What is Truth?
by Not Sure
28 Aug 2022
Dark City is a science fiction movie from 1998 that was released a year before the first Matrix installment and touches on some of the same themes. “Strangers,” extra-terrestrials with a hive mind, are running elaborate experiments on the city’s inhabitants, resetting the city’s architecture each night, and implanting new memories, complete with families and romances. Every night at midnight, memories are wiped, and new identities created. The Strangers are dwindling in number, their own civilization in danger of extinction, and they are looking for that mysterious quality that makes humans human -- emotions, the psyche, the soul.
This is a theme that has been used in quite a few works of science fiction. Whitley Strieber’s 1987 “true” story about alien abduction Communion, a seminal work in the genre, purported to be based on the writer’s true life abduction experiences. (Perhaps you’ve heard Alan Watt joke about that one? There must be something amazing about Strieber’s back-side, because those grey aliens wanted to probe it repeatedly.) Whereas many sci-fi books and films focused on extracting and studying DNA for some more mundane problem like inter-species breeding compatibility, the alien Visitors in Communion were looking for the human soul. I guess Strieber’s Visitors hadn’t heard that the eyes are the window of the soul.
In Alan Watt’s Cutting Through volume 1, page 7 he writes, “To find truth obviously entails smashing the illusions we have come to love and hate at the same time…To search for THE CREATOR we must put all given religions to the side…I do not wish to terrify (the function of most “conspiracy” books) the reader, but to show the way out…Truth is Eternal and cannot be compromised. For the conspiracy junkies who like new facts to impress their friends, the armchair warriors emitting bravado into telephonic handsets and the Conservative Christian Fatalists, this may not be for you. Hearing and understanding TRUTH leaves one with a dilemma, for it DEMANDS change, beginning with You. The familiar, the Sucker-You’re-Ity and even your closest relationships may go down the drain, yet that is the price demanded in the past, to-day and for always. That which is lost had no foundation to begin with.”
The first volume of Cutting Through is The Androgynous (Hermaphroditic) Agenda and was written in 1999. When I read the Cutting Through books many years ago, it was much closer to the time of their publication than to the present time. I actually started with Volume 2, A Glimpse Into The Great Work, also published in 1999, because the idea that “the” agenda had something to do with androgyny was too difficult a concept for me to embrace. Haha! Call me he. No, call me she. No, call me they.
Volume 1 covers much more than the Hermaphroditic Agenda, it gives a sweeping overview of the creation of religions (ligament, a tie, the tie that binds) and how they’ve been used down through time for the purpose of control. Alan also wrote about Freemasonry and the function of priesthoods. On page 23, “Ancient philosophers were priests. The Greeks wrote copiously on this subject. Plato, Pythagoras, the historian Herodotus and others each spent between 20-30 years being educated and initiated into the “mysteries.”
This week’s Redux is from 7 March 2007, entitled “Religion, Rosy-Cross, Reformation, Revolution and World Republic (Capitalizing Communism "For the Third Way")” and in it, Alan reads from Carl Jung’s The Undiscovered Self and makes commentary. Enjoy listening to this talk. I won’t quote it in its entirety (!) but here’s a key point:
“Tonight, I was thinking about talking a little bit about how religion and the state not only have always been one, but how once one part of it has served its purpose it transforms into what appears to be something new but really isn't at all. It's perhaps more efficient in controlling people’s minds…not so long ago, really, before the revolutions begun with the new Rosicrucian Kabbalistic Masonic societies which openly came out in the 1500's, before that, theocracy, ruled by religion, was the norm…Nothing new in the science of how to control.”
In late June, a listener requested that I write about how the New Age was infiltrating the “truth” or “alternative” movements and spinning them off into directions that ultimately only serve the agenda. Alan Watt spoke about this extensively, so I thought it would be easy enough to touch on this in a written piece or two, but as soon as I embarked on research, I realized I’d gone down a rabbit hole with seemingly no end. Here I am two months later writing about the New Age and how it affects you, because what the New Age is, is the new age we’re in, complete with its own priesthood, arcane language, symbolism and sacrifice.
Many years ago, priests and champions of the old religions began crying out against the new priests and the new religions, to no avail. As Alan repeatedly said, the new religion is Science and scientists are the new priesthood. It’s a must-be. When scientists say that the Earth’s temperature is rising at an alarming rate and this is causing earthquakes, droughts, and floods, we listen. When scientists tell us the Earth suffers from overpopulation, we vow to quit breeding. When scientists tell us that a pandemic is poised to take out millions of people and we must mask up, self-quarantine and take an experimental mRNA gene therapy, we comply.
As an aside, I’m not down on all scientists. Sometimes science and technology really are working for the betterment of mankind. Wind power has been something I’ve detested because it’s truly bad for the environment (those blades never decompose; they sit in landfills forever.) A standard 2-3 MW turbine costs on average $2.6 to 4 million, not including installation and maintenance on each turbine, which is about $48,000 per year. If a turbine blade must be replaced, that’s $150,000. The blades are about the length of a U.S. football field, so that’s a lot of landfill. As a bird lover, I’m sickened by the millions of birds killed by them every year, but industry research is quick to point out that more birds are killed by automobiles, pesticides and cats.
I don’t love windmills, but I am willing to share good news from science and scientists when I come upon it. I’ve recently learned that scientists are working on a technique that will allow them to turn wind turbines into plexiglass, diapers, or Gummy Bears. This is great news for us because scientists have shown us during this pandemic that plexiglass is an effective guard against disease and who doesn’t love to snack on yummy Gummy Bears?
But I didn’t set out to write about science, only to reiterate what Alan has said many thousands of times, that it’s the new religion. Some science bears the clear marks of “science.” It works on the empirical, it has hypotheses that can be tested, re-tested, confirmed, discarded. Early on, Sigmund Freud’s theories were put under a microscope, and many were found wanting. On the other hand, Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychiatry, hasn’t received the [mainstream] thrashing that Freud did.
Long-time listeners to Alan Watt will have heard him call psychiatrists trick-cyclists, a therapist The Rapist, so his overarching opinion is consistent even if he sometimes finds something useful or true.
The global mental health market reached a value of over $400 billion last year and is expected to reach nearly $500 billion by 2027, so it’s not surprising that there isn’t an outcry against an industry with such a poor success rate because it’s an extremely lucrative one. Many people are getting wealthy off it. Nearly $250 billion is spent on psychiatrists, another $40 billion on psychologists. Big pharma has made a fortune on antidepressants by promoting “chemical imbalance in the brain” as a leading cause of depression. Many people have been led to believe that their depression has a biochemical cause and have taken the prescribed antidepressants. A new study out of University College London casts doubts on that theory and indeed the entire industry. Dr. Joanna Moncrieff said, according to The Guardian, “It is always difficult to prove a negative, but I think we can safely say that after a vast amount of research conducted over several decades, there is no convincing evidence that depression is caused by serotonin abnormalities, particularly by lower levels or reduced activity of serotonin.”
I started researching the New Age in earnest two months ago and no thorough examination of the New Age can be conducted without stumbling upon Carl Gustav Jung again…and again. And here is why: Jungian psychology is a religion. It is a belief system. It is a study of myth and metaphysics. In Psychology and the Occult, we are able to read from a series of lectures that Jung presented at Basel University. He said that “the soul does exist, it is intelligent and immortal, not subject to time and space.” He also affirmed “the reality of spirits and spiritualism, on the evidence of telekinesis, messages of dying people, hypnotism, clairvoyance…and prophetic dreams.”
Jung grew up in an atmosphere of séance and persistent poltergeist activity. His father’s side of the family were conservative Protestant Christians, but his mother was an eccentric who said spirits visited her at night.
Philemon was a figure who appeared to Jung in a dream in 1913, and Jung described him in a seminar he delivered in 1925. Memories, Dreams and Reflections was published posthumously so the following quote may have been edited by his long-time assistant Aniela Jaffé:
“Philemon represented a force which was not myself…It was he who taught me psychic objectivity, the reality of the psyche…He was a mysterious figure to me. At times he seemed to me quite real, as if he were a living personality. I went walking up and down the garden with him, and to me he was what the Indians call a guru.” 1
Professor of psychiatry Thomas Szasz said “The popular image of Freud as an enlightened, emancipated, irreligious person who, with the aid of psychoanalysis, “discovered” that religion is a mental illness is pure fiction…One of Freud’s most powerful motives in life was the desire to inflict vengeance on Christianity…” 2
Certainly the “discovery” that religion was a mental illness was used to great effect by the Frankfurt School.
"They don't realize that we are bringing them the plague."
And whether the famous quote attributed to Freud upon his arrival to the U.S. is true or merely apocryphal, I cannot say, but it is “true” by the metric of some of the more obvious damages inflicted upon people in the name of psychoanalysis. I think most psychology and a great deal of psychiatry shares more in common with a religious creed than a branch of science but nowhere is this more obvious than when considering Jung.
Journalist Martin L. Gross wrote “One of the most powerful religious ideas of the second half of the twentieth century is the Great [Collective] Unconscious. In this religion of the Unconscious, our conscious mind is a second-class being…a mere puppet of the unknown true self…Is there an [Collective] Unconscious? From a scientific point of view, it is a theological device which fills the gap in man’s biological ignorance…” 3
In this Redux, Alan highlighted some key differences between Freud and Jung. Alan said, “I'm going to read a little bit from Jung who opposed, because of his own experiences; he opposed the completely atheistic mundane view of Freud. He knew there was more to the human psyche than just conditioned responses and a bunch of neurons in the brain. This is what he says about religions that provide counter-balance to mass mindedness.”
Jung: "In order to free the fiction of the sovereign state -- in other words, the whims of those who manipulate it -- from every wholesome restriction, all socio-political movements tending in this direction invariably try to cut the ground from under the religions. For, in order to turn the individual into a function of the State, his dependence on anything beside the State must be taken from him. But religion means dependence on and submission to the irrational facts of experience. These do not refer directly to social and physical conditions; they concern far more the individual psychic attitude."
Alan: “By psychic he's talking about the wholesome, the complete you, the total you, your mind, personality, everything.”
Jung: “But it is possible to have an attitude to the external conditions of life only when there is a point of reference outside them. The religions give, or claim to give, such a standpoint, thereby enabling the individual to exercise his judgment and his power of decision. They build up reserve, as it were, against the obvious and the inevitable force of circumstances to which everyone is exposed who lives only in the outer world and has no other ground under his feet except the pavement. If statistical reality is the only reality, then it is the sole authority.”
Alan: “Now that's a very important statement that's been echoed by others since. ‘If statistical reality is the only reality, then it is the sole authority.’ Statistics and the game of statistics is a trick learned from religion, only upgraded to a better version. We can say, well there's lies, then there's damn lies (meaning more intricate lies) and then there are statistics. Well, statistics pretend to hide behind the guise of science and we're trained and conditioned that science is the new priesthood and whatever they say must be true and they use statistics to convince us.”
Jung goes on to explain that he is defining religion as the relationship of an individual to God whereas when a religion compromises with the State it becomes a creed.
Alan Watt encouraged us always to use our own experience and our own observations as our guide. The temptation of those who seek truth is to follow one who has gone before us and claims to have found it. Then we not only get disgusted or distracted by the shortcomings of the guru, but we may miss the whole point of a teaching or message because we have not experienced it for ourselves. See Monty Python’s Life of Brian for the scene of the lost shoe and all the squabbling that accompanies. “He has given us…his shoe.”
Richard Noll is an American psychologist and an historian of medicine who has published two books about Jung. His award-winning 1995 book The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement caused huge controversy and pressure from Jung's family which resulted in Princeton University Press cancelling the publication of a second book, Mysteria: Jung and the Ancient Mysteries: Selections from the Writings of C.G. Jung. From the inside flap of The Jung Cult “Richard Noll has made a signal contribution to the study of the life, thought, and followers of Carl G. Jung, and through that to the study of depth psychology as a whole . . . all those who hold Carl G. Jung in high esteem also owe a debt of thanks to Richard Noll, even though he will be persona non grata with many of them."
-Peter Homans, University of Chicago, San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal
Another book on Jung that was published was The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung. Amazon summarizes that in part “Richard Noll reveals Jung as the all-too-human man he really was, a genius who, believing he was a spiritual prophet, founded a neopagan religious movement that offered mysteries for a new age.”
Noll was also an early public critic of the American psychiatric profession's complicity in the moral panic of the late 1980s and early 1990s concerning Satanic ritual abuse and the idea of “recovered memories.”
Some of you might be old enough to remember the McMartin preschool trial in the U.S. in the early 1980s. Members of the McMartin family operated a preschool in California and were charged with hundreds of acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. The case lasted seven years, but there were no convictions. All charges were dropped in 1990. During the 1980s and 1990s there was widespread day-care sex-abuse hysteria and moral panic over alleged Satanic ritual abuse. Pizzagate comes to mind for a more recent example of mass hysteria. After days of swirling rumor, much of it whipped up by that Conspiracy Theorist Who Shall Remain Unnamed, Edgar Welch drove from North Carolina to Washington to rescue sexually abused children he believed were hidden in mysterious tunnels beneath a neighborhood pizza joint. He fired a few shots but ultimately responded to police request that he surrender.
We live in an unhinged age. Unfortunately, those we turn to for truth are often the ones who deliberately lead us astray. Remember Alan Watt’s caution that we follow no one, that we think for ourselves.
You can find plenty of statistics that will support a claim that psychiatry and psychology have done much good. Many of these statistics have been “peer-reviewed.” Yet millions of people suffer from depression and millions take antidepressants and the number of sufferers and medicated continues to grow. Whatever science ultimately decides about the bio-chemical origins of depression, we are suffering a crisis of purpose, a crisis of meaning.
I know people who have found much value in the Jungian archetypes, the universal patterns and images that Jung believed are part of the collective unconscious. Jung originated the inner child concept in his divine child archetype and many people claim that it has only been by respecting and communicating with this inner child have they been able to come to terms with and get behind serious childhood abuse and trauma. (I have never undergone Jungian therapy. I cannot measure its effectiveness with the yardstick of experience.)
Jung taught that our unconscious is purposeful, our dreams are purposeful, the images and symbolism have meaning that can guide us. I know people who maintain that analysing and understanding the imagery of their dreams has been enormously helpful to their personal growth and creativity. I know artists and musicians for whom dream imagery is an essential part of their palette.
I’ve never thought much about my dreams except the occasional nightmare that woke me. I seldom recall dreams, and it has never occurred to me search for meaning in them. But I remember the dream I had last night. Alan’s old pickup truck was parked on a mostly empty street, between two Teslas. True story. Swear to God.
I’ll tell you something else. Whenever I read Jung, I invariably find something to like, something that has the ring of truth, but I’ve never felt the urge to dive in. Whereas, on listening to or reading Alan Watt, my intuition says, “that’s true!” And I have to dive into the topic, to the research, to whatever follows on that first ring of “truth!”
How do we know what is truth? It’s a central and large part of all philosophy. There are countless theories of truth. What is the nature of truth? “A belief is true if and only if it corresponds to a fact,” yet how many times did I hear Alan Watt say facts don’t matter (in convincing anyone of truth.) Joachim insists that “what is true is the whole complete truth.” Peirce said “Truth is the end of inquiry.” The slogan “Truth is satisfactory to believe” is attributed to Peirce and James. I find it satisfactory to believe that in my current incarnation, I am Napoleon, but satisfactory though that may be to me, is it true?
Jesus stood before Pilate (the governor), and the Jews cried out for his crucifixion. Then Pilate said to Jesus, 'So you are a king, are you?' Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.' Pilate said to him, 'What is truth?' After saying this, he went back out to the Jews and told them, 'I find no guilt in him'” (John 18:37-38). To Pilate, “truth” was relative. The “truth” for him was that Jesus was innocent. The “truth” for the Jews was that Jesus was guilty. And that was the end of that discussion.
Someone told me recently about a study group they had once attended to read and discuss C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. This book was written from the point of view of Screwtape, one of the Devil’s helpers, as a series of letters to his young nephew Wormwood. Screwtape is encouraging Wormwood as he tries to procure a young man’s soul for eternal damnation. In one of the letters, he tells Wormwood that he needn’t be too concerned about his “patient” discovering some of the finer points of free will because nobody bothers to read anymore and if they do, it’s for the wrong reasons.
“Only the learned read old books and we have now so dealt with the learned that they are of all men the least likely to acquire wisdom by doing so. We have done this by inculcating The Historical Point of View. The Historical Point of View, put briefly, means that when a learned man is presented with any statement in an ancient author, the one question he never asks is whether it is true. He asks who influenced the ancient writer, and how far the statement is consistent with what he said in other books, and what phase in the writer’s development, or in the general history of thought, it illustrates, and how it affected later writers, and how often it has been misunderstood (specially by the learned man’s own colleagues) and what the general course of criticism on it has been for the last ten years, and what is the “present state of the question.” To regard the ancient writer as a possible source of knowledge – to anticipate that what he said could possibly modify your thoughts or your behaviour – this would be rejected as unutterably simple minded.” Is it true?
The friend who relayed this story told me that he was eager to discuss the “dusty old books” with the minister who was leading the study group; excited that C.S. Lewis was conveying the idea that very old books could be sources of profound wisdom. But the minister launched into the importance of understanding the history, the times in which the book was written, and if it was possible to read the text in its original language, Aramaic for instance, that would certainly be helpful, as historical context was vital for real understanding. In other words, the minister was espousing the very attitude to old texts that the Devil’s helpers were trying to foster! My friend wasn’t terribly surprised when the minister later revealed that he was a psychologist and a “licensed clinical aromatherapist” and counseled the small class that the point of prayer was to “merge with Jesus.”
Here’s a quote from Volume 1 of Alan Watt’s Cutting Through:
“Most people who claim to seek the truth really only want confirmation of those things which they already believe. Truth would require that they abandon their “comfort zones” and do something concrete – to make real changes in their lives.”
Why don’t you Bee-hive?
Cutting Through Volume 1, The Androgynous (Hermaphroditic) Agenda, page 9: “Pythagoras taught a science of controlling the mind, by reducing all thought down to mathematical formulae. The REAL priesthood call this THE TRINITY. It’s as easy as A B C
1 2 3
The Greek philosophers taught the method in story form. An imaginary Dialogue would occur between two or more people. By “logic” every societal problem was reduced to the BINARY CODE, EITHER-OR. We know it better as the Dialectic Process. By how LOGOS (the WORD) is used, those following the conversation are brought to a conclusion. The conclusion BEE-comes their own. They are now INFORMED. The purpose is to usurp power from the individual and have him slave willingly towards “the betterment of humanity.” The beehive has always been the symbol of the perfect society in ancient Egypt, the Minoan culture and Freemasonry. Behave is from Beehive. Plato discussed the types of bees in relation to classes of people…”
Page 36, Alan writing about Blavatsky and her spirit guide, “…The technique is simple. People feel powerless and alone in a system where the old religion is dying. Rather than look within to find their own spiritual connection, they are willing to make human gods out of people who are trained in trickery and heavily promoted by “the Brotherhood.” Because she proclaimed socialism as her belief for the future her followers automatically did too, little knowing that Scientific Socialism meant the right of a small, selected Masonic Elite, to design the Masonic Beehive. This is the “perfect” World State where people will be born with a function to serve the State. There will be no surplus population. So, the religion of the
New Age Movement
1 2 3
Is a technique of mind-control, shaping it step-by-step into “possibility-thinking,” “we are Gods” and we have “our destiny to make.” For a glimpse of our destiny, read the final chapter of “Shape of “Things” to Come” by another mason and Foundation-backed Fabian Socialist, H.G. Wells. Further information on Blavatsky can be obtained from “Scarlet and the Beast” by John Daniel and “Conspiracies Cover-Ups and Crimes” by Jonathan Vankin ISBN 1-5578-384-5.
Re-in Carnation---AmAgain---I’m a Genie---I’m a Gene ----Image----Imagine----I-----Enigma---"
After all these weeks of study, I didn’t come away thinking “Christianity good. New Age bad.” Or “Freud bad. Jung good.” I kept returning time and again to the Dialectic. Left versus right equals exactly where we’re supposed to be headed.
In this talk after reading a lengthy chunk of Jung, Alan said “He's showing you the dialectic between science which is the new religion and like all religions to be supreme they must be absolute and they demand absolute obeisance [obedience]. We see that with inoculations trying to get forced through from what were recently, and some are still called “health services.” This talk was 2007. How prescient Alan always was!
In one interview, Richard Noll said “Jung is the most influential liar of the 20th century.” In another interview, Noll cautioned, “The average person who reads Jung is not a scholar or a scientist, but usually someone who is spiritually-minded and is looking for "answers." The average person would not have Jung's vast erudition and would be unable to assess for him or herself if Jung's evidence "makes sense" or not. They assume that because Jung was so smart, and so credentialed, and was a physician and a former colleague of Freud's that he is an "authority" whose opinion must be placed above their own. This reliance on an "authority" to provide "truth" is a big, big mistake. And one which Jung and Jungian analysts have long promoted.”
Later in that same interview he said, “Jung claimed his concepts were merely "hypotheses," but then refused to put them to any test. Jungian analysts wallow in the same unfortunate ignorance. And, to repeat myself, to make matters worse, Jung actually falsified his evidence for a collective unconscious and archetypes in his publications. The "whole" that Jung offers us collapses when we realize it was constructed with faulty parts. Again, if -- as I argue in my books -- Jung was more interested in founding a religious movement, then the scientific status of his concepts should not matter to "believers." But Jungians should be aware that Jung's theories are NOT congruent with 20th century science and in fact are contradicted by many, many discoveries in evolutionary biology, genetics, cognitive science, biochemistry, anthropology, and experimental studies of human memory in psychology. If Jungians want to be like Scientologists and claim that their religious principles have a scientific basis, they are free to do so. But Jungians should be aware that the scientific world does not agree with Jung's claims of what is "scientific." Science deals in potentially falsifiable theories and claims. Jung's "hypothesis" is actually nothing of the sort: it is a metaphysical concept regarded by uncurious Jungian analysts as eternal, unchanging, and NEVER potentially falsifiable. It's a free country. Believe what you want, I say. Just don't expect the rest of the world to agree with you if you say it's "science".”
My two months of research is woefully inadequate for any kind of grand judgement – if that was my goal. I didn’t set out to prove a premise. I asked questions. Did Jung think that he was participating in a new science? Was he wittingly attacking or “improving” upon the prevailing religion? Did his theories play a dominant role in the New Age movement as it unfolded in the 20th century and into our own?
I asked for the thoughts of people who have spent years studying Jung’s writings and was fortunate to receive their input. One man has read and re-read Jung’s letters many times and had good insights to share. He said that in the Letters, Jung hammered away at his public persona as an empiricist, a scientist when that was still noble, the learned university man. He went on to add that Jung is clearly some kind of religious reformer or extender of religious principles of the west. This comes through in the Letters.
This is sad 😊, but I’m going to quote from my 10 July 2022 piece “Metanoia vs. Mindful Masturbation” which accompanied Alan’s talk from 2006 “Mind, Matter and the Masses” in which he read from Jung:
“Jung writes that the essence of Christianity is concerned with the individual way of life of a man, the Son of Man; the very process of individuation is the incarnation of the revelation of God Himself. Jung rightly believed that Christianity as a vital support of civilization was not finished but that its living representation must be meditated upon deeply and its forms revitalized for the current age.
As an aside, I will say that my own interpretation of what Jung said is very different from what happened in the Catholic Church after Vatican II, as it sought to bring its structure into harmony with the modern world, a slippery slope, as something which is timeless cannot be modernized. What Jung focuses on in his critique of Christianity is the necessity for individual development, the assertion that a functioning society is dependant upon the process he calls individuation, the process of developing a separate identity, an important goal of adolescence, but something that continues throughout a person's life. He chastises the church hierarchy for not encouraging the individual but rather organizing in a way that promotes the collective. As Jung points out, Jesus went his own way and this often put him in conflict with the structure of his religion.
This metanoia, rebirth or conversion might sometimes be referred to as being “born again.” Born into Spirit, and Jung writes that it cannot be achieved without effort and suffering. Alan Watt was not one to lay out a prescribed path. That, after all, is what dictators and tyrants do. As regards to the spiritual or the metaphysical, he said in more than one talk that an individual must go by their own experiences. You cannot give your experiences to another. Alan said in this talk that he hesitated to suggest, as suggestion is so powerful.”
I asked a woman who also has spent years studying Jung and has benefited from that study, if she thought there were pitfalls that she could share with me. She specifically talked about the need to suffer when one confronts the dark side or their Shadow (if change is to occur,) but that some who might call themselves Jungian analysts aren’t equipped to aid in that process and so they only offer jargon that patients use to justify or rationalize their behaviour. She mentioned an alcoholic who went to a therapist who told her that she was drinking to self-medicate because of her childhood trauma. While the woman did indeed stop drinking, she was able to let herself off the hook, so she never took responsibility for the damage her choices and behaviour had done to others.
She went on to say that she knew someone who had been a lapsed Catholic but returned to the church and did all that was required as a sort of “soul insurance policy,” e.g. he attended mass regularly and confession. But though he confessed his sins to the priest, he never acknowledged past harm he had done to friends and family.
I use those stories as an example that whatever path a person is on or claims to be on, if it does not change the inner man, it is simply some kind of a social club or navel-gazing under the guise of spirituality.
“Self-Authoring” Your Way to an $8 Million Net Worth
Prior to this research, I was blissfully ignorant of Richard Noll, his books on Jung and the controversy they sparked. Naturally, many Jungians were outraged by the books and attacked Noll’s scholarship and his character. I hadn’t heard of most of the psychologists and scholars who attacked Noll, but I am familiar with Jordan Peterson who called Noll “a sh*t.”
Back in 2016, when Peterson surfaced with his YouTube videos critical of Canada’s Bill C-16 and gender-neutral pronouns, Alan linked those first three little videos to his Cutting Through the Matrix sites and read a bit of news coverage about them. At that time, I dug into a bit of research and watched some of Peterson’s series, Maps of Meaning. They might be educational. They might be meaningful. But clearly, I’m not the target audience.
After his initial mention of Peterson, Alan came to see him in a different light and while he didn’t pull the YouTube links, he never again mentioned Jordan Peterson or his work. Since Alan didn’t see fit to discuss him further and he isn’t here to explain his silence, I will leave it at that.
I do not have a burning desire to jump on the Let’s-Criticize-Jordan-Peterson bandwagon. I’ll leave it to others to ask, Is Jordan Peterson our new Aryan Christ? Or declare, ‘Grifter’ Really Is the Only Word to Use for Jordan Peterson. But he had popped up in that way during my research (Noll is “a sh*t”) and so I thought I’d take another look, watch a few of his interviews, and try to allow for the possibility that his meteoric rise could have been the result of something other than authorized promotion.
I discussed him with a friend who wasn’t concerned about his personal life, his ethics, his morals, his inconsistencies. “In the war against woke, we have to take our allies wherever we can find them. If we can only align with people who think just like us, we’ll find ourselves alone.” (Hmm. Perhaps that’s the whole complete truth? We are alone.)
I watched a couple of interviews. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes people just rub you the wrong way and there’s no explaining why. There was an interview with a news crew in Sweden I watched with my “let’s appreciate Peterson because he’s anti-woke” friend and there were several pretty obvious examples of him dancing all around questions he didn’t want to answer. My friend (the fan, but still in possession of his critical faculties) pointed out that Peterson clearly accepts all the rules of the narrative while playing the part of combatant.
But it was in a 2018 interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival (AIF) -- part of the Aspen Institute -- where I was really able to get a handle on just what bothers me. First of all, it’s the Aspen Institute, formed for the express purpose of bringing together individuals from various backgrounds and fields of expertise for discussions about global and social issues and innovative ideas. Past AIF speakers have included President Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Ehud Barak, Madeleine Albright, Stephen Breyer, Sandra Day O'Connor, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Frum, Salam Fayyad, and Paul Ryan. But I only thought about the venue and types of people it attracts after the interview.
Jordan Peterson was expressing his anger to the interviewer, that he had been required by his university to address students by their preferred gender pronouns. He told her that his training as a psychologist gave him the ability to recognize if their request for this change in pronoun was coming from a deep need or from some other motive. He’d take it on a case-by-case basis. There was lots of banter back and forth between Peterson and the host about clarity and precision of language.
Towards the latter part of the interview there was a question from the audience and if you want to see how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, please fast forward to 01:11:33. A gentleman who we don’t see introduces himself as a professor of linguistics. He is known to the interviewer, and she is delighted to see him. He says that he teaches trans students and starting about four years ago (2014) students began asking him to address them by their preferred pronouns. Clearly, there is a little bit of baiting Peterson here, as the linguistics professor asks what in Peterson’s training as a psychologist allows him to know if the student’s request for gender-neutral pronouns is coming from a place of deep need or if the student was being manipulative. “Based on your training, how would you know which students to go along [with] and which to discount?” This dance on the head of a pin lasts until 01:20:00 and that eight and a half minutes gives us a lot of insight as to what is wrong with our cultures, globally. Two professors will argue for eight and half minutes about whether the student is deserving or not deserving of this “courtesy” of being referred to by the preferred pronouns. In other words, as my friend pointed out, they are happy to accept all the rules of the official narrative. They might be rebellious, even outragedly so, or litigiously so, but they are still boxing in the official ring. Not one of them ever (nor ever will) say “I am not ever going to legitimize this insanity. What stands before me is a male student, and I’ll be damned if I call him “she” or “they”.” Sophistry is sophistry even if it’s politically correct. And if you think about it hard, the whole exchange was deliciously woke.
The patient presents themselves to a psychologist as Napoleon and the psychologist agrees to call him “Emperor?” Has the doctor been helpful? Is it true?
Truth is indeed the first casualty of war, but then again, what is truth? To paraphrase Alan Watt, TRUTH requires that we abandon our comfort zones and make real changes within our selves.
© Not Sure
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