Author Topic: Jordan Peterson's Lectures on the Psychological Significance of Biblical Stories  (Read 256 times)

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Kind of a left field post here. Professor Jordan Peterson has been posting a series of lectures on youtube discussing the psychological significance of biblical stories. I’m an atheist, and have attempted to read the bible before just out of historical interest, but never made it more than a few pages into Genesis. Here, in his first biblical lecture ‘Introduction to the Idea of God’, Peterson hits on something completely captivating in comparing religion to a dream that unfolds and slowly informs of us about life. This thing totally turned me on in terms of getting me to regard the bible's stories as meaningful (again, from a secular point of view), and pay attention to their dramaturgical worth. The goal of these lectures Peterson is producing isn’t Christian indoctrination, but rather a moving away from ideology towards less articulated aspects of the human experience that can be ignored in favor of limiting logical frameworks or concrete definition.

Peterson's explanation of the significance of the stories and of storytelling reminds me of the philosophical perspective of Andrei Tarkovsky -- it's a perspective related to the reasons why some people treat cinema like a religion: images and dream-like structures may actually provide something as spiritually nourishing as a more conscious framework by which to live.

I can’t adequately summarize his thoughts, and I'm not doing them justice. I urge you to watch at least the beginning, and to think of what he’s attempting as a more sophisticated anecdote to Joseph Campbell's work. Try to make it into the video 10 minutes…then 30…then see if it’s for you.

Some say that art helps man to know the world like any other intellectual activity. I don’t believe in this possibility of knowing. I am almost an agnostic. Knowledge distracts us from our main purpose in life. The more we know, the less we know: getting deeper, our horizon becomes narrower…

Here’s a playlist containing all 14 lectures on the biblical stories he’s produced so far.


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