A linear Contents page and a clickable Metro map

Matthijs Cornelissen
last revision: 26 March 2024

Texts are intrinsically linear, and there is good reason for this: At least in our ordinary consciousness, time is linear, and so is life: we are pushed or pulled along our life's trajectory, second by second, one thing after another, without any possibillity of escape. What is worse, real life does not allow us to have a peek at the last pages of the book before we take up Chapter One. The Greeks, who had a wonderful sense of the heroic character of the human enterprise, saw in it the image of a man driving his chariot forward while standing on it facing backward. And they were right: we may know little about the past from where we come, but we know almost nothing about the future where we are heading. The most amazing is, that we seem to like it this way: people love stories, books, movies in which some narrator takes us by the hand and pulls us forward along her chosen path, while we have no clue where she will lead us.

Perhaps to compensate for this uncertainty, we also like maps. In maps everything is present in one clear overview, not only right from the beginning to the end, but including whatever is to the left and right. Maps are eminently practical when we want to see how things are interconnected, or how we should move from A to B. The best thing about maps is, that they encourage us to explore the territory actively, in our own way, choosing what to visit and in what sequence.

So we have included a clickable "metro-map" of Infinity in a Drop with some of the most important concepts and processes in integral Indian psychology. Unlike in physical maps, many things in this map are arbitrary: "philosophy" is not really to the left of "psychology", and there is no deep meaning in the fact that you find "the self as enjoyer" slightly above "the self as agent". The choice of what constitutes the most important issues, and how exactly they are related to each other is also rather personal. Suggestions are welcome. Right now, only a few of the links are actually clickable, but I hope you get the idea and enjoy it. If not, there is always the more traditional linear Outline of Infinity in a Drop.

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