The greatest adventure of all: how understanding ourselves delivers a one-way ticket to freedom from the horror of the human condition
Recently a friend asked me what the most amazing adventure was that I had been on. After telling her about a holiday I’d been on many years ago, it occurred to me that while it was a great physical adventure, it wasn’t the ‘most amazing’ adventure I’d been on. So I told her about the ‘mind-nourishing’ adventure I have been on since discovering Jeremy Griffith’s rational, logical, biological explanation of the human condition and how relieving it has been to finally be able to understand the paradox of our human nature—why on the one hand we humans have this incredible capacity for love and selflessness but on the other we are angry, defensive, egocentric and can end up not caring about others to the point of hurting, even murdering people. To be able to understand that there was a very good reason for this ‘dark side’ of ourselves, being that it came from a battle between our free-will, thinking conscious brain and our deep-seated instincts, and which caused a deep agony and terrifying insecurity from not knowing whether we are good or bad, has been all-exciting. It means future generations of humans can now grow up free of this internal, psychological horror that until now we humans have, as Jeremy emphasises, had to necessarily and courageously live with. It gives me so much comfort, meaning and purpose to know that through simply supporting this explanation of the human condition, it will get to the world, the human race will be saved and that the despair with which we have had to live can end and that people in the future will grow up free of the agony of the human condition—in short humans will be truly happy and at peace with themselves and everyone around them.
The following is a quote from Jeremy Griffith which I thought was very relevant to how scaling the mountains of our mind was the only way the human race would be saved from its own destruction:
“Not only was R.D. Laing able to acknowledge the extent of humans’ current state of alienation in the quote of his that was included earlier about the ‘fifty feet of solid concrete’ between us and our soul, he, like Plato above, also recognised the need for denial-free thinking if the human condition was to finally be solved: ‘Our alienation goes to the roots. The realization of this is the essential springboard for any serious reflection on any aspect of present inter-human life [p.12 of 156] …We respect the voyager, the explorer, the climber, the space man. It makes far more sense to me as a valid project—indeed, as a desperately urgently required project for our time—to explore the inner space and time of consciousness. Perhaps this is one of the few things that still make sense in our historical context. We are so out of touch with this realm [so in denial of the issue of the human condition] that many people can now argue seriously that it does not exist. It is very small wonder that it is perilous indeed to explore such a lost realm [p.105] …the direction we have to take is back and in [p.137] (The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise, 1967). Note that Laing says we are ‘so out of touch’ with this realm where the issue of the human condition lies—we are living in such denial of it—that ‘many people now argue seriously that it doesn’t exist’. Also, ‘perilous’ as it has been for nearly all humans, it was nevertheless true that only a denial-free approach could, in the end, hope to make sense of the human condition. As Laing says, acknowledgment of the alienated state of the human condition was ‘the essential springboard’ for any ‘serious’ enquiry into ‘present inter-human life’.
In this quote Laing also argued that such an enquiry is the ‘desperately urgently required project for our time’. Humanity has been stalled, with the madness of the effects of our tortured, alienated condition piling up on itself everywhere. The rapidly increasing levels of depression, loneliness and lack of love of children in the materially rich world has led to even more superficiality and meaninglessness of life for people, and, on the darker side, even greater levels of repressed frustration, anger and meanness from spiritual deprivation—with all its effects of increased suffering, and terrorism-producing resentment, and self-worth deprivation amongst the poor who have been left behind, not to mention the pervasive and increased destruction of the natural world. And all this then flows on to another generation who suffer from even more depression, loneliness, lovelessness, anger and meanness, and so on, and so on: the horror feeding on itself—basically frighteningly rapid, escalating levels of alienation in generations of humans from their natural, boundlessly happy and generous, soulful true selves. Only understanding of the human condition could halt this deadly progression, reverse humanity’s end-game plunge towards self-destruction from terminal levels of alienation.
As ‘perilous’ an exploration as enquiry into the human condition has been for most, the time had certainly come for it to be carried out. The South African writer Sir Laurens van der Post (1906-1996), the pre-eminent philosopher of the twentieth century and one of the exceptional denial-free thinkers who have greatly assisted me in my work of assembling the truth about the human condition (my second book, Beyond The Human Condition is dedicated to him), made this point about the urgent need for enquiry into the human condition: ‘We need a new kind of explorer, a new kind of pathfinder, human beings who, now that the physical world is spread out before us like an open book…are ready to turn and explore in a new dimension’ (The Dark Eye in Africa, 1955, p.133). Laing made exactly the same point when quoted above, that ‘the direction we have to take is back and in’.”
As this image, also from Freedom: Expanded (Part 2:4 The Sunrise of our Species Freedom), depicts, Jeremy Griffith’s explanation of the human condition unlocks our insecure minds, effectively releasing us from the grip of terror that we might be bad into a new world filled with sunshine made possible from knowing that despite appearances we are good and that we never ever have to doubt that or prove that again. Better still are the words Jeremy uses to describe this image—I especially love how they point to a magnificent future for all humans: ‘This image of a key unlocking someone’s mind is very emblematic of the power of this idea to finally make sense of ourselves and unlock our long repressed potentials.’ How good is that!