I went for a walk yesterday and it started to rain. I was listening to an action-packed audiobook and didn’t much mind. Afterward I realized I was very cold. I took a hot shower, and immediately had this idea.
Now, if we can habituate our bodies to stress without requiring any input from the will, I think that is most of the battle. Especially if it can be done regularly and systematically, like weightlifting. My essential conclusion is that I believe we can harden our minds to the stresses of violence and physical conflict as part of our daily routines, without large expenditures of willpower.
So rather than doing Illuminatus’ cold shower exercise (which is a good start), we should instead do a lackadaisical approach where we increase our tolerance while distracting ourselves with recreation. Because it’s not the will that matters, it’s the physiological hardness.
The ideal thing would be to watch stuff like UFC or the 300 movie while in an ice bath, but a logistically easier route would be going for a walk in the winter while listening to a Correia book or something, and over time wearing fewer and fewer clothes. This could also be accomplished very simply by listening to Correia books while taking colder and colder showers that are just on the edge of discomfort, and pushing that edge further over time.
Now, this is just habituation. I think we can combine this into a best-of-all-worlds approach as long as resources are generally quite post-scarce.
Because the key to developing gray matter is to introduce stressors, then allow for a period of reflective lateral thinking, I suggest a combination of cold and hot showers. This is what raises the ceiling on a person’s awareness, e.g. 10,000 millicandles rather than 1,000.
The process of taking a hot shower or similar lateral thinking activities (without distraction) allows for instinct and intuition to become crystallized as discernment.
Offhand, I’d also suppose that this creates a very mentally healthy person, and could potentially cure anxiety disorders.