We only make maps

We only make maps

If the Territory is infinite, and it is events and processes of matter/energy then it therefore means that it can only be experienced directly via the senses and this experience is non-symbolic. Symbols are attributed to that experience as we attempt to understand what happened to us.

Maps are metaphorically symbols, relationships of symbols and systems of symbols.

All maps are finite, static and linear.

The Territory is infinite, dynamic, non-linear, multi-layered and multidimensional.

Therefore any map we make is, as Korzybski noted, cannot be the Territory. We can eat the non-symbolic thing we call an apple, we cannot eat the symbol that is denoted by the word ‘apple’.

Therefore all our maps, our theories and descriptions of the events and processes of reality that I call the Territory are not equivalent. Maps, at best, point toward aspects of the Territory.

Many of the great thinkers do not understand this.

They, these great thinkers, write as if they are directly describing the working of the Territory. However their maps are not the Territory. At best they point toward the Territory and if they are valid and useful they can be verified and help us to find our way.

This error of believing that they are directly describing the Territory is a common one.

Their maps are always incomplete and by their finite nature leave many things out.

Yet the great minds have the hubris to think that their maps are the Territory.

Aristotle, Plato, Plotinus, Kant, Hegel, Whitehead, to name a few of the great mapmakers, all think that what they are describing is true, is accurate, is complete description of the workings of the Territory.

This is not the case.

They are only making their own map and working within a map of their own creation. They are only describing their own creation and not the reality of the working of the Territory.

At best, their maps might be verifiable. The maps of Newton and Einstein have been shown to be verifiable; whereas almost all of the map making of Aristotle, Plato, Plotinus, Kant, Hegel, and Whitehead are non-verifiable.

If a map is not directly verifiable then it is just a mental creation of the mapmaker’s own crafting and it describes nothing but the internal world of their own creation.