Tuesday, August 23, 2016

right use of metaphors

metaphor is an important tool of worldmaking. a metaphor is an analogy. the Greek (μεταφορά) metaphorá means "transfer," to "carry over." a metaphor is more forceful (active) than an analogy, because metaphor asserts two things are alike, whereas analogy implies a difference.

metaphor has powerful cognitive binding.

miracles? myths? all metaphors. if we see it that way, it helps see the world as a construction.

for instance, imagine thoughts as autonomous agents, with posture and dignity (i.e, they understand their place and time). they are produced by our brains, but they have a sort of independent existence.

was zero discovered or invented?

by our constant reevaluations, given newer contexts, metaphorization helps enhancing our world.

why is this helpful? imagine a new violin. the sound of a new violin is pretty dull. it needs playing. the playing "cures" the wood. after years of playing, the inside (resonance box) becomes aware!
back to eastern philosophy: in the taittiriya upanishad the body is presented as the first of many layers that surround the human personality, each less physical than the one before. like an onion. as one peels layers upon layers, one gets more subtle, more independent and more dependent. more particular and yet, more general.

the core is the atman. the ONE.

w'll be looking at this metaphor for some time.