Metaphors are Important

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Heinrich Zimmer once said, "The best things can’t be told; the second best are misunderstood; the third best have to do with history." Now, the vocabulary through which the best things are told as second best is the vocabulary of history, but it doesn’t refer to history; it refers through this to the transcendent. Deities have to become, as one great German scholar said, "transparent to the transcendent." The transcendent must show and shine through those deities. But it must shine through us, too, and through the spiritual things we are talking about. And as long as you keep pinning it down to concrete fact, and declare something isn’t true because it didn’t happen, you’re wrong. We don’t say that about fairy tales, and so we get the truth of them (Joseph Campbell, An Open Life).

I am quick to call upon the franchises I love for example of how life should be, or how we should act.  There is a reason:

Every story is a metaphor

Every episode, movie, book, and story we tell is a metaphor.  Once you learn to see that, everything will become clearer and richer.

Creative Writing “experts” like to think that the metaphors are create through proper execution of the craft.  What a load of bunk!

The truth is, nearly every sentence ever written or said is a metaphor.  There are layers of meaning hidden within them.  More often then not, these layers hide from originator of the sentence.  They are unconscious fears and desires manifesting themselves.

Every story has this secret in it.  Even really bad movies, episodes, and books reveal a lot about the fears and self-imposed limits the writer is coping with.

Find the music that moves you

Certain things resonate with us because they are speaking to us on an unconscious level.

  • Momma Mia! showed me that I need to stop looking for myself in my past, and learn to enjoy my present.
  • Were the World Mine taught me that we all need to learn how to see the world through the eyes of the people we don’t understand so we can find ways to relate to them.
  • I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Star Trek, but I would be here forever if I tried to recount everything it taught me.

You need to find the metaphors that resonate with you, and discover the secret they are trying to share.

What tells your story?

What book, episode, series, movie, or song shares your story?  What was it?  Someone else might need to hear it.

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