And While We're At It. . . (Another Lament)
The Quotidian v. The Next Big Thing

Analogical Thinking

Clip_image002 Dorothy Sayers, the cigar-smoking lone female member of the Inklings (which included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others) once said that "All thinking is analogic" (The Mind of the Maker).  A brilliant book, The Mind of the Maker explores various theological concepts (like the Trinity) by analogy to the human creative process, and also says quite a bit about human creativity (particularly for writers).  I have always found the concept useful.  For example, we may say "God is good," but the phrase is abstract without analogy -- that is, good like what?  Analogies are not perfect (can you really think of a perfect one for the Trinity?), but they are simply necessary to the way we think, a part of our created makeup.

So?  So, if all human thought is analogic, then simile, metaphor, and symbol are sanctified, a part of being made in God's image, as fundamental to life as air is to breath.  The artist's vocation is a high calling because they are given special gifts to use -- love of metaphor and symbol to help others not so gifted to think about what is true, good, and beautiful.  Another example: We believe in the Fatherhood of God, but isn't our understanding of that Fatherhood deepened by a story of a human father's love for his son or daughter?  And how do we know the love of God but by the many human demonstrations of love?  All thinking is analogic. Think about that.

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