Monday, 26 March 2018

Jeff Salzmann critiquing Jordan Peterson on the Daily Evolver

Jeff Salzman of The Daily Evolver and Integral theory thinks Jordan Peterson is a "traditionalist" which is two or three stages behind integral as a development. I disagree.

Here's the link to Jeff's piece -

Jeff (JS) says Jordan Peterson (JP) is "traditional" and believes in "good and evil". But he's also "modern", and "green". And then he admits that JP may be integral, but isn't using the right words. Kind of patronising. I wonder how much JS has read or listened to. He seems to have read "12 Rules" - with none of which I disagree, especially don't bother children when they're skateboarding, and put your own house in order. Not sure about stroking cats, but I don't know what he's referring to, which is apparently rule 12.

And JS misses what JP is really saying about religion and myth.

JP talks about development theory (e.g. Piaget). Just because he's never heard of or refers to Ken Wilber and Integral Theory doesn't mean he's not integral. (And Integral doesn't necessarily have all the answers - assume everyone you talk to knows something you don't - rule #4 or something).

Is JS just hung up on JP's language? The first thing I picked up on when reading Ken Wilber 15 years ago was his attack on post-modernism, moral relativity, boomeritis, flatland - all the things which JP is attacking. He's not traditional (even if JS cannot get past his language) - he's post-post modern, just like the rest of us. He's saying we cannot live without values and meaning.

Is Integral (a la JS) in danger of being worshipped as an ideology?

Does KW/JS have a problem with JP's idea that hierarchies are a) natural and b) do actually reflect reality? (i.e. that people rise to the top of hierarchies because of virtue (in a genuinely equal opportunity situation, which of course begs a lot of questions).)

He DOESN'T say make a religion of your ideology (if anything, he says that's the problem with SJWs and post-modernism).

JS doesn't think the jihadis (et al) are like the Huns and Vandals. Or he thinks they're unimportant / irrelevant. There are an awful lot of (potential) jihadis out there - the poor and dispossessed of the world, who may not want to be reasoned with, and may be losing patience with things as they are (even if they have no idea where to go other than backwards).

And I would give JP 8/10 on the Integral Level score card (as displayed in the video) - I think he is precisely everybody's friend and no-one's fool. He's attacking post-modernism and Marxism, not people. And is prepared to talk / argue with anyone / everyone.

I doubt that JP has ever hit anyone. That's not his point. He's saying we have a very deep in-built cultural bias against hitting women, but not men. So that men are thereby constrained when arguing with men (don't behave outrageously, because that may end in violence). And yes, we can walk away from crazy people, but in today's interconnected always on world, where people are screaming Nazi and other abuse, how do you deal with that, and the lies they peddle, which are believed. I have lost count of the number of people who tell me JP is a right wing ideologue, who have never listened to or read anything by him, but believe the abuse that is thrown at him on the internet. How do you counter that? KW and JS don't get that reaction (I think / assume, if they do it's very low key) because they don't have a million hits on their youtube videos.

Will there be no police in the integral kingdom? Will everyone be nice? (Part 2, 43 mins)

"Its truer than true, it's true with a capital T" (Christianity) says Jeff, but criticises JP for saying the same thing, but being honest and humble enough not to know exactly how one squares the Truth with scientific truth (and is also maybe being very careful with the sensitivities of his audience). JP's key point is that myth encapsulates the accumulated wisdom of humanity from very early times - it cannot be taken literally, it's possible for example that no such person as Christ ever existed, but the figure of Christ represents an ideal, a way of being, that we can aspire to.

Jeff says he knows how Christianity is true (and all other religions) - has he seen the light? Jeff and I may have an idea how to integrate Christianity into our lives, world view, integral philosophy, but I think this statement ("I know") is on a par with JP's tweet about slapping the book reviewer for calling him a fascist mystic. BTW, why is JP a "fascist" mystic? And I didn't know Jung was a fascist. Ban all uses of the word Nazi or fascist from intelligent discourse, please. Does JP want to gas Jews?

52 minutes - right on. Why does JS think that JP thinks we should take it literally - where does he say this (or even imply it)? JP is arguing for a much richer understanding of the myth than I think JS allows.

The virgin birth is (maybe) equally about the creation itself - the Big bang - something from nothing. And the cosmos is our divine mother inseminated by the creator, whatever he/she/it is.

56 mins. Why does JS think JP doesn't think evolution is continuing? JP talks all the time about our needing to be our own hero, about straddling the boundary between where we have come from, the known, and where we are going, the unknown. Not hiding in the known, cosy, but going on this great adventure - isn't that what Integral is all about?

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