The Sins of Adam and the True Nature of Eve

The Sins of Adam and the True Nature of Eve

Introduction (00:00:00)

  • Dr. Jordan B. Peterson welcomes the audience to his "We Who Wrestle with God" tour.
  • He introduces his special guest, Constantine Kizen, a podcaster from the UK.
  • Peterson explains the purpose of critical thinking and how it helps separate valuable ideas from harmful ones.
  • He emphasizes the importance of subjecting one's own presumptions to critical analysis to avoid acting on harmful ideas.
  • Peterson highlights the value of having an enemy who can point out errors in one's thinking, preventing the need for painful learning experiences.
  • He expresses his hope that Constantine can represent the critical and skeptical audience during their discussion.
  • Peterson begins discussing the story of Adam and Eve from the Bible.
  • He suggests that the story is not meant to be taken literally but rather as a symbolic representation of psychological truths.
  • Peterson argues that Adam represents the rational, conscious mind, while Eve represents the intuitive, unconscious mind.
  • He proposes that the "sin" of Adam and Eve was not disobedience, but rather their attempt to merge the conscious and unconscious minds, which led to a loss of innocence and the experience of suffering.
  • Peterson emphasizes that the story is not about blaming women, but rather about understanding the psychological dynamics between the conscious and unconscious minds.
  • Peterson stresses the importance of integrating the conscious and unconscious minds to achieve psychological health and well-being.
  • He explains that the unconscious mind contains valuable information and insights that can help guide conscious decision-making.
  • Peterson suggests that dreams, myths, and religious symbols can provide access to the unconscious mind and help individuals understand their deeper motivations and desires.
  • He emphasizes the need for individuals to take responsibility for their own psychological development and to actively engage with their unconscious minds.

The dawn of new realizations and a return to fundamentals (00:03:40)

  • The Enlightenment view of the world as a place of objective facts and rational creatures is fundamentally flawed.
  • New AI systems like chat GPT demonstrate that we cannot rely solely on facts due to their overwhelming abundance.
  • Perception involves obliterating most of what we could see and focusing on one thing at a time, making it of utmost importance.
  • Perception is not a matter of thought but something deeper that occurs when we actually see.
  • Only facts that facilitate or obstruct one's progress towards their goal are relevant and perceptible.
  • Everything in the world manifests itself according to one's aim, revolutionizing our conceptualization of the world.
  • Instead of rationally calculating one's way forward based on infinite facts, the text proposes an alternative approach.

Worldview is a useful story, voluntary exposure underpins entertainment (00:11:40)

  • A person's worldview is a story that explains how they see the world.
  • Steven Pinker believes that our enjoyment of stories is a side effect of something more fundamental cognitively.
  • The story as entertainment theory suggests that we enjoy stories because they are fun and entertaining.
  • However, there is more to why we enjoy stories than just entertainment.
  • Stories can teach children and help them learn about the world.
  • Children spontaneously dramatize the world and make stories out of their roles and destinies.
  • Playing pretend helps children practice modeling the world and form friendships.
  • Going to the movies is not just about being entertained, it's also about practicing how to deal with horrifying and frightening situations.
  • Voluntary exposure to catastrophes and predators helps us develop competence and skills.
  • Entertainment is part of the process of expanding our competence and skills.
  • The story of Adam and Eve is a metaphor for the development of human consciousness.
  • Adam represents the rational, logical mind, while Eve represents the intuitive, emotional mind.
  • The serpent represents the temptation to use our knowledge for selfish purposes.
  • Eating the forbidden fruit symbolizes the fall of humanity from a state of innocence to a state of self-awareness.
  • The story of Adam and Eve is a cautionary tale about the dangers of pride and the importance of humility.
  • It teaches us that we should not rely solely on our rational minds, but also listen to our intuition and emotions.
  • The story also teaches us that we should not be afraid to make mistakes, but learn from them and grow.

Are relationships based on facts and propositions? (00:15:43)

  • Relationships are not based on facts and propositions.
  • We can establish relationships with dogs and infants without using language or propositions.
  • When talking to someone, we look at their eyes to see where they are pointing and infer what is important to them.
  • We can understand someone's aim by observing their attention and actions.
  • Knowing someone's aim allows us to see the world through their eyes and inhabit the same world of perception and emotion.
  • The plot of a fiction is the aim of the character across time.
  • The plot may involve the transformation of the character's aims.
  • Character development occurs when people transform their aims.

The world reveals itself in accordance to your aim (00:20:29)

  • The world reveals itself in relation to our aim.
  • Perception works by presenting the landscape of emotion as markers on the pathway to our aim.
  • If the world appears as obstacles and foes, it may indicate an incorrect aim.
  • We create and consume fiction to refine our aim and find the most efficient path to our desired destination.
  • Big tech companies collect personal data to create detailed profiles and sell them to the highest bidder.
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Rise of the literary critic, "The Selfish Gene" claim (00:23:35)

  • Literary critics have become influential in the culture war because they have criticized the central story of the West.
  • The postmodernists, who are French intellectual literary critics, have criticized the central story of the West to death, leading to the current culture war.
  • The story is under assault, causing uncertainty and shaking the world in a new way.
  • People see the world through stories.
  • Rationalists, empiricists, and biologists argue that the story is biologically or socioculturally determined.
  • Freud, Darwin, and Dawkins believe the story is about sex and reproduction.
  • Marxists believe the central story is about power, domination, oppression, and exploitation.
  • The universities teach that the central theme of human relationships is power dynamics.
  • The landscape of human interaction is seen as a dynamic of power, sex, or both.

Sex and power; why doesn’t might make right? (00:27:21)

  • Sex and power are two competing explanations for human behavior.
  • Darwinian Freudian Richard Dawkins claims that sex is the driving force behind human behavior.
  • Marxists argue that power is the key factor in human relationships.
  • There is evidence to support both claims.
  • A minority of people have all the success in various areas, such as attractiveness, talent, and wealth.
  • Some people achieve success through exploitation.
  • When relationships deteriorate, power dynamics often become a problem.
  • Power can be used to justify immoral behavior.
  • The story of Adam and Eve is a cautionary tale about the dangers of power and sex.
  • Adam and Eve were given everything they needed in the Garden of Eden, but they were not content.
  • They wanted more power and knowledge, and they were willing to disobey God to get it.
  • Their disobedience led to their downfall and the fall of humanity.
  • The story of Adam and Eve teaches us that we should be careful what we wish for.
  • We should not let our desires for power and pleasure lead us astray.

The central story of the West (00:32:02)

  • The biblical library of stories is the fundamental story of the West.
  • The story of the West is not about power or sex.
  • The biblical story provides a multi-dimensional characterization of the fundamental aim of man and the cosmos.

The proper object of worship, admiration, and aim (00:35:29)

  • The proper object of worship, admiration, and aim is God.
  • God is the highest aim that lurks behind all proximal aims.
  • God is the upward aim as such.
  • The beginning of Genesis 1 is not just the beginning of time in a linear sense, but the beginning of all things that begin.
  • The spirit of God hovers over the "tohu vabohu" or "tehom", which symbolizes the infinite well of possibility, chaos, and confusion.
  • This chaos is like the dragon that the archaic God sliced into pieces to create the world, or the Hydra that Hercules defeats to form the world.
  • Consciousness generates the world from possibility, just as we do when we wake up to a field of indeterminate opportunity each day.
  • The possibilities of the day can be overwhelming, but it is our task to establish order and create something good from the chaos.
  • The story of Adam and Eve is not about literal individuals, but about the archetypal human experience.
  • Adam represents the conscious mind, while Eve represents the unconscious mind.
  • The serpent represents the ego, which tempts the conscious mind to identify with the unconscious mind and its desires.
  • When the conscious mind succumbs to temptation, it falls from grace and experiences separation from God.
  • The story of Adam and Eve is a cautionary tale about the dangers of allowing the ego to control our lives.
  • Eve is not a temptress or a source of evil, but a symbol of the unconscious mind.
  • The unconscious mind is a vast reservoir of creativity, intuition, and wisdom.
  • When the conscious mind is in harmony with the unconscious mind, we experience wholeness and fulfillment.
  • The story of Adam and Eve is a call to embrace our unconscious mind and integrate it into our conscious awareness.

The Logos: the process by which God manifests being from potential (00:42:08)

  • The Logos is the process by which God extracts order and goodness from the unformed possibilities of the cosmos.
  • Words have the power to shape reality and influence the potential of others.
  • Aiming at what's best and highest, with love, allows one to create a paradise in their household and relationships.
  • God wrestles with unmanifest possibilities to create the cosmic order, establishing divisions like day and night, land and water, and populating the world with beings.
  • Humans are created in the image of God, possessing transcendental worth that is not granted by external entities.
  • The state must recognize the sacred boundary between its operations and the human psyche, which manifests the divine process of generating order from possibility.
  • Adam's sin was not eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but rather his failure to aim at what's best for Eve and himself.
  • Eve is not the temptress who led Adam astray, but rather a symbol of the unformed potential that Adam failed to shape with love and wisdom.
  • The true nature of Eve represents the unformed possibilities within each individual, waiting to be shaped by the choices and actions of others.
  • The story of Adam and Eve is a metaphor for the human journey of self-discovery and the responsibility to aim at what's best for oneself and others.

The locus of value, how America embodies upward aim (00:48:28)

  • Treating people as if they are the locus of value opens up positive interactions and abundance in life.
  • This treatment is in keeping with our essential nature and is crucial for the integrity of the soul, community, and natural order.
  • America's founding principles, based on the idea of inalienable rights and responsibilities, reflect this conceptualization.
  • America is the closest approximation to a shining city on the hill due to this fundamental conception.
  • Many countries have descended into a metaphysical hell, characterized by an abyss of suffering and the potential for even deeper abysses.
  • This occurs when the fundamental characterization of individuals as having inalienable rights and responsibilities is overthrown or abandoned.
  • Examples of such metaphysical hells include Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union under Stalin, and the Chinese Communist Party under Mao.
  • These examples serve as object lessons for those who have abandoned metaphysical presuppositions and need convincing about the reality of hell.

Why Adam tended a “walled garden” (00:51:57)

  • A walled garden symbolizes nature encapsulated by culture.
  • Walls represent social agreements defining personal space.
  • Adam's task was to tend the garden and name everything in it.
  • Naming reflects the creative spirit of God and organizing the world.
  • Adam's role is to prioritize, order, and orient things according to their significance.

The biblical role of women, the biological role of the mother (00:55:34)

  • God deemed that Adam lacked a sufficient helper.
  • Woman was created as a consequence to address the limitations of man's order.
  • Women bring the concerns of the marginalized to the center.
  • The biblical role of women is comparable to the biological role of mothers.
  • Women give voice to those excluded by established human orders.

We are conscious matter, “what’s up with that?” (00:56:50)

  • The creation of Adam from matter (Earth) and breath (Spirit) symbolizes the combination of material and conscious principles in human beings.
  • Consciousness is a mysterious and unexplained phenomenon that cannot be reduced to material phenomena.
  • We treat each other as conscious beings and presume our own consciousness, but we cannot distinguish between being itself and being conscious.

A critique of the feminist critique of the creation of Eve (00:58:42)

  • The feminist critique of the biblical narrative as radically patriarchal and oppressive to women is false.
  • The biblical narrative presents women, like men, as made in the image of God, and Eve is portrayed as Adam's equal, though complementary and not identical.
  • Our society is deeply conflicted, doubting both the equality and the differences between men and women.
  • The distinction between men and women is profound, and denying this difference is a significant lie that people are willing to believe.

Moral knowledge, Nietzsche’s prediction and folly (01:00:30)

  • God created Adam and Eve with specific roles and placed them in the Garden of Eden, instructing them not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, which represents moral knowledge.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche announced the death of God and proposed the creation of human-made values and a moral landscape, predicting the rise of resentful egalitarian communitarianism and its negative consequences.
  • Nietzsche's idea of self-actualization and radical subjectivity was criticized by psychoanalysts who argued that humans are not fully in control of their own actions and desires.
  • The complexity of moral decision-making challenges the notion of individuals creating their own values without guidance or a higher authority.
  • The serpent in the Garden of Paradise represents Lucifer, the spirit of pride and prideful presumption, which led Eve to think she could define the moral order and carelessly welcome in the monstrous under the guise of maternal compassion.
  • A life of greatness requires discipline and not taking the easy route.

The sins of Adam and the prideful fall (01:09:40)

  • Adam and Eve's sins lead to their self-consciousness, shame, and the fall of humanity into the profane world.
  • Pride precedes a fall, and the most painful experiences often result from falsely claiming to be more than one is.
  • Adam blames Eve and God for his mistakes, demonstrating the non-patriarchal nature of the text and highlighting men's tendency to blame women for their shortcomings.
  • As a consequence of their actions, both Adam and Eve are condemned to suffer in their work.
  • The text presents the beginning of the Fallen World and the profound fiction that humans inhabit.

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