“A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.” — Alfred Korzybski
That above quote from Alfred Korzybski is one of my all-time favorites. And it carries all the punch of a profound spiritual metaphor if you meditate on the notion, and let it sink in deep. Beyond your mind’s intellectual understanding of it, and into your soul’s realization of that truth.
It’s been my experience that navigating this map / territory relationship is where most fitness trainees and soul-centered entrepreneurs run smack into brick walls. That is to say, unless they can cross this rubicon of understanding — that of not expecting the map to be the reality of what is — then any further progress will stagnate. It can be no other way.
Trainees want exact workouts, down to the sets, reps and precise loading / periodization schemes. Entrepreneurs expect that by mimicking the successful, they too can realize success. This is only natural; it’s how we learned as children. And paint-by-numbers does work for a short while. But to the extent it does work is simply the leap from doing something rather than nothing.
The fundamental trade-off between the accuracy and usefulness of a map, particularly in the context of modeling, is known as Bonini’s paradox. An idea that has been stated in various forms, but none more poetically so than by Paul Valéry: “Everything simple is false. Everything which is complex is unusable.”
But wait: wasn’t it Einstein who said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”? Yes. And he was speaking specifically of the map. As was Bruce Lee, when he made similar statements. For they understood even the most plain of “landscapes” to be, in reality, bewilderingly complex.
Understanding this concept is to then understand why spiritual metaphor is so powerful. And why you can only truly know a thing, by knowing it at a soul level.
Because the thing is this: you are the confluence and amalgamation of countless and ever flowing pinpoints of epigenetic input merging with an inconceivably complex dynamic of physical, emotional, mental … and yes, even spiritual … set of traits (i.e., “givens”). The reality you experience, and your reaction to that reality, is wholly unique.
This is why I am so adamant that trainees quickly move beyond workout schemes and templates, and adopt the Five Ts model of self discovery and ongoing correction.
And why on the entrepreneurial front, I’ve partnered with the best-in-the business to create three paths, as it were, to mastering that all-important — and potentially world-changing — life dharma:
Health Entrepreneurs f(x) — a step beyond the traditional business mastermind. This event is structure to delve deeper into the psychology and philosophy of soul-centered entrepreneurship. A gathering of “master cartographers” to help you create a personalized map of the entrepreneurial terrain.
Evolved Entrepreneur f(x) — longer and more intense. We’re creating maps, yes — but also teaching pinpointed navigational skills. More instruction in approach, than mastermind.
Soulpreneur f(x) — my contention is that to truly know a thing, you have to know it at the soul level. Maps can only get you so far. They might even serve to establish for you a rock solid bottom line. And for most entrepreneurs, that *is* the marker of success. No moral judgements here; and in fact this is why we created Health Entrepreneurs f(x) and Evolved Entrepreneur f(x). Because just as a human being cannot fully express his or her full potential without being first vibrant and healthy, so it is with entrepreneurs and their financial health and vibrancy.
But for others like myself, though, the bottom line is just a means to an end. With the end being nothing less than changing the world via the mighty tool of capitalism.
Another story for another time, but we’ve been conditioned to believe that for capitalism to work, it has to be played as a zero-sum game. Winners and losers; the ninety-niners… and the 1%. This is simply not the case. But it’s nearly impossible to molt such heavy cultural conditioning and societal imprinting. And this is where infusing plant medicine work into the mix can help.
For more on that idea, check out the following:
- Iglesia Del Despertar podcast with host, Kevin Johnson (owner/CEO of Zero Gravity Institute): Soulpreneur f(x) discussion: https://soundcloud.com/iglesiadeldespertar/id07-norris-soulpreneur-audio
- My interview with Ryan Estes, of Talk Launch: http://www.talklaunch.net/6732/keith-norris-soulpreneur/
- Ryan Estes interviews shaman Zach Poitra, of Iglesia Del Despertar: http://www.talklaunch.net/6668/zach-ayahuasca-retreat/
Heal thyself, harden thyself, change the world –