Your Map Of Reality

Discussion in 'Learn How You Can Benefit From Project Meditation!' started by Michael Mackenzie, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. Michael Mackenzie

    Michael Mackenzie Owner

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    Reality is merely an illusion,
    albeit a very persistent one.

    - ALBERT EINSTEIN


    We all unconsciously create our own "Individual map of reality" and although it is very real to us it is not in fact reality, only the reality that we perceive ourselves and it to be.


    Maps Of Reality

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    The brain operates by providing an environment where sequences of activity become recognized as patterns. If the brain were not a pattern making system, we would be unable to read or write. It would take so much time to work out many of the things we automatically do on a daily basis: e.g. which item of clothing to put on first each morning. The brain records everything we ever experience, creating patterns very easily and it can then recognize them instantaneously. This is how belief systems are created.

    As Edward de Bono stated “A belief is a perceptual framework which leads us to see the world in a way that reinforces that framework. The circularity is a very natural function of a self-organizing patterning system, so beliefs are very easy to form. In a sense “belief” is the truth of a perceptual system. When you burn your finger at a fire only once in a lifetime, you are operating a belief system. Your fear of fire is not built up by induction based on repeated experience. Your initial trauma creates a belief that prevents you from ever contradicting that belief, so the circularity is established.”

    Dr. Edward de Bono
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    When we are young we create our map of reality to feel safe. Children from every family have to a degree, a lack of safety.

    Imagine a child who is in an unhappy family situation from which he cannot escape. In order to feel safe he may decide "If I hide, I'll be safe and I won’t get into trouble." At that point in his life this may well be a helpful map of reality to him. However if he continues to use it when he grows up that same map of reality could be extremely debilitating in his life.

    If you accept that “the map is not the territory”, then you’ll realize that your beliefs do not always reflect reality correctly.

    The following story I was told some years ago will help you to understand more clearly.

    A young newly married couple, Susan and John were preparing together a dinner party for family and friends. John was preparing an assortment of vegetables while Susan was preparing a delicious ham.

    As Susan cut off both ends of the ham and through them in the bin, John asked her why she did this because he thought it was a shame to waste so much good meat.

    Susan told John that her mother taught her to cook it that way and it always tasted delicious. John was experienced at cooking and couldn’t understand how cutting the ends off the ham could make it taste better and so when Susan’s mom arrived he asked her the same question. Susan’s mom replied
    "I really don't know, I've never thought about it. -- my mother always cooked it that way and it always tastes delicious.”

    All the guests were seated and the table was filled with an assortment of delicious food. The evening was a great success and everyone commented on how delicious the ham was. John was seated next to Susan’s grandmother and couldn’t resist asking the question – “Martha, why does cutting the ends of the ham off make it cook better?”

    The old lady answered, "Oh it doesn’t John.”

    A little puzzled he asked “then why did you always cut them off?”

    Martha answered, "I always trimmed the ends off the ham so it would fit into my oven tray!" :)

    And so it is with so many of our beliefs.

    We go through life believing and doing so many things that seem right to us, but in fact they are not right at all, yet we will stick to our own reality come what may.

    When we realize how we can change and improve our map of reality through meditation, we can improve the quality of our lives, our experiences, our relationships, our wellbeing and our success.

    By Michael Mackenzie :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2007

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