Carti

Jordan Peterson: 12 Rules For Life

An antidote to chaos? Not really.

Jordan Peterson este un fenomen care merita atentie, spre deosebire de majoritatea celor ce ocupa spatiu public. 

In politica, are foarte multe idei impartasite de simpatizantii doctrinei de dreapta si este acuzat, pe nedrept, de extremism, pe de-o parte, pentru ca stanga liberala nu poate discerne gradatie si tot ce este de drepata este de extrema-dreapta sau ‘alt-right’ si, pe de alta parte, pentru ca, de cele mai multe ori, criticii lui nu ii analizeaza contructiv ideile (altfel ar fi vazut ca exprima si idei de stanga, cand se ingrijoreaza despre faptul ca distributia inegala a capitalului poate avea consecinte nedorite pentru societate sau cand avertizeaza ca universitatile nu ar trebui sa devina afaceri), ci fac o obsesie pentru audienta lui generala, foarte omogena rasial si sexual; e urmarit in mare parte de barbati albi, tineri.

In spatiul cultural, Peterson se intinde peste si face conexiuni din foarte multe domenii, lucru ce reiese si din biografia tare variata. Personal, pot intelege usor pasiunea pentru stabilirea de inter-conexiuni intre cat mai multe discipline, dar asta nu rezulta mereu in efecte pozitive. Cei preocupati serios de filosofie nici nu vor sa auda de el (o sa revin mai jos asupra problemei asteia), iar cei preocupati stricti de psihologie, sunt sceptici asupra metodelor lui preferate si a lipsei consecventei de a ramane in spatiul cvasi-delimitat al investigatiei psihologice. Ca sa dau doar cateva exemple, crede prea mult in geniul lui Freud si abuzeaza de arhetipurile lui Jung. Asta fara sa aducem macar in discutie validitatea psihanalizei in secolul asta.

I-am urmarit foarte multe materiale pe YouTube inainte sa citesc “12 Rules for Life”, mi-au placut multe din lucrurile pe care le-am auzit si am fost surprins sa remarc ca am mai multe lucruri negative de spus despre carte decat pozitive (sau decat m-as fi asteptat). Cartea nu are nici pe departe forta argumentelor si fascinatia idelor cu care intrasem in contact pe YouTube. Prefata este inceputa de Dr. Norman Doidge, care schiteaza cateva lucruri interesante. Prima data ca fara reguli devenim sclavii propriilor dorinte si nu putem deveni cu adevarat liberi. Apoi, ataca stanga postmodernista si faptul ca singurele valori pe care le recunoaste sunt toleranta si relativismul moral. Ori acest relativism moral nu functioneaza in parctica, ne spune Doidge, deoarece oamenii cauta busole morale dupa care sa se orienteze, iar asta explica o parte din succesul lui Peterson. Pretafa este continuata chiar de Peterson, unde reuseste sa surprinda negativ prin faptul ca se axeaza prea mult pe succesul sau pe YouTube, prin faptul ca “a castigat la Quora” si prin tonul increzut, laudator de sine. Asta lasand deoparte aroganta intriseca ideii ca a gasit reguli pentru viata ce przenta “un antidot la haos” (subtitlul cartii).

“12 Rules for Life” e plina de sectiuni intregi de truisme de tipul “you matter” specifice cartilor de auto-ajutor. In zonele in care iasa din cliseele aceastea ieftine si se ancoreaza in fundamente seriose, precum filosofie sau religie, comite greseli capitale care explica reticentele unora, mentionate mai sus. Cea mai frecventa din aceastea este ca supra-extinde conceptul de Fiinta (cu “F” mare) al lui Heidegger la alte sisteme filosofice unde aceasta nu apartine: Descartes, Karl Popper sau Crestinism. Asta e un pacat impotriva hermeneuticii; o fortare de interpretare. Mutilezi textul ca sa intre intr-o pre-conceptie, in loc sa il lasi sa iti vorbeasca singur. Stilul sau eclectic de a gandi da mari rateuri (in mare parte hermeneutice) evidentiate cel mai bine de pasajul in care sustine ca Satan din “Paradisul Pierdut” al lui John Milton reprezinta “incarnarea (fictionala)” spiritului totalitarismului. A combinat literatura cu mitul, cu religia si apoi cu teorie politica si a iesit o mare prostie. 

Alt aspect ciudat pe plan ideologic este credinta ca viata este esentialmente suferinta, ceea ce e ciudat pentru cineva care face atat de mult apel la Biblie, Dumnezeu, optimism, valori, Fiinta, semnificatie etc. Nu e neaparat o contradictie acolo, dar imi da impresie de viziune inchegata superficial.

La capitolul scriitura, vreau doar sa punctez ca multe idei din capitole nu sunt legate bine intre ele si de multe ori nu par sa aiba foarta multa legatura cu tema capitolului, enuntata de regula ca ii da titlul.

In pofida a toate acestea, imi place tema de baza a lui Peterson despre responsabilizare personala (versul activism social stupid) si aversiunea fata de relativism moral. Exista bine si exista rau, obiectiv delimitate, iar oamenii sunt capabili de ambele. Pe langa acestea, mai vin presarate multe alte idei interesante ce ma fac sa recomand cartea. Le-am scos mai jos, fara comentarii personale, alaturi de cele 12 reguli:

1 Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Standing up means voluntarily accepting the burden of Being (capital B, Heidegger).

Price’s law (1963): the principle of unequal distribution applied to almost anything. 80% of thr effects come from 20% of the causes.

Dominance hierarchies have been an esentially permanent feature of the environment. Dominance hierarchies are older than treee, are not a human artefact and are encoded in our brains.

2 Treat yourself like someone younare responsible for helping.

Peterson subscribes (almost) all of existence to the chaos/order dichotomy. The two states, like in the taoist yin and yang intertwine: a Satan-snake exists in the garden of Eden.

3 Make friends with people who want the best for you.

Not every victim is suffering from unjust circumstances; some people are low simply because they don’t want to shoulder any responsibility. Some people reject the path upward because of its difficulty. Peterson is implying here that trying to help them will bring you down as well, rather than result in the positive outcome you envision.

4 Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.

5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.

Also ilustrates how stupid is the idea that individual problems should be solved by restructuring society.

6 Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.

Analyzes Solzhenitsyn’s case, especially his decision to change his life instead of curse fate, after being tortured by the communists. People who experience evil can perpetate it further or they can choose (key word) to do the opposite.

The ancient Jews took responsibility for the catastrophes God unleashes upon them as their failure to abide by His word, rather than criticize Being itself and sink into resentment.

If you cannot bring peace to your own household, how dare you try to rule a city?

7 Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient).

Work and sacrifice are very much alike: giving up something now to improve the future. The ancients discovered that reality is a force that could be bargained with. The successful among us delay gratification and bargain with the future.

8 Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie.

Did what I want happen? No. Then my aim or my methods were wrong. I still have something to learn. That is the voice of authenticity. Did what I want happen? No. Then the world is unfair. That is the voice of inauthenticity. It is not so far from there to “they should be stopped”.

9 Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.

If you’re reading this book, there’s a strong probability that you’re a privileged person. You can read. You have time to read. A little gratitude might be in order. It took untold generations to get where you are.

10 Be precise in your speech.

11 Do not bother children when they are skateboarding. 

Interpretations are not all equally valid.

Universities that try, through left-wing propaganda disguised as courses, to undermine society should have no claim to public funding.

He seems to suggets in this chapter that nature ‘undermined’ women, not men, by making them physically weaker, because of menstruation, of problems and complications related to childbirth and so on.

12 Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: