Bible Lecture #6

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(Benjamin Lupton) #1

Discussion thread for The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories - Lecture #6

study group discussion

Discussion as part of our Jordan B Peterson Study Group.


2018-01-06: Bible #6
(Sumit Rai) #2

my notes

Background for the lecture

Anatomy of nervous system - the interpretive structure distributed throughout the body.

  • Story like structures to interpret the world.

  • Hemispheric specialization for chaos and order.

  • Fear of having some unknown disease or condition.

    • Complexity of having a diagnosis - maybe you will start acting out your diagnosed illness.
  • Preserving the underlying structure while having random mutation.

    • << Libs trying to tear down the institutions and culture without any concern of what will happen if underlying structures that have been supporting the western society will fall apart. >>
  • Mental Illness or suicidal people - Complexity management problem - your life has become beyond your abilities.

    • Depression when you ran into chaos and don’t know where you are.

    • << Wrong story >>

  • Generating new things out of chaos - water as a symbol of chaos.

  • World creating force continually confronts the chaos.

    • People who disagree with us fires predator detection system.
  • Mircea Eliade - things fall apart on their own. They are sped by man’s sins.

    • Doing things they shouldn’t do that you knew seconds before that you shouldn’t do.

    • Not attending to things you know you should attend to.

      • Things to attend to announce themselves with negative emotion.

      • Not confronting the dragon only make it larger - you might get killed if you fight it but you will definitely killed if you don’t confront it.

        • Sometimes no matter what you do you are in trouble.
  • How to manage all this complexity ?

    • Your body is the first line of defense then comes a social structure.

      • Culture to keep chaos under control. Individual to keep culture under control.
    • Routine - 70% of the things we do are repeated everyday.

    • Drift because of isolation.

      • World is too complicated to organize on your own.

      • Alice in the Wonderland - In my kingdom you have to run as fast as you can just to stay in the same place.

        • Red Queen Problem.

        • Exercise: Make a list of things you are currently ignoring that you shouldn’t.

          • Now select the most vital ones and start working on them bit by bit.

          • Narrow down and be very specific about what the problem is.

      • Reduction of a complex problem to a uni-dimensional issue (postmodern).

        • We all get molded by the tyrannical force of culture.

          • Don’t sacrifice more to the group than you are supposed to.

          • Pressure of conformity.

            • Sacrifice of Individuality.
  • Human as a navigator in the world - How to organize your life so that things work out for the best ?

    • Where you are precisely ?

      • If you don’t know where you are you need to go over your past and figure that out.

        • Exercise: 6 epochs in your life. Write out what happened positively/negatively.
      • Challenges

        • You subconsciously may not want to know where you are.

        • If there are things that keep bothering you that are older than 18 months than potentcial is still trapped in the past.

          • Bad things happening to you when you don’t know why or what to make of them ?
        • Stress temporarily goes up when people do this.

      • Body encounters the world in stages.

        • Continually updating your moral model of the world.
    • Where are you going ?

      • Exercise: Nobody ever sits down and say justify your existence.

        • Defend you plan - why do you think it’s not the plan of a fool ?

        • What’s good about you and what needs some work ?

      • Carl Jung - Story

        • Someone else’s story - you only get to live a bit then.

        • Story you don’t know. You might be living a malevolent tragedy.

          • Bad ending or even worse ending.
      • Why keep yourself in the fog ?

        • Once you decide where you want to go:

          • You have to work hard to get there.

          • You know when you are not on track and you need to change your behaviour or the plan. Former is painful.

      • What happens if you don’t know where you are going ?

        • You biology will come up with a plan for yourself.

        • No king at the top - impulsive/emotional reaction rules.

          • Who should be this king ?

            • Thing that pays attention and learns.
      • How do you define a goal ?

        • Don’t have vague goals because then differentiation b/w tools/obstacles/irrelevant is not that clear.
      • Once you decide a goal all the objects you encounter belong to 3 categories.

        • Tools - that can help you achieve the goal.

        • Obstacles - Things that get in your way.

        • Irrelevant things.

          • Chaos is hiding here.

          • << What if things you consider not relevant contains the key to the problem you are trying to solve. >>

            • Exercise: Tell yourself to poke these irrelevant things as an experiment to see if something is there or not. Keep an explorer’s mind.
      • Why aim for the highest goal possible ?

        • Because it’s worth it and alternative is meaningless suffering.

        • Make something of yourself that so that all this suffering is worth it.

        • Exercise: Come up with your goals for next 3 to 5 years.

          • If you pick up a high number like 10 years - then there are too many variables and things that can change.
    • How to navigate ?

      • Helping someone - specify the thing you want them to do at highest resolution possible.

        • Telling a child to clean up the room is not enough you need to tell him/her how to do it ? e.g.

          • Pick up this teddy and put in cupboard.

          • Pick up the pillow and put it back on bad and so on…

        • How to destroy someone ?

        • << Apply so well at workplace, the more competent someone gets the more you can just specify things in lower resolution and they will figure it out. >>

      • Don’t assume total malevolence and stupidity on part of other people.

      • Structure should be subordinate to the process that generates and maintains the structure - attention and honest speech.

      • What happens when you encounter an anomaly while pursuing your goals ?

        • An opportunity of contemplation.

        • How do you frame the chaos ? ←— This is the flood.

          • Do you blame yourself or others or the whole universe ?
        • What is the anomaly made of ?

          • When you go down into the underground that is beneath everything that you relied upon - you will find information there.

            • If it doesn’t kill you or make you wish you were dead -> You can put yourself “in formation” with that new information.

              • Catastrophic demise of you current paradise to build a new one.
            • What if you got exactly what you were aiming for in the sense that maybe some part of you was aiming for failure and self-destruction.

              • Exercise: Find out part of you that aims for worst things and clean them up.
          • How to avoid catastrophic failures and descent into complete chaos ?

            • Exercise: Be aware and notice things. When things go even little bit wrong fix them.

              • Have thousand micro-deaths and recover from them rather than waiting for complete catastrophic failure from which you may never recover.
    • Story of Noah - Giants of the earth

      • Human knowledge builds up over time by the small contributions of many. Hero or the Giant is the amalgam of all these many people across history.

      • Prevalent of flood stories across many different cultures/parts of the world.

      • What’s the cause of these floods (in a psychological sense and not literally) ?

        • Sins of man and decrepitude of the world.

          • Sins of commission

            • People doing things that they know to be wrong.
          • Sin of omission

            • Failure to do things that they know to be right.
        • A mysterious being will wipe you out if you continue to act on your wayward ways.

          • Exercise

            • Find out things you know are wrong but you still do them. Try to stop.

            • Find out things you know are right but you don’t do them. Try to do them more often.

            • Mesopotamians would do this exercise where they will take the emperor at New Year and ask him what mistakes he made.

          • Exercise Try to predict what measure flood in your life could wipe you out.

            • Start preparing to avoid it or to ride it out. Put yourself together.
    • How to sort out your relationship ?

      • Sort out your interactions.

        • E.g. When you come home that’s like 5 minutes interaction. Discuss with them and make it better.

        • The more interactions you sort out the better.

      • Start maintaining them when your start noticing emotional distance. Don’t wait for things to get worse.

      • When you live with someone else you don’t know what to expect and what they want ?

        • Make a list of things that needs to be done and negotiated who should do what.
    • Time Management

      • You come up with a plan when you brain is fully working - when you are tired you don’t have to plan just execute low priority tasks.
    • Other

      • Difficult to live with someone and love them at the same time.