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This is Freedom Essay 55
Endgame for the human race:
the Millennials evidence the fast approaching death of the
human race from terminal levels of psychosis, which only
the redeeming and psychologically healing understanding
of the human condition — that has finally been found
but not yet widely implemented — can save us from
Written by Jeremy Griffith, January 2018
This essay summarises the terrifying endgame situation our species has arrived at as a result of our heroic but immensely upsetting, 2-million-year-long journey to find understanding of our angry, egocentric and alienated human condition.
The fully accountable, psychosis-addressing-and-solving, real biological explanation of the human condition that is described in and in and of my book FREEDOM reveals that when we humans became fully conscious some 2 million years ago, a battle for the management of our lives broke out between our already established gene-based, naturally-selected instinctive orientations and our newly emerged nerve-based, understanding-dependent, self-adjusting, fully conscious mind.
What happened was that our instincts in effect criticised and opposed our conscious mind’s necessary search for knowledge—and the only way to stop this condemning criticism, and thus end the battle, was to be able to explain and understand why we had to search for knowledge and defy our instincts. But we were only just setting out in search of knowledge, and it was a journey that would take us until now to find that redeeming explanation—which, as mentioned, is the difference between the nerve-based learning system that operates from a basis of understanding the world, and the gene-based learning system that can only give species orientations to the world around them. Without that clarifying explanation, all we humans could do throughout those 2 million years was defy our instincts by attacking them, by trying to prove them wrong, and by blocking out their criticism. The psychologically upset behaviours of anger, egocentricity and alienation emerged as our only means of coping while we searched for this understanding of our situation/condition that would end our need to be retaliatory, defensive and insecure and by so doing transform the human race into a human-condition-free state.
So our intellect or ‘ego’ (which is just another word for the intellect since the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines ‘ego’ as ‘the conscious thinking self’) became ‘centred’ or focused on the need to justify itself—selfishly preoccupied aggressively competing for opportunities to prove it is good and not bad, to validate its worth, to get a ‘win’; to essentially eke out any positive reinforcement that would bring it some relief from criticism and sense of worth. We conscious humans unavoidably became ego-centrically selfish, aggressive and competitive.
What is so significant in terms of understanding the dire, endgame situation that the human race has arrived at, is that it follows from what has been explained that the longer that search for understanding of ourselves went on, the more psychologically upset angry, alienated and egocentrically selfish, aggressive and competitive the human race would become, because each new generation has had to contend with not only the upset from their own experiments in self-management, but all the upset that had already accumulated in the human race. It was an extremely upset-compounding situation where the longer the search went on for the understanding that would end the criticism from our instincts, the more upset we became. Clearly, if that reconciling understanding wasn’t found and its transforming potential adopted, a crisis point would eventually be reached where unbearable levels of anger, egocentricity and alienation would develop—and it is precisely that terrifying endgame situation that the human race is now in!
This situation where eventually the ever-increasing levels of psychosis reaches a crisis, endgame, terminal, death-of-humans state is depicted at the bottom of the ‘Departure or Exhaustion Curve’ in the second graph below (from ).
describes how long ago in 750 BC, the Greek poet Hesiod told of this acceleration toward terminal levels of upset, when he wrote ‘speeds the swift ruin which but slow began’; and also how in 350 BC, another Greek, that aforementioned awesomely truthful and thus effective, denial-free thinking prophet Plato, also anticipated this ever-worsening situation towards ‘a danger of universal ruin to the world’ that followed the emergence of consciousness in humans. To go over what Plato said, in his dialogue The Statesman, he began by perfectly describing how in the very beginning the world was of a ‘primal nature, which was full of disorder…[then, when] the world was aided by the pilot [‘God’, the process of integrating matter—see ] in nurturing the animals [nurturing some animals, namely our primate forebears—this is an absolutely astonishing recognition of the nurturing process that gave us our moral instincts, a process that is described in ], the evil was small, and great the good which he produced [in our ‘nurtur[ed]’, innocent, all-loving bonobo-like ape ancestors], but after the separation, when the world was let go [when, as described in , the conscious mind began to challenge the instincts for mastery], at first all proceeded well enough [our intellect mostly deferred to our instincts]; but, as time went on, there was more and more forgetting [alienation, or separation from our instinctive cooperative and loving moral self or soul], and the old discord [disorder] again held sway and burst forth in full glory [the psychologically upset, divisive, disordered angry, egocentric and alienated state of the human condition emerged]; and at last small was the good, and great was the admixture of evil, and there was a danger of universal ruin to the world’ (see ).
The terrible irony is that while that holy grail of the whole human journey of thought and enquiry of the redeeming, reconciling and psychologically rehabilitating understanding of the human condition has finally been found and presented in FREEDOM, the ‘forgetting’ or alienation in humans now is so ‘great’ people find it extremely difficult accessing that liberating understanding.
This inaccessibility is the problem of the ‘deaf effect’, which, as a result of the extreme levels of ‘forgetting’ or alienation in humans now, is what most people experience when they try to read FREEDOM. How the ‘deaf effect’ works is that as soon as discussion of the human condition begins, the minds of most people now become subconsciously alert to the fact that they are being asked to confront what has become such an unbearably condemning and thus off-limits subject that they block out what is being said, with the result that most people now initially find it very difficult taking in or ‘hearing’ what is written on the pages. See for more on the ‘deaf effect’ that FREEDOM is encountering, as well as its solution.
And in fact Plato not only anticipated the ‘ruin[ous]’ time of terminal ‘forgetting’ or alienation or psychosis that the human race has now arrived at, he also warned that one of the effects of it would be this problem of the ‘deaf effect’ blocking access to the all-relieving and thus all-precious explanation of the human condition. As described in , in the famous cave allegory that appears in his dialogue The Republic Plato wrote that when ‘the enlightenment’ ‘of our human condition’ eventually arrived that would allow people to leave the dark ‘cave’ of denial where they have been hiding, this all-relieving truthful explanation of the human condition—which Plato said the all-exposing ‘bright’ ‘sun’ represents—‘would hurt his [the cave prisoner’s] eyes and he would turn back and take refuge in the things which he could see [take refuge in all the dishonest, illusionary explanations for human behaviour that we have become accustomed to from human-condition-avoiding, mechanistic science], which he would think really far clearer than the things being shown him. And if he were forcibly dragged up the steep and rocky ascent [out of the cave of denial] and not let go till he had been dragged out into the sunlight, the process would be a painful one, to which he would much object, and when he emerged into the light his eyes would be so overwhelmed by the brightness of it that he wouldn’t be able to see a single one of the things he was now told were real. Certainly not at first. Because he would need to grow accustomed to the light before he could see things in the world outside the cave [initially the cave prisoners would find it impossible reading about and absorbing the truthful analysis of the human condition; they would suffer from a ‘deaf effect’]’.
I should mention that, as Plato indicated when he said people ‘would need to grow accustomed to the light’, the ‘deaf effect’ can be overcome by persevering with reading about and listening to analysis of the redeeming, reconciling and rehabilitating understanding of the human condition (see for an explanation of the WTM Deaf Effect Course which is designed to facilitate this ‘accustom[isation]’; then see for an introduction to the Course; and for the presentation of the Course). And what is especially needed to encourage people to persevere is for some influential people to have overcome the ‘deaf effect’ and discovered the human-race-saving truth in FREEDOM, and to then publicise that discovery, as Professor Harry Prosen has done in his Introduction to FREEDOM (see ). So, such support is appearing, but it will require more of it, and that will take time to appear because the problem of the ‘deaf effect’ is ‘great’.
Another indication of how terminally alienated the human race has become is that those who are marketing FREEDOM have learnt that they get no response at all to their advertisements from people under the age of 35. The subject matter of FREEDOM of the all-important issue of our species’ troubled human condition has become just too unbearable to think about for all but a rare few who are under 35. Indeed, so alienated are younger generations now that any deeper thinking at all has become impossible—which is why universities provide ‘trigger warnings’ on any confronting subject matter, ‘safe spaces’ for students to escape reality, and protection from ‘microaggressions’. In fact, Millennials (also known as the ‘Y-generation’, those under 35 who were born between 1982 and 1998) are being described as ‘snowflakes’ because they melt if placed under any pressure. It certainly is endgame for the human race when humans completely give up on thinking, which is what has happened to those under 35. Universities have been places of learning, but how can you learn and seek truth if you aren’t prepared, expected or even challenged to think anymore? The reality is that the initial appreciation and support of FREEDOM is going to have to come from people over 35, which is a real measure of the extremely serious, fast-running-out-of-time situation the human race is in. The object then for the marketing of this world-saving understanding of the human condition is for the over 35s to initiate appreciation and support of the understanding, and for that to then encourage Millennials (and the following ‘Z generation’) to persevere with the explanation sufficiently to overcome the ‘deaf effect’ and become appreciative supporters of the explanation also.
(It should be emphasised that what is being said about Millennials is not an attack on them. As was explained in , the unavoidable, heroic price the human race had to be prepared to pay for searching for knowledge was ever increasing levels of upset anger, egocentricity and alienation, which has led to the extremely upset Millennial generation. So a generation’s particular level of upset is not their fault, rather it is a consequence of where it happens to fall in humanity’s progression of upset. Thankfully, as explained in , upset can now be transformed.)
In his aptly titled 1987 book, The Closing of the American Mind, the political scientist Allan Bloom confirmed that Plato’s ‘ruin[ous]’ time of terminal ‘forgetting’ or alienation has arrived. This review of his book summarises Bloom’s assessment of the consequences of students no longer being able to engage in any deeper, meaningful thinking: ‘we are producing a race of moral illiterates, who have never asked the great questions of good and evil, or truth and beauty, who have indeed no idea that such questions even could be asked…As Mr Bloom says…“deprived of literary guidance they [students] no longer have any image of a perfect soul, and hence do not long to have one. They do not even imagine that there is such a thing”…If the classics are studied at all in the universities they are studied as curiosities in the humanities departments, not as vital centres of the liberal tradition, and not as texts offering profound insight into the human condition’ (Greg Sheridan, ‘The Closing of Our Minds’, The Australian newspaper, 25 Jul. 1987).
I will now describe just how rapid this progression to terminal alienation has been since the end of the Second World War, and then provide the main reasons for it.
Clearly the two world wars in the first half of the 20th century provide stark evidence that the levels of angry, egocentric and alienated upset in the human race had reached a crescendo. But what has happened since the end of the Second World War (in 1945) shows that those levels of upset have now reached endgame, terminal, death-of-the-human-race depths.
As described in and of FREEDOM, the terrible bloodletting that took place during the Second World War represented such an immense valving off of upset, a form of purification, that it did bring about a brief period of relative freedom from upset, a freedom that gave rise to the relative innocence, idealism and freshness of the 1960s post-war generation, the irrepressible ‘Baby Boomers’.
In fact, it was the relative innocence, freshness and idealism of the 1960s generation (which I am part of, having been born in 1945), and of that era, that enabled me to think so freshly, inspiredly, truthfully, soundly and effectively about the human condition that I was able to solve it—so, yes, it turns out that it was during the 1960s that humanity conquered not only outer space by sending man to the moon, but also inner space by finding the understanding of the human condition!
The relative innocence and freshness of that time is very apparent in the ‘love me do’, Beatles-type innocence of the music of the late ’50s and early ’60s. However, while that era was, as Bono (of the band U2) described it, the ‘golden age of pop’ (God Part II, 1988), by the time of the famous Woodstock music festival of 1969 the innocence of the music of that period was fast disappearing with many of the performers’ music at the event already taking on a harder, more distressed, alienated edge. From that point on, popular music became increasingly filled with the alienated darkness of angst and depression, progressing to quirky ‘funk’, then on to ferocious head-banging ‘punk’, then to completely distraught ‘heavy metal’ music, then to utterly devastated, raging-with-angst ‘death metal’ music, to the totally hurt, numb, vacuous, exhausted, spent, flat-lining, dead music of today’s youth bands.
Of course, the reality has been that unable to explain and defend our ever-increasing levels of upset both from one generation to the next and throughout the years of each person’s life, we humans have had no choice but to ‘put on a brave face’ and carry on as if nothing untoward is happening. Basically, as the levels of upset increased, we just retreated deeper into Plato’s cave of denial, adopting ever-greater levels of disguise, delusion and pretence. But since Resignation during our mid teenage years was when we took up this strategy of denial in a major way (see ), we need only look to the denial-free truthfulness of the pre-resigned for a true description of the state of the world today. And that unresigned degree of honesty is clearly what we have in these lyrics from the 2010 Grievances album of the then young American heavy metal band With Life In Mind: ‘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 & Luke 21:10-11).] 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.’ (see )
Yes, what did that very great, extraordinarily honest thinking Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing say about our ‘asleep’, ‘scared to use our minds’ condition that is fast taking the human race to ‘the end’ of its existence: ‘Our alienation goes to the roots. The realization of this is the essential springboard for any serious reflection on any aspect of present inter-human life…We are born into a world where alienation awaits us. We are potentially men, but are in an alienated state…the ordinary person is a shrivelled, desiccated fragment of what a person can be. As adults, we have forgotten most of our childhood, not only its contents but its flavour; as men of the world, we hardly know of the existence of the inner world…The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man…between us and It [our true selves or soul] there is a veil which is more like fifty feet of solid concrete…we have absconded…The outer divorced from any illumination from the inner is in a state of darkness. We are in an age of darkness. The state of outer darkness is a state of sin—i.e. alienation or estrangement from the inner light…We are all murderers and prostitutes…We are bemused and crazed creatures, strangers to our true selves, to one another.’ ‘We are dead, but think we are alive. We are asleep, but think we are awake. We are dreaming, but take our dreams to be reality. We are the halt, lame, blind, deaf, the sick. But we are doubly unconscious. We are so ill that we no longer feel ill, as in many terminal illnesses. We are mad, but have no insight [into the fact of our madness].’ ‘We are so out of touch with this realm [where the issue of the human condition resides] that many people can now argue seriously that it does not exist.’ (see , and )
The 2016 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Bob Dylan, also recognised this ‘end’-time of ‘the sick’, ‘halt, lame, blind, deaf’, ‘terminal’, ‘age of darkness’ that ‘we are in’ when he wrote and sang in 1973, ‘It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see. I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door’.
We are indeed ‘so desperate for the answers’ that can ‘save ourselves from this misery’! And this desperation to find relieving understanding of the human condition is being recognised in the corridors of power, with, as mentioned in and in , the President of the United States announcing in 2013 a ‘Brain Initiative’, giving ‘$100 million initial funding’ to mechanistic science to find ‘the underlying causes of…neurological and psychiatric conditions’ afflicting humans; and in 2012, an American billionaire pledging $200 million to ‘accomplished scholars whose collective mission is…greater understanding of the human condition’; and in 2013, the European Commission announcing the launch of the ‘Human Brain Project with a 2013 budget of €54 million (US$69 million)’ with a ‘projected billion-euro funding over the next ten years’ with the goal of providing ‘a new understanding of the human brain and its diseases’ to ‘offer solutions to tackling conditions such as depression’; and similar initiatives are taking place at Oxford and Cambridge universities. The problem is that all these many hundreds of millions of dollars are being given to mechanistic science, which, as explained in , is committed to avoiding the issue of the human condition, so they were never going to find understanding of the human condition. Worse, having found this holy grail of science of understanding of the human condition—and this work had to be done without any public financial support—the mechanistic scientific establishment has determinedly resisted, and even attacked, this understanding, which is described in !
As has been mentioned, the problem is that not just the scientific establishment but most people now are living in such deep denial of the human condition—as R.D. Laing said, ‘We are so out of touch with this realm that many people can now argue seriously that it does not exist’—that they suffer from the ‘deaf effect’ when they try to read FREEDOM, and so can’t access its ‘desperate[ly]’ needed ‘answers’ that alone can ‘save ourselves from this misery’ and avoid the ‘knockin’ on heaven’s door’, ‘end’ of the human race! Clearly there is a very urgent need to find more influential support to encourage people to persevere in their reading of FREEDOM and by so doing overcome the ‘deaf effect’.
While denial has hidden us from the truth of how alienated we humans have become and how desperate our situation really is, paintings by the Irish artist Francis Bacon don’t hide the truth at all. It is clearly apparent in his death-mask-like, twisted, smudged, distorted, trodden-on—alienated—faces, and tortured, contorted, stomach-knotted, arms-pinned, psychologically strangled and imprisoned bodies; consider his 1976 Study for self-portrait below. It is some recognition of the extraordinarily purging honesty of Bacon’s work that in 2013 one of his triptychs sold for $US142.4 million, becoming, at the time, ‘the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction, breaking the previous record, set in May 2012, when a version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream [another exceptionally honest, human-condition-revealing painting included earlier] sold for $119.9 million’ (see ).
The American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 ‘Untitled’ painting (reproduced below) is another truthful depiction of how terminally alienated we humans have become. And in recognition of its extraordinary honesty, it was sold in May 2017 for ‘$US110.5 million’, becoming, at the time, ‘the sixth most expensive artwork ever sold at auction’ (see ).
Films serve as another indicator of the extent of our alienation, with the recent flood of movies and documentaries based on zombie, apocalyptic, escape-to-another-planet, ‘we are being attacked by aliens [by our own alienation]’, doomsday-preparation, ‘we need a super hero to save the world’ and other Judgment-Day-and-anxious-Bible-related epic themes reflecting the fact that the endgame state of terminal alienation that Bacon and Basquiat so frighteningly depicted is upon us (see for more on the meaning of disaster and superhero movies). Similarly indicative of this endgame state are the epidemic levels we are now seeing of the extremely psychologically distressed states of psychopathic narcissism, manic depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and the ultimate completely-dissociated-from-the-world state of autism (states of alienation that are explained in ). Basically, mental health issues are now completely crippling the lives of young people, and thus of future generations!
To now look at the main reasons for this extremely rapid progression to terminal alienation.
With our upset state of the human condition now defended it finally becomes both safe and necessary to admit what is explained in , that the human race did once live in an innocent, harmonious, cooperative and loving state, which we have progressively departed from since the upset state of the human condition emerged some 2 million years ago following the emergence of our fully conscious mind and its heroic search for knowledge. Further, as is explained in that essay, it was through nurturing that we acquired our original unconditionally selfless, cooperative and loving moral instinctive self or soul. Acknowledgement of this truth of our species’ nurtured, unconditionally selfless, cooperative and loving origins means we can now understand that humans are born instinctively expecting to encounter a cooperatively orientated, all-loving world, and from there acknowledge how compromising of a child’s healthy development it is when these expectations of unconditional love are not met.
In particular, we can acknowledge how easily children, in their soulful, trusting naivety, blame themselves for any shortfall in love, and how devastatingly hurtful the conclusion that they are a bad, unworthy person is for them, and, therefore, how much children have to block out any thinking about that terrible conclusion, and, therefore, how alienated they become from their true self or soul, and how that lack of access to their true self or soul compromises their ability to nurture the next generation with real love when they in turn became parents! (see )
This incredibly rapidly escalating level of alienation in parents from one generation to the next plays out in two particular ways.
Firstly, for mothers it means that their ability to nurture their offspring with the unconditional love that their infants instinctively expect is hugely compromised. While mothers in their resigned state of denial aren’t aware of their alienation from their true self or soul, infants in their innocence are, and, as described, suffer terribly as a result. And since, as the lyrics of ‘With Life In Mind’ reveal, the levels of alienation have become extreme, it is no wonder at all how paralysed with psychological pain and resulting alienation present generations are. Yes, R.D. Laing wasn’t overstating the brevity of soulful innocent happiness and wellbeing now in children when he wrote that ‘To adapt to this world the child abdicates its ecstasy’—and neither was playwright Samuel Beckett when he famously said about parents and their offspring now, that ‘They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more’ (see ). This particular development of terminal alienation in mothers and its horrendously tragic consequences is described at some length in FREEDOM in : ‘The dire consequences of terminal levels of alienation destroying our ability to nurture our children’.
(Again, it has to be stressed that mothers’ alienation and resulting inability to give their offspring unconditional love is not their fault but a consequence of the increase in levels of alienation that has been going on ever since humanity’s heroic battle to find knowledge began. It further has to be stressed that all this truth about how alienated we humans have become from our species’ original innocent state, and how important nurturing is, are truths that couldn’t be admitted while we were unable to explain and defend our species’ upset state. But now that we can defend it—and not just defend it, but explain that despite all our accumulated upset we humans are so wonderful we are the heroes of the story of life on Earth—it becomes both possible and necessary to reveal, talk about, and understand the effect of these truths. The urgency to do so is totally apparent given the endgame situation the human race is in. There’s no time left to delay. We’ve got to get the truth up about the human condition, understand and deal with it, and then move on (see ).)
Secondly, to look at the effect of fathers’ ever-increasing levels of upset on subsequent generations. As described in , men, in their role as group protector, were charged with the responsibility of saving humanity by solving the human condition, which meant they were the ones that were particularly charged with searching for knowledge and suffering the upset anger, egocentricity and alienation that resulted from doing that. In the end it was the extreme levels of this anger and egocentricity that developed in men that particularly compromised the next generation. Men could become so angry and egocentrically embattled that they couldn’t help projecting their desperate state onto those around them by intimidating them, freezing them out, and making them prove themselves as being worthy of their endorsement at every turn—basically being extremely arrogant, tyrannical, authoritarian and tough. Of course, the effect of this ‘My way or the highway’, overly self-worth-embattled, win-at-all-costs, narcissistic, power-addicted state was particularly psychologically devastating of the innocent, all-loving and trusting, gentle souls of children. As depicted in my drawing below, it either psychologically crippled them or turned them into even more extreme power addicts than their fathers—and in some cases even their mothers because, of course, while it was particularly a male phenomenon, women could also be power addicts. It’s said that ‘power addicts’, or ‘psychopaths’ as they are sometimes called, will do anything no matter how immoral to achieve and maintain power—being variously described as ‘ruthless’, ‘manipulative’, ‘belligerent’, ‘bullying’, ‘totally self-centred’, ‘egocentric’, ‘amoral’, ‘cold’, ‘cruel’, ‘obsessed with wielding power over others’ [in other words, controlling and dominating], ‘deceitful’, ‘self-important’, ‘lacking any ability to empathise with others’, with a mindset that is ‘quick to blame others for their mistakes’ and ‘to hoard grievances’ (see ). Clearly it is an extremely dysfunctional and destructive state, which explains why the ‘narcissistic’ ‘self-centeredness’ of the ‘80 million strong…biggest age group in American history’, ‘Me Me Me Generation’ of the immensely psychologically insecure Millennials referred to earlier ‘could bring about the end of civilization’. The reason Middle Eastern countries are dysfunctional is because they have a predominance of power addicts. The reason China is an autocracy is to try to contain a predominance of power addicts. The reason Western countries have been so functional is because they haven’t had a predominance of power addicts, but that situation is clearly about to change. While the reason African countries are dysfunctional is not because of power addicts but because of naivety in living with the upset state of the human condition, the overall reality is that the whole world will very soon be completely dysfunctional. This development of terminal levels of upset in men in particular, and of its consequences, is described at some length in FREEDOM in . Also, you can read more about different levels of upset in ‘races’ in , and in FREEDOM in .
(Again, upset in humans, in this case power-addicted men, is not a guilt-deserving condition but a product of humanity’s heroic search for knowledge. And again, it also has to be emphasised that it is at last safe and necessary to admit such truths about power addicts because we have found the redeeming understanding for all the upset in us humans, and, as is explained in and in , , , & everyone, no matter their condition, can now be transformed to a human-condition-free state.)
The effects of mothers’ alienation and fathers’ egocentricity and anger on their offspring have been devastating, as these quotes about what is happening at the forefront of human progress, namely in the most materially so-called ‘developed’ world, specifically in the USA, evidence: ‘today’s children are probably the least loved generation of all’ (Robert de Grauw, Letter to the Editor, TIME, 3 Apr. 2006), and ‘96 percent of American families are now dysfunctional’ (leading US counsellor John Bradshaw quoted in The Australian, 8 May 1993).
And once the levels of alienation reach a certain tipping point, epidemic levels of family breakdown occur, which further accelerates the development of alienation in society. And this is happening; the reality is that people are now so alienated, so divorced from their true self, they can barely live with themselves, let alone anyone else. As a major 2011 study found, ‘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’ (see ).
In the resigned state of denial—especially of the truth of our species’ cooperative and loving past; of the role that nurturing of unconditional love has played in the maturation of our species and in our own lives; and, most importantly of all, of the upsetting battle between our instincts and intellect that led to ever-increasing levels of anger, egocentricity and alienation while we searched for the self-understanding that would relieve us of that psychologically upset condition—researchers have sought to blame the on-rush of alienation in emerging generations on such superficial causes as the overuse of communication technology, such as the internet, social media, smartphones and computer games. While this technology has greatly increased and spread alienation by exposing children to all the upset in the world which destroys their innocent, happy, trusting and loving souls, its overuse, even addiction, is the result of a massive need for distraction from overwhelming internal psychological pain. This quote from a 2013 UK article titled ‘The Facebook generation is in the grip of National Attention Deficit Disorder’, spoke the truth: ‘It is easier to get lost in a computer game than to deal with a dysfunctional family’ (see ).
As the psychologist Arthur Janov pointed out: ‘The brain [of young people today] 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”.’ ‘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’ (see ).
Indeed, 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!’ This comment mirrors an observation made by the political scientist David Runciman in a 2010 BBC documentary series about the internet: ‘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?”’ The same documentary also included the following insightful 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.’ (See for the quote sources in this and the following paragraph.)
In the case of social media such as Facebook, Instagram 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’. Yes, ‘the net delivers this shallow, scattered mindset with a vengeance’. As one member of the Millennial 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.’
Teenage relationships are also becoming shallower and cheaper, as this 2006 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’. As is explained in and , sex is an attack on innocence, so treating it cheaply is another factor contributing to the escalating levels of 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 this extract from a 2015 article titled ‘Lost Innocence’ 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’. (see )
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. Yes, it is little wonder there is an epidemic of anxiety-driven, dissociative disorders like obsessive compulsive behaviour, ADHD and autism, and that there is unhappiness-driven excessive food consumption and resulting obesity, and a plague of other physical sicknesses like diabetes and hypertension, and rampant ‘I-can’t-take-it-anymore’ drug addiction. The issue of the unspeakable suffering aside, the medical and welfare costs of caring for the on-rush of psychological exhaustion alone is soon going to cripple countries’ economies—for example Australia has a relatively small population and yet an official report says that our ‘National Disability Insurance Scheme, which funds tailored care packages mainly for children and young adults with intellectual or social disabilities, is expected to cost $22bn a year by 2020’ (The Australian, 31 Jan. 2018).
What all this exhaustion has finally led to in the last few years, and I’m writing this in 2018, is that young people are starting to give up on having anything to do with anything. It’s as if the levels of dissociation from the horrifically upset world that occurs in autism is becoming the standard way of living for all young people. A 2018 study by ‘social scientists seek[ing] explanations for millennials’ moderate ways’ said that ‘something is up’, ‘teenagers seem lonelier than in the past’, and talked of ‘young people becom[ing] virtual hermits’, and of ‘taking it slow. They are slow to drink, have sex and earn money.’ It said that ‘teenagers are getting drunk [on mind-numbing alcohol] less often’ and ‘other [escapist] drugs are also falling in favour’, and ‘young people [are] harming each other much less than they used to. Fighting among 13 and 15-year-olds is down across Europe’, and ‘teenagers are also having less sex’. It said that ‘In short, young people are less hedonistic and break fewer rules than in the past. They are “kind of boring”’ (‘Teenagers are better behaved and less hedonistic nowadays but they are also lonelier and more isolated’, The Economist, 10 Jan. 2018). The truth is that the last refuge for the terminally alienated is dissociation from the world. In fact, the epidemic numbers of children now suffering from the extremely agitated mental condition of ADHD, and the completely-dissociated-from-the-world state of autism, shows how Plato’s predicted ‘universal ruin’ stage of upset is upon us.
The fact is the paralysed, can’t-cope-with-anything, aptly titled ‘snowflake’ millennials are now describing themselves as ‘The Burnout Generation’—although, unable to acknowledge their extreme psychosis from the end play state of the human condition as the real reason for their burn-out, they are blaming it on such superficial causes as stress from the overuse of ‘smartphones’ and from ‘the 2008 financial crisis’; to being ‘scared’ of the world due to ‘intensive’ ‘helicopter parents’; and in general to the ‘mental load’ produced by the ‘systems of capitalism and patriarchy’! (Anne Helen Petersen, ‘How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation’, BuzzFeednews.com, 5 Jan. 2019; see ).
It should be mentioned that this completely exhausted inclination in emerging generations to give up on life is going to have, indeed is already having, very serious political and thus social consequences. Basically, rather than continue the heroic but psychologically upsetting, anger, egocentricity and alienation-producing battle against our instincts that unavoidably results from searching for knowledge, ultimately for self-knowledge, the all-important, psychologically relieving understanding of our human condition (see ), they want to quit the battle, throw in the towel, give up on finding knowledge. Exhausted by the battle, they are throwing their hands up and saying ‘Let’s just stop this struggle and be good to each other’—vote for outrageously irresponsible, let’s-share-everything, extreme socialists like Jeremy Corbyn in British politics and Bernie Sanders in US politics. To quote this 2017 UK report, ‘Young people voted overwhelmingly for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in the general election, playing a crucial role in denying Theresa May a majority, according to a new poll’ (The Independent, 10 Jun. 2017). Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s warning is appropriate (underlining added): ‘You are not yet free, you still search for freedom. Your search has fatigued you…But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject the hero in your soul! Keep holy your highest hope!…War [against the oppression of ‘let’s-all-just-be-good’, pseudo-idealistic, left-wing, no-understanding, dumb dogma] and courage have done more great things than charity. Not your pity but your bravery has saved the unfortunate up to now…What warrior wants to be spared? I do not spare you, I love you from the very heart, my brothers in war!’ (See , and , & about the extreme danger of left-wing politics.) Tragically and dangerously our species’ ‘highest hope’ of achieving ‘freedom’ from the human condition is being abandoned because of the emergence of unbearable levels of psychosis.
As pointed out at the end of , it won’t be long before left-wing pseudo idealism becomes so popular it will be impossible for right-wing politics to ever win power again and the result will be that the human race perishes in a human-condition-avoiding state of horrific alienation/psychosis. Yes, George Orwell’s bleak prediction in his famous book Nineteen Eighty-Four that ‘If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face [the human mind] – for ever’ is about to be realised!
So it is endgame wherever we like to look. Again, the plethora of end-of-the-world, apocalyptic programs appearing on television, such as ‘Life After People’, ‘Evacuate Earth’, ‘Doomsday Preppers’, ‘Armageddon Outfitters’, ‘End Day’, ‘Omens of the Apocalypse: The End is Near’, ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Zombie Apocalypse’, and films with titles like ‘Oblivion’, ‘Escape from Planet Earth’, ‘World War Z’, ‘The Last Survivors’, ‘Doomsday’, ‘Land of the Dead’, ‘Planet Terror’, ‘The Darkest Hour’, ‘These Final Hours’ and ‘This Is The End’, all bear witness to the endgame state the world has arrived at. A 2013 newspaper article titled ‘Vacant stares become all the rage’ contained the photograph shown below on the left with the caption, ‘An enthusiast takes part in the Zombie Walk festival in Prague on the weekend. Zombie walks, in which horror fans dress as zombies and parade through city streets, have grown in popularity in recent years.’ And another painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat (detail shown below on the right) was sold at auction in 2013 for a whopping $US48.8 million—a price no doubt indicative not only of its artistic merit but how much it resonates as an image of our time. Yes, R.D. Laing’s ‘fifty feet of solid concrete’ between us and ‘our true selves’ or soul is now more like a thousand feet of ‘solid concrete’! As the ‘With Life In Mind’ teens were ‘screaming’ out, ‘This is the end’! (see )
So in summary, from the ‘Baby Boomers’ (those born between 1945 to 1964) developed the so-called ‘X generation’ (1965 to 1981), who are defined as one who ‘lives an X sort of life—cerebral, alienated, seriously concerned with cool’ (see ). After that came the arrival of the almost terminally alienated Millennials or ‘Y generation’ (1982 to 1998), followed by the upcoming inevitably completely psychologically dead ‘Z generation’ (1999 to 2010). The question this labelling raises is what exactly did we mean when we intuitively chose the descriptions X, Y and Z generations? The answer, that we can now understand, is the rapidly developing progression to the ‘universal ruin to the world’ endgame state of terminal alienation. After all, what comes after Z?
Clearly, the arrival at last, in the nick of time, of the dreamed-of and fought-so-hard-for redeeming, reconciling and rehabilitating understanding of the human condition is of incalculable importance. However, since the ‘deaf effect’ is blocking access to this fabulous psychologically transforming understanding that is described in and , , , & , with anyone under 35 proving incapable of accessing it, it’s beyond vital that more older thought leaders discover FREEDOM and its importance and help the WTM to promote it. Humankind is now in a race to the finishing line of either an unimaginably horrific dystopian end where humans everywhere are writhing and dying in torturous and tumultuous levels of unbearable psychosis, or an amazingly joyous and happy transformed utopian life free of the human condition. The choice is that stark.
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Discussion or comment on this essay is welcomed—see below.
These essays were created in 2017-2019 by Jeremy Griffith, Damon Isherwood, Fiona
Cullen-Ward, Brony FitzGerald & Lee Jones of the Sydney WTM Centre. All filming and
editing of the videos was carried out by Sydney WTM members James Press & Tess Watson
during 2017-2019. Other members of the Sydney WTM Centre are responsible for the
distribution and marketing of the videos/essays, and for providing subscriber support.