Jacob Karlins founded Selfless Self Help to teach meditation for everyone and to help them to integrate meditation into their daily lives, with an emphasis on reconnecting with the natural world around us by meditating in nature and exploring how nature can be part of their personal growth.

He reached out to me to ask if I wouldn't mind, since I've been writing about metaphor here on the blog, writing something about metaphor itself: its use and power, and the meaning of metaphor. It was a subject I was happy to consider more closely -- and the best way to consider something more closely, of course, is to write about it! So, I was happy that Jake had asked.

In response, I wrote the following essay -- the first couple paragraphs are here, and you can read the rest by heading over to Jake's blog to check it out.  Hope you enjoy! _/\_

Clothing spirit with matter and raising it up again:

How metaphor transcends and transforms the material realm

All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them . . . Matthew 13:34

Although we have been taught to take them literally, or at least believe that they once were intended to be taken literally, the ancient sacred texts and traditions of humanity can be shown to be metaphor, metaphor of the highest order, metaphor on the grandest scale, and metaphor exquisitely designed to awaken us to the most profound spiritual truths about ourselves and our universe.

And there is a good and cogent reason that these sacred scriptures were built of metaphor from first to last, just as all great literature is built to some degree of metaphor: metaphor is the key which undoes the lock of mental prisons, the divine messenger which carries us instantly across the chasm from darkness to understanding, the elixir which transforms the earth-bound mortal into one who can walk through walls and even soar into heavenly realms.

Metaphor comes down from the realm of spirit, the realm of forms, the realm of the ideal, and inhabits gross matter, for the purpose of lifting it up again to the realm of heavenly glory, dragging us along in its train.

All metaphor, almost by definition, involves a "leap to the other side" -- a moment of lightning-like recognition of connection between two things, two concepts, two ideas which only a second before did not seem to be connected at all, in any way.

The poet blazes just such lightning-bolt pathways between two things which were not previously joined: the more unique and untrodden the pathway, the more the poetry affects us.

Click here to read the rest of the essay over at Sellfless Selfhelp!