and non symbolic means to be sure. Cope's there is a reduction of the symbolic content of any phenomena and in inverse proportion to its descriptive analytical interpretation. I will illustrate this now with a few examples. You will see how this works.
Asked Tom a GI ladies and gentleman is an entirely symbolic system and a hundred percent of all as Taraji does not exist. The sun is not in the center. The Zodiac does not exist if the sun does not travel through the trough houses. It would quote the whole thing would blow up the troll of houses arguing superstition. This does have now so the stars are planets conjunctions are only seen from here. Their extent and depth. Seen from the rotating earth by a number of Babylonian police who had too much wine. And sold out. I mean let's by the thousands nobody known you would dare to have moved you would never have gone to the excuse me out of the house. You can reverse that in your mind with out an ambulance. So I asked her and she being completely false
has no inverse possibility built into it. It is 100 per cent false because it's a hundred percent symbolic medieval cosmologist. And higher Lee for us based on two errors one the Earth isn't the center of the universe saying Thomas and therefore the earth and man as the universe is created for man to Arras compounded Arris no inverse proportion the 100 percent for us from A to Z. Any conclusion based on it must be false premise for its conclusion for. But it's I've offered to inverse proportion example alchemy ladies and gentlemen. Aisle to me is a partially symbolic system and a partially
experimenting system. These symbolic systems that powered which concerned itself was the symbolism of the alchemy and the finding of the Philosopher's Stone completely falls but the experimental aspect is the foundation of modern chemistry. Therefore here you have an example of an inverse proportion in as much as much as it is experimental It is true as much as it is symbolic. It is follow the experimental one in spite of yourself and other one a more complicated one. And my prime example which as a matter of fact let me on the path of this modest discovery is the following. Compare Mikko's era. But did compare Nichols to the genius Polish genius who didn't dare to publish his my children's lifetime and honors death but he got a copy of his book in Latin so nobody may read it and then he died unhappy.
Core panic was discovered as we all know. That the earth is not in the center of the universe but the sun is in the center of the universe and discovered that by reason not by observation. As you know because by observation an obvious title is right I stand here look up there is the sun the sun goes around me. That shows you common sense as always faults whatever is common sense and commonly accepted by anyone. You might as well just wake up. Yeah absolutely if you do that you discover nothing. So comparing it cause proves it's a mathematical. Skills made by mathematical means co-parent course prove infallibly by a number of devices that the earth. All the bits are round the sun. That is true.
Unfortunately he read too much Plato and he read too much piece our chorus and he read that the circle the perfect dramatical figure is the symbol of perfection Ergo it's of God and the planets must needs be moved in circular our beds because they have souls have been created by God is cetera et cetera and compelling cause believe that. So he wrote into his law that the earth. Is moving around the sun in a circular orbit. If you would not have believed Plato and the symbolic interpretation of the circle he would have moved towards the discovery of the elliptical orbit which Kepler did as everybody knows. So Copernic was proceeded by. Experimenting tension and symbolism that per person which is experimenting through that proportion which are symbolic ladies and gentleman is thought
in so far as any symbolic elements up out of the study. Description observation of phenomena those powers and any collusion is based on. Will be false. Ladies and gentleman I like to offer to you not an alternate in the sense but I like to show you the other side of the coin to begin with. Many non symbolic experiences are possible and many many non symbolic experiences occur. For instance. My project tonight was and of course is to illustrate and illuminate if I can. Certain traditional views and symbolism and show you alternate views.
What I have done tonight is none symbolic because I haven't gained in the descriptor. And I'm a little study of symbols. I do not believe in the symbols I study. I am an object of I measure what I have done to night ladies and gentlemen is a non symbolic activity. Eating and drinking exception for the mass which is based on the fantastic dogma of the transubstantiation. Which became dogged by the twelve hundred twenty five. The mass of cause is one of the more fantastic symbols and is an exception to what I'm offering here and I concede this readily. But eating and drinking are inherently non symbolic elemental experiences. The act of love in itself is none symbolic it is just
that. The deepest communication the most simply makes perience possible. Rail TLAs verbs Les that's a marvelous pun Bertie's fantastic fun. Write that down I can use my next book. Verd less. In itself none of which were listed. In itself none symbolic. Come lead me come on occasion. Many game a game of chess game of tennis. Many activities I'm entering polish change down. Moving something from here to there. Their endless experience is what you take for granted. Of course non symbolic. By way of conclusion I'd like to say this symbology has become in our time the preoccupation of
religious people who would claim that Freud are young or early and deeply religious symbology is the idolatry of the educated. It's your religious young Carol Jane Young soulish prescribe symbols as you would prescribe aspirin so hand cookies to a kid. Yes he went back with immense learning the most fantastic learning imaginable and Latin in Greek to boot. Infallible. Unbelievable scholars. He went back in as you like did every superstition he could find and he got stuck in the forgotten and dangerous and a legend of Gnosticism. Your man has wrought any IQ liberals are. Unbelievable how some of this was a reaction of cause to 19th century scientists and I don't blame him. But in its place in the place of scientism which is
another mental disease he offers the mumbo jumbo of alchemy Gnosticism and as many superstitions as Fall is way. Too well said ano a Chilean writer. Of the youngun persuasion in the book about yom which I carry with me just in case I make the following remark about Col. J Young. With your kind permission I will read that. Quote. As one who revitalized the virtues of the CANNOT stakes and the alchemists. He himself had to take power in their mysteries even though he may or Whitley have intended to remain outside of them for neither the Gnostics nor the other chemists created symbols for the sake of psychological analysis but for the sake of magic itself. And that means that even though he fought against it. Youn condemned himself to be a magician who was
willing to pass beyond the front years of official science and our time on what the future path ladies and gentleman is quite clear. The young people of today. Who are the Belling against the petrified traditions and the useless dad symbols are showing the way towards freedom ladies and gentleman towards experience and love. Thank you. You've heard Peter fingerstyle speaking on the topic. The eclipse of symbolism. This was one of the 1969 series of lectures recorded at the great hall of the Cooper Union in New York City. His program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
- Cooper Union forum
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- Fall 1970
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