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Please note, links to all the Freedom Essays are included at the end of this essay. Open any essay to read, print, download, share or listen to it (as a podcast).

 

 

This is Freedom Essay 19

 

An Introduction to the significance
of FREEDOM, by Professor Harry Prosen

 

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About Professor Prosen, M.D., M.Sc

 

Dr Harry Prosen is a professor of psychiatry who has worked in the field for over 50 years, including chairing two departments of psychiatry and serving as a president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. Professor Prosen was recently appointed one of 500 Specially Selected Fellows of the American College of Psychiatrists, and a Distinguished Life Member of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also psychiatric consultant to the Bonobo Species Preservation Society.

 

Professor Harry Prosen, Former President, Canadian Psychiatric Association

 

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What follows is an adapted excerpt from Professor Harry
Prosen’s Introduction to Jeremy Griffith’s book
FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition.

 

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“In the whole of written history there are only two or three people who
have been able to think on this scale about the human condition.”

 

(Prof. Anthony Barnett, zoologist, author and broadcaster, 1983)

 

Author Jeremy Griffith presenting at the launch of ‘FREEDOM’, RGS on 2 June 2016

Jeremy Griffith at the launch of FREEDOM at the
Royal Geographical Society in London 2016

 

The explanation of the human condition, which Jeremy Griffith has found, is THE key to a fully unifying understanding of our divided, alienated and corrupt condition, and it is the insight from which all the other mysteries about human life unravel. [The explanation of the human condition is presented in Video/​F. Essay 3.] What needs to be stressed, however, is that finding that explanation depended on overcoming a very great psychological hurdlewhich Charles Darwin actually alluded to when, towards the end of The Origin of Species, he wrote that ‘In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation…​Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history’ (see par. 5 of FREEDOM). Yes, while Darwin shed illuminating light on the origin of the variety of life, there biology has been stalledand for a very good reasonbecause the next step for biologists involved ‘far more important’ (in terms of difficulty) ‘research’. For ‘light’ to ‘be thrown on the origin of man and his history’, the issue of our species’ seemingly highly imperfect condition had to be explained, but the ‘psycholog[ical] difficulty was that the human condition has, in fact, been so unbearably self-confronting and depressing a subject that, as the Australian zoologist, author and broadcaster, Professor Anthony Barnett, once admitted in the opening quote to this essay, only a rare few individuals in recorded history have been able to go anywhere near it. Indeed, as Jeremy explains in chapter 2:4 of FREEDOM, the fundamental reason science has been what is referred to as ‘reductionist’ and ‘mechanistic’ is because it has avoided the great overarching, all-important but unbearably confronting and depressing issue of the human condition and instead reduced its focus to only looking down at the details of the mechanisms of the working of our worldthe great hope being that understanding of those mechanisms would eventually make it possible to explain, understand and thus at last be able to confront the human condition. Which is all very well, but the problem was that to assemble that liberating explanation from the hard-won insights into the mechanisms of the workings of our world, a biologist was going to have to emerge who could face our species’ psychosis! As is explained in F. Essay 40, mechanistic science had to do all the hard work of, as it were, finding the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, but unable to look at the whole picture its practitioners were in no position to put it togetherthat task required someone sound and secure enough in self to look at the whole picture, to confront the human condition, which, as emphasized, is no mean feat in itself, but one which Jeremy was able to accomplish.

 

Thomas Kuhn

Thomas Kuhn (1922–1996)

Thomas Kuhn’s book, ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’

 

In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1970), science historian Thomas Kuhn noted that ‘revolutions are often initiated by an outsidersomeone not locked into the current model, which hampers vision almost as much as blinders would’ (see par. 6 of FREEDOM). And when it comes to addressing the problem of the human condition this need to think independently of the existing details-only-focused, whole-view-of-the-human-condition-avoiding, mechanistic framework could not be more critical. For someone to be able to explain, and, through that explanation, bring reconciling, ameliorating understanding to our troubled human-condition-afflicted lives, they obviously had to be thinking from a position outside that conventional mechanistic paradigm. The situation certainly brings to mind Einstein’s famous comment that ‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them’!

 

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

 

I might add that I think we have always known that profound insight into human nature wasn’t going to emerge from the ivory towers of intellectualdom, rather it was going to come from the deepest of deep left field, somewhere where some extraordinary untainted clarity of thought might still exist, such as from the backwoods of Australia where these answers are actually from. [See F. Essay 50 for explanation of Australia’s role in in solving the human condition.]

 

So what exactly is the human condition, and why has the human race, including the mechanistic scientific establishment, been so committed to avoiding it, to living in such complete denial of it.

To draw on Jeremy’s own penetrating description, the human condition is our species’ extraordinary capacity for what has been called ‘good’ and ‘evil’. While it’s undeniable that humans are capable of great love and empathy, we also have an unspeakable history of greed, hatred, rape, torture, murder and war; a propensity for deeds so shocking and overwhelming that the eternal question of ‘Why?’ seems depressingly inexplicable. Even in our everyday behavior, why, when the ideals of life are to be cooperative, selfless and loving, are we so ruthlessly competitive, selfish and aggressive that human life has become all but unbearable and our planet near destroyed? How could humans possibly be considered good when all the evidence seems to unequivocally indicate that we are a deeply flawed, bad, even ‘evil’ species?

As my profession has taught me only too well, for most people, trying to think about this ultimate of questions of whether humans are fundamentally good or not has been an unbearably self-confronting exercise. Indeed, while the term ‘human condition’ has become fashionable, its superficial use masks just how profoundly unsettling a subject it really is. Again, the truth is, the issue of the human condition has been so depressing for virtually all humans that only a rare few individuals in history have been sound and secure enough in self to go anywhere near what the human condition really is. So for Jeremy to so freely and accurately talk about it as he does in this book, he clearly must be one of those rare few. Nurtured by a sheltered upbringing in the Australian ‘bush’ (countryside), Jeremy’s soundness and resulting extraordinary integrity and thus clarity of thought, coupled with his training in biology, has enabled him to successfully grapple with this most foreboding of all subjects for the human mind of the human condition and produce the breakthrough, human-behavior-demystifying-and-ameliorating explanation of it. [See www.humancondition.com/​jeremy-griffith to read Jeremy’s complete biography; his biography also forms the basis of F. Essay 49.]

 

Jeremy Griffith as a young man at his work desk

Jeremy Griffith as a young man at his work desk

 

This ability exists in stark contrast with the current paradigm of thought that permeates science, and indeed all aspects of human life, which has had no choice but to avoidin truth, denythe seemingly inexplicable and unbearably confronting and depressing question of the human condition, meaning other scientists have remained failure-trapped in trying to explain it. If you can’t confront the issue you’re in no position to solve it. In fact, as is reinforced in Video/​F. Essay 14 & F. Essay 40, the human condition has been such a fearful, unconfrontable subject that science as a whole has become the purveyor of extremely dishonest theories that seek to falsely account for, and thus dismiss, our paradoxical nature. As Jeremy explains in chapter 2:11 of FREEDOM, there can not be a more dangerous example of this dishonesty than the theory that appears in biologist E.O. Wilson’s 2012 book, The Social Conquest of Eartha theory that evasively trivializes the human condition as nothing more than selfless instincts at odds with selfish instincts within us.

 

Scientists blindfolded looking into microscopes

 

In light of the dishonesty that has been systemic in scientific enquiry, Jeremy’s journey in bringing understanding to the human condition and protecting the integrity of that explanationa 40 year sagahas been a protracted and torturous one [read about the persecution Jeremy has suffered in chapter 6:12 of FREEDOM], but bringing understanding to the human condition is the only rational path forward for the human race! Indeed, as a reflection of the looming psychological crisis for the human race that is the end result of having to live ever deeper ‘underground’ in Plato’s horrible ‘cave’ of ‘human condition’-avoiding, dishonest, alienated darkness, and the now desperate need for the reconciling, redeeming and psychologically transforming light of understanding of the human condition, the following initiatives have all taken place in the last 5 years! [The sources of the following quotes are provided when Jeremy refers to them in par. 603 of FREEDOM.]

 

  • in December 2012 an American billionaire pledged $200 million to Columbia University’s ‘accomplished scholars whose collective mission is both greater understanding of the human condition and the discovery of new cures for human suffering’; and,

 

  • in January 2013 the European Commission announced 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,

 

  • in April 2013 the President of the United States, Barack Obama, announced a ‘Brain Initiative’, giving $100 million initial funding’ to mechanistic science to also find ‘the underlying causes of…​neurological and psychiatric conditions’ afflicting humans; and,

 

  • in April 2013 BBC News Business reported that ‘Lord Rees, the Astronomer Royal and former president of the Royal Society, is backing plans for [Cambridge University to open] a Centre for the Study of Existential Risk [meaning risk to our existence]. “This is the first century in the world’s history when the biggest threat is from humanity,” says Lord Rees’. The article then referred to Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute that was established in 2005, which is ‘looking at big-picture questions for human civilization…​[and] change…​[that] might transform the human condition’, quoting its Director and advisor to the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, Nick Bostrom: ‘There is a bottleneck in human history. The human condition is going to change. It could be that we end in a catastrophe or that we are transformed by taking much greater control over our biology’!

 

Obama pledging money to the Brain Initiative

Obama pledging $100 million to the Brain Initiative in 2013

 

There are two points I would make about these very recent initiatives. Firstly, establishing a center to study the human condition is precisely the initiative Jeremy took 30 years ago when he created the self-funded WTM, an act of prescience that evidences his clarity and integrity of thoughtthe WTM even has the now much sought-after domain name humancondition.com’. Secondly, while the fastest growing realization in the world has to be that humanity can’t go on the way it is goingindeed, as Bostrom said, the great fear is that we are rapidly approaching an endgame situation [see F. Essay 55: Endgame for the human race], a ‘bottleneck in human history’, where the human species is either ‘transformed’ or ‘we end in a catastrophe’and so these initiatives are admirable in their goal to address the underlying, real problem afflicting the human race of the human condition, they are still attempting to do so from the same old reductionist, mechanistic position, which, as Jeremy explains in chapter 2 of FREEDOM, is an approach committed to avoiding the real psychological nature of the human condition, and as such is self-defeating; it is doomed to fail. An opinion piece by Benjamin Y. Fong of the University of Chicago that was published in The New York Times in 2013 made this very point: ‘The real trouble with the Brain Initiative is…​the instrumental approach…​[such biological reduction is] intent on uncovering the organic “cause”…​of mental problems…​rather than looking into psychosocial factors…​By humbly claiming ignorance about the “causes” of mental problems…​neuroscientists unconsciously repress all that we know about the alienating, unequal, and dissatisfying world in which we live and the harmful effects it has on the psyche, thus unwittingly foreclosing’ the ability to ‘alleviate mental disorder’ (‘Bursting the Neuro-Utopian Bubble’, 11 Aug. 2013; see www.wtmsources.com/151). To summarize what Fong has said here and elsewhere in his article, mechanistic, ‘reduction[ist] science’s ‘synthetic’ focus on the ‘organic’ rather than the ‘psychological’ nature of our problems can only end in denying humans ‘the possibility of self-transformation’. It is only Jeremy’s approach of confronting the real, psychological nature of the human condition that could hope to find, and now has found, the reconciling and human-race-‘transform[ing] understanding of the human conditionand yet it is his approach that has been treated as heretical, an anathema and a threat by the mechanistic scientific establishment!! My sincere hope, however, is that with our species’ predicament now so dire, the scientific establishment will finally acknowledge and support Jeremy’s human-race-saving insight into the human conditionand the other critically important insights made possible by his power to unravel our species’ psychosis.

I want to emphasize what I have just said: the desperation to solve the human condition that is apparent in the sudden emergence of all these admirable yet ultimately futile multi-multi-million dollar-supported Brain Initiatives evidences just how dire our situation isjust how close humanity is to the ‘end in catastrophe’, cornered, ‘bottleneck’, endgame situation of terminal alienation [again, see F. Essay 55]. And since Jeremy’s psychosis confronting, solving and ‘transform[ing] insights into ‘the human condition’ are all that can save humanity from this fate, this book is all that the human race has standing between it and extinction!

That is how important this book is, and why science must now recognize the substance and truth it contains. Indeed, the importance of the ideas in this book is immeasurable. The depths they enable us to reach in understanding ourselves and our world is bottomless. The great impasse to a full understanding of our existence has finally been breached. This truly is it, the day of days, the coming of our species’ moment of liberation.

 

Image of the book FREEDOM

 

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Watch Jeremy Griffith present the breakthrough redeeming explanation of the human condition in Video/​F. Essay 3, or read chapter 1 of FREEDOM. We also encourage you to read Professor Harry Prosen’s complete Introduction to FREEDOM.

 

Discussion or comment on this essay is welcomedsee 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.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT





Please note, we encourage constructive discussion about this information and so reserve the right to moderate or decline posts that we feel are not relevant or inappropriate. In particular, with the subject of the human condition being so confronting, malice can easily occur, and where comments are deemed to be motivated not by objectivity but by malice, they will be declined. It has to be appreciated that the possibility of malice toward this subject matter is very real, and we have a responsibility to manage that as best we can.

  • Frances Goulton on November 27, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Thank you for the clarity I received while reading this. Indeed I have been looking at this ‘human condition’ thing for a while now, trying to unravel what the state of the human condition needs are, if we want to produce a particular type of human being. While I come from an educators perspective I importantly come from an indigenous female perspective who’s human condition got disturbed beyond our control, and oh well, we’re at the bottleneck stage. I fear we will head toward the catastrohic end of our deal mainly because as Einstein said ‘we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them’. Anyway I am going to see how Jeremy’s thinking can help my thinking. I have been thinking about this for a long time now. He could push my insights further.

    Ngā mihi
    nā Frances

    • Tommy on November 27, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      I can’t encourage you enough Frances in pursuing your interest in Jeremy Griffith’s breakthrough ideas. I agree with your quote from Einstein and it reminded me of the marvelous quote Professor Prosen uses above from the science historian Thomas Kuhn noted that ‘revolutions are often initiated by an outsider – someone not locked into the current model, which hampers vision almost as much as blinders would’. As he explains Jeremy does come from outside the mechanistic paradigm, he is holistic in his thinking, sound and secure enough in self to look at and confront the human condition and solve it. I love Prof Prosen’s ending paragraph when he says ‘The depths they [the ideas in Freedom] enable us to reach in understanding ourselves and our world is bottomless. The great impasse to a full understanding of our existence has finally been breached. This truly is it, the day of days, the coming of our species’ moment of liberation.” Yes it really is, our collective human condition has been solved and the reconciled and redeemed world it opens up now for all humans is unbearably liberating and exciting. I also thought you may be interested in viewing Franklin Mukakanga’s video when he opened the WTM Center in Zambia (link below — the video is also on this WTM website and the Zambian WTM Center’s website at https://wtmzambia.com/about/). He says there amongst other wonderful things that “this understanding of the human condition will end all prejudices, like racism, forever”.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebbagd_l1_M

  • Kirsty G on November 29, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Freedom has been wonderfully introduced here by Professor Prosen, and I agree that bringing understanding to the human condition is the only rational path forward for the human race. I think the point made about modern science not being able to confront the issue-ie .whether we are fundamentally ‘good’ or ‘bad’ when you’re in no position to solve it is self evident- given how fearful we are to even acknowledge that the human condition exists! Reading Freedom has been so enlightening because it not only explains why and how the human condition developed but it becomes so clear that a new dawn of consciousness awaits us.

  • Sheila Williamson on December 1, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Very interesting look forward to more

  • Melody Donovan on December 15, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    A full knowledge of the human condition is firstly to see the self, our greatest understanding comes from that. However we remain affected even with understanding of the horrors and threats around us.
    Fear can not be removed from us even we have the knowledge and it is only when such time comes that awareness to the masses comes that mankind will be saved.
    This is the big picture. We need more simple picture books and childish type writings to be published and distributed among people.
    Especially those who are not too educated and are struggling to read or understand.
    There are definate levels of intelligence and definate levels of emotional intelligence.
    I say we spread this knowledge among people on the ground roots.

  • Josean Sagasti on December 15, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Los llamados científicos, aun no han comprendido nada de la condicion humana y eso, es una gran desgracia para el ser humano.
    No hacen mas que dar vueltas y vueltas a su intelecto. Como un coche sin cadenas, en una carretera helada.
    Primero que todavía confunden la mente, con el cerebro. Y no es lo mismo.
    Como la uña del dedo, no es el dedo.
    En fin, estan todos los llamados científicos, muy atrasados y lo peor de todo, muy equivocados.
    Un saludo, humano y reconfortante. Por si quieren ayuda.

  • Áurea Espinosa Marquès on March 3, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Tienen de respetar , l’ós Derechos humanos en todas sus facetas, libertat de expresion, libertat de pensar diferente.

  • Rachel Bonney on May 12, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    I remember a dear friend of mine (Now departed) who said that Fear was the main issue preventing people from truly looking at themselves. He used to say that unless we could overcome this fear mankind would never really be able to look at ourselves as we really are and accept ourselves warts and all. THis looks and sounds really interesting and I plan to read a lot more. Thanks for presenting the material in a manner that is simple for the lay-person to understand.

  • Victor Brassard on July 1, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    Awesome read, can I get this book in an audible form?

    • Susan on July 3, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      Hi Victor, Thank you for your interest in the WTM. Plans are underway for an audio book of ‘FREEDOM’ and our Freedom Essay series have podcasts available now which you can listen to and download from the top of each Essay. They are narrated by WTM Founding Director and Patron Tim Macartney-Snape AM OAM, as ‘FREEDOM’ will also be. Before too long we will also launch a WTM App for smart phones making it really easy to watch and listen to your favourite videos and audios. In the meantime we do have audio versions of all our videos on our website. On the left-hand top of each video there is a download video button and when you click on that it should bring up the MP3 audio version.

      • Maureen (Mo) Felton on November 15, 2018 at 5:48 am

        I am increasingly fascinated with the similarities in my own published work and this movement. I have developed a dynamic Identity Matrix based on Transactional Analysis. I have several visuals that illustrate the same ideas. This work is emerging in The Collective. (Jung).

  • SERAFINO TURCATI on July 1, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    PLAUDO ALL’ESTRO E ALL’INTELLIGENZA DI JEREMY, SONO DEL 1957, VIVO IN ITALIA, DEVO ANDARE IN PENSIONE. TEMI CHE MI INDUCONO AD UNA RIFLESSIONE DOLOROSA SONO PER ME IL GOVERNO SALVINI, L’AVANZARE DEL POPULISMO DI DESTRA, L’UCRAINA. PREGO MIKA’EL

  • Annie Galluzzo on July 2, 2018 at 11:09 am

    I have the answer to these problems!!!
    What created them and the solution!!!

  • Maureen Felton on November 14, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    I am a clinical Transactional Analyst with 40 years experience as therapist trainer and supervisor. I have been working with the limits of the human condition for many years and find my colleagues either love it or hate it. I am published but still find there is a refusal from some colleagues to even consider the area as relevant. There is a pattern and a pathway if we have the courage to sit with not knowing.

  • Hameed on November 2, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Fantastic explanation of the nature of humanity. The more one reads, the more one’s mind is open to this great idea of human condition. I will continue to read to assimilate this incredible facts about human condition.

  • Dawn Stephenson on February 20, 2020 at 2:42 am

    It worries me so much that people will not want to listen to this, and will regard it as a new fad or religion/cult without giving it a chance when it is so important. We need to get celebrities behind it endorsing it, like Oprah in the USA and other influencers for people to start listening and taking it as seriously as they really need to. This is so important as I really believe we are now at the end of our existence, and to be quite frank, if this is the way the world is going to carry on, I would want it to be the end of days. We MUST change as soon as possible.

  • Roberta on February 28, 2020 at 12:55 am

    Very interesting.
    I see it as the reason for our exsistance…..
    I’m looking for the book by Mr Griffith.

    • WTM Admin on March 1, 2020 at 11:36 am

      It’s great to have your interest in the WTM’s work Roberta! Jeremy’s definitive book FREEDOM: The End of The Human Condition and the short booklet Transform Your Life and Save The World (TYL) which is a summary of FREEDOM, are both freely available to download from our homepage or you can purchase them on Amazon. (If you are purchasing TYL from Amazon please make sure you purchase the 2nd edition with the ISBN 9781741290486).

  • John mays on April 5, 2020 at 2:42 am

    The human condition is caused by our incessant thoughts , sometimes not our thoughts

  • Deepak Bhatt on June 25, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Human becomes GREEDY when he/she feels insecure.