Tag Archives: understanding

The Map of the Universe in Your Head


So, you get born, born as in popping out of your mommie’s tummy. Your little earsies hear some noise, your whole little body is wet and cold, and, if you were born long enough ago, your little butt hurts and you’re dizzy, because some one has dangled you by your feet and smacked your little bottom.

But what is your eensie, teensie, but rapidly growing and developing brain doing, the brain in which your mind is hiding? Why it’s busily trying to assemble all this noise and wet and cold and aching little butt into a map of the universe.

Look in your head. Now. Do it. Don’t pick up a hammer or a drill, use your mind’s eye, use your sense of self, the ability to focus your attention outwardly through your senses, or inwardly on your mind. Look in. What is going on in there? Probably too much at one time, but look, down under that, there’s map!

It’s a map in the sense that, while you grew up, as you had all that sensory input, all those experiences you have had, have been assembled into a map of those experiences. You usually don’t think of it that way, but you have linked all that sensory data into mass of memory, with connecting bridges, overpasses, underpasses, cloverleaves, sidewalks, escalators, stairways, hallways, and short cuts, all to make a coherent map of your world.

And it’s not a 3-D map, it’s fully four dimensional! The past is known and the future is under construction, but you’ve started working out that future road in your imagination, haven’t you?

And what was the way you made the map, starting right from that wee baby brain? You did it, usually unconsciously, by hypothesis. You still do it. Your mind groups the data, makes an assumption, tests the assumption, and you get your little fingers burnt when you assume that the pretty light is so pretty it can’t hurt you, and you stick your hand in the fire. A few years later, you stick it in the light socket to see what makes the lamp turn on. Your hypothesis has been tested. You either revise the hypothesis, test it, and redraw that part of the map, or mama finds you toasted to a crisp when you stick your whole arm in the fire, or finds you lying on the floor needing a defibrillator for your little heart.

This is the basis of science. You just have to start consciously testing and improving that map in your head, and presto change-o, you’re a scientist!

This is assuming, of course, that you weren’t born with your head up your ass. If that is the case, your map will be quite small and provincial, and very self centered. Observing almost any politician will prove my point.


First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:

Sasquatch responsible for headless corpses in Canada – SLP4-23