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‘FREEDOM’—Chapter 3 The Real Explanation of The Human Condition
Chapter 3:8 Most wonderfully, this psychosis-addressing-and-solving, real explanation of the human condition makes possible the psychological rehabilitation of the human race
What is so utterly exonerating and psychologically healing about our ability to understand the human condition now is that we can finally appreciate that there was a very good reason for our angry, alienated and egocentric lives—in fact, we can now see why our species has not just been ego-centric, but ego-infuriated, even ego-gone-mad-with-murderous-rage for having to live with so much unjust criticism/guilt, for some 2 million years. At long last we have the reason for humans’ capacity for shocking acts of cruelty, sadism, hate, murder and warfare—we now know the source of the dark volcanic forces in us humans. And no wonder we led such an evasive, escapist, superficial and artificial, greedy, smother-ourselves-with-material-glory-while-we-lacked-the-spiritual-glory-of-compassionate-understanding-of-ourselves, power, fame and fortune-seeking existence. Yes, it was the accumulation of money or capital that served to supply the symbolic wins we needed to counter the insecurity of our seemingly worthless condition. And indeed, the so-called Seven Deadly Sins of the human condition, of lust, anger, pride, envy, covetousness, gluttony and sloth, are all just different manifestations of the three fundamental upsets of anger, egocentricity and alienation that unavoidably emerged when humans became fully conscious and had to set out in search of knowledge in the presence of unjustly condemning instincts.
And with the ability now to explain and understand that we are actually all good and not bad, the upset that resulted from not being able to explain the source of our divisive condition is able to subside and disappear. Finding understanding of the human condition is what rehabilitates and transforms the human race from its psychologically upset angry, egocentric and alienated condition. The word ‘psychiatry’ literally means ‘soul-healing’ (derived as it is from psyche meaning ‘soul’ and iatreia which according to The Encyclopedic World Dictionary means ‘healing’), but never before have we been able to ‘heal our soul’, explain to our original instinctive self or soul that our fully conscious, thinking self is good and not bad and, by so doing, reconcile and heal our split selves. As Professor Harry Prosen has said about the psychological effect of this all-loving, all-compassionate understanding of ourselves: ‘I have no doubt this biological explanation of the human condition is the holy grail of insight we have sought for the psychological rehabilitation of the human race.’ Yes, our ability now to understand the dark side of ourselves means we can finally achieve the ‘wholeness for humans’ that Carl Jung was forever pointing out ‘depends on the ability to own our own shadow’. Sir Laurens van der Post was also describing the understanding that was required to heal our species’ corrupted, ‘fallen’ condition when he wrote that ‘True love is love of the difficult and unlovable’ (Journey Into Russia, 1964, p.145 of 319); and, ‘how can there ever be any real beginning without forgiveness?’ (Venture to the Interior, 1952, p.16 of 241); and that ‘Only by understanding how we were all a part of the same contemporary pattern [of wars, cruelty, greed and indifference] could we defeat those dark forces with a true understanding of their nature and origin’ (Jung and the Story of Our Time, 1976, p.24 of 275); and that ‘Compassion leaves an indelible blueprint of the recognition that life so sorely needs between one individual and another; one nation and another; one culture and another. It is also valid for the road which our spirit should be building now for crossing the historical abyss that still separates us from a truly contemporary vision of life, and the increase of life and meaning that awaits us in the future’ (ibid. p.29). Yes, one day there had to be, to quote The Rolling Stones’ lyrics, ‘Sympathy for the devil’ (1968); one day, we had to find the reconciling, compassionate, healing understanding of the dark side of human nature. One day, ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, as William Blake titled his famous book (c.1790), had to occur.
This explanation is immensely positively reinforcing and thus therapeutic because we can now understand that humans are nothing less than the heroes of the story of life on Earth. This is the fundamental truth that, as I said in chapter 2:8, we humans hoped and believed we would one day establish, and now have! Despite all appearances to the contrary—despite our anger, egocentricity and alienation—humans are the most wonderful beings. In fact, if there is a word such as divine that can be applied to mortals, then we can now see that it truly does belong to us humans—because to withstand 2 million years of the injustice that we have had to endure and still be on our feet, still be able to laugh, still be able to smack each other on the back with encouragement, still be able to carry on, get out of bed each day and face life under the duress of the human condition, we must be the most magnificent of organisms! Truly, as Camus wrote, ‘man’s greatness…lies in his decision to be stronger than his condition’ (‘The Night of Truth’, Combat, 25 Aug. 1944), to not give in to the possibility he famously described in his 1942 essay The Myth of Sisyphus, that ‘There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life [under the duress of the human condition] is or is not worth living’.
This fact of the utter magnificence of the human race—that we can now understand and know is true rather than merely hope it is so—brings such intense relief to our angst-ridden cells, limbs and torsos that it will feel as though we have thrown off a shroud of heavy chains. The great, heavy burden of guilt has finally been lifted from the shoulders of humans. Yes, doesn’t the core feeling exist in all humans that far from being meaningless, ‘banish[ment]’-deserving ‘evil’ blights on this planet we are all immense heroes? Doesn’t this explanation at last make sense of all humans’ immensely courageous and defiant attitude? And won’t this explanation bring deep, bone-draining relief to the whole of each person’s being?
Yes, this explanation, this understanding of the human condition, provides the ‘insight we have sought for the psychological rehabilitation of the human race’, as Professor Prosen said it would. It enables us to see that our divisive human nature was not an unchangeable or immutable state as many people came to believe it is, and which E.O. Wilson’s Multilevel Selection theory for eusociality deems it to be, but the result of the human condition, our inability to understand ourselves, and, as such, it can dissipate now that we have found that understanding.
Importantly, this understanding of why we became upset as a species doesn’t condone or sanction ‘evil’, rather, through bringing understanding to humans’ upset behaviour, it gives us the power to ameliorate and thus subside and ultimately eliminate it. ‘Evil’—humans’ divisive behaviour—was a result of a conflict and insecurity within us that arose from the dilemma of the human condition, so once you resolve the dilemma, you end the conflict and insecurity. Peace could only come to our troubled, divisive state and world through removing the underlying insecurity of our condition. With our ego or sense of self worth satisfied at the most fundamental level, our anger can now subside and all our denials and resulting alienation can be dismantled. From having lived in a dark, cave-like, depressed state of condemnation and, as a result, had to repress, hide and deny our true selves, we can at last, as the 1960s rock musical Hair sang, ‘Let the sunshine in’—end our horrid existence of having to depend on denial to cope. The compassionate-understanding-based psychological rehabilitation of the human race—the TRANSFORMATION of all humans—truly can begin. Yes, finally, at last, we can, as Jim Morrison hoped when, as mentioned earlier, he sang of ‘Standing there on freedom’s shore, waiting for the sun…waiting…to tell me what went wrong’, have ‘day destroy…[the] night’ and ‘break on through to the other side [to a sound world free of alienated denial]’. (A detailed description of how the transformation of the human race is now able to take place, such that every human can now immediately be free of the human condition, is presented in the concluding chapter 9 of this book.)
As for the veracity of this explanation, it is precisely this explanation’s ability to at last make relieving sense of human life, of all our behaviour in fact, that lets us know that we have finally found the true explanation of the human condition. The great physicist Albert Einstein once wrote that ‘Truth is what stands the test of experience’ (Out of My Later Years, 1950, p.115 of 286), and since this study and explanation is all about us, about our behaviour, we are in a position to personally ‘experience’ its validity, to know if it’s true or not. As the subject of this study, we can know if the ideas being put forward work or not, if these explanations do make sense of our deepest feelings; of our volcanic anger, of our lonely estranged souls, of our insecure state yet core belief that we are wonderful beings, etc, etc—as, in fact, they do. Moreover, these explanations are so powerfully insightful, accountable and revealing (so true) that they render our lives transparent—a transparency, a sudden exposure, that can initially be overwhelmingly confronting and depressing. But there is a way, an absolutely wonderful, joyous way, to cope with the arrival of exposure day, or transparency day, or revelation day, or truth day, or honesty day—in fact, the long-feared so-called ‘judgment day’, which is actually not a time of condemning ‘judgment’ but of compassionate understanding. And that wonderful way of coping with the arrival of the all-liberating, all-rehabilitating but at the same time all-exposing truth about us humans is, as stated above, the subject of the concluding chapter (9) in this book. But the point being made here is that the transparency of our lives that these explanations bring reveals just how effective, how penetrating, and, therefore, how truthful these understandings actually are.
So, we can see that as dishonest as it necessarily was in its approach, mechanistic, reductionist science turns out to be the liberator of humanity, the proverbial ‘messiah’ or ‘saviour’ of humanity, for it has finally enabled us to lift the so-called ‘burden of guilt’ from the human race! It found understanding of the difference in the way nerves and genes process information, that one is insightful and the other isn’t, which has finally made it possible to explain that greatest of all mysteries, that holy grail of all human conscious thought and enquiry, of the human condition. As was mentioned in par. 245, the fundamental conflict involved in our condition between our innocent instinctive self and our conscious self was described as far back as when Genesis was written by Moses and Plato presented his allegory of the two-horsed chariot, but we couldn’t explain that conflicted state until science found understanding of the different ways genes and nerves process information.
Significantly, now that we are able to understand from scientific first principles that upset is not an ‘evil’, worthless, bad state, but an immensely heroic state, we can know that while, inevitably, all humans are variously upset from their different encounters with, and degrees of engagement in, humanity’s epic search to find knowledge, ALL HUMANS ARE EQUALLY GOOD. Everyone is variously angry, egocentric and alienated, but everyone is good, and not just good but a hero of the story of life on Earth! No longer does humanity have to rely on dogmatic assertions that ‘all men are created equal’ purely on the basis that it is a ‘self-evident’ truth, as the United States’ Declaration of Independence asserts, because we can now explain, understand and know that the equality of goodness of all humans is a fundamental truth. We can now understand why everyone is equally worthy, and that no one is superior or inferior, and that everyone deserves the ‘rights’ of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. Indeed, through this understanding, the whole concept of good and bad disappears from our conceptualisation of ourselves. Compassionate, relieving truth and honesty about humans has finally arrived. Religions have taught us that ‘God loves you’, and while that mantra has been comforting, ultimately we needed to understand why we were lovable (again, the issue of who or what God is will be addressed in more detail in chapter 4:3). Similarly, the Bible states that ‘the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32), and while we know this statement to be true, the problem has been that all the partial truths—such as that humans are the most brutal and destructive animals to ever walk the earth—condemned our upset state, fuelling it further, which means that, ultimately, for the truth to genuinely set us free, it had to be the full truth that explains why humans are all good and not bad.
Yes, the human condition is certainly shot through with paradox: to become happy we had to first endure unhappiness; we appeared to be bad but believed we were good; we are intelligent, smart and clever but, by all appearances, behave in such an unintelligent, stupid way that we have brought the world to the brink of destruction. But most wonderfully, we at last have the understanding that reconciles not just these but all the polarities of life that existed under the duress of the human condition—between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, instinct and intellect, emotion and reason, conscience and conscious, ignorance and wisdom, soul and mind, heart and head, ‘I feel’ and ‘I think’, yin and yang, light and dark, the innocent and the corrupted, the un-embattled and the battle-hardened, the selfless and the selfish, the happy and the upset, the light-hearted and the heavy-hearted, the cooperative and the competitive, the integrative and the divisive, the ‘Godly’ and the ‘unGodly’, the gentle and the aggressive, the loving and the hateful, the sound and the alienated, the secure and the insecure, the honest and the dishonest, the natural and the artificial, the non-sexual and the sexual (sex as humans practise it is explained in chapter 8:11B), altruism and egotism, idealism and realism, spiritualism and materialism, socialism and capitalism, left-wing and right-wing, instinctualism and intellectualism, religion and science, holism and mechanism, young and old, women and men (the different roles of women and men under the duress of the human condition is also explained in chapter 8:11B), blacks and whites (the differences in upset between ‘races’ is explained in chapter 8:16E), unresigned and resigned, country and city, etc, etc. The explanation of the human condition unravels and makes sense of the whole seemingly impenetrable and insoluble confusion of human life—and does so in such a simple and obvious way that it brings to mind Huxley’s famous response to Darwin’s idea of natural selection: ‘How extremely stupid of me not to have thought of that!’ Yes, we have at last found the UNDERSTANDASCOPE for human behaviour.