I wanted to resume from where I left off from my “Semiotics” post on this blog, as you can see I was getting incredibly detailed on the Symbolic side of semiotics. I sort of showed a bias view on what symbolism is, what people automatically think when one speaks of symbolism – religion. Because, to be frank, that is what is emphasised as symbolic. The crucifix, the well-known image of Christ, Christianity. However, I want to broaden the reader’s horizons a bit, especially mine, as I fully well know that symbolism spreads further, branches off from religion.
Symbolism is used, possibly unnoticeably so in everything…manmade, as yes, religion is man-made, religion was a constructed group, to concentrate on the belief of a superior being. We gave God, Jesus Christ a symbol to worship, to respect….Sorry, getting a bit nihilistic…EVERYTHING MANMADE MEANS NOTHING…I’m joking.
What I’m trying to say is, symbols are used everywhere we go – that is what Semiotics is based on, symbols. Something people can relate to, whether there is a true meaning behind the concept. Pictogram images on signs, it’s all symbolic. I’m going to be silly now and, instead of using a religious symbol to shove in your face, I’m going to use Harry Potter as a visual example.
Deathly Hallows SYMBOL – (Don’t tell me the ending, still haven’t finished the book!)
What do people think when they see this? Do they see something negative, like Lord Voldemort? Or positive, like the Order of Phoenix? Or is there any meaning to it at all, is it just merely an image that is used to frighten the characters of the book as well as the readers? – (of course it’s not the latter, but I’m asking anyway)
In reality, and I’m sadly spoiling myself, this is the symbol of the Peverell Brothers, three deceased men from inside the seventh book, who have been with us the entire time. They held three objects, that was said to have been created by Death, and one of these objects was the Invisible Cloak. Which was coincidentally owned by James Potter, and now Harry Potter, given to him as a Christmas present in the first book. (Do not read this if anyone hasn’t read the book fully, or seen the second part of the film yet!) However, explaining this, does it justify the implications of the symbol? Was it founded to potentially be have an influential effect, positive or negative?
Now to compare it to something more…controversial.
We all know what this is meant to represent, don’t we? The Illuminati. (Latin for “Illuminatus” – Enlightenment). Hold your horses, I’m not personally saying I am in on the so-called “Illuminati” that is planning on doing this “New World Order”. This is just a mere example, I am using because this symbol has so many implications behind it, so many origins of history. Let me give you a brief background first;
The (Order of) Illuminati were a 18th century society split from the Enlightenment movement, founded by the German Adam Weishaupt, a philosopher and first professor of canon Law of the University of Ingolstadt. The “secret society” was made on the basis of freethinkers (the philosophical believers of Freethought, a view that life should be seen through logic, science and reason and without authority, tradition and dogma) – many of these freethinkers being well-known intellectuals of the time; Ferdinand du Brunswick, a Prussian field marshal known for his participation on the Seven Years’ War of 1756 -1763; Franz Xaver von Zwack, the first president of the Speyer government, and governor of Munich; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German philosopher, writer and pictorial artist; Johann Gottfried (von) Herder, a German philosopher, literature critic and poet, as well as other ruling Dukes of Gotha and Weimar.
The ideals of the Illuminati were that of the Freemasons – a secret society, which is said to have originated as early as the 16th century in Scotland, and separated into individual lodges, which have been found throughout the United Kingdom, and the society having spread across the countries. The participants of each lodge had different views, depending on the individuals state of thought, however, they were to follow a few simple rules; being a man, freeborn of good repute and well recommended; to believe in the supreme being (God), to support one’s self and family, to come to Masonry by their own free will. (http://www.exsequi.org.za/join-masons.asp)
The reign of the “Bavarian Illuminati”/”Perfectbilists” ended as the new governmental law of Enlightenment Despotism was instigated by Karl Theodore, the new ruler of Bavaria, coming into ruling in 1777. The Illuminati and other “secret societies” like it were slated as illegal in 1784, this led to the permanent downfall in 1785, when the struggle to find a new “leader” had failed.
Despite the loss of Illuminati, it had spread outside the Eastern European countries; the original documents made of the society, and of Adam Weishaupt having been released in 1787 by the ruling government. The authors, Augustin Barruel’s Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobism, and John Robinson’s Proof of Conspiracy had both expressed the theory that the secret society survived, and that crazily enough, the Illuminati had some involvement in the French Revolution. But let’s stop it right there. Didn’t the French Revolution have a positive effect on France? Wasn’t the aftermath of it all a success?
So, this lead’s me to the question – What is it about the Illuminati symbol, the use of the All-seeing eye that frightens people? Why has it had such a negative reaction when looking into the brief history of the Illuminati, the foundation of the society says otherwise? The all-seeing eye, has been a symbol for many ancient cultures; Ancient Egyptians, Christianity. It’s the eye of God/a God. Why should that frighten people? I’ll tell you why, because in the bible, in the Revelations it speaks of the rise of the Anti-christ, and modern conspiracy theorists believe the Illuminati, or whoever is claiming to be the Illuminati is one of a few secret societies that are manipulating popular culture; films, and music, and governmental control. The religious people (Christians) believe the Illuminati are planning to wipe them out, that the Jews are somehow involved. Explaining the large war predicted from Heaven and Hell.
But why use the all-seeing eye, why use a God’s eye to represent such a malicious society? If the Illuminati, and the Freemasons were against God completely, wanting to throw him off his mantle, why use something that is borderline religious? If the Illuminati, are planning to create a New World Order, that is based on logic, and reasoning, and science – isn’t that what our world is trying to accomplish in the first place? I wouldn’t see much difference, other than there will be no “God” mentioned.
Benjamin Franklin was a Freemason, and just happened to be the founding father of the United States of America. To me, that is a positive influence. The Freemasonry used the symbol of God, which implies they founded a country on religious or spiritual bounds. There was nothing malicious about the act. Which leads to my conclusion that the symbol, that paranoia and fear of this symbol is misconstrued. The legends of the Illuminati and the Freemasons were taken out of hand, like any legend, because of the lack of information.