belief - a belief is most accurately understood as a culturally-shared and accepted strategy for managing complexity in a practical way. It is necessary for us to generate simplified, functional models, in order to function in situations constantly beyond our understanding. However, this process of simplified functional modeling can be pathologized by individuals who are unwilling to allow any unconstrained complexity whatsoever to exist – pathologized, that is, by the existential cowards who make ideological purity the hallmark of existence. (J. Peterson)
empathy – ability to share and understand the feelings of an other.
evil - 1. conscious intent to remove the conditions of life that would make life tolerable (J. Peterson). 2. deliberate ignorance of new information or refusal to courageously face new information that could inspire growth or change. note – not synonymous with tragedy.
dragon – everyone knows exactly what a dragon is.
God – 1. God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. (J. Campbell) 2. a set of laws governing the universe as it relates to you, also ‘order’ or ‘sense’, either partially perceived or understood or assumed (see also idol). 3. something whose existence must have direct implications for your behavior (J. Peterson) (see also idol).
god – 1. something not completely understood but used in place of explanation or authority. 2. a supernatural being or force or agent that is attributed with the power to affect the world or the evaluation of individuals and their actions.
Hero’s Journey – the pattern of behavior often found in narrative in which a character moves from a known world to the unknown world, and then returns with some form of a gift in order to help other people face change. I use the Hero’s Journey as a general phrase (see also monomyth for more specific use).
idol – 1. a set of laws governing the universe as it relates to you, also ‘order’ or ‘sense’, either partially perceived or understood or assumed (see also God). 2. An outdated law or set of laws or structure of order that is not modified when new information offers a transcendence, a movement to a more complex understanding, perception or assumption. 3. something whose existence has implications for your behavior 4. something over-valued and intensely believed (a definition for a ‘bubble’ from P. Thiel).
judgment – 1. evaluation with reward or punishment. 2. in relation to gods or God, it may be better thought of as ‘consequence’ or ‘outcome’.
knowledge – 1. information that can be used to maintain relations of power and predict outcomes. In knowing, we control. Knowledge is produced through limiting discourse or exploring an unknown, and is therefore not static. note - knowledge starts with rules and constraints (M. Foucault), or knowledge is for cutting (M. Foucault)
Monomyth – the basic pattern of behavior found in many narratives distributed throughout the world and throughout history and studied in great depth by Joseph Campbell. I use monomyth in specific reference to Campbell’s work and theory (see the Hero’s Journey for more general use).
power – 1. a relation of control exercised throughout a social body which can determine knowledge, truth and authority. In controlling, we know.
reality – 1. what is and what we do.
sacrifice – 1. an attempt to address the infinite (J Peterson).
tragedy – 1. a precondition to being. 2. an event that may be devastating or destructive but does not necessarily have motivational intent behind the harmful consequences of the event. note - not synonymous with punishment or judgment.
transcend – 1. the act of going from a simple or current position to a new and more complex situation. 2. growth. 3. getting over yourself, moving ahead in your journey.
horizontal transcendence- 1. change in an attitude or environment so that bridges are preferred to ladders. 2. recognition of self in the other, and the consequent implications for behaviour from this recognition.
truth – a historical event, something that is produced, not something that already exists and is waiting to be discovered (M. Foucault).
‘the infinite’ – 1. the complex and only partially-understood realm of existence. 2. something that is only useful in thought but may not directly relate to anything in reality (William Lane Craig)