In this lecture, I discuss uncertainty, or anomaly. We frame the world -- or the world reveals itself to us -- as a story, with a starting point, a destination, and the behavioral means to move from one to the other. The destination is valued more highly than the starting point, and constitutes the point of the story -- the aim of the individual. Reality manifests itself within that story as what is relevant for forward movement, what gets in the way, and what is irrelevant and can be safely ignored. The largest category, by far, is the latter. Unfortunately, sometimes what has been happily classified as irrelevant rears up and gets in the way. That's a manifestation of chaos. Chaos can undermine the story, or break the frame. The degree of undermining or breakage is proportional to the time and space over which the story in question extends its operations.
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.