Friday, April 22, 2022

On Becoming The Person You’ve Always Wanted To Be

     Below is a transcript from imho an excellent, valuable interview containing important points that our anemic culture knows or cares little about YET is vitally important to every one of us:

1) Most people enjoy light, upbeat music (stories, movies, plays, books, etc), and tend to criticize music outside of that comfort-zone as depressing, "too deep for me," or confusing. Most of us are acclimatized to our stunningly shallow, consumer society. Immediately following 9/11, Americans were encouraged by their president to "go shopping" to show the world what they're made of! While many went shopping with patriotic fervor; history will find such blissful ignorance impossible to comprehend.

2) We see discomfort as a violation of our basic human rights, and respond to deep suffering with strong aversion, anger, & try every possible escape: an endless array of distractions, suppression, alcohol, drugs - prescribed & otherwise, possibly ending in depression, bitterness & cynicism. Yet hardships & pain are not meaningless punishments. Like everything else in life, they're to learn from, to help us evolve. Most people simply can't handle this last point, so they choose to rail against this reality. Arguing with reality is choosing to suffer needlessly. The infinitely wiser alternative is to relax our ego & body, and humbly learn all the deep lessons being offered. There's absolutely no comparison between these two approaches, yet most of us will absolutely exhaust the first, before trying the second out of shear desperation & utter fatigue.

3) Even psychosocial-spiritually-evolved human beings can & do have all sorts of hardships, including prolonged severe physical pain eg Buddha, Jesus, and in current times, Adyashanti, Jordan Peterson, etc. This can be a shockingly unpleasant surprise, at a time when we may have (prematurely) assumed that we've already 'processed' enough pain, suffering & even heavy "dark nights of the soul." But, as long as we're alive, learning - at times from very hard lessons - continues.

4) We mistakenly assume that happiness comes only after we're finished climbing up the mountain, but as long as we live, we can and need to grow. With age, growth clearly becomes increasingly internal ie integrating our values more & more completely into our lived experience ie intention, speech & other behaviors. The quality of happiness we experience also changes, becoming progressively more subtle, deep, independent of external circumstances & independent of others' opinions. Happiness feels more & more like home, equanimity, peace, silence & stillness (not the brief 'sugar-high' of winning a lottery).

     Steven Bartlett asked Jordan B. Peterson, ‘How are you doing?’ Peterson responded,
Brilliantly and terribly. You know, when you listen to a profound piece of music, one that sort of spans the whole emotional experience, it’s not happy. Happy is elevator music. Probably, you shouldn’t listen to that at all. And you think, ‘Why?’ Well, it’s harmless, treacly, sweet, simple, lacks depth, it’s shallow – that’s a problem. It doesn’t have that deep sense of awe & horror, I would say, that’s characteristic of the best of all music.
     You know, you listen to some so-called 'simple music' – Hank Williams is a good example. You know the blues cowboy from the 1950s, who died of alcoholism when he was 27, and whose voice sounds like an 80-year-old man. Simple melody, you know, but there’s nothing simple in the song and in the voice. It’s deep. You know it’s like black blues in the States from the 1920s. He was certainly influenced by that tradition. There’s this admission of a deep suffering at the same time as you get the beautiful transcendence of the music. And that’s meaning, you know, that’s awe-ful in the most fundamental sense but, you need an antidote to suffering, and it has to be deep. And deep moves you tectonically and it’s not a trivial thing. But that’s better than happiness. And maybe, if you’re lucky, while pursuing that and while you’re immersed in it, you get to be happy. And you should fall on your knees and be grateful that when it happens. You know it’s a gift. It really is a gift. And it comes upon you unexpectedly – your happiness, you know. But you aim to climb uphill to the highest peak you can possibly envision. And that’s better than happiness

I go in the world, people come up to me and, I wouldn’t say they’re happy to see me. They’re often in tears, and they often have a pretty rough story to relate – they were suicidal, or nihilistic, or homicidal, or trapped, desperate. And they tell me that, real fast. And then they say, ‘I’ve overcome that to a large degree, and thank you for that. And then you think, well that’s really something, to have that happen over & over. In some ways you might think, well how can anything better possibly happen to you, than to have people come up to you all over the world, strangers, and open themselves up to you like that, like they’re old friends, so quickly? But at the same time, it’s an awful thing, because you see even in the revelation of their triumph, the initial depth of their despair. So I wouldn’t change that. But it’s not nothing. It’s certainly not just happiness. It’s better than happiness, but it’s almost unbearable."

Q: "Why do you do what you do?"
     “To see what will happen. Some programs you cannot predict. You cannot predict how they’re going to end. You have to run them. Well, I believe that truth will save the world. I believe that. So you speak truthfully, and you watch what happens. And you take your consequences. And maybe you hope and have some faith that, in the final analysis, things will work out in your favor, but perhaps they will and perhaps they won’t. But that’s faith, eh? That’s faith. Faith isn’t believing in things that you regard as ridiculous, sacrificing your intellect. It’s a decision. Will truth, beauty & love save the world? Well, you can find out.
     Jordan Peterson: How To Become The Person You’ve Always Wanted To Be | E113 EXCELLENT INTERVIEW well worth investing
1hr 6min of time

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