Monday, March 2, 2015

The Glass Ceiling Of The Metaphorical

How many metaphors fit on the head of a pin?

“There are metaphors more real than the people who walk in the street. There are images tucked away in books that live more vividly than many men and women. There are phrases from literary works that have a positively human personality. There are passages from my own writing that chill me with fright, so distinctly do I feel them as people, so sharply outlined do they appear against the walls of my room, at night, in shadows... I've written sentences whose sound, read out loud or silently (impossible to hide their sound), can only be of something that acquired absolute exteriority and a full-fledged soul.”
― Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Imagination as thought becomes a personal mythology and agnosticism becomes bundled in a spaghetti bowl of  wind up toys and yet we seemingly cannot unwind the mainspring. In examining the clues of the anomalous, one has to be wary of one’s ambitions and their cause. In this field I am reminded of the old Soft machine lyric from a tune named “Why Are We Dreaming?”

“It begins with a blessing
And ends with a curse
Making things better
By making them Worse”

Self deception is the name of this tune as it relates to any conceptual model that becomes embedded like a pet corn or a flag denoting ownership whereas the anomalous itself infiltrates
any moat, or grand architecture we can frame to give coherence to our own metaphors and yet they spring up like weeds through the cracks in the pavement on a abandoned alleyway..full of shops selling trinkets, talismans, designer clothes, and recycled containers.

“We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image — as opposed to a symbol — is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyse the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it's a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it.”
― Andrei Tarkovsky

Every night in wheels within wheels, I exist in a universe of manifest metaphors with myself hidden away behind the sealed door of a projectionist booth. Last night I was seated on a sofa with a large coffee table book opened as a paged through the illustrations of Victorian Age gadgets which never existed for the use of domesticated life. To my right was my long dead grandmother Dorothy who had lived through the horse drawn age in Missouri to seeing men land on the moon. To my left was a long distant cousin I have not seen in over 50 years. My grandmother looked at these gadgets with approval as they appealed to her.  My cousin remarked on the sharpness of the colored illustrations and I reacted with noting they were warm versus cool colors.

Art versus Science.

“There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts, and those who know that they are not facts. Those who know they are not facts are what we call "atheists," and those who think they are facts are "religious." Which group really gets the message?”
― Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor

Neither A or B might be the correct answer.


  1. So many maps for a territory that is unrepresentable by maps.

  2. As events regress into being defined solely by maps, oddly enough the human community's behavior becomes more chaotic.


    A particle and a wave, take a picture. Funny how the metaphor of the wave is real enough to be captured, sometimes.