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This is Freedom Essay 23

 

The integrative meaning of existence
and its personification as ‘God’

 

Written by Jeremy Griffith, 2017

 

Freedom Essay 21 explained that humans acquired our unconditionally selfless moral instincts through nurturing, and that it was the emergence of our fully conscious mind (and with it, our present competitive and aggressive human condition) that led to our species’ departure from our original nurtured, all-loving state of innocence.

This raised the question of how we humans became fully conscious when no other animal has achieved that state? It was pointed out that to answer this other great biological question it is first necessary to explain that there is an integrative direction, purpose and meaning to existence. So, in this essay I will explain Integrative Meaning, and in the following essay (F. Essay 24), I will explain how humans became conscious.

 

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Stephen Hawking in wheel-chair in front of chalk board

Stephen Hawking (1942–2018)

Albert Einstein writing formula on chalk board

Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

 

 

The world’s greatest physicists, Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, have said, respectively, that ‘The overwhelming impression is of order…​[in] the universe’ (‘The Time of His Life’, Gregory Benford, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 Apr. 2002), and that ‘behind everything is an order’ (Einstein Revealed, PBS, 1997). Yes, this ‘order’ IS apparent everywhere. Over the eons a chaotic universe organised itself into stars, planets and galaxies. Here on Earth, atoms became ordered or integrated to form molecules which in turn integrated to form compounds virus-like organisms single-celled organisms multicellular organisms and then societies of multicellular organisms. Overall, matter is becoming ordered into larger wholes. So the direction or theme or purpose or meaning of existence is the ordering or integration or complexification of matter, a process that is driven by the physical law known as the ‘Second Path of the Second Law of Thermodynamics’, or Negative Entropy. (The law of Negative Entropy states that in an open system, where energy can come into the system from outside itin Earth’s case, from the sun, and, in the case of the universe, from the original ‘big bang’ explosion that created itmatter integrates; it develops order. Thus, subject to the influence of Negative Entropy, the 94 elements from which our world is built develop ever larger and more stable wholes.)

 

Chart showing the development of order or integration of matter on Earth

Chart showing the ordered integration of matter on Earth
(a similar chart appears in Arthur Koestler’s book Janus: A Summing Up).

 

In Janus: A Summing Up (1978), the scientist-philosopher Arthur Koestler gave this summary of the history of the concept of Negative Entropy: ‘One of the basic doctrines of the nineteenth-century mechanistic world-view was Clausius’ famous “Second Law of Thermodynamics”. It asserted that the universe was running down towards its final dissolution because its energy is being steadily, inexorably dissipated…​cosmos dissolving into chaos. Only fairly recently did science begin to recover from the hypnotic effect of this gloomy vision, by realizing that the Second Law applies only in the special case of so-called “closed systems”…whereas all living organisms are “open systems” which maintain their complex structure and function by continuously drawing materials and energy from their environment [p.222 of 354] …It was in fact a physicist, not a biologist, the Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger, who put an end to the tyranny of the Second Law with his celebrated dictum: “What an organism feeds on is negative entropy” [p.223] …Schrödinger’s revolutionary concept of negentropy, published in 1944 [p.224] …is a somewhat perverse way of referring to the power of living organisms to “build up” instead of running down, to create complex structures out of simpler elements, integrated patterns out of shapelessness, order out of disorder. The same irrepressible building-up tendency is manifested in the progress of evolution, the emergence of new levels of complexity in the organismic hierarchy and new methods of functional coordination [p.223].’ Significantly, Koestler wrote of ‘the active striving of living matter towards [order] [p.223], of ‘a drive towards synthesis, towards growth, towards wholeness [p.224], and that ‘this “innate drive” derives from the “integrative tendency” [p.225].

So the theme of existence, the overall direction or destiny of change, or, from a conscious observer’s point of view, the overall purpose or meaning of existence, is the ordering or integration or complexification of matter. ‘Teleology’, ‘the belief that purpose and design are a part of nature’ (Macquarie Dictionary, 3rd edn, 1998), and ‘holism’, which the dictionary defines as ‘the tendency in nature to form wholes’ (Concise Oxford Dictionary, 5th edn, 1964), are terms that recognise this integrative ‘tendency’. The concept ‘holism’ was first introduced by the South African statesman, philosopher and scientist Jan Smuts in his 1926 book Holism and Evolution. Smuts conceived ‘holism’ as ‘the ultimate organising, regulative activity in the universe that accounts for all the structural groupings and syntheses in it, from the atom, and the physico-chemical structures, through the cell and organisms, through Mind in animals, to Personality in Man’ (p.341 of 380).

HOWEVER, for humans, the great problem with this truth of the integrative meaning of life is that for a larger whole to form and hold together the parts of that whole must consider the welfare of the whole above their own welfareput simply, selfishness is divisive or disintegrative while selflessness is integrative.

So, consider-others-above-yourself, altruistic, unconditional selflessness is the underlying theme of existence; it’s the glue that holds the world together and what we really mean by the term ‘love’. Indeed, if we consider religious terminology, the old Christian word for love was ‘caritas’, which means charity or giving or selflessness; see Col. 3:14, 1 Cor. 13:1-13, 10:24, and John 15:13. Of these biblical references, Colossians 3:14 perfectly summarises the integrative significance of love: ‘And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.’ In John 15:13 we also see that Christ emphasised the unconditionally selfless significance of the word ‘love’ when he said, ‘Greater love has no-one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.’ BUT, acknowledging and accepting this truththat the meaning of life is to be integrative cooperative, selfless and lovingleft humans feeling unbearably condemned as bad, evil or unworthy for our divisive competitive, selfish and aggressive, seemingly-unloving behaviour. Indeed, we have been so divisive, so ruthlessly competitive, selfish and brutal that human life has become all but unbearable and we have nearly destroyed our own planet! ONLY when we could truthfully explain the good reason WHY we humans have not been ideally behaved, explain our in-humanitytruthfully explain the human condition no less, which fortunately we now canwould it be psychologically safe to confront, admit and accept that the meaning of life is to be integrative, selfless and loving. (The truthful explanation of the human condition is presented in Video/​F. Essay 3.)

 

‘Ancient of Days’ painting by William Blake

Ancient of Days by William Blake

 

Furthermore, the concept of ‘God’ is actually our personification of this truth of Integrative Meaning, and if we include more of what Hawking and Einstein said we can see that they both agree. Hawking: ‘The overwhelming impression is of order. The more we discover about the universe, the more we find that it is governed by rational laws. If one liked, one could say that this order was the work of God. Einstein thought so…​We could call order by the name of God’ (Gregory Benford, ‘The time of his life’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 Apr. 2002; see www.wtmsources.com/170); and, ‘I would use the term God as the embodiment of the laws of physics’ (Master of the Universe, BBC, 1989). Einstein: ‘over time, I have come to realise that behind everything is an order that we glimpse only indirectly [because it’s unbearably confronting/​condemning!]. This is religiousness. In this sense, I am a religious man’ (Einstein Revealed, PBS, 1997). Einstein was also recognising that God is order or harmony when he said, ‘In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God’ (Hubertus zu Löwenstein, Towards the Further Shore, 1968, p.156). I might mention that while Mahatma Gandhi was an inspired leader of the Indian nation rather than a scientist, he was another who bravely acknowledged that ‘There is an orderliness in the Universe, there is an unalterable law governing everything and every being that exists or lives…​That law then which governs all life is God’ (Louis Fischer, Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World, 1954, p.108 of 224). As it says in the Bible, ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8, 16). ‘God’ is the integrative, unconditionally selfless theme of existence. But again, the problem was that until we could truthfully explain the human condition we needed the concept of ‘God’ to remain safely abstract and undefinedwe couldn’t afford to demystify ‘God’, admit the truth that the meaning of life is to be integrative, selfless and loving. It is little wonder then that we humans have been, as we say, ‘God-fearing’in fact, God-fearing to the point of being God-worshippingnot God-confronting!

 

Cartoon of God pointing at a cowering person

 

While our soul-corrupted, divisive-not-integrative, ‘good and evil’-stricken human condition had still to be explained, only human-condition-confronting-not-avoiding, outside-Plato’s-cave-living, denial-free thinkers, or what we have historically referred to as prophets, were free enough of upset and thus sound and secure enough to face and admit the truth of Integrative Meaning or ‘God’. (See F. Essay 39: Christ explained for further explanation of prophets.)

The Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten who reigned in Egypt around 1,350 BC, and the great Hebrew leader Abraham who lived about 2,000 BC, had to both be sound and secure, denial-free-thinking prophets to recognise that there are not numerous dominant forces or ‘gods’ at work on Earth, just one, which is the integration of matter, and by so doing introduce to the world monotheism or belief in one God, as they both did. Indeed, in terms of Abraham being sound and secure enough to think truthfully and acknowledge Integrative Meaning or God, in the Bible it says that Abraham was able to ‘walk before me [God] and be blameless’ (Gen. 17:1), and to be ‘blessed’ ‘in every way’ by God (Gen. 24:1), and to accept God as his ‘shield’ (Gen. 15:1). Abraham was God-confronting, not God-fearing like most other humans.

Abraham’s son Isaac was the father of Jacob who in turn was the father of Joseph, and Moses was a descendent of one of Joseph’s brothers. Genesis in the Bible says that ‘the Lord appeared to Isaac’ (26:2); and it also records Jacob saying, ‘I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared’ (32:30), and that Jacob ‘talked with’ ‘God’ (35:14); and that ‘Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than any of his other sons’ (37:3) because of Joseph’s exceptional soundness which, for example, enabled him to ‘interpret’ (40:8) the Egyptian pharaoh’s dreams. And in the case of Moses, the Bible says that ‘no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face’ (Deut. 34:10), and that ‘At that time I [Moses] stood between the Lord and you [the Israelites] to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire [fire has historically been a metaphor for the searing, fearful truth of Integrative Meaning or ‘God’] (Deut. 5:4-5). So Abraham and these descendants of his were all exceptionally sound and secure, God-confronting-not-God-avoiding prophets.

In the case of the later great Israelite prophet Christ, he was described as being the ‘Son of God’ (see for eg. John 5), meaning he was also an exceptionally uncorrupted manifestation of our species’ Integrative Meaning-complying, cooperative, selfless and loving instinctive self or soul. Christ even said about himself, ‘I and the Father are one’ (John 10:30), and ‘The Father is in me, and I in him’ (John 14:10, 10:38); in other words Christ said he is free of the upset, divisive, competitive, selfish and aggressive state of the human condition and so is able to confront the truth of Integrative Meaning or God without feeling condemned. (Again, see F. Essay 39: Christ explained for further explanation of prophets.)

The great Persian prophet Zoroaster also recognised that there is only ‘one supreme deity’, as this reference to the Zoroastrian faith describes: ‘sometime around or before 600 BCperhaps as early as 1200 BCthere came forth from the windy steppes of northeastern Iran a prophet who utterly transformed the Persian faith. The prophet was Zarathustraor Zoroaster, as the Greeks would style his name. Ahuramazda [the supreme being or wise lord] had appeared to Zoroaster in a vision, in which the god had revealed himself to be the one supreme deity, all seeing and all powerful. He represented both light and truth, and was creator of all things, fountainhead of all virtue’ (A Soaring Spirit: Time-Life History of the World 600-400 BC, 1988, p.37 of 176).

Also, in approximately 360 BC, that other very great denial-free-thinking prophet, Plato, similarly recognised that God is Integrative Meaning, writing that ‘God desired that all things should be good and nothing bad, so far as this was attainable. Wherefore also finding the whole visible sphere not at rest, but moving in an irregular and disorderly fashion, out of disorder he brought order, considering that this was in every way better than the other’ (Timaeus; tr. B. Jowett, 1871, 30), and he also referred to ‘God, the orderer of all’ (The Statesman, c.350 BC; tr. B. Jowett, 1871, 273).

Being able to recognise and acknowledge Integrative Meaning Smuts, Koestler, Einstein, Hawking and Gandhi can also, at least to some degree, be regarded as denial-free-thinking prophets.

In his 1955 book Flamingo Feather, Sir Laurens van der Post confirmed his status as a denial-free-thinking prophet when, in chapter 2, which he titled ‘The Great “Togethernesses”’, he also acknowledged Integrative Meaning, writing of the ‘the ultimate purpose which causes and effects all…​a fundamental law of whose working you [the resigned world (see F. Essay 30 for more on Resignation)] are either painfully ignorant or arrogantly contemptuous…​[what is significant is] the togetherness of things in time, not their apparent unrelatedness…​“the great togethernesses” (pp.23-25 of 320). (For more on Sir Laurens, see Freedom Essay 51: Sir Laurens van der Post’s fabulous vision.)

While our divisive, seemingly unGodly human condition had still to be explained, you had to be a denial-free-thinking prophet to recognise Integrative Meaning, but now that our upset, competitive, selfish and aggressive human condition is explained everyone can acknowledge the truth of Integrative Meaning and start thinking truthfully and effectively.

 

Image of Teilhard de Chardin

Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955)

 

So yes, when the scientist-philosopher Teilhard de Chardin wrote, ‘I can see a direction and a line of progress for life, a line and a direction which are in fact so well marked that I am convinced their reality will be universally admitted by the science of tomorrow’ (The Phenomenon of Man, 1938, p.142), he was recognising firstly how obvious the integrative, order-of-matter-developing theme of existence is; and, secondly, that this truth of the integrative ‘direction’ or theme or purpose or meaning of existence wouldn’t be able to be ‘admitted’ until the human-condition-resolved ‘science of tomorrow’ emerged, which relievingly it now has. (See F. Essay 25: The truthful biology of life for the real story of the integrative development of life that this ‘science of tomorrow’ now makes possible.) ‘Yesterday’s’ scientists avoided the overarching, truthful whole view of the integrative meaning of existence and the issue of the human condition it raised and instead adopted a reduced view that only focused down on to the details about the mechanisms of the workings of our worldthey have been what’s called ‘reductionist’ and ‘mechanistic’, not ‘teleological’ and ‘holistic’and the contrivance they developed to avoid the truth of Integrative Meaning was to assert that there is no direction or meaning to existence and that change is random. (F. Essay 25 also includes discussion on science’s denial of Integrative Meaning.) Furthermore, to avoid religion’s acknowledgement of Integrative Meaning (albeit an indirect and abstract acknowledgement in the form of the concept of ‘God’) ‘yesterday’s’ scientists claimed that religion and science were two totally unrelated realmsto the point that the famous Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson has said, ‘I take a very strong stance against the mingling of religion and science’ (National Geographic Magazine, May 2006). Of course, as the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Charles H. Townes truthfully admitted, ‘they [religion and science] both represent man’s efforts to understand his universe and must ultimately be dealing with the same substance. As we understand more in each realm, the two must grow together…​converge they must’ (‘The Convergence of Science and Religion’, Zygon, Vol.1 No.3, 1966)or as my headmaster at Geelong Grammar School, Australia’s greatest ever educator, Sir James Darling, said, ‘The scientist can no more deny or devaluate the truths of spiritual experience than the theologian can neglect the truths of science: and the two truths must be reconcilable, and it must be of importance to each of us that they should be reconciled’ (The Education of a Civilized Man, ed. Michael Persse, 1962, p.68 of 223).

 

Charles H. Townes

Charles H. Townes (1915–2015)

Sir James Darling

Sir James Darling (1899–1995)

 

Indeed, the great hope implicit in the reductionist, mechanistic approach was that by finding understanding of the mechanisms of the workings of our world, its practitioners would at least be assembling the means by which the human condition might one day be able to be explainedwhich is exactly what they have achieved. Through the gradual accumulation of knowledge about the mechanisms of the workings of our world, scientists found understanding of the difference in the way genes and nerves function, which, as is explained in Video/​F. Essay 3 and chapter 3 of FREEDOM, is the key insight that at last made it possible to explain the human condition.

So it is only now that the human condition has been explained that de Chardin’s integrative-‘direction’-or-theme-or-purpose-or-meaning-acknowledging ‘science of tomorrow’ can emerge. And it is also only now that the integrative ideals and our lack of compliance with them can be reconciled and religion and science ‘converge’. Furthermore, finding understanding of our less-than-ideally-behaved human condition is the crucial insight we needed to psychologically rehabilitate the human race. The famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung was forever saying that ‘wholeness for humans depends on the ability to own their own shadow’ because he recognised that only finding understanding of our competitive, selfish and aggressive dark side could end our underlying insecurity about our fundamental goodness and worth as humans and, in so doing, make us ‘whole’ and restore our humanity, the cooperative, harmonious integrated state. Yes, it is only now that we can at last explain the human condition that we can understand and thus heal that divisive competitive, selfish and aggressive, seemingly-‘unGodly’ condition! That most beautiful and repeated prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, ‘Our Father in heaven [Integrative Meaning], hallowed be your name, your [integrative] kingdom come, your [integrative] will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ (Bible, Matt. 6:9-10) has finally been answered. The integrative state returns to the lives of humans. Finally, at last, the great transformation of the human race from living in a human-condition-stricken state to living free of it takes place! (See Freedom Essay 15: How your life can be immediately transformed.)

For the full explanation of the integrative meaning of existence, read chapter 4 of FREEDOM.

So having now explained the integrative meaning of existence it becomes possible to explain how consciousness emerged in humans, which will be the subject of the next Freedom Essay, F. Essay 24.

 

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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.

 

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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.

  • Ronald Weaver on February 3, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    That’s very good. I like the illustration of particles becoming atoms, atoms becoming molecules etc. This’ll make it easier for me to talk about Negative Entropy to my family and friends.

  • christina tanner on February 3, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Today a beautiful robin took up residence on my patio. Who could hear his beautiful song and NOT believe in God. GOD really is love!!! Thankyou for all your beautiful messages – I will study them with great care. Good luck with your work for the world!

  • Jonathan on February 4, 2017 at 1:56 am

    This is a really good overview.

    And so it makes sense to me that whenever our holy texts describe the actions or words of “God”, “The Lord”, “Yahweh”, “Allah”, whatever, that that is a personification/projection of our sense of integrative meaning/conscience (and the criticism we have felt along with it).

    You guys really should articulate that big picture point. It would be very irresponsible for anyone with a religious background to try come to terms with these ideas without that big picture understanding.

    Jews and Christians need to come to terms with “The Lord”/”Yahweh”, and Muslims need to come to terms with “Allah”, etc. Not having guidance on this big picture articulation can cause further upset.

  • Alex J Morrey on February 4, 2017 at 2:00 am

    I’m working on the same thing. Please note!

    http://www.darkenergyflow.com

    Good Luck!

    Alex J

  • Armand on February 4, 2017 at 4:29 am

    I take away from this article that “God” is the personification of Integrative Meaning and therefor we have to consider “God” as an imaginary person, a concept…an idea that brings solace to some people but an “idea” nevertheless. Please feel free to correct me if you see it otherwise.

    • christina tanner on February 5, 2017 at 4:41 am

      God is a force for good – integrated meaning is that force. God is the energy that brought about creation. The ‘big bang’ was not accidental – it was the result of all the necessary elements coming together (becoming integrated) and joining together for bigger and greater things to happen. In the same way, if everyone were to come together in their own little corner of the world and make it better, then we could make the whole world a better place.

  • Stefan on February 4, 2017 at 4:45 am

    What a wonderful post! Not only is it a great introduction to integrative meaning, but it’s also a brilliant summary for everyone who already knows about the concept.

    Keep up the great work!!

  • amina alleear on February 4, 2017 at 5:25 am

    its not difficult to believe in god, as we follows elders since ages. but nowadays with complicating life and problems, we have faith that god is helping, but then, we ourselves drowing the same n again. where is god and his blessings. why it doesn’t work anymore. the Hindu will say, Its Kalyug. Means we are in an era where only proclaim its supremacy. But, Satan, is a hand made of God himself. Then why don’t he destroy the bad and give more facilities for human to live ever happily?

  • lloyd ross on February 4, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Theosophy is worth studying, if you have an OPEN MIND.

  • nomad on February 4, 2017 at 8:30 am

    This is SO fascinating. I can also see how incendiary it might be if people think that in demystifying God, Griffith is somehow diminishing Him/it. But I dont think he is diminishing God in bringing understanding to it, I really don’t. God is love is integrative meaning is the force behind the whole universe. This should really bring atheists and the religious together.

  • Dave on February 5, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    What a great summary. It is amazing to think that though it took billions of years the end result of integration is love and humans genetically programmed to be good/love one another. Wow!!! It’s almost too much to grasp how that can be, but here it is in front of us. It brings awe, wonder and gratitude that we little humans resulted from this long, long process. It certainly points to some type of overall power of integration.

  • Abe on February 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    “Consider the welfare of the whole ABOVE your own welfare”

    This doctrine of SELF-SACRIFICE is archaic and unnecessary.

    • paulM on February 6, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Griffith’s whole treatise is about the reasons humanity was selfless, and then became selfish during its evolutionary history. Specifically how our species was selfless before the human condition arose, and then how a clash between our emerging intellect and instincts caused us to become selfish.
      And then Griffith explains how with this rational, biological explanation for why our conscious mind had to diverge from our instinctive self means the need to be selfish is made redundant. Griffith’s treatise is very nuanced on this issue Abe. I suggest read chapter 3 of his book FREEDOM.

  • James on February 6, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Integration, driven by negative entropy, is a fascinating subject, as is the implication that humans have been ‘at odds’ with the process. It shatters the bleak view held by many that we are all just random bits of star dust driven to reproduce our genes and protect those closest to us (family etc) to gain reciprocity.
    Thank you for these posts – they are a reminder of the power of this explanation to explain so so much.

  • James on February 7, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Is it possible to think of God, as a being of a higher loving frequency, a spark of consciousness that is able to manifest itself within us, as a idea to do good to others. Is it possible that when we are exposed to this frequency that it may actually be the language of God. Isn’t it said that in the beginning there was the word. Couldn’t it have been a frequency and not the word. Isn’t it also said that no one knows the name of God, could it be because his name is not a word but a frequency.

    • christina tanner on February 7, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Yours is a beautiful description of God. In the bible God told Abraham when he asked of him “who are you?” – “I AM”, meaning “all you need to know is that I EXIST”. Just look out of your window at everything you see before you and rest assured that God does indeed exist in everything! Christina.

  • Rick Crane on February 9, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    I love this theory but want to understand how entropy fits in to all of this? It is not covered in the book either?

    If, as you say “There is actually a very obvious direction and purpose to existence, which is the ordering or integration of matter” “… a process that is driven by the physical law of Negative Entropy”. …”So, ‘God’ is the personification of Integrative Meaning…”

    Is entropy not the opposite – the breaking down of matter, and the decreasing of complexity? If so is it working against integrative meaning, or at least undoing this ‘purpose’? Perhaps taking it too far but; maybe this is the personification of the devil?

    I’m not a scientist or a creationist or anything really ;) so perhaps a little out of my depth hear but would love to understand a bit more.

    • Damon on February 10, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Rick, yeh it makes awesome sense of a lot of things — just about everything in fact. Entropy is covered in the book to the extent that it is what ‘creates’ Negative Entropy, in that you need entropy acting in an open system to create negative entropy or the complexification or integration of matter. So its not really working against Integrative Meaning, its causing it.
      I see where your mind is going in thinking that ‘the devil’ might be the personification of Entropy — if ‘God’ is the personification of Negative Entropy, then shouldnt ‘the devil’ be the personification of Entropy?? But I think historically humans have used ‘the devil’ more as a personification of our own upset state — our anger, egocentricity and alienation, rather than a personification of the process of entropy.
      The real issue though — the real breakthrough that is so exciting — is that in the final analysis it turns out that our upset state was heroic or ‘integrative’. It was in line with Negative Entropy!

      • Rick Crane on February 10, 2017 at 11:06 pm

        Thanks for your response Damon.
        If as you say; Negative entropy arrises due to the existence of entropy, but then entropy seems to win over in the end, as everything in the universe decays, breaks down and returns to disorder over time.
        In that sense it seems that entropy works against evolution (integrative meaning). As I mentioned before it is ‘undoing’ what has been done.
        So are they two opposing forces or is it that negative entropy is just the absence of entropy? So the more entropy the more disorder, and the less entropy the more order?
        It’s like darkness and light, darkness being the absence of light and not an apposing force. Or maybe it’s just the in breath and the out breath – Negative entropy arrises out of entropy and then subsides?

        Sorry for all the questions! :)

        • christina tanner on February 11, 2017 at 8:36 pm

          We are entering a new phase in the world – a movement for change. Do not be afraid of the chaos in the world at the moment, out of this chaos, over the next few years, good things will be slowly happening on the global stage as we humans begin to realise how much power for good we, as individuals, have within ourselves. If each of us work in our own little corner of the world to bring about this change, really big things can come into being as our individual efforts combine to create this movement for change. The best way to start is to learn to love yourself and then spread this love among the people around you. A smile to the person at the bus stop, a thankyou to the person on the till in the supermarket, a quick phone call to a friend you have not seen for a while – great oaks grow from small acorns.

        • Parsimony on February 15, 2017 at 8:36 am

          Really, I think they are just processes or laws. As such, they are both always present. For me, this article is so thought provoking because it provides an explanation for why we have been so hamstrung in explaining natural phenomena, because of a human psychosis. This is the ultimate ghost in the machine.

    • christina tanner on February 10, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      What you say about entrophy being destructive could be true. The Devil was jealous of God and has always been striving to usurpe his place as ruler of the universe. Because we, as humans, have developed this huge alter ego, we have started becoming more like the Devil and less like God. Our scientists, doctors and mathematicians know think they know as much as God does and think they can do better than him. They think that by cracking the ‘God Code’ by genetic engineering, they can actually become God. God has decreed the order and purpose for the universe – he really does know best. Who are we to try and change his perfect creation?

  • milroy martyn on March 18, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Just last week i bought an incubator and was gifted with 6 quail eggs. i placed the incubator at the required temperature of 38. and low and behold after 21 days four little chickies quail chickies emerged and my grandson took them one by one into his palm and said “how beautiful” these eggs hatched was it just chance, evolution, big bang. I still remember the evening my grandson was born and even the evening my daughters michele and melissa were born. certainly i had to contribute my semen to my wife’s ovum to create life but did i have control of the events until the creation of life.it was a big bang result. Michele eventually died at 39 of a hospital generated virus even in that death i had no control i was helpless no matter how hard i prayed at her bedside at the hospital the Toronto general i could not give her life i was helpless.birth and death are beyond our control of course one can foolishly speed the process of death through self destruction that is stupidity. life is precious death is eventual we have no control over either. he gives he takes we may be the queen of England or the beggar in the street we are all governed by a very simple law. God’s law he lives he lives. he is eternal he creates and he takes away
    creation is his delight and some flowers can glow with beauty others mar that beauty. to be perfect is the only way we can all enrich his creation and be united with him in his heavenly abode when all atoms and molecules are united into oneness in the glory of godliness. einstein made a discovery of some element which already existed before he discovered it. there is more for humanity to unravel which is existing for example the seven earth like planets surrounding the trappist star. now scientist these stars existed from who knows when. there is more for discovery in gods mighty unexplored universe there is more to be discovered the car is only a snail there are more speedy means of travel on land yet to be unravelled.science will not stand still because the omnipotence of god has more to reveal so humans could enjoy,perhaps a new heaven and a new earth life beyond this earth where humans of earth can live in.Humans will continue to remain unchanged they will eat and eat and drink and drink there has been no evolution; intellectually we have grown; but that is not evolution its only new opportunities like the discoveries of the americas and space and the moon and mars. all that man is discovering already existed. “there is nothing new under the stars”God is eternal and since we were created to his image and likeness we too are eternal’ i wonder whether scientists will discover an element smaller than the elements discovered.thus far. will there be infinity in matter; ultimately ending, nay residing in God. nothing in creation has an ending every ending is a new begining.body become worms and life goes out of the body and where does life go i hope science will discover where the force of life which is eternal goes. to? it doesnot take rocket science to expostulate that humanity’sultimate is either in the glory of heaven or damnation of hell.where they will have a hellava time.still being in eternal mode.
    milroy martyn

    • David on June 24, 2017 at 1:05 am

      Milroy martin so sorry to hear of your loss and yet so happy to read all your comment. God Bless

  • christina tanner on March 25, 2017 at 1:36 am

    I had a post which stated that God is the universe and that I was in danger of bringing about WWIII by making claims about Einstein’s view of God. God is not the universe, the universe is God’s creation given out of love. Science will never give us the answer as to who God is. The fact is that God is simply God. We mere mortals must stop trying to reason or explain away the existence of God and just accept his presence in our lives and the unconditional love he sends to us all, warts and all.

  • Parsimony on March 25, 2017 at 8:17 am

    What I love about this, is that it represents a merging of science and religion. Normally scientists meddle in religion in order to bring it down. But this is something different. God IS love, we all know that, but what is being presented here, is a rational explanation, or even reinforcement of that. That is something quite extraordinary. But I understand that there will be many people who cant see that, which is not good, but I honestly don’t know the answer to that stand off.

    • David on June 24, 2017 at 1:01 am

      Parsimony I agree with you in every way

  • Fintan Ruth on April 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    This is my defination of the word God.

    God is not a physical or spiritual being, but an idea or belief in the mind of mankind, a mental representation of something higher than ourselves.

    God is a meme ( an idea or element of social behaviour passed on through generations in a culture esp. by imitation ) that has been inculcated ( to instill by foreful or insistent repetition ) on the mind of humanity in different forms since its inception by Moses at a time of great trauma for the Isrealites when they were been culled by the Egyptians.

    Moses came up with the idea of the God Yahweh three and a half thousand years ago, and humanity is stuck with this meme ever since.

    The evolunionary process took over from Moses and the origional meme changed as it was passed on from generation to generation right up to today, where it flourishes with slightly different variations, in thousands of different cultures and religions, all over the planet.

    These slight variations are deemed so important to each culture that they are prepared to kill or die for it, thus ensuring the survival of the meme ” God ” in its many variations.

    There is no such thing as God, it only exists in your own head, and when you die your God dies with you.
    But will be resurected in your childrens minds in more variations.

    • David on June 23, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      wOW rUTH IT WAS INTERESTING READING BUT IN NO WAY DO I AGREE WITH YOU. yOUR LAST STATEMENT MADE ME SMILE BECAUSE IT WAS TOLD TO ME A FEW YEARS AGO. LOL IF YOU THINK FOR ONE LITTLE SECOND THAT YOU OR YOUR TRAITS ARE GOING TO LIVE ON IN YOUR CHILDREN AFTER YOU PASS AWAY AND THAT IS A WAY OF YOU THINKING THAT YOU LIVE ON YOU ARE VERY MUCH DELUDED. iT IS MUCH BETTER THAN THAT AND I WILL TELL YOU WHY. I HAVE DISCOVERED THAT jESUS WHETHER YOU LOOK AT HIM AS A PROPHET OR NOT, he KNEW THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIGHT. I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION. IT HAS TO DO WITH KNOWLEDGE. PEACE BE WITH YOU

  • Bill on April 21, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Such a huge topic which has bedevilled the human race for ever ,Fintan, I believe you are very close to the truth , and I would add that if everyone were to google the works of Neville Goddard an ultimate explanation of the meaning God will support what Jeremy Griffith has written here. There are many reasons why the traditionally established notion of God has become so entrenched;
    1) Early illiteracy of the masses left enormous power in the hands of those who commanded the print media of the day. This is hardly news to anyone, but given the levels of fear and superstition back “then”, anyone who could read to the masses from a book claiming it to be the word of the divine being, who or whatever that was in their particular culture, could soon form hard and fast dogma.
    2) A very simple, but hardly ever thought of concept drives us easily into mysticism; that is – the need to substitute physical symbolism for feelings, emotions, etc. For instance; we equate knowledge with light, and ignorance with darkness; As in” seeing the light”, etc; if we are sad, or receive shocking news we refer to our heart being ‘Heavy”, because we feel that awful thud in the chest, or we say we feel light and airy if we have “uplifting” news. It is a small step from all these processes to being convinced of feeling a personal message being given to us in answer to prayers when persuaded that the Deity being promoted has a special place for us.
    3) An obvious human need is to try to understand things which are beyond our finite minds, infinity, beginning of time, the universe, and the often heard cry of there must be a God to have done all this. This brings in the concept that because we are made in the image of God, therefore he must somehow have looked like and lived amongst us, hence the trinity theory, and Jesus being both God and man.
    4) The most insanely contradiction of all, I believe, involves the association of the qualities of God as described, such as loving, compassionate, etc , with the Biblical narrative, assumed to be literally true and subsequent events. Meaning the horrendous suffering of people by people, which Jeremy refers to as the Human condition. I believe that Christendom has foisted the two greatest untruths on the world, with disastrous consequences; firstly- on a personal basis, that we are born bad,, and secondly, that mankind is the way it is because God gave us free choice. If what fundamental Christians believe is true, everything that has ever happened, is happening now, or will ever happen is either caused by, or allowed to happen by God. This is the absolute believe that all churches teach. So God Designed a system , gave us free will to do what we liked, KNOWING in advance what would happen, then with a plan in mind to rescue the mess with a cataclysmic event, an admission of failure beyond belief. Never mind the human toll over the history of mankind. Also, if God, as described by the faithful, is absolute perfection, he would be not be capable of creating anything which could turn against his plan, there would simply be nothing in his vocabulary, no concept of evil, hence the Devil, etc. They can’t have it both ways. Consider this, if you only know total light, there is no darkness in your world- you cannot understand it. The same with knowledge/ ignorance, love/hate, etc darkness, ignorance , hate etc, simply don’t exist, they are a lack of something that does.
    In conclusion, Eveything that people of all religious persuasions believe has psychological and emotional reasons and justifications, which does not mean it is wrong for the believers to cling to them. In the absence of rational explanation most people have to believe something to give them hope and purpose, but as is pointed out so often in these forums, we now have the explanation, finally, and thanks to Jeremy Griffith’s amazing scientific work. I’m not sure the WTM would write in quite the same vein as I have, but I don’t think they will sue me either.)
    So do I believe in God? Yes, but the best person to explain what I think is Neville Goddard, as mentioned. Be prepared to be challenged, but fascinated, maybe, but even better, does anyone want to create the life they want? Add Neville Goddard’s insights and methods of personal creativity to the rational explanation of the Human Condition and reach for the stars.

  • jazz82 on April 22, 2017 at 8:23 am

    The conflation of God and Negative Entropy is a world changer for me. And the more I think about Negative Entropy, or what Griffith terms ‘Integrative Meaning’, the less I think that the concept of ‘God’ has somehow been made weaker or robbed of its vitality. Negative Entropy is the vast loving force behind everything in the universe. And then the realisation that this has been ‘confronting’ for us miserable humans because we were in the throes of the human condition, and so appeared to be anything but loving. And so we had to ‘deify’ this integral force that flows through everything and creates everything.

  • Kenbee on June 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Yes, its all about order. My book, Law from Within, deals with this subject at length, under the topic of natural law. Manuscript going to the publisher tomorrow.

  • jazz82 on June 17, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    God vs science is such a huge and emotive topic in the states these days. This sort of insight is the only way out. I recommend people read Griffith’s chapter on it all in Freedom. (chapter 4!)

  • David on June 23, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Now we are talking. People are beginning to understand what Jesus knew. Absolutely jazz82 I agree with you

  • judy66 on June 24, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Integrative meaning is such a huge revelation, and then to combine that with God. Wow. This is so much to think about.

  • PaulM on June 29, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Integrative Meaning requires understanding Negative Entropy. That is to say, matter in the universe is constantly coming together and becoming more and more complicated and former ever greater wholes. The key point there is that to form a ‘whole’ requires selflessness on the part of the constituents. AND the key point then is that humans are not selfless, they are selfish. So how do you think we humans reacted to Integrative Meaning? It implied we were ‘bad’, so of course we dismissed it. And we turned it into something called ‘God’, which was so removed from us that it wasn’t so terrible.

  • John Gowers on June 29, 2017 at 2:02 am

    I am sorry to say that I have really struggled to understand and follow your writings. I had the same experience as a 12 year old trying to read and understand Tolkien. I can only take it that your audience has to be of a certain literary standard. Pity, as it is likely that you will be “over the heads” of a good many of your readers, unless of course you just wish to be part of a surviving elite.
    May I suggest that if you want to reach a greater number of people, you re-write (or translate) what you are trying to get across. In simpler English it has the promise of being interesting.

  • judy66 on June 29, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Jeremy’s themes are so large they can be overwhelming. But in my experience the logic is always there. Its just a matter of taking each concept and evaluating it against the previous. When you brake it down, the words and sentences are not intellectual or designed to confuse, quite the opposite, but I think sometimes people can be overwhelmed and think it must be some sort of intellectual presentation.

  • Tommy on June 29, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Yes the ‘deaf effect’ when reading and listening to this information is very real and understandable given our historic fear of the whole subject of the human condition. It is something I had to work at in overcoming by being patient and re-reading and re-watching the material presented on this website. It is explained early in ‘Freedom’ in Chapter 1.4 (https://www.humancondition.com/freedom-problem-of-the-deaf-effect-that-reading-about-hc-causes/). The commendation and comments given by Australian broadcaster/ journalist Brian Carlton are also worth reading/watching as he describes overcoming his deaf effect and his subsequent ‘intellectual epiphany’. This is found at the end of Chapter 1.5 of Freedom (https://www.humancondition.com/freedom-solutions-to-the-deaf-effect/?scroll_to=brian%20carlton&scroll_num=1) or in his commendation video is on the WTM homepage or essay 17 https://www.humancondition.com/freedom-essays/commendations/

  • David Latimer on July 5, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Sorry, but I don’t trust anything Stephen Hawking says. He is not who he seems – he’s probably some sort of New World Order puppet, programmed to say whatever the ‘powers that be’ want us to believe.

    As for God, well of course he/she/it is real – not a bearded old man in the sky of course – but a creator and higher consciousness of which we are all a part. Where else does consciousness come from – certainly not evolved from some primordial slime. It is totally illogical to think otherwise. ‘let go and let God’ as they say and you’ll be OK!

  • dennis on July 10, 2017 at 3:26 am

    what part does Jesus , Mohamed and or many of the other faiths play in this

    • PaulM on July 10, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Good question. This is at base a biological explanation of the human condition, so it is not religious per se. However, what that explanation of the human condition reveals is that religions and the prophets have been incredibly accurate in describing the human condition, whereas mechanistic science has been incredibly dishonest in its approach to it.

      So unlike most science, this upholds the truth in religions, but it is science, and so it is Griffith is not literal in his take on religions, he is concerned with demystifying them. But again, I am constantly impressed by just how appreciative Griffith is of the contribution of the religions and their prophets.

      The other big difference that I would add is that where religions relied upon deferring to the ideals that were enshrined in their teachings, the biological explanation of the human condition allows deferring to the understanding of the ideals. So there is no faith involved. Just understanding.

      My background is mechanistic, rather faith based, but I particularly valued chapter 4 of Freedom, and you may too, because it explains what God is, and why it has been so terrifying, but again, this is not a literal interpretation, and so my experience is that people with a literal interpretation can take some time to absorb what is being said without feeling that their literal interpretation is being threatened. This can be pretty emotive stuff, but very important IMO.

  • HerrPeerJuann VonnBasslinger on July 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    All very insightful and Altruistic but the placing God in a category of a man-made concept places The Most High and Omnipresent in the realms of fairy tales. This does nothing to share the Wondrous and Loving nature of our Creator and places The Great I Am in a Make-Believe reality and fails to acknowledge real life accounts of the Many Whom have met with Him and need no explanation of His Being. This Writer has Died briefly 12 times, the last episode wasn’t so brief, comatose for over three months, Family told there was little hope of recovery, and then proceeding to receive Governor’s Volunteer of Year Award, and being published. God revealed my inevitable Passing to me and we laid down some conditions for my continuance on this plane on returning to living once more. God has kept His side and as a ‘Team’, We are keeping my side of the bargain. Life goes on…

  • Willow on July 15, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I grew up very confused about God – one parent is an atheist and the other a Christian, goodness knows how they get on but they do. Nevertheless, the explanation presented here makes incredible sense to me that God is all around us in the form of the laws of nature as opposed to an omnipotent being – I never could quite fathom that idea yet nor could I abandon hope and believe in nothing, I always felt there was a bigger driving force behind life and that there was more to life than a blank slate and emptiness. I could never reconcile how as a human I experienced a range of emotions and how the natural world around me could operate and function if there was nothing causing it to do so and I certainly couldn’t grasp the concept of some white haired old man controlling levers from his home in the clouds. So it is just so exciting and relieving to finally be able to understand integrative meaning and know that there is the most divine meaning and purpose to life, thanks to Jeremy Griffith’s explanation of the human condition. It also makes sense that as sufferers of the human condition, until the human condition was solved and it was safe to do so, us resigned humans wouldn’t be able to look at any of this as it was too confronting of our understandably corrupted and non-ideal, non-integrative state that was amazingly caused by the human condition – this explanation is just so powerful in making sense of what it means to be human and unlocking what were previously mysteries of life. I can’t recommend highly enough reading Ch 4 in Freedom, as well as the whole book of course!

  • Tommy on July 15, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Professor John Morton’s various commendations for Jeremy Griffith’s work are relevant and of interest to this discussion, he being a a Lay Canon of Holy Trinity Cathedral and Fellow St. John’s Theological College as well as Emeritus Professor of Zoology. His commendation for Griffith’s 2003 book A Species In Denial is following, more detail can be found at https://www.humancondition.com/prof-john-morton/?scroll_to=John%20Morton&scroll_num=1
    ‘A Species In Denial is a superb book, a marvellous continuation of Jeremy Griffith’s previous work, Beyond The Human Condition. It calls out for deeper thought, both in the biological and spiritual arms of mankind. These are fields of understanding that are drawing closer together. Jeremy’s book brings out the truth of a new and wider frontier for humankind, a forward view of a world of humans no longer in naked competition amongst ourselves and with all others. The fittest and indeed the only humanity able to survive today will be a species evolving and deepening, into a greater harmony with ourselves and with creation at large. We go forward into this new century with a drive for a wider science and a deeper spirituality, to find again for ourselves the place we had come so near to losing: the part that should be ours in a world of loving and understanding.’

  • richard on August 16, 2017 at 8:18 am

    The key for me in this email is the explanation for why we have had to be ‘God fearing’ or deny what Griffith describes as Integrative Meaning – because until we could explain why we seemed to be UNGodly or DISintegrative the whole thing just made us look bad or evil. But now we can explain that our competitive aggressive state was OK, the whole thing turns around.

  • Professor Abed Peerally on September 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Very interesting. The whole philosophy of these mails is precisely my objective in my decision to write three books about the origin of the universe, the first of which was published in April, 20 this year. While this website and its author is correctly taking an anthropological and philosophical approach, with some science brought in as necessary, which is very sound, around 2012, I thought of the same theme, but against a much wider background of possible explanation. My purpose was not to centre on the human condition, as this site is focussing, but on the universal, and therefore as you also imply, felt that our condition, including the whole universe, seems to be integrated. Finally my objective is to find the ultimate explanation of the universe and of existence: the answer to me is philosophical and scientific, and you also think so. My objective is to search for the ultimate explanation, in philosophy and science, and the answer tells me we also have to bring in theology. My first book describes the context of the universe and existence, and in my second book I will describe the theory of everything, and the origin of our universe, where entropy will have an important role as my first book implies. So my next book, and my current articles in vixra, focus on science and philosophy. As your objective is to improve our appreciation of what should be the ideal human condition, my books will show that the creation process wanted us to be capable of reaching the best condition, but through evolution, or entropy. There is scope for both of us to cooperate.

  • Melody on November 2, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Absolutely spellbinding and fairly difficult to grasp in some of the sections. What if a world right now, meaning man, is crying out for answers. Tired of searching and seeking and possibly depressed in resignation that there are no explanations?
    Too many of us are simple ordinary folk and in some instances like in our country dimple people, many uneducated and could in fact take a lifetime or two in terms of time to even begin to grasp an inkling of what has been said.
    Yet his uterly valuable all of this is to man right now.

    I myself have already begun to tell people of this eye opening book I am reading and conveyed in the simplest of terms some of the beginning parts. And the interest is there.
    Surely then smaller books in sections could be written for it is so true that no infant jumps from birth right into first grade and that most of us gain understanding slowly. Also true is when one word in a paragraph is not fully understood the reader is lost in meaning

    • Howard on November 2, 2017 at 9:19 am

      So true Melody. I found that Jeremy’s booklet ‘Transform Your Life and Save the World’ was a wonderful way to ‘gain understanding slowly’.

  • TEHATAPIHOPATAPUI (OLLY)OHLSON on November 9, 2017 at 7:45 am

    I feel like I’m coming home for the first time in my short 73 years of life so far. My parents taught me an ancient Maori belief system which has no name (I’ve now given it one – MAURI HAUORA which means ‘the health of the life force in and around all of us’) through special story forms, poetry, dance, art, crafts and songs . It centers around the idea that we are the Nothingness out of which all things come. As a child I was raised with the saying ‘tatou, tatou; which means ‘we are the one and the one is us.’ I am a member of the Ngati Whare people in New Zealand which was known to my people as Aotearoa – the land of the long white cloud. Our language and culture were banned for a while but is now making a ‘come back.’ Our beliefs/philosophy were banned from 1907-1962 through an act of parliament referred to as The Tohunga Suppression Act. But my tribe took their philosophy underground. I was fortunate to have parents that kept it alive – although I didn’t understand the depth and appropriateness of it in today’s world until well into my 50’s. What you are doing here touches my heart and gives me greater strength and energy in knowing that there are still a lot of people who are coming to the realization that integrative understanding of ourselves as collective beings can help us trigger off the wonderful healing energy of Rehua – our personified female entity of love. Our love experience disintegrates into the universal energy being which we personify as IO. IO is genderless and the experience of IO is totally expansive, fulfilling, momentous, informative and every so gently and softly inclusive. A description of all of those experiences is beyond my vocabulary as they have anther dimension to them as part of something endless, alive and so restful. Thank you.

    • Maureen on November 7, 2019 at 4:32 am

      Oh TE…what you write/right here reaches me in the most integrated parts of myself.
      “Coming home.” You say. There IS a coming home in knowing who we REALLY are. All Gods really.
      How blessed you have been to grow up with Maori knowingness danced, sung, and honoured openly.
      The colonialist lifestyle has been ravaging our souls. And we have been capable of great harm.
      Our true nature is Love. Nothing feels better than the giving and receiving of Love. Because nothing is more NATURAL than the giving and receiving of Love.
      I am pleased to meet you. Thanks for being here. Loving Blessings.

  • Vibeke Larsen on January 4, 2018 at 1:49 am

    All interesting absolute. Yes everything seeks order, have to
    The existence of life does not care, how humans behave. It will put in order, I think, the buildingstones
    Now humans know much, also how every creature is formed. Take a tree, an animal a stone or a human. Groving/formed under good conditions will blossom. Under poor conditions no blossom.
    We have ability to create prosperous life for all, but some dont using power in many forms. Love comes probably from love for life and to share that love.
    All religions probably have roots in seeking to grab life – though often develops into power. And by that loosing its seeking and love

  • uma on February 23, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Its is a thought provoking explanation of whole . Nevertheless, I noticed how , we have to bring up different, achieved people to justify the deductions rather than let our intellect help us arrive there.

  • Marcus Vinicius Barreto on March 7, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    This essay is tranquilizing, harmonically explanatory that also the human condition converges to order, that is towards God which is the essence of love – balance – order, coincidental to science.
    As I understood, we humans have to look at our dark side so that to recognize our condition, and resign selfishness as the truth is that the meaning of life is to be integrative, selfless and loving.
    The only question for me now is how equally balanced human race on earth will evolve to those principles, particularly considering that still so many nation politics with such selfish leaders still spreading their mad wickedness, malice, unkindness for selfish achievements and retainment of power.

    • Conrad on March 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Couldn’t agree more with your understanding Marcus: “the truth is that the meaning of life is to be integrative, selfless and loving”. But, as you’ve rightly picked up on, we suffer from a psychological condition that certainly does NOT follow the integrative principles of life at all – in fact humanity in it’s current state behaves in the complete opposite of cooperative, selfless and loving i.e. we’re all competitive, aggressive and selfish!! So the question you’re asking is very very relevant to this whole discussion, namely: how does the human race change from behaving selfishly to behaving selflessly?? The good news is there’s plenty of discussion about this exact problem and the incredible solution – check out the essays 17 and 33, and the whole of Chapter 9 of FREEDOM.

  • Zzantor Zzantor on March 29, 2018 at 12:20 am

    Man cannot be selfless, we are 100% selfish… The universe is expanding and the obvious direction of Integrative Meaning forming more complex wholes, implies that selfishness is a new development. There will be no going backwards. I suggest that, not the turning away from selfishness, but, an expansion of selfishness is where humans are headed. I cannot be convinced to give up my self interest, that’s not gonna happen, but, If I see myself as part of the whole of humanity, my individuality expands and my self interest is for we, not me… I’m still selfish, as I still get an internal “reward” of a good feeling when I, for example, preform an act of random kindness that no one will know about. I still get a good feeling. A good feeling is a reward experienced by an individual. Some people take drugs that destroy their lives for a good feeling, feeling motivates everything we do, listen to all the silly love songs… There is the selfishness of the brute(self gratification at any cost) on one end of the scale and Divine Selfishness(the little self taking responsibility for the larger Self and experiencing the same “me” as “we”) on the other.
    Those of you that have transformed know what I’m talking about. The “carrot” that represents my motivation to act in the world, is so much better and bigger(orders of magnitude) than anything I’ve experienced before, it calls me forward like nothing has…

  • Sofia on March 29, 2018 at 5:18 am

    So far I’m interested and intrigued. So much of what has been written here reminds me of the 12 Step programs which are designed to move people from selfishness and self-centredness into people who confront our humanity and the errors we have committed, that give us the opportunity to change by making amends for harms done, that suggests a way to
    ” stay current” with our harmful behaviours, a practice of calming and centering ourselves and creates a desire to love and serve others

    • Susy on March 29, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Sofia, What is so important about Jeremy Grififth’s work is that it explains the root cause of all the problems on Earth which is the human condition, it answers the age-old question of how can we be so selfish, angry and destructive when the ideals are to be loving and selfless? As you get more familiar with these ideas Sofia, you will see it’s that underlying issue that really has to be addressed and fixed if we are to solve the world’s problems. Humanity has developed many marvelous tools and techniques to help calm and center our troubled minds as we suffered under the human condition, but they are not a solution to it. You may be interested in watching this Webinar Jeremy Griffith did (https://www.humancondition.com/?videoId=FREEDOM_Webinar_2&item=1) as he answers a question about whether the technique of mindfulness can overcome the human condition. He explains that these tools are effective in their own right, but that they are really about escaping from the human condition, being ‘mindless’ not ‘mindful’ and that ultimately we needed ‘brain food’ not ‘brain anaesthetic’. As Jeremy writes in para 1221 of Freedom, “Our thinking mind needed understanding—specifically, understanding of why humans are fundamentally good and not bad, evil, worthless beings. In short, we needed the psychologically dignifying, redeeming and transforming understanding of the human condition.” I really encourage you to keep reading Jeremy’s work Sofia, keep following your intrigue and interest, because I tell you from experience it won’t ever disappoint you! This biological understanding is endlessly exciting and fulfilling and solving of any problem you want to look at. It really will save the world as Professor Prosen says in his introduction to “Freedom”.

  • eleonore on April 26, 2018 at 4:11 am

    Thank you

  • Joseph on May 4, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Thank you Jeremy :) When I first read the concept of IM in Freedom I felt so comfortable with the sense of it. I find it easy to imagine. As you and other WTM members have said going over the material rereading assists in more clarity somehow unlocking understanding. Though it is complex in appearance it is simple in nature. Life has meaning that develops, evolves. We, us, the integrated specie individual conscious human being if had a timeless moment of honest forward introspection. How would the imagined future meaning be? Would our your existence be competitive, unsure, selfish and at odds or will the developed integrative life be as it will be a conscious kind love for all that is. I just cannot imagine the evolved being or meaning be anything else but a direction towards selflessness. Integrative Meaning is our reality. Pure simple truth. As Jeremy indicates there is a generational time scale set before we, as our future species, will behave as this imagined ideal self. This is not us our time or space. What I do imagine now is as a conscious selfless act to support as best we as one can the WTM and the work Jeremy has shared. I can only appreciate and express gratitude to you all for what sacrifices and effort taken to hold and deliver to our time the true story of our human condition. May we heal together with peace and understanding.

    • Genevieve Genevieve on May 7, 2018 at 8:39 am

      Hi Joseph, thank you so much for your supportive post and it’s so true that the more you immerse yourself in this realm of understanding the more clarity comes, as well as wonder at the power of Integrative Meaning in this case. You’re absolutely right about it being our reality and with every step now we can work towards fulfilling that natural law within us. To truly understand where love and selflessness come from and that to be loving and selfless is the meaning of existence is unbelievably relieving and fulfilling for us humans who have been denied proof of our goodness for so long. And that Jeremy has been able to synthesise these explanations means, as you said, we can now support this work as best we can by taking up the Transformed Lifeforce State that it makes possible, and that takes us further and further towards Integrative Meaning. It’s amazing that despite our current horribly alienated reality we are part of and can contribute to the whole meaning of life! And we really have no idea what our conscious mind is capable of without the preoccupation of the human condition holding it back. There is so much suffering everywhere but there’s so much we can do now to end it and bring about a new psychologically evolved, meaningful life for absolutely everyone.

  • Paul Leahy on May 9, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    I can appreciate this approach/explanation of the human condition and humanity’s need to embrace this philosophy for its survival. However, I don’t see how this is ever possible in such a divisive world.

    • Susan on May 12, 2018 at 11:06 am

      Hi Paul, You are right it is such a divisive world but the question that this biological explanation gets to the bottom of and resolves is ‘WHY is it so divisive?’. There is much focus on the symptoms in the world today, like the environment or poverty, but where all the problems source back to is us humans, we are the ones who are divisive and thus make our world so. We need to understand why. We need to understand why we are so angry, egocentric and selfish as s a species when the ideals are to be so cooperative and loving. It is this underlying issue, our shared human condition, that Jeremy Griffith’s biological explanation finally makes sense of. Having this knowledge is like being given the manual to life no less, we can finally make sense of all the suffering and indifference in the world and in ourselves and it leads to the most wonderful future imaginable for all humans. I do hope you persevere with absorbing the information Paul, you may find the FAQ section helpful such as FAQ 1.6 and 1.16.

  • Charles Rojas on May 30, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    A huge note of thanks to all those who offer their input in order to allow readers to “see” someone elses’s interpretation, or form of how “things” and thoughts, plus general beliefs are affecting our lives, thus permittint the reader to acknowlege the fact that there is “another way” to interpret, the many why’s of our existence and well/ill being, as well as to which areas of our inner existance need to be improved and how in order to change for the better

  • Ari Akritidis on June 1, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    This essay is brilliant. Everything in religious scriptures makes absolute perfect sense if you replace the word God with Love. God is love. Love is selfless. Give without expectation and see your soul explode with absolute joy. It is so obvious and clear. The power of compassionate love amongst humans is so great that it can bring the ‘dead back to life’.

    By this I mean that showing somebody compassionate, genuine love at a dark time in their lives, can bring them back. I am loved. There is hope. Maybe I’ll hang in there.

    Jesus taught the peasants of his time that they are all loved by him as ‘the son of God’ the messenger. That they have a purpose. Their existence is not only relevant but critical. There is meaning to life and that they must continue the battle until one day we find understanding.

    They followed him like sheep follow a shephard because he was their light. He was their guardian. The saviour. The suffering would soon be over and we will be able to rejoice. They knew he was right they just didn’t know why.

    And that day of understanding is now here. It’s arrived. What a relief. What a moment!
    I’m writing this and I have goosebumps over my body.

    Incredible work Jeremy and all at WTM. Let’s go!

  • Julius Just on June 3, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Each civilisation claims the discoveries of the previous one as their own. You have the sun and the moon within you. The external is the internal everything we experience we have within us. Just as the Roman Gods were based on the Greek pantheon much of the philosophy and discoveries attributed to the Greeks are Egyptian in origin.

  • Lewis H. Trogler on June 14, 2018 at 1:46 am

    So interesting essay. I look forward to get all the essays available. Will be a treasure to have them all to share with Family and friendss interested on this beautiful issue of the true meaning of life. Thank you for Sharing such amazing information.

  • Ron Boutin on August 17, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you

  • Yvette on August 29, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    In my humble opinion, I see that today, people are selfish because they are terrified of what’s going on in the world and are just trying to survive. Too simple an idea, I’m sure.

  • Gangadhar Sivaswamy on September 7, 2018 at 1:48 am

    Integration was orderly and sustaining, what does that indicate? There is a force behind to enforce order and
    regularity in the entire cosmos and on earth Nature for example march of seasons as the earth orbits around the mother planet the Sun and the monsoons at prescribed times every year and the operation of Laws of Nature without any sort of discrimination and also gifts of Nature alike both to believers and non-believers and even to criminals free without which life is not possible. These were the findings of Vedic sages of India and they have left enough materials for mankind to know the glory of God. Science may not agree on the concept of God or Soul in human beings but the fact remains that we have to conclusively prove the functioning of the universe is not a mechanical or technological or biological one, but something superior beyond frontiers of known knowledge.That was why the sages prescribed transcendental meditation to know the Truth or That Thou Art. Spirituality becomes important in leading a selfless meaningful life. Yoga is part of such a life and the whole world has now accepted and adopted it. Sanatana Dharma was the way of life of the ancient sages but as it was difficult to live such a selfless life, selfishness prospered and we face all sorts of problems in our lives and the world at large. We are today at the cross-roads not knowing which way to choose and all your effort in writing this story of man and his endless search for peace and tranquility is remarkably great, still the question arises will Man be wise enough to choose the Right Path as Buddha said!

  • James on December 22, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Great article however I certainly wouldn’t blame the “ love is laying down our lives for one another “ as the reason we feel condemned. In our own strength or righteousness we cannot do this. The apostle Paul ( serial killer; transformed) said in corinthians that even if we lay our lives down but have not love we are nothing. Hmmm bit of a paradox. Paul understood the power of Jesus being the substitute for sinful man ( grace)
    I often ask for this grace for even in my goodness ( righteousness) it is still filthy rags as Paul also said.

    • RJ on December 22, 2018 at 11:06 am

      I understand from this essay what we have felt so condemned about is our ‘upset’ behaviour especially in the face of the ideals (including in our own soul) to be cooperative and loving. And to escalate it further, those ideals are the whole meaning of life. That is the human condition and while we suffered from it, while there wasn’t understanding of ourselves available, we weren’t ABLE to love, love ourselves, love each other or our world — and we felt incredibly guilty for that. That all changes now we can understand ourselves, and see that there’s been an amazing reason for our upset, that we are actually good and not bad. A horror journey but one that’s been so unbelievably heroic and meaningful. Thank goodness we can all move on now and love can legitimately return to earth!

    • Manuela O’Connell on March 27, 2019 at 5:15 am

      The apostle Paul was not a serial killer. He was a tax collector

      • Robert J. Kelder on August 15, 2019 at 10:19 pm

        Paul was before his meeting in the etheric with the risen Jesus on the way to Damascus, as can be read in “The Acts” of the New Testament, an official Jewish persecutor of the Christians who had many of them. killed.

      • Martine Dann on February 17, 2020 at 8:07 pm

        No, Paul was not a Tax Collector.He was born in Cilicia -city of Tarsus/now Turkey/-to parents of Roman citizenship. He was a TENT MAKER by trade. He studied “the law” and became a devout Pharisee, he assisted in the PERSECUTION of Christians. It is clear that Paul/Saul of Tarsus, took a prominent part & watched the stoning of Stephen, because Stephen’s robe was laid at the feet of Paul/Saul-signifying Paul’s involvement, with Paul actually hunting Stephen down. Paul WAS a persecutor/murderer of Christians-hell bent on eradicating them from the face of the earth! All this, before his “road to Damascus”
        epiphany…

  • John tembo on March 17, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Thank you very March, very interesting and good creation of God

  • Stephen Gwynne on May 15, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Interestingly, this thought provoking piece chimes with the integrative tendencies of nationalism

    https://radix.org.uk/news/let-the-idea-of-collaboration-between-nation-states-flourish-again/

    EU Supranationalism is fundamentally divisive and is based on conformity, coercion and conflict, not liberty, equality and fraternity which again are ideals of integrative love.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157143969492488&id=560977487

    • Susy on May 16, 2019 at 10:23 am

      Yes, the EU is artificial, and can’t genuinely bring people together – I can see now that no form of imposed dogma has ever worked – essay no. 35 is great for understanding that. But in terms of bringing everyone together, what’s being presented here is so much bigger than nationalism. The understanding of the human condition will bring about the true integration of humanity, and all nationalism, and even politics is made redundant – which is presented in essay no.34.

  • Martyn Standing on June 28, 2019 at 9:24 am

    There is a discrepancy here that I can’t quite resolve. If humans are to be integrative, which as you state is the natural order of things, then why aren’t all animals integrative? Plenty of species will fight among themselves and display selfishness and aggression. However, if you were to reply that integrative existence is the order that drives nature from the existence of atoms onwards, then surely ALL species must display this, not just humans? Unless of course, they also have levels of consciousness that we don’t acknowledge? Pavlov’s dogs come to mind as an example of learned experience in that respect.

    • RJ on June 28, 2019 at 5:17 pm

      I think Martyn you find the next couple of essays very clarifying, especially #25 which is the truthful biology, the real story of the development of life, including humans. I thought I would quote some passages that helped me understand this, and I must say I find this explanation nothing short of brilliant!

      “It should be pointed out that in situations where competition between individuals breaks out—when, for instance, male elephants or whales or kangaroos or birds or solitary insects, etc, etc, chase a female in estrous—it’s not simply because the female wants to discover which is the strongest male with which to mate to ensure her offspring is the strongest, most competitively successful individual it can be, as is currently taught, but because the Negative Entropy integrative tendency has driven the males and the females to that extreme state of competition. Such extreme competition is, in truth, a result of trying to develop greater order of matter. More will be said about this shortly, but the real story of life on Earth is not about selfish competition but integration.”

      “The genetic process would develop unconditionally selfless, fully cooperative behaviour between all sexually reproducing individuals if it could—because such selflessness is what is required to maintain a fully integrated whole—but, because of its particular limitation [which is explained in the essay], it normally can’t. Integrative selflessness, not divisive selfishness, is the real nature or characteristic of existence, the theme of life.”

  • Geraldine Harron on July 11, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    The seeds of Faith were grown early in me and I am a believer and religious, but I am still a seeker because there are layers to my interest and I like to constantly open my mind to possibilities as well as truth. Reading these beautifully communicated concepts and deeply logical truths is more evidence of God before me, I already know that God is Love and Love is the dynamics of order. Between not being served all answers in life, plus not having the ability to find them all myself, the entire exercise is like doing a jig-saw without a picture to copy, and knowing that there are definitely lots of missing pieces. Love is also the puzzle, the action of trying to build a picture is perfect, but can’t be finished for me, because bits are not there. There is the opposing side, a resistance, in one case the feeling from people that its pointless. If Love is the orderly activity then the opposite is chaotic resistance. Thank you for continued success in discussing the possibilities, missing bits for me as well as some of the picture.

    • Maureen on November 7, 2019 at 3:54 am

      Thank you Gearaldine for what you say here. I find it very descriptive and insightful. Loving Blessings upon you.

  • george ljepojevic on November 13, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    I thank you for the wisdom you are passing on to the world’s people. I am a Vietnam veteran and,realized after many years later that I was used by the world corporations.There is no such thing as “governments” ( as you already know ). I have woken up from a long slumber which was painful for me both physically and psychologically. I became extremely aggressive after my mother committed suicide ( in former Yugoslavia,after my father and I escaped, he was wanted for so-called war crimes for being a royalist ). Had I not read your book ( and been assured by my own studies as well ) I would most probably have also at some stage in life committed suicide. But now I know that my purpose in life should not be selfish. So now I talk to people, to teach them the truth of our purpose in life. So thank you for your insight very much.
    PS, I am also a past Freemason ( 30th degree, and a kabbalistic practitioner )
    George Ljepojevic

  • Hameed on November 15, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    It gives me great joy to read and understand the integrative meaning, as the true (holistic) concept of God in the religious sense. The main cornerstone, where all religions of the world, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc converge is Love. They all preach unconditional love one with each other of all human beings. Love is basic that one should even love those who hates one. I hope to read more for better understanding and assimilation of this concept in Freedom.

  • Rita Carmona on December 20, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    I Always apprecciate these essays on human condition. Thank you . The point of recognise God as the creator of our world and to talk about Him in a cientist language seems to be the Key problem of science .
    1.God 2.Order 3.Explanation of the world
    Too long scientists avoid the words of the Bible. The left-wing played a crucial part in this battle, ignoring or destroying the very concepts that a Child learn with their parents that are exactly the same that God revealed to humankind. Great essay. Let’s keep talking in a simple, intelligent and God-loving point of view of this world . It was God thought …for us that He loves in His Goodness.

  • Jean Claude on December 20, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Sound presesentation many blessings for this approch about love, looking foward to the next article.

  • Colleen Fryar on February 12, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    How obvious this “order of matter integration” is now I can see through the almost impenetrable fog of the Human Condition and “own my own shadow”. Thank you Jeremy Griffith for our “Science of Tomorrow”.

  • Mike Hood on February 20, 2020 at 9:04 am

    This has enlightened me,ready to be a better human consider my fellow man and live in a better world

  • Lyn Harrod. on March 11, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    This is very interesting to me, as I have studied the basics of psychology at Victory University, WGTN. In a series of lectures named. ‘Womb to tomb psychology’…. Yung, Ericsson, Maslow etc. I also had a father in-law who was a theology graduate from a top University in London. Consequently, I have viewed both sides of this theory. Although, I have no familiarization with science. I have also been inquisitive enough to visit, and read, about many differing religious theories. All of which, have very individual ideologies. I have reached the conclusion that there is only one God however. Which leaves me with the conclusion that it all comes down to individual interpretation. Again the ideals sought by those I am familiar with, were teaching that which you describe. Harmony, unity, tolerance, empathy, understanding, and I guess THAT, all involves the word….EVOLVING…. Both in ideas, knowledge, and actions. We are never going to achieve perfection, as only nature does that ..(The Lily for example) There is even an old quote…’Don’t guild the Lily.’ To summarize, I would conclude that individuals require teaching , mentoring, and discipline. Together with affection, warmth, nutrients, and a ‘feeling’ of security, we could safely assume, we are very likely to obtain very much as you have described in your Essay.
    The only difference being, the human capacity for the ‘spiritual element.’ I think it is THAT which gives us the abilities you describe so succinctly.

  • John mays on March 13, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    Interesting – as Eckhart toll says , the ego in us must go , and Jesus says the carnal spirit in us must die – if we are to change .

    • Tommy on March 17, 2020 at 9:14 am

      That’s true John but wanted to comment as it’s not in the way Tolle presents, or indeed what the Christian faith represents, they just could never solve our problems. What I love about the WTM’s work is that it presents the biological understanding of why we are upset, why have had to be egocentric, it gets to the heart of all our issues and that’s the human condition, and solves it. I love the FAQ section, and this one explains why this is not a religion https://www.humancondition.com/wtm-faq-is-this-some-sort-of-religion/ and this one why it’s not new age https://www.humancondition.com/wtm-faq-is-this-new-age/, and this line from the latter ‘Humans have to be able to understand their way to freedom, and it is that all-clarifying, redeeming and rehabilitating understanding that Jeremy provides.’

  • May Coyle on March 27, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    This a brilliantly researched article which greeted me early this morn
    I will try to integrate as I work in my garden
    You have referenced some of my ‘favourite’ writers, Blake, Einstein, Chardonnay
    ‘Truth we learn in pain and sighs/we cannot enter the circle of the wise/and when this we know Joy and woe are woven fine/a clothing for the soul divine.
    William Blake, mystic, poet and artist
    Thank you, May

  • O'Bryan Milligan on April 11, 2020 at 11:51 am

    I hope this integrative meaning of things revelation doesn’t depend on the Big Bang physics of Hawkins and Einstein since there is emerging in the field of electricity better explanations of reality that we can actually understand. The Electric Universe and the Thunderbolt series prove that the universe is not expanding.
    At the same time the union of science and religion is something that needs to be taken seriously without destroying the traditions and communions of all the religions of the world. The key there is as was said in the essay the concept “God”. God is Love. Now when I sing the traditional hymns I hear the underlying goal of this integration of the world.

  • Deepak Bhatt on July 10, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    As mentioned in the Essay by giving reference of Stephen Hawking & Albert Einstein saying “The overwhelming impression is of order…(in) the Universe” & that “behind everything is an order” respectively.
    If anyone gain Knowledge first he/she will have true understanding of Love. If anyone develops Love at its fullest extreme he/she have Knowledge of Unity of Humankind. As per quote Charity begins from home.” He/she will have compassion towards suffering of lives & starts charitable work & prove another quote “Service to the Humanity is service to the GOD.” This is the end result of Selfless Love. As essay further mentions of Abraham,Issac,Jacob,Joseph & Christ. Their different sayings “I have seen GOD face to face” to “I & Father are one.Persian Prophet Zoroaster said “One supreme Deity.” As a layman & learned from the essay They all were in the universal order. They find out Human Condition of that time & place of folk.Their motive was to solve it. But science was not existing at that time. Groups of wasted interest or Ruler ask them to give proof. We all know the History. But their disciples & those who understand them expanded their teachings from today’s Asian Continent to the whole world & different religions exist at present.
    In 1720 A.D. invention of steam engine was done, from that time till date many inventions & technology came in existing for human comfort. Scientist purpose of any invention is for the better living of the human society but it depends who use this invention & technology how. policy makers has used it on the name of Economy,Nation etc. to remain or extend their Power. Science & Technology has made this world Global Village.We can see now any event at the same time or recorded afterwards.its now time as Scientific Society We behave inclusive for this Global Village to improve present Human Condition using resource & technology. I am feeling lucky to join this Freedom Essay Series. Thanks to Jeremy Griffith & WTM Team for their wonderful effort.

  • David Rubanenko on August 24, 2020 at 5:51 am

    The article I have read, but not just read but studied,is the most true that I have ever read. I am and all will be a believer in a Higher Power.I was fortunate in having the parents that I had and I listened very closely to what he said and over the years have come to the belief that what he discussed with me, without trying to teach me or enforce his beliefs on me is similar to the article that I have studied over and over again. I already knew at a young age that he was a very wise person as he had many people of different faiths visiting him to discuss religion and philosophy.I sat quietly in our lounge and listened to what was discussed but at that age it was most difficult to understand as they were using terms and words which I had never heard before. To this my plea is “mea cullpa”, I was guilty in not asking the questions that I wanted to.I thank OUR FATHER in heaven for granting me the parents and a very wise elder brother to help guide me through the hidden perils of life.