Jordan B. Peterson is a controversial professor at the center of the sociopolitical “culture war” erupting in the West right now. He has been labelled a Nazi, a white supremacist, and a champion of the deplorable “Alt-right” by his critics.
Dr. Peterson, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, and a working clinical psychotherapist, has also been — essentially — my preacher for the last several months.
As I will show you, Peterson is none of those things he’s been accused of. Following along with his Maps of Meaning and Personality & Its Transformations courses at UofT was a transformational life experience that helped me understand a lot of the deeper wisdom in the value system I was raised within. Not only that, but working through the Self Authoring program he and his academic colleagues created has also helped me create a much more accurate map to navigate the trials and challenges of life.
Along with the work of many others, including Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, many philosophers, the stoics, Buddhist teachers and psychonauts, Peterson’s work has helped me through the most challenging times of my life, and helped me learn to navigate incredible failure, suffering, pain, and face immense terror with a newfound zen-like faith in the process.
Peterson has inspired me to reconsider what I once thought I might like to do over 12 years ago when I got my university degree in the humanities — teaching. And these are the kinds of lessons I’m working hard to share with my new endeavor the Hero Project.
Life is suffering.
Love is the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated.
Truth is the handmaiden of love.
Dialogue is the pathway to truth.
Humility is recognition of personal insufficiency and the willingness to learn.
To learn is to die voluntarily and to be born again, in great ways and small.
So, speech must be untrammeled, so that dialogue can take place; so that we can all humbly learn, so that truth can serve love, so that suffering can be ameliorated, so that we can all stumble forward, so to speak, towards the kingdom of God.”
I cannot understand why liberal arts universities are afraid to expose their students to this man’s ideas. I suppose they have become enamored with defending their ill-fated “safe spaces” – indoctrinating a generation of youth, including myself, into a false and destructive belief in a world where suffering is unnatural.
If you’re a thinking person, especially one who is concerned with the state of the world today, then I deeply implore you to give Dr. Peterson a chance, and let his words speak for themselves as to whether the man is yet another dangerous Nazi sympathizer, a card carrying Klan member, or the next genocidal dictator.
Listening to Peterson’s lectures, for me, is akin to, but far better than sitting in nearly any church I’ve been to, so with that, here is his recent talk on Ethics and Free Speech, which was scheduled to be given at Linfield College, only for him to be disinvited less than one week prior to the event.
(Peterson’s talk begins officially at 20:00 and goes for just about 1 hour, with a question and answer session afterward)
…your words are the force that shapes the world, and with every word you utter things tilt slightly heavenward or slightly hellward. That responsibility rests firmly on your shoulders, and it’s inescapable…”
Preach it, Professor.
Some of the most concentrated wisdom I have encountered in one living being on all my journeys on this planet. And he draws attention to just how fortunate we all are to have the civilization we have today, and the opportunity to live in such a time, with more resources and less conflict than any time in history.The Hero Project is my effort to create a space to bring wildly diverse people together to talk honestly and transparently about life, about the challenges we face, about the fears and setbacks that must be surmounted in the course of living, and about how we can develop and augment a faith in a better future, through entrepreneurial learning, collaboration, and personal development, not only for ourselves and our families, but for our communities, and for society as a whole.
If you’d like to join me and my community there, this week I will also be donating 40% of all proceeds to my close friend Dwight’s amazing social enterprise here in Bangkok, Courageous Kitchen, serving underprivileged children and refugee communities in Thailand.