I’ve always wanted a skull ring ever since I saw the famous Keith Richards skull ring, perhaps the most famous skull ring in the world along with his famous battered 1952 Fender Telecaster nicknamed Micawber , perhaps the most iconic electric guitar in the world.
For me it is a symbol of transience ,temporariness, modesty and humility.A constant reminder that “All things must pass” , so will I , so will Keith Richards…
The gap between the transience of our existence and our egoistic involvement in gaining delusional power and wealth, dwelling in arrogance and pompous self-importance and wasting our time dealing obsessively with meaningless things- (and everyone who spend his time in a family dinner knows what I’m talking about); and our ridiculous life span and our limited understanding of this reality always makes me think and works for me as a constant reminder –am I falling into this delusional trap? Maybe I’m not aware? Do I really live my life to the full or just spending my time in on this planet of apes in complete mediocrity?
Whatever the answer is it was Shakespeare who brilliantly summarized it with these immortal words from “Hamlet”
The design of the ring representing Hamlet’s skull is inspired by the greatest classical play of all times: Hamlet by Shakespeare. My favorite line is engraved in the ring: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet says this line to his friend Horatio following Hamlet’s encounter with his father’s spirit.
The skull imprinted in the ring also implies that everything, including our lives, is transient. We are mere mortals with limited understanding and perception, despite our self-importance as humans.
Hamlet and Horatio are friends from the university. They both studied philosophy and Horatio finds it difficult to believe in ghosts. However, Hamlet replies that studying science and philosophy is insufficient to explain everything.
The idea that not everything is neatly divided into black and white lies at the core of this line. Human nature is complex and full of contradictions, and life is even more so complicated and mysterious. There is so much more than meets the eye and is comprehensible.
We are all actors playing in endless plays, only a fraction of a greater and much larger plan than we think we are part of. Philosophy offers us a way to understand the essence of the universe, while our mind constantly attempts to understand, analyze, and learn.
Nevertheless, our universe is filled with things which we are unable to explain and understand. Despite the scientific and technological progress of our times, this realization applies today, just as it did at the times of Shakespeare. Today, we also find it difficult to accept this inner, unfounded feeling, which cannot be explained rationally.
Horatio’s wonder represents the way we learn that we do not see the entire picture, of being humble in front of the mystery of this cosmos, which we cannot fully grasp; a place out of our control.
One eternal question in regards to our existence is about death and its mystery. The theme of death in the play of Hamlet is related to spiritual issues, such as truth, humility, mystery of life and death. The murder of his father raises many thoughts about death. These thoughts focus on the spiritual aspect of life after death, embodied by the appearance of the ghost and Yorick’s skull.
The Skull – One of the Most Powerful Symbols
We cannot remain indifferent to the sight of a skull. We easily recognize the human features of this symbol, due to the nature of our mind to search for familiar faces. However, at the same time, we realize that this face does not belong to a living person. Thus, this symbol offers a straightforward reminder for the mortality of human beings and the transience of life itself.