Turning psychosocial discourse back toward the syncretistic, multicultural Jung

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

There are astounding parallels between Jordan Peterson’s work and Camille Paglia’s own, she says:

In its anti-ideological, trans-historical view of sex and nature, my first book, Sexual Personae (1990), can be viewed as a companion to Peterson’s first book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1999). Peterson and I took different routes up the mountain — he via clinical psychology and I via literature and art — but we arrived at exactly the same place. Amazingly, over our decades of copious research, we were drawn to the same book by the same thinker — The Origins and History of Consciousness (1949), by the Jungian analyst Erich Neumann. (My 2005 lecture on Neumann at New York University is reprinted in Provocations.) Peterson’s immense international popularity demonstrates the hunger for meaning among young people today. Defrauded of a genuine humanistic education, they are recognizing the spiritual impoverishment of their crudely politicized culture, choked with jargon, propaganda, and lies.

I met Peterson and his wife Tammy a year ago when they flew to Philadelphia with a Toronto camera crew for our private dialogue at the University of the Arts. (The YouTube video has had to date over a million and a half views.) Peterson was incontrovertibly one of the most brilliant minds I have ever encountered, starting with the British philosopher Stuart Hampshire, whom I heard speak impromptu for a dazzling hour after a lecture in college. In turning psychosocial discourse back toward the syncretistic, multicultural Jung, Peterson is recovering and restoring a peak period in North American thought, when Canada was renowned for pioneering, speculative thinkers like the media analyst Marshall McLuhan and the myth critic Northrop Frye. I have yet to see a single profile of Peterson, even from sympathetic journalists, that accurately portrays the vast scope, tenor, and importance of his work.


  1. Bob Sykes says:

    Vox Day and Adam Piggott beg to differ. Being a lapsed Catholic, and remembering smatterings of Aquinas and Augustine, I find both Peterson and Paglia to be inadequate.

  2. Kirk says:

    Having discarded the distilled wisdom of thousands of years of traditional morality, is it a surprise that we have to re-invent the whole edifice, and that what men like Peterson come up with in their short lifetimes does not match what the mass of previous philosophers and scholars developed over multiple lifetimes…?

  3. Albion says:

    I tried to read one of Peterson’s books. I couldn’t get past the lobster first chapter.

    Sorry Mr Peterson, but at least I paid full price for your book, so there’s that.

  4. Sam J. says:

    “…Peterson’s immense international popularity demonstrates the hunger for meaning among young people today…”

    As I said in another comment this is just who they are pushing now. That he doesn’t call for immediate anal sex workshops for prepubescent boys and girls is refreshing but really only shows how far we have fallen. Things are so bad we’ll listen to anyone not stark raving mad. (I read they were having some sort of workshop or whatever now saying Men have menstrual periods. Oh my aching head).

  5. Graham says:

    Back in November “Nature” editorialized against HHS for proposing a standard of “assigned sex” for babies based on physical observation.

    Not “gender”, mind you. “Sex”. So even the “biological sex” category is being ruled out of discourse.

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