12 Rules for Life draws very heavily on books I have loved and that have devastated and rebuilt me. I discuss these works repeatedly throughout the manuscript, in my first book, Maps of Meaning, and in my online lectures and podcasts. I have promoted the most influential books I have encountered on my website, jordanbpeterson.com, and I know from the thousands of letters than I am receiving than many people are learning about these works for the first time and reading them and undergoing the same transformations I experienced.
Here is a list of 12 the most surprising, significant, compelling and powerful.
Modern Man in Search of a Soul
Modern Man in Search of a Soul is the perfect introduction to the theories and concepts of one of the most original and influential religious thinkers of the twentieth century. Lively and insightful, it covers all of his most significant themes, including man's need for a God and the mechanics of dream analysis. One of his most famous books, it perfectly captures the feelings of confusion that many sense today. Generation X might be a recent concept, but Jung spotted its forerunner over half a century ago. For anyone seeking meaning in today's world, Modern Man in Search of a Soul is a must.
The Sacred and the Profane
In The Sacred and the Profane, Mircea Eliade observes that while contemporary people believe their world is entirely profane, or secular, they still at times find themselves connected unconsciously to the memory of something sacred. It's this premise that both drives Eliade's exhaustive exploration of the sacred--as it has manifested in space, time, nature and the cosmos, and life itself--and buttresses his expansive view of the human experience.