I have a female friend who works in mental health. All day, everyday she is conducting interviews, assessments and site visits for problem families. Everyday she is wallowing in the filth of society’s dregs: junkies, alcoholics, wife-beaters, husband-beaters, child abusers. In her spare time she reads books about famous serial killers or Silence of the Lambs type fiction about serial killers and for TV watches Eastenders. This is a woman who thoroughly enjoys an environment filled with human scum.
I have another female friend who works in fashion. All day, everyday she is at fittings, castings and catwalk shows. Everyday she is engaged in the superficial concerns of styling, hairdressing and make-believe images of beauty, surrounded by homosexual men, vapid models, chancer agents and none of them capable of turning up on time for an appointment nor getting through the day without at least one hissy-fit. This woman deals with such shallow characters by retreating into her thoughts and reading books during breaks.
I work in the banking industry in a job where I’m in constant contact with senior management and team leaders in highly technical fields. I live in a house full of friends in one of London’s nicer areas. I socialise in entertainment hubs such as Soho and Covent Garden. So I’m waking up every morning in a nice house in a nice area and chatting to some carefully-selected friends over breakfast. I shuttle into work on the rush hour commuter train with other gainfully employed people, arriving in the City – a concentration of high-earning high-skilled law-abiding tax payers. All day I deal with highly intelligent men with solid upper-tier university educations and 10+ years of dedicated career experience. These men are typically well groomed, in decent shape and take great satifaction from the job responsibilities they hold and the daily exercise of their hard-won skillset.
These are examples of what I call cocooning, a fundamental tool in reality weaving. The first example shows strange priorities but she’s crafted the environment that gives her pleasure. The second example is a failure to cocoon and it brings her down, forcing defensive behaviour on a daily basis. The later is done well to my priorities.
Cocooning: Structuring your social environment so you only come into contact with the people you like in situations which bring out their best.
London is a multi-cultural socialist cesspit yet it also contains some of the world’s best and brightest. If you can organise your life so you never need engage with (or even see) the capital’s scum then you are not dragged down by them. A wise man said you are the average of the five people you spend most time with. True. You are what you eat. True. Additionally, you take on the colour of your surroundings. Once of humanity’s greatest adaptative strengths is our ability to mold ourselves to the environment and at the same time symbiotically shape it to our needs. That’s why eskimo kids grow up loving snow while Brazilian kids love football.
Reality weaving means structuring your reality to constantly reinforce the identity you want, the emotions you want, so right action becomes effortless. Consider some “big issue” choices you can make:
Accommodation: Do you want a bigger apartment in a shitty part of town or a small room in a nice part? Both are acceptable but consider the implications. The bigger apartment is suitable if you expect to spend most of your downtime there as a commuter dormitory and are willing to pimp it up. If you like to go outside and hang out with your neighbours you’ll lean towards the smaller room.
Workplace: We don’t all get to choose our employer but often you’ll be sitting on a few job offers and the company culture differs. Say you’re an IT programmer. Do you want to work in a fast-paced investment bank surrounded by the elite minds of your industry and high levels of professionalism, an office where you take lunch in a City enclave like Paul or M&S. Or perhaps you prefer to be a top guy in a team of mongs knowing you’ll get an easy ride and less stress, but you’ll have to take lunch alone rather than listen to prattling office gossip. It’s a choice.
Entertainment: This is an easy fix. Channel hopping through cable for prole shows like X-Factor, Britains Next Top Mong and Jeremy Kyle will invite sloth and degeneracy into your mind. I like to absorb cultural products that involve special people achieving special things even if that’s just Jack Bauer being very good at smoking terrorists. Entertainment that creates its dramatic tension by having mediocre people fucking up or vomiting up the dreary minutae of their dreary lives dulls me into apathy.
Travel: We live in an age where we can easy forage far and wide. I used to quip “I only go out drinking when I’m in a foreign country”. You may decide to place your work cocoon in a high-pay/high-cost environment such as London and set up social cocoons in low-pay/low-cost environments such as Latvia and Bulgaria. A typical partying weekend in London could easily be:
- Beers after work: £20
- Club Entry: £20
- Cocktails: £40
- Curry: £30
- Taxi home: £20
- Total: £130
That’s not even extravagant but it’s £130 to go to shitty bars full of unpleasant unattractive women and be subject to the mongs and immigrants of the general poplace. It’s just as easy to spend the weekend as:
- Flight to Zadar: £50
- Transfers: £20
- Airbnb room: £20
- Drinks: £30
- Food: £10
- Total: £130
Same price but you’ve travelled to a monoculture in a civilised country with beautiful women and pleasant environs. Each to his own, but that’s what I prefer.
There’s no rocket science in cocooning. Most of us already tend towards it through our daily preferences. I’d just say be aware how powerful a self-aware engagement with these principles can be as choices arise and you do occasional cocooning audits of your life to map out where you are relative to where you wish to be.