24 February 2011

The choice of metaphor

Our knowing ages. It goes from encountering something new to comprehending it as old. 
We perceive by registering the changes or differences that strike our senses. 
"... our sensory nerves quickly 'fatigue', and we become accustomed, for example, to a smell, or to a sound. ... that knowledge comes from distinctions, implies that we come to an understanding of the nature of any one thing, whatever it might be, only by comparison with something we already know, and by observing the similarities and differences. ... If it is the case that our understanding is an effect of the metaphors we choose, it is also true that it is a cause: our understanding itself guides the choice of metaphor by which we understand it." (The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist, 2009; page 97).
 To know another is to be in constant relationship with them and to be constantly shifting our understanding of who they are and who we are in relationship with each other because we only see, in a sense, what moves, what changes. The left hemisphere only sees what is stable and immobile. 

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