This book is about metaphor-what it is, what it does. Putting aside overly technical definitions, the author proposes one intended for the general reader: A metaphor is a lie that tells the truth. (An example: "Uncle Pat is a hog." A literal lie, anyone who observes Uncle Pat forking it in will agree that this "lie" is also true.) Drawn from such diverse arenas as literature, sports, education, oratory, religion and philosophy-even the stock market-the book presents more than two hundred metaphors that demonstrate that no society anywhere on earth does (or did) not have metaphors. Convincingly, the author shows that this incredibly wide use of metaphor depends on its startling, colorful language that is easy to understand and easy to remember. The heart of the book is a collection of metaphors that offer an alternative to description of things spiritual in abstract language. By contrast, the author maintains, metaphor throws light on the spiritual world, even into its most shadowed corners.