Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:29 pm

Greetings,

Yes, the fan analogy is good.

Link to fan analogy: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=3315&start=20#p52081

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby seanpdx » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:36 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Yes, the fan analogy is good.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Coincidentally, the fan analogy was the one thing in the list I disliked the most. True story.

We may not be able to see one aspect of the fan when it's moving fast. But what use is a fan that's turned off, or moving too slowly? ;)
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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:43 am

Greetings Sean,

But when a fan slows down, the fan's motor is cooler.

When it stops, the motor is cool.

8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby seanpdx » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:01 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Sean,

But when a fan slows down, the fan's motor is cooler.

When it stops, the motor is cool.

8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)


Bah humbug. That's why god invented liquid cooling systems! :tongue:

(insert discussion about virtue ethics and the nature/virtues of a fan)
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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby meindzai » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:16 pm

Sean,

Have you always had this problem with metaphors? :console:

-M
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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby seanpdx » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:46 pm

meindzai wrote:Sean,

Have you always had this problem with metaphors? :console:

-M


No, it's a recent issue. I'm seeing a therapist about it. Have you always had this problem with humour?
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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:46 pm

seanpdx wrote:
meindzai wrote:Sean,

Have you always had this problem with metaphors? :console:

-M


No, it's a recent issue. I'm seeing a therapist about it. Have you always had this problem with humour?
Snap.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby meindzai » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:48 pm

Humor is like a... oh nevermind. :tongue:

-M
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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby seanpdx » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:52 pm

meindzai wrote:Humor is like a... oh nevermind. :tongue:

-M


I totally understand similes! It's just metaphors I don't understand! :tongue:
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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:11 pm

seanpdx wrote:[I totally understand similes! It's just metaphors I don't understand! :tongue:

And don't get me started on my confusion over which are metaphor, simile, and analogy... :thinking:

Mike :meditate:
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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:11 pm

I'm confused (generally)

shall we all go to the great therapist stone wallaallahinglap
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

Postby meindzai » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:12 pm

This thread dedicated to Sean and Mike. :)

What's the difference between a simile, a metaphor, and an analogy?

The dictionary defines a "metaphor" as a figure of speech that uses one thing to mean another and makes a comparison between the two. For example, Shakespeare's line, "All the world's a stage," is a metaphor comparing the whole world to a theater stage. Metaphors can be very simple, and they can function as most any part of speech. "The spy shadowed the woman" is a verb metaphor. The spy doesn't literally cast his shadow on the woman, but he follows her so closely and quietly that he resembles her own shadow.

A simile, also called an open comparison, is a form of metaphor that compares two different things to create a new meaning. But a simile always uses "like" or "as" within the phrase and is more explicit than a metaphor. For example, Shakespeare's line could be rewritten as a simile to read: "The world is like a stage." Another simile would be: "The spy was close as a shadow." Both metaphor and simile can be used to enhance writing.

An analogy is a bit more complicated. At the most basic level, an analogy shows similarity between things that might seem different -- much like an extended metaphor or simile. But analogy isn't just a form of speech. It can be a logical argument: if two things are alike in some ways, they are alike in some other ways as well. Analogy is often used to help provide insight by comparing an unknown subject to one that is more familiar. It can also show a relationship between pairs of things. This form of analogy is often used on standardized tests in the form "A is to B as C is to D."



The Buddha, as anybody that's spent any time with the canon knows, was a master of all of the above. Access to insight even has an Index of Similes. (Which, I think probably includes metaphors and analogies!).

Ajahn Chah is known for his... Similes, at least according to this link: A Tree in a Forest by Venerable Ajahn Chah

"We have to talk about the Dhamma like this, using similes, because the Dhamma has no form. Is it square or is it round? You can't say. The only way to talk about it is through similes like these." -AC

Though again they appear to be a mix of all of the above.

-M
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Re: Does mindful mean s-l-o-w?

Postby seanpdx » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:28 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
seanpdx wrote:[I totally understand similes! It's just metaphors I don't understand! :tongue:

And don't get me started on my confusion over which are metaphor, simile, and analogy... :thinking:

Mike :meditate:


A simile is like... err, nevermind. :tongue: hehe
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Re: Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

Postby Ben » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:31 pm

Hi Meindzai

That's a great observation. I've referenced this book a number of times both here and on e-sangha:
R.F. Gombrich, How Buddhism Began: the conditioned genesis of the early teachings

With regards to your above topic, of interest is Chapter 3: Metaphor, Allegory, Satire.
http://books.google.com/books?id=aIOY5g ... q=&f=false
kind regards

Ben
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Re: Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

Postby Ben » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:32 pm

Dear members

A reminder that off-topic posts are routinely removed without warning.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:46 am

Thanks Meindzai,

As you say the ATI list is a combintaion of Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-similes.html

Perhaps we could examine a few.

I'm usually reasonably clear about similes, since they say "This means that...".

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#dhp-49
As a bee — without harming the blossom, its color, its fragrance — takes its nectar & flies away: so should the sage go through a village.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#butter1
"Suppose a man in need of fire, looking for fire, wandering in search of fire, would take a fire stick and rub it into a wet, sappy piece of wood. If he were to take a fire stick and rub it into a wet, sappy piece of wood even when having made a wish [for results]... having made no wish... both having made a wish and having made no wish... neither having made a wish nor having made no wish, he would be incapable of obtaining results. Why is that? Because it is an inappropriate way of obtaining results.

"In the same way, any priests or contemplatives endowed with wrong view, wrong resolve, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, & wrong concentration: If they follow the holy life even when having made a wish [for results]... having made no wish... both having made a wish and having made no wish... neither having made a wish nor having made no wish, they are incapable of obtaining results. Why is that? Because it is an inappropriate way of obtaining results.


I'm less clear when they are not explicit and become metaphors or analogies.

How about classifying a few from ATI. E.g.
Sedaka Sutta: At Sedaka 1: The Acrobat
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Mike
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Re: Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

Postby catmoon » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:56 pm

Ajahn Chah is like a metaphor.. uh nvm.
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Re: Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

Postby meindzai » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:15 pm

mikenz66 wrote:How about classifying a few from ATI. E.g.
Sedaka Sutta: At Sedaka 1: The Acrobat
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Mike


Hey, almost forgot all about parables!

par⋅a⋅ble  /ˈpærəbəl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [par-uh-buhl] Show IPA
–noun 1. a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.
2. a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.

*Another bit of ammuntion in the Buddha's toolbox.

-M

*Mixed metaphor
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Re: Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:05 am

BPS has a book about the buddha's similes, i have it but i've yet to read it, like many BPS books (i got to order a big bunch of them for my birthday, so i'm waaaay backed up on reading)
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Similes, Metaphors, and Analogies

Postby ground » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:49 am

meindzai wrote:
What's the difference between a simile, a metaphor, and an analogy?

...
An analogy is a bit more complicated. ... It can be a logical argument: if two things are alike in some ways, they are alike in some other ways as well.

This is an example of illogical reasoning.
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