UPDATE JULY 2021: My Tone Was Too Judgemental
I wrote this article below as a reaction to the fawning JBP worship I was seeing in response to Jordan’s re-emergence into the culture with 12 More Rules.
I have never worshipped at the JBP alter, but certainly projected onto him as the strong father figure who embodied the importance of responsibility. Between 2016 and 2018 I probably consumed every bit of media he participated in. I was, and am, in awe of Jordan Peterson. What he created, and the significance with which he rose in the culture was an amazing thing to ride along with.
The article I wrote below corresponded with a time I was heavily steeped in Carl Jung and the world of father projection for young men. Whether it was a far to simplistic take on things or whether it is somehow close to the truth, I wrote the article below with a very cynical view.
JBP has since re-emerged into the culture as self-aware as ever. This is a remarkable mind. My accusation of JBP taking me for a ride I want to withdraw. The article will remain, but I hope this pre-amble here communicates to you, the dear reader, that my mind has since changed and I no longer hold the opinions I assert below.
Original Article – November 2020: Is JBP Taking Me For A Ride?
A quarter-million views in 7 hours.
Within 7 hours of launching 12 More Rules on the recently dormant Jordan B Peterson youtube channel, the video had eclipsed over 250,000 sightings.
12 More Rules will undoubtedly be a bestseller, but for me, this clearly signals that whatever chasm in the culture Jordan addressed on his first go-around persists still as hungry and deep as ever.
So is 12 More Rules the answer?
12 More Rules… JBP Jordan Peterson
Of course Jordan Peterson is re-emerging with a new book. His return to public attention will reliably mark his career exposure high point.
I was one of the millions who, in 2017, became seduced by this wiry and forceful Canadian man. I truly have nothing but great admiration for him. But I must say, for someone who signals so much authenticity I feel as though I am being taken for a ride with 12 more rules. It’s not that the book won’t hold any merit (I have not read it nor heard anything about, so it is impossible to say), it’s more the case that I feel as if you are just doing this for another payday. Which of course you should rightly do, however! Before you cash in with 12 more rules and then 20+ iterations until you are at 500, you must first address and solve the profound and malleable influence you have over millions of people… and I’m afraid your ‘self-authoring program’, ‘speeches’ and ‘tons of more books’ won’t do it.
What needs to be done is precisely that which would be the end of you. You must instruct your herd of devoted sheep to carry their load elsewhere.
Each person must individuate down their own path, their unique path. As long as you exist as this new age guru who is happy to leave this message absent completely, you will be complicit in stifling the very progress you were the pure catalyst of. You will have carried the torch and climbed the hill only to then take a seat and hold control over everyone’s attention as long as you see fit. You must pass the torch on, not to any specific person, but simply away from yourself. You cannot be the persistent father figure, it is stifling, you must rather be the wizard who intervenes, but then quickly gets out of the way.
After all, the bloody blurb featured on the front of your book says this – “The most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now”. That’s quite the burden to shoulder mate.
Shoulder Your Burden. Adopt Responsibility. 12 More Rules
You have a responsibility beyond what you have acknowledged, Sir.
Millions of lost men and boys the world over have experienced a sort of father transference onto you. You unknowingly or not, have an outsized influence to the point of cult leader guruship. You have the power to control.
The responsible thing to do would be to encourage your devotees to turn into themselves and influence elsewhere as a continuation along the path you started them down. Because you started so many of us down a path Jordan, and I am not usually hyperbolic, but your effect on me is truly one of the most influential of my life.
Jordan Peterson served as a genuine catalyst and force for good in me. He became a pseudo father figure of sorts, although at the time I did not recognise. Jordan Peterson, or for the sake of this article, JBP, represented the masculine, competent and forcefully Intellectual figure so many of us lacked. How else can you explain why his trademark and seemingly banal retorts such as ‘clean your room’, ‘lobsters’ and ‘adopt responsibility’ were not met with pure satirical contempt? What is happening below the surface here? Is Peterson the archetypal hero we were looking for? Or were we all simply so uninspired by society that we were all just low hanging fruit for the first guy who came along?
JBP Jordan Peterson The Father?
JBP’s re-emergence was clearly inevitable, however, after speaking with James P Dowling in a recent interview. James introduced me to the idea of JBP as a transference father figure to explain his unbelievably doggish popularity. James goes further to play around with the idea that this could be potentially maliciousness on behalf of JBP for not explicitly acknowledging to his audience that he is in fact not a guru/father and that each person devoted to him should journey down their own path of individuation.
Why he would not do this (assuming the theory has some weight)? It is purely commercial. By keeping his devotees under his thumb, as it were, JBP can consequently maintain marketability, $$ and relevance.
JBP announcing the release of this book after being out of action for some time just doesn’t sit with me cleanly and strikes me as a bit unauthentic. It feels like a double-dip… 12 more rules? Doesn’t your credibility as a self-help authority get tarnished by your recent personal battles?
I am certainly coming at this from a sceptical angle and cannot rule out JBP as the purely authentic profit his devoted fans (formerly myself) see him as. But if you go through the youtube comments on his book release video and peruse some of the JBP subreddits you cannot help but feel an overwhleming sense of cultishness from his devotees. The absolute and unconditional devotion really caught me quite off guard.
I think this speaks to some of the themes Jung To Live By have been emphasising recently. We live in a hyper guru culture. JBP is, whether he likes it or not, one of the most influential of these gurus. He disappears from the public eye for over a year but apparently not from consciousness.
Whatever gaping hole he tapped into within the culture is clearly wide as ever (so how effective was he after all?).
12 More Rules Jordan Peterson, Joe Rogan, Sam Harris & More !!
On the other hand, I can selfishly say I am stoked to see some more JPB and his upcoming reinjection into the culture with appearances on Sam Harris, Joe Rogan and the rest inevitable.
What is round 2 JBP going to be? Will he take up the James P Dowling challenge and start addressing the less explored but more controversial realms of Jung or will he double down on speaking, courses and book deals and metamorphosis into a fully-fledged guru cult leader?
Exciting times !!!!!
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