The idea behind Land of Meaning
Apart from being a literal take of the title “Maps of Meaning” the first book written by Jordan B. Peterson, the idea for this illustration came from watching JBP react to questions during live events. He would sometimes say things like: “it would take too long to get into that” or “let me see how I can get there from here.” Instead of giving isolated answers, he tried to tie the subject of the question with the theme of the talk, in real time.
When being asked trap questions during interviews, in the time it would take me understand the question, JBP seemed to be able to see where it was going and how to counter it. It felt like I was stumbling blind in the world of ideas, just knowing what my hands could touch, while he had his eyes open.
If JBP was seeing something that I was not, what would that be? Probably not this. Surely complex ideas can’t be represented with just two dimensions. But it got me thinking that it would be an interesting experiment. It would be thrilling to hear his opinion about this.
Please be aware of the oversimplification risk in this experiment. Don’t take this low resolution representation and think that it is all you need to know about these myths, ideologies and psychological states. The stories mentioned here contain much more than what this site pretends to transmit, and can be interpreted in other valid ways different to the ones I chose. But remember that the number of interpretations that are valid is limited
As the quote at the top suggests, the purpose of this website is to make it easier for people to understand our motivations for acting the way we do, hoping it will allow us to become more balanced. This is not intended to be a replacement for the book Maps of Meaning. JBP carefully goes through the evidence from psychology, literature and neuroscience that backs up his statements in the book, and you won’t find that aspect of the book in here. That is why I included the page number for each of the quotes and I encourage you to read the reasoning behind them, so you can build your own informed opinion.
If you had to take with you only one thing from this website, I recommend you choose section 5.2.1 The Adversary in Action: Voluntary Degradation of the Map of Meaning. That section describes the pathology behind the ideological possession that divides the world into extreme right and extreme left. If we could recognize and avoid those behaviors within ourselves, I’m convinced the world would be a better place. The rest of the site, however, provides the background to fully understand that section.