The Map is not the Territory
Alfred Korzybski, founder of general semantics. Korzybski’s law of individuality states that,
“No two persons, situations or stages of processes are the same in detail”.
All of our experiences are subjective, which means they are personalised. In other words you have attributed meaning to past and present experiences. Most of us enjoy meeting with friends and celebrating birthdays, weddings or passing exams. However, these experiences are not everyone. For some people birthdays can mean “I will have to meet people and make conversation”. Being invited to a wedding, on the other hand, may invoke bad feelings because of divorce or a failing relationship. These are just two examples that could limit the enjoyment of life. So you can begin to see how making new decisions can be difficult for some people. Use of NLP techniques can alter feelings and decisions to help provide more fulfilling life. Why would anybody want to go to a birthday party or a wedding when the thought of being there will make them feel bad? This is a typical situation where NLP can assist. Such situations have created a map of response, but remember ” The Map Is Not The Territory”. It is a map and maps can always be changed. Harrow, Pinner, Ruislip and Northolt have changed in many ways during the last 25 years. New roads and new buildings giving rise to new maps.
Your maps can never be the real thing, nor can they be completely accurate. When we think of a memory it is fluid and changing. Sometimes a particular memory may seem funnier or sadder. This is because of how we are feeling and what is happening around us at that moment: when you’re having fun it’s rare that you start thinking of something sad.
A few weeks ago I, was having a meal in Harrow and asked my friends what was their first bike?
That sentence started a 2 hour conversation down memory lane. I could see the enjoyment on their faces as they spoke about what it was like to have their first bike: the freedom it gave them with the wind whistling through their hair; the bright and sunny blue-sky days with the smell of cut grass in the air, and how they were only allowed to ride around certain parts of the locality until they became older. Those maps of fun, freedom, smells and feelings were just waiting to be fired up again. What fired them off?
The answer is language. Language and its words are a map of communication. When you say particular words or sentences to yourself, your nervous system (itself a map) recalls what those words mean to you (subjective) and begins to trigger pictures or movies, feelings, smells and tastes in the mind.