Friday, March 28, 2008

Remnants, abstractions -- garlands of skulls (Part II)

But I do not think that I am talking symbols when I say that everything gets down to its most essential. It is when we participate in a recognition of this everything-contains-its-essential-remnants formulation that we begin to engage in the play of symbols. And as to how this symbol-play itself relates to the essential remnants understanding of the world, much can be said.
A symbol is, after all, an abridged, essentialized version of something else. A symbol refers to something more complex than its own relatively simple combination of aspects. The remnant and the symbol share this in common. Perhaps the dome is not the best example, but it might be adequate (as a symbol). If only the dome is left, what do we know about the structure, if the rest of the structure is gone without a trace? Do we know more about the structure if its foundation remains? Of course we can know the structure’s location, its size, we may even be able to determine its height based on the depth of the foundation. We can derive, from the foundation, how many this and how many that. The foundation is the more essential because it contains, in its own relatively simple structuring, references to information that is not present. This, then, is what constitutes the essential quality of something.

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