web site hit counter Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

Availability: Ready to download

Why have people from different cultures and eras formulated myths and stories with similar structures? What does this similarity tell us about the mind, morality, and structure of the world itself? Jordan Peterson offers a provocative new hypothesis that explores the connection between what modern neuropsychology tells us about the brain and what rituals, myths, and religi Why have people from different cultures and eras formulated myths and stories with similar structures? What does this similarity tell us about the mind, morality, and structure of the world itself? Jordan Peterson offers a provocative new hypothesis that explores the connection between what modern neuropsychology tells us about the brain and what rituals, myths, and religious stories have long narrated. A cutting-edge work that brings together neuropsychology, cognitive science, and Freudian and Jungian approaches to mythology and narrative, Maps of Meaning presents a rich theory that makes the wisdom and meaning of myth accessible to the critical modern mind.


Compare

Why have people from different cultures and eras formulated myths and stories with similar structures? What does this similarity tell us about the mind, morality, and structure of the world itself? Jordan Peterson offers a provocative new hypothesis that explores the connection between what modern neuropsychology tells us about the brain and what rituals, myths, and religi Why have people from different cultures and eras formulated myths and stories with similar structures? What does this similarity tell us about the mind, morality, and structure of the world itself? Jordan Peterson offers a provocative new hypothesis that explores the connection between what modern neuropsychology tells us about the brain and what rituals, myths, and religious stories have long narrated. A cutting-edge work that brings together neuropsychology, cognitive science, and Freudian and Jungian approaches to mythology and narrative, Maps of Meaning presents a rich theory that makes the wisdom and meaning of myth accessible to the critical modern mind.

30 review for Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    This book was a huge disappointment. It abounds with dense, often impenetrable, verbiage. Basic points are made repeatedly, but subtle ones occasionally appear in the middle of an argument and are never referenced again. Even worse, this text makes at least one statement that is factually wrong. This mistake is not a small oversight, either. It is one that demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the topic being discussed at that part in the text, and throws into question the validity of This book was a huge disappointment. It abounds with dense, often impenetrable, verbiage. Basic points are made repeatedly, but subtle ones occasionally appear in the middle of an argument and are never referenced again. Even worse, this text makes at least one statement that is factually wrong. This mistake is not a small oversight, either. It is one that demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the topic being discussed at that part in the text, and throws into question the validity of other points made throughout the rest of the book. I first encountered Maps of Meaning on TV Ontario as a lecture series with the same name. I found the lectures by Dr. Peterson fascinating, but, unfortunately, confusing in parts. There were details I wasn't able to fully grasp, and I wanted to know more. That led me to this book, in hopes of filling in the gaps and developing a better understanding of the topics he covered. One of the blurbs on the back cover says the book is "... exciting not just for the general reader ... ", suggesting that it should be accessible by a layman. Although I'm a layman in the area of psychology, I do have a graduate degree in computer science and have taken a handful of psychology and philosophy courses as an undergrad. Dr Peterson teaches an undergrad course based on this text that only has a couple of second year psych courses as prerequisites, so I figured I should be well-prepared to study, and understand, the book's contents. Things were slow-going from the start. There were repeated instances where the text could have said something simply (or at least with more clarity), but instead chose to obfuscate. Try this passage on for size (from page 13): "Active apprehension of the goal of behavior, conceptualized in relationship to the interpreted present, serves to constrain or provide determinate framework for the evaluation of ongoing events, which emerge as a consequence of current behavior." Now imagine 400+ pages in this style. But I soldiered on. I took my time and tried to understand the details Dr. Peterson was presenting. In fact, there were parts of the book that I found genuinely fascinating and well-written. Unfortunately, these parts were overshadowed by a slowly growing feeling in my stomach that I was having the wool pulled over my eyes. It was when I reached the middle of the book that this feeling fully crystallized. On page 235, Dr Peterson writes: "A moral system -- a system of culture -- necessarily shares features in common with other systems. The most fundamental of the shared features of systems was identified by Kurt Godel. Godel's Incompleteness Theorem demonstrated that any internally consistent and logical system of propositions must necessarily be predicated upon assumptions that cannot be proved from within the confines of that system." That is most certainly NOT what Godel's Incompleteness Theorem states. I'd like to say that Dr Peterson has simply provided a naive oversimplification of the theorem, but that's not even the case. What Dr. Peterson has cited is a complete misrepresentation of Godel's work. Godel's Incompleteness Theorem has nothing to do with proving the "assumptions" (axioms) of the system from "within the confines of the system." Dr. Peterson hammers on this mistake a page later when he describes the five postulates of Euclidean geometry. He writes: "What constitutes truth, from within the perspective of this structure, can be established by reference to these initial postulates. However, the postulates themselves must be accepted. Their validity cannot be demonstrated, within the confines of the system." I can't give a proper exposition of Godel's Incompleteness theorem in one or two paragraphs, so if you're interested in details I direct you to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy which has a fairly readable description of what Godel actually proved. This is where the book broke down for me. If the text so egregiously misrepresented Godel's Incompleteness theorem, what else had it oversimplified, misrepresented, or gotten plain wrong? And how much of its dense rhetoric was simply fancy word play to hide vacuous arguments? To quote David Hume, "If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion." This is perhaps too harsh a verdict for Maps of Meaning. As I mentioned, there were parts that I found well-written and interesting. But taken as a whole, it's not worth the time investment required.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Reginald

    In Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, Jordan Peterson attempts to explain the neuropsychological, phenomenological, and behavioral basis of mythological imagery while trying to encourage the reader towards the behavioral path of “heroic” exploration. Peterson argues that the empirical worldview (representing the world as “a place of things” that can be objectively tested and validated by multiple observers) is not how human beings primarily experience reality or how they decide to behav In Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, Jordan Peterson attempts to explain the neuropsychological, phenomenological, and behavioral basis of mythological imagery while trying to encourage the reader towards the behavioral path of “heroic” exploration. Peterson argues that the empirical worldview (representing the world as “a place of things” that can be objectively tested and validated by multiple observers) is not how human beings primarily experience reality or how they decide to behave. He instead posits that all human beings primarily experience reality through the phenomenological worldview; a representation of the world as “a forum for action” composed of known territory (areas of experience where you know where you are, what you want, and what to do to get what you want), unknown territory (areas of experience that indicate you don’t [fully] know where you are, what you want, or what to do to get what you want), and the individual (as they experience navigation within and between these two territories, voluntarily and/or involuntarily). These pre-empirical representations structure all human behavior, according to Peterson, and were what the archaic minds of the past attempted to document in their mythologies. Peterson then attempts to establish a stable neuropsychological basis for these irreducible aspects of phenomenological experience. In essence, he makes the case that various functions of the brain support the initial claim that all human beings categorize known and unknown territory in ways consistent with mythological representation, and can voluntarily (re)categorize experiential anomalies - can transform “‘the unknown and terrifying world’ into the comfortable, productive, and familiar” - through cautious exploratory behavior. Once Peterson establishes these foundational claims, he then spends the rest of the book presenting his interpretive framework of how the interplay between “the unknown, the known and the knower” appears in various mythic imagery/motifs (taken from different cultures and time periods), and what implications these recurring themes (should) have on human behavior. His fundamental conclusion? Two phenomenological options constantly war for human embodiment via behavior and representation: arrogant (yet cowardly & childish) omniscience or humble (yet courageous & mature) inquiry. In other words, you can either choose to ignore anomalies (anything you don’t expect/understand, including your mistakes) or you can cautiously approach anomalies until you successfully attain resources/behaviors/realistic desires that get you what you want. To Peterson, these options constitute the mythic battle between good and evil – and Peterson argues that it is in your best interest to be good. All of Peterson’s major claims and conclusions, however, need to be assessed for their degree of truth before they are fully/partially adopted by the reader. Arguably the most important question is whether a qualitative difference between empirical and phenomenological approaches to reality exists (and, as an important follow-up question, whether the phenomenological approach takes involuntary precedence over the empirical approach). The qualitatively distinct and predominant nature of phenomenology seems self-evident once reminded of the inevitable and necessary value judgments human beings make between objects/situations whenever they choose to behave – all action implies that one outcome is better than another. However, this framework of valuation cannot be provided by the indifferent empirical description of objects (which David Hume popularly observed with his “is-ought problem”). Phenomenology, then, appears to be the a priori approach to all human behavior - an approach where subjectivity and objectivity are (implicitly) conflated in order to identify what should be avoided or approached. The empirical facts Peterson uses to support his hypothesis of how the human brain structures experience seems scientifically valid and reliable (as indicated, in large part, by the amount of scientific articles & studies he references whenever making claims about how the brain functions on a neuropsychological level). Once these two claims are established as reasonable and most likely true, it seems reasonable to state that any representation of reality that attempts to claim what should be valued or what should be done must be viewed primarily as a phenomenological representation (and therefore should primarily be judged by its success at helping human beings attain what they subjectively want, and not by how empirically accurate it is). Ancient mythological motifs that appear repeatedly across cultures and over long time spans are therefore the most “phenomenologically successful”, and therefore likely still inform/guide successful human behavior. This means that Peterson’s interpretive framework of what behavioral & phenomenological patterns are consistently represented in mythology are at least partially true – and true enough to take seriously. The significance of this book cannot easily be overstated. Peterson effectively creates a compelling and nearly irrefutable argument for the importance of mythology in guiding human behavior, as well as providing a coherent framework that can be used to begin extracting practical phenomenological/behavioral principles from ancient (and contemporary) myths that can otherwise be dismissed as empirical fiction. Furthermore, he claims that destabilizing social manifestations of totalitarianism, nihilism, and decadence are the ultimately the result of the evil behaviors of the experiencing individual (evil being defined as the cowardly failure to learn from errors and strange, new phenomena) – he lays the responsibility of the world’s insanity at the feet of the reader. He also provides a solution: continually expose yourself to what you don’t know/understand in order to learn from it (or, alternatively: continually engage in activities you experience as meaningful, since the subjective sense of meaning “accompanies the honest pursuit of the unknown, in a direction and at a rate subjectively determined”). Successful adaptation to the unknown (and the sense of meaning experienced while this process occurs) will steer you away from nihilistic or decadent behavior, and will lead to adaptive behaviors and paradigms that will initially conflict with the traditional patterns of society (which prevents totalitarianism) and eventually lead to societal updates in behavior/resources/values (since your consistent success in situations that terrify most other people will lead others to imitate your behavior in those situations, updating perception on what needs to be done and what is truly valuable to pursue). Peterson therefore offers a call to action: if you become a hero, you will truly save the world.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David

    A few weeks ago my three year old daughter and I went to the library to check out some books. Usually she heads right to the section with Curious George while I peruse the kids books, looking for new and fun stories. Lately she’s been randomly grabbing books off the shelf and declaring she wants them. Surprisingly they are usually quite good. I don’t recall if she grabbed it or if I did, but we ended up with Scaredy Squirrel. We took it home and read it. It was hilarious. Poor Scaredy Squirrel is A few weeks ago my three year old daughter and I went to the library to check out some books. Usually she heads right to the section with Curious George while I peruse the kids books, looking for new and fun stories. Lately she’s been randomly grabbing books off the shelf and declaring she wants them. Surprisingly they are usually quite good. I don’t recall if she grabbed it or if I did, but we ended up with Scaredy Squirrel. We took it home and read it. It was hilarious. Poor Scaredy Squirrel is terrified to leave his safe tree and journey into the unknown. He has all sorts of contingency plans for when and if he is threatened. Of course, when a bee flies by he forgets all his plans and dives out of his tree for safety. A funny kids book and nothing more, right? Well, at the same time we got this book, I was working on Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning. A good chunk of his book is about how humans live in the midst of two worlds – the known and the unknown. We learn and grow by encountering the unknown, as scary as it is. The story of Scaredy Squirrel is a fun illustration of what Peterson was talking about, I actually flipped to the front to see if he had authored it. I first heard of Peterson’s book from a friend. My friend reads a ton of books and has introduced me to many great writers. On Facebook a while back he shared the ten most influential books he had read and this was one of them. I added it to my list. When I finally got a copy and set out to read it was a challenging and delightful feast. Peterson draws on various fields, from science to religion. He brings them all to bear on his field, psychology, in a discussion of how mythology, the stories we tell, influence how we view the world. To put it another way, none of us sees the world objectively, as if the world is just objects out there which we all perceive. Instead we inherit maps of meaning from our ancestors which shape how we see the world. There is a lot of good in this book. The only drawback is that it could have been more concise as Peterson tends to repeat himself and ramble at times. Overall though, this is a fantastic book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Scriptor Ignotus

    When I first discovered Jordan Peterson last summer, some months before his embroilment in the political controversy at the University of Toronto which made him a folk hero among the liberal right, I was first struck by some of the similarities between his intellectual journey, as he describes it, and my own. Like me, Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, but found himself unsatisfied with the exclusively materialist models of political behavior which seem to dominate the dis When I first discovered Jordan Peterson last summer, some months before his embroilment in the political controversy at the University of Toronto which made him a folk hero among the liberal right, I was first struck by some of the similarities between his intellectual journey, as he describes it, and my own. Like me, Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, but found himself unsatisfied with the exclusively materialist models of political behavior which seem to dominate the discipline. He became convinced, as I did, that in the quest to discover the material preconditions of socio-political life, the social sciences have lost sight of the degree to which material realities—and indeed, the very concept of reality, “The World”, as apprehended by human consciousness—are a derivation of that seemingly-supernatural nexus of meaning called the human being. To say that political life is dominated exclusively by material self-interest and arbitrary lust for power is simply bad anthropology; and any political theory, if it is to hold water, must account first for the profound self-excessiveness of human life as the fulcrum of our shared existence in polity, or else trade only in platitudes and superficialities; superficialities which, if sufficiently internalized and elevated to the status of dogma by would-be champions of “progress”, can wreak havoc on the social order. Peterson, having turned to psychology and perhaps regarding it as queen of the anthropological disciplines (as theology was once queen of the sciences), regards extreme political ideologies like fascism and communism as collective manifestations of psychopathology. Their appeal comes from their telling part (and only part) of a compelling mythopoeic story—compelling because it reflects and invokes certain elements of the evolved (and thus universal) structures of value and meaning in the human psyche. Their insidiousness lies in their inherently-violent propensity for rigid and pharisaical commitment to the assertion of what is essentially an isolated fragment of human value-experience over and above all others, degrading and damaging the fullness of the human personality in the process. Their political violence is an expression of a violently-disrupted psychological equilibrium. With murderous force, Hitler and Stalin tried to squeeze reality into a cramped and distorted ideological box. Reality prevailed, of course; but not before hundreds of millions of lives were snuffed out. This is the danger of making an idol of a partial, superficial truth. Peterson would use the language of Jung and Neumann by claiming that political ideologues are under the possession of archetypes. A militant feminist gazes into the impenetrable abyss of objective reality and sees only a malevolent patriarchal tyranny governing human affairs. A Leninist sees only class oppression. A fascist sees a primordial social purity corrupted by a plague of degeneracy. These are radical simplifications of reality; little ideational shelters in which the anxious can take refuge amidst the howling wilderness of the unknown, which is truth: the impossibly vast, uroboric ring of chaos surrounding the cosmos; the cosmos being the enclave of meaning-value carved out of this pandemonium by human consciousness. Simply put, these ideologies are projections, and the projectors are fixated on half-truths. The father can be tyrannical in his negative aspect, but in his positive aspect he can be a benevolent protector and guide. The outsider might be a threat to social cohesion, but he could also be an emissary of light, renewing the society he enters by bringing new insight from beyond the realm of established knowledge. To understand the nature of the whole man, one must understand that human beings view reality most fundamentally as “forum for action” rather than as “place of things”. Modern empirical science, which has more-or-less successfully disentangled word-concepts from material objects, is a new and hard-won development in our intellectual history. The world of men was, and remains in better part, a world of meaning, value, and utility. Things are regarded not as they “really” are, but rather in terms of their significance for human life. The great religious and mythological systems are not simply naïve theories of empirical science. They are better described as formulas for action; navigational charts of subjective valuation for the knower who straddles the line between known and unknown. I’m tempted to call them “maps of meaning”, but I can’t remember where that’s from. I hope this book has found its moment, and that it can serve as an exorcist’s manual for our apocalyptic, demon-haunted age.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Jordan Peterson is obviously not an idiot. But he continuously repeats himself like one. He doesn't need as many words as he uses. People seem intimidated by the length of the book, and literally say, "It can't be summarized". Here's a summary: Humans are animals, and animals have systems that help them navigate the world. Humans create a model of the world. Things that go according to the model are considered good or at least not terrifying. Things that don't go according to the model are the fu Jordan Peterson is obviously not an idiot. But he continuously repeats himself like one. He doesn't need as many words as he uses. People seem intimidated by the length of the book, and literally say, "It can't be summarized". Here's a summary: Humans are animals, and animals have systems that help them navigate the world. Humans create a model of the world. Things that go according to the model are considered good or at least not terrifying. Things that don't go according to the model are the fucking worst. Why? Because everything that can go wrong will go wrong is baked into our brains. This creates the primordial bifurcation of "Order" and "Chaos". Humans, being the most advanced animal, has to integrate these models between people spatially and overtime in order to survive. They have to filter out a great deal of noise, too. This creates culture. All cultures are fundamentally constrained and shaped by the model of the mind above. What's the evidence for this? Cultures keep saying the same damn thing over and over again, or at least given enough time a culture will say the same thing as another culture. Now, culture, by connecting humans spatially and temporally, promises peace and the fulfillment of goals of the individuals within the culture. This is great until something threatens the culture- outsiders, new or antithetical value systems, for example. When these threats arrive, people will do anything they can to protect the culture. Hence the Nazis. Literally, hence the Nazis. That's the entire point of the book. "Why did the Nazis do what they did?" Because of these traits that trace themselves back to the basic nature of humanity. There's also a bunch of crazy shit in here copped from Jung and then expanded on. Also Campbell. Also the Bible. Anyways, the book never is like, "What if I'm wrong?" It purely postulates things and does not try to defend itself against any critiques. Honestly, this is a waste of time to read. I think Peterson will probably get a book deal in the next five years and he'll get a graduate student or assistant to just make a more concise sensical version of this. Hell, there's probably a Lobster-hat wearing Canadian writing up a shorter, 100-200 page version of it right now. Read that one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Ball

    "The truth seems painfully simple – so simple that it is a miracle, of sorts, that it can ever be forgotten. Love God, with all thy mind, and all thy acts, and all thy heart. This means, serve truth above all else, and treat your fellow man as if he were yourself – not with the pity that undermines his self-respect, and not with the justice that elevates yourself above him – but as a divinity, heavily burdened, who could yet seethe light. It is said, it is more difficult to rule oneself, than a c "The truth seems painfully simple – so simple that it is a miracle, of sorts, that it can ever be forgotten. Love God, with all thy mind, and all thy acts, and all thy heart. This means, serve truth above all else, and treat your fellow man as if he were yourself – not with the pity that undermines his self-respect, and not with the justice that elevates yourself above him – but as a divinity, heavily burdened, who could yet seethe light. It is said, it is more difficult to rule oneself, than a city – and this is no metaphor. This is truth, as literal as it can be made. It is precisely for this reason that we are always trying to rule the city. It is a perversion of pride to cease praying in public, and to clean up the dust under our feet, instead; seems too mundane to treat those we actually face with respect and dignity, when we could be active, against, in the street. Maybe it is more important to strengthen our characters, than to repair the world. So much of that reparation seems selfish, anyway; is selfishness and intellectual pride masquerading as love, creating a world polluted with good works, that don’t work. Who can believe that it is the little choices we make, every day, between good and evil, that turn the world to waste and hope to despair? But it is the case. We see our immense capacity for evil, constantly realized before us, in great things and in small – but can never seem to realize our infinite capacity for good. Who can argue with a Solzhenitsyn when he states: “One man who stops lying can bring down a tyranny”? Christ said, the kingdom of Heaven is spread out upon the earth, but men do not see it.657 What if it was nothing but our self-deceit, our cowardice, hatred and fear, that pollutes our experience and turns the world into Hell? This is a hypothesis, at least – as good as any other, admirable and capable of generating hope –why can’t we make the experiment, and find out if it is true? "

  7. 5 out of 5

    Olha Khilobok

    Not an easy thing at all, which adds to the feeling of personal heroic fulfillment while reading the last page. A profound work which takes understanding of basic tree-act structure to the unprecedented depth. An exquisite example of how beautiful and fruitful multidisciplinary approach is. Two month of both suffering and savouring with a pencil in your hand. Was it worth it? Yes, it was indeed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Devyn Kennedy

    Pseudoscience and claptrap that tries its damndest to use big words to bolster itself. a whiny child is still a child no matters its vocabulary.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Volpi

    For one, this book, and Dr. Peterson's overall project (including his lectures, talks based on this seminal text), has completely transformed--complicated, illuminated--my conception and understanding of the fundamental psychological and philosophical importance of narrative. I'm a better learner, teacher, analyst and critic because of this text, for which I'm truly grateful. For one, this book, and Dr. Peterson's overall project (including his lectures, talks based on this seminal text), has completely transformed--complicated, illuminated--my conception and understanding of the fundamental psychological and philosophical importance of narrative. I'm a better learner, teacher, analyst and critic because of this text, for which I'm truly grateful.

  10. 4 out of 5

    M.

    Disclaimers: 1) I don't think "Peterson is the evil misogynist, racist hero of the alt-right" 2) I don't think he's the ally of Western civilization, rationality and Christendom, either. 3) There are a few common sensical things that he has said (in regards to gender theory), which I don't rule out. 4) I'm Catholic, so Catholic things will ensue. He's using an outdated ahistorical, unscientific Jung / Campbell / Eliade / Neumann base (read Wolfgang Smith's Cosmos and Trascendence to see how far it Disclaimers: 1) I don't think "Peterson is the evil misogynist, racist hero of the alt-right" 2) I don't think he's the ally of Western civilization, rationality and Christendom, either. 3) There are a few common sensical things that he has said (in regards to gender theory), which I don't rule out. 4) I'm Catholic, so Catholic things will ensue. He's using an outdated ahistorical, unscientific Jung / Campbell / Eliade / Neumann base (read Wolfgang Smith's Cosmos and Trascendence to see how far it goes into nonsense). He agrees with Jung in a lot of stuff and especially the consideration that Christianity proceeds from Gnostic belief (specifically a 2nd century heresy that was fought by the Church Fathers, who he seems to ignore all around), that we all share a collective unconscious, that alchemy was the predominant "scientific" discourse in the Middle Ages, because there was no science in that time period (I guess Roger Bacon just didn't exist), that dogma is the same as fanaticism (the nerve!). That the realm of the unconscious presupposes a male overview where otherness is always female (before this is misread as "complaints about misogyny"... I just question the universality of this subjective universal experience). Following this model, mystic experience is impossible for otherness is almost always female (and God is not female, nor male), even an encounter with Jesus where in analogy to the Song of Songs, the default soul is GASP, FEMALE! Or even the Church, with its hierarchical structure is female. None of this would've happened if Christianity was truly Gnostic. Because Gnosticism despised femaleness. Godel's theorem is badly explained, Panfield's model is obsolete (this guy died in 1976) and insufficient and fails to consider the independent movemens of muscles, his interpretations of the Bible are throughoutly heretical (no evidence that the serpent was female, "dogmatic" positions equated knowledge of good and evil with scientific knowledge, and that putting Mary above God is a "Christian alternative"). He also clearly ignores representations of chaos which are sex-neutral or male, or those where the sun god is a sun goddess instead (Amaterasu); and that Christ defeated the "The Great and Terrible Mother". Death is never referred to as a mother in the Bible. He also says that the existence of Islam is not seen as evil to a devout Christian. DISCLAIMER: Muslims are human beings, and they are created in the image and likeness of God, BUT the existence of Islam itself poses a heresy, cause of division for it denies the divinity of the Son, and NO, this is not innocuous. Basically, for all people hoping for Peterson to convert, there's a long way to go if he still holds on to these schemes. To close, no, morality is not constructed upon instinct or it wouldn't be objective. I'll leave you with Sam Harris' criticism of this method. "Has human evolution actually selected for males that closely conform to the heroism of St. George? And is this really the oldest story we know? Aren’t there other stories just as old, reflecting quite different values that might also have adaptive advantages? And in what sense do archetypes even exist? … [I]sn’t it obvious that most of what we consider ethical—indeed, almost everything we value—now stands outside the logic of evolution? Caring for disabled children would most likely have been maladaptive for our ancestors during any conditions of scarcity—while cannibalism recommended itself from time to time in every corner of the globe. How much inspiration should we draw from the fact that killing and eating children is also an ancient “archetype”?" Relative to style, the book drags on and on forever, and could be half as long if we didn't have to deal with Peterson's own projection in the nature of sin, religion, and the idea that he is as great as Jung based on the assumption that he "cracked the code". Please, just stop quoting things to repeat points you made pages earlier and earlier. Abuse of italics and quotation make this longer than it should be. Gnosticism such as this can't masquerade as orthodox belief for much longer. Relative to his recent declarations to socially enforced monogamy, I do think they might've been overblown BUT marriage has to have something else rather than just "the effects of diminishing violence" or else we're right into utilitarianism. We can't use the "make sure every man marries or they will end up being a psycho" as a rule, because celibacy of priests in the Latin Church, monks of various traditions (not necessarily Christian) and other paths of consecrated and even single life do show that being single is not the end of the world, but can be put to good use.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Arthur Grunenwald

    Inspired by the infamously-titled video 'PhD gives up trying to reason with SJWs', I went down the rabbit hole of Dr. Jordan Peterson's poignant and critical thoughts about modernity and modern society. Unlike many modern academics, Peterson deviates from the commonality of Marxist thinking in relation to postmodern interdisciplinary studies. Instead of subscribing to the belief that economics is the root of the modern human condition, he utilises psychology and behavioural biology to explain th Inspired by the infamously-titled video 'PhD gives up trying to reason with SJWs', I went down the rabbit hole of Dr. Jordan Peterson's poignant and critical thoughts about modernity and modern society. Unlike many modern academics, Peterson deviates from the commonality of Marxist thinking in relation to postmodern interdisciplinary studies. Instead of subscribing to the belief that economics is the root of the modern human condition, he utilises psychology and behavioural biology to explain the patterns of both national and international populations. I was naturally drawn to Peterson as someone with affinities for language use and how it manifests itself in politics and society. I believe Peterson, at the very least, is outspoken against a certain kind of pseudo-intellectualism that is far too common in modern leftist thought. This book was a 15-year project for Peterson and corresponds with his popular lecture of the same name at the University of Toronto; you can access his lecture videos as well as much more of Peterson's content for free on his YouTube channel. Seeing as how this is - for the time being - an underrepresented book on Goodreads, I look forward to immersing myself in this book and finding out what more Peterson can bring to the table.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    This is a work of great depth and complexity made accessible by Peterson's direct and engaging writing. Peterson synthesizes an array of scientific findings and philosophical frameworks as he endeavors to explain - to himself as much as his readers, it seems - what it means to be the creatures we are; burdened with the despair of our limitations, yet liberated by our capacity for self-redemption. To oversimplify, this book is an exploration of the religious and cultural myths of our species, and This is a work of great depth and complexity made accessible by Peterson's direct and engaging writing. Peterson synthesizes an array of scientific findings and philosophical frameworks as he endeavors to explain - to himself as much as his readers, it seems - what it means to be the creatures we are; burdened with the despair of our limitations, yet liberated by our capacity for self-redemption. To oversimplify, this book is an exploration of the religious and cultural myths of our species, and how they relate to and correspond with neurological processes revealed by modern science. Critical thinking at its finest. Creative, insightful, honest, and inspiring.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    EDIT: THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 2015 and is not an endorsement of JBP's later political career -===========================~~~~~~~~^~~~~~===========================- This changed my way of thinking about fundamental notions. Towards the end it becomes harder to see exactly what he's getting at, and as the book progresses, the diagrams become more and more speculative, but for the first half at least it had a revelation on every page. Also, Peterson mentioned one of my favourite films, "Crumb" in a footn EDIT: THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 2015 and is not an endorsement of JBP's later political career -===========================~~~~~~~~^~~~~~===========================- This changed my way of thinking about fundamental notions. Towards the end it becomes harder to see exactly what he's getting at, and as the book progresses, the diagrams become more and more speculative, but for the first half at least it had a revelation on every page. Also, Peterson mentioned one of my favourite films, "Crumb" in a footnote. He is strongly influenced by Carl Jung and might convince you to take this thinker more seriously than you already do.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mats Winther

    Jordan B. Peterson’s effort to engage the madness of our era is laudable. What’s worse, his views represent a throwback to Hegelian philosophy. Although he often mentions psychologist Carl Jung, his book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1999) has more to do with Hegel than Jung. It contains much of value; but his views are mostly commonsensical. It is a long and meandering book, where he often returns to the same argument. His theory revolves around the societal and cultural ideal. A Jordan B. Peterson’s effort to engage the madness of our era is laudable. What’s worse, his views represent a throwback to Hegelian philosophy. Although he often mentions psychologist Carl Jung, his book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1999) has more to do with Hegel than Jung. It contains much of value; but his views are mostly commonsensical. It is a long and meandering book, where he often returns to the same argument. His theory revolves around the societal and cultural ideal. All myths and religion boil down to the joint effort of humankind to create the ideal society. Spirit, then, becomes manifest in cultural products and homologized social interaction. (He repudiates multiculturalism.) Peterson reduces the entire corpus of religion, mythology, and fairytale to stories about ego formation and social adaptation. He equates symbols with metaphors, which implies that they can be clearly understood in intellectual terms. Allegedly, myth and symbol serve only a social purpose, and they are wholly explainable in logical terms. Jung says, on the contrary, that symbol is needed to express that which transcends the intellect; that which cannot be intellectually understood. Archetypal myth is symbolical, not metaphorical. Peterson has found inspiration in mythologist Joseph Campbell, who has contributed much to the egoization of the archetype, i.e., seeing the archetype (especially the hero) as a human ego. Yet, Marie-Louise von Franz, Jung’s foremost pupil, repudiates the personalistic method of interpretation. A god/archetype is neither a human ego nor a model for a human ego. The consequence of such misinterpretation is that the very healing element of an archetypal narrative is nullified (The Interpretation of Fairy Tales, Preface). Peterson also draws on Erich Neumann, who tends toward a personalistic understanding. He says: “The analytical psychologist Erich Neumann [wrote] a definitive, comprehensive and useful book on the symbolism of the feminine” (p.160). But Neumann tends to get things wrong. Von Franz criticizes Neumann’s Amor and Psyche, where Eros is understood as a woman’s animus. Allegedly, Apuleius’s story is about feminine psychology. In fact, the novel is written by a man, and the story fits well into male psychology (The Golden Ass, ch.5). Neumann also formulated a theory around the “ego-Self axis” according to which ego and Self are really the same thing. (The Self in Jungian psychology is the “God archetype”.) It is like a rod whose top end inhabits the conscious realm. This is the ego. The other end of the rod, which is the Self, abides in the unconscious. However, according to Jung, this is characteristic of pathology, when the ego becomes assimilated to the Self or vice versa (cf. Jung, Aion, pars.45-47). When the Self becomes assimilated to the ego, it results in inflation, as the world of collective consciousness is overvalued—very characteristic of Hegelianism. Thus, as Peterson draws on inferior theorists, poets, and novelists, and mostly reasons philosophically, his views are insufficiently substantiated. This is a glaring flaw of the book. For instance, he says that humanity could first merely express themselves by means of “patterns of action”, and then by mythic narrative, and only later by logical abstraction. But he provides no proof that myth preceded logic and abstraction. Were the Cro-Magnon unable to think logically? In fact, anthropologist believe that we were capable of logical thinking long before we created mythological narratives and art. Peterson argues, rather scandalously, that the “transcendental unknown” is merely “the aspect of experience that cannot be addressed with mere application of memorized and habitual procedures” (p.99). This is reductionism on a par with behaviourism. Although it runs counter to what great minds like Jung and Aquinas say, he gives no evidence, neither empirically nor with arguments by reason. He says that the religious sacrifice is predicated on the idea that the present schema of behavioural adaptation must be destroyed in order for a new adaptive pattern to emerge. The dying and resurrecting god also depends on this concept (p.173 and elsewhere). It means, of course, that the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice is reduced almost to nought. The myth of the hero represents “voluntary alteration in individual human attitude and action” in order to achieve better adapted behavior in society (p.181). So the hero archetype is understood simply as a heroic personal ideal, mimicked by creative individuals. Each properly socialized individual must try and emulate the hero, after having acquired traditional learning: “The inherent value of the individual is dependent on his association, or ritual identification, with the exploratory communicative hero” (p.244). In Jungian psychology, hero identification has pathological consequences. But Peterson elevates it as an ideal for personality. Furthermore, he says that there is an archetype of evil that only wants to “eliminate the world”. But this a Manichean article of faith. He provides no proofs for this bizarre idea, which runs counter to Darwinian theory. The human ego is like a giant troll that gobbles everything up. In fairytales, the hero is the counteragent of this greedy psychic power centre. The hero defeats evil in this form. So it seems that Peterson has signed up to the ego party, the enemies of the hero archetype. Spirit is the “known”, he says. This is the Hegelian concept of spirit, which runs counter to Christian theology and Jungian psychology. But Truth, as formulated in intellectual terms, cannot be possessed by the ego. Truth is God, forever beyond the grasp of the ego. Comparing Hegel and Peterson we find many correspondences. To be an individual really means being a psychologically unique person who goes his own way. But according to Hegelianism citizens shall become coordinated, their personalities homogenized, as they all cast off “subjective mind” and absorb the communal “objective spirit” (cf. Stanford Enc.: Hegel). Hegel says: Since the state is mind objectified, it is only as one of its members that the individual himself has objectivity, genuine individuality, and an ethical life. Unification pure and simple is the true content and aim of the individual, and the individual’s destiny is the living of a universal life. (Philosophy of Right, sec.258) It’s like saying that a potato only attains genuine individuality when it is converted to mashed potatoes. In Hegelianism, the self-consciousness of the particular individual shall be elevated to consciousness of universality through the realization of the universal substantial will, as located in the rationality of the political State. So it means the eradication of true personhood. There will be no more individuality proper, because the particulars have become one with the Geist, manifested in the State, equal to God. It is out-and-out collectivism, as realized in the Communist and Fascist states. The supereminent state stands above all else in giving expression to the Spirit (Geist) of a society in a sort of earthly kingdom of God, the realization of God in the world (cf. Encyc. of Phil.: Hegel). Evidently, Peterson finds this form of pantheism appealing:[Personal identification with the group] provides structure for social relationships (with self and others), determines the meaning of objects, provides desirable end as ideal, and establishes acceptable procedure (acceptable mode for the “attainment of earthly paradise”). (p.223) [Expulsion from Eden] is a step on the way to the “true paradise”—is a step toward adoption of identity with the hero [who] can actively transform the terrible unknown into the sustenant and productive world. (p.338)However, the ego-inflated hero knows no bounds, and that’s why hero identification is regarded pathological. Carrying names such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, and Ceausescu, this breed of heroes attempted to create the ideal society, the earthly paradise. Rudolf Hess has finely characterized heroic megalomania: “Die Partei ist Hitler, Hitler aber ist Deutschland wie Deutschland Hitler ist” (Nuremberg, 1934). This is not the hero that Peterson vouches for, but this is what he will get. Luckily, Peterson has recourse to much common sense. He criticizes identity politics, emphasizing the absurdity of “equal outcomes”. Equal opportunity ought to be guiding principle. This is all well and good. Yet, this is merely a thin conscious value judgment erected upon a rationalistic edifice that won’t hold together. In Peterson’s view, everything revolves around society and culture (the unconscious archetypes, too). But this means that his philosophy springs from the same source as cultural Marxism. Dr. Ricardo Duchesne criticizes him for neglecting the way in which human beings have always grouped together, emphasizing biological distinctions, such as ethnicity, nationality and gender, but also economical status (cf. Duchesne). Peterson turns a blind eye to the biological facts and thinks that all people, regardless of ethnicity, etc., are equally prone to adopt the same “behavioural pattern”, and thus lay the grounds for a prosperous society. But his project is not realizable, because it runs counter to our biology. It is much too philosophical. By example, the average IQ of Blacks in the US is 85 (cf. Rushton, Race, Evolution, and Behavior). How on earth are they going to adopt the same “behavioural pattern” as Whites? With “equal opportunity” the majority of Blacks will end up on the bottom of society. If we are going to talk about equal opportunity, we must also be prepared to accept the consequences. As long as we neglect biological differences, it is easy enough to talk about equal opportunity. Yet, it must needs lead to a stratified society; but this is not how Peterson paints the future, i.e., with gated communities and all that. Although Peterson teaches people to value tradition and the creative individual, his book contains so many errors and so much conjecture. It is impregnated with rationalism and reductionism. I cannot recommend it. Mats Winther | two-paths.com

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    One of the finest books on philosophy, human psyche and human interactions with nature. Lays down the importance of archetypal hero and responsibilities that entails on taking upon that role. It addresses these questions in details 1> Even in the face of suffering and misery, why doing the best you can to lessen it makes sense. 2> How man perceives/interacts with nature and its objects. 3> Who is an archetypal hero? 4> What traits makes one an archetypal hero. 5> What happens when the state/being dege One of the finest books on philosophy, human psyche and human interactions with nature. Lays down the importance of archetypal hero and responsibilities that entails on taking upon that role. It addresses these questions in details 1> Even in the face of suffering and misery, why doing the best you can to lessen it makes sense. 2> How man perceives/interacts with nature and its objects. 3> Who is an archetypal hero? 4> What traits makes one an archetypal hero. 5> What happens when the state/being degenerates into pathology(chaos) or gets rigid with tradition and rules (too orderly) 6> What happens when one(or society) voluntarily abdicates responsibility. The language and the structure of the book is very academic in nature, something like a PhD thesis paper. For someone who is not used to this type of read can get acquainted with his youtube talks to establish proper approach to the book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    James

    A remarkable book, a key text in its field. Peterson shows that the myths of Christian and other cultures are maps of the ways in which human beings deal with anomaly, be it to shape a renewed culture and save it from chaos, or let it stagnate into decadence or totalitarianism. He is very clear on the psychological value of the Christ mythos, dazzlingly interprets from a psychological point of view key passages from the Bible and other texts, and shows how right Jung was to take an interest in A A remarkable book, a key text in its field. Peterson shows that the myths of Christian and other cultures are maps of the ways in which human beings deal with anomaly, be it to shape a renewed culture and save it from chaos, or let it stagnate into decadence or totalitarianism. He is very clear on the psychological value of the Christ mythos, dazzlingly interprets from a psychological point of view key passages from the Bible and other texts, and shows how right Jung was to take an interest in Alchemy as a mirror of the individual soul's journey. A great achievement.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Soren Kerk

    Could we build a shelf on top of the top shelf? This book goes there. I remain astounded that he could write this book when he was only about 30. A brilliant man, an amazing mind, a challenge, a delight.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dan Graser

    Having listened to a great deal of Peterson's lectures and having enjoyed his recent mass-market book "12 Rules for Life," I decided to tackle this huge tome on the formulation of myths and religions as a by-product of several neurological preconditions in addition to psychological understandings of the need to create meaning. Additionally, while I have enjoyed (though not always agreed) with his very direct, clearly-expressed views on a number of issues, it is in his discussions of religion in Having listened to a great deal of Peterson's lectures and having enjoyed his recent mass-market book "12 Rules for Life," I decided to tackle this huge tome on the formulation of myths and religions as a by-product of several neurological preconditions in addition to psychological understandings of the need to create meaning. Additionally, while I have enjoyed (though not always agreed) with his very direct, clearly-expressed views on a number of issues, it is in his discussions of religion in public life that I have found him to be somewhat vague and at times veering into mere casuistry. Given his style and his education I suspected there was more to it than merely, "dodging the question," which he rarely does. Thus I suspected this textbook of his would elucidate his position on these issues more clearly and at greater depth. In many ways that is the case and I think I have a better understanding of the importance he places on certain archetypal and symbolic elements of mythical and religious thought, beyond what I could already glean from his work having read a great deal of Jung myself. As this is a textbook, readers of his more popular work may be a bit pressed to grasp some of these concepts as easily as in his lectures and other works simply because he is writing in a very academic style for an audience of students and professors in the field. Ignore the reviews that say his writing here is too dense or he is being deliberately evasive with his language, he isn't (at least not in THIS book), that is just a fundamental difference when writing a work for the general public or for scholars. One of the important organizing concepts of the work follows a summary of Piagetian theory: "Behavior is imitated, then abstracted into play, formalized into drama and story, crystallized into myth and codified into religion - and only then criticized in philosophy, and provided, post-hoc, with rational underpinnings. Explicit philosophical statements regarding the grounds for and nature of ethical behavior, stated in a verbally comprehensible manner, were not established through rational endeavor. Their framing as such is clearly a secondary endeavor..." Recent readers of his will also recognize several concepts that he has brought to a larger stage in remarks such as: "The wisdom of the group can serve as the force that mediates between the dependency of childhood and the responsibility of the adult. Under such circumstances, the past serves the present. A society predicated upon belief in the paramount divinity of the individual allows personal interest to flourish and to serves as the power that opposed the tyranny of culture and the terror of nature. The denial of meaning, by contrast, ensures absolutely identification with the group - or intrapsychic degeneration and decadence." In such a far reaching work that has a specific theory and expresses it forcefully over 500+ pages, there will be areas of disagreement and perhaps a few oversteps in expression. However, even though I do not share his view of the role of religion in the development of the individual, I greatly enjoyed the work and would recommend to those with an interest in the development of mythological and religious meaning in ancient and modern cultures. Is this work as groundbreaking (published in 1999) as some of the hype now surrounding him would make it out to be? No. Is there plenty to learn and appreciate here? Yes there certainly is.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric Sexton

    I just finished this book but I still need time to sit down and try to organize my thoughts about it. So this is more or a less my impressions immediately upon finishing it. But it says something about the depth and importance of what Peterson has to say that I couldn't possibly feel confident giving a proper review without sitting down and gathering my thoughts. Anyway, here goes nothing. Peterson is one of the only living intellectuals that routinely blows my mind. Peterson couches really stran I just finished this book but I still need time to sit down and try to organize my thoughts about it. So this is more or a less my impressions immediately upon finishing it. But it says something about the depth and importance of what Peterson has to say that I couldn't possibly feel confident giving a proper review without sitting down and gathering my thoughts. Anyway, here goes nothing. Peterson is one of the only living intellectuals that routinely blows my mind. Peterson couches really strange ideas in ways that the modern mind can swallow. It's clear that he's doing his damnedest to push the boundaries of human knowledge. Whatever he's actually accomplished in regards to human knowledge, he managed to affect me on a personal level in very deep ways. What's most refreshing about this book is that it's not pushing a particular ideology. It's actually principally concerned with the dangers of ideology. The end result is the (incredibly organized) thoughts of a man who's clearly committed to the truth. If someone asked me how to categorize it I wouldn't be sure what to say. Of course Peterson is a psychologist so there's a strong reliance on the field of psychology and his experience working as a clinical psychologist. But it deals just as much with ethics, evolutionary science, and religion. Perhaps the most general description I could give of the book is "an attempt to show to evolutionary origins of human morality" but that seems severely lacking. I don't know, man. I'm in the mountains of Peru right now and sometimes I'm too distracted by the scenery to sit down and ponder my own thoughts. Maybe I'll come back here and update this once I've had more time to think. Probably not. Great book. Go read it. Seriously.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Guillermo Gruschka

    Maps of Meaning is one of the best books I have ever read. There were parts where I could only read a single page, and then had to stop for a day and reflect on what I had just read. Jordan is excellent at articulating abstract concepts in a way that more than making sense they just "resonate" with your soul, to put it some way. I believe it is an experience different to normal understanding of facts and agreeing to them, its more like listening to a tuned harmony that is just "true". I'd recomme Maps of Meaning is one of the best books I have ever read. There were parts where I could only read a single page, and then had to stop for a day and reflect on what I had just read. Jordan is excellent at articulating abstract concepts in a way that more than making sense they just "resonate" with your soul, to put it some way. I believe it is an experience different to normal understanding of facts and agreeing to them, its more like listening to a tuned harmony that is just "true". I'd recommend going through Jordan's recommended read list before going for Maps of Meaning, you can find it here: https://jordanbpeterson.com/category/... since Jordan usually makes references to these books but doesn't deep dive on them. So having a background on Carl Jung, Panksepp, Eliade, etc. definitely helps making the most out of the book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brent McCulley

    A little long, but only insofar as Peterson has a tendency to repeat himself even if it is to prove a point tangentially. Notwithstanding that minor criticism, this work obviously is Peterson's magnum opus, and for good reason. Peterson does a really good job utilizing Nietzsche, Jung, Dostoevsky, and others to put forth his thesis of archetypal myth in the historical development of mankind. If you are interested in the history of philosophy, ancient Near East mythology, historiography, or cross-c A little long, but only insofar as Peterson has a tendency to repeat himself even if it is to prove a point tangentially. Notwithstanding that minor criticism, this work obviously is Peterson's magnum opus, and for good reason. Peterson does a really good job utilizing Nietzsche, Jung, Dostoevsky, and others to put forth his thesis of archetypal myth in the historical development of mankind. If you are interested in the history of philosophy, ancient Near East mythology, historiography, or cross-cultural theological development, this will be a great read for you.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dany Vicente

    One of the best content that I experienced. In Life we have so many doubts about everything. What should I belief this and not that. What is the purpose of my existence? In this book we travel from the most ancient archetypes to the present symbols and we found that all humanity existence was nail in the art. And it is in that art that we can find the roots of our ethics, of our beliefs, of our way of being.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Colin Ellard

    Brilliant and frustrating. This book is incredibly ambitious and fascinating in parts but it needed a fierce edit. I found myself planing through pages of redundancy and then having my breath sucked out by a beautiful phrase capturing a riveting idea. This book took a lot of effort but for me it was worth it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrei Balici

    The book tackles some very problematical artefacts, out of which the most important, in my opinion, is the generation of the inner conflict resulted as a by-product of the explicit verbalisation of our belief systems. In identifying the root cause to this issue, Peterson embarks on a quest that spans over a large body of human knowledge, including psychology, philosophy and religious phenomenology, particularly emphasizing the myth and its archetypal characters as patterns of the human behaviour The book tackles some very problematical artefacts, out of which the most important, in my opinion, is the generation of the inner conflict resulted as a by-product of the explicit verbalisation of our belief systems. In identifying the root cause to this issue, Peterson embarks on a quest that spans over a large body of human knowledge, including psychology, philosophy and religious phenomenology, particularly emphasizing the myth and its archetypal characters as patterns of the human behaviour. Belief is important because action presupposes valuation. We attribute valence to all objects and activities in life, prior to measuring their general properties empirically. Valuation is belief, which is in turn morality. A question now arises, which is of paramount importance: what should we believe in? It turns out that the answer resides in the mythological realm. Peterson’s quest started from the interpretation of his own dreams: they act as a passage between the unarticulated ideas of the unconscious and the explicitly comprehensible thoughts of the conscious counterpart. The process of elucidating the nature of dreams leads to a comparative analysis of mythological texts. As the author states: “myth is the distilled essence of the stories we tell ourselves about the patterns of our own behaviours”. It stands to reason that this is the fact, since people in different places and times formulate myths and stories with similar symbols and meanings. However, myth contains its knowledge in an implicit form. The author argues that “once made partially explicit, moral axioms rapidly become subject to endless careful and thoughtful or casual careless debate”. This is the Rumpelstiltskin principle in its purest form: having a name for something gives us dominion over it (if you have not read the story, I greatly encourage you to). In this case, this domination is not necessarily the best outcome since we can explain away beliefs. These moral principles that arise from myths are powerful and necessary, so that they’ve kept their existence, even in the face of their own invalidation by the tenants of empirical science; Peterson says: “We have become atheistic in our description, but we remain evidently religious – that is moral – in our disposition”. Failure to understand myths means and their necessity means that we might fail to recognize the importance of our belief systems that took eons to generate ad that might exist for invisible reasons to our empirically predisposed mind. This verbalisation of dismissal of moral principles can lead to emotional dysregulation, aggression and ideological gullibility. A cure for this is to identify with one of the three archetypes of mythological characters: The Great Son. To put it more verbose, and in Peterson’s terms, myths usually have three patterns of characters: The Great Mother, which represents the unknown, The Great Father, which represents the known and the explored, and finally, The Great Son, which is the processes that mediates between the preceding two and the hero. Identifying with the archetypal hero means removal of the fear of the unknown and protection from the stultification generated by already explored territory. Concretely, this means that the process of exploration is the meta-goal of existence. As Peterson puts it: “respect for belief comes to take second place to respect for the process by which belief is generated”. The above is probably the most monumental idea to take out of this book: pursuing knowledge is the highest moral activity one can undertake, resulting in regulation of emotions and better mental, and thus, physical health. This is backed up by the work of countless generations that have reached the same conclusion, albeit not in a such carefully and nicely articulated manner. I have always believed this to be the case, and I am satisfied that my ideas have been reinforced after reading Peterson’s masterpiece: The brain is the universe becoming aware of itself. It is the most sacred occupation to voluntarily carry out this exploratory process. Everything else can be built on top of this realisation.

  25. 5 out of 5

    vi macdonald

    The question of what one would do with a time machine doesn't necessarily come up all that often, but it used to come up with relative frequency in the wee hours at bars or parties (or more accurately, on the walk to the train station after leaving the bar or party in question). I've been thinking about these 3am conversations a lot lately, turning over past answers and considering new ones, because I haven't been able to go out an have any new conversations in quite a while now and social media The question of what one would do with a time machine doesn't necessarily come up all that often, but it used to come up with relative frequency in the wee hours at bars or parties (or more accurately, on the walk to the train station after leaving the bar or party in question). I've been thinking about these 3am conversations a lot lately, turning over past answers and considering new ones, because I haven't been able to go out an have any new conversations in quite a while now and social media has reached a point for me where I'm incapable of checking my messages and can only use it for late night doomscrolling. Reading Maps of Meaning brought me back to this question of time travel, considering what changes to the course of history I would attempt if I had the chance, and the long and the short of it is that I would try and prevent Carl Jung from ever taking up psychoanalysis and inspiring generation upon generation of some of the most utterly braindead shit I've ever had the misfortune of reading. Between Joseph Campbell utterly ruining popular culture and Jordan Peterson poisoning the brains of an entire generation of men, I think it's safe to say that the world would simply be a better place if I went back to some time in the early 1870s and took Mr. Paul Achilles Jung for a long walk from which he never returned. The book's utter trash, by the way. Even if you've wasted your youth trying to understand Jungian nonsense well enough to comprehend what Peterson is going for, it's still garbage because all Jungian analysis is garbage. Don't read it! It stinks!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tara Brabazon

    Maps of Meaning was published in 1999, to little critical or intellectual response. It gained a new life after Jordan Peterson questioned the legal parameters around language with regard to trans rights. From this point, and particularly after 12 Rules for Life - the self help book that dumbed down the genre to a point where even Oprah would find the resultant cocktail too sweet, basic and self absorbed - Maps of Meaning gained a new life. It is a book that is very basic. This rudimentary level h Maps of Meaning was published in 1999, to little critical or intellectual response. It gained a new life after Jordan Peterson questioned the legal parameters around language with regard to trans rights. From this point, and particularly after 12 Rules for Life - the self help book that dumbed down the genre to a point where even Oprah would find the resultant cocktail too sweet, basic and self absorbed - Maps of Meaning gained a new life. It is a book that is very basic. This rudimentary level has been created because it was based on an undergraduate course. Those of us who have taught the same course for a long time know the attraction of transforming this intellectual journey into a monograph. But there is a problem with this translation. Ideas are rendered simple, stark and clear, to enable the intellectual scaffolding of undergraduate students. Ideas are not 'dumbed down' but they are simplified for clarity. When these simple ideas attempt to be heightened for a scholarly monograph, the result may seem bold and stark, but the details and specificity of knowledge that has been cut away for teaching return to dissolve rigour and complexity. This is a very simple book exploring very complex ideas. This is a very worrying combination. To provide a few highlights... “Ideology divided the world up simplistically into those who thought and acted properly, and those who did not. Ideology enabled the believer to hide from his own unpleasant and inadmissible fantasies and wishes.” “I came home late one night from a college drinking party, self-disgusted and angry. I took a canvas board and some paints. I sketched a harsh, crude picture of a crucified Christ – glaring and demonic – with a cobra wrapped aound his naked wast, like a belt.” “I have been trying ever since then to make sense of the human capacity, my capacity, for evil – particularly for those evils associated with belief.” “The painstaking empirical process of identification, communication and comparison has proved to be a strikingly effective means for specifying the nature of the relatively invariant features of the collectively apprehensible world. Unfortunately, this useful methodology cannot be applied to determination of value – to consideration of what should be, to specification of the direction that things should take … Such acts of calculation necessarily constitute moral decisions” “All those who know the rules, and accept them, can play the game – without fighting over the rules of the game. This makes for peace, stability, and potential prosperity – a good game.” “Any thing or situation that undermines the foundations of the familiar and secure is therefore to be feared.” “We have lost our fear of fire, not because we have habituated to it, but because we have learned how to control it.” “The unknown – as it can be encountered – is female, with paradoxical qualities.” “It seems to me that we use the horrors of the world to justify our own inadequacies.” “Meaning is manifestation of the divine individual adaptive path.” The book demonstrates the simplicity of a greeting card, or a meme bounced around Twitter. What is clear is one religion - Christianity - has been replaced with another: Jung. This is a book of fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of alternative views. Fear of communities unifying for change. And yes - fear of the female and the feminine. When reading this book, humans become wild animals, requiring severe and solid social structures to keep us in line, and away from chaos. Simple times can excuse simple answers. Complex times require analysis, rigour, complexity, and diverse and considered research. If meaning does have a map, then Jordan Peterson has stayed in one house and has not even ventured into the first street. Our times demand a wider view.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Murray Brown

    Peterson has some quite profound insights into how our cultural, moral, religious and spiritual beliefs evolved as projections of intrapsychic phenomena reflected in mythological archetypes that continue to shape our behaviour and motivate our search for meaning.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    I thought early Pererson might be an improvement over his recent book, but no. Dorm-room philosophizing, lots of shallow self-help “arguments” using Jung, Campbell, and Nietzsche, and obtuse, factually incorrect statements across every topic he covers.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sam Torode

    Very thick reading (unnecessarily so, perhaps), but I enjoyed it. Similar theme to Joseph Campbell.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    Self-help masquerading as deep metaphysical insight. Uses vague conceptual terminology to mask obvious platitudes and a weak framework for 'making meaning.' Self-help masquerading as deep metaphysical insight. Uses vague conceptual terminology to mask obvious platitudes and a weak framework for 'making meaning.'

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.