Tammy Peterson, Jordan Peterson, and The 4th Dimension
Everywhere, always, all through history, people have had religious experiences. They vary in degree, magnitude, and type, but one thing is for sure: they happen. They may be induced by plant medicine, or slipping on a banana peel, or a near death experience, or hearing a songbird sing. What is very often described is something like this: the veil lifted from my eyes and I saw ‘The 4th Dimension’; or, I met God and nothing will ever be the same.
I reached out to Tammy Peterson after she had spoken of such an experience and a radical change of heart. ‘My own plans weren’t working’ she told me. ‘I was going to die. So I started to pray’. The prayer in the Catholic rosary goes: ‘not my will but thine be done.’ Through intense prayer and giving up a strong self-will, Tammy found a greater meaning and purpose. Today, despite her husband Jordan Peterson’s still terrible condition, she seems joyful and upbeat, and she has rediscovered her passion for painting. As a result of her experience, she is now willing to open up and tell people her story.
I won’t go into too much detail regarding Tammy’s dramatic health issues and near death, which have been told elsewhere in podcasts with her daughter Mikhaila Peterson and Curt Jaimungal. But her story seems to me to be profoundly universal, which is why it is worth telling: mythologically speaking Tammy, and Jordan as well, have both experienced a kind of archetypal story of Job.
Tammy was living a blessed life of sorts, travelling the world, helping her husband and children, but something was missing: ‘What am I doing here?’ was her constant question during the whirlwind ‘Twelve Rules for Life’ world tour with Jordan Peterson. But then, at the peak of her husband’s fame and their world travels came the death sentence: nine months to live. Amazingly, Jordan was also supposed to die; he was falsely diagnosed with schizophrenia, finding himself with Mikhaila in a hospital north of Moscow, not knowing how he got there. Mikhaila, who also has had radical health problems…