Tag Archives: symbols


Longing, Symbols & Substance – Week 17

Haanel’s Part Seventeen of his Masterkey System warns against running after symbols instead of internalizing substance. This message spoke strongly to me as I pondered why I had trapped emotions of failure and longing.

For those of you unfamiliar with the idea of trapped emotions, please have a look at Dr. Blaine Hansen’s work on The Emotion Code.

My self-awareness is tied into the concepts of linkages, connection, and being whole-hearted. Here’s what I learned:

• I had tied success in my mind to achievement and/or acquisition, accretion in Haanel’s Part One language;
• I had felt myself a failure (toxic shame) for not achieving and/or acquiring;
• I had, in too many respects, opted out of the flow of giving and receiving by effectively not being willing to share my gifts with others; and
• I failed to see that I had accepted the world’s enticements to pursue symbols rather than substance.

I’ve written much more about this in this week’s supplemental post. I invite you to read it if you feel drawn to hearing more about my journey.

As a consequence of the gift of awareness, I am changing in several ways:

• I embrace strength through vulnerability;
• I honor myself by living substantively, which means to always seek the true spirit of my objectives rather than to be distracted by shiny symbols;
• My primary goal is connection: to myself, to God, to people and to the world around me. After all, I am one with all these. How can I love without connection?
• My motivation for connection is love, service, sharing and empowerment. I know now that success is in living, receiving and giving in the spirit of abundance. Acquisition, achievement and accretion are only symbols, and they are unimportant, if many times enjoyable, and they can never more distract me from the truth, which is;
• I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy. I was conceived in love and brought forth with a purpose. And that purpose is to be a true mirror and a true lens, reflecting and focusing for all the Light of the World.

This is a path and a practice. Each day I draw closer to the measure and stature of the fullness of my ideals as I tread the path. Please feel free to help me be true to my ideals as you see my needs. Thank you for traveling with me!

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Basic Symbols, Basic Shapes, Basic Colors – Week 16

I don’t know about you, but symbolic learning isn’t my strong suit.  I am just more skilled at interpreting, absorbing and synthesizing the literal.  The figurative, i.e., symbols, are another story.

One nice thing about symbols is they are susceptible of multiple interpretations, and maybe that’s the point.  A symbol can be meaningful to me in one way, and to you it can be meaningful in another, and the diversity of interpretation does no violence to the utility of the symbol nor to either of us.

For the last 15 weeks, I’ve been using, largely ignorantly, 6 symbols to help me learn the lessons of the Masterkey System.  There are 4 primary symbols and 2 supplemental symbols.  The four primary symbols are a blue rectangle, a red circle, a green triangle, and a yellow square.  The two supplemental symbols are a compass and a magnifying glass.

I understood rapidly the import of the supplemental symbols.  After all, these are items I’d used many times in life, and I knew their “real world” utility.  So, thinking of a compass as directing me to follow my Dharma was easy.  Thinking of a magnifying glass as reminding me to stay focused was also easy.

Not that doing those two things was easy, mind you.  It still isn’t.  I’m still learning to operate my thinking and feeling mechanisms more efficiently and effectively.  Progress occurs, however, which is gratifying and reassuring.

Now, what about the primary symbols?  What do I learn from basic shapes and basic colors?  Not much, it turns out, until I felt prompted to take on a simple project.  You may like this story, and it may benefit you, God willing.

Here’s the project.  Some years ago, my daughter gave me a refrigerator magnet composed of a colored, patterned circle upon which she’d written her name in cursive script.  The paper circle was glued to a glass “jewel,” a piece of glass shaped like a river rock, flat on the bottom and rounding on the top, and a magnet was glued to the back.  This little magnet was attractive, it constantly reminded me of my daughter, and like all such things, was useful in temporarily affixing two-dimensional items to the refrigerator.

One day, tragedy struck.  Entropy came to collect its due, and the paper giving my magnet its import separated.  The jewel could still memorialize my daughter, but the item’s essential utility ended.  I was left with a marred memento and a bare, unattractive ceramic craft magnet.  That just wouldn’t do.

Next, the inspiration.  If my daughter could craft a magnet, so could I.  I sought counsel from my mother about where to find the glass jewels, and she guided me appropriately.  The same store, unsurprisingly, had craft magnets and clear adhesive.

I already had digital versions of the four basic symbols and a pictorial representation of a compass.  I have a real compass, but it’s safely ensconced in my emergency “go pack” left over from years of being a Boy Scout leader.  My plastic magnifying glass lies on a prominent place on my desk.  I reduced the size of the symbols to fit the size of the glass jewels, and printed them.

A pencil and scissors made short work of fitting the paper symbols to individual jewels.  A little glue, a little patience, overnight curing, and, Voila!, new refrigerator magnets.  Here’s a picture:


It turns out that this supplemental kinesthetic exercise opened my eyes to the utility of the blue rectangle, the red circle, the green triangle and the yellow square.  For me, the message is one of simplicity.  It turns out that amazing things are produced out of simple ingredients.

Reminds me of a scripture.  “… by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; ….”  Book of Mormon, Alma 37:6.  You’d think, wouldn’t you, that having read that verse several dozen times, I’d have the message down, right?  Well, the teacher only appears when the student is ready.  And, fortunately, when the student becomes a servant, then the Master appears.

And so, my basic shapes with their basic colors now enshrined in refrigerator magnets, remind me constantly to remember to think basic, productive thoughts, feel basic, positive emotions, speak simple, edifying words, give unselfish, caring service, do simple, traction-producing activities, and hold basic, divinely inspired intentions.

I am repenting from Naaman’s fault.  I thought  I was supposed to do some great, heroic things.  It turns out that real heroism comes from consistently doing the humble, simple things which are the building blocks for a heavenly soul.  When I do that, the mansion takes care of itself.

What do you think?  Will you join me in the real hero’s journey?  Will you search out your divine destiny and use your God-given powers of perception to find the basic building blocks that will bring it about?  I know you can; I pray you will.

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