Maps: A Symbolic Representation – Mental Overlay On Reality
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4 min read

Maps: A Symbolic Representation – Mental Overlay On Reality

One of the more dramatic ways to see the effect of the mind upon our perception of reality is with our knowledge and understanding of the earth itself.
Maps: A Symbolic Representation – Mental Overlay On Reality

Now after our trips into space, viewed from space we have a familiar image of Earth’s topography. But the human mind does not stop there; to understand reality “better” we have divided the globe into lines of latitude and longitude, enabling us to better navigate its surface. But of course actual “lines” of latitude and longitude do not exist in “reality” –just in our mental overlay onto the reality of what exists within our perception of nature. Similarly the “borders” that we have superimposed onto the planet to divide us into nations and states do not actually exist; in fact recently it was discovered that some villagers in Asia seemed to believe that they were sometimes in India, and at other times in Pakistan –but of course they have never moved. More significantly NONE of the representations of the world above bear any real relationship to its reality because the surface of the earth is CURVED – it is a sphere. It was not until the Mercator projections that were conceived in the 19th century that we were more accurately representing the curved reality of the earth on a flat surface. So what can we make of this tendency to understand our world symbolically – and to “overlay” patterns onto what exists to try to make sense of it? For one thing this creates an inevitable separation of us from reality which has been abetted by technology. I am reminded of a story from a friend who lives in Malibu with a picture window overlooking the Pacific who invited a young boy to his home who had never seen the ocean. The young boy sat on his couch looking at the small screen of a video game instead of the magnificent scene before him. But of course it is the very ability of our minds to symbolically represent nature in clearer and clearer terms that has enabled us to survive and to thrive. This kind of overlay, and extrapolation into technological achievement has made “progress” possible –and it has made existence much more comfortable for many of us. But we no longer recognize the reality of the symbolic nature of our thought as an abstraction.

The lines on our “inner globe” of latitude and longitude, right and wrong, and so on are so strongly conditioned within us that we can no longer differentiate what is “real” from what is “overlaid.” Take a sensation in our body. We have watched lots of TV and have listened to our relatives and now believe “this should not be happening” – something is “wrong.” This thought triggers a fear which can only be allayed by a trip to the doctor, who looks into a screen and confirms that what we feel isn’t “anything.” Taking our borders into account, we watch a program on TV and decide this is “good” or this is “bad.” We are oblivious to the fact that it is the belief in these fictional borders that has determined our perspective –through conditioning. But is all of this kind of overlay or thought inevitably harmful? Many traditions including the Jewish Kabbala and the Greek philosophers like Plato believed that it was the very discovery or recognition of these “symbolic” forms that made us human and elevated our being beyond the beasts. For example, we recognize rhythm and beauty in sound, and create a harmonious musical pattern. From this we can discern the beautiful perfection of number, made famous by Pythagoras in the famous theorem of the right triangle and how no matter the lengths of the sides, the sum of the squares of the height and width will ALWAYS equal the sum of the square of the longest edge, the hypotenuse. Mentally, within space/time, it is impossible to conceive of a right triangle in which this is not the case. Symbolically, this is perfection within mind. After all in nature, there is really no such thing as a perfect right triangle, is there? But nature seems to unfold according to such symbolic perfection. We have the “golden mean” – the Fibonacci sequence of the progression of numbers where each is the sum of the previous two, represented in Renaissance art and also in nature.

These ancient and sometimes “primitive” traditions may suggest that our technology is late to the party, and that reality is the manifestation or unfolding of a greater mind – a higher level of infinite perfection. I believe this was the encoded message of the Great Pyramid, which represents the known perfection of the Pi and Phi (Fibonacci sequence) relationships in its structure. I also believe that this can be felt by noting the symbolic perfection of DNA, which instructs our bodies in the same way that our encoded software instructs our computers – through mathematical precision and perfection.

The points directly to the primacy of a more subtle, and finer reality beyond the material –of a mental realm which our brains “tune in to” when they are clear and sharp, and can habitually hypnotize us into seeing separation and borders where they don’t exist when our minds are muddled and conditioned. It is quiet and meditation that allows us to sense this perfection beyond the chattering of our minds which seek to impose their conditioned lines of longitude and latitude, right and wrong, and dualistic separation upon the world. In our silence we can sense the being of in and out as we breathe in one complete cycle, and watch our conditioned thoughts float by. From this deep, inner perspective, we can open our eyes and begin to see the world as it is – complete, whole and perfect, as a manifestation of a Mind far greater than our own. (Note: To get a glimpse of how the ancient Egyptians may have conceived of reality according to a “sacred science” that incorporates a sense of reality as it organically unfolds according to such perfect mathematical law within an artistic and architectural form he termed “le symbolique” I recommend the work of R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, a virtually unknown and esoteric Egyptologist and his book, Sacred Science: The King of Pharaonic Theocracy — which I intend to review in the near future). .

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