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I once said, “There was not a philosopher who could endure the toothache patiently.” This line is lifted directly from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (strangely, it is quoted in the Wikipedia entry on toothache as well).
Gentlemen, here is the source: (Act V, Scene 1)
I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood;
For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently, However they have writ the style of gods
And made a push at chance and sufferance.
One of the problems of the Nice Guy is that he is so intellectual, so stuffed with theories, that he has difficulty in being flesh and blood. When people tell Leonato that he should endure the pain of the lies about his daughter, he rejects that notion. He prefers to be flesh and blood, not some abstraction, and that no philosopher could endure the toothache patiently (as philosophers, despite what they say, are flesh and blood).
Here is the email:
“Yet, there was never a philosopher who could endure the toothache patiently.”
Oh silly Pook…“Lameness is an impediment to the leg, but not to the will; and say this to yourself with regard to everything that happens. For you will find it to be an impediment to something else, but not truly to yourself.” -Epictetus, Greek Stoic Philosopher and former Roman slave.
Who inspired the novel…? Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full
“What little bit Conrad had learned about philosophy at Mount Diablo had seemed to concern people who were free and whose main problem was to choose from among life’s infinite possibilities. Only Epictetus began with the assumption that life is hard, brutal, punishing, narrow, and confining, a deadly business, and that fairness and unfairness are beside the point. Only Epictetus, so far as Conrad knew, was a philosopher who had been stripped of everything, imprisoned, tortured, enslaved, threatened with death. And only Epictetus had looked his tormenters in the eye and said, ‘You do what you have to do, and I will do what I have to do, which is live and die like a man.’ “
Aside from no mention of Epictetus suffering a toothache and his already noisy reveling in the glory of pain, there is a broad theme up work above: that to be a man is to endure pain. In America there is the idea that to be a man is to “suck it up.” One thing I find fascinating is how it is not believed that men have the right to be happy anymore. If you choose to follow dreams and passions of your own, choose your own woman, and so on, people will think you are lazy, are foolish, anything but a man. Notice how everything that gives a young man pleasure is considered “childish” and “unmanly:”
Barbequing good food
Going out with the guys
And so on
Consider that what gives women pleasure is now seen as “high society:”
Obsession about houses and redecorating them
And so on
For every pleasure a man has, it is to be considered a ‘guilt.’ But every pleasure a woman has, it is to be considered “The Way.” An avalanche of shame is unleashed upon a man who is enjoying himself. You are to feel guilty for enjoying life. According to The Way, men have responsibilities and all their pleasures are nothing more than vices (which our saintly women are to save us from).
In our de-sexualized world (not allowing males to have pleasure in being men or females to have pleasure in being women), the greatest pleasure you’ll have is in being a man, acting like a man, and thinking like a man. I find great pleasure in lifting insane weights. Women think I am doing it just to build up my body so I can impress them (which is why they “permit” it). But if you watch sports or play video games, this is frowned on because, aside from giving you pleasure, it also cannot benefit women in any way. If a guy wants to go to Thailand to buy prostitutes, I don’t care as I have other things to do. But women will HATE such a guy and try to shame him to no end. According to The Way, men are not supposed to seek such pleasure (even though women do). Men’s pleasure is generally restricted to one thing: servicing women. Any pleasure that doesn’t, such as watching sports, is granted to males who have serviced their woman. But such pleasure is temporary and must be re-earned. A man must ‘earn’ the pleasure to watch a sports game. In same way, if a man complains about the lack of sex from his wife, women will only say, “You need to serve her more” as if sex in a marriage was something to be ‘earned’ like money.
Much of this service is by being addicted to praise. Love parallels war. Just as in Love, there are Nice Guys who appease, supplicate, and are addicted to praise, people in war (i.e. politics) do the same. The biggest “sap” in the realm of War and Politics would be Jimmy Carter. Ever since the Nixon funeral, when all these people, including Democrats, were praising Nixon for certain policies, Carter’s wife jammed her elbow into him and said, “But what about when you die? Do you want people to say you just hammered houses?” So this is why you have Jimmy Carter flying about the world, trying to make all these ‘political agreements,’ and trying to have a presence everywhere. He is a man made insane by his addiction to praise. Many politicians throughout the world are so weak precisely because they are addicted to praise and care what everyone else things of them. Did Churchill care what people thought of him? Was Lincoln addicted to praise?
I reject the assumption that life is painful, hard, and cruel. Life will be whatever you make it to be. The greatest barrier to pleasure and happiness in your life is your own mind. Think of the sosuave of guys who had it hard with women. The biggest reason they had difficulty with women was that they expected it to be difficult. If you approach the situation that “getting girls are easy” then it often becomes easy. Just do it. The same applies with wealth creation. “Becoming rich is too hard,” some say. Why say that? Why not say, “Becoming rich is fun and simple.” If you truly believe that, instead of a trial of pain, your pursuit will be full of fun.
Philosophy is alcohol to the soul. When a person is wounded, in terms of dreams and destiny, he often picks up a bottle of philosophy and sucks it like a baby to his mother’s breast. What good will philosophy do to me? Philosophy will not make me rich. Philosophy will not put clothes on my back and food in my stomach. Philosophy will not entertain family, friends, or girls.
Philosophy does not give comfort to the dying, or joy to the living. While some young men get drunk bodily from alcohol, other young men get drunk spiritually from philosophy.
Feminists believe themselves philosophical. Their souls are so drunk that they have become toxic. A toxic soul just passes through Nature infecting, harming, and poisoning things around it. Feminists are not happy. How could they be? As an antidote they only take up the bottle of philosophy some more. …Glug, glug, glug. Instead of being flesh and blood, instead of finding joy in being female, they have so divorced their heads their flesh that they find Nature itself to be toxic and barbaric. A man battling feminists with his own arms of philosophy is two drunken souls fighting over nothing. It resembles two drunks in a bar fighting over some figment in their mind.
I don’t want to spend life fighting over figments in the mind. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to burn my library. I will be flesh and blood! I will enjoy life and the fruits of Nature. But surely philosophy and the ‘intellect’ hold some purpose. So what is it?
There are two great teachers in life: experience and foresight. Experience teaches harshly, brutally, while foresight teaches gently, patiently, pleasingly. As for my master, I choose foresight. On sosuave, you would often hear that “experience is everything,” but must you experience many marriages in order to have a ‘good one?’ Of course not! Men who do not see the potential legal noose that marriage and divorce can bring will be taught by experience if they do not learn their lessons from foresight. In the same way, young men, even nice guys, will learn their lessons from experience about women if they do not first learn them from foresight. The problem is that divorce, child custody, and all is too shattering to learn from experience. Let us embrace foresight on the matter.
The point of ‘philosophizing’ mind is to sip enough of the intellect to achieve foresight, but not to become a drunk by pouring entire bottles of the stuff into your head. Let us use philosophy for life rather than use life for philosophy. And once we obtain what we need to know, burn the books.
The greatest revenge is living well. If you want to get underneath a politician’s skin, don’t give in to “rebuttals” or take them seriously. Rather, mock them and make fun of them.
Fascinatingly, I wrote the above before reading the below. Shakespeare already linked melancholy to drunkenness with the passage from As You Like It…
I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted with thee.
They say you are a melancholy fellow.
I am so; I do love it better than laughing.
Those that are in extremity of either are abominable fellows and betray themselves to every modern censure worse than drunkards.
Why, ’tis good to be sad and say nothing.
Why then, ’tis good to be a post.
I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is emulation, nor the musician’s, which is fantastical, nor the courtier’s, which is proud, nor the soldier’s, which is ambitious, nor the lawyer’s, which is politic, nor the lady’s, which is nice, nor the lover’s, which is all these: but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry’s contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
A traveler! By my faith, you have great reason to be sad: I fear you have sold your own lands to see other men’s; then, to have seen much and to have nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands.
Yes, I have gained my experience.
And your experience makes you sad: I had rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad; and to travel for it too!