Interview and written summary: Jordan Peterson’s lectures distilled down to his five most valuable points
After Peterson appeared on Joe Rogan last year, I decided to watch his lecture series Personality and its Transformations, Maps of Meaning and The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories. Prety profound stuff, with one central theme: how to be in the world as an individual.
Alexis de Tocqueville on modern democracy’s gentle suffocation of the human spirit and the importance of local government
“It does not break wills, but it softens them, bends them and directs them; it rarely forces action, but it constantly opposes your acting; it does not destroy, it prevents birth; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, it represses, it enervates, it extinguishes, it stupifies, and finally it reduces each nation to being nothing more than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus – Embracing life’s absurdity in a universe that couldn’t care less
“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest – whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories, comes afterwards.”
In the text below, we’ll summarise the first hour of the lecture “Introduction to the idea of God”, in which Peterson aims to formulate a psychological framework for the emergence and interpretation of the concept of god. Why? Well, because sometimes a fifteen-minute read to absorb and recap beats sitting through a two-hour lecture.
Essay – The age of Tertiary Literature and the broken contract between Words and their Transcendent Meaning
Steiner states that in the 18th and 19th century, philosophical and artistic progress led to such great heights, that we as Western Civilization thought we had reached a maximum. The emphasis of rationality in science secularised philosophy and with the Death of God, as Nietzsche proclaimed, we humans were from now on supposed rule our own lives and create our own values.
But with the death of God came something else. With the progress of science, we started to separate natural and traditional phenomena from a transcendent meaning or purpose.