Sunday, June 11, 2006

Extended metaphor

It is a main tenet of modern science that the universe can be seen in its laws and its essence from any vintage point in the universe. This means likewise that the universe can be seen in every part of human mechanism. This means reason, but it also means intuition, passion and metaphorical intelligence.

The latter consists of seeing the qualities of one aspect of the universe in another. As the poet draws parallels between one set of events and another, or one phenomenon and another, he sees right into the universal essence as it is manifest in both - and attains wisdom that sees and manifests and wraps the mind around the interconnectedness of all things and the sublime universal wisdom that lives through both.

Metaphor - and particularly extended metaphor - is therefore a path to wisdom and intuitive understanding that is at least as valid as, and more rewarding than, scientific analysis. It is a path that lets the people see one thing as reflected in another and the universe as reflected in both. It is a path that lets the people develop intuitive feeling for the totality of the universe and its various reifications. And that is as sure a path to wisdom as anything people have thought up in either the scientific or religious paths.

The stuff of the mind of the people - both the intellect and the emotion - is the root of their selves and then the root of their actions. Therefore education and cultivation of beauty in all its forms becomes in a very real and practical sense the basis for beautiful existence. As stuff of people’s minds, beauty in all its forms becomes the basis for their thoughts and ultimately the basis for their behavior. Radiating out of minds, which have been attuned to beauty, beauty becomes the stuff of relationships and the stuff of the social interactions and a daily, practical, ongoing reality of experience of humankind.

Beauty stops being seen as inapplicable to the real world and instead becomes formative of the real world. Which is indeed its right place in the order of things: As the culmination of substance and form; its consummation; its triumph; and inspiration for yet-to-be.

And which beauty becomes then a practical reality - through the practical mechanism of people using their minds and actions to make it so.


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