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Life Principle #4: The Map Is Not The Territory

Have you ever realised that nothing is what it seems and that reality is not what you thought it is? That's because it probably isn't! In this article we'll explain why, and what you can do about it.

A while back I was talking about your 'Internal Map of Reality'. (See this article for more info.)

This, I explained, is the way you see and react to the outside world, and could also be called your 'paradigm' or your 'ego.'

This map extends to a number of things about us such as our values (what we consider to be important) and beliefs (what we believe about the outside world, about ourselves, or about the nature of reality itself), as well as a number of other factors.

It is our 'Subjective' reality, versus the 'Objective' reality that is not within us.

To most of us, this map is essential for us to function both inside and outside the mind.

The Map Is Not The Territory

However there is an important point to make about this: 'The Map Is Not The Territory.'

In other words, our map is only a representation of reality, not reality itself.

Indeed, it can never be reality itself because reality is infinite and our brain capability, whilst immense, is still finite.

For example, you look at Google Maps and it says it will take you 15 minutes to get from home to the grocery store.

But it's raining outside, it's peak hour traffic and there are roadworks forcing you to detour...

So when you actually get there, it actually takes 40 minutes. 'Reality' gets in the way of our 'map' of reality. 

Another example

You suddenly find out that someone close to you has betrayed your trust.

You have trouble believing it happened because you trusted and believed in this person. Your map was not entirely accurate about the territory.

Dissonance Is Natural

Most of us who encounter dissonance between reality and our map of reality tend to be pushed right up against our threshold. It is natural for us to resist and protect the 'old map'.

This resistance is what causes us problems that are usually expressed in one of the 5 negative emotions (fear, anger, guilt, shame, sadness and trauma).

As well as in dysfunctional behaviours such as overeating or drug abuse.

Until we realise that we can let the old map go and pass through the chaos stage, we are left in this unwanted state.

Let It Be OK

Again, the remedy is to 'Let things be OK', 'they are what they are', and eventually chaos will be replaced by a new map of reality that is better than the old.

This can, of course, be achieved through things like meditation, journalling, prayer, or other means of enhancing your awareness.

Food for thought? I Hope So!

Wise Words...

"We delete whatever doesn't agree with what we believe"

- Bill Harris, (1950-2018), teacher and entrepreneur.

Bill Harris

Bill Harris

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