Archetype, Reality, Friendship and Literature: Peterson/Hurwitz

all right so I'm sitting here with with dr. Jordan Peterson we were gonna talk about the weird overlap between our books there's a sort of metafiction aspect of it because Jordan had written the rules for I was a Korra entry yeah it's 32 rules in Cora that's right 42 rules got pared down so there's gonna be like 19 sequels right that's right rolling him out and and I thought they were amazing and so I was writing orphan acts I was writing the first book in the series and in orphan Acts my main character is an assassin and he has these sort of 10 commandments that are the operational rules for an assassin and I wanted something to offset that for a kid who's in his life who lives downstairs from him who's being raised as a good human instead of as an assassin and I wanted to set a rules that would kind of counterbalance that and at the time I was reading Jordan's rules that he listed and so I sort of used those as a counterbalance as sort of positive masculinity to use to use this horrible phrase that the well-trodden term but to actually show how somebody might be raised properly instead of as an international assassin and at the time you know you were a mere professor at utoronto I thought what could possibly be controversial about this yeah right and so so that's how it sort of started yeah well it was fun to see you know when you create something like those rules I wrote them for Cora and I'd written like 50 Cora answers and some of them got disproportionately popular which is exactly what you'd expect because some things get disproportionately popular and and that Cora rules attracted a lot of attention by Korres standards or by the standards of what I was reading on Cora and then you would pit you pick them up and I thought it's one of the things that's very interesting about doing something creatively is that you sort of launch it like you launch a note in a bottle on the ocean and you have no idea where it's going to end up and so that was the first interesting manifestation of those rules outside of the Cora container so to speak and then of course part of our discussion about the rules also led to their encapsulation and 12 rules for life and that was much later and it's been interesting to see how that overlap has developed as well well it's also weird to see what connects like it's so funny with with orphan acts when I was first adapting and the big thing with that is that my character kind of interacts he's an archetypal character like a Jack Reacher Jason Bourne but lives in the real world with you and me you know so it's like he's not you never see James Bond go home you know just what an archetypal character should do right it should exist in abstraction and also be embedded in the real world yeah but usually you have like the High Plains Drifter who's like off feeding his horse and like moving on to the next town yes I thought it'd be so fun to have them like interacting with the annoying Jewish woman who lives upstairs and having an awkward confrontation with the woman who lives downstairs who his chemistry with so it's an archetypal character wrestled into the real world that's what the spider-men people did really well the Marvel with Daniel and spider-man they said extraordinarily well where he has to like Reese stitches cost you had no one thought about that you know and he's like late for school and all those problems exactly exactly so that was that was sort of the motif well that is also the problem of it's a more complex psychological problem of of integrating the archetypal with the real world because there's an element of everyone's psyche that's that's transpersonal that's archetypal right because to some degree you should manifest the mythological hero in your life but the the critical issue there is in your life right because your life is like your life is like the bottle that or the lamp that the genie is in it's like the genie is God for all intents and purposes but it's in this little tiny container it's like well that's what you're like is you have this archetypal element to your personality which is your capacity for heroic endeavor but it's all constrained by the hypothetical or the trivialities of your life and you have to you have to mediate between those well and that's the weird thing like you were saying one of the things when you write is you don't always know what's gonna connect right you never knew that those rules would become you know number one best-selling book everywhere in the world what was so interesting is there's this one scene at the opening of orphan Acts where he's in the elevator and he's got a cut on his arm we don't know what it's from and he has to fake to kind of pass as a real person among all the people and he's kind of covering it up but he's got suppressors and he used the sock as a tourniquet so he's missing a sock and he's kind of trying to pass his secret identity among other people that seemed connected unbelievably with readers with and it would it would be like the last scene that I would have thought and when I did the book initially for Bradley Cooper as a feature and I remember I was like well if I have Bradley Cooper let me open with some big action you show off you thing and both his production company and the head of the studio were like we need the elevator saying like this elevator scene became the iconic thing of course because it does what you're talk to should be some music playing in the back like there is something yeah if you get caught between the beard in New York City right right but it's weird cuz I never would have thought that would be the thing mm-hmm so the stuff that you send out I have any idea why that was so attractive to people well I think it's exactly the thing that we were talking about is like you don't see James Bond in that circumstance it's so it's like this archetypal guy has a mission is a knife cut that he tourniquets his arm with and then he's in the elevator that you and I have been in and everyone's nagging him that he's you know missed the HOA meeting the homeowners association meeting where they're voting on like the new carpeting in the lobby and he's just trying to get out of it and he's covering so there's this wish fulfillment fantasy aspect to it but it's almost like our own lives and like everyone knows what it's like to be dealing with annoyances and logistics but then he gets to go back to his life is like a super secret assassin who helps the helpless well and there's another element of it too I would say which is that that that that scene and and that that context also suggests that one of the ways that you one of the things that you have to do in order to put up with those mundane daily elements of life is also to have your adventure along with you yeah yeah so and I mean one of the things that I've been talking to my audience is about continually is that you need to have a meaning in your life that's of sufficient grandeur let's say or sufficient power so that the petty sufferings of life now become not only justifiable but acceptable in the broader context and so and sufficient risk and sufficient risk because all that in that and that's what puts the adventure into it right it's like in the elevator scene it's it's not only that everyone can relate to the mundane it's also that everyone can see that what trans the mundane is also fundamentally necessary before otherwise you are nothing but a collection of trivialities and and life has so much suffering that if you're just a collection of trivialities you're not going to be able to bear it so you need your heroic adventure which is what's animating you literally anima is the soul right that's what Adam Amin's so that's literally animating you well you have to put up with being trapped in this little tiny conveyor right I thought about this lot when I was writing Batman I wrote Batman for tutors for DC and I was fascinated by this sort of seesaw tilt between perfection and intimacy which is so Batman you know he doesn't have a magic ring he can't fly he just represents the pinnacle of human discipline and achievement it's cuz his parents died when he was young right he's alone in Wayne Manor there's Robin always dies there's always a Robin and he dies he's a playboy he doesn't have anyone intimate and if there's no one in your life you can maintain perfection but the more you inch into intimacy a dog a spouse a partner children the more that you get this sort of conflict and complication that starts to take over and detract from that version of perfection so it's like you can be perfect without intimacy but then you're not perfect because you have no intimacy and so the more that you integrated it's almost like the more that you're accepting the realities of life but also I think it's also one of the things it's interesting in the Batman reference because one of the things you see in the Batman Joker dynamic especially the one with Heath Ledger was the Joker was always pushing at Batman because of the evil of his perfections like you're this far away from me and that perfectionistic drive there's something totalitarian and single-minded about it right and then it's the encapsulation of that in intimacy that that humanizes it and perhaps it's sane right and so so that uni-dimensional perfection can go very very badly when it goes and to be contextually constrained like that is actually like a definition of sanity it's something that Jung talked about when he was commenting on Nietzsche and and people like Nietzsche said he believed that Nietzsche would have been able to maintain his sanity for much longer assuming no physiological degeneration had he been able to incorporate himself within a profession and a family who nailed him to the earth right and in a healthy way stilts down that's right exactly right so I thought we'd just talk briefly about the editing process for 12 rolls it was a lot of fun because I got to read it all early which was yeah this was fun so I had it featured in the orphan X books like two years before it came out right which is why I always like to remind you that I'm mostly responsible for yours yes well I do appreciate that well I sent all the chapters to Greg I had an editor at penguin Craig Pyatt who was very very helpful so I had two editors really and other people commenting on it but I sent each chapter to Greg and he would just shred them he's really really good at that and and well and very comical and so he just be absolutely brutal with his criticisms but it was also a also always extremely funny it was a fast yeah well and then I was also absolutely staggered by how rapidly you could do that and to point to what was working and to tell me what wasn't working and that was exceptionally helpful and you're very very skilled at that so so there's the compliment you're gonna get for me now it was very others look now the insult first you leave you soften me up with a compliment and now you know but I think what was helpful is so I mean I took three courses from you as an undergraduate so it's like we've been swimming in the same waters for a long time so it was really interesting for me to see you know through the process you know I have it I have a sense that goes kind of all the way down of the ideas room with going back to before maps of meaning going back to the source book articles and stuff you lectured amount so it was really fun to see them take hold and move from the abstract into the ever more accessible and specific yeah well it was useful too because you're you've developed this intense skill in in producing commercial widely publicly accessible fiction and and you have a sense of what works in terms of narrative flow and that was very useful to have that perspective on the way the stories were laid out in in each of the rules to make them to give them that narrative punch which is necessary to add an additional dimension of what would you say quality to the writing I'm glad but it's good working with someone with like your learning curve was like this so he's like the first one that we went through you know if there was something that the speed with which you can sort of implement an assembly new and nation and and reflect that in writing is unbelievable yeah well that's fun there's a benefit of being sort of experienced in multiple dominant Arcas I think because there's so many things that you've done it's such a high level that when you add a new one the learning curve is like this so it's also really fun cuz it's like you know if well we'll have a chance to do it again yeah alright I would expect when I write the next book or maybe an extension of 12 rules for life I presume so it's fun bumping into you here cuz we're just bumped into each other at this studio today blue yeah actually halfway around the world in one studio part but so that's great so you work on the next one and they'll work on the next orphan accent good go from there alright good to see you man

40 thoughts on “Archetype, Reality, Friendship and Literature: Peterson/Hurwitz

  1. Hello everyone and especially to The Professor Docter Jordan , I am very happy to have found a serious teacher. 🙂

  2. I recently saw the interview from Australia, that you posted elsewhere. I am distinctly aware of my mental capacity in relation to yours but I was caught by what seemed to be, similar to the plans of agenda21. You know the situation on that continent better that I but there are problems with government corruption in our westernized countries and I wonder if this contributes to the problems you mentioned ( intrusive, unnecessary laws, high pay, bonuses and pensions for anything associated or funded by government, back door deals, ineffective, inefficient “social programs” every working class person knows ( unless exception of high competence ) “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know “.
    I know you may not agree but things really do look different, from a different perspective.
    Your interview made me think of the high population density rat studies that have been done. Haven’t those suggested high populated areas may not be healthy for humans, especially since certain observations of the study and human society in highly populated areas, appear to coincide?
    I appreciate 99.9% of what you do. 🙏🏼👍🏼(edit, I forgot to add Thank you).

  3. The tie is not important his WORDS are. The tie is a distraction like some (Most) main stream media tries to distract people. Use critical thinking, Listen and listen to the other side most important that bit then make up your own mind. Love your stuff Dr P unlike the new Dr Poo.

  4. Lol is it just me or the guy wanted to keep talking to Jordan lol poor guy

  5. On Peterson’s recommendation I read two of the Orphan X books. FASCINATING. And Peterson is deeply influential in strengthening my life. I think his great appeal to me of whatever age (and I am in my seventies) is that he models a very strong, compassionate and articulate masculinity and in a sense “parents” those whose relationships with their own fathers had gaps or problems. May he live 120 years.

  6. Good back patting by everyone involved. The leaning curve went like this |, the narrative flow was like the mighty Amazon River, the insights were falling out of trees like fecund fruit, the adventure bordered on EPIC! How wonderful! The liberal Peterson meets the liberal ex student and it's two liberal kings of the entertainment world giving presents of congratulations to each other for a seeming eternity. Such liberality! Good, LORD!

  7. I would like to see a movie about Jordan Peterson Phenomenon

  8. I enjoyed this video very much and thought of the Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell. I understand alot of these concepts but I still grapple with the underlying reasons why these archetypes even exist. Mr. Peterson it so disturbs me that a person with an opinion gets demonized the way you do. I admire your work but I want to be the type of person that thinks for themselves. Forgive me for not taking everything you say without question. Its all part of building my worlds view and not accepting others blindly. Thank you for the alternatives you offer. There just seems to me to be an awful lot of social engineering occurring.

  9. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is an archetypal character tied to real life problems. Much more so than the Prophet Jesus (ohbp) at any rate.

  10. I'd love to hear what Jordan Peterson thinks and knows about graphic design and talk on how much of a mess that field is.

  11. So interesting to see the teacher and the student interact and respectfully intermingle robbing each other and complimenting each other. Brilliant to see this exchange

  12. When wearing the Grand Lobster tie, one must ensure the knot is prepared with sufficient girth.

  13. I think this is why Trump connected with so many people; he's an archetype that lives in the real world.

  14. El libro traducido de las 12 reglas ya lo están vendiendo en Perú! Y se están acabando. 69 soles

  15. So we jump mid sentence from Batman and Spidey right to Jung and Nietzsche. Only the alpha lobster manages that

  16. [~2:53] "That's what the 'Spidermin' people did really well, the Marvell… when they invented 'Spidermin'…"
    "It's not his last name… It's not like…'Phil Spidermin'. He's a Spider. MAN."
    [YT > /watch?v=5gr75OQabg0]

  17. That's one GIRTHY knot on that tie. Double windsor? A 'simple knot' aint high enough up on the tie knot hierarchy?

  18. I'm sorry for saying the C word. Lol. I didn't mean any offense to the greater milky diaspora. I'm investing more time in correcting my speech patterns. I've gotten very lazy.

  19. I used to perfect without intimacy, when I was young. Snow white . . . then I drifted. It's a comedy, human life, though.

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