The article is an attempt to understand the Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics of symbols. According to him the world of symbols is the key to understanding existence. This is testified by three areas of modern thought: Freud’s psychoanalysis, the phenomenology of religion, and poetry. All of them show that only through symbols are we able to touch the riddle of reality and the mystery of existence. However, what symbols reveal is not conclusive; they simultaneously show and cover up, pointing to different and contradictory values and meanings. Thus one of the most important problems are conflicting interpretations. Phenomenology and psychoanalysis offer a suggestive example in this context: for phenomenology symbols lead to truth, while for psychoanalysis they lie and mask. Which interpretation is correct? According Ricoeur we should accept both, understanding that both explain the paradox of being.