As westerners we tend to value glottal language, which uses a combination of vocal chords and something else to bring about language. We believe that people who were able to correctly paint and draw out glottal symbols were more advanced than, say cultures that used hieroglyphics like the egyptians or used a variety of complex symbols like the aztecs. In anthropology for instance we praise the mayans for use of Yucatec Maya Language
|B’ix a bèel?||Bi’x a b’eh?||How are you?||How is your road?|
|Ma’alob’, kux tèech?||Good, and you?||Not bad, as for you?|
|B’ey xan tèen.||Same with me.||Thus also to me.|
Its as if things like the hippocrates/hermes symbol
which is a beautiful aztec symbol
means “less” than vocal words, but we find that vocal word concepts tend to die and change quickly with cultures, while central key symbols, even ones that show up in crop circles or mandalas permeate throughout all of existence.
This bias in western culture makes reading the egyptian book of the dead, and a lot of egyptian thought for that matter. To Egyptians books and uses of the tongue (RO) were meant for parchment and spells
“Most sub-texts begin with the word ro, which can mean mouth, speech, a chapter of a book, spell, utterance, or incantation. This ambiguity reflects the similarity in Egyptian thought between ritual speech and magical power. In the context of the Book of the Dead, it is typically translated as either “chapter” or “spell”.
they didn’t use RO (or speech) tell the story of life and the great supernal narrative outreaching from the heavenly 26,000 year zodiac cycle (the way that babylonians/greeks/romans did)– the temples themselves told, and lived through it. The symbols were more than speech, they were instructions and dwelling on these symbols elicits multiple things over time– in dialectical steps at times.
Here is what my Introduction to the kaballah book by moshe hallamish:
1. The Symbol is an approximation– it is as close as we can get to convey the meaning of that which in itself is indescribable.
2. the symbol is a remote echo of some essence that is unapprehensible and uncommunicable, partyl because of the inadequacy of human perception. As one Kaballist of North Africa said in the 17th century: “and you, son, take in the eseence of things, not their material aspects. For matter is but an anology to the spirit. having been created of matter, we have no recourse to comprehend the divine, the spiritual, exceept by means of a metaphor”
3.Hence the abundant, and sometimes contradictory, use of symbols, and the benefit derived from it: “even when profund matters are communicated in public, only those who are mean tto understand them, will do so”
4.The symbols themselves are revealed, so to speak, by God himself through the torah and his creation.
5. the Symbol serves not only a vehicle of expression but also as means of exerting influence on the supernal world
The symbolic approach is what brings the kabbalists together, for the kaballah is not a speculative-philosophical system in the full sense of the word. it deals with various subjects related to the divine life, the world, man and religion, but not necessarily as a coherent system. it has a wide range of views and contains conflicting ideas even aboutbasic matters. Yet there is a common denominator that unites all Kaballists and it is manifest particularly in their basic attitude toward the Symbol.”
In studying Masonic traditions we would benefit from their influence of kaballist tradition. A browsing of the Masonic encyclopedia by albert mackey shows its simularities, having a lot of the same heroes such as Peleg building the great tower of babel. It is only in ancient kaballist literature are they aware that Peleg built the tower, how are masons also familiar with it? not even a google search “who built the tower of babel” comes back with Peleg except if you search the Masonic encylcopedia. Symbolism is entrenched in Masonic ritual, the word “symbol” shows up over 2 thousand times in the encyclopedia, about 120 per letter.
Here is one example:
Freemasonry, borrowing its symbols from every source, has not neglected to make a selection of certain parts of the human body. From the back an important lesson is derived, which is fittingly developed in the Third Degree. Hence, in reference to this symbolism, 01iver says: “It is a duty incumbent on every Mason to support a brother’s character in his absence equally as though he were present; not to revile him behind his back, nor suffer it to be done by others, without using every necessary attempt to prevent it.
We must admit our ignorance to understanding symbols if we ever wish to climb any further. Thats all I can really say for now