Jordan B. Peterson
Toyota Pavillion Hall
Irving, TX
2/9/22, 8pm

Lecture Notes

“The things you want to say, but can’t get out, can traumatize you.”

Horror movies – we pay money to expose ourselves to fear. Why would you pay to be afraid? Even more interestingly, we do this voluntarily.

Voluntary exposure – to what horrifies us and makes us afraid.

Relationship with prefrontal cortex, speaking aloud, and fear.

“Voluntary exposure to that which you would rather avoid is currative. You get braver. Find out what you are avoiding, and set yourself to facing that thing in small doses.”

Cat and Broom – If you come at a cat with a broom, it experiences fear. But corner the cat, and the cat’s fear will turn to aggression.

We have seen that some genetic DNA structures within your coding get new biological formatting when you face your fears – voluntary exposure to what you fear, in small doses, changes you over time.

The Relationship between free speech (or, speaking bravely, or, speaking what is true) and the Pre-Frontal Cortex

Conversations you need to have, even if aloud – even if imaginary. Using the imagination.

“Build fantasies in your head for these to exist, so that you can toy around with them and think them through, and play at it.”

When you are suffering arbitrarily, you have to contend with profound questions. And it can take you out if those problems are serious enough and stuck rummaging around in your head without your ability to speak to them, or on them, or about them. You have to face them.

Not facing them can take the spirit out of your life, a dreadful spiritual consequence. A nihilistic hell. “This isn’t nothing. And you are called on to be concerned about that.”

Fiction – allows us to imitate and act out situations and hypotheticals. And you feel them, the truths of them and the truths in the stories.

Video games, dreams, fiction, – all the same. Simulated fiction, fiction that “isn’t true” – we say that, but Fiction is MEGA true. More true that truth itself. In all these simulations (even your dreams), you’re posed with the problem and have got to come up with ways of dealing with it.

Coming up with multiple “avatars” in a fictionalized environment in order to investigate a problem from multiple angles. Creative solutions; allowing the battle to take place in your imagination. Even if you’re good at that, you’d only be able to do that to a limited degree, and only every now and then.

You cannot evaluate your “simulations” (ie, fictionalized interactions) without talking about it. You have to talk. Three brains are better than one.

You have to think. So think and let your thoughts die instead of you.

You split your thoughts between you and someone else in your imagination. Maybe even 2 or 3 others. Or 5. I know a man who could do upwards of 10.

You have to talk. And you have the right to (free speech).


When you are in alignment, and “in the zone” with Meaning, you become maximally adapted.

The thing needed to transform the suffering is more meaningful than the suffering itself.

Thats why you write. You write so that you get the map of meaning right; you write so that you can avoid falling into the pit and taking others around you down with you.

If you want to maintain your cognitive functions and transform them, three things:

(1) Excercise
(2) Writing about traumatic experiences
(3) Having goals for the future.

Freud: If you express the emotion, its cathartic and healing. He found that understanding (on the part of the person) is healing.


Betrayal can put “holes in the map” of a person, where they are left not knowing what the hell happened. It can make a person have PTSD and their map of meaning suddenly falls out. This is a serious, psychological reality.

When you go down to the depths, the deeper you go down your map structure the more you [too fast]. You’ve gotta go wayyyy down, into yourself, and sort it out.

If you are traumatized, your internal alarm system is constantly ringing. And if you can’t get out of that place, you’re in the desert.

When your map of meaning falls out, parts of you lie scattered in the past, and they are unredeemed and crying out for redemption.

If you could have anything you wanted: what would it be? (And are you brave enough to ask yourself that question?)If you specify what you want, it is painful when you don’t get it. So many people dont let themselves answer this question for fear.

But this is they way things manifest to you.

And this requires voluntary exposure to that which you fear.

And if you really want it, more than anything, you will let go of all obstacles keeping you from getting it.

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