Best 102 quotes in «symbolism quotes» category

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    Some distance away is a white azalea bush which stuns me with its stately beauty. This is pristine natural beauty. it is irrepressible, seeks no reward, and is without goal, a beauty derived neither from symbolism nor metaphor and needing neither analogies nor associations.

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    Ask yourself whether our language is complete--whether it was so before the symbolism of chemistry and the notation of the infinitesimal calculus were incorporated in it; for these are, so to speak, suburbs of our language. (And how many houses or streets does it take before a town begins to be a town?) Our language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses.

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    In mockery I have set A powerful emblem up, And sing it rhyme upon rhyme In mockery of a time Half dead at the top.

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    I question the negative connotations of fabric, of ribbon, of lace. I turn these symbols of our imprisonment around.

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    Any impatient student of mathematics or science or engineering who is irked by having algebraic symbolism thrust upon him should try to get along without it for a week.

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    I have a great deal of religious symbolism in my stories because I have a very deep sense of religion and also I have a religious training. And I suppose you don't say, `I'm going to have the flowering judas tree stand for betrayal,' but of course it does.

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    Love wants to be confirmed with concrete symbols, but recklessness loves instability.

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    The profuse phallic symbolism of chess provides some fantasy gratification of the homosexual wish, particularly the desire for mutual masturbation.

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    The Biblical worldview is not given to us in the discursive and analytical language of philosophy and science, but in rich and compact language of symbolism and art.

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    The fact that an African American sits in the White House at the helm of government in the United States of America on this 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation represents both phenomenal political symbolism and a victory of faith in democracy that should not be lost on any American.

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    To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books. It has always seemed to me that symbolism should be restored to the structure of world education. The young are no longer invited to seek the hidden truths, dynamic and eternal, locked within the shapes and behavior of living beings.

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    There is only one thing which can master the perplexed stuff of epic material into unity; and that is, an ability to see in particular human experience some significant symbolism of man's general destiny.

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    What happened to those men and women at Fort Hood had a horrible symbolism: Members of the best trained, best equipped fighting force on the planet gunned down by a guy who said a few goofy things no one took seriously. And that's the problem: America has the best troops and fiercest firepower, but no strategy for throttling the ideology that drives the enemy — in Afghanistan and in Texas.

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    [Winning the White House was an achievement], but as an African-American, [Barack Obama], I think the symbolism is in how he conducted himself. The symbolism was in - and this sounds really, really small, but it's actually big for African-Americans - the symbolism was not in being an embarrassment, but to being a figure that folks were actually proud of.

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    He claimed to be an atheist, but he always used religious symbolism...

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    We got through all of Genesis and part of Exodus before I left. One of the main things I learned from this exercise was not to begin a sentence with "And." When I pointed out that most sentences in the Bible began with "And," I was told that English had changed since the time of King James. In that case, I argued, why make us read the Bible? But it was in vain. Robert Graves at that time was very keen on the symbolism and mysticism in the Bible.

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    An angel is an empty comic book thought bubble. The content has to be filled in by the viewer.

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    Anytime you meditate, some electric jerks occur in your thigh...the symbol of premonition of an unpleasant event that has happened or will take place in future.

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    Arts without a spiritual relative is like frying buns with water.

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    ... as a convention, you get up and walk to the window to make the audience believe that you're looking out. It's for the audience, not for you! And what it means to you is something emotional [...] If you went to the Actors Studio you'd spend six months seeing the snow before you could say, 'Look at the snow.' This takes a terrible burden away from the actor, who thinks he's got to see the woods and the snow. 'Give me my gun! I see a rabbit! Give me my gun!' " Meisner sounds thrilled at the possibility of a hunt. "That happens when you're still sitting there reading. Then when they put in the scenery you move to the window. Isn't that simple? How simple it is to solve the problem of seeing things when you know that it's all in you emotionally, and that walking to the window is only a convention.

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    As all material creation consists of out-births of things spiritual, the spiritual world being the world of causes, and the natural world that of effects, and as effects are the repositories of their causes, the natural world is the reflection of the spiritual. For this reason, from the beginning of things, the sun has stood out as a pre-eminent symbol of the things of God. Of all inanimate things it bears the closest correspondence to the Supreme Being, for what it is in the natural world the Supreme Being is in the Spiritual. Its central fire is the correspondence of the essence of the Divine Nature--DIVINE LOVE; its heat the correspondence of the heat flowing from Divine Love, which is Divine Goodness and all that that comprises; its light the correspondence of Divine Truth which is the light proceeding from Divine Wisdom; and the union of heat and light in its central essence forever symbolizes the union of the Divine Love and Wisdom resulting from that of the Divine Will and Understanding. God is the SUN from whose heat and light--His Love and Wisdom--proceed all that is spiritual, and through the spiritual, by the medium of the natural sun, all that is natural. The sun is supreme in all natural things, and its operations run through all in its own world, but the Divine SUN from which it derives its origin is supreme in all and operates through all, above and below. And as the natural sun is everywhere present in its own realm, and all things derive their life and grow in more or less perfect measure according to their forms and distances, so is the Supreme One omnipresent, filling both the spiritual and the natural world.

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    As the new Adam, it might be said, his final act was to cast the Apple of Knowledge into the deep blue sea.

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    Barack Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012 were dismissed by some of his critics as merely symbolic for African Americans. But there is nothing “mere” about symbols.

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    Anyone who symbolizes himself a hater in anything deserves no love at all

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    A storm came chasing the sky away. And virgin sands Drank all the water of the evening woods, God's wind blew icicles into the ponds; As I wept I saw gold,- and could not drink. - Delirium II - Alchemy of the Word

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    At this point Bellamy suddenly remembered another dream which at the time had made him smile. He dreamt he was a little tiny frightened animal called 'Spingle-spangle'. Later he did not smile. The little doomed creature was an image of what he most feared, insanity.

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    Before we leave the gravesite, Mary sings Mother's favorite gospel hymn ... Mary's lovely voice rises and lingers in the air, and by the end of the song most of us are crying. I am too, though I still don't know what those stars are meant to represent. My mistake, I suppose, is in thinking they should mean something.

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    Behind these eyes there is a girl trapped within her pain – a girl feeling all the emotions of anger and sadness. She’s fighting for a way out.” (In her eyes, p. 39)

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    A Blessing Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. And the eyes of those two Indian ponies Darken with kindness. They have come gladly out of the willows To welcome my friend and me. We step over the barbed wire into the pasture Where they have been grazing all day, alone. They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness That we have come. They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other. There is no loneliness like theirs. At home once more, They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness. I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms, For she has walked over to me And nuzzled my left hand. She is black and white, Her mane falls wild on her forehead, And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist. Suddenly I realize That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom.

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    But I had no mind for these smooth things; instead, fear worked like yeast in my thoughts, and the fermentation brought to the surface, in great gobs of scum, the images of disaster; a loaded gun held carelessly at a stile, a horse rearing and rolling over, a shaded pool with a submerged stake, an elm bough falling suddenly on a still morning, a car at a blind corner; all the catalogue of threats to civilized life rose and haunted me; I even pictured a homicidal maniac mouthing in the shadows, swinging a length of lead pipe.

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    But is the unicorn a falsehood? It's the sweetest of animals and a noble symbol. It stands for Christ and for chastity; it can be captured only by setting a virgin in the forest, so that the animal, catching her most chaste odor, will go and lay its head in her lap, offering itself as prey to the hunters' snares." "So it is said, Adso. But many tend to believe that it's a fable, an invention of the pagans." "What a disappointment," I said. "I would have liked to encounter one, crossing a wood. Otherwise what's the pleasure of crossing a wood?

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    But there could be no doubt that greatness was seated within; greatness was passing, hidden, down Bond Street, removed only by a hand's-breadth from ordinary people who might now, for the first and last time, be within speaking distance of the majesty of England, of the enduring symbol of the state which will be known to curious antiquaries, sifting the ruins of time, when London is a grass-grown path and all those hurrying along the pavement this Wednesday morning are but bones with a few wedding rings mixed up in their dust and the gold stoppings of innumerable decayed teeth.

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    DYER. (Sits down) There was nothing that I recall save that the Sunne was a Round flat shining Disc and the Thunder was a Noise from a Drum or a Pan. VANNBRUGGHE. (Aside) What a Child is this! (To Dyer) These are only our Devices, and are like the Paint of our Painted Age. DYER. But in Meditation the Sunne is a vast and glorious Body, and Thunder is the most forcible and terrible Phaenomenon: it is not to be mocked, for the highest Passion is Terrour.

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    Chocolate symbolizes, as does no other food, luxury, comfort, sensuality, gratification, and love.

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    Culture is a symbolic veil with which we hide our animal nature from ourselves … and other animals.

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    Beauty to her, as to all who have felt, lay not in the thing, but in what the thing symbolized.

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    Death is but a dream and life is merely the daydream of death.

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    Everything you see is merely a symbol for things you do not see.

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    Having set its mark on the generation before Cocteau’s, symbolism expressed a form of inner dissidence confronting the narrow-minded materialism and utilitarian obsession of the industrial revolution, and hence a reaction to triumphant naturalism, in literature at least. Nourished by medieval, Renaissance, and Romantic art, symbolism, probably the last great backward-looking movement hatched in the West, had given rise to a desire to explore the secrets of the world and the confines of the soul. Beyond its androgynous Mercuries, its pale Narcissuses, and its Orpheuses borne by rosaries of angels, it gave rise to a whole misty alchemy wherein some found their way into esotericism and even into the religious, since the Universe was only the symbol of another world into which entrance was gained not only through poetry, spiritualism, dreams, and the Ideal, but also via the play of analogies and the study of ciphers.

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    Elsewhere Lankford reiterates that this belief system was by no means confined to the Plains, the Eastern Woodlands, and the Mississippi Valley. It is better understood, he argues, as part of 'a widespread religious pattern' found right across North America and 'more powerful than the tendency towards cultural diversity.' Indeed, what the evidence suggests is the former existence of 'an ancient North American international religion ... a common ethnoastronomy ... and a common mythology. Such a multicultural reality hints provocatively at more common knowledge which lay behind the façade of cultural diversity united by international trade networks. One likely possibility of a conceptual realm in which that common knowledge became focused is mortuary belief [and] ... the symbolism surrounding death.

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    I also think of those daily slaughters along the highways, of that death that is as horrible as it is banal and that bears no resemblance to cancer or AIDS because, as the work not of nature but of man, it is an almost voluntary death. How can it be that such a death fails to dumbfound us, to turn our lives upside down, to incite us to vast reforms? No, it does not dumbfound us, because like Pasenow, we have a poor sense of the real, and in the sur-real sphere of symbols, this death in the guise of a handsome car actually represents life; this smiling death is con-fused with modernity, freedom, adventure, just as Elisabeth was con-fused with the Virgin. This death of a man condemned to capital punishment, though infinitely rarer, much more readily draws our attention, rouses passions: confounded with the image of the executioner, it has a symbolic voltage that is far stronger, far darker and more repellent. Et cetera. Man is a child wandering lost—to cite Baudelaire`s poem again—in the "forests of symbols." (The criterion of maturity: the ability to resist symbols. But mankind grows younger all the time.)

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    If the population is dissatisfied with the condition of society, then the leaders will invariably find a symbolic issue to channel the people’s focus away from any action that threatens the powerful. 'You’re poor? That’s a real shame. Well, look at that rich NFL player who won’t kneel for the national anthem! Doesn’t that disgust you? Aren’t you pissed off about that? Pay no attention to the system that keeps you in poverty, even though you work 40 hours a week and so does your spouse. Instead, focus on Colin Kaepernick not respecting our national theme song and refusing to grovel before our national rag! Don’t be disobedient in your own interest, instead turn on someone being disobedient in his own interest! That’s the American way!' Make no mistake, for the people upset at Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, that fight is a moral issue. They’re genuinely incensed that someone doesn’t show proper respect for the very same country that’s fucking them over, especially when it’s someone who has it better than them. 'What does he have to complain about? He makes 20 million a year! I’m stuck in a shitty job! Fuck him!' No. Fuck the corporation who doesn’t compensate you fairly for your shitty job. Fuck the country that lets them get away with it. And most of all, fuck you for being so easily distracted by symbols and pageantry that you don’t stop to take a look at who your real enemies are.

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    I knew that meant we were done and that we'd smooth over the surface I'd just tossed a rock into, but even the waves that crash down on the beach start out as tiny ripples, far out at sea. They just gain strength over time.

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    Fascinated by the great symbols of the collective history, I use them as an alphabet to communicate.

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    I call that creativity," Orville said. "The purpose of literature is to teach you how to THINK, not how to be practical. Learning to discover the connective tissue between seemingly unrelated events is the only way we are equipped to understand patterns in the real world.

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    I once saw many flowers blooming Upon my way, in indolence I scorned to pick them in my going And passed in proud indifference. Now, when my grave is dug, they taunt me; Now, when I'm sick to death in pain, In mocking torment still they haunt me, Those fragrant blooms of my disdain.

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    I myself recently dreamed that a UFO came speeding towards me which turned out to be the lens of a magic lantern whose projected image was myself; this suggested to me that I was the figure, himself deep in meditation, who is produced by a meditating yogi.

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    It's all nonsense. It's only nonsense. I'm not afraid of the rain. I'm not afraid of the rain. Oh, oh, God, I wish I wasn't.' She was crying. I comforted her and she stopped crying. But outside it kept on raining.

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    It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those that tend to tie it back.

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    It was during this final Parisian period of Rodenbach's life that his literary absorption in Bruges really rose and flowered. Bruges-La-Morte was the Paris literary sensation of 1892, and he followed it with La Vocation in 1895, and Le Carilloneur (translated as The Bells of Bruges) in 1897. This kind of immersion at a distance is hardly unknown - think of Joyce, minutely anatomizing Dublin in Ulysses while living in Trieste - but it is also quintessentially Symbolist in its concern with the richness and plenitude of absence: 'The essence of art that is in any way noble is the DREAM,' wrote Rodenbach, 'and this dream dwells only upon what is distant, absent, vanished, unattainable.' (Introduction)

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