Day 5 - 12 Rules for Life: An Anecdote to Chaos
I hesitated to place this book on the list, but did so because it is one of the most important books that I have read recently. Dr. Jordan Peterson, the author, has a lot of personal detractors and the book is often attacked as well.
These detractors usually use ad hominem attacks on Peterson personally and are overly fond of using the word banal to describe the book. The author is not the straw target that they want him to be. And the latter is simply not true. The usage of the word only shows a lack of originally in their thinking that is pretty much in line with the way the media nowadays picks a word or a phrase and hammers it to death without ever questioning the veracity of the meaning.
It reveals an amazing skill that his detractors have of knowing what they learned from the book prior to ever opening its pages, either that, or they smear vaseline on the lenses of their glasses just before reading.
It is one of the few books on the subject of psychology that I've read cover to cover. It greatly helped me to gain a clearer vision of the effects of my own depression and also gave me practical ways to fight back.
Most importantly, it opened up new ways of understanding the Bible and Mythology by using the key that psychology, especially Jungian, offers. The book provided the insight for two posts that I wrote for my basketball blog. One was based on what really was going on in the Garden of Eden, and about how the rules and structures of the game create a more productive type of freedom than the chaos of completely unrestricted but often totally unfocused choices.
The other blog was based on a little known condition that Peterson terms "intentional blindness" wherein people often become oblivious to the state of things around them when they become totally focused on one thing. I see the same thing in basketball where people are constantly making mistakes by the fact that they create their own blind spots. This insight can even be used to explain a lot about the political debate, or lack there of, in America today.
I have a third idea for a basketball post that was triggered by the first one, and it will be greatly influenced by how the murder of Abel by his brother Cain becomes the basis from which the story of the Prodigal Son later springs. It will explain something to the effect of why the return is so important and how deviation from custom and tradition often results in the revivification of both.
I judge a lot of books by whether or not they present information that can cross over into other areas of thought, or whether they provide insights that lead to even greater insights or new ideas. This book does that.