Transcript of Karen Riley’s video on why she started the WTM Toronto Centre
Hi, my name is Karen Riley and I’m from Canada and I’m here to share a little bit about myself, about how I came across the World Transformation Movement and why I believe Jeremy Griffith’s book FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition is important to save the world.
So, currently I own my own business as a consultant pharmacist providing medication therapy management services, primarily to elderly and vulnerable patient populations, such as patients with mental health issues. I’ve also continued with my love of learning by becoming a university professor and I actually teach pharmacy and I’ve done so for the last 15 years in addition to my practice of caring for patients. [Karen holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a Clinical Assistant Professor.]
I was born in Quebec Canada, and if you know anything about Canada that’s one of the eastern provinces, but I’ve grown up and lived most of my life in south-western Ontario, about three hours away from Toronto, which is the capital of our province.
I have been primarily a science-focused individual since early high school—I was always looking for the truth in life based on science, and I think finally I decided to become a pharmacist because not only could I continue my role learning about medicine and science and pharmacy but I was going to be able to help people as well. And although I was taught that science was the study of the body, and religion was the study of the mind, I knew that the truth had to be able to reconcile science with religion and spirituality.
So a few years back I was getting ready to go on a bike and barge trip in the Netherlands and I was really excited about being outside and exercising, but I knew that I’d have some spare time at night to read. And it was interesting because a few weeks before the trip I was doing some internet searching and I came across Jeremy Griffith’s book FREEDOM because I had come across Professor Prosen, who was a former president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and in something I read Professor Prosen made a statement about this book FREEDOM being the greatest book of all time! And although I didn’t have time to read it at the time, before I went on my trip I went back and found Jeremy’s book and I thought ‘This is great, I'm going to be able to take something with me that’s portable to read at night’, and so I downloaded it on my laptop. (I should mention that when I was finding FREEDOM I also found another of Jeremy’s books, Transform Your Life And Save The World [TYL is a condensation of FREEDOM, which is Jeremy’s definitive presentation], and so I set out to read both of those for night time reading while I was on my trip.)
Since then I think I’ve gone back to both of those books several times, looking at different components and areas and facts that really resounded with me, and I came to the conclusion that probably the most amazing information was contained in that book and that because of its profound biological understanding of our species’ psychologically troubled human condition it will help save the world.
So I think FREEDOM is best described as a manual to life which really sits well for me because it’s the ultimate brain food for humans; it’s something we’ve been searching for for such a long, long time, and it makes everything and everyone around us so biologically understandable—after we read this book it feels like a veil has been lifted, at least for me. Life went from feeling bewildering and confusing to something that was clearly transparent—it’s immeasurably exhilarating, redeeming, empowering and transforming.
I think life has become even more exciting for me as I use the information from the book and look at life around me. Walking around in my day to day life I’m able to understand and see through all behavior around me and in front of me; I see the human condition is driving all of our behavior whether it be individual behavior or cultural, country, civilizations, religion, politics, men and women—absolutely everything.
I found one of the most interesting and simplest perspectives on the profundity of this information was delivered by Tony Gowing, who is one of the founding members of the World Transformation Movement. In he describes a scenario—and I know in health care one of the most important things that I can do for patients sometimes is to tell a story—and Tony’s story kind of goes something like this: ‘Imagine you’re on a bus and it’s a crowded bus, everyone’s trying to get home and you’re standing there and you’re thinking the person next to me has really bad breath and you’re just exhausted and tired and frustrated and the only thing you can think about is ‘I want to get home, I want to get home now’. And then all of a sudden somewhere from behind you, you feel something whacking your leg, and it goes on and on, and with each whack you can feel the anger well up inside you; and, in fact, after a while you are so furious that you want to turn around and you actually just want to punch this person, who is hitting you in the leg, in the face. However, when you turn around you realize it’s an old blind woman and she’s knocking the back of your leg with her cane by mistake because she’s only trying to get her bearings and figure out where she is in the bus. As Tony explains, that that feeling, that discovery, so instantly and completely changes the way you feel. Finally you’re able to understand the situation; your anger goes away and nothing but relief and calmness goes over you. You don’t feel like a victim anymore; the whole situation has turned around by being able to understand it. And being able to understand the human condition is much, much, much bigger! And so this little story can really only kind of give you a small feeling and sense of what you’re going to feel like in this Transformed State.
The passion that swells up inside me when I actually just stop and think about this, yeah, it is truly life changing and that’s why I really wanted to try to be genuine and really let you know how I felt. So I hope this presentation really inspires other people—people really need this information!
I think seeing Jeremy’s honest passion for his work, the research, and how he’s not given up; seeing what he’s done and what he’s trying to do for the world and how relentless he is in just keeping going is truly probably one of the most inspiring things for me.
I love this picture with the river and the Sunshine Highway crossing that deep chasm [referring to Jeremy’s Abyss of Depression and the Sunshine Highway to Freedom drawing]. Sometimes I think of the river/chasm and I think of how it looks like it’s such an insurmountable journey to get over it, but that is countered by knowing that once you’re on the other side and in that Transformed State you are out of the dark and into the sunlight; being out of a cave and being free. And so the sun really is something that I place a huge amount of joy in, being able to see the light. The Transformed State means just being free and having that feeling that there isn’t any of that internal psychosis, that we can change our way of thinking and feeling and we can be free.
FREEDOM also contains some extremely valuable information that describes the journey from going from a child to an adult. Because [this whole journey has been a mystery] as many of us went through resignation and we had to accept the way we were told the world was and why that was [Resignation to living in denial of the human condition, an experience that most people go through in adolescence when they couldn’t explain our horribly flawed condition, is explained in ]. But understanding the human condition allows us to immediately know that fundamentally we’re good and not bad; and we can legitimately decide not to think about and live in accordance with the upset within us. We can simply leave that way of feeling and thinking behind and adopt a simple and new way of thinking and feeling that’s in support of a reconciled, non-aggressive, non-competitive and truth-based world for humans. Living for the New World enables a full healing for us to occur, hopefully now, and over generations.
Well it’s really because of the exemplary power of FREEDOM and Jeremy’s other publications that I’ve been so inspired to open up a World Transformation Centre here in central Canada, which will be the second Canadian Centre. And I hope this really encourages you to also read this amazing book FREEDOM and I hope you let us know how you feel about this because reading Jeremy’s book will make you wish you’d read this book years and years ago. And so if you’d like to contact me, please do so through the website. Again, I really encourage you to consider this information, and hopefully if you feel the way I do, you’ll actually want to be involved in the World Transformation Centre and the transformation of your heart and mind and what it brings to you!