As many of you are aware, I have been watching the series by Jordan Peterson, The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories. I have written a couple of posts commenting on certain statements made by Peterson and insights gleaned by me.
With this post, I will capture several different tidbits, taken from several of the videos. I am focused on his points about culture, albeit he makes dozens of other equally insightful points. I do not attempt to cite Peterson word for word; I merely attempt to capture the substance.
I will not link to each video separately; I suggest that if you find the following of interest, take the time and watch the videos…which will take a real commitment, as the total runs about 25 hours.
I must say up front, this experience has been eye-opening for me. Not so much for what I am learning (although this is extremely valuable), but because of how I have not considered these early chapters of the Bible previously.
What do I mean? The Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood, Abraham, the Tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah…I am not sure to describe how I considered these people and events. I know how I didn’t consider these; I didn’t consider these in the way presented by Peterson.
And, like a few other moments in my intellectual and emotional life, I immediately went through an “aha” moment almost from Peterson’s first words.
Whether one believes these stories and events are the Word of God, infallible and literal history, or whether one believes these stories and events capture an oral tradition going back countless millennia…in either case, it was kind of stupid of me to believe that there weren’t some tremendously important meanings in these stories beyond the surface.
If it is God speaking, why didn’t I expect more? If it is man capturing oral tradition going back tens of thousands of years, why wouldn’t I expect something more?
Finally…it seems reasonable for me to suggest: Peterson’s views on the value of culture to civil society, the value of maintaining culture in order to avoid tyranny…let’s just say he is eminently more qualified than I am to make such points. More to the point: he is eminently more qualified on this topic than any mouthpiece on the left (to include left-libertarians).
Of course, the Cultural Marxists understand this. Then again, I may be biased as I find his views and my views overlap considerably.
When you are going through a book like the Bible and you come across a phrase that you don’t understand, that actually means you missed something. It doesn’t mean that that’s not germane to the story…it means you’re stupid.
This is clear to me now.
What is interesting is that the “something more,” as explained by Peterson, fits very nicely into my views of the importance of culture and tradition. Whether you believe this history is handed down from God or from man’s dawn of time, this is probably important. Not important because it matches my views; important because of the source – either source: God or tradition.
Being critical of the culture is OK if your objective is to separate the wheat from the chaff; not OK if your intent is to burn the entire field.
In all views of what is described today as the left: from Gramsci and the Cultural Marxists to the left-libertarians, this is their intent: to burn the entire field.
Destroy a culture and you will end up with tyranny.