Words and Symbols

Words and symbols — man, as far as we know, is the sole creature to use symbols to convey abstract meaning to others of his own kind. Love, safety, war, death – abstractions that are the basis of cognizant thought about the nature of life itself. The emotional core that allows man to be more than beast of burden is grounded in the desire to share and to save these moments that we know as sentiment. It then becomes important to the species to record and transcribe this unique gift so that we may assure ourselves that we are ‘human’. These abstractions are more than mere words – recorded as a shared oral history to be written down by scholars – they are also transposed in other matter – paintings, sculptures, music, other forms of representation. But it is our fate to rely most heavily upon the written symbol…. Interpretation of these symbols becomes a human expression – words become less defined as the course of society change their perception, and as the words become less defined, they become more human. On which level do we “read” the word as it was intended, on which level does the creator’s choice of a word direct our energy? It is impossible to ‘read’ a word without colorization of its meaning based on both the writer’s and the reader’s own experiences, thus perceptions.

Even these ideas are human, and these questions will be forever the crux of argument of critical thought – as it has always been in the past, so will it always be in the future….

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