Please note, you can enlarge the images by clicking on them
Jeremy Griffith’s Artwork
Written by WTM Founding Member Genevieve Salter
From simple, instinctive line drawings to creative masterpieces, this page is a small collection of the many artworks Jeremy has created over the years. Jeremy is a biologist and author of books explaining the human condition but he is also a naturally talented and self-taught artist, designer and poet! Jeremy grew up in the sheltered environment of the Australian bush and his love of nature, our soul’s true instinctive world, fuels his creativity which in turn helps to preserve his soul.
He has a truly unresigned, imaginative, enthusiastic, innocent approach to life (some of his school reports describe him as being ‘filled with a great zest for life’) which goes hand in hand with his selfless love for humanity and the determination that enabled him to get to the bottom of the problem of the human condition, humans’ contradictory nature, why we are capable of such great love and empathy on the one hand but are so ruthlessly competitive and selfish on the other.
Jeremy is also an expert on birds and can imitate perfectly many of their calls. If you spend time with Jeremy talking about birds you find yourself suddenly aware of all the birds you can hear around you but for most of the time aren’t conscious of. He has wonderful collections of eggs, feathers, shells and butterflies among other artefacts and treasures collected in his boyhood and during his trips to Africa and throughout Australia. He has an extensive library of wildlife documentaries and loves to talk about and explain the behavioural traits of different animals, having made an exhaustive effort to save one of Australia’s most unique marsupials, the , from extinction, which he undertook when he was just 21 years old.
Jeremy’s time is never idle, he spends most of his days (and quite often nights) writing about the human condition, but on the rare occasions he is not working (and having no interest in the mind-numbing, artificial distractions of our resigned world—he can’t even type or text and he rarely watches films—as a young man, when he went to see Gone with the Wind at the cinema he had to get up and walk out because he was so upset by the main character, Scarlett O’Hara, using people to get what she wanted) he is thinking about a human-condition-free future for the human race, or creating useful tools for, and beautiful unpretentious, natural works of art to adorn, that wonderful new world.
To mark the awesomely exciting significance of 2013 for the WTM, and, in fact, for the whole world, with Jeremy having completed the first draft of his summa masterpiece book, FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition, and in celebration of the fabulous future for humanity that is now possible, Jeremy created this monumental sun from shells that he collected over a six month period from one small beach in Sydney. While cockle shells are found on sandy sheltered beaches throughout the world, Jeremy has never seen these pure gold-coloured ones on any other beach. Yellowish cockle shells are usually a rusty brownish-yellow colour, but on this particular beach some are a pure gold colour. Jeremy found the large white scallop shell on the same beach, and he’s never seen a large white one like this before or since. The white star limpet shells can be found on pretty well any beach. WTM Founding Members Tony Gowing and James West built and gilded the frame. If you look closely you can see the WTM initials made from shells at the top of the frame. The whole picture is positively bursting with excitement! To help fund the work of the World Transformation Movement, this artwork is for sale for $US5 million.
Incidentally, Jeremy believes that the lapping of water on the shoreline of sheltered beaches is especially therapeutic for humans. He explains that since we spend the first nine months of our lives in a fluid environment in the womb, the noise of moving fluid is something that for the rest of our lives we find comforting and soothing. He says that babies and children love playing in water because of this comforting, reassuring, joyous effect. To reduce the shock of being born into an air environment the practice of giving birth in the water is becoming increasingly popular. Jeremy has a plastic board on the wall of his shower and bath for writing on because so often good ideas come through when we’re in water. People often report that they came up with a great idea while in the shower or bath. Christians baptise their children in water, and there is a deeper reason for that, water is therapeutic. So Jeremy loves to walk along the shoreline to help him recover from the creative exertions of writing, hence one of the reasons for his fascination with shells.
Jeremy has long made these picture frames of objects he collected for presents by finding old frames and putting the objects on a layer of cotton wool. He also invented the box with V-shaped glass shelves for displaying items. Jeremy encourages parents to show their children how to make these display cases for all the wonderful things they find, although he now discourages collecting eggs and live butterflies!
When, in 2013, I rang Mr Gordon Griffiths who was the master who taught biology at Timbertop (the outward bound campus at GGS) when Jeremy was there, he said this: ‘I think of all the students that I ever had in my four years as a teacher at Timbertop that Jeremy would have been the one that I would have put as most outstanding, without a doubt [he said this with emphasis]…I can remember in the annual Up Timbertop and Back Race that he won the race, and in a record time, but he actually also collected a specimen, a lizard he hadn’t seen before, on the way back down! He was a brilliant bushwalker and a brilliant natural historian. And you know, he’s just one of these kids I would call a heart rebel [laughs]. I don’t mean that in a bad sense, that he was unpopular and a loner, because he wasn’t, he was very gregarious, but he had an independent spirit. Jeremy Griffith was sort of the cat that walked by himself, an independent type of person.’ Jeremy’s comment about this ‘independence’, which he said he wasn’t aware of, was that ‘when you resign you are not trying to think about the problem of the human condition, but when you haven’t resigned that is all you think about; you have a different agenda is how I would attempt to explain it’. As for Jeremy’s interest in nature, he had many collections to do with nature at Timbertop, one of which was of all the different animal scats/droppings so students could tell which animals were about. This extract from Australian author Steele Rudd’s On Our Selection reflects Jeremy’s love of the natural world, although, despite trapping a lot of rabbits and the liberal use of a catapult, he didn’t ever do anything as barbaric as Joe! ‘Joe was a naturalist. He spent a lot of time, time that Dad considered should have been employed cutting burr or digging potatoes, in ear-marking bears and bandicoots, and catching goannas and letting them go without their tails, or coupled in pairs with pieces of greenhide. The paddock was full of goannas in harness and slit-eared bears. They belonged to Joe’ (1899).
I might mention that in 2014, despite the explanation of the human condition that is presented in Jeremy’s books being the fulfilment of the core vision of Geelong Grammar School of cultivating the sensitivity needed to achieve that specific, all-important-if-there-is-to-be-a-future-for-the-human-race task, the school chose not to include an essay on Jeremy’s life’s work that was commissioned by its publishers for possible inclusion in its Corio anniversary book 100 Exceptional Stories, which ‘celebrates the lives of 100 exceptional past students’. You can read the background to this at <>. Jeremy’s headmaster at GGS, Sir James Darling, who was described as ‘a prophet in the true biblical sense’ in his obituary in The Australian newspaper, would have been appalled at this omission—because as Jeremy has very clearly articulated in his various essays about Sir James’ life’s work, such as at <>, Sir James’ great vision was specifically to nurture someone who could confront and solve the human condition, someone who ‘seeks truth at the bottom of the well’, and by so doing ‘saving the world’ (The Education of a Civilized Man, 1962, pp.64 and 140). This, as Professor Harry Prosen says in his praise of FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition, is precisely what Jeremy has achieved. Also, given how completely aware the school is of how horrifically persecuted Jeremy has been, they should have been amongst the first to promote his good work. Has there ever been a greater betrayal from people in the position of critical influence of a truly great life? Clearly, what needs to be added to what Christ said in the Bible, about ‘Only in his home town, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honour’ should be the words ‘and in his school’!
Contrast these events with the comments from Mr Gordon Griffiths above. I should also include similar recognition of Jeremy’s character from Mr Eddie Coffey of Peribo Fine Books who distribute Jeremy’s books in Australia. Mr Coffey, who is regarded as a patriarch of the book industry in Australia, has known Jeremy for many years and in a letter to an overseas distributor in 2014, he described Jeremy as ‘one of the finest men I have ever met…with extraordinary ideals’. In correspondence with Sir Laurens van der Post’s daughter Lucia, who is herself a well-known writer, she also referred to Jeremy’s ‘wonderful enthusiasm’ and ‘wonderful, wonderful book’.
Sir Laurens suffered similar persecution of his life and work; this occurred despite Prince Charles choosing Sir Laurens to be godfather to his eldest son and future king, Prince William. There is ‘A bronze bust of van der Post…in Prince Charles’ garden at Highgrove’ (‘Post, Sir Laurens Jan van der (1906-1996)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Christopher Booker, 2004). Former British Prime Minister, Baroness Thatcher, once described Sir Laurens as ‘the most perfect man I have ever met’ (mentioned in J.D.F. Jones interview on Late Night Live, ABC Radio, 25 Feb. 2002), and Sir James Darling himself wrote that ‘In the world of books there are, for me, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, or Laurens van der Post’ (The Education of a Civilized Man, ed. Michael Persse, 1962, p.36 of 223).
One of Jeremy’s favourite artists is the aboriginal painter . Emily’s astonishing ability to express pure beauty comes from her unimpeded access to her soul (our species’ fully cooperative, all-loving and all-feeling original instinctive self). Emily lived in the desert country of central Australia and didn’t see a white person until she was 16, and only started painting when she was 80! Jeremy recreated one of Emily’s paintings because he loved them so much and couldn’t afford to buy one. He acknowledges this at the bottom of the painting by calling it a Jemily. It can be seen on the wall in the background of all the videos on our website.
These are two of the many instinctive line drawings Jeremy uses throughout his books. The following extract from Freedom: Expanded Book 1 explains these drawings and where humans’ creative powers come from:
“I find the extreme sensitivity that is particularly apparent in the rock paintings of the Bushman of southern Africa and Australian Aborigines, and in the cave paintings of early humans in Europe, especially revealing of how much innocence the human race has lost in relatively recent times. In order to draw the little pictures that have been included throughout this written presentation, I learnt long ago that I have to disconnect my conscious mind and just let my instinctive sensitivity express itself, and that if I don’t do that I simply can’t draw at all. For example, the drawing of the three childmen happily embracing that I used to illustrate humanity’s Childhood stage earlier [shown above] was done so quickly I shocked myself because I could hardly believe that such an empathetic drawing could be produced from an almost instant scribble. At that moment I saw just how much sensitivity we once had, and how much alienation now exists within us two-million-years-embattled humans. The extraordinary empathy and accuracy of the paintings of animals in the rock and cave paintings I referred to above are similarly incredibly revealing of the amount of sensitivity we humans once had and have since lost. We are such an embattled species now, so worn out, so brutalised, so toughened. How extremely sensitive must early humans have been! Sir Laurens van der Post wasn’t exaggerating when he wrote that ‘He [the Bushman] and his needs were committed to the nature of Africa and the swing of its wide seasons as a fish to the sea. He and they all participated so deeply of one another’s being that the experience could almost be called mystical. For instance, he seemed to know what it actually felt like to be an elephant, a lion, an antelope, a steenbuck, a lizard, a striped mouse, mantis, baobab tree’ (The Lost World of the Kalahari, 1958, p.21 of 253)…It is truly an insight into how sensitive and loving we humans once were that our instinctive self or soul can’t relate to the way we humans are now. Consider the tenderness in the expression on the face of the Madonna in the drawing of the Madonna and child that was included at the beginning of the Infancy stage in Part 3:11A [shown above]. My soul drew that—I, my conscious self, had nothing to do with it. Truly, as William Wordsworth wrote, ‘trailing clouds of glory do we come, From God [the integrated, loving, all-sensitive state], who is our home’ (Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, 1807). And people say we humans have brutish, aggressive instincts! It’s the world we humans currently live in that is mad. It is just so traumatised with upset that it hasn’t been able to deal with the fact that it is deeply, deeply dishonest, horrifically alienated. What did the great Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), one of the modern world’s most accomplished artists, famously say about his ability to paint: ‘It’s taken me a lifetime to learn to paint like a child.’ And what did R.D. Laing say, ‘between us and It [our true self or soul] there is a veil which is more like fifty feet of solid concrete’…Similar to what happens when I draw, in my writing I have also learnt to, as I describe it, ‘think like a stone’, or ‘think like a child’—say the simplest, most elementary thought—because I learnt that such a thought will be the most truthful and accurate and accountable and explanatory. Absolutely every time I encounter a problem I have to solve in my thinking about the human condition I go into a routine where I say to myself, ‘Just go into yourself and think like a stone, just let the truth come out that’s within and you will have the answer.’ Basically, I learnt to trust in and take guidance from my truthful instinctive self or soul. I learnt to think honestly, free of intellectual bullshit, and all the answers, all the insights that I have found, and there are many hundreds of them, were found this way. Indeed, I know every sentence I write is truth-laden, in complete contrast to the millions of sentences being churned out every second everywhere else on Earth. It is the innocent instinctive child in us that knows the truth. As usual, Christ put it perfectly when he said, ‘you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children’ (Matt. 11:25). Albert Einstein also recognised the mental integrity of the young when he famously said that ‘every child is born a genius’; the American architect and philosopher Richard Buckminster Fuller similarly said, ‘There is no such thing as genius, some children are just less damaged than others’ (NASA Speech, 1966), and ‘All children are born geniuses. 9999 out of every 10,000 are swiftly, inadvertently de-geniused by grown-ups’ (Education for Human Development: Understanding Montessori, by Mario M. Montessori Jr., Paula Polk Lillard & Buckminster Fuller, 1987, Foreword); while R.D. Laing noted that ‘Each child is a new beginning, a potential prophet [denial-free, honest, truthful, effective thinker]’ (The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise, 1967, p.26 of 156). Laing also pointed out that ‘Children are not yet fools, but [by our treatment of them] we shall turn them into imbeciles like ourselves, with high I.Q.’s if possible’ (ibid. p.49). Sigmund Freud was another who recognised the problem of the alienated adult/modern human mind, writing, ‘What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult’ (The Freud Reader, ed. P. Gay, 1995, p.715). Many exceptionally creative people have made statements to the effect that genius is the ability to think like a child. As just mentioned, one of the most accomplished artists of all time, Pablo Picasso, famously said (about his struggle to paint well) that ‘It’s taken me a lifetime to learn to paint like a child.’ Truly, our species’ original instinctive self or soul, which the innocence of children still has access to, is wonderfully orientated to the cooperative, integrative, ‘Godly’, loving, ideal, truthful state. We do indeed come ‘trailing clouds of glory…From God, who is our home’. Interestingly, a comment that was included earlier, by the biographer George Seaver on the theologian, missionary and physician Albert Schweitzer, reiterates what I have just said about natural thinking: ‘Naturalness. That is the keynote of Schweitzer’s thought, life, and personality. The ultimate thought, the thought which holds the clue to the riddle of life’s meaning and mystery, must be the simplest thought conceivable, the most natural, the most elemental, and therefore also the most profound’ (Albert Schweitzer The Man and His Mind, 1947, p.311). ()
In 1972, whilst still in Tasmania Jeremy wrote in a letter to a girlfriend these words: ‘Playing saying seeing dreaming you left me with a funny feeling! I won’t study so I will try and write to you. I feel like writing because it’s cloudy. There were a thousand wild horses out on that great plain and before them strode a boy and he was alone and hopelessly happy’. Accompanying the letter was the above drawing. In Freedom: Expanded Book 1 Jeremy writes: ‘I can understand now that this image of the horses and boy was a representation of my vision of my innocence being able to lead humanity home from its alienated state. In fact in every major document I have written I have included a phrase that has always summarised my vision, which is that “soon from one end of the horizon to the other will appear an army in its millions to do battle with human suffering and its weapon will be understanding”’.
As mentioned above, Jeremy loves birds and can imitate many of their calls, so of course he loves to draw them too! Above and below are some examples that his partner Annie Williams collected over the years as often he would draw them on the bottom of letters to their friends.
…and not only birds but other animals as well.
Another of Jeremy’s ingenious creations are his ‘Ultra Nothing’ drawings and poems—a way of giving the soul free reign to express itself in silly and imaginative ways. He began writing and drawing Ultra Nothings in his university days and he’s still doing them today! Rarely does he write a personal letter that does not include a drawing of some kind—a starfish inside a jet or a mouse trying to eat an apple as seen below! He refers to these Ultra Nothings in his 1967-68 document which he carried with him whilst in Tasmania . John Lennon’s books In His Own Write (1964) and A Spaniard in the Works (1965) are marvellous examples of Ultra Nothings and Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s wonderful (because of its honesty about the resigned adult world) children’s book The Little Prince contains similar Ultra Nothing sensibilities.
Jeremy’s 2011 book for children describes the farming of giant lizards who can re-grow their tails so these tails can be fed to lions and other predators so they no longer have to kill their animal friends! You will note Jeremy can’t spell, he has never been able to spell and still can’t. He says he couldn’t care less about spelling. Academically, Jeremy says he was a train wreck, usually coming last or close to last in his class.
With regard to Jeremy’s ability to draw, his great grandfather on his father’s side was a church canon who came out from Ireland to Australia. His surname was Bevan and he was known as ‘Canon Bevan’. Well Canon Bevan was said to be a wonderful drawer and to have a very funny, entertaining sense of humour. So it could be that Jeremy got his ability to draw from his great grandfather, although, as Jeremy described earlier, he attributes it to his relatively innocent access to our species’ instinctive self or soul. Jeremy can certainly draw and, as can be seen in his Ultra Nothing drawings, he has a wonderful sense of humour as well. Often, during breaks from his writing which requires incredibly intense focus, he is telling jokes and funny stories to make us all laugh. He is quite a good yodeller as well which is very entertaining—and he can roll a coin through his fingers, and spin a coin right along a bar at the pub so that it goes around a glass of beer and comes back again! Jeremy has this extraordinary free, unresigned mind, the result of which is he is extremely imaginative, so his sense of humour, like his ability to draw, is probably a product of genes and nurturing. Jeremy’s great interest during his school years was nature and although he was a gifted sportsman he never won any academic prizes. When he was at Tudor House School, however, he did, on more than one occasion, win the prize for ‘Most Amusing’ (Jeremy explains that in the school’s annual fancy dress party, he twice went as ‘The World Famous Irish Tin Can Band’, which anyone who couldn’t think of what to go as could join, and the band marched around the room crashing together garbage lids and the like, making so much noise he was given this prize to shut him up!), and the 1958 edition of the school magazine published an imaginative story Jeremy wrote when he was 12 about a pet cockatoo who would blow rice bubbles through a straw and yell ‘stick ’em up’, and one day a burglar entered the house and the cockatoo held him up until the police came! Anyone who was at the University of New England with Jeremy will tell you stories of Jeremy sitting at the back of the class drawing funny pictures, like ‘A person eating his forehead’, and passing them around the lecture theatre. The following is an extract from FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition which illustrates Jeremy’s very funny and imaginative mind—and also his unresigned mind’s great preoccupation with trying to understand the world.
The following poem of Jeremy’s, written in about 1969 when he was 23 years old, is a powerful anticipation of our species liberation from the human condition and reveals how alive and irrepressible his soulful world is. It also shows how strong Jeremy’s vision has always been of being able to solve the human condition and by so doing bring about a fabulous human-condition-free new world for humans. It is reproduced in ;
‘This is a story you see, just a story—but for you / Um—I remember a long time ago in the distant future a timeless day / a sunlit cloudless day when all things were fine / when we all slow-danced our way to breakfast in the sun // You see the day awoke with music / Can you imagine one thousand horses slow galloping towards you across a vast plain / and we loved that day so much / We all danced like Isadora Duncan through the morning light // We skipped and twirled and spun about / Fairies were there like dragonflies over a pool / Little girls with wings they hovered and flew about / their small voices you could hear / You see it was that kind of morning // When the afternoon arrived it was big and bold and beautiful / In worn out jeans and bouncing breasts we began / to fight—our way—into another day / into something new—to jive our way into the night / from sunshine into a thunderstorm // We all took our place, rank upon rank we came / as an army with Hendrix out in front / and the music busted the horizon into shreds / By God we broke the world apart / The pieces were of different colours and there were so many people / We danced in coloured dust, we left in sweat no room at all / We had a ball in gowns of grey and red / There were things that happened that nobody knew / Bigger and better, I had written on my sweater / Where there was sky there was music, huge clouds of it / and there were storms of gold with coloured lights / It was so good we cried tears into our eyes / In a tug of war of love we had no strength left at all / Dear God we cried but he only sighed and / whispered strength through leaves of laughter // On and on we came in bold ranks of silvered gold / to lead a world that didn’t know to somewhere it didn’t care / It couldn’t last, it had to end and yet it had an endless end / We were so happy in balloons of coloured bubbles that wouldn’t bust / and we couldn’t, couldn’t quench our lust / There we were all together for ever and ever / and tomorrow had better beware because / when we’ve wept and slept we will be there to shake its bloody neck.’
Some more of Jeremy’s Ultra Nothing poetry written when he was at the University of New England in 1965 and 1966, aged 19 and 20.
Those of us who know Jeremy personally are all beneficiaries of his rare soul-guided generosity and nurturing nature. Some evidence of this can be found in the beautiful and thoughtful handmade gifts and drawings Jeremy has created for many people over the years, even those he barely knows, to thank them for some help they have given him or as a way to help them in their particular life’s struggles. These collages set in cotton wool of gem-like shells he collected at Henley Beach in Adelaide, South Australia in 2007 when he and Annie were there getting special acupuncture treatment for Jeremy’s chronic fatigue are examples of such gifts. Regarding his chronic fatigue, we eventually discovered an incredible Russian device called SCENAR that effectively cured Jeremy. This, along with his more recent discovery of the Buteyko Breathing method are what have kept him well and able to continue his world-saving writing. So thank heavens for SCENAR and breathing!
It was the very pink pipi shells that Jeremy found occasionally on Henley beach that he thought were especially beautiful. Jeremy has written about the colours of sea shells that ‘the harmony of the colours of sea shells comes from the fact that all the different colours are from the one colour spectrum—indeed they could be regarded as all shades of the one mauve colour. It is as if Huey (God/Integrative Meaning) has one particular palette he uses for colouring sea shells. Possibly it’s the only variety of colour he could find that would stick to them in the tough environment of sea water! It starts from a deep purple that is virtually black that you see on mature mussels and grades through all shades of purple, then all shades of mauve, then all shades of pink, then all shades of yellow, then all shades of orange (even a greenish orange), then all shades of red and, of course, pure white. But all these shades are in the one family of colour type. If you put a true green or a true blue item for example in amongst them they all become unhappy and shy away from it; it just doesn’t belong in their family. Huey’s palette for colouring shells is very particular!’
The chair hanging on the wall beside Jeremy’s collection of aboriginal artefacts in the picture below was a gift from Jeremy to Annie in 1983 for her 21st birthday. He found the chair, which was broken, and carved Tweeka, their pet possum, into a piece of wood which he used to repair the top of the chair. The wicker webbing in the seat was torn so Jeremy re-webbed it with thin wire which can’t tear, which was an innovative addition.
Jeremy’s mother loved trees, undertaking extensive tree planting programs wherever she went and founding, along with two other families in the district, the Althofer’s and the Harris’, the renowned Burrendong Dam Arboretum of Australian plants in Central NSW which Jeremy, when he was a young boy, was asked to design the logo for (it has now been updated but was used for some 30 years). Jeremy’s interest in designing and manufacturing a range of natural timber furniture—his acclaimed furniture—was a product of this shared love of trees and timber. Jeremy made the bush chair below as a gift in 1994, the design making up part of a range of very simply constructed stick furniture. In fact, Jeremy has invented a simple, practical design for almost every household item.
Jeremy’s range of stick furniture so everyone can make their own furniture!
Jeremy also designed the covers of all his books, established a for the typesetting of all his publications, designed the studio set for the videos on our website, and designed all the seen in those videos and in FREEDOM, including the one he is working on in the pictures below in 2008 titled, Humanity’s Situation: The Sunshine Highway to Freedom, The Abyss of Depression, Our Cave-like Dead Existence and The Spiralling Pit of Terminal Alienation.