Friday, 15 July 2011

On Being a Literalist

While my mother was preparing some fish, I said to her: "There's something fishy going on here!"

"Do you mean it metaphorically or literally?" she laughed.

"Both!" I chuckled.

My mother's question got me thinking about how we tend to communicate using metaphors and symbols. I believe metaphors and symbols can be very handy as they prevent instant manifestations. Let's say I'm angry at someone and say to them: "Drop dead!" Obviously I'm only expressing my anger or frustration at that moment and I don't really mean what I'm saying. If I literally meant it then the person would literally drop dead on the spot.

The problem with communicating with symbols is when I want something to literally happen, it doesn't happen because the symbolic style of communication prevents it from happening. That's why If I need money the Universe has to convert the symbol to actual form which might take time to appear.

How can I manifest my desires instantly?

By becoming a literalist.

A literalist sees words and thoughts as real. In other words, thoughts are things. So if a literalist needs money, he literally sees the money as already real, which will either manifest "out of thin air" or someone will feel compelled to give him the money.

A world dominated by people who communicate with symbols and metaphors can be a frustrating one for a literalist.

I used to take people literally when they said "See you later!" or "See you soon!" and expected to see them soon or shortly after. I soon realised they are just expressions that people use and not meant to be taken literally. You might never see that person again in this lifetime.

Since most people communicate symbolically, I believe it's up to me to choose whether to treat words and ideas as symbolic or literal. In other words, choose what suits my purpose at any moment: to believe or not to believe?

When I started studying spiritual principles, I realised that in order for those principles to be real in my experience, I had to see them as literal. If I say "I trust in Love to heal me" I have to mean it literally. I have dissolved migraines with that thought. If what I am saying is only symbolic or intellectual, then I might as well go straight to the chemist for an equivalent painkiller.

If I'm having a mock argument with a friend and I say, "You're dead meat!" I know I'm only speaking symbolically and my comment is not going to harm that person.

Just this morning I saw this guy who has been chatting me up for months. He had on a T-shirt with the words "Just do it!" which I've seen before. He said to me, "Whenever I'm wearing this T-shirt, I see you. What do you think it means? Maybe we should just get together and just do it." I just smiled and said nothing. As far as I'm concerned, our relationship is strictly symbolic and I intend to keep it that way.

I have to say, I am a literalist at heart.

Love to all, and I mean that literally.


Related articles: Wakey! Wakey! - Revisited; Communication; Releasing My Truth Missile; My Escort; Is God a Mathematician?; There's Power in Meaning What You Say; Why Wait? - Revisited; Why I Have Lost Faith; Some Things are Not Worth Taking Personally; I Need All of It Now!; Love Heals; Thoughts are Things; Living on Love; Love, Laughter and Happiness; Symbols, Thoughts or Feelings; The Thought is the Very Thing; Some Thoughts About Communication