A Discussion with Dude about the Griffin Metaphor

Yesterday I was painting the lounge room in my dilapidated farm-house. I sat down for a minute to have a break. Dude had been in the house for a couple of minutes earlier in the day but then went away. When I sat down he popped into my head and made some comments about the metaphors I used to describe him (see earlier post below). He said three very interesting things, that I thought I’d share with you. First he told me that he liked the Griffin metaphor but that I was wrong. Second, he told me that his people (the Muajra) don’t have metaphors or use them at all. Third, he said that Griffin (in the movie Men in Black 3) depends on other people’s presence for a particular reality to be visible or to come into creation but his people don’t. So let me unpack the significance of the last two comments. Humans use metaphors all the time to describe things. According to Wikipedia a metaphor is “a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing for rhetorical effect, thus highlighting the similarities between the two.” Perhaps my post didn’t accurately reflect the use of metaphors but I think you understood what I was getting at. Wikipedia goes onto define two common types of metaphor :

  • “A dead metaphor is one in which the sense of a transferred image is absent. Examples: “to grasp a concept” and “to gather what you’ve understood” use physical action as a metaphor for understanding. Most people do not visualize the action—dead metaphors normally go unnoticed. Some people distinguish between a dead metaphor and a cliché. Others use “dead metaphor” to denote both.
  • A mixed metaphor is one that leaps from one identification to a second identification inconsistent with the first. “I smell a rat […] but I’ll nip him in the bud”—Irish politician Boyle Roche. This form is often used as a parody of metaphor itself: “If we can hit that bull’s-eye then the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards… Checkmate.” — Futurama character Zapp Brannigan.”

And in addition it talks about applications of metaphors : The term metaphor is also used to describe more basic or general aspects of experience and cognition:

  • “A cognitive metaphor is the association of object to an experience outside the object’s environment
  • A conceptual metaphor is an underlying association that is systematic in both language and thought
  • A root metaphor is the underlying worldview that shapes an individual’s understanding of a situation
  • A nonlinguistic metaphor is an association between two nonlinguistic realms of experience
  • A visual metaphor uses an image to create the link between different ideas

Metaphors can also be implied and extended throughout pieces of literature.” So why does Dude’s statement have any significance at all ? Humans use metaphors in every language, every day. Metaphors saturate our language. They allow us to convey thoughts, ideas, concepts, beliefs, values and actions and ultimately they shape our perceptions. They play with time and space. Think for example about the following metaphors : The Big Bang, The Big Crunch, The Road Not Taken, The End of the Road, Broken Hearted, Run Out Of Steam, , The Path before Us, The Longest Journey Starts With The Smallest Step, Ghost In The Machine, All The Worlds A Stage, He Drowned In A Sea Of Grief, The Classroom Was  Zoo, It Was Hell, Life Is A Roller Coaster, A Bomb Went Off in His Bedroom, She’s A Night Owl, Shes Fishing For Something, Running Out Of Time, Stench Of Failure etc. They all point to something else, other than an experience or a thing itself. They use something else to embody meaning. Imagine if all of a sudden, we stopped thinking and speaking and conceiving in that way and simply spoke in plain language about how things ACTUALLY ARE. That’s how the Muajra function. And that IS COMPLETELY ALIEN TO OUR MINDS. Next time you have a chance to listen in on some conversation, take notice of how many metaphors you hear. Next time you have a chance to read a book, take notice of how many metaphors you read. Chances are you’ll be swimming in a sea of metaphors ! Now to Dude’s second comment. You’ll remember that Griffin is the multidimensional Archanan being in Men in Black 3 (http://meninblack.wikia.com/wiki/Griffin) who carries the Arc Net Shield that can protect Earth against the Boglodites – who had previously wiped out Griffins people.The Archanans have “the unique ability to foresee the infinite potential outcomes that are dependent on the actions taken in any given scenario.The Archanans can “see an infinite number of alternate timelines and possible futures happening at the same time. They don’t know which future will specifically come true since they are happening all at once.” As I understand it, Griffin can ONLY  SEE potential outcomes when other individuals engage with a situation. He could only see one outcome for a baseball game that had taken place but when J & K were being hunted by Boris the Animal, Griffin could see many potential outcomes for that particular situation – outcomes that were dependent on who entered into the field of relevant activity and what they had been doing or were doing. But if I understood Dude correctly, the Muajra do not depend on an other individuals interacting with a situation, to be able to see potential outcomes, the most likely outcome and to create a given version of reality.  That might not sound very significant but actually, its hugely significant. What I think it means is this. Someone like Griffin exists in a shared reality, one that arises from shared experiences – in which reality depends on an environment that is rich with the interactions of others. I think that’s how most of us think we exist. Where as someone like Dude exists in a reality that exists in a reality that arises purely within their own individual consciousness. That perhaps is closer to how Buddhism suggest we exist. I think what Dude is hinting at, is that this reality we take to be real, in both past, present and future, is something that all of us are creating within consciousness. Although I am not sure that consciousness (or even mind) is the right word. If reality arises inside of us, instead of the other way round, where we arise inside of reality, then almost everything we have come to believe about how the world, life and the cosmos works, is completely wrong. Can you see why Dude says that time does not exist and that there is only space ? Perhaps all that exists is the space within ? Perhaps the space without is the space within ? The implications of what Dude explained to me are beyond comprehension and I’m not sure I conveyed it very well. So this is just a brief post to plant a seed inside of you. 😉 It is my wish that this will encourage each of you to reconsider the nature of reality and the nature of your own existence.


About brightgarlick

Ecclectic kinda guy, who loves life and saviours each day as it is.

Posted on June 21, 2015, in Dude, Muajra and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Cool, happy pops days.

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