Maps as statistics, truth, refuge, temporary guide etc.

 

t-o_mappa_mundi

Some 101 stuff about maps…..

What we call truth in any story or map comes from how it works as a practical guide for attention, exploration or action. If it works well and it fits with our individual or shared stories about how the world works in general, we call it true. But there is no truth inherent in any story or map.

Stories and maps are tools. Practical guides for attention, exploration and action. There is no more “truth” in them than in any other tool such as a hammer or saw.

Any story or map works only within a particular context, worldview, time, place, mindset etc. It does not neccesarily work outside of that, especially if the context is quite different.

If the map is based on statistics, as most maps are whether they come from tradition or modern research, they work at group levels. If there is variation within the group, they may say omething about distributions within groups, but they cannot easily be used to predict at an individual level.

Maps can serve as a refuge by taking them as true. We find temporary refuge in them from fear and the recognition that we don’t know.

Maps are stories, and any story is a map and potential guide for us. They may be elaborate or simple, shared or individual, peripheral or basic, glorious or mundane, noticed or not, but they are still stories and maps.

Maps are questions about the world. What happens when I take it as true? What happens when I take it as a temporary guide only? What are the truths in its reversals? When and how is it helpful as a guide? Can it be refined to be more helpful as a guide?

God (life, existence) is not bound by any story or map. We may take a story or map as true, experience and act as if it is true, and life may conform to the extent possible. Yet God is not bound by any of our stories, whether we take them as true or not.

All of this is easy to get at the level of maps and stories, and for most of us is something we are very familiar with from culture and education. Yet, it comes alive as it is explored – over and over – in our own life, and especially in exploring the stories we at first may not even recognize as stories, including any shoulds and the stories of me and a separate I. (As a doer, observer etc.)

…………………

Initial outline…

  • Maps as statistics, truth etc.
    • maps as truth
      • works as practical guide = the truth in any story or map
      • works only w/in a particular context, worldview, time, place, mindset (not outside of that, especially if the context is very different)
    • maps as statistics
      • based on groups, if any variability at all w/in group, cannot be used to predict at individual level
    • maps as refuge
      • take refuge in maps so feel more safe (escape fear, don’t know)
      • experience + act as if true, so become true to the extent possible
    • maps as temporary guide
      • practical and temporary guide only, helpful in some situations/circumstances and no other
    • stories as maps
      • any story is a map, even the most mundane ones
    • god not bound by any story or map

Maps are stories, and any story is a map and potential guide for us. They can be elaborate as in modern science. They may be shared by most or all within a culture. They may be peripheral. They may be basic, such as the map of a me or separate I. They may be apparently mundane, such as “the mailman should be here at 2pm”. But they are still stories and maps.

Maps can serve as temporary guides for attention, exploration and action, helpful in some situations and less so in other.

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