Friday, July 28, 2017

- Unpacking Jordan Peterson's Biblical Series

I'm all caught up on Dr. Peterson's biblical stories lectures, and I get it. What's more, I agree with it. let me see if I can boil down 20 or so hours of lectures from a genius into a few concise sentences to give you the gist.

At the end of the day Dr. Peterson is several things - many of them incredibly noble. I already mentioned that I think he's a genius, but I think it's worth mentioning twice in his case.

What he's come up with is a kind of unified field theory of Evolutionary Psychology. And he ties it to the deepest things we know. The deepest theology (as a kind of archetypal mythology), the deepest philosophy, and the deepest science about the brain, the development of personality, evolution, and the nature of western culture and the inalienable rights of man.

The guy has to be stealing a base or two in there somewhere but I'm not smart enough to catch it, and I've listened to some of these lectures several times. My appreciation of it is that he's putting forth a collection of thinking that ties all of that together in a remarkably elegant single set of concepts.

There are fundamental premises that you have to buy into in order to make his view work, but they're remarkably basic. Down at the very bottom is this:

Words are incredibly important. But words don't tell you what people think. What people do is what tells you what they think. How they act in the real world is what they really think. Sometimes the things they say coincide with their actions and that is, for lack of a better term, the truth according to them. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons their words contradict their actions and that would be considered, a falsehood.

More truth in your words and actions leads to positive things happening to you, the people around you, and the people who come after you. More falsehood leads to misery - mostly to you, but often to a great many others as well.

He's not saying that he knows the truth and we all have to follow him. In an important way he's saying the exact opposite. What he's saying is that he's found a way to unpack it all (and I do mean 'all') in a way that reveals the truth to him, and we would all be wise to do the same, especially if it leads us to a different place than him, which I would expect he thinks it would.

His grand advice for a life that is meaningful is to get yourself in order, and then take on the biggest responsibility you can. That, he says, is the secret to a life filled to the brim with meaning, and will lead you to as great a life as you can have. It will be a hard life that is filled with pain, because all life is. But if the thing you've taken on is big enough and meaningful enough, then you'll think it's worth it.

This is a hard statement to contradict. And it appeals to what is at this point my fundamental nature as a trader. There is no costless benefit in life, and all you can ever hope for is a benefit so big that you don't mind the cost. That, it seems to me, is true wisdom. And he backs it all up with such elegant thinking and careful elucidation that I find it very compelling.

In a saner world there would be statues, medals, and dinner with the queen. These days all he gets is Social Justice Warriors calling him a racist misogynist, and screaming at him about their pain.

Ironically, his Biblical Lecture series is him taking his own advice to 'walk the walk'. It's the biggest thing he could think of and he's picked it up and is trying to run with it. He's rented a theatre in Toronto for the weekly series, and is playing to sold out crowds, and hundreds of thousands of others who follow along like me on youtube.

And his SJW detractors seem to be backing up his take on things too because they've all but disappeared. His philosophy is to say and act 'the truth', and the philosophy of the SJW's (it has always seemed to me) has been built from the ground up on a base of anger, resentment and lies. So instead of arguing with him over which view is right, they've run from the battle and hidden rather than have their dangerous thinking and carefully twisted minds, exposed to any truth.

And sure enough, his biblical series continues without any protest. His detractors refuse to debate him. There are no air horns, no cross dressing psychotics, and no raving blue haired fat girls screaming about misogyny. It's just a sane man, giving a deeply profound and thoughtful lecture on the nature of man and a life well lived.

He can't get it down to soundbites. That's too low resolution, and I don't fault him for it. He would be doing the whole thing disservice if he tried. It's a much more persuasive argument in its present form because of it's depth and detail.

For me it's a validation that I've thought (and tried to act) for a very long time, but lacked his ability to verbalize. And watching him makes me feel like I'm witnessing history. I'm seeing the moment when the insanity of the Social Justice world, was finally pushed back.

Time will tell if I'm right. His work will find it's way from his fans on the web to the broader culture, and we'll see what people make of it. In the meantime I hope he stays safe, because the last guy who tried something this big got nailed to a cross for his trouble, And I think there would be much to lose and nothing to gain, if Jordan Peterson were harmed by some psychotic Social Justice Warrior who sees him as the enemy.

I'd recommend the series, but it's awfully deep. It goes way deep down into the dark in virtually every direction you can conceive of. For you to appreciate it, you have to be down for that kind of thing. But if you can make the time, and like me you're inclined to a little depth anyway, you really have to watch this.

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