What is a metaphor? One definition says this: 'A figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something important in common. A metaphor expresses the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar.'
So a metaphor is a figure of speech either spoken or written. It makes the unfamiliar familiar through comparison with the known. It draws lines, connections, and threads between two wholly unrelated things. It brings forth understanding through imagination, into a perception that has yet to understand a certain concept or theory.
What is a car? Of course you know what a car is. It would be ridiculous if you didn't, right? But how would you describe a car to someone who has never seen one and had no concept of it, nor a basis of comparison. You could possibly call it a horseless carriage, if one knew what a horse was and a carriage. One could also say its like a wheel barrel that moves on its own. These are metaphors, linking something tangible and real to the person in question to the concept of a car.
'What is in a name? Would a rose by any other name, smell as sweet?' ~ Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare
Metaphors of life take this concept deeper. They explain concepts which seem foreign to us, opening our mind to new possibilities and new frontiers. They change us, allowing us to grow in understanding and develop ~ emotionally, mentally, or spiritually dependent upon the concept and the path one walks.
This idea is not new or unique. It is not one I pulled out of my rear end and called my own. Its as old as language. But its one few truly understand to its deepest levels, not because they cant, but because they are to engrossed in their daily lives to stop and think about it for to long. Its a passing concept that seems to bear no direct or immediate meaning on their lives, so its set aside for more pressing matters. Which is all fine and good.
There is no harm in doing this, but there is no conscious understanding of what we already do unconsciously in our daily lives, at the same time. And understanding it, means one finds not only the capacity to change, but more often than not, also the desire to, as well. Because one small and simple concept begets another and another, bringing forth bigger epiphanies of understanding and kernels of truth where you sit up and you say....'Oh, I get it now!'. This is called the changing of perception, where your mind is radically altered by the understanding of one small idea.
Now, for an Empathic view of this concept. An Empath is capable of doing this at a much steadier rate than people who are not attuned to emotion. We do this when we feel other peoples emotions and use our imagination to visually walk in their shoes. We do it when we connect our own pain, even if it is different, to theirs, to get a better understanding of what they are going through and help them. In this case, we use our own pain as a metaphor to bring others plights into sharper focus, despite the differences in situation. The pain, or the emotion, is the common denominator.
Imagine how this changes the way you look at others in your life, upon discovering what you can do. You feel a deeper sense of connection with others, where as before, you pushed against that connection and fought it tooth and nail. You railed against it, because society told you that you were abnormal to be so connected. Understanding the simple term Empath's metaphoric meaning expanded your sense of self, brought purpose and meaning to your chaotic world, and set you on a journey you could not have conceived of before. That one word, rewrote all you know and believe about yourself. Perhaps it made things make sense and explained alot of unexplainable situations of the past. One metaphor changed your lives.
Now imagine seeing the world through those eyes constantly where metaphor is obvious in all things and meaning beneath it is even more evident. Hard to imagine, I know. But this is what you do unconsciously already, when you move from person to person reaching out a helping hand to them. This just brings what you already do into the forefront of your mind and allows you to understand the mechanism behind it.
Once you can change your perception at will, anything is possible, because this is the core of enlightenment. And when I say enlightenment, I do not specifically mean spiritual awakening. That is only one side of it when there is so much more to be perceived and understood. But alas, that is a blog for another day. ^_^