Notes Psychology

The Maps of Meaning Lectures

Jordan Peterson is often less known for the content of his work than he is for his sometimes controversial political views, but I personally was attracted to the content in these lectures that were based on his first book Maps of Meaning.

I summarized the most important ideas of each lecture because many are truly worth remembering.

The introduction to Peterson’s lectures by following his arguments that start with a historical journey of Capitalism vs Communism and an archetypal one of Order vs Chaos.

We learn about Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio’s clumsy fallible conscience. While imperfect, the conscience (bug) is the symbolic key to your moral and psychological development.

A summary of Affective Neuroscienceand an parallel to the Oedipal Complex, as well as an interesting tangent to Dante’s Inferno.

Leaving bar to go on a trip with the coachman, who finally reveals himself as satanic and instills fear in the Fox and Cat.

The biological underpinnings of our perception – touching on orienting theory, cybernetic theory, and neurology, and behaviorist B.F Skinner’s experiments with rats.

The evolution of our traits, dominance hierarchies, motivational systems, and our sense of meaning.

The nature of our neurological systems, how information transforms us, some more universal archetypal themes and what we can learn from Egyptian mythology.

The neuropsychology of symbolic representation (how our brain’s right and left hemispheres process the known and unknown differently), and the story of Mesopotamian myth of Marduk.

The nature of the unknown through mythological symbolism, and explains why the unknown is necessary.

The archetypal similarities across the Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Christian and Buddhist myths

Sacrifice as the precursor to transformation.

We cannot derive an is from an ought. There are too many pathways you can arrive to from scientific truths, you have no way of knowing which scientific truth should be most relevant without invoking your subjective interpretation. That is the postmodernist problem – there are too many facts to be able to coherently determine values.

These lectures are based on Jordan Peterson’s first book.

Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of BeliefThe Maps of Meaning Lectures 1

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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