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  • you're here.

  • No, that's now.

  • How do I know that I'm actually live people?

  • Hey, guys, can you hear me?

  • Hi, everyone.

  • Good to see you.

  • So I'm a little on that tired side tonight, so I'm going to start with relatively straightforward question.

  • Somebody asked, What's up with all the Lenin pictures in your house?

  • And then how is it to look at them every day?

  • Well, about in 2000 and one In a fit of manic collective insanity, I decided to start seeing if I could find Soviet era artifacts online, mostly through eBay.

  • I had read a paper by James Pennebaker, who claimed that past events start to become historically significant about 15 years after the after the relevant event.

  • And so 2001 was 15 years after they fought essentially after the fall of the Berlin Wall are close enough.

  • And so I started looking on eBay to see what sort of Soviet artifacts might be able to find.

  • First of all, I was kind of curious about what would be available for purchase, and I also thought it was deeply ironic that the most free market of new call platforms ever devised, which would be eBay could now be used to scavenge communist era artifacts from Russia.

  • You know, it just seemed like to be someone who was raised during the Cold War, the fact that that that I could buy things like heads of Lenin on even it was just too comical to not to pass up.

  • And so I started buying things that I had some familiarity with because of what I read historically.

  • And the first thing I thought was about a three by five silk flag that was awarded to a factory for meeting its five year production quarter.

  • I don't know what you know about those infamous quotas, but what would happen is that there were Dichter sent down on high about how much factories were supposed to produce and the implied what is the implication was produce or else by any means necessary.

  • And so two things happened.

  • Three things happened.

  • The goods were often shoddy because they were rushed.

  • There was deception about how much was actually produced, and then people were radically overworked and under supplied.

  • So it was a bad a bad system.

  • But it was very interesting to actually have one of these flags and see what they were like.

  • And then I bought her Plock, a stainless steel clock wind up Clark.

  • That was a submarine clock and it was bombproof.

  • So I thought that would be handy if someone ever bought my house and I needed to know what time it waas.

  • So I bought that.

  • Then I found this painting that's actually off to my left.

  • Here it's five Russian revolutionaries, all young stalwart looking, standing on the edge of a cliff with a red soldier or a white soldier off to decide.

  • They're all shackled together and he's preparing to execute.

  • That was that was a fairly common Soviet motifs.

  • And on my right side I have a a decorated Soviet war hero who's working in a steel foundry and like a lot of the Soviet art, glorified, I suppose, the working class.

  • And I suppose there's nothing wrong without depending on the degree of propagandistic intent and falsification.

  • But, um, they're kind of like Norman Rockwell paintings, except they don't have the same degree of sentimentality, which is quite interesting.

  • What's it like to have them around?

  • Well, pretty much every square inch of my house is covered with paintings and a fair number of mar.

  • I don't suppose the sorts of paintings that people would usually have in their house there some of them are of the Second World War, some of the Merv's strongly political and, uh, but it's it's well, sometimes people say, Well, I wouldn't want to live in a museum.

  • I guess that isn't how I feel.

  • I actually like living in a museum, and I like having this historical artifacts all around.

  • I really like watching the propaganda and art war in the paintings.

  • Because many of these paintings were produced by very talented Impressionist artists who were trained in the classical European tradition.

  • They spent months making these paintings and yet their subordinate, in some sense, to a political ideology.

  • But what's interesting is that as the political ideology recedes into the past, the more purely artistic elements of the paintings seem to remain.

  • And so it's cool to kind of watch.

  • It's very slow process, but it's very interesting to watch.

  • The art itself emerged triumphant over the propaganda.

  • And then, you know, these things also remind me of what what I'm interested in, and that's the study of ideology And they reminded me how powerful ideology could be and how many different pathways it can take.

  • Two two to control, I suppose.

  • And And it also reminds me of the reality of the 20th century because it was a terrible reality.

  • If we forget it, then we're likely to repeat.

  • No, my kids grew up in this Alison.

  • No, they I asked him about it because I suppose the paintings were fairly heavy and maybe even somewhat frightening, but they really liked it.

  • People give me a reason to invite people into my house and gives me something to play with him.

  • All right.

  • I guess I need things to play with by all appearances.

  • So that's the story of the of the Soviet paintings.

  • So please tell us about your ideas of the problem of gender integrated combat units and how it affects morale.

  • Please talk about the role trans people should or should not serve in combat units.

  • Huh?

  • Well, you know, I wouldn't say that I'm exactly an expert in that regard, huh?

  • I don't know how gender how multiple gender combat units are going to work, but because I'm fundamentally a traditionalist in most ways, mostly because I'm afraid of the unintended consequences of radical change.

  • I would say that it's dangerous to adjust a system that's working, and it's very hard for me to imagine a situation, especially combat situation, where the women and men can actually be treated equal.

  • I don't think that the broader society would even want to see that.

  • I mean, I suppose there are exceptions to that sort of thing.

  • Like like, um, the situation, perhaps in Israel, although I suspect even in Israel that women take the more the less combat heavy jobs.

  • No, I don't know that, but maybe I'm just being prejudiced, that answer.

  • But it just doesn't seem to me to be a very wise idea.

  • What will trans people should serve?

  • I really can't say I don't have anything.

  • Any advice about that?

  • I'm just not informed enough to make it conclusion boat that I think it's very strange.

  • However, I've talked to some people in the Canadian armed forces in recent months.

  • I do think it's very strange that this is the sort of problem that our military is actually trying to solve.

  • You think that there would be more important things to concentrate going, then rapid gender equalization.

  • Military.

  • I just don't see why that's such a priority.

  • But maybe that's just my old fashioned conservatism speaking.

  • It could be it could be done.

  • Derek Fake asks.

  • How do you see love arrows in your general worldview?

  • Where does love come from?

  • Well, you guys, yes, possibly hard questions.

  • Well, I think the truth has to be embodied inside love or embedded inside love.

  • You know, it's not easy to figure out hierarchy of values of ultimate values.

  • It was great, the great traditional values of the good and the beautiful and the true.

  • Let's say, the courageous of that sort of thing.

  • It's not easy to figure out how you arranged those hierarchically, but it seems to me that truth is likely something that serves a master of one form or another.

  • At least ethical truth and love is something like the decision that being is fundamentally good or it's the decision to act as if being is fundamentally good.

  • That might be the right way of thinking about it.

  • So, you know, I thought about this in relationship to my son when he was little, three years old and unbearably cute.

  • You know, little three year olds, they're they're fairly easily hurt.

  • I mean, they're quite robust in some ways, but they're fairly easily hurt.

  • They can run into traffic and, you know, they skin their knees and they bang their heads One table, you know, they're prone to emotional breakdown.

  • And they have all these extreme fragilities that make you nervous, I would say and alert and attended as an adult, but that also expose you directly to the fact of the potential tragedy of life, which is, I think, one of the reasons why having Children matures you in a way that nothing else can.

  • And, you know, I imagined I've written about this in my new book, 12 Rules for Life Imagined that I could remove his vulnerabilities one by one so he couldn't be hurt.

  • So, you know, I thought, Well, I could make them into a robot.

  • It was 15 feet tall, made out of metal, and that would remove this physical vulnerability.

  • You have tremendous strength.

  • And you know, you could turn him into something like a superhero with all these, with all these strengths instead of these exceptional vulnerabilities.

  • But when I realized very rapidly was that every time you removed a vulnerability, you removed an essential part of the person right apart that you really love.

  • Because with a little three year old boy kid, for example, I mean, it's there, it's there.

  • It's their fragility.

  • In some sense, that's a huge part of their charm and appeal.

  • It's not like you wish it on, but it's part of their.

  • It's part of their value as beings.

  • I think that reflects something like the is paradoxical situation that the Taoists referred to.

  • When in doubt check, they talk about the what makes a plot valuable is the empty space inside it.

  • It's It's what it's not as much as what it is that makes it well.

  • Actually, first of all, real but also useful.

  • There's something really profound about that.

  • In the limitations, I would say limitation is the precondition for being, and it's really I would like to get this right so that you can follow it because it's it's one of the most useful thoughts I think that has ever occurred to me.

  • The first is that limits are a precondition for being just like rules are precondition for a game like you can't play a game where you could make any move at any time.

  • You have to narrow the playing field substantially, have put restrictions on what can be done in order for anything to be done.

  • And so maybe being is this paradoxical state where there's there's just enough limitation to maximize possibility.

  • Something like that.

  • And that seems right to be why that would be I have no idea.

  • But maybe that's something like an answer to Why, why?

  • There's anything why anything was created or I know I'm speaking metaphysically.

  • But But I still think it's worthwhile doing so.

  • Then, well, if if if limitation is the precondition for being, then then that introduces suffering into the world of tragedy.

  • Because, of course, suffering a tragedy are consequence of limitation.

  • And so then the situation is that if you want to have the being where possibility is maximized, you have to accept the limitations that produce tragedy.

  • And so that's maybe the justification for tragedy.

  • Assuming that such a thing needs to be justified, then the final thought in that three part syriza's well, maybe there's a way to live so that the tragedy that's an intrinsic part of limited being becomes bearable or becomes even something like Celebrate Herbal.

  • And I guess that would be Qian teaches.

  • Wish for the eternal return like he thought you should live so that if every moment that you lived occurred eternally, that that would be a good thing.

  • And so it's a heroic motive being it's conceivable that a heroic motive being that requires the adoption of responsibility gives your life sufficient gravitas and wait and meaning so that the tragedy of being can be withstood without becoming corrupt.

  • And I would certainly hope that that would be the case.

  • And I think there's some reasons to assume that it might be.

  • So.

  • Can you talk more about the resurrection?

  • This remains a stumbling block for many of your more atheistic followers who have otherwise embraced your approach to understanding Christianity.

  • Well, I can only talk about it symbolically to begin with, and that's I think, North sufficient.

  • But I hope, as I moved through the biblical Siri's that I can zero in on that more and more particularly.

  • But I mean the idea of dying and resurrecting God is a very old idea.

  • Um, and it's echoed in such things as the imagery Save the Phoenix, which burns itself up and then miss stores itself to its two.

  • It's early, Sam and I think, speaking purely psychologically.

  • That idea of the dying and resurrecting savior is something like a reflection of the fact that in order to progress psychologically, you have to let go, especially in the face of obstacles.

  • You have to let go of those things that are impeding your progress that might be very dear to your heart.

  • You have to let go and let them die, and then you have to let a new part of yourself be born.

  • So because when you're wrong, you have to let the part of you that's wrong die and then a new part spring to life.

  • In some sense, it's a new part that's partly a union of your mind and the union of the information that's contained in the error that you committed.

  • It's like the birth in some sense of a new spirit, and so you could say that there's this idea that you have to have faith in Christ because Christ is the way in the truth of life and no one comes to the father, but through but through him.

  • What that means symbolically, as far as I can tell, that is that you have to embrace the process of volunteer death and rebirth in order to continue moving forward properly in your life.

  • And it's also that process of death and rebirth that rejuvenates the father.

  • And it's also that process of death rebirth that produces the father to begin with, if you think about the father is the symbol of of culture.

  • So at minimum, the idea of the resurrected Christ is the idea that you should identify not with that part of yourself, that stagnant and dead and that already knows but is prone to error.

  • You should identify with that part of yourself that's always stretching beyond what you currently no and has the faith to let go of old certainties so that new patterns of being can be brought into place.

  • And so no, that's a purely psychological explanation.

  • I think I've made the case in my biblical lectures that I'm striving for a psychological interpretation at the moment.

  • My experience with the biblical stories is that there are layers of depth in them that are sufficiently profound, perhaps because of that staggering hyper linking of the text and its association with almost the entire carpets of Western literature that, as you keep digging, you find more and more.

  • So, um, I don't know what to make of the more metaphysical planes, you know, but I'm gonna leave it at that because I don't know.

  • It's only speculation.

  • Um, See, I guess it is that we don't I really don't believe that.

  • We understand consciousness, and we don't understand its rule in the cosmos.

  • It could be that consciousness is Justin Epatha nominal materialised processes.

  • But there's a couple of things to me that seems to mitigate against that explanation.

  • The first is that we don't have an account of consciousness that's that's useful.

  • We have no idea how the material substrate of the brain produces this, this awareness and self awareness that seems to be crucially important in the existence of the cosmos.

  • In so far as if there's nothing to experience something, it's very difficult to say in what way that it exists.

  • You need a viewer, an observer, scientists sort of Jerry Mander, that by positing hypothetical observer when they talk about cinnamon where there is no actual observing and so consciousness could be just a Napa phenomena.

  • But it could also be something central to the nature of being and certainly mythological stories presented that way, that there's there's nature that would be nurtured from a scientific perspective.

  • And there's the social world that would be the great father from the mythological perspective.

  • And and that's all there is from a scientific perspective.

  • But from a mythological perspective, there's active consciousness, and that's associated with the idea of the logos and the logos.

  • Seems to be something like If you think about it as consciousness, it seems to be this thing that encounters the potential of future being and then determines, at least in part, how to shape it.

  • Obviously, we're constrained in many ways.

  • You can shape things in any old way, but we can certainly advance in the direction of our imagination and quite a staggering and compelling manner.

  • And then you might say, Well, is that really is is the idea that we have a consciousness and that it's free in some incomprehensible sense and that it plays a role in constructing the cosmos.

  • Is that really and then I would say, Well, it depends on what you mean by really, but I would also point out that you act as if it's real and that are functional.

  • Legal systems like the legal system's off on the West are predicated on the acceptance of its reality, and it was an idea that took many, many thousands of years to to emerge, you know, First of all, the only sovereign was well was the king and God.

  • And then the nobles became sovereign, and then men became sovereign.

  • And then, with the Christian Revolution, every individual soul became sovereign.

  • That idea of individual sovereignty and worth is the core presupposition of our legal system and our cultural systems.

  • And so we all walk around acting as if every one of us is a divine centre of logos because we give each other the respect, um, of individual citizens who are sovereign and that are equal before the law.

  • And the funny thing is, this if someone doesn't treat you that way, treats you as if you're free Will is an illusion, or refuses to regard you as someone who plays active part in choosing outcome of their life.

  • Then you get very, very annoyed.

  • And so if it's an illusion, perhaps it is.

  • We don't understand an alternative to it, and it's unbelievably, it's unbelievably functional.

  • So okay, so back to love.

  • Well, um, it we'll make the case that oh limitation is necessary for being, And then we could make the case.

  • That tragedy is an inevitable consequence of limitation.

  • Then we might say, Well is being worth the tragedy.

  • And I think the answer yes to that is love.

  • And the answer no to that is the opposite of love, because when you when you love someone, you love them in spite of or even because of their vulnerability.

  • Not that you don't want them to transcend that, because you do, but and I think that love is the acceptance of the price of being.

  • It's the way you manifest your acceptance of the price of being because if you love someone, you know they have their vulnerabilities, like every human being.

  • But your basic judgment is that despite the fact that they have these vulnerabilities that air even fatal, and there certainly tragic that it's better that they were than that they weren't.

  • And that's and I think that's the right attitude to have towards being itself.

  • It's it's It's an optimistic attitude, and I think it has to be predicated on faith, because I don't think that you could necessary derive that conclusion by by looking at the available evidence.

  • The available evidence is kind of 50 50 in many situations, but But I can tell you, if you don't the other attitude that being is unjustifiably than that leads you down a very, very dark road.

  • And then you soon start to work in a way that makes things far more intolerable than they should be.

  • So that so that's my answer to that.

  • Any tips on avoiding booze?

  • Yeah, that's a really tough one.

  • Well, I would say a couple of things.

  • There is a drug.

  • If you're a binge drinker, there is a drug called naltrexone that you could consider, and you take naltrexone every day.

  • It doesn't really have any psychological effect on you, But if you're a mail truck so responder, what will happen is that it will dampen your positive response to Elko.

  • So some people who are alcoholic, many of them have a very pronounced opiate, an opiate effect from alcohol.

  • It looks like it's mediated by beta endorphin, and now Truck's owner is an opiate blocker.

  • And so, um, what Nell tricks always seems to do is dampened the positive response and the positive response, which would be opiate and then Doberman.

  • Ergic is the same response that makes you want to keep drinking when you start drinking.

  • So if you're one of those people that has a drink and then has to have another one, then has to have another one.

  • And you know, soon all your money's gone, then the probability that you have an opiate response is pretty high.

  • And now trick some help with that.