The ultimate breakthrough in knowledge arrives to clear up the ultimate misunderstanding
A couple of months ago, on 18 January 2013, the World Transformation Movement’s (WTM) newly designed website went live. Part of the header on the new home page says: ‘The human-race-transforming biological explanation of the human condition has finally arrived to drain away all the confusion, darkness and suffering from the world.’ That is such a beautiful description of the priceless contribution that this information represents to the world.
There has never been a more important advancement in knowledge than the ‘reconciling, redeeming and psychologically healing understanding of our species’ ‘good-and-evil’-afflicted human condition’ presented on the WTM’s website. In fact, it is the breakthrough of breakthroughs. As the home page header goes on to say: ‘This is the fabulous, dreamed-of dawn of humanity’s freedom from the agony of the human condition!’
Humans are conscious beings and the conscious part of ourselves needs to and wants to understand what’s going on around and in us in order to do our best to manage our lives. Knowledge is what our species’ conscious mind needs and wants. It’s what ‘progresses’ humanity. However, since our only way of coping with the human condition while we couldn’t explain it was to live in denial of it, in fact resign ourselves to a life in denial of it, it comes as a great shock to encounter this explanation, which necessarily fully resurrects the whole [until now] off-limits issue.
So it can take a little while to appreciate that in our heart of hearts we wanted to understand the human condition and therefore just what a monumental, astounding and thrilling breakthrough in knowledge this explanation represents. To pick an example of the contribution that advances in knowledge make, consider our predicament before and after understanding of thunder and lightning was found—one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena must surely be a storm and in particular the thunder that rumbles around the heavens or announces itself with a frightening bang and the lightning that lights up the night as it streaks across the sky.
There was a time when humans didn’t understand what thunder and lightning was—in some cultures, we thought it was the Gods getting upset with us and children were sacrificed in an attempt to appease them. What a horrendous situation to have to endure—to have to live without an understanding of thunder and lightning and all the awful consequences of such a misunderstanding! And what a magnificent contribution the finding of understanding of thunder and lightning was and what a blessed relief for humans that it was found!
To get some kind of inkling of the benefit that knowledge of it now brings us, compare our reaction to that of the family dog when there is thunder and lightning around—trembling in very fear! Well, just like we were once terrified of thunder and lightning, the human race has, in the main, been (understandably) petrified of the issue of the human condition. As it states in Section 1:14 of Freedom: Expanded Book 2:
It is true that the issue of the human condition has been all but unapproachable. To illustrate this, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia says that ‘philosophers and psychologists’ regard the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s 1849 book The Sickness Unto Death as ‘one of the best accounts on the subject [of]…the nature of despair’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Søren_Kierkegaard, accessed 11 Sept. 2010). As the title of the book, The Sickness Unto Death, indicates, the ‘despair’ that the ‘philosophers and psychologists’ are referring to that Kierkegaard gave such a deadly accurate ‘best account’ of, is the suicidally ‘sick[ening]’, worse-than-‘death’ depression that the ‘tormenting’ good and evil ‘contradiction’ of the human condition has caused humans whenever they allowed their minds to even momentarily ‘glimpse’ its existence. The following quote forms part of that deadly accurate description that Kierkegaard gave of that worse-than-‘death’ depression that the issue of the human condition has caused: ‘the torment of despair is precisely the inability to die…that despair is the sickness unto death, this tormenting contradiction, this sickness in the self; eternally to die, to die and yet not to die [p.48 of 179] …there is not a single human being who does not despair at least a little, in whose innermost being there doesn’t dwell an uneasiness, an unquiet, a discordance, an anxiety in the face of an unknown something, or a something he doesn’t even dare strike up acquaintance with…he goes about with a sickness, goes about weighed down with a sickness of the spirit, which only now and then reveals its presence within, in glimpses, and with what is for him an inexplicable anxiety [p.52]’ (tr. A. Hannay, 1989).
Yes, we humans have learnt to live in such complete denial of the unbearable issue of the human condition that whenever the ‘anxiety’ from it momentarily appears we are so unaware of where that ‘anxiety’ is coming from that its source does seem ‘inexplicable’.
The great Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev similarly wrote extraordinarily honestly about the pure ‘terror’ the issue of the human condition has caused humans in his 1931 book The Destiny of Man, when he referred to the ‘ancient, primeval terror’ of ‘the fallen state of the world’, of the ‘deadly pain in the very distinction of good and evil, of the valuable and the worthless’, describing the distinction between good and evil as ‘the bitterest thing in the world’.
So yes, the human condition has seemed to be a universally unapproachable subject–but not entirely so, because in The Destiny of Man, in the passage where the quote I just referred to came from, Berdyaev also gave this very clear description of a way, in fact the only way, understanding of the human condition could be found. Referring to and possibly even inspired by the courage of Kierkegaard’s writings about the human condition, Berdyaev wrote that ‘Knowledge requires great daring. It means victory over ancient, primeval terror. Fear makes the search for truth and the knowledge of it impossible. Knowledge implies fearlessness…Conquest of fear is a spiritual cognitive act. This does not imply, of course, that the experience of fear is not lived through; on the contrary, it may be deeply felt, as was the case with Kierkegaard, for instance…it must also be said of knowledge that it is bitter, and there is no escaping that bitterness…Particularly bitter is moral knowledge, the knowledge of good and evil [which is the issue of the human condition]. But the bitterness is due to the fallen state of the world, and in no way undermines the value of knowledge…it must be said that the very distinction between good and evil is a bitter distinction, the bitterest thing in the world…Moral knowledge is the most bitter and the most fearless of all for in it sin and evil are revealed to us along with the meaning and value of life. There is a deadly pain in the very distinction of good and evil, of the valuable and the worthless. We cannot rest in the thought that that distinction is ultimate…we cannot bear to be faced for ever with the distinction between good and evil…Ethics must be both theoretical and practical, i.e. it must call for the moral reformation of life and a revaluation of values as well as for their acceptance. And this implies that ethics is bound to contain a prophetic element. It must be a revelation of a clear conscience, unclouded by social conventions [most particularly unpolluted by the all-pervading social convention of denial of the issue of the human condition]; it must be a critique of pure conscience’ (tr. N. Duddington, 1960, pp.14-16 of 310).
Those quotes that Jeremy Griffith has used, give us some measure of just how extraordinary a breakthrough this information is. What is amazing about this explanation is that we can now see that the human race/we have simply been the victim of one huge misunderstanding—in fact the biggest misunderstanding in history! This explanation finally identifies/clarifies/nails the two protagonists (being our instincts and our intellect) and why they went to war and now how that war can finally end.
So while it is a shock to discover this explanation and also takes a bit of familiarising yourself with it to become fluent in it, what it truly does is provide bone-draining relief for us now extremely human-condition-embattled and exhausted humans as it ‘drains away all the confusion, darkness and suffering from the world’. To know that my messed-up, angry, egocentric and alienated state is just a variety of the human condition, which we can now understand in a first-principled, anchored-in-logic compassionate way, clears up so much confusion and is just such a relief!
So just like thunder and lightning, which once drove humanity to insecure seemingly mad behavior but which no longer worries us because we can understand it, humanity is going to be free of the agonising predicament of not being able to understand the human condition and so be transformed. The ultimate breakthrough in knowledge has arrived to clear up the ultimate misunderstanding!