Is “Beyond Order” a Bookish Weapon? Of course it is, because in gives you more tools to fight adversity. Most of these tools are concerning how you think about things. They are structured in twelve rules about life.
Let’s look at the first rule in the book which is “Do not Carelessly Denigrate Social Institutions Or Creative Achievement.” Of course Jordan makes a comprehensive argument as to why you should not do this. There are eleven more rules like this. Actually there are many more rules, but you need to read his first book for those.
In this summary of the book I am not going to spend lots of time on each rule, but I think I need to briefly discuss each one. Well, no! So I will just convey what I liked the most about a few of them or the most interesting ideas from my perspective.
The first tidbit I came across was when Peterson says that his experience from years of psychological practice taught him that “people depend on constant communication with others to keep their minds organized.” That observation is fascinating to me since I spend most of my time alone.
The second thing that got my attention was on page nine. He lists a series of questions he asks his clients such as “Do they have friends and a social life? A stable and satisfying intimate partnership?” And on and on. Based on my answers to the questions I am “insufficiently embedded in the interpersonal world and in danger of spiraling downward psychologically because of that.” That was not encouraging.
The second rule is “Imagine Who You Could Be and then Aim Single-Mindedly At That.” Two points noticed. He says, “By accepting life’s suffering therefore evil maybe overcome,” and “That which you most need to find will be found where you least wish to look.” He goes on to discuss Harry Potter and how that whole story fits in to all this.
Finally, he says, “You need to know where you are, or you will not be able to draw a straight line from your starting point to your destination. You need to know where you are going, or you will drown in uncertainty, unpredictability, and chaos, and starve for hope and inspiration.” That really sounds like my life, at least from time to time.
“Do Not Hide Unwanted Things In The Fog.” In this chapter he discusses things like “willful blindness,” and “Failing to look under the bed when you strongly suspect a monster is lurking there is not an advisable strategy.” That is so good!
He talks about what the fog actually is. “You have become distrustful even of hope itself, as your hope has been repeatedly shattered (and that is the very definition of hopelessness). You are afraid of yourself and other people. You are in the fog. “Imagine. More precisely, that you are so afraid that you will not allow yourself even to know what you want.”
“Notice That Opportunity Lurks Where Responsibility Has Been Abdicated.” (Ok, this one and maybe one more rule) Here Peterson discusses Peter Pan. He says that Peter has come to some conclusions like not wanting to grow up. “Better to remain king of the Lost Boys. Better to remain lost in fantasy with Tinkerbell, who provides everything a female partner can provide – except that she doesn’t exist.”
“You must sacrifice something of your manifold potential in exchange for something real in life. Time at something. Discipline yourself. Or suffer the consequence.And what is the consequence? All the suffering in life, with none of the meaning. Is there s better description of hell?”
And what about “willful blindness”mentioned earlier? He says, “It is a terrible temptation, as it allows for the sequestration into the future the trouble we face today. That would are fine if trouble did not compound, like interest – but we all know it does.”
There is so much more. Please read the book!!
Yes, I know, I skipped a bunch of rules, but I am not trying to rewrite the book. Rule eleven is “Do Not Allow Yourself To Become Resentful, Deceitful, or Arrogant.” I have so much underlined here it is hard to choose what to share.
I think this plea summarizes this rule: “Perhaps you could live in a manner who’s nobility, grandeur, and intrinsic meaning would be of sufficient import that you could tolerate the negative elements of existence without becoming so bitter as to transform everything around you into something resembling hell.”
Now, go get the book!