Snowflakes Bring a Christmas Message: This is God

No snow yet, but those abstract snowflakes are more than just cute.

Merry Christmas! 🎄 What do snowflakes ❄️ have to do with God?

Humans are pattern matchers; a more accurate description might be we are affordance matchers. Anything that affords sitting can be said to have an affordance for sitting. So when we see things we can sit on, we are seeing the affordance that thing enables first, then we see chair, or stump, or stool, or boulder, or whatever. But this happens so fast that we don’t consciously realize that is what we are doing.

But for the purposes of this conversation, I could use the words pattern and affordance interchangeably. We could also use other words like archetype, abstraction, concept, notion, or symbol.  

A pattern surrounded by its instances.

So the thing (the chair) would be an instance— an embodiment— of the pattern (things that afford sitting). Were we to diagram out the relationship of the pattern to the instances of the pattern, it might look like this.

Or this:

My fresh pattern/instances diagram… I mean snowflake cling

Jordan Peterson has said (quote not at my fingertips) that stories (fictions) are sometimes better at conveying truths than our attempts at a literal description (non-fiction). We may say that the story is an instance of the pattern of the truth that the story embodies. This is why we say of certain stories that they are symbolic.

The Hero’s Journey

Those ancient stories that still captivate us might be said to have such staying power because they embody great truths, which could also be called useful archetypes, etc, etc.

Joseph Campbell identified a common meta-story that many of the greates myths share, and he named it the Hero’s Journey.

Jordan Peterson noted that the Christian Bible in its entirety is the Hero’s Journey.
❄️Citation Needed ❄️
A meta-story could be said to be an instance/embodiment of an archetype. But if there are meta-stories involving heroes, are there meta-heroes?

“…the emergence of the meta-hero out of the hero. There’s the person you admire, and then there’s the set of people that you admire, and then there’s the meta-set of admirable people and the extraction of that ideal.”

— Jordan Peterson, Biblical Series III
Our friends are on Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, and they are also Peterson’s meta-heroes.

So we have this meta-story, it’s present across many ancient stories (and modern ones too), and even as a fundamental plot of the Bible itself. So we have a story that we keep retelling ourselves over and over through the millenia. The meta-story seems to have something to do with the hero of heroes, meta-heroes. What are these stories trying to tell us and have we learned its lesson yet?

“ Think about it this way: do you like brave people, or do you like cowards? That’s pretty straightforward. What is the ultimate act of bravery? It’s to come to terms with the fact that you’re mortal and limited, and to live forthrightly regardless. That’s at the core of what’s admirable.”

— Jordan Peterson, Biblical Series III
A collection of archetypes is a meta-archetype. A meta-hero would be the collection of heroic ideals.

A hero is someone who as mastered a competency that then aids those around the hero. So a meta-hero has mastered an aggregate of competencies, meta-competencies, or competency of competencies. All good people strive for this, even if they don’t know it.

Now Jordan puts it all together:

Here’s some pictures that demonstrate what I had described as the emergence of the meta-hero out of the hero. There’s the person you admire, and then there’s the set of people that you admire, and then there’s the meta-set of admirable people and the extraction of that ideal.” 

—Jordan Peterson
The Communion of Saints—holy things (sancta) + holy people (sancti).
God, the Meta-Archetype (sancta), replicated in holy people (sancti)

Super Human

Thanks for listening. If you like conversations like these, you may like my new YA sci-fi novella, Super Human, as low as $2.99 on Amazon.

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