Instigated by the above video, and stark argumentation of Peterson, I couldn’t help but think back to my own upbringing, as it relates to Orthodox Christianity, and what that means for our modus operandi in this life.
Peterson argues that the Orthodox Christians see Christ’s example as a paradigm to be followed: Pick up your cross and climb the mountain to the stars, YOU TOO CAN DO IT. Your cross is the historical responsibility you have to fix what’s wrong in you and the world.
That’s in wide difference from the Catholic perspective that men are too small, fallible and weak to be able to immitate Christ, but I’m no theologian and don’t plan to become one.
Yet, there was a simple person, no son of God, no religion behind him, an actual real person that did the same to teach the world about personal responsibility 400 years before Jesus is said to have existed. That man’s name was Socrates and he was put to death in 399BC.
Socrates was Plato’s teacher and lived to see the apogee of 5th centruy BC Athens. In one of the most seminal oratory pieces of the ancient world, The Apology, Socrates defends himself in court against rhetors, wordsmiths and demagogues that could defend and argue any viewpoint, and convince any audience of anything. His argument was that there were truths that were inalterable, immutable, and we must fight to find these, and fight for these, against our own nature no less. That’s the magnum opus of our individual lives, and that’s what gives meaning to the tragedy of existence. We’ll carry that cross, alone most of the time, but there could be help along the way, when we stumble and fall.
Don’t dilute your responsibility by blaming others, don’t diminish your own value by capitulating to the perspective you can’t fight your own demons, don’t kid yourself that you’re too busy surviving to fix yourself.
Go out there and keep climbing that hill.
Thanks for reading this far.