Spirituality and Psychology with Jordan Peterson
Originally Published on Medium - August 8, 2018
I am going to write a lot about Jordan Peterson. I am not a fanboy, but it is hard to not pay attention to what is happening around him right now. I have many opinions on the topic, and I will try to keep them separate.
First is how Jordan Peterson is providing an important message that resonates with so many people. At first, I called in “spirituality for the non spiritual” which it basically is. Because when it comes down to it, true spirituality is near synonymous with true psychology. Jordan Peterson either explicitly or implicitly understands that, which is what makes him so powerful.
He has a book and a series of lectures talking about the Bible; he says that when humans have concepts too difficult to express, they can communicate them through story, and that is what the Bible is to him. I haven’t read that book, nor even all of 12 Rules for Life, but I have attended his book tour, and watched many of his videos.
What I have to say is that he communicates per 100 words what Eastern spirituality communicates in 10. I have spent time on mindfulness and spirituality, and the lessons I take from that have truly transformed my life. I was already transformed, so Jordan Peterson did not change my life, but I see how he can for so many people.
In this Western civilization that has completely devalued religion, and in particular the prevailing religion of the white men in America, they have become lost and without guidance. Despite many people believing otherwise, people are not inherently wise. It is difficult to completely steer your own ship, people like having a spiritual guide. And that is what Jordan Peterson has become.
He is accessible to more people because he talks from the side of psychology. This is how your brain works, and if you do these things, it will impact your brain well, and you will lead a happier life. Many of his lessons are true, and I have read them far more succinctly in books like The Happiness Advantage, among others.
But no one has so clearly demonstrated to me that spirituality and psychology are actually one in the same. That is what makes Jordan Peterson worth paying attention to, that is what makes him wise. Regardless of how you think about some of his opinions, it is foolish to ignore him. He has taken the mantle in front of a spirituality vacuum, and seems to have an ability to fill it.