The Regression of Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, Thomas Sowell - Rebel Wisdom


The point I was making, @FermentedAgave, is that Wilber’s work is focused on an emerging, entirely new stage of development in individuals and cultures (the Integral stage). JP is doing no such thing. Thus, their modus operandi is understandably different.


I think regression can be temporary, but isn’t necessarily so. I would also add that our modern society makes it it less likely to be temporary, and the last 10 years of technology have multiplied the odd against “bouncing back”.
If a person gets depression or another psychological problem, our modern medicine men prescribe antidepressants. If we get heart disease, they prescribe heart medication and so on. The underlying causes of mental and physical regression are not dealt with. Even in the self improvement and “guru” field, most people just want to buy something that will fix all their problems in a single weekend.
The problem is that the underlying values of our entire society are increasingly placing more value on bandaid solutions that treat the surface but not the underlying system of values.
In the last 10 years we have seen the internet exacerbate this. Particularly with COVID, we have seen people can find “evidence” and “science” for any position they want to have on a wide variety of topics. When people are in regression, they are able to find “science” and “research” to support deepening this regression, and are less likely to break through.
So yes, JP of course can in the future Integrate Green. The difficulty he faces (and also Rebel Wisdom faces) is that a large part of their cash flow was grown from cheerleading the Culture Wars. If they start expressing Green perspectives, they will be cancelled by their Anti Green viewer base. This I’ll link in to fermented’s point:

Yes, I’ve noticed this vulnerability. I would argue that this is an aspect of Green that he has deep down. Unfortunately he isn’t strong enough, self confident enough or self loving enough within himself to pull this off. The result is that when he is attacked, he drags himself into a great saint - victim - persecutor dynamic. “I’m vulnerable and sincere” —> “I was attacked while being sincere” —> “I have the right to attack those who attacked me” —> “I am good because I am encouraging others to join in the fight against these bad people who attacked me”. In this kind of dynamic, vulnerability is a kind of siren call for others to join in on this dynamic on a massive scale.

Oh yes, of course. My point is that your image of whatever “they” are is 30 years behind the times. Nobody in these circles is advocating large scale communism on the national level. Ironically, many Trump supporters are closeted communists as we saw when Bernie supporters moved to Trump.

In modern common usage, Liberal = progressive. The whole entire FOX News viewership uses Liberal in this way, as in the term “Libtard”. It’s only a few intellectuals in their academic Ivory Towers (JP, Rubin, Sowell) who use the term “Classical Liberal”. The vast masses of America don’t have a clue what they mean when they say that. So it’s not me who conflated the Left with LIberalism - it was 50 years of Conservative commentators all the way from Rush Limbaugh to Alex Jones who beat the anti-Liberal drum and completely confused everyone what Liberal means. What I observe in your use of terminology is that you identify if the person is in in your group or not, and then assign them terminology regardless of their actions or views. If republicans pass a 4 trillion dollar stimulus package, you feel it was necessary. If Obama passed a bill 1/5 that size (787 billion) to pull us out of a financial crisis, it was Marxist. So you yourself are not clear in your usage of these terms. This is something you have in common to Trump and the Trump crowd. If Trump does something, he claims it is patriotic and smart. If his enemy does the exact same thing, it’s a crime and they should be locked up. There are literally hundreds of examples of this.


I think it’s important to talk about the different kinds of regression that are possible within individuals and groups.

True regression within an individual — that is, regression within a particular intelligence or line of development, such as the cognitive line for example — is rare, and usually only seen in cases of head trauma, brain damage, etc. The wiring of our brains suddenly change, and so do our capacities.

But there are some facets of self that CAN regress without this sort of UR quadrant biological disruption.

Particularly our worldviews, which are often informed and influenced not by our brain chemistry, but by the sorts of groups that we identify with. And groups can get activated and radicalized in all sorts of ways — including radicalization against other groups on the other side of a given “us vs. them” divide (more on that in a minute) — and when they do, this tends to shift the worldviews of every individual who is a member of that group. This is particularly pernicious for pre-integral stages of development, since there is no notion of vertical development that can act as guardrails in our own ongoing growth and/or regression. We see this sort of thing on both political extremes these days.

And this becomes even more likely when we are carrying unexamined shadow material from previous stages in our psyche. These are often shadows that remain submerged, until our life conditions arrange themselves in such a way that they come to the surface and hijack our overall center of gravity. For example, we might have a hidden Amber shadow that causes us to unconsciously separate people into us vs. them groups, and that shadow can easily become inflamed when our own surrounding group begins to perceive another group as enemy. In which case, we still retain our higher developmental capacities, but those capacities are then bent around an early-stage shadow fixation that our overall self-system continues to trip over.

And of course these shadows can then be doubly reinforced by our surrounding groups. If I have an amber shadow, and that shadow then attracts a larger amber audience who consistently rewards me for my amber shadow, that shadow then becomes reinforced by my surrounding group and my future expressions are more likely to conform to that pattern. Especially in the attention age, when my livelihood depends on having an audience who will pay that attention to me. We begin to tailor our expression to the groups who are most receptive to our brokenness, which can seduce us into thinking our brokenness is actually a virtue, and in fact a different kind of wholeness. It can also cause us to take ourselves too seriously — it makes the boundaries of our ego more opaque, especially as things like fame, notoriety, and financial reward begin to impact our overall self-concept. I think we see much of this with JP.

Meanwhile, groups remain messy as ever, and can easily and quickly progress and/or regress in all sorts of ways as soon as some central dynamic within the group shifts. As we often say, the center of gravity of a group is sort of like playing a game of poker, where the players decide the rules of the game between each hand. If you have a table of green individuals at the poker table, the rules will be more or less green. But as soon as half the green folks leave, and are then replaced by amber folks, the game goes on but the rules change quite a bit. We see this in things like identity groups and political parties all the time.

And then, yes, there is the idea of a “regression in service of the ego”, which describes a very temporary, typically deliberate (and guided) regression in order to redress some injury or shadow that remains in our system. Not the sort of thing we see in groups, however, because again, the overall views and values of the group do not exist in a vacuum, they are determined by the shared interiors between members of that group.


@raybennett I appreciate the points you are making, but perhaps how we define “temporary” is the crucial point. It might be 10 minutes or 10 months or 10 years or 10 decades or 10 centuries or longer, from my point of view. What I hold to, rightly or wrongly, is that the overall arc of Evolution writ large is a progressive one, with not a few regressions in the mix. And yes, some cultures entirely die out, just like people or the way animal extinctions happen, but as long as there is some form of life and consciousness on the planet, I think its overall general trend is towards greater wholeness, harmony, and unity. Just my personal view.


Well-'splained, Corey.


Yes, time period is important and also which group we are talking about is part of which holon. So a family member might regress physically and die of cancer, but the family as a whole might take that as a sign to take up a healthier lifestyle and then progress. Or on a larger national scale a group may get into power and go to an extreme as in Nazi Germany, but then after the defeat of Germany, Europe as a whole progressed.
On the other hand, there may be a case where if my eye offendeth me, I cut it out - and then my hand also. Such a mindset is difficult to progress out of.


I’m smiling as I think perhaps you are the one conflating the Fox announcers with the Peterson’s and Sowell’s. Have you spent enough time with Peterson and Sowell to see any difference between them and the Rubin’s and Elder’s?

Your claim of “ivory towers” academics is simply nonsensical - you are quite simply projecting. All “put themselves out there” to have their thinking, ideas, theories and concerns tested in both friendly and adversarial settings. Elder and Rubin are highly public commentators. Peterson and Sowell have waded into the private sector, academia, public forums, research institutes, and many many interviews both friendly and adversarial.

You can’t say any of this about KW. He only wanders down out of seclusion from his hermetic perch above the sea of humanity for extremely controlled settings with highly controlled “friendly” audiences.
Has KW never had a contentious interview because he’s so enlightened or because he so carefully scripts his interaction with the outside world?

Agree with this to some degree. I wasn’t in favor of the Covid shutdown, nor the stimulus package, nor those passed solely by Democrats. I do tend to view most DNC spending as highly corrupt with targets to reduce individual liberty, meanwhile RNC spending is a little less corrupt but most importantly not targeted at reducing individual liberty. I would also point out that technically Congress develops and passes the stimulus packages, with the President either signing or vetoing.

If you never test yourself with the broader world, are you giving your ego a highly fertile setting to run amok?


How can I project being in an Ivory Tower when I have no connection to any Academic institution whatsoever, lol?

The whole problem with JP started because he was lecturing to University Students. That was the entire 100% of the problem. If he was a commentator on a news show or a podcast like Joe Rogan or even Alex Jones, the “attacks” by feminists would not have threatened him nearly as much. But since his bread and butter was lecturing University Students on University campuses - when Feminists and other tried to stop universities from hiring him as a guest speaker, it was an attack on not just him but also his source of income, and he took it very personally.
That’s why personalities like Howard Stern, Joe Rogan, Alex Jones, and so on laugh at cancel culture - and why JP moved to the internet and appeared less and less in Academic institutions in the past 5 years.
Lok at JP’s earlier interviews - they were often in a venue such as a classroom or lecture hall or auditorium. Not now.

It’s interesting that you keep trying to bring up Ken’s privileges, which is irrelevant and ironic when we are discussing JP. On the one hand the idea of privilege is a Socially Liberal concept that you apparently fully embrace when someone outside your group is priviledged, and you are using this as an ad hominem reason to attack Ken and hope that somehow this proves something about JP - which it doesn’t in any way.

So how can I possibly be projecting this? Is my income derived from University lectures? No. I’m curious how you believe this is projection.

Here is JP’s actual education and employment history. Nowhere in here do I see any long period of time outside of Academia prior to 2018. His entire history prior to is complete Ivory Tower - and that is why being attacked by Academics and student groups hurt him so much

After graduating from Fairview High School in 1979, Peterson entered Grande Prairie Regional College to study political science and English literature,[27] studying to be a corporate lawyer.[3] During this time he read The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell, which significantly affected his educational focus and worldview.[27][3] He later transferred to the University of Alberta, where he completed his BA in political science in 1982.[25] Afterwards, he took a year off to visit Europe, where he began studying the psychological origins of the Cold War; 20th-century European totalitarianism;[27][11] and the works of Carl Jung, Friedrich Nietzsche, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,[19] and Fyodor Dostoevsky.[11]

Peterson then returned to the University of Alberta and received a BA in psychology in 1984.[28] In 1985, he moved to Montreal to attend McGill University. He earned his PhD in clinical psychology under the supervision of Robert O. Pihl in 1991, and remained as a post-doctoral fellow at McGill’s Douglas Hospital until June 1993, working with Pihl and Maurice Dongier.[27][29]

While at McGill University and the Douglas Hospital, Peterson conducted research into familial alcoholism and its associated psychopathologies, such as childhood and adolescent aggression and hyperactive behaviour.[30][31][32]

From July 1993 to June 1998,[33] Peterson lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, while teaching and conducting research at Harvard University, where he was hired as an assistant professor in the psychology department, later becoming an associate professor. During his time at Harvard, he studied aggression arising from drug and alcohol abuse.[30] An article in The Harvard Crimson said he possessed a “willingness to take on any research project, no matter how unconventional”.[25] While at Harvard, he switched his primary area of research from familial alcoholism to personality and authored several academic papers.[34][35][36][37][38][39] Author Gregg Hurwitz, a former student of Peterson’s at Harvard, has cited Peterson as an inspiration of his, and psychologist Shelley Carson, former PhD student and now-professor at Harvard, recalled that Peterson’s lectures had “something akin to a cult following”, stating, “I remember students crying on the last day of class because they wouldn’t get to hear him anymore.”[6] Following his associate position at Harvard, Peterson returned to Canada in July 1998 and eventually became a full professor at the University of Toronto.[28][33][40]

Peterson’s areas of study and research within the fields of psychology are psychopharmacology,[41][42] abnormal,[43] neuro,[44] clinical, personality,[45][46] social,[46] industrial and organizational,[33] religious, ideological,[27] political, and creativity.[47] Peterson has authored or co-authored more than a hundred academic papers[48] and was cited almost 8,000 times as of mid-2017; at the end of 2020 almost 15,000 times.[49][50]

Note he only stopped teaching University in 2018


Indeed! But then…“you may ask yourself am I right or am I wrong? You may ask yourself my God! What have I done?!” Your funny comment Ray made me think of this:


Thanks for clarifying different kinds of regression!

I can imagine that your earlier identifications are socially and financially reinforced to influence your overall self-system and center of gravity. But as you indicated, this would still be rare especially if you are above Orange and things like fame and money are no longer your primary concerns. And this is why I believe JP was not at Green or Integral and it is inaccurate to describe him as regressing in his vertical development. In my view, the highly polarized political environment simply amplified his developmental characteristics (which I believe are mostly Orange) rather than making him regress to whatever stage his shadow is most unresolved. It reminds me of Viktor Frankl’s account that when people are put in extreme situations like Nazi concentration camps, they do not uniformly regress or degenerate into the most selfish and morally corrupt. But instead, the character of each individual is amplified and individual differences become even more apparent.

Confusion in this kind of discussions also seems to come from conflating different lines of development. When discussing individual development, I often see people talking about cognitive development and the development of values interchangeably, the former of which is necessary but not sufficient for the latter. In AQAL model, UL is described in cognitive terms. But I see a color scheme is used to describe development in Integral Life discussions, which I suppose is derived from spiral dynamics, a theory of value development. @raybennett mentioned, for example, that some people believe JP is integral because he used to produce content that integrates Green and Orange thoughts. JP may indeed have the cognitive capacity to integrate different systems of thought and be at Integral in cognitive development. But his action has rarely reflected integral thinking, which makes me doubt that he has been at Integral in value development.


My point regarding KW’s lifestyle is to point out that he leads the idyllic risk free life BY DESIGN. He never exposes himself, never a vulnerable interaction, never any uncontrolled stimulus or definitely never an intellectually contentious discussion regarding his ideology. Even his ideology focus’s almost completely on the “cognitive elite” that have “opted in”. It’s literally the perfect Ivory Tower lifestyle in every way.

Meanwhile, the 4 people KW came down out of the Ivory Tower to “critique” have spent their entire lives publicly vulnerable. They live their lives in interaction with the world, and even tailor their discussions to reach non-Elite.

I do think that it’s quite easy for us to view someone as “lower altitude” when they do speak at lower levels. i.e. Pay your bills, don’t break the law, be faithful to your obligations sounds “lower altitude”.

Will finish with that your view of him is quite shallow and naive. Before critiquing JBP, you might want to educate yourself on what he actual does do, cover, discuss, believe. It’s all public since he puts himself out there, so have at it if you dare look beyond what you “know” (linked here).

What was the most contentious interactive interview/dialog that KW has ever had publicly?


I’m not strongly against this idea. It could be he was just wearing the clothing of Liberalness during his long academic career. Maybe something like when people say they are Christian and know all the Christian theology (or substitute Buddhist or whatever) but don’t act Christian at all. Do we take their word for it or not?

All this discussion is saying is that JP isn’t Integral, and we can toss in Sowell and Rubin. This is in response to many people trying to push that he is in fact Integral.
You seem to be the only one who takes these kinds of discussions personally.
Are you expecting that people should be able to place anybody up as Integral and no one can discuss it?

And again - why do you keep trying to deflect the issue onto being about Ken? Whether JP is or is not Integral, or Sowel or Rubin has nothing to do with who Ken spoke to, lol. Sorry, no.
Thanks for the link, but that reminds me of another reason I don’t listen to him anymore - his Christian - based views are mostly irrelevant to me, being non-Christian. When he uses his Christian opinions to try and “prove” his point of view, well, I just pull a Lebowski and think “Yeah, well, that’s just your opinion, man.” lol


In case this might help, Integral stages have a color scheme too:


The different shades of the same color really throws me off whenever I look at this graphic :slight_smile:

Use consistent hexcodes, people!


And hexcodes are what?


The six-character codes used for colors in graphic design. White is #ffffff, and black is #000000, for example.


Got it. And I do see what you mean about the different shades…this chart was the quickest I could find and you probably know where it’s from.


Yeah, I was just looking for an opportunity to complain. I’m in a playful but somewhat dour mood tonight, don’t mind me LOL


But I do mind you, you playfully dour complainer, and seriously, if you have a better graphic that is more pleasing to your color palate, post it and I’ll gladly withdraw mine. Maybe I was a little too quick-on-the-draw in ‘being helpful.’


I’m still rolling up my Integral Examples list. Ray rolled a couple.
Ken provided some kids 3 authors he would take “if only one book on an island” including Plutonious (neo platonism), Sriramamarihashi (direct access to Zen states by reading).
Who else are the exemplary and accessible Teal/Turquoise examples?