APPENDIX I: RELATIONSHIP BOOKS FOR ALL LEVELS/COLORS
Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.
~ Marcel Proust ~
In this appendix we evaluate selected relationship books from an Integral perspective. The reviewed authors support singles and/or couples with a certain Kosmic Address (altitude + perspective) with advice for getting the love they want, either by manipulating the opposite sex, effectively dealing with gender differences, better translation (balancing and harmonizing the four polarities) at their current altitude, and/or transformation to the next higher level of consciousness.
For example, books for red take an upper right-hand perspective, objectify the opposite sex, and outline how to “exploit her psyche,” “catch a millionaire,” “apply manipulative rules,” or see “men as scum and women as stupid.”
Advice for amber singles and couples usually focuses on acceptance (versus transcendence) of gender differences in the lower right-hand quadrant, such as John Gray’s Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus series of books or Alison Armstrong’s Making Sense of Men , or focus on secrets and principles that make marriages last, such as Gregory K. Popcak’s The Exceptional Seven Percent: The Nine Secrets of the World’s Happiest Couples or John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
Authors in orange either rationalize love with brain-activities and hormonal processes in the upper right, such as Helen Fisher’s Why We Love, or favor psychological and behavioral measures in the two lower quadrants to overcome relationship conflicts—typically by instructing workaholic men to become more emotionally available, and women to heal their emotional scars and support their partner to give them what they want, e.g., Harville Hendrix’s Getting the Love You Want or David Schnarch’s classic Passionate Marriage .
Green writers tend to address the unconscious and spiritual dimensions in the upper left-hand quadrant to empower singles and couples to use their relationship conflicts for deeper psychological healing and spiritual insights that allow them to move towards unconditional love (e.g., John Welwood’s Love and Awakening , Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons’ Undefended Love , or Joyce and Barry Vissell’s The Heart’s Wisdom ).
Most self-help relationship books are written by therapists and coaches who view committed partnerships as essential for healthy personality development and promise that their particular approach will have a high success rate in resolving relationship problems. 482 As long as we keep in mind that everybody is right from their own view, and put the advice of each book into an Integral context, we can appreciate its content as a contribution to our deeper understanding of the entire territory of love relationships, and choose the material that best supports us in our own
healing and growth work, and understanding of our partner.
Please note that the page numbers that are specified in the reviews below refer to the American paperback editions of the books, unless otherwise noted. If you have a different edition, the page numbers may slightly vary.
BOOKS FOR RED SINGLES
The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, is the infamous bestseller (2,000,000 copies sold) that teaches women how to manipulate “Mr. Right” to become obsessed with her by playing hard to get (page 6). The first suggested step in the plot is for women to do everything they can to look their best, by eating right, getting into shape, wearing sexy clothes, growing long hair, undergoing plastic surgery, and being feminine (pages 15-21). What follows are 35 rules, 483 such as #4 don’t meet him halfway or go Dutch on a date, #5 don’t call him and rarely return his calls, #6 always end phone calls first, #7 don’t accept a Saturday night date after Wednesday, #11 always end the date first, #13 don’t see him more than once or twice a week, #16 don’t tell him what to do, #18 don’t expect a man to change or try to change him, #30 Next!—how to deal with being dumped, #31 don’t discuss the rules with your therapist, #34 love only those who love you, and #35 be easy to live with. The Rules assumes that men want to pursue women and will become bored and eventually lose interest if she is too
available or seems to pursue him. By following The Rules , the authors (one of them got divorced in 2001) promise marriage in the shortest time possible to a man whom they love and who loves them back even more. This right-hand approach objectifies men and manipulates them in an egocentric manner.
The Pickup Artist: The New and Improved Art of Seduction is the playbook of the infamous living-large playboy and pickup/seduction artist Mystery, who is portrait in Neil Strauss’s New York Times bestseller The Game (see below). Pickup artists generally strive for better short-term sexual and romantic success with as many attractive women (who are rated by their looks from 1-10) as possible through self-improvement and exploitation of their selfish psyche. The general assumption is that women like to be approached and seduced by relaxed, carefree, confident, happy, smiling, playful, and entertaining alpha males. By making seduction of women into an art—which requires knowledge, skill, and practice—an AFC (Average Frustrated Chump) can become a successful PUA (Pick-Up Artist). The book features an extensive glossary (page 239) that explains many of the PUA’s acronyms.
The basic strategy is “find, meet, attract, and close” or FMAC (page xviii). Step one is to identify places with lots of beautiful women (clubs, bars, malls, museums, concerts, etc.). Step two requires men to overcome natural nervousness and to approach as many targets as possible, from a 45-degree angle within three seconds of seeing them, and to strike up a situational conversation or use a prepared pickup line. Step three involves conveying a personality that provides added value to the target (see list on page 179) by doing 80% of the talking (page 184) and performing certain magic and ESP tricks. Since 9s and 10s—the PUA’s goal—get hit on by men all the time, they are initially ignored or slightly insulted (Are these nails real or fake? Have you noticed that your nose wiggles in a funny way when you talk? Is she always that demanding? – see list on page 201), while 8s and below get positive attention (see summary pages 152-153). This supposedly motivates the “bombshell” to pursue the PUA through some reverse psychology, sometimes called “the negative close.” Objects who respond negatively are abandoned as quickly as possible(even PUA’s get rejected 90% of the time—so it is a numbers game), women who send positive signals (smile, touch their hair, respond to physical
touch) get touched and are asked for a kiss to test their willingness. Step four involves isolating the target if she was in a group of friends, striking up a more intimate conversation with her, and asking for her number and a date.
The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss, who is a book author and contributing writer for the New York Times and Rolling Stone, describes his adventures with Mystery (see above) into the seduction community to become a pickup artist. This entertaining book covers 12 steps: Select a Target, Approach and Open, Demonstrate Value, Disarm the Obstacles, Isolate the Target, Create an Emotional Connection, Extract to a Seduction Location, Pump Buying Temperature, Make a Physical Connection, Blast Last-Minute Resistance, Manage Expectations.
The Pickup Artist and The Game are similar in their content and try to be entertaining in their story telling style—with The Game providing more self-critical insights into the psyche of PUA’s and the women they attract. Despite the sad objectification of females and the hard-to-pull-off manipulative techniques to get sex, only naive and unassuming female targets would be at risk of falling for the true narcissists, while mature women would quickly see through the plot, set their own healthy boundaries, and reward more authentic and truthful men with their attention. Since many men with integrity and good intentions are often nervous and at a loss how to approach attractive women in public, the advice given (taken with the necessary grain of salt) can support them in building more self-confidence and skills around women—who generally appreciate this quality in men if it is authentic.
The Potency Principles: Transforming Sexual Energy Into Spiritual Power by Victor Gold, tells the author’s story of how he learned to pleasure women through focusing on them instead of himself, especially by providing erotic vulva and G-spot massages, and delaying or avoiding ejaculation by squeezing his PC muscle. According to Gold, this leads to physical health and fulfilling relationships as well as spiritual transformation and growth in consciousness. Mr. Gold is certainly well-meaning, but grossly reduces relationships to the upper quadrants “I/it” realm by focusing on the physical body, sex, and his and her interior experience without a deeper emotional connection. Written from a first-person amber perspective, it can support red men to move from the “fucking” into the “having sex” stage. For lovers in higher stages, more in-depth books about sexuality and Tantra, such as Margo Anand’s classic The Art of Sexual Ecstasy or John Maxwell Taylor’s Eros Ascending are recommended.