Stefan Molyneux Video Excerpt

By Stefan Molyneux
Excerpt from this VIDEO

I think it’s really important because idols and hero worship diminish you. I only because anything of substance really in this world once I stopped worshipping people because all of the glory and power that was within me was being sprayed up in a really useless mist to coat the demon feet of the illustrious and I would really suggest that the further you look up, the further down you feel. And you don’t want to feel like a supplicant at the feet of Olympus watching the antics of the sky gods that you feel you can never approach. Hero worship diminishes you and it diminishes me. Worship no one, only be yourself.

Now talent is a kind of cancer, it’s a weird kind of growth that eclipses a lot of other things. You see somebody who is really great at something – hockey, singing, songwriting, anything – and what you’re seeing is the scintillating bright side of talent or of ability or of glory or something like that. What you’re not seeing is everything that they haven’t done because they’ve been doing that. Right? So Wayne Gretsky is really great at hockey. I don’t know, 50,000 hours worth of hockey but that’s 50,000 hours worth of not studying philosophy or learning to play the violin or becoming a good cook or a well-rounded human being so to speak. So you see a very concentrated laser-like diamond light coming from talent and it can tend to eclipse everything else. So beauty does this, power does this as well, it tends to eclipse everything else. So I strongly strongly urge you to retain your power by avoiding hero worship.

Hero worship is also strongly toxic to the recipient. There’s an interesting paradox about we mammals which is that we desperately want to surmount limitations. We desperately want things to become easier, we do not want to be bounded by restraints. And that’s great, that’s one of the reasons we don’t live in caves anymore is we wanted to make things easier, so we have lighters instead of having to rub two sticks together.

So we wish to surmount restraints but it is exceedingly dangerous for us to have no restraints within our lives. And when people worship us, what they’re basically saying is you can do no wrong. You are fantastic, you are the very best, you are glorious no matter what, I worship you. We’re not worthy as the old Mike Meyers bit used to go. But it’s very dangerous, it’s very dangerous for the recipient. It’s a form of passive aggression, it is a way of humbling yourself and making your idols into gods outside of reality. And to be outside of reality through the worship of others, to walk on the foamy bubbles of others’ upturned eyeballs is extremely dangerous for the personality. So it’s great that we want to surmount limits, it’s not great when we actually do. The striving is all. So I would be very careful when it comes to worshipping.

Now worshipping people in a political context is an abdication of your personal responsibility to make the world better. So if you believe that there is some witch doctor who can cure you of obesity or diabetes or lung cancer, then you’re going to eat lots of sugar and smoke because the witch doctor is going to come along and you’re not that responsible for – a miracle is going to happen in the same way that those old tele-evangelists would be and throw people back into the audience while listening to their wife whisper into their ear what the ailments were. And this belief in witch doctoring is an abdication of personal responsibility. Who’s responsible for your health? You’re responsible for your health. Who’s responsible for your parenting? You’re responsible. Who’s responsible for your life, your career, your money? You are responsible for your life, your career, and your money and your love, and your sex life and all that kind of stuff. You are 150% responsible for your life. And this idea that from some ethereal realm of human perfection that we can only dream of can come bungeeing in these magical heros to save us or to save the world or to improve the world is a pretty flaccid way to have power in the world, or rather to be powerless in the world. No one is coming to save you as the psychologist Nathaniel Brandon used to say, no one is coming to save you, nobody’s coming to save the world. Nobody’s coming to make it any better. Nobody’s bungeeing in to make the world a better place. Ron Paul’s not going to do it, Newt Gingrich’s not going to do it, Nancy Pelosi’s certainly isn’t going to do it and Obama sure as hell isn’t doing it now. No one is going to come in. It’s up to you to make the world better through your efforts, that’s where the real risk, and excitement, and fear, and reward, and earned virtue lies.

And the powers that be love it when you worship the magical person, the semi-deity because you know you’re not that person, and it also puts you in a state of wasting or in a state of supporting, or in a state of praising, or in a state of expectation all of which take your spine and grind it up to mounted flagpoles to the vanity of the man and powerful. So this is one of the reasons why tearing down idols is absolutely essential. Tearing down idols is building us up.