Home Topics The Transformation Why is understanding so frightening?

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      Hi all

      I still can’t quite grasp what is so frightening about understanding the human condition? Why are we so fearful to know the truth about ourselves I.e that we are fundamentally good? I have known fear of the past and I think it has affected my life significantly, but I’m not sure how this particular revelation does that. I’d appreciate someone explaining this is more depth. Thanks.

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      You’re spot on Marty, this information does explain we are upset but fundamentally good and that golden truth opens up a whole new world for humans free of any condemnation or guilt or insecurity. There aren’t any truths now that condemn or hurt us now we can understand the human condition. Our fear of the human condition is really a thing of the past, when we didn’t have understanding. It certainly does take time to adjust to having the ‘lights on’ which is a process to be respected, but I’m with you, let’s live in world of knowledge this explanation opens up!

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      Linda Susan

      Hello MartyR
      I can only offer my own understanding as to why Comprehending the scientific answer is so frightening for Some.
      I came to this book and to this forum with great expectations. I haven’t been disappointed. I am overwhelmed with joy
      and gratitude for its’ revelations of resolution and reconciliation of science with religions/philosophies/myths/the arts etc.
      But for those who still live in the denial location, within circumscribed and conditioned lives it must be a very threatening
      I remember reading a wonderfully joyful and then awful statement- but a profoundly true and tragic one: ‘We must see that the tree bears beautiful flowers and fruits but also see the man hanging from the bough’ I think this sentence was referenced in Helen M. Luke’s book
      The Perennial Feminine.
      Such an image reminds us that we within beauty and tragedy.
      I was born into a home where my dear, suffering and beloved father was a very conservative, traditional Roman Catholic. My mother
      hated the church and would have NOTHING to do with it. She was a joyous, warm and loving mother and a beautiful person.
      My dear father suffered agonies of guilt over the fact that my mother didn’t follow his version, the dogmatic one, of the Catholic theology.
      I was terrified by my own thoughts of this ‘frightful God’ thing and suffered torments, inner, warring battles with this – maniac of a God.
      I eventually threw HIM over but the consequences were far reaching.
      I think it must be, to those who believe in any religion, an enormous, terrifying realization that there ‘God’ may not be all that HE is cooked-up to be. Such protective ‘denials’ cocoon the individual and this paralyzed condition is the slow dying of their fearful lives.
      This is a terrible inner battle. It threatens not only the structures of their lives but unearths the very foundations of the citadel.
      When there is only this inner, traumatized disintegration on offer, the individual life ‘resigns’becommes ‘selectively deaf’ and ‘resigns’ into a inner, some-kind-of comforting zone, impermeable to all threats.
      This ‘refuge’ of NOT KNOWING but refusing any kind of threatening explanation of The Human Condition condemns the poor, solitary soul to a life that is totally superficial, inauthentic and ultimately wrought with fear and dread.
      Coming Out is just too agonizing so lives are lived in a sort of silent desperation, superficially filled with multiple, meaningless distractions and endless diversions.
      I can still feel the fear of my impending trauma from many years ago.
      Like Kierkegaard’s Sickness Unto Death, Kafka’s Trial and Metamorphosis and The Myth of Sisyphus.
      So DREAD is an enormous block – for believers in Religions.
      They simply cannot conceive of these stories as myths, their whole existence is based on the TRUTH of these myths being ACTUAL events.
      That’s the tragedy.
      And then there is the constant, incessant flow of global multi=media bombarding uncritical minds who watch mesmerized at the nonsense that is daily pumped-out.
      The world is in chaos and some people run for cover in the cave of ignorance and diversion.

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      Well said again Linda, all I would add is that what you describe is not just for those who are religious. I’ve learnt from the WTM material and have seen very much in myself that not having had any answers for 2 million years, the human condition is a subject that we, the whole human race has feared. The whole issue of ‘self’, of are we good or bad, has been really quite terrifying for us all, while there wasn’t understanding. The ‘superficial’ life you describe is where we had to live, it was the price we paid but is now revealed as being the right and meaningful thing to do while we were still searching for knowledge. As Tommy says now we do have compassionate understanding of ourselves this fear is obsolete, and we can safely come into ‘the light’, what a relief (understatement of the year)!

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      Linda Susan

      Hi RJ,
      Yes, absolutely. I know that my own specific case was religious trauma. I agree with you completely that it is the entire human species that has suffered for multiple reasons. Unity in diversity now. At least for those who receive the gift that Jeremy’s work has so beautifully expressed.
      But all the old terminology still holds true. The notions of redemption/salvation, the ideas of Eden/paradise/valhalla. All metaphors for the perennial search for peace and understanding.
      Truthfully I never gave a toss for the God idea. I actually loathed ‘HIM’. But the Jesus figure, like so many counterparts before him, was a tragic, solitary soul.
      I remember seeing Jesus Christ Superstar and being so profoundly moved by the song: I Only Want to Say. It was heartbreaking. Jesus reaching a state of terror at the full realization of what lay ahead. His torment and his pleading that if only ‘This cup of poison’ could be taken away from him. As the full terror of his dying on the cross reaches its apogee Jesus agonizes in doubt about the terrible death that awaits him: He questions ‘God’ and demands to know that his own crucifixion will not be in vain. As the inner tension mounts he cries:
      ‘Show me just a little
      Of your omnipresent brain
      Show me there’s a reason
      For your wanting me to die
      You’re far too keen on where and how
      But not so hot on why’.
      But so many great souls have arisen throughout human history to speak out against injustice. The Buddha, 500 years bc. Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama etc.
      The Dalai Lama states that humankind should find ‘salvation’ through the meaning of the symbols in their own specific cultures. Like Joseph Campbell, who saw universal correspondences throughout the complete range of every myth in written history.
      Jeremy Griffith’s mammoth task has brought us back, through the scientific/aesthetic comprehension: ‘…..and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time’ T.S.Eliot..

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        Hi Linda, sorry it’s taken me ages to get back to this interesting thread! Yeah I agree all the old terminology holds true for sure, amazing now we can demystify it all, through the ‘scientific comprehension’ of Jeremy’s work, well said!

        I’m not sure about your feelings on Christ being a tragic soul and full of terror though or the JC Superstar musical’s take. What I have learnt about Christ from the WTM’s work is how strong and visionary he was and knew so extraordinarily clearly his role that he had to play for humanity. And because of that I don’t think he would have questioned ‘God’ or integrative meaning at all, he was so in line with the cooperative and loving ideals and certainly was never confronted by them being such an amazing unresigned, denial-free thinker. My strong thoughts are that the musical’s take of Christ’s feelings are a projection from someone who lives in denial and fear of the truth of integrative meaning, someone who is resigned.

        I really love the freedom essay on Christ, it’s taught me a lot, it’s number 39. Jeremy writes there in terms of Christ’s crucifixion that ‘It was a vision and act of extreme clarity of thought and extraordinary strength of character’ and was ‘the price he had to pay for standing up so straight in a forest of bent and twisted timber. He literally had to offer his life so that corrupted humans would have a refuge where they could relieve their suffering.’ I also really love this paragraph from that same essay which includes a quote from Kahil Gibran as it shows how strong and fearless Christ was:

        “Yes, Christ wasn’t a pseudo idealistic false prophet (pseudo idealism was explained in Video/F. Essay 14 and F. Essays 34, 35 & 36) pretending to be a soft, sensitive and loving person, as pseudo idealists like to portray Christ as being in order to identify with him, rather he was a sound, strong person whose central talent was to fiercely defy all the dishonest, bullshit, denial coming from both the human-condition-avoiding mechanistic, and deluded pseudo idealistic, realms—a point the prophet Kahlil Gibran was making when he wrote, ‘Humanity looks upon Jesus the Nazarene as a poor-born who suffered misery and humiliation with all of the weak. And He is pitied, for Humanity believes He was crucified painfully…And all that Humanity offers to Him is crying and wailing and lamentation. For centuries Humanity has been worshipping weakness in the person of the saviour. The Nazarene was not weak! He was strong and is strong! But the people refuse to heed the true meaning of strength. Jesus never lived a life of fear, nor did He die suffering or complaining…He lived as a leader; He was crucified as a crusader; He died with a heroism that frightened His killers and tormentors. Jesus was not a bird with broken wings; He was a raging tempest who broke all crooked wings. He feared not His persecutors nor His enemies. He suffered not before His killers. Free and brave and daring He was. He defied all despots and oppressors. He saw the contagious pustules and amputated them…He muted evil and He crushed Falsehood and He choked Treachery’ (‘The Crucified’, The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran, 1951, pp.231-232 of 902).”

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      Hey Marty, I’ll use my experience as an example of how this information can be confronting. And before I go on, beautifully said Tommy, Linda, and RJ.
      Before I had this information, I was subscribed to pseudo idealism, meaning I participated in charitable behaviour to feel better about myself. But I was in denial of that and instead had to necessarily delude myself whilst I didn’t have understanding into believing I was truly being selfless, when I was actually being extremely selfish. So seeing as that selfishness has been condemned by our instincts and the world around us due to the human condition, to be at ease with Jeremys liberating defense but exposure of the truth of pseudo idealism was extremely confronting for me and my brain was more consumed with the negative connotations of it, without initially realizing the compassion behind the understanding and the importance of exposing the truth to allow us to fully reconcile the dark sides of ourselves with the light.

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      Hi guys, new member here, thanks for this interesting thread on fear and understanding. I’ve spent over a decade now trying to walk the path less traveled that is entered through that ancient gate: Know Thyself. Which, I believe is a wisdom gift to posterity like the dialogues of Plato and the extraordinary end of history prophecy in the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. Or as James Joyce put it “history is a nightmare that I’m trying to awaken from.” Aren’t we all? Anyway, I believe understanding is so frightening because it involves putting our ‘knowing-ego’ on trial with the dialectical self-cross-examination known as the Socratic method, and facing the personal reality of uncertainty.

      Facing the truth about how little we know about ourselves and the world around us, as Socrates famously said is frightening. While his inner dialectical method of self-cross-examination has a curious resonance to Jesus take up thy cross and follow me daily, these days. And trying to be selfless in a social world that doesn’t want to know about the subconscious truths of our divided-self, to quote R. D. Laing’s most famous book, is frightening. And for me, the frightening aspect of trying to understand myself has been the profound paradox of my own motivation and perception. By which I mean that famous line about how the more conscious you become the more aware you become of how unconscious you really are.

      By which I mean all those processes of our consciousness orchestrating nervous system that occurs beneath the level of conscious awareness. Like the neural networks inside my brain and the beating of my heart and all the subconscious processes that enable me to walk and talk. Facing the personal truth that I didn’t and can’t know about so much of what makes me human was frightening and fascinating at the same time. Especially back in 2007 when I was reading Jeremy’s work alongside Alan N Schore’s book: Affect Regulation & The Origins of the Self. A book that gave me my first inner glimpse into why I’d gone through the alienation process that is discussed so well in Jeremy’s interview with Brian Carlton.

      How this alienation process that so many people go through from adolescence onwards coincides with the second spurt in brain growth, which can be interpreted as our need to enter the social world of human adulthood or to face reality as it is. Face the darkness within as Alex puts it, which for me has been frightening because I had to learn to understand myself on another level of being from my conscious mind. Which began in 2007 as I said, after devouring all the information I could get my hands on about alienation and what happens to people during what seems to be a period of life designed by mother nature.

      2007 was the year I had to face the truth that I didn’t know myself simply because I can recall to mind all the reality recognizing numbers and words I was taught as a child. The year that started a long journey towards the wisdom seeking path described in Plato’s dialogues and the New Testament story of sure and certain truths that will one day find a global recognition. A recognition that I believe will manifest as a resolution of Jesus enigmatic comment ‘this generation,’ and how to experience a psycho-spiritual resurrection of the sentient (feeling consciousness) we are all born with. Yet, in my experience, the embodied presence wisdom of Plato and Jesus is a frightening experience because it’s so ego-shattering and disorienting.

      And to put that fear of understanding more simply, there is in my experience so much more to the allegory of the cave and the empty tomb, that its understanding is literally mind-bending. And the truth about WTM’s a picture is worth a thousand words logo, is so simple it is unbelievable to our well-educated minds. I mean, what is it about the sun in Plato’s writings and Jesus simile (at least two layers of meaning) figures of speech like the parable of the sower that so elludes our grasp? What is it about the light that we just can’t see?

      I wish there was a regular meeting of WTM members where the wisdom texts could be studied like reigious texts are. Because I’m fairly certain that reading and re-reading the allegory of the cave would resolve the deaf-affect within the safety of such a selfless goup that has already been exposed to the wisdom material in all of Jeremy’s writings. Laing said that we are doubly unconscious and I believe that personal issue of HOW we are doubly unconscious can be resolves within a lovng group, after years of facilitating group therapy.

      I believe it’s doubly important to remember the prohets mention both hearing and seeing in their aphoristic comments on the human condition.

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      Powerful quote from James Joyce, thank God we can finally wake up from the nightmare! That’s my experience with this information, it keeps gradually dawning on you that once we can understand our nature we’re free and have nothing more to fear…but it really in necessary to follow the logic, know we’re innately good, know we alienated humans can’t cope with too much exposure to the truth, and get on with the living that can be had now through transformation, which the WTM facilitate beautifully so we can help each other with this transformation process. As you said Realised-Being it’s really all very simple once you have the key (understanding/sun) that unlocks the riddle of our human condition. No more frightening pain in our brains. Self-awareness can grow in minds that are no longer in denial, it’ll be a gradual process and it won’t change how alienated we’ve become but the sense of security you get from this is increcible. I’m raving but I really love and embrace this logical end to the nightmare.

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