The Prinvie Bookshelf: 12 Rules For Life

The Prinvie Bookshelf: 12 Rules For Life

12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson 2018

Peterson goes through the 12 rules for life, which started its humble beginnings in a Quora thread, but now having its whole, extensive book. Containing a wide array of personal stories, philosophy, psychology and religion, its eclecticism really shines through. Peterson frequently applies the concept of Order and Chaos as well as Taoism’s yin and yang in these rules.

Rule 1 goes on to talk about the dominance hierarchy in lobsters – which is also present in humans. Peterson concludes that there has been a hierarchy since forever, and will continue to be perennial. Appearing weak leads to more people taking advantage of you. But standing straight and having firm posture makes a real difference. Being high on this hierarchy is convenient, more will be given to you, but if you stay at the bottom, everything will be taken. This is the Matthew Principle, which Peterson has mentioned, and is seen in the Bible (Matthew 25:29). So you should stand up for yourself, physically then metaphysically, to overcome the dread of the pit and get back up.

Another rule I resonated with a lot with was rule 10. Peterson delineates the consequences of staying vague and never expressing your problems clearly to the other person. It’d just end with chaos, resentment and vengeance. Your problems will grow and grow, but we mostly sweep it under the rug. This is not a good idea, since there will be uncertainty clouding around, then it’s too late, even though you could’ve dealt with it earlier. Therefore, Peterson goes on to talk about being precise in our speech, this helping us to put things in order, set new goals and negotiate.

I learnt a lot from these life rules. Peterson uses the term Being – that is, the totality of our experiences. And our Being should have a balance between Order and Chaos, along with the help of these 12 rules.

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