B1 Intermediate US 5 Folder Collection
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I'm really looking forward to this lecture, not like I wasn't looking forward to the other ones,
but the stories that I want to cover tonight, one of the things that just absolutely staggers me about them,
especially the story of Cain and Abel (which I hope to get to) is, like, it's so short. It's unbelievable.
It's like ten, eleven lines.
There's nothing to it at all.
And I've found that it's essentially inexhaustible in its capacity to reveal meaning, and I don't exactly know what to make of that.
I mean I...
I think, you know, because I said I was going to take as
rational an approach to this issue as I possibly could, I think it has something to do with
this intense process of condensation across very long periods of time. That's the simplest explanation.
But I'll tell you, the information in there is so densely packed that it really is--
it's really-- it's not that easy to come up with an explanation for that. Not one that I find fully compelling.
I mean, I do think that the really old stories (and we've been covering the really archaic stories in the Bible so far)
I think that one of the things that you can be virtually certain about is that everything about them
that was memorable was remembered, right, and so in some sense
And this is kind of like the idea of Richard Dawkins idea of memes, which is often why I thought that Richard Dawkins
if he was a little bit more
mystically inclined he would have become Karl Jung, because their theories are unbelievably similar. The similar of meme and the similar of arch...
the idea of archetypes of the collective unconscious are very, very similar ideas except Jungian ideas-- far more profound in my
estimation well it just is he thought it [through] so much better. You know
Because Dawkins tended to think of memes sort of like a mind worm you know something that would infest a mind and maybe multiple minds
But he never really took I don't think he really ever took the idea with the seriousness it deserved
And I did hear him actually make a joke with Sam Harris the last time they talked about the fact that that
there was some possibility that the
Production of memes say religious memes could alter evolutionary history, [and] they both avoided that topic instantly
They had a big laugh about it men decided they weren't going to go down that road
and so that wasn't fair that was quite [interesting] to me, but
Is the the the density of these stories I do really [think] still is a is a mystery it
Certainly has something to do with their absolute
[their] in their impossibility to be forgotten [you] know and that's actually something that we could be tested empirically
I don't know if anybody has ever done that because you could tell
naive people two stories even equal length right one that had an archetypal theme and the other that didn't and then wait three months and
See which one's people remembered better and be relatively straightforward thing to test
I haven't tested it, but maybe I will at [some] point, but anyways, that's all to say that. I'm very
Excited about this lecture because I get an opportunity to go over the story of Adam and eve and the story of cain and Abel
And I [hopefully] [manage] both of those today, and maybe we'll get to the story of Noah and the tower of babel as well
But I wouldn't count on it not arthur eight we've been not at the rate we've been progressing if that's okay
That's that's no problem. It's there's no sense rushing this [alright]. So we're going to go before we go that before we do that
I want to
Finish my discussion of the idea of the psychological significance of the idea of God, and I've been thinking [about] this a lot more
You know because of course this lecture series gives me the opportunity and the necessity to continue to think and you know it
Certainly is the [case] so the hypothesis that I've been developing with the trinitarian idea is something like
That the trinitarian idea is the earliest
Emergence in image of the idea that there has to be an underlying cognitive
Structure that gives rise to consciousness as well as consciousness itself and so what I would suggest
Was that the idea of God the father is something akin to the idea of the a priori?
structure that that gives rise to consciousness
You know that's an inbuilt part of us, so that's our structure. You could think about that as something
That's been produced over a vast evolutionary time span
and I don't think that's completely out of keeping with the with the
With the ideas [that] are laid forth in Genesis one at least if you think about them from a metaphorical perspective
And it's hard to read them literally because I don't know what you know. There's an emphasis on day and night, but
The idea of Day and night as as 24-hour diurnal. You know
daytime and nighttime
Interchanges [that] are based on the claw on the earthly clock seems to be a bit
Absurd when you first start to think about the construction of the cosmos so just doesn't seem to me that a literal interpretation
Appropriate and I mean it's another thing that you might not know but you know many of the early church [fathers] one of them origen
in particular stated very clearly this was in 300 ad that these ancient stories were to be taken as as
Wise metaphors and not to be taken literally like the idea that the people who established
Christianity for example were all the sorts of people who were biblical [literalist]. It's just absolutely historically wrong
[I] mean some of them were and some of them still are that's not the point
Many of them weren't and it's not like people who live 2,000 years ago were stupid by any stretch of the imagination
And so they were perfectly capable of understanding what constant you know what constituted something approximating a metaphor and also knew that
fiction in some sense
Considered as an abstraction could tell you truth that nonfiction wasn't able
Wasn't able to get at lets you think that fiction is only for entertainment
And I think that's a very that's a that's a big mistake to think that so
Alright, so here we go
so yes
so with regards to the idea of God the father, so the idea is that
In order to make sense out of the world you have [to] have an a priori cognitive
Structure that was something that immanuel kant as I said last time
put forward as an argument against the idea that all of the information that we
Acquire during our lifetime [is] a consequence of incoming sense data and the reason that kant objected to that and he was
Absolutely right about this is that you can't make sense of sense Data without an a priori structure
You can't extract from sense data the structure that enables you to make sense of sense data
It's not possible, and that's really being demonstrated
I would say Beyond the shadow of a doubt since the 1960s and the best
demonstration of that was actually the initial failure of artificial intelligence
because when the AI people started promising that we would have fully functional and autonomous robots and artificial intelligence back in the
What they didn't understand and what stole them terribly until about the early 1990s was that it was almost
That the problem of perception with a much deeper problem than anybody ever
Recognized because like when you look at the world you just see well look there's objects out there and by the way you don't
Objects you see tools just so you know in the neurobiology. That's quite clear
You don't see objects and infer utility
You see useful things and infer object so it's actually the reverse of what people generally think but the point is is that
Regardless of whether you see objects or useful things when you look [at] the world you just see it
And you think well seeing is easy because they're the things are and all you have to do is like you know turn your head
And they appear
And that's just so wrong that it's it's almost impossible to overstate
Like the problem of perception is staggeringly difficult and one of the primary reasons that we still don't really have autonomous robots
so there were a lot closer to it than we were in the
1960s because it turned out that you actually have to [have] an embodied you have to have a body before you can say it and
Even more importantly you [have] to have a body before you can see
Because the act of seeing is actually the act of mapping the patterns of the world [onto] the patterns of the body. It's not
Things are out there you see them then you think about them, then you evaluate them
Then you decide to act on them and then you act. [I] mean that you could call that a folk idea of
Psychological processing or a perception it's not that is not how it works like your eyes for [example] map
One of the things they do is map right onto your spinal cord for example
They might right onto your emotional system
So it's actually possible for example
For people to be blind and still be able to detect facial expressions
Which is to say you can with someone who's cortically blind so they've had their visual Cortex
Destroyed often by a stroke they'll tell you that they can't see anything
But they can guess which hand you put up if you ask them to and if you flash them pictures of Angry or Fearful
Faces they show skin conductance responses to the more emotion laden faces
And it's because imagine that the world is made out of patterns which it is then imagine that those patterns are transmitted to you
Electromagnetically you have to light and then imagine that the pattern is duplicated on the retina
And then that pattern is propagated along the optic nerve and then the pattern is distributed throughout your brain and some of that pattern
Makes up what you call conscious vision, but other parts of it
Just activate your body so for example when I look at this when I look at this this
whatever it whatever it is a
Bottle that's words, huh?
You know when I look at it
Especially with intent in mind as soon as I look at it the pattern of the bod of the bottle
activates the gripping mechanism of my hand and
Part of the action of per Sortie the active perception is to adjust
My bodily posture including my hand grip to be of the optimal size to pick that up
And it's not that I see the bottle and then think about how to move my hand
That's too slow
It's that I use my motor motor Cortex to perceive the bottle and that's actually somewhat
Independent of actually seeing the bottle as a conscious experience
Anyways, huh the reason the reason that I'm telling you that [all] of that
And there's much more about that that can be told
Rodney Brooks ['is] someone to know about he's a robotics engineer who worked in the 1990s and he invented the Roomba
among many other things so he's a real genius stuffed guy and
He works was one of the first people to really
Point out that
to have to be [able] to have a
machine that
Perceived well enough to work in the world
That you had to give it a body and that the perception would actually be built from the body up rather than from the abstract
cognitive perceptions down and so
and that that turned out to be the case and bird rooks boiled all sorts of weird little machines in the
1990s that didn't even really have any central brain but they could do things like run away from [light] and
so they could perceive light that their perception was that act of running away from right and
So perception perception is very very very tightly tied to action in ways that people don't normally perceive
Anyways, that's all to say that you cannot perceive the [world] without being embody and you know your embodied in a manner
that's taken you roughly three and a half billion years to pull off right there's being a lot of death as a
Prerequisite to the embodied form that you take and so it's taken all that trial and error to produce something like you that can interact
with the complexity of the world well enough to last the relatively paltry 80 or so years that you can last and
So I think about that as this may be wrong, but I think it's a useful at least it's a useful
Hypothesis, I think the idea
God the father is something like the birth of the idea that there has to be an internal
Structure that out of which consciousness itself arises that gives form to things and well
And if that's the case and perhaps it's not but if it's the case it's certainly reflection. It's a reflection of the kind of
Factual truth that I've been describing now
and then like I also mentioned that I kind of see the idea of
Both the holy Spirit and those also of christ and most specifically of christ in in the form of the word
the active consciousness that that structure produces and uses not only to to
Formulate the world because we formulate the world at least the world that we experience
We formulate but also to change and modify that world because there's absolutely no doubt that we do that
Partly with our bodies which are optimally?
Developed to do that. Which is why we have hands unlike dolphins would have you know very large brains like us
But can't really change the world. We're really
adapted and evolved to change the world and to world and our speech [is] really a an
Extension of our ability to use our hands, so the speech systems that we use are you know very [well-developed] motor?
very well-developed motor skill and
generally speaking your your dominant linguistic hemisphere is the same as your dominant hand and
People talk with their hands like [me] as you may have noticed [and] we use sign language
and there's a tight relationship [between] the use of the hand and the use of language, and that's partly because
language is a
productive Force and the hand is part of it part of what changes the world and so all those things are tied together in a
Very very complex way with this a priori structure and also with the embodied structure
And I also think that's part of the reason why classical christianity puts such an emphasis not only on the divinity of the spirit
But also on the divinity of the body, this is a harder thing to
grapple with you know it's easier [for] people to think if you think in religious terms at all that you have some sort of
Transcended spirit that somehow detached from the body that might have some life after death [something] like that
but the Christian Christianity in particular really insists on the divinity of the body, so the idea is that
There's an underlying structure. It's this quasi patriarchal nature partly because it's for complex reasons
But partly because it's a reflection of the social structure as well as other things and then that
uses consciousness in the form particularly of language
But most particularly in the form of truthful language in order to produce the world in a manner
That's good, and I think that's a walloping
Powerful Powerful idea especially the relationship between the idea that it's truthful speech that gives rise to the good because that's a really fundamental
Moral Claim and I think that's a tough one to beat man because one of the things I've really noticed is and then this and
It isn't just me that's for sure is that you know there's a lot of tragedy in [life]
There's no doubt about that and lots of people that I see for example in my clinical practice are
Laid Low by the Tragedy of life
But I also see very very frequently that people get tangled up in deceit in webs of deceit that are often multiple
Generations long and that just takes them out you know and so that so deceit can produce
Extraordinary levels of suffering that lasts for very very long periods of time and that's really a clinical truism. You know because
freud of course identified one of the
Problems that contributed [to] the suffering we might associate with mental illness with repression
Which is it's kind of like a lie of omission
That's a perfectly reasonable way to think about it
and Jung stated straight out that there was no difference between the psychotherapeutic the curative psychotherapeutic effort and
Supreme moral effort including truth that those were the same thing as far as he was [concerned] and carl Rogers another great
Clinician who was at one point a Christian missionary before he became
More [moore's] more strictly scientific. He believed that it was in truthful, dialogue that that that
clinical transformation took place and you know it and of course one of the
prerequisites for genuine transformation in the clinical setting is that the
Therapist tells the truth and the client tells the truth because otherwise how in the world. Do [you] know what's going on?
how can you solve the problem when you don't even know what the problem is and [you] don't know what the problem is unless the
Person tells you the truth that's something really to think about in light [of] your own
Relationships because you know if you don't tell the people around you the truth?
And they don't know who you are and maybe that's a good thing
You know because well seriously people have reasons to Lie, right?
I mean that aren't trivial
But it's really worth knowing that
you can't even get your hands on the problem unless you formulate it truthfully and if you can't get your hands on the problem the
Probability that you're going to solve it is it's just so low and so then I've been thinking [about] as well
The this and this idea has become more
Credible to [me] the longer. I've developed it the longer. I thought about it. You know the idea that there's oh
Go Bob
It's partly the idea that
Well, let me let [me] figure out how to start this property friend of mine business partner and a guy that [I've] written scientific papers
with very smart guy
Took me to task and I think I told you this a little bit about
Using the term dominance Hierarchy which might be fine for like
Chimpanzees and for lobsters and for creatures like that
But not not first not not for chimpanzees even so much and and he said something [very] interesting
he thought that the [idea] of dominance Hierarchy was actually a projection of a
early 20th century quasi Marxist
Hypothesis [onto] the animal Kingdom that was being observed and the notion that the hierarchical structure that you see that
characterizes say mating hierarchies in Chimps for
Example the idea that that was predicated on power was actually a projection of a kind of political ideology
and I thought that really bugged me for a long time when he said that because
Like because I'd really been used to using the term dominant iurc and I thought he told me all that
I thought that's so annoying
It's so annoying because it might be right and then it took me months to think about it
And then I and then I was also reading Frans de Waal at the same time [and] he's a primatologist and also Jaak panksepp
Because he was a Brilliant Brilliant
effective neuroscientist who unfortunately just died he wrote a great book called Affect of Neuroscience and
For rats to play they have to play fair or they won't play with each other
And that's that's a staggering discovery right because anything that helps
Instantiate the
Emergence of ethical behavior in animals and that associates it with an evolutionary
Process which is essentially what what pays up was doing gives credence to the [notion] that the ethics that guide us are not near
epiphenomena Constructs [their] deep
Deeply rooted if flat and that they're rats for god's sake he can't trust them and they still play fair you [know] and De Waal
Notice that the chimp troops that he studied, but it wasn't wasn't the barber barbaric chimp that ruled with an iron fist
that was the successful ruler because he kept getting torn to shreds by his by the
Compatriots that he ignored and stomped on Susie showed some weakness. They just tear him into pieces the chimp leaders that were
Stable you know that had a stable [kingdom]. Let's say
We're very
Reciprocal in terms of their interactions with their friends and chimps have friends and they out they actually last for very long time chimp friendships
and they were also very
reciprocal in their interactions with the females and with the infants
And I thought that's [what] Frans De Waal is a very smart guy
And I thought that was also foundational science because it's really something to note that
The attributes that give rise [to] dominance in a male [dominance] Hierarchy sort of use [that] word let's call it
Authority that might be better or even shudder competence which [I] think is a better way of thinking about it
Is that that's not predicated purely on anything? That's that's that's as simple as brute power, and I think [too]
You know I think as well that the idea and this is [a] deeply devious and dangerous
political idea in my estimation the idea that male dominance hierarchies sorry Male hierarchies are
Fundamentally predicated on power in a little in a [law-abiding] in a law-abiding society
I think is I think all you [fu] think about that for like a month say
She's not long to understand
How absurd [that] is because most people who are in positions of authority let's say are just as hemmed in by ethical
responsibilities or even more so than people at the other levels of the of the hierarchy
And we know this even in the managerial literature because we know generally speaking that
Managers are more stressed by their subordinates than the subordinates are stressed by their managers
And that's not surprising you want to be responsible for like [200] people you really want that. That's hard work, man
and I mean [I] know it's a pain to have a boss because the
To care about what the boss thinks and maybe the person is arbitrary which case they're not going to be particularly successful
But it's no joke to be responsible for 200 people
and you have to behave very carefully when you're in a position of
Responsibility and authority like that because you will get called out if you make mistakes
[constantly] so it's not like you're it's not like because you have a position
That's higher up in the hierarchy that you're less constrained by ethical necessity now if you're a psychopath
Well, that's a whole different story
psychopaths have to move pretty rapidly from Hierarchy to hierarchy right because they get found out quite quickly and
As soon as their reputation is shattered then they can't get away with their Shenanigans anymore, so [okay]
[so] all of this is to say that there is something very interesting about
the Pattern of Behavior [so] imagine that
Imagine that sexual selection is working something like this
And we know that sexual selection is a very very very very powerful biological
Force even though biologists ignored it for almost a hundred years after charles Darwin originally wrote about it thinking mostly about natural selection
They didn't like the idea of sexual selection because it tended to introduce the notion of mind
Into the process of [evolution] because it deals with choice
you know
But so imagine on the one hand that you have a male hierarchy
We know that the men at the top of the Hierarchy are much more likely to be?
Reprimanded the boil. It's particularly true of men
So you have twice as many female ancestors as you have male ancestors not going to do the math?
But and I know it doesn't sound plausible, but you could look it up and figure it out
It's it's perfectly reasonable fact that actually happens to be true
So there's twice as if twice as many female ancestors because females are twice as likely on average to leave
offspring as men now, what happens is
Any man man who does reproduce tends to reproduce more than once but a bunch of the reproduce zero?
Whereas so it would be the average man who reproduces has two children [and]
the average man who doesn't reproduce have zero obviously and the average woman who reproduces has one child so
That means that there's twice as many
Females in your line as there is males so that that's a big deal and and so imagine that it works something like this
the men elect
Competent men who are admired and who are and who are I?
Can't say dominant who are who are given positions of authority and respect let's put it that way and it's like an election
Now it could be an actual democratic election, but it's at least an election of consensus or it's at least an election of well
We're not going to kill him for now. Which is also a form of election, right?
it's a form of tolerance [you] know so
So and then what happens is the women for their part peel from the top of the mental Hierarchy and so you've got two
Factors that are driving
human sexual selection across vast stretches of evolutionary time
One is the election of men by men to positions where they're much more [likely] to reproduce
And the second is the tendency of women to peel off the top of [dáil] dominant turkeys which is extraordinarily well established [cross] culturally?
even if you flatten out, the
Disparity say between men [and] women like they've [done] in scAndinavia. You don't you don't?
Reduce the tendency of women to peel off the top [of] the male hierarchy by much
And why would you [I] mean women are smart why in the world wouldn't they go for four?
Why wouldn't they strive to make relationships with men who [are] relatively successful?
And why wouldn't they let the men themselves define why that how that constitutes success?
it makes sense like if you want to figure out who the best man is why not let the men compete and the
Man who wins whatever the competition is is the best man by definition? [how] else would you define it, so
okay, so why am I telling you [all] that well the reason is is because
it seems to me that there's this comp this being this complex interplay across human evolution between
the election of the male dominance Hierarchy and sexual success
And that's a big deal if it's true. It could be because what would happen [you] see is that as men evolved
they would evolve to be better and better at climbing up the male hierarchy because the ones who weren't good at that wouldn't reproduce so
Obviously that's going to happen
But then it wouldn't [just] be a hierarchy because there's a whole bunch of different hierarchies and so then you might say well are there
commonalities across hierarchies
reasonable thing to propose it mean
They're not completely opposed to one another at least if you're more success relatively more successful in [Run]
Hierarchy then you're more probable
It's more probable that you'll be successful in another
And that's actually a really good definition of general
Intelligence or IQ and that's actually one of the things that women select men for now men also select women for that
But the selection pressure is even higher from women to men and general Iq is one of the things that propels you up across?
Dominant turkeys because it's a general problem-solving mechanism, and the other thing [that] seems to do that to some degree is conscientiousness
And there's also some evidence that women prefer
conscientious men so and of course why wouldn't they because you can trust them and and
And and and they work, and so those are both good things
So then you think okay, so men have adapted to start to climb the male dominance Hierarchy
but it's the set of all possible hierarchies that they're adapted to climb and
So then you think there's there's a set of attributes that can be acted out
That and that can be embodied that will increase the probability that you're going to rise to the top of any given
Hierarchy and then you could say well that as you adapt to that fact then you start to develop an understanding of what that pattern
Constitutes and so that starts to become the abstract
representation of something like multi-dimensional competence
And that's like the abstraction of virtue itself well and none of that has them none of that's arbitrary now
and that's as bloody well grounded in biology if anything could [be] and I think [that's] a really hard argument to refute and
Like one of the things I should tell you [about] how I think is [that] when I think something
I spend a long time trying to figure [out] if it's wrong
You know because [I] like to hack at it from every possible Direction
To see if it's a weak idea because if it's a weak idea
Then I'd rather just dispense with it and find something better
And I've had a real hard time trying to figure out what's wrong with that idea
I it seems to me that it's pretty damn solid and then the idea that
You know if you watch what people do in movies, and so on and when they're reading fiction
It's obvious that they're very good at identifying both the hero and the antihero we could say the antihero
generally speaking the bad guy is someone who strives for
Authority and position, but fails
generally speaking not always, but fail
so he's a good bad example a kid you take a kid to a
good guy bad guy movie the kid takes out pretty fast that he's not supposed to be the bad guy and and
Figures out very quickly to zero in on the good guy
And that means that there's there's an affinity between the pattern of good guy that's being played out in the fiction and the perceptual
Capacity of the child you [know] and one of the things I told my son when he was a kid I used to take him
to movies that were sometimes more frightening than they should have been but
One of the things I always told him was I never said don't be [afraid] because I think that's bad advice for kids
What I said was keep your eye on the hero
Right keep your [eye] on the hero and again
He was gripped by the movie and often quite afraid of them you know because movies can be very frightening
so he just like zero in on that guy and
Hoping and you know what it's like in [a] movie you hope that the good guy wins
Generally speaking, and I mean why do you do that?
Where does that where does that come from you see how deeply rooted that is inside you you'll bloody well go
Line up and pay to watch that happen
it's not an easy thing to understand and it's it's so self-evident to people that we don't even notice that it's a tremendous mystery and
So is it so unreasonable to [think] that we would have actually over the Millennia come to some sort of collective
Conclusion about what the best of the best guys are best of the good guys are and what the worst of the bad guys are
And to me archetypically speaking thinking of that as the Hostile brothers
So that's christ and Satan or cain and Abel for example very common mythological motif the hostile brothers
It's like those are those those are archetypes
it's like the satan for example is by definition the worst that a person can be and
Christ by definition, this is
Independent of anything but
Conceptualization is by definition the best today that a man can be
as I said speaking psychologically and conceptually but I
given our capacity for imagination and our ability to engage in fiction and our love for fiction and our
capacity to dramatize and our love for the story stories of heroism and
Catastrophe and and good and evil. [I] can't see how it [could] any other way like so [well]
so so that's part of the
Idea that's driving the notion of the evolution of the idea of God and even more specifically
Driving the evolution of the idea at least in part of the trinity so God is an abstracted ideal
formulated in large part to
Dissociate the ideal from any particular incarnation or man [or] any ruler and there's another rule in the biblical stories
which is that when the actual ruler [I've] mentioned this before when the actual Ruler becomes confused with the
Abstracted ideals then the state immediately turns into a tyranny and the whole bloody thing collapses, [so] [the] idea, it's so sophisticated
You know one of the things that we figured out and this was a hard thing to figure out was that
you had to take the
Abstraction and divorce it from any particular power structure and then think about it as something [that] existed as an abstraction
But a real thing right real and that [it] governed your behavior in [everyone's] behavior including the damned King
The King was responsible to the abstracted ideal man that's an impossible. That is such an impossible ideal
You know why would if they agreed [that] [5000] years ago?
But one of the things you see continually happening in the old testament [is] that as soon as the israelite for example the ISraelite Kings?
the real God comes along [and] just
Cuts them into pieces and then the whole bloody state falls apart for like hundreds of years. It's like
I think that's a lesson that that we have not thoroughly
Consciously yet learned. It's still implicit in the narratives. We still haven't figured out. Why that's the case
Again, I think that's a real hard argument to to to dispense with
All right, so we looked at this a little bit
The trinitarian idea is that there's a there's a father
that's maybe the
Dramatic representation of the structures that underlie consciousness the embody structures that underlie consciousness, and then there's the son
And that's that that's consciousness
But in its particular historical form that's the thing that's so interesting about the figure of the son
And then there's consciousness as such and that seems to [be] something like the the indwelling spirit and so
I mean these psychological ideas came from somewhere right that they have a history they didn't just spring out of nowhere
and they emerge from from dreams and
Hypothesis and artistic visions and all of that over a long time and maybe they get clarified into something like consciousness
but it takes a long time to get from
To get from watching you know from to chimpanzees watching each other to a human being saying well
We're we all we all exhibit this faculty called consciousness. I mean, that's a long journey
You know that's a really long [journey], and there's going to be plenty of stages in between
One of the things I really like about Jean piaget the developmental psychologist was that he was so insistent that
children Act out and dramatized ideas before they understand them and
And Merlin Donald who's a psychologist at Queen's university?
wrote a couple of interesting books along those lines at all as well looking at the importance of
imitation for the development of Higher cognition in human beings and so the notion that
We embody ideas before we abstract them out and then represent them in an articulated way
I think is an extraordinarily solid idea
And I really can't see how it could [be] any other way
And if you watch children you see that like think about what a child is doing
When he plays house or she plays house you know the child acts out the father or the mother
But what's so interesting about me to think well? Look isn't that cute she's imitating her mother
It's like no
She's not that's not what happens because when your child imitates you it's very annoying because you move your arm
And then they move their arm, and you know that you move your head to copy you no one likes that
It's direct direct imitation. That's not what a child is doing with the child is playing what the child is doing is watching the mother
over multiple
instantiations and then extracting out the spirit called mother and
that's whatever if mother like across all those multiple manifestations and then laying out that pattern internally and
Manifesting itself in an abstract world, it's so sophisticated
It's just I'm that's what you're doing when you're playing house or having a tea partier or taking care of a doll
It's not you've seen your mother take care of a doll. You haven't seen that
It's that you're smart enough to pull out the abstraction
And then embody it and certainly the child is attempting to strive towards an ideal at that point
You know she's not lighting her doll on fire. You know well with you know certain exceptions, but generally
ones that we try to not encourage right, so
So you see that capacity in the children, and it's something we also know that if children
Don't don't engage in that sort of dramatic and pretend play to a tremendous degree
That they don't they [don't] get properly socialized. It's really a critical element of
Developing self understanding and then also [developing] the capability [of] being with others because what you do when you're a child
Especially around the age of four is you jointly construct a shared fictional world?
Will play house together let's say and then you act out
your joint [roles] within that shared fictional world you know and and that's a form of
Very advanced cognitions very sophisticated [I] see that and piaget did as well and so did you and so did freud these brilliant?
Observers and also Merlin Donald these brilliant observers of the manner in which cognition came to be they noted very clearly that
embodied imitation and dramatic abstraction
constituted the ground out of which higher abstract cognition emerged enough, how could it not [be] because
Obviously, we were mostly bodies before we were minds
Clearly and so we were acting out things way before we understood them just like the chimpanzees act out the idea that
You know you have to act reasonably sensibly if your head chimpanzee or you're going to get yourself ripped apart
And you see that rules because when wolves have a dominance dispute, you know
They pump up their hair at each other to look big and they they growl and bark and you know they're very menacing and one
Wolf chickens out rolls over puts up his neck and basically what he's saying is yeah, I'm pretty useless
So you could kill me [if] I want to if you want to and the other wolf says yeah
You know you're pretty useless and I could tear out your throat but tomorrow we might need to bring down a wolf or moves
so I'll kick you out and
And it's not like they think that
because they don't know they don't think [that] they acted out as a behavioral pattern then if you're an [anthropologist] or [a]
An ethologist and you went and watched the wolves you'd say it's as if they were acting according to the following rule and that
Often confused me because I thought well the wolves act black wolves act out rules, and I thought no. No a rule is what we
Construct, when we articulate a behavioral pattern right we observe a stable behavioral Pattern and when we articulate it
We can call it a rule but for the wolves. It's not a rule
It's just a stable behavioral Pattern and so we acted like wolf troops or chimpanzee troops all of that
When well I'm firfer untold really [untold] tens and perhaps hundreds of millions of years before we were able to formulate
That pattern of behavior at anything
approximating a story or the image and [and] even longer before we could articulate it as a set of
Ethical Rules, and I'm dwelling this I know I've repeated some of this before
But it's so important because you know there's this tremendous push, especially from the social the social
Constructionist to make the case that ethics is arbitrary ethics is morality is relative
There's no fundamental biological grounding in relationship to human behavior
Especially [in] the in the category of ethics, and I think that that's well first of all
It's dangerous because that means that people are
Anything you want to turn them into [and] you bloody well better be careful of [people] who think [that] and second?
I just think that the evidence that that's wrong is so overwhelming that we should just stop thinking that way
I mean the and that's probably why I'm also attacking this from an evolutionary perspective
there's lots of converging lines of evidence that ethic ethical standards of
at least of the most of the most crucial store Sort not only evolve but also
Spontaneously re-emerge for example in the dramatic play of children, so we need to take that seriously and so well
That's partly what we're doing here
trying to take that seriously, so
Okay, so the idea there at least in part was [that] the father employed the sun to generate habitable order out of Chaos [I]?
Also think there might be something more approximately true about that as well too because one of the things we do know
There's something that's cool about men
men are much more criminal than women and that by the way that does not look like it's
Socio-cultural partly because it peaks when testosterone kicks in around 14 like it just spikes the hell up
And then it really it stays pretty high until about 27 and so standard
Penological theory for those of you who don't know this is that if you have a repeat offender?
You know a guy who just won't stop getting in trouble
[yes] home in prison till he's 28, and it isn't like you're rehabilitating him or anything. It's like by 28
He's done with his criminal career because the crime curve is peaks at 15 and then falls down around
27 or so it burns out
and that's often by the way that's often that's that's often when men get married and settle down and [stabilized] one of the things that's
One of the things that's cool about that is the creativity curve for men is almost exactly the same thing [it]
Ramps up when testosterone kicks in and then it starts to flatten out around 27 that
Curves Match very very closely so that's so that's that's quite cool
It's the creativity
Element of it that I'm particularly interested in because the creativity is in many ways it [attributed] youth and that's look. I mean
if you look at that sentence
And you've stripped it of its religious context
what you would say is that well the older people use the younger people to
Generate creative ideas and renew [the] world it's like yeah, that's that's what happens, and you you know you also have no idea
How many of the things that we?
Discovered or invented as human beings were stumbled across by children and adolescence
You know because they're well, they're much more exploratory
They're less constrained by their by their already extent knowledge structures
and they're less conservative so yeah that seems just right to me, so
And right in an extraordinarily important way
Because it also means that it's like if you're an actual father
One of the things that it means is [that] that's part of what you should be encouraging your son to do right
Which is which [is] does the rail of a father is to encourage
That is clearly the role and to encourage is to say well. Go out there confront the Chaos of
The unknown and the Chaos that underlies everything and drop it with it. You know how because you can do
It here as big as the Chaos itself
And you know do something useful as a consequence and makes your life [better] and make everyone else's life better
And you know you can do it and man. That's the right thing to tell that's the right thing to tell young men
You know talking to young women is more complicated because they have more more
Let's say issues to deal with because their lives are more complicated in some ways
but that's definitely the right thing to be to be telling your your son and
one of the things that I've really noticed
recently since I've been lecturing especially in the last seven or eight months most of my audiences being young men and and
I've talked a lot of them [too] a lot
I've talked a lot to them about both truth and responsibility
and I think that those those are the two things that underlie this capacity and
It there seems to me to be a tremendous [hunger] for that idea. It's not the same idea as right
You know it's very different ideas. It's a counterpart to right and so it's you know
Life is [hard]. [it's] chaotic. It's difficult. It's really
Definitely a challenge
And so you can either shrink from that and no bloody wonder because you know it's going to kill you
It's not it's no joke man where you can?
Fuckin front it and try to do something about it
Well, what's better and and then you say [to] the person look man?
you could do it like that's what a human being is like and if you just stood up and got yourself together and
You find out by trying that you can in fact do that
And I do think that that's that's a great core religious message as far as I [can] tell and I think that's deeply embedded
in this sort of in this sort of idea, so
All right, so this is what I've [been] telling you. This is something like how knowledge itself is generated
first of all there's the unknown as
And that's really what you don't know anything about and generally when you encounter that you don't encounter it with thought
You encounter it like this
Right and that that's the first
Representation of the absolutely unknown, it's something that is beyond your comprehension, and it's terrifying and because it's Beyond your comprehension
You cannot perceive it you cannot understand it
But you still have to deal with it and the way you deal with it
Is [that] you freeze that's what the that's what a basilisk does say to the to the kids in Harry Potter, right?
They take a look at it
And they freeze
that's the snake the
Terrible snake of Chaos that lives underneath everything you see that that thing freezes you and that's because [you're] a prey animal
but at the same time it makes you curious, and so that's the first level of
contact with the absolute unknown is the
Emotional combination of freezing and curiosity and that's reflected
I think in the dragon stories the dragon is the terrible thing that lives underground
Accords gold or hoards Virgins very very strange behavior for reptile as we pointed out before
but the idea [is] that it's a symbolic representation of the
Predatory quality of the Unknown combined with the
capacity of the Unknown to generate nothing but novel information
And it's very you can see that is very [characteristic] of human beings because we are prey animals, but we're also unbelievably
Exploratory and we're pretty damn good predators
And we occupy this weird cognitive niche and so one of the things we've learned is that if we?
Forth Lightly confront the unknown terrifying as it is there's a massive prize to be gained
continually and so that seems to be
true, right
[it's] true as anything is and then I would also say that that idea and we know that one of the metaphors that underlies [gods]
extraction of
Habitable order out of Chaos at the beginning of time is an older idea and a more archaic idea that God
confronted something like the
leviathan and that's one of the words for this serpent like Chaos creature that's often used in the old testament or the
Leviathan and they
Beat them on. Yeah. That's the other thing and so there's this [idea] that
I think came probably came from the mesopotamia that the God either in the [sun-like]
Aspect or in the father like aspect is the thing that confronts this terrible beast that?
represents the Chaotic unknown and
Cuts it into pieces and then sometimes gives the body parts to the populace in order to feed them so you can see a hunting
Metaphor there as well, but it's deeper than that and so
all right, so
The first thing is there's the absolute unknown and the unknown is what you do not understand. It's what's beyond the campfire
Maybe it's what's beyond the tree even more anciently [an] old [word] when we when we lived in trees
It's out there that where you don't know and what's out there
Crocodiles and snakes and birds of prey and cats and all sorts of things like predatory cats
And they will eat you but there's utility and going out there to find out
What's there like maybe you go?
And you don't kill the snake you kill the damn nest of snakes and that makes you pretty popular just as you should be that
accelerates your your rep reductive
Potential let's say and we're descended from people who did that and so we have this?
Notion about how the world is structured that's deeply embedded in our pSyChe [like] really really deeply way way down way below
the surface
Cognition way down in the limbic system in these ancient parts of the brain that are like
60 million years old or a hundred million years old or older than that?
ancient ancient brain structures
And so the first thing we do is we act out our
Encounter with the unknown world and we act that out in the same way in a manner. That's analogous to the Manner
That's presented as a description of what it is that God does at the beginning of time to extract habitable order out of Chaos?
And [I] I will tell you about the other part of that for now, so you act it out first and then
The second thing is you watch people who act it out?
And you start to make representations of that that's stories, right?
And maybe you admire them and then after a long time you collect a bunch of those stories
and then you can say what that is you can articulate it as a pattern and
So and this is something Nietzsche also figured out to begin with you know because prior [to] Nietzsche
[I] would say he did so many things first it was quite remarkable. You know there was an idea that
You first think and then you act, and then people like to think that of course you do it
Bloody Rubbish because you're impulsive as you can possibly imagine you're always doing things before you think and sometimes
That's a really good idea so the idea that you see things and then think and then act
It's like you really know I'm sorry did I don't do that. I know one
I know I know does that and they certainly do that
Don't do that when they're emotional you know you act first and one of the things that Nietzsche said very clearly was that our
Ideas emerged out of the ground of our action over over thousands and thousands of years and then when philosophers were
Putting forward those ideas what they were doing wasn't generating creative ideas
They were just telling the story of humanity
It's already there. It's already in us it's already in our patterns of behavior and and it strikes me that that's
Well he was a genius and that was one of the genius one of his
Many many observations of pure genius and so you can think about it. You know you can think about it like this, [too] is that?
There's unknown and then you act in the face [of] the unknown and then you you dream about the action
and that's what you're doing in a movie theater, and then you speak about it and
So you know and of course once you speak about it that affects how you dream and how you dream affects
How you act it's not like the all of the causal direction is it was one way because it's not deep these things loop
But it's still from the unknown through the body through the imagination into articulation
That's the primary mode of the generation of of wisdom let's say and you can easily map that onto an evolutionary explanation
Because the body comes first right and then is the imagination, which is the body in
Abstraction and only then the word and of course that's [exactly] how things did evolve because we could imagine things
Long before we could speak at least that's the theory, so
and I represented that this is a
image from my book maps of meaning and so
So the idea is that this is the fundamental representation of the unknown as such it's half
spirit because it partakes of the air like a bird and it's half matter because it's on the ground like a like a like a
Make and and that's what you think is there when you don't know what is there?
That's how your body reacts to what's there when you don't know what is there? You know that [too] because if you're alone at night
You know it maybe you're a little rattled up for one reason other maybe you watched a horror movie and you know there's some weird
Noise in the other room. It's dark, and you could just try this once
It's like so you're on edge you think
You want to turn the light on and go in the room and see don't do that
just open the door a little bit and sneak your hand in and just watch what your
Fills that room with right and then then you remember what it's like to be three years old in bed in afraid of the dark
Right and I read a good book on dragons lately
Recently that that that had a very interesting hypothesis about them. I thought one of the things the guy did was track
I can't remember his name unfortunately
Track how common the image of the dragon was worldwide. It's unbelievably widespread
it's crazily widespread and he thought that this was actually the category of
Primate Predator and
The Predator was so predator is a weird category right because like there's there's crocodiles in it, and there's lions
And they don't have much in [common] except they eat you so it's a functional category
And so this is the this is the imagistic representation of the functional category of Predator and his predator
Theory was well if you're a monkey, then a bird would pick you off like an eagle, and so that's this
right and
Then if it wasn't eagle it was a cat as they climb teary trees and give you a good chomping and then if it wasn't
a cat And you go down to the ground and a snake would get you or maybe a snake would climb up the tree because snakes like?
to do that and get you and so that's a
pre cat
Free cat snake bird, and that's the thing you really
That's the thing [you're] really want to avoid you don't want to come across one of those and so
[and] then you know the other thing it does is breathe fire
Which is quite [interested] [because] obviously fire was both greatest friend and greatest enemy of humanity
And we've mastered fire for a long time it might be as long as [two] or [three] million years
That's what Richard rang him. [I] think it's [rang] [ham]. He wrote a book recently on. I think it was ragan
who wrote a book on when human beings [learned] to cook that was about two million years ago and cooking increased the
Increase the availability of calories you know how chimpanzees are sort of shaped like a big
Like they're ugly. They're shaped like a big bowling ball
You know they're really they look really fat, [and] it's and they're short
and they're wide and that's because they have intestinal tracts that are like you know 300 miles long and the reason for that is because
they have to digest leaves and so you go out in the forest and like sit there and eat leaves for a whole day and
See how that works out for you. You know yeah, they have no calories in them. So chimps spend about [inkless] I
think it's eight hours a day chewing and
It's because what they eat has no nutritional value
And then they have to have this tremendous
Guts in order to extract anything at all out of it human beings at some point
Just thought oh to hell [with] that we'll cook something and then we traded our guts for brain
Which you know more or less has worked, and I think it's made us a lot more attractive as well
So okay well, so the idea here was that
Well, that's the basic archetype [of] the unknown as such and then I like the st.. George version of this it's so cool because
St.. George lives in a like a castle and the castle is partly falling down and it's partly because there's a dragon
That's come up [to] like it's an eternal dragon
It's come back to giver who in a rough time which always happens
Because there isn't the eternal dragon is always given are giving our fallen down castles a rough time always
And so then St.
[George's] the Hero who goes out to confront the dragon and he
Frees the virgin from its grasp and I would say that's a pretty straightforward
Story about the sexual attractiveness of the masculine spirit that's willing to forthrightly encounter the unknown
That's it looks just straight looks like a straight biological representation to [me], and it's a really really old story
Right it's the oldest written story. We have and that's basically the mesopotamian creation myth
The anu male ish, which which basically lays out precisely that story and so and it's replayed. I mean I bet you
The movie Goers Among you especially the ones that [are] more attracted [to] the superhero. You know they're really flashy sort of
Superhero type movies, you've probably seen the St.
George story like 150 times in the last 10 [years] you never get tired of it because it's the central story of mankind so
you've got the unknown as such and
That is what you react to with your body in the existential terror and extraordinary
Curiosity are gripping you and then it's like the unknown unknowns that
Who's the politician under bush?
Rumsfeld yeah, I think the reason that that phrase caught on so well is because he nailed an archetype
There's unknown unknowns, and there's known unknowns
and that's the unknown unknown and you have to be able to react [to] an unknown unknown because they can get you and
You can't just plead ignorance because then you're dead that doesn't work like human beings are the sort of creature who has to know what?
To do when they don't know what to do, and that's very paradoxical and what we do is we prepare to do everything
That's right
We're on guard we prepare to do everything very very stressful and but also very engaging and very
Very much something that heightens consciousness
and maybe those circuits are
Permanently turned on in human beings because we also know that we're going to die and no other animal knows that and so sometimes I
[think] that our that our stress circuits are just on all the time, and that's part of what accounts for our heightened consciousness
so you have your unknown unknowns and then you have your
relatively you have the unknowns that you actually encounter in the world like the mystery of your of your
Romantic partner when you have a fight [with] them
It's like [well]
We're having a fight who the hell are you [I] mean you're not the absolute unknown because I know something about you
but you're the unknown as its manifesting itself to me right now, right and and and then there's a
known that we inhabit
And then there's the knower and the known is given symbolic representation as far as I've been able to tell in
Patriarchal form in the form of male deities and the unknown as you encountered
it's given Feminine form so
We won't get into that too much but but if you're interested in that you could look at my maps of meetings lectures
Or maybe take a look at the book but I think it's a good. I think it's a good schema for religious archetypes
I've worked on a long time it seems to fit the union Criteria quite nicely. It maps nicely [onto] Joseph Campbell's ideas
He got almost all has ideas from you however
It also makes sense from a biological and an evolution a perspective as far as I [can] tell that's a lot of cross validation
at least in my estimation
So okay so back to the hierarchy of dominance. Well, let's take a look at it a little bit, so
I'm quite enamored of lobsters as some of you might know
Because I found out this just blew me away when I found it out. I mean
I I've done a lot of work in Neuro Chemistry
Some similar chemistry because I used to study alcoholism and drug abuse and alcoholism
to study alcohol
You have to know a lot about the brain because alcohol goes
Everywhere in the brain it affects every neural chemical system
And so if you're going to study alcohol it kind of has to study, Neuro chemistry in General
And so I did that [for] [quite] a long time. I really got in a [murud] of a book
Called the Neuro psychology of anxiety by [Jeffery] Gray which is an absolute work of genius although extraordinarily?
Did I don't know how many references that book has it's like?
Must be a thousand and gray actually read them and worse
he understood them and then and then he and then he
integrated them [into] this book and so to read it you have to really master functional neural chemistry and animal Behaviorism and and
Motivation and emotion and neural anatomy like it's a killer book
but man
It's really rich and it's taken psychologists about 40 years to really unpack that book
But one of the things I learned about that was just exactly how much
Continuity there was in the neural chemistry of human beings in the neural chemistry of animals. It's absolutely staggering
It's the sort of thing that makes the fact of evolution something like [self] [evident]
I do think it's self-evident for other reasons that I'll tell you about later. I think evolution or I think natural selection
Random mutation and natural selection is the only way you can solve the problem of how to deal with an environment
That's complex Beyond your ability to comprehend
[I] think what you do is you generate endless variants because [God] only knows what the [hell's] going to happen next
They all almost all [of] them die because they're failures and a couple
propagate and you know the environment keeps moving around like a giant snake you never know what it's going to do next and so the
Best you can do is say well
Here's thirty things that might work, and you know twenty-eight of them are going to perish if you're if you're an insect
It's like the ratio is way way higher than that, so
Anyways back to the lobsters
In all of these so these creatures engage in in
Dominance disputes and and I think dominance is the right way to think about it because lobsters aren't very empathic
And they're not very social and so it really is the toughest lobster that wins
You know and what's so cool [about] the lobster is that?
When a lobster wins he flexes and gets bigger, so he looks bigger because [he's] a winner
It's like he's advertising that and the biological the [neurochemical] system that makes him flex is serotonergic
And you think well who cares what the hell does [that] mean?
Well tell you what it [means]
It's the same chemical that's affected by
Antidepressants in human beings and so like if you're depressed you're a defeated lobster like you're like this. I'm small
I'm not you know things are dangerous. I don't want to fight you give someone an antidepressant
It's like up they stretch, and then they're ready to like take on the world again
Well if you give lobsters who just got defeated in the fight serotonin, then they stretch out and they'll fight again
and that's like we separated from those creatures on the evolutionary timescale somewhere between
350 and 600 million years ago, and the damn Neuro chemistry is the same and so that's another indication of just how
important Hierarchies of Authority are I mean they've been conserved since the time of
Lobsters right there weren't trees around when lobsters first first manifested themselves on the planet
and so what that means is these hierarchies that I've been talking about those things are older than trees and
So one of the truisms for what constitutes real from a Darwinian perspective?
Is that which has been around the longest period of time right because it's had the longest period of time to exert selection pressure
Well, we know we evolved and lived in trees something on the order of 60 million years ago
we're talking [ten] times as far back as that for the
Hierarchy and so the idea that human beings that the hierarchy [is] something that has exerted
Selection pressure on human beings is I don't think that's a disputable. That's not a disputable issue
How it's done it and exactly what that means we can argue about but like that sort of biological
Continuity is just absolutely unbelievable [I]
It was funny because I revealed this finding
I didn't discover this I read about it
But [I] talked to my graduate students about I used to take them out for breakfast you know and they were very
contentious Snappy Bunch and
And they're always trying to one-up each other
And they're quite witty and for like six months until it got very annoying
Every time one of them went up the other they'd stretch themselves out like snap their hands like
So [that] was that was very funny. It was really very funny. So you see this in Lobsters, and so that's pretty amazing so
You know and one of the other thing that's really cool about lobsters
Is that let's say you've been like talk lobster for a long time, but you're getting kind of old and some young
Lobster just you know whales the hell out of you and and so you're all depressed, but thing is your brain is dominant
But you don't have much of a brain because you're a lobster
and so now what are you going to do because you just lost and the answer is while your brain will dissolve and
Then you'll grow a subordinate brain
Yeah, so that's we're thinking about [two] right here for a couple of reasons first of all if any of you have ever been seriously
Defeated in life. You know what that's like. It's like
It's a death a descent a dissolution
and if you're lucky a regrowth
And and maybe not as the same person that's what happens to people with post-traumatic [stress] disorder right their brains undergo permanent neurological
Transformation and
they then
Inhabit a world it's much more dangerous than the world that they inhabited to begin with but we also know - if you have post-traumatic
Stress disorder or depression that your hippocampus shrinks
Right it dies and shrinks and you can sometimes get it to grow back your hippocampus shrinks and your amygdala grows and the amygdala
increases emotional sensitivity and the hippocampus inhibits emotional sensitivity and so if you've been badly defeated the hippocampus shrinks and the amygdala Grows
now if you recover the
hippocampus will regrow and the antidepressants actually seem to help that but the damn amygdala never shrinks again and
So well so that's another lesson from the lobster
It's quite a terrifying one but but it's one like it's so interesting that [you] can relate to that, [right]?
It's like I get what that poor crustacean is going through you know
Okay, here's the rats and this is from yak [bank] [steps] work rat. He was the first guy who figured out the rats giggle
And you might think well, what kind of stupid thing is that to study is like [$50,000] research grant for giggling rats. You know [aside]?
He discovered the play circuitry in mammals. That's a big deal right? It's like discovering a whole new continent
There's a play circuit in mammals
. It's built right in so it's not socially constructed. There's a there's a biological
Platform for that and so what?
[panksepp] would do with rats he found out if rats if you take a rat puff away from its mother it dies
Even if you feed it even if you keep it warm it dies now
you can stop it from dying by taking a pencil with an eraser on the end and
Massaging it right because rats won't live without love and the same thing happens to human babies
And we saw that Romania when there was that
Catastrophe have to tell Chesco in the orphanages where the orphanages were full of unwanted babies because
Ceausescu insisted that every Romanian woman was constantly pregnant
So the orphan is just stacked up with unwanted babies lots of them didn't even have names and they were warehoused warm
shelter food
Devastating lots of them died most of them died before the first year and the ones that didn't die were permanently
dysfunctional because
You have to be touched if you're a human being it's not an option you have to be played with it's not an option
It's it's part of Neural Developmental Necessity
And you have to also play fair, so because otherwise you produce a very disjointed
Child who isn't able to engage in the niceties of social interaction?
Which is continual play in some sense and reciprocity so what panksepp did with his [rat] he noticed that male rats?
juveniles really liked to wrestle and they wrestle just like
Beings wrestle they pinned each other for crying out loud with like that that rat has just lost
He's down for a ten count right and so so what you do is you take Juvenile rats?
And you can find out that they want to play
you can attach a spring to them and
Then they'll try to run and you can measure how hard they're running by how hard they're pulling on the spring and then you can
Estimate how motivated they [are] and so you can find out that?
well Fed rat who doesn't have anything on his mind will still work hard to play if
To enter an arena where he's been allowed to play before he'll work [for] that
So that you think while the rats motivated, so the two rats
Go out there
and they play and
And so they're playing like dogs play and everyone knows what that looks like if you're you know what you have any sense about dogs
[they] kind of go like this and kids do that and
maybe you do that with your [wife] if you're gonna play with her a little bit okay my poor my poor wife man when she
she was a she was a
Young she had older siblings and so she wasn't played with as much when she was little as she might have been and I
Used to like you know what you take a pill away
And you go like this three times right that means look out a pillow is coming your way
So I go one two [three] wow
But she looked she was completely dismayed at me like what do you do that for and I thought well I?
Eventually taught her that rule the other thing I used to do
The only thing I used to do you know it said sometimes
She'd come at me like this when we were playing round, and I grabbed her wrist
And I'd knock her for her for her hamsters heard not close together. She used to just get completely annoyed about [that] and I thought
Right that's what you do you just opened your hands well. She didn't know that either
So she hadn't been played [with] enough when she was a little [rat] and so
Anyway, so you let the route the little rats. Go out there, right?
And so let's imagine one [of] them is 10% bigger than other and so that the 10% bigger rat wins
Because 10% is enough in rat way to ensure that you're going to be the pinner rather than the penny, okay?
So so that's fine
so a knit net the rat the rat pins the big rat pins a little rat and now the big rat is the is the
Authority Rat and so then
the next time that the rats play
The little Rod has to invite the big rat to play so the big rats out there being cool and a little that pops up
And you know does the whole will you play with me thing and the big rat will deign to play with it
but if you pair them repeatedly
unless the big rat lets the little rat win 30 percent of the time so little rat will not invite him to play and
Panksepp discovered that it's like I read that that just blew me away
it's like that is so
amazing because you see well first of their there's an analogy to psays ideas about the emergence of
Morality out of play and human being so that was very cool
But the notion that that was built in to rats at the level of wrestling was and their social
They're deeply social animals right they have to know how [to] get along with [one] another and most of their authority
Disputes dominance disputes, you don't want them to end in bloodshed and combat because you know if your rat won
And I'm rat [2] and we tear each other to shreds
In a dominance dispute rat 3 is just going to move in it's really not a great
Strategy and so be better if we could settle our differences
You know somewhat peacefully and so while so rat anyway peg's had figured out that rats
Play and not only [did] they play they play fair and they [seemed] to enjoy it he also figured out
This was really cool [to] that if you give juvenile rats
attention deficit disorder drugs
suppresses prey play
So that's worth thinking about. It's like well. Why do you have to give?
Juvenile Human beings
Amphetamines in school well because they need to play well, you know they don't get to play you know get to wrestle around
I mean that's oppression as far as I can tell they don't get to wrestle around that's fine feed them some amphetamines man
[that'll] shut down the old play circuits. Well is the other problem is panksepp found out that if you don't let Juvenile male rats play?
Their prefrontal cortexes don't develop properly
Surprise surprise, you're not letting them [ensure]
It's like what else would you expect so you know that's something to think about really hard, I would say so
Well, so there's some wolves going at it, [and] [we're] all [hunting] not exactly there's some moves
having an Authority dispute, but
More technically speaking
And a lot of [its] posturing you know they tend they tend [not] well
Socialized wolves tend not to hurt each other during authority disputes because well for over obvious reasons
It's too dangerous and so they have other ways of demonstrating who should be listen to authorities
And there's chimps doing you have this particular house. I think if I remember correctly I think it's right
This is a really cool picture because I think this chimp chimps don't like snakes by the way
So for example if you take a chimp that's never seen a snake
And you show it a snake it is not. Happy it will get the hell away from that snake if you bring a chimp
Anesthetized into a roomful of chimps the chips will all get away from that and then look at the body
they don't like that either and
if you bring a big snake into a chimp cage even if the chimps have never seen it like they'll get away from it and
Then stare at it and chimps out in the wild if they see a big snake
They'll they'll stand there and they have a noise that means it's like holy crap. That's a big snake you know
It actually means that technically, I'll tell you why in a minute
But they get they stand away from it then they make this this
Noise which means oh my [God] look at the snake
and then they'll stand there for like 24 hours looking at the snake and so the snakes are really really they're super stimuli for
So that's pretty interesting in this chimp seem to learn how to take this dead snake and go
scare other chips with it and that was
That was hardly how he established his authority and you know and [while] there?
There's a there's a there's a threat, and you like if I was you, [and] I was around that chimp
I would take that threat seriously because those things are no joke man
And you see the same thing here with the I don't remember what kind of monkey that is but they're engaged in
agonistic Behavior and so
From so and there has been by the way there has been
Recent research showing that in higher order primates that [there] is snake Detection circuitry that's built into them right so it's not learned
It's not learned deeper than that now for a long time
Psychologist psychologist knew for a long time that I could make you afraid in a conditioning experience
Experiment much faster using a snake or a picture of the snake than a gun or a picture of a gun
So we can learn fear [to] snakes very rapidly spiders as well, and so then people thought well
maybe we were prepared to develop fear to snakes or
spiders that sort of thing
But the more recent research has indicated that it's more than just
prepared is that we have the Detection circuitry built right into us and
Well is because well why wouldn't we that's that's really the [issue]. It's like
It's not really [that] much of a surprise unless you think of human beings as a blank slate
And if you think that [been] I don't know you should crawl out of the 16th century
That's that's all I would look I would look at it because I mean that's that's that's just go on that idea
it's it's it's so wrong, so
So maybe you can think about this as a dominance hierarchy, but wolves look for those wolves look for
Credibility and competence as well and and chimpanzees don't like Brutal tyrants
And so we'll talk about it as the hierarchy of authority and so well. This is kind of how it starts to [develop]
You know you see well these girls are negotiating the domestic environment here
and how to behave properly and how to share and all that and turn and take turns
And so they're negotiating the hierarchy of authority and if you're good at reciprocity
It's sometimes you're the authority and sometimes the other person is the authority that's fair play, right?
And so these boys are doing the same thing and you see they're all smiling away
And so it looks like aggressive behavior and people who are not?
Very attentive and who are paranoid and who don't like?
Human beings can confuse this with aggression and they forbid it at schools
Which is you know I know when my kids were going to school for example. This was quite a while ago now
They were forbidden to pick up snow on the off chance
They might throw a snowball and we know how terrible that is
So what I told my son was [that] he was perfectly welcome to pelt any teacher he wanted to in the back of the head
with the snowball as long as he was willing to
Suffer the consequences of doing it, and I don't know if he ever did
But he was happy with he was certainly happy with the idea which made me very [happy] about him, so
Yeah, so so you know kids need to do this they really really
Seriously need to do this
it's what civilize --is them and [they] that needs to happen [between] the ages of [two] and [four] because if they're not
Civilized by the time they're [4] then you might as well
Just forget it, and that's a that's a horrible statistic
but it's unbelievably well borne out in the relevant developmental literature like there's lots of aggressive two-Year-olds most of them are male and
If they stay aggressive past the age of four they tend to be lifetime aggressive. They make no friends. They're outcasts
they're much more likely to end up antisocial criminal Delinquent and in jail and so
Your kids need to be socialized between the ages of two and four
And that's particularly true for the more aggressive males and most of the rest of two-year-olds are male and that isn't socialization by the way
So there's a [more--not] more abstract representation of the same sort of thing
And I'm trying to make the case [that] this that the that the hierarchy of authority emerges out of a [game-like]
Matrix an Underlying Game-like Matrix
And that's one of the things that one of the things that's so brilliant about Jean Piaget he figured that out
it's so smart and he was interested in the biological origin of morality and he identified it he he he
Traced the origin to play and the emergence of morality out of play, and that's it's so smart
[it's] just I [just] can't believe how smart an idea that was because it's the [bottom-up]
construction of of
Morality now Piaget was [a] constructionist and to some degree social constructionist
He underestimated the role of biology, but that doesn't invalidate his theory. It's really easy to put a biological underpinning underneath
underneath pas theory, we know the biology well enough to do it quite quite nicely now so I mean we
well the fact that tanks have for example [could] identify the play circuit is a really good start with that right because
Play has been around so [long] that. We have a circuit. That's dedicated to it and so that's that's a very very ancient
That's a very ancient issue
And so you know this is this is very much of an abstraction of a game here, and then of course you get the ultimate
abstraction in representation, what in a representation like
like that
Where even though even the landscape of the game is fictional and of course we've migrated to a large degree [into] those sorts of fictional
fictional books movies
video games
so it's the same it's an extension of the same thing so practice for
practice for real life the Shades in some cases into real life itself, so
More representations of God the father I like these representations. I like the triangle
Idea I mean I [don't] know why God is wearing a triangular hat it's kind of a strange fashion choice
but I think it's
Associated with the idea of the pyramid and I think that's associated with the idea of the hierarchy of Authority and I think that's why
the Egyptians put their pharaohs inside pyramids
I know, there's more to it than [that]
But I think some of that has [to] do with the notion of this hierarchical structure you see this on that now
that's speculative obviously and I don't want to make too much [of] it, but
But I can't help but think that there's something to that see that's on the back of [the] American Dollar Bill
I like that a lot
[that's] like the eye of horus from the egyptians and so the idea here is something like
At the top of the Hierarchy is something that is no longer part of the hierarchy
Right, so if you move up the hierarchy enough what happens is [that] you develop the [ability] as a consequence of moving up that hierarchy
To be detached enough from the Hierarchy, so you're no longer really part of it
And so [that] you can move in all sorts of different hierarchies and the thing the idea here is [that] the thing [that] you're really?
Developing is the capacity to pay attention, and I would say from a from
mythological perspective the the one thing that seems to compete with the idea of the spoken word as
the as the source of the
Extraction of habitable order from Chaos is the [I] is the capacity to pay attention so marduk for example the mesopotamian creator. God who?
emerged in the hierarchy of
Mesopotamian gods and came out at the top right he was the victor of the gods
He had eyes all the way around his head and he could speak Magic words, and I really like that
I really like that idea and the egyptians developed that idea too because their God horus was the eye
Everyone knew was the eye of [horus] that that sense that image is so compelling that we still know [about]
everybody has seen the eye of [horus] with a really open pupil and
What the egyptians learned was that the open eye was what revivified the dead society it's so smart
So what do you do if your life? Isn't in order bloody well pay attention and that isn't the same as thinking
It's a different process paying attention thinking is like the imposition of structure in some sense
I know I'm oversimplifying but paying attention is something like watching for what you don't know and
So like one of the things I often recommend to my clinical clients if they're having trouble with a family member is
Number one, shut up. Don't tell them anything about yourself just and I don't mean in a rude way
It's just like no more personal information
number [two] watch them like a hawk and listen and if you do that long enough
They will tell you exactly what they're up to
And they will also tell you who they [think] you are and then you'll be shocked because they think you're something generally speaking
That's not like you what you are at all and when they tell you it's like a revelation to both of you
But attention [is] an unbelievably powerful force, and you see this in psychotherapy
Too because a lot of what you do and in any
Reparative relationship is really pay attention to another person
pay attention and listen
you would not believe what people will tell [you] or reveal to you if you watch them as if you want to know instead of
watching them so that you'll have your
Reinforced that's usually how people interact is like. I want to keep thinking about you the way
I'm thinking about you, and so I'm going to filter out anything that just proves my theory
That's not what I'm talking about at all. It's like
I'm going to watch you and figure [out] what you're up to. [not] in a rude way none of [that]
I just want to see what's there and that'll be good for you
Probably and also be good for me, and so well, so that's the idea that
you know climbing up a hierarchy of authority can give you vision and that vision can
transcend the actual Hierarchy, and I think that's also the I think that's also the
That's the metaphysical space that an artist occupies because artists really aren't in a hierarchy there outside of hierarchies
You've watched the Lion king most of you yeah
That's that Zoo you know the little bird
that's the eye of the king that's the same thing there so and that's that's echoed in this idea as well, so
So well that's some more
More ideas of Hierarchies same idea. This is right gold
Silver Bronze, why gold gold is the sun [gold] is pure right?
So the idea is that the thing that's at the top of the hierarchy is incorruptible because gold doesn't mix with anything else, right?
It's this sort of metal that doesn't ever become corrupted. It's a noble metal
It doesn't become corrupted, and so it Shines like the sun
And it's associated with what's ever at the top of the [hierarchy] and the gold
The gold Medal is a disc like the sun, and it's awarded to those people who?
Occupied the top position and who are manifestations of the ideal and here's here's I can tell you a quick story
[so] imagine that you're watching an olympic contest
[I] found this happens to me very often with gymnastics because the gymnasts are so absolutely unbelievable you know
so you go watch the gymnastic performance and
the verse is out there bouncing around like
You know you can't even imagine doing it. They're so perfect at it. So you see this person they're going through this routine
They're just absolutely
Spectacular and flawless at it. You know at the [end]
They stop and everybody claps and and they're all excited to see what a human being can do and that's why we're in the audience
Watching because we want to see what a human being can do and the judges go like 9.8 9.8 9.8
Everybody's thrilled and then the next contestant comes out, and it's [like] well
They're just basically screwed right it's like this person came out there and was perfect
How are you going to top that that's an interesting question because this
Is a representation of what you do to top?
Perfection itself and you can do it [and] here's how you do it
And you know this even though you don't know you know it, so let's say the next contestant comes out
They're kind of shaky because it's like oh man the bar is being raised high so what they do is
they put themselves right on the edge of Chaos and
You can tell by watching them that they are one bloody fraction of a second from Catastrophe
[they're] pushing themselves farther than they've ever gone in the direction of their perfection [and]
Everyone in the room is so tense they can hardly stand it right you can hear a pin drop and that person is flipping around
It they're just it's just right on the edge of catastrophe [and] at the end
They go like this, you know
And there's that gesture of triumph that goes along with that and everybody rises in one instant and just claps like mad
It's like well, why what are you doing? What are you doing? When you're doing that right?
You can't even help it it grabs you right in the core of your being and you stand up
And it's it's an act of worship. That's what it is and you saw someone
Go Beyond their perfection into the domain of Chaos and establish order right in front of your eyes
And you're so thrilled about that you know you're happy to be alive
And everyone's celebrating it all at the same time, and it's an absolutely amazing thing, and that's what well sometimes
That's what this represents and sometimes that's what this represents
And that's what we're trying to get at because that's at the pinnacle of the hierarchy right not only are you doing?
What you should be [doing]?
but you're doing it in a way that increases the probability that you'll do it better the next time you do it and
[then] you could say here's another thing to think about along the same lines
And I know we haven't got that [out] of an easy yet
You tell your kids to play fair right you say [Norman] it's not [whether] [not] you win. It's how you play the game and
You say that you don't really know what you mean you feel kind of stupid saying it even though
You know it's true and your kid looks at you like there's something wrong with you because he doesn't know what you're talking about either
but you know it's true [and]
So here's why it's true
Life isn't a game. It's a set of games and
The rule is never Sacrifice victory across the set of games for victory and one game
Right and that's what it means to play
Properly you want to play so that people keep inviting you [to] play because that's how you win
Right you win by being invited to play the largest possible array of games and the way you do that is by
Manifesting the fact that you can play in a reciprocal manner every time you play even if there's victory at stake
And that's what makes you successful across time
And we all know that and we even tell our kids that but we don't know [that] we know it and so we're not
adapting ourselves to the game and Victory in the game
We're adapting ourselves to the [metagame] and victory across the set of all possible games, and that's what that well
That's exactly what as far as I can tell that's exactly what this is aiming at to that. That's the same idea that
There's that there's a transit. There's a mode of being that transcends the particularities of [the] of the localized contests
That's the other way to think about it and to act morally is not to win
today's contest at the expense of the rest of possible contests and
Again, I don't see that as something that's arbitrary it's not relativistic
there's an absolute Moral an absolute Moral stance there and everyone recognizes it and
And I also think it's the key to success
and I would also say it's very much akin in a strange way like the the the person who is the master at
Being invited to play the largest possible games number of games is also the same person
I haven't quite figured out the precise [relationship] between these two is also the same person that goes out
Forthrightly to conquer the unknown before it presents itself as the enemy at the door. They're the same thing now
I don't I can't haven't figured well. Why that is exactly but but
Well, I'll figure it out eventually and when I do I'll don't tell you well
if you're interested, so
okay, so here's the mother no ideas of
God as as
Hierarchical authority figures so strip the religious preconceptions off what you observe and just look at what you see well look there's primate
looking upward Ad
Dominance figure, that's that's what you see there now
It's very interestingly
Represented because you have gone
The farther there with the cross and I think what that [means] as far as I can tell is [that] there's a recognition there in
the image that the person who's most dominant is the one who's or the most have the most [authority] is the one who's
Voluntarily accepted the suffering that's part of being and that's what that picture represents
It's like the authority holds that says this is what you have to accept and that that that that transfix is the viewer
Because of because of the fact that it's true, and you think well is that true, okay? Well think about it this way?
Do you like brave people or do you like cowards?
Well that that's pretty straightforward and what's the ultimate act of Bravery?
It's to come to terms with the fact that you're mortal and limited and to live forthrightly
Regardless well obviously that's at the core of what's of what's admirable and why would we presume that that's not the case
We act as if that's the case. It's what everyone dreams and wishes that they could they could do I mean assuming that?
You know you've dispensed with the idea that you're going to be immortal
I suppose that might be worth wishing for [too] or or perhaps not immortal is a very long time
But you certainly want this and that [image] says well
This is what you should be and you [know] we've got that same
Opening into the sky going on in that image that I showed you before it's like
This is a transcendent truth that constantly reman efest itself across time and space and jung would say it's built into your psyche that
Image now you know there are elements of it [that] are culturally constructed it wouldn't [necessarily] have to be the cross
Although the cross is a very old symbol. It's far older than then it's use in Christianity. It has been used in many many
representations, but that echoes the soul echoes with that you know and
Well, then there's moses up there on [the] on the mount
Receiving these the the law and so we'll talk a lot more about that when we get to exodus
but if yeah yeah, yeah
If we get to exodus so well look where does it happen well on the mountain. Well, that's a pyramid
That's up right. That's optics up. It's it's up in stratosphere is up in the sky where where you look upward, okay?
And and then so what's happening to moses well here?
Here's a bit of a clue as far as I can tell [I]
Figured this out partly again by reading jean Piaget because one of the things that pSA said about kids was that
They first learned to play a game
But they don't know what the rules are meaning that if you have a bunch of kids together they can play a game
but if you take one of the kids out of the game when they're young say six, and you say
What the rule are what are the rules they can only sort of give you a representation?
So you take six-year-old one and he'll tell you some of the rules and six-year-old two will tell you different rules and and you know
Six-year-Old three will tell you different rules, but if you put them all together they can play so they have the knowledge
Embodied either individually or [in] the group the knowledge is there
to be extracted well then they get a little older they can extract the rules and
Then they start to play by the rules [and] then the CSA's last step was well
they didn't just the kids play by the rules that they learned that they can make the rules and
He thought about that as moral progression first you can play then you can play by the rules then you learn
Maybe because he didn't think everyone learned this that you're actually the master of the rules [that] [doesn't] mean the rules are arbitrary
But it means that
You could be the generator of the rule that's assuming that you know how to play the game
And he thought about that as a Moral Moral progression
And then I thought well that's exactly what happened [to] moses in in the story of exodus because moses is out there leading all those
Israelites around and like they don't have a law they don't have a lawgiver
They have a tradition, and they're all like crabby because both are in a desert. It's like
They're in a tyranny, but now they're in a desert. It's like. That's no improvement
So they're really getting pretty bitchy about it
and so they're worshipping False idols and having one catastrophe after another and they get moses to judge their
Conflicts so he does that for God only knows how long forever crabby israelites come to moses and bitch at him
It's like wow he did this and she did that and and so then he has to figure out how
[to] make peace
He does that so long that one of his I think it's his father-in-law tells him he has to stop doing it because he's going
To exhaust himself [well] then you think well, what's happening? Well?
And I'm not assuming that this is a like a literal historical story. I think again
It's a condensation. Well any group has a set of customs
Just like a wolf pack does and so then the customs are being manifest in someone. Who's a genius is watching and thinking okay?
Well, what's the rule in this situation? What's the rule in this situation? What's the rule in this situation and then in his imagination
[the] rules turn into a hierarchy and then he goes up on the mountain [just] bang and he thinks oh my God
Here's the rules that we've been living by all this time, and that's the revelation of the commandments well, and you think well
How else could it be you think the rules came first and baying them came second? It's like no the rules come first
Sorry the actions come first the obeying them comes first
And then you figure out what everybody's up to you say hey look this is what you've been up to all [along] everybody goes oh
Yeah, that seems to make sense peak and if it didn't who would follow them
no one was going to follow them if they don't match what's already there you just think about that is unjust and so that's that's
portrayed here as A
Cataclysmic human event it's like oh my God we've been chimpanzees. We've been in this hierarchy of authority for so long
we have no idea what we're doing and all of a sudden poof it bursts into
Revelatory consciousness, and we could say here is the law and you say well is it given by God well?
Hey it depends on what you [mean] [by] God we could start with [that] presupposition, but it's not like it
Just came out of nowhere it took it and this is something else Nietzsche observed
so interestingly, and he said you know that a moral revelation was the consequence of a
tremendously long process of initial
construction and then formulation thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of years of
custom a building custom before you get the revelation of the
Articulated law and that's a description of the pattern [that] works. Let's say well. What's the pattern that works?
It's the game that you can [play] with everybody else day after day with no degeneration
And that's another thing piaget figured out. It's so brilliant, and that's his idea of the equilibrate state
it's an extension of the [menu'] accounts idea about the universe [Maksim] right act in a way so that each action could become a
Universal rule that was Kinda Mental Moral Maxim and PSa put a twist on that. He said no, no, that's not exactly yet. [it's]
Act in such a way that it works for you now
And next week and next month and next year and ten years from now and so that while it's working for you
it's also working for the people around you and for the broader society and
Then and that's the equilibrate estate
And you could think about that as an intimation of [the] [kingdom] of the city of God on Earth
It's something like that
And it's based on this idea that a morality has to be iterable
And you know there's lots of there's been lots of simulations online already artificial intelligence simulations of trading games
Right I mean the people who've been studying the emergence of Moral behavior say in artificial intelligence
Systems have already caught on to the idea that one of the crucial elements to the analysis of morality is inner ability
you can't play a degenerating game because
Because it degenerates
Like obviously you want to play a game that at least [remains] stable across time and God if you could really get your act together
Maybe it would slowly get better and of course that's what you'd hope for your family, right?
That's what you're always trying to do unless you're completely hell-bent on revenge and destruction
It's like is there a way that we can continue to play together that will make playing together even better the next day
that's what you're up to and
Well, I don't see anything arbitrary about that [and] part of it. This is also
why I think that bloody post modernists are so incorrect because you know they say something like there's an infinite number of interpretations of
The world and that's actually true
But then they make a mistake and they say well, no
Interpretation is to be privileged over any other interpretation. It's like wrong
wrong that's that's where things go seriously off the rails because the
Interpretation has to be and this is the piagetian
Objection is like if you and I are going to play a game rule one is we both have to want to play
Rule two is other people are going to let us play rule 3 is we should be able to play it across a pretty long
Period of time without it degenerating and maybe rule 4 is well. We're playing the world shouldn't kill us
It's like there are not very many [gay] like you don't send your kids out to play on the superhighway, right?
So they're not playing hockey on the superhighway because the world kills them and so
There's an infinite [number] of interpretations
But there is not an infinite number of solutions [and] the solutions are
Constrained by the fact of the world and are suffering in the world and then also constrained by the fact that we constrain each other
And so that's that's where. I think that's gone like dreadfully dreadfully wrong, so
All right
It's really fun to look at these old pictures once you kind of know what they mean, you know the leaf
That's what I've discovered. Is that once I kind of understand the underlying
Rationale for I mean someone worked hard on that that's an engraving right they took a long time making that picture
They're serious about it and when you understand what it means
You know all those people there their prostate prostrate at the at the at the revelation of the law?
It's like well, no wonder
It's like break the law and see what happens breaks the universal Moral law man and see what happens
You know I see people in that situation
Well as you all do all the time perhaps me more than you because I'm a clinical psychologist
you know and if the people I'm seeing haven't broken the
Universal law then you can bloody well be sure that people around them have it's no joke
Like you make a mistake and things will go seriously wrong for you, and so it's no wonder that. You'd be
Terrified at the revelation of the structure that governs our being one of the things that's so remarkable about the old testament
This is another thing Nietzsche commented on: he was a real admirer of the old testament not so much of the new testament
He thought it was a sin for Europe to have glued the new testament on to the old testament
[because] he thought the old testament was a really accurate
representation of the phenomenology of Being. It's like
stay awake speak properly be honest or
Watch the hell out
Because things will come your [way] that you just do not want to see at all and it might not [just] be you it might
Be everyone you know and everything about your culture that is demolished for for generation after generation. It's like
Stay awake and be careful
And I like I think that people only don't believe that when they're being hubristic
And I think that most people know that deep in their hearts
You know when you get high on your horse that happens fairly often if you have any sense you think geez I better be careful
[top] myself down and fare a bit because if I get too puffed up man
Something's going to come along and take me out at the knees and everyone knows that pride comes before a fall
It's like if you have any that's why it says in the old [testament] that fear of God is the beginning of wisdom
[it's] like I've never in all my years as a clinical psychologist, and this is something that really does terrify me
I have I have never seen anyone ever get away with anything at all even once you [know]
There's that old idea that. God has a book you know and keeps track of everything in heaven. It's like okay
Okay, [you] know maybe it's not a book
But that is a really useful thing to think about because well, maybe you disagree
Maybe you think people get away with things all the time
I tell you I've never seen it what I see instead
is [that] thing happens right they someone twists the fabric of reality and
They do it successfully because it doesn't snap back at them that moment and then like two years later something
Unravels, and they get walloped and they think oh my God that's so unfair and then we track it
It's like but what happened before that this and then what this and then what this and then what oh?
Oh this well that's where it went wrong. It's yeah, because you can't twist the fabric of reality
without having it snap back
It doesn't work that way, [and] why would it because what are you going to do twist the fabric of reality?
I don't think so
I think it's bigger than you. You know
And I think that one of the things that really tempts people is the idea that well, I can get away with it
It's like yeah you try you see. Oh, well that works
It's like you get away with nothing and that is the beginning of wisdom and I it's something that deeply terrifies me
And you know err ever since?
last September when I
Came to Board like broader public
attention one of the thing I'd be terrified [of] making [mistake] because I certainly know I'm more than capable of making a mistake and
Going so far either. I haven't made [one] or no one found out about it, so
But it's like you know we walk on a very thin and narrow Edge
and we're very lucky when things aren't degenerating into Chaos around us or
Rapidly moving too far too much order
and it's not an easy thing to stay on that line and
You can tell when you say you're on that line because the things are deeply meaningful and engaging when you're on that line
but if you're not
Existentially terrified about the consequences of wavering off that then you are truly, not awake
So and that's what I see in this picture
You know it's like look out man, because there are rules and if you break them
God help you
so one of the things that seems to me the case with regard this in the question period A bit last time is that
one of the things that seems to be actually one of the
Advantages to gluing the new testament on to the old testament is the idea of a transformation and morality that is analogous to the pia
Jetty an idea that
After you learn to play [by] the rules you can learn to make the rules because I think that's actually what happens to some degree
in the transition between the [old] testament and the new testament
Because in the old testament most morality is prohibition
Here are things you shouldn't do. It's like no fair enough. That's a lot of what you do with your kids
Don't do this don't do this don't
Especially when they're happy you're always going around telling them to stop being so happy because all they're doing is causing trouble
It's quite painful if you're a parent and you notice that but the first morality is prohibition
Control yourself so you don't cause too much trouble and then maybe if you get that down
And you're good at it, then the next thing is well once you're disciplined
then you can start working [toward] something that's a positive good, and that's the transformation that seems to me to [be] fundamentally characteristic of the
Juxtaposition of the new testament on to the old testament, but in these images is still something like serve tradition serve the father
psychologically speaking support the tradition because
You live on it
they're in an old mesopotamian story the enumeration you can which you can read about if you're interested [in] the
Original gods who are really badly behaved? They're like two year [old] in fact. They're a lot like two year olds
They kill the primordial gone absolute
Pea tree oracle God they kill him and try to live on his corpse
Well, that's what we all do right because we live on the corpse of our ancestors
You could say we live on the corpse of our culture
It's dead
And that's not a great place [to] live [so] you have to keep revivifying it so the damn thing
You know stays
Active and awake you you stay [on] the carbs for too long and then the devil or the Demon of Chaos comes back
And that's what happens in the mesopotamian story
It's like don't be thinking that you can stay on the corpse of your ancestors for too long without
Contributing to the revivification of the system because the Chaos that all of that holds that that all that
holds that bay will definitely come and visit you you [see] that in stories like
The Hobbit you know hobbits. They're nice they like to eat. [they're] kind of fat. They're shorts are not very bright you know
They're hubristic. They have no idea. What's out there in the broader world
They're protected if you remember by the striders who are the sons of great Kings who look like?
Tramps they have nothing but contempt for them they patrol the borders and keep the Bloody hobbits safe
But out there out there in the periphery all hell is brewing and Chaos is is is
Generating and forming and that's an archetypal story
And that's why people like that story so much
Because that's exactly right [like] we're the hobbits and there are we are
Protected from Chaos by the spirits of our dead Ancestors, and we're too damn stupid to know it, and we think oh well
We don't need them anymore and that to me that's post-Modernism
That's what the bloody universities are doing with the humanities [to] absolutely appalling and we will pay for it
Unless we wake up, and hopefully we'll wake up because that would be better than paying for it even [though] being awake as well
[they're] painful
so then I had this vision one time and I kind of portrayed it in this in this image of
What the world was like and I thought well, it's not a pyramid
It's not a single Hierarchy of authority that's not what it is
It's it's an array of hierarchies of Authority so you imagine this sort of infinite plane and the the infinite plane
There's nothing but pyramids and inside the pyramids there are strata of people
Everywhere far as you can look some of the pyramids are tall some of them are short they overlap
it's endless the [plain] is endless and those are all the positions to which you could rise and
everybody's inside the pyramid sort of crammed up trying to move towards the top and then there's the possibility of sailing across over top of
all [of] them and seeing how the structure itself works
and that's and that's the eye that floats above the
pyramid and it sees the
structure itself and the highest order of being is [not] to be at the top of the pyramid it's to use the
discipline that you attain by striving towards the top of the pyramid to release yourself from the pyramid and move one step up and
That's I [think] that's one of the things that's instantiated in the idea of the for example of the holy ghost
And I think that's akin to that that's sisyphus and needs a set of sisyphus if I remember correctly that one has to
[Imagine] him happy well
If there's a rock at the bottom of the Hill
Then you might as well push it up the hill and if it rolls back [down] well
then you've got something else to do don't you can push the damn rock back up the hill and there's no shortage of
Rocks to put up to push up the hill and that's what we're built for anyways
And so let's go out and like push some damn boulders up the hill and then maybe we could have enough self-confidence
And enough enough respect for ourselves that we wouldn't have to turn to
Hatred and revenge and try to take everything down because I think that's the alternative
He's not weak. That's one thing you can say about him
The same idea represented there right that's outlets who voluntarily takes the world on his shoulders
It's like the idea of christ taking the sins of the world on his shoulders
[it's] exactly the same notion which is the notion that you should be able to recognize in yourself all the horror of
Humanity and take responsibility [for] it because that's what that means and the thing that's so interesting about that is that if you can recognize
Yourself in yourself all the horror of humanity [you] [will] instantly have a hell of a lot more
Respect for yourself than you did before you did that because there's some real utility and knowing that you're a monster
Now on just because you're a monster doesn't mean you have to be a monster, [but] it's really useful to [know] that you are one
so then and one of the things that Jung
Knew and this is something that I find so [amazing] about his writing [is] I think something that really distinguishes him for example from Joseph
Campbell who talked about following your bliss is like
Jung said very clearly that the first step to enlightenment is the encounter with the shadow and what he meant by that was
Everything horrible that human beings have done was [done] by human beings
and you're one of them [and]
So if you don't understand that and to understand that really means to know
how it was that you could have done it and that's a shattering thing to try to imagine that to try to imagine yourself as
Someone who's engaged in medieval torture to see how you could in fact do that
You're never the same after you learn that but being never the same after learning that is
Unbelievably useful because when you understand that that's what you're like, then you're a whole different creature
And I don't think and this is something
I did learn from jung is that you cannot be a good person until you know
How much evil you contain within you it is not possible, and it's partly because you just don't have any potency
like if you're just naive if you're just nice if you'd never hurt anyone you'd never hurt a fly you don't have the
Capability [for] any of that, why would anyone ever take you seriously?
You're you're just you're a domestic animal at best
You know and a rather contemptible one at that?
and it's a very strange thing because you wouldn't think that the revelation of the capacity for evil is a
precondition [for] the realization of good
But I believe first of all why [would] you be serious enough to even attempt [to] pursue the good?
Unless you had some sense of what the consequence was of not doing it
You have to be serious about these sorts of things. It's not it's not it's not the game of a child, right
It's the game of [a] fully developed adult and you have learned this in part when I had little kids
I wrote a chapter from my new book called never let your children do anything that makes you dislike them and
Why was that and I read I read that wrote that after [I] knew I was a monster
And I thought I'm going to make sure I [liked] my kids
I'm going to make sure they behave around me so that I like them because I'm way bigger than them
and I'm way more cruel than they are and I've got tricks up my sleeve that they cannot even possibly imagine [and] if if they
Irritate me. [I]
will absolutely
Take it out on them, and if you don't think that you're the sort of person that would do that
Then you are the sort of person [who] is doing it?
you know
We're not going to get to Adam and Eve ha ha
Aria I watched this great documentary once
Called Hitman hart and was about Bret hart and who was the most famous Canadian in the world for a while and he?
was a worldwide wrestling federation wrestler you know and he was a good guy and
He came from this famous family of wrestlers who all came from Alberta?
I think there were seven brothers who were wrestlers and seven sisters and all the sisters married wrestlers, and they were all
offspring children of Stu hart who
Was a wrestling impresario like 40 years ago
and it was it was such a cool documentary because I was always wondering why in the world did people watch wrestling and
And then believe it you know believe it. Do you believe movies when you go watch them? It's like
That's a hard question to answer while you're there you do and so if you're watching wrestling, and you're a wrestling fan
Do you believe it? Well it is a matter of belief?
It's a matter of being engaged in a drama and there are different levels of drama right so let's say worldwide wrestling
Federation drama is not the most sophisticated form of drama, okay?
But I'm not being a not being a smart aleck when I'm saying that
There is drama of different sophistication for different people, and that's also why religious truths exist at multiple levels simultaneously
Right it is got to [be] something in it for everyone, and that's a hard belief system
that's a hard system to put together something for the
Unbelievably sophisticated and something for the common person okay?
So we have wrestling and bret hart was a good guy, and he fell into the archetype of being a good guy
And that's partly what [the] what the story's about. It was a bit too much for him, but um
One of the things that he he laid out
So carefully where because he figured that 120 million people knew him something like that and that everywhere he went
he was treated like a hero and he found out quite a bit of quite a burden as you could imagine if you think about
It but he portrayed. What was happening in the wrestling ring as
classic good against evil but not
Conceptualized and discussed right embodied thought out acted out
You know like like the like thor and the hulk except like right in front of you and so
That's exactly this sort of thing. I mean we could consider hockey more sophisticated than wrestling perhaps and
As I said I'm not being a critic of these, I'm not being
Critically minded about these things I understand their purpose, and I would highly recommend that documentary it's a brilliant documentary
But this is it's the same thing. It's a silver cup right. It's like there's the hero of the team
That's the hero of the team's you know here's something cool
if you're the fan of the
blue Jays are the Toronto maple leafs of course this hardly ever happens to you if you're the fan of the Toronto maple leafs because
they always lose, but haha but but if
You're watching a game and your team wins and we take your testosterone
Levels then they went up
And if you watch the Toronto maple leafs and they lost, and you're a fan then your testosterone levels go down
So that's pretty damn funny. You know. I mean really don't you see how deeply instantiated. This is in people
I mean it bloody well alters your biochemistry like your your your testosterone levels. It's all more my team loss
You know it's like ah do. We know there'll be nothing in it for the wife tonight. You know
Well, this is the cosmos I think from from the phenomenological perspective and one of the things that that that has come
To my realization is that this is real?
This is real. It's not a metaphor
[it's] [way] deeper than a metaphor the most real things about life are the place you don't know and the place you know and
You could say well that's explored territory and unexplored territory that's real and it's been around forever back to the lobsters
You know if you put lobsters in their new place the first thing
They do is go around their territory finding places to hide and also making a burrow so the first thing
They do is establish what they know?
Against what they don't know and [that's] real it's real from the Darwinian perspective
And we're going to say that what's real from the Darwinian perspective is plenty real enough because we're alive [and] everything and so that sort
Of thing matters like well, that's what this is the taoist symbol. That's what it says. Is that what way it says?
What is experience made of?
Eternally that's easy
Chaos and order and
In every bit of Chaos. There's the possibility of order and in every bit of order
There's the possibility of Chaos, and that's the way right. That's the path of life
That's life itself and where you're supposed to be is right on the border between the two of those and why is that?
stable enough
Engaged enough, right?
So not only are you doing what you should be doing you're doing [in] a way that increases the probability that you'll do it better
tomorrow and you can tell when you're doing that because
You're engaged you're in the right time and place and your your neurology tells you that that's what
meaning is that's what transcendent meaning is and that's so cool because I also think [that] that is the antidote to
Existential suffering the antidote to existential suffering is to be at the right place at the right time and you know?
You want to get technical about it okay anxiety and pain?
That's the cause that's the reality of the existential [so] suffering okay
So let's say you're in the right place at the right time what happens to you, biochemically?
Dopaminergic activation, what does that do?
Suppresses anxiety and it's analgesic now
it's more than that because also produces positive emotion and the desire [to] move forward and it underlies creativity and
And so so not only do you get the positive engagement from a neurochemical?
Perspective you get the analgesia and you get the anti end and you get the reduction of [anxiety] so it's not hypothetical
It's and it is the case that the dopaminergic systems those are the exploratory systems unbelievably ancient and archaic are
activated when you're optimally positioned to be
To be what?
Incorporating new information, which is what human beings do because we're information foragers, and so we want to be secure
But building on [our] security at the same time and then we want to do it for ourselves
We want to do it for other people we want to do it for our families
We want to do it for broader Society we want to bring the whole world
Together in alignment to do that, and that's meaningful
And God only knows what we could do about the suffering of the world if we did that you know we have no idea
What we could do if [we] started doing things properly and maybe so many of the things that dismay us about life
We could we could stop
I mean
We stopped a lot of them in the last hundred years you [know] things are a lot better than they were a hundred years ago
Obviously, they're not perfect, but [a] hundred years ago
120 years ago man, you know the average person in the western world lived on less than a dollar a day in today's dollars
It's like you just try that for a week and see how much fun that is
so the daoists
Well, what is this well?
This is the pre cosmogonic Chaos out of which the [word] of [God] extracted habitable order at the beginning of time
It's the same thing. It's the [same] thing and [that] Chaos
We'll talk a bit more about [that] later
I guess because it's a very complicated thing to to describe, but it's certainly the thing that when you encounter
The Chaos is what you encounter when the twin towers fall?
right you remember what that was [like] right, so
It was it was september 10th. Well that was the world everyone knew what the world was like and then it was september 11th
and everyone walked around day for three days because
the [Building's] [failed]
But so what you can see a building fall, you can understand what it's what happens when a building falls
So then what's going on with the being dazed well?
it's the Chaos that underlies our habitable order manifested itself in those buildings [collapse] was a Brilliant act of Terrorism and
Everyone was frozen and curious because that's how we react to that sort of thing the it's like
It's like the shark. You know remember that famous
That famous movie poster for jaws with the woman swimming on the top of the water and that terrible
Leviathan shark underneath coming up to to take her out. Well that's life man
That's the world and now and then you see [that] [and] when something falls like the twin towers fall you
remember that the Ocean below you the abyss right the primordial abyss that bloody thing is deep and
Then you're fragile, and that happens when [someone] betrays you and it's happened
It happens to you when your dreams fall apart you encounter that Chaos again from which the world is extracted
And then you're called upon to act out
attention and the word in order to bring the world back into order and none of that is
none of that is
Superstitious none of that is superstitious none of that's even metaphorical. It's real
Its ribs more real than anything else, and I [think] the reason for that in part is that
This has been it's been this way forever
Right as long as there's been life
this has been the rule of life and
That's the cosmos that's reality. That's what we inhabit
And so one of the things you know the the so-called new atheists
And I they don't want to go on a tangent about new atheists because I think atheists are often remarkably honest and very
consistent in their analysis, so
But I just don't think they're taking the problem seriously that like I don't think they take their evolutionary
theorizing nearly
With the seriousness that it that it necessitates, and I don't think that I
Don't think that you can dispute the proposition that the longer something has had a selection effect
Life the more real it [is] it's the fundamental
axiom of Darwinian biology
And I think the Darwinian world is more real than the [physical] world that was the argument that I was trying to have with
with Sam Harris, and I didn't do the world's best job with that although it went not too bad the second time, but it's
It's not something to be taken lightly. [it's] a very
serious Profound and meaningful
proposition and
People [act] [it] out and want to act it out whether they know it or not
That's Marduk
So the story of Marduk, I'll just give it to you very briefly
Time at an apse who are locked in embrace at the beginning of time goddess of [saltwater]. God of freshwater?
Together Chaos an order right they give rise
Masculine feminine they give rise [to] the world of the elder gods and those are to me their primordial
motivational forces or something like [that] and
Their rage and their lust and their love and all these things that possess us that are there forever
and they're out in the world acting and they carelessly slay absolu their father and
they're making a racket and then they
Collapse ooh and then time at
gives wind of [that], and that's a [timeout] right there by the way she's kind of a rough looking creature and
She's a mother of all things and so she's not very happy about this. They said though these her children have destroyed
structure itself Plus
They're noisy and Careless and so she thinks all right, just like Noah
Just like the God that brings the flood to know what exactly the same idea time ad comes back
It says yeah, okay enough is enough. I'm going to take you out and she makes this
Battalion of monsters and puts the worst monster there is at the head of the Battalion. His name is King
He's like a precursor to the idea of Satan and she lets the gods know hey
I'm coming for you, and so they're not very happy about this because their gods, but like yeah
She's Chaos itself right she gave birth to everything. This is no joke and so they send one
God out after another to confront her and they all come [back] with the tails between their legs
There's no hope and then one day
There's a new God that emerges in that marduk and the gods know as soon as he pops up they know he's something new
Remember and this is happening [while] the mesopotamians are assembling themselves into one of the world's first great
Civilizations so all the gods of all those tribes are coming together to [organize] themselves into a hierarchy to figure out
What proposition rules everything and so marduk is elected by all the gods and he says look I'll go out there
And I'll take on time at but here's the rule from here on you follow me. I determine destiny
I'm the top God I'm the [thing] at the top of the hierarchy and all the other gods say hey look no problem you get
rid of Chaos
We do exactly what you say now marduk. [he] [has] eyes all the way around his head and he speaks Magic words
Those are his primary attributes
and so he takes a net and he goes out to confront time out and and he he
He encloses her in a net which
I think is so cool because it's an encapsulation right? It's a conceptual encapsulation. He encloses Chaos itself in a conceptual structure
he puts it in the net and then he cuts her into pieces and he makes the world and
Then he creates human beings to inhabit [that] world and to serve the gods
and he creates human beings out of the blood of king of the worst of the demons and
That took me to call into young as the student might help me figure that out. I thought that's pretty damn pessimistic
It's like you know what exactly it sounds like a fall metaphor. It's like the idea of original sin, but but our
joint Conclusion
With regards to that with it human beings are the only creatures in creation that can truly deceive
Right we have the capacity for evil. Just like it says in the Adam and Eve story
We can actually do that
and that's why we're made out of the blood of king of the king of the demons the
We are the thing that can deceive that can twist the structure of reality?
well, so marduk now the mesopotamians had an emperor right and the emperor was the
Avatar of Marduk that's what made him emperor. He was only at emperor
if he was going to be marduk he had to be a good marduk which Mantia do confront time at Chaos and
Cut her off and make or out of her pieces and what the method name is used to do at the New Year's celebration
They go outside the walled city, and that's explored territory versus unexplored territory
They go outside their walled city into [Chaos] and they bring all the statues that represented the gods
And they'd act this out because they're trying to figure something out right you're trying to figure [out] what this means
They're acting it out, and then they take their emperor and the priest would make them kneel, and [they'd] take all his king
equally all his king uniform off his emperor uniform off and
Make him kneel and humiliate him and nail him with a glove and say okay
How were you not a good [marduk] this year right? And then he'd recount all the ways that he was inadequate in
confronting Chaos, and then they do the celebration and marduk would win and and the king would go sleep with a royal prostitute and and
The reason for that was it's the same [idea] st.. George pulling the virgin from the dragon
it's exactly the same idea that if you call if you encounter the
Reptilian Chaos you can extract something out of it with which if you unite, you produce creative order
That's what they were acting out, and that was the basis for the mesopotamian idea of sovereignty. It's so smart
it's so unbelievably smart and you know the mesopotamians had a massive influence on the
civilizations that then had a massive influence on assets one of the stories of how the notion of sovereignty itself came to be it's the
Evolution of the idea of God that's one way of thinking about it
But even more importantly it's the evolution of the idea of the redemptive human being right?
And that's taken - it's one of its conclusions following the story of buddha
But also in the story of christ the idea of the perfect individual and the notion is well
That's the word that speaks truth into Chaos at the beginning of time to generate habitable order that is good
That's the story and so with that
Let's See oh
Sure, I'll just show you these [pictures] because they're so interesting once you know what they mean, they're so cool. That's a symbol of infinity
[let's] Hercules and Hydra. What's life like cut off one head what happens?
Seven more grow right, what do you do run hold well? No, that's not what you do it
This is what you do you fight it
It's the it's the Chaos that generates
Partial Chaos, it's the ultimate Chaos that generates partial Chaos
But that Chaos also is what Revista finds life because otherwise it would just be static
The head of the Hydra right freeze of you, I'd [saint] George. He's doing it peacefully which is so interesting right?
He's got a beatific look on his face in that particular representation another [Saint] George right the virgin in the background
I think that's say dan if I remember correctly
St.. George is the Patron Saint of England
Here's an interesting one this actually sheds light on on the human proclivity for Warfare St.. George
That's a Muslim soldier
It's really easy to transform the enemy into the dragon right because the enemy is often the predator and we do that instantaneously
Right without a second thought and so then we can go to war morally because why not take out the snakes?
well, you know the problem is where are the snakes or maybe they're outside and maybe they're not maybe they're in this room and even
Worse maybe they're in you and that's wisdom when you know that they're in you.
Why wouldn't she be happy about that especially [if] she had a especially if she had a child right seriously?
and that's [horace] right the god of vision and he was a
He was a falken because Falcons have great vision and they fly above everything and they can see everything so that was the egyptian created
God horus, and I'll tell you the story about horus at some points well
Now here are some pictures that demonstrate what I had
Described as the emergence of let's say the meta hero out of the hero
So there's the person you [admire], and then there's the set of people that you admire
[and] then there's the meta set of admirable people and the extraction of that ideal as far as I can tell that's just what's portrayed
in these images
That's a great one. It's very sophisticated image you see that the two sides of Christ's face are not
One is God in ones man. That's what that icon means and so the fully developed person in this representation. [it's] one of the oldest
representations of this sort that we know the idea is that
There's a there's a human person
In his ordinariness let's say, and then there's this this kinship with the divine that's associated with the willing
adoption of the responsibilities of Moral Mortal being and that produces this union
And then it's manifest in a book right because that's speech, and it's associated with the son right it's the proper way of being
And that's a perfect example. I think of the emergence of the archetype out of the multitude. That's what it looks like to me
and so I guess now we're done with Genesis one and took three lectures, but
[God's] complicated you know, that's the thing
so thank you and
Next week by all appearances. That's where we are so we've got
20 minutes for questions
So in the past I've done some work with blog big brother big sister and whatever
[that] being said that the most common story I tend to hear from pacific youth is that they write they're raised in a single family
Home usually [with] a mom daddy's there on a picture in alcoholic, whatever whatever the writer
So we have this child who is trying to?
Seek ways to make himself healthy and Empower himself in a ways that a healthy father should have done
So you know between the formative years [of] like 1 to 4 so I think you know I'm going with this
How let's say for someone who born without like a good father figure where would they go out in the world or like what?
for series of incidents where they try to expose themselves to to like
gain access to that
balancing of health and
Knowledge that a father though a good father figure should have provided to in the first place
[ok] well partly
I mean certainly to some degree a good mother can provide that right to some degree although
it's hard for one person to be everything right you know and I think one of the conundrums that face women and this is [a]
Tough one and this is why I think women are higher in trade agreeableness and higher and trade negative emotion
Is that you know the primary?
Problem that a woman has with an infant is why not throw it out a window because it's very annoying right?
I mean, it's there all the [time]. It's constant demand
It's absolutely constant amount tremendous dependency and so a woman has to be tilted Towards Mercy
That's how it looks to me
Right and especially during it's so important during the especially the first year when children are so unbelievably vulnerable
And so I think it's very difficult for women to be merciful like that and to make the shift to encouraging
Disciplinarian I think that's a very difficult thing for people to do
simultaneously although
You know people people. I'm not saying that women are always only merciful and men are always only encouraging disciplinarians
But things do sort themselves out to some degree [like] that, and I think also the biochemical transformations
That accompany pregnancy and childbirth and lactation also tilt a mother towards that as well
We have to really love that little thing right it's it's number one
No matter what it demands, and then telling it what to do and making sure it's behaving properly
That's that's a whole [different] issue now, but the kids who Lack fathers. I mean
first of all they can find that to some [degree] in their friends
And that's often what father boys do in particular they go into gangs and they generate the missing men
Masculinity in the game well that's not so good because like what the hell do they know
Well, they don't know anything, right?
They're just stupid kids
And they're like [fifteen] years old and the testosterone is pumping and they're trying to get the hell [away] from their mother
Which is what they're supposed [to] do and and they're not in the right position [to] exercise any authority over themselves
So that's that's not good. They can find it in education. They can find it in books they can find it in movies
They can find it in sports heroes and so forth because the image of the father is fragmented and distributed among the community
But it's very very difficult
To not have a father
[right] and you know one [of] the things that we're doing in our society which I think is I think it's absolutely
Appalling is that we're making the case that all families are equal. It's like sorry no wrong
Then there's no empirical data supporting that proposition by the way
It's much better for kids to have two parents know who those parents are that's a whole different issue, okay?
and if I could just
[add] one [more] thing of how would you ask that question so let's see a daughter [was] raised not a father because [she] would all
See have different ways to find those fragments of her missing [father] than like a boy would instead because obviously they're raised differently at least
They should have been well. I think it's the same issue. You know. I mean. I think that another danger that emerges Mrs.
Freud's of course famous observation is that you know if there's mom and child were father and child that
relationship can get a little closer than it should and
Then the lines get blurry and mixed and I'm not saying that that happens to everyone
Obviously, but but it's still a danger that that's inherent in the situation
They're thrust together too tightly without
sufficient resources
and so the responsibility has to be distributed more and like I really do think that it's the sign of the degeneration of the
Society when that when when single parenthood becomes anything approximating the norm it's not a good idea
then the and part of the reason I believe that and I [think] this has to do with the
overwhelming selfishness of
Modern life is that marriage isn't for the people who are married
It's for the children [obviously] [and] like if you can't handle that grow the hell up see right now. I mean seriously yeah seriously
Thank you
Once you once you have kids it is not about you
period Now that doesn't mean it isn't about you at all but
That just seems so self-evident to me. I can't believe that anybody would even would even question it. Oh, it's [dino] larson
Oh, yes, well, I'm certainly aware of that yes. It's questioned. It's almost illegal to question it now you know [to] to or
illegal to make the set of propositions [that] I'm making so
That's the best. I can do guys excellent. Thank you
The question is going in part two the first part of first up here lecture, but it's also something that's been on my mind
Listening to your lectures over the past few months, and that's when we talk about
Psychological truth or significance of the Bible to what extent does that psychological psychological truth has to be embodied in specific?
Historical events or people and so for instance the thing that sort of been bugging on my mind
There's there's a part that st.. Paul is talking about in the new testament somewhere
In one of his letters, and he's talking to the resurrection, and he says if it didn't happen
Then if this whole thing just means the [faith] is meaningless like for him there had to be that
Embodiment of that his capital. Yes
The nor event in that case
Well the best answer I have to that at the moment is that I'm really happy that I'm not at that point yet in this
lecture series
you know because because that there's a there's a crucial issue there, and I don't know exactly what to make of it and
My approach at the moment as I said is to approach this as rationally as I possibly can and I hope I know a hell
of a lot more about what I'm doing by the time I get to that particular [question] [and]
I do have
The beginnings of ways to answer that but I'm not going to answer that at all right now because it's so bloody complicated that would
Just burn me to a frazzle and I'm already mostly bird to a frazzle after that lecture, so I
Couldn't attempt to even start to sketch it out
I don't know. [I] mean part of it is to be just rational about it just to be rational about it
There is something about the idea that continual death and rebirth is a necessary precondition to proper human adaptation
every time you learn something new that's important part of the stupid old you [has] to die and
Sometimes that can be an awful lot of you and in fact it can be so much of you sometimes that you just die
Right you just can't handle it
And so there is there is a real idea that you have to identify with the part of [yourself] that
Transcends [your] current personality that can constantly die and be reborn
Now then I could say well that means that all of this is psychological and symbolic, and that's the simplest answer
But I'm not satisfied with that answer even though
I think it's coherent and complete because the [world] [is] a very weird place and there are things about it that we don't understand so
so I can't go I can't go any farther than that at the moment, so
Hi, Dr.. Peterson. I just recently watched
One of your videos of you debating with transgendered protesters at uoft
free speech Rally in October and
one of the
Protesters one of the comments one of the protesters said to you which [isn't] particularly very like very chilling was
Why do you have the right to determine whether an individual is worthy of you using their pronouns?
The scary thing to me is how common this type [of] view is among Radical Left-Wing?
[protesters] on University campuses who feel they have the right to tell other people
What they [can] think what words they can use and what speakers they can or cannot listen to?
The even scarier part is that our government is creating legislations to back up their ADl?
which is evident through [Bill] C16
M103 and Bill 89
So my question is what do you think the [endgame] is in all this because it seems?
Every year or we're in the process of finding that out?
You know and I'm sorry. I'm sorry
Okay, we're in [the] [process] of finding that out
I don't I mean I think the endgame that underlies all of that in my estimation
Is best summed up by jacques?
Derrida's [Christiane] [her] criticism [of] western Civilization its Fal logo centric now
We've already talked about what the logos means
Right and so and and so for for Derrida that was a sign of its utter
What would you call it utter despit the dot early despicable dominant nature of Western Culture
Well that that's what animates the post modernists now. They may not know that because
an Indie ology gets fragmented
across its Adherents
And then it only acts as the coherent ideology with all those adherents come together in a mob and then you see the animating spirit
So I
Said I think that there's a battle going on. That's a battle exactly at the level that Derrida
Described and that's a theological battle with a philosophical
With it with the philosophical implications
And out of those philosophical implications come political implications, but it's not primarily political and it's not primarily philosophical
It's deeper than that and the post modernists are out
There their criticism was designed to be
Fundamental and it also emerged out of Marxism and let's not forget that the Marxist Criticism was not only fundamental
But just about resulted in the nuclear annihilation of the [girl] these are not trivial issues, and we're back in the same
Insane boat and so what do I think should be done about that well?
I thought about that way before any of this happened, and I think that what?
We [should] do about it is we [should] tell the truth
Because there isn't anything more powerful than that
And that's the right theological answer because the spoken truth brings good into being
Well, that's the [Fal] logo centric idea
And I'm trying to revisit that to explain to people what it means and to see if they think that's a good idea. [I] mean
that's what we have to figure out is it is that an idea worth adhering to or not the alternative [is] the
[C4] the post Modernists the world is that landscape of pyramids that I described, but there's no
Transcendent vision that's over above that and all of those pyramids are equally valid and it's a war [of] everyone against everyone
It's like it's like the nightmare of hobbes thomas hobbes except that it's not individuals. It's groups and everyone's that group
You're a group. [you're] whatever your group is it's like that's death as far as I'm concerned
it's it's it's utterly reprehensible and
We better sort it out because if we don't sort it out. We are bloody well going to pay for it, so
Thank you
Hey, how's it going? I just want to say thank you for doing all this and I really appreciate that's Bob and doug mcKenzie
Right yeah, hey how's it going? Yeah?
I'm glad you caught that yeah yeah, yeah, well I did a Facebook poll
Yeah, people who are familiar with where your work and a question kind of rose to the top like just?
Right out of their lives
Spectacular and what it was you didn't really touch it here, but you touched it a bit in your lectures
It was about integrating the shadow yep, and one of [the] main questions was how does one
Go about that, especially in the Modern world. You know like
Really sheltered from anything resembling that kind of concept you know we don't engage like the unknown we don't
Come into life-or-death situations most of us [must] [rework] is like an ambulance. [you] know
Well, that's one thing you can do with that is one thing you can do. You know well?
Yeah, you can search out experiences that put you there
That's that's that's you know because well, you can do that as a volunteer for example
I mean, you can one of the things I saw once
[Within] montreal I was in this outdoor mall in Montreal on St.. Hubert and
saw this great big 17 year old kid you know and
He had a mohawk and he was dressed in leather
And he with you know studs and like he was he was
He was doing the water and Barbarian thing and he had it really down
And [you] know he's standing on the corner with two pink shopping bags
Hey, because look into him
And I thought you know if someone offered him the ID
The opportunity to drop those goddamn sleeping bags or shopping bags and go fight with isis
He'd be there in a second
Yeah, right, because what the hell is some monster like that doing standing on the corner of St.. Hubert alden [-] pink shopping bags
So I mean so some of it is that it you need you need to find out where you can push where you could you?
Can need to find out that edge that you can push yourself against the tree
It's going to be different for different people
But there's there's that's the call to adventure and heroism
And there are life and death situations everywhere around you if you want to involve yourself in them
you know
an idiot sometimes that might be
like to put yourself together to the degree that you can say physically or spiritually or intellectually it could be an
intellectual Battle it could be a Moral battle like the
Frontier is everywhere
the Frontier is just the Edge between what you know and what you don't know you want to put yourself on that damn edge and
Then make yourself into something and and you can retreat into comfort in the modern world, and I think that is a problem
You know I mean I've noticed that
It's one of the pathologies of wealth I would say because one of the problems with [being]
Relatively wealthy if you're a parent
is that you cannot provide your children with necessity, and that's a big problem, because they need necessity to call them into being and
You know if you don't have a lot of material resources and your children ask you for something you?
Can say no because no is the [answer] it's like
No, you can't do that, but if you can say yes, then it's really hard to say no because then you're just arbitrary well
I don't know
it's like
Kierkegaard said you know there will come a time when we have so much security and comfort that what we'll want more than anything else
is part
deprivation and challenge, and I think I think that's
particularly, what young men want
Now I think that that's partly because young women
they're stuck with that anyways because they have to it's it's it's the necessity of living in the world and
The responsibility of infant care in particular [like] that occupies them men have to do it voluntarily
Women now - because of the birth control pill, but you know that's [what] thirty years ago
We hardly have to talk [about] that at all yes, so
Then you have so much
Hi, Dr.. Peterson, so I'm actually a coptic orthodox and egyptian, so I found [you're] [talking] [a] incredibly interesting
I've also taken a deep interest in the old church fathers and as if you're talking about Iraqis I [arkin] back to St.
Athanasius when the idea feels is that you brought up last time that God became man so that man can become like God
So I was thinking about the systems of the hierarchies and is that an example [of] at the top of the pyramid the Hierarchy?
sort of gets inverted or
descends to the bottom and brings it up and to the top and that sort of an attraction to of Christianity that sort of
Made Christianity such a powerful idea. What are your thoughts on that? Oh?
well, it's certainly one [of] the I mean it's certainly one of the things that we not just Christianity a powerful idea because one of
the things that happened this was called the democratization of
Osiris if I remember correctly and like what happened see if I can answer this question
Using this approach for sex is that going to work?
Hmm, I
don't know if I can answer that [question] that way the the
part of the attraction of
Christianity, but this was something that emerged across time was the notion that even if you were in a lowly position that there was something
About you that was akin to the divine and now you might say well, that's just wish fulfillment
That's what freud would say that's what Marx would say right the opiate of the masses
Tweeted yesterday something. I thought was pretty funny which was that
like religion was the opiate of the masses
but that marxism was the methamphetamine of the max of the masses, so
So so I think the attraction was that it it [it]
Allowed people to recognize their intrinsic dignity and one of the things I've been thinking about is the juxtaposition
Between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 because what I was in genesis 2 is that human beings collapse and fall?
right and then were these fallen creatures that no evil, but in the beginning in Genesis 1
It's really [an] optimistic story because it says well
we're the sorts of creatures that partake in the calling forth of being from Chaos and
Then that's in our essential nature and to some degree if you juxtapose both of those it's as if that's the entire biblical story
rammed Together in the first two chapters
Which is partly why we're taking so long to get through this by the way is that
to return to genesis 1 is the antidote to genesis 2 it's like to continue to Act out the
Doctrine that you're made in God's image
And that means that you're you're capable of speaking good being into existence through truth
And that that's also the antidote to the fall which I think is actually the fundamental
narrative message of the entire Biblical structure, and I also think of [western] civilization for that matter, so
There's a nobility and this is also
I think Nietzsche was fundamentally wrong in his [criticism] with Christianity because he thought about it and slaves morality you know the
vengeance of the bottom against the talk
That's more historical than theological so it gives dignity it
illuminates the dignity [of] the human being and
Requires responsibility so it's not just wish fulfillment
It's not freudian wish fulfillment the freudian theory which I thought about a lot is
Not tenable in my estimation it also doesn't account for the [existence] of hell because if it's only wish fulfillment, why bother with hell
It means a lot more
If you're really going to just fulfill a wish it's like everybody gets to go to Heaven no matter what they do
You don't have hell which was of course something absolutely terrifying to medieval Christians and then to plenty of people now for that matter
It's the nobility it's the idea of the nobility that I thinks deeply attractive to people, and that's all there is I mean
What you have to fight against your worm-like?
Fragile Mortal existence is the possibility of
Transcending that with nobility of speech and act. That's what you have and who can hear that without feeling
Ennoble by that now you might say well you might shudder and say well, I don't I can't bear the responsibility
[it's] like well fair enough, man. You know I mean that that's a reasonable criticism, but the consequence of not bearing the [responsibility] is
That's hell really so thank you
And thank you very much beautiful um I don't know feel familiar with the words of Nasan Talib
I'm reasonably familiar with them, so I think it's sad [to] say that he has
He talked about the idea that
People and especially modern people have a failure to recognize
the Unknown Unknowns
Yeah, such yes, right. That's a good way of thinking about it
Can you move the mic up a bit so that people can hear you a little better? Thanks gary. Yes um
Well, I was wondering do you think that that failure might?
Might be in some way related to the way that modern people
fail [to] relate to the idea of God so in the sense that
your people can't
Really grapple with the notion of God
I think as much as you can give a rational [argument] or you can't feel God in the way that perhaps a more religious person
or more
[an] older person might have
Felt God do you think that that inability to?
the Unknown Unknowns might play into
That yeah, well they're okay so that seems to be related to this idea of the absence of necessity
That's something like that. Is that no because I think that I think that what you're you're making a claim?
Maybe tell me if I've got it wrong that if you're sheltered too much
Then it also
It also separates you from anything that's divine
[I] guess that might be right because there's not enough intensity of the experience and something like that
is that is that part of the is that part of the issue it might be more related [to] the idea of
realizing the absolute infinite root of what you don't know like the like the mysterium tremendum that that kind of
You know if you believe that through statistical analysis you can get everything under control and you genuinely believe that at some point
You'll get it or wonder you know. Yeah, okay? Well, so okay, so so well, that's also
I think part of the danger of
Rationality that the Catholics have been implicitly warning again forever
Is that rather rational mind tends to fall in love with its own productions and then to worship them as absolutes?
Which is I think what [Melville] was trying to represent?
by his Satanic figure in Paradise lost [I] think about as like a precursor a prophetic precursor to the emergence of
Totalitarian states in the Modern world and so yeah, I think that you can believe that
What you know is?
Sufficient to Banish permanently what you don't know and I do think that that does
Paradoxically although you think that that would make you secure it also does destroy your relationship with with with with
With the spirit that might help you deal [with] what it [is] that you really don't know with the unknown unknowns, so [yeah]
I mean, we don't know to what degree extreme experience is necessary
to bring Forth extreme
Experience right what do you have to be through before you encounter a religious revelation?
Well people might say well, you can't because there's no such thing. It's like well. Don't be so sure about that
I mean people have reported them [to] row history, but they don't generally occur when your that's my favorite tropen
You're eating [cheesie's] [and] playing you know and playing Mario brothers, right?
So yeah, so that's the best I can do with that engine yes. Yeah
This has to be the last question [all] right
I'll make it quick yeah earlier when you talked about
Criminality and creativity trends in that in men peaking at 14 it reminded me of something. You said, I think it was Joe Rogan
[talking] about Sjw's and
Kind of and how they create their own Chaos talking about how adolescents have this drive to change the world
And I was wondering if if those three the criminality creativity drive to change the world are
linked and if so if they manifest differently in men and women
And if they [kind] of come from the same, era well, I think they are linked
But I'm going to concentrate more on the net second part of your question
So I'm going to ask you two guys some think about something, so I talked to a friend of mine the other day
He's a very very smart guy and we've been talking about
While all the sorts of things that we've been [talking] about tonight for a long time and we were talking about the relatively
relative evolutionary roles of men and women this is speculative obviously and and
Because our research did indicate it's tentative research so far that that the the sgs
Sjw Sort of equality above all else Philosophy is more prevalent among women
Well, it's predicted by the personality factors that are more common among women so agreeable this and high negative emotion
primarily agreeableness, but in addition
It's also predicted by being female
And that's interesting because in most of the personality research that I've done and as far as I know in the literature at
you know in more broadly speaking most of the time you can get rid of the
attitudinal differences between men and women or at least reduce them [by] controlling for personality
so if you take a feminine man, and a masculine woman then you know that the [polls]
reverse but that didn't seem to be the case with political correctness, and so I've been thinking about that a lot because
well men [are] bailing out of the humanities like mad and
Pretty much out of the universities except for stem the women are moving in like mad
And they're also moving into the political sphere like math
And this is new right we've never had this happen before and we do know [no]
do not know what the significance of it is it's only 50 years old and
So we were thinking about this and so, I don't know what you think about this proposition, but imagine that that historically speaking
it's something like
Women were responsible for distribution and men were responsible for production
Something like that, and maybe maybe that's only the case really in the tight confines of the immediate family
But that doesn't matter because that's most of the evolutionary landscape for human beings anyways
What the women does it did was make sure that everybody got enough?
okay, and that seems to me to be one of the things that's driving at least in part the Sjw demand for for equity and
Equality it's like let's make sure everybody [has] enough. It's like both look fair enough
You know I mean you can't you can't argue with that
But there's there's an antipathy between that and the [the] reality of differential productivity
[you] know because people really do differ in their productivity, so
All right, so to answer your question fully. I do think that the rebellious tendency of adolescence is
Associated both with that criminality spike, especially among men and with creativity. Yes
I think that the sJw phenomena is different
and I think it is associated at least in part with the rise of women to political power and and
We don't know what women are life when they have political power because they've never had it
I mean
There's been [queens] obviously and that sort of thing [just] being female authority figures and females have
Wielded far more power historically than feminists generally like to admit
But this is a different thing and we don't know what [a] truly female political philosophy would be like but it might be
Especially if it's not been well examined and it isn't very sophisticated conceptually it could easily be well
Let's make sure things are distributed equally well yeah
But sorry that's that's just not going to do you fly do you think in terms of the rest of this?
Jw's and you talked about last lecture as well creating Chaos when there is none otherwise. It'd be static
Do you think there would be any validity in saying that in a country [like] Canada were pretty gender equal is
There any merit to thinking Sjw's are trying to create Chaos
Even when they're arguably is none on the mass level obviously there's still problems
Why would they do that otherwise it would be static and that well doesn't if it wouldn't for them
So I read this I read this quote once and I don't remember who
Who said it it might have been robert heinlein for crying out loud science fiction author that Springs to mind
But a problem it probably wasn't
And his the proposition was that men tested ideas and that women tested men, and I kind of like that
There's something about that. You know and now it obviously it's an [over] [generalization], but we also don't know to what degree
women test men Cheerilee through
Provocation it's a lot because like if you want to test someone you don't have a like little
Conversation [with] them like you [poke] the hell out of them
And you say okay like I'm going to let go after you and see where your weak spots are and it seems to me that
This it seems to me that in this constant
protest and use of shame and all of that that goes along with this with this sort of radical movement towards egalitarianism that there's a
Tremendous amount of provocation and
God, I'm going to say this too even though
I shouldn't but it but we mean how I don't believe this, but I'm trying trying to figure it out
You know I thought it was absolutely
Comical when [fifty] [Shades] of [Grey] came out a not just I [just] thought that was just so insanely comical that at the same time
there's this massive political demand for like radical equality and and
And say with regards to sexual behavior and the fastest-selling novel the world had ever seen
Was S&M domination right? It's like. Oh, well. We know where the unconscious is going with that one don't leave and
and sometimes I think like because one of the things that I've really tried to puzzle out and
It's not like I believe this right
I'm just telling you what I wear the edges of my thinking of being going is that you have this crazy
Alliance between the feminists and the radical islamist that I just do not get it's like the [feminists]
[it's] like why they aren't protesting non-stop about Saudi
Arabia is just
Completely Beyond me
like I do not
Understand it in the least and I wonder - I just wonder bloody well is this is the [freudian] means that is there an attraction?
You know the is there an attraction that's emerging among the female radicals for that
Totalitarian male dominance that they've chased out of the [west]
And I mean that's a hell of a thing to think but I after all I am
[psychoanalytically] [minded] and I do think things like that because like [I] just can see no rational reason for it the only other
Rational reason is that well the west needs to fall and so the enemy of my enemy is our [yeah]
It's a guy exactly now. What is it? I thought that wrong with the enemy of enemy is my friends
Yes, exactly [so] Elements tend to vote liberal as well. Yes
Well, so that that could be the case
but I am not going to shake my suspicions about this unconscious balancing because as the demand for
egalitarianism and the eradication of masculinity
Accelerates there's going to be a longing in the unconscious for the precise opposite for the [problem] of that right the more you want you?
Scream for equality the more your unconscious is going to admire
Dominance and
Well, that's that's that's well. That's how you think if your cycle analytically minded
And you know I'm a great admirer of freud
he knew a hell of a lot [more] than people like to think and and so which is partly why everyone still hates him even
Though it's late a hundred years since he's you know really really being around so all right. We should stop
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Biblical Series III: God and the Hierarchy of Authority

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Оксана Дякова published on March 28, 2020
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