Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The lie as metaphor

-When the lie becomes the metaphor

This is definitely an issue in the United States and perhaps world wide as well. The metaphor is the way language functions regardless of the language. The book Metaphoric came about by first recording conversations world wide and after transcribing they came up with 7 deep metaphors that are universal. I am ready to learn more.

As a Board Certified hospital chaplain I have pursued the way metaphors function in a conversation since 1975 when a patient made me aware of what was happening in our conversation. I was already tuned in to story listening from my training In clinical pastoral education, and I had been training lay people to make patient visits as story listeners since 1966  but now I had something more specific, the metaphor. I changed the way I trained Befrienders to the art of story metaphor listening.  The way we move words from one place to another to explain something else is a metaphorical process. Metaphor from the Greek, meta - new and phor -place.  When you change the metaphor you change the story. When you can the story you may be changing the culture.

The lie can begin as a metaphor. The lie is moved to a new place where it has not been verified by any court of law. Our election system. The repeated usage is a way to literalizing a metaphor. The lie then becomes petrified and pathological. An alternative story not grounded in reality. When used as the unspoken major premise all conclusions become flawed.  Study Aristotle who provides an early philosophical understanding.

A more recent resource provides a more detailed explanation. The Metaphoric Process: Connections between Language and Life, pages 55-61, "the pathology of literalness." The author is Gemma Corradi Fiumara, an Italian philosopher and psychoanalyst. 

Most people use metaphors unaware. You cannot communicate and make sense without using metaphors. They are the hidden words in our conversations. Signs of our symbolic nature.

When I was doing workshops on the healing power of stories and presenting metaphor I would say, “I am going to help you know what you already know but don’t know you know.”

Marlin Whitmer, Ret. Hospital Chaplain

1 comment:

  1. I miss this, so I'm hopeful I got signed up. So often I felt the dying were speaking metaphors, because it is easier to see their death in this way, or explain it to others. Of course I'm familiar with 'Going Home' A friend who worked in Hospice, told me, be aware if they are looking for some their shoes, because they are now a o wanting death, that they are willing to walk the distance