Climbing A Mountain
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures.
Daniel Pink, author, A Whole New Mind
By now you know how much I like metaphor. This metaphor, although by Albert Einstein, may not be well-known. It has been included in my past blogs because of its emphasis on gaining a new perspective, which has been a theme of many blogs.
#3. Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting point and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our (new) broad view — gained by the mastery of the obstacles on the way up, Albert Einstein.
This is an important metaphor for me in my own life. I have done a lot of backpacking and climbing mountains. So I can relate to the mountain climbing references and examples. The metaphor was useful when writing about changing my decision making theory and writing about changing the way we see things. “Gaining new and wider views” is the key here (open-mindedness). If we are paying attention, living life can change the way we see things — changing our perspective.
And this new perspective has now become significant for me in my aging years — “gaining new mastery of the obstacles on the way up”. Aging presents new obstacles. I can’t climb mountains anymore; I don’t even climb ladders now. My starting point still exists, and I can still see some of it, although not all of it. And it forms a tiny part of my current view. My current going forward is also tiny.
I can be proud of my mastery of the obstacles on my way up, and I need to be proud of where I am today. But I need to be sure to practice my “positive uncertainty” the rest of my journey — with an open and inclusive mind.
The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson.
P.S. I am aware of the difference between metaphor, simile and analogy. I am taking the liberty to include these in my metaphor memories.