Peterson explores why people from different cultures and eras have created myths and stories with very similar structures. He discusses into why this matters, what it tells us about human nature and our psyche and morality. This deep dive helps make approachable why myths matter and what they can teach us about ourselves.
We need to know what things mean – not merely what they are – as this has profound impacts on how we act. We need to know what things are so that we can keep track of what they mean and how that influences our behavior. It is not effective to separate what things are from what they mean. They are inextricably intertwined. Meaning provides a useful guide for how to behave
Morals and symbols and meaning are not “matter” that science so effectively deals with, but this does not make them less real. Our existence is so complex that we often don’t even know exactly what we’re saying in our mythology. We can express more than we know and stories help us work through this and communicate this. Myth can be thought of ways to understand what the world signifies and how that impacts our actions. A place to act and not to perceive or measure.
We need an equivalent moral lens as our scientific and descriptive lens. A universal comparative study of the world religions, myths, and epics can help us derive a valuable guide to how to successfully live, helping us move to the ought from the is
Myths help us define the known and unknown, chaos and order. Through this, we can derive meaning and it helps mitigate disputes and increase trust
We can say that everything contains two final sources of information: sensory and affective. It is not enough to know when something is but we must also know what it means, the emotional meaning. It is useful to map objective reality, but we MUST model what it means or else we would quickly die. This mapping of meaning of current state, ideal future state, and behavior and actions we need to bridge the gap, help us navigate the world. Constantly compare where we are with our ideal future state and this helps determine our behavior and emotional state. If we are progressing nicely he’ll future state we are happy and satisfied and if not if they chaos and the unknown are too great and taking us off our path we get stressed and unhappy
We have the pattern way of dealing with everything that is unknown – in other words chaos – as these are best dealt with their narrative form which is where our mythologies an epic stories have deep value and meaning
Things do not have an absolute and objective value. They depend upon our goals and personal preferences. If our goals and preferences change, the meaning which we derive from things and situations also changes
It is the exploration of the unknown, the unpredictable of chaos, that leads to all learning, growth, and wisdom. It pushes the boundaries and allows us to see a little bit more and a little bit more clearly than we were able to before. Successful exploration of the unknown needs to be expected and desired. Increasingly accurate maps bring confidence and help us more accurately navigate the world. This shows us that fear is in the and that security is learned overtime through successful exploration and the turning of the unpredictable into the predictable
A story is a map of meaning that helps us understand how to act, helping us keep, transfer, mimic, and iterate upon what was learned and passed on before. This is to say we acquire wisdom for the proper way to act far before we can effectively communicate it or understand what it is we are doing. Myth and culture are the intermediaries between knowing what and knowing how they help us move from unconscious acting out to conscious understanding. Our actions beliefs and behaviors get coded into characters admits that are told and retold and refined overtime so that we get every closer to a deep understanding of what it is we are doing. In this way, story contains meta-truths and meta-skills – the synthesized truths and skills across thousands of years and millions of people. This can allow for the ability of each to become the capability for all
Action requires exclusion of all things but ONE
Good stories can be read at multiple levels at the same time, all holding true depending on your level of analysis. A helpful question is to ask at what level are these things the same and at what level are they different. The best stories provide clues on how to behave in the widest possible territory
A good theory is beautiful. Efficient. It lets you use things for desirable ends, even things that you thought were useless before
We come to understand the unknown, the unexplored by how we react to it. This is how we can define and categorize things. When I see a dog, I pet it and play with it. When I see a chair, I sit, etc. we observe our behavior and come to understand more than we did. This moves the promise and threat of the unknown into the potentially useful predictable and noun expanding our horizons and understanding only through coming into contact and playing with the unknown
The beginning of wisdom is the seeking of instruction. Wisdom should be the highest good we seek to serve above money status or wealth for with it all other things come
The threat or potential of the unknown depends a lot on how you approach it. If approached voluntarily that is to say you you believe it to be beneficial it’s positive manifestation is more likely to present itself. Those things that appear to us suddenly and unpredictably are more likely to be seen as a threat if we reject them they become negative but if embraced they can be greatly beneficial
We are more complex than we can understand, so the best we can do is react to the situation at hand, observe our actions, try to understand that after the fact, and then learn and adjust in order to more effectively and consistently reach your aims. Stories are so effective at helping us do this because they amalgamate and generalize behaviors and beliefs over the eons, aiming to make useful patterns of behavior and meaning universal and valuable across time and context.
The Enuma Elis is the oldest mythical story in our possession and it tells of the annual ritual where the king would step outside his kingdom once a year get naked in the high priest speaking for the gods would ask him what he’s send. His voluntary subordination it’s common for every religion across the world that is the basis of a successful marriage for each person volleyball voluntarily subordinates some of their individual goals to the idea of marriage
Culture is the accumulation of beneficial behaviors and actions that are passed down through the generations. Culture binds nature by limiting the scope of behavior that is acceptable in your community and by laying the groundwork and providing stories that help people live successful and long lives
A common moral is to beware arrogance for if you do not know where you are going you should not presume you know how to get there. In this state you don’t know who or what is important so you need to be humble enough and kind enough and open enough to people and things that might just help you in your journey
An integrated state or person’s imagination and explicit verbal descriptions are isomorphic – they match at various levels of analysis.
Change and chaos, if embraced, understood, and integrated helps us move forward. This is where progress comes from and rests on the belief that perfection is attainable
The revolutionary band plays outside the rules of the game. This threaten the stability of individuals in that game as well as the nation itself. This means the revolutionary man face is not only total chaos but the wrath of his citizens. This is a difficult quest but is vital for the progress and deeper understanding of the human race
Wisdom alone is not enough. It must be taught and integrated into the whole community. Salvation for one does not exist if there is still suffering in others
It is a scary destructive yet desirable part of maturation to meet chaos. Without it, we cannot truly grow nor learn and this is part of the human condition
Lucifer is portrayed as the angel of reason, the angel closest to God before he gets thrown into hell. The idea is that reason can be dangerous and can lead you to hell
Must transcend the group or risk stagnation and dogma, similar to how you must transcend childhood if you are to become an adult
Integrating the complete unknown is what Christ did. Must fully embrace and run toward the unknown, make it work for you and strengthen you. If you runaway, the ambivalent unknown becomes the terrifying and unconquerable unknown
The good is anything that allows for moral progress across various dimensions and context. Evil is anything that stands in the way of that creative progress and the hatred for the good and courageous
Failure to understand and control the nature of evil leads to it’s eventual success. This has been known since the Egyptian times but thousands of years later we still fail to understand this
Alchemy deals with turning the unknown – matter – into something useful. Today’s equivalent could be termed “information.” Alchemy is the heroes journey – a voluntary search, discovery and integration of the unknown. This is the purpose and meaning of life – an integrated and subjective person who actively manipulates the nature of the unknown for their benefit. Alchemy is an active myth, the idea of the individual man as redeemer. It is not enough to worship the divine, but to identify with it. These idea must be voluntarily incorporated and acted out, not simply believed in. This is exactly what we all want to hear. Perfect yourself, follow hour heart and what makes you you and you will benefit all of humanity if the aims are noble and good
It is often easier to know what not to do but as you transcend it becomes increasingly important to define what to do
What I got out of it
A really deep book that helped me better understand Jordan’s other book, 12 Rules for Life. A deep dive into religion, philosophy, psychology, wisdom, and more. “A story is a map of meaning that helps us understand how to act, helping us keep, transfer, mimic, and iterate upon what was learned and passed on before. This is to say we acquire wisdom for the proper way to act far before we can effectively communicate it or understand what it is we are doing. Myth and culture are the intermediaries between knowing what and knowing how they help us move from unconscious acting out to conscious understanding. Our actions beliefs and behaviors get coded into characters admits that are told and retold and refined overtime so that we get every closer to a deep understanding of what it is we are doing. In this way, story contains meta-truths and meta-skills – the synthesized truths and skills across thousands of years and millions of people. This can allow for the ability of each to become the capability for all”
Peterson follows up his phenomenally successful first book – 12 Rules for Life – with 12 More Rules for Life
Peterson’s 12 rules
Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or creative achievement
Understand and follow the rules, but break them when necessary to follow its spirit
The balance between conservatism and liberalism is paramount
Imagine who you could be and then aim single mindedly at that
Do not hide unwanted things in the fog
Speak up if something makes you unhappy, especially if it happens everyday. Have the fight. It’s worth it in the long run. Life is what repeats and it’s worth Etting what repeats right
Willful blindness is very real and causes a big portion of our problems
You must intimately know what you want and stand up for that
The fog is your refusal either internally or externally to confront what you want or bothers you
Notice that the opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated
This is difficult, challenging and this makes it meaningful. It provides purpose and aim
Seek to play generative, iterative games
The highest good is that which is good for you and others across time. Never neglect time and the fact that you need others to want to work and play with you. Happiness should not be what you optimize for, but value, meaning, purpose across time. People feel positive emotion in the pursuit of a meaningful goal, not the attainment of it. The meaning of your life is proportional to the amount of responsibility you voluntarily take on
When you’re in a situation that you can’t escape, the right attitude is to confront it voluntarily
The goal is to find strategies and tactics that work across multiple times, people, and places
Do not do what you hate
Work as hard as you possibly can on just one thing and see what happens
Heat and pressure turn coal into diamond, the same can be said of people too
Make one room in your house as beautiful as possible
Beauty is a window into what’s possible; it is part of what makes life worth living
If old memories still upset you, write them down carefully and completely
Traumatic memories cannot be forgotten and integrated if they are not first understood
We must know where we are and where we are going, and this includes an accurate recall and integration of painful memories. This gives us an accurate a map as possible to effectively navigate life
We must recollect our experiences and derive from them our morals
Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship
Have consistent dates to build intimacy and trust and keep the spark alive
Must know what you yourself want and then verbalize it to your partner. This can be scary but you must trust your partner if the relationship is to grow
You do not find – as much as make and deserve – a perfect partner
There are 3 iterations of relationship: tyrant/slave, slave/tyrant, negotiation. Negotiation is difficult but the best option all things considering. It creates for difficult arguments and awkward talks, but also contains the greatest potential
Do not allow yourself to become resentful, deceitful or arrogant
Be grateful in spite of your suffering
It takes genuine courage and work to be grateful. Naïveté can bring it too but it is fragile. It takes courage to work through difficult situations and act nobly in the da e of struggle, but this hardens you and makes life less difficult than it otherwise would be
You love people not only in spite of their imperfections but because of their imperfections. This is worth pondering deeply for a long time
Genie – genius – is the combination of potential, possibility, and extreme constraint
What I got out of it
A powerful, meaningful book. To me, the idea of confronting and having the difficult conversations openly and transparently rings most true. In addition, the rule that opportunity lies where responsibility has been abdicated is a master key to learning, growing, and gaining trust in your ecosystem
12 rules for how to balance chaos and order, how to live a meaningful life that benefits self and others. If we each live properly, we will collectively flourish
Stand up straight with your shoulders back.
Most animals and every human is part of a dominance hierarchy and being higher has more positive effects than we care to verbalize. It is an external part of our environment, an unchanging aspect of evolution. Where we stand powerfully affects every aspect of our being – conscious and unconscious alike. Our system actively monitors exactly where we stand in society and there are physical changes that occur in victory and defeat (a loss by a dominant lobster leads to a virtual dissolution of his brain into a subordinate brain).
Many human games are winner take all or winner take most so being a winner often has exponentially positive effects – virtuous and vicious cycles. You feel safe and secure so can take more risks, change is typically seen as good and you can be more confident, courageous, and generous, can be on less alert and plan long term, you can delay gratification. All characteristics, traits, behaviors that enhance chances of success. Those at the bottom are generally less healthy and don’t live as long. Being at the bottom necessitates a lot of emergencies and a strong will to survive but this burns our energy.
Having predictable daily routines offsets much chaos, unpredictability and ultimately fear that many people experience – go to sleep and wake up at similar times, have a high protein and fat breakfast. Many difficulties stem from biological imbalance and if we can get our sleep, diet, health in order, we can better manage anything that comes at us
If you start to straighten up, people might just start looking at you and treating you differently. Your nervous system responds totally differently when you take on a challenge directly as opposed to being forced into it. Being higher up in the food chain, in the social hierarchy, has obvious social, physical, psychological, physiological effects which ripple into everything we do or undertake
Treat yourself like you are someone you are responsible for helping.
Peterson argues that because you know your own faults better than anyone else, how meaningless and flawed you are, you have trouble taking care of ourselves like we would others. We don’t respect ourselves and see ourselves as falling creatures. We don’t stand for and walk with the truth so can’t take care of ourselves in the way that someone who did would. Most people simply do not believe they deserve the best care. However, although we are not a God, we are something, we matter. You have a moral obligation to take care of yourself as best as you can because it not only benefits you but ripples and benefits others as well. You deserve to be taken care of and to be healthy and happy
Make friends with those who want the best for you
Good influences will encourage you and not put up with your flaws. They will push you to be a better person and to strive for more, for better.
Those who are bad influences will try to drag you down for every improvement you make in your life only makes them more aware of their own inadequacies
Compare self to who you were yesterday and not who someone else is today
Aim high but make the goal(s) reachable
Be careful who you compare yourself to. The comparison is generally too narrow, without taking the full context into account. Is that famous person you are jealous of truly happy. Are they close with their families? Do they feel fulfilled?
You have to see yourself as a stranger and ask who you are, what you want, where are you and where you want to go. Imagine that you’re dealing with your moodiest, most sensitive, laziest friend and communicate to yourself as you would to them. Nobody wants to work for a tyrant so ask nicely, humbly. Begin with small, simple asks and actions – what small thing could you do today that would help you accomplish that? That would get you just an inch closer to better, to being happier. Just like you pay an inspector to tell you the flaws in a house, you need an inspector to tell you your flaws. This can be an internal critic, if he/she is on the right track and has your best interests in mind.
The past and the future are similar except that the past is fixed. You can do something about the future and happiness is found in uphill progress.
3 simple questions to get started on this path:
What bothers me?
Is this something I can fix?
Would I actually be willing to fix it?
What could you do, what would you do, to make life just a little bit better
When you feel strongly about something, you must speak up. When this failure happens at a societal level, tyranny ensues. It is on the individual to speak up for what is right, to stop evil, to do good.
What you aim at is what you see. That’s worth repeating. What you aim at is what you see. Overtime this accumulates and progresses. This is magic. This is compound interest. Seeing is difficult and very cognitively expensive so you must shepherd your resources carefully. You must ignore the unmanageable complexity found in the world and march towards your goal. You see obstacles as they arise and find a way around them. However, you must balance this with knowing when to back off for marching blindly towards your goal will make you unaware of other, potentially better, opportunities. If we accept that we are blind to most of the world, we also must accept that most of the opportunities are outside of our awareness. This is incredibly uplifting because it means that finding different paths, more opportunities is always available
You cannot fool your psyche. You must wholeheartedly want to improve, to become better. You have to know what this means for you from bottom to top. Becoming better and improving takes more resilience and responsibility than living stupidly and without a purpose. It takes perseverance and effort. Don’t let that stop you. Align yourself to your highest good, bring peace and beauty into this world.
You are too complex to ever fully understand. The closest proxy we have is to observe how we act. Don’t overestimate your self-knowledge. On one hand you are the most complex thing in the universe and on the other, you can’t even set the time on your microwave.
Don’t let kids do anything that would make you dislike them
Successful parents make kids eminently sociable (know how to play which allows them to develop and learn and be accepted by a wide variety of groups).
Many parents are willing to give up respect in order to gain friendship. This is wrong. Your children will have many friends but only two parents. Proper discipline is difficult and takes much effort but the long-term payoffs are priceless. It will give you a well-adjusted, socially desirable child. Boundaries and limits, although not generally welcome in the moment, are needed by all children. They push in order to see what is permissible, where the boundaries lie. Consistent correction is necessary and better sooner than later, and a better alternative to what the child is looking for must be shown.
No grudge after victory – you always reward good behavior. Children do not solely cry when they are scared, hungry or sad, but more often they cry because they are angry. Anger crying is often an act of dominance and should be dealt with as such.
Violence, destruction, anxiety are not hard to understand. They are the default. Peace, progress, calm are hard to understand because they are difficult, they take restraint.
Discipline and punishment evoke bad images but their use in raising children cannot be avoided. Rewards are of course needed too and they can’t be so small they are inconsequential nor so large that they devalue future rewards. People move towards what they find agreeable and away from what they don’t. So know what you are looking for and what you want more of and reward that and punish what you don’t. You can discipline your children or you can wait for the harsh and uncaring world to do it for you. Poorly socialized children have terrible lives so it is best, and most loving, to socialize them yourself when they are young. The question is not if to punish/discipline/reward your children, but how to best do it based on the temperament of your children
Rules should not be multiplied beyond necessity. Bad laws drive out the good. Limit the rules and then figure out what is done when one is broken but use the least force necessary to enforce those rules – this must be figured out experimentally (note the rules he mentions in this section for why children should behave well). You are not doing your child any favors by holding back on punishment and discipline and ignoring their bad behaviors. Timeouts are useful to show the child that they can rejoin once the anger or poor behavior has resided.
Parents should come in pairs. Parenting is difficult and everyone has bad days so it is necessary to have someone else around to observe and step in when needed
Parents should understand their own capacity to be mean, vengeful, spiteful. No adult human being can withstand being dominated by a child forever and this will eventually lead to a need for revenge, to ignoring the child and the real punishment will then begin – resentment, holding back love, ignoring them. Planning and knowing the proper punishment and how you will act will stem toxicity and save the family
Parents have a duty to act as proxies of the real world. Caring proxies, loving proxies, but proxies nonetheless. This responsibility supersedes any responsibility to make the child happy, boost their self-esteem, it is the primary job of parents to make the children very socially desirable, bringing opportunities, deep relationships, meaning and fulfillment. Clear rules make for sociable and calm children and rational parents
Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
Understanding resentment, revenge, and the dark side of humanity is very helpful but you must come to know these in yourself before you can judge others. It is only through the difficult self-work needed to make your life better, the little things that you know you can do or stop doing in order to make yourself happier, to make your life simpler, to make the lives of those around you better. Only once you have acted on all these and have gained this self-knowledge, can you begin to look outward and expect more of others. Once you see how hard it is to expect these things of yourself, you will better understand others and not have sky high expectations
Do what is meaningful and not what is expedient
Doing anything meaningful requires sacrifice and sometimes the bigger the sacrifice the more meaning you can gain
Delayed gratification, planning, and sacrifice are essentially bargains with the future – you give up something today in order to have more or better tomorrow
What is the biggest most impactful sacrifice you can make today and what is the most ideal future that would create? Define this for yourself and align your life to give yourself the best chance of making that happen
Sharing done properly is giving something today to someone with the hope that they will give you something else in the future. It is the beginning of trade. What is even better than sharing is sharing generously, without expecting anything in return, for this has many positive unintended effects and everyone loves and helps those who are generous
The most successful sacrifice: any sacrifice which is difficult to make, and is personal. Do this until it becomes easy, until it’s routine. This is foregoing what is expedient and what is easy for what is meaningful
If you learn to listen to your conscious, get to know your values and ideals, and follow them, you’ll be given more than you could ever need or require. The payoffs are greater than you know
Enlightenment is so rare because it takes a move down to move up which means that the enlightened know the darkest, deepest, worst spots and stains and behaviors of man and is therefore never surprised by human nature. However, the flip side is that they also know the highest, the ideal form of man and knows that we are all capable of that as well
Evil is when you make others needlessly suffer for no reason other than to see them suffer and good is anything which stops it. That is the meaning for that we should guide our lives towards. Never lie for this is the road to hell. Make this your moral pinnacle do everything in your power to alleviate unnecessary pain and suffering – that is the meaning of the good life
Tell the truth, or at least don’t lie
Never lie for it is the road to hell. If you lie, you can’t present your true self to others and you will never get to know your true self either. You will never truly know who you are or maximize your potential. You are hiding from the reality and not willing to confront it head on
Lies warp the structure of being and lead to repression, pathologies, and the moral issues and horrific events that we saw in the 20th century
You have to know where you are and where you are going so that you can chart a course, so that you know what you need to do to get from where you are to where you need to be. You have to know what your principles are, what you stand up for, so that you can argue against those who do not believe in what you do, so you can protect yourself, and you can more easily tell what is worth striving for. You have to keep your word and reward yourself when you succeed. It takes work to make heaven on earth, it won’t just be handed to you
True thinking is really hard and really rare. Thinking can be thought of as a conversation between two or more avatars in your head and you have to be able to take each one of their sides, listen to each one, see how they would play out in your reality and then act on it. What most consider thinking is simply self-criticism disguised as thinking
Memory is not meant to be perfect recall of the past for that does not exist. Memory exists in order to help you not make the same mistakes over and over again
Truly listening to someone is one of the rarest skills and gifts there are. People organize their thoughts through conversation and if they have no one to share them with, they lose their minds. If you can truly listen, people tell you more than you could ever ask for and they will generally be very interesting and help you grow as a person
Assume person you’re listening to knows something you don’t
What you don’t know is more important than what you know. If you truly listen to people they’ll tell you what’s wrong, what they want, and how to fix it. Repeat people’s arguments to them and ask if you understood it correctly – don’t want to “win”, want to fix the problem. You and me against the problem, not me against you
Be precise in your speech
We don’t perceive objects like we think we do. We perceive meaning directly and then assign them to objects. We see tools and obstacles, not things and objects. And it depends on our needs and goals. This is why knowing where we are, where we are going, what we want, what we don’t want, our values, etc. is so important. It literally affects how we perceive the world around us
We often see by instinct what things mean even before what they are which means that objectivity is very hard to reach
Emergency = emergence of “c”, emergence of chaos
Never underestimate the power of omissions. When things get swept under the rug and are not discussed and flushed out, they grow and manifest and become worse than you could ever imagine. If only they were brought up early and transparently and discussed openly, they could be called out, named, and dealt with. Everything discussed becomes clarified and gives you the potential to at least remedy them. If you avoid rather than address, what you least want will eventually come to happen, at the worst possible time. To specify the problem is to admit it exists, to admit what it is that you want. This may hurt but it is far better than the alternative and in the other way you cannot fail as you have not admitted what it is you want but this path leads you quickly astray. Be brave. Risk conflict in the present for longer term peace and happiness
If we are imprecise with our speech, things remain vague, we are in the fog, our destination is unknown. Courageous clarity of thought is needed to call forth the problem
Say what you mean, act out what you say so you can find out what happens and then course correct. Tell those around you who you are and what you want
Don’t bother children when they’re skateboarding
Kids need some danger, some consequences, in order to gain competence and later mastery. If things are too safe or predictable, they’ll behave in unintended ways because they need to live on the edge in some sense. They enjoy risk because it helps them improve future performance
If you can’t understand why somebody did something, look at the consequences and then infer their motivations
Conscientiousness and honesty more common and natural in western culture than people give it credit for.
Take responsibility for your life and make the most of it. Don’t restrict children’s play
Competence and not power is what gets you to the top of the hierarchy. In the west, the traits most associated with success are intelligence and conscientiousness and for entrepreneurs and artist, it is intelligence and openness to new experiences
Pet a cat when you encounter one in the street
In order to cope with a crisis, people shorten their time frame just to make it through the day. Be alert to the unexpected beauty in life during difficult times
What you love about someone is inseparable from their weaknesses, from their flaws
In the depths of difficult situations it is not thinking that gets you out but noticing. Notice that you love someone not despite their limitations but because of them.
Consciousness is the thin veil the process that turns order into chaos. It has been proposed that the two hemispheres of the brain exist in order to deal one with order and the other with chaos. Meaning, progress, and fulfillment is found when you have 1 foot in order and 1 foot in chaos – providing some stability and routine while still being able to learn and grow. This is the straight and narrow path to flow and all progress. A good question for parents regarding chaos and order is do you want to make kids safe or strong?
An idea is more creditable when the results from the investigation come from various different realms
Two lessons Peterson learned about the Golden Rule – about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. The first is that it has nothing to do with being nice and the second is that it is an equation rather than an injunction. It is better for both parties to be strong, to stick up for what is right, because if you just give in and are “nice”, one will become a slave and the other a tyrant. Sticking up for yourself therefore is helpful to you and also beneficial to the other party
Happy is by no means synonymous with good. When you give a child candy, the child is happy but it is not good
There is no one enlightened, only those who seek to be closer to enlightenment.
Overemphasize who you are becoming rather than who you are. This mindset, while often painful, is the fastest road to growth, fulfillment, and happiness.
Aim to be the person at your father’s funeral who everyone can rely on
A shared belief system simplifies communication and allows you to more easily understand where you stand in relation to others. It is inaccurate but a necessary mode of thinking. This simplification is absolutely vital and if it is threatened can lead to outcomes such as the Cold War. It is a system of value, providing a hierarchy and a structure for how to act and respond to others
What I got out of it
An incredibly insightful and interesting book, drawing from many different realms. I re-read it the minute I finished it and will return to it often