You might say this all got started when that fellow Jordan Peterson started getting in the news. We, of course, were curious like everyone else, that a Canadian and a professor at University of Toronto could get into so much hot water and get so famous so quickly, was needless to say a surprise. Canadians don't generally rock the boat.
But it was when Hammer came in to The Pig's Ear one afternoon with his tablet in hand and said it flat out, "I like this guy!" that we got seriously interested. Hammer was not the kind to make that sort of statement lightly. In his youth he had worked in heavy industry up north and out west, and for many years had driven a big truck. He had perfected the art of playing the dumb truck-driver for years but in his retirement it came out that he had an astute mind to go along with his sometimes sour disposition.
Hammer had been reading Jordan Peterson's biography and found he had worked the oil-rigs when younger, as well as a plywood mill, and railway line work.
He put it this way. "This guy knows more about real life than all the average professors and politicians combined despite the fact he has a PHD, and he's a shrink. He just might be worth listening to." So we decided to do just that.
That was when we discovered just how much Peterson had produced in online videos, and the hours and hours it would take to listen to all of it, as well as the fact that we quickly began to realize that Peterson was talking a language we were not used to. So we decided to divide up the work a little and make it a point to report back on what we had learned. Not that we needed an excuse to gather at the Pig's Ear but this made it more or less official.
It did not take long for us to discover that as we got more and more into the thinking of Jordan Peterson, there were a number of other subjects that came to our attention and we had to divide those up for further study. One thing led to another and before we knew it we were far more informed than ever before, yet far more confused.
One afternoon we all sat around a table at the Pig's Ear and looked at each other, saying nothing. Finally our resident priest of the Church of England, Father Tuck, spoke up to say what was on all our minds.
"I might as well say it since I am the one you are all worried about offending, yes? Let's put it this way, there is at the heart of this whole discussion, the one issue that has yet to be defined. Consciousness. Our friend Jordan Peterson has made this clear. His nemesis Sam Harris acknowledges it. The whole idea of spirit and spirituality revolves around it, and it is the backdrop of religion. So what we are all thinking is perhaps this is dangerous territory. Right?"
That clarified the matter somewhat for most of us and Father Tuck proceeded to give his endorsement for investigation wherever it might lead. I noticed that Kyle the hardware store owner, our only professing atheist sat quietly with an amused look on his face. He was quite a fan of Sam Harris, but lately he had been a little subdued by the admissions Peterson had drawn from Harris.
So far our discussions had been amicable and I for one wanted to keep it that way. There was plenty of name-calling and personal attack online to go around. So we adjourned for the day, not realizing how big this would get and how far-reaching.