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Maps of Meaning

Written by: Jordan B. Peterson
Narrated by: Jordan B. Peterson
Length: 30 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (360 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 listeners say about Maps of Meaning

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    4 out of 5 stars

Intense but worth it

Firstly I want to express my appreciation for Dr. Peterson's narration of this book. I've had an ebook version of it for quite some time now, but found it almost impossible to read on my own, because I would often lose my train of thought inside his sentences. While the book in audio form is still intense and much more academic than 12 Rules, hearing him read it out loud helps cement its concepts a bit easier for me. That said, this is definitely not a book I could put on to listen to while I do other tasks that require mental effort. Some of the questions he poses in this book really got me thinking, and I feel like I'll be mentally chewing on them for a while...

30 people found this helpful

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Better read than listened to.

To be clear, I'm not saying that there are any issues with the audio, I'm saying that giving the book is far easier to understand if you read it, and are able to reread sentences with ease. Audible just doesn't have a good way to reread sentences that you may have actually wanted to ponder instead of skipping to the next point prematurely. This is not helped by the massive amount of times I needed to pause and look up the big words that I can't understand... Which is slightly embarrassing, but I do have a slight mental disability, so it might be easier for anyone reading this to understand him. I would also like to assure you that there are no problems with the story from what I saw. I just didn't know how to rate the story when I hadn't read it fully, so I just went with the current average.

TL;DR
If you can see, you should be reading this instead of listening to it, unless you just like hearing the sound of Peterson's voice, and you're fluent with a lot of big words.

18 people found this helpful

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Required reading for those lost in life.

Surprising to me that what Dr Peterson is saying is controversial to some. It seems that these rules should be tought at a young age, and reinforced in school. One could say that they are not on purpose, and hence the controversy.

In any case, his words hit you like a ton of bricks, and makes you wonder why you have never heard them before. His passion and solice, and even his emotion towards the end of the book really proved to me his attempt at making people's lives better is sincere. Those who would attempt to discredit his sincerity are truly void of it themselves.

8 people found this helpful

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Confusing and takes too long to make a point

Things I dislike:

- Lots of filler used to make simple points. Writing is very roundabout.
- Author has invented many phrases to give the appearance of coming up with new/profound insights. I read alot of technical books and documents for my job and am very familiar with this style of writing. It is very effective when used properly and where necessary. But JBP tries too hard to sound complicated and his points lose impact and effectiveness. Frankly is was a huge distraction for me.
- 30hrs of very dry writing

Things I liked:

- Narrator is good to listen to. But sometimes it seems JBP himself gets lost in his words and misses punctuations resulting in what sounds like a runon sentences.
- Makes some good points

6 people found this helpful

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A guide in face of chaos

In a dense work that carefully stacks different layers of the human psyche, from neuroanatomical structures to philosophical and psychological perspectives. Jordan Peterson exposes archetypal concepts that have been forgotten or overlooked by the modern mind. Using the commonalities of myths throughout cultures and history, as well as ideas formulated by Nietzsche and Jung, he puts Truth and the individual as the creative forces that move mankind forward.
The language is precise but very dense and makes the audiobook version a bit daunting. I have played and replayed parts of it to absorb each word.
I think it's a book to go to when in face of too much chaos in your life, when in despair, when you need to make sense of existence and your place in the world.

7 people found this helpful

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Vast and Deep

Patience. Although this does not contain the condensed version of Jordan B. Peterson's thoughts, this rather exhaustive format adds a similar quality as the Red Book by C.G. Jung. Therefore, I urge you to patiently consider the content of this valuable book.

This book is highly valued as a #Audible1 which places it among the 20 books which I continue to enjoy again and again.

3 people found this helpful

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Pretty amazing concepts

Personally I must agree with peterson completely. It's everything you know unconsciously but have no words for

15 people found this helpful

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In depth, more like a textbook

Far more in depth and involved than his other mainstream works, Maps of Meaning is more suited to the scholar and serious reader. #Audible1

2 people found this helpful

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Game changer

Jordan Peterson is the revolutionary Dad archetype of our time. He has unlocked ancient wisdom and manifests himself as a hero for our fallen sense of self and subsequent resurrection. Sat nam - truth is my identity

1 person found this helpful

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I wish I learned this when I was 10!

It's a dense read but well worth the effort!
This book contains everything I ever needed to hear as a youngster growing up in the Apostolic Cult of the Pentecost.
Thank you, Dr. Peterson!

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  • Stephen W
  • 2018-06-19

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.

531 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-07-05

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.

247 people found this helpful

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  • Joel C S
  • 2018-07-08

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?

43 people found this helpful

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  • Cutty
  • 2018-06-22

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."

79 people found this helpful

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  • Katarina
  • 2019-04-13

The lectures are many times better

I've watched all of the Maps of Meaning lectures of Dr. Peterson, plus most of his lecture series on Personality; I also listened to his Twelve Rules of Life audiobook. I liked all of them, so I thought this book might inspire me even more. Nothing could be further from the truth, alas.
It's too verbose, has no coherent structure (unlike the lectures) and the chapters are ridiculously long. I mean, 11 hours for one chapter; for the audio version at least more chapters would have been helpful.
If you want to get what he's thinking and saying, watch the Maps of Meaning lecture series, all of them, and skip this book.

His narration is great though. He reads with the same passion he lectures with, and probably writes with too. I find him one of the best narrators for serious works of literature I know, judging from his reading quotes from The Gulag Archipelago, the works of Dostoyevski, Orwell, and several others. He has a real knack for that, I think because he really understands those works and therefore knows which words to emphasize, where to sound appalled or angry, where to raise or lower his volume, etc. If he would narrate those works here on Audible, I'd probably buy all of those books, knowing I would get a great understanding of the works through listening to Peterson as narrator.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Open Mind
  • 2018-06-12

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. :)

151 people found this helpful

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  • Jason Kirkendoll
  • 2018-07-31

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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-28

Unorganized, not disorganized.

I would have thought that Peterson, considering his audience, would have divided up the two big twelve and ten hour chapters into smaller, more contained chapters. It is dizzying to listen for a while, say forty-five minutes, and then come back another day. One review here had mentioned him rambling on and on. Unfortunately, I am inclined to agree. I had high expectations of Peterson's seminal work. It seems that unless you are willing to commit the day to listening, you should not purchase this title.

Peterson transitions between ideas almost seamlessly which may leave the listener (or reader I suppose) struggling to understand his point. At times, he appears to be wandering, and while not all who wander are lost, he appears so.

The text itself is rather terse, while also engaging and makes thinking of religion and psychology together far more connected, which is much appreciated. If you are not used to meticulous levels of logical structure and development of an idea, this may not be the title for you.

The headline of this review suggests that the book was never organized properly so as to become disorganized. I would have thought that Peterson's editors and first readers would have recommended against such large chapters.

Overall, I would not recommend this book, nor would I listen to it again. I am hesitant at this point to purchase his seemingly more structured work, 12 Rules for Life.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Ann
  • 2019-06-25

Helped me understand why people do bad things

This is a long book that took time to get through, because I wanted to understand it. It's contains some things that are comforting. For example:

1. Some people become so consumed with despair and and arrogance that they hurt others and themselves, but there is an antidote to that.

2. Our actions can be meaningful and can decrease the misery in the world, and bring comfort to others.

3. Religion teaches us the best wisdom of the ancients, and helps us find meaningful inner peace. Religious observance is wise, not foolish.

4. Life is going to be painful, but we can do things that make pain worthwhile or easier to bear for ourselves and others.

5. Sometimes a system of order can get too rigid or tyranical, but a hero can give up his comfort and go find a way to help heal the system. It will take courage and the cost will be high, but it can make the order whole again.

This book is full of wonderful things to know. It articulates the timeless value of ancient stories. It reaffirms the power of transcendent faith, which faith helps people grow and change for the better. It encourages me to more boldly seek to help build faith in the people around me.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Dominichi
  • 2018-07-29

great book!

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

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kits
  • 2018-08-28

Travail titanesque

Une œuvre d'une richesse vertigineuse, d'une importance capitale pour la recherche dans ce domaine complexe qu'est la psyché humaine.
Le sujet traité est complexe donc il faut de la concentration pour suivre efficacement. L'anglais est très bien articulé. Chaque mot de chaque phrase est choisi avec précision et nous guide dans la réflexion.
Je ne peux qu'être admiratif devant ce travail gigantesque. Je recommande ce livre audio.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Paolo
  • 2019-01-12

Le plus important penseur vivant

dans ce livre on retrouve l'essence de la pensé du grand psychologue .Ce texte est immanquable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Adelmand K.
  • 2019-07-18

À lire avant de mourir. A must Read

Il est fascinant de voir les sujets complexes qu'abordent ce livre, expliqués avec une simplicité forte. Très bien

Thank you Dr.Jordan Peterson for your efforts on this book, and for reading the audio book yourself.