By C.M. Halstead

The Emotions of Symbols

There is lots of talk in the media and on Facebook about flags and other symbols. Symbols are a powerful thing, I admit I have a few I am passionate about. The tough part to accept by me is, why demean and devalue a use of a symbol or object because of ONE use of it?

The symbol at the top of this blog post is a symbol that has been utilized since the Neolithic period in human history. It can be found in 16 plus cultures. In 2015, the symbol is generally referred to by a word that actually means luck or prosperity in its sanskrit origins.

Indigenous American tribes like the Hopi, Navajo and many others utilize a form of the symbol. To the Hopi it represents the wandering Hopi Clan, to the Navajo it is a representative symbol for something used in healing rituals. The symbol has also been found in archeological excavations in the Ohio & Mississippi river valleys as well.

Hinduism and Buddhism have it as a sacred symbol also. In Buddhism it is a sacred symbol of eternity, and in Hinduism it is used in sacred rituals and as a good luck charm.

Yet, with almost every continent on the planet having a culture that believes the symbol is a good thing; we still focus on the one culture in history that used it as a symbol of power and hatred.

The other cultures did or still utilize the symbol as one for good, prosperity, protection…the list goes on. How many of you have learned about those cultures in publications or on TV?

Did the Germanic culture of that time period do horrific things? Absolutely! Hard to argue with if you have your blinders off, and if you are open to logic. Even the German education system teaches this. No denial there.

What is symbolic to me, is that we use these images and symbols as a way to continue living the trials of the past. Those that have been wronged, cry foul when the image reminds them of the past wronging, thus continuing the cycle and preventing those living now, from moving on from the wrongs of the past.

Living in the past is a form of victimhood. Perpetuating what has happened as apposed to moving on and living the life you desire. It is a crutch to use in order to blame others for where I am in my life. They did me wrong, it is your fault, you owe me. Or, they did my ancestors wrong, it is their fault. You owe me.

It would be like me suing the British government for acts of hatred and oppression they performed on my Scottish and Irish Ancestors. Blaming them for me not being able to. . .whatever it is I am telling myself I can’t do because of what they did!

Asking current generations to pay for acts of the past, is continuing the wrong. A great example: reverse discrimination or reverse racism.

The term reverse racism is a misnomer, if you go to dictionary.com (or other word look-ups), you will not find a definition for it. One must go to popular opinion sites to gain somewhat of a formal definition of the term, wikipedia for instance.   I would define it as making a future generation pay for the mistakes of their ancestors; I would hazard a guess (not really a guess) that all people, from all walks of life, regardless of race or creed, or place of origin, have ancestors that have been wronged and have caused wrong, either by their own culture or other cultures!

Life is not black and white at all, history is written as so, by the victor.

Symbolism is not black and white either, the same symbols mean different things to different people. Just ask anyone who runs a four way stop sign, because no one else is there at the same time as they are. To them it is a stop if another car is there, a slowdown if there is not another car at the intersection at the very same time.

Ok, that is a vent and yet, still an example.

Where was I?

Symbols can be projections for honor, pride and freedom or oppression, depending on the shoes you are standing in. What is important to me, is that we don’t forget that the good comes with the bad. One horrific cultures use of a symbol, does not mean the other uses don’t exist.

Why does the bad outweigh the good? Why is it only one version is allowed? If this is going to be true, lets focus on the blessing.

The good use of the symbol above, for there are 16 plus cultures that use it for good, and only one that used it for bad. Screw those sods, lets move on. Live in the present, heal the past and then. . .maybe we will allow ourselves to pursue dreams and be happy.

Not related you say! Stay tuned, more to come on that topic.