There Are No Metaphors -or- Everything is a Metaphor
AKS/News Item Gallery = jcap 1988-09-21 (0396)
Condensed AKS/News Items = See Below
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Diagram # 184 video grab
And Kyroot Said…
No great thing was ever discovered without gestures.
The production of what you need is not the same as the
acquisition of wealth. The labored production of what you need
is also not the same as the creative acquisition of that which
you cherish and enjoy.
There is no secret until you think there is.
O.k., let’s have it this way: There is no secret until you
think there is, or, HEAR there is.
An exceptionally macho rebel would be he who might say to
himself, “Hey, don’t get subtle with me.”
There was this one ole dude in the City that I used to enjoy
who would periodically declare, “You know, life is kinda like a
metaphor for baseball.”
At precisely what moment should a Man living in the dark use
his one match?
Ain’t no doubt that many People, for a long time, have
hinted that they THOUGHT they were capable of better things.
To a Revolutionist under the proper, necessary pressures,
hints can be like jelly filled bullets.
Religion, psychiatry and historical analysis of all sorts
are a hopeless waste on the dead, and those who won’t talk.
One ole City sorehead stated most emphatically, “The onliest
Men that can’t be bought are those already doing the buying.”
Be as absolutely inconclusive as possible.
I’ll tell about REAL justice; the Man who discovered history
is long forgotten.
O.k., let me tell you about super-duper, real justice: The
cat that invented memory immediately forgot about it.
“It just goes to show you,” said one Man; “No,” replied
another, “It ALL goes to show you.”
Those adverse to conflict are either against growth, or else
don’t need it.
Internally a Revolutionist camp is more like a midway than
In the City things tend to become a “big deal,” (even stuff
that’s really a little deal).
Hell is full of footnotes.
They’ll let you vote, even criticize the king, but get out
of debt? — never.
Everything’s taken, nothing is sacrificed.
Yet another City motto: Accept ALL substitutes.
Wanna think about something REALLY weird?… what if a Real
Revolutionist is EXACTLY like you think he is.
THERE ARE NO METAPHORS
EVERYTHING IS A METAPHOR
If you want to grapple with what I have said about being
properly straightforward, in light of trying to forge a new
partnership, you must be able to go beyond the great grazing
field of metaphors. You must realize that everything that you
can see (and I’m using “see” in the special sense of new
information and new observation) is correct twice — once in here
and once out there — no metaphors and no reflections.
Throughout history, ever since man started talking, man has
thought, “Everything that happens to me is a metaphor for the
things I think about.” He realized that everything that the
nervous system in an individual seemed to construct was a
metaphor for what he went through in his life, from hunting
tyrannosauruses to getting down with his old lady in the cave.
You should be able to See now that it’s almost childish to
pick up something and read it and notice, “Hey, this seems to be
about baseball, but it’s almost a metaphor for a guy’s struggle
with trying to fight off the rigors of age itself and the
disappointment of life.” You should not be impressed with that.
You should not think that the author is involved with something
out of the ordinary, because he’s not.
I’m sure there are many books written, like Moby Dick, and
the authors are not involved with something like This, with some
kind of revolutionary activity. But the story suddenly becomes
to the general mind of the intelligentsia more than a story about
fishing. It becomes more of a metaphor for the great activities
of humanity. It becomes a representation of the eternal conflict
of humanity trying to resist the onslaught of technological
progress that’s going to bring about a deepening of the feeling
of inhumanity of one man toward another. But there is no great
ability involved nor is there any real prize in thinking that you
see metaphors everywhere.
To realize that the very things that strike you — the
struggles in northern Ireland or Lebanon — to think that they
relate to Wall Street, or that they relate to something in you,
does not mean that you have seen a metaphor. What you have seen
is the correctness twice. You saw something that was in your own
consciousness, in your own vision, and thought, “Hey, that’s
true,” and it seemed to be triggered by something that appeared
to be true “out there”, but it can be vice versa. It is not
metaphorical, and it is not simply a matter of reflections.
Strike “simply”; it’s not a matter of reflections. Alright,
strike “it’s not”; Alright, strike “reflection.” It’s not that
what is going on out here is almost a reflection for things
you’ve thought. No, no, no.
Alright, in black and white: The structure of Life is the
structure of consciousness — OR — The order of consciousness is
the order of Life. The structure of Life is the structure of
consciousness — not as metaphor, not as simile, not as a
reflection. I can say that, and it is not that obtuse. Plenty
of Life’s body can hear that. It is so obvious, and it eats up
almost all of the world of literary criticism, because there is
no literature, there is no music, there is no sculpture, that is
a metaphor for life — it IS Life. Nothing is a metaphor for
anything else except to children. You have to tell a child,
“Don’t do so-and-so.” “Why?” “Well, because a troll will jump
out and nibble your toes away and you don’t want that to happen.”
You can’t tell a child exactly what he’s asking, so you speak to
him in metaphors.
To believe that there is something humans do, willfully or
not, that has a secret message, is to be playing in the
kindergarten area, even if you’re doing it to yourself. To forge
a new partnership is to be able to forge a new kind of sight.
You must See that the structure of Life is the structure of
Consciousness. This is so obvious that no one can See it.
A lot of people who are not the intelligentsia may not know
what metaphor means, but they are subject to the influence of the
reality behind metaphors, that is, the nonverbal energy that is
the reality behind the word metaphor. Why do they watch sports
on TV? Why do they watch the images of electrons floating on the
screen of a tube? How much vicarious enjoyment can a body get
from watching someone else do something? How many ballgames or
dirty movies can someone watch without wanting to get in on the
Everybody feels the power even without the influence of a
verbal, yellow circuit explanation. It is a part of the area
that came about and manifested itself in the idea of myths,
religious stories, and the subconscious. There is not the
straightforward observation, the straightforward dealing of one
person with Life. The further down the nervous system, that is,
the more physical the exchange, the closer you get to a
straightforward exchange, and the more there is of a kind of
hands-on relationship to what you’re actually doing. But the
further you go up the nervous system food chain, the less there
is of a hands-on exchange. For example, writing or playing music
is not like putting together a wheelbarrow with your bare hands.
It’s not something you can hand to somebody. You must find an
audience. You will always have more appreciation than another
person — even your best friend — for what you created. They
can’t put their hands on it the way they can a hammer. They
can’t use it or hold it like a hammer. No matter what it is —
an idea — they can’t ever like your creation as much as you do.
There is not the straightforward relationship that exists with
The more sophisticated the nervous system, the more one
feels (if not thinks) that the things going on out in Life are
metaphors for what may be going on in other people. If you
talked to people who are farther down the nervous system, they
could not answer you if you asked them what in life was a
metaphor for what goes on inside of them. “Do you see hunting
for food as a metaphor for the hunger you have to reach something
higher in your spirit?” “No,” they would say, “I just see it as
trying to get something to eat.”
As people become more sophisticated, they are top-heavy. A
top-heavy person sees almost all of life as a metaphor for
something. There is an energy passing through man that makes man
see that there is something out there that may be similar to what
is in here. The order of consciousness is the order of life.
There are no metaphors. Or, since you can have it both ways,
everything is a metaphor. But if you think that everything is a
metaphor, you ask, “But for what?” “Well, I think for so-and-
so.” Scratch “think.” “Alright, it seems to be for …” No,
scratch “seems.” “Alright it is a metaphor for this.” OK, now
you’re closer. Scratch “metaphor.” “Alright, this is that.”
Now we’re getting somewhere.
To the Real Revolutionist, it’s all the same. This is not a
pejorative observation of any kind; to a Revolutionist, it is all
the same. There may be a pragmatic difference between a
styrofoam cup and flipflops, but there’s not any more difference
between family love and the threat of atomic warfare.
Ordinary consciousness might interject, “But don’t you see that
the atomic tensions of the modern day are beginning to be
reflected in the increases in stress in family relationships,
strokes, high blood pressure in humans, and so on?” The
revolutionist answers (if he answers), “No, I don’t see it as
reflections; it’s the same thing.” To city consciousness it can
not be the same thing; it’s silly.
Here’s a sort of side comment: There is a way in which
individual men can apparently be irrational, that is, apparently
act in ways not in their own best interest. But one must keep in
mind the structure of Life. There is not irrational behavior for
an individual. Yet everybody believes there can be. What
appears to be irrational individual behavior back at the level of
the City is impossible for Life. What you must See is that there
is a higher dimensional, more complex area that amounts to Life’s
greater multirationality. In the same way that no one part can
know everything, no one piece can be too irrational, that is,
operate in ways that are apparently against its own best
interest, and actually be against the best interest of Life.
Those individuals, even groups, that are judged by others to be
irrational, are not acting irrationally. It is simply that the
judges are acting on the same level as those accused of
irrational behavior. Life can not be irrational except in that
things which appear to be irrational at the 3-D level fit into a
Life can see what one person does in a framework of
multirationality even when it seems that the person is not acting
in his own best interest. For instance, suppose a stand of
lovely trees has to be cut down to build a hospital. Some people
could look at the situation and see that the group is acting
irrationally by taking down trees, even though to Life the
activities are not irrational. It is not possible for Life to
behave irrationally. Multirationality takes on different forms
of what is rational — your form of rationality and other
people’s forms of rationality. One person’s apparent
irrationality is just someone else’s version of rationality.
Another aside: Why is cynicism so roundly and thoroughly
condemned? Life condemns cynicism. Why does the condemnation of
cynicism ooze out through humans all over the planet? What is
cynicism? What is a cynical person doing? Some of you are
probably cynical several days a week. What energy is behind what
humans call being cynical? There is no commandment that says
thou shalt not be cynical. Yet even parents tell their children
not to be cynical. What kind of energy is being transformed when
someone is cynical? Why is it comdemned? Why does Life produce
it on one hand and condemn it on the other hand?
Yet another aside: To what end does Life have people
convinced of the benefit of being truthful with themselves, to
the extent that there is a belief in some cosmic power
which drives them to be truthful with themselves? What is it
that says a person should be truthful with himself? Consider
psychology, meditation, self-contemplation, religions, certain
narcotics, keeping a diary, keeping someone else’s diary — what
is behind all of those phenomena?
There is the belief, a feeling not acquired from the
environment, not something one is taught, not singular to the
human intellect, not a product of man’s culture, which is
something Life puts into people. This feeling comes out in man
as a directive that one should strive for more truthfulness with
oneself, and it has been around since before recorded history.
What does it mean?
If you are ordinary, you’ll raise your hand and say,”I know
what that means.” In the City everyone believes he knows what it
means. Many of you may have thought that involvement in This
Activity was along similar lines, that a person had to learn to
be more truthful to himself, more spontaneous. I ask you,
“What other choices are there?” City folks say that we have a
conscious mind and an unconscious mind, that we are driven by
some of our older animal instincts which are at times in conflict
with the pressures of society and cultural norms. For example,
we are told to be polite to strangers, so that when someone steps
on your toe in the supermarket and says, “Oh, pardon me, did that
hurt?” you respond with, “Why heavens, no, think nothing of it.”
What you actually wanted to say was, “You fat pig, why don’t you
look where you’re going! I’ve got corns on my foot! What do you
mean, ‘did it hurt?’ You know perfectly well when a 300-pound
tub like you steps on my toe that it damn well hurts!”
This is not just a contemporary post-Freudian dynamic;
throughout history people have been saying that being polite
to strangers or other interactions of that sort are good in
lubricating the wheels of society. But you begin to lie to
yourself, and you forget that you’re doing it simply out of
courtesy. So it begins to build up a kind of psychic armour. A
sort of moss-coat begins to grow on your own truthful,
spontaneous self. This reaches the point where you are no longer
truthful to yourself, and you get out of touch with your so-
(The familiar contemporary statement, “I need to get in touch
with my feelings,” could almost be another aside. Here is a
place to ask, “Really? What are you in touch with now — Western
Union?” What is it that makes you think you are not in touch
with your feelings? “Oh, I don’t know, it’s just a feeling I
As always when I ask you to Consider to what end Life
functions in a certain way, there is not simply a right or wrong
answer. I’m just presenting another way of looking at the
question that may have some benefit to you. Just ask yourselves
nonverbally what Life could possibly be up to that it has made
people believe that they should be more truthful with themselves.
Notice one of the little sidesteps to the question is the
assumption that people are not truthful with themselves. How can
that be? Who are people truthful to; who are people untruthful
to? In what way are people untruthful to themselves?
At least on the 3-dimensional level, linear consciousness
takes us down side treks that make us believe we are being
truthful with ourselves when we say we are not being truthful
with ourselves. Ordinary people think they are being truthful
with themselves then because they can even say they are not.
This whole trek is just to a little cul-de-sac. To what end has
Life done this? Why would Life convince you that you are
considering a valid question, one that could take you the rest of
your life to pursue, when once you look at it in a
different way, you think it is insanity to spend any more time
with it because the question is moot. Why is it that you thought
the question was pertinent?
Insofar as there is any reality to be explored (whatever
reality is), that sort of straightforwardness in examining your
own truthfulness with yourself is minimal operating procedure for
someone involved in This Activity. It is not something you
finally ask yourself on your deathbed, or when you have some
illuminating experience such as suddenly having a picture of
Buddha’s brother-in-law float under your door and start speaking
to you. It is something you do right now. You start there as a
minimum requirement. That is one of the reasons that I tell you
not to continually drink, use drugs, or any number of other
rather materialistic examples I could mention. They are
You must see that there are things which affect not just you
individually, that are not unique or singular to you, that are
not passed to you from some virus, and are not due to some
personal traumas which you believe you suffered. All humans
believe that they are not being truthful to themselves, and that
there are reasons for the dishonesty. To be nonordinary, you
must operate on the basis that there are no reasons, no excuses,
nothing to hide, nothing to reveal. There is only that to
abandon; there is only that to transcend.
Another aside question for you: Suppose you are running up a
hill and see a church with a name like Snellville Episcopal
Church of St. Michael and All the Angels. (I’m not Episcopalian,
but I’ve always wondered whether those churches that had names
with only a few saints or angels were offshoots of churches with
all of them in their names.) Back to the question: What is the
difference between ritual and entertainment? (Can anyone believe
that it is possible to have that kind of thought triggered just
by jogging at 6:30 in the morning past the front of a church?
No, what is more likely is that you would remember something
like a quip which defines exercise as an unnecessary, unjust tax
placed upon otherwise decent, peaceful, fun-loving people.) In a
religious setting, like a Catholic mass, an Episcopal service, or
a Temple meeting, you could walk in and see some kind of ritual
which you may or may not have any knowledge of, but it’s also
something else. This is not a cynical observation, but you must
also see that ritual is a form of entertainment. Ordinary people
just don’t see ritual that way.
So why, in Life, is there a great division between
entertainment and ritual? In both situations there are two types
of participants: the dominant people in the front of the room up
on the stage or at the altar, and the passive participants in the
audience or congregation. Doesn’t entertainment cover it all —
ritual, sports, nightclubs, lectures? What is the difference?
The city answer would be that the defining difference is, “Ritual
imparts some information, whereas entertainment does not.”
Doesn’t it seem to be true that ritual conveys information of
some kind, whether you agree with it or not, whether it is useful
to you or not? For instance, a Catholic mass is not mere
entertainment; the purpose of the mass is not to watch some guys
dress up like middle-aged women and walk around waving things in
the air. Instead, the ritual is in some way conveying a message
to Catholics, a representation of the story of Jesus’ death, and
a chance for new life. Whereas watching James Brown is just
entertainment, right? Think about it.
Let me tell you something (and there is much more implied
than I’m going to verbalize here): anything that entertains you
conveys information. Think about the simplest joke you can
remember. Whatever it was, information was conveyed. Even with
nonverbal examples, like James Brown (a 60-odd-year-old) leaping
up in the air and landing in a good split, you are entertained to
the point that you involuntarily “ooohhh” and “aaahhh.” It
doesn’t matter what example you pick, if you’re being
entertained, information is being conveyed. Consider another
example, that of watching a comedian on TV: if you laugh at the
jokes, however crude, dumb, childish, scatological, or offensive
they may be, between you and that joke some information is
passed. Forget some outside objective view which questions the
pertinence of the information. If you are entertained, even by a
crude joke, information is conveyed.