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Exploring the Shadow – “Dark Game”

I. The Left Hand and the Right


In some ways, game as a whole is perceived as “taboo” by modern society.


Besides fashion, grooming, wealth, and genetic looks, most people turn their nose up at any systematic and conscious attempt to hook up with more or higher quality women than one “should.” “It should happen naturally,” they say. “Be yourself,” they say.


In this way, game will always be somewhat esoteric.


Before I was interested in game, I studied psychology and actual esoteric religion. The Gnostic Gospels, the Dead Sea scrolls, the Yogas of Naropa, Aleister Crowley, Enochian magick… you name it. If someone didn’t want me to read it, I sought it out.


Most of these esoteric or occult religious texts are extremely dangerous to the orthodoxy. Throughout history they are met with extreme prejudice (killing/hanging/stoning, witch hunts, ostracization, etc) or disbelief (conspiracy theories and assertions that magic isn’t “real” come to mind).


Unsurprisingly, game shares much of the same reactions from mainstream society.


Within religious thought, specifically esoteric religious thought, there are two “paths,” known as the Left-Hand Path (LHP) and the Right-Hand Path. Broadly speaking, they can be divided by dark vs. light (left-handedness being equated with the devil historically), occult vs. orthodox, and positive vs. “negative” (more on that later).


The RHP essentially consists of asceticism (giving up or abstaining from excess and sensory pleasures, such as sex and drugs), devotion to purity and sanctity, and strict codes of behavior. Most major Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) fall into this category. Think – extreme guilt at sexual feelings, self-flagellation and discipline, punishment for falling into one’s “baser” self, etc.

Power in the right-hand path consists of suppressing the ego and emotions, restricting your baser desires, and becoming in tune with the world such that outside events do not affect you.


In contrast, the LHP (as much as it is a unified body – which it isn’t) has been preoccupied with the exploration of the “taboo,” pushing things to their extremes or limits in order to attain ecstasy and dissolution of the self, through methods like trance, drugs, sex, and more. Tantra, hallucinogens, traditional or modern nature-, mother-, and cow-cults and religion, Hedonism, and Chogyam Trungpa – the ordained Tibetan Buddhist lama who did cocaine, drove sports cars, and held orgies – are all great examples of the LHP in action.


Power in the left-hand path consists of channeling the ego and your emotions like a tool, embracing your baser desires and utilizing your will to affect the world as you please.


So while game itself can be seen in some ways as “left-hand” from the perspective of general society, even within game itself, there exists both a left- and right-handed path.


II. The Penumbra of Game


Much time and attention is spent these days on self-improvement, becoming a well-rounded social guy, leaving women with positive experiences, and not being tossed around by your ego. This is all very important stuff to consider, and plays a huge role in helping guys fix their mindset and become successful with women.




(there’s always a but, isn’t there?)


What about the things which don’t fit into this package of sunshine and joy? This neat little narrative of “let’s all be positive and grow together”?


What about the fact that women like and enjoy very dominant men, even if those men don’t treat them particularly well (or even BECAUSE they don’t treat them particularly well)?


What about the fact that some women serially date criminals, psychopaths, and guys who abuse them mentally and physically?


What about guys who check their girlfriends’ phones and restrict them from going out to meet friends (quite common in Japan!)? Or when girls WANT you to be jealous and controlling. I value freedom and honesty, so it took me a long time to figure out that me telling the girl “You can do what you want… see other people if you want” was in many cases NOT what she wanted to hear?


What about girls who routinely lie about their previous sex partners, whereabouts, plans, etc?


What about the multitude of female manipulation and misdirection which takes place in the sexual marketplace?




Let me be absolutely crystal clear.


I do not condone in any way psychologically manipulating people to do things that is not in their best interest/damaging to them, any sort of domestic violence or abuse, or anything of the like. These things are bad for a reason. If you know anyone who is abusing anyone else, you should report that person or do what you can to stop it.




There is a shadow region, between what is clearly evil and what is clearly good.


There are ways to utilize your own emotions, like anger, rage, jealousy, etc. to achieve your goals (I know I certainly have in the past). For example, taking a recent breakup as fuel to push yourself extra hard in the gym and/or approach a ton of women.


There are cases in which the right thing to do is not always what that person immediately wants. Imagine, for example, you have a child and they want dessert before dinner. Are you going to just give them everything they want? What about your drug addict friend who wants one more hit?


What about in the club when some random bro comes up and tries to steal the chick you’ve met away from you? You can bet being all “laissez-faire” and unaffectedly happy is going to leave you girl-less (depending on the girl, of course). Guys with solid game will happily pull her away if you give them an inch of space.


Ultimately, life isn’t super neat and trimmed. Not all negative emotions are necessarily weak or toxic. Some girls (especially the hottest!) respond very well to certain kinds of negative emotions, used correctly.


Now don’t go out there yelling at girls and raging on them. 99% of the time, that’s weak behavior. But there is that 1%. Anger CAN be strength, but it need be channeled correctly.


In the end, the left-hand path means exploring and destroying things which society (or even the “Game hegemony”) sees as sacred. If anything gets canonized and codified too strictly, it’s time to start considering where its flaws are.


III. Chaos Game


There’s an old Zen koan which goes,


“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”


The idea of a koan is to provide a sentence or question which is designed to inspire an entire mental and spiritual journey within the listener. It shouldn’t be answered too easily, and indeed, if it is, it’s likely not the right answer. The internal meditation sparked by the question is the point of the question, not the answer.


You might recognize another, perhaps the most famous koan – “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”


The student would head off, sit in meditation, and ponder the koan until he came to some answer. Gathering his bravery, he’d head back to the master, and present his findings. More often than not, he’d simply be whacked with a cane and told to meditate more, for that wasn’t the right answer.


“One hand clapping? If the whole world is one united field of energy, who is there to experience it?” Whack.


So back to our koan about killing the Buddha. Who would want to kill the Buddha? He is, after all, about as close to a god as the Buddhists come. Surely, we’d want to sit and listen to his teachings and soak up his wisdom, not kill him?


One interpretation of this koan is that there should be no sacred cows – nothing so sacred and holy that it is beyond interpretation, beyond questioning.


You could almost read this as a left-hand path koan, a little mental virus to needle doubt into the minds of the most devout literalists.


And so too does it apply to game. This is one foundational cornerstone of Chaos Game.


What exactly IS “Chaos Game?” What are its teachings?


That, my friends, is a tale for another day.


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