Mailbag: June 2015

Monthly Mailbag
1.) Introduction
2.) “Why do you bother with TRP?”
3.) “I don’t know what to do after college.”
4.) “How do you write about the dark triad and then write about morality?”
5.) “If you could recommend 10 books for personal growth, what would they be?”
6.) “How do I use ego productively?”
7.) In Closing

1.) Introduction:

Welcome to Illimitable Men’s first monthly mailbag. My hope is that schedule permitting, to make this a regular fixture each month. What is the monthly mailbag? Essentially, I take questions from the community for the entire month. Then when the end of the month comes, I pile over the mail and pick out which questions to answer and publish.

You could call me an essayist as most of the articles written on Illimitable Men are essays. The mailbag is obviously something a little different, it is a direct interaction with the community, and hence, more conversational in nature.

I believe answering questions in a public manner is a good way to help many people at once. Kind of like approaching a situation with a net rather than a line. It’s also a great time-saving device, if someone asks me a question I’ve already answered, I can point them to the relevant mailbag. Effectively, the mailbag is an agony uncle meets FAQ type deal. Some questions will be meta in nature. Okay, with that out-of-the-way, let us proceed.

2.) “Why do you bother with TRP?”

“As a TRP newbie, I’m very grateful for yet surprised by the amount of energy and time you and other TRP veterans are expending to help other people for free. I’m sure you personally have enough knowledge and discipline already to basically do whatever you want to do, so why are you choosing to spend your valuable time on TRP? Is becoming just a tiny bit more knowledgeable yourself worth the time investment, is it charity, is it a hobby, is it a “perfection in all things” philosophy, something else?”

Men are in pain. If I had the knowledge I have now when I was 15 or even 18 my life would have taken a far different direction. A lot of us had to learn the hard way so that you can learn the easy way. I remember what it’s like growing up clueless and without guidance. By forming my blog, I can give the guidance I never had.

When you don’t have a blog, and you care about this stuff, you know, the state of boys and men, the health of masculinity – you’re better off having a blog to communicate your ideas to as many people as possible. Otherwise, you have lots of 1-on-1 conversations over private message, and the impact you have is far more localised. One article that gets 10,000 views has a greater impact on the collective than 200 individual private message consultations.

I think the red pill is a very important space for boys and men, young and old. Male spaces are lacking in real life, almost everywhere you go is dominated by a strong whiff of estrogen. Being stuck in the corporate rat race is no good for a guy, frankly, in my opinion, it’s emasculating. Men aren’t free to be men anymore, men must tone down their nature as not to be ostracised.

Political correctness is more a natural sensibility of the feminine than it is conducive to the masculine. Men tend to prefer communicating directly, that’s when they’re happiest and working at their best. Sanitised language which does not overtly offend is part of the “greet you with a smile whilst stabbing your jugular” ethic quintessential of women.

If you don’t do a sport in the real world, or work on a building site, you probably don’t have a place to shoot the shit. You have to be politically correct and police yourself, joking around or discussing serious topics from an exclusively male viewpoint is scarcely an option.

Not all your friends are going to be red pill, or really care about discussing the things that we as a community enjoy discussing. You may want to have a deep discussion about something, but you have friends who avoid “deep talk” and are chronic fun seekers. They’re not in the mood for politics, or whatever deep thing it is you want to discuss, so where do you go? An internet forum – to meet people who have the same problem as you. The community is special in the way that it provides an outlet for masculine expression (at all levels of depth) in a time and place where such expression is taboo.

Likewise, I take great joy in writing, I love to write. There isn’t really anything else for me to learn from the community, all one can do is master the implementation of the knowledge taught through practice. There comes a point where discussion is redundant but is done for the sake of itself, as well as for helping the guys who weren’t there for all the prior discussions. If we don’t keep the torch lit, it’ll go out. Watch how quickly things dilute and fall into obscurity if all the big names just decided to up and leave – it would be tragic. TRP is a community of many built on the broad backs of the few. Plenty of guys “don’t get it enough” and plenty of guys who do get it “don’t give enough fucks to help anybody out.”

If I wanted to disappear, lift weights and drink an unhealthy amount of whiskey (fuck, I love bourbon) I could do that. But I find writing and helping men out to be a fulfilling task – so I do that. For as long as I find such things fulfilling, I will continue to do them. TRP helped me out when I was in a tough spot, and for that it has my eternal gratitude. However, one should note that TRP isn’t a magical fix-all for your problems.

TRP will give you the tools necessary to help you fix yourself, but TRP can’t force you to get off your ass. Reading TRP isn’t going to magically fix your life for you, it’s going to tell you how to fix your life so you can do the fixing. You could read TRP for eternity, but if that’s all you did, you’d continue to be the loser you were before you found TRP.

3.) “I don’t know what to do after college”

I graduated college this past spring semester and ever since then I have been worrying about life. I feel like I experienced all there is to experience in terms of women, getting laid, and having fun/partying. In a way, I feel very jaded and feel as if there is nothing for me in the future. Never in my life will I be around an abundance of hot girls, have an easy time making friends, and so much free time on my hands.

Now I feel like I have experienced all that the game has to offer me now. I feel like at this point, I will be pushing myself and fighting for scraps because so many of the hot girls I knew in college are married and have degraded in looks throughout the 4 years I was there. A part of me feels like there is nothing the world can offer me now that will rival my amazing experience in college and I just feel so jaded about it. So many of these days I have felt like just getting married and having kids as soon as I get a stable career going.

What is the best thing for men in my situation to do? Do I just go into monk mode and find other hobbies? Do I go down the marriage route?”

You have not experienced even a quarter of what life has to offer. You have not had kids, travelled the world, bought a house, run your own business or whatever. Sure, not everyone wants to or is going to do all these things, but to deny they are life changing milestones would be foolish. You possess a childish outlook on life where women and partying are the focal point. Unable to see beyond that, you see what comes after that as being inferior. You don’t want the party to end, because you live for the party. If you had a passion, an ambition or vision distinct from “having fun” you’d be more excited about your future, not mourning the past.

Men with focus are strong and stable because working towards one’s ambitions brings confidence and a sense of direction, which in turn brings about success that further fuels your empire. Sure, unwind, have a few drinks, whatever. But realise “fun” is the side dish to life, not the meaning of life.

People who live to have fun are idiots that need to grow up. They don’t realise that once you find your groove – a passion you can hone and monetise – that this is a whole new form of productive fun in and of itself. If you are always unwinding, eg: watching Netflix/hanging with friends/playing Xbox, you are going to be one of life’s losers. These things should be done in moderation to let off steam, but they should not be the canvas of your life.

Read monk mode and reprogram yourself. You should have a focus. That focus should be to build up your empire. You are your empire, you are your own project – you are the project nobody else will give a shit about unless you make yourself worth a fuck. Making your #1 motive “to get hot blonde college chicks” or whatever obsession it is some men have “with the college life” is completely neurotic. You will never be fulfilled in yourself if this is your #1 purpose and wish in life. Ever see that movie Van Wilder? You’ll end up like Van Wilder, a loser in his late 20’s/early 30’s clinging on to the college hype because he was too scared to move on.

You built your self-esteem on your social circles. You are addicted to the social game, probably hyper-extroverted and sit around talking nonsense with other people who are just as directionless as you are. Because naturally, they share the same priority that you do – to be a popular socialite swimming in sexual partners. Now the party is over you don’t know what to do with yourself. The answer is in the previous paragraphs, build your empire. Build you.

You are pondering marriage as a potential remedy, to give your post-college life some sort of purpose; of all the things – marriage?! Marriage is not the answer. You lack an empire mindset and have a party mindset, if you keep that up you are destined to be average – at best. And average is essentially synonymous with loser. Fearing the future is no way to live. Find that passion, hone it, become it, live it, monetise it, and fun will be but a by-product of your success. Don’t chase fun, build success, and fun will be an option rather than this thing you chase just to be content.

And for the love of god, do not get married. Not only does marriage take all your financial and social power and surrender it unilaterally to whatever random vagina you become enamoured with, but you, yourself, are not mature enough for such commitments. You’re still mourning the end of your college experience. Marriage, if it was ever part of the equation, is about a million miles away from “I miss all the fun I had at college.”

Marriage is not a magic fix-all that will give you purpose in life, a committed relationship with a woman will destroy you at your level of maturity. You aren’t ready for that. You need to create your own purpose. That purpose should be your future empire. I think you knew that monk mode is something you need to do – but were just looking for an affirmation. Stop doing this. Act on your own volition.

Make these things regular habits: meditating, lifting, reading, doing your passion (whatever that is) and networking. You should do these things when you’re not working, and your passion, ideally, is something you can eventually leverage into a fulfilling job. If you find yourself with free time, you don’t know how to live properly. Fill the time, pick up a book, hit the gym, do anything but be stagnant. Maintain momentum, being inert is the worst; it’s a first class ticket to misery, and that’s exactly what most people are – miserable.

4.) “How do you write about the dark triad and then write about morality?”

“You’ve written extensively on the importance of Machiavellianism and the Dark Triad concept for RP people. Articles about its nature, how it works and how we can and should try to incorporate aspects of it in our daily lives.

But at the same you have also written quite a lot about morality and immorality, which seems to be mutually exclusive with DT & Machiavellianism.

How do you manage this dichotomy? Is the DT & M aspect purely theoretical and the moral aspect your personal conviction? Do you draw a line based on some moral principles?”

I think it is important to note that one does not necessarily need to be a psychopath in order to superficially emulate, have an interest in, or understand psychopathy. After all, psychopathy is a fascinating topic. And psychopaths tend to be people who like reading about psychopathy, rather than writing about it.

Both the dark triad and the discussions on morality (1) (2) are theoretical aspects independent of each other that one can choose to live by should they wish. I present the reader with both extremes without coming out and saying “this one is better than the other.” As saying that is entirely subjective. Likewise, what is best for one is not necessarily the best for another. Most people fail to understand this because they do not approach life with the holistic/abstract outlook that I do, but rather, their reasoning is built upon the limits of their personal experience – it is solipsistic logic.

The psychopath, in his eternal solipsism, thinks it’s foolish and pathetic to be anything but what he is, cunning, ruthless, apathetic. He sees all sentimental kindness as weak if not a glib calculation, because he has no frame of reference for what baseless altruism is. Others agree on the value of ruthlessness, but do not value it in the absolutist state that psychopaths do (this is universal in those with an intact amygdala.) This is where morality enters the stage. I don’t take a stance either way, although I will write things that make you think I have a stance, because you will interpret the text as a subjective projection of my own thoughts and feelings, rather than an abstract piece of art I have written to disseminate a framework.

You can be all out for yourself and burn everything around you regardless of everything. Or you can be out for yourself but help society when it does not hurt you to be altruistic. Effectively, I don’t tell anyone what they should or should not be.

Two mutually exclusive things can be true, and one can acknowledge these truths without necessarily subscribing to both or either truth. When I talk about how morality affects civilization, I do believe a lack of altruism will hinder civilization. Stating that does not make me an idealistic altruistic idiot, rather, it is a simple maxim that civilization is built on altruism and crumbles without it.

You can be a psychopath and logic yourself to this conclusion even though you do not sentimentally care, eg: “if everybody was like me, we probably wouldn’t have running water and electricity as there’d be constant war and nobody easy to manipulate.” It’s akin to a world full of wolves without any sheep to feed on. The wolf, as superior as he feels, is dependent on the very sheep he loathes. It doesn’t matter where you are in the food chain, if the ecosystem collapses, you starve.

When I talk about how I think psychopaths operate, and what benefits/handicaps that comes with, I believe in that too. But this isn’t a diary blog, I don’t invite you into my life. I am not a character, I am not selling you feelings or bravado. This is the blog of an essayist and thinker who writes to communicate a view purely for its instructional value. There is, in my opinion, value in discussing the dark triad. And likewise, in my view, there is value in discussing how morality shapes civilization. If I did not believe either thing to be of value, I would not waste my time exploring them. In that sense, neither topic is mutually exclusive in the sense that discussing one topic means the other cannot be discussed.

I could discuss the benefits of sadism in one essay, and the benefits of altruism in another without personally adhering to either text. It is an exercise in abstract reasoning. You need not be something or personally subscribe to something to write about it.

As you will see if you read this blog for any sufficient amount of time; I’m more about knowledge and thought process, not gimmicks and manipulating my audience into feeling good so I can cash in on their positive feelings. This blog is substantive, not superficial.

This is the kind of blog where the reader takes the writings and decides for themselves what they want to do with the knowledge. Who the reader is greatly affects how or if the knowledge is utilised. Readers have a tendency to think you write specifically for them and their views, especially the narcissists. But this is not so. I do not write to cater to a specific view. I write to make men think with a depth of reasoning they may otherwise find difficult to access in order to help them properly understand something. I am teaching things I believe to be helpful, not leading men down a path complicit with my personal politics.

I have no real interest in proselytising any specific kind of morality (or lack thereof) to anybody. The only real kind of ideology that has managed to seep into the blog is anti-feminism. This site is about putting men first and helping men put themselves first by cultivating their masculinity. In light of that, anti-feminism is a rational aspect of the blog, not a preordained political agenda.

5.) “If you could recommend 10 books for personal growth, what would they be?”

This is a very simple question with a not so simple answer. Naturally, any answer I give is going to be biased. My personal top 10 would probably be the 48 Laws of Power followed by 9 philosophy books. But that is more a reflection of who I am and how my mind works than it is something beneficial to the majority. As such, this list isn’t so much a personal top 10 as it is “ten books I think can help the boys and men of TRP.” So with that clarified, in no particular order, my recommendations are as follows:

1. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Psychology, strategy and Machiavellianism. Discusses strategic gambits on an interpersonal level by presenting psychological insights illustrated through historical anecdotes.

2. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Diary written by an introspective and inquisitive long-dead Roman emperor with a strong grip on Stoic philosophy. The most authoritative text in this niche to survive from antiquity. Helpful as a spiritual guide to dealing with, and perceiving life.

3. The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian

Book of incredibly insightful social observations from the keen mind of a middle age Spanish philosopher. The proverbs are spectacular and still relevant. It’s a great little book, very affordable, and as each proverb is self-contained and takes up only half or a single page, the book is easily picked up and put down. A great complement to the 48 Laws of Power, The 48 Laws of Power is rumoured to have been loosely based upon this text.

4. Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This book is great for encouraging fearlessness and a love of struggle. Effectively the book is based on the philosophy and idea of antifragility, that by subjecting yourself to stress, you can become incredibly powerful.

5. How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book teaches you how to become someone who is liked, it answers the question: “how do I charm people to make myself popular?” Many, many men could benefit from this book, in a sense it is teaching social skills. Be careful to balance the methods given in this book with the Machiavellian tenets outlined in The 48 Laws of Power. Do not be frivolously charming, your charms should serve you rather than enslave you into the nice guy role. When you charm to appease rather than to control, your charm loses its power as it becomes your crutch. Where charm is necessary, use charm. Charm, like ego, should be seen as a tool – not a way of being.

6. Mastery by Robert Greene

This is “the book of monk mode.” Robert Greene discusses what it takes to master something and looks at various masters and how they became masters in their respective fields. The gist of the book is: put 10,000 hours into something, identify a master in the field you’re working in and attempt to have him mentor you. This book is about applying yourself to an art to reap success.

7. The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi

The only book out there which has compiled the ideas under the TRP umbrella and explained them in-depth. This is “the red pill in book form.” Think a guy needs help, want him to take the red pill, but don’t want to risk your reputation? Buy him a copy of The Rational Male. If he hates it and doesn’t see the value in it, at least you tried. You have the plausible deniability of saying you were misled by the Amazon reviews. You don’t have that when you show a guy the TRP message board. Rollo’s book is the perfect way to introduce someone to the red pill without risking a friendship.

8. Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

“I don’t know how to lift! How do I lift? Even if I join a gym and pay for a personal trainer, how do I know I can trust them to give me good advice?”

You can’t, and your personal trainer will probably be a don’t give a fuck steroid injecting salesman, not someone who has your interest at heart. Don’t waste your money on a personal trainer, buy this book instead. Read it inside out, take yourself down to a gym, practice your form with the bar and begin weightlifting. It will take you courage to start working out, but this book will tell you everything you need to know to get you there. Alternatively, if you have the space and money, you can set up the necessary equipment in your home. Mark Rippetoe is a master in his field. With this book, you are in good hands.

9. The Way of Men by Jack Donovan

This book talks about how to be good with other men, what it takes to really “be a man.” This book is about the nature of man and what makes an effective man. Any male young or old interested in the cultivation of his masculinity should, as such, find this to be a compelling read.

10. No More Mr Nice Guy by Robert Glover

I was never a chronic nice guy, so did not need a book to teach me how to “stop being too nice.” However, I repeatedly hear glowing reviews about this book from former nice guys. If you are someone who is “too nice” this book will probably change your life and make you less of a doormat. If “being too kind” is not something that’s ever plagued you, give this one a miss. This is the book for spineless guys looking to reclaim their spine. If you are a pussy with too much pride to be honest with yourself about yourself, buy this anyway.

6.) “How do I use ego productively?”

“Hi IM, I’ve read a lot of Manosphere over the past year or so, and I’ve noticed that you speak on perhaps a deeper, more complicated level about things. A real dissection of the concepts. So in that regard, what is your thoughts on ego, validation and how to use them to your advantage with respect to the red pill, and life in general? It’s something I’ve recently been grappling with after watching a lot of Alan Watts.”

Ah, the topic of narcissism, an important yet nuanced and diverse topic. This answer isn’t going to be a wholesome thesis on the topic, but will tackle your question specifically.

Narcissistic ego is the sword easily fell on. It has a lot of power because it is a dissociative coping mechanism. For example, say a kid is bullied at school. One day he begins to dissociate “I am the shit, I am the shit, I am the shit” and he just inculcates himself with this fake it until you make it mantra: “I am the shit, I am the shit, I am the shit.” The kid is, in a crude manner, brainwashing himself by asserting his desire as truth via repetition. Why? Because he was getting bullied and couldn’t handle his life, he dissociated to cope with the mental pain. He deluded himself into a new identity.

Eventually, said kid dissociates to the point he believes he is a bad ass for no reason other than he willed himself to believe it. He starts acting bad ass, the bullies challenge him for standing up for himself and he destroys them mentally. Where did that power come from? Dissociation. What did he have to sacrifice to get that power? Sanity, logic, reality. He believed in a lie until his brain accepted that lie and manifested it in reality. With that manifestation in reality, his lie is no longer a lie – he became what he needed to become. He stood up to the bullies. What started as a lie became truth, the kid effectively willed his lie into existence through the process of dissociation.

That is the power of ego, the ability to overcome what you otherwise couldn’t overcome. By believing in yourself you gain immense power over your surroundings. You can hold frame. The problem lies not with believing in one’s self – the problem lies with how one comes to believe in themselves, the methodology. If it is rational for a person to believe in themselves, it will be proven through cause and effect, eg: self-improvement. If it is dissociative, it is confidence built on a lie, propped up by the validation of others who help will the narrative into existence. These are the co-dependent enablers and the hero pedestalising sycophants.

The problem with ego is how living a lie blinds your senses and, rather ironically, makes you vulnerable in a new way. Egotistical people are very bad at taking criticism, very sensitive to any perceived slight (easily offended, although they may act unfazed to save face) and are generally speaking: hyper-sensitive.

In all its perverse irony, through the grandiosity of the narcissist there is an intolerance to even the slightest negative remark directed at them. Like bullets being dodged via slow motion in the matrix, they will not allow anything to stick. The narcissist refuses to acknowledge or accept anything they do not like regardless of its merit, they will simply dissociate to a preferred version of events. That is narcissism, that is when a person has become their ego.

And often the egotist will try to compensate for their inability to handle criticism by doubling down on the critic, by insulting the critic, by bringing in a sycophant to back them up (validate them.) They will do anything to hold onto ego because they identify themselves as their ego. They see no distinction between themselves and elitism/grandiosity/confidence. Their ego is their power, and without it, they have nothing. Because of this they cling to the ego like the world’s been flooded and their ego is the last parcel of land.

Exude bravado in the company of narcissists or people who you want to impress (women, recruiters, etc.) Demonstrate superficial egotism without really taking it to heart. Watch how an egotist behaves, learn to emulate their behaviour but do not believe in the glib nonsense, merely become good at mimicking its affectation. Say it with conviction to convince those around you, but assign no depth to the words you speak. Speak in this manner to communicate status and control perception, but do not mistake your lies for truth. They are just words, words designed to deceive – and this deception is necessary for you to achieve your goals. This deception must fool others, but you must remain grounded and be careful not to inadvertently fool yourself. If you fool yourself and become your ego, you will ruin yourself.

Realise ego is a tool that can be used for your benefit independent of the rest of the mind. This can be difficult to master, as the validation that comes from acting like an egotist is a honey pot, it is addictive. And so it will tempt you into taking on the alter ego as your de facto personal identity. This is bad because quieting logic to live off validation means that if you are to lose validation, you will lose your foundation for being. You will lose your sense of self. You will have a huge gaping vulnerability, a constant need to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected. Behind the bravado, this makes you weak. You will become compelled to seek power simply to feel like you exist, being eternally dissatisfied by an insatiable ego.

When the honey pot goes sour, you will start losing control and acting crazy to try to get that indomitable godlike feeling back. You behave like a druggie chasing a high he can never get back.

By using ego as a tool, but not becoming it, you retain reason. This means you are stronger than the clinically narcissistic, because when your ego is attacked you can perceive the attacks on your ego for what they are and thus separate yourself from the ego. This is necessary for being formless. Ego will transform you from nothing to something, but it is logic that will save you from imploding on yourself when the ego reaches critical mass. Where logic limited your capacity to succeed in the example with the bully, (you can’t be logical and dissociate) in this scenario, it saves you.

By rationally deconstructing the attack on your ego, you immediately see yourself as distinct from your ego. Why? Because your ego is solipsistic and cannot rationally deconstruct an attack upon itself as an observer. It can only react to a threat personally and within the moment. It cannot “take a step back,” so to speak.

By using reason to analyse rather than reacting with ego, you separate your mind from your ego. And then you will see clearly. You will see the attack as a strike against your reputation, a strategic move which can be countered. Not an intense emotional tussle which taxes your senses and makes you dependent on winning just to “feel normal.” When one who is reasonable strategises, they are in control, a player. One who reacts with their feelings is being played, reactions can be anticipated and encouraged, effectively pawning the individual via their ego.

The manipulation of ego is what makes the otherwise powerful, manipulable. An ego is like a great big castle wall that isn’t really there, if you touch it, you’ll go straight through it. You expected something solid to be there, like a reason or something substantive, but there was nothing. The whole thing was a bluff. Smoke and mirrors make for some compelling illusions.

Ego is good for quick reaction and performance in the moment, but it is poor at planning. Ego benefits improvisation and performance, it’s a good short-term tool, but it is poor for strategising. I recommend learning to code switch into an egotistical frame of mind, but not being bound to that frame. Ego should be wielded like a tool, picked up and put down. Enjoyed for it uses, but sparingly as necessary.

7.) In Closing:

I had many messages and e-mails, obviously only a handful made the cut. If I featured every message here, we’d be at well over 20,000 words and that would be far too long. Seeing as this is the first mailbag, I’d appreciate any feedback in the comments. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it, and I look forward to answering July’s end of the month mailbag.