That’s not what it means today

David Garman

Peeling back a layer. This is what it seems to require. Layer upon layer. As a candle is dipped, each time the thicker it becomes, almost imperceptibly. Like an origin, each time it is lowered, first clouded then thoroughly encased, finally no longer noticed.

One of the most effective ways to hide an origin is to reassign it’s symbols. With a thick coating of wax, so to speak, covering the origin, it’s signs, marks, and customs can emerge completely contrary to their first intent. Many a time, the contrary is so deeply ingrained that the original meaning cannot be accepted. To suggest the origin, one is met with gasps, looks of astonishment, snickering, they believe they are in the presence of a complete and utter fool.

Symbolism is very powerful. An entire philosophy, or group identity can be conveyed through a single glyph. Symbolism inspires emotion, loyalty, association. I used to be a commercial artist, designing and applying these tools, logos as we called them, for this very purpose. Corporate identity shows up in every conceivable place. We can hardly look one direction or another with out a greeting by a sports, fast food, bank, tech, service, and with front-burner election campaigns going on, a political movement’s symbols. Untold fortunes are spent to bombard us with these simple, highly concise statements. Why? Because they work. A split second and the association is made.

For this is the reason, it is so important to know the origin, to go back to the beginning. Over time, some very important symbols have been reassigned, usurped in other words, intentionally or not. Symbolism has been with us since the dawn of our existence. The Bible is replete with imagery, customs, and signs from cover to cover, each with great wealth of meaning, negative or positive. To discover, because our brains were designed to react to these, will reassure, bring confidence, and thanksgiving for glory indicated through them. The Creator of the Universe has a message for us, regardless of what what we think it means today.

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