Transcript: Truths That Matter | Apr 07, 2004

Classical music plays. A fast clip shows images of old maps and illustrations. The title reads “Maps of meaning with Jordan Peterson.”

Jordan stands in front of a classroom. He’s in his early forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy brown hair. He wears black trousers and a forest green shirt.

He says THERE'S THIS PIECE FROM
SEARCH FOR THE HOLY GRAIL
AND THE HOLY GRAIL IS
A MYTH THAT WAS CONSTRUCTED
IN ENGLAND AND THE MYTH
GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS:
THERE IS A CUP, THE GRAIL,
USED TO HOLD CHRIST'S BLOOD,
AND THAT CUP HAS
REDEMPTIVE SIGNIFICANCE
AND IT'S BEEN LOST.

An image of a silver cup with encrusted stones appears on screen.

Jordan says AND THE KNIGHTS,
KING ARTHUR'S KNIGHTS,
WHO GO OFF TO LOOK
FOR THE HOLY GRAIL,
ARE AFTER THIS CUP, SO IT'S
A REDEMPTION STORY, RIGHT?
IT MEANS THE WORLD'S
DAMNED, UNREDEEMED.
THERE IS SOME OBJECT THAT
CAN SERVE AS THE SOURCE
OF REDEMPTION, THE
SOURCE OF NOURISHMENT, SAY,
THINKING ABOUT IT FROM
A SYMBOLIC PERSPECTIVE,
AND IT'S WORTHWHILE TO GO
ON A QUEST OF THAT SORT.
AND THE KING ARTHUR STORY
IS SET UP IN AN INTERESTING
WAY BECAUSE
THERE'S A KING, ARTHUR,
BUT HE HAS ALL THESE
KNIGHTS, THESE NOBLES,
AND THEY ALL SIT
AT A ROUNDTABLE.
AND THEY ARE AT A ROUNDTABLE
BECAUSE THEY ARE EQUALS.

An image of a table with a sword in the middle appears on screen. The names of the knights can be read on it: Sir Galahad, Sir Tristram, Sir Gareth, Sir Percivale, Sir Bors de Ganis, Sir Geraint, Sir Kay, Sir Launcelot, Sir Gaheris, Sir Beslivere, Sir Lamorak de Galis, and Sir Gawaine.

Jordan says SO, ALTHOUGH IT'S A
HIERARCHICAL STORY,
THERE'S A MOTIF IN IT THAT
TRANSCENDS THE HIERARCHY.
IT SAYS, WELL, YEAH,
UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES
EVERYONE IS ARRANGED
IN A HIERARCHY,
BUT WHEN YOU ARE OUT TO
SEEK WHATEVER YOU NEED,
THEN EVERYONE IS AN EQUAL.
AND SO, FINE.
SO THEY SIT AT THE
ROUNDTABLE,
AND THEN THEY GO OFF TO
SEARCH FOR THE HOLY GRAIL.
AND THE STORY OPENS WITH
A VERY INTERESTING MOTIF,
WHICH IS, THE KNIGHTS LOOK
AT THE FOREST AND THEN
THEY TRY TO FIND THE PART
THAT LOOKS THE DARKEST,
TO THEM, AND THEN
THEY GO THAT WAY.
THAT'S THE MARKER FOR
THEIR MISSION, RIGHT?
TO GO TO THE
DARKEST PLACE.
AND, OF COURSE, EACH KNIGHT
GOES OFF IN A DIFFERENT
DIRECTION BECAUSE THE WORLD
LOOKS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT
TO EACH KNIGHT, SO
OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING,
THEY ARE GOING TO A
DIFFERENT PLACE,
BUT PSYCHOLOGICALLY
SPEAKING, THEY ARE GOING
TO THE SAME PLACE,
RIGHT, AND THAT PLACE,
I SUPPOSE, HAS BEEN
REPRESENTED IN MYTHOLOGY
AND LITERATURE AS THE
HEART OF DARKNESS.

A picture of Joseph’s Conrad “Heart of Darkness” book appears on screen.

Jordan says AND IF YOU'RE EVER
CURIOUS ABOUT WHY PEOPLE
AREN'T ENLIGHTENED, SINCE IT
SEEMS TO BE A POSSIBILITY,
YOU CAN ALWAYS THINK ABOUT
THE STORY OF KING ARTHUR
AND THE KNIGHTS OF THE
HOLY GRAIL AND THINK, WELL,
DO YOU REALLY WANT TO ENTER THE
FOREST AT THE DARKEST PLACE?
AND THE ANSWER TO THAT
IS, OF COURSE, NO,
BECAUSE THE DARKEST PLACE
MEANS PRECISELY THAT PLACE
YOU LEAST WANT TO GO, AND
IT'S THE SAME FOR EVERYONE.

(music plays)

A caption reads “Episode twelve: Truth that matter.”

The caption changes to “Professor Jordan Peterson. Psychologist. University of Toronto. www.mapsofmeaning.com.”

Jordan says SO THEN I HAVE THIS
LITTLE NEPHEW,
ALTHOUGH HE'S
ALMOST 15 NOW,
HE HAD THIS DREAM WHEN
HE WAS 4 YEARS OLD,
AND THE BACKGROUND
TO THE DREAM IS THIS:
HE WAS WAKING UP IN THE
MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
FOR MONTHS SCREAMING.
HE HAD NIGHT TERRORS.
AND THIS WENT ON FOR,
LIKE, SIX MONTHS,
AND WHAT WAS HAPPENING
IN HIS LIFE WAS TWOFOLD.
THERE WAS SOME
INSTABILITY IN HIS FAMILY,
BECAUSE HIS PARENTS GOT DIVORCED
ABOUT A YEAR AFTER THAT,
AND ALSO HE WAS AT
THE TRANSITION POINT
FROM STAYING AT HOME
TO GOING TO KINDERGARTEN.
SO, YOU KNOW, NOT ONLY WAS
HE MAKING THE BIG MOVE
OUT THERE INTO THE
TERRIBLE WORLD,
BUT THE STABLE POINT
FROM WHICH HE MIGHT LIKE
TO HAVE MOVED WAS SHAKY.
SO, YOU KNOW, HE WASN'T
HAVEN'T THAT GREAT A TIME.
SO ANYWAYS, HE'S SCREAMING
AWAY AT NIGHT AND THIS
IS PRETTY UNSETTLING, RIGHT,
BECAUSE NIGHT TERRORS ARE
NO JOKE, AND SO HE'S
UPSET ABOUT IT.
HIS MOM'S UPSET
ABOUT IT.
AND SO I'M WATCHING
HIM, AND HE'S RUNNING
AROUND THE HOUSE.
HE'S ONLY ABOUT THIS
HIGH, VERY VERBAL KID.
AND HE'S GOT THIS KNIGHT
HAT ON AND THIS SWORD
AND THIS SHIELD, AND HE'S
RUNNING AROUND THE HOUSE
BEING A KNIGHT.
AND AT NIGHT HE TAKES
HIS KNIGHT HAT
AND HIS SHIELD AND
HIS SWORD TO BED.
I THINK, OH, THAT'S
PRETTY COOL,
AND YOU CAN SEE HOW THAT
MAKE SENSE, RIGHT?
AND YOU SEE HOW IT'S AN
ENACTED REALITY,
BECAUSE CHILDREN ENACT
OR ACT OUT THEIR REALITY
BEFORE THEY CAN
EXPLICITLY UNDERSTAND IT,
JUST LIKE WE DO.
AND SO, I'M
STAYING THERE ONE NIGHT.
HE WAKES UP AND
HAS, YOU KNOW,
ONE OF THESE FITS AND
THEN THE NEXT MORNING
HE COMES TO
BREAKFAST AND I SAID,
HEY, DID YOU HAVE
ANY DREAMS LAST NIGHT?
AND HE GOES, “YEAH,
I HAD A DREAM.”
I SAID, WELL, TELL US
THE DREAM, AND THERE'S
SIX ADULTS SITTING
AROUND THE TABLE.
AND THEN HE SAYS, “OKAY,
I WAS OUT IN THIS FIELD
AND I WAS SURROUNDED BY BEAKED
DWARVES AND THEY CAME UP
TO MY KNEES, AND SO THESE
DWARVES, THEY HAD NO ARMS.
THEY JUST HAD SHOULDERS AND
POWERFUL LEGS AND THEY WERE
ALL COVERED WITH HAIR, AND
THEY HAD A CROSS SHAVED
ON THE TOP OF THEIR HEAD,
AND THEY ARE ALL
COVERED WITH GREASE.
AND EVERYWHERE I WENT,
THESE DWARVES
WOULD JUMP UP WITH
THEIR BEAKS AND BITE ME.”
AND WE'RE LOOKING
AT HIM LIKE,
THAT ACCOUNTS FOR
THE NIGHT TERRORS, RIGHT?
AND SO THEN HE SAYS, “YEAH,
AND THERE'S MORE TO IT, TOO.
IF YOU LOOKED IN
THE BACKGROUND,
BEHIND ALL THE DWARVES,
THERE WAS A DRAGON,
WAY IN THE BACKGROUND.
AND IT WAS PUFFING OUT FIRE
AND SMOKE AND EVERY TIME
IT PUFFED OUT FIRE AND
SMOKE, A WHOLE BUNCH MORE
OF THESE DWARVES
WOULD GET MADE.”

An illustration of a seven-headed dragon appears on screen.

Jordan says AND YOU THINK,
THAT'S PRETTY COOL.
THAT'S A HYDRA
STORY, RIGHT?
REMEMBER THE STORY OF THE
HYDRA, CUT OFF ONE HEAD,
TWO MORE GROWS.
IT'S ONE OF
HERCULES' TRIALS,
AND THAT'S AN OBSERVATION
ABOUT THE WORLD, WHICH IS,
YOU SOLVE ONE PROBLEM, AND
LIKE TWO MORE PROBLEMS
POP UP, AND THEN YOU
SOLVE THOSE AND - ANYWAYS,
HE SAYS, “OKAY, WELL, I'VE
GOT THIS DRAGON BACK THERE,”
AND SO THIS IS HIS
PROBLEM, RIGHT?
HE'S BEEN EATEN BY
BEAKED DWARVES AND THAT'S NOT
GOOD, AND THERE'S NOT MUCH
SENSE FIGHTING THEM OFF
BECAUSE THERE'S JUST MORE
OF THEM MADE EVERY TIME
THIS THING LURKING
IN THE BACKGROUND BREATHES.
SO I SAID, WHAT
COULD YOU DO ABOUT THAT?
IT'S LIKE HIS BRAIN WAS
WORKING ALL THESE IDEAS
AROUND AND HE HAD HEARD
LOTS OF DISNEY STORIES AND
HAD LOTS OF BOOKS READ TO
HIM AND HAD ABSTRACTED OUT
A LOT OF INFORMATION,
BUT HE HADN'T QUITE
GOT IT RIGHT AND IT WAS ALL
SEETHING AROUND IN HIS HEAD.
AND I JUST SAID, WELL,
WHAT COULD YOU DO?
TAP.
AND HE WENT, “OH,
I KNOW WHAT I COULD DO.
I COULD TAKE MY SWORD
AND I'D GET MY DAD,”
WHICH IS A GOOD
NOTION, RIGHT?
BECAUSE HE IS SMALL, “AND
THEN I WOULD JUMP UP ON THE
DRAGON AND I'D POP OUT BOTH
OF ITS EYES WITH THE SWORD,
SO IT COULDN'T SEE ME AND
THEN I WOULD GO DOWN
ITS THROAT TO THE BOX
WHERE THE FIRE CAME OUT,
AND THEN I'D CARVE A
PIECE OUT OF THE BOX
AND I WOULD USE
THAT AS A SHIELD.”
AND I THOUGHT, GREAT!
YOU REALLY GOT THE
STORY, AND THE STORY
IS SOMETHING LIKE
THIS, RIGHT?
IF YOU'RE BEING PLAGUED
BY MIDGET DWARVES
AND YOU WIPE THEM OUT AND
THEY KEEP MULTIPLYING, WELL,
YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY AIMING
AT THE WRONG TARGET, RIGHT?
YOU SHOULD BE GOING
TO THEIR SOURCE.
SO HE WENT AFTER
THE DRAGON.
BUT NOT ONLY
AFTER THE DRAGON,
HE WENT RIGHT DOWN
THE THROAT OF THE DRAGON,
WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, A
FAIRLY BRAVE THING TO DO,
AND THEN RIGHT TO THE
PLACE WHERE THE FIRE,
THE TRANSFORMING ELEMENT,
WAS BEING PRODUCED.
AND HE TOOK A PIECE OF
THE DEVICE THAT MADE
THE TRANSFORMING
ELEMENT AND HE USED IT
AS A SHIELD, OKAY.
WELL, THAT'S REALLY COOL AND THE
STORY IS BETTER THAN THAT,
AND IT'S TRUE, EVEN, SO
IT'S NOT ONE OF THOSE FAKE,
HE WAS DREAMING AND
THEN WOKE UP, SORT OF STORIES.
THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
HE DIDN'T HAVE ANYMORE
NIGHTMARES.
SO AND I CHECKED WITH
HIS MOTHER REPEATEDLY
AFTER THAT BECAUSE
I THOUGHT, WELL,
THIS IS TOO GOOD
BE TRUE, RIGHT?
HE'S GOT THIS TERRIBLE
NIGHT TERROR THING.
HE DOES ONE LITTLE
MYTHOLOGICAL DREAM THING
AND, BANG, HE'S BETTER,
BUT THAT'S THE CASE.
HE DIDN'T HAVE ANYMORE
NIGHTMARES AFTER THAT,
AND I THINK THAT'S BECAUSE HE'D
ALMOST ALREADY GOT IT, RIGHT?
HE'S RUNNING
AROUND LIKE A KNIGHT.
HE KNEW ALMOST; IT JUST HAD
TO BE MADE A LITTLE MORE
EXPLICIT, AND NOT
EVEN THAT EXPLICIT,
BECAUSE IT WAS
STILL A STORY.
HE DIDN'T KNOW, YOU SHOULD
GO TO THE SOURCE OF YOUR
ANXIETIES, RIGHT, TO THE
THING THAT PLAGUES YOU
THE MOST AND YOU SHOULD
EXPLORE THAT IN DETAIL
UNTIL YOU FIND THE
INFORMATION THAT IT CONTAINS
THAT WILL PROTECT
YOU AGAINST IT.
HE COULDN'T SAY THAT, BUT
HE COULD TELL THE STORY,
AND HE COULD ACT IT OUT,
AND THAT LOOKED LIKE
IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH.
SO, THAT'S PRETTY COOL.
SO HE BASICALLY, YOU
KNOW, HE MANAGED THIS.
ESSENTIALLY, HE FOUGHT
THE DRAGON OF CHAOS
AND POPPED BACK
UP, AS WHAT?
AS HE WHO CAN OBTAIN VICTORY
OVER THE DRAGON OF CHAOS.
AND THAT'S A PRETTY
GOOD STORY BECAUSE IT SAYS,
WELL, IF YOUR FRAME OF
REFERENCE GETS BLOWN AWAY
BY SOMETHING YOU
DON'T UNDERSTAND,
SOME NEW CHALLENGE, AND
YOU FACE THE CHALLENGE,
AT LEAST COURAGEOUSLY
AND HUMBLY, WHICH MEANS,
YOU KNOW, YOU'RE NOT GOING
TO RUN AWAY AND YOU STILL
HAVE SOMETHING TO LEARN,
THEN YOU CAN EXTRACT SOMETHING
OUT OF THE BATTLE THAT WILL
ENABLE YOU TO WITHSTAND IT.

(music plays)

An illustration of a knight killing a dragon appears on screen.

Jordan says AND YOU THINK, WELL, WHY
SHOULD I BELIEVE THAT'S RIGHT?
AND THE ANSWER
TO THAT WOULD BE, WELL,
DON'T KNOCK IT
UNTIL YOU TRY IT.
AND THE SECOND
ANSWER WOULD BE,
THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE DO
IN CLINICAL PSYCHOTHERAPY
ALL THE TIME, AND THERE'S
ENDLESS AMOUNTS, I THINK,
OF EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE
SAYING THAT YOU BRING
SOMEONE IN, THEY'VE
GOT AN ANXIETY DISORDER,
MAYBE THEY'RE EVEN
DEPRESSED, WHATEVER,
THEY'RE RUNNING AWAY.
YOU SAY, YOU ACTUALLY
DON'T HAVE TO RUN AWAY.
HERE'S WHAT YOU
HAVE TO DO.
YOU HAVE TO BREAK
THE PROBLEM DOWN
INTO LITTLE PIECES,
DIGESTIBLE PIECES,
AND THEN YOU HAVE TO
HIT IT ONE BY ONE.
AND WHAT YOU WILL
DISCOVER IS,
NOT THAT YOU HABITUATE
TO THE ANXIETY,
BECAUSE THAT'S A
SILLY THEORY,
INSTEAD WHAT YOU DISCOVER
IS THAT YOU THOUGHT
YOU WERE THE PERSON WHO
HAD TO RUN AWAY.
BUT IT TURNS OUT, YOU
ARE NOT THE PERSON
WHO HAS TO RUN AWAY.
YOU'RE THE PERSON THAT CAN
STAND THERE WHILE YOU'RE
ANXIOUS AND LEARN
SOMETHING.
AND WHAT YOU MOST
PARTICULARLY LEARN IS THAT
YOU'RE THE PERSON
WHO CAN STAND THERE
WHEN THEY'RE
ANXIOUS AND LEARN.
AND IF YOU'VE
LEARNED THAT,
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE
ANXIOUS ANYMORE,
OR EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY,
IF YOU'RE ANXIOUS,
IT DOESN'T MATTER.
IT DOESN'T MEAN
YOUR LIFE IS OVER.
IT JUST MEANS THAT THERE
YOU ARE ON THE THRESHOLD,
RIGHT, BETWEEN WHAT YOU
KNOW AND WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW,
AND YOU HAVE
SOMETHING TO LEARN.
AND YOU CAN LEARN IT.
AND I THINK THAT'S
WHAT THE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE
SUGGESTS, TOO, BECAUSE YOU
HAVE GOT EDNA FOA'S WORK
WITH POST-TRAUMATIC
STRESS DISORDER VICTIMS,
PRIMARILY WOMEN WHO WERE
VIOLENTLY RAPED,
AND FOA SAYS, WELL, I KNOW
YOU DON'T LIKE TO THINK
ABOUT THE EVENT, AND
IT'S NO BLOODY WONDER,
LOOK WHAT IT DID TO YOU
AND HOW TERRIBLE IT WAS,
BUT IF YOU RE-LIVE IT OVER
AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN
IN YOUR IMAGINATION, IN
AS MUCH DETAIL AS POSSIBLE,
INCLUDING ALL THE
MOTIVATIONAL AND EMOTIONAL
DETAILS - WHICH SHE MEASURES
PSYCHO PHYSIOLOGICALLY -
YOU WILL GET FASTER AND YOU
WILL STAY BETTER LONGER.
AND HER WORK IS
WELL DOCUMENTED.
AND THEN THERE'S ENDLESS
CASES OF EXPOSURE
IN PSYCHOTHERAPY.
YOU CAN CERTAINLY ELIMINATE
SIMPLE PHOBIAS WITHIN
AN HOUR AND EVEN COMPLEX
PHOBIAS LIKE AGORAPHOBIA,
WHICH IS MORE LIKE FEAR
OF EVERYTHING.
IT'S NOT AN
INTRACTABLE DISORDER.
IMAGINE THAT THROUGHOUT
YOUR WHOLE LIFE YOU NEVER
TURNED AWAY FROM A MISTAKE,
NOT EVEN ONCE, NEVER,
SO THAT WHENEVER YOU MADE
A MISTAKE THAT YOU COULD
RECTIFY, YOU DID
RECTIFY IT.
THEN THE QUESTION
WOULD BE, WELL,
WHAT EXACTLY WOULD
YOU BE LIKE?
WOULD YOU BE SUFFERING FROM
ALL YOUR EXISTENTIAL TROUBLE?
WOULD YOU BE
VULNERABLE TO ANXIETY?
WHAT WOULD YOU BE LIKE?

A picture of a bearded man in his seventies appears on screen.

Jordan says AND THEN I THINK, WELL, I
ONLY A COUPLE OF STORIES
LIKE THAT AND THE ONE
THAT I HAVE TOLD YOU
IS THE STORY OF SOLZHENITSYN,
BECAUSE SOLZHENITSYN,
A RUSSIAN NOVELIST,
WAS SITTING IN THE
CONCENTRATION CAMPS IN
THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO,
THINKING, STARVING,
THIS ISN'T SO GOOD.
HOW IN THE WORLD
DID I GET HERE?
AND THE SIMPLE
STORY IS, WELL,
STALIN PUT YOU THERE
AND HE WAS BAD, RIGHT?
END OF STORY.

Black and white images of life in the concentration camps appear on screen.

Jordan says IT'S NOT YOUR PROBLEM;
IT'S STALIN'S PROBLEM.
BUT SOLZHENITSYN SAID,
WELL, THAT DOESN'T
REALLY LEAVE ME ANYTHING
TO DO, RIGHT,
TO CONSTRUE MYSELF AS A
SIMPLE VICTIM OF FATE,
AND I DO HAVE A LOT OF TIME
ON MY HANDS SINCE I'M NOT
REALLY DOING ANYTHING
THAT REQUIRES A TREMENDOUS
AMOUNT OF INTELLECTUAL
EFFORT, LET'S TRY A GAME.
LET'S DO THIS.
LET'S PRETEND THAT THE
REASON THAT THINGS HAPPEN
TO ME THAT I DON'T LIKE,
EVEN TERRIBLE THINGS, SAY,
OR THAT I CAN'T TOLERATE,
IT'S NOT BECAUSE
I'M A VICTIM OF FATE,
EVIL, CRUEL FATE,
BUT BECAUSE THERE'S
SOMETHING I DIDN'T DO.
AND SO SOLZHENITSYN
SAID, WELL,
I'M GOING TO GO BACK
OVER MY WHOLE LIFE, RIGHT,
STEP BY STEP,
DETAIL BY DETAIL,
AND I'M GOING TO TRY TO
REMEMBER EVERY TIME I LET
SOMETHING GO, OR I DIDN'T DO
SOMETHING I WAS SUPPOSED TO,
NOT BECAUSE OF SOME
ADHERENCE TO SOME,
YOU KNOW, ARBITRARY
MORAL CODE.
BECAUSE WE DON'T BELIEVE
IN THOSE ANYWAYS, RIGHT?
BUT JUST BECAUSE
I NOTED THAT,
I CAN TELL WHEN I OWE
A DEBT TO EXISTENCE.
SO THEN YOU LOOK AT
SOLZHENITSYN AND HE SAYS,
OKAY, WELL, SO I SPENT 15
YEARS TRYING TO UNTIE
ALL THE KNOTS THAT I
TIED UP IN MY BRAIN,
AND THE CONSEQUENCE
OF THAT WAS, FIRST,
I STARTED TO NOTICE, THERE
ARE SOME PEOPLE OUT THERE
I REALLY ADMIRED, MAN.
THEY WERE SO TOUGH IT
WAS UNBELIEVABLE.
YOU PUT THEM IN THE
WORST CIRCUMSTANCES
AND THEY DIDN'T
BEND AN INCH.
THEY WERE TOUGH.
AND EVEN THE NASTIEST
PRISON GUARDS AND
ADMINISTRATORS, WELL,
THEY COULD KILL THEM,
THAT'S FOR SURE, BUT THEY
COULDN'T BEND THEM
AND THEY COULDN'T BREAK
THEM, AND I REALLY LEARNED
SOMETHING FROM
THAT, RIGHT?
AND IT'S A GOOD STORY
BECAUSE HE'S IN THE WORST
POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCE,
SO THERE'S KIND OF
NO BOTTOM PAST THAT.
YOU DON'T GET MUCH WORSE THAN
THE GULAG PRISON CAMP, RIGHT?
THAT'S - IT'S COLD.
YOU DON'T GET ANYTHING
TO EAT AND YOU
ARE BEING WORKED
TO DEATH, RIGHT.
FOR SOMETHING POINTLESS,
AND TO SERVE STALIN.
THAT'S THE BOTTOM.
AND HE SAID, EVEN UNDER
THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES,
THERE ARE STILL
PEOPLE WHO COULD THRIVE,
WHO COULD MANIFEST
ADMIRABLE QUALITIES.
HE SAID, ONCE I FIGURED
OUT I WAS WRONG,
I COULD ACTUALLY FIND
THEM AND LEARN FROM THEM.
THEN HE WROTE THIS BOOK,
WHICH YOU KNOW ABOUT,
THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO,
WHICH WAS RELEASED
IN THE WEST AND THEN
CIRCULATED ALL THROUGH
THE SOVIET UNION AND WAS
UNDOUBTEDLY ONE OF THE FACTORS
THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE
DEMISE OF THE SOVIET UNION.

An image of Aleksandr Solzhenitsen’s “The Gulag Archipelago” appears on screen. A picture of the life in the concentration camps illustrates the cover.

Jordan says AND SO THEN YOU
THINK, WELL,
THAT'S PRETTY
INTERESTING, ISN'T IT?
YOU GOT THIS ONE WHACKO ZEK,
RIGHT, RUSSIAN PRISONER,
STARVING TO DEATH,
TATTOOED.
HE SAYS, MAYBE I HAD
SOMETHING TO DO WITH THIS,
BUT HE DIDN'T MEAN IT
IN SOME CASUAL SORT OF,
MAYBE I HAD SOMETHING
TO DO WITH THIS WAY.
HE MEANT, GEEZ, THIS
IS REALLY AWFUL.
IT DOESN'T GET
MUCH WORSE.
MAYBE IT'S MY FAULT.
YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW HOW
IT COULD BE, BUT AFTER ALL,
I'M THE ONE THAT'S
SUFFERING,
SO MAYBE IT WAS ME.
MAYBE I COULD FIX IT.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN
IF I DID?
AND SO HIS CONCLUSION
WAS, AT THE END,
AND IT'S NOT A CONCLUSION
THAT HE REACHED ALONE,
WAS, ONE PERSON WHO STOPS LYING
CAN BRING DOWN A TYRANNY.
AND YOU THINK, THAT'S A
METAPHORICAL STATEMENT, RIGHT?
BECAUSE YOU'RE VICTIM
OF YOUR OWN TYRANNIES,
JUST AS YOU'RE THE
VICTIM OF SOMEONE ELSE'S
TYRANNIES, AND MAYBE IF
YOU STOP LYING,
CONSTRUED IN THIS MANNER
OF SIN OF OMISSION, RIGHT,
DON'T AVOID
ANOMALIES ANYMORE,
BUT CONFRONT THEM HEAD ON,
MAYBE IF YOU QUIT LYING,
WELL, THEN, YOU WOULDN'T
BE VICTIM OF TYRANNY.
MAYBE NO ONE ELSE
WOULD EITHER.

(music plays)

Jordan says THE G.R.E., SAY, THE BAD
EXAM, THAT'S A BAD THING.
BUT IT'S NOT THE
WORST THING.
THE WORST THING IS THE
SORT OF THING THAT KNOCKS
EXISTENTIALISTS
FOR A LOOP, RIGHT?
THE WORST THING IS MORE
LIKE IVAN KARAMAZOV'S
SUFFERING OF INNOCENT
CHILDREN, RIGHT,
THE FACT THAT CHILDREN
ARE TORTURED.

A picture of the cover of Dostowvsky’s “The brothers Karamazov” appears on screen.

Jordan says OR THE WORST THING IS THE
FACT THAT PERFECTLY GOOD
PEOPLE GET SICK AND DIE,
AND SOMETIMES PAINFULLY.
OR THE WORST THING IS,
THERE ARE TYRANTS ALL OVER
THE WORLD AND THEY TORTURE
PEOPLE FOR NO CAUSE,
OR MAYBE EVEN JUST BECAUSE
THEY LIKE TORTURING PEOPLE.
AND THAT'S AN ANOMALY OF
A DIFFERENT ORDER, RIGHT?
IT'S NOT JUST THAT YOU'RE
GOING FROM POINT A TO B
AND SOMETHING YOU
DON'T LIKE HAPPENS.
IT'S MORE LIKE, THERE ARE
SOME ASPECTS OF EXISTENCE
THAT LOOK SO TERRIBLE
IN AND OF THEMSELVES,
ASSOCIATED WITH
OUR VULNERABILITY,
THAT JUST APPREHENDING THEM
MIGHT BE ENOUGH TO KNOCK
THE BOTTOM OUT OF YOUR FAITH
IN ANY FRAME OF REFERENCE.
AND THAT'S A KIND OF
NIETZSCHEAN THEME.
NIETZSCHE SAYS, LOOK, WHEN YOU
ARE GOING FROM POINT A TO B
AND SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS,
SOMETHING YOU DON'T EXPECT,
YOU DON'T GET TO WHERE
YOU WANTED TO GO.
THAT'S BAD.
BUT WHAT'S EVEN WORSE IS,
YOU CAN'T HAVE ANY FAITH
IN THE FRAME OF REFERENCE
THAT YOU WERE USING
BECAUSE IT'S BEEN
INVALIDATED.
BUT WHAT'S EVEN WORSE IS,
YOU PLOUGH YOUR WAY
THROUGH TWO OR THREE
FRAMES OF REFERENCE,
AND THEN YOU START TO
DEVELOP SOME SKEPTICISM
ABOUT FRAMES OF REFERENCE
IN GENERAL, RIGHT?
SO I WAS A SOCIALIST, SAY,
AND THEN I WAS A CATHOLIC,
AND YOU KNOW THEN I
DEVELOPED SOME NEW AGE
PHILOSOPHY, AND NONE
OF THOSE REALLY WORKED.
AND WHAT THAT MADE
ME THINK WAS, WELL,
YOU CAN'T TRUST SOCIALISM.
YOU CAN'T TRUST
CHRISTIANITY,
AND THOSE NEW AGE PEOPLE
ARE CERTAINLY OUT TO LUNCH.
MAYBE YOU CAN'T TRUST
ANY FRAMES OF REFERENCE,
AND THAT'S A REALLY
DEVASTATING DISCOVERY
AND NIETZSCHE ASSOCIATED THAT
WITH THE DEATH OF GOD, RIGHT?
IT'S LIKE, NO FRAMES
OF REFERENCE WORK.
AND THEN YOU HAVE THE
PROBLEM THAT, WELL,
WITHOUT A FRAME OF
REFERENCE, LIFE IS CHAOS
AND CHAOS IS
INTOLERABLE, AND THEREFORE,
LOGICALLY,
LIFE IS INTOLERABLE.
AND I TRIED TO MAKE
CASE FOR YOU, THEN,
AS KIND OF A SIDE
CASE, WHICH WAS,
PEOPLE PROTECT THEIR
IDEOLOGIES BECAUSE THEY
DON'T WANT TO LOSE
THEIR FRAMES OF REFERENCE.
THEY DON'T WANT TO
FALL INTO CHAOS.
BUT THEN THERE'S THIS
ADDITIONAL PROBLEM
WHICH IS THAT YOU CAN DEVELOP
A KIND OF DEEP CYNICISM
ABOUT LIFE IN A SECONDARY
MANNER WHICH IS LIKE
CONSTANT LOSS OF FAITH.
MAYBE WHAT YOU CONCLUDE
UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS,
LIKE THE AGGRESSIVE
CHILD CONCLUDES,
IS THAT FUNDAMENTALLY,
I'M NOT TO BE TRUSTED.
YOU'RE NOT TO
BE TRUSTED.
SOCIETY IS NOT TO
BE TRUSTED,
AND MAYBE THE STRUCTURE
OF THE WORLD AS A WHOLE
ISN'T TO BE TRUSTED.
AND THEREFORE, LOGICALLY,
YOU'RE MORE OR LESS
OBLIGATED TO WORK
AGAINST IT.
AND SO THEN YOU HAVE
A NICE SUB-STORY
FOR THE PROPAGATION
OF EVIL, WHICH IS, WELL,
WE LIKE TO HAVE OUR
IDEOLOGICAL FRAMES OF REFERENCE
RETAINED, AND THAT
GIVES US AMPLE REASON
TO SQUASH ANYONE
THAT'S DIFFERENT,
BUT THEN THERE'S
THIS ADDITIONAL REASON,
WHICH IS, WHEN YOU
GET RIGHT DOWN TO IT,
THINGS ARE PRETTY
BLOODY AWFUL AND MAYBE
THE SENSIBLE THING TO
DO IS TO JUST WORK
FOR THE ANNIHILATION
OF THINGS, AND I THINK
WE'VE HAD ENDLESS EXAMPLES OF
PEOPLE WHO DID PRECISELY THAT
IN THE 20TH CENTURY AND
ALMOST GOT AWAY WITH IT.
IN CASE YOU'RE TEMPTED NOT
TO TAKE THIS SUFFICIENTLY
SERIOUSLY, RIGHT?

A picture of Stalin lighting a pipe appears on screen.

Jordan says WE KNOW THAT STALIN,
IN ALL LIKELIHOOD,
WHO I THINK YOU COULD
MAKE A CASE FOR BEING,
IF NOT THE MOST EVIL MAN
THAT EVER LIVED,
CERTAINLY THE MOST EVIL MAN
THAT LIVED THIS CENTURY,
AND THAT'S REALLY
A HIGH HONOUR, RIGHT?
BECAUSE HE WAS UP AGAINST
SOME REALLY TOP CONTENDERS.
WE KNOW, AS A CONSEQUENCE
OF RECENTLY RELEASED KGB
DOCUMENTS, THAT HE WAS
PROBABLY GEARING UP TO
START THE THIRD WORLD WAR,
AND NOT ONE OF THESE LITTLE
HALF RATE, YOU KNOW, LITTLE
LOCAL THIRD WORLD WARS.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE
WHOLE H-BOMB EXCHANGE THING
DESIGNED TO ERADICATE,
YOU KNOW, THE U.S. FOR SURE,
BUT ALSO THE
SOVIET UNION.
AND, WELL, MERE
TERRITORIALITY ISN'T ENOUGH
TO ACCOUNT FOR THAT.
BUT THEN MAYBE YOU CAN
SEE STALIN'S POINT, RIGHT?
LIKE TOLSTOY COULD
SEE IT, YOU KNOW?
IF LIFE IS REALLY SO
AWFUL AT BOTTOM,
WHICH THERE ARE
PERSPECTIVES FROM WHICH
THAT CERTAINLY
SEEMS TO BE THE CASE,
THEN WHY BOTHER HAVING
IT AROUND AT ALL?
WELL, YOU KNOW, THAT'S A
PRETTY DISMAL PERSPECTIVE.
SO, THAT'S A REAL
ANOMALY, RIGHT?

A portrait of Adam and Eve appears on screen.

Jordan says THAT'S NOT ONE OF
THESE LITTLE SECOND RATE,
YOU'LL GET OVER IT IN A
MONTH OR TWO ANOMALIES.
THIS IS THE SORT OF ANOMALY
THAT'S LAID OUT IN GENESIS
WHERE ADAM AND EVE
DISCOVERED THAT THEY
ARE MORTAL, VULNERABLE.
THEY'RE GOING TO DIE.
THAT REALLY TAKES
THE SHINE OFF EXISTENCE.
OUT OF PARADISE THEY GO.
THEY WANDER AROUND THE PLANET
FOR THE REST OF HISTORY,
YOU KNOW, WORKING
THEMSELVES TO DEATH
AND BEING MISERABLE
AND KILLING EACH OTHER,
AND THAT'S BASICALLY THE
STORY THAT'S LAID OUT
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.
AND VIEWED FROM THAT
PERSPECTIVE, WELL,
IT'S NOT PRECISELY
AN EMPIRICAL DESCRIPTION
OF THE BIG BANG, SAY, BUT
IT'S NOT A BAD DESCRIPTION
OF THE NATURE OF
HUMAN EXISTENCE.
AND IT'S PRETTY DISMAL.

(music plays)

Jordan says THERE'S AN ESSENTIAL
SYMBOLIC RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE INGESTION OF
FOOD AND ITS TRANSFORMATIVE
CAPACITIES AND THE
INGESTION OF IDEAS AND
THEIR TRANSFORMATIVE
CAPACITY, AND WHAT HAPPENS
WHEN ADAM AND EVE
EAT THIS FRUIT
WHICH THEY'RE NOT
SUPPOSED TO EAT
IS THAT THEY LEARN THAT
THEY'RE GOING TO DIE.
AND THAT SCREWS
UP PARADISE.
AND IN CASE YOU JUST
THINK I'M MAKING THIS UP,
WHICH WOULD BE, YOU KNOW,
KIND OF ANNOYING,
THEN YOU WANT TO LOOK
AT THIS PICTURE,
WHICH IS FROM THE
14TH CENTURY,
AND IT'S REALLY A
REMARKABLE PICTURE.

Jordan puts a picture on the projector.

He says SO WHAT YOU'VE GOT IN THE
MIDDLE HERE IS THE TREE
OF FRUIT OF THE KNOWLEDGE
OF GOOD AND EVIL,
AND YOU HAVE GOT
EVE OVER HERE.
AND YOU HAVE GOT
THE CHURCH HERE.
NOW, WHAT YOU
SEE HAPPENING,
YOU HAVE GOT TO LOOK REALLY
CAREFULLY AT THIS TREE,
BECAUSE THE FIRST
THING YOU SEE IS,
IT'S GOT THE SNAKE
WRAPPED AROUND IT.
THIS AGENT OF
TRANSFORMATION, RIGHT,
WHO IS ASSOCIATED
WITH SATAN.
AND THEN UP IN THE
BRANCHES YOU HAVE APPLES
AND YOU HAVE SKULLS.
AND THEN IF YOU
LOOK AT EVE HERE,
SHE'S GOT GRAPES HERE,
AND A SKULL IN HER HAND.
AND WHAT THIS ARTIST IS
TRYING TO INDICATE
IS THAT THERE'S THIS TIGHT
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
EVE TEMPTING ADAM TOWARDS
HIGHER KNOWLEDGE
AND DELIVERING
HIM DEATH.
SO THAT'S A PRETTY DISMAL
STORY AND ALL THE PEOPLE
OVER HERE ON THE LEFT SIDE,
ALL THESE UNHAPPY PEOPLE,
ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
LIVING CHAOS AND MISERY
AS A CONSEQUENCE
OF BEING - OF HAVING
THEIR VULNERABILITY
REVEALED TO THEM.
AND THAT'S THE NEGATIVE
SIDE OF THE STORY.
BUT THEN THERE'S THE
POSITIVE SIDE OF THE STORY
OVER HERE, AND IT'S JUST
AS COMPLICATED.
AND THAT'S PARTLY WHY IT'S
EXPRESSED IN IMAGISTIC FORM.
SO YOU HAVE GOT
THE CHURCH HERE,
SYMBOLIZED AT LEAST
IN PART AS MARY,
AND SHE'S HANDING
OUT SOMETHING, TOO.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT THOSE,
THEY'RE LITTLE ROUND
CIRCLES WITH
CROSSES ON THEM,
AND WHAT THOSE ARE,
ARE HOSTS, HOSTS.
THEY'RE THE SYMBOLS
OF TRANSFORMATION
PARTICULARLY IN
CATHOLICISM.
NOW, THAT'S A VERY
COMPLICATED IDEA
AND THIS IS THE IDEA.

Another picture appears on the screen.

He says IT'S SOMETHING LIKE THIS.
AT CHRIST'S LAST SUPPER,
BEFORE HE WAS CRUCIFIED,
HE TOLD HIS DISCIPLES THAT
THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE
TO INGEST HIM, RIGHT?
HE GAVE THEM WINE
AND BREAD,
AND THE WINE WAS BLOOD
AND THE BREAD WAS FLESH.
AND WHAT'S THE IDEA?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN
TO INCORPORATE SOMEONE?
IT MEANS TO EMBODY THEM.
THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS.
AND THIS IMAGISTIC,
RITUALISTIC PROCESS
IS THE NOTION THAT IN
ORDER TO ATTAIN REDEMPTION,
IT'S NECESSARY
TO EMBODY THE HERO,
AND THAT'S KIND OF
WHAT THIS PICTURE
IS TRYING TO PORTRAY.
IT SAYS, OKAY, WELL YOU'VE
GOT THIS DEATH APPLE OVER
ON THE LEFT-HAND SIDE
AND THAT'S NOT SO GOOD.
AND YOU NEED AN
ANTIDOTE TO IT.
AN ANTIDOTE IS WHATEVER
THIS REPRESENTS.
WHATEVER THIS REPRESENTS.
AND YOU SEE UP IN
THE TREE HERE,
THERE'S ALL THESE
HOSTS HANGING.
NOW, THE HOSTS ARE
REPRESENTATIVE OF CHRIST,
AND FOR COMPLICATED REASONS,
THEY'RE MADE OUT OF WHEAT, SAY,
AND PARTLY THE REASON THEY
ARE MADE OUT OF WHEAT
IS BECAUSE, IF YOU
LOOK AT HERO GODS
PRIOR TO CHRISTIANITY,
YOU SEE THAT WHEAT WAS OFTEN
CONCEPTUALIZED AS A DYING
AND REDEEMED GOD, RIGHT?

A picture of a chalice next to a loaf of bread appears on screen.

Jordan says BECAUSE IT WOULD DIE IN THE
WINTER AND THEN BE REBORN
IN THE SPRING, JUST LIKE
ALL PLANTS ARE,
AND THE NOTION OF THE DYING
AND REDEEMING - THE DYING
AND RESURRECTING HERO WAS
KIND, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY,
LAYERED ON TOP OF THAT
OLDER AGRARIAN IDEA AND ALL
MIXED TOGETHER AND IT
SORT OF POPPED OUT
IN THIS IDEA OF
THE HOST.
AND SO THE IDEA HERE IS THAT
WHATEVER AILS HUMAN BEINGS,
WHICH IS THEIR KNOWLEDGE
OF VULNERABILITY AND DEATH,
CAN BE RECTIFIED
BY THEIR INCORPORATION
OF WHATEVER
THIS SYMBOL REPRESENTS.
AND THEN YOU MIGHT ASK,
WHAT EXACTLY DOES THAT
SYMBOL REPRESENT?
AND OF COURSE THE STANDARD
CHRISTIAN ANSWERS TO THAT
AND THE STANDARD
CHRISTIAN ANSWERS ARE,
WELL, IT REPRESENTS
YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST, SAY.
BUT THAT'S NOT A
VERY USEFUL ANSWER,
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.
SO LET'S LOOK AT IT IN A LITTLE
BIT MORE COMPLICATED WAY.
IT'S NOT A USEFUL
ANSWER, I THINK,
BECAUSE IT'S TOO
SECTARIAN, RIGHT?
IT EXCLUDES MANY, MANY
PEOPLE, THIS NOTION.
THERE'S A WHOLE FORMALISM
THAT YOU HAVE TO BUY INTO
TO EVEN GET ACCESS TO
WHAT THAT STORY MEANS.
AND IT'S AN UNFORTUNATE
FORMALISM BECAUSE,
FIRST OF ALL, I THINK IT'S
MORE APPROPRIATE
TO AN EARLIER TIME AND
PLACE, AND SECOND OF ALL,
BECAUSE I THINK WE ARE
ACTUALLY SOPHISTICATED
ENOUGH NOW INTELLECTUALLY,
PSYCHOLOGICALLY,
TO ACTUALLY START TO
UNDERSTAND WHAT SOME
OF THESE STORIES MEAN.
AND SINCE WE HAVE
REASONABLY WELL-DEVELOPED
BRAINS AND WE MIGHT
AS WELL USE THEM,
IT WOULD BE BETTER IF
THEY WERE ON OUR SIDE,
SO TO SPEAK, THAN
CONSTANTLY CONSPIRING
TO UNDERMINE OUR FAITH.

(music plays)

A picture of a chalice full of hosts appears on screen.

Jordan says LET'S LOOK AT WHAT
A PERSON IS LIKE.
AND A PERSON IS SORT OF JUST
AS COMPLICATED AS AN OBJECT,
WHICH IS NOT THAT SURPRISING
BECAUSE THERE'S AN ASPECT
OF US THAT IS OBJECT
LIKE, RIGHT?
OUR OBJECTIVE BEING.
AND WE KNOW PEOPLE ARE
UNBELIEVABLY COMPLICATED.
THEY HAVE NERVOUS SYSTEMS
THAT HAVE MORE CONNECTIONS
IN THEM THAN THERE ARE
SUBATOMIC PARTICLES
IN THE UNIVERSE,
JUST FOR STARTERS.
AND SO THAT MEANS THAT WHEN YOU
ARE LOOKING AT ANOTHER PERSON,
YOU'RE LOOKING AT SOMETHING
THAT'S MORE COMPLICATED
THAN ANYTHING ELSE
THAT EXISTS ANYWHERE,
INCLUDING THE SUM TOTAL OUT
OF EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS
EVERYWHERE, EXCEPT
OTHER PEOPLE.
MORE COMPLEX
THAN EVERYTHING.
AND THEN YOU HAVE TO
UNDERSTAND, TOO,
THAT JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T
THINK OF YOURSELF THAT WAY
DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE
NOT THAT WAY.
IT JUST MEANS THAT YOUR
CONSCIOUS MIND,
YOUR RATIONAL MIND, SAY,
ISN'T SOPHISTICATED
ENOUGH TO ACTUALLY COMPLETELY
MODEL WHO OR WHAT YOU ARE.
AND THAT'S OBVIOUS BECAUSE
THAT'S WHY WE STUDY OURSELVES.
WE DON'T KNOW
WHO WE ARE.
WE ARE TRYING TO
FIGURE IT OUT.
WE HAVE BEEN TRYING
TO FIGURE IT OUT
EVER SINCE WE WOKE UP SOME
THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO.
WE DON'T KNOW WHEN.
AND YOU THINK, WELL, IF
YOU LOOK AT PEOPLE, WELL,
YOU KNOW, THERE'S THE
KIND OF OBVIOUS LEVEL YOU SEE
PEOPLE AT, THE SELF LEVEL,
WHICH IS THE PRIVILEGED LEVEL
OF ANALYSIS FOR THE WEST, BUT
YOU'RE MEMBER OF A FAMILY.
AND IF I SAID, ARE YOU
MORE YOURSELF OR YOUR FAMILY?
YOU MIGHT SAY, WELL,
MOST OF THE TIME
I THINK I'M MORE MYSELF,
BUT I MIGHT BE WILLING
TO SACRIFICE MY LIFE
FOR MY CHILD'S.
IN WHICH CASE, I
WOULD SAY, THEN,
YOU'RE JUST AS MUCH YOUR
CHILD AS YOU ARE YOU,
OR MAYBE YOU'RE EVEN
MORE YOUR CHILD.
AND WHAT ABOUT
YOUR FAMILY?
WELL, THAT'S A TOUGH
QUESTION, TOO.
AND THEN WHAT ABOUT
YOUR CULTURAL GROUP?
WELL, YOU'D SAY, NO, IT'S
ME, NOT MY CULTURAL GROUP.
BUT THEN I'D SAY, WELL,
WHAT IF THERE'S A WAR?
IS IT YOU OR YOUR
CULTURAL GROUP?
AND THEN YOU'LL SAY, WELL,
IT'S MY CULTURAL GROUP.
AND THEN YOU SEE, AS
WELL, WELL, AT THIS LEVEL
OF ANALYSIS, ARE YOU
YOUR BIOLOGICAL GROUP?
IS THAT WHAT YOU
IDENTIFY WITH?
THE BIOSPHERE, SAY?
SAY, WELL, NO,
NOT GENERALLY,
BUT THERE'S A LOT OF
ENVIRONMENTALISTS OUT THERE
AND THEY SAY, WELL,
WHAT WE SHOULD PRIMARILY
BE CONCERNED WITH
IS THE GLOBAL HEALTH
OF THE PLANET, BECAUSE OUR
SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON THAT.
WE'RE AS MUCH THAT
AS WE ARE THE SELF.
AND YOU MIGHT NOT
AGREE WITH THAT,
AND I SUSPECT THAT MOST OF THE
TIME THERE'S SCREWY REASONS
FOR PROPOSING SUCH A THING,
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND,
A CASE CAN BE MADE.
I MEAN, WE KNOW THAT YOU
CAN UNDERMINE YOUR ECOSYSTEMS.
IT HAPPENED IN SPAIN.
400 YEARS AGO, THEY LET THE
SHEEP EAT EVERYTHING
AND SO SPAIN TURNED
INTO A DESERT.
DOESN'T SEEM LIKE A
PARTICULARLY WISE MOVE.
AND THEN YOU THINK, WELL,
BELOW THE PHENOMENAL-LOGICAL
LEVEL, THERE'S ALL THESE
SUB-ELEMENTS OF YOU:
YOUR PHYSIOLOGICAL
STRUCTURE,
YOUR CELLULAR STRUCTURE,
YOUR ATOMIC STRUCTURE;
IT'S AMENABLE TO
INFINITE INVESTIGATION,
ABSOLUTELY COMPLEX.
YOU'LL NEVER EXHAUST IT
IF YOU INVESTIGATE IT,
AND IT'S PERFECTLY
REASONABLE TO PRE-SUPPOSE
THAT YOU'RE ALL
THESE THINGS.
HOW DOES IT CHANGE THE
WORLD IF YOU STOP THINKING
ABOUT IT AS MADE
OF OBJECTS?
BUT INSTEAD, MADE OF
YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE?
AND HOW DOES IT CHANGE THE
WORLD IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE
AN ETHICAL RELATIONSHIP
TO THAT EXPERIENCE
THAT'S A PRIMARY FACT, NOT
SOME SECONDARY DERIVATIVE?
SO PRIMARY A FACT THAT
YOU CAN'T EVEN LOOK AT
THE WORLD EXCEPT
THROUGH AN ETHICAL LENS.
PRIMARY FACT.
HOW DOES THAT CHANGE THE WAY
YOU CONCEPTUALIZE YOURSELF
IN RELATIONSHIP
TO THE WORLD?
I DON'T KNOW.

Music plays.

The end credits roll.

Written and presented by Professor Jordan Peterson.

Producer, Wodek Szemberg.

Series producer, Dan Dunsky.

Executive producer, Rudy Buttignol.

CEP Local 72M.

Canadian Media Guild. TNG Canada. CWA.

TV ONtario. TFO. TVO. ILC.

A production of TV Ontario.

The Ontario Educational Communications Authority. 2004.

Watch: Truths That Matter