12 Non-Rules for Life (and Safety)


12 Non-Rules for Life (and Safety)

Disposition beats rules.

imageMatthew tells us when the disciples endeavoured to trap Jesus into an opinion on the many Commandments of Judaism, he said there was only one rule: ‘love one another as you love yourself’.

This is not to say that rules are not important but simply to say that: why and how one is oriented towards others beats endless regulation and policing.

It’s fascinating to read Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life, an Antidote to Chaos, its full of theology. This from a source that is not studied in theology and demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the many biblical references quoted. The bias of Peterson’s book is that he assumes theology is about rules, when it is not.

Faith is about how one is oriented to life in the face of fallibility and uncertainty. Regulation and rules are mostly concocted to manage uncertainty and control risk. The real message of theology is that love and faith transcend reason and rules. Rules and regulation are measurable and controllable, love and faith are non-measurable. Life is about the dialectic between the two orientations: to rules and towards love.

So, in congruence with the idea of orientation, here are 12 alternative non-rules that can go some way to helping live life (and safety):

  1. Don’t be a sucker for simplistic discourse, simplistic rules for complexity never work,
  2. Don’t cop theology from a source that doesn’t know theology,
  3. If a trend or influencer is popular don’t follow, populism is usually not the path to wisdom,
  4. Avoid propositions about propositions, life (and propositions) is a paradox, wisdom is found in dialectic,
  5. Stop ‘looking’ at speaking and start observing being and doing,
  6. If it’s source is social media, it’s most likely not true or real,
  7. If you are searching for meaning, don’t read ‘Maps if Meaning’,
  8. All regulation and rules are interpreted so, go to the source,
  9. If you want be lectured on self-control make sure to check out the influencers’ substance preference,
  10. An ethic of community builds trust and the foundation of organising,
  11. An orientation to uncertainty does not assume chaos indeed, the opposite is the case,
  12. Safety is never an outcome, only ever a process and a moment.



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