Find out about the many Chinese symbols for god and how they were developed during different times.
The history of China is riddled with mystery and paradox. Especially mysterious is the time period classified as the Middle Kingdom when all sorts of new and strange traditions were being practiced and developed.
The hard working and down to earth Chinese population has always possessed a sense of artistic brilliance. Perhaps there is nothing more elaborate and profound as the collection of Chinese symbols to show how they mixed philosophy with the arts and came up with the most unique writing system in the world that is based entirely upon symbolism.
The many gods and their symbols
With a history dating back to the Stone Age the earliest traces of Chinese history clearly reflects their pantheon beliefs. Amongst the belief systems that had an immense influence on the Chinese masses is Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism to name a few. As strange as it sounds, this gave birth to a weird variety of various gods in the Chinese culture.
Over the course of history we find Chinese gods symbols of various kinds from various times. The Chinese basically had a separate god for everything. The different gods found themselves being represented through different symbols. The symbols were obviously inspired by the nature and duty of the particular god in question. Hence you had symbols that used the sun as the main design motif in order to represent the sun god and the likes.
The Chinese symbols and the west
For English speaking people understanding Chinese symbols for gods can be a rather strenuous task. This is because the nature of Chinese symbols is such that a single visual is used to describe and entire concept or sentence. Hence what may seem as a single symbol actually has a lot more to say than what meets the English eye.
As most westerners look for the phonetic clue when it comes to reading a language, the Chinese language poses a serious problem because it has no phonetic value to its symbols.
The Chinese symbols for gods are mainly used to describe auspicious power over a certain element of nature. In Chinese tradition people would incorporate the use of these symbols into their lives for the purpose of pleasing the gods or seeking their blessings and protection.
Since there were so many gods and so many symbols you would find the homes of the religiously inclined to be full of, what to us is art work. The reason why the Chinese symbols for gods are so many is because of the varied belief systems that the Chinese have followed through the course of changing times.
Hence every dharma had its own philosophy of life and consequently its own version and depiction of its gods. The Chinese symbols for gods can be seen displayed in different manners in the west today. They are however not considered hold the reverence that they did in the Chinese culture and are taken as art.