‘FREEDOM’—Chapter 8 The Greatest, Most Heroic Story Ever Told
Chapter 8:16A The last 200 years during which pseudo idealism has taken humanity to the brink of terminal alienation
We now need to consider the situation faced by humanity during the last 200 years of its now plummeting path to self-destruction through excessive upset, because it was during this final stage that the great benefit of religion, which was its honesty, became too confronting, forcing the development and adoption of other forms of pseudo idealism, including less honest forms of religion, that are so dishonest they are taking humanity to the brink of terminal alienation and extinction.
What happened around 200 years ago to dramatically increase the levels of upset in society were further serious advancements on the factors that caused the sudden increase in upset 11,000 years ago. Firstly, due in part to improvements in medicine and sanitation, the world’s population exploded, leaving people in many parts of the world living literally on top of each other: villages became towns, which became cities and even mega-city metropolises. Cities represent the most extreme congestion of people, and their development, along with their nature-eliminated, un-natural environment, which is so destructive of our innocent instinctive soul, greatly compounded the spread and increase of upset. Of course, once humans became alienated, cities provided a refuge from the criticising innocence of the natural world—they were not created as functional centres where people could more efficiently work together, as often claimed, but as hide-outs for alienation—however, for the souls of the ensuing generations who had to grow up in such soul-less environments cities were devastatingly alien places; as the historian Manning Clark said, ‘The bush [wilderness] is our source of innocence; the town is where the devil prowls around’ (The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 Feb. 1985); and as the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote, ‘Away, away, from men and towns, to the wild wood and the downs—to the silent wilderness, where the soul need not repress its music’ (To Jane: The Invitation, c.1820). No wonder Christ looked forward to the time when understanding of the human condition would be found and alienating cities could gradually be dismantled (as they now can be), saying, ‘Do you see all these great buildings?…Not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down’ (Bible, Matt. 24:2; Mark 13:2; Luke 19:44, 21:6).
(Since it is such a bold, impacting statement to say cities are going to be dismantled, I should explain it more fully. With understanding of the human condition now found the great rehabilitation of the human race from its alienated state can begin, and one of the important means to achieve that rehabilitation will be to reconnect humans with the world of their soul, which is the natural world. Nature isn’t worth preserving simply because it might contain useful drugs, or because it is needed to replenish the atmosphere, or because of any of the other human-condition-avoiding, psychosis-denying, mechanistic justifications. No, as important as those evasive reasons are, we have to preserve nature because it is our original, natural, instinctive self or soul’s home and without it our soul, our being, is destitute, a ‘lost in the cosmos’ itinerant wretch. As Sir Laurens van der Post said in par. 472, ‘We need primitive nature, the First Man in ourselves, it seems, as the lungs need air and the body food and water’. Also, as the historian Theodore Roszak wrote, ‘“separation anxiety disorder” [is defined] as “excessive anxiety concerning separation from home and from those to whom the individual is attached.” But no separation is more pervasive in this Age of Anxiety than our disconnection from the natural world’ (‘The Nature of Sanity’, Psychology Today, 1 Jan. 1996). Yes, as Yusuf Islam, or Cat Stevens as he was formerly known, wrote and sang in 1970, ‘Well I think it’s fine, building jumbo planes…roll on roads over fresh green grass…cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air…I know we’ve come a long way, we’re changing day to day, but tell me, where do the children play [how is our soul supposed to live in such an alienated world]?’ (Where Do the Children Play). In the 1960s many people tried to undertake the healing process that requires reconnecting with nature. They abandoned the alienated and alienating, soul-destroying cities and tried to return to the natural world. Of course, without the explanation of the human condition that would make it possible to stop having to live a denial-based, escapist, hide-from-condemning-nature-in-cities existence, this great ‘alternative’, ‘hippie’, ‘flower power’, ‘let the sunshine in’, ‘back to nature’ revolution was a false start back to innocence and wholeness. Nevertheless, the initiatives that were being taken accurately anticipated the direction the rehabilitation of the human race needed to, and now can, take. Yes, we have to leave the alienated and alienating cities and dust off the Whole Earth Catalog and other 1960s masterpieces of new world planning and begin the real ‘Age of Aquarius’. And I should mention that because we have understanding of the human condition there won’t be the need for drugs to try to break open our alienated minds to access the authentic world of our soul and all the truth and beauty it has access to, or the need to indulge in ‘free sex’ to allow our upset self to feel artificially liberated from the human condition—both of which were activities that featured in the 1960s. We have found all the truth now that genuinely releases us from the binds of the human condition. As will be described in the final chapter of this book, what now emerges on Earth is not another messy, deluded false start to humanity’s freedom from the human condition, but the real, genuinely loving one.)
The second immense influence on the spread and growth of upset and thus alienation in the world has been the development of communication technology of such sophistication that, in terms of one upset human’s access to another upset human, the world has basically shrunk down to one giant city—worse, one immense, dysfunctional household. Initially, there was the delivery of letters through a sophisticated postal system, and then mass printing of documents and newspapers, and then typewriters, and then the telegraph, and then the telephone, and then television, computers and faxes, and then emails and mobile phones, and then the world wide web and social media like Facebook and Twitter, and now ‘smart’ phones that enable around the clock access to this world of alienated superficiality. From birth, humans today are immersed in an ocean of upset behaviour—especially dishonest, deluded, artificial, superficial, ‘phony’, ‘fake’ behaviour—leaving them utterly overwhelmed by anxiety and stress.