What does the electrician who is now a spiritual teacher and the postal worker who now interprets dreams share in common?
Typically, we see metaphor as beyond the concrete and literal—traversing imaginative realms of our symbolic experience. The Kabbalah takes a hybrid position. If we were using a metaphor to explain the Kabbalah’s take on metaphor we might suggest an abstract piece of art—a Picasso like image that shares some suggestive semblance and yet differs, at times radically, from the form and shape in representational art.
What the Kabbalah then would suggest about the electrician turned spiritual teacher is that she has a common current running through her choices of profession—she brings light into people’s lives—illuminating what might have remained darkness. The metaphor of shedding “light” finds its concrete representation in wiring and sockets and in re-wiring thinking and plugging into new ways of thinking and feeling.
The same can be applied to the mail carrier who delivers letters (or at least used to) and the Zohar, the classic Kabbalah text, elucidating that “a dream not interpreted is like a letter not opened.” There are messages we need to receive for our emotional and spiritual growth and the carrier of those messages are the dreams that arrive in our “inbox” every night. On occasion, the dream has the wrong address, but most of the time it is delivered certified and requires our signature (we have to recall and open it).
Metaphor, which is a form of thought, will sometimes manifest in reality. Manifest reality is a repository of metaphors. Put another way: there is a story behind or within the things, creatures and events that populate our lives.
He may not have been the first, but Aristotle was emphatic that appreciation of metaphor is the hallmark of genius. Kabbalah Experience Awareness Principle 9—“to perceive and understand the metaphors that underlie your life choices” makes this a personal task of seeing the story behind the “masks” (choices) we wear. Dreams, are a useful tool to entertain the creativity of metaphor that you are engaged in every night. So pay attention to your dreams and if they recur, remember that the postman always rings twice.