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Euvie: [00:00:00]Welcome to the Future Thinkers Podcast episode number 39. This is the second half of our interview with psychology professor Jordan Peterson. In this episode we talk about Jung’s archetypes, psychedelics and Jordan’s definition of Enlightenment. It’s quite an interesting episode the topic range is a bit different than the previous have. I hope you guys enjoy it.
Mike: Before we get into it there’s a few things I want to address from the last episode. We get a bunch of hate on our YouTube and podcast channel so, [00:00:30] actually I just want to talk about it a little bit because it brings up an interesting point that is really relevant to Jordan Peterson’s central point which is people who are run away from criticism or run away from opposing ideas. So I’m just going to read out one of our main comments that I thought was pretty ridiculous.” I listen to your podcast for years and I very much enjoyed it until now. This man is an idiot with a decent vocabulary. I will never visit your website again. Trans people are not a subcategory of gay people, are you kidding me right now. [00:01:00] I’m so furious, furious because I really thought you folks were future thinkers. Gender pronouns serve no purpose.” Ok, main point here is what Jordan Peterson talks about, one of his favourite authors which is Dostojevski. What Dostojevski does when he builds up a character is he tries to make the protagonist the antagonist and the antagonist the protagonist. Meaning he tries to build up all the virtues of the guy you’re supposed to hate so that you like him and you sympathize with him. [00:01:30] The benefits of doing this is that you see the pros and cons of both sides of a very difficult argument and in the situation with with Jordan Peterson is talking about. Especially when it comes to censoring language he says that’s absolutely not something we should be doing. We should be open to all opinions and then make judgement calls based off of information, full information, full conversation that we have. What people have been suggesting on our podcast, e-mail and comments is that we do not [00:02:00] have people on the podcast who have different opinions than we or audience. That’s something that I’m 100 percent opposed to. We have to have people on that we disagree with. We have to build up opposing sides and understand the perspectives of people who are against us. That said I’m actually really not against Jordan Peterson because I’ve dived in so deeply into his content. He has a lot of really good ideas and he describes some quite well and if the people who commented on [00:02:30] our post or sent as emails had done this kind of research that we had, they might actually be more on their side and the thing is you might learn something when you don’t surround yourself with people who are already in your echo chamber. That’s something I just really felt like I needed to get off my chest and talk about the beginning of this episode because it’s just strange that people would want to hear only opinions that support their own opinion. That’s the slowest way to learn. Any thoughts about that Euvie?
Euvie: I think there’s other things to be said about Jordan Peterson. [00:03:00] That he talks about the week parts of social justice warrior movement. This is a little bit of a side step but it just explains my thinking recently I’ve been learning a lot about Ken Wilber’s integral model and it talks about different stages of development in your thinking and this stage of development is a postmodern thinking which is where a lot of social justice warriors rest however in every stage of development you can have pathology and [00:03:30] problems and if people become over developed in a certain area and underdeveloped in other areas they can become kind of totalitarian about their mode of thinking. That’s what happens with social justice warriors. So, on one hand where they’re coming from is they want justice and equality and they want everybody to be heard. But, on the other hand they’ve become overprotective mothers about it. Where they’re just going to slay everybody who is offending them with words, oh my god. I do understand that wanting justice and equality [00:04:00] and everybody to be heard is a noble pursuit but it just goes too far with this movement and that’s what Jordan Peterson is trying to point out. He’s not saying that justice and equality are bad. He’s just trying to point out. This is your problem, sort your stuff out and then go on with your goal of justice and equality. That’s fine.
Mike: Then let’s continue having productive conversation from that point
Mike: This whole idea of shutting down the conversation because you’re too fragile to even hear opposing opinion is ridiculous.
Euvie: Yeah, I grew up in Soviet Union [00:04:30] so I’m very familiar with people’s free speech being censored. People who grow up in North America don’t understand how bad it can get when you try to control what people can say and can’t say. It can get really bad. In Soviet Union you could be in your kitchen having a conversation with your friend and then your neighbour hears you through the wall while you’re in your private apartment and then goes and reports on you to the government that you said something against the political leader. Then you can disappear forever [00:05:00] and this happened to thousands of people and Soviet Union this is not a joke. So, this is where things can go if you start censoring people’s language
Mike: By disappear you’re not saying like a vacation in a nice resort where you don’t come back from, you’re talking about being murdered and then dumped in a ditch
Euvie: In a ditch, or being sent off to Siberia before the internet before they could track people and you’re working as a slave in the Gulag. These things were real, look them up. You have to be really careful with [00:05:30] censoring language, just don’t do it
Mike: This whole Western liberal bubble thing keeps popping up and I think it’s interesting that people so surprised that we would be sided with Jordan Pearson because his actual background of study and some of his favourite authors are from the Russian sort of like pre collapsed era and that kind of stuff is something that you and I have had so many conversations about but also from travel we’ve experienced other ways of thinking in cultures that are completely opposite the way things are done in the west in this whole perpetuation [00:06:00] of babying people and censoring ideas and you got to be protected from words is something that can actually lead to a very censored totalitarian government state. That’s why he’s so vocal but speaking out about the stuff so if you find yourself disagreeing with someone like Jordan Peterson maybe dive into the opposing argument a little more and really understand why you disagreeing why his opinions are so upsetting to you. The worst thing that can happen is either you get converted because you have more information [00:06:30] or you have a better basis through which to argue with your opponent through. So, that’s the whole idea with Dostojevsky. Is build up your opponent, research your opponent’s perspective so well that you could actually make the argument on their behalf and then destroy their argument from that total being that you’ve created for your opposition. Either way, he win.
Euvie: Last thing before we get into this episode. I want to say thank you to a recent patrons and donors Matthew, The Ladybug Japan music, Katie and Chris. [00:07:00] Thanks for helping us make this show possible.
Mike: We’ve got some exciting news. The first round of Aeternity crowdsale went live, but if you’ve been listening to our last couple of episodes you probably already familiar with Aeternity. Their technology Is about enabling mainstream level scalability privacy and lightning fast transaction speed of the blockchain. They just finished their first round of their contribution campaign. They raised one hundred and twenty thousand in ether which is equivalent to abut six million dollars at the current exchange rate. [00:07:30] Fortunately, if you did miss the last round of funding and you still want to participate the second round is going to start on May 21st 2017 so you still get a chance to check it out, contribute. I highly recommend you learn as much as you can about it and you should never contribute or donate or whatever any amount of money that you aren’t afraid to lose so. This has got to be you’re investing pocket change kind of stuff. For more details go to futurethinkers.org/aeternity a e t e r n i t y [00:08:00] or go to futurethinkers.org/ae.
Euvie: To get any show notes, books, mentions and other things we talked about in this episode go to futurethinkers.org/39. Ok, let’s get into it.
Mike: Hope you enjoy.
Mike: Welcome to futurethinkers.org. A podcast about the evolution of technology, society and consciousness. I’m Mike Gilliland and
Euvie: I’m Euvie Ivanova.
Mike: To get notified of new podcasts and videos go to futurethinkers.org and subscribe to our mailing list. You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube. [00:08:30]
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Mike: Last but not least if you want to get access to more content, hidden episodes or if you just want to chat with us and previous guests then check on the community at community.futurethinkers.org [00:09:00]
Euvie: I wanted to bring you back too Jung and the idea of archetypes and sort of digging up and discovering all the absolutely darkest, most horrible part of yourself and recognising that they’re there and feeling those feelings fully and realising that you’re capable of doing some horrible things before you can reconcile that you’re also capable of good.
Jordan: Well that’s the thing. This is also why the safe space idea is bad. So one of the things I do with my [00:09:30] maps of meaning course in to some degree in my personality courses. I tried to get the students to understand how it was that they could have been nazis. To actually understand that. To think ok I’m an Auschwitz guard, what am I like? Because I could do that. Well, it’s horrifying to understand that but if you understand that you can be could have been an Auschwitz guard, but it’s a hard thing understand but then you’re going to be a lot more careful when you discipline your children. [00:10:00] I’ll tell you that. Because you’ll think I’m a monster, I better be careful I could do something, not only could I do something but I probably will. And you see, parents treat their children terribly often. Allthough it’s usually much slower than a sudden torturous death at some horrible battle drawn out over decades. The underlying input is the same. Everyone loves their children. Yeah, sure. No. That’s another freudian observation. [00:10:30] Freud was very smart, parents love their children but they hate them too. And the feeling is amply repaid by the children. You have to take that whole dynamic into account. You have to understand that you could easily hate your child, easily. So then you’d be careful and awake and maybe you can avoid that. But you have to be awake and you can’t be awake enough you know you’re a monster. You’re asleep until you know that. You know, one of the things that I learnt from Jung is [00:11:00] that i learned why people aren’t enlightened. Because hypothetically you could be I mean that’s the theory, right? There have been enlightened people and certainly we assume that being enlightened as a good thing. Well if you can be enlightened then why isn’t everyone enlightened? Well, you might say that the degree that you become enlightened is proportionate to the to the depth of the darkest place you’ve ever visited. So, that’s a pretty good barrier.
Mike: What’s your definition of Enlightenment?
Jordan: Well I would say there’s two elements to it. One is [00:11:30] that you’re truly working to make things better and you can start with your own presumption about what better would be. But I mean better. Part of that would be that you’re trying to decrease unnecessary suffering. That’s not all there is to it but if you need an anchor point, that’s a good one. You should try to decrease unnecessary suffering. You should tell the truth. Those are the two fundamental elements I think. It’s that you orient things towards [00:12:00] the good, that you continue to improve that orientation because you understand that your definition of good is insufficient so it has to transferm. But, at the same time you try to speak the truth. The truth issue is an interesting one. And I think this is a proper way to understand faith. Because faith doesn’t mean believing a bunch of things you know not to be true. That’s stupidity, that’s not faith. Here is a way of thinking about it. Imagine that you’re [00:12:30] talking to someone you want something from. You want their recognition, you want to dominate the conversation, you want to stand out but there’s a name, a goal. You’re treating a person and the conversation like a means to an end. Maybe you do that with your speech all the time. You’re always using it as a tool to obtain some end. You see extreme of this is the pickup artist community. Their whole scheme is how to craft their words in a manipulative manner. [00:13:00] It’s all acting. How to present yourself as a dominant male so that you can attract sexual partners. It isn’t how to be a good man so you can attract women. It’s to present yourself falsely. I’m satirizing it to some degree. Because the community is useful in so far as it gets men to stop being afraid of women. Forget about that for a minute. That’s the use of speech instrumentally. That’s one way of thinking about it. Here’s another [00:13:30] way of using speech. You try to say things as clearly as you can. Period. Then you let whatever happen happen. The faith idea there is that whatever happens, if you tell the truth, it’s the best way it could possibly happened. It’s a presumption and you have to make presumptions in order to move forward in life. So, you think being is good, then a truthful relationship with it is the proper relationship. You might say how do you know [00:14:00] the outcome is going to be good? You never know if the outcome is going to be good. That’s the problem. You never know so you have to assume. There is a deep idea. I think it’s a core religious idea certainly extraordinarily well developed in christianity. That your formal moral obligation is to tell the truth. Period. Now, that doesn’t mean, when people ask what about truths that hurt people’s feelings that you should be stupid when you tell the truth. You’re supposed to be wise. For [00:14:30] example, this is a funny little anecdote to illustrate the point. So, you’re out clothing shopping with your girlfriend or your wife and she says “Does this dress make me look fat?” . What’s the answer. You’ll say maybe a white lie. Maybe it isn’t, but maybe it is. That isn’t what you say. You say I don’t answer questions like that. That’s the truth in that situation. Because a white lie, obviously there are levels of seriousness to being deceitful [00:15:00] and sometimes you tell a white lie because you can’t come up with a truth that isn’t more harmful. But it’s still not right. It’s not optimal. There’s a truth there that you could tell if you get it right. But, you don’t just bang out your stupid observations casually just because they might be accurate in that microcosmic moment. You have to be sophisticated when you tell the truth. That’s partly why you have to be oriented towards the good in a fundamental way. You have to shake off your [00:15:30] resentment of being in order to be oriented towards the good. That’s very hard because being makes people suffer and everyone is angry about that. And if you’re angry you can’t be oriented towards the good being because you’re out for destruction.
Euvie: How do you shake off your resentment of being?
Jordan: Gratitude helps. Start noticing the invisible things you have around you that shield you from catastrophe. You also have to understand what catastrophe is. And history can really [00:16:00] help you with that. If you do some study on people that really had problems, they’re starving, they’re freezing, they’re tyrannized, they’re terrified which is kind of all mankind. If you understand that and you also understand how you can be complicit in such things. You start to become more grateful. You’re not in a middle of a revolution with no power and freezing to death. Because that’s a more [00:16:30] likely condition. Entropy is the more likely condition. One of the things that we’re not thought in our school systems is that we should be grateful. Our civilization, our culture is an absolute bloody miracle. I can never believe it works. It requires so many impossible things to be functioning properly at the same time that…I went to the Tesla factory about a month and a half ago. That place is just unbelievable. [00:17:00] It’s a mile square approximately, maybe ¾ of a mile. It’s a huge building. Inside it’s just densely packed with high tech robotic material. It defunt now. They’re going to rebuild a better one that’s a quarter of size and five times the efficiency. All this compley machinery there is all powered and all of it works. It’s just unbelievable. It’s so improbable all of that would work and that’s a tiny little fraction [00:17:30] of what’s keeping our society working. It’s amazing. What’s even more amazing is that it’s really damaged people who are doing this. People are damaged so they go out to work even though their father has alzheimers, they have an alcohol problem, their stupid kid is experimenting with meth, maybe their job is in trouble and have financial difficulty and out they go fix up the power lines, fix your plumbing [00:18:00] and everything works. It’s amazing. If you know how horrible you are and if you know how unlikely that is then that would make you more grateful than resentful.
Mike: It makes life look a lot easier then it appears to be.
Jordan: You mean the fact that we’re protected by all of this?
Jordan: Oh god, yes. That’s partly why archaic people initiate their young men. It’s like ok, I’m going to take you out somewhere and we’re going to make you face [00:18:30] the devils and demons of your imagination. We’ll put you in a cave for a week. A really horrible thing that you imagined is going to visit you in that cave. Some real things and some imaginary but all horrible. When you get out you’ll know the difference between the real problem and the pseudoproblem.
Euvie: We don’t have that in our culture at all.
Jordan: No, and it’s a problem because everything that works you immediately take for granted and that’s how your brain is organized. Because if it worked you wouldn’t have to pay attention to it. [00:19:00] This is what i think about these bloody radical professors. Here’s a leftist professor at the university. They’re in a fort, that’s their office. That’s in a fort, that’s the building. That’s in a fort, that’s the university. That’s in a fort, that’s the town. That’s inside another fort, that’s the state. And another fort, the country. They stay on top of that and say the system is corrupt. That’s really great man. You’re in ten forts [00:19:30] and you’re protected enough to claim about the corruption of the system. While you’re in that fort people give you food. The system is corrupt. Then they think I’m the brave for standing up against this. You’re not brave. You’re so bloody protected that there’s never been a human being on the whole planet in the entire history of mankind that is as protected as you.
Mike: So I’m interested if you’ve talked about psychedelics and they’re role in culture and initiation?
Jordan: Why are you curious about that?
Mike: Because I’ve read a lot of Terence McKenna [00:20:00] and I have been interested in initiation as a thing that’s missing from our culture and I think historically psychedelics have played a big role in that initiation process.
Jordan: I’ve met Dennis McKenna last year.
Mike: How was that conversation?
Jordan: Oh it was fun. He was up here for a conference on psychedelics. It was a conference I spoke at aswell. What can I say about psychedelics. We don’t understand that at all. They’re inconceivably strange. [00:20:30]
Jordan: They’ve been used forever as means on transforming the perception of reality which they do in a matter that is beyond comprehension. I don’t think we understand them at all.
Mike: It really is too bad that we don’t have the social functioning or the mechanisms of structure to actually facilitate these experiences with like a shaman or someone to guide you through the process so you don’t damage yourself? Because it’s been immensely [00:21:00] valuable for me.
Jordan: There are people experimenting now under controlled conditions. I mean they’re doing it at Johns Hopkins with psylocybe. They’ve showed that people who have mystical experiences with psylocybe showed pronounced personality changes one year later. Mostly an elevation in the trait openness. That was very interesting. They used them to help people quit smoking with about 80 percent success rate which is way higher than any pharmacological intervention. When people started experiment with lsd [00:21:30] back in the sixties. The ones who were experimenting properly did understand the necessity of set and setting. But the technology, especially with lsd was so powerful that the culture just couldn’t handle it. We didn’t know what to do with it. Sort of like when the Native Americans were introduced to hard alcohol. They didn’t have hard alcohol and the Europeans started with beer and wine. The Brasilians chewed coka leaves. Yes ok you chew coka leaves but then you take it and make cocaine out of it and it’s a whole [00:22:00] different beast. With alcohol it’s the same way. Beer is one thing but vodka is a whole different thing. When the natives got exposed to alcohol they had almost no defence against it at all. Lsd was like that for modern people. We had no idea what to do with that. We’ve lost all connection with the psychedelic world who knows how long ago, a long time ago.
Euvie: Psychedelics give you an access to those deep dark parts of your mind too as well as the beautiful and transcendent ones [00:22:30]
Jordan: Well, that’s what happens to people when they have a bad trip.
Mike: Not just access, they shove you into it.[laughter]
Jordan: With communities that use that properly so to speak, you’re supposed to purify yourself before you experiment. What that means is that you should you make up with your brother,clean up your house and get the things in order, try to stop lying and straighten up your mind so that you if you do play games with it so that it does not take you into places you seriously [00:23:00] do not want to be.
Mike: Yeah, we did an episode last year about DMT dimethyltryptamine and one of the things I mentioned is Euvie and I are married who documented about six times doing DMT and one of the times we had foughtt earlier in the day and I was a f****** idiot to do this after fighting like that. I just had gremlins and needles and you know bugs crawling up my skin all the stuff, [00:23:30] just the worst thing and it was just all following my train of thought from the day. It was terrible. It made me realise the value of sorting that subconscious stuff out before you enter into this kind of experience .
Jordan: Yeah, and what about the value of sorting that stuff out before you enter into any kind of experience.
Euvie: Entering into life.
Jordan: That’s right. That’s the right way to think about it. It happens more slowly but it’s happening at all those levels. You don’t know exactly. [00:24:00] This is part of the mythological world. It like what decision you make, the decision between good and evil. You don’t notice that, you actually do notice that but it’s a micro choice. It doesn’t knock you on your ass. But it should. It should.
Mike: Were you an atheist before?
Jordan: That’s a good question. You mean before i started to study all of this stuff?
Mike: I think i saw on Joe Rogan’s interview with you, you said you were religious and then he said how do you reconcile that with what [00:24:30] you study.
Jordan: Yeah, well I talked to you about some of that. Certainly I believe that some fundamental myths have evolved. They’re deeply rooted in us and the right way of thinking about that is, like the myth of dropping a stick on a snake-that’s st. George the world creating hero, very frequently creates the world out of the parts of the reptilian monster. That’s a story that is I don’t know how many millions of years old. It’s old, old.[00:25:00] Snakes were eating us when we lived in trees. They were one of our primary predators. The first tree dwelling primate precursor who dropped a stick on the snake was pretty popular with the ladies.
Mike: Wow. I’ve never thought of that. Yeah I supposed Jung talked about that evolved stories but I’ve never thought about that being something that’s really rooted in biology.
Jordan: Oh yeah, it’s down there.
Euvie: Well if you think about it as being rooted in our brain structure, because you have this reptilian brain and by [00:25:30] recognising that it’s there and it controls certain parts of your behavior and then mastering it you’re also kind of killing the snake or at least you’re becoming the master of the snake.
Jordan: That’s right. That’s another metaphor. It’s a useful one. You’re wired to respond to the unknown. That would be anything outside the tree. That would be anything on the forest floor, that would be anything outside the campfire. That’s the unknown. What’s the unknown? It’s a gold bearing [00:26:00] predatory dragon. Why? Well, the dragon is a predator right? It’s a snake, it’s a bird, it’s an animal, it’s a monster. What’s in the dark? A predatory monster. Yes, that’s what’s in the dark. But the predatory monster has treasure. Or it’s a female often. Why? Because if you conquer the unknown you get the treasure. That’s the human story. Everyone knows that. That’s why the go watch The Hobbit. It’s why they go watch [00:26:30] Harry Potter. The second Harry Potter volume with the basilisk. It’s a magical kingdom, that’s the school. The kids are in it and Harry is a rule breaker who’s catched by evil. That’s what makes him a hero. The basilisk is a predator. It’s a snake, it lives underneath the school. It can shake everything to pieces. If you look at it it freezes you. Why? Because that’s how a prey animal responds to its predator. Frozen. It’s a snake. It lives underneath [00:27:00] everything. Now that’s right because it can shake everything to pieces at any moment. The magical school is built on chaos. Harry has to go underneath. Down, way down to find the source of the basilisk. He actually gets into it through a toilet, a bathroom. He goes to the dark place, a place of refuge and rejection. Down into the bowels of the substructure to face the basilisk. What happens? He freezes Ginny. Ginny is Ginevra, virgin. [00:27:30] And he’s half killed doing it. What happens a phoenix comes along and cries in it’s wounds. The phoenix is a symbol of rebirth.
Mike: It’s amazing how deep this goes.
Jordan: Yes. It goes to the deepest depth there is. That’s what makes it an archetypal story. There isn’t anything deeper than an archetypal story. That’s it. That’s what makes it archetypal. Here’s some examples. Why is the story of Christ an archetypal story? It’s because you can’t tell a more tragic story. Why? What’s the basis of tragedy? [00:28:00] The most terrible set of terrible things happen to the least deserving. So, that’s what happens. What happens to Christ? All his friends reject him, betrayed, tortured, killed. That will do it . That’s pretty good. You get torture, you get betrayal, you get death plus mental confusion, terrible mental confusion about destiny. That’s the Garden of Gethsemane. That’s on the tragic end. On the innocent side [00:28:30] he’s the perfect man. Why is he tortured? Because he’s good, archetypal story. You can’t push past it. That’s what makes it archetypal. Now, you might say is it true and the answer to that is what do you mean by true. Is Dostojevski true? It’s fiction yes, but it’s more true than real. It’s meta true. It’s more real than real. A great novel is more real than real. [00:29:00] A collection of stories like the Bible, that’s more real than meta real. It’s more real than fiction is and if you read it that way you start to understand what it means and it’ll just blow some substructures underneath you. I spent a lot of time in the past while looking at the story of Moses which I’ll do some videos on eventually. When you start to understand what these stories mean they’re just absolutely so brilliant that you can’t [00:29:30] believe it. Cain and Abel is a great example of that. That damn story is a paragraph long. You can think about that story, we have been thinking about that story for three thousand years. It’s a paragraph long so I can give you a quick rundown what it means. Well, Cain and Abel are the first two real human beings. Because Adam and Eve were made by God. So, these are the first two human beings living on Earth. Who are they? They’re a pair of brothers who want to kill each other. Or Cain does [00:30:00] anyways. So, Abel was a good guy, he’s making sacrifices and that pleases God. What does that mean? It means if you make sacrifices your life might go ok. Everyone knows that. Now, of course as the sacrifices are concretized in the old story, because people had to act things out before they understood them and it took people a long time to understand that you can make a bargain with the future. Human beings are the only animals that have figured that out. Hey I can let go of something I’ve got now, try doing that with your dog. [00:30:30] I can let go of something now and something better will come in the future. That’s an amazing discovery. The more value i let go of now, the more promise I can obtain in the future. That’s a bargain with God. That’s so brilliant with people who figured that out. It’s just unbelievable that we figured that out. Ok, so Abel is making sacrifices and they happen to be pleasing to God. It isn’t obvious why, he gets the impression he’s a very good guy and he’s doing it properly. [00:31:00] Now, there’s a hint of that, an intimation of that because he’s sacrificing animals instead of vegetables. Animals are more valuable than vegetables, they’re better food and he’s sacrificing the high quality animals. So, he’s not stinting in his sacrifice and he burns this sacrifice because then it turns into spirit, that’s smoke. The smoke goes up and God is up why is that? Well, have you ever looked at the night sky? It feels you with awe. Well, where’s God? He’s where [00:31:30] awe is. Ok, how do you communicate with him? Well, smoke. I mean, you have to give these people some credit. They tried to figure things out. So, you burn something valuable and God can tell. Maybe that’s symbolic to the attitude of your life so maybe that actually works. Anyways, Abel’s doing great. Everybody loves him. He’s got lots of women, lots of camels or cows or whatever that was that he had. He’s flourishing. Plus, he’s a good guy, everyone loves him and he deserves it. So, you just hate him if [00:32:00] thing don’t go your way. You just hate him. So Cain gets more and more bitter and has a chat with God and says: What kind of stupid plan did you make? I’m breaking myself in half here trying to get things together, nothing is working out for me. Then there’s my bloody brother Abel. He’s just shining, I just feel horrible being around him. What’s going on? And he was talking to God so he should’ve been more careful but Cain was so bitter, so arrogant [00:32:30] that he thinks that he’s got the answer. God says to him, it’s horrible when he says: “Sin crouches at your door like a predatory aroused cat. Basically a predator, but it’s sexually aroused. You’ve invited it into your life and have it’s way with you. That creative union between you and sin, which means to miss the mark by the way has produced something terrible. That’s what happened to you. That’s why your life is going terrible. [00:33:00] If you’re introspective, you say your life is going terribly and you start thinking about it. Ok I made all these mistakes, why? I’m bitter, I’m resentful and im lying. Not only am I not making the right sacrifices but I’m living my whole life terribly. Then you’re in the real quandary because not only has everything gone bad for you, it’s also your fault. That’s what God tells Cain. Then he says go deal with it. You could. [00:33:30] You could deal with it if you wanted to but you decided not to. Cain leaves that conversation and he is not happy. He is seriously ultimately not happy. So he thinks, away with this. I’m going to go kill Abel, that will teach him. That will teach Abel, that will teach God and that will screw me over royaly. That’s what happens. That’s all in one paragraph. Deadly, deadly story. Then one of Cain’s children, [00:34:00] a few generations down the road it’s descendants get more and more murderous. One of his descendants is Tubalcain. It’s the first weapons of war and the next story is the flood.
Mike: I’m trying to figure out the relevance of the arousal of the predator.
Jordan: That’s easy. It’s that thing that’s tempting you invite in like a vampire. Because, you have to invite a vampire in. When you invite it in you have a creative interaction[00:34:30] with it. It’s not merely that it possesses you or attacks you. It’s not like that. You invite it in.
Mike: You participate.
Jordan: Brew on it. Just brew, brew. That’s what a hand does trying to make an egg turn into a chick. It brews on it. Those Columbine kids. They bruted for months and months, maybe years. All those terrible mass shooters. They go into their basement and they brewed, and they allowed that terrible resentment and ingratitude to posses them. [00:35:00] Out of that possession comes something new. That’s what basically God tells Cain. It says in a little story after Cain has a chat with God. It says his countenance falls. Yeah, it falls, alright. Then he’s off to stick it to God. If you want the true motivation behind killers like the Columbine kids. That’s it. If you don’t believe that just read what they wrote. [00:35:30] They just tell you, they lay it right out. It’s not hidden. They hate being, they hate being. That’s what the Columbine kids wrote. They would like to destroy everything. They would like to burn everything in the most painful possible way.
Mike: It’s interesting that they can come do that final conclusion. If those types of things are possible, than what do you believe is the meaning or purpose? Is there an ultimate meaning of purpose behind life?
Jordan: I think that’s an empirical question.
Jordan: Sure, did you find this conversation meaningful? [00:36:00]
Jordan: Then that’s a hint. When you experience meaning, that’s an orientation. It’s a real phenomenon. I can give you an example. Hypothetically, the reason because you found this conversation meaningful is because we’re exchanging information, right? We’re actually trying to get somewhere with the conversation. I could say that’s useful for you right now, but it’s also useful for the future you. So it’s useful today, tomorrow, next week or next month. Then it might be useful to you but also with [00:36:30] the people you interact with. Then it might be useful for the broader community. All these time frames today, tomorrow, next week, next month stack up simultaneously. All these context’s stack up and you’re operating in all those time frames in all those context’s simultaneously. The way you detect that is with meaning. To what you’re doing serves all those purposes to the degree that what you’re doing serves all purposes simultaneously you’d be inmeshed in a sense [00:37:00] of meaning. It’s a deep, deep instinct that tells you that you’re in the right place at the right time. That’s the line between chaos and order. That’s the Taoists position. One foot in order, one foot in chaos. You’re maintaining the order and expanding it, transforming the chaos into a habitable place. That’s because chaos and order are fundamental constituent elements of reality. Really, not metaphorically. Actually. Fire-unknown. [00:37:30] Safety-danger. Culture-nature. That’s the fundamental reality. You have to deal with that and you have to deal with it properly and then you’re imbued with a sense of meaning. It’s not an epiphenomena, it’s the most real thing. The most real thing.
Euvie: That reminds me of something you talked about in another podcast and you talked about Jung’s concept of synchronicity and the way that he described it as your kind of momentary alignment with the Divine?
Jordan: Yeah, well the synchronous moment is when everything lines up. Everything comes together. [00:38:00] There’s a sexual metaphor lurking in that too. It all came together. Everything lines up. You can experience that when you listen to music. Music does that for you. All these layers, they’re all operating simultaneously, perfectly. It can be overwhelming. That’s an analogue. That’s what music does. It provides you with an analogue of things coming together.
Mike: Your amazement that all these systems function together seems like an ultimate [00:38:30] display of synchronicity.
Jordan: It is a display of synchronicity. You might say why these things work together? Well, they work together to the degree that people manifest courageous trust and that’s a huge part of it. What’s keeping this all together? Courageous trust. Period. Because you wouldn’t think that but that’s what it is. I can give you an example of that too. Ebay is aa great example of that. Because ebay unfroze a lot of frozen assets, right? [00:39:00] But it was predicated on this idea that you could sell junk to a stranger and they would send you a bouncing check. That meant that you didn’t sell them junk and they didn’t sell you a check that bounced. The rate of honest interaction on ebay is staggering and it was like that from the beginning. It could’ve only worked in a culture where trust was the norm. All of a sudden it provided us with access to wealth for people. Tremendous wealth. Trust is everything. Trust and honesty obviously. Trust without honesty is just naive stupidity but, [00:39:30] courageous trust, that’s the currency that a complex organization runs on. The trust might be that I’m trusting that you’re orienting yourself towards good and telling the truth. Then I can negotiate with you. Then we can cooperate and compete.
Euvie: The concept of chaos and order is interesting to me actually. That was my first tattoo. Chaos on one side and order on the other side. And that you to find meaning in life and to find happiness you have to walk this precarious balance line between the two. [00:40:00]
Jordan: That’s right. It’s not happiness even, it’s better than that. It’s proper orientation in being. It’s not just happiness. It’s much more robust than that. Because it’s also what makes you able to tolerate tragedy without becoming corrupt. For example if you’re living properly on a line between chaos and order, you’re a useful person at a funeral. You’re not happy, but you’re a shoulder that people can cry on and maybe you’re the person that can make the arrangements. You can stand being in a room when someone’s dying. [00:40:30] Maybe you’re there for them and not consumed completely by your own tragedy.
Mike: Euvie and I both practice these styles of meditation: We do a mantra meditation, we’re doing open awareness meditation and we do a third one which is meant to feel your deep dark emotions for a full 10 minutes. So, you focus on the things that caused you the most emotional pain and you sit in that emotion and it relates to what we talked about at the beginning of this conversation of immersing yourself in challenging emotions [00:41:00] that you can become more resilient.
Jordan: Sounds like a good practice. How does it work for you?
Mike: When people ask me why I do that I generally answer this is sort of a half truth but, I generally answer because it prepares me for future events. It’s inevitable that my parents are going to die and so I can be a shoulder to cry on for my siblings or I can be adding to the misery because I’m just as shocked as they are.
Jordan: That’s it exactly. That’s what i meant when I said reduce unnecessary suffering. You can take a bad situation [00:41:30] like my wife’s family. My wifes mother died several years ago, seven years ago and she had a degenerative neurological disease like Alzheimer’s. She developed it very early and two things occured as a consequence. First of all, her husband took care of her and he did it unbelievably well. He’s a very interesting person, I really like him. He’s unbelievably extroverted and a kind of a jester type. Everybody in our small town knew him. He was a drinker and that was problematic. He [00:42:00] was a happy drinker. He kind of played the fool to some degree, but he’s no fool, not in the least. Then when his wife got sick he just took care of her, you wouldn’t believe. It was so interesting because he was also open for help. Not asking for it and not whining about it. None of that at all. But if you had something that could help, like I recommended for example that he get an LED sign that was programmable so that when he went out he could have it on the fridge and repeat where he went over and over so he knew where she was. He picked that up right away. [00:42:30] It’s hard to take help you know, in a situation like that. Anyways, he took care of her until he couldn’t lift her out of the chair anymore. That was amazing to watch. It just blew me away how good he was at that. Then when she was dying we were all there. My wife Tammy, she volunteered in a palliative care ward and she’s very good with that sort of thing. Her sister was palliative nurse and her other sister was a pharmacist. So, these are people who’ve learned to cope with tragedy. [00:43:00] It was a tragic experience but one of the things that was very interesting was that the family actually came together. The consequence of that event their bonds actually strengthened substantially. All of them. They lost obviously because they lost their mother but first of all they didn’t make things worse as they could’ve turned tragedy into hell with no problem. Second, because they faced it properly it was the least amount of terrible it had to be.
Mike: Right, that’s exactly it. [00:43:30]
Mike: It’s useful for paramedics too i would imagine. You get used to it just from the job experience but if you’re trained To be a paramedic then I imagine this kind of meditation would be extremely useful because you’d be able to maintain a level of focus and calm when a situation comes that you needed.
Jordan: The core doctrine of Jungian psychotherapy is basically “In sterquilinus invenitur”. Which means , roughly: “In filth that will be found”. [00:44:00] But what it means is thing you want most is where you least want to look. That’s a dragon idea too, right? It’s in the terrible predatory unknown that the gold will be found. That’s the human story. That’s what we’re like. We’re information foragers. That’s our myth. Is it true? We’ll see, we’re living it out. We’re seeing if it works.
Mike: Yeah. The sad, ironic and hilarious part is that we might never know because we don’t know when you die. That’s the end [00:44:30] result of everybodies story so you don’t know if you’re ever gonna make it.
Jordan: Yes, partly you know whether it’s worthwhile that you’re alive. You can tell when what you’re doing is worthwhile. Now, you can undermine that rationally and say in a million years who’s going to know the difference. The right answer to that questions is that’s a stupid frame of reference. Well, you can pick frame of reference that makes everything. Like children were killed in Auschwitz, in a billion years who’s going to care? [00:45:00] What kind of stupid answer is that?. Sorry, wrong theory. So, if you’re adopting a frame of reference that makes everything you do meaningless, you might start questioning whether or not that’s an appropriate frame of reference. It depends on what you decide to make primary. Because you have to make that decision. That’s also why faith is necessary. You have to decide what you’re going to make primary.
Mike: Yeah. Any more questions, Euvie?
Euvie: Well, we have quite a lot of young listeners and they often ask us what can they do to sort of [00:45:30] contribute to the world or to make their life meaningful. What would you answer to them?
Jordan: I would say choose your words carefully. Learn how to write. Learn how to think, learn how to communicate. Learn how to articulate yourself. That makes you more powerful than anything else you could possibly do. Then try to make things better. Start where you can make things better. Start by making your relationships with friends better. Start by making your relationships with your parents better. Start by adhering to your discipline [00:46:00] when you pursue something you think is worthwhile. Straighten yourself out. You start by stopping doing things that you know you shouldn’t do. Simple as that. You know there’s a set of certain things you’re doing. You know you shouldn’t do them. Some of them you could even stop. Stop doing them. It will make you a little more together. As soon as you’re little more together there’s something else stupid you built to stop doing. Stop doing that. You do that for three or four years and you’ll be a whole different person. You do that [00:46:30] for a lifetime and you’re going to be a deadly force to good in the world. And that’s what you should be.
Mike: Interesting choice of words.
Jordan: Well, being good and being nice are not the same thing at all. They’re not even close. If you’re nice you just get pushed over. Nice doesn’t have a chance against malevolent. It doesn’t have a chance. It’s a quivering rabbit. That’s all. Nice gets you nowhere in a real battle.
Euvie: You have this self [00:47:00] authoring course online?
Jordan: Yes, that’s a good one. The self authoring course has three modules. The first one helps people write autobiography. So, you identify the most emotionally kept secret elements of your life and analyze the negative ones in particular so that you can leave them behind. You have to learn from your negative experiences what is necessary so you won’t repeat them. That’s the purpose of knowledge. The second module helps you identify your personalities faults and virtues and overcome the former and capitalize on the latter. [00:47:30] The third one helps you write a plan for your future three to five years down the road. So, you write about what would life be like if you were taking care of yourself properly, like after someone you cared about. How you would like your family to be arranged and intimate relationships. Your career, your education, your use of time outside of work and your use of drugs and alcohol. Then you want to figure out what you are aiming at. That you desire and want, that would be valuable. [00:48:00] We ask you about it and it’s relationship to you and your family, the community. Now, next week and next month. So, we’re trying to get all that lined up. We also have you write about what your life would be if you’d let everything go to hell. If you let your bad habits and so forth overcome you and take you down. That gives you something to run away from and something to run towards. That is motivating.
Mike: Tony Robbins talks about that. You always need an equivalent pain to go along with your [00:48:30] reward.
Jordan: Yeah. You’re a lot faster running away from something you don’t want to be near towards something that you want.
Jordan: That way you get your anxiety working for you instead of against you. You might say well, why should I do this work? It’s hard and anxiety provoking. Then you think if I don’t do what I’m supposed to I’m going to end up in that little hell that I delineated. You really want to think about it because then you think “Oh yeah I’m not going there, I’m going to do this.”
Mike: What gives you optimism about the future? [00:49:00]
Jordan: Sociologically there’s a lot of things. Three hundred thousand and more people are going to be connected to the world’s power grid today and two hundred fifty thousand people will be lifted out of adjunct poverty. We’re solving those problems faster than we ever have in the history of the planet. The amount of wealth that’s been created in the last fifteen years is absolutely unparalleled in human history. So many things are getting better and we can continue that. Lots of people working hard trying [00:49:30] to make things better. Enough people so that we have some functioning societies. There’s some possibility that we’ll be able to expand those. That makes me optimistic. I would also say that teaching people makes me optimistic. I’ve put a lot of material out on youtube as you two well know and the reception has been overwhelming. I’m allways talking about the same things I’m talking to you guys about. I’m talking about not being deceitful. I’m talking about [00:50:00] bearing a heavy responsibility and getting yourself oriented in life. People are just eating that up. It’s good.
Jordan: People are hungry for that. They’re starving for that. That’s spiritual bread, right?
Mike: Yeah, it seems like all this controversy lately has just so expanded your reach and ability to connect with people so I wish you more controversy[laughter]
Jordan: Good one, good one. That’s the thing. I do try to live the way I’ve been describing. [00:50:30] I try to say what I think and see what happens. It’s ridiculously interesting to do that. Because you don’t know what’s going to happen it’s an adventure to do that. It’s like I’m going to say what I think, is that going to work? I don’t know, what do you mean by work? That’s the issue. What you mean by work. I’m going to say what I think carefully, as carefully as I can and observe the results. It’s meaningful, ridiculously meaningful because you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. Who knows what will happen? [00:51:00] I couldn’t have predicted this. I had no idea that making those little videos is going to do anything. I was mostly trying to figure out what I was thinking. I’ve been experimenting. What happens if I make a video about this. -Oh, isn’t that interesting?[laughter]
Jordan: Ridiculously interesting. It was too interesting for a while.
Mike: Too many people having a window into your life?
Jordan: Well, just the uncertainty that went with it. My job was definitely in doubt for three months. It was really hard on my family. They’re [00:51:30] tough, though.
Mike: I noticed your patreon account is going well. It seems like you’re pulling a bit of income from that so how’s that been in response?
Jordan: Well, I started it last April and it started to develop. I started it out of curiosity and found this patreon. I was thinking about monetizing the videos because I could use some production help and that kind of thing. Also curiosity, but then I thought the material doesn’t suite advertisements. So, I thought no, I can’t do that. [00:52:00] It’s just all annoying and then i found this patreon site and thought oh, that’s cool and so I’ve set some up out of curiosity. It was new and i didn’t know what was going to happen. People started to subscribe, support or however you want to put it. It started to grow and i thought that’s interesting. Then of course all this political stuff happened and it just went [swoosh]. The production quality of the videos has expanded substantially and I’ve been able to hire some people to help me [00:52:30] and I’m concentrating very much on video production. Once I’m done teaching which basically happens half through April, one of the things i want to do, I’m going to do a whole series, I’m going to see if I can lecture on the Bible right from the beginning to the end.
Jordan: Yeah. That would be fun. I’m going to rent a church I think because there’s on down the street where I can rent it for a hundred and twenty dollars an hour and it will sit five or six hundred people. So, I’ll do it there and video tape it. [00:53:00] I’d like to do it from the beginning to the end. That will take me five years probably or longer but I think that would be what I’m going to do.
Euvie: I’d love to see more stuff on Jung and Freud
Jordan: Yeah well, that’s in the office as well. The thing is, I’m trying to reorganize my life to take into account the potency of youtube but I’m still not exactly certain about what that means. I mean it means that I have a chance to offer information to thousands and thousands of people [00:53:30] but, exactly how that should fit in my life? That’s a complicated question so I’m still sorting that out. But, you know, it’s happening incrementally. Production values way up and I’m starting to interview people and so on so, I’m formulating ideas for the future.
Euvie: You can also put your courses on udemy, coursera and places like that and charge for them.
Jordan: That’s true. I could also use that. That would make the courses more specific and potentially open the door to accredit people. So, yeah there’s a lot of things to think about and I’m still tangled [00:54:00] up with all sorts of obligations apart from that. They’re good tangles but they do stop me from concentrating as much on video education as I might.
Mike: Jordan, thanks for joining us. This has been an awesome conversation.
Jordan: My pleasure.
Euvie: Yeah, we would love to speak to you again sometime. I’m sure our audience would love it too.
Jordan: All right, good to meet you both, bye bye
In this second part of our Dr. Jordan Peterson interview, he talks about Jung’s archetypes and how they apply to everyday life and self development, the Jungian definition of enlightenment, and the value of psychedelics.
Jung’s Archetypes and Enlightenment
Carl Jung has been an influential thinker for Jordan Peterson. One of the key ideas coined by Jung is that of archetypes – characters and stories that are repeated throughout human history. Because these characters and stories are so deeply imbedded in our biology and our understanding of the world, it makes them “more real than real” in a way. This is why all of us can relate to them, and why these stories can be a useful tool for personal transformation. Jordan Peterson touches on some of these, like Harry Potter and the stories in the Bible.You have to shake off your resentment of being in order to be oriented towards the good Click To Tweet
Dr. Jordan Peterson also explains the Jungian perspective on enlightenment. At the core of it there are two things: always telling the truth and being oriented towards the good – by aiming to decrease unnecessary suffering in the world. He talks about the importance of exploring the darkest corners of your own mind and external reality to fully understand it. And finally, shaking off your resentment of those things before you can become oriented towards the good.The degree you're enlightened is proportionate to the depth of the darkest place you've visited Click To Tweet
Dr. Jordan Peterson on Psychedelics
Jordan Peterson talks about the history of psychedelics being used in initiation ceremonies, their value in modern society, and the recent research on their benefits.
The importance of set and setting make it into the conversation too. This relates to Jordan Peterson’s commonly used theme of “Sort Yourself Out”, which is meant to be applied to every area of your life.
In This Episode of Future Thinkers Podcast:
- How you could have been a Nazi
- What is enlightenment from Jung’s perspective?
- Why archaic people had initiation ceremonies
- Psychedelics & their value
- Archetypes and how to use them in self development
- Is there meaning to life?
- What you can do to make your life better
Mentions and Resources:
- Take Jordan Peterson’s Self Authoring Suite Courses
- Support Dr. Jordan Peterson on Patreon
- Johns Hopkins Psilocybin experiments
- The Depressive and the Psychopath – Motives of the Columbine shooters
- Listen to the 1st half of this Jordan Peterson interview here
- Try our meditation app for the technique Mike talks about
- Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief by Jordan B. Peterson
- Food of the Gods by Terrance McKenna
- Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious by Carl Jung
More From Future Thinkers:
- DMT: Crazy Psychedelic or Portal to Other Dimensions?(FTP022)
- Ayahuasca, Shamanism, and Synchronicity with Dr. Kirby Surprise (FTP040)
- Duncan Trussell on Apocalypse and the Cognitive Vertigo of Reality (FTP034)
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Regarding angry feedback:
Tell the truth as you see it. That’s all you need to do. If you think Peterson is right, don’t be discouraged. That is the aim here. It is not about making a counter point, otherwise the critics would actually look into Peterson’s reasoning.
The aim is to make you into a donkey for their own aim, to stay in Peterson/Pinocchio lingo. It’s a bluff and it works because sensible people listen when somebody points out they are wrong or how somebody was victimized. They are using that specific societal function but not for what it is intended and that makes them dangerous and that is why we need to speak up.
Keep on speaking up, it’s the worst you can do to people wanting to use you.
I’m paraphrasing, but I really like your response to the feedback, “shutting out ideas is the absolute worst/slowest way to learn.” Thanks for your show and even if you lose some folks, I’m sure you’ve gained a whole lot more dedicated listeners.