Quick check: Do you live in the first world?
Does it piss you off, if you want to take a shower in the morning and there’s no warm water?
Your answer is ‘Yes’ and you live in the first world.
This means your biggest challenge of becoming a true progretarian will be to learn to effectively deal with Resistance. Capital R.
Resistance is a term branded by Steven Pressfield in his book “The War of Art”. It’s what happens, when you put homo sapiens into post-industrial, modern day environments. There is a tremendously strong urge in us, to preserve energy and to think twice about energy expenditure.
Back in the day, this made sense. The world was hostile, energy resources were scarce and hard to get, your life was mildly at risk all the time. So, if there was no direct threat to survival, your best option was to relax, to lay around, to preserve, to chill out and only interrupt those phases with quick bursts of burning fuel to eat, escape or fuck. Mission accomplished.
Today, this behaviour pattern turned from useful into harmful. We have built an interdependent, global civilization and most threats to survival and even replication have been eradicated and are now in our favor.
We have established machine assisted, complex systems of nations, societies, tribes, friends, colleagues to protect and catch us. No free falling anymore.
Laws, rules, welfare, insurance, safety technologies, people with single professional expertise in every field of life, police, cultural incentives, free market over-production of goods, endless entertainment delivered into the living room.
So whenever there’s some kind of challenge or obstacle today, some part of the human brains is tempted to give in, to give up, to submit, to not do it, to let it pass.
It doesn’t even matter, if the challenge ahead is a MUST BE DONE or a WOULD BE NICE. There is always a gut reflex of wanting to chill out. Does this kill me? No? Relax!
Avoidance, fear, procrastination are all forms of Resistance. Seth Godin calls it ‘the lizard brain’. Read up on Pressfield’s books on the topic. They’re worth it.
As society becomes more and more addictive, the dealing with Resistance must be adressed, in order to thrive. Because: survival is not much of an issue anymore in the first world, energy prevention has lost its primal cause.
It’s even the other way around. Average is dieing and taking the middle class with it, so feeling tempted to stay where you are and continuing to following orders, then becomes the new threat to survival.
Let alone the fact, that with China, India and Brasil there are a few billion people rising, hungrier than the first world and on the edge in terms of access to modern scaling technology (aka the Internet).
Resistance is the Enemy.
Pressfield notes, the thing you feel most Resistance towards, is the thing you gotta do the most. That’s the progretarian compass to multidisciplinary expertise. And multidisciplinary expertise is the key to thriving and giving back, which are the pillars of a happy life.
The dream that’s been sold to us by PR, media, the incentives of a free market, Religion and people in scarcity mindsets, is one of a happiness threshold. Do as you are told, get a degree, get one low pressure job, buy, consume, marry, don’t ask questions, get 2 kids, stay in line, consume more, play by the rules, serve your country, be a good citizen, vote and at some point in your life, everything will be fine. You cross a line and then it’s all sunshine and rainbows. You get to stay happy. The hustle is over. From now on only your favorite meals, no more rainy weather.
It’s just a dream to keep people going. There is no happiness threshold. There is no completion, no heaven, no eternal summer. There is no product to be happy with forever. Relationships come and go. People are born and then they die. Days end, nights begin. Nights end, new days rise. You breathe in, you breathe out. Progress is cyclical and recurring. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but also a potent wake up call to make the most of life.
Jed McKenna has a great saying in his Enlightenment Trilogy: “Whatever is, is right, because it is.”
He gives the example of being in a car crash and states, that in contrast to most people, he wouldn’t question the reality of being in a car crash. It’s right, because it became reality. It’s right, because it came into existence and expressed itself, therefore cannot be questioned. People usually don’t get the subtlety of that statement and tend to freak out: “So if I was in a car crash, should I just accept to die?” – No. Obviously not. You should fight for survival and do whatever it takes. But instead of your first gut reflex being one of self-pity and questioning the unfairness of fate, let it be one of Acceptance. “Ok, this is what it is. Let’s deal with reality.”
It’ll put you at ease and kills self-pity. More importantly, it shortens reaction time and puts responsibility where it belongs: to you.
Are you broke? Stop blaming your parents. Stop blaming the country or your college degree.
Are you single? Stop blaming golddiggers or your below average looks.
Are you overweight? Stop blaming your genes or Tiger Woods for his Gatorade commercials.
See, Resistance has only taken you so far. It’ll get worse from now on. This is not a Disney fairy tale. Start to become reality accepting and take responsibility for whatever is and is not today. You are the man in charge. It’s your movie. Put the focus on you and take your skills to mastery in as many fields as possible. Then take the cumulative leverage and give back to the world. Ideally this will make other people stronger, so they can give back.
—-Outline of the progretarian movement:
– increased addictiveness of things is a direct threat to the human behavioral programming of energy prevention
– energy prevention creates habits of Resistance towards life’s most valuable challenges
– average is dieing. it’s a race to the bottom and a race to the top
– multidisciplinary expertise in mind, body and life circumstances is necessary to create cumulative leverage
– cumulative leverage forms resilience
– resilience ends Resistance/self-pity and turns it into reality acceptance/responsibility
– a pro-active, reality accepting person can then turn his focus away from him and onto others to help them become responsible and eventually resilient
– the exponential combination of more and more resilient people then results in mankind’s survival