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‘FREEDOM’—Chapter 2 The Threat of Terminal Alienation from Science’s Denial
Chapter 2:6 Evidence of the three fundamental truths, as provided by Moses and Plato
If we ask ourselves what is the ‘we’ that we are talking about when we refer to the possibility that ‘we’ are a terrible mistake, a worthless blight on this planet, the ‘face of absolute evil’ as Jung said, we can see where the real problem about our seemingly horribly flawed condition lies: the ‘we’ is surely our conscious thinking mind or intellect. It is our conscious mind that is uncertain of its worthiness, that suspects that it might be to blame for our species’ present seemingly highly imperfect, even ‘fallen’ or corrupted, competitive, aggressive and selfish condition. And indeed, that most famous mythological account of the origin or genesis of the human condition, the story of Adam and Eve from the book of ‘Genesis’ in the Old Testament in the Bible, which the very great prophet Moses wrote (versions of which also appear in the Torah of Judaism, and the Koran of Islam), recognises that this was the case—that it was our conscious mind that led to our ‘good-and-evil’-afflicted condition. Moses said that the first humans, represented in this account by Adam and Eve, lived ‘naked, and they felt no shame’ (Gen. 2:25) in ‘the Garden of Eden’ (3:23) and were ‘created…in the image of God’ (1:27), obviously meaning we once lived in a pre-human-condition-afflicted state of original innocence where we were perfectly instinctively orientated to the cooperative, selfless, loving, ‘Godly’ ideals of life—indeed, the dictionary description for the word ‘Edenic’ is ‘the first home of Adam and Eve…a state of innocence, bliss, or ultimate happiness’ (The Free Dictionary). As mentioned in par. 65, Moses then said that Adam and Eve took the ‘fruit’ ‘from the tree of…knowledge’ (3:3, 2:17) because it was ‘desirable for gaining wisdom’ (3:6), obviously meaning we became fully conscious, thinking, knowledge-seeking beings. Then, as a result of developing a conscious mind and a ‘disobedient’ (the term widely used in descriptions of Gen. 3) free will, Moses said we ‘fell from grace’ (derived from the title of Gen. 3, ‘The Fall of Man’), obviously meaning our original cooperative, selfless and loving (good) state became corrupted and our competitive, selfish and aggressive—indeed, angry, egocentric and alienated—(‘evil’/‘sinful’/guilt-ridden) state emerged. It was at this point that humans ‘realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves’ (3:7), meaning nudity was no longer a ‘shame[less]’ state, with sex as humans now practise it emerging where, as will be explained in chapter 8:11B, the act of procreation became perverted and used as a way of angrily attacking or ‘fucking’ innocence because of its implied criticism of our lack thereof—at which point it was necessary to clothe ourselves to dampen lust and reduce the ‘shame’ we felt for being so horrifically destructive of innocence. (Note: this explanation of sex as humans practise it now will likely be another concept new to the reader, requiring some thought before it can be accepted as being true, but it really is just a further honest, obvious explanation we couldn’t afford to admit while we couldn’t explain the human condition and defend our immensely corrupted lives.) Moses then said that, as a result of the emergence of all our corrupt angry, egocentric and alienated behaviour, we were ‘banished…from the Garden of Eden’-like (3:23) state of original innocence and left ‘a restless wanderer on the earth’ (4:14); that is, we were left in our present, psychologically upset, distressed and alienated condition.
It should be emphasised here that while Moses’ extraordinarily sound and thus effective thinking enabled him to describe all the elements involved in producing the human condition, the story of Adam and Eve is only a description of the conflict that produced the upset state of our human condition, not an explanation of WHY the conflict occurred. As was described in chapter 1, for that all-important explanation to be possible science had to be established and understanding of the difference in the way genes and nerves process information found; we had to understand that one, the genetic learning system, is an orientating learning system while the other, the nerve-based learning system, is insightful. And until that clarifying explanation was found it wasn’t possible to explain that the intellect is actually the hero not the villain, deserving of being ‘banished…from the Garden of Eden’, it is portrayed as in the story of Adam and Eve. Moses was an exceptionally honest and thus effective thinker and could describe the elements involved in producing the human condition, but he could not liberate humanity from the insecurity of that condition. For that to be possible science had to be developed.
As we have already established, Plato was, like Moses, an extremely honest, denial-free, effective thinker, one whose mind was focused on ‘the enlightenment or ignorance of our human condition’. Given his extraordinarily truthful and accurate description in The Republic of the human race being imprisoned in a dark cave of denial, it should come as no surprise that Plato also recognised that, as Moses said, we ‘fell from grace’ from a ‘Garden of Eden’ pre-human-condition-afflicted state of original innocence, and identified the elements involved in that fall of our conscious mind in conflict with our original innocent instinctive self. Yes, in The Republic, prior to introducing his cave allegory, Plato presented what he termed in the original Greek wording as his theory of the psychē or psychological condition of humans, in which he spoke of the conflicting elements that caused ‘the imperfections of human life’, namely our moral instincts, which (again, in the original Greek wording) he referred to as thymos, in conflict with our conscious intellect, which he referred to as eros. This conflicted state is clearly ‘our human condition’—an interpretation that is even more apparent when Plato returned to this thymos vs eros conflict in his dialogue Phaedrus, this time describing our condition using what is, after his cave allegory, his second most famous allegory, the allegory of the two-horsed chariot.
Firstly, with regard to our species’ original innocent state, in his chariot allegory Plato gave this exceptionally honest description of it: ‘there was a time when…we beheld the beatific vision and were initiated into a mystery which may be truly called most blessed, celebrated by us in our state of innocence, before we had any experience of evils to come, when we were admitted to the sight of apparitions innocent and simple and calm and happy, which we beheld shining in pure light, pure ourselves and not yet enshrined in that living tomb which we carry about, now that we are imprisoned in the body, like an oyster in his shell’ (Phaedrus, c.360 BC; tr. B. Jowett, 1871, 250).
And, with regard to the conflict between instinct and intellect that gave rise to our upset ‘tomb’-like human-condition-afflicted existence, Plato was equally extraordinarily insightful, writing: ‘Let the figure [of the two-horsed chariot] be composite—a pair of winged horses and a charioteer…and one of them [one of the horses] is noble and of noble breed, and the other is ignoble and of ignoble breed; and the driving of them [by the charioteer, which is us having to try to manage these two conflicting elements within us] of necessity gives a great deal of trouble to him’ (ibid. 246). Some pages later, Plato was even more explicit about the nature of the two horses and the clash between them, writing that ‘one of the horses was good and the other bad [ibid. 253] …[and the bad horse], heedless of the [charioteer]…plunges and runs away, giving all manner of trouble to his companion and the charioteer…[they being] urged on to do terrible and unlawful deeds’ (ibid. 254).
Plato added that the ‘noble’, ‘good’ horse is ‘cleanly made…his colour is white…he is a lover of honour and modesty and temperance’ (ibid. 253)—clearly the representation of what we now know is our innate, ideal-behaviour-demanding moral instinctive self, the voice of which is our conscience. Obviously Plato was not using scientific terms, but, as mentioned, he designated this white horse as thymos, which is usually translated as ‘spirit’, a concept described by the political scientist Francis Fukuyama as being ‘something like an innate human sense of justice’ (The End of History and the Last Man, 1992, p.165 of 418). And in The Republic, Plato spoke plainly about the happy, loving, goodness-and-‘justice’-expecting, soulful ‘innate’ nature of thymos (or ‘spirit’), writing that ‘You can see it in children, who are full of spirit as soon as they’re born’ (The Republic, tr. H.D.P. Lee, 1955, 441).
As for the ‘ignoble’ or ‘bad’ horse, in his original Greek wording, Plato called it eros, which signifies carnal love or sexual desire (it is the origin of the English word erotic), or more generally, any excessive desire. Plato described this horse as ‘a crooked lumbering animal…of a dark colour…the mate of insolence and pride, shag-eared and deaf’ (Phaedrus, 253), which is clearly a reference to our upset, ‘terrible and unlawful’, ‘deaf’-to-the-truth conscious intellect. Some people have misinterpreted this horse as representing animal instincts within us, specifically the instinct to reproduce, however, it is clear in the quotes above that Plato recognised our instincts as ‘innocent’ and ‘pure’, which can be seen ‘in children’, ‘before we had any experience of evils to come’, when we were ‘not yet enshrined in that living tomb which we carry about, now that we are imprisoned’. No, in Plato’s time, when upset behaviour was not restrained, or civilised, to the extent that it is in today’s modern society (much more will be said in chs 8:15 and 8:16 about humanity’s adoption of restraint), destructive sexual behaviour would have been the most common and obvious manifestation of our psychologically upset angry, egocentric and alienated state, and so eros or sexual desire would have been the obvious concept for Plato to use to depict it. That Plato intended for eros to signify our full upset state, not just sexual desire, is made clear in Allan Bloom’s Interpretive Essay on The Republic, in which he wrote that Plato ‘characterizes the tyrant as the erotic man, and eros, as…a mad master…Eros is the most dangerous and powerful of the desires, an infinite longing which consumes all other attachments in its heat’ (The Republic of Plato, tr. Allan Bloom, 1968, p.423 of 512). Yes, eros is more than just the excess of sexual desire as we know it, where, as has been mentioned, the act of procreation has become corrupted and used to attack the innocence of women; its ultimate manifestation is found in a ‘tyrant[’s]’ ‘infinite longing’ for power and glory where an overly insecure, upset mind forever seeks to validate itself and, by so doing, avoid the implication it is unworthy or bad. (The psychological reason for the tyrannical, power-addicted mind is explained in ch. 8:16D.)
It should be mentioned that just as Plato referred to sexual desire as the most obvious manifestation of our psychologically upset state, so did Moses in his Genesis story when he alluded to sexual desire in the form of Eve tempting Adam to take the fruit from the tree of knowledge, and, as with Plato, this reference by Moses to sexual desire has also been misinterpreted as Moses inferring that we have competitive, have-to-reproduce-our-genes ‘animal’ instincts. However, again as with Plato, it is clear that Moses recognised that we don’t have competitive, selfish, ‘have-to-reproduce-our-genes’ instincts, rather that our instinctive heritage is one of having lived an innocent, cooperative, loving, moral existence, writing that humans were, as has been mentioned, ‘created…in the image of God’; our distant ancestors, the first humans, which Adam and Eve represent, lived in accordance with the cooperative, loving, ‘Godly’ ideals of life, and ‘Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame’; meaning at that point sex hadn’t been perverted and used as a way of attacking innocence, but after this innocent, pre-conscious, pre-human-condition-afflicted time our psychologically upset, ‘fall[en]’ condition emerged and our innocence was destroyed. As Moses described it, after we took the ‘fruit’ ‘from the tree of…knowledge’, ‘the eyes of both of them [Adam and Eve/we] were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves’.
Although Moses clearly recognised that our distant, pre-conscious, pre-human-condition-afflicted, pre-upset ancestors were innocent, cooperative and loving, the question arises as to why did he infer that it was the upset state of sexual desire, in the form of Eve supposedly using sex to tempt Adam, that caused Adam to take the fruit from the tree of knowledge? The answer can only be that an account of the emergence of the human condition, which is what is being provided by Moses, should include reference to the immense role sex has played in the life of upset humans (indeed, as will all be explained in chapter 8:11B, after the upset state emerged ‘sex’ became one of the main means by which the upset was spread from one generation to the next), and having Adam ‘tempted’ by Eve in this great moment of transition for our species from innocence to upset gives recognition to that, even though the upset behaviour of sex as humans now practise it emerged after we set out on our upsetting search for knowledge, not before. This misplaced representation of when this perversion of ‘sex’ occurred is very apparent in this critical passage, in which Moses wrote that Eve ‘gave some [fruit from the tree of knowledge] to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves’. The first sentence is where it is historically inferred that Eve ‘seduced’ Adam into taking the fruit from the tree of knowledge; however, the second sentence says that their ‘eyes’-‘opened’, conscious, upset, ‘shame[ful]’, lustful state emerged after they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge!? Another clear use of sexual desire to represent our corrupted, upset state was given by the eighth century Greek poet Hesiod in his famous story of how Prometheus stole fire (representing consciousness) from the Gods and gave it to humanity, prompting Zeus to punish mankind by creating the ‘first’ woman, ‘Pandora’, saying, ‘I will send evil [Pandora] for thy stealthy fire, An ill which all shall love, and all desire’ (Works and Days, tr. Charles Elton, lines 570-571). Yes, sexual ‘desire’ came after mankind had received the ‘fire’ of consciousness.
It should be mentioned that in another of Plato’s allegories, which will be described shortly, he also referred to our distant pre-conscious ancestors as having lived shamelessly in a lust-free naked, innocent state, writing that our ancestors were ‘earth-born’, meaning they were not born of the sexual perversion of the act of procreation that is involved in sex now, and there was no ‘possession of women’, no ‘devouring of one another’, and ‘they dwelt naked’.
As to why people have misrepresented Plato’s ‘dark’ horse and Moses’ reference to sexual desire as indicating we have brutish, have-to-reproduce-our-genes animal instincts, it is because—as has been mentioned and as will be explained more fully in the latter part of this chapter—blaming our present competitive and aggressive behaviour on supposed savage, competitive, have-to-reproduce-our-genes animal instincts in us which our conscious mind has had to try to control, has been the main device used to deny that we once lived in a cooperative, selfless, loving innocent state that was upset by the emergence of our conscious mind. (It will become very clear through the course of this chapter just how determinedly humans have sought to avoid the human condition by blaming our divisive behaviour on savage, we-have-to-reproduce-our-genes instincts.)
To return to Plato’s two-horsed chariot allegory, and the explanation of the meaning of the ‘charioteer’. Designated in Plato’s original Greek wording as logos, the charioteer represents the overall situation our species has been in where we have been trying to understand the two conflicting elements within us of our ideal-behaviour-demanding instinct and our defiant, searching-for-knowledge, psychologically upset angry, egocentric and alienated intellect, with the ultimate goal being to find the reconciling understanding of our condition that will enable us to be liberated and transformed from it. Logos is normally inadequately translated as ‘reason’, but in the context of Plato’s chariot allegory it takes on a broader meaning of our reasoning intellect seeking the true understanding of our condition, or as Plato wrote, guiding our chariot to those realms of ‘justice, and temperance, and knowledge absolute’ (Phaedrus, 247), of which we have an ‘exceeding eagerness to behold’ (ibid. 248).
So, Plato’s two-horsed chariot allegory is an astonishingly clear description of the upset, ‘crooked lumbering’, ‘dark’, ‘mate of insolence and pride, shag-eared and deaf [alienated]’ intellect rising in defiant ‘heedless’ opposition to our ‘upright and cleanly made’, ‘white’, ‘lover of honour and modesty and temperance’, ‘pure’ ‘innocent’ original instinctive self, or soul, leading us to ‘terrible and unlawful deeds’, so that we are now condemned as ‘evil’ and ‘enshrined in that living tomb’. However, it has to be emphasised that, like Moses’ Garden of Eden story, the chariot allegory is only a description of the conflict that produced the upset state of our human condition, not an explanation of WHY the conflict occurred. Like Moses with his story of consciousness developing in the Garden of Eden, Plato was still only able to view our intellect as an ‘evil’, ‘bad’, ‘ignoble’ influence in our lives. Despite being the greatest of philosophers, Plato couldn’t explain the human condition. He could describe the situation perfectly but he still couldn’t deliver the clarifying, psychosis-addressing-and-relieving explanation—he couldn’t explain HOW humans could be good when we appeared to be bad. As has been explained, for that to be possible science had to be developed.
Nevertheless, Plato’s insights were absolutely remarkable, for not only did he clearly identify our original state of uncorrupted innocence and the two conflicted elements that then produced our psychologically upset, corrupted, fallen human condition in his two-horsed chariot allegory, in one of his final dialogues, The Statesman, he was even more incisive. While still not able to explain why the conflict occurred and from there explain how humans are good when we appear to be bad, in what is known as the myth of the ‘reversed cosmos’ he gave a perfectly clear description of the sequence of events that led to that conflict, even anticipating its eventual peaceful resolution!
To fully appreciate this account, the references Plato makes in it to ‘God’ being ‘the orderer of all’ (The Statesman, c.350 BC; tr. B. Jowett, 1871, 273) need to briefly be explained. Later in chapter 4, it will be explained that there is a teleological or holistic purpose or meaning to existence, which is to develop the order of matter into ever larger and more stable wholes—atoms come together or integrate to form compounds, which in turn integrate into virus-like organisms, into single-celled organisms, into multicelled organisms, etc. But while this integrative meaning of existence is one of the most obvious truths, it too has been denied by human-condition-avoiding mechanistic science because it implies humans should behave in an integrative, ordered, cooperative, sharing, selfless, loving way—behaviour that is at complete odds with our present seemingly divisive, disorderly and disintegrative competitive, selfish and aggressive behaviour. No, only when the human condition was explained and our divisive state understood, as it now is, would it be safe to admit this truth of Integrative Meaning that our concept of ‘God’ represents, which Plato in his extraordinary human-condition-confronting-not-avoiding honesty was able to acknowledge.
So, just as he did with his chariot allegory, Plato began his ‘reversed cosmos’ allegory by giving a truthful description of our innocent ancestors, referring to them in this instance as the ‘earth-born’ (ibid. 271), so-called because they were born of the earth rather than through ‘procreation’ (ibid). ‘Earth-born’ is presumably a metaphor for the time prior to the emergence of ‘sex’ as we upset humans practise it, where, as mentioned earlier, the act of ‘procreation’ has been corrupted and used to attack the innocence of women. And I should mention that Plato insisted that this ‘Golden Age’ in our past was a historical reality, writing that in ‘this tradition [of the earth-born man], which is now-a-days often unduly discredited, our ancestors [in the form of existing relatively innocent ‘races’ of people, such as those who still exist today like the Bushmen of the Kalahari and the Australian Aborigine], who were nearest in point of time to the end of the last period and came into being at the beginning of this, are to us the heralds [of that earlier innocent age]’ (ibid. 271). What now follows is Plato’s second extremely honest description that he gave of this innocent ‘Golden Age’ in our species’ past; he wrote that we lived a ‘blessed and spontaneous life…[where] neither was there any violence, or devouring of one another, or war or quarrel among them…In those days God himself was their shepherd, and ruled over them [our original instinctive self was orientated to living in an integrative, cooperative, loving way]…Under him there were no forms of government or separate possession of women and children; for all men rose again from the earth, having no memory of the past [we lived in a pre-conscious state]. And…the earth gave them fruits in abundance, which grew on trees and shrubs unbidden, and were not planted by the hand of man. And they dwelt naked, and mostly in the open air, for the temperature of their seasons was mild; and they had no beds, but lay on soft couches of grass, which grew plentifully out of the earth’ (ibid. 271-272).
Continuing with his extraordinary honesty and resulting clarity of thought, Plato then described how management of our lives transferred from our instincts to our emerging consciousness, and how we slowly began to accumulate knowledge: ‘Deprived of the care of God, who had possessed and tended them [we disobeyed our original instinctive orientation to living in an integrative, cooperative, loving way], they were left helpless and defenceless…And in the first ages they were still without skill or resource; the food which once grew spontaneously had failed, and as yet they knew not how to procure it, because they had never felt the pressure of necessity [we had lived in a cooperative, sharing, loving way, free of the insatiable greed that exhausts resources]…the gifts spoken of in the old tradition were [now] imparted to man by the gods [of fire, creativity, agriculture and so forth], together with so much teaching and education [knowledge] as was indispensable…fire…the arts…seeds and plants…From these is derived all that has helped to frame human life; since the care of the Gods, as I was saying, had now failed men, and they had to order their course of life for themselves, and were their own masters’ (ibid. 274).
He also described the upset, corrupted, fallen state that resulted from the emergence of consciousness, writing that in the very beginning the world was of a ‘primal nature, which was full of disorder…[then, when] the world was aided by the pilot [God, the process of integrating matter] in nurturing the animals [nurturing some animals, namely our primate forebears—this is an absolutely astonishing recognition of the nurturing process that gave us our moral instincts, a process that is described chapter 5], the evil was small, and great the good which he produced [in our ‘nurtur[ed]’, innocent, all-loving ape ancestors], but after the separation, when the world was let go [when the conscious mind began to challenge the instincts for mastery], at first all proceeded well enough [our intellect mostly deferred to our instincts]; but, as time went on, there was more and more forgetting [alienation, or separation from our instinctive moral self], and the old discord [disorder] again held sway and burst forth in full glory [the psychologically upset, divisive, disordered state of the human condition emerged]; and at last small was the good, and great was the admixture of evil, and there was a danger of universal ruin to the world’ (ibid. 273). (I might mention that Plato’s compatriot Hesiod also truthfully recognised humanity’s deterioration from, as he described it, a ‘Golden Age’ of original innocence, to a ‘Silver Age’ when there was still some innocence, to a ‘Bronze Age’ when men were war-like, to a ‘Heroic Age’ when upset was civilised, and then finally to the completely corrupt ‘Iron Age’, which has now arrived, where ‘Corrupt the race, with toils and grief opprest / Nor day nor night can yield a pause of rest / …Speeds the swift ruin which but slow began’ (The Remains of Hesiod the Ascræan, tr. C.A. Elton, pp.23-24).)
And showing even more honesty and clarity of thought, Plato then described how such truthful, denial-free, God/Integrative Meaning-acknowledging thinking would one day re-establish cooperative, loving order amongst humans: ‘Wherefore God, the orderer of all, in his tender care, seeing that the world was in great straits, and fearing that all might be dissolved in the storm and disappear in infinite chaos, again seated himself at the helm; and bringing back the elements which had fallen into dissolution and disorder to the motion which had prevailed under his dispensation, he set them in order and restored them, and made the world imperishable and immortal. And this is the whole tale’ (ibid. 273).
Even more astonishing still is the fact that Plato could not only think truthfully enough to see and thus prophesise how such truthful, effective thinking would one day ‘set them [humans] in order and restore…them’, he went on to predict that the restoration would be achieved by appreciating that the corrupting search for knowledge was of paramount importance. While still not able to clearly explain why the conflict occurred and from there reveal how humans are good when we appear to be bad, Plato did recognise that we had to search for knowledge. Posing the question of whether a ‘blessed and spontaneous’, instinctively guided innocent ancestor ‘having this boundless leisure, and the power of holding intercourse, not only with men, but with brute creation [in other words, having the power to sensitively relate to each other and even to other creatures]’ would prefer that existence over the situation of an upset human, someone ‘of our own day’ who is dedicated to developing ‘a view to philosophy’ and ‘able to contribute some special experience to the store of wisdom’, Plato said that ‘the answer would be easy’—he would ‘deem the happier’ the life ‘of our own day’ in which we each had the opportunity to ‘contribute some special experience to the store of wisdom [the necessary search for knowledge]’ (ibid. 272)!
So that is Plato’s truly extraordinary, denial-free, pre-scientific account of our past instinctive ‘blessed and spontaneous life’ and the subsequent emergence of our conscious mind that allowed us to become our ‘own masters’, the result of which was the emergence of our upset, ‘evil’ condition of ‘discord’—a state we were then so ashamed of that we ‘often unduly discredit[ed]’ the truth of our ‘blessed’ past, leaving us ‘enshrined in that living tomb’ of a ‘cave’-like state of dishonest psychosis and neurosis-producing denial where there was ‘more and more forgetting’. So ‘enshrined’ in denial, in fact, that the human race has now reached, as Plato predicted, the state of terminal alienation that threatens ‘universal ruin to the world’, from which only a denial-free approach, one where ‘God’ in the form of Integrative-Meaning-acknowledging truthfulness, has ‘again seated himself at the helm’, could, as has now happened with this book, ‘set them [humans] in order and restore…them’. Plato certainly had no trouble admitting the three great truths underlying the reality of our condition—that our conscious mind caused our fall from innocence, that we suffer from a psychosis, and that our distant forebears lived cooperatively and peacefully. I think we are now able to fully appreciate why A.N. Whitehead said that all philosophy, which again is the quest for ‘the truths underlying all reality’, is merely ‘a series of footnotes to Plato’!!
It should be noted that Plato emphasised that we would ‘often unduly discredit’ the truth of our species’ ‘innocent’, ‘blessed’, ‘upright’, ‘cleanly made’, ‘pure’, ‘noble’, ‘good’, ‘modest’, ‘honour[able]’, ‘spirit[ed]’, ‘simple and calm and happy’ past—which is part of the ‘more and more forgetting [denial]’, that, unchecked, leads to ‘universal ruin to the world’. This journey to ever increasing levels of alienation and its dishonesty is the underlying story that this book documents.
There is yet one more very impressive reference that Plato makes to our species’ original all-loving, all-sensitive, always-behaving-in-a-way-that-is-consistent-with-the-integrative-cooperative-Godly-ideals-of-life instinctive self or soul. This appears in his dialogue Phaedo where he wrote that humans have ‘knowledge, both before and at the moment of birth…of all absolute standards…[of] beauty, goodness, uprightness, holiness…our souls exist before our birth’, describing ‘the soul’ as ‘the pure and everlasting and immortal and changeless…realm of the absolute…[our] soul resembles the divine [God]’ (tr. H. Tredennick, 1954, 75-80).
So both Moses’ Garden of Eden and Plato’s various accounts identify our conscious mind as causing ‘the fall’ from an original, cooperative, loving ‘blessed’, ‘calm and happy’ state of ‘innocence’. They recognised that our present ‘fallen’, corrupted, psychologically upset human condition resulted from the emergence of our unique fully conscious thinking mind.
(Note again that the biological explanation for the great mystery as to how our distant ape ancestors came to live unconditionally selflessly, cooperatively and peacefully, the instinctive memory of which is our moral conscience, is presented in chapters 5 and 6.)