So one of the things I’ve always liked about Eastern wisdom in general and the Tao Te Ching in particular is its practicality.
Before, I associated spirituality with some guy in a long robe spewing stuff about crystal power and channeling dead ancestors and whatnot.
But here was this book — the Tao Te Ching — which gave you these paradoxical-sounding concepts that made your life better when you applied them. Crazy, huh.
Now, I’m a practical kind of guy, you see. Which means that I start out as a skeptic, test an idea, and see if it gives me results.
If it does, then hallelujah. Game on. That’s how I got into hypnotherapy, and that’s how I got into Eastern wisdom.
I call this ‘open-minded skepticism‘, and I encourage you to try it on for yourself.
This monthlong mentorship program that I started utilizes a lot of seemingly esoteric concepts derived from Buddhist, Hindu, Tantric and Taoist traditions.
My job is to bring them down to earth and make them eminently usable. To give you results here, now, on this planet.
Not only actual babes in your life, but also a sense of inner peace and real power, which interestingly enough, makes it a lot easier to have more babes (or that one special babe) in your life.
So let’s talk about this notion of no-self, or ‘anatta‘ as it’s called in the Buddhist tradition. For the scholars out there, ‘anatta‘ is the Pali word; ‘anatman‘ is the Sanskrit term.
You’ve probably heard from a variety of sources that ego bad, no ego good. And by the way, there is no ego.
What the heck does that mean? And how do you make it work?
Well, there’s the old metaphor of the river. If you’re looking at one, close your eyes and open them again, it may look like it’s the same river, but it’s not. Every water molecule in it has moved, the banks have shifted by some minuscule amount, and it’s not exactly the same river as before. It’s like it’s brand-new every moment.
The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said it thus: “You never bathe in the same river twice.”
And so it is with you. Just now, you took a breath, and trillions of molecules of air exchanged in your lungs. Millions of neurons fired as you just read that last sentence, and you’re effectively different from what you were five seconds ago.
So this is not just metaphor — it’s real. Granted, some structures remain stable, which allow people to recognize you from one day to another. But fundamentally, there is no fixed ‘self’ to anything.
Everything — and I mean EVERYTHING — is in a constant state of flux.
Now what happens with us people is that we tend to get attached to some notion of a fixed self. “I am a certain nationality. I am a certain ethnicity. My name is Dan. I’m a fan of so and so team. I’m not a partying kind of guy. I like this. I’m offended by that. I’m this kind of person. I’m not that kind of person.”
What if I told you that you could give yourself permission to suspend that notion of a fixed self — just for a little while? And that this suspension would allow you to get better results in life and have a lot more fun?
Since these articles are about dating, let’s examine this concept of ‘no-self‘ in the context of — what the hell — dating.
Once again, I introduce to you gentlemen the concept of the Dating Pipeline. Briefly, the seven steps are:
1) Find. Are you going to the places where there are women who are interesting to you? What is the size of the total pool of women in your living area that you could potentially date?
2) Meet. Of those that catch your fancy, how many are you actually saying ‘Hi’ to?
3) Get contact information. Okay, now you made the first contact. Did you get a phone number or email?
4) Follow-up. Did you actually call or write her in a timely manner?
5) Second encounter. Did that follow-up turn into a date?
6) Progression to intimacy. Did you make out — or more?
7) Third encounter and beyond. Were there repeat dates after the first?
Now let’s apply the concept of no-self to each of these steps and explore the ramifications. Shall we? Oh goody.
Now that you are free from the notion of self, you would be willing to go more places and try more things that you would consider “out of character.”
For me, that would be going to sporting events. Or the racetrack. Or to a pottery class.
Let me ask you this: do you like beer? Or sushi? Chances are you’re a fan of at least one of those things.
Well, I’ve got news for you. As a physician, I can tell you that no child is born liking beer or sushi. It’s just plain icky — UNTIL you try it out and develop a taste for it.
And so it is with the fixed notion of self. When you lock yourself into who you think you are — sometimes at the tender age of 20 — then you have LIMITED your world, who you are and what you’re capable of doing.
The fact is, the more places you’re willing to show up, the more activities you’re willing to try out, the more chances you’ll have of meeting interesting women.
And, incidentally, of having a rich and interesting life.
So you don’t think you’re the dancing type? Well, why don’t you sign up for a dance class and find out (by the way, one of the easiest and most effective ways in the world to meet women — they have no choice but to hold on to you, geez).
This is the top of your pipeline. And you can totally blow it up by trying on the idea of no-self and experimenting with new versions of you.
This is perennially the area in which most guys are looking for a better way.
She’s hot, she’s standing there, there’s no Plexiglas shield around her, no Dobermans to attack you — and yet you can’t go up and say hi.
What’s the deal?
Some guys say, “Well, I don’t want to offend her.” As if it’s HER feelings they’re concerned about. And saying ‘hi‘ would be somehow offensive.
Nice try, buddy. The truth is you’re chicken, because the all-powerful goddess babe could make you feel like a gnat by dinging you. Ohhhh no.
It’s not about her. It’s about your ego. And how it could potentially get bruised in this interaction.
Now if there’s no self, then there’s no ego. No ego means no bruising, which means now you have no fear.
Oooh! Suddenly you’re bulletproof. And it’s not because you’re ‘confident’. It’s because you moved to a level BEYOND confidence, where confidence doesn’t really matter anymore.
I’ve always had a problem with the whole notion of confidence. “Hey man, to get chicks you just have to be confident.”
A whole buncha nonsense.
To me, confidence is like a wall. And for any wall, there’s a battering ram, wrecking ball or bunker-busting tactical nuclear weapon that can destroy it.
Confidence can be broken. I want you guys to have something that NOTHING can break.
The idea of no-self is like water. Can you cut water? Can you break it? It simply flows around any obstacle and re-forms as if unperturbed.
That is no-self, my friends. It’s what confidence wants to be when it grows up.
3) Get contact information
Again, when there’s no self, there’s no ego, and there’s no fear of rejection. So you’re much more willing to just go up to her, do what it takes to get the contact info, and run along your merry way.
This is known as ‘Te‘ or right action. And when there is no self to get in the way, you become a conduit for Te. And you get crazy awesome results.
Guys ask me, “When should I call her?” And I say in the Tao of Dating, sooner is better than later. Follow up within 24-48 hours whenever possible.
But the real answer is that you should do it when it feels right to you. And when there is no self, then you will act less on fear and uncertainty and more in consonance with your instinct.
You feel like calling her the next day? Do it! Who cares about protocol. You’re afraid of screwing up on the phone? Well, there’s no self, so there’s nothing to screw up. Just do it.
This whole no-self idea can be pretty liberating, eh.
5) Second encounter/first date
Here’s a biggie. You’re on your first date. What do most guys do?
Blather nonstop about themselves, that’s what. Partially because they’re uncomfortable with empty air time, and partially because they’re trying to boost their own ailing ego by showing how cool they are.
Well, if you had no self, then you wouldn’t worry about empty airtime and you’d have no ego to boost. And instead, you would do the single most attractive thing a man can do in the presence of a woman:
LISTEN TO HER.
Yup. Just hear her out, brother. Be genuinely interested in her. Ask her “What do you mean by that?”, or “What’s important to you about that?” Draw her out.
Your expert execution of the concept of no-self will also look to her like you’re a creature of utter mystery — which means tremendously attractive.
Also, you can’t possibly get ruffled or annoyed by anything she does or says. There’s no self for you to get annoyed! This will make you seem imperturbably calm — which is also very, very attractive.
6) Progression to intimacy
Guys tend to get all worked up in this phase. “When should I kiss her? Should I wait till the end? Should I use TrendyBoy’s Reverse Devolution Triple Whammy on her? Or the Alias Hair-Twist and Yank?”
Take a deep breath. Relax. And realize that any anxiety you have about the first kiss is really anxiety about having that first kiss thwarted. And that’s all about the ego.
When you toss that ego aside, then it’s like you’re clearing out internal blockages, allowing your natural feeling and instinct to surface.
Listen — three MILLION years of evolution have put exquisitely sensitive and accurate circuits in your head and body to let you know when you should kiss her. The very survival of the species depends on it.
When you are self-less and therefore calm, cool, and collected, you immediately know what that look in her eye means. And you will go for the kiss immediately, without any hesitation, because you are fully present. No manuals necessary.
And further on down the line, when you get more intimate, you’ll enjoy your togetherness more as an act of sharing and less about some kind of performance. Which, paradoxically, will improve your performance.
Ready for one more?
7) Third encounter and beyond
From the outside, no-self looks like you’re just one solid dude. Imperturbable. Solid backbone. A stand-up guy. Women like that. And they will come back for that, again and again, because it’s so damn rare.
Also, no-self allows you to be a conduit for love. Because you’re not with her to try to get something from her. You’re not with her because it gratifies your ego. You’re not with her because you don’t want to be lonely.
You’re with her out of choice, and for the mutual flourishing of spirit. And to have a great time together. And when time comes to part, no-self will allow you to do that with greater grace, too, since you won’t take anything personally.
The power is within you,