In this lecture, I discuss the context within which the theory I am delineating through this course emerge: that of the cold war. What is belief? Why is it so important to people? Why will they fight to protect it? I propose that belief unites a culture's expectations and desires with the actions of its people, and that the match between those two allows for cooperative action and maintains emotional stability. I suggest, further, that culture has a deep narrative structure, presenting the world as a forum for action, with characters representing the individual, the known, and the unknown -- or the individual, culture and nature -- or the individual, order and chaos. Want to support this channel?
This course is based on the book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. Maps of Meaning lays bare the grammar of mythology, and describes the relevance of that grammar for interpretation of narrative and religion, comprehension of ideological identification, and understanding of the role that individual choice plays in the maintenance, transformation and destiny of social systems.