"No study of occult philosophy is possible without an acquaintance with symbolism, for if the words occultism and symbolism are correctly used, they mean almost one and the same thing. Symbolism cannot be learned as one learns to build bridges or speak a foreign language, and for the interpretation of symbols a special cast of mind is necessary; in addition to knowledge, special faculties, the power of creative thought and a developed imagination are required. One who understands the use of symbolism in the arts, knows, in a general way, what is meant by occult symbolism.
But even then a special training of the mind is necessary, in order to comprehend the "language of the Initiates", and to express in this language the intuitions as they arise.There are many methods for developing the "sense of symbols" in those who are striving to understand the hidden forces of Nature and Man, and for teaching the fundamental principles as well as the elements of the esoteric language. The most synthetic, and one of the most interesting of these methods, is the Tarot"
(The word 'synthetic' is intended to be understood as 'synthesize' not the more modern understanding as in 'synthetic fabric'. This was a problem I had very much trouble becoming aware of, using both definitions is a necessity. pimoebius) .
It's my opinion that ancient symbols and their meaning do not convey the kind of information we in our modern age need to learn from the transcendental function. What is physically present is where meaning is hidden but it's not in every moment's content. I think of a lighthouse with it's beacon always moving but the beam can be fixed, held captive in an obsessive, compulsive activity. Theodore Reik was obsessed with reading everything he could find that Goethe had written when he was 18 years old but he was embarrassed to reveal his 'obsession'! When he was middle aged he wrote Fragment of A Great Confession, which he believed was about Goethe's life when he wrote it. Later he recognized details of his own life had been the foundation for the story of Goethe's relationship to a young Fredericke.
There's a scene in a movie, Little Buddha in which the starving Siddartha overhears two men passing in a canoe say: "If the string is too tight it will break, if it is too loose it will not play." They're talking about a musical instrument but the words detach from their context and Siddartha slowly rises, hearing them in a new way that is literally a statement to him, useful and necessary.
That is a 'function' of the transcendental function.
He goes to the river, and repeats the words to a bullock in the river, joyfully but with understanding: "If the string is too tight it will break; if it is too loose it will not play." The 'middle way' was revealed in that incident. I'm not certain that's exactly how Siddartha became aware of the necessity for balance because extremes can be deadly and destructive. But that kind of event has happened to me often enough to use it as an example.
What is the 'transcendental function' if it's not an 'effect' added to every day real world events...., that operates in life....., on particular events for some purpose that has it's origin in what I think of now that I've experienced it myself, as the 'ongoing endeavor in Time'. That is probably what has been recognized centuries ago as 'perennial philosphy' at work, moving 'like' a signal, through Time as we experience Time. There's lots of variety in Time, I've experienced that myself. More about that later.
The process of 'abstracting relevant information' from so many sources is difficult to discern and identify, it happens because attention is not usually focussed on what's going on in our 'head'. It's likely the transcendental function has functioned as it is supposed to do but perhaps the 'next level' requires becoming detached from the body, and becoming an observer to it and that information generating function.
Until an individual knows as much as possible about history, philosophy, the origins of psychiatry itself, it may be difficult or impossible to learn to get new meaning when it emerges in the mind, until a change occurs that creates distance between 'me' and my thought, so that I observe it, the way I observe what's outside of my body.
What if Siddartha had heard the boatmen in the same way he had obviously heard everything until that 'extra sense' caused him to hear differently?
More about that later.