My Interpretation of the Relevance of Jordan Peterson's "Maps of Meaning" For Understanding America's Craziness
I’m only on the second chapter of Jordan Peterson’s “Maps of Meaning,” but if I understand it, I think it might help us understand America’s craziness – going to war after 9/11 with the wrong country – Iraq – and Gang Stalking for over a decade after it, ordinary people who have done nothing wrong, but maybe, piss off a sociopath fireman who they had a dispute with over a property boundry.
Peterson explains how culture is a game based on rules and expectations. We develop ideologies that tell us who is thinking and acting properly and who isn’t.
For instance pre-9/11, Saddam Hussein was a threat, Saudi Arabia wasn’t. The fact in this country we have two political parties comes with the perception, the problem is the other party.
Our beliefs can be a problem, Jordan said. They ostensibly keep chaos at bay. They help us to know what to do and think.
When we step outside them we enter the scary territory of the unexplained. The structure of meaning we have construed falls apart and in its place a chaos we do not know how to navigate emerges.
The problem was the opposite political party with a different point of view which kept America from being as it should be.
Our narratives contain the “values and ideals” that “protect us from disorder” generated by our “natural, pre-experimental, mythical mind” that spins meaning, our valuations that form the basis for action – not with a scientific evaluation of objective nature, but with “motivational relevance,” not sensory qualities.
Jordan defines “thinking is a specification of value specification of implication for behavior.” He goes on “action presupposes valuation.”
“The known our current story protects us from the unknown chaos.”
In 9/11 there was chaos, iconic buildings falling, bodies dropping from these buildings rather than face a death by fire, days on end of people holding up pictures wondering what happened to loved ones.
“Outside the known,” Jordan tells us “panic reigns.” He goes on “in the field of the unknown primordial emotional forces rule.”
Smash it. Control it. Fight it. Destroy it. Use our military might – which we know – will protect us. Use our spy agencies – which we know – will protect us.
Iraq is our enemy. We know that. Saudi Arabia is our friend. People in the other party keep us from our desired future. We know that.
Thus we went to war with Iraq, even though, it was people from Saudi Arabia who wrought the destruction of 9/11 and we used our massive intelligence industrial complex to implement another COINTELPRO program, Government Gang Stalking, even though its targets – I was one – did nothing more than be a Democrat surrounded by Republicans – Bush supporters in my neighborhood.
This is how America in its craziness after 9/11 kept chaos at bay. She reinserted those she told itself were the enemy rather than suffer the disruption of her narratives, her carefully constructed universe that explained the meaning of things, that gave her confidence the world was a place of order and not unexpected unknowns.
As I read more of Jordan’s “Maps of Meaning,” if I get more insights based on my interpretation of what I’m reading, I’ll post them here.
Of course, since my own Map of Meaning may influence my interpretation of Jordan's book - You're going to have to read it for yourself.
In putting Jordan's book into my own map of reality when he talks about the ability of the right hemisphere to be more capable when dealing with less determinate information, it reinforces my own belief that our Presidents need to be surrounded by, not only the left brain thinkers we find often in our military/Intel Agencies/Deep State bureaucrats, sensing personality types, but also the right brain thinkers we find often among social scientists/psychologists like Jordan. I don't believe we'd have programs like Government Gang Stalking if people like Jordan Peterson - I suspect he is a dominant introverted intuitive - were there after 9/11 advising the President and the VP who I think started Government Gang Stalking, Dick Cheney.
A more adaptive response to 9/11 would be this unexpected event means we have to readjust our Maps of Meaning. But no such examination of means and ends ever happened.
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