"Open me. Wide. Narrow. Pass through me, and whatever lies on the other side, could not be reached except by this. This you. This now. This caught moment opening into a lifetime."


Jeanette Winterson



Back to Inspired by... Symbols, Stories and Imagination

C.S. Lewis described symbols as "the natural speech of the soul, a language older and more universal than words." They can be seen as as portals through which we can access other ways of knowing and other dimensions, and through which we 'download' information. In Tibetan Buddhism for example, mandalas are used as ritual instrument to assist meditation and concentration. Symbols invite contemplation and reflection, and, like metaphors, give a visual expression of something that is hard to express in language but which we can grasp intuitively.

Something as simple as a door can be a powerful symbol. They can be open or closed. We can deliberately open them, peep around the corner, or keep them shut tight. They can have locks with keys that are hidden, keys that are lost, or even bleeding keys. Doors can open to rooms full of treasure and potential. Do you have 'doors' in your life that you are reluctant to open?

Mathematical images such as the circle, the square and the triangle have been used in many spiritual traditions as expression of beliefs and the underlying worldview. Trees also feature as symbol in many cultures, for example as a symbol for the lower, middle and upper worlds and as reflection of the growth of every human being.

If you look around, you will find an enormous resource of symbols. Becoming aware of this, can help with finding practical solutions for everyday situations, coping with tiredness, accessing inspiration for your work, inform your interaction with others. The possibilities are endless!


Metaphors | Symbols 

See also Faciltation for Individuals: Symbols and Imagination