Being considered a professional is important. But most of us are 'old' professionals, not old in age, but old in thinking style and approach to living. Old professionals separate science and spirit and think in terms of either/or - 'you're either for me, or against me.' New professionals connect science and spirit and think in both/and terms. Please read: The New Professionalism: Connecting Science and Spirit, available at www.WisdomAtWorkUSA.com.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
The Map Is Not the Territory
The map is not the territory, Alfred Korzybski wrote in
1922. We know this, but forget. The words--the maps we use are not the same as
the feelings, facts and phenomena we want them to represent. As I wrote
yesterday, words are but symbols of symbols, maps that are only rough
approximations of the territory we want them to represent. We know this. Yet we
still act as if the map is the
territory, that our words are accurate descriptors.
We also know that meanings are in people, that the thing you
see when you see the word ‘table’ is probably not the thing I see when I hear
the word table. These two phenomena: the map is not the territory and meanings
are in people, create a lot of our human conflicts, ineffectiveness and
inefficiencies.If we could stay aware
of these two phenomena, be more careful and precise with our choice of words,
then we would have less conflict, and be more effective and efficient.
One way to do this is to treat our beliefs and words as
theories and hypotheses the way scientists understand theories and hypotheses as
“more or less informed assumptions or inferences we make about what’s going on”
both within and outside us, not as facts, not as Truth, but merely our
perceptions and ideas about Truth, perceptions and ideas colored by our biases
– cultural, religious, political and familial. “You are never upset for the
reason you think,” The Course says.
Accepting our beliefs and words as theories and hypotheses
about what’s going on internally and externally, means we are more open to
corrections, more prepared to make adjustments in the light of new information.
We are not as devastated and disappointed when our plans and expectations are
not met.When our theories and
hypotheses are not confirmed we can build new ones more aligned with what’s
really going on internally and externally. Accepting our beliefs and words as
theories and hypotheses means we don’t always have to be right and can avoid
the stress of always having to be right. We can allow life and love to flow
thru us as they will, showing us wonders our limited thinking denied and kept
from us. We can be expansive, creative and innovative, and experience much less
fear, lack and limitation.