faq

 

1. ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION
AND ITS RESOLUTION

 

WTM FAQ 1.16  Why can’t I understand what this is all about? / Why am I struggling to read FREEDOM? / This material is so difficult to read surely it needs some serious editing?

 

The short answer:

What can make it difficult to ‘hear’ our presentations is that the subject of the human condition has historically been off-limits, a complete no-go-zone. This is because until we could understand the human conditionthat is, understand why we humans are competitive, aggressive and selfish when the universal ideals are to be cooperative, loving and selfless (a brief explanation of which appears in Video/​Freedom Essay 3)all we could sensibly do was avoid the subject. In fact, as is explained in Video/​F. Essay 1, it has been so difficult for humans to look at the human condition that we have practiced almost total denial of it, and it is this practiced denial that can make taking in or ‘hearing’ discussion about it so challenging. What initially happens when discussion of the human condition begins is that our mind goes into shock and our protective denials begin to kick in and block the words and their meaning from entering our conscious awareness. At a certain point the words just wash over us, there is no absorption of them, and our minds effectively become ‘deaf’ to any more discussion of the human condition. Then, not knowing why we can’t take in what’s being written, we blame the presentation, believe it’s badly written and needs editing.

We have found that what is needed to overcome the ‘deaf effect’ is a preparedness to re-read and/or re-listen to what is being written or said. This process erodes our historic denial and counters the ‘deaf effect’, allowing the compassionate and immensely relieving insights to become accessible.

Most importantly, we also provide a free WTM Deaf Effect Coursesee Video/​Freedom Essay 13to help readers overcome the ‘deaf effect’ difficulty of reading about the historically off-limits subject of the human condition.

 

The elaboration:

The situation is akin to giving someone who suffers from a phobia about snakes a book that cures their phobia when, to date, their fear of snakes has been so great they couldn’t even admit they had a phobiabut therein lies the problem, for as soon as they open the book and see descriptions and images of snakes, they fearfully slam it shut; their fear, in effect, blocks their ability to access the book’s fabulously relieving understanding of, and thus solution to, their phobia!

While this snake phobia analogy gives some idea of the problem of the ‘deaf effect’ resistance that blocks access to the compassionate, reconciling and immensely relieving understanding of our species’ condition, there is a much better analogy and description of itone that was given by that greatest of all philosophers, Plato, way back in the Golden Age of Greece, some 360 years before Christ.

So what was Plato’s marvellously descriptive analogy of humans’ extreme fear of the human condition and the resulting ‘deaf effect’ difficulty we have when reading about itand what importance did he place on the difficulty of the ‘deaf effect’ in his profound contribution to philosophical thought? Well, Plato’s most acclaimed work is The Republic and the central focus of The Republic is ‘our human condition’; and, most revealingly, in describing ‘our human condition’, Plato metaphorically depicted humans as being imprisoned deep ‘underground’ in a ‘cave’ hiding from the ‘painful’ issue of ‘the imperfections of human life’these ‘imperfections’ being the issue of the human condition. So the greatest of philosophers recognised that the central problem in understanding our behaviour is our fear of the human condition!

With regard to the problem of the ‘deaf effect’ response the ‘cave’ ‘prisoners’ would have to reading or hearing about the human condition, Plato then described what occurs when, as summarised in the Encarta Encyclopedia, someone ‘escapes from the cave into the light of day’ and ‘sees for the first time the real world and returns to the cave’ to help the cave prisoners ‘Escape into the sun-filled setting outside the cave [which] symbolizes the transition to the real world… which is the proper object of knowledge’. Plato wrote that ‘it would hurt his [the cave’s prisoner’s] eyes and he would turn back and take refuge in the things which he could see [take refuge in all the dishonest, illusionary explanations for human behaviour that we have become accustomed to from human-condition-avoiding, mechanistic science], which he would think really far clearer than the things being shown him. And if he were forcibly dragged up the steep and rocky ascent [out of the cave of denial] and not let go till he had been dragged out into the sunlight [shown the truthful, real description of our human condition], the process would be a painful one, to which he would much object, and when he emerged into the light his eyes would be so overwhelmed by the brightness of it that he wouldn’t be able to see a single one of the things he was now told were real.’

And significantly, the whole problem of humans living in Plato’s ‘cave of denial’, and the resulting difficulty people variously have of not being able to take in or hear any discussion from outside that ‘cave of denial’, has been experienced by all ‘out-of-cave’, denial-free thinkers. Christ, for example, said, ‘Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say…The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God [living in a resigned state of denial of the human condition causes you to suffer from a ‘deaf effect’ where you’re unable to take in or ‘hear what I say’ about the human condition] (John 8:43-47); and ‘The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness [those resigned to living in Plato’s dark cave of denial of the human condition] has not understood it’ (John 1:5) (see Freedom Essay 39: Christ explained). So, the ‘deaf effect’ is not just a problem that occurs when reading about the human condition, it also occurs when trying to listen to somebody talking about the human condition, because as Christ said, ‘Why is my LANGUAGE not clear to you?’

We have found that what is needed to overcome the ‘deaf effect’ is a preparedness to re-read and/or re-listen to what is being written or said. Significantly, in describing how when the cave prisoner ‘emerged into the light his eyes would be so overwhelmed by the brightness of it that he wouldn’t be able to see a single one of the things he was now told were real’, Plato went on to say, ‘Certainly not at first. Because he would need to grow accustomed to the light before he could see things in the world outside the cave’. This process of re-reading and re-listening, of becoming ‘accustomed’, to the explanation erodes our historic denial and counters the ‘deaf effect’, allowing the compassionate and immensely relieving insights to become accessible.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

For further explanation of, and solutions to, the ‘deaf effect’, see also Video/​Freedom Essay 11, or read chapters 1:4 and 1:5 of biologist Jeremy Griffith’s book FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition.

And as has been mentioned, the WTM also provides a free WTM Deaf Effect Coursesee Video/​Freedom Essay 13to help overcome the ‘deaf effect’ difficulty of reading about the historically, but no longer, unbearably confronting subject of the human condition.