Yesterday was the first session of The Wild Card*, a course to guide engaged people in raising their game and making meaningful contributions of lasting consequence.
Most of it builds upon a different interpetation of reality than given by our present culture.
In The Wild Card, we work with Life Physics Group’s Working Model, an evolution of David Bohm’s holographic universe.
Since The Wild Card about creating, it is much more powerful to use models that explicitely include and cover our creative nature than those who do not.
In the west, reality is assumed to be objective, a distant «it» that unfolds according to physical laws, and regardless of how we think and feel about it. Our only way to impact the world seems to be through action alone.
In the Holographic model, «space and time are constructed by us for our convenience» (The Holographic Paradigm and other paradoxes p73) said Bohm.
The Working Model steps further by deciphering the rules under which «we create what we are, and where we live in a subtle quantum dance» (Ultimate Thought – Life in a bicausal Universe by A.R. Bordon p4).
A battle of models?
«This model you are suggesting is also passing and will also someday be proven wrong, so why should we follow it?» said a friend.
It invited the group to look deeper into the real value of a model.
What’s a model (for)?
A model is a way to describe an aspect of something.
Since the description cannot cover the reality in full details, it will always leave things out.
Usually, the things left out are of very limited importance (if this is not the case, you might have picked a less than optimal model).
It’s a «the map isn’t the territory» thing.
If you’re travelling in metro, a map of the metro might just give you the all the info you need.
If you know where you need to go, the additional information (restaurants, hospital, etc) will be noise that only confuse you.
A model helps us focus on what’s important by leaving the superfluous out of the picture.
A model is not here to correspond fully ot reality – it is not here to tell «the truth about how it really is» – just an aspect of it.
So the way to look at a model is not in terms of right and wrong. Ultimately, all models are wrong.
A better way to look at a model: is it useful for what I intend to do?
Put on your dancing shoes
My friend Umberto came up with a shoe analogy.
If you are going to work with dancing shoes, it’s OK – you might not have the best appearance, but it will work just fine to walk through your day.
If you go dancing with ski boots, you might have a more difficult time.
You may try to make the model fit your need – but you will still be confronted with its inherent limitations.
It might be better to take a model that naturally includes what you want to achieve rather than adapt an unfit model.
Nothing is wrong with the ski boots or the dancing shoes – it’s just that none of the shoes are here to fit every circumstance of human life.
Each has its advantages and its disadvantages.
Each has its uses.
It’s all a lie
In a way, every model, every theory is a lie.
Not that it is intended to be deceitful or dishonest – it’s just that every theory is by nature limited.
Used in an inappropriate context, it might leave out the useful and leave you in confusion, or worse in pain.
A wrong model may be more harmful than useful.
«Theory» comes from the Latin root «theoria», the same root as theater. Bohm suggested that a theory was like a theater for the mind.
Be it with science, religion or any other theory, we can be so fully immersed in the illusion that what we think (model) is an accurate and complete description of how things work – that we migh tbe compelled to defend it from those who contradict what we believe.
Until we remind ourselves that a model isn’t right or wrong, it’s useful or not so useful.
I am guilty of this confusion as much as the next guy; it’s good to be reminded of the «mind theater».
No model will tell you the truth, ever.
All models are wrong
All models are wrong, but some can help you get the result you want.
The strength of a model is in highlighting the useful aspects, and putting the rest in the shadow.
There is no conflict of models, just different perspectives.
Back to The Wild Card story: no, I don’t need to take what I think or feel into account when I’m estimating how long my car trip will take (mechanistic) – just as I don’t need to think of myself as a machine when I am finding my talents, creating a service or dealing with a human being (working model).
All models are wrong, the important is how well do they allow you to do what you intend to.
Why go dancing with your skiboots?
Maybe you just don’t know that you can change shoes, but that’s another story…
*The Wild Card is currently in development – if you also wish to raise your game and make meaningful contributions of lasting consequence, you might want to stay in touch via Twitter @BenoitCarpent