2017 Maps of Meaning 12: Final: The Divinity of the Individual

2017 Maps of Meaning 12: Final: The Divinity of the Individual

I Started that I started the beginning of the class three months ago talking to you about What it what the problem was that I was trying to address? and The fundamental problem was the problem of belief systems and the issue is was what precisely constitutes a belief system and Then a secondary question was why are people so inclined to even engage in conflict to Maintain and Expand their belief systems and then maybe a sub question of that and is there an alternative to conflict with regards to belief systems and then the last issue Was something like well. Is there a way of judging the relative quality of belief systems? And so those are all very very complicated questions, I mean the first one is something like How is it possible to understand the structures by which we orient ourselves in the world the second one is something like What’s the pSychological significance? Precisely of those systems. What role does it play in? psychological health and maybe also in Social health the next one is can you make a [non] [relativistic] case when you assess an array of different value systems and then link to that is is it possible to hierarchically organized value systems in The manner that’s justifiable, so that something can be reasonably considered in a superior or subordinate position now the last question Drew my attention because because of the implications of the first set and the last question drew my attention because I Was trying to sort out the metaphysics in some sense of the cold war? the question was was this just a battleground between two hypothetically equally appropriate belief systems which would could be a morally immoral relativistic perspective right it’s belief systems are arbitrary and So combat between them is in some sense inevitable and even more to the point there isn’t any other way around the discontinuity in some sense other than combat or subordination because there’s no way of adjudicating a Victor because there’s no such thing as victory if there’s no way of ranking value systems. It’s arbitrary As a frightening prospect because it means that if you have a value system, and I have a value system And they’re different and they’re different [I] mean we can talk or you can subordinate yourself, or I could do the same But there’s also no [reason] why we shouldn’t just engage in Flat-out Conflict now it’s complicated in the modern world obviously by the fact that conflict can become so [untraveled] that it risks destroying everything and that doesn’t seem necessarily to be in anyone’s best interest unless Your interest haps happens to be in destroying everything and certainly there are no shortage of people whose interests tilt in that direction Alright, so the first question was well. What does it mean to have a belief [system] and That’s a very complicated problem, and I think It’s a subset of the question of being Maybe you can break the question of being into two domains Which we’ve done in this class, and you could say well, you can assess being From the perspective of what exists and then you can assess being from the perspective of how? You ought to act? so it’s like you walk into a room and you can describe the furniture or You can determine how your going to conduct yourself in the room Maybe it’s the difference between a play and the stage setting for a play now the Modernist Perspectives Roughly speaking is that the fundamental reality is to be found in the description of the furniture? So to speak in the description of what is that’s the scientific? process [and] the scientific process seems to involve the stripping off of the subjective from perception and to some degree from action and the extraction of the commonalities across perception as a means of delineating the Nature of reality Now obviously that’s a [very] powerful process, and it has many advantages, but exactly what it is that science is doing is not precisely clear one perspective might be is that we are genuinely Discovering the Nature of objective reality [and] perhaps even the nature of reality itself but There are some problems with that perspective one of them being that The scientific process seems to strip the subjective from the phenomena. It does that technically right? I mean you have [a] hypothesis about what something is and you have a hypothesis about what something is and you have [a] hypothesis [about] some [what] something is and we undertake a number of procedures to assess what the Fundamental phenomena is and then we look across our perceptual set and we extract out the commonalities And we dispense with everything that is superfluous everything that’s merely subjective So what you feel about the chair is not relevant to the objective existence of the chair and so it eradicate subjectivity, and that’s a very useful process because it does seem to enable us to Grasp reality in a fundamental sense more profoundly, but it leaves the subjective behind and maybe that’s a problem Because it annoys okay, okay? Thank you. [what] [if] I just didn’t alright appreciate it, so so then the issue might [be] well is something you retrieve ibly lost if you dispense with this objective and and also, how Deep a hole do you dig when you dispense with this objective? and I think that that’s intrinsically associated with the Problem of the relationship between is [an] [dot] because That’s an old Philosophical conundrum, I think first put forth by D. David hume Who made the claim that? No matter how much you know about something from an empirical perspective? You cannot use that as an unerring guide to action in relationship to that? To that empirical object or set of empirical objects and people it’s a tricky [issue]. You know because obviously you can use empirical information to inform your decisions But I think But the problem is is that there’s multiple pathways of action that are implied by any set of data that seems to be the fundamental Problem, it’s something like that. Is that you can’t draw a one-To-one Specification between the empirical district description and what you should do about that and like maybe an [example] is But you can gather a lot of information about aids and you can gather a lot of information about cancer and you can gather a lot of information about educational outcomes and Economic outcomes and so forth but it isn’t obvious. How you then use that? empirical information For example how to guide policy decisions because you might say well, how much money should we spend on education? compared to cancer prevention and how much money should be spent on cancer prevention compared to curing aids and or Addressing disease in the third-world country what happens is that the set of variables that you? Encounter while trying to make your empirical calculation get to be so massive so rapidly that there doesn’t seem to be any Logical way of linking them to a behavioral outcome now. It’s kind of associated with the postmodern conundrum as well Which is well if you have a set of data, and it could be a literary work without better There’s a very large number of interpretations that you can derive from [that] set of data And there’s no simple way of deciding which one is going to be canonical and so it isn’t it I think the reason that you can’t derive a naught from an is is because you run into something like Combinatorial explosion it’s like you have an infinite [number] of facts at your disposal Roughly speaking and then another infinite number of ways that you can organize those facts and that massive array of facts and and [Andrey] categorized facts doesn’t tell you what to do in a given situation and so maybe the question of what to do in a given situation is a different domain of question and I believe that to be the [case]. I think it was Stephen Jay gould who talked about religion and science as – I think he called them different Magisterium to different fundamental domains that and that each had their realm of operation and one was the description of the objective world obviously that’s on the scientific end and the other was the realm of ethics and so you could put Religion Mythology narrative the humanities all of that history even for that matter to some degree into the into the ethics Category and because I don’t see a [straightforward] way of Taking a set of facts and then transforming them into a behavioral compulsion then I do think that these two [things] are reasonably regarded as overlapping and intrinsically associated but But technically and philosophically separable [alright], so then then the next question emerges well if they’re separable if there has to be a domain of inquiry into the structure of [values] What might that look like? like how is it that you would understand the psychological and sociological phenomena that are associated with a Moral stance [Howhow] would you understand the details of that and then even more to the point is there any way of subjecting different sets of ethical interpretation to Testing so that you can judge their comparative validity because that’s sort of the way out of Moral relativism Roughly speaking. It’s like First you make the proposition that there are value structures and that they’re independent from empirical investigation and then the next is that you investigate the possibility that you can compare and contrast different structures of ethics and Draw some sort of conclusion. That’s not merely arbitrary Now it might be turtles all the way down. That’s how the old joke goes right, but But maybe not then I was interested in that again because I thought well are we fighting the cold war merely because we’re having an argument or is there some Manner in which one of these systems can be just determined to be wrong and of course There was more weight behind that query because The soviet system and the maoist system and and the system. That’s in place in North Korea were not only Predicated on different assumptions than in the western system, but they were also extraordinarily murderous and so that seemed to add additional Weight [to] the to the sequence of questions so I was reading young at the time and young was carl young was fundamentally I would say a psychologist of narrative of story and and He he outlined this He outlined the idea for me that people inhabited Stories Roughly speaking He said actually they inhabited myths and even more to the point whether they knew it or not They inhabited archetypal myths or even that they were possessed by them And so it was the first time I’d really come into contact with the idea directly put that there was a direct relationship between the structures that you use to orient yourself in the world and stories, and so then I started to assess the fundamental elements of stories what what – story looked like and while I was doing that that was informed by a number of other things that I was reading about including a set of I Read the Neuroscience literature with regards to information processing fairly extensively And that introduced me [into] a whole set of other ideas including cybernetic ideas which have been incorporated into what I was describing to you, and this basic cybernetic system is a system [that] has [a] starting point in a system that [has] an [endpoint] and A system that has a subsystem that monitors progress or deviation from progress Along the pathway to the endpoint, and I thought well [that] looks a lot like a story Or a map that’s another way of thinking about it, and I thought okay Well that’s where the overlap is and the fundamental story is something like it’s very [straightforward]. It’s it’s also the frame that you inhabit when you conceptualize the world and narrow and Narrow and simplify the world which you have to do because it’s so complex because you have this infinite number of facts that Are laying around you well so what are you doing? Well? You’re a mobile creature a living creature not a static information processor and You’re targeted you’re a targeted creature, and otherwise you wouldn’t move Right to move is to be a targeted creature because you have to move towards something or away from something so the targeting is built Right into the fact that you’re a mobile creature, and then you might say well What do you target [and] answer to that is well, you target? Target you could say you target what you aim for but? Then you could say well you you aim for what you want you target your desires And then that leads you into a discussion of the underlying neurobiology essentially you bring to the table a set of inbuilt desires and the targets that you pick Have to address the fact that those desires exist and the desires are actually grounded in Necessity and this is this is a sidebar, but this is where I think piaget theory is weaker than it should be because piaget and you know I’m a great admirer of piaget believed that the Human infant came into the world with a fairly primordial set of reflexes mostly sensory motor reflexes and then bootstrapped Him or herself up on the basis of those reflexes in the sociological in the Social Surroundings Viewpoint [that] the child comes in with a few basic elements that can get it going elements of exploration and memory essentially and then it builds itself Of the consequence of its exploration in the social community now. I think that’s true except that It’s too empty because what it fails to take into [consideration] is the fact that and I think this is this is an observation in some sense philosophically that was first made by immanuel, Kant when he criticized pure reason so that You can’t come into the world structureless you have to come into the world with an inbuilt structure And then it’s the interaction of [that] structure with the world That provides the information that you can use to build yourself, but the structure has to be there And I would say that’s the sameness logically speaking as the idea that the [great] [father] is always there, right? There’s the great mother is always there. That’s Chaos itself the great father is always there that’s order That’s the interpretive structure that you use to interact with the Chaos and then of course the individual is always there at the same time that piaget in some sense ree-ree told that story except He didn’t give enough credence to the fact that the infant comes into the world far [more] fully formed than his theory His theory presumes now the problem see that the problem with that is [that] Without that additional underlying set of let’s call them neurobiological constraints the interpretation universe gets too large you [need] constraints to narrow The domain of phenomena that you’re contending with and and it’s in the analysis of the constraints that the answer to How do you stop drowning in an infinite number of Potential interpretations emerges? The interpretations are subject to constraints And that’s also the way out of the Moral relativist Paradox as far as I can tell now one of the things I really liked about Piaget was that He describes some of the constraints one of the constraints was is well if I’m going to exist in a social world And I’m going [to] because I won’t exist at all if I don’t exist in a social world then there are constraints on the way that I have to interact with other people and Piaget is essential point was I have to organize myself To play a joint game with you But the Joint game has constraints and one of them is you have to want to play? Because you have other options [and] then there are other constraints You and I have to be able to play in a way that other people don’t object to or maybe even that you and I Have to play in a way that other people will be look support and then you can imagine another constraint which is You and I have to play a game in a way that other [people] would support that will last more than the moment So it has it has to work today and tomorrow and next week it has to work across the span [of] times it has [to] Work not only for you And I but it has to work for our future [cells] and so the damn constraints are starting to pile up That’s just on the socio-Cultural side that’s on the constructionist side only But there’s about the biological constraints are equally important because not only does the [game] that you and I have to play Have to satisfy those emergent sociological constraints, but the game also has to be organized so that the internal polity that that’s composed of Let’s call them the fundamental motivational and emotional systems that make that Constitute us. They have to all find satisfaction because otherwise the system grounds halt [and] so This seems to me to be the beginnings of an answer to the postmodern conundrum looks like okay? Any set of facts is amenable to an infinite [number] of interpretations fine got it That makes deriving and is from an [Oauth2] very difficult endeavor right no problem. [all] right, but that Doesn’t mean that any old solution will work why well first of all it’s merely because we introduced work into the Conversation to begin with the interpretation has to be functional and again. That’s what it seems That’s what seems to tie. It back to the story. This is also what got me interested in pragmatism, technically speaking and so because if if your conundrum is here you are and there you have to be and How to get there then one of the constraints on the Manner in which you interpret the world is When you apply your interpretation Do you end up moving from the point you’re at to the point you want to be and if the answer that is no? Then the solution is insufficient now. You could call the solution untrue, but I it’s dangerous, too to introduce the truth Falsity Dilemma because because it isn’t its functionality more its functionality more than truth although I think you could say that in the final analysis truth Is integrally linked to function? But I’m not going to touch that question for the time being the point is is that your interpretation of the world carries within it implicitly a theory about its own validity and the Theory about its own validity is that if you enacted in the world it will produce the result that you Desire and then the consequence of that is [that] if it doesn’t produce the result that you desire then it isn’t good enough theory period and that’s how you grapple with The fact that although you don’t know everything you still have to orient yourself in the world You lay out partial theories that make partial predictions, and if they do a good enough job Then you don’t worry about it [any] more and you go on to the next thing, okay? So then you think there’s a lot of constraints piling up on your interpretations number one They have to work for [the] creature that you are and so you know we can lay it sort of like maslow’s hierarchy of needs something like that’s not exactly the same because I don’t [think] [that] he got the hierarchy right for for very complex reasons, but it’s it’s reasonably obvious to to Observe that well you’re not going to work out very well if you don’t have anything to eat And you know you’ve got about a week in you if you don’t have anything to drink and obviously you need shelter And you know you need you need companionship and by need what I mean is that if you don’t have these things then you die The whole game comes to a halt [so] we can ground that in? Self-evident reality without any real problem, and you might say well, what’s the list of human necessities and that that’s that’s a difficult thing to parameterize Because you can argue about the degree to which something is necessary, but there’s some things that we know about Well, we covered the basics Temperature regulation elimination food intake shelter right, but then there’s more subtle things like well children for example died without touch So there’s there’s something integral about Tactile interaction with other people so we could call that love if you want to do that. It’s not optional Right play is the same thing children do not develop properly unless they play and I would say that adults also can’t maintain their mental health or physical health unless they play, [too] And so you can say well, there’s a core set of necessities, and then off of that. There’s a secondary set of like What would you call them their own ultimate necessities? But they’re pretty hot they’re going to be pretty highly valued by people and more or less universally pain avoidance for example under most circumstances [most] people don’t really like to be in terror most people really don’t like to be disgusted You know you can lay out the basic emotions You can lay out the basic motivations And you can say well the [game] that you’re going to play has to operate within a space That’s defined by that set of a priori constraints fine now things are getting [pretty] constrained here so they had the game you play house to satisfy that set of biological demands Intrinsic biological demands and it has to be something that you can utilize with other people Voluntarily and it has to be something that will [be] playable across multiple iterations, and I would say there’s a very limited number of Interpretive interpretive structures that are going to satisfy all of those preconditions simultaneously, and to me that just blows out The two things it blows out the claims of Moral relativism, and it it it also Demolishes and this is the same thing in some sense it demolishes this ideas that the manner in which people Organize themselves in the world as individuals and in societies is somehow arbitrary doesn’t look to me to be arbitrary at all and So in ampere days genius. I think in some part was observing that in children spontaneously in that when children passed the egocentric phase which means after they’re about two years of old old, [they’re] maybe [they’re] What they’re approaching three years old they’ve more or less got their internal mechanisms organized so that there are unitary being Roughly speaking at Three they start to develop the ability to use fictional frames of reference So and that’s an interesting thing because I would say that the fundamental biological systems come armed with their own frame of reference, so [if] you’re hungry Poof up comes [a] frame of reference [and] within that Your perceptions are shaped the action proclivities are are primed and The world lays itself out around that particular Biological Necessity and you can lay those out same if you’re thirsty same if you’re too Hot same if you want to play all those systems come built in but then the problem with that is that they compete because it isn’t obvious which one should take priority and then It’s not that easy to organize them in a social space [and] so what seems to have happened to human beings is that we’ve been able to replace the frame that’s predicated on motivational necessity with abstracted frames that are more voluntary voluntarily constructed that Incorporate multiple motivational systems simultaneously And that’s in some [sense] That’s also what it’s the same thing as we learned how to think abstractly and so the frame that you’re going to lay out on the world if it’s a good frame is one that solves a whole set of problems at the same time and so that [and] you can slot different frames you can you can experiment with [different] frames? and that’s a Precondition to being able to play because one of the things that piaget pointed out you can see this when children pretend play. It’s like Four and even more clearly in games that have rules, but let’s say they’re there in pretend play, and they’re going to say well We’re going to lay out a little fictional schema here We’re going to play house And you can be the cat and all be the I’ll be the dad and then you negotiate a bit to see if those rules Are acceptable and then you run it as a simulation, and that’s what kids are doing when they’re playing and they’re experimenting with different Superordinate frames of reference that are active all in the world, and they’re in there they’re [learning] how to develop those perceptual schemes and also how to Interact in a manner that allows the scheme that they’re using to find its social acceptability and its successful the child assumes that the Scheme is successful if both children have fun while they’re doing it and So that’s the volunteerism and so piaget made a very interesting point about that that I think is [absolutely] brilliant. He said that there’s a difference between a game that people will play voluntarily and One that has to be enforced and so then you can imagine an environment Where game a is played voluntarily it has a certain end and game b is played by Force but both of them are moving towards the same end and Piaget his claim was the game that’s played voluntarily or even more to the point the set of all games that are played Voluntarily will out-Compete the set of all games that are played by Force if they’re put head-to-head in a competitive environment [I] thought God that’s such a brilliant observation because there you have the basis for a pragmatic grounding of For the evaluation of ethics. It’s like You can pick the Target. It doesn’t matter whatever Target You pick if the game is voluntary and aimed at the target it will defeat a game. That’s imposed by Tyranny now It’s a proposition, but it’s a pretty good proposition and I would say there’s a fair bit of evidence for this proposition and a fair bit of it is actually derived from observation of animal Behavior because I ran you guys through the emerging literature on the stability say of Chimpanzee hierarchies and the Chimpanzee tyrant Hierarchy isn’t very stable and the reason for that is that to subordinate chimps who are? 3/4 as strong as the dominant tyrant can take them out and they do and so then the question might be well How do you have to conduct yourself as a high dominance chimp if you’re not going to be torn apart by those who are? Hypothetically your subordinates and the answer to that is well. Don’t be too much of a Tyrant formulate some social connections engage in some reciprocity with regards to your social relationships Don’t oppress the females don’t torment the children It said ETC because that makes you unpopular And then you’ll get torn to shreds and so there are practical limits on the expression of Tyranny that are a consequence both of biological limitations because people are going to object if the system is set up so [that] their fundamental needs are met and they’re also going to object if The game that’s being played isn’t functioning socially and so this is very very tight set of constraints And then the question might be okay if you take that set of constraints What sort of systems can operate? What would you say well? Just that what set of systems can operate within those sets of constraints? Then you might say if you take that the set of all systems that might operate within those constraints And you look at what’s common across them then you could extract out what’s essentially a universal morality It’s something like that and I Don’t see how that proposition is precisely questionable. It seems to me [that] all of that’s built on rock like there’s no [doubt] that Infants bring biological necessity to the table. I think that’s fully established and it’s established Physiologically, it’s established behaviorally it’s established with regards to evolutionary history because we can take the Motivational systems that are part and parcel of our being and we can trace their development back in some cases half a billion years so So the idea that the the infant is a blank slate when it’s born and that’s subject to infinite Sociological manipulation is a it’s a dead in the water. That’s just not the case So okay, so far. So we’ve got that nailed down hard and then the idea that Your identity is also shaped Sociologically well I don’t think anybody disputes that it doesn’t matter where they are on the interpretative framework they might dispute the degree to which [that] occurs and the mechanisms by which it occurs, but The fact that it occurs. That’s That’s close enough to self evidence so we can just leave it there well then the question is what are the consequences of the sociological of socio of socialization and Once you admit the nifty existence of the realm of biological necessity you instantly put a set of constraints on How societies can structure themselves so that they will not be? torn down and overthrown Well that if you look at. How kids are socialized. I think that psAys developmental observations are Bi and Bi correct The first two years it’s mostly interactions between the infant and the parents It’s it’s bi-directional though Because the infant has to come to terms with the mother but the mother also has to come to terms with the infant So it’s not even top-down at the level of infant maternal relationship Quite the contrary and if you watch a new mother adapt to a baby you can see that the mother is doing as much out apt ation to the baby as the baby is to the mother because the Infant has this inbuilt character already and has to be Charmed into a relationship that’s love does that and and attention it’s very little different than establishing a relationship with someone who’s older it’s it’s lower resolution and It’s harder to make the observations because of course the infant is only capable of behavioral display [can’t] can’t speak but nonetheless the necessity for establishing the individual relationship Is there to begin with so even in the early stages of the infant’s realization the process isn’t? State downward it’s not great farther down work. It’s Mutual and then of Course by the time the child is old enough to be launched out into [the] social world Then all the constraints that are associated with the playground are immediately placed on that child and that’s a very unforgiving landscape right because the last thing a child wants really the last thing a child wants is not to have any friends or even perhaps equally seriously not to have a best friend [I] Read something so idiotic the other day that I couldn’t believe it. So the newest prince So [queen] [Elizabeth’s] I guess great grandchild is off to daycare in in the uk and in this daycare They don’t let the kids have best friends because that’s unfair [I] thought you know Something times you see something that’s so stupid. You can’t even believe it it Exists, and that was one of those examples because it’s been known for quite a long time that one of the developmental Milestones the children attained somewhere between say the age of five and ten is they pick a best friend and So they and and you know the hypothesis well that’s unfair to all the other children It’s like well first of all you can’t be the best friend to everyone because you didn’t Maybe there’s a billion children so each of them gets one second It’s like that’s just not a very deep relationship. So the idea that you can be equally friendly with everyone is It’s a preposterous, but even worse the thing is the thing [that] the child is doing is actually becoming there they’re stepping out of their egocentricity because their best friend becomes more important than they are and that’s a precursor for Adult relationships where you know if you’re married? [well] your your partner should be at least as important as you are and the relationship should be more important But then when you have children, it’s like they’re more important than you [that] that’s that It’s unless there’s something wrong with you. You come second and your children come first and their way first They’re not just a little buddy. You’re necessary because without you. They’re not going to manage So you have to take care of yourself? But you’re not number one [anymore] once you have kids unless Seriously unless you didn’t learn the lessons in the playground and when you have a best friend. You’re not number one. They are and so So anyways there are these constraints that Emerge in in the social landscape you have to have friends and also you have to single someone out as particularly unique among those friends and establish a Genuinely reciprocal and caring relationship. I can’t remember the psychiatrist who studied this so intently unfortunately He was the first person [to] to do a detailed analysis of the best friend relationships that children established and I’d like to give him credit for his ideas, but unfortunately I can’t remember his name, so Okay, so what are the propositions so far? You inhabit a structure the [dorian] [Cu] in the world it has something. That’s akin to a narrative structure. [I’m] here [I’m] going there, and this is the [way] I did it its narrative if you describe it It’s based in biological necessity, but it’s shaped by Social socialization and the fact of that Base and that shaping means that the set of interpretive schema that you can lay out in the world are bounded Those would be functional Hypothetically functional systems and maybe they compete over over the evolutionary time span but there’s something in common across that set of functional interpretations, and if you extract that out you can get the Initial images of what you might describe as an archetype you never cilmi. That’s what archetypes are fundamentally So and to say all that is no more than to say that people can extract across instances, and we can obviously do that So then the question is can you start to develop an articulated picture of what that? archetyPal structure of universal morality might be and so my answer [to] that was basically well let’s look at old stories as many old stories as we can collect and If their stories are stories that have survived for a very long period of time so much the better because it [that] indicates that they’re acutely memorable and Peculiarly functional because if they weren’t memorable then they’d have been forgotten and if they weren’t functional they wouldn’t have managed to be the foundation stories for four Cultures that lasted for thousands or even tens of thousands of years So and then we could say well Let’s collect a whole variety of these stories and see if there’s patterns across them now the danger that is Have you collected an unbiased set of stories danger number one how do you know that you’re not just reading into the stories? That’s the postmodern problem Reasonable reasonable objections and so that those objections have been laid against people like Wrote the Golden bough fraser who is the fraser who was one of the first? Anthropologists to collect stories from all over the world and to start to look for commonalities the same Objection has been laid at the feet of people like [Richie]. Le odd or carl jung or Joseph Campbell it’s like how do you know you just How do you know you’re not just cherry-picking your damn interpretations perfectly reasonable? Perfectly reasonable objection, and I would say that the reason I [don’t] believe that I’m cherry-picking my interpretations is because I used a method and it’s a method that’s akin to the Multi Trait Multi method method of [construction] that that clinical psychology and other disciplines of psychology rely upon But it’s also akin to a process put forward by E.O Wilson that he called consilience the process is something like Well pick your level of analysis Does the phenomena manifest itself at that level of analysis? Yes? Pick another level of analysis and another level of analysis and another level of analysis and see if the same phenomena Manifests itself at every single level and then assume that the probability that that will happen by chance Decreases with each additional level of analysis [that] fits that where this concordance, and I thought okay that that that makes sense So it isn’t only that you can look for patterns and stories because you know what if you’re a hyperactive? Pattern detector Which basically means like there are people like that people who tilt towards Paranoia? People who tilt towards conspiracy theories you can see it manifest itself in new age thinking all the time Because new age thinkers are very high in openness But not very good at critical thinking and so they see phenomena a and B and C and D they think [Pad] then they think universal pattern but they don’t attempt to Disconfirm their pattern prediction and so what I tried to do when I was starting to see Patterns Emerge in the stories Informed by people like dealing in a leotta and so forth was to see if what [they] were describing Manifested itself at any other levels of analysis that [were] independent intellectually from that stream of thinking and I found it in two places targeted cybernetics, and I found it in neuroscience and so On and that that and the neuroscience element that includes the physiology But also the behavioral analysis that was done by by people most particularly like like like Jeffrey Gray and and the animal Experimental is who were brilliant Brilliant scientists, and who’ve done a very good job of laying out the manner in which interpretive frameworks exist Within the realm of animal cognition and and and to describe how they manifest themselves in the world, so [I] thought okay That’s not too bad because we’ve got maybe four different levels of evidence all pointing in the same Direction So that’s why I walk you guys through the neural psychology. It’s like a story is you’re going somewhere You’re somewhere, and you’re going somewhere, and you’re tracking your progress, [okay]? That’s the story well what what happens when you look at how people lay out their called cognitive maps well It’s the same thing you specify a target an endpoint. You specify a beginning point Which is just where you are and then there’s a mechanism a comparator mechanism that [operates] or multiple comparator mechanisms that operate? Neural Physiologically to orient yourself towards that goal and [the] emotions Basically Emerge as a as a consequence of [that] positive emotions indicating that you’re moving forward properly Negative emotions indicating that you’ve encountered some kind of obstacle. It’s like well. That’s the basic. That’s the basic structure of a narrative, okay fine So now we can see how its instantiated neural physiologically that adds a fair bit [of] credence to the to the entire process so now normally when you look at the Basic cybernetic work there’s a hypothesis that the system is oriented towards a goal And that it’s comparing what is manifesting itself in the world to that desired end state as the system moves? but it’s too simple because People don’t precisely have gold they have nested hierarchies of goals and so The issue of emotional regulation becomes more complex than are you proceeding happily towards your current goal because your goal is composed of micro goals and it’s a Constituent element of a set of Macro goals and so that makes the problem of error Far more Complex than it would be if you only had one frame of [reference] [and] you were only adjudicating your error within that frame of reference the question starts to become what does it mean when you make a mistake and Answer to that The Behavioral answer to that was well you encounter a stimuli That’s a threat or maybe a punishment or an incentive reward or a consumer [tori] reward something like that It’s very it’s a it’s a unit dimensional and oversimplified answer. I’m not complaining about it Has great [utility] but there’s the problem there’s a problem and the problem is it doesn’t take into account the nested structure of this of your goal hierarchy and What that means is that it underestimates the difficulty of responding to an error? Because the problem with an error is that you don’t know what the error signifies, and that’s a huge problem And that’s part of what I want to delve into even in more depth today And so this is like Ellis and the what in wonderland going down the rabbit hole it’s exactly the same thing That’s the [hole] the rabbit hole is you made a mistake [right]? You made a mistake. You’ve got your oversimplified Representation of the World Laid upon it it validates itself in its execution [if] it executes properly if it executes Improperly, [then] what does that signify and the answer isn’t precisely that you’ve made a mistake The answer is it signifies that there’s something in the world that you excluded that shouldn’t have been excluded and that’s a big problem because when [you’ve] laid out a simplified Schema on the world you’ve excluded virtually everything and so what that means is that as [soon] as you make an error the search space for the error immediately tends towards the infinite and you experience that It’s part of it human Existential experience and the way you experience that is especially if your mood is Shaky is you lay [out] a small plan like maybe you go out for coffee with someone that you’re romantically interested in and they’re There, they’re not they’re not pleasant to you and and so that’s an error. It means well. What does it mean well? You’ve construed yourself wrong. You’ve construed them wrong. You’ve construed the opposite sex wrong. You’ve construed human beings wrong You’re a walking catastrophe, [and] you might as well not even exist It’s like well, that’s that’s pretty extreme, but it’s not that extreme I’ll tell you like it’s not that uncommon for people to have exactly that set of catastrophic Responses to even a minor Setback now. It’s not good for them and I would say you know just because you Scraped your foot doesn’t mean you should dig a grave and jump into [it] pull the dirt on on top of you. You know So you don’t want to start by taking yourself completely apart, but that doesn’t mean people won’t do it They do it all the [time] in fact to me. It’s always a mystery that they don’t do it every single time Because the logical inference for why didn’t you get someone interested in? You could easily be because you’re a failure as a human being and at some level that’s actually true now It’s all it’s true in a way That’s not that helpful [right] because it’s just too catastrophic but it isn’t obvious at all how people can defend themselves against that cascade of a Kotak Catastrophizing, [I] mean after all if you are everything you could be then maybe everyone would be attracted to you I mean perhaps not but you get the point [and] no and no easy rationalization is going to let you just brush that away Especially if you actually happen to be interested in the person because that’s even worse because then not only are you rejected? But you rejected [by] someone Who’s who upon whom you’ve projected an ideal or perhaps on? From whom you’ve actually observed an ideal so it’s worse you’re you’re rejected by someone that you want to have Be [attractive] to you to validate your old miserable existence. It’s a non-trivial problem So you’re in this protected space that I? You know I made an analogy between that in the garden of eden Or the city that buddha was raised it. It’s all protected and everything inside it is beautiful and functional and That’s by definition because if your frame of reference is working properly then what’s within it is things you control that are functional and and and and and they’re serving your purposes, so When you’re successful You’re in the garden of Eden that’s one way of [thinking] about it when the things that you’re laying out in the world are delivering What they’re supposed to deliver That’s what you inhabit, but the problem is is that there’s always a snake inside the garden And it’s that’s the story that’s echoed in the story of Buddha in that case It’s Buddha’s own curiosity that happens to be the snake and you could actually say the same thing about human beings Maybe it wasn’t the snake maybe it was eve’s curiosity They’re the same thing in some sense And so it’s Buddha’s curiosity that drives them outside the city to find disease and death and to blow apart his paradisal conceptualization of the world and so When we’re looking at unit for universality The first thing we might say is well you have a frame of reference that you’ve laid on the world it’s a story you live inside a story and The second thing week it’s and that’s universally true the content of the story can differ. That’s okay. I don’t care about that it’s the structural equivalence that I’m interested in you live inside the story and you have to because you have to live in something like that because you are [goal-directed] and you have to be and You [have] to simplify the world because there you’re just not Enough of you to take into account everything at once in fact you can hardly take into account anything at once so you [have] to narrow things unbelievably and by narrowing And including only certain things you exclude virtually everything else, so you’re always in the problem in the situation where you have this little bounded universe that you inhabit, but outside of it is Chaos itself and And so that’s the existential landscape order surrounded by Chaos Right it’s like a tree. It’s like the The evolutionary home of primates the tree with the snakes on the ground that’s that’s our landscape or it’s the fire for tribal people and the terrors of the forest that are Beyond the that would be on the Light that the fire casts It’s explored territory versus unexplored territory and that’s that’s an archetype as well that that you can’t not be in a situation where that’s the case even [if] you’re among friends, you know You think that’s explored territory. That’s not exactly right because what happens if you’re among friends is that they Carefully reveal new parts of themselves all the time, so it’s like. They’re blasting little Elements of unexplored territory you territory at you constantly and if they don’t then what happens You get bored And you look for new people And we know there’s empirical data on that with regards to intimate relationships because there was a nice study done a while back showing that Looking at the ratio [of] positive to negative emotional experiences that were most predictive of long-term relationship success and the answer was now obviously it depends on how you would measure an event and how you would measure positive and negative emotion, but that aside the finding was something like If you’re in a relationship, and you only have five positive Interactions [-] One negative interaction then the relationship will end. It’s [too] negative, but if you have more than Eleven positive Interactions – One negative interaction, then it also ends, and you think well That’s pretty bloody [acuter] what why in the world would that be don’t you want like a hundred to one positive to [negative]? interactions and answer that is what makes you think that you want a relationship so that you could be happy or At least happy moment to moment. Why do you think that? It’s not it’s certainly not the case as you [know] that – because You I mean I bet you there’s not a person in this room who hasn’t rejected someone because they were too nice to them Something like that [person’s] no challenge. It’s something like that You want someone who you know you can get along with them, but now and then they bite you and you think oh? That’s that’s interesting you know I didn’t really expect that and then you go and puzzle over it for a while, [and] you torture yourself about it And that’s one of the things that keeps you really linked [in] [to] the relationship and the reason for that is that Part of the reason that you want the relationship isn’t so that you’re happy [right] now [it’s] so that you can live a high-quality life across multiple decades And so you’re looking for someone [that] you have to contend with who’s going to push you beyond what you already are and who’s going to judge you harshly? Often for your limitations [now] [that’ll] make you angry and all about you. You know and resentful And maybe you’ll take your revenge and and all of that But you don’t want someone who thinks you’re perfect in your current form partly because why would you want to go out with someone that? deluded so okay, so [you’ve] got this interpretive schema laid out on the world and It excludes the entire world and because it excludes the world the world tends to manifest itself inside that protected space on a in an uncontrollable manner and that [can] take you down and it takes you down the rabbit hole and down the rabbit hole is where everything is because when you make an error what that is is the manifestation of the excluded world and The problem with that is that’s too much Right because if you step out of the lifeboat into the ocean then you drown, and that’s that’s not any good You can’t drown every time Something manifests itself that you didn’t expect there has to be a mechanism for Orienting you in the face of error all right, so What exactly does that imply the question is what do you discover when you go down the rabbit hole? I was thinking about that [a] lot today. I Showed you that diagram that I thought was like a map of the phenomenological world The the lowest resolution Category is something like the dragon of Chaos and so you might say Well what you discover when you make an error and the answer is First it’s a brief manifestation of the dragon of Chaos and that’s no more to say then when you encounter the incursion of Unexplored territory into explored territory the circuitry you use is the same circuits that we use to to respond instantaneously to the presence of Predatory Forces We use that circuit and that makes perfect sense because the predator is almost by definition The thing that lurks Beyond the safe confines of the community and I told you I believe a story about rats raised in naturalistic environments the Rats are We’ve got the burrows on one end of the little field That hierarchy they’re doing their [little] rat social things they’re playing and they’re laughing and they’re tickling each other and they’re there you’re you know Raising the rat families, and that’s all working out Just fine rats in that situation by the way are very difficult to get addicted to cocaine If you want to dick the rat to cocaine you have to put it in a cage and isolated It’s not really a rat any more than any more than you’re a person if you’re in solitary confinement, right? I mean, you’re sort you’re mostly [your] just misery Anyways in solitary confinement [you’d] be after cocaine non-stop and maybe under other circumstances but like a normal [rat] it’s not that interested in cocaine, so Let’s just decide No [anyways] the rats are doing their thing and then they’ve learned that they can go out to the other side of the field and they can get food [and] so one day the experimenters instead of putting food out there put a cat out there and the rat goes out and gets a whiff of the cat which they do not like and then the rat runs home and Pokes is because of the burrow and screams for like two days Ultrasonic LI and all the other rats are like frozen stiff because of that They’re not going anywhere, and so a 2-day rat screaming V is no a trivial [thing] That’s be I calculated that be the equivalent of use Screaming for two weeks, so you have to be pretty upset to scream for two weeks, right, so this is hard on the rat But the reason I’m telling you this is the rat doesn’t expect the cat to be there the rat goes out And there’s a cat and what it uses is its predator Detection and alert systems to signify the presence of the cat and what we’ve done with the dragon imagery Roughly speaking is make an amalgam Of predatory monsters and state that’s a symbol for what lurks Beyond safety because we’re observing our own responses in some sense and And it’s not only that we’re observing our own responses, but we also have a category Categorical set of responses to Predator and we again There’s no speculation about this we already know this like if you go study monkeys for example they have Distinct sets of vocalization [that] are associated with Predator Detection that have distinct circuits We know that there are predator Detection circuits, and it’s not unreasonable [to] also Presuppose that they underlie the phenomena for example that human beings are [very] good at learning fear to snakes Snake fear might be innate like that’s pushing the argument but at minimum Psychologists have already concluded that even if snake fear isn’t innate and it probably is that it can be learned like that So you can condition people to be afraid of pictures of snakes? way faster than you can condition them to be afraid of pictures of electrical outlets or handguns, so And that’s well documented. I don’t think anybody disputes that at all, so the first Assumption is when something unexpected Emerges, so we’ll call that the snake in the garden that Your prey and that’s a predator and that the monster has come to get you. It’s something like that now the Representation of the Dragon is more complex than mere Monster because the dragon the mythological Dragon also is the thing that hoards Treasure, and I really like that symbol I think it’s I think that’s also why it will never go away It’s such a great symbol because it says well the unknown can take you down [it] can it can right you with its fiery breath like poisonous snake and it can burn things like fire and it’s a aerial predator that can take you from the air and it’s a carnivorous predator that can take you from the ground and [it’s] Reptilian it’s the sort of thing that can pull you down into the water And it’s easy to see that as an amalgam of of the threats that have been Laid Forth for Human beings since the beginning of time and Monster is an amalgam of predator, and you might say well. There’s no such thing as a dragon. It’s like. Yes There is it’s just a loose category What’s common across all [predators] equals dragon? It’s not like it’s a knot. They’re not real. They’re hyper real. They’re more real than the phenomena themselves Just like an abstraction can be more real than the phenomena the result and then the canonical dragon for human beings isn’t just a predator We’re not rabbits You can imagine that the dragon for a rabbit is just a dragon There’s no damn treasure there at all but for human beings its ambivalent because the thing that you don’t know about is Also, the thing that holds the greatest gift and why is that? It’s [because] the unrealized world manifests itself when you make an error and the unrealized world is something that can take you down Obviously, but it’s also the source of all new information it’s an infinite source of information, and that’s a really useful thing [to] know error is an infinite source of information and [that’s] one of the things that can help you recalibrate the way that you interact [with] the world you think well, we’re interacting let’s say we’re having a conversation and It’s flowing Melodically and all of a sudden. [I] say something, and there’s a disjunction right you’re offended by it There’s some negative emotion that comes up or or Or or you know maybe I’ve said something to impress you or to be arrogant, and you respond badly It’s like we’ve got this melodic thing going on It’s a consensual frame and something pokes itself up to put a disjunction in the conversation It’s like well, that’s where the information is It’s like something went wrong something didn’t work out I’m not looking at the world properly or I don’t know you well enough or as well as I thought there’s something There and if I have any sense, I’m going to focus my [attention] on that like not obsessively or anything like that But where all the information is because as long as what we’re doing is working then we both know enough already As soon as what we’re doing together It’ll working then that’s instant evidence that there’s something about us that needs to be updated and you might think [well] [that’s] a terrible thing and the answer is yes of course it is It’s a terrible thing But it’s also the thing and this is the next stage of the development of this let’s call it universal morality. It’s like The universal morality might be found in the answer to the question. What should you do when you make a mistake now? [one] answer is catastrophic dissolution. That’s that’s a collapse into Chaos well, that’s No one is going to pick that voluntarily let’s put it that way that’s it unbelievably unpleasant terribly anxiety-Provoking shameful and painful all at the same time Worse it can mean [the] absence of positive emotion because if you really collapse into Chaos not only are you overwhelmed by negative emotion? but the positive emotion system shut off and that that’s what happens to someone who’s Extraordinarily depressed and also hyper anxious at the same time not only are they suffering from an excess of negative emotion? But they’ve got no incentive movement forward Whatsoever [okay], [so] that’s not an optimal solution because it takes you out The other possible and so I would call that a nihilistic solution or a chaotic solution It’s not a solution. It’s a dissolution, and you could think about it as a precursor to a potential solution But it’s very easy to get stuck there and that’s why [Jonah] could have stayed in the belly of the whale along with all the other people that were eaten by the whale and never got Back out, and you see people like that all the time their error [has] come along blown out their frames of reference they’ve collapsed into the underworld into the chaotic underworld and They don’t know how to get out they have post-traumatic stress disorder or they’re depressed or they’re hyper anxious or or they’re they’re resentful and aggressive and destructive like there’s any number of states of being that can overwhelm you when the bottom has fallen out [of] your life, [so] [it] isn’t something that people are going to It’s not an optimal solution. Let’s put it that way well [that] the other That’s a nihilistic solution a collapse the other solution is We’re talking and I don’t get what I want from you, and so I say you’d better not do that again I don’t want to see that from you again and so that’s a tyrannical attitude right what I’m going to do is I’m going to take my universe of order and its predictions, and I’m going to say you go along with this or I’m going to punish you [and] That’s that’s a no there is a an element in Society Like Society is made up of threats like that to some [degree] It’s an erratic level in Erratic apart of Society that would be the tyrannical aspect of the Greek king let’s say you know We’ve organized a set of punishments and threats that keep each of us in alignment however Generally speaking in a society that’s functional we’ve decided to adopt Agreement with that set of principles more or less voluntarily? We say well you have rights and responsibilities, and I have rights and responsibilities And I’m willing to pay a price for yours including the acceptance of punishment if I transgress But you’re going to do the same for me. So there are there are intelligent ways that punishment and threat can be used and bounded so but it that could easily degenerate into Tyranny and one of the methods that I can choose to [use] if I don’t want to encounter error is just to enforce my will on everyone else and I think when that happens personally and in the family and in the community and in the state all at the same time then you get the emergence of a Tyranny and So I would consider those two counterproductive Reactions to the emergence of the unrealized world. It’s like you say something. I don’t like I collapse completely Children don’t like other children who do that by the way right? It’s something that’s very interesting to [observe] So let’s say kids have organized themselves to play a little game of baseball with a plastic bat in a ball And you know one child pitches and the other child hits the ball The child Catches it and puts the puts the batter out and the batter bursts into tears Well, what happens is the other kids you know the first time that happens they’ll be sympathetic [the] third time that happens They won’t invite that kid out to play baseball anymore so the answer to We’re not getting along is not you get to burst into tears and and and manifest extraordinary emotional distress because if you do that no, one’s going to want to play with you and [that’s] a lesson that many people could stand learning again one of the things. I think that’s really destabilizing our society right [now] Maybe is that I’m not sure [that] Kids have been encouraged or allowed to play enough in the last [2530] Years and I think a lot of this identity stuff is actually Fantasy play, it’s delayed fantasy play because it’s sort of what you do when you’re seven years old. It’s like well I’m going to be this identity That’s what you’re doing when you pretend you’re going to go along with that because we’re going to play this out It’s like that’s fine You don’t impose that though right not not if you’re a kid that has a clue you invite people to play you don’t insist on Your identity and their compliance with it It’s not a playable game and You don’t burst into tears and run off when [someone] won’t play your game because then they won’t play with you And then you have to turn [to] force, and that’s that’s fine. If that’s what you want to do, but you better look out because You better be ready to use it Those crazy me were some morality come to responses insurance [applied] in [your] [city] and [will] [thank] [you] [buy] this if we can say Researcher a is better than this structure being from a pragmatic perspective Does it come with responses of making sure that people who are trapped perhaps the [treadle]? restructuring Somewhere else that we have a responsibility [against] Good question. I mean that that’s part of the question that that I in some sense Motivated in some sense motivated the American incursion into Iraq Right so what’s our responsibility in relationship to tyranny that’s a good question all of the increases of families are Getting is for non processing about the situation of [human] and say solidarity yeah, you know I think that’s I [think] that criticism is more emerging because of because it’s apparently it’s apparently paradoxical and they’ve laid out a set of principles to which in principle they they adhere and One of those principles is to reduce the destructive power of the patriarchy it’s like okay There is some destructive Patriarchy for you radio silence. It’s like hmM now What am I supposed to do about that am I supposed to question your adherence to those principles? Which is exactly what should be done, so I think it’s a it’s it’s a criticism of performative contradiction [you] say you’re for this, but when it comes to acted out you don’t selectively in this situation, so there’s something wrong There’s something about your game that you’re not being straight about that’s the criticism, and maybe there’s rejoinders to that you know Well, okay, okay? Well responsibility well you know then you’d have to look at different levels of Analysis with regards to interactions. You definitely have a responsibility to your partner and Your children okay, so your responsibility to your children as far as I’m concerned is don’t it’s twofold one don’t let your children do anything that makes you dislike them and There’s a corollary to that which is don’t be an idiot you know so that’s partly why you need a partner because your partner has to tell you when your Demands on your children are excessive because you’re kind of you know you’re not 100% oriented properly but still you’re their target adult and So it’s up to you to help them choose a path that makes you want them to be around right? And that that’s your critical responsibility, and hopefully you’re enough of an an analog of the broader community so that if they can figure out how to get along with you it radically increases the Probability that they’ll be able to get along with everyone so for example if you’re playing with your children two years old You you help them you encourage them to play in a manner That’s fun And if you get that down, then you know when you introduce them to another child don’t know how to play in a manner That’s fun, and so great You’ve solved the problem the problem is to get your child to enter into the collaborative social world, and so yes You have a primary responsibility for that and then with regards to your partner. Here’s something to think about With regards to role so my wife and I have had this discussion many times and one of the discussions is well How are we to treat each other in public? And it isn’t her name is Tammy the discussion isn’t How should Jordon treat Tammy in public or how should tammy treat Jordan that’s not the discussion this isn’t personal It’s how should a wife treat her husband, and how should a husband treat his wife It’s impersonal and it’s partly you don’t put your partner down in public Why well it’s not because you’re hurting that person’s feelings That’s not why it’s that you’re denigrating the relationship that you are in voluntarily You know I’ve some of the most painful days. I’ve ever spent one in particular I spent with a group of men who had been in therapy for their marriage and who bloody well needed that I can tell you that and They spent their whole day complaining about their wives. I could just made me sweat the whole day I thought I can’t believe I’m here with you guys that I Can’t tell you why I was it’s just you know it was just happenstance more than anything And I thought how can you be so damn dumb it’s like It’s certainly possible that you marriage barbaric married Barbarian witches fine You don’t have you’re so lacking in sense that you would discuss that in public not noticing that you picked them So basically all you’re doing is holding up a sign and waving it constantly that says I’m an idiot. I’m an idiot right and so well back to responsibility You have a responsibility to those whom you love and are obligated to To ensure that they manifest themselves in a manner that’s most beneficial to them over the long run Now you have the same responsibilities. I would say to yourself, but you’ll have blind spots other people have to help you with that But so the rule is you know you don’t let you don’t you help your wife figure out? How not to make [a] fool [of] herself in public and she extends to you the same courtesy and it’s partly Maintenance of the sacred Nature of the relationship it has nothing to do with you or her precisely It’s broader and wider than that okay, so then that’s two levels of responsibility child partner next level of responsibility You’re asked at your workplace to go uncut to undergo unconscious bias retraining You say yes, it’s like okay You’ve just admitted that you’re a bigot right because you’re acting about it’s like I’m a racist bigot obviously I need [to] be retrained and so you might say well I’m not going to make a fuss about it right or I’ve been told to do it for maybe you agree with it fine and If that if you agree with it, no problem, you can make a case for it I [think] it’s a weak and appalling case personally, but you can make a case [for] it you could say well, you know why I’m interested in my Biases and how to rectify them and like fair enough, you know people are biased But if you object to it, and you don’t say anything then you’re complicit and then it’s on you, and you know like a Causes [B] and C and B causes C and D and so forth the thing tends does noise? But it has this tendency to expand and you’ll come home angry and upset and [you’ll] go to the training program And you’ll think this is ridiculous because that is what you’ll think in all likelihood, and you won’t say anything But it eats at you well Gated your responsibility and so and then you might say well So then then that’s how the community becomes corrupt that’s how the community starts to be corrupt is that people turn a blind eye to Emergent Pathology when they know it’s pathological. That’s exactly what the egyptian story says Osiris is overcome by Seth Because he’s willfully blind Willfully blind which means he knows? But refuses to he knows quote his predator Detection systems have gone off Monster well, then you’re supposed to look okay? Exactly what sort of monster is this what doesn’t have wings? it doesn’t have a tail you know you cut it down into the You cut it from the monster that it could be into the monster that it is That’s the first step and then you take the appropriate steps and then you also notice the other monsters because here’s something [to] think about You’re going to pay a price for speaking up But you’re going to pay a price for not speaking up So it’s like monsters on the right monsters on the left pick the ones you want to battle with if you decide not to Make your stand You weaken yourself if you do it a hundred times Then even if the monster was only this big now You’re this big it’s going to eat you you know when it was this big you probably could have kicked it across the room It’s too late for that you’ve capitulated and capitulated you know and so what what you’ve done? And this is a way to think about it from a union perspective This is what jung was trying to get [at] when he was talking about elka elka me. It’s like the thing that pops up to object to you is this incredibly complex Entity it’s it’s the entire world encapsulated in the event If you interact with it You unpack it you differentiate your sense of the world and you and you you gather new skills, so for example Let’s say there’s something going on at your workplace, and you need to object to it cuz it’s driving you crazy And you talk it over with your wife so that you’ve got your head screwed on straight say Oh, I’ve got to say something and you go there, and you say something And you know you’re stumbling and awkward and all of that But but you watch the response and maybe you get what you’re aiming at. Maybe you don’t but you’ve learned a bunch You’ve learned while I noticed coherent as I could be I’m not as good at putting my arguments together My boss is more of a son of a bitch than I that he thought it was this is a worse problem that I knew about it’s like Differentiated differentiated so now the landscape is higher resolution and so are you? Well so good So maybe you’re a little bit next Better prepared the next time you have to do that and so the issue here to some degree is Don’t lose an opportunity to grapple with something that objects to you, especially when the object Objection is rather small Because that’s something you can you say well, I can put up with it It’s like fair enough like you don’t want to make everything into a war I usually use a rule of three if we’re interacting and you do something that I find disruptive. I’ll note it It’s like potential dragon go on and I’ll leave it be and then if you do it again. I think oh yeah That probably wasn’t merely Situation but I’ll leave it be because that’s still not enough evidence, but if you do it a third [time], then I’ll say hey I just noticed this and you’ll say no that didn’t happen and I’ll say yeah, not only did it happen But it happened here, and it happened here, [and] I’m not making this up So there’s something going on here like I’m not ignoring it and we can get to the bottom of it And then they’ll come [up] with a bunch of objections about why that isn’t necessary and you push those aside [and] they’ll come up with [a] few more objections, and they’ll push those aside And then usually they’ll get mad or burst into tears and if you push that aside Then you get to have a conversation Right and then you can solve the problem but man it’s you got to be a monster because first of all you need six arguments about why they’re objections aren’t going to stop you and then you have to not be intimidated by the Anger and you have to not be swamped by compassion about the tears and Then you can have a conversation and people don’t do that They won’t do that And so they don’t solve the problems and so then the problems accrue Right and if they accrue over 15 years of a relationship then that then they end up fat ugly and in divorce court so and that’s you know, that’s not a That’s not a great outcome. It’s an it’s Divorce Court and cancer are similar in their in their seriousness, not always, but But sufficiently often so when that error emerges it’s a it’s a glimmering now You know we talked a lot about the hierarchical structure of goals you know and so Here’s something here’s something to think about so the thing that Announces itself is error has a two-fold nature That’s because it’s Chaos and order at the same time or it’s because it’s all the archetypal structures at the same time It’s dragon of Chaos. It’s the great mother positive and negative. It’s the great father positive and negative. It’s the Individual hero and adversary all of that manifests itself in the moment of error Right the architects come forward did you make an error because you’re a bad person? Could be now so so one of the things to [think] about with regards to that is you know in the mesopotamian creation story? when When when time out comes flooding back. It’s so interesting that story You think about what she does? So she’s the archetype of error. Let’s say the error that can take you out that can dissolve you in salt water tears Well, she’s irritated because absolute was destroyed so that the structure is gone carelessness is destroyed the structure up comes time at she’s not happy What does she do she prepares a Phalanx of Monstrous Monsters? It’s exactly what the story says she produces a whole horde of monsters to come at you and she [puts] king you at their head and Kenya was the king of the Monsters and Later so he’s the ultimate bad guy he’s satan for all intents and purposes in the mesopotamian version. It’s out of him that Marduk makes human beings out of his blood that marduk makes human beings. That’s a critical issue man the mesopotamian said Imagine the worst monster you can possibly imagine the king of all the monsters That’s the blood of human beings Wow So what does that mean? Well it means that one of the terrible things that lurks Let’s say that you’ve been in a long-term Relationship and it collapses let’s say you were You know you had a tendency towards alcoholism. You weren’t so great with regards to your drug use [you] [know] that conscientious, and you had like four or five kind of low-rent affairs, and you know it your marriage collapses bang Well who do you first meet when you fall into Chaos? You meet king of the monsters and he’s you it’s like. Why did my marriage fall apart? [what] did I do wrong bang bang bang bang? [I] [did] all these things well? Why? Because that thing inhabits me. What is it well? That’s the most horrifying question Well, that’s why So down there in the archetypal space all these things lurk The hero and the adversary you’ve just met the adversary right well Maybe your tyrant that’s certainly possible. Maybe everything around you was chaotic. So what do you encounter when things fall apart you? [encounter] the adversary you encounter the tyrant you encounter the catastrophe of nature and you encounter the dragon of the Chaos, and they’re all intermingled You have to sort that out. That’s what happens to Ellis when she goes down the rabbit hole right she meets the Red Queen [and] the red queen is always running around Off with their heads off with her heads and she says in my kingdom you have to run as fast as you can just to Stay in the same place right down the rabbit hole you meet the archetypes and so Okay, so back to [responsibilities] well one of the things solzhenitsyn detailed. We said well, how does societies. Go corrupt said it’s easy one Little sin at a time You go to work someone’s lording it over you you know that they’re tyrannical? You don’t have the wherewithal to stand up. It’s like okay You’re a slave And so if you continue to agree [to] be a slave you will continue to generate tyrants Right and the only thing that can stop you from doing that. I think is the right kind of terror. It’s like careful What you give up? Because that’s this [logos] okay, so so [alright] that’s this logos the logos is the thing that enables you to mediate between a Between order and Chaos and maybe you have to have some faith in that it’s like well What should you do [if] someone is harassing you? Well, you should fight back okay? What is that? What’s the most effective way to fight back well sometimes it’s physical, but that’s not necessarily for the best Maybe it’s through articulation Maybe it’s through analysis right you want to be sharp you want to be able to decompose a problem you want to be able to? Formulate an argument and a counter response and maybe you want to be so good at that that people don’t mess with you to begin With and then you’re a perfectly articulate counter monster, and you never have to take your sword out That’s that’s the place that you want to be. It’s like people should know after three seconds of interacting with you that harassing you [would] be a seriously bad idea and then You’ll have a perfectly fine time with them So and that’s part of you know, so there’s some utility in meeting the devil in the underworld Right because maybe he’s got something to teach you that’s certainly possible that [and] one of the things that you can be taught is that your Normative morality which is basically your harmlessness and your naivety masquerading as virtue is Completely insufficient to protect you in the world especially against the sorts of things [that] you’re talking about which are tyrant tyranny Tyrants will push until you push back. It’s in their nature They don’t have internal controls So they just push and push and push and push and push and push even kids do that like little kids Do that all the time they’ll just push you until they hit that wall they’re actually quite Happy when they hit a wall because the last thing a child wants is a universe without walls It terrifies them right they want to see while I’m in a swimming pool. There’s an edge They don’t want to see oh, no this isn’t a swimming pool This is [an] ocean [I’m] in the middle of an ocean I’m going to drown That’s a terrible thing for children. That’s why they need discipline and structure because It’s consistency and predictability and routine and all the things that are extraordinarily helpful to them okay, so now think of that hierarchy [that] we talked about so You’re not in a story. You’re in nested stories And the nested stories round themselves in action [in] actual embodied action, so if you’re going to sit if you’re going to be a good partner maybe you help Prepare the meals and to help prepare the meals means you pick up a plate with your hand And you move it physically through space, and you put it on the table. That’s where it stops being an abstraction So at the bottom of an ethical Hierarchy of value are actions not things that’s the scientific world, but actions and then you can label the actions with abstractions as you move up the hierarchy, so You’re good at setting the table so that means you’re good at making dinner so that means that you’ve got one element of good being a good partner [in] place and being a good partner is one element of being a good person and so You you’re not so good at setting the table, and you say well. I’m [not] a good person. It’s like well No, you should go down [to] the higher resolution levels of the hierarchy and start there and that’s what you do when you’re arguing with [people], but there’s another thing that’s really useful about conceptualizing the Hierarchy in this manner, so So I think what we’ll do is We’ll stop now [for] 10 minutes and all because I want to bring up this diagram because what I want to do next is it’s a bleak story at the moment because the story is something like You’re going to lay out oversimplifications in the world, and they’re going to be prone to catastrophic error, and then you have to encounter What’s terrifying in order to Progress and so what that means is that progression is always dependent on terror something like that And there’s some truth [in] that and that’s why people don’t progress, but it’s not a sufficient truth And I want to unpack that when we come back, so let’s come back in 10 minutes, and then I’ll die can unpack that There’s this parable in the new testament [that] just came to mind I’m going to mangle it a bit because it’s not one that I have well memorized but And I’m probably going to conflate two or three stories together, but I think I think [I’ve] got it, right Christ is walking down the road and someone picks them up the person is rich and and like well wealthy and He has a talk they have a talk and the wealthy man, basically tells him all the things that are wrong with his life and then he asks him what he should do about it and Chris says to him you have to give up everything you own and follow me And that’s often be read as a criticism of wealth And that’s actually not what the story means what the story means is this this guy has a lot of wealth but he’s still miserable and so that means that what he has is the Obstacle to what he could be and so that’s the message of the [story] is that if you’re miserable with what you have then you? have to let go of what you have so that maybe you could have something else and And so and then there’s some commentary on that story I think other people are listening and they say well if that’s the price to be paid then no one is ever going to pay it, and I think that’s where the statement it is easier for a man to go through the eye of a needle for a camel to go through an eye of The eye of a needle than for a rich man to [enter] paradise. [I] believe that’s the derivation of that Story and like I said that’s been read as a critique of wealth, but it isn’t it’s a critique of attachment now You know in the buddhist doctrine one of the impediments to enlightenment is attachment and People read that as saying. Well you shouldn’t care for anything in the world, and that’s there’s a nihilism That’s associated with that and not and there is a strong nihilistic tendency in buddhism that has to do with Abandonment of the world do you see that in? Christianity to some degree with people going off to lead ascetic lives and to you know it’s part of multiple religious traditions that idea of asceticism and there’s some utility in it if it is your attachment say to material things or status or whatever that’s Interfering with your pSychological progression now the idea is that you [should] let go of whatever it is that’s interfering with your pSychological Progression because no matter how valuable what it is. That’s interfering is It’s not as valuable as what you’re giving up Okay, however the Criticism still stands and the Criticism was well if the task is that difficult then no one’s going to do it and so in in the Brothers karamazov, [there’s] a famous story called the Grand inquisitor and it’s a story told by Ivan karamasoff to his brother [Elia] and Ivan is a very High-status intelligent attractive Tough minded Soldier and Alyosha is his younger brother and he’s kind of softer and less rational more spiritual and also training to be a no vitiate at the local monastery and Ivan likes to tear strips off it because he’s a cynic and an atheist and and and in Dostoyevsky’s normal Brilliant Manner he makes Ivan an incredibly powerful articulate and Admirable character, so when dostoyevsky wants to take someone on in his literary investigations He doesn’t take his enemy and turn him into some sort of weak Puppet he takes his enemy and turns them into the strongest possible enemy he can imagine and then Goes to battle against that it’s a hallmark of Great literature It’s what distinguishes dusty sp for example from [Ain] Rand Because what ain’t rand does is she takes her she’s a darling of the I would [say] libertarian, right? She takes her enemies And they’re all the same first of all every single one of her negative characters is exactly the same as every other one And they’re all bad you know there’s there’s no redeeming qualities whatsoever in them And they also I would say make their weak characters who make weak arguments That’s not the way to progress the way to progress is to take your enemy Seriously and to even inflate them into something Beyond their [capacity] to inflate themselves and then see if you can hammer out a solution to the genuine problem that’s being posed anyway, so Dusty else he does that brilliantly always and what makes him, so absolutely remarkable But anyways, I even tells le Osha this story He calls it the [grand] [inquisitor] and that in the story christ comes back to [Earth] in the Spanish inquisition [and] he’s he’s out by a fountain and People sort of notice him and he starts performing miracles and a big crowd Gathers around and it’s like happy days. You know But then the inquisitor shows up this old, you know harsh Tyrannical guy and he has his guards arrest him [he] [throws] them in Prison and so now christ is in prison and the Inquisitor comes down and says to him while you’re probably wondering why which are you in prison you know? especially given that were the members [of] the you know were the representatives of the church that you hypothetically found it and and christ remains silent through this entire episode and the inquisitor basically says look you know you laid down this ethic that it’s wonderful, but it’s Superhuman no one can do it It’s asking way too much, and so you’re you put the burden you put on people was just far too great And so what we’ve done in the catholic church in the centuries since the church was founded is was lightened the load we said well we take ordinary people and say well there here are some things you can do to be a little bit better and You [know] we’ve instituted confession and repentance and all that we’ve kind of toned it down So that the average person has some hope of progress And we’re making Headway and the last bloody thing we need around here is you coming back and like? Screwing up all our all our good efforts is like. It was nice to have you around once but once was plenty man We don’t need you around anymore and so christ listens to this doesn’t say anything and then the inquisitor turns to leave and Christ grabs him and kisses him on the lips and the inquisitor turns white and Then leaves and when he leaves the door he leaves the door open And that’s the end of the story and it’s an amazing story It’s an absolutely remarkable story in every possible way and and you know Dostoevsky was objecting to some degree to the tyranny [of] the catholic church or even of the Christian church for that matter But the thing that he did [that] was so damn brilliant is that he even made the inquisitor leave the door open No, and as a [bellas] critique of Catholicism even during the inquisition. It’s so brilliant It’s so emblematic of dostoyevsky’s take on the world that he criticized the inquisitorial Aspect of Christianity and of course, it’s the tyrannical aspect of any belief system, but noted that they bloody well left the door open Right so it’s Brilliant. It’s Brilliant It’s it’s it’s remarkable. So anyways the whole point that I’m making here. Is that there are terrible? impediments to enlightenment and the light is the impediments are the necessity of sacrifice and the necessity area of Necessity of the Voluntary acceptance of suffering [I] mean you see that in buddhism You know because one [of] the canons of [buddhist] one of the fundamental [principles] of buddhism Is that life is suffering and that attachment makes it worse and well? It isn’t it isn’t precisely attachment [its] Attachment to things such that you cannot release the things when it’s time to let them go [right] [so] like you’re a Phoenix You’re [a] hundred years old your feathers. They’re not working anymore, right? You’re all wrinkly you’re done It’s time to burst into flames and be reborn but you don’t want to burn off your feathers you want to cling to them and That’s not good because you have to be willing to undergo that Transformation process and that involves Like you know if you if you take your po self apart because you’ve made a mistake and you find out What it is about you that’s not? Set up properly And that’s why the mistake occurred that’s really going to happen for example when an intimate relationship breaks down then you have to be in a position where you’re willing to let the Errors that are part of your character that define you right they might even be part of your [identity] you have to let you have To be willing to let them go you have to be willing to let them burn off and that’s a hell of a thing to Ask and so then the [question] might be well is there a less radical solution to the problem then then then? Crucifixion and resurrection or the total emulation and regeneration because that’s the archetypal What’s that’s the archetypal end point that if you want to put your self together you have to die and be reborn? [I] mean that in that motif comes up all the [time] In in popular popular stories and in mythology and so they here’s here’s How I think that problem can be? resolved so Let’s go back to the Enochian Story momentarily so what happens and that the pinocchio story to me [is] analogous in its structure to the sermon on the mount so I’m going to make a Parallel between those two things so basically what the [sermon] on the [mount] suggests is that? you should conceptualize the highest good that you’re capable of conceptualizing and orient yourself towards that and That having done that you [should] live in the moment So it’s not like you should live in the moment It doesn’t say [that] because that’s often christ the hippie You know so the hippies who have adopted that or that? That’s sort of that that element of Christianity say well you live for the moment you know and and And in meditation and other practices some of the attempt is to get you to live in the moment But you know just to tell people to live in the moment It’s like what what the hell kind of advice is that what about the future? You know that is not helpful advice Somebody comes to you, and they’re suffering dreadfully because you know their mother has alzheimer’s and they’re unemployed well live in the moment It’s like that’s just not helpful. It’s it’s and because it’s even worse than that It’s judgmental you say well the only reason you’re suffering is because you haven’t oriented yourself property to live in the moment like no you’re suffering because your Mother has alzheimer’s and you don’t have a job. It’s like. It’s not because you aren’t living in the moment, so Living in the moment isn’t the right answer The right answer is something more like orient yourself towards the highest good that you can imagine and then act in the moment That’s a whole different story now. That’s what happens in the pinocchio story, basically what happens is that Geppetto? sees the star beckoning in the distance And he orient’s himself towards the highest good he can imagine he wants to take this creation of his and so this is Manifesting itself conceptually at multiple levels simultaneously because there’s a there’s a story about the destiny of humanity in relationship to God Nested in the story. It’s like take your fallible creation your puppet and Set [up] the pre. Set up the condition such that. It’s capable of taking on full functional independence. It’s something like that So that’s what you do if you’re a good parent with your children. You don’t protect them. You don’t offer them safety You don’t do any of that except insofar as it’s necessary to facilitate their Development as Fully confident and courageous beings the purpose of the protection is only to allow that developmental process to to continue So you you orient [Geppetto] orient’s himself and so the farther orient’s himself and then the son undertakes the voyage and so [alright], so let’s say that that’s the case you orient yourself first then you can start to rely on your Then you can start to concentrate more on your orientation to the moment now I’m going to tell you another story. So you know I was just watching harry Potter the other day the first one and I was watching the quidditch game And the quidditch game is very interesting because there’s a game and a meta game going on at the same time So the game is just the standard quidditch game It’s kind of like basketball played on brooms right you have to throw balls through hoops and if you get enough points you win But at the same time so there’s the normal players and then there’s two seekers one from each team and the seekers aren’t playing the same game the Game is nested inside the seeker game actually because if you’re a seeker, and you perform your task that everyone wins right you win But everyone wins and so you’re not even playing the normal game You’re playing the seeker game and the thing that that that Harry Potter chases is this thing called the snitch and the snitch. This is one of the things that’s I can’t I don’t know how the hell Jk. Rowling figured this out I cannot figure it out because that snitch is a winged ball right and there’s there’s actually a symbol of that winged Ball Called the round Chaos which jung describes in his works on alchemy and his works on healthy are really really difficult It’s [not] [easy] to figure out what he’s talking [about] at all, but the round Chaos which is a winged ball is it’s it’s a manifest a of the spirit Mercury and Mercury is an emissary of the God, so you can think about mercury [uh] the Unconscious manifesting itself in your in your field of experience something like that In any case the the round Chaos is the container of the primordial Material from which the world is made and I think about it like this It’s this thing there, it’s [that] So when you encounter an anomaly an error? It’s a container. That’s a way of conceptualizing it and what is it contained? Well it contains in some sense it contains the whole world but but here’s an example like look let’s say God let’s say that you’ve had repeated fights with your wife about how domestic duties are going to be arranged among around meal time and you believe me you’re going to have those fights and So and so what’s happening? Is that mealtimes are unpleasant because there’s a war for power going on in the kitchen right and So then you think one day while you’re going to you know? note that and you’re going to Do an archeological investigation and find out just what the hell is going on and so you start? unpacking the fact that mealtimes are not pleasant and So what’s in that little thing that you’re unpacking that package well? the entire power dynamic between men and women in the Modern world is inside [that] dispute and you might find that part of the reason [that] your wife is upset about the way that mealtimes are arranged because is because Her [grandmother] was beat by her grandfather And that’s playing a role in it played a role [in] determining her unconscious expectations And that’s pathologizing one of the day to day rituals in the house and if you’re going to unpack that you’re going to have to unpack all of that into you take a Little Monster, and you decompose it you find out it’s a hydra it’s got 50 heads then you have to work through every single one of those it’s really really difficult, so It’s a container that [contains] everything, but the thing is if you unpack it Successfully let’s say and you deal with it you go see eight a consensus Then all of a sudden you get you get peace say around your mealtimes. Which is a major accomplishment Man, because you have to eat three times a day And it’s the center of the household and all of them, so but the thing is is that often when you’re especially in the context of an intimate relationship Things will Emerge that produce discontinuities and the question is what should your attitude towards that discontinuity be? Well you can punish the person for manifesting the discontinuity That’s the tyrannical aspect or you can let it take the whole thing apart and that will happen I mean that’s often how relationships end. Is that a discontinuity emerges and People get into it and things go sideways so badly that the whole relationship descends into [Chaos] and people bail out of it so it’s no wonder that people want to ignore it and It’s also no wonder that. They want to tyrannize it. It’s like quit bothering me with that well Possibly, but probably not and also if my attitude towards you is quit bothering me with that your attitude towards me when I? Have the same sort of problem in reverse. It’s going to be exactly the same and so we’re not going to get anywhere with it All right But that still is painful now, let’s go back to the Quidditch issue now. Here’s what happens is that? harry Potter is picked to be the seeker so that means he is the seeker whatever he represents is the seeker [and] He’s an interesting character [because] he’s touched by evil, and he’s a rule breaker, and he’s also kind of a normal kid He’s not [a] hyper intellect or anything like that. That’s hermione’s rule, right? so he’s normal but but super normal at the same time and he gets picked to be the seeker and and Then you think about what is it he seeks, and he seeks this thing that glimmers rioted it flashes in front of him It’s made out of gold and it has wings and if he grabs it then he wins and so the question is What does [that] represent? Now it’s interesting that when people watch that movie They actually find that you know they think that that’s kind of cool that it’s a cool game and It is [a] cool game. She laid it out very nicely and the idea is that well There’s a game and if you play it normally you win the game But in that game is a meta game and if you play that properly then not only do you win? But everybody wins so then the next rule is the meta game supersedes the game and that’s the same idea that I’m chasing here with you today about this Meta morality it’s the it’s the morality that emerges as a consequence of the analysis of a set of morality or it’s the morality It’s the morality to which other all other morality should [be] subjugated that’s another way of [thinking] about it, and [I] said well That’s a terrible thing because it involves painful sacrifice or maybe it involves confronting the thing you least want to confront That’s the union dictum right if your life, isn’t all that it should be then you should find out the thing that you least want to confront that you’re avoiding and confront that and that’s the Easy to say but it’s a terrible thing because it means you’re going to have to turn your gaze [to] the place where you are Weakest and most vulnerable that is asking a lot [of] people so then you might say [well] is there an alternative and I think there is an alternative, so this is the anomaly right this is the ball that contains everything I think there is an alternative. I think it’s associated with this idea, so Imagine Imagine we have a we could have a conflict if we were in a relationship We could have a conflict that would blow the relationship apart all right So we don’t want to have that conflict and then we could have no conflict whatsoever [which] means that you would never get to say what you wanted and I would never get to say what I wanted because We’re either Identical which is just not happening or we’re going to have conflict because you’re going to want some things that I don’t want and vice-versa So if there’s no conflict, we are not in a relationship [all] right, so zero conflict is the wrong amount and conflict it destroys the [relationship] is the wrong amount and then you might say well Okay, what’s the optimal amount of conflict? Well, so so so then we can think about how people respond emotionally So let’s say if you go after the person that you’re arguing with and you say you’re a bad person And you really make that case [you’re] bloody well [hammered] home you remember 50 things they’ve done that We’re bad and you lay them out like I’m going to stomp you You’re a bad person you really need to change okay? Well first of all you’re going to meet tremendous resistance And that’s like you’ve got the hydrogen you bring in a hydrogen bomb to the war right and maybe Unless you want to destroy everything maybe that’s not the most logical solution, but then by the same token Everything is [alright], and we never have any conflict that’s not helpful either, and you’re going to get bored of that And you’re not going to develop and so then the [question] is well. Maybe there’s some happy medium here Maybe you want to be repairing this structure. You know the structure that goes from micro actions up to higher-order? Conceptualizations, maybe you want to be updating that on a constant basis, and you want to update it in a manner that doesn’t Drop you into Chaos or place you in too much spaces And then that answer is well how then then the question is how is it that you can calibrate? your approach to error so that you get the benefits of doing it without the disadvantage of collapsing into Chaos and then the issue the answer to that is something like it’s something like Once you have decided to adopt Responsibility for being and will say that what that means is that you have conceptualized A Good that you’re willing to devote yourself to and I think you you’re perfectly welcome to do that on an individual basis [I] think you should do it on an individual basis. You should consult with your ancestors [while] you’re doing that because generally speaking the route to optimal the route to to quality of Life and productivity Has been laid [out] by other people we kind of know what the parameters are you need to do something that other people find is useful and and and you have to regard it as useful as well or At least you have to be entertaining there has to be something about you Have value to other people that you have to pursue with a fair bit [of] diligence So you have to play a productive social role? probably need friends Probably need an intimate relationship, and if it could be medium to long [term] in for an intimate relationship perhaps all the better That’s what most societies hold up as ideal could assume. Well. There’s probably a reason for that I think one of the reasons is is that your life gets fragmented otherwise Badly fragmented you know it’s Because every time you have a long term relationship And it fragments. It’s like your identity is blown into pieces you get fragmented across time it’s it’s not it’s not good It’s it breaks you into pieces and you don’t necessarily recover that well It makes everything much more in permanent and Unreliable all of those things so it it introduces a tremendous amount of uncertainty into your life And it also means that you don’t have anyone around that you can really trust and that’s bad because if you have someone around you can really trust and you have two brains instead of one and Like you probably need two brains to manage your way through life. It’s pretty complicated So you orient yourself towards some good? The highest good that you can conceptualize and it has to be Through a consultation with your ancestors because you need to do the things that people have always done [and] you need to do them properly and You need to assume that that’s the way that you should live unless you have a very good reason To change it dramatically and maybe you do, but you got to start with some Axiomatic set of presuppositions because otherwise you have to invent everything on your own, and you don’t have enough time to do that So you have to use normative guidelines and if you don’t then people won’t know what to do with you That’s another big problem. If you live completely outside the norm. I mean you know Remarkable artists manage that to some degree, but of course they pay [for] the privilege by being remarkable artists so if there’s something truly remarkable about you perhaps you could justify deviating from the normative path, but if there isn’t First of all there’s nothing remarkable enough about you to justify deviating in every way [from] the normative path no matter how remarkable you are so So that’s part of the the rescuing of the father from from the depths is to Reunite yourself with the structures of your community you can do that in a way that you feel Suits your own needs best, but I don’t think you cannot do it because it makes you weak, and then you’ll drown All right, so let’s say you have oriented yourself But not perfectly because you’re full of mistakes and errors So then what do you do because you have to fix those errors, but you still have to be oriented And this is why I started getting to to get interested in the phenomena of meaning As a phenomenological experience to experience something as meaningful, it’s not exactly obvious what that means to experience something is meaningful [I] think that you can you can approach it obliquely You know like if I said watch yourself for two weeks and notice when you’re doing something that you regard is meaningful I could say well. Here’s some here’s some Markers you lose a sense of time you lose a sense of vulnerability, you’re deeply engaged in it it seems It seems worth the effort right you forget yourself while you’re doing [it] Maybe you forget your existential concerns while you’re doing it you’re not Ruminating or obsessing about the meaning of your life, right so so there’s markers for it’s like the flow states that [cSIkszentmihalyi] described and Then you can experience it you experience it under certain Sort of ritualistic conditions You might experience it when you go see a great movie you might experience it when you listen [to] music I think music is a very very standard pathway for people to have that kind of experience because Virtually everyone gets intimations of mute of meaning from music and I think music music is Hierarchically structured patterns that are representative of being laying itself out properly It’s something like that, so it’s an abstract representation of proper being and so We can we can grapple with the phenomena of music and we can we can bach or phenomena of meaning we can box it in? A little bit and start to conceptualize it We can start to conceptualize it perhaps as the manifestation of a deep instinct, and so I would say well Meaning is what NFS itself? when you are when you’ve oriented yourself properly and when you’ve optimized the flow of information between you and you between you and Chaos that might be the right way of thinking about it because [literally] you think about a piece of music because you Want it to be predictable? but you don’t want it to be perfectly predictable you want to be it to be predictable with some interesting variations and Predictable with some variations that make sense. Maybe you can conceptualize that as something like this. It’s like it’s predictable at this order of Stability, but it’s it’s varying down here from time to time and so you’ve got stable stability there But variability there and you can handle that so you want an overarching structure of stability with some internal variability and Maybe that’s the way that you update yourself without falling apart and then I would say you can find the pathway to the optimal rate of Update by relying on your sense of meaning. That’s what it’s for what it tells you is that you’re you’re wandering your way through the world between the Catastrophes of Chaos and the catastrophes of order and now and then you swing into the proper locale You’re where you should be and what happens is you get engaged by that you get meaningfully engaged by that and it’s fragile It’ll move on you right because it’s very difficult to exist at that point Constantly your bad habits all sorts of things your situation There’s all sorts of things that are going to interfere [with] that But that doesn’t mean that that isn’t where you should be and so then you might say well That’s where you should strive to be all the time and then the question might be well What would it be like if you [were] there all [the] [time], and I [think] that’s where intimations of Paradise Come from I mean when words think it was wordsworth talked about intimations of immortality and childhood people tend to romanticize their childhood because of the sense of Intense engagement that goes along with [being] a child and it’s one of the wonderful things about being around children actually it’s it’s one They pay you for their care and the way the children pay you for their care Is that they turn normal things into Magic again when you’re around them because you’ve seen it a hundred times before And so when you see it, you don’t see it You see what you already know But when a child sees it they don’t because they don’t know they see it and then when you watch them see it You see it too, and so it’s just tremendous fun Leading a small child around to do things that you’ve done before because they’re [sold] you know, they’re like this They’re like all the time, and you know maybe that’s too much and they cry and they get upset and all of that but a good part of the time It’s just wild-eyed wonder and then you can see the world through their eyes And it’s payment, and so that’s that sense of being engaged like that is something that people love about children and rightly so, but it’s also a marker to the proper way of being you know there’s a dictum in the As a union idea that there’s no difference between the archetype of the wise old man and the archetype of the child They’re the same thing because the wise old man is the person who found what he had in childhood, but lost Right it said that’s a very powerful motif is that the purpose of maturation is to return to the state of childhood as a mature? Being not to stay in the state of childhood That’s peter pan, but to make the sacrifice is necessary for Maturation and then return So well how do you do that? Well you do that in part by noting what it is That’s meaningful you for you to engage in I would say it’s your nervous system reporting to you right hemisphere and left hemisphere Balanced that the balance between Chaos and order produces an output that says you are [in] the right place It’s a perception the meaning is a perception of being in the right place. It’s the genuine thing however because it can be Pathologized that’s the thing and that’s why I think there’s a call to virtue in most great religious traditions if you’re going to rely [on] Your sense of meaning to orient you you have to play a straight game because otherwise you warp and twist The inputs and then the mechanism won’t function properly you [know]. It’s like if you if you were only if you’re if you’ve blinded yourself to half the world you can’t use your Perception story and your self properly because the half the world that you’re ignoring is going to pop up at you unexpectedly and take you down, and so if your Relationship with the world isn’t pristine Honest primarily, then you can’t rely on your own internal orienting mechanisms And then you either fall into Chaos which is an absolute catastrophe Or you have to rely on some kind of external authority and that makes you prone to Possession by Tyrannical Ideologies for example which give you that sense of meaning that you should in fact have as a consequence of your own action but okay, so if if all relationships are our sort of predicated on of this balance between no, conflict and conflict that destruct [that] if we will look if we were to look at this at a more macro level We see this sort of matte effect in in history in our world like with conflict in between countries in the two systems Ideology EtC But what is this sort of navigation between? The exact line of no consequences [conflicts] how does that not imply that some people are inherently? due to Chaos It might imply that you know what are the things so look so sometimes Sometimes you don’t have an answer [that] works you can answer that produces the highest probability of success and Like I could view the archetypal world from a religious perspective and say that There’s such a thing as ultimate and final [redemption]. That’s a metaphysical claim. I don’t I don’t want to do that I think it’s independent of what I’m talking about what I’m saying. Is that there’s an archetypal path That’s laid out in in the mythology of the hero, and it’s your best bet That’s all it’s your best bet. It doesn’t mean that if you apply it that everything is going to turn out The way you might want it to turn out but but I would say this There’s a way of there’s an interesting twist on that, too this is one of the things that I came to understand about trying to speak the truth is that You can make an assumption you can make a fundamental assumption based on your ignorance Let’s say and the in eradicable quality of your ignorance, but you can’t compute the best possible outcome What you can do instead is make a decision and one decision is well I’m going to say what I think and see what happens and Then you can define that as the best possible outcome Now you might say well now and then that’s going to lead you into Chaos. It’s like yeah, it is It is it’s a strange. It’s a strange inversion But regardless of all doubt I would still say Human beings are finite and limited and mortal you know and death is final. Let’s say I’m not saying that but we could easily say [that] Doesn’t matter this is still the best pathway forward it isn’t certainty there’s no certainty and It’s very frequently in life you have poison a or poison B Like you get to pick [your] poison [you] don’t get to pick the elixir of life but I would but I would say I would also say I don’t think there’s any reason to be particularly pessimistic because We don’t know what would happen if [people] really tried hard to get their acts together Like if they understood the [necessity] of that and really put it forward I mean I Mean I’ve had lots of experience with my clinical clients now. You know I’ve seen dozens and dozens of [people] and We have tried jointly To get their lives straighter, and it works almost inevitably now that doesn’t mean I’ve had clients who died. You know we were three-quarters through A Wonderful process of psychological renovation and they got cancer and died so so there’s there’s no certainty associated with this But it’s the best solution available [and] And it’s also possible that it’s a good enough solution Now I was talking to my class yesterday about this you know so you If you pursue the things in [your] life that [are] meaningful once you’ve oriented yourself and that means accepting the challenges that come along with That because one of the things that you’ll find you even find this in music if you know a piece of music completely Then you can not want to listen to it anymore this still has to be some challenge in it You still have to track it and sometimes music is so complex you just can’t it just sounds like noise Modern music is often like that because it’s so Well it tends towards the chaotic and so it’s I find it difficult to listen to because I can’t get a handle on it But then you know so it’s too challenging, and then there’s other music pop music is often like this It’s Catchy the first two times you hear it then you never want to hear it [again]. It’s too much There’s too much predictability and not enough Chaos and hopefully you find a piece of [music]. That’s somewhere in the middle You can listen to it 50 or 100 times and each time you listen to it There’s still some new nuance in it that you didn’t that you didn’t Expect before and so well you kind of want to set up your life like that, so that And I think you see that the phenomena of meaning manifests itself at the area at the Locale of Optimal challenge So if the thing so one of the things for example, or might say well Let’s say you want to set some goals for yourself. [we] say well. They’re remarkable goals, but they’re all there to unattainable You’re just going to find it frustrating to pursue them It’s going to be too punishing, and then we might say well. Here’s a goal, and you think well, I could do that You know standing on my head. There’s nothing in it well both of those two extremes are going to leave you in a state that isn’t characterized by the Optimization of engagement and meaning one is too difficult [too] punishing It’s the judge and nothing else and the [other] is the ultimate and merciful mothers. It’s like you win, no matter How you play so then you calibrate and say well? You know [I] need? I’m I’m up for a challenge at this level I Wouldn’t recommend that because that’s just a bit like people do that you [want] it might want to Investigate your character in detail and decide you know What’s going on at this level of analysis? That’s pretty harsh, but you can certainly continually retool yourself at more micro levels and That and I think what you do is you pick the level of retooling that optimizes your willingness to be engaged in it and then what’s so interesting about that is that I think is that you get the benefits of perfection so to speak while still being imperfect The imperfect your actual imperfection has nothing to do with it what’s relevant is the Jerk is the journey that you’re undertaking to rectify the imperfection so instead [of] aiming to be the entity without flaws You’re aiming to be the entity that continues to realize its flaws and overcome them. Well. That’s a game You can play forever and that’s maybe the ultimate in being an unplowed entity It’s something like that so so I want to show you some pictures [that] I think are associated [with] that so this one to begin with This is an absolutely amazing picture. I think so this is bert hold [firt] meier tree of life flanked by Eve and Mary Ecclesia and This in some [sense] this this picture summarizes the biblical stories in one picture which is that’s pretty amazing that that a picture can do that and So let me explain the picture a little bit so the first thing you see [here]. Is [that] this is the tree? this is the tree of life and So it echoes the tree of the [of] the knowledge of good and evil But this is [post-fall] so we interpreted the story of Adam and Eve already is that human beings became self conscious they discovered death they discovered morality it was all a consequence of Interacting with the fruit and the snake something like that, and you can read that as an as an evolutionary tale you can at least read it as a Representation of the emergence of self-consciousness in human beings, so what does that mean well it [means] that? the [Apple] in some sense was equivalent to death, and that’s what you see here You see eve is picking fruit from the tree here But the fruit is it’s on the skull side of the tree and so eve. It’s the vulnerability of Eve She’s naked there and displayed to the world. It’s the vulnerability of Eve That’s one way of thinking about it was the vulnerability of Eve That was the catalyst to the development of human self-consciousness, and I think that that’s true It seems to me to be a reasonable proposition and so Eve eve’s relationship with the fruit and the snake Doomed human beings to the realization of mortality that’s what this side of the picture represents and So it’s a catastrophe, and it’s associated with here with the snake in the fruit It’s human beings attempts to understand how it is that they emerged into a self-conscious world? Okay, so fine. So that’s on this is on the the fall end of the story and this is on the Solution end of the story now what you see here [in] there’s a skull there, and there’s a Crucifix here, and you see There’s all these little fruits on this tree, so it’s the apple of death that eve is handing out on this side and it’s the host that plays a role [in] the cannibalistic right that’s at the center of Christian ritual that mary as the church is handing out as a medication for yes So she’s handing out the antidote Well, what’s the antidote well? It’s a strange thing. It’s associated with this Crucifix, and that’s Translated into this wheat and host so you’re supposed to eat that and that That is the incorporation of whatever this represents well the question, then is what does that represent it to assist? It’s a symbol of suffering obviously it’s a symbol of the ultimate in suffering. It’s the weirdest thing because the picture proposes that to ingest the ultimate in suffering is to simultaneously Ingest the antidote to the catastrophe of the knowledge of death It’s a very strange paradox but but it’s the it’s the proper paradox. It’s at the center of this of the great drama that’s represented by this picture a Little knowledge of Death destroys you Full voluntary acceptance of it is the [cure] That’s the idea Well, that’s a that’s a hell of an [idea] It’s not only to and to accept it is Simultaneously in some sense to take responsibility for it Because you don’t take responsibility for things that you don’t accept You only take responsibility [for] things that you do accept say well, the world is fundamentally flawed because it’s fundamental nature is Vulnerability Intolerable vulnerability, I’m not going to take any responsibility for that, but that’s really [kane’s] attitude in the in the story of cain and Abel he externalizes responsibility for the catastrophe of his life and Therefore he doesn’t make the right sacrifices and so the paradoxical injunction here is accept responsibility for the catastrophe of your life and That way you transcend it Simultaneously, and there’s a there’s an unbelievably hopeful message in there and the message is you’re actually strong enough to do that You just don’t know it, and you won’t find out till you do it. You can’t find out till you do it But if you did it you’d find out that it was true. It’s a massive risk It’s the ultimate in risks right you have to be willing to lose your life in order to find it. It’s like exactly right So that picture when I started to understand that picture look every time I look at it. Just blows me away. I can’t Unbelievably, it’s an unbelievably sophisticated set of ideas But I don’t think it’s much different really [than] this idea. I mean buddha finds his enlightenment under a tree It’s not fluke that that’s the case that’s his natural [environment], and he’s sitting in that lotus here the lotus [opens] up [it’s] [a] this thing that springs up from the depths. He sits there illuminated the same way. He’s got a halo that’s the sun that stands for higher consciousness and he’s Transcended by accepting the fact that life is suffering he’s transcended the limitations that [are] part of mortality You see that symbol there That swastika you see it there. It’s reversed the Nazis reversed it Well think about that. I mean they weren’t stupid as symbolism They’re symbols had meaning is what the swastika were represented was what this represents? reversed Well, that’s a very bad idea This is the thing that this this idea is what enables people to transcend their suffering and buddha said well Don’t don’t be too attached to things and what does that mean? It doesn’t mean deny the world it might mean deny the world if you’re too in love with the material like with material well-being Let’s say then your pathway to transcendence and meaning might be to Abandon that because it’s [it’s] constraining you it’s making you less than you could be but the Fundamental lesson the more fundamental lesson that’s underneath that is don’t let what you are stop you from being what you could be Right and so then the [question] is well. What do you identify with do you identify with what you are? then [your] tyrant You identify with with Chaos because that’s the opposite of order say Then [you’re] nihilistic Well, you don’t identify with either of those you know that they’re both necessary You know that you have to live with both of them, but you would you identify? With the capacity to continually transcend what you are and then you seek out error That’s what humility is like. I’m error ridden It’s like so I want to see I want [to] put myself in the [situation] where I can discover one of my errors hopefully not In [a] way that’s going to knock me completely out of the game right. I want to I want to seek out a challenge I want to find out where my limits are I want to find out where there’s not enough of me yet And I want to do that in a way that’s engaging because you know you can wear yourself out fighting dragons Obviously, you can exhaust yourself completely, and that’s not helpful. You know [what] one of the things I learned for example when I was coaching when I was coaching Warriors who these were people who had very [high-end] careers and so they had an infinite workload no matter how much they worked? Flat-out there was always way more work that they should do. It’s very difficult thing to learn to manage and So they were exhausting themselves, and I said well, you know you have to work less per day. It’s like well No, that’s not happening. I can’t do that and so What I learned over time was [ok] So this is what you have to do every three [months] you have to block off [4] days and go have a vacation [you] have To plan that in advance, so it’s in your calendar so that your secretary doesn’t book your time and then you need that because you have to recuperate enough so [that] you can work as hard as you’re going to work and of Course they were nervous about that And I said well look we can we can calibrate this Let’s keep track of your billable hours over the next year and see if they increase or decrease Because I bet you if you take more time off, you’ll actually have more billable hours, you’ll actually have your cake and eat it too you’ll get to have a vacation and you’ll be more productive and That inevitably that was what happened? [and] so that’s a matter of calibrating the game properly right you want to play [a] game that you can [play] today? But also one that you can play next week and next month. We’re not talking about You know your your career this week? We’re talking [about] you having a career that lasts 30 years that doesn’t kill you that doesn’t make you hate yourself or the job that Doesn’t make you better that doesn’t wear you to a frazzle so it has to be optimized and so I think that you can Fact decide to take on the load that’s optimally meaningful if you want and then you get to have your cake and eat it Too you’re on the pathway to continual incremental improvement You only have to burn off a feather at a time instead of having the whole bloody thing burst into flames But it’s a constant It’s a constant source of renewal, and there’s an idea that to be renewed you have to drink the water of life, [right]? That’s an old mythological idea and what’s the water the water of life? Chaos is water water water is Chaos water is what washes away too much order And to stay continually let’s say refreshed by the water of life is to take on exactly the right [amount] of Chaos [to] make sure that your Garden is properly nourished, and I think meaning is actually the marker of that and and as I said you know that [I’m] not I wouldn’t consider myself either naive or particularly optimistic person I don’t think I’m [either] of those, but this is an actually an idea This is one of the only ideas that I’ve ever found that I really believed to be rock-solid I actually think that it’s true And [it’s] very optimistic because it says you can use your sense of meaning to calibrate your progress through life It but there’s rules you have to aim at the highest possible good that you can conceive Now in that subject update because what the hell you know but you start by aiming at the star you can see rather than the dimmer one that you can’t yet perceive and Then you decide that you’re going to do that honestly right. There’s that that’s a big decision, so the first decision I think in some sense is a decision of love You’re going to decide that being is worthwhile, and that you’re going to work [for] [its] betterment, and that’s a decision That’s based on love and the second decision is based on truth having made that decision You’re going to play a straight game having made those two decisions I think that you can allow your sense of meaning to calibrate your pathway And then what’s so interesting is [that] you hit a state that’s as close to paradise unless you’re going to hit Right away, because being engaged like that It’s better to be engaged in the solution of a complex problem than not to have a problem at all And that’s that’s no different than saying it’s better for there to be being that non-being because being is a problem and so if you want to have no problems then you have no being and You could say well being is so miserable that maybe that’s the route We should take and fair enough, but maybe you can have your cake and eat it, too You can have the damn problem. It could be a problem [we’re] [solving] and you can be so engaged in solving the problem that it justifies the fact that the problem exists and Then you get then you get to have you get to have the problem and the solution at the same time and maybe that’s better than not having the problem at all and I [believe] that because one of the things I have seen and I’ve seen this so interesting Being so interesting when I’d be lecturing to people especially More recently and and this is also manifested on you itself on YouTube I’m talking to people a lot about responsibility, and it’s young men in particular that seem to be responding to that And I [think] that’s partly because I [think] that young women in some sense have their responsibility map already laid out for them It’s also less voluntary in some sense for women because they have more complicated problems to solve in the first part of their life Right because they have to get the family problem solved but whatever I’ve been talking very in a very delineate ‘add Matter about responsibility, which is a strange thing to sell to people but Responsibility is what gives your life meaning and so then you might say well then take on ultimate responsibility and what happens you have an ultimately meaningful life and then you might say well if your life is ultimately meaningful doesn’t matter if it’s Punctuated by tragedy or even predicated on tragedy. It’s worth it and I think that’s true and everything I’ve seen indicates to me. That’s true Every time I get my clients to take on more [responsibilities]. You know it and it isn’t an injunction You’re a bad person. You should take on responsibility have nothing to do with that you can define the damn responsibility It isn’t something that that someone else should impose on you It’s not a matter of doing what you [should] do in some abstract Manner. It’s not that It’s the choice of what game you’re going to play and you know you can play the game of the seeker? I would say and if you play that game then everyone wins and it’s the best game you can play and so the The answer in some sense to the tragedy of life to the catastrophe of life to the fall is to Adore the responsibility of mortality that goes along with that and to play that game maximally and Paradoxically, it’s in the willingness to do that that the solution emerges And I don’t you know I have [done] my best with every single thing I’ve talked to you [guys] about I have done my best to do what does tSD does in his novels? Which is I make a proposition, and then I spend months or Years trying to figure [out] if I can take the bloody thing apart [if] there’s something wrong with it because I want to find out I want to hit it with a [hammer] and see if it breaks and what I’ve been trying to do is to tell you all the [things] that I’ve Gathered let’s say or laid out or articulated or discovered over the last [thirty] years that I have not been able to break with the biggest hammer that I could take to them and I guess that’s the fundamental one. Is that I believe [that] the the the idea that lurks in these images derived from very different cultures It’s the same idea Life is suffering right indisputable What do you do about that? you you voluntarily accept it and then strive to overcome the suffering that’s a Consequence of that and you do that for [you] and you do that in a way that makes it better for other people and then that works and One question might be well, how well does it work and the answer is? You the only way that you can find out is by trying it That’s it. That’s [the] essential element of it the proof is to be derived by the incarnation of the attitude in your own life no one can tell you How it will work for you? It’s the thing that your destiny is to discover that and You have to make you have to make the decisions to begin with it’s like because you can’t do this without Commitment you have to commit to it first. That’s the act of faith that the kierkegaard was so insistent upon You have to say I’m going to act as if being is good I’m going to act as if truth is the pathway to enlightenment [I’m] going to act as if I should pursue the deepest meaning possible in my life, [and] there’s reasons to do none of those They’re real reasons. So it’s really a decision But you can’t find out what the consequence of the decision is unless you make the decision I think the same thing happens [when] you get [married] by the way, so if you think you might leave you’re not married and Then you think well the marriage didn’t succeed. It’s like well Maybe you were never married because the rule is you [don’t] get to leave and there’s a reason [for] that rule now I’m not saying that there aren’t situations where there should be exceptions made for that that’s not the point the point is that there’s some games you don’t get to play unless you’re all-in and The other thing that’s so [interesting] about being alive is that you’re [all-in] No matter what you do you’re all-in this is going to kill you So I think you might as well play the most magnificent game. You can While you’re waiting because do you have anything better to do really? Why not pick the best thing possible that you could do? Why not do that maybe you could justify your wretched existence to yourself that way I think [you] could that’s what it looks like you know people find such meaning in the responsibilities They adopt it stops making them ask questions about what life is for if you have a newborn child for example Like unless you’re really in a bad way Psychotically depressed or maybe your personality really needs some retooling you stop thinking about anything but ensuring that that baby is doing well and If someone comes along and asks you an existential question about your commitment to that the right response is why are you asking me such stupid questions when when When this this is manifesting itself right in front of your eyes like how blind can you be that isn’t a time for? For questions about the meaning [of] life the answer is right in [front] of you, and if you can’t see it It’s not because life has no meaning. It’s because you’re blind. I mean, that’s what the image of The virgin [mother] and the child is all about it’s like what’s the answer to the meaning of life? Here’s an answer. It’s like well, I’m going to criticize that well go right ahead You know it’s like. It’s like what you’re like, a you like a What do you call that a termite? Going on a temple there’s no, there’s no utility in that sort of criticism, you’re It’s blindness and it’s the same thing with regards to the path of the hero It’s like it glistens in front of you, and you can criticize it. It’s like fine put the cart before the horse and and see how far you get So I thought to bring full closure to the class. I was trying to solve this terrible puzzle that confronted me for and many other people about How it was [that] human beings got themselves in such a tangle about what they believed such a tangle that we were pointing The ultimate weapons of destruction at one another which by the way, we are still doing [I] Thought okay. Well I understand that we need their belief systems they orient us and That means there will be conflict between belief systems and that can be a catastrophe And that’s being played out everywhere again in very many ways What’s the solution to that well one possibility is there’s no solution. It’s just Mayhem all the way around could be the case but [it] seemed to me as I delved into it that the proper solution to that was to live properly as An individual because you’re more powerful than you think Way more powerful than you think I mean God only knows what you are in the final analysis You’re blind to your own Weaknesses, but you’re also blind to your own strengths and so then I think well if you’ve got your act together It’d be better for you, and instantly it would be better for your family assuming They wanted you to get your act together and not everyone does but and then it would be better for the community It’s like how far could you take that if you stopped wasting time and if you [stopped] lying and if you oriented yourself to to The highest possible good that you could conceive of and you committed to that how much good could you do? Well, I would say might find out So that’s what I think you should do You should find out You don’t have anything better to do and there’s nothing in it as far as I’ve been able to tell there’s nothing in it But good so Maybe you could sort yourself out. So that you wanted nothing, but the good and and then maybe you could help make that manifest in the world and maybe we wouldn’t have all these terrible problems then at least we’d have fewer of them, and that would be a start, so It’s it’s that the answer to the problem of humanity Is that is the is the integrity of the individual? That’s the answer so and states that are predicated on that realization are healthy, so [in] states that aren’t are doomed to stagnation and catastrophic collapse and personalities that are predicated on self Tyranny and the Tyranny of others are doomed and doomed to collapse [so] and then you think well, what’s the barrier the barriers are you willing to accept the responsibility and Part of the answer to that is reduce the Dam Responsibility until it’s tolerable you don’t have to fix everything at once you could just start by fixing the things that you could fix Or you could even do it more? You can do it with even less self-sacrifice. You could start by fixing only the things that you want to fix God you can get a massive way that way So do it see what happens that’s what you should have been talking university right from the beginning [it’s] like a mathias good tool yourself into something [that] can attain it and go out there and manifest it in the world And everything that everything that comes your way will be Everything that comes your way will be a blessing and so All you have to do is give up your resentment and your hatred I know that’s a hard thing to give up Because you have plenty of reason [for] it That’s probably a good place to stop so to the pleasure

100 thoughts on “2017 Maps of Meaning 12: Final: The Divinity of the Individual

  1. Youtube please hire me to do close captions, you are literally changing what people say. Not just Peterson, the questions from the students as well.

  2. His teachings bring me to tears! I must admit…thus this man is the Output of Chaos and Order in 21st century ?

  3. So if the ultimate need of life is survival then what are some of the most interesting, fundamental principles we should consider as the cornerstones of society?

    And you are ultimately responsible for your survival. You can blame the external world all you want for your problems, but you have the power in you to create positive change.

  4. Dr Peterson, thank you for your lectures. I have not found much current living entities who have the human psyche so precisely dissected and insight which mimics mine on n number of concepts essentially one particular singular insightful observation, which is that the boundaries that you mention and leading the manifestation of
    Forces from within. Although my premise starts from that however that maybe be due to my upbringing and exposure to this concept but my question still is that "why is it or why should it manifest from within?" I have come up with number of concepts or reasons for this however the question does not dessimenate the energy that is attached to forces which come from within. Would you be able to share your thoughts on this.

  5. 2017 Maps of Meaning should be on NETFLIX!

    Thank you is not enough to show how greateful I am for your work Dr. Peterson. You brought me back from a very dark place.

  6. 1:09:00 Jordan mentions it being dumb to complain publicly about the bad nature of the people you married, which I agree with. I first learned this odd lesson from Stefan Molyneux when he spoke at the first mens rights conference. He made a similar point but also added the spin on it that generally speaking its men who chase women and women generally speaking have multiple interested partners and they get to pick from that pool of men. Then they date that man for years, finally marry that man and then complain about how crap he is. And it dawned on me listening to conversations women have about men and about how they don't take responsibility for the men that they picked, it always seems to be phrased as "he did X to me" rather than acknowledging their own part they played in letting such a man into their life in the first place. I think the deeper lesson here is that not only should you not complain about the men/women you let into your life, but you should also exercise the right amount of caution when picking partners to begin with, that means looking at their character, their virtues and their values.

  7. I don't think it's fair to compare Ayn Rand to Dostoevsky. She did not think of herself as a novelist first. She was trying to lay out her philosophy of life, humanity and reality.

  8. Found Jordan Peterson right around the Bill C-16 commotion happened. Since then, I've watched AT LEAST 180 hours of lectures, podcasts, interviews, and debates. Also I've read 12 rules for life. I'm currently working on reading through the recommended books on his website. This man has changed my mind about so many things, articulated things I knew but didnt know that I knew, and sparked an engulfing fire of motivation for sorting my life into its potential.
    Lobster Squad forever.

  9. "An' all the rules of the road have been lodged. It's only people's games that you got to dodge. And it's alright…"
    ~Bob Dylan

  10. Thank you Dr. Peterson for sharing your deep understanding of this material, and making it available for free online. Your method of combining it with aspects of psychology and illuminating it with real life experience enabled me to understand and unpack so much more of the philosophical content. I hope that the Universities start to include this content for all Bachelor of Arts programs as we seem to be in desperate need of a deeper understanding of our cultural and intellectual heritage.

  11. This series made a deep impact… Besides constantly remembering the drinking game phrases "roughly speaking" and "generally", this information was gold.

  12. I can’t believe I just watched all 12 lectures for fun, took notes and enjoyed it better than Netflix . Jordan you rock !

  13. Peterson misinterprets Hume a little bit here. The reason you can not turn an "is" into an "ought" is not because "there are too many variables to make decisions" (that could be solved by more "is" information). Instead, you can not turn an "is" into an "ought" because "is" does include within itself a direction or aim.

  14. Jps lectures are like the bible. Everytime you go through you learn new things, new ways to think and look at situations. Not a Christian, just a traveler on the road of information. ?

  15. I miss my online classmates. Is that weird? Feels it's a community listening here. Gives me hope and good outlook for the future.

  16. It's good to know that I'm not the only person who watched an entire college lecture on youtube. This is possibly the least watched of his lectures, which is a shame. It is quite possibly the best. The last 20 minutes of this lecture is extremely powerful.

  17. What an ending! Talk about closure. This course is woven so intricately that it's hard for me to put into words my appreciation. I will say this: the passion put into this course is being lost in Universities with all the out of control nihilism, cynicism and victimhood which kill inspiration.
    The video portrays the academic attitude we want to aim for. Embodying a giving tree of knowledge. THIS is why it is a privilege to attend campus. This here. The moment Universities lose this, passionate and prepared professors willing to give themselves to the institution, then the institution is lost. But alas, passion will always exist and if it fails here, it will find another outlet. Thank you for your gift to your institution and the world Jordan Peterson.

  18. The lecture that changed my life.

    I can't thank you enough for this, Dr. Peterson.

    I just hope all the best for you and for your family.

  19. If the "human herd", as dictated by the social and economic restraints and standardization, was heading straight towards a cliff, and we could see it clearly with minimal doubt in mind, should we still inspire, teach and encourage our children to just "Go along to get along" or should we try to inspire them to move in a different direction than the herd, and likely at the expense of socially alienating ourselves and our children along with us?

  20. on the topic on music, when cross examined with meaning, there is a lot to be said in the "forms" that don't immediately strike the ear.

    I present to you the following example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS7CZIJVxFY

  21. The last 15 minutes or so of this lecture may very well be the most profound human wisdom ever uttered. Life changing. Life affirming. A map that leads to the ultimate destination. True meaning. Thanks Dr. JBP for being a light in the darkness.

  22. Watching these lectures has provided tremendous insight. Thank you for putting these out there for the world to see your hard work/research/analysis. This video, especially the last 10 minutes is profound. Bravo ??

  23. 1:03:05 _ Children who don't play well (cry when the game goes against them) aren't invited to play. Speculation that current society hasn't been allowing enough play and pretend as children, therefore persons maybe attempt to pretend and play with their identities much later in Life, so to catch up on it and maybe figure it out.

  24. It's lovely to see an analytic mind at work. However,  poor Mr Peters gets himself knotted when he reveals that he cannot change over to speaking from his spirit person, the  one that requires another part of the mind that remembers that Jesus is the way to Wisdom.

  25. Best lecture I’ve heard in my whole life. It’s so full of meaning and golden insight that it’s bursting at the seams.

  26. Something that has struck me quite profoundly is the amazing combination of brilliance and humility. In several interviews and debates, as well as in this lecture, Dr. Peterson freely admits when a particular topic either strains his knowledge base, or exceeds it. Quite a wonderful combination. I would love to shake his hand and thank him profusely.

  27. The future of learning, we hope al great lecturers learn from Dr Peterson and enable their lectures free on YouTube… they will make more money by selling books

  28. 6:40 I don't know why, but I think this is pretty funny. In one of Peterson's 1996 Harvard MoM lectures, (I think the third or fourth lecture) someone interrupts his class to talk about a projector.

  29. Quidditch is a metaphor for dreaming.

    The seeker is the dreamer seeking himself (advanced soul) – it's the hardest thing to "catch" once the dreamer is disociated from himself and is a seeker, lost in it's world of illusion and all the games it offers the dreamer to play so it can find completion outside of itself.

    But when the soul is ready, it starts to seek within.

    And when the "seeker" catches the "snitch", it is a symbol for the dreamer re-identifying with being the dreamer and recognising it was the snitch the whole time (the one outside reality).

    This brings the game (dream) to an end as the dreamer wakes back up to reality – Satchitananda.

  30. All that "you can't have a best friend" will do is make the best friends closer because their friendship is forbidden. Watch, in 5-10 years when they look at the results, more kids will be alienated than before they implemented the rule. It'll have the exact opposite outcome than they're going for. Think about it, what are the best or most exciting relationships? The ones they tell you not to have or can't have. Anyone who has ever been told they can't see someone knows this. All it does is amplify the positive emotion when the people are together, making them even closer than they'd be normally. How they can't see this is almost sad.

  31. I'm 45 years old. I watched and really listened to all 12 lectures of Maps of meanings. It's so true to comprehend. If the Maps of Meanings lectures were available or at least, a possible coarse In high-school I really believe I would be better off today. You could probably tell by my grammar.

  32. I do have a problem with the snake and handgun story (around the 55 minute mark). A handgun can be a threat but also a tool ( and as such; a protector, quite the opposite of a threat), that is the big difference with the snake. (I however have deducted from personal experience that the fear of snakes is innate, but that is beside the point). The reasoning in this case is flawed.

  33. What’s the best sex position?

    Peterson: Well that depends on what you mean by sex. If we’re talking sociologically, then…

  34. Men need a purpose, a functioning aspect to life other than staying home doing nothing. (In pain on opiods All day) To ALL, stop dependencies, and look for a cause in life, and go do it.. We require a Load. Cheers all…I speak as one who's now going through this. Just want to be happy as much as I am mad/angry. Cheers.

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