Bright/dark Symbolism

 

One of the first impression of life is the experience of the rhythm of life which depends on bright and dark, day and night. The more the growing human being trusts his eyes for orientation the more important bright and dark become. In consequence in a bright environment one can easily orient (= “good”). In the darkness one is surrounded by the indefinable (= “evil”).

In context of symbolism, things that are recognizable and conscious are assigned to the light. The darkness is coupled with qualities which are contrary to the light aspects. Certainly everything that cannot be seen and operates in the shadows is a potential threat. Our language which is a expression of our perceptions contains a lot of language elements that are dedicated to the bright/dark symbolism. “Shed light on something”, “dark deeds”, “his face brightens up”, “helping someone out of the darkness” and so on. The emotional aspect is obvious in these phrases.

bright

conscious

top

forward

familiar

dark

unconscious

bottom

backward

threatening

The elements fit because of their properties perfectly in the top/bottom and bright/dark symbolism. They will be discussed in detail in another chapter. They are being combined with the already discussed symbols in the following table to get a better overview.

fire/light

enlightening

weightless

air

transparent

lightweight

water

muddy to transparent

lighter than earth

earth

dark, nontransparent

heavy

The meaning of color in a colorless surrounding is similar to the bright in the darkness. 

 

© Alfred Ballabene (Vienna) translated by Seth