Jordan B. Peterson's Maps of Meaning is now available for the first time as an audio 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? From the author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos comes a provocative 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.
Includes a PDF of Images from the Book.
Religion is more than metaphor
Finally took a deep dive into the so-called Jordan Peterson phenomenon. This book is dense and Peterson’s constant use of the words “affect”, “manifest”, and “potential” make it seem less lively than it is. However, it’s much easier to grasp than a lot of popular physics books I’ve read so don’t be turned off by its academic glow.
So what Peterson attempts to do in Maps of Meaning is use psychology, neuropsychology, and a heavy dose of Carl Jung, to formulate an explanation of why myths exist and why, more importantly, they make sense out of human existence, i.e. they tell us not what was or is in an empirical way, but instruct us how to act in the face of the tragedy of life.
I’m not totally on board with all his conclusions but he forces the reader to take religion, faith, myth, whatever you want to call it, seriously and not just some fever dream of primitive witch doctors. More importantly, he points a way near the end that by taking the path of the mythic hero, we can actually make the world better.
Admittedly, there are some ideas that will turn off post-modern readers, like Petersons anachronistic use of man to describe humanity in general and archetypal phrases from earlier writers like “terrible mother.” But I found nothing in the book that was alt-right or right wing. In fact, traditionalists may be turned off by his allusions to Christ as stand in for a sun deity or alchemy as an attempt by medieval man to complete Christianity in contrast to the church.
Either way, it’s certainly worth reading (or listening to) and will help you get a better understanding of JP’s ideas.
Audiobook not playing
This book is having a hard time playing and that is very disappointing.
Somewhat hard to follow
I like JP, but he’s a bit too careful in his wording. It’s to the extent that the point he’s try to get across gets lost. It’s so drawn out sometimes that you think he’s trying to make a new point, only to realize he’s still talking about the same thing. By the time you realize it, you forget what the original topic of the sentence is about. It reads like a multi tasked, multi faceted, school book that you find yourself dreading to read. It requires an almost academic focus. Meaning, however multi faceted it may be, loses meaning when you over complicate it. I was hoping for an academic like JP to simplify meaning for the layman. Instead it’s over complicated. I’m not an academic, I seek out academics to bridge that gap for me. I’m sure this book is more rewarding for the academic minded individual, but that’s not me.