This is not the first time someone has gone into detail about how we view reality, but it is the most recent. Jack’s post on A Mystical Approach to Meta Reality approaches the meta-levels of what we understand, although I think his is slightly incomplete.
- Primary Reality — What is
- Secondary Reality — What is perceived
- Tertiary Reality — The problems created by the discrepancy between 1(a) and 1(b).
I’d argue this is a bit incomplete. Tertiary reality is instead the philosophy or culture that is layered upon secondary reality. In other words, it can be at total conflict from what we perceive many times as brainwashing is a real thing.
- Primary Reality — What is — Theological
- Secondary Reality — What is perceived — Scientific
- Tertiary Reality — The organized structures upon which we perceive — Philosophy and Culture
It is important to note that most secular sources do not acknowledge a Creator and thus do not acknowledge any type of primary reality (“what is”) and thus must operate from a relativistic point of view in that we can only know what we perceive. This is why they cannot have any sort of designations such as good and evil or morality because these are strictly theological concepts based upon God. They can only have good and bad from the perspective of what is perceived by an individual or group.
Now, this can be organized in various ways, and Lexet’s Charting the Red Pill World can be organized upon this foundational block.
Generally speaking, the “red pill” as it was originally formulated is strictly scientific in nature where various men wanted to discover (or rather rediscover) what the truth of attraction and inter-sexual behavior in order for their own gain. This was done by trial and error and observation about what women do. Hence, the RP maxim “Watch what they do, not what they say.”
This also means via extension that much of what was occurring culturally and philosophically in the eras that RP arose from was not aligning with what we were able to observe in culture.
- Primary Reality — What is — Theological
- Secondary Reality — What is perceived — Scientific — “The Red Pill”: Observation about the truth of what men and women do via attraction and intersexual behavior
- Tertiary Reality — The organized structures upon which we perceive — Philosophy and Culture — “The Blue Pill”: recent and current culture (1980s-1990s and forward) and philosophy did not align with what was observed in reality (e.g. happy wife, happy life, “just be yourself”, etc.)
In the past in some (perhaps many?) cultures, we did have a more clear alignment of Secondary Reality and Tertiary Reality. For example, at least in the 1950s and further back when men were taught to be masculine men and women were taught to be feminine women we had a more natural alignment of Secondary and Tertiary Realities. Some would argue that all of the Realities aligned — Primary, Secondary and Tertiary — but as I have noted on this blog I believe that to be false as no nation has ever striven to fully align itself with God. There may be appearances of such, but in practice it has not occurred.
Indeed, any type of interpretation of what is perceived will tend to spawn it’s own culture and philosophy. Hence, we have various different tertiary realities popping up from “The Red Pill” based on how different groups interpret the scientific and observational data.
Various Tertiary Realities born out of “The Red Pill: Observations” include the one’s Lexet listed:
- The Blue Pill
- Secular Red Pill (PUAs)
- Political Red Pill
- MGTOW (possibly tied for 3rd)
- Christian RP (Catholics > Protestants in number, due to appeals to tradition)
- Other Religious RP
- Black Pill
Each of these has their own interpretation of the scientific and observational data. Some are more congruent with the data than others. For instance, it’s clear that the blue pill is not very congruent with actual scientific and observational data as the current cultural and philosophical milieu ignores actual scientific data to keep pushing their own agenda. Common examples of this are preferring blank slate-ism (“you can be any gender you want”) or genetic determinism (“people are born that way” when referring to homosexuality) based on their argument of the day.
To expand on the hierarchical nature of the primary, secondary and tertiary realities in terms of Christianity, we need to understand what we mean by truth and Truth. Since the Creator made the world and created us with senses to understand the world, we also understand that the Scripture that was inspired by Him contains Truth about the world He created.
- Primary Reality — What is — Theological — Truth: The Bible contains Truth about the human condition including how to live lives that are in alignment with God and tend to be successful as that’s how God designed us to live. For instance, Adam was created as the head of his wife and Eve was created as his helper. The Biblical marital roles and responsibilities of headship-submission, love and respect, etc.
- Secondary Reality — What is perceived — Scientific — “The Red Pill”: Observation about the truth of what men and women do via attraction and intersexual behavior — truth: codifications of observerations that are almost universally successful in relationships made it into various RP maxims. For instance, Heartiste’s 3rd of the 16 commandments of poon “III. You shall make your mission, not your woman, your priority.“
- Tertiary Reality — The organized structures upon which we perceive — Philosophy and Culture — “The Blue Pill”: recent and current culture (1980s-1990s and forward) and philosophy did not align with what was observed in reality (e.g. happy wife, happy life, “just be yourself”, etc.) — lies: the various cultural platitudes such as happy wife, happy life or “just be yourself” are typically either conditionally or wholly false and often misapplied to a particular person which leaves them more confused and frustrated.
Understanding the primary versus secondary versus tertiary realities does not mean that the secondary and tertiary realities are all truthful or all lies. For example, “just be yourself” does work with women if you are attractive and a naturally masculine leader.
Likewise, just because some red pill person said it does not mean it is a universal truth either. One must remember the context in which most RP advice is given: they’re typically to unattractive men who are unsuccessful with women. In other words, the underlying feature of which most advice is given is aimed at increasing attraction and/or removing behaviors that are unattractive.
One must also understand that much of the secular RP codifications of advice are built off of the premise of having sex with as many women as possible. Hence, the target of specific actions are typically promiscuous women. Thus, certain advice is built on maximizing the possibility of sex and often at the exclusion of possible relationships and marriage. For instance, one of the example of common advice is to avoid paying for dates / going dutch. As I have noted before, if you are a Christian this is a pretty big turn off with pretty much any Christian woman who considers herself traditional which is the largest pool of potential spouses for any true Christian man.
One can also see how, in some cases, RP maxims have almost discovered almost verbatim how God instructs us how to live by simply observing reality. Any Christian man should be putting God’s mission first, and his wife is to be a helper to him.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
Christ set the same example: by dying for our sins and resurrecting for the purpose of the sanctification of His Church, and invites the Church to participate in His mission (The Great Commission) to make disciples of all nations.
Now to get back to the analysis.
Generally, the theological will provide the interpretive lens on which we view the scientific which will provide the lens in which we view the culture or philosophical.
In other words, we start from the fact that God created everything with an intent and purpose including man, woman, and marriage. This includes why each man and woman is attracted to particular qualities in their spouse.
It is extremely dangerous to work in reverse order (e.g. scientific observations informs the theological) because deception is very easy. This is the case where many men enter the manosphere proper (either secular or Christian) and start to put on the lens of RP and impute that onto the Scriptures to make determinations of how to live. I have been guilty of that in the past as well unknowingly and changed my stance once others have informed me or I became aware. These lead to dancing monkey syndrome: one must continually do all of the different behaviors in order to be attractive else you’re screwed.
As was iterated in Why we are here, the main concept that that observing RP (e.g. scientific observation about men and women’s sociosexual behavior) does is to help us take off the lens of feminism and the current cultural milieu. This allows us to see male and female sociosexual behavior without the common cultural tropes blinding us. The vast majority of us, including Christians, didn’t question that we have always lived with the cultural and philosophical informing the scientific observations which was informing our theological beliefs.
This is what typically happens.
- The clash: Theological –> scientific <– cultural and philosophical. (These clash at the scientific and observational level. Many times “happy wife, happy life” wins out over headship-submission and love-respect despite the results of “happy wife happy life” being an utter failure).
- Most people: Theological <– scientific <– cultural and philosophical. (Humans by nature tend to default to feelings and experiences over God due to temptation and sin. Thus, the cultural wins out over any type of theological belief. The vast majority of people don’t even realize that this is happening.)
- What needs to happen: Theological –> scientific –> cultural and philosophical. (This is what should be happening. You reach an extremely different culture by having your worldview on God rather than the culture informing your worldview. Many Christians groups have tried to emulate what they’ve seen in the gospels and Acts and can’t do it. One reason is probably not aggressively rooting out cultural heresies.)
We can use the top-down theological perspective to inform of why and how temptations easily blind men and women, husbands and wives, and others and learn to act in a righteous manner to follow God.
The sad part about our cultural milieu is that it’s strong enough that most Christian leaders don’t realize they’re walking in it. They preach complementarianism or egalitarianism (because headship is not enough for them) but in practice they walk as the pagans giving pagan advice. Even those who know that headship is right and they know something is wrong still have the lens of culture on in certain cases and still make the same mistakes. The series on the theolopis is proof as you can see in the posts analyzing them.
- Aaron Renn on The Manosphere and the Church. My post.
- Alastair Robert on The Virtues of Dominion. My post.
- Peter Leithart on Side effects. My post.
- Bill Smith on Attraction: The Biblical Theology of Pickup Artistry. My post.
- Paul Maxwell on The Measure of a man. My post.
- Mike Bull on What is Biblical Feminism. My post.
- Aaron Renn’s final response
I think the reality is that one must first understand that they are called to God and His Great Commission. This primarily includes walking against the culture. Jesus was adamant that if you’re not for Him you’re against Him, and that His way is the only way. If you’re not fighting against the culture in all areas then you’re only going to get carried away in it. This includes all the current culture and its philosophy, and it also includes all the various cultural and philosophical offshoots of the RP — Secular RP, Political RP, Christian-ized RP, MGTOW, Incel, Black Pill, etc.
Press the reset button on everything.
Forget what you learned and your previous experiences. Ask the Holy Spirit, godly mentors, and look to commentaries and early Church fathers to help you see the Scripture from the eyes of God and not impute your previous experiences and cultural lenses onto your reading and learning.
Full obedience to God and work on making disciples. This may include teaching the basics which are in short supply nowadays such as men to be masculine men and women to be feminine women.