Monday, September 20, 2010

Post #3

Hello All.

Archetypes are by definition universal; that is, their meaning transcends any one given time or place. Thus, although it is difficult (if not impossible) to translate ancient languages (such as the Incan quipu), we can immediately recognize images of fertility in Incan sculptures. In this way, archetypal images convey a meaning we can immediately recognize, even though these images were created in a dramatically different cultural context.

However, not every symbol has a deeper meaning or substance. Think, for example, of the stop sign. This is a clear symbol that indicates to us that we need to stop our cars, but no one would stop and meditate on the idea of "stopping." That person would be crazy . . .

However, other symbols inspire us to do just that; we actually use these symbols to give meaning to moments in our lives (if not our life story itself).

As Anthony Stevens writes, "The vitality of a symbol depends on the conscious attitude with which it is received. In themselves, images are meaningless; they acquire energy-with-meaning only when we grant it to them, by laying ourselves open to their influence" (p. 81).

Because of this power, religions use and exhibit this symbolim. To continue the roadway motif, think of bumperstickers or rear windows with either the "Jesus fish" or "Darwin fish." In each case, a driver has made the conscious choice to align him or herself with this particular symbol. By itself, the image of fish would not mean much; however, when we use this image to project meaning, it achieves, as Stevens would say, "energy."

For this post, describe one symbol that has "energy" for you.

I'll give you an example from my own car. I have a license plate frame with a quote from the poet William Blake: "Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius." In my own case, I choose to give "energy" to the symbol of the crooked road because my own philosophy is that life is meant to be a meandering series of detours. We should be inspired by our distractions and not be so fixated on any single goal that we become blinded to all that life has to offer. (Or maybe I'm just rationalizing my own lack of concentration). In any case, the symbol of the crooked road is one with which I choose to align myself.

Describe one symbol with which you choose to align yourself.


  1. Megan Reimer:
    I align myself with this quote, "Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight."-Phyllis Diller. I am a very stubborn person and some what of a perfectionist. This quote gives me energy because it means to never give up until you have recieved the outcome you wanted. I always fight for what I want and I am never happy until I get it. "To never go to bed mad," means to me to never end your day unpleased with yourself and if you are then you need to step back and think how you are going to improve you life or whatever is bothering you. I an a deeo thinker, sometimes I over analyze situations way too much, but I never end my day with out thinking about how I can better myself.

  2. Ashley Black:

    In my room I posted the quote "The purpose of life... is a life of purpose." This quote gives me energy every day because it keeps me focused on the bigger things in life. I want there to be a purpose for everything I am spending time on and/or accomplishing. Knowing that I am living a life with a purpose motivates me. I always want my life to positively impact others in some way or another. If I did not have this goal in mind then I believe I would feel meaningless. I do not want to be a person who is easily forgotten.

  3. Mark Macanas

    There are many quotes out there that I have heard throughout my life time, but one quote that stood out to me was said to me by my 7th grade literature teacher Mr. Boosalis. This quote inspired and gave me the energy to become a teacher. The quote said,"children are messages being sent to the future, what message are you sending?" this quote inspired me to make a change in our future because in my opinion it doesn't look too bright. That's why I chose this quote as an energy force that inspired me to educate.

  4. Jessica Delgadillo

    Hi, I don't have a quote, but I do have an object that I view as a symbol. I have a small Eiffel tower key chain that my friend brought back from Paris years ago, and I like to keep as a reminder that there is a bigger world out there than I could ever imagine. It symbolizes my goal to one day travel to Paris and visit the Eiffel tower up close and personal. It also motivates me to want to achieve my goals, whether they be in traveling or in my education. To an outsider, my key chain is just a regular key chain, but to me it symbolizes goals and opportunities.

  5. In April of this year, i met my boyfriend who sort of just jumped into my crazy journey of life. We immediatly fell in love, and have been inseperaable ever since. He has to be my opposite (my other half). On our first date, i was wearing a cheap silver braclet which he somehow managed to remove from my wrist. After a long talk, he finally gave me the bracelet which he bended to a ring. Ive used this ring as a symbol, not just for faith or hope in our relationship, but to keep me on track. to keep me a good girlfriend. The ring keeps me in good spirits. one day, if he may propose, it was the ring and his love which inspired me for this moment :)
    Sarina Flores

  6. Erma Morales

    Hi, one of my favorite quotes is, "what's done in the dark will be brought to the light". I'm not sure who wrote this quote, however, I believe it might be from the bible. When I think of doing or saying bad things I always refer back to this quote in my head, and I also try and live my life based on this few words. I truly believe in karma and in Jesus Christ. I am constantly looking for inspiritional words like these to help me get through bad days.

  7. Renee Wilson
    The symbol that has meaning for me is the American flag. To me, the flag represents the ideals of freedom, democracy, and justice. I keep a picture of the flag on my refrigerator to remind me to be an active memeber in society. It inspires me to be a participant in several civil rights movements and to never take from granted the rights I have. The flag of America may have different meaning to other people, but for me, it is a representation of what we should strive for in this country, equality.

  8. Trisha Morrissey:

    "We do not remember days, we remember moments." This is a quote that draws a lot of energy from me. This quote helps me remember that sometimes in life the little things count, even if they seem meaningless. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what the day entails and how many things I have to do, I forget about enjoying what the day brings. I want to remember living not worrying about the next task I must finish. Remembering moments usually means remembering the little joys I find in my daily life which I believe is crucial to a happy life.

  9. Jorge Solis

    The quote that I align myself with and made me change the way I think of cause and effect is “there’s always a reason why things work”. I learn that everything has a purpose, without a purpose there is no reason for things to exist. It’s like if there was a connection with everything, if one thing fails so does the other one. This made me thing that everything happens for a reason. In other words, the things that you do today might affect you tomorrow. If something in your life went good, well you’re good to go. If something in your life went wrong, well just view it as if it was the only way it could of happen and how do we know this, we know this because we are still alive.

  10. Hi, it's Danielle Williams. My symbol for my mantra in life is my '02 Chevy Malibu. It was a graduation gift from my parents and grandparents and it was my first, and only, car so far. I have been driving it ever since I went out into the world at 18 and now I am 21. The car is a symbol of my life because it has been in a total of five accidents, yet it continues to plug on. All the accidents were caused by me but I haven't been in an accident in 2 years. I think the car symbolizes my mantra in life that no matter how many times something bad might happen or I have a setback in my life journey, I do not let it stop me; I continue to plug away. And the fact that I haven't been in an accident in 2 years symbolizes the fact that I am getting better at this thing we call life. My first and only car so far has taken me on my ride of life, where ever that may have been, and it continues to, stronger than ever, despite any setbacks, just like I do. My car is a symbol of me.

  11. Eva Marie Salas

    A symbol that creates energy for me is a map of the world. I choose to look over the map to find different places and research them to try and understand the different lifestyles. I visited Brazil in Feb. and it has inspired me to see more of the world. I am eager to see the unique lifestyles and different cultures that live on this Earth. There is a huge world out there with many different people, lifestyles, religions, and cultures. I want to explore many different places and see the world’s beauty. Every time I see a map, it motivates me to work harder to be able to travel the world. I would like to teach in other countries and see the lives of different people.

  12. Nate Whiting

    My surfboard was, for a long time my ideal archetypal symbol. For me, it meant exercise (I am always on the move), freedom: the seemingly uninhibited limits of travel on the open water (not that I would ever choose to swim to Hawaii), and my favorite meaning, peace and prayer. Just out past the break of the waves the world seems to stand still. It is quiet and serene. I always find myself talking to God and praying. The surf board was always in my car (at the time a 1991 Ford Bronco) lying in anticipation to be my vessel to peace. but, I haven't surfed in over 3 years and my board now hangs on the wall. although it motionless, it still reminds me of my quiet time with God enjoying His creation and thanking Him for my day.

  13. Hey everyone, its Brian.
    I don't really have any quote from which I draw strength or energy, however I suppose that the symble that I draw strength from is my family. While looking at photos and while attending gatherings I seem to always draw strength and determination from them to do all that I can.

  14. Alyssa Tolosa

    The symbol that I feel I give a lot of energy to is my kindergarten clay handprint. The clay handprint used to be glossy-white and close to perfect round. Now, it is dull-white with chips and cracks around the edges. Every time I look at the clay handprint, I am always amazed at how small my hands used to be and the small number of lines there were on my palms. Compared to my hands now, my hands are twice as big and have gained more character. The clay handprint gives me energy because the size of my hand symbolizes the start of my education. The chips, cracks and dull-white color symbolize the imprint education has upon my life.

  15. Basil Qumsiyeh:
    Hi, my symbol my be a little different than others. I like to collect items that has city, states and country names (shirts, lighters, cups) and i buy them from the location writen on the item. I have them displayed clearly in my room. by doing so, i keep myself challenged to travel more. I make sure to buy an item from every place I visit.
    My Goal is to visit as many places in the world as I can.

  16. Matt Thompson:
    In Ancient Cherokee Traditions, a butterfly is a very powerful symbol of "the spirit of loved ones who have passed." Its meaning is that of "New Life." I choose to give the symbol of the butterfly energy because my father passed away in 2008 due to liver failure and every time I've visited the graveside, a butterfly has flown past me, no joke. The butterfly will fly around me until I leave and then it flies off. My brother and I to show our love for this symbol, got a tattoo for our father. The tattoo is of a dream catcher, and the strings in the middle tie together to make a butterfly. My fathers name is on a banner above it and his birth and death dates are on banners below it.

  17. Hello, the symbol I give energy to is a dirt road . I have been around dirt roads all my life and it has always been a way to leave and just go somewhere . The dirt road to me reminds me that I can go anywhere and do just about anything. It reminds me of my roots and the values that were instilled in me as a child. Dirt roads are usally less traveled that paved roads and that in a way is a reflection on myself, I'm not afraid to take the route less traveled or to do things differently from the rest of the world.
    -Joey Rico

  18. Nadee Ramirez:

    The quote that i align myself with would be one that i discovered throughout the years, " never worry about little things, be happy at all times, and enjoy life because it only gets harder and it never comes back." I always seem like i dont care about certain things but its just that i wouldnt like to stress about something little and then panic when it gets worse.

  19. the symbol I give energy to is my baby's first symbolizes patience, life and innocence. It is a reminder that we were all born innocent but led to different paths. So after any situation know I will always have patience for the situation and disregard little problems because there is more to life
    diana Camacho

  20. Mel Ynostroza
    I have a saying that i like to use when faced with problems, "No sense in worrying about things I can control, and there's no sense in worrying about things I can't." It reminds me to no lose focus on trying to do the impossible or taking on too many tasks.