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Symbolism Holidays Myths and Signs pdf

Book Title Symbolism Holidays Myths And Signs
Book Authoralauddin Shabbaz
Total Pages143
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Symbolism Holidays Myths and Signs


Book’s Introduction

For a successful interface between theology and science, one must connect symbols and myth with known facts. Science and religion, both enterprises make an extensive use of said.

Though it may seem at first blush that science deals only with empirically verifiable truths, just a little reflection will reveal that this is really not so.

We know that mathematics is involved in the argumentation and development of all the exact sciences. Physics and quantum mechanics could not exist without the calculus. Yet the language of mathematic is symbolism.

Philosophers of science readily admit that what emerges from laboratory experiments are not absolute laws dealing with hard and unchangeable and final facts, but rather estimations dealing with the behavioral patterns of matter. And these patterns are able to be explicitated and interpreted in terms of statistical analysis.

 All analysis has to be communicated and formulated in terms of what really are statistical symbols which proves valuable in the macrocosm in dealing practically with the reactions that were observed and in predicting similar behavior in the future.

The symbols and myths of science find companion symbols and myths in the language of theology. Both deal with areas that lie essentially on the borderline of our direct consciousness.

Just what is a symbol? “It is a kind of sign. A sign is any reality which, when known, or when entering into our consciousness, leads to the knowledge of another reality apart from it, of which it is seen as the sign,” states Dr. Charles Ro Meyer, a professor of Systematic Theology at St. Mary of the Lake.

 Thus when we see smoke, we immediately conclude that associated with it there is fire; this is a natural sign.

There are arbitrary signs and symbols, those which become signs and symbols because of human agreement.

A traffic signal, a stop sign, or the diamond­shaped yellow sign which indicates a curve in the road ahead. A symbol is a sign but all signs are not symbols. A symbol is a very special kind of sign.

It is a substitute for the thing signified. It is a kind of logical and emotional “stand-in” for what it represents. For a symbol to be truly effective it must be concatenated; the emotion or value associated with the reality it is a sign of must be transferred to the sign. Psychologically, this process is ref erred to as displacement

There are healthy displacement of psychic energy from one object or person to another. Some displacement evidences the beginning of a prejudice, racism, etc.

Only if the culture is wholesome will the transfer be healthy and allow release of psychic energy that otherwise would not have been possible.

Catharsis is so commonplace that most people, especially African Americans, scarcely give said a second thought, but simply take it for granted.

In ritual and ceremony, catharsis implies a transfer of emotion. But in the symbolism of science and authentic Al-Islam, mathematics, language, etc., catharsis refers to values or significance rather than emotional. The meaning or valence of a thing signified is attributed to the sign.

So what is involved is an intellectual rather than an emotional appreciation of the symbol in its relationship to what is symbolizes.

To many the word “Myth” conjure up the notion of an fairy tale, a story which, though entertaining, or ever significant in illumining the human condition, contain no truth. There is, however, a technical sense in which the word “Myth” is employed in theology.

It is used to designate stories and narratives which are useful both to entertain and shed light upon the vagaries and caprices of human nature, so to speak. George Washington and the cutting down of the cherry tree, is best classified as a myth. Many narratives in scripture are myths, in the technical sense.

When the word “myth” is used in its technical sense it refers to a reality that does really exist in some way – but on a plane which we are not completely conscious. It does deal with truth – but not with reality as we are able to readily recognize it, verify it and deal with it in the world in which our consciousness dwells.

Mythology treats of a foreign kind of reality, one that most are not conversant with because it does not fit the categories chiseled out in the today’s mind, to handle the data of yesterday idioms, concepts, and idolatry. It is truth about reality on a primitive level, radically different from todays.

Religious myths are often not precise and vague. Many are highly subjective in their interpretation and interpolation and application. The religiosity of a person will be influenced by their particular culture, indoctrination, and degree of education.

 The periphery of one’s religious consciousness rest entirely on one’s ability to decipher signs, symbols, myths, etc.

In the following chapters, Dr. Alauddin Shabazz, an ordained minister, certified Imam, Degreed scholar of religious studies and historian, explore some of the diverse matrices out of which many were born. A prolific writer and potent speaker, Imam Alauddin Shabazz presents an insightful and enlightening treatise on a pertinent issue. Imam Yaqub Abdul-Aziz Bilal Oluster, Florida

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