Bible Lecture #1

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Discussion for thread for The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories - Lecture #1

study group discussion

Discussion as part of our Jordan B Peterson Study Group.


my notes

  • 1:10 - slide - why bother doing it? Nietzsche, Jung

  • 1:30 - a book can be more durable than an empire - one of the most durable things ever

  • 3:00 - best way to learn something is to talk about it

    • << youtubers >>
  • 5:10 - the ritual lasts long after the reasons have been forgotten

  • 6:00 - moving from slavery, to self-imposed slavery is a better option (discipline yourself to become something specific where you have the generality that you had as a child) - christianity helped play this role

  • 7:00 - thoughts rise up from the body (you could be angry and only until you cry, you realise what it was truly about) - the realm of the dream state, including stories, understands things we cannot yet articulate - if our articulated knowledge is out of sync with our dream, then we become disassociated internally, we think things we don’t act out, and act out things we don’t dream - this produces a sickness of the spirit - its cure is an integration of belief and representation - so then people turn to ideologies to organise their thinking, but that is a disaster and Nietzsche saw this, he knew that if we knocked the slacks out of the dream state (i.e. Western civilisation’s god ideal) we would destabilize and move between the extremes of ideology (especially radical left ideology) and nihilism, and predicted two hundred years later, millions would die from the replacement of the underlying dream structures with this rational but deeply incorrect representation of the world - since then we’ve bounced between left and right with some good things occasionally and with sprinkles of nihilism and despair

  • 10:00 - western individuals and society use their searching intellect to often undermine themselves and society in the search for something better, this is a threat to islam, and causes existential issues

  • 11:30 - artists shouldn’t question the utility being, it is an individual and social psychopathology, that begs for ideology (ideologies are like crippled religions), it is a situation where your rational being is divorced from your dream like creativity - it stops your being to saw the branch off that you are sitting on

  • 13:00 - we must solve this problem, it one of the most important problems of mankind

  • 13:00 - belief systems regulate physical and psychological health - this is why people get so upset when those are challenged - it is poking of their axioms

  • 14:00 - Nietzsche understood that each individual would need to create their own values

  • 15:30 - Jung - articulated systems of thought are embedded in something like a dream, and we act out that dream through our everyday

    • 16:30 - made possible from our stories carried over through the generations, a process of understanding the dream of existence, of being human
  • 17:50 - beginner’s mind

    • << “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” >>

    • << perhaps also the Jungian Fool archetype, which is the precursor to the Hero archetype >>

  • 18:30 - psychedelics

  • 19:00 - Freud - you are driven mostly by unconscious motivations that are not consciously controlled

    • << Napoleon Hill constantly talks about how we must use our conscious mind to program our unconscious mind with deliberation, as if we do not, then our unconscious mind will be fed junk food, and act out junk actions >>
  • 20:00 - Jung didn’t believe Nietzsche, as how can we create our own values when we are unconscious beings

  • 21:00 - Mars, the god that possesses you when you are angry

  • 21:30 - Jung - dreams and myths - dreams give birth to the myth - story and storytelling - dreams are the birthplace of thinking - dreams express a reality that is still outside conscious comprehension and articulation << try describing a complex image in words and capture all the details >>

    • The words you use are the utterances of those long dead

    • The dream is the birthplace of ideas

    • That dream continues before and after you

      • << Dawkin’s meme >>
  • 25:00 - Genesis

  • 26:00 - Jung - dreams birthplace of thought

  • 26:30 - understanding dreams is connecting parts of you that were not previously connected - a realisation

  • 28:00 - native illiterate carver, dreams in animals, dreams conversations with his grandparents

  • 29:30 - dreams are acted out in traditions - orally, memory, acted out and dramatised, imaginative, written

  • 30:00 - poetry was invented for us to remember the literal word

  • 30:30 - why do dreams tell us things we don’t know

  • 31:00 - psychoanalysis is terrifying because you understand there are things inside you that control you, instead of the other way around - also known as spirits

  • 32:30 - people can also dream nightmares that they wish to turn into reality

    • << seems peterson is misusing the term nightmare here >>
  • 32:50 - nations can get caught in a collective dream

  • 33:00 - artists, like dreamers, create things that they do not yet understand consciously completely

  • 34:30 - where does the information in the dream come from? The revelations

  • 35:00 - artists observe people and transit what they see - and the consumer understands to their relations but never completely, neither does the artist

  • 36:00 - concerts and music can be religious experience - especially for young people

    • << why young people??? Less things have become banal for them? Less inhibition from society? >>
  • 38:00 - dramas are played out on societies through time - artists try to capture this

  • 38:30 - shakespeare isn’t true factually, but perhaps is true in the way numbers are true, and abstraction of reality that pertains to reality

  • 39:00 - not obvious abstractions are less real than reality

  • 39:00 - hamlet

  • 41:00 - rituals have lasted 20,000 years

    • << @srai: Well at least the meditation practices as well as religious teachings in my country were carried forward verbally for a very long time (>2500 years). Every new generation had to relearn them exactly without any change and pass them over to next without any changes (See: this is the 10 day meditation I was talking about, they still follow the same technique).
  • 41:30 - understanding is also what we act out

  • 42:00 - how do you live in the world

  • 43:00 - our acting is shaped by ourselves, and society, and we model it - that is where the dreams get its information, the dreamer watches everything - and the dream plays it out in drama - then we get the option to talk about it, and turn it into articulated knowledge - and if we don’t take notice of the cornerstone that that knowledge provides, we become lost in psychopathology

  • 44:00 - critique of rationalism

  • 45:10 - slide

    • Spoken <

      • Dreamed <

        • Acted
    • Articulated <

      • Imagistic <

        • Procedural
  • 45:30 - there’s more to your actions than you understand - Jung said, everyone acts out a myth, and you should understand what you myth is, as it could be tragedy, and you may not want to act out a tragedy - are you being aimed somewhere you don’t want to go?

  • 46:00 - almost every argument humans have is about understanding actions

  • 47:00 - exodus - revelation of moses - law

  • 52:00 - never confuse a sovereign with the concept of sovereignty - even the king himself is still subordinate to the principles of law

    • In horrible dictatorships, the dictators didn’t think they were subordinate to anything higher
  • 53:00 - egyption god battles

  • 58:00 - we use the same systems for reptilian monster representation for things that disturb us deeply

  • 1:01:00 - psychotherapy is teaching continual mastery of the unknown and its particular manifestations

  • 1:03:00 - edge of my capacity to generate new knowledge

  • 1:04:00 - maybe if we understand our society’s foundations, we wouldn’t be so keen to throw it away!

  • 1:04:55 - slide - My Approach

    • Evolutionary

    • Psychoanalytic

    • Literary

    • Moral

    • Practical

    • Rational

      • But no more reductionistic than necessary
    • Phenomenological

  • 1:07:00 - humans are a collection of subpersonalities

  • 1:08:00 - the fear of god is the becoming of wisdom - it is the knowledge that you are not entirely in control of yourself - great forces are at play, that you cannot understand, will not understand, and have no control over, that influence and mold you

  • 1:11:30 - slide mapping the 65,000 cross-references within the bible

  • 1:13:00 - postmodernism - emergency preparation mode

  • 1:14:00 - no positive emotion, unless we have an aim, and can see ourselves progressing to the aim

    • << Napoleon Hill’s teaching of definite purpose >>

    • 1:15:00 - the nobler the aim, the better your life

      • If you don’t have a noble aim, you destabilize yourself, and enter into the realm of chaos, and cannot withstand it, and become desperate
  • 1:17:00 - what you are looking for in the world, is sufficient order and direction

    • You don’t want to suffer in pain anymore than you need to

      • << seems this is applicable to non sadists / masochists >>
    • 1:19:00 - future homer

    • 1:20:00 - the system of order must also work with other people in the society

      • << is this why feminists and SJWs are so insufferable and tyrannical - they didn’t get the memo they have to get along with society for truth >>
  • 1:21:00 - artifical intelligence requires constraints so it doesn’t drown in infinite options

  • 1:22:00 - existentialism and truth and setting aims - is vs why - what are you aiming at?

  • 1:25:00 - tools

  • 1:25:30 - the more restrictions on your theory the better

  • 1:27:00 - Phenomenology

  • 1:28:50 - slide - Phenomenology

    • Phainesthai: to appear or to shine forth

    • Being, rather than objective reality

    • What matters, rather than matter

    • The study of structures of experience as experienced from the first-person perspective

      • The meaning of things

      • The significance of objects

      • The flow of time

  • 1:29:00 - cosmology

  • 1:31:00 - fundamentalists gerrymandering myths into science

  • 1:33:00 - slide - The conceptual framework of the Bible

    • It is a comedy

    • It constitutes a dramatic record of self-realisation or abstraction

    • It takes a phenomenological approach

    • It’s a collection of books with multiple redactors and editors

    • It is the world’s first hyper-linked text

  • 1:37:00 - slide - Genesis 1: Priestly - 1:38:40 - slide - Sources, continued

    • One of four sources of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

      • Priestly (Elohim/El Shaddai)

        • God or the gods; God Almighty

        • Newer than Jahwist (Genesis 2…)

      • Jawist (YHWH)

        • The oldest strand of the Pentateuch: Genesis/Exodus/Leviticus/Numbers/Deuteronomy

        • Strong anthropomorphism

        • Begins with Genesis 2:4: This is the account of the heavens and the earth when…

        • Adam/Eve, Cain/Abel, Noah, Tower of Babel, Exodus, Numbers (along with Priestly)

        • Ten commandments

      • Elohist (Elohim or El)

        • Abraham and Isaac

        • Heavenly hierarchy (with angels)

        • Departure from Egypt

        • Covenant code (expansion of Ten Commandments)

      • Deuteronomist

        • Code of Law/Covenant

        • Deuteronomic history

        • Independent of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers

    • Redactors

  • 1:40:30 - slide - John :1:1

    • In the beginning was the Word

      • Narration: Word is the Logos. Consciousness shines the light onto being so it can be noticed.
    • And the Word was with God

    • And the Word was God

  • 1:44:00 - Western society is built upon the notion and acceptance of Agency

  • 1:46:00 - You can imagine a future, then work to manifest it

    • << Another Napoleon Hill teaching >>
  • 1:47:00 - Crime and Punishment - what happens when you don’t believe humans have an intrinsic value

  • 1:51:00 - slide - Image of God, Son, and Holy Spirit - the human being is the venn diagram intersection of the 3 - we have components of all three, but aren’t all three

  • 1:52:00 and 1:53:55 - slide - It’s Fatherly

    • You can enter into a covenant with it

    • It responds to sacrifice

    • It answers prayers

    • It transcends time and space

    • It punishes and rewards

    • It judges and forgives

    • It is not Nature

    • It built Eden for mankind and then banished us for disobedience

    • It is too powerful to be touched

    • It granted free will

    • Distance from it is Hell

    • Distance from it is Death

    • It reveals itself in dogma and in mystical experience

    • It is the Law

    • Narration:

      • Money is also like this, as it shares many of the same properties - we can make bargains with the future - money is currency of those bargains
  • 1:54:05 and 1:54:25 - slide - It’s Son-like

    • It speaks chaos into order

    • It slays dragons and feeds people with the remains

    • It finds gold

    • It rescues virgins

    • It is the body and blood of Christ

    • It is tragic victim and scapegoat & eternally triumphant redeemer simultaneously

    • It cares for the outcast

    • It dies and is reborn

    • It is the King of kings and Hero of heroes

    • It is not the state, but is both the fulfillment and critic of the state

    • It dwells in the perfect house

    • It is aiming at Paradise or Heaven

    • It can rescue from Hell

    • It cares for the outcast

    • It is the foundation stone and the cornerstone that was rejected

    • It is the spirit of the Law

  • 1:54:50 - slide - It’s Spirit-like

    • It is akin to the human soul

    • It is the prophetic voice

    • It is the still small voice

    • It is the spoken truth

    • It is called forth by music

    • It is the enemy of deceit, arrogance and resentment

    • It is the water of life

    • It burns without consuming

    • It’s a blinding light

  • 1:55:40 - slide - Genesis 1

      1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth
      1. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
    • Return to slide of John 1:1

  • 1:57:30 - Questions

    • 1:58:00 - You make your marriage out of the arguments - peace is the house you live in

my notes

    1. It’s contradictory document… (talking point: why. )
    1. The way Peterson learns is to talk about it, and to teach it
    1. Become a slave, ideally self imposed
    1. The reason Islam is threatened is because the West is constantly breaking down the unknown, as we did for Christianity
    1. That artist that JP knew is an example of divorced intellect from action.
    1. The flaws of the ‘superior man’ which led to Nazism
    1. The gods inhabit the brain (rage, love…) (talking point: Sagan’s quote from Cosmos)
    1. Dreams are aggregated thought.
    1. And art and mythology are aggregated dreams.
    1. ‎JP is focusing this lecture on the rational, leaving the mystical currently for later.
    1. Fiction can be ‘true’ like numbers are true, maybe truer.
    1. He believes if we were purely rational, (descartes) religion would seem rational by contrast.
    1. Every creation myth is born out of chaos.
  • 1:00. If there are things that frighten you (the chaos, unknown), go after it.

  • 1:12. How to interpret the bible…(talking point: Pardes)

  • 1:14. If you can’t comprehend the world around you then you become neurotic because you are surrounded by chaos
    We’re neurologically developed to gain meaning from having an aim and progressing towards it, NOT by attaining it. Sisyphus (Yep) The unattainable abstract noble aim.

  • 1:22 Walking through a field metaphor (talking point: sam’s bulldog)

  • 1:27 He’s going only as far as were able to understand, but in order to act out the highest good sometimes we need to act outside of our own understanding, as Kierkegaard says Abraham did

  • 1:28 the bible is phenomenological, the study of what has meaning, even nihilists can’t continue in pain. But the absence of pain is not the end goal, it’s necessary.

  • 1:38 . Source for genesis 2 being older than gen 1, I was under the impression they were all written by Mosheh - Moses-

  • 1:46. You participate in the process of creation. Wow.

  • 1:51 The image of God is a trinity, does that work with the trinity of consciousness, id ego superego? The story of Moses talking God down from killing all the Israelites. Abraham talking God down from destroying the 10 righteous men in sodom.

  • 2:11 answered my comment from earlier

  • 2:28 the interpretation of dreams is useful for the group.