Way back when, back during my army days, I had this buddy named Leigh.
Leigh was a quiet sort. Never saying much, he looked like your typical nice guy – baby-faced, specktacled, unassuming; your standard high-IQ, University educated, reservist Infantry grunt. Until he opened his mouth, that is.
Leigh had himself a razored tongue, a sharp wit, and a of sense of humour which bespoke an acute awareness of the world. We used to almost-salute one another whenever we passed in the hallway, a joke at the expense of those who’d chosen bars over chevrons, and for a while there he got nicknamed ‘The General’.
I bring him up because of something he said to me once, as we were killing some time in the smoking pit. “Aurini,” he grinned lopsidedly at whatever I’d just said, “We really need to do something about that soft heart of yours.”
I forget the context, but it’s immaterial, really. He was right, of course – I’ve always been overly empathetic, often saddened by the tragedy I see in lives others, who are often themselves completely oblivious to it.
Whether this is a strength or a weakness is debatable. A good soldier desensitizes himself to murder, he trains by shooting man-shaped targets to overcome his natural inhibitions. A great soldier, however, will never dehumanize their enemy; they will brutally maim and kill their opponent while remaining fully cognizant of the fact that they’re doing this to a person, someone with a mother who loves them, and a faincee who will be heart broken for years after the war’s conclusion.
Without Love in our hearts we can never truly Hate; to blindly follow instincts and behaviour patterns, regardless of success, is more digger wasp than Human. A trained dog might know how to fetch your slippers, but it doesn’t know that it knows how. Imagine what it would be capable of if it did.
The whole point of self-awareness is to realize that you’re a purely deterministic creature. Figuring out your source code is the first step in reprogramming.
True Empathy – self aware Empathy – is a painful ‘gift’ to have. Weapons are only Useful if you’re willing to use them, but they always come at a cost. When you achieve a state where you can choose to be willing to choose to use them, you’ve given up the illusory integrity of the morally naive.
The Red Nuclear Button is before you; no matter what you do you will have made a choice.
There are certain universals with southern-bound romances. Men inevitably feel obligation; women just feel guilt.
Men are the ones with agency in relationships. They shine like Sol, women reflect like Luna, and all those other Old Truths.
The way a woman behaves – level of sweetness, frequency of sex, cleanliness of pussy – says more about her Man, than it does about herself. Her innate character is akin to the quality of the raw clay, while the Man’s level of Game corresponds to his skill as a potter.
Romans 9:21: Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor?
So when things start falling apart, the Man looks for solutions. He doesn’t blame the raw materials – though to be fair, a workman is only as good as his tools – but he doesn’t make excuses. He searches for solutions, acknowledges the failings of the Woman, while trying to find a workaround.
The woman just feels guilt over breaking whatever promises she made to him.
Of course this problem is endemic to the modern era. Women have leaned towards being irresponsible since the dawn of time, but things haven’t always been as bad as they are today in Western society. This entirely reputable historical list is circulated via email nowadays to shock us at how Dominated women were fifty years ago; but for anyone who can read between the lines they’d notice that this was anything but: these are Ten Useful Steps for taking Agency as a Woman, to consciously turn your husband into the sort of Man you can love and respect.
It’s one of Feminism’s little ironies that it’s ‘freed’ western women to the point where they have as little actual Agency as a Muslim female in the worst of third-world backwaters.
When a Man becomes aware of all of this, the Red Nuclear Button won’t stop staring him in the face. Your modern woman, abandoning agency, has all the moral worth of a piece of tissue; there are many who treat them as such.
And yet, that sort of PUA behviour isn’t fully conscious, it sin’t the sort of self awareness I’m describing. Learning Game, without understanding women, is the soldier’s equivalent to firing at silhouettes. It gets your dick wet, and you get to live in the blissful world of the Happy Dog, but it’s not Human.
It’s existentially awful to watch your relationship fall to pieces, fully aware weeks in advance of what the Bayesian estimates are on various outcomes – watching her fall to the level of Dumb Beast, while realizing that you don’t have the skill to turn this clay into an Honourable Vessel (but still trying, despite yoursef). At most, rather than hitting the Nuclear Button, you withdraw a portion of yourself – backup the kernel, and store it on a separate, encrypted partition so you can peform a System Restore after the fallout.
This deals with the worst of the potential pain, driving it down to negligible levels. But realizing the Depressive Truth of just how bad the clay has become nowadays, learning in greater detail just how many different types of sand infect it – Empathy and Self Awareness aren’t going to do anything to mitigate this blow.
But better a Bracing Truth, than a Comforting Lie, as Dawkins would say. We ain’t going to have any room for trained dogs in the realm of post-human uploads.
I, for one, plan on getting smarter, not stupider. The attendant anguishes are just the growing pains, the over-clocking of mammalian intelligence.
Keep yourselves alive, folks. Dreamtime is coming to a close… and it is later than you think.