Jordan Peterson perfectly defines STO

Phill4

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Approaching Infinity said:
That's a good, real-life application of the whole Paul/Stoic/IXS dynamic: making the higher aims YOUR OWN aims. Peterson isn't doing what he does because some external authority is telling him what he should or shouldn't do. He is, to the best of his ability, making those higher values his own - and practicing them (again, to the best of his ability).
That came to mind, about authority, law is no longer necessary because his acts are an expression of his Will, not an external will.

I think he explains the circuit, having the cake and eating it too. He feeds by feeding others, but in the context of Paul, he is not feeding the flesh he is nurturing the spirit by the act of giving.

It is great to hear it from Peterson
 

Alejo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Felipe4 said:
Approaching Infinity said:
That's a good, real-life application of the whole Paul/Stoic/IXS dynamic: making the higher aims YOUR OWN aims. Peterson isn't doing what he does because some external authority is telling him what he should or shouldn't do. He is, to the best of his ability, making those higher values his own - and practicing them (again, to the best of his ability).
That came to mind, about authority, law is no longer necessary because his acts are an expression of his Will, not an external will.

I think he explains the circuit, having the cake and eating it too. He feeds by feeding others, but in the context of Paul, he is not feeding the flesh he is nurturing the spirit by the act of giving.

It is great to hear it from Peterson
Yeah, he gears his actions beyond himself... for a higher goal that is outside of himself. A higher order, but he recognizes that this order will filter through to his individual existence. And thus understand that him working in that direction outside of himself, also means a transformation in his life and what is important and he traps the benefits.

Very good quote.
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you for the link, T.C. I watched the whole video, and I got a better understanding of the quote from hearing it from the horse's mouth, so to speak. It makes sense that the default mode of existence is to be driven by automatic thoughts and feelings - to consciously sit down and think about the welfare of others and of yourself simultaneously is not "natural". However, I can recall at least one instance where, through reason, I managed to create a better outcome for all concerned.

I hope to be more conscious of my thinking and actions from this moment forwards. I know that I've fallen into more expedient modes of action, ie. driven by automatism and muddy thinking, more often than not. It's hard not to make many excuses for oneself because of the sheer pressure that is exerted by the surrounding milieu. However, as J.P. says in his video, paraphrasing here, that life is pretty ignoble in the sense that you suffer then you die - however this reality should be transcended if we are to make anything of this life at all.
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Thanks for sharing, T.C.!

I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but there is a part of the following interview where Jordan speaks a bit more about his understanding of "service to others" (it should start at the right time, around 19:00):


https://youtu.be/LsASIHTGh9k?start=1143

Here is a quote from the video:

Jordan Peterson said:
"You are aiming to fulfill yourself in a manner that allows you to expand in your psychological strength. So you have to be doing something that is good for you now, but that also makes you stronger in the future. And at the same time, you have to do something that is good for other people around you now, and good for them in the future. So it's not just service to others, because that doesn't take you into account. And it's obviously not the selfish pursuit of pleasure, partly because it doesn't work very well, these are just impractical solutions."
He then gives the example of his relationship with his son, where he tried to treat him well etc. The selfish component here is that he wants to have a nice and enjoyable relationship with his son. But at the same time, it's good for his son as well and for both of them in the future. It's basically about working for your own future self and the future selves of others. I think it's a good way of putting it!

He then goes on to say that there is something like a "sixth sense" where we know that in a given moment, all these things are perfectly aligned, and we experience it as a "sense of meaning".

Haven't watched the rest, but I found this passage very interesting.
 

T.C.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
luc said:
Thanks for sharing, T.C.!

I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but there is a part of the following interview where Jordan speaks a bit more about his understanding of "service to others" (it should start at the right time, around 19:00):


https://youtu.be/LsASIHTGh9k?start=1143

Here is a quote from the video:

Jordan Peterson said:
"You are aiming to fulfill yourself in a manner that allows you to expand in your psychological strength. So you have to be doing something that is good for you now, but that also makes you stronger in the future. And at the same time, you have to do something that is good for other people around you now, and good for them in the future. So it's not just service to others, because that doesn't take you into account. And it's obviously not the selfish pursuit of pleasure, partly because it doesn't work very well, these are just impractical solutions."
He then gives the example of his relationship with his son, where he tried to treat him well etc. The selfish component here is that he wants to have a nice and enjoyable relationship with his son. But at the same time, it's good for his son as well and for both of them in the future. It's basically about working for your own future self and the future selves of others. I think it's a good way of putting it!
This is pretty fascinating.

JP has been living his life like this for a long time. I remember someone asking him what his daily schedule is. His answer is that he gets up around 7am; then he works non-stop until around 10pm. And he's done that for the last 30 years.

He has built this mode of being on the theories of the developmental psychologist (as well as many other things) Jean Piaget. That's where Peterson got this idea of what's best for you now and in the future, and best for others now and in the future. Piaget was a religious man, but he was a scientist too, and his life goal was to unite religion and science, which is why he built this scheme for a rational morality.

Also included in his theory is that knowledge must be built from the bottom up - that is, it must be embodied and we 'map' reality into our physicality, bootstrapping ourselves from the bottom up, so to speak.

In this sense, we act out what we know before we understand or know that we know it.

It seems JP has had a bit of a 'dot-connecting' going on inside his head, where having acted out the idea of STO (candidacy) for long enough, the term has crystalised now for him. I mean, I've watched almost every video he's ever done, and I've never heard him use the term 'service to others' the way he uses it above.

He then goes on to say that there is something like a "sixth sense" where we know that in a given moment, all these things are perfectly aligned, and we experience it as a "sense of meaning".
For Peterson, this is the line of balance between the two hemispheres of the brain.

There are different ways to think of the differences between the left and right hemispheres, but the one he likes best is that the left hemisphere is what we're using when we're in explored territory, and the right hemisphere is what we're using when we're in unexplored territory.

He argues that the optimal position in the world and in life is to be on the border between the two; that we can go through life in a manner that is well known and well explored, but it is stagnant and boring, and so, unsatisfying - and that we can be in a place that is novel and chaotic, which while interesting, thrilling and frightening, is just far too difficult to navigate and disheartens one to the point of giving up.

He says when people's lives all of a sudden feel like they are meaningful - when they're rewarding, interesting, not too far outside one's level of competency, challenging, a little frightening - that a feeling of meaning is generated as a result of being in this 'place', on this line between order and chaos, where the hemispheres balance.
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Thanks T.C. for providing some context and summarizing JP's thoughts. Maybe I should look into Piaget a bit to understand this "future self" concept better.

One thing I thought about with regard to JP's concept of "service to others is not enough" is that the Cs actually defined STO as "serving self by serving others", if I remember correctly. And I think many of us can attest that this is the right way of thinking about it: we get a LOT out of striving towards STO. I can certainly say that everything in my life got so much better in fascinating ways since I found this path.

The difference to the self-serving path I guess is that you don't "go for the gold directly" (i.e. let's get more money, pleasure, etc.), but rather focus on service - but in the full knowledge that you will benefit personally and "egoistically" as well! It's just that you don't anticipate the exact outcome, but work with "faith in the process" under the knowledge that if you do the right thing over a period of time, the universe WILL do its thing and provide you with the goodies; it's just that you don't know how, when and what. STS on the other hand knows precisely what it wants, and sets out to get it, others be damned.

I think here comes the future authoring program and similar concepts into play: we might as well use our reward circuits in order to grow towards STO. In fact, maybe it's the only way it can work. So you do the right things because you know from experience that there WILL be a priceless reward, that you WILL be happier, more fulfilled, have more ressources etc. and that you WILL get closer to your goals eventually, twists and turns and all. And in the short term, you know that you WILL feel great after a good day of meaningful work and getting over yourself. It's just all delayed, and you can never know for sure how all of this will play out. That's why you also need "faith in the process". But the more your brain connects the "delayed reward" inherent to the STO path and the actions that "work" in that direction, the easier it becomes and the more you can use the brain's reward system to advance. Some thoughts, fwiw.
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for sharing the video. It was interesting how Peterson said that Santa Claus is just a pretend game. I used to think that if I had kids I would tell them Santa Claus is a big lie.

Around the 39:30 mark Peterson says something like you don't need to blame yourself more than the lesson requires. I can relate to this with toxic shame. When you've learned, you've learned, no need to beat yourself up excessively.

luc said:
I think here comes the future authoring program and similar concepts into play: we might as well use our reward circuits in order to grow towards STO. In fact, maybe it's the only way it can work. So you do the right things because you know from experience that there WILL be a priceless reward, that you WILL be happier, more fulfilled, have more ressources etc. and that you WILL get closer to your goals eventually, twists and turns and all. And in the short term, you know that you WILL feel great after a good day of meaningful work and getting over yourself. It's just all delayed, and you can never know for sure how all of this will play out. That's why you also need "faith in the process". But the more your brain connects the "delayed reward" inherent to the STO path and the actions that "work" in that direction, the easier it becomes and the more you can use the brain's reward system to advance. Some thoughts, fwiw.
The bolded part reminds me about a SOTT article I saw yesterday, because I procrastinate a lot. It mentioned a means to do the hard work now because it is aligned with your values:

https://www.sott.net/article/373292-Truly-understanding-the-reasons-why-procrastination-happens-takes-looking-at-multiple-variables said:
So how does one increase the subjective value of a project? A powerful way - one that my graduate students and I have written about in detail - is to connect the project to your self-concept. Our hypothesis is that projects seen as important to a person's self-concept will hold more subjective value for that person.

It's for this reason that Hanks also wrote that procrastination seems to stem from a failure to "identify sufficiently with your future self" - in other words, the self for whom the goal is most relevant.

Because people are motivated to maintain a positive self-concept, goals connected closely to one's sense of self or identity take on much more value.

Connecting the project to more immediate sources of value, such as life goals or core values, can fill the deficit in subjective value that underlies procrastination.
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I recently came across a quote by Marcus Aurelius, which if not defines STO clearly seems to reflect the STO attitude to life:

When you think you've been injured, apply this rule: If the community isn't injured by it neither am I. And if it is, anger is not the answer. Show the offender where he went wrong.
 

genero81

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
luc said:
Thanks T.C. for providing some context and summarizing JP's thoughts. Maybe I should look into Piaget a bit to understand this "future self" concept better.

One thing I thought about with regard to JP's concept of "service to others is not enough" is that the Cs actually defined STO as "serving self by serving others", if I remember correctly. And I think many of us can attest that this is the right way of thinking about it: we get a LOT out of striving towards STO. I can certainly say that everything in my life got so much better in fascinating ways since I found this path.

The difference to the self-serving path I guess is that you don't "go for the gold directly" (i.e. let's get more money, pleasure, etc.), but rather focus on service - but in the full knowledge that you will benefit personally and "egoistically" as well! It's just that you don't anticipate the exact outcome, but work with "faith in the process" under the knowledge that if you do the right thing over a period of time, the universe WILL do its thing and provide you with the goodies; it's just that you don't know how, when and what. STS on the other hand knows precisely what it wants, and sets out to get it, others be damned.

I think here comes the future authoring program and similar concepts into play: we might as well use our reward circuits in order to grow towards STO. In fact, maybe it's the only way it can work. So you do the right things because you know from experience that there WILL be a priceless reward, that you WILL be happier, more fulfilled, have more ressources etc. and that you WILL get closer to your goals eventually, twists and turns and all. And in the short term, you know that you WILL feel great after a good day of meaningful work and getting over yourself. It's just all delayed, and you can never know for sure how all of this will play out. That's why you also need "faith in the process". But the more your brain connects the "delayed reward" inherent to the STO path and the actions that "work" in that direction, the easier it becomes and the more you can use the brain's reward system to advance. Some thoughts, fwiw.
I think that was really well explained luc. I had to change what I was doing. The people in recovery who had successfully changed their lives were saying things like; start living life by making decisions based on principles instead of how you feel. Keep doing the next right thing no matter what. Get out of yourself by helping someone else. When I did those things consistently over a period of time, the transformation in the overall quality of life was nothing short of miraculous. So I know what you're saying. Faith in the process, no anticipation. Working without immediate gratification or expectations- just doing what's in front of you to do in the best way for all concerned that you know how. Amazing
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
genero81 said:
luc said:
Thanks T.C. for providing some context and summarizing JP's thoughts. Maybe I should look into Piaget a bit to understand this "future self" concept better.

One thing I thought about with regard to JP's concept of "service to others is not enough" is that the Cs actually defined STO as "serving self by serving others", if I remember correctly. And I think many of us can attest that this is the right way of thinking about it: we get a LOT out of striving towards STO. I can certainly say that everything in my life got so much better in fascinating ways since I found this path.

The difference to the self-serving path I guess is that you don't "go for the gold directly" (i.e. let's get more money, pleasure, etc.), but rather focus on service - but in the full knowledge that you will benefit personally and "egoistically" as well! It's just that you don't anticipate the exact outcome, but work with "faith in the process" under the knowledge that if you do the right thing over a period of time, the universe WILL do its thing and provide you with the goodies; it's just that you don't know how, when and what. STS on the other hand knows precisely what it wants, and sets out to get it, others be damned.

I think here comes the future authoring program and similar concepts into play: we might as well use our reward circuits in order to grow towards STO. In fact, maybe it's the only way it can work. So you do the right things because you know from experience that there WILL be a priceless reward, that you WILL be happier, more fulfilled, have more ressources etc. and that you WILL get closer to your goals eventually, twists and turns and all. And in the short term, you know that you WILL feel great after a good day of meaningful work and getting over yourself. It's just all delayed, and you can never know for sure how all of this will play out. That's why you also need "faith in the process". But the more your brain connects the "delayed reward" inherent to the STO path and the actions that "work" in that direction, the easier it becomes and the more you can use the brain's reward system to advance. Some thoughts, fwiw.
I think that was really well explained luc. I had to change what I was doing. The people in recovery who had successfully changed their lives were saying things like; start living life by making decisions based on principles instead of how you feel. Keep doing the next right thing no matter what. Get out of yourself by helping someone else. When I did those things consistently over a period of time, the transformation in the overall quality of life was nothing short of miraculous. So I know what you're saying. Faith in the process, no anticipation. Working without immediate gratification or expectations- just doing what's in front of you to do in the best way for all concerned that you know how. Amazing
That was a good explication luc. I really enjoyed reading that, it appeared to give words to what I have been feeling implicitly about STO in general, but too guilty or ashamed to tell myself about the fact that I gain too, that I'm not a martyr or a victim.

Well, in another video JP had said, roughly paraphrasing: "First, get rid of the shame and guilt you feel for being a broken person who has been touched by evil, because that is the situation everyone finds themselves in and it can't be helped. You have to start from the fact that you are a fixer upper, so just focus on being better than you were yesterday. Continual improvement is as good a thing as you can get, it's a gift that keeps on giving"

My original conception of what serving self to serve others meant was about healing oneself of one's wounds and trauma to be able to see and heal the same in others. Sort of like the wounded healer concept. I also took it to mean that a depleted person is not going to be able to do others any favours, so it's right to get your own house in order before you start thinking of the welfare of others, barring things you could reasonably do without harming yourself further.
 

T.C.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
luc said:
Thanks T.C. for providing some context and summarizing JP's thoughts. Maybe I should look into Piaget a bit to understand this "future self" concept better.
I don't think that JP got his personal concept of the future-self from Piaget. He got it from his own meditiations on the historical, psychological and evolutionary significance of the invention of sacrifice.

For Peterson, the idea of sacrifice is perhaps the most significant human development of all, because for him, it marks the human discovery of the future.

Piaget's contribution in this regard is that how you live should be viewed as a kind of game that you're playing. And that what makes someone the best at playing a game isn't just the fact that they can win it: but most importantly that they are able to play the game in such a manner that they will be allowed to play again and again, in the future that they will inevitably find themselves. We call this 'sportsmanship' in actual game playing, but again, it's a result of Piaget's philosophy of morality.

bm said:
My original conception of what serving self to serve others meant was about healing oneself of one's wounds and trauma to be able to see and heal the same in others. Sort of like the wounded healer concept. I also took it to mean that a depleted person is not going to be able to do others any favours, so it's right to get your own house in order before you start thinking of the welfare of others, barring things you could reasonably do without harming yourself further.
I think this can be a pitfall sometimes, though.

A good analogy would be that of a band who play music. They might get stuck in the idea of practicing and rehearsing. I've known a lot of bands like this: they rehearse twice a week and hardly ever play any shows.

We can't get good at doing something (helping others) if we don't get our hands dirty and practice it and make mistakes and learn from them. So we should take it seriously that we're broken machines, but we should only factor it into our activity, rather than use it as an excuse for inactivity.
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
bm said:
My original conception of what serving self to serve others meant was about healing oneself of one's wounds and trauma to be able to see and heal the same in others. Sort of like the wounded healer concept. I also took it to mean that a depleted person is not going to be able to do others any favours, so it's right to get your own house in order before you start thinking of the welfare of others, barring things you could reasonably do without harming yourself further.
I think this is still a valid concept, but it's not how I understand the term "serving self by serving others", or maybe only in the sense that by serving others, we personally grow as well, and then become even better at serving others because we ourselves get stronger.


T.C. said:
I think this can be a pitfall sometimes, though.

A good analogy would be that of a band who play music. They might get stuck in the idea of practicing and rehearsing. I've known a lot of bands like this: they rehearse twice a week and hardly ever play any shows.

We can't get good at doing something (helping others) if we don't get our hands dirty and practice it and make mistakes and learn from them. So we should take it seriously that we're broken machines, but we should only factor it into our activity, rather than use it as an excuse for inactivity.
I agree. It depends on the situation though - there are those types who think they can "be of service" and "change the world" even though they are extremely weak, not integrated and can't even clean their rooms. These tend to do more harm than good if they go out there "helping people", which JP rightfully points out in many of his videos. Then, there are those who, out of a false sense of morality and black and white thinking, feel it's a sin to take care of oneself, set boundaries and so on, because it's "self-serving". So for those the advice "help yourself first before helping others" is pretty good, OSIT.
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi luc and T.C., I was thinking about both your responses. The issue seems to lie in understanding the risk that one takes when attempting to serve another. If one isn't able to fully grasp the risk involved, ie. emotionally, physically, financially or otherwise, one should be very wary of embarking on that particular challenge. Also, if a person has not developed his thinking enough to take into account in his own welfare into his calculation of risk, that will, I suppose, further complicate matters. I think a good gauge of risk is the anxiety you feel when around certain people you know are troubled. It allows you to gauge how much of your boundaries you can safely open up - and maybe just a little bit more than you would normally - to maybe make a change in that person's habitual mode of thinking and feeling. Or am I stretching it?

Of course, knowing what to say or do that would help a person is another matter altogether. It's a hit or miss, I would say.
 

Redrock12

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
JP hits another one out of the ballpark! I don't think the SJWs realized the size of the tiger they had by the tail.
 
Top Bottom