Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Significant Moments: Metaphors

Albert Rothenberg, M.D. first described or discovered a process he termed "homospatial thinking," which consists of actively conceiving two or more discrete entities occupying the same space, a conception leading to the articulation of new identities. Homospatial thinking has a salient role in the creative process in the following wide variety of fields: literature, the visual arts, music, science, and mathematics. This cognitive factor, along with "Janusian thinking," clarifies the nature of creative thinking as a highly adaptive and primarily nonregressive form of functioning.

My book Significant Moments is teaming with metaphors.  The text of the book, in fact, refers to the use of metaphors as a means of expression.

Freud protested that it . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time. 
. . . is not the literal past that rules us, save, possibly, in a biological sense. It is images of the past. These are often as highly structured and selective as myths.
George Steiner, In Bluebeard's Castle. 
If I understand anything of this great . . .
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ. 
. . . poet of Sublime agon, . . .
Harold Bloom, Wrestling Sigmund: Three Paradigms for Poetic Originality. 
. . . anything of this great symbolist it is that he took for realities, for 'truths', only inner realities—that he understood the rest, everything pertaining to nature, time, space, history, only as signs, as occasions for metaphor.
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ. 

The conceptual demarcation between an experiential world that is related, on the one hand, to an inner life and, on the other, to the impingement of reality, and the implicit theoretical differentiation between the specific influences derived from these two worlds of experience upon the causation of psychic illness, ushered in the twentieth century. This demarcation was epitomized by Freud's mounting concentration on the . . . 
Peter Blos, Freud and the Father Complex. 

. . . inner world of fantasy . . . 
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy. 

. . . namely, on his dream research which followed the death of his father. . . .
He thus succeeded in gaining access to the carefully guarded secrets and mysterious workings of the human mind. 
Peter Blos, Freud and the Father Complex. 


Near the end of the book, I offer the following quotations:

Man lives by metaphor; his mind is . . .
Leonard Shengold, Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation. 
. . . a poetry-making organ . . .
Lionel Trilling, Freud and Literature. 
. . . and a myth-making and a history-making organ.
Leonard Shengold, Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation. 
We were all mythmaking creatures, it seemed, who created not only art but lives no less fictional, no less willed into existence, if only we knew it.
Arthur Miller, Timebends. 
We weave our memories into narrative, from which we construct our identities, despite our faulty registration of what goes on around and within us.  What goes on within and without our minds may be ultimately unknowable; yet sanity and survival depend on comparatively accurate registration of the outer and inner worlds.  However relativistic and inadequate our senses and memory, there is a reality out there and there are absolutes.  There was a past, however imperfectly we have registered it and however impossible it is for us to communicate it or recapture it completely.  This contradictory dilemma is part of the human condition.  Each human being spins a personal narrative, and yet we bear the burden of the inexorability of the past, or as the Arabs say of “what is written.”
Leonard Shengold, Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation.

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