Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, a clinical psychologist and professor from the University of Toronto has become an academic celebrity since 2016 when he refused to follow Canada’s gender pronoun law. The law is essentially a dictum that promotes compelled gender subjectivity with the use of compelled LGBTQ pronouns, which seeks to widen the gap with more politically correct lingo that aims at promoting subversive agendas like homosexualism, which is- I think- a moniker for a more subversive tactic- attack on person-hood and existential confusion.
There are countless videos of Peterson debating with various professors, social justice warriors, and media pundits regarding this issue as well as other thought-provoking opinions, mainly discussing the various psychological aspects of being.
He cites the authorial wisdom of Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Dostoevsky, Jung as well as harnessing personal and clinical wisdom he has acquired throughout the years, and others in his books, debates, conversations, and video chats.
He knows his mind. He is articulate and thoughtful. He is logical and ordered. He is patient. He is intensely familiar with suffering and the need to rise above it. His wisdom is profound, real, relate-able and compassionate. He is a teacher. He is genuine.
His newest book, “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” is a careful, detailed analysis on the psychological (and perhaps spiritual) insight to being. He details the 12 ways we can have or strive towards a more perfected being.
I will attempt to describe each rule, what it means, and how it applies to us.
This is a comical chapter. We were nagged as children and young adults to stand up straight with our shoulders back. Having proper posture is important for physical health and lobsters are healthy animals.
Peterson delves into the nature of lobsters. Animals have hierarchies of their own. Lobsters are very hierarchical.
They are preoccupied with “status and position” as most animals and humans are. Animals, each species, genus, family, etc… claim power in their own way, suitable to their makeup, but the end game is the same- to come out on top and maintain the top-dog position.
“People, like lobsters, size each other up, partly in consequence of stance. If you present yourself defeated, then people will react to you as if you are losing. If you start to straighten up, then people will look at and treat you differently.”
This in turn controls personal chaos and promotes personal order. The Yin and Yang symbol- the two serpents externally juxtaposed and interchangeable, are balanced. Chaos and order needs balancing. When chaos rears its ugly head, thwart it and tame it with order. Order is knowing, where as chaos is not knowing the knowable. Order is the calm, collected, confident shadow of Being itself. Chaos is the monster which rages like a ferocious and unpredictable animal of the underworld, devoid of Being.
How does this apply to lobsters and people? There is a natural tug-of-war between order and chaos in daily living, extending from lobsters to people. The play of hierarchical being is as ancient as time itself. One can thwart and shield themselves from chaos by being more capable, knowledgeable, responsible, and courageous with living.
The financial guru, Dave Ramsey, maintains that if you want to be a millionaire, do what millionaires do. If you want to be the top-dog, act like one. If you want to be respected, become a person people can regard and look up to. What a person thinks can affect their body, positively or negatively.
One needs to control their thoughts as they have a tendency to drag one down in the muck and mire of the dark recesses of the cerebral cortex.
Think positive, uplifting thoughts which tend towards a goal. Like the hiker sojourning on the trail, taking each step in a careful and thoughtful manner, which ends at the summit of the mountain. Have responsibility for oneself, don’t ‘pass the buck’ or make excuses- own life.
M. Scott Peck, author of “The Road Less Traveled”, wrote that once people realize that life is difficult, they surpass the existential attribute, and the fact that life is difficult, no longer matters to them. When one accepts suffering and hardship, living becomes a little easier to contend with.
To stand upright with your shoulders back is to accept the responsibility of living with the full knowledge that it encompasses the battle of order over chaos, with the burden of accepting the terribleness of the world, yet finding delight in life.
Please visit https://jordanbpeterson.com