I had the privilege of seeing Dr. Jordan Peterson speak in the early 2000’s at a university in Boston. As I am interested in psychology and trying to understand myself better I was intrigued about his idea of historical mythos and archetypes. This has led me down a 17 year long road of reading, thinking, and most importantly acting. I no longer fall for the traps I used to, and I am a stronger person now.
I used to be a heavy drinker. Though I still drink I do not stay drunk constantly. I no longer use drugs, of which LSD, and Mescaline were my favorites. A lot of this I owe to the professor.
He challenged people to search out the dragons in your life and slay them. So I did. They occasionally rear their heads and I crush them. I’m always on the lookout for others.
Recently well for the last ten months or so I have been battling an unknown disease. It may be Crohn’s Disease, it may be Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, IBS, Celiac disease, etc. etc.
Well, good. I like hard. If life was too easy it wouldn’t be very exciting. I’m overweight, and when I can out cycle and out hike my friends, the happiness I feel is incredible. Not necessarily because of pride, though that may be a factor. It’s because despite my weaknesses I can demonstrably overcome them. I saw a meme photo somewhere that said, “The whole world is against me. Good, now it’s fair.”
I love that quote. I think challenges bring out the best in us. I have no intention of letting whatever this illness is (Amazing how Doctors aren’t sure until you spend the right amount of money….) keep me restrained.
If a strong chain binds me to a wall, I’ll drag the damn wall with me. Dr. Peterson helped me build this mental fortitude. This was prior to my Baptism into the Roman Catholic Church. I have used his self authoring suite and have given it to some twitter people as gifts. It’s important. If you want the treasure, and sweetness of life, you better start hunting dragons. Because they are out there, and no one else will do it for you.
I have only had this strengthened by my faith, and diligence in studying people who are much smarter than I am. Joseph Campbell, Emerson, Thoreau, Tolkien, CS Lewis, Whitman, Marcus Aurelius, Tennyson, Plato, Keats, Wordsworth, Melville, Kipling, Barry Cunliffe, St. Thomas Aquinas, St, Josemaria Escriva, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, Cardinal Fulton Sheen, Bishop Robert Barron, Father Mike Schmitz, Dr. Scott Hahn,… I could list every name on my bookshelf.
What I mean to say is, you aren’t alone. Take with you the wisdom of your ancestors, the faith of the Saints, the courage to be challenged.
Below is a great transcript of a Peterson giving a talk. How I came to the term, “Searching For Dragons”
WHAT DO YOU ENCOUNTER WHEN YOU
ENCOUNTER SOMETHING UNEXPECTED?
WELL WHEN YOU FIRST ENCOUNTER
IT, YOU DON’T KNOW.
ALL YOU KNOW IS THAT IT
FRIGHTENS YOU, BUT IT MAKES YOU
THINK DRAGONS, RIGHT?
EVERY PRIMATE IS AFRAID OF
LIZARDS, INCLUDING US.
CHIMPANZEES DON’T LIKE SNAKES.
IF YOU TAKE A CHIMP THAT’S NEVER
SEEN A SNAKE, YOU SHOW IT A
SNAKE, IT WILL HIT THE ROOF OF
ITS CAGE, THEN IT WILL LOOK AT
WHY WOULD A DRAGON HOARD GOLD?
BECAUSE THE DRAGON REPRESENTS
EVERYTHING THAT YOU’RE AFRAID
WHAT’S EMBEDDED IN EVERYTHING
THAT YOU’RE AFRAID OF?
ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING THAT YOU
NEED TO FIND.
RUN FROM WHAT YOU’RE AFRAID OF,
RUN FROM EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED
He projects a drawing of a man on horseback attacking a small dragon.
Jordan continues ONE OF THE OLDEST DRAMATIC
REPRESENTATIONS WE KNOW OF, NOT
THIS SPECIFIC PAINTING, THIS IS
ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGON.
THE DRAGON LIVES IN THE
CHASED THERE BY HEROES OF A
PREVIOUS GENERATION, NOW AND
KILLS PEOPLE, RIGHT?
THESE ARE SKULLS AROUND ITS
THREATENS THE INTEGRITY OF THE
COMMUNITY, LIKE EVERYTHING
UNEXPECTED DOES, HERO COMES OUT,
SLAYS THE DRAGON, FREES THE
IN THIS CASE, IT’S A VIRGINAL
DRAGONS HOARD GOLD BECAUSE THE
THING YOU MOST NEED IS ALWAYS TO
BE FOUND WHERE YOU LEAST WANT TO