There are three aspects of ourselves that makes up our fabric; we are sensory beings, we are conscious beings and we are creative beings. Our ability to imagine crosses all three areas.
Imaging, the ability to recreate sensory impressions and feelings in our minds in the absence of outside stimuli, is the most important thinking skill we acquire for creativity.
The language of imagination is metaphor; inspiration takes flight is an example. The metaphor is “out there” to make it possible for us to sense and experience things in an unexpected way. We use metaphors all the time. Being aware of their use and applying this language in a stimulating and meaningful way, makes the verbal expression of the non-verbal sensory experience possible.
George Lakoff and Mark Johnsen say it best:
“Metaphor is for most people a device of the poetic imagination and the rhetorical flourish—a matter of extraordinary rather than ordinary language. Moreover, metaphor is typically viewed as characteristic of language alone, a matter of words rather than thought or action. For this reason, most people think they can get along perfectly well without metaphor. We have found, on the contrary, that metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.
The concepts that govern our thought are not just matters of the intellect. They also govern our everyday functioning, down to the most mundane details. Our concepts structure what we perceive, how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people. Our conceptual system thus plays a central role in defining our everyday realities.” – (2003) Metaphors we live by. London: The university of Chicago press.
My writing on metaphors and metaphor as the language of creative thinking.
- Transitions Are Bridges in Time: using the bridge as a metaphor to make sense of time.
- #BeCreative with Metaphors
- Metaphor as the Language of Creative Thinking – Presented at The Marconi Institute for Creativity; The First International Conference on the Science of Creative Thinking
Bologna – Italy, 2013
- In his Forbes article, Nine Career Lessons I Learned From Comic Books, Bruce Kasanoff adds my metaphor to his list as his “Tenth Lesson”.