do we need a map?

The map is not the territory. If you have the territory, why would you need a map? A map presupposes a destination, an endpoint to obtain, a goal. If I sent you an email that read, “Meet me in Wales next Thursday at 10:02am as a matter of urgency. By the way, after I send this message, you won’t be able to contact me further.”

If you know where Wales is, you could make a start but the chances are you wouldn’t find me next Thursday. In fact, it would probably take you a lifetime to find me there without more specific information.

If I said meet me at the very top of Snowdon at 10:02 next Thursday, you would be able to find me if 1) you have an accurate map of Snowdon in your mind, i.e. you have been there many times before and have an accurate memory of the territory, or 2) you have the necessary physical maps you would need to get you to the top of Snowdon from where ever you are right now, or 3) you know someone who knows how to get to Snowdon or could ask someone who knows.

The ‘map’ is a guide to the territory. If you don’t have any particular place to get to within the territory, do you need a map? Any direction you choose is as good as any other. As the Cheshire Cat famously illustrated when Alice asked the question: “Would you tell me please which way I ought to go form here?”

“That depends a great deal on where you want to get to,” replied the Cheshire Cat.

“I don’t much care where,” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

I have been looking for maps to help guide me through my life. Which presupposes I have somewhere to get to. If that’s the case, where do I want to go? Isn’t BEING here enough?

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