The Power of Emotion

boxitup

Science fiction has always sought to portray human emotion as a weakness to be overcome.
Some have gone further to express the notion of our physical being as a limiting factor. This is notably seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I’m aware this is fiction, but I just want to reinforce the point from my earlier post that we don’t have to be held to eternal hostage by nature. We can strive to be better.
A quote from Terminator 2, sums it up admirably.

T-800 to John Connor: “I now know why you cry. But it is something, I can never do.”

While emotions are a part of our experience as human beings, Red Pill aware men need to understand the functionality of emotional responses. Rationality is, of course, the charter of this blog and my books, and while I make my best efforts to approach each aspect of what I write from as objective an origin as I’m able to, I also understand that there are limitations to remaining completely objective. I’m human like anyone else reading this (chatbots excepted) and I’ve always been fully aware that my emotional state, my own ego-investments and biases, as well as the observer effect are all something I need to make a conscious effort to account for while I’m writing about a new idea or observation I’m connecting dots with.

In a few prior posts I’ve made an effort to account for a balance between rationality and emotionalism. I say “emotionalism” because I think there needs to be a separation between the physical experience of emotion and the significance our fem-centric social order would have us place on those experiences. There is a difference between emotional response (evolved stimulus-response adaptations) and the ideologies that elevate human emotion to a metaphysical state (emotionalism).

Seeking, rage, fear, lust, care, panic and play are what are commonly recognized as primal emotions. I didn’t make this list up myself, these are just the most base-level imperatives from which more complex experiences of emotion are distilled. All of these root-level emotional experiences have been studied extensively and can be stimulated chemically and neurologically today. An easy example of this biological connection to emotional experience can be triggered and observed in the ‘roid rages’ experienced by the users of anabolic steroids.

Have you ever been “Hangry“? The feeling of anger / aggressiveness due to being overly hungry is an evolutionary survival adaptation. You’re far more motivated to kill and eat something if the feeling of hunger, prompted by its chemical triggers, also stimulates feelings of aggression. In today’s era that aggression may be inconvenient or anti-social, but our hunter-gatherer ancestors found it both acceptable and useful.

There are dozens of other examples I can give for the connection between our environmental, physical and chemical conditions and our emotional state. Similarly, there are chemical (dopamine) and behavioral prompts we associate with a particular emotional state. I don’t imagine this is anything revelatory to most Red Pill aware readers, but reviewing the objective aspects of emotion is necessary in order to separate it from the social influence of emotionalism.

Testosterone is well known to stimulate feelings of aggression and sexual arousal, but did you know that the chemical make up of testosterone is actually an inhibitor of the chemicals that prompt sadness and crying? When considered in this respect and the fact that human males produce 12 to 17 times the amount of testosterone females do, is it any coincidence that men may feel less compulsion to cry over things? Yet, men are shamed for “holding back” tears. This is an example of the connection between our physical experience of emotions and the importance to which our social order places on (primarily female) emotionalism. There are a lot of complexities that make up our emotional state and the more we study the influences of our own biologies the better we can make a connection between the evolved, survival-beneficial, effect these emotions elicit in us.

The nuts and bolts science of emotions demystifies the more magical, romanticized association we like to apply to them. And at the risk of prompting any kind of nihilism, it’s important that we consider our emotional state in terms of the concrete physical stimulus that’s provoking our emotional states. It’s easy to get into the science of emotions when we’re trying to solve a problem like clinical depression and the feelings and potential behaviors it evokes, but it’s much harder to look at upsetting an elated feeling of happiness. If it ain’t broke there’s no reason to think about fixing it.

But what sets us off about really coming to terms with the science of emotion is it tends to kill our gods. Up until advent of our understanding the cause and effect influences of emotion we’ve applied a lot of metaphysical importance to our emotions. Historically, our emotions have inspired us to create some of the greatest cultural and artistic masterpieces, and they’ve urged us to some pretty ugly atrocities too. Even today, western cultures raise emotion to a mythical grandeur. We romanticize and apply great significance to how we feel. We prioritize expressing emotions to being some enlightened state and the repression or control of them as some kind of horrible evil or some form of retardation.

Emotionalism

The Washington Post (I know, I know,…) recently published the findings of a study outlining how “sexist” men have psychological problems:

Researchers then identified 11 norms considered to be “traditionally masculine” — desire to win, need for emotional control, risk-taking, violence, dominance, sexual promiscuity or playboy behavior, self-reliance, primacy of work, power over women, disdain for homosexuality and pursuit of status — and looked to see whether they were associated with particular mental health outcomes.

In general, the men who stuck more strongly to these norms were more likely to experience problems such as depression, stress, body image issues, substance abuse and negative social functioning. They were also less likely to turn to counseling to help deal with those problems. The effect was particularly strong for men who emphasized playboy behavior, power over women and self-reliance.

As you might expect, what’s defined as “toxic” masculinity today is decided by people invested in a mindset that confirms the Feminine Imperative. This article follows along with what will likely be the Trump-era narrative for masculinity – anything remotely considered “traditionally” masculine will be conflated with a psychological disorder. The cure to which is, of course, ego-investing men in feminine-primary mental states; effectively feminizing men.

If we look at the norms identified by this study we are expected to nod in agreement about the negative, potentially damaging, connotations these traditionally masculine aspects imply. But they are only negative because the objective environment we are supposed to interpret them from is one of feminine primacy. Anything that can be considered an impediment to female societal control, any aspect of men’s intrinsic natures that lessens the same potentials of women is considered “toxic”.

Desire to win, need for emotional control, risk-taking, violence, dominance, sexual promiscuity or playboy behavior, self-reliance, primacy of work, power over women, disdain for homosexuality and pursuit of status – by orders of degree these are the foundational aspects of masculinity that’s been responsible for the advancement of humanity for millennia now. I’m not entirely sure what ‘playboy lifestyle’ entails, but consider the problems these aspects of male nature evolved to solve for men. Each one of these characteristics has a functional prompt; they didn’t evolve in a vacuum. These parts of masculinity were and are functional benefits to men. Only in a society that defines supremacism of women and the primacy of female-correctness do these aspects become negative.

I doubt it will come as any surprise to the Red Pill aware that all of these traits used to have a higher social value in virtually all social orders prior to our present one. It’s not enough to make female social interaction the preeminent one, masculinity and its conventional aspects must be pathologized. They must become a sickness if gynocentrism is to sustain itself.

I’m exploring this here because the female way of socialization is founded upon emotionalism. I think it’s important for Red Pill men to understand that the defining of what particular emotional states are acceptable is intimately linked to what those states mean to the Feminine Imperative. In the past 60 years western(ized) culture has become one in which the feminine defines the predominant cultural narrative with regard to intersexual communication, correctness and the psychological values we are meant to infer from it. This discourse is one that is primarily informed by women’s high priority on an investment in emotionalism.

In past essays I’ve outlined how men and women’s brains are neurologically wired for different, yet complementary functions. Women experience negative emotions differently from men. The male brain evolved to seek out sex before food. And while our feminine-centric social order insists that, in the name of equalism, boys should be forced to learn in the same modality as that of girls, the science shows that boys brains are rudimentarily wired to learn differently.

“Greater emotional reactivity in women may explain many things, such as their being twice as likely to suffer from depression and anxiety disorders compared to men,” Mendrek added, who is also an associate professor at the University of Montreal’s Department of Psychiatry.

Yet for all of these very evident physical differences in men and women’s experience of emotion, it is women’s experience, and a feminine priority for the ‘correctness’ of that experience we apply to men. I would suggest that much of this is primarily due to women’s innate solipsism, but we’ve normalized women’s experience of emotion as the common and correct one in terms of intersexual communication and social dynamics.

Emotionalism and the applying of metaphysical meaning to the feminine-correct experience of them has pervaded our social consciousness since the time of the sexual revolution. This elevated importance of emotion has been a part of popular culture for millennia of course, but until the rise of a socially mandated importance of female Hypergamy we haven’t had female emotionalism direct the course of society as it has for over sixty years now.

As such, we see that men “getting in touch with their feminine sides” is really a concerted effort to repress their natural experience of emotion as a male, and to attempt to force their own emotional states into ones females can identify with. As I mentioned above, there are literally biological limitations for a man to experience emotion as a woman as well as his impulse to want to prioritize those feelings as women do. The presumption is that a man is emotionally stunted if he feel that repressing his emotions is what he ought to do. “Boys don’t cry” is a sickness when it is women’s experience and importance of emotionalism that drives our social discourse.

Women bemoan men’s stereotypical lack of “emotional availability”, and we put a religious importance upon our capacity to express our emotions in some way, but all of this is constrained to the box that is women’s correct experience and importance of emotion. This is not what men’s brains are naturally wired for, and in a Red Pill context this is not what women’s hindbrains want from men.

It’s important for Red Pill men to understand that our feminine-primary social order is founded up the importance women place on the God of emotion. Part of your Blue Pill conditioning was to convince you, as a young boy, that the way women emote and the importance they put on emotion is what you needed to accept as the healthy, normal way of experiencing and expressing it. The truth is you are not wired to experience emotion as a woman will. That isn’t to suggest you deny or repress your feelings, but to understand that you shouldn’t feel bad for not feeling as a woman feels. This kind of goes back to the point I was making in Empathy; while it may be possible for a woman to sympathize with your feelings, she will never be able to empathize with them as a man would experience it.

Furthermore, it should be part of men’s unplugging to come to terms with the metaphysical importance women place on (largely their own) emotional states. They remove the functional aspect of emotion and elevate it to something only women have a unique sensitivity to understand. Separating yourself from this self-induced, self-applied belief in emotion can be a very powerful tool for a Red Pill man in his dealing with women – and not just the ones he’s intimately involved with. Separating your ego from the religion of emotion and coming to terms with the science of emotion is a very difficult step for Blue Pill invested men to make. As I said, it’s like killing your gods, but it’s also killing the notion of the emotionalism you think you need to identify with in order to connect with a woman.

Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

398 comments on “The Power of Emotion

  1. I have a home gym, set up for power lifting and strongman. Took years but it was a great decsion. Haven’t seen a comerical gym as well set up as my back yard but hit Golds when i will need a spot ot the weather is too nasty. Or my daughters gym when I am in her AO

    The team training events are great, and the gym is the place to pick up chicks but my home gym is one of my happy places

  2. Ok, I see my original post now (When I said that my post was missing, I must not have been looking under “newer comments”… I’m kinda new here).

    stuffinbox
    I wasn’t trying to say that men are bad at domestic work. Actually, domestic chores are quick and easy, thanks to modern technology and the industrial food system. But as a profession, housekeeping and childcare are not well respected and pay very poorly, which is one reason why you will find zero men pursuing those fields. Even if we expand the ‘women’s sphere’ to include traditionally women-dominated careers, like teaching and nursing, these are not generally the most prestigious or well-paid careers. And being a stay-at-home mom (or dad) just doesn’t command a great deal of respect in society (even among feminists).

    On education — yes, men definitely excel in math and science. And while women are getting more degrees overall, you could argue that men are getting more practically useful degrees. But the point is this — even if we just look at the specific areas where women are getting more degrees, you do not see a commensurate level of accomplishment in the workplace. Why is that? Sexism is the typical feminist explanation. Dropping out of the job market to have children is another factor that is commonly cited for women’s under-achievement. But even that is not the whole story.

    The feminist authors of the article I cite (long, but worth looking at) argue that men have a natural (biological) advantage in the workplace. This comes up a lot in Red Pill circles — that women are, at times, stunningly incompetent compared to men. The fact that some feminists would seem to agree with that, even to a very small degree, is telling here. [They say that even women at the top of their professions will privately admit that they feel like total frauds. It’s hard for men to really appreciate just how emotionally out-of-place women feel in the workplace, especially when they are in leadership positions. And as I experienced when my testosterone level was low, this is a handicap that can be crippling in a job environment.] These feminists believe that women ultimately have the same potential as men, but that they need to operate with the self-knowledge that they must assert themselves in a way that goes against their natural inclinations.

    I don’t think the modern egalitarian gender codes are nearly as important as Rollo seems to think. When you get right down to it — people appreciate the company of alpha men, not sensitive men (true even in the super-progressive area where I live). And thanks to the productive power of modern economies, there are far more rewards (financial and prestige-wise) for people with male traits (getting stuff done in the world) than there are for female traits (nurturing life at home).

    Attractive women in their 20’s will always have a unique status in society, based solely on their reproductive potential. Beyond that, the innate advantages men have in the workplace are not something that is ever going to be fully compensated for by gender codes or government/corporate policy (although they are certainly trying). This is especially the case when it comes to positions requiring leadership or great technical skill — women won’t just magically acquire these traits by decree.

    othergrain — You are looking at society’s self-narrative (as is Rollo), but I am looking at the traits that are actually rewarded by society. Just because we say that women are equal to men (which they are morally and legally, of course) does not mean they are actually being rewarded equally by society.

    Of course, we are always generalizing when we talk about the sexes this way. There are plenty of women who are technically gifted or with top 1% leadership skills, even if they are the exceptions that prove the rule.

  3. Let’s also be careful not to misperceive

    “Making different life choices than me” or “Valuing different things than me.”

    for

    “Nihilism” or “Giving up”

    There’s a big difference between being judgmental and simply observant.

    Although, if and when you are in doubt, lean towards judgmental when it comes from my keyboard.

  4. Boxcar

    This topic has been beaten to death in the manosphere and by feminists.

    The bar has been lowered so the fems can get over it many times already.

    We may see a future trend to more commission work and piece work,this will cause fems to fall even further behind in earnings.

    When they change the rules to accommodate one specific gender this is favoring a handicap.

    So men are still better a doing what really needs to be done,so what?

    I can only assume you are referring to the emotional imbalance of the feminists in this article?

  5. “There’s a big difference between being judgmental and simply observant.”

    And there is often not much difference between being judgmental and doing routine maintenance/touch-up work on one’s own decisions.

  6. Boxcar

    The bottom line is women and feminists an feminized men have been living on easy street in the modern world for too long already.

    They have been living on borrowed money and borrowed time in a fantasy world where they are victims,jobs have been created out of thin air and time is up no more free money.

    Eventually if you aren’t strong,smart,fast or cunning enough to survive you will have to attach yourself to someone that is,then we will see the pay off for masculine traits in full bloom.

  7. @Kaminsky

    My ego is busting at the seams due to my enlightened self-interest, masculine self-improvement in red pill awareness and game while doing routine maintenance/touch-up work on my own decisions via those avenues.

    I wish the best for others in the same venues, even despite Schadenfreude Forever (T.M.) being an antidote to social and societal decline. Tribal behavior is not a glitch in the programming.

    (Damn, I hope I don’t sound too much like a chat bot…. or trying to mirror KFG too much)

    P.S. Ego is not a bogeyman, enlightened self-interest is a tactic, masculine self-improvement is anti-nihilistic, red pill awareness (in the unplugging stage of Acceptance) is fun, and Game is entirely necessary for Real Power (T.M.).

    Waiting or wondering whether others make it through triage is a dirty business. Tactics that any one of us may use in trying to get a guy to make it through triage is akin to taking a fork in the road. Forks are not always predictable (nor is KFG’s Robert Frostian “blaze a new trail”, fuck the two apparent choices), but they are choices made in a blogosphere intellectual debate.

  8. “he does not believe that any organism that has ever existed has been able to see reality as it is.”

    to construct “reality”, sensory data requires electrical transmission to the brain for processing. this takes time to happen. we all think we are living in the “now” but in fact that “now” is already gone by the time we sense it.

    it is physically impossible to live in the present

  9. Fleezer

    Feature this.
    “Everything that happens,happens within time..We like to think that time stretches illimitably forward into the future and illimitably back into the past while we exist on a hairline of time that separates the future from the past,the hairline we call “now.” Quite the reverse is true: all there is and was and ever can be is an endless now,within which change occurs..

    Within that endless now,we are eternal,as is everything else,all of us and everything going through endless change.”

    From, The I Ching Interpreted by wu wei

  10. stuffinbox

    The point of Rollo’s essay is that society is trying to impose women’s emotional experience on us men, through the PC civic religion of gender equalism. There is of course plenty of truth to this, but it is not the whole truth. Because women are themselves punished by modern society, thanks to the *disadvantages* that their emotional experience presents in the workplace.

    The fact that some feminists have caught onto this (an impressively honest admission, since it admits that male success is due to biological advantages) presents an interesting opportunity to find some common understanding based on an objective description of the society that we live in.

    But sometimes this objective view of reality takes a backseat to a narrative of male victimhood… even when that reality is men’s natural superiority (what could be more Red Pill than that?!).

    Lol, it is possible that I am totally missing something here. I am still working through Rollo’s work, so please feel free to point me to anything that addresses this.

  11. @Sentient @scrib @OMG

    A YS buddy of mine doesn’t want to be alone. He’s lonely. Still recovering from getting dumped in a 5+ year relationship. He was abused while growing up. My buddy still wants to be loved by a woman because his mommy was a druggy and said all kinds of abusive shit to him (e.g., I wish I had aborted you…you’re stupid…you’re worthless). He was beaten up multiple times in inner city schools and he’s white…gangs beat him up. Girls spit on him and taunted him in school.

    So, my buddy has major psych issues, including a dependency on getting a woman’s love, plus he has the oxytocin addiction issue, which forms a nasty cocktail with the dependency.

    My buddy is a love junkie. He doesn’t want to fuck multiple women and won’t want to until he gets his shit together. My buddy has tried that and says that it’s empty…of course it will seem empty compared to the oxytocin rush and having your psych dependency need met for a little while. My buddy lives in his feelings and wants to because of the pleasure it gives him.

    YaReally et. al. don’t get how pickup won’t help a lot of men while moving towards DPA just might. DPA would help the psych dependency problem and that would help him kick his oxytocin addiction if he wanted to. DPA provides its own emotional high and character development as well. Monetary advantages. Women.

    Pickup will help nerdy guys who are otherwise psychologically healthy…they just need to get laid.

  12. ” Because women are themselves punished by modern society, thanks to the *disadvantages* that their emotional experience presents in the workplace”

    I don’t see how they are being punished by society..

    “The fact that some feminists have caught onto this”

    Caught on to what? The supposed punishment? Masculine superiority? Biological advantages?

    ” (an impressively honest admission, since it admits that male success is due to biological advantages)”

    What is so impressive about recognizing the facts and admiting them when they may play into your own victim status.

    ” presents an interesting opportunity to find some common understanding based on an objective description of the society that we live in.”

    Interesting indeed.Now where is that objective description?

    “But sometimes this objective view of reality takes a backseat to a narrative of male victimhood… even when that reality is men’s natural superiority (what could be more Red Pill than that?!).”

    The “male victimhood” is child abuse.

    “Lol, it is possible that I am totally missing something here. I am still working through Rollo’s work, so please feel free to point me to anything that addresses this”

    Heh you are missing somethings alright.Damn wild man don’t you ever stop.
    Serious question,how are things in Canada?

  13. Q: Why do you have to eat protein?
    A: Because you got rid of the protein you already had.

    The skeleton you have now (it’s made of protein, not calcium. Compare a fresh chicken bone to a clam shell) is not the same skeleton you had a couple years ago. You are a different man, a, literally, new made man.

    And the stuff of the old you is already making its way back to the stars.

  14. stuffinbox, lol not Canada, but definitely a deep-blue state.

    Regarding your questions — we are just so completely talking past each other here, that I could only respond by repeating what I have already said.

    But I have to respond to one previous statement of yours:

    “The bottom line is women and feminists an feminized men have been living on easy street in the modern world for too long already.”

    I lived with low testosterone for most of my adult life (low, but still higher than women), and the idea that I was “living on easy street” is just totally the opposite of reality. Yea, people are generally nice-enough to the sensitive guy (which I am glad for, since the low testosterone was hardly my fault). But I did struggle a lot. I was just as the feminists from the article describe women — a very successful student and dependable employee, but I was a chronic under-achiever in the workplace (required lots of hand-holding from boss, zero confidence, initiative, leadership, etc.). And of course I was almost totally incapable of interacting with women in a way that didn’t repulse them.

    So lots of RP truths became completely obvious to me, literally overnight, once my testosterone levels were corrected. Except for this idea of victimhood — life is much easier with lots of testosterone. Society did not impose some sort of man-penalty on me. Very much the opposite — I have begun to succeed in every way possible.

    And I am hardly the exception here. Especially in the workplace, men tend to excel relative to women. I do think we need to stick up for the ideal of masculinity, which is generally mischaracterized and run-down by society. But the idea that society does not reward men for acting like men is total nonsense.

    Acting like a victim, when we are obviously not, will especially give people the *wrong* idea about masculinity. If feminism is a societal shit test, then our response to it should never sound like: “Those girls are being unfaaaaair…” Mirroring the victim mentality of feminism, even if it is only rhetorical, just seems pointless to me.

  15. Rollo, Blaximus – oh, good, grief, I’m looking at RooshV’s latest vid at ROK

    http://www.returnofkings.com/106100/is-self-improvement-unnecessary

    Rollo, chop the URL if you wish.

    What a rambling, unfocused, pointless waste of my time. “Learn like child” “live doesn’t have to be a job”. Really? If RooshV falls off of a ladder and breaks his arm, is he going to want to have the bones set by a doctor who “just lived”, who didn’t bother to need to read a book, who just learned when he wanted to? Or is he going to want a doctor who went through a rigorous education of anatomy, physiology, etc. and then more rigor in technique?

    He’ll want the rigor. He’ll want a man who learned skills and then improved them.
    So who’s he competing with? Not Tony Robbins. Seems more hippy-dippy, more countercultural.

    He claims he’s removing ideologies, theories, expectations, standards imposed on him and he’s gonna be free, and doesn’t need self improvement. This is thin soup.

    I note that ROK has about 5 commments in Disqus, unless someone’s really patrolling them hard, there’s just no one paying attention. His franchise is not doing well, if this is any indication.

  16. Boxcar

    Again it is good that you got your hormones balanced,my hope for you is that sooner than later you will learn to also discuss things as a man.

    I honestly never felt like any kind of victim due to an understanding of the red pill or any of Rollos essays.

    What I am seeing are the negative changes for all of society that have happened in the last 50yrs and what I am reading in Rollo’s work is likely the best explanation I have found.

    Perhaps with high testosterone and an even higher education under the right parenting you could have become a transvestite by this time.LOL

  17. @Boxcar who may have previously been known as “Wildman”

    life is much easier with lots of testosterone. Society did not impose some sort of man-penalty on me. Very much the opposite — I have begun to succeed in every way possible.

    It’s not fair that men have so much testosterone. Hence, women have to be helped via compliance regulation so that everything is fair and women can succeed as well as men can.

    Hence, we need affirmative action for women so that women can do as well as men at getting admitted to college and be employed in business. We need Title IX so that women can succeed* in college sports. Oh, wait, we have those. They do in fact impose a man penalty on all men, including YOU. You have succeeded IN SPITE OF the man penalty because of your increased T levels.

    Society’s man penalties were unsuccessful in leveling the playing field. Why ought women compete with men in the workplace at all? Men cannot compete with women at bearing children because of biology. Women cannot compete with men who have at least normal T levels in the workplace because of biology.

    Why are people fighting biology by trying to make the workplace more “fair” for women?

    *succeed = have as many women as men

  18. “Q: Why do you have to eat protein?
    A: Because you got rid of the protein you already had.

    The skeleton you have now (it’s made of protein, not calcium. Compare a fresh chicken bone to a clam shell) is not the same skeleton you had a couple years ago. You are a different man, a, literally, new made man.”

    Collagen, yes.
    But I’ve read in numerous (relatively reputable, medical journal studies) sources that diets very high in protein are linked to loss in the bone minerals (specifically calcium). The kidneys seem to excrete more calcium with a high protein diet.
    I’m curious about your opinion on that one…as I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard it.

  19. “You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    “Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.”
    ― Philip K. Dick

    “The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.”
    ― Philip K. Dick

    “There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, VALIS

    “Stanislaw Lem

    Philip K. Dick: A Visionary Among the Charlatans

    Translated from the Polish by Robert Abernathy

    No one in his right mind seeks the psychological truth about crime in detective stories. Whoever seeks such truth will turn rather to Crime and Punishment. In relation to Agatha Christie, Dostoevsky constitutes a higher court of appeal, yet no one in his right mind will condemn the English author’s stories on this account. They have a right to be treated as the entertaining thrillers they are, and the tasks Dostoevsky set himself are foreign to them.

    If anyone is dissatisfied with SF in its role as an examiner of the future and of civilization, there is no way to make an analogous move from literary oversimplifications to full-fledged art, because there is no court of appeal from this genre. There would be no harm in this, save that American SF, exploiting its exceptional status, lays claim to occupy the pinnacles of art and thought. One is annoyed by the pretentiousness of a genre which fends off accusations of primitivism by pleading its entertainment character and then, once such accusations have been silenced, renews its overweening claims. By being one thing and purporting to be another, SF promotes a mystification which, moreover, goes on with the tacit consent of readers and public. The development of interest in SF at American universities has, contrary to what might have been expected, altered nothing in this state of affairs. In all candor it must be said, though one risk perpetrating a crime laesae Almae Matris, that the critical methods of theoreticians of literature are inadequate in the face of the deceptive tactics of SF. But it is not hard to grasp the reason for this paradox: if the only fictional works treating of problems of crime were like those of Agatha Christie, then to just what kind of books could even the most scholarly critic appeal in order to demonstrate the intellectual poverty and artistic mediocrity of the detective thriller? Qualitative norms and upper limits are established in literature by concrete works and not by critics’ postulates. No mountain of theoretical lucubrations can compensate for the absence of an outstanding fictional work as a lofty model. The criticism of experts in historiography did not undermine the status of Sienkiewicz’s Trilogy, for there was no Polish Leo Tolstoy to devote a War and Peace to the period of the Cossack and Swedish wars. In short, inter caecos luscus rex-where there is nothing first-rate, its role will be taken over by mediocrity, which sets itself facile goals and achieves them by facile means.

    What the absence of such model works leads to is shown, more plainly than by any abstract discussions, by the change of heart which Damon Knight, both author and respected critic, expressed in SFS #3. Knight declared himself to have been mistaken earlier in attacking books by van Vogt for their incoherence and irrationalism, on the grounds that, if van Vogt enjoys an enormous readership, he must by that very fact be on the right track as an author, and that it is wrong for criticism to discredit such writing in the name of arbitrary values, if the reading public does not want to recognize such values. The job of criticism is, rather, to discover those traits to which the work owes its popularity. Such words, from a man who struggled for years to stamp out tawdriness in SF, are more than the admission of a personal defeat—they are the diagnosis of a general condition. If even the perennial defender of artistic values has laid down his arms, what can lesser spirits hope to accomplish in this situation?

    Indeed, the possibility cannot be ruled out that Joseph Conrad’s elevated description of literature as rendering “the highest kind of truth to the visible universe” may become an anachronism—that the independence of literature from fashion and demand may vanish outside SF as well, and then whatever reaps immediate applause as a best-seller will be identified with what is most worthwhile. That would be a gloomy prospect. The culture of any period is a mixture of that which docilely caters to passing whims and fancies and that which transcends these things—and may also pass judgment on them. Whatever defers to current tastes becomes an entertainment which achieves success immediately or not at all, for there is no such thing as a stage-magic exhibition or a football game which, unrecognized today, will become famous a hundred years from now. Literature is another matter: it is created by a process of natural selection of values, which takes place in society and which does not necessarily relegate works to obscurity if they are also entertainment, but which consigns them to oblivion if they are only entertainment. Why is this so? Much could be said about this. If the concept of the human being as an individual who desires of society and of the world something more than immediate satisfactions were abolished, then the difference between literature and entertainment would likewise disappear. But since we do not as yet identify the dexterity of a conjurer with the personal expression of a relationship to the world, we cannot measure literary values by numbers of books sold.

    But how does it ever happen that something which is less popular can, in the historical long run, hold its own against that which scores prompt successes and even contrives to silence its opponents? This results from the aforementioned natural selection in culture, strikingly similar to such selection in biological evolution. The changes by virtue of which some species yield place to others on the evolutionary scene are seldom consequences of great cataclysms. Let the progeny of one species out-survive that of another by a margin of only one in a million, and by and by only the former species will remain alive—though the difference between the chances of the two is imperceptible at short range. So it is also in culture: books which in the eyes of their contemporaries are so alike as to be peers part company as the years go by; facile charm, being ephemeral, gives way at last to that which is more difficult to perceive. Thus regularities in the rise and decline of literary works come into being and give direction to the development of the spiritual culture of an age.

    Nevertheless, there can be circumstances that frustrate this process of natural selection. In biological evolution the result will be retrogression, degeneration, or at the very least developmental stagnation, typical of populations isolated from the outside world and vitiated by inbreeding, since these are most lacking in the fruitful diversity that is guaranteed only by openness to all the world’s influences. In culture an analogous situation leads to the emergence of enclaves shut up in ghettos, where intellectual production likewise stagnates because of inbreeding in the form of incessant repetition of the selfsame creative patterns and techniques. The internal dynamics of the ghetto may appear to be intense, but with the passage of years it becomes evident that this is only a semblance of motion, since it leads nowhere, since it neither feeds into nor is fed by the open domain of culture, since it does not generate new patterns or trends, and since finally it nurses the falsest of notions about itself, for lack of any honest evaluation of its activities from outside. The books of the ghetto assimilate themselves to one another, becoming an anonymous mass, while such surroundings thrust whatever is better downward toward the worse, so that works of differing quality meet one another halfway, as it were, in the leveling process forced upon them. In such a situation publishing success not only may but must become the sole standard of evaluation, since a vacuum of standards is impossible. Hence, where there are no ratings on the merits, these are replaced by ratings on a commercial basis.

    Just such a situation reigns in American SF, which is a domain of herd creativity. Its herd character manifests itself in the fact that books by different authors become as it were different sessions of playing at one and the same game or various figures of the selfsame dance. It should be emphasized that, in literary culture as in natural evolution, effects become causes by virtue of feedback loops: the artistic-intellectual passivity and mediocrity of works touted as brilliant repel the more exigent authors and readers, so that the loss of individuality in SF is at once a cause and an effect of ghetto seclusion. In SF there is little room left for creative work that would aspire to deal with problems of our time without mystification, oversimplification, or facile entertainment: e.g., for work which would reflect on the place that Reason can occupy in the Universe, on the outer limits of concepts formed on Earth as instruments of cognition, or on such consequences of contacts with extraterrestrial life as find no place in the desperately primitive repertoire of SF devices (bounded by the alternative “we win”/”they win”). These devices bear much the same relation to serious treatment of problems of the kind mentioned as does the detective story to the problems of evil inherent in mankind. Whoever brings up the heavy artillery of comparative ethnology, cultural anthropology and sociology against such devices is told that he is using cannon to shoot sparrows, since it is merely a matter of entertainment; once he falls silent, the voices of the apologists for the culture-shaping, anticipative, predictive and mythopoeic role of SF are raised anew. SF behaves rather like a conjurer pulling rabbits from a hat, who, threatened with a search of his belongings, pretends to think we are crazy to suggest this and indulgently explains that he is just performing tricks—after which we promptly hear that he is passing himself off in public for an authentic thaumaturge.

    IS CREATIVE WORK WITHOUT MYSTIFICATION possible in such an environment? An answer to this question is given by the stories of Philip K. Dick. While these stand out from the background against which they have originated, it is not easy to capture the ways in which they do, since Dick employs the same materials and theatrical props as other American writers. From the warehouse which has long since become their common property, he takes the whole threadbare lot of telepaths, cosmic wars, parallel worlds, and time travel. In his stories terrible catastrophes happen, but this too is no exception to the rule, for lengthening the list of sophisticated ways in which the world can end is among the standard preoccupations of SF. But where other SF writers explicitly name and delimit the source of the disaster, whether social (terrestrial or cosmic war) or natural (elemental forces of nature), the world of Dick’s stories suffers dire changes for reasons which remain unascertainable to the end. People perish not because a nova or a war has erupted, not because of flood, famine, plague, drought, or sterility, nor because the Martians have landed on our doorstep; rather, there is some inscrutable factor at work which is visible in its manifestations but not at its source, and the world behaves as if it has fallen prey to a malignant cancer which through metastases attacks one area of life after another. This is, be it said forthwith, apposite as a castigation of historiographic diagnostics, since in fact humanity does not as a rule succeed in exhaustively or conclusively diagnosing the causes of the afflictions which befall it. It is sufficient to recall how many diverse and in part mutually exclusive factors are nowadays adduced by experts as sources of the crisis of civilization. And this, be it added, is also appropriate as an artistic presupposition, since literature which furnishes the reader with godlike omniscience about all narrated events is today an anachronism which neither the theory of art nor the theory of knowledge will undertake to defend.

    The forces which bring about world debacle in Dick’s books are fantastic, but they are not merely invented ad hoc to shock the readers. We shall show this on the example of Ubik, a work which, by the way, can also be regarded as a fantastic grotesque, a “macabresque” with obscure allegorical subtexts, decked out in the guise of ordinary SF.

    If, however, it is viewed as a work of SF proper the contents of Ubik can be most simply summarized as follows:

    Telepathic phenomena, having been mastered in the context of capitalistic society, have undergone commercialization like every other technological innovation. So businessmen hire telepaths to steal trade secrets from their competitors, and the latter for their part defend themselves against this “extrasensory industrial espionage” with the aid of “inertials,” people whose psyches nullify the “psi field” that makes it possible to receive others’ thoughts. By way of specialization, firms have sprung up which rent out telepaths and “inertials” by the hour, and the “strong man” Glen Runciter is the proprietor of such a firm. The medical profession has learned how to arrest the agony of victims of mortal ailments, but still has no means of curing them. Such people are therefore kept in a state of “half-life” in special institutions, “moratoriums” (a kind of “places of postponement”—of death, obviously). If they merely rested there unconscious in their icy caskets, that would be small comfort for their surviving kin. So a technique has been developed for maintaining the mental life of such people in “cold-pac.” The world which they experience is not part of reality, but a fiction created by appropriate methods. None the less, normal people can make contact with the frozen ones, for the cold-sleep apparatus has means to this end built into it, something on the order of a telephone.

    This idea is not altogether absurd in terms of scientific facts: the concept of freezing the incurably ill to await the time when remedies for their diseases will be found has already come in for serious discussion. It would also be possible in principle to maintain vital processes in a person’s brain when the body dies (to be sure, that brain would rapidly suffer psychological disintegration as a consequence of sensory deprivation). We know that stimulation of the brain by electrodes produces in the subject of such an operation experiences indistinguishable from ordinary perceptions. In Dick we find a perfected extension of such techniques, though he does not discuss this explicitly in the story. Numerous dilemmas arise here: should the “half-lifer” be informed of his condition? Is it right to keep him under the illusion that he is leading a normal life?

    According to Ubik, people who, like Runciter’s wife, have spent years in cold sleep are well aware of the fact. It is another matter with those who, like Joe Chip, have come close to meeting with a violent end and have regained consciousness imagining that they have escaped death, whereas in fact they are resting in a moratorium. In the book, it must be admitted, this is an unclear point, which is however masked by another dilemma: for, if the world of the frozen person’s experiences is a purely subjective one, then any intervention in that world from outside must be for him a phenomenon which upsets the normal course of things. So if someone communicates with the frozen one, as Runciter does with Chip, this contact is accompanied in Chip’s experiences by uncanny and startling phenomena—for it is as if waking reality were breaking into the midst of a dream “only from one side,” without thereby causing extinction of the dream and wakening of the sleeper (who, after all, cannot wake up like a normal man because he is not a normal man). But, to go a step further, is not contact also possible between two frozen individuals? Might not one of these people dream that he is alive and well and that from his accustomed world he is communicating with the other one—that only the other person succumbed to the unfortunate mishap? This too is possible. And, finally, is it possible to imagine a wholly infallible technology? There can be no such thing. Hence certain perturbations may affect the subjective world of the frozen sleeper, to whom it will then seem that his environment is going mad—perhaps that in it even time is falling to pieces! Interpreting the events presented in this fashion, we come to the conclusion that all the principal characters of the story were killed by the bomb on the Moon, and consequently all of them had to be placed in the moratorium and from this point on the book recounts only their visions and illusions. In a realistic novel (but this is a contradictio in adiecto) this version would correspond to a narrative which, after coming to the demise of the hero, would go on to describe his life after death. The realistic novel cannot describe this life, since the principle of realism rules out such descriptions. If, however, we assume a technology which makes possible the “half-life” of the dead, nothing prevents the author from remaining faithful to his characters and following them with his narrative—into the depths of their icy dream, which is henceforward the only form of life open to them.

    Thus it is possible to rationalize the story in the above manner—on which, however, I would not insist too seriously, and that for two reasons at once. The first reason is that to make the plot fully consistent along the lines sketched above is impossible. If all Runciter’s people perished on the Moon, then who transported them to the moratorium? Another thing which does not yield to any rationalization is the talent of the girl who by mental effort alone was able to alter the present by transposing causal nodes in a past already over and done with. (This takes place before the occurrence on the Moon, when there are no grounds for regarding the represented world as the purely subjective one of any “half-life” character.) Similar misgivings are inspired by Ubik itself, “the Absolute in a spray can,” to which we will devote attention a little later on. If we approach the fictional world pedantically, no case can be made for it, for it is full of contradictions. But if we shelve such objections and inquire rather after the overall meaning of the work, we will discover that it is close to the meanings of other books by Dick, for all that they seem to differ from one another. Essentially it is always one and the same world which figures in them—a world of elementally unleashed entropy, of decay which not only, as in our reality, attacks the harmonious arrangement of matter, but which even consumes the order of elapsing time. Dick has thus amplified, rendered monumental and at the same time monstrous certain fundamental properties of the actual world, giving them dramatic acceleration and impetus. All the technological innovations, the magnificent inventions and the newly mastered human capabilities (such as telepathy, which our author has provided with an uncommonly rich articulation into “specialties”) ultimately come to nothing in the struggle against the inexorably rising floodwaters of Chaos. Dick’s province is thus a “world of preestablished disharmony,” which is hidden at first and does not manifest itself in the opening scenes of the novel; these are presented unhurriedly and with calm matter-of-factness, just in order that the intrusion of the destructive factor should be all the more effective. Dick is a prolific author, but I speak only of those of his novels which constitute the “main sequence” of his works; each of these books (I would count among them: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Ubik, Now Wait for Last Year, and perhaps also Galactic Pot-Healer) is a somewhat different embodiment of the same dramatic principle—the conversion of the order of the universe to rack and ruin before our eyes. In a world smitten with insanity, in which even the chronology of events is subject to convulsions, it is only the people who preserve their normality. So Dick subjects them to the pressure of a terrible testing, and in his fantastic experiment only the psychology of the characters remains non-fantastic. They struggle bitterly and stoically to the end, like Joe Chip in the current instance, against the chaos pressing on them from all sides, the sources of which remain, actually, unfathomable, so that in this regard the reader is thrown back on his own conjectures.

    The peculiarities of Dick’s worlds arise especially from the fact that in them it is waking reality which undergoes profound dissociation and duplication. Sometimes the dissociating agency consists in chemical substances (of the hallucinogenic type—thus in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch); sometimes in “cold-sleep technique” (as precisely in Ubik); sometimes (as in Now Wait for Last Year) in a combination of narcotics and “parallel worlds.” The end-effect is always the same: distinguishing between waking reality and visions proves to be impossible. The technical aspect of this phenomenon is fairly inessential—it does not matter whether the splitting of reality is brought about by a new technology of chemical manipulation of the mind or, as in Ubik, by one of surgical operations. The essential point is that a world equipped with the means of splitting perceived reality into indistinguishable likenesses of itself creates practical dilemmas that are known only to the theoretical speculations of philosophy. This is a world in which, so to speak, this philosophy goes out into the street and becomes for every ordinary mortal no less of a burning question than is for us the threatened destruction of the biosphere.

    There is no question of using a meticulous factual bookkeeping to strike a rational balance for the novel, by virtue of which it would satisfy the demands of common sense. We are not only forced to but we ought to at a certain point leave off defending its “science-fictional nature” also for a second reason so far unmentioned. The first reason was dictated to us simply by necessity: given that the elements of the work lack a focal point, it cannot be rendered consistent. The second reason is more essential: the impossibility of imposing consistency on the text compels us to seek its global meanings not in the realm of events themselves, but in that of their constructive principle, the very thing that is responsible for lack of focus. If no such meaningful principle were discoverable, Dick’s novels would have to be called mystifications, since any work must justify itself either on the level of what it presents literally or on the level of deeper semantic content, not so much overtly present in as summoned up by the text. Indeed, Dick’s works teem with non sequiturs, and any sufficiently sensitive reader can without difficulty make up lists of incidents which flout logic and experience alike. But—to repeat what was already said in other ways—what is inconsistency in literature? It is a symptom either of incompetence or else of repudiation of some values (such as credibility of incidents or their logical coherence) for the sake of other values.

    Here we come to a ticklish point in our discussion, since the values alluded to cannot be objectively compared. There is no universally valid answer to the question whether it is permissible to sacrifice order for the sake of vision in a creative work—everything depends on what kind of order and what kind of vision are involved. Dick’s novels have been variously interpreted. There are critics, such as Sam Lundwall, who say that Dick is cultivating an “offshoot of mysticism” in SF. It is not, though, a question of mysticism in the religious sense, but rather of occult phenomena. Ubik furnishes some grounds for such a conclusion—does not the person who ousts Ella Runciter’s soul from her body behave like a “possessing spirit”? Does not he metamorphose into various incarnations when fighting with Joe Chip? So such an approach is admissible.

    Another critic (George Turner) has denied all value in Ubik, declaring that the novel is a pack of conflicting absurdities—which can be demonstrated with pencil and paper. I think, however, that the critic should not be the prosecutor of a book but its defender, though one not allowed to lie: he may only present the work in the most favorable light. And because a book full of meaningless contradictions is as worthless as one that holds forth about vampires and other monstrous revenants, since neither of them touches on problems worthy of serious consideration, I prefer my account of Ubik to all the rest. The theme of catastrophe had been so much worked over in SF that it seemed to be played out until Dick’s books became a proof that this had been a matter of frivolous mystification. For science-fictional endings of the world were brought about either by man himself, e.g. by unrestrained warfare, or by some cataclysm as extrinsic as it was accidental, which thus might equally well not have happened at all.

    Dick, on the other hand, by introducing into the annihilation ploy—the tempo of which becomes more violent as the action progresses—also instruments of civilization such as hallucinogens, effects such a commingling of the convulsions of technology with those of human experience that it is no longer apparent just what works the terrible wonders—a Deus ex machina or a machina ex Deo, historical accident or historical necessity. It is difficult to elucidate Dick’s position in this regard, because in particular novels he has given mutually incongruent answers to this question. Appeal to transcendence appears now as a mere possibility for the reader’s conjectures, now as a diagnostic near-certainty. In Ubik, as we have said, a conjectural solution which refuses to explain events in terms of some verion of occultism or spiritualism finds support in the bizarre technology of “half-life” as the last chance offered by medicine to people on the point of death. But already in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch transcendental evil emanates from the titular hero—that is, by the way, rather lowgrade metaphysics, being akin to hack treatments of “supernatural visitations” and “ghost,” and all that saves the thing from turning into a fiasco is the author’s virtuosity as a storyteller. And in Galactic Pot-Healer we have to do with a fabulous parable about a sunken cathedral on some planet and about the struggle which takes place between Light and Darkness over raising it, so that the last semblance of literalness of events vanishes here. Dick is, so I instinctively judge, perfidious in that he does not give unambiguous answers to the questions provoked by reading him, in that he strikes no balances and explains nothing “scientifically,” but rather just confounds things, not only in the plot itself but with respect to a superordinated category: the literary convention within which the story unfolds. For all that Galactic Pot-Healer leans toward allegory, it does not adopt this position either unambiguously or definitively, and a like indeterminacy as to genre is also characteristic for other novels by Dick, perhaps to an even higher degree. We thus encounter here the same difficulty about genre placement of a work which we have met with in the writing of Kafka.

    It should be emphasized that the genre affiliation of a creative work is not an abstract problem of interest only to theorists of literature, but is an indispensable prerequisite to the reading of a work; the difference between the theorist and the ordinary reader reduces itself to the fact that the latter places the book he has read in a specific genre automatically, under the influence of his internalized experiences—in the same way that we employ our native language automatically, even when we do not know its morphology or syntax from specialized studies. The convention proper to a concrete genre becomes fixed with the passage of time and is familiar to every qualified reader; consequently “everybody knows” that in a realistic novel the author cannot cause his hero to walk through closed doors, but can on the other hand reveal to the reader the content of a dream which the hero has and forgets before he wakes up (although the one thing is as impossible as the other from a common sense point of view). The convention of the detective story requires that the perpetrator of a crime be found out, while the convention of SF requires rational accounting for events that are quite improbable and even seemingly at odds with logic and experience. On the other hand, the evolution of literary genres is based precisely on violation of storytelling conventions which have already become static. So Dick’s novels in some measure violate the convention of SF, which can be accounted to him as merit, because they thereby acquire broadened meanings having allegorical import. This import cannot be exactly determined; the indefiniteness which originates in this way favors the emergence of an aura of enigmatic mystery about the work. What is involved is a modern authorial strategy which some people may find intolerable, but which cannot be assailed with factual arguments, since the demand for absolute purity of genres is becoming nowadays an anachronism in literature. The critics and readers who hold Dick’s “impurity” with respect to genre against him are fossilized traditionalists, and a counterpart to their attitude would be an insistence that prosaists should keep on writing in the manner of Zola and Balzac, and only thus. In the light of the foregoing observations one can understand better the peculiarity and uniqueness of the place occupied by Dick in SF. His novels throw many readers accustomed to standard SF into abiding confusion, and give rise to complaints, as naive as they are wrathful, that Dick, instead of providing “precise explanations” by way of conclusion, instead of solving puzzles, sweeps things under the rug. In relation to Kafka analogous objections would consist in demanding that The Metamorphosis should conclude with an explicit “entomological justification,” making plain when and under what circumstances a normal man can turn into a bug, and that The Trial should explain just what Mr. K. is accused of.

    PHILIP DICK DOES NOT LEAD his critics an easy life, since he does not so much play the part of a guide through his phantasmagoric worlds as he gives the impression of one lost in their labyrinth. He has stood all the more in need of critical assistance, but has not received it, and has gone on writing labeled a “mystic” and thrown back entirely on his own resources. There is no telling whether or how his work would have changed if it had come under the scrutinies of genuine critics. Perhaps such change would not have been all that much to the good. A second characteristic trait of Dick’s work, after its ambiguity as to genre, is its tawdriness which is not without a certain charm, being reminiscent of the goods offered at county fairs by primitive craftsmen who are at once clever and naive, possessed of more talent than self-knowledge. Dick has as a rule taken over a rubble of building materials from the run-of-the-mill American professionals of SF, frequently adding a true gleam of originality to already worn-out concepts and, what is surely more important, erecting with such material constructions truly his own. The world gone mad, with a spasmodic flow of time and a network of causes and effects which wriggles as if nauseated, the world of frenzied physics, is unquestionably his invention, being an inversion of our familiar standard according to which only we, but never our environment, may fall victim to psychosis. Ordinarily, the heroes of SF are overtaken only by two kinds of calamities: the social, such as the “infernos of police state tyranny,” and the physical, such as catastrophes caused by Nature. Evil is thus inflicted on people either by other people (invaders from the stars are merely people in monstrous disguises), or by the blind forces of matter.

    With Dick the very basis of such a clear-cut articulation of the proposed diagnosis comes to grief. We can convince ourselves of this by putting to Ubik questions of the order just noted: who was responsible for the strange and terrible things which happened to Runciter’s people? The bomb attack on the Moon was the doing of a competitor, but of course it was not in his power to bring about the collapse of time. An explanation appealing to the medical “cold-pac” technology is, as we have pointed out, likewise incapable of rationalizing everything. The gaps that separate the fragments of the plot cannot be eliminated, and they lead one to suspect the existence of some higher-order necessity which constitutes the destiny of Dick’s world. Whether this destiny resides in the temporal sphere or beyond it is impossible to say. When one considers to what an extent our faith in the infallible beneficence of technical progress has already waned, the fusion which Dick envisages between culture and nature, between the instrument and its basis, by virtue of which it acquires the aggressive character of a malignant neoplasm, no longer seems merely sheer fantasy. This is not to say that Dick is predicting any concrete future. The disintegrating worlds of his stories, as it were inversions of Genesis, order returning to Chaos—this is not so much the future foreseen as it is future shock, not straightforwardly expressed but embodied in fictional reality, it is an objectivized projection of the fears and fascinations proper to the human individual in our times.

    It has been customary to identify the downfall of civilization falsely and narrowly with regression to some past stage of history—even to the caveman or downright animal stage. Such an evasion is often employed in SF, since inadequacy of imagination takes refuge in oversimplified pessimism. Then we are shown the remotest future as a lingering state of feudal, tribal or slave-holding society, inasmuch as atomic war or invasion from the stars is supposed to have hurled humanity backward, even into the depths of a prehistoric way of life. To say of such works that they advocate the concepts of some cyclic (e.g. Spenglerian) philosophy of history would amount to maintaining that a motif endlessly repeated by a phonograph record represents the concept of some sort of “cyclic music,” whereas it is merely a matter of a mechanical defect resulting from a blunt needle and worn grooves. So works of this sort do not pay homage to cyclic historiosophy, but merely reveal an insufficiency of sociological imagination, for which the atomic war or the interstellar invasion is only a convenient pretext for spinning out interminable sagas of primordial tribal life under the pretense of portraying the farthest future. Nor is it possible to hold that such books promulgate the “atomic credo” of belief in the inevitability of a catastrophe which will soon shatter our civilization, since the cataclysm in question amounts to nothing but an excuse for shirking more important creative obligations.

    Such expedients are foreign to Dick. For him, the development of civilization continues, but is as it were crushed by itself, becoming monstrous at the heights of its achievement—which, as a prognostic viewpoint, is more original than the assuredly unilluminating thesis that, if technical civilization breaks down, people will be forced to get along by returning to primitive tools, even to bludgeons and flints.

    Alarm at the impetus of civilization finds expression nowadays in the slogans of a “return to Nature” after smashing and discarding everything “artificial,” i.e. science and technology. These pipe dreams turn up also in SF. Happily, they are absent in Dick. The action of his novels takes place in a time when there can no longer be any talk of return to nature or of turning away from the “artificial,” since the fusion of the “natural” with the “artificial” has long since become an accomplished fact.

    At this point it may be worthwhile to point out the dilemma encountered by futuristically oriented SF. According to an opinion quite generally held by readers, SF ought to depict the world of the fictional future no less explicitly and intelligibly than a writer such as Balzac depicted the world of his own time in The Human Comedy. Whoever asserts this fails to take into account the fact that there exists no world beyond or above history and common to all eras or all cultural formations of mankind. That which, as the world of The Human Comedy, strikes us an completely clear and intelligible, is not an altogether objective reality, but is only a particular interpretation (of nineteenth century vintage and hence close to us) of a world classified, understood and experienced in a concrete fashion. The familiarity of Balzac’s world thus signifies nothing more than the simple fact that we have grown perfectly accustomed to this account of reality and that consequently the language of Balzac’s characters, their culture, their habits and ways of satisfying spiritual and bodily needs, and also their attitude toward nature and transcendence seem to us transparent. However, the movement of historical changes may infuse new content into concepts thought of as fundamental and fixed, as for example the notion of “progress,” which according to nineteenth-century attitudes was equivalent to a confident optimism, convinced of the existence of an inviolable boundary separating what is harmful to man from what benefits him. Currently we begin to suspect that the concept thus established is losing its relevance, because the harmful ricochets of progress are not incidental, easily eliminated, adventitious components of it but are rather such a cost of gains achieved as, at some point along the way, liquidates all the gain. In short, absolutizing the drive toward “progress” could prove to be a drive toward ruin.

    So the image of the future world cannot be limited to adding a certain number of technical innovations, and meaningful prediction does not lie in serving up the present larded with startling improvements or revelations in lieu of the future.

    The difficulties encountered by the reader of a work placed in a remote historical period are not the result of any arbitrariness on the writer’s part, any predilection for “estrangements,” any wish to shock the reader or to lead him up the garden, but are an ineradicable part of such an artistic undertaking. Situations and concepts can be understood only through relating them to ones already known, but when too great a time interval separates people living in different eras there is a loss of the basis for understanding in common life experiences which we unreflectingly and automatically imagine to be invariant. It follows that an author who truly succeeded in delineating an image of the far future would not achieve literary success, since he would assuredly not be understood. Consequently, in Dick’s stories a truth-value can be ascribed only to their generalized basis, which can be summed up more or less as follows: when people become ants in the labyrinths of the technosphere which they themselves have built, the idea of a return to Nature not only becomes utopian but cannot even be meaningfully articulated, because no such thing as a Nature that has not been artificially transformed has existed for ages. We today can still talk of “return to Nature,” because we are relics of it, only slightly modified in biological respect within civilization, but try imagining the slogan “return to Nature” uttered by a robot—why, it would mean turning into deposits of iron ore!

    The impossibility of civilization’s returning to Nature, which is simply equivalent to the irreversibility of history, leads Dick to the pessimistic conclusion that looking far into the future becomes such a fulfillment of dreams of power over matter as converts the ideal of progress into a monstrous caricature. This conclusion does not inevitably follow from the author’s assumptions, but it constitutes an eventuality which ought also to be taken into account. By the way, in putting things thus we are no longer summarizing Dick’s work, but are giving rein to reflections about it, for the author himself seems so caught up in his vision that he is unconcerned about either its literal plausibility or its non-literal message. It is the more unfortunate that criticism has not brought out the intellectual consequences of Dick’s work and has not indicated the prospects inherent in its possible continuation, prospects and consequences advantageous not only for the author but for the entire genre, since Dick has presented us not so much with finished accomplishments as with fascinating promises. It has, indeed, been just the other way round—criticism inside the field has instinctively striven somehow to domesticate Dick’s creations, to restrain their meanings, emphasizing what in them is similar to the rest of the genre, and saying nothing about what is different—insofar as it did not simply denounce them as worthless for that difference. In this behavior a pathological aberration of the natural selection of literary works is emphatically apparent, since this selection ought to separate workmanlike mediocrity from promising originality, not lump these together, for such a “democratic” proceeding in practice equates the dross to the good metal.

    Let us admit, however, that the charms of Dick’s books are not unalloyed, so that it is with them somewhat as it is with the beauty of certain actresses, whom one had better not inspect too carefully at close range, on pain of being sadly disillusioned. There is no point in estimating the futurological likelihood of such details in this novel as those apartment and refrigerator doors which the tenant is forced to argue with—for these are fictional ingredients created for the purpose of doing two jobs at once: to introduce the reader into a world decidedly different from the present-day one, and to convey a certain message to him by means of this world.

    Every literary work has two components in the above sense, since every one exhibits a given factual world and says something by means of that world. Yet in different genres and different works the ratio between the two components varies. A realistic work of fiction contains a great deal of the first component and very little of the second, as it portrays the real world, which in its own right, that is outside the book, does not constitute any sort of message, but merely exists and flourishes. Nevertheless, because the author, of course, makes particular choices when writing a literary work, these choices give it the character of a statement addressed to the reader. In an allegorical work there is a minimum of the first component and a maximum of the second, seeing that its world is in effect an apparatus signaling the actual content—the message—to the receiver. The tendentiousness of allegorical fiction is usually obvious, that of the realistic kind more or less well-concealed. There are no works whatsoever without tendentiousness; if anyone speaks of such, what he actually has in mind is works devoid of expressly emphasized tendentiousness, which cannot be “translated” into the concrete credo of a world view. The aim of the epic e.g., is precisely to construct a world which can be interpreted in a number of ways—as the reality outside of literature can be interpreted in a number of ways. If, however, the sharp tools of criticism (of the structural kind, for instance) are applied to the epic, it is possible to detect the tendentiousness hidden even in such works, because the author is a human being and by that token a litigant in the existential process, hence complete impartiality is unattainable for him.

    Unfortunately, it is only from realistic prose that one can appeal directly to the real world. Therefore, the bane of SF is the desire—doomed from the start to failure—to depict worlds intended at one and the same time to be products of the imagination and to signify nothing, i.e. not to have the character of a message but to be as it were on a par with the things in our environment, from furniture to stars, as regards their objective self-sufficiency. This is a fatal error lodged at the roots of SF, for where deliberate tendentiousness is not allowed involuntary tendentiousness seeps in. By tendency we mean a partisan bias, or point of view which cannot be divinely objective. An epic may strike us as just that objective, because the how of its presentation (the viewpoint) is for us imperceptibly concealed under the what—the epic too is a partisan account of events, but we do not notice its tendentiousness because we share its bias and cannot get outside it. We discover the bias of the epic centuries later, when the passage of time has transformed the standards of “absolute objectivity” and we can perceive, in what passed for a truthful report, the manner in which “truthful reporting” was at one time understood. For there are no such things as truth or objectivity in the singular; both of these contain an irreducible coefficient of historical relativity. Now, SF can never be on a par with the epic, since what the SF work presents belongs to one time (most often the future), while how it tells its story belongs to another time, the present. Even if imagination succeeds in rendering plausible how it might be, it cannot break completely with the way of apprehending events which is peculiar to the here and now. This way is not only an artistic convention, it is considerably more—a type of classification, interpretation and rationalization of the visible world that is peculiar to an era. Consequently the problem content of an epic can be deeply hidden, but that of SF must be legible, otherwise the story, declining to deal with nonfictional problems and not achieving epic objectivity, slides fatally down and comes to rest on some such support as the stereotype of the fairy tale, the adventure thriller, the myth, the framework of the detective story, or some hybrid as eclectic as it is trashy. A way out of the dilemma may consist in works for which componential analysis, designed to separate what is “factual” from what forms the “message” (“seen” from a “viewpoint”), proves altogether impracticable. The reader of such a work does not know whether what he is shown is supposed to exist like a stone or a chair, or whether it is supposed also to signify something beyond itself. The indeterminacy of such a creation is not diminished by its author’s commentaries, since the author can be mistaken in these, like a man who tries to explain the real meaning of his own dreams. Hence I consider Dick’s own comments to be inessential to the analysis of his works.

    At this point we might embark on an excursus about the origin of Dick’s science-fictional concepts, but let just one example from Ubik suffice: to wit, the name which figures as the title of the book. It comes from the Latin ubique ‘everywhere.’ This is a blend (contamination) of two heterogeneous concepts: the concept of the Absolute as eternal and unchanging order which goes back to systematizing philosophy, and the concept of the “gadget”—the handy little device for use on appropriate everyday occasions, a product of the conveyer-belt technology of the consumer society, whose watchword is making things easy for people at whatever they do, from washing clothes to getting a permanent wave. This “canned Absolute,” then, is the result of the collision and interpenetration of two styles of thought of different ages, and at the same time of the incarnation of abstraction in the guise of a concrete object. Such a proceeding is an exception to the rule in SF and is Dick’s own invention.

    It is hardly possible to create, in the way just noted, objects which are empirically plausible or which have a likelihood of ever coming into existence. Accordingly in the case of Ubik it is a matter of a poetic, i.e. metaphorical device and not of any “futurological” one. Ubik plays an important part in the story, emphasized still more by the “advertisements” for it which figure as epigraphs to each chapter. Is it a symbol, and, if so, of just what? This is not easy to answer. An Absolute conjured out of sight by technology, supposed to save man from the ruinous consequences of Chaos or Entropy much as a deodorant shields our sense of smell from the stench of industrial effluents, is not only a demonstration of a tactic typical nowadays (combating, for example, the side effects of one technology by means of another technology), it is an expression of nostalgia for a lost ideal kingdom of untroubled order, but also an expression of irony, since this “invention” of course cannot be taken seriously. Ubik moreover plays in the novel the part of its “internal micromodel,” since it contains in nuce the whole range of problems specific to the book, those of the struggle of man against Chaos, at the end of which, after temporary successes, defeat inexorably awaits him. The Absolute canned as an aerosol, which saves Joe Chip at the point of death—though only for the time being: will this, then, be a parable and the handwriting on the wall for a civilization which has degraded the Sacred by stuffing it into the Profane? Pursuing such a train of associations, Ubik could finally be seen as a take-off on the Greek tragedy, with the role of the ancient heroes, who strive vainly against Moira, assigned to the staff telepaths under the command of a big business executive. If Ubik was not actually undertaken with this in mind, it in any case points in such a direction.

    The writings of Philip Dick have deserved at least a better fate than that to which they were destined by their birthplace. If they are neither of uniform quality nor fully realized, still it is only by brute force that they can be jammed into that pulp of materials, destitute of intellectual value and original structure, which makes up SF. Its fans are attracted by the worst in Dick—the typical dash of American SF, reaching to the stars, and the headlong pace of action moving from one surprise to the next—but they hold it against him that, instead of unraveling puzzles, he leaves the reader at the end on the battlefield, enveloped in the aura of a mystery as grotesque as it is strange. Yet his bizarre blendings of hallucinogenic and palingenetic techniques have not won him many admirers outside the ghetto walls, since there readers are repelled by the shoddiness of the props he has adopted from the inventory of SF. Indeed, these writings sometimes fumble their attempts; but I remain after all under their spell, as it often happens at the sight of a lone imagination’s efforts to cope with a shattering superabundance of opportunities—efforts in which even a partial defeat can resemble a victory.”

  20. @KFG

    “The skeleton you have now (it’s made of protein, not calcium. Compare a fresh chicken bone to a clam shell) is not the same skeleton you had a couple years ago. You are a different man, a, literally, new made man.”

    The skeleton is a fixed type of structure that is not designed to be optimally varied much. The brain, however, as a whole including its various functions, Cognition, emotions and hindbrain autonomic fuctions is designed to vary considerably according to external conditions that might have popped up for humans over the last 60,000 years (out of Africa). Because of neuroplasticity.

    The Ship of Theseus Paradox is a handy reminder of (Red Pill Awareness + Game) X Neuroplasticity = Potential for Real Power

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j824J9ivG4

    The whole way my brain thinks these days is half different than it was a mere three years ago. Eagerness and desire for Game mastery did that (after easy Acceptance of Red Pill Awareness).

  21. “Why are people fighting biology by trying to make the workplace more “fair” for women?”

    It’s becoming increasingly difficult to raise a family on a single income, even a single middle class income.

    But is this wage stagnation due to the surplus of labor from women in the workplace?

  22. “A copy is just an identical image. There is the possibility that a single virus could destroy an entire set of systems and copies do not give rise to variety and originality. Life perpetuates itself through diversity and this includes the ability to sacrifice itself when necessary. Cells repeat the process of degeneration and regeneration until one day they die, obliterating an entire set of memory and information. Only genes remain. Why continually repeat this cycle? Simply to survive by avoiding the weaknesses of an unchanging system.”

    “It can also be argued that DNA is nothing more than a program designed to preserve itself. Life has become more complex in the overwhelming sea of information. And life, when organized into species, relies upon genes to be its memory system. So, man is an individual only because of his intangible memory… and memory cannot be defined, but it defines mankind. The advent of computers, and the subsequent accumulation of incalculable data has given rise to a new system of memory and thought parallel to your own. Humanity has underestimated the consequences of computerization.”

    “There are countless ingredients that make up the human body and mind, like all the components that make up me as an individual with my own personality. Sure I have a face and voice to distinguish myself from others, but my thoughts and memories are unique only to me, and I carry a sense of my own destiny. Each of those things are just a small part of it. I collect information to use in my own way. All of that blends to create a mixture that forms me and gives rise to my conscience. I feel confined, only free to expand myself within boundaries.”

  23. Rollo, you probably already noticed this, but there is a site called “Red Pill Israel” that links to TRM from time to time. The androsphere continues to expand world wide, that is good news.

  24. “The advent of computers, and the subsequent accumulation of incalculable data has given rise to a new system of memory and thought parallel to your own. Humanity has underestimated the consequences of computerization.”

    don’t we max out silicon in like ten years? moore’s law holds until then, but then what? I haven’t heard anything about what comes after silicon. but I have heard a ton of people patting themselves on the back about this great technology we have but as I look at all my favorite things in the world I realize they all predate fucking electricity.

    “So, man is an individual only because of his intangible memory… and memory cannot be defined, but it defines mankind.”

    computer memory isn’t real. it comes damn close, but silicon based VR will never compare with walking out into the backcountry and touching rocks that are a billion years old. our hubris is beyond compare, especially when we admit that all it takes is one rock slamming into the ocean and we’re finished. “my friend says we’re like the dinosaurs, only we are doing ourselves in much faster than they ever did”

    there more “tech” gets shoved in my face, the more I seek out the real physical world. and I find that this deep yearning coinicides nicely with the emotional rollercoaster women crave. it’s like we evolved to fuck outside, sun shining on our asses.

    I’d wager there a ton of men who have never taken a shit outside. how much can you know about yourself if you’ve never buried your own crap?

  25. @ Fleezer

    You are right on target, man.

    Here is the Afterward of Yuval Harari’s “Sapiens” at the end of a sweeping history of humans. And he doesn’t think humans have the good sense to refrain from technology uber alles.

    Afterword: The Animal that Became a God

    SEVENTY THOUSAND YEARS AGO, HOMO sapiens was still an insignificant animal minding its own business in a corner of Africa. In the following millennia it transformed itself into the master of the entire planet and the terror of the ecosystem. Today it stands on the verge of becoming a god, poised to acquire not only eternal youth, but also the divine abilities of creation and destruction.

    Unfortunately, the Sapiens regime on earth has so far produced little that we can be proud of. We have mastered our surroundings, increased food production, built cities, established empires and created far-flung trade networks. But did we decrease the amount of suffering in the world? Time and again, massive increases in human power did not necessarily improve the well-being of individual Sapiens, and usually caused immense misery to other animals.

    In the last few decades we have at last made some real progress as far as the human condition is concerned, with the reduction of famine, plague and war. Yet the situation of other animals is deteriorating more rapidly than ever before, and the improvement in the lot of humanity is too recent and fragile to be certain of.

    Moreover, despite the astonishing things that humans are capable of doing, we remain unsure of our goals and we seem to be as discontented as ever. We have advanced from canoes to galleys to steamships to space shuttles – but nobody knows where we’re going. We are more powerful than ever before, but have very little idea what to do with all that power. Worse still, humans seem to be more irresponsible than ever. Self-made gods with only the laws of physics to keep us company, we are accountable to no one. We are consequently wreaking havoc on our fellow animals and on the surrounding ecosystem, seeking little more than our own comfort and amusement, yet never finding satisfaction.

    Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?

  26. there more “tech” gets shoved in my face, the more I seek out the real physical world.

    Adding SCALE (and its issues) to this… the future is bright for investments that deliver privacy, security and natural beauty… all are diminishing resources…

  27. “the future is bright for investments that deliver privacy, security and natural beauty… all are diminishing resources…”

    Definitely…but, using what currency?
    (more-but-different privacy, security, and natural beauty?)

  28. @ asdgamer

    What does DPA stand for?

    Also, I’ll vouch for the effects of abuse, and while I don’t even know what DPA is it sounds like it would be more effective than PUA. It’s easy for guys who don’t have past abuse issues to say PUA is the solution but abused and non-abused people’s brains are wired completely differently.

    I grew up hearing that I was worthless/annoying/made everyone’s life a living hell/was from the devil/was evil CONSTANTLY. Along with physical abuse and general neglect on a regular basis. On top of that I was bullied at school, and I just took all of it. Some kids who are abused will go crazy and fight back because they put up with so much shit at home, but I just took all of it in and would always end up taking it all out on myself whether that was through suicide attempts or self mutilation. It’s no wonder I hated myself so much most of my life, but because none of the abuse I went through was ever acknowledged, I never considered it as a potential factor in my psychological issues. It’s taken me years to even come to terms with the fact that what I went through was abuse.

    It’s very counterintuitive to me to be assertive, because my baseline is “I don’t deserve anything good from anyone,” which also makes business a huge struggle. I’m having a very hard time being assertive with customers who are ripping me off and trying to get out of paying me for my work.

    Anyway…it’s easy to fall in love with your problems. It’s very hard not to identify with the idea of being a victim of abuse once you know it happened to you.

    Red Pill helped me a LOT with that, though, and has continued to help me. One of my MAIN reasons for so strongly identifying with the fact that I was abused was I thought it would get me sympathy/love/sex/relationships etc. from women.

    Now that I know that’s ass backwards, I feel much more straightened out. And also much more like a man. I used to think it was me “hiding all my feelings” and that somehow, if I reached out and asked for help, everything would magically get better….that was a rude awakening when I realized that wasn’t true, and that there was no one to save me waiting on the other side.

    I simply realized all my efforts to “reach out” were futile, and resulted in a lot of humiliation and rejection for me, because it was annoying to people. It was doubly hard to face that, because part of the original abuse I went through was being ignored and called a “pest” and “annoying” and a waste of time and space….

    …so it took a lot for me to realize that by burdening other people with my problems I was being annoying and a pest. It was a hard pill to swallow but that was the reality. Ironically, the more I kept my problems to myself, and reached out to people only to do fun things with, or provide value to by hanging out with and having fun and being positive…..

    …the better things got.

    Dealing with issues takes up a lot of mental energy though. Even playful banter, like run of the mill Game, and shit tests from women, can trigger memories I have of being abused, and things that were said to me, and I have to work very hard to catch myself and keep myself from getting completely turned off.

    I go from 0 to 60 really easily. Like all it takes is one word or phrase that flips a switch in my brain and I can go from having a good time to feeling like mauling someone to death with my bare hands. That’s the effects of abuse. Lately I’ll just excuse myself from the room and go smoke a cigarette or something else to cool myself down and make up some white lie if people ask me what’s wrong.

    And it’s no big deal. I’m not going to ACTUALLY flip out on someone and assault them. I have self control. It’s just that the cortisol/adrenaline coursing through my veins makes me feel like I’m in hell and is a HUGE drain on my body to the point where I can’t function for quite a while afterwards.

    But it’s all stuff that can be dealt with. I’m already a lot farther along than I was a year ago. Neuroplasticity is real. Believing in it is a big part of it too. Placebo effect. I think, therefore I am…the more time you spend focusing on improving, the less time you spend reinforcing bad habits.

    I’m all for talking about past abuse as long as the conversation doesn’t end there. I think of it as placating the ego. Like okay. I’ll listen to you. I’ll listen to what you have to say. But after that we need to get some work done.

    In a way it’s parenting myself. I was disciplined a lot, but never properly. I never knew what I did wrong and it was always blown out of proportion into me being some kind of hellspawn that my parents wished was never born. For discipline to work the kid has to know what he did wrong and what the correct behavior would be, and also that it was his behavior that was bad, not him as a person.

  29. @ Sentient

    Thanks.

    re: technological advances

    Hypergamy hasn’t changed in women in a few generations, right?

    How much more would that go for deeply, primitively evolved biological processes related to diet and physical survival?

    Light exposure, sleep, food, water, physical activity…speaking of shitting in the woods, seated toilets are probably responsible for a large amount of diverticulitis cases today, as well as many other intestinal ailments. Notice how there are no tree stumps neatly carved into the shape of a seated toilet outside. The natural way is to shit with your heels on the ground, a posture that a lot of people in ‘civilized’ society can’t even get into these days because their mobility is so bad.

    It took me a couple years to build up the mobility to squat with my heels down. Which I originally did because I damaged my knees and could no longer squat the ‘normal’ way with the knees flared out.

    Squatting is also the natural position for childbirth. Sorry for the imagery, but to me modern deliveries make about as much sense as being constipated and trying to push a giant shit out while lying on your back. Some people would rather be shot in the head than see that through to the bitter end.

    Seated toilets are just one of many modern conventions that are counterproductive to health. People’s circadian rhythms are all fucked up, their diets are all fucked up, and there is a LOT of suffering in developed nations with ‘high’ quality of life for NO REASON other than ignorance because of this.

    Actually, it reminds me of orthotropics and “Shut Your Mouth and Save Your Life” by George Caitlin too. Back in the 1800’s, he observed Native American tribes and how they would encourage their babies and children to breathe through their nose.

    The Native Americans all had very well developed, attractive faces. And it wasn’t because of genetics as much as their practice of proper oral posture.

    If orthotropics was common knowledge, there could be tons of money saved. And people would look more attractive because their faces are developing the way they were BIOLOGICALLY DESIGNED to. All this open-mouth breathing used to be called a “disease of civilization” back in the day.

    Same with pulling wisdom teeth and putting mercury in people’s mouths as dental fillings. What a nightmare.

    These are some “advancements” of modern times that are actually nothing more than huge steps backwards.

    HOWEVER….they afford an opportunity to learn, if we correct those things and never revert to them again. People in the days of old didn’t know WHY things worked the way they did. They just did them.

    Like a dog instinctively eats grass and rabbit shit.

    When we understand WHY these things are natural, and what the scientific reasons are behind these natural impulses — we can maintain respect for our natural biology while moving forward at the same time.

    Like nutritional supplements. It’s amazing to me that we’ve isolated compounds and can understand biological functions they serve. And can put them in a capsule and take them and see changes in our health.

    That’s remarkable. And a huge opportunity for growth.

    Just drop the hubris, IMO, and we’ll be okay. Easier said than done, lol.

    But TRP and Hypergamy are great examples of this.

    A scientific analysis of natural impulses and behaviors women have had for thousands of years. We are only now coming to understand the WHYs of women’s behavior.

    Even if Taming of the Shrew had it right, the science just wasn’t available at the time. Oxytocin was understood metaphorically and spiritually and superstitiously, but not scientifically. People intuitively FELT things, and knew something was going on….but we didn’t have scientific names and IDs for neural pathways and neurotransmitters and other chemicals and shit that are directly responsible for all this stuff.

    Hubris is what gets in the way of progress. We aren’t so smart. We have a LOT to learn, and modern technology has some advantages, but think of how primitive and infantile it’ll look even in a few years’ time.

    Let alone 100 years. And if we keep growing and expanding it’ll always be that way.

    If you want to get any real work accomplished you have to leave your ego at the door and focus on getting results. That’s how I always see it, anyway.

  30. tl;dr =

    Feminism is like the modern seated toilet.

    The promise is that it gives everyone the experience of royalty (seated toilets were once reserved for kings and queens), and that it’s a tremendous modern advancement, and something that raises us all above the beasts and peasants.

    But in reality all you end up with is a pain the ass.

    In all seriousness (comedy hour’s over, don’t worry), I do see this as equitable. Modern “advancements” that completely ignore hard-wired biology. Emotions and ideals are placed on a pedestal above the reality of evolution and what we are biologically hard-wired for.

    That in and of itself is a form of hubris. I always see TRP as reality. It WORKS. It’s the way things are. It’s not that I fantasize about being a macho man roided up and beating women, like feminists would have everyone believe.

    I just want to do what works. And it just so happens that TRP tells it like it is and the practical application WORKS. It’s what we’re hard-wired for.

    My last comment can be summed up as a condemnation of people turning a blind eye to our hard-wired biology in favor of ideals and theories and pie-in-the-sky hopes and dreams.

    The worst is when it’s backed up by “science.” A lot of times the line between propaganda and science is VERY blurry. You have to dig deep to find the real truths in the world.

    Women will lap up “studies” that support feminist ideology in a heartbeat without giving them any critical thought whatsoever.

    “Science” has also been elevated to godlike status. People seldom realize how easily the name “science” can be abused, and IS abused to push ideologies.

    But yeah. A lot of modern problems can be traced back to hubris, and ignoring our hard-wired biology in favor of modern ideals.

    This goes for nutrition and physical health as much as intergender dynamics. Our bodies are designed to function in a certain way, and while they’re adaptable, the scope of that adaptability isn’t limitless.

    You have to draw a line somewhere while still allowing for progress and improvement. Feminism is simply wishful thinking that flies in the face of healthy, hard-wired intergender dynamics that have been in place for thousands of years.

    Hard-wired intergender dynamics, of course, which feminists themselves practice while denouncing them at the same time.

    Until I see feminists organizing rallies to fuck nerds/losers/incels, and there are movements where women will sign up to fuck the shit out of Betas….I’m not changing my mind on that either. Lol.

    Feminism is only embraced insofar as it benefits women. They don’t want to help Beta/Omega men any more than they want to fuck them, which is why don’t, and fuck Alphas like they’ve been hard wired to do from Day 1.

    You simply have to observe their BEHAVIORS to see the truth, and the nonsense that feminism and its ideologies are.

  31. Rollo,

    Great website. I have read both of your books which are great guides to female mating strategies. Just curious what do you think the difference is between mate switching (i.e., monkey branching) and securing good genes (i.e., alpha fucks/beta bucks) in the short-term mating arena? You may have mentioned it before. Just seeing what your take is on how to spot it in real life.

    Thanks!

  32. Softek

    Everyday i come across more and more people who are getting off the sugar and debt fueled lifestyle… whether by their consumer choices, how they spend their free time, wat they eat or how they are educating their children. and this is in a very urban area… not off in the hills.

    Shared a table in a crowded cafe with a early 20’s guy. interesting he is a UVA grad, with a Psychology degree and he is now going to HVAC school because he realizes he enjoys working with his hands and the economic prospects are better… bought his sandwich. Nice young kid. His GF moved 500 miles to live near him, he buried his dad sophomore year. Spends his free time deer hunting. There is hope for the younger generation, they are “just getting it” to a satisfying degree, despite all the “sky is falling” proclamations…

    Even money that 100 years from now we will be sitting around a blazing hearth, playing fiddles and singing along to candlelight vs. living in a digital hologram…

  33. @ AR

    Watched the Roosh video.

    I disagree with what The Great Straw Grasper had to say ( surprise!!). He’s equating, for the most part, self improvement with material stuff and the acquisition of sex.

    The nonsense he spouted about ” there is nothing wrong with you..” showed that he marched down a path or confusion rather than the one of understanding.

    In fact, he doesn’t even really get what self improvement is. I laugh up his sleeve at the notion that improvement is something that takes up a lot of your time and makes one miss out on life, before you leap frog on to the next self improvement ” task “.

    Wise Old Sage.

    Not.

  34. But is this wage stagnation due to the surplus of labor from women in the workplace?
    ——–

    My guess is, yes. Initially. Now? A shit ton of factors not the least of which is technology.

    Don’t see any practical solutions to it either. Yeah we could change a right fair bit and improve the current situation but long term is a different critter

  35. @theasdgamer

    I have no idea who “Wildman” is, but I am assuming that the comparison is not a compliment.

    You raise a good point about affirmative action — it is absurd that the government awards contracts based on gender. But in the free market… hey, let the companies that care about gender equalism compete with those that don’t. The end result is that men frequently out-compete women, and it seems like we at least agree on that point.

    I agree with Rollo’s goal here — male traits should be described objectively, not disparaged simply because they are male. But he exaggerates feminine dominance of society to an absurd degree. Yes, affirmative action is a big deal, and we should oppose it, but it is not nearly as ubiquitous or rigorous as it could be (ie, rigorous enough to achieve equality of outcome).

    Circling back to Rollo’s article… this whole idea of “unplugging” … and men accepting themselves. I don’t know, once I corrected my testosterone levels, it all became second nature to me. Being emotive, the way society tells us we should be (and the way I was with low testosterone), just feels unnatural and weird to me now. Do guys with normal testosterone levels really struggle with being guys? This is just not my experience at all.

    1. Boxcar, turn on your radio, turn on your TV, listen at the employee orientation you take at your new job, look at the campus culture on any American university, read about the Yes Means Yes consent laws, look at what is normalized from a social scope.

      Affirmative action? Heheh, open your eyes to the bigger picture.

  36. @SFC Ton: “Don’t see any practical solutions to it either.”

    Both theory and the historical record suggest a ride of the the Horsemen, with a heavy emphasis on a shit ton of Death.

    Practical ain’t always pleasant.

  37. @Softek December 15, 2016 at 11:11 am

    It’s very counterintuitive to me to be assertive, because my baseline is “I don’t deserve anything good from anyone,” which also makes business a huge struggle. I’m having a very hard time being assertive with customers who are ripping me off and trying to get out of paying me for my work.

    Anyway…it’s easy to fall in love with your problems. It’s very hard not to identify with the idea of being a victim of abuse once you know it happened to you.

    Red Pill helped me a LOT with that, though, and has continued to help me. One of my MAIN reasons for so strongly identifying with the fact that I was abused was I thought it would get me sympathy/love/sex/relationships etc. from women.

    Rollo’s quote @10:04 am

    “Against boredom the gods themselves fight in vain.” I presume came from Nietzsche’s “Antichrist”.

    Some guy wrote a play about that. In Scene 04 quoted by me below, substitute any Feminine Imperative term or anti- AFC term for the term Christianity, so as not to get anyone’s dander up over Nietzsche’s skewering of Christianity (he was just philosophizing). I assume Rollo used the quote in relationship to the gods of feminism, the Feminine Imperative and feminine social conventions.

    http://rolfalme.net/director/nietzscheantichrist/

    SCENE 03: POWER IS GOOD
    What is good? All that enhances the feeling of power, the Will to Power, and power itself in man. What is bad? All that proceeds from weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power is increasing, that resistance has been overcome.

    SCENE 04: PITY
    Christianity is called the religion of pity. Pity is opposed to the tonic (edit to add: adj.–giving a feeling of vigor or well-being; invigorating) passions, which enhance the energy of the feeling of life: its action is depressing. A man looses power when he pities. By means of pity the drain on strength which suffering itself already introduces into the world is multiplied a thousand fold. Through pity, suffering itself becomes infectious; in certain circumstances it may lead to a total loss of life and vital energy, which is absurdly out of proportion to the magnitude of the cause.

    You brought this up Softek:

    I’m all for talking about past abuse as long as the conversation doesn’t end there. I think of it as placating the ego. Like okay. I’ll listen to you. I’ll listen to what you have to say. But after that we need to get some work done.

    In a way it’s parenting myself. I was disciplined a lot, but never properly. I never knew what I did wrong and it was always blown out of proportion into me being some kind of hellspawn that my parents wished was never born. For discipline to work the kid has to know what he did wrong and what the correct behavior would be, and also that it was his behavior that was bad, not him as a person.

    And all this talk of ego (in a positive sense here in the past, isn’t the same as egotism) sure do/does make me tired a lot. Because the masculine self interest that The Red Pill should induce in men should be a positive force.

    Egoism is not the same as Egotism.

    How’s the back-to-reading “WISNIFG” on assertiveness going Softek? Yes, it’s hard. But a necessary part of your Game curriculum.

    Ask not how to merely pass a shit test (your treatment by others and the Reality of Your Situation), ask how you can use a shit test to your advantage.

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/egoism/

    Egoism

    In philosophy, egoism is the theory that one’s self is, or should be, the motivation and the goal of one’s own action. Egoism has two variants, descriptive or normative. The descriptive (or positive) variant conceives egoism as a factual description of human affairs. That is, people are motivated by their own interests and desires, and they cannot be described otherwise. The normative variant proposes that people should be so motivated, regardless of what presently motivates their behavior. Altruism is the opposite of egoism. The term “egoism” derives from “ego,” the Latin term for “I” in English. Egoism should be distinguished from egotism, which means a psychological overvaluation of one’s own importance, or of one’s own activities.

    People act for many reasons; but for whom, or what, do or should they act—for themselves, for God, or for the good of the planet? Can an individual ever act only according to her own interests without regard for others’ interests. Conversely, can an individual ever truly act for others in complete disregard for her own interests? The answers will depend on an account of free will. Some philosophers argue that an individual has no choice in these matters, claiming that a person’s acts are determined by prior events which make illusory any belief in choice. Nevertheless, if an element of choice is permitted against the great causal impetus from nature, or God, it follows that a person possesses some control over her next action, and, that, therefore, one may inquire as to whether the individual does, or, should choose a self-or-other-oriented action. Morally speaking, one can ask whether the individual should pursue her own interests, or, whether she should reject self-interest and pursue others’ interest instead: to what extent are other-regarding acts morally praiseworthy compared to self-regarding acts?

  38. @Rollo

    “Against boredom the gods themselves fight in vain.”

    I see what you did there Rollo.

    I bet you feel like Nietzsche sometimes in relation to how some people take The Red Pill.

    Like when he wrote in the preface to The Antichrist back in 1988:

    “The conditions under which any one understands me, and necessarily understands me— I
    know them only too well. Even to endure my seriousness, my passion, he must carry intellectual
    integrity to the verge of hardness. He must be accustomed to living on mountain tops— and to
    looking upon the wretched gabble of politics and nationalism as beneath him. He must have
    become indifferent; he must never ask of the truth whether it brings profit to him or a fatality to
    him… He must have an inclination, born of strength, for questions that no one has the courage
    for; the courage for the forbidden; predestination for the labyrinth. The experience of seven
    solitudes. New ears for new music. New eyes for what is most distant. A new conscience for
    truths that have hitherto remained unheard. And the will to economize in the grand manner— to
    hold together his strength, his enthusiasm… Reverence for self; love of self; absolute freedom of
    self…..”

  39. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/57/df/71/57df714606040cb9307fbaac6e680522.jpg

    “What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  40. Rollo, thanks for responding. I know what you are talking about, but Freshman orientation at Colleges and Universities just does not reflect the reality of the society that we live in. Of course men need to be aware of PC ideology, but that also means being aware of when it does not apply. This seems like a key part of RP teaching: Despite what society tells itself, women want men to act like men, etc. So it seems like a major disconnect when you describe this ideology as being way more controlling than it actually is.

    That applies to work life as well — men are great at getting stuff done and it is not hard for any half-way talented and half-way dedicated man to be rewarded for his masculine traits. Society now talks about how great women are to boost their self esteem, but I just don’t see women as being rewarded to a greater extent for these traits (to the extent that they are accurately described). And by often pretending that feminine traits are a social construct, society does women a disservice in the assumption that they will behave exactly like men under any circumstances.

    Regarding that link — yes, there is overwhelming evidence of sex differences in the brain. You could devote a whole career to studying it.

    When I had low testosterone, I had low confidence and constant low-level anxiety. Like women, I was dependent on the emotional reassurance of others. But testosterone dampens these negative emotions, making me more emotionally self sufficient, and less prone to emote like a women might. When women say we are repressing our emotions, they are just projecting their own emotional experience on men. We are just different.

    With healthy testosterone levels, my communication is more parsimonious and goal-oriented (even if the goal is sometimes just to make someone laugh). Being goal-oriented is an obvious benefit in the workplace. I should also add, that I generally feel more emotionally connected to the people I care about, which is very much counter to cultural perceptions of testosterone, but perhaps explains why men can so easily become attached to that special unicorn.

    The differences induced by hormones are even easier to see in transsexuals — one TRT doc told me that F-to-M “guys” typically experience a pronounced antidepressant effect from testosterone. But when it comes to the emotional state of the M-to-F “women,” his comment was just “I really worry about them…” Perhaps they were really meant to be women, but there is no denying that testosterone deprivation knocks them down a peg.

    When you consider the benefits of masculine traits, it is not hard to understand how much they benefit society. Deep down, all but the most brainwashed feminist understands this. People privately roll their eyes at political correctness and a large majority of women don’t even identify themselves as feminists.

    There is a real opportunity to change unfair perceptions about masculinity, but that will never happen if we don’t offer a fuller and more objective description of reality.

  41. Blaximus on recent RooshV vid:
    He’s equating, for the most part, self improvement with material stuff and the acquisition of sex.

    The nonsense he spouted about ” there is nothing wrong with you..” showed that he marched down a path or confusion rather than the one of understanding.

    Yeah, exactly. He’s totally off in the weeds now. I wonder about his physical health. To be trite, does he even lift? Can’t see how this latest vid does anything for his franchise. It’s just mush.

    So what is the deal in the larger picture? Athol Kay had a heck of a website at MMSL until he quit his day job and took up “coaching” by remote connection, then he wound up handing authority over his site and his life to women in order to keep his business going. Mystery got one-itis, RooshV has cornered himself and now RSD is heading into Tony Robbins country. Other examples?

    Maybe it’s just not possible to monetize teaching basic Red Pill / The Glasses skills in the long run.Or maybe it is, but it’s a niche that can’t really be expanded out of.

    1. Mystery got one-itis, RooshV has cornered himself and now RSD is heading into Tony Robbins country. Other examples?

      Tucker Max comes to mind. Just following the same script. Mark Manson, Evan Mark Katz, this guy RSD Todd, it’s all the same script.

      https://therationalmale.com/2013/07/29/the-script/

      Roosh is about a year away from going full Islam or whatever religion he invents for himself. Even Mike Cernovich has a kid now. Priorities change.

  42. @ AR

    Most people can’t truly swing ” teaching ” over an extended period of time. Take Roosh, he had a certain viewpoint of life and then he decided to concentrate on pickup(?) and Banging women. That’s a specific niche that if a man solely puts the bulk of his efforts into, he will indeed become competent at Banging women. But because it all comes from an analytical place, there will be no joy in mudville eventually. It’s all a bit too contrived and unnatural, but he doesn’t really consider this….until much later.

    Now there he is. A partially developed man. Time to play ” catch up “.

    So he begins to question that which he has known, which is a good thing. But because he is only partially developed after so much laser-like concentration on one aspect of life, he over compensates by casting aside that which he knows. All of it. Calamity and confusion ensues.

    Now comes the Search For Enlightenment. followed by the rejection of enlightenment found.

    Everything is nothing and must die/be changed.

    “So what is the deal in the larger picture? Athol Kay had a heck of a website at MMSL until he quit his day job and took up “coaching” by remote connection, then he wound up handing authority over his site and his life to women in order to keep his business going. Mystery got one-itis, RooshV has cornered himself and now RSD is heading into Tony Robbins country. Other examples?

    Maybe it’s just not possible to monetize teaching basic Red Pill / The Glasses skills in the long run.Or maybe it is, but it’s a niche that can’t really be expanded out of.”

    Agreed.

    Money is a problem. Things get just a little too forced. Gotta chase ” Teh New “.

    ” Teaching ” about dynamic relationships isn’t like shop class. A substantial depth of knowledge and experience is necessary, and it’s gotta remain mostly ” pure “. I’d bet that chasing the Almighty Dollar dampens pondering in deeper thought and reasonable rationality flees out of the nearest window.

    Like I always say, the ” field ” is vast and varied. Don’t stand around staring at that 1 blade of grass.

    http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-its-like-a-finger-pointing-away-to-the-moon-dont-concentrate-on-the-finger-or-you-will-bruce-lee-48-81-01.jpg

  43. Roosh started out telling the truth about a lie,then he started believing it himself,then went public with the bullshit.

    The public didn’t buy it,sending him back under into hiding,now he can’t admit to himself or anyone else the facts,without giving up the fame he has lost but cant let go of.

    Many a man has had and lost then tried to figure out how to get it back.

    Really the best choice is to move on,sure some spiritual growth is good and the beard is a cosmetic improvement for some,but saying self improvement is a sham is like saying I don’t like the word tolerance just accept me as I am after shitting on everyone.

    Blax is right if a man loses focus on one thing the rest of life that needs his attention will suffer he will wake up someday with a hell of a cleanup job.

    Personally I could never do the fame and followers thing it is too much and no body really would want to be me anyhow takes to much effort

  44. @ SJF

    It’s going okay. The hardest part by far is applying the concepts in real life.

    I feel a lot better right now by the way after working out and getting back on board with some nutrition stuff. I make a lot of different fermented foods and am pretty convinced of the positive effect that those bacteria/yeast have on mood and energy, especially over a period of time.

    I was feeling really down, anxious and depressed and I just figured I’d go do a workout on the gymnastic rings and make some food. It’s good to have go-to things like that on hand when you don’t know what to do. It’s hard to have time to be depressed when you’ve *always* got something to do. Even something simple like cooking or doing some exercises.

    Really getting a pump does seem to help burn off bad feelings. Food tastes better after working out too.

    I also feel like I’m more likely to take on challenging things, like assertiveness skills, when I’m feeling good. So feeling good is priority 1, and as far as I’ve learned, that comes from taking care of myself. Get enough sleep, stay active, always be making progress on something, eat well…it’s no coincidence I’ve been in a rut the past few days and haven’t been working out and have been eating garbage. I know better and even within a few hours of putting on the brakes and straightening shit out I feel better.

    I’ve been having these glimmers of hope lately, where I really feel in touch with masculine energy. Speaking of the OP:

    It can’t be emphasized enough how important it is for men to truly be in touch with their masculinity. Feminism has perverted masculinity to the point of all but eradicating it. And the listlessness, anxiety and depression in so many men today is anti-masculine.

    I can empathize with all of those feelings. Probably more than most people. But I also recognize how important it is to not allow them to take control and sabotage masculinity.

    It’s hard even for me to write out “masculinity” because it’s gotten such a negative connotation in recent times. The first inclination I have is to think it’s a joke.

    And that’s what the FI has accomplished.

    More than a few times women have chastised my anger, feeling like it’s been out of line. Note that this is just anger, I don’t mean violent explosions. I mean yelling or otherwise expressing some serious discontent with something in a not so quiet way.

    One girl years ago told me I should punch a pillow. Are you fucking kidding me, lol. This is why men have 200lb heavy bags that they can hit as hard as they can and it will resist. Not a fucking pillow.

    But a lot of girls think like that. And wanting men to experience emotions in a way they can relate to — THAT is toxic.

    And I’m glad the OP pointed this out because it’s something I need to be critically aware of. I have been shamed so much in my life simply for having emotions, particularly disagreeable emotions like anger.

    That anger, that kind of self-preservation and self assertiveness is exactly what I’ve been missing, and it’s probably been missing because it’s been downplayed my whole life.

    A girl was telling me the other day that she was watching a documentary about how boys are brought up to repress their emotions, and how “on the inside” they feel just like girls, except WORSE, because of all the emotions they have to hold back.

    Rollo’s linked to the video before, I think, and probably written at least 1 article about that movie. And that’s it in a nutshell. At first glance it looks nice because it sounds like women are empathizing with men.

    Until you realize they’re DEFINING men’s emotions for them, and then empathizing with THAT….which is actually offensive and insulting.

    Blue Pill conditioned guys will think shit like that is great. And that it’s a sign that women are “coming around” and appreciating men and all they go through.

    In reality, nothing could be further from the truth, and it’s simply another implementation of the FI to subvert genuine masculinity.

  45. @Boxcar

    You self admittedly are not familiar with Rollo’s essay work. If you click on the sidebar link to The Feminine Imperative and click back to 2011 on older posts, you will see that the bigger picture that Rollo speaks of doesn’t just apply to workplace issues and emotions. It is about all of life in society and the handicaps for women against men. Once again, we are not whining here, just observing objective things.

    Here is the sidebar link. There are 25 pages of essays that cover the wider picture. Not just the work space issues. Men do have agency in their work space and women try to catch up. The Atlantic article about confidence of Women in the Work Space propaganda comes up all the time in modern feminist work issues. (It’s all Sheryl Sandberg talks about these days.) That is not the issue at hand. It is more about inter-sexual agency and The Cardinal Rule of Sexual Strategies: For one gender’s sexual strategy to succeed the other gender must compromise or abandon their own.

    https://therationalmale.com/category/the-feminine-imperative/

    The Feminine Imperative is pervasive and limiting for men. I presume you are single without children or a stake in children.

    Perhaps you should read this unfair-deck-stacked-against Masculinity (otherwise known as Misandry) essay that is an objective description of reality.

    It is called the Misandry Bubble and it is long (and iconic–circa 2010–in the Manosphere). Perhaps this is why you are talking past other commenters because you don’t see this bigger picture of reality and then you can be on the same page in the discussion. Read this and come back to the discussion:

    http://www.singularity2050.com/2010/01/the-misandry-bubble.html

    The issue is more than just a man in his work space.

  46. @Boxcar

    But he exaggerates feminine dominance of society to an absurd degree.

    He’s practically holding back. It would be worth it to take SJF’s advice if you haven’t read many of the essays yet. Your comments remind me of me when I was just starting to “get it”. I no longer think the FI is overblown. If you can absorb the information with an open mind, you will start to see it play out clearly; all around you everyday, and retroactively in your own past.

    Many men here have overcome it for themselves on a local level, because they are naturals or they’ve learned, or got their T levels repaired; but on a societal level the influence of feminine imperative can hardly be exaggerated.

  47. “Many men here have overcome it for themselves on a local level…. ; but on a societal level the influence of feminine imperative can hardly be exaggerated.”

    Thanks Lost Patrol, you fixed it for me. I found it odd after I hit post comment that I said we weren’t whining (or winning for that matter) here. I meant on a local level. In our own individual bottoms-up approach to red pill Power and Frame, while the top down Societal framework of The Feminine Imperative via Feminine Social Conventions has done won their Frame battle. Frame is not power.

    From the essay Frame:

    In psych terms, frame is an often subconscious, mutually acknowledged personal narrative under which auspices people will be influenced. One’s capacity for personal decisions, choices for well-being, emotional investments, religious beliefs and political persuasions (amongst many others) are all influenced and biased by the psychological narrative ‘framework’ under which we are most apt to accept as normalcy.

    The concept of frame covers a lot of aspects of our daily lives, some of which we’re painfully aware of, others we are not, but nonetheless we are passively influenced by frame. What concerns us in terms of inter-gender relations however is the way in which frame sets the environment, the ambiance, and the ‘reality’ in which we relate with both the woman we sarge at a bar and the relationship with the woman we’ve lived with for 20 years. One important fact to consider, before I launch into too much detail, is to understand that frame is NOT power. The act of controlling the frame may be an exercise in power for some, but let me be clear from the start that the concept of frame is who’s ‘reality’ in which you choose to operate in relation to a woman. Both gender’s internalized concept of frame is influenced by our individual acculturation, socialization, psychological conditioning, upbringing, education, etc., but be clear on this, you are either operating in your own frame or you’re operating in hers. Also understand that the balance of frame often shifts. Frame is fluid and will find its own level when a deficit or a surplus of will is applied to change it. The forces that influence that lack or boost of will is irrelevant – just know that the conditions of an operative framework will shift because of them.

  48. @ stuffinbox

    Speaking strictly about Roosh, I’ve known a couple of people that were similar to him during my life. The way I see it, some people just kind of Sit their way through the first portion of life. Not really trying to explore who they are, what they want, and learning what they have to do to get whatever it is that they need and growing through that process – emphasis on the ” Growing ” part.

    Then all of a sudden, they try to do 10 or 20 years worth of ” figuring it all out ” in as little time a possible, but they don’t have any true reference points that they missed out on over the years. Usually these are some of saddest people I’ve ever known because the depth of their unhappiness is crushing. If they are mildly strong of will, they kinda muddle through. If they happen to have a tiny measure of fame, they wind up looking as though they’ve lost their fucking minds to the broader public.

    Some manage to keep their wits and perspective, and do figure shit out though. Roosh does not appear to be one of them. I do hope that he stops the madness and lands on his feet eventually.

    So I don’t take a damn thing that he’s said over the past few years seriously. The whole dig against self improvement was just a rambling bullshit filled stream of ( his ) consciousness. The wiring, that shit is bad right now. From Bang! Ukraine or whatever, to Neomasculinity, to whatever the fuck he’s jabbering about at the moment. That dumb beard tho….lmao.

    The trauma of him being doxxed might just crystalize at some point and make him pull his head out of his ass…and shave. Or maybe not. It’s his life.

    But if you gotta get paid, and you become a one trick pony, strange things can happen.

  49. So, RSD is breaking down female phycology now? ( I’ll refrain from linking, but it’s up on youtube as ” The Truth About Women “.)

  50. SJF & Lost Patrol — Thank you for the helpful responses. I am still working through Rollo’s stuff, but I will be sure to check out those links.

    I have never felt the urge to put a ring on someone’s finger, so maybe this is not as personal for me. But you don’t need RP to see that marriage is a huge risk, regardless of what you may think or feel about it at the time.

    I get that society encourages women to maximize their sexual strategy in a way that it does not for men. This contributes to dissatisfaction and alienation in inter-gender relations, which is ultimately bad for everyone. The same goes for running-down masculinity in general.

    On a certain level, society’s ambivalence regarding masculinity is not totally irrational — there’s no denying the fact that men are responsible for 90% of violent crime, for example. But after more than doubling my testosterone levels, it has become very obvious to me that it is responsible for not just confidence and “frame,” but also sensitivity, enlightenment and a civilized demeanor. I think there was a study that found injecting men with testosterone actually made them _more_ honest. There are just so many misconceptions about what it means to be masculine, even in RP circles.

  51. @Softek – I like to pickle (ferment) cabbage/nappa/bok choy with turnip chunks, radishes, hot peppers and tons of garlic. When preparing vegetables means just pulling them out of a bubbling vat in the corner of your basement — that’s pure culinary bad-ass (and all that stuff about a healthy gut, yadda yadda).

    I am convinced that getting sleep, diet and exercise right (in a moderate and balanced way), enhances our masculinity in a profound way. I say this based on how I feel (simultaneously relaxed and assertive) but there is also research that shows that growth hormone, IGF-1 and insulin will stimulate androgen receptors… as well as a study showing that injecting bodybuilders with growth hormone (which also raises IGF-1) will counter the side effects of steroid withdrawal.

  52. “I like to pickle (ferment) cabbage/nappa/bok choy with turnip chunks, radishes, hot peppers and tons of garlic.”

    There’s a word for that.

    ” . . . a bubbling vat in the corner of your basement . . .”

    A reason why the people who came up with the word used to bury the vats.

  53. @Boxcar

    The urge to not put a ring on someone’s finger post 2016 and seeing marriage is a huge risk is good health objective red pill thinking. An no you are not as invested as some of us. And you are taking Rollo out of context. Some of us did that 26 years ago (and still married to women that have a huge Societal Feminine Imperative tailwind filling their sails) and some of us have 22 year old sons.

    Violence crime or violence for men is weak frame. Masculine men should avoid it at all costs even if the impulse is present. Enlightenment and civilized demeanor are admirable qualities and, but impudence and leadership (especially if equalist Feminist women don’t want to be led) are still imporatant Alpha Traits. Sensitivity is tricky and anti-seductive. Keep in mind the cardinal rule of sexual strategies as mentioned above. Women don’t need society to maximize their sexual strategy (cause their evolved firmware operates just fine on its own) , but they will take it all the way to the bank if given a helping hand by society and its conventions.

    A man still should not be apologetic about his sexual strategy. Men should be somewhat comfortable with walking or dancing on a razor blade–to lean out to their edge without falling off the cliff. To be dynamic, passionate, and authentic in the face of the Feminine Imperative that stacks the deck against him.

    From the original post:

    Women bemoan men’s stereotypical lack of “emotional availability”, and we put a religious importance upon our capacity to express our emotions in some way, but all of this is constrained to the box that is women’s correct experience and importance of emotion. This is not what men’s brains are naturally wired for, and in a Red Pill context this is not what women’s hindbrains want from men.

    From the book “Manual of Seduction” by Franco

    The Alpha qualities of the human male are connected with two principal characteristics:

    – Impudence
    – Leadership

    Also intellectual, emotional qualities and outlook count, but not as much as the above mentioned.

    Impudence is at a higher level than Leadership and also at a higher level than intelligence. Don’t be surprised at this: an impudent male is able to create a company with 1000 workers and still be somehow less capable and less intelligent when compared to some other males.

    So this is a much more important Alpha quality because by his impudence, the Alpha male puts himself in the position of leader and later due to his leadership and intelligence qualities he succeeds in his task. Only the qualities of Leadership and intelligence are not enough for taking command of the group.

    One has to be impudent to do that.

    For this reason a male who is skilled in doing street and bar pickups often succeeds in his purpose: he shows impudence.

    The impudence is the Alpha quality for excellence and an irresistible turn on for the woman.
    The Alpha attitude is the attitude you need to assume to be attractive to women to the maximum level. The attitude is this:

    “In words, actions and omissions i speak, move and behave in such a way that i never ask for forgiveness about my personality and my sexual desire as a male. i am an impudent individual.”
    Read this phrase about the Alpha attitude. Put this too on the mirror you look in when you shave yourself in the morning: only by observing this rule – even if you know nothing about the seduction techniques contained in this book – your possibilities in the field of seduction will be much higher.

    There is an important corollary to the Alpha attitude and it is this:

    “In every woman there is at an instinctual level, a deep and incoercible desire to give herself sexually to the male who shows the alpha attitude.”

    Why? It’s simple. Remember? The woman is the selector of the best genes. When you assume the Alpha attitude, you are acting on deeper instincts of the female psyche.

    On a deeper level she will feel like this: ”He is so cocky, he is so strong, he never asks for forgiveness, he is so self-confident, surely has the best genes, surely all the other women want him, I want him for me! I want to make him mine!”

    Note, the Alpha attitude is not connected with violence. Even in the case of war, if possible, the most self-confident males use violence only as a last resort.

    An Alpha male is self-confident. A violent male is unsure of himself. Using violence too easily and especially with women, you only show your impotence.

    Women are masters in smelling out a lack of self-confidence.

    From the original post:

    As you might expect, what’s defined as “toxic” masculinity today is decided by people invested in a mindset that confirms the Feminine Imperative. This article follows along with what will likely be the Trump-era narrative for masculinity – anything remotely considered “traditionally” masculine will be conflated with a psychological disorder. The cure to which is, of course, ego-investing men in feminine-primary mental states; effectively feminizing men.

    If we look at the norms identified by this study we are expected to nod in agreement about the negative, potentially damaging, connotations these traditionally masculine aspects imply. But they are only negative because the objective environment we are supposed to interpret them from is one of feminine primacy. Anything that can be considered an impediment to female societal control, any aspect of men’s intrinsic natures that lessens the same potentials of women is considered “toxic”.

    Desire to win, need for emotional control, risk-taking, violence, dominance, sexual promiscuity or playboy behavior, self-reliance, primacy of work, power over women, disdain for homosexuality and pursuit of status – by orders of degree these are the foundational aspects of masculinity that’s been responsible for the advancement of humanity for millennia now. I’m not entirely sure what ‘playboy lifestyle’ entails, but consider the problems these aspects of male nature evolved to solve for men. Each one of these characteristics has a functional prompt; they didn’t evolve in a vacuum. These parts of masculinity were and are functional benefits to men. Only in a society that defines supremacism of women and the primacy of female-correctness do these aspects become negative.

    Labeling common masculine traits as toxic and calling on men to up their “communication”, sensitivity and emotions by women are often times tools of the trade in female stages of manipulation to Betatize men.

  54. ““I like to pickle (ferment) cabbage/nappa/bok choy with turnip chunks, radishes, hot peppers and tons of garlic.”

    There’s a word for that.

    Kimchi?

  55. “So, RSD is breaking down female physcology now? ( I’ll refrain from linking, but it’s up on youtube as ” The Truth About Women.”

    Y’all older guys are watching more RSD than us now 😉
    They’ve been talking about it and breaking it down the entire time. Do you think they can deconstruct and backwards engineer this shit without any knowledge of female pshych? Like, PUA is literally knowing how she will react to certain things (female psych) and using that knowledge to direct (leading) the interaction where you want.

    The difference is in the depth of that understanding. They stopped once they understood enough to get the results they wanted, but didn’t go deep enough to be able to fully explain stuff like hypergamy.

    On an unrelated note, check out the new theory in the penis bone:

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/dec/14/why-dont-humans-have-a-penis-bone-scientists-may-now-know-baculum

    From my experience, humans have one of the longest “intromission” periods of all.

  56. “A reason why the people who came up with the word used to bury the vats.”
    In the ROK, the landlord who lived under my apartment made kimchi and used his bathtub for the “harvest”.
    If one ever wanted to recreate the smell of central London in the summer of 1858
    that was probably a pretty close approximation.

  57. @ Boxcar

    Nice. I haven’t made sauerkraut in a while but am going to again soon. Saurreuben is another good one. Same exact thing, except with turnips. I actually like that even more.

    Not to mention indole-3-carbinol and its anti-estrogen effects, and its high concentration in cruciferous vegetables….which is elevated even more during fermentation. It’s one of the main reasons I started doing ferments and reading this makes me want to get back into it again:

    ——-

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26213035

    A systematic investigation was carried out on the influence of fermentation on glucosinolates and their degradation products from fresh raw cabbage, throughout fermentation at 20 °C and storage at 4 °C. Glucosinolates were degraded dramatically between Day 2 and 5 of fermentation and by Day 7 there was no detectable amount of glucosinolates left. Fermentation led to formation of potential bioactive compounds ascorbigen (13.0 µmol/100 g FW) and indole-3-carbinol (4.52 µmol/100g FW) with their higher concentrations from Day 5 to Day 9. However, during storage indole-3-carbinol slowly degraded to 0.68 µmol/100 g FW, while ascorbigen was relatively stable from Week 4 until Week 8 at 6.78 µmol/100 g FW. In contrast, the content of indole-3-acetonitrile decreased rapidly during fermentation from 3.6 to 0.14 µmol/100 g FW. The results imply a maximum of health beneficial compounds after fermentation (7-9 days) in contrast to raw cabbage or stored sauerkraut.

    ——-

    I also make my own wine. I was making mead for a while the old school way: no yeast starter, just honey, water, intermittently stirring in nutrients (I use bee pollen) and time.

    Natural honey mead as a cure for antibiotic resistance:

    http://www.inquisitr.com/2165769/holy-valhalla-swedish-scientists-say-this-honey-mead-could-curb-antibiotic-resistance/

    Tetracycline in ancient beer is just one of the many fascinating things about “natural” nutrition, and how ancient people were reaping health benefits from traditional practices they had.

    http://www.emory.edu/EMORY_REPORT/stories/2010/09/07/beer.html

    “We tend to associate drugs that cure diseases with modern medicine,” Armelagos says. “But it’s becoming increasingly clear that this prehistoric population was using empirical evidence to develop therapeutic agents. I have no doubt that they knew what they were doing.”

  58. re: OP

    “Testosterone is well known to stimulate feelings of aggression and sexual arousal, but did you know that the chemical make up of testosterone is actually an inhibitor of the chemicals that prompt sadness and crying?”

    At my most depressed and anxious I was crying regularly. I’m convinced that I have some hormonal issues, judging by my sensitivity to things like lack of sleep, not eating on time, or being mildly stressed out. My tolerance for mild to moderate stressors is very low. I do my best to counteract all this but I know it’s not normal and if I were healthier I probably wouldn’t be dealing with these issues.

    “Chemical castration” might be hyperbole, but testosterone levels are probably much lower in men today than in previous generations.

    —–

    https://www.endocrine.org/news-room/press-release-archives/2006/testosterone_lvls_in_men_decline

    “Testosterone levels in American men have been declining steadily over the past two decades, a new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism concludes.

    The reasons for this decline are unclear; the study suggests that neither aging nor changes in certain health factors, such as obesity or smoking, can completely explain the phenomenon.”

    —–

    And that was back in 2006. Half a decade beyond and I’m sure levels are falling even more.

    Of course, there are those studies on monkeys that show cortisol/testosterone can fluctuate depending on social hierarchy. Take the Alpha monkey out and replace him with a former Beta, and the Beta will get higher testosterone and lower cortisol to fill the position.

    Could it be that the FI, through social conditioning that effectively amounts to brainwashing, is lowering testosterone in men?

    Wouldn’t it make sense that self-perception can effect testosterone levels, if they’ve shown studies where body language and posturing, and social hierarchy can affect testosterone levels?

    The problem is LITERALLY that men are not as man as they were in days gone by.

    For a multitude of reasons, their testosterone levels aren’t as high. This is probably a combination of poor diet, environmental pollutants, and, surprisingly enough, social ideology and socially sanctioned intergender dynamics that run counter to the sexual dimorphism we evolved for.

    I’m all for nutrition and exercise, but as long as we’re here on TRM, which is based on evolutionary theory and intergender dynamics, it’s worth posing that question:

    Do these FI ideologies and social conditioning of boys from a young age affect their testosterone production?

    I wonder if T levels (and other hormones) were monitored in boys and young men when asked the question, “What do you think it means to be a man?” would give some answers?

    Would be interesting to see a study like that. What happens to men’s hormones when they think about what it means to be a man, and how the inner beliefs they hold might affect those levels. Maybe if people wrote for an hour or something about what it meant to them to be a man.

    I’m not a scientist, but I would be willing to bet that all these toxic ideologies actually affect men on a deep biological level. It goes deeper than just mentally investing in the FI.

    Of course there are the jacked bodybuilders heavily invested in the FI and Blue Pill. I wonder if it’s really possible to be deeply invested in those things with sky high T levels? The ideologies themselves fly in the face of the effects testosterone has.

    But there have to be some men with high T who are invested in those ideologies….maybe that’s where Blue Pill Alphas come into play.

    High testosterone, Blue Pill invested guys….that would make sense. They have the energy and drive and AMOG the shit out of everyone but it’s from a Blue Pill perspective.

    Just throwing some ideas out about that article. Might provide a concrete hormonal explanation behind it all.

    What I’m getting at here though is that men are being affected deeply on ALL levels, mental and physical.

    I’m a big nutrition buff, but it also occurred to me that perhaps the most direct way to recover is to swallow TRP and start living a RP lifestyle. Like the Beta monkey that was put into an Alpha position and his hormones adjusted to meet the job.

    Kinda like how scrib has been telling me for eons now how fucking another girl will completely change my perspective about the current relationship I’m in. And I won’t be able to understand how until I actually do it.

  59. edit:

    “And that was back in 2006. Half a decade beyond and I’m sure levels are falling even more.”

    *a decade beyond

    Brain got scrambled. 20 years, 2 decades, half a 2 decades….just finished my coffee, I’ll be OK.

  60. High testosterone, Blue Pill invested guys….that would make sense. They have the energy and drive and AMOG the shit out of everyone but it’s from a Blue Pill perspective.

    I have known a few men like this. Cops, military or ex-military can wind up in this trap.

    One of the most Dynamic, Passionate and Authentic men I know is completely wrapped around his wife’s little finger. He pedestalizes her, caters to her every whim, and if she ever leaves him I’m afraid he’d very likely kill himself shortly afterwards. Because he’s a romantic who can recite 19th century poetry and some Shakespeare, in a Dynamic, Passionate & Authentic manner. He’s a good amateur actor. Of course, he tends to try hard to enforce his own version of chivalry in any place, at any time, which gets into AMOGing sometimes.

    This is why Sentient’s D P A may be necessary, but it is not sufficient.

  61. @AR

    This is why Sentient’s D P A may be necessary, but it is not sufficient.

    Gotta AMOG White Knights and be able to persuade them that pedestalizing women is a bad idea…they likely buy into chivalry towards women and you have to be able to persuade them that it was never considered chivalrous to defend the honor of whores and sluts…which leads to discussions of Hypergamy and the Madonna-Whore Fallacy.

    1. @ASD & AR, all, Question: Should it be a RP aware man’s attitude that he ought to help WK’s, Betas, Blue Pill men to become RP aware (however well it’s intended or accepted) or should a RP aware guy use BP men as useful tools to improve his Game and/or quality of life (outside of intrasexual contexts)?

  62. @Anonymous Reader

    “One of the most Dynamic, Passionate and Authentic men I know is completely wrapped around his wife’s little finger. He pedestalizes her, caters to her every whim, and if she ever leaves him I’m afraid he’d very likely kill himself shortly afterwards. Because he’s a romantic who can recite 19th century poetry and some Shakespeare, in a Dynamic, Passionate & Authentic manner. He’s a good amateur actor…”

    So the guy has a more feminine nature and his wife has a more masculine nature (right?). That can still work. How is his sexual strategy working out for him? What’s the problem as long as they have opposite polarity that runs in the opposite direction of 80% of males (80% of men authentically masculine, 10% with authentic feminine natures, and 10% neutral on the masculine/feminine true core–and these neutral core people are less passionate about their sexual strategy). He’s still dynamic and passionate right?

    “Of course, he tends to try hard to enforce his own version of chivalry in any place, at any time, which gets into AMOGing sometimes.”

    Which is a sign of in-authenticity and weakness, of course. Depends on his internals and mindset doesn’t it. Is he doing what he wants? And if he his wife walks away, he kills himself?–doesn’t sound authentic or Alpha. Sounds like she has all the power and if he needs her desperately, he lacks power in the relationship. Usually power equates on some level with happiness.

    Depends on whether his true core is masculine or feminine and if he is authentic to that (he may well be if he is authentically happy):

    Stressing your masculine or feminine essence into a falsely balanced persona affects virtually every part of you. Many people with true feminine essences manifest a whole range of disturbed physiological symptoms as their feminine energy “dries up” due to running excess masculine energy through their body, year after year, in order to fit into the masculine style of work. And many people with masculine essences, seeking to fit in with the feminine style of cooperation and energy flow, disconnect from their sense of life purpose and inhibit their deep truth, afraid of the consequences of being authentic to their own masculine core. Hence, the frequent complaints about too many ball-busters and wimps. (Deida, Preface to TWSM)

  63. @Anonymous Reader

    Either I have a short memory or Rollo posts a hell of a lot of essays.

    He covered the idea peripherally in his Blue Pill Alpha essay recently:

    https://therationalmale.com/2016/11/04/blue-pill-alphas/

    When I watched how the Marvel writers (ed. in the Daredevil series) handled the character of Wilson Fisk I got chills because I have personally counseled Blue Pill, but predominantly Alpha, guys who’ve stabbed the new boyfriends of their ex-girlfriends because he was perceived as the catalyst to the destruction of his Blue Pill ideal – union with his ONEitis girlfriend.

    I’m emphasizing this because I think it’s important for Red Pill aware men to understand the dangers of being perceived as the antithesis of these men’s ego-investments in Blue Pill idealism. This may take the form of him just despising you for revealing uncomfortable truths to him with your own presence and lifestyle, or it may be him pinning his failures to consolidate his Blue Pill ideals to you and wanting to eliminate both you and the truth you represent.

    I’m sorry if this is a bit sobering, but it needs to be said. As most readers know, I consider Alpha and Beta abstract terms; they are placeholders for concepts, thus, it is entirely possible for a largely Alpha man to be thoroughly invested in his Blue Pill conditioning. Likewise, it is also possible for more Beta men to be some of the most Red Pill aware men you’re likely to meet. It’s when a Beta man is ego-invested in the Blue Pill that he’s most to be pitied, while a Red Pill aware Alpha is likely to be the most celebrated. But that’s not to say the Red Pill and Alpha, or the Blue Pill and Beta are mutually exclusive concepts.

  64. “Should it be a RP aware man’s attitude that he ought to help WK’s, Betas, Blue Pill men to become RP aware (however well it’s intended or accepted) or should a RP aware guy use BP men as useful tools to improve his Game and/or quality of life (outside of intrasexual contexts)?”
    I keep getting in trouble with this. I lose people who matter when i bring this up in a context to help them with. I want to lead not manipulate. But so far I’ve gotten in more trouble and been through more pain than just observing. Reading a book at the moment that is about healing developmental trauma.
    It states brings out many how are family situations expose us to what life is about. It is a blue print for how we relate to the world.

    http://www.shrinkrapradio.com/382.pdf
    This explains why i go with a case by case basis.
    http://cellularbalance.com/Articles/Working_with_Developmental_Trauma.pdf

  65. You can only WK’s, Betas, Blue Pill men to RP awareness if they have a desire and go along willingly.

    WK’s, Betas, and Blue Pill men essentially present themselves as a shit test to Red Pill vested men. And as Rollo has said: it is not about passing a shit test per se, shit tests should be used to your advantage with you in your Frame, however that may play out.

  66. Rollo
    @ASD & AR, all, Question: Should it be a RP aware man’s attitude that he ought to help WK’s, Betas, Blue Pill men to become RP aware (however well it’s intended or accepted) or should a RP aware guy use BP men as useful tools to improve his Game and/or quality of life (outside of intrasexual contexts)?

    Sheaaaah….my first inclination is always to try to help other men. I was once betaized pretty badly, don’t want other men to suffer in that pit. Especially 20-something men who need all the building up that they can be given, and sometimes it’s one shot – I met a STEM grad student once who was borderline Emo, tried to point him in the right direction. Thought, “Well, I’ll run into him again” and have not seen him since. Sometimes just one word in the right place and time jars a man out of his mental rut, gets him thinking.

    But I admit that it can be really tempting to Game around some insufferable WK, especially a pompous tradcon, just for the practice. I’ve done that, too. So I ought to be trying to help other men, especially the ignorant who don’t think they need any help, but frankly I don’t always get there. Sometimes it really is easier to just walk away in social situations. Sometimes it is easier to Game.

    In work settings my behavior is more circumscribed, I must tread lightly around any speshul snoflake Millennials. It can be possible to drop a few words into a conversation that gets young men thinking even there, but carefully. Although now I can’t help it if my subcomms cause office ladies to go out of their way to help me more quickly than others. Thanks to reading Blaximus, YaReally, Sentient, Scray, HABD and some others, for sure.

  67. “Should it be a RP aware man’s attitude that he ought to help WK’s, Betas, Blue Pill men to become RP aware (however well it’s intended or accepted) or should a RP aware guy use BP men as useful tools to improve his Game and/or quality of life (outside of intrasexual contexts)?”

    The Adult Experience
    Adults who have experienced early trauma are engaged in a lifelong struggle to manage their high levels of arousal. They struggle with dissociative responses that disconnect them from their body, with the vulnerability of ruptured boundaries, and with the dysregulation that accompanies such struggles.Individuals with less obvious symptoms may not consciously realize that they experience a diminished capacity for joy, expansion, and intimate relationship; if they are aware of their difficulties, they usually donot understand their source.
    Individuals with the Connection Survival Style are often relieved to learn that their difficult symptoms have a common thread, what we call an organizing principle. Their struggle with high levels of anxiety, psychological and physiological problems, chronic low self-esteem, shame, and dissociation all constellate around the organizing principle of connection—both the desire for connection and the fear of connection. When there is early trauma, varying degrees of predictable symptoms are commonly present. It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms usually occur simultaneously, loop back on each other,and continuously reinforce one another.
    • Self-Image and Self-Esteem. Individuals traumatized in the Connection stage experience
    themselves as outsiders, disconnected from themselves and other human beings. Not able to see
    that the traumatic experiences that shaped their identity are due to environmental failures that
    were beyond their control, individuals with the Connection Survival style view themselves as the
    source of the pain they feel.
    • The Need to Isolate. Because of the breach in their energetic boundaries, individuals with the
    Connection Survival Style use interpersonal distance to feel safe. They develop life strategies to
    minimize contact with other human beings.
    • Nameless Dread. The internal experience of adults traumatized in the Connection stage is one of
    constant underlying dread and terror characterized in NARM as nameless dread. Their nervous
    system has remained in a continual sympathetically dominant global high arousal and it is this
    arousal that drives and reinforces their profound and persistent feeling of threat.
    • A Designated Issue. A named and identified threat is better than nameless dread. Not realizing that the danger that they once experienced in their environment is now being carried forward as high arousal in their nervous system, the tendency is to project onto the current environment what has become an ongoing internal state. Once the dread has been named, it becomes what we call the designated issue. The designated issue can be fear of death, a phobia, real or perceived physical deficiencies such as overweight or other perceived “defects”, as well as real or perceived psychological or cognitive deficiencies such as dyslexia or not feeling smart enough.
    Designated issues, whether or not they have a basis in physical reality, come to dominate a
    person’s life, covering the deeper distress and masking the underlying core disconnection.
    • Shame and Self-Hatred. Infants who experience early trauma of any kind experience the early
    environmental failure as if there were something wrong with them. Later cognitions such as
    “There is something basically wrong with me” or “I am bad” are built upon the early somatic
    sensation: “I feel bad.”
    • Overwhelm. People with significantly compromised energetic boundaries describe themselves as
    feeling raw, sometimes without a skin. Compromised energetic boundaries lead to the feeling of
    being flooded by environmental stimuli and particularly by human contact.
    • Environmental Sensitivities. Intact energetic boundaries function to filter environmental stimuli.
    Inadequate or compromised boundaries, on the other hand, allow for an extreme sensitivity to
    external stimuli: human contact, sounds, light, touch, toxins, allergens, smells, and even
    electromagnetic activity.
    • A Sense of Meaninglessness. A common refrain from individuals with the Connection Survival
    Style is “Life has no meaning” or “What’s the point?” Searching for meaning, for the why of
    existence, is one of the primary coping mechanisms used for managing their sense of
    disconnection and despair.
    Dissociation: Bearing the Unbearable
    When trauma is early or severe, some individuals completely disconnect by numbing all sensation and
    emotion. Disconnection from the bodily self, emotions, and other people is traditionally called dissociation.
    By dissociating, that is, by keeping threat from overwhelming consciousness, a traumatized individual can
    continue to function. When individuals are dissociated, they have little or no awareness that they are
    dissociated: they only become aware of their dissociation as they come out of it.
    Compassionate understanding for the pain and fear that drives the dissociative process is critical to
    healing the Connection dynamic. Just as a coyote with its leg caught in a trap chews it off in order to
    escape, in attempting to manage early trauma, the organism fragments, sacrificing unity in order to save
    itself. Disconnection sets up a pernicious cycle: To manage early trauma, children disconnect from their
    bodies, emotions, and aggression, foreclosing their vitality and aliveness. In addition, they also
    disconnect from other people. This disconnection, though life saving, produces more distress because
    they feel exiled from self and others. Seeing other people live in what one client called “the circle of love”
    and the distress of feeling “on the outside looking in” heighten both shame and alienation.

  68. “Sheaaaah….my first inclination is always to try to help other men.”

    Keep in mind that when you start talking about Fight Club (Red Pill Awareness and Game), your buddies will always default to distilled Game tactics quickly. Why? Because it is more seductive, immediate and more desirable. (It is also concrete and tangible with fast benefits.) And thanks to PUA tactics that have been distilled very well since Project Hollywood, it is relatively easy at first. It is very prescriptive.

    I’ve seen the dynamite go boom in their face more than I care to (but only twice actually).

    Red Pill Awareness actually does have a steep learning curve and it is hard at first, with intangible abstract potential benefits down the road, and the whole difficulty of getting out of ruts by neuroplastic-ally changing your mindset. It is not prescriptive.

    Mentor-ship takes a fair degree of calibration. A good men-tee observes more so than he is spoon fed.

  69. “Should it be a RP aware man’s attitude that he ought to help WK’s, Betas, Blue Pill men to become RP aware (however well it’s intended or accepted) or should a RP aware guy use BP men as useful tools to improve his Game and/or quality of life (outside of intrasexual contexts)?”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDadfh0ZdBM
    Well intended or accepted with honesty…
    Embracing the agony and the terror of taking away everything your told is the way of life must be replaced with something else Immediate
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgBViHeiSKM
    Otherwise you revert back to old familiar ways. Is it better to help someone halfway or not at all?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6q51Htw5gY
    Whats the point in bringing up the truth if it only breaks down what people are trying to building up even if its a lie?

  70. “Should it be a RP aware man’s attitude that he ought to help WK’s, Betas, Blue Pill men to become RP aware (however well it’s intended or accepted) or should a RP aware guy use BP men as useful tools to improve his Game and/or quality of life (outside of intrasexual contexts)?”

    I first always try to help and don’t like to repeat myself,some guys don’t want to get it they want me to get it.I dont suffer fools gladly.

    As for using people,as that goes,I have to work for some WK,Beta,Blue pill men and quite often single feminist women.And at the same time sometimes I just need help getting things done same choices are out there for employees as customers.

    But i don’t hide what I think if it comes up so help and use both inside and outside of sexual context.

  71. @ Rollo

    Whether or not I help a WK or beta dude depends on 2 things:

    1) How I happen to be feeling that day

    2) If the guy is open to hearing, or if he’s a jerk.

    I work in very close proximity to 2 super Knights. Both are like the Ironman of betas. Over the years I have not been able to impart any knowledge to either. ! of them in particular really gets under my skin with his pronouncements.

    So whenever I can, I will say unspeakable things to females in his presence and laugh as he explains to me how ” wrong ” my attitude is. I used to make sure I snapped bra straps or slapped ass within ear shot of him ( before my company severely cracked down on ” harassment, sending everyone into a self conscious panic ).

    WK’s and beta dudes do provide impetus for exercising game though. Demonstrate and all that.

    If a guy looks like he really could use some words of wisdom, I am down for the cause. It’s been my experience though, that the lion’s share of these guys will never listen under normal circumstances.

  72. @Rollo

    @ASD & AR, all, Question: Should it be a RP aware man’s attitude that he ought to help WK’s, Betas, Blue Pill men to become RP aware (however well it’s intended or accepted) or should a RP aware guy use BP men as useful tools to improve his Game and/or quality of life (outside of intrasexual contexts)?

    It’s generally to all men’s advantage that RP awareness spreads. As RP awareness spreads, men will generally see an increase in their status and men will get laid more often, generally.

    There’s nothing to prevent men from using RP solely for their own benefit. Altruism depends on each man’s ethics.

  73. @ASD & AR, all, Question: Should it be a RP aware man’s attitude that he ought to help WK’s, Betas, Blue Pill men to become RP aware (however well it’s intended or accepted) or should a RP aware guy use BP men as useful tools to improve his Game and/or quality of life (outside of intrasexual contexts)?

    I agree with the consensus so far, which sounds like BOTH. If you are RP aware, there are some men you will want to help due to close personal association, you like him, or you’ve just decided he’s worthy for whatever reason. There are some men you won’t care to help even if you see he needs it, because you’ve deemed him unworthy, don’t like him, or figure you can steal his girlfriend. This is part of the personal power that comes with RP awareness.

    Now you’re seeing things that many other men can’t see, but some of us were that way once also. I’ve asked this rhetorically before – what if Rollo kept all his material to himself, for his own personal advancement, and left the AFCs out there flapping – didn’t publish, didn’t set up this platform for exchange of ideas and experiences?

    Building a bigger pool of RP aware men can only help us all in the long run, I think. More and better quality competition won’t be a problem for most of you. It seems like the kind of group that likes a challenge. Besides, part of the fun of it is throwing a RP grenade into a room once in awhile to see what kind of reactions you get.

  74. Blaximus
    If a guy looks like he really could use some words of wisdom, I am down for the cause. It’s been my experience though, that the lion’s share of these guys will never listen under normal circumstances.

    Anonymous Age 60-something used to observee over at Spearhead that a lot of men in his age group would simply not listen to any advice until they’d been frivorced, and a lot of them stayed in denial for months after that. Some people just won’t learn, not even the hard way. It’s been a real challenge to me over the years to accept that fact. It’s sorta like back when I learned water lifesaving and they drilled into our teenaged heads to always go for a life ring, or a stick, or a branch, or anything first because someone who’s drowning can climb right up on top of you very fast – take you both down right there.

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