myth : metaphor
"Reasoning by metaphor is
an ingenious technique that
remedies our weaknesses by capitalizing on our
strengths - using things we can
visualize to think,
things we can not visualize." - Daniel
A metaphor is a symbolic
conceptual image that suggests something else.
For instance, I may
say to an individual, "You are a
I am not suggesting that I think the individual is literally a
text metaphors are used to reference
abstract thought constructs
transcendent of literal physical objects.
To think of a metaphor
itself as the reference is like going to a restaurant,
asking for the menu, seeing
an image of beefsteak,
and eating the menu.
conceptualizing metaphor, a subconscious automatic mechanism for using
inference patterns and
a source domain to think
and talk about another domain comes into play.
"We think in metaphor.
Most of our commonplace
thoughts make use of an
extensive subconscious system of metaphorical concepts from
a concrete realm of
thought used to comprehend
another, completely different domain.
concepts are often reflected in
everyday language, but their most
dramatic effect comes in ordinary reasoning.
As so much of our social and political
reasoning makes use of this system of metaphorical concepts,
any adequate appreciation of even the most
mundane social and political thought requires an understanding of this
Unless one knows the
system exists, one may miss it
altogether and be mystified by
its effects." - George Lakoff
That is literally what is being
would appear to be that Jesus ascended into the sky.
If that were
really the intent of the message, we have to throw the message away,
there would have been no such
place for Jesus to literally go.
Jesus could not have ascended to
heaven because there is no physical heaven
anywhere in the universe as was thought up until
the time of Galileo Galilei.
Even ascending at the
speed of light, Christ would still be in the galaxy.
simply eliminated that as a physical
If you read 'Christ ascended to heaven' in
terms of its metaphoric connotation, you see that
Christ has gone
inward - not into
outer space but into inward
space, to the place
from which all being comes into the consciousness of the Source of Life -
the Kingdom of
images are an outward reflection of an inner reality.
To ascend with Christ we turn
Returning to the Source,
alpha and omega, of
leaving the fixation on the material behind and going to
the dynamic Source of Life.
In the standard way of
thinking of Christ ascending to heaven, we
cannot identify with Christ,
we have to imitate Jesus.
To say, "I and the Father are
one," as Christ said, is
blasphemy for us.
Gospel of Thomas, dug up in
Egypt in 1946, Christ says,
"He who drinks from my mouth will
become as I am, and I shall be he."
This is Buddhism.
We are all
manifestations of Buddha consciousness,
or Christ consciousness.
word "Buddha" means "the one who woke up."
are all to do that! Find
wake up to the Buddha or
This is blasphemy to
Christians that take the Bible
literally, but it is
the very essence of
Christian Gnosticism and of the
Gospel of Thomas.
metaphor in Christianity that corresponds to reincarnation is
If one dies
with a fixation on the things of
this Earth then one's
spirit is not ready to behold the
beatific vision, therefore one has to
undergo a purgation,
one has to be purged clean of
The limitations are
what are called sins.
Sin in this sense is simply
a limiting factor that
limits consciousness fixing it in
In the Eastern metaphor, if you die in that condition,
you come back again to have more experiences that will clarify, clarify,
clarify, until you are released from these fixations.
The reincarnating soul is
the principal hero of Eastern myth.
soul puts on various personalities, throughout life and life after life.
idea is not that personality will be reincarnated.
Personality is what the soul
The Eternal Soul may wear
a dozen different personality types,
depending on role needed,
to clear itself of attachment to the field of time.
India prophets,"rishis". are said to have 'heard'
The sacred sound
Now anybody might open his ears, but not everyone can
hear the scriptures.
times they think there must have been a mistranslation.
There is training to help you open your
eyes, to pull the needle out
of your own eye, so that you can
begin to hear metaphorically instead of literally.
understood myth is grounded in subconscious archetype.
work requires yielding or
submitting to the creative
To a certain extent, you become the carrier of something that
is given to you from what have been called the
Muses - or, in biblical language,
This is no
fantasy, it is a fact.
Inspiration comes from
the subconscious, any communal group of the people have much in common,
what the preacher,
seer brings forth is something
waiting to be brought forth in everyone.
When one hears the story,
one responds, 'Aha! This is my story too!
This is what I had always wanted
to say but didn't know how to say it!'
- adapted from Joseph
"Metaphor is not merely a
matter of language.
It is a matter of
Conceptual structure is not merely
a matter of the
intellect - it involves
natural dimensions of
This structure includes not only mundane experience but
aesthetic experience as well."-
George Lakeoff & Mark Johnson
Metaphor is a word derived from
Old French Metaphore, which came from Latin Metaphora, meaning carrying
Allegory is a word that has been derived from Latin Allegoria,
meaning figurative or veiled language.
A metaphor is a figure of speech
wherein an unfamiliar subject is
described using an attribute of a familiar subject.
An allegory is a narrative in which an
element, such as a character or
representative of a particular
value or underlying idea.
"William Golding's Lord of the
Flies is a highly symbolic novel, and he uses both metaphor and allegory to
make his point." - Lori Steinbach
Metaphorical allegory is an extended
comparison of seemingly unrelated objects or actions composed upon a phrasal
foundational plinth using both metaphor and allegory interwoven into a spider's
The final result can be either the chaotic haphazard
helter-skelter any-old-which-way irregular overdone hit-or-miss reckless
slipshod web woven by a Black Widow playing a red violin, comparable to pulp
fiction belonging in the trash bin of non-recyclables, or the fine re-usable
weave of a Cross Orbweaver who bears the Cross for all to see while hanging out
and rolling up her weaving, comparable to a fine leather-bound gold-leaf
embossed timeless piece of literature that is faithfully returned time after
time to its cradle between old friends on a shelf behind beveled crystal glass.
The feeling of well-being cross'
cultural boundaries as
If the same forms of
well-being are widespread globally, we expect the same metaphors for
morality to show up in culture after culture - and they do.
A system of
metaphors for morality as a whole is far from arbitrary.
toe in the dark is evil, being able to see where you are going is
Better to walk upright like a man than to slump like a chimp -
moral men are on the up and up, they stand up and are upstanding.
Immoral men do low things, are underhanded,
are snakes in the grass.
To do evil is to fall, to
descend. To do good is to
To climb is to ascend
with support - repaid or not -
as in lizards on the apex of
the ponzi pyramid climbed over the investors backs.
A moral person is strong;
an immoral person is
Some people have a "heart of gold", "do not have a mean bone in their
body" while others are "rotten
to the core".
trumps fear creating
courage to stand up to
We speak of a
"degenerate" person, the
"erosion" of moral standards,
the "crumbling" of moral
values, the "rupture" of the moral
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