When you look back five years and think of how you arrived to your present condition, you probably nod with understanding as you recall the work, effort, and bit of luck that brought you here. The road to now may even have some logic to it. But if you asked yourself five years ago to predict this moment, or a man from a time machine gave you a vision of how you would be in five years, you’d be shocked, disappointed, or frightened. You wouldn’t have been able to imagine moving from point A to point B, though once you’ve made it to point B, it becomes rather sensible how that journey took place.
Within your genetics, influences, character, and temperament, there is only a small list of outcomes that are possible for you. There may be fits and starts to get to that outcome but the destiny will eventually be realized, sort of like how a toddler falling down while learning to walk doesn’t create doubt in anyone that it will one day be a great walker. This outcome can only be altered by your influences, which you are exposed to by chance. Each influence you stumble across tweaks your destiny.
Early in youth you are like a boat in the ocean, whose movement is easily affected by the wind and wake. As your influences gain in focus and consistency and your character becomes more stable, you become like a car, far more stable than the boat. You have great variability on which lane to pick and what position to take within that lane, but you’re still sensitive to weather and other drivers on the road.
Once you believe you’ve found truth or wisdom or happiness, and are sure of your path, you become like a train. Your destiny is now ordained, and you will only be affected by the greatest of calamities such as a hurricane or earthquake. Your speed can vary but it alters the arrival of your destination by only a few minutes.
The only degree of free will that you have is the influences you select—the friend you spend time with, the book you read, and the movie you watch. These help determine the mode of your transport and its direction and speed. Most humans fail to graduate from steering a boat, remaining a slave to the environment, whipped around in all manner of storms. But the train is not so easily affected. The heaviest of storms can impede its progress but to a small degree. Its tracks guarantee it will arrive to the destination.
I just stated that you have free will in choosing your influences, but do you really? How did you choose the last book you read? You had many choices, I’m sure, but it’s the previous books you read and whether you enjoyed them or not, whether their message agreed with your nature or not, that ended up determining the next book you picked. Therefore you did not have complete free will. In fact, I believe you have no free will at all in picking your influences. They were randomly thrust upon you at the right time at a crucial point in your development as a human being. Show me the last ten books you read and a selection of ones you are thinking of buying now, and I will guess with significant accuracy which one you read next. It would be obvious to me, just like how the route from point A to point B is obvious when you look back from point B.
You are a vessel, a bridge to the accomplishment or execution of something, whether it’s performing labor, disseminating a message, or transmitting ideas. You had no choice in this matter. Reading this article right now was not an exercise in free will. You have been influenced throughout your life to be primed to read it at this point in time when your mind would put up zero resistance to its reading. You may not agree with its contents, but the choice to read it was not yours. It was a long journey that was shaped by the chance of your influences against your genetics, character, and temperament.
When I decided to visit Ukraine, it was because a germ that started from my birth was at a certain bloom and decided that Ukraine would best serve its interests. When I study Polish, it’s because the season has changed and the climate has now become suited for a task which my mind believes is more important. When I decide to write a book, that decision was influenced by everything that has happened to me in my 33 years of life. It is actually impossible for me not to write the book when the idea pops into my mind. I am but a vessel to this task.
We have complete control over our day-to-day activities. Tomorrow you have a choice in how to fill your day, as you can decide on a whim to call in sick or skip class, but a day is but a drop in a man’s life. The driver inside you does not care for a day because it operates in years. It is steering you. The influences that you have picked in the past, or rather the influences that found you at the right time in your development, determine your future. Point B is unknown, as even the most intelligent man cannot predict what lies ahead, but when you get there it will be so obvious and fitting that you may even trick yourself into thinking that you actually predicted it—no, that you consciously controlled it every step of the way! But you have no control. The randomness of being influenced, which would closely resemble to what scientists call nurture, may trick you into thinking you had some choice along the way.
Sometimes I open a book that I think will be important, and a thought enters my head. That thought goes something like this: “This book is going to take me down a path which I know not the end, but which the end is written, and at that end I may remember this book and how it opened my eyes to a new idea that was very agreeable to me, or a new behavior which I was eager to try, and it will put me one step closer to an end that is a total mystery.” And I nod my head and start reading, understanding the power of influence and how it shapes my destiny.
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*said with a robotic voice*
“I’ve noticed that even people who believe in fate look both ways before crossing the street.”
Thought the readers of this blog would enjoy this NYT article:
If dating is dead. And relationships are dead. And by direct consequence, family is dead. What is left? A series of small projects for momentary happiness and inflated self-worth? A ridiculous notch-count without a sigle memory of happiness?
I’ve been thinking about influence quite a bit the past couple of days. A book a read changed my way of thinking (to a small degree) and made me wonder how often that happens subconsciously and how permanent and resonant trifling influences can be. I am wandering a bit aimlessly right now and, I think more susceptible to influence that a man with a clear path, as you say. I think a man with a true goal, a purpose in his heart is able to influence others instead becoming a slave to another’s influence. That, I believe is what separates the mice from the men.
Damn damn damn damn good post. Couldn’t agree with you more
This is very true.
I actually created a video in 2008 on my trip to Turkey announcing to the camera of the type of person i wanted to be 5 years from now.
in short, fast forward to 2013, and i’ve become ‘everything’ that i said i would be back when i announced it.
The power of the mind is very interesting. It just goes to show how important it is to focus on the things you want instead of the things you don’t want.
And most do not realize we have two brains and they are often working against each other.
Okay … predict my next book based on the last ten I read.
The Midi Manual
How to Make Noise: Analog Synthesis
Back Stretching – Back Strengthening And Stretching Exercises For Everyone
Taking Our Own Side
Summoning the Gods
Toward the White Republic
The Fourth Political Theory
HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training Explained
Practical Antenna Handbook 5/e
There are certainly some themes there — exercise, music, electronics, pro-white activism … but would that really predict my next book?
But yes, overall … I agree and believe your analysis on this issue is sound.
“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he is going.” ~Napoleon Hill
“I’ll tell you a riddle. You’re waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don’t know for sure. But it doesn’t matter. How can it not matter to you where the train will take you?”
Egregious rip-off of quote from Inception but for some reason your post about the train analogy reminded me very much of this line in that the ultimate destination is irrelevant, you -are- going to arrive there anyways.
Secondarily, it has 100% been my experience that your ideas become more and more fixed and less liquid as you age. This is the primary reason you have the stereotype of the grumpy old man bitching about the “younger generation” and their crazy ideas. And how, ironically, those radical youths end up becoming the old man (full of regret, waiting to die alone… sorry couldn’t help it).
Oddly, with an increasingly immature society, this paradigm has shifted. “Men” are still those boats adrift and malleable until late into adulthood for most Americans. This is a consequence, of course, of letting “children” (read: women) control the frame and dialogue for so long. Mercurial emotional creatures are women and children, so men of this Age fall into lockstep and go adrift for far too long.
Tertiarily, this was one of your best posts. You have way more under the hood than just talking about fucking women, and I’m glad you are branching out creatively into other areas.
I’ve never really believed in free will too much either.
By the by, Roosh you should just call yourself a Stoic.
Yeah free will is largely an illusion. On the flip side, you can sometimes find solace in determinism; when something goes bad there was nothing you could have done to avoid it anyway.
No, free will is probably not an illusion. If you act genuinely nice to society, society will act genuinely towards you. If you are a bitch to society, society will act like a bitch towards you.
All possibilities are there, you choose the one you want.
Quite a geek myself, this video changed my life:
Here’s the rub – whether you believe in free will or not, moment to moment living involves assuming you have it. Every decision, every weighed option, every strategy and ultimate goal – believing in your ability to alter circumstance is hardwired into your psyche. Society also believes in it implicity – Ethics, morality, justice etc are all predicated on it.
I like that you added music and films into the list of things that can influence you. I noticed at age 11 that growing up in a family of film and music buffs had caused me to have no attraction to the 9 – 5 grind. I heard other kids talk about accounting and being a lawyer etc.
I experimented over 5 years ago with my destiny, visualization, goal setting and improving myself. I was trying all I could was mentioning in the film the secret and tested it on my life. I was setting a goal, if the environment changed around me, then I believe in visualization, goal setting and all the stuff. As I arrived at my goal I can’t believe it. Also not in the methods I have tried. It’s to complex after so many time to re-engineer what I did. So I decided to make a new experiment on the mentioned methods. And again, I have archived my goals again. But I can’t. believe it 100% that it worked again with this methods. It’s furthermore very complex to understand for me. So I try again now on a third experiment on visualization, goal setting and dreaming every day until I arrive at my next dream. Every time I believe more and more on the laws of the universe that are mentioned in the film “the secret”. My experiencees on that topic. I think there is a little bit free will, but it take massive mentaly afford to work every day on it until arriving.
Dude, you always make reading seem so cool. I’ll bet you bang a lot of librarians.
You’re on the train of life all the time, heading to a fixed destination. You can change destinations, but only when you’re passing a station and only if you have enough money.
Have you watched FlashForward? Its all about this.
There is a good quote at the end:
“You are trying to fight fate, mate.. and this is so sad, because you have already lost”
Surely the very existence of Game is an indication that free will exists: you choose to learn Game – and that choice can change your life.
Sir, very well written. I have purchased ‘My Life’s Work’ and am enjoying the wealth of information. Being a reader and writer myself, I can say that you are a deep and very wise person at the core. Please keep updating with more mini-epiphanies that are helping people like me.
This is a great post, and something quite at a tangent to the main body of the manosphere. Your writing is tending towards the philosophical of late, which is a good thing.
Being a Roman Catholic, I believe in free will as well as divine providence. There is given number of roads you can walk down, but you get to choose which one to pick up at each crossroad.
Protestants, Muslims like yourself and atheist are more prone to believe you can´t choose your road in life. You´ve got to submit to God/Allah or destiny.
Physicists believe time does not flow but is static. The past, present, and future all exist as singular moments or events; all relative. Your past can still be seen (with the right telescope) by an alien light years away. Gravity of course affects it; people closer to the earth or other masses experience time more slowly. In any case, it’s all there, being sliced moment to moment like a loaf of ham at a deli counter.
No Shit Einstein
I used to be a strong believer that free will is an illusion. It seems theoretically possible that if one knew all of the laws governing our universe, and also knew at a particular point in time the exact positions and velocities of all matter in the universe, then he could predict their exact positions and configurations for the rest of time. This would include the exact position and configurations of all those neurons and synapses in each of our brains, implying that it’s theoretically possible to predict every decision anyone has ever made, precluding free will. That resonated with me until I looked deeper into quantum mechanics. According to current theory, the universe does NOT work on a set of laws that have certain outcomes. Instead, the fundamental laws of the universe work on probability. Perform an exactly identical experiment in physics multiple times, and outcome A will happen 50% of the time, outcome B 20%, outcome C 12%, etc.
If the fundamental laws of our universe can’t predict what will happen, but instead only what might happen, then my argument against free will above is void. The universe is NOT deterministic, and there is no longer good reason to believe our actions and decisions are deterministic either. The laws of uncertainty underlying our universe are at work in your brain as well, and I believe that frees your consciousness from the realm of determinism.
d00d you crashed return of kings with your declaration of war on feminists. Too many napalmed feminists at once trying to log on. Pretty epic.
#25, QM offers no support for free will. If something is truly random, we cannot exert any influence over the outcome (or it would not be random!)
Besides, the many-worlds interpretation of QM is still totally deterministic, and says simply that all possible outcomes are realized in alternative universes.
“But if you asked yourself five years ago to predict this moment, or a man from a time machine gave you a vision of how you would be in five years, you’d be shocked, disappointed, or frightened.”
I think you’re right… I have changed in ways I couldn’t have expected. But this is partly from pushing myself beyond what I ever dreamed I was capable of.. learning and growing to the point I’m in many ways unrecognisable from the person I used to be.
I just read a pretty positive article about Roosh on Taki’s Magazine. I think it might be the only one in existence. Maybe there is hope after all. Congrats Roosh. Don’t go soft now that you get some ink that doesn’t portray you as the heavy.
Wow! That was profound. You affected me! Thank you for sharing.
Don’t usually comment on posts, but I just had to say very good work here. Much truth to this. I agree we all have our own unique skills and talents and it is the choices and what life throws at us that determines what where we end up
I don’t believe in any predetermined destiny. I believe you make decisions that help put you on a path. I changed my major 3 times in college. I feel I could have done a dozen different professions for work. I was instilled a work ethic that gave me a success ethic. What I did with my life has been a surprise to me. I thought I would have been married many times, because I had many girlfriends, but never did. I assumed the American economy would be strong and I would work steadily until retirement then do most of my traveling then. I was wrong after 2001. The tech economy crashed and my work became unstable giving me less work and more time to travel. I set goals and do the key steps to reach them. Some are harder than others. I’ve been sideswiped by an unforeseen illness, bad economy, or sometimes a bad decision. These can cause a detour. This has happened several times in my life. I don’t see any destiny. I accomplish my goals and live my life I want only if I persevere.
I just hope people in here get what you’re saying!
Destiny is real. Then again, we’ve all had great influences but not everybody acts upon them. For example, I have this idiot friend who’s had the same personality since high school who always wanted to “hang out” but had nothing to offer in social settings. Despite having great influences in the past, he never really absorbed anything and 11 years later still wants to hang out without contributing anything of importance. Why’s that? Because he never pro-actively chose or learned how to evolve as a result of the influences he’s had in the past.
This is really an excellent piece yet again though.
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