The Ancient Art of Symbolism

We see the individual in a world of shadow forms. … There is the ancient art of symbolism. Now a symbol is a picture of a motive or an idea or a meaning, it is putting a mysterious truth in the form of a picture.

All action all attitude all feeling can be considered as pictorial. Everything that exist has a shape of some kind. Some of these shapes we can see around us in daily life, some of these shapes impose themselves upon us as dreams and nightmares, some of these shapes never appear to the physical world at all, others are particularly limited to the use of psychics. But in every instance every single thought or emotion has a picture, has a likeness of itself, a mathematical pattern, a geometrical balanced design which stands for it.

Manly P. Hall

Spiritual Blight

As an organic structure of institutions, the pagan mysteries sank into historic oblivion about the 6th century A.D. A night of spiritual darkness descended upon the world, and theological dogmas eventually eclipsed the light of reason. Certainties were obscured by uncertainties. Practices surrendered to theories, and the dictates of a blind and fanatical faith supplanted the noble doctrine of the initiated philosophers.

Thus came the Dark Ages, long centuries of benightedness, in which man tortured and destroyed his fellow man for the glory of an all merciful God. Out of the religious and ethical chaos that followed the collapse of classical learning emerge the dark-cowled form of the Inquisition. Theology retrograded to the condition of a pious sham, until humanity with one desparing gesture repudiated the thralldom of an unendurable dogmatism, and rushed to embrace the materialism and skepticism of modern times.

Manly P. Hall