More on 'map vs. territory'

Omkaradatta's picture



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I recently read a posting on this website with a quotation from a Western scientist:

"The mind cannot tell the difference between its mental models and reality, because the models are transparent".

I also noted in a prior blogging that the above quote has been incredibly helpful here in sorting out what is real and what isn't. It relates to the notion of 'maps vs. territory', what we think about and what is real.

Those of us who are seeking are in a dilemma. The trouble with the mind is that it is all map, no territory. We can split things into awareness vs. ego, and all we've done is split the mind in two. We can 'notice' what's going on with us, and all we're doing is glorified self-improvement (this is what happens in therapy, folks).

We continually shuffle our sheaf of maps, change imaginary signposts around, hoping this will bring us to reality. In the meantime, what's real (the computer screen in front of us, our own sense of Being, the entire gestalt of existence here and now) is going unnoticed. It is uninteresting to us, as we play with our various ideas and notions, lost in a dream world.

Another dilemma we have is that the map is infinitely complex, varied and interesting, albeit totally unsatisfying. Reality is simple and basic, uncomplicated, at peace, already fulfilled. We tend to trust the complex and varied, the flashy, the exciting, and distrust that which is plain, simple and basic.

Life is really 100% journey, 0% destination. We have to stop "thinking about" and just be here now, fully and totally. Then we will realize what all these ideas the sages have presented are really about. Until then, they are merely interesting notions that we would like to 'achieve'. Our view is utterly mistaken in this regard -- they are only clear in the absence of all search, all ideas about achievement, when the mind is quiet.

We will continue to play with our maps, until we realize that the actual territory only vaguely resembles them. Then we can put them in their rightful, distant-second place. The more you dwell in the actual territory, the more your map comes to resemble what it *really* looks like. This is how we get clarity about the truth.

Our own sense of Being is the most easily accessible terrain. Why not give it your interest, love and full attention?



shira's picture

splendid analysis

This post triggered me to post a relevant stuff I recently encountered. See the new relevant blog "The 4 layers of perception"

shira | Mon, 09/08/2008 - 03:26