Clear thinking? Metaphors, while useful, can cloud our thinking.
One thing that helps me continually keep metaphors-in-mind is reading things literally at the same time as metaphorically. It helps me tease out where it works as a metaphor and where the metaphor breaks. I’d think about writing a book on it but I don’t know how I could fill it out. I mean, it’s so simple to do and very powerful.
I like thinking of it as “clear thinking”. It’s easy to get muddled up in metaphors and blind to them. We use them so often we don’t even think about it. Even in the prior sentence. “blind to them”. Am I really blind? No. I can see just fine. Is a metaphor an object that can be seen with my eyes? No, it’s not an object. So what is it?
It just take a 1/2 a second of extra thinking to ‘see’ the two meanings simultaneously (the metaphorical and the literal) and the convergence and divergence are instantly recognizable. Also, it keeps me continually amused