Unravelling the Myth/Metaphor Layer in Causal Layered Analysis

by  Victor MacGill


This paper investigates how the myth/metaphor layer of Inayatullah’s Causal Layered Analysis
is formed, using an embodied cognitive approach. The very way we experience the world, move in it,
interact within it and orient our body to our environment generates patterns and concepts that form
as metaphors. Language is saturated in metaphor. As we interact together shared metaphors connect
together to emerge and take shape as myths. These are the building blocks of Inayatullah’s worldview
layer. The worldview that emerges from social interactions of a group of people form a particular
arrangement of interlinking elements from the myth/metaphor layer. The worldview informs the
systemic layer, which in turn informs the litany of everyday life. Any particular worldview is therefore
only ever one within many possible ways of interlinking the mythic and epistemic elements. It is easy
to fall into the trap of assuming our particular worldview is the best, or even the only true worldview.
CLA helps us to avoid this problem as it problematises the present and find new metaphors to enable
us to envision alternative and preferred futures.

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