Griffith’s Great Central Insight
This blog post was written by Damon on 9th December 2016
It is rewarding to revisit Jeremy Griffith’s great central insight, the explanation of the difference between nerves and genes that produced the human condition. This is the insight that makes possible the flood of revelations that fill the pages of FREEDOM: humans’ cooperative past; integrative meaning; the nature of consciousness; mechanistic science’s dishonest agenda; the truth about politics, races, genders; and so much more. But first and foremost, the significance of this insight is that it redeems and reconciles our own personal situations; it brings peace to each of our lives, and it is this that makes possible the transformation of the human race.
The place to start is to remind ourselves of the real nature of the human condition. Superficial definitions exist, but in truth it refers to an insecurity all humans carry about our non-ideal behaviour; how could we humans possibly be good when all the evidence suggests the opposite? In Jeremy’s words, ‘why have we been so competitive, selfish and aggressive when clearly the ideals of life are to be the complete opposite, namely cooperative, selfless and loving? In fact, why are we so ruthlessly competitive, selfish and brutal that human life has become all but unbearable and we have nearly destroyed our own planet?!’
To be faced with such a question without the answer was a terrifying prospect. Indeed, it was so terrifying that we buried it deep within our subconscious. But burying it in no way resolved it; and so our insecurity regarding our essential worth continued to dictate all we did; it continued to define our condition. The only thing that could truly free us was the first principle-based, biological explanation of why we behave the way we do. Only this could bring us peace. And it is this explanation that Jeremy Griffith has found.
We now know that the mind, or ‘nerve based learning system’, requires understanding of cause and effect to operate properly; and only by experimenting could it find those associations, or what became ‘understandings’. Instincts, on the other hand, are only orientations, inscribed in our genes through natural selection. It follows then that when the conscious mind emerged some 2 million years ago and began experimenting in order to find understanding, our instincts resisted those deviations from their prescribed patterns; they in-effect, ‘criticised’ the search for knowledge. We didn't have this knowledge to explain our deviations, and so the ‘criticism’ left us feeling insecure and defensive; it left us feeling as though we were doing something wrong, when somehow we knew we weren’t.
And so to persevere with our task to find self-understanding we became defiant in the face of that criticism. As Jeremy explains, ‘the only forms of defiance available to our conscious intellect were to attack the instincts’ unjust criticism, try to deny or block from our mind the instincts’ unjust criticism, and attempt to prove our instincts’ unjust criticism wrong. In short, the psychologically upset angry, alienated and egocentric human-condition-afflicted state appeared.’
The significance of the finding of the ‘nerves vs genes’ explanation for our behaviour is that it establishes our fundamental goodness. It explains that our mind’s original deviations from our instincts were necessary; and it explains that our subsequent defiant behaviour that appeared for all the world to be evil, was also necessary—without our heroic defiance, the mind could never have fulfilled its potential. And so the question that has plagued humanity, of how are we to explain our seemingly ‘evil’ behaviour, is now answered in the most redeeming way possible.
And as a result everything changes. Our heroic defiance is now redundant. As Jeremy writes, ‘we can all now know that our insecure, egocentric need to validate ourselves through winning power, fame, fortune and glory is obsoleted. We can understand that it is no longer necessary to prove that we are good and not bad through demonstrations of our worth because our goodness has now been established at the most fundamental level through first-principle-based, biological explanation.’
That then is a brief summary of Jeremy Griffith’s great central insight, his ‘nerves vs genes’ explanation of the human condition. No doubt this is an imperfect rendition (I recommend you go directly to the source, and read ), but any reminder of the idea’s accountability, and its profound ramifications, is worth absorbing. Put simply, the closer we live with the truth that the human condition has now been solved, and that our embattled behaviour is now redundant, the more meaningful our lives are.