Does explaining the metaphor ruin it?
Sometimes, like cryptic crossword clues, working them out is far more rewarding than just looking up the answer.
On the other hand, I’m a communicator: I don’t write to be obscure, I write to be understood or provoke deeper thought. Perhaps the last post, Metaphorical, was just a bit too opaque.
I’m a firm believer in the idea of Narrative (viewing the world through stories) – we cannot make sense of the world directly, but only through Narrative Structures that give us a framework in which to interpret events and experiences (for those who want more background on this idea, I suggest you click on the label “epiphany”, find the oldest posts and work forward – read the comments too where some aspects of the concept are further expanded).
As such, if we change the Narrative, we change the experience.
Just about every Narrative we view the world through, is either created by someone else or moulded by a series of life events and interpretations. Very few, if any, are consciously created by ourselves. The world we think is real, is nothing of the sort. We are not seeing anything as it really is, only through man-made filters.
Once/if we realise this, then we open ourselves up to the possibility of creating our own Narrative. We can re-write the story of how we see the world, and thus how we experience it. It’s not necessarily easy, but it is possible.
And this is kind of what Maggie and I have been working on.
I’m a photographer because I take photographs and tell people I am a photographer. And if I say it with enough conviction, everyone goes along with it – including me. Because I say I am, I practice, I learn, I develop, I improve, I become. I create a new story, a new way of experiencing the world.
Is it real? In terms of personal experience, yes it is. In terms of ultimate reality, it’s just a stage set with costumes, backdrops and a loose script.
But in terms of ultimate reality everyone’s lives are just a stage set with costumes, backdrops and a loose script. The difference is I’m aware of it and am no longer confusing the story as some kind of “really real”.
Those who say, “It’s all very well for you, but I live in the ‘real’ world, pal” have mistaken the illusion for something more. Their world is no more ‘real’ than mine. Theirs is a story too. I’m just choosing a different story.
However, other people’s Narratives intrude and overlap all the time. And recently certain events managed to trample all over the Narrative we are trying to construct. It did the equivalent of setting fire to the stage, backdrops and costumes, leaving us with a charred mess that will take time to rebuild.
The Narrative itself wasn’t destroyed, but many of the props that supported it were.
These can be rebuilt, and will be. The process is already underway. But it takes time.
Perhaps that makes more sense.
Perhaps I have just confused you even more, in which case I apologise and suggest we sit down for a cup of tea together sometime and I can explain it more clearly using scraps of paper, diagrams and bits of cutlery and condiment pots on the table (right, imagine this spoon represents the voice of authority... sorry, I didn't realise you were still using that..., ok... imagine this pepper pot...).