Much misunderstanding the studies of religion, philosophy and its more esoteric studies is due to a failure to interpret the meaning of their symbols and structure- In other words, mistaking the menu for the meal. For example, the ancient discipline of Alchemy is, at face value, a process of transmuting lead to gold. However, when broken down into its individual steps, it is more akin to a personal transmutation of one's soul from base, animalistic desires to an enlightened state of being. The symbol of alchemy, the Phoenix, is synonymous with this rebirth. However, during medieval times, the Church would have persecuted alchemists for heresy, so a 'code' of sorts involving metals and substances was contrived. People seeking to accumulate wealth through the literal transmutation of lead to gold spent fortunes attempting to achieve it, without ever knowing the philosophical implications of the discipline.
(To be added: Application of Quantum Physics)
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Also, any posts above 1000 words should use an lj-cut. Thanks!