Symbology in Religion
Symbology Activity of the International Sufi Movement
The religions of the old Egyptians, of the ancient Greeks, of the Hindus, and of the Parsis, all have symbols, which express the essential truth hidden under a religion. There is symbolism in Christianity and in all the ancient religions of the world. Man has often rebelled against symbolism. But it is natural, man has always revolted against things he cannot understand. There has been a wave of opposition to symbolism in both parts of the world, East and West. It came in the East in the period of Islam, and in the West re-echoed in the Reformation. No doubt when the sacred symbols are made as patents by the religious people who wish to monopolize the whole truth, then it gives rise to that tendency in human nature which is always ready to accept things or reject them. However, one can say without exaggeration that symbology has always served to keep the ancient wisdom intact for ages. It is symbology that can prove today the saying of Solomon, 'There is nothing new under the sun.'
There are many thoughts relating to human nature, to the nature of life, relating to God and His many attributes, and relating to the path toward the goal, that are expressed in symbolism. To a person who sees only the surface of life the symbols mean nothing. The secret of symbols is revealed to the souls who see through life. Whose glance penetrates through objects. Verily, before the seer the things of the world open themselves. And it is the uncovering of things in which are hidden beauty. There is a great joy in understanding, especially things that express nothing to everybody. It requires intuition, even something deeper than intuition ? insight ? to read symbols. To the one to whom the symbols speak of their nature and of their secret each symbol is a living manuscript in itself. Symbolism is the best way of learning the mysteries of life, and the best way of leaving ideas behind which will keep for ages after the teacher has passed. It is speaking without speaking, it is writing without writing. The symbol may be said to be an ocean in a drop.