(This is a feelzpost. If you prefer the dialectic version, read this instead.)
The first pivotal moment in my life was when I decided not to kill myself. I’d been lying in bed for about a week after burning myself out from four years of mind-over-matter striving, when matter kicked in and said “yeah about that…you have CFIDS now”. This was a devastating blow to my worldview, and it was compounded by the black pill: learning that nobody cares. When you’re at the bottom you learn quickly that relationships are a value proposition and you’re lucky to have someone in your life who’ll even listen to you bitch when you’re down. So I wanted to kill myself, but wanted to know why more. Starting over and reconstructing my world as an agnostic before dying was the obvious critical path.
It didn’t take long to become a Christian again. Everything follows from the prime mover argument and the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. So then I was faced with the question of whether killing myself might displease God. I specifically remember a daydream where I told my very practical grandma “I think I want to kill myself,” and she replied, “Well, either do it or stop making a fuss about it.” This was likely my first real experience of intuition. My framework shifted, and suddenly I was aware of a new dimension of understanding, where I knew with an inexplicable, illogical confidence that suicide is wrong even though I wanted to do it and had no good arguments one way or another. Being forced to live, I chose to live as best as my damaged state would allow, having literally nothing better to do. The first task would be understanding, in order to fix whatever mistakes had caused the burnout.
In time I learned that the world is a giant conspiracy and everyone is in on it, and became angry. The lies, sins, and conceit seemed too big for a just god to tolerate. I wanted to burn the world and its evils. Having decided this, it was merely a matter of logistics to determine the best possible way. But I soon realized that no matter where you chop, the limb grows back. You can drop a nuke on Washington D.C. and the American people will rebuild it in three days, hold a deplorable candlelight vigil, and elect the exact same sorts of people back into office. Categorically speaking, there is no point in striking the world except to kill it entirely or as petty self-expression. So I did this stupid thing where I told God “I will not attack your creation unless you put me in front of the nuclear button, in which case I will consider that your divine blessing to wipe this thing clean.”
Fast-forward a couple of years, and I understood enough about life to get around my hangups. For this, I give the most credit (in order of importance) to Vox Day, Roissy/Heartiste, Koanic, Texas Arcane, Charles Murray, Ludwig von Mises, Steve Sailer, Kevin MacDonald, and Fred Reed. Though I owe a great debt to writers like C.S. Lewis and Ravi Zacharias, they were not particularly helpful in navigating bizarre, counter-intuitive confusopolies like the academic selection process, the sexual marketplace, or the hiring process, which all rely heavily on elaborate rationalizations, esoteric signaling, and exoteric deceit. Ask two university apologists, get three opinions, and none of them will be the correct one which is “to enter a peer group filtered for higher average fitness for an advanced society”.
During this time I developed my intuition haphazardly and discovered that it would be relatively easy to destroy the world. Obviously I won’t drop any hints, so even if you don’t believe this just imagine that I did believe it, which would be emotionally comparable to having the nuclear button at my fingertips. The sensation filled me with a weighty dread for the innumerable souls depending on my mercy. God has a sense of humor like you wouldn’t believe, because the same capacity which had prevented my suicide had given me incredible power and now prevented me from using it to create the Armageddon I craved. In light of Jesus’ sacrifice the only real option was forgiveness. The downstream effect of this choice was to realize (via post-facto rationalization) just how much credit I needed to take for the mess I’d put myself in, and it was a lot.
Responsibility for others is the power to decide whether to call in or write off their debts. Just as suicide had presented a binary choice between destruction and living the best possible life, so power over others gives me a binary choice between cutting them off or fostering the best possible relationship. Once you accept the concept of extreme ownership, the rest is just an optimization problem. I learned to call this power dynamic “charity”, and found that mutual self-sacrifice is the basis of all meaningful human relationships. The notions of human equality and homo economicus become laughable when compared to superlative power dynamics like understanding, sin, vengeance, and self-sacrifice. In truth, every interaction we have with others that doesn’t produce the best possible relationship is a sin against God and adds to our debt. The trick to dealing with other people is to understand that it’s a category error to be “wronged”. Forgiveness on my part is merely recognizing/reframing that when someone does evil to me it’s a sin because they’re damaging part of God’s creation.
This epiphany cured my addiction to masturbation. I haven’t done it since and it’s not even difficult. God answered my prayers to set me free from sexual dysfunction by writing a new pathway in my neural hardware that reroutes libido into purposeful action.