NOTE: This is a summary & red pill application of the book Incognito, an excellent primer on how the human brain works.
This week I read a fascinating book about the subconscious mind.
This is a topic that I think many Christians are woefully ignorant of. Probably due to it’s negative association with Freud.
But advertisers, propagandists, and even the more intelligent teachers have known (at least through practice) about this stuff for decades. And now it is confirmed by recent neurological findings.
So if you’re not familiar with this stuff, buckle up and get ready for a mind trip…
I’ve summarized the big ideas below along with some application ideas for a red pill marriage.
Conscious thought is like the “national headlines” of a vast and complex economy.
Conscious thought is just the tip of the iceberg. If you truly want to help your wife change, you have to be aware of this vast economy of brain activity that she’s not even aware of.
We see what we expect to see
Take a look at the famous illusion below:
Do you see a glass… or two faces?
It depends on what you expect to see.
Your wife does not see things objectively (and neither do you). We see what we’ve been primed to see. This is why frame is everything. Changing the frame is the root of deception. Recovering the biblical frame is the key to freedom.
The brain pays attention to unexpected information
The brain attempts to construct a mental model of reality that will accurately predict what will happen next. So long as we can fit the facts into our model, our brain assumes everything is fine. But our brains pay extra close attention to mistakes (i.e. things that “don’t compute.”)
So if you want to change your wife’s mind, don’t communicate in ways that can be easily explained away (such as abstract rational arguments.) Use paradoxes. Make her feel confused. Show her examples that contradict her present beliefs. Even if she experiences some “cognitive dissonance” for a time, her brain will be forced to reconstruct her mental models.
The brain can learn complex, even inexplicable tasks with nothing more than “yes” or “no” feedback
Don’t worry about trying to explicitly explain how you want your wife to behave. Simply show signs of approval when she’s “good” and disapproval when she’s “bad.” Her subconscious mind will figure out the rest.
We are attracted to things and people that remind us of ourselves.
When conscious communication is necessary, always talk about ideas in terms of her interests. How is it going to make her more beautiful? More intelligent? A better mother? A better lover? etc.
People are more likely to believe and like what they’ve been exposed to before… even if they’re unaware of that exposure
If there’s something you want to do that would seem batsh*t crazy to her current worldview, “prime” her mind for a while so she’s exposed to the idea in indirect ways.
For example, if you want to live on a homestead and she’s a city girl, watch movies that incorporate rural settings. Get a painting of a beautiful rural landscape. Go to the fair and look at the animals. Start watching Little House on the Prairie when she’s around even if she’s not (initially) interested.
Even if her initial reaction is negative, the more exposure she has, the more she’ll warm up to the idea.
We get “gut feelings” about the right or wrong decision before we consciously decide
Hence the limited utility of reason in persuasion. She’s already made up her mind before you even talk. Reason is useful for helping people believe what they want to believe or for having discussions where intellectual curiosity is the frame. Don’t waste your time trying to reason with a woman under any other circumstances.
The conscious mind sets the goals… the subconscious mind learns how to meet them
One critical task of the husband is to set goals for his wife. Give her the why, the how, and the what (in that order.) If you don’t know how to communicate a vision, watch this.
Instincts do not need to be learned. They run so efficiently that we are not consciously aware of them
Women are not aware of their sexual instincts and their conscious thoughts will even contradict what her instincts want.
To put into to terms closer to home, you do not talk your wife into giving you blowjobs. You just put it front of her face, pull down her head, and let her instincts kick in.
The brain runs on multiple competing programs
Your wife’s brain is in a constant state of tension. She wants to have sex but doesn’t want to be slutty…yet she likes it when you call her one… yet it makes her feel dirty… yet she likes being a dirty girl… but is that a sin?… she doesn’t want to be bad… and yet if she’s bad, she might as well have fun… I DON’T KNOW, SOMEBODY SAVE ME FROM MYSELF!!!
Men are better at sorting out the brain’s conflicting programs than women. This is why she craves for you to make the decision for her. Always assume that she has several conflicting motives and desperately needs you to make a confident decision about what’s happening next.
The context determines whether people respond emotionally or rationally
Would you allow a train to run over one man for the sake of saving five men from getting ran over? Yes?
Would you deliberately push a fat man out of a boat to save the rest of the crew from sinking?
The net result is the same, but when it becomes personal, we make decisions based on emotion. The human brain cannot simultaneously hold a detached rational perspective and a personal emotional perspective at the same time.
As a husband, you need to be aware which frame is more advantageous for the situation. If she’s upset and feels like the current trial is too great to bear, a rational perspective is more helpful. But if she’s in a private investigator mode and demanding you reveal incriminating details (in her eyes), you’ll want to switch it to a personal frame as quickly as possible.
The rewards closer to now or more valued than those in the distant future
Many people think that those who work hard are sacrificing present pleasure for the sake of future gain. But that’s not how the brain works. The brain always maximizes present pleasure… whether that’s sensual pleasure or the pleasure of doing the wise thing or the pleasure of doing what others expect of you.
Distant rewards will not motivate. How can you make the present enjoyable? Or what false assumptions are preventing her from enjoying the present?
We can be easily convinced to give up control in exchange for protection against our future selves
Why do people allow the government to hold onto the money until tax returns? Why do we allow other people to manage our money? Why do people sign up for apps that will shame them on social media if they don’t do their habits?
It’s because we instinctively know that, at some point, we will do something stupid or lazy if left on our own.
Thus we prefer (or can be easily convinced) to give up some control to someone who can prevent us from making bad decisions.
This makes a good starting point for talking about submission. You are not asking her to submit because you want to hold her down. You’re asking her to submit because, as she knows, when she’s caught up in her emotions, she can make decisions that will hurt herself. Position yourself as the responsible adult that can protect her from her future self.
Our brain always invents stories to explain what we observe… often times, these stories are wrong
Something happens. She invents a story to explain it. But she’s not confident in her interpretation. You come in with a confident frame and “mansplain” what’s going on. She now believes your interpretation.
Secrets are unhealthy for the brain to conceal; they need to be released
A secret is essentially a perpetual mental state of holding two conflicting motivations: the desire to share what’s on the mind vs. aversion to sharing due to fear of hurting someone or being ostracized.
The husband can provide a non-judgmental context for his wife to confess her secrets. In many cases, he may need to probe and draw out the secrets. This is analogous to how God wants us to offer up our anxieties to him through prayer.
Simply saying aloud what’s going on in her head will free up mental energy to focus on more important things.
On the flip side, you can plant “secrets” into her head that can only be resolved by having sex. This is the foundation of erotic tension.