Updated: Feb 6
Regardless of what our theistic beliefs are, Jordan Peterson helps us to see that we can all aspire to the standards set out in the Bible from both a psychological and philosophical perspective.
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What does it mean to seek the highest good?
Whatever our beliefs may be, if we were to ask ourselves what is best for the health and prosperity of our world and for our children it would become very clear that there are some fundamentals that would be required for this. Things such as; peace, fairness, justice, love and kindness, things that anyone with a healthy mindset would agree on.
However, this also raises the question of what ‘best’ actually means to us in this context because, to the degree we are not clear on what the 'best' really is, how can we know exactly what to aim for and how to measure our progress towards that standard? Once we have defined what 'best' truly is though we can use our understanding to align with it. It's now, with the best in mind, that we can start to make the necessary changes and work on our personal growth towards achieving this ideal, for ourselves, our families and for others.
What would ‘best’ mean to you? Perhaps it would include some of the following things…
A world where all children can receive the love, care, nurture and the upbringing they need to thrive in all areas of their lives?
A world where everyone has access to clean water, rather than the current reports that 1 in 3 people are drinking dirty water as reported by the World Health Organisation.
A world where online trolling isn’t increasing and risking the lives of children being exposed to this threat, with a quarter of children having experienced cyberbullying, as reported in the Independent.
A world where suicide isn’t the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45.
There could literally be millions of things we could think of that impact our lives, both at home, inside our front door and outside of our front door, all of which, if improved, would help make this world a far better, safer and healthier place to live.
Simply put, the highest human ideal individually and collectively is the pursuit of all things that are great for humans, based on the planet, nature and humanity. By using this aim as the compass, we come back to making decisions about where we need to invest our time, our money and our efforts.
In this video, Jordan Peterson speaks about what it means as human beings to align ourselves with the highest possible good, referencing the Biblical scripture;
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33)
What does this scripture mean? What does it mean to our lives? How does this apply to all of our lives regardless of our faith and belief?
What Jordan Peterson is saying in his talk is that, by aligning ourselves with the highest possible good we can think of and striving to achieve and live this more each day, we will naturally achieve more and more of the good things we seek for ourselves and those we love as well.
One thing we will also come to realise though is that we cannot seek the highest good for ourselves and our families without seeking the highest good for others and our world too, both now and in the future. The question then becomes how can we also be part of the solution to the devastating challenges our world is facing? We can't just leave it entirely up to governments and charities who are straining under the weight of these immense problems.
One core challenge I can relate to with this in myself, is the feeling of being a ‘rabbit in the headlights’, thinking about all the different issues and challenges I would love to be able to respond to both inside and outside of my front door. This confusion can paralyse you to end up with having no idea what the starting point of this is! It's something that Jordan Peterson addresses very powerfully in this clip:
What Jordan Peterson is helping us to understand here is how crucial it is to build our potential as human beings, in line with the best possible good we can imagine. By setting our sights on the highest possible good, we can develop our discipline and with this, increase our ability to resolve problems that we face and choose to face at increasing levels; including, eventually, those major challenges affecting us all.
If you would like to learn more from the likes of Jordan Peterson or to be part of group developing their wisdom and ability to realise their human potential, get in touch via our website.