Metaphors The Artfully Vague Use of Language
~ you hear metaphors everywhere. We speak so much in metaphors and in yet another re-read of Steven Heller’s book Monsters & Magical Sticks ‘There’s no such thing as hypnosis’ this jumped out at me. It did really ~ it leapt off the page!And being so interested in beliefs and values and our ability to change it I believe it would be okay to reproducing this here is.
Once upon a time there were two little rose bushes named Judy and Jim. These rose bushes were comfortable in a nursery when two people came in and took Judy, claiming they were expert gardeners and knew a great deal about rose bushes-and they did. They planted Judy in rich soil with the best combination of sunshine, water and nourishment. They kept the weeds and bugs away and handled Judy with kindness. Judy flourished and grew big and beautiful roses, and if rose bushes could feel, Judy was happy. Two other people went to the nursery and took Jim, stating they were expert gardeners and knew everything about roses. But, they were really pizza kings from Chicago. They planted Jim in sandy, salty soil, with too much heat in the day and too much cold in the night. They watered Jim too much and then too little, and they did nothing about the weeds and bugs. In spite of these things, Jim survived but was wilted, stunted and sorry looking. Jim looked across the field at Judy and saw her beauty and decided (if a rose bush can decide) that the problem was he was just basically defective and no damn good.
Now, dear reader, if you could talk to a rose bush, I’m confident you would say, “Jim, it’s not you! The experts were not experts, and it’s your environment that’s the problem.” But, to what purpose? A little rose bush can’t walk, drive a car or work. However, time goes by and Jim, by hook end by crook, learns to walk, talk, drive a car and work. He pulls himself out of the crummy environment and moves to where Judy is: the rich fertile environment and guess what? Wrong! Jim continues to wilt, and grow little, ugly roses. Jim is so convinced that he’s defective that he decided, “What’s the use? It wouldn’t do any good to even try.” In addition, he carries his past environment with him and “knows” that the rich environment doesn’t exist. Well, what can you expect from a rose bush?
Re this is a story for another day………………………………..
There once was a rhesus monkey who was put into a special cage.
This cage had red, yellow and green squares. After several days, an “experimenter” set it up so that the red squares gave off intermittent shocks causing the monkey much pain. The monkey became anxious but soon learned to avoid the red square. Next, the experimenter caused the red and yellow squares to give off intermittent shocks, and the monkey acted as if he was a manic depressive, alternating from hyper-anxiety to depression and withdrawal. The monkey soon learned to avoid the red and yellow squares and then all the squares were electrified. The little monkey began to bite itself, beat its head against the bars and defecated on himself. You might say the little monkey had been driven crazy. This experiment took one month. He was then transferred to a second cage with a white floor. Soft music was played, he was touched and held and fed. Within a short time, he calmed down and within two weeks he was playful and exploring his cage. He could not be seen as different from a monkey from a rhesus population that had not been subjected to the experiment. Well, what do you expect from a dumb monkey? He’s not as smart as a man. He didn’t know how to hold onto the past forever, nor continue to anticipate disaster. He only knew how to adapt to changing circumstances. When he was put back into the first cage, he was anxious for two days, but, after assuring himself there were no shocks, he began to be as playful in that cage, too.
Well, as I’ve pointed out, monkeys aren’t as smart as men. Maybe just smarter than rose bushes.
If, as you read the above meta-eights-a metaphor within a metaphor within a metaphor-you found yourself thinking, remembering, connecting, seeking, and understanding, it was only intended. To understand a metaphor, you must, in most cases, go into your own history, remember those situations that look similar and remember those words …
But there’s “know” such thing as hypnosis.