Metaphors function to stimulate and catalyze inner transformations.
When we define and clarify these deep metaphoric structures, we uncover a common human language that is largely subconscious.
Certain foundational metaphors occur over and over again in the world’s literature. They are:
- Transitioning from caterpillar to butterfly
- Awakening from the dream of reality
- Uncovering the veils of illusion
- Moving from captivity to liberation
- Purification by inner fire
- Going from darkness to light
- Moving from fragmentation into wholeness
- Journeying toward a vision
- Returning to the source
- Dying and being reborn
- Unfolding the tree of our life
*Note: The list above is adapted from Ralph Metzner (2010). The Unfolding Self: Varieties of Transformative Experience.
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Kim Hermanson, Ph.D. is a visionary educator and faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is an international expert on the psychology of metaphor and recently published a new book, Deep Knowing: Entering the Realm of Non-Ordinary Intelligence. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of The New York Times bestseller, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, said of Deep Knowing: “Not since Carlos Castenada’s books 40 years ago have I had such a strong reaction. This is very powerful stuff.” Kim is also the author of Getting Messy: Taking Risks and Opening the Imagination, Sky’s the Limit, which received an Independent Publisher Award, and several articles with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago.