Reading List (Update):  the Dangers of Order

By | March 17, 2021

[March 17, 2021]  I’m reminded today of an old U.S. Army recruiting slogan from the mid-1980s; “Be all you can be.”1  The commercial series was one of the Army’s best.  Great stuff.  It worked beginning in folks into the military.  As regular readers of my leadership blog know, my works are influenced by many; one such person is Dr. Jordan Peterson.  He once said, “You should be better than you are, but it’s not because you’re worse than other people.  It’s because you’re not everything you should be.”  He and I share a similar philosophy, although I admit he has done a much better job at it.  I know that we must face the demands of our lives voluntarily and respond to the challenge.  In his newest book, Dr. Peterson, a clinical psychologist, and professor shows us that he is one of the most impressive moralists of our century.  This book is the companion to his earlier book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, 2018.

Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson, 2021

Dr. Jordan Peterson’s recent book “Beyond Order” is a companion to his earlier book “12 Rules for Life.”  You will not need to read 12 Rules to understand Beyond Order, but it helps.  While his first book focused on defeating chaos in its various forms, the second explores the dangers of excessive order.  Dr. Peterson pushes us.  He forces us to confront our lives and to understand our meaning of life.  12 Rules answers perennial questions of life: Should we seek happiness in life or responsibility?  Is true romance possible?  How can we be grateful despite our suffering?  Peterson works through these successfully by using insights from his private clinical practice, mythological traditions, children’s literature, art history, and the Bible.

There are three primary, consistent points from Dr. Peterson.  First, life is suffering.  Evil and suffering are real, and this a fact we must face.  We must face the fact that we are fighting a war within; the malevolent and the good.  Second, you must become responsible for your suffering.  Our culture provides us with “limiting disciplines” to train for this, usually in the form of moral codes.  Beware of hiding things in the fog.  Do this by admitting your feelings, especially those that are uncomfortable feelings of anger and pain.  Third, by accepting your suffering voluntarily, you will be able to transcend it.  As Peterson notes, you are not just you.  You are also St. George, who slays the dragon.

In an article by Josh Christenson from the Free Beacon, he notes that Peterson uses a “unique carrot-and-stick approach” to counseling his readers.  “Pick up the extra weight,” Peterson says.  And if you cannot shoulder your burden yet, aim a little bit lower.  “Your life becomes meaningful in precise proportion to the depths of the responsibility you are willing to shoulder.”  Sound familiar?  For those who doubt the efficacy of these 12 rules, a ready supply of testimonies are included.  Like his first book, this is not an easy read but imminently worth the time and effort.

This book is highly recommended.

To go to the complete Professional Reading list, click on this direct link:

Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog.  His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here:


  1. (YouTube video, 0:30 seconds)
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

21 thoughts on “Reading List (Update):  the Dangers of Order

  1. Colleen Ramirez

    I hope to enjoy the book and learn, learn, learn. Thanks to Gen. Satterfield, I’m aware the new book is out and I plan to buy it in my local bookstore.

  2. Max Foster

    Amid all this discord, it’s jarring to open Beyond Order to be reminded that Peterson isn’t best understood as a debater of politics or culture, but as a sui generis kind of personal trainer for the soul.

    1. Max Foster

      Oops, hit submit before I finished my comment. …… Dr. Peterson is stern, sincere, intolerant of fools, sometimes hectoring, fond of communicating harsh truths by means of Bible stories, ancient mythology, the works of JK Rowling and JRR Tolkien, and lengthy flights of Jungian-tinged abstraction about the Dragon of Chaos, the Benevolent Queen, the Wise King, and assorted other archetypes.

      1. Jonathan B.

        Well said, Max. The book, Peterson writes, is an attempt to explain “how the dangers of too much security and control might be profitably avoided”.

  3. Willie Shrumburger

    Who would have thought his 2018 book, 12 Rules for Life, with its demanding message that readers stop blaming others and assume responsibility for their problems instead, would be so popular. Yet it made the Canadian psychologist world famous, and rightly so.

  4. Nick Lighthouse

    Superb book. I’m not finished either. I bought the book based on an earlier review that Gen. Satterfield gave his previous book “12 Rules for Life.” If you’ve not read that one, go out and buy it.

    1. Honey Flower Betsy

      I’m normally not into cerebral books but I might make an exception in this case.

  5. Dead Pool Guy

    I received my copy last week and have only gotten through the first two chapters. I’m taking my time, marking my book, and learning as I go. This is one of those times that I must go slow to ensure nothing is missed. So far, I’m liking what I read.

  6. JT Patterson

    Let’s all thank Gen. Satterfield for another review of an important book for out time. In an age of book burning (oh, did I write that … I meant to say an age of keeping us safe from fascist ideas), it is time to pull out all the stops for intellectual diversity (oh, that is heresy).

    1. Jeff Blackwater

      Well said, JT. I like your sarcasm. I too am concerned about the restrictions on free speech in America. I’m keeping a list of companies that support it and will never buy from them again. While their “woke” customers are only too happy to be subjugated, I will never take a knee (just like Gen. Satterfield has promised). Will we all swear to never bow to those who wish to destroy our freedoms?

  7. Kenny Foster

    Looks like this book is a good buy. Just a year ago, I read his earlier book “12 Rules for Life.” I actually read it twice and both times I got something new from it that I’d missed in the first reading. I recommend the first book. Now, on to Goodreads for purchase of his new book. Oh, BTW, I don’t buy anything from Amazon anymore. They are into banning books these days.

    1. Anthony "Tony" Benson

      Right, book “burners” Amazon. Don’t buy from them ever again. Go woke, go broke.

      1. Anya B.

        Ha Ha, you will probably be banned from Twitter for that comment.

  8. KenFBrown

    Very interesting review of Dr. Peterson’s new book, Beyond Order. Who would have thought much about too much order being a problem. That is, I guess, what happens in super strict societies like China and North Korea when the heavy hand of govt is put on the neck of its citizens.

    1. Yusaf from Texas

      Good point, Ken and yes I do think that too much order is bad for most folks. For example, the SAFETY FIRST thinking in America has led to a generation of kids who are afraid of their own shadows.

      1. Audrey

        Right, I lived thru no seatbelts, no water bottles, fireworks, drinking from a hose, no helmets, and the like. Learn to live, don’t be afraid of everything out there.

      2. Gil Johnson

        Yusaf, something you said made me think so thanks. I agree the safety first message is not a good one. If you ever plan on coming out of your basement to play a game, go to work, or take a walk, you will be put at risk. That is life. That is what makes us strong. That is why Dr. Peterson wrote this book.

    2. Silly Man

      I like this guy Dr. Jordan Peterson. Thanks to Gen. Satterfield and the influence he has had on Gen. S, we are learning a great deal more about the role and origins of leadership. And, yes, the idea that too much order is harmful, is worth a good look.


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