The Zeta Male

What is a zeta male? In what way is he different from, alpha, beta or even sigma males? And how can one become a zeta male?

Disclosure: this article contains affiliate links

Not too long ago I have made a video/article called 10 Values Of The Sigma Male.  A subscriber called John Parinello jr. asked me a question about what’s the difference between the zeta male and the sigma male (thanks mate!):

Well, to answer that question, I’d like to propose my theory behind the zeta male, or rather, the zeta mindset.

The alpha-beta system

To explain the zeta male, I need to explain the other categories first. The most famous ones are the alpha and beta males.

The alpha at the top
Alpha male in the boardroom
Alpha male in the boardroom

The alpha male is the one perceived at the top of the dominance hierarchy and the beta male the one right below. What an alpha male is is highly subjective and situation dependent as well. I have made a video about this in the past. 

Often we hear that an alpha male is supposed to be the one that gets all the ladies, but I think that’s not always true.

For example: the pope can be considered the Catholic alpha male, but he doesn’t do well with the ladies. Furthermore, a part of his alphaness is a vow of celibacy. This is also the case with an abbot of a monastery. Also, and alpha in the boardroom could be a complete beta in the gym. Who’s a typical alpha male?

Mafia gangsters with guns
Mafia gangsters with guns

Well, depends on how you look at it. Don Corleone from the movie Godfather can be considered the alpha male of his gangster family. And Tyler Durden can be considered the alpha male of Fight Club.  

Beta providers

Concerning Betas: I think they are either wannabe Alpha Males, or typical followers. They are complacent towards men as well as women, and therefore are great providers. They are marriage material. The downside is that women often disrespect a complacent man and it’s not unlikely that she will cheat on him. Who’s a typical Beta Male?

Weak guy
Weak guy

Well to stay with the movies I just mentioned, the Ikea nesting instinct infested Narrator from Fightclub, the guy played by Edward Norton, can be considered a Beta Male. I think Corleone’s son Fredo could be considered a beta male in the Godfather movie when it comes to the family hierarchy. I leave that open for discussion.

Another interesting example is Lester Burnham from the movie American Beauty who is actually a rebelling beta male, and in the movie we can see his transition from die hard beta to a mixture of alpha and… well… zeta. See what I mean:

The approach of hierarchy

What defines a male that we classify by the alpha-beta system is the way they approach the hierarchy. So: alphas that the top, betas below them and the rest below them. Except for the sigma male and the zeta male.

Hierarchy of males

I think that the major difference between the sigma male and zeta male is that the sigma male uses the hierarchy to reach his goals. He is flexible, adaptive and doesn’t care if he dwells in the lowest levels or the highest levels: as long as he gets where he wants to. This means that a sigma male acknowledges the hierarchy and plays it the way he sees fit.

A zeta male however lives outside the hierarchy. He does not acknowledge the hierarchy and looks beyond categorization, beyond borders and even beyond form. A zeta male won’t even recognize himself as a zeta male, because that would mean that he puts himself in a category.

How to be a zeta male?

Being a zeta male is to stop thinking in categories. And that’s a very hard thing to do. Our whole civilization is built upon categories or, rather, fantasies. Money, ownership, nation states, are all products of our imagination. And at some point, we are to engage in the human made categories in order to function in society.

A zeta male however, doesn’t do that. Like I already said: he is outside the hierarchy. He is not a civilian, not an Asian guy, not an American, not a plumber, not a Master of Science. He just is. And that’s enough for him. But how is that possible?

Illusion of freedom
The Matrix
The Matrix

Think of this. How can a man leave the system if he still thinks the system? If he leaves the system he recognizes the system. And what will he do? Stop paying taxes? Living on the streets? Well, by doing that you might think you have left the system, but in reality you are still there. You are still part of the system and now have to role of outcast, bum, homeless guy or whatever people will call you.

It’s like Neo being unplugged from the movie the Matrix


..he thought he was free but in reality he was simply residing in another layer of the Matrix. As a matter of fact: the Matrix was in his mind all that time. He wasn’t liberated at all.


Angry guy
Angry guy

If you resent the system and the hierarchy, these constructs are still part of you. And this means that you are not free of them. Imagine being a complete and total outsider full of hatred towards the world. Again, you are not free at all in such a position. You are hijacked by your opinion about the system. And the role you play makes you miserable.

The uncategorized male

So, how can you leave the system of categories without resentment and aversion? Well, I think that the only way to go is to going inwards. Being a zeta male has nothing to do with social status, the place in the hierarchy, or whatever category you can think of.

A leader can be a zeta male, a wealthy man can be a zeta male and a street bum can be a zeta male as well. It’s not the environment he is in, but the way he processes that environment is what makes him a zeta male. In other words: the zeta male is a state of mind. He is the man who temporarily detaches from his ideas, his thoughts, his attachments until his experience is reduced to the one thing that’s permanent: his awareness.

True indifference

So the zeta male is just some spiritual mumbo jumbo? Yes and no. I think it’s the only way to be a man that is completely outside the system. Zeta is the last, final letter of the alphabet. After the z there is nothing, only darkness. It’s one step from death.

The state of non-attachment means that you are not encumbered with the mind’s chatter. It’s as peaceful as death, yet you’re still alive. It’s a state of true indifference.

A man in complete contentment
A man in complete contentment

Awareness doesn’t give a shit. It just watches. It sees the world passing by like clouds and doesn’t really care what it is. I don’t think that a zeta male is even cares about himself being a male. Male and female are also just categories, to separate the humans that make eggs and humans that make sperm. He doesn’t care.

Who’s a typical zeta male?

There are no typical zeta males because zeta is a mindstate. It’s the mindstate of absolutely and completely zero f*cks given. Some just fall into this state after the lost everything, others try to reach this state on purpose and as a refuge from the mind.

The zeta male wrecks the whole system

We know that the Gautama Siddharta – also known as Buddha – has entered that state. The Buddhists call this enlightenment. Lao Tzu talks about being in the present moment in the Tao Te Ching. Eckhart Tolle writes extensively about the awareness state in his books the Power of Now and A New Earth, and how he has experienced it himself.

A zeta male doesn’t care about the fact that he just lost his job, his wife and that his friends let him down. Those are things in the past that he cannot change. He lives in the present and has no fear for the future. He doesn’t care about respect, opinion of others, ambition and doesn’t desire sensual pleasures. The zeta male is completely and utterly content.

By reducing his desire for external things to zero, he just wrecked the whole system. No one has power over him and nothing can affect his contentment.

Leave a Reply

6 thoughts on “The Zeta Male”

  1. Have you seen this Sandman video? Might interest you.

    “A zeta male doesn’t care about the fact that he just lost his job, his wife and that his friends let him down. Those are things in the past that he cannot change.”

    It’s unhealthy to not care about those things. We should be concerned about having good things in life–paid work, family and playing with friends foremost among them.

    The world won’t allow us good things. That is an act of evil, not arbitrary inevitability. I deny them their victory. I have good things despite them, cheap but fun such as board games or playing on the beach. I do have friends, not enough but every one is a stick in the eye of all who wants me miserable. I have no wife or children but my parents are proud of me and I won’t leave them behind. My work doesn’t pay well but I wake up happy I get to do it.

    Indifference makes victory over evil impossible.

    1. I have seen this video. The Zeta male I propose isn’t really a person but more of a mindset. Of course it isn’t healthy to not care about anything all the time and I agree with you fully on that. But I don’t think it’s healthy to care about things all the time. Everyone needs a break. Finding moments of complete indifference can be such a break. It’s temporary; perhaps as a transition phase.

      Buddha reached enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. But after a period of bliss he realized that remaining in that state wasn’t an option. Yes, he was blissful, but he was not able to improve the world. Therefore he chose to drop it, and started doing good things and teaching people.

      So, no, being a zeta male (the one from my perspective) all the time wouldn’t be good.

  2. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Wolf!

    Just one point: Zeta is actually the sixth, not the last character of the Greek alphabet!

    Did you every wonder where that expression “from alpha to omega” comes from? 😉

    Cheers from the heart of the Netherlands.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.