Tyler Durden, Unstifled… a letter to Mark

Hey Mr Mark,

>> –>Exactly! All I would add is you have to embrace the uncomfortableness, maybe even seek it out. When you are comfortable being uncomfortable that is when I think you start gaining mastery. At that point wherever the river/ocean spits you out you know you will be fine and embrace the waiting adventures.
– Mark

Uh huh.

I just watched this 20 hour talk – Blueprint Decoded – by one of the original pickup guys. He’s in The Game, “Tyler Durden.” That guy… is amazing, and I’ve never been so impressed as after the Blueprint. His talk was barely about girls. It was about “being centered”, my words not his, but something like that.

And he really nails a lot of “Buddhist” ideas. In super practical ways.

To your point above, yes, first you embrace uncomfortableness. Yes, seek it out. Then you get so centered, you’re not uncomfortable anymore. You are gonna suck at first, so Tyler would push you to “not care about the outcome,” get out there, and start sucking, and scoring a few “reference experiences” as you work thru your suckiness.

Above all that, Tyler talks about “self esteem.” He talks about how when you were little, and you (or some kid you can probably remember), would walk up to you and say, “Hi, you wanna be my friend?” And that is “self esteem,” a default feeling of belonging. Not embracing the uncomfortableness, because there is no uncomfortableness for that kid in that moment.

Aka, Flow. Aka, State.

We all know what that’s like. When I was more socially crippled (ha), I could still boldly get after people about art or business, because I was so into “the content,” I had no self-consciousness. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance talks about in really perfect ways. This conversation makes me miss that book, it’s amazing.

Tyler contrasts that kind of self esteem w/ the ego… which does it’s damned best to separate you. The ego is the opposite of belonging. He quotes Eckhart Tolle on that point, and I’ve read Tolle and he is shocking on those topics.

And I’d heard all that before, and I love it, but it was rather esoteric. So then Tyler goes further.

He says you can take a shortcut to “self esteem” (which I would call “atonement,” but I use that word in an uncommon way), by becoming “unstifled.”

Hmmm, okay. And he shows you, in real time, how to do that.

The example he uses is “yeeeeeehhaaawwwww!!!!!”

“Yeeeeehhaaswwwwww, motherfucker, YEEEHAWW!!!!!!!!!!!”

!!!! <-- Feel that? : ] It's in how you do it. If you can really drop a solid "yehaw," let it rip, let it wake the neighbors - but more importantly, let is WAKE YOURSELF! Let it shake the fucking rust off!!!! He brings some guy on stage, and he makes him do it, and the yehaw is "stifled," and everyone in the room can feel it. So he works him up until the yehaw is ripe and amazing... and for a brief second, he brings that guy past "uncomfortable." The Buddhists talk about this, "being present." That's the gentle eastern version of YEEHAWWWW MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!!! : ] And Buddhists like Jack Kornfield say it's like training a puppy... you don't get mad at the puppy. That will fuck the puppy up - and we like the puppy! You just "bring the puppy back to the newspaper," over and over. It's an ongoing thing... that becomes easier to spot, but still might take some effort to return to each time. Mastery is the "not trying." It's pre- or post-ego, whatever. It's not about skills or confidence - both help you get reference experiences that make you more comfortable, and allow you to drop into belonging, but it's beyond that stuff. It's not about a "sense" of belonging, it's so much belonging you it doesn't occur to you at all. Atonement (aka "at-one-ment"). Default ease. For me, on the street w/ girls... I am trying to "shake off the stifled-ness" every few minutes. I don't yehaw, but I have my own way of "shaking off the rust." Reminds me of something Alan Watts says about "geese," I think. About how they fight, and then when the fight is over, they shake their feathers, and *poof* the fight is gone. Just like that, they go back to being at ease. Un-stifling is doing this in a proactive way. Before I approach, I like to "shake my feathers" a bit. Even as I survey my environment, and look for beauties, I like "shake the rust off" so my most at-ease self is doing the looking. As I can get that "!!!!!" direct feeling of fluidity, and then walk into the set, with that "hi, do you want to be my friend" sense of openness, I'm going to be at my best. And I'll be comfortable as she chooses to engage or not engage. And I'll be at ease as I turn back to the sandbox to play or find my next friend. Hmmm... loving this right now. Happy Sunday! /Nash