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The essential role of free speech in sensemaking - Jordan Peterson at Cambridge University Nov 2021



This might have initially seemed to be a talk tackling the political subject of freedom of speech, but it is in fact a seminal summary of the importance of free-associative and spontaneous full-felt-sense speech, from a clinician psychologist's point of view.


Drawing from the likes of Carl Rogers, Freud, Maslow, and Jung, Peterson highlights that role of active listening...that relates directly to the InteriorTruth principles and practice.


The initial talk on YouTube is here, with the full audio versions, with the Q&A session 1hr20: Apple or Google Podcast.


Another crucial dimension evoked in Dr Peterson's speech, is Carl Rogers' notion of how powerful the process of playing back what you thought you understood as an active listener, to the speaker. The mere fact of clarifying in the clearest and most authentic way possible what it is that you understand the speaker is saying, can provide deep revelations - the speaker is hearing themselves back, through the listener. Peterson advises this as the one lesson to take away from this session - of direct relevance for situation of conflict, through to therapeutic processes.


It is very interesting to reflect on how the InteriorTruth process of the editing and playback to the film subject, mirrors the same principles. As a filmer, I seek to be an active listening, and in my editing, I reflect back to the film subject what I felt I heard. The essence of what I heard is built from a composite of moments, after listening multiple times to the footage. Thereby providing an opportunity for the film subject to literally see and hear themselves playing back what they said, with the added interpretive layer of the editing.


I recognise that the editing process is deeply subjective, but have been pleasantly surprised as to how 9 times of 10, film subjects immediately validate the edited versions.


Recorded at Caius College on November 22, 2021.

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