The Map is NOT the Territory & YOU Are Not Your Labels (Part 1)

Taken from my blog… Please enjoy…

In 1933 Alfred Korzybski, a Polish Count and mathematician, published ‘Science and Sanity’ a thesis that discussed how we experience the world through our senses and use this external datum to build internal representations of the world within our brain. The thesis used the term ‘The Map Is Not the Territory’ to explain how the real world and the internalised perception are different.

"A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness". What this means is that our perception of reality is not reality itself but our own version of it, or our "map".
Alfred Korzybski

By Wayne Marsh ~ If you’ve ever frequented the London underground you may or may not find the tube map to be useful. Certainly on occasions I’ve found myself going in a variety of different destinations polar to my intentions. Now as I travel to London quite regular I’ve become accustomed to the map and can navigate on the tube with great effect. In fact sometimes I don’t have to check the map as the more I’ve learned the more knowledge I have of what to look for…

But the London Underground Map does not contain all the smells, sights and sounds of the London underground because its just a map and a useful way of navigating but as our Korzy says it’s not the territory.

Now I’m going to ask you to shift perspectives a little here and some of you who are familiar with the Map/territory distinctions may already be saying, "so what! same old distinctions repeated zillions of times please come up with something new for crying out loud".

Others may be unfamiliar with the concept and want to delve a little more so let me have a go at offering up some other distinctions where I may cater for both parties…

You are not who you think you are…

Now that again may be old news to some but I’m carrying on regardless. If I said I’m a father then that would hold some weight in certain contexts of which I have fatherly duties and as you can imagine the same applies to teachers, trainers, Accountants etc. However, they are just random labels imposed on the constant flow of experience. In the constant flow of experience these labels have no value whatsoever, other that to carve experience up whilst we categorise information in our neurology…

It’s a game of probability very much like poker because you work out what you think you have against what your opponents may have whilst making a best ‘guess’ as to how accurate you may be…

So based on how we build our maps/models of the world through-time with a sprinkling of our inbuilt beleifs and values plays a HUGE part in what labels we find to make our judgements and either raise, call or fold… Maybe even push ALL IN..

Pretty cool stuff when you think about it and I’d like you to think briefly about how we create problems, issues or challenges because there’s a structure to how we do that.

As our Aussie Friend Rolf Harris would say… "Do You know what it is yet?" as he carried on painting his picture ready for the viewers to build up their interpretations of what his splashes of paint actually meant… Here we go again back to old Korzys Map/territory and here we splash a bit of meaning on the canvas or add a bit more paint so the picture emerges. BUT It only actually means something if we already have a reference point for it based on our experience. Then it still doesn’t mean anything really like what it actually is because we’d never be able to describe it fully as it’s only our interpretation. All our internal maps/models of the world are only partial and can never be full and that’s why the menu can never be the meal…

Why? Well for one our senses wouldn’t allow it and for two our language restricts our senses even more… Our nervous system is a complex thingymajig and it does a great job of filtering things down.

So without delving further down the rabbit hole just yet, here’s hoping I’ve peaked your interest enough to be curiously confused enough to gauge some kind of understanding you can build upon? If you read on and I’ll try to expand a little here.

Mental Poker for the mind. (Some experimentation)

Let’s say for example you’re walking down the road and you see a man with a green bomber jacket, Bleached Jeans, Doc Martin boots and a bald head covered in tattoos running up the street. As he’s caught your attention and curiosity you notice he’s running towards a man probably late 50’s who’s suited and booted with a briefcase, brolly and bowler hat… As our running man gets closer the other man turns around to see and an expression emerges across his face that looks to you like panic and instantaniously he pulls his briefcase tightly towards his torso and starts moving away…

What possibilities can you think of that could be happening at this particular moment in time?

Did you come up with a few different scenarios or did you conclude in your mind just the one?

Or do you hold multiple ideas of what could possibly be happening but as you think about it now one of them seems to pack the most punch?

Now, Think back to how you took the words I wrote and formed them in your mind to create a scenario or scenarios.

What went off in your head?

Think about how you did it and then go back to your imagination and…

If you were to focus now on the tattoos what kind of tattoos can you see on the guys head… Pretty amazing huh?

Problems, issues, challenges or whatever you like to label them are very similarly created like what you just did… They are constructs of your imagination and the one that holds the most weight normally becomes the one we choose as the real illusion… Until we can challenge that illusion (of which there are many methods) we can hold certain illusions and carry them in our daily lives ‘as if’ they were the truth.

Einstien once said that the same thinking that created a problem cannot be used to get rid of it… In my mind he’s stating that the structure of the problem created is using the same structure to eliminate it and there’s where the looping or vicious circle begins…

And more often than not it’s not the problem that’s a problem but thinking in those loops make them so. I like to think of a problem as a gift that doesn’t come wrapped very well but once you’ve unpacked it you realise it wasn’t what you thought…

So… There are no such things as problems, issues or challenges in raw experience… Not even negation exists :)

Our MAPS/MODELS of the world are created by a whole host of things as we navigate our way through life and its twists and turns. What’s a problem to one may be a learning opportunity for another and that’s all dependant on how we utilise our minds and our bodies to BE who we are… Now that’s a big problem for many… (Insert a mad scientists MUWAAAAHHHHHHHH here)…

And that’s YOU… Because whatever you think you are… You are… Are you not?

In part II i’ll be going a little deeper into PERSONAL FREEDOM and sharing some NEW things i’ve learned and hopefully via your feedback adding to the map/model of the world I’ve been creating for the last 35 years + VAT…

Now if you really want to see what the ‘skinhead’ did… here you go…

Wayne

The link to the blog is here and I’d appreciate it if you HIT the LIKE button or even SHARE the lurv 😉 The Map is not the territory and YOU are not your labels (Part 1) | Umami

The Map is NOT the Territory & YOU Are Not Your Labels (Part 1)

Speak Your Mind