Symbolic and Diabolic

It was shared with me the other day by a wonderful professor I had in Seminary, Dr. Charles Bellinger something he encountered in a book. (I am sorry I cannot recall the book).

The word Symbolic is a combination of two Greek words:
Sym - Together
Bol - That which is thrown

So symbols are things which we throw things together and make meaning out of them. The American flag is a symbol because we throw together ideals of America and the material cloth of the flag. Therefore it is a powerful statement to burn a flag - you are not just burning the cloth but also that which is thrown together with it - American ideals.

Contrary the word Diabolic is a combination of two Greek words:
Dia - through, thoroughly; across; entirely, utterly
Bol - That which is thrown

So to act diabolically is to throw something through or across things. The diabolic act it that act which drives things apart, puts a wedge between things or people. Some circles might think of triangulation as a diabolic action in that it attempts to throw another person in the middle of the conflict to create an "us" verses "them" dichotomy.

While there are 1,000s of was this can go and many ways in which this idea feeds into my understanding and experience with Rene Girard, let me just end with a question:

Are you/we acting/moving symbolically or diabolically?