The sounding of a bell is a signal that informs you 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. In this article, I explain the symbolic meaning of bells in quite some depth. If you want a shortened version find out what the esoteric meaning of bells represents in symbolism here.
From the exoteric interpretations for the symbolic meaning of bells, we can readily deduce bells relate to the beginning and the end of a cycle, communicating with spirits, or to signal danger. In all cases, they provide critical information.
In the case of bell’s ringing in the morning, or the modern alarm clock, the symbolic meaning of bells bears a relationship to waking up; or an awakening. However, the awakening is consciousness that is trying to make itself known.
Ancient sages created esoteric symbolism to disguise the actual meaning of their writings. They used everyday objects and living organisms in nature that people are familiar with to help them remember, learn and understand complex life lessons.
Trying to integrate self-knowledge your conscious mind is not aware of is not that simple. You naturally miss cues and forget what you’re supposed to do to integrate new ways of being. Symbols help you to do that – providing you are consciously aware of synchronicity in symbols and numbers.
Synchronicity means the same symbol or experience shows itself to you three or more times in a short period of time such as a day or two. The esoteric symbolic meaning of bells (or alarms) will give you an important message.
Except for alarm clocks. You hear those every morning because you consciously set them. That doesn’t count because that is not how symbolism works. Symbols are the language of the consciousness and unconscious energies that want to be given life in the conscious mind.
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.
Of course, to unravel the esoteric symbolism, you also need to understand what organised religion means by “Spirit”. It’s not some whispy floating entity. I explain what the esoteric meaning of Spirit means in the Beginner’s Guide to Symbolism, together with Mind and Soul.
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 not true. But negative thoughts are ruining your life (hint).
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 males and females come together in sexual union, there is the potential to create life. And that’s what all symbolism that refers to masculine and feminine principles mean.
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 Bells
A balanced mind has the capacity to analyse a situation and be creative enough to find the ideal solution. To arrive at the ideal solution you need to apply analytical thiknkng with emotional intelligence.
The two opposing aspects of mind and heart are associated with male and female qualities.
Because the brain processes information, it is regarded as the control centre. Essentially, the conscious mind makes decisions and can only make decisions on the knowledge at your disposal.
When you act upon knowledge, you acquire wisdom. 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 is 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 there with you always. You just have to know how to listen. The “evil spirits” are the “demonic” voices you hear which come from the subconscious programs that do not serve you. By all intents and purposes, programs that seek self-gratification are little devils that leads you into temptation.
So the next time you notice the synchronicity of ringing bells in curious circumstances, consider whether you have acquired new knowledge you can transform into wisdom or whether you already have.
Either way, if things are working out for you, keep doing what you think and feel is right. If things are gone tits up, you need to figure out which subconscious program is controlling your decision making.