Video & Transcript of Gerald Staffaneller,
WTM Austria Centre
(To learn more about Gerald, see www.wtmaustria.com)
Hi, my name is Gerald. I am 34 years old [at time of filming] and I live in Austria. I grew up in a village in the countryside and I would consider myself a pretty average guy. Like everyone else, I encountered different, more or less, difficult situations in my life and found different ways or mechanisms to cope with them—basically building up a life occupied with striving for reinforcement in whatever ways possible: being good at my job or at sports; reaching certain ranks in video games; becoming more knowledgeable in superficial topics to appear smart; or if it’s just watching TV shows or whatever else it is that people were doing.
In my late 20s, all my strategies which used to help me to go on, started to crumble and I reached a point in my life that I lost hope and developed a very strong feeling of indifference towards everything. All the things going on in the world, around me and in myself, made me question if there was any meaning in life at all. No real compassion; everyone always looks out for themselves, though they portray it to be not the case. Contradictory behaviour everywhere I looked.
At first I just thought that the world and everyone else is just fucked-up and they appeared to be bad. But all of these cruel and flawed behaviours did not only concern other people—I realised that all of this was also part of me and that I was no different. So I started to see this contradictory behaviour more and more, not only in the world and people around me, but also in myself. And every single conversation started to feel absolutely fake and hypocritical. Everyone’s longing for change but always the same excuses…like “But for me it‘s different”, “I would if I could”…
I asked myself a lot of questions about why people including myself are behaving that way. Why are people talking about saving the environment and in the next sentence talking about their next holiday overseas? Why are people talking about starving kids in Africa while having a fancy dinner at a restaurant? Why are people talking about war but still seem to worry more if their hair is sitting well? Why are people talking about inequality and then put themselves above others? Why is everyone lying? Why are people saying one thing and then doing the opposite? And the answers were always the same. “This is how the world works. Learn to deal with it.” Which is not exactly a satisfying answer! So basically with no answers left I lost all my drive. I could not cope with the world or myself.
But then I came across the biological explanation of our human condition! In 2016, my best friend Stefan [Rössler, founder of WTM Austria] told me about the book FREEDOM: The End of the Human Condition by the Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith, and told me that this book would answer all my questions. You can probably imagine that I was very sceptical about these claims, but as there was nothing else available anyway, I decided to give it a try and went to the World Transformation Movement’s website, www.HumanCondition.com, where the book can be downloaded for free. Jeremy Griffith explains that we are suffering from a psychosis caused by having two learning systems within us which are at war with each other. So basically this war within us, between our instinct and intellect, which began when our conscious thinking mind emerged, causes our human condition which is accountable for all the suffering on this planet.
As English is not my mother tongue, I came across a lot of words and expressions I’ve never heard before. But the ‘deaf effect’, which is also explained, made it especially hard to read the information at first. So it took me a while but I worked persistently through the book. I tried to grasp all these new concepts and set them into relation with myself and with experiences I encountered. [The ‘deaf effect’, humans’ historic resistance to hearing or engaging in discussion of the human condition, is explained in Video/Freedom Essay 11.]
I could not believe it! Finally I could start to make sense of this messed-up place! So, reading the information provided in FREEDOM changed everything. And at that point I couldn’t even closely see how far-reaching this explanation of our human condition really is. Reading the information was at first indeed very confronting as it is inconsistent with all our common world views. It sheds light on your own behaviour as well, which can be really hard to deal with. Personally, learning about how our mind works helped me a lot to accept my own dark side. Paradoxically, once I started to digest these understandings which FREEDOM provides, I could see that all our behaviour was not bad after all. Actually it made me see that we all are heroes! I love this quote out of one of Jeremy Griffith’s essays: “That humans have chosen to stay alive but accept psychological death is a measure of the immense heroism of the human race.” [See F. Essay 38]
So, we all can be immensely proud of what we did, of every human who ever stepped foot on this planet, that we carried on this search for knowledge for millions of years. And FREEDOM brings all the knowledge gained from all kinds of different fields together, which enables us to literally make sense of everything—the whole world! And at the same time, through doing so, it establishes the goodness of all humans on this planet. It is the information which we’ve all been waiting for and which brings us all back together.
And as these understandings sunk in more and more, I could see that everything inevitably had to happen the way it did. I felt such a relief. I could start to see how every problem we are facing, on an individual level as well as the whole human race, has the same source—the human condition.
So FREEDOM answered not only all my questions, it actually answered way more. It enabled me to take a greater look at humanity’s journey. I was able to start to make sense of everything. Even politics or religion. And especially the meaning of life. Finally, the time has come that we can address all these topics for real.
And I have to say that all of this is not rocket science. It is all rationally explained, and once our evasions are put aside everyone can understand that. Now I can understand why everyone is so worried about their self-worth, insecure and constantly trying to prove to everyone that they are good and seeking validation. I can see that this controls all of our behaviour, the whole persona we portray ourselves to be in every situation of our lives. And understanding that this explanation is also valid for myself, I don’t have to be preoccupied with it [validation] anymore; all our anger, all the egocentricity, all the depressive feelings start to vanish. As do materialistic dreams. Nothing compares to the feeling of understanding yourself and the world. Understanding is the key. I can let it [egocentricity] go; and knowing that I am not anything special or different than others makes me sure that everyone is able to let it go—which means that this is the understanding humanity has been waiting for since we became conscious and that this understanding will indeed save the world. The so-feared ‘Judgment Day’ has arrived, but there is nothing to fear because it [the truth of our condition] will finally expose all the lies. [The true, compassionate meaning of ‘Judgment Day’ is explained in F. Essay 40.]
There is no reason left why we should not jump for joy and celebrate while walking from the dark into the light. And this is unbelievably exciting! We can finally be free! The calmness, relief and happiness these understandings brought to my life, I can’t put into words. It is beyond every description. But I can tell you, that it not only restored my hopes and drive, it gave my life real meaning for the first time.
So as my best friend told me about this world-saving information, I also wanted to tell all of you about it because I am absolutely sure that having this knowledge will finally end all the suffering on this planet. Once we understand ourselves, all our destructive behaviour can and will subside.
I hope that it is of help for you to hear about how I dealt with this all-exposing truth of us humans. I can’t and I don’t want to try to ‘convince’ anyone about it. Everyone needs to validate this information for themselves to see if this information is true, as we are talking about understanding and not belief. But maybe ask yourself a simple question: if there is the potential cure for all of human suffering, namely our human condition, out there, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to take at least a look at it to find out if it’s true?