On Claiming Belief In God: Discussion with Dennis Prager

You So everybody When I never met in person I never met Jordan Peterson in person But I said to him when we met right before lunch Something that I said to me by so many people who meet me for the first time. I feel like I know you and I that is the highest compliment in in effect I now understand what a compliment that is what I receive it because I never gave it to somebody before you and I I have watched you for hours and listen To you and read your book and in fact, I didn’t just read your book. I heard your book from you so I want to tell you something without embarrassing you, but I think I I’d like to you open your heart and your mind and so do I? When I was very young I realized that God or nature had given me What I have called a goodness detector And I knew I always knew when I was in the presence of a good person Because that’s all I really care about. I think brains are wildly overrated wildly That’s why I think you’re not bright if you join Mensa Why you would want to announce to the world your IQ is so bizarre to me that I I’m sure there are nice people there, but I I don’t understand it, but I always picked up That and I’ve and I’ve always been right it’s a it’s a I’m batting a thousand essentially and When I heard you read your book the passion comes from I just want to help people lead a better life and It’s really it’s it’s quite overwhelming you you didn’t just read that book you Won’t say you sang it but I like that you use music. I’m very much into music, too so this is the man that I’m Honored to have this dialogue with because you’re out everybody knows you’re bright But I know you’re good So I want them to take that at the outset. I Was something to say about that good that’s good See I don’t think it’s true I mean, this is why I Got motivated to do what I’ve been doing and I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for. I would say since about 1979 In one form or another because things take a long time to generate and one of the things I learned in the early 80s was that People have a great capacity for evil and I didn’t really understand that of myself until The early eighties something like that after meditating on it for a long time and So I would say It’s not that done I would never claim to be good. I think it’s dangerous But I did become terrified of how terrible I could be And I mean, I became terrified about how terrible human beings could be and that’s one thing but that’s easy It’s easy to confuse that with other human beings You know, it’s a different thing to Understand that it’s true of yourself. I often recommend to my students that they read history as a perpetrator and not as a victim or a hero and People very seldom do that and it’s no wonder But I would say perhaps that I became terrified enough from learning what I learned that I tried to Avoid the pathways that lead people to the dark places that they go And there’s something in that that might approximate good Yeah, it does approximate good III I I would agree with that The parallels between Us are so eerie to me that in my book on happiness, which came out of 99. I Actually have a chapter on the necessity of having a tragic view of life and then I hear you speak of light just now this tragic view of life and Ironically if you don’t have that you can’t be happy so it’s just another example of This in that you’re getting this message out if you want to comment on that, please if not I’ll go on I you you you are such an I watch you and you’re such an intense listener I don’t know when you’re gonna react so There’s this old idea You know you all know this idea It’s an idea that’s Expressed for example in the classic Disney movie classic Disney movie which I really like called Pinocchio and you know when Pinocchio is attempting to free himself from the forces that manipulate him as a puppet and to become an autonomous being He is required to go to the darkest place To find the worst Catastrophes that Voluntarily and in doing so he rescues his father. That’s a very old idea I Don’t know how old it is it it’s It’s one of the oldest ideas we have in written form and and there’s no doubt that in its pre written form it would be tens of thousands of years older than that and it’s a very strange idea that you have to Journey to the darkest abyss to free the spirit of your father But there’s a reason for it and it has to do with the tragic view of life Which is that you can’t discover What you’re capable of? Being or withstanding and and those are the same things Without if you hide away from any of the things about life that are terrible but true and and and the reason you can’t discover Who you are? without doing that is that only necessity will force that out of you and and it I mean that I mean that From the perspective of learning if you go work in a palliative care award. You’ll learn to deal with death you’ll learn that this psychological strategies necessary the Steps you’ll become more informed but it’s deeper than that. Even we know now from a biological perspective that If you put yourself in new situations in new and challenging situations That new genes turn on in your nervous system and code for new proteins that produce new neurological structures And so you can’t even be what you are fully biologically unless you expose yourself to everything that you can expose yourself to as you journey through life the old idea of a Pilgrimage was predicated on on that idea as is walking the Shark Cathedral the the labyrinth The idea that you walk the labyrinth in in Chartres and you come to the center is that you traverse every corner of the world quarter by quarter, and then you come to the center and The center is the center of the church and it’s the center of the crucifixion. It’s the center of suffering and You can’t get to what that Center Signifies without having journeyed everywhere and so The tragic view of life is necessary Because it puts you on the journey that reveals to yourself who you could be if you were courageous as courageous as you could be and as truthful as you could be and that’s equivalent to discovering 2/3 vivifying your dead father because you Are an ancient creature in some sense and and perhaps one with a spark of divinity Inherent in it, but you will never release that Unless you’re willing to go everywhere that you have to go because only necessity will call that out of you and so you can’t be Happy You can’t be complete without You can’t know what you could withstand. You can’t have any proper sense of self-respect unless you know what you can tolerate and if you avoid Everything that you have reason to avoid but should nonetheless not avoid you won’t know who you are and then you can’t live properly So you you have said on a number of occasions and in every on every occasion that I have watched you say it Not a single person in the panel you often talk on panels. Not one person has ever actually reacted to it. I Totally get it Nevertheless, it’s one of the most important things you regularly say you live as if there is a God Is that correct? well people ask me if I believe in God, you know, I just said I’m gonna release a Podcast about that because I answered that question for about two hours in Australia because people kept asking me about question which I really don’t like I don’t like that question and So I hadn’t thought about it for a good while and I tried to figure out why and and then I thought well He said you believe you see I thought who would have the audacity to claim That they believed in God if They examined the way they lived Who would dare say that? To to believe you think to believe in a Christian Actually, this is why Nietzsche said there was only ever one Christian and that was Christ To have the audacity to claim that means that you live it out fully and That’s an that’s an unbearable Task in some sense. I just debated to Tsavo Asia About a week ago, although it wasn’t really much of a debate It was it was a strange event But he said something very brilliant and to me that justified the entire event at least from my perspective He talked about Christ’s moment of crisis on the cross when he cried out to God that he had been Forsaken and what Dziedzic said was that what that meant was that the conditions of human existence are so tragic That even God himself in human form Lost faith for a moment in the goodness of being and I thought that was a remarkable observation because Well, if God Himself would lose faith under such conditions What would you expect from normal human beings? confronted with what we’re confronted by and To be able to accept the structure of existence the suffering that goes along with it and the disappointment and the betray land and – Nonetheless act properly right to aim it the good with all your heart right – to dispense with the malevolence and your desire for destruction and revenge and all of that and to face things courageously and to tell the truth To speak the truth and to act it out. That’s what it means to believe That’s what it means it doesn’t it doesn’t mean to state it it means to act it out and Unless you act it out. You should be very careful about claiming it and so I’ve never been comfortable saying anything other than I try to act as if God exists because god only knows what you’d be if you truly believed I Mean if you think about it in some sense that’s the central idea in Christianity is that if you were capable of believing, it would be a transfiguring event a Truly transfigure event and I know people experience that to one degree or another But we have no idea what the limit of that is we have no idea what the possibility is within each person if they lived a life that was maximally courageous and maximally truthful You know because maybe you’re running that 60 percent or 70 percent or twenty percent and at cross-purposes to yourself God only knows what you’d be if you believed and so Well I act I try to act like I believe But I’d never claim that I manage it Because it’s too it’s it’s a lot to manage properly and you have to be careful about claiming to manage things that you can’t manage and so That’s part of the answer to that question. It’s a great answer as it happens Like you to react to something that Is very operative in my life. I just and if you I always tell people on my radio showing Totally feel free. He’d say sorry. I really don’t don’t find that tenable or whatever you however you want to react Am I my route as an adult to God has been completely circuitous I have come through the the back door. I Wrote 25 years ago how I found God at Columbia. I realized in the 70s at graduate school at Columbia that I was being taught nonsense literally nonsense things that made no sense and It drove me crazy because they were all bright bright people taught me nonsense One day walking through Columbia. The only time I ever had I wouldn’t say I never had a theophany, but I did have an epiphany all of a sudden one of the verses from my yeshiva education in Brooklyn, New York the Cloistered Orthodox world of my childhood and I don’t use cloistered and I don’t like clustered But I’m not using it at a pejorative way. I’m just explaining what I had and All of a sudden one of the verses that we said every morning in kindergarten first grade and second grade For the first time since second grade came to my brain rashid lafayette other than my wisdom begins with fear of the Lord Changed my life. There’s no wisdom at Columbia because there’s no God at Columbia and That has been That is one of the ways I knew Oh Without God. Look what happens without God look what happens morally intellectually in terms of wisdom, and I my biggest reasons for belief in God are Watching what happens when people don’t So I’d love to have your reaction If you cease to believe in God you’ll start to believe in anything that Was the British tested and yet just thank you. Yeah. Well, that’s that’s a That’s a good that’s a good way of looking at it. I mean if Catholicism, you know I’ve gone through lots of Catholic cathedrals in Europe. And of course, they’re stunning creations and but they’re gothic and strange and the doctrine is eerie, and and Complex and surreal and and and the biblical writings are the same You think of a book like revelation for example But I think that the Catholicism that’s as sane as people can get You know Broadly speaking is that you we need a metaphysic a narrative metaphysic to hold us together and it has to be Predicated on something that’s transcendent and absolute And if you lose that then you’ll fall for something else you’ll fall for something else or you’ll fall for nothing which is which is no better and I learned that from reading Nietzsche and I learned that from reading Dostoevsky and This is the problem with the rationalists like Sam Harrison and and and the atheists Dawkins Now they believe that if we dispensed with our superstitions, we’d all become Harris and Dawkins Rational beings Devoted towards the good However, we conceptualize that for rational reasons and I don’t believe that because I don’t believe that we are rational beings fundamentally I think we’re deeply irrational It’s amazing that we can all sit in this room together without tearing ourselves into shreds And I mean that it’s really quite a remarkable thing that all of us who’ve come from all over North America can sit here so peacefully and concentrate on a single thing without any tension or trouble The the improbability of that should not be underestimated The the unlikelihood that that might be the case and then the issue of God as well is that there has to be something a fundamental worth There is something that you consider a fundamental worth You know what? I think that regard for other people for the consciousness of other people for the conscious being of other people is Is is in that realm if you’re going to Have a relationship with yourself if you’re going to be able to love someone else if you’re going to be able to take care of Your family and your community you have to attribute to human beings and a value that Might as well be described as divine given that it has to be the the ultimate value that you hold and I see it seems to me that it’s not unreasonable to associate that value that is Intrinsic in humanity with something. That’s of Metaphysically that’s metaphysically real that’s part of the structure of reality itself and My sense has been that it’s It makes If you watch how people act when they’re acting properly the hypothesis that there is Divinity within us that reflects divinity itself is the only conclusion that makes sense that works and so I think the evidence I think the evidence suggests that You know, you said you look look what happens when societies lose their bearings. It’s like Yeah you that’s what convinced me to the degree that I became a religious person I didn’t wasn’t as if I discovered God it was more like I discovered Satan discovered the devil and certainly believed that very powerfully metaphysically or not You don’t have to read that much about what happened in Nazi Germany or what happened in The Soviet Union or what happened in Mao’s China what continues to happen in many places around the world? to be convinced that there’s a great darkness and it seems to me that if there’s a great darkness then there has to be a great light and the first part of that is True beyond any hope of refutation and The second seems to be a logical necessity in the light of the first It’s a powerful line that you you know, I feel so obviously the same I want to talk to you about the darkness so I’ve often said all of my life really that we Have a wrong metaphor in calling evil dark because it’s it’s actually so bright That people can stare it in the face the number of Canadian or American students at the most prestigious universities who could identify Pol Pot or even the Gulag Archipelago Let alone the Great Leap Forward in China is so small The knowledge of evil it is now up to over a quarter of kids never heard of Auschwitz It’ll be a half very silly. It will be three quarters in a generation. They don’t know evil. I At Berkeley I was had a dialogue with two leftist students My last question to them was do you believe people are basically good and they said yes And I said, it’s so demonstrably wrong that belief That there’s only one possible explanation for why you hold it because you live in such a good country yeah, well, that’s the that’s the goodness of naivety right and it’s something that’s that’s Encouraged, you know you encourage that by Producing safe spaces around people you produce that by sheltering them you want to preserve that childlike? Innocence but once you’re no longer a child, it’s not childlike. It’s just childish And that’s that’s not good to be a 40 year old child and to think that people are fundamentally good. It’s it’s not Good is very difficult? It’s by no means the default position. What’s the default position entropy? Catastrophe tragedy malevolence and death that’s the default position the good struggles up against that That’s no easy thing to manage to think of that is intrinsic. It’s an intrinsic possibility, but it’s not something that you It’s not something that It’s not something that you can manifest without faith and commitment and and the more faith and the more commitment the better and the deeper the better and it’s the most difficult of things to do and and it is It’s appalling to teach people the alternative and I know that speaking I think speak of this clinically You know The people who are most prone to post-traumatic stress disorder are naive people This is well known clinically. It’s there’s nothing about this. That’s it’s it’s It’s questionable or for unorthodox If you believe that people are basically good and that the world rewards goodness with good in return if that’s your fundamental belief that there’s not really any such thing as evil and You encounter someone malevolent, which could be yourself Well, that’s often what happens to people who develop post-traumatic stress disorder, you know, they’re there it’s very common that people develop PTSD because they’ve done something so incomprehensibly Morally repugnant that it’s damaged them Psycho physiologically and they cannot recover. It’s very common among soldiers It’s not what they saw. Although sometimes it is it’s what they did They have no framework within which to conceptualize it If you have no theory of evil if you have no theory of good and evil, if you have no metaphysics and someone malevolent touches you you’re done and so telling people that Human beings are basically good and that evil doesn’t exist makes them ripe fruit for the picking by the malevolent and There’s nothing about that that’s positive. It’s mere Cowardice masquerading as virtue. It’s the devouring mother and from the Freudian perspective. I’ll keep you innocent I’ll keep you young and naive and nothing will ever come to harm you it’s like precisely the opposite is the case in life That is why by the way, I truly yep That is why I truly believe that a 12 year old at a traditional Christian or a Jewish school is wiser and More likely to be happy than a secular professor of philosophy who is 50 years old Just because I knew I went again to yeshiva all the so half the day in Hebrew Jewish studies have today in English secular Studies I knew at 6 people were not basically good because God said so in Genesis When he decided to destroy the world because it turned out rotten so I knew at the earliest possible age people were not basically good and it not only Affected my felt and show my worldview It made me happy because then I realized wow I’m eating good people despite the fact that people about basically good I really do it but people in my life am I lucky or what? Yeah. Yeah. Well that that’s a that’s a really good. That’s a really good point because You see when I said that it was a miracle that we can all sit here peacefully Like that is how I look at it I think every day when I walk out into the world and it’s not rack and Runes and flames and floods that it’s a bloody miracle. It was I mean it that we hold this together It’s not an easy thing to do and release to think of pace as the default position is a form of deep insanity like it’s it requires work to do to to maintain peace and You can’t be properly grateful Unless you understand how unlikely it is that? Well, we’re not in the throes of World War 3. We’re not still in the depths of World War 2 that the Cold War is mostly over that the economic conditions of people everywhere on the planet are improving at a rate that could only be described as miraculous and that most things are going in a positive direction if you assume that that’s Normative, then you think well, that’s life. But and you have no reason to to be wide-eyed To have your eyes wide open admiration and gratitude at the fact that the worst which is frequently manifested itself is not Knocking at your door at this moment Because that’s the story of humanity and not peace and prosperity So here we have it and here we should preserve it and here we should spread it We should do everything we can to live in a manner that makes that most likely and we should do that Because well you said what did you say fear of God? It’s like Throughout the Old Testament, you know It’s one story after another is that people develop? Societies and they become arrogant and they wander off the path. And as soon as they wander off the path all hell breaks loose and If you’re fortunate enough to be where all hell isn’t breaking loose you should do everything you can to help ensure that we Stay the course and walk the straight and narrow path so I have a So I have a very deep worry in light of our absolute Unanimity if you could speak of unanimity among two people, but we’re so consonant in this this is shocking how good things are and Yet in the United States and I follow Canada a lot but love to speak about America right now in The United States half at least half of young people think they are living in a rotten society Sexist intolerant xenophobic homophobic Islamophobic racist bigoted That’s six herb. That’s my acronym for what I just said this is frightening to me and I want to know is it frightening to you? Well You know, I always try to give the devil his due and the idea that the West is a oppressive patriarchy Characterized by the sins that you just described It’s true You know, there’s if we look through our history personal or political There’s no shortage of things to be appalled by That’s not the question Exactly, or that’s not the issue The issue is compared to what No, I was Churchill this time I’ve got this right It was Churchill who said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the other forms of government and I would say that about our societies is that There’s no we have every reason to be awake and cognizant of our errors Whether they’re political or economic or personal But Compared to how it could be And now it has been in many places and how it is most Everywhere in the world and how it was for much of the 20th century things are so good here that it’s absolutely beyond comprehension and So along with that Careful awareness of the flaws of the patriarchy let’s say should be an unbelievable gratitude that we could wake up in the morning and The lights are on and the and the the freeways are running and there’s no starvation Directly facing us and that our children will live and that the probability that any one of us will die a violent death is negligible and The thing that bothers me about one of the things that bothers me about the modern University is the absolute lack of gratitude that characterizes its teachings. It’s like it’s half the story, you know, it’s like people are oppressed by Nature and People are oppressed by culture and people are oppressed by their own dark Nate their own dark side It’s an existential reality But you have to you have to balance that you have to understand that nature has its benevolent element and that’s what’s giving you life and you have to be grateful for your culture for everything that it’s provided to you and you have to understand that people can be good as well as Adversarial and malevolent and you have to be grateful for that and there’s damn there’s a there’s there’s a There’s a damnable shortage of gratitude in the modern Academy and that’s based on a naivety or a resentment That’s so deep that it’s almost in comprehending a naivety and a resentment and a willful blindness to the reality of history That’s so deep that it’s almost incomprehensible So if we ask you it may be you may strike. Whose absurd I’m gonna ask it anyway Except for technical knowledge like medicine or engineering mathematics obviously any of the Natural Sciences law if nobody went if all North Americans Graduating high school decided I’m not going to college With the with North America be a better or a worse place If you took away the STEM fields Yeah taking away the STEM fields. I think that universities Not colleges necessarily. I Think that universities do more harm than good now that and I’m very loath to say that, you know because I’ve been Part of the Academy for thirty years and taught it great institutions but the The postmodern collectivist doctrine is so Psychologically and politically toxic That I think that Academia now does more harm than good and It’s not only what it teaches which is the ideology this ungrateful ideology which denies the existence of the individual One of the things I might tell you just so you know, this is that You know that you hear that there are debates about free speech on campus About who should talk and who shouldn’t and people think that’s what the debate is about About who should talk and who shouldn’t but that’s not what the debate of it is about that You don’t even scraping the surface of the debate if that’s what you think. It’s about The debate on campus is about whether or not a human being has the capacity to communicate intelligibly as an individual or not and the answer for the postmodernist collective types is that there is no such thing as an individual and Therefore the very notion of free speech is absurd Because free speech is predicated on the idea that each of us have something to say, that’s ours That’s a consequence of our unique individuality not our group identity or or the multiplicity of our group identities but something that it’s something that we have that speaks from our spirit that can speak to the spirit of another and produce a negotiated peace and That’s what’s being debated That the war that’s going on philosophically or theologically in the campuses is far deeper than you think it no the entire notion of the reality of the individual which is I think also the entire notion of The idea that human beings are made in the image of God most fundamentally That is what’s being attacked. It wasn’t for nothing that Derrida called Western culture FAL logo centric phallus for Masculine logos for logos for truth and courage and centric for centric that was a criticism from his perspective the idea of the sovereignty of the individual if you don’t have the idea of the Sovereignty of the individual because there’s no individual. There’s no free. Speech All you are is an avatar of your group interests, and if I’m not in your group It’s not in my interest to let you speak There’s nothing that we have to say to one another there’s nothing but power it’s a Hobbesian nightmare of group against group and That’s the postmodern doctrine and so it’s to call it appalling is to barely scrape the surface it’s it’s an assault it is it is truly an assault on the most fundamental principles by which the West is governed it’s not Surface level philosophy, it goes all the way to the bottom this is partly why I’ve been concentrating on religious themes in my lectures say Because the argument goes all the way down to first principles Is there is The in is the idea of the sovereignty of the individual Correct The Western answer is it’s the great discovery of the West the Western answer is that’s the most fundamental truth that is Exactly, what’s under assault at the universities? The reason that the collectivist types hate me is Because I’ve got their number. I know what they’re up to And I think I think further that They do not wish to shoulder the unbearable responsibility of being a sovereign individual So not only is it And That accounts for the cowardice and that accounts for the attempt to weaken the spirit of the people that they’re teaching by over protecting them they’re not willing to take on the responsibility and the Fault has to lie elsewhere And I think that’s a good judge of someone Someone’s character in general. It’s like Well, the world is in the messy State. Let’s say And the question is whose fault is it an answer is yours That’s the right answer it’s not the patriarchy it’s not Some identifiable group. It’s not some structure that’s gone wrong, even though those things can go wrong And that’s the other fundamental truth of the West is that things would be a lot better if you were a lot better and you Have to decide if you’re willing to accept that and and you have every reason not to it’s a terrible thought Don’t With Solzhenitsyn, I think this is a paraphrase, but it’s close enough he said that one person who stopped lying could bring down a tyranny and that that When I first read that I thought that can’t possibly be true and as I understood it, I thought that can’t possibly not be true because the only thing that can break, the spine of a tyranny is the truth and the only person that and the only Way that the truth can be told is that some individual tells it? And so it’s necessarily the case that tyranny is broken by the truth of the individual But then the question is well, is it going to be you that’s going to do that? It’s no trivial thing, you know people come and tell me Very frequently and they write me and they say well, you know I agree with what you say and this terrible thing is happening in my workplace And you know, I don’t know what to do about it And I don’t want you to make my story public and because of the potential for repercussions and I think yeah Well, I mean, I understand your position. It’s no joke – it’s no joke – stand up when when when When the when the amateur totalitarians are knocking on your office door But if you don’t then sooner sooner than you think it’ll be the professional Totalitarians and then you’ll be in this sort of trouble that that unless you’ve tried to imagine it you can’t possibly imagine so in the minutes remaining I’m gonna ask you a few personal questions As I did with the late great Charles Krauthammer at one of our weekend’s Because people like including me just fascinated belicus. So here’s one What was the city in Alberta you grew up in? Well, it wasn’t a city exactly. Okay little town It’s called Fairview It’s about 800 miles north of the American border. So it’s a long ways up there. Right so How often if at all that do you think? when people stop you at airports and you go around the world lecturing Jordan Peterson from Fairview It’s hard to believe Does that happen? Well, I live I live in a constant state of disbelief I mean I’m dead serious about this like I think it’s a form of post-traumatic Post-traumatic shock in some sense. I mean my life in the last three years has been just a continuous series of surreal Impossibilities. I mean on the one hand I’ve been involved in a political scandal of some sort For a good year and a half. It was at least twice a week And then for the entire three year period it’s been at least once a week. It’s nonstop and sometimes it’s national and sometimes it’s international but it’s continual and so that’s I’ll give you an example. This is a funny little story my son came over one day about year-and-a-half ago And I was having a kind of a rough day because 200 of my colleagues at the University had signed a document trying to get me fired and Then they gave it to the Union and and the Union presented it to the administration without even informing me Even though I’m part of the faculty union, and so I said to my son Julian you know 200 of my colleagues today just signed a letter saying that I should be fired and he said oh Dad, don’t don’t worry about that. It was only 200 And I thought well that’s where we were out, you know, it was like, oh that’s not that’s nuts That’s a that was a light day I was ok, you know And then so there’s that and and the fact that it doesn’t quit. That’s another thing. I can’t understand it’s like, you know all this blew up around me around Bill c16 and I thought well, I’ve had my 15 minutes or mine then it was like well, I’ve had my week and then it was like oh I must have had my month and then but none of that happened it just kept expanding and expanding and expanding and expanding and expanding and and every day I wake up and I think well this is gonna come to an end, but it doesn’t it just expands and and that just doesn’t seem credible in the least every time I come to an event like this or I mean when I was in Australia I was speaking to audiences of 5,500 people and it’s like how in the world can you believe that it’s like I you heard what I just said who there who in their right mind would come and listen to someone who just told you what I told you you know, it’s so dark and it’s so demanding you wouldn’t think that people would Line for blocks and spend their hard-earned money and and come because it’s a like a marital anniversary That’s what they say. This was our anniversary present to each other. I thank you people you my you’re completely out of your mind And so and then I think to you know that that That the state of disbelief is necessary and maybe that’s an advantage to being older Because I’m too old to adapt rapidly and this isn’t the sort of thing that you should adapt to right I should be in a constant state of shock disbelief because it keeps my head on straight. I Don’t know what’s going on. Exactly. I don’t know why it’s the case that what I’m saying is so necessary Apparently but it seems to be and I’m trying to figure out why But I’m certainly not for a second. I think I take very little for granted And I mean, I think I take even less for granted than you might think I told you that I don’t take it for granted that you can all sit here peacefully, you know and And that is how I look at the world is that if it isn’t if it isn’t burning in rock and runes then I think it’s a bloody miracle and the fact that things have gone well for me and That I’m still standing which is also a miracle of sorts, you know, I mean There were probably 30 different scandalous Episodes that had every that anyone with any sense would have thought would finish me and They’ve all backfired and that’s all so I Also don’t understand that It’s like I don’t understand that I get attacked in new york times and my friends Call me who are New York Times readers and they say You you you you’ve had it this time cuz that was the New York Times, you know You’re not gonna recover from that and I think well, that’s probably true I mean I was expecting it to happen all along and then I wait and then you know everybody clamors out me and then I don’t respond too much to that and it starts to die away and then all the supporters come out and then there’s a Hundred people who clamor and ten thousand supporters and you know, here’s something I can tell you about my life That’s really remarkable so, you know if you just Read the press Well, you’d have all sorts of ideas about me. I mean You know that I’m a bigot in the broadest possible sense. And so that’s you know racist sexist homophobic Ethnocentric white nationalists. All right All of those things And you’d think that there was just nothing but hatred Although I have been treated well by many journalists But you you could easily get that sense that like I live in a world Where I’m surrounded by hatred and that is absolutely not true it’s so not true that that that it’s You know There are lies and then there are there are there are anti truths then and an anti truth is even worse than a lie It’s like the ultimate form of lie, and that is what my life is like at all what my life is like is that I Travel with my wife and wherever we go. And I mean that literally wherever we go We’ve been to I don’t know how many countries in the last year. It’s like I Don’t know how many 30 40 many countries If I go down the street nor if I’m in an airport, or if I’m in a cafe or if I’m in a movie theater, or if I’m in a mechanic’s shop Some person comes up to me every 10 minutes and says I hope I’m not disturbing you and they’re very very polite and they say I’ve been listening to your lectures or I’ve been watching your YouTube videos or I read your book and I was in this dreadful place six months ago and then they tell me a little bit about the particulars of that little corner of hell they were in sconce tin and then they say Well, I’ve been trying to develop a vision for my life or I’ve been trying to take more responsibility Are being trying to be grateful for my job Mundane though it may be or I’ve decided that I’m going to try to put my family together and make peace and I’ve really been trying and it’s really working and things are way better and Thank you And so Well, it’s so overwhelming to have that happen. Continually. It’s very difficult to believe but It’s unbelievably positive You know, I mean it’s if you could imagine if you could ask for what you want today. You could have anything you wanted You might think It would be lovely if I could give my life in a manner so that wherever I went in the world Perfect strangers would come up to me one after the other and tell me that They’re suffering much less That their families are in better shape and that their lives are on course because they took They they took to heart some something that I was communicating That’s as good as it gets as far as I could I Had really I don’t want to ask anything else I think this was so powerful and if that didn’t prove my instinct is right Nothing will Georgie Peterson You are a good man. You are doing a lot of good. I thank God he made you Thank you You


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