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Jordan Peterson ~ The Importance Of Father Figure

University is one of those patriarchal

institution that gives with one hand and

takes away with another right so when

you come here there's thousands of you

there's tens of thousands of you

so in some sense as an individual you're

rather faceless and you're also in some

sense at the bottom of the power

hierarchy in the university I think more

than you should be but whatever you you

are at the bottom of it and so there's

there's a crushing institutional weight

that comes along with being part of such

a big university in particular you know

that's really hard on students in their

first year you know it's always seemed

to me that it's better for first-year

students to go to a smaller place where

the institutional weight is not so heavy

and you know I've tested U of T students

in their first year with things like the

Beck Depression Inventory and about 30

percent of U of T students meet criteria

for hospitalized depression they do you

know but but that's also because the

back is way more sensitive to that than

it should be at least that you know

because I don't think it's criteria for

when you should be hospitalized are

reasonable but the point is is that the

depression and the anxiety is quite high

and so but on the other hand of course

you're benefiting from going to

university and so that's the kind of

bipolar nature of the symbol it's the

tyrant and its benevolent tradition at

the same time you know it's molding you

you could even say it's crushing you

because an educational system does that

but at the same time it's like well

unless you allow yourself to get crushed

by it you're not going to get the

benefit and that's the paradoxical

relationship that individuals have with

culture everywhere and at all time you

know without culture you're nothing but

with culture you have to be a cog in

some sense and so the tension between

those two things is continual and

constant you could think about it as an

existential constant ever since there's

been complex human societies and maybe

even when there were only tribal human

societies that's been a problem for the

individual so culture tradition the

dominant Sarki is a solution and a

problem and nature the unknown

unexplored territory is a solution and a

problem and then the third category well

you see I'll just tell you a couple of

things about these images so the one on

the right that's the devouring father

that's also giving birth so in some

sense your personalities are being

devoured by the University but

at the same time a new personalities

coming you know emerging as a

consequence of that and hopefully it's a

better personality than the previous one

if you can tolerate the tension of being

transformed the heat and the pressure

then hopefully you come out you know you

come out though it's worth it the

process is worth it

okay now you know you see on the left

there at the top on the story on the

right at the top you see a picture of an

old man kissing Joseph Stalin which is

quite a weird thing to do given that

Joseph Stalin was probably responsible

for the deaths of you know some number

of people in excess of 10 million

perhaps in excess of 30 million people

argue about this all the time

he certainly starved 6 million

Ukrainians to death in the 1930s which

is something that you know for some

reason you don't hear much about your

education but you know 6 million

Ukrainians probably worth noticing a

little bit but it doesn't matter because

this old man this was taken after the

fall of the Berlin Wall he's nostalgic

for the times when everything was

certain you know and the the gold statue

of Stalin is a representation in some

sense of a deified leader and the old

man is there is in a position of worship

and then Captain Hook there at the

bottom on the right hand side he's quite

an interesting character because he's

basically a tyrant and the Peter Pan

story is very interesting because Peter

pan pan sort of means everything and

Peter Pan is the sort of person who

wants to retain the dynamic potential of

childhood because when you're a child

you're not anything but you could be

anything so you're pretty much only

potential and then you might say well

why should you sacrifice that potential

to become something actual because in

some sense it's actually a limiting

process so for example and I mean this

in the most concrete possible way you

have more neural connections when you're

born than you do at any other time in

your life and most of those died by the

time year 2 so you go through this

tremendous pruning process from when

you're born from when till 2 so it's

like you're dying into your childhood

personality and then again the same

thing happens at the end of adolescence

between say 16 and 21 which is also the

peak time for risk for the emergence of

sephrillian some people think that's the

pruning process going wrong but you know

as an adolescent you also shed childhood

potential to become though limited but

specialized and potentially useful thing

that you will become and so you might

say well is it worth it is it worth

shedding that potential and Peter Pan's

answer to that is well no he wants to

remain in Neverland as a magical boy

forever and he's king of the Lost Boys

which I would say is not a very that's

not much of a dominance hierarchy right

it's like you're you're the King king of

the king of the losers so to speak

people who can't get their act together

and mature now and you notice in Peter

Pan that Peter Pan doesn't grow up he

doesn't establish a relationship with

Wendy who's actually real he has to

settle for Tinkerbell who you know is a

fairy and they don't exist and so she's

really in some sense a figure of his

imagination because he won't mature he

can't have an actual relationship with

with a genuine person so he has to

satisfy himself with well it's something

like a pornographic fantasy actually so

seriously it is it is like that I mean

it's it's it's toned down a lot in the

movie version obviously but still that's

what's underlying it now you might say

well why doesn't Peter Pan want to grow

up and the answer is the only figure of

authority that's around for him is Pete

his Captain Hook and he doesn't like

Captain Hook and that's because Captain

Hook is a tyrant he's brutal you know

and he's also a coward because he's lost

a hand already to a crocodile with a

clock in its stomach that's chaos and

time you know that's the dragon that

lives underneath everything it's like

the basilisk in Harry Potter and that

damn crocodile has already got a piece

of him which is exactly the case like

that crocodiles got a piece of me you

know I'm older than 50 and so time is

already god its grip on me and you know

part of the problem of being adult is

that you also have to take the fact that

you're finite and limited into account

and if you're terrified by that which

people tend to be then it can easily

turn you into a tyrant because you're

afraid of everything or disgusted by

everything and you have to ramp up the

amount you control it and so Peter Pan

looks at Captain Hook and he thinks

there's no damn way that's what I want

to end up as so he's got a bad role more

you know so Captain Hook and Stalin and

this sort of devouring monster are good

representations of the negative or

tyrannical element of the Great Father

or so that's the tyrannical element of

the dominance hierarchy so