November 10, 2019-
In examining Jordan Peterson’s remarks on what he sees as the Eighth Rule for Life, essentially “avoid vengeance”, it occurs to me that the basic issue stems from being other-focused, with regard to the quality of one’s life.
This is a recipe for disempowerment, in the sense that giving people, even those we love most, responsibility for what is good and bad in our lives. Christ used the construct He called “Satan”, or “the devil”, to illuminate the lower nature which leads people to act in ways that are of a disservice to self and others. People have taken that construct and used it as a scapegoat, as an actual being outside themselves, on whom to blame when they make bad choices. God, Himself, also gets blamed, when there is misfortune in the lives of many people.
The choice, that those who give others control over their affairs often make, following a misfortune that is laid at the feet of another, is taking revenge. This, of course, prolongs and most often deepens the agony. I can think of no problem that I ever faced, which was solved by blamecasting or looking outside myself for resolution. Indeed, when Jesus was tempted by His own human lower nature at Gethsemane, He gave us a road map for overcoming such weakness, with the words, “Get thou behind me, Satan!”
It is, simply put, up to each person to put the lower nature behind them-not often an easy task, but one which must be done.