I thought about naming this post a bit differently such as “dissociation” or “overcoming your circumstances” but I like that one better even though it isn’t as accurate.
In you teach people how to treat you, I touched on how developing internal characteristics of strength of personality is more important than initial impressions. I expounded on this concluding:
This is so-called internal beauty. It is character and and a willingness to fight the uphill battles if people have the wrong impression of you. However, it is not arguing about their wrong impression of you. This will get you nowhere and even lessen someone’s image of you. Rather, it is letting your actions speak for you.
If I get defensive about something then I only affirm their impression of me. This is very difficult to accept because we think that we havet to defend ourselves from wrongful impressions. However, defensiveness only shows that there is something to protect, and that something to protect they are pushing on as a button for some reason or another.
If they’re wrong then it’s water under the bridge to you because you know it’s not who you are. Why get upset about something that is not who you are? It’s a waste of time and energy. Rather, let actions speak for themselves by letting your yes be yes and your no be no.
If they’re right or partially right then admit the truth. People respect those who are are authentic about themselves. That’s one thing many people do not do, especially Christians in this age. Christians believe they need to have the perfect image and be unwilling to admit mistakes because it will make God or themselves look bad. This is false. We admit we mess up and sin sometimes because we are human; however, we to repent and turn from our ways because of the Holy Spirit within us.
Now, we examine this in terms of the circumstance above we can see that the latter examples transcends the circumstances and the former conforms to the circumstances. It’s very easy to conform to our circumstances because our feelings are right there in front of us and we often succumb to them over what we know as knowledge of the Truth.
In particular, defensiveness out of discomfort is a classic sign of conforming to our circumstances. Jesus makes a similar comment about conforming or transcending your circumstance regardless of what others do to you:
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [ap]be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore [aq]you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
It’s easy to lose sight of this in the moment when we have negative or positive thoughts or feelings. Negative or position thoughts or feelings do not determine what is evil and good respectively. Instead, what determines what is evil or good is what comes out of the heart.
One of the notions of the manosphere is the “blue pill” and “red pill” dichotomy. The “blue pill” is composed of those who live under the false premises of reality. These are the prevailing notions in society through feminism that men and women are the same, that relationships should be equal, and other things like this which manifest in female supremacy throughout the wider culture even when equality is being parroted.
However, even embracing the so-called “red pill” creates a dichotomy of circumstances that I discussed in these three articles:
- Destruction of morals and the idolization of romantic love
- Destruction of morals and the commodification of romantic love
- The chain of corruption
Specifically, there is no unburdening of performance, and there is commodification of everything including sex. The core of the human experience, apart from God, is nihilism or hedonism or inherent selfishness. However, we know there is freedom in Christ. Paul discusses this in Romans:
Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin [j]resulting in death, or of obedience [k]resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that [l]though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, [m]resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, [n]resulting in sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 Therefore what [o]benefit were you then [p]deriving [q]from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you [r]derive your [s]benefit, [t]resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Everyone is a slave to something or creates an idol of something:
- For those living in the land of the “blue pill” they are a slave to a false reality. That is their idol.
- For those living in the land of the “red pill” apart from God they are a slave to their own desires: 2 Timothy 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a]haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [b]godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
- However, for those set free by freedom in Christ we are not slaves to sin and to performance, but we are made alive in Christ transformed to desire to do good works.
It is only through this transformation in Christ that we are able to transcend our circumstances. Indeed, it is not us but the Spirit within us that allows us to do this.
What does it mean to transcend your circumstances?
Some of the more interesting research is to do with dissociation. Specifiaclly, Self talk as a regulatory mechanism (PDF). It’s very interesting that people perform objectively better when referring to themselves in the third person, but that is what precisely what we are looking for. Those who refer to themselves in the third person before a stressful circumstance are able to transcend their circumstance and perform better because they are dissociating themselves from the stressful circumstance.
Likewise, there are many research studies now and ongoing that show powerful effects of prayer, meditation, and fasting on the brain. These disciplines are part of the way we, in relationship to God, can overcome our circumstances. We do not fall into the trap of responding out of our human selves but instead out of love and desire to love as God does.
This is extremely important to understand because we all go through various hardships in our lives. Do we let our hardship overcome us? Do we let ourselves get blown and pushed by the wind in every direction when hard circumstances come? Do we expect others around us help us? Do we wallow in our misery wondering where God is?
Or rather do we take hold of the situation even in the difficulty and use it as a lesson that God wants to teach us something through this? Do we steward what we can even when it is not much? It’s easy to say “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand” but do we really mean that when the going gets rough?
This is what true outcome indepedence is.
The secular red pill has often coined outcome indepedence as one of the major factors in attraction of women to men. Basically, men who don’t NEED women are going to be attractive, especially if they have a mission that they’re on and are dedicated to it.
However, they never achieve true outcome independence because true outcome independence is devoid of expectations of performance. Everything performed to become a better man is on some level inherently performance based: for women, for status, for money, for power, or for the like.
However, those that can truly love in Christ can love through our actions and not expect anything back. We can see the whole forest from within the tree. We see that God has already triumphed, and yet we still need to grow and mature for the things that He has for us in this life whatever the difficulty and whatever the circumstance.
To be able to finally see a glimpse of what Paul describes in Colossians:
Colossians 3:1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 [a]Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Maturity is understanding the relationship and boundaries between man and Maker, of others and oneself, of heaven and earth, and all that is in it. In that we can walk righteously through transcending our circumstances by the power of the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus: devoid of selfish expectation of others and in love in speech and action no matter the hardships that befall us.