When life “in the world” is suspended, distracted or derailed it reveals that what we call “life” is really “world-related”. A significant change in circumstance stops everything and anomie ensues. Loss of identity starts because the worldly life that has been stopped is not easily replaced by another.
Barie Fez- Barringten is an architect, philosopher, writer, artist, project manager and teacher. He is one of the world's foremost advocates of "Architecture as the Making of Metaphors" His work has been recognized around the world, particularly in the US and Saudi Arabia. According to Professor Fez-Barringten there is a 3-way symbiotic relationship that exists between works of architecture, the architect and the occupants that experience the space of that environment. Using the concept of the “metaphor”, a synergy that can be easily observed when all three properly work together.
“Life on Hold”
When life “in the world” is suspended, distracted or derailed it reveals that what we call “life” is really “world-related”. A significant change in circumstance stops everything and anomie ensues. Loss of identity starts because the worldly life that has been stopped is not easily replaced by another. The “world” is shattered when the metaphors of value have been removed and replaced by non-metaphors without value, bridges and identification. However, if one’s life is already rooted in a non-worldly mind, then the physical circumstances that change will not alter the continuum of the already invulnerable concept of one’s life. Personal and societal identity is invulnerable. This demonstrates that life is really a transient and temporary conceptual state of mind rather than circumstances or physical and material substance.
Aside from breath itself, what really matters about our life is its metaphors; consequently, we spend inordinate amounts of time and efforts in their creation and preservation. Antidotally, we gain our freedom when we finally perceive that we continue to live after the annihilation of our life metaphor because we find that we are able to function after our known metaphors vanish.
Tragically, the lessons of the aftermath of both the 2004 and my childhood’s hurricanes and blizzards teach that known life can be interrupted by calamitous events. Encouragingly, when that happens a new life can begin when we learn that what we had come to call life was merely a continuum of scheduled, planned and random utilizations of events related to manufactured power and energy. However, it was the life we had chosen and relished above all. When it is interrupted and out of our control we are anxious, upset and stressed. We suffer anomic stress and disorientation. Our environmental controls, media, electricity, lights, television, communications, telephone; internet, gas and transportation modes are discontinued. This in itself is bad but when combined with loss of home, building, and personal possessions it is calamitous and traumatic. It is similar to being robbed or having a loved one kidnapped or killed. Our own mortal death itself seems benign in comparison.
Instinctively, in times of war we willingly surrender our imagination and cherished metaphors to obey and submit to curfews and limitations. Long after the end of WW2, part of society subordinated some of its creativity when it surrendered some freedoms in favor of being controlled for the common good. Part of society wanted the USA to continue to conform and obey while others rebelled and said “no”. The early fifties was the beginning of a political and social split and interruption in the continuity of values. Today, in the aftermath of the Al Quaida attack on the World Trade Center there is a state of war where many are politically unified to rely upon man to reestablish security and restore the status quo while others are quite willing to move on to an era of changed metaphors with some part of life on hold.