The Metaphorical Imperative Examples
Metaphors are names and symbols that mark something and leave it for something else. Metaphors often have a symbolic meaning that goes beyond the object or the emotional state. As humans, we come into a chaotic world. Those who came before gave names to “things,” and for us these “things” become names, and these names have a strong symbolic value.
For example, the Internet, one might say, is a metaphor for an Overmind, a vast cybernetic web of metaphors thrown across civilization as a whole and an active matrix of ideas and images that the compound human mind has in common and which is available to individuals across the country world, regardless of caste, skin color, religion, gender of the financial situation. This is the true democratization of the metaphor. It is no longer limited only by language, intellectual caste or economic privileges.
The brain serves only as a control room, in which the recognition screen is housed. We all know many things. We know more than anyone else in history. We know more than we ever will or need to know. In our culture we are under constant flood of information, but we are rarely moved to “possess” our knowledge. Our wisdom, our knowledge and our faith are like a wardrobe with the price tags still attached. They lack true ritual or value. Because information can be so readily assimilated, we tend to neglect its intrinsic value. To follow the metaphor of “clothes,” we try them and then hang them back in our closet with the intention to wear them sometime in the future, if they become “fashionable”. However, the understanding is that these metaphorical garments can always be returned if they are not worn. We do not have to “own” them. Similar to our jobs, relationships, cars or cats, they can be exchanged, mixed or abandoned.
The reality is only a group consensus. We give something a “name” and as a culture we agree to this symbolic name and that’s it … it’s appreciated.
It is neither the content nor the political inclination of importance, nor the creative ability that is expressed in the juxtaposition of the words on the page. It is instead a process as old as man: naming and claiming reality, metaphor for metaphor. This is the metaphorical imperative, as strong as the urge for food or water. This search, which has driven mankind from the beginning, is ultimately the search for the seed of truth.