Monday, May 28, 2007

Reticular Activation System -- Following The Yellow Brick Road

One of the trippest things about constant self-actualization is the whole "Reticular Activation System" phenomenon.

What is Reticular Activation System?? Well first, it's a big mouthful of a word like Real Social Dynamics.

But it's even more than that...... :)

Basically, RAS is what filters out information you don't need and focuses in on what you DO -- so that you're able to tune into the things that are both most valuable and most threatening to you, and keep yourself alive.

Is there something valuable around like a hot girl or your favourite food?

RAS tunes into it...

Did you hear a gun shot go off?

RAS tunes into that too.......

Incidentally, while writing The Blueprint I spent about 6 weeks working through explaining RAS only to later FIND OUT that it had already been identified, explained, and even given a name (RAS) by other psychologists.

I knew it existed because when I talk to a girl and I have more value than the guy she's with, she'll tune him out and focus in on me.

Even if he yells over me so that I can't hear myself talk, the girl will somehow be able to hear the frequency of what I'm saying and blank out the obnoxious guy.

Seriously, this stuff is sooooooooo weird, but once you recognize it you'll find yourself seeing it constantly.

Again, it's RAS that makes you suddenly start constantly noticing it......

Anyway, the whole RAS thing is also why the rule of focus on what you want, not on what you don't want is so massively, utterly important.

When you're focused on what you want, your RAS eventually leads you to find the solution.

In my case, learning the whole "success with women" journey has been about a five year personal odyssey.

I'd constantly have all sorts of crippling sticking points that I couldn't find my way around. Maybe I could get attraction but not a phone number. Maybe a number but not a second meet. Later it became getting girls home but I could never seal the deal.

And all that, to be honest, was the least of it.......

I also had goals like learning to be more chilled out, positive thinking, and natural. That was even more difficult, but it allowed me to become a "natural" with women who really *does* very little when I talk to them other than just to *be* who I am.

Beyond success with women, there was also the personal odyssey of writing my book. With the book I was constantly circling around various concepts, unable to figure out the missing pieces.

It almost drove me to the brink of insanity on some nights......

Funny enough, a lot of the answers I came to were ALREADY OUT THERE and fairly well known by lots of people. I'd just never previously been aware of them.

Take the concept of "ego" for example.

I had all these principles and definitions laid out, like "situational confidence" and "response junkies" and "external pillars of reality" -- and constantly circled around them trying to find the link between all of them.

This tee-ed up the old "RAS" and finally lead me to the concept of "ego" -- which tied everything together for me in a way that went "click" in my brain.

The day that I finally, finally, finally, finally "GOT" what an ego was, I linked all the concepts together and had a fucking barn-burner meltdown spiritual epiphany.

I basically laughed my ass off for like four days straight, and f-ing KILLED IT in the nightclubs. I can't tell you how weird this was.

Later my ego started to take grip again because I couldn't process that all the noise that had been in my head for years and years had just disappeared, and my brain started to go hay-wire.

I got super stressed and became ill for a few days, and then later snapped out of it and landed at a sort of middle point between my previous state and my best one.

At that point I started seeking out books that could help me to backwards-engineer what it was that I'd been through.

What did I find??

Eckhart Tolle and various other authors who were already out there, articulating what I'd experienced in vivid detail.

See, it was the same with the book "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand, which taught me the necessary creative mindsets I'd need to reach a higher level with my book.

I only FOUND these absolutely vital resources because I knew what I wanted, and RAS eventually pointed me in the right direction.

Personally I have full faith that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to accomplish, EVEN IF YOU HAVEN'T THE SLIGHTEST CLUE OF HOW YOU'LL DO SO, just so long as you focus on WHAT YOU WANT and put yourself in a position where have absolutely no choice but to succeed.

In my case, I'll travel to different locations and put myself into various situations to keep stimulating my brain with new input until it finds the answers or creative inspirations that it needs.

As long as the "RAS" is dialed properly, I just bombard with outside-the-box input until something clicks.

That's also why I advise people who are supremely dedicated towards accomplishing a personal goal to travel and get as much new mental input as humanly possible.

It's often during these experiences that people find their "missing piece"........

I've always got SOMETHING I'm working on. Something edgy. Something fun.

The process I'm talking about here -- it's the process that I have TOTAL FAITH IN in order to get this stuff done.

Of course, this stuff isn't always the most comfortable. When there's something I really want, I oftentimes find my brain feeling like it's a computer about to overheat and explode.

My thoughts will just go and go compulsively, even waking me up in the middle of the night, until the challenge has worked itself out.

It's something I've had to learn to harness over time, as well as to redirect outwardly so the process is mostly "outside of my head" and done "in the moment" rather than using up all my mental energy.

Is this making sense?? Maybe it warrants another article.

Anyway, it's not always easy.........

But hey, I've really haven't got much else better to do... My mind craves stimulation and experiences, and life is just so damned short.



Anonymous said...

I wanna meet you in first person, you have the strongest knowledge ot the reality that i ever seen.If i have an hpapy life now it's only for your work...Thanks for the light

Anonymous said...

how do u do this shit man!!!
every time i read one of these things i get so damn geed up!! YEEEESSS!!

I've just been inspirationalised once again by the big TD!!!

This shit happens every damn week!

Bigtime said...

Is this the same thing as when somebody decides that they want a certain red car, and then starts seeing that car 340475802 times a day?

Do you have any recommendations for when you know what you want logically (i.e. getting good with women, being healthy...) and think about it a lot of the time, but self sabotage tends to draw your focus to counter-productive things?

Thanks in advance bro!

Good article, btw. Cannot wait for the Blueprint London SC!!

Anonymous said...

does this same system work in regards to physical abilities, like sports or creative arts for example do u rkn tyler?

Zee said...

It warrants another article! seriously im looking forward to the next one...I can relate with the illness after epiphanies...and then getting to a state of inbetween...whats next...where to...what now...
keep rolling i tell myself! Theres more mental stimulation ahead...I have to prepare? make sense?
Eckhart Tolle took me I felt away from the PUA community into another vast depth that I so needed to address..being in the now..flowering of my human have inspired me dig deeper into my own personal struggle.
Good article! Zee

Anonymous said...

Any good books on the RAS? I know Tony Robbins talks about it. What have you found?

Diplomat said...

Cool man. Fucking cool.

Anonymous said...

took your comment virginity =) wohoo :D

Anonymous said...

Hey TD,

interesting post, as usual. Can you write an article with your thoughts on the more esoteric aspects of the game?

I mean sometimes there is just weird stuff going on when you are there infield pulling chicks. I think there is stuff beyond the Reticular Activation System.

What about the projection of energy? Haven't you ever gotten attraction by just your vibe and without even having talked to the girl?

Sometimes you can have gamed a chick even before you approach her and then it's just a matter of walking up and not breaking the vibe and you will get laid very soon. I'm sure you have had this also happen in field. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this.


Reggy said...

I became aware of Reticular Activation System along with goal setting, affirmations and stuff like that about 8 years ago, on a (pretty good) programme called Investment in Excellence.

However, it's only very recently with a pressing need to sort my life out, and discovering resources like RSD, that a lot of it has 'kicked in' and started making sense in my life. Thanks for helping me make all these connections. Looking forward to The Blueprint, very much.

Anonymous said...

great article, cant wait for the book!

james said...

great blog, cant wait for the book.

Jonathan said...

Tyler, have you discovered Ken Wilber? His books cover some of the same issues that Tolle covers, but with much more detail, precision, and awareness of the "past work" (on issues like ego, consciousness, and awareness) from the world's empirical spiritual traditions (not to be confused with faith-based religion--people who automatically discredit anything "religious," like me, should give this stuff a chance).

If you want to deepen the ideas from Tolle, Wilber's "One Taste" is a nice starting point. I also like his "Grace and Grit," which on the surface looks like a cancer memoir (Wilber's wife Treya died of it), but transcends the whiny memoir form entirely while including a lot of good theory too. I know that you will like this book, because Treya Wilber's mindset (toward the end) has much in common with yours.

I have personally had satori-like experiences (like Tolle describes) from reading Wilber's descriptions of spiritual practices in these two books. Some of these practices resemble things you've discussed in this blog.

Max said...

Yo Tyler nice article again it has been my experience that RAS IS the real deal.

Sometimes I wonder HOW I was guided to the success I have got, or WHAT IT IS EXACTLY that IS guiding me to what I want in the future, that deeper, more wise intuition, that is given power when I focus on what I want.

Its some real shit, and its given me in the last 8 months more success than I've ever imagined I could have

YseUp said...

I think I first heard about the RAS at an NLP course..

It's amazing to think that that the information your eyes get is processed in parts of your brain that deal with things like emotions before you get a picture of the outside world.

Did you cover any of these ideas in your undergrad course?

JG said...

Awesome bro. RSD is about so much more than pick-up. I can't wait for the Blueprint.

Michael said...

I like this a lot

Anonymous said...

I liked the article. Tought it was A bit 'light'(.. but yeah good stuff.
I've always loved the whole concept of focus and ras, The power of your focus is just sooo powerfull its crazy.

Thats why guys like tony robbins are always talking about asking yourself the right questions, because what you ask is where you put your focus, and your focus directs your RAS.

anyway.. what really caught my attention was this

I oftentimes find my brain feeling like it's a computer about to overheat and explode.

My thoughts will just go and go compulsively, even waking me up in the middle of the night, until the challenge has worked itself out.

It's something I've had to learn to harness over time, as well as to redirect outwardly so the process is mostly "outside of my head" and done "in the moment" rather than using up all my mental energy.

dude this is very interesting, i have this very same issue... my mind will run overtime its constantly working its crazy and its driven me almost crazy a couple of times where it felt like its out of controll.

Overtime i learnt to better deal with it. I took on journaling and i write all my toughts off of me so to speak, i recycle foggy concepts and keep writing about them as they fill my head,looking at them from different sides untill i get clarity on it and all the useless tought processes stop because i get it and i now have a clear cut concept.

But its still runnin overtime, i have lots of times where i dont wanna talk to people i wanna think and write.. or i'l have small epiphanies in the middle of a conversation and i'l retract because i need to write it down or think about it further while i have it fresh.

It was also a challenge for me to kind of create a balance between massive thinking witch is introverted and an in your head activity. And just being super social witch i also am... witch is about being in the moment hitting that talkative flow state.. and switching off, just flip to outside your head and having fun.

However the balance is still unstable.
I have lots of other struggles with this.. I'd be very interested to hear about your experiences with harnessing this and directing it outwards, as you put it.

Because unlike you i still oftentime have it taking up all or most of my mental capacity and processing power.
Balancing thinking with socialising n having fun is also a bitch.
Thing is though im not some introverted nerd or geek , im a social outgoing cool cat --- with(what seems to be) a thinking addiction and a strong desire to grasp things, wrap my head around shit and figure shit out. Especially concearning social dynamics self actualisation and psychology.

I'd love to get your take on this or hear you talk more about this and how you handle it for yourself.
Not alot of people seem to be able to relate to this.


- Fluid

Anonymous said...

I've noticed this RAS as well. When I focused on Same Night Lay's (SNL) I could walk into a place and pick out the girls who were down. After I verified my hunches in-field I now can teach others what to look for...

I could also pick out the girls most likely to be boyfriend hunting.

Great article. Can't wait for the book.

Same stuff happens in business, too. When I need a business solution I hold it lightly in mind for a few days and almost like magic the solution comes to my attention.

~ Captain Jack ~

Anonymous said...

i know what you mean about how wierd it is when you find that missing piece, or that idea youve had all your life has already been given a name and you were just never aware of it

keep it coming tyler


Dan said...

I just had an rsdgasm... I love this topic.

Anonymous said...

good read, helpin the rsd boys out.

akara said...

Hey Tyler.

My RAS is kicking in as I wrap up uni and focus on what I want in life. I find people and relationships interesting, but that's only part of the bigger picture.

Have just finished listening to Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad. I know you read plenty, and am discussing with friends which of his concepts are true. I'm sure you have thoughts on all-round success and the road there, and would love for you to share them.

Cheers man,


akara said...

PS. To my previous comment

I've heard it said "never trust anyone who claims to have found the truth..." and my subjective view of Kiyosaki is that he's claiming authority on wealth.

My RAS is on a feeding frenzy, I read, plan, and do to find what I'm going for.

Sharktooth said...

I really think you are on to something. The 'ego' wants to take credit for your pickups. It wants to think 'my lines' 'my routines' are the only reason this girl is talking to you. But the truth is anytime I've had a meaningful connection with a woman it has been because I escaped my head, the fear, and just went with it.

Anonymous said...

A quick note on visualization for the people who don't know shit about it. Its like THE way to programm your RAS.

You have the subconscious mind which constitutes to 5/6 of your total brain power.

You have the conscious mind, this is your thought patterns.

And you have the RAS

All the information thats coming in first goes towards the RAS and gets filtered through your beliefs and expectations. Than its fed towards both the sub and conscious mind, the filtered information goes towards your subconscious mind.

The next part of the puzzle is that the RAS gets programmed by the (sub)conscious mind.

The interesting thing is that the subconscious can't see the difference between a imagination and real life.

So if you visualize a event happening the subconscious brain recognizes it as something thats happening right now. If you repeat this often enough it will shape the subconscious mind to the point that it becomes the mind to accomplish the goal. So if you imagine death and destruction, thats what you'll become. If you imagine moneyyy and wealth thats what you'll become eventually.

This is also the reason why I absolutely hate television, your reprogramming your brain to look for death and destruction (just look at the news) and thats NOT something I want hehe.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah forget, if you want to quite down the running mind perhaps try some form of meditation. ;)

CraC said...

ur crazy in a good way

Anonymous said...

wow man.. I KNOW what ur saying.. after 10 minutes of no mind, when the mind returns, its like HUGE fucking depression. the only thing that keeps me up is knowledge that I can accses the now, Also beeing in the moment, i dicovered one thing, NEVER think about what ur gonna say, NEVER, that just leeds failure, never got succses with a deeply logical mindset.

Thanks , great article, as always.
Im glad u got better.

$Matteo said...

Hmm, I think you have the Reticular Activation System wrong.

My understanding is its the system that switches control between your Limbic System (Fight or Flight panicked response behavior) and your Cerebral Cortex (calm rational thinking). They don't work together too well.

Diet helps keep the switch functioning right..


Anonymous said...

things end up owning you

thats the description of a transtorn called
is an anxiety disorder
origined in the obsesive part of the mind
thats why the guy in fight club
shots himself and everything go back to normality

Machismo said...

awesome post!

It would be awesome to have aother post about some practical stuff we can do, and beliefs to install in your next article!


Tyler -- Real Social Dynamics said...


Actually the guy in the picture is KEVIN TRUDEAU -- IMO literally the worst info-marketer in all of history.