The following dialogue took place between myself (RV) and Quintus Curtius (QC) on September 9, 2015.
Good day, Quintus. It has been three months since our last dialogue. As you know, I completed a lecture tour with stops in Germany, England, United States, and Canada, where I delivered a speech containing many of the principal beliefs of neomasculinity in addition to general self-improvement and game advice.
In Canada, I was met with stiff resistance from the political and media class, but was able to hold the speeches successfully in spite of it. The news coverage in Canada contained the first instances of the terms “neomasculinity” and “neomasculinist” appearing in print, a promising sign for a new philosophy that is barely six months old.
The resistance from the establishment is worthy of a future dialogue, but today I wanted to talk to you about what I observed of the 364 men I spoke to at the lectures, of which should not be a surprise to you since you attended the Montreal event. The men were not of one specific age range, race, personality, class, or appearance. They varied from men in their teens all the way up to their late 50’s (I had one father-son pair attend). While the majority was white, there were many Asians, Indians, Hispanics, blacks, and others. Some came just for the game tips, some were looking for advice on how to find the future mother of their children, and some others were looking to start a movement, to begin the resistance. What surprised me is that these men were applying similar beliefs in vastly different ways.
I didn’t expect that men of such different backgrounds could fall under the same ideological umbrella. What is it about neomasculine beliefs that can draw in such a wide net?
This was something that made an impression on me as well. The lectures saw a wide span of age groups. The noticeable variance of the ages of attendees seems to suggest, to me, that despite the station of life a man is in, there still remains a “core” set of principles that gird whatever phase of life a man finds himself in.
It is almost as if there is a bedrock of principles that unites the teenager, the man in his thirties, the middle aged man, and the elderly man. There was also a variance in economic class.
And what is this distilled wisdom that is present in every stage? I think you have correctly identified it as neomasculine ethos. These are the foundations, the roots, that remain alive and relevant from a man’s cradle to his grave. And this is why, it seems to me, that your lectures united such a wide disparity of ages.
All of them are drawn to neomasculine ideas like moths fluttering about a light. They may not yet be able to articulate why they decided to attend, but they innately feel the invocation that neomasculinity stands for. They sense, in the fiber of their being, that this core represents the beating heart of the masculine ethos. They cannot fail to respond to its call. And this is why it is beginning to attract public attention. The ideology serves a need that is desperately being called for, irrespective of age or national origin.
They are drawn to a light that appears in one color, but which possesses many different wavelengths. Depending on the stage the man is in, he will be attracted to a specific wavelength at one instance, and then a different wavelength the next.
A man’s life can be rather complex, but if we were to take a seasonal metaphor and try to apply it to all men, I think many would fit the following pattern:
Spring: This is when boy becomes man, and is beginning to wipe the crust of ignorance from his eyes to see the world as it is. Here he takes the red pill and accepts the hard truths that were concealed to him.
Summer: He is mostly liberated from mainstream dogma and programming. The truth he has accepted can be used to improve his love life, his social life, his health, and his finances. At the summer solstice, he may let the heat affect his thinking, and over-indulge in fleeting pleasures.
Fall: The cooling weather forces abrupt changes. He works out the remaining hedonistic urges from his system and begins to search for purpose and meaning. He comes to the understanding that truth is not all-or-nothing, but a series of chambers, one room leading to another, with a seemingly infinite number of options. The path he takes will be entirely his own.
Winter: He makes the final application of the wisdom he has achieved in life. Will he look back and see it as a repeating cycle that went everywhere but nowhere, or will he see that a deeper meaning has been achieved with a clear beginning, middle, and end? The answer may not come for him until he approaches his last breath.
Do you see yourself in these descriptions? I would say most guys who attended the lecture were in Summer, and only now do I feel a push into Fall, where I’m ready to use the truths I have realized not for pleasurable gains, but to serve a purpose that does not involve serving my own bodily satisfactions. The neomasculinist is aware of the seasons and is prepared for the change in weather. He understands that what he wears today will not be suitable three months from now.
This is well and truly said. The analogy of the “seasons” is a fitting one. I suppose we could also equate them with mental states, in that:
Spring: The rebellious pugnacity of youth, burning brightly, and questioning everything.
Summer: The belief that inherited wisdom is wrong, and that we ourselves know the “truth.”
Fall: The world makes a mockery of our pretensions, and we begin to perceive how our ideas clash with the iniquities of life.
Winter: We resign ourselves to the nature of Life and Fate, and reach a state of Stoic acceptance of inherited wisdom. We realize that our ancestors were, in fact, right, and that the ancient wisdom was there for a purpose.
I would also say, Roosh, that none of these “seasons” that you spoke of can definitely be said to be a “happy” state. For no one can call a man happy until he has breathed his last breath. As Montaigne says, “Fortune appears sometimes purposely to wait for the last year of our lives in order to show us that she can overthrow in one moment what she has taken long years to build.”
But I certainly do see myself in those descriptions of the seasons. If I were to estimate my own season, it would have to be at what you have marked “Fall.” I have not yet surrendered myself completely to the arms of Fate, but I am becoming more and more aware of her rule over mens’ lives.
But each of these seasons has a part to play in the drama of life. Some wish they had acquired wisdom at an early age. Maybe so. But would that man even know what to do with it? Would he even believe its truth? The seasons of man are like the acts in a play; one cannot understand the final act, before the drawing of the curtain, until he has sat through the preceding acts.
I agree that each stage has enough difficulties where a Hollywood kind of eternal happiness does not factor in. Of course there will be moments of pleasure, and hopefully a high level of contentment, hope, and enjoyment, but the pursuit of wisdom, knowledge, truth, and enlightenment comes at such a cost that most men can not begin to attempt it. They don’t even know that such a pursuit is an option for them.
I’m not pushing a life of asceticism and suffering, but a fiber of stoicism does seem to be naturally weaved into a life lived well and honestly. A young man may come to us for pickup advice, for example, but stay for the self-actualization that comes afterwards.
During the lectures, a couple men inquired about my own path and exactly what happened to go from being a horny early 20-something prowling the clubs of Washington DC to the position I found myself in Canada where I was hiring bodyguards to give a talk in a hostile environment. My response to them: “I just wanted to get laid.” One door led to another, and my interest is pursuing women for casual sex is currently so low that I barely recognize my older writing when coveting the female flesh was the sole reason for my existence.
When guys pursue sex, they think they are mainly satisfying a primal urge, but at the same time they are covertly learning and understanding how women are, how men are, how society is, and even how government is. Game is currently the most popular gateway that men find into neomasculinity. Do you think it will remain this way? Are there are entry points as well?
I think that there are other entry points. I know for me there were. What attracted me to your articles was the commentary on the differences between American culture and European culture. No one was talking about these things in this way in the early 2000s. That is, no one was comparing the behavior of the women and asking why things were the way they were.
I recognized immediately a level of honesty and disclosure that simply could not be found in the mainstream publications. It meshed well with everything I had experienced in the overseas military, and in my own later travels.
Other entry points are possible as well. Health, fitness, travel, and language study seem to be the biggest points of entry. It seems that it’s not so much the subject matter, but the level of receptiveness to the message. If a man feels the need for our message, he will find his way to us, with as much assurance as the law of gravity.
The scientist in me is tempted to construct a better catcher’s mitt to aid men in finding us, perhaps using Silicon Valley “best practices” with heavy analysis of Google search data, A/B testing, and what have you, but succumbing to that temptation would result in creating something large instead of something true. The size of our readership is already big enough. How would existing readers be served if there was a heavy focus on finding new men to bring into the fold? I believe we should focus on serving current readers more fully.
One glaring absence I find from self-improvement literature for men is on making the transition from one season to the next. Everyone can give men tips on how to meet women or how to make money, but no one talks about what to do when you no longer get joy from the same behaviors or actions that you spent so many years mastering, and how to approach a change in the seasons.
In my recent past, I didn’t want to leave the summer season. I doubled down on my prior sex behaviors, thinking that I was merely not experiencing enough of them. I failed to understand that men change and develop. While the intentions of the male friends around me at the time were good, they provided a support network that allowed me to blindly continue living in the current season, especially since our bonds depended on performing an old behavior that we began in our more youthful years. Just being able to find someone who could tell me, “Yes, you will change as you get older and not like what you used to like,” was difficult, and I wasted at least two years resisting that change while stubbornly holding on to past habits that no longer served any use.
There’s danger, however, when a man rushes through the seasons by trying to enter the next one before his mind is prepared. He’s at risk of a crash if he stops the behaviors that serves him well while not having the ability or fortitude to begin new behaviors that cannot yet serve him. It’s a bit like having an old car that occasionally breaks down. At one point do you stop making repairs and purchase a new car? What is the defining repair that makes you junk it? I imagine it would have to be cost: when the the price of the repair—of maintaining your habits and lifestyle of old—becomes too expensive for your soul, and starts to be a primary cause of malaise, depression, and unhappiness. Only then should a man transition into a new season.
Have you recognized events in your life that, looking back, were signs that you were undergoing a transition?
Absolutely. The transition point comes when one feels as if the old models—the old paradigms—are no longer serving the purpose that they were intended to serve. It is at this point that the restless soul begins to rattle its chains, and seeks to escape the confines of its present boundaries.
Now, it has been shown time and again, through an examination of the lives of great men, that the embrace of the philosophic life contains the key for the resolution of these questions that you are asking.
You say to me, “How will I know when to transition to a new season? How will I know where to search for answers?” There are some events in our lives that are known immediately to be life-changing; but more often, the process will be a gradual, slow awakening to the fact that the old paradigm needs to be shifted to something new.
The answers to these questions can only be found by a long period of self-examination that embraces the following activities: (1) a wide-ranging reading in the philosophic classics; (2) travel and immersion in other cultures; and (3) the study of history, with an emphasis on the biographies of great men.
The active, seeking mind will absorb all of these lessons, and make the necessary connections and inferences. This is a gradual process that takes time; there is generally no Archimedean “eureka” moment. But I am confident that you are up to the task, being the mystic seeker that you are.
I agree that there is no flashbulb moment like in animated cartoons. What men have to note is if there’s a change in how they think or feel about a behavior when compared to the past. For example, let’s say a man goes to a nightclub and brings a pretty girl home. The next day he may be the happiest man in the neighborhood, with a buzz that makes him feel like he’s walking on air. Fast forward five years. He brings the same type of girl home but the buzz is gone, and the next day he doesn’t feel the joy from the experience but a grumpy hangover from another long night out.
It’s at this stage that a man can go in two directions. The first is to increase the dose of the drug, of thinking he needs to bring two girls home at once, or he must do it in a more challenging way. The second direction is to accept that the behavior that brought him happiness in the past was actually a treadmill in disguise. To stay interested while on any treadmill, you must either increase the speed or do another behavior like listen to loud music to make you forget that you’re actually on a treadmill.
If the dose of something must be increased in order to keep enjoying it, that probably means that you are pursuing an activity that is not giving you fulfillment. For over ten years I’ve been writing articles for a blog, with no need to change that behavior. I get just as much happiness from publishing an article today like I did in the past, regardless of who is reading. This is because writing is a way I truly enjoy life. Pursuing women and travel has not led to the same result, suggesting they were short-term affairs that I did for novelty and fun. With those activities, I was no different than a child who wants to eagerly play with a shiny new toy before quickly moving on to another.
Modern society is set up so men almost exclusively pursue thrills that monetarily enrich others, take them away from masculine values, and keep them in a state of distraction. If we look at men of the past, what allowed them to pursue enjoyment in life? Does a “modern” life mean we throw away all the positive behaviors our grandfathers did in order to get on one of many treadmills that will likely result in us being roughly thrown off?
Whatever the answer is, a good way for a man to know he’s not pursuing virtue is if he gets bored or tired after doing it enough times. Pursuing wisdom, meaning, and deep human connection… there is no boredom in that.
This is well and truly said. There is no boredom in the pursuit of the philosophical life, because it is the ultimate quest. The greatest journey is the pursuit of these eternal questions. But the inner journey cannot begin until a man has sufficiently stimulated his exterior sensations. He must be satisfied that the same response will come from the same external stimuli.
The same stimuli, even if it is pleasant, eventually becomes impossible to discern. Cicero tells us in the “Dream of Scipio” that we do not hear the “harmony of the spheres” (i.e., the movement of the heavenly bodies) because we have heard it from birth. In the same way, he also points out that those living in the Cataracts of the Nile are deaf to the crashing surge of the river’s waters.
Few have the conviction or discipline to undertake this journey, but all have the potential.
And it is true that modern society does not encourage this sort of patient reflection. But, I would also say, when has this ever been true? The life of the seeker has always been an oasis of calm amid the crashing turbulence of its surroundings. We have just as many tools now—perhaps more—than our ancestors possessed. The fact that we must search longer and harder for them makes them only that much more attractive. But this is the way of things. It cannot be helped. I would not wish to exchange my life for the life of any other man, because it is one based on the pursuit of the essence behind things.
For what separates a man from a beast? The major difference is that the animal is moved by sense alone, and is little able to distinguish past from present, living only in the present moment. Man, because he partakes in Reason, is different. He sees the consequences behind things, he can differentiate progress and antecedents, and he is able to connect cause and effect in a way that permits him to draw inferences based on Reason.
And because of this, Nature herself directs man towards a life based on deliberation and reflection. We cannot escape the hold of Reason, or the quest for the essence of things.
Quintus, you have a way of taking a seemingly trivial observation I’ve noticed on the streets and connecting it with the eternal cosmos and nature of man, and for that I am grateful, because it is this connection that men must understand as they progress through the seasons of their own lives. I hope we are successfully giving them the tools to see more clearly than before.
I’m looking outside my window right now and see an unusually bright sun. It seems that summer wants to say one last goodbye before the onset of the cool Polish fall. I will go out now for a walk and contemplate your words, more ready than ever for the changing of this season.
Read Next: Neomasculine Dialogue: “A New Beginning”