From the Lectures of Jordan B. Peterson

lecture 3
lecture 4
lecture 7

Videos on Youtube


View the Project on GitHub vsinha/hyperreal

The Peter Pan story is very interesting. “Pan” sort of means “everything”. Peter Pan is the sort of person who wants to retain the dynamic potential of childhood. When you’re a child, you’re not anything, but you could be anything. So you’re pretty much only potential.

And then you might say “So why should you sacrifice that potential to become something actual?”. Because in some sense it’s actually a limiting process. And I mean this in the most concrete possible way: You have more neural connections when you’re born than you do at any other time in your life, and most of those die by the time you’re 2. So you go through this tremendous pruning process from when you’re born til two.

So it’s like you’re dying into your childhood personality.

And then again at the end of adolescence, say 16 to 20. Which is also the peak time for risk of emergence of schizophrenia, and some people think that’s the pruning process gone wrong. As an adolescent, you shed childhood potential to become the limited but specialized and potentially useful thing that you will become.

And so you might say “Well, is it worth it? is it worth shedding that potential?”. And Peter Pan’s answer to that is “no”, he wants to remain in Neverland as a magical boy forever. And he’s king of the Lost Boys, which I would say is not much of a dominance heirarchy right? It’s like you’re king of the losers, so to speak, people who can’t get their act together and mature. Now, you notice in Peter Pan that Peter Pan doesn’t grow up, he doesn’t mature, he doesn’t establish a relationship with Wendy, who’s actually real. He has to settle for Tinkerbell, who’s a fairy, and they don’t actually exist. He won’t mature, he can’t have a relationship with a genuine person, so he has to satisfy himself with, well it’s something like a pornographic fantasy actually. Seriously, it is like that, it’s toned down a lot in the movie version obviously but that’s what’s underlying it.