Biblical Series: Introduction to the Idea of God | Jordan B. Peterson Podcast

Check out the Jordan B. Peterson Podcast Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Human beings want to know where they are going and why, which is different from what actually is! (behavioral truth vs. objective truth)
  • “Dreams are the birthplace of thought.”Carl Jung 
  • Our neuropsychological systems are so deeply rooted, they are the same now as they were when our ancient ancestors were scanning the Sahara for predators
  • If there are things that threaten you (chaos itself), open your eyes and use your words precisely to encounter and contend with the world
  • Facing your challenges and proper speech (leadership) are the predicate for creating an effective society
  • What people believe to be true, they will act out
  • Development of the prefrontal cortex came from the ability to create an abstraction of a behavior, think on the abstraction, then act on it if it is safe
  • The distance in time between the Bible and the internet is shorter than the time from a chimpanzee to a modern human

Intro

  • Jordan B. Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto

Purpose of The Biblical Lecture Series

  • Jordan’s goal is to extract stories and information from literary/art forms (example here is the Bible) into practical and applicable tools to put into life from a psychological perspective
  • It is very interesting to Jordan how these stories have been replicated/retold for thousands of years and have such widespread impacts on psychology and society
  • Evaluate the psychological significance of the biblical stories
  • Not an easy feat in any capacity, Jordan himself says he is learning and working out his ideas as he is lecturing

Nietzsche 

  • Jordan is fascinated by the works and thoughts of Fredrich Nietzsche, despite the fact that Nietzsche was vehemently against dogmatic religion, Christianity in particular
  • Extreme ideologies – Nietzsche correctly predicted in the 1800’s that hundreds of millions of people would be killed due to deeply incorrect representations of the world in the 20th century
  • Jordan calls ideologies “crippled religions”
  • Warped and twisted from the original framework
  • Nietzsche’s view: Human beings are going to have to create our own values (not God creating them)
  • This concept was manipulated by the Nazi party and the concept of the “overman” or “superman”

Stories & Myths

  • Stories or abstractions from Fiction are not necessarily “untrue”
  • Ex: Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Numbers
    • Are mathematical numbers more real than reality? 
    • Hamlet is an abstraction of the human experience
  • Carl Jung (one of Jordan’s favorite minds in the field of Psychology) stated: “Everyone acts out their own myth, but they don’t know what it is”
  • “Dream is the birthplace of thought.”Carl Jung
  • An admirer of Nietzsche, student of Freud
  • It aims you somewhere… to where? Self-realization?
    • Everyone acts out a story, but not everyone knows what it is… for many, it might be a tragedy.”Carl Jung
  • Form of competence, tremendous knowledge from action
  • Question should not be “what is the world” but rather “how do you live in the world” 
    • Stories and dreams model this for us
  • Some (dreams, stories, and myths) are translated into articulated thought
    • Some rituals have been replicated for tens of thousands of years
    • When Moses comes up with The Law
      • He goes up the mountain and sees God, brings down The Law
        • Trying to keep the peace (like a judge)
          • How do you mediate please? What are the principles? He had a revelation of finding the peace through the Ten Commandments
            • The body of law demonstrates the principles of behavior to live by
      • Extract out the core of the guiding principle – in this case, through the Bible

Psychotherapy & Psychoanalytic Thought

  • Jordan has spent a long time studying the role that belief systems have in psychological and social health (at least since the 1980s)
  • We perceive our enemies as literal demons
  • In psychotherapy, critical to break things down into incremental small components and challenge them
  • Modern humans developed around 150,000 years ago
  • Thinking in evolutionary context is a grander, more encompassing way of thought
  • Psychoanalytic thought
  • People are made up of sub-personalities that Jordan believes to be alive:
    • Low-level resolution of self (anger only wants anger, etc.)
    • Very, very ancient neurological system
    • Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom
  • Greek culture believed that all life was determined by the gods
    • Recognition that there is more than we perceive, and potentially out of our control
  • Development of the prefrontal cortex came from ability to create an abstraction of a behavior, think on it, then act on it if it is safe
  • Allow the abstraction to die rather than you!
  • Same neurological system as ancient humans seeing snakes
    • Paralyzed when threatened, “Turned to stone”; snake in the garden, etc.

Mesopotamian Gods (dating back 15,000 –10,000 years ago)

  • Different tribes coming together had different gods, how do we come together to believe the same thing and not? 
  • Marduk – elected by all other gods to be the top god, has eyes all the way around his head and speaks magic words
  • Marduk has to confront chaos itself (Tiamat) – described as a watery sea dragon:
    • Tiamat – word comes from “theom” – the same word that God uses in Genesis to create the world out of chaos
      • Also correlates to the story of St. George and the dragon. 
  • Marduk cuts Tiamat into pieces; makes the world
    • World created from breaking up chaos through the use of proper words
      • Language is essential for effective leadership
    • This is an allegory of the same chaos God encountered at the beginning of time
  • If there are things that threaten you (chaos itself), open your eyes and use your words to encounter and content with the world
  • Facing your challenges and proper speech are the predicate for creating an effective society

Existentialism & Existential Thought

  • Jordan believes that what people believe to be true they act out, not what they say
  • Behavioral truth is different from objective truth
  • Overlay objective truth with behavioral truth or existential structure.
    • Finding your aim!
  • Human beings want to know where they are going and why, that is different from what actually is! (behavioral truth vs. objective truth)

Logos – The Word 

  • Being – it cannot exist without consciousness
  • The Logos manifests itself as reality
  • The ability to conceptualize reality and transform it – Jordan says this is a very complex topic
  • Jordan relates that The Logos relates to human beings being made in the image of God
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment shows the main character, Raskolnikov, decide that life is only his intentions and motivates matter, nobody else’s intrinsic thoughts matter
  • He ends up committing murder and changes as a person
  • He finds out that pre-murder and post-murder Raskolnikov are literally different people
  • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago actualizes the same realization as Crime and Punishment, but in a non-fiction context

Q&A with Jordan 

  • Making sacrifices – give up something that can make the future real and better than the present
  • Make a “bargain” with reality
  • Creation of a “Covenant” – just like modern world and modern example: money
    • Money is a negotiation piece
  • Dreaming – your brain is running underlying psychological scenarios without threat of physical action
  • Experimental situations are portrayed and trialed, mix of the known and unknown
  • Confronting fear – conflict with what is unknown, or chaos allows us to create habitable order
  • Example: embracing uncomfortable issues with your spouse over important discussions allows you to hash out your challenges and live together in your house
Jordan B Peterson Podcast : , , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 12,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks