Metaphors of Life | The Core of Cognition

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Metaphors are the core of human cognition, the core of how we think about and relate to the world. The three human metaphors that describe the origin and purposes of the world are as follows.

The Ceramic Model

Ceramic Model of Life

Ceramic Sculpture

The Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Islam and Jews use the creative model of a universe where it was formed by God as potter forms clay. This originates from the beginning of the Bible in Genesis where God creates and forms Adam from the dust of the earth.  He created a clay figurine and the fired it with his breath.

 

The Dramatic Model

Dramatic Model for Life

Drama Masks

The Hindu model of the world is that of a drama acted out by God. Each of us is a mask of God, and is also therefore part of God. God is playing that he is you; he is acting so well that we don’t know the difference.  Perhaps this is what Jesus was alluding to when he quoted the Old Testament saying. Know you know that ye are Gods?

 

The Organic Model

Organic Model

Life Sprouting from an Acorn

The Chinese believe the world to be an organism. To them the world is a great organism that is alive and grows; it is an intelligent order, which develops based on a multitude of environmental factors, just as a garden depends on its environment.

 

Each of these models is not objectively true to the exclusiveness of others, because they are all true depending on how we look at the world. There are indeed things in this world that are created and made, there is much in this world that is acted, it is illusion and perception, and there is much in the world that is organic and changes depending on time and environment, so the adaptation of a single model for understanding the world will always have limitations and drawbacks.

What is most important to remember, is not which model is most correct, but that they are all metaphors that help us make sense of the world. They describe the world in ways that we can understand it, and can predict what may or may happen, bringing peace to our lives.

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About The Pluralist Advocate

The Pluralist Advocate started out this life in a conservative Military oriented community, and he later moved to that bastion of liberal activism called the San Francisco Bay Area. Having lived both ends of the political spectrum he has a unique understanding of both sides of most issues. He was also very religious growing up, serving as a studying the Christian scriptures and even spending some time as a foreign missionary. He used to think he had all the answers to life's greatest questions, but the more he looks around the world, the more he finds a wide variety of different values that work for different people. This blog is an exploration of thought and consideration from as many points of view as can be held at one time. He now holds the position that truth is found in many different disciplines. You may know the Pluralist Advocate around the web and twitter as brihartwell, or his given name of Brian Hartwell. He hates to be narrowly defined by one title, so as you read these musings you may find things you identify with, and others that you despise. That is good. Please share your reactions to the thoughts here and we will all grow together.