Jordan Peterson - on his youthful dilema
I don’t know how these things where causally related, I guess it was because I was trying to figure out who I was and how that could be fixed – something like that. I started to pay very careful attention to what I was saying. I don’t know whether that happened voluntarily or involuntarily but I could feel a sort of split developing in my psyche – a split into two let’s say, and one was let’s say the ‘old me’ that was talking a lot and that liked to argue and that liked ideas.
And there was another part that was watching that part, like just with its eyes open and neutrally judging, and the part that was neutrally judging was watching the part that was talking and going that isn’t your idea, you don’t really believe that, you don’t really know what you’re talking about, that isn’t true. And I thought, hmm, that’s really interesting – and that was happening to 95% of what I was saying, and so then I didn’t really know what to do. So I thought okay this is strange, maybe I’ve fragmented and that’s just not a good thing at all – I mean it wasn’t like I was hearing voices or anything like that, it wasn’t like that. People have multiple parts.
So then I had this weird conundrum – it was like, well which of these two things are me? Is it the part that’s listening and saying no that’s rubbish, that’s a lie, you’re doing that to impress people, you’re just trying to win the argument. Was that me or was the part that was going about my normal verbal business me, and I didn’t know but I decided I would go with the critic. And then what I tried to do, what I learned to do I think, was to stop saying things that made me weak, and I’m still trying to do that because I’m always feeling when I talk whether or not the words that I am saying are either making me align or making me come apart. And I really do think the alignment - I think alignment is really is the right way of conceptualising it because if you say things that are as true as you can say them, let’s say, then they come up out of the depths inside of you.
Because we don’t know where thoughts come from, we don’t know how far down into your sub-structure thoughts emerge, we don’t know what process of physiological alignment are necessary for you to speak from the core of your being. We don’t understand any of that, we don’t even conceptualise that. I believe you can feel that and I learnt some of that from reading Carl Rogers who’s a great clinician because he talked about mental health in part as the coherence between the spiritual or the abstract and the physical and that the two things were aligned. And there’s a lot of idea of alignment in psychoanalytic and clinical thinking.
But anyway I decided I would start practicing not saying things that would make me weak and what happened was that I had to stop saying almost everything that I was saying - I would say 95% of it. It’s a hell of a shock to wake up and realise you’re mostly dead wood! It’s a shock, and you know you might think do you really want all that to burn off? Well there’s nothing left but a little husk – 5% of you, its like well if that 5% is solid then maybe that’s exactly what you want to have happen.
This Thing Called You - Ernest Holmes
The greatest minds of the ages have accepted that such a pattern exists. Socrates called it his spirit, Jesus his Father in Heaven. Some ancient mystics called it Atman. Why don't you call it just you, your complete self? For surely this is what they all have meant.
Just try to catch the larger vision and realize that there have been and are people, many of them, who have wooed and wed some invisible Presence until Its atmosphere and essence have become woven into the fabric of their own existence. Every man is a doorway, as Emerson said, through which the Infinite passes into the finite, through which God becomes man, through which the Universal becomes individual.
You are to believe with utmost simplicity and with complete faith that there is a pattern of your being, or a real spirit of you, which is as eternal as God, as indestructible as Reality, and as changeless as Truth. This pattern is seeking to manifest through you. Back of it is all the will and purpose of the universe, all the irresistible laws of being. Finally it will win.
It is because it is there that you have these irresistible urges—the longing to live more fully, the feeling that life belongs to you. There is something within you beyond all doubt and fear, something which has never been limited by your acts or destroyed by your feeling. This is the only something that can make you whole.