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‘FREEDOM’—Chapter 8 The Greatest, Most Heroic Story Ever Told
Chapter 8:10 Distressed Adolescentman
The species: the second half of Homo habilis’ reign — 2.4 to 1.4 million years ago
The individual now: 14 to 21 years old
The Distressed Adolescent Stage (of Humanity’s Adolescence) represents the time when adolescents struggled with the extreme distress brought about by their full engagement with the issue of the human condition.
When the human species became excessively upset, as has occurred during the latter stages of the reign of Homo sapiens sapiens, the extreme distress experienced by an adolescent confronting the issue of the imperfection both of the world at large and within themselves became so great it led to a state of such unbearable depression that it forced the adolescent to resign to living in denial of the issue of the human condition and to never again thinking about anything that brought that issue into focus, which, as we have seen, was almost all thinking—an agonising process that resulted in the psychotic (psyche/soul repressed) and neurotic (neuron/mind repressed) state of extreme alienation. This process of resigning to a life of living in denial of the human condition was described in chapter 2:2, with this stage being the one that school teachers described as ‘the most difficult to teach. The adolescents seem to be at complete odds with what is expected of them. Most teachers are terrified of these extremely uncooperative mid-teenage ages.’ And in pars 654-655 the strategy a person adopted after Resignation to bring some relief to the insecurity of their situation was described. It was explained there that not only did resigned humans find ways to avoid and deny the issue of the human condition, they also found ways to convince themselves that they were the opposite of flawed and corrupted. It was described how, unable to refute the negative view of themselves with understanding, the resigned person could only counter the negatives by focusing on, emphasising and developing whatever positive view of both the world and themselves they could find. In particular, they became preoccupied finding ways to feel good about themselves by competing for power, fame, fortune and glory. If their team could win a football match, or if they could do something that brought praise—basically any activity that would relieve the insecurity of their condition—that was all that mattered. And the more insecure they were, the more desperate was their need for reinforcement, so it follows that once the full extent of the imperfection of their corrupted condition became apparent at the time of Resignation, then their need for reinforcement to counter that uncertainty about their worth became extreme. After Resignation, the ‘ego’ or ‘conscious thinking self’ became extremely selfishly focused or centred on the need for reinforcement and relief from criticism. So, as well as practising complete denial of any confronting truths, and becoming very angry towards any criticism, extreme ego-centricity was the main outcome of Resignation. Basically, after Resignation, the angry, egocentric and alienated responses to the dilemma of the human condition that emerged in infancy and had been gradually developing throughout childhood and early adolescence suddenly became greatly amplified. So much so that the self-worth-embattled, heroic mantra of the resigned person became one of ‘Give me liberty [from criticism] or give me death’, ‘No retreat, no surrender’, ‘Death before dishonour’—in essence, ‘I don’t believe the insinuation that I am a bad person is deserved, and in any case it’s too unbearable to accept, so I will never tolerate any suggestion of it’!
In the case of humanity’s journey, Resignation would not have become the key feature it is in virtually all adult lives today during the time of Homo habilis, or the Homo erectus representatives of the next adventurous early adulthood stage of humanity’s adolescence, or even the subsequent H. sapiens representatives of the angry adulthood stage of humanity’s adolescence. Resignation would have only appeared during the 200,000 year reign of H. sapiens sapiens, and only become almost universal in the final 11,000 years of that reign. This is because it is the upset from the lack of nurturing in infancy and early childhood that makes self-confrontation during the thoughtful early adolescent stage overwhelmingly depressing, and this lack of nurturing—basically, the alienated, detached-from-their-true-loving-soulful-self state of parents—was not an outstanding feature of human life until the final stages of humanity’s adolescence. The upset from a developing mind’s own efforts to self-adjust, while distressing and even depressing, was not sufficient to cause the mind to have to pay the very high price of blocking out our instinctive self or soul’s happy, all-loving and all-sensitive world because of the condemning expectation that gave rise to that we should still be behaving in that all-loving, cooperative, selfless way. Upset and its effects had to be very great for Resignation to occur, and while upset and its effects are very great in modern humans and as a result Resignation is almost universal, the fact that even amongst modern humans there have been adults who didn’t resign, such as the prophets Abraham, Moses, Plato and Christ, evidences that the extreme upset that leads to Resignation is not yet an intrinsic part of the human make-up. Further, for adult members of the relatively innocent representative ‘races’ of H. sapiens sapiens living today, such as the Bushmen of the Kalahari and the Australian Aborigines, to be as happy and full of the zest and enthusiasm for life and as generous, selfless and free in spirit as numbers of them are, or at least were when they were still living as hunter-foragers, means that many of them must not have resigned. The world of soundness and happiness is not far below the surface in humans today. So while there must be a degree of genetic adaption to a resigned, soul-destroyed existence in humans now, a sound, sensitive and happy life is retrievable for all humans. What is presented in chapter 9 will evidence that this is true. Resignation, with all the soul-dead insensitive and must-prove-yourself mean and unsatisfying life that went with it, is fundamentally a mental, psychological condition, not an immutable genetic condition, so you can choose to leave that insecure, embattled, insensitive, mean and unhappy life behind. In chapter 9 it will be explained that while it will take a number of generations for the psychological rehabilitation of the human race to be completed, all humans can immediately leave the soul-repressed, insensitive, denial-committed-and-thus-extremely-alienated, selfish and egocentric power-fame-fortune-and-glory-seeking resigned life, and become part of the secure, happy, human-condition-and-Resignation-free new world that understanding of the human condition now makes possible. While any human living today will be to a significant degree genetically adapted to living with upset, and will therefore be, to a significant degree, soul-destroyed and alienated, it was the process of Resignation that largely killed off access to our soul and made humans virtually totally mad—sufferers of the ‘dead’ ‘fifty feet of solid concrete’ state of ‘alienation’ from our soul that R.D. Laing spoke of (see par. 123). But, again, even though there has to be, after living in a state of upset for some 2 million years, a significant degree of alienation in humans now, the wonderful reality is that once a person is free from the alienating denial that accompanies Resignation, and free from anxiety about the state of the world, they will be immensely happy and well-adjusted—as is described in chapter 9.
Yes, the existence of extreme sensitivity and soundness in modern humans like Christ, and the happiness and soundness of relatively innocent ‘races’ living today like the Bushmen evidences that once humans are freed from the escapist preoccupations that follow Resignation, they will be able to access a great deal of our soul’s sound sensitivity and happiness. The aforementioned English explorer and philosopher Bruce Chatwin acknowledged the unresigned soundness and sensitivity of Christ and also of the relatively innocent ‘races’ when he wrote these extraordinarily honest words: ‘There is no contradiction between the Theory of Evolution and belief in God [Integrative Meaning] and His Son [the uncorrupted expression of our original instinctive orientation to Integrative Meaning] on earth. If Christ were the perfect instinctual specimen—and we have every reason to believe He was—He must be the Son of God. By the same token, the First Man was also Christ’ (What Am I Doing Here, 1989, p.65 of 367). William Blake was essentially making the same point when he wrote that ‘All [our distant ancestors] had originally one language, and one religion: this was the religion of Jesus, the everlasting Gospel. Antiquity preaches the Gospel of Jesus [the Gospel of original innocence]’ (Descriptive Catalogue, 1809). Yes, since the common dictionary definition of a ‘prophet’ is ‘someone who speaks for God’ and Christ was an exceptionally uncorrupted expression of our original instinctive self or soul’s orientation to Integrative Meaning, then Christ spoke for God; he was a prophet. In terms of being unresigned, Christ was certainly amongst ‘the firstborn from among the dead [resigned]’ (Bible, Col. 1:18).
I should mention that as a member of the Jewish ‘race’, Christ would have benefited from a degree of genetic toughness in that ‘race’ because it would have allowed his exceptionally well nurtured, ‘Lamb of God’ (Bible, John 1:29) innocence to survive contact with the upset world where someone less genetically toughened may have not. As my headmaster at Geelong Grammar School, Sir James Darling (who in his full-page obituary in The Australian newspaper was described as ‘a prophet in the true biblical sense’ (3 Nov. 1995; see <>)), acknowledged in one of his famous speeches about sensitive, innocent soundness not being enough for someone to be able to defy the alienated, dishonest world of denial and find the explanation of the human condition: ‘he must be sensitive and tough’ (The Education of a Civilized Man, ed. Michael Persse, 1962, p.34 of 223)—which is why a member of the Bushmen ‘race’, a genetically relatively innocent ‘race’, could not have found the explanation of the human condition. (Note, later in par. 1032 I cite more of Sir James’ speech, in which he spoke about the need to ‘be sensitive and tough’—and much more can be read about his incredibly visionary education program at Geelong Grammar School, where he deliberately set out to cultivate the innocent soundness needed to confront and solve the human condition, at .) Sir Laurens van der Post was another who recognised that the Bushmen, although relatively innocent, did not have sufficient instinctive toughness to withstand the upset world when he described how ‘mere contact with twentieth-century life seemed lethal to the Bushman. He was essentially so innocent and natural a person that he had only to come near us for a sort of radioactive fall-out from our unnatural world to produce a fatal leukaemia in his spirit’ (The Heart of the Hunter, 1961, p.111 of 233). A further difference between Christ and the more innocent so-called ‘primitive’ ‘races’ such as the Bushmen is the greater level of self-restraint that accompanies toughness, which Christ, being a member of the more upset adapted Jewish ‘race’, would have also possessed. How restraint has accompanied the rise in upset during the human journey is one of the main themes of this chapter.
(Incidentally, understanding that Christ represents our ‘instinctual’ self allows us to decipher the so-called ‘Trinity’ of main influences or forces on Earth that many religions recognise, with ‘God the Father’ being Integrative Meaning, while ‘God the Son’ and ‘God the Holy Ghost or Spirit’ are, respectively, the two great tools for developing integration or order, namely the gene-based and nerve-based learning systems that our instincts and conscious intellect represent. Yes, as a representation of ‘the perfect instinctual specimen’, Christ did represent ‘God the Son’, and our intellect, particularly a Godly, Integrative-Meaning-acknowledging, inspired and guided intellect, is ‘God the Holy Ghost or Spirit’.)
Ancient Greece must have also been home to quite a number of unresigned, denial-free, truthful, effective thinking so-called ‘prophets’ for that empire to have been so extraordinarily innovative, establishing as it did in that golden era so many of the foundation ideas for the Western world, across politics, philosophy, science, psychology, astronomy, architecture and art. Certainly, the early Athenians Socrates and Plato were unresigned, denial-free thinking prophets; indeed, very early Athenian society must especially have been populated by relatively innocent people because they were sufficiently ego-free to both seek out uncorrupted, innocent shepherds to run Athens and, it follows, tolerate their authority. In fact, the prophet Muhammad observed ‘that every prophet was a shepherd in his youth’ (Edward Rice, Eastern Definitions, 1978, p.260 of 433). It is the unnatural world of city living that is especially distressing to, and thus corrupting of, our original instinctive self or soul. As that exceptional denial-free thinking prophet of our time, Sir Laurens van der Post, also noted, during the turbulent period of Plato’s time, Pericles, a close friend of Plato’s stepfather, ‘urged the Athenians therefore to go back to their ancient rule of choosing men who lived on and off the land and were reluctant to spend their lives in towns, and prepared to serve them purely out of sense of public duty and not like their present rulers who did so uniquely for personal power and advancement’ (Foreword to Progress Without Loss of Soul, Theodor Abt, 1983, p.xii of 389).
And as to the relatively alienation-free, natural, loving, nurturing ability of existing relatively innocent ‘races’, in Australian Aboriginal society ‘All observers agree upon the extraordinary tenderness which parents display towards their children, and indeed, to all children whether of their own family and race or not’ (Ashley Montagu, Coming into being among the Australian Aborigines, 1974, p.345 of 426). In the case of the Bushmen of the Kalahari, ‘Their love of children, both their own and that of other people, is one of the most noticeable things about the Bushman’ (‘Tribes of the Kalahari Desert’; see <>). The ‘Bushmen…mother carries her child with her at all times up to four years of age’ (Virginia Abernethy, Population Pressure and Cultural Adjustment, 2005, p.34 of 189). ‘Children are breast-fed for up to 3½ years, and among the Bushmen lactation suppresses ovulation’ (G.N. Bailey, Hunter-gatherer economy in prehistory: a European perspective, 1983, p.114 of 247). And, as mentioned earlier, ‘!Kung [Bushmen]…infants hardly ever cry.’ As for the Yequana Indians, a relatively innocent indigenous tribe of Venezuela, the author Jean Liedloff, who spent two and a half years living with them, wrote of their ‘in-arms phase’, that ‘consists, simply, of the infant having 24-hour contact with an adult or older child’, and that ‘the notion of punishing a child had apparently never occurred to these people’ (‘The Importance of the In-Arms Phase’, Mothering, Winter 1989; see <>). And just as with Bushmen infants, ‘[Yequana] babes in arms almost never cried’. On a similar note, a report on the studies of natural-living, more innocent and nurturing societies undertaken by the dentist and nutritionist Dr Weston Price offered these insights: ‘For the next ten years [during the 1930s], he [Dr Price] travelled to various isolated parts of the earth, where the inhabitants had no contact with “civilisation” in order to study their health and physical development…Price took photograph after photograph of beautiful smiles, and noted that “healthy primitives” were invariably cheerful and optimistic. Such people were characterized by “splendid physical development”. The women gave birth with ease. Their babies rarely cried and their children were energetic and hearty. Many others have reported a virtual absence of degenerative disease, particularly cancer, in isolated, so-called “primitive” groups’ (Sally Fallon Morell, ‘Nasty, Brutish and Short?’, The Weston A. Price Foundation; see <>).
Yes, the human race is not so instinctively adapted to upset now that humans are no longer capable of being innocent enough to avoid the psychologically deadening state of Resignation; with sufficient nurturing and shelter from upset behaviour an individual can avoid that path and state. The reality is that there does have to be a great deal of upset in humans for that upset to become so unbearable that they have no choice but to pay the extremely high price of blocking out all access to their all-sensitive, enthralled-with-all-of-life, all-loving, soulful true self. And the behaviour of a resigned person is essentially a form of death-like dissociation or autism; indeed, it matches perfectly the description a former president of the British Psychoanalytical Society, the psychiatrist and paediatrician D.W. Winnicott, gave for behaviour associated with autism: ‘Autism is a highly sophisticated defence organization. What we see is invulnerability…The child carries round the (lost) memory of unthinkable anxiety, and the illness is a complex mental structure insuring against recurrence of the conditions of the unthinkable anxiety’ (Thinking About Children, 1996 posthumous publication of his writings, pp.220-221 of 343). Later in this chapter we will see that when upset became even more extreme how an even more dishonest, alienating, autism-equivalent psychological strategy than Resignation was invented to cope with the human condition. This was to take up born-again, pseudo idealism—an adaption that progressed from religion through to the extremely dishonest forms of pseudo idealism, from socialism, to the New Age Movement, to feminism, to environmentalism, to the politically correct movement and, ultimately, to totally truthless postmodern deconstructionism.
Since it requires a great deal of upset for Resignation to become unavoidable, we can, as mentioned earlier, expect that it has only become an almost universal phenomenon amongst adult humans from about 11,000 years ago when the advent of agriculture and the domestication of animals brought humans together in close proximity, the effect of which, as will be talked about in pars 848 and 905, was to rapidly spread and compound upset behaviour. Moses’ Genesis account of Noah’s Ark is actually a metaphorical description of this time when Resignation ‘flooded’ the world and our soul and all its truths went under, ‘drowned’—when our soul was pushed into our subconscious, out of conscious awareness, and our extremely superficial and artificial, living-only-on-the-meniscus-of-existence, highly competitive, ‘I-only-care-about-proving-my-worth’, egocentric way of living became all-dominant. The only creatures to escape the horror of Resignation, to survive this ‘drowning’ of our soul, were the animals and the very few well-nurtured-with-unconditional-love, sound and secure unresigned prophets, as symbolised in this case by Noah and his zoo. As Moses says in Genesis, ‘Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God [he did not have to deny Integrative Meaning]…God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “…make yourself an ark…I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth…Everything on earth will perish [the soul and all the denial-free truths will perish when people resign to a life of denial]. But I will establish my covenant with you [but from here on prophets will have to preserve the truth of Integrative Meaning and all the other great truths that relate to it], and you will enter the ark…Go into the ark [don’t resign], you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation”’ (6:9, 12, 14, 17, 18; 7:1). In the following depiction of Noah’s Ark we see dead people littered everywhere, and, as was pointed out above, Resignation is a form a death. The ‘dove’ that Noah ‘sent out’ ‘to see if the water had receded’ (8:8), kept coming back because the world was still flooded—Resignation was still universal—because it is only now with the human condition finally understood that the need to resign can end; the time, that Moses prophesised would eventually be possible, when the ‘dove’ will never need to ‘return’ (8:12) to the Ark.
So Moses knew all about Resignation, including how it became all but universal, and, as with his accounts of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel (the deeper significance of which will be explained in par. 906), he used a story to pass down that knowledge through generations of humans who were resigned to living in denial of the true nature of the human condition. Moses—who wrote not just Genesis but the first five books of the Bible—was certainly an exceptional unresigned, denial-free-thinking prophet. To think people have actually searched for remnants of an ark, and tested ice cores from glaciers and sea beds in the Black Sea for proof of a great flood in the past, as if the story depicted an actual event rather than the metaphor/allegory it really is! Understandably, however—in a development that will be elaborated upon in ch. 8:16I—the more upset and thus insecure humans became, the less they could afford to confront the truths contained in religious scriptures and the more they needed to interpret their contents in literal and fundamentalist ways—‘God is actually a person sitting in the clouds somewhere’, ‘Christ was actually physically resurrected from death’, ‘Christ’s mother was actually a virgin’, ‘Abraham actually considered murdering his son’, ‘Judgment day actually heralds an afterlife in which some unlucky souls will be judged as evil and burnt in a fiery pit’, etc, etc. But with the upset state of the human condition now defended, all religious metaphorical descriptions, parables and symbols—in fact, all mythology—can be safely explained and demystified, as is shown throughout this book and in the compilation of all my work, the book Freedom Expanded. Indeed, with understanding of the human condition found the Bible’s entire contents can be fully demystified now—an exercise that will likely amaze the reader because they will discover that, unlike all the libraries of denial-complying books in the world, the Bible is a repository of extremely rare denial-free truth. In fact, as will be described in par. 927, virtually the whole story of the human condition, bar its scientific explanation, is perfectly described in the Bible, albeit in the abstract, metaphysical and often metaphorical terms that denial-free, truthful-thinking prophets were limited to in those early pre-science times when the Bible was written. The reformist theologian Martin Luther recognised the comparative integrity of the Bible when he said, ‘Homer, Virgil, and other noble, fine, and profitable writers, have left us books of great antiquity; but they are nought to the Bible’ (Table Talk, 1566; tr. William Hazlitt, 1857, p.1). No wonder it is the world’s bestselling and most widely distributed book, with 6 billion copies having been printed so far. And I might mention that just as people practise regularly re-reading the Bible because its denial-free, out-of-Plato’s-cave, soul-filled honesty is so aligning for soul-repressed, alienated, lost humans, so people will discover that the more they re-read this book the more it will re-connect them to their soul and clear their mind of alienation—but in an infinitely more effective way, because the denial-free truth in this book is both reconciling of our upset state and based on first-principle science, which means it is infinitely more explanatory, clarifying and understandable, and thus infinitely more soul-aligning and mind-clearing.
We now need to look at what happened during the second phase of the Distressed Adolescent Stage, in the years immediately following Resignation, as well as what happened in those same years, from 15 to 21 years of age, to those humans who didn’t have to resign—a group that included virtually all our forebears who lived prior to the advent of H. sapiens sapiens.
Firstly, in looking at the situation of those who did resign to living a life of denial of the issue of the human condition and of any truths that brought the issue into focus, after resigning at about the age of 15 it normally took the individual another six years of procrastination to make sufficient mental adjustments to be able to embrace the new, post-resigned, extremely dishonest resigned way of living.
To best describe the situation presented by this sobered and then depressed period leading up to Resignation—and the six-year period of procrastination over having to take up a dishonest, soul-dead resigned life that followed—imagine we’re all sitting on a ridge between two valleys. Behind us lies the valley of humanity’s enchanted childhood, the ‘Garden of Eden’ in which everyone lived happily and extremely sensitively in a non-upset, cooperative, all-loving state. Ahead of us, however, is a hell of smouldering wasteland of devastation and destruction, a wilderness of terrible upset and alienation. It was, of course, a wasteland we didn’t want to enter, but retreat was not an option. To leave all that happiness, laughter and togetherness behind was heartbreaking, but we had no choice but to turn our back on it; we couldn’t throw away our conscious mind, we couldn’t stop thinking, and while we practised thinking upset was an inescapable by-product that could only be brought to an end by finding understanding of our corrupted state—understanding that lay on the other side of that terrible wilderness of devastation, aloneness and alienation. While the lyrics of Joe Darion’s classic song The Impossible Dream have already been referred to in chapter 1:3, they provide such a wonderful description of how awesomely courageous humans have been in undertaking our species’ corrupting search for knowledge they are worthy of inclusion again: ‘To dream the impossible dream [of one day, in the far future (which has now arrived), finding the redeeming understanding of the human condition], to fight the unbeatable foe [of our ignorant, ideal-behaviour-demanding instincts], to bear the unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go. To right the unrightable wrong [of being unjustly criticised], to love pure and chaste from afar, to try when your arms are too weary, to reach the unreachable star. This is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far. To fight for the right without question or pause, to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause. And I know if I will only be true, to this glorious quest, that my heart will lie peaceful and calm, when I’m laid to my rest. And the world will be better for this, that one man scorned and covered with scars, still strove with his last ounce of courage, to reach the unreachable star.’
In short, there was no retreat for the resigned adolescent; like all the fully conscious humans who had gone before them, they each had to find the courage to continue humanity’s heroic search for knowledge. Procrastination got them nowhere, and so (and this behaviour is more typical of recent times) after a few years’ spent consuming lots of drugs and alcohol and partying long into the night to help them accept their fate, the adolescent had to ‘get on with it’ and take up the challenge of adulthood in a world where understanding of the human condition was yet to be found. In fact, it normally wasn’t until they reached 21 that young resigned adults finally managed to orientate themselves to their extremely compromised resigned life—an orientation that involved two main adjustments: first, they had to block out the negative reality that living so falsely and thus so dead in soul and intellect meant they would have to endure living a completely corrupted, ‘phony’, ‘fake’ life; and second, they had to train their mind to block out all memory of the innocent childhood state and focus on whatever meagre positives they could eke out in the journey ahead. I describe these positives as ‘meagre’ because the degree of happiness they provided did not compare to the happiness the human race enjoyed while living in the magic state of our soul’s true, all-loving and all-sensitive world.
The first, in truth, tiny positive was the prospect of the adventure involved in trying to avoid, for as long as possible, the inevitable disaster of complete self-corruption. We may have been about to ‘go under’—become totally corrupted—but at least we could hope to make a good fight of it. In fact, as will be described shortly, by the age of 21 young resigned adult men in particular could have so blocked out the truth of another ideal, soulful, integrative true world, and so adopted belief in a selfishness-justifying, competitive, survival-of-the-fittest meaning to life, that they deluded themselves that winning power, fame, fortune and glory would genuinely bring them validation, prove that they actually were good and not bad.
The second tiny positive in the resigned existence was romance, the hope of ‘falling in love’, which (as will be described in par. 786) can be now understood as the hope of escaping reality through the dream of ideality that could be inspired by the neotenous image of innocence in women.
Although these two positives were tiny, resigned adolescents gradually built them up in their mind to the extent that they became all-consuming. They had no choice but to mentally posture themselves and their resigned environment in such a way to be able to propel themselves off that ridge and take up humanity’s journey to find liberating understanding of our species’ upset, corrupted condition.
We now need to look at the journey into adulthood, and beyond, of those individuals who didn’t resign—a group, as stated earlier, that included virtually all those forebears who lived prior to the emergence of H. sapiens sapiens, and even most members of H. sapiens sapiens since Resignation only became almost universal during the last 11,000 years of H. sapiens sapiens’ reign.
Although not becoming so upset that they had to resign to a life of living in denial of the issue of the human condition, the lives of unresigned individuals still followed a parallel path to that of resigned individuals, who were living with the delusion that by winning power, fame, fortune and glory they could genuinely validate themselves, prove that they were actually good and not bad. The reality of the resigned path, however, was that those on it were inevitably bound to discover that power, fame, fortune and glory couldn’t bring them any real validation, but merely resulted in them becoming more upset, and thus more insecure about their meaning and worth, and thus more dissatisfied. In contrast, while unresigned individuals were not living with the delusion that they could prove that they were champions and heroes of a competitive, survival-of-the-fittest, ‘red-in-tooth-and-claw’ world, they were, nevertheless, living with the naive illusion, the optimistic hope, that all the wrongness in the world could be righted; that they could make the world a better, more ideal place. The reality then for the unresigned person was that the situation all around them, and even in themselves, only got worse as the upsetting search for knowledge continued—which means everywhere humans were becoming more upset and thus cynical about the goodness of other humans, mean-spirited and destructive. So while their disappointments and frustrations were coming off vastly different bases, both the resigned and the unresigned faced overwhelmingly difficult paths.
In the situation, however, where most of the population were resigned, as has been the case during the last 11,000 years, the overwhelming problem for the unresigned person was that the resigned state of complete dishonesty and aggressive competitiveness was a total mystery to them—because those who were resigned to living a life of extreme dishonesty and deluded competitiveness could never admit they were doing so. It was the ‘silence’ of the resigned state that was the most destructive of innocence, be that in children or unresigned adults—in the words of Simon and Garfunkel’s 1964 song The Sound of Silence, ‘Fool, said I, you do not know—silence like a cancer grows’. The reason Roald Dahl’s children’s books have been so immensely popular—his sales exceed 100 million, making him one of the bestselling fiction authors of all time—is that even though his stories of child-eating giants, etc, etc, seem ghastly to resigned, dishonest, upset-denying adults, to children their admission of the extreme imperfection of the world of adults is phenomenally relieving. In effect, resigned people assumed everyone else was also resigned and, therefore, that it was self-evident as to why they behaved so dishonestly, aggressively and competitively, but their behaviour was, in fact, a complete mystery to the unresigned. And since the idealistic innocence of the unresigned mind was so trusting and thus codependent to the resigned state, they were brutalised to the point where, almost invariably, their innocence was destroyed by the extreme dishonesty and defensiveness of the resigned state. The psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich wrote honestly about this effect of upset on innocence when he described how ‘The living [those relatively free of upset]…is naively kindly…It assumes that the fellow human also follows the laws of the living and is kindly, helpful and giving. As long as there is the emotional plague [the flood of upset in the world], this natural basic attitude, that of the healthy child or the primitive…[or the unresigned adult, is subject to] the greatest danger…For the plague individual also ascribes to his fellow beings the characteristics of his own thinking and acting. The kindly individual believes that all people are kindly and act accordingly. The plague individual believes that all people lie, swindle, steal and crave power. Clearly, then, the living is at a disadvantage and in danger’ (Listen, Little Man!, 1948, p.8 of 109). Recall Sir Laurens van der Post’s description of how the relatively innocent Bushmen struggled to cope with upset: ‘mere contact with twentieth-century life seemed lethal to the Bushman. He was essentially so innocent and natural a person that he had only to come near us for a sort of radioactive fall-out from our unnatural world to produce a fatal leukaemia in his spirit.’ In truth, this description also applies to the catastrophic effect today’s terminally alienated world is having on many children, the result of which is the epidemic proportion of anxiety-related disorders like ADHD and autism that we are now seeing, a development I will describe in greater detail later (in chs 8:16B and 8:16C).
The dilemma for the unresigned person has been that no matter how much idealism, no matter how much selfless behaviour they threw at a problem, the bottom line truth was that only understanding of the human condition could stop the resigned from behaving the way they were behaving—simply because the resigned had no other way of coping in the meantime. We will see later in chapters 8:15 and 8:16 how various mechanisms, like religion, were developed to try to contain the dishonesty and devastation of the resigned way of living, but ultimately such measures were limited in their effectiveness. (I might mention here that I am able to describe the agonies of the unresigned life because that has been my personal situation—as evidenced by my ability to think freely about, and write at length about, the human condition, for if I was resigned to living in denial of the human condition I obviously wouldn’t be able to confront the subject.)
So while, in the final 15-to-21-year-old stage of adolescence, the resigned person procrastinated over having to take up such a dishonest, soul-less life, the unresigned person (or, in humanity’s case, virtually all members of H. habilis, H. erectus and H. sapiens, and most members of H. sapiens sapiens prior to 11,000 years ago) had to adjust to the prospect of having their idealism disappointed, resisted and thwarted at every turn. For the unresigned, facing that valley of devastation was just as difficult in its own way as it was for the resigned, and, like the resigned, they had no choice but to accept that fate. And just as the resigned used those years between 15 and 21 to condition themselves to taking up the challenge of ‘march[ing] into hell for a heavenly cause’, so too did the unresigned. The ‘adventure’ for the unresigned was to see how much they could resist the corruption in the world, and if not change it then at least contain it. And the unresigned also used romance to inspire their horrifically difficult—and as Resignation became all but universal—increasingly lonely undertaking. And so, after an initial period of mental adjustment, both the resigned and the unresigned entered their 20s with a determination to make a difference, even if both realities were bound to become overwhelmed by the horror of life under the duress of the human condition—because, in truth, the few meagre positives available while living with the horror of the human condition meant that an enjoyable life was very short, as Bruce Springsteen described in his 1984 song Glory Days, ‘I had a friend was a big baseball player back in high school…Saw him the other night at this roadside bar…all he kept talking about was glory days, well they’ll pass you by, glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye, glory days…there’s a girl that lives up the block, back in high school she could turn all the boys’ heads…her husband Bobby well they split up, I guess it’s two years gone by now. We just sit around talking about the old times…Glory days, well they’ll pass you by’.
The courage of all humans who have lived during humanity’s heroic 2 million years in adolescence, during which time they had to face the inevitability of total self-corruption and frustrated despair by the end of their lives, has been so immense it is, and possibly will be for all time, out of reach of true appreciation. And thank goodness all that heroic effort has finally produced the understanding of the human condition that ends that 2-million-year journey of horror. In particular, we can see that since it was our silence, our denial, our alienation, that was the main cause of the destruction of innocence in both new generations of humans and in more innocent ‘races’, it follows that the primary way to end the destruction of the innocence in new generations and in the more innocent ‘races’ (bring to an end the alcoholism and other degradations in the lives of Australian Aborigines, the Bushmen of the Kalahari, Amazonian Indians, etc) is to end all that denial about the corrupted state of humans. It is the full truth about the human condition—which can now at last be explained and thus safely admitted—that not only sets those who are corrupted free from the human condition, it also saves those who are becoming corrupted from the ‘fatal leukaemia’ of their ‘spirit’ that Sir Laurens van der Post wrote about. The ‘catcher in the rye’ that Holden Caulfield wanted to be in order to save innocent children from the human condition (see par. 118) is the same ‘catcher’ that is needed to save more innocent races. As the saying goes, ‘honesty is therapy’, and it is the explanation of the human condition and the honesty it makes possible that cleanses all human situations everywhere—as Cat Stevens wrote and sang, ‘breaking down the walls of silence [the denial], [is what brings about the] lifting [of the] shadows from your [everyone’s] mind’ (Changes IV, 1971). Yes, this explanation is the ultimate form of therapy for each human and for the situation that exists between humans of all genders, generations, ‘races’, countries and cultures. On this note, it should be pointed out that while manufacturing concern for indigenous ‘races’ was one of the favourite ways supporters of the pseudo idealistic left-wing used to make themselves ‘feel good’ and thus relieve themselves of the agony of their unbearably corrupted condition, the whole act was based on dishonesty, on deluding yourself you were good and, by inference, uncorrupted. In fact, it was just such dishonesty about the corrupted state of humans that was so destructive of innocence! As such, supporters of the left-wing approach were doing the very opposite of trying to help and support indigenous people! Later in chapter 8:16Q when the extreme danger of pseudo idealism is made more apparent, we will see Nietzsche’s reference to ‘many sickly people’ who ‘have a raging hate for…honesty’, and Sir Laurens van der Post’s reference to ‘liberal socialist elements…[that] are not honest with themselves…They feel good by being highly moral about other people’s lives, and this is immoral’. Also included in that section is Christ’s warning about those who conceal their extreme upset behind pseudo idealistic causes in order to delude themselves that they are sound and ideally behaved people who are leading others to a sound and ideal world: ‘Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves’. But to return to my point, the fact that humans have had to resort to such extreme delusion and dishonesty as this to cope with their corrupted condition is really just a further reflection of how incredibly courageous the whole human race has been in ‘march[ing] into hell for…[its] heavenly cause’!