In this lecture, I make the case that we each inhabit a story, describing where we are, where we are going, and the actions we must undertake to get from the former to the latter. These inhabited stories are predicated on an underlying value system (as we must want to be where we are going more than we value where we are). In addition, they are frames of reference, allowing us to perceive (things that move us along; things that get in our way), make most of the world irrelevant (things that have no bearing on our current frame), and determine emotional significance (positive: things that move us along; negative: things that get in our way).
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.