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You are either a slave to the master of adversity or the master of ease

You are either a slave to the master of adversity or the master of ease

In this framework, there is no freedom or free will as such. You have to serve one master(similar to the Biblical parallel to God or the world). A simply mechanistic view doesn't cut it, imo. You either have to go evo-psych(r/K), or think of it spiritually(as a battle between good vs evil). Maybe there's another way to think about it that hasn't occurred to me.

The master of adversity is really kind, loving and generous. If you serve it, you'll be blessed with positivity, love, happiness, relaxation, contentment, strength and emotional stability. You'll also feel relatively free and feel a lot of agency to do things. The vanilla evo-psych explanation is your genes/biology picks up that you need to conquer/deal with adversity in order to survive(or be fit in evolutionary terms), so you're given all the tools in order to do just that. You're given a lot of lee-way just because you need it.

In contrast, the master of ease is really harsh, brutal and uncaring. If you serve it, by running from adversity, you'll have all sorts of misery, mild panic/terror and mental issues. The most extreme example is something like hedonism/drug use. I believe it's been proven you'll feel worse doing hedonistic things or using drugs. The question is why do people feel the need to do those things, particularly the people you'd think need happiness and emotional stability most. People say it's forebrain/hindbrain. I'd say in evo-psych terms it's as if your genes/biology picks up the fact that you weren't punished by running away from adversity, thus makes you miserable as a default to encourage the avoidance. At that point the evolutionarily fit thing to do is to consume and reproduce as much as possible.

It seems you're given no respite from these forces, thus you'll just have to pick wisely. To me on an individual level the master of adversity is just a much better master to serve. If true, it means that those still serving the master of ease are guided by much more powerful forces than our own intellect or rationality or selfishness. The selfish thing to do would be to serve the master of adversity. From experience, I know serving the master of adversity has blessed me with all of the above good things and saved me from the above bad things.

Slightly related to this concept, which may have inspired this train of thought, is the "keys of power" concept by CGP Grey. Roughly speaking, he claims that democracies are more free not because people are more moral or out of our choice, but because the rulers need to give freedom in order to stay in control. I would argue there's nothing special about democracy per se, but it's highly associated with the other factor: Western countries generally have(had?) a freedom loving population.


You are either a slave to the master of adversity or the master of ease

I will add though, that sometimes in order to accomplish great things you must go to lengths that are unnatural and sometimes so in opposition to the person you are, that you must let a little hedonism in to compensate.

Doing great things that require a tremendous amount of self discipline, also requires accepting hedonism, until you can create a lifestyle that perfectly balances out the responsibility which you face; a lifestyle that fulfills all your needs, and lets you dedicate your life to reaching the stars.

Hedonism is useful, but should be used carefully, with sophistication, and only temporarily.

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