My friend and mentor Charlotte Schuchardt Read, Alfred Korzybski's personal secretary and literary assistant, once suggested:
“In learning to feel the deeper significance of the map-territory premise we can:
1. Be more awake to our own personal role in making our maps.
2. Increase our ability to make needed revisions as we check with the territory.
3. Realize, through continual experiencing, that we each live in our “as if” world, and develop awareness of this.
4. Gain greater appreciation of the other person’s world and his/her way of expressing it.
5. If the temptation arises to say ‘This is nothing new,’ we can say ‘This can be a new experience, newly experienced today.’
Perhaps it would be useful to state the premise as: ‘The territory is not the map.’ Would this make a difference? I don’t know.
Many questions arise as we progress toward a more unified view of our universe and our place in it. The multiordinal map-territory analogy can remain a helpful guide, provided we are aware of Korzybski’s third premise: The map is self-reflexive—the mapmaker is in the map—and provided we remember that the premises, like all premises, are only maps.”*
*Charlotte Read, “Living in an ‘as if’ World: Some Reflections on ‘The Map Is Not the Territory’ ” in Developing Sanity in Human Affairs (Contributions to the Study of Mass Media and Communications, Number 54), Ed. Susan Presby Kodish and Robert P. Holston. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, p. 75