Our great risk in life is not that we aim too high and fail, but we aim too low and succeed.
I think one of the major hurdles guys new to Game encounter is an inherent discomfort with experiencing just how raw and uncaring the motivators are behind intergender dynamics. I can’t entirely blame this on a naive, White Knight dependency on wanting to have things fit into their perspective, it’s something more than that. For men with some sense of honor or duty there also comes with it a need to enforce a perception of morality. Understanding the evo-psych roots that drive what would be considered ‘immoral’ behavior by their mental frame is often enough to have men reject Game and the red pill altogether. They believe that even attempting to understand the roots of that immoral behavior is tantamount to rationalizing a way to excuse it.
For all the accusations of being a moral relativist, it’s still very hard not to see the latent purposes behind the behavior itself – this is cause for a lot of internal conflict for a morally predisposed man newly discovering the foundations of Game. In War Brides I made a case for women’s propensity to establish new emotional bonds after a breakup or a widowing with far greater ease than men due to a hard-wired psycho-evolutionary sort of Stockholm Syndrome. You can read the details in that post, but the implications of that is one of rationalizing a cruel, heartless bitch’s actions that could very well be considered amoral, if not immoral. There are plenty of other illustrations that to a newly Game-aware Man seem deplorable and duplicitous behaviors. Why can’t women just say what they mean and mean what they say, right? It seems like a horrible inefficiency to have to rely on women’s behaviors in order to really see their true motivators. What’s ironic is that much of what men have invented as moral considerations were designed to keep these behaviors and their functions in check.
All that said I can’t help but see a want for a higher order of self-image in understanding Game and how the visceral world of sexual dynamics operates. It’s raw behaviorism clashing with a desire to find a humanistic meaning in the cosmos, all set in the theater of intergender relations. I could simply take the easy way out and advise men to drop the pretense of morality altogether since it’s always subjective to whomever’s benefit the moralizing is done for. But that doesn’t remove the desire to see what we think is justice; the key being the desire for it, not necessarily the application of it. While I can certainly respect the aspirations of the nobler prospects of this approach, overall it’s a bit Pollyanna to nuts & bolts behaviorists. That’s not intended as a statement of fact, it’s just an observation.
From the humanist perspective you have to follow a linear, chronological advance in human understanding in many different realms – math, art, cultural ritual, science, societal conditions and any number of other ‘advances’ we’ve made from our hunter gatherer, tribalistic beginnings to our globally connected present. And while it is very ennobling and self-satisfying to see such achievements as evidence of our high-minded progress, it’s far too easy to overlook the root motivations for these advances that are anchored in the very evolution that the humanist perspective would like to claim triumph over.
For example lets consider Pablo Picasso. Not my favorite artist, but one of them and one most people recognize as a considerable personality in art. The humanist would hold Pablo up as the banner of human achievement – a fantastic artist as the result of our progress as a race and a tribute to our overcoming our brutish past. To which the behaviorist would ask, “why should it be that art is so highly valued among human beings?” For that answer we have to go back to the root causes for creative expression. Cavemen painted pictures of animals they’d killed on cave walls for millennia before Pablo arrived on the scene. Now you can argue that these drawings were communicative in nature, but the function of them was to convey a message – “Here is how we killed an antelope and you can too thusly.” Language then springs from this methodology and we progress, but the base function is communication that benefited the survival of the species.
Then you may ask why would Pablo personally want to be an artist? The humanist replies, “to fulfill his personal need for expression to become a self-actualized being” and the behaviorist answers “to make his life’s function easier.” I sincerely doubt that if any manifestation of creative intelligence wasn’t a precursor for sexual selection there would be so many “artists” throughout history. I could easily make similar arguments for famous inventors, scientists or even Benjamin Franklin. It all returns to root motivations.
The self-actualized man still finds himself aroused by the Playboy Playmate irrespective of how much he convinces himself he should reserve his ‘feelings’ for his wife or girlfriend to “morally” conform to his higher-order of self-expectations. Powerful establishing operations such as deprivation virtually ensure that he will have an ‘inner conflict’ and to remedy this he will behaviorally condition himself to act accordingly. Regardless of the method, it’s still the biological root that has been hardwired into his head millennia ago by his hunting ancestors. Whether or not he acts on an opportunity to cheat on his wife, the base desire is still present and an undeniable motivation. A wife can close her eyes and imagine she’s fucking Brad Pitt when she’s with her husband – the motivation is still the same.
2/3rds of the American population is overweight, why do you suppose this is? According to the cognitive-humanist we’ve solved our hunting/gathering needs and can devote ourselves to ‘higher pursuits’, but yet statistics confound us here. The behaviorist sees this and notices that our own evolutionary psychology predisposes us to over-eat since in our evolutionary past we didn’t know whether or not we’d eat at all tomorrow or the next day (thus the ‘gathering’ was invented I suppose). Our bodies process this food in such a way that we burn fat far slower than carbohydrates and protein is reserved for muscle building. All of this in an evolutionarily efficient manner to preserve us, but now once we’ve (more or less) mastered our environment and food is convenient and plentiful it becomes a disadvantage. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just our innate biological mechanisms motivating us to behave in a manner that will benefit us best.
Every vice you can point a negative finger at operates in precisely in this dynamic. Our morality, our intelligence, our sexuality and the behaviors that are manifested by them are all motivated by this base. It would be a pleasant fiction if we could all remove our consciousness from this and be these enlightened, self-actualized beings, constantly operating in a state of peak experience, but this damn testosterone in my body keeps pulling me back down to earth. It may be morally reprehensible for a woman to break her marriage commitment, divorce her husband and remarry a rich entrepreneur, but from a behavioral perspective it makes long term pragmatic sense.
The problem that moral relativism poses to the humanist approach isn’t so much in recognizing this primitive base motivation, but an unwillingness to embrace it and live with it and use it.
I want to run, I want to fuck and I want to fight – I want to feel the blood, testosterone and adrenaline pumping in my arteries. I also want to write a sonata, paint a masterpiece and be a loving father to my daughter.
Behaviorism is the antithesis of putting angels wings on our backs and claiming we’ve evolved ‘above all of that.’ I haven’t, you haven’t and no one has, and our behaviors will make hypocrites of us whenever condition and opportunity facilitate it for us. It’s not that behaviorism would have us all living like animals in the bush as an ideal state, nor does it deny that people have very ennobling qualities; it simply accepts the whole of what prompts us to do what, why & how we do things and explores the reasons why in a far more fundamental way than a romanticized humanism. I’m sure this is akin to atheism for people invested into humanism, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s simply a more pragmatic, efficient and realistic approach for explaining behavior.