Pearls for Annie
Symbols are crude representations of that which exists perfectly in the mind, that is, an idea. Oftentimes the symbol becomes the thing and is taken to be more than it is or taken without thought and as such drifts toward imperfection. There are those who place high stock in an imperfect symbol. Symbols for the most part mean different things to different people, thereby hindering communication. Some symbols evoke negative responses. Some symbols are worshipped. The justification for a symbol is the extent to which it communicates the perfection of the mind's idea. The symbol "H" means the same to everyone who uses it ( i.e., "hydrogen") and all that "hydrogen" represents as an element. The symbol "2" means the same to all who use it. Generally, science and math have symbols that communicate to a high degree. Religious and national symbols do not communicate very well and often evoke negative responses from many and are often used to solicit behavior that may be detrimental to some, like wars. The symbols of the Catholic church are really funny. The costumes that the priests wear and the various ornaments with which they decorate the pulpit really get in the way of any chance for an intellectual journey toward the spiritual. They are distractions from rational thinking. The chantings and the rituals are poor substitutes for the thinking that takes the searcher toward his rendezvous with "God".