An exhaustive study of symbology-the science of symbols-and how symbols act on multiple levels of our experience. This work examines the role of symbol in a wide array of Eastern and Western sources. It reveals how symbols form a language akin to music that allows one to grasp the universal order. If a person does not learn the grammar of a language, the best dictionary in the world cannot help him truly understand that language, much less speak it.
This book explores the grammar as well as the principles and structures of symbology, the science of symbols. In distinction to symbolism, which explores the use of symbols, symbology examines the primal force that creates symbols that are able to act on multiple levels of our experience. Symbols not only link separate parts into a coherent whole but also link those who understand them in a sacred alliance.
René Alleau investigates diverse aspects of symbols in Eastern and Western philosophies as well as in African, Native American, and Australian cultures, both in ancient and modern times. Myth, he reveals, has been mistakenly identified by modern culture as fiction, when its true strength lies in the logic of analogy. The author then shows that nothing is closer to the language of symbols than music and that to enter the world of symbols is the attempt to grasp harmonic vibrations and learn the music of the universe. Just as there is a musical ear, there is also one sensitive to the primal force transmitted by symbol.
Table of Contents:
Questions of the Symbol
1. Origin and Semantics of the Word Symbol
2. Sign and Symbol
3. The Experiential Origins of the Analogical Process
4. The Logic of Analogy
5. The Synthematic Function of Symbolism
6. The Allegorical Function of Symbolism
7. Apologue, Fable, and Parable
8. Device and Emblem
9. Allegory and Iconology
10. The Typological Function of Symbolism
11. The Divination and Symbolic Interpretation of the Cosmos
12. Myth and Rite
13. The Bourgeois Philosophy of the Symbol
Contemporary Research in the Realm of the Interdisciplinary Study of Symbolism
1. A Letter from Ms. Claire Lejeune Concerning the History of the Journal Cahiers Internationaux de Symbolisme
2. General Symbology and the Exploration of the Imaginary
3. "The Universe of the Symbol" by Gilbert Durand
René Alleau (1917-2013), was a French author, philosopher, historian, and consulting engineer. The focus of his numerous works are symbology and alchemy, the occult and secret societies. As well as his own works, he contributed articles in these fields to the Encyclopædia Universalis, and sought to republish ancient works of esotericism while serving as the director of the Bibliotheca hermetica of the French publishing house Éditions Denoël.
Alleau was also a freemason, belonging to the Grande Loge de France. As a member of the Thebah Loge in Paris, he was associated with the Guénonian-Traditionalist School wing of the lodge, rather than the Anglo-Saxon element.