Jordan Peterson—Mt. Rainier—British Columbia—Zig Ziglar—Simone de Beauvoir

By Jarrett Retz -June 15th, 2019

1. Classic Jordan Peterson

Dr. Peterson has risen to fame over the last couple years and has been touring, and giving speeches, fairly consistency. His book, 12 Rules for Life, has been a huge success, and is a big contributor to his current fame.

I can remember listening to his Maps of Meaning lectures on YouTube back in the early months of 2017. This was before the book, but many of the ideas are present in the lecture series. In this video, I heard things that I haven't heard him say for a while. Some of the things he said took me back two years. I listen to a lot of his videos, but this one has stood out, recently.

  • 18-year-olds should not be told they are O.K. the way they are. They're nihilistic, and they may think, Oh well, then I've hit the pinnacle. However, they have 60 or so years to 'put themselves together'. Don't denigrate what they could be for what they are.
  • "It's who you could be that imbues your life with meaning."
  • Life is suffering. It's easy to understand someones' nihilism. If you're embittered then you become vengeful and cruel, and you make things worse around you. However, you could take responsibility for yourself, family, and community. Maybe, then, you would have less of a reason to berate yourself.

2. Glacier Basin, Mt. Rainer NP, Washington, U.S.A

3. McIntyre Bluff, British Columbia, Canada

4. Zig Ziglar

I had never heard of Zig Ziglar until I listened to the Tim Ferriss podcast with Seth Godin. He was recommended by Seth as the old-school motivational speaker. I found a few of his recordings on YouTube and I enjoy his words (and accent).

5. Simone de Beavoir

I listened to a lot of Philosophize This!—a podcast by Stephen West—in the winter, and I recently remembered a quote that he had read from her book[efn_note] It shares some relation to the first item in this list and not necessarily by accident. Dr. Peterson builds many philosophical ideas from the existentialists.[/efn_note].

“The nihilist attitude manifests a certain truth. In this attitude one experiences the ambiguity of the human condition. But the mistake is that it defines man not as the positive existence of a lack, but as a lack at the heart of existence, whereas the truth is that existence is not a lack as such. And if freedom is experienced in this case in the form of rejection, it is not genuinely fulfilled. The nihilist is right in thinking that the world possesses no justification and that he himself is nothing. But he forgets that it is up to him to justify the world and to man himself exist validly. Instead of integrating death into life, he sees in it the only truth of the life which appears to him as a disguised death. However, there is life, and the nihilist knows that he is alive. That’s where his failure lies. He rejects existence without managing to eliminate it. He denies any meaning to his transcendence, and yet he transcends himself. A man who delights in freedom can find an ally in the nihilist because they contest the serious world together, but be also sees in him an enemy insofar as the nihilist is a systematic rejection of the world and man, and if this rejection ends up in a positive desire, destruction, it then establishes a tyranny which freedom must stand up against.”

Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity

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