The sounding of a bell is a signal that informs us of something; the start or end of mass or class, an emergency, a wake-up call or, in the case of the old town crier, to grab attention before making an announcement.
Everybody knows that!
However, there is a deeper, esoteric meaning, that rarely gets mentioned.
From the exoteric interpretations for the symbolic meaning of bells, we can readily deduce they relate to the beginning and the end of a cycle, or to signal danger. In both cases, they provide critical information.
In the case of bell’s ringing in the morning, or the modern bell of the alarm clock, the symbolic meaning of bells bears a relationship to awakening. However, the awakening is to oneself.
Ancient sages created esoteric symbolism to disguise the actual meaning of their writings. They used everyday objects people are familiar with to help them remember, learn and understand complex lessons of consciousness and the mind.
So let’s take this one step forward to examine the esoteric symbolic meaning of bells.
Information is essentially knowledge, and we know that “knowledge is power.”
The hidden secret of this well-known saying is that when we happy knowledge with the appropriate action, we accrue wisdom and have a better understanding of life through interaction and experience.
Moreover, we add information to our subconscious programming, and with more wisdom in our subconscious, we experience a richer quality of life.
Even when I tell you that bells represent the capacity to acquire wisdom, it only scratches the surface of its deeper meaning.
The Symbolic Meaning of Bells in World Religions
The official explanation of symbolic meanings given by religious institutions is misleading. In Christianity, the bell is said to represent the ‘voice of God.’ And they portray “God” as some personified Sky Daddy that is everywhere and in everything.
Including your head!
How often do you hear the “voice of God” and what does it sound like?
In China, bells are rung to communicate with spirits. Buddhists, Hindus and the Russian Orthodox Church also say the sound of the bell directly addresses the deity.
So it seems there is a common theme in relation to the symbolic meaning of bells running through the world’s religions. This fact is also true of other symbols. At this point, the inquisitive mind will ask, “why are all the world’s organised religions using the same symbols and applying the same (or similar) meaning?”
I thought that’s what you might ask!
These same religions also link superstitions to bells. You may have heard that ringing a bell protects you by warding off evil spirits – which gives the impression that there are ghouls and goblins out to get you.
Of course, this is all poppy-cock (a polite English way of saying, bollocks!)
The Dome and Clapper of the Bell
Ancient sages made the connection that the dome of the bell is the ‘vault of heaven’ and the clapper is the ‘voice of the divinity.’ The esoteric meaning of the dome actually represents the female sexual genitalia of women. The clapper is the male phallus.
When male and female come into sexual union, there is the potential to create life. And that what all symbolism related to masculine and feminine object means.
The male and female principle of creation also relate to the proton (male) of an atom, and electron (female). Atoms are the building blocks of life and create your experience of the world.
We, therefore, see the ancient idea of duality that consistently occurs throughout ancient wisdom. They often use the male and female analogy to present the idea of balance and union.
We can apply these same principles to the human mind. The mind needs to be balanced by using masculine and feminine traits, more commonly known as ‘whole-brain thinking’.
To master whole-brain thinking, you need to know how to think analytically with Reason, and how to be creative and use your imagination. This is also how you create your experience of life.
The Deeper Symbolic Meaning of Bell
A balanced mind has the capacity to analyse a situation and be creative enough to find the ideal solution. Even in modern times, neuroscientists and phycologists describe the left and right hemispheres of the mind as having qualities mostly associated with male or female.
It is believed the left side of the brain is mostly used for analytical purposes which is associated as a male trait. The left side controls emotions which is a feminine trait (not that the opposing sides do not process emotions or situations, but one dominates over the other.)
The mind processes information. And it is in the control centre that we acquire wisdom in order to make decisions. In Buddhism, the resonance of a bell signifies ‘pure wisdom’ because the sound is one of perfect harmony and clarity.
The Hindu Goddess, Saraswati, the bringer of knowledge and wisdom, is associated with the bell together with music. This connection related to the vibration of energy.
In ceremonial ritual, the reverberation of the bell is used to help worshippers disengage the mind so that it becomes receptive. In this sense, it is the womb of the female nurturing the sperm of the male – the active principle, or libido, that creates life.
The curved dome is said to represent Ananta, the celestial snake on which Lord Vishnu reclines. The seven-headed serpent is symbolic of limitless consciousness. In Sanskrit, the word Ananta means, ‘endless.’
So from all these breadcrumbs, it is possible to deduce that the bell represents the mind’s ability to expand conscious awareness and tap into the wisdom of your higher-conscious which is boundless and readily available – if you know how to listen.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you ~ Matthew 7:7
The ‘voice of God’ – your higher conscious – is always there with you always. You just have to know how to listen. The “evil spirits” are the “demonic” voices you hear which come from your subconscious – Freud’s id which by all intents and purposes is the little devil that leads you into temptation.
So the next time you hear a bell ringing, remember you can ask your higher conscious anything and get the right answer.