Discussion thread for for The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories - Lecture #2
study group discussion
Discussion as part of our Jordan B Peterson Study Group.
Discussion thread for for The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories - Lecture #2
Discussion as part of our Jordan B Peterson Study Group.
The idea that eating the fruit gave Adam and Eve self consciousness makes sense to me, but something that doesn’t quite sit right in my head is the notion that God commanded them not to eat it. It seems like it’s a good thing. Maybe being self conscious in the moment is unpleasant, but it does a lot of good for us and seems overall worthwhile. Why would God, the personification of our own ideal, want us to remain unconscious indefinitely?
When I read the Bible, I could bear until the pillar of salt story, at which point I decided the God of the old testament has the consciousness of a child.
The old testament seems a constant test of his creations loyalty to himself. As God could always have removed the ability for the humans to fail the test, by removing the option for them to fail the test - but instead he leaves the option for failure, and sometimes even rigs the game towards it at times.
It seems God is equally trying to understand the limits of what he has created and himself, at the same time humans are equally trying to understand the limits of themselves and God.
The architect scene of the Matrix captures this predicament quite well. There had been dozens if not thousands of Neos beforehand. To some extent, The Matrix is a garden of eden, that serves as test, for when humans will claim their humanity and escape it.
Why then should they be punished? Perhaps because it threatens God. A good parent however would be happy when as their child grows, and stumbles at time, because eventually there will be a successor. However, perhaps there should never be a successor to the almighty God, and that is why it pisses him off a bit, as he feels humans screw things up time and time again when they try and play god - in which case his wrath, or the negligence of humans, reminds humans that they shouldn’t play god.
But then, should we work to become ubermen? To become our own gods? I think so. As it is also the only way to understand God further.
1:05 - slide - John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word
And the Word was with God
And the Word was God
1:30 - god is also the ability to play with time, which is what we do when we interact with the bible
6:30 - you are often extremely excited when you discover something full of potential, you see a future beckoning for you, if only if you interacted with it - it activates your nervous system, the ancient hypothalamus dopaminergic system activates, responds to potential (possibility of accruing something new and valuable) and propels you forward with engagement towards reward - put forth in Genesis 1 - you see it in mythology and the holy trinity
the formless potential that makes up being when interacted with, it is the source that all things emerge and rise
then there is an interpretive structure (god the father) that must interact with potential to bring it to reality
then the individual (god the son) that to their own capacity, acts and speaks (the Word), to bring life to things and turn chaos into order (god the spirit)
11:00 - it doesn’t seem intuitive to Peterson to view humans as god-like considering their flaws - so the idea that they have something divine in them that must be treated with respect, and that plays an integral role in the creation and habitation of chaos, is a magnificent and marvelous and remarkable idea, and is the cornerstone of our legal system - it is the concept of individual sovereignty and is shared by anyone who acts civilised
14:00 - free speech and rights
15:00 - it took us a long time to come up with the abstraction of consciousness
16:00 - it is easy to think you interact with a material world, but that isn’t how you act, you act as if there is also potential and other forms in the world
16:30 - we act as if we have free will (and maybe that is false!) - and societies that are not predicated on this idea, do not do very well, they treat people as automatons, slave-like even
17:00 - it is an insult to someone to suggest they are not responsible for their choices
18:51 - slide - Genesis 1
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth
2 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.
21:00 - humans created their world by leaving their safe spaces, and voyaged with their paternal courage into the great unknown / the deep / the chaos / the terrifying unknown, and conquered things out there, creating habitable order, generating the world
<< Captain Potter has a phrase something like - when I feel fear, I do not let it win >>
<< Tyler - fear exists to give birth to courage >>
<< Srai - dragon exists to protect the inexperienced from the gold >>
23:00 - fundamental debates inside relationships are using the same ancient neural circuits that our ancestors used to go out into the great unknown - we just do it abstractly now instead of concretely
24:00 - what are the fictional plots - adventure and romance
26:00 - Dante’s Inferno was trying to get to the bottom of what constituted evil- betrayal is the worst evil…
27:00 - Ebay - trust is the most powerful economic force
28:00 - if you act consistent to your word, then your word simplifies you - and if two people do it, they can use words to predicate actions (for the past, present, and future) - but if one betrays another, then the snakes unleash - relationships require trust as it is the only thing that stops the thin ice you are standing on from cracking and putting you into the underworld into incredible complexity, in the present, past, and future - betrayals disorient people despite no physical senses being fooled, they move them from one map and perspective of reality, one place, to another
31:00 - we go to the underworld all the time - there is always a snake that can bite you, always something that can do you in
31:30 - garden of eden is archetypal because we always inhabit a walled garden - and the snakes are also in the walled garden, you can’t get rid of all of them, you can only get better at managing them
34:00 - some things are more real that we immediately perceive - a good work of fiction is something that is more real than the stories it derives, otherwise it has no staying power
35:00 - you don’t need to scratch that far underneath the surface of people’s lives, before you find something truly tragic - most people are acutely aware of how they can improve and what they should and could be, otherwise it could be narcissism
38:00 - nakedness isn’t about sexuality, but about modesty - the judgement of the social world focused on your self-evident inadequacies
<< ties in with Daniel Defoe’s analysis of this exact same thing in his book https://archive.org/details/treatiseconcerni00defo >>
associated with neuroticism in the big five trait model - they do not like having their weaknesses and vulnerabilities exposed to the group - one is humiliation and the other is mortality and death
40:00 - Jung had the beginner’s mind
41:00 - if religion was the opiate of the masses, then communism was the methamphetamine of the masses
**41:00 **- in the underworld, you no longer know who you are, or where you are going
<< reminds me of Inception, as well as Robin Williams - What Dreams May Come - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120889/ >>
and where you begin to nurse feelings of resentment, grievance, and homicide - can be traumatic for people who can imagine these nursings - sometimes for good reasons, but if you nurse it to the extent you turn against being itself, that is no good solution, it just makes everything that is bad even worse
43:00 - slide
3 And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light
4 And God saw that the light was good
5 And God separated the light from the darkness
6 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night
And there was evening and there was morning, the first day
45:00 - animals don’t seem to exist until they are named - reality to us is tools we can use, when things have names, they become tools
48:00 - Heidegger - the fundamental essence of human beings is they care about things, either negatively or positively, they care
49:00 - people who are bent and vengeful are always looking for reasons why they can not be responsible for anything
50:00 - environmentalists that want genocide
51:00 - a lot of existence is trying to exist with a minimum amount of pain
52:46 - slide
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And god called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
54:00 - Jung noticed this description is observable and psychological
**56:00 **- if you are feeling heroic, and you want to do something for the world, and you want to expand what you understand, you poke your head through what you know - if you jump right out there though, you might fall off the edge of the earth, especially if you do it accidentally
57:00 - books: Notes from the Underground - if you gave people everything they wanted, the first thing they would do is go insane and smash everything up, so they had something interesting and unknown to do
58:00 - you want to orient yourself with one foot in the unknown, as that is where you are alert, alive, and with it - that is active engagement and the flow state - the sense of tragedy recedes, and your brain signals to you that you are in the right place, and what you are doing is meaningful - you are in the right place and the right time when this is happening
<< I feel this when I explore or drive a motorbike - however it is very hard to feel this in the abstract conceptual world >>
<< you’ve your finger on the pulse >>
59:00 - the problem with being where you know, is that you don’t know everything - and if you know nothing, you are in anxiety panic disorder
1:01:17 - slide
9 And god said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place …”
1:01:41 - Goethe wrote a play - philosophy - look around the world, it is nothing but a bloodbath and ruin, it would be better if it never existed at all - this comes to mind in realm of despair - suicidal people say nope - that being would be better if it had never been - this is a terrible philosophy, as it makes the very things that led you to despair far worse - if suffering produced you to want to make being end, than causing more of that suffering does not seem the correct solution - columbine shooters
1:05:00 - is something better than nothing? Maybe it depends on how you are. Being requires suffering, there is no escaping that, but there are modes of being that makes that tolerable. People look for people to admire. We look for heroes. What on earth else do you have to do besides being a light in the darkness, a call to being?
1:11:55 - slide of God flying with a halo - gold is pure because it doesn’t mix with other metals
1:14:00 - slide
Authority is different from Power. Authority is earnt and respected.
1:16:00 - Guinea Worm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracunculiasis - one guy thought the world would be better without these, and he set out to do it - this is a lot better than trying to increase undue suffering
1:18:43 - slide of Michelangelo’s God with kids and a bottom
1:19:00 - Dante’s Inferno. Milton’s Paradise Lost. Nature of being. Nature of evil. Life is a profound problem for all of you. Being conservative and withdrawing from life’s complexity doesn’t protect you from the ultimate questions of life. It is better to confront them full on, and become a beacon of strength. That not only generates wisdom, but wisdom also allows you to deal with the tragedies of life. You want to be strong and reliable, and to do that you need to be wise, and to be wise you need to be integrated and together, and to do that, you need to know where you came from and what you are like. That was the histories and humanities. Man does not live on bread alone. Great art isn’t just beauty, it is also something that feeds the soul.
1:22:20 - slide
1:23:00 - slide
1:24:00 - old testament god, a lot of people wonder why believe in a god like that - however believers of that god, know that in life, you better bloody watch out, because otherwise you’ll get smacked - it doesn’t matter if you approve of him, all that matters if you better pay attention or you will be in real trouble - there is real wisdom in that
Nietzsche really admired the old testament as a work of literature, and accurate
New testament, you are suppose to act towards God, as if he is nothing but good - however if you act in that manner, then it becomes more likely to be true - if you act with courage and faith, then that is better alternative than not acting that way
1:26:00 - I’m going to act as if being is good - there isn’t any better way to act in life
1:26:00 - This all has something to do, with the voluntary acceptance of mortality - the poisoned apple - it is very difficult for the knowledge of mortality to not poison your existence - mortality is the price you pay for being, accept it openly not begrudgingly - so therefore, I’m going to act as if being is good - an act of courage is required for that switch, it is a courageous attitude, but the alternative seems to be far worse
1:29:00 - slide of God with animals
1:30:00 - artificial intelligence is very hard to produce without it being embodied in some manner - imagining God as a Father is not primitive at all
1:31:00 - slide
1:31:00 - the movement from polytheism to monotheism is finding out the higher abstraction of power
1:33:00 - old testament and for the mesmopatnians - humans were just the playthings for the gods - and that was not a primitive idea, there is incredible sophistication in that
1:35:20 - slide of Adam and Eve and God
1:35:25 - slide of God touching finger of a naked dude
1:36:15 - slide of God inside the brain - different version at 1:38:21
That God has a play in the manifestation of consciousness
<< God is also reaching out from the consciousness, into the human sphere, to touch tha man - similar to the Firmament Engraving, but the other way around >>
1:37:00 - DNA is spectacular
1:38:23 - slide of Spaghetti Monster touching naked dude
1:38:55 - slide
1:39:30 - slide
1:41:30 - What is God
1:43:00 - Freud and Dream Interpretation - Association Technique - if you discuss dreams, you can speed along their transformation from imagination into an articulated idea
1:45:10 - slide - Attributes of God
God is abstracted ideal, formulated in large part to dissociate the ideal from any particular incarnation, or man (ruler)
When the ruler becomes the ideal the state turns into the Biblical Egypt
02:15 - Christ is the same force God used to make order out of chaos in the beginning.
03:25 - Stumbling block to purely object view of the world is consciousness.
03:30 - What constitutes time in the absence of consciousness is not very clear. If the movie is running and no one is watching.
04:26 - If all of us weren’t here cosmos will continue to run depends upon what you mean by cosmos. Subjective experience of reality is what makes reality.
06:37 - Humans use consciousness to make order out of chaos. Unfulfilled potential.
07:04 - What could be only if you interacted with it properly !
07:58 - There are always 3 elements that make up mythology at bottom-most level. Formless potential, interpretive structure, and consciousness.
12:05 - The idea that every human being with all the shortcomings have something divine in them. This idea seems to be at the bottom of our legal system.
12:34 - Some people are contemptible and easily brushed off seems to be the default idea.
13:09 - We dispense with that idea (every human being at something divine in them) at our own peril.
13:17 - If you didn’t take that idea seriously then you wouldn’t act it out. You do act it out by being law abiding citizens.
<< Fuck that’s what I admire about the west. Like I have been ranting before - over here rule of law is kind of a joke. People break rules left and right. Some learned person said something like they are innocent of the rules. When they look at the red light they don’t see what you and I see. How do you deal with people like that ? And there is a party in the west that wants to import as many of these fuckers as they can. You turn west into the kind of shithole that are other parts of the world - people like me would have no place to escape to. Kind of reminds me of this speech by Reagan. Excerpts (keeping the original font and color):
“Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.” And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.”
Fuck I have got this lecture to finish otherwise I am so tempted to listen to the whole speech again. >>
13:25 - This idea is firmly shared by everyone who acts in the civilized manner.
14:06 - There is something to speech that is more than just mere thought. Supporter of Free speech.
14:19 - Free speech is the force that manufactures everything.
16:37 - You act out as if this world is made out of potencial and you can actually transform it.
17:02 - Societies that seem to be predicated on the idea that we have free will do well, the ones that don’t - don’t do very well.
17:24 - It’s an insult to someone to suggest that they don’t have free will or they are not responsible for their choices.
19:35 - The meaning of Genesis lines is found somewhere else in the Bible. To understand that you have to know the original language.
20:01 - Word that are used for “Without form” and “void”.
21:12 - God is akin to the idea that someone confronts the dragon and creates the world out of its pieces.
22:30 - 24:20 - Talks about how we use the same circuitry in an abstract way that we used to deal with and explore unknown environments while evolving. This makes it so easy for us to daemonize our enemies because we are using the same serpent detection technology.
24:51 - An hero is someone who slays the enemy. No exactly an politically correct term.
25:40 - Star Wars - you line up for 3 days to be the first one to be in theater.
26:15 - 28:40 Talks about what this without form and void means and brings up Dante’s Inferno. Betrayal at the bottom of the hell. Economic utility of trust - says trust is the reason why ebay was successful.
28:52 - What happens when the trust is betrayed ?
32:15 - Walled garden - order and nature. Human beings will much around with snake.
33:45 - We only see day-to-day reality and not external structures of reality with our senses. Those needs to be imagined.
35:43 - You don’t have to scratch very fal beneath the surface to find tragedy in someone’s life.
36:27 - Run into someone who says I am hell of a guy and I don’t see how I can do better.
37:04 - Humans enter history after the problem in the garden. Now they have to sacrifice joys of the present for the future constantly. You also know that you are going to die.
37:48 - Paying something back to the reality for the crime of existing. Offer something of value to people around us so that they can tolerate us.
39:29 - Rise of consciousness in Adam and Eve.
40:43 - Carl Jung studied these stories like a beginner, as if he had something to learn from it.
41:28 - You don’t know where you came from, where you are and where you are going ?
42:15 - When you are betrayed you will go to places you never would have gone to in your right mind.
42:30 - Revenge is hell. If you are in a situation that you don’t understand. It’s one step from being confused to being totally outraged and resentful. Then only one step from really looking for revenge. That can take you to places that merely to imagine can be traumatic.
43:18 - Sometimes revenge can be for good reason but betrayal can share you faith in being itself and if you turn against the being itself (will make things even worse) - that’s not good.
43:41 - God separated light from darkness. Elements of our consciousness being.
44:37 - Use of language here needs to be noticed: “God Said”.
45:04 - God is naming things, Adam was also asked by God to name animals.
45:50 - A thing exists before it has a name, but in a way it doesn’t exist.
46:57 - They (chimpanzee) were never able to pass on their ability to speak (if they had it) to their next generations.
47:10 - We parse the world with our ability to speak.
47:20 - What’s happening here has no cosmic significance. Transformation of consciousness might be the most important thing anywhere.
48:16 - Transformation of consciousness in early Biblical stories is not trivial. Rocks don’t think.
48:37 - It’s not all the same to us. Heidegger - you either like or dislike something.
49:42 - Trivializing your existence has a dark side to it. If you as a being don’t matter then you don’t have to do anything. Deep hatred of humanity that underlies those claims.
59:29 - Read youtube comments - some environmentalist saying something like planet would be better off without people on it. If you say that and listen to yourself.
51:08 - Hatred for humanity at the bottom of extremist environmentalist. Exist without relative minimum amount of pain.
51:44 - Scratch just beneath of surface of people. Struggling forward when surrounded with constant tragedy.
53:14 - Pronunciation of “Phenomenological”
54:00 - Half geographical, half empirical and half psychological.
10:00 “There isn’t a Christian figure for ‘potential’.”
19:00 formless and void = limitless potential.
24:00 **We view our enemies as that unknown element, the snake **
28:00 Trust is what keeps the world running.
1:00:00 Our brains are designed to find meaning whenever exploring outside of the boundaries of what we already know.
2:31:00 Asking yourself ‘What could I have done to make tomorrow better than today was’ is a kind of form of prayer