Sunday, July 30, 2017

- What Does That Mean?

Listening to Jordan Peterson has given me some really great language to describe my own thinking. That isn't post-hoc rationalization. I'm not changing my mind about anything. It's more like when I listen to his various lectures I feel like a series of lights are going on in a huge warehouse, and the thing I thought was a part of the structure itself is actually something else - a cruise ship or something. Crappy analogy I know, but how would you describe validation of the biggest ideas you hold?

I can even remember the moments when I made the various decisions to think the way I do, that Dr. Peterson is validating for me. They were all moments of great emotional desperation from my late teens and early 20's, all over a period of about 7 years or so. I have even described one of them in the past, the biggest one, as an epiphany. A transformative moment that came to me totally unbidden, when who I was (or in that case, who I most certainly was not) became revealed to me with perfect clarity. But this isn't about the big moment, this is about the first moment.

This piece on the deplatforming by the left of the new atheists, reminded me of one of them in a strange sort of way. And it showed me a glimpse of what one of the biggest problems with 'leftist' thinkers is. It was this sentence that set me off:

The heart of the Left is Neo-Babelism, which is inherently globalist and Satanic in nature.

Vox is a faithful christian. By his description, I'm not. But I think I know what he means when he says Neo-Babelism all the same. I think he means that the left is centered upon the idea that through their intellect alone they can transcend the concept of 'truth' and make their own truth. It's a big and profoundly mistaken idea, and one which I agree with Vox, accurately categorizes one of the central ideas of the left.

But the real question is how did I come to that conclusion?

Many years ago, in what I think was my very first of my 'epiphany like' moments, walking through a cold cow pasture all by myself, I made a decision about how I would communicate with others. I decided that I couldn't control what people say, but I could control how what they say effected me.

My thesis was that if what they said wasn't intended to hurt me, then it shouldn't. And if what they said was intended to hurt me, then they aren't the kind of people whose opinions I should care about, and it shouldn't hurt me anyway. Either way, I shouldn't be hurt by the things people say to me. I might not be able to control them, but I could control me.

Keep in mind, I was at the time a skinny 16 year old kid - far too smart and too sensitive for my own good, living in a deeply psychologically abusive environment with a dangerous alcoholic. So as modest as it may seem now, this was no small revelation. At the time it felt to me like that moment when you will retreat no further. You would rather live and die on the spot you stand, than to take one more step back into the despair and self hatred that your abuser intends for you.

From that tiny psychological beachhead in that frozen pasture, I began the very long journey to rebuild my psyche and to become something other than what I was being trained to be. All of the successes of my life, however modest they've been, can be traced in some respects to that single moment.

So what does this all have to do with the left?

From that moment on, anytime anyone said anything to me that elicited any emotional reaction, I would intentionally hold off and ask myself - "What did they really mean by that?" That's how I came to the conclusion I did about what Vox, who has a very different experience than me, 'really' meant when he talked about the Neo-Babelism of the left. And that same question "What does that mean?", is one that the left, for one reason or another, never, ever bother to ask themselves.

I haven't figured out why yet, but for some reason they can't see that to fail to ask themselves that simple basic question, is the very first step to making themselves into slaves.

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