Jordan Peterson Outrage Reveals Current Cultural Pathologies

1/ The fact that Jordan Peterson triggers and enrages so many people is greatly revealing of current cultural pathologies. He’s essentially a wise grandfather figure who has a few questionable views but is on the whole a good man encouraging you to live a worthwhile, upright life.

2/ People miss the forest for the trees to an alarming degree when it comes to Peterson, relentlessly honing in on areas where he’s controversial/lacking expertise in order to smear/hate him. In doing so they overlook his sizable wisdom (or unconsciously avoid it because it’s confronting).

3/ I think there’s a lot of unconscious stuff going on here related to a cultural sickness in which people resent competence, responsibility, elders, leaders, assertiveness, men, and above all those who tell them many of their problems are of their own making.

4/ Jordan Peterson is a mirror. If you peer within and see ugliness, consider the possibility that it’s your own shadow staring back at you. Your reactive, rationalized resentment of this man may arise from a deep fear that he is actually saying true, valuable, profound things.

5/ But it would be too painful to notice his wisdom and erudition, because that would call into question your ideology, life choices, identity, and/or tribal affiliations. So as a defense mechanism, you find reasons to dismiss him entirely.

6/ When you find yourself wanting to reactively dismiss someone’s entire worldview, look deeply into your true motivations for wanting to do so. It may be the case that you’re self-sabotaging because you don’t want to do the difficult/painful work of revising your life/viewpoints.

7/ There’s no need to worship the guy or view him as an infallible savior—in fact, that’s a mistake made by many of his fans. Peterson has some notable blindspots and foibles, to be sure. But don’t miss out on the proverbial gemstones in his cave of ideas by fixating on a few cobwebs and declaring them unforgivable out of fear.


Featured image source: Martin Marss

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Jordan Bates is a Lover of God, healer, mentor of leaders, writer, and music maker. The best way to keep up with his work is to join nearly 7,000 people who read his Substack newsletter.

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5 years ago

I started watching his lectures during the last two months of talk therapy. The combination of in-person therapy and online psychology lectures by Peterson seriously helped me re-orient my thinking, and subsequently, my life. The epiphany I had after getting both “therapies” was that deep down, I truly believed my life wasn’t worth it, so therefore I’ve never allowed myself to self-actualize. He helped me realize that I am, actually, worth it, and that striving to be better person will both help me and the people/world around me. Like it says in his book “Maps of Meaning”, “Change yourself, change… Read more »

Lauren Phillips
Lauren Phillips
4 years ago

Very insightful.
I’m not the hugest Jordan Peterson fan, and he’s a pretty bad scholar by many accounts, but he offers some really insightful perspective and good fundamental wisdom, I’ve been sorta baffled by the air of vitriol among his critics (and the air of cult-like passion among his supporters, for that matter.)
This is fascinating. 🙏

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