The idea of perfection comes up more frequently than we think about, as it is often referred to in a manner where the perfection of the thing is implicit rather than explicit. For instance, regarding the red pill and intersexual dynamics, we will use other words, such as, “soul-mate” or “The one“. According to the blue pill illusion this is supposedly a human being that exists in a permanent state where they represent the perfect yin for your yang. This being a partner that is so good that no partner could possibly be better, in other words a perfect partner.
Perfection is an interesting concept in and of itself, Aristotle outlined 3 different concepts of perfection in the book “Metaphysics” that were later clarified by Thomas of Aquinas.
A) Which is complete
B) Which is so good that nothing of the kind could be better
C) Which has attained its purpose.
When someone undertakes self-improvement this must take the form of attempting to improve a real or perceived deficiency in their being, the self-improvement seeks to add to, or improve upon a given part of that person. In terms of A) one could argue that the state prior to self-improvement is incomplete, and the self-improvement effort seeks to make it complete, B) is a part of A), as it follows that for something to be so good that nothing of the kind could be better, it must be complete. For C, one would infer that something which has attained its reason for being would be perfect, as there is no more for it to do, thus, it fulfills the condition under A and B.
In Buddhism, Nirvana represents the goal of the path followed by the adherent and represents freedom from suffering, and thus represents the state of ultimate liberation from worldly concerns. A person arrives at this state when he has quenched 3 fires within himself, passion, aversion and ignorance. One could therefore argue that it symbolizes attaining a state of perfection. It follows from the preceding paragraph, that a person who has silenced these fires is both complete and has attained his purpose.
The Nirvana Fallacy takes its name from the goal of Buddhism, and takes place when a person compares reality with an unrealistic, idealized alternative. A person engaging in this fallacy will create a false dichotomy where they present an option which is obviously preferred, while also being completely unrealistic.
The fallacy is closely related to the perfect solution fallacy, where one assumes that a perfect solution exists, or a proposed solution should be rejected because some of the problem would still exist after the imperfect solution is implemented.
The Nirvana Fallacy and Self-Improvement
This fallacy often plays a major part in the blue pill illusion. In fact one could argue that the foundation of the blue pill illusion is a Nirvana fallacy, as it represents an unrealistic idealized alternative to the world. This is a reality where each man has a soul-mate that is his perfect partner, this partner will see through the veneers and love for them who they are, regardless of performance, action or sexual market value. In essence, it is a world in which the male performance burden has been removed, and unconditional love exists.
In self-improvement the Nirvana fallacy is the source of much procrastination, but also of much motivation. One the negative side, many will reject or refuse to engage in behaviors that despite not being perfect would result in an improvement of their life. For instance, a man may spend months not lifting, while finding in his view the perfect workout program or may spend months eating junk while looking for the perfect diet.
On the other hand, if one aims for perfection, the goal one has set while being insurmountable, is likely to lead to high achievement. A high bar to leap across often leads to higher effort and thus better results. One may not reach the goal, but if one can merely get 50% there, it will be a massive improvement.
The Perfect Solution Fallacy and Self-Improvement
This fallacy is frequently seen in politics and economics, where a program or solution that would lead to better results overall is rejected as it does not solve every aspect of a problem. I’ve often received feedback in the form of this fallacy when attempting to “unplug” men, as the red pill is not a solution to their problem in and of itself, it merely defines the problem they are having and why this problem exists. The red pill does not magically solve all their problems, even though much of the red pill literature and focus is very prescriptive in terms of “8 ways to do X”.
One of the fundamental aspects of the red pill is that each man is responsible for his own results and sexual market value, the red pill can act as a guide, and a map, but each man must walk the path by himself. This serves the purpose of building the very traits that create a high value man, stoicism, determination, discipline, self-confidence, self-reliance and focus.
For a man who awakens from the blue pill illusions, one could argue that he suffers from “The Blue Pill” Syndrome, and thus has much work ahead of him to fix many years of neglect. Much like a person who bought a fixer-upper, there is a laundry list of fixes that must be implemented before his house is in a state in which it can serve its purpose. Not only must the exterior be fixed, the interior and underlying aspects must also be dealt with. This is often an overwhelming situation to find oneself in, as there is so much that must be done. These men often seek the perfect solution, the one that would fix all their problems, and dismiss other solutions that cannot deliver according to these expectations.
The Problem Construct
There are two rough categories of problems, simple problems and complex problems. The simple problems is when one variable must be corrected and this fixes the problem a person is experiencing. For instance a man who is deficient in just one aspect of his life, but this aspect has a big depressive effect on his sexual market value. A great example from stock markets are “boring” companies, that despite having great finances, a sound strategy and great long-term performance, are undervalued in equities markets because they are boring or in a very non-glamorous industry. A man may be in great shape, have his financial life in order, and an all-around great life, but a lack of social skills, or the sense of style of a 12th century court jester, and once this is fixed, he does much better.
A complex problem is when a man’s life is a train-wreck in most regards, and all of them interact to create destructive synergy. This is where the man is not really performing well in any aspect of his life, and his failure in various parts of life serve for the shortcomings to be more than the sum of their parts. Men in this situation are the ones that this post covers by large, as they are facing much more of an up-hill battle than those who have a simple problem.
I named this post as I did due to an observation that this type of self-improvement seekers are attempting to find a perfect solution to an over-arching problem, in essence they want a simple solution to a complex problem. In a sense, this mirrors the man’s approach to life, seeking to get all of the results for a minimum of the effort. This can lead to a state in which they either obsessively seek solutions that purport to solve all their problems, and refusing to attempt any solution that does not do so. Alternatively, it can lead to a state in which they bounce from solution to solution, never achieving maximum progress due to minimal time investment in all solutions.
An example of the former, would be the snake oil salesmen of the old west selling tonics and tinctures that claim to fix any condition or problem, thus representing a perfect solution, abate one that will not deliver results. An example of the latter are men who change their training program or diet once a week because they think they found a better one. The belief that there is one thing, which will fix every problem is the “magic pill” thinking wherein one believes in a perfect solution that fixes a complex, long-term problem with a simple, short-term solution. For instance people who have spent 3 decades over-eating and desire to lose all that weight in 3 weeks of diet and exercise.
Summary and Conclusions
The paradox of life is that one can easily create “problems” in life, it takes no effort, it just requires complacency. If you just eat whatever you want all the time, something which humans are wired to do by our biology that has developed through hundreds of thousands if not millions of years of scarce food, you will put on weight. If you just follow your desire and your impulses, something which requires no discipline or willpower, you will probably end up not living up to your potential, abilities or desires. If you adopt “Just be yourself“, then odds are that you will probably find yourself in a place where you do not enjoy residing.
This is perhaps the irony of life, that the desirable and comfortable process leads to the undesirable and uncomfortable destination. Whereas the undesirable and uncomfortable process leads to the desirable and comfortable destination. When a person wakes up and realizes that their complacency has lead to a life that greatly differs from the one they envisioned for themselves, the gut-instinct of man appears to be that it takes very little to fix such neglect. However, much like the analogy of the house, years of neglect will require years of active behavior, at a cost proportional to that of consistent effort.
This creates a situation in which a person is comfortable with the path that leads to the undesired place, yet hesitant about changing the known for the unknown for a variety of reasons. In an ideal world, they would prefer to keep their inputs at the same level, yet change the output. For instance, keep eating whatever they want, at the quantities they desire, whenever they want, but lose weight. This disconnection between process and outputs are at the core of every problem a person experiences when it comes to self-improvement.
There are people who are unaware of the process, there are people who do not regard the outputs as worth the effort, there are those who expect the process to be a magic pill, and many other variations on what is at its core a simple problem to fix. However, the Universe cannot be cheated, years of neglect requires years of attention.