Book Review: A Philosophical Homecoming

Making sense of our times is best undertaken by a close study of metaphor and how it expresses the subtext of what lives in the imagination. For those who are confused by metaphor or who discount its importance as evidential in research, then this study stands as a prime text book to help reconsider and learn, as well as to question how we understand the world.

9781443899857The author’s study of Metaphorical Intelligence passes beyond and indeed across many disciplines, providing a way of appreciating the power of metaphorical imagination to convey, hold, express and experience meaning.  For anyone who needs to understand how it does this, whether it be for applied social sciences, or in the case of those helping or evaluating unfortunate people experiencing privations, inequities, violence and abuse, in terms of social justice, then it is invaluable.

Let no-one think that these things, because they seem nebulous, have no effect. As any fly on the wall in a doctor’s surgery will reveal, patients express their own sense of their condition through metaphors and comparisons that urge understanding: when this is ignored or discounted, the patient’s needs and context can remain unheard. We have only to measure the effect of the media’s rhetoric upon the world, where it can be seen to mould and reshape popular imagination, conveying subtle menace, creating fear and disquiet, if it is misused.

Using personal narratives and a triangulation of interviews, and other contemporary sources and examples, the author reveals, in Aristotelian detail, the nature of Metaphorical Imagination. He reveals that mysterious place where the physical, ideological and the cognitive meet and mingle, as well as providing a rigorous apparatus to research and sift the evidences within a workable methodology.

Metaphorical Imagination can provide a guidance system for navigating life for some while, for others, it remains a mystery beyond comprehension. Throughout the author asserts his own flexible and Cratylian sense of the universe, allowing us to pass beyond fixity into a sense of philosophical homecoming, wherein the world makes sense on many levels, as the evidences of metaphorical imagination become embodied.

This book’s tone and topic is very close to my heart; as someone who attends the metaphorical imagination, diagnosing from its evidences daily in my healing practice, I much appreciate this study. Muhammad Tanweer Abdullah’s rigorous methodology is seasoned by a playful lightness of touch and humour, inviting us to participate with him in considering all the evidences with a fresh eye.

Caitlín Matthews is a professional writer, the author of many books including Singing the Soul Back Home, Celtic Visions and Diary of a Soul Doctor. She lives in Oxford, and teaches internationally.

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