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Jordan Peterson's 7th Rule & The Pieta Versus Rizpah


Rule 7 is "Pursue what is Meaningful (not what is expedient). As surface advice, this is great. Yet what is more important than cliche advice are the underlying reasons for integrating this advice into your life.

Why should one pursue what is meaningful, in the face of Peterson's foundational proposition: "Life is Suffering?" What does meaning mean? Where does it come from? How do you pursue it given the trials and tribulations of life? Is life suffering? Or can there be another worldview?

*Special thanks to Lisa Vandamme for her analysis of Rizpah.

RIZPAH

by Alfred Lord Tennsyon

WAILING, wailing, wailing, the wind over land and sea—

And Willy’s voice in the wind, “O mother, come out to me!”

Why should he call me to-night, when he knows that I cannot go?

For the downs are as bright as day, and the full moon stares at the snow.

We should be seen, my dear; they would spy us out of the town.

The loud black nights for us, and the storm rushing over the down,

When I cannot see my own hand, but am led by the creak of the chain,

And grovel and grope for my son till I find myself drenched with the rain.

Anything fallen again? nay—what was there left to fall?

I have taken them home, I have number’d the bones, I have hidden them all. What am I saying? and what are you? do you come as a spy?

Falls? what falls? who knows? As the tree falls so must it lie.

Who let her in? how long has she been? you—what have you heard?

Why did you sit so quiet? you never have spoken a word.