When presented with what is called the Dymaxion map, the first sentence that came to mind was, “it looks like a flying duck.” The entire theory behind the Dymaxion map was completely lost in the shape of the actual continents on the space, accompanied by a few colors. Art is a wonderful thing.
However this is not the usual response when someone examines a map. Instead of examining the shape and studying sizes and land masses, we instead find ourselves looking at names of countries, lines, and different titles given to the spaces humans inhabit. The fascinating part comes after you find yourself examining something with which you have no foreknowledge of experience. You actually pay attention to details. The way a brain works is to take the simplest, most efficient route. After you have become more experienced with something, the more habitual you get. Take an unfamiliar road for examples sake. Walking down it for the first time lets you examine every feature and oddity, every curve and niche. As the days pass and you walk along this road every day, no longer do you stop to examine every detail. In fact, necessity demands that you ignore a certain amount of the information you see on a day-to-day basis.
How are we to know where we stand in relation to such a concept? The map is a prime example. Even when most disorienting, a strange order can be found in the oddest corners. As Robert Frost put it in his poem Lost, we may even become “Lost enough to find ourselves”.
At first glance, this makes no sense. Getting lost is the dichotomy of understanding where you are, right? However, how will you understand where you are, if you do not pay attention to the space you are inside? This is exactly what getting lost does for people. I have heard the maximum which states, “you never know what you have until you’ve lost it”. Which rings with a general principle; when you have the rug pulled out from under you, you suddenly realize a lack of stability and frantically grab at anything in order to balance yourself again.
Unfortunately, in the world we do not follow Robert Frost’s admonition. Instead of “getting lost enough to find ourselves”, we have done the opposite. We have found so much that we have lost ourselves.
The constant infiltration of ideas, concepts, and contrasting or fluctuating truths or anti-truths is both allowing us ease of access and a ticket to disease. We no longer understand our own opinions. Some friends may even say, ” I don’t have can opinion on that, there is too much I do not know.” Where this may be understandable and the position of gaining more information seems laudable, all we are really doing is putting off establishing our own opinions. What is truth? What is the nature of knowledge? What is it I am able to know? How then should I live my life?
All ideas may be available, but that does not make all ideas true. Everything seems smart, but not everything is advisable. It is up to us to decide.
And sometimes the best way is to lose ourselves enough to see:
That the world is a flying duck.