Just like anything else, for instance an ordinary apple, a map also has umpteen perceptions to view. It seems nothing alike and means nothing similar to any two persons on this planet. Given that fact, I’ll now bring forth one of my own insights into maps; One that I feel is not chosen by many people.
For me, first come the questions; Starting with the one that asks ‘Why do we need maps?’ I eventually find the answer too. Simple as it may sound, we need maps because our brains need maps. Our brains need maps because they are always hungry for shapes and structures. They hog on sense and logic. They make designs out of disorder. They make meaning out of mess and create clusters of coincidences out of utter chaos. They culture an ego that always needs to identify things. They feed on identities. And Bingo! Is there any other simpler way of identifying things than just naming them? I don’t think. Maps do just that. They are identities that create a way out through empty space; Give a logical direction and sketch boundaries, thereby creating an in and an out, a below and an above. Born are left and right from maps, otherwise it is all the same where this is also that.
So I believe there happened to be a lonely rover who was indeed intrigued by this concept of maps in the early-earth days. He knew of no one who could tell him where he needed to go. He thought he might as well ask the sun and he did; “Which map do you follow dear sun?,” he asked. The sun replied; “Map? What map? I don’t need one. I’m everywhere”.
Confused, the rover retorted “But, how can you be everywhere if you are right here in front of me, talking to me. Moreover I don’t see you at nights.” The sun replied “I’m here. Always was and will be. I go wherever my need is, and wherever my need is, I’m already there.”
The rover wasn’t really satisfied and he went further to ask the water “You go into plants to serve every cell in every layer. You climb right from the roots to the tips of the highest branches. You fall from humongous valleys and crawl through burrows. Which map do you follow?” The water replied “I’m everywhere! I flow but I flow back to myself. I climb but I fall back into myself. I crawl but I ultimately find myself everywhere. I just exist. I go wherever my need is, and wherever my need is, I’m already there.”
The rover then went to the wind hoping to find a different, mostly a better answer from it. Much to his rage the wind had nothing different to offer. It said “I’m there, was there and will be there. I blow into myself, back and forth and all that’s there is me. I’m everywhere. I go wherever my need is, and wherever my need is, I’m already there.”
Agitated, the lonely rover finally decided to go ask the land itself where all the maps are drawn and asked; “Why does everybody keep telling that they are everywhere? I’m not everywhere. I’m right here in the now talking to you. How can someone be everywhere? It doesn’t make sense. It sucks to not be everywhere. Why do I need a map while the rest of you don’t?”
The gentle land calmly replied; “You are everywhere! You just don’t see it.”
“That is insane. Most illogical notion I’ve ever heard!” the rover snapped back. “What you are saying young lad is like me telling you that I’m France, not land. Or that I’m Paris, not France. Or that water drop in the ocean is a drop, not the ocean. Wasn’t it you that named me France? Wasn’t it you that named me Paris? Wasn’t it you that named me land? Wasn’t it you that named me fundamental particle? You named me sand. You named me stone. You named the sun sun. You named the wind wind. It was you who called yourself me and me you. It was you who made a map.
You made a map just to feed sense to your brain. You fed it time. You fed it plans. You fed it shapes and you fed it maps. But that’s just your brain. I don’t have one you see? So I don’t need a map like your brain does. You don’t need a map as well but your brain does. You just got to keep your best foot forward like the water drops in the plants do and like the sun rays do. You just exist, like they all do.
In the end, from a bigger picture, you will find our lives like a well painted portrait. But the colors take turns and spread out, become bigger and better, sometimes mix up, all of which is to maintain the optical balance of the portrait. All that there is, is the same bunch of colors and they are all one. The portrait looks beautiful, provided, the main aim of each color is not to be more, shown more or exist more but to maintain the balance.” The land then paused for a while and then went off to grow a bud.
The lonely rover then realized that portraits don’t need maps. They just exist infinitely through time and space.