I stumbled upon this article while trying to look up something else and immediately recognized its pertinence to Jordan Peterson. I do not necessarily agree with all that the article says about the movie ‘The Matrix’, but the article makes some very helpful points about how mythologists have sought to use the ‘customary metaphor’, as Nietzsche calls it, and redefine its symbols - to lie - to imbue it with new meaning.
That is exactly what Jordan Peterson does - he uses Bible verses and Christian symbols and words and imbues them with new meaning - he uses the customary metaphor to bolster a naturalistic worldview that views religion as the result of evolutionary psychology.
What are your thoughts? I found this article very helpful in understanding how Peterson approaches religion. He has ‘reloaded’ the existing Christian symbols and Scripture with new meaning - he has, in a sense, lied. I am not accusing him of doing so intentionally - I am using ‘lie’ here in the sense of re-purposing existing belief structures to propagate one’s own view.
"“To be truthful means using the customary metaphor — in moral terms: the obligation to lie according to a fixed convention, to lie herdlike in a style obligatory for all.” Friedrich Nietzsche
"Mythologist Joseph Campbell sought to bring to light what he called the “monomyth,” the universal heroic journey common to all religions, which resides in the collective unconscious of humanity. The similarity of so many ideas and images in different religions is because they are ultimately diverse symbolic projections of the same physical and mental processes that are within all of us. In his interview with Bill Moyers in The Power of Myth , Campbell stated, “All the gods, all the heavens, all the worlds, are within us. They are magnified dreams, and dreams are manifestations in image form of the energies of the body in conflict with each other.”2
Campbell was a demythologizer. He deconstructed religious traditions and transcendent beliefs into their presumed origins in natural causes. Postmodern religion, like Campbell’s eclecticism, is a synthesis of diverse sources without regard for rational or organic consistency. It focuses on the parallels between religions while ignoring the disparities; it forces square similarities into round differences. I suggest this is also what the Wachowski brothers, Larry and Andy, have done with their cinematic Matrix trilogy. They have tapped into the ideas and images of diverse religious and philosophical views and used them as metaphors for a postmodern Nietzschean worldview of relativism, nihilism, and self-actualization."
“The Nietzsche quote at the top of this article articulates that the goal of postmodernists like the Wachowskis is to use the dominant mythology and language symbols of a herdlike culture in a subversive way; to redefine those symbols; to “lie” to the ignorant masses by using their religious metaphors and investing them with new meaning.”