I will say I worship nothing, and yet I love a lot more. Love is very simple. There is a process of affinity. A natural sense of connectedness to life and those we encounter. It varies a lot and we can deliberately engage it.
I chose the topic of metaphor, because all metaphysical practices as well as paranormal and spiritual experience includes it. It has nothing directly to do with the truth or falsehood of any experience. This is part of why some people are so dismissive of those things in the first place, because often the experiences have no “literal” explanation. The same is true for just our own consciousness. If we have to describe feeling love, can we directly?
Dreams? Dreams are mostly long streams of metaphor.
St. Patrick is metaphor. The pot of gold, etc.? The pot of gold isn’t connected to Saint Patrick, but the four leaf clover is. It was considered touched by God, because it looked a lot like a style of cross they were using.
The Bible is full of metaphors. They had another word for them. Called them parables, but they are literally the same thing.
Being in the belly of the whale for example (actually a large fish). Being really down due to experience. The people of that region didn’t really have whale symbolism, but a lot of fish symbolism. They lived heavily by fishing, and a lot of our metaphor comes from the totally natural and involuntary reaction of “sympathy.” Morbid fascination fills the mind with a lot of metaphor you wouldn’t think we would adopt. This is how a lot of the horror movie imagery gets thought up. Like wondering how “bait” feels when the fish swallows it.
Are monsters symbols of something else? They are, and so are demons. The original word was daemon of Greek origin. Daemons were any being that existed between the state of being of the Gods and man. Anything that acted as a go between, punish or reward, scare or inspire.
Do we like metaphor because the mind works with visuals or something else? It’s largely because the mind works with visuals, but there is another reason as well.
Sometimes it is a shortcut way of getting an idea across. Otherwise too many words needed. A picture is worth a thousand words. Yes. If I show you a spiritual symbol you will gain a lot more information than if I just showed you the letter “a.” As a matter of fact, the runic languages and the hieroglyphic languages had metaphor as a heavy part of their context. This is part of why we still can’t really read it, nor could the average Egyptian citizen actually. You had to be drilled in the story/metaphors of the hieroglyphs to really read what they were saying and the Muslims squelched all of that. Them and the Christians some, but it was the same for the runes. A Nordic Shaman would drill almost constantly during their apprenticeship in their poems, because every rune had a symbolic link to their poem/memes.
Is it also used in codes? It is how to break codes? Oh yes, scrambling abstract characters by metaphorical pattern. This is why the mosaic interpretation of the Bible is perhaps doubtful. The form of the stories is perhaps too allegorical to be historical accounting, but it doesn’t mean it has no element of history at all. A lot of experience forces us to use metaphor.
Yet some people try to take them literally. Many do actually. Our website has gotten some mild flaming for comments I made interpreting the Bible symbolically.
People become attached to their symbols. “This temple shall be destroyed.” Temples were synonymous with nations, especially in early Israel, and a nation is destroyed if it ceases to retain its sovereignty. They are still shedding blood over “holy” sovereignty.
These metaphors are interpreted so differently at an historical distance? History alters the context of metaphor, but there are also observable archetypes. Universal elements of experience that even still the modern man can’t really express in a literal form. Disease, natural disaster, age.
Such as Hercules and Superman? Yes, the ideal human.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.