How To Unleash Your True Intellectual Potential (And The Psychology of Belief)

Humans are interesting creatures.

Despite our ability to think “rationally,” our underlying emotions and physiological needs take priority over our higher cognitive processes. Still, our brains have incredible potential to understand the world within the abilities of the less evolved structures of our brain and our sensory function.

I mention our “less evolved” brain structures because we still have to contend with our physiological needs, our emotions, and the aspects of our ego that prioritize keeping us alive before they help us understand reality. I mention sensory function because one should keep in mind that there’s many wavelengths of light we can’t see, frequencies of sound we can’t hear, and scents we cannot smell.

But even with these limitations in mind, our potential to maximize our understanding of the world is excellent.

And it’s never been a better time to gain this understanding of the world. The technology of our era has made it significantly easier for us to do so.

We now have previously unimaginable access to the world around us. And while there are downsides to this, there are many upsides that are dependent on any individual man to take advantage of.

Traveling the world has become a breeze. We can fly to anywhere in the world within about a day or less. We can explore dramatically different regions, meet exotic new cultures, and experience entirely different ways of living far easier than our ancestors ever could.

Additionally, the internet keeps us directly connected to the ideas and lives of billions of people across the globe. While there is a ton of noise to filter through, this reality is as advantageous as we make it.

And because of both the internet and publishing technology, we can easily access much of the history and texts of the greatest minds not only of previous generations but of today as well.

If we put the time, effort, and understanding, this all benefits us immensely as men. If we want to indulge in a lifestyle of acquiring useful talents, knowledge, and wisdom, even if mixed in with a degree of hedonism, it has never been a better time to do so and learn so much of what our universe has to offer.

The key for us, as men, is to break through the cultural and psychological barriers that to impede us from understanding our world.

As Red Pill men, most of us have taken the most important steps down this incredibly self-fulfilling journey.

We’ve successfully broken through the cultural and informational barrier that held us back from many of the world’s ugliest truths. As a result, many realities about the world are open to us. Most of us know that the Red Pill is really only the tip of the iceberg in understanding the world.

But in order to reach our intellectual potential, we must take another critical step forward. We must understand our intellectual limitations, acknowledge them, accept them, then conquer them as much as possible. We must also exploit all of the benefits of living in our era.

Now, before we start in full detail, gentlemen, I will say that this is article is longer than most. I aim to stimulate your minds, and this subject is not something that is easily abbreviated.

It should take you 15-20 minutes to finish this article. Bookmark it and come back to it later if you have to. Read it in its entirety and I seriously doubt you will be disappointed.

The Six Branches of Intellectual Understanding

The tree of peak intellectual understanding has six branches.

The first branch is travel and worldly experience. If you are well traveled, you have a significant leg up in the world. You have a wide variety of experiences to draw from, and you can see important connections between people, places, and things that few others notice. There are many realities about the world you intrinsically understand that people who have never traveled will never get.

The second branch is a deep and purposeful development of your talents. If you are truly multi-talented (a deep Talent Stack), combined with a drive for success and a growth mindset, your likelihood of overall success is sky-high. You can call on multiple talents to create opportunities for yourself that you would have never had otherwise.

The third branch is to be intellectually open. If you are intellectually open, you are naturally more open to new ideas that others would never consider. You can listen to others who have solid reasoning, even if it is counter to yours, and you can integrate their good ideas with your own. You can also shoot down obvious nonsense easily. This is especially important for businessmen and entrepreneurs; close-mindedness and arrogance can cost you a mountain of opportunity in the real world.

The fourth branch is self-awareness and a powerful mindset. You must have a practical grasp of psychology, understand your own limits, then understand the limits and tendencies of others. You can figure out with time when you’re experiencing cognitive dissonance, or when your biases and/or ego are coming into play and when they’re holding you back. You must also develop a powerful mindset that seeks success and the truth at all costs, even to your own ego. This takes education, honesty, self-examination, and experience.

The fifth branch is general knowledge. Always be thirsty to understand more about the world. World history, foreign languages, warfare, and geography are all examples of subjects that will dramatically enhance your understanding of the world and give you a worldly mystique. Read constantly about the subjects you’re interested in and put what you’ve read into practice as much as you can. If possible, find a wise, successful mentor who can accelerate your understanding and success in any subject you’re focused on.

The sixth branch is wisdom and experience. Through a fulfilling lifestyle of real-world experience and intellectual self-development, you will slowly but surely accumulate incredible life wisdom. This wisdom will guide you and those close to you throughout your lives. Generously lend your acquired wisdom to others who are open to listening to what you have to say.

If you combine all of these together, you are well on the way to reaching a peak understanding of the world to the best of your human ability. In fact, you’ll be better off in this regard than perhaps 95% of the world population.

There’s a lot of pride in following this road. After some time, it’s almost like an additional intravenous infusion of the red pill.

Once this is developed, you can see clearly why various events occurred in your life, why you think the way you do, why the world is in the position that it’s in, when someone is arguing with logic or emotion, when their facts aren’t supported, when they’re clearly biased in any direction, when they’re using any of a wide variety of logical fallacies, when they’re arguing only to defend their ego, and a lot more.

And simply put, a well-developed intellectual understanding is useful in virtually any situation and endeavor in your life. It will steer you in the right direction in countless situations of danger, opportunity, and anything else in between.

It doesn’t matter if you’re vetting health information, investing in volatile cryptocurrencies, debating a contested issue, fighting a bloody war, or anything else  it will steer you in the right direction much more often than not, which, if used properly, will mean incredible amounts of money, personal growth, and success.

Our Human Limitations on Rationality

To reach the pinnacle of our intellectual potential, we must accept and understand that we are not perfect by nature.

Our brain is not nearly as logical as we’d like to think it is.

This is largely due to the evolution of the brain and the influence of lower structures on our “higher” thoughts. The lower structures of our brain, largely contained in our brainstem and limbic system, evolved first. These structures are meant to keep us alive and control our most important physiological processes, as well as emotion, sensation, memory, and a lot more. They take all priority in our hierarchy of thoughts, especially when we are under physical or emotional duress.

If you’ve ever read a book on persuasion, or if you’ve ever worked as a salesman, you know that logic rarely persuades anyone. Social proof, likeness, returning a gift, a perception of authority, and other basic principles of persuasion matter much more. Great salesmen and other master persuaders know how to take advantage of human nature to persuade their subjects.

So psychologically, we were evolved to survive and think in simpler terms before our “higher thoughts.” And our higher thoughts rationalize our simpler impulses often without us being aware of it. We must be aware of these processes and understand when they happen in ourselves to understand our own limitations.

The Psychology of Belief

As humans, we naturally develop our own mindsets and belief systems over the course of our lifetimes. Our mindset and belief system can either hold us back tremendously, or they take us to another level of personal success and understanding of the world.

Any self-help or get-rich book will tell you that success begins with your mindset. Gorilla Mindset, for instance, sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Countless other books on self-improvement have done the same. Few of us are unfamiliar with this concept, but it’s worth iterating simply because of its importance.

So we know our mindset is critical to personal success. Our mindset is also essential to opening up our minds to reality and our best possible understanding of the world. And our belief system, which is deeply intertwined with the ego, is the fundamental core set of values that develops our mindset.

Our belief system is built on our life experiences, perceived strengths and weaknesses, personally developed biases, and more. Our belief system’s intertwinement with our ego impedes our ability to be as rational as we like to make ourselves out to be. However, if we understand how our egos handicap our logical thinking, we can become much more open-minded and even a bit more logical.

Our ego dictates that we have to find our place in the world and to feel like we’re superior to others somehow. It also seeks to justify the morality of our existence. What we choose to accept and believe is largely determined by the beliefs we invest our ego into.

If we choose to invest our ego into always being perceived as right, or if we are too invested in a belief or person no matter the shortcomings, then we are making a serious mistake. This alone will seriously hamper our understanding of the world as our faulty rationalizations spread throughout our belief system.

But if we are keen listeners and instead “invest” our egos into being open-minded, and if we listen to all sides of any argument, consider our biases, and have a developed eye for when someone is arguing with observable and supportable evidence, then we have taken a critical step towards understanding ourselves and the world around us.

If we can accept that we are imperfect as a reality of the human condition, and therefore we’re not always right about everything, and that our viewpoints of the world can always evolve, then we have gone even further.

And if we consider where our belief system has been developed from, we’ll understand both ourselves and other people significantly better. We’ll clearly see where others are making mistakes because we’ve identified them in our own lives. This ability will be carried with us through almost anything we do in our lives.

Frankly, the advantages of understanding the belief system of others and ourselves are absolutely immense.

Understanding Your Own Belief System

Now that we’ve discussed the psychology of belief, we must understand the importance of vetting our own belief system in order to maximize our intellectual understanding of the world.

Belief systems are developed when we’re young and continue to expand over the course of our lives. Again, our beliefs develop largely from our life experiences, as well as our strengths, fears, and insecurities. Many of our beliefs are firmly implanted in our minds, but if we remain open-minded, they are still capable of dramatic change under the right circumstances.

In general, people rarely adopt belief systems that force them to bite the bullet and truly accept any serious weaknesses. It is much easier and much more common to develop a belief system that overcompensates for one’s shortcomings.

Moreover, the origins of many beliefs are very faulty. We have all fallen into the trap of believing certain statements because we were told them when we were young and have heard them consistently ever since. We are biased towards remembering those statements as “fact” for the rest of our lives — unless we break the chain somehow.

Vladimir Lenin, the communist revolutionary of the Soviet Union, once said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” Psychologists, marketers, politicians, and media moguls all know the implications and power of this reality. People are strongly biased toward believing something that is repeated enough and accepted as common fact.

Many do not even know where many of their beliefs came from until they sit down and examine them. Sometimes the origin of a belief is obvious, sometimes we’re fooling ourselves into thinking it’s obvious, and usually, it takes some serious self-examination. Perhaps the best way to do this is a long autobiographical journal entry, whether you choose to do it on your own or need a little guidance.

If you’ve ever taken the time to examine your own belief system, you will inevitably find that you believed many statements just because you were told them enough when you were younger. It often feels uncomfortable challenging these statements. This is not just because you found out the truth is counter to what you thought you knew, but also because you know that most people will have a difficult time accepting the counter-argument even if you explain it in excellent detail.

It’s not until you later learn that a lot of what you learned your entire life is a deeply interconnected web of lies that you start to realize many of these lessons. It’s especially revealing when you can confidently say you know the truth about a common misconception, and the majority of people don’t believe you and reveal their faulty rationales during the process.

A Faulty Belief System Blocks People From Understanding The World

The importance of a solid belief system is critical — and sorely lacking in the general population.

As many of us know, people’s faulty belief systems hold them back significantly. People have all sorts of personal issues and flaws in their mindsets that hold them back from success and seeing the world for what it is.

Those who develop their belief system around feelings of personal inadequacy have a hard time accepting when reality hits them in the face. These events cause an incredible amount of cognitive dissonance that they cannot overcome. It’s very difficult to accept facts that totally uproot one’s view of the world.

This is an easy argument for humbling yourself and keeping yourself open-minded.

All of the facts in the world will not change a person’s mind if they’re too deeply embedded into a belief system that won’t allow them to accept those facts. Despite humanity’s great access to the greatest treasure chest of information, much of this information becomes useless to them if they maintain this type of faulty mindset.

This is exactly how you don’t want to be.

This reality should also highlight that we were not evolved to be rational; we were evolved to survive. This statement alone explains tribalism, ego protection, and other psychological processes that people use to rationalize their beliefs, as illogical as they may seem, and that we’re all guilty of to varying extents.

On a side note, perhaps the most I’ve learned about the psychology of belief is from Win Bigly by Scott Adams. I wrote a review for it here. TLDR: It is an excellent book that will teach you persuasion, marketing, and psychology with real-world examples from the political events that have occurred over the past two years. This book is very highly recommended if you have any interest in any of these subjects.

But back to the point. If you can understand what makes a solid belief system then you’ll see the many flaws (and occasional strengths) in others’ mindsets. This will enable you to vet them and recognize their talents and belief system more effectively.

We Must Adjust Our Belief System Properly

Because we don’t want to fall into the same traps of others, we need to adjust our belief system properly.

Again, to start, we must understand and accept that we are fundamentally flawed as humans. We must all accept that we are biased on some level. It is virtually impossible to see the world without some type of bias, and our own biases take a lot of personal examination. We are also prone to manipulation from others in many different ways that we must be aware of.

With these limitations in mind, we know the power of belief is essential to life success and peak intellectual understanding.

Thus, our belief system must be well developed. By this, I mean several things:

  • We must seek truth, even if we don’t like to hear all of the facts.
  • We must be able to consciously recognize when both the logic of others and our own logic are faulty.
  • We must develop our mindset around self-improvement rather than inadequacy.
  • We must admit our flaws, give credit to those who are better than us at any given skill,
  • We must examine our strengths, flaws, and biases and understand how they influence our view of the world, and how they can hold us back or even help us arrive at the truth.
  • We must aim to be productive members of society rather than those who leech from it.

If our belief system is centered around inadequacy and our personal biases,  we will lag behind in life. We will see the world through the lens that our mindsets establish, whether purposefully or subconsciously, and we will never understand it for everything it truly has to offer.

And if we don’t believe in our own ability to be successful, then our chances of deliberate success will be very poor.

So we must avoid these errors. Once our belief systems are well pruned, we can begin to see the world for what it is to the best of our abilities. We can greater understand both the flaws and the beauty of humanity, and we can exploit the state of the modern world to our advantage.

How To Exploit The Modern World To Your Advantage

Civilizations that existed in periods of prosperity have typically been known for an attitude that their civilization is the best to ever exist. This, I believe, is because of the combination of novelty and prosperity during any given era.

There are definitive upsides to our civilization today, but it’s clear to any man with his eyes open that there are many issues that must be sorted out.

On the downside, as most of us know, we’re surrounded by Cultural Marxism, which seeks to destroy all of the values that we traditionally hold as men. Men are weaker than ever and women are more masculine. We’re engulfed in a society that seeks to keep us as low testosterone wage slaves. And most importantly, there’s undoubtedly a global system to suppress humanity from its true potential at the benefit of the elites.

We grew up with this reality, and our beliefs have been affected by it significantly, in most cases. It’s normal to be very pissed off when we finally realize how deep we’ve been drowned in the sea of lies.

But as men, we must be practical. We must understand the negatives of our world but not dwell on them. We must exploit the upsides while taking every step to eliminate the negative effects of modern society on our personal lives.

So let’s look at the upsides of living in today. For starters, our standard of living has never been higher. Although there are many health concerns — such as the prevalence of chronic disease, processed foods and toxins in our environment that have only been introduced in the last several decades, medical technology is better than ever and continues to advance. If we take care of our health and vitality, we can live very long healthy lives. And, again, our easy access to the world’s treasure chest of knowledge can improve our lives dramatically if we utilize it properly.

We’ve never been more connected to experts in any field imaginable. Any subject you want to learn about — weightlifting, foreign languages, picking up women, it doesn’t matter — you can easily find experts online or in person that will gladly give you their information typically for your attention, email address, or money. It is much easier for us to be very well versed in more fields than it ever was for our ancestors.

You can focus on self-improvement for almost all of your waking hours for many years. In terms of learning knowledge and skills, you have a competitive advantage over almost any man in history — even most of mankind’s greatest thinkers.

This is true for several reasons. The first reason is that humanity has been around longer, so knowledge has been around longer to develop. We know much more about fields such as science, physics, and nutrition than past generations.

The second reason, once again, is because of our easy access to this information because of easy world travel, mass publishing, and the internet.

And with social media, we can contact many experts in their leading fields directly if we are adept at getting their attention. We’ve never been more directly connected than we have been today.

Think about all of this. Think about the potential all of this means to maximize ourselves far beyond what our ancestors ever could.

One of the Greatest Paradoxes of Our Era

With all of this said, I can now introduce one of the greatest paradoxes of our era.

Despite humanity’s easiest access to the world’s treasure chest of information than at any point in history, there has perhaps never been more attempts to repress the understanding and the will to comprehend this information.

But instead of entirely blocking the access to this information, the government, media, and major tech companies aim to misdirect and divide us.

Globalists attempt to divide the population by sex, race, social class, and more. They exploit humanity’s natural compassion for people of lesser means to conjure support for welfare and third world immigration, and then they exploit the differences of the groups helped by that compassion to cause division and hatred between the immigrants and the native citizens.

And masculinity is attacked at its core because it is a threat to the ruling elite. Whether it’s an intentional conspiracy or not, the soy and xenoestrogens in the food and environment dramatically lower the average man’s testosterone levels. Men with low testosterone levels are more docile and accepting of the world around them. They are much more likely to be puppets for their overlords.

Many are now open to this reality and understand it, but many are not.

But for those of us whose eyes are open, we aren’t fooled by this anymore. We have access to almost any information we want. We can easily find out about countless government scandals and manipulative lies if we do a quick search on a search engine, or if we just connect with the right people either in person or on sites such as Twitter.

But with that said, the elite are weaseling their way into blocking this information little by little. The tech giants of Google, Twitter, Facebook, and many others have been forcing the globalist agenda into their platforms. Censorship is occurring, and they’re trying to be sneaky about it.

Fortunately, the discontent created by their actions has created a new market developing new players who aim for a censorship-free internet. It may take years for the tides to truly shift on these big tech companies, but blowback is occurring. Such is the beauty of capitalism and human ingenuity.

Throughout human history, men have always had to navigate the lies they have been told throughout their lives. False flag attacks, phony facts, appeals to tribalism and ego, and just general lies have all been used throughout human history to manipulate men.

However, today may very well be among the worst periods in human history in terms of misinformation. With information, overload comes misinformation overload.

As Red Pill men, we have at least broken through the first barrier of the sea of lies.

It is up to us to take it further. We must break through our biases, develop a powerful mindset and skillset, travel the world and acquire real-world experience, and seek knowledge and truth at any cost to our own egos in order to reach the pinnacle of our intellectual potential.

And once we accomplish this incredible feat, we are almost unstoppable at achieving the greatest goals imaginable.

Put This All Together To Take Your Life to the Highest Level

No matter what our goals are, there have never been more resources available to aid us in our success. It’s up to us to set our belief system and mindset in the right direction and act upon the world with intent. Let those who don’t fall behind while we hit the next level as men.

And what is that next level?

True intellectual balance — and eventual mastery of any element of our lives that we desire to master.

The right to say we’ve lived our lives as much as possible — whether we chase wisdom, knowledge, masculinity, hedonism, or all of the above.

And to experience the world for everything it has to offer, to taste the true fruits of masculinity, and to reach the pinnacle of understanding the world to the best of our human abilities.

Not many can say that they’ve traveled the world, become as free as possible, and chased a world full of knowledge and adventure.

This open, balanced, in-depth intellectual understanding of the world, when combined with motivation and drive, will lead us to accomplish the many goals that we set our minds to.

Imagine what humanity would look like today if the entire world took this perspective. Imagine if our nations were unimpeded by the government to freely advance technology. Imagine if over 50% of the product of our labor were not stolen by the government. Imagine if Western Civilization maintained the values that led it to become so prosperous.

Imagine all of these things, combined with today’s technology and information. It’s a pipe dream, sure, but it puts the world in context for you.

Whether you decide to look at this from a societal perspective or a personal perspective, you’re one man. You can change your own life by taking these principles into account. You can touch the lives of others by sharing your experience and wisdom and inviting others into creating a life of meaning.

And if you develop the six branches of your tree of knowledge and wisdom, you will have successfully taken much more time than most men, alive or dead, in developing their experience, mindset, intelligence, self-understanding, skills, and worldly wisdom. This will create an incredible power within you.

It is only then you can say you’ve reached a place that few men have reached — the true pinnacle of intellectual understanding.

Conclusion

I hope this article taught you something new and/or expanded your understanding of the world in some way.

If this article is well received, I will write another on helping you examine your own cognitive biases and thinking outside of the box. Until then, if you’re interested in is subject, read Why Escaping Your Echo Chamber Is Essential to Your Growth over at Western Mastery.

Thank you to Gentleman Jak for giving me the opportunity to contribute to A King’s Castle.

PS: If you’re like me, you probably play musical chairs with all the Red Pill sites out there, so if you want to stay updated with my content and you use Twitter, it’s probably easiest to follow me on Twitter at @WesternMastery.

You can also visit Western Mastery and either bookmark the page and/or sign up for the email list on the top right of the site to get all of my new articles sent directly to your email address with no gimmicks or spam.

PS: I chose to contribute to A King’s Castle for several reasons. The primary reason is because of the sizeable community it has built up. I’d like to know what this article taught you, and what you thought of it. Agree, disagree, or anything else — let’s hear it.

 

Author: Joe Luger

Joe Luger is the owner of Western Mastery, a site based on logic, autodidactism, masculinity, self-improvement, and freedom. Follow him on Twitter at @westernmastery and visit Western Mastery at http://www.westernmastery.com