Jordan Peterson is back at work on his next book

In February it came as quite a shock to many that Jordan Peterson was going through detox at a clinic in Russia after developing a dependency on benzodiazepine. At the time, Peterson’s daughter Mikhaila said he had nearly died “several times” but she suggested he was finally on the road to recovery. There’s some indication that he is indeed back at work now. Last week his website put out a call for new illustrations for the sequel to his bestselling book “12 Rules for Life.”

I am currently in the process of writing my next book, and am searching for an illustrator to produce 12 images. Each chapter of my previous book, 12 Rules for Life: The Antidote to Chaos, was preceded by one line drawing, which was placed on its own page…

I am planning something similar with the book I am working on now. The new illustrations must be line drawings, in black and white (because the book will not be printed in color). They will occupy a page at the beginning of each chapter—just as indicated, above. They also do not have to precisely duplicate the style of the previous illustrations, although they should bear some relationship to them, as the two books are companion volumes.

Peterson writes that he is specifically looking for an illustration for a chapter titled “Do Not Carelessly Denigrate Social Institutions or Creative Achievement” which should be based on this tarot image of the fool:

In addition to this blog post there have been several recent updates to Peterson’s Instagram account. This one links to the call for an illustrator and includes a photo of Peterson working on the book, which will apparently be titled “Beyond Order.”

I also noticed this one from last week which includes a video of Peterson playing with a remote controlled car, apparently at home. His daughter wrote, “Spotted @jordan.b.peterson actually enjoying himself. Hope you guys are finding time to do the same.”

My initial reaction when I learned of Peterson’s drug dependency and near-death experience was that his career in public was over. After all, many in the media have been eager to see him fail for the past couple of years and it seemed like he had in fact failed in some sense. I was expecting most of the media to take a “see, we told you so” approach.

That may still turn out to be true, but I have to say Peterson’s timing may also turn out to be excellent. The next book is reportedly about chaos in the way the former book was about order. It’s not hard to imagine that Peterson’s own experience of chaos in his personal life might become part of telling that story. If nothing else, he suddenly has a very new story to tell and one that is relevant to millions of people in the U.S. alone where deaths from drug addiction in recent years have far outpaced deaths from the coronavirus thus far.

The chaotic state of the world right now might also provide a perfect moment to say something about chaos more broadly. After all, there are no shortage of progressives suggesting now is the moment to capitalize on this crisis to build a new world. Even if you don’t like their socialist solutions, it’s a timely idea.

I hope Peterson is able to recapture his footing and once again go toe to toe with his critics. He was a helpful corrective to a lot of progressive nonsense on the world state. It would be nice to have him back.