What makes Peterson exceptional, and feared by a flaccid establishment, is his readiness to acknowledge that the attempt to bring it all together within a single conceptual framework amounts to a “fruitful catastrophe.”
There is “always something left over that you cannot explain,” he notes. “And it’s not trivial.” Indeed, this something else is the mysterious force that underpins and binds creation. Which means, in effect, that any articulated account of reality, be it theological or scientific, is embedded within an “emotional dream.” And while the West has had extraordinary success advancing the frontier, employing reason, empirical truth, and technology to convert uncertainty into habitable order, such striving is ultimately futile and unsatisfying. “Meaning isn’t a rational phenomena,” Peterson tells a Toronto audience during a TED talk. “We detect it with our being.” And like beauty, it “just hits you.”
My latest article, published here on Arc Digital.