You may have heard the expression: "the map is not the territory." Have you ever thought about how this idea may help you reach your loved ones stuck in a cult?
The phrase has been attributed to Polish-American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski. It first appeared in print in a paper that Korzybski gave at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1931.
The expression, although somewhat self-explanatory, is meant to illustrate his view that "an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself." Take a minute and think about what that implies. Think about what it really means.
Korzybski held that many people do confuse "maps with territories;" that is, they confuse models of reality with reality itself.
This is a good description of JW beliefs. Over and over again they are indoctrinated with a set of beliefs to the point that they come to accept them as real. This is further reinforced with scriptures that talk about "realities though not beheld" and the "reality" of "things unseen."
For those of us that were once believers, we can certainly relate to the truth of this. We also know first-hand how frustratingly difficult it can be to get our family and friends still-in to wake up and see the inconsistencies, contradictions, corruption and outright lies of the WTBTS.
A lot of this has to do with the way their belief system has been carefully constructed over time. Part of this is that JW's are trained to only see things from a very particular point of view. Not too surprisingly this is the WTBTS's point of view.
In his recent book, our own JWN member and soon-to-be celebrated author, OTWO used the analogy of anamorphosis to explain the way JW's look at the world and perceive things. They are trained to see everything from only a certain perspective; and when they do, everything makes sense according to that particular perspective: The JW paradigm.
Here's a pretty mind blowing video that illustrates how completely deceiving things can be when viewed from only a single perspective, a perspective that is not coincidentally pre-determined and completely controlled by the one presenting the illusion.
In the case of JW's, the map IS the territory.
This got me thinking. Instead of trying to reach our loved ones with a direct assault on their beliefs, perhaps there is a better way. In fact, the direct approach almost never works because their defenses automatically go up.
Instead, what if, bit by bit, we could encourage them to consider things from a slightly different perspective, to get them to look at reality from a different point of view? If we could do that, then they would begin to see what a flat illusion JW "theology" really is. Once they see it for themselves we wouldn't have to explain anything to them.
The illusion would be blown!
The trick would be revealed, the fraud exposed.
Your comments are welcome.
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[Note: I recently broached this subject on another thread, but it got surprisingly little notice. So I thought I'd try posting it again with a different title focusing on my PURPOSE rather than merely the SUBJECT matter.]