In 1989, when I published my book "Il sogno di Benino. Alchimia del presepe popolare napoletano", I felt a need to advise the Reader to take the necessary precautions to treat an argument that deals with tradition and its symbols. We have promised to speak about the elements that make up a popular crib and its characters in the next numbers of magazine. For this reason, I think it is useful to repeat, for the Reader of our magazine, what I wrote for my book.
"Intellectual pride isn't a good fellow traveler for who is preparing to interpret any work that is set in the great cradle of tradition. It is stupid to give way to temptation to believe you can say the last word about what is more than man's creativity.
Any symbol is multivalent or polysemic (you can call it as you want); anyway an interpretation doesn't exclude other versions, if it is true the norm is not the unique lesson in the myth but its variant. And then, from some realities you can gain experiences, while if you want to tell them, you always run the risk to change them.
This is the same sensation that a man experiences when waking up after a dream he tries to tell it.
This is, maybe, the sense of the hermetic secret
Arcana publicata vilescunt
You approach the guilt of profanation, when you try to tell the eternal images.
Nevertheless you are not be able to escape this guilt.
How could our epoch, if it cannot live any more the arcane mysteries, deny to itself the effort to investigate them?
Through the guilt of the rational research, that is mortification of the symbol, at least you can save the memory of sacred elements. For this reason, maybe, the guilt redeems itself.
What else can researcher of symbols offer if not interpretative lines that show one of the many possible courses?
However he cannot avoid the embarrassing sensation that its study is only an archaeological