Wisdom of Jordan Peterson


Dr. Jordan Peterson, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Toronto


http://www.clarion-journal.com/clarion_journal_of_spirit/2018/02/jordan-peterson-transcending-tribalism-and-cloistered-virtues-ron-dart.html  University of the Fraser Valley Political Science Professor Ron Dart on the Contribution of Jordan Peterson


Ten Ways to Improve Your Life Dramatically


  1. Stop doing the wrong things. You know what I mean. Walk away from evil and malevolence.
  2. Make a schedule and stick to it—one that works for you. It’s not a prison.
  3. Clarify your thoughts. Get the cobwebs out of your brain. Journal about them.
  4. Take the meaningful path involving courage versus the pathological way of anger, resentment, nihilism, and self-righteousness. Put meaning ahead of expedience.
  5. Analyze your past to see what went wrong and specify your goals for a future as if you cared about yourself. Be industrious. Step up to life. Engage the world. Face your fears head on.
  6. Stop saying things that make you weak—that represent your false self. Say things that align with the core of your being (Parker Palmer agrees). These things make you strong.
  7. Adopt the mode of authentic being. Orient yourself to the truth as best you can discern it. Stop lying to yourself and to others. This makes you weak and ashamed, hating yourself.
  8. Learn from your errors or mistakes. Don’t let them freeze your moral will. Reset accordingly. Make your life a bit better today, and a bit better still tomorrow.
  9. Have a heart-to-heart conversation with yourself. Take time to reflect on your life and your ideals or values. This can be very enlightening. Make a good covenant with your future self.
  10. Aim high at the good. Shoot for the stars, the higher moral road of growth, order and maturity, personal resilience. Don’t let your life slide into mediocrity and chaos.


Ideas from Jordan’s Bible Reflection Series

  • Meaning is a central aspect of human perception and consciousness.
  • Religion is a meta-truth; Christ is a meta-hero; his death a meta-sacrifice or archetype, the greatest possible sacrifice.
  • Growth involves leaving false axioms, assumptions behind (this can be painful), leaving things that hold you back from full potential.
  • Suffering is a core part of our experience as humans; pain is a fundamental reality; we must learn how to reckon with it, set good goals in spite of it. If we set high goals for life, it will help us reckon more positively.
  • Good Goals (Piaget)—>something good for you, for your family, for society and the broader environment for many years hence. A covenant with the future is necessary: it bring things to you. You improve the future towards a better, bigger you. Wisdom is the way of maintaining a contract with your best self—your ideals. Covenant is the proper dwelling place of our enlightened consciousness.
  • It is important to fix some things every day; stay within your domain of competence, and move steadily forward.
  • Vertical coherence is the alignment of your thoughts, emotions, body, choices and actions. Reflection, meditation, and discipline helps your coherence. Discipline creates a savings account for your future self.
  • Virtue involves creative, noble and courageous action in the world: slaying the dragon in order to feed the people and free the virgin and get the gold.
  • Imago Dei: we can manifest the divine in the context of our own life—bring heaven to earth. It indicates an innate desire to bring order out of chaos. That’s our calling as humans. Each individual has transcendent value. We act as if we can transform things through speech.
  • Temptations (deceit, anger, resentment, nihilism) and laziness short circuits your best effort to become your best self and design a good life.
  • Satan is depicted as a high intellect in Milton. Intellectuals can slip into worshipping their own creations.
  • Success in job world depends on competence, conscientiousness (industrious, orderly) and intelligence. Openness (seen in artists) is an additional key trait meaning verbal intelligence and creativity.
  • The biblical narratives tell us all these things and more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-wWBGo6a2w Jordan Peterson’s Biblical Stories Series

Quote from 12 Rules for Life:

Faith is not the childish belief in magic. That is ignorance or even willful blindness. It is instead the realization that the tragic irrationalities of life must be counterbalanced by an equally irrational commitment to the essential goodness of Being. It is simultaneously the will to dare to set your sights at the unachievable and to sacrifice everything, including (and most importantly) your life. You realize that you have, literally, nothing better to do.

Insights from Chapter Seven of 12 Rules for Life: Meaning Trumps Expedience

Wycliffe College, Toronto Dialogue: Jordan Peterson, Rebecca Goldstein, and William Lane Craig,  Is There Meaning to Life? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDDQOCXBrAw

Expedience, rejected by Peterson, is defined as follows:

  • following blind impulse
  • moral and/or legal short cuts for short term gain
  • lies to get your way
  • hiding skeletons in the closet
  • covering blood with a carpet
  • avoiding responsibility
  • built out of cowardly, shallow, arrogant, selfish motivation
  • makes the future worse, for you and for everyone
  • operates on a platform of pride: intolerance, arrogance, oppression, torture and death
  • no faith, courage or sacrifice is a part of this game
  • produces the character of a demon, and leads you straight to hell

Quote from Peterson: “The capacity of the rational mind to deceive, manipulate, scheme, trick, falsify, minimize, mislead, betray, prevaricate, deny, omit, rationalize, bias, exaggerate and obscure is utterly remarkable.”

Meaning is defined as follows: (parallel to Charles Taylor’s concept of the hypergood)

  • makes things better, instead of worse
  • involves us aiming high, paying attention, fixing what we can
  • accepts the truth about self and the world–this is sacrifice
  • operates from a position/platform of humility (aware of limitations)
  • emerges when impulses are regulated, organized and unified–desires pointed in right direction
  • doing something that benefits someone else every day of your life
  • involves a good interplay between choice possibilities and one’s value structure/hierarchy
  • gets one’s hierarchy of values right (hypergood and lesser goods)
  • antidote to chaos and suffering; alleviates much unnecessary pain and suffering, for you and for others
  • works towards the betterment of Being, and life-sustainability–improves the world
  • the zone where everything matters, everyone counts
  • a person is aligned and integrated along a single axis
  • signifies that you are in the right place, at the right time, balanced between order and chaos
  • a symphony of Being, making you aware of the miracle and mystery of your existence (like a great concert)
  • makes you aware of your own cowardice, malevolence, resentment and hatred–your contribution to the evil in the world, and your frightening human capacity for evil. Being aware, you are now free to move away from these impulses, and reckon with your dark side.

http://www.clarion-journal.com/clarion_journal_of_spirit/2018/02/jordan-peterson-transcending-tribalism-and-cloistered-virtues-ron-dart.html  Ron Dart, Political Philosopher on the contribution of  Jordan Peterson.

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