We experience the world – including ourselves – partly through metaphors, some from our culture, some unique to us, and some perhaps shared by most or all cultures.
Through the Living Inquiries, or any other form of sense field exploration, I get to see this first hand, and I get to see how the metaphors that my mind use and hold as true influence my perception and life.
For instance, I looked for depression. I didn’t find it in the word. And as I looked at images, I saw several visual metaphors for depression: a dark blob vaguely the shape of my body. A “depressed” posture. A dark cloud around my body. A drawn out face looking like a person from a Munch painting. And as I saw these, one at a time, I saw that none of them were depression. They were not what I was looking for. Coming to the sensations, they were now revealed as sensations – free (or more free) from associated words and images. I could feel the sensations as sensations, allowing them to have their life and change or stay as they wanted.
And it’s the same with other things I look for. I find words that sometimes are metaphors. I find images that sometimes are metaphors. I see some ways these influence my perception and live. And as I look at each one, the associated sensations are (more) free to be felt as sensations.
This is how it appears in a more conventional sense. And yet, that’s not all. I see three facets here, for now:
(a) In a conventional sense, some words and images are metaphors, as outlined above. (b) In another sense, any word and image is a metaphor. It appears to stand in for something else. (Although that too – the “something else” – is revealed as words and images associated with sensations.) (c) And in yet another sense, they are just themselves and not even metaphors. A sense field exploration reveals each of these, and perhaps especially the last one. A word is seen as a word. An image is seen as an image. A sensation is felt as a sensation.