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Jordan's 12 Rules - 7 to 12

Warning - Jordan's positions accept racism and sexism

Before I continue this I must categorically say that Jordan is not someone to follow - he is dangerous; that's a bit obvious if he accepts positions that are racist and sexist. But having said that there is much that is worth considering. In my consideration of his 12 rules I am using him as a foil, not to believe, not to follow, but to help me understand myself. If you feel in tune with yourself, don't reject him, use him as a foil to help you learn - but at the same time don't trust his interpretations.

Here is an animated summary of the 12 rules.

Of course it is much more informed to listen to the original, and I am listening to this, rules 7 to 12 begin at 58 minutes.

Rule 7 - Do what is meaningful, not what is expedient

You have to have conviction about who you are. You have to know that in the time of the Nazis you would not do it - you have to know that. He didn't cover this chapter much yet he said it was important.

From the animated version the narrator says that our brains are wired for meaning, ignoring the mind-brain frustration this is good. All the money in the world is fruitless if your life has no meaning. This appears to me to be a contradiction with all his "success" talk which appears to be about little more than wealth and status.

Rule 8 - Tell the truth, or at least don't lie

From the animated version, trust is an important thing, you need to trust that society will function normally eg you won't get killed.

Rule 9 - Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don't

It is about humility and listening. Humility is important. What you don't know is more important than what you know. He equates knowledge with position in life, you don't know enough so life is not what you want. What knowledge is this?

Humility - do you want to be right or do you want to learn? Do you want to be the tyrant who has everything figured out or do you want to be the "hero" or "fool" who is continually transforming and getting better? Listening transforms.

Meaningful conversations - "brain" produces a feeling of meaningfulness. This is the right place in time for me, a good conversation has that nature - that feeling.

Learn about yourself through talking - purpose of psychiatry, it is very hard for people to think constructively. And in real life conversation you watch the person for reactions affirming or otherwise the conversation. A test for listening is to make a summary, and ask if that is correct.

Marital arguments - not good to have a winner because the other person is a loser. Recount back the discussion because you don't want to win, you want to fix the problem. Summary with listening fixes the problem.

Rule 10 - Be precise in your speech.

From the animation narrator, the more precise you are in the way you speak the clearer and more focussed your thinking is. Remember the best arguments.

Rule 11 - Don't bother children when they are skateboarding

Difference between weakness and goodness. Here is one of his really dangerous arguments. He said that people think strong men are dangerous because we think western society is a tyrannical patriarchy and the only reason you get to the top is because you misuse power. He said everything about this is pathological inexcusable and shameful. He got a clap for this load of bollocks.

He then said "the rest of the world is run by brutal thugs" - I think that is disgraceful, and their brutality creates corruption. He then said "We're not like that, and that's that". I am glad he said such racism late in the talk because he has said some interesting things, and I would have stopped studying at this. He says "western culture is fundamentally honest", I am just shaking my head. eBay was his reasoning. (BZ isn't eBay global?)

He also sees an attack on the positive masculine. He talks of God and he is a white masculine figure. How this can't be seen as a reflection of the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy I don't know! He see this attack as an appalling outcome, desired only by a true enemy of humanity.

He tells people that they should adopt responsibility for their lives to tell the truth and their failure to participate in being leaves a hole the size of their soul in the cultural landscape. He says we need all the light we can bring to bear on the situation. His view is that men like to hear this and women are less in need.

Back to sanity. The chapter is about people who restrict human spirit, restricting children's play is an example of this.

Firstly human spirit is the most vital component of human life. Everything I am about concerns the liberating of this human spirit, and some of the things that Jordan says are clearly designed to liberate human spirit especially those of his 12 Rules in line with the 4 Agreements.

Doesn't the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy inhibit human spirit?

OK, he doesn't accept that society restricts - the most fundamental flaw in all that he says. He implies that the positive masculine is being restricted, and considers this an appalling outcome. There seems to be a contradiction here. He claims that society does not restrict, that we should focus on the individual, and yet the positive masculine is being restricted. As his focus is individual it has to be the individual that is restricting the positive masculine (in men and women). Why would individuals restrict their own human spirit?

Therefore the restriction has to come from outside the individual, and that is the contradiction. He criticises "Marxists" for blaming society yet he thinks it is appalling that the human spirit of the positive masculine is being restricted by the outside. Either you accept that society imposes on the individual or you don't, you cannot just select that society is infringing on the positive masculine alone.

These major contradictions, the one on race and gender discussed here, and society infringing on the positive masculine alone are aspects of ego. Ego is logically inconsistent supporting only what the ego wants and ignoring contradictions. This is Jordan Peterson, and it is no wonder his audience is arrogant white men.

In the animation the narrator describes this rule as meaning that we should encourage children to push themselves, and not stop skateboarding because they could get hurt. This I support, over-protection is restrictive of the human spirit.

Rule 12 - Pet a cat or dog if you see one.

The feminist and anti-racist in me says Jordan should come to Thailand and pet the soi dogs!!

He talked about his daughter's serious illness, it sounds awful and I feel sorry for him. The chapter is concerned with how we cope with crisis. Firstly we shorten the time frame, what time do we need to get through. And he said people are very tough. You can face far more than you think you can without becoming corrupted. When you are suffering you have to be alert to the unexpected beauty in life - petting animals. You narrow your time-frame, pet the cat, and maybe it will get you through dark times.

He talked about people fighting at the death bed. If we didn't make the terrible things worse than they are, maybe we could tolerate the terrible things that have to happen, and then life wouldn't be so terrible. Accept the tragic and not make it hell.

Standing ovation?!

Answering a question from a woman who is always being criticised by friends for being outspoken. Don't cast pearls before swine. Stop talking to people who aren't listening, listen to them and see where they are coming from.

Question on falling short in the 12 rules - The target recedes the more you do. Constant adjustment. What is a good person? It is our idea of good person that is wrong. The goodness is in the process of trying to get better. What does Christ mean psychologically? The resurrection. Part of you has to die - the pain - in order for you to learn. Life is a constant process of death and rebirth, participate in that and allow yourself to be redeemed. Good is the process of death and rebirth voluntarily undertaken. This is the secret of human beings. Unlike any other creature we can let our old selves die, and let our new selves be born. He endlessly falls short. Until the entire world is redeemed we all fall short. (Excellent - but isn't discussion of the whole world a contradiction with individualism?)

What a terrific answer for a final question!

BZ - I am ending there for now, there will be some evaluation.

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