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  • Curriculum and the Dream Paradigm

    - Stephen Schafer

     The Trigonometry of the Psych-ecology

    "In the beginning was the word," and humans create their metaphorical reality with symbolic language.  Symbolic language not only pervades and mediates our human reality.  Symbolic patterns constitute our reality.  As humans emerged from some un-formed, un-conscious condition or state of being, we translated our perceptions into symbolic form.  Like God, we made our world day-by-day.  Like Adam, in order to contemplate these separate things, we named them and proceeded to assert moral judgment on those symbols we had named.  We decided our creation was "good."  Therefore, it can be said that the human approach to understanding the parameters of psych-ecology is essentially symbolist in nature.  Life can be understood as a curriculum in which we gradually learn to understand and employ its media.  We call this employment creativity, and once we have learned the basics, we use the media to create our reality which, by the nature of the unified field of psyche-physics has an influence on all other dimensions of "reality."  This kind of thinking can drive one insane, so I intend to limit my psychotic potential to a discussion of the quintessential value of the metaphor.  Metaphor is the language of everything and at some time in the future may be recognized as the "theory of everything."  As Aristotle pointed out, metaphorical proportion can be expressed as mathematical equation, so metaphor is consistent with math and cybernetics. 

    We create our figurative reality with metaphor. "Metaphor is probably the most fertile power possessed by man" (Jose Ortega y Gasset).  Metaphorical comparison is indispensable in a relative reality where everything relates in some way to everything else.  All figures of speech achieve their effect (formulate and communicate some concept) by means of some kind of relative association or comparison.  I must assume that my audience understands the principle and preeminent value of metaphor, but since so much of my argument depends on this understanding, I must define the term.  The terms metaphor and figurative language are essentially synonymous, but there are many classes of metaphor.  For example, antithesis is contrast, hyperbole is exaggerated comparison, metonymy is the transposition of the name of one thing for the name of another related thing, i.e. "Crown" as in "The lands of the Crown."  I will emphasize two classes of metaphor: analogy and correspondence.


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