Monday, September 15, 2008

The forgotten map

The forgotten map reminds us how the destination that we have reached today is a result of the decisions we have made in the past or the choices that we have made at every given point in the past.Even the choice of being at a given place at a given time which might seem unimportant can have an impact on our lives.These choices that we make also imply all the choices that we did not make and all the paths that we decided not to take.We would never know what our lives could be like if we had made those choices thus our lives are not only the result of the choices that we made but also the paths we decided not to take.
Society as a collective body has taken several decisions as the author states,we have shunned the path of spirituality,feeling and understanding and have chosen instead to tread the path of knowledge,science,economics etc. We do tend to believe that the route we have taken is the right one,infact we do not even consider all the other options we had and all the other bifurcations we could have taken.Glorifying our progress,we tend to turn a blind eye to the fact that maybe chosing a different route or outlook could have given us better results.We have chosen the material outlook where money and technology are our prime concerns but all of us do often feel that something is missing from our lives,we are never happy with what we have achieved or what we possess or how much we possess.There seems to be an emptiness which is leading to warped minds and mental illnesses,maybe we are ignoring a very essential aspect of our lives,downsizing it.Mental illnesses like schizophrenia and depression are constant reminders of what we are mission out on,reminders of the fact that maybe we should not neglect essentials like spiritualitly,emotions,interpersonal relations,which are part of the road we have long neglected and slowly forgotten.
Also,we can clearly see how history is a matter of perception and not bare facts as its often claimed to be.In the example of comparision between Newton and Goeth we see how Newton is praises as a great scientist and hero whereas hardly anyone knows about goeth!This was probably because Newtons thoughts corresponded closly with the path that we have decided to taken whereas Goeth has been forgotten,just like the forgotten path even though both of them might have done equally important work.
The author also speaks about how different eras have had varying languages or thought processes i.e the people at that given point of time,atleast the majority of them thought a certain thing was important,maybe it was spirituality,politics,progress in the scientific field or economics.This also i feel would have a major impact on history not only from a point of view of glorifying or playing down certain aspects or happenings but also for example if in the 1900s scientific development was the predominant mood we could expect to fond several instances of progress in technology and this would in turn play down other happenings such as wars or maybe this would affect the way wars were documented or fought!which again would lead to different outcomes.
Finally,the author states that there is a vast difference between knowledge and understanding and that we must experience to understand whereas knowledge is detached.Understanding is the matrix that amalgamates knowledge into something more complete and concrete.Maybe the time has come when we need to reflect not only on what we have done and the path we have taken but also all that we have shunned or missed out on,to amalgamate the both and complete our world.

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