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Please note, you can access a sample of the first 20 or so explanatory, and first 20 or so inspirational WTM Emails (including this and your previous WTM Emails) at the end of this WTM Email. Wednesday’s explanatory emails and Friday’s inspirational emails are numbered in order of appearance, so one is odd and the other even numbered.

 

 

This is inspirational WTM Email 28

 

William Blake’s Tiger Tiger that
burns bright in the night

 

The human condition is essentially the riddle of why humans are competitive and aggressive when the ideals are to be cooperative and loving, however, it needs to be emphasised that the deeper meaning of the human condition is more elusive. Indeed, the human condition has been such a difficult issue for humans to think about and confront that many people now have very little idea of what the human condition actually is, thinking it refers not to the reality of our species’ immensely troubled psychology, but to the state of widespread poverty and physical hardship in human life, or to problems such as human inequality. But these problems are only manifestations and aspects of the human condition. As is explained in WTM Email 13, the truth is, the human condition is a much more profound and serious issue that goes to the very heart of who we all are, and it is this deeper meaning that needs to be fully appreciated in order to recognise and admit how truthful and precious the real ‘instinct v intellect’ explanation for our psychologically upset state is that Jeremy Griffith presents in FREEDOM and throughout these WTM Emails.

 

Cartoon by Michael Leunig, Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, 17 Mar. 1984

Cartoon by Michael Leunig, Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, 17 Mar. 1984

 

To help convey what the human condition really is, consider the following words from the renowned South African author Alan Paton, which he submitted to TIME magazine following their request that he contribute an essay on apartheid in South Africa. Rather than that essay, however, they instead received, and published in its place, a deeply reflective article on Paton’s favourite pieces of literature. In what proved to be the writer’s last work, Paton wrote:

 

I would like to have written one of the greatest poems in the English language William Blake’s “Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright”, with that verse that asks in the simplest words the question which has troubled the mind of man both believing and non believing man for centuries: “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?”’ (25 Apr. 1988)

 

The reason Blake’s 1794 poem The Tiger resonated so strongly with Paton, and is one of the most famous poems in the English language (it has been described as ‘the most anthologized poem in English’ (The Cambridge Companion to William Blake, ed. Morris Eaves, 2003) and is a mainstay of the English curriculum in schools), is because of its profundity, which can be clearly understood now that the human condition has been explained. (See WTM Email 5.)

 

The cover of William Blake’s 1794 Songs Of Innocence and Of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul

The cover of William Blake’s 1794 Songs Of
Innocence and Of Experience: Shewing the
Two Contrary States of the Human Soul

 

The Tiger by William Blake, from  Songs Of Innocence and Of Experience

The Tiger by William Blake, from
Songs Of Innocence and Of Experience

 

As explained in paragraph 1144 of FREEDOM, the opening lines of Blake’s poem, ‘Tiger, Tiger, burning bright / In the forests of the night’, refer to humans’ great fear and resulting denial of the issue of our less-than-ideal, seemingly imperfect, ‘fallen’ or corrupted state or condition a subject we have consciously repressed and yet one that ‘burn[s] ‘bright’ in the ‘forests of the night’ of our deepest awareness. The very heart of the issue lies in the line, ‘Did he who made the lamb make thee?’ a rhetorical question disturbing in its insinuation that we are wholly unrelated to ‘the lamb’, to the world of innocence.

 

The poem raises the fundamental question involved in being human: how could the mean, cruel, indifferent, selfish and aggressive ‘dark side’ of human nature represented by the ‘Tiger’ be both reconcilable with and derivative of the same force that created ‘the lamb’ in all its innocence?

 

Innocent baby boy

 

Angry man full of rage

 

As Paton identified, despite humans’ denial of it, the great, fundamental, underlying question that ‘has troubled the mind of man’ has always been, are humans part of God’s ‘work’, part of ‘his’ purpose and design, or aren’t we? In other words as is addressed in WTM Email 21 on ‘The integrative meaning of existence’ why don’t humans live in accordance with the cooperative, loving integrative meaning of existence?

 

It is important here to distinguish between Blake’s use of the ‘Tiger’ as a metaphor to represent the issue of the competitive and aggressive ‘dark side’ of human nature and the false ‘savage instincts’ excuse that dishonestly claims that humans are competitive, aggressive and selfish because we are victim to savage animal instincts within us. (The dishonest ‘savage instincts’ excuse is explained in WTM Email 16.) As the title of Blake’s book of poems, Songs Of Innocence and Of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, clearly shows, Blake understood that humans have an ‘innocen[t], ‘lamb’-like, cooperative and loving moral instinctive heritage, not a competitive, aggressive instinctive heritage, and that the competitive and aggressive ‘dark’, ‘Tiger’-like side of humans’ ‘Two Contrary States’ relates to our ‘Experience’-based conscious mind’s psychologically upset competitive and aggressive nature or condition that is peculiar to humans.

 

Understanding that the human condition is psychologically derived, not innate, means that Blake also understood that our condition would be healed when the explanation of the human condition was at last found unlike instincts which we are born with and are thus unchangeable, psychosis can be healed with understanding. As Blake famously prophesised in his appropriately titled 1790 poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, ‘When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.’ And, interestingly, the final words of Paton’s acclaimed 1948 book about apartheid, Cry, the Beloved Country, also allude to humanity’s dream of one day finding the real answer to why humans don’t live in accordance with the cooperative, loving integrative meaning of existence, and, through finding that answer, freeing itself from the terrible ‘bondage of fear’ of our condition: ‘But when that dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret.’

 

William Blake’s Cringing in Terror (left) and Albion Arose (right) – further examples of Blake’s profound insight into the human condition

William Blake’s Cringing in Terror (left) and Albion Arose (right) – further
examples of Blake’s profound insight into the human condition

 

Humanity’s hope and faith has always been that one day we would be able to explain the human condition and reconcile ‘the Two Contrary States’ of ’innocence’ and ‘experience’, and, as a result of doing so, liberate ourselves from ‘the bondage’ of our species’ immensely psychologically upsetting sense of unworthiness or guilt. And it is this explanation of the paradox of the human condition this all-important, world-saving, psychosis-addressing-and-relieving, real biological explanation of the human condition that is presented in FREEDOM and throughout these WTM Emails. And as is explained in WTM Email 17, the effect of finally knowing and understanding and living with this explanation is that it transforms humans from ‘the bondage’ of their psychologically insecure, human-condition-stricken existence to a psychologically secure and mature, human-condition-free state. This is the explanation that lifts the so-called burden of guilt from the shoulders of the human race. This is the explanation that ends the condemnation that we humans have had to endure for so long, that explains that ‘he who made the lamb [DID] make thee’!

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Watch Jeremy Griffith present the breakthrough redeeming explanation of the human condition in WTM Email 5, or read chapter 1 of FREEDOM. Blake’s extraordinary poem can be read in full at www.poetryfoundation.org/​poems/43687/​the-tyger.

 

Discussion or comment on this email is welcomed see below.

 

 

Please Note that a sample of the first 20 or so explanatory, and first 20 or so inspirational WTM Emails (including this and your previous WTM Emails) is available on our homepage at www.humancondition.com.

 

This sample includes (click on any to access directly):

 

Wednesday’s explanatory WTM Email 1 Why solving the human condition solves everything | 3 The false ‘savage instincts’ excuse | 5 The explanation of the human condition | 7 The transformation of the human race | 9 Our historic fear of the human condition | 11 Ending the stalled state of biology | 13 One hour introductory talk | 15 The difficulty of reading FREEDOM that Plato predicted | 17 How everyone’s lives can now be immediately transformed | 19 How did we humans acquire our altruistic moral conscience? | 21 Integrative Meaning or ‘God’ | 23 How did consciousness emerge in humans? | 25 The truthful biology of life | 27 This understanding ends the polarised world of politics | 29 Left-wing dogma leads to terminal alienation | 31 Men and women reconciled | 33 Human sex and relationships explained | 35 The end of racism | 37 Judgment Day explained | 39 Saving Western civilisation | 41 Resignation | 43 Noah’s Ark | 45 Christ explained | 47 Humour and swearing explained | 49 Sir Laurens van der Post’s vision | 51 More on the transformation

 

Friday’s inspirational WTM Email 2 Can conflict ever end? | 4 Anne Frank’s faith in human goodness fulfilled | 6 ‘This is the real liberation of women’ | 8 ‘How this liberated me from racism’ | 10 Commendations | 12 FREEDOM chapter synopses | 14 FREEDOM’s significance by Prof. Prosen | 16 The genius of Transform Your Life | 18 Jeremy on how to become transformed | 20 Survey seeking feedback | 22 WTM Centres opening everywhere | 24 Ceremonial masks explained | 26 Fossils evidence our nurtured origins | 28 William Blake’s Tiger Tiger | 30 R.D. Laing’s fearless honesty | 32 Cave paintings | 34 The meaning of superhero and disaster films | 36 Science’s scorn of religion | 38 Art’s agony and ecstasy | 40 Second survey | 42 Wordsworth’s majestic poem | 44 Jeremy’s children’s book, ‘A Perfect Life’ | 46 Jeremy’s biography | 48 Australia’s role | 50 Prophetic songs

 

These emails were composed during 2017 by Jeremy Griffith, Damon Isherwood,
Fiona Cullen-Ward & Brony FitzGerald at the Sydney WTM Centre.

 

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