Analyst Essay Topic 2 – Researching a Metaphor
By Sharon Lorraine
Analyst Essay Topic 2 – Researching a Metaphor – For my assignment, I chose the metaphor SEAL. It has come up in several reversals I have done with volunteers for my Reverse Speech homework sessions.
I’ll begin this assignment with a bit of a background on Metaphors, to help explain how my research corresponds with, or adds to, the definition of the metaphor SEA that is found in the Reverse Speech Dictionary.
One could use the analogy of actors in a movie to describe Reverse Speech metaphors. Reverse Speech metaphors are fairly uniform; however, they are primarily a picture and so a bit difficult to describe in words. They stem from the part of our psyche that operates, or “thinks” in pictures. They are separate from “the subconscious”, the prime orchestrator of human behavior. Metaphors are based on roles and pre-programmed scripts, or pictorial representations that are below our consciousness. The multi-operations of human behavior and different facets of our lives are such that although metaphors are fairly constant, there can be several differing definitions to a single metaphor.
And so, Reverse Speech is similar to watching a movie where we witness a running commentary, or read a “script” describing the function of each character, where the actor would be considered the “metaphor”. This is due to the fact that metaphors describe an aspect of our behavior, where the character’s purpose and role is defined. At the end of the “movie”, we begin to understand the inner workings of the unconscious mind of the actors, the structures of their personalities and the behavior they display.
In the Reverse Speech dictionary, SEAL is considered a Structural metaphor. These reversals spring from the deepest area of our mind, also called “The Deep Unconscious” or the Sub-conscious. They are typically nouns – persons, places, things, states, or qualities that describe the cause of our behavior. They can also reveal information and knowledge that the conscious mind is not aware of. These reversals and also tap into what is known as the Collective Unconscious, an area outside of our conscious experience. Some would also call this the spirit world.
We’ll begin the research of the metaphor SEAL by taking a look at its definition in the Reverse Speech dictionary, as well as the Dictionary.com definition and word origin, along with other various sources. Then we’ll take a look at a couple reversals that contain the metaphor SEAL that I found in my RS volunteer sessions, and see if the meaning corresponds with or adds to the definition of SEAL found in the Reverse Speech dictionary.
Reverse Speech Dictionary: SEAL (Structural) to agree; to secure; unbreakable bond; sometimes appears in regards to sealing behavioural patterns, Trance image; varies
noun 1.an embossed emblem, figure, symbol, word, letter, etc., used asattestation or evidence of authenticity.
2.a stamp, medallion, ring, etc., engraved with such a device, for impressing paper, wax, lead, or the like:
The king took the seal from his finger and applied it to the document.
3.the impression so obtained:
It was unmistakably the royal seal on the document.
4.something that keeps a thing secret:
Her vow was the seal that kept her silent.
verb (used with object)
1.to affix a seal to in authorization, testimony, etc.
2.to assure, confirm, or bind with or as if with a seal:
They sealed the bargain with a handshake.
3.to impress a seal upon as evidence of legal or standard exactness, measure,
4.to close by any form of fastening that must be broken before access can be
5.to fasten or close tightly by or as if by a seal:
She was sealing envelopes. My lips are sealed.
6.to decide irrevocably: to seal someone’s fate.
7.to grant under one’s seal or authority, as a pardon.
Origin of seal
– Late Latin *sigellum, Latinsigillum, diminutive of signum sign; replacing Middle English seil, OldEnglish (in)segel seal –
Late Latin, as above; (v.) sealen, seilen – OldFrench seeler, seieler, derivative of seel
From http://Wikipedia.com, the free encyclopedia, SEAL commonly refers to:
- Pinniped, a diverse group of semi-aquatic marine mammals, many of which are commonly called seals.
- Seal (emblem), an emblem used as a means of authentication; both an impression in paper, wax, clay or other medium, and the device used
- Seal (mechanical), a device which helps prevent leakage, contain pressure, or exclude contamination where two systems join
- Seal (surname), an Indian surname of Hindu Bengalis and Rajputs
- Seal (musician), English singer and songwriter, or any of his three self-titled albums
There is some folklore found with the word SEAL, but it has to do with the mammal seal:
“Seals represent wealth and plenty among Northwest Coast tribes, and images of seals commonly adorn potlatch artifacts. In some Northwest Coast tribes, such as the Nootka and Makah, seals are also associated with skill and safety on the ocean waves and were used as emblems by sailors and whaling parties. In the Inuit culture, seals are symbols of innocence, and therefore Inuit translations of the Bible use the Inuktitut word for “seal” in place of “lamb.” www.native-languages.org/legends-seal.htm
In the metaphysical world, a seal is also a spirit animal and has its own meaning in dream interpretation:
“IF A SEAL HAS COME SWIMMING INTO YOUR LIFE;
Seal is letting you know that it’s time to pay close attention to your imagination and insight both in the waking state as well as in your dream time. A lot of what you imagine generally has a strong basis in reality, no matter how far-off it may seem. This water creature is bringing you the clear and distinct message that it is time for you to allow your creativity and your imagination to soar and to follow through on your dreams.
IF SEAL IS YOUR ANIMAL TOTEM;
You are highly imaginative and very creative. You need activities that channel and direct your imagination and creativity. Hearing and balance is also very important for a Seal totem. Learn to listen to you inner self and balance your life to it. Your dreams are very significant and vivid and constantly feed your creative imagination. It is important for you to stay in touch with your body’s natural rhythms – if you are hungry, eat; if you are tire, rest.” www.spirit-animals.com/seal
The one resource that includes many uses of the word SEAL are biblical references:
“A seal, in biblical times as today, is used to guarantee security or indicate ownership. Ancient seals were often made of wax, embedded with the personalized imprint of their guarantor. The Roman authorities used such a seal to secure Jesus’ tomb ( Matt 27:66 ). A signet ring was also called a seal. It was valued among Israel’s booty ( Num 31:50 ).
The significance of the act of sealing is dependent on the importance of the one doing the sealing. This is why Jezebel falsely authenticated letters she wrote in Ahab’s name by affixing them with his seal ( 1 Kings 21:8 ). Ahasuerus’s solemn decree to annihilate the Jews ( Es 3:12 ) and then to bless them (8:8, 10) was sealed with his signet ring.
The word “seal” often is used figuratively in the Bible. The divine origin of prophet “books” solemnizes the opening of the seals with which they are securely fastened. They are opened at God’s discretion, often announcing doom ( Isa 29:11-12; Dan 9:24; 12 Rev 5:1 ).
Also, the Book of Job speaks of the great God who “seals off the light of the stars” ( 9:7 ). God providentially uses clouds to block out the otherwise helpful presence of stars. He also seals up transgressions, disposing of them as he wills ( Job 14:17; Hosea 13:12 ). The bridegroom refers to his bride as a sealed (chaste) garden spring ( So 4:12 ). Pledging fidelity, the bridegroom asks his beloved to seal him to herself on the heart and on the arm ( 8:6 ). The psalmist asks God to seal his lips to prevent sinful speech ( 141:3 ).
The New Testament continues the mostly metaphorical use of “seal.” For example, Satan’s ineffectiveness is secured by God’s sealing of the abyss ( Rev 20:3 ). Paul sealed a generous offering collected from believers in Macedonia and Achaia by delivering it to the needy church in Jerusalem ( Rom 15:28 ). Paul described his Corinthian converts as the seal of his apostleship ( 1 Cor 9:2 ). “
And finally, a look at a couple of reversals that include the metaphor SEAL:
F1: I see myself more, very, [at least in]itially very active in the process of up taking all the information.
R1: I sealed it
F = 0:07:40 to 0:07:46, R = 0:07:41 to 0:07:42
F14: The customers I’m dealing with, I don’t, and or [I don’t really see it] majorly feasible in this region now
R14: They seal it up
F = 0:32:34 to 0:32:40, R = 0:32:36 to 0:32:38
F6: I’m intrigued with how people who pull sound out of the same notes. Or we form words out of the same alpha[bet at least through English], and I’m just fascinated how people choose in poetry. We all have access to the same letters, and how you chose that particular word to place in that sentence which creates such an impact.
R6: Show me your seal in it.
F = 0:06:33 to 0:06:38, R = 0:06:37 to 0:06:38
So again, when looking again at the Reverse Speech dictionary for the metaphor SEAL definition:
SEAL (Structural) to agree; to secure; unbreakable bond; sometimes appears in regards to sealing behavioral patterns.
I would concur that with reversals for F1 and F14 that the meaning of SEAL is to secure. Whether it referred to the salesperson speaking directly, or his clients, it was still the meaning of SEAL but with different uses.
For reversal F6, I believe it is appearing in regards to sealing behavioral patterns. It is speaking to different aspects of personalities and how they show up in one’s creative work. Show me YOUR SEAL in it. SEAL is showing the YOU, or the behavioral patterns sealed in your own unique creative work.
I am starting to see how important it is to understand the meanings of the different metaphors. When analyzing and sharing reversals with clients, it will add much more depth to what the reversal is trying to share.
Reverse Speech Analyst Student