I’ve indicated many times that the Player’s Journey carries with it an undercurrent of nihilism and hedonism. We are engaged in a project which is nominally exactly what we as men are designed to do (impregnate lots of hot women, and thus by proxy seek novelty in sex) and yet it’s just not especially satisfying. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of my free time at university taking philosophy classes so I’m well aware of the Paradox Of Hedonism and the various great men’s ruminations on the nature of happiness. Of all the other Alt-Right / Game / Red Pill bloggers out there, I think Vox Day comes closest to my worldview.

He wrote a quick post on his reading of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations which is nonetheless packed with interesting statements. Let me pick out a few of them and give my thoughts as they apply to the Player’s Journey.

“A man must be able to look honestly inside before he can look accurately outside”

Way back in late 2010 I started doing Game therapy sessions with Skeletor. I’d spent enough time studying psychology and informal logic to be well aware of human cognitive bias, ego defences, and the general inability of people to see anything rationally when the ego stakes are high. Even simple things like surveying opinions is fraught with issues and sociologists have long grappled with the simple problem that people either do not know or will not say what they really think.

I figured that with Game and it’s attendant identity overhaul, the odds of me having massive blind spots were very high. Thus I sought out Skeletor as the best-qualified man I knew to do a deep dive and identify them, then posted commentary on my blog about the sessions. His meta-theory of Game is best expressed by Vox’s above quote [1] He liked to use the metaphor of the human eye. He said you are conveying your character to the girl like light flowing through the lens of the eye. A good lens is (i) the correct shape (ii) unblemished. His principle idea was:

Sorting out your inner game is like straightening out kinks in the lens, until it is the correct shape to reflect the light. Sorting out your outer game is like cleaning the lens until it is free of blemishes that muddy the image.

Another metaphor would be a cinema projector. To correctly project a movie onto a screen you must have a clean, well-formed lens. Otherwise you get the equivalent of a warped, out-of-focus image and all the dust and debris sticking to the lens is magnified onto the screen.

On the big screenImage downloaded by Gillian Abbott at 16:07 on the 20/07/12

First screening of A Deplorable Cad movie, with Idris Elba as Krauser

Thus Vox’s quote above applies to the aspiring player as much as it does the military commander, the emperor, or the husband. If your lens is damaged, you can’t see clearly through it. Inner game cannot be neglected and anyone telling you to “just do what works” and focus on technique is a buffoon [2]

“Tell yourself the unvarnished truth, even if you cannot bring yourself to admit it to anyone else”

I wrote about compliance in Daygame. Most of us live our lives insulated from real-world feedback and thus nothing pops our bubble of delusion. Reading literature, watching TV, playing video games, going to the gym, eating right, doing a hobby….. these activities rarely generate unvarnished feedback to you about who you are and how good you are at doing stuff [3].

You’ll see this everywhere, even among people who should know better. A good example of this cognitive bias going wrong (to avoid real feedback in case it’s negative) writ large is the 2008 financial crisis and ongoing response to it. Federal Reserve printing, extend-and-pretend loans, SIV shell games, abandonment of mark-to-market accounting rules, SEC regulatory forbearance….. these are all complex evasions by the financial sector to avoid the realisation that their assets are shit and their banks are insolvent. It’s exactly the same psychology as the Game forum chode who won’t cold approach but wants to tell himself and others he’s good with women.

Telling yourself the truth doesn’t just make your decisions better, nor just quicker identify your straying from the path to success. It’s also central to avoiding the dreaded Gamma and narcissist mindsets. Both are wildly delusional and spin a web of lies to themselves and others to maintain a false idealised self. The truth pricks that bubble so making it a rule to tell yourself the truth is a necessary daily discipline [4]. This is a refreshing aspect to cold approach – few things discipline you like hitting on ten pretty women and receiving their feedback.

Now let’s get to the quote that most resonated with me because of where I find myself in life in 2017.

“No amount of pleasure will ever satisfy a man. No amount of comfort will ever satisfy a woman”

For this to be properly unpacked we must differentiate between pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction. My rough-and-ready definition is [5]

Pleasure: A state of temporary well-being in the body, enjoyed in the moment, based upon what is happening right now. Chatting to a flirty woman, having sex, being drunk, and being high are all pleasurable. It is primarily sensory. Sights, sounds, smells, touch etc are pleasurable to us. It does not require a feeling of accomplishment.

Happiness: A state of well-being in the mind, enjoyed before, during and after whatever caused the happiness. Being in a new city, surrounded by friends, chasing skirt can cause happiness and that feeling remains even when you’re sitting in your apartment in the evening doing nothing in particular. There is a residual effect to happiness that doesn’t disappear as quickly as pleasure does. It requires some feeling of accomplishment, of having gotten your ducks in a row.

Satisfaction: An ongoing state of well-being best characterised as a peace of mind that your life is headed in the right direction. This can co-exist with a momentary feeling of displeasure and a current lack of happiness. Examples include the pain and stress of gym training (displeasure) while being satisfied that you are working hard and your plan is moving forwards. I felt quite a lot of satisfaction during my first 1000 sets of hell even though they were often unpleasant and I was frequently unhappy.

The paradox of hedonism advises us that the self-conscious pursuit of pleasure will necessarily lead to unhappiness. I agree. In one of his Darkstream podcasts Vox commented that happiness is a symptom of doing other things. You can’t directly pursue happiness. Rather you must have a purpose in life, move towards that, and then happiness will usually result. This is why we Euro Jaunters recommend creating ongoing projects and doing stuff other than just chasing skirt, so as to avoid hollowing out.

Bird with a big rack

High pleasure, medium happiness, low satisfaction. Yesterday

Anyone who has spent a long time chasing women will know how it relates to the Player’s Journey. Chasing skirt is chasing pleasure. The Player’s Journey is a structure that provides purpose to the process (“getting good with women”) and thus happiness. For significant periods of the past eight years I’ve had both pleasure and happiness. It’s been great. The problem comes:

  1. Pleasure is subject to diminishing returns. You can only get your first SDL once. You can only bang your first eight once. After that it’s no longer the first and you cannot recover the high of novelty because it’s no longer novel. Accumulating notches becomes less and less pleasurable [6]. For a while the gradual reduction in cost as you get better offsets the gradual reduction in benefit, so the cost-benefit calculus remains strongly favourable. Eventually your improvement slows and you lose these “super-normal profits”. Your game becomes “normal profits”.
  2. Happiness is fleeting. I believe happiness is a temporary reward that our DNA rewards our brain with for successfully advancing the DNA’s plan. The very structure of human biology means we cannot stay in a state of happiness. For happiness to motivate action in a Darwinian world, it must be periodically snatched away (by our DNA) then dangled in front of us again as a carrot. Additionally, once you’ve become “good with women” Game loses purpose. You’ve gone from swimming forwards to treading water. To be happy again you need to find a new purpose.

This is perhaps ironic. A player will gradually become unhappy as he becomes successful with Game. Personally speaking, probably the lowest ebb of my entire journey was the morning after I had four girls in my bed on the same day (and fucked three). I’d reached the highest peak I could realistically expect to reach and…… well….. now what?

Chasing skirt is like a hamster wheel. It just happens to be a very pleasurable hamster wheel, and thus a better bet than whatever wheel we were spinning pre-game (in my case, the career wheel). I haven’t yet figured out a way to structure my Game to maintain pleasure, happiness and satisfaction all together.

After eight years, this suggests to me that it simply isn’t possible. Game will give you pleasure and often make you happy, but it won’t ever satisfy you. The thing is, if you don’t go through the journey you’re likely even worse off [7]

If you liked this post you’ll probably not like my memoirs. They are all fun stories of chasing skirt and loving it.

[1] Smarter PUAs have long said that Game success is 90% inner game and 10% technique. I think this overstates the case but the general thrust is accurate.
[2] Or a knowing charlatan who has figured out that most money is to be made in the Purple Pill area where you give the customer some Red Pill tactics that seem edgy and underground, but never require him to abandon his Blue Pill pretty lies. It’s how Oprah and Tony Robbins got rich.
[3] Within reason. If you want to nit-pick there is an element of compliance. For example, you need a certain literacy, intelligence and patience to understand some books. Challenging games require competence to complete. If you have SMART gym goals then the discipline of the scales, tape and caliper present potential fail states. Competitive hobbies such as 5-a-Side football feedback on your fitness, skill, teamplay etc. Sitting watching Netflix, however, is zero compliance.
[4] I tried very hard from the beginning to share harsh truths about myself on this blog and even then, lots of delusion crept it. Imagine the delusion if I’d never even tried.
[5] Yes, I’m pulling these definitions out of my arse. They are intended to be effective only for the duration of this post.
[6] Though never actually bad. It ceases to feel like winning at life, but it is still lots of fun.
[7] At no point am I regretting my own path. I’ve had a great time and my life is far better now. The problem doesn’t appear to be my life choices but rather the intrinsic nature of the human to never maintain a state of happiness.