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sumbolon  Term Image (συμβολον) Script Image
(Language:  Greek)
Alternate Spellings:
Short Description: symbol
Long Description: symbol ( sumballein means ‘to join); a fragment of a whole object, such as a tessera hospitalis, which can be joined with the other half; sumbolon suggests both incompletness and the hinting power of secret meaning; the so-called Pythagorean symbols are maxims ( akousmata, ‘things heard’) representing in an enigmatic and archaic form the basic teachings on the proper conduct of life; only in the allegorical tradition of Neoplatonic hermeneutics the theory of metaphysical, cosmogonic, and theurgic symbolism was elaborated, and sumbolon achieved the status of a major critical concept; in the Chaldean Oracles, the sumbola are sown throughout the cosmos by the Paternal Demiurge and serve as the essential means of ascent and return to the gods; every soul was created by the Demiurge with harmonic ratios ( logoi) and divine symbols ( sumbola theia: Proclus In Tim.I.4.32-33); the logoi that constitute the soul’s essence are sumbola and may be awakened through the theurgic rites; for Proclus, the inspired myths of Homer communicate their truth not by making images ( eikones) and imitations ( mimemata), but by making symbols ( sumbola or sunthemata), because ‘symbols are not imitations of that which they symbolize’ ( In Remp.I.198.15-16).
Source(s): The Golden Chain: An Anthology of Platonic and Pythagorean Philosophy, by Dr. Algis Uždavinys
Notes & References:
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Related Terms:
Provided By: Dictionary of Spiritual Terms