Skip to content

Database of MetaMaps


We present here two examples of a MetaMap.

Anthony J. Parrotto
Jason Kunen

My MetaMap  by Anthony J. Parrotto

As conscious beings made of the stuff of the stars, we are free to shape our destiny. What we become, what we actualize or not, depends on the choices we make; that is, on how well we orchestrate our consciousness to satisfy physical, psychological, and spiritual needs.

Evidently, humankind has not been making wise choices regarding how it is orchestrating its consciousness. The patterns of history show that there have been many extraordinary civilizations, some prevailing for many centuries. However, no major civilization in the history of humankind has survived the fuller test of time. Their expectation of sustainability was largely an illusion, like being proud of beautiful skyscrapers built on quicksand. And now, during our own time, we are challenged by many serious problems, such as poverty, disease, financial crises, corruption, globalization, environmental degradation, war, terrorism, and dysfunctional systems of government, education, and healthcare.

The extraordinary scope, seriousness, and persistence of such problems suggest that the programs advanced by prevailing institutions have not been sufficiently coherent, moral, and universal to orient humankind in the mazeway in a manner that inspires us to move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully. Instead, the programs advanced have led, and continue to lead, to illusions, prejudices, self-limiting ideologies, and other forms of conceptual imprisonment that diminish us as individuals, separate us into warring camps, and perpetuate the endless cycle of misadventures, destruction, and despair that humankind endures.

Assuming these observations are correct, how would we ever get prevailing institutions to change, if they are dedicated to maintaining the status quo and their power and control? How would we convince them or spawn new institutions to advance coherent, moral, and universal programs in an open-ended, self-catalyzing, and self-cleansing manner with competent leaders and aware followers dedicated to adapting to change and to serving the best interests of humankind? Actually, there is a sensible way to accomplish this, given enough time and patience.

While there has always been the need for effective leadership, what is becoming increasingly clear is that we need keenly aware and inspired followership. Followership not in the sense of blind faith or being programmable machines, but as intelligent and aware beings that understand the critical issues that endanger this planet and her inhabitants, which need to be addressed.  As such, if prevailing institutions are to become adaptable to change in a manner that reflects the will of keenly aware citizens, “we the people” must be educated in a manner that increases our awareness of what is possible and what to demand of ourselves and of our institutions in a creative and peaceful way.

Unfortunately, very few of us are educated in this manner. Yes, our system of education does many things right and benefits from a great number of excellent teachers and administrators. However, due to the highly fragmented, industrial-age modeling of our system of imparting knowledge, very few of us become comprehensive, critical thinking, self-directed individuals, liberated from illusions, prejudices and self-limiting ideologies, and coherently oriented in a complex, rapidly changing, global environment.

Even after 16 or more years in school, most of us remain imprisoned conceptually within a provincial orientation and move on with our lives as fragmented, incidental cogs in one part or another of the mindless socio-economic machine of our time, largely unaware of the premises that empower it and frustrated about how to adapt to it or how to improve it.

As such, we will not orchestrate our lives and our institutions more wisely than those who came before us, and we will not stop the endless cycle of misadventures, destruction, and despair that humankind endures. This chronic condition will continue until enough of us learn how to orchestrate our lives and our institutions in a manner that:
• liberates us from illusions, prejudices and self-limiting ideologies;
• unites us rather than divide us into warring camps;
• spawns love, compassion, charity, and hope rather than hatred, indifference, greed, and despair; and
• reminds us that, however culturally diverse humans may be on our planet, we are one species of conscious beings on a developmental journey together in the mazeway.

To fulfill this challenging quest, I suggest that students, and those of us outside of school who are still awake and thinking, participate in the following three processes:

  1. Life Mapping enables us to gain an overall sense of who we are as unique individuals, and how we can, orchestrate an authentic, productive, and satisfying life that is free of illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies.
  2. Social Mapping encourages us to resolve our thoughts and feelings about the great issues of our time and become keenly aware, critical thinking citizens. This enlightening process makes us aware that the challenge our society faces and what most other societies face is systemic. Therefore, the scope and seriousness of our problems will continue unless entrenched institutions and the system as a whole are re-envisioned and re-directed.
  3. MetaVisioning is a collaborative process dedicated to generating coherent, moral, and universal premises that lead to a coherent, moral, and universal vision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully.

This combination of illuminating processes helps us become liberated citizens of the mazeway, rather than remain conceptually imprisoned within a provincial orientation where illusions, prejudices, and self-limiting ideologies prevail. When a sufficient number of us achieve this level of consciousness, the social process will begin to improve. Gradually and peacefully, institutions will adapt to change and more effectively serve the best interests of humankind because their leaders and followers will have become more aware of what is possible and what to demand of themselves and of institutions in a coherent, moral, and inclusive manner. We will discover that we can: (a) be united rather than divided into warring camps; (b) spawn love, compassion, charity, and hope rather than hatred, indifference, greed, and despair; and (c) learn to fulfill our best possibilities as individuals, as societies, and as a species.

Please note: This is the first of two MetaMaps. There will be many more, once we begin to teach the MetaVisioning course.  I assume that the additional maps will also be different and that we will work together patiently through the Mazeway Network to synthesize all of the MetaMaps into an overarching MetaVision of how humankind can move forward together creatively, joyfully, and peacefully.


My MetaMap  by Jason Kunen

If we look at the occurrences in the world, and then observe ourselves, it becomes clear that the world is a reflection of how we are conducting our minds. Our way of minding is projected into the outer world. Therefore, if we wish to change the world, we must start with ourself, with our own inner life. Without Self-knowledge, our actions will perpetuate the cycle of /ego mentalism/, of /objectification/ and /violence/. The world is a projection of our inner life; that is, we are as we mind. And in observing our own psychological process, we begin to realize that we are all interconnected, not as a theory or belief, but as a fact. With the recognition of this fact, we can accept responsibility and take action to be ((R-evolutionary co-creators)) of a new humanity guided by compassion, wisdom, awareness, and understanding. Self-knowledge and understanding free us from self-limiting ideologies and illusions, and therefore, they must be the basis for a coherent, moral, and universal vision of humanity’s evolution to be self-directed, joyful, peaceful, creative, and dialogical beings.

If we look within ourselves, it seems that most of us have accepted self-centeredness, violence, jealously, hatred, anger, escapism in one form or another, apathy, and loneliness as a way of life.  Very, very few of us have attempted to understand our own psychological process and truly understand why the world is as it is.  We turn to systems, methods, practices, religions, philosophies, belief systems, rituals and prayers, political and economic ideologies, science, or some other set of beliefs to give us the answers.  For many, a system is imparted, conditioned, and given to us from birth, but we live with it without questioning it, or we reject as a reaction, not through understanding. When we live according to the doctrines and ideas of another, we become second-hand, mechanical human beings.  We repeat what others have said and try to justify, through our knowledge and books, that we are right.  We tend to privilege our own framework and believe it to be absolute.

If we want to create a world of peace and collaboration, we must be willing to face ourselves and strive to understand our own psychological process. It is very empowering to realize for oneself that we do have a choice of how we want to process our life and experience. We can be aware of how we are using our mind and observe our reactions, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, judgments, motives, emotions, conditionings, and desires. This awareness does not justify, condemn, judge, or try to escape from what is, but simply watches it without interfering. We can simply watch unobtrusively; once we start judging, condemning, justifying, and interfering, it means we are trying to escape the fact of what we are because we are afraid to look at ourselves and are trying to become something else. If we learn to observe ourselves in this non-judgmental manner, with an interest and an openness to see what we are, then we begin to understand ourselves, and a change happens naturally.

Understanding ourselves requires that we thoroughly examine /ego-mentalism/, the mental framework most of us use that fragments, objectifies, and polarizes all experience. Using a mental technology that fragments, objectifies, and focuses on itself, leads to a breakdown in communication, and damages our relationships with the planet, each other, and ourselves. Our /ego/ sees itself as a self-sustaining, independent entity that is separate from everything else.  We have a desire to control everything else according to our own nature and dispositions (based on thought and memory) because at some level, we feel we are inferior, insecure, afraid, and lonely. This is because our /ego-mind/ does not see or understand the interconnectedness, the relationality of all things.  In response, our /ego way of minding/ cuts us off from others because the /ego/ tries to assert its own independent space and define itself; it believes itself as a self-sustaining identity, and gives the illusion of independence from all others.  In doing this, it creates a void of emptiness and loneliness within ourselves, which is what drives our incessant desire to be something else, or to become like someone else, and we become distracted from really seeing who we are.

As a way to deal with this void, many of us conform to the patterns of society, to a peer group, to this or that ideology, a belief system, in order to feel like we are a part of something greater.  When you conform to any pattern, you are given answers, beliefs, expectations, and standards so that you no longer need to question and inquire or understand.  As we become more fixed in this pattern, we become more and more attached and psychologically dependent on it, because that becomes our /limited framework/ for understanding the world.  We cling to our /identity/ and our /framework/ and are afraid of giving it up, not because we fear the unknown, but because we fear giving up and undermining all that we know. Rather than engaging in inquiry ourselves to see if there is a different way of life that is free of anger, hatred, self-centeredness, greed, suffering, etc., we accept these patterns out of fear.  Psychological comfort and attachment to our fragmented, objectifying mental operating system (our way of minding), is a primary cause of our unwillingness and fear to understand ourselves and life.

An ((inner revolution)) is contingent on our capacity to be aware of our psychological process and be open to inquire if there is a profoundly different way of living, not through systems, methods, beliefs, or ideals that are separate from us, but really living in a creative, active, understanding, coherent manner. To that end, there are more and more ((initiatives)), from martial arts to yoga to meditation, that ((empower)) people by showing them that we do have a choice as to how we can use our minds, and that we can become ((aware)) of our way of minding.

Tony Parrotto’s Mazeway Project, through its ((practices)) of Life Mapping, Social Mapping, and Meta Visioning, allows participants to sketch the foundations of their life and thought. This encourages people not only to reflect on their own life, but also to open them to inquire if there is a coherent, moral, collaborative, and creative way of ((living)). These Maps allow us to seriously consider the great issues of our time, and engage in ((dialogue)) with ourselves and others on these matters. The Mapping processes makes us more and more aware of our conceptual imprisonment, and simultaneously empowers us to free ourselves from self-limiting ideologies and illusions to become liberated, reflective, and self-directed global citizens.

Another empowering tool to help people recognize their ability to become aware of their mental framework are the markers developed by Ashok Gangadean. These markers distinguish when one is using /ego-script/ or ((Logos-script)) are highly valuable devices for promoting global literacy and ((dialogue)) across worldviews. The ((Logos-script)) or ((double bracket markers)) are, essentially, used to denote words that are not fragmented, objectified, absolutized, or stuck in a particular framework. Such markers enable people to recognize that they have been lodged in /ego-centric minding/ and conditionings, facilitates inter-faith, inter-cultural, and inter-world dialogue, and provides a unique and universal language to ((communicate)).

We should recognize the fact that when we attribute the problems of our world to some external factor, we are deferring our responsibility to another.  When we do that, we separate ourselves from the problem.  This leads to apathy and inaction, because now one believes that someone else is tasked with the mission of solving such problems.  We turn to our leaders to solve wars, end poverty, change education, and the like, yet we ourselves in our own lives continue to be violent, greedy, and surrender the responsibility of educating our children to another.

First and foremost, we must recognize that we ourselves are responsible for these problems, but instead of feeling guilty and powerless, we must also see that we also have the power to become aware of this way of minding and change it. By ((transforming)) our /ego-centric and self-centered/ mindset and ((evolving)) to a way of ((minding)) that is guided by compassion, love, wisdom, intelligence, understanding, dialogue, and free of fear, we affect the network of relationships around us. Society is the vast network of relationships, and how we conduct our mind affects our relationships thereby affecting the society.  Therefore, solving the problems in our world means addressing them within ourselves.  If we know how to look at the violence, anger, loneliness, suffering, pain, and the rest of it within ourselves, without judging or condemning it, but observing to understand it, then we can begin to understand others and work to solve these great issues.  Once we realize that we have a responsibility to humankind, to the planet, and to ourselves, we take the first step towards ((transformation)) through ((Self-knowledge)).

S U G G E S T E D  N E X T : Home