WINNERS AND LOSERS There is a trend to want to establish a world where there are no losers. If there are no losers, there are no winners. By definition if there is a winner that means someone has lost. If we change the rules of the game such that no one can win, we’ll discover …
COACH DE BRUYN’S PHILOSOPHY IN A NUTSHELL
BOOKS PUBLISHED BY AUTHOR
This book is meant to help men live their lives authentically. There is a crisis of masculinity in the world and very few people out there have a balanced solution to the problem. This book attempts to give a balanced solution. It’s a short read and is meant to be accessible to everyone. It is meant to be referred to often so that men can continuously remind themselves about what their priorities ought to be.
There are many books that are about the evils of polygyny. Why should a man have more than one wife? Isn’t it an oppression against women? The arguments against polygyny have been all but exhausted. There are also many pro-polygyny books that sets out to detail the many benefits of polygyny or that polygyny is in fact the natural mating system for human beings. Very little is written on the practical implications, applications and perils around polygyny. Having lived in polygyny for over seven years, I will try to accurately depict, not only my experience in polygyny but also the difficulties one can anticipate along with precautions one should take. If you are a woman or man considering embarking on polygyny then this book is must read for you. It is a hands-on practical guide to the challenges, solutions and considerations that you must be cognisant of before you embark on the wonderful and perilous journey that is polygyny.
Why would a man write a book about how a woman can find a long-term companion? What can a man possibly know about women? If that’s your first concern I will not invalidate it here. There’s a good chance you are right. What a man does know is other men. What do men want in a long-term partner? It is not that surprising that not very many women have asked themselves this critical question. Many women, in our time, often enter a relationship with themselves. It’s a critical question because having a relationship with a man does, incidentally, include the man. Meaning, there must be something he wants right? There must be something he needs? What is it?
The Terrorist Next Door is a fiction about Jack’s new neighbors who happen to be Moslems. In his attempt to be patriotic Jack finds out interesting things about his neighbors thinking that he would keep the homeland safe. However, in the process he finds himself conflicted between his stereotypes and his new found ‘friends.’ This motivates him to improve his own life and in the process becomes the man he never thought he could be. The Terrorist Next Door is the first in a series of books I intend on writing following along the same theme. It highlights the various cultural nuances amongst various people within the landscape of the postmodern world.
What is the nature of existence? What does that question even mean? Existence of what? Of who? Let’s try to get to the heart of the matter and aim to describe the nature of nature. In other words, the nature of everything. What is the underlying condition of everything in existence? What is its inherent goal? What is it trying to achieve? Why is it trying to achieve it? What is it? This book will be an exposition on everything functionally relevant in a concise format. Everything in the world of writing today seems to be long and drawn out. Unless you don’t have better things to do, it is a waste of your time. Time is all you have, so it is my promise that I will do my best to spare you unnecessary details and tell you exactly what is really going on everywhere and with everything.
In order to explore the questions above we need to make no assumptions and start from what we know for sure. I will relate some of the points I make to common realities that people are generally aware of in their lives. Hopefully you will gain an understanding of life’s ecosystem and decide how best you fit into it.
NOW IS ALL YOU HAVE
Some books start by going on a historical tangent about how we came to be where we are today. That is more of a history lesson and a matter of cause and effect. Other books start by giving us philosophy lessons on abstractions that are hard to understand for most people. I will start with now. You are reading this now. I am writing this now. I am full because I just ate. I don’t know what condition you find yourself in. I can’t know. However, I do know some things about you. What is it? I know that you exist. I know that you are literate, otherwise you would not be reading this book. You are also probably someone who is searching for answers and you hope that somehow this book might provide you with some of what you seek. We are, rather miraculously entering each other’s worlds. You are connecting with my mind by reading what I write, and I am connecting with your mind by sharing what I think. Neither you or I needed to be physical beings in principle for either of us to have this interaction we are now having. I might be long dead by now, and you might die soon. Yet, here we are sharing a part of existence in a time and a space that only one of us might be occupying.
In this moment we share with each other, there are moments to infinitum being shared across the world. Someone is being buried, someone is being born, someone is sick, someone is winning an award, someone is jumping off a bridge, someone is praying, someone is hunting, someone is prey. Not only are we sharing a moment with each other, we are sharing the same moment with everyone else, and just like the words of this book might endure past my death, so too will every moment endure, because nothing experienced can be unexperienced, and nothing done can in reality be undone. Undoing something I’ve done doesn’t erase the fact that I’ve done it to begin with. When all these things merge together, and they are constantly merging together, colliding in the entangled web of life, they form a picture. That picture is a very big picture. It is bigger than us, but it is not unaffected by us while simultaneously affecting us. In a very real sense, this moment you and I share has already changed the world. So here is the first lesson I have to teach:
EXISTENCE IS MASSIVELY INTERCONNECTED
I exist and you exist, just like everything else. The plants and animals, the rocks and buildings, the airplanes and spaceships, the bombs and the homeless shelters, the pebbles and the ants all exist and all play a part in the incredible interconnected web of cause and effect. The big picture exists, but we cannot comprehend what it is. However, since we form part of what it is, we know something about it because at least we know something about ourselves, and our immediate surroundings. This moment we share, we are sharing with everyone, we are being affected by everyone and we are affecting everyone, and hence:
EVERYTHING IN EXISTENCE IS POWERFUL
Consider what happened during the recent pandemonia that hit the world in 2020. We were told that someone in China caught it and from there it spread around the world and infected billions of people. A small microscopic virus put the world on lockdown and halted hundreds of economies and some of you think that what you do has no effect on anyone? So what do you do? You do whatever makes you ‘happy’ which incidentally never makes you happy for longer than maybe five minutes. Why not? Well, because whatever you do forms part of a massive web and pulling very hard in one place, will result in being pulled very hard in another place. How do you know when to pull on your end of the web and when not to pull? How will you know whether the results of your massively powerful actions will reap positive rewards? What are positive rewards?
We acknowledge that we exist and that we share this moment with all others in existence upon which we exercise change while being changed ourselves by that which is exerted upon us. Collectively, we are one, and individually we are also one. Herein is the conundrum we all face. In order to go anywhere, in any direction, acquire anything or do any action, we must exert a force. That force changes everything, literally, but we are also being forced by others which changes us literally. In order to exercise will we are fundamentally competing with everyone who is also competing with us, changing everything as we change it, and then transmuting the Big Picture we cannot see. The collective force then of this Big Picture, touches us and underpins a collectivist ‘narrative’ which we all tacitly accept without knowing it. Why does the Big Picture do that? Well, because the goal of existence is to exist, and if there is no concordance of a global collective every creature will destroy every other creature. Hence, the positive rewards we seek is to ensure the greater likelihood of our survival individually and collectively.
YOUR GOAL IS TO SURVIVE AS A COLLECTIVE
We know that the collective goal to survive supersedes the goal to survive individually by observing the nature of many species. It is not uncommon for mothers to sacrifice themselves for the survival of their babies. It is not uncommon for fathers to risk their lives to save their families. As you and I share this moment, we are sharing countless moments with everyone because we are all intertwined in a big web. We are all trying to do one thing: survive. But we are not really trying to survive individually. How many people commit suicide? They’re not trying to survive at that point, but more often than not they are thinking of others. There are men who commit suicide to get the insurance money for their families. There are people who commit suicide because they feel unloved by OTHERS. There are people who routinely risk their lives to save others. Policemen and fighter-fighters do that as a job. Why? They do it for the sake of society. Policemen attempt to keep the streets safe so that innocent people aren’t harmed. These innocent people aren’t relatives. Similarly, firefighters run into burning buildings to save total strangers because we are wired to survive as a collective. When one person is killed in cold blood, there is outrage by everyone. Why? Because in a very real way, we share something with the murdered person and we know instinctively that our lives are impacted by it NEGATIVELY. We all desire positive outcomes which will best ensure our collective survival. We are part of one ecosystem and one collective and we want to ensure that we survive because we can in essence only survive if we band together.
You might say that survival is easy. I have a job and a car. I have food and clothes. I even have hobbies and free time. You might say survival is difficult. I have debt and sicknesses. I have fear and anguish. I am poor and unable to work my way out of poverty. I am, I am, I am. From the perspective of ‘I’ survival can seem easy or difficult. From the perspective of ‘we’ survival is always difficult. We have seen that one sick person could make everyone sick. One poor person can impoverish many people. One disenfranchised person could destroy entire communities. But also one greedy person can destroy the world.
In the world we live in today, it is easy to imagine the extinction of the human species along with many other species through a simple act of starting a nuclear war. We are never very far away from such a reality. Failing that, we can destroy the species through the ill-gotten advice of people who say that to have children is destroying the planet. It takes only two generations of not procreating to potentially destroy the entire species. We could also endure another pandemic that will not have a cure, or one of the many viruses could leak out from military facilities that hold them as biological weapons. Any number of things can go utterly wrong at any point and yet here you are?
Every person alive today is the culmination of millions of years of hardships endured, through every generation, to protect children so that they grow into adulthood. Consider that you were a sperm cell that out-swam millions of others to make it to your mother’s egg. You came into the world having fought to come out of the birth canal. Your very existence came through struggle, pain and suffering preceded by the pleasure your parents had in conceiving you and in having possibly first fallen in love. You are the culmination of countless people who came out on top. Many people fell by the wayside, didn’t procreate and ended their genetic legacy, sometimes in favor of your survival. After all that, you would believe that your legacy of a million battles through an almost endless line of ancestors should end because it is your duty to save the planet? Then again, if you do believe that, isn’t it perhaps part of the plan that your legacy should now be eliminated to make way for people who are smarter than you?
The ecosystem we live in is one of inequality. The rich need the poor more than the poor need the rich. In fact, being rich necessitates the existence of the poor because by definition being rich is the opposite of being poor. In fact, we compete for resources to the extent that we cannot define anything in and of itself without contrasting it with something it isn’t. In a village where no one has electricity, the guy who has electricity is considered rich. In a village where everyone has a new car, the guy who has an old car is considered poor. Our definitions are relative to our other definitions, and that in turn is relative to the context we find ourselves in. That is because we are competing with each other for resources since we all are resource reliant in order to survive. Hence, we associate the likelihood of our survival with the amount of resources we can accumulate. Yet, when we’ve accumulated so much resources that survival seems not to be a direct goal anymore, we begin to feel sick and we become depressed? This happens because the nature of our existence is to experience pain along with the reward of pleasure in cycles. We were not designed to offset pain so long that the pleasure no longer feels pleasurable. That brings us to another rule:
PAIN IS THE SISTER OF PLEASURE
Every woman who gives birth suffers immense pain and yet many of them do so over and over. That’s because they also take great pleasure, when not brainwashed, in having babies. Every accomplished person goes through hardships in order to build up a skill. Every fasting person takes greater pleasure in food than one who is always full. We are so limited in our experiences of everything, that we cannot perceive anything in and of itself, without comparing it to something else. We do not know pleasure without having experienced its opposite; which is why we are introduced into the world through discomfort and struggle. In fact, every baby is born hungry! If it were not the case we would not have learned to suckle immediately upon birth nor found comfort in it. Pain is not only important so that we can experience pleasure, it’s also important so that we can grow, learn, adapt and survive. If you want to destroy a people, give them comfort and tell them that they will never need to work. In two generations they will all die of obesity and heart disease. Not only will they be wiped out, but they will head towards their destruction while suffering from depression.
You were designed to be put under pressure and to overcome harsh conditions because your existence depended on your ancestors overcoming unspeakable horrors so that you could be here. They evolved the most robust bodies and minds in order to take humanity on an upward trajectory and then they passed all that forward into the womb of your mother. Here you are, the culmination of all their struggles and yet you view struggle with contempt? Yet it is the struggles you went through as a child to identify the letters of the alphabet and to read words that has gotten you to this book. You are literate because you endured some struggle that you probably forgot all about by now. In fact, you already went through a lot in your life. You can appreciate that hardships and struggles build character and have gotten you this far, or you can bemoan that life is unfair. But the nature of existence is that you are part of a collective. It’s not really about you. It’s about you taking us forward to the next level by being the best you can be, enduring pain and adapting. Whoever doesn’t do so will fall by the wayside and will have contributed nothing.
CHANGE IS CONSTANT
In the desert there are dogs. I always wondered how they survived and then I realized that people alway throw bottles of water everywhere for them. The dogs bite open the bottles to drink water and raid the plastic bags people leave next to the trash cans with leftover food in them. This is the current ecosystem in the desert. Sounds a bit strange right? You’d expect that they all found some spring of water and that they are able to hunt for small animals they can eat? Perhaps that was the case before we started to live here, but it isn’t the case anymore. We are not part of the ecosystem. We often think that nature is only natural. In fact, there is a constant incremental adjustment to the environment that takes place when new things are introduced into the world. The Big Picture changes with every tug on the web. In the past, we were human beings. Now, we are mostly cyborgs. If you don’t believe me then answer this question: When last did you leave home without your mobile phone? When was the last time you have not relied on the internet for something? As we speak we are changing. As our world changes we are adapting. Only those who adapt, or change, or move forward will survive. The rest will fall by the way. This doesn’t mean all change is good, it simply means that all change is inevitable. It is the nature of existence to change, to transform and to mutate. More people are short sighted now than ever before because of the use of computers and mobile devices. More people are physically weaker in our generation because we use our bodies less and our brains more. The testosterone levels of men on average have dropped as society changes. While these things might be alarming to some people, it must be admitted that it was inevitable.
The question I have for myself, and which I would like you to have for yourself is, “What is my contribution to the changes that are taking place?” Do you go along with the changes, almost being unaware of them? Are you actively engaged in making these changes? Or are you resisting some of these changes? What are you doing? This is important to know when you actively choose to locate yourself within the human web by your own volition and not by default. Remember, you are not some insignificant speck of dust floating around. You are an active member of the human community by the mere fact that you exist. Which brings us to our next rule:
THERE IS NO NEUTRAL GROUND
We all came into the world as dependents and we all remained dependent. The only difference between an adult and a child in this regard is that the adult is able to contribute more to the pool of provisions, not that the adult is independent. No one is independent. We depend on our environment to survive by gathering some of what it has to offer, harnessing it to our advantage and sheltering ourselves from harm. If you are not contributing then you are only taking. There is no neutral ground. Everyone is a benefactor of the labor and efforts of everyone else in a very real sense. The streets you walk on were built by men. The cars you drive, the infrastructure you enjoy, the devices you use and the homes you live in were all built by men. You are a benefactor of the efforts of other people down to the toilet paper you use to wipe your ass. Considering that hundreds if not thousands of people are engaged in facilitating your lifestyle you should ask yourself what are you doing to contribute to the lives of others? Not only is this question necessary, but it will help you to feel grateful and contribute to your happiness.
Not only is there no neutral ground in the matter of resources, but also in lifestyle, religion and politics. The fact is that anyone who willingly wastes resources by requiring truck loads of stuff to live is taking away from others who require nothing more than a daily meal and a roof over their heads. Lifestyle is often a question of resources. The average family in a poor village somewhere in South America requires no more than $50 a month to survive. Whereas, the middle class Western European person who complains endlessly of poverty requires over $1000 a month to ‘survive.’ ‘Needs’ are often clothed in social status and equitability relative to the society you live in.
In Arabia, people used to get married with a handful of camels and anyone who could manage to put up a tent and had a clan with resources could ‘afford’ to get married. In most Gulf States today marriage is scarcely affordable for the average male who desires it because many people require a palace and a $25 000 downpayment on a bride. If people start accepting less for their daughters, they fear that others will start to imagine that their daughters were not behaving themselves. Meaning that the new norm was established by the people either explicitly or complicity. If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing. You will succumb to whatever trend is being established that you could have influenced in a direction that might’ve been more amenable.
Things adapt to the collective decision making of people such that the new norms affect everyone- even those who did not choose it. Another example of this is the fact that most women have to work to earn a living even when they are wives and mothers. There is always a faction amongst these women that complain about their unfortunate lot in life (not that it is), citing that men have failed them. However, the obvious problem was the reduction in the price of labor when women started flooding the job market. If men share the jobs with women, and therefore get paid less than they would have gotten had they not shared the jobs, then women would have in general been able to afford to stay at home with their children. But since there is a new normal; that of dual income homes, for only one member of the family to work is now virtually impossible in most of the world. Hence we arrive at another law:
THERE IS A FIGHT FOR DOMINANCE
There is really no such thing as the will of the majority except what naturally occurs over centuries. For example, the fact that we all agree murder is wrong is a naturally occurring will of the majority that fermented through common human experience over thousands of years. Hence such laws are written in books we deem holy. Most of those books talk about human experiences and the fight for dominance or the dominance of the laws of God. Human survival doesn’t merely require that people procreate, it also requires the ability to live in harmony. However, the question of how to live in harmony was and is often solved by establishing an authority charged with the task of enforcing customs that will facilitate peace within a collective.
Not every struggle for dominance is done in the interest of the collective. It is often done in the interest of a small group of people who would like to profit from the larger group by imposing rules in their own favor. Consider that in your lifetime it was said that same sex marriages should be legalized despite that the majority of people are Christians who do not in principle agree that such unions constitute a marriage, even if some might not have a problem with such unions taking place outside of marriage. Consider that it is often not the will of the majority for a nation to go to war, and yet countless wars have been fought in the past twenty years alone? There is a constant fight for dominance premised on competing ideas around how the majority should live their lives. In the recent debacle around the Qatar World Cup, there was outrage by Western European media regarding the prohibition of LGBTQ signage in a country where people do not agree with that agenda. There was a moral outrage against one group of people by another group of people which was not in fact about morals but about dominance. In reality, Western Europe has become accustomed to enforcing a dominant narrative that they could not enforce in Qatar and hence became outraged by the fact that their rules are not being accepted as universal.
The question on who has the right to enforce their will and hence be dominant has been answered in various ways. For you and I, it is perhaps sufficient to understand that seeking dominance is a part of human nature. It is also part of human nature to attach ourselves to power as a means to dominate or be part of the dominant group. We do that because we know that the predators normally eat the prey. It’s not the will of the majority that forms the dominant party, it’s the ones who have the biggest guns. People aren’t ordinarily attracted to a cause unless the cause is popular. The cause in turn doesn’t become popular normally unless it is backed by power. On those rare occasions in history where a cause gained traction because it resonated with people, military power followed soon afterwards. Even in those cases there was always a vanguard of elites who formed the inner circle of the movement and who made decisions. Populace decisions are essentially blind because they are rarely motivated by the actual issue at hand, and are normally made with the limited self interest of each participant. When individuals make decisions they normally ask, “How will the outcome benefit me personally?” When the vanguard of an ideology makes a decision they normally ask, “How will the outcome benefit society?” Not everyone is broadminded enough to try and look into the interests of the collective and hence not all people are natural leaders. However, not all natural leaders are good. This brings us to another rule:
THERE IS GOOD AND EVIL
What is good and what is evil? Is evil the absence of good or is good the absence of evil? Or are they opposites of each other, one being unable to exist without the other? Good is the principle ‘force’ in the world. Everything and everyone is in essence good and then corrupted by evil. Nothing is evil in and of itself. Evil is to taint something that is good. Every person, animal or creature is good in principle. People become evil through making evil choices, not because they are inherently evil. What is evil? What are evil choices? Evil is destructiveness. Anything that breaks down the natural order of life and destroys mutual cooperation between people is evil. Anything that exploits the already weak and that impoverishes the already poor is evil. It is evil because it disturbs the equilibrium of the ecosystem that ensures our collective survival. In the world we have poor people because we need poor people. We need poor people to continue to work hard and be productive but we cannot have them so poor that they aren’t able to survive because that destroys the equilibrium. We also need rich people because it encourages innovation and progress. But we cannot have people be so rich that they lose their humanity and are unable to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. In other words, we cannot have hedonism and unchecked greed and still survive as a collective. That’s why both hedonism and greed are considered evil traits in almost every religion.
In every person is the propensity both for enormous good and terrible evil. No person is incapable of both. That is not a bad thing. People cannot become great by being incapable of evil. Rather, greatness in people is as a result of being capable of doing immense evil but choosing to instead do good. It is the resistance of evil that makes people immensely good, and not merely the absence of evil. Evil is in and of itself weak because it is contingent on the perversion of good. Let me give you an example. In many religions marriage is considered to be good. In principle marriage involves having sex. However, the same sex when done outside of marriage is considered to be evil. Similarly, a skilled soldier in war is considered to be good based on the number of opposition forces he killed on the battlefield. If that same soldier killed civilians in the street outside his house, he’d be called a murderer. In both instances he killed people. One is called heroism, the other is called murder. In another example, a person who gives money to someone in need will be called good, until we discover that he wants the money to be paid back to him two fold. We would then say that he is exploiting the desperation of the poor, much like what banks do. We all have an innate sense of right and wrong or good and evil. We all know innately that it exists. We all also know instinctively that when we harm others so as to benefit exclusively then we are perpetrating something evil.
THERE IS ORDER AND CHAOS
We often mistake order for good and chaos for evil. It isn’t always true that order is good. For example, if you have a corrupt social order that is on the verge of destroying existence then chaos is good because it undermines the social order that must be destroyed. The reverse is also true: if you have a social order that is just, then the chaos that seeks to undermine it is evil. Within the life of an individual, if you have a routine that helps you accomplish your goals then chaos will undermine it and destroy your progress. However, if you have habits that are destroying your life, then the chaos that will disrupt those habits is good. Order seeks to lay down laws, create cohesiveness amongst groups and individuals and helps to fulfill joint goals. Order also can systematically undermine, oppress and repress entire groups of people. Regardless of whether order is used as a means for good, or a means for evil, it is always undermined. That is the nature of existence. There is always deterioration of order because it requires work to maintain, and there is always a chance that it will be changed, replaced or utterly destroyed. Between order and chaos, order when relatively fair is better than chaos. Power when stable is better than a power vacuum and some oppression is better than widespread chaos. There is never a state of complete equilibrium between these two forces. There is always an interplay where one is more dominant than the other (usually order) and a constant undermining. However, for there to be order, as is founded in nature, there must exist hierarchies.
Adherence to the protocols established in hierarchies and respect for authority leads to order; whereas rejection of hierarchies leads to chaos. That’s why most formerly egalitarian societies that have steered too far left are disintegrating into chaos. A certain level of egalitarianism is commendable when it is counterbalanced by respect and obedience to authority. Adherence to the biblical authority in the past underpinned Western society and created a semblance of order. However, when the government becomes god in place of the order accessible to all those who read, then society falls into disarray as every new idea without deeply rooted origins usurps the ‘order’ of the past.
Order exists only when there are protocols of engagement that define human relations. These protocols work best when they are customary, and do not work well when they are enforced by a central authority. However, for customary protocols to be projected into society there must be a class of people who act as guardians of the culture. In traditional societies the guardians are usually the elders. When the governmental authority clashes with the traditional authorities you’ll first have a breakdown in the traditional value system, which finally results in a police state as the government becomes more and more draconian. It is nearly impossible to regulate all aspects of human endeavor as a government, but it is also impossible to govern a people who do not assume personal accountability or are not held accountable through social pressure typically applied by families and communities. The reversal of personal liberties is symptomatic of people acting without personal accountability. In turn, irresponsible behavior flourishes better in rootless societies with no cultural continuity or a communally agreed upon behavioral denominator. In other words, such dysfunctional societies are without a collective consciousness informing them about what’s right or wrong outside of mere coercion by the State. It is not surprising that the most tyrannical societies also purport to be the most liberal.
I cannot give you a rule book on monogamous marriage without first clarifying why monogamy is difficult for many people. Hence, some of what I state in this book is a restatement of some of the content in my previous book.