“The Meaning of Life & Death” is a special seminar series inspired by Ernest Becker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Denial of Death.” The series comes from footage taken during a day-long session from an Aura Mastermind gathering in New York City. This seminar series explores the themes of life purpose, the meaning of life, the search for immortality, and the significance of death in human psychology and cultures.
This video series was also a bonus component in the 8-week course “Lifestyle Mastery,” which examines the purpose of life and many other related issues.
For over a decade, David Tien, Ph.D., has helped hundreds of thousands of people from over 87 countries find happiness, success, and fulfillment in their social, professional, and love lives. His presentations – whether keynotes, seminars, or workshops – leave clients with insights into their behavior, psychology, and keys to their empowerment. His training methodologies are the result of over a decade of coaching and education of thousands of students around the world. Subscribe now 🙂
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On Becker’s “Denial of Death” (Pt. 3)
David Tian Ph.D. expounds on the topic of life and death by referencing Ernest Becker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Denial of Death.”
David Tian Ph.D. explains the debate around this argument: “It’s better to exist than not to exist at all even if it’s suffering.”
David Tian Ph.D. describes the paradox of human motives.
In this talk, David Tian Ph.D. reveals where we find meaning in our lives.
David Tian: And try to live longer, to find immortality, literally. Everything we do is going that direction; trying to live longer. There are always these outliers who are weird, all the daredevils.
AUDIENCE: So let’s assume for a moment that humanity doesn’t get there and 200 years from now, or 1,000 years from now, life’s still dying. At some point, they realize their own futile-
David Tian: Oh yes! If our lifespans get shorter, I think we’ll put more stock on the now. If your A.I. robots take over, and we have a terminator situation, and there’s no food and water easily gotten, I think we’d go back to primitive times when it’s a bit better.
Well in terms of, enjoyed the now. But then we have, objectively speaking, a horrible life.
AUDIENCE: Like a hedonistic?
David Tian: Pardon?
AUDIENCE: A hedonistic life.
David Tian: Well, there wouldn’t be much pleasure if, like in matrix the machines, the machines block out the sun, and I don’t know what the fuck.
AUDIENCE: I don’t know. You’re happy [INAUDIBLE 00:01:14] right?
David Tian: Yeah. So like in the matrix where all the refugees huddled in some tunnel somewhere, and they still make love, find happiness. That’s right, you’ll find your baseline.
Yeah, but we would still strive- I mean, the movie is a great example. We still strive to find a hero in us and then to absolve us of our meaninglessness by putting our meaning in something else, either the state, or Neo the savior.
AUDIENCE: But if people get it that even Neo in 200 years, no one’s going to remember Neo, or in 1,000 years, or in 10,000 years. If that clicks, what happens to the transference then? I feel like if you instinctively, viscerally understand that the sun is going to go supernova at some point, does transference –
David Tian: At some point? Some point in the near future, like in your lifetime?
AUDIENCE: No, even in 2,000 years. So, you cannot transfer into something that won’t survive the supernova.
David Tian: I think something outside of your own lifetime. Humans are not that smart, so if you think like dogs don’t think past today – you might be able to make it not do stuff for like a few hours because it knows dinner’s coming.
AUDIENCE: But if I have a transference to the country of China, like you said before, that’s beyond my lifetime, right? Someone might bequeath their entire wealth to their government, knowing fully well, “I’m dead.” But in some way –
David Tian: Yeah, it will live on; that’s immortality.
AUDIENCE: But if [INAUDIBLE 00:03:03] supernova, [INAUDIBLE 00:03:03].
David Tian: You’re saying you have to think that thing is not eternal, that you actually have a timeline in your mind that is, distinguishes between 200 years and 2,000 years.
AUDIENCE: Yes, or you come to the realization that no matter what you do your active transference on, it’s not working because everything is perishable.
David Tian: Yeah, that’s what we’re trying to do. I’m trying to lead us to that conclusion and then suggest solutions. But no way man, the average person is so brainless. They’re sort of like closer to dogs. Because they just want food, they just want sex, they just want to feel good about themselves, they just want more money. They’re the majority of the world. That’s why I feel like New York, is sort of like, they’re planning out all of the other stuff that the rest of the world blindly follows.
Like you’re masterminding here, all of this consumer stuff that you don’t actually consume that much of, but you’re selling it to everyone else. And they are blindly following, like sheep. This is like headquarters where everyone’s masterminding shit. And I feel like, in a way, intelligent people are a small minority in the world, self-conscious, self-aware.
AUDIENCE: Especially in this country.
David Tian: Yeah, that’s a good example. If you can mobilize the sheep and then– Wait, they’re sheep, man. We’re recording right? Yeah, I think it’s still broken. Maybe we’ll close this a bit. Maybe just close the door, I guess. Yeah, I think there’s something wrong with that.
What time is it here? Okay, we got five minutes, don’t worry the coffee’s coming. But existentialism was that. The existentialist movement was early-1900s and then World War I happened, World War II happened. And then we had enlightenment rationalism taking hold of most of the academics, the intellectuals.
They started to see us as working like computers and robots, so the unconscious disappeared. And then existentialism fell out of favor in the same way hypnosis did. But existentialism gripped most of the smart people in this world, in the Western world, and arguably in Japan as well, there’s Japanese existentialism, there’s all kinds of – in China, especially May 4th movement in the early 1900s there was existentialism which was basically the existential despair.
Existential anxiety, the angst of the dilemma of existence. That was like- What’s the point? Especially when all these wars went on. So Freud asked his doctor to pump morphine in him to kill him, mainly because he was old, but World War II was starting. So in 1940, I think it was when he escapes the Nazis to London and then asked to be killed.
So, part of it is like, “Okay, this might be another 10 years of war; I don’t really want to live through this. I lived a pretty good life, can we just end it now? Because the rest, for me to get through this war, is a lot of pain, you know.”
That is rational. I once asked one of my philosophy professors the C.S Lewis argument. One argument against Christianity is the existence of pain and evil in the world. Why would a loving God have created a world in which there was all of this suffering? The problem of suffering. Because if there were just evil then just let them disappear.
It’s sort of like, “Do you choose me or not? Okay, you don’t choose me, disappear.” Why put them through suffering? Why burn them alive? Why skin them alive? Why over and over do they have to suffer? That just seems needless. I was defending the Christian side back then. So the argument is that if you made them disappear, then that would be a better life for whom?
So the argument is, “It’s better to not live than to live.” If God humanely makes them disappear. The assumption is that it’s better to not live than to live. And then the C.S Lewis argument is, “Better for whom? If the thing isn’t around anymore, it’s not better for that because it’s not there. Who is it better to not exist? There is no subject for it to be better for.”
That’s the argument, it’s better to exist than not to exist at all even if it’s suffering. One of the professors said to me, “I can imagine many instances in which it would be better not to exist than to exist.” And I was just locked in to that logical argument that the Christian was using, C.S Lewis was using, that it would be better to exist and suffer than to not exist at all because at least you exist.
But now I see that if your entire life was just being skinned alive, and being brought back to life, then skinned alive and then brought back for 20 years, what was the point? Put him out of his misery. Sometimes, you see a soldier about to be burned at the stake. I’ve seen a bunch of movies like this. The fleeing soldiers turn back and they shoot mercifully just to end the suffering.
It’s sort of like that idea. Why didn’t God just stop it from happening and just snuff them out? It would’ve been better, and now I have to concede that that is a good point. So the existential argument is like, “What is the point?”
So I’m going to suggest some solutions. No human being has like – well, we’ll get to that.
AUDIENCE: I do understand everything you said, but it seems to be the underlying assumption in this psychologic argument is that humans are self-centered, that’s why meaning is derived from that person in life. You’ll living for other people.
David Tian: Transference. We all do live for other people because we can’t live for ourselves because we suck.
I’ll show you specifically the specific other people that you will live for. Those are the solutions that we see in human history – we see now, but that’s a normal thing. You live for your son. You live for your daughter. You live for your mom. You live for the love of your life. You live for the country. You live for glory. You live for legacy.
You never live for yourself. At some point, it is for yourself because it’s your immortality vehicle; you live forever through that person. Most failed relationships are a result of the fact that that person isn’t immortal that you’ve denoted immortality to. They can’t handle that, and we’ll get to that. But the state and abstract concepts like God, well, they can handle all you want, because they don’t even exist.
We imagine that there’s a god. Well, it works because we can imagine that there’s a God, and we then throw all of that meaninglessness onto God. And then we posit things like heaven, and then all of our pain makes sense because there’s a heaven, then we can live on forever because we in fact do live on forever in heaven.
Once you introduce heaven, you change the entire debate. If it is true that there is a God who has a heaven, then we actually are eternal and then none of you should be here. That’s why I look into the eyes of a Christian who says he’s a Christian, and I think he’s a fucking idiot and a hypocrite; not because he’s a Christian, but because he’s here.
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE 00:11:02] committed suicide yet? Because he’s in heaven immediately.
David Tian: Yeah, except that the stupid bible says don’t do that, that’s cheating. So it punishes you, right? The Catholics say you can’t take your life in your own hands, you’re playing God so that’s a surefire way to hell. But you have closed the system as a Christian. You have a consistent system that has its own rules and has its own rule book. And then you try to play the evolution game, it’s over.
And then you try to mix them, you lose. If you believe in Christianity, then everything you’re doing in this life should track to that reality. Everything you should be doing should be for the glory of God. You should be a missionary. You should basically sacrifice your life saving natives in wherever the fuck natives are these days, and getting the fucking diseases and whatever, and getting speared by them because there is eternal glory there.
And if eternity is true, which is bizarre – it’s a philosophical concept – but if there is bounded on one side eternity, then everything you should be doing right now is for eternity. It makes no sense to make more money, but then you get these Christians who are not real Christians. They try to make money now and then they think somehow – They’re stupid. They’re hypocrites. They’re dumb. They’re uncritical Christians.
Most of Singaporean Christians are stupid. They’ve never read the bible; no respect for them. I tell them, “I’m a better Christian than you”, and they think that I’m joking. I’m not. I actually understand your religion better than you. You’re a fake Christian. And if you believe what you’re supposed to believe then when you end up in the pearly gates, facing afterlife on Judgment Day –
And there are many theories about that that these guys have no idea about. But there are all kinds of ways, “How does Judgment Day happen?” On Judgment Day, whichever way you interpret it, you will be judged. And if you live for now, you’re going to, at best, be in purgatory if you’re Catholic or hell if you’re Protestant.
I don’t play that game because I don’t buy the premises, but that’s a way out! And part of me wants to get plugged back into that because it’s so comforting, like, there’s meaning! God gives it meaning. And everything I do should be for that eternal glory. It’s easy.
AUDIENCE: The problem is you can’t do it by choice.
David Tian: Yeah, you can’t plug back in.
AUDIENCE: That’s why you choose to believe.
David Tian: You can forget stuff, I guess.
Well, since we’re on the roll – I’m glad the discussion’s rolling. Because I was afraid you wouldn’t relate because maybe you just want to have a nice ice cream cone or something. Awesome, so this is hitting home. So we were at the transference fear of death. Coffee will come at some point, and then we’ll take a slight break to pour everything, but let’s move on.
So this is where we ended off: group psychology and some Trump references. The paradox of human motives. And I want to reference UPW and Tony here. There’s a paradox and it’s sort of like a dilemma. Two horns. The one horn is that we all, as human beings, have a powerful desire to identify with nature, with the universe, with cosmic process; to merge with nature and to be one.
That’s a very powerful, throughout human history, an essential motivation to being human, to belong to a community, that at the basic level, but then to be one with something greater than ourselves. The second part of the horn is that we want to be unique. You want to stand out. You want to be special.
You see the tension. “I want to be one with everything but I want to be different from everything!” And so, human life has this problem. You can actually parse all of human history using that these two lenses of this paradox, the two horns, this tension. Now, this could be a resolution to this paradox.
“The human being gives into the natural feeling of cosmic dependence. The desire to be something bigger, which puts him at piece in oneness and gives him a sense of self-expansion and a larger beyond, and thus heightening his being, truly giving feeling of transcendent value.”
What this means is, these collapse into each other. So, over hundreds of thousands of years or millions of years of our evolution, we discovered that we can have both.
How? By giving ourselves fully into the oneness, and now we’re happy and our oneness makes us feel like, “Yes! I am one. I am this gigantic thing made out of many people.” Of course, the leader gets the biggest high. But you, as part of that, get a big high. Okay, I’m going to bring it home. Most of you except one has been to Tony Robbins.
How awesome does it feel when, in the dark? You’re like making your move and you’re shouting, “Let me hear you!” And you’re like, “Yeah!” And it’s such a high, even though you go there partly – and for those who don’t know what I’m talking about it’s Unleash the Power Within, now 14,000 people. When I first started going, it was like 4,000 people.
And you’re screaming with thousands of people, tens of thousands now. And it’s such a high because you’re part of the horde, but you are unique because you got your own move, but also you’re unique because you are you.
You are experiencing this through the limitations of your body and your senses; and you’re experiencing your oneness but it gives you a sense of self-expansion as part of a larger community of other shouters making their moves experiencing the same thing, undergoing the same process; and you become even more powerful than if you did it alone in your bedroom.
You could’ve done the same thing alone in your bedroom, which I kind of lead guys through in Invincible. But if you can expand it’s like Mayweather saying “Form Voltron!” So you form
Voltron now with 14,000 other UPW guys.
And like, “Yeah! You make your move!” And now you feel like, in a way, you control them. They are you and you are them. You are one being. And you might have gotten this feeling if you were in that fishbowl effect of the stadium, and you look around and everybody is doing the same thing. That’s part of the wave that’s been analyzed by psychologists a lot.
Why would people just stand up randomly when this happens, and why do they like it? It’s that feeling of oneness with the community that gives them the power of the self. The self expands with the community, and you become one with the community but you also now get that self. So they are you, and you are pretty fucking powerful.
So that’s why you get this tribal horde thing. You get the gangsterism, the mass mobilization, the riot psychology of when you enter that group, that has a mind of its own, you actually feel – This is really powerful because it sort of feels like you are the group and you could do so much now. You can take that guy down. You can rip these doors open. You can set that thing on fire.
Whereas if you’re by yourself, you couldn’t do those things. You throw one rock and you run. But now you throw one rock, we all throw rocks!, “Yeah! Take us on!” And as a group now, 15,000 of you, storming the fucking tower. We’re going to take down Bastille, all of us. And all of them are you, so they come in together. It collapses.
This explains that step in evolution from the nomadic wanderer in the savannah randomly mating – that’s that theory anyway – or generally small groups of 15 people, half of them are your immediate family members, and having to find out group members, maybe cousins or something, to produce babies; to actually having full societies, 115 people tribes, turning into hundreds of thousands of people 10,000 years later or whatever.
Wow, that’s one way to transcend it. Then we have beyond UPW, beyond communal things, beyond riots, now we talk about entire societies. The human yearning to be good for the way things ought to be, that is there for most people.
Psychopaths are exempt from this but 99% of people have this exceeding warm and melting attraction toward the rightness of beauty – actually, 90% of people have this. There are a lot more evil people than we suspect, but the rightness of beauty, goodness and perfection, and we call this, in general parlance, a conscience.
At the basic level, this is a conscience. You feel bad, you want it to be good. Sometimes you can’t follow your conscience but you still feel it; you want it to be good. We need to infuse our lives with values so we can pronounce our lives as good. We want to be able to, at the end of our lives and our deathbed, to look back and pronounce it as good, just as in Genesis.
That transference object is therefore a natural fetishization, for man’s highest yearnings and strivings. That fetishization is a term of art for Becker and for Freud, and that school. So let’s unpack that. We live in utter darkness about who we are and why we are here. We come out of the womb. You don’t have any of that information. Why was I created? The Frankenstein question.
“Why am I here at all?” Yet we know there must be some meaning, or we yearn for it and we want it to be a good meaning. It can’t be a meaningless meaning , like I was a clone, and a guy just pressed the wrong button and poomf! I came out. Shit, that sucks. That’d make our lives for sort of depressing.
Otto Rank, a famous student of Freud, “All of the twistings of the self with this artificial striving for perfection and the unavoidable relapses into badness are the results of these attempts to humanize the spiritual need for goodness.” So we go back here, we look for a transference object. Because we naturally yearn and strive for something greater, something higher, something good, something perfect.
And you see this through– Maybe your life, my life, people’s lives who strive, achieve – and even those who do criminal things, they’re also trying to leave a legacy of some kind, the artificial striving for perfection. And of course, you make mistakes. You fall down flat, and sometimes you fuck up and you do things you feel guilty about.
So these are the unavoidable relapses into badness. What we’re trying to do here is, all these twistings of the self, is to fulfill the need for our lives to be good. We need our lives to matter, to be good – Not to matter in an evil way. A psychopath could say “I mattered because I raped and killed ten women” or something like that.
Tony Robbins would say that’s also a way to feel significance, but for most of us, it’s about goodness. Now, we can also use this to explain evil and that’s actually a lot easier. How do we explain the goodness?
So the Christian solution, we talked about that briefly, is man’s cosmic heroism is assured even if he was nothing. And in fact, the brilliance of the Christian solution is to say you’re more assured of immortality if you are nothing. Wow, how appealing is that. You can be poor, worthless, destitute, a prostitute, evil, dirty, sinful. And I wish more of places like Singapore, the more perfectionist the society, the more it would benefit from Christianity as far as like getting along in day to day life.
So instead of beating themselves up for not being good, they realize, “No matter how bad I am, God will take me.” And in fact the worst I am; “Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” So he flips Christianity. Christianity flips the system, and now everybody in their carnality, in their creatureliness, are even more accepted because of their creatureliness, and how hard it is for the rich man to enter the kingdom of God, like a camel through the eye of a needle.
Now you’re fucking up the guy who’s been striving, so now everybody gets in. So the rich guy, it’s easy for him to just give away his money; now, he’s back to being poor, gets into heaven, “This is great!” So everybody has it, you’re assured. All you got to do is say yes.
By taking it a step back from the world into the dimension of heaven saying, “Life doesn’t end here. There’s this eternity beyond infinite that way, and that makes the terrifying creature consciousness then the very condition of this cosmic heroism.”
In other words, he will finally matter in the cosmic scheme things because he is imperfect and dirty, and has shit coming out of his ass. I wonder if they shit in heaven. Who does the sanitation in heaven? You don’t shit in heaven! No one’s asked that, I’ve just thought of that. Is there anality in heaven?
Christians, if you ask them, they might say something cheeky like, “Your shit will smell great.” I don’t know, fuck. It probably is like perfect, like the toilets never break in heaven, I don’t know. But there’s a question like, “Do you shit in heaven?” Or what would be the purpose of that since you never die? Maybe to remind yourself of what you used to be? I don’t know. There’s some clever things, but there’s nothing in the bible that says anything about shitting in heaven.
There’s no shit in heaven, there are no tears apparently. And then there’s a romantic solution, and this is what I keep getting confronted with. This is what all boys went through actually. I don’t think there’s any boy who didn’t try the romantic solution. Some of them just were abused out of it when they were 14 or something like Eminem.
Iceberg Slim is the one I was thinking of, the pimp. The neurotic, the boy, fixes his urge to cosmic heroism onto another person in the form of a love object. I keep using that term love object, but for dudes that means the girl he falls in love with. For the girl would the guy, for the gay it would be the gay guy: love object.
“Modern man fulfills the urge to self-expansion by using the love object.” And so, in the Christian solution, it was fulfilled by God, and the average modern person is fulfilled by the thing he falls in love with. And that’s why the first break up is always the most painful, most of the time, because that’s the first time.
If you truly fell in love and you put – females tend to do this over and over, and to the point where the theory is masculine-feminine, and books like David Deida’s make it seem like the purpose of a woman’s life is the man. And I think that’s scary, a lot of red pill and a lot of PUA’s, well-meaning PUA’s like Zan, he’s famous for that one, believe that.
If the man’s purpose cannot be the woman, the woman’s purpose is often the man. And that is a normal natural way of things. I think that’s actually just as bad if the woman makes the man the purpose of her life as well. Well, it could work out because the man maybe is a breadwinner and so that could be sustained. That can be an actual sustained thing, but not because it’s good for her; she’s still very dependent on the dude.
Luckily, modern laws make it so that, she can rape the guy all of his money if he chooses to leave, it’s on her side. Practically speaking, it’s a fine move to make. But psychologically speaking, it’s not. The modern man fulfills his urge to self-expansion by falling in love and making that love the reason he exists. Now, we can turn this into your children as well.
Many women do that. Mothers will end up falling more in love and making their life about the baby and the children than with the husband. That’s a normal thing; that’s a bad normal thing. It’s normal in the sense that it happens a lot but it’s not a good marriage. But that can happen. Or you could find it in many love objects.
I think for many boys in Singapore, the love object is their mother. Their mother’s happiness, you know how weird it was for one– You guys weren’t there, but maybe you remember of the circle things at the end of an event, I think it was like the toxic parent even. The guy was like, he went through the 3D trauma thing that I lead guys through in Rock Solid.
And he’s like, “I discovered that, my dad is proud of me. He does love me. He does.” He was like so yeah about it. He’s like a 24-year-old guy. He’s like, “Yes! My dad loves me and is proud of me.” I’m like, “That’s great that you discovered it.” “Yeah.”
“And what are you going to do as a result?” “Well, I’m going to go back and I’m going to make him proud. I know he’s proud of me. I’m going to make him even more proud, yeah!”
I’m like, “Has it ever occurred to you why care about whether your dad’s proud of you?” He’s like, “Yeah. Why care about whether my – You mean, why would I want to make my dad proud?”
It never occurred to him. So, love object. What gives his life meaning? If daddy is proud. As I was saying, the romantic figure or love, that could be your child, your mother, your father. It could be your husband or wife, obviously; your girlfriend, the crush that you have.
You notice how when you were a naive boy who didn’t understand game and all that, your whole life could be an obsession about this crush or the girlfriend that you’ve just newly started dating. So you sort of pay attention to math class. You’re thinking more about what you’re going to do. You’re planning out the date. And pick-up guys get obsessed about the clubbing. They’re like thinking about it all the time.
You’re sort of half paying attention to the rest of your life, but this is like an obsession. When you fall in love, that’s what it actually is; falling in love as that early phase takes over all of the other parts of your life. It colors everything else.
This is why Jonathan Haidt in the Happiness Hypothesis, I’ve referred to that many time, cited that particular passage, that it is a biological impossibility to stay in love. Because that state will make it so that you can’t get anything else done. You just can’t focus on anything else, you’re just in love, and you’re thinking about when you’re going to meet up and things like that.
That is a natural urge. We as adult men, or those who have – Sometimes you have no game, and they grow up as adults, and they just numb that part of themselves because it’s not a reality; that’s not attainable, falling in love.
But there was always that urge to – They’ll talk about their crush, not their girlfriend. Oh wait, I remember why we turned off the AC because it was too cold in here. But then the average nice guy is super needy around women. And part of the reason why is because, unconsciously, the meaning of his life is to get her or somebody like her, somebody who will make his life have meaning.
It’s not his work, it’s not his whatever else is going on. He might like work; he might be very proud of it or whatever, but that’s not giving him the meaning. It’s this love obsession. Once he gets it, you’ll notice that it starts to drop away as an object of meaning.
But while he’s still pining for it, he makes it the love object and transfers the meaning of his life to it. The continuation of the purpose of your life project, the causa sui, your immortality vehicle – This simply is a continuation of the process of denying the fact that you are just a mortal creature that will die at any moment.
Sex is the biggest, scariest part of that romantic solution. You might think, “Hey, that sounds great!” And you know what? Tony Robbins actually takes this solution. I keep referencing him because many of us were there last weekend. But love is what will make everything nice and great. So, the lover has to be in the equation in every purpose of life, otherwise that drivenness becomes empty.
Love needs to be at the top of the hierarchy. It’s easy to say, “Oh, I’m not driven by significance yeah. I’ll just switch my hierarchy now and love’s at the top.” That’s bullshit. You’re still driven by significance. Just because you changed fucking words on a piece of paper doesn’t mean shit, but then a solution is to make love the primary driver.
And when there is a love object, that’s really easy because then your significance derives from the love object. That would work in theory if you let love drive your life. That could be a very beautiful lived in life, like life as you experience it, only and so far as the love object continues to sustain you as you return the love.
What happens when it dumps your ass? What happens when it cheats on you? What happens when it tries to kill you? I don’t know. What happens when the baby grows up and you never see it anymore?
And now, what happens? The co-dependent mother doesn’t let the baby grow up. And then of course, the co-dependent boyfriend crushes the relationship even if it started out well-meaning. No one can survive those expectations. So, every teenage love is doomed. That’s why I love it. I see they ask for me help to get the girl, and I’m like, “It doesn’t matter if you get her, you’re going to fuck it up anyway,”
I don’t give a fuck about 18 year olds asking for help. It’s over no matter what. We help them, it might speed up their learning, but there’s no way this is going to work. The only way it would work is if we rewind history 80 years, and life expectancy is 40, and they have to ship him off to World War two, and so he dies at 25, and he had a nice 2 or 3 year dating relationship, and he dies, great!
Alright. I’ll help him live a nice 2 or 3 years and then he dies, and he’ll die with a nice relationship in mind. But that’s not going to happen now, especially not with Snapchat, especially not with Tinder and shit like that.
Just today a guy in Man Up was like, “There’s this girl. I stole her from her ex-boyfriend while they were dating, and then she dumped him, and now she’s with me but it’s long distance. And I’m scared she’s cheating, so I ask her for her social media messaging. So I’ve been checking, making sure everything’s good and all this.”
It is over, there’s no way! And then a girl in the group was like, “How do you know she doesn’t have a second social media account, or a third social media account, or a different platform?” It’s like there’s just no way it’s going to work. Anyway, that’s because he’s looking for the meaning of his life in her. If you said that to him, maybe he’d nod, but it probably wouldn’t sink in.
But even if it did work out, even while it’s happening, it’s good. Love is the meaning of your life, sex fucks it up. Not because it’s bad sex, okay? Sex, by the very nature of it, fucks it up. Why? Nature conquers death by allowing us ephemeral organisms, us temporary limited organisms, to procreate. There are other organisms like single-celled organisms that split.
But we continue by fucking and popping out little ones. Evolutionarily, this made it possible for ever more complex organisms to emerge in the place of simple, self-dividing ones. We started with the amoeba, the first amino acids, broke off, eventually made us many millions of years later. Sex represents species’ consciousness and the defeat of its individuality or of its personality.
Why? Every time you’re having sex, you might enjoy it. It might be like numbing. Especially if you hadn’t had in a while, in which case this thought would never arise at that point, I think. But the more you actually aren’t starving just for sexual pleasure, but you’re actually having sex now for the first time, not just getting off, you are being reminded of the purpose of this thing.
Why do we have the sexual act at all? To procreate, of course. Imagine an evolved species that has as much sexual pleasure by doing this. Why not? Why haven’t we evolved pleasure centers that are just as good just by doing this? Well, that would make us die. Imagine you decided not to have sex anymore.
Because it’s kind of hard, you have to convince another person to do it with you. But every time you just kind – Well, I guess masturbation is the same thing, you just do it yourself. What would happen to that person, that mutant gene? They would die off, have no babies, they’d be dead. Those human beings who like that kind of stuff, they’re not around.
Our ancestors had to enjoy sex because that was how our Homo sapien race encouraged procreation though, then necessarily, we’d have to derive an extreme amount of pleasure from the procreative act or our species would die out. Obviously, please. Every time we have sex, the unconscious intelligence in you, and some of you are just like ants and animals and don’t think about these things and you will die.
You ever wonder, does a dog ever wonder what it’s meaning of life is? I wonder sometimes, like, I do in fact, wonder what it’s like to be a dog. Many philosophers have done, “What’s it like to be a bat?” Bats are very interesting because they have no eyes. They don’t see anything. They just echo sonar. What is it like to perceive everything through your ears? That’s an interesting thing. What is it like to be a spider in a urinal? That’s another interesting thing.
What would be your whole life if you live ten years, and you are very much in the now? You had powerful things that took care of you, fed you, petted you, and sometimes they left and you were really freaking out whenever they left. But when they came back you’re like, “Woohoo! So happy, woah! Life is great.” And when they left, “Aww.” Then when came back, “Woohoo! Life is great.” It’s a very interesting life.
And then the greatest pleasure was to play with a ball. “Ooh, a ball! A ball!” You know some kids, they go crazy over balls. It’s a weird thing. They could play with them forever. What is it like to be a simple minded creature? I think that’s most of the world, right? But they’re having sex, they procreate without having any understanding and then they die.
None of what we’re talking about will ever penetrate their thick skulls, so let them lead their lives as an animal. I’ve said this many times that most people are like dogs, like animals. They think I’m joking, they think it’s hyperbole, they think it’s an exaggeration for a comedic effect. I actually mean it literally.
They are just like animals so there’s no point in talking to them. Most of the world is below 80 IQ. Just keep them alive, make sure they have a relatively pleasant existence and then when they die, put them aside like euthanasia like we do dogs. We don’t let dogs continue with all these disease to die. We kill them! We kill the dogs when it looks like their balance of their life would be suffering; we end their lives.
We think that’s humane, and maybe it is. We should end dumb people’s lives that way too, because the rest of it is suffering and they don’t understand it. This is a bizarre thing, but that’s the logical conclusion to this. I don’t know, are you? So, sex represents species consciousness.
For intelligent Homo sapiens when they’re having sex, they’re being reminded that they are nothing in the grand scheme of things. You blow your load into her, she pops out a baby as a result. You die, you have fulfilled your purpose as a gene. According to Richard Dawkins and all of science, you’re done. You fulfilled your role, your purpose in life biologically; you’re done.
Every time we have sex we are reminded, “We are simply these species that will die.” Man doesn’t want to be a mere fornicating animal though, or do you? Some of you act like you do, but I’m assuming that you’re more intelligent than that. You want more meaning in your life than just a mere, fornicating animal. Because what do we do with mere, fornicating animals?
We take a good animal who’s got lots of good genes for the purpose that we want to make them, use them for. We make them fuck as many females as possible, pop out as many babies as possible. When that guy is finished fucking or he’s getting old or something, we kill him or we get some new stud to come in and sire the children.
Maybe we should treat you like that if you just want to be a mere, fornicating animal. But he wants to be special. He wants to stand out in the universe. He wants to have his life have cosmic significance and mean something in this universe. And it’s a scary thing because have you ever seen those animations? I’m not sure what to call them.
But you start off with the earth, and then it expands, you see our solar system. And it expands you see the Milky Way and everything around that. And then you expand, you see the galaxies. It just keeps expanding. You see our solar system, our sun goes – there’s this little tiny dot next to all of these galaxies!
And that’s only one part of – and the latest ones expand out, and we have just blank space because we don’t know what’s out there, but we know that there is stuff out there. Because it’s exploded and just expanded millions, billions, trillions of years. That’s amazing. And the first thought of dumb people is, “Are there aliens?”
Of course there are aliens, it’s got to be. I mean, it’s crazy. But then it goes [NOISES] and you go back down into the earth. That’s fun. And then you go, “Woah.” If you’re an intelligent human being, you’re like, first of all, none of the worries of your life matter, like really, in the cosmic significance of it, but nothing matters. Not even in terms of time. We’re not even extending time out yet.
You can think about how much things have changed if it’s now because that’s light years away and the picture that we’re getting is like – But even if that is in fact the way it is right now, in the big scheme of things geographically, like physically, location, how irrelevant our – you know, stubbing your toe on the door matters, or you got heartbroken but it has cosmic significance.
Out of all these galaxies, and stars, and suns and, solar systems, we want OUR life to matter! We do, and it doesn’t. And if you’re intelligent, you realize this but it’s too scary so you repress t. Then you get on. What do you get on with? That’s the question. “I have to live! I’m not just going to kill myself. Okay, then what do I do?”
Romantic failure. The failure of the romantic solution. Romantic love is an ingenuous, creative, causa sui project. Especially if it’s like your child or something. That looks very noble, that’s cool, “I want to live for my kid” and all that, that’s great. But if the love object – Now, I’m going to take you – it’s easier to see this in relation to the girlfriend or the wife.
“If the love partner becomes God, the love partner is a human being and can as easily become devil to you.” And we know this, all you guys who dated emotional vampires. Sir was here earlier. We were talking about that over lunch. The reason it happens is because of a dependency on a love object.
The dependency isn’t just co-dependency of like, “Oh, I need somebody in my life to replace my mother, because my own mother never loved me.” That’s basic. That we know. That’s easy. What it actually is, as much deeper. It’s dependency on this person that gives your life meaning, just as mom used to give your life meaning when you were a child – or dad – or them collectively.
“But how can human being be a God like everything to another? No human relationship can bare this burden.” Now, you might be mature enough to know, “Don’t do that to your partner.” You’ve probably been burned a bunch of times because the natural human inclination is to do that. So your first relationship is almost always doomed unless you have very limited lifespan or there’s a lot of adversity in your life so that forces you to team up for that short period of time. Or there’s just no way – you’re not allowed to divorce at all so you have to make-do.
Our human brains will find a way to make-do most of the time. Now and amongst society, this is not sustainable if you believe that she is the purpose of your life. But all these youngsters, they’re going to do this because that’s the natural human tendency. And then they’ll get burned. They’ll get their heart broken. They’ll get callouses on their heart, metaphorically, and they will grow up and learn never to do this again.
So then they grow more cautious. They might go through a player stage because you got burned repeatedly, so burned really bad, and so they’re just like, “Fuck it all.” And they just fuck them all, right? We’ll talk a little bit about that in the next slide. But at some point, they’re going to go in more tentatively in and not get dependent, and then they’ll have to find a different causa sui project.
But you can remember back to when it was a possibility for you to fall in love, and that became the purpose of your life. This is a possible solution, this is a Romeo and Juliet solution.
It also happens to co-dependent mothers with their children or fathers with their children, and that suffocates the kid. We may prefer to deflate – and so what happens is, to maintain this object relationship, we have to make the thing godlike, because that’s what we’re imbuing it with, the status of.
In order for that to happen, we have to deflate ourselves to keep that relationship. So dudes in a co-dependent relationship with the girl end up making compromises. So he had like balls, and then he didn’t have balls. He starts to defer to her too much, pleases her, and she goes on a power trip, and she can’t handle that responsibility and then it turns her off over time.
But he still keeps going lower and lower just to keep that relationship. This is also how you create a cult. You start off thinking this is the purpose of your life, then abuse after abuse beats you down until you are in that addiction cycle. This is how, some religions also, you can imagine, began, even while we glimpse at impossibility and the slavishness of it.
So you see this talk in Christianity a lot about deflating yourself, the humble and even to the point of slavishness of sacrificing yourself to be eaten by lions in Rome because you are Christian and all of this. I just watched this new Scorsese movie – well, it was new on the airplane. I don’t know when it actually came out – with Andrew Garfield and some other great actors.
I only got halfway through it but it was about the Jesuit missionaries going to Japan in the time when the Japanese were really anti-Christian in the 1700s, just killing them all. All these Japanese, they’re just burning them alive. It’s bizarre.
I learned about it in the textbooks, but I never thought through the implications because I was so immature of what it would have taken to have hundreds of thousands of Japanese in the 1700s as basically villagers, believe in this thing Christ, from Italy, basically. A foreign God, represented by two pieces of wood, a cross, and willing to die from the Daimyō overlords; burned alive, skinned alive, tortured to death, drowned over periods of hours, for this God that they knew very little about.
It’s an amazing thing. And then of course the Jesuits themselves, who sacrificed their lives for that. It’s an amazing thing to think about. We yearn to know that our creation has not been in vain. The Shinto belief system didn’t support that very well. Buddhism really sucked. Real Buddhism is this: it is as rare for you to be reborn as a human being as it is for a turtle to surface through the hole of a yoke, ox thing around its neck, floating on the ocean and a turtle going vroomp.
You got a photo of me doing this, it’s kind of weird. But the turtle goes vroomp. That’s how rare. In other words, the point was, you better fucking do your best as a human being in this life now because you’re never going to be a human being for another thousand lifetimes.
And meanwhile people think, “Oh, reincarnation. That’s cool, maybe I’ll come back as my dad.” Whatever, I don’t know. That ain’t going to happen, you’d probably come back as an ant. And if you were a really bad human being, you’d be a frog who gets squashed on as soon as you were born, who knows.
So Buddhists throughout Asian history were terrified of reincarnation, of rebirth. And it gets even worse. There are higher life forms in Buddhism. I didn’t plan for this to be a Buddhism course, but I used to teach Buddhism in the universities. There are higher life forms in the Buddhists other than the human beings including Gods.
You can be reborn as a – well, we translate it as God but it is a limited life span. But you are in heaven. Everything – is your beck and call; our paradise. You float above the ground. The depiction was you’re floating on clouds on the skies. You have grapes fed to you. You have maidens. I don’t know where they come from but you can fuck the maidens. You get everything you want. “Oh, wonderful, wonderful”
Then one, unknown day, suddenly, your feet feel the ground. And in traditional Buddhist literature, that is the most horrible thing. That is more suffering that the 6th level of hell. Why? Because you’re about to end that life. And it’s only down from there. You experience so much hedonistic pleasure you didn’t have time to meditate. You didn’t have time to think about the meaning of life.
You’re just like, “Oh, pleasure, pleasure. Oh shit.” Dead. God is dead. You cannot be reborn again as a God. That’s not going to happen for another thousand lifetimes. So now, you go become an ant. Imagine going from God for a thousand years to being an ant. That sucks.
And the Buddhists understood this; the relativity of happiness. That was the scariest thing. Because if you’re in the bottom of hell, there’s only up from there. So you’re okay. You’re like, “I got to get through this life, I got to get through this life.” Maybe you’ll kill yourself, that’d probably be a smart thing to do, actually, and press play again, continue. Next life, great.
But if you’re a God, you want to stay there. If you’re an Angel, you want to – Oh, fuck. Anyway, isn’t that interesting? We yearn to know that our life is not in vain, so much so that 17th century Japanese who knew very little about Christianity but were willing to die for this thing they hardly knew anything about as villagers, because the alternative was thousands of lifetimes of pain.
What is the four noble truths of Buddhism? Life is suffering; first noble truth. How do you get out of that, by the way, in Buddhism? Nirvana is snuffed out, that’s a literal translation. To leave samsara, the cycle of rebirth. To be in the cycle at all, even if you’re winning, sucks. Buddhists were very insightful there.
So anyway, going back to your love relationship, less heavy things than Buddhism. We turn to the love partner for experience of the heroic, for our perfect validation. Our lives have meaning because we are in love. And I sacrifice my life on the altar of love. That gives my life meaning. And we expect them to make us good.
We are redeemed through the love. And I did a whole video on the martyrdom fantasy. This is a very common fantasy. And once you have a child, you understand this. How awesome it is, in a fantasy way, to die for your child. And for many psychologically unhealthy men, they haven’t even arrived at that level. They just want to get their child to the maid and not have to deal with it.
But the healthy way is, you love your child so much that you would give your life for the child. Does that wording sound familiar? So, you would want to shield the child from harm and maybe you’d take the bullets for your child, and you’d save the child, and you’d die in some shooting in the movie theater or something; and your life had meaning.
You died with glory, as they say in the battlefield. Your life had meaning in that, because of the love. You made good. You didn’t die in some meaningless thing. You went to the 7/11 to get some cigarettes and you got shot on the way to do porn and jerk off because you have no life. That would suck. That life sucks, you got killed.
You can’t put that meaning of your life into a love object because it’s human. Humans are just as fallible as you are. That’s why it’s actually helpful to believe in a God because then you could ascribe it to them and then die a happy death, thinking there’s more. And for all I know, there’s more, in which case I’m the dumbest of all men.
So modern romance versus sex. The modern love relationship cannot bare this cosmic burden so it reacts by this despiritualizing and depersonalizing their relationship. So the modern person gets in love, gets their heart broken, “Well, fuck this! Fuck this relationship shit, I’m just going to fuck!” So you get playboy. I mean, Playboy is pretty tame now.
Porn’s overemphasis on the body as a purely sensual object is going to be the next step. And so you see in highly developed societies, there’s always an over-fetishization of purely sensual things. So in ancient Rome, because relatively speaking they were very advanced, it was just like free-for-all orgies all over the place as far as we can tell.
Actually, Rome was a lot better I think than Athens. Greece was the orgies, Rome was more like discipline and all that saying, “We’re not as barbaric as the Greek.” But of course they were, they just didn’t want people to think that. And the thought is, “If I can’t have an ideal that fulfills my life.” So you first fall in love, you’re the nice guy and then you get your heart broken, “Well, then at least I can have guilt-free sex.”
And you just go and just get into casual relationships so you don’t get involved emotionally. This is self-defeating because now you’re still trying to find meaning in your life by fucking around. So, PUA’s might do this as a reaction to getting dumped. They go learn PUA stuff and start fucking around. What’s that solution to oneitis? I hate that term. It is: go fuck ten girls.
It’s an acronym. So that’s what they say, just go and keep fucking around. I didn’t know this but that advice was in some comments from the Man Up group. Then one of the guys who asked the advice was in Invincible, so he posted in Invincible saying the advice he got from the Man Up group was to go fuck more girls.
And I’m like, “That is horrible advice.” The Man Up group is way too big for me to censor or police that shit, so whatever. You’re going to get mixed advice in there, but that’s common advice, “Go fuck more.” It’s self-defeating because it brings us back to the dreaded unconscious equation of sex and death, because sex is your service to the species.
It is the negation of your unique personality. You fuck and then you die. Done. We don’t need you anymore. Just like you have babies and then you die. It’s a puzzle to us, “Why are they still around?” Same with you men, you fuck and you die. Every time you fuck, you fulfilled your role. But eventually, every time you fuck, you’ve made yourself less useful.
So imagine a chicken that pops out eggs. Every time it gives us eggs, its expiry date approaches closer and closer. And that’s what you’re doing. You’re popping out not eggs but babies, I suppose, your sperm. And as you get older, from the moment you can begin the pop out sperm, you get more vigorous. I guess you get a bell curve effect.
And then your quality of your sperm really decreases, and then you just can’t pop out that much, and then your sperm count gets really low, and then eventually it’s like you need tons of Viagra to get it up, I suppose, like Hugh Hefner, whatever. And then you’re useless, as far as your species go. You’re done already, you can die now as far as nature is concerned.
It’d be better to kill you off. We’re all living longer artificially. Nature would have killed us earlier if we didn’t have all of these protections around us. “The sensualist tries to avoid marriage…” This is the sensualist option. The sensualist, a player or whatever you want to call it, the one who gives himself to the pleasure, “…tries to avoid marriage with all his might, to defeat the species role by making sexuality of purely personal affair, of conquest and virility.” So, that’s a sensualist.
“The romantic rises above marriage and sex by trying to spiritualize his relationship to women.” So then, there’s the other option of being a romantic and saying, “I won’t have marriage and sex. I’ll just fall in love over and over.” This is his way of creating a causa sui project to make his life have meaning. So you can see, I think it’s pretty obvious, how neither of these are actually going to fulfill that role in him.