Identifying one’s fear and facing it.
Theme: Redemptive Headship and Masculinity
Length: 2,500 words
Reading Time: 14 minutes
Rollo’s 5 Stages of Unplugging
In The Five Stages of Unplugging (2012-7-25), Rollo describes some of the heartache that men endure when they wake up from their Blue Pill delusions and fantasies. He rounds off the list with a sixth addendum – being Jaded.
- Denial — Still Plugged-In: “These game guys are a bunch of clowns, there’s no way this works on women. Women aren’t stupid. What a bunch of misogynists.”
- Anger — Post-Red Pill: “This is ridiculous! Why should I have to jump through all these hoops for women? I just want to be myself. Why couldn’t I have been a Natural Alpha®? I blame my parents / siblings / teachers / God / liberals / feminists / media / society…”
- Bargaining — Unplugged: “Well maybe it does have some good points… but, forget the hot girls, they’re way outta my league. I’ll give it a try if it can help me get around the bases with a plain Jane. Do I have to wear the fuzzy hat and black nail polish?”
- Depression — The Bitter Taste of the Red Pill: “Wow, women really respond to this puffed-up act? And guys spend big bucks on it and wind up with more @ss than a toilet seat? And I just joined up for this? The world is sad and so am I…”
- Acceptance — Game Awareness: “Maybe this IS the way things really work. I guess I should give up the gender relations mythology I’ve been holding onto… Hey, what do you think of these negs I came up with?”
- Jaded — MGTOW Permutations: “F_ck learning all these rules. Sex isn’t worth it and women aren’t that fun anyway. The last thing I want to do is learn routines or the 5 stages of pickup. There’s too many websites, too much to read, I can’t remember it all much less sort it all out. Who has all that time to go out and chat up women anyway? It’s not like I see any women under 40 at work at my engineering job to practice on. Video games and porn are more fun and more available. I just haffta look good and let the women come to me…”
When we look around the Manosphere today, including the Christian segment, we can hear voices coming from all these perspectives — men in various stages of discovering who they are in the flesh and learning how to deal with themselves and with life.
How do the 5 Stages of Unplugging fit into Redemption?
In the pilot post, Red Pill Redemption (2022-9-5), I listed four steps to redemption. These steps are…
- Understanding and accepting one’s self.
- Rectifying who one is with who one is in Christ (i.e. confession, repentance).
- Learning to trust God with the self (e.g. desire, ego, libido, personality) and what they have been given (e.g. intelligence level, placement in the SMV hierarchy, stewardship of resources, etc.).
- Finding and following one’s God given purpose in life.
The Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression stages in Rollo’s list are part of (1) Understanding and accepting one’s self.
The evil deceptions of the worldly cultural narratives have the ability to prevent a man from entering into a knowledgeable understanding of one’s self, not as the narratives would make one out to be, but for what one truly is. One’s belief in the worldly paradigms of faux-truths is essentially a Denial of the real truth, hence the name. There is of course some anger, disappointment and frustration that are part of this Denial, simply because it does not match reality.
The Denial stage continues as long as a man adheres to all the Blue Pill / Churchian / Feminist / etc. lies, believing they are true — that Women are angelic princesses who are more aloft, more pure, and more spiritual than men are, among many other myths. Taking the first step towards the truth requires one to first break away from all these false paradigms.
The Anger stage really begins (1) when the truth begins to seep in, and one realizes that “Those Christian / Red Pill misogynists actually have a valid point!” The Anger stage advances upon realizing (2) that you’ve been lied to all your life, (3) that you were dumb enough to believe it, and (4) that no one loved you nor cared for you enough to set you straight. Anger culminates in the horrifying epiphany of (5) realizing that all the hopes, dreams, investments, and expectations that one formed while believing those lies were all built on sand. And (6), after doing the monkey dance for years, one has to pay the (male) organ grinder.
The Bargaining stage begins when (1) knowing the truth changes one’s perception of reality. (2) One realizes that he cannot avoid the truth simply by denying that it is true, and that (3) one is required to respond somehow. The Bargaining stage continues as (4) one conducts a series of various bluffs, experiments, tests, and trials in an endeavor to explore the boundaries of what is true and what is false. The Bargaining stage ends when (5) one realizes that there is no bargaining with God (nor women), and (6) one begins to apprehend what many men in the Manosphere have learned before: You actually have to make yourself into a better man!
The Depression stage encapsulates the final step of (1) Understanding and accepting one’s self as who one truly is within the world’s paradigm. And for most men, it is not a pretty picture, hence the label.
Rollo Tomassi wrote about this stage of Depression in his post, Incels (2018-6-4).
“There is a necessary state of nihilism, or at the very least a prolonged doubt, that occurs when men realize that they’re cut away from that Blue Pill conditioned life. This is why I compare it to mourning in The Five Stages of Unplugging, men are literally mourning the loss of their investments in that paradigm; they’re morning the loss of Killing the Beta they used to be.”Incels (2018-6-4)
IOW, Men realize that they’ve built their whole self-image in accordance with the worldly paradigms, and when these paradigms are stripped away through a Red Pill realization, they find they have no self-image at all, resulting in an existential crisis. Past generations of men often came to this realization after reaching their peak, usually around the age of 40, and this was called a “mid-life crisis“. But today’s generation of men have a choice of continuing in denial, or else taking the Red Pill and subsequently facing this identity crisis.
Many Men, after taking the Red Pill, have extreme difficulties in reformulating their identity. Those who languish in depression and anesthetize themselves with alcohol, jerking off, p0rn, and/or other forms of escapism, are avoiding or delaying their encounter with the Truth. OTOH, men who are quite content with who they are within the world’s paradigm have no motivation to continue on the journey towards redemption. So the grand majority of men wash out of the process at this point. Some men commit su!c!de at this point.
Is it Truly Hopeless?
The Acceptance stage is when (1) a man finally lets go of the last vestiges of his false, Blue Pill / Churchian / Feminist / etc. preconceived notions of what he thinks is right or how things ought to be, and (2) he humbles himself to learn and change in order to embrace and conform to the truth. Thus, Acceptance is the beginning of confession and repentance and the formation of an authentic belief in the truth. It is also the beginnings of forging a new identity.
How any individual man reacts to the Acceptance stage depends on a multitude of factors, including his age, his ability to develop and showcase charisma, confidence, faith, marital status, personal desire / interests, socioeconomic status, SMV (e.g. LAMPS), and others. And so we see many men who are swamped in a marriage to a rebellious wife and don’t know how to manage the situation. Others who have been abused by the gynocracy are now swearing off marriage and chasing after PUArtistry, going MGTOW, sugaring, and toying with pseudo-relationships through online transactions, thinking these to be an individual solution to a society-wide problem. They haven’t yet figured out that what they really want and need are peace with God and the blessings of Shalom*, and most of them probably never will.
Acceptance is where the breakdown occurs for many of those few men who make it past the Depression stage, because it leads to the next step of Redemption: (3) Learning to trust God with one’s self. This requires a man to come to Christ, to get a vision of renewed hope, and to form a Christian concept of his identity in Christ.
In this step, there are a number of obstacles that are unique to the individual.
- Some men hop right on it, but after they get what they want out of it or else get tired of trying, they backslide.
- Some men are tied up in denial and/or frustration over certain other beliefs or desires that hold them back.
- Some men are engorged in sin, e.g. lust, adultery, fornication, masturbation, etc.
- Some men are too content / lazy / proud / etc. to come to Christ.
- Some men become immobilized by bitterness or brokenness.
- Some men never get this vision of Christ in themselves.
- Some men just can’t make it work.
Jesus described four responses to His call in the Parable of the Four Seeds (Matthew 13:1-9; Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-8). I examined this further in The Nature of Evangelism (2010-3-28). I’ll add here that a man might face any or all of these obstacles in different stages of his life’s trajectory, and that it takes time to go through all these stages and steps. Those Christians who have a sudden change of heart leading to a drastic change in beliefs and lifestyle are widely celebrated. However, I think very few Christians have a salvation experience that is a once-and-done thing. For most men, it is an ongoing struggle to conform to the image of Christ in himself.
* Apparently, the concept of Shalom has been utterly lost and forgotten. Since I posted a description of Shalom in late 2020, it has only received 92 views, which is only about 1/6 of what a typical post receives for the same period. I am saddened by this, because it shows how far we’ve drifted from God, to the point that we’ve lost all appreciation for the blessed Life.
The Black Pill
6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”Genesis 4:6-7 (NKJV)
The Black Pill is when a man gives up all hope and settles down in the Jaded stage as a part of his new identity — an existential crisis of ongoing frustration and life without meaning nor purpose. Rollo clings to hope by likening this to an abyss which must be crossed.
I’ve heard Roosh and a few other commenters in the ‘sphere describe the “Black Pill” – the idea that the social order of the Blue Pill, the Feminine Imperative, or the ‘gynocracy’ if you like, is so rigged against men that they accept their role in it and give up on trying to make themselves or their circumstance better. What these guys are describing is what I’ve referred to in the past as the Abyss. This Abyss is the psychological / existential gulf a man needs to cross when he becomes Red Pill aware. He realizes that the person he carved himself out to be in a Blue Pill conditioned ideal was based on a the same falsehoods. This stage of unplugging has difficulties unique to men at various stages of their lives and according to the decisions they made for themselves throughout their lives in accordance with those Blue Pill ideals.Incels (2018-6-4)
Rollo goes on to say that there is no Black Pill!
“Understand this, there is no Black Pill – there is only the Abyss of accepting the truth that comes with Red Pill awareness and a man’s capacity to make this awareness work in his best interests.
Incels, if nothing else, want to find ways to make this awareness work for them, but most are too damaged to deal with the realities that Red Pill awareness reveals to them. They’re not ready for the truth, but it’s unavoidable today.”Incels (2018-6-4)
According to my earlier list of obstacles, Rollo is defining the Black Pill to include men who are tied up in denial or frustration, who are defeated by bitterness, brokenness, faithlessness, hopelessness, or sin, or who can’t make it work.
Rollo’s 5 Stages model matches the path to Redemption fairly well up to this point. Rollo offers an intimation that the Abyss may not have to be a singularity. But he neither recognizes the concept of sin nor what Christ can do with a man, and he fails to articulate that a heart-led faith in Christ is what can make the difference.
Thus, Rollo’s Jaded stage is only one possible outcome of Acceptance in which a man gets tied up in other forms of denial and/or frustration. At the root of this frustration is a man’s inability to discern the metaphysics of the spiritual dimension (perhaps due to sin), a lack of a grander vision of purpose (perhaps due to a lack of prayer), an unwillingness to let go of his worldly attachments (perhaps due to doubts and external pressures, e.g. the secular SMP/MMP), and relinquish the desires of the flesh to the hand of God.
The Homeward Stretch
As you can see, going through the Five Stages is only the beginning of the journey towards Redemption. In mathematical language, it only gets you off the perceived local maxima of the Blue Pill Denial and on a path to the local minima of the Depression stage.
Once this is accomplished, a Christian man has the additional task of overcoming that local minima and transcending his personal challenges and limitations in order to progress towards the global maxima of his God ordained purpose, and Headship if he marries.
From there, the Acceptance stage is an uphill climb with a constant risk of backsliding into the Abyss. To avoid the Abyss, a man must take step (3) Learning to trust God with the self (e.g. desire, ego, libido, personality) and what they have been given (e.g. intelligence level, placement in the SMV hierarchy, stewardship of resources, etc.), and step (4) Finding and following one’s God given purpose in life. This can only be achieved by trusting in Christ and going through the entire process.
In the case where God has called a specific man to marriage, as opposed to a life of celibacy, the Christian goal replaces the secular goal of getting laid with one of achieving Headship and Sanctification within marriage, which honors and glorifies God, and provides a home atmosphere characterized by the peaceful presence of God.
There are no other options which lead to redemption and the lasting glory of God. If both of these two options (i.e. Headship vs. Celibacy) seem too opprobrious for one to accept, then the default alternative is the Abyss, either in this life (for incels), or the life to come (for Chads who never enter into the 5 stages).
- Dalrock: No Respect (2017-12-14)
- Σ Frame (Blair Naso): Red Pill Political Correctness (2019-3-17)
- Christianity and Masculinity: Nuances of marriage data: it’s really not that hard to get married (2020-4-7)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Red Pill and Blue Pill as Paradigms of Sanctification and Defilement (with a mathematical analogy) (2020-11-15)
- Σ Frame (Jack): What is the Christian Red Pill? (2020-11-27)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Is the Christian Red Pill a Black Pill? (2020-11-29)
- Σ Frame (Lexet): Charting the Red Pill World (2021-3-26)
- Σ Frame (Thedeti): The Unsolvable Problem of The Modern Sexual/Relationship Market (2022-2-7)