Paradox of the Complete Map
Like a lot of wannabe Philosophers I tend to meshup quiet a lot of theoretical content and generate a nice sparkling meshup from it.
I was asked about the concept of Mapmaking within my beliefsystems, or more precise to explain my speak about it. Well, here it comes:
In the later planotinian school of philosophy, there was the figure of the Demiurge. Which literally means craftman or at some interpretation, public worker. Well and you all know about the parabel of the cave, and the shadows and the devine world outside and that we all just see shadows on the wall thinking it is reality, and so on. So, what is the case if the creator of the world, that mentioned craftman, the demiurge, was himself never outside the cave?
What if he had never a complete vision of the true and divine world?
(Wikipedia Quote about Demiurge)
One Gnostic mythos describes the declination of aspects of the divine into human form. Sophia (Greek: Σοφια, lit. “wisdom”), the Demiurge’s mother a partial aspect of the divine Pleroma or “Fullness,” desired to create something apart from the divine totality, without the receipt of divine assent. In this act of separate creation, she gave birth to the monstrous Demiurge and, being ashamed of her deed, wrapped him in a cloud and created a throne for him to be within it. The Demiurge, isolated, did not behold his mother, nor anyone else, concluded that only he himself existed, being ignorant of the superior levels of reality.
The Demiurge, having received a portion of power from his mother, sets about a work of creation in unconscious imitation of the superior Pleromatic realm: He frames the seven heavens, as well as all material and animal things, according to forms furnished by his mother; working however blindly, and ignorant even of the existence of the mother who is the source of all his energy. He is blind to all that is spiritual, but he is king over the other two provinces. The word dēmiourgos properly describes his relation to the material; he is the father of that which is animal like himself.
Thus Sophia’s power becomes enclosed within the material forms of humanity, themselves entrapped within the material universe: the goal of Gnostic movements was typically the awakening of this spark, which permitted a return by the subject to the superior, non-material realities which were its primal source.
Well ok, so what is this Demiurge? Someone who seeks perfection but condeemed to never be able to archiev it, from ignorance of the divine World.
Which leads me to the asumption that all Artists (and also Mapmakers in special) are avatars of the Demiurge. We keep on repeating the same error again and again, as a gift called Art.
Here is a short quote about this phenomena Lewis Carroll’s Paradox of the Complete Map
“We very soon got to six yards to the mile. Then we tried a hundred yards to the mile. And then came the grandest idea of all! We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of a mile to the mile!”
There have been this tale about a country making a map of the country itself, at some end same size as reality. So after years passed and the Kingdom crumpled and faded away, the map still covers its ashes and dust.
Gregory Bateson, in "Form, Substance and Difference," from Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972), elucidates the essential impossibility of knowing what the territory is, as any understanding of it is based on some representation:
We say the map is different from the territory. But what is the territory? Operationally, somebody went out with a retina or a measuring stick and made representations which were then put on paper. What is on the paper map is a representation of what was in the retinal representation of the man who made the map; and as you push the question back, what you find is an infinite regress, an infinite series of maps. The territory never gets in at all. […] Always, the process of representation will filter it out so that the mental world is only maps of maps, ad infinitum.