Traditional Values We Can’t Evolve Without

It’s time for another Integral Chat with Jeff Salzman of the This is the first of a three part series we have planned wherein we look deep at the heart and soul of each of the three most prevalent orientations of human conscious active in the world today.

3 Groups currently struggle for the steering wheel of the human race.

Traditionalists, Modernists, and Post Modernists.

3 groups who don’t get along, and are finding it harder and harder to even talk to each other. We’re going to need to fix that… soon.

The idea of this series is to find the “gold” of each in the hopes that the sooner we realize we need to carry it forward – to Integrate it, as the name of this particular theory promises we can – the faster our species will collectively move to the next level… to attain the ability to hold multiple perspectives, to stop insisting on the exclusivity of our racial, national, or intellectual tribes, and get on with the business of growing the hell up. 

After all, that’s what we’re really here for, right?

To start this series of conversations, our subject today is the Traditional mindset. Personally, I have great affinity for this angle of approach to life.  These are the storytellers, the myth makers and myth believers.  Though I will answer to “post modern lib-tard” from time to time, I do believe that the most important things in life tend to be the unseen elements largely rejected by Modern and Post-modern thought.

I believe that the Traditionalist’s ability to rally around an abstract idea is a great strength. One that we as a species lose at our peril.

I also believe that this great strength of the Traditionalist – the ability to lean on the unseen, on morals, ethics and things of the spirit when science and raw power is not enough – appears to be hanging by a thread. In fighting a losing battle against time and species evolution, many Traditionalists, it seems, have fallen sway to words they want to hear, promises coming from outside themselves, instead of drawing power from the invisible, silent, and incorruptible soul within.

The Traditionalists are the keepers of soul wisdom. They hold that fire for us all. They wait for us to remember how important it is. And I see evidence that many of them are losing faith. And again, we ALL lose what they hold at our peril.

To represent the best in Traditional values, I put together a short video featuring the words of Joseph Campbell, Jordan Peterson, and scenes from one of the great films about the possibilities –  both good and bad – of America and our amazing experiment in self-governance, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart. Watch the whole film and see that 1939 was more 2018 than we might think.

Notes: We finally bought a house! Moving in Friday. The “What’s Your Theory” offices will be up and running as soon as the golden fountains are installed and the shark tanks are filled. So new podcasts will be coming much more regularly very soon.

And WYT is now being recorded in Video. So now you can listen as normal or watch on this page or on Youtube as new episodes become available.

6 thoughts on “Traditional Values We Can’t Evolve Without

  1. I wonder if Mr. Smith’s girl friend could be the hero ~ that would be a shift from traditionalism that would bring such delight! Maybe that is happening now.

  2. It does look like that is happening, doesn’t it? I think the most encouraging things happening in our national conversation are coming from women. The Women’s marches and especially the flood of women running for office all over the country, really seems like a cultural evolutionary leap happening in real time.

    And I think she is a hero in that movie, just not the main one. More Obi Wan than Luke.

  3. Love what you are doing here, Steve. I have been following Jeff at the DailyEvolver for a couple years now. And like you, stumbled on to Jordan Peterson by way of Joe Rogan. I have been caught up in the war on SJW’s. I have wondered how I, who identify strongly with the values of the Green meme, am so attracted to Peterson’s message. I initially thought that Jordan was operating from an integral perspective but was surprised when Jeff placed Jordan at Traditional. I’m not so sure about that, but as they say, “there are lines and levels along the spiral.” I find the whole thing so fascinating.

    One thing though, I just wanted to mention is, I think Jordan has helped me to deal with the spiritual trauma I suffered from being caught up in fundamentalist religion. I was raised mormon. I owe Jeff at the DailyEvolver a debt of gratitude for sure. Thank you Jeff. And thank you Steve for being on topic for me. It feels like this episode of the podcast was created just for me.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Steve. All great to hear!

      As for Jordan Peterson, he is really occupying a fascinating position in our societal conversation, isn’t he? The big thing I’ve noticed is that he seems to be extra hard to understand for people who consume information in quick sound bites (so most of us, really). Which is ironic because he is really precise with his words. The problem is that it’s too easy to take him out of context. I’ve also noticed that Rogan does a better job than most at allowing Peterson to make his points. i.e., he doesn’t come off as well when talking to many other hosts.

      There was a very good article in The Atlantic (I think) called something like “Why Can’t Anybody Understand What Jordan Peterson is Saying?” It transcribes an insane interview in which Peterson tries to make several complex points, only to be instantly misunderstood and attacked for each one. It’s an amazing read.

      On the other hand, I also saw Michael Brooks break down a video from Vice in which Peterson was more free to speak… and Brooks (who I am a fan of) still missed the point and mischaracterized the message. But that said, Peterson was also being way more aggressive than when I’ve seen him on Rogan’s show. i.e., he wasn’t exactly doing himself any favors unless he was hoping to piss some people off. He also cultivates relationships with online characters who don’t help with this issue either. On some level, I feel like he kind of fell into this situation of instant celebrity and is being, at least to some extent, exploited by the right and the left – by people who use him to help promote a considerably less sophisticated world view, and by people who use cherry-picked phrases to make unusually strong straw men. But as I’ve already admitted, I don’t know much more about him than what comes across in the Rogan interviews.

  4. Having tuned in here and also over at Jeff’s piece from the day after, I find myself looking internally towards unreconciled matters within me.

    There are a great deal of things within myself that I have awareness of as being fractured and dis-integrated. I’ve come to these awarenesses through many different means: Attachment Theory is one, as is meditation, and also Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Emotional Focus Therapy. From such personal experience, I can also see that any large-scale human evolutionary change is going to be slow.

    So, here’s my problem:

    I do think that there are masculine and feminine differences. In my personal life I’ve found those things to be unavoidable and plainly seen. And while I have elements of traditionalism and modernity within myself, I also understand that postmodernism is where we’re all currently at in an evolutionary way. So now, how to include all of “the good things” of traditionalism and modernity, WHILE ALSO TRANSCENDING POSTMODERNITY, for the outcomes that Post-Postmodernism/Metamodernism seem to predict – INCLUDING the healthy integration of the masculine and feminine.

    It seems to me that the culture war has all of this ramping up to warp speed. Push is made by postmodernists to see these integrations happen pretty much immediately and without question. But full disclosure from me: I can’t move that fast, it seems. And yes, I have a ton of questions that I VERY MUCH do want to ask.

    To that end, I’d describe myself as a Christian mystic, and I think that the matter of integration can best be found in the Jungian expression of that. And that’s deep water to dive into…

    Lastly, about what you and Jeff spoke of towards the end: Jordan Peterson gets a lot of shit these days (as do I for having attended his “The Psychological Significance Of The Biblical Stories” lectures throughout 2017) for (parts of) what would be traditional in his teaching and lecturing. But what if Peterson can reform/reintegrate “healthy Amber” and have men find meaning and love and empathetic response in themselves? Wouldn’t THAT be at least one way forward for all of us, and not just “young white men?”

    As always, love “What’s Your Theory?” and the ongoing conversations that are arriving here. Great work, Steve. As an aside, I don’t receive notices that others comment here: are there settings for me to turn on/upgrade to…?

    With thanks.

  5. Thanks, Tom. And many interesting questions…

    “how to include all of “the good things” of traditionalism and modernity, WHILE ALSO TRANSCENDING POSTMODERNITY, for the outcomes that Post-Postmodernism/Metamodernism seem to predict INCLUDING the healthy integration of the masculine and feminine.” That’s a lot to unpack.

    For one thing, a “healthy integration of the masculine and feminine” is likely coming and would surely be a good thing, But I’m not sure we’ve fully determined what that is going to look like. After all, doesn’t “Integral Theory” necessarily imply that Post-Modernism can’t have all the answers?

    I think the essence of moving forward is in determining what are “the good things” to keep. From Traditionalism, I’ve staked my claim in this show that it’s personal responsibility (and integrity) and the morality of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you…” as well as the ability to see the world as more than meets the eye.

    That last part, perception of the mystical, is the necessary quality we humans are going to need to transcend the entrenched dogmatism of scientism we are currently struggling with. We need to be able to value everything that science brings us without forsaking the scientific method (which really ought to be leading us to a more fearless and logical examination of the mystical). So, if we could turn the Modern gifts of rationality to rationally explore the higher realities, instead of pretending that they don’t exist because they don’t show up under a microscope… then we’d really have something.

    As for notices about comments, that’s another good question. I have the same problem, which is why sometimes it takes me so long to respond to comments. I’ve checked the boxes get notices, but they don’t seem to come. Not sure why.

    update – So, this comment (my own) sat in a “spam check” for a day before posting. I have disabled the spam filter, and that seemed to allow the post. But if anybody reading this knows how to set the comment page to optimum in WordPress, please let me know. Thanks!

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