From Degeneracy To Decadence

Roosh

Cardinal
Orthodox
Originally posted on RooshV.com

gourmet-dinner-1024x683.jpg

In March of 2019, I ended my life of degeneracy when I turned to Lord Jesus Christ. Since then, I’ve made great strides away from a wretched existence, and am less degenerate than before, but I still find it hard to step away from degeneracy’s little brother—decadence. As if I am living in the last days of burning Rome, I’ve so far failed to give up attachments to the little pleasures and comforts of this world.

I define degeneracy as major sins that are a sign of a life lived far away from God, where He is not at all desired. On the other hand, decadence is composed of smaller sins or worldly attachments that may be done by a struggling Christian. Here is a list of behaviors I’d define as degenerate:

Homosexuality — Sodomy is the champion of degeneracy.

Fornication — Regardless of what modern culture teaches you, fornication is a grave sin, and should never be looked upon as a virtuous alternative to homosexual sex.

Masturbation — God did not design you to fellate yourself to Jewish-produced pornography.

Violence, anger, persecuting others — There are many people who are actively trying to remake the world into their image to experience heaven on earth.

Gluttony — Food is not a god, and if you make it one, you will become ill and physically incapacitated.

Intoxication — The abuse of legal and illegal drugs is a way to escape from God-given reality.

male-bar-1024x682.jpg


Fame-seeking — You are not a god, no matter how many people in this world sing your praises or proclaim to love you.

Body modification — God made you as a Holy Temple, not as a blank canvas that you can manipulate and distort.

While my past sins were innumerable and multifarious, on this list I most committed fornication, masturbation, intoxication (mostly to enable fornication), and fame-seeking. When I wasn’t treating women as false gods to achieve sexual pleasure from their bodies, I treated myself as a god among men simply because I was so accomplished at worshipping promiscuous women. With God’s grace, I was able to turn away from degeneracy and ease into a life of modern decadence.

Here are some decadent behaviors I’ve identified in the wild:

Exquisite eating — I receive pleasure from the foods I make, like my homemade pizza, breads, and exotic desserts. Sometimes when I’m eating delicious food, I experience so much pleasure that I lose track of time and eat much more than my body can handle.

Not fasting — I aim to keep the Orthodox fast, which trains me not to seek pleasure from food, but I regularly break the spirit of what it means to fast by crafting the Pharisaical counterparts to my favorite foods (e.g., I can make vegan brownies and pancakes that taste like the real thing).

Climate control — People of the past experienced seasons in their homes (summer was hot and required the opening of windows and winter was cold and required bundling up). Today, we feel no indoor temperature discomfort.

Excessive worry over money — Many people are more concerned with growing their bank account than growing their faith. Even more severe is being so obsessed with money that you live for it alone, often coinciding with the sin of greed.

No prayer life — What percentage of a Christian’s life is devoted to prayer?

Neverending accumulation of stuff — Buying junk won’t save your soul, no matter how many great reviews it got on Amazon and how much you “need” it to live a connected or comfortable life.

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Hot water — How can I not conclude that every time I turn on the hot water in the shower I am but a mere scrap of a man compared to my male ancestors who did not have hot water on demand? I should feel shame every time I exit the shower and see steam on the medicine cabinet mirror.

Optionality — To the decadent person, it’s important to have options, backup plans, and exit plans. I fear getting stuck in an uncomfortable scenario without an instant solution, and I like to have my “options open” before making a real-world commitment, but the most common result of this mentality is that I never make commitments.

Professional health care for pets — You want your pug to live forever and unto the ages of ages. He’s your best friend, the comforter of your soul. Who needs the comfort of Lord Jesus Christ when you have a goofy dog who is loyal to you because you give it food?

Profanity — I know of no other more reliable sign of someone’s spiritual state than their use of profanity. If someone frequently uses profanity, the language of the demons, do they really fear God?

On the list of decadency, I eat exquisitely, use climate control, shower in steaming hot water for prolonged periods, and pursue optionality. Do these habits completely block my salvation? I hope not, but I know that if I don’t guard against the mild pleasures they bring, I can easily fall back into degeneracy and more serious sins. I must remain watchful about any perceived benefit I receive in this world that causes me to forget about God even for a moment.

What comes upon the person who defeats decadence? A holy Christian life and maybe even sainthood. If you can mortify your body to all the pleasures of this world, no matter how small, and rely upon God alone for all that you need, you will exist in a state that God intended when He created you. May we pray for those participating in degeneracy to ease into decadence with God’s grace and then into their final stage of becoming like the saints.

Read Next: Worshiping Comfort Is Satanic
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unit414

Robin
I saw on ROK how you were gradually evolving and maturing as a man. As I've said before, I liked the old Roosh, but I like AND respect the new Roosh. And those things you presently enjoy are just small, modern conveniences and gifts in a society we can thank our ancestors for creating.. Those are not decadence, but it appears you are like me in that I think about the relatively easy life we in the west have now, and I think about the people here before me, for example, living in sod houses on the freezing, windswept plains of the Dakotas and Minnesota. I am a pipsqueak compared to those early Americans. I don't take things I have now for granted.
 

Pantheon

Sparrow
Orthodox
What an interesting point about pets. People truly treat pets as if they were humans, trying to prolong their life as much as possible in order to avoid their own sad emotions of losing them, instead of letting nature have its course. Many pets have become like accessories and no longer fill a useful function. Buying a cat and never letting it out should be illegal. Why would anyone want to deprive an animal to experience life at its fullest, even if it includes dying?

I'm not against pets and I love animals but I'm against anthropomorphizing them.
 
Anything good taken too far becomes a bad thing. At some point you start seeking that thing for its own sake, as opposed to enjoying it as a blessing in life.

"The Blessings and Curses of Technology" could be its own thread, it's really a mixed bag, many of us live with the curses unexamined. So many people enthuse about the blessings, even turning "science" into a god.
 
You write like a true Augustinian Roosh. I've been impressed at your humility in your writings. I think we all struggle to find spiritual purpose in our current society. The fall of the Catholic church into the heresy of modernism has led a lot of men and women astray. We are so often consumed by our materialism whether we see it or not.
 

Viktor Zeegelaar

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
You're on fire lately with these articles, keep 'm coming Roosh :) Before I even had a conception of God I remember using profane words regularly, although not to the extreme. It was more out of habit than intended to do any harm. However since I turned to God I can say I never to almost never swear anymore and even feel a strong trigger when people do swear, and a feeling to correct them on that. I also pray for them as they don't know what they're saying, I really do believe that. For most atheists swearing is a habit. I hear it around me on the street with women a lot too. Especially the English swearwords are popular here as habit words that one utters as an adjective.

On optionality, that's an interesting one. When I stand in the supermarket I see 20 choices of milk. When I want to buy underwear I see 50 different options. If I want to buy milk, why can't I just buy milk? If I want to buy underwear, why can't I just buy underwear? To some extent I think it's all a distraction, whether on purpose by the elite through one of their schemes or by an insane market, although we've found that things don't happen without a reason. I see it as a pure confusion, to keep you in a state of continuously having to make difficult decisions to keep you preoccupied on all things expect what matters - God, family, friends, salvation, prayer, peace, giving to the poor, love.
 

ItsK

Chicken
Woman
I have 2 toddlers, who are one year apart. I haven't been able to enjoy any food or rest for the last 3 years because there is always a little menace climbing on me trying to grab whatever I'm using or screaming. All the nice things that I own just ends up being a source of stress because the kids will play with it and break it and all their stuff just turns into a giant mess that I have to clean up. You end up being very minimalist/utilitarian just to make your own life easier. In fact, I wish I could throw everything out so that I don't have to clean it up. I don't feel any closer to God though, I'm just exhausted. I think you grow closer to God by loving Him and others, not by making yourself cold and miserable. Just be thankful for the things that you enjoy that God has given to you.
 

Pantheon

Sparrow
Orthodox
Originally posted on RooshV.com

gourmet-dinner-1024x683.jpg


Hot water — How can I not conclude that every time I turn on the hot water in the shower I am but a mere scrap of a man compared to my male ancestors who did not have hot water on demand? I should feel shame every time I exit the shower and see steam on the medicine cabinet mirror.

Cold showers are a great and simple thing that naturally strengthens your body and immune system. I would recommend everyone to take them. Especially good in times where the global establishment has declared war against our natural immune systems.

The Christian life entails keeping it simple. Because we know that at the root of nature lies a spiritual source. Our religion is the best antidote to the anti-nature technologies of modernism, aiming for transhumanism rather than salvation. The entire modern project is based on driving us away from our own bodies into virtual reality. Technical inventions are no substitute for self-knowledge. No matter how much they pose for the environment they are fighting against nature. Sometimes a cold shower is enough to get in touch with ourselves again.
 
Originally posted on RooshV.com

gourmet-dinner-1024x683.jpg

In March of 2019, I ended my life of degeneracy when I turned to Lord Jesus Christ. Since then, I’ve made great strides away from a wretched existence, and am less degenerate than before, but I still find it hard to step away from degeneracy’s little brother—decadence. As if I am living in the last days of burning Rome, I’ve so far failed to give up attachments to the little pleasures and comforts of this world.

I define degeneracy as major sins that are a sign of a life lived far away from God, where He is not at all desired. On the other hand, decadence is composed of smaller sins or worldly attachments that may be done by a struggling Christian. Here is a list of behaviors I’d define as degenerate:

Homosexuality — Sodomy is the champion of degeneracy.

Fornication — Regardless of what modern culture teaches you, fornication is a grave sin, and should never be looked upon as a virtuous alternative to homosexual sex.

Masturbation — God did not design you to fellate yourself to Jewish-produced pornography.

Violence, anger, persecuting others — There are many people who are actively trying to remake the world into their image to experience heaven on earth.

Gluttony — Food is not a god, and if you make it one, you will become ill and physically incapacitated.

Intoxication — The abuse of legal and illegal drugs is a way to escape from God-given reality.

male-bar-1024x682.jpg


Fame-seeking — You are not a god, no matter how many people in this world sing your praises or proclaim to love you.

Body modification — God made you as a Holy Temple, not as a blank canvas that you can manipulate and distort.

While my past sins were innumerable and multifarious, on this list I most committed fornication, masturbation, intoxication (mostly to enable fornication), and fame-seeking. When I wasn’t treating women as false gods to achieve sexual pleasure from their bodies, I treated myself as a god among men simply because I was so accomplished at worshipping promiscuous women. With God’s grace, I was able to turn away from degeneracy and ease into a life of modern decadence.

Here are some decadent behaviors I’ve identified in the wild:

Exquisite eating — I receive pleasure from the foods I make, like my homemade pizza, breads, and exotic desserts. Sometimes when I’m eating delicious food, I experience so much pleasure that I lose track of time and eat much more than my body can handle.

Not fasting — I aim to keep the Orthodox fast, which trains me not to seek pleasure from food, but I regularly break the spirit of what it means to fast by crafting the Pharisaical counterparts to my favorite foods (e.g., I can make vegan brownies and pancakes that taste like the real thing).

Climate control — People of the past experienced seasons in their homes (summer was hot and required the opening of windows and winter was cold and required bundling up). Today, we feel no indoor temperature discomfort.

Excessive worry over money — Many people are more concerned with growing their bank account than growing their faith. Even more severe is being so obsessed with money that you live for it alone, often coinciding with the sin of greed.

No prayer life — What percentage of a Christian’s life is devoted to prayer?

Neverending accumulation of stuff — Buying junk won’t save your soul, no matter how many great reviews it got on Amazon and how much you “need” it to live a connected or comfortable life.

gadgets-gear-1024x683.jpg


Hot water — How can I not conclude that every time I turn on the hot water in the shower I am but a mere scrap of a man compared to my male ancestors who did not have hot water on demand? I should feel shame every time I exit the shower and see steam on the medicine cabinet mirror.

Optionality — To the decadent person, it’s important to have options, backup plans, and exit plans. I fear getting stuck in an uncomfortable scenario without an instant solution, and I like to have my “options open” before making a real-world commitment, but the most common result of this mentality is that I never make commitments.

Professional health care for pets — You want your pug to live forever and unto the ages of ages. He’s your best friend, the comforter of your soul. Who needs the comfort of Lord Jesus Christ when you have a goofy dog who is loyal to you because you give it food?

Profanity — I know of no other more reliable sign of someone’s spiritual state than their use of profanity. If someone frequently uses profanity, the language of the demons, do they really fear God?

On the list of decadency, I eat exquisitely, use climate control, shower in steaming hot water for prolonged periods, and pursue optionality. Do these habits completely block my salvation? I hope not, but I know that if I don’t guard against the mild pleasures they bring, I can easily fall back into degeneracy and more serious sins. I must remain watchful about any perceived benefit I receive in this world that causes me to forget about God even for a moment.

What comes upon the person who defeats decadence? A holy Christian life and maybe even sainthood. If you can mortify your body to all the pleasures of this world, no matter how small, and rely upon God alone for all that you need, you will exist in a state that God intended when He created you. May we pray for those participating in degeneracy to ease into decadence with God’s grace and then into their final stage of becoming like the saints.

Read Next: Worshiping Comfort Is Satanic
Permalink
This sounds almost like you're trying to achieve Nirvana. God created the world, and He wants us to enjoy it. You cannot find Him in either side of the Manichean dialectic.
 

Vasily Martian

Pigeon
Orthodox
technically, all those luxuries you mentioned, Roosh, are a problem, but at the same time, we need to guard against being tricked into over-zealousness, or into struggling more than we can handle. This kind of trick is probably played on every single Orthodox Christian at some time or other, but especially when they're new to the faith and are filled with greater zeal or enthusiasm. In a somewhat analogous sense, the novice St Paisios the Athonite, whenever he would lay down at night for a rest, would be tormented by the thought that people were suffering while he was relaxing. He'd then get up and do prostrations to the point that he wished his legs would fall off so he wouldn't have to do them. Obviously this is counter-productive. So, while the sins you mentioned (and all others) are to be avoided on a non-negotiable basis, there is more room to move with decadence or 'decadence', especially with lowly laymen in the last times (where true/deep spirituality is hard to find). For if going overboard doesn't eventually end in bitterness or - God forbid! - blaspheme against God, then it's likely to get us thinking we're holy, in which case we'll have fallen again. If you don't know already, can I suggest to you Hieromonk Kosmas' Orthodox Talks YouTube channel or website www.orthodoxtalks.com? Here you'll find literally hundreds of hours of non-compromising traditional Orthodoxy but FOR LAYMEN IN THESE MODERN TIMES. Fr Kosmas is truly a stunning modern source for Orthodox teaching and practice. Of course, none of this is to say that we can't start thinking about or even trying - in some areas - to make our lives less luxurious; but at the same time, it's important to know, that the devil will often work with is here, too.
 
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thatWay

Pigeon
Orthodox
To make a difference you need to be very dedicated and not be a comfort seeker, or atleast realize idealy you shouldn't be so you can grow later down the line.
 

Bird

Pelican
When I stand in the supermarket I see 20 choices of milk. When I want to buy underwear I see 50 different options. If I want to buy milk, why can't I just buy milk? If I want to buy underwear, why can't I just buy underwear?

Yeah, the people in the former GDR (Eastern Germany) were happy not to deal with problems like that, since there was no choice in products like today. Sometimes none of the wanted items were available at all.

I would like to invite you to Saxony and tell that to the older Saxons, they will love you for this statement for sure.
 

shrinebuilder

Chicken
Orthodox
Yes, cold showers have tons of benefits, and after even couple of years they're still tough.

I think it's important to have a strategic approach to bad habits. Identify what's the most important and focus at 1-2 things at a time. Then some success triggers the next one and so on. Things like profanity, for example, doesn't require an explicit effort, it simply goes away naturally with cutting off fornication, and all of a sudden becomes disgusting. Some, however need to be approached couple of times, from different angles, and then they may come back, and so on.

A couple of more to a decadence list:
1. Sleeping on the soft.
2. Sleeping not on the back.
3. Sitting in weird positions.
4. Snacks, random food intake.
5. Sitting most of the day (as opposed to e.g. standing desk).
 

Knight.of.Logos

Robin
Orthodox Catechumen
If degeneracy is actively working against God and His creation; decadence is more passively looking away from God's glory and His transcendent Logos. Decadence is more subtle but requires discernment to work against. Decadence can easily lead to degeneracy if it is allowed to grow and not rooted out. I never previously thought of "having options" as decadent but it does make sense considering the following verse:

James 4:13-16​

"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil."

Sometimes it feels like every day I am discovering a new cross to bear, or a sin that I need to repent for that I had previously forgotten about or ignored. Glory to God for giving me this bit of discernment that seems to be growing, though I am still largely ignorant. Though this awareness can be painful it is necessary for repentance, which helps to invite us into the great and perfect forgiveness of God and the bestowing of His grace. May we all grow wise through discernment and humble in repentance, so that we may walk the straight and narrow path.
 
Great article, been waiting for someone to talk about this for some time now. Spot on about the differences. Although, I think there should be three categories:

Defilement - (the worst)
Degeneracy - (the middle)
Decadence - (the least)

I would classify Defilement is things like active bodily and mental and spiritual acts like:
-Fornication of anything outside a man and a woman in a serious relationship with childbearing intentions (some Christians are 'married' not with satanic government legal documents, something I will probably do)
-All other sexual deviancies and acts in the broad spectrum of heinous things that the Lord despises
-Active, habitual, recurring, or addictive masturbation and the constant spilling of seed anywhere outside a woman's vagina
-Overeating to the point of physical deformities (obesity, skin rolls etc)
-Torture, mutilation, dismemberment, and brutal physical murder that is not under God's law
-Extensive drug use, whether swallowing, snorting, smoking, or injecting to where the mind is gone or melted cheese
-Extensive tattooing all over the body, even to the point of formaldehyde poisoning (it happens to all of them they just don't know it)
-anti-God practices, spellcraft, wizardry, demonic worship or rituals / freemasonic stuff / satanic practices (probably the worst one)
-the worship of money or idolatry of entities beyond God (defiling the soul)
-the unnecessary killing of animals beyond means of survival (destroying God's innocent creatures)
-constant cursing, talking of heinous things, and taking the Lord's name in vain or worse (defiling the tongue)
-betraying others trust, selling others out, destroying something another holds dear (defiling love, one of God's greatest gifts)

Degeneracy is more of a habitual adoption of these but not to the fullest extent
-Regular "dating" or serial "dating" with no serious intentions other than to get laid
-Actively pursuing a lifestyle even without the temporal pleasures received (trying to game and pick up with no results to no end)
-Eating too much for comfort without bodily distortions (beyond what is necessary to survive)
-Stealing too much for one's own good (beyond means of survival or from others for fun, with or without profit)
-Shouting, violent arguments, petty fights and squabbles over worldly, earthly things
-Abandoning your manhood and God-given masculine creative element for anything
-The refusal to take a stance againstthe tide of anti-God behaviors like tolerating homosexuality, pornography, (((new age religions))), etc
-Spending time with the enemy who is slowly or unconsciously prepping for your demise (hanging out or socializing with communists)
-Not preparing for the long-term, instead just focusing on all short-term pleasures (kind of like first point, but as a lifestyle)
-Constant lying to others, pathological or subconscious (twisting the tongue)
-Not praying constantly, before all meals, or attending a church with a true message

Decadence is what makes people soft, so I would call it a refusal to harden one's self in the following areas
-Not fasting, not purifying or cleansing the soul and body on a regular basis
-Hoarding unnecessary earthly objects
-Giving in to despair, anxiety, depression, or moodiness and not enduring it while placing faith in God
-Mirroring what you said, hot water showers, climate controlled housing, ergonomic supports, comfortable clothing
-Being slothful, not taking care of one's temple, not hardening it for the brutality of life which is the only reality beyond the veil of comfort the jews have pulled over everyone's eyes
-driving a car everywhere when you can walk or run (God gave you legs for a reason)
-asking google everything when you can read a book or ask people with experience
-losing familial relations over petty matters (political differences, some family are fallen others are practicing, not being true to Jesus' message with everyone in your family)
-being facetious and gossiping with people over petty matters (wasting time and tongue)
-expressing care for worldly things above a standard that is beyond the means for survival
-only praying when it suits you, hiding your faith from the enemy (only suitable in a guerilla situation)

Just my take, I'm sure we could write books about all of this
 
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