I bite my tongue (typing finger) as I sit down to write this, because really I should not wade out into these culture war matters. But this important voice to become a direct and dire threat to planetary habitation, at least for the human species. I have written in the past some admiration for insights given by Dr. Jordan Peterson. I abhor the way his thinking gets used and abused by people on the right, to foster racist and misogynistic points of view that they surely already had. But there is much good in what he says; however he is blunt about it, he always brings some good science to the discussion. I often disagree how he uses it, but I have often been brilliantly surprised by some insight he has presented into the nature of the human mind, and its karma side, sometimes called “psychology“. The content and replaying of the Storehouse Consciousness. He has real and compelling insights there, and they are lived in the lived experiences of social groups. And I have praised many of his insights, and some have been deeply useful to myself, facing my own work with the remnants of a traumatic upbringing.
And yet, his views on the climate crisis or something I absolutely abhor. It has caused me to turn off listening to his lectures on the nature of mind, what people call spirit or soul. This is especially important for me, too, because I vehemently disagreed with his constant harping on the absolute necessity of having some Christian mythology in our consciousness. That we would not have a virtue without it. I have still admired him, despite this egregious Blindspot , something he never engages Sam Harris honestly over. And yet I have still found many nuggets of really mind blowing truth in other insights he has had. So I can disagree with someone profoundly on the one hand, and find him absolutely shattering on the other hand. These two can coexist autonomously.
But his rageful defiance in any discussion about the climate crisis, makes me realize he is not a person representing the force of truth and good in this world. He is just an explainer of shadows, and an extremely good one at that. But his presence becomes a dire threat, when so many who hear him take his visionary descriptions almost as gospel. Yeah, the way science and health walks would take Huberman as gospel, as they should. Or as libertarians and alt-right could take Joe Rogan‘s pronouncements and contrarianisms as gospel, as they might. And as I often feel Sam Harris’s smooth clarities provide a kind of “good news“, yeah, a gospel of my own thinking, own-perceiving that Sam just shows was already there. Jordan Peterson claims to follow science, yet he completely ignores the science of even someone as impartial as the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Nobel Prize-winning authority on consensus climate science. He completely trashes that, because of some rabidly idiotic fear of Marxist world order globalism or something dehumanizing, the shadows he sees lurking from his obsession with Dostoyevsky. More Russian shadows in our mental space. How many people will be influenced by such toxicly ignorant messaging as his reach provides?
I do not have much time to listen to podcasts or YouTube videos. But if I encounter any of his material again, it will only be from his early days lecturing, before he felt this performative compulsion to be engaged so dangerously in the culture wars. Now, culture wars not some thing for TV – – it has grave affects on our entire biosphere. Voices like this are incredibly terrifying.
I miss this mind:
Instead of this:
Jordan Peterson’s malady was best described by Gabor Maté in this short video clip:
So, I will not delete any previous posts connected with him, written way in the past. There is no need to “disavow“ anyone. I am just not interested in that great thinker’s application of his thinking to certain critical matters like the climate crisis and these Putin-normalizing, populist-rage-instigating moments. And he is only thinking, thinking ONLY — doesn’t have a shred of Sam Harris‘s natural interiority on matters they discuss — its all knowledge, what Dae Soen Sa Nim called ”dry cognition”. I get this attack-mode, but I appreciate the use of his intellect before his recently more shrilly engaging in these trashy culture-war battles. I get that he was attacked, and there was lots of unfair assaulting of his character, just because of the demography which primarily connected with him – – males. But those attacks did try to smear him, and he is only amplifying back revenge through the sharp point of his extraordinary capture of “dry cognition“. And also, I believe, he has a good heart. It seems that, especially after his return from sickness, he has become much more vitriolic and even vindictive. playing out his wound too grotesquely, taunting and goading perceived enemies. The doubts he sows will bring forth poison fruit, absolutely: doubt in consensus climate science, doubt in government, most of all. This impact that II genuinely fear this. But this use of his great intelligence to so doubt in the very obvious urgency and truth of our need to make clearheaded, hard choices if we are to turn this apocalypse around.