The Impossible Machine
Silver has long been associated with
self-reflection and the moon, and
consequently also Narcissus (the first mirrors
were made of silver; it continues to be used in
high quality reflective equipment including the
lenses of satellite telescopes).
A connection might be drawn between the
notion of "luna-tics" who have done too much
self-reflection, and the tarnishability of silver.
disturbing painting of Solomon Gorsky,
perhaps Narcissus becomes mad, for loss of
comparison to anything outside of himself, or
outside of an ideal and fixed idea of self.
In this sense silver is an idealistic metal,
symbolic of purity, and perhaps all-too-purity.
Silver was once thought to have a particular
utility against vampires, where ordinary iron
was of no use.
Clearly that is a reflection of its source in the divine, or at least the human
concept of the divine, such that it has a spiritual purity which harms all
Self-reflection may equally be self-consciousness, a connection
with some sort of absolute or immortal truth, pure to the extent of not
tarnishing through time.
Silver gives rise to the idea of a purer silver, leading the mind unheeding
through swamps, dancing like fireflies or
The idealist vision becomes dangerous as material needs are
disregarded, or the vision becomes irrational with the conviction of its
own undeniable worth.
Ultimately what is valuable is not what we perceive as valuable, but what
is actually valuable, in-and-of-itself. That is one of the lessons of silver.
In other words, if it is not the sort of silver that reflects what things are,
then it might as well just be a "trick of the moonlight".
In that sense silver is seen as being illusionary and connected with
dream-states. What we see clearly might not be the whole picture. Or
worse yet, the most hideous monsters may wear the most beautiful masks.
In that sense silver is mysterious, and secretly intends to have a use for
purity, at any cost.
|Two sides of a
silver coin from