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NLP Gems – [1] “The Map is Not the Territory”

Your thinking and your physiology are closely tied together. What this means is that it is your thinking that affects how you feel at all times. Conversely your feelings affect how you think at all times. A good communicator with good sensory acuity can fine-tune their communication, by simply tuning into the way other people think or the way other people feel.
“The Map is Not the Territory”

“The important characteristics of a map should be noted. A map is not the territory it represents, but when corrected, has a similar structure, which accounts for its usefulness.” A. Korzybski  “Science & Sanity,” 4th Edition

Everything we see, hear, feel, smell and taste are our “mental” interpretations of reality – they are not reality in itself.  Thanks to TV, Radio, and Mobile phone technology there are countless radio waves coursing through and around you.  When you answer a call on your mobile phone, you speak to and hear from only one person (or group – if you are on a conference call),  you do not see hundreds TV programs appear in front of you.  You don’t hear what’s happening on the FM radio channels or all the other calls that are in progress at the same time.  Your mobile phone is not designed to simultaneously transmit to and receive from all the other frequencies and broadcasts that are taking place during your call.

Most human beings possess basic devices to receive our experience frequencies and stimuli.  This apparatus reads and senses incoming information which is passed onto our brain and neurological system which converts this information into something we can make sense of, understand and experience, and respond to.

Everything you experience as seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling or feeling is translated by your brain in response to real external impulses and stimuli.  Reality certainly does exist out there – it’s simply that we never get to interact and experience it first hand.


Our neurology translates all our interaction with reality, into something that we learn to understand.   Our brain defines a type of virtual reality for us – by providing maps and menus of choices.  Just like a map of your country – this map is not the country – it allows you to imagine where you are in relation to other places.

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