Red Pill Logic: Ego Death

 

In my work I’ve dealt with startups and I’ve dealt with companies that have existed for decades or longer. The latter have often developed many processes, procedures and habitual ways of doing things that have previously contributed to success, but have now become a liability to the long-term future of the company. In competition with the new, rising start-up companies, they have to adapt or perish. This is often a painful experience, due to ego investments, personal pride, old habit, and predictability, yet it is required in order to secure the future.

This is not much different than a man, having faced a crucible finding the red pill. Whether he be a 45 year old who just came home and found divorce papers. It could be a 21 year old “good boy” who cannot understand why the bad boys are getting all the women, who gets told “Don’t worry you’ll get her in the end when she realizes she wants a “nice guy”, who reacts as Mark Baxter put it in his last podcast with Rollo (I’m paraphrasing), “Do I really want her after she’s been pumped and dumped for 15 years?” [2].

At this point in his life, he’s been manufactured as a beta, created as a product to satisfy the need society has for “good boys” to be the safety net of women once the women realize that they cannot compete with the new generation of women for alphas, and thus that they need to settle down. There is a reason why no 22 year old woman has ever uttered the statement “where have all the good men gone?”, while it is a mainstay among women in the 28 – 35 age bracket looking to settle down. His ego is constructed around the fact that he has no dark side, he is the embodiment of pro-social behavior, and he follows the age-old social contract. Depending on his stage in life, he may have amassed an impressive career, built a nice, comfortable life for himself and is only missing that one checkmark on his list, the wife and kids.

At this point he may hunt down a prospect, get married, have a couple of children, and for a moment in time he experiences the realization of his blue pill illusion. However, as with all illusions, once the curtain is pulled away, the smoke vanishes and the mirrors break, there is very little left. Continue reading

Red Pill Logic: Justice, Merit and Karma

In writing this series that I have been working on dealing with inner game, beliefs and psychological structures, I’ve had to revisit both new and old events and experiences in my life. A few weeks back, some events took place that for some reason broke through my layers of detached cynical stoicism, and bothered me to the core. A characteristic of my personality is that I can rarely let something go without figuring it out, and my reaction to the events was no exception.

As I outlined in internal messages, it’s important to identify the core premises of your internal software, in order to rewrite those parts of the program that keep you from achieving the goals you desire. One I experienced for a long time was a tendency to self-sabotage and neglect key areas of life, because of an old internal message, one that stated “The only thing that matters is being a good worker at your job“, thus if this was the only thing worth excelling at, why bother trying to excel or even handle other areas of life?

While digging through the old discarded thoughts, patterns and principles, I came upon the one that broke the cynical barrier, namely the concept called “karma”. I used to find the concept of Karma to be a very attractive one, namely that the Universe will conspire to ensure that those who are virtuous, just and display the merits will be rewarded, while those who are the opposite inevitably will be punished. Even though I had long ago accepted that the Universe is at best uncaring, I still had a tendency to act from a place of what I perceived as virtue.

Such behavior on my part was a manifestation of habit, rather than one of conscious action, I didn’t elect to offer assistance so much as I did so because I had been brought up and encouraged behave in this manner my whole life. The idea I suppose being the “Golden Rule”, and doing unto others as you would want them to do onto you. However, I realized that this usually creates a negative balance in the same manner that communism does, in that some frequently need help but are rarely able to offer it, where others are frequently able to offer it, but rarely need it.

Such behavior is thus, both idealistic and naive, and cognitively I believe that this is the principle that serves as the basis for all blue pill thought. One can be blue pill without without many of the symptoms, but the ultimate cause of the disorder is a belief in the just nature of the Universe. The core idea behind the blue pill is that virtue is rewarded, yet no one can quantify the reward. Continue reading

Red Pill Logic: Embracing the Dark Side

In Jung’s writing the dichotomy of ego and shadow is perhaps the most interesting one, as this is the split between those behaviors that a man uses as part of his identity and those behaviors he rejects. I briefly covered Jung’s preference for figurative dichotomies in an earlier essay, and perhaps more important than the feminine/masculine is the Dark side and the Light side. Take one of the “Good Boys” for instance, he has adopted those behaviors which society has overly communicated as desirable in a “good man”, and rejected those that he has perceived society and deeming unfit in a civilized world.

However, as I outlined those behaviors, while carrying some benefits also have detrimental aspects to them, as they are a trade-off, where the good boy gets social validation, because his behavior benefits society more than it does himself. Thus, these behaviors are venerated by society in theory, but in practice those that engage in them sacrifice their own best interest for the best interests of the community in which they live. This has been popularized in the meme “You vs. The Guy She Tells You Not To Worry About“, and is very symptomatic of the super-ego completely dominating his psyche.

Perhaps the most famous example in literature is “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, however a more interesting exemplification comes in the Star Wars series. In this series “turning to the dark side” meant giving in to those emotions that are deemed negative by the Jedi, such as fear, anger, passion and strength, but more importantly determining your own path, rather than the one determined for you by the force. This is an interesting allegory to the ego and the shadow, where the ego are those conscious behaviors that make up much of our identity, such as being dutiful, polite, nice, rule-abiding and various pro-social behaviors that a man has adopted due to social conditioning, and the shadow represents those behaviors that a man has rejected from his personality.

Adopting the Red Pill requires to some extent the negotiation between the shadow and the ego, for the former’s inclusion into conscious identity. A man is incomplete without those shadow behaviors in his arsenal. Yet “The Good Boys” have had those aspects of their personality hidden by defense mechanisms all their life. Continue reading

Red Pill Logic: The Walls of Jericho

A barrier in Porter’s model represents either hindrance from engaging in willful and informed action towards an objective or a defense from encroachment on your objective once the wheels are in motion. A barrier to entry for instance represents both a defense for existing market participants, but also a hindrance for potential new market entrants.

During my last appearance on the Mark Baxter Podcast, along with¬† Rollo Tomassi [1], Mark referenced an article of Rollo’s entitled “Buffers”[2] that deals with the many buffers that men utilize in order to reduce the risk of rejection. Thus they are inherently rationalizations of behavior used to avoid taking risks.

Barriers serve a similar function within the male psyche, and most sentences involving them tend to be related to “enough yet“. When I first started reading the manosphere back in the early 2000s, it was quite obvious that there was a deeper set of behaviors below the surface. The scripts themselves were fine, but as game went on, the idea that “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” started to take hold. This coincided with the idea of “natural game”, which sought to take game from following scripts in a flow-chart to being the default state of behavior.

I’ve covered various aspects of the blue pill and red pill perspectives, various alpha behaviors and so on previously, however I’ve scarcely addressed the barriers to the underlying state required in order to manifest such behaviors. This is a simple case of cause and effect, when one engages in “fake it until you make it” one is acting out the effect without the prerequisite cause.

To exemplify the concept, if one never feels fear, one can never be brave, because bravery means acting in spite of fear. Thus, a prerequisite state to bravery is fear. The “Enough Yet” problem comes when a man procrastinates or fails to do something because of his own inner game hangups. This is not purely a red pill/game related problem, it could be the guy who wants to start his own business but doesn’t think he’s competent “enough yet”, the guy who wants to gain some muscle but doesn’t think he’s ready “enough yet” to get into the gym.

These emotions forms the barrier to entry for his venture, and there are only two possible solutions to this problem:

A) Do it now, do your best and accept the consequences, the chips will fall as they may.

B) Do not do it and spend more time in preparation until he feels ready.

The people who select option A generally tend to come out better than those who select option B, because those who only want that little extra piece of preparation never quite get that final piece. I’ve helped many a person with their thesis, their research proposals, business cases and such over the years, and those who fall into category B, never get truly good results. The depressing aspect of that is that they are often the most competent people.¬† This could be viewed as the Dunning-Kruger effect in practice, as people who are highly competent will often be the most competent at finding flaws in their own work and as they become more competent as they prepare, they find new perspectives and information, which causes them to postpone action. However, when you combine this with a tendency towards perfectionism, wanting to be in control of every eventuality and every variable, it creates an unwinnable scenario.

There are only two possible outcomes, number one is that they fail and use this as evidence to prove that they should have spent more time preparing, number two is that they succeed and obsess over what they could have done better. Continue reading

Red Pill Logic: Internal Messaging

In recent weeks I’ve written posts on hypo- and hypermasculinity and the role of the anima and animus, what these have in common is that they both deal with reactions to environmental stimuli, often in early childhood that continue to influence behavior well into adulthood.

We know that human beings are not born as blank slates, we are born with a number of genetic predispositions that affect our personality, our performance and various other parts of our lives on a day to day basis. Our genetics influence many aspects of our behavior and perhaps one of the more well-known are “The Warrior Genes” [1], known to influence antisocial behavior and predispositions towards violence.

From the day we are born, we are also socialized by our parents, our peer groups, relatives, family friends and various other sources of patterns that we internalize. Before we can think in abstract, before we can reason, before we can even speak, we are internalizing and implementing patterns of behavior and thought. The manifestations of such behaviors can subtract or add to our genetics, a famous example is researcher James Fallon who despite possessing both the neurological and genetic correlates of psychopathy, does not engage in many of the negative behaviors associated with the genetic or neurological makeup [2]. He largely credits this to his positive upbringing, and the positive patterns that he learned as part of his socialization. Such patters are among the oldest we have in our life, they are the deepest ingrained in our mind and burnt into our brain, having been repeated throughout most of our lives. Continue reading

Red Pill Logic: Hypo- and Hyper Masculinity

Many men find the red pill or red pill adjacent communities as a result of life kicking them in the teeth. This kick is often related to intersexual dynamics, a wife leaving them, discovering that their wife is deeply disordered, or a myriad of other stories, however these men tend to manifest a case of being “hypomasculine”. This is not surprising given that the past 2 – 3 generations of western men have grown up in a community that not only does not overtly value masculinity, but in many cases demonizes it.

Be it the boys who are medicated for manifesting behaviors that 2 – 3 decades ago would be classified as “boys will be boys“, those who are raised by a single mother without any masculine idol to form themselves after, or those who are raised in a context where they view their mother henpeck their father for most of their formative years, it is understandable that they will struggle when it comes to developing a healthy masculine identity.

A pet theory of mine for some time, is that a boy put into such a situation, tends to go in one of two directions. He will either identify with his mother’s plight, and take on a co-dependent role where he will attempt to alleviate his mother’s neurosis in the hope that this will return her to a state in which she can be the caretaker he desires, or he will grow to reject his mother’s histrionics and instead develop a hyper-masucline identity. In the case of the former, he grows to embody the traits and behaviors normally associated with positive femininity that his mother lacks. In the case of the latter, he grows to reject all female traits within himself completely.

This is part of the reason why books such as “No More Mr. Nice Guy” are doing well, many boys find that the masculine has been beaten out of them after 10+ years in public school systems, surrounded by media narratives that does little except make fun of- and demonize traditional masculinity. This book is a “gateway book” towards developing a masculine identity that is not necessarily the “house cat of maleness” embodied by beer, man-caves and ESPN. While I do think that much of mainstream “male-centered” writing of this nature trends strongly towards blue-pill or at best purple pill narratives, it serves as a less harsh introduction to red pill themes. Continue reading

Red Pill Logic: Anima, Animus and Jung

A while back I wrote a post on how our society is engaged in the mass-production of Beta males and female narcissists, in essence creating men weak of will and women with dogged determination. This translates into men that act more female than male, often being submissive, lacking decisiveness and rejecting the very notion that there is such a thing as “male behavior”. Likewise, the women reject the notion that there is such a thing as “unfeminine” behavior, which often manifests in behaviors such as being argumentative, decisive and insistent. This has often been pointed out in the manosphere as a case of attempting to make a sexually dimorphic species into an androgynous one, with which I agree.

In the present social climate I would argue that a misinterpretation of Jung is at fault for the concept of “Get in touch with your feminine side”, where the underlying meaning of the statement is “If you get in touch with your feminine side, you will adopt my perception“. However, this is not the meaning, nor is it the role of the anima and the animus in Jungian psychology. What characterizes and somewhat sets Jung apart is a writing style based on imagery and his use of dichotomies. For those familiar with psychological types, the dichotomous pairs of “Thinking and “Feeling” and “Sensing” and “Intuition” will be familiar, and this is something that characterizes most of his psychological work in “The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious” as well. (If you are interested in learning more about Jung’s psychological types, The Artful Man has a blog dedicated to it that is linked in my sidebar.)

The man is the bearer of logos, represented by rationality, logic and a preference for empiricism, whereas the female represents the concept of eros, the emotional, instinctive and relationship oriented. Thus, this dichotomy in some regard mirrors Jung’s thinking and feeling functions, the former which is more prevalent in men, the latter which is more prevalent in women statistically speaking [7]. However, as explained by many MBTI writers, attempting to turn a thinker into a feeler or vice versa is not a very good idea. Likewise, attempting to turn women into men and men into women, does not create a race of androgynous superhumans, finally free from oppressive social norms and expectations, it creates one group of left-handed people attempting to write with their right hand, and another group of right-handed people attempting to write with their left hand. Continue reading