Jordan Peterson addresses “Reality and the Sacred,”

[The image of Atlas carrying the world] is a representation that says, that that’s the proper way to live. That the way that you live properly—so that you can withstand the nature of your own being—is to pick up a load that’s heavy enough so if you carry it you have some self-respect. That’s a very weird idea because it’s frequently the case that people do everything they can to lighten their load. But the problem with carrying a light load is that then you have nothing that’s useful to do. And if you have nothing useful to do, all you have around you—unless you’re extremely fortunate, and that will only be the case for a very short periods of time—is meaningless suffering. And, there’s nothing worse for your soul than meaningless suffering.

If you look around, you see the people that you respect—and I don’t mean that you think about respecting; I mean the ones that you’ve gut, your whole being, your embodied being tells you to respect—you’ll see that it’s always people who picked up something heavy and are carrying it successfully. You’ll think, now that’s what it means to be a human being. And when you see that, you can think well perhaps life is worthwhile despite the fact that the essential nature of reality is suffering.

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