Start a “campaign” to bring back the will to live…
This was meant as a joke, but it has me wondering. What is the nature of this elusive creature?
Dutton and Woodley would tell you the answer is to increase religiosity, but for as much as I respect those guys and love their show, I believe they have the arrow of causality backward. Based on my encounters with the abyss, I’m thoroughly convinced that religion is a survival response based on the will to live rather than the reverse, and that survival ultimately begins with the irrational decision to survive. There’s a great deal of wisdom to be mined in the accounts of drug addicts and alcoholics who hit rock bottom, for anyone smart enough to learn this the easy way rather than the hard way. Existential fear comes first, then the decision to survive, then (counterintuitively) desperation, then they cry out to God for salvation, and afterward religiosity is just a continual reaffirmation of that decision like renewing one’s wedding vows.
I’ve noticed people who’ve never had to squarely face the fact of their mortality engage in a strange sort of brinksmanship with their own existence. You don’t see people who fought in WWI trenches or watched neighbors starve to death poking the tips of their toes in the freezing water of nonexistence. They already know how they feel about the question because there was a moment when they weren’t allowed to ignore it. If they had, they would have just died on the spot. (NOW! That’s what I call k-selection!) This is why living on your parents’ money or your girlfriend’s money is bad for you. You turn into a narcissistic NPC with a rictus grin, convinced you pulled one over on reality.
The decision to survive isn’t sufficient, but it is necessary. I’ve been blessed to intimately observe a large number of people come to terms with their inability to crawl out of a hole without outside help. The meme of “flattening the curve” from Covid-19 to avoid overfilling hospital beds has given us an incredible picture of what civil collapse actually looks like. It’s when there are more people hitting rock bottom at the same time than there are friends and relatives to drag their limp bodies out. Maybe the real social safety net was the neighbors we had dinner and watched TV with along the way. The good news is, humans actually have a remarkable will to live when the question is right in front of them. The bad news is, normies do the opposite of flattening the adoption curve by definition of what a normie is, and right now treestumping is normie and government-pilled.
Aeoli’s grand campaign strategy for every endeavor:
0. Decide whether living is worth suffering for (i.e. decide what you want, count the cost, then pay it)
1. Avoid predictable catastrophes (the Germans say “buy cheap, buy twice”)
2. Buy time to answer the only intellectual question that matters (“What is the nature of God?”)
3. Enter the virtuous feedback loop of WINNING: Invest in people -> Invest in yourself -> Invest in people, etc.
When you decide to survive, something you learn about the world very quickly that the real wealth is human capital. The rest is implementation.