METAPHORS

Every change in theory is matched by some important metaphors. These provide us with the tools to understand and shape life, to see, think and act in new ways. In psychoanalysis, concepts such as analytic third, transitional spaces, inter-subjectivity, suggest that the encounter between two subjects can create something “third”, resulting from the combination of those very same subjects, but not directly traceable to them. In order to create a third area of experience, it is crucial that both subjects are willing to engage in a dialogue. This implies a confidence in one’s own boundaries, which allows an individual to go in and out of “in-between lands”, to be transformed by the encounter with the other while remaining him/herself. The concept of bridging cultures is frequently used as a metaphor. As far as engineering is concerned, a bridge can be built in order to connect two points in space, as long as a number of physical limits (structures, materials, forces) are taken into due consideration. In the psychic realm, the only limit to building a bridge is thinkability: whenever a bridge can be thought, two cultural domains can come into contact and enrich each other. Metaphors need to go hand in hand with new imaginations; the metaphor of change and transformation is nurtured by a third space where we can take our thought beyond cultural boundaries without endangering our coordinates, but drawing new ones.

 

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