… after many centuries … scientists and philosophers can finally agree about what makes humans human.  This is the act of “symbolic transformation,” which is the way the human person takes raw experience and makes it into symbols, and especially language.  (Emphasis added.)

Paul Elie, in The Life You Save May be Your Own

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Here Elie is referring to the work of philosopher Susanne K. Langer, Ph.D. who saw the nature of the human as that of  “symbol maker,” and hence identified the person’s need to convert experience into symbols.  To Langer, there is a very significant nexus between experience and what is thought about it.

Langer’s view was this: that symbols are not imposed on experience but rather flow from experience as a natural and vital part of it.

In Langer’s view the age-old human symbol systems found in cultures in their ritual, art, literature, mythology, religion and religious narrative are essential expressions of human need as recorded over the centuries, and that they co-exist presently with science very comfortably.

I would argue this is precisely why religion and religious narrative are indispensable to human welfare and human development, to community, nation and any civilization. And, I would further argue that discounting this reality and need, we produce utterly unnecessary social, emotional, psychological, inter and intrapersonal discord which leads to human discontent, sickness, chaos, disorder, despair, and ultimately to the death of a culture, a nation and civilization – and that, thanks to the Left and modern liberalism, this is precisely our current trajectory.

If I were to be asked why this is so, I would say very simply that symbols and the vehicles that house them provide access to self and others … symbols and the key repositories of symbols alone provide us with intimacy, understanding, insight, patience, compassion and wisdom because they provide “intersubjectivity” – the capacity to take on another’s experience and very being.

Stated another way, I might ask who among us would lay down his life for another or meld a marriage between man and woman if not for the symbols and stories, rituals and institutions that cherish and lead us to  “intersubjectivity” – the acquisition of another’s very existence as their own?

Indeed our growth, maturity and conversion depends on symbols and the sacred institutions which sustain them.

Face it folks, the idea that a person’s welfare rests on “I” and not “we” has proved its destructiveness in centuries of gross, heinous – even murderous, behavior – to this present day.

Time to wake up and get smart.

Shalom.

Postscript – We now see the Hamilton spokesmen for advocating our acceptance of “diversity”  (Brandon Victor Dixon) has a habit of using social media to brag about having sex with white young women and white housewives.  How quaint and delightful – the poster boy for Leftist “diversity” is a sexual predator – so much for the “contributions” of the Democrat Left.   

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