Monday, March 7, 2011

Or, You Could Always Use Maps

In my last post I talked about lifting the fog to get off of the ledge. I made two summarizing statements:

The fog of reason is the fog of working from bad information. The way out of this fog is critical rationalism.

The fog of faith is the fog of working from maladaptive beliefs. The way out of this fog is through evangelism.

These equate to “talking someone down from the ledge.” But there’s another option.

You could just give them a map.

I mean this both metaphorically and literally. If one has an accurate map one can navigate, even in the midst of dense fog. The thing about navigating by a map such as this is that you are at the mercy of the map maker.

Then there are brain maps. Our brain is a meticulous map maker. We make maps of where we are in relation to other things. We make maps of our own body and the movements available to us. We even make maps of the spaces that objects we hold occupy (even while driving a car!) Our brains, being obsessive cartographers that they are, constantly update our maps. This is both good and bad. It’s bad because we sometimes smudge maps that were previously well detailed and it’s good because we can redefine them relatively quickly. When on the ledge, we may be dealing with a set of smudged maps.

Our brain redefines its maps, at least in large part, through input. At least some forms of input, like various forms of manual therapy, are likely altering these brain maps and filling in the spaces. This is more like sonar, the vessel (brain) is pinging its surroundings to create a working map as it moves along. The brain is creating its own maps instead of being handed one.

So, for a person on the ledge, you could give them a map or you could help them build their own. I think you know which method I prefer.

For a great read on brain maps, I recommend the book
The Body has Mind of its Own

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