On the Errors of Logic Created by the Limited Usage of Metaphor
by Lee Duane FitzSimmons
Metaphors can be tremendous aids to the intellect; they can also be extremely hazardous. They can uplift the creative process and allow for new ideas to be created and developed in ways that were once thought to be unimaginable. They can be stimulants of the intellect and imagination that provide new pathways of exploration to be discovered. They can also be shackles and chains worn by the mind if they are not correctly employed; this situation usually occurs when a lazy imaginative process relies too heavily on these types of creative devices for too much stimulation and/or guidance.
The problems begin when a metaphor is used too much. The problem is multiplied when a metaphor is stretched too far. It should always be remembered that metaphors are merely catalysts for the playful muses to use as props or toys while they perform upon the stage of one's creative thought process. Sometimes metaphors may be used as scripts or libretto in order to guide one's artistic opera; however, an analogy should never be used in a strict dogmatic sense in a way that will cause the overall production to be inferior.
When an analogy does begin to hinder instead of help, it should be either discarded or replaced. Oftentimes, an analogy performs so well in the introductory stages of a creative project that the artist or scientist will continue to use this metaphorical aid after it has been stretched too far. Oftentimes, an artist feels compelled to retain the same metaphor throughout the entire process. It should always be remembered that at any time in the creative process, an allegorical guidepost may be dug up and thrown into the fire.
The dancing muses can always throw their toys to the side of the stage and then grab a brand new set of props (and undergo a wardrobe change) in order to perform the second verse of the creative song that is being written. It should also be noted that multiple analogies may be employed and/or discarded at any time during the creative process. All that matters is that the final product be spectacular. All that matters is that the audience is pleased with the performance.
All that matters is that everyone involved with the process find joy within the heart, mind, and soul.
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Copyright 2014 by Lee Fitzsimmons