Jordan B. Peterson
Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life
He began as a researcher, academic and admired professor within multiple psychological subfields and went on to become a YouTube phenomenon, media bugbear and bestselling author. His teachings incorporate everything from pathology and philosophy to religion and myth. His has become a highly influential voice, and he continues to attract as much acclaim as scorn. There may be no other public intellectual who currently enjoys his standing.
Peterson is a polarising figure. He has proven himself willing to disparage the many societal changes that have been sweeping the world of late, preferring to draw his wisdom from more traditional models. In so doing, he has leant a voice to many people made uncomfortable by shifting definitions and the admittedly complex new debates around identity and privilege. But much of what he espouses concerns self-empowerment and sensible solutions to modern problems. There are not many of us who haven’t felt the chaos of which he warns sneaking into aspects of life that just don’t feel normal anymore. Whatever our feelings about any of this, there is always something to be gained from a philosophy that urges growing up, taking responsibility and living honourably… a philosophy that champions order and well-being.
Here’s a brief look at his new book, Beyond Order, and the one that preceded it.
Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life
Peterson’s previous book struck an interesting balance between authoritarian and affectionate flavours of advice. His first 12 rules offered wisdom on everything from raising kids, personal growth and telling the truth, to skateboarders and cats in the street. Just like this new book, the point was to balance order and chaos.
The primary principle behind Beyond Order is this: even in times of great srife, we are all able to live a resilient, meaningful and truth-filled life… thanks, largely, to the wealth of insight and wisdom, continually built on throughout history, from which we are all able to draw.
The search for meaning and purpose is a deeply human instinct: one which can take precedent over the stultifying fallout bred by our need to impose our own wills upon scientific, cultural, societal and even psychological shifts – provided that we insist upon it. Peterson’s 12 More Rules are all about weathering the endless tumult of modern life, and coming out stronger at the other end, and reaching beyond ourselves.
Beyond Order does strike a slightly more expansive tone than its predecessor. This one relates many of Peterson’s own experiences – with his health and challenges, as well as with his clinical patients – while also illustrating perfectly sensible and humane suggestions (don’t put important things off, be on the lookout for opportunity, stay away from idiots in charge) with snippets and anecdotes gleaned from ancient mythology and long-established philosophy.
Should you be worried that such advice splits down political lines, should you suspect that it’s all just conservatism vs liberalism (might be, just a smidge), be easy. Beyond all else, Beyond Order persuasively argues that life is best lived with one hand keeping a firm hold on the past while the other reaches further into the yet unknown.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (2018)
Peterson’s first self-help book came along at a time when there seemed to be a general clamour for “essential wisdom” (stuff everyone should know, basically). But this is really a timeless desire. Getting things in order can really only be the result of formal guidelines… regardless of whether it’s your house or your job or your life in general.
Much of 12 Rules for Life is given to keeping you upright; faced with the fact that life involves suffering, we have to choose to overcome it. It also takes a look at recent trends in parenting, the difficulties of doing what is meaningful versus what is easy, how best to treat yourself, how best to treat others and how to correct the failings that contemporary ideologies are propagating.
These twelve rules contain a lot of inherent sense and tend to build on principles that most of us carry to some degree, but they are positioned and developed in such a way that they might be used to get us back on track, to keep our idea of ourselves stable and to steady us against the onslaught of nonsense… all backed up with biblical, mythological and pop-cultural parallels.
Given its hard-hitting delivery, its combination of the personal and the ideological, its refusal to coddle and excuse… this is not your average self-betterment book.
…and here are the 12 rules:
Want to know more? Check out https://www.jordanbpeterson.com/