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Stop Saying Lies and Other People's Ideas

Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief by Jordan Peterson

I started to hear a “voice” inside my head, commenting on my opinions. Every time I said something, it said something – something critical. The voice employed a standard refrain, delivered in a somewhat bored and matter-of-fact tone:

You don’t believe that.

That isn’t true.

You don’t believe that.

That isn’t true.

The “voice” applied such comments to almost every phrase I spoke.

I couldn’t understand what to make of this. I knew the source of the commentary was part of me – I wasn’t schizophrenic – but this knowledge only increased my confusion. Which part, precisely, was me – the talking part, or the criticizing part? If it was the talking part, then what was the criticizing part? If it was the criticizing part – well, then: how could virtually everything I said be untrue? In my ignorance and confusion, I decided to experiment. I tried only to say things that my internal reviewer would pass unchallenged. This meant that I really had to listen to what I was saying, that I spoke much less often, and that I would frequently stop, midway through a sentence, feel embarrassed, and reformulate my thoughts. I soon noticed that I felt much less agitated and more confident when I only said things that the “voice” did not object to. This came as a definite relief. My experiment had been a success; I was the criticizing part. Nonetheless, it took me a long time to reconcile myself to the idea that almost all my thoughts weren’t real, weren’t true – or, at least, weren’t mine.

All the things I “believed” were things I thought sounded good, admirable, respectable, courageous. They weren’t my things, however – I had stolen them. Most of them I had taken from books. Having “understood” them, abstractly, I presumed I had a right to them – presumed that I could adopt them, as if they were mine: presumed that they were me. My head was stuffed full of the ideas of others; stuffed full of arguments I could not logically refute. I did not know then that an irrefutable argument is not necessarily true, nor that the right to identify with certain ideas had to be earned.

wise, IMO.

ppl overreach by saying a bunch of crap instead of actually doing stuff right and thinking. (and if u recommend they slow down, they often bring up the issue that zero would be a bad amount to talk, too. and then you see them say something really careless they spent 2 minutes on. why can't they consistently spend, say, 5 minutes reviewing each of their posts -- more for really long ones, but don't do those anyway -- and send if everything looks good? that should easily get them a more medium result between rushed and nothing.)

a common, important tip for learning is: better to do something correctly, slowly, then speed up. don't go faster than you know what you're doing and try to fix the mistakes later. this applies to learning to touch type, learning video games, and also writing an FI reply.

Peterson also said in a video somewhere, something like: most of what people say is lies or other people's ideas. they don't have their own ideas or a self. they need to create that. i wonder if he's read The Fountainhead.*

in another video, Peterson said basically that people have been building up lies on top of lies on top of lies, for decades. that's why they have such difficult problems! that's why their lives are such a mess! it's layer and layers and layers of lies to untangle!


Elliot Temple on June 2, 2017

Comments (3)

> I couldn’t understand what to make of this. I knew the source of the commentary was part of me – I wasn’t schizophrenic

what the fuck is this? so if someone is "schizophrenic" some stuff he says is not part of him?

is that what Peterson means? or did he misspeak or something?

Anonymous at 3:40 AM on June 3, 2017 | #8700
I think Peterson's comment on "schizophrenia" was bad. He doesn't know his Szasz. I knew this already, see e.g. my letter to him about antidepressants.

"Schizophrenia" doesn't exist. I'm happy to grant him that he's not "mentally ill" and move on with the point, though! I think he was being defensive here because many readers have some standard, intolerant psychiatry views, and he wanted to counter that.

curi at 10:48 AM on June 3, 2017 | #8705

He knows Sazasz


Anonymous at 5:31 AM on June 27, 2017 | #8746

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)