Video & Transcript of the 3-part video series titled
‘Savage Instincts Excuse’, which has Jeremy Griffith
talking with Franklin Mukakanga, Tim Macartney-
Snape and Stacy Rodger in Sydney on 3 March 2017.
Part 1: ‘Left-wing ideology has been
based on false savage instincts excuse’
Jeremy: Franklin, there’s something I talked to Stefan Rössler [the founder of the Austrian WTM Centre] about before he left [to return home to Austria] and I think it’s really important. In Tony Gowing’s opening video at the top of our website titled, ‘Why this solves everything’, first of all he says, ‘All the problems we’re experiencing on this planet, aside from natural phenomenon, are caused by us humans. They are caused by “the human condition”, and, astonishing a claim as it is, it is that underlying, core issue of our troubled human condition that the World Transformation Movement website actually addresses and solves.’ And then he tells The Up River Story. That little presentation is short and sweet, a page or so of text which is about five minutes. Tony follows that with a talk about the traditional excuse we have had for the human condition which is, basically, that we have savage instincts. [Please note, Tony Gowing’s opening video at the top of the homepage has now been replaced by Jeremy Griffith presenting Your block to the most wonderful of all gifts, and Tony’s second talk has now been replaced by a presentation by Jeremy Griffith on the same subject, .]
Now, what I talked to Stefan about, and what I want to talk about now, is just how pervasive that is. If you push anybody, nudge them enough about humans’ selfish and destructive behaviour, they will say that, ‘Look, it’s all human nature and you can’t change human nature, Jeremy.’ You saw Sir Bob Geldof do this when he spoke at the launch of FREEDOM at the Royal Geographical Society in London last year, the transcript of which appears in the booklet (TYL). To quote from Part 1, page 11:
Sir Bob, you’re a fabulous humanitarian, however, when it comes to such fundamental questions as ‘the holy grail of “why”’ the human condition exists, you said to me a few days ago that ‘they are questions for biologists like you Jeremy to answer’—and on that score you remarked that ‘We’re not all going to turn into people who are all hugging each other Jeremy because we’re all competitive by nature. The question is how do we relieve ourselves from these unchangeable competitive, selfish and aggressive primal instincts in us?’
Now that view is so drenched into our whole psychology and the code word for it is ‘human nature’. People say, ‘Look, you can’t change human nature.’ That’s the everyday description of that interpretation that we have savage animal instincts. ‘Human nature’, the unsaid words being, ‘which is to be competitive, selfish and aggressive, that’s our instinctive animal heritage and you can’t change that. The job of every human is to try to restrain that as best they can.’ And that excuse pervades everybody’s mind. Everybody that’s resigned takes it up and lives off it and practices it. The term ‘survival of the fittest’ is basically that we’ve got savage instincts that are competing to reproduce our genes. So it saturates our thinking.
When Tony was preparing these videos for our homepage he added the second 4-minute video titled, The false savage instincts excuse [which, as explained above, has now been replaced with a presentation on the same topic by Jeremy Griffith, ] because he was talking to his mother and after a little bit she felt sort of pushed to the point where she blurted out, ‘Okay, look Tony, it’s all very well to be idealistic but the fact is human nature is what it has always been and you can’t change that. Humans are always going to be selfish and greedy and there was always going to be bad people and there will always be wars and murders and so on.’ That’s her reasoning, so when you try to teach this to others, you’re fighting that underlying assumption in their mind that you’re just being idealistic: ‘Look, humans have got savage animal instincts in them and our job is to try to contain them as best we can. We’re all born brutish, savage and aggressive barbarians and we’ve got to try to restrain that as best we can with our conscious mind.’ So they’re all living off that. As I said, pre-resigned children don’t buy that at all because their instincts are just saturated with yet-to-be-repressed awareness of our moral nature which is to be loving and selfless, not to be competitive and aggressive. So children, before they resign [see ] don’t accept it, they know, their whole being is letting them know, that this is all wrong. Their instincts are to be cooperative and loving [see ] and the world is not like that. That’s what they’re wrestling with. But what happens after they resign is they grab this excuse that we’ve got savage animal instincts in us like you wouldn’t believe because it gets them off the hook [see an elaboration of what happens at Resignation in Jeremy’s talk ‘How to become Transformed’ which forms the basis of ].
So that’s why TYL begins with Geldof saying this traditional excuse: ‘Look Jeremy, you’re being idealistic. You’re not going to get people to hug each other and be nice to each other because we’re all innately competitive and aggressive. That’s our eternal affliction. That’s human nature. You can’t change it. You can try to contain it and that’s our responsibility as a human to try to restrain it, but we’re all brutes underneath.’ TYL goes on in the next few paragraphs to say that’s just not true. That’s the excuse we used when we were waiting for the real excuse that got us off the hook. I do this mental flip and I say, ‘Just imagine that we did have cooperative and loving instincts’ and I refer to the bonobos and I quote Hesiod and Plato [see for further discussion on the strategy underlying TYL]. So the first point I make is that it’s a lie for two reasons, as I point out in Part 1 of TYL:
First, we humans have cooperative, selfless and loving moral instincts, the voice or expression of which within us is our conscience—as Charles Darwin recognised, ‘The moral sense perhaps affords the best and highest distinction between man and the lower animals’ (paragraph 375 of FREEDOM). And to have acquired our altruistic moral instinctive nature, our distant ancestors must have been cooperative, selfless and loving, not competitive, selfish and aggressive like other animals.
Second, descriptions of human behaviour, such as egocentric, arrogant, inspired, depressed, deluded, pessimistic, optimistic, artificial, hateful, cynical, mean, immoral, brilliant, guilt-ridden, evil, psychotic, neurotic, alienated, etc, all recognise the involvement of our species’ unique fully conscious thinking mind—that there is a psychological dimension to our behaviour. Humans have suffered not from the genetic-opportunism-based, non-psychological animal condition, but the conscious-mind-based, PSYCHOLOGICALLY troubled HUMAN CONDITION. (par. 40 of FREEDOM)
So it’s just not true that we’ve got brutish instincts. But when you go on this journey through Part 1 of this little booklet it performs a great trick. It says, ‘Okay, I know you are probably believing in that we’re all selfish by nature, that’s human nature. But let’s just imagine that we did have cooperative instincts.’ And this is what Plato said, ‘our state of innocence, before we had any experience of evils to come, when we were…simple and calm and happy…’, and this is what Hesiod said, ‘When gods alike and mortals rose to birth / A golden race…’, and Richard Heinberg, ‘Every religion begins with the recognition that human consciousness has been separated from the divine Source, that a former sense of oneness…’, and Rousseau, ‘nothing is more gentle than man in his primitive state’. Then the evidence from the bonobos and the description of them was exactly what Plato and Hesiod described early humans as having lived by, and they didn’t even know about bonobos. And the skeletons of our early australopithecine ancestor and that of a bonobo are almost indistinguishable. So the evidence is undeniable. [See for more acknowledgments from some of history’s greatest thinkers of our cooperative past.]
It goes on in TYL to say, but if that’s true and we became conscious and, as it were, competitive, aggressive and divisive, and in the metaphorical story we are thrown out of the Garden of Eden, this state of original innocence, how ashamed would we have been of having destroyed paradise?! So guilt-ridden, unbelievably guilt-ridden. Even if you look at the Adam Stork story which just says he flew off course from the migratory flight path [see ], how guilty would Adam Stork have felt, unable to explain why he had defied his instincts? But if you add to that, that our instincts weren’t to a flight path but to being cooperative, loving and selfless then that’s doubly guilty as soon as we become competitive and aggressive. And then there’s a triple whammy when you realise that Integrative Meaning is the theme of existence and now we’re being divisive. So now we’re at odds with God, we are at odds with our original instinctive self or soul. [You can read more about the double and triple whammies in .] It’s a horrendously guilt-ridden state. So just walk a mile in that state of extreme guilt. That’s the beauty of Part 1 of TYL, because it paints the picture of how wonderful we were living in this golden age of togetherness, then we became conscious and for some reason we messed it all up. We destroyed paradise. Then how incredibly guilt-ridden must we have been?
Now if you allow that appreciation of how guilty we must have been into your mind, just on the logic of what I’ve said we would be enormously guilt-ridden. And then, AND THEN imagine we looked at animals hunting and killing each other and we said, that’s just our original nature and our conscious mind has to come in and mediate and play the hero against these vial instincts. It’s such a fabulous excuse because instead of our instincts being loving and cooperative and condemning, suddenly they’re the evil part! Instead of our mind being the guilty party that caused us to be thrown out of the Garden of Eden, it’s made out to be the mediating hero! So you see this true explanation of the human condition that the Adam Stork story makes clear has humans coming out the hero doesn’t it? But that cheat explanation—that we have violent, savage instincts, not cooperative and loving ones, and that our conscious mind has to mediate—that makes the conscious mind the hero also. Both have us as the heroes but one does it falsely.
So it’s an unbelievably relieving excuse to come up with that our instincts are savage and our conscious mind has to manage them as best we can. So when Tony’s mother said to him, ‘Tony, you’re a nice boy. You’re idealistic and no doubt Jeremy is very idealistic and naïve (which were the same words Stefan used in his presentation opening the Austrian WTM Centre, when he said, ‘I’d get called naive and people always told me that I’m a dreamer and that it’s about time for me to finally adjust to reality.’ [See for Stefan’s full presentation]), but I’m afraid human nature is human nature and it will never change. There’s always going to be bad people, there’s always going to be evil in the world and the job of us conscious humans is to try to restrain that evil side of ourselves, our vicious instincts.’ You see how condescending that was? ‘Nice work Tone, to believe in idealism, but you’re up against reality.’ Now, you’ve got to stand back and look at that. So here’s Tony’s mother walking into the room, here’s Tony coming up with all this stuff that he’s very excited about and wanting her to read about, and her response is, ‘Yes, yes, yes, Tone. That’s nice. I love you son. You’re a lovely lad’, whatever, I don’t know, but in her head is this stuff running around that human nature is unchangeable. And that’s what you’re up against ‘my well-meaning son’ kind of thing. Is that right Tone, what I’m saying?
Jeremy: It’s almost patronising, and Tony is perplexed because it’s so entrenched, she’s so comfortable in this understanding that she’s got in her head. And that’s what I’m trying to warn you [Franklin] and Stefan about before you return home, that that’s what’s running through everybody’s head around the place—they just think we’re being idealistic.
Now, we can now understand what’s happening with the left-wing and their anger with Donald Trump [someone who is not interested in imposing idealism, but rather, is concerned with championing the ego—see ] because if you extrapolate from what Geldof said, because he’s extremely left-wing, he said, ‘Jeremy, you can’t change human nature. Humans are innately brutal and savage.’ He said, ‘We’re not all going to turn into people who are all hugging each other Jeremy because we’re all competitive by nature. The question is how do we relieve ourselves from our unchangeable primal instincts?’ They are his exact words—‘unchangeable primal instincts’—that are, by inference, savage and competitive.
This is really important: what the left-wing are believing is that therefore it’s unchangeable, we have to impose dogma, we have to just demand ideal behaviour, the only way we’re ever going to solve this unchangeable ‘human nature’ we’ve got is to impose idealism onto it, that’s the only solution. What I’m trying to say is that the left-wing culture is all an extrapolation from this fundamental belief that we are competitive and selfish by nature, that our instincts are selfish, because from there that’s how they justify that at some point we’re just going to have to superimpose, force idealism on the world, because you’re up against human nature which won’t be idealistic. That’s our only solution. So they pursue that path to the bitter end. They’re insisting on dogma but once you understand this explanation, about the battle between our conscious mind and our instincts—the Adam Stork story—then the only way to actually relieve the world of what we can now understand is a psychosis, is through understanding. But we are up against everybody living off ‘human nature is unchangeable’ and believing that therefore the only solution is to impose, dogmatically impose idealism on the equation. So they think, for example, ‘Well, globalisation and multiculturalism is a good thing, we should let everybody flood into the West and that way we will impose idealism.’ Now that’s all based on this fundamental untruth that we’re selfish and competitive by nature. That’s how they justify their selfishness. [See for far more on the left-wing’s reliance on the false ‘savage instincts’ excuse, and the threat its dogma poses.]
So when I try to point out to Geldof that we’re trying to fix the world through a psychological solution, it’s not resonating because he’s believing what he said in his opening comment, he began straight away with, ‘We’re not all going to turn into people who are all hugging each other Jeremy’. In other words, ‘You’re a lovely idealistic man and you want everyone to hug each other but they’re not going to do it’, because of what I’ve just explained. And then he went on to say, ‘The question is how do we relieve ourselves from our unchangeable primal instincts?’ And the unsaid words there are that the only way is obviously by imposing idealism. That’s his solution, but the mistake is the ‘unchangeable primal instincts’. And immediately after he said that, I said, ‘No, no, no. The problem is psychological, and psychoses can be healed through understanding.’ So I had the perfect counter-response and I said it but he’s locked on to his excuse. And that’s where you will run into a problem with other people in Africa, like maybe the ear surgeon that you ran into briefly who’s been reading this. I’m just warning you that you’re up against that they all subscribe to the belief that human nature is ‘unchangeable’, unsaid words: because we’ve got innate selfish and aggressive instincts. And beyond that, if they extrapolate from that, therefore the only solution is to impose ideality onto that situation. So that’s their justification for dogma. Like [the political theorist] Karl Marx said, ‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is [not to understand the world but] to change it [just make it cooperative/social/communal]’ (Theses on Feuerbach, 1845).
So why I’m explaining all this is because it’s so important. The only way to get them to change their way of thinking is to start from the beginning and explain that we don’t suffer from selfish, competitive animal instincts, that ours is a psychological problem, get them to understand, to start again. To use the little metaphor of Tony’s mother’s situation, Tony runs into someone who’s resigned in the old world, they think we’re just being idealistic and naive. Underpinning that is the belief that we’re by nature competitive, selfish and aggressive, that’s our animal heritage, that’s human nature and you can’t change that. Be as idealistic as you’d like, ‘Hug each other’ as Geldof said, ‘It won’t happen’. Tony’s mother used that phrase, ‘There will always be bad people’. Is that right Tone?
Jeremy: So the starting point to unravelling it is those two points I read at the beginning from TYL. Firstly, that our moral instincts are to be cooperative and loving, which is the voice of our conscience. Our conscience didn’t come out of thin air, it exists. As Charles Darwin said, ‘the moral sense perhaps affords the best and highest distinction between man and the lower animals’ (The Descent of Man, 1871, ch.4) [see for the origin of our moral conscience]. And secondly, clearly we don’t suffer from a genetic-opportunism-driven animal condition but from a psychologically troubled human condition.
So now you can see what’s going on out there with Trump and co., they’re getting nowhere because the left-wing believes from the starting point that we have an innate unchangeable nature and they have to impose a dogma. That’s their justification for their dogma. Once we understand the Adam Stork story and the real explanation, dogma is an anathema, the opposite of what’s going to answer such fundamental questions as ‘the holy grail of “why”’ the human condition exists, because dogma means no knowledge, no thinking. The most beautiful line in all of the presentations given at the Global Conference to launch the first three WTM Centres outside of Sydney was yours, Franklin, when you said, ‘Knowledge is power. And no knowledge is more powerful than self-knowledge’. Magic words. But you see, you’ve got to understand what we’re up against, the enemy don’t subscribe to that there’s anything wrong with dogma, because they say our instincts are dogmatic in a sense and we have to impose a dogma to contain them. And that’s what you’ve got to deal with. [Again see for far more on the left-wing’s reliance on the false ‘savage instincts’ excuse, and the threat its dogma poses.]
That’s the magic of the structure of TYL, because it says, to use Geldof’s and Tony’s mother’s words, ‘We’re selfish by nature and you can’t do anything about that.’ And I immediately go on to say that’s bullshit [see for an explanation of swearing], we had to have that excuse but it’s crap and I give the two explanations for why it’s crap, that our instincts are to be cooperative and loving and that the human condition is a conscious-mind-based psychological condition. And then the book takes you on a journey; it says, ‘Well, just imagine we did have loving and cooperative instincts and let’s imagine the conscious mind did stuff it all up, well how guilty would we have been? And then God, would we have needed some excuse at that point, and then this excuse that we have savage instincts would have been a fantastic excuse, absolutely fabulous excuse.’ Suddenly our instincts are bad and not good. Suddenly our conscious mind is the hero and not the villain. Reverse-of-the-truth-lie, out of jail! And then everything flows from that. [Again, see for further analysis of TYL’s structure.] Tony dealing with his mother, you [Franklin] and Stefan dealing with people out there, us all dealing with people out there, have got the same problem. Tony’s mother is running with the belief that human nature is fundamentally selfish and you can’t really change that, so to make any headway Tony’s got to undermine that, or throw some doubt onto that, at least acknowledge that he’s aware of that. So that’s the beauty of all my books and you’ll see that this structure is in all of them. The first video at the top of our homepage is simply The Up River Story—we’re the real problem. But as quick as a flash the second video says, ‘I know you’re all thinking human nature is unchangeable but you’re wrong’. Boom-boom! And it gives the two reasons why. [Again, the first video at the top of the homepage is now Your block to the most wonderful of gifts, and while Jeremy now presents the second video, not Tony, the subject of remains the false ‘savage instincts’ excuse.]
The most famous quotation from Sun Tzu’s famous Chinese military manual, The Art Of War, is that you should know your enemy and I’m trying to nail what our enemy is. And it’s this bloody problem. And what’s so good about TYL is that it deals with the problem up front, bang-bang, and even uses Geldof’s own statement. And it’s got this wonderful trick of imagining that we did have loving, cooperative instincts and how guilty we would have become when we defied those instincts. Because no one ever thinks about it from that angle but if you did of course we would have felt guilty, and then how addictive would this bullshit explanation be. It would be hugely addictive.
Part 2: ‘How universities are built on the false savage instincts excuse’
Jeremy: In all these ivory towers of universities like Harvard, they build them higher and higher and fill them with more and more professors and they’re all working on this bullshit savage instincts explanation for human selfishness, just refining it [see for an explanation of swearing]. So they’re pushing this lie but if you push a lie, it will start to fall over after a little while so you have to keep patching up that lie. Like, Darwin said some members of a population reproduce more than others in a given environment and he left it undecided as to whether those individuals that reproduced more could be viewed as winners, as being ‘fitter’. And then his associates, Spencer and Wallace, however, said, ‘Hey mate, you’ve got to interpret that as survival of the fittest. It’s a competition for survival’ they said, and persuaded Darwin to substitute ‘natural selection’ with ‘survival of the fittest’. However, that excuse was deficient so it was then further developed into Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology, which was then found to be deficient and so they patched that up with Multilevel Selection theory for eusociality. And who’s the architect of all these patch-ups? Bloody E.O. Wilson [see for an analysis of these false biological excuses].
Tim Macartney-Snape: You could say, ‘Ego Wilson’. [laughter]
Jeremy: Ego, E.O., same thing [laughter]. So these huge castles, these academic institutions, like Oxford and Cambridge and Harvard, they’re all dedicated to maintaining this lie and refining it. It all starts with humans feeling guilty about having destroyed paradise, seeing animals tearing each other’s throat out, and saying, ‘Well, that’s us, we’ve got the same heritage’ and suddenly feeling relief. Now psychologically, they’d hardly be aware of why it was so relieving because they don’t understand the equation anywhere near as clearly as I’ve described it [see and ]. Nevertheless, there’s a deep relief, like, ‘Phew, that’s a good one, I’ll use that.’ Even the cavemen or the early bushmen (and actually we should stop using ‘cavemen’ because it implies that they are brutes and aggressive and that’s the opposite of what they were) would know, they would get some relief from scientists saying, ‘Well, we all must have been like those animals, like that lion that’s tearing that zebra’s throat out, and that’s why we’ve got to manage our instincts.’ There would have been an underlying feeling of relief.
So this is where it’s all coming from. (TYL) is beautifully structured because it deals with the enemy’s misconception straight up and acknowledges it, and then proves it wrong by explaining that we’ve got cooperative, loving moral instincts which is our conscience and then it goes on this journey explaining that of course we needed this excuse but it’s bullshit, that all these universities are dedicated to refining that bullshit excuse but now we’ll give you the real reason, the psychological-based one in which is the Adam Stork story. And that’s a beautiful structure. [See for an analysis of TYL’s structure and underlying strategy.]
Now this same integrity exists in the introductory video series at the top of the WTM homepage, because that’s our front-foot, that’s the most important thing because it’s what people come to first. In the first video of the series, Tony Gowing talks about the real issue being the human condition and our destructive behaviour and The Up River Story. Then straight away in the second video, bang, he goes into this bullshit excuse and how we’ve used it and how it’s full of shit. He says, ‘I know everyone uses the excuse that our competitive and aggressive behaviour is due to us having savage animal instincts, which are driven by the need to reproduce our genes, but surely this is just a convenient excuse while we searched for the real reason for our divisive nature.’ Then the video goes on to demolish it. The second video, which only goes for a few minutes, then tackles that misconception head on and solves it. [Please note, Tony Gowing’s opening video at the top of the homepage has now been replaced by Jeremy Griffith presenting Your block to the most wonderful of all gifts, and Tony’s second talk has now been replaced by a presentation by Jeremy Griffith on the same subject, .] And then in the third video I give the real psychological explanation which is the Adam Stork story. So again, ‘bang, bang, bang’. It’s dealing with it properly, sequentially, head on, same as in TYL which goes into a little bit more depth because it’s got a bit more space to do it in. It talks about the bullshit biology and uses the bonobos as well to illustrate the point. And if you read FREEDOM, this is the opening two paragraphs of :
“This book liberates you, the reader, and all other humans from an underlying insecurity and resulting psychosis that all humans have suffered from since we became a fully conscious species some two million years ago.
This underlying insecurity and psychosis that exists within every human is the product of a very deep anxiety, an uncertainty, of not knowing why, when the ideals of life are so obviously to be cooperative, loving and selfless, are humans so competitive, aggressive and selfish. Certainly, we have relied heavily on the excuse that our behaviour is no different to that seen in the animal kingdom—that we humans are competitive, aggressive and selfish because of our animal heritage. We have argued that we are, as Lord Alfred Tennyson put it, ‘red in tooth and claw’—a victim of savage animal instincts that compel us to fight and compete for food, shelter, territory and a mate; that we are at the mercy of a biological need to reproduce our genes. But this reason that biologists, including the most celebrated living biologist, the Harvard-based Edward (E.) O. Wilson, have been perpetuating cannot be the real cause of our competitive, divisive behaviour because descriptions of human behaviour, such as egocentric, arrogant, inspired, depressed, deluded, pessimistic, optimistic, artificial, hateful, mean, immoral, guilt-ridden, evil, psychotic, neurotic, alienated, all recognise the involvement of our species’ unique fully conscious thinking mind—that there is a psychological dimension to our behaviour. Humans have suffered not from the genetic-opportunism-based, non-psychological animal condition, but the conscious-mind-based, PSYCHOLOGICALLY troubled HUMAN CONDITION.
So that’s one sentence, two sentences, three sentences—the third sentence of FREEDOM—‘Certainly, we have relied heavily on the excuse that our behaviour is no different to that seen in the animal kingdom—that we humans are competitive, aggressive and selfish because of our animal heritage.’—that gets straight onto that lie that we have savage animal instincts. So it’s structured with enormous integrity. In other words, it nails that argument right up front. TYL nails it right up front. And it’s so important because that’s why we have trouble with the left-wing because they just think that dogma is the only way we can solve our destructive behaviour. The unsaid words are, because human nature is unchangeable, we have these instincts that we can’t change. So the only solution therefore is to impose ideality on it. Now that turns out to be the absolute opposite of the truth. We had to become more and more upset to find sufficient knowledge and only then could we explain the psychosis and get rid of it. Whereas they are saying we don’t need any knowledge. As [the political theorist] Karl Marx said, ‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is [not to understand the world but] to change it [just make it cooperative/social/communal]’ (Theses on Feuerbach, 1845). And there’s the problem in a nutshell. That’s what Bob Geldof was saying, ‘Jeremy you want everybody to hug each other but I’ve worked this through many times in my life. Look mate, human nature is what it is, you’ll never change it.’ ‘There’s always going to be bad people’, as Tony’s mother said, ‘blah, blah, blah’. As Geldof said, the question is how do we control our brutish nature, our innate, ‘unchangeable’ behaviour? Unsaid words, obviously the only way we can do that is to impose ideality on it.
So that’s why we’ve got this incessant argument between the left and the right. The left doesn’t see anything wrong with dogma. Whereas the right knows that dogma is the antithesis of what solves the world’s problems. Dogma means no knowledge. Dogma means just impose this without any rational explanation, whereas we’re searching for understanding. So you can see just how insidious, if that’s the right word, how bad anyway, that excuse that human nature is unchangeable because we’ve got savage animal instincts is, how dangerous it is, how it just leads to all these other stages of dishonesty and bullshit and deception and delusion. And then you end up with the left-wing going crazy and it doesn’t see anything wrong with dogma. Whereas in fact, finding understanding of the human condition is the opposite of dogma, it’s the search for knowledge because only knowledge, ultimately self-knowledge can liberate us. [See on the danger of left-wing dogma.]
This is very important for Stefan Rössler [the founder of the Austrian WTM Centre] because he just wants to tell people the Adam Stork story [see ] and not deal with all of this kind of thing, which has got its rationale, because Stefan’s strategy is that if you catch people in an unfocused moment and you just tell them the Adam Stork story, it’s so plausible they think, ‘Oh, Jeez that makes sense.’ They have to walk around for a week and think about it before they get the old defence back in place that we’ve got [supposedly] innate competitive instincts. But Stefan’s argument is that by then [by telling them the Adam Stork story] we’ve got our foot in the door, so you don’t have to hit them up with all this complicated stuff about the human condition being the real issue and that we’re using this false excuse. You can dodge all that and get straight into the Adam Stork story. So that’s why I sat him down and took him through this because he needs a very clear understanding of this when he’s talking to people, like Tony talking to his mother in the previous video, of what he’s actually dealing with, so that he might be able to ‘trick’ some into just listening to the Adam Stork story and they might then think, ‘Oh, shit, that all stacks up, that all makes sense, that’s very plausible.’ But really, if you don’t deal with this underlying problem which these three books do, and very quickly, then you’re cheating, you’re going to try and cheat your way through.
It’s just important to know when you talk to people. I’ll give you a little scenario Franklin. You spoke to that ear doctor and he’s been looking at TYL and you were hoping he’s made some progress and you’re pretty comfortable that he is because he said to you, ‘I’ve got an appointment at a hospital so I have to leave straight away and can’t talk but I am interested in it.’ Now you might be right, but I’ve got a gut instinct that he might start to hit a wall, start to feel a bit confronted and not want to look at it. But if that’s the case and you start talking to him, you might notice that he starts saying the same thing as Geldof, ‘Look, I’m not sure we’ve got moral instincts or I’m not sure that we’ve got a cooperative past like that. I doubt that.’ Unsaid words, ‘What I actually believe is that we’ve got competitive, brutish, savages instincts. I subscribe to that other philosophy that everyone else is using, which is that we’ve got savage instincts’, and that might be what you’re up against. Now, if that’s the case and you are forewarned by this talk then you can explain very clearly, ‘Yeah, I know what you’re subscribing to. I know the rationale behind that, but these are the arguments against that. And that was just a holding excuse until we found the real one.’
Jeremy: So, because you’ve told him that you know the game he’s playing, that disarms him. That makes him a bit more likely to listen to you as opposed to you saying, ‘Shit, I don’t even know what that argument is you’re using.’ But if you’re ahead of the play, in effect, that gives you more power to sort of persuade him to look a bit deeper. That’s all I’m saying. And I’m just warning Stefan that if you try to dodge Part 1 of TYL and videos 1 and 2 in at the top of our homepage you might encounter problems because you haven’t dealt with their underlying excuse.
Franklin: Absolutely, okay.
Jeremy: Is that all…Tone? [Tony nods]
Tim: Yes, for sure.
Jeremy: But it’s a warning we all need. We need to have a very clear understanding of this with this information. Otherwise we get frustrated with the left-wing. How can they believe in dogma when we know, once you understand the Adam Stork story, that dogma is the opposite of what we need. We need knowledge. More and more knowledge until one day we had enough knowledge to explain the human condition. They say, ‘fuck knowledge’ you know? That’s where it’s all locked up. That’s where the whole impasse is locked up around that crap.
Anyway, so I just wanted to give you that summary.
Franklin: Yeah, that’s a great summary.
Part 3: ‘Teleology & mechanistic science’
Tim Macartney-Snape: You know, one of my first experiences of a negative reaction to our work was giving your book Free: The End of The Human Condition to a scientist, an anthropologist. And he was incredibly dismissive because he very quickly realised that it was promoting a teleological concept and that is just a no-go zone for science. Teleology is like ‘the devil’ to science.
Jeremy: It’s an acknowledgement of Integrative Meaning. Teleology means ‘the tendency in nature to form wholes’ (Concise Oxford Dictionary, 5th edn, 1964), it’s an admission of Integrative Meaning. [Read more about Integrative Meaning in .]
Tim: Whereas really, ‘the devil’ to science is egotism, people pushing their own theories.
Jeremy: Yes, it’s really incestuous. Franklin, do you know Jan Smuts?
Jeremy: He’s a very famous South African. The English named Jan Smuts Avenue and the Jan Smuts Airport in Johannesburg after him.
Franklin: Yes, there’s the Jan Smuts Airport.
Jeremy: But they’ve renamed it now because his legacy receives the same opposition as Cecil Rhodes’s legacy does because they were so exploitative. By now Rhodes would have built a railway from one end of Africa to the other, well you can imagine, they’ve already built some of it with beautiful crossings and tunnels for animals to go through. But it’s true, the English and Dutch colonists were incredibly dismissive and brutalising.
Tim: And they made a lot of money. Look at the Rhodes Scholarship, it’s still based on his fortune.
Jeremy: Yes, that’s right. But that’s the thing: money, which is code for capitalism, which is code for materialism, is the only compensation there is for cashing your soul in. [You can read about materialism in .]
Jeremy: So that’s the justification. Sure they got hungry for money, you know, and they ripped the heart out of your country, they’re still doing it.
Jeremy: Anyway, so Jan Smuts is now relegated to the garbage tip, but he’s a very great man, he came up with the term ‘holism’. He’s a first principle, denial-free thinker that guy, an amazingly honest thinker, Smuts. He wrote a book about holism [called Holism and Evolution, 1926]. Teleology is the tendency in nature to form wholes, or is that holism?
Tim: They’re both the same aren’t they?
Jeremy: They’re the same thing but one has a different definition to the other, but they both mean the same thing.
Tim: Teleology is to do with purpose.
Jeremy: Yes, there’s purpose or design.
Tim: Which is the same.
Jeremy: And then holism is the tendency in nature to form wholes.
Tim: Which is the purpose.
Jeremy: Which is the purpose, yeah, yeah, you’re right. Slash [/], slash [/], slash [/]. Teleology/holism/purpose, they’re all the same [Jeremy uses ‘slashes’ in his writing to group words together with the same meaning].
Franklin: They’re all the same.
Jeremy: Yes. But anyway, Smuts is a great South African, and there’s van der Post too, so Africa has produced some great denial-free thinkers, because it’s our soul’s home. [See for more on Sir Laurens van der Post.]
Africa had a double-edged sword. Some people, a lot of people that went to Africa, Europeans, went crazy because it’s too confronting—all this innocent natural world around them—and they just shot the crap out of it. They murdered animals by the hundreds of thousands. It was terrible. It was just a bloodletting. It was psychotic. It was sick behaviour. It was just to get even with innocence. If you take humans back to their childhood home without any defence for the reason they left it it’s unbearable. And, you know, in Nairobi everyone was sleeping with everyone else’s wives, the whole thing went crazy, they were out the gate. Karen Blixen [Isak Dinesen], who wrote Out of Africa, and had an affair with Denys Finch-Hatton, and all that stuff. I mean, they were inspired and wrote some wonderful things, like Elspeth Huxley wrote The Flame Trees of Thika and all this sort of stuff and it produced some great prophets in van der Post and…
Tim: Olive Schreiner.
Jeremy: Olive Schreiner and…
Jeremy: Eugene Marais, yeah, and Smuts. Yeah, they’re four very great prophets, you know. [Read more about these extraordinary thinkers on WTM Cape Town Centre’s website page, .] So that soulfulness of Africa can be very nurturing, which is what the equivalent of Australia was, which is one of the reasons you [Franklin] wanted to come here. You wanted to see the golden interior of the African-like landscape which we haven’t been able to show you. Tim’s done his best, he took you down to a big gully [in the Southern Highlands of NSW] and you saw some natural bushland but we haven’t gone over the Blue Mountains yet; that’s for the next trip!
Franklin: Aha [laughs].
Jeremy: Yeah, sorry—so holism. Tim said teleology gets at people and they really hate it because they know how dangerous it is.
Jeremy: So Tim’s right. As well as the great truth that we have a cooperative, loving past [see ] which is something that we can’t bear and we need to replace it with the excuse that we have a brutish past… [ analyses this great need for an excuse.]
Jeremy: …the other two really great truths that immediately come to mind are Integrative Meaning/Teleology [see ], because that condemns us—if we’re supposed to be integrative why are we divisive?—and, of course, nurturing [see ]. They’re the ones [the two truths] that humans are allergic to admitting. So what Tim’s saying is true. You’re more than likely to run into one of those three if you’re talking to anybody. But scientists are really full of it, full of dishonesty. There’s a beautiful section in called How has science coped with the issue of the human condition? Good book this one you know! [laughter] So that’s really an explanation of reductionist and mechanistic science.
So, if you go back to the beginning of the whole history of science and you try to boil it all down to one meeting with a couple of scientists, right? Science comes from the Latin word scientia, meaning ‘knowledge’. This actually happened between Plato and Aristotle. They talked about all these truths: that we were once cooperative and loving; that the meaning of life is to be integrative; that nurturing was the prime mover in human development, all of this sort of stuff. But without the explanation, the real defence for ourselves, it was an unbearable truth. So we had this huge problem, how to investigate the truth without confronting it. It was a real problem. So you can imagine the scientists that got around the desk on the first day to try to solve this problem probably got themselves so confused and rattled that they gave up and the next day brought in a fresh group of scientists to have another look and see if they can crack it, because this is a big problem: how do we investigate a truth we can’t confront?
Jeremy: How do we walk up to the truth facing backwards so we don’t see it while we’re investigating it? That’s kind of the dilemma. So eventually they sat down and got their heads worked out and they said, ‘right, we’ll have to avoid any truth that comes up that’s confronting until we find the bigger truth that defends us. So any truth that condemns us we’ll have to deny, until one day we find the full truth and then and only then will it become safe to admit those truths. So over here we’ll put a box and we’ll put any confronting truths that we stumble upon into that box. So we’ll deny it. That’s the denial box and we’ll work over here. We’ll count frogs’ eggs and build up a database about the behaviour of animals. That’s pretty safe. That’s pretty safe. That can all stay outside the box. But as soon as it edges towards any of those terrifying truths of Integrative Meaning, or nurturing creating humanity, or that we have a loving, cooperative soul, we have to leave them in the box. So we’ll focus on the mechanisms behind the workings of the world in hope that one day when we find understanding of the details, then, and only then, will we confront the bigger truth that’s over and above all this which is Integrative Meaning and the issue of the human condition.’
So we avoided the big issue, this overarching issue of the human condition, and all these truths relating to it such as Integrative Meaning and we focussed away. ‘I can’t look at that. We just collect the details, collect the frogs’ eggs, build up some data information on that, collect some more information over here. Study this and build up published papers about that.’ So we were mechanistic, not holistic. We focused on the mechanisms. We were reductionists, we reduced our focus down onto these details and didn’t look up there, we found some more details, and built up this store of mechanisms and details—understandings at that level—the unsaid words were, in the hope that one day someone would come along who could put all these bits together.
Here’s this lovely little drawing I did. See, that’s our condemning cooperative and loving soul [the figure on the left]; and this is a mechanistic and reductionist scientist [the figure on the right]. See, he’s hiding from the truth while investigating the details, finding the pieces of the jigsaw. And then one day an unresigned, truthful thinking person has to come along and put all those pieces together [the figure in the middle]. So that was the game plan. That’s mechanistic, reductionist science. This is holistic science that I’m thinking about. The problem with that is made clear by this little picture is that one day mechanistic scientists would have found enough details about the mechanisms to make the explanation possible, but by this time they would have become so habituated to living in this bullshit that they don’t want to let it go.
Jeremy: So, I come along, I put all the bits together that they’ve found [see ], I acknowledge that they found them, give them a big pat on the back, but they say, ‘I’m not coming out of the cave where I’m living in denial, so I’m not going to admit it!’ They’re too habituated to living in this cave of denial [see for an explanation of Plato’s ‘cave’]. So that’s why we have to go off on our own and get Franklin out here to create an institution in Africa outside of that ivory tower of rubbish. They get so entrenched in this false way, they’ve got all their things in the box over there—‘these things are safe, we won’t go over there’—and then someone comes along and makes it safe to go into the box but they won’t go there. That’s the problem, it gets entrenched this mechanistic reductionist strategy.