2017/03/11: Strengthen the Individual: A counterpoint to Post Modern Political Correctness

[Music] would be nice and well directed to – Tammy Jorgen I’ve known each other were afternoon sixteen nearly 30 years nearly 50 years he’ll that hold up a we come from northern Alberta he lived up the street I mean I only movie with the a fascinating person so in my late twenties he moved East island in material and I thought it’s probably had to marry him because if I don’t marry him I won’t know what happens and now we’re seeing what happening yeah I mean he’s been talking about these things he’s been talking about what’s going on in our society and how it’s moving left and how things are destabilizing for last 20 years and go in in September he said he came down one morning and he was quite disturbed and he said you know it welcomes love email that I can’t do list I can’t deal with classes and I’m going to have to say something what do you think and I said well he was speaking to me and my dad was there too for a very very long time and maybe it is time for you to tell everyone what’s going on and so we didn’t we didn’t know what would happen you know we didn’t have any idea just went up and made a video instead what he all you said and what he’s always walk and the lady she’s coming down like and they resonated with Tara members response and mostly all you 95 percent or more whether this response so although it was destabilizing I got everything email list you can saluting we’ve left a lot you know myself I wasn’t as learned at this in but I sure learned a lot and I know you guys have to and you’re going to learn a whole bunch big [Applause] [Music] [Music] so your filming is can I walk around yeah can you hear me without the microphone good then I’ll be able to walk around so I want to tell you a story it’s it I have a mic on here yeah so okay so I started studying the things that I have been talking about in well really as long back as I can remember I think that’s true I wrote an essay when I was about 13 on the on ash with it wasn’t very good essay but I was only 13 so it’s not that surprising but and I don’t know exactly why it was a particular concern to me except that of course it’s the sort of thing that should be of concern to everyone how about if I speak a little louder all right all right no I’ll do it I’ll do it this way I think if you have any trouble at the back let me know what I’ll all make sure that I’m projecting so I said when I was about 13 I wrote an essay on on our Swift and I I was trying to understand it I think maybe I tried to understand it in a way that was somewhat different than most people who examine historical events because I was trying to understand how human beings could do that knowing full well that I was one of them and that’s the critical thing because generally when people examine especially something horrifying that’s done by humanity they make the assumption that it’s other people doing it and that’s a that’s a big mistake in my estimation because if a lot of human beings have done something terrible you can be sure that being a human being that you’re capable of it and you know one of the things that we’ve been asked repeatedly to do as a consequence of what happened in world war 2 is to not forget it but it’s always been my contention that you can’t remember something you don’t understand and you don’t understand what happened in Nazi Germany or in the Soviet Union for that matter until you understand that had you been there the probability that you would have played a role and that wouldn’t have been a positive one is extraordinarily high when people do think about themselves as actors in situations like that they have a proclivity to cast themselves in a heroic role assuming that had they been say in Nazi Germany in the 1930s that they would have taken on the burden of fighting against the Nazis and defending the things that should have been defended but that’s a very foolish presupposition especially because it’s more or less self-evident from the historical perspective that that isn’t what people did and in order for us to come to terms with that it means that we have to understand how it happened but more importantly what role we still play as individuals in acting in such a way that such things are not only likely but desired when I was older and in university I was plagued by nightmares mostly about they were apocalyptic nightmares mostly about the third world war and I had very large long series of dreams about about nuclear bombs I remember one of them and I was living in Edmonton at the time and on the on the south side and I could remember watching out through my window in the dream I’m seeing mushroom cloud form over the main core of the city and then the dream shifted locales and there were a bunch of people in the wreckage and they started to fight and I thought that’s just exactly right and that was exactly what my nightmares were like that no matter how tremendous the catastrophe we don’t seem able to derive the proper conclusions from us and start to act in a way that makes us things less rather than more likely when I was in graduate school at McGill which would have been after that I was studying political science decor that sorry back when I was in Edmonton and before that I had even thought about going into into law but as I studied political science I got increasingly disenchanted with the explanations that were being offered to me about motivations for for human conflict that especially in the upper years of my undergraduate education that the lower years were pretty good because mostly what I studied was political philosophy and literature and I found that very helpful but in the upper years the the contention of the professor’s was that people primarily engaged in conflict for economic reasons that never struck me as very deep deep explanation because it didn’t get at the core of the issue which was well okay people fight about things of material value but why do they value those things I mean it’s self-evidence if you think about food and shelter and so forth but you know generally speaking especially in the 20th century it wasn’t necessarily about the basics of food and shelter that people were engaging in conflict about it was it was something much more subtle than that maybe it had more to do with national identity with identity that kind of thing and so there was a psychological element missing in the analysis of the human propensity for conflict that to me loomed larger and larger and so I decided at least in part for that reason to pursue a graduate degree in psychology and in clinical psychology and I went to McGill and that’s when I started to read very much more broadly I suppose and I spent a lot of time reading I read a lot of Freud and a lot of all the classic clinical psychologists who extraordinarily useful Carl Rogers and Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler and a whole host of them all the classic thinkers I could get my hands on and also most particularly the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche most of whose major work works I read at that point in Fyodor Dostoyevsky who was writing very similar things to Nietzsche there in fact Nietzsche was quite influenced by Dostoyevsky and Dostoevsky was a like a master in the literary genre his five great books focused on the most difficult questions that face humanity both socially and individually I found those books overwhelmingly powerful and also extraordinarily useful good the only good or Crime and Punishment for example if a brilliant brilliant piece of work outlining the motivation of someone who regards himself as above all law and who decides that to not kill when necessary is an act of cowardice and so doth dfd walks through his rationalization sense and the murder and the aftermath of it in a way that’s extraordinarily enlightening and painful simultaneously and at the same time Nietzsche in Germany was writing philosophical tract on exactly the same themes their lives an unbelievably close parallel in fact when Nietzsche finally went insane he had some illness that has been very difficult to diagnose he had he’d seen someone beating a horse in the street and embraced it out of compassion and there’s a scene exactly like that in one of Dostoyevsky stories so it’s the parallels are really uncanny and I also read a lot of neuroscience because I did my thesis on the biological predisposition to alcoholism and that required a lot of investigation into more hardcore science investigation into the structure and function of the brain and I tried to weave all of that together in a book that I published in 1999 it took me about 15 years to write I was writing three hours a day for every day and thinking about it all the time like I was absolutely 100% obsessed by by the sorts of issues that I’m discussing with you today it took me deep I read Alexander Solzhenitsyn much of what he wrote at the same time and then of course I studied Carl Jung in great depth when I finally started to crack what he was up talking about was extraordinarily difficult material I read volume 9 of his collected works which is called archetypes of the collective unconscious and first time I read it I didn’t understand a word he was saying and I think that’s very common experience for people reading Jung has certainly persona non grata in the modern academy and I think the reason for that is that well I think when you first encounter you you tend to bounce off them and then the next thing that happens is you get very frightened and then you just leave it the hell alone and and it’s no wonder as far as I’m concerned because I don’t think I’ve ever read anyone including me chip that was more terrifying than young Nick Young was a student of Nietzsche I don’t mean technically speaking although Nietzsche was everywhere Nietzsche’s thinking was everywhere when you lose maturing people no Carl Jung primarily as a disciple let’s say a Freud which is true in part because Freud of course did the initial you my might describe it as initial excavating work outlining the fact that there was more going on in the human psyche than the met the conscious eye and his greatest work likely was the interpretation of dreams where he started to perform an archaeology of the of the symbolic unconscious showing that much of our mental life went on in some sense underneath our conscious awareness which is of course regarded as a truism now by psychologists but was quite revolutionary at the time it wasn’t Freud wasn’t entirely an original idea with Freud few things are entirely regional ideas but he went farther than anyone else synthesizing it and also publicizing and promoting it and also basing a psychotherapeutic theory on it pretty remarkable set of accomplishments and Jung was very much influenced by Freud but also by Nietzsche and the reason he was influenced by Nietzsche most particularly was that Nietzsche’s announcement of the death of God in the late 1900s was a very striking philosophical event and and I’ll return to this but Nietzsche believed that because God was dead so to speak and the value structure upon which Western civilization was constructed had God at its foundation that that would all crumble and that people would have to become their own deities in a sense they would have to discover or create for Nietzsche to create their own values and before nature could outline how that might happen he suffered the unfortunate descent into madness and then died and so he left this major problem behind which is if it’s the case that the radiation of Western civilization was predicated on illusion on an illusion what what what what would we do next and Nietzsche said well that what we will certainly do next is descend into an unholy combination of nihilism and totalitarianism because those will be the things that will beckon most clearly in the chaotic aftermath of the dissolution of the value structure upon which our society had been predicated and needs you in his book will to power prophesied very directly that millions of people would die in the 20th century specifically because of communist revolutions and that was 40 years roughly speaking 30 to 40 years before the Communist revolution in the Soviet Union so that’s an active prophetic vision that’s absolutely incomprehensible to I mean in the West we didn’t know that the Soviet Union was going to fall until the day it fell and Nietzsche knew what was going to happen in the 20th century in like night-in like 1880 it’s absolutely remarkable Young was very interested in the Nietzschean problem more interested in it than anything else because he knew that the question of where we would derive our values from and how we would ground them in some sort of underlying solid underlying reality would become was the paramount psychological question of the of the age and he spent his entire his entire life attempting to address that Young’s idea was that we weren’t going to be able to create our own values because human beings cannot create their own values and you know that if if you observe your own action if you observe your own being you can make resolutions you can try to act in a particular way maybe a way that you regard it better but you’ll find out very rapidly that you can’t enslave yourself and tell yourself what to do so easily even when you’re motivated to do good things you know when you make your new year’s resolutions and say that you’re going to eat properly and go to the gym that generally lasts about a week and so you can’t boss yourself around as it turns out no more than you can really boss other people around and it’s because you do have a nature you have a nature and you can’t just arbitrarily mold and shape that nature because if you like other people will rebel against your own will and so and so young content was that we would have to go inside ourselves but that’s how he looked at it into the symbolic background of our psychological structure and rediscover what we had lost and so I found that’s the ancient mythological motif of voyage into the depths and rescuing your father from the belly of the beast and you see that idea reflected often in popular culture on a very well developed example of that is in the movie Pinocchio which I’m sure how many of you have seen that Louie yeah right well that speaks for itself right I mean there’s a why why why are you watching a puppet an animated puppet rescue is farther from the belly of a whale it makes absolutely no sense but you don’t care when you’re watching it you think this is quite interesting and the reason it’s interesting is because it speaks to you at a level that you understand but that you do not understand how you understand and of course any good work of art does exactly that to you it speaks to you about things that you almost know but don’t yet know and that’s what makes it profound and you knew that it would be necessary for modern people to journey to the chaotic depths and rescue their dead farther from the underworld which is a very interesting symbolic realization in the aftermath of Nietzsche’s statement that God had died and so that’s what you did that’s what he spent his entire life doing and he detailed that out in a very long series of very difficult and and very unsettling books which people tend not to read and and no wonder and no wonder and so I read everything I could get my hands on that Jung had published at that point and a lot of work by various historians of religion and like Maria le ADA who’s who’s out of favor because the post modernists don’t like him and and I put this all together in this book that I published in 1999 called maps of meaning and it’s also a very difficult book and that was some somewhat purposeful and somewhat inevitable it was it was purposeful because I knew that if I was going to discuss such things and I didn’t make it ridiculously rigorous at least to the degree that I was capable of doing that that it would be easily dismissed and that seemed counterproductive but but it was also because I was trying to figure out rather than trying to write a book I was trying to figure something out and I was doing that by writing because writing is a very good way of figuring things out and I was trying to make it as clear as I could but that that wasn’t all that clear you know it’s about 500 pages long I think this book in it and it and I think I rewrote every sentence in it at least 50 times probably too many times because by the end it got I think I over edited it I think it was it’s in some sense too tight it it’s like an overworked piece of art that that might be one way of thinking about it but and then it’s taken me decades of speaking about it to continue to what would you call it purify and refine it so that I can discuss it without having to go through dozens of hours of explanation and to condense it down into something that’s more easily comprehensible so that’s what I’m going to try to do this afternoon I want to tell you why I think we’re in the position that we’re in what that position is and also potentially what can be done about it and those things because also I believed and still do believe that if you actually understand the problem you can solve it but but you have that’s actually an indication of your understanding right if you if you if you haven’t sold that you actually don’t understand it there’s things about it that you still don’t grout and so when I was writing maps of meaning I wasn’t so much trying to only figure out why it was that people were capable of the terribly barbaric things that they so happily did at our switch but also to figure out what could be done if anything to stop that from happening because it was also by no means self-evident that anything in fact could be done about it you know because that might just be an expression of that central human nature that I was talking about earlier and the fundamentally irreparable this there’s been no shortage of writers who proposed that human beings are fundamentally flawed in a way that cannot be rectified in that you know art and we have a catastrophic destiny waiting for us as a consequence I mean in some sense that’s built right into the fabric of Christianity itself because of course have these certain variants of it and I’m speaking about Christianity because in many ways to set the foundation of Western society because certain elements of Christianity at least regard people as irretrievably or irreparably tainted with original sin which emerged right at the birth of our species and there’s something extraordinarily powerful about that idea because of course everybody in this room knows that they’re seriously flawed and also those that they do things that make those flaws more rather than less likely and everyone has that sense about themselves unless they’re you know narcissistic beyond belief in which case they also suspect it but only at an unconscious level so you know we do carry this sense of ourselves as deeply flawed and imperfect and and maybe fatally so and that seems to be built right into us and so maybe there is no solution but that seemed like a dismal hypothesis to begin with so I wanted to do as in it I wanted to investigate as deeply as I possibly could to see if I could conjure up something that vaguely Rek represented the solution for a long time you know there were months when I was writing where I really felt quite mad and what the one of the most intense periods of time where that occurred was when I think I was kind of on the cusp of figuring out what I needed to figure out I figured out two things one was that I kind of understood finally why people had belief systems it wasn’t the belief system was there because we have to deal with an infinitely complex world and we have to simplify it down to proportions that we can manage because we don’t have infinite cognitive or emotional or physiological resources we’re very bounded creatures living in an unbounded environment roughly speaking it’s too much for us and so we have to impose structures of simplification on the world or we we get so stressed we die that’s roughly the bottom line for example if you develop post-traumatic stress disorder which occurs when you encounter something in your life that you cannot compute so to speak your body goes into emergency preparation mode which which makes it hyper hyper responsive to threat and and ready to do anything which is emergency preparation and that’s so physiologically demanding that it demolishes your health it’s not merely psychological it damages your brain I mean if you just can’t stay in high gear running flat out continually you you die and so people need to simplify the world they need to live within structures of simplification because that’s how they that’s how they protect themselves from the terrible onslaught of complexity but by the same token we organize ourselves into these these structures of simplification that’s what our culture’s are we negotiate them we inhabit them jointly and because of that when we run into people who do that differently the probability that we’ll engage in conflict is extraordinarily high because I can’t give up my beliefs just because you have different beliefs and if we don’t have the same beliefs then we can’t peacefully occupy the same territory so there seems to be nothing for that except conflict if we can’t negotiate then we have to fight so then I thought well that’s that’s that’s that then on the one hand we can abandon our belief systems because they structure our realities and protect us but and we can’t fight because now we’re so technologically powerful that if we do we’re going to destroy everything it’s like well that’s masters that’s option one and it’s opposite that completely exhausts the auctions and so that was a horrible realization absolutely dreadful realization because you know it’s certainly possible if you think about this from a biological or an evolutionary viewpoint is that we’re kind of a peculiar species and we’ve developed these terrible technologies of war there’s absolutely no reason to assume that we will just use them to wipe ourselves out and you know maybe 30% of us as individuals and in our own psyches would be happy about that because life is pretty dreadful and it’s full of suffering and there’s lots of things that are harsh about existence and so maybe we should just let the whole thing go and believe me people are plenty motivated to do that if you haven’t observed that motivation in yourself at some point in your life either you’re not paying attention or don’t want to pay attention or something sufficiently dreadful has not yet happened to you but it will it will you know because everyone encounters catastrophic crises in their life and it drops the bottom out of them and makes them desperate and angry and and that’s also part of the human condition luckily after about three months of thinking about that I had a series of dreams that help me sort out a third alternative and that was of course at least in part immersed as a consequence of all the things that I was reading so I want to research return to the Nietzschean conundrum so Nietzsche was an extraordinarily astute critic of the judeo-christian tradition pieces he wrote a book called the Antichrist in fact and he also said that he philosophized with a hammer and what he meant by that was that he was taking the hardest heaviest object he could and smashing up everything he possibly could with as much intellectual rigor as he could manage and that was plenty because he was truly a genius but he was he wasn’t a nihilistic person quite the contrary he had a very good reputation among those who knew him for example as a very kind man but he was in part looking for something that he couldn’t destroy right because that’s partly how you find out what’s real you you hit things so to speak you push against them your children do that to you for example they push against you to see where you won’t yield and then they think off there’s reality there there’s a wall there I can’t go beyond that and that’s what Nietzsche was searching for and he was doing it all out fundamentally how his contention was that what had happened in the West was that they’re the judeo-christian tradition and even the precursors of that tradition upon from which that tradition emerged had insisted for millennia that the pursuit of truth was the highest moral value and that one of the consequences of that was that the West developed science which was part of that pursuit of the truth and then and then the tools of science once successfully grasped and universalized we then turned against the dogmatic structure of the church when everyone woke up as scientists so to speak and thought well we’re living by a set of superstitions and and they’re not true and we have to dispense with them and so that was Copernicus and that was Darwin and that was Freud and that was these repeated blows that that our symbolic culture took at the hands of something that had fostered and created and Nietzsche said something as well at the same time only remarked on this on this consequence he said one of the most terrible things about discovering that a system you believed in no longer functions is no longer sufficient or can be undermined is that it raises the specter that all such systems have the same flaws you know sometimes you can jump from atheism to Christianity and from Christianity to socialism say in successive leaps and and then you’re someone who’s faithless from within the perspective of a given system but you’re faithful to the idea that there are in fact systems that will work but if your system fails enough then you can end up in a situation where you don’t even have any faith in the idea that systems as such can work and that makes you nihilistic and Nietzsche saw that as as as as the origin of the specter of nihilism hopelessness fundamentally now it’s more complicated than that because there are underground reasons so to speak for being nihilistic that have nothing to do with the mere collapse of a rational belief system and I’ll talk about those two and he also talked about the the inevitable rise of totalitarianism as a medication for the loss of all meaning in some sense you might say well if you’re in a chaotic state because you no longer know what to believe it’s very and someone offers you a set of certainties to guide your life by then it’s very attractive for you to reach out and grip on to those with all of your soul so to speak because that stops you from merely being adrift and then there’s underground reasons for that too that all also return to so the first question is was it necessary for the sense of truth that Nietzsche described as developed by the judeo-christian tradition that then manifested itself in the scientific methodology to turn against the symbolic foundation of that structure and demolish it was that inevitable and was it correct and that’s the first question and so Young’s answers that was the conflict between science and religion is a consequence of the immature state of both of those domains of thinking it’s not built into the structure per se it’s just that we aren’t good enough at being religious or good enough about at being scientific in order to see how they might be reconciled now that’s a that’s a hell of a claim and it’s a frightening claim because and this speaks to some degree to the underground reasons for being nihilistic so the terrible thing about being nihilistic is that nothing you do has any meaning and and that’s not so good because actually it’s actually untrue because there are forms of meaning in life that nihilism won’t protect you from or or even increase your exposure to and those are the tragic meanings of life I don’t care how nihilistic you are what you don’t believe in you’re going to believe in your own pain you’re going to believe in your own anxiety you’re going to believe in the fact of pain and anxiety for everyone else you’re going to believe in tragedy you can’t think to yourself out of the catastrophe of the world by being nihilistic so the negative meanings remain you can dispense with the positive meanings which seems to be a bad bargain but the outside of doing that is quite straightforward if I said to you here’s your alternatives nothing you do matters or has any meaning alternative one everything you do matters and has meaning which one would you pick and you might think well of course I would go for the second alternative because the first one is so horrifying but the truth of the matter is the second one is even more horrifying because it means that the things that you do for better or worse actually do matter and in some sense you’re responsible for them not only for the effect that they have on you in the immediate circumstances of your life but for the effect that they have radiating out from you cause err to the other people that your network too and also as they reach as a as a make wave through time it could be that everything you do does matter that every choice that you make matters and I do believe that that’s the case that you’re constantly making choices between good and evil and that that determines the destiny of being and it isn’t obvious to me at all but that’s something that you would wish upon yourself and so one of the advantages to be nihilistic is it enables you to be totally irresponsible even though the price you pay for that is the sacrifice of all positive meaning well so much for the intellectual purity of nihilism right and so those sorts of things have to be considered very deeply because when someone says well I’m hopeless sometimes it’s because they’re suffering and people can suffer terribly because of that but it’s sometimes because they don’t want to be responsible for anything and no wonder back to use point you started to examine religious ideon I would say symbolically but it’s more complicated than that because you might think that the attempt to analyze religious thinking symbolically would reduce it to nothing but psychology but that isn’t what happens precisely because as you reduce the religious ideas to psychology you elevate the psyche and so they meet in the middle and this is something you understood very very well it was for that reason that he believed that Christ was a symbol of the self the self being the full totality that might be one way of thinking about it everything that you could conceivably be if you were everything that you could be that’s that potential that risks inside you that everyone knows about you know we also even speak about it because we take people to pass when we say you’re not living up to your potential and everyone knows what that means but no one knows what it means because what the hell is that potential it’s not something that’s real by definition it’s something that’s virtual it’s something that is yet to be and may never be but we still treat it as if it’s real and we also treat the entire world as if it’s made out of potential and I believe that that is the correct way of viewing the world it’s not the dead matter of the 18th century rationalist or empiricist it’s the living domain of potential that that we interact with on a regular basis from which at least to some degree we extract our own potential here’s a rough outline of the story that that Jung told that I’d be working on so I’m going to tell it as I understand it according to the selection of stories that were encapsulated in in the biblical tradition the world is roughly 6,000 years old and of course at one level of analysis that palpably absurd I would say and also narrow because I think to conceptualize the world as 15 billion years old with the developmental history that extends across that massive amount of time and to note that it extends incomprehensibly vastly outward is a much more magnificent view of the cosmos than the rather constrained cosmos that we inherited from thinkers in the Middle East say 10,000 years ago but there’s something about it that’s true and the truth in it seems to be its relationship to the origin of civilization because it is the case that civilization everywhere in the world of the sort that we would regard as complex and technological is about 6,000 years old and why that is is not so self-evident although I suspect it has something to do with how long it took us to reformulate ourselves after the last ice age which of course was only roughly 15,000 you ago it’s not really that far away in time so that’s the first thing but the second thing is what the story the creation stories in Genesis for example actually mean because they actually mean something and what they mean is absolutely remarkable in my estimation and so I’m going to tell you a little bit about that story because it’s necessary to understand what the story means to determine if what Nietzsche said about the inevitable destruction of our symbolic religious structures by science was inevitable and necessary and I think the answer to that is no we just didn’t understand what the hell we were doing any more than we really understand why we put up Christmas trees at Christmas so we do that in part because the Christmas tree is a symbol of life because the tree is a symbol of life because we inhabited trees for untold millions of years and we put lights on the trees to symbolize the coming back into the darkness of midwinter of the Sun and the light and so we play this symbolic game that celebrates both life and the emergence of light and consciousness and we associate that with the birth of the Savior but we don’t know that we’re doing that but we do it anyways and we do that sort of thing all the time because we’re smarter than we know and that has to be the case because we don’t know ourselves we would need a psychology or sociology and anthropology or any of those things if we were transparent to ourselves we’re machines so to speak that are far more intelligent and wise then the machines themselves can understand and we’ve revealed ourselves to ourselves in our action and our symbolic gestures constantly and then have to reflect on that to try to understand what it is that we’re up to so here’s the idea that lurks at the beginning of Genesis so there’s the three elements that are involved in the creation of habitable the creation of habitable order from chaos at the beginning of time one of them is whatever is represented by God the Father and one of them is whatever is represented by the chaos that exists at the same time and the other is whatever is represented by the idea of God’s Word that’s the logos from Christian perspective which is a very very strange idea so there’s this idea that was developed over the course of thousands of years that the redeeming savior was also the thing that God used to extract habitable order out of chaos at the beginning of time it’s a very strange idea and to to assimilate an idea of that preposterous nough sand magnitude to mere pre rational superstition is foolish first of all because we don’t even understand what it means but it means something utterly profound and it means something that we cannot forget we forget it at our peril the story at the beginning of Genesis means that structure that’s the father that’s the patriarchy if you will structure extract habitable order from chaos through speech that’s what we do it says in Genesis as well that human beings are made in the image of God and that’s why because we’ve observed these are ancient ideas they were they were created with so much blood and effort that it’s incalculable account contemplated the idea is that there’s something about the human being whatever it is that makes us conscious that interacts with the chaotic potential that constitutes reality and extracts out from that the order within which we live and that there’s something divine about that and that’s the value of the human being right that’s the in eradicable value of the human being and the idea that each individual even criminals even murderers the worst and most reprehensible people have to be treated with the respect due a divinity because we partake in the capacity to extract habitable order from chaos with our consciousness with our speech and with our capacity to communicate and we recognize insofar as we each recognize the other that’s valuable it’s predicated on that observation we each have something to offer each other and something vital and you know that if you engage in a real conversation with someone a meaningful conversation that suspend your sense of fragile mortality for a moment you understand that in that communication between people something of inestimable value emerges that you have to pursue and you live for that you live for that relationship with yourself you live for that that discovery of that relationship when you’re engaged in an artistic pursuit it’s the core of meaning in life and it’s not an illusion in fact it’s a manifestation of the highest functions of your nervous system because what your nervous system does is signal to you that you’re in a place and time that you cannot see when you’re engaged in something meaningful you need comes upon you and it’s secure for the catastrophes of tragic mortality that wonderful engagement in what’s meaningful that you do you can and do experience and that you can get better at experiencing if you practice and that’s because your nervous system which has evolved over billions of years has learned to tell you when you’re standing on the border between chaos and order and keeping them in balance and that’s what manifests itself is meaningful and that’s the same phenomena that’s referred to in the creation stories in Genesis and it’s the same idea that’s reflected in the strange Christian assistance that the thing that saves mankind is the same thing the draws order from chaos at the beginning of time it’s unbelievably brilliant and we’ve been trying to figure it out for who knows how long forever and have never been able to fully articulate it because it’s so complicated it’s such a complicated idea but there’s nothing in the least it’s a losery above it the habitable order that is created at the beginning of time that’s paradise right paradise that’s a walled garden it’s a well watered place that’s what Eden means paradise means paradaisal walled garden what and that’s where Adam and Eve are first put and why is that well it’s because we do come in male and female form that’s part of it so that’s part of our our eternal landscape that’s how you could think about it is it’s the landscape that transcends all landscapes it’s the landscape that is what all and escapes have in common that’s what it is that’s what makes it an archetype it’s a walled garden why well the walls are structure and culture and the garden is nature and all that says is that people live in an amalgam of nature and culture and of course that’s precisely the case and that’s another variant of the order chaos juxtaposition order being culture and chaos being nature so we live eternally in the balance between nature and culture and if it’s properly balanced it’s as close to paradise as it can get but paradise is flawed and why is it flawed because there’s always something lurking in it that could turn it upside down and that’s the snake and the reason it’s a snake is because the circuits that we use to process the things that turn our lives upside down is the same circuit that our tree-dwelling ancestors used to identify predators 60 million years ago and so the symbolic structure has remained exactly the same that which lies outside what you understand is predatory and dangerous well that’s why you demonize others before and others because they do stand in that relationship to you and you use extraordinarily deep circuitry to do that but human beings being slightly smarter than your average chimpanzee also have noted that the terrible predator that lurks outside the domains of what you understand is also the thing that bears gold right and that’s the classic dragon myth the hero goes out beyond the confines of order and culture into the chaotic unknown to confront the ultimate predator who simultaneously offers the best that can be possibly gathered and that’s what human beings are like predator animals and prey animals simultaneously we’ve learned to represent the unknown is that thing that threatens us hideously with a multitude of paralyzing snakes in the head of Medusa but continually also offers us precisely what we need to continue our movement forward and everyone knows that which is why we go to movies that tell us that over and over and over and over and over trying to learn what it means and that’s what it means and that’s what it means to partake in the logo and the logos the reason that I made the videos that I made in September in relationship to free speech is because I know that respect for the logos and respect for free speech are the same thing and that without that respect our societies cannot maintain their structure differentiate and progress they cannot do it we use our free speech to face the chaotic potential of the world and its horrors to structure it to understand it to communicate about it and to reach consensus it’s the mechanism by which we adapt there can be no restrictions put upon that unless you want to sacrifice out application and I wouldn’t recommend that things get stale old decayed dead and dangerous with extraordinary rapidity if living people don’t maintain their responsibility to update the state and there’s no difference between that and diving down into the chaotic depths and rescuing your father from the belly of the whale it’s exactly the same idea it’s an ancient ancient idea and the reason that we haven’t forgotten it was because everyone who forgot it died so unless that’s where we want to go we better stop forgetting about it Nietzsche said that after God had died there would be two things that would happen one would be the emergence of nihilism as a temptation we already discussed nihilism it’s like it’s a logical consequence of the collapse of value systems but it’s also a place for the irresponsible to hide fine nihilism totalitarianism well Nietzsche believed that once you had experienced the collapse of one value system you were unlikely to put your faith in any value systems so then why totalitarianism particularly say it it’s nationalistic and communitarian forms which are the two forms that we saw act as immense Devils in the 20th century right with nationalism being pushed most forcefully forward by the sorts of political Creed’s that were exemplified by the Nazis and with communitarianism being put forth by the sorts of trees that were exemplified by the Soviet Union both absolutely catastrophic evolutionary dead ends well nationalism is easier to understand I think because you need an identity and it has to be collective because human beings live collectively I mean it’s the fact that we share an identity that we can all sit here in this room peacefully because the identity is partly who you think you are but it’s also partly what you expect from the world and from others and because you have an identity that’s similar to you you can sit together peacefully because you expect and desire something and so to you and it’s the same thing and that’s what it means to have a shared culture and so you can’t you have to defend that culture and it has to be a sufficient let’s say tightness or magnitude so that it makes sense for you to belong to it it’s not so diverse and chaotic that it means nothing and I think that part of the reason why we’re seeing a return to nationalism in places like Europe is because the European identity is so amorphous that people can’t establish a relationship and that’s not a good thing because identity is actually something you have to have a relationship with and so you know it’s the identity or identity it’s the identity of you within your family it’s the identity of your family within the small community their friends and that surround you and then the broader community of the town and the somewhat broader community of the province and the state and so forth but as it expands it gets vague and it disperses and at some point the identity that’s universal is so all-encompassing that it means nothing at all and leaves people chaotic and so that’s what’s happening at least in part in Europe it’s happening to some degree in the United States as well because we’ve been pushed so quickly forward into adopting a global identity that people are shaking because that too amorphous for them until we pull back and say no we need to be around people who we understand which is of course absolutely true now the downside of the nationalist endeavor is that you also need to be around people that you aren’t alike and don’t understand partly because they exist and if you don’t take them into account then you’re going to have a war with them which is a very bad idea but also because they have something to offer and so we’re trying to sort out the proper balance between differentiated identity say at the nation-state level and the global identity that seems to be manifesting itself partly because of our widespread electronic communication so okay nationalism beckons if you’re in a chaotic state you know I heard the Gallup people with pollsters at one point I’ve never seen this made public but I remember it very well said that uh as was back when Quebec was still a large proportion that Kaiba Corps population was still agitating for separatism I’d always looked at that and I thought what made perfect sense because you solecism collapses it leaves a void what are you going to fill the void with well to denialism which we’ve already discussed or well or what well nationalism obviously and the Gallup people said that if you are lapsed Catholic you were ten times more likely to be a separatist perfect exactly what you’d expect because you have to have an identity so you turn from church to state well that’s fine if you believe that the state is the ultimate identity and that’s really that the story that is being sold to people who are sold a nationalist story the state is the ultimate identity it’s like well actually that’s technically wrong that’s why that’s why it’s wrong it’s not wrong because it’s ideologically wrong or or morally wrong precisely it’s it’s wrong because it’s technically wrong because the problem with the state is the state is what uniform across people and the thing is is that we need what’s actually diverse across people in order to rejuvenate the state and to keep it awake and so if you reduce individuals to what’s homogenous about them across all people you eradicate the very variability that allows people to adapt to new things and because we’re constantly being presented with new things we need to keep that individual variability paramount because it’s upon that variability that the very state depends and not actually what the West discovered that’s why we have always subordinated the state to the divinity of the individual and that’s expressed as I already said in our in our in the primacy of free speech in our civilization it’s the cornerstone the primacy of free speech and it’s because the individual has something to offer the state and so state identity is something that can only it can structure and it can reassure but it also constrains to too great a degree and so societies that become only state immediately become old and blind malevolent and co-op’s and that’s an ancient story the Egyptians have this figured out 3,000 years ago in their fundamental mythologies they had a deity named Osiris who was threatened by his evil brothers set who later became the Christian Satan the words are related etymologically and set was like star in the Lion King he was waiting in the wings to for the old king to turn a blind eye so that he could chop him into pieces and rule in a malevolent way across the entire state the Egyptians had another daddy Horus who was the son of Osiris and the queen of the underworld Isis who was the eye should I who was the Falcon because Falcons can see and Horus was different than Osiris because he could see what Seth was up to he grew up outside the kingdom like King Arthur and came back and triumphant overcame Seth who’s an I in the process he overcame his evil uncle and banished him to the corners of the world then he took his eye and went into the underworld where his father Osiris was living a life of a dead ghost that’s one way of thinking about it he gave him his eye and that revivified Osiris and then Osiris and Horus went back up to the surface from the chaotic underworld and their union was the symbol of what the Pharaoh had to manifest in order to rule Egypt properly the Egyptians figured that out three thousand years ago in there in a great story but it’s very difficult to make something like that an articulated reality but that’s the relationship that has to obtain between the individual in the state the state is a corpse the state is dead but it’s a gift that the dead have given to you and you have to provide it with vision and with speech because otherwise it can only blunder around like a zombie you go to university you become educated so that you can serve as the eye and the mouth of the rejuvenated state that’s the purpose of developing saya an education in the humanities when there was still such a thing left but that’s the purpose of that education is to turn you into the thing that ensures that the entire ship doesn’t founder and sink and that’s your responsibility and if you’re looking for a meaning in your life that’s the leading keep the state afloat why well because it’s better for us all to be in a ship than drowning in the icy water and that’s the alternative knowing if you’re if you find that the tragedy of life is too much for you to bear without becoming resentful and bitter and murderous and even genocide all it means that you haven’t picked up enough responsibility because if you picked up enough responsibility for the religion of the state and the eradication of unnecessary suffering you’d find enough meaning in that so the idea of meaninglessness would vanish in an instant you have more then you knew what to do with and that’s the terrifying thing as well but to fight off one terrifying thing the specter of mortality and insanity and finitude and death you need another monster of equivalent size and that’s one that you can find and it’s one that you can bear up and this one that you can live and that’s what we need to do because if we don’t do that then all hell breaks loose really really eternally that’s what those stories mean viewed in this light you can understand post-modernism because post-modernism manages as a response it’s a response to the Nietzschean dilemma right the cornerstone of civilization has been demolished by rational critique and no wonder it needed to be criticized but it needed to be more deeply understood and criticism and deep understanding are the same thing unless the criticism is only destruction because if you criticize something what you’re doing is separating the wheat from the chaff you’re not burning all of it you’re saying well not this not this but definitely this definitely this and that’s what education should provide you with the opportunity to do as well what should we conserve and what should we dispense with well we can serve what’s centrally true and now we need to understand it we have to conserve the ideas that the individual has an infinite responsibility to the direction of being and we know that you know perfectly well that you live in a relationship with your own conscience and when you violate the moral order that’s part and parcel of your soul you’re ashamed and hide and bitter and then you get angry you can’t show your face to other people you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror and you know perfectly well that’s true even though you may not know what to do about it or how to get out of it if there’s a moral order built into human beings if there wasn’t there’s no way we could even communicate with one another because there’d be no rules of communication there’d be nothing that we mutually wanted or expected from each other you know one of the things that I figured out is that we’re all appalled when we run into another person who is not yet Redeemer every person you ever meet you’re you’re dissatisfied with because they’re not who they could be and you’re broadcasting that message at everyone all the time you’re not who you could be you’re not who you could be you’re not who you could be I’m not who I could be and we’re all facing each other with our emotional displays pleading with each other to become that which we couldn’t become and everyone knows it but we won’t do it and it’s no wonder the post modernist there’s a logical conclusion of the Nietzschean dilemma god is dead values the value structure collapsed the specter arises of all value structures collapsing that’s the post modernist dogma all value structures have collapsed they’re only there for the purposes of exclusion they have no intrinsic value it’s a very very powerful argument that’s why it dominates the universities that and the fact that allows people decision to dispense with their moral responsibility which is something that’s never discussed by the post modernist but you have to give the devil his due what’s the problem with post-modernism well if all value structures have collapsed then there’s nothing to do because in order to do something one thing has to be better than another because otherwise why do it and so people who are ensconced in the postmodern traditions are undermined by their own philosophy they can deconstruct their own deconstruction in which case they might as well just sit there and do nothing which would actually be preferable to what they’re doing else so how do they extract themselves from that dilemma they do it eeeh logically but they don’t care because the post modernist first of all don’t believe in logic that’s a reflection of the logos which they dispensed with dialog they don’t believe it because that’s a reflection of the logos which they’ve dispensed with logic and dialogue irrelevant well that does bring up the problem of what to do well there’s post modernist finesse that by reverting to the Marxist doctrines from which post-modernism emerged and so they say well yeah you can’t get any direction from post-modernism but we don’t we’re not going to worry about that because we don’t worry about such things what we’ll do is just use sleight of hand to push forward the communitarian doctrines out of which our original hypothesis emerged and everyone says well we’ll turn a blind eye to the paradox because we actually need something to do and plus to the degree that we’re communitarian we can take out our nihilistic resentment and arrogance and ingratitude on every single person we deemed to have something more than we have and so if you’re wondering why certain values can exist in the absence of any value you have to look no farther than to understand that people who are desperate and chaotic will still be angry and destructive and they can manifest that perfectly with the moral mask that says well I’m not really after what you have because you have a little more than me I’m speaking on behalf of these people who have even led like it’s absolute nonsense it’s so funny watching Yale students complain about the privilege they’re in the top one-tenth of one hundredth of a percent of people who’ve lived in the entire history of the planet much less just the people that are on the planet now they’re dominating patriarchs in training right there baby representatives of the patriarchy and all they do is complain about that tiny tiny infant essa mole fraction of people who have slightly more than they have now it’s appalling and their idiot professors pass them on the back and send them out the world to do that instead of teaching them how to live they damaged their mental health they hurt our society they’re bringing things down and that’s what they’re aiming at the post modernist managed to be nihilistic and totalitarian at the same time which is something that not even Nietzsche dreamed about despite the fact that he had the greatest imagination for pathology that perhaps ever existed in addition they combined the nihilism and the totalitarian ISM with the worst aspects of dogmatic religion because what they’ve essentially established is a cult into which children who attend University are now indoctrinated at great cost I might add and with very little practical outcome what’s the alternative given that they have a point well as far as I can tell the alternative is a proper return to the past and that is precisely to journey into the chaos to look at the worst possible thing and to pull the dead farther up from the chaotic depths that’s how you start being a puppet someone whose strings are being pulled by forces they do not understand behind the scenes you find out what’s great about your culture this thing that’s provided us with everything that we see in this room this amazing warmth that we’re experiencing when it’s 30 bloody below outside the fact that the electricity or the heart and that computational resources are working that we can all sit here peacefully and then no one is hungry fact or to fact that for a big problem oh no we have so much stuff for getting fat yeah well that’s a good problem to have you should have some gratitude for what’s being produced that’s brought us to this point and we need to wake up and understand what we’re doing well that’s what that’s what people like that’s what the psychoanalysts were trying to do in the 20th century that’s what all the great clinicians were trying to do and I would say above all else that was what Carl Jung was trying to do he believed firmly that the idea of the divine spark within the individual was a was a metaphysical reality by which he meant a reality that actually transcended and existed superordinate to the physical reality a more real reality that’s whatever consciousness is something we understand from a scientific perspective not at all all that’s been represented in our mythologies as far back as we could push them as an independent agent in the world giving rise to form that’s how we treat each other that’s how we recognize ourselves that’s how we judge each other you make your bed and then you lie in it and everyone knows that that’s not to say that you’re not subject to random and chaotic circumstances and the tragedy of life just because you can do some things doesn’t mean you can do everything but you can do some things and if you don’t do them then things fall apart and the problem with things falling apart is that you will be happy about it to the degree that you’re not trying to repair them because to the degree that you do not manifest what’s within you then your life falls apart around you and everything that could make you better multiplies until you’re in a situation where you want the destruction you want to bring it on and it’s not surprising because life can be so terrible that the question of whether or not it should exist at all can be a real question but the answer to that is is life so terrible that it shouldn’t exist well the answer is it depends on how you live it and if your life is so terrible that you can’t bear it then it raises the question of whether or not you’re living it properly and that’s not to say that people don’t suffer under burdens that are too great for them to bear they certainly do it doesn’t matter because if you let that in bitter you if you let that destroy your religions to the proper path all it does is make that worse and everything else it’s no out so what did I learn from studying from studying the terrible situation that obtained in the mid-1980s when the Soviets and the West had tens of thousands of hydrogen bombs pointed at each other ready to go at a moment’s notice why did that happen what did I learn it was simple the reason that that situation existed was because I was not good enough I was not good enough the reason that the terrible situations in the world exist now is because you’re not good enough you’re not good enough you’re not good enough we could solve any problem you can solve any problem if we used all the resources that were available to us if we live properly we have no idea what we could turn what we’re in into so I would say you support free speech because it’s the mechanism that maintains the sanity of the individual and society and you live in relationship with the spoken truth to the best of your ability because the alternative is hell and if hell is what you want then you can remain arrogant and resentful and deceitful but if you want to work to better the world to bring it up to what it might be then you speak forthrightly you clarify yourself and you act properly in the world and then you see what happens and this is the final thing I’ll say I spent a long time studying the Sermon on the Mount it’s a key document it’s Christ’s commentary on the 10 commandments in a sense the question being if you codify the rules by which a society might function is there something within the structure of the rules that rises above them that acts as the fundamental principle from which they’re all derived it’s the ultimate question of human ethics what is the highest principle an answer that’s put forth in the Sermon on the Mount is quite straightforward and at the highest possible good that you can conceive of whatever that is that you can conceive them that serves as your God for all intents and purposes having aligned yourself with that good speak the truth and see what happens that’s the act of faith the act of faith is whatever the truth reveals is the best of all possible worlds regardless of how it appears to you now it’s a guess right it’s something you stake a back on well what do you think the best of all possible worlds will be brought into being by defeat it seems unlikely you know that doesn’t work in your own life you tangle yourself up in your own lies right one lie breeds 10 and 10 breeds 100 and maybe you put the consequences on down the road and you don’t fall into the pit for five or six years maybe you’ll even forgotten why you fell in when you finally do fall in but everyone knows that everyone knows that you don’t get away with anything and so the issue is well what would happen if you just said what you thought stupid as it is inaccurate as it is and listen to people criticize you in response to shape you and make you more articulate what would your life be like and answer that is and I know this to be true I’ve worked with many many people on precisely this problem your life gets better and better and better and richer and deeper but that comes with a heavier and heavier burden of responsibility well that’s okay you use the observation of your own capability to bear responsibility to buttress yourself against the terrors of being finite you say weak and miserable as I am I can still stand up to the terrible tragedy of life and prevail and that’s good enough thank you [Applause] [Applause]

100 thoughts on “2017/03/11: Strengthen the Individual: A counterpoint to Post Modern Political Correctness

  • That's interesting. Have you thought about Eden as nature and the "fruit of the knowledge of good and evil" as the birth of civilization? I think Adam and Eve before eating the fruit represent primitive mankind changing from a divine beast to a divine human.

    The concept of having stolen this awareness giving fruit from God is pretty interesting in itself. Following the event, God said that it was troubling because if humanity partook of the tree of life, along with the knowledge of good and evil, they would be equivalent to gods.

    This is when people became aware of needing clothes. Agriculture and settlements began. God said we'll live threw toiling for having stolen the fruit. This is also when the promise of the Word was given to man at the same time.

    When you talked about the Word being present at the beginning of time, that really got my interest. The Word was God and the Word was with God. There's a lot suggesting language was also just starting in written form, and this may be what naming the animals was about. Interestingly the early Akkadian sect used language in a quite similar fashion to the compelled speech of today, resulting in the "tower of Babil" mythos in a variety of cultures from Chinese, Babylonian, Sumerian and ofc Judeo-Christian.

    Learning to read was highly guarded as something of a state secret. The ability to amass knowledge and methods could be rather dangerous back then. The Sumerian priesthood had a power struggle where the new sect began translating texts to a new language only they could read or speak. Eventually the slight variations in language caused a quasi-civil war resulting in the Akkadian empire, eventually Babylon.

    Knowing how sacred words were at the time, they represent a special kind of structure so it makes sense to me what you refer to as giving structure to the universe. In many ways, the early priesthoods in Ur would be about their own politics, but also teaching civilians about basic agriculture and survival.

    That said, of course, the primary use for language was tracking payments, inventory and family lines. Still, a lot of folks may be familiar with Gilgamesh; that's one example of literature worthy of being an 'epic' existing at the time.

    God's Word and breath in Genesis represent not just the conditions for life, but also the actualization of life in such a way itself is a message. You could say the Word being the fundamental structure is fundamentally what the so-called "anthropic principle" is responding to

  • Dr. Peterson, I don't say this lightly; You can be compared to the Great Classics really. I think, if we're lucky as a species, to honor you as one of the Greats of Civilization. Perhaps there is hope after all. I've been mainly depressed for the last 5-7 years. Gone thru the whole medical circus, and all I got out of it was always more pills. After a while I realized it was mainly the pills that were depressing me. They also misdiagnosed me and got me anti-psychotics, which as anyone who's read a wiki article abt knows can happen.
    Just FYI: Sertralin(Zoloft) was the worst one.
    Anyways, lowering all the meds and feeling better, and it's honestly been since I heard the famous "CLEAN YOUR ROOM" talk that set me going. Maybe One can create something like meaning in this world to bear the tragedy.
    This is Exactly what we, as humans really, need to hear.

  • Jordan i like much of what you say and my journals are filled with quotes by you though I do find your vast knowledge mostly empty of a useful critique of the dominant existing economic paradigm…which as a belief strcture is hardly beyond criticism…In emphasizing the specter of marxism rather than presenting viable and useful challenges to what is it seems possible to me that paradoxically your reinforcing just what you so stridently dont want? Theres going to be a theoretical challenger to the mainstream economy by insuring its a valid and a viable challenge we'll insure the absolutely essential course correction necessary for any viable system. Thanks

  • I wouldn't say divinity of the individual…divinity is too strong a word. Consider the word sovereign. The individual is sovereign. God is divine. That being said, I bought your book, 12 Rules…I will pick up Maps ASAP. Thank you for everything you're doing for the cause of liberty. A real founding father, type, you are.

  • I like the part that serving the state is the meaning of life. It's better to let the "boat" float then to let it sink and drown.

    However there is a well-known plan B, swim to the closest "boat" until that later sinks, or you learn to serve that "new" state instead.

  • So i mentioned to a friend of mine, what i have discovered, something that i somewhat always knew, that you helped me understand……..stop believe in conspiracy theories he said…….I live in Norway….. i never knew the seriousness of this subject, nor the debts… and nobody seems to CARE, it scares me ALOT!

  • Well ,what can I say? The prophet at work. Seriously, listening to Peterson I started to understand the phenomenon of biblical prophets. There obviously is a purpose in spreading his message. Absolutely outstanding. No wonder that young people follow him. They are starved for truth.

  • The truth is so particularly strong and dense in this lecture that you can almost touch it. Truth. Cutting edge of precision. Articulate speech. J. B. P. at his best.

  • In his wonderful agnostic Style Professor Peterson says that you can't protect yourself from the pain or think your way out of it through nihlistic thinking. So life is only worth living through maximizing your potential for the good of yourself and others which is one and the same. This is actually the meaning of Christ going to the cross. Jesus willingly suffered and died so that we may live. He said father forgive them for they know not what they do. As the Creator he took the responsibility on himself as he was with the father from the beginning of time and wanted to share this love with his creatures. Order comes out of chaos through speech. And so Christ is the word of God. Whosoever calls on his name will be saved. He says whosoever believes on him though he dies will live. With this certainty in mind life is easier to understand and endure. If your life is chaos speak the words. God help me. This is all it takes.

  • Dr. Jordan, I just want to shake your hand. You've inspired me to simply be a man, not blame anybody for my lot in life, and to actually start to actively embody Good actions. This is significantly guided by the Self-Authoring program, especially "Future Authoring." Preach.

  • You know, maybe I'm a bit slow, but I've kind of discovered something…

    Whenever Trump won the presidency in the US, there was a lot of talk about how his supporters were "uneducated." From my understanding, they (they meaning the MSM) meant this in the sense Trump voters didn't attend university.

    With JBPs talks, and my own experience, of how universities push post-modernism and neo-marxism, could this be because many of his voters weren't trained into having this set of beliefs? That is given that what MSM said was true about Trump voters.

    Is it possible that maybe, right now in history, those that are self-educated are the best educated?

    I also often wonder if the best way to deconstruct the way that universities have become, is if we should do it within?

    For instance, for those of us who are interested in education and higher studies, should we obtain the degrees that are necessary in order to infiltrate, for the lack of a better term, the current universities? Or should we create our own? Create universities that do not have a focal point on social justice, and really want to learn from all sides of the spectrum without being persecuted for asking questions or having a different set of beliefs from the professor. Without the professor stating that one should look at things from their point of view instead. (Which has happened to me.)

  • You are a true professor. You are the One who confirms the Truth again and again sir. Story telling was part of my upbringing now, I rejoice in the beauty of listening which has been granted through YouTube and is how I learn from you. Tarzan (Johnny Weismüller for me) through the happiness he portrayed, I realized that because he did not grow up with a set language,, he did not have school in the form of written explanations, no memory, no thought and his infamous yell would tell everything, everyone with no unnecessary toughness. Thank you.

  • I love the way you compose yourself at the start. Taking the amount of time you need, and damn the torpedoes.

  • To explain "history" from an "economic" point of view is a subversive Marxist tactic. Might explaining human conflict as "economic" also be a subversive Marxist tactic?

  • We need such a voice of common sense in the UK where the SJWs and madness have taken over and are running the country into the ground. Every bird needs two wings to fly. Think about that.

  • Love that your wife also talk about it this, she seems to be a Amazing woman, I am so glad that you have her, I Think she has in many aspecct helped you to be so outspoken and tell how things really are.

    I do like also that you walk around and not just standing still like some University lectors tho, it is more lively and it seems like you then are able to take in every indivual in the room. Most lectuals just speak like it is a mass of people – a Group they speak to. But that is never really true, beacuse in any Group that are indivuals that diffrent from each other. I Think it is just great, and I wish more personers did this, no matter of if they are academical or not.. Instead of allway just speak to one Group, that is just identy politics and you see it so often, especially here in Sweden with our politics that try to win a particul Group instead of analyzing what is best for all society, not Always easy, but diffently important to do..

  • The (perhaps) incredible fact is that Truth and the rest of it's heirarchy, down to truth, is not actually capable of undermining the premise and origins of Christianity and it's claims.

  • I wonder how one might explain what the specific archetypes and details of the oldest stories in Genesis are doing existing in the original pictographic words which make up the written Chinese language. Is it coincidence that the best estimate for when this most ancient human written language came into existence correlates precisely with a "fundamentalist" reading of the flood and tower of Babel story from Genesis 5-11?

  • Okay, I know I am just a little nobody, but with a predicate of "Don't do this one thing" how long would it take for anyone to 'Do the one thing'? And as a follow-up would that person's personality play a role, and to what degree?

  • Your interpretation regarding the meaning of the Genesis story was just brilliant. I've found something meaningful in every video I've seen so far, both challenging and insightful, and they've certainly expanded my thinking . Thank you..

  • Thank you Jordan. The journey of truth isn't easy always, but thank you very much for sticking it out and for standing what you stand for. I have more meaning and reason to live a more responsible life, ever since I started listening to you. Thank you very much.

  • this is really amazing stuff…..don't know why he's not getting more recognition by academics etc….he's got a higher state of consciousness……maybe one in a billion rarity….its pretty mind blowing. personally its great to hear this kinda stuff because i had the rug pulled out from under me at 9 years old when my mam died ( and thus became nihilistic for many years )… ive also experimented with psychedelics and spent a lifetime surfing…."touched by the hand of god" is a near universal statement by surfers around the world when talking about getting barreled. in the eye of the storm yet in complete harmony with nature….the fear and the chaos is also millimeters away. a truly spiritual experience…….Respect and thank you Mr peterson. you truly are a great person

  • I've watched a large handful of Dr. Peterson videos in the last year (I found him researching what an SJW was, and within two videos of crazies protesting free speech around Bill C16, I subbed'd his channel at around 180K in Aug of 2017, and now he's at 1.5M – which makes me so happy), and I've got to say, this might as well be one of his best and compassionate hours about this topic in particular, and the video I send anyone who doesn't know him or is brainwashed by the MSM into a negative image of this man. It saddens me the nonsensical protestors who were outside.
    This man is a godsend and his articulation of the underlying principals of the message behind his words, and the rest of us taking it into our own lives, could save us all.

    I've never experienced such tears of awe in my life before than listening to this lobster. All of his videos are amazing, each one topping another, and wake you to your core.
    His message came an an opportune moment in my life and it really helped me.
    I am going to buckle down even more, watch the Maps of Meaning lecture series, finish the Biblical Series, and take his Authoring Programs very soon.
    Thank you Dr. Peterson, and God bless you and your family.

  • A comprehensive interpretation of the masters by a person of depth. We will ignore this message at our own peril. Tammi Peterson's is lovely and I can imagine, a force to be reckoned with on her own.

  • @23:50 how humans deal with the complexity of the world. We simplify it. If you don't simplify if you go into cognitive overload which stresses and damages your brain.

    The simplifications we devise to understand the world are represented by our belief systems. Different people and groups come into conflict beside of their different belief systems (and consequently different "understanding" and perception of the world). I guess that having your fundamental belief system threatened is a very scary and dangerous thing hence why people are so invested in preserving their belief system.

    Wow fascinating.

  • The words that Dr Peterson expounds are a precise description of what we are living in today's world. What resonates the most with me is..take responsibility..be truthful and responsible and you'll reap the rewards..apart from learning everyday even more. Thank Dr Peterson for your input in my life, I'm so grateful I visited one of your YouTube sites some time ago, I'm taking care of myself and my loved ones even more these days and I have quit smoking cold turkey and not had a drink for a month now and I don't even miss them, I knew within me long before that I could just stop but never put that thought into action..now I'm exercising more, I'm losing weight, I feel better..I'm in the process of completing a Diploma in counselling and my studies are moving forward successfully and soon I'll have the chance to help those in need. Thank you so much once again for your help and I'll continue to walk straight, shoulders back and chest out..and speak the truth!

  • The last person, in my opinion, to aim so selflessly at empowering the individual for the betterment of humanity, died impoverished and unacknowledged – his name was Nikola Tesla. It is disturbing at best that the person solely responsible for bringing us the technologies and advancements we take for granted today, isn't even mentioned in our education system.
    It's a little more than imperative that we all take responsibility to ensure this does not happen to the good Doctor. I'm sure he wouldn't advocate violence towards those who would see him shunted, and as Mr.Tesla's endeavors have stood the test of time, so to will the good Doctor's.
    Still doesn't mean we dont give anyone who thinks their smart enough to oppose him and actually do it, a good goddam earful. Especially if they dont know what the hell they're talking about.
    I sat on a bus once with a book called In Defense of Secular Humanism in my lap, and an older gentleman sat next to me and immediately took me to task on reading such filth. What he didn't give me a chance to say was that a good friend lent it to me and told me if your going to make an argument, you better know both sides of it.
    I still would have liked to thank him for speaking up. Hopefully, if given the chance, we all come to the defense of anyone who is striving to make things just a little better for all of us. But it would help if we knew what the hell we were talking about.

  • He is one of the reason I started to truly go to God with honesty. I am so grateful for he made a choice to obedient to his calling by sharing his honest conviction backed by his incredible knowledge. I am so freaking happy to live this life with awakening due to your contribution. I thank you. By the way, I am a middle aged Asian woman who thrive in meaningful conversation.

  • Every time I listen to Peterson, I feel an even more compelling drive to get myself together. I am finally on that path, although I am hitting many road bumps. My little sister has started suffering from seizures, gastoparasis, and episodes of anaphylactic shock as a result of her autoimmune problem. And despite the fact, or perhaps because of it, that my mother is a registered nurse with over 30 years of experience, I can't convince her of the unspeakable importance of the autoimmune protocol diet in healing my sister and preventing her from deteriorating further. And today my closest friend got in a terrible accident and I spent the whole day in the hospital with her. And today, on the same day, my check engine light is on and I can hear my car engine struggling.

  • Thanks to Dr. Peterson and others like him, we may soon witness the dawn of Post-Post Modernist Era. By the grace of God.

  • Knowing their life and love story, I found Tammy's introduction at the beginning moving. Hope we all can have partners like them. And get better soon Tammy.

  • I'm going to have a T-shirt made that says, "I cleaned and organized my room" and see how many people recognize it.

  • Your ability to articulate so well is OVER THE TOP, sir! I have learned to slow down and think more before I open my mouth, send an email, a text and even how I am teaching my children. AND this comment! hahah

  • Empower the individual. No more Politicians. DIY legislatures.

  • The proof of what Dr Peterson is warning about so vociferously, has been on full display on the Democratic candidates debates. Understanding that president Trump has a manner that doesn't appeal, or outright offends alot of people, there can be no doubt that the man Loves America, her people, believes in the founding of this incredible precious Republic and the Western values that the Framers warned us we'd have to protect and fight for by being educated, informed, knowledgeable, moral and Engaged! The Progressives have been systematically tearing down the very idea that is America for over 100 years , by the means that he espouses about. Division, Marxism, Post Modernism…. And its now on steroids. Only a fool, who doesn't care about the future of this country, would vote for a Democrat at this time. You can't delude yourself into believing that even JFK wouldn't be attacked and demonized by the Left today. Please America, listen to Dr Petersons warnings. Start to educate yourself and your children about what Americanism means. Start by watching Hillsdale College free online courses on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Learn how America is based on Western values, and how we can avoid losing it. Please stand up Americans. We've been apathetic too long. Thank you Dr Jordan Peterson, for reminding us of what our Framers gave us… Individual sovereignty, freedom, God given rights and the warning that it is the Responsibility of We The People to be vigilant and protect and defend our liberty.

  • Which aspects of Nihilism and Totalitarianism were co-opted by Post-Modernism with dogmatic religion, and what shall we call this dogmatic religion that was unleashed upon the world? Are the Culture Wars a product of this deception, and is Cultural Marxism responsible for the LGBTQ+ movement that appears to be the instigator?

  • I always knew that the depravity of man can be seen in a long line at Starbucks. God forbid a real crisis were to unfold with these same impatient people, with their bickering about something so frivolous as the inconvenience of having to wait in line. God help us if anything catastrophic comes to our cozy society.

  • I can’t get enough of JB’s talks…I’m a newbie in this but I just enjoy his ‘talks’ so much!!!❤️❤️❤️ thank you for your wisdom!!!

  • This man speak like a prophet… his righteous anger in his voice remind me of our Jakarta governer, Ahok, who happened to be an honest Christian Chinese minority in Indonesia who by very strange fate become leader of Jakarta, worked his ass off and then put in jail by his detractors on a trumped up charge of blaspheming the majority religion… anyway life is to be continuing

  • Would love a conversation between him and Ravi Zachariah’s. I would be transfixed by the beauty of courteous sharing

  • i hope all u online supporters do something real to support him and protect him . stop acting like u r children at a circus. this is real life. make videos, twtt, literally get out on the street to support him. there is no one like Jordan , and he has a family. so support him for real .

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