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12 Rules For Life

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12 Rules For Life

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Paperback / softback
12 Rules For Life by Jordan B Peterson
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4.2 out of 5 stars Based on 126 Customer Ratings

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"Practical advice, well researched and reasoned, with powerful ex"
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Finished it today. Definitely worth the read.

Don't agree with it all, and it definitely can get one thinking.

Rule 6 is one that doesn't sit well with me, and it does point in the general direction of something. “Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world.” I don't think the idea of “perfect order” is a valid one. And certainly, the idea of being as sorted as possible, of being really confident that you haven't missed something obvious and important (or even something subtle and important) – is a good idea – and not at all easy to achieve.

And I do really align with the ideas expressed on the second last page of that chapter (page 158 of the paperback) “Your entire Being can tell you something that you can neither explain nor articulate. Every person is too complex to know themselves completely, and we all contain wisdom that we cannot comprehend.” The more I understand about the complexities of the systems that we are made of, the more true that statement seems to me.

And I don't criticise existence itself, just some of the systems we are currently using in our human societies.

Rule 7 – “pursue what us meaningful (not what is expedient)” I have a few issues with some of the ideas. To say “life is suffering” doesn't sit well with me. Sure, pain happens, shit happens, and we all have a tendency to dwell on it, and suffer as a result, and it doesn't have to be that way.

On Page 195 of Rule 7 he is writing of the Jungian idea of the psyche being the battleground of ideas and states “An idea has an aim. It wants something. It posits a value structure.” … “An idea is a personality, not a fact. When it manifests utself within a person, it has a strong proclivity to make of that person its avatar: to impel that person to act it out. Sometimes, that impulsion (possession is another word) can be so strong that the person will die, rather than allowing the idea to perish.”

That is certainly true in many different senses, and it is also wrong as written.

Certainly, many beliefs, even small differences in belief, as between religious sects for example, have lead to wars and deaths – each side invoking the same god to aid their righteous fight, if perhaps in a slightly different fashion. In the last 7 years, since curing myself of terminal cancer, I have seen many people who would rather die than change an eating habit – and have done so. Many wars are faught in the name of nationalism, though the real reasons are rarely those spoken of openly or publicly.

So yes – ideas, and the patterns of which they consist can become so embedded in a brain, that they cause the death of the individual so infected.

But the idea itself doesn't “want anything”, doesn't have “an aim”, and those are certainly analogies that work in trying to get some sort of a handle on what complex sets of ideas can actually do to us – how they “possess” us.

And rule 8 seems to me to be the most important one – “Tell the truth – or, at least, don't lie” – which to me has recursive depth in that as speakers we need to be responsible for how our words will probably be interpreted by the many different sorts of paradigms present out there in the world. There are many different levels of conscious intellectual understanding possible (the set does not seem to have any limit), and as Jordan notes in many other places, we are all far more complex than we can possibly understand in anything other than the very broadest of brush stroke sketches. We are, and must always be, a mystery to ourselves in many different ways.

An interesting work. Some very practical ways of making life work, long term, for everyone. Much of it made very real by very personal examples. Well worth reading. Well worth taking the time to think deeply about.

23 out of 29 people found this review helpful.
"Very insightful"
5 stars"

Not many people would be able to explain the fundamental tenants and roots of why Western civilization is so successful. These roots are presently under attack by the Political Correctness establishment. This book is a fantastic guide which provides great insight into these ideologies. Common sense is becoming so rare it's now being called profound. I loved this book. I think any intelligent person would be able to k critically enough to step around the bits they disagreed with. Read it. Now.

13 out of 20 people found this review helpful.
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Interesting book with lots to think about

7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.


Acclaimed clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has reshaped the modern understanding of personality, and is one of the world's most influential public thinkers, with his lectures on topics from the Bible to romantic relationships to mythology drawing tens of millions of viewers. In an era of unprecedented change and polarizing politics, his frank and refreshing message about the value of individual responsibility and ancient wisdom has resonated around the world.
In this book, he provides twelve profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life.
Drawing on vivid examples from his clinical practice and personal life, and lessons from humanity's oldest myths and stories, 12 Rules for Life offers an antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems.

About the Author
Jordan B. Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He's taught mythology to lawyers, doctors and business people, consulted for the UN Secretary General and helped his clinical clients manage depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. His book Maps of Meaning revolutionized the psychology of religion, and, while a professor at Harvard, he was nominated for the prestigious Levinson teaching prize. What does everyone in the modern world need to know? A renowned psychologist answers hard questions with a unique combination of ancient wisdom and clinical experience.

Release date Australia
January 16th, 2018
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Allen Lane
All-time sales rank
Top 200
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