Transcript of Linda MacCarthy’s video on why
she started the Dublin WTM Centre
My name is Linda MacCarthy and I live in Dublin Ireland, and I am delighted to have this opportunity to speak to people about Jeremy Griffith’s wonderful book FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition.
I think it is, as Professor Harry Prosen said, ‘The Holy Grail of understanding’ where we can all feel redeemed (if you put it into religious terms) and reconciled, and find a way out of the turmoil that is the present state of our human condition.
What I really hope to do is to have a World Transformation Movement website in Dublin in Ireland, and to connect with people who are struggling in their lives to try and make sense of their journey; and I feel that the book FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition is the source of that wisdom, and the greatest wisdom of all, as T.S. Elliot said, ‘is humility, and humility is endless’. So I wish to be a channel for Jeremy’s work, and to invite as many people as possible who might be interested in joining the World Transformation Movement to see that this is the ultimate work that can save their lives.
I was browsing through the internet and I saw a video of the launch of Jeremy Griffith’s book at the Royal Geographical Society in London, and I thought, ‘hmm, this sounds really interesting’. I just thought he was just so authentic and full of integrity, and such a profound speaker. And I listened to the whole launch and Tim Macartney-Snape’s address, and just thought I had to go to the World Transformation Movement website [www.humancondition.com], which I did, which is a wonderful resource centre and library for research into the exploration of the human condition, and I was thrilled with that, and I was really deeply impressed by Jeremy Griffith, and the depth of his authenticity and his integrity in delivering this explanations, and his demeanour—just a wonderful person. And I just thought this is a genuine human being on a mission!
This book [FREEDOM] to me is one of the most exciting discoveries I have come across on my inner journey, and I can only really reiterate what Professor Harry Prosen said about this book. He said, ‘I have no hesitation’ (and I think, ‘yes, this is true!), ‘I have no hesitation in saying this is the Holy Grail’. This is the Holy Grail of understanding that we have all been searching for, and now we can be reconciled within ourselves, and see ourselves as being innocent/the heroes. And when I say ‘heroes’, I mean for young men getting out of bed in the morning and suffering as they do with all the trauma that is within them—they are heroes for getting up out of bed and starting the day in this chaotic crazy world that we live in. And now this book is giving us the gift to say to other people, ‘I know what you are suffering; I have been there, and we can get out of there together; we can realize and be reconciled together.’
I am very upset and concerned about younger generations; from people as young as 13, 14, 15 onwards. And to see such desolation within human beings and the struggling and the despair makes me feel that there has to be something, there has to be some understanding where we can acknowledge and validate; we can say to somebody, ‘I know, I have been there’, because I have been there: I know what it’s like to suffer in that way.
R.D. Laing has said that the most obvious thing about the human condition is that we are invisible to each other. And to see a struggling soul, a struggling human being, and to know that whatever is going on inside them, all this turbulence and turmoil, is invisible to us, but we can know that there is a reason for it. And we can help them to find a way out of that chaos in their lives.
And so I studied philosophy and sociology. I had two or three specifically wonderful lecturers there, but I found that it was lacking for me, that there was a lack of some kind of total overarching sense of philosophy and sociology, and that would be an interpretation of what it is to be a human being in the totality of the human-life world.
I was thinking of a definition of science from one of my heroes which was the late great Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing: he defined science as ‘a form of knowledge adequate to its subject’. And I just thought, ‘well the subject is human-kind and it’s human-kind in the totality of its life world’; and then I thought, ‘what mechanistic, reductive science could ever tackle such a huge complex topic?’ And I ordered the book FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition and I went through it; I went to the website looking through the essays, cross referencing everything—I didn’t have to do anything, it was all done for me—and I just thought the core of this seems to be, firstly, science of course, which is very important to me, and then consciousness. And as Jeremy Griffith said, consciousness is ‘nature’s greatest creation’, and I just thought, ‘this is wonderful; this is wonderful.’ And then I thought of how people become so suspicious about teleological arguments, and then, through Jeremy, I began to realize that there is within consciousness this intentional purposeful movement towards something, towards some final destination. And I thought of Stephen Hawking, also referred to in Jeremy Griffith’s book, and his concept of God. And he said, ‘I would use the term God as the embodiment of the laws of physics’. And I felt that was wonderful. And then I thought of negative entropy, and how in regard to human consciousness that it is that capacity of consciousness to assimilate greater orders of understanding and information, and to create higher more integrated patterns of understanding. And I just thought that was wonderful. And that was so inspiring. So consciousness being the core of it, and physics and biology being the base, and the ontological totality or holistic being of creation or existence.
You know we are within the midst of searching, and I was thinking of that and of the symbol of the sun, and I imagined this horizon is where there would be a vanishing point. And I knew that all parts of exploration into the human condition would ultimately converge towards this ultimate frontier with this vanishing point. And then I thought that the vanishing point is actually the rising sun. So I said, ‘gosh this is a fantastic radiant symbol’. Throughout my life I’ve had partial interpretations of this, partial understandings of that, nothing that had an overarching sense of the integrated meaning of things. So, that symbol to me is that movement towards what can be reconciled within the human consciousness that suffers from, what in religious terms called is divine discontent (and divine disconnection), and that is the essence of what Jeremy’s work is for me.
There is a lot of confusion and conflict. As Jeremy says, this book is not about ideology. It’s not about religion—it is in a certain perspective—but it’s not dogma; it’s not doctrine; it’s not religion; it’s not ideology; it’s not the evasive mechanistic science that reduces everything. This book allows us to have the capacity to comprehend the wholeness, and that’s the holistic sense of our being. And that’s what Jeremy Griffith’s work does, and I think it’s so powerfully important to recognize that.
For me it is that inner sense of what I would term in religious terms ‘divine discontent’ that you feel in your heart and soul—you’ve only been given piecemeal explanations, and all these partial understandings don’t cohere. Coherence and reconciliation is of paramount importance to me, and this is where I think the book brings all that together; and it’s accessible and it’s understandable and it’s scientific and it’s just everything I hoped for.
I’m so thankful to the World Transformation Movement for making this all possible. At this late stage in my life to finally reach a destination of understanding, and to have that sense of compassion that I think is essential for other people struggling along the way and falling and being lost. And I can’t remember who said it, but there’s such an impoverishment of spirit now pervading globally, and I think the reconciliation of the intellect and the heart and the soul and the imagination and all the expressions through art and music and literature, and of the human heart/mind/soul struggling to make sense of its life world, and with Jeremy Griffith’s work we can make sense of the life-world. Well hallelujah hallelujah!
It’s a wonderful network; it’s like family members. It’s a wonderful network because everybody is thinking along the same lines which lead to this wonderful understanding of the human condition. So it’s wonderful to be involved and have those relationships because they’re more important sometimes than the everyday relationships that you come across, and nobody’s really talking about things that you want to talk about that you think are important. So to actually have a network of people who are thinking along the same lines is wonderful; it’s very supportive.
And being Irish, I think the Irish have a certain reticence and they hold back. And whereas I feel within myself, I feel this surge of excitement, and this surge of being overwhelmed; and I’m trying to contain it at the same time! So it’s difficult for me, because I do have that reticence. And so it’s very hard for me sometimes to express the exuberance that I feel. But I do feel an ebullience of joy—an ebullience of joy!
Born and bred in Dublin, Linda has had a life-long love of English literature and art. She has completed courses in community development and counselling skills, theology and women’s studies, and has studied philosophy and sociology at the University College Dublin, where she focussed on phenomenology, deconstructionism, hermeneutics, semiology and postmodernism. Earlier life experiences included working as a draughtsperson in a design studio, and joining the Brendan Smith Academy of Acting and Theatre.
Linda has also run a successful company exhibiting and exporting her Irish crafts all over the world, including exhibiting in Bloomingdales of New York. This followed receiving an Irish Development Business grant to represent Irish crafts abroad—out of 250 companies Linda’s was one of only nine chosen. For many years Linda also ran a craft and art gallery exhibiting Irish crafts, books and landscape paintings.
Linda, now a widow, was very happily married for 36 years, enjoying a close and full family life, with a love of literature, art and music shared over many generations.