Monday, October 31, 2005

the map is not the territory

so often i read or hear someone say that something has to be true or false because science or religion or whatever monlithic information system says it is. very often this is valid and true. we can rely on electricity to come out of the wall plug and the sun comes up each morning and the street lights come on at dusk. where this breaks down is in areas where people are struggling with thier versions of reality. there are those who say that they can`t lose weight or that it is difficult to stop smoking because it`s an addiction or that women won`t date them they don`t have this, that or the other thing. these presuppostions become a map that people use to guide themselves through thier lives.
you have used a map before. a street map will allow you to find your way around cities you`ve never visited before. a menu is a map of a reastaurant`s food choices. a telephone directory is a map of the phone numbers of a given region. these guides are reasonably accurate and are useful places to begin to explore new territories, but here`s the thing. new roads and buildings are constructed all the time and this makes an old map redundan,. you can`t eat a menu and people change telephone numbers all the time. what happens when these things occur? we have to exercise flexibility by looking for new information or by replacing the maps with more current ones.
why would this be any different with a map used to run our lives?

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