Jordan Peterson: Don’t Be the Nice Guy
Gist which is the significance of the experience, and the significance of the experience is roughly what you can derive from listening to the experience that can change the way you look at the world and act in the world. So it’s valuable information.
With a positive story, we can derive benefit either way which. It’s why we also like to go watch stories about horrible psychopathic thugs and learn not to be like them. We might say that someone who is
If you are not capable of cruelty, you are absolutely a victim to anyone who is.
And so part of the reason why people go watch anti-heroes and villains is that because there’s a part of them that is crying out for the incorporation of the monster within them, which is what gives them strength of character and self-respect because it’s impossible to respect yourself until you grow teeth. And if you grow teeth, you realize that you’re somewhat dangerous or somewhat seriously dangerous, and then you might be more willing to demand that you treat yourself with respect and other people do the same thing. That doesn’t mean that being cruel is better than not being cruel. It means that capable of being cruel and then not being cruel is better than not being able to be cruel. In the first case, you’re nothing but weak and naive. And in the second case, you’re dangerous but you have it under control. And you know a lot of martial arts concentrate exactly as part of their philosophy of training. We’re not training you to fight. We’re training you to be peaceful and awake and avoid fights. But if you have to get in one . . . and I guess the philosophy is also that if you’re competent at fighting that actually decreases the probably that you’re going to have to fight because when someone pushes you you’re going to be able to respond with confidence. And with any luck, and this is certainly the case with bullies, with any luck you with any show of confidence with related to a show of dominance, is going to be enough to make the bully back off. And so this strength that you develop in your monstrousness is the best guarantee of peace. And that’s partly why Jung thought it necessary that people integrate their shadow. And that was a terrible thing for people to attempt because the human shadow which is all those things about yourself that you don’t want to realize “reaches all the way to Hell.” And what he meant by that is that through an analysis of your own shadow, you can come to understand why other people are capable of, and you as well, the sorts of terrible atrocities that characterize the 20th century. Without that understanding, there’s no possibility of bringing it under control. When you study Nazi Germany, for example or you study the Soviet Union, particularly under Stalin, and you’re asking yourself what are these perpetrators like, forget about the victims, they’re just like you. And if you don’t know that, that just means that you don’t know anything about people, including yourself. And then it also means that you have to discover why they’re like you and believe me that’s no picnic. That’s enough to traumatize people, and that’s partly why they don’t do it. And it’s also partly why the path to enlightenment and wisdom is seldom trod upon because if it was all a matter of following your bliss and doing what made you happy, then everyone in the world would be a paragon of wisdom but it’s not that at all. It’s a matter of facing the thing you least want to face. There’s this old story in King Arthur where the knights go off to look for the holy grail, the cup that collects the blood that gushed from his side at the crucifix. It’s an ideal. It’s a holy object, like the phoenix a representation of transformation. His knights go off to find the most valuable thing. Where do you look for the most valuable thing when you don’t know where it is? Each of the knights looks at the forest surrounding the castle and enters the forest at the point that looks darkest to him. And that’s a good thing to understand because the gateway to wisdom and the gateway to the development of personality, which is exactly the same thing, is precisely through the portal that you do not want to climb through. That’s a Jungian presupposition. There’s a bunch of things about you that are undeveloped because there are things about you that you’ve avoided looking at. And there’s things that you’ve avoided developing. It’s by virtual necessity that what you need is where you don’t want to look because that’s where you’ve kept it.
The above will take you to the 5:52 mark. The rest is on your own.