‘FREEDOM’—Chapter 8 The Greatest, Most Heroic Story Ever Told
Chapter 8:16B The emergence of terminal levels of alienation in the ‘developed’ world
The overall effect of such extremely congested living and the increase in the efficiency of communication technology is that it has led to a crescendo of upset—especially alienation from our natural, nurturing, all-loving and all-sensitive true self or soul. These quotes—which describe what is happening at the forefront of human progress, namely in the most materially so-called ‘developed’, mostly Western world, and specifically in the USA—provide frightening evidence of this epidemic of alienation: ‘today’s children are probably the least loved generation of all’ (Robert de Grauw, Letter to the Editor, TIME, 3 Apr. 2006); ‘96 percent of American families are now dysfunctional’ (leading US counsellor John Bradshaw quoted in The Australian, 8 May 1993); ‘The 1990 US Census stated there will be more stepfamilies than original families by the year 2000, and that 66 percent of those stepfamilies break up when children are involved’ (The Stepfamily Foundation; see <>); ‘one in two US children will live in a single-parent family at some point in childhood’ (US Census Bureau of Household and Family Statistics, 2000); ‘63 percent of the 18.5 million US children under 5 years of age were in some type of regular child care arrangement’ (US Census Bureau, 2005); ‘the electronic age has ushered in electronic parenting. Kids spend far more time sitting passively before a device such as a computer or television than they do playing or speaking with their families’ (The Commercial Appeal, 26 Aug. 2001). As one journalist wrote, ‘It is easier to get lost in a computer game than to deal with a dysfunctional family’ (David Boddy, ‘The Facebook generation is in the grip of National Attention Deficit Disorder’, The Telegraph, 4 Mar. 2013). Australia is one of the most sheltered and isolated and thus innocent countries left in the world, and yet our society is also unravelling with psychological suffering, as indicated by a 2011 study whose findings were reported on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald: ‘The well-being of Australia’s children and young people has declined alarmingly in the past decade—and plunging marriage rates are partly to blame, a major study has found. Growing rates of child abuse and neglect, of children being placed in foster care, and of teenage mental health problems, including a rise in hospital admissions for self-harm, are rooted in the rise of one-parent families and de facto couples, violent and unstable relationships, and divorce, the report says’ (‘Decline in marriage blamed for neglect’, 6 Sep. 2011). The British parenting guru, Penelope Leach, recognised how hurtful to children parental separation is when she said, ‘We have now reached a point where fewer than half of kids leaving high school will still have their parents living together. If we knew for sure that up to half the nation’s children were going to suffer something [so] damaging, we’d be moving heaven and earth to do something about it. This is a big issue that we just are not taking seriously—because we hate it, it’s horrible’ (‘10 Questions’, TIME, 8 Jun. 2015). Yes, unable to explain the human condition, we haven’t been able to confront and deal with it, or its implications. The reality is that humans are now so alienated, so divorced from their true self, they can barely live with themselves, let alone anyone else. The real reason for the breakdown in relationships is alienation, which in turn is a direct result of the human race’s heroic but ever-increasing state of upset, a state that could only be ameliorated through the finding of compassionate understanding of the human condition.
The result of all this rapidly accumulating ‘dysfunction’—the lack of a soulful, sound, alienation-free, nurturing and loving functional environment—is ever-increasing levels of psychological pain from disorientation and depression, and, to cope with that, even more block-out/denial/alienation, a process that is ending in the extreme disconnecting, dissociative behaviours of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism, as these statistics confirm: ‘someone born since 1945 [is] likely to be up to 10 times more depressed than their grandparents’ (psychologist Michael Yapko, Hand-Me-Down Blues description on Amazon, 1999; see <>); ‘Depression…is the leading cause of disability in the US and abroad’ (Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon, 2001, p.25 of 560); there has been a ‘41% increase in ADHD in US children during the past decade’ (TIME, 15 Apr. 2013); ‘This [today’s US society] is an ADD epidemic in the making’ (Katrin Bennhold, ‘Generation FB’, The New York Times, 23 Jun. 2011); and, ‘Our country [the UK] is in the grip of a national attention deficit syndrome’ (David Boddy, ‘The Facebook generation is in the grip of National Attention Deficit Disorder’, The Telegraph, 4 Mar. 2013).
In a 2013 article titled ‘Once More on Attention Deficit Disorder’, the creator of primal therapy, the aforementioned psychologist Arthur Janov, wrote that ‘there are more and more cases of ADD among children [in the US], one in five to be exact…So what is going on?…The brain [of the ADD child] is busy, busy, dealing with the pain’ from ‘childhood’, ‘where there was no [real, unconditional] love’, only ‘conditional love’ where, for example, ‘parents wanted smart kids’ to fulfil their own insecure ego’s desire for reinforcement; with the result that ‘when there is stimulation from the outside…it meets with a very active brain which says “Whoa there. Stop the input. I have too much going on inside to listen to what you ask for”.’ Janov concluded, ‘You know, ADD is also called the hyperactivity disorder (ADD HD: Hyperactive Disorder). Of course, the kid is agitated out of his mind, driven by agony inside. We want her to focus on 18th century art and she is drowning in misery’ (4 Apr. 2013; see <>). If we truly want some insight into what it actually is that is causing children and young adolescents to be ‘agitated out of his [their] mind’, ‘drowning in misery’, consider again the unresigned, denial-free honesty of these lyrics from the 2010 Grievances album of the young American heavy metal band With Life In Mind that were included in par. 229: ‘It scares me to death to think of what I have become…I feel so lost in this world’, ‘Our innocence is lost’, ‘I scream to the sky but my words get lost along the way. I can’t express all the hate that’s led me here and all the filth that swallows us whole. I don’t want to be part of all this insanity. Famine and death. Pestilence and war. [Famine, death, pestilence and war are traditional interpretations of the ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ described in Revelation 6 in the Bible. Christ referred to similar ‘Signs of the End of the Age’ (Matt. 24:6-8 and Luke 21:10-11) and all of these descriptions are accurate because such extreme disintegration is the state of terminal alienation that occurs in the final stages of humanity’s heroic search for knowledge.] A world shrouded in darkness…Fear is driven into our minds everywhere we look’, ‘Trying so hard for a life with such little purpose…Lost in oblivion’, ‘Everything you’ve been told has been a lie…We’ve all been asleep since the beginning of time. Why are we so scared to use our minds?’, ‘Keep pretending; soon enough things will crumble to the ground…If they could only see the truth they would coil in disgust’, ‘How do we save ourselves from this misery…So desperate for the answers…We’re straining on the last bit of hope we have left. No one hears our cries. And no one sees us screaming’, ‘This is the end.’
So it’s no wonder children have a massive need for distraction from the overwhelming internal pain resulting from growing up in a fearful world without any real love or ‘hope’ or ‘answers’, which in the more extreme cases has resulted in ADHD. (In the case of the most extreme state of dissociation from the ‘screaming’ ‘agony inside’ of autism, I will look closely at that next in ch. 8:16C.)
Regarding Janov’s comment that ‘We want her to focus on 18th century art and she is drowning in misery’, in 2013 an art teacher at one of Sydney’s leading private schools told me that ‘while only two years ago students were able to sit through a half hour art documentary, I now know I lose them after only eight minutes; today’s students’ attention span is that brief!’ (WTM records, 26 Apr. 2013). This comment mirrors an observation made by the political scientist David Runciman in a 2010 BBC documentary series about the world wide web: ‘What I notice about students from the first day I see them when they arrive at university is that they ask nervously “What do we have to read?” And when they are told the first thing they have to read is a book they all now groan, which they didn’t use to do five or ten years ago, and you say, “Why are you groaning?”, and they say “It’s a book, how long is it?”’ (Virtual Revolution, episode ‘Homo Interneticus’). The same documentary also includes the following statement from Nick Carr, the author of Is Google Making Us Stupid?: ‘I think science shows us that our brain wants to be distracted and what the web does by bombarding us with stimuli and information it really plays to that aspect of our brain, it keeps our brain hopping and jumping and unable to concentrate.’
Yes, what the internet is really providing is not access to more knowledge and understanding as many would have us believe, but distraction from pain. As Janov pointed out, the young person of today is increasingly ‘agitated out of his mind, driven by agony inside…drowning in misery’, with ‘too much going on inside to listen’ and ‘focus’. As Carr said, their ‘brain wants to be distracted’. In the case of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, it allows people to be preoccupied/distracted (from the human condition) all day long with inane, frivolous, narcissistic, superficial self-promotion and gossip. The result of this extreme distraction from the ‘agony inside’ is that ‘The youth of today are living their lives one mile wide and one inch deep’ (Kelsey Munro, ‘Youth skim surface of life with constant use of social media’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Apr. 2013). Yes, ‘the net delivers this shallow, scattered mindset with a vengeance’ (‘The effects of the internet: Fast forward’, The Economist, 24 Jun. 2010). As one member of the ‘Y generation’ self-analysed, ‘Alone and adrift in what [Professor] de Zengotita calls our “psychic saunas” of superficial sensory stimulation, members of my generation lock and load our custom iTunes playlists, craft our Facebook profiles to self-satisfied perfection, and, armed with our gleefully ironic irreverence, bravely venture forth into life within glossy, opaque bubbles that reflect ourselves back to ourselves and safely protect us from jarring intrusions from the greater world beyond’ (Tom Huston, ‘The Dumbest Generation? Grappling with Gen Y’s peculiar blend of narcissism and idealism’, EnlightenNext, Dec. 2008-Feb 2009). A 2012 article in the Smithsonian magazine summed up this shallow and superficial approach to thinking today, stating that ‘Suddenly thanks to Google Books, JSTOR and the like, all the great thinkers…are one or two clicks away…And yet—here is the paradox—the wisdom of the ages is…buried like lost treasure beneath a fathomless ocean of online ignorance and trivia that makes what is worthy and timeless more inaccessible than ever’; the ‘digital revolution…[is] decapitating our culture, trading in the ideas of some 3000 years of civilization for BuzzFeed’ (Ron Rosenbaum, ‘Lewis Lapham’s Antidote to the Age of BuzzFeed’, Nov. 2012). A reviewer of my writing, who was deeply concerned about the profundity of my insights into the human condition not being heard in this superficial, trashy digital age, summed up the danger of this phenomenon when he wrote that ‘We have a lot of competing noise for our attention these days, and it would be criminal to let that overwhelm our true potential, by masking [the] useful information [in Griffith’s books] with hideous noise’ (‘Fitzy’, Humanitus Interruptus – Great Minds of Today, 21 Oct. 2011; see <>).
The labels that have been given to recent generations are actually very telling of the rapidly escalating levels of alienation we are now seeing in society—and which the internet, while providing superficial relief for, is propagating and spreading at an exponential rate. While previous generations have been given the positive monikers the ‘Builders’ and the ‘Baby Boomers’, the generations who have followed are referred to as the ‘X generation’, the ‘Y generation’, and now the ‘Z generation’, which, according to Wikipedia, comprises ‘people born between the mid-1990s and late 2000s’. The Canadian writer Douglas Coupland defined a Generation X’er as one who ‘lives an X sort of life—cerebral, alienated, seriously concerned with cool’ (The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 Aug. 1994)—qualities that are all associated with having had to adjust to an extremely soul-devastated existence. The adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said that ‘Generation Y is being ravaged by depression, anxiety and stress disorders’ (Miranda Devine, ‘Face it, we are all narcissists now’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 Sep. 2009). So what exactly did we mean when we applied such valueless, end play lettering to these X, Y, Z generations? The answer is that they each represent an advanced state of terminal alienation. And the question left hanging is, what comes after Z? (Note that the terminal level of alienation apparent in the ‘Y-generation’, those born between 1982 and 1998, who are also known as ‘Millennials’, and in subsequent generations, is described in some detail in my book Death by Dogma, and in Freedom Essays 55 and 59 on the WTM home page.)
In 2013 TIME magazine featured a story on the Y-generation titled ‘The Me Me Me Generation’ (20 May 2013). Being one of the many frighteningly dangerous pseudo idealistic, left-wing magazines now—the left-wing being a phenomenon I will talk about shortly in chs 8:16H to 8:16Q—TIME tried to put an almost completely dishonest, positive spin on the present extremely narcissistic, chronically alienated ‘80 million strong…biggest age group in American history’ Y-generation. In small text, the introduction to the article said, truthfully enough, that the Y-generation’s ‘self-centeredness could bring about the end of civilization as we know it’, but then promoted them, in very large text, with the reverse-of-the-truth lie, as ‘THE NEW GREATEST GENERATION: WHY MILLENNIALS WILL SAVE US ALL’! At least, hidden away in this nine-page cover story about this ‘narcissism epidemic’, was the admission that narcissism is a ‘personality disorder’ that occurs ‘when people try to boost self-esteem’, revealing that the real problem is lack of self-esteem, insecurity of self—alienation. What this article is really reporting on then, if it was to be honest, is how the present, ‘80 million strong…biggest age group in American history’ Y-generation exists in a state of terminal alienation, and the dire implications such an epidemic poses for the future of our species. (One of the main psychological reasons for the loss of self-esteem that is causing this ‘narcissism epidemic’ will be looked at shortly in ch. 8:16D.)
A 2008 documentary on the destructive effects of all the consumer advertising directed at children, titled Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood, features a montage of powerful news clips from American television that provides a graphic snapshot of the symptoms of terminal levels of alienation being reached in society. In the first clip the newsreader reported that ‘Forty times as many young people are now being diagnosed with bipolar disorder than 13 years ago [bipolar disorder is the less confronting term now being used for what was once more truthfully termed ‘manic depression’, the state of extreme depression where the mind can only break free of it occasionally, resulting in oscillating bouts of euphoric relief then more depression].’ The second clip reported that ‘Almost 4.5 million children in this country have been diagnosed with ADHD.’ The third clip said that ‘Doctors are writing a growing number of prescriptions for anti-depressants for children, as many as eight million a year.’ The fourth clip reported that ‘One in three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes.’ The fifth clip said that ‘For the first time in decades the rate of hypertension in children is rising [with a medical journal cover in background saying] 2 million + American children may have high blood pressure.’ And, finally, the sixth clip reported that ‘This generation of children is the heaviest in American history. An estimated 16% of all children and teenagers are overweight—four times as many since the 1960s. Life expectancy of children today will be shorter than that of their parents—the first such decline in modern times’ (Media Education Foundation).
Yes, with upset becoming completely unbearable for humans, the distress it entails must be straining our bodies’ ability to cope to the very limit, which is why diseases like cancer now riddle society. Indeed, as was mentioned in par. 934, descriptions of the healthiness of humans before the upset state of the human condition emerged reveal that most of our present sicknesses must be psychosomatic (emotional) in origin: reference was made to Hesiod’s description that ‘When gods alike and mortals rose to birth / A golden race the immortals formed on earth…Like gods they lived, with calm untroubled mind…Nor e’er decrepit age misshaped their frame…Strangers to ill, their lives in feasts flowed by’ (Works and Days, eighth century BC); and there is Buddhist scripture’s anticipation of what humans will be like once the ameliorating understanding of the human condition is found and absorbed, the time when humans ‘will with a perfect voice preach the true Dharma, which is auspicious and removes all ill’, and ‘Human beings are then without any blemishes, moral offences are unknown among them, and they are full of zest and joy. Their bodies are very large and their skin has a fine hue. Their strength is quite extraordinary’ (Maitreyavyakarana; Buddhist Scriptures, tr. Edward Conze, 1959, pp.238-242); as well as the time anticipated in the Bible when ‘Another book [will be]…opened which is the book of life [the human-condition-explaining and thus humanity-liberating book]…[and] a new heaven and a new earth [will appear where]…There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain’ (Rev. 20:12, 21:1, 4). Sally Fallon’s report that was referred to earlier when discussing the findings of Dr Weston Price (in par. 748), that ‘Many others have reported a virtual absence of degenerative disease, particularly cancer, in isolated, so-called “primitive” groups’, corroborates this conclusion. All the millions of health clinics in the world are not going to get humans back to full health; only the ameliorating understanding of the human condition being presented in this book can achieve that.
Alongside ever-increasing anxiety-driven disorders like obsessive compulsive behaviour, ADHD and autism, and unhappiness-driven excessive food consumption and physical sickness, the emotional lives of adolescents are also becoming shallower and cheaper, as this report indicates: ‘the sexualisation of Western culture [has meant] that sex has been robbed of its emotional depth…For young men and women, it’s increasingly a physical activity, with no real pleasure and no meaning at all…one hears of lipstick parties, where teenage girls wearing different coloured lipstick line up to give oral sex to boys with the aim of giving them a candy-striped penis’ (Clive Hamilton, co-author of the report ‘Youth and Pornography in Australia’, The Australian, 24 Jun. 2006). It has to be remembered that, as was explained in par. 782, sex is an attack on innocence, so treating it cheaply is another factor contributing to the escalating levels of hurt/upset/alienation in society. Also playing a huge role in the-death-of-soul-through-sex in the world is the frighteningly easy access to pornography that the internet allows, as well as the sexually predatory behaviour it can facilitate, as this extremely alarming—worse, terrifying—article documents: ‘Few things are certain in adolescence, but there’s one thing upon which teenage girls agree; pubic hair is out. “Everyone shaves. Everything,” says Sydney 16-year-old Anne. “If you’ve left it you are classified as disgusting. You’d be embarrassed for the rest of your life. Boys would pay you out, call you hairy. People start shaving in year seven [12 years old].” They know, or think they know, a few other things, too. That oral sex doesn’t count as sex. That sending nude pictures via text or Facebook is the new flirting. That boys their age watch porn regularly, and demand from their girlfriends the sexual menu they see online – hairless, surgically-enhanced bodies, ‘girl-on-girl action’, and much, much more. They are learning from the 21st century’s version of sex education class, the internet; a more enlightening and forthcoming source than nervous parents and teachers. But these lessons are a dangerous mix of misinformation and distorted images of sexuality, which is contributing to behaviour that can leave young women with deep psychological and physical scars.’ The article goes on: ‘girls are becoming women earlier than they used to. In the past 20 years, the age of a girl’s first period has dropped from 13 years to 12 years and seven months, and as many as one in six eight-year-olds have periods. Children with ‘precocious pubescence’ can start menstruating at five or six. Reasons range from better nutrition and obesity to the break-down of the family unit. “When dads aren’t around, they’re more likely to move into puberty earlier,” says parenting expert Michael Grose. “If it starts earlier, I imagine this would mean they are beginning to be sexually active earlier.” In the past 60 years, the age at which girls lose their virginity has dropped from 19 (when many women were married in the 1950’s) to 16, but many start much earlier…an Australian study…found the age of girls’ first sexual experience ranged from 11 to 17 years, with a median age of 14…there has also been a marked increase in unwanted sex, an experience that can have a long-term effect on how a woman feels about herself and her sexuality. “The main reasons are being too drunk or high, and pressure from a partner,”…A Sydney study found that almost half of all adults, like Mike, first watched pornography between the ages of 11 and 13…[and that in pornography there is] a trend towards sex that is rough, aggressive, and idealises acts women don’t enjoy in real life – gag-inducing fellatio, heterosexual anal sex, physical and verbal aggression…[porn] actors were required to be rough with the girl, and take charge. “He had moved from lovey dovey sex, towards material where the pornographists want to get more energy – ‘f--k her to destroy her’ ”. For many boys, porn is their sex education. They copy what they see, and expect their girlfriends to be like the women in the film’ (‘Lost innocence: Why girls are having rough sex at 12’, The Australian Women’s Weekly, 2 Jun. 2015). (The soul-destroying effects of sex in the lives of women especially will be looked at next in ch. 8:16C.)
Yes, overall, hugely improved communication technology has spread upset everywhere, infected the world with horror, as this reference to violent computer games by the writer and broadcaster James Delingpole recognises: ‘What troubles me about Grand Theft Auto V — which has an 18 rating that will be ignored by thousands of younger teenagers — is not just the message it sends out to youngsters (drugs are cool; crime pays; violence is fun), but what it says about the coarsening, the decadence and the hopelessness of our modern culture. It’s the electronic equivalent of those gladiatorial contests the Romans used to stage in the dying days of their empire, involving ever more exotic beasts and ever more elaborate sets. It may be entertaining, particularly to young men with a penchant for such nihilistic spectacle, but the sensibility to which it appeals is warped, jaded and riddled with the deepest, blackest despair. The fact that this is the most popular computer game on the market should make us all shudder’ (‘Torture and murder with the addictive glamour of Hollywood’, Daily Mail, 18 Sep. 2013).
In March 2014 an article by the British psychiatrist Anthony Daniels, writing under the pen name Theodore Dalrymple, was published in The Australian newspaper. Aptly titled ‘Next generation has apocalypse written all over it’, the piece provides further stark evidence of the emergence of terminal levels of alienation in the Western world: ‘The end is nigh! French civilisation is on the verge of collapse! No one who attended the recent Mondial du Tatouage (the World Tattoo Fair) in Paris could be in any doubt about it. It was held, appropriately enough, in the old abattoir at the end of the Avenue Jean Jaurès…surrounded by a wasteland of concrete monstrosities, French modern architecture now being some of the worst in the world…Perhaps the rejection of beauty as a goal by French architects — their work seeming rather to exclaim “F..k off, humanity!” — accounts in part for the adoption as a style by so many of the young French of deliberate ugliness and self-mutilation. In a world of brutal ugliness over which you have no control you might as well admit defeat and join in. Thousands queued to enter the fair…Many of them had already permanently disfigured themselves and, since their tattoos would have quite likely cost hundreds or thousands of euros, poverty was not the explanation for their degradation. Inside the abattoir, there were about 250 stands from across the Western world…It was only to be expected that ugly loud tuneless rock music of the kind that makes thought impossible and speech difficult was poured into the atmosphere like poison gas. Customers lay down on couches to have dragons, skulls, vampires, insects, rats or Elvis Presley permanently inscribed on their legs, backs, arms, chests…One man held a baby in his arms as a tattooist inscribed a snake on his back. You are never too young to be indoctrinated with nihilism…Two…men…tattooed so heavily that only a few years ago they would have been considered degenerate freaks, patted small children on the head as their delighted parents proudly took photographs of them…[A] tattooed slogan…on the front of a young woman’s upper thigh and knee, read ‘‘We are like roses that have never bothered to bloom when we should have bloomed and it is as if the sun has become disgusted with waiting.’’…Some of the names of the tattooists’ enterprises were revealing: Evil from the Needle, Clod the Ripper, Perfect Chaos, Black Heart…Modern Butcher…Ten years ago there were 400 professional tattooists in France; now there are 4000. In England, where so much of the worst of modern culture originated, more than a third of young adults are tattooed. Civilisations collapse from within’ (17 Mar. 2014). Yes, this situation where the ‘Next generation has apocalypse written all over it’ and ‘civilisation is on the verge of collapse’ is because ‘the sun has become disgusted with waiting’, the liberating light of understanding of the human condition has been delayed for far too long. Science really must let these understandings through.
On the subject of tattoos, this further masterpiece by Michael Leunig captures the whole horror of what new generations of humans have encountered coming into the now immensely upset, and embattled, and soul-devastated world of humans! Implicit in it is how, in their alienation-free, innocent state, infants can see right into the hearts of adults; they can see how alienated they really are!! God Almighty, the human condition has to end!!!
As a way of summarising the terminal state of alienation and stress that now saturates humans, I want to mention two of the most powerful healing tools I know of, apart from massage and diet—and if you’ve suffered from Chronic Fatigue (as I have) you will have probably tried every method of healing known to man! Interestingly, these devices were developed by Soviet scientists and used to preserve the health of astronauts in the Soviet space program. The first is SCENAR (or its more advanced German design, Physiokey), a device that delivers small electrical impulses that have the effect of an extremely powerful form of acupuncture, helping the body realign its electrical meridians that stress has left in unhealthy disarray. (A gentler form of this therapy is provided by the Frequency Specific Microcurrent device from the United States.) The second—and this is the tool that reveals just how alienated humans have become—is the Buteyko breathing technique, which involves learning to reduce your breathing rate and volume, the effect of which is to produce a profound healing of all manner of sicknesses. As has been explained, humans once lived in a pre-human-condition-afflicted, innocent, happy, loving, peaceful state, but that peaceful state is now so compromised with stress and anxiety that people today chronically overbreathe, which causes numerous detrimental physiological effects. In fact, overbreathing is an accurate measure of how alienated we have become from our original ‘innocent and simple and calm and happy’ and ‘quiet’, ‘free from’ ‘anguish’, ‘violence’ and ‘quarrel’ existence, when we had a ‘calm untroubled mind’, as Plato and Hesiod described our pre-human-condition-afflicted lives (see chs 2:6 and 2:7). And just how much and how fast that level of alienation has increased in the last 50 years or so is particularly apparent in an article about hyperventilation that reported that ‘modern people breathe about 2-3 times more air’ than humans did ‘only 70-80 years ago’ (Dr Artour Rakhimov, ‘Hyperventilation Causes’; see <>). We are indeed at the deadly end of an exponential curve of increasing levels of alienation! (See Freedom Essays 63 & 64 on the WTM homepage for a comprehensive analysis of current medical/healing/health practices and the massive improvements in such practices that understanding of the human condition now makes possible.)
I might point out here the utter hypocrisy of the situation where humanity goes into a collective meltdown of concern when some people are killed in a plane crash or earthquake (which is, of course, understandable) but completely ignores the die-off of the entire human race from the massive increase in the levels of alienation that is now occurring from one generation to the next. As Kierkegaard noted, ‘The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off in the world as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc., is bound to be noticed’ (The Sickness Unto Death, tr. A. Hannay, 1989, p.62 of 179). But, such has been our fear of making any reference to the real psychological nature of the human condition! How deep underground in Plato’s cave of denial is the human race living!