Ingo Swann (16Nov98)
The concept of maps of the mind has considerable importance regarding not only to the superpower faculties per se, but with regard to any efforts to activate them via any kind of teaching-learning efforts.
The basic reason for this importance is that when new information is in-taken by an individual, it is not only taken into a mind, but into a mind that is already structured or formatted in some kind of way.
In this sense, the new information will be processed in ways that accord with the formatting. In large part, the in-taken information will at first be processed with regard to whether it is compatible or incompatible with the formatting.
With what often amounts to diligent effort, maps can be made regarding the major elements that characterize the formatting.
As discussed elsewhere in this Site, the general concept of teaching-learning involves in-take of information, guidance by tutors and teachers and, where appropriate, the undertaking of drills, tests, and practice sessions.
In certain areas of interest, this concept has yielded wonders that shouldnt be denied. This concept also has an advantage in that the topics and subjects to be in-taken (learned) can be organized in step-by-step ways, and progressively linearized from "simple-easy" to "more complex-involved."
Additionally, this concept expects and predicts the eventual appearance of states of "proficiency" regarding what was in-taken.
This concept has achieved such overwhelming success that it has become, in the modernist cultural environments of the West, the dominant concept regarding teaching-learning.
Hence, when most think of teaching-learning, it is this concept that they are probably referring to, and it is this concept that is probably integrated into their mind-maps.
However, an examination of this concept as it has evolved over time shows that best results are achieved with regard to in-taking, in rote-learning ways, information about tangible, concrete thingsor with regard to various activities that can be confirmed as existing by virtue of abundant evidence that they DO exist.
This concept does not have many high success turn-outs regarding human phenomena that can loosely be grouped under the general heading of intangible "mental processes."
As an example of some of the distinctions involved, individuals can learn to play chess because they can rote-learn the rules and general concepts of that game. After that, however, the game of chess further involves or incorporates the mental processing capacities of each individual player.
The rules of chess, and teaching-learning them, do not distinguish among individuals. But clearly the mental processing capacities doand it is most certainly the latter that establishes the qualitative differences between average and achieved chess players.
Without going too deeply into it, it can be said that our species innately possesses at least two general categories of teaching-learning mechanisms or systems.
One of these two categories, as already described, refers principally and specifically to teaching-learning regarding outer, concrete phenomena and activities related to those in some way.
However, it can easily be confirmed that our species also innately carries a vast panorama of phenomenological activity that is exclusively "mental" in nature, and which activity does not refer principally or at all to outer concrete phenomena.
With regard to the strategic differences between these two general teaching-learning perspectives, it is useful to consider that the first primarily involves in-take of information that establishes and broadens tangible and cognitive contact with outer concrete phenomena.
The second category, however, primarily involves our species systems of awarenesswith the important proviso that those systems in their first instance might not be determined by any given relationship to outer concrete phenomena.
From this it would follow that teaching-learning regarding the first category is dependent on direct relationships to outer concrete phenomenabut that teaching-learning regarding the second category is not.
If this would be the case, then it would transpire that efforts to utilize the teach-learning patterns that so exquisitely benefit the first general category might be inefficient and non-productive regarding the second category, this to some larger degree at least.
As but one example here, information regarding outer concrete phenomena can be itemized and organized in perfectly logical waysbecause the outer phenomena are tangible and visible.
If "mental processes" were likewise tangible and visible, then they could be charted and organized in some kind of similar wayand the rote learning so efficient with regard to outer phenomena could likewise be honed to efficiency with regard to "mental processes."
But there is a central problem encountered in this regard. Outer phenomena more or less stay the same, and so they can be efficiently generalized and incorporated into step-by-step teaching-learning undertakings.
Regarding "mental processes," however, while these might be generalized to some degree, the generalizing comes quickly to an abrupt end in that the state and condition of each individuals "mental processes" is differentand, in certain respects, never stays quite the same on a moment-to-moment basis.
If we seize upon the concept of MAPS OF THE MIND, then it is useful to consider that the mind-maps of individuals are different in very many respects.
The meaning of this is quite clear. Any in-take of information, no matter what it consists of, must, at the individual, fall into an individual mind-map within which the individuals "mental processes" are organized in ways both special and peculiar to the individual.
At least two extraordinary difficulties can thus be encountered with regard to the second general category of teaching-learning:
- In this category, there are no outer concrete phenomena that fundamentally stabilize the teaching-learning process.
- In the absence of this stabilizing factor, what happens AFTER information is in-taken into the individuals "mental processes" can become something of a mystery, even to the individual involved.
The major point of having briefly outlined all of the above is that the situation regarding mind-maps in general, and INDIVIDUAL mind-maps in particular, has something to do with if-when-how any of the superpower faculties might actually become activated. And something quite like this is the case no matter what kinds of information are in-taken.
This is to say that general concepts regarding the superpowers can be taught to groups of students. But unless the exquisitely important factor of their individual mind-maps is taken into active consideration by BOTH the teacher and the student, then it is NOT possible to predict profitable out-comes.
It now must be observed that the modernist West is deplorably deficient (1) of teaching-learning concepts regarding not only the second general category as described above, but (2) with regard to any teaching method in which the recipient individual MUST be considered as a principal factoreven as THE principal factor.
For clarity here, in the modern West the information to be learned is almost always considered THE principal factor, with the teacher as the second factor, and the individuality of the student sometimes having no status at all.
Indeed, the modern version of education is actually based upon the concept of mass education for the millionswith the real, but politically concealed expectation that only some of the millions will benefit enough in order to be suitably fitted into the societal structure.
Within the contexts of mass or even group education, then, it cannot really be said that the either the individual learner, or individual mind-maps, have any significant place of importance, and certainly not as THE principal factor.
There seems to be only one kind of teaching-learning method that places the individual in THE principal position. This is the ancient Guru-Chela set-up as found in the East, in some parts of pre-colonial Africa, and elsewhere.
This set-up has sometimes been adapted to group activity, but its essential essence and success factors are based on a one-to-one relationship between a guru and a given chela.
In this instance, the guru is not exactly a teacher, as so commonly mistranslated into Western terms, nor is the chela actually a student.
Within the classical Eastern concept, the guru is thought of not only as a possessor of experience and knowledge, but of wisdom and expanded states of awareness-mental functioning.
There is an important proviso with regard to the abovethat the guru also possesses activated or "awakened" faculties which the chela also possesses but in a non-active or unawakened condition.
The chief function of the guru is not merely to deliver information to the chela, but in the first instance the guru must "psych out" the existing mind-map of the chelaso as to perceive which of the chelas faculties need awakening, and so as to portion out information that will directly stimulate the awakening.
Thus, there is a distinction here between the in-take and accumulation of knowledge on the one hand, and stimulating awakenings on the other.
It is understood that unless the information in-take is designed by the guru precisely in the light of the chelas mind-map, then the chela might appreciate the information intellectually, but the awakenings of the latent faculties might not occur.
The chief function of the chela is not merely to be and remain a passive in-taker of information, but to "psych into" the mind-map of the guru.
This is NOT a teacher-follower relationship. Rather, the expectation is that at some point the chela and the guru mental processes, mind-maps and awakened faculties will become equivalent, and that in the end the chela will surpass the attainments of the guru.
In the cultural East, this kind of situation is sometimes referred to as the on-going, unfolding path of awakening, attainment, and enlightenment. In the pure sense of it, the situation is bastardized by transliterating it into the Western concept of teacher-student.
Although the guru might simultaneously have several or many chelas, the guru cannot exclusively tutor them in a collective fashion, but must work on a one-to-one basis with the mind-maps of each.
Something akin to this guru-chela relationship is found in the West, but usually only with regard to the arts, especially the performing arts, where a highly achieved individual (Master) will accept to tutor up-coming talent on a one-on-one basis.
MAPS OF THE MIND
Based on all of the foregoing, it can hypothetically be said that anyone wanting to activate any superpower faculties has not only to consider information to be in-taken in this regard, but what the information is in-taken into.
Here is the all-time greatest omission of knowledge with regard to understanding the nature of the superpowers, and with regard to the mind-maps of individuals.
In a certain sense, it is probable that almost everyone can think of information as seeds. But few ever consider the condition or state of what the seeds must fall into.
In what follows, we can hypothetically think of information as seeds which fall into a rather large assortment and variety of mind-maps of given individuals.
Any approach to what is henceforth involved absolutely requires some sort of orientation concerning the nature of mind-maps.
The concept of maps of the mind is a rather recent one in modernist terms. One of the reasons for this is that modernist mainstream mind-sets unilaterally favored the philosophy and science of materialismwhich held that everything, including the mind, had a physical basis.
Accordingly, since the brain was a tangible, concrete affair, efforts were directed to mapping the brainNOT the mindsince it was assumed that mapping the brain would provide ALL answers as to what mind consisted of.
As mapping of the brain proceed up through the 1950s and 1960s, some few leading brain researchers began speculating that the mind was not going to be found in the brain. THIS development, or slight glitch, within brain research was soon smoothed over so as to keep brain mapping uniform with expectation that the brain and mind were the same thing.
None the less, some few got the idea of trying to map the mind, an entirely complex and horrible undertaking to be sure.
In 1981 and 1983 respectively, two important books came out, and the remainder essay is principally a review of them. The topic of mind-maps will also be elaborated in other essays forthcoming.
The contents of those two books, when combined are capable of reorienting not only everyones mind maps, but a rather large variety of awareness margins and perceptions.
Thus, both books are important for at least two reasons.
The first is that the individual can grok, probably for the first time ever, the bigger picture regarding maps of the mindthis, of course, only for it is worth to each individual.
The second reason is that everyones particular mind-map is quite likely an alive, and quite dynamic thing-in-itself, and continues "working" even when one is asleep or unconscious. As such it actually likes to in-take information that pertains to itself, such in-take being something like a thrilling experience.
However that may be, the two books are important because IF an organized training school for the superpowers was ever undertaken, both of the books would be required in the superpowers course 101.
The first book mentioned above is MAPS OF THE MIND: CHARTS AND CONCEPTS OF THE MIND AND ITS LABYRINTHS (1981) by Charles Hampden-Turner.
The blurb on the books back cover reads: "In a ground breaking work of scholarship, Charles Hampden-Turner presents the first comprehensive attempt to collect, describe, and draw in map form the most important concepts of the human mind put forth by the worlds greatest writers, painters, philosophers, and psychologists."
The second mentioned book is FRAMES OF MIND: THE THEORY OF MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES (1983) by Howard Gardner, in which the author theorizes that the mind contains a series of different kinds of intelligences. We will consider this book first, and then move on to Hampden-Turners impressive work.
In Part 1 of FRAMES OF MIND, Gardner establishes an overview regarding "The Idea of Multiple Intelligences." In Part 2, he enumerates six of them as:
- Linguistic Intelligence
- Musical Intelligence
- Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
- Spatial Intelligence
- Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
- The Personal Intelligences
Here, it should immediately be mentioned that language capacities are now considered to be universal to our species, and as such consists of a species-wide hard drive component that downloads into each human specimen.
By reflecting upon the other intelligences listed above, there is good and real reason to consider that they are also hard-drive, species-universal as well, and as such also download into each individual specimen.
In the sense above, then, the mind is not A MIND, but some kind of co-partnership among several systemic and interactive intelligences. This concept is entirely compatible with the concept that our species is an intelligence-system, which downloads into individual intelligence-systems, composed of the interactive intelligences.
Gardners book goes on to discuss "The Socialization of Human Intelligences through Symbols" (chapter 12); and as Chapters 13 and 14 respectively, "The Education of Intelligences" and "The Application of Intelligences."
Although Gardner titles his book as FRAMES OF MIND, he has produced what amounts to a given map of the mind and which map contains a number of intelligences. All societal taboos considered, he cant be blamed too much for omitting another kind of intelligence that is likewise universal to our speciesthe superpower intelligences.
Although FRAMES OF MIND presented the idea of multiple intelligence as theory, it is worth noting that the theory has drifted into becoming factually accepted, as least in principle.
The reader is now referred to a special publication by no less than SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN magazine, entitled EXPLORING INTELLIGENCE, and which appeared in November, 1998.
This contains a number of science-based articles, among which is found one entitled "Multiplicity of Intelligences" by none other than Howard Gardner. (Here, it is worth noting that any article appearing under SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN auspices more or less announces science mainstream approval and the acquisition of scientific status.)
In this recent article, though, Gardner writes that "Rather than having just [a single] intelligence defined by IQ, humans are better thought of as having eight, maybe nine, kinds of intelligence." (page 19.)
The first five intelligences remain the same as given in his 1983 book, but the sixth one, Personal Intelligences, has been broken into two parts as:
INTRAPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE"Accurately determining moods, feelings and other mental states in oneself."
INTERPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE"Accurately determining moods, feelings and other mental states in others, and using the information as a [feedback] guide for behavior."
Gardner has now added to his list of intelligences:
NATURALIST INTELLIGENCE"Recognizing and categorizing natural objects."
A "possible" EXISTENTIAL INTELLIGENCE"Capturing and pondering fundamental questions of existence."
Gardner indicates that the above Intelligence is "possible," because "More evidence, however, is needed to determine whether this is an intelligence." (Gasp?) Indeed, whether it is an intelligence or not, pondering fundamental questions of existence is species-wide, and the general concept transcends all smaller-picture cultural consortiums.
One of the cognitive benefits downloading from Gardners article is that his "Criteria for an intelligence" are itemized into eight categories. These criteria do not so much define what an Intelligence IS, but are more directed to how they can be identified as such.
On behalf of reviewing this article in this essay, it is fair and dignified to list these criteria more or less as given by Gardner.
CRITERIA FOR IDENTIFYING AN INTELLIGENCE
- Potential isolation by brain damage. For example, linguistic abilities can be compromised or spared by strokes.
- The existence of prodigies, savants and other exceptional [experiencing] individuals. Such individuals permit the intelligence to be observed in relative isolation. [NOTE: In the sense of this particular criteria, achieved natural psychics whose active faculties can be confirmed by objective means could be considered as some kind of prodigy, savant or exceptional experiencing individuals, and which permit the intelligence involved to be observed in relative isolation.]
- An identifiable core operation or set of operations. Musical intelligence, for instance, consists of a persons [innate] sensitivity to melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre and musical structure.
- A distinctive developmental history within an individual, along with a definable nature of expert performance.
- An evolutionary history and evolutionary plausibility. One can examine forms of spatial intelligence in mammals or musical intelligence in birds.
- Support from tests in experimental psychology. Researchers [mainstream] have devised tasks that specifically indicate which skills are related to one another and which are discrete. [NOTE: But with the minimal exception of intuition, such mainstream researchers have not developed, and still dont condone the development of, such tests with regard to, for example, telepathy and clairvoyance.]
- Support from psychometric findings. Batteries of tests reveal which tasks reflect the same underlying factor and which do not.
- Susceptibility to encoding in a symbol system. Codes such as language, arithmetic, maps, and logical expression, among others, capture important components of respective intelligences. [COMMENT: One wishes Carl G. Jung were alive today to read this one!]
One particular statement from Gardner is highlighted within the text of the article, but which can be amended a little as posited in the hard brackets:
"All human [specimens] possess all these intelligences: indeed, they can collectively be considered as a [hard drive] definition of Homo sapiens, cognitively speaking."
Now to move on to briefly considerations regarding Hampden-Turners book, MAPS OF THE MIND: CHARTS AND CONCEPTS OF THE MIND AND ITS LABYRINTHS.
For starters, in that Hampden-Turner has utilized the term LABYRINTH in his sub-title, it is worthwhile reprising the definitions of that termwhich most dictionaries give as:
- A place constructed of or full of intricate passageways and blind alleys
- Something extremely complex or torturous in structure, arrangement, or character
The above definitions are well and good. But the DICTIONARY OF SYMBOLS (1962) compiled and published by J. E. Cirlot defines LABYRINTH term as:
"An architectonic structure, apparently aimless, and of a pattern so complex that, once inside, it is impossible or very difficult to escape."
Cirlot goes on to indicate that the labyrinth, as a symbol, is very ancient, but that the true labyrinth, in the ancient sense, has a "center." The center might symbolize the virtual essence of the life principlewhile the intricate passageways and blind alleys around the center symbolize what can happen by drifting too far away from the centralizing life principle.
By stretching this symbolic metaphor a little, one might transliterate it into the concept of getting lost in the blind alleys of smaller picturesas might be represented by some of the more narrow aspects of parapsychology and naive psychical literature, and also, of course, as representative of any ism, whether philosophic, scientific or otherwise.
As it is, and to move sprightly along, in its more mundane conceptualization, a labyrinth can properly be considered as anything extremely complex or torturous in structure, arrangement, or characterand hence the symbol LABYRINTH has almost universally been applied as a basic descriptor of the human mind.
Hampden-Turners MAPS OF THE MIND includes many pictorial representations of mind maps, and is otherwise delightful reading for anyone interested not only in the topic of mind in general, but in ones own mind-map. Interested specimens of our species are, of course, directed to the book itselfin that only an all-to-brief picture of this entirely important book can be outlined in this essay.
In the books Introduction, Hampden-Turner states:
"What is the mind? is a question that has intrigued people from the earliest timesindeed, for as long as man has considered the possibility of mind at all. It is the first truly philosophical question which comes with the dawning of self-consciousness.
"Yet it stumbles on a vexing question: How can that which knows, know itself? Each representation of the know which lacks the knower is necessarily incomplete."
Hampden-Turner then goes on the indicate that MAPS OF THE MIND breaks with tradition in a number of ways. Although he does not say so, the "tradition" he refers to approximately consists of the following idea.
Philosophers, scientists, and psychologists have long held that the mind is a given thing-in-itself in almost the same sense as a leg or the brain are things in themselves.
For this reason, it was considered that the mind and brain are the same thing, and that when the brain is finally completely mapped, then the mind will also be completely mapped.
It was thus theorized that some kind of unitary brain-mind principle would eventually be uncovered. In Hampden-Turners words, this theoretical unitary brain-mind principle is expressed as "some unitary reality behind multiple appearances" of the mind.
This multiple appearances," of course, partially refers to individual mindsand which by simple counting are found to be so multiple as to be uninteresting (and confusing) regarding extensive scientific or philosophic inquiry.
The central purpose of MAPS OF THE MIND is to help illustrate that ALL of its maps are not different per se, but exemplary of the minds wholenessand which wholeness from time immemorial has utilized metaphors, symbols and stories "to create mental pictures and configurations."
In Hampden-Turners concept of it, this "wholeness" does not imply a unitary reality behind the multiple formats produced by the mind. Rather, the "wholeness" is a metaphor serving as a protest against one of the multiple formats taking precedence over all others of them.
Thus, cultures are divided from each other by giving one map of the mind precedence over all others produced from the same whole mind of the species.
Hampden-Turner thus indicates that his "entire book is a plea for the revision of social science, religion and philosophy to stress connectedness" with regard to the whole (species) mind, rather than stressing cultural or societal emphasis on one of its (smaller-picture) formats or metaphors.
His "plea," as he puts it, thus gives emphasis to mind "connectedness, coherence, relationship, organicism and wholeness, as against the fragmenting, reductive and compartmentalizing forces of prevailing orthodoxies."
He goes on to indicate that "My belief is that industrial [modernist] cultures are dangerously overdifferentiated and underintegrated. [They] compulsively exaggerate our differences while ignoring what we have in common." Yes!!!
However, and as an aside, this present author constructing this essay can easily enumerate at least twenty "fragmenting, reductive and compartmentalizing" isms and mindsets through which Hampden-Turners plea would fall like water poured into a sieve.
Hampden-Turner goes on to explain that "We map with words as well as images, but because words come in bits and pieces many people have assumed that the world is in bits and pieces, too, with bits corresponding to words."
He then suggests that one way to correct this verbal bias is to supplement words with visual maps. "If the human mind is to be conceived as a whole as well as parts, we need not just words to convey parts, but patterns, pictures and schemata to convey the whole."
The text of MAPS OF THE MIND presents sixty mind-maps, which are verbally AND visually treated. The sixty mind-maps are grouped under nine different "levels" as follows:
- LEVEL 1: Maps historical and religious
- LEVEL 2: Psychoanalytic and existential maps
- LEVEL 3: The physiology of brain functioning
- LEVEL 4: The creative mind
- LEVEL 5: Psychosocial development
- LEVEL 6: Communication, language and symbolism
- LEVEL 7: Cybernetics and psychobiology
- LEVEL 8: The paradigmatic mind
- LEVEL 9: The structure of myth
Except for a minuscule mention (in Map 55) of intuition in association with the right hemisphere, there is no mention of any of the superpowers, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, remote-viewing, future-seeing,, and so forth.
However, some of these are implicitly incorporated within terms less taboo, such as "bifurcation," "consciousness," "divergent thinking," etc.
The index includes a reference to "energy," but only indicates "See psychic energy."
"Psychic energy," however, does not appear as an item in the index, and so it is difficult to "see" it. But one will run across it in one or another of the sixty mind maps portrayed.
The index has a listing for "Energy, instinctual" and one is directed to page 40, which discusses Map 9 entitled "The Limited Energy Model of Sigmund Freud." Discussion of this map begins with the observation that "Freuds contribution to our understanding of mind began with the puzzle that we know more than that of which we are consciously aware." Yes! Indeed!
A reading through this remarkable book will enable one to approximately discover which, if any, of the sixty mind-maps might be nearest to resembling ones own.
If nothing else, discovering this will make ones own mind map feel somewhat more legitimized. After all, if by the interests of others many people feel better if they and their minds are reflected back at them in ways that give them a little status. Finding something in a book that resembles ones own mind-map does give a little status.
The best source for discovering the nature of ones own mind- map is, of course, ones own mind map. It is thus very interesting for one to attempt to diagram ones own.
That map, after all, is the map into which in-taken information and learning must fall.
It is now to be observed that whatever else they might consist of, mind-maps actually have to be something like self-contained systems. These systems not only are and contain mind configurations, but also contain ones own mental information processing grids.
The mind-map in Hampden-Turners book that best emphasizes SYSTEMS is Map 47, entitled "The Holarchy of Living Nature," and which is exemplified via "The passionate pessimism of Arthur Koestler."
In explanation of the term HOLARCHY, Koestlers mind-map model emphasizes that the mind has "permeable, reorganizable divisions with countless feedback loops and flexible strategies." Koestler suggested the word HOLARCHY for this concept, taken from the Greek HOLOS, meaning whole, and ON, meaning entity.
Koestlers term HOLARCHY therefore can be defined as referring to "a hierarchically organized, self-regulating, open system of holons."
Map 47 is thus described as "not solely applicable to biology, [in that] it could as easily represent social organization, anatomy, linguistics, technology or the branching of knowledge.
"For the holarchy is best regarded as a conceptual tool, not as an end in itself, but as a key capable of opening some of natures combination locks which stubbornly resist other methods."
However, holarchies can best be groked by first in-taking a more expansive consideration of SYSTEMS.
END NOTE: If the sixty mind-maps in Hampden-Turners book, and the nine intelligences of Howard Gardner, are all superimposed, one would begin to obtain to a quite bigger picture of mind and of our species intelligence-system.
Attempting to do this verbally and visually would constitute a rather awesome task. But in attentively studying the materials, mind finds itself reflecting back at itselfand it is not unlikely that various rearrangements in structure and content might automatically take place in the light of bigger-picture making.