Why wait to rest in peace when we can live in peace?

I’d like to give a personal account of the incredible way that understanding of the human condition has completely and utterly transformed my life from one of cynicism, anguish and despair into one of optimism, peace and fulfilment. There are no tricks, no smoke and mirrors, simply a 100% truthful explanation of our human condition, or as Jeremy Griffith describes it, ‘the existence of so-called “good and evil” in our make-up. We humans are capable of shocking acts of inhumanity like rape, murder and torture and our agonising predicament or “condition” has been that we have never been able to explain and thus understand why. Even in our everyday behaviour, why are we competitive, aggressive and selfish when clearly the ideals of life are to be the complete opposite, namely cooperative, loving and selfless?’ ( And with explanation of the human condition comes the answer to the question we have all grappled with in our quietest moment and the root cause of all our insecurities/psychosis “Am I good or am I bad?”

This is the question that has flummoxed the greatest minds of all, and put most movingly by William Blake in this stanza from his poem The Tyger: When the stars threw down their spears / And watered heaven with their tears / Did he smile his work to see? / Did he who made the lamb make thee? In other words, how could I possibly be in synchronisation with a world that created such a beautiful innocent creature as a lamb when human behaviour can at times be so brutal? What on earth is going on when as a boy, one day I can shoot and kill a bird with a sling shot and the next day find a chick that’s fallen from a nest, look after and raise it as though the whole world depended on its survival? In short “Am I good or am I bad?”

It can be very difficult to go back to a time in our adolescence when this question dogged us, and make no mistake, it dogged us to the point of utter despair, even madness and suicide. We don’t want to remember when we locked ourselves in our rooms or just locked out the world, when everything seemed like it would never make sense and the hurt inside was so bad that we couldn’t talk to anyone about it because we thought no one would understand. We are appalled at the rates of teenage drug use, depression, suicide etc. but the truth is exactly the same thing was happening to people around us when we were teenagers. All adults have lived through that time and quite rightly something so painful should never be discussed again, it should be buried so deep because there is no way revisiting it could withstand the light of day. That is until the day arrives that it’s safe to do so and that day is here.

To go back a step and I’m sure this will be familiar to some… When I was a teenager I remember feeling completely disillusioned with a world that was full of disappointment. I didn’t know what to make of adults other than thinking that I didn’t particularly want to be like them. Finally, a time came when I was questioning myself because I could see myself growing into this adult world that once upon a time seemed so alien to me. I was changing and because I couldn’t understand this change it was incredibly confusing and destabilising, all sorts of questions seemed to be constantly nagging away in the back of my mind. At the same time I could see the same thing happening to all the people of the same age around me; drinking and drug-taking started, I remember a suicide, fights became more intense, sex began and we were all trying to survive within a maelstrom of emotion and confusion. This time of tumult or ‘Resignation’ happens to all of us, some may remember it better than others but it is a reality none-the-less. Resignation is explained by Jeremy Griffith in his book A Species in Denial as follows; ‘At about 12 years of age humans began to try to understand the dilemma of the human condition. However with humanity unable, until now, to explain this deepest of issues, by about the age of 15 they finally realised that they had no choice but to resign themselves to a life of living in denial of the depressing subject’. There are thousands of song lyrics about this time in our lives and the truly horrific reality of what young people are going through, which couldn’t be expressed more starkly than by the band ‘With Life In Mind’: ‘It scares me to death to think of what I have become…I feel so lost in this world’, ‘Our innocence is lost’, ‘I scream to the sky but my words get lost along the way. I can’t express all the hate that’s led me here and all the filth that swallows us whole. I don’t want to be part of all this insanity.’

So to try and get some relief from all the confusion, self-doubt and unanswered questions I, like very nearly all of us, had no choice but to take up some sort of strategy, not just to deal with the world but to cope with the insecurity of the human condition within myself. I don’t need to go into the detail because at base everyone’s strategies revolve around the same insecurity of trying to prove to the world and ourselves that we are good and not bad. (By the way, there’s nothing at all wrong with this, as until now there was never another option because we couldn’t explain ourselves.) So I just thought that this was my lot and I had to bear up and live with it and that’s exactly what I did from the time when I resigned until I came across Jeremy Griffith’s true, biological explanation of the human condition, some 20 years later.  

Resignation has been a wonderful coping mechanism in the sense that it allowed us to cope with life by blocking out what appeared to be the truth, that we are vile, destructive, greedy, deceitful, monsters until we could finally gather enough understanding of ourselves and our world to explain why we have appeared to be such beasts when really we are the heroes of the most heroic journey ever known on this planet. However, as important as this coping mechanism has been for the human race, it has also meant living out all manner of gross destructive behaviours that lead us far from the magic of our inner child’s unconditionally loving and sensitive soul. Living under the duress of the human condition forced us into living a lie and I knew that deep down  the person I was projecting to the world was nothing like the person that I wanted to be and really was inside. It was nothing like the boy I once was who woke up every morning full of enthusiasm and excitement for what the day ahead held in store, who spent hours following ants or riding my horse or talking to the dog or playing on the creek and by lunchtime realising that there was still another whole half day to go and the first half had seemed like an eternity, and when the only worldly possession that really mattered was a stick. Unresigned childhood is such a beautiful and special place and the agony of having no choice but to leave that place to live in a world of lies is the most brutal thing the child within us all ever has to suffer. Psychologically we are all totally and completely assassinated by Resignation.  

But now everything above this line stops!!

With acceptance of the explanation of the human condition all the questions without answers that had tormented me got ticked off as solved. The fog of confusion lifted and I realised that I could put all the insecurities that had plagued my life aside as dealt with. I realised that the reason I felt the need to prove my self worth (or that I was good not bad) was redundant because the information truthfully explains that we are all good. I decided not to live through my deluded resigned state anymore, I decided to live in support of the truth that explains, defends and puts that state to rest.

With this decision came incredible relief, and that relief allowed me to see the same possibility of relief for humanity as a whole and more particularly for all the children of the future who can now grow up completely free of upset. That in itself is such an exciting vision; imagine all the horror in the world that children face today completely disappearing. All of a sudden there’s a world worth living for full of truth. Life transforms from an introspective, self-absorbed, ego-driven, insatiable crusade for any sort of relief or distraction possible, into one of absolute optimism for humanity’s future. This is possible now for all of us, we have a legitimate tool to negotiate our way out of the horror of our human condition into a world that we all expected when we were young. I want to emphasise that this transformed state is not some sort of religious dogmatic conversion, it’s achieved through understanding and pure logic. After all, why would we choose to live in torment when it’s simply unnecessary.

It’s all over, the façade ends, the truth sets us free. We can look within ourselves and reconnect with the child we left behind—how much of a gift is that!! We can finally live the way we intuitively knew we should, selflessly. Not through dogma or imposed idealism but through understanding and when that happens the possibilities are endless.

Until now, I’m sure people have come to the end of their lives and wondered what it all meant. In fact until now, the uncertainty of our self worth must continue to the end. After all, the last rights are meant to absolve the person of so-called sin and give us a peaceful death, and on our gravestones are the words rest in peace but peace from what? Peace from the torment of the human condition is surely the answer. So we crave a peaceful death. But now the peaceful fulfilled life we all expected as children is here and available to all of us through the reconciling understanding of the human condition.

Tony M

This Blog Post was written by Tony M on December 22, 2014


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