Mental Landscaping

In the kingdom of our mental landscapes, we possess the remarkable ability to shape vast territories of thoughts and ideas. Much like a skilled architect designs a city with rivers, bridges, and landmarks, we, too, can craft intricate mental cities that house our knowledge and understanding. This chapter delves into the art of “Landscaping” our minds, allowing us to build thriving mental metropolises.

Introducing Higher and Lower Places:

Imagine your mental city as a sprawling terrain with varied elevations. By introducing higher and lower places, we create a sense of depth in our thoughts. Just as cities are often built along rivers, we can use these natural dividers to separate different aspects of our knowledge. For instance, let’s consider a mental city dedicated to history. We might create a higher plateau for ancient civilizations, a lower valley for the medieval period, and rolling hills for modern times.

For Example

Let’s imagine a mental city dedicated to the field of science. In this city, we can introduce higher and lower places to create a sense of depth in our thoughts.

For example, we might designate a higher plateau for foundational scientific principles like Newton’s laws of motion and Einstein’s theory of relativity. This elevated area represents the bedrock on which modern scientific understanding is built.

In contrast, we could have a lower valley dedicated to the history of scientific exploration, where we delve into the discoveries of early scientists like Galileo and Copernicus. This area provides a closer look at the beginnings of systematic inquiry into the natural world.

Finally, we can envision rolling hills representing the dynamic and evolving nature of contemporary science. Here, we explore cutting-edge research, breakthroughs in technology, and the latest advancements in various scientific disciplines.

Rivers as Separators and Connectors:

In our mental landscapes, rivers can serve both as separators and connectors. Just as two rivers might merge, so can different ideas come together to form new insights. Conversely, a river can split into smaller streams, symbolizing the branching of ideas into distinct paths.

For a detailed understanding see the below example

“In medicine, our knowledge base is vast and diverse, much like the intricate network of rivers in a landscape. Consider how various disciplines, from anatomy to pharmacology, converge to form a comprehensive understanding of the human body. Just as rivers merge, combining their strengths, medical practitioners draw from multiple specialties to provide holistic care to patients.

On the other hand, think about how a single medical discovery can lead to a multitude of specialized branches, each focusing on a specific aspect of healthcare. For instance, the breakthroughs in genetics have paved the way for specialized fields like genetic counseling and personalized medicine, which represent the branching streams of a once-unified river.

So, as aspiring healthcare professionals, it’s crucial to appreciate how rivers can be both separators and connectors in our pursuit of knowledge. Embrace the convergence of ideas and disciplines, and be open to exploring the diverse streams that emerge from them. This dynamic perspective will empower you to make meaningful contributions to the ever-evolving field of medicine.”

If you are interested in learning about mental structures, Read my latest blog on: “Hybrid mental structures”:

Creating Main Highlights:

Every city has its iconic landmarks that define its character. Similarly, in our mental cities, we can establish three main highlights that radiate from the core. These highlights could represent the key pillars of our understanding, forming a foundation for further expansion.

Example: In a mental city centered around philosophy, our main highlights might be ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. These pillars guide our exploration of philosophical concepts and foster a comprehensive understanding of the subject.

Adding Bridges and Tunnels:

The shape of our mental cities may change as we gain further understanding of the subject. A city like Paris or London used to house tens of thousands for millennia, until growing to multimillion cities in the late 19th century. As the cities grew, they added bridges and connected with suburbs.

Expanding with Ontological Forests:

As our mental cities grow, we can expand beyond city blocks and delve into ontological forests. These forests represent intricate networks of interconnected concepts, forming a rich ecosystem of knowledge.

Example: In our mental city exploring psychology, we could create an ontological forest dedicated to the study of emotions. Within this forest, different emotions intertwine, forming a comprehensive map of human feelings and behaviors.

Embracing the Complexity of the Human Brain

Our own brains do not follow a flat city structure. Our neocortex is basically a sheet of six layers of brain cells. Only this sheet is cramped into a ball-like volume with multiple associative connections tunneling through it. We discuss associative connections separately in this book. Here I just want to say that by adding hills and valleys, rivers, and bridges to the mental cities we can easily bring together city blocks with multiple highlights.


Optimize your learning by quickly visiting the blog: Mental Preparation Required for Successful Learning:


Practical Exercises and Short Tips

Exercise 1: Building a Mental Tax Law City

  1. Create a Tax Law Mental City: Start by envisioning a mental city dedicated to tax law. Divide it into higher and lower places, designating sections for different aspects of tax law, such as income tax, corporate tax, and international tax regulations.
  2. Rivers of Connection: Identify the common threads that connect these sections, acting as “rivers” between them. For instance, how does knowledge of corporate tax impact understanding of international tax? Write down these connections.
  3. Key Highlights: Establish three key highlights in your mental city, representing foundational concepts in tax law. For example, these might include tax deductions, tax credits, and tax evasion.
  4. Bridge Building: As you deepen your tax law expertise, add “bridges” to connect your existing knowledge with new developments in tax legislation. Explore how recent changes in tax laws affect your mental city.

Exercise 2: Programming Landscape Expansion

  1. Mental City for Programming: Visualize a mental city devoted to programming languages. Create elevated areas for high-level languages like Python, lower areas for assembly languages, and rolling hills for web development languages like JavaScript.
  2. Rivers of Logic: Identify common logic principles that flow through all programming languages, such as loops, conditional statements, and data structures. How do these concepts connect different parts of your mental city?
  3. Main Highlights: Determine three main highlights in your programming mental city, such as object-oriented programming, algorithms, and debugging techniques. These are the core pillars of your programming knowledge.
  4. Tunnels of Progress: As you gain expertise, introduce “tunnels” to connect your existing understanding of programming languages with emerging technologies. How does knowledge of a new language or framework enrich your mental city?

Exercise 3: Medical Knowledge Expansion

  1. Mental City for Medical Sciences: Create a mental city dedicated to medical sciences, with distinct areas for anatomy, pathology, and pharmacology. Imagine the complex network of rivers connecting these fields.
  2. Interdisciplinary Insights: Explore how knowledge of one medical specialty influences another. For example, how does understanding anatomy impact your grasp of pathology? Identify these cross-specialty connections.
  3. Foundational Pillars: Establish three core pillars within your medical mental city, such as diagnostics, treatment, and patient care. These pillars form the foundation for your medical knowledge.
  4. Neurological Bridges: Introduce “bridges” to your mental city as you delve into neurology or interdisciplinary fields like medical ethics. How does knowledge of these areas interact with your existing medical landscape?

Exercise 4: Investment Landscape Enrichment

  1. Mental City for Investment: Envision a mental city dedicated to investment strategies. Designate areas for stocks, bonds, real estate, and alternative investments, creating a diversified landscape.
  2. Economic Rivers: Identify economic principles and market dynamics that serve as “rivers” connecting different investment areas. How does macroeconomic data flow through your mental city, influencing investment decisions?
  3. Pillars of Investment: Establish three key pillars in your investment mental city, such as risk management, portfolio diversification, and long-term planning. These are the cornerstones of your investment knowledge.
  4. Innovative Bridges: As you explore emerging investment opportunities like cryptocurrency or ESG investing, add “bridges” to your mental city. Investigate how these new avenues intersect with traditional investment strategies.


Try out these practice exercises yourself, or if you want, schedule a teaching session with us via [email protected]. You can also get our video courses and tutorials at

Short Tips for Effective Landscaping:

  • Regular Maintenance: Just like a city needs upkeep, regularly revisit and update your mental landscapes as your knowledge evolves.
  • Cross-Disciplinary Exploration: Seek inspiration and new insights by exploring topics outside your primary field of expertise. This cross-disciplinary approach can help you build bridges between different areas of knowledge.
  • Visual Aids: Consider creating visual representations of your mental landscapes, either on paper or digitally. Visualizing your mental cities can enhance your understanding and memory.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate with peers or colleagues from different backgrounds. Sharing and merging mental landscapes can lead to innovative solutions and perspectives.

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