Biblical Series VII: Walking with God: Noah and the Flood (corrected)

Biblical Series VII: Walking with God: Noah and the Flood (corrected)

[Music] thank you so I look today and these lectures have now been watched by they’ve been viewed a million times so that’s pretty amazing freely or they’ve been they’ve been glanced at a million times that’s right that’s also possible all right so well let’s get right into it so last week I think was mostly remarkable for the absolute dearth of content that was actually biblically related so that was I’ll just recap what I laid out and so that it sets the frame properly for what we’re going to discuss tonight and I presented you with an elaborated description of of this diagram essentially which I spent quite a lot of time formulating probably about 25 years ago I guess which kind of accounts for its graphic primitiveness I suppose I was really pushing the limits of my 486 computer to produce that I can tell you so and it’s it’s it’s a it’s a description representation of the archetypal circumstances of life and and the archetypical circumstances are the circumstances that are true under all conditions for all time and so you can think about them as descriptively characteristic of the nature of human experience that’s not exactly the same as the nature of reality but because you can you can divide reality into its subject of an object of elements and and there’s utility in doing that but these sorts of representations don’t play that game that they consider human experience as constituted constitutive of reality and that’s how we experience it and so we’ll just go with that the idea basically is is that we always exist inside a damaged structure and that structure is partly biological and it’s it’s partly socio-cultural it’s partly what’s been handed to us by our by our ancestors both practically in terms of infrastructure but also psychologically in terms of the active learned content of our of our psyches and so that would include for example our ability to utilize language and the words that we use and the phrases that we use and the mutual understanding that we develop as a consequence of interacting with each other architect Lee speaking that structures always it’s always dead and corrupt and the reason it’s dead is because it was made by people who are dead and the reason it’s corrupt is because things fall apart of their own accord and the fact that people don’t aim properly let’s say speeds along that process of degeneration and so what that means and I think this is something worth knowing maybe I’ll try standing back here and see if that problem goes away what that means is that young people always have a reason to be upset and cynical about the current state of affairs and and it’s that way forever and so it’s useful I think to consider such considerations sort of such conceptualizations of the pair of the as the patriarchy in that light because it’s an archetypal truth that the social structure is corrupt and incomplete and and what that means is that it’s something that you have to contend with every moment in some sense of your life it’s a it’s a permanent fact of existence and to be upset that the structures of social structures or even the biological structures within which we live are incomplete and imperfect is to and to take that personally that that’s the worst part of it to take that person out personally is a misreading of the existential condition of humankind because it’s always the case that what you have been given and what you live in is degenerate and corrupt and in need of repair and it’s easier just to accept that because there’s also a positive development and the pause development as well you’ve been granted something rather than nothing and maybe you haven’t been granted pure hell because especially in a culture like ours where many things actually function quite well so there’s room for gratitude there even if it’s a broken machine it’s not one that’s completely devastated and it’s not absolutely hell-bent at every second on your misery and destruction and it easily could be because many societies are like that and so the fact that we happen to live in one that isn’t corrupt beyond imagining is something to be eternally grateful for well so we live inside a damaged structure and we also bear responsibility for that damage because we don’t do everything we can to constantly repair it and you might say well that’s actually one of the fundamental you know people say well what’s the meaning of life what they really mean is what’s the positive meaning of life because as we’ve already discussed the negative meanings of life are more or less self-evident well the positive meaning of life is to be found in noting the state of lack of repair of the of the walled city that you inhabit and then sallying forth to do something about that to repair the breaches and to fix up the walls and to make the structure that you inhabit as secure and as productive as it possibly can be and there’s no shortage of opportunities to do that you can do that in your own mind you can do that in your own room you can do that in your own household in your local community you and maybe if you get good at doing it at all those levels then you can start to look beyond that and so there’s challenges that’s the thing that’s kind of interesting about this insufficient structure is that it has a set of challenges built into it because of its insufficiency and perhaps even because of its corrupt nature that calls forth the potential response from you of heroic adventure and the heroic adventure is to man the barricades and repair the city and you can always do that it doesn’t matter what’s what your personal circumstances are there’s always something that isn’t right near you isn’t correct isn’t laid out properly that you could just fix if you wanted to and one of the things that we’re going to talk about tonight is the idea that if you adopt the attitude an attitude that’s like that that the rule that you should play is to make things better wherever you are however you can that what would actually happen would be that things would get better wherever you are in all sorts of ways and that we’ve really as a species you might say or maybe even as singular individuals we we’ve explored that rarely it isn’t something that’s put forth as a proposition that often and it’s quite surprising to me and you know I had an interesting experience the other day I went to the keg I go there because I have food allergies and they’re very careful with people who have food allergies and the waiter took me to the table and he said that he had been watching my lectures and that’s a very common experience and he was happy about that and he said that he had two promotions at the keg in the last four months because he’d been watching my lectures and like I really found that an affecting experience because you know you might say well he’s working as a waiter at the keg and there’s nothing particularly heroic about that and and I disagree with that actually because I don’t care where you’re located you can do a hell of a job and I mean that literally at whatever job you have you can you can take whatever job you have and you can make it a real nice little piece of absolute misery or you can do you can act like a civilized human being and notice that no matter where you are there’s a there’s a richness and a complexity that’s completely inexhaustible right at hand and then you can take that seriously and you can say well I happen to be a waiter at the keg and perhaps that’s not what I expected and he’s a young guy and perhaps that isn’t where I want to end up but it’s not nothing that’s a rich environment and I can make it a lot better if I want to I can get along properly with my co-workers and not gossip behind their back and I can treat my customers properly and if an opportunity comes my way I can take it and I can see what happens and so he said that’s what he had started doing and that things were working out much better for him he was in a much better job than he was three months ago in three months that’s nothing right I mean that’s a nice trajectory it’s an uphill trajectory and that’s what you want really an uphill trajectory is actually even better than being somewhere good as far as I’m concerned because one of the things that really makes your life meaningful is the clear realization that you’re headed somewhere better than you are now and then it’s even better if you also understand that there’s a direct causal relationship between the things that you’re doing and the steepness of that incline and so I get a lot of letters from people like that and they’re Marse most frequently young men although not always and they say well you know I’ve been listening to these lectures and I decided that I’m going to try to take responsibility for my life and so I’m I’ve started to stop doing all the stupid things that I know that that are stupid that I know I shouldn’t be doing and I’ve started doing some of the things that aren’t stupid that I know I should be doing which seems pretty obvious really if you think about it but it’s obvious though it may be that isn’t necessarily what people do and then they write and say you can’t believe what difference that makes and they’re thrilled about it and so I’m thrilled about it when I get letters like that because I really don’t experience anything as better than a letter like that or a message like that because it’s so good to see things that aren’t so good replaced by something better and I really do think it’s an open question I truly believe it’s an open question to what degree we could make things better if that’s what we actually aimed at doing you know in some of the stories that we’ve we’ve come already the story of Cain and Abel in particular is really an analysis of that problem which so remarkable it occurs so so early in this document it’s such a such a foundational story and it basically says well there’s two modes of being in the world right there’s one where you adopt the responsibility for living properly for being properly and you make the sacrifices necessary for doing that and then everything will flourish properly and the other one is a pathway of resentment and bitterness and rejection and murder and genocide and that just seems exactly right to me and so if the positive path beckons if you can actually see what it is if you can if you can lower yourself enough to see what it is young Carl Jung said once that modern people didn’t see God because they didn’t look low enough so phrase I really really like because people denigrate the opportunities that are right in front of them and there’s no reason to do that because what’s right in front of you is the majesty of being that’s what’s right in front of you it’s inexhaustibly complex and full of potential and there’s no reason to assume that wherever you happen to be isn’t as good a starting place as anywhere else now you know I know some people have terrible terrible lives in situations that are absolutely unbearable and but I also do know that even situations like that can be made a hell of a lot worse by the bad by by the worst kind of attitude that’s for sure so so anyway so that’s where you are you’re in a damaged structure you’re a damaged structure you’re in a damaged structure but you know at least it’s got some walls you know you’re not being fed to the Lions on a regular basis so that’s a good thing and you can you can emerge forward you know heroically magically to confront the chaos that constantly threatens the structure within which you live and you can free something as a consequence of that you can learn something you can strengthen yourself that’s the other thing because the way what you’re actually made of in many ways that what informs you what you’re made of is what you encounter when you voluntarily encounter the unknown and so the more you voluntarily encounter the unknown the more you get may and the more you get made of the more there is to you and then the more you’re good at encountering the unknown and restructuring order and and calling forth proper order out of the potential of being and God you got to think why wouldn’t you do that since you can do that and it’s an endless mystery you know I think part of it is that people well it’s also encapsulated to stump some degree in the story of Adam and Eve because what happens to Adam is when he becomes self conscious right he becomes ashamed of himself and regards himself as a lowly sort of creature and there’s endless reasons why people would do that because of course we’re rife with imperfection and so he hides from God and I think that’s actually the answer to the conundrum which is that people don’t aspire to the highest good because they’re deeply ashamed of themselves and their weaknesses and their insufficiencies and and so it’s it’s that’s not the only reason I mean there’s the desire to avoid responsibility and there’s all the negative motivations as well like resentment and and and hatred and the desire to make things worse I don’t want to you know give us a give us too much of a break but but it’s something like that but it’s okay then to not be in a very good place if what you’re trying to do with that not very good place is make it better and one of the things I really have learned as a clinical psychologist is that you just cannot believe how powerful incremental progress is you could you can do the calculations like it’s like compound interest you know if you make your life a tenth of a percent better a week man in two or three years you’re in such a better place than you were that it isn’t even like the same domain and if you keep that up for ten years or twenty years you know especially if you’re young and you start early you start to straighten yourself out and and fix the things that you can fix you can transform your lives in ways that are completely unimaginable and god only knows what the upper limit of that is in terms of human possibility because we are amazing creatures you know when we really get our act together and stop running at 10% of our capacity you know so so so that’s what you do you’ve got you know the fact that things aren’t exactly the way they should be at least gives you something to do ooh you know and that’s that’s and and and maybe something great to do because there’s no shortage of suffering in trouble that’d be sets the world that you could conceivably ameliorate in some way and the utility and meaning the utility of that and the intrinsic meaning of that is self-evident so it also makes me curious about nihilism for example and despair because I mean I understand those emotions I understand them deeply and the intellectual mindset that goes along with it but they just seem beside the point to me in some sense because there are so many things that need doing that all you really have to do is open your eyes and look at them and then decide that you’re actually going to do something about them and you might think well what’s within my scope of influence is so trivial that it’s not worth doing it’s like it won’t stay trivial for long if you do it not at all and I don’t think it’s trivial to begin with I don’t think that any I really don’t believe that anything done right is trivial and my experience in my life has been that anything I actually did paid off it didn’t pay off necessarily in the way that I expected it to pay off that’s a whole different story but if it was genuine commitment to do something even if it went sideways and the outcome was really something other than what I expected the net consequence over time was nothing but good so every new frontier that can be conquered is an advance forward and there’s no shortage of frontier because we’re surrounded by the unknown we’re surrounded by our own ignorance and we can continually move into that domain into the domain of chaos or we can restructure pathological order and that’s that’s the secret to proper being and so then you encounter chaos that way you know and then you can regard yourself as the sort of entity that despite its insufficiency has the capability to conquer chaos despite the danger of that that’s the other thing because the fact that you’re fragile is actually a precondition for your heroism because if you weren’t fragile then there’d be nothing heroic about doing something difficult right because if you couldn’t be hurt or damaged or defeated or or end up in failure then where’s the where’s the moral courage in the endeavor it has to be that the agility is built into the courage and so it’s not it’s not a reason not to engage in it at all in fact quite the contrary and so well and so then you know what do you do well you put the city back together and maybe the way you want it so that it’s functional and efficient and beautiful and so the people can flourish there and and and flourish in a manner that makes them like it makes them what would you say that makes them feel that the unbearable catastrophe of being is worth it for the experience that’s what you’re aiming at and it’s not an impossibility it’s not an impossibility and then not only that not only do you repair the city when you do that but you make yourself the sort of thing that continually repairs the city and that’s even better that’s the end goal because it’s not the repair of the city that’s the goal it’s the transformation of yourself into the thing that continually repairs the city and so there’s just no reason for that not to happen and the more it can happen the better well there’s a there’s an undercurrent to this story and that is also the story of the flood and that’s the fact that you know the city can become corrupt because people don’t engage in heroic endeavor or perhaps because they engage in precisely the opposite of that which is outright destructive behavior and this is also something that’s worth considering too because if you if you if you consider your your own manner of being you know you can say things to people like tell tell the truth and be good and those aren’t those are cliches obviously and so they lack power because they’re cliches but you can take them apart and utilize them in a manner that stops being a cliche and you do that by being more humble about them I would say because maybe you can’t tell the truth because you don’t know what the truth is but one thing you can do is you can stop saying things that you know to be untrue and you might say well how do I know that they’re untrue and the answer to that is well you need a whole philosophy of truth the elaboration of an entire philosophy of truth to answer that question and so we’re not going to bother answering that question because in some sense at the moment it’s beside the point that isn’t the issue the issue is there are times in your life where you know that the thing that you’re saying is not true it’s a deception it’s a lie of some sort and you’re using it to manipulate yourself or another person or the world and you’re also possessed fully possessed of the idea that you can get away with it and there’s a satanic arrogance about that in fact that is the archetypal arrogance that’s portrayed in the mythological character of Satan because Satan is precisely the archetype of the element of the mind that believes that it can twist and and bend the structure reality without paying the price for that and you can’t imagine anything that’s more arrogant than not because really do you really think that you can twist the structure of a reality and that that’s going to work out for you without it snapping back it’s so obvious that that can’t work that that everyone knows it but anyways back to the initial point is that you know by the rules of the game that you yourself are playing that some of the times you’re violating the rules of the game that you’re playing and the first issue with regards to say stating the truth or behaving in a responsible manner would be merely stopped cheating at whatever game it is that you’ve chosen to play that’s a good start and that’ll straighten that will straighten out your life it’ll start in the straight and start to straighten out your life and so well the flood what the hell does the flood tie into this well you know we live in a corrupt structure we’re corrupt as individuals we live in a corrupt structure and part of that corruption has just happenstance it’s the way things fall apart but the other part of it is that not only are we not aiming up we’re actually aiming down and the flood story is a warning and it’s a very clear warning and the warning is if you aim down enough and then if enough of you aim down at the same time everything will degenerate into something that’s indistinguishable from the chaos from which things emerged at the beginning of time it’s something like that because the the cosmos that’s presented in mythological representations is chaos versus order right the order is on top you might say and the chaos is always underneath and the chaos can break through or the order can crumble and you can fall into the chaos and that chaos is intermingle intermingled potential and the way that you destroy the order and let the chaos rise back up which is exactly how its portrayed in the flood story is by well by inhabiting the corpse of your father that’s one mythological motif and feeding on the remains and with no gratitude and no attempt to replenish what it is that you’re taking from and the warning in the flood story is don’t do that for very long because things will happen that are so awful you cannot possibly imagine it and that will happen to you personally and it’ll happen to your family and it will happen to your community and it’s happened to people over and over throughout history and it’s quite interesting you know it’s very soon after the story of Cain and Abel when you see evil enter the world in the story of Adam and Eve along with self-consciousness and evil there is the ability that’s the knowledge of good and evil that’s the ability to hurt other people self-consciously to know what you’re doing and then of course instantly Cain takes that to the absolute extreme and he uses that capacity to to destroy really what he loves best he gets as close as a human being can to destroying the divine ideal because of course his brother is able and Abel is favored by God and Cain destroys them which Cain tells God at the end of that episode that his punishment is more than he can bear and I think the reason for that is where are you once you destroy your own ideal what’s left for you there’s nowhere to go there’s no up and when there’s no up there’s a lot of down and you know there’s an idea that was put forth very nicely in Milton’s Paradise Lost when he was describing from a psychological perspective essentially what hell is and hell is you’re in hell to the degree that you’re distant from the good that that might be a good way of thinking about it and if you destroy your own ideal which you do with jealousy and resentment and and the desire to pull down people who you would like to be let’s say then you end up in a situation that’s indistinguishable from hell and the way the story the biblical story unfolds as well it’s it’s it’s Cain and then it’s the flood and so Cain adopts this mode of being that’s antithetical to being itself at least a positive being itself he does it voluntarily does it knowing full well what he’s doing and the net consequence of this that as it ripples through the entire social structure is that God stands back and says this whole thing is God so bad the only thing we can do is is wipe it to the ground and that is that is no joke that’s exactly how things work and one of the things that’s extraordinarily terrifying about that sequence of stories and I believe this to be true I think I realized this independently of any of the analysis that I was doing of mythological stories because I looked at what happened in places like the Soviet Union and Mao’s China and in Nazi Germany and the most penetrating observers of those societies the people who were most interested in how it was that those absolute catastrophes came about all said the same thing it was rooted in the degeneration of the individuals who made up the society you know you hear what people will thought were following orders it’s like no that that explanation doesn’t hold water or that you’d be punished if you resisted well there is some truth in that but nowhere near as much as people might think especially at the beginnings of the process more it was that people decided each and every one of them to turn a blind eye to the catastrophes and to participate in the lies and that warped the entire societies and they went as you know they they feared their way downward to something as closely approximating hell as you could hope to manage especially in places like Nazi Germany and well in all three of those places and in Mao is China and in the Soviet Union and so the thing that’s so frightening about one of the things that’s so frightening about the stories in Genesis is they say something very clear which is that your moral degeneration contributes in no small way to the degeneration of the entire cosmos you say well I would like my life to be meaningful people say that really would you really you really would like your life to be meaningful you think maybe people would made a little nihilism to not have to face that particular realization and I think people do that all the time it’s a terrible way to to to realize but we are networked together in that that’s the price of or let’s say that’s the vulnerability that’s associated with our intense capacity to communicate and it is certainly possible that the ripples of our individual actions have consequences that are far beyond the limits of our immediate consciousness and I also think people know that too they know that in the way that people know things when they don’t want to know them which means they know them embodied they can feel them they can sense them they have an emotional response to them but there’s no damn way they’re going to let them become articulate because they don’t want to know and when you’re feeling guilty and ashamed about the things you’ve done or not done and I know that can get out of hand as well it’s often because there is a crooked little part of you that’s aiming at the worst possible outcome you know one of the things you said about the shadow you know that young famous idea that everyone has a dark side and that that dark side needs to be incorporated and made conscious young said the shadow of the human being reaches all the way to hell and he actually that’s the thing that’s so interesting about interesting about reading Carl Jung is he actually means what he says it’s not a metaphor it’s like the part of you that’s twisted against being is aligned with the part of the cosmos let’s say the conscious cosmos that’s aiming at making everything as terrible as it can possibly be and you know it’s a terrible shock to realize that it’s partly why people don’t realize that it’s it’s something that people keep at an arm’s length it’s it’s the same as recognizing yourself as a Nazi concentration camp camp guard which is a very useful exercise because there’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t have been or still could be one so and if you think otherwise then all the more reason for assuming that you would be unable to resist the temptation if it was in fact offered to you and if you don’t think it’s a temptation then the then there’s so much that you don’t know about human beings that you’re not even in the game because if it wasn’t a temptation then people bloody well wouldn’t have done it and plenty of people did it and it’s no wonder so so things get serious in Genesis very very rapidly and and the depth of the seriousness is ultimate archetypal that’s it gets as serious as it can get the story of Noah and the flood opens in a fragmentary manner and I believe that these passages are part of a longer story that we only have bits and pieces of and an also one that’s fragmented in its in its it its parts of more than one story and it starts like this it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and and and daughters were born unto them that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair and they took them wives of all which they chose now there’s an idea there there’s two ways of looking at the past and you can kind of see that in the political landscape that we inhabit now on the more conservative end of the spectrum people regard the past as the land of giants right there were the heroes of the past who established the current conditions that we exist in and then the people on the left are more concerned perhaps with the what would you call it with a lineage of corruption that’s come down through the centuries and both of those perspectives are accurate you can say well there were there there were the great heroes of the past who established our modes of being you can think of them as composite beings if you want that’s fine that’s a perfectly reasonable way of thinking about it and you can also think of the of the accumulation of corruption and evil that’s come along the centuries as well and so you see both of those reflected in these initial few lines that the sons of gods so those are the hero’s saw the daughters of men that they were fair and they took them wives of all of which they chose then this statement comes in and somewhat of a non sequitur and the Lord said my spirit shall not always strive with man for that he is also flesh yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years and I looked at a variety of interpretations of that line because it doesn’t seem to follow so clearly from the previous line and exactly what it means isn’t obvious but it seems to be the first line talks about the heroes of the past and and the second line says wait a second there’s something corrupt about the human mode of being and one of the consequences of that as far as God is concerned is that there are conditions under which the divine Spirit will not strive with man what that means is there are conditions under which let’s say the I don’t think there’s any other way of putting it is the divine impulse towards the good will abandon you because of things that you’ve done and then the secondary consideration here is that perhaps because of the degeneration of people it’s not so obvious here that our life spans are limited that the spirit that inhabits us will only do so for a limited amount of time and that’s tangled in a strange way in with the idea of human moral culpability and that’s posed against the notion of the Giants of the past and then it returns to the giant idea the narrative returns to the giant idea and reads there were giants in the earth in those days and also after that when the sons of men came in unto the daughters of men and they bare children to them and the same became mighty men which were of old men of renown and that’s the end of that sequence of fragments it’s it’s very broken but you can see a dual narrative underneath it and and one of the narratives is that there’s the kind of corruption despite the joy the nature of the Giants of the past there’s the kind of corruption lurking that would cause God to with hold his grace and allow men to deteriorate and and that sets the stage for Noah and the flood and God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that the and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually you know one of the things I really didn’t like about going to church when I was a kid I went to a pretty moderate church it was the United Church which has hardly even become a church now it’s so moderate so to speak one of the things I didn’t like was the constant harping by the Ministry on the sinful nature of human beings like it didn’t speak to me properly partly because I really didn’t understand what it meant and partly because it seemed well sort of what would you say was self-flagellating in an unattractive way I don’t know if there is an attractive way to be self-flagellating but it was it was and there was something about it there was also wrote and and faked that I didn’t like but you know in later years I thought about that more and I started to understand that there was some real utility in asking people to keep the evil that they’re doing clear and conscious in the forefront of their imagination I think I mentioned to you guys last week this little episode from what we know of Mesopotamian culture surrounding the emperor the new year’s festival they would take the emperor outside of the walled city and strip him of his garb so that he was reduced to just an ordinary man and then humiliate him richly and then ask him how it was over the last year that he wasn’t a spectacular embodiment of Marduk and Marduk was the Mesopotamian deity who made order out of chaos essentially and the emperor was supposed to sit and think okay well you know I’m Emperor and everything I should be doing a good job maybe I should even be doing a great job and probably I’m coming up short in a bunch of ways and that actually happens to be important since I’m running the entire show I should be very very cognizant of how I’m failing to live up to the ideal and that is what that call that constant clarion call that’s degenerated I would say an institutional Christianity that was actually the idea was look there’s a bunch of ways that you’re not being everything you could be and it is not supposed to be a whip to knock you down although maybe it’s a whip to knock down your pride the pride that stops you from being aware of your insufficiencies it’s more like a call to the opposite it’s like well you should stop doing those things because you could be so much more than you are and that would be so much better for you and everyone else that it’s just it’s just not good that you continue doing these things continue breaking your own rules let’s say because we could certainly as I said we can start this game by assuming that you should at least play the game that you’re playing straight and so and it is the case that if you watch yourself it’s a terrifying thing to do but if you watch yourself you’ll see you lie a lot like when I learned this to begin with I was in my 20s and I was I’m a smart person and I was very proud of that because I was also a small person I was moved ahead one year in school and I was a small person to begin with and so I was a very small person in my classes and also very mouthy which might not come as much of a surprise and somewhat provocative and so you know and I got pushed around a fair bit because P everybody gets pushed around and my weapon was to be mouthy and it was a fairly effective weapon although it tended to backfire because you know if you’re really effectively mouthy with large obnoxious people then they tend to respond in a relatively negative physical way and so that sort of thing was happening to me a fair bit and but I was quite I was quite proud of the fact that I was that I I was I had some intellectual power and that it was then in my 20s when I learned about some of the danger of that because I started to read partly Milton’s Paradise Lost and I started to understand the the danger of the intellect and the danger of the intellect as far as I can tell is that it tends towards pride and arrogance and it also tends to fall in love with its own productions and so that’s actually Lucifer in Paradise Lost absolu suffer Lucifer is the intellect that falls in love with its own productions and then assumes that there’s not outside of what it thinks that’s the totalitarian mentality right it’s like we have a total system and we know how everything works and we’re going to implement it and that’ll bring about heaven on earth right that’s that’s a that that’s the totalitarian mindset and that’s associated with intellectual arrogance and another at the same time another thing what was happening to me so I was noticing that I started to understand what that meant and I also started to understand that there was more to life than the intellect much more if I smoke too much and I drank too much and I weighed like 130 pounds I wasn’t in good physical shape and like I had a lot of things to do when I went to graduate school to put myself together and at the same time I was trying to understand why things had gone so crazily wrong with the world its encapsulation in the Cold War and what role I might be playing in that if any or what role any of us were playing in that at the same time I was working out of prison only a little bit I worked with this crazy psychologist he he is to put jokes on his multiple-choice tests he was a really eccentric guy but I really liked his courses he and he taught a course on creativity and he was also a prison psychologist and he was an eccentric guy and he for some reason like me and maybe because I was eccentric too and he invited me to go out to the Edmonton maximum-security prison with him a couple of times which I did and that was a very interesting experience because I was trying to figure out what role each individual’s behavior bore to the pathology of the group was something like that and I went out there and I met a little guy smaller than me I was a little bigger by then and he was a pretty innocuous guy and what had happened was I was out in this gymnasium it looks like a high school the prison which is really quite telling in my estimation but and there were all these like monsters in there weightlifting and like they were monsters I remember one guy who was tattooed everywhere and he had like a huge scar running down the middle of his chest it looked like someone had to hit him with an axe and you know and and I was in there I had this weird cape that I used to wear that I bought in Portugal and some boots that went along with it and yeah I was like an 1890s Sherlock Holmes cape and it was really like it was from the 1890s because this little village was up on a hill it was a walled city on a hill and they sold these things and I don’t think they changed the style since 1890 and so I thought they were really cool and so I was wearing that which wasn’t perhaps the most conservative garb to dawn if you’re going to wear if you’re going to go to a maximum-security prison so anyways I was in the gymnasium and the car the psychologist left and god only knows I mean that’s what he was like and all these guys came or all these guys came around me you know and they were offering to trade their prison clothes for my tape and was it was like I was being made an offer I couldn’t refuse you know and so I didn’t I didn’t really know what to do and then this little guy said something like that the psychologist sent me to come and take you away or something like that and so I thought well better this little guy banned all these monsters so we went outside the gym through some doors like school doors went outside the gym into the exercise yard I guess and we were wandering along and he was talking to me and he seemed like a kind of an innocuous guy and then the psychologist showed up at the door and motioned us back and so which was kind of a relief and so I went into his office and he said you know that guy that you walked out in the yard with and I said yeah he said he he took two cops one night and he had them kneel down and while they were begging for their lives he shot them both in the back of the head and I thought hmm that’s see the thing that was so interesting was that he was so innocuous right because what you’d hope is that someone like that would be very much unlike you let’s say and certainly wouldn’t be like someone innocuous that you’d met what you’d want is that the guy would be like you know half were wolf and half vampire so you could just tell right away that he was a cold-blooded killer but no he was this sort of ineffectual little guy who was certainly not ineffectual if you gave him a revolver in the upper hand and so so that made me think that made me think a lot about the relationship between being innocuous and and being dangerous and then another thing happened I met another guy out there and then a week or two later I heard that he and a friend of his had held another guy down and pulverized his left leg with a lead pipe like just pulverized it and the reason for that was that they thought that he was a snitch and maybe he was and at that time I did something different instead of being shocked and horrified by that although I certainly was I thought how in the world could you do that because I didn’t think I could do that I didn’t think that I thought that there was a qualitative distinction between me and those people and so I spent about two weeks trying to see if I could figure out under what conditions I could do that like what kind of psychological transformation I would have to undergo to be able to do that and so that was a meditative exercise let’s say and it only took about ten days for me to realize that not only could I do that it would be a hell of a lot easier than I thought it would be and that’s sort of where that wall between me and what being described as the shadow started to fall apart and that also was very useful because I started to wreck I started to treat myself as somewhat different entity because I hadn’t been aware up to that point you know because I thought I was a good guy and there’s no reason for me to think that because you’re not a good guy unless you’ve really made a bloody effort to be a good guy you’re just not it’s not easy and so you’re probably a moderately bad guy and that’s a long ways from being an absolutely horrible guy but it’s also a long ways from being a good guy and so but I had a little more respect for myself after that because I also understood that there was a monstrous element to the human psyche that that you needed to respect and that was part of you that you should regard yourself in some sense as a loaded weapon it’s very useful around children to regard yourself as a loaded weapon because around children you are a loaded weapon and the terrible experiences that many children have with their parents are testament to that anyways about the same time and and I don’t exactly know how these things were causally related I guess it was because I was trying to figure out who I was and how that could be fixed something like that I started to pay very careful attention to what I was saying I don’t know if that happened voluntarily or involuntarily but I could feel a sort of split developing in my psyche and the split and I’ve actually had students tell me the same thing that has happened to them after they’ve listened to some of the material that that I’ve been describing to all of you but it’s split into two let’s say and one part was the let’s say the old me that was talking a lot and that liked to argue and that liked ideas and there was another part that was watching that part like just with its eyes open and neutrally judging and the part that was neutrally judging was watching the part that was talking and going that isn’t your idea you don’t really believe that you don’t really know what you’re talking about that isn’t true and I thought that’s really interesting so now and that was happening to like 95% of what I was saying and so then I didn’t really know what to do I thought okay this is strange so maybe I’ve fragmented and that’s just not a good thing at all I mean it wasn’t like I was hearing voices or anything like that I mean it wasn’t like that it was it was well people have multiple parts so then I had this weird conundrum is like well which of those two things are me is it the part that’s listening and saying no that’s rubbish that’s a lie that’s you’re doing that to impress people you’re just trying to win the argument you know without me or was the part that was going about my normal verbal business me and I didn’t know but I decided I would go with the critic and then what I’d tried to do what I learned to do I think was to stop saying things that made me weak and now that I mean I’m still trying to do that because I’m always feeling when I talk whether or not the words that I’m saying are either making me align or making me come apart and I think the alignment I really do think the alignment is I think alignment is the right way of conceptualizing it because I think if you say things that are as true as you can say them let’s say then they come up they come out of the depths inside of you because we don’t know where thoughts come from we don’t know how far down into your sub structure the thoughts emerge we don’t know what processes of physiological alignment are necessary for you to speak from the core of your being we don’t understand any of that we don’t even conceptualize that but I believe that you can feel that and I learned some of that from reading Carl Rogers by the way who’s a great clinician because he talked about mental health in part as a coherence between the spiritual or the or the abstract and the physical that the two things were aligned and and there’s a lot of idea of alignment in psychoanalytic and clinical thinking but anyways I decided that I would start practicing not saying things that would make me weak and what happened was that I had to stop saying almost everything that I was saying I would say 95% of it as a hell of a shark to wake up and I mean this was over a few months but the hell of a shark to wake up and realize that you’re mostly dead would it’s a shock you know and you might think well do you really want all of that to burn off well there’s nothing left but a little ha sleight of you it’s like well if that 5% is solid then maybe that’s exactly what you want to have happened also I told you that story is an elaboration of this line and God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually to question worth asking just exactly what are your motives well you know maybe they’re purer than mine were and it’s certainly possible I don’t think that I’m naturally a particularly good person I think I have to work at it very very hard and I don’t necessarily think that everyone is like that but some people are worse than that and everyone’s like that to some degree so it’s worth thinking about just how much trouble are you trying to cause you know and the other thing you might think about is that if you’re not doing something important with your life by your own definition because that’s the game that we’re playing you get to define the terms at least initially maybe you’re prone to cause trouble just because you don’t have anything better to do because at least its trouble is more interesting than boring you know that’s something you learn if you read Dostoyevsky does he ask you knew that extraordinarily well and so if you’re not doing something if you’re not pushing yourself to the limits of your capacity then you have plenty of left over what would you say willpower energy and resources to devote to causing interesting trouble and so also I would say this is also an archetypal scenario God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually that’s something to meditate on and it’s not self-destructive because what it is is an attempt to it’s like the diagnosis of an illness it’s like if that does happen to be the case for you or to some degree maybe it’s only 10% of you or something or maybe it’s 90% well then coming to terms of that is excellent because then maybe you can stop doing it and what would be the downside to that you’d have to give up your resentment obviously in your hatred and all of that and that’s really annoying because those emotions are very they’re easy to engage in and they’re and they’re engaging and they have this feeling of self-righteousness with them and that goes along with them but you’re not doing this in order to put yourself down you’re doing this in order to separate the wheat from the chaff and to leave everything that you don’t have to be behind and it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth and it grieved him at his heart and the Lord said I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth both man and beast and the creeping thing and the fowls of the air for it repentance me that I’ve made them what’s the idea well the idea is that the cosmos that God created had become corrupt and that’s a funny thing because you know this is the other thing about Genesis that always hits me is that that’s also true I told you that the Mesopotamians believe that human beings were made out of the blood of King knew who was the worst monster monster that the dragon of chaos could imagine that’s a pretty harsh diagnosis but but the reason the Mesopotamians believe that is because they knew as did the authors of genesis that human beings are the only creatures in the cosmos let’s say the cosmos of being who are actually capable of deceit conscious deceit and malevolence and the question is to what degree does the expression of that conscious deceit and malevolence corrupt things so badly that it would be better that they didn’t exist at all well you see stories there’s a story associated with this in the epic of gilgamesh associated with the flood that has exactly the same underlying narrative structure in fact some people think the story of Noah was derived from it where the gods who created repented of their creation and determined that erasing it would be better than allowing it to propagate and you see the same thing in the Mesopotamian creation myth you knew mulisch because the early gods so they’re representatives of the Giants of humanity I would say make so much noise and are so careless that the original creator God timeout and and her consort time app decides to wipe them from the face of the earth and so when you read something like this if you read it from an informed historical perspective it starts to have a depth that makes it transcend this sort of archaic and fairy tale like element of the story it’s like I’ve read some very terrible things about what happened in Nazi Germany and and what happened when the Japanese invaded China and just what happened generally in the history of mankind and things can get so bad that it takes the imagination of a very bad person to conceptualize them and when they get that bad this is the only kind of language that works to describe them you know that’s another thing that I’ve discovered working with my clinical clients is that when their lives are really not going well you know when they’re close to suicide or when they’re close to homicide or when there are things going on in the family that are so corrupt and terrible that they reach back generations and they’re aimed at nothing but misery and destruction the only language that suffices has a religious tone because there’s nothing else that’s available to describe what’s happening with the proper level of seriousness and it might be that you’ve never encountered a situation that required that level of seriousness but that doesn’t mean that those situations don’t exist they exist you generally do everything you can to avoid being ensconced in them but they certainly do exist and the probability that you’ll encounter a situation like that or two at some point in your life is extraordinarily high you’ll tangle with someone who’s malevolent right to the core and maybe it’ll be you that is and that’ll be a big shock and then these sorts of things these sorts of poetic descriptors start to become much more real but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord these are the generations of Noah Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations and Noah walked with God that’s an interesting line because if you remember back in the story of Adam and Eve what happens to Adam once he eats the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and wakes up the scales fall from his eyes become self-conscious develops the knowledge of good and evil is he won’t walk with God when God calls him in the garden and so Noah is Adam without the fall essentially and there’s something that knows right that motivates God to spare him or maybe to show him a pathway through the emergent chaos something like that and that’s worth thinking about a lot because there will be situations in your life where what you face is the emergent chaos and maybe that’ll be some terrible catastrophe inside your family or maybe it’ll be something that’s occurring on a much broader social level but the chaos is coming and what you’re going to want to know unless you want to be a denizen of the chaos or even a contributor to it and perhaps that is what you want because many people under those circumstances choose that what you want is to know how you build an ark and get through it that’s what you if you’re if you’re interested in life if you’re interested in proper being and you’re disinclined to produce any more suffering than necessary then you want to know how to conduct yourself when the catastrophe comes so that you have a reasonable possibility of of moving through it and starting anew so when when this old story says well God’s not happy he’s going to wipe everything out it’s like well you might want to take that seriously and then when it says but there’s one person who had a mode of being that protected him from that that’s also something you might want to take seriously because you might want to know what that mode of being is because you might need to use it and so these sorts of things are practical in the deepest possible sense they’re real in the deepest possible sense and practical in the deepest possible sense so Noah walked with God now I’m going to switch way ahead here because you know they said at the beginning of the lecture series that the Bible is a hyperlinked text and everything refers to everything else and so there’s utility in reading it in linear order but it’s not a linear document it’s a document that that you can move through in an infinite number of there’s an infinite number of pathways that you can use to walk through it and all of the document expands upon and refers to all of the rest of the document and so I’m going to switch to the sermon on the mount which i think is probably the key document in the New Testament and I’m going to switch to it because I think it’s the closest thing we have to a fully articulated description of what it would mean to walk with God so that you’re in the ark when the flood comes it’s the it’s the most fully articulated realization of that idea that that leaps out of the metaphorical because if I say well you should conduct yourself like Noah and walk with God and build an ark obviously those are poetic and metaphorical suggestions and it’s not that easy to bring them into practice right it’s the distance there’s a big distance between you and the archetype it isn’t obvious how to manifest it in your own life and what has to happen is the archetype has to be differentiated and articulated so that it becomes sufficiently practical and personal so that you can actually implement it so I’m going to take apart some of the Sermon on the Mount it starts in Matthew five and I’m not going to talk about Matthew five I’m going to talk about the end of Matthew six and most of Matthew seven consider the lilies of the field how they grow they toil not neither do they spin and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these wherefore if God so clothes the grass of the field which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven shall he not much more clothe you O ye of little faith therefore take no Thought saying what shall we eat or what shall we drink or wherewithal shall we be clothed those are famous lines and that’s our Christ the hippie right it’s like hey let it all hang out that’s an old phrase do your thing and everything will come to you and these lines have been interpreted in that manner many times but that’s seriously not the proper interpretation because there’s a kicker with this injunction and the kicker is this for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things but seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you that’s a lot different than the hippie thing right because there’s a very very very interesting idea here it’s it’s certainly one of the most profound ideas that I’ve ever encountered and the idea is this is that if you configure your life so that what you are genuinely doing is aiming at the highest possible good then the things that you need to to survive and to thrive on a day to day basis will deliver themselves to you that’s a hypothesis and it’s not some simple hypothesis right because it what it basically says is if you dare to do the most difficult thing that you can conceptualize your life will work out better than it will if you do anything else well how are you going to find out if that’s true well it’s a Kierkegaard ian’s leap of faith there’s no way you’re going to find out whether or not that’s true unless you do it so no one no one can tell you either because just because it works for someone else I mean that’s interesting and all that but it’s no proof that it’ll work for you you have to be all-in in this game and so the idea is seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness it’s like that’s actually a fairly important caution when you’re talking about not having to pay attention to what you’re going to eat or what you’re going to wear it’s like what it’s essentially saying is that those problems are trivial in comparison and the probability is that if you manifest yourself properly in the world that those things will come your way is extraordinarily high and I believe I believe that that’s exactly right I mean I’ve watched people operate in the world and I would say that there is no more effective way of operating in the world than to conceptualize the highest good that you can and then strive to attain it there’s no more practical pathway to the kind of success that you could have if you actually knew what success was and so that’s what this that’s what this sermon is attempting to to posit it’s like in in the story of Pinocchio you know what happens at the beginning of the story of Pinocchio is that Geppetto wishes on a star we talked about that a little bit and so what you pedo does is align himself with the metaphorical manifestation of the highest good he can conceptualize and say he says he makes he makes a commitment let’s say he aims at the star and for him the star is the possibility that he can take his creation a puppet right whose strings are being pulled by unseen forces and have it transformed into something that’s economist and real well that’s a hell of an ambition you know and we’re wise enough to put that in the children’s movie but too foolish to understand what it means it’s such an interesting juxtaposition that that we can both know that and not know it at the same time you can go to the movie you can watch it and it makes sense but that doesn’t mean that you can go home and think well I know what that meant well people are complicated right we exist at different levels and all the levels don’t communicate with one another but but the movie is a hypothesis and the hypothesis is there’s no better pathway to self-realization and the annulment of being than to posit the highest good that you can conceive of and commit yourself to it and then you might also ask yourself and this is definitely worth asking is do you really have anything better to do and if you don’t well why would you do anything else therefore take no thought for the morrow for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof I spend a long time trying to figure out without man to because it’s another one of those lines that can easily be read as program offer and anti amped you know you remember the old fable of the grasshopper in the end maybe not I’m not going to tell it but that works in the grasshopper fiddles and the ant has a pretty good time in the winter and the grasshopper dies and so this is like a pro grasshopper line but it’s not because it says something else it says that if you orient yourself properly and then pay attention to what you do every day that works and I actually think that that’s in accordance with what we have come to understand about human perception because what happens is that the world shifts itself around your aim is you’re a creature that has a name you have to have a name in order to do something you’re an aiming creature you look at a point and you move towards it it’s built right into you and so you have a name well let’s say your aim is the highest possible aim well then so that sets up the world around you it organizes all of your perceptions it organizes what you see and you don’t see it organizes your emotions and your motivations so you organize yourself around that aim and then what happens is the day manifests itself as a set of challenges and problems and if you solve them properly then you stay on the pathway towards that ape and you can concentrate on the on the ate on the day and so that way you get to have your cake and eat it too because you can you can point into the distance the far distance and you can live in the day and it seems to me that that’s that makes every moment of the day super charged with meaning that that’s how because if everything that you’re doing every day is related to the highest possible aim that you can conceptualize well that’s the very definition of the meaning that would sustain you in your life well then the issue is well back to Noah well all hell is about to break loose and chaos is coming it’s like when that’s happening in your life you might want to be doing something that you regard is truly worthwhile because that’s what will keep you afloat when when everything is flooded and you don’t want to wait until the flood comes to start doing that because if your arks half built and you don’t know how to captain it the probability is very high that that you’ll drown take therefore no thought for the morale but for the morale shall take thought for the things of itself sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof that’s not a particularly optimistic formulation judge not that ye be not judged for with what judgment you judge you shall be judged and with what measure you mete it shall be measured to you again it’s a sensible piece of it’s a sensible description I wouldn’t call it a piece of advice because I don’t think that any of this is advice it’s a description of the structure of reality that’s not the same as advice and it basically says that you’ll be held accountable by the rules of the game that you choose to play and that I also think is perfectly in keeping with what we understand about human psychology because you you are playing you have to play a game that other people will allow you to play and that will cooperate with you while you’re playing and it will compete with you while you’re playing it but you have a fair bit of flexibility in setting up the parameters of the game but you don’t have any choice about whether or not you’re going to be in a game you’re in a game and you’re going to be held accountable by the rules of the game because that’s how the game works and so you might want to pick a game by whose rules you would be willing to be held accountable and why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye or how will you say to thy brother let me pull out the mote out of thine eye and behold a beam is in thine own eye well you might be wondering what a beam is and a mote is a dust speck and a beam is a very large piece of lumber and so the issue is not so much the blindness of others even though there’s as much blindness among others as there is as there is for you but that issue here the advice here the description here is you should be concerned about what’s interfering with your own vision first and you should leave other people the hell alone in relationship to that and so if your mode of being in the world is if you would just act better things would improve for me or if you identify the evil and the catastrophe is something that’s outside that someone else needs to fix or that someone’s response someone else is responsible for then then you’re not going to fix that and you’re going to remain blind to the things that you’re doing and not doing that make things not go well and so it’s just better to think all right I’m probably blind in many many ways and maybe there are some ways that I could rectify that because it’s highly probable that you’re blind in all sorts of ways I mean it’s in fact it’s virtually certain and so it’s just more useful to think how is it that I’m wrong in this situation I’ll tell you something that I learned to do when I was arguing with my wife which happened quite frequently because when you actually communicate with people you find out that there’s many things that you don’t agree on and that’s because you’re actually different creatures and so if you’re actually going to have a truthful conversation then you’re going to find out that you don’t see things the same way and then you can either pretend that that’s not the case and gloss over it and then end up in a 30 year silent war or you can or you can have the damn fight when you need to have it and see if you could straighten it out so now and then we’d get in a situation where we were at loggerheads we couldn’t move and you know it would spiral up into hate speech let’s say cuz yeah everyone laughs because they know they manifest plenty of hate speech towards those they loved so one of the things we learned to do was when we hit an impasse was to separate and to go our own ways and to go sit and think okay look we’re at this unpleasant situation can’t figure out how to move forward I’d always think of course it’s her fault obviously it’s her fault least 95 percent but maybe there was something I did that contributed like five percent to it and so I would sit and think and ask myself a question which was is there anything I did in the last six months that increased the probability that this impasse would manifest itself and I’ll tell you you have no idea how fast your mind will generate an answer to a question like that because there’s undoubtedly some idiotic thing that you did that you know that you remember that increase the probability that you’re going to have your hands around the throat of the person that you love and then you can go tell them that and then you can have a conversation especially if they do the same thing say look you know here’s how I’m an idiot in this situation now the person says well yeah here’s how I’m an idiot and then you’re two idiots and then maybe you can have a conversation so thou hypocrite first cast out the beam of light out of thine own eye and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote of thy brother’s eye that’s a hard argue with that ask and it shall be given you seek and ye shall find knock and it shall be opened unto you for every one that asketh receiveth and he that seeketh findeth and to him that knocketh it shall be opened have some pretty optimistic again but but again I think it’s a description of the structure of the existential reality and and but by by which I mean when I’m in my clinical practice and I observe and this is also the case with my students is let’s say people’s lives aren’t what they would like them to be and so then you ask why well forget about tragedy in catastrophe because that’s self-evident and we’re not going to discuss that although the degree to which you bring about your own tragedy is always indeterminate but I would never say that every terror thing that is visited on a person is something they deserved I think that that’s a very dangerous presupposition especially because everyone gets sick and everyone dies but one of the main reasons that people don’t get what they want is because they don’t actually figure out what it is and the probability that you’re going to get what would be good for you let’s say which would even be better than what you want right because you know you might be what wrong about what you want easily but maybe you could get what would really be good for you well why don’t you well because you don’t try you don’t think okay here’s what I would like if I could have it and I don’t mean I don’t mean in a way that you manipulate the world to force it to deliver you goods for status or something like that that isn’t what I mean I mean something like imagine that you are taking care of yourself like you were someone you actually cared for and then you thought okay I’m caring for this person I would like things to go as well for them as possible what would their life have to be like in order for that to be the case what people don’t do that they don’t sit down and think all right you know let’s let’s figure it out you’ve got a life that’s hard obviously it’s like three years from now you can have what you need you’ve got to be careful about it you can’t have everything you can have what would be good for you but you have to figure out what it is and then you have to aim at it well my experience with people as being is if they figure out what it is that would be good for them and then they aim at it then they get it and it’s strange because they don’t necessarily an idea about what would be good for you and then you take ten steps towards that and you find out that your formulation was a bit off and so you have to reformulate your goal you know you’re kind of going like this as you move towards the goal but a huge part of the reason that people fail is because they don’t ever set up the criteria for success and so since success is a very narrow line and very unlikely the probability that you’re going to stumble on it randomly is zero and so there’s a proposition here in proposition is if you actually want something you can have it now the question then would be well what do you mean by actually want an answer is that you reorient your life in every possible way to make the probability that that will occur as certain as possible and that’s a sacrificial idea right it’s like you don’t get everything obviously you obviously but maybe you can have what you need and maybe all you have to do to get it is ask but asking isn’t a whim or today’s wish it’s like you have to be deadly serious about it you have to think okay like I’m taking stock of myself and if I was going to live properly in the world and I was going to set myself up such that being would justify itself in my estimation and I don’t mean as a harsh judge exactly what is it that I would aim at well one of the things I found is that in in tests of this theory let’s say you could try this this is a form of Prayer knocking sit on your bed one day and ask yourself ah what’s what remarkably stupid things am i doing on a regular basis to absolutely screw up my life and if you actually asked that question but you have to want to know the answer right because that’s actually what asking the question means it doesn’t mean just mouthing the words it means you have to decide that you want to know you’ll figure that’s out so fast it’ll make your hair curl you’ll you it’s as if you thought about this he thought you know he thought that people had two poles of consciousness and one was the individual consciousness that we each identify with in the other was something he called the self and the self is the you might think about it as the divine within that’s close enough approximation and to the universal part of your consciousness it’s your conscience that’s another way of thinking about it whatever your conscience is but it’s something that you can consult it’s like the Socratic Damon Socrates said that the thing that made him different than every in Greece was that he consulted his Damon his genius he asked himself how it was that he should conduct himself in the world and then he did that whatever it was he didn’t try to force a solution you know he didn’t try to force a solution selfishly he asked I’m going to manifest myself in the best possible manner in the world I would like to do that what would that be well you’re perfectly capable of thinking god only knows how you’re perfectly capable of men speeds of imagination and and dream and fantasies god only knows how you do all of that what would happen if you consulted yourself about the best possible outcome for you you might get an answer well that’s what this proposition is or what man is there of you whom if his son asks for bread we’ll give him a stone or if he asks for a fish will give him a serpent if ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children how much more shall your father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him well this is a question about the fundamental nature of being I suppose and one of the hypotheses in the New Testament which is different to different hypotheses in some sense than the one that structures the Old Testament is that faith makes being good it’s a very interesting proposition and so the notion would be and it’s an action-oriented issue as well you act out the proposition that if you act properly in the world that being will reveal itself to you as benevolent but you will not know you’ll never know unless you do it so this is a call to that act out the proposition that if you act properly that being itself is benevolent no reason to assume the contrary I mean to assume the contrary would be to be as cynical and bitter as possible and it’s not like we don’t have reason for that it’s not like I don’t understand why that happens to people therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you do you even so to them for this is the law and the prophets and that’s a reciprocity issue right it’s like well imagine what would be this is another thing I learned from Jung because as Jung reversed this because this is often read it’s it’s the golden rule it’s often read as be nice to it be nice to other people it’s like that is not what this rule means it doesn’t mean that even a little bit it means something like and we’ll reverse it so that will concentrate on you rather than the other person to begin with it means something like conceptualize how things could be great if they were great for you if you were taking care of yourself and then work to make that the case for everyone else you know you see that in Buddhism because Buddha reached Nirvana right that’s the theory and then he was tempted with the offer to stay there and he rejected that offer and came back to the profane world because he felt that the attainment of Nirvana was insufficient unless everyone attained it simultaneously and so it’s something like that but it’s treat yourself properly that’s a hard thing to do because you’re a fallen shameful cowardly deceitful malevolent mortal creature and so it’s not easy and you know it and it’s not easy to treat something like that properly and and it isn’t obvious that people treat themselves better than they treat other people I don’t think that’s obvious at all but maybe you could start with yourself and think okay I’m going to take care of myself as if I have value what would that look like and then I’m going to work to extend that courtesy to everyone else and that’s well the hypothesis here is that if you take all of the moral wisdom that mankind has generated over its millennia of struggle evolved and then manifested metaphors story and then codified into law articulated law and you pick one principle that dominated all of that this would be the principle and it’s interesting too because it’s the law and the prophets and the law is the rules but the prophets are the process by which the rules are being updated right and so the prophets are superordinate in some sense to the law and the proposition that’s set forth in this particular statement is that this maxim which is optimize your own mode of being and then work to do the same for everyone around you is not only the thing that’s at the core of the law but it’s at the core of the process that generates and updates the law to hell of a thing for someone to say enter ye in at the narrow gate because that’s what Strait means enter ye and at the straight gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction well who in the world could possibly argue with that everyone in the right mind knows that there’s a million ways of doing things wrong and one way if you’re lucky to do things right and so the notion that it’s a very very narrow pathway that you tread upon if you’re doing things right that’s that’s wisdom that’s the line between chaos and order that you’re supposed to be on constantly right it’s a very very thin line because if you’re a little bit too far in one direction then it’s too much chaos and if you’re a little too far in the other direction then it’s too much order and both of those aren’t good it has did the balance have to be exactly right and you can feel that and I truly believe you can feel that and I think it’s your deepest instinct it’s your deepest instinct and I mean that I mean that biologically I don’t mean that metaphorically I think that your psyche is arranged to exist in a cosmos that’s composed of chaos and order I think that’s why you have the hemispheric structure that you have this is deeper than metaphor and then when you feel as if you’re meaningfully engaged in the world when the terror of your mortality strips away and you’re engaged and it’s timeless that’s the deepest instinct you have telling you that you’re in the right place at the right time and then what you do is practice being there practice being there and that’s that that narrow spot is so difficult to find you wander around it maybe if you’re lucky you can watch you can watch this as an experiment watch yourself for two weeks like you don’t know who you are because you don’t so watch yourself for two weeks and notice there’s going to be times when things are proper their raid properly for you yeah it’s not easy to notice because when they’re arrayed like that you’re so engaged you don’t exactly notice you know but you’ll see oh I’m in the right place it’s like okay how did I get here what am i doing right you know how is it that this could happen more often I’d like this to happen more often how would I have to conduct myself in order for that to happen more often and then you practice that and then maybe instead of ten minutes a month or ten minutes a week it’s like 15 minutes a day and then it’s half an hour a day and then it’s an hour a day and then it’s four hours a day and maybe if you if you’re extraordinarily careful then you get to a point where you’re like that a good proportion of the time because Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves that’s particularly good advice for today’s political situation I can tell you you shall know them by their fruits do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit well that’s what I learned from studying the history of totalitarianism in the 20th century is that a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit and that’s for sure and so funny you know people who think when they’re thinking about the relationship with divinity or the relationship with God they think it’s a primitive and childish way of thinking what if a miracle just manifests why can’t a miracle just manifest itself and I would be convinced and the funny thing is is first of all actually you wouldn’t be if a miracle actually happened you would actually forget about about six months that’s I mean you’d think that’s not true but it’s true you would actually forget about it because that’s what people are like but there are negative miracles that are happening all the time which actually lend some credence to my supposition and we don’t pay any attention to that if we can’t learn from what happened in the 20th century then we are absolutely incapable of learning because what happened in the 20th century was as bitter a set of lessons as you could possibly imagine and its associated precisely with this a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit every tree that bringeth forth that bringeth not forth good few fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire well that’s a flood motif right there it’s like we’re constantly the archetype of the tree that’s the archetype of being it’s the archetype of the self often what’s the warning here that if you’re mostly deadwood you’re going to get you’re going to burn up and you can think about that metaphysically you can you can project that into eternity and you can think about that as a form of Hell and the funny thing is is that when that’s happening to you in real time it is like an eternity in hell it’s a perfectly reasonable way of thinking about it but you can strip the metaphysical elements off and you can say well if you’re mostly dead wood then a spark will light you on fire and that’s also very much worth thinking about wherefore by their fruits shall you know them not everyone that saith unto me Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven that’s an interesting line I think I mean one of the proper critiques of traditional Christianity maybe this is the sort of critique that Nietzsche put forth was that Christianity had degenerated in its moral mission Jung was a little bit more sympathetic and I’ll tell you why in a minute but Nietzsche’s idea was that Christianity had lost its way when it generated the presupposition that human nnedi was saved in some final sense by the sacrifice of Christ it meant that the work was already done and that and I’m I’m being I’m being harsh in my judgment for the purpose of rhetorical simplification but the idea was that if you just professed faith that that had already occurred then you were granted eternal salvation it’s like well it’s not so straightforward and I think that that’s what this line actually represents it says how you enter into the kingdom of heaven and and again you can think about that under the aspect of eternity or you can think about it as a psychological statement and the answer is quite straightforward is that you do what Noah did to make him immune from the flood and that’s to walk with God and that’s what this sermon is about it’s laying out the practical elements of that and the practical elements are aimed at the highest possible good and play that out in the world and then you may have the opportunity to inhabit the highest possible good that you’re positing into existence perhaps not but you can’t think of any more practical way of going about that I mean if you build a house then maybe you can live in it if you don’t build a house you’re not going to be able to live in it if you build a good house then you’ll be able to live in a good house and if you build a perfect house then maybe you can live in a perfect house but if you just say that the house has already been built for you and that you can just say that the house is being built for you well then the probability that you’re going to be able to live where you need to live is there’s no probability that you’re going to be able to live where you need to live many will say to me in that day that’s the Judgment Day Lord have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name of cast out devils and in thy name done many wonderful works and then I will profess unto them I never knew you depart from me you that work iniquity see that’s Judgment Day you know that’s an archetypal idea and partly it’s archetypal because everyday is Judgment Day and the part of you that the part of you that’s equivalent to the logo say the part of you that’s your own ideal sits in eternal judgment on your iniquity and that’s the con that’s the source of guilt and shame and and and withdrawal and then resentment and then murderous ‘no sand then genocide it’s because you can intuit the ideal and the problem with intuiting the ideal is that an ideal is always a judge there’s no difference between an ideal and the judge and so you’re eternally judged by your own ideal if you have no idea well then you’ve got no direction and no meaning in your life and then of course the more extremely ideal the harsher the judge that’s actually why young young was very curious about why the book of Revelation was tacked on to the Bible to the book of Revelation that’s a very weird book and you know in in in the Gospels Christ is I would say perhaps primarily merciful there’s a maybe a war in his character between truth and mercy but it’s one of the two perhaps mercy and Jung’s observation was the gospel Christ was too merciful and that’s why the book of Revelation was tapped on tacked onto the New Testament because in the book of Revelation Christ who’s the ideal who’s above the pyramid right the transcendent ideal is nothing but a judge and everyone fails and of course the ultimate ideal is the ultimate judge and so that’s the archetypal reality there and you can say well I don’t want to be judged and so I’ll dispense with the ideal but then you’re Cain because Cain is exactly the person who dispenses with the ideal and so there’s no escaping from it there’s no escaping from eternal judgment that’s the archetypal story you know people put a lot of work into these representations you know and there’s thousands of them they weren’t messing around these are serious pieces of work you know we don’t understand them but that doesn’t mean that the people who created them didn’t know what they were doing these were geniuses who created these pieces of work it’s not like they understood in an articulated manner what they were trying to represent but what they were representing were the the metaphor is at the core of our culture to the degree that our culture is functional and good these are the metaphors upon which it’s founded and they’re not for the faint of heart you know you say religion is the opiate of the masses it’s like yeah then how do you explain this exactly you know because if it was opiates you’re after you might just get rid of that panel especially when the other thing that’s so interesting about the proposition if you look at revelations in Revelation and you look at the judgment almost everyone ends up on the right side of this panel so if you are just conjuring up some sort of pathetic wish fulfillment why in the world would you tilt the scales in that manner you think that’s supposed to make people feel good I don’t think so there’s almost nothing about this picture that should make people feel good it should if you understand it properly it should terrify you to the depths of your soul that’s what the picture is for therefore whoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock and the rain descended and the winds blew and the floods came and beat upon the house and it fell not for it was founded upon a rock and every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand and the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew had beat upon that house and it oh I made a mistake and it fell for it was founded upon the sand and it came to pass this is a very interesting line I really I really you know now and then you run across lines in this particularly happens in biblical settings you run across lines that you cannot believe actually exist you cannot imagine how someone could have imagined up and conjured up the line and these two lines are like that as far as I’m concerned and it came to pass when Jesus had ended these sayings that people were astonished at his doctrine for he taught them as one having a authority and not as the scribes and that’s something so interesting you know because that was another thing that really I didn’t really appreciate about the churches that I attended to and that would be that the lessons were taught by scribes and the words were mouthed but there was no power in them there was no meaning in them it was it was as if well it was like when I was 20 years old and I was saying all these things I didn’t mean you know they were words that sounded good they were like like gilded cloth I suppose that you can that you can wrap around yourself but there’s no substance to them and there’s a big difference between listening to something that has substance and listening to something that is spoken because it sounds like it should sound good and this line says that whoever spoke the lines that we just described was someone who sounded like he knew what he was talking about and not someone who was just repeating something for the sake of sounding good and it certainly seems to me that the lines that we just reviewed have the awesome impact of authority back to Noah but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord these are the generations of Noah Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations and Noah walked with God and Noah begat three sons Shem ham and Japheth the earth was also corrupt before God and the earth was full of violence filled with violence any of you see the new NRA ad you might want to look that up I would say that’s the most shocking manifestation of political polarization in the United States that I’ve yet seen most of it I’ve seen on the left/right the real what shocked me mostly has been on the left but the new NRA ad that’s a whole new thing so it’s this attractive woman and doing a voiceover she kind of looks like Demi Moore well she’s kind of tough looking I guess Demi Moore could look tough now and then and she has contempt on her face and that’s a dangerous thing and in the background there’s nothing but images of anteye far is and Berkeley riots and fire and protest and she’s describing that as a conspiracy essentially a conspiracy that involves the intellectual elite including Hollywood which is named by name the accusation is is that there’s a cabal of corrupt intellectuals let’s say who are bringing the country to its knees and that it’s time to get your goddamn guns and so look up that and see what you think because there’s lots of people who would be perfectly happy if that was the direction in which you were headed and one of the things that I’m hoping is that we might be able to talk our way through it but we’re in a situation where every act of idiot individual idiocy will push us one iota closer to the brink and that’ll make the 15 percent of the population or 30 percent of the population who would love to see everything degenerate into chaos perfectly happy because that’s their aim the earth also was corrupt before God and the earth was filled with violence and God looked upon the earth and behold it was corrupt for all flesh is corrupted his way upon the earth and Noah said and God said unto Noah the end of all flesh has come before me for the earth is filled with violence through them and behold I will destroy them with the earth make the an ark of gopher wood rooms shalt thou make in the Ark from that shalt pitch it within and without with pitch and this is the fashion which thou shalt make of it the length of the ark shall be 300 cubits the breadth of it 50 cubits in the height of it 30 cubits a window shalt thou make to the ark and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof with lower second and third stories shalt thou make it and behold I even I do bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life from under heaven and everything that is in the earth shall die but with thee I will establish my covenant and thou shalt come into the are thou and thy sons and thy wife and thy sons wives with thee that’s a fairly optimistic twist on the story because not only is it Noah but he gets to save his whole family and down a couple of generations and so that’s a good thing to think about it’s like as things know I had this client and she had a very hard upbringing I would say not a lot of encouragement to say the least let’s say a fair bit of discouraged meant and she had a son and what was really interesting about her in relationship to her son is that all the things that she could have learned to do to him given her extensive experience with being made as miserable as possible by someone who was hell-bent on bringing her to her knees she refused to do to her son right she learned the opposite lesson from all her misery and torment which was not to move that forward down the generations and so the idea here is that if you walk properly a name properly and act properly if you walk with God in this manner that we’ve been discussing is that perhaps that isn’t only good for you perhaps it’s also the thing that will save your family and then by implication perhaps saves Society because that’s exactly what happens with Noah right first it’s him and then it’s his family but everything else goes and so by saving himself by acting properly and by saving his family he actually saves the world it’s interesting you know it’s like the most profound people that I’ve read who’ve meditated deeply on the problem say of totalitarian catastrophe and I would put Alexander Solzhenitsyn at the top of that list you know the his entire corpus three volumes 700 pages long each in tiny type is a long scream about the absolute necessity of individual the absolute necessity of individual honesty and ethical behavior as the only bulwark against totalitarian catastrophe and that and I’ve read many writers who’ve attempted to diagnose the problems of the 20th century and I think elgyn Edson he came to the same conclusions that Viktor Frankl came to as a consequence of his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps and Frankel I am also an admirer of Franco but Solzhenitsyn takes it to an entire different level of profundity and makes an extraordinarily strong case that not only do societies deteriorate because the people within the societies become individually corrupt but that the only way to stave that off is for the individuals within that society to reject that corruption in the in the confines of their own personal lives and he tells endless stories of people that he met in the gulag and in the work camps in the death camps in the Soviet Union of people and this is what he learned of people who were so incredibly tough that even under conditions the most possible extreme conditions there wasn’t a chance that they were going to step off that straight and narrow line there was nothing the authorities could do to move them and just watching that was enough to transform Solzhenitsyn because of course one of the things he wondered was after spending a good amount of time in the work camps was well just exactly how did I get here and it wasn’t well it was Hitler’s fault and it was Stalin’s fault although it was definitely the fault of both of them for Solzhenitsyn it was well it was also his fault because he was playing the same game he just wasn’t as good at it and of every living thing of all flesh two of every sort shall thou bring into the ark to keep them alive with thee they shall be male and female and so there’s another message in this story which is that it isn’t only Noah and his family and human society that’s dependent on Noah’s appropriate actions in the world it’s the entire living planet and in an era of excessive and extreme and genuinely disingenuous environmental catastrophe Singh that’s something to consider very seriously think perhaps there’s nothing better that you can do for everything all things considered including those things that are outside the confines of human society than to get your act together and align yourself properly along all of the dimensions of your being from from from the tiniest microcosm to the to the ultimate macrocosm and that’s the way that all of being is redeemed that’s what the story suggests and we read it you know a cynical modern people we read it as if it was written by primitive people who thought that it was really the case that someone could build a boat and put two of every kind into it and thereby saved the world it’s embarrassing to see things interpreted in a manner that shallow especially by people who don’t have ignorant as a justification you know these stories have to appeal to everyone right and there’s lots of people in the world who aren’t very bright and so they tend to take things concretely like a child would take things concretely if you read them a story and this story can be taken concretely but it has to be because these stories have to be for everyone but if you’re sophisticated that doesn’t mean that you should dismiss it as if it’s written for a child it’s maybe you have the obligation to look a bit deeper and think for a moment that it wouldn’t been conserved for these many thousands of years if there wasn’t something more to it than a casual intellectual dismissal would indicate and take thou on to the of all food that is eaten and thou shalt gather it to thee and shall be food for the end for them thus did Noah according to all that God commanded him so did he and the Lord said unto Noah come thou and all thy house into the ark for the I have seen righteous before me in this generation of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens the male and his female and a beasts that are clean but not clean by two the male and his female of follows also of the air by sevens the male and the female to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth for yet seven days I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights and every living substance that I’ve made will I destroy from off the face of the earth and Noah did according unto all depth lord commanded him and though it was 600 years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth and Noah went in and his sons and his wife and his sons wives with him into the ark because of the waters of the flood of clean beasts and the beasts that are not clean enough follows and of everything that creepeth upon the earth they went in 2 and 2 unto Noah into the ark the male and the female as God had commanded Noah and it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were upon the earth in the six hundredth year of Noah’s life in the second month the seventeenth day of the month the same day were all the Fountains of the great deep broken up and the windows of heaven were opened and the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights and the self-same day entered Noah and Shem and ham and Japheth sons of Noah and Noah’s wife and 3 wives of his sons with them into the ark today and every beast after his kind and all of the cattle after their kind and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind and every fowl after his kind every bird of every sort and they went into Noah unto Noah into the ark two and two of all flesh wherein is the breath of life that makes know where they ultimate Shepherd right Shepherd of all things tender of the garden and Shepherd of all things that’s a hell of a roll and maybe that’s the one that keeps you afloat during the flood and they that went in went in male and female of all flesh as God had commanded him and the Lord showed him in and the flood was forty days upon the earth and the waters increased and bear up the ark and it was left up above the earth and the waters prevailed and were increased greatly upon the earth 15 cubits upward did the waters prevail and the mountains were covered and all flesh died that moved upon the earth both of fallen of cattle and the beasts and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth and every man and all in whose nostrils was the breath of life of all that was in the dry land died and every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the earth both man and cattle and the creeping things in the fall of the heaven and they were destroyed from the earth and Noah only remained alive and they that were with him in the ark and the waters prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days and God remembered Noah every living thing and all the cattle that was with him in the ark and God made a wind to pass over the earth and the waters receded the Fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped in the rain from heaven was restrained and the waters returned from off the earth continually and after the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters were abated and the ark rested in the seventh month on the seventeenth day of the month upon the mountains of Ararat and the waters decreased continually until the tenth month in the tenth month on the first day of the month were the tops of the mountains seen and it came to pass at the end of 40 days that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made and he sent forth a raven which went to and fro until the waters were dried up from off the earth and he also sent forth a dove from him to see if the water’s were abated from off the face of the ground but the devil found no rest for the sole of her foot and she returned unto him in the ark for the waters were on the face of the whole earth then he put forth his hand and took her and pulled her in unto him into the ark and he stayed yet another seven days and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark and the Dove came in to him in the evening and lo in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth and he stayed there yet another seven days and sent forth the Dove which returned not again unto him anymore and it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year in the first month the first day of the month the waters were dried up from off the earth and Noah removed the covering of the ark had looked up and behold the face of the ground was dry and in the second month on the seventh and twentieth day of the month was the earth dried and God spake unto Noah saying go forth of the ark thou and thy wife and thy sons and thy sons wives with thee bring forth with the every living thing that is with thee of all flesh both of fowl and of cattle and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth that they may breed abundantly in the earth and be fruitful and multiply upon the earth and Noah went forth and his sons and his wife and his sons wives with them beast creeping thing every fowl and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth after their kinds went forth out of the ark and Noah builded an altar unto the Lord and took of every clean beast and of every clean fowl and offered burnt offerings on the altar immediate returns the sacrificial motif and the Lord smelled a sweet savour and that’s Noah’s proper sacrifice and the Lord said into his heart I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth neither will I again smite any more every living thing as I have done while the earth remaineth seedtime and harvest and cold and heat and summer and winter and day and night shall not cease and God blessed Noah and his sons and said unto them be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every fowl of the air upon all that moveth upon the earth upon all the fishes of the sea into your hand are they delivered you know I’ve heard commentators David Suzuki for example who claimed that the substructure of Western culture in lines such as this deliver the earth over to human beings and and justify our ravaging of the of being but I don’t think that that’s a very careful reading and it seems to me that given such matters given the importance of such matters that a very close reading is actually necessary you know in the story of Adam and Eve when Adam and Eve are thrown out of the garden God tells Eve that she’s going to be subordinated to her husband he doesn’t say that that’s what should happened he says that’s what’s going to happen and the same thing as far as I’m concerned is contained in lines like this isn’t necessarily that this is something that should happen it’s something that did to happen it’s quite remarkable you know to think about how long ago these lines were penned it wasn’t obvious until perhaps the 1960s that we had dominated the earth so completely that it’s very future existence within our hands and that’s a prophetic element of this tale and the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every fowl of the air and upon all that moveth upon the earth and upon all the fishes of the sea into your hand are they delivered like that’s exactly right every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you even as the green herb I’ve given you all things have I given you all things but flesh with the life thereof which is the blood thereof shall you not eat and surely your blood of your lives will I require at the hand of every beast will I require it at the hand of man at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man this is a hard section to interpret but what it means is something like this God describes the dominion over the planet that vilified humanity will have and note the power that goes along with that and then puts a limitation on it and the limitation is maintain the sanctity of life despite your power and although it’s not easy to extract from the manner in which this is being translated what God is telling Noah is that if you kill yourself if you kill someone else and if any animal kills a human being that there will be a price to pay for that so there’s a an opportunity which is that the descendants of Noah can dominate the earth but there’s a moral limitation placed on that which is nonetheless life itself is to be regarded as sanctified and sacred whoever shared if man’s blood by man shall his blood be shed for in the image of God made he mad and you be you fruitful and multiply bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply therein and God spake unto Noah and to his sons with him saying and I behold I establish my covenant with you and with your seed after you and with every living creature that is with you of the fowl and the cattle and of every beast of Earth that is with you for all that go out of the ark to every beast of the earth and I will establish my covenant with you neither shall all flesh be cut off anymore by the waters of a flood neither shall there be anymore a flood to destroy the earth and God said this is the token of the Covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you for perpetual generations I do set my bow in the cloud and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth and shall come to pass when I bring a cloud over the earth that the bow shall be seen in the cloud and I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh there’s a negotiated agreement there of sorts and the negotiated agreement is as far as I can tell to the degree that humanity agrees to act in the manner of Noah then the threat of catastrophic destruction will remain at bay and the bow shall be in the cloud and I will look upon it that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth and God said unto Noah this is the token of the Covenant which I’ve established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth this is the token of the Covenant which I’ve established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth so that’s a good place to stop and there’s no lecture next week by the way because the theater was booked so there’ll be a one-week break and then when we get back we’ll finish the story of Noah there’s not much left of it we’ll talk about the Tower of Babel which is a very short story but a very very interesting one and then we’ll move on to the story of Abraham and so thank you very much for coming and we’ll see you in two weeks [Applause] now is the person who has the notification for the meetup after this here and do they have the notification okay because if you give that to me this time I’ll remember to read it before everyone leaves so do you want to start okay so see it let’s see if the mic is working because lots of people will listen to this question and so okay okay so you said on a recent livestream that you were to you didn’t have enough energy to answer this question but you said it was intriguing so I was wondering if you had the energy to answer how someone might help someone that has borderline personality disorder by example by example no no no I don’t I don’t mean that precisely I mean that the let’s not take borderline personality disorder precisely as the example okay I understand the question the question to some degree is how do you help someone that’s lost and answer that is if they aren’t willing to not be lost you cannot help them and I would also say that as a clinician you see I mean it’s an it’s a statement that’s informed I would say by mythological knowledge but also by straight clinical wisdom not mine particularly I mean one of the things that Carl Rogers pointed out was that there were necessary preconditions for entering into a therapeutic relationship and that would be really any relationship where the mutual flourishing of the two people involved was the Paramount goal and one of the preconditions was that both people had to want that to happen and Rogers believed he didn’t know how to get the horse to drink when she had brought it to the water and I thought about that a lot because when people are really lost sometimes they’re so lost that that they can’t be found and I think the only thing that you can do in a situation like that is get your life together and she and manifest the reality of an alternative mode of being that’s what you’ve got and so that’s the only way I know of to solve an intractable problem and I would say the reason that I went down that direction with regards to borderline personality disorders because it’s one of the most serious of the personality sort is very difficult to treat and so I’ll generalize from that to situations that are very difficult to deal with and you know there’s a statement to and this has nothing to do with borderline personality disorder per se there’s a statement in the New Testament that’s really vicious in fact there’s a number of them but this is a particularly vicious one and that is don’t cast pearls before swine and what that means is if you’re trying to help and it doesn’t work then stop helping it’s not helping right it may be just wasting your time it might be making things worse no if you’re if you’re offering something and it’s not taken then perhaps you should be offering it somewhere else and sometimes if you offer hand and the person won’t take it you have to stop offering the hand and then what you do is you go off and you have your life and sometimes that means in people’s lives for example that they have to leave their family members behind there’s a scene in the New Testament this is another very harsh scene where Christ is walking down the road with his disciples I hope I’ve got this story right but I’ve got it essentially right and his mother calls to him and says I believe that he’s supposed to come back to the home because his uncle has died and that there’s going to be a funeral and he turns to his mother and says something like let the dead bury their dead I’m about my father’s business it’s something like that and you read that you think huh that should have been edited out no but it shouldn’t have been added it out because it’s exactly right because sometimes the thing you do is walk away because there’s no other solution and if you are trapped in pathologic relationships and you see no way out of them if you if someone who is thinking has their hands around your neck and is pulling you down you’re not obligated to drown with them now there’s a rule too if you’re a lifeguard you know some of you have had lifeguard training how do you approach someone who’s drowning and panicking in the water feed out right like this it’s like I’ll save you but that doesn’t mean you get to drown me while I’m doing it and if it’s you drown or both of us drown it’s you drown and that’s wisdom that’s not cruelty right so yeah a couple of questions about dialog and engaging in dialogue with people so the first issue that I face is I have a very high need for intellectual stimulation and I can’t get that with most people it’s something like you can you can have a dialogue for a time but then titrate openness yeah and then I would then they started run out of ideas they can keep up and it sort of falls apart okay this is the problem that intellectuals have quite frequently is that they sort of once they start reading difficult and rewarding stuff yeah they stopped wanting to talk to regular people and I think that contributes to the disconnect that you see between intellectuals and working-class people and stuff like that and the other question I had was about okay wait I don’t know if that’s a question I mean I believe there’s a question in there but I digress tchen is how did we dress that how should I dress it and is that something that can be dressed well part of part of the answer to that is that’s what the universities were for I mean you know not everybody is equipped to or interested in engaging in high-level discussion of abstract and creative ideas you know you hear this idea that everyone’s creative that’s a lie it’s as straightforward as that drew creativity is very very rare and so and if you happen to be a creative person or if you happen to be someone who’s profoundly interested in ideas you are in a pronounced minority just as you are if you happen to be extremely extroverted or extremely agreeable or extremely conscientious these are minority issues and what you do is you find like-minded people who are capable of engaging that you know a heavy weight with heavy weight weight lifters compete with heavy weight weight lifters for a reason and everyone thinks that’s fine the same thing applies to intellectual and creative endeavors so what you do is you try to find a community where that’s that’s the nature of the community and you likely have to find a relationship like that as well you know so I don’t think so I think what contributes to the siloing is the arrogance that goes along with it because if you’re you can be interested in ideas and you can be creative well that’s the arrogance of the intellect right that’s the thing the Catholic Church had warned about for centuries is the arrogance of the intellect so because if you’re if you’re wise as well as smart and there is no relationship between being smart and being wise they are not the same thing there’s no quick pathway from smart to wise and many of the people who I’ve known who were very wise were what some of them were intellectually impaired and were still wise you know so it’s the arrogance that brings up the block and I see this for example happening in the United States in particular because the last time I went down there for example I was I had friends down there and and some of those friends are very very smart people and some of them were talking about the Trump voters and they were talking about the Trump voters with contempt and I thought you better watch that because that’s 50% of the damn population and it might be convenient to think that they’re stupid and beneath you but it’s not conducive to a civil state and there’s no evidence that it’s true because there isn’t a straight line between intelligent and wise and so I think that if you’re if your character is developed and you’re intelligent you can have your siloed creative community but you develop enough wisdom so that you can see all the things that people can do that are of high ethical utility that are outside the intellectual domain you know and I think that’s why in the New Testament I think that’s why Christ is a carpenter right because well first of all carpenter is one of those jobs that when you’re dishonest it manifests itself immediately because what you build falls down and so if you’re an honest carpenter you build a good house so that there’s a nice metaphor there but it’s also it’s also a warning in some sense against the the equation of intellectual brilliance with moral superiority and so if the intellects would drop their moral superiority and fat chance there is of that then that divide between the working class say and the elite would would resolve and there’s every reason to have respect for decent working class people I mean it’s on their labour as the left wingers at least hypothetically agree that the entire edifice of the culture is is resting so you can have your cake and eat it too but you have to not assume that your niche makes you superior and it’s very difficult for smart people especially smart there’s a scene in leeches it seems thus spake Zarathustra wears arethusa the Prophet comes down from the mountain and he comes into a public square and there’s this crowd around this little midget who’s only about this high who have a gigantic ear and everyone is marveling at him well that’s what the modern intellect is like it’s a midget with a giant well mouth generally not an ear and the the the being is underdeveloped but the intellect is hyper activated and and it makes the person extraordinarily unbalanced and his part because they they can’t compete outside the intellectual realm and that makes them very bitter because they tend to think well God I’m so smart everything should just come to me it’s like sorry that’s not how the world works and and it also that that and that that that attitude is immediately evident to people that they’re talking to when they talk in the manner that they talk if they are arrogant intellectuals of that sort you see that in the Simpsons did a good job of that with comic book guy right I mean he completely useless in every possible dimension with an IQ of about 160 and it’s very annoying to people who have an IQ of 160 that they can also be completely useless but it happens a lot so yeah hi dr. Peterson long time no see how are you doing thanks so I was up first going to ask about your thoughts on a very popular TV show Rick and Marty you know someone just recommended that to me and they said they thought I would find it funny and that makes me nervous because I like the Simpsons and I like the Trailer Park Boys for actually like the trailer I really liked the Trailer Park Boys and so someone said I know it’s so sad you know but they said that I would like Rick and Morty so I’m kind of afraid to even watch it it does have a nihilistic theme to it no I would say so that which is quite telling of the young population which they flee they fall in love with it everyone’s talking about it so uh-huh okay well I’ll definitely watch it because I’ve been looking for something to watch when I’m brain dead at night so but I decide to tell them my question from a different angle if I may and it’s about the case that governments let’s say such as Russia and Iran they have any more extreme cases like Isis they do not want to conform to the nihilistic aspects of the West as a result they’ve taken an anti-western approach as someone with a Middle Eastern background I’ve been trying to figure out where the origins of this hostility more precisely comes from and why things are the way they are I recently found out that certain key Iranian philosophers and political activists were partially intuitively responsible for the 1979 Iranian Revolution were highly influenced by the anti Western high daguerreian philosophy and this is partially why they believed that an Islamic state would and it’d be messy and necessary counter position to the ninth nihilistic Western thought you I know that you also come there with Alexander dooking putting those liza yes except Dugan doesn’t really seem to have a coherent answer he says that an answer like that is necessary and that hypothetically it’s something that Russia might be able to offer but the details seem to me somewhat obscure I mean the Russians maybe the Russians are doing what Solzhenitsyn suggested and returning to Orthodox Christianity although Russia is corrupt enough so that it’s very difficult to tell from the outside if that’s mere collusion between the corrupt church in a corrupt state or if there’s something genuine going on there now you know the I would say there’s a question under your question which is tyranny or nihilism well that’s a good question man that’s a good question well lots of people would pick tyranny over nihilism and so if that’s the only choice that people are offered then and I also think that tyranny is stronger than nihilism because what are you going to do organize nihilists hardly well look at look at what happened to what was that thing in Central Park you know against the 1% Jesus I mean what a dismal affair that was we’d like things to be different how well we don’t know like so you know you can just run over that if you’re tyrannical and organized you can just run over that like there’s nothing there at all and that I think there is a danger and I do think that we’re enticing the Islamofascists let’s say by our nihilistic weakness and I think more than that I think that we’re doing something more than that because one of the things that I’ve been curious about and I’m going way out on a limb here is I’ve been really interested in the alliance between the neo-marxist nihilistic are the neo-marxist postmodernists especially the feminists and the Islamofascists I just don’t get that it’s like there’s something very very interesting going on there and I think part of it is that when you when you drift too far into the nihilistic sub structure there’s a huge call for tyrannical order that manifests itself unconsciously and so that’s the dynamic that I see playing out in that peculiar relationship between the modern neo-marxist feminists and Islamofascists I don’t I don’t know that’s a very that’s very interesting that that’s a very interesting idea that you brought to mind I had no idea that there was a relationship between Heidegger and what happened in Iran in the 1970s if you could send me a citation about that or something to read I’d be very interested in doing that so okay yep yep [Applause] thank you that’s that’s that’s the closest thing I think I’ll experienced it out to arnold schwarzenegger actually delivering that line yeah the purrito distribution yeah yeah yeah not Ross but yeah do you have to work oh it’s a nasty it’s a nasty law yeah it was also known as prices law yeah yeah yeah yeah great yeah yeah yeah hopefully there’s fewer of them than that okay two to two things the first is it isn’t obvious what the population would be that you would compare this population to right because you could say well the boundary is the four hundred people in this room but it isn’t necessarily the case the four hundred people in this room might be the square root of the broader population we’re interested in this sort of thing but with the purrito distribution what you also see is that it’s it’s self similar and so let’s say there’s four hundred people doing something twenty of them are doing half the work but if you take twenty four of them are doing half the work of the twenty and one of the four is doing half the work of the four and so it’s so why am I telling you that it’s it isn’t it well first of all it isn’t that there isn’t useful work to be done at multiple slices of the purrito distribution but the other thing is it’s also the case that there’s not only one purrito distribution right because you might say well if it’s just the square root of the number of people in a domain that are doing half the work then you know what do you do with the rest of the people and the answer that might be well they’re in a prio different preeto distribution as well where they’re doing something productive so well I think it’s a good question like we don’t exactly end so so the basic rule is the look the basic rule is for example if you take a hundred scientists in a given domain ten of them will have published half the papers and this works with everything it works with with every creative domain the rule applies so now the question is why and I think the choir the answer to that seems to be and I’ve watched people who become spectacular ly successful it what happens is that zero is a really bad place to be right it’s really hard to get out of zero and that’s often why people are trapped in poverty because if you have nothing getting to something is virtually impossible once you have something getting to a little more of something is actually quite a bit easier and so what seems to happen this is also called the Mathieu principle right it’s the same principle so that’s a New Testament citation let’s say the Mathieu principle is to those who have everything more will be given from those who have nothing everything will be taken that’s another one of those lines in the New Testament that you’d think that a good editor would have just got rid of so but but but I think what it is is that every time you make a step forward the probability that you’ll be able to take the next step forward increases and it seems to increase in a nonlinear way so the the world that the Mathieu principle describes is nonlinear you know so you might say well what’s your trajectory if you’re moving upward well it’s not this it’s this what’s your trajectory if you’re moving downward it’s not this it’s this right you fall you fall you plummet you rise you rise you transcend it’s something like that and you might say well that’s a hell of a world but whatever it has to be run by some principle and that’s the principle that it appears to be run by yes no no no it doesn’t mean that at all what it means is that every truth claim you make including those that are implicit in your actions carries with it an ethic that justifies or doesn’t justify the action so for example let’s say I have a tool and I say it’s an axe and I go to the forest and I cut down I try to cut down a tree with it and it doesn’t work it’s not an axe it’s something else and so what the what there’s a good book on pragmatism called the metaphysical Club a history of American ideas it’s what I would really recommend and what the pragmatists I can’t give you a full answer because this is such a complicated issue but what the pragmatists were wrestling with back in the late 1800s the late 1800s this was William James and his crew in in Boston including a philosopher named CS purse who was perhaps America’s greatest philosopher they were wrestling with the same issue that the postmodernist would wrestle with 100 years later which is things are indefinitely complex and we’re not very bright so how is it that we can make claims to truth about anything and what they were what their their hypothesis essentially was is that with every action and with every truth claim you simultaneously demarcate a territory within which that claim is valid and you you determine whether the claim is valid by noting whether your prediction about the outcome of your action or your or your belief is commencer is is in keeping with if the outcome is in keeping with the prediction then what you’ve said or done is true or good enough and that’s as good as you get and so that’s the pragmatic perspective and then when when when the pragmatist encountered charles dark charles darwin’s works works they immediately recognized that darwin had generated a pragmatic solution to the problem of the impossibility of being the impossibility of being is this there’s way more cosmos than there is you you are going to die you cannot generate a sufficient solution to the problem of your being no one can nothing can it’s like the environment is a snake that moves unpredictably across time and you’re trying to stay on its back well as how how does the Darwinian process deal with that it produces infinite variance roughly speaking almost all of which die and that’s how it solves the problem across time and the things that exist is the things that stay alive are true enough and that’s the best you get that’s the argument I was trying to have with Sam Harris because Harris doesn’t take his evolutionary cycle is a Volusia nary theory seriously enough but we get to kept getting bogged down anyways that’s that’s the best answer oh I’d like to agree with that but it’s not true yeah yep yep yep you really do like to ask hard questions so you I think it depends see this is also why like the pH alien take let’s say on on pragmatism because I think that pragmatism as a philosophy has the limitation that you just described but only if you think about the games as limited if you have to play the game in an iterative way then that issue resolves itself and the game theorists have done a good job of mapping that out it’s like you could say let’s say pragmatically speaking there’s no reason I shouldn’t deceive you once if I can get what I want it’s yeah yeah except that I’m probably not only going to interact with you once I’m going to interact with you a lot and even if it isn’t you that I interact with it’s going to be a bunch of beings that are so much like you that it might as well be you might as well be you it’s going to be me if nothing else and so the pragmatic game stretched across time would include the necessity of iterability in relationship to the validations of the truth claims that’s that’s how it looks to me I’m gonna I’m gonna I’m gonna stop you if we have say that again yes yes thank you yes but that’s not all I am so this is on behalf of somebody dr. Peterson having listened to your expositions on the mythological evolution and amalgamation of religion and keeping in mind your working definitions of belief and truth and despite the obvious reasons for somebody of your background to identify most with Christianity my understanding is that you believe Christianity to be the most complete and articulated form of many of the metaphysical ideas that preceded it and led up to that keeping that in mind would it also be accurate to therefore say that you’re not only a believer in Christianity but also if to a lesser degree also believer in in Mourdock in the ancient Egyptian gods and the subsequent gods that you’ve spoken up here that led up and contribute it to the form of Christianity that you’re discussing and that you identify with okay I’m going to take that one apart a little bit I’m bounded in my judgment with regards to Christianity by my ignorance I’m no student of Hinduism so I can’t make the claim forthrightly that there’s something intrinsically superior to the judeo-christian tradition because I don’t know enough to make that claim the claim I can make is that there’s something that’s dreadfully right about this core elements of the judeo-christian tradition and I’ve seen analogues to that like one of the things I’d like to do for example is to do a short series on the Delta H Inc because that is one remarkable document once you know especially you might want to read it you can go online and read it’s very short out etching ta o teh CH ing and it’s the fundamental text of Taoism and once you know that the world of being is made of chaos and order and you know that that’s represented by the yin and the yang all of a sudden you can understand the DAO de Jing and it’s just it’s brilliantly simple and straightforward in it’s exposition but it also seems to me to be entirely commensurate with the line of of let’s call it logic it’s more like a the the mode of description of being that’s encapsulated in these stories now with regards to being a believer people ask me all the time two things say do you believe in God and are you a Christian and they answered without both of those is actually there’s two answers one is what the hell makes you think it’s any of your business that’s the first answer and the second is why do you think that you mean the same thing with those questions that I would mean with my answer so you know what because it’s such a funny thing because I spent like three and this is no accusation with regards to your questions in the least you know I think it’s more about trying to detract the development of these ideas and you know the residual truth and so yeah psychological significance of all these other traditions I think well you know I did I’ve been there floored by other mythological structures like when I first understood or thought I understood the meaning of the Mesopotamian creation method just I’ve never recovered from that I would say and the same thing is true of the investigations I did into the Egyptian myths of Horus and Isis and Osiris and Seth it’s just a and they’re they’re so relevant I mean they’re so unbelievably relevant and how do how do see this is a problem that none of us really know how to solve it’s like they’re our sources of wisdom all over the world let’s say and they need to be made commensurate with one another which isn’t to say that they need to be turned into a fast-food mall you know that’s that’s like multiculturalism right it’s like all the food of the world served in the most terrible possible manner all in one place and something like that and you don’t want to do that with comparative religion it’s just water everything down and say well it’s all nice it’s like no it is not nice yeah or that it’s all the same because it’s not all the same so the the job of communicating between those domains of wisdom is really continuing right it’s been a problem ever since the beginning of civilization but it’s continuing and I would say the psychoanalyst Jung in particular was took to huge huge steps in in the direction of doing that an extraordinarily positive way and not a simple minded way at all and not just hand waving that oh well it’s everyone has one and all shall have prizes not that so yeah last question I choose it kind of in the same vein but it’s in regards to another kind of mythology so yeah in terms of I guess Carl Jung’s own with us sorry I’m extremely tall but a lot of the I achieved I found some kind of archetypes like for example in my own life but also I’ve noticed in European life so for example in regards to Odin and Norse mythology yeah with Corleone si I’ve only been able to actually skim it because I’ve been like trying to find something like because I felt like there’s always this kind of psyche that was almost underneath I guess Western civilization and we see it really like embodied in this specific figure this deity the wanderer the knowledge gatherer the seeker but he’s also a war goddess these all these different aspects that are an accumulation of what seems to be something that’s distinctly Western mm-hm and I feel this is like almost like this symbol in a way of course it’s not always followed there seems to be something maybe there seems to be something I do think that the idea of the individual has been articulated most fully in the West I don’t think that’s really a I don’t think that’s a contentious claim actually that doesn’t mean that the latent structures from which that idea might emerge weren’t also many other places simultaneously and the other thing from let’s say from a biological perspective is that we’re only talking about differences of a few hundred years in terms of the manifestation of these ideas right from from an evolutionary perspective that’s it’s instantaneous it’s like well a new idea has to arise somewhere so is going to be somewhere first and but it’s spreading I mean Christianity for example spread so rapidly that it’s absolutely beyond belief and it is actually spreading more rapidly in China now than it did in ancient Rome so well in regards to that it’s also been seen like almost in the wake of a dying Christianity I’ve noted that like there’s been a tendency to go towards I guess paganism right yes I understand the like some people laugh at all yes we have Wicca which was mainly a manifestation of Aleister Crowley in his works which were then ended off to whoever actually made the actual ideology and then next thing you know we’re finding something almost more stable in I guess Norse mythology and it seems like it’s acting almost as a pendulum school swing from something that well people are good like the thing is is when one when one mythological structure collapses it’s going to collapse into another mythological structure or another set of mythological structures and and because you can’t get out of the mythological structures there’s no possible way of doing that what and so I wouldn’t say necessarily that the fact that other belief systems emerge in the aftermath of the collapse of the overarching belief system I don’t think that that’s necessarily a bad idea I think that it has its attendant dangers and so I should stop because I’m starting to get tired and I’m not going to be able to formulate any clearer answers than that and it’s also 10 o’clock so we also do have to stop oh yes there is an unofficial Meetup and discussion group at Hemingway’s restaurant second floor 142 Cumberland Street just say you’re with the Jordan Peterson discussion group yes everyone is invited if you say you’re with the Jordan Peterson discussion group please don’t misbehave too badly [Applause]

100 thoughts on “Biblical Series VII: Walking with God: Noah and the Flood (corrected)”

  1. I would just like to point out that there are a good number of people, myself included, in the pro-2A community that recognize the NRA for the giant snake that it is. It's not good for gun-users/owners, and its not good for the political polarization aspect.

    The only commendable aspect of the NRA are the safety instructors/classes and insurance.

  2. Assuming your life improves every week by 1%. In 20 years, after 1040 weeks, you're life is 105'000 % as good as it was when you started out.

  3. Religious bullshit you call spiritual awekening? 😂 😂 😂 That's brainwashing, not awekening. Even Jim Carrey knows that.

  4. Min-23- Cain and Abel were the first fruit after Adam/Eve ate the mixed fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam/Eve rejected the Creator/ The Christ as their source of knowledge and chose to believe the serpent satan (making him “the god of this world”). They chose to put their faith in their own ability to judge good and evil and to attain righteousness through their own efforts/works. The good fruit, Abel, chose to attain righteousness through faith in the Creator's/ the Christ's way of grace which was represented by the Tree of Life which produces the 12 fruits of God's Spirit. Man was cut off from the Tree of Life and could only have access to the fruits of God's spirit through faith in the grace of God. The evil fruit, Cain, chose the way that almost all humans have chosen which is to try to attain righteousness through their own “dead” works. Man knows good and evil but he does not understand how to rightly categorize human choices and actions. Man's many ways all fall short of the glory of God and lead to “the tyranny of good intentions” (book by Paul Craig Roberts) and the self righteous self-justified killing of one's brother. This way guaranteed the killing of the Creator when He visited man as Yeshua ha Mashiach. Both Cain and the religious shepherds of the Christ's day killed because of jealousy and justified by good intentions.

    Min-50- The healthy active mind requires sensory and intellectual input. Tests have shown that an isolated mind will generate its own false sensory inputs (hallucinations) to survive. Our senses were designed to provide information to our mind in order to know and understand the creation in terms of what provides beneficial pleasure and what causes harmful pain.

    Min-59- It was not the Creator who was ashamed of Adam and Eve's exposed genitals. The Creator had judged it to be “very good”. They knew they were naked and were not ashamed until they took judgment of good and evil to themselves and judged it to be evil and by extension justified their eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and thus casting doubt on the Creator's righteousness. Satan had already convinced them that the Creator was a liar.

    Min-69- The self-righteous always want the spot light of attention to be put on their neighbor's sins and off of their own. Like the Democrats today they even project their own sins onto their neighbor. Differences between any two or more people only threaten the relationship if you do not have mutual love/respect so that you can agree to disagree.

    Min-88- The Father's will is that we turn away from man's effort to achieve righteousness by dead works and turn to the Christ's way of righteousness by grace through faith in God's Law of Liberty instead of man's law of tyranny and death.

    Min-144- 2+2=4 can and should be believed regardless of which religion you find promoting it as truth.

  5. This is the day that the Lord hath made.
    We shall rejoice and be glad in it.
    This is the day,
    this is the day that the Lord hath made.

  6. It's soo beautiful to saw how a old story tell when I was a child how much deep meaning can have in the roots of human behavior

  7. Bernie doesn’t realize that he exists inside a damaged structure. The socialist have failed. Barack told him to sit down. Hillary underlined him.

  8. I wonder if Dr. Peterson will see my question. What is your advise for a person with vision imparement and still wants to pursue a master degree to get a job in managerial positions; knowing that he might not get any because people or companies don't really hire people with physical disabilities in such positions..

  9. Jordan is a critical point in political, philosophical, psychological history. Yes. He is. He is booked in the Western canon for keeps!

  10. Su Sampson, I am far from a nihilist. Not sure where your comment is saying that I am. I actually enjoy reading different religions to try and understand their moral principles. I far from reject the concept of religion and I believe people who do leave themselves open to worshipping all sorts of corrupt things.

  11. "So these videos have been watched a million times."
    Well I've watched the Biblical Series 2 and a half times. Along with the lectures of Maps of Meaning, Transformations, Q & As, Conversations with interesting people, Bill C16, Newman, reading 12 Rules (the 2nd time, more than a couple of chapters 3x), and I'm an old man who has accomplished nothing and everything, a rich kid who had every opportunity, a poor Wasb, A White, Anglo Saxon Buddhist. JP is one of my "spiritual friends" from a far. A man worthy of bowing to. Someone comes out of nowhere and pulls you back from falling off a cliff. Thank you.

  12. Many ancient, pre-christian motifs concerning the "Flood" or more specifically "water" had to deal with human emotion. So a flood of water could also mean a flood of emotion.

    We see this same motif with the story of when Jesus walks upon the water, to reach his disciples who are in distress of a great storm that threatens to tip their boat when trapped upon the waters.

    Even in the Genesis story, we hear about God moving over the face of the waters. And when comparing this to Einsteins equations of E=MC2, and correlating it with some of what we understand about quantum theory… we are learning quite a bit about the interplay and role of emotion in the great cosmic play.

    So much of your psych analysis runs hand in hand with this perspective of emotion / water, and implies that the one(s) who learn to conquer and then direct their own angels and demons (conscience) are able to survive the storm, or the flood.

    I hope this helps to offer some higher resolution to your analysis of these stories. <3

  13. if the flood was real and covered the whole earth, mount everest being over 6 miles high, that is a lot of water. how did all the salt water living creatures survive if the flood was fresh water or conversely how did all the fresh water creatures survive if it was all salty. noah didn't take any fish aboard the ark according to the bible. any thoughts anyone ?

  14. I worked hard for 12 years. Did not achieve much. Was very disapotned with my life and work. I decided to dropout from work. Was not working for year.. Starting to feel better. Got offer for better job and more suitable surroundings . Jordan is right, to fix your self is very hard. In away you need to be outcast for a while. Jordan helped me. Thank you Jordan !

  15. Jordan Peterson- "I don't think there's an attractive way to be self flagellating"
    Gad Saad- "Hold my drink"

  16. The dutch had a flood in 1953, 1836 people died. So we had to get bloody organized and serious about maintaining our dikes 🙂

  17. I love Jordan Peterson answers to the questions " Do you believe in God ?"and "Are you a Christian?". I can relate to the answer so much because it not anyone business in my relationship with God and most want the answer to just put a label on me. At the core of those questions ( in my 16 year opinion) is Judgement of sometype and believe one should no seek ways to judge others because at judgment day all will be judge to thier own deeds.

  18. One of the problems is that the thing that one person thinks fixes things, another person thinks makes things worse. For example, one person thinks that allowing gays to marry promotes liberty, the other thinks it promotes "immorality".

  19. Christopher Langan said that the most significant realization of his has been that universe talks to its self about it self in a language that it understands, like a human talking to it self. Now I think this as I'm listening to Mr. Peterson. We all are born from the same matter so this is like I have found a smart a part of me and us that I really like listening to. Although I'm not presently interacting with this man it is part of me talking to me.

    I should really listen what I have to say.

  20. 2:01:03 Peterson has tangled two stories here:
    Matthew 8, 21-22
    («Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”»)
    and Matthew 12, 46-50
    («While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”»)

  21. Times like these, I realize why technology is so important. This kind of master level psychological thinking is one of the rarest on earth, and one would only have time to mentor a handful of students or apprentices. This kind of education, for someone born in the system, is a bright light in a dark place. Digging up the artifacts of our origins, and shifting our perspective to a whole new worldview. Amazing work.

  22. I can't stand these Indians trying so hard to be peterson's peers. You can safely bet they were at the unofficial discussion afterwards rambling off as if they had some brand new insight

  23. the NRA is being attacked by people that want to take away our right to protect ourselves so they showed their "teeth" in hope we won't need bite to defend ourselves!

  24. Dr. Peterson – I feel truly privileged to watch your own evolutionary journey from Psychology to The theology of Human Nature. Your religious lectures are fascinatingly in-vocative of the recordings of Bishop Fulton Sheen.

  25. Is it a sign that I'm listening to the warning in the flood story while the news is on giving me flood warnings during the year of the worst flooding the Mississippi valley has ever seen?

  26. One of the greatest lectures I’ve ever heard. I’ve listened to this endless times, timeless wisdom, truly breathtaking, thank you good sir!

  27. It's a wonderful privilege to live in the same era–and country even–as this great thinker. "Sure, Socrates got nutting on 'im; knows he can't tink, wha?" is how my native tongue would express it. lol. But seriously, may God bless this man and keep him humble, healthy, safe, and free from wrong and scandal. He's a great asset to us all. I've often wondered over the years, what is it that finally brings a person to the point of change. One can know clearly for years that there is something they need to stop doing or start doing and, yet, it is the rare person in a rare moment who seizes the willpower to really begin to make that change and stick with it. I think Jordan Peterson has acted as a catalyst for many people to grab hold to the gumption they need to start.

  28. I’d like to thank the other monthly subscribers as well. I know patreon isn’t be used right now, but I’m certain those big contributors are still donating through the main site.

    I don’t have much, and I give what I can. I think it’s worth every cent, and not just for us… but for every person living and yet to come.

    I can only imagine a society built upon the principles that he clarifies. The Bible has not been successful as of late and is losing steam. I am a Christian, don’t get me wrong, but people are losing touch with the concepts laid out in the Good Book.
    Dr. Peterson introduces a provocative understanding of these concepts and a PRACTICAL ROAD MAP to act those concepts out in a ‘good’ way that improves more lives than the one that listens and practices… (I know that’s a mouthful but I can’t think of a more concise way to explain it).


  29. people should stop watching less motivational videos and start watching Jordan Peterson youtube lectures.

  30. one of the only times i've vehemently disagreed with peterson is when he is pointing to the right side of the panel saying christianity couldn't be an opiate because hell doesn't make people feel good. but if we accept that ancient people weren't dumb, we could also conceive that they knew that negative emotion is more impactful on humans than positive emotion so if a clergy wanted to rule a populace, they could quite easily come to the conclusion that you promise on one hand and enforce with the most extreme negative consequence on the other. it's like babby's first atheism 101, and it's a valid look at how you'd control a populace (not that it's necessarily correct or incorrect, that's up for debate)

  31. 1:05:44 thats exactly what the concentration camp survivor viktor frankl wrote in this book “man’s search for meaning”.

  32. My vocabulary has greatly increased from watching and researching ideas related to these lectures. An unexpected and greatly appreciated outcome. Thanks Jordan Peterson!

  33. The dislikes are at 333 currently. A divine number associated with Christ, and my lucky number. Huh. Go figure.

  34. Just a quick amendment. When Christ said: "Let the dead bury the dead", he wasn't talking to his mother but to a person who wanted to be his disciple. He said that he was going to follow Christ but first he had to bury his father.

  35. JBP, yes religion is often the opiate of the masses. Many who characterize themselves as religious have little knowledge, and even less appreciation, of such works of art as you discuss.

  36. Holy fuck. This man is literally inside my mind right now. I wonder if it’s worth noting to Mr Peterson if he knows I’m high right now. I’m %100 baked and I think this video cured my depression.

  37. This is literally church, except he’s speaking as a skeptic of the Mystical. I’m listening while I work and it literally feels like I’m back in Sunday service with my Grandmother.

  38. And yet you pride yourself in paying people in a factory to subjugate and slaughter innocent fauna for your own taste buds and sense of manliness. You are right, Mr Peterson, about a lot of aspects of human psychology, and I've enjoyed this lecture so far. I do not hold grudges or ill will, however just know that you and everybody else's mindless actions that have led to the subjugation, abuse and slaughter of billions of animals that people like myself love and hold dear, as well as the environmental degradation that comes along with this abuse; the deforestation, the methane, the waste… It's all building toward a retaliation that is a natural force within people like myself, that you will not be able to fathom or match. I do not like people box me every once in a while in with the 'alt-right', similar to your sentiment, in fact. However, all the misidentifying and lies will be exposed very soon, and me and my people will be the new ones running this whole thing. And we're going to do it much better; people who thought they hated us will be grateful, some of them will thank us. I promise you it's coming. Think about your behavior now, you have time to adjust and be one of our people. Do not take this lightly, if you happen to actually read it. Much love.

  39. Don’t cast pearls before swine.
    Exactly what I needed to hear!! Thank you for clarifying it even further for me, Jordan Peterson. I can’t get enough of these lectures. 🙏🏼 ❤️

  40. Question at 1.58 : what if you can walk away from a difficult person but another person you love and is even more affected (by the difficult person) does not have the strength to walk away too and keeps you close for consolation? How do you escape that and how you save the other person too?

  41. so you said you meditated a few weeks to "find your inner pycho" , so I was wondering how confident were you that during youre journey you would be able to stop before drifting completely into the darkness oO

  42. Jordan Peterson: Delivering the no nonsense fatherly advice to a generation that most of us missed out on.

  43. I have been listening to the series and this one has hit home 150% to me. This man is amazing! I am so grateful that he took the time to actually do this series.

  44. Love the quote from Jung about people can’t see god because they don’t look low enough. The same teaching is found in the Tao De Ching. The Dao (or the way) is to be found in the low places. All pointing towards a common spiritual theme.

  45. Jordan Peterson,your lectures constantly remind me that life can be better. They also remind me to not be a reactionary asshole to those whose who deserve it. Thank you.

  46. Mathew Principle – spiritually means to the one who sees light, truth, revelation and moves towards it and seeks it, will be given more light. The one who ignores or denies the light- even that which he saw will be taken away.

  47. How to become a Biblical Elect:

    If you want to become an Elect, then you should read the KJV Bible, fast, and pray about it. It’s not difficult. Vegetarianism and veganism both count for all intents and purposes as fasting. Try to pray for thirty minutes a day, read the KJV Bible for 30 minutes a day, and be a vegan or a vegetarian. If you do this, there is a good chance that an angel will visit you or that you might automatically be put onto Elect radio. I’m telling you this as a cosmic Christian Who is trying to break a Hades hex so that I can become an heavenly angel. I have Black regalia, Native American regalia, and Multi-Racial regalia as an earth angel. I only serve the Lord Jesus.

    That being said, Hebrew doesn’t mean what you think it means unless you’re educated on the subject. It is called being a good Christian. If you’re ambitious, then keeping up with Doctor Who doesn’t hurt. Of course Jordan Peterson knows all about this already. Watch Doctor Who and figure it out. They talk about Hebrew constructs like Sheol and the like and how to escape (this is in the Bible – Doctor Who is very cosmically Christian).

    If you want to become a Hebrew, it is not difficult. This is a real thing! It’s called being an Elect. This is how you can become one. Jesus loves you!

  48. Not sure why but his intro music reminds me of Monty Python. I keep expecting a Terry Gilliam animated foot to appear and squash something

  49. Man I give credit to this man he is a master of weaving ideas from the bible and mess them with philosophy and psychology and there a lot of people are fooled thinking they are on the right path.far from the real truth.

  50. Jordan is quite mistaken about the part that speaks of giants. The sons of God are angels, and the daughters of men were human. The angels left their "habitation" (body) and went into the daughters of men (as they saw that they were fair). They were cast into a Great Abyss to await the end of days. The children of the angels and daughters of men are the "mighty men". The reference to them being men of "renown" is a mistranslation. They were more men of infamy. Abominations to God.

    Edit: The pollution of the human race by the sons of God (evil angels) ((along with the work of Cain's bloodline)) led to the flood of Noah. This is why the story is inserted conspicuously before Noah. The combination of Cain's sins with the work of the angels of Satan are the reason God judges the world.

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