‘FREEDOM’—Chapter 1 Summary of the contents of FREEDOM
Chapter 1:5 Solutions to the ‘deaf effect’
The obvious next question then is, ‘How can the reader overcome the problem of not being able to absorb or ‘hear’ discussion of the human condition, so as to be able to access the incredibly relieving understanding of our species’ behaviour?’ Plato indicated the answer when he said that the ‘cave’ ‘prisoner’ ‘would need to grow accustomed to the light’ of the compassionate analysis of ‘the imperfections of human life’ of ‘our human condition’ to consequently achieve, as summarised in Encarta, the wonderful ‘transition to the real world’ ‘which is the proper object of knowledge’. And over thirty years of experience presenting the fully accountable, all-clarifying, relieving and transforming insights into human behaviour that are contained in this book has taught me that this is indeed the case and that there are three main ways to ‘grow accustomed to’ analysis of ‘our human condition’ and, through doing so, overcome the ‘deaf effect’. (Note, since the following three solutions for solving the ‘deaf effect’ were written, I have made a video that gives a more complete description of how to overcome the ‘deaf effect’. It, with its transcript, can be viewed in Video/Freedom Essay 11 on the WTM home page.)
Solution 1: The first and most important method is to view the companion introductory videos for this book that are freely available at . In fact, such viewing is really a prerequisite, a necessity, for reading this book because in these presentations I describe the book’s purpose, explain and warn of the problem of the ‘deaf effect’, escort readers through its chapters, and explain and discuss various aspects of our human condition. This familiarisation process has the enormous psychological benefit of allowing you to watch someone talk openly with others about, and walk freely around, this historically forbidden realm of the human condition—which experience has shown will greatly diminish the subconscious fear in your mind of discussion of the human condition. As will be made very clear at the beginning of the next chapter when the extreme extent of our fear of the issue of the human condition is revealed, our minds have been absolutely terrified of thinking about the human condition, so to see someone talking freely, happily and securely about the subject is subconsciously immensely reassuring: ‘No one could be so at ease talking about the human condition unless the redeeming and relieving understanding of it had been found. That great breakthrough must have occurred’, is the subconscious conversation that takes place in the reader’s mind. The realm where the issue of the human condition resides has been such a terrifying place that for someone to be so comfortably walking around in it is extraordinarily reassuring and comforting; it is extremely helpful in overcoming the shock of having this subject of the human condition broached.
Evidence of how reassuring and effective in eroding the ‘deaf effect’ watching the introductory videos is, is that when giving introductory talks about the human condition people, after having attended a second or third talk, often say, ‘That was a much better presentation this time than last time, the explanations and descriptions were so much easier to follow.’ The talks are virtually identical—what has dramatically improved is not the quality or content of the presentation but the listener’s ability to take in or ‘hear’ what was being said.
So, in short, the more introductory videos you watch, the more your fear of the subject of the human condition will be eroded and the easier you will find the book to read. The importance in watching these videos cannot be overstated; put bluntly, you won’t be able to read this book unless you watch them!
Solution 2: In conjunction with viewing these videos, what also helps overcome the ‘deaf effect’ is a willingness to patiently re-read the text, as this further allows your mind the time to ‘grow accustomed to’ description of ‘our human condition’ and to start to ‘see things in the world outside the cave’ of denial.
Solution 3: Once the ‘deaf effect’ has started to erode through viewing the introductory videos and through being prepared to patiently re-read the text and you have begun to access these human-condition-confronting-not-avoiding, truthful understandings of human behaviour, you will find having a venue where you can participate in discussions (and/or watch others discussing these understandings) extremely helpful—another necessity, in fact. To cater for this need, online discussions about this new paradigm are held regularly that you can take part in, anonymously if you prefer.
I have to emphasise that despite Professor Harry Prosen also warning of the ‘deaf effect’ in his Introduction, people typically disregard these warnings because they think the problem won’t apply to them, that if something makes sense they will be able to follow it—and yet the ‘deaf effect’ does apply to virtually every reader; it’s simply the reality of what occurs when the historically fearful issue of the human condition is brought into focus.
To emphasise the very real nature of the ‘deaf effect’, take the following further example, this time from an online article about my 2003 book, A Species In Denial: ‘I read it in 2005, and at the time it was not an easy read. The core concepts keep slipping from my mental grasp, at the time I put it down to bad writing, however a second reading revealed something the Author had indicated from the outset—your mind doesn’t want to understand the content. The second read was quick and painless…[and I was then able to see that] The cause of the malaise [of humanity] is exposed, remedied and the reader is left with at the very least an understanding of themselves, and for me something of an optimism for the future’ (‘Fitzy’, Humanitus Interruptus – Great Minds of Today, 21 Oct. 2011; see <>). Yes, the ‘second read’ is all-important—and regarding this last point about being left with ‘an optimism for the future’, Plato also emphasised just how relieved the cave prisoner would be to be free of his old, human-condition-avoiding, dishonest existence by saying that once he had become ‘accustomed to the light’, ‘when he thought of his first home and what passed for wisdom there, and of his fellow-prisoners, don’t you think he would congratulate himself on his good fortune and be sorry for them?’ (The Republic, 516). The following are some other quotes you can search online that reveal this sense of ‘good fortune’ of being able to access understanding of the human condition and of finally being in the position to make sense of human existence: ‘If Plato and Aristotle were alive and read Griffith, they would die happy men’; and, ‘We don’t have to put up with “Not Knowing” anymore’; and, ‘tears stream down my face, so overcome have I been by this book. It is the greatest book on the planet, no wait, in the universe. In fact it is the greatest anything in the universe’; and, ‘I don’t care what question you have, this book will answer it’; and, ‘Here is the breakthrough biological explanation that PROVES we are ALL very, very good’; and, ‘This, to me, is the most significant thing I have ever stumbled across…If it doesn’t hit you right away—it will down the road’; and, ‘Gah! words are too limited for this. Here have some love brother! ☺’; and, ‘This book is why I’m alive enough to scribe to you. Joy and Love to you all.’
So, once you listen to the introductory videos and patiently re-read the text you will be astonished to discover that the fog does begin to lift, that what is being presented does begin to make extraordinarily accountable sense of human behaviour. This process of illumination is palpable in this additional extract from Brian Carlton’s interview with me (which can be viewed at ): ‘I remember when I first read one of your books I went through a stage where I couldn’t quite get my head around it. I got about half of it and it was a little confusing and a little dense but I didn’t give up. And in time your explanations did start to become clear and it made a hell of a lot of sense to me…The process of stripping off the denial is the difficult part, but once you’ve done that the answers become glaringly obvious…It’s an intellectual epiphany; I have a more complete understanding of myself, everybody around me, the society at large, the way the planet works. It’s a revelation! I don’t use that in a religious sense, it’s a quantifiably different thing but it has a similar impact on you. You wake up the next morning feeling more invigorated, more able to deal with the world because your level of understanding of it is so much higher…It’s very simple, it’s not hard. The end process is easy and reassuring and calming and self-accepting. Getting there is the difficult bit, once you have the revelation, the clarity of it is euphoric almost…when you get it, it is an event. You remember the day, you remember the section of the book, you remember when it happened, it stays with you…Don’t underestimate the extent to which your work has impacted me in terms of how I think about what I’m seeing, how I interpret behaviour. I worked up this ability to be able to work out what a person was like in the first five or six seconds of a conversation [as the host of a talk-back radio program]…the trickle-down transfer to every day life and every day human relationships and experiences has been hugely valuable.’
It should be mentioned that it is inevitable that some people will react angrily towards this human-condition-confronting-rather-than-avoiding information. As has been stressed throughout the latter stage of this first chapter, the arrival of understanding of the human condition can’t but be a shock, and that shock has to be worked through—a process chapter 9 has been written to facilitate. It deals there with the massive paradigm shift that the human race is now faced with—a process of adjustment that hopefully won’t take too long.
Having now warned of the problem of the ‘deaf effect’, and how best to overcome it, it is now necessary to explain in more comprehensive terms what the human condition actually is and reveal the mortal fear humans have of it so that our species’ behaviour can be compassionately explained and relievingly understood. Indeed, what will become apparent as you read FREEDOM is that almost all our behaviour has been affected by, indeed is a product of, even driven by, our fear of the human condition. What this means is that to understand our behaviour (which is the purpose of this book) we have to acknowledge and recognise this immense fear—which is why the main presentation in this book, which begins in the next chapter, starts with this all-important focus.