Metaphors in Metaphysics: What’s you Paradigm?
A metaphor is a figure of speech which substitutes one concept for another to describe a similarity. “That man is a fox” is a metaphor.
In metaphysics we frequently use metaphors for subconscious concepts. This is because the subconscious mind understands metaphors and frequently uses them, such as in dreams. An example of this would be a dream image of wearing thick glasses as a metaphor for making a great effort to perceive clearly in life.
Omens are a type of metaphor in metaphysics. One can view these as a signal from the Universe or as simply a connection with a different part of the psyche. For instance, perhaps one is trying to decide whether to dissolve a marriage. On the day when that decision is most prominent in our minds, we seem to encounter married couples wherever we turn. This could be considered an omen or a metaphor for our inner conflict.
Perhaps the most constructive use of metaphor in metaphysics is in healing work. A renowned writer on this subject is Louise Hay, who includes metaphoric concepts to explain physical difficulties.
From You Can Heal Your Life: “The symptom is itching. The metaphoric connection may be ‘”Desires that go against the grain. Unsatisfied. Remorse. Itching to get out or get away.'”
Many physical conditions can be alleviated through the use of metaphysical metaphors. In metaphysics the assumption is that we are responsible in some way for our experience of life. This includes our physical condition. There are very few people who would consciously choose to feel bad, but often there are unconscious attitudes or beliefs which can hold a disease or other physical condition in place. When we can see what unconscious motivation may be doing this, we can perhaps work to change it. This has been known to speed the healing process enormously.
Another constructive use of metaphor is in metaphysical treatment. When we are using meditation, affirmations or visualizations to change ourselves or our life in some way, this is a metaphysical treatment. A visualization of this sort could include seeing ribbons of light streaming towards oneself, representing love coming into our lives. Concepts such as “love” aren’t always easy to define literally, but metaphorical images or concepts can sometimes have even more powerful meanings to the subconscious mind. In metaphysics it’s frequently the subconscious which requires the most convincing.
The subconscious mind seems to function primarily through the use of images and what we might think of as “poetic” concepts. Again, the most vivid example of this is in the dreamstate. This different level of consciousness doesn’t communicate very directly in words. Instead, the images are provoctive, arousing feelings within us. This can be far more powerful than words. Or, a metaphoric term may be used to describe a life experience. Being a Virgo, it’s not uncommon for words like “work” or “service” to show up in my dreams. Depending on the context, this can have a powerful emotional impact for me.
Metaphysical metaphors may have a seemingly infinite number of possibilities. To explore these for yourself, here’s a game you can play. Take a look around your current environment. If this were depicted in a painting or a poem, what would it mean? Perhaps you’re sitting in your office as you read this. Are you fighting to ignore your workplace as you focus on the monitor to explore a non-office paradigm of life? Or possibly you’re reading this at 2:00 am in your home. Perhaps this is an image of serenity and joy for you. Any life activity can reveal deeper meanings to us if we choose to look. This choice can bring greater fulfillment to our lives if we pursue it. There is always a meaning to our existence even if we can’t immediatly see it. The use of metaphor can enable us to view this more clearly and thus reap the benefits.