Letter to a Stranger
I’d like to introduce you to an idea that I’m sure will turn your world upside down, not in a destructive way but the complete opposite. You will find, as I and many others have found, that rather than the superficial, shallow, dead-end existence that until now we’ve had no choice but to participate in, there is a real and meaningful, utterly fulfilling life that is now available and more importantly, you will see that there is a magnificent future for you, your children and in fact all of humanity. But to start with I’ll give you my take on where we are at right now from the micro individual level of, let’s say, a 48 year old…
We all like to think we’ve got it together. If you’re lucky you’re still on your first marriage, maybe a semi-secure job, a house half paid off, the kids aren’t totally off the Richter etc. etc. We all know someone, if not ourselves, who’s been spat out the wrong side of this equation. Anyway, let’s say for arguments sake you think you’re doing OK. But there’s always the quiet moments when you’re not quite sure, a certain unease in the air that’s hard to explain, a moment of introspection, a feeling of self-doubt—Is this the sum total of my life? Is this really it? Is this really all there is?
The truth is if we’re honest we know it’s all veneer and there is a much deeper yearning within us all for a meaning or wholeness that always seems out of reach. I have never met you and I don’t pretend to understand what you have been through to end up where you are, but I do know that all of our journeys lead us to the same place. Far from the secure, middle aged, calm exterior we try to project, our reality is full of upset instead of soundness, disintegration instead of cooperation, lies instead of truth and hate instead of love. In fact everything is the complete opposite of the way we intuitively know it should be. There is obviously a huge problem and the problem is the human condition, the massive insecurity within us all: are we ‘good’ or ‘bad’? To make it worse we deny that there is a problem and keep up appearances but just look around you, read a paper, look at the news or take the real plunge and look at yourself and tell me you’re happy with what you see.
Occasionally we connect to the truth of the upset within us, for example when we’re drunk or often through song lyrics. I’m sure you have your own but Jeff Buckley’s song What Will You Say used to be a favourite of mine with the lines ‘Mother dear the world’s gone cold, no one cares about love anymore’ and ‘My heart can’t take this anymore’ (written by Jeff Buckley and Chris Dowd, 1995). I can’t convey the emotion with which he sings this song other than that it develops into a deep guttural scream from his soul calling out against the steely cold injustice of the world we are forced to live in, a world that is the complete antithesis of all the expectations we had when we were young. Pink Floyd does it well too with lines like ‘Where’s the feeling gone…the show must go on’ (The Show Must Go On, 1979) and ‘when I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, out of the corner of my eye, I turned to look but was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now, the child is grown the dream is gone, I have become comfortably numb’ (Comfortably Numb, 1979). I could go on but the bottom line is if we are honest about our situations we deep down know that the world isn’t right and so it logically follows (until now) that neither are we and the torment that engulfs us when we head down this train of thought is so upsetting that we intuitively know to back out. We bury it and to cope we simply project the illusion that all is well. The effort that goes into perpetuating this lie is phenomenal and what makes it worse is the craving for the reinforcement we need to keep it going. Result = a well (in truth only slightly) hidden madness.
That might seem like a harsh introduction, but for us to achieve anything we need to acknowledge the truth of where the world is up to, and that means for us as a species as a whole as well as each of us individually. All of us are so cynical that there could actually be a solution, we think it’s too late. We think because it’s too late for the world that the only answer is to look after ourselves, be selfish in other words, however all this does is add grease to the slippery slope we’re on. But I wanted to let you know that there IS an answer, there IS a way out, and the way out begins with acknowledgement of the problem—not denial of it. And it’s safe to acknowledge this problem because at last we can fully understand it.
We can understand it because of the work of biologist Jeremy Griffith and his clear as day, 100% truthful, accountable, verifiable explanation of the human condition. It’s not a case of ‘I believe it to be true’—I know it to be true—because it makes sense of absolutely everything, period. I know this because I can apply to it to everything I see around me and in myself in everyday life, and, most importantly, it always stacks up—not in some airy fairy mystical way—but logically, just pure and simple logic.
I’m telling you this because I want the madness to stop, actually it’s not what I want, it simply HAS to stop before it is too late. We say that our children come first, well if that’s true and we are aware of the way out of the hell of the human condition, then we have no option but to make sure these answers are supported and used to free us, our children and all humans to come, from the psychological nightmare that has haunted us since the dawn of consciousness.
So, to relieve us from our insecure selfish way of living, what we can all do straight away—once we understand the idea being put forward—is to support it. This might sound simplistic, but it’s true. Finally being able to live for the truth that we have aspired to—that we are fundamentally good and not bad, relieves us of all the insecurity and upset that has developed inside us. We can transform ourselves from a naval gazing, introspective, selfish beings to a genuine force for the greater truth that we are part of the grand design of nature and not at odds with it after all. This quote from George Bernard Shaw is one perspective: ‘This is the true joy in life—being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.’ And to put it perfectly from Jeremy Griffith ‘The point is no one has to confront their old upset self; everyone can leave that behind as dealt with and simply live for the new world and all it’s potential.’
We are so lucky because we are the first humans ever to be given a choice about how we let the human condition affect us. We choose whether we let the madness continue; we choose whether our psychosis controls us or we control it; we choose whether we want to be consumed by our past or live for the future.
I know there’s a child within all of us that wishes they could have understood everything we know now. That’s not possible, but at least we have been given a second chance to see the world as we intuitively knew it should have always been. Just think back to a moment in your life that seemed perfect and I’m sure you will go back to a time when you were young, a time when life held so much hope and promise and looking back on that you’d have to ask yourself: what happened? This quote by Sir Laurens van der Post beautifully conveys the true love and yearning for the wholeness we left behind, ‘This shrill, brittle, self-important life of today is by comparison a graveyard where the living are dead and the dead are alive and talking [through our instinctive self or soul] in the still, small, clear voice of a love and trust in life that we have for the moment lost…[there was a time when] All on earth and in the universe were still members and family of the early race seeking comfort and warmth through the long, cold night before the dawning of individual consciousness in a togetherness which still gnaws like an unappeasable homesickness at the base of the human heart’ (Testament to the Bushmen, 1984, pp.127-128 of 176).
We humans have lost our way. We can now understand that our whole species’ journey over the last two million years since ‘the dawning of individual consciousness’ has been in trying to find our way—trying to find our purpose, our meaning, our sense of worth. We can now understand the truth about our species and ourselves individually and align with that truth. That’s the road we are all on now and it just doesn’t get any better than that!! So you owe it to yourself, in fact you owe it to humanity, to give yourself the opportunity to understand Jeremy’s explanation of the human condition. And as Jeremy has said throughout many of his presentations, ‘if it’s rubbish throw it over your shoulder’, but I can assure you that what you will find is the most truthful, compassionate, liberating, restoration of faith in life and love that every one of us has dreamt one day we would find.