We live in the map not the world

Written by Clare Dimond

January 8, 2013

Neurolinguistic programming distinguishes between the ‘map’ and the ‘territory’. The map is the representation of the world that we have in our minds. The map is our reality but it is not the ‘territory’, which is the vast flux of space and atoms that make up the world., the universe and beyond. We live our lives through this map, our own version of reality.

The important thing to constantly remember is that it is just a map, our own creation which we have the power to change and evolve into the way that will best serve ourselves and other people.

And here lies the fundamental freedom.

Our reality is in essence created – what we think, what we belief, what we experience and the meaning we give it is within our control. The meaning we derive from an experience can be influenced by our beliefs, culture and can be a toxic trap if it then has a negative impact on our lives. What we notice, what we care about – these all create the reality of our experience.

And there are a lot of people out there, spending an awful lot of money and putting in a great deal of effort to try to change this map, our view of reality. As we go about our lives we are constantly exposed to companies, groups and individuals who are actively trying to influence our behaviour and the way to do this is through our thoughts and emotional reactions. The messages we see everywhere are often related to something we lack that we can gain through a purchase ie. ‘You are not enough right now. You need to buy this.’ The important thing to constantly remember that this map is our own property which we have the power to change and evolve into the way that will best serve ourselves and other people.

Start to create a conscious reality in your mind. Start to look at what generalisations you are absorbing (eg. about ‘men’, ‘women’) and the individuality that this is disguising. Look at what the media is distorting (eg. ‘you have to look / live / act like this’) and how it is possible to have the opposite view. What are you not noticing?

Expand your awareness.

As we identify what we don’t know, we identify unchartered areas for future exploration. As we start finding the answers to what we didn’t know, our map comes closer to the actual world around us. The bigger the picture, the more we see, the more choices we have, the richer our existence.

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