In Satire X, Juvenal laments about the days past of a strong, united Rome that took it’s civic duties seriously, fought for the empire, and represented the strength of their conquests. Roman men fought in wars to expand their empire, participated in government, and gave all other civilizations pause as to the impressiveness of the Roman civilian / soldier / governmental representative.
It was a time when honor, strength, and abilities of it’s subjects made Rome the greatest empire in history. In fact, one of this blogger’s most admired men, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, a legendary figure who at one time abdicated absolute power, was a symbol of Roman manliness and virtue. I recommend reading up on him…for there’s a reason a city in the US was named after him.
When Juvenal wrote about “bread and circuses” in the early days of the early 100’s A.D., he was in the midst of a period of incredible stability. The period was known as “The Five Good Emperors”, was the longest, uninterrupted peace in the Roman Empire. In fact, when Juvenal wrote Satire X, Trajan was just beginning the expansion of the Roman Empire to it’s largest extent, from Spain to the Arabian Sea.
So what are “bread and circuses”? It was a saying developed by Juvenal to describe the declining Roman citizen. After years of taking up arms, the Romans had let others fight their wars, enslaved all they conquered, and had resorted to a life of sloth, greed, crapulence, and laziness. They did not take pleasure in ruling, they took pleasures in eating, drinking, socializing, and enjoying their spoils. Thus, the “bread and circuses” distinction was one of the Romans becoming mindless sheep, only interested in drinking, sexual experimentation, and who won the latest race at the Circus Maximus.
So why do I do a blog about this topic? What does this have to do with being Red Pill aware?
The term “plugged in” was obviously from The Matrix, a movie with so many comparisons to Ancient Rome. We are in a plugged in environment, with social media dominating us everyday, our need to get validation from total strangers continues to grow. We actually get a dopamine high from someone liking our posts, and just like a drug, we continue to post hoping that next comment, retweet, or like will go viral, making us popular with the human race.
As a blue pilled beta, my life was dominated by social media. I followed thots (those hoes over there) on Instagram, hoping that my one comment would get their attention and they would DM me. I posted on Facebook hoping for validation of my feelings, my aspirations, my desires. I posted on Twitter and started internet fights with complete strangers, hoping someone would validate me and my opinion.
My screen time on social media as a blue pill exceeded 4 hours a day. Always worried about who would like my post, always screening any notifications that someone liked my post. I was a sheep. I was more plugged in than I had ever been.
So if you’re immersed in the world of social media and not focusing on yourself, your goals, your dreams, and your ambition, you’re in effect enjoying “bread and circuses”.
You’re watching all the life around you while not working on yourself. You’re sheep.
Source: Gizmodo Australia
CUT IT OFF
So what to do? You cut if off. I decided to distance myself from social media. I deleted all apps. I went dark on all platforms for almost 3 months. It became necessary to focus all of my attention on myself. I needed validation, but from me. I became more self aware of what destructive habits I was involved in online. I unfollowed the thots, some of whom wondered where I went.
“Why aren’t you following me anymore?” one asked.
“Because, I need to follow myself.” I stated bluntly.
I didn’t need to waste time validating others or trying to validate myself in their eyes.
So, do it. Uninstall Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…everything. Until you are ready to use it in a manner that doesn’t require you to check it every 10 seconds for validation, it should be gone. Don’t explain it to anyone either. Say, “I needed my life back.”
So what were the results of this self imposed exile on social media?
I began to discover that the world around me was more than just fleeting internet dopamine gains.
I went to the gym, I read, I discovered. I talked to people. I hit on girls, I dated, I had amazing sex.
In short, I was living the life I was trying to portray to complete strangers on social media, except I wasn’t sharing it with any of them.
After I had cut off social media, I wasn’t in any hurry to get back and show off my new life. The only reasons, I figured, to get back on social media was to make money, help others, and teach men about what I had went through. So I made a plan for when I actually got back on, and I haven’t wavered from it.
I strongly recommend giving up social media to focus on yourself. It will be tough, as those who relied on you to be their validation will come calling, wondering where you went. And when they do, just say one thing.
Recently on my twitter feed, I had the opportunity to do a quick top ten list of things I would tell my younger self. I was so proud of it, I have to post it here as well.
While it doesn’t necessarily cover everything I would say, these points of emphasis are very important to not only older men going through a life reset, but also younger men in need of guidance.
And, also, unofficially, the last bit of advice I can give, is LEARN. Be willing to learn. Don’t ever miss an opportunity to learn from those that have been there before you. I continue to learn from all sorts of sources, and I won’t stop. Absorb. Grow. Be the best man you can be.
I sat up in bed, on a cold, snowy February night. I had been unable to sleep for some time, tossing and turning in a sweaty mess. It had to be tonight. I couldn’t go on. It was pitch black in the bedroom. I turned on my night stand lamp. My mouth dried as I tried to summon up enough saliva to begin talking. This was going to be tough.
I was about to make the biggest decision of my life. One that would change not only my life, but the lives of my kids. I looked over and saw my wife sleeping. It was time.
“Hey, wake up.” I impatiently chortled.
“What do you want?” she sleepily asked.
“I’m done. I done with all of this. I want a divorce.” I said showing no emotion.
She gasped. The blankets shuffled rapidly.
“What the hell do you mean?” she angrily asked.
“I said, I’m done. I’ve had enough. I need out of this marriage,” I said.
Questions followed. Why? How?
Then the anger. “I knew you’d do this. I’m so angry at you. Let’s just give up on marriage. You’re hurting our children! I should’ve left you long ago. I’m not happy either. You’re fucking selfish.”
Eventually, their came the inevitable bargaining and desperation. “We need to go to counseling.”
But it was too late.
I had really made the decision some 6 months ago, in a psychologist’s office. I had been going to therapy for over a year. I knew my life wasn’t going to get any better as a married man. I needed to forge my own path. I had never discovered who I was, only what I had to do in order to “be happy”.
Get married. Have kids. Get a good job that pays a lot. Happiness will just come.
This is not correct.
It took a decade for me to figure it out.
So here I was, at the precipice of my own life, a life I had lived for everyone but myself.
When you own misery in your marriage outweighs your fear of being alone (a fear that was completely unfounded, thanks red pill), you tend to take on a fight or flight mentality. I flew.
I had no idea what I was doing. I hadn’t been single for a decade, and even then, I was a fresh faced beta male who was terrible with women. And on top of all of this, I had two kids. But I was determined to move forward. Nothing could be worse than being unhappy in a loveless marriage.
Dark times followed. Divorce is not kind, especially to men. It took a tremendous amount of money, time, and pain to take this path. Being a single dad is horrible especially when everyone including the state is against you. There are many laws that are completely unfair to divorced men, especially fathers who want to take care of their kids. Deadbeat dads are a terrible problem, but when women have the overwhelming power of the state to debilitate a father on their word alone, men fear not only for their financial freedom, but the custody of their kids is at stake.
I was lucky. I had an ex-wife who was willing to work with me as an adult. It wasn’t easy, nor was it cheap. Houses to fix up and sell, trying not to disrupt the lives of my kids. This particular path was difficult, but not as bad as others that have traveled.
In that time, the thing that kept me going was the fact that I could do this. I had faith in myself. I had never experienced such a feeling when I was plugged in. The system was set up for me to be a beta. I had never been concerned with my own happiness, but the happiness of others. And this is a recipe for failure.
So what did I learn? I realized what red pills already know.
You are what stands between the live that’s chosen for you versus the life you choose. As a red pill male, you have tremendous power over your own life. That is the key to it all. When you choose yourself over everything else, the gravitational forces shift from going away from you to coming toward you.
The best advice I can give to men going through this process is that through it all, you must have faith in yourself. This provides you with a suit of armor that protects you from a cruel, unforgiving process that is divorce. Regardless of your situation, self-empowerment can only help you navigate the new world. Not only will you be better off, your kids will have more respect for someone who has not only fought for them, but more respect for someone who has fought for himself.