Marriage Myths

excerpted from this article (see link):

[ ]  Many of the traditional reasons why a man gets married are a myth.

“I won’t die alone”
Wrong. The simple fact is that one spouse WILL die alone. Visit the hospital and go to the terminally ill or cardiac departments. Few people have the time to sit with an ill relative all day and all night. Yes, you may get visitors, but they aren’t having the same thoughts as you are. You’re contemplating your mortality, while they’re wondering what food the hospital cafeteria offers. In the end, even with a loving and supportive family, most of us will leave this world alone, unless you both die simultaneously in an accident of some kind. Your spouse may die fifteen years before you, or you may be in the hospital for your last year. Ultimately, we all die alone. Married or not.

“I won’t grow old alone”
Not necessarily. A marriage can self-destruct at any time. Your partner may initiate divorce at age 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 or 70. Many married people end up in the same position (alone) as if they had never married at all. Now they enter their twilight years broke, as a result of being stripped of half or more of their life’s assets, losing half their retirement and pension funds, and being assessed alimony payments. [ ]

Men are led to believe that not marrying implies only one destiny; that of a solitary monk in a cave, a shunned loner. However, life is not so black and white. Not marrying does not mean you cannot continue to date or have meaningful relationships throughout your life. There are plenty of single people in all age brackets. A bad marriage can be the loneliest of institutions, because most of your emotional outlet and companionship is concentrated into one person who gives back nothing in emotion, affection or support. Young men in their 20′s and 30′s should be more aware of the alternatives that exist in life. They should be aware that marriage is a choice, and is not the only path life has to offer. An informed decision is less likely to be one that is later regretted.

“I’ll get regular sex”
Not from Modern, Western Women. Access to regular sex is the oldest and the most frequently cited reason to marry. Many men now know that Modern, Western Women frequently stop having sex after just a short time of being married. There are plenty of “sexless” marriages. Talk to a few married couples that are honest about their relationship. One or both partners may stop wanting sex after kids, or the sex may be as infrequent as once a year or once every six months, or the wife may only have sex when she wants the husband to buy her something, take her somewhere, or remodel the house. Read the honest opinions of married men on the Internet. Most Western, Married Men will have more sex with their Western Wives in the first six months of their marriage than they will in the next 40 years. Lastly, it remains to be seen whether sex with one exclusive partner for forty years or more is even a natural act, or just a man-made convention. In many Western Nations, the wife is no longer required to have sex with her husband. She can deny him at any time, for any length of time. She can, if she wishes, deny him sex forever and there is nothing that he can do about it. [ ]

Marriage is hardly a guarantee of regular sex, as many people are led to believe.

“I’ll have someone to cook and clean for me”
Not necessarily.  [ ]  Today’s woman is empowered by not performing the traditional housewife duties, regardless of whether she is working or not. If a husband asks that his wife perform traditional household duties because she is not working, he will often be labeled sexist, abusive or controlling, even if he is doing his “traditional role” of paying all the bills, providing for his family, and performing the traditional manly duties of vehicle repairs, maintaining the lawn and house upkeep.

“I have to be married to have kids”
Not anymore. Her ovaries do not physically need a [marriage] contract [ ] in order to be fertilised by your sperm. Cro-Magnon man had children long before lawyers invented marriage contracts. Often, you do not need to be married in order to share health benefits. You do not need to be married to designate your partner on a life insurance policy. [ ]  It is ironic that responsible parents who raise a healthy family, but never actually sign marriage paperwork, get less respect than divorced parents or married parents who are ineffective, inattentive or incompetent.

-Having a lifelong, faithful, committed relationship has nothing to do with being “married”.
-Owning a beautiful dream home together has nothing to do with being “married”.
-Rearing healthy, happy, and successful children has nothing to do with being “married”.
-Building a family and life together has nothing to do with being “married”.
-Growing old together has nothing to do with being “married”.

[ ]  You do need to be married in order to throw an extravagant four-hour party, and share the same last name.

You do need to be married in order to involve the state and government in your romantic affairs.

You do need to be married in order give away half of everything you own.

Besides that, marriage does nothing more than introduce lawyers and social workers into your life. These are people that otherwise would have nothing to do with your life or your relationship.

Men need to stop and ask themselves:

“Why exactly am I getting married? What exactly does marriage mean to me in today’s world? What is the benefit to me to get married?”

It is no longer a lifelong commitment, because it can be reversed overnight on her unilateral whim.

Marriage was originally created as a way for families to merge land, property, political power and influence; perhaps people should return to viewing it as just that and nothing more. The rest of it is fake modern TV Fantasy and Tabloid Gossip and Hype polluting the minds of today’s impressionable youth, and a way to keep the multi-billion-per-year wedding industry chugging along. Perhaps the only criteria should be to ask oneself: “How excited am I for us to merge our finances and assets?” When all the fluff and hype are boiled away, that may be the only remaining reality. Spend a day in divorce court, and you’ll see exactly what is real and tangible and lasting about marriage. [ ]  The rest are myths, lies, bold unsubstantiated promises, and maybes. “For better or for worse…”

The Western Divorce rate is 43%. It is higher in some parts of the world such as California, Great Britain and Australia. [ ]  Consider the number of people who are in a bad marriage, but elect to stay; Men who don’t want to lose 50%, women who know they can’t support themselves alone. Next, think of how many more couples stay together just for the sake of the kids. Of these “forced marriages”, consider how many of these marriages involve infidelity, no sex, or sleeping in separate beds or separate rooms. I estimate the percentage of happy and monogamous marriages to be under 5%. Are these odds you would take in a business venture, investment or loan? Most of the risk-averse population would not. Yet they seek this exception to the rule everyday through marriage.

Ninja

excerpted from this article (see link)

Imagining guys running around in black pajamas and swords, disappearing in a puff of smoke? Well let’s start with a proper… non Hollywood idea of what the Ninja were… or are… and then see what we can learn from them.

Today we have this image of the Ninja as evil assassins sneaking around Japanese castles and killing under cover of night. What most people don’t know is that the Ninja were simple farmers, priests and shopkeepers who were forced out of Japanese society and hunted by their own government. They were the ultimate survivors. In fact the word Ninja in old fashioned Japanese translates to “the person who overcomes”.

Early in Japanese history a Samurai General named Daisuke Togakure lost a battle; and as was tradition in Japan his master ordered him to kill himself and ordered that his family be stripped of all title and land. Instead this Samurai General chose to survive. He fled his home with his family and went to live in the wilderness. Now an outcast being hunted by his own government he was forced to re-invent his understanding of combat. Togakure met up with some Chinese immigrants who had fled the massive wars going on in China. Their knowledge of battle tactics, medicine and technology from all over the Asian main continent helped Togakure form what would become one of the earliest and oldest traditions of the Ninja. (This is just a rough and quick version of the oral history of the founding if this tradition) There are many other traditions of Ninjutsu but they all are similar in that they contain a philosophy of life which values surviving and overcoming or “persevering” and which leads to a simple life style with a very alternative method of self defense. The philosophy of the Ninja stood in opposition of the Bushido code of the Samurai which contained a strong class structure, and espoused suicide as a noble and honorable ideal. To the Samurai the Ninja were dishonorable, evil creatures who had no right to live… the Ninja just wanted to be left alone to live their lives as they saw fit. [ ]

As a person who has studied and practiced this tradition for several years now I have found some great principles which are a guide I use in life and in my preparations to continue life. In all of my training and all of my study of the Ninja culture as it existed hundreds of years ago and as it exists today I have found five principles that seem to apply to the Ninjas secret to not only survive but to thrive. [ ]

Principle #1: Strong and clean spirit
[ ]  The Ninja speak of attaining an unfettered mind; that you should know who you are at your deepest core. Life should be spent learning, knowing and practicing what you are. This done in everyday life gives an unfettered mind and leads to good decision making under even the worst situations. [ ]

Principle #2: Utility.
While the Samurai prided themselves on beautiful swords passed down through their family for generations and body armor decorated with family crests and religious icons the Ninja often used little more than modified farming implements as weapons. This was in part because of the ban on civilians owning or carrying swords… (we can learn a lesson here) but also because of the principle of utility. To the Ninja they were not mere weapons, but rather everything was a tool. A Ninja didn’t pride himself on a fancy sword; instead he would make a sword which like all of his tools served more than one purpose. His other commonly used weapons were converted farming implements. [ ]  Sure the Ninja would have never turned down a fancy ray skin and ivory Katana, but he would usually be found with a much cruder instrument. [ ]

Principle #3: Simplicity.
As I said earlier the Ninja were mostly farmers and merchants, but they could be found in all levels and aspects of life. There were even some Ninja amongst the ruling class of Japan at one time. What was common amongst them was that they strove to live a simple life. Both historic and modern Ninja rarely had lavish homes or castles. Rarely were known to frequent parties and social events. Instead they lived simple lives enjoying the things in life which were of true value. Simplicity permeated all aspect of their life. Often a diet of simple, healthy home grown food was eaten. With this simplicity in lifestyle one also becomes more in tuned to your own environment, able to notice small changes in weather and even understand nature on a closer level. Rarely did the Ninja draw attention to themselves. Instead of going off to become famous warriors and have grand adventures most Ninja lived quiet lives in their villages and trained diligently in their fighting arts; not for glory, but simply as a means to protect them and their families from the outside world. [ ]

Principle #4: Community and Self-Reliance.
Contrary to what some may argue community and self reliance are not mutually exclusive ideas. The Ninja were experts at having a community OF self reliance. The Ninja often lived in very close nit villages and towns where they worked and trained together so as to provide everything they needed and thus insulate themselves from the rest of Japan. [ ]

Principle #5: Fluidity.
Absolutely essential to the fighting style and even day to day life of the Ninja is the principle of fluidity. The Ninja fighting style involves five principle ways or feelings of combat. Each one represents an element of existence and grants almost a personality to your movement and technique. Examples are fire, a strong hot burst of energy cutting through an opponent or earth, the stable and immovable feeling of power. The five elements (earth, wind, fire, water, and the void) are not in themselves all powerful; it is the Ninjas ability to transition from one to the other and combine them in response to any situation which is essential. This fluidity was not just expressed in the elemental forms of combat, but instead is the fundamental difference between the Samurai and the Ninja. The Samurai followed set in stone techniques and movements. Memorize enough movements and you will have one for every situation. The Ninja started when they had to adapt and abandon old ways; this flexibility allowed them to meet all situations and adapt their techniques to any situation. A fundamental idea in the Ninja philosophy is not to have expectations of what will happen, but instead to be ready for and deal with whatever comes. Work towards your goals but adapt to the outcomes as they happen, don’t get caught in a frustrating loop of things not going your way and reacting with the same effort every time. [ ]  We should have basic tools which will work in any situation. Tools which serve multiple purposes and can be adapted to anything we need.  [ ]

WATER: Just as water feeds life and contains a power in both its ability to draw away from and crash back onto anything, to slowly erode a mountain, feed the tallest tree; we need the essentials of life. [ ]

EARTH: Strong foundations in faith and community allow us to stand like a rock against the corruption and destruction around us. [ ]

FIRE: Fire is our arms, our brute force through firepower.
[ ]  The Ninja as with all people of Japan were disarmed by the ruling elites, however the Ninja refused to comply, instead they fought back. [ ]  Fire comes in a burst of violence, heat and action. It is emotional, but not un-controlled. Fire also represents our passion, the passion which makes us act. It is the burning sense of right and wrong which protects our very soul from the corruption of the world. [ ]

WIND: Wind leaves us aloof, it represents the lighthearted sense of security preparedness gives us. [ ]  The feeling of being un-touchable effects your very movement and every aspect of life. Being self reliant, with your own business and self sustaining property gives you this confidence and allows you to take stands politically and economically without fear of losing your job or being evicted from your home if you oppose the powers at be.

THE VOID: This is often a difficult concept. [ ]  The void is the sense that anything can and will happen. On one hand it is the knowledge of all potential dangers and the ability to handle them. On the other hand it is the ability to react with anything, having every tool in your toolbox so that you can react and adapt in any way necessary. [ ]  Where the void can help is in the idea of not being an idea. Not being anything in particular, be void of form. Don’t fit a stereotype . . . . [ ]


Personal Retreat

article by Mark Sisson

I’m talking about a different kind of retreat here, specifically the personal retreat, that solo venture in which one gets away on his/her own with no responsibilities but ample quiet and/or adventure. For some people this might mean a week in the wilderness. For others, it’s a few days at the spa or a meditation center. It might be the chance to enjoy anonymity playing tourist in a large city or to try out an alternative occupation for a week. It could be a solo road trip through a stretch of open country. Or maybe it’s something else entirely.

[ ]  The meaning of a retreat of course is inherent in the term itself – a withdrawal from normal life. We leave behind the daily routine, which can become mind-numbing over time. We shed the roles that rule our lives and can – in their confines – strangle even our closest relationships. In the midst of our hectic lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of the daily grind. At a certain point – especially at vulnerable times of our lives – they can feel like a network of ties holding us down, binding us increasingly inward. Our sense of emotional coherence and genuine connection seems to give way. We can lose our bearings as well as the mental focus and emotional resilience they give us.

A New York Times article some months ago highlighted the influence personal retreats have had for overworked professionals. (Big paychecks or not, I think the same degree of stress applies to most of us.) For the men and women mentioned, retreats were a time to entirely disconnect from a life that is oppressively connected. Giving up their smart phones and laptops, going without any communication initially instilled a distressing sense of isolation and anxiety. Nonetheless, the experience recalibrated their inclinations. As one man put it, “‘Going into a retreat is really about breaking down the constructs of ‘you.’… The whole idea is for you to take a very close look at the you you have become in your mind. The you you are in your real mind isn’t necessarily the real you.’” Distance yourself from the everyday buzz and chatter, and it’s amazing to hear what becomes audible.

Anyone who’s taken a retreat understands the restorative power here. In stripping away the roles and routines, you’re able to unearth elements of yourself long neglected, even unrecognized. You remember strengths that you have. In the best retreats, I think, you take them out for a drive again and test them. You recall the interests that you’ve had, dimensions that complexify and enrich who you are and what you have to offer. Most of all, it’s a time for opening up your sense of life – like getting outside under the big blue sky after being shut in during a week long cold snap. An undercurrent of irritation releases itself into the sudden space. A sense of calm and balance settles into its place. The personal retreat, however one designs it, is a cure for the emotional cabin fever I think we all feel at times.

For better or worse, we don’t have the leisure time our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. We can go weeks or months without enjoying a real break from an endless daily drill. (Cue the Sonny and Cher wake-up call – for all you Bill Murray fans out there.) They may not have had the climate controlled shelters, cultural and entertainment centers, or slew of possessions we do, but they had the ultimate Primal commodity: time. It was time to pursue what they wanted (however relatively limited their prospects might seem to us today), time to invest in their relationships, time to tinker and try and turn off.

[ ]  Although time and resources might make getting away difficult, I’d label many things discretionary before this. From a logistical standpoint, not everyone can take an actual “trip” retreat at any given time, but there are ways to adapt the concept to fit a more modest form: camping overnight, a full day’s hike, a weekend’s worth of long evening meditation practices, an extended walk to meet the sunrise. The key is to home in on what we need at a given time. Solitude? Inspiration? Rest? Risk? What aspects of ourselves are going unstimulated in our current circumstances? What patch of our mental terrain needs tending? I think the best retreats aren’t measured by expense, novelty, or even duration. They’re gauged by growth, repose, and restoration. Answer the instinct that presents itself.  [ ]

Thoreau @ Walden

see the full article

Many people remember the book Walden as the story of a hermit living in a hut who survived on twigs and berries in the Concord, Massachusetts woods. Its author, Henry David Thoreau, was no hermit, but a survivalist and philosopher who personified the best of American values of self-reliance, simplicity, love of the land, individualism and defense of personal liberty against governmental overreaching.

He lived simply on Walden Pond from 1845-1847 without a GPS, iPod, iPhone, laptop or wi-fi.

[ ] Thoreau’s principles are an overarching everyday strategy, holding that a life worth living depends upon remaining free and independent, living as autonomous men and women alert and able to confront, ignore, or go around obstacles in our way. [ ]

[ ]  Today few of us could replicate Thoreau’s life in a 10 x 15 foot cabin a mile from his closest neighbor. What we can do whether we live in New York City, Los Angeles, or in between is to think of Walden as a state of mind.

Walden’s principles and maxims are as relevant in 2012 as in 1853. In fact, times were remarkably similar to our world today. Global competition was common. Better quality German pencils nearly drove the Thoreau family pencil business under. The Panic of 1837 was as severe as our financial downturn today. A real estate bubble burst due to sub-prime lending, and real estate prices plummeted. Families lost jobs, spending power, and risked their savings as half the banks in America folded within weeks. The federal government, whose policies touched off the contagion, was growing in power and would continue piling on public debt. Even then, the U.S. government depended upon foreign countries to finance its operations.

As the nation entered the industrial revolution, Walden was Thoreau’s challenge to a society forgetting cultural values and practices of the first Americans such as self- reliance, thrift, and the importance of the family.  [ ]

Boosting Testosterone

from here

[ ]  There are several reasons why Men have such low testosterone, and we will go over those, but the most important one is diet. You need to eat fat to produce testosterone. Aim for 30% of your total calories form fat. The standard American Low-fat diet is producing heaps of effeminate males. Every guy I know that is super low in T (you can tell because they are frail, timid, sexless, weak) has a poor diet. They eat low fat, low protein, high carbohydrate diets. [ ]

Steak and eggs – the strong mans favorite meal. High saturated fat in the eggs and zinc in the red meat help produce testosterone.

Liver and onions – Onions contains allicin which helps produce testosterone. Liver contains all kinds of good shit. Warriors of old would often eat the raw liver right out of a fresh kill because it gave them strength. If you don’t like eating liver take some Liver Tabs, one of the only supplements that I spend money on. I love liver tabs, they make me feel strong as an ox in the gym. Jack Lalanne would take up to a hundred a day when he was preparing for his incredible feats of strength and stamina such as towing 70 boats with 70 people on his 70th birthday while handcuffed.

Garlic – Garlic also contains allicin.

Peanuts, Salmon, Coconut oil, olive oil are all rich in good fats.

Cook everything in butter, not margarine.

Eat as naturally as possible. Organic for your fruits and veggies and grass-fed for your red meat if you can afford it.

[ ]  For God’s sake never eat soy! Soy is estrogen enhancing poison. [ ]

Some other tips to help increase Testosterone naturally

Get a good night’s sleep in a cool, dark room. Sleep at night or else you will mess up your circadian rhythm which leads to decreased T.

Lift weights. Heavy compound exercises produces testosterone naturally. Between 4-8 reps per set is a good goal.

Don’t smoke. Inhibits sexual appetite, probably because you’re constantly sucking on a thin, white phallus.

Don’t drink (or limit alcohol consumption) – Alcohol has been proven to lower testosterone.

Have sex. Frequent sex, especially first thing in the morning, increase T levels. I experimented with celibacy for 8 long months and I could just about feel the testosterone leaving my body.

Live stress free. Easier said than done but stress and worry is a huge testosterone killer. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t change it there is no point in worrying about it.

If you’re fat, lose weight. Increased weight leads to higher estrogen levels.

Don’t keep your cell phone in your pocket next to your boys. According to Tim Ferris’ The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman cell phone radiation leads to decreased sperm count and T levels.

Listen to music that pumps you up – Songs that pump you up, pump you up full of testosterone.

Eat your vegetables – Vegetables have been repeatedly demonstrated to raise testosterone and decrease estrogen.