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Maps of Meaning

Narrated by: Jordan B. Peterson
Length: 30 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (268 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2002 Jordan B. Peterson (P)2018 Random House Audio

What members say

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Amazing truth

Listen and listen some more .
Until you know who you are ,self knowledge Will give you the freedom.To know the truth.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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The meaning of life

This is a very difficult book, but a very important one. It definitely changed the way I see the world and the way I conduct myself. I struggled with the written version, but I've found the audio book more accessible, and I definitely enjoyed it.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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A massive intellectual endeavour

A brilliant piece of work aimed at helping us orient in a world bookended between chaos and order

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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a map for the hero's journey

Professor Peterson narrates his groundbreaking work to successfully bring together philosophical, psychological, evolutionary and biological theories to unite the great mythologies and religions as a way to explore the meaning of life.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Maps of meaning - required reading

To put it simply, this may be the greatest book ever written, decisively so if one includes within it all the works that it references. Even a brief understanding of this work will likely change your life for the better.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom
  • Macquarie Hills, Australia
  • 02-05-2019

Big and sprawling. I need a hard copy and a highlighter.

A surprisingly wooden reading from a great public speaker. There’s a lot in here and much of it is good and insightful, but requires intense concentration, and a notebook beside you. So, it was probably awesome but definitely not a casual listen for the drive to and from work.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Reflective

A great book to exercise the mind in ways of thinking. It's long, but ends too soon.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Insightful and thorough analysis of the principals of evil

Peterson masterfully paints a historical picture of how the birth of good and evil affects us all in modern society, pulling from myth, story, and life this sometimes challenging textbook outlines the concept of evil in the human psyche. Was a pleasure to listen to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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That's a tough book.

Pretty grueling to get through in places, but it delivers a lot of value. A bit repetitive, but that seems to be the norm with academic books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

A dense and complex book - hard work, and definitely worthwhile for those who need to know the myth that animates them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen W
  • 19-06-2018

This is NOT an easy book

Jordan Peterson has claimed on twitter (multiple times) that 12 Rules for Life is a good introduction to Maps of Meaning.

Bullsh*t.

This book is FAR more difficult to follow than 12 Rules. It wasn't written for the general public. It's in a different galaxy.

It is, however, a great book, but I can tell I'm going to have to listen to it at least twice to absorb what Peterson is saying.

If you love JBP, you'll enjoy this book, but be warned: this milkshake is extremely thick.

431 of 456 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-07-2018

profound.

Over the last couple years Dr. Peterson has come into his own and to the attention of the general public with his beliefs which resonates with many conservatives. His detractors would dismiss him and his views and just assume he's just another unintelligent right wing fear mongerer. I've seen videos with people utterly dismissing his ideas because they are of another political view.

Listening to this book, you begin to realize that Dr. Peterson thinks at a higher level than most people. His political opinions have been formed not out of personal agenda, rather from deep philosophical understanding of how we as humans come to the beliefs we do. This book is a mix between developmental psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology. Our beliefs and reactions to what is happening in the world around us (the unknown) has been shaped by centuries of myths that effect the culture around us. You also begin to realize just how intelligent and profound his thinking is. When he formulates an opinion, you can be sure, he's not shooting off the hip, rather he has processed his opinion at a much higher level that 99.9% of his detractors would ever consider.

That being said, this would be much better read than listened to. This doesn't follow like a lecture, but rather a text book. I often times caught myself flipping back 30 seconds to have him repeat a statement because what he just read was so complicated and profound, I needed to hear it a few times in order to process it properly. I have a degree in psychology and still find it difficult to fully grasp some of his statements at first pass.

At times the material is dry. It is still necessary as he formulates arguments. But I find my mind drifiting. Unless I give it my full attention, I often have to back up and re-listen to sections. This is not background sound, but something that demands full engagement.

214 of 229 people found this review helpful

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  • Cutty
  • 22-06-2018

PDF Available on Actual Computer

I haven't finished the book yet (will revise review), but I couldn't respond to other reviews so I'm putting the info here. I couldn't find the PDF on my phone, but managed to find it on my computer in the browser. Check your library; under "Download," it should say "View PDF."

67 of 72 people found this review helpful

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  • Joel C S
  • 08-07-2018

Brilliant Seminal Work (Figures Unreadable)

Maps of meaning is a seminal work that for the first time integrates modern scientific reasoning with the worlds of mythology, religion, psychology, neurology, and philosophy. It explains how the underlying "animal" brain of homo sapiens has become the vessel for human cognition as we now understand it; and how culture and values, even unstated and not understood by those who carry them, are transmitted and disseminated from mind to mind, across society, and through time in the evolution of culture.

For most readers who are not students of arcane mythology and theology, much of the middle part of the book is a tedious academic treatment that beats the dead horse of the author's well proven thesis, but the author should be excused for the unrelenting assault in this magnum opus as the concepts he presents are scientifically and philosophically revolutionary and "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

The Audible reading is well performed by the author, but a major problem with the Audible presentation is the poor quality of the accompanying pdf diagrams, many of which contain text or detail which is simply not legible. Why not redraw the artwork with high resolution images?

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Open Mind
  • 12-06-2018

Life Changing Book

Having read both this and 12 rules for life has been extremely transformative for me. As a 27 year old man, I feel like I now have a path and a guide to lead a meaningful life. I will be listening to this audiobook for many years to come. Also, I am very happy that Peterson decided to do the narration, its like he is talking to me directly. :)

131 of 146 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason Kirkendoll
  • 31-07-2018

Enjoyed this one thoroughly

It took a few hours to settle into the style and pace of the book. Once Jordan settled into mythic narrative references and their psychological significance, the book sped along and it was very interesting. Would definitely recommend.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Dominic
  • 29-07-2018

great book!

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is absolutely amazing, thoughtful a delivers again great wisdom. highly recommended.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Luke E. Smith
  • 10-07-2018

Shocking. Shockingly good. Holy...

Jordan Peterson says this work is a tough read. I beg to differ.

After churning though what feels like ancient tomes of philosophy for the past months, listening to this feels absolutely exhilarating. Lets go through some points - 1. Penned in my native language (the awkward cadence of translation is not to be found here!) 2. Succinct scientific approach to some of the most mulled over epistemology and moral, and general philosophy questions of all time. Compared to the works of Nietzsche I've combed through - though absolutely packed with brilliance - the relative ease of understanding in this book feels like thick, viscous, pure intellectual heroine!!!! I do not say this lightly!

I love how Peterson nests Psychology with it's undoubtedly kindred discipline, philosophy. As a psychology major, hearing him use the terminology I've learned really helps integrate the knowledge into my sort of "mushy grey database". Eloquently put, yeah.

Sorry, needless to say I'm a bit excited over the book. Currently I'm 6 and 1/2 hours in, and going strong. Thank you so much for this insanely erudite and lucid work! Please though, you don't need to be so humble!

41 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-06-2018

Amazingly told

this definitely shook and rattled my understanding of meaning. often required me to take a pause and think, sometimes hear a chapter over again upon reflecting the contents of it. great book and thank you Jordan B. Peterson for all your work.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Pinotwiz
  • 16-03-2019

Deeper and deeper, down and down

I have been seeking a way to see the world more completely or better all my life. The articulation of the ideas contained in this book have in a way given me a new access point or view of what is happening and what has happened. The ideas in modern terms may be those that could help me and you to “level up”, or”update your operating system”. Thank you Jordan

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 13-06-2018

Don't hesitate. Just buy it.

A dozen hours in and this audiobook has already proved lifechanging. The scope of Peterson’s erudition, the depth of his insight and the message drawn from both is nothing less than incredible. In a culture that typically settles for pabulum this feels like something posted from a better world.

I absolutely implore you, don’t believe the trash printed about Peterson in the media. Ignore all the slurs, petty insults and lies. This is the work of a truly great man. And it will improve you if you engage with it.

I cannot rate the book highly enough. Listening to it has given me back two of the cornerstones in my life I'd despaired of ever finding again—meaning and hope.

87 of 92 people found this review helpful

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  • Andreas Andersen
  • 12-07-2018

Difficult, but worth listening to multiple times!

I struggled a bit through the first few chapters, but then the foundation was made on which Dr. Peterson builds the maps of meaning, by example and application.
The book has given me good insight into, and overview of, some of the great philosophers and psychoanalysts in history.
Dr. Peterson uses the archetypal stories to not only make his point clear, but also as his point that these stories are useful to tell us how to behave in this world.
As a physicist, I appreciate his scientific approach to most of the subjects, and the occasional parallel to paradigms in math, chemistry(alchemy) or physics.

This book is quite deep and I'm sure I could benefit from listening to it multiple times!

Would recommend, but start with "12 rules for life" if you haven't read/ listened to it yet.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew Brown
  • 04-11-2018

Probably easier to read

Firstly, I LOVE the author, and thought ‘12 rules for Life’ was outstanding. It’s great that Jordan narrates this book.
However I’m struggling, especially as it is in this format. It is written more as a academic report than a book as such, by that I mean it is a lot to take in by ear and some of the language is (while undoubtably precise) a little complicated. If I had the book I would need to reread many paragraphs to understand the exact meaning.

I would recommend “Rules for life” to anyone.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-07-2018

Stunning

This book, although a commitment, is the epitome of what one should consider fascinating; every page holds information that may change your perception of life forever, I simply cannot recommend it enough. This being said, the book was not and is not intended for less academically abled audiences, in that if you have immense difficulty with understanding relatively sophisticated ideas easily, then perhaps you should watch the YouTube Lectures first, or gain experience before revisiting this adventure. The money was more than worth it, and the feature of the Peterson’s own voice for the narration has been greatly appreciated. For new buyers: Have fun and stay committed!

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • bradley
  • 21-06-2018

Interesting but hard to follow and intense

I think this is one of those books that you have to come back to in life as there's some much to take in , I must say what I wouldn't do for that man's vocabulary I spent a lot of time with the dictionary so far great non the less

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Vladislavas
  • 08-07-2019

Unnecessarily complicated

It seems like author deliberately made language more difficult than necessary to look more intelligent and erudite. The terminology could be expressed in easier and more public-friendly terms and unnecessary dramatisation does not seem to be necessary. The volume of the book could be cut greatly if there were no unnecessary repetitions of the same ideas and concepts in dramatic way, over and over (destructive mother, the hero, etc.). Frequently defined terms in two languages does not seem to be necessary as well (Lapis philosophorum, the philosopher's stone...). Structure of ideas and the book itself seem way too wide as well. Read and listen to many books (mostly academic), but this is the first one I would not recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 01-05-2019

Very deep and profound book

Had to rewind a number of times to really understand the text.. As many reviews highlight, the theme can be quite repetitive and revisited a number of times... But the overall message and lessons taught are things that everyone needs to come to terms with. Will have to revisit again in future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ross Macfarlane
  • 19-03-2019

Life changing

Honestly the best audio book I've heard so far, and the longest! So dense with information. I'm listening to it all through again. I can understand why it took J.P 15 years to write it

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-03-2019

The Value of Meaning

Meaning never meant so much to me. I never would have guessed that this existed right under my nose! I have been having the most intense dreams too, and my dreams were always mundane and dull! This is the best book I know of yet, and I couldn't imagine a higher book replacing it; ever.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • 13-06-2018

Pure brilliance

this is an absolutely brilliant listen. JBP nails "life" as we know it and cuts through all the political correctness madness out there so brilliantly. We need this man to save western society...

17 of 22 people found this review helpful