essay

A Species In Denial

by Jeremy Griffith, published 2003

 

Reader responses

 

The FHA/WTM is grateful to those who have given permission to reproduce extracts from their correspondence.

 

‘Nothing less than the manual now for humankind.’Tim Macartney-Snape AM OAM, mountaineer, biologist and a WTM Founding Director

 

A Species In Denial is a superb book…[that] brings out the truth of a new and wider frontier for humankind, a forward view of a world of humans no longer in naked competition amongst ourselves and with all others.’John Morton, Emeritus Professor of Zoology at Auckland University and theologian

 

‘This book is a fascinating stimulus to further work and, above all, spur toward better things. There are not many books offering as much, and few indeed which single out the often neglected prophets of our recent past. It offers so many insights into our divided selves.’Ronald Conway OAM, distinguished psychologist

 

‘Jung peered at the shadow that caused alienation in humanity. Jeremy Griffith draws clear-lined sketches about how we would look without the shadow. A most enlightening treatment of the human situation.’Dr Arthur Jones, former Anglican Bishop of Gippsland

 

‘A breakthrough in understanding the human condition.’Dr John Champness, psychologist

 

‘I was overseas when your Sydney launch took place but I have begun to readwith stimulusthe copy of A Species In Denial which you kindly sent. I am sorry the ABC caused such worries.’Professor Geoffrey Blainey AC, prominent Australian historian

 

‘I have found it [A Species In Denial] remarkably interesting and full of food for thought.’John Bell AM, founder and artistic director of The Bell Shakespeare Company

 

‘Jeremy, I just wanted to let you know your new book, A Species In Denial, is yet another thought provoking and, for me, confirming experiencea ‘must read’ for every human.’Brian Carlton, Executive Producer, Radio 2GB Sydney

 

A Species In Denial is a wonderful and important book. Truly a road map for anybody who cares about the world and about the well-being of his fellow man.’Harry M. Miller, renowned Australian publicist

 

‘I am currently reading Jeremy Griffith’s latest book A Species In Denial with great interest and excitement. For me it reads like a thriller and I can’t put it down!…I shall be very happy to recommend this book to many of my friends and acquaintances whom I am sure will find it as stimulating as I do.’Jeremy Shaw, a retired Anglican priest, New Zealand

 

‘I made a statement to a friend who happens to be a nun that I think this book is the most significant since the Bible which has given meaning to Western Society up till now. This book gives meaning in today’s world and illuminates the Christian message in bridging the gap between the material world and the world of the soul…A Species In Denial is the bravest of books and is exactly what the world needs today.’Rob Hanly, Retired bookshop owner, Melbourne

 

‘Dear FHA, I read A Species In Denial in a week (finished it just now), and I’d just like to say thanks for everything, for completing my journey. I’ve been writing about (battling?) the human condition in poems and stories for years, without fully realising it (i.e. in denial), until now. Here is a poem I wrote 2 days before I bought Jeremy’s book, on an accidental whim really. ‘What seems to be/ Is what I have been so long running for/ So long longing for/ Has come to pass me by/ In an eye, quicker than flash/ In an age of slap dash/ And I am speaking in forward/ Pulling at the thin air brakes/ Not in haste/ But with a sense of insulted propriety/ What heaves forth so hard, so far?/ This constant unreachable bar/ That sets my will in motion/ Calling on my loving devotion/ To stretch and stretch/ Without repeat/ Beyond replete/ To some unbearable time/ That simply is, not mine.’Biologist Dr Anthony Hart

 

FHA reply to Dr Anthony Hart (above): ‘Thank you for your appreciative email. Your poem reminds us of Jo Darian’s song ‘The Impossible Dream’ reproduced on page 210 of A Species In Denial, the sentiment about trying “to reach the unreachable star”, namely understanding of our corrupted human condition, an “unreachable time” that turns out to actually be occurring now in your time after all Anthony!’

 

‘I have just finished reading Jeremy Griffith’s book A Species In Denial, and I just had to put down on paper how ‘gob-smacked’ I am in discovering the ‘Human Condition’…Thank you Mr Griffith for putting into words what many of us feel but cannot explain. I just wish I had come upon it much sooner. I really do feel that there is such a lack (if any) of philosophy taught in the education curriculum and that at least one copy of your book should be in every school library.’Kim Armstrong, NSW

 

‘I congratulate Jeremy Griffith for his painstaking life-long work and his achievements in enlightening the human race. I congratulate everyone involved in the FHA and to those individuals making it on the road to self-knowledge and enlightenment. Best wishes.’Annette Booth, Bay Of Islands, New Zealand

 

‘I wanted to thank Jeremy for writing such fantastic books. I had been flailing around trying to make sense of the complex worlds inside my head and all around me, until I read A Species In Denial about a year ago. I would like to find out much more about the work of the FHA. Thank you again.’Duncan Cumming, Melbourne

 

‘I was drawn to A Species in Denial in the book shop, possibly by the pictures or the word denial...I have not been so relieved reading a book since I read Jung as an adolescent. It is so on par with what I have been thinking about, but have been unable to articulate to myself. I remember as a child always being amazed why adults did not wonder more about their predicament and the many contradictions in life...I mostly enjoy being a young psychologist but... I guess I need a bigger world view on humanity...thank-you for writing your book.’Kate, 26 yrs, Brisbane

 

‘All I can say is reader beware, A Species In Denial is loaded to the gunwales with penetrating thoughts and confronting truths.’Mark Stevens, Brisbane

 

‘I have just read A Species In Denial. I’m 69 and a retired GP and therefore probably fit the category of ‘too old to change’. However the concepts are easily digested and make a lot of sense to me...As an explanation of the way humans behave toward each other it is without parallel and the concept of Jesus as a prophet together with many modern prophets has a resonance.’Dr David Somerville, retired GP

 

‘I have just finished A Species in Denial and find it answers many of my life-long queries... the nerve based and instinctual learning systems explains the duality and the contradictory voices one lives with when becoming consciously aware... Jeremy has also restored my faith in self, by underwriting the fact that we are born with an instinctive orientation to behave lovingly and cooperatively...’Barb Dickson, Brisbane, Queensland

 

A Species In Denial is a deeply honest handbook for the survival of human kind.’Jonathan McCord, Mundubbera Queensland

 

‘Dear Jeremy Griffith, I have just finished reading your wonderful book A Species In Denial. For the first time I feel a genuine hope and solution for mankind through your interpretation of the reasons why we are the way we are! I too went to Tudor House, and Geelong Grammar where I was privileged to be under the guidance of James Darling. He seemed to personally know the needs of most individual boys and created a school to foster their talents and inclinations where others failed to do this. At school I was very much an ‘also ran’, not particularly good at sport though I played it all and enjoyed the challenge. I was not academically bright though managed to pass the Leaving Certificate. I remember going back on the occasion of James Darling’s farewell when he retired. I always remember his speech to all of us in the dining hall. ‘Freedom without responsibility is self destructive’ was one thing he said which I’ve never forgotten. We spoke to each other afterwards and somehow got onto Teilhard de Chardin. ‘Don’t tell me you have read that’, he said, adding ‘Well that bears out my thinking of boys’ development.’. In other words you don’t have to be a skilled academic to acquire a quest for knowledge. He sowed that quest and zest for living in so many of us ‘also rans’ like myself…Like you I come from the land. We ran Merino sheep, some lambs and occasionally cattle. It is very steep light country and over the years we have developed Yeoman’s Keyline to a state where it is an example for others, converting land of marginal quality to something exciting and practical…’Rix Wright, Delegate, NSW

 

‘Reading A Species In Denial has completely blown my mind. It’s taken me a long time to read because I pick it up and don’t want to finish it and also I’m really enjoying absorbing it. I was born the same year as Jeremy Griffith and all the reading I’ve done in my life, including R.D. Laing, together with my private studies, has coincided with a lot of the content of this book. So the whole experience has been amazing for me. When I bought the book I knew there was something vital in it and I haven’t been disappointed. I won’t be lending my copy. There are certain books you don’t lend to people because you have to have them by your side.’Shirley Evanoff, NSW

 

‘I found your book A Species In Denial at the public library and I want to give both you and your book a hug. Thank you again and again for your work. Reading your book it connected many timesthe truth. God Bless you all and accept all our love.’Pat and Tony Minton, Perth, WA

 

A Species In Denial is fascinating because I am thinking about the future and I think it will be a good future if what’s in this book comes to pass.’Danny Boyd, NSW

 

‘Dear Jeremy, My name is Jacqueline Kelly. In 1989 I met you after reading your earlier book, Free: The End of the Human Condition and you told me then that your work would cause you to one day be openly and publicly persecuted. And it all happened. That public denigration did nothing to sway or confuse my understanding of the info in your books. It just proved to me that you were very insightful.

 

I am so grateful to have read your stuff all those years ago as the information in your book alleviated the inner pain I felt from the yearning and searching within for the ‘full liberating truth’ which I couldn’t find in science or religion even though I was searching. In so many ways having that knowledge in Free makes life so much easier to live. I do believe it saved my life as I have been able to remain an idealist even now at the age of 38. Back then in my adolescence I was faced with becoming a realist and I couldn’t do it. The battle of the human condition was too great for me to bear without understanding why it existed. And I couldn’t live with the apparent view that humans are so bad when deep inside I knew that we are all innocent. You bridge the deep divide within us all and that rift is a killer. Without the bridge all seems lost, futile and dark.

 

I’m so glad you are still out there somewhere and I’m so happy for your win in the courts last year. Regards,’Jacqueline Kelly

 

‘I have enjoyed reading A Species In Denial immensely. I found it an absolute breath of fresh air. It was so honest. It’s so absolutely, undeniably the truth. It has crystallized in black and white what I’ve known but have never been able to put into words. To have written something as confronting and real is an amazingly strong and courageous feat. Thank you.’

 

Second communication: ‘I have nearly finished reading A Species In Denial a second time but I feel that ‘reading’ isn’t the right word. I read 4 pages then sit and meditate on what I have read and really try and take it in. I find it is incredibly deep. It is layer upon layer. I find the truth of it therapeutic. I am so thankful for this book.’Robert Watkins, Victoria

 

‘I have found the book itself to be a great source of wisdom and hope. I am currently using this book for research as am interested in writing and publishing a summary of my own personal experiences, an account of my struggle as a child, adolescent and my brief years as an adult: (I am only nineteen) in the troubled world we live in. Yours faithfully,’Jessica McKay-Smith

 

‘My favourite authors: Jeremy Griffith A Species in Denial is the book => discusses the human condition (good/bad, etc.), how fake we are and everything in between!...A Species In Denial will prove to be liberating. I can deeply relate to the text. I want to read more, and discuss it with others...This book will alter my entire person. I love this book. It is so much more than a book.’From the gish-girl’s online diary @ www.diaryland.com

 

‘aaaargh! This book is brilliant! Absolutely insanely brilliant.’From the f**k _tha_popo's online diary @ www.livejournal.com

 

‘Hi folks, I’ve just finished reading A Species In Denial and then some of the info on your website. I fully endorse and agree with much of what Jeremy has written. I found it extremely moving - so much so that I broke down in tears in a restaurant while reading the page early in the book where Jeremy describes our taking of the forbidden fruit - knowledge!... I have huge respect for what you are doing at the FHA...I recognise it takes great courage to remain committed to the path you have chosen, even though it is the right path. Please don’t waver - we need you.. Regards...’Martin Graham

 

‘Thankyou for a wonderful book... may I return my elephant now?’Jonathan Grassby

 

‘To everyone at the FHA, My name is Melissa and I am in the process of reading A Species in Denial. I am twenty five years old. I have always been told that I am ‘too sensitive’ and have been pushed openly and subtly to toughen up. I’ve always considered my sensitivity to be a weakness. Pondering the world, I wondered how anyone with even half their eyes open could find real happiness. I relayed these thoughts to my loved ones only to be told in EVERY case that it was best I didn’t think about it. That I was basically an ungrateful person, to look at what I did have, to ‘snap myself out of it’. I can't describe the feelings I had while reading the Introduction of this book. Finally someone was telling me that what I was feeling was OK, that I was OK. That I wasn’t ungrateful or bad or just one of those people prone to the ‘chemical imbalance’ of depression. That I wasn’t alone in my confusion and sadness about the state of the world. I cried pretty much throughout the entire introduction. My poor flatmate didn’t know what the hell was going on and I wasn’t game to start explaining. I have most of the book yet to read and many things, I imagine, to grasp, but I HAD to write and thank you. Thankyou for showing me that I am not alone. You have helped restore something invaluable within me.’Melissa

 

‘I believe you are on the trail that our western world is sorely in need of rediscovering if we are not to become extinct in the not to distant future.’Sol Davidson

 

‘I have just read A Species In Denial by Jeremy Griffith. I can’t describe in words the relief and understanding that I had experienced while reading this book…It’s fantastic to know that Australia has biologists with such ability to write the truth about life.’Annelise Mitchell, 27 year old

 

‘The human condition was brought to my attention in a subject at Latrobe University, in Melbourne. I majored in Sociology and it was possibly the most interesting subject in the sociology department… However, the picture that ‘reality’ or ‘truth’ had painted to me was very very grim. I simply refused to think about it, as the thought without the understanding which you have presented is possibly the most grim imaginable. The story of the human condition without the understanding you have placed on our real nature, allows us to believe that we are hopeless, animals, as the film Fight Club suggests ‘you are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world’. I simply refused to believe that we at heart are selfish animals with only an interest in self preservation. I threw the idea of the human condition away. Then I read A Species In Denial… I would just like to take this opportunity to offer my support, as I’m sure, the more people you know your cause is influencing, the more hope you will have to continue with these very important ideas. For me the most important thing to know is that we are in fact selfless at heart and that I shouldn’t feel guilt for being a human anymore… Please continue your dedicated work… Kind Regards…’Mike

 

A Species In Denial: one of the best books I have ever read in my life!!! Its the book that gives me at the present time the optimism, inspiration, for in my opinion it is the most advanced thinking in the world.’David McCabe Stephens, Melbourne

 

‘Dear FHA, A Species In Denial is a gem of a book, a goldmine…I’ll send you a book about Mahatma Gandhi. He wrote volumes of truthful stuff but I think you have a fuller answer. Jeremy has certainly got his foot on it.’Donald Rix, Pine Heights Nursery, Brisbane

 

‘Dear FHA and Mr Griffith, Many thanks for a very interesting and thought provoking book. I am half way through and have enjoyed the concise and simple explanations. I have been surprised however that I am not confronted by the information but find myself agreeing from the heart, the integrative vision is one that I have long held and hoped for. Here is a true wish that your book will help it become a reality for humanity.’Paul Smith

 

‘Dear FHA, I could not believe it when I read A Species In Denial. For the first time in my life I was hearing, what I have always felt to be my calling to tell others, from a separate source other than myself! I can not emphasise the impact that knowing that I am not alone in my thinking has had on my life. Thank you!’Zoe Mason

 

‘Yee haa, hello FHA, I am a 26 year old living and working on our family’s farm in the southwest of Western Australia and I’m half way through reading Jeremy’s new book A Species In Denial. I couldn’t wait to contact you and let you know that you have my family’s support and help from this corner of Australia…keep up the good work.’Edward Lucaroni

 

‘I am half-way through A Species In Denial and have finally found a voice of reason a voice that speaks the truth I have known and fought for all my life no longer will I allow myself to be convinced that I am wrong when I have finally had my intrinsic knowledge and beliefs confirmed by your work and the amazing range of sources that you draw from thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!!!!!’Levi-Jay West, NSW

 

‘Boy! What a book. Haven’t read one so inspiring for a long time (actually never). What a challenge and not just for me but all humanity?…can’t get my eyes out of it…it should ideally be made available at all ‘hotel rooms’ just like the other book…Thank you for the very special ‘personal’ experience in recent days/weeks.’Ambi Kaur

 

‘Hi, I’m reading A Species In Denial and it is very good. It is interesting that the truth is all around us in music: John Lennon, movies etc...It’s great to see an organisation like yours and I hope every human being one day becomes a member.’Jesse, 27 years old

 

‘Congratulations on your new book A Species In Denial and thank you for the sleepless nights since I finished reading it. I look forward to more sleepless nights ahead…thank you for the wonderful book.’Jos Jensen, Canberra

 

‘I have taken a profound journey this last two weeks (reading A Species In Denial) for which I am very grateful. I have a vision of how I can help to change the world, and with a clear vision we can do anything. Thanks.’Mick, Sydney

 

‘I am enjoying the book enormously, more than words can say.’Sandy Cullen-Ward, Qld

 

‘… you, Jeremy changed my life perspective…’Lee Godfrey, by email

 

‘Dear Jeremy, Greetings! What a book! A Species In Denial is a bit like a tsunami with its all-encompassing and overwhelming power. Your extraordinary insights into the human condition can lift us and carry us through to new heights! Your work gives so many answers [to] ... so many confusions and conflicts, good and evil, light and dark, war and peace, within and without. All around us. If only the global community will hear your Good News! ... As a member of a Catholic Religious Order I’m in something of a bind - if I promote your books everything would collapse in on itself! I must do it subtly. But the birth of the soul in your brilliant presentation will be welcomed ... Thank you, Jeremy, for who you are and for all you must endure in sharing your brilliant insights. I’m sure you receive thousands of letters - don’t try to answer this one. Gratefully ...’

 

The author has given the FHA permission to reproduce the above extract from her letter but asked for her name to be withheld to protect her privacy. Part of Jeremy’s reply: ‘I think the world needs a tsunami of truth to wash away all the lies and replace them with the ability to be honest. In case people interpret your comment about religion ‘collapsing in on itself’ as implying something destructive I want to emphasise your subsequent comment that these understandings of the human condition allow for the rebirth of our soul; that what is occurring is massively constructive and fulfilling of all that religions have worked and hoped for. The dogma goes or ‘collapses’ but ‘in on itself’ in the sense that the role that dogma has played in religion is finished with now that we can understand ourselves. Also, with regard to your reference to what I have had to ‘endure’, as I have explained in my books, the truth is the persecution that my soul and its truth has had to endure in the latter half of my life is only what most people’s souls and its truth was subjected to when they were infants and had no ability to cope. Therefore I have been exceptionally fortunate and are thus least deserving of sympathy.’

 

‘How Can I Help’

 

‘Hi Jeremy, I have just finished the book and I would like to say that it is an epic work. You answered so many of my questions, clearly and honestly. I have recommended your book to at least 4 friends, who have now purchased copies…We have had great discussions about this subject, ‘why people do the things they do, and why do they lie so much’…In particular, I liked the Resignation chapter. I found 2 poems that my girls had written at age 14 at resignation…They describe some of the pain that they felt. [The book has] helped us to understand what a hard time our children have had growing up in the world today. I thank you very much for this book that promotes understanding for humanity. I feel that I would like to help in some way, but do not know what to do, other than recommending your book to people. Thanks again.’Jan, South Coast NSW

 

FHA’s response:

 

‘Jan, to your question ‘how can I help’, one enterprising reader has downloaded with our permission the whole response section to A Species In Denial from our website and given copies to others to encourage them to read the book. The FHA now produces these 40 odd page A4 size booklets of the whole response and review sections from our website and can supply them at cost for $1.00 each plus postage. We have also produced an A4 leaflet that has a photocopy of the poster for the book on one side and a selection of responses from readers on the other which you can send or give out to promote the book. These leaflets are available for 20 cents each plus postage.’

 

About young people reading A Species In Denial

 

The FHA has received a number of enquiries, such as the following, about young people and resignation.

 

‘Greetings, I’m currently reading A Species In Denial and would like to give my 13-14 year old goddaughter the opportunity to read the Resignation essay. However, before I do I would appreciate some help, what do you recommend as an effective way to go about the process?’Steve Pearce

 

Jeremy Griffith’s response:

 

‘Dear Steve, As you can see from Fiona Miller’s resignation poem, young adolescents are much more aware than parents/ adults have appreciated. My view is they can understand all of A Species In Denial, that none of it is beyond them, especially when they are not hitting the normal denials/ evasions practiced by the resigned world of adults. The example is Lisa Tassone’s ease in reading this material. The real problem is their cynicism/ distrust of anything put in front of them from the adult world. How do you persuade them to read it? ...my suggestion is to ask her to read the Resignation chapter first and then the rest of the book. In time we do need to write a booklet specifically for young adolescents and even make a video for them. Eventually they need to talk to each other through their own electronic chat room. There is so much that has to be done now that the human condition is resolved...’

 

The confronting nature of the subject of the human condition

 

By definition all new ideas threaten the status quo, and since humans find change difficult new ideas are typically resisted. However (as explained in A Species In Denial on pp. 147-157), no new idea is as revolutionising and thus threatening of the status quo as analysis and explanation of the human condition. This is because the status quo, or prevailing attitude, has been to cope with the human condition by living in almost complete denial of it. It follows that analysis of the human condition will attract resistance, sometimes very strong resistance. In fact, the FHA’s legal actions have been necessary to counter some of the more extreme resistance that the FHA has encountered. On page 400 of A Species In Denial Jeremy explains that when understanding of the human condition emerges a great battlethe long anticipated ‘Battle of Armageddon’will occur between those who feel humans can’t survive facing the truth about themselves and those who are more secure and know we can and must face that truth in order to survive as a species. It is a battle that simply must be won by those supporting this understanding of the human condition, hence the FHA’s tenacity in defending its work.

 

Angry responses

 

At times the resistance to analysis of the human condition takes the form of letters of derision, and even hate, that are sent to the FHA/WTM. In response to such letters a founding director and patron of the FHA/WTM, Tim Macartney-Snape, wrote the following in 2003:

 

 

Humanity’s freedom lies in confronting the issue of the human condition

 

I’m a Director of the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood, an organisation based in Sydney, Australia, that was set up to promote inquiry into the human condition and in particular to promote the work of Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith, the author of A Species In Denial. I have a long association with Jeremy and have spent the last 16 years studying and debating the ideas he has synthesized. In my opinion, A Species In Denial and the ideas underpinning it are critically important to any real progress for our species and therefore this planet.

However, as the title suggests, and from my own personal experience, this is a difficult subject for humans to even look at, but look at it we must, because it is dealing with the central issue and problem of human consciousness, that of our insecurity about our human condition, the cause of all our psychosis and general malaise. This issue of the human condition is the underlying problem in all human affairs, which until now we have had no choice but to cope with by denying its existence. Inevitably, therefore, we are all intimidated by having this central issue of the human condition, this issue of self, raised. Looking so deeply into ourselves is very confronting and destabilisingthat is why this issue has been so contentious and off-limits. But now, armed with understanding, we can safely go there and it is a very rewarding experience.

This realm of the human condition is difficult to traverse and inevitably some will find it too difficult at first. Our habituated response is naturally one of extreme fear, so there is resistance to these ideas that manifests in the form of derision and ridicule. This is to be expected and is an understandable response to so fearful a proposition as confronting our human condition, but we can no longer be ruled by this fear. It is up to each individual to test this new ground to see if their foundations can cope with venturing into this long denied and therefore little known territory and if it is not, then to have the magnanimity and trust to let those who can lead the way through go boldly forward. By doing so debate will be stimulated and we will eventually and collectively find that our deep seated insecurities are at last able to be dissolved by explanation and understandingit is truly the most authentic, wonderful and ultimately meaningful state that awaits us. Our future and freedom lies in confronting the issue of the human condition, nowhere else.