How to Build Your own Map of The World
“The map is not the territory”, first coined by Alfred Korzybski, is an old expression that contains so many aspects to how an individual can perceive their environment.
When the territory gets churned up by artificial intelligence, it’s time to get the compass out and make fresh choices about which map to use.
In front of my desk, on the wall, is a pinboard where I tack small pieces of paper to. These pieces of paper normally have a hastily jotted note on them to remind me of an important thought, or an idea that I want to explore.
There’s a quote from a famous author that inspires me, something like, “Just sit down and write, that’s all there is to it.”, is written on an index card.
My pinboard is full of pieces of paper,different colours and sizes. It’s like a map of my thoughts. Sometimes, I rearrange things and create a new order to my pinboard mind-map.
I like bits of paper to write on. It keeps me away from the computer, and it makes me feel like I have a stronger connection between my thoughts and real life.
I won’t just pin up anything that sounds good. It has to fit my goals, my world, my view of how things are going, and where they are going to.
Years ago I found a quote that I liked very much.
“Motus animi continuus”
It does have a basic meaning.
“Stay in action, and the motivation will increase the momentum”, is one way of looking at it. It contains an idea rather than a concrete and flippant expression.
It can also mean, “perpetual effort of the mind will increase the awareness, and raise consciousness”.
It is written in ink pen and there is an ink sketch of a Siberian tiger above it. I like tigers, they possess unbelievable strength and endurance.
I like to read it, think about it, and let it remind me that without any action in my daily life, I can’t discover what the right thing to do is; I must do in order to know.
When I act, I will be in the thick of it and therefore I will be working within the knowledge of the thing. There is no other way to live.
This constant work of being involved with the actions, however inept we are at carrying out the task, is the way that we discover what it is that we are doing.
This is what we mean when writers are advised to just sit down and write the story — don’t over analyze, don’t edit something that isn’t there, because you can’t know the story until you’ve written it.
We can’t discover the value of an action by thinking about it. That’s totally impossible.
Many people get caught up in the world of thinking about how to do something. This leads to questions about what will happen if you do do it, and then, is it worth doing? Thinking can’t give you the answers — it gives you a headache at best.
Thinking and planning is always accompanied by the faulty belief that we can predict the future — which we can’t. We have to go into the future with actions to discover the reality about what’s next.
Trying to predict the future is like trying to satisfy your hunger by reading the restaurant menu.
Taking action is the way that we grow as humans. Knowledge obtained through work informs us of who we are, and how we relate to our environment in an effective way. How to live and change as we go along.
Actions show us what our real goals are.
When we take action on a new project and discover that we are having trouble understanding the methods and means of working, we have our intelligence put to the test; we must express our ability to perceive that everything in front of us will offer the answer to our questions about the work, by actually working on it.
Ask Big Questions
The way we formulate our questions about work is what we should firstly become aware of as a tool to deeper understanding. This is more powerful than trying to predict the future.
Asking powerful questions about what we want, where we would ideally like to be, and the best methods of creating changes that enhance those goals, is the fastest route to creating momentum with quality work in business or art — starting a business from scratch, writing, music, self-employment. All of these require constant action.
People ask questions all of the time. I believe that all of us fall into the habit of asking a set of stock questions that seem to be enough to elicit a response from another person, or from within ourselves.
Answers are satisfying, questions are difficult to understand
We seldom stop to think about how we formulate a question. A question asked is often designed to get a specific answer, and is therefore primed to elicit the response we hoped for — that makes our lives so much easier. To always hear the right answer seems to confirm that we weren’t wrong.
Taking the easy route allows us to drift along in life without too much call to action. It can lead to a ponderous lifestyle that is romanticized and dreamed of, but leads to being vulnerable to every whim and fancy that passes over the horizon.
Courage is always in Fashion
If we are looking for real growth in our lives, then having the courage to ask questions that will give us solid answers is the key to rapidly getting past the sluggish and unmotivated feelings that we all experience at times. Especially when getting on with work that is urgent.
Ask courageous questions, get real answers that take courage to live with. The result is self-responsibility towards your actions. The things you build need constant maintenance.
Asking a precise question is an enlightening experience — it’s like a “wow!” moment.
The answer is often the obvious piece in a jigsaw puzzle.When we see it, it fits perfectly with other parts of our thinking. When you seek an answer long enough, and with sincerity, it will come. It won’t be the one you hoped for, but it will be possible to execute.
How does the Tiger Do it?
Just like the latin phrase that hangs on my pinboard, I can deduce ideas from it by asking myself questions. How to keep going? How does the tiger do it? How do I, a human biped, do it?
I ask questions about how I work at writing and research, do I look at the right things in order to discover ideas that fit into my map of the world?
It’s this map of the territory that we are working with that creates a conflict in our lives and allows enough sparks to happen when we are in action. This friction illuminates our consciousness and shows us our environment — the territory.
Delete What doesn’t Work for You
Our own mind is the world we know. Beyond the mind we only see what we choose to see, the relevant objects and ideas that we believe will help us or inform us to a better existence.
The territory is too complex for us to perceive wholly for us to make use of - so we developed a way to handle what we see; the ability to make choices.
This extends into the deeper part of our brain, and is expressed by making automatic choices to delete, generalise, and to distort what we perceive with our senses.
The Automated Mind Editor
The automated process that deletes, distorts and generalises works in accordance with our present mental schema of what the world means to us as individuals.
We generalise to get an overview of something, we delete that which is not relevant, we distort objects and ideas to make them fit into our own narratives and mental schema. Sometimes, all of this works wonders, sometimes it creates heavy and unnecessary conflicts in a person’s mind.
We created our plan of the world through emotions of attachment, liking, disliking, and spending too much time focusing on negative narratives that we believe protect us, and many other aspects of how we perceive the world.
The five senses are powerful and create amazing permutations of perception that we don’t even notice are happening. Those combinations of perception can be good for us or they can become destructive and lodge themselves into our daily actions.
Self development is a job that requires conscious effort — there are no push button solutions to life.
We also make conscious choices with free will. This gives us the ability to make changes in everything that we encounter.
Our way of working in the world, how we deal with people and relationships, what we eat, and our moral attitudes are often the result of conscious choice.
Conscious Decisions and Lifestyle Choices
The more we grow, the more we can make intelligent choices about establishing security, friendships, and a sustainable way of living. Morality isn’t a religious thing, it’s a lifestyle choice.
The earnest side of everyday life, how we choose our friends is based on what we consider to be a meaningful way of life. We look for other people who have similar lifestyles to our own, and so we join them.
The Friends we Choose
Often, we discover that the friends that we choose turn out to be different to ourselves, or extremely different. This is because we are individuals and we have our integrity based on our own point of view — our perception of the world is based on our individual needs, first. Charity begins at home.
Self Reflection and Your B.F.
Friendships, basically, are about self-reflection. This is why conflict is a good thing in life. Yes, reflecting on others and ourselves, experiencing conflict, can teach us about giving love to others.
If you thought that your best friends should be people who agree with you all of the time, and follow you wherever you go, then you would have an extremely shallow existence.
Conflict is an Agreeable Scenario — within Limits
Conflict is disagreement, it’s standing on your own principles and beliefs — it’s keeping your mind in line with your own plan. And as James Altucher says, it about choosing yourself, not about giving in to everybody’s demands and ideas.
A Push Button World of AI could end up Deleting our Map of the World
The world we live in today has changed. We are told again and again, that algorithms and artificial intelligence are so highly developed that we can put our feet up and stop making conscious choices.
Amazon already knows which book you want to buy next, marketers claim to know which software you need for a business project, and search engines claim to be able to predict what you are looking for, they say they know about your next choice.
The mind is a mysterious phenomena. Our physical world, the environment that we make choices about, is also a mysterious place.
Our choices about books and what we search for must be based on our personal choices in life; lifestyle and integrity create outlook, our outlook on life is created by conscious decisions.
Artificial intelligence is on course to become the main object of the territory. It wants to replace conscious thinking with automated processes of lifestyle.
As time passess, we will feel compelled to reassess and build a new map of an artificial world. If we want to feel at ease with the new world, we will accept it without protest.
The negative narrative will be to accept a conflict free lifestyle offered by artificial intelligence. An offer which claims to allow us to get on with living life as we wish to.
We will feel strangely compelled to use a search engine to find out what that lifestyle is. Check mate.
When there is little conflict in our lives to cause us to think for ourselves. We will feel as if we don’t need to make choices about integrity, individuality, even our moral lifestyles will be dictated to us. Artificial intelligence is all about breaking down the will of a person and dictating ideas to them.
Many of us have limited interests about products, favourite foods, books, media types, and active ways of connecting with other people. This is how simple we want things to be, we build mental maps of a manageable world.
Artificial intelligence can build a map of your lifestyle. It uses the algorithm of your search and purchase world to make product offers that seem to fit into your personal lifestyle.
If we believe what we see happening, and allow our world view to be blocked by suggestions from artificial intelligence, then we will begin to lose the ability to make conscious choices in our lives; life will no longer be a personal experience of discovery, life will become a functional part of a larger idea that only benefits those who own the best artificial intelligence. Those who own the machine.
The ability to make personal choices, to accept the failure that wrong choices create, to enjoy the choices that create abundance in our lives, is what real life is all about.
It’s important to protect that.
To trust that our unconscious mind has evolved enough to protect us by ensuring we eat, breathe, and sleep to stay healthy gives us the unconscious and conscious choice our minds make as the basis of our freedom.
Those choices allow us to explore life, and push beyond the present map of the territory that we live with in our minds. When we explore we make mistakes, get our hands dirty while doing things, and discover the meaningfulness in our lives.
Artificial intelligence is the result of somebody asking a question that would lead to the answer they hoped for, “how do I control everything and everybody?”. It was never based on the decision to help humankind, or to save the planet or anything close to it.
If you can build a map of the territory to live your own life successfully, then that’s great. But if a small group of people build a map of the territory, and convince everybody that it’s the only map we have, then we are completely scuppered.