Freedom: Expanded Book 2—Questions & Answers
Section 1:5 Are you sure Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony chorus is about the human condition?
QUESTION: ‘How do you know the chorus from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is celebrating the arrival of understanding of the human condition?’
ANSWER: Well again, that’s what the lyrics actually say: ‘joy’ because we have ‘reunite[d]’ ‘all’ people, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’—we have reconciled the dilemma of good and evil in the human make-up; we have found redeeming, ‘uni[fying]’, healing understanding of the human condition.
Human mythology, both ancient and contemporary, is saturated with anticipations of the human race one day finding dignifying, uplifting, redeeming and rehabilitating enlightenment of our seemingly imperfect, good-and-evil-afflicted human condition. (The following examples of anticipations of a human-condition-ameliorated world appear alongside many other examples, and their sources, in Part 3:12 of Freedom: Expanded Book 1.) As mentioned, The Lord’s Prayer in the Hebrew Bible is an expression of hope for the arrival of the redeeming, peace-bringing understanding of the human condition. The ancient Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts’ search for the ‘Golden Fleece’ and the ancient northern European legend of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table’s search for the ‘Holy Grail’ cannot be anything other than myths about the search for the human-race-liberating understanding of our human condition. In contemporary mythology, when Jim Morrison of the rock band The Doors wrote and sang of wanting to ‘break on through to the other side’, he had to be anticipating a time when humans could break through from living in a human-condition-afflicted state to a human-condition-free state. Similarly, when Morrison sang that ‘At first flash of Eden, we race down to the sea. Standing there on freedom’s shore, waiting, waiting, waiting for the sun’, what he was ‘waiting’ for was the dawning light of the liberating, redeeming and rehabilitating understanding of the human condition to appear and spread across the world. Similarly, when Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz was following the ‘yellow brick road’ to the ‘Emerald City’ she was following the Sunshine Highway to enlightenment of the human condition that would allow the human race to return to a Garden-of-‘Eden’-like, innocent, human-condition-‘free’, reconciled, ameliorated, peaceful, cooperative, loving world.
When Cat Stevens, or Yusuf Islam as he now goes by, wrote and sang, ‘I’ve been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one. And I believe it could be, some day it’s going to come. Cause out on the edge of darkness there rides a peace train. Oh peace train…take me home again’—and in another of his songs, ‘Don’t you feel a change a coming, from another side of time. Breaking down the walls of silence, lifting shadows from your mind…Yesterday has past, now let’s all start the living for the one that’s going to last…when the clouds have all gone…and the beauty of all things is uncovered again…Don’t you feel the day is coming, and it won’t be too soon, when the people of the world can all live in one room, when we shake off the ancient chains of our tomb’—he too was looking forward to a time when the human race could return to a human-condition-reconciled, guilt-and-conflict-free, unified, harmonious, happy, loving state; the time when, as he said, the ‘shadows’ will be ‘lifted’ ‘from’ our ‘mind[s]’ and we can ‘shake off the ancient chains of our tomb’ of the psychological bondage of the human condition.
We humans are conscious beings, we wanted answers, knowledge, not more dogma. Specifically, we wanted answers to that core question of why have we been the way we have been, less-than-ideally behaved—in fact, capable of terrible atrocities. What is the answer to the historically bewildering issue of our human condition? Are we a flawed species, a terrible mistake, or are we possibly divine beings? That is what we wanted to know, and that is what has now, at last, been answered.
Elvis Presley was anticipating a time when understanding of the human condition would be found when he sang, ‘There must be peace and understanding sometime, strong winds of promise that will blow away all the doubt and fear. If I can dream of a warmer sun where hope keeps shining on everyone…We’re trapped in a world that’s troubled with pain…Still I am sure that the answer’s gonna come somehow, out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle.’ That is like Cat Stevens’ words, ‘out on the edge of darkness there rides a peace train’.
The song Aquarius, from the 1960s rock musical Hair, also anticipated a time when ‘the answer’s gonna come’ about ourselves and bring about ‘Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding. No more falsehoods or derisions, golden living dreams of visions…And the mind’s true liberation…We dance unto the dawn of day.’ Yes, the ‘mind’s true liberation’ comes about when the human mind finally finds the dignifying and relieving understanding of our seemingly imperfect human condition.
Bob Dylan wrote and sang about ‘The hour that the ship [of understanding] comes in…And the morning will be a-breaking’; and of a time when ‘the present now will later be past…For the times they are a-changin’’; and that ‘There must be some way out of here…There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief…There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke…So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late. All along the watchtower, princes kept the view’, waiting and watching for the time when the ‘false[ness]’-destroying understanding of the human condition would finally be found and humans would no longer have to live in a state of sad and lonely ‘confusion’ about their true worth and meaning. And in Blowin’ In The Wind Dylan pleaded: ‘how many years can some people exist before they’re allowed to be free?’—free of the human condition. And there are the lyrics to John Lennon’s Imagine, which anticipate a time when ‘the world will be as one’. And then there’s U2’s Bono singing that we have to ‘kick the darkness till it bleeds daylight’; and of wanting to ‘tear down the walls that hold me inside’; and anticipating the time when we can all say, ‘I’ve conquered my past, the future is here at last. I stand at the entrance to a new world I can see. The ruins to the right of me, will soon have lost sight of me.’ Bono is singing of a time when we finally find understanding of ourselves and can, as a result, be TRANSFORMED from our insecure, distressed, immensely troubled, human-condition-afflicted existence, and leave it behind forever.
So, as amazing as it is, the assertion is that what is to be presented is the great breakthrough that the whole human race has lived in hope, faith and trust would one day occur—the time when, through the advances made in science, it would finally be possible to explain the biological origins of humans’ divisive, destructive, seemingly bad or evil nature and, by so doing, bring an end to the insecure state of our human condition, thereby TRANSFORMING human existence.
The time has arrived when complete and profound love in the form of understanding is brought to every human allowing us all to love ourselves and each other fully, equally and without reservation. All our guilt, pain and confusion finally goes and, as Professor Prosen said, ‘the psychological rehabilitation of the human race’ begins.
Sceptical? Incredulous? That’s understandable, but again, how could I be talking so freely, openly and clearly about the whole dilemma of the human condition if it hadn’t all at last been made sense of? In truth, the subject of the human condition has been so daunting and off-limits we couldn’t afford to mention it until it was solved.
We humans have been, as the songs said, incarcerated in the ‘ancient chains of our tomb’, ‘trapped in a world that’s troubled with pain’—a place filled with so much ‘doubt and fear’ that ‘life’ has virtually become ‘a joke’. The ‘hour’ certainly was ‘getting late’ for our ‘mind’ to find its ‘true liberation’ from all the ‘shadows’ of ‘doubt and fear’ arising from the agony and horror of our good-and-evil-afflicted human condition. Yes, this is the time when all humans are finally going to be TRANSFORMED from a ‘tomb’-like, effectively dead existence to a state of true aliveness.
As I said, this is the most wonderful moment in human history: the day the human race has been waiting for of its ‘true liberation’ when, as Beethoven’s symphony anticipated, ‘all’ people, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’—along with the good and bad in each of us—will be ‘reunite[d]’, reconciled through understanding.