Carpe Diem, Non-Conformity, Lessons from Metaphor
- Carpe Diem
In the video above, Robin Williams reveals to the boys a secret for living an authentic life. Seize the day, take advantage of opportunities. In the video below, Jordan Peterson transmits a similar message:
Both professor Peterson and Mr. Keating are immersed in treacherous academic seas of political correctness. They both risk their livelihoods merely by taking their obligation to their students seriously — teaching them to be individuals alive to the world.
- Lessons from Metaphor
Mr. Keating taught the boys lessons from metaphor-rich poetry, diving deep down into the boys’ still developing resources of imagery and verbal imagination. Professor Peterson teaches lessons from metaphorical myth and story — providing applications for use in a broad range of settings and life stages.
The alternative to seizing your life’s opportunities is to leave behind unwoven weaves of potential — without which the world displays voids and cavities of “wrongness” and sad longing for what was meant to be.
The alternative to marching to your own inner beat is to lose your integrity and sense of special purpose, instead bowing to a relentless groupthink that grinds every beautiful thing into a bloody pulp.
The intense pleasure and expanding awareness of extracting insight from metaphor is a gift that resides within all good poetry, story, and myth. Unwrapping the gift is something that must be done ones’ self — sometimes with the aid of a kindly guide, sometimes by the goading of a provocateur, but often by fits and starts with little outside encouragement at all.
This Type of Learning Does Not Require University
Any decent public library will contain the high quality works and classic works that can open the doors to deep insights capable of enriching a person’s life, regardless of age or background.
When a person such as Jordan Peterson — who spent decades wading through many thousands of pages of highly metaphorical works — provides the fruits of his labour online and without any obligation to the seeker, the gift is potentially beyond price.
Any broadband internet connection can provide hundreds of hours of deep metaphorical — and sometimes very technical — learning free of charge. Most of these insights cannot be obtained at even the best of the world’s universities at any price.
Can Jordan Peterson’s “Truth” be Refuted?
It is amusing to come across YouTube videos — often of 30 minutes duration or less — which claim to refute “Jordan Peterson’s Truth.” Which truth is being refuted out of the hundreds of hours of lectures and thousands of pages of written material and research studies? Almost always something trivial said as an afterthought, and inconsequential to the larger body of work — and almost always not actually refuted at all.
To refute Jordan Peterson’s “Truth” one would have to walk through the thousands of hours of study, research, clinical work, corporate consulting, classroom teaching, and public lecturing, that have gone into Peterson’s body of work. This they cannot do, for they cannot even comprehend the breadth or depth of the thing.
The comparisons between “Dead Poets Society” and Jordan Peterson’s ideas are a bit hasty and rudimentary. But they begin to suggest how well-done fiction or drama can bring out valuable lessons, just as an intense life of philosophical scholarship, clinical work, academic research, classroom teaching, corporate consulting, entrepreneurship, and public lecturing/interacting can do.