Freedom: Expanded Book 1—The Old Biology
Part 4:5 The history of the search for understanding of the human condition
The stalling point in finding the explanation of the human condition has been the almost universal inability to confront and think honestly about the obvious elements involved in producing the upset state of the human condition—our instinct and our intellect. However, having now described the six truths that had to be admitted and confronted in order to explain the human condition it can be appreciated why thinking about the human condition has been impossible for virtually all humans. As mentioned, Rod Quantock, Albert Camus and Bertrand Russell certainly weren’t exaggerating when they recognised the danger of thinking truthfully and thus deeply in the following, respective quotes: ‘Thinking can get you into terrible downwards spirals of doubt’, ‘Beginning to think is beginning to be undermined’ and ‘Many people would sooner die than think.’
Only a truthful, denial-free, ‘out-of-cave’ approach could hope to confront, think about and explain the human condition, but, as we will now see, such denial-free thinking has been almost non-existent.
As mentioned, science—humanity’s designated vehicle for investigating the nature of our world and our place in it—was also stalled in its ability to look into and explain the human condition. As humans who, like the rest of humanity, suffered from the human condition, the great majority of scientists have necessarily had to live in denial of the issue of the human condition and of any truths that brought that issue into focus; they have, in almost all cases, been mechanistic, focusing their thoughts away from the overarching whole view of Integrative Meaning and down into the details and mechanisms behind the workings of our world in the hope that if they could accumulate sufficient understanding of those details and mechanisms a non-mechanistic, denial-free-thinking scientist might one day be able to use those insights to explain the human condition, at which point everyone could safely confront the whole view of Integrative Meaning and any truths that related to it—which is what has, at long last, finally occurred.
I now need to outline the history of this all-important search for understanding of ourselves, understanding of our less-than-ideal, seemingly imperfect, good-and-evil-afflicted, upset state of the human condition. In doing so we will see that this search was undertaken by four categories of thinkers.
The four categories of thinkers involved in the history of the search for understanding of the human condition:
The First Category comprises those thinkers who, despite the fearful difficulties almost all humans have of recognising even the elements of moral instincts and a corrupting intellect, managed to admit the involvement of those elements in producing the upset state of the human condition.
The Second Category comprises the few very brave individuals who managed to not only admit the elements involved in the human condition of our moral instincts and a corrupting intellect, but also attempted to explain how those elements produced that upset psychosis.
The Third Category contains those who recognised the involvement of the elements of instinct and intellect in the psychosis of our human condition, but avoided the issue of the human condition by denying we have moral instincts.
The Fourth Category comprises the great majority of the human race, including the great majority of scientists. This category contains those who avoided the whole issue of a psychosis in our human situation by simply blaming our selfish and aggressive behaviour on supposed brutish and savage animal instincts that lurk within us and which our intellect has to control.