In the fantasy series “The Prince of Nothing” and “The Aspect Emperor” by R Scott Bakker, we are introduced to a concept called The Darkness that Comes Before. This describes the unknown place from where our urges and drives and decisions come from, that subconscious part of the brain that really calls the shots.
In this podcast episode, I explore what occurs in that darkness, and how other people get into your mind to control you. We look at how to be sceptical about your own thoughts and feelings and beliefs, in such a way that ensures you make better long-term decisions and prevent others from manipulating you.
Full transcript (unedited)
Welcome to my final podcast for 2024. Thank you so much for joining. Thank you so much for your support over the year.
Today we’re going to be talking about the darkness that comes before.
So this is a my term I got it from series of books, fantasy novels, there’s a series called The Prince of nothing and then a follow up series called The aspect Emperor by an author called Ascot, Bakker and Ascot Becca is a enthusiastic study of both psychology and philosophy. And that really plays into his writing. So you don’t need to be into fancy which I’m actually not so much to get into these books, if you really love psychology and philosophy, because he applies it to the characters. Now,
there was one character in particular, called callose. And this character comes from, we’ll say, a tribe of isolated people, these are people who have been away from society for 2000 years, and all they’ve been doing is working on how to understand cause and effect, particularly with humans, but also with other things. And I won’t go into the long story of it. But basically, they understand how people think, and what motivates people. And when you really, truly understand that, and you can totally manipulate people, especially if you have no ego of your own. If you’re not interested in any of your own drives, or emotions or passions, and you’re only interested in the other person from a very objective standpoint, then you can easily predict them, and therefore easily do what needs to be done and say what needs to be done to control their behavior. It’s like noticing that a person is really nothing more than a puppet. If you can get your hand inside the puppet, you can do whatever you like. And when it comes to what moves people, they talk about the darkness that comes before.
What he’s referencing to is this idea that when we make decisions, when we do things, and we feel urged and motivated to do things, we don’t know where that comes from, it comes from some dark place. It’s kind of like how the way our brain interprets vision makes us think we see everything even though somehow we must also know that we can’t see behind our own head. And yet, we don’t see the blackness back here, do we? We just see everything we think we see everything. Our brain even deletes the vision of our nose, though our noses visible all the time. So the brain does this kind of thing where it deletes the idea that there are bits we can’t see. So we get the impression that we can see everything.
And the same occurs with decision making when a decision occurs to us, we think we made the decision that the entire process of decision making is An Elysian field. And we don’t see the darkness from whence it came.
And so because people cannot see the darkness that comes before a decision, or should we say the place where the decision comes from, we think that we are the decision, we think that we see it in its entirety, which means that if somebody was able to place themselves in their darkness that comes before and seen through the decision to us, we would take credit for their decision. And we would have no awareness that we were being manipulated. Just like if somebody was standing right behind me, and went to punch me in the back of my head, I would never see it coming. Right, because they’re in the darkness that comes before. The reason I wanted to do a podcast about this is because if you can understand this concept, you can make yourself nearly immune to manipulation not only from other people, but from your own mind.
And if you’re not aware of this, if you really do believe that you are completely in charge of your decision making and then there’s no other factors involved, then you are totally vulnerable to manipulation. And you will constantly repeat your own mistakes as your brain manipulates you, as your brain manipulates you into doing things that are harmful for your long term future. But without you having any awareness that you aren’t the one making their decision. So when I say you I mean the conscious self image, I mean, who you think you are, like I call myself, Dan, I see out of these eyes, and I feel like I’m moving these hands. That’s me.
Right? But then there’s parts of my brain, I have no awareness of the darkness that comes before. Now that’s technically me as well. But when I say me, I’m not referring to that. But that’s the other part of me.
So when I say you make a decision, I mean, the conscious ego, the self image that you think you are,
is talking. But there’s a part behind that. That’s very busy and doing a lot of work. And this is starting to be backed up in neuroscience these days where we can see through brain scanning, that all this activity happened
In the brain prior to the awareness, that we’re even thinking about making a decision.
So basically, what it’s starting to look like is that the subconscious brain makes a decision and sort of memos that through to the conscious mind, the conscious mind receives that memo, and tells itself I wrote this, and then proceeds to act on that instruction, feeling completely sovereign, completely autonomous. So if I suddenly feel hungry for a sandwich, I’m like, I’m gonna make a sandwich. I feel like I decided to do they’re like, I’m the one who wrote down make a sandwich.
When what what’s much more likely, is my hunger combined with my beliefs around food and everything, created this memo, make a sandwich, faxed it through to me, emailed it? How old am I, I read the email and thought, I’ve written this email.
Not the subconscious part of me has written this email. But the conscious part, like as I’m reading have written it, I’ve gone ah, I’m going to make a sandwich. And there’s no such a problem in this particular situation.
But what if
drinking a beer occurs to me. And I’m not aware that I don’t actually have any health related reasons for drinking this beer. It doesn’t help me socially, it’s actually detrimental to my life. And it’s actually cultural pressure and the need to fit in and peer pressure from my friends that have written this email. And then I say, No, I want to be like, I came up with this.
Because actually, there was no part of my values that align with this behavior. So basically, decisions are made prior to our awareness, then they occur to us their email through to a conscious mind, and then we take credit for them.
And because we do this, we are completely blind to what comes before we’re completely blind to what motivates us, what controls us. And if we’re not sure what controls us, then how can we be sure, it’s a good idea. We can easily see this and others, you know, we can predict other people based on their own darkness. For example, if your mother always overreact when people challenge her authority, he gets a nudge your brother and Galileo watch this and wind her up, can’t you notice that he can manipulate and move people even if you’re just doing it for a bit of like fun, how you know, the right way to say something to your partner to get what you want, because they respond to a certain way. And they don’t even seem to be aware that you’re using a different way of communicating, because that’s what gets through best to them. So they’re moved by something that you’re doing here, and they don’t know they’re being moved? Have you noticed that? It’s very easy to see in children. And in the book, that character talks about how men are like children to
say what children like, if you brush your teeth, you can watch a little bit of TV, and the kids, I want to brush my teeth now. And the kid will actually say they’re like, Yeah, I want to brush my teeth, you can see them taking credit for the decision you just made for them. Right.
And so you can see it with, especially with children, you can see with dogs, where you can see with people that you find easily to control, easy to control manipulate,
you can see that if you can get into the darkness that comes before the decision, they are puppets and they’re not aware of it.
That’s the key thing is they you can actually watch someone
in some subtle way convinced themselves that they act on this, you know, you wind someone up who’s easy to wind up, for example.
And then tell them that you’re just wanting them up, watch them try to justify their reaction, what they’re trying to do is convince themselves that they actually autonomously or free will chose their reaction. And then it wasn’t really you lining them up that caused, but they’re resistant to the idea that they are puppets, that they are a piece of wood being carried away by the current on a stream. So we can see quite easily quite often when somebody else does it.
Right. But when we do it, or when it happens to us, we’ll No no, that was me. That was my decision. That was autonomy. So being unable to see the darkness that comes before is, in my opinion, our greatest weakness and our greatest source of suffering. It is the reason why we repeat harmful behaviors. It is the reason why other people move us in such a way that it’s in their best interest rather than ours. It’s a reason why we just don’t understand how we got here and why things keep going wrong. And we can also see that if you were aware of what was happening in the darkness that comes before then you could create a kind of skeptical resistance in the conscious awareness
in creating like, Wait, let’s make sure this is the right move before I act on it. Like I’m not the one who wrote this email. Somebody else did. Who was that person
So what are their intentions? What are the likely outcomes and the following this instruction, because there’s something I should disobey or obey or ignore, like, people just don’t have that pattern of thinking when thoughts and urges occur to them. And so they are completely enslaved by their own minds. And you don’t have to be, you’ve got to first identify the difference between cause and narrative. All right.
We backwards, rationalize our decision making a decision, kurz to us and then we tell ourselves a story about that decision to make sense of it.
And this is one of the most dangerous mental processes that we do. Because we can make sense of anything with a good enough story. Right? I’ve worked with murderers and serial rapists, and gang leaders, and you should hear the stories they tell to justify incredible acts of harm and torture and abuse, they’ve actually spent good time thinking about a story that makes sense of what they’ve done. After they did it.
It’s very rare that we actually have a story before we do something, it will feel like that, but the decision is actually already made. And we’re just trying to make our peace with it. You know, for example, if I’m working with somebody, criminal offender who steals cars, they might have a little story in their head before stealing a car story about how
done fear that some people were money and they don’t, and how you know, insurance is going to cover it anyway, and so on. And they think that they’re like building up to a decision, what they don’t realize is they will always going to steal a car. And now they just had to reduce the guilt down to a certain level so that that decision can follow through, they’re actually supporting a decision that’s already been made, they were always going to steal a car. And now they’re telling themselves a story to make that feel good. But there was always it was already decided it’s predetermined that the car will be stolen.
It’s like you can see patterns when somebody’s going to cheat on their partner.
What begins as a pattern of resentment building, first, you have to make your partner the enemy. First, you have to tell yourself a story that makes cheating, guilt free, or at least not so guilt ridden that you can’t do it. Now your actual decision to cheat has already occurred. And there’s a skill barrier in the way. So now you pick and criticize and focus and hyper become hyper sensitive to all of your partner’s weaknesses and flaws and annoying things about them. Till eventually, like they drove me to this, and now you’re justified in your cheating.
And it might even feel like the cheating was just some random impulsive event, but nobody cheats impulsively, there’s always a build up. Since the buildup occurs in the darkness that came before, there is no such thing as a random impulsive piece of behavior, your reaction to things that are surprising, unexpected opportunities, unexpected disasters are actually pre written in you, it’s a story already ready to go sitting in their dark place. And then it just clicks on when the opportunity arises. So for example, if you cheat, it’s not that it just suddenly occurred to you that that’s an option. It might be it suddenly occurred you consciously. But actually, you’ve been building up the free yourself up to take an opportunity like this.
It’s kind of like training.
You know, I used to do competitive dancing. And there’s nothing you can do on the day of the competition to improve your performance. It’s, there’s nothing to do to change muscle memory or suddenly get a new idea or whatever. Because being good at a performance is about repetition. So by the time it comes to performance day, the performance you’re going to do is already predetermined by a combination of your training, and you know, your kind of resilience of being on stage and under pressure. There’s nothing more you can do on the day, the training is either gonna get you over the line, or it’s not, it’s already decided.
And it’s it’s quite weird when you watch somebody on stage and you haven’t watched them train years like Whoa, look at them go. Because you don’t see the darkness that comes before you don’t see everything that built up to this performance. And what you also don’t see is that their performance is largely unconscious at this point, they can’t now suddenly decide to do certain dance moves. They can’t even think quickly enough. They just have to go with whatever muscle memory has been trained. And they’re basically as much a witness to their own performance as you are similar to somebody playing guitar by the time they’re playing on stage. Their fingers know how to play, they’re watching their fingers. They’re not thinking about how to play that would actually slow them down. But we do the single backwards rationalizing. We look at what we’ve done or what we’re about to do. It’s already decided. We tell ourselves a story that makes sense of it so that we don’t feel insane
And so that we don’t feel things like guilt and remorse and so that we don’t feel unjustified now behavior. So everything makes sense, we’re so driven to make sense of everything
that we will actually take a quick, simple narrative over the truth. Nothing is all of your behavior does make sense, but not in the way you think it does. Not but not aligned with the story you’ve told yourself. And because you are so desperate to have a narrative to make sense. So quickly of your decisions, you don’t take time to investigate what the real story is, which is going to be much more complex and nuanced, and probably quite frightening. If you really knew why you do what you do, it’s hard to swallow. We’ve seen this in, you know, some of the studies that are now unethical and you can’t do them all the best psychological study was done before they bought an ethics and now we can’t figure anything out because in the lead to hurt people.
It’s this kind of unfortunate paradox that we’re in. But if you look at these Umberto Stanford Prison study, or
to name the Milton Milton authority study,
they were ones where we show what happens when you put people in certain environments. You know, there’s these people in Stanford Prison, they’re just normal students, they were divided into prison and guard roles. It was all just roleplay. But within a few days, they had to stop the experiment, because the guards had become sadistic, right. They’re all just normal students. But within a few days of telling myself, Oh, my God, and he’s a prisoner. They were already on the borderline of practicing actual torture.
Now, these are just randomly selected people. But in the darkness that comes before as these things around roles and authority and you know, those kind of decision, disinhibition when you’re giving someone a title, and so on, and they were completely unaware of what’s happening in their darkness. They just acted on it. They didn’t. Even the people doing the study and witnessing this, we’re locked into their role as as researchers, and it took an outside voice to come and go, Whoa, what the fuck is going on here before everyone kind of woke up and be like, oh, yeah, shit, this is Oh, man, let’s let’s stop this right away. Like that we’re all just in on him. It was the same with that authority. Say God has a Milton boss’s name.
So variable names. Were people in lab coats told the subjects of the study to basically electrocute someone. Now it was all acted out, but they thought it was real. And it kind of proves that what some of the Nazi guards were saying is we were just following orders, which nobody could get their head around.
But they showed if you just take a normal person, put them in a situation where it looks like an authority figures there, and you slowly but surely get them to sort of amp up the amount of pain they do. I don’t get them to jump out too far too soon. But just take a mile one inch at a time that a vast majority of people will do incredibly harmful acts and won’t be able to resist the authority figure.
So they’re in their darkness before the submission to authority. We don’t know it’s there. And yet, you know, that panic you get when you see the police lights flashing behind you even though it’s just to normal human beings and uniforms. You suddenly say oh my god, I’ve done something wrong. You know, that’s coming from the darkness that comes with forks if you tell yourself a story to try and make sense of it.
Rather than going wait, I was manipulated by my own unconscious drives, I need to figure out what those are. Otherwise, I’m going to keep doing stuff like this. If you imagine you are pushed from behind by a strong tailwind,
and a blue all over the place. And then when you finally ended up somewhere, you told yourself that actually this is where I want to go. I like running in this direction. I like ending up in this place. This is my preferred place. Now there’s no way you would have gone there had the winds not pushed you
that because you’re unwilling to identify that the wind exists. You instead, tell yourself a story about how you wanted to go there. And this is what people do with their decision making all the time. You know, you ask someone why they’re on a job that they hate. And they’ve just got the story about it. Well, God knows, you know, the boss is pretty good. It’s close to my, you know, where I live and blah, blah, blah with the pay and everything. And you know, I’ve got two mouths at home to feed and they’ve got this whole story that makes it sound like they actually chose to be here and want to be by far more likely story. A far more truthful one is that they’ll push their by their cultural environment, they’ll push day by pressure from their parents and conditioning from childhood, and that they’re staying there because fear always tries to keep us familiar. And even though logically, there’s much better options available to them. Because they want to believe that they chose it they actually get that fallacy that sunk cost fallacy of I’ve chosen to invest in this therefore I must see it through it
As opposed to how they might react to flight, hey, I was forced here and I don’t have to stay. We’ve got this egotistical, desperate desire to believe in free will to believe in our own sovereignty, which basically translates to mean, we think we make our decisions consciously. And we own the complete decision making process. And we’ve got eyes on the whole thing. And we’re so unwilling to let go of that we’re so scared of what it would mean, if that’s not true,
that we’d rather cling to, and narratives that justify the idea of free will then face the truth, that we’re not free at all that we’re being pushed.
And yet, if we do face the truth that we’re being pushed, then we can push back, then we can decide who pushes us and who doesn’t.
But otherwise, we don’t face the wind, and we just get pushed by it going, there was no wind. And I feel any wind. Right? I want to be here. I love the ship job. I love staying the city I love hanging out with the superficial friends. No, I’d have to I need to I wanted to I chose this.
So no, you didn’t do it, you’re pushed here, you don’t have to be here, right.
But more importantly, I think, maybe equally importantly, if you don’t think that you can be pushed, if you think that all of your decisions are just yours, that your body ends at your skin, and there’s no way that anyone can get in there and do anything, then you are so prone to manipulation, it’s so easy to manipulate you.
You ask any prisoner, right? And the last Guinea hardened criminal, who which gun they’re going to choose to try and work over? It’s going to be the guy thinks he can’t get God, the guy who’s got their ego, it’s got their pride says I nobody tell me what to do. Oh, yeah, I’m going to use that guy, that guy’s the easiest to push around, because he will never be aware that he’s been manipulated, he will always tell himself, that he’s the one making the decision.
And that way, I will never get caught manipulating them, he’ll never believe that it’s happening. And that makes them the easiest target. Whereas the guy goes, Look, people forget, and I’m gullible a shipment and people manipulate me all the time. I gotta keep a good eye on that. I’ve got to double check with other people and make sure that’s not happening and, you know, measure things carefully to see if it’s happening. Like that guy’s really hard to manipulate. Right? That guy’s constantly looking in the darkness that comes before and saying, Well, why? Why did I want to do that? Where did that come from? Whose idea was this. And it’s very hard to get away with manipulation when someone keeps looking for it. But other people are barely the problem. Because even they have to go through the moderator that is your own mind. Like no one can actually force you to make a decision. But they can influence your mind into forcing you to make a decision.
That’s one way of looking at it as a person doesn’t manipulate the conscious you they manipulate the unconscious, you and then the unconscious human populates you.
Right. So this all really comes back to your ability to master your own darkness. Understand that even if someone else is trying to manipulate me, the best thing I can focus on is the manipulation from my own mind, because that’s where they will be pushing me from. That’s the intermediary, that’s the broker.
And you’ve got to understand that your mind can lie to you write that your thoughts and your feelings can be untrue. They can be manipulative tools and tactics, part of grand strategies designed to move you in a certain direction. But if you think every noise that occurs inside your head is just you talking to yourself and there’s no other parties involved.
Then you’ll just be at the whim and mercy of these noises in your head.
When their voice and your hair says I’m not good enough, you’re just thinking, Well, I guess I’m not good enough, then. Case closed. Instead of going wait, what if that’s bullshit? How come I’m still alive? If I’m not good enough, that doesn’t make any sense. I brushed my teeth this morning, I showered I went to work, I came home. It wasn’t the best day in the world. But I was not good enough person achieve all those things? How come the voice in my head doesn’t match the evidence. Without their skepticism, you just believe everything inside your head. And of course, everything inside your head is generally pretty negative, doesn’t it? Far more negative than is what is actually happening. Most of us lack awareness of our biases. You know, one of the most powerful experiences of my life was one of the only papers in my psych degree that actually mattered. And it’s called critical thinking.
And it was in that class that I had my mind blown wide open, because I learned that my brain can lie to itself. And that had never occurred to me before in my entire life. That paper just blew me away.
I’m sitting there and somebody’s talking about all these cognitive biases talking about things like confirmation bias how we see what we hope is true. And we literally dismiss evidence that contradicts it.
And we don’t even know we’re doing this. So our conscious awareness just goes man is a lot of stuff confirming what I believe.
And so we’re just pray to the system.
And there are just so many the list of cognitive biases as terrifyingly long and people adding to it every day as we find new ones, or the shortcuts the brain takes to keep things simple and familiar. And to not use too much energy. And how devastatingly detrimental it is for modern humans to have these biases. They will helpful when we only live to an average of 30 years, and we’re in the middle of the food chain. Because sort of shortcut a lot of decision making when we need to make decisions very quickly for our survival quite often. But nowadays in the modern world, they’re completely backfire on us. And they lead us to actually put our survival at risk. But most people don’t even know what the word cognitive bias means. They couldn’t list more than a couple of them, you are subjected to dozens of them every day. And they are the main drivers in your decision making. This is what’s happening. This is the mechanisms of what occurs in the darkness accountable for and when a decision comes to you, even when a number of options occur to you. And your conscious awareness. These have all been some really filtered, moderate and and cut down by processes you can’t see.
You think of that false dichotomy, the black and white fallacy, as it’s called when you think there’s only two options, it must be a or otherwise as be a must be nice or otherwise, I’ve got to be an asshole. There are literally trillions more options than that. There’s a huge spectrum and tiny little locations all along the spectrum of different ways you can be you can fluctuate depending on context and everything. So if you think there’s only two options, think of the absolute genocide of possibilities that happened in the darkness before you became aware of what options were available.
Let’s say you, you’re looking at like, well, I can either quit this job, or stay there. So what about doing another job on the side? How did that obvious third option not occur to you?
And says occurs to you like, oh, yeah, I guess. And there’s just no awareness that that option actually had been considered and eliminated before you’re consciously aware that any options existed, that your brain went ahead and did some deleting work for you, saving you the hassle of having to have a look at it yourself?
How many opportunities have you missed? How many options are you not aware of, because your brain does this heavy skewing work? before you’re even involved in the decision making process. And this is what I mean the darkness that comes before because you don’t know what’s going on in that darkness, you are a slave to it. You think of that thing we do with children, where we want them to feel like they have autonomy. So we give them a range of options. But what they don’t realize is we’re happy with anything in that range, because they’re doing what we want. Like for example, we say, Oh, you can have this for dinner or that for dinner. And the kid doesn’t realize that what we’re really trying to do is get them to eat dinner. They think they’re choosing something. But their decision to eat dinner is actually made for them. And they’re tricked into thinking that they have autonomy because they’re choosing what to eat for dinner. And I realized that played into our convenience that they’re meeting dinner is actually our goal, not theirs.
Where your brain is doing this to you all the time.
And saying, Well, you can choose this or that or one of these three things he like, okay, good. I get to choose. When you don’t realize your brands, like I don’t care which one you do, because all of them serve me. And you’re not aware of the 4000 million other options that I’m hiding from you. The kids not aware that they can just say no, I don’t want to eat dinner mentioned your brain is going to lay you can have this job or that job or that job. And I care one of those three, which ones are going to be and you feel like you’re making a decision. And your brains eliminate the option of being unemployed, it’s eliminated the option of starting your own business. So eliminate the option of some sort of freestyle consulting thing to eliminate the option of borrowing money. And I’m not saying these are good options, but you didn’t even get to consider them consciously. That was done for you. And your, your brain doesn’t care which one of these you choose. As long as you’re an employee, the brains already made the decision you will be an employee. And then it kind of throws your bone you get to choose which employee you are. But you must be an employee. You don’t realize your brain has already done that for you and you don’t know why it’s done it.
Now, you might already be considering this and you’ll be like well, you know, it’s the safe option and blah blah. Are you sure that that’s not just a narrative? Is it safe? Do you have the statistics to prove it?
In the day and age where people are made
redundant on a daily basis by artificial intelligence and by massive cuts in all industries is really being an employee safe? Where did you get that idea from? Why do you think safety is a good mechanism for making decisions? Do you know where this comes from? The shoulders just isn’t your parents voice coming through sounding like you?
Now may be that after you look at everything that happens in the darkness, you still decide you want to be an employee, that’s fine. But most of you are making decisions like this without any awareness of why. And then you tell yourself, I take the credit story, like I decided this, just like the kid goes, I decided to eat spaghetti for dinner. The parents layer whatever, show you that good on. Yeah. So autonomous. Look at him, he’s eating dinner, just like I wanted. And this is just talking about your mind manipulating you not to mention how other people get into your mind, and then use that as a weapon against you. Carrying on with the employment example. So many people think that working for someone else, and that person, keeping most of your paycheck for themselves, and all that kind of thing is the safest option.
And they have no idea where they got that idea from, but they haven’t investigated it. They haven’t done an objection of literature review to see the safest way to bring an income into your household. Somebody else told them that being an employee is the safest Enya just believed it is took took that on faith, you can’t even remember maybe who told you? That’s where it gets really scary as you’ve got an idea and you don’t know where it came from? You have a belief and you don’t know who made you believe it?
Right? This can often happen when it’s done by 1000 sources.
You know, you get I get this a lot of my work working with guys. And they think, oh, you know, a man must provide. Now they can’t tell you a single person who told them that?
Because they’ve been told that 1000 1000 times over their lifetime, that’s little bits and pieces that make up the whole puzzle, and yet not once have they actually investigated it for themselves. What happens if I don’t? Is that an option?
Right. They don’t know. They’ve just heard from so many other people that they’re pushed by that tailwind, like I’ve got to go and provide or otherwise somebody won’t love me. And they’re not going Why Wait, wait, wait, what’s this push event, who’s saying this is the most powerful thing I learned about psychology as a concept of conditioning, that you can train someone against the will
to prefer and react in a predictable way. You know, it was first done with dogs and a very unethical experiment with dogs are trained to salivate at ringing a bell because their brain thought that they made food even though it’s just about
there was later on discovered that this can be done with humans. So mean gambling machines are a great example of this gambling machines are programmed to give you the occasional win. To condition you enter thinking that staying at the machine a long time eventually leads to a win. Okay?
This kind of conditioning has been occurring to you your entire life, and nearly all of it has been completely invisible to you. And yet, a lot of your decision making is based on your conditioning, you have a knee jerk reaction, you know, a bell rings and you start salivating and you can’t remember why bells do that to you. Even though the bell is not something you can eat. Think about asking someone out on a date and you immediately feel rejected. And you don’t know why the thought gives the feeling even though nobody’s even rejected you yet.
Right? It’s like the dog isn’t eating any food. It’s just a bell ringing it he feels like this food in front of them. You’re walking on conditioned ground. This is how the guy says it in the book. He says it like once you get into the darkness that comes before someone then they are now walking on condition ground, they’re taking footsteps that are not their own, that you are the ground that they walk on, and they have no idea of it. And that their decisions now essentially predetermined permanently, that they now just push from behind and they can’t even feel the push. Hold on. They’re telling themselves they’re autonomous while you’re completely controlling them.
Aren’t you imagine this a very simple one your conditions to dress differently for the weather? Right? So you get up in the morning and it’s time to go to work and you look outside and you see that snowing? I want you to think of you know some of you haven’t grown up with snow but think about what decisions you would now make about what you wear. Right You’re not going to be like Alright, time for a board shorts and the towel right? You’re gonna be thinking heavy coat and boots and a beanie hat or whatever. But if you would wear in the snow
now you’re not actually stopping and thinking for the first time like what do I want to wear in this weather? Do I have to be warm? What’s wrong with being cold you’re not reconsidering anything. You’re completely conditioned to be like, Okay, I’ve got to wear this and you wouldn’t even think about it. Just be more like an
urge as you start putting on clothes to grab certain clothing items. Now imagine while you’re sleeping, I replaced your window with a television screen that looks like a window.
And it’s actually sunny outside, but I play a video of snow.
Now what clothes are you going to wear?
You’re going away the snow close again, then you get outside and sunny, what the fuck, right?
If I can get into the darkness that comes before, if I can
mimic the thing that provokes you into making decisions, then you will make the same decisions, you will be predictable.
And this gets far more complicated than what you’re we’re according to the weather, I can probably control what job you apply for. I can control whether or not you stay with a partner, I can control how you talk to your kids, I can control what you eat, if I understand what it is that drives you to make condition decisions, what buttons push you, if I can find that out, then I can push those buttons myself. Something my old coach used to say, as our parents are always able to push our buttons because they installed them. And you get this a lot with my coaching clients as they build a lot of confidence. They come very assertive, they start pushing back against people and against their own insecurities. But then they go home for Christmas or something and it all falls apart. And i Whoa, what happened, you know you’re doing so well. But then they go back to the people who were there in the darkness that came before they were the ones that installed some of the stuff that we can’t even see. And they’ve got their fingers on those buttons. They know what little subtle thing to say, to completely destroy you. And even if you wrote down what they said on paper, you’d be like, that’s not such a significant thing to say, I can’t see why that hurts you. It wasn’t even like, categorically in an abusive thing to say.
But it was the thing that you can’t resist. It was the code and the command that you have no resistance to.
And that’s what quite often happens. You see this in abusive partnerships as well. Where, you know, the guy will say something that’s not very nice. So I’ve been putting on weight a little bit lately. But you wouldn’t think that they would trigger a complete meltdown, their partner except that they know that their partner has a sensitivity about appearance, and so on, so forth. So they know that a little common like that actually goes a long way.
And so they can completely control their partner’s behavior with these little comments that don’t look like a big deal to someone who doesn’t know the partner. But to the partner, they are a big deal, what I call small but significant, we are moved by things that do not look that significant to others, because they’re our own special little formula. And conditioning is what creates this formula. Like I said, You can ring a bell and make a dog salivate. Everybody be like, Why does the dog fucking hammer hard on about a bell makes no sense to them, because they haven’t seen the conditioning process, you might get to a new job. And you just feel compelled to just keep performing really highly and doing long hours and trying to be the best and the team and doesn’t occur to you that this is conditioning that you had to earn your parents love by impressing them with performance. And then slowly after 1000 1000 times, of being rewarded for performing and being punished or ignored for not, you became conditioned to be ambitious. And you don’t know why you do it. You’re at a job, you don’t get paid any more for being the best in the team. You don’t even enjoy the job particularly more other than the approval that gets you the conditioned love that you’ve been taught.
You don’t know why you’re doing this. And this is my actual story. I used to go to a workplace do you put me in any workplace and I quickly figured out how to be the best or I can leave right? And I just feel this urge to always dominate and to always learn the most and to correct the systems so that I become the valuable person in the team and never wants to stop and think like why do I really do this? I had a story about why I did it. Conscientious you know that. I’m trying to do a good job and I’m living my best life I’d had this whole story.
But the truth was, that’s how I got love. Or at least that’s what I thought
that I was used to only getting rewarding reactions from people by impressing them. And by being the best in that I had a great fear of mediocrity because I thought that that would leave me abandoned and unloved.
That’s conditioning right? Once I saw it I’m like man, I’m trying to hot Fuck this. I don’t actually want to do this. This will live my life. I want to put my energy into this really energy into this other thing. So many of our preferences are conditioned. Is that all metaphor? On first goes to another fish. You know the waters pretty cold today and the first fish goes What’s water? Right? You don’t know what you lived in? Because that’s just normal to you. There are too many people who think abusively
Parenting is parenting, because that’s the only parenting they’ve ever known. religious morality, politeness traditions, cultural norms, you won’t even know these things are your normal, because you haven’t seen anything else. It’s why we always get that shock when we travel to weird countries. We’re like, whoa, what do you do, then? How can we don’t do this? And we’ve get for the first time we realize, hey, people live a different way somewhere else. I now need to question whether my way is even good.
You know, I now have another way available to me. And I’ve never thought that I even had a way. I remember being raised in New Zealand thinking there’s no such thing as New Zealand culture. And then I traveled a lot, oh, there’s New Zealand culture and a right. A lot of New Zealand culture shows pretty fucking toxic. I’ve never seen that. I just thought, This is how people talk, you just make a joke out of everything. You never show any emotions, you pretend not to care, to care more about your job than you do about your family. This is just how people are. And it was so conditioned that I didn’t think about it like that. I didn’t consider that there was anything happening. You know, I go to the Czech Republic, and everyone cares more about their family than the job. I was like, it makes sense, actually. In fact, that makes sense empirically. The data shows that people regret not caring about their family more when they’re dying. So these people actually have this part of it, right.
And then I go to the United States, so especially Latin American people actually express emotions when they feel it. And I’m like, Whoa, this is really uncomfortable to be around. But seems like everyone has deeper connections and anything I have back home, like, Hmm, I didn’t know I even suppressed anything until I saw what it looks like when it doesn’t happen.
A lightness. So you think about that. This is when I challenge people all the time. You know, they think they’re being polite as the same as being honest. Think about when you get a gift, and you don’t like it. Maybe some of you have just gone through Christmas. I’m not sure when I’m publishing this.
And your impulses to say thank you.
Where does that come from? Look into the darkness accountable for the idea that you must say thank you for something you don’t feel grateful for? Why? Where did you learn that? Did you decide that on your own? Probably not. Kids don’t do that until they’re told to do it.
So what is that?
When you say please, and thank you,
when you sort of wait till everybody else is seated before you sit down when you leave the last bit of chicken to somebody else on the table? Where is that coming from? How are you so sure, it’s the right thing to do? Is it because you went through some sort of empirical research and came to the conclusion that that’s best for everyone’s well being? Or because it just occurs to you to do it, and you just believe it?
Right, that’s conditioning. Now, it’s not necessary that all this conditioning is bad and wrong for you.
But it is necessary for you to question it. And understand that manipulation is always occurring from your own mind and from others all the time. That doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong. But if you think there’s any point in time, where you are not being pushed by something you can’t see, the new are automatically enslaved by that thing.
If you’re aware that it’s always occurring. And I mean, you have to think about it all the time. But certainly when it comes to any form of decision making, need to have a little bit of consideration for what is pushing me in is that the right kind of push? Is this a good push or a bad push? Because a lot of the time, if you don’t know what it is, it’s probably a bad Bush, or at least it’s not the best available. What I learned working on criminal offenders is they’re the best predictor of future criminal offending is past criminal behavior. That basically, unless someone shows that made some significant change, you can be pretty sure they’re going to repeat themselves. And this has turned out, in my opinion, to be true for all people about all things. If you’re wondering how your future relationships are going to go. The answer is the same as your past relationships, unless you’ve made a big change. If you’re wondering how your career is gonna go, the answer is more of how it’s already been unless you make a big change. Right? And if you you can do this with other people as well. My partner’s cheated on me, will they do it again? Well, has there been a big change or not? The answer is no, then yeah, probably they will. Right?
My, my parents have never been supportive of me. And I’m gonna go try this new thing. They think they’ll be supportive of me this time. Have they changed significantly? No. Well, then no, they’re probably not going to. And once you see this, it’ll actually break your heart. How simple and easy to predict people are including yourself. Basically, they’re going to do more of what they’ve already done unless some big crisis change happens in their life. And once you know this, you will be able to predict with like 90% accurate see
Do what anyone will do any time. And you’ll see how simple people really are, when you can get into the darkness that comes before.
By the way, I’m not trying to create this podcast as a way to help you manipulate others, but more to prevent you from being manipulated. But you can see it and others can see how easy it is to move someone, when they’re not aware of what comes before, they’re not aware of their own past behavior being a pattern, and they’ve got no interest in change, or no need to change. You’ll see how predictable they are. They can even be predicted according to the types things either this type of guy will end up with that type of future unless he changes, because all guys are that type in double that type of future. I’ve got a client at the moment
who works in trading.
And you know, he can see it at his workplace. But all the guys who are obsessed with money ingredient stuff, he can see the timeline, they all end up at this place where they’re old and got heaps of money, but their kids don’t talk to them anymore. And they’ve got no real connections and their health is bad. Every single one of them ends up at their future, whether he’s looking at 20 year old or 3040 50. They’re all following that timeline, just unconsciously, like drones, just moving through the timeline, all of them thinking that they’re this unique individual doing these special unique things. And really, they’re just walking conditioned grounds, they’re just going the same direction everybody else will go, when they think like that and behave like that, without significant change. One way to look at us, let’s say if I want to manipulate you, if I know what your trauma and upbringing is, I know what your past behavioral patterns are. And I know the sort of general psychological profiles that you fell into, then I could completely own you. Right? So if you are a proud kind of person or back you into a corner, because I know that you won’t back down, and I’ll figure out how do I back you into a corner to my advantage. If you’re an irritable person, if you’re a person who was smothered as a child, and just hate them, when people get too close, then I’ll provoke you or smother you, and you’ll try to pop out whatever gap I leave available to
it if you’re a desperate person, if you’re an anxious attachment style, and you’re desperate for love, or love bombing.
If you’re self doubting I’ll gaslight you if you’re scared Oh Lumo view. And most importantly, if you think you’re sovereign, if you refuse to let go the idea that you don’t make your own decisions consciously, then I’ll flatter your ego. Okay, yeah, you’re such a strong, independent person. And you know what strong independent people do, they go and do X, which is my convenience. and off you go to prove it, you must assume that manipulation is always happening. It’s always having an effect that the brain cannot prevent, outside or inside stimulation from forming new neural pathways. Right?
Nobody acts randomly without purpose. They’re just not very often aware of the purpose. So it feels random. Why did I do that? I can’t believe I did this. So well. Yeah, you would absolutely understand and make full sense to you if you know that you had been manipulated in a long term strategy to this position that you’re walking conditioned ground. It’s not all manipulation is bad, but it is always happening. So if you know it’s always happening, you can sort through which one you’re going to resist and which one you’re going to comply with, for the best possible quality of life. Now, like I said, if I knew all those things about you, I could completely control you well, your mind does know all those things about you. And this is why your mind is really where this battle is fought. Your mind has access to all information about you all the time, and knows exactly what to say to you to make you move.
He can say things to you that nobody else would even understand but for you is a huge emotional hit. Right and knows exactly how to be that wind behind your back push you any direction on wants you to go. And that’s why your thoughts are so compelling, so believable, even though they’re just subtle and simple and often contradictory.
Because your mind goes, I know exactly what song to play to make this guy dance, right.
But if you’re skeptical about your own mind as much as you are about anybody else,
the darkness now hits a wall. There is now a filter of what is allowed and what is obeyed, and so on. You can’t really see into the darkness. I’ve talked about this before, with people when they ask well, why, why, why, why? And my answer is the Big Bang. And what I mean by that is every effect has a cause which was caused by something else and caused by something else. So I can’t really say why anything happens either. I have bad relationships because my parents were mean to me as a EBO. Were Why were the appearance means you are because their parents were mean to them. Well, why were their parents man and we go back and back all the way through
the entire devolution
of all life until we get to the beginning of the universe. So we can’t ever pick out one wire and go, this is the only reason I do anything. It’s much more like a course, everything that’s ever happened has led to this moment.
So we can’t ever really see what’s going on in the darkness, it’s too complicated. But what we can do is deduce, we can use the duction as a rational tool to figure out the main drivers. And to figure out whether those drivers are healthy and in their best interest long term. It’s like plotting data points on a graph. If you get enough data points, you can draw a line. And then you can follow the line both to the past into the future, you can forecast forward to go where is this pattern heading. And you can also look back to say, where this pattern start, where did it come from? What kind of thing keeps this pattern going.
So if you’re able to map out evidence and patterns of your own life,
and then have a look at what you feel like doing in the moment, you can kind of deduce what’s really driving you here, what’s really likely to be going on.
Like, one great way to do this is work backwards from a result, no matter how good or bad you think that result is, if you start with the assumption of that is the result that I was trying to get, just maybe not consciously. But the darkness that comes before is very effective in getting one at once.
And this is one of the things I’ve realized working with people is it’s very rare that somebody has something happen, that they did not orchestrate. That isn’t exactly what they want it to happen that the human brain is actually a very powerful computer that’s very good at forecasting, and very good at like doing a Cause and Effect Analysis to create a result. It’s just when you think you failed, or something wrong happened. Say you didn’t know what the actual goal was. When you say like I failed, it’s because the goal you consciously have that kind of Placatory placebo that your mind gives you to make you think that you’re in control, that Golden Gate achieved, but the real goal did, right. So if you look at a result and go, Okay, this is the actual result that my mind wanted,
and doesn’t line up with what I thought I wanted. So what was the real goal? You know, if that was a successful result, and what is the goal, and if that was the goal, then what is the motive? You know, for example, classic one of my life, the biggest one I’ve ever seen, was that I spent most of my 20s desperately chasing woman, every week, I was out there trying my best to achieve the goal of at least getting laid, if not finding a girlfriend of the girlfriend was really the goal.
Or so I thought. And yet years went by with no success with a woman. And there was no really good reason for this. When I looked at who I was, and so on. I wasn’t repellent and some classic way. And even that wouldn’t make sense. Because there are plenty of repelling guys with girlfriends and all the girls. I knew I was friends with lots of girls. And they told me that I was a catch and all that kind of stuff. And I was like, Well, then why is this not happening?
Until I finally went like, well, what if it not happening is the result that I’m going for? What if me being single and alone, and not having any intimacy in my life is a successful achievement of the goal?
What then is the goal?
Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? The goal is to keep women away from me. I was doing a fucking fantastic job of achieving that goal. I couldn’t see how I was doing it. But it was working a treat. Somehow, I was going out every week interacting with woman feeling like I’m trying to make things progress with them and achieving the exact opposite. I mean, it must have been a very complicated and effective strategy to look like one thing while achieving another. And that is exactly what was happening. Because then I asked Well, if the goal is to stay single, what is the motive?
Now this wasn’t an overnight kind of revelation took a lot of investigation, reading books and everything for me to realize I have an avoidant attachment style that I actually think if people get close and intimate with me, I will be harmed. And that the safest thing for me to do is to not let anyone get too close to me. And there are a lot of ways to do that. But I don’t want it to get too far either. I don’t actually want to feel lonely. I just don’t want it to be too close. There’s a middle distance I want people to stay in. And so I do a combination of push and pull to keep them at the right distance where I have people around me but no one close enough to hurt me. When I realized that’s the motive. I saw that my strategy was perfect. It was exactly what was happening.
And this is the first time I saw
the idea that everything that happens to us is exactly what we want to happen. We just don’t know what it is that we want. But we would if we looked at the results, you know, if you keep getting into scraps with your bosses and getting fired from your jobs, if you start with like, I want to sabotage my career, I want to have the result of not staying with a job for a long time and then go or why would anyone want that result? And this, we had to dig into what I had called the nonsensical box.
You might not have an answer to that question makes sense? In which case, you have to look somewhere else.
You have to look at a different type of sensemaking. You know, I used to have those criminal offenders all the time, like, why would you do should that gets you put in jail. And I realized, I’m looking at it from the wrong angle, I’m looking at it from the angle of a guy who doesn’t like going to jail.
As soon as I’m like, Well, what if you like to go into jail? Then suddenly, like, Okay, this makes sense. This guy’s a criminal, for his entire life nearly always gets caught? Has he not learning to do this better, at least like just to not get caught? How can we never get away with it? So well, if his goal was to end up in jail, he is fucking on point with his goal. And why would he want to end up in jail?
Because he feels safe there. Because they understand how things are going because he sees himself as an outcast from society. And this is the only place where he’s welcomed and so on. And then you’d be like, Okay, this guy stealing, with no mask on in front of CCTV cameras now makes complete sense, because he’s not trying to steal the car, he’s trying to go to jail, where he feels safe. And this is by far the most effective thing. If you have patterns of harmful events, and you think I keep failing, or keep not making it. Then ask yourself, well, what if there is a successful result? What would the goal be? Reverse kind of sense has to happen here, if you think, Oh, it makes sense to want to girlfriend go or what if it didn’t. But if it made sense to be single all the time?
Now, what’s the goal? What’s the motive? Those emotional drives you get, you got to think of them as tools that have been used against you. You know, your brain, the mind, whatever you want to call it, knows that the best way to move us to make you feel anything, any great manipulator knows that the best way to manipulate someone is to provoke emotional responses. Because we will react to them immediately. And without question, it’s the quickest way to move someone. So when you do have emotional responses, you’re very agitated, you get hyper flattered, and pleasure or you get really confused, ask yourself, why is my mind making me feel this way? My mind controls how I feel it’s choosing this emotional state. Why? What images do I get when I’m in this emotional state? Why does it seem that I’m being pushed towards Yeah, what’s it trying to get me to do? Get us into shame cycles all the time, like somebody will fail something, they start like getting really angry at themselves. And they don’t stop and go like, why what anger and response to this thing that’s really done their real harm. They don’t realize that anger leads to the need for release, which leads to coping mechanisms, which leads to kind of amusing porn. So the anger is actually a tool to get you to watch porn, right? But it’s so early in the process that you don’t associate the two. When someone else is trying to influence you try to run a quick profile, check on that person in your head, you know, their history, their likely preferences, their likely motives, the context you’re in. And what you’ll see is that their words are like tools, trying to achieve the name that they’re not just speaking freely, and just sort of randomly saying whatever the truth is that they always have an intent. It’s not always a bad one. But it’s always there. And if you don’t know what it is, then you’ll be enslaved by
think of the time like a journalist asked you a question. When you say no, they want the answer to the question.
That’s the last thing they want, as the last reason that they could possibly have genuine curiosity is not a it’s not prison in the room right now. Right.
Much more likely, they’re trying to get some kind of soundbite trying to provoke something out of you, that will make for a good headline that they can then sell to the editor so they can get publishing space and get paid. Which means they might not care about anything you have to say they might not even care about the question that they appear to care about. If you tell your parent that you’ve got some new idea, and they start trying to dissuade you, and I feel like they’re just looking out for my best interest that has given me their thoughts and opinions.
Very unlikely. Very unlikely, especially if you’re talking about something that neither of you have experience in going to start some new jobs that they’ve never done. I mean, if they’ve been just truly honest with you that say, I have no idea how that’s gonna play out, but they don’t say that. So I think that in this environment, you know, this
economy that’s a high risk blob, what are they really trying to do if they’re talking such shite to try to control you. They want to validate their own sense of authority over us that they feel like they’re a good parent or that, you know, you represent them they’re worried about their reputation is, you know, their friends, judge them based on what you’re doing, and so on. That’s got nothing to do with your best interests at all. And they’re certainly not an expert on the topic. People want what is convenient,
much more than what is best for long term results.
When you’re engaging in someone, even down to the microcosm of just the sentence that they’re saying in this conversation,
the most likely motive they have as emotional convenience, most likely motive they have for anything they say, is to cause a reaction and new that they prefer right here right now.
And when you don’t see that it’s very easy to get swept away by it. You know, someone asks you a question like, oh, did you catch the game on Sunday, your brain will be like, Oh, they want to know, if I saw the rugby. They don’t want to know that. They want you to respond in a way that they’re comfortable with. That’s all. They don’t care of whether or not you watch the game. Or they’re digging for some kind of commonality you have so that they can stick to a topic that they have mastery on and not feel, you know, uncomfortable or have to discuss anything nuanced and complicated. Still nothing to do with you personally. And ask anyone this question. The key thing to keep in mind is fear. Fear is obsessed with the familiar. And it will choose the familiar over what is actually safe, physically, and what’s best and healthy for your long term quality of life. You know, its end goal is to return to net zero, so might go through a complicated process to bring you back to familiar to bring you back to being the same that you always are. But make no mistake that that is the end goal. And you can see this with your behavior quite often.
You go and try something goes through some process, you end up quitting and failing, feels like you went for something, when you’re looking at the end result is aren’t still the same.
You know, you go out and you’re like, I’m gonna go talk to some people tonight. And then you chickened out and move on. It feels like you tried to do all this stuff, and it didn’t work. And then you go home and you’re alone, you’re like, I’m back to being the person I was before I left. Interesting how that worked out, isn’t it. So what it usually does is rather than just say stay the same, which you wouldn’t be convinced by. It’ll let you have a go at things. But it will try to burn you out. So that you crash back to the way you were goes through these surges to like burn out the system, especially people into self development. And might not do this with people that I don’t talk to very often people who never work on themselves. Maybe you’ll do do more with just like catastrophizing like, if you change something, the world will come crashing down. So people just run simulations in their head all the time without changing their behavior. So another effective technique.
One thing it does is false encouragement through what I call the Everest effect, which is you tentatively want to try something new. And your fear goes, Okay, go hard, then, you know, do it all do it all now. Lots of pressure looks like encouragement, like, yeah, okay, go fine, do all this thing. And that either puts you off, because the task now looks too big. Or you go so hard out to achieve so much in such a short period of time that of course, you inevitably crash and burn. And then you use like coping mechanisms to cover with, you know, to recover from the burnout, which kind of drags you down even further. And as you progress. In result, you’re back to being the same
or fierce favorite as the delay tactic. You know, yeah, you’re definitely going to do that. Just not right now. Okay, obviously, not now. It’s just inappropriate. But in an hour, sure. Monday, why not? Maybe next year when the weather changes. It doesn’t matter what it says as long as you don’t do it right now. And what you’ll notice is that it can keep doing this eternally. You constantly have the promise of change without the action, so it feels good. Like I’m definitely gonna hit the gym next Monday. And Monday comes with I’ve actually got a bit of a sore knee maybe maybe on Tuesday, now a Tuesday I got there meeting and then I’m really busy tell you on next Monday though, definitely next Monday and he was like, fuck, I am so good for almost exercising. Right? And fair just keeps you from actually changing your body and doing something uncomfortable. You see what I mean by the darkness that comes before the whole time the story in your head is I’m trying my best I’m doing all this good stuff. I’m really pushing it
but there’s like more haha in the background like you ain’t really shit buddy. You can think it if you want. In fact, I want you to think is like a screensaver on the program downloads of virus in the background. They’re not good enough story is a classic one. I mean, anyone who thinks I’m not good enough in any kind of way is lying to themselves. Because the only way you can prove that you’re not good enough is by dying.
So if you’re alive and you’re good enough to survive, so what are you talking about when you say you’re not good enough and
doesn’t make any sense. And neither not good enough story is a very effective technique to keep you the same. So first of all, say you’re not good enough. So you get this like urge delay, I’ve got to prove something and try harder. And then you’ll overdo it and burnout, crash and burn. And then there’ll be like, Ah, see, you can’t bruise you’re not good enough again. So you go up, and then you go back down. And then you start all over again, you go back up, and you go back down. And the net result is a flat line, you don’t make any changes, even though it feels like all kinds of drama is happening. All these highs and lows, the net effect is zero. The repetition compulsion, this is one I learned about recently. So you might see this in relationships a lot. Somebody just keeps going from one abusive person to another. I used to see this all the time with domestic violence victims by how do you always choose violent dudes? I mean, there aren’t even that many violent dudes out there, how are you finding them all. And there’s this idea of the repetition compulsion, where we’re trying to kind of close a loop from childhood, where we’ve had a negative pattern in childhood, and we keep repeating it to try and get it right. You know, it’s kind of that sunk cost fallacy like this time, I’ll get it right, I’ll justify all the other times I tried. So you keep going with an abusive, violent person, or whatever, and hope that this time the relationship will work out? Well. This time, I’ll finally prove that I was right to keep trying all this time, another set incautiously. You know, this is all in the darkness that comes before.
And you combine that with, you know, your fear, always trying to keep things familiar, then you’re just going to be this broken record, to doing the same thing over and over again, past patterns, predict and forecast the future, you’re not making any significant changes. So you will just loop like this until the day you die. And the whole time, you’ll be telling yourself that you’re making these unique, autonomous free decisions, when actually, it’s just conditioned to repeat. Gotta remember, nobody cares about your goals as much as you do. So whenever somebody else is trying to encourage or discourage you, whenever somebody else appears to be trying to help you make decisions, you got to understand they are currently working on their goals, this is a strategy to achieve their goals, not yours.
So when somebody is sort of like trying to give you advice on how you should do something, if you stop and think like them, giving advice as them doing their goal, so what is their goal? Right? It’s not to help me.
I’m just the receiver of their attempt.
But the urge to give advice that wasn’t asked for what is there, what’s driving them here. And when you finally like, their goal was maybe to always feel like they’re in control. Their goal is to influence others to validate their own existence, or whatever. And you’ll see like, it’s got nothing to do with helping you build your career or figure out which girl you should be dating. It’s all to do with them, giving themselves a sense of being in control, to avoid the gaping void of pointless nihilism, or whatever. And you will see like, whoa, this advice is not about me at all. One of the best pieces of career advice I ever got is no one cares about your career as much as you do. And once I finally heard what they were saying, I looked at all the people that influenced me, especially the management and so on. And so that, while they made it look like they’re trying to support me, they’re actually achieving their own goals. So if I was a high performer, they’re doing things that kept me in their team, rather than actually furthered my career, and so on. And I started to see that like, Man, if I want this, I’m gonna have to do this on my own, like, I’m gonna have to go fight for it. I can’t rely on support from anyone else, because they’re working on the careers, not mine. Now, it’s not to say that some people won’t genuinely want to help you and be supportive. But do they know why they’re doing it?
Because they can have genuine loving altruistic reasons, like when I help my wife is because I want my wife to have a good life. I’ve looked into the darkness that comes before I’ve looked into my people pleasing. I looked into my desire to control and have a smooth problem free life. And I can see that I will override those desires in order to do what is best for her. Because I understand a great partnership as US protecting each other and looking after each other. And I’m willing to do my part. Because even if it’s my selfish desire for us to have a great partnership, I will still override that if that’s what’s best for her. For her leaving me as what’s best for her, I would support that in the end.
So you can have good healthy motives for helping another person. But when the other person isn’t upfront and clear and even knows what their motives are, then you have to be very skeptical, because there’s a good chance that it may not converge with what’s best for you. I think the real key to mastering the darkness that comes before is a manual override. Where rather than waiting for that email to be faxed through from the darkness and to just trust it, to actually go reverse to create a conscious set of core principles based on evidence about what is the best way to look for you personally.
You know, what you admire and others and what kind of person you want to be. And then from there determining what behavior you should have, what goals you should have, you know, deciding consciously what the motives should be, and therefore, what the behavior would be to align with those motives.
And then, using that as a decision making tool, so resisting internal and external manipulations to align with your values, rather than trying to justify actions you take based on those manipulations. So, you measure what you’re doing,
before you do it, and after,
right, what is the right thing to do? How would I know is doing the right thing, so on and so forth? And then after you done it like now, am I sure that was aligned with my values? Did anything else seep in there? Was there any kind of poisoning of the well, and get to lay learn yourself this way, kind of like holding yourself account to a being a set of principles, whether you feel like it or not, and whether other people agree or not?
And what you’re really going to be measuring as long term quality of life are following these principles? First off, Am I doing it? And secondly, is it having the desired effect? Am I becoming the person I want to be? And I may have entered the life that that person would generally create from being this way? Is this the life of a person of integrity, and am I being that person. And so you’re looking for truth, rather than trying to mess out your ego rather than going? Well, I hope I’m right, so I’m gonna like cherry pick evidence to make it true.
What I loved about the character callus, and this book that I was talking about, was that he just had no attachment to anything other than than what worked. Now he’s kind of psychopathic in the book. So it’s not all good news. But if he found a way that was better than what he’s currently doing, he just ditched what he was currently doing instantly, and no attachment whatsoever.
And it’s a very powerful tool, if you’re able to do it, if you’re able to go look, there’s a way that’s better for my quality of life, for being the person I want to be.
And I might feel like this way is better because I made it up myself or because my family approves of it, or whatever, but evidence points here. So I’m going to ditch this one and just do this one, no matter how I feel.
I’m going to go with the results I’m going to go with, you know, the sense that this is the right way to live, as opposed to the sense of this feels good. And if you don’t see regular improvement, if you don’t see consistently, that you’re becoming the person you want to be and that your life is changing accordingly. Then you have to assume that something’s happening in the darkness that comes before that’s unhelpful. You have to ask, what might that thing be? What’s getting in the way here? What am I allowing to interfere with this process? What am I not seeing? And this is where you might hire a coach or a mentor, you might go get therapy, or some like, friends who you know, have your best interests at heart, like how do I sabotage myself, and try to get that feedback, try to get someone else to have a look in their darkness. That’s what I love. I mean, essentially, this is what I do. As a coach, I can see into somebody else’s darkness, I can see what they can’t see. And I can show it to them and go, This is why you’re doing what you do. This is what you’re really doing. You just told me this, but you can’t see it. I just reflected back in a way that shows it. And I can help them forecast it keep going with this. This is where you end up. If you change this, this is where you end up. And then they can go okay, I see it now. And then they can regain control of their lives. You know, do your research into things like cognitive fallacies, and biases. So learning about how the human brain gets things wrong, and makes bad decisions. And the more you learn about it, the better you’ll be able to see what you’re doing and how it applies to you. Read books about trauma, you know, the Body Keeps the Score anything by gobble martyr, and start to learn like how much of your adult decision making is really a child inside you still applying a child strategy to a painful situation that no longer exists. And how an upgrade might be called for. It might be time to shift things. And watch everybody else do because that’s when you’ll see it in yourself. Watch everyone else is a victim to the darkness. You know how they don’t understand their own motives. And yet they come up with this big justification and explanation for why they do what they do and how they try to sell anything they’ve done as a good idea, even though it’s clearly disastrous, and they excuse their behavior. They simultaneously seem to know that they’ve done something wrong, but rather than correct it, they try to sell it. If you watch this, you’ll see humanity. You’ll see what it’s like when people are controlled by the darkness that comes before. Thank you so much for listening. I’m running out of voice now. At least I think that’s why I’m ending this who knows, maybe I’m traumatized. I’ll see you guys next time.