The Quiet Desperation of the Autopilot

Simply waiting for a nebulous desire to happen won’t make it happen.

Readership: All; Men;
Theme: Redemptive Headship and Masculinity
Length: 1,000 words
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Autopilot — The Faux-Faith Default Setting

The Summary of Red Pill Redemption (2022-9-30) offered a list of the most noteworthy current issues that prevent men from finding redemption.  (I had intended to organize this list into categories to see if anything more could be gleaned from it, but I haven’t had the time.)

Among these roadblocks are two of note…

11. Indecision and inaction concerning one’s purpose and place.

14. Failure to pursue a path towards Respect (as described in the last two posts).  The paths to Respect that were identified include: (1) Developing Strength within one’s Domain of influence (e.g. Headship), (2) Pursuing a Calling / Purpose leading to the development of skills that are expressed through service, (3) Finding Honor / Reputation / Status through competition, courage, heroism, etc.  (If possible, pursuing more than one path is better.)

There is another barricade related to these two obstructions that I need to mention, and this is to be added to the list.

In the comments, Bardelys the Magnificent wrote [emphasis mine],

“I also realized yesterday that I’ve never purposely pursued paths that lead to honor or respect.  I just expected to do and it would happen.

In the past, I’ve called this type of blind faith “running on autopilot”.  The American philosopher Henry David Thoreau described this by saying, “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.”  It is based on one being psychologically “transported” into an alternate fantasy world of one’s imagination, largely fueled by the dissonances between an unspecified desire and the drabness of daily reality.  It contains a suspension of disbelief that is never explored nor tested for its truth content.  It is the vanity of the mind that St. Paul describes as characteristic of unbelievers and urges us to abandon (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:17).

Asleep at the wheel… If he’s not driving, then who is?

Most men are this way until something happens that shakes them out of their delusion and makes them realize that it is not enough.  The fortunate men are those who get this realization early in life.

A man must employ the will in order to enact his faith, and he must make a series of decisions to work that faith into reality.  Otherwise, his beliefs remain untested and his life remains unchanged.

Faith in Action in one area, Autopilot in another…

It is also possible to employ faith in some areas of one’s life, but not others.

I see this looking back at my own life.  Here’s my own story about this.

When I was working as a welder in a Honda plant at the age of 22, I had this realization that, “I’m doing alright, making decent money…  I like what I’m doing here… but I am capable of more.  I can’t see myself working in a factory my whole life.  God has something more for me in life.  I’m a smart guy.  I need to get an education for me to reach my potential.”  I had no idea what that potential was at that time, but this vision led me to pull out all the stops that were holding me back from earning a degree.

Getting my bachelor’s was a tough haul that took 7 long years, but my Master’s was a little easier and was finished in half that time.

After I finished my masters, I was working as a researcher for the Navy. During and after the 9/11 incident, I witnessed the sheer incompetency of the government firsthand. I had that same impression again:  “I don’t want to spend my whole life working with these gubmint goons, developing weapons and gunships, and having blood on my hands (figuratively by association).  God has something more for me in life.”  Again, at the time I had no idea what that “more” was.

A couple years later I moved to Taiwan and I found a new life. Then my Ph.D. came along rather serendipitously.  Now, I’m quite satisfied with my career as a professor.

Concerning what I’ve done in the area of intersexual relationships, however, I was more like what Bardelys said.  When I was younger, I just expected that I would meet someone “special”, fall in love, get married, and have a beautiful family.  But of course, it never happened that way.  It was as someone else here once commented, “Blue Pilled men get whatever they get, and don’t know how or why they got what they got.”  Experiencing divorce wasn’t enough to wake me up. I had to get Red Pilled before I had that moment of realization, and by that time, I was already 45 years old and a year into my second marriage.

Conclusions

When comparing these two areas of my life, I can see how I employed faith in some areas of my life, but not others.

I had a vision for developing my career. Even though I had no idea what I was doing nor where I would end up, I kept busy at it. I accepted various challenges and rolled with the disappointments until I found contentment and fulfillment.

I had a vision for marriage too, but I didn’t do the work of making it a reality. I held back, thinking I needed to remain pure. I was waiting for a Miss Right straight out of fantasyland, and I passed over a lot of women who may very well have made a decent enough wife and mother. A lot of these women passed over me for various reasons as well. I didn’t settle into the task of working out my beliefs until after I had married much later in life, and I didn’t get an accurate concept of reality until I came across the Red Pill much later than that.

The impact this has had on my life is clearly evident.

Related

About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
This entry was posted in Agency, Autopilot, Calculated Risk Taking, Choosing A Profession, Counterfeit/False Paradigms, Courtship and Marriage, Decision Making, Desire, Desire, Passion, Determination, Discipline, Divorce, Fantasy and Illusion, Identity, Introspection, Maturity, Personal Growth and Development, Military, Models of Failure, Models of Success, Moral Agency, Personal Domain, Psychology, Self-Concept, Taiwan, The Power of God. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to The Quiet Desperation of the Autopilot

  1. Pingback: Summary of Red Pill Redemption | Σ Frame

  2. Scott says:

    Sometimes these posts are just way too deep for me. But one thing that resonated here was this:

    “…at the time I had no idea what that “more” was.”

    It reminded me of the one time I have ever been truly “zeroed out” and came close to suicide.

    It was after my divorce. I had been fired from the church counselor position. I had 68K in student loans and a degree that was worthless outside the pastoral context. I sold all my guns, my motorcycle, everything just to pay my bills. The “love of my life” was shacked up with the fvcking janitor at the high school. Every time I closed my eyes I pictured his short, out of shape, balding ass banging my wife. I was out hunting quail with some friends. I was in a draw by myself, they were in the next one over. I had the brief thought that I would just stick my shotgun in my mouth and it would all end.

    And then all of the sudden this thought occurred to me.

    “This is NOT how the story ends.”

    At the time, I could not articulate that I would go on to finish my first masters degree, join the army, go back to graduate school, finish another masters and my PhD, get married again, have a beautiful wife and kids, retire and have a ranch in Montana as a forensic psychologist in private practice…

    All I knew was there was a “better” out there on the horizon. I have no idea how I knew that.

    But here’s the thing. I have ALWAYS known that. It’s a part of my internal framework to dream big or go home.

    I have learned since then that this type of future orientation is actually one of the most powerful protective factors against suicide. You don’t have to be able to articulate what the story looks like. You just have to believe it exists. The people who look out into the future and see nothing but black nothingness are the ones who kill themselves. They have run out of ideas about how to solve their problem.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Ed Hurst says:

      That sounds familiar, Scott. I have suffered bouts of clinical depression off and on throughout my life. Still, whenever the siren song of suicide called to me, I never could shake the utter certainty that it wasn’t my decision to make. There was always something more I had to do.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kentucky Gent says:

      “All I knew was there was a “better” out there on the horizon. I have no idea how I knew that.

      But here’s the thing. I have ALWAYS known that. It’s a part of my internal framework to dream big or go home.”

      I’ve always known it too. I just had a hard time figuring out what that ‘better’ was.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jack says:

      “All I knew was there was a “better” out there on the horizon. I have no idea how I knew that.

      But here’s the thing. I have ALWAYS known that. It’s a part of my internal framework to dream big or go home.”

      I believe this is the internal call to faith. I used to wonder why some people had it and others didn’t. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve settled on the idea that everyone has it, but most people don’t do the hard work of nurturing it and/or don’t take the risks required to pursue it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oscar says:

        That’s my take on it as well, Jack. In part, because there were times I failed to heed the call to faith, and invariably regretted it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. John says:

    I believe that for most of human history men actually did find a masculine purpose as a matter of course. They didn’t have to pursue it because it pursued them. They could follow the clearly defined path toward their masculine mission or they and their tribe would perish. It’s only in our technologically advanced, comfortable and feminist dominated society that that is no longer the case. Men now have to consciously seek out and discover their masculine purpose. The path toward manhood is no longer well defined. It’s as if it’s been overgrown with weeds and become in impenetrable jungle wrought with venomous predators, dead ends and guides who want you to fail. I could be wrong but I think being a man used to be a lot simpler.

    Liked by 1 person

    • catacombresident says:

      What you refer to John would be part of what’s called “social history” — everyday life in this or that historical context. Some areas of human history are very, very short on the data for a good social history. However, a broad general assessment is just what you suggest. The West has sort of slipped down into this swamp of confusion, so that men are actually asking what their purpose is. I believe it would have been a silly question until recent times.

      Like

    • Oscar says:

      For most of human history, a man had to worry about the men of the tribe next door coming over the hills, murdering him, gang raping his wife, and taking his children into slavery. Assuming he was “lucky” and that didn’t happen, half his children would die of diseases before they turned five, his wife was likely to die in childbirth, and if everyone survived all that, there were regular famines and plagues to contend with.

      I’ll take my 21st Century, First World problems over all that any day.

      Like

      • John says:

        Which is the point I was trying to make. A man’s purpose and path to honor and respect was clear and obvious. It was simple. But it certainly wasn’t easy or fun. It was also in the best interest of society as a whole for men to be masculine so there was support for it.

        Like

      • info says:

        Progressives say that to bring back tradition including sex roles is to bring back all the death and suffering of the past.

        Like

      • Kentucky Gent says:

        “I’ll take my 21st Century, First World problems over all that any day.”

        Completely understandable. However, there is something to be said for embracing “The Suck”:

        You described very well “the suck” that ancient men had to endure. It made them tougher. Brought them honor and respect. If they survived.

        Like

      • Oscar says:

        @ Kentucky Gent,

        Exactly. So, let’s honor them by not giving into despair, or quiet desperation. The way I see it, if my Spanish ancestors didn’t give into despair under 800 years of Moorish oppression, what excuse do I have? What am I going to say to them when I meet them at the resurrection?

        “Sorry gramps. You just don’t understand how hard we had it in the 21st Century.”

        Yeah, I don’t think so.

        Like

      • Jack says:

        “Sorry gramps. You just don’t understand how hard we had it in the 21st Century.”

        I think the times we live in today are just as difficult as in centuries past, but in an entirely different way. The difficulties in the past surrounded the fragility of human life (e.g. illness and survival). The difficulties today are about the fragility of the human soul (e.g. identity and purpose).

        “I’ll take my 21st Century, First World problems over all that any day.”

        Likewise, I could easily believe that gramps would prefer to have his modest cottage and menial labor with his wife and children than the angsty materialistic globoh0m0 gynocentric garbage we often take for granted today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oscar says:

        @ Jack,

        Imagine paying the Son Tax to the Ottoman Empire. Imagine giving your precious seven-or-eight-year-old son to be raped and brutalized into becoming a fanatical, Muslim slave-soldier who would then be used to brutalize his own people.

        Does globohomo want your children? Of course they do. But for the most part, all you have to do to deny them your children is say “no”.

        Good luck resisting the might of the Ottoman Empire.

        We have it easier than our ancestors did precisely because our ancestors did not give in to despair. The least we can do is honor them by not giving in to despair.

        Like

      • Jack says:

        We could cherry pick examples of the good and bad extremes that exist now and in times past, but I think there is no way to arrive at a definitive answer to the question of whether the times are easier now than before. The one thing we can be certain of is that suffering is and always has been an integral part of the human experience.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oscar says:

        “We could cherry pick examples of the good and bad extremes that exist now and in times past…”

        We could, but that’s not what I’m doing. As I mentioned before, a child mortality rate of roughly 50% was normal throughout most of human history, even during the best of times. That means five of my 10 kids would be dead, and considering how two of her pregnancies went, my wife would likely be dead too. Again, that was normal up until recently. That’s not “cherry picking”.

        “…but I think there is no way to arrive at a definitive answer to the question of whether the times are easier now than before.”

        Sure there is. The conditions that used to be normal still exist today in the 3rd world. Do you see masses of 1st worlders fleeing to the 3rd world, or the opposite? Even when 1st worlders do move to the 3rd world, they find ways to live in 1st world conditions.

        Just as people escaping Communism to Capitalism prove that Communism is worse, people escaping historic conditions to modern conditions prove that historic conditions were worse.

        Or, put it this way. My daughter fell out of a tree and broke her arm in 3 places. Up until the latter 19th century, she would’ve been crippled for life. Thanks to modern medicine, she’s a happy, healthy, rambunctious 8-year-old. That’s not “cherry picking”. It’s just life.

        I’m with P.J. O’Rourke on this one.

        Like

      • Kentucky Gent says:

        I was going to say I agree with what Jack wrote,

        “I think the times we live in today are just as difficult as in centuries past, but in an entirely different way.”

        After all, is being a sex slave on Epstein Island any better than being one for the Ottomans? Well, there’s the indoor plumbing and other first-world comforts, but in the end you’re still a toy for the satanists.

        Then I got to thinking, and recalled something I thought of many years ago. It isn’t just the times you live in, but the places that also matter.

        The High Middle Ages in Europe, when everyone was Catholic, was probably not too bad as long as there was no war or famine going on. Here in the 21st century, there are still places of absolute grinding poverty, where children literally go to the town dump every day to root through garbage, just to survive.

        Like

      • Oscar says:

        “After all, is being a sex slave on Epstein Island any better than being one for the Ottomans?”

        How many sex slaves did Epstein have vs. the Ottomans? And how easy was it to avoid Epstein’s island vs. the Ottomans? The Ottomans raided and kidnapped entire villages in Iceland, of all places. In all, over 1 million Europeans were taken into slavery by the Ottomans. And that doesn’t include all the boys lost to the Son Tax. And don’t even get me started on what the Muslims did to the Africans and the Indians. (Hint: How did the Hindu Kush get their name?)

        “The High Middle Ages in Europe, when everyone was Catholic, was probably not too bad as long as there was no war or famine going on.”

        You mean when 1/3 of Europe died of plague? Yeah, sounds great. Think of everyone you know, now imagine 1/3 of them dying a horrible death. And even when there was no plague, 1/2 of kids died before they turned 5. How many kids do you have? Imagine half of them dead. Sounds great, right?

        “Here in the 21st century, there are still places of absolute grinding poverty, where children literally go to the town dump every day to root through garbage, just to survive.”

        Yeah. I’ve witnessed that very scenario on three different continents. That’s why I said, “21st century, First World problems”.

        That brings up a good point, though. Everyone who thinks the problems faced by people living on the edge of subsistence are no more difficult than modern First World problems is free to go try it. I hope they’ll report back and let everyone know how it goes.

        Oh wait, that’s right. No one will try it. Because no one actually believes that their modern First World problems are anywhere near as difficult as living on the edge of subsistence, no matter what they write on the internet.

        Like

    • John says:

      I’m not saying things were better in the past. Just that men likely found a masculine purpose because there was no other choice. Becoming a man was simply the result of daily living. Unlike today where there are nearly limitless options for how a man lives his life. This is not a bad thing but it does mean that men need guidance as well as strong support groups. Things that are discouraged and disappearing from society today. Look at what happened to the Boy Scouts.

      Like

      • Oscar says:

        Agreed. That brings us back to the importance of Christian community. It’s inescapable.

        Like

  4. Quiet Desperation says:

    My “quiet desperation” comes not from failing to purposely pursue paths and hoping for some desired outcome, but rather from very deliberately following difficult paths and still failing to get the desired outcomes for my efforts. I suspect this is the case for many other men. Despite concerted and consistent efforts, I am unhappy with my circumstances and I am constantly trying to improve them. Nearly every person or institution I once trusted has disavowed formerly wholesome beliefs and practices. Work and church are mostly “woke” torture chambers now. Marriage is more often a miserable experience than a joyful one. I’m only still hanging on for my children. They will need all the help I can give them. If not for my children, I would certainly stop trying so hard and just walk away from it all.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. locustsplease says:

    I gave up after my divorce but years later I have seen God paying me back for the theft and it’s really better than if I never lost. I may b building a home on an incredible and unique piece of property soon (praying)! And hundreds of thousands in beautiful equipment. I may have joint custody of my child in months. It’s coming! I don’t fail at anything I try.

    The older I get the larger the age gap for my potential wife! 🙂 Worse things have happened. I have had some really nice beautiful girls pursue me but not at church. They assume I’m married. Swear I’ve met half the married couples. I’ve really cemented myself in my Christian community. One day I realized I did 5 Christian functions in a week. And to think where I was ten years ago.

    I think God wants me to b a %100 move in ready husband. And that’s fine. I really wonder what that looks like to a young woman. I can’t b waiting around. I’m too old. I don’t have dreams, I have results. When I was young, I was looking for a girl to grow with, but now at my age that’s out of the question.

    Liked by 1 person

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