12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

From time to time I read and review a book I find stimulating and that you may find helpful. Over the past couple of years I have been hearing younger people than me referring to this man’s lectures and resonating with his ideas. I have been asked numerous times “what do you think of Jordan Peterson?” I still have no answer, because I have never met him, but I have read 12 RULES and have been pleasantly surprised (and even delighted) for his articulation of things I have encountered/concluded in my own journey as a learner.

My disclaimer:

Peterson is vilified across the spectrum. I am not setting him up as a new prophet within my belief system. But he does alarmingly confirm many things I have found to be true. The jury is still out for me on Jordan’s faith, even though he may be more well-versed in Genesis than many believing authors I have read (there really is only ONE testament, my friends). So – don’t have a fit if he isn’t your cup of tea – or you disagree with him – I am OK with that.

That being said, I find his insights into core human nature and the impact of modernism upon the world in which my grandkids are growing up – nothing short of amazing in their articulation. I think Steve Taylor wrote a song once with the words “we’re so open minded that our brains leak out.” Our culture (and our children) are under assault. I, for one, do not wish to remain passive as this crap overtakes us.

What I found:
Jordan Peterson writes with chilling, straightforward clarity. He weaves client stories (he is a therapist), well-read history (he is a true and honest academic in my estimation), as well as his own family’s challenges (he is acquainted with grief) as he comments on some of the more compelling issues of life. This is not a pop-psychology book. If you want to get allot out of it you will need to devote some reading, thought, and conversational effort with other people who enjoy thoughtful dialogue.

What I found helpful:
I am not a true academic, although I have tried hard to keep up with writers who use big words. Jordan’s freshness is in the fact that he HAS read works I will certainly never read – many of which I have heard quoted over much of my life. And I was able to stick with him! Books such as The Gulag Archipelago by Solzenitzen and the Brothers Karmazov by Dostoevsky are quoted fluidly, and Nieshke, Freud, Jung and Rogers are all woven seamlessly into Peterson’s take regarding suffering and humanity.

In my heart of hearts I was aware that the 20th century was the bloodiest in human history – I had just not thought it through. With this foundation Peterson speaks with incredible clarity about socialism, communism, gender engineering, men and women, and most of all – the reality that we are at risk in huge ways (fragility). Though he is in every way an evolutionary thinker, he has intellectually reasoned through some of the sick jumps made in the 20th century – and how they are manifesting themselves all around us in the 21st.

If you are stimulated by wrestling with scientific, philosophical, and faith issues – you may enjoy time invested in reading this book.

Shoot me your thoughts!


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