The Purpose Series (Part 1 of 3) - Purpose, Anxiety, Fear, the Unknown, and the Purposeless Epidemic in Modern Society

December 9, 2019
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Introduction

This article is the first part of a 3-part series. Part 1 will discuss why a man’s purposes are the most important things in his life and why they also bring him the most pleasure. Part 1 also discusses how a man’s confidence pushes him towards his purposes and anxiety pushes him away from his purposes. Part 2 will discuss how a woman’s attraction to a man is centered on his purposes, which in turn create his emotional experience and his reality. Part 3 will discuss how a man can manage his ego to maximize the pleasure he receives from pursuing his purposes and minimize his anxiety. 

Purpose and Emotion

The most important thing in a man’s life are the purposes he chooses to pursue, and the key to a successful and happy life is choosing your purposes with your rational mind rather than your emotions. If you do not consciously and rationally articulate your purposes to yourself, your subconscious emotions will determine your purposes, and emotion without rational guidance usually leads to ruin. Worse yet, if you do not consciously and rationally determine your purposes yourself, others will determine them for you, often by manipulating your emotions.   

All human emotions and activity can be conceptualized in terms of purposes. Everything you do is directed to some purpose, whether you realize it or not. If you are watching TV, eating Cheetos, and scratching your balls, your purposes are watching TV, eating Cheetos, and scratching your balls. The question is not whether you have purposes, but what your purposes are.

Discussions of “purpose” often become abstract and meaningless, so I seek here to link purpose to fundamental biological emotions. Human evolved to feel “pleasure” and positive emotion to motivate us to seek things that help in our survival and reproduction and “pain” and negative emotions to avoid purposes that will lead to us harm. Positive emotions include the desire for food, sex, and affection, while negative emotions include grief, shame, guilt, depression and anxiety. Positive emotions usually fill us with energy and enthusiasm to motivate us to move, while negative emotions cripple us to prevent us from moving. But every emotion serves some purpose, and the key to a healthy and happy life is not to repress or kill your emotions, but to put each emotion in its proper place so that they work in harmony for your overall good.  

Our rational mind is a much weaker than our emotions, and is often overwhelmed, hijacked, and tricked by emotion. The only thing that can defeat an emotion is a stronger emotion, so the primary responsibility of your rational mind is not to conquer your emotions, but to order your emotions properly so that your “higher” emotions predominate over your lower ones.

Positive emotion

The biological systems underlying positive emotion can be summarized using a familiar quote: “life is a journey, not a destination.”

The primary brain chemical that regulates positive emotion is a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is released every time we do something pleasurable: when you eat a tasty meal, snort a line of cocaine, or have sex. You also feel dopamine when you experience “higher” pleasures like acceptance by the tribe, love, affection, and the joy of accomplishing a goal or helping somebody. But strangely, most dopamine is released “on the way” to achieving the pleasurable goal, rather than after we attain the goal itself.

Most people think of pleasure as a destination. You see (or conceptualize) a pleasurable goal, you take steps to achieve that goal, and you feel pleasure AFTER you achieve the goal. I call the pleasure you feel after you achieve some pleasurable goal “destination pleasure.”

But the journey to the pleasurable thing is stronger than arriving at the destination. When you see (or conceptualize) a pleasurable goal and take steps to achieve that pleasurable goal, you feel pleasure on the journey to the pleasurable goal. I call this feeling “journey pleasure.” As Artie Lange said, “the best part of doing cocaine is going to your dealer to get it.” The excitement and enthusiasm you feel on the way to something your subconscious thinks will be pleasurable is much stronger and longer-lasting than the destination pleasure you feel when you actually consumer that thing. This is why I consider journey pleasure to be a superior and “higher” pleasure.

The superiority of journey pleasure makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective. Humans need to go get food, find shelter, and have sex, but evolution doesn’t care if we feel pleasure after we achieve those things. Evolution is more concerned with getting us to those things in the first place, which is why we are wired to feel most of our pleasure as we move towards the goal rather than after we get it. We did not evolve to rest on our laurels and celebrate after getting something we want. Instead, we evolved to immediately want to go get the next thing.

We have all experienced this on some level. We have all won some championship, completed some final exam, scored with some hot girl, or achieved some other goal, only to find ourselves underwhelmed and feeling empty after we achieve the thing we thought we wanted. As George Bernard Shaw famously said, “there are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it.” This is because journey pleasure is much stronger than destination pleasure, and once the journey is over the destination pleasure feels relatively weak and empty.

But make no mistake: journey pleasure only exists when the journey leads to destination pleasure. If there is no pot of gold at the end of the journey, our subconscious mind will not generate the dopamine necessary to motivate us. Our brain is a pleasure-seeking machine, and if there is no pleasure involved we simply will not pursue something, no matter how noble or important the goal. We are animals, not angels. It is just a happy coincidence that pursuing noble and important goals sometimes brings us pleasure. The brain’s motivation system is somewhat paradoxical: even though we are motivated by destination pleasure, we feel most of our pleasure on the way to that destination pleasure, so we often don’t even care about the destination pleasure once we get to it. Billionaires work 80-hour weeks to make a fortune, only to give the fortune away after they have receive it. They don’t care about the money (they have more than they could ever use) – they love the game. Nevertheless, if there is no fortune or other attractive prize at the end of the journey, billionaires would not be motivated to work 80-hour weeks in the first place.

Human beings will only do something if we feel like there will be some payoff in the end or if we are afraid of some worse outcome. A child will only do his homework if he fears punishment or if he genuinely believes he will receive some worthwhile reward for doing it, either in the short term or in the long term. Similarly, as you move through life, you will only be motivated to work hard if you believe your work will lead to something. That “something” can be money, developing your skills, creating something new and valuable, or helping people. Ideally, your work will pay off in all of those ways.

The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people see their life as leading towards some higher purpose, even when things are going badly. Even when they do something that sucks, they are building towards something higher: they are building their resume, developing skills, saving money, learning lessons, meeting people, etc… Unsuccessful people feel like no matter what they do, they will never get to the promised land, which is why they are not motivated to work hard today. Successful people run towards a goal; unsuccessful people run on a treadmill.

Journey Pleasure and Emotional Stability

Journey pleasure is superior to destination pleasure because it is stronger, lasts over a longer period of time, and does not require external “things” to be satisfied. Destination pleasure only lasts for the brief moment while you consume the pleasurable thing: you feel destination pleasure while you eat the cake, have sex, or hug your friend, but the pleasure disappears a short time after and you need some external thing to give you pleasure again. Journey pleasure, on the other hand, lasts for as long as you are working towards your goal, so you can feel it anytime and anywhere because it is primarily mental. If you are building your business, you can feel journey pleasure as you work, as you eat lunch, and even as you have a few beers with your friends to wind down, because all of those activities are taking you towards your goal. 

Journey pleasure is required for emotional stability and rationality. Humans are pleasure-seeking creatures, and we cannot think rationality if we are chasing one brief pleasure after another. But journey pleasure satiates our desire for pleasure, and once we have a consistent source of journey pleasure we can make rational, long-term plans. Even people that enjoy journey pleasure need to feed their lower desires occasionally, but because their higher pleasures are satiated all of their thoughts and emotions are not directed towards satisfying their lower pleasures.

Purpose routines

Your brain constantly creates maps of the world based on your purposes to determine where pleasure and threat exist, as they are defined by your purposes. Your brain creates a spatial map of your immediate surroundings, coloring what you believe to be indicators of pleasure and threat with emotion so you are drawn or repelled by those indicators. Your brain also creates a more abstract map of your life, marking pleasures and threats that may occur in the future as you pursue your purposes. To see this spatial map right now, just look around – what you see is not necessarily reality but a map of the world that your brain created, with sources of pleasure and threat (as you understand them) emphasized by your brain to draw your attention. Similarly, you can “feel” the abstract map by thinking about your future: if you think about the upcoming week you will feel good about the pleasurable things you think will happen and anxiety about the shitty things you think will happen. Interestingly, your spatial map and your more abstract map are both created by the same part of your brain – the hippocampus.

To navigate these maps, your brain creates what I call “purpose routines.” A purpose routine is a set of procedures and rules designed to lead you to a certain goal, like a computer program. You can learn purpose routines with your conscious mind, but after you do it a few times it becomes subconscious and executable with little to no conscious thought. A simple purpose routine is walking downstairs to get something from the fridge, tying your shoe, or brushing your teeth. Purpose routines can also be more complicated – drafting a routine letter to a client, repairing an HVAC unit, or driving to work. Experienced doctors can even perform delicate surgery almost on autopilot because they have done it so many times. Sometimes your conscious mind even forgets the instructions to a purpose routine, but your subconscious mind can still do it.

We need subconscious purpose routines to function because we cannot consciously think about every single little thing we are doing. Our conscious mind can only process around 5 to 7 pieces of information at one time, but our subconscious mind can process much more. Most of our actions at any time are purpose routines running on autopilot. If we learn to do something in the wrong way, our brain might lock that defective purpose routine away in our subconscious, making it difficult for our conscious mind to reprogram it. The subconscious nature of purpose routines helps explain why sometimes very talented people are terrible teachers – their skills are locked away as purpose routines, so they cannot explain to another person what exactly they are doing. Purpose routines also explain why quack pick-up artist instructors often fail to communicate their abilities to their students – much of what we consider to be charm, charisma, and “alpha” behavior is an automatic expression of our purpose routines, and it is very difficult to consciously articulate what exactly those behaviors are.  

Your brain learns to associate purpose routines with pleasure so, for example, if you have enjoyed snorting cocaine a few times, your brain will learn to associate the steps of snorting a line of cocaine with pleasure. Even seeing a line of cocaine or going somewhere you snorted cocaine may cause your brain to release dopamine, because it is anticipating the destination pleasure at the end of the journey it thinks it is on. Purpose routines help explain why addiction is so difficult to overcome – your brain is a pleasure-seeking missile, so whenever it feels bad, bored, or eager to do something (essentially, a lack of pleasure), it will automatically start running purpose routines it knows will lead to its drug of choice without your conscious mind even realizing. This is why addicts often need to consciously and carefully monitor their behavior.

Because your brain relies on your purpose routines to obtain pleasure, it is all the more important to consciously determine your purposes. Most peoples’ subconscious minds’ are littered with garbage purpose routines they automatically run to whenever they want pleasure: video games, drugs, alcohol, wasting time on the internet, etc… Whether we realize it or not, our brain is constantly seeking pleasure, and if we are not directing what pleasure it seeks, it will probably seek the lowest, cheapest pleasures that will ultimately lead us to ruin.

Anxiety

The key to happiness, therefore, seems simple: pick a few good, positive, emotionally attractive purposes, pursue those purposes, collect journey pleasure along the way, and live happily ever after. Why then, are so many people miserable?

The main obstacle to journey pleasure is anxiety, which is a subconscious mechanism designed by evolution to help you pick which purpose to pursue. Animals and humans feel anxiety when 1) the subconscious brain believes there is a threat or anomaly on the way to the purpose it is seeking and/or 2) the subconscious brain is faced with multiple purposes that seem equally appealing. When faced with either of these situations, the anxiety circuit 1) floods you with negative emotion to make you freeze and stop progressing along the path you were on and 2) switches your mind into “information gathering” mode so that you can figure out which purpose to pursue. The more important the goal and the bigger the threat, anomaly, or conflict between goals, the stronger the anxiety. To our brains, a threat or an anomaly is anything that makes us feel like we are on the wrong path, either because it will cause us to not achieve the goal, or worse.

Anxiety is the opposite of journey pleasure. We feel journey pleasure only when we see a clear path to the goal, but we feel anxiety when we see obstacles and threats on the way to the goal. Our anxiety decreases when we feel journey pleasure, and our journey pleasure decreases when we feel anxiety. Both emotions are necessary: we need journey pleasure to motivate ourselves to pursue the things we need, but we also need anxiety so that we don’t run into dangerous situations. When our journey pleasure outweighs our anxiety, we go for the goal, but when our anxiety is stronger, we stay frozen. Journey pleasure is the cure to anxiety, but to feel journey pleasure we must feel like we can overcome the threats and obstacles on the way to our purposes.

Anxiety is generally stronger than journey pleasure, and with good reason. If a mouse sees a piece of cheese guarded by a cat, it should not pursue the cheese because the reward for getting the cheese is a little pleasure, but the consequence of getting caught by the cat is death. Therefore, when weighing the journey pleasure and anxiety of a particular course of action, our brain puts much more weight on anxiety. This means that humans are extremely risk-averse and our default answer to any new adventure is “no.”

Scientifically speaking, anxiety is different from fear. Fear is the “fight or flight” feeling we get when we are actually in the presence of the threat, whereas anxiety is the feeling of paralysis we get when we think there MIGHT be a threat. A mouse who will not walk into a cage because it smells cat odor feels anxiety, whereas a mouse that actually sees a cat and starts running from it feels fear. Anxiety becomes fear if we feel like the threat has actually arrived, and people with very bad anxiety often have panic attacks, which is a fear response. When most people say “fear” they really mean anxiety, but it is important to understand this distinction, because fear is often an important motivator, whereas anxiety is often a hinderance, as I will explain later.

Finally, many kinds of anxiety exist: social anxiety which views high status members of the tribe as a threat; separation anxiety, which views distance from the tribe as a threat; obsessive/compulsive disorder, which views a lack of order and hygiene as a threat, etc… To simplify this article, I simply use the word “anxiety” to refer to all of these emotions.

Anxiety and Purpose Routines

Just as our subconscious mind tags certain purpose routines as “pleasurable” so we pursue them, it also tags others as “threat” or “obstacle” so we avoid them. For example, if you put your hand on a hot stove and burn it, your brain will subconsciously associate “putting your hand on a hot stove” with “threat” and strike you with anxiety if you start to do it again. Even if you consciously decide to put your hand on a hot stove because somebody offered you a million dollars to do it, your subconscious mind will flood you with negative emotion and freeze your muscles so you do not do it. Moving your hand to the stove will feel like swimming through molasses because your underlying biological systems will be doing everything they can to stop you.

Our brain uses anxiety for memory and map building because we need to know where not to go, both spatially in our immediate surroundings and more abstractly in our life. This is partly why drugs that reduce anxiety, like marijuana, alcohol, and Xanax also impair your memory. Anxiety is literally responsible for building the world we experience, but as we will see, anxiety can create a distorted view of the world.

The brain’s process of painting certain purpose routines as threat is useful because it helps us automatically avoid dangerous situations without even consciously thinking about them. We do this every single day with thousands of potential threats. But anxiety tries to do a thorough job of documenting all of our threats so it often registers false positives. These false positives occur when 1) your brain subconsciously thinks something is a threat or obstacle when it is really not, 2) your brain subconsciously thinks something is a threat or obstacle when in reality you have the ability to overcome it, or 3) your brain associates a purpose routine with a threat or obstacle that will not be there in the future. Sometimes your brain does all of this at once.  

For example, imagine you go bowling for the first time and get stabbed at the bowling alley. In that case, your brain may associate “bowling” or “going to the bowling alley” with “threat” and make you feel anxiety the next time you consider going bowling, no matter where the bowling alley is or who is there. But getting stabbed is not a regular or inherent part of bowling, so the brain’s association of “bowling alley” with “threat” is wrong and counterproductive.

Now imagine how many false positives your brain has created since your childhood and how many possible paths your brain has subconsciously marked as forbidden without your consent or realization. Most peoples’ subconscious minds are full of paths that have been wrongly labeled as negative, and these paths accumulate to form complex emotional and belief systems that cripple us. This mechanism often operates subconsciously without us even knowing what is happening: we just “feel bad” when we leave our comfort zone, and we don’t know why. Anxiety may manifest itself in many different ways: paralysis, endless rumination that goes nowhere, listlessness, a desire to procrastinate, hesitancy, timidity, laziness, a tendency to become distracted, a “weird” feeling you cannot explain, a feeling of pending doom, “rational” arguments as to why you should do something else, etc… Anxiety will use any trick it can find to make you stop pursuing the goal, including “rational” reasons that you cannot stop thinking about. Sometimes those reasons are laughably stupid, and sometimes they are solid and should be taken into account. It is your job to figure out which is which.

Anxiety does not just try to make us pick a different path than the one we are considering, it often causes us to not consider certain purposes at all. Most people never even consider following their dreams because their brain kills those thoughts before they even make it to their conscious mind. Most people live in a world of invisible walls they create for themselves. Most people never leave their narrow “comfort zone” because their brain subconsciously convinces them they will fail. I strongly suspect this is also partly why people get “stuck in their ways” and more closed minded as they get older: there has simply been more time for negativity to accumulate in their mind.

Modern society exacerbates this problem. The anxiety circuit is a primitive circuit designed to react to simple threats in the jungle, not abstract, complex “threats” like an emotionally unstable girlfriend, a shitty job market, or other complex changes and challenges that we face in the modern world. The media and entertainment industry are also constantly trying to scare us into thinking that everything is a threat. Most people know the media and entertainment industry lie and fearmonger, but if this programming only works 10% of the time on us, that is still a ton of irrational anxieties that are now part of our subconscious programming.

To make matters worse, anxiety often hijacks our “rational” mind and creates false beliefs to match our garbage emotions. The world is infinitely complicated, which means that you can confabulate “facts” to support almost any decision you make or belief you hold, and this is exactly what your mind does when it really wants to pursue a certain purpose (or not pursue a purpose).

For example, imagine somebody grows up in an environment where their friends, family, and society constantly tell them that it is very hard or impossible for the “little guy” to get ahead. That person’s brain will subconsciously associate the purpose routine of “working hard to make money” with “insurmountable obstacles and threats.” If you asked them if it was possible for the “little guy” to get ahead, they would “rationally” explain to why it was not. This person may even use true facts to make their argument, but they would only do so by ignoring all the other facts that contradicted their argument.

Of course, this person will never become rich because every time they do anything to make progress along that path, their subconscious mind will cause them to feel anxiety and do something else instead. Even his conscious mind will often sabotage him, because it has been subconsciously programmed by his emotions to form a series of false beliefs about the world. In this way, his emotions, actions, and beliefs will form a vicious cycle that will make it impossible for him to become rich. 

The solution to anxiety and negative purpose routines is not always to ignore them and plow ahead. Anxiety serves an evolutionary purpose, and your subconscious mind can store and quickly access much more information about threats than your conscious mind can. Sometimes you get a “bad feeling” because something really is a threat, even though your conscious mind cannot articulate exactly why. Just because anxiety sometimes produces false positives does not mean that all anxiety is a false positive. Ignoring anxiety will deprive you of an extremely rich source of information and potentially expose you to danger.

Instead of just ignoring your anxiety, you should rationally analyze it and determine whether the “threat” you feel is real or not. If I get a bad feeling about something, I try to articulate to myself in words what is causing that bad feeling. For example, if I feel anxiety about a business deal I try to figure out if there is a real threat, or if I am just afraid of the unknown. Unfortunately, for people with lots of purpose routines that have been polluted negatively, it will take a long time to “clean” your purpose routines that have been wrongly polluted.

Anxiety is not the only negative emotion that colors our thoughts: guilt, shame, depression, jealousy, also hijack our purpose routines and beliefs. These other negative emotions mix with anxiety to create a terrible mixture of false beliefs, falsely tainted purpose routines, and constant negative thoughts and emotions. Cleaning this mess is extremely difficult because our false beliefs and purpose routines layer on top of each other over the course of years, so to “fix” ourselves we must unwind each layer with our conscious mind, reprogram our mind to see it as positive, and then move to the next layer. This process can be very difficult and time-consuming, which is part of the reason you should not bother with damaged women.

The Unknown

As our brain builds maps of the world and purpose routines to navigate those maps, it must deal with the fact that much of the world is simply unknown to us. The unknown contains the two main things which cause anxiety: 1) potentially infinite threats and 2) infinite potential paths. Our brain needs to know which path to take, so it runs the regular anxiety program when faced with the unknown: we freeze and slowly try to gather information so we can figure out which path to follow.

The Bible says that the human desire for knowledge of the universe is a result of anxiety. When Eve was faced with threat for the first time (the snake), she felt anxiety and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and bad (evil is a mistranslation) so she could “become like God.” Eve probably desired to become God because she faced threat for the first time, felt unsafe, and wanted to defeat that threat. She then brought her anxiety to Adam and convinced him to eat the forbidden fruit as well. This was history’s first shit test, which Adam failed. Gaining knowledge of good and bad did not make Adam and Eve gods: instead, they became even more fearful.

Aristotle said that the highest and most noble pleasure for man is the desire for knowledge. But the Bible says that knowledge of good and bad (pleasure and threats) is useless if you do not have the courage to actually confront and defeat those threats. Without that courage, gathering more information will cause you to only become more anxious because now you know about more threats. When Adam and Eve gained knowledge of good and bad, they became afraid of everything. And interestingly, the first “threat” that Adam and Eve recognized was their own sexuality.

I think the Bible is correct. It is true that one of our strongest emotions is the desire for knowledge, but that desire is caused by anxiety. We gather information so we can keep ourselves safe from threat and figure out what to do, but information gathering often just makes us more anxious. Anxiety-induced information gathering is a useful tool for animals exploring a physical environment, but it is less useful for humans trying to navigate the abstract map of their life. If we freeze and try to “gather information” to determine what to do next in our life, we may stay frozen forever because the information we need may never come, and even if it does come, we may not have the courage to actually face the threats on our path. Sometimes in life you need to just go for it and leap into the unknown, and sometimes you need to do so without having adequate information. Many people stricken with anxiety endlessly ruminate and never come to a conclusion because they do not have the information to decide what to do next or because they know the right path but ignore it because they see the threats on the way.

At the same time, the unknown can contain potentially infinite pleasure, so we have a deep and powerful fascination with the unknown and the transcendent.  No animal can survive without venturing into the unknown, so we evolved to want to explore the unknown and figure out what is going on in there. We always want to go beyond what we know, make the unknown “known,” and then go further into the unknown. In fact, the journey pleasure we get from venturing into the unknown is the strongest type of journey pleasure possible, because all the pleasure in the “known” world is finite, but the pleasure in the unknown is potentially infinite.

The strongest pleasure a human being can feel is the thrill of venturing into the unknown to create a future transcendent reality. Humans evolved to create things to guarantee ourselves and others pleasure in the future. But once our creations give us an easy path to pleasure, instead of enjoying it, we wish to venture into the unknown again. Humans inherently desire transcendence – the burning desire to go “beyond” whatever we have. This emotion is impetus for the human race’s insatiable desire to explore, innovate, and conquer, but as we will see, this desire is also the death knell for many friendships and romantic relationships.

We must venture into the unknown consciously and voluntarily, so we can create a path through it that reaches the pleasure but keeps us safe. Too much unknown overwhelms and cripples us because we cannot carve paths through it quickly enough to get to our goals. Too much order, we get bored. Humans literally evolved to feel best when exactly on the border of “chaos and order” as Jordan Peterson describes it. Similarly, “flow” occurs when we do something that lies just outside of our ability.

This desire to make order out of chaos is one of the strongest feelings that human beings can have. Humans love to find patterns in randomness, which is why we love music. When we hear a pattern in a song two times, we get a quick jolt of dopamine if we hear it a third time. However, it is also this desire to find patterns that causes people to become addicted to gambling or make stupid investments in the stock market. When the blackjack table or the stock market changes in a way we feel is a pattern, we feel like that pattern will continue, which causes us to bet on it. But casinos and the stock market are not designed to follow a pattern, so betting on the pattern will cause you to lose money. In fact, I strongly suspect that casinos and the stock market are purposely designed to act randomly or in the opposite of the expected pattern, so that sophisticated investors and casino owners can bilk poor saps that feel like they have found a pattern. 

Although humans’ strongest desire is to venture into the unknown, most people cannot do so because they are crippled by anxiety. As we will learn later, anxiety is alleviated by the alpha male.

The Dark Side of the Unknown

Although anxiety is always difficult to contend with, anxiety caused by the unknown is particularly crippling because your rational mind cannot help you. Your rational mind is an information processing machine, and can evaluate known threats or obstacles with information it previously gathered. But with no information our rational mind cannot help, which is why our emotions often take over when faced with the unknown. We also have no purpose routines that we can rely on for pleasure when faced with the unknown, so we are at the mercy of our negative emotions.

Most people that have chronic anxiety are generally anxious of the unknown, not specific, identifiable threats. People with anxiety disorders often have too much unknown coming at them from all sides and cannot create paths through it fast enough. Their boss is an unpredictable asshole, their girlfriend is unstable, their friends are shitty, their own behavior creates more problems for them that it solves, and worst of all, they are simply unprepared for all the problems the world throws at them. The more unknown they face, the more they are crippled with paralysis, so the less progress they make, so the more unknown they are faced with. It becomes a vicious cycle.

No situation is ever completely unknown. Most situations we contend with are a mix of known and unknown elements, so our anxiety of the unknown can latch onto real “facts” to justify our paralysis. Anxiety never says “don’t move forward because you fear the unknown and you’re a pussy.” Instead, it says “you should not move forward because of reasons X, Y, and  Z,” and those reasons will sound perfectly rational and logical.

Fear

It is important to know the difference between fear and anxiety because fear, if harnessed correctly, can be an extremely powerful motivator.

Our subconscious mind will try to seek the clearest and easiest paths to pleasure, which often lead to things like drugs, pornography, and video games. Almost all higher purposes have at least some threat associated with them, and a purpose tinged with even a little threat may cause our subconscious mind to push us to take an easier path. Negative emotions like anxiety are generally stronger than positive emotions like journey pleasure, so we will give up on a positive reward like journey pleasure if there is even a little anxiety associated with it. This is why most people primarily chase lower pleasures rather than higher ones.

One way to force yourself to take the right path is to use fear. Fear is one of our strongest emotions, if not THE strongest emotion. Fear is even stronger than anxiety because fear indicates there is a currently present threat that will kill or destroy you if you do not immediately fight or run, whereas you feel anxiety when there is a potential, but yet unrealized threat. We will gladly run down a path littered with potential threats if there is an actual threat chasing us down that path. In ancient times the Roman army would punish disobedient, lazy, and timid soldiers so harshly that it was famously said that Roman troops were more afraid of their commanders than the opposing armies, which is why the Roman army was so courageous and successful on the battlefield.

Our motivation is lowest when we see a threat blocking our way to the goal. It is highest when we see a clear path to the goal, and our fear is behind us, pushing us towards the goal. Therefore, if you are feeling unmotivated, or feeling motivated to do the wrong thing, you should create fear for yourself, either by focusing your thoughts and emotions on the consequences of not doing the right thing or by creating an abstract fear for yourself, like the fear of God. Without fear, you are prone to chase lower, easier pleasures rather than higher, more difficult pleasures.

Humans place disproportionate weight on pleasures and pains that will occur in the short term, and we wrongly discount pleasures and pains that may occur in the long term. If I have strong pleasure available to me now, but the pain associated with consuming that easy pleasure will not occur until much later, my emotions will incline me towards the easy pleasure now. This is all the more prevalent when the later pain is abstract and difficult to conceptualize. For example, if ignore my training to chase easy pleasure now, I will not see the pain of that decision until I lose the championship game, which may not occur until many months from now. To motivate myself to train hard, I bring that future pain to the present.

I am not saying that one should constantly feel the emotion of fear. The flight or fight response that fear produces is incredibly damaging and stressful on your body, and evolved to only be invoked in emergencies and for a brief period of time. If you have ever been genuinely afraid, like in a fight or a car accident, you know you cannot sustain that emotion for a long period of time. The fear that motivates is a rational understanding the short and long-term consequences of not pursuing the correct purpose, not an emotional response. For example, my industry is very competitive, and I know that if I do not work hard some upstart will take the top spot from me, just as I took the top spot in the past from the previous winners that became complacent. This is the same “fear” that causes me to not text and drive at the same time.

Arrogance and laziness are the result of too much unhealthy anxiety and not enough healthy fear. Arrogance comes from enjoying the pleasure that high status brings, and laziness comes from fear of the unknown. Arrogant lazy people enjoy feeling high status but fear the unknown, so they lie to themselves and others that their current purpose routines are good enough. But the world is constantly changing and the unknown is constantly encroaching, so you will eventually be defeated if you do not venture into it. A humble person doesn’t enjoy the pleasure of high status – he reaches for a higher pleasure – the pleasure of venturing forth into the unknown, knowing he will have to change his purpose routines to defeat whatever may lay therein.

Fear should not be your greatest motivator. Your strongest motivator should be the journey pleasure that comes from pursuing a grand purpose. But everybody is prone to becoming lazy and arrogant at some point, especially after we have accomplished something, so it is beneficial to have the ability to scare yourself to get back on track when necessary. Threat constantly surrounds us, and anxiety makes us reluctant to face that threat, so we sometimes need a stronger fear to force us to fight that threat. 

Most people in the modern world are motivated by fear, not by any grand purpose. They may enjoy some aspects of their jobs, but the main thing pushing them to wake up and go to work in the morning is the fear of losing their job, becoming homeless, and being rejected by their tribe, whatever that is. Journey pleasure is a rare and delicate flower that is hard to cultivate, whereas fear is a more solid and consistent motivator, which is why “self-motivated” people are so rare. In earlier times, people feared their father, their priest, their teachers, their society, their king, and their God, and this fear propelled them to pursue higher purposes. Nowadays, people fear dying and being homeless, and whatever their tribe tells them to fear (in LA, people fear being ugly, in SJW circles, people fear being called racist, etc…), so they are content with living a mediocre existence. The modern world makes a devil’s bargain with us: if we become a conformist slave, we will have nothing to fear. But by giving us nothing to fear, the modern world ensures we stay a conformist slave. This comfortable slave, who had no higher purpose, is Nietzsche’s “last man.”

I ran out of space on reddit. Please see the rest of this article on https://www.woujo.com/blog/2019/12/5/the-purpose-series-part-1-of-3-purpose-anxiety-fear-the-unknown-and-the-purposeless-epidemic-in-modern-society

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Post Information
Title The Purpose Series (Part 1 of 3) - Purpose, Anxiety, Fear, the Unknown, and the Purposeless Epidemic in Modern Society
Author Woujo
Upvotes 545
Comments 50
Date December 9, 2019 1:27 PM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit /r/TheRedPill
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/TheRedPill/the-purpose-series-part-1-of-3-purpose-anxiety.298479
https://theredarchive.com/post/298479
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/e89xsa/the_purpose_series_part_1_of_3_purpose_anxiety/
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Comments

[–]UsernameIWontRegret84 points85 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I don’t say this often but this is honestly one of the top 5 posts I’ve ever read here in the past 6 years. Great work.

[–]oorobz44 points45 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Well explained fundamentals of psychology by using easy-to-understand words, worth for reading! Thanks man!

[–]8380atgmaildotcom29 points30 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

Great work. Would like to see this as a finished product with some form of publication (PDF, physical copy, audiobook, all of the above). Wouldn't take much but I think this is a coherent stream of thought worth putting together. Will be on the lookout for parts 2 and 3.

[–]Woujo[S] 33 points34 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Yeah my plan is to use this stuff as the basis for my book. I will reach out when I am ready for some help. Thanks a lot.

[–]HellSpeed6 points7 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

I would appreciate a further explanation of 'The Ultimate Transcendent Purpose'. I understand what you are saying about how having an ultimate purpose that is higher than women, business, fitness, etc. would be beneficial for creating the proper mindset. And how if one of your goals gets derailed having an 'Ultimate Transcendent Purpose' would help retain motivation to continue the pursuit of other goals. What is your 'Ultimate Transcendent Purpose' if you don't mind sharing? Or maybe you could provide other examples? I imagine that it refers to things like the belief in the afterlife, "If I am good and don't sin, I will go to Heaven.". For a non-religious person, I am struggling to define a healthy, over-arching purpose.

Great article, thank you for posting.

[–]Woujo[S] 6 points7 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

The Ultimate Transcendent Goal is not a specific goal. It is more of an abstract idea: "creating an infinitely better future reality." It is more of a psychological tool to not make you focus on any specific goal, but rather to allow your specific goals to be flexible. The point is that you should always be aiming for the biggest goals that are practicable for you, without making your "biggest" goal something specific. The thing I am trying to avoid is being the guy that wins the World Series and then has nothing to do.

Please let me know if that makes sense.

[–]HellSpeed4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You must conceptualize your desires, purposes, and emotions as a pyramid, with “lower” purposes supporting higher ones. At the bottom of the pyramid are your lowest purposes: eating, shitting, having sex, staying warm, etc… Those purposes must be satiated so you can pursue your higher purposes: lifting, having a successful career, maintaining good relationships, etc… At the top of the pyramid your highest purpose, the purpose which all lower purposes support, is your desire to venture into the unknown, defeat the threats that lay therein, and create a transcendent future reality that is infinitely better than your current reality. I called this highest purpose the “Ultimate Transcendent Purpose.”

The Ultimate Transcendent Purpose is a transcendent ideal and by definition never achievable because no matter what you achieve, there is more to do. The Ultimate Transcendent Purpose contains within it anything else a human being could ever want or need. It is simultaneously the ultimate adventure and the ultimate destination. Because it is transcendent, it cannot be imagined by any current human mind.

Your theory/method relates to the book The Mind Illuminated. A book I have found very useful for learning to meditate. In the book, it talks about motivation and how it works, and how we can use it to achieve our goals. It also talks about how it is important to set our 'intentions', as our subconscious mind reacts to and follows the intentions we set. I like your idea that 'The Ultimate Transcendent Purpose' is the "desire to venture into the unknown, defeat the threats that lay therein, and create a transcendent future reality that is infinitely better than your current reality". And I can see how having an abstract ultimate goal that is never truly attainable will sustain the motivation to never stop improving. What I would like some clarification on is how you use it practically. When you conceptualize this pyramid, what are the intentions you are setting in your mind, how does this help motivate you and, how does one use this technique other than simply thinking in their head "My main purpose is my desire to venture into the unknown, defeat the threats that lay therein, and create a transcendent future reality that is infinitely better than my current reality"?

I feel like there is something great in this technique but it needs to be expanded on a bit, especially since it is the foundation of your theory.

[–]inbredostrptw1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Im thinking of it as having the goal of becoming a god. Also, great read. I plan to write this well some day.

[–]hazelstein18 points19 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Woujo is top 5 contributor of Redpill <3

[–]YellowJulius12 points13 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Saved and upvoted. Fucking awesome to deconstruct anxiety like that. When meditation doesn’t do the trick I can come back to this article

[–]Redsqa11 points12 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You've put words on so many things I've felt intuitively but couldnt articulate for years, it's like a fog has been lifted in my mind. Thanks for writing

[–]itzdjengo9 points10 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Awesome post. It makes me wonder how you have managed to have this much knowledge. Again, great post!

[–]INNASKILLZ2K1810 points11 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I don't have time right now to read the rest of the article on your blog, but I can say this is some of the best writing I've ever read.

From my own life experience, your theories and ideas ring completely true. So well put together, coherent and applicable.

I work with addicts and alcoholics in arguably the best rehab in this country. From my own journey, and watching the journey of others, I see all the elements of emotion, purpose, unknown and solutions play out over and over again.

Addicts will run, from fear, anxiety, the unknown, and become enslaved to short term pleasure seeking routines. Emotional relief.

My work, I feel, I can summarize as giving people the experience and tools to navigate everything you've mentioned.

All the ideas you've so coherently described are, in fact, 'life on life's terms'.

In my own recovery, and pursuing of my purpose, I feel that mastery is one's ability to develop solutions, strategies and 'purpose routines' to continually move through all of the factors you've described.

You need an on-going, overall purpose routine, ability to deal with and move through anxiety, fear, unknowns, limiting beliefs, all while moving forward and toward the unknown.

I'm training to become a Mindfulness teacher, and your writing helped me to see more of the benefits and power of mindfulness.

Our body is always in one of two states, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for intense physical activity and is often referred to as the fight-or-flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system has almost the exact opposite effect and relaxes the body and inhibits or slows many high energy functions.

One state is the flight or fight feeling, which human's spend most of their time in. That's where fear, anxiety, unknown all take over.

Parasympathetic is when we are soothed.

Mindfulness can teach the art of relating very differently to fear, anxiety, the unknown, our cognitive biases and limiting beliefs.

In itself, Mindfulness can be a pleasure routine. It helps slow us down and create new neuro pathways with how we deal with stress, anxiety, fear, unknown, limited thinking etc.

It also, as much as anything, can help us venture toward unknown with curiosity, non-judgement, exploratory intentions.

This stuff, your writing, is the shit. This is the path to self and life mastery. Truly exploring, understanding and mastering how everything works and fits together.

Outstanding post and makes me more grateful for how I live y life. Mission/purpose turns everything into brilliance.

[–]crushplanets3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Good stuff! To some the word 'purpose' holds too much weight to it, and it can be easy to get lost in a mind game of 'what is my purpose' in life. If you swap the word for 'mission' then it becomes more easy to view it from a different angle, of what is my current 'mission' at this time in my life: better diet, improve finances, fuck more bitches, etc...

[–]throwing8smokes4 points5 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Pop this in a book man. Also, what are some good pleasures to off set the negative pleasures. I.e. tired after a long day of work, you want to pop down in front of the TV. what is a good, passive form of pleasure to reward yourself after work to recharge for the next day? tea? (that could work), calming music, quick nap. actually, i find that usually after work 6pm, i am just tired, so anything i can do whilst sitting or laying down will be good. Reading is fun, but looking for other activities. I guess, writing, planning next dat, diary, etc

[–]Woujo[S] 3 points4 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

I recommend something creative rather than consuming. Even if you are reading, you should be creating new ideas that help you in your life. I obviously write in my spare time but you can also paint, make music, work on a business, etc...

[–]throwing8smokes0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

how do you recharge after a tough day of work to give you enough energy to pursue a creative pleasure at 7-8pm. my brain and body are exhausted at that point and need a pick me up, however, I want to build better pleasure pathways

[–]Woujo[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Part of it is taking care of yourself, eating better, getting more sleep, etc...

But another part of it is finding something that excites you. Oftentimes you feel listless and low energy because the thing is not giving you journey pleasure. When you find something that excites you, you may get jazzed up.

[–]throwing8smokes0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

good point. If the task you are doing is contributing to your journey, i.e. your lifelong goals, then it will give you pleasure

[–]deboliusmaximus2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The modern world makes a devil’s bargain with us: if we become a conformist slave, we will have nothing to fear. But by giving us nothing to fear, the modern world ensures we stay a conformist slave. This comfortable slave, who had no higher purpose, is Nietzsche’s “last man.”

Very well-written article and in-depth analysis on human psychology. The key to escaping the blue-pilled cesspool is rejecting the cheap pleasures of the modern world in favor of the pleasures that only come through struggle.

[–]farminggil2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Beautiful post. You are a very talented writer. I 100% agree with every single piece of information you shared.

Now pop this in a book and get it published, because this is information that people would pay for.

[–]VisiblePlan3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Woujo you brilliant brilliant man. I had thought you were retired and living fun filled life and you come back here to help these boys become men. You probably couldn't even fathom how much you've helped raise me pal, so I'll just tell all you youngins that this man's works will change your life.

[–]MagnetoWned2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

amazing post, following your site after this one A+

[–]Jeffspark2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Very well written. I have also been thinking about the purposeless-ness epidemic recently and how so many people around are depressed because they don’t know what to do, or have too many options to do. This is a classic first world epidemic.

I however think that having a transcendental purpose is too far-fetched for most of the population because many of them don’t even have tangible goals that they are going for, which honestly included me until recently.

I distinctly remember by ex-wife 2 years ago, walking into the living room at the middle of the night and asking me a single straight question while I was smoking my second joint and playing PS4 : “Don’t you have a purpose in life”?

It sounds too perfect to be true, but such a profound question simply came out of her female brain in the middle of the night! If I knew what it meant that day, I would have probably been able to save my marriage.

[–]ntxve2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I really appreciate this! I've been having a lot of anxiety lately, and this is helping me understand and overcome my anxiety.

[–]McVaghunter2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

It seems like an interesting post, hell, the top comment saying this is one of greatest posts got me really hyped, unfortunately I couldn't continue reading the damn thing; the words "emotion" and "purpose" were repeated in every single sentence, it's gotten to the point where I just couldn't take it any more.

It's a form of pleonasm and you need to fix it. The first paragraphs hint that your long ass post can be reduced to few sentences if we fixed its tautology, which means it would be a waste of time reading the entire thing as it is right now.

I'm sorry to be that guy and I hope I'm the only one annoyed by this.

[–]krsuma2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

thank you for your post and for your contribution. I've been reading your blog once every while since the time I have discovered it.

[–]Isbjornsolo2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Very well written and some excellent points laid out.

/u/Woujo was there any reason you left out any mention of Serotonin? As I was reading the post it seemed to me the feeling of "Journey Pleasure" would be closer to that of Serotonin which is built upon an internal feeling of contenetment (long term) vs the shorter term dopamine which is currently being abused by betas as a coping mechanism for not having a larger purpose or goal.

Thanks for taking the time to flesh out your ideas. I'm looking forward to the 2nd & 3rd pieces.

[–]Woujo[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Good question. I'm actually working on a guide to anxiety and depression, and I address this question in that article. Here is the relevant section:

The two highest pleasures for any human beings are 1) the feeling of pursuing desirable purposes and 2) the feeling of being accepted into the tribe. Anxiety is a failure of #1. Depression is a failure of #2.

Anxiety and depression are linked because evolution designed human beings to only feel “accepted” after contributing to the tribe, and the best way to contribute to the tribe one is to pursue desirable purposes that lead to some kind of resource for the tribe. People who do not feel like they are successfully pursuing desirable purposes that lead to valuable resources often feel worthless, and this feeling of worthlessness causes depression. Even though anxiety and depression are different emotions and manifest themselves in different ways, they often exist together.

. . .

These ailments involve many different chemicals, but, roughly speaking, at the most basic level 1) anxiety is a dopamine problem and 2) depression is a serotonin problem. I say “roughly speaking” because anxiety and depression are linked, so a person with anxiety probably also has low serotonin and a person with depression probably has problems with dopamine.

Humans experience dopamine when we feel like we are on our way to an attractive goal (goal conquering). As I said earlier, anxiety is the “default” state for our brains, which means that our brain constantly wants to flood us with negative chemicals until we see a path to a desirable goal that will provide dopamine. Therefore, anti-anxiety drugs fall into two categories: 1) drugs that give us dopamine hits and 2) drugs that slow down our brain’s mechanisms that deliver the negative emotions that make us paralyzed and feel shitty.

Cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamines, and THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) all deliver dopamine hits, which means that all our goals feel more reachable and pleasurable, which in turn reduces our anxiety. Alcohol and benzodiazepines retard our brain’s neuropsychology, and by stemming the flow of the negative signals and chemicals, cause us to feel more relaxed and less anxious. Benzos bind with GABA receptors, causing neurons to slow down their firing and communicate with each other less, stemming the flood of negative emotions that paralyze us. Interestingly, nobody is sure exactly how alcohol works, but it appears that alcohol increases GABA production, increases dopamine, AND increases serotonin. No wonder why it is so popular!

Aside from all the other negative side effects, a major side effect of anti-anxiety drugs is that they cause us to do stupid shit. As I said earlier, anxiety evolved for a very important purpose: to cause us to not push ahead towards goals where there is a threat or obstacle on the way. Anti-anxiety drugs either 1) increase our desire to push ahead toward the goal, 2) feel less bad about the threats, or 3) both, which means we may stupidly run into threatening situations on anti-anxiety drugs whereas normally we would not. People on these drugs are sometimes prone to violent or reckless behavior because those subconscious emotions that stop them in their track have been weakened. Of course, you can still prevent yourself from doing stupid shit while on these drugs by thinking rationally, but most people rely on their emotions to keep them from transgressing society’s boundaries, and without their emotions to keep them in control, their rational mind doesn’t pick up the slack.

Because dopamine defeats anxiety, people often medicate their anxiety with counterproductive activities that give them a dopamine rush, including pornography, video games, overeating, consuming trashy entertainment, wasting time on the internet, engaging in stupid status battles, speeding or doing other dangerous activities, etc… These activities quiet our anxiety or depression for a short period of time, but they usually make our problems worse because they are distracting us from fixing real threats in our life or actually pursuing worthwhile goals. People often get caught in a vicious cycle: their life sucks, so they feel anxiety, so they chase worthless pleasures, which districts them from fixing their life, which causes their life to get worse, which increases their anxiety, which causes them to chase worthless pleasures more, and so on. I believe psychological addiction occurs when

With regard to depression, serotonin is the chemical that regulates our feelings of acceptance within the tribe. The higher our “rank” in the tribe (and therefore the more accepted we feel), the higher our serotonin. Most antidepressants work by somehow increasing our serotonin. Psychedelic drugs like LSD, mushrooms, ecstasy, and DMT also work by delivering massive boosts of serotonin or serotonin agonists (a serotonin agonist is a chemical that is not technically serotonin but which binds with our serotonin receptors as if it were serotonin).

Earlier, I said that feeling like you were low in the dominance hierarchy makes you more likely to feel impulsive and interested in consuming whatever resources you can consume before your inevitable rejection from the tribe. Conversely, receiving massive amounts of serotonin, like in a psychedelic trip, causes you to feel a deep sense of contentment and satiation, because your subconscious mind feels like it has access to all the resources it needs, so it can turn to loving and helping others. People on psychedelics also often report deep feelings of attachment and “oneness” with others and the universe itself. I believe this is the feeling of being warmly embraced by the tribe. People at the bottom rungs of the tribe are more likely to feel division and enmity towards themselves and the material world because they feel like the world is a battle for resources. But for a person who is warmly accepted and loved by the tribe, those feelings of enmity subside.

Serotonin can also reduce your anxiety because one of our strongest sources of anxiety is social anxiety, i.e., the feeling that we are going to screw up somehow and offend the alpha male and that he is going to kick us out of the tribe as a result. This, by the way, is why you normally feel more anxious around your boss, your family, and other people care you about than around people who don’t matter as much. Your boss, family, friends, or girlfriend often hold the power of your acceptance into a group that gives you access to resources, including money, love, and other things you enjoy. If your boss/family/friends act predictably and rationally, you will feel less anxiety because you will see a clear “path” to acceptance, but if they act arbitrarily, cruelly, and randomly, you are more likely to feel social anxiety because your subconscious mind will have no idea what to do to remain accepted, and will freak out as a result. Many people with social anxiety as adults were bullied as children or had authority figures in their life that acted arbitrarily, unfairly, stupidly, coldly, or cruelly, including coaches, family members, teachers, clergy, friends, etc…

Drugs cannot fix your anxiety or depression on their own, but they can give you a new lease on life by tricking your subconscious into thinking that it is a worthwhile contributor and valued member of the tribe. Once you get these positive feelings, your brain can start producing positive thoughts, beliefs, and mental patterns that will hopefully counteract and eliminate your negative thoughts, beliefs, and mental patterns. You may also realize that your negative subconscious mind that you believed was “you” is actually not “you” and can be replaced with a completely different “you.”

[–]dusara2171 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This is pure gold, I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

[–]living-thenightmare1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Could you say that it is essentially becoming the best possible version of yourself. Almost like a software that always gets updates along the way. There's always room for improvement, as you implement the newer version you realise there are a few bugs that appear that need to be rectified, or changes in the environment require tweaks in the software. These need to be conceptualised, tested, then implimented if useful and discarded if not.

It was definitely a good read though and I'm looking forward to parts 2 and 3

[–][deleted]  (1 child) | Copy Link

[deleted]

[–]Woujo[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

No there is nothing wrong with pursuing knowledge, but you can't make it your only purpose or your highest purpose. You need to have balance with all of your purposes.

[–]mrbasic-0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Fantastic read, man. I look forward to Part 2 and Part 3.

[–]OkMushroom40 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Spectacular post, I've been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately due to chasing petty pleasures now. This helps put it into perspective.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Gold, if you wrote a book I’d buy!

[–]sensestiveMale0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

My head just exploded (in a good way). So many threads connecting.. I can only imagine the years of background reading that went into this

[–]Jkarl10 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Great post! Looking forward to the rest.

[–]RedHoodhandles0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Great read. Thank you for it. A little side note and recomendation for you, your journey pleasure and goal pleasure is not a new concept in biology. Alan Goldhamer talks in his book 'The pleasure trap' exactly about these two concepts. I.e. happiness and pleasure, with happiness being the pursuit of pleasure/pleasureable goals (food, sex).

[–]1942eugenicist0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

"People now a days are fearful of dying " like history wasn't full of constant daily death lmao

[–]Woujo[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Ok I changed it to "People nowadays are ONLY fearful of dying..."

[–]1942eugenicist0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Fear drives a lot of things in a lot of ways. One of the drives of fear is denial

[–]sirburgundy0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you very much for this brilliant post. Really liked the first part (part published here) , it's helped me see more clearly lots of stuff in my life, and the mechanisms of how I fell into a shit hole the last years after my life and purposes crumbled all around me at the same time. Never got out but with this I can take some distance and understand what happened, so this may save my life, thanks a lot for that. I had more trouble getting the transcendent purpose part, how can you work towards it if it's unachievable and tie in all other purposes to it? Last I kind of fell for the alt right trap, and didn't necessarily like your quip about extreme views being moronic (how are alt right views even extreme? They're just normal views everyone had a century ago when society hadn't gone to shit yet) or going all conspiracy theory and jews are the source of evil stuff. You criticise that as moronic behavior and then go on about the evil alphas betraying the people and talking about the Entertainment-Media-Academic complex. So that was a bit contradictory at the end.

[–]Lefeudufou0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Click on thread -> Scroll down to the bottom -> Sh*t this is long -> "I ran out of space on reddit."

[–][deleted]  (1 child) | Copy Link

[deleted]

[–]Woujo[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

It's not a specific thing. It's an abstract idea so that you don't focus on one particular "real" purpose. If you make some specific thing your highest purpose (for example, like winning the World Series), you will become miserable if it becomes impossible for you to achieve that purpose or if you do actually achieve that purpose.

[–]dickcel_supposedlyav-4 points-3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

TL;DR. Got to bottom... link to the FULL article? Lol.

[–]Snowpeartea-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

great post! but i had to read in 3 sessions. my brain got too tired and i wanted to make sure i absorb everything

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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