Other cultures, other perspectives and scripture
When signs appeared that were carved into stone or clay, they were initially regarded as something magical, a secret message that had to be unravelled. Of course, the perspective of the observer played a decisive role.
The evolution of writing: from pictograms to complex content
The first characters were pictograms, i.e. stylised figures or simplified graphic representations. Over time, they were strung together to reflect more complex content.
Scripture in the context of different cultures
Writing is something fascinating, because abstract contents can be conveyed with simple signs. The prerequisite for this is, of course, that one knows the signs and knows how to interpret them. Moreover, they are bound to a certain cultural area, so their specific meaning often results from the consensus of those who use them. Thus, not only the signs themselves, but also the perspective of the respective culture shape the message of the signs.
Culture, gaze and writing direction: right- or left-handed?
In other words, depending on the direction of the view, the same characters can produce a different content and message. In Europe, writing has always been right-handed, i.e. written from left to right, whereas in the Semitic world it was left-handed, i.e. set from right to left.
Right / left as a mental perspective - a thought experiment
Right - left: Male - conscious / female - unconscious
As a thought experiment on the subject of perspective, one can also give meaning to the distinction between right and left. In this case, the right side stands for the active-acting consciousness that expresses itself through material reality ("male"). In contrast, the left side as passive-supportive ("female") represents the unconscious, inner and hidden.
Close the room or open it?
This means, in other words, regarding the right-left distinction: While material reality limits space and perception to facts (right, "male"), the unconscious (left, "female") opens up new dimensions and possibilities. From this one could conclude that writing running from left to right reduces and narrows the perspective on material reality, while writing from right to left leads matter into the vast space of the unconscious.