With the preceding observations and challenges in mind, I came to this conclusion. If we are to do better than those who came before us and fulfill our best possibilities as individuals, as societies, and as a species, we must add to systems of education processes dedicated to enlightening us to become (a) comprehensive, critical thinking, self-directed individuals, (b) free of illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies, and (c) oriented in a manner that is coherent, moral and universal. To show how this can be accomplished, I developed three illuminating processes/courses that are outlined here:
1. Map Your Life is a process that frees and empowers us to direct our life’s journey from our own point of view, rather than thoughtlessly follow the prescriptions and proscriptions of prevailing institutions. This journey of self-exploration enhances our understanding of our self as a unique individual, member of society, and as part of the larger world so that we can orchestrate a more authentic, productive, and satisfying life. The process is energized by a 16-point Life Map Template that helps us assemble our Life Map in an organized and purposeful manner.
2. Social Mapping builds upon the clarity we gained about our self through the life mapping process by encouraging us to assemble a map of our opinions about great issues of our time. We are asked to write our thoughts and feelings about each of those issues and about any other issue we may wish to add to the list, knowing that we are free to modify what we have written at any time. The sum of our opinions becomes our Social Map. This process helps us understand the dynamics of the social process and, in turn, escape illusions, prejudices, self-limiting ideologies, and other forms of conceptual imprisonment.
3. MetaVisioning is a remarkable process that broadens our perspective further by encouraging us to resolve coherent, moral, and universal premises upon which to build a coherent, moral, and universal MetaVision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully. As an individual, we build upon our premises and opinions defined in the Life and Social Mapping processes by asking ourselves what they inspire us to envision regarding how humankind can direct its developmental journey forward more wisely. We summarize our premises, opinions, and what we envision within an open-ended essay, which becomes our personal “MetaMap.” And then, collectively, we work together toward reconciling and synthesizing the MetaMaps of the entire class into a coherent, moral, and universal MetaVision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully and peacefully.
During each of the three courses, there will be access to databases of completed Life Maps, Social Maps, and MetaMaps. Beyond what we learn from the databases and from course assignments, we are encouraged to explore each subject of the Life Map Template and each great issue through scholarly books, academic journal articles, and credible Internet sites. We are also encouraged to share our thoughts and feelings about the mapping and visioning processes with classmates and with family and friends.
At this point, The Mazeway Project is well beyond the idea stage. The Map Your Life and Social Mapping courses have been taught at Drexel University during the past nine years. (I was a co-teacher several times.) MetaVisioning will be taught for the first time during the coming Spring Term.
I am pleased to report that classroom discussions were vibrant and the feedback from students has been very positive. Actually, what encouraged me the most was when I heard them say in a serious manner, “Why weren’t we told these things before?” From all of that, I came to this conclusion. If the courses become an integral part of our systems of education, it would soon be discovered that an emphasis on empowerment and freedom from illusions, prejudices, self-limiting ideologies, and other forms of conceptual imprisonment would lead to profound enlightenment and development of individuals in our society and beyond. We would be spawning a mental revolution and, ultimately, a global “we the people” social movement that will change our way of living in the world – a ground-up way that is creative, joyful, and peaceful – a way that would lead to the cure of humankind’s systemic condition.
Please Note: Within other segments of this website, you will find:
- Fuller descriptions of the Map Your Life, Social Mapping, and MetaVisioning courses.
- A syllabus for each of the three courses.
- Databases of completed Life Maps, Social Maps, and MetaMaps.
- Feedback from students who have taken the mapping courses.
- How the project will extend its reach beyond the classroom through the Mazeway Network.
- The Moving Forward segment defines five specific goals of The Mazeway Project.
S U G G E S T E D N E X T : Our Life Map