If you begin to explore history you will find that our ancients were much more connected, to metaphors and the relationship between things than we are today. Even though our dollar bill and government buildings are littered with symbolism, the uninitiated masses are entirely disconnected from the ancient practice of incorporating symbolism into our culture.
The wisdom of the ancients accentuated the eternal relationship between everything in reality. That everything was one. Though objects may seem unrelated, the ancients recognized qualities that made them different forms of the same thing. They saw the interweaving intelligence and singularity that persists through all things.