Jordan Peterson – Life is suffering, so get your act together!


It’s not an accident that the axiomatic western individual is someone Who was unfairly nailed to a cross and tortured. It’s like “yes” “right” “exactly!” So what do you do about that? Well I thought about that for a long time, too. It’s like… Well, you don’t get together in the damn mob, because all that does is allow you to be as horrible as you could possibly imagine and suffer from none of the consequences That’s a bad idea So how about we don’t do that. Well, there’s a deep idea in the west too. It’s like “pick up your damn suffering and bear it” “and try to be a good person so you don’t make it worse” Well, that’s the truth. You know, I read a lot about the terrible things that people have done to each other; you just cannot even Imagine it So awful So you don’t want to be someone like that. Now do you have a reason to be? Yes! You have a lots of reasons to be. God, there’s reasons to be resentful about your existence; everyone you know is going to die You know, you too And there’s going to be a fair bit of pain along the way and lots of it’s going to be unfair It’s like “yeah, no wonder you’re resentful”. It’s like “act it out and see what happens” You make everything you’re complaining about infinitely worse There’s this idea that hell is a bottomless pit, and that’s because no matter How bad it is, some stupid son of a bitch like you could figure out a way to make it a lot worse So you think “well, what do you do about that?” Well, you accept it. That’s what life is like. It’s suffering That’s what the religious people have always said: life is suffering Yes Well, who wants to admit that? Well, just think about it. Well? So what do you do in the face of that suffering? Try to reduce it Start with yourself What good are you? Get yourself together, for Christ’s sake, so that when your father dies, you’re not whining away in a corner And you can help plan the funeral and you can stand up solidly so that people can rely on you That’s better. Don’t be a damn victim. Of course you’re a victim Jesus, obviously Put yourself together, and then maybe if you put yourself together–you know how to do that You know what’s wrong with you, if you’ll admit it. You know there’s a few things you could, like, polish up a little bit that you might even be able to manage in your insufficient present condition and so you might shine yourself up a little bit and then your eyes will be a little more open then you can shine yourself up a little bit more and then maybe you could bring your family together instead of having to be the hateful spiteful neurotic infighting batch that you’re like doomed to spend Christmas with So when you fix yourself up a little bit kind of humbly, because you know, God, you’re a fixer-upper if there ever was one and then you got to figure out, well, can you figure out how to make peace with your idiot brother and–probably not because he just as dumb with you So how the hell are you going to manage that? And so then you–maybe you get somewhere that way and your family sort of functioning and you find out “well, that kind of relieved a little bit of suffering”, although it reduced the opportunities for spiteful revenge And that’s kind of a pain in the neck and so then you get your family together a little bit and you’re a little clued in then, at least a bit, because you’ve done something difficult that’s actually difficult. You’re wiser and so then maybe you could put a tentative finger out beyond the family and try to change some little thing without wrecking it. It’s like, our society is complex, and we teach our students that they could just fix it It’s like “go fix a military helicopter and see how far you get with that” It’s like, you’re going to get to do you’re like a chimp with a wrench “*whack* oh look, it’s better!” like no, it’s not better. Things are complicated and to fix things is really hard And you have to be like a golden tool to fix things, and you’re not So and that’s the other message of the West It’s like how do you overcome the suffering of life? And I’m not saying it’s only the message of the West How do you overcome the suffering of life is be a better person? That’s how you do it. Well, that’s hard It takes responsibility, and I think, you know, if you said to someone you want to have a meaningful life Everything you do matters That’s the definition of a meaningful life, but everything you do matters You have to carry that with you or do you want to just forget about the whole meaning thing and then you don’t have any responsibility because who the hell cares; you can wander through life doing whatever you want gratifying impulsive desires for how, well, useful that’s going to be and you’re stuck in Meaninglessness, but you don’t have any responsibility; which one do you want? Well, ask yourself: “which one are you pursuing?”, and you’ll find very rapidly that it isn’t the majority of your soul that’s pursuing the whole “meaning” thing because–well, look what you have to do to do that: you have to take on the fact that life is suffering, you have to put yourself together in the face of that Well, that’s hard. Christ, it’s amazing people can even do it I’m stunned every day when I go outside and it isn’t a riot with everything burning. It can–really, God, you talk to people It’s like I knew this guy he’d been in a motorcycle accident And it really ruined him, and he was like a linesman, you know, working on the power And he was working with someone who had Parkinson’s disease and they had complementary inadequacies and so two of them could do the job of one person and so they’re out there fixing power lines in the freezing cold despite the fact that one was three-quarters wrecked with a motorcycle accident the other one had Parkinson’s It’s like that’s how our civilization works. It’s like there’s all these ruined people out there They’ve got problems like you can’t believe Off they go to work and do things they don’t even like and look the lights are on. My God, it’s unbelievable. It’s a miracle It’s a miracle, we’re so ungrateful. College students, the postmodern types, are so ungrateful You know, they don’t know that they’re surrounded by just a bloody miracle. It’s a miracle that all this stuff works, that all you crazy Chimpanzees who don’t know each other can sit in the same room for two hours sweltering away without tearing each other apart because that’s what Chimps do So *sighs* Anyways, so What happened? Well, I made some videos and I got to the bottom of some things–at least as far as I can tell, so I told you what the bottom is and then I’d got this idea about what you might do about it–which isn’t my idea. Like it’s not my idea It’s an old old old old idea. It’s far older than Christianity It’s old. It’s the oldest story of mankind Get yourself together Transcend your suffering; see if you can be some kind of hero Make the suffering in the world less Well, that’s the way forward as far as I can tell, if there is any way forward, not so it’s under assault by the postmodernists So look out because they know exactly what they’re doing, and they know exactly why they’re doing it

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