‘Hostile brothers’


in Psychology, Writing

  • “One of these ‘hostile brothers’ or ‘eternal sons of God’ is the mythological hero. He faces the unknown with the presumption of its benevolence – with the (unprovable) attitude that confrontation with the unknown will bring renewal and redemption. He enter[s], voluntarily, into creative ‘union with the Great Mother,’ builds or regenerates society, and brings peace to a warring world.
  • The other ‘son of God’ is the eternal adversary. This ‘spirit of unbridled rationality,’ horrified by his limited apprehension of the conditions of existence, shrinks from contact with everything he does not understand. This shrinking weakens his personality, no longer nourished by the ‘water of life,’ and makes him rigid and authoritarian, as he clings desperately to the familiar, ‘rational,’ and stable. Every deceitful retreat increases his fear; every new ‘protective law’ increases his frustration, boredom and contempt for life. His weakness, in combination with his neurotic suffering, engenders resentment and hatred for existence itself.”

Peterson, Jordan. Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. p. 307 (paperback)

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