The Story of the Soul

The following is transcribed (with minor changes for translation purposes) from 2 hours, 39 minutes in the 877th podcast of Joe Rogan with Jordan Peterson:

It isn’t as if intellectuals are characterised by an intrinsic moral superiority. ‘Oh they are smart so they will leap to the defence of what is right’. No. There is no evidence for that. Intelligence and moral wisdom aren’t the same thing. Like, if you are corrupt and smart, all that makes you is way more treacherous…You are 56 headed snakes instead of 2.

I have had clients who had very serious personality disorders who were very intelligent. It’s like.. that’s not necessarily a good thing for them. They are just better for arguing their pathology.

Let me tell you a story…

One time I had this client. This woman was just ruined. She looked like a street person and had very dirty clothes. She was so shy she couldn’t even approach you. She had to shield her eyes from you as if you were emitting light. She did that to everyone on the street and she was bent over and humble like a Chinese peasant brought before the emperor.

One of the things I was doing with her in Behavioural therapy was just trying to get her to present herself in a more normal manner so that people wouldn’t shy away from her and be instantly prejudiced towards her.
She wasn’t bright this woman. I think she only had a seventh-grade education and quite intellectually impaired. She lived with her sick Aunt who was schizophrenic and had a satanically possessed alcoholic boyfriend that was always tormenting my client. She lived in absolute hell.

But she had this dog and she used to take it and walk the dog all the time. And then she had come to the behavioural therapy clinic partly because of her own problem, but she had come to this place called the Douglas hospital where she had been inpatient in the hospital. And in the hospital, there were these long-term psychiatric patients. And they looked like something out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting (see above) or Dante’s Inferno. I mean these people…this is way worse than ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. These people were seriously destroyed. And they couldn’t be let back on the street…They were there for life.

She had decided that part of the reason that she wanted to come to the hospital was because she had been institutionalised there and she thought that maybe when she took her dog out for a walk, that she could go and get one of those damn inmates and take them out for a walk also.

Now, this is a person who was moral.
Dumb as a post… screwed in 50 different directions and nothing going for her. And she had the ‘bloody’ moral capacity to just decide that there was someone worse off than her and believe me – that wasn’t easy to find. And maybe she could do them some good if the hospital would let her. Which they didn’t do by the way.

Yeh well, that’s the story of the soul. That’s not the intellect – that’s for sure.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Reflections

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