Freedom Expanded: Book 1—The Solution to Exposure
Part 6:4 The dysfunctional ‘Power Addicted’ state
When humanity set out in search of understanding some two million years ago, only the finding of that understanding could stop the ever-increasing levels of upset, which means by the end of that two million year period, which is now, the human race was going to be extraordinarily upset. As was explained in Part 3:11D, we learnt to ‘civilise’ that upset, which simply means to conceal it, but underneath that facade of civility lies immense upset. As will be explained shortly in Part 7:1, it was men’s role to take up the task of championing the conscious thinking self or ego over the ignorance of our instinctive self. It follows then that by the end of two million years of ever-increasing upset men in particular were going to become extremely egocentric, punch drunk with the need for validation, desperate for the power, fame, fortune and glory relief from the insecure state of the human condition. Part 3:11F, the final ‘Hollowman’ stage, described this overly upset punch-drunk state.
By examining how this extreme egocentricity, in men in particular, affected children we can see how quickly alienation produced a dysfunctional generation.
Everywhere now we see expressions of the punch-drunk egocentric state, this end play situation of the development of upset in the world of having to get a win, a victory, success at any cost. We see parents on the sideline of sports fields, watching their children play and projecting their embattled need for a win onto those children, yelling, ‘win, win, win’! The effect this pressure has on their children is psychologically devastating because, as I will now explain, it produces a new generation who are either psychologically crippled or turned into ‘power addicts’, both of which are extremely dysfunctional states.
Only last month (at time of filming, Sept. 2009) the Australian journalist Miranda Devine wrote an honest article on poor parenting and the narcissistic behaviour or power addiction it produces in individuals. Titled ‘Face it, we are all narcissists now’, the piece reported that ‘“Parents are becoming increasingly self absorbed [believing] ‘the single most important thing in the world is for me to work like a dog and get the house, the car and the holiday house’ and don’t realise all their kids want is to be loved and to have one-on-one time with their parents.” He [renowned Australian adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg] says an “epidemic of poor parenting” is to blame for a drastic rise in psychological problems in young people. “Generation Y is being ravaged by depression, anxiety disorders and stress disorders”’ (Sydney Morning Herald, 3 Sept. 2009). In the article Devine discussed the development of the narcissistic personality disorder where adults develop ‘a grandiose sense of self importance; preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance…a need for excessive admiration; a sense of entitlement; exploitive personal relationships; a lack of empathy; envy and arrogant, haughty behaviour…Everyone’s a potential narcissist these days.’ The article mentions ‘a long-term study of…American college students [that found]…the incidence of narcissistic personality traits increased on a scale rivalling obesity’. The reason, the article reported, for this recent explosion in narcissism is ‘poor parenting’.
Having lived in denial of the truth that our species once lived in a cooperative, unconditionally-selfless, loving, harmonious state, the nurtured origins of which has already been explained and will be more fully explained in Part 8:4B, there has been almost no recognition of the importance of nurturing children with unconditional love. Children come into the world instinctively expecting to receive unconditional love and when they don’t get it—receiving conditional love instead—they are so innocent, so trusting in a true, all-loving, upset-free world that the only conclusion they can come to for not being unconditionally loved is that for some reason they haven’t deserved it and are therefore a worthless, unlovable, bad person. Children are so naive, they are born so instinctively unaware of the existence of the upset state of the human condition, that they can’t believe it is the adults’ fault that they are not being given unconditional love; they are so trusting in the world around them, so codependent to it, they can only presume it’s their fault. (Psychologists coined the word ‘codependent’ to describe someone who is ‘reliant on another to the extent that independent action is no longer possible’ (Macquarie Dict. 3rd edn, 1998). In this case, children are so trusting of, and thus reliant upon, the adult world they are incapable of thinking independently enough to trust that they are not at fault.) This conclusion by children that they are, in effect, bad either hurts them so deeply that they block all the pain of it out of their mind and become a psychologically detached, extremely alienated, crippled person, or they try desperately to prove they aren’t worthless and spend the rest of their lives desperately seeking reinforcement.
To reiterate, if a child is not given unconditional love, but instead is intimidated, frozen out and made to prove themselves all the time by ‘my way or the highway’, arrogant, tyrannical, authoritarian, tough, extremely egocentric, overly embattled parents, then that child will either be psychologically crippled by the situation, or made into a narcissistic power addict who has to succeed at all times and at all costs—where only success can keep at bay the terrifying conclusion that they are somehow unworthy. Power addicts need to win at all costs. They will say anything, do anything, no matter how immoral, to gain power, the upper hand. Powerpaths or psychopaths, as narcissistic power addicts are also known, are described as ‘ruthless’, ‘quick to blame others for their mistakes’, ‘manipulative’, ‘belligerent’, ‘bullying’, ‘totally self-centred’, ‘egocentric’, ‘cold’, ‘obsessed with wielding power over others’, ‘deceitful’, ‘self-important’, and ‘lacking any ability to empathise with others’ (‘Are you living with a socialised psychopath?’, Robert Matthews, published in Focus mag., May 1994 and Sunday Telegraph Review, April 1997).
Regarding the power addict’s inability ‘to empathise with others’, the truth is, they are so preoccupied—in fact, utterly consumed—by their own pain that instead of empathising with and being considerate of others, they impose their condition on the world around them; they intimidate and frighten everyone with their angry, often silent embattled state; to ‘have everyone walking on eggshells’ is a common description of how they operate. The psychiatrist Frank Lake articulated this problem of adults who were under attack as infants and children treating everyone and every situation they encounter as if they were still under attack when he wrote that such an adult ‘complains as if it remembered the bad times it had been through. It reacts to the world around it as if it were still in the bad place, still having to “feel its keenest woe”. It reacts defensively as if the attack were still going on’ (Supplement to Newsletter No.39—Clinical Theology Newsletter No.39, Dec. 1981, p.4).
Basically, the power addict’s life is stranded or arrested in the childhood state of needing reinforcement. You can quickly extrapolate just how absolutely desperate the power addict’s mind is for reinforcement—how they aren’t able to care about anyone or anything other than getting that reinforcement, how every moment of every day their mind can’t afford to be anything other than singularly focused on how they can get that power or glory or attention or any other form of validation—if you imagine a child fighting with all their might to avoid the devastating conclusion that they are an unworthy, bad person. When all the evidence from the way a child is being treated seems to unequivocally indicate to that innocent, trusting, naive, ideal-world-expecting child that they are unworthy and bad, the child naturally fights back with all their being to resist that soul-destroying conclusion. If that evidence is overwhelming, however, the child has no choice but to give in and conclude that they are indeed worthless and bad. Then, to cope with that terrifying, absolutely unbearable conclusion, all the child can do is determine never again to allow their mind to connect with that conclusion that they are an unlovable, bad person ever again, and since that core issue of their worthiness is where their true self is preoccupied, avoiding that issue amounts to separating or dissociating or splitting from their true state and thus true self. This is the split, false, psychologically crippled state. If, on the other hand, the evidence that they are an unworthy, bad person is immense but not quite overwhelming the child will be stuck in a lifelong battle fighting with all their might to not surrender to the psychologically crippling conclusion that they are an unworthy, bad person. And that is where power addicts live, stranded in that state of terrible fear that they are unworthy, fighting with all their might to ‘stay on their feet’ and defy that implication. Necessarily, after two million years of the development of upset in the world, all adults are stranded somewhere on the spectrum of insecurity of self due to lack of reinforcement/love in their upbringing. The actress Mae West famously articulated this situation of arrested development, within males in particular, when she said, ‘If you want to understand men just remember that they are still little boys searching for approval.’ The power addict state and, beyond that, the psychologically crippled state are simply the extreme states of the human condition. Again, it has to be emphasised that it is at last safe to admit this because we have now found the redeeming, dignifying understanding of how all the upset in the world started, and how it can be TRANSFORMED and eventually ameliorated. All the upset in the world is now defended; the basis for our insecurity about being upset has gone.
Just one of the many extremely dysfunctional features of the power addict mind is its extraordinary ability to accumulate grievances. The narcissistic, power addict is so unable to accept any criticism, so desperately preoccupied avoiding any implication that they are unworthy, so extremely insecure, that all day, every day, they seek out only reinforcement, only ‘wins’, such as power, fame and glory. There is no room to accept any criticism and since most situations in life contain a spectrum of positives and negatives, of reinforcements and criticisms, such minds are simply unable to tolerate any of the negative, criticising aspects of a situation. In fact, the power addicted mind will find a way to avoid all criticism, no matter how much there is or how legitimate, and instead search for and find some fault or flaw in the situation, imagined or real, that brings reinforcement to them. Their totally defensive mind locks on to these ‘grievances’ as being all-significant at the exclusion of all other aspects of the situation. Over time, any interaction with a power addict, no matter how fair or generous, will leave them harbouring a mountain of grievances and totally incapable of recognising the unfairness of their view. The desperation of the power addict mind to avoid any threat to their power base is extremely difficult for the more balanced mind to comprehend. I have watched documentaries showing the former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt being overly cordial to the Russian dictator Joseph Stalin in the futile hope that Stalin would be fair minded during their negotiations over the future of Europe at the end of the Second World War. Stalin always presented a benign, open, balanced and fair minded expression on his face when underneath he was, in fact, a furious monster who, out of paranoia, oversaw the murder of millions and millions of his own people—including all of his closest friends who he was terrified might challenge his power. Power addicts learnt to disguise their extraordinarily defensive mindset, but their behaviour could often be absolutely, unbelievably selfish.
I have drawn this picture of the narcissism-producing and psychologically crippling situation to help children understand the world we live in. Since adults own the world there has been very little focus on the wellbeing of children. They can’t fight for themselves. They can’t write books. In fact, in their bewilderment children can’t even tell adults what they are going through. If children were able to express themselves and be properly heard—for instance, if they were able to vote, if they had some power—the care and concern for their wellbeing would have been much greater than it has been. As the upsetting search for knowledge progressed, however, parents’ ability to adequately nurture their children decreased to the point now where we almost have to choose to either stop participating in humanity’s upsetting battle in order to have time for children, or continue participating in the battle and not have children—a choice the contraceptive pill has afforded us.
Children need so much love and among less human-condition-embattled races they generally receive it. In Australian Aboriginal society ‘All observers agree upon the extraordinary tenderness which parents display towards their children, and indeed, to all children whether of their own family and race or not’ (Coming into being among the Australian Aborigines, Ashley Montagu, 1974, p.345 of 426). In the case of the Bushman of the Kalahari, ‘Their love of children, both their own and that of other people, is one of the most noticeable things about the Bushman’ (Tribes of the Kalahari Desert; Accessed 13 Jun. 2010 at:see <www.wtmsources.com/103>). The ‘Bushmen…mother carries her child with her at all times up to four years of age’ (Population Pressure and Cultural Adjustment, Virginia Abernethy, 2005, p.34 of 189). ‘Children are breast-fed for up to 3½ years, and among the Bushmen lactation suppresses ovulation’ (Hunter-gatherer economy in prehistory: a European perspective, G.N. Bailey, 1983, p.114 of 247). ‘!Kung [Bushmen]…infants hardly ever cry’ (Cultures without Colic: Breastfeeding & Other Baby Lessons from the !Kung San, by Dr Harvey Karp, accessed 2 Apr. 2012: see <www.wtmsources.com/117>). This report on the studies of more natural-living and nurturing societies that was made by the American dentist Dr Weston Price provides a good summary of the physical and mental health of the members of such societies: ‘For the next ten years [during the 1930s], he [Dr Price] travelled to various isolated parts of the earth, where the inhabitants had no contact with “civilisation” in order to study their health and physical development…Price took photograph after photograph of beautiful smiles, and noted that “healthy primitives” were invariably cheerful and optimistic. Such people were characterized by “splendid physical development”. The women gave birth with ease. Their babies rarely cried and their children were energetic and hearty. Many others have reported a virtual absence of degenerative disease, particularly cancer, in isolated, so-called “primitive” groups’ (Sally Fallon Morell, ‘Nasty, Brutish and Short?’, The Western A. Price Foundation; see <www.wtmsources.com/110>).
Unable to explain why we humans have become so embattled, parents in the so-called ‘developed world’ haven’t been able to cope with any criticism of their inability to adequately nurture their children. As the teacher and best-selling author about children, John Marsden, said, ‘The biggest crime you can commit in our society is to be a failure as a parent and people would rather admit to being an axe murderer than being a bad father or mother’ (‘A Single Mum’s Guide to Raising Boys’, Sunday Life mag. Sun-Herald, 7 July 2002). In Part 4:4F the importance of nurturing in human life was described as one of the six unconfrontable truths. But parents’ inability to cope with any criticism of their inability to nurture overlooks, indeed disregards, the fact that children also can’t cope with not being loved. Parents have had it all their way. The powerlessness of children has made them victims of the adults’ powerfulness. The truth is, we live in an anti-child world today where children are irritants—and yet children are the next generation and to have no regard for them is to have no regard for the future. It is akin to trying to build a house while destroying the raw materials the house is to be built from. It is madness—pure generational selfishness. Denial of the immense importance of nurturing in the maturation of our lives has been part of the abuse that has stemmed from parents having all the power, but now that we have found the dignifying understanding of the human condition the immense importance of nurturing children can at last be admitted and this denial brought to an end.
The drawing above shows a tyrannical father and the effect his behaviour is having on his child. Professor Charles Birch put it extremely succinctly (if somewhat bluntly) when he and I spoke about the destructive effect power addict fathers have on their children, saying, ‘Haven’t you heard Jeremy, the best thing that can happen in a man’s life is that his father dies when he is born’ (WTM records, 12 Nov. 1998). Some fathers claim it is necessary to toughen their children, kill off their inspired, truth-filled, happy, excited, inspired, nothing-is-too-difficult, world-conquering, loving original instinctive self or soul! Alienation is a tragically lost, dark, effectively dead state that the whole human race has been working desperately hard to escape from, not stay in. The week after Miranda Devine’s article appeared, a cartoon in the same newspaper depicted this appalling point of view with the following exchange between a father and son: ‘Son you’re a liar, you’re a bully, you’re greedy, you’re manipulative, you’re self serving. You’ll go far’ (Alan Moir, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Sept. 2009). When speaking on radio in New Zealand once, a listener rang up to say, ‘We’re having children and my husband says he wants to toughen the kids up because he wants them to be able to meet reality head on.’ I tried my best to explain to her that such an approach is wrong—that you have to try to love children, preserve their soul absolutely as long as possible.
The real issue in the situation where parents want to toughen up their children is the extent of the upset anger, egocentricity and alienation in the parents, because it is extreme upset in the parents that causes them to project onto their children the need to be a success at all costs. It is their need for glory, not the need to turn their children into ‘survivors’, that is the real motivation. Parents saying they ‘want to toughen up their kids so they can face the real world’, as though they are doing their children a favour, is the convenient excuse for ‘poor parenting’ because all parents do intuitively know how critically important it is that children receive unconditional love if they are to grow into truly creative, functional and successful adults. As will be explained in Part 8:4B, how to nurture children is one of the most ancient instincts in humans.
Devine wrote that ‘an “epidemic of poor parenting” is to blame for a drastic rise in psychological problems’, citing ‘a long-term study of…American college students [that found]…the incidence of narcissistic personality traits increased on a scale rivalling obesity’. What happens as upset anger, egocentricity and alienation increases is that eventually a threshold is reached where there is so much anger, egocentricity and alienation in the population that the great majority of children can no longer cope with the extent of the upset they encounter and a dysfunctional generation appears where there is a predominance of individuals who are either narcissistic power addicts or psychologically crippled. It is this threshold, this terminal level of alienation, that Devine has described as having now been reached in the Western world.
The British-American anthropologist Ashley Montagu (1905-1999) was exceptionally brave in his admission of the critical importance of nurturing in a child’s well-being and the horrific consequences that lack of unconditional love has. For example, in his profoundly honest paper titled ‘A Scientist Looks at Love’, he wrote ‘love is, without question, the most important experience in the life of a human being…The newborn baby…wants love. He behaves as if he expected to be loved, and when his expectation is thwarted, he reacts in a grievously disappointed manner…not only does a baby want to be loved, but also that it wants to love; all its drives are orientated in the direction of receiving and giving love. If it doesn’t receive love it is unable to give it—as a child or as an adult. From the moment of birth the baby needs the reciprocal exchange of love with its mother…It has, I believe, been universally acknowledged that the mother-infant relationship perhaps more than any other defines the very essence of love…The infant can suffer no greater loss than deprivation of the mother’s love…Criminal, delinquent, neurotic, psychopathic, asocial, and similar forms of unfortunate behavior can, in the majority of cases, be traced to a childhood history of inadequate love…Show me a murderer, a hardened criminal, a juvenile delinquent, a psychopath, or a “cold fish” and in almost every case I will show you the tragedy that has resulted from not being properly loved during childhood…maternal rejection may be seen as the “causative factor in…every individual case of neurosis or behavior problem in children.”…Endowed at birth with the need to develop as a loving, harmonic human being, the child learns to love by being loved…children who have not been adequately loved grow up to be persons who find it extremely difficult to understand the meaning of love…they tend to be thoughtless and inconsiderate. They have little emotional depth…they often seek ways of achieving power…Occasionally, when they attain prodigious political power as in the case of such unloved creatures as Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, they commit horrendous atrocities and subject humanity to irreparable damage. It is quite evident that the tragedy these men brought to the world was principally due to their incapacity to love…To love one’s neighbor as oneself requires first that one must be able to love oneself, and the only way to learn that art is by having been adequately loved during the first six years of one’s life. As Freud pointed out, this is the period during which the foundations of the personality are either well and truly laid—or not. If one doesn’t love oneself one cannot love others. To make loving order in the world we must first have had loving order made in ourselves…Nothing in the world can be more important or as significant…love is demonstrable, it is sacrificial, it is self-abnegative [self-denying]. It puts the other always first. It is not a cold or calculated altruism, but a deep complete involvement with another. Love is unconditional…Love is the principal developer of one’s capacity for being human, the chief stimulus for the development of social competence, and the only thing on earth that can produce that sense of belongingness and relatedness to the world of humanity which is the best achievement of the healthy human being…In an age in which a great deal of unloving love masquerades as the genuine article, in which there is a massive lack of love behind the show of love, in which millions have literally been unloved to death, it is very necessary to understand what love really means. We have left the study of love to the last, but now that we can begin to understand its importance for humanity, we can see that this is the area in which the men of religion, the educators, the physicians, and the scientists can join hands in the common endeavor of putting man back upon the road of his evolutionary destiny from which he has gone so far astray—the road which leads to health and happiness for all humanity, peace and goodwill unto all the earth’ (The Phi Delta Kappan, 1970, Vol.51, No.9, pp.463-467).
Under the duress of the human condition there has basically been three varieties of alienated humans: those who received unconditional love; those who received conditional love (basically non-love) and are still trying to resist the implication that they are unworthy and bad and as a result have become power addicts; and those who received either no love or so much conditional love that they were unable to resist the implication that they are unworthy and bad and as a result have had to dissociate from that terrifying, unbearable conclusion and, as a result of that, are psychologically crippled. The first category are those that our society has been recognising as ‘functional’ and the second and third categories are those that have been described as ‘dysfunctional’. Another honest description we have had for these three states was, respectively, ‘relatively secure’, ‘very insecure’ and ‘extremely insecure’. However, with the world reaching end play states of upset, the proportion of the population that is dysfunctionally alienated is becoming near total.
As a result, finding a secure, well-adjusted, functional ‘soft handed’ manager in a company now is almost unheard of, for they are nearly all power addicts. Once power addicts gain control of a company it is the beginning of the end for that company—it will become dysfunctional because they are tyrannical. It will also become dysfunctional because, as mentioned, power addicts find anything that resembles criticism unbearable, such as criticism of their own ideas or having their mistakes pointed out. They are simply not effective free thinkers, which good business leaders need to be. And nor do they tolerate any perceived threat to their power base—as the adage goes, “A’s employ A’s and B’s employ C’s”. ‘A’s’ are those who have been nurtured and are relatively secure and therefore not threatened by talented people and eager to employ other ‘A’s’. Insecure ‘B’s’, on the other hand, will only employ ‘C’s’ because once in power they don’t want anybody usurping them. As a result, the company becomes dysfunctional.
As with individuals and companies, the same process can also be applied in the context of entire countries. What happened when the proportion of power addicts in a country increased to a certain critical point was that ‘right’ could suddenly no longer win out over ‘might’—at which point dysfunctional tyrants would take over the government with terrifying consequences for both their country’s population and that of neighbouring countries. The rise of Mussolini’s totally ruthless, fascist ‘Blackshirts’ in Italy prior to the Second World War is a case in point. Tyrants like Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin have only been able to take control when the number of power addicts in a population surpassed a critical point where the remaining soundness was no longer able to stand up to their extreme intensity and defy them. Just as children and wives of tyrannical men in family situations were unable to fight back and were crushed, tyrannical dictators could crush entire populations. The reason England has so often in the history of Europe been able to defeat tyrants there (and elsewhere) can be put down to its island isolation, which meant it was still sheltered enough from all the upset in the world, still sound enough, still free enough of power addicts, to stand against those tyrants who had taken over control of countries on the continent where, by inference, the tipping point of too many power addicts in the population had been surpassed. As I said, what has happened in households and companies is exactly the same as what has occurred in countries, just on a smaller scale.
The existence of sufficient strength of character amongst the English to resist tyrants was clearly demonstrated when they threw out one of their own kings for his tyranny. To quote from the 2010 documentary Empire of the Seas: How the [British Royal] Navy Forged the Modern World: ‘[King Charles II] died in 1685…He was succeeded by his brother James. Now he’d had a rather successful career as an Admiral in the Royal Navy—could he be the man who could work together with politicians and financiers and businessmen to build a new kind of constitutional monarchy [to ensure the Royal Navy stayed strong]? Well, no. And this extraordinary portrait tells us why. James has had himself painted in the garb of a Roman Emperor with a haughty stare, his golden tunic, magnificent purple robe flowing off his shoulders, and decked out in jewels at his throat, sword hilt and sandals. And out at sea his Navy, his play thing, the Royal banner flying from the main top mask. This was not how the English wanted their kings to see themselves…This was not a man to protect the legacy of Drake and Hawkins. He would have to go. In July 1688 a figure dressed as a common sailor arrived in Holland. Beneath the disguise was England’s premier naval officer, Admiral Arthur Herbert—or rather ex-Admiral. He had resigned weeks earlier refusing to serve under King James. Herbert was carrying an extraordinary letter. It was signed by seven Englishmen, all grandees in the armed forces, church and state, and it was addressed to the Dutch Prince William of Orange, who…was married to James II’s daughter, Mary…It was an appeal for William’s help against their tyrannical king. This was high treason but Herbert and his fellow conspirators were the desperate men from an exasperated nation, and in William they found their man…[James II] was replaced as king [of England] by William’ (Part 1 of 4 ‘Heart of Oak’, BBC). Contrast this with the inability of the Romans to stop the rise of the tyrant Julius Caesar—to quote from a blog on the internet: ‘In 44BC the tribune Gaius Marcellus tried to prevent Julius Caesar overturning the Roman Republic and becoming a tyrant…he failed’ (Accessed 27 Jan. 2011: see <www.wtmsources.com/124>).
In an essay titled The English Record, Sir James Darling—my headmaster at Geelong Grammar School and an exceptionally profound, honest, prophetic thinker—wrote about the relatively sound character of the English: ‘The truth seems to be this, that there is a genius of the English character which shows itself in its institutions, in its practical inventiveness, and under stimulus in its fighting quality. There is a stubborn determination to live its own life, and to brook no interference from a foreign power, which has put England five times in history into the position of protagonist against a European power which threatened to dominate the world; but this same determination has been coupled with a recognition that others also have a right to self-government and that the function of Empire is to educate rather than to oppress.’ Sir James even went on to say that England has ‘an unbeaten record in the history of civilization’ (The Education of a Civilized Man, 1962, pp.134, 136 of 223). Another of the soundest, most innocent, most denial-free, prophetic people in recorded history, Sir Laurens van der Post (who was a South African of Dutch origin), similarly concluded that ‘There is not another people in the history of the world which has been less corrupted by great power than the British, in spite of the poor view they themselves take of their own imperial past. They possess a capacity for self-criticism unequalled in any other nation, and a sense of decency so imaginative and searching that less scrupulous opponents in the modern world have frequently used it as a weapon against them’ (The Heart of the Hunter, 1961, p.116 of 233). An article in TIME magazine recorded that ‘A quarter of the world’s population speak English…English is increasingly becoming entrenched as the language of choice for business, science and popular culture. Three-quarters of the world’s mail, for example, is currently written in English’ (7 July 1997). Amongst Anglo-Saxons and Celts there remains some functionality in the world but, as Miranda Devine acknowledged, this is fast disappearing.
Again, the all-important fundamental truth that understanding of the human condition reveals is that upset is a heroic not bad, evil, unworthy state. While all humans are differently upset as a result of their different encounters with humanity’s heroic battle to overthrow ignorance, all humans are equally good and worthwhile. Understanding the cause of the upset state of the human condition eliminates the possibility of the prejudicial views of some people, genders, generations, races, countries or civilisations being good and therefore superior and others being bad, evil, ungodly and therefore inferior and unworthy. Now that we have understanding of the great and necessary battle that humanity has been waging, the whole concept of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, of superior and inferior disappears from our conceptualisation of ourselves. The longer and or more intensely a person or a gender or a generation or a race or a country has been engaged in humanity’s great battle to overthrow ignorance the more upset and embattled they unavoidably will have become. It is a simple truth. Innocence was not going to survive very long in the red light district of Kings Cross in Sydney, but it would last a long time in a happy family, sheltered somewhere in the remote countryside, removed from all the upset in the world. All humans can now talk freely about all the different states of upset or lack thereof without there being any implication of either superiority or inferiority, and we need to talk about those different states now to make sense of the world we have been living in. Upset is the essential feature of our current human condition, and degrees of upset is an essential feature of that upset condition. Again, as R.D. Laing said ‘Our alienation goes to the roots. The realization of this is the essential springboard for any serious reflection on any aspect of present inter-human life’. Shortly in Part 7:4 I describe the differences in upset between races—and even more description and explanation of the differences between races can be read in my book A Species In Denial in the section titled ‘The denial-free history of the human race’ at <www.humancondition.com/asid-the-denial-free-history-of-the-human-race>. Also, the overall increase in upset of the human race as a whole was described in Part 3:11.
Of course, the same process of a threshold of dysfunctionality eventually being reached in individuals, families, genders, generations, companies, races and countries can also be applied to whole civilisations. When history books talk of great civilisations, such as the Greek and Roman Empires, and many others, becoming decadent, the main feature of that decadence was the dysfunctionality that resulted from having a majority of overly egocentric, insecure power addicts: there was simply not enough sound, functional soulful generosity, fairness, honesty, sensitivity, humility and equanimity left in the system for it to remain operational. Once everyone wanted glory at all costs and there was no interest in truth or fairness—basically no interest in others—the system simply collapsed.
As I mentioned, it is this threshold of power-addict-produced, decadent, dysfunctionality that has now been reached in Western civilisation, having, as our history books describe, already been reached in older civilisations around the world. Recall the title of Miranda Devine’s article: ‘Face it, we are all narcissists now.’ And since communication technology has shrunk the world in the sense of making it one civilisation, the whole world has, in essence, reached the end play state of terminal alienation. This breakthrough understanding of the human condition and the TRANSFORMATION of the human race it makes possible has arrived without a moment to spare.
With regard to the power addict state, it should be emphasised that it is really only the extreme, end play result of the human condition, of humans trying to prove that they are good and not bad. Of course any lack of reinforcement—and it has to be remembered that humans’ original instinctive expectations are of receiving complete reinforcement during their infancy and childhood—can cripple or egocentrically embattle a person. For example, children who are exposed to extreme ill-treatment, such as sexual abuse, can also become horrifically psychologically crippled—but one of the biggest crippling influences on children is the oppression from egocentricity, especially the extreme egocentricity of males. The other biggest psychologically crippling influence in society, which will now be talked about, is the effect of the inability of neurotic mothers to love their infants. Again, this is only another result of the end play state of terminal levels of alienation in the world. The upset state of the human condition in both fathers and mothers has had devastating psychological effects on children—mothers during their infancy and fathers during their childhood.
Before looking at how the upset state of the human condition in mothers has affected each new generation, I would like to include another cartoon I have drawn in defence of children, because, as I have said, parents have had it all their own way. They have been protected by society’s avoidance of any criticism of their inability to nurture their children, but that system effectively denied children any recognition of the pain that they were having to endure as a result. It has been a one-way street in terms of empathy and sympathy. Basically children have been sacrificed to the power of adults. So this cartoon is an attempt to right the balance. Since we give accolades to adults who exhibit great courage, but never to children for the absolutely extraordinary courage they so often have had to exhibit, I have drawn the Queen of England knighting a child ‘for exhibiting phenomenal courage’.
Apparently I have spelt ‘arise’ incorrectly, but anyway I got pretty close, and a spare ‘r’ might come in handy. There should be two r’s in it anyway—ar-rise! Spelling hasn’t got anything to do with anything anyway. I mean, how did I manage to spell ‘phenomenal’—especially the ‘p’, where did they get that from! Spelling is almost as irrelevant as a warthog is to a good night’s sleep or something, I mean it has no relevance at all. In the world where I live no one is interested in spelling at all because it is so irrelevant when there are questions like ‘Why are humans so superficial and artificial and dishonest and brutal and hateful, etc, etc?’ to be thought about and answered. Getting ‘phenomenal’ right should result in a national holiday! I don’t know why such a fuss was made over spelling at school, it just terrorised me never being able to spell, so this is another thing I’m squaring the ledger on for children! And don’t start me on grammar (‘i’ before ‘e’ except after breakfast) or mathematics (Pie are squared and all that)—or chemistry (‘put this with that and it goes boom’) which also absolutely terrorised me—I’m 65 as I write this and I honestly still regularly have nightmares about exams. In the case of chemistry and mathematics, they were such difficult subjects for my mind to think about and focus on that I had to keep taking first year chemistry and mathematics at university for three years before I finally managed to gain the compulsory pass needed in those subjects for a biology degree—and those passes were only achieved with additional tutoring. I remember once becoming so distressed in a mathematics class in school (because I couldn’t understand for the life of me why I was being asked to understand and remember all these seemingly endless weird and, to me, totally irrelevant equations and formulas) that I stood up and demanded to know from the teacher ‘Why are we learning mathematics?’ Well, the teacher looked at me like I was a fool and angrily berated me for disrupting the class! I should say that incident happened at a public high school that I attended for one year in 1959 when I was 14 years old so my mother could organise special tuition for me at home on our sheep station because I was having so much trouble with my studies at Tudor House—while my school report cards said I had ‘a tremendous zest for life’, I was forever coming second last in the class! Tudor House is an absolutely wonderful private boarding school for boys near Sydney that I attended for four years from 1955 to 1958. It wasn’t Tudor House’s fault that I was having difficulties with my studies, rather the denial-based, mechanistic education system that has dominated the education system everywhere on Earth, because Tudor House was probably one of the least mechanistic schools in the whole world—which is why my parents made great sacrifices to enable myself and my three brothers to go there because we weren’t wealthy and the fees at the two very special private schools that the four of us attended, namely Tudor House for our junior schooling and Geelong Grammar School for our senior schooling, were significant. The extraordinary soul-rather-than-intellect-emphasising, Platonic education system that Sir James Darling established at Geelong Grammar School (which I attended for four years from 1960 to 1963) has already been talked about here in Freedom Expanded: Book 1, but just to give the reader some appreciation of how soul-rather-than-intellect emphasising a school Tudor House was and still is, a front page article in The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper only a few days ago featured a large photo of a couple of Tudor House schoolboys on their scooters, and the accompanying text: ‘John Stewart, the headmaster of Tudor House, a private boys’ school at Moss Vale, is adding an extra recess to the day with classroom doors locked…[He said] “For boys to be sitting in a classroom, contained behind a desk for hours on end, just skilling and drilling that can help you improve in a test score, is not only archaic, it is cruel. We felt boys needed more time to play and that social and emotional learning is just as important as reading and writing skills.” Children at the kindergarten to year 6 school are encouraged to ride bikes, skateboards, fly kites, build bases and climb trees during recess and lunchtime. Electronic games, computers and mobile phones are banned’ (21 Oct. 2011). Schooling is ‘cruel’, ‘extra recess’, ‘classroom doors locked’, ‘encouraged to’ ‘climb trees’, ‘computers and mobile phones are banned’—how absolutely incredibly enlightened! God knows the debt I (and now the world) owe my parents. It is more than I can bear to think about—my heart just splits, it just disintegrates into little pieces if I try to think about my parents. To be as innocent as I was in the world was torturous and if it wasn’t for the sensitivity towards soul shown by my parents in the first instance and then Tudor House and Geelong Grammar, that innocence could never have survived to go on and stand up to all the false denial in the world and finally overcome it and reach all the way to the liberating full truth about humans. It has been an amazing journey of absolutely extraordinarily good fortune.