My relationship with Buddhism began when I was born. I can recall, even as a child, a deep state of dissatisfaction with my life and the world around me. I always knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
In my social interactions at school, everything felt forced to me. I felt incredibly different which lead to feelings of alienation and loneliness. Other kids would crack jokes and I would force myself to laugh or smile at them because that’s what other kids did and I wanted to fit in.
I was (and probably still am) what you might call an outlier, or fringe element of society. The town I grew up in was extremely homogenous. Primarily white, Christian, and very cliquey. It seemed everyone knew each other through church, youth group, or other wholesome organizations and activities. To say I didn’t fit in would be an understatement.
One day, in my high school English class, we were assigned to read and critique Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. It didn’t take very long for me to really get into the book, and I started reading things that were forming connections and leaving profound feelings within me.
The descriptions of Siddhartha’s dissatisfaction with his affluent lifestyle and his ensuing path of self-discovery immediately grabbed me. I felt like I was getting a taste of something familiar, but I wasn’t sure what. An answer, an explanation, a little piece of something with which I could finally relate. Imagine my frustration when we were asked in class to give an analytical summary of the book’s plot. Here I was, having some mild epiphanies about my own experiences and feelings up to that point in life, and the teacher was insistent on discussing literary devices. My alienation grew, and I started to see the education system for what it was; an ongoing regurgitation of information with no real lessons learned or knowledge imparted.
Regardless, those first tastes of introspection stuck with me. I had a natural orientation toward the internal world. I was curious about the human mind and soul, what made them tick, and if there was such a thing, the science behind all of it. This curiosity naturally led me through a pretty extensive party and drug experimentation phase. I met some like minded people, some “cosmic wanderers” if you will, and we established a little counter-culture apartment in the middle of this boring, conformist town.
The natural progression of this lifestyle eventually led me to Buddhism. What immediately struck me was the scientific quality to applied Buddhist practice. Instead of getting on one’s knees and praying to a big man in the sky, I was learning to meditate, to quiet my thoughts, to focus, to shut my body down mentally and physically. Here was a system that prescribed various practices; sit like this, avert your gaze to this degree, breath this way, and you do all of it and strange things started to happen. By following some simple steps in meditation, I started having some profound experiences. I learned a great deal about discipline and myself. I gained a greater understanding of the four noble truths and the eightfold path, and how to apply them to my life.
What Buddhism didn’t teach me, however, was game. All of this meditating and compassion was getting me nowhere with women. I always had a girlfriend around, but I was miserable in these relationships. The kindness, understanding, and patience I was giving them was not being reciprocated, and if anything was only provoking anger from their frantic, convoluted minds. After years of Buddhist practice, I also felt that I was forcing too much and getting ahead of myself. The meditations started getting really out there. I was spending a lot of time in my “inner space” and I started to question if it was really necessary or benefitting me as much as it used to.
Or, more poetically, “You cannot force a snake to shed its skin. It must be shed of its own accord.” In Buddhism there is what’s called the Middle Path; that you do not drop away from this world, lost in meditative bliss, but you also don’t lean equally hard into “worldliness” which breeds greed and materialism.
I Became More Worldly
I became more job oriented, making money, and indulged in more shallow pursuits. I spent time in bars and pursued casual sex. And, ever the perfectionist, I realized I wasn’t nearly as good at it as I wanted to be. I started looking into seduction techniques. And during all of it, I kept the Buddhist “witness” in the back of my head. I kept that little voice that kept me from getting lost in worldliness, giving me little reminders of the internal world that I carried with me.
After reading several different seduction gurus, I settled on Roosh, simply because I appreciated the direct language he used. His tone was very scientific and causal, which greatly appealed to me. Over the course of several years, dating several women and having numerous casual sex partners, I started to notice the funniest things… the same techniques that apply to game are absolutely rooted in, of all things, Buddhism.
And the number one element of it all is this: detachment. Detach yourself from your mind, your body, and even your soul. Detach yourself from your ego. Detach yourself from potential outcomes. Detach from fortune and misfortune, from happiness and sadness. Learn to observe your emotions from a distance, as if watching waves rising and falling on the ocean’s horizon. Many people new to Buddhism struggle with detachment, thinking: “Well I don’t want to suppress my desires. I LIKE wanting things!” Detachment does not mean suppression. Consider these three scenarios:
1. You are angry.
You validate your anger through environmental stimulus, giving external reasons as to why you are angry. The anger consumes you and drives you to act upon that anger.
2. You are angry but clench your teeth and fists, driving the anger deep inside.
After time, the anger subsides but manifests itself in other, more passive-aggressive ways. Emotions are like air in a pressure chamber; they must be released eventually
3. You are angry but “you” are not angry.
You OBSERVE yourself being angry, you feel the heat on the back of your neck and you observe the thoughts in your brain that manifest this anger. Somewhere in deep inside, you laugh, bemused, thinking, “Ah, so this is anger.”
The Buddhist response, naturally, is #3. Detachment does not mean suppressing your desires. You want sex. You want comfort. You want food and water. You want companionship. But you do not attach yourself to these desires. You do not attach yourself to outcomes. You allow yourself to approach women and be rejected. You observe your ego being hurt by her rejection. You observe and allow, but you do not invest your deeper self.
I found my foundation of Buddhism helped me immensely with approaching, meeting, and dating women. I no longer attached myself to the bullshit outcomes that we are programmed to expect. I no longer expected loyalty, romance, or fairness. Now, the downside of all this is I started to see women for what they really are. Without my childish projections, the romance was pretty much toast. I became dismayed at what I observed, but ultimately what I attained was liberation. I experienced the freedom to really see things, to get that rare honest glimpse into humanity. This was my red-pill process.
Digging Deeper Into Buddhism
We can see that Buddhism applies to game in other ways. Let’s look at the Four Noble truths (roughly translated):
- The truth that suffering exists
- The truth of the origin of that suffering
- The truth of separating oneself from that suffering
- The truth of the path leading to that separation from suffering
It may seem redundant, but let’s apply those four truths to game:
- Accept dissatisfaction over your own dating life
- Understand why your dating life is dissatisfying
- Separating yourself from the negative causes of that dissatisfaction
- Finding the path that leads to a satisfying dating life
Through this filter, an entire world opens up for guys trying to find their own happiness. It’s a simple exercise in identifying positive and negative factors in one’s life. Taking the 4th Noble Truth even further, we can move onto the Eightfold Path, which is an elaboration of the 4th Noble Truth.
The Eightfold Path is a prescription of sorts for “right living”. How to live life that eases our suffering, increases compassion, and increases our quality of life.
The Eightfold path can be interpreted many different ways, but it absolutely applies to game. Some of you might think, “Well, manipulating women isn’t very compassionate.” That’s where honesty comes in. One of the greatest things I learned from Buddhism is the ability to be honest, no matter how offensive or abrasive. The truth will indeed set you free. I learned to tell women, “I’m not interested in an emotional relationship with you.” And “I don’t consider you a suitable life partner.”
The most amazing things happened: they listened. They internalized. And it happened like that because I wasn’t arguing. I wasn’t presenting opinions or conjecture. I was giving them truth, which surpasses the realm of “good and bad”. Women respect truth more than anything else. Compassion towards women comes in the form of honesty. Compassion doesn’t mean kneeling before women or treating them as naturally superlative human beings. Compassion means being honest with your desires, expectations, and disappointments.
The Eightfold path covers nearly all ground. Resist evil means resisting materialism. Resist the false pursuits that women direct toward you. Resist drama and manipulation.
Right mindfulness means frame control.
Right action means giving back. If you make it to your 30s with a little fortune and happiness on your side, chances are it means you have some people to be grateful for. Give back.
Right intention means maintaining a positive vibe. It means keeping a playful and carefree spirit.
…and so on.
At this stage of the game, at the age of 32, I do my best to keep on the “middle” path in life and with women. I’m not 100% invested in my career, and I’m not abandoning everything to go meditate on top of a hill for the rest of my life. I’m somewhere in between. I’m not married, but I’m not looking to score a one-night stand every week of my life. I’m somewhere in between.
You can swing hard in many directions in life, you can indulge in hard drug trips, crazy sex experiences, thrilling adventures, you can experience the highs of financial wealth or the lows of absolute ruin, you can break 10 hearts and then get yours broken, and so on. I highly recommend you do it all, but they all often come accompanied with despair; the highs fade, reality sets in, remorse and emotional pain abound. Highs bring lows. It’s important to experience those things and experience life, but when it’s all over I feel it’s important to know true happiness; deep happiness that is unwavering in the drama (karma) of life.
For that deeper happiness, look toward the middle path.