Tag Archive | Metaphor(s)

Levels of Magnification

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What do you mean by levels of magnification?”

“It’s a model inspired by a beautiful website called The Scale of the Universe [<link]. 

I’ve since discovered another website called Universcale [<link] which does something similar.

Imagine yourself the size of a virus.
Imagine yourself the size of an ant.
Imagine yourself the size of the tallest structure around you.
Imagine yourself the size of Mount Everest.
Imagine yourself the size of the Earth.
Imagine yourself the size of the Sun.

Each of these perspectives can be thought of as a level of magnification. 

Reality looks very different at various levels of magnification.

From that perspective, every level of magnification is like a different reality.”

“So it’s an imagination exercise?”

“That’s one application of it.

I’m mainly interested in it as a metaphoric mental structure, a conceptual and practical tool. Being metaphoric makes it transferable.

For instance, it can be applied to time. You can think of various timeframes as levels of magnification.

Life
10 Years (Decade)
5 Years
Year
Month
Week
Day
Hour
Minute
Moment

Or it can be applied to any hierarchical structure. Similar to how reality looks very different at various physical levels of magnification, reality looks very different at various levels of magnification within the hierarchy.

Think of an army.

The general sees one reality.
The next level of command sees another reality.
The next level another reality.
The next another.
All the way down to the reality of those who do the dying.”

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Metaphoric Thinking

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What does Tranquility feel like?”

Expansive
Open (Open-MindedOpen-Hearted)
Relaxed
Light
Peaceful
Joyful

“Most are metaphorical.”

Metaphor is for us like water to the fish.

We think in metaphor without realizing it.

I call the capacity to see the metaphoric water and use it as a tool, metaphoric thinking.”

Objectification

The world is made of language. (Jason Silva)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

Words create reality.

“What do you mean?”

“Concepts create pseudo-objects – metaphoric mental entities modeled after physical objects. Thus, when creating a concept, you’re creating a psycho-linguistic reality.

As other people start using the word, it creates a shared reality.”

Identification

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the essence of metaphor?”

“Expressed as a principle, I call it Identification.

The imaginal process of conceiving of something as something else.

is y.

Creating identity.”

“What do you mean by imaginal?”

“Imaginary refers to the outcome of imagination.
Imaginal refers to the process of imagination.

Identification is one of the fundamental operations of the human mind, which we use to shape our inner reality.”

On Self-Knowledge and Metaphor

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is your Center?”

“My Heart.”

“‘Heart’ is a metaphoric model, which can take many forms. One of them for instance is based on the Heart/Head dichotomy: 

Heart as the seat of feelings
Head as the seat of thoughts

This is a prevalent cultural artifact.

The path to the truth is a labor of the heart, not the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Knowing yourself will lead to the knowledge of God. (Shafak Elif, The Forty Rules of Love)

Part of the process of self-knowledge is getting clear on what models you’re using to represent reality, and finding your own answers.

Having a ‘Center’ is another metaphoric model. A tool for inner exploration. Don’t rush the answer. 

Explore.”

On Poetry

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is poetry?”

“It makes me think of rhyme and metaphor.”

“Can’t you think of poems that do not rhyme?”

“Actually I can.”

“Rhyme is not essential for poetry, but metaphor is.

Poetry is metaphor.

More specifically, poetry is the creative use of metaphors to express ideas and feelings in a vivid way. Or, more vividly,

Poetry is a dance of metaphors.

I’ve come to realize that metaphoric-thinking is an important meta-skill.”

On Identity and Metaphor

The strongest force in the human personality is the need to remain consistent with how we define ourselves.

Your sense of identity is the strongest psychological force in your entire life.

(Tony Robbins)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I love metaphor.

Not just a stylistic device, but as practical tool.”

“What do you mean?”

“One use of the metaphor-tool is creating mental representations.

The metaphor IDENTITY-AS-FORCE which Tony uses isn’t mere style, it forms a powerful mental representation.

Another use of the metaphor-tool is what I call metaphoric-transfer.

Metaphor, in essence, is an implicit comparison: you identify a property of one thing with a property of another.

Identification here creates identity, because our mind cannot tell the difference. To our mind, the property of the first thing IS the property of the other.

This is metaphoric-transfer.

Often, what we call ‘understanding’ is precisely this identification. I call this process metaphoric-understanding.”

“How can the mind make such a connection?”

“Think of dreams, where the mind connects different experiences and makes them blend together seamlessly. It’s the same Process. I call it Reality-creation.

I call using this Process creatively, Reality-painting.

We think in metaphors, without realizing it. I’d go so far as to say metaphors are the building blocks of thought.

This is a very deep topic. What I’m interested in now is its practical application for Identity.”

“I’m all ears.”

If you want to change your life, the best strategy is to start with your Identity.

Think who you want to be, and WHY.

In this way, you set the FORCE in motion.

I’ll use my own identity as an example.

I am an Optimizer/Actualizer.

I am a Creator.
I am a Life-artist.
I am a Writer.
I am a Designer.
I am an Innovator.

I am a Mover.
I am a Traceur (Parkour Athlete/Artist).

I am a Thinker.
I am a Philosopher. (Lover of Wisdom)
I am a Philomath. (Lover of Learning)

I am a Stoic.
I am a Essentialist/Minimalist.
I am a Digital Minimalist.

This is an identity I’ve CREATED, it’s part of my Life-art.

They all started as ideas, but now I’m LIVING them.

The process wasn’t instantaneous. It took time. It was an inner and outer exploration, a journey. I cultivated them one identity-tree at a time.”

“How long did the process take?”

“Over three years now, since I came to London.”

“What’s the next step in your evolution?”

“The next step is:

~ I am a Teacher.
~ I am a Parkour Coach.

I’m currently channeling all my efforts in this direction. As for the next stage in my evolution, it is:

~ I am a World-class Thinker.
~ I am a World-class Athlete/Mover.
~ I am a World-class Teacher/Coach.
~ I am a World-class Communicator.”

“Thinking big.”

“It was about time. Thinking small for FORTY YEARS was enough.

Back to Identity, another application is expressing your Values as Identity. You thus apply the IDENTITY-FORCE to your ‘Pantheon of Values’, as I like to call it.

I am Love.
I am Play.

I am Courage.
I am Confidence.

I am Discipline.

You can also apply the FORCE to how you want to FEEL.

I am Joy.
I am Enthusiasm. (‘Enthusiasm’ comes from the Greek ‘Entheos‘, GOD WITHIN)
I am Imperturbable Tranquility/Inner Peace.

And, finally, you can apply various metaphoric models to strengthen your Identity, and make it more vivid:

I am an Endlessly Evolving Process.
I am Relentless Forward Motion.

I am a Warrior of the Mind. [<link; short length]

I am Fire.
I am Water.

I am Movement.
I am Stillness.

I am a Perpetual Motion Machine. [<link; short]

I am the Cat. [<link; short]

What’s missing from this image is the INTERCONNECTIONS between all these Identity-blocks.

That’s also part of my Life-art.”