Monday, April 15, 2013

Books and Scrolls (Symbolism)

For the purpose of this article, Books and Scrolls refer to those
writings which preserve ancient and timeless Truth, Wisdom and
knowledge regardless of what time period in our history they may
have been written.

Books are the modern day counterparts of Scrolls. Therefore,
their purpose, function and Symbolism is similar.

Books and Scrolls are vehicles which record and perpetuate
Truth, Wisdom and knowledge for the benefit of both current and
future generations

Upon the pages and parchment of Books and Scrolls we
encounter Words, letters, Symbols and characters whose function
is to take Thoughts, ideas, Lessons and concepts out of the
realm of the abstract, invisible and verbal and bring them to life,
in some familiar fashion, in the realm of the material, tangible and

Books and Scrolls are the means by which the spoken Word
becomes the written Word; the means by which the abstract
concept becomes the picturesque archetype.

Upon their pages and parchment imagination and Thought is
transformed into readable Words and vivid pictorial displays.
It is through Books and Scrolls that ancient myth, Wisdom, and
folklore from a distant long-ago becomes a permanent
Remembrance that passes from nation to nation, culture to culture
and race to race throughout the changing ages of Time.

It is through Books and Scrolls that the Words, Thoughts,
concepts and feelings of the most ancient peoples are made
available to us today so we can reach out with our Thoughts and
feelings as we read their Words of long, long ago and thereby form
a spiritual reminiscent bond with these most ancient and distant
ancestors of ours.

Through Books and Scrolls these unknown and unremembered
ancestors become living beings with which we can now share a
common and wistful bond across Time.

Many books contain knowledge but some books contain Wisdom!

Egyptian papyri, Mayan Codex's, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and let
us not forget the Rosetta Stone, all bring ancient information, a
primordial spiritual philosophy and a long-forgotten way of life to
us in our "modern" world.

But Books and Scrolls serve no purpose if we are unable to read,
properly Interpret, understand and make use of the information they
are attempting to reveal to us.

Universal Truths are contained within the pages and parchments
of ancient manuscripts. The fact that we may be unable to properly
interpret the hieroglyphs, Symbols, characters or speech patterns
contained in ancient Books and Scrolls does not lessen the fact
that the precise ancient information, of either the esoteric (sacred
and hidden) or exoteric (common and available to all) variety, is
contained within them.

With these thoughts in mind, let us now explore the Symbolism
associated with Books and Scrolls.

Open Books and Scrolls:

An open Book or Scroll can fall into one of two categories:

By itself, an open Book or Scroll Symbolizes information that is
available to everyone. In other words, an open Book is a Symbol
for common, everyday exoteric knowledge or information
available to all.

Taken within the context of a Ritual or Ceremony, however, an
open Book or Scroll has a slightly different Symbolism. In this
instance it Symbolizes the common knowledge or dogmas
celebrated by, and made available to, the member participants
throughout the duration of that particular Ritual or Ceremony .

One example of this can be experienced during a catholic mass
where the Bible is opened at the beginning of the mass and
closed at its ending. However, numerous other organizations
adhere to the same practices in which their special Books are
a part of their ceremony.

An open Book with blank pages Symbolizes the unwritten future
and Events which have not yet come to pass; reminding us,
therefore, that all options and outcomes still remain open.
It also Symbolizes:
a Destiny yet to be fulfilled;
a story yet to be told,
Decisions and Choices yet to be made;
dreams still to be pursued;
a mystery not yet understood;
an Adventure still in progress; and
anything not yet known, experienced or recorded.
In the everyday world, the empty pages of journals and diaries
fall into this category.

Closed Books and Scrolls:

Closed Books and Scrolls, those which are not strapped or
sealed, Symbolize common knowledge which must be accessed
by any person seeking the information contained within them.

Some examples are library books, closed books in a person's
study or office and rolled up scrolls and maps which are simply
filed away but available to everyone.

Expanding on the example of the Bible cited above: although
the Bible is closed at the end of the mass, the information
contained within it is still available to anyone who Chooses to
access it. Therefore, it falls into the category of Books and
Scrolls which are simply closed but not sealed or bound.

On a more esoteric level, however, closed Books and Scrolls
take on a much different and unique Symbolism.

Much profound, arcane and ancient Wisdom is contained within
closed Books and Scrolls. And although this information is, in fact,
available to all, only a rare few will make the effort to extract the
Wisdom contained within them. These types of Books and Scrolls
Symbolize the lure of the  Quest. For it takes desire, effort, energy
and independent Thought to seek out, open, read and attempt to
understand the arcane, esoteric Wisdom contained within them.
These types of closed Books and Scrolls are the domain of the
true Seeker.

Sealed, bound, locked or strapped Books and Scrolls:

These Symbolize Initiatory Wisdom and Esoteric Truths that are
unavailable, incomprehensible or hidden to all but a select few.
The select few are the worthy and well-qualified Initiates and
Self-Initiates who have earned the right to have access to
Divine Wisdom and Truth.

These worthy and well-qualified individuals are those persons
who, through a burning desire, have Chosen to pursue the sublime
Path of Eternal Truth and  Ancient Wisdom that leads to distant
Horizons which lie beyond the imagination of the average person.

It is along this sublime Path that we encounter The Lone Wolf
the True Seeker and Wizards and Wanderers.

When we see a number of straps or bindings enclosing a book or
Scroll, the number of straps or bindings Is Symbolic of the number
of Initiatory degrees, processes or grades which an Initiate or
Self-Initiate must successfully pass through in order to properly
understand the contents of this particular Book of Scroll.

The High Priestess Tarot Card:

On this card we see the High Priestess holding a rolled,
but not strapped or bound, Scroll. Part of the Scroll is
revealed while part of the Scroll is concealed. The Scroll
that the High Priestess is holding is the Scroll of Wisdom.

Because Wisdom involves insight, intuition and inner knowing
(Gnosis), Wisdom is a feminine Divine Principle. This is why
the Scroll of Wisdom is in possession of a Priestess and not
a Priest.

This partly concealed and partly revealed scroll can be interpreted
in several ways:

The Initiate, or Self-Initiate, has earned a certain amount of
Wisdom but there is still more to be sought after and revealed.

Wisdom is available to some of the masses but not to all.

The High Priestess is reminding us that there are three
conditions which occupy the realm of matter and reason:
The Known, The Unknown and The Unknowable. Where The
Unknowable, by its very nature, can never be fully accessed
through the faculty of reason alone.

Modern Metaphors:

"He/she is an open book"
"He/she is a closed book"
"You can read him/her like a book"

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2013
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