Groups use symbols.
But symbols have no inherent power.
They have power only when people believe in them. In which case it’s the belief that is the power.
Just as important, symbols have no inherent meaning. They only have the meaning given to them.
So, for example, the famous eye and pyramid mean zero. Zilch. They only have meaning because Masons and other groups have assigned it.
There is no closed secret world of symbols that has magic in it.
There are no universally good symbols or bad symbols. A symbol is a word, term, sign, shape. It’s injected with meaning by a group. The group adopts a consensus about the symbol.
To a surprising degree, people think in terms of symbols. They operate as if they understand what they’re doing, but they don’t. They fear the power of certain symbols and attach themselves to the power of other “good” symbols. They’re hooked.
You could make a picture of a sun emanating three rays and call it Oobladee, and invent a whole mythology around it. You could claim it comes from Atlantis, or a secret society embedded in the old KGB, or an ancient Babylonian priesthood.
And then some people would react when they saw it. They would feel fear or anger or excitement.
It’s a con.
If you took this even further and created a whole set of symbols, dozens of them, and made up meanings for them, and worked with this game, you would eventually experience an interesting kind of liberation. You would see, to a greater extent, how arbitrary symbols are, how people trap themselves in “internal symbolic spaces.”
The whole point of frozen symbols is to enclose consciousness.
Let’s say you devised a picture of an eyeball hovering in a forest. A tear is dropping from the eye. The literal mind is looking for specific meaning. The literal mind wants an answer. It can’t find one.
The eyeball and the forest and the tear don’t add up. They provoke all sorts of associations, but no particular meaning, and the literal mind is frustrated.
So THEN you come along and assign a meaning. You say, “Well, this symbol was painted on masks in 834BC by the ancient Egyptian founders of a cult of pyramid builders. The eye and the tear stand for the tragedy caused by lack of faith in eternal life…”
And so forth and so on.
Now you’ve assigned specific meaning to the symbol. Now the literal mind breathes a sigh of relief. It has an answer. It can suck up that meaning and take it in and accept it. And now you can embellish the story and sell it to the literal mind. You can make that symbol into an object of fear and repulsion, if that’s the reaction you want to provoke in your audience, or you can make the symbol into an object of victory that stands for redemption.
You can twist and turn the symbol any way you want to.
The literal mind wants an answer to the mystery, a solution, and you provided it.
We’re talking about a very primitive form of art. When people operate at this level, buying symbols and their assigned meanings, it’s an indication they can’t appreciate or fathom more complex art.
They can’t read and fathom a novel or watch a stage play. That’s too much. There isn’t a clear one-to-one connecting pipeline between symbol and meaning, and so they’re confused. They’re frustrated.
I remember sitting in a movie theater watching a crime drama. The cops arrested the wrong man and framed him for a killing. A guy sitting next to me blew his top. He started telling his girl friend about how the cops were railroading this suspect and how bad the cops were, how the suspect was a victim of police brutality.
Well, yes. That was, in fact, the whole point of the movie. The movie was showing the audience how the police operated to create a false scenario and frame an innocent man. That’s what the movie was saying.
But this guy couldn’t get to that level. He thought the movie was actually on the cops’ side. He thought the movie was praising the arrest of the wrong man.
The literal mind at work.
In the same way, people accept the meanings that are assigned to symbols, and they react to those meanings in a reflex fashion.
In truth, symbols are open. They have no intrinsic meaning. People can inject any meaning they want to.
But when they’re trapped in a layer of symbolic thinking, they can’t see that. They’re determined to accept the already-assigned meaning and react to it.
Which is an invitation to propagandists.
Worse yet, it’s a fixation that artificially defines the limits of mind.
Symbols form a matrix-shell inside which minds live. Until they don’t.
In case you hadn’t noticed, lunatic school officials have been punishing students for symbols of guns. Pop tart chewed into the shape of a gun. Screen saver showing a picture of a gun. T-shirt with a message supporting the 2nd Amendment.
Then there are widening definitions of so-called hate speech. People want to ban the word “bossy.” They want to take any bland utterance and analyze it for possible “hate content.”
Among other things, this is puerile symbol-addiction.
A story about someone burning an American flag receives far more coverage and more reaction than a statement that the federal government violates the Constitution in a hundred ways.
Presidents are symbols. That is, the public reacts to the meanings broadly assigned to their images. The last time I looked, Americans in Kansas and Ohio weren’t sitting in the Oval Office having long conversations with Presidents.
Neither, I dare say, are Americans sitting down and talking with Satan. They’re reacting to meanings assigned to images of Satan painted by others.
Artists are in a unique position. They can make and unmake symbols at will. They can imbue symbols with meaning and then change the meanings or destroy the symbols. They don’t have to live under the dome of consensus symbols and their assigned meanings.
There are people who will argue that some symbols have “inherent meaning.” As if “the universe” sits around and writes down descriptions in a book, which is irrefutable.
Even if this were true, why do people have to accept those meanings?
Some symbols point to things that actually exist. Other symbols are fabricated with the intent of referring to fictions as if they were real. In both cases, the symbols are cooked and plumped up with meanings to impart a reaction.
I suppose God is the most widespread symbol on Earth. But instead of standing back and allowing the individual to decide what, if anything, it means to him, priest classes move in and organize religions to tell their stories, to embellish and codify the meaning of that symbol. And then to fight and kill to defend it.
Here is the symbol-maker’s proposition: “I’ll give you a symbol and tell you what it means and what it refers to. Then I want you to accept it, yes, but also to imbue it with feeling and awe and power. Give that power to the symbol. Make that investment. It’s your duty. Don’t vary or quibble.”
This is how humans are made into ciphers. This is mind control.
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com