The English word metaphor comes from a Greek root. The “meta-” part means across. The “-phor” part means to carry. The Greek root meaning of metaphor is “to carry across.”
A metaphor is an image we use, a bridge that carries meaning across from one thing to another. For instance, when we say that our spiritual quest for oneness is a journey home, we carry all the connotations and images of journeys and homes over to add to our understanding of the spiritual quest. A metaphor is a plank thrown across a ditch to move studs onto a deck to frame a new house. A metaphor is a door we open to enhance our lives.
Metaphors can be beautiful images that add meaning by associating one idea with another—we can read poetry and look at photographs for the sheer pleasure of how they transport us and expand our hearts and minds—but metaphors have urgent, practical uses as well. We need them in order to grow, in order to build, in order to journey toward new understandings and destinations. We need them as individuals living increasingly complex lives, and today we need them as a society facing threats to so much that we love and depend on to survive.
The Golden Room is a metaphor that first came to me as a vision (to read it, click here). The metaphor has extended over time in two directions:
- the image of making an inner journey to and through our heart’s core Golden Room;
- and the image of building an inner home or outer ideal life that is an expression of our heart’s core calling and becomes the Golden Room in and from and for which we live.
This website moves back and forth between spiritual and material realms over the bridges of these two extended metaphors of journey and building. They are not meant to provide a map or house plan to follow, they simply help describe the ways we go about finding and living in and from our Golden Room.
In Life Planning we try to go as deeply into the heart’s core as we are able to reach.
The heart’s core is both metaphorical and real, and the metaphor helps us reach the real. We create a Torch, another metaphor, that paints a picture of the true life that would bring a person’s dream into being. Life Planning is always trying to translate feelings and intuitions and subtle movements within us into a vision of concrete, practical activities or relationships, and then Life Planning designs the architecture of material resources needed to support the vision.
In the spiritual life we are trying to do the same, translating mystical visions and gut senses into right livelihood and virtuous actions, a sacred way for us each to follow. We are trying to attain the highest developmental stages and deepest spiritual states where we see through our perceived differences to our true underlying oneness with all spirit and all matter.
Evelyn Underhill points out in her definitive book, Mysticism,
that mystical vision and poetical vision are closely related. Both depend on symbols and metaphors to convey meaning. Poetry and photography and other image-making art forms open visions to us that can inform and shape our reality. The words and photographs offered on this site have that practical intention.
It is crucial that we make the journey to the Golden Room, that we make our home there, that we move back and forth between the spiritual and material realms daily, not only because it brings us the most meaningful and fulfilled life we can live, but also because we need to find together in our collective Golden Room new ways of living on earth if the human race is to survive. We need to make that journey. We need to build and dwell in that home. I hope what you find here inspires and helps you to do that.