A few days ago i was privileged and very happy to attend Dr Jordan Petersen’s lecture at the Emanuel centre in London. As many of you will know i had to take a very long day out of a very focussed 2 weeks to get there and back in a day and i want to say right from the start that it was totally worth the effort. The way it worked out is that i had the afternoon shclepping around the science museum and then got to the venue about three quarters of an hour early and with only a few people already queueing outside but even of those few somebody instantly recognised me from the JBP study group on FB. Because we were so early once we had picked up our books we got straight down to the front and had seats quite literally 3 feet from the stage…..so it was a pretty damn special experience for me (weird seeing myself in the front row on youtube !
The lecture in the UK was essentially JBP’s book tour to promote his new book titled “12 Rules for Life….An Antidote to Chaos”. It’s only the second book that JBP has written with the first being the densely packed “Maps of Meaning” which i have on PDF from being a JBP Patreon supporter. The new book might sound like, but definitely isn’t, a pop-sci and self-help lightweight but much more a synthesis of genuine psychology, his clinical and teaching experience and just plain solid observation of life. I won’t go much further into a description of the book except to say that it all begins with Lobsters !. The lecture is a very quick walk through the book and a pretty good introduction to Jordan Petersen.
Readers here will know that i have been following JBP for a while now, i reckon about 2 years since i started following his classroom lectures and then the extraordinary events that have since unfolded in Canadian academia and in some very disturbing changes in Canadian law. Some people find JBP totally baffling, he is regarded as the enemy incarnate by the hard left and the SJW types, as a lecturer he can be difficult to follow as he will explore trains of thought at great length and go off on fascinating tangents. I happen to like that because i guess its also what my mind tends to do. His recent work is much more direct : a psychological study of the bible starting with Genesis and that series of 12 lectures so far has been so good that it’s got even hardcore atheists thinking and arguing about the bible stories.
Without going totally ‘fangirl’ i want to say that JBP is the most effective public speaker and lecturer that i have ever heard and seen speak. If you watch the video you will see but not be able to hear the long standing ovation he got even before he spoke and i think how touched he was by that welcome. Being so close i can attest to how genuine was his appreciation and enjoyment of his audience. As a speaker he has an amazing technique, he doesn’t address the amorphous crowd but rather he keeps moving but will then make one point directly to one person. Being front and centre it frequently felt as though he was speaking to me immediately and directly….and in fact he often was.
The downside of his UK visit was the cringe-making ‘interview’ hosted by Cathy Newman on channel 4. Newman continuously and aggressively tries to wrong-foot and catch JBP out and totally fails. Petersen stays cool, calm and collected throughout making solid, fact filled point after point. The high point or low point depending which way you fall comes at about 22 minutes ……”Gotcha” Watch and cringe if you will at the appalling poor level of so-called ‘smart’ TV interviewers. I really thought that just once, for one moment that her brain caught up with her mouth and that she had a lightbulb moment when she realised that the importance of free speech is that it works in both directions and not just for the self styled cultural elite.
PS. My very sincere thanks to my work colleague who shift swapped at very late notice so that i could get there.