Jordan Peterson – Why You Should Make Your Room Beautiful and Set it Up Properly


I’ve been telling people online, in various ways and in lectures, that they should start fixing up the world by cleaning up their room. And I wanted to just elaborate on that a little bit,
before I get back to the lecture itself. So… as it has become weird Internet meme, you know. And, and, and… And it’s a joke. And good, it’s a joke! I’m really happy about the fact, that so much of this has got like, the leaving of humor, and it’s really important. Because, that’s what stops things from
degenerating into conflict – the humor. And, I was thinking about this idea of cleaning up your room, in relationship to the Mustard Seed idea, and… You see, the thing about cleaning up your room, this is also something I learned from Carl Jung
and his “Studies on Alchemy”, because for Jung, when the alchemist was attempting to make the Philosopher’s Stone, he was not only engaged in the transformation of the material world,
but he was engaged in the process of self-transformation; that occurred at the same time,
as that the chemical transformation. So it was a psychological work, in some sense. Let’s say you wanna sort out your room, and beautify it,
because the beauty is also important. And let’s say that all you have, is just a little room!
Like, you’re not rich, you’re poor. And you don’t have any power, that’s another thing.
But you’ve got your damn room, and you’ve got this space, right in front of you, you know, that’s a part
of the Cosmos, that you can come to grips with. And you might think – well, what’s there in front of you, right in front of you? And the answer to that, is:
it depends on how open your eyes are. That’s the proper answer,
because you could say, and William Blake said this, for example.
Aldous Huxley made comments that were very similar, that in a transcendent state,
you can see infinity in the finite. And you might say-
And well, you can say- and- You can see infinity in what you have
within your grasp, if you look! And you could say, maybe that’s the case with your room. And so, you wanna clean up your room.
Well okay, how do you do that, exactly? Well, a room is…
a room is a place to sleep. And so, if you set your room up properly, then you figure out how to sleep, and when you should sleep, and how you should sleep. And then you figure out, when you should wake up. And then you figure out, well, what clothes you should wear. Because they have to be arranged properly in your dresser, and then you have to have some place to put your clothes. And if you’re gonna have some clothes on, you have to
figure out, what you’re gonna wear those clothes to do. Right? And then, that means you have
to figure out what you’re going to do! And then, your room has to serve that purpose!
Because otherwise it isn’t set up properly. And, if it doesn’t set up- If it doesn’t serve your purposes,
you will be unhappy and not happy in the room. Because the way that we perceive the world,
is as a place to move from point A to point B in. And then, if the place that we’re in facilitates
that movement, then we’re happy to be there. And if a place that we’re in, serves as an obstacle
to that movement, then we’re unhappy to be there. And so, what it means to “set up your room”, is that
you have to have somewhere to go, that’s worthwhile; or you can’t set up your room, and then
your room has to be set up to facilitate that! And then, the next thing is:
Well, maybe you have to make it beautiful? But that’s not easy, right?
That means you have to have some taste. And that doesn’t mean, you have to have money. It doesn’t! Because, you can be garish with money,
and you can be tasteful with nothing! All you need is taste! And taste beats money,
when it comes to beautifying things, you know. I mean, not that money is trivial,
because it’s not – but taste is crucial! And people, who are very artistically oriented,
can make beautiful things out of virtually nothing. And not only that! The literature suggests,
that if you’re going to make beautiful things, putting real constraints on what you allow yourself to do,
facilitates creativity, instead of interfering with it! Because let’s say, you have to make
something out of nothing, right? Which I suppose would be a godly act, right? You have to make Something out of Nothing,
you have to be creative in order to do that! And so then, to beautify your room, means that you also have to develop your capacity to be creative! And so, then you can make your room… sh- shine! But then what will happen, is that if your family
isn’t together, they will interfere with that. You’ll interfere with that, because you won’t have the discipline to do it properly. But then, when you start building this little
microcosm of perfection, with what you have at hand, then it’ll evoke all the pathologies of everyone in your household! They’ll wonder, what the hell you’re up to in there,
and they won’t necessarily be happy. Because, if you’re… If they’re in a lowly place, let’s say, and so are you,
and you’re trying to move out of that, then the higher you move out of that,
the more the place they’re in, looks bad! And you might say: “Well, what they should do,
is celebrate your victory over Chaos and Evil!” But that isn’t what will happen! What will happen instead,
is that they will attempt to pull you back down. They’ll attempt to… and, I mean obviously, all families don’t do that, but all families do that to some degree,
and some families do almost nothing but that. And so, what that means, is that
if you’re going to organize your room, then you’re going to have to confront the devils in your house, and that’s often…
that’s often a terrifying thing, because some of those devils have lineages, that
go back many, many, many generations! And God only knows what you have to struggle with, in order to overcome that! And so, and then- And so, to sort yourself out and to fix up your room,
is a non-trivial matter, you know! And you can do that – you’ll learn by doing that, and then, maybe you’ll learn enough by doing that,
so that you can fix up your family a little bit, and then, having done that, you’ll have enough character, so that when you try to operate in the world,
at your job, or maybe in the broader social spheres, that you’ll be a force for good instead of harm!
Because you’ll have learned some humility, by noting, just how difficult it was,
to put your damn room together! Well, and yourself, for that matter. And so, you’ll proceed cautiously,
with your eyes open, towards the Good.

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