I was glad to hear that the Canadian Psychologist / Philosopher Jordan Peterson is back from his multi-year health nightmare, and appears to be on the mend. I have only been aware of him for the past year or so, and have become a big fan – but beware, a lot of people with political agendas and motives try to hijack his lectures or misquote him to their own causes and ideologies. If you look into Dr. Peterson, go directly to the source, not some web snippet or second hand source. This book, 12 Rules For Life is a good introduction for the public, though the specialist may prefer to go straight to his more academic texts such as “Maps of Meaning.”
I had heard some controversy around the author, Dr. Jordan Peterson. Then went to Amazon and read some of the reviews. Many were less book review and more insult or ad hominem attacks. “Who is this guy?” I asked myself. I remembered the Audible audiobook subsidiary of Amazon.com had a money back guarantee so I took the chance and purchased it. What a great book! I read it just in time to give a copy to my daughter for her 18th birthday.
There is nothing remotely controversial in the book, just great observation from a mix of Dr. Peterson’s own personal and professional experience as a clinical psychologist in Canada and college professor. The book is not preachy, it is not “thou shalt not” or anything like that. It is much more aligned with what Viktor Frankl called “Man’s Search For Meaning.” Some comments in other reviews made it sound like Peterson is some kind of religious fanatic. I saw the opposite (he seems to be an agnostic). As an acolyte of Carl Jung, he does see myths (his term) as powerful tools, and storytelling an ingredient of culture, and uses many examples from Buddhist, Babylonian, Egyptian and Germanic lore…and (shockingly) the bible to illustrate human nature.
With regards to the audio version, Dr. Peterson’s high, squeaky voice and rural Canadian accent does not make him someone who would normally make a living as a narrator, but I am glad he read it. Once you get used to hearing his voice, it is genuine and endearing. I am really glad I discovered Peterson through this book. I am now an avid fan.