The Jordan Peterson Biblical Series

Richard Stanley

Intro Lecture, Part 1 of 4:

The following video is the first and introductory lecture of Jordan Peterson's on the psychological impact of the Bible upon Western Civilization. All of the lectures are about 2 hours long, with a Q&A session at the end. I will discuss these on this thread as I get around to watching them.

Peterson informs that he his taking us along on his search for Truth, and thankfully that he is still working all this out, these very lectures part of his process of discernment. In this first lecture, he spends a lot of time preparing the way with background context on his scientific and 'psychoanalytic' approach to the material with brief discussions on the importance of correctly understanding Nietzsche and Jung, and on the significance of dreams. As such, and with some digressions, he does not make it past the first verse of Genesis. I recommend playing it at 1.5 speed, albeit this makes him sound and appear rather manic.

Peterson discusses some of the background material of contemporary researchers that Jerry and I have in our OT series, however he comes to some different conclusions. These differences coming from that as far as I can tell he has made some prior chauvinistic assumptions about our mother Western culture and its superiority (compared to whom?). Perhaps in proceeding further we should all keep in mind the contrast between the Western 'dream' tradition of "multiplying" and "subduing the earth" (via Genesis 1:28) with that of various indigenous peoples' Dreamworlds? And that "what you see depends upon where you stand".

At about 40 minutes in he discusses that such narratives are the substrate of our common behaviors, that inform how we act in the world. Such narratives help keep the members of every respective society generally upon the same behavioral page so to speak. From my POV, it appears that Peterson is correct about this relationship, however the common underlying subtext for the Bible, both OT and NT, is to promote waves of Providential territorial conquest, until a glorious (to the victor) apocalyptic global unification is achieved. As I have also posted on this forum, the OT has 120 globalist expressions and the NT has 80 of them.

As I have discussed, the main tension (both static and dynamic) in Western Civilization, including that we are thick in the middle of now, is that between the desires and ambitions of 'Hellenizing' globalists and those 'nationalists' of the more parochial mindset. The latter dogged in maintaining the mental comforts of stasis in most everything in life, especially as they experienced life as young whelps, their perceived "good old days". And, as Peterson states, how their minds, their worldviews, were 'framed' -- with particular assistance from their respective Bible lessons.

As such, first cribbed from such as Mesopotamian and Egyptian 'dreams' the OT tells us how the first West was won, the Canaanite Promised Land, and this process was repeated in Europe and then the New World, 'typology' in real life. This aspect is in conformance with what Peterson discusses, as the pre-existing narrative informs behavior. Individual behaviors aggregated become collective social behavior, and usually the behavioral sum is synergistically more than the individual components in isolation.

In Bishop (of Los Angeles) Robert Barron's comments (below) on Peterson more generally, he notes the primacy of private property in Western Civilization and its basis in Natural Law. In fact, the West has a significant legal canon of property rights. And here, with respect to as it applies to land, I have discussed that the legal chain of titled property ownership, upon reaching back in time its genesis point, depends upon the Biblical Justification of militant Conquest. This where such as divinely anointed conquering and colonizing kings granted vast parcels of land to their favorite minions to further divvy up variously.

Without this divine justification rubric the ultimate basis of land ownership might otherwise be termed 'theft'. This rarely becomes an issue during contemporary escrow checks of your trust deed, as we all have just mentally "moved on" for generations.

Starting at 9 minutes in, Peterson mentions Nietzsche's prediction that the West's departure from the proper Dream narrative guidance would necessarily lead to the horrors of such as Hitler and Stalin. Yet, I have discussed that Nazism is a mashup of the Romantic Movement's irrational, emotion driven focus on Blood and Soil with that of adapting Christian apocalyptic and its institutional and foundational tradition of anti-Semitism (see James Carroll's Constantine's Sword for definitive proof of the latter). It doesn't help that the entire Biblical sub-narrative of the tribe of Judah appears 'synthetically' crafted as an intentional dialectic, a foil, the institutionalized Scapegoat and collective Suffering Servant.

At 1:14:00 Peterson mentions the "scapegoat" as part of the cloud of ideas presented in the dreamworld of the Bible, but does not claim in his vision quest for the Truth, that any of these ideas might be true:

I'm not saying that any of this is true, by the way. I'm just saying what the cloud of ideas represents. @ 1:13:00

Peterson mentions Christ as being both redeeming savior and 'scapegoat'. He was King of the Jews, after all, and the revealing of the ephod (the seamless robe of the high priest) of Christ in 1933 at Trier seems a clever and cryptic reveal tying the perverse messianic nature of Hitler and the Nazi cultus to its true JudeoChristian roots.

As such, I state that Hitler et al. was a cynical and contrived consequence of the exact opposite from what Peterson is claiming via such as Nietzsche. Hitler et al. also 'co-opted' the Vatican's economic 'third way', from Rerum Novarum in their bait-and-switch version of socialism. As we have also seen, Karl Marx, married into the Prussian aristocracy, had been employed to create a radical foil out of the 'democratic' socialism formed to address workers' concerns. The result was Communism, the totalitarian extreme of which became manifest in such as Stalinism. If you do not like your enemy, a threat to the existing order, create an even worse version to rally against. Thesis, Anti-thesis > Synthesis, aka Divide and Conquer.

The Nazi messiah, Adolf Hitler, justified his military offensives under the rubric of gaining lebensraum, or 'living room', for the overcrowded Germanic peoples. Of course, this begs the question of why they were overcrowded in the first place. Perhaps that Genesis command to go forth and multiply like 'JudeoChristian' [sic] bunnies?

In any case, I am now going to have to research Natural Law and see what it says about human property rights. As far as I can see, at this point, human property rights, pertaining specifically to land, is a particularly human artifice. If dominant tiger A has a territory (gained through conquest) then when once submissive tiger B becomes dominant over an aging tiger A, then the property rights change hands, via subsequent conquest.

Oh, maybe Peterson and Bishop Barron are indeed really intimating, perhaps from their subconscious interactions with their cultural memescapes, to the Natural Law -- of Conquest, as canonized in the Bible. Perhaps this conquest of land, within the parameters of Western Civilization, must have proper divine dispensation? And Hitler failed because he didn't get this particular dispensation in his Vatican Concordat?

As Postflavians, we know that Jesus is the avatar for the caesars (and likely both the intermarried Josephan Maccabees and Herodians) and subsequent vicarious popes, and we know that they had the proper dispensations for conquest, because they granted them. The land that we stand or lie upon is proof of that. Thank You Jesus.

But where will this 'process' all End? The last book of the Bible tells us, that Space Jesus will descend from the heavens, kick some serious ass, and then the whole globe will consist of ethnic nations, all answering to 'Space Jesus'. The Jesuit astronomers in Arizona, with their LUCIFER [sic] telescope are telling us the heavenly army is indeed making its preparations in the outer planets of the solar system.

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Richard Stanley

Intro Lecture, Part 2 of 4:
Peterson discusses some of the background material of contemporary researchers that Jerry and I have in our OT series, however he comes to some different conclusions. These differences coming from that as far as I can tell he has made some prior chauvinistic assumptions about our mother culture and its superiority.
Peterson's central thesis is upon the key cultural importance of ancient narratives within the Bible, that originate in amalgamated and amalgamating 'pagan' mother cultures long before the Bible was 'redacted', upon guiding and/or forming the behaviors of individuals and thus their aggregate society. Thus, the narratives act in our minds like the oyster that acts as the 'culture' that forms a smooth pearl around irritating grains of sand.

Yet, Peterson's project, as he states, is to try to properly comprehend the Bible narratives such that he can perform yet another redaction, to "distill" the psychological essence of these narratives down to a simpler form."Separating the wheat from the chaff", so to speak. This, generally, seems like a great goal, in that it certainly seems like we are due for a new revelation, for the prior paradigm is getting rather frayed and contentious.

But I have yet to see Peterson state what the scope of his efforts are, perhaps he is intending to reformulate practically everything, including such arcana as whether one can pimp any woman except one's mother? Let's remember here that Tamar had to pretend to be a street hooker or the tribe of Judah would not have gotten off the ground. And this would never have happened if perhaps God would have let poor Onan find his own wife, as maybe he fatally spilled his seed because he wasn't that fond of his widowed sister-in-law cum wife, Tamar. Here was a "fatal unattraction". Or maybe he was practicing coitus interruptus, who knows?

Oh yes, this is all metaphorical. And Peterson acknowledges the lunacy of the Christian fundamentalists with their literalist 'gerrymandering' of their realities to fit the metaphorical narratives.

It is here, however, that I really have to question some of his starting premise(s), as I currently understand it, that the Bible's various 'wisdom' lessons are all still apropos for these times, or for even then. And that he knows that 'JudeoChristian' Western pearls are indeed the best, and/or does he believe that they are optimal? As a self-proclaimed Classical Liberal, and thus a 'conservative' in today's political spectrum, he seems rather like a rather squishy, snowfake relativist to me, so far. The 'Traditional' Church, at least, is absolutely correct that the Bible subtext is monarchical and an articulation of a social hierarchy from kingship down to serfdom and/or slavery. Yet, the modern / postmodern Western civilization that Peterson was born into has generally rejected much of this. But maybe, Peterson is yet a blinkered and biased victim of his own cultural framing?

Peterson seems neurotically obsessed with such as Postmodernists and Feminists, and from my perspective there is some justification especially with regards to particularly militant strains of such thought, but isn't this the case with everything similar, including radical Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and ....?

I have no problem with the notion that some of these lessons, the wheat, were and are valuable, but circumstances change. As the saying goes, "the only thing that doesn't change is change itself". Even the Catholic Church, which long claimed that Science was Satanic has admitted to the profound error of its ways here, among many others. And as I alluded to in the last paragraph of the first thread post, Church officials are currently allowing that a new Revelation, and Covenant, is likely coming from Space Jesus.


Apparently for the reason we needed the Second Covenant -- because the cultural circumstances changed. The First Covenant was rather restrictive, and there was no way that Greco-Romans and other goyim would conform to such extreme Mosaic restrictions and circumcisions. For instance, if one got stoned while under the First Covenant then they really would get stoned. :rolleyes: While more recently one would merely get thrown in prison, especially if you are the wrong 'oppressed' color, and then you might get raped.

The Nazi messiah, Adolf Hitler, justified his military offensives under the rubric of gaining lebensraum, or 'living room', for the overcrowded Germanic peoples. Of course, this begs the question of why they were overcrowded in the first place. Perhaps that Genesis command to go forth and multiply like 'JudeoChristian' [sic] bunnies?
Peterson mentions that the Nazis and the Soviets are examples where departing from THE narrative necessarily leads to ruin, but perhaps we should consider the possibility of 'planned obsolescence' in these cases, that these were preliminary chess moves, preparing the way for the apocalyptic checkmate of the coming Space Jesus. The same for Napoleon, the living and dead presidents, et al..

As dreamy prophet Peterson says: proud white hero boys, stand up, stand up straight with your shoulders back, for Space Jesus.

Of course, such alpha postures work for all races and sexes, for instance: Wonder Woman. Where is she when we need her? Maybe she found Jesus, and he said "Get thee to a nunnery".
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Richard Stanley

Intro Lecture, Part 3 of 4:

Peterson, similar to others, discusses the Bible in terms of awe, and in some respects I have to agree that the Bible is a formidable construct by several measures. He is in agreement, as I have mentioned prior, that the 'myth' narratives are borrowed from older sources, but he departs with many in his discussion of the Bible's relationship to linear time, for instance talking about it's 'hyperlinked' construction of forward and backward references. This approach is rather different than that discussed by most, for example by Robin Wright in his The Evolution of God.

The OT construction is taken by most as a linear progression through literal human history, from the Babylon or post-Babylon era, Judaic perspective at least. And in it, the jealous God's behavior evolves, or matures, from capital punishment and genocide to becoming downright Loving, albeit still fairly jealous IMO. For one thing, his various NT spokesmen tell slaves and slaveowners to be good to each other. I think such as this might be a little 'political correctness' already slipping in through the slippery slope's cracks. Fortunately, by the time of the colonization of the New World, Christians had abandoned such mutual liberal 'correctness', and the proper return to orderly enmity allowed us Americans, at least, to craft the Second Amendment, to allow proper folk to protect themselves from uppity slaves. But I digress.

The big point is that, as Peterson admits, the OT was constructed via an intensive redaction process, where human redactors, perhaps 'stoned' on mandrake or other then known entheogens, or not, made decisions on how they wanted to present matters. Matters such as the Mosaic wholesale inversions (the 613 Laws) of surrounding societies' cultural norms, including those that they sourced their 'genesis' myths from. While the underlying psychological typology remains constant, the moral references are 'tribally' reversed. In the Mesopotamian mythos, the shepherds on the outskirts of the 'urban' society were suspect as opposed to the Judiac moral elevation of the shepherds, e.g. David.

I'm guessing that Peterson is not going to address the meaning of this in the series, but in any case, we already see the dialectic tension of city culture versus country culture, clear back in Sumerian times. And we have the irony today of contemporary Jewish culture generally being considered urban, which happened because of the Papal laws enforced throughout feudal Christendom, that regulated what occupations Jews could engage in and where they could live. Once the Bible gets to Christian times, a new contract is made, in effect reversing the Mosaic Laws, and for such as the Catholic Church the Second Covenant supercedes the first contract. With the Machiavellian contrived Reformation(s), most of the Protestants restored the First Covenant to equal status with the Second. Who, Mr. Peterson, is correct? I say it's all religious realpolitik, in pursuit of the globalist meme replete within the canon.

As such, it might all be seen as a parallel or extension to Alexander's Hellenization project. Peterson actually discusses the merging of respective societies equated gods. This is inherent to the religious and political project, and consonant with the religious evolution from shamanic animism through to contemporary monotheism discussed by McEvilley in his The Shape of Ancient Thought, and which Jerry and I discuss in our OT series.

Whatever, the case, from the comments on Bishop Barron's YouTube videos, it appears that Peterson has been something of a 'pentecostal' boon for the pedophilic (Suffer the Children) Catholic Church, returning atheists, Protestants, and lost Catholics to the flock by the score. This is spite of the fact that Peterson made some snarky comments about Catholic aspects of belief. Peterson also made fun of Protestant evangelical fundamentalists, and it should be noted that Catholics such as Bishop Barron still cling to the fundamental historicity of Jesus, while more lately quietly acceding to the conquests of Science including that the OT stories, at least, were plagiarized, so to speak.

Peterson, outside of this series, discusses males becoming heroes, by adopting certain specific behaviors, including posture. This is, in essence, the psychological and physiological transformation of transcending from a beta state to an alpha state, as happens in other pack animals. But the Church is not, to my knowledge, explicit in telling human beta rams (aka chimpigs) how to accomplish this transformation. As Jesus said, the Poor will always be with us. For a long time there has been an understanding that their are different sets of social rules for different strata of society, but for such as Peterson and Libertarians (sponsored ultimately by the 'monarchist' sponsors of the Mont Pelerin Society) there is either no cause for class tensions or there is only one class of chimpigs.

BTW, I incidentally learned that Peterson and his daughter are part of a new dietary movement of pure carnivores. As such, I wonder if Peterson is cognizant of the fact that an alpha wolf, or a beta ascending to alpha state, gets first dibs on the fresh kill, and thus heads straight for the organ meats. Supposedly this helps alter the hormonal ratio needed for alpha state, as does the inherent alteration of behavior form a positive feedback loop.
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Jerry Russell

Staff member
I skipped ahead to the last of Peterson's Biblical series, about Jesus Christ. Peterson explains that myth and literature (including, presumably, Christianity) view the world as a meaningful "forum for action", as opposed to science which sees the world as a (meaningless?) "place of things".

This leads directly to Peterson's view that "action" is the crucial obligation of the believer. Thus, in the conflict (or contradiction?) between James's emphasis on salvation through works, and Paul's emphasis on salvation through faith, Peterson comes down solidly on James's side. The main value of understanding & belief in the Christian myth, is to enable the believer to reject nihilism, and thus maintain a suitably erect posture. His itemization of the key "axioms" of Christianity is as follows:

Number one: To decide that, and then enact, the proposition that being is good, despite its tragedy and malevolence.

Number two: To work in consequence for the continual and eternal improvement of that being and to know that as love.

Number three: To do such work in truth.

Number four: To let everything inadequate burn off in that pursuit and to welcome its replacement by what is better.

Number five: to know that as the sacred imitation of Christ.

Number six: To understand that although Christ's sacrifice redeemed us all, the work still has to be done.

Number seven: To accept that work as the sacred meaning of life

Number eight: to strive toward the heavenly City on the hill in that manner

This is all rather abstract, but seven out of eight items are about good works, and "Christ's sacrifice" is mentioned only to explain that it doesn't diminish the duties proclaimed in the other seven items.

What is this work that needs to be done? According to Peterson, what God demands is sacrifice. His exposition begins with the basic idea of deferred gratification: he imagines a cave man who realizes that after a successful hunt, he is better off to save some of his mammoth meat, or trade it to neighbors, rather than gorge himself on the entire catch at once. This basic notion is then abstracted to the idea that one must be prepared to sacrifice one's most beloved son, or even one's own life (as in the case of Jesus) -- even though such sacrifices are obviously of no immediate benefit, but rather great harm, to the individual making them. Peterson uses the Ark of the Covenant as an explanation or analogy here: "there has to be a bridge between the finite and the infinite, there has to be a place where the ephemeral meets the eternal, there has to be a bridge between the knowable and the unknowable, and there has to be bedrock at the foundation: the Ark, which is the portal to God."

Now, it so happens that this Ark of the Covenant is also analogous to the Pharaoh's war encampment. Could it be that where simple pragmatic deferred gratification, has been replaced by the demand for ultimate self-sacrifice -- it's really the State and the Oligarchs and the King who have made their appearance, without Peterson noticing?

Not to leave us wondering for long, Peterson goes on to explain his view of the psychological meaning of the Resurrection. He says:

"In the beginning, only the king was sovereign. Then the nobles became sovereign. Then with the Greeks, all men became sovereign. Then came the Christian Revolution, and every individual --male/female, beggar man, tax collector, prostitute, thief -- became so impossibly, equally sovereign. Then our cultural and legal systems wrapped themselves tightly around that ultimately unlikely narrative of individual sovereignty, and made it their central unshakeable pillar. Now we all give each other the respect of individual citizens who are sovereign, without remembering or noticing that we are simultaneously accepting the proposition that every singular one of us is a divine center of logos."
Umm... is Peterson getting Jesus Christ confused with Tom Jefferson? And, is he getting an idealistic goal confused with actual reality? Well, at least Peterson isn't hung up on the concept that Christ's historical incarnation and re-incarnation is important. Unlike Bishop Barron, who says that the historical event is crucial, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a Gnostic heretic. Peterson acknowledges that any ancient Mesopotamian Dying God could do just as well, or for that matter Ironman, or Luke Skywalker, or even Harry Potter. Peterson says: "the idea of the dying and resurrecting God is one of the oldest ideas of mankind, widespread and exceptionally variant in its forms... the child wizard Harry Potter must ultimately die and be reborn to defeat Voldemort, a very thinly disguised Satan."

Funny he should mention Harry Potter. Rather than go too far off topic here, I will link to an older thread about that topic, and possibly take up the discussion there...

Richard Stanley

Umm... is Peterson getting Jesus Christ confused with Tom Jefferson? And, is he getting an idealistic goal confused with actual reality?
Indeed, excellent questions, and I say yes to both. BTW, according to Peterson what are "good works"? Improving one's self, the world, or both? His take on making constant improvement, till attaining "the shining city on the hill" does evoke the Buddhist principle, apparently sans reincarnation. And in this general sense, Barron may also be correct that it is rather gnostic, given Peterson's tilt to the metaphorical approach and allowance for the other gods.

In any case, not all Greek men became sovereign, not even in Athens. And as we know, the later American Republic was similarly meant for white men of sufficient means. He is one confused Classical Liberal. Maybe he'll get it right on the next revisions, like good engineers try to do.

Barron's insistence on historicity is consistent with the Church Father's claim that historicity is the single aspect that differentiates Christianity from all those prior dying savior gods, the one's that Satan presented to humanity, ... as they were sitting in Fake Pews, listening to evangelium simulare. But the good bishop seems certainly happy to reap the rewards, as does the Grand Dragon.

Of course, one of the key issues of the Reformation was the argument over salvation by good works (Catholic) versus God's 'Grace' (Protestant), both dependent on Faith as far as I knew. There is also the canonic Biblical issue of Predestination of the Elect, raised by John Calvin. It is my understanding that this is an 'esoteric' doctrine of the Church, that it does not discuss in the catechism, for good reason. This last implies the different treatment of the elect nobles, and it was not redacted from the canon.

BTW, this issue of the means of gaining salvation is more substantive to 'true believers' than the theological schism between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church(es) over the true nature of Christ as stated in their respective versions of the Nicene Creed. Albeit that they also disagree on respective church authority, or so they claim to their sheep.

Richard Stanley

Intro Lecture, Part 4 of 4:

In my initial critique of the Introduction lecture, I was wondering how it took it took so long for these archetypal narratives, originating thousands of years before Christ, to wend their way into crafting the heights of Western Civilization that we see today. I forgot that Peterson partially explains this (starting at about 3:30) by claiming that, per Nietzsche, that over a period of about 1,000 years of amalgamating universalization, aka Catholicism, of the prior 'pagan' narratives into the Christian mythos, that what we otherwise commonly term the Dark Ages was part of the necessary process of transforming the collective Western mind. That Nietzsche's infamous claim that Christianity's God was dead was meant to be that a new Western mindset was thus produced, via Christianity itself that made Christianity's (Catholic) dogma obsolete. Thank God for the Inquisitions, burning people at the stake, and drowning them, all for the Greater Good.

This is pure Psychobabble Horse Shit, pardon my political correctness. And no wonder that the Catholic Church and the alt-right tiki torch boys and girls are eating it up. Jordan Peterson's 'Science' has Justified our Genocide!!!

It was Catholicism that destroyed the great Serapium Library in Alexandria. Pagan Romans, Greeks, Idumaeans, and earlier Egyptians built grand structures, and we had to wait for ~1,000 years for Gothic cathedrals to be 're-discovered' [sic]? And then more wars, and inquisitions and .... All waiting for a new Western mindset to be spawned from the collective and imposed 'slavery'? Peterson discusses the necessary 'individual' process of enslaving oneself, to establish a self-discipline that one can then profit oneself and others by. This latter is true, but the Buddhists had been doing this for hundreds of years before Christ. Peterson incoherently mocks the totalitarian nature of the USSR and Nazism, yet wasn't this imposition of Catholic dogma totalitarian in nature? As a serf under feudal Christianity, I'm not sure what value was derived by these individuals over the thousand years plus involved.

Peterson is willfully ignoring that the people that thought up the prior pagan myths understood that they were dealing with metaphors in the first place. And that today, as then, there are two different general classes of believers, literalists (aka fundamentalists) and those that can, and/or are willing to, think on a higher metaphorical plane. At 10:00 Peterson mentions Islam's problem with this issue, yet Peterson ignores that it was via Islam that the intellectual progress made in the prior 'pagan' world had been preserved and carried on in Islamic academic institutions, where at the time, it was encouraged to question what Allah was thinking. If not for then open intellectual environment of such places as Islamic Spain, there would have been no Renaissance and subsequent Enlightenment, which the Traditionalist Catholics still bemoan.

Islam was fractured from its beginning, but one can correctly argue that it more lately spiraled downward for various internal and external political reasons, including the encouragement of fundamentalism. And, including as we've learned, the fomenting of global jihad, including terrorism, via the machinations of Kaiser Wilhelm II and Otto von Oppenheim with the Ottoman Turks. Is this what Nietzsche was really predicting was a consequence of our Western unmooring from religion, all done so at about the same time?

Peterson regurgitates the pablum that Hitler was such a predicted consequence, yet I've been developing on several other threads here that the Nazi cult was borrowing from Christian apocalyptic themes, the latter borrowed from even older ones, and included the cynical Judaic dialectic of prior Catholic theology, the house that Jesus and Judas built. Once Hitler and the Church solved their issues over Church prerogatives, the Church was "down with" the Nazis. It is religion as realpolitik, and as Peter Levenda asserted, we're still fighting World War I. And like 2,000 years ago, it is still the dialectic motif of the ever advancing Western globalists versus the nationalists, just on a larger stage.

Peterson (actually in the next lecture) invokes the psychology of the evolutionary defensive reaction to snakes, and interesting here that the American Indians had/have a phrase, "White (Western) Man speaks with forked tongue". Donald Trump, an elite golden boy, speaks publicly like a muggle, using a slightly different mass psychology approach than did Hitler. It is thus the job of such as Postflavian chimpig heroes to separate rhetoric from reality. It's only difficult, so far, in just how much such people give us to comment on.
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Richard Stanley

Peterson Lecture 2, Genesis 1, Chaos and Order:

In Peterson's first Genesis lecture he relates that the result of these mythic creation metaphors are responsible for the notion that all are equal before the (Western) law. This from that we should discern from the myths that all humankind/mankind has an aspect of the divine within them, and that thus we all have a divine purpose to fulfill in the 'good works' (from lecture 1) of our lives.

I certainly have no problem with the egalitarian sentiment, and this is indeed consistent with Peterson's claim to be a Classical Liberal, of one variety at least. We are still left, as before, with the problem of reconciling rhetoric with historical realities. We must be satisfied, then, with that Western humanity had to undergo various depredations and struggles to achieve the 'modern' imperfect breakthrough that Peterson asserts via Nietzsche's explanation.

In the process, the Roman (until late) and Orthodox Churches railed against the Materialism (Cause and Effect) and Rationalism championed by Classical Liberalism (and Aristotle) under the rubric of Science. In their doing so, invoking the supernatural override of the 'laws' of physics, they justified their primacy in anointing kings (from the lineages of the Elect), justifying a Platonic caste, the divvying up of the New World from the hands of the barbaric heathens. The latter of which had their own foundational mythos, obviously inferior.

Julius Caesar, in his Conquest of Gaul, discussed the fierce nature of the European warriors, unafraid to die for their cause against Rome's expansionism. He also described a fairly high degree of otherwise civilized behaviors. One suggestion is that these peoples adhered to a form of reincarnation, akin to Buddhism, in which their respective individual souls would get recycled in pursuit of the long process of attaining the sufficient state of perfection that enables a reunion with their divine source, the One. This can be seen as a different form of performing 'Good Works', where the capricious vagaries inherent to the casino of life don't make personal Salvation quite so haphazard as in the Christian schema. In such a reiterative process, it thus becomes apparent why a warrior might be more willing to engage in fierce battle situations more likely to lead to death.

The JudeoChristian take on this, that you get one throw of the dice, does seem to render more coercive power to the Church, its priesthood, and the genetically related nobility that supports(ed) it. With the latter, remember that we believe that the Flavians and the Maccabees (Josephus) and the Herodians created the Christian schema, the distillation and catholicization of prior mythos. The Mormons took this kind of coercion to the next level by telling people that their bad deeds would not only get themselves barred from Heaven, but their kin that we're already there.

So while Peterson may be generally correct in some respects, about such as the (original) intent of the underlying myths, we might just as easily conclude that others had already packaged similar myths, possibly from the same roots, in perhaps better wineskins? Better for more of humanity than just another 1% let's say.

As such, and so far, Peterson is approaching everything as a metaphor for our psychoanalytic consumption, but how does his egalitarian take reconcile with what Joseph and 'pharaoh' collude to do in Genesis 47, metaphorical or not? They collude to corner the markets, taking advantage of climatic feast and famine, making all former free land owning men happy to sell themselves into bondage. They Joseph orders them all around to different areas. Sound familiar?

It is then Joseph's son, Ephraim (and his descendants), who receives God's Blessing of Abraham from Jacob, while the nascent Jews must pay Ephraim obeisance because of the sins of Judah in selling Joseph into his fortunate slavery. Ephraim didn't do diddly except get born from an Egyptian mother, a daughter that pharaoh picked out for Joseph.

Somewhere, in the passage of Time, metaphor gets confused with disturbing realities. The historical popes and Catholic theologians insist that real humans, called Jews, be kept under their 'protective' arms, in the 'ghettos', as moral guides (the negative example) for the Christian flock. After the Holocaust of WWII, John XXIII tells the Jews that he is their 'Joseph'. Palestine is reconquered ... as Israel, and a new cycle is enabled, yet had Hitler not gone off the metaphorical rails, per Peterson's formulation (in the Intro lecture), this would not "have come to pass" (as the Bible phrase goes).

Jerry Russell

Staff member
I certainly have no problem with the egalitarian sentiment
I don't have a problem with the egalitarian sentiment either, but I think he's perhaps reading things into the text that aren't really there. When it comes to Genesis Chapter One, the most interesting aspect to me is the command to take dominion over the earth, and subdue it.

Does Peterson recognize that we can only go so far with dominating and subduing the planet? Perhaps again a little off topic for this thread, but Chris Martenson recently posted a rather alarming study, pointing to unprecedented heat waves, "extinction-level" water pollution, fish kills, wildlife dieoffs, giant trees perishing, insect population declines, disappearing phytoplankton and collapsing food chains. Martenson concludes:

A World On The Brink
The bottom line is this: We are destroying the natural world. And that means that we are destroying ourselves.

I know that the mainstream news has relegated this conversation to the back pages (when they covered it at all) and so it's not “front and center” for most people. But it should be.

Everything we hold dear is a subset of the ecosphere. If that goes, so does everything else. Nothing else matters in the slightest if we actively destroy the Earth’s carrying capacity.
This is the consequence of all of the industrious good works that we Westerners have been diligently pursuing, under Genesis One's Prime Directive.

Richard Stanley

When it comes to Genesis Chapter One, the most interesting aspect to me is the command to take dominion over the earth, and subdue it.
Yes, I had added that one to my first post's third paragraph. And it commands us to "multiply" just before telling us (including the Russians :() to take dominion over the earth.

Global Warming deniers do seem mostly obstinate in acknowledging that anything unsettling is going on, albeit there are some that admit to inherent natural climate change. With the latter, the debate is as as to just how fast change can occur. Much is yet unknown about such things as non-linear effects from either human or external (e.g. cosmic) inputs.

Whatever the case, the timing and messaging regarding Global Warming could not be better (in a bad 'apocalyptic' way) for such as eschatological approaches. Does the command to multiply and take dominion cause the end? Or is the command some form of foreknowledge of the zodiacal ages having such a natural consequence, the command an attempt to secure survival (into the new age - salvation) for those most observant (and perhaps most gnowing) of the comnand?

Jerry Russell

Staff member
Global Warming deniers do seem mostly obstinate in acknowledging that anything unsettling is going on, albeit there are some that admit to inherent natural climate change.
Global Warming is only one of the many causes of the catastrophe Martenson is describing. Other factors include habitat destruction due to expanding human agriculture & forest clearcuts; abundant use of toxic chemicals, herbicides and pesticides in agriculture, forestry and industrial processes; toxic mine tailings; and release of nuclear radioactive contaminants from nuclear power plants as well as nuclear weapon production.

A suspicious person might go so far as to suggest that Global Warming, as true as it might be, is also a smokescreen or controlled-opposition talking point -- whose purpose is to divert attention from the fact that Nature is dying from a thousand cuts, and not just because of the climate.

Richard Stanley

Agreed about the first paragraph, but I don't understand just how effective talking about GW is in being diversionary from other environmental damages, especially if one is admitting that GW exists. Unless you are saying that the GW sucks all the metaphorical oxygen out of the wider discussion space, the public attention span?

In any case, getting more back on topic, I am reminded that various mythic lore of indigenous peoples have their parallels with the Biblical. Such as the Hopi (or Navajo?) tell them that this is generally what they should expect before a new cycle begins. Did this come from some dreams, from aliens, from surviving Atlanteans?

Jerry Russell

Staff member
Unless you are saying that the GW sucks all the metaphorical oxygen out of the wider discussion space, the public attention span?
Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.

Did this come from some dreams, from aliens, from surviving Atlanteans?
Or perhaps, on a local scale, primitive peoples had repeated experiences with bad ecological stewardship leading to catastrophe. The debate rages on about whether prehistoric hunters caused the extinction of the wooly mammoth. Easter Island was deforested by native Polynesians, and its population collapsed ~100 years before the arrival of Western explorers in 1722.

Richard Stanley

Peterson Bible Lecture 3, God and the Hierarchy of Authority, Part 1:

Peterson opens the lecture talking about some interesting psychology propositions relating to power hierarchies. Because Peterson correctly, IMHO, views the "evolution" of the abstract human notion of God as one piece with the general evolution of life, he brings in some cogent discussion of rat behavior, i.e. that rats insist upon "fair play", which seems rather "snowflakey" of the rats.

Not discussed by Peterson is that: in such as rats observe this should also be viewed through the lens that Western Science is finally coming to terms with the Eastern notion that 'lower' animals also have 'consciousness' and 'feelings', an attribute which has long been denied to them within Western Civilization, except for a few exceptions, like the Pythagoreans. To digress slightly, the Easterners, like the Hindus and Jains, feel that this animal consciousness is why they cannot kill and eat animals and insects. Of course, many animals are either pure carnivores, like Peterson himself, or omnivores, like most humans. As such, it would be interesting to see how Peterson fits this into his schema.

At about 28:50 Peterson brings up and interesting proposition (note the second bullet point), one mentioned in one of the prior lectures, about what the OT is supposedly teaching us about the nature of a king. From what Peterson states (in the first highlighted lecture text below) I would supposed that we are meant to extrapolate the concept to a fairly or unfairly elected leader or even a dictator who has seized power.


Peterson verbally alters the above second proposition from when the ruler "becomes" to "becomes confused" with the abstracted ideals ... , which we can see this most visibly in such as the contemporary cults of the Clintons and Trump.

... so that's part of the idea that's driving the notion of the evolution of the idea of God. and even more specifically driving the evolution of the idea at least in part of the Trinity. so God is an abstracted ideal formulated in large part to dissociate the ideal from any particular incarnation or man or any ruler. and there's another rule in the biblical stories which is that when the actual ruler, I've mentioned this before, when the actual ruler becomes confused with the abstracted ideals then the state immediately turns into a tyranny and the whole bloody thing collapses. so the idea it's so sophisticated, you know one of the things that we figured out and this was a hard thing to figure out, was that you had to take the abstraction and divorce it from any particular power structure and then think about it as something that existed as an abstraction. but a real thing right, real and that it governed your behavior, in everyone's behavior, including the damned king. the king was responsible to the abstracted ideal. man that's an impossible, that is such an impossible ideal. you know why would if they agreed that 5000 years ago, but one of the things you see continually happening in the Old Testament is that as soon as the Israelite, for example, the Israelite Kings become almighty, the real God comes along and just cuts them into pieces, and then the whole bloody state falls apart for like hundreds of years. it's like, I think that's a lesson that that we have not thoroughly consciously yet, learned it's still implicit in the narratives. we still haven't figured out why that's the case.

With the last highlight, Peterson then mentions the OT narratives of the Judaean and Israelite kings, and as we know, they are indeed continually knocked down by the iron rod of 'God'. Albeit that the iron rod is wielded, for God, by such as the kings of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. The Jews, and not the Israelites, are 'restored' to 'Israel' by their 'messiah', Cyrus, the first emperor of Persia. It is with this last, especially, that we can see more than just Peterson's abstract metaphorical lessons at play, the redactors of the OT explicitly tying the OT narrative to an actual historical character, a goy, in fact. While I have no problem with Peterson's assertion of such abstract psychological lessons being included in the construction, we are also being quietly told here that there is an external power behind the puppets like Nehemiah. In our opinion, this was the case with such as the Exodus and Conquest stories, only that the 18th and 19th Dynasty pharaohs' collective roles were more completely veiled.

Subsequently, Jews and Christians would continue to rely on kings, with the one perfect king refusing to rule upon an Earthly throne. Ironically, this one perfect king would be titled the king of kings, and the subsequent popes fashioned themselves the (vicarious) substitutes for this king of kings. These popes always descended from the noble families of the wider Sabine tribe, as did the caesars before them. Could it be that the near uniformity of the corruption of the popes and their underling temporal kings helps prove Peterson's proposition, that if the "ruler becomes the ideal" that the state turns into a tyranny that soon collapses? Because this schema is still partially in effect, having only been variously liberalized in the last few centuries.

In Peterson's lens, this perhaps explains why Hitler's Millennial Reich prematurely collapsed, because Hitler was sold as a Christ-like messiah for the Germanic peoples. But again, such presumes that their is no realpolitik involved behind the scenes.

Interestingly, Peterson has some interesting, and 'plausibly' benign explanations for symbology of such as pyramids and the Eye of Horus. 'Plausible', yet one still can't exclude their use for other veiled organizational purposes. As a parallel, can a fish symbol be a superficial representation of a Christian 'fish', one of a 'school' of such fish, while at the same time being an esoteric representation of sacred geometry only understood by educated elites?
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Richard Stanley

Peterson Bible Lecture 3, God and the Hierarchy of Authority, Part 2:

Peterson opens the lecture talking about some interesting psychology propositions relating to power hierarchies. Because Peterson correctly, IMHO, views the "evolution" of the abstract human notion of God as one piece with the general evolution of life, he brings in some cogent discussion of rat behavior, i.e. that rats insist upon "fair play", which seems rather "snowflakey" of the rats.
At about 90 minutes in, Peterson talks more about the role that game-playing seems to have played in the evolution of morality, and as well, in the role that it plays in helping form individual social behaviors in young children, that become near permanent. He then goes on to discuss the notion, from the Postmodernists, that there are an infinite number of 'interpretations' of the world and that no one interpretation should be considered privileged over the others. Peterson agrees with the first part and disagrees with the last part.

But, what if humanity is still evolving its optimal morality, still tweaking the game rules so to speak? In other words, what if Peterson is indeed correct, that one interpretation is best, and thus worthy of being privileged over all others, and yet we still haven't gamed out the most optimal set of rules.

Peterson talks about the inevitable consequences of violating the "universal moral law", and note here the parallels to such as black Americans' chant of "No Justice, No Peace". In any case, Peterson appears to intimate that the consequences of violating the universal moral law(s) will be enforced upon the individual that breaks the law. But history teaches us that the consequences can be enacted generations later and lasting for generations.

It should also be noted here that Peterson has discussed the OT concept of "the Fear of God" -- in the context of that Peterson's 'God' encompases the evolved notions of morality, gamed out over millions of years (before modern humans even), that have thus been abstracted to this entity. Perhaps then, this can be seen as an extention of the Materialist Laws of Physics, and that these morality laws of behavior must similarly be obeyed because they are most consonant with our collectively evolved neurological hardwiring. With this latter, we should also note that some minority of individuals have some defective wiring, via nature and nurture.

Peterson also runs off the rails himself when he presumes that the Bible redactors who spun us Moses and Jesus knew the exact one and optimal "universal moral law", and if this was indeed their prime directive. Thankfully, they told us that we cannot pimp our wives and daughters. Meaning, of course, that we can pimp other women. And thankfully, after Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire there were never any more unjust wars, that is until those bloody Postmodernists came along, albeit the Church said it was those rationalistic Modernists.

Under Christian Futurist eschatology (and even Judaic and Islamic eschatology) there is yet at least one more revelation, which under Peterson's general premise of evolving moral behavior, would necessarily include some revisions to the "universal moral law".

And to finish, I must note the irony of this lecture on the "hierarchy of authority", where Peterson discusses the increased desirability of alpha males occupying the various pinnacles of society, in contrast to his beta fans of the tiki torch carrying variety. And, of course, Peterson makes no mention of the fact that a particular individual's net worth is not necessarily a function of merit, moral or otherwise.

Added 2/14/19
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