Jordan Peterson – Maps of Meaning:The Architecture of BeliefBuy on Amazon
Jordan Peterson’s first book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief is an absolute masterpiece. It apparently took him 10 years to write and he obsessed over every sentence and wrote and rewrote each line multiple times until it was perfect.
We are not going to lie, the book is a tough read and packed with dense but interesting material. While it seems like the Dr. Peterson goes on lots of tangents, they are nevertheless both interesting and integral to your full understanding of the human condition. Also, it seems like Jordan Peterson repeats a lot of concepts in this book, but keep in mind it is done to hammer them in, as they are the most important.
The basic take away from this book is really a book of life and how people behave. It is the blueprint into the human mind and what drives and motivates us to wake up in the morning and what motivates us to do the things we do. If you understand this book, then you will fully be “red pill” and be able to fully explain the forces that drive human and animal action. Note, it is not as simple as just Darwinism or climbing the dominance hierarchy.
As a brief overview, Jordan Peterson takes you on a intellectual journey into the deeper motivations that drive us. He started researching this when he become interested in why people were willing to fight to the death to defend their belief systems (think Cold War and communism vs democracy). As he peeled the onion, he realized that human will defend their belief system because it absolutely dictates their existence. Without a belief system, you can’t really act properly or orient yourself properly in the world.
As Dr. Peterson dives deeper into the rabbit hole, he starts to investigate why we even have belief systems in the first place, and if one belief system is objectively better than another. Perhaps they are arbitrary or perhaps there’s something common among all belief systems.
In Maps of Meaning, Jordan Peterson has truly discovered the underlying code that dictates all of our actions. There is an universal morality that is built into you. This moral code is universal and is not learned or forced upon you by your culture. The living proof is in all of the stories and myths that are handed down to us today. It isn’t just random and arbitrary that they have survived for so long. They all point to the same issues and tell the same story.
The basic theory is as follows: as soon as humans gain consciousness, we also fully realize that there is something called the known and the unknown. We spend our entire lives bridging the gap between the two and our heroes are the ones who bravely with their chest out step into the unknown, learn about it, and share it with the world. It is your willingness to sacrifice your own life for that of your community and to go out there in the unknown and conquer it that gives you meaning. This sacrifice will allow to you rise to the top of the dominance hierarchy. It is the nash equilibrium strategy. It can’t just be everyone serving themselves and their rational self interest all the time everytime. This leads to unstable societies, like China.
While his work is loaded with a bit of a religious fanatical tone, there is plenty of information to be learned here. Jordan Peterson’s biggest criticism is that he is too romantic and optimistic. He truly believes in the good of people, because his idea is that being good and finding meaning to your life and serving your community is intrinsic. It is your nature!
See below for the Amazon page where you can purchase this great book. And if you are interested in Peterson’s hit book 12 Rules For Life, we have that review here too. Keep in mind, that the 12 Rules for Life only fully makes sense once you have mastered the principles of Maps of Meaning. The 12 Rules is more of a practical guide on how to actually be the best you can be to the world and yourself. But you need to understand the derivation of these rules first with Maps of Meaning.